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Offshore outsourcing of services: An evolutionary perspective

  • Tate, Wendy L.
  • Ellram, Lisa M.
  • Bals, Lydia
  • Hartmann, Evi
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    Offshore outsourcing is gaining increasing importance and attention in both theory and practice. The purpose of this research is to use nine in-depth case studies to analyze the evolution of offshore services outsourcing with regard to how expectations and governance structures change over time. Five testable propositions are presented, building on institutional theory, transaction cost, and resource-based perspectives. The cases demonstrate that offshore outsourcing is initiated because of increasing internal and external pressure to conform and reduce costs. Moreover, companies "chase" efficiency improvements in other geographic locations. But after reducing costs, companies discover more strategic benefits such as the potential to increase quality and market share. Importantly, as buyer-supplier relationships move from tactical to more strategic, expectations and governance structures change.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Production Economics.

    Volume (Year): 120 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (August)
    Pages: 512-524

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:120:y:2009:i:2:p:512-524
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ijpe

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    1. Janet Y Murray & Masaaki Kotabe & Albert R Wildt, 1995. "Strategic and Financial Performance Implications of Global Sourcing Strategy: A Contingency Analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(1), pages 181-202, March.
    2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Phillip Swagel, 2006. "The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing," NBER Working Papers 12398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Susan Christopherson, 2007. "Barriers to 'US style' lean retailing: the case of Wal-Mart's failure in Germany," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(4), pages 451-469, July.
    4. Masaaki Kotabe & Janet Y Murray, 1990. "Linking Product and Process Innovations and Modes of International Sourcing in Global Competition: A Case of Foreign Multinational Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 21(3), pages 383-408, September.
    5. Keith D. Brouthers & Lance Eliot Brouthers, 2003. "Why Service and Manufacturing Entry Mode Choices Differ: The Influence of Transaction Cost Factors, Risk and Trust," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 1179-1204, 07.
    6. Kshetri, Nir, 2007. "Institutional factors affecting offshore business process and information technology outsourcing," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 38-56, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Jonathan P. Doh, 2005. "Offshore Outsourcing: Implications for International Business and Strategic Management Theory and Practice," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 695-704, 05.
    9. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
    10. Bunyaratavej, Kraiwinee & Hahn, Eugene D. & Doh, Jonathan P., 2007. "International offshoring of services: A parity study," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 7-21, March.
    11. Dossani, Rafiq & Kenney, Martin, 2007. "The Next Wave of Globalization: Relocating Service Provision to India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 772-791, May.
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