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Special Issue "How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Alessio Ishizaka

Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Richmond Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth, PO1 3DE, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: outsourcing; supply chain management; decision analysis; technology adoption; decision support systems; multi-criteria decision making

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The pressure of globalization, competition, reduced cycles times and increasing product complexity have forced many companies to search for new forms of organizations, in particular to meet the increasing needs for responsiveness and cost reduction. Outsourcing has been the most used solution. Its aim is to improve productivity, increase revenues and achieve greater flexibility. Outsourcing allows firms to offer better, faster, and more efficient products/services, thereby gaining value in the perception of customers. This business strategy has brought radical changes to how companies operate. If the short term benefits are evident, the long term benefits are less clear and certain. To help the companies in this long-term challenge, sustainable outsourcing frameworks are necessary (e.g., Ishizaka and Blakiston [1]).

The aim of this special issue is to publish state-of-the-art research papers focused on the economic sustainability of outsourcing practices and its consequences. Analytical models, empirical studies, and case-based studies are all welcomed as long as an article provides new insights and implications to the practice of management concerning outsourcing practices.

Guest Editor
Dr. Alessio Ishizaka

Reference:
Alessio, I.; Rebecca, B. The 18 C’s model for a successful long-term outsourcing arrangement. Ind. Mark. Manag. 2012, 41, 1071–1080

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


 

Keywords

  • outsourcing best practices

  • monitoring outsourcing performances

  • impact of outsourcing in organizational performances

  • development of frameworks for sustainable outsourcing

  • sustainable management of outsourcing activities

  • development of frameworks for a sustainable outsourcing arranagement

  • multi-criteria decision methods for outsouricing sustainability assessment

  • innovative business models for sustainable outsourcing

  • globalization, intercultural relationships and sustainable outsourcing

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Design of Sustainable Outsourcing Services for Facilities Management: Critical Success Factors
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2292; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072292
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
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Abstract
The management problems of Facilities Management (FM) outsourcing relationships occur because of provision of low quality analytical, managerial, cooperative, and professional services. On selection, the ideal service providers for specific FM outsourcing contractual procurement needs is of paramount importance to achieve high quality
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The management problems of Facilities Management (FM) outsourcing relationships occur because of provision of low quality analytical, managerial, cooperative, and professional services. On selection, the ideal service providers for specific FM outsourcing contractual procurement needs is of paramount importance to achieve high quality FM services. This paper aims at reviewing the concept of outsourcing in relation to facilities management and dealing with the importance of outsourcing success. Factors of outsourcing strategies from the perspectives of clients and service providers are examined and analysed through the Delphi technique in Hong Kong. The results reveal four main drivers of FM practice through evaluation of thirty-five outsourcing critical success factors identified by clients and service providers. Evaluation of the critical success factors from FM drivers shows that there is an inclination towards FM competence, measurement of performance, cost effectiveness, etc. from clients, whilst there is an inclination to the core skills, measurement of performance, allocation of human resources, cost effectiveness, customers’ satisfaction, etc. from service providers. The result of the study reveals an interesting understanding that the impact of outsourcing critical success factors can be strategically implemented into the outsourcing strategies in Hong Kong’s FM practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
Open AccessArticle The Relationship Between Strategic Orientation Dimensions and Hotel Outsourcing and Its Impact on Organizational Performance. An Application in a Tourism Destination
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1769; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061769
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 27 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (888 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study analyzes whether the strategic orientation of the firm, measured in six dimensions, influences the level of outsourcing. It also analyzes whether outsourcing has an impact on organizational performance from financial and non-financial perspectives. To do so, an important European tourist destination
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The study analyzes whether the strategic orientation of the firm, measured in six dimensions, influences the level of outsourcing. It also analyzes whether outsourcing has an impact on organizational performance from financial and non-financial perspectives. To do so, an important European tourist destination is analyzed. The findings suggest that the majority of the strategic dimensions influence the hotel’s level of outsourcing. The defensiveness and proactive dimensions are positively related to the level of outsourcing, whereas the competitive analysis and competitive aggressiveness dimensions influence it negatively. In addition, the riskiness dimension has a positive influence, whereas the dimension related to futurity does not influence the level of outsourcing. A positive and significant relationship is found between outsourcing and financial performance, whereas for non-financial performance, the relationship is not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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Open AccessArticle Gaining Flexibility and Innovation through Offshore Outsourcing
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051672
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
PDF Full-text (364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, offshore outsourcing has become extremely important for companies that compete worldwide. In many industries, only companies that manage to be competitive globally can aspire to attain sustainable competitive advantages. Therefore, offshore outsourcing has become essential for many companies and recently has become
[...] Read more.
Recently, offshore outsourcing has become extremely important for companies that compete worldwide. In many industries, only companies that manage to be competitive globally can aspire to attain sustainable competitive advantages. Therefore, offshore outsourcing has become essential for many companies and recently has become more and more a vital part of the long-term strategies of the leading firms. The rapidly shifting conditions in the marketplace is forcing management to constantly review and defend its core competencies. Management is now confronted with a higher level of complexity and disruptions brought about in particular by the new waves of globalization and the irresistible march of technological changes. For these reasons, offshore outsourcing is transforming the functions of the traditional firms into a network of competencies. The tendency to offshore most of the productive and economic activities and processes can lead companies to transform themselves into virtual organizations, where all the functions could be outsourced through the formation of flexible networks and agile organizational structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Supply Chain Structural Choice under Horizontal Chain-to-Chain Competition
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051330
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates the horizontal Nash game and structure selection strategy in two competing dominant enterprises. Each firm decides whether to outsource the retail or manufacture to the exclusive third-party enterprise and thus forms a decentralized supply chain structure. On the premise that
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This paper investigates the horizontal Nash game and structure selection strategy in two competing dominant enterprises. Each firm decides whether to outsource the retail or manufacture to the exclusive third-party enterprise and thus forms a decentralized supply chain structure. On the premise that third-party enterprises have no advantage on sales and manufacture cost, the revenue-sharing contract is introduced between the manufacturer and retailer, and the influence of decentralized structure on the game equilibrium structure and supply chain profit is analyzed based on Hotelling model. The results show that, when compared with centralized structure, decentralized supply chain has the structural advantage to improving not only its supply chain profits but also the competing chain. This interesting insight is counterintuitive to the common “double marginalization” effect and explains the outsourcing strategy from the perspective of supply chain competition. In addition, we find the dominant strategy in the evolutionary game is that both two chains are decentralized or integrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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Open AccessArticle A Study on Green Supplier Selection in Dynamic Environment
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041226
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to provide a method for selecting a green supplier in a dynamic environment, while considering the psychological behavior and the time factors of the decision maker from the manufacturer’s perspective. The supply selection method that is based
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The aim of this paper is to provide a method for selecting a green supplier in a dynamic environment, while considering the psychological behavior and the time factors of the decision maker from the manufacturer’s perspective. The supply selection method that is based on the Third Generation Prospect Theory (PT3) is proposed and an optimal ordinal number is obtained. First, the green supplier selection index system is established. Then, the indicators that are given by the manufacturer are used as reference points, and the income and loss matrices are established by calculating the gains and losses of the index values in the interval number relative to the reference points. Next, considering the time factor and calculating the variable weight based on the Gray correlation coefficient method and the time weight of the penalty mechanism method, the suppliers are chosen based on the comprehensive prospect value. Finally, the validity and the feasibility of the method are proven through a case analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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Open AccessArticle Does Partner Volatility Have Firm Value Relevance? An Empirical Analysis of Part Suppliers
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030736
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
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Abstract
Considering the lifecycle of products, firms are releasing new products through diversified strategic partnerships via the global supply chain. As the uncertainty about the future increases and strategic partnership grows more important, part suppliers are becoming more and more significant in assessing firm
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Considering the lifecycle of products, firms are releasing new products through diversified strategic partnerships via the global supply chain. As the uncertainty about the future increases and strategic partnership grows more important, part suppliers are becoming more and more significant in assessing firm value. From the perspective of the signaling effect, this study analyzed the impact of partner volatility (new partner, old partner, revocation partner) on firm value in terms of global supply chain management. Regarding both Apple and Samsung which have bisected the premium smart phone market, research results reveal that companies eliminated from partnership selection are found to show negative signaling effect, and the newly selected companies have the stronger innovative capacity and higher signaling effect of higher excess earning rate than that of re-selected companies. The findings indicate that the partner volatility of partner companies work as a reliable investment signal for investors to recognize as an investment indication, contributing to firm value. In particular, it is meaningful to confirm that a new partner’s differentiated R&D capacity is a key factor of new product launching and a significant variable capable of determining a firm’s survival in the smart phone market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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Open AccessArticle Owning or Outsourcing? Strategic Choice on Take-Back Operations for Third-Party Remanufacturing
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010151
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 25 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the remanufacturing process having demonstrated economic, social, and environmental benefits, many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have not engaged in the remanufacturing process themselves, as they often outsource it to a third party. In practice, such outsourcing usually involves two different options/modes for
[...] Read more.
Despite the remanufacturing process having demonstrated economic, social, and environmental benefits, many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have not engaged in the remanufacturing process themselves, as they often outsource it to a third party. In practice, such outsourcing usually involves two different options/modes for OEMs with consideration of take-back operations: (1) owning the reverse channel and collecting cores directly (Model D) or (2) outsourcing these operations to a third-party remanufacturer (TPR) and collecting cores indirectly (Model I). However, this raises the important question of whether OEMs should also outsource their reverse channels to third-party remanufacturers when outsourcing remanufacturing. Furthermore, there needs to be an investigation of which method is more beneficial in terms of economic, social, and environmental outcomes. This paper uses modelling to investigate the costs and benefits of these options in terms of sustainability. We found that, compared to Model I, the OEM conducting take-back operations itself can achieve the overall better outcomes for all economic, social, and environmental situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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Open AccessArticle New City Logistics Paradigm: From the “Last Mile” to the “Last 50 Miles” Sustainable Distribution
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14873-14894; https://doi.org/10.3390/su71114873
Received: 28 July 2015 / Revised: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2914 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The distribution of goods in urban areas, together with private traffic flows, are among the main sources of energy consumption, air pollution and noise. As a consequence, in the 2000s, several EU cities started to implement logistical solutions for the sustainable city. In
[...] Read more.
The distribution of goods in urban areas, together with private traffic flows, are among the main sources of energy consumption, air pollution and noise. As a consequence, in the 2000s, several EU cities started to implement logistical solutions for the sustainable city. In this context, this study addresses the implementation of a new eco-logistic system, which serves multiple adjacent cities by using electric vehicles to deliver goods of any type within their urban areas. This paper describes the results of a project developed in the province of Vicenza (northern Italy) and covering the main cities (Bassano del Grappa, Thiene, Schio and Valdagno) in the foothills (the so-called Pedemontana Veneta zone). The eco-logistic system aims to cover the last 50 miles of distribution (typical area of an Italian province) with a centralised platform that performs green deliveries with electric vehicles from/to the downtown areas. A preliminary and extensive “on field” analysis by means of door-to-door questionnaires was conducted to identify the performance required by the eco-logistic system. Therefore, the design of such a distribution system is performed to assess and define the conditions that make this solution profitable from both the economic and the environmental perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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Open AccessArticle Development of a Framework for Sustainable Outsourcing: Analytic Balanced Scorecard Method (A-BSC)
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8399-8419; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7078399
Received: 1 February 2015 / Revised: 22 June 2015 / Accepted: 25 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1143 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nowadays, many enterprises choose to outsource its non-core business to other enterprises to reduce cost and increase the efficiency. Many enterprises choose to outsource their supply chain management (SCM) and leave it to a third-party organization in order to improve their services. The
[...] Read more.
Nowadays, many enterprises choose to outsource its non-core business to other enterprises to reduce cost and increase the efficiency. Many enterprises choose to outsource their supply chain management (SCM) and leave it to a third-party organization in order to improve their services. The paper proposes an integrated and multicriteria tool useful to monitor and to improve performance in an outsourced supply chain. The Analytic Balanced Scorecard method (A-BSC) is proposed as an effective method useful to analyze strategic performance within an outsourced supply chain. The aim of the paper is to present the integration of two methodologies: Balanced Scorecard, a multiple perspective framework for performance assessment, and Analytic Hierarchy Process, a decision-making tool used to prioritize multiple performance perspectives and to generate a unified metric. The development of the framework is aimed to provide a performance analysis to achieve better sustainability performance of supply chain. A real case study concerning a typical value chain is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Returning Unsold Products in Retail Outsourcing Fashion Supply Chain: A Sustainability Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1172-1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7021172
Received: 19 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
l outsourcing with a return policy is quite commonly adopted in the fashion supply chain. Under the return policy, the supplier as a brand owner may focus on production, and then outsource retailing to the retailer. In the meanwhile, the retailer may receive
[...] Read more.
l outsourcing with a return policy is quite commonly adopted in the fashion supply chain. Under the return policy, the supplier as a brand owner may focus on production, and then outsource retailing to the retailer. In the meanwhile, the retailer may receive some support money from the supplier for subsidizing the loss of unsold products at the end of the selling season and be asked for shipping back. Motivated by this real practice in the fashion industry, we examine a two-echelon supply chain with one supplier and one retailer under the return policy. Several interesting findings are obtained from our analysis. First, we find that when the supply chain achieves channel coordination, the cost of physical return is at least partially borne by the supplier, no matter who is responsible for it in reality. Second, we find that the cost of physical return is significantly affecting the sustainability factors such as the expected amount leftover (which represents environmental friendliness), the expected sales to expected goods leftover ratio (which implies both environmental friendliness and economic sustainability), and the rate of return on investment (which indicates economic sustainability). Third, from a sustainability perspective, we find that the pure wholesale price contract is more sustainable than the coordinating return policy. A numerical study by the real company data is conducted and managerial insights from analysis are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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