Based on a case study of the Danish company SimCorp and the development of its operations in Kiev, Ukraine, we analyze offshore outsourcing in a broader, longitudinal foreign operation mode context, and how it may contribute to mode change in the host country over a certain span of time. SimCorp had outsourced part of its software development work to two Ukrainian companies. The case study approach allowed us to explore the dynamic processes in depth. The study shows that involvement in the foreign market generates learning in various forms that provide a foundation for eventual mode development or change—beyond outsourcing specific learning. At the same time, restrictions on 3rd parties’, that is, independent vendors’ access to confidential client data, as well as protection of specific investments in human assets, may eventually become a driver for mode change, as in the SimCorp case, to ensure more effective control of the foreign operation. Finally, the case study shows how outsourcing can be used proactively as a springboard to deeper and changed operation mode activities in a foreign market.
Industrial Marketing Management, 2013, Vol 42, Issue 2, p. 211-222
Outsourcing; Offshoring; Foreign operation mode dynamics; Case study