The Changing Business Landscape in Iran: Establishing Outsourcing Best Practices

Mohammadreza Akbari
Australian Institute of Business (AIB), Australia

John L. Hopkins
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

During an evolutionary period for Iran the aim of this paper is to identify a set of success factors, to inform enterprises who are now able to engage in the practice of outsourcing after the recent removal of long-standing US and UN sanctions, and contribute towards the formulation of a set of guidelines to assist these organisations and help deepen the understanding of recent economic developments in the Middle East. Primary research data was collected using a self-administered survey which required senior/executive managers from enterprises in Tehran to assess a set of outsourcing factors established by academic literature. The most important factors for achieving outsourcing success in Iran were found to be having a clear strategic vision and plan, understanding the intended use of outsourcing, and understanding how outsourcing aligns with organizational goals and objectives. The primary driver for adopting outsourcing is access to operational expertise and the sectors experiencing the greatest level of outsourcing success were the construction and IT industries. With little literature available on outsourcing in Iran this research addresses a clear gap in the current body of knowledge and contributes toward a deeper understanding of potential supply chain opportunities in this unique region. The findings will assist academic researchers, and contribute towards policy formation, and there are clear implications for Iranian enterprises who might be considering adopting outsourcing now that barriers permitting them from doing so have been removed.

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