This paper is concerned with the realisation process of offshore outsourcing activities. The authors seek to understand the dynamic effects facing companies launching offshore outsourcing initiatives and to identify different types of mitigating efforts, which companies instigate to deal with these.
Two exploratory case studies are developed based on interviews, documents, and site visits.
The paper builds an understanding of patterns emerging from offshore outsourcing paths developments and discusses their organisational implications. It is proposed that the decision to dispatch standardised production tasks to parties overseas has implications over and beyond the initial intentions, which challenge the strategic scope and operationalisation of inter‐unit roles and responsibilities.
The paper suggests that the process, and particularly the mitigation‐oriented agency that take place as the process unfolds throughout the company, deserves a more significant space in future research of how companies learn to deal with outsourcing relationships. From this key lessons for practitioners are outlined, which prompt managers to work with the emerging realities of outsourcing relationships.
The study of the offshore outsourcing process is based on two in‐depth case studies providing rich illustrations of the process dynamics and how companies may start to work with these.
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