Consideration of selflessness and self-interest in outsourcing decisions

Ambika Zutshi, Andrew Creed, Amrik Singh Sohal, Greg Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The paper aims to discuss the need to balance selflessness and self-interest issues in outsourcing decisions. This discussion is timely given the tensions that currently exist between those who want off-shore outsourcing to continue as a means for increasing international trade, and those who only want to conduct business on-shore. Design/methodology/approach - A conceptual approach has been taken in this paper in order to highlight key considerations for ethical decision-making with respect to off-shore outsourcing. Findings - Considerations of selflessness and self-interest are embedded in outsourcing decisions. It is recommended that a balance between making profits and fulfilling social responsibilities is required, ideally, at each stage of decision-making. Hence, managers should think critically about the reasons behind off-shore outsourcing decisions, the process of arriving at decisions, and the impact of their decisions on stakeholders. Research limitations/implications - This is a conceptual paper and further empirical data to validate the stages of decision-making framework are required. Practical implications - Failure to take into account the selflessness and self-interest outcomes of off-shore outsourcing could potentially off-set strategic gains by leading to negative media publicity for a company. Social implications - Ethical considerations as part of outsourcing decisions should result in a transparent, fair and more humane working environment for both the host and the home country representatives involved in the process. Originality/value - This paper presents an original framework of selflessness and self-interest considerations when making off-shore outsourcing decisions. Both Eastern and Western business perspectives have been incorporated as part of the decision-making framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287 - 303
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Business Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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