Criteria for sourcing from developing countries

Adegoke Oke, Arnold Maltz, Poul Erik Christiansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Purpose Increasingly, sourcing decisions are routinely including contract manufacturers and suppliers in developing countries. While many studies have researched and identified the criteria for selecting suppliers in general terms, there has been a dearth of studies on the criteria for choosing amongst suppliers in developing countries including suppliers in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the criteria for choosing amongst suppliers in different developing countries. Design/methodology/approach The methodology consists of a series of case studies involving six firms some of which are sourcing from developing countries and some that are based in developing countries and supply lead firms in developed countries. Findings Cost, physical and cultural proximity, political factors and reliability are found to be the primary criteria for sourcing decisions that include suppliers in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Further, the paper identifies why these criteria are used and the drawbacks in using them. Research limitations/implications A key limitation of the study is generalizability. Based on the use of a case study methodology, caution should be exercised in generalizing the results of the study. Originality/value In spite of the limitations, this paper contributes to the extant literature on sourcing from developing countries. It provides valuable insights for global purchasing managers interested in sourcing from developing countries in terms of the criteria for choosing a particular location for sourcing and selecting a supplier within a given location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-164
Number of pages20
JournalStrategic Outsourcing: An International Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 26 2009


  • Developing countries
  • Manufacturing systems
  • Purchasing
  • Sourcing
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research


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