Advertisement

Offshoring White-Collar Work: An Explorative Investigation of the Processes and Mechanisms in Two Danish Manufacturing Firms

  • Dmitrij Slepniov
  • Marcus M. Larsen
  • Brian Vejrum Wæhrens
  • Torben Pedersen
  • John Johansen
Chapter

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is twofold: to explain why white-collar service work in manufacturing firms is increasingly subject to offshoring and to understand the effects of this process on work integration mechanisms. The empirical part of the study is based on two case studies of Danish manufacturers. First, the chapter finds that drivers of white-collar work offshoring in many respects are parallel to those of the earlier wave of blue-collar work offshoring, that is, cost minimisation and resource seeking. Second, due to the interdependence of white-collar tasks with the rest of the organisation, our results suggest that white-collar offshoring in manufacturing firms poses higher requirements to the organisational configuration and capabilities compared with blue-collar work. We conceptualise the effects of white-collar work offshoring in a framework relating white-collar work to integration mechanisms companies instigate to manage it on a global scale.

Keywords

White-collar work Manufacturing firms Offshoring Case studies 

References

  1. Bettis RA, Bradley SP, Hamel G (1992) Outsourcing and industrial decline. Acad Manag Executive 6:7–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Birkinshaw J, Morrison A, Hulland J (1995) Structural and competitive determinants of a global integration strategy. Strateg Manag J 16:637–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blackler F (1995) Knowledge, knowledge work and organizations: an overview and interpretation. Organ Stud 16:1021–1046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brainard L, Collins SM (2005) Offshoring white-collar work: editors’ summary. In: Brainard L, Collins SM (eds) Brookings trade forum: offshoring white-collar work. Brookings Institution Press, Washington, pp. ix–xxxGoogle Scholar
  5. Child J (1972) Organization structure and strategies of control. Adm Sci Q 17:163–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De Vita G, Wang CL (2006) Development of outsourcing theory and practice: a taxonomy of outsourcing generations. In: Kehal HS, Singh VP (eds) Outsourcing and offshoring in the 21st Century: a socio-economic perspective. Idea Group Publishing, Hershey, pp. 1–17Google Scholar
  7. Dibbern J, Winkler J, Heinzl A (2008) Explaining variations in client extra costs between software projects offshored to India. MIS Q 32:333–366Google Scholar
  8. Doh JP (2005) Offshore outsourcing: implications for international business and strategic management theory and practice. J Manag Stud 42:695–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dossani R, Kenney M (2007) The next wave of globalization: relocating service provision to India. World Dev 35:772–791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eisenhardt KM (1989) Building theories from case study research. Acad Manag Rev 14:532–550Google Scholar
  11. Eisenhardt KM, Martin JA (2000) Dynamic capabilities: what are they? Strateg Manag J 21:1105–1121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ernst D, Kim L (2002) Global production networks, knowledge diffusion, and local capability formation. Res Policy 31:1417–1429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Farrell D (2004) Beyond offshoring: assess your companies global potential. Harvard Bus Rev 82:82–90Google Scholar
  14. Ferdows K (1997) Made in the world: the global spread of production. Prod Oper Manag 6:102–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ferdows K (2006) Transfer of changing production know-how. Prod Oper Manag 15:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Friedman TL (2005) The world is flat: a brief history of the twenty-first century. Farrar Straus and Giroux, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Galbraith J (1973) Designing complex organizations. Addison-Wesley, ReadingGoogle Scholar
  18. Gereffi G (2006) The new offshoring of jobs and global development. International Institute for Labour Studies, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  19. Gottfredson M, Puryear R, Phillips S (2005) Strategic sourcing: from periphery to the core. Harvard Bus Rev 83:132–139Google Scholar
  20. Grant EB, Gregory MJ (1997) Adapting manufacturing processes for international transfer. Int J Oper Prod Manag 17:994–1005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hamel G, Prahalad CK (1990) The core competence of the corporation. Harvard Bus Rev 68:79–91Google Scholar
  22. Henderson RM (1994) The evolution of integrative capability: innovation in cardiovascular drug discovery. Ind Corp Change 3:607–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hopp WJ, Iranvani SMR, Liu F (2009) Managing white-collar work: an operations-oriented survey. Prod Oper Manag 18:1–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hutzschenreuter T, Lewin AY, Ressler W (2011) The growth of white-collar offshoring: Germany and the US from 1980 to 2006. Eur Manag J 29:245–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kennedy RE, Sharma A (2009) The services shift: seizing the ultimate offshore opportunity. Pearson Education, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  26. Kim K, Park J-H, Prescott JE (2003) The global integration of business functions: a study of multinational businesses in integrated global industries. J Int Bus Stud 34:327–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kumar K, van Fenema PC, von Glinow MA (2009) Offshoring and the global distribution of work: implications for task interdependence theory and practice. J Int Bus Stud 40:642–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Leontiades J (1971) International sourcing in the LDCs. Columb J World Bus 6:19–26Google Scholar
  29. Lewin AY, Couto V (2007) Offshoring research network 2006 survey report: next generation offshoring: the globalization of innovation. Booz Allen Hamilton, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  30. Lewin AY, Massini S, Peeters C (2009) Why are companies offshoring innovation? the emerging global race for talent. J Int Bus Stud 40:901–925CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Levy F, Murane RJ (2004) The new division of labor: how computers are creating the next job market. Princeton University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. McIvor R (2005) The outsourcing process: strategies for evaluation and management. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mol MJ, Rob JM, van Tulder R, Beije PR (2005) Antecedents and performance consequences of international outsourcing. Int Bus Rev 14:599–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mudambi R (2008) Location, control and innovation in knowledge-intensive industries. J Economic Geogr 8:699–725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Orton JD, Weick KE (1990) Loosely coupled systems: a reconceptualization. Acad Manag Rev 15:203–223Google Scholar
  36. Pyndt J, Pedersen T (2006) Managing global offshoring strategies. CBS Press, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  37. Statistics Denmark (2008) International sourcing: moving business functions abroad. Statistics Denmark, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  38. Stringfellow A, Teagarden MB, Nie W (2008) Invisible costs in offshoring services work. J Oper Manag 26:164–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Szulanski G, Jensen RJ (2006) Presumptive adaptation and the effectiveness of knowledge transfer. Strateg Manag J 27:937–957CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Teece DJ (2007) Explicating dynamic capabilities: the nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strateg Manag J 28:1319–1350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Teece DJ, Pisano G, Shuen A (1997) Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strateg Manag J 18:509–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Thompson JD (1967) Organizations in action. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  43. van de Ven AH, Delbecq AL, Koenig R Jr (1976) Determinants of coordination modes within organizations. Am Sociol Rev 41:322–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Weick KE (1976) Educational organizations as loosely coupled systems. Adm Sci Q 21:1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Weick KE (1982) Management of organisational change among loosely coupled elements. In: PS Goldman and Associates (eds) Change in organisations. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp. 375–408Google Scholar
  46. Yin RK (2009) Case study research: design and methods. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  47. Yu K, Levy F (2010) Offshoring professional services: institutions and professional control. Br J Ind Relat 48:758–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dmitrij Slepniov
    • 1
  • Marcus M. Larsen
    • 2
  • Brian Vejrum Wæhrens
    • 1
  • Torben Pedersen
    • 2
  • John Johansen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business and Management, Center for Industrial ProductionAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Strategic Management and GlobalizationCopenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark

Personalised recommendations