Exerting control in offshore outsourcing: The role of expatriates
Publication typeConference Proceeding
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThrough an exploratory qualitative study of 32 offshore outsourcing initiatives from 32 companies located in Belgium, the paper studies how expatriates and inpatriates act as control agents at the interface of clients and services providers. We show how both types of international assignees help ease the agency problems heightened by the distance between the clients and their providers. Even though control is a role that has traditionally been attributed to expatriates, our research identifies critical issues that challenge their success. Moreover, client companies appear to be moving away from formal control towards more subtler and social forms of controls for which inpatriates offer a valid alternative. The process of inpatriating offshore employees into the client company therefore appears to hold significant potential in controlling offshore outsourcing relations.