Decision-making on outsourcing: four snapshots spanning 47 years.

R Dekkers, A Barlow, A Chaudhuri, H Saranga, S Ogden, E Williamson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


While strategic decision-making on outsourcing has definitely become popular in practice, the question remains how this is linked to building of theory and empirical evidence relating to its (perceived) benefits. A scoping study in the form of a systematic literature review has drawn academic literature from four snapshots of five years, covering a time-span of 47 years. A more detailed analysis shows that the development of literature on strategic decision-making on outsourcing corresponds with managerial practice in relation to the greater consideration given to risk and quality considerations in the decision-making process. There has also been growth in use of decision making frameworks and a shift in focus from decision making related to outsourcing of manufacturing to outsourcing of business processes and functions, particularly IT. While decision-making on outsourcing is still popular and so is its research, there are signs that both academics and practitioners are starting to question its foundations; a research agenda is proposed for building more adequate theory.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • Backsourcing
  • Decision-making
  • Longitudinal study
  • Make-or-buy decision
  • Systematic literature review
  • Theory-building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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