What Client Firms Want and Are Willing to Do to Achieve Innovation from Their Suppliers: Insights from the Nordic, Italian, and British Outsourcing Sectors
So far we have established in this book that nearly any client firm is now taking interest in the following question: how can we achieve innovation from our suppliers? Interestingly, it has also emerged that, while innovation has become a common practice within the firm, the road to achieving innovation from external suppliers is still bumpy. There are numerous open issues that make innovation in outsourcing a true challenge. Let us pick out four major ones emerging from the previous chapters. Firstly, innovation is defined and understood in different ways by the client and the supplier. Secondly, as innovation is delivered via an external party, the implications for the way innovation will be governed and delivered as part of the outsourcing engagement are not clear for many practitioners, though the evidence from the previous chapters gives a strong steer. Thirdly, many still debate whether the contract is an enabler or an inhibitor of achieving innovation. Fourthly, many practitioners remain unclear whether good relationships are the ‘holy grail’ of innovation, or whether contracts can substitute for ‘relationships,’ making good relationships just another contributing factor.