Defining Offshoring: Towards an Integrative Understanding
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Academy of Management Conference 2019
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Offshoring has evolved into a widespread management practice affecting the competitiveness of firms, the welfare of nations and the job situation of individuals. Its transformative and disruptive nature means offshoring is debated by academic researchers, the public and policy makers; yet offshoring is understood very differently by different parties, leading to vagueness and ambiguity that often remains implicit. As a result, the debate in research and practice is ineffective and based on partial understandings, culminating in latent construct-based disagreement, and poor research-based decisions in management and policy. Synthesising 73 offshoring definitions this research identifies the key characteristics of offshoring, generates a definition that clearly encompasses the relevant dimensions and recognises peripheral variations of the phenomenon. As a result, this paper contributes to the heated discourse on offshoring by providing solid conceptual ground. Understanding what offshoring is, and what it is not, supports empirical measurement and comparison based on a valid conceptual construct. It provides academic researchers with conceptual foundation for navigating and synthesising offshoring research. Practitioners and policy makers can design more effective offshoring instruments and benchmarks.