Voluntary Outsourcing Versus Involuntary Outsourcing

September 9, 2011

Voluntary Outsourcing refers to events where outsourcing is managed as a discretionary activity.  Most outsourcing in the past was voluntary.  Enterprises addressed both technical and social aspects of outsourcing, and outsourcing was typically undertaken to 1) to drive costs lower, and/or 2) to focus on “core” activities, and/or 3) to gain resource flexibility.

Of late, outsourcing has become a necessity, almost involuntary.  Lack of technical resources or expertise is forcing organizations to outsource.  The gains by outsourcers (even in this stagnant economy), indicates the growth of involuntary outsourcing.   The critical research question is whether the effects of involuntary sourcing is no different than voluntary sourcing, or there is a significant difference.  If there is a significant difference, it is important to identify them.  My hunch is that involuntary sourcing may lead to less than optimal decisions which will adversely impact the value IT can bring to the business.