Rethinking outsourcing in a de- (re-) globalised economy

Presented by Professor Ian Taplin, Wake Forest University, USA.

Register Here


Since Covid, many firms have struggled to reconfigure their supply chains since they found themselves short of parts and/or component prices rose significantly. There has also been growing concern about geo-political issues, especially around China’s policy vacillations around lockdowns and the war in Ukraine. Consequently, many firms have sought to move onshore with production, but this has faced labour shortages and inadequate workforce-skill capabilities. Added to the confusion have been government policies around subsidies and tariff barriers, both of which create strategic uncertainty for firms. I analyse these trends by examining different industries, several with low value-added production relying upon emerging markets sites and those with niche, non-easily replicable production, often in high-wage economies. In the former continued downward pressure on prices has caused firms to switch locations as well as be cognizant of consumer activism in their home markets. For higher value-added products, a shift to experiments with inventory management and onshoring is occurring.


Ian Malcolm Taplin is a Professor of Sociology, Management and International Studies at Wake Forest University and Visiting Professor at Kedge Business School, Bordeaux where he has taught Business Strategy in the Wine MBA programme. At Wake Forest he teaches courses on Business and Society, Global Capitalism and Technology, Culture and Change. His research interests are widespread and include books on the history of the North Carolina wine industry (The Modern American Wine Industry: Market Formation and Growth in North Carolina, Pickering and Chatto, 2011), the growth of luxury goods (The Evolution of Luxury, Taylor and Francis, 2020) and iconic wines in Napa Valley (The Napa Valley Wine Industry, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2021). Educated at Oxford College of Architecture, University of York (BA), University of Leicester (M.Phil) and Brown University (PhD) his background is in historical Social Science.

To get notifications about these and other events, please join the CERIC mailing list by emailing

Follow us on Twitter @CERIC_LUBS