WORLD-CLASS OR GOOD ENOUGH â THE CHOICE OF PARTNER WHEN OUTSOURCING NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT IN MEDIUM-SIZED FIRMS
Research on outsourcing normally focuses on outsourcing of production and often uses large firms as samples. Only a few studies address the outsourcing of services or knowledge-intensive activities such as new product development (NPD), and especially in the context of medium-sized firms. Our earlier research in medium-sized firms indicates that outsourcing of NPD is frequent in medium-sized firms, and that there is a lack of knowledge about the phenomenon.This article offers a theoretical framework to study the outsourcing of NPD, and includes the results from a longitudinal case study carried out in six Swedish medium-sized firms to help understand the rationales behind outsourcing of NPD. Results from the present study indicate that 'good enough' is the keyword for medium-sized firms with limited resources. This means that it is considered more important with proximity and trust than world class competence, since close and frequent contacts are crucial, when outsourcing knowledge-intensive activities such as NPD. A conceptual model and a definition of the good enough concept are also presented.
Outsourcing, external sourcing, new product development, medium-sized firms
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