The role of middle management is central for offshoring

Apr 02, 2014 | Research/Cooperation

In order to be able to work with global product development in a successful and sustainable way for the long term, businesses have to adapt to the complexity of offshoring. The role of middle management is central for success, and commitment from employees at all levels is required. This is shown by Petra Edoff from Mälardalen University (MDH) in a doctoral thesis which will be presented on 4 April.

– A great deal of existing research is focused on decision-making at the top management level, but I want to show that middle management and the employees play key roles for making this work. In this type of company, there are also many technical experts who influence the global division of labour to a great extent, says Petra Edoff.

Petra Edoff’s doctoral thesis Managing offshoring of complex products, Strategy and organizational capabilities highlights various cultural conflicts which may result from offshoring, including knowledge transfer, strategy, and the routines that businesses create to handle the relocation of activities to other countries.

– I have studied two large companies in the region that have delegated a great deal of responsibility to their own centres and/or suppliers in India and China. These case studies will provide those who read my thesis with a greater insight into what is required to succeed in the area of offshoring, what kinds of skills and routines must be developed if it is going to be profitable to relocate activities to another country. It is crucial that companies do not just follow trends or make decisions based on the cost of engineers’ salaries in various countries - there is a risk that such decisions turn out to be very costly, says Petra Edoff.

About Petra Edoff
Petra Edoff comes from Norrtälje and moved to Eskilstuna in 2004 when she entered the with a specialisation in Psychology at MDH. After having completed her degree project for Ericsson, a study about the way in which the company cooperates with suppliers in India and how it works with product development, she decided to proceed to the third-cycle level of study. On Friday, 4 April, she will present her doctoral thesis in a public defense at Mälardalen University in Västerås, and then go on to face interesting new challenges.

– I will continue working with both MDH and SICS in Västerås in new exciting projects. To begin with, I will help develop the new Innovation programme, says Petra Edoff.

Welcome to the public defense of Petra Edoff’s doctoral thesis
Welcome to find out about Petra Edoff’s research results when she presents her doctoral thesis Managing offshoring of complex products, Strategy and organizational capabilities on Friday, 4 April, 13:00-15:00, in Raspen at MDH in Eskilstuna.

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