Quality Risk in Offshore Manufacturing: Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry

Abstract: Opening offshore manufacturing plants to serve the domestic market can provide many potential benefits for firms, including lower costs and tax benefits. In such cases, firms expect their offshore plants to be lower-cost “clones” of U.S. operations. However, companies also have to consider the potential quality risks. For the study, researchers focused on U.S. pharmaceutical companies with offshore production in Puerto Rico, where 16 of the top 20 drugs in the United States were produced during their research. Findings show that higher quality risk in offshoring is not just due to the physical distance, but rather greater potential for expropriation of assets and intellectual property; political, social, and currency instability; issues related to insufficient worker experience and infrastructure; more pronounced cultural issues, language, and communication incompatibilities.

Authors: John V. Gray, Michael J. Leiblein, Aleda V. Roth

Date: 2011

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Managing a Portfolio of Real Options

Abstract: Firms need to consider the balance between growth and switching options in their development of a portfolio of strategic options.  Growth and switching options represent a trade-ff between flexibility and commitment. Managers need to understand the uniqueness of their portfolios when assessing portfolio value, as well as taking into consideration market uncertainty and technological uncertainty.

Authors: Jaideep Anand, Raffaele Oriani, Roberto. S. Vassolo

Date: 2007

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Unpacking Absorptive Capacity: A study of Knowledge Utilization from Alliance Portfolios

Abstract: Companies that need the ability to adjust to industry changes often find it difficult to develop new products internally. Through strategic alliances, they find means to acquire, or absorb, the knowledge they need. Understanding a company’s absorptive capacity requires separating it into two parts, latitudinal and longitudinal absorptive capacity.  By defining these two types of absorptive capacity, companies are able to balance their knowledge acquisition, ultimately finding the “sweet spot” where costs do not outweigh the benefits of knowledge gained through alliances.

Authors: Jaideep Anand and Gurneeta Vasudeva

Date: Summer 2011

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