I hope you have enjoyed the last columns focusing on the “economics of outsourcing.” I promised to explore other scholars and how we can learn from their leading work. For the next several columns I’ll be featuring the most influential “Big Thinker” psychologists that have directly or indirectly influenced the development of modern outsourcing.
My last two columns on Umair Haque and Joseph Stiglitz have shifted the focus a bit to the adaptations that global businesses face as more and more challenges to the traditional ideas surrounding capitalism and globalisation emerge.
For the most part this series has examined the big thinkers in economics who have influenced the development of modern outsourcing. This week I want to focus on Joseph E. Stiglitz, whose work has the power to influence how companies think about globalisation.
Do you suspect that there’s something wrong or at least severely amiss with modern capitalism, and by extension the way we outsource, think about value, construct our supply chains and do business? Can’t quite put it into words and context? Umair Haque has many thought-provoking insights for you on the subject.
Haque is Director of the Havas Media Lab and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. He also writes a provocative and entertaining posts for the Harvard Business Review Blog Network.
A major focus of this series is on how academics and economists have transformed modern thinking about the nature of the business and outsourcing contract, from its relationship to the firm and how it is used and governed to its relationship on pricing and total cost.
It’s long past time for a change in the way outsourcing contracts are negotiated and managed. In 1968 the legal scholar Ian R. Macneil observed that most contracts are ill-equipped to address the reality of business needs.
Common sense tells us that businesses grow when they innovate. And that those with the greatest amount of innovation benefit the most.
Next up in my series of columns about the great academic thought leaders who were seminal in the development and success of modern outsourcing are two of my favorite game theorists: the mathematician and Nobel laureate John F. Nash, who took economists a step or two beyond Adam Smith with his ideas on game theory and the art of collaborating, or playing together nice, for the win-win; and Robert Axelrod, who verified the beauty of cooperation through his early work with computers to solve a classic game theory behavioral experiment.
This week’s column focuses on big thinker Ronald Coase. Coase, a giant of modern economic science and 1991 Nobel laureate helps us understand a key fundamental of business: that business (and outsourcing decisions) are a math problem.
While outsourcing has been in the limelight for some 20 years, various threads of economic thought and research stretching for more than 80 years planted the seeds of modern outsourcing, centering on growth theory, transaction costs, game theory, property rights, deregulation and the nature of the firm.
This article originally appeared in Outsource Magazine Issue #23 Spring 2011
Leading academics charted a path that challenges the conventional definition of winning. Smart companies are applying these concepts, showing that win-win thinking is not just something nice to say: it’s smart business – and really is beautiful…
What does Adam Smith tell us about outsourcing? The answer is somewhat complicated: Nothing directly, but then again everything.
Over the last five years I have been privileged to have funded research in partnership with the University of Tennessee and the United States Air Force to study outsourcing with the challenge to find a better way to outsource.