In-house capability and supply chain decisions

Kashi R. Balachandran, Hsiao Wen Wang, Shu Hsing Li, Taychang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study considers an internal production option for a contractor and analyzes its effect on the supply chain decisions when the contractor has innovated and the subcontractor has an incentive for opportunistic behavior. In contrast to the single disclosure threshold in the benchmark scenario where the contractor lacks in-house capability, we find two thresholds in the referred scenario. When information misappropriation is possible and the contractor has in-house capability, the contractor will organize a coordinated supply chain only when innovations fall between the two thresholds. Compared to the benchmark scenario, in-house capability has a positive effect on the contractor's incentive to innovate and an ambiguous effect on the subcontractor's incentive to invest in the production process. When the contractor needs to incur an extra cost to build in-house capability, the contractor keeps the same levels of investment compared to the case of no additional in-house capability cost, whereas the subcontractor increases the levels of investment. Furthermore, we find that in the presence of potential misappropriation on the part of the subcontractor, the higher the level of in-house capability, the less likely the contractor will be to outsource innovative products that generate higher profitability. This study can explain why firms strategically outsource low-end products and produce high-end products themselves. This study provides new results on the effects of in-house capability on the strategic interactions of parties in supply chains and, hence, on supply chain efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-484
Number of pages12
JournalOmega (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Coordinated supply chains
  • Game theory
  • In-house capability
  • Information sharing
  • Misappropriation
  • Outsourcing


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