Outsourcing strategies for radical innovations: does industry clockspeed make a difference?

Robert K. Perrons (Shell International BV, Rijswijk, The Netherlands)
Ken Platts (University of Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing, Mill Lane, Cambridge, UK)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Publication date: 1 December 2005



To determine whether or not clockspeed is an important variable in outsourcing strategies throughout the development of radical innovations.


An internet‐based survey of manufacturing firms from all over the world.


An industry's clockspeed does not play a significant role in the success or failure of a particular outsourcing strategy for a radical innovation.

Research limitations/implications

Conclusions from earlier research in this area are not necessarily industry‐specific.

Practical implications

Lessons learned via previous investigations about the computer industry need not be confined to that sector. Vertical integration may be a more robust outsourcing strategy when developing a radical innovation in industries of all clockspeeds.


Previous research efforts in this field focused on a single technology jump, but this approach may have overlooked a potentially important variable: industry clockspeed. Thus, this investigation explores whether clockspeed is an important factor.



Perrons, R. and Platts, K. (2005), "Outsourcing strategies for radical innovations: does industry clockspeed make a difference?", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 16 No. 8, pp. 842-863. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410380510627852

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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