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A case survey of offshoring–backshoring cases: The influence of contingency factors

Malin Henkel, Albachiara Boffelli, Jan Olhager and Matteo Kalchschmidt

International Journal of Production Economics, 2022, vol. 253, issue C

Abstract: This study aims at investigating the influence of contingency factors on the drivers of offshoring and backshoring decision processes. A case survey of existing case studies on backshoring was performed with qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). In total, 43 cases from 16 research papers were analyzed. The results showed that many factors act as contingencies for the backshoring decision, namely, company size, industry, home region, host region, and governance modes for off- and backshoring. In addition, there are connections between the backshoring decision and the previous offshoring decision. The study revealed three main patterns, such that the offshoring decision can be linked to the following backshoring, in the sense that offshoring for specific purposes leads to backshoring because of other specific reasons. In the end, 15 different configurations, including clusters of offshoring drivers, as well as significant contingency factors, were identified to explain offshoring – backshoring patterns. Thus, this study provides the first attempt to shed light on the causality between offshoring and subsequent backshoring decisions and highlights the importance of researchers building on each other's efforts to make empirical evidence comparable and advance the knowledge within this emerging field.

Keywords: Global operations; Manufacturing relocation; Meta-analysis; Qualitative comparative analysis; Reshoring; Rightshoring (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2022.108615

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