Service offshoring: The evolution of offshore operations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of economic development on culture and the significance of cultural change on the evolution of offshoring of services and knowledge-based activities. Design/methodology/approach: The paper offers a conceptual model that links economic development, national cultural predispositions, and the future of offshoring service and knowledge functions. It builds on a range of academic literatures within these core areas to derive a set of propositions that offer insights into the manner in which the relative success and evolution of offshoring service and knowledge work would be impacted by a country's economic development posture and its cultural roots and value systems. The model presented here is also well complemented by examples from real offshoring projects to offer the reader a comprehensive picture of the central propositions put forth. Findings: Several propositions, formulated at the multidisciplinary intersection of service operations management, strategy, and international studies, provide ample opportunities for further discipline-specific and cross-disciplinary examination of complex interactions of economic development, culture, and offshoring approaches. Research limitations/implications: This form of conceptual research provides the basis for more rigorous theory development and testing. The aim of the conceptual analysis was to begin linking nascent research in the area of service and knowledge offshoring to an area of research that examines the links between economic development and culture. Practical implications: Global operations managers dealing with extended service value chains that include offshore service providers must not only focus on dealing with cultural differences but they must also identify requisite cultural attributes for evolving service center roles. Originality/value: By integrating perspectives from service operations management, strategy, and international studies, the paper provides new perspectives on offshoring of service and knowledge operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-820
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic development
  • International organizations
  • National cultures
  • Outsourcing
  • Services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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