2012 Offshoring Research Network International Conference:
The Global Sourcing of Innovation

Organized by
Politecnico di Milano School of Management

Milan, May 29-31, 2012
The global sourcing of knowledge creation and innovation (e.g. 
advanced knowledge and analytical services, R&D support functions, 
product design and development and R&D) has been growing 
exponentially across almost every industry. This phenomenon has 
emerged as a strategic driver for companies and increasingly is 
attracting academic research by management, and international 
business scholars.
An array of different motives, including perceived cost advantages, 
growing shortage of science and engineering talent in most developed 
economies, recognition emerging economies will account for future top 
line growth, have all contributed to the unprecedented surge in 
global sourcing of knowledge intensive activities such as research 
and development across all industries and technologies.
Particularly, this conference intends to be an opportunity for 
executives and academics to engage and explore managerial and 
organizational challenges as well as theoretical and empirical 
contributions related to global sourcing of advanced knowledge and 
analytical services, product development and design, R&D support 
functions, and traditional research and development activities. A 
unique feature of the conference is the integration of managerial 
oriented day focusing on emerging issues of concern to sourcing 
executives and providers, followed by two days of academic research. 
A new innovation involves a practitioner discussant for each academic 
session. We welcome theoretical, empirical and qualitative 
contributions related to the following themes of the conference.


THEME A. Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Global Sourcing of 
R&D Activities/Advanced Services
    * Application of multiple levels of analysis (e.g. countries, 
industries, firms, processes etc.). Integration of multiple 
theoretical lenses and explanatory mechanisms that can provide fresh 
insights on the organization of global sourcing of R&D.
    * Supply drives demand. The emergence of the global service 
provider industry and national aspirations for attracting the 
outsourcing industry as another lever of economic development impact 
on the dynamics of global sourcing in general and on global sourcing 
of high value services specifically.
    * Structural characteristics that shape the way firms organize 
for global sourcing of R&D.

THEME B. The Realignment of Firm Global Organization Foot Print for 
Global Sourcing of innovation
    * Design of ambidextrous organizations for managing boundary 
spanning innovation relationships and the role of host 
countries.  For example:
        * Managerial practices that affect effectiveness of internal 
organisation capabilities for acquiring, and assimilating knowledge 
generated by external sources.
        * Organization of multinational enterprises internal networks 
for successful exchanges with their external networks.
        * Specific organizational challenges involved in the 
interaction of cross-border intra- and inter-firm networks.

THEME C. Global Sourcing of Innovation and Firm Performance
    * Moderating and mediating managerial practices and cross 
cultural communication factors that impact global sourcing of firms' 
economic and innovation performances. Role of country institutional 
configuration (e.g. IP regime at host country) that shapes the way 
firms and industries benefit from global sourcing.
THEME D. Small Firms and Global Sourcing of Innovation
    * The dynamics and strategic drivers of small firms, in 
traditional and high tech sectors, engaged in global sourcing of 
innovation. Unique challenges faced by small companies in organizing 
for global sourcing.
    * Role of venture capitalist in the innovation out sourcing 
decision of start up entrepreneurial technology companies.
    * Strategies and processes of small technological firms in 
accessing international knowledge and innovation networks.
THEME E. Global Service Providers
    * The competitive dynamics of the rapidly emerging global service 
provider industry.
    * The challenges faced by emerging economies in positioning their 
countries as attractive destinations for global sourcing of business 
services and especially of high value added knowledge creating activities.

The conference will feature plenary talks as well as paper and panel sessions.


Confirmed keynote speakers:
    * Martin Kenney, Professor of Human and Community Development, UC 
Davis; Senior Project Director, Berkeley Roundtable on the 
International Economy, University of California, Berkeley.
    * Vivek Wadhwa, Director of Research, Center for Entrepreneurship 
and Research Commercialization and Exec in Residence, Pratt School of 
Engineering, Duke University
    * Additional invitations are pending


Participants who wish to present their research at the conference are 
invited to submit an extended abstract (in PDF) not exceeding 1.000 
words (all included) through the conference website 
starting from December 15th 2011 and no later than February 25th 2012.
In addition to individual paper submissions, panel proposals 
informing one of the five key themes may be submitted. Panels are 
complete sessions organized as a single submission by the panel 
chair. Panels may have a variety of formats (e.g. roundtables with no 
formal papers, professional development workshops).
All submissions will be peer reviewed and the conference organizing 
committee will select the papers/panels considering their novelty, 
academic quality and relation to the theme of the conference. The 
decision of paper acceptance will be communicated by March 25th 2012.

DIG - Politecnico di Milano, 

Conference fees
Early registration (before April 15th ): 400 euro (academic 120 euro)
Registration (after April 15th): 500 euro (academic 150 euro)

Important dates
Extended abstract submission: from December 15th 2011 to February 25th 2012
Notice for acceptance: March 25th 2012
Conference registration: April 15th 2012
Further information at

The scientific committee
Arie Y. Lewin, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, USA
Stephen Manning, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA
Silvia Massini, Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK
Carine Peeters, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Belgium
Lucia Piscitello, DIG-Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

The local organizing committee
Federico Caniato, Politecnico di Milano
Stefano Elia, Politecnico di Milano
Davide Luzzini, Politecnico di Milano
Lucia Piscitello, Politecnico di Milano
Stefano Ronchi, Politecnico di Milano

Sponsoring Organizations:
The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals IAOP
The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management IACCM
The European Outsourcing Association
Other sponsors to be announced

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