Self-interest or the greater good: How political and rational dynamics influence the outsourcing process

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Title: Self-interest or the greater good: How political and rational dynamics influence the outsourcing process
Authors: Marshall, Donna
Ambrose, Eamonn
McIvor, Ronan
Lamming, Richard
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/5994
Date: 2015
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this research is to provide an understanding of the influence of political goals and behaviour on the outsourcing decision process and outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: The research used an exploratory longitudinal case-based approach. Eight outsourcing projects in three telecommunications companies were analysed from the initial decision to the outcome of the case. Findings: We show how political goals and behaviours influence the outsourcing decision process and inductively develop four political goals: personal reputation, attainment, elimination and control. We also identify three dynamic outsourcing paths: the personal reputation path, which leads to successful outcomes; the short-term attain and eliminate path leading to unsuccessful outcomes; and the destabilised path, which leads to mixed outcomes. All of these can be tested in other empirical settings. Research limitations/implications: The implications for outsourcing literature are that political intentions influence the decision process and outcomes. The implications for managers are the ability to identify and manage political goals that influence outsourcing decision process and outcomes. For theorists, we provide an understanding of how political and rational goals and behaviour interact to impact outsourcing outcomes: with political and rational goals and behaviour complementary in some instances. The limitations are that with a small sample the findings are generalisable to theoretical propositions rather than to a population. Originality/value: For the first time, we uncover the political goals that impact the outsourcing decision process and outcomes. We add to the outsourcing literature, transaction cost theory and resource based theory by defining and understanding the political goals that complement these theories.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Emerald
Journal: International Journal of Operations and Production Management
Volume: 35
Issue: 4
Start page: 547
End page: 576
Keywords: OutsourcingMake or buyCase studiesPolitics
DOI: 10.1108/IJOPM-03-2013-0124
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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