The Process of Vertical Dis-Integration: An Evolutionary Perspective on Outsourcing View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2001-09

AUTHORS

Volker Mahnke

ABSTRACT

It is argued that an evolutionaryperspective on firm boundaries with its strongfocus on knowledge, as well as processes ofsearch, learning and capability development isinstrumental in developing a theory of firmboundaries that is close to managerialconcerns. Building on insights in evolutionaryeconomics, propositions are developed regardingscope, speed, and switching costs in theprocess of vertical dis-integration of whichoutsourcing is a particular instance. Currenttheories of firm boundaries give indication whycertain activities might be candidates foroutsourcing by stressing efficiency gains interms of transaction and production costs. They overlook, however, that ``technologicallyseparable interface'' between activities might notbe available in codified form, and neglectlearning dynamics that lead to strategicconsequences in terms of capability developmentand adaptability in competitive environments ofvarying dynamics. An evolutionary perspectiveon vertical dis-integration recognises thatfirms make contractual commitments and partlytacit capabilities develop in a path-dependentmanner. The fact that the firm's past casts ashadow on current governance options, andpossibilities to realise them, complicates theprocess of governance change and imposesswitching costs that impact the scope and speedof vertical dis-integration. An evolutionaryperspective on vertical dis-integration alsosuggests considering long-term consequences ofoutsourcing decisions on the dynamiccapabilities of the firm. More... »

PAGES

353-379

References to SciGraph publications

  • 1991-06. Substantive and procedural uncertainty in JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY ECONOMICS
  • 1996-12. Knowledge Acquisition from Foreign Parents in International Joint Ventures: An Empirical Examination in the Hungarian Context in JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS STUDIES
  • 1995. Inertia and Transformation in RESOURCE-BASED AND EVOLUTIONARY THEORIES OF THE FIRM
  • 1987. Market Structure and Innovation in THE NEW PALGRAVE DICTIONARY OF ECONOMICS
  • Identifiers

    URI

    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1023/a:1014003229386

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/a:1014003229386

    DIMENSIONS

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