BHAMRA, R.S., 2012. Sustainable outsourcing: a practice survey and research opportunities. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 5 (4), pp. 304 - 311
This paper addresses the issue of the sustainability imperative and its influence on outsourcing practice. The research initially finds that there is currently little or no work that explores sustainable or green outsourcing, other than in an information technology context. This lack of research on sustainable outsourcing practice in the industrial organisation sector led to the development of this research study. This exploratory study used a qualitative survey tool to investigate current industrial practice. Manufacturing managers in 57 organisations formed the survey sample. The data were analysed by comparison and clustering of responses of survey participants. This study contributes five key findings that demonstrate current industrial practice which includes: 32% of respondents state that sustainability is not a factor in their outsourcing decision making and 65% of small- and medium-sized enterprises had never heard of the 'triple bottom line' concept. Future research needs are identified and proposed highlighting that urgent development of research is required in outsourcing performance measurement and also in considering sustainability as a new manufacturing competitive priority.