Empirical Foundation Underlying Global Sourcing of Innovation”
Purpose of the Special Issue
Arie Y. Lewin, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University,
Silvia Massini, Manchester Business School, Manchester,
Carine Peeters, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and
Lucia Piscitello, DIG-Politecnico di Milano, Milan,
Deadline for Submission:
September 24, 2012
The global sourcing of business services ranging from contact centers
to engineering services and innovation has experienced a tremendous
increase between 2005 and 2011 (from $50Billion to $3Trillion). This
phenomenon has emerged as a strategic driver for companies and it has
increasingly attracted academic
research by management, and international business scholars. However, its
recent dynamics are ushering significant changes in firms, industries and
careers, which are yet little understood.
First, the dynamics driving the globalization of innovation has been
evolving over the past two decades and in recent years the share of
higher value adding activities involving science and engineering work
performed outside of the advanced economies of the West have begun to
accelerate. In the past decade, companies ranging from small startup
technological firms to major industrial multi-national corporations, have
been increasingly implementing innovation strategies offshore that
encompass captive engineering and technology centers offshore, and more
recently “value added innovation partnerships” with strategic outsourcing
providers. A major driver underlying the sourcing of engineering services
and technology is access to qualified talent, which has emerged as a
challenge across all industries. This maps onto a larger phenomenon
relating to the emergence of a diaspora of talent; how the spread of
social networking is giving it shape, and how it is negatively affected
the ability of countries such as China to successfully implement reverse
brain drain policies.
Second, recent analyses of total worldwide spend on engineering work
conclude that emerging economies will account for all the growth in
engineering spending over the next decade, representing an increase of
$300 billion from a base of $850 billion in 2006. Newly industrialized
economies such as Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and
countries in Eastern Europe are seen as destinations which not only offer
access to underutilized science and engineering (S&E) talent, but
also have a higher education system in places that have the capacity to
expand, have cultures that value education, and in some cases (e.g.,
China and, increasingly, Africa) are implementing national policies for
attracting to their country the global business services industry as
another lever of economic development.
The purpose of this Special Issue is to investigate the significant
organizational and structural changes in firms, industries and careers of
S&E talent ushered by the dynamic growth of global sourcing of
innovation, and the relevant evolving ecology of global innovation.
Hence, we invite studies that advance a multidisciplinary understanding
of this phenomenon including sociology, economics, political science,
strategy, international business, management and others.
Examples of research themes and questions for the Special Issue
We encourage submissions extending existing theoretical and empirical
evidence that will enhance our understanding of the firm global
organization, the relationship with relevant (home and/or host) country
measures, and the relationship with firm performance. Both theoretical
and empirical submissions are welcome.
The following list of themes and questions are meant to be illustrative,
not exhaustive, and to provide an indication of topics we are interested
in for this Special Issue.
– Organizational and strategic challenges faced by companies
implementing boundary spanning innovation relationships/partnerships.
Managerial practices that affect effectiveness of internal organisation
capabilities for acquiring, and assimilating knowledge generated by
Specific organizational challenges involved in the interaction of
cross-border intra- and inter-firm networks. How to develop effective
global and regional partnership agreements? How
to encourage collaboration
across various specialized providers?
Managing partnerships/relationships involving local government,
universities and suppliers.
inherent in global sourcing of innovation and organizational and
strategic responses that can be devised to mitigate such risks.
– Role of (home and/or host) country institutional configuration that
shapes the way firms and industries benefit from global sourcing of
Recognizing and adapting to institutional/cultural challenges across
different regions and how best to address, embrace, and overcome
2. Role of
emerging countries in reshaping the geography of the talent ecosystem,
generating new technological solutions and business processes, and
attracting business processes
Submission and Review Process
The deadline for submission of manuscripts is September 24,
Submissions will be provided via EMR Manuscript Central System at:
All submissions will be subject to the regular double blind peer
Notification to authors: March 2013
For more information:
Lucia Piscitello, DIG-Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy,
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