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Managing Transfer Projects in an Offshore Strategy : Swedish and Chinese Perspectives

  • Adolfsson, Emma
  • Lindgren, Peder
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Offshoring concerns the relocation or a transfer of a company’s business activities to another country. When a company decides to offshore their business to another location it involves the transfer of products and knowledge which are both key activities in transfer projects. In today’s globalization it is difficult for companies to stay competitive in the marketplace. For this reason it is becoming more common that companies offshore parts of their business and opening affiliates abroad for the production of goods or services. It is challenging to transfer a product from one site to one other since the receiving site might not have been involved in the product development process from the beginning and therefore have limited associations to the product. The transfer of competence and knowledge but also different ways of working are some of the factors that needs to be successfully managed. This makes it especially challenging when considering cultural and geographical together with the temporal distance between the sites. It is difficult for companies to maintain a sourcing strategy that is cohesive and many companies therefor fails to manage a successful relationship with their offshore partners. The purpose with this study was to present a framework that would support the transfer process when aiming for parallel production. This was to include the features needed to be developed in order to manage the most important factors in the transfer process. In order to answer the research questions a case study with a qualitative research method was performed. Interviews in Sweden and China including 34 respondents were performed in order to identify the transfer process. The approach was a qualitative interview with a guided conversation with the emphasis on the authors asking questions and listening, and the respondent answering. The respondents was seen as meaning makers rather than passive channels for retrieving the data needed. The purpose was to derive interpretations rather than facts or laws. Each interview was conducted between three people including the two authors and one respondent. The findings indicate that the organization needs to improve their knowledge transfer process. The organization also needs to develop similar processes for the activities involved in the transfer process in order to perceive the same quality. The analysis of the qualitative findings resulted in a framework including six important factors for a successful transfer project. Following factors should be taken in consideration by the company to achieve a successful transfer project: identification of knowledge carriers, set up a transfer core-team, empowering knowledge sharing, the use of a personalized strategy, the development of similar processes and improve the common perception of quality.

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