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Unformatted text preview: Emerging trends in sourcing of business services Ajay Sharma and Patricia Loh William Davidson Institute, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA Abstract Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine key emerging trends in sourcing of business services. Design/methodology/approach The paper is primarily theoretical and observational. It is based on the authors review of major academic and managerial publications, extensive interactions with industry leaders and prior experience in the industry. Findings Scale and scope of sourcing of business services from across firm and national boundaries is increasing. Offshore is increasingly being leveraged for higher value activities. As business services get more industrialized, activities are being split into smaller units for servicing, and a services supply chain is beginning to emerge. With sourcing becoming more strategic, risk management has become more complex and critical. Research limitations/implications This paper provides an overview of significant emerging trends in sourcing of business services. Further complementary research theoretical, survey or case-study based on each of these identified trends will help develop a more exhaustive understanding. Practical implications This paper provides business executives with a framework to view emerging changes in sourcing of business services, and to better prepare for future opportunities and challenges. Originality/value This paper takes a holistic view at sourcing of business services and identifies some key emerging trends. The review of academic, managerial and popular press publications, and insights gathered from the field have been summarized into this succinct overview. This perspective should guide further focused academic research as well as practical application in business projects. Keywords Offshore investments, Outsourcing, Globalization, Services, Service industries Paper type General review Introduction Rapidly advancing technologies, increasing globalization, shifting demographics and greater regulatory oversight are combining to create fundamental shifts in business environment leading to new opportunities, challenges and risks for business managers. Volatility and uncertainty in business has increased while product lifecycle has decreased. Consumers, armed with information, are demanding more value at lower prices. New technologies and business models are bringing disruptive changes, lowering barriers to entry and facilitating asymmetric competition. Low-cost competition is increasing competitive intensity even as innovation in products, services and business models contribute most to the accelerating pace of change in business ( The McKinsey Quarterly , 2006)....
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- Spring '08