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30+Â years of research and practice of outsourcing - Exploring the past and anticipating the future

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  • Hätönen, Jussi
  • Eriksson, Taina

Abstract

Outsourcing is a phenomenon that as a practice originated in the 1950s, but it was not until the 1980s when the strategy became widely adopted in organizations. Since then, the strategy has evolved from a strictly cost focused approach towards more cooperative nature, in which cost is only one, often secondary, decision-making criterion. In the development of the strategy, three broad and somewhat overlapping, yet distinct phases can be identified: the era of the Big Bang, the era of the Bandwagon, and the era of Barrierless Organizations. This paper illustrates that the evolution of the practice has caused several contradictions among researchers, as well as led to the situation where the theoretical background of the phenomenon has recently become much richer. Through examining existing research, this paper intends to identify the development of outsourcing strategy from a practical as well as a theoretical perspective from its birth up to today. In addition, through providing insights from managers in the information technology industry, this paper aims at providing a glimpse from the future - that is - what may be the future directions and research issues in this complex phenomenon?

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:15:y:2009:i:2:p:142-155
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mírian Oliveira & Kaytson Hartung & Marcelo Wendling, 2010. "Outsourcing And Offshore: An Analysis Of The Academic Literature," Portuguese Journal of Management Studies, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, vol. 0(2), pages 215-234.
    2. 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, pages 18-37.
    3. Niccolò Pisani & Joan Enric Ricart, 2016. "Offshoring of Services: A Review of the Literature and Organizing Framework," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 56(3), pages 385-424, June.
    4. Efendic, Nedim & Andersson, Fredrik W. & Wennberg, Karl, 2015. "Growth in first- and second-generation immigrant firms in Sweden," Ratio Working Papers 265, The Ratio Institute.
    5. Lydia Bals & Jon F. Kirchoff & Kai Foerstl, 2016. "Exploring the reshoring and insourcing decision making process: toward an agenda for future research," Operations Management Research, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 102-116, December.
    6. repec:spr:opmare:v:10:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12063-016-0121-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Grosse, Robert & Fonseca, Alejandro, 2012. "Learning Through Imports in the Internationalization Process," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, pages 366-378.
    8. Caniato, Federico & Elia, Stefano & Luzzini, Davide & Piscitello, Lucia & Ronchi, Stefano, 2015. "Location drivers, governance model and performance in service offshoring," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 189-199.
    9. Gerbl, Martina & McIvor, Ronan & Loane, Sharon & Humphreys, Paul, 2015. "A multi-theory approach to understanding the business process outsourcing decision," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, pages 505-518.
    10. Lahiri, Somnath & Kedia, Ben L., 2011. "Co-evolution of institutional and organizational factors in explaining offshore outsourcing," International Business Review, Elsevier, pages 252-263.
    11. Roberto Antonietti & Maria Rosaria Ferrante & Riccardo Leoncini, 2016. "Local market size, social capital and outsourcing: evidence from Emilia Romagna," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 243-260.
    12. Mauri, Alfredo J. & Neiva de Figueiredo, João, 2012. "Strategic Patterns of Internationalization and Performance Variability: Effects of US-Based MNC Cross-Border Dispersion, Integration, and Outsourcing," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, pages 38-51.
    13. Lennart Söderberg & Lars Bengtsson & Matti Kaulio, 0. "A model for outsourcing and governing of maintenance within the process industry," Operations Management Research, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-13.
    14. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:210-:d:127140 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Suhaiza Zailani & Mohd Rizaimy Shaharudin & Khairul Razmi & Mohammad Iranmanesh, 2017. "Influential factors and performance of logistics outsourcing practices: an evidence of malaysian companies," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, pages 53-93.
    16. repec:spr:manint:v:51:y:2011:i:2:d:10.1007_s11575-011-0076-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:bushor:v:60:y:2017:i:3:p:363-373 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Ameknassi, Lhoussaine & Aït-Kadi, Daoud & Rezg, Nidhal, 2016. "Integration of logistics outsourcing decisions in a green supply chain design: A stochastic multi-objective multi-period multi-product programming model," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 165-184.
    19. Huang, Shihping Kevin, 2014. "The emergence of the outsourcing market and product technological performance," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, pages 132-139.
    20. Jensen, Peter D. Ørberg, 2012. "A passage to India: A dual case study of activities, processes and resources in offshore outsourcing of advanced services," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, pages 311-326.
    21. Michal Mlody, 2016. "Reshoring Trend and CEE: An Assessment of Possible Scenarios on the Example of Poland," Management, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 11(1), pages 29-50.
    22. Schmeisser, Bjoern, 2013. "A Systematic Review of Literature on Offshoring of Value Chain Activities," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, pages 390-406.

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