The reconfiguration of service production systems in response to offshoring: A practice theory perspective

K. Brandl, Machiel Mol, B. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
156 Downloads (Pure)


A service production system has a structure composed of task execution, agents performing tasks and a resulting service output. This paper aims to understand how such a service production system changes as a consequence of offshoring.
Drawing on practice theory the paper investigates how offshoring leads to reconfiguration of the service production system. Through a multiple case methodology, we demonstrate how agents and structures interact during reconfiguration. The paper analyses the reconfiguration of components of a service production system in response to change ignited by offshoring. We find recurring effects between structures that enable and constrain agents and agents who shape the structure of the production system. The paper offers a novel contribution to the service operations management literature by applying practice theory. Moreover, we propose a detailed, activity-driven view of service production systems and service offshoring. We contribute to practice theory by extending its domain to operations management. Service production systems have the ability to self-correct any changes inflicted through offshoring of the systems, which helps firms that offshore. The paper proposes a novel representation of the service production system and describes how it responds to offshoring. We contribute by applying practice theory to the service operations management field and offshoring. We inform service professionals and offshoring managers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246-1264
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2017


  • Service production system
  • Practice theory
  • Offshoring services
  • Global Operations Management


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