Outsourcing: Think more expansively Academic Article uri icon


  • Outsourcing refers to the practice of a firm entrusting to an external entity the performance of an activity that was performed erstwhile in-house. Although off-shoring and offshore outsourcing to suppliers have dominated much of the recent discussion and debate on outsourcing in scholarly journals and the business press, the nature and scope of outsourcing that does not transcend national boundaries, and outsourcing to entities other than to suppliers is quite substantial. Against this backdrop, a five sources outsourcing framework delineating a broad array of outsourcing avenues available to firms is proposed. For the most part, lowering costs as a motive underlying off-shoring and offshore outsourcing have dominated recent discussion. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the rapid growth in offshore outsourcing in the services sector, the technological forces underlying these developments have been extensively written about. Against this backdrop, the relevance of considerations other than cost in the outsourcing decisions of firms, and the role of technology in automating and thereby either making redundant an erstwhile outsourced activity or performing the activity in-house are discussed. 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Varadarajan, R.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Varadarajan, Rajan

publication date

  • January 2009