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The General Profile of the Outsourcing Firm Evidence for a Local Production System of Emilia Romagna


  • Massimiliano Mazzanti
  • Sandro Montresor
  • Paolo Pini


The paper aims at ‘embedding’ the outsourcing firm by considering it as a four-fold unit of analysis: i.e. as an organizational, production, industrial and innovation unit. Theoretical correlations between outsourcing decisions and outsourcing variables are formulated and then tested with respect to a representative cross-sectional sample of firms of a local production system in Emilia Romagna (that is, Reggio Emilia). The main result of the paper is that outsourcing decisions are indeed affected by the organizational and industrial relations typical of the context firms are embedded in. Furthermore, the general profile of the Reggio Emilia outsourcing firm is strategic rather than operative. In particular, tapping-into the provider’s resources and competences to eventually promote technological innovation seems more relevant than searching for lower costs by contracting out.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimiliano Mazzanti & Sandro Montresor & Paolo Pini, 2006. "The General Profile of the Outsourcing Firm Evidence for a Local Production System of Emilia Romagna," DRUID Working Papers 06-20, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:06-20

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sterlacchini Alessandro, 2004. "Ricerca e alta tecnologia in Italia: le basi per un rilancio," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 4, pages 675-706.
    2. Dooley, J J, 1998. "Unintended consequences: energy R&D in a deregulated energy market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 547-555, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. S. Montresor & G. Vittucci Marzetti, 2006. "Outsourcing and structural change: shifting firm and sectoral boundaries," Working Papers 566, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Roberto Antonietti & Giulio Cainelli, 2008. "Production Outsourcing, Organizational Governance and Firm’s Technological Performance: Evidence from Italy," The IUP Journal of Managerial Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(1), pages 51-69, February.
    3. Alessandro Bramucci & Antonello Zanfei, 2015. "The governance of offshoring and its effects at home. The role of codetermination in the international organization of German firms," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(2), pages 217-244, June.
    4. Roberto Antonietti & Maria Rosaria Ferrante & Riccardo Leoncini, 2016. "Local market size, social capital and outsourcing: evidence from Emilia Romagna," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 243-260, June.

    More about this item


    Outsourcing; transaction costs; industrial relations; innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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