Purpose – The paper aims to discuss the need to balance selflessness and self-interest issues in outsourcing decisions. This discussion is timely given the tensions that currently exist between those who want off-shore outsourcing to continue as a means for increasing international trade, and those who only want to conduct business on-shore.
Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual approach has been taken in this paper in order to highlight key considerations for ethical decision-making with respect to off-shore outsourcing.
Findings – Considerations of selflessness and self-interest are embedded in outsourcing decisions. It is recommended that a balance between making profits and fulfilling social responsibilities is required, ideally, at each stage of decision-making. Hence, managers should think critically about the reasons behind off-shore outsourcing decisions, the process of arriving at decisions, and the impact of their decisions on stakeholders.
Research limitations/implications – This is a conceptual paper and further empirical data to validate the stages of decision-making framework are required.
Practical implications – Failure to take into account the selflessness and self-interest outcomes of off-shore outsourcing could potentially off-set strategic gains by leading to negative media publicity for a company.
Social implications – Ethical considerations as part of outsourcing decisions should result in a transparent, fair and more humane working environment for both the host and the home country representatives involved in the process.
Originality/value – This paper presents an original framework of selflessness and self-interest considerations when making off-shore outsourcing decisions. Both Eastern and Western business perspectives have been incorporated as part of the decision-making framework.
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