Revision with unchanged content. Outsourcing is a complex process. It is a top management issue and a strategic task to maintain competitiveness and sustainable competitive advantage in a corporation. As a main outcome of this paper the authors developed and created a strategic framework, guided by the aim to increase the quality and efficiency in outsourcing decision processes. It should provide a supportive tool for successful outsourcing decisions in a fast changing environment. Furthermore the authors answer the question whether outsourcing is a path without return or not. The basis for the outcome and the method the authors chose to achieve their findings and concluding framework are: an analysis of the relevant academic publications and a comparison of the main findings with popular scientific literature. Covered topics are outsourcing as a strategic tool for competitiveness, core competence concentration, offshoring versus outsourcing, service outsourcing and ethics in outsourcing. This was followed by an analysis of long term impacts to national economies caused by outsourcing and offshoring activities and qualitative interviews with two Austrian Enterprises. Furthermore expertise knowledge from the worlds top consulting firms has flown into the development of the strategic framework which is an advancement of the Stage-gate-model by Robert G. Cooper.
Sylvia Ritt, MBus:Studied Business Administration at LFU Innsbruck, AUT and at UQ Brisbane, Australia.Areas of expertise: Strategic Management, Marketing, Tourism. Currently working in the field of strategic product development.Friedrich Spatzenegger, MBus:Studied Business Administration at LFU Innsbruck, AUT and at UQ Brisbane, Australia.(Areas of expertise: analog). Currently working in the field of Key Account Management.