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The Impact of Distance on Offshore Business Relationships

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  • Benoit A. Aubert

    ()

  • Suzanne Rivard

    ()

  • Mathieu Templier
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    Abstract

    Offshoring can reduce the production cost of an activity. At the same time, it can generate additional management costs. This paper develops a model explaining the main drivers of the efforts required to manage offshore activities. Results show that distance plays an important role in the determination of the effort level. However, it is not simply a cultural or geographical but a more complex notion labelled “perceived distance”. IT played an interesting role in the determination of effort. It facilitated a higher formalization of the information exchanged and mitigated the impact of geographical distance on the effort required. La délocalisation des activités permet parfois de réduire le coût de ces activités. En même temps, cette délocalisation génère des coûts de gestion additionnels. Cet article développe un modèle expliquant les principaux facteurs qui influencent l’effort de gestion requis pour gérer des activités à distance. Les résultats montrent que la distance a un rôle important. Toutefois, ce n’est pas simplement la distance géographique ou culturelle mais plutôt une « distance perçue » qui semble le facteur déterminant. Les technologies de l’information facilitent la formalisation de l’information échangée et réduisent l’impact de la distance sur l’effort de gestion.

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    File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/pdf/publication/2009s-05.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2009s-05.

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    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2009s-05

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    Keywords: Offshoring; distance; information technology; délocalisation; distance; technologies de l’information.;

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    1. Bert Scholtens & Lammertjan Dam, 2007. "Cultural Values and International Differences in Business Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 75(3), pages 273-284, October.
    2. J. Bradford Jensen & Lori G. Kletzer, 2005. "Tradable Services: Understanding the Scope and Impact of Services Outsourcing," Working Paper Series WP05-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    3. Bart Nooteboom, 2000. "Learning by Interaction: Absorptive Capacity, Cognitive Distance and Governance," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 69-92, March.
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