A typology and meta-analysis of outsourcing relationship frameworks

Paul Lyons, Louis Brennan
  • Strategic Outsourcing An International Journal, June 2014, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/so-04-2014-0006

An analysis of conceptual frameworks describing various dimensions of outsourcing relationships

What is it about?

This literature review focuses on conceptual frameworks used by authors to describe outsourcing relationships under the headings of scope, governance design, operating climate, management tactics, and evolution. The paper begins by developing a typology of framework formats based on the types of frameworks identified in the literature review. By grouping the 52 frameworks identified, by type within each category, the most pervasive criteria proposed by authors are uncovered. An analysis of the most convincing frameworks is also provided.

Why is it important?

This paper assists scholars with an interest in outsourcing or inter-organisational relationships by analyzing the outputs of existing studies and providing a synopsis of the most common criteria identified. The typology that is developed as a basis for this study also assists scholars in interpreting and assessing conceptual frameworks.


Dr Paul Martin Lyons
University of Dublin Trinity College

This paper can be used by scholars interested in outsourcing relationships as a gateway to a body of research work that uses conceptual frameworks to describe the various dimensions of these relationships. It is also of use to practitioners by providing them with an accessible summary of frameworks, and by identifying those that are most comprehensive and convincing in describing the features of outsourcing relationships.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Paul Martin Lyons and Professor Louis Brennan