The State of Sourcing in 2018 – a Study of Selected Industrial Companies in Møre & Romsdal
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The aim of this thesis is to establish an up-to-date picture of the state of sourcing, focusing on the county of Møre & Romsdal. Substantial research has been conducted through the years, focusing on different aspects and considerations in outsourcing. However, this thesis examines drivers, risk & location considerations simultaneously, regardless of type of activity. Existing research is limited regarding an overall assessment of the outsourcing decision and considerations regardless of activity. However, the type of outsourced activity will also be assessed through case studies. In addition, the notion of backsourcing is of growing relevance today, and the study investigates a possible backsourcing trend as well. A questionnaire and multiple case studies were used in this thesis to assess sourcing considerations in the county. The questionnaire was intended to reveal an overall picture of the different considerations, whereas the five case studies revealed in-depth information and connections between the considerations, which would not have become apparent in the questionnaire. Also, the case interviews served to assess the importance of outsourced activity for the firm, as it not recommended by existing literature that firms outsource key activities. Based on the data collected through the questionnaire and the case studies, the findings suggest that the overall state of sourcing in Møre & Romsdal has not changed substantially. A comparison was made possible due to a similar study that was conducted in 2007. In addition, the study revealed that there may be universal considerations for outsourcing decisions, regardless of chosen activity. The notion that backsourcing a is trend, and might even be more prevalent than outsourcing, could not be confirmed. The main contribution of this study contains an overall assessment of the outsourcing decision and a focus on the connections between different considerations. This research revealed that drivers, risk and location choices have not changed substantially over the last decade and are still in accordance with existing literature. Nevertheless, globalization might have an influence on drivers and risk, with a possible emergence of availability as a driver and reputation risk as a main risk consideration. Moreover, the study revealed that technological development may lead to backsourcing gaining momentum in the future.