UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE
Industry analysts predict that the current global economic crisis will speed up the offshoring of knowledge work such as new product development (NPD) and software development. Firms use NPD and software development to create and bring new products to market, thereby stimulating economic growth. However, the modularity of the development process makes it possible to offshore (and/or outsource) more and more activities for cost and market advantage. In the current economic crisis, some U.S. companies are reported to be sending more innovation jobs offshore for just these reasons. Such shifts could be a threat to the success of current stimulus policies that rely heavily on innovation to drive growth and generate new jobs. If innovative activities such as R&D, NPD and software development are done offshore, it is not clear how much the U.S. economy will capture the benefits of innovation in existing and emerging industries. It is important therefore to assess whether there is a sharp escalation in offshoring of innovation as a result of the economic crisis and, if so, the scale, scope and implications thereof.
In order to do so, the project will conduct a survey and analyses of the impact of the global economic crisis on the offshoring of knowledge work. Deliverables include survey questionnaires, lists of targeted companies for the survey, digitized data from the telephone survey and analyses based on the survey data. The project will enable retention of professional academics and survey research staff.