In an ever accelerating world demanding fast adjustment to changing business environments, organizational flexibility becomes increasingly important. By outsourcing business processes (BPO), there are both potential flexibility losses (e.g. loss of control) and potential flexibility gains (e.g. the transformation of fixed to variable costs). Firms have to balance this trade-off to retain sufficient flexibility or even enlarge their strategic and operational flexibility. Based on an empirical study with Germany’s Top 200 Banks it is shown that the perception of both flexibility gains and losses have a profound impact on the outsourcers’ attitude towards BPO. In particular, potential flexibility losses have a higher impact on outsourcers’ attitude than potential flexibility gains. Subsequently, in accordance with the theory of reasoned action it turns out that attitude is an antecedent of the intention towards outsourcing. Therefore we argue that flexibility-related issues should be explicitly considered in outsourcing evaluations and service providers should emphasize on contractual means to demonstrate that organizational flexibility will not be negatively affected.
Franke, Jochen and Wüllenweber, Kim, "The impact of potential flexibility gains and losses on the intention to outsource business processes" (2006). ECIS 2006 Proceedings. 34.