Offshoring knowledge versus labour-intensive services and entrepreneurial activity: A contingency perspective

Oli R. Mihalache, Mashiho Mihalache, Justin J.J.P. Jansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the influence of offshoring on entrepreneurial activity (i.e. the introduction of new products and services). Methodology/approach: Conceptual Practical implication: The framework proposed in this study provides some indication to managers about designing an offshoring strategy. Particularly, we aim to inform managers that offshoring various functions may differentially influence firm innovation and that the effect also depends on the governance mode used for the offshore operations and managerial oversight of the offshoring process. Originality/value of chapter: We provide a theoretical framework that proposes that the offshoring of knowledge intensive services (KIS) and that of labour-intensive services (LIS) will differentially influence the ability of firms to introduce new products and services. While the offshoring of KIS has an inverted U-shaped influence on entrepreneurial activity, the offshoring of LIS has a positive impact. In addition, we propose that these relationships are conditioned by organisational (i.e. governance mode) and managerial (i.e. TMT reflexivity) factors. Specifically, we argue that the degree of integration with the offshore affiliate and TMT reflexivity each moderate the non-linear relationship between offshoring KIS and innovation in such a way that the positive effects of low levels of offshoring KIS will be stronger and the negative effects of high levels of offshoring KIS will be lower. In addition, we argue that the degree of integration constrains and TMT reflexivity enhances the relationship between offshoring LIS and innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEntrepreneurship in the Global Firm
EditorsAlain Verbeke, Ana Teresa Tavares-Lehmann, Rob Tulder
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameProgress in International Business Research
ISSN (Print)1745-8862


  • Governance mode
  • Innovation
  • Offshoring
  • Reflexivity
  • Top management teams


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