The globalization of high-value activities: Why do firms offshore advanced tasks?
Reshaping the Boundaries of the Firm in an Era of Global Interdependence
ISBN: 978-0-85724-087-3, eISBN: 978-0-85724-088-0
Publication date: 12 November 2010
Purpose – The purpose of the chapter is to analyze the factors that lead firms to offshore advanced tasks.
Methodology/approach – The study uses a 1,500-firm survey from Denmark to investigate the offshoring of 12 tradable manufacturing, technical, and service activities across different industries.
Findings – Findings indicate that offshoring of advanced tasks is driven by a different set of strategic motives than previous waves of offshoring, which predominantly included simple and standardized routine tasks. While the lower cost of unskilled, labor-intensive processes is the incentive for firms that offshore less advanced tasks, a desire to broaden and deepen global networks of new knowledge spurs highly knowledge-intensive companies to offshore more advanced tasks.
Originality/value of chapter – We propose that offshoring should be analyzed on a more disaggregated level of analysis than is the norm in mainstream offshoring literature. To reflect the trend whereby firms are “slicing” their value chain in finer and finer parts and locate these in various locations around the world, offshoring should be analyzed at the task level, since this paves the way for a richer understanding of offshoring strategies and processes.
Ørberg Jensen, P.D. and Pedersen, T. (2010), "The globalization of high-value activities: Why do firms offshore advanced tasks?", Pla-Barber, J. and Alegre, J. (Ed.) Reshaping the Boundaries of the Firm in an Era of Global Interdependence (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1745-8862(2010)0000005005
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