Insourcing – Definition

Cite this article as:"Insourcing – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated March 17, 2019, last accessed October 29, 2020,


Insourcing Definition

Insourcing is the allocation of  jobs or assignment to individuals in a cooperative firm. Insourcing is different from outsourcing Рwhich stands as the opposite. It is the assigning of jobs to individuals (third party) who have no connection with the firm or company whatsoever.

When insourcing, iit does not really mean the company or firm cannot give the assignment to a third party. It’s that they most likely choose not to.

Some of the advantages of insourcing is that the company acts more like the general overseer of job activities. Hence, there is little risk in the evaluation of progress and completion.

A Little More About Insourcing

One of the major reasons why Insourcing is not always considered is during the 1990s, business tycoons and entrepreneur believed outsourcing (involvement of the third party in businesses) was the panacea for reducing the cost of implementing and evaluating jobs — especially in marketing, customer relationship management, and manufacturing.

Although outsourcing is cheaper and easy to employ compared to insourcing, it is not without risks. Most of the time, the outsourced company/ individual will have to be given some delicate access or password of the company which, if not properly handled, can lead to major issues.

It should be noted that Insourcing, as well as its competitive advantage over outsourcing provides a strategic advantage in the labour market only if the company can keep the assignment in-house.

An advantage of insourcing over outsourcing is that it is generally less expensive when a task is complex. Also, it is not labour intensive compared to insourcing.

References for Insourcing

Academic Research on Insourcing

  • ¬† The myths and realities of information technology insourcing, Hirschheim, R., & Lacity, M. (2000). Communications of the ACM, 43(2), 99-107.This article examines the advantages and disadvantages associated with insourcing a firms information technology processes.
  • A quantitative approach to the outsourcing-insourcing decision in an international context, Schniederjans, M. J., & Zuckweiler, K. M. (2004). Management Decision, 42(8), 974-986.Outsourcing in the business world has grown so rapid that no one has taken time to evaluate the cons of outsourcing on a small scale, large scale or international business firms. In this research, a fortune 500 firm has been adopted as a case study to explain the international risk that exists between outsourcing/insourcing as far as business and decision making is concerned.
  • Re-insourcing as a manufacturing-strategic option during a crisis‚ÄĒCases from the automobile industry, Drauz, R. (2014). ¬†Journal of Business Research, 67(3), 346-353
  • Insourcing and outsourcing: the dynamics of privatization among US municipalities 2002‚Äď2007, Warner, M. E., & Hefetz, A. (2012). Journal of the American Planning Association, 78(3), 313-327. Research strategy, problems and findings: The opposite of public to private provision is also as rampant as the provision from private to public service. Take, for instance, data from the U.S regarding outsourcing says the level of insourcing is proportional to that of outsourcing as at 2002-2007. This data invariably explains how managers attempt to adopting insourcing over outsourcing in order to make services internal (within the company). Estimation made via the statistical model indicates that the decisions to reverse contracts taken by the managers are prompted by political interest, transaction expenses and market structures. On the other hand, the decision to employ both public and private delivery encourages competition. ¬†Take away for practice: The loud and softs of both insourcing and outsourcing dictate a conceivable effect on the management of the company/firm. The ability to provide services within the company (Insourcing) is as important as considering the market structure and the market forces. Working on public services by a private firm requires scrutiny especially assignment with a higher transaction rate. Research support: special acknowledgement to the U.S Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture grant # 2011-68006-30793.
  • Outsourcing vs insourcing in the human resource supply chain: A comparison of five generic models, ¬†Kosnik, T., Wong-MingJi, D. J., & Hoover, K. (2006). Outsourcing vs insourcing in the human resource supply chain: A comparison of five generic models. Personnel Review, 35(6), 671-684. The purpose of this research is to explain the difference between the models used for making more notable strategic HR outsourcing choices via the Human Resource Supply Chain (HRSC) Design/approach and methodology. Multiple comparative cases were constructed from interviews and company document in this research work. Findings – This research work explains the major Human Resource Source Chain models adopted and divide them into five; they include; two insourcing models (HR centralizing and local contracting) and three outsourcing models (Staffing HR, purchasing HR and non-staffing HR). In addition to the findings of this paper is the re-allocation of power and ability by managing HR. ¬†Limitation of research – This research supports the claim that the distribution of competence and power supplied by the managing HR supply chain contributes greatly to the overall performance of the firm. And the building of partnerships can also help to build strategic alliances between two firms either internationally or locally. Practical implications – During the course of this research, it was observed that managers compare several HRSC models in other to have an overall idea on how to make outsourcing decisions and coin their own HR ability gotten from the evaluation of several HRSC models. Value/originality – This research thesis explains the HRSC models that must be evaluated when explaining outsourcing and strategic HR because of managers with little or no understanding between the differences in HRSCs hands over total control of his own firm to the third party (Vendor). ¬†¬†In technological clusters and innovation, sourcing was seen as a rapid-growing and practical event. This research used 55 semi-structured interviews coupled with 12 companies that are technology intensive and 6 standard workshops as an example while seeking help from the third party in 11 different companies. Three archetypes of listening posts were discussed, they include matchmaker, trend scout and technology outpost. And the yardstick of this archetype is the structure of the firm, the mission of individual firm and the success factor of each firm.
  • The strategic value of IT insourcing: an IT-enabled business process perspective, Qu, W. G., Oh, W., & Pinsonneault, A. (2010). The strategic value of IT insourcing: an IT-enabled business process perspective. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 19(2), 96-108.According to this paper, the amount of strategic value via sourced data as regards insourcing and outsourcing is minute. According to the research conducted from this study, it is pertinent to note that IT sourcing is more effective compared to the IT-enabled business processes (IEBP), which brings about high yield in the output of giant firms. Judging from the research acquired from InformationWeek and compustatshows, it explains that the insourcing via IT means is associated with IEBP in a positive manner while the relationship between IEBP and IT outsourcing is termed statistically as insignificant. Note that, the influence of IEBP on the general well-being of the company is vast and effective and this process is controlled by the applied innovation. For a better and more efficient output level, firms should regard IT as a germane factor and should be directly involved with the internal affairs of the firm.
  • Insourcing creativity with listening posts in decentralized firms, Gassmann, O., & Gaso, B. (2004). Insourcing creativity with listening posts in decentralized firms. Creativity and Innovation Management, 13(1), 3-14.
  • Reducing information systems costs through insourcing: experiences from the field, Hirschheim, R., & Lacity, M. (1998, January). Reducing information systems costs through insourcing: experiences from the field. In System Sciences, 1998., Proceedings of the Thirty-First Hawaii International Conference on (Vol. 6, pp. 644-653). IEEE.
  • Manufacturing re-insourcing in the textile industry: A case study, Caputo, A. C., &Palumbo, M. (2005). Manufacturing re-insourcing in the textile industry: A case study. Industrial Management &Data Systems, 105(2), 193-207. Purpose – The aim of this paper is to educate most managers on the steps involved in the method of accessing the possibility of reconstructing insourcing. Design/approach and method – The first step adopted is the analysis of the textile sector followed by a methodological process which explains the way to access the possibility of reconstructing insourcing. A production institute is used as a case study and the response rate of the company manufacturing clothing materials lies in the concept of outsourcing. The last step is the evaluation of the re-insourcing method adopted. This explains either the process is profitable or otherwise both in the short and long run. ¬†Findings – A process that can help managers of the firm to access the possibility of reconstructing insourcing is proposed and adopted via re-engineering means. ¬†The automobile industry has deemed it worthy to employ a third party as a result of the economic breakdown and financial problems. This research work explains mainly the strategy adopted by most manufacturing firms (especially the automobile industries). As it has been said, insourcing is not as widely accepted as outsourcing because most firms prefer employing third-party firms/individuals to take care of their problems thereby giving little or no room to insourcing. Because of the increase in the level of employment of re-insourcing during the economic downturn, re-insourcing because of this has become widely accepted.


  • Production and political economy in the animation industry: Why insourcing and outsourcing occur, Tschang, F., & Goldstein, A. (2004). This research work explains the way and manner creative industries adopt in the production of their goods and services. Taking as a case study is a condition in which insourcing and outsourcing are adopted in three-dimensional industry and two-dimensional animation industry in the United States and the Philippines respectively. Not that the outsourced production process is not regarded as the most creative and effective of all. The Filipino industry is affected both positively and negatively by decisions made by the institution as well as the general well-being of the business basically in the labour market.
  • Going local: a trend towards insourcing of production?, Stentoft, J., Mikkelsen, O. S., & Johnsen, T. E. (2015, January). In Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal(Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 2-13). Taylor & Francis. This paper notes insourcing in the production sector that has once been explained either via the media or research papers. This paper explains the in-depth meaning and relationship between insourcing and outsourcing and how they affect the economy at large. A large scale survey was carried out in Denmark and the rate at which Danish production companies understands the importance of outsourcing and insourcing was used in producing a practical result that helps to solve economic issues in Denmark. The result, however, explains that irrespective of the consideration of most companies to return to the Danish shores, only a few production companies have taken the steps to actually implement their thought. The practical result from different large-scale production firms was analyzed and the decision of whether to adopt a low-cost sourcing or local sourcing was also discussed.

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