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What makes outsourcing effective - a transaction-cost economics analysis

By Chenlung Yang, John G. Wacker and Chwen Sheu


This study extends the discussion of Transaction Cost Economics (TCE) and outsourcing to the selection of governance mechanisms for an effective outsourcing transaction. Specifically, our objective is to provide a better understanding as to how firms follow up on their outsourcing decisions to enhance manufacturing competitiveness through the governance mechanism, such as contract and relational adaptation (buyer-supplier cooperation). A TCE-based outsourcing model is developed to depict the relationships among key TCE variables, transaction attributes, governance mechanisms, and manufacturing competitiveness. Based on the data collected from 969 manufacturing plants in 17 countries, we found significant mediated effects from contractual clauses and relational adaptation. Firms in our sample rely on either or both types of governance mechanisms to safeguard uncertainties and opportunism inherent in outsourcing, which enhances manufacturing competitiveness. The important managerial and research implication is that, for making an outsourcing decision, it is insufficient to merely examine the transaction attributes without recognising how various forms of governance mechanisms can be implemented to enhance outsourcing effectiveness

Topics: Outsourcing, Transaction cost economics, Governance mechanisms
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1080/00207543.2011.600345
OAI identifier:

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