Outsourcing and its implications for market success: Negative curvilinearity, firm resources, and competition

Masaaki Kotabe*, Michael J. Mol, Janet Y. Murray, Ronaldo Parente

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past few decades, outsourcing has become a widely used and researched means for firms to change their performance. In this article, we attempt to link outsourcing to the market success of firms, specifically their market share. We argue that although firms may be able to increase their market share through outsourcing, this is only true up to a point, beyond which market share actually decreases as a consequence of further outsourcing. There is, in other words, a negatively curvilinear (inverted U-shape) relationship between outsourcing and market share. We also hypothesize that the outsourcing-market share relationship is moderated negatively by both the strength of firm resources and the extent of competition in a firm's market. We empirically confirm these arguments through a panel data analysis containing over 19,000 observations on manufacturing firms and offer some case examples to illustrate the mechanisms driving these results. Finally, we discuss implications for marketing research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-346
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Competition
  • Market share
  • Marketing performance
  • Outsourcing
  • Resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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