Global sourcing is multifaceted; however, when broken down to its various components, a variety of relatively straightforward questions emerges: why, what, where, from whom, and how to source. After an introducing discussion of these questions, the course emphasizes the increasing level of volatility in the global environment - due to among others climate changes, geopolitical instability and disruptive technologies – and discusses the implication on companies' global sourcing strategies such as for example a potential trend away from global specialization and in the direction of less vulnerable multi-domestic structures. By highlighting contextual dynamics, the course offers an evolutionary and process-oriented understanding of global sourcing including aspects on an industry level - e.g., the evolution of outsourcing contracts from mainly input-based to output/outcome-based, or the implications of digitalization and automation on global sourcing.
The course also deals with the organizational dimension of sourcing, which includes a variety of different delivery models, commonly broadly distinguished as in-house/captive sourcing versus outsourcing, but also combinations of the two governance forms – such as joint ventures and build-operate-transfer sourcing arrangements. Whereas the course predominately focuses on large, multinational companies, also the global sourcing processes of small and medium/entrepreneurial companies are discussed and analyzed.
Finally, the course also discusses a variety of other challenges commonly related to global sourcing, such as challenges within logistics, knowledge transfer and human resource management.