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Socially Responsible Outsourcing

The rapid growth of global outsourcing and its social and economic impact across the world is explored in a new book co-edited by Brian Nicholson, Professor of Information Systems at Alliance MBS.

Socially Responsible Outsourcing: Global Sourcing with Social Impact builds on earlier studies by Professor Nicholson and fellow academics which have looked at the extraordinary growth of the industry since the first software contracts were outsourced to India in the late 1970s.

A previous title in 2012 identified the importance of a sustainable approach to global sourcing practice, taking into account both the social and environmental dimensions, and the latest book further develops this theme, exploring how and why clients and providers have embraced social responsibility.

Said Prof Nicholson: “There has been a spectacular growth in the scale of global sourcing with many new entrant nations now challenging India’s previously undisputed leadership as the leading provider of outsourced services. A plethora of outsourcing clusters are now located in both developed and developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America/Caribbean.”

The development of outsourcing industries is widely perceived as offering a route to socio economic development, especially in developing nations. For instance, India’s Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors today contribute 9.5% to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and employ 3.5 million people.

Added Prof Nicholson: “The improvements in the price, capacity and pervasiveness of computing and telecommunications now present a scenario where almost anywhere where bandwidth and skills are available may be a potential candidate for an outsourcing centre that may over time develop into a cluster. At the same time, the rising importance of CSR in business generally has seen many of the major IT services firms engage in CSR as part of trading with clients.”

The new book, co-edited by Dr Mary Lacity from the University of Missouri-St.Louis and Dr Ron Babin from the Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, will be launched at a debate in London on February 24 hosted by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. The book is also being launched at the Outsourcing World Summit in Orlando in February. Registration for the London event is via: https://www.iaop.org/content/23/162/1173/