Offshoring and Reshoring Motivations: A Case Study Approach
Di Mauro C
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Reshoring and offshoring have been investigated separately by the academic literature, despite their interdependencies. This separation denies the conceptualization of reshoring as a step of the firm internationalization process and undermines a deeper comprehension of the companies’ path of international expansion. Our paper seeks to fill this gap by (1) understanding the interdependencies among the motivations that led to offshore and then to reshore production and (2) exploring whether offshoring and reshoring can be considered part of the same internationalization strategy. A content-based literature review on offshoring provides the base for the identification of the key motives for offshoring and reshoring, which are then organized using the theory-grounded interpretative framework proposed by Fratocchi et al. (2016). We then conduct a multiple case study analysis based on four companies. The cross case analysis throws light on the links between offshoring and reshoring motives, suggesting that reshoring is a step of a coherent strategy rather than an error correction initiative. Further, cases allow understanding how the analysis of motivations (Why) connects with the How (governance modes), and Where (geographical locations) of offshoring and reshoring. Building on the case findings, the paper presents eight propositions for future empirical research.