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Outsourcing and firm performance--a comparative study of Swiss and Greek firms


  • Spyros Arvanitis
  • Euripidis N. Loukis


This article aims at analyzing (i) the factors determining the firms' propensity to outsource various processes (production of intermediate products, production of final products, R&D activities, ICT activities), and (ii) the impact of outsourcing on firms' innovation performance, as well as labor productivity. The integral investigation of the determining factors, as well as the impact of outsourcing on innovation and productivity based on the same data in a comparative setting (Switzerland versus Greece) are important new elements and contributions of this study to the existing empirical literature. It has been concluded that in both countries more innovative firms (R&D) were stronger inclined to outsourcing activities than less innovative ones, whereas on the contrary, the educational level of employees and the labor cost showed no effect on outsourcing in both countries. Also, the intensity of ICT use and organizational aspects, especially those related to the formal structure of workplace organization, were relevant for the Swiss firms but not for the Greek firms. With respect to the impact of outsourcing on performance, it has been concluded that it tends to enhance innovation, particularly process innovation, but only weakly productivity (at least directly). Copyright 2013 The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Spyros Arvanitis & Euripidis N. Loukis, 2013. "Outsourcing and firm performance--a comparative study of Swiss and Greek firms," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(3), pages 771-806, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:22:y:2013:i:3:p:771-806

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:elcore:v:17:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10660-016-9239-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock & Marijn Verschelde, 2018. "Nonparametric identification of unobserved technological heterogeneity in production," Working Paper Research 335, National Bank of Belgium.
    3. Ursula Fritsch & Holger Görg, 2015. "Outsourcing, Importing and Innovation: Evidence from Firm-level Data for Emerging Economies," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(4), pages 687-714, September.
    4. E. Loukis & N. Kyriakou & K. Pazalos & S. Popa, 0. "Inter-organizational innovation and cloud computing," Electronic Commerce Research, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-23.
    5. repec:spr:joevec:v:28:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00191-018-0550-z is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Materia, Valentina & Pascucci, Stefano & Dries, Liesbeth, 2015. "Are in-house and outsourcing innovation strategies interlinked? Evidence from the European agri-food sector," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212449, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Fritsch, Ursula & Görg, Holger, 2013. "Outsourcing, offshoring and innovation: Evidence from firmlevel data for emerging economies," Kiel Working Papers 1861, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock & Marijn Verschelde, 2018. "Nonparametric Production Analysis with Unobserved Heterogeneity in Productivity," Working Papers ECARES 2018-25, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:1:p:249-268 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Fritsch, Ursula & Görg, Holger, 2013. "Outsourcing, Offshoring and Innovation: Evidence from Firm-level Data for Emerging Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 9603, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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