Outsourcing maintenance in complex process industries: managing firm capabilities in lock-in effect

Jane Maley, Christian Kowalkowski, Staffan Brege, Sergio Biggemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The aim of the article is to analyze the rationale for choice of suppliers and the influence these decisions have on the firm’s capabilities.Design/methodology/approach - We examine the choice of in-house operations versus buying maintenance in the Swedish mining industry through a qualitative case study approach.Findings - The findings reveal a strong tendency to outsource maintenance.Research limitations/implications - This in turn has a strong influence on the firm’s capabilities and long-term competitive advantage and sustainability.Practical implications - Based on the empirical findings, we comment on the strength and weaknesses of the different outsourcing and attempt to find practical solutions that assist the firm in creating competitive advantage.Originality/value - The unique contribution of this study is that it extends prior firm capabilities studies by investigating the impact of capability loss specifically in complex, intricate maintenance processes in a dynamic industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-825
Number of pages25
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Capabilities
  • Mining industry
  • Outsourcing
  • Resourced-based view


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