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Production Outsourcing, Organizational Governance and Firm’s Technological Performance: Evidence from Italy

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  • Roberto Antonietti

    (University of Bologna)

  • Giulio Cainelli

    (University of Bari)

Abstract

Aim of this paper is to study whether and how the firm’s decision to outsource production activities affects its technological performance. In particular, we look at how the alignment between the firm’s governance strategy and the underlying attributes of the transactions affects the capacity of the firm to introduce new products and processes. Using microeconomic data on a repeated cross-section of Italian manufacturing firms for the period 1998-2003, we develop a two-stage approach: first, we estimate the determinants of the firm’s organizational governance (production outsourcing); second, we incorporate a measure of governance misalignment into a technological performance relation. We find (i) that firms not aligned with the optimal organizational governance perform less well in terms of process innovation than more aligned competitors, but (ii) that misalignment has a positive effect on product innovation. However, this counterintuitive result is strongly characterized by non-linear effects that reverse the latter correlation for high values of governance misfit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2007.58.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2007.58

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Keywords: Production Outsourcing; Organizational Governance; Misalignment; Technological Performance; Non-Linearity;

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References

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  1. Sourafel Girma & Holger Görg, 2004. "Outsourcing, Foreign Ownership, and Productivity: Evidence from UK Establishment-level Data," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 817-832, November.
  2. Ann Bartel & Saul Lach & Nachum Sicherman, 2005. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 11158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Heshmati, Almas, 2000. "Productivity Growth, Efficiency and Outsourcing in Manufacturing and Service Industries," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 394, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 18 Oct 2001.
  4. Eiichi Tomiura, 2004. "Foreign outsourcing and firm-level characteristics: evidence from Japanese manufacturers," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-64, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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  6. Bernd Görzig & Andreas Stephan, 2002. "Outsourcing and Firm-level Performance," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 309, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
  8. Swenson, Deborah L, 2000. "Firm Outsourcing Decisions: Evidence from U.S. Foreign Trade Zones," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(2), pages 175-89, April.
  9. Teece, David J., 1996. "Firm organization, industrial structure, and technological innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 193-224, November.
  10. Holger Görg & Aoife Hanley, 2004. "Does Outsourcing Increase Profitability?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 35(3), pages 267-288.
  11. Joskow, Paul L, 1988. "Asset Specificity and the Structure of Vertical Relationships: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 95-117, Spring.
  12. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Sandro Montresor & Paolo Pini, 2006. "The General Profile of the Outsourcing Firm Evidence for a Local Production System of Emilia Romagna," DRUID Working Papers 06-20, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  13. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Innovation and wage effects of international outsourcing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 67-86, January.
  14. Lyons, Bruce R., 1995. "Specific investment, economies of scale, and the make-or-buy decision: A test of transaction cost theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 431-443, May.
  15. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Roberto Antonietti, 2014. "From Outsourcing to Productivity, Passing Through Training: Microeconometric Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 2014.12, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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