The Strategic Potential of Community-Based Hybrid Models: The Case of Global Business Services in Africa
Global Strategy Journal, 2017, Forthcoming.
48 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016 Last revised: 8 Jan 2017
Date Written: November 1, 2016
As a latecomer economy, Africa faces persistent difficulties with catching up in global markets. This study examines the strategic potential of community-based hybrid models, which balance market profitability with social impact in local communities. Focusing on the global business services industry in Kenya and South Africa, and the practice of ‘impact sourcing’ – hiring and training of disadvantaged staff servicing business clients – we find that while regular providers struggle to compete with global peers, hybrid model adopters manage to access underutilized labor pools through community organizations, and target less competitive niche client markets. We further identify key industry, institutional and firm-level factors that affect hybrid model adoption. Findings have important implications for research on catch-processes in latecomer economies, hybrid models and global business services.
Keywords: Outsourcing, Sub-Saharan Africa, impact sourcing, hybrid organizations, local communities
JEL Classification: J23, J24, J44, J31, M51, M53, M54, L14, L21, L22, L24, L84, O14, R11, P45, P48, F59, F21, F22, F23
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