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Outsourcing: Value or Vulnerability?


Special issue call for papers from Journal of Business Strategy

Special Issue Editors

  • Nelson Oly Ndubisi, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia.
  • Celine M. Capel, University of Southern Queensland, Australia.

What's the special issue about?

The rise of strategic relationships and new business models such as the collaborative economy, the access economy, the sharing economy or industrial services indicates that customers relish obtaining benefits without buying ownership titles for assets to produce these benefits. Firms using non-ownership contracts aim to transform customers’ uncertainties such as changes in value of that asset, unforeseen costs (such as repairs), or even black swan events into business opportunities for providers. In many cases, non-ownership does not live up to the promised value propositions, as the struggle of companies such as BP, Lyft, Uber and the entire biopharma industry demonstrate, to exploit the potential of non-ownership.

Outsourcing, a way to hire other firms to perform routine noncore business functions in order to focus corporate resources on core activities has enabled firms to access dynamic capabilities which it neither owns nor controls. Despite its many benefits, the outsourcing industry brings with it a number of challenges for customers, including finding appropriate and competent vendors, monitoring their performance, and dealing with vendors who do not meet contract specifications.
There is the agency theory-based question of whether the outsourcing service provider (i.e., vendor or agent) will represent the outsourcer (i.e., customer or principal) well. Strategic issues in outsourcing and non-ownership services need illumination to help managers navigate the challenges without adverse consequences and to equip them to successfully exploit the gains.
We invite research with clear practical contributions. This special issue of Journal of Business Strategy continues the journal’s standard of publishing cutting-edge, relevant and rigorous materials for decision-makers. Manuscripts offering new insights into strategic issues in outsourcing and non-ownership services in the form of conceptual, case-based or empirical papers are welcome. Examples of topics include:

  • Underlying paradox of non-ownership’s smart allocation of uncertainty upsides and downsides between providers and clients.
  • Potential of relationship governance mechanisms to handle the uncertainty challenges apparent in non-ownership.
  • Contributions of relational governance in unfolding the economic benefits of non-ownership.
  • Dynamic capabilities through what the firm can access versus what it owns or controls.
  • Domestic outsourcing, offshoring and global non-ownership services.
  • Franchising - single and multiple franchises.
  • Drivers of franchising, outsourcing and non-ownership initial decisions and later decisions to continue the contract/relationship.
  • Management control and management accounting systems’ association with outsourcing and non-ownership relationships.
  • Trust and commitment in non-ownership services, outsourcing and franchising relationships.
  • Conflict management in non-ownership services, outsourcing and franchising relationships.
  • Ethical issues in outsourcing and non-ownership services relationships.
  • Green outsourcing and non-ownership services.
  • Partner selection in outsourcing and non-ownership services.
  • Value co/creation and delivery in outsourcing and non-ownership services relationships.
  • The facilitating or inhibiting role of technology and the Internet in non-ownership services.
  • Outsourcing and non-ownership services in the Oil and Gas, Education, Research & Development, Information & Communication Technologies, Logistics and other sectors.
  • Not-for-profit outsourcing and non-ownership services

Submission Information

  • The deadline for submission of manuscripts is April 30, 2017.
  • Manuscripts must be formatted according to the guidelines of the journal and should be between 3,500 - 5000 words with up to 15 references.
  • Authors are also encouraged to read past JBS articles to get familiar with the journal’s style. JBS has a practical focus designed to help readers (including middle or senior manager, a global or regional executive, a college professor, a consultant to business, or a business student) develop successful business strategies.
  • Send manuscripts and questions regarding the special issue to the guest editors at: [email protected]