Outsourcing and the changing nature of work

Alison Davis-Blake, Joseph P. Broschak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

While much has been written about the effects of outsourcing on the location of jobs and on the wages of workers, the effects of outsourcing on the experience of work and on the design of work and organizations have received limited research attention. A full understanding of the consequences of outsourcing requires examining the effects of outsourcing on the nature of both work and the organizations that define and delimit work. In this review, we define outsourcing and describe the key dimensions of outsourcing arrangements that are likely to affect the nature of work. We then review existing research on the effects of outsourcing on individuals attitudes and behaviors, work group dynamics, job design, and organizational structure and culture. We conclude with a discussion of the critical research issues that must be addressed to fully understand the effects of outsourcing on the nature of work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-340
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Sociology
Volume35
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

Keywords

  • (Sub)contracting
  • Job design
  • Nonstandard work
  • Offshoring
  • Organizational design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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