An exploratory study of factors influencing make-or-buy of sales activities

Beth Rogers, Padmali Rodrigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This paper aims to explore how sales managers make resourcing decisions with particular focus on their perceptions of outsourcing.
This paper is based on in-depth interviews with 29 senior sales managers from a variety of industry sectors based in the UK. All had more than five years’ experience of making resourcing decisions.
The findings are that resourcing decisions are prompted by cost pressure, the need to access skills or to improve flexibility. Outsourcing preferences are strongly moderated by perceived reputational risk. Availability of suitable suppliers and the ability to manage outsourcing are also practical moderators.
Research limitations/implications
The sample was purposeful in identifying and accessing senior respondents in substantial companies with extensive experience, but it was not random.
Practical implications
Respondents reported a lack of information available when making resourcing decisions; the model proposed provides a framework by which sales managers can identify the factors which should be taken into account and the information they need to make objective evaluations of resourcing options.
It has been acknowledged in prior literature that there is relatively little outsourcing of sales activities. This is the first exploratory study of the perceptions of sales managers about resourcing options and the first conceptualisation of how sales resourcing decisions are made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-261
Number of pages32
JournalStrategic Outsourcing: An International Journal
Issue number2/3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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