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

Milan, May 29-31, 2012
Organized by
Politecnico di Milano School of Management
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 a managerial oriented day (29th May 2012) focusing on emerging issues such as latest TPI assessment of outsourcing business services and implications, developments across the EU, private clouds, cyber security, country and concentration risk, of concern to sourcing executives and providers, followed by two days (30th-31st May 2012) of academic research.
We welcome theoretical, empirical and qualitative contributions related to the following themes of the conference.

. 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 firmsí 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.


∑         Debora Card,  Partner and V.P. of Research, Information Services Group (ISG)
∑         Martin Kenney, Professor of Human and Community Development, UC Davis; Senior Project Director, Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, University of California, Berkeley. 
∑         Arie Y. Lewin, Professor of Strategy and International Business, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. Director of the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
∑         Vivek Wadhwa, Vice President of Academics and Innovation, Singularity University; Fellow, Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; Director of Research, Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization and Exec in Residence, Pratt School of Engineering,  Duke University; Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Halle Institute of Global Learning, Emory University

Participants who wish to present their research at the conference are invited to submit an extended abstract not exceeding 1.000 words through the conference website ( no later than March 19th 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.
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 April 16th 2012.

DIG - Politecnico di Milano,

Conference fees
Early registration (before April 30th):    200 euro
Registration (after April 30th ):           300 euro
Important dates
Extended abstract submission: March 19th 2012
Notice for acceptance: April 16th 2012
Conference registration: April 30th 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, Stefano Elia, Davide Luzzini, Lucia Piscitello, 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, Information Services Group ISG.

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