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A technological contingency perspective on the depth and scope of international outsourcing

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  • Mol, Michael J.
  • Pauwels, Pieter
  • Matthyssens, Paul
  • Quintens, Lieven

Abstract

In this study, we present and test a technological contingency perspective on two dimensions of international outsourcing: depth and scope. The depth of international outsourcing refers to the ratio of foreign to total outsourcing. The scope of international outsourcing captures the degree of psychic dispersion between the country of operations and the countries a firm is outsourcing from. Using multiple regression analysis on a sample of 189 firms in the Netherlands, the effect of five technological contingency factors is measured: product innovation, technological and volume uncertainties, asset specificity, and the integration of the outsourcing function. A most interesting finding is that technological uncertainty and the degree of product innovation turn out to be both positively associated with a high scope-low depth type of international outsourcing and negatively associated with a low scope-high depth type of international outsourcing. The findings create a platform for a two-dimensional typology, which provides an explanatory logic for the expansion and development path of international outsourcing.

Suggested Citation

  • Mol, Michael J. & Pauwels, Pieter & Matthyssens, Paul & Quintens, Lieven, 2004. "A technological contingency perspective on the depth and scope of international outsourcing," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 287-305.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:10:y:2004:i:2:p:287-305
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Leonidas C Leonidou & Constatine S Katsikeas, 1996. "The Export Development Process: An Integrative Review of Empirical Models," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(3), pages 517-551, September.
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    6. Daniel Sullivan, 1996. "Measuring the Degree of Internationalization of a firm: A Reply," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(1), pages 179-192, March.
    7. Bryce, David J. & Useem, Michael, 1998. "The impact of corporate outsourcing on company value," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 635-643, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Grote, Michael H. & Täube, Florian A., 2007. "When outsourcing is not an option: International relocation of investment bank research -- Or isn't it?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 57-77, March.
    2. Roberto Antonietti, 2016. "From outsourcing to productivity, passing through training: microeconometric evidence from Italy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 407-425, July.
    3. repec:eee:intman:v:24:y:2018:i:1:p:65-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Hätönen, Jussi & Eriksson, Taina, 2009. "30+Â years of research and practice of outsourcing - Exploring the past and anticipating the future," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 142-155, June.
    5. repec:spr:manint:v:55:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11575-014-0233-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kedia, Ben L. & Mukherjee, Debmalya, 2009. "Understanding offshoring: A research framework based on disintegration, location and externalization advantages," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 250-261, July.
    7. Mol, Michael J., 2005. "Does being R&D intensive still discourage outsourcing?: Evidence from Dutch manufacturing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 571-582, May.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:7:p:2519-:d:158640 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Hansen, Thorsten, 2010. "Innovation and the International Firm Structure: Theory and Evidence from German Firm-Level Data," Discussion Papers in Economics 11464, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    10. Valle, Sandra & García, Francisco & Avella, Lucía, 2015. "Offshoring Intermediate Manufacturing: Boost or Hindrance to Firm Innovation?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 117-134.
    11. Swan, K. Scott & Allred, Brent B., 2009. "Does 'the China Option' influence subsidiary technology sourcing strategy?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 169-180, June.
    12. Martinez-Noya, Andrea & Garcia-Canal, Esteban & Guillen, Mauro F., 2012. "International R&D service outsourcing by technology-intensive firms: Whether and where?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 18-37.
    13. Joe Miemczyk & Thomas Johnsen & Katri Karjalainen & Asta Salmi & Federico Caniato, 2011. "Global sourcing: Linking category characteristics to the geographical scope of sourcing," Post-Print hal-00763047, HAL.
    14. Lars Bengtsson & Mandar Dabhilkar, 2009. "Manufacturing outsourcing and its effect on plant performance—lessons for KIBS outsourcing," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 231-257, April.
    15. Chang, Kuo-Hsiung & Gotcher, Donald F., 2007. "Safeguarding investments and creation of transaction value in asymmetric international subcontracting relationships: The role of relationship learning and relational capital," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 477-488, December.
    16. Martinez-Noya, Andrea & Narula, Rajneesh, 2018. "What more can we learn from R&D alliances? : A review and research agenda," MERIT Working Papers 022, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    17. Kedia, Ben L. & Lahiri, Somnath, 2007. "International outsourcing of services: A partnership model," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 22-37, March.
    18. Karjalainen, Katri & Salmi, Asta, 2013. "Continental differences in purchasing strategies and tools," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 112-125.
    19. Schmeisser, Bjoern, 2013. "A Systematic Review of Literature on Offshoring of Value Chain Activities," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 390-406.

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