Offshore outsourcing of services: An evolutionary perspective
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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