Vol. 43, No. 4
A Multidimensional Framework for Understanding Outsourcing Arrangements
The growth of outsourcing has resulted in numerous different outsourcing arrangements, ranging from out-tasking and managed services to business process outsourcing and transformational outsourcing. The growing lexicon of outsourcing terminology has caused confusion for many managers and academicians alike, who tend to view outsourcing as a fixed, discrete event or a simple make-or-buy decision. In reality, outsourcing is an umbrella term that includes a range of sourcing options that are external to the firm. Understanding these options, their characteristic differences, and how they serve to meet differing business objectives is the focus of the current research. Based on in-depth interviews with 19 senior executives experienced in outsourcing, as well as a thorough synthesis of available research, this article provides a framework clarifying the broad spectrum of outsourcing arrangements, and their inherent risks and advantages. Managerial guidance related to outsourcing is also provided.
Nada R. Sanders is Professor and James L. and Eunice West Chair in Supply Chain Management in the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.,
Art Locke is Director, Outsourcing Service Delivery at Alcatel-Lucent in Dallas, Texas.,
Curtis B. Moore is an assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship in the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.
Chad W. Autry is an assistant professor of supply chain management in the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.
U.S. Sourcing from Low-Cost Countries: A Comparative Analysis of Supplier Performance
Given the increase in sourcing from low-cost countries (LCCs), it is important to assess relative supplier performance across these regions. This work investigates the comparative performance of LCC suppliers on 14 operational indicators of international sourcing and supply chain performance. Using survey methods, the study addresses these two questions: (1) How do the LCC regions of Asia, the Western Hemisphere and Europe compare in terms of the 14 operational indicators?; and (2) How do LCC nations within these three regions compare with regard to the 14 operational indicators? Perceived differences exist among the regions of Asia, the Western Hemisphere and Europe, as well as among the LCC nations of these three regions. However, no one region outperforms the others, and no one nation outperforms the others, on all 14 operational indicators investigated. Accordingly, this study also identifies the key areas of comparative advantage and disadvantage that each LCC region and each LCC nation presents in its relationship with U.S. buying firms.
Kusumal Ruamsook is a visiting research scholar in the Smeal College of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.,
Dawn Russell is an assistant professor of supply chain and information systems in the Smeal College of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Evelyn Thomchick is an associate professor of supply chain management in the Smeal College of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Evaluating Prospective e-Providers: An Empirical Study
It has been problematic to evaluate prospective providers prior to actual adoption and use of their technologies and services. This research uses the resource-based view of the firm to identify, prioritize and relate e-provider evaluation criteria and evaluation process factors to user satisfaction levels, using cluster analysis and ANOVA on data gathered from 103 companies. The results suggest that firms prioritize intangible evaluation criteria over tangible criteria. Project performance is associated with e-provider performance on intangible evaluation criteria, as well as cross-functional participation in the evaluation process.
Ajay Das is a professor of operations management in the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York, New York.
Lee Buddress is Robert G. Gleason Professor of Supply and Logistics at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.
E-Reverse Auctions Revisited: An Analysis of Context, Buyer–Supplier Relations and Information Behavior
This study investigates context, information behavior and buyer–supplier relationships in e-reverse auctions (e-RAs). Following a grounded theory approach, a comprehensive online questionnaire was developed and sent to both users and nonusers of e-RAs. Usable responses were received from 89 buyers and 54 suppliers that were analyzed taking into account both the size and consistency of effects obtained from the Mann–Whitney U-test and Kendall’s tau (t) statistic. The results not only show that e-RAs have fewer negative effects on buyer–supplier relationships than currently assumed but also that the management of e-RAs (particularly a high valuation of types and sources of information combined with a high quality of information exchange and communication) has a positive impact on the buyer–supplier relationship.
Andrea Lösch obtained her Ph.D. from the Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, United Kingdom.
J. Siân Lambert is a senior lecturer at the Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, United Kingdom.