Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Contextualisation of the complexity in the selection of developing country outsourcees by developed country outsourcers

Pawar, Kulwant S.; Huq, Fahian Anisul; Khraishi, Ahmad; Shah, Janat


Professor of Operations Management

Fahian Anisul Huq

Ahmad Khraishi

Janat Shah


© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Outsourcing research has recognised that selecting the right offshore supplier (outsourcee) in low-cost distant developing countries is complex, but central to outsourcing success. More specifically, the combination of outsourcee contextual internal factors (e.g. capabilities) with outsourced-to country contextual external factors (e.g. political, legal, economic, socio-cultural) as two fundamental and interconnected decisions firms make when outsourcing remains an underexplored research gap. Therefore, through a rigorous three-tier qualitative approach we, firstly, develop a contextual Environmental Separation Index (ESI) decision tool to help outsourcing firms in making more informed decisions when selecting outsourcees and outsourcing locations. Secondly, we operationalise the ESI as intuitive and easy to use decision tool, yet with a provision to deliver a truly context proof outsourcee selection decision. Thirdly, we adopt a complexity theory lens to explain that narrowing the contextual outsourcer–outsourcee gap facilitates a mind-set shift in outsourcing relationships from hierarchies to networks and from controlling to empowering developing country outsourcees. We show from a complexity theory perspective how contextual separation gaps between developed country outsourcers and developing country outsourcees can be an effective way to grasp the evolutionary path of outsourcing relationships.


Pawar, K. S., Huq, F. A., Khraishi, A., & Shah, J. (2019). Contextualisation of the complexity in the selection of developing country outsourcees by developed country outsourcers. International Journal of Production Research, 57(13), 4310-4332.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 18, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 7, 2018
Publication Date Jul 3, 2019
Deposit Date Dec 17, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 8, 2019
Journal International Journal of Production Research
Print ISSN 0020-7543
Electronic ISSN 1366-588X
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 57
Issue 13
Pages 4310-4332
Keywords Outsourcing Decisions, Outsourcing Relationships, Supplier Selection, Supply; Chains, Complexity Theory; 2
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations