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The supplier's side of outsourcing: Taking over activities and blurring organizational boundaries
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management.
2014 (English)In: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, E-ISSN 1873-2062, Vol. 43, no 4, 553-563 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Since most of the literature on outsourcing focuses only to the buying (outsourcing) company, this paper aims to highlight the supplier's side from a relational perspective. The paper stresses the importance of business relationships between suppliers of outsourced activities and their customers. The paper's purpose is specified in two research questions: (1) how is value created within outsourcing and (2) how does the supplier interact with the outsourcing company? Our method relies on an in-depth qualitative case study of Logoplaste, a Portuguese packaging company which supplies large consumer goods manufacturers through complex outsourcing activities. Our analysis identifies three key dimensions of outsourcing relationships: (1) value co-creation via inter-firm coordination (as opposed to unilateral externalization of activities); (2) mutual dependence between supplier and customer due to the supplier's taking over activities; and (3) the blurring of organizational boundaries because of mutual dependence. These dimensions manifest themselves, even though in different degrees, after the initiation of any outsourcing relationship: these variables are new to the literature on outsourcing, which focuses on the ex ante dimensions that influence the customer's pre-relational choices such as "make or buy" and relationship type. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 43, no 4, 553-563 p.
Keyword [en]
Business relationships, Mutual dependence, Organizational boundaries, Outsourcing, Value co-creation
National Category
Economics and Business Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in industrial engineering and management
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229317DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2014.02.012ISI: 000337776300004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-229317DiVA: diva2:736322
Available from: 2014-08-06 Created: 2014-08-05 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved

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Baraldi, Enrico
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