Interface complexity and relative power in an outsourcing context

Fredrik Nilsson, Claes Wallin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Outsourcing has during the past years evolved into a natural part of companies’ strategy to adapt to an increasingly demanding business environment. The decisions are often made for two central reasons, either to focus on core-competence or achieving cost-reductions. Outsourcing has brought companies both positive and negative effects through the two mentioned reasons, but there is a need for a more balanced view on the concept of outsourcing. With the use of complexity theory, focusing on the theory of interdependency of parts in a system, two cases are analyzed along with a case from literature. The interdependency is divided up into two relevant factors, relative power and interface complexity, which describe the relation between two companies in an outsourcing situation. A model is proposed, showing how the cases relate to the factors of relative power and interface complexity, revealing if an outsourcing decision is suitable for a certain situation or if caution is to be taken before the decision is made.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ISL conference
Publication statusPublished - 2002
EventInternational Symposium fo Logistics (ISL), 2002 - Brussels, Belgien, Melbourne;, Australia
Duration: 2002 Jul 142002 Jul 16
Conference number: 7


ConferenceInternational Symposium fo Logistics (ISL), 2002

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Mechanical Engineering


  • complexity theory
  • outsourcing
  • interdependence
  • power
  • packaging logistics


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