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A comparative Test of the Efficiency, focus and Learning Perspectives of Outsourcing

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  • Frédéric, DALSACE

    ()

  • Nicola C., DRAGONETTI

    ()
    (INSEAD)

  • Karel, COOL

    ()
    (INSEAD)

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    Abstract

    Despite the fact that vertical integration has been a key question of management studies for more than fifty years, we still do not have a unified, coherent view of outsourcing. In particular, multiple theoretical perspectives such as transaction cost economics, industrial organization, and strategy, could explain the outsourcing decision, but the implications of these different streams have neither been theoretically integrated, nor tested simultaneously. In an attempt to disentangle the various causes of outsourcing, we suggest three different rationales for outsourcing: cost reduction, focusing on core capabilities and importing knowledge into the firm. We develop several hypotheses, which we then test on secondary data on French small- and medium-sized enterprises. Results indicate that the learning rationale appears to be the strongest factor influencing the outsourcing decision. Some performance implications of this rationale are also suggested and tested.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HEC Paris in its series Les Cahiers de Recherche with number 776.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: 28 Jan 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ebg:heccah:0776

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    Postal: HEC Paris, 78351 Jouy-en-Josas cedex, France
    Web page: http://www.hec.fr/
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    Related research

    Keywords: outsourcing; transaction cost economics; resource-based view; knowledge-based view;

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    1. Chung, Ching-Fan & Goldberger, Arthur S, 1984. "Proportional Projections in Limited Dependent Variable Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 531-34, March.
    2. Greene, William H, 1981. "On the Asymptotic Bias of the Ordinary Least Squares Estimator of the Tobit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(2), pages 505-13, March.
    3. Nicolai Foss, 1999. "Research in the Strategic Theory of the Firm: 'Isolationism' and 'Integrationism'," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(6), pages 725-755, November.
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    6. Richard N. Langlois & Nicolai J. Foss, 1997. "Capabilities and Governance the Rebirth of Production in the Theory of Economic Organization," DRUID Working Papers 97-2, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    7. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
    8. Krogh, Georg Von & Roos, Johan, 1994. "Corporate divestiture and the phantom limb effect," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 171-178, June.
    9. Goldberger, Arthur S., 1981. "Linear regression after selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 357-366, April.
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