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How the Past of Outsourcing and Offshoring is the Future of Post-Pandemic Remote Work: A Typology, a Model, and a Review*







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Information and communication technology (ICT) challenges traditional assumptions about the capacity to manage workers beyond organizational and physical boundaries. A typology connects a variety of non-traditional work organizations made possible by ICT, including offshoring, outsourcing, remote work, virtual companies, and platforms. A model illustrates how new technology serves as a proximate cause for a revision of social contracts between capital, labor and government reached through bargaining, and how external shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the institutional environment, and limitations in practice influence how technology changes the organization of work. An historical case illustrates the general features of the model, and a review of the outsourcing and offshoring literature provides instructive examples of how features of the model will potentially influence the future of post-pandemic remote work.


Author Posting © Brian Towers (BRITOW) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2021. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Erickson, C. L., & Norlander, P. (2022). How the past of outsourcing and offshoring is the future of post-pandemic remote work: A typology, a model and a review. Industrial Relations Journal, 53(1), 71–89, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.