A taxonomy of sourcing strategic types for MNCs operating in China

Masaaki Kotabe*, Hongxin Zhao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a taxonomic study of sourcing strategy types and their relationships to subsidiary profitability. Using the taxonomic approach, this study identifies five sourcing strategy types based on the decision rules of direction and volume of sourcing activities, namely market access, offshore platform, offshore manufacturing, local sourcing, and complex sourcing. We validated these sourcing types by linking them to a set of business and investment strategic factors. Based on a sample of 319 foreign subsidiaries in China, the results confirm the taxonomy of sourcing types indicating that sourcing strategy types indeed vary along the strategic factors including wage rates, R&D intensity, subsidiary size, capital commitment, ownership control and partner type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-27
Number of pages17
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Offshore production
  • Sourcing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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