Both a resource-based view and transaction cost economics perspective point to firms deciding to either make-or-buy an input. In practice, this tends to result in low-skill functions being outsourced while those of higher value are retained. In this article, we explore a situation counter to the prevailing literature. We study a highly creative industry - fashion - and discover the relationship between core competence and outsourcing is not as simple as previously conceptualised. Creativity, fashion's assumed competency, rather than being guarded within a firm is instead often outsourced or borrowed. More mundane tasks such as marketing and logistics are what each firm rather develops. The effects of resulting co-dependencies are mapped and analysed in order to offer managerial insight as well as contribute to discussion within the outsourcing and resource based literatures.
Lin, S., Piercy, N., & Campbell, C. (2013). Beyond the make-or-buy dichotomy: Outsourcing creativity in the fashion sector. Production Planning and Control, 24(4-5), 294-307. https://doi.org/10.1080/09537287.2011.648542