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OffshoreExploring the Worlds of Global Outsourcing$
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Jamie Peck

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727408.001.0001

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Into the Outsourcing Complex

Into the Outsourcing Complex

(p.91) 4 Into the Outsourcing Complex

Jamie Peck

Oxford University Press

This chapter enters the outsourcing complex, understood as a multidimensional socioeconomic formation that spans industrial sectors, occupations, management fields, organizations, and countries, being part industry, part profession, and part market. Concerned with the nexus of discourse, practice, and organizational dynamics, the chapter examines the “infrastructural” role of the outsourcing complex, its functions as an enabler of disaggregated corporate structures and “extruded” modes of management, and the evolving competitive dynamics of outsourcing markets. Those in the new paraprofession of outsourcing dream of self-transformation, under the signs of continuous innovation, respectful partnership, and talent mobilization, but this high-road vision is persistently frustrated by the industry’s own conditions of existence, based on cost suppression and undercutting, low-wage labor arbitrage, and the top-heavy control of supply chains (and therefore market conditions) by corporate buyers. This means that the industry’s search for respect (and professional status) has a forlorn and futile air.

Keywords:   outsourcing complex, management consultancy, professionalization, industry discourse, corporate networks

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