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Outsourcing (2010)

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Exploring the various dimensions of outsourcing as well as processes and difficulties associated with the transfer of in-house activities to external third parties.

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Published October 2010. Written by Desmond Doran and Stephanie Morgan, Kingston Business School, Kingston University.

This review explores the various dimensions of outsourcing as well as the processes and difficulties associated with the transfer of in-house activities to external third parties. In essence, outsourcing involves an organisation handing over control of a function to another which then takes responsibility for the provision of that function.

Outsourcing as a viable alternative to in-house provision became popular in the 1990s as organisations experienced increased competition and began exploring ways to reduce their costs. This led to the development of an outsourcing industry capable of providing cohesive and attractive options for organisations seeking cost reductions for peripheral services and products.

While traditionally associated with back-office or support activities, outsourcing is now increasingly seen as a viable alternative for activities that could be regarded as core to an organisation’s operations and is now used extensively both in the public and private service sectors.

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