Outsourcing

Outsourcing (or contracting out) is often defined as the delegation of non-core operations or jobs from internal production within a business to an external entity (such as a subcontractor) that specializes in that operation. Outsourcing is a business decision that is often made to lower costs or focus on core competences. A related term, offshoring, means transferring work to another country, typically overseas. Offshoring is similar to outsourcing when companies hire overseas subcontractors, but differs when companies transfer work to the same company in another country. Outsourcing became a popular buzzword in business and management in the 1990s. EDS was the first company to establish the outsourcing business.

Overview

Outsourcing is defined as the management and/or day-to-day execution of an entire business function by a third party service provider.

Outsourcing and/or out-tasking involve transferring a significant amount of management control to the supplier. Buying products from another entity is not outsourcing or out-tasking, but merely a vendor relationship. Likewise, buying services from a provider is not necessarily outsourcing or out-tasking. Outsourcing always involves a considerable degree of two-way information exchange, co-ordination, and trust.

Organizations that deliver such services feel that outsourcing requires the turning over of management responsibility for running a segment of business. In theory, this business segment should not be mission-critical, but practice often dictates otherwise. Many companies look to employ expert organizations in the areas targeted for outsourcing. Business segments typically outsourced include Information Technology, Human Resources, Facilities and Real Estate Management and Accounting. Many companies also outsource customer support and call center functions, manufacturing and engineering. Outsourcing business is characterized by expertise not inherent to the core of the client organization.

The overhead costs of customer service are typically less where outsourcing has been used, leading to many companies, from utilities to manufacturers, closing their in-house customer relations departments and outsourcing their customer service to third party call centers. The logical extension of these decisions was of outsourcing labor overseas to countries with lower labor costs, this trend is often referred to as offshoring of customer service.

Due to this demand call centers have sprung up in Canada, China, Eastern Europe, India, Israel, Ireland, Pakistan, Philippines and even the Caribbean. Many companies, most notably Dell and AT&T Wireless, have gained significant negative publicity for their decisions to use non-US labor for customer service and technical support; one of the most prominent complaints being the expectation that the replacement staff will have more trouble communicating with customers.

A related term is out-tasking: turning over a narrowly-defined segment of business to another business, typically on an annual contract, or sometimes a shorter one. This usually involves continued direct or indirect management and decision-making by the client of the out-tasking business.

The term "outsourcing" became more well known largely because of a growth in the number of high-tech companies in the early 1990s that were often not large enough to be able to easily maintain large customer service departments of their own. In some cases these companies hired technical writers to simplify the usage instructions of their products, index the key points of information and contracted with temporary employment agencies to find, train and hire generally low-skilled workers to answer their telephone technical support and customer service calls. These agents generally worked in call centers where the information needed to assist the calling customer was indexed in a computer system. The agents were often not able to tell the customer they did not actually directly work for the original manufacturer. In some cases, the agents are not allowed to even give out their real name.

Outsourcing, Offshoring, and Offshore Outsourcing

Note that “outsourcing”, “offshore outsourcing” and “offshoring” are used interchangeably in public discourse despite important technical differences. To be consistent, “outsourcing”, in corporate context, represents an organizational practice that involves the transfer of an organizational function to a third party. When this third party is located in another country the term “offshore outsourcing” makes more sense. “Offshoring”, in contrast, represents the transfer of an organizational function to another country, regardless of whether the work stays in the corporation or not. In short, “outsourcing” means sharing organizational control with another organization, or a process of establishing network relations within an organizational field. "Offshoring”, on the other hand, represents a relocation of an organizational function to a foreign country, not necessarily a transformation of internal organizational control.

Arguments for Outsourcing

A recent poll of economists by the Wall Street Journal found that only 16 % of them saw outsourcing as having a significant impact on the overall job picture. [1]

One criticism of outsourcing is that product quality suffers. But the outsourcing firm has freedom to move a firm department or division back home if its profits are suffering as a result of poor quality. In fact, many American companies like Dell have moved customer service divisions back to America as a result of poor quality [2]. The decision to outsource is like any other business investment decision in that there is risk. Critics of outsourcing often talk about outsourcing failures without mentioning instances of outsourcing success. The decision to outsource is like the decision to expand a business overseas, to incorporate computer technology, or to hire new workers. If the company does it correctly, it benefits from higher profits. Proponents of outsourcing believe that arguing that outsourcing leads to lower product quality is pointless because if it were true, consumer demand will force firms to shift back to producing the good or service in-firm rather than out-firm. That many large businesses outsource and continue to outsource suggests that in many cases outsourcing is successful in that it increases product quality, lowers costs substantially, or both.

Some economists have argued that outsourcing is a form of technological innovation analogous to machines on a car assembly line. American Motor Company Ford relied heavily on workers in the past to assemble car parts. Today these workers are replaced by machines because they are cheaper in the long run, produce better quality products, or a combination of both (the firm is trying to increase its quality to cost ratio, quality being defined by the consumer and inferred from revenue). Economists argue that machines on the car assembly line must have a higher quality to cost ratio than workers because, if they didn’t, there would be no incentive for the firm to replace workers with machines. Although workers’ jobs were lost from this replacement of workers with machines, the Ford Motor Company made more money by lowering costs (or increasing quality, thereby increasing revenue). Some argue that greater profits to the labor owners lead to higher consumption, which leads to further job creation, allowing those who lost jobs to gain jobs in other sectors of the economy. However, economists do concede that labor is not always perfectly mobile and that some workers may have difficulty getting new jobs. Some economists suggest that government training programs be provided.

A firm's motivation for replacing workers with machines is identical to the motivation for outsourcing, i.e. the firm is trying to maximize the quality of its product given cost (its productivity). Because outsourcing allows for lower costs, even if quality reduces slightly or not at all, productivity increases, which benefits the economy on aggregate.

Economist Thomas Sowell from the University of Chicago said “anything that increases economic efficiency--whether by outsourcing or a hundred other things--is likely to cost somebody's job. The automobile cost the jobs of people who took care of horses or made saddles, carriages, and horseshoes.” [1] Walter Williams, another economist, said “we could probably think of hundreds of jobs that either don't exist or exist in far fewer numbers than in the past--jobs such as elevator operator, TV repairman and coal deliveryman. ‘Creative destruction’ is a discovery process where we find ways to produce goods and services more cheaply. That in turn makes us all richer.” [2]

Professor Drezner reports that for every dollar spent on outsourcing to India, the United States reaps between $1.12 and $1.14 in benefits. [3] Drezner also points out that large software companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have increased outsourcing and used the savings for investment and larger domestic payrolls. Nationally, 70,000 computer programmers lost their jobs between 1999 and 2003, but more than 115,000 computer software engineers found higher-paying jobs during that same period. [3]

Advocates of outsourcing also claim that outsourcing-related fraud is insignificant, averring that such malpractices can occur in any country. For example, 40 million credit card numbers were stolen in June 2005 at CardSystems Solutions in Tucson, Arizona. (See the full story.). In December 2005, nearly 50 people were indicted in connection with a scheme that bilked at least $200,000 from Katrina relief fund at Red Cross claim center in Bakersfield, Calif., which handled calls from storm victims.

Criticisms of Outsourcing

Because "outsourced" workers are not actually paid agents of the company, it has been argued that there is less incentive for the agent to show loyalty or work ethic in its representation of said company. It has been therefore argued that quality levels of customer service and technical support of outsourced tasks are lower than where they have remained 'in-house'.

The 2004 US presidential election race focused on outsourcing to some degree. This debate did not center on problems of declining quality of customer services but on the threat to US jobs and work. Criticism of outsourcing, from the perspective of US citizens, by-and-large, revolves around the costs associated with transferring control of the labor process to an external entity in another country. A Zogby International poll reports that 71% of American voters believe that “outsourcing jobs overseas” hurts the economy and another 62% believe that the US government should impose some legislative action against companies that transfer domestic jobs overseas, possibly in the form of increased taxes on companies that outsource. The poll of over 1,000 Americans was conducted in August 2004 (See Zogby International survey results online at zogby.com).

Outsourcing appears to threaten the livelihood of domestic workers and the American Dream. This is especially true for high-tech workers who were promised the “jobs of tomorrow”- a phrase Bill Clinton iterated in 1994 to justify his conservative position on NAFTA. Outsourcing appears to work contrary to the claim that “free trade” will create the “jobs of tomorrow” in America when high-tech or high paying white collar jobs are transferred to or created in foreign countries. Thus, outsourcing is criticized as it represents a new threat to labor, contributing to rampant worker insecurity, and reflective of the general process of globalization where the United States government fails to mediate business-labor relations in a way conducive to prevailing values that places the American middle class worker as a central priority.

Criticism of outsourcing from the public and media sometimes tend to concentrate on lackluster customer service and technical support being provided by either local workers who are not actually employees of the company, or by overseas workers attempting to communicate with Americans in broken or incomprehensible English. Defenders of outsourcing say if this were true, then companies would experience market forces compelling them to return service and support handling back from the outsourced company. However, service and support are often not considered by customers as part of their original purchases. Customers only experience outsourced service and support after they have spent their money since sales is generally done in-house by the original company. Dealing with lackluster outsourced service is a negative surprise after the money is already spent.

Policy solutions to outsourcing are also criticized. One solution often offered is retraining of domestic workers to new jobs. However, some of these workers are already highly educated and already possess a bachelor's and master's degree. Retraining to their current level in another field may not be an option due to years of study and cost of education involved. There is also little incentive given that the jobs in their new field could also be outsourced as well. Proportions of workers trained for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields fields in developing nations are viewed to outstrip traditional technology leaders such as the U.S. With these traditionally "safe" jobs perceived to be endangered, this raises questions regarding whether origin countries can maintain any comparative advantage given the losses in both low and high-value jobs.

There are also security issues concerning companies giving outside access to sensitive customer information. In April of 2005, a high-profile case involving the theft of $350,000 from four Citibank customers occurred when Indian call center workers in Pune, India, acquired the passwords to customer accounts and transferred the money to their own accounts opened under fictitious names. Citibank did not find out about the problem until the American customers noticed discrepancies with their accounts and notified the bank. (See the full report.)

Outright fraud is also a concern. In 2005, Intel discovered and fired 250 Indian employees after they faked their expense reports. The firings followed from Intel's internal Business Practice Excellence programme of expenses claims. The report concluded that fraudulent practises such as "faking bills to claim your allowances like conveyance [and] drivers’ salaries" were some common malpractices in India. Intel would not put up with such fraud. NASSCOM, which is a forum of IT and ITeS companies, has attempted to address these fraud concerns in India by creating the National Skills Registry. That database contains personal and work-related information, enabling employers to verify a staff member's credentials and allowing police to track the background of workers.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry blasted firms that outsource jobs abroad or that incorporate overseas in tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of US taxes during his unsuccessful 2004 campaign, calling such firms "Benedict Arnold corporations," in reference to the infamous traitor Benedict Arnold.

It is argued a malicious implementation of the Higher Education Role Analysis (HERA) in the UK may force Higher Education administrative and support staff to prematurely retire or seek for new employment in other organisations, thus freeing of staff many departments which could then be effectively outsourced. Outsourcing departments like Accounts, Payroll and Procurement is now common practice, as seen in August 2005 at the University of Portsmouth.

Notes

  1. ^  This view is borne out by a recent study by Richard Freeman at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Washington. He found that in the year 2000, 17 % of university bachelor degrees in the U.S. were in science and engineering compared with a world average of 27 % and 52 % in China. Universities in the European Union granted 40 % more science and engineering doctorates than the United States, with that figure expected to reach nearly 100 % by about 2010 according to Freeman's paper.
  2. 1. ^  “Outsourcing” and “Saving Jobs” by Thomas Sowell
  3. 2. ^  Should we “Save Jobs”? by Walter Williams
  4. 3. ^  "Outsourcing is the Kool" (kOOL PEOPLE)

Literature

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary. 2004. (2nd ed 2005) Outsourcing to India. ISBN 354023943X.


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(2nd ed 2005) Outsourcing to India. ISBN 354023943X. The Ganesha Mantram is sung melodiously several times during a traumatic event. 2004. The movie Garden State begins with an invocation to Ganesha. Mark Kobayashi-Hillary. In Monkeybone, Jumbo the Elephant God is somewhat based on Ganesha. Outsourcing departments like Accounts, Payroll and Procurement is now common practice, as seen in August 2005 at the University of Portsmouth. Related: Janus, Elephant God.

It is argued a malicious implementation of the Higher Education Role Analysis (HERA) in the UK may force Higher Education administrative and support staff to prematurely retire or seek for new employment in other organisations, thus freeing of staff many departments which could then be effectively outsourced. Another much-loved murti is that of Bala Gajanana or Bala Ganesha (literally, little Ganesha or baby Ganesha), in which a very young Ganesha with a small trunk and large eyes is portrayed in the arms of his Divine Parents, or while he is sweetly embracing the Lingam, the symbol of Shiva. presidential candidate John Kerry blasted firms that outsource jobs abroad or that incorporate overseas in tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of US taxes during his unsuccessful 2004 campaign, calling such firms "Benedict Arnold corporations," in reference to the infamous traitor Benedict Arnold. Some of Ganesha's other names are:. Democratic U.S. Needless to say, almost all Hindu gods have one or two accepted versions of their own sahasranaam liturgy. That database contains personal and work-related information, enabling employers to verify a staff member's credentials and allowing police to track the background of workers. Each is different and conveys a different meaning, representing a different aspect of the god in question.

NASSCOM, which is a forum of IT and ITeS companies, has attempted to address these fraud concerns in India by creating the National Skills Registry. Like other Hindu Murti (or gods and goddesses), Ganesh has many other titles of respect or symbolic names, and is often worshipped through the chanting of sahasranamam (pronounced saa-HUS-ruh-naamam), or a thousand names. Intel would not put up with such fraud. Ganesha, in astrology, is believed to help people know what can be achieved and what cannot be. The report concluded that fraudulent practises such as "faking bills to claim your allowances like conveyance [and] drivers’ salaries" were some common malpractices in India. It is believed that he blesses those who meditate upon him. The firings followed from Intel's internal Business Practice Excellence programme of expenses claims. Ganesha is worshipped as Vinayak (knowledgeable) and Vighneshwer (remover of obstacles).

In 2005, Intel discovered and fired 250 Indian employees after they faked their expense reports. Whether it is diwali puja, a new house, a new vehicle, students praying before the exams, or people praying before job interviews, it is Ganesha they pray to, because it is believed that he will come to their aid and grant them success in their endeavor. Outright fraud is also a concern. This is why Ganesh is believed to be the harbinger of good fortune, and why he is invoked first at any ritual or cermony. (See the full report.). It is widely believed that "Wherever there is Ganesh, there is Success and Prosperity" and "Wherever there is Success and Prosperity there is Ganesh". Citibank did not find out about the problem until the American customers noticed discrepancies with their accounts and notified the bank. Ganesha has two Siddhis (symbolically represented as wives or consorts): Siddhi (success) and Riddhi (prosperity).

In April of 2005, a high-profile case involving the theft of $350,000 from four Citibank customers occurred when Indian call center workers in Pune, India, acquired the passwords to customer accounts and transferred the money to their own accounts opened under fictitious names.
. There are also security issues concerning companies giving outside access to sensitive customer information. The book Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles by Manuela Dunn Mascetti is another of many resources that testify to the Hindu milk miracle. With these traditionally "safe" jobs perceived to be endangered, this raises questions regarding whether origin countries can maintain any comparative advantage given the losses in both low and high-value jobs. [3]. Proportions of workers trained for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields fields in developing nations are viewed to outstrip traditional technology leaders such as the U.S. However it still remains a mystery of why such capillary action has not repeated itself.

There is also little incentive given that the jobs in their new field could also be outsourced as well. Some scientific experiments conducted in that time frame suggested capillary action as an explanation for this phenomenon. Retraining to their current level in another field may not be an option due to years of study and cost of education involved. This was seen as a miracle by many although skeptics contend that this was another example of collective hysteria. However, some of these workers are already highly educated and already possess a bachelor's and master's degree. The phenomena spread from New Delhi to New York, Canada, Mauritius, Kenya, Australia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Hong Kong, Trinidad, Grenada and Italy among other reported places. One solution often offered is retraining of domestic workers to new jobs. On September 21 1995, according to Hinduism Today magazine (www.hinduismtoday.com), Ganesh statues in India began spontaneously drinking milk when a spoonful was placed near the mouth of statues honoring the elephant god.

Policy solutions to outsourcing are also criticized. Recently, there has been a resurgence of Ganesha worship and an increased interest in the "Western world" due to a spate of alleged miracles in September 1995. Dealing with lackluster outsourced service is a negative surprise after the money is already spent. The worship of Ganesha in Japan has been traced back to 806. Customers only experience outsourced service and support after they have spent their money since sales is generally done in-house by the original company. For this reason, the immersion of the murtis of Ganesh in nearby holy rivers is undertaken since the murtis are acknowledged to be only temporal understandings of a higher being as opposed to being 'idols,' which have traditionally been seen as objects worshipped for their own sake as divine. However, service and support are often not considered by customers as part of their original purchases. Thus, to refer to the murtis as idols betrays Western Judeo-Christian understandings of insubstantial object worship whereas in India, Hindu deities are seen to be accessed through points of symbolic focus known as murtis.

Defenders of outsourcing say if this were true, then companies would experience market forces compelling them to return service and support handling back from the outsourced company. Ganesh is seen not as a physical entity but a higher spiritual being, and murtis, or statue-representations, act as signifiers of him as an ideal. Criticism of outsourcing from the public and media sometimes tend to concentrate on lackluster customer service and technical support being provided by either local workers who are not actually employees of the company, or by overseas workers attempting to communicate with Americans in broken or incomprehensible English. In India, the statues are impressions of symbolic significance and thus have never been claimed to be exact replications of a living figure. Thus, outsourcing is criticized as it represents a new threat to labor, contributing to rampant worker insecurity, and reflective of the general process of globalization where the United States government fails to mediate business-labor relations in a way conducive to prevailing values that places the American middle class worker as a central priority. Representations of Shri Ganesh are based on thousands of years of religious symbolism that resulted in the figure of an elephant-head god. Outsourcing appears to work contrary to the claim that “free trade” will create the “jobs of tomorrow” in America when high-tech or high paying white collar jobs are transferred to or created in foreign countries. For more details regarding Lalbaugcha Raja please log on the official site http://www.lalbaugcharaja.com/.

This is especially true for high-tech workers who were promised the “jobs of tomorrow”- a phrase Bill Clinton iterated in 1994 to justify his conservative position on NAFTA. Day by day the number of devotees for Lalbaugcha Raja has been increasing infinitely. Outsourcing appears to threaten the livelihood of domestic workers and the American Dream. All devotees from every corner of the globe gather at Lalbaug for the festival. The poll of over 1,000 Americans was conducted in August 2004 (See Zogby International survey results online at zogby.com). It is widely believed that every wish one expresses to Lord Ganesha must come true. A Zogby International poll reports that 71% of American voters believe that “outsourcing jobs overseas” hurts the economy and another 62% believe that the US government should impose some legislative action against companies that transfer domestic jobs overseas, possibly in the form of increased taxes on companies that outsource. The Ganesha festival starts on Ganesh Chaturthi (fourth day of Hindu calendar month Bhadrapada) and ends on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of Bhadrapada).

Criticism of outsourcing, from the perspective of US citizens, by-and-large, revolves around the costs associated with transferring control of the labor process to an external entity in another country. Particularly at Lalbaug where the divine idol of Lalbaugcha raja (The Lord Of Lalbaug, as Ganesha is fondly called) is set. This debate did not center on problems of declining quality of customer services but on the threat to US jobs and work. One who really wants to taste the festival needs to come down to the city of Mumbai. The 2004 US presidential election race focused on outsourcing to some degree. In various North and East Indian cities, like Kolkata, they are immersed in the holy Ganga river. It has been therefore argued that quality levels of customer service and technical support of outsourced tasks are lower than where they have remained 'in-house'. In Mumbai (earlier known as Bombay), the murti is immersed in the Arabian Sea and in Pune the Mula-Mutha river.

Because "outsourced" workers are not actually paid agents of the company, it has been argued that there is less incentive for the agent to show loyalty or work ethic in its representation of said company. This festival is celebrated and it culminates on the day of Ananta Chaturdashi when the murti of Lord Ganesha is immersed into the most convenient body of water. In December 2005, nearly 50 people were indicted in connection with a scheme that bilked at least $200,000 from Katrina relief fund at Red Cross claim center in Bakersfield, Calif., which handled calls from storm victims. This was introduced by Balgangadhar Tilak as a means of promoting nationalist sentiment when India was ruled by the British. (See the full story.). It is celebrated for ten days starting from Ganesh Chaturthi. For example, 40 million credit card numbers were stolen in June 2005 at CardSystems Solutions in Tucson, Arizona. While it is most popular in the state of Maharashtra, it is performed all over India.

Advocates of outsourcing also claim that outsourcing-related fraud is insignificant, averring that such malpractices can occur in any country. In India, there is an important festival honouring Lord Ganesha. [3]. That's how he remained a brahmachari, a life-long celibate, following the strict rules of Brahmacharya. Nationally, 70,000 computer programmers lost their jobs between 1999 and 2003, but more than 115,000 computer software engineers found higher-paying jobs during that same period. He decided not to marry. [3] Drezner also points out that large software companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have increased outsourcing and used the savings for investment and larger domestic payrolls. Ganesha realised that all women were veritable manifestations of his Mother.

Professor Drezner reports that for every dollar spent on outsourcing to India, the United States reaps between $1.12 and $1.14 in benefits. When he wounded the cat she was hurt. That in turn makes us all richer.” [2]. Parvati explained that She as Divine Power was immanent in all beings. ‘Creative destruction’ is a discovery process where we find ways to produce goods and services more cheaply. Mother Parvati replied that this was caused by none other than Ganesha himself! Surprised Ganesha wanted to know when did he hurt her. The automobile cost the jobs of people who took care of horses or made saddles, carriages, and horseshoes.” [1] Walter Williams, another economist, said “we could probably think of hundreds of jobs that either don't exist or exist in far fewer numbers than in the past--jobs such as elevator operator, TV repairman and coal deliveryman. He enquired how she got hurt.

Economist Thomas Sowell from the University of Chicago said “anything that increases economic efficiency--whether by outsourcing or a hundred other things--is likely to cost somebody's job. When he returned home he found a wound in his Mother's body. Because outsourcing allows for lower costs, even if quality reduces slightly or not at all, productivity increases, which benefits the economy on aggregate. While playing, once, Ganesha wounded a cat. the firm is trying to maximize the quality of its product given cost (its productivity). When asked why he did so, he answered that to him, his parents meant the three worlds and was given the fruit of knowledge. A firm's motivation for replacing workers with machines is identical to the motivation for outsourcing, i.e. Karthikeya went off on a journey to cover the three worlds while Ganesha simply circumambulated his parents.

Some economists suggest that government training programs be provided. Once there was a competition between Ganesha and his brother Karthikeya as to who could circumambulate the three worlds faster and hence win the fruit of knowledge. However, economists do concede that labor is not always perfectly mobile and that some workers may have difficulty getting new jobs. With that, Ganesha was finally satisfied and calmed. Some argue that greater profits to the labor owners lead to higher consumption, which leads to further job creation, allowing those who lost jobs to gain jobs in other sectors of the economy. Ganesha had swallowed up almost the entire city when Kubera finally arrived and humbly gave him the rice. Although workers’ jobs were lost from this replacement of workers with machines, the Ford Motor Company made more money by lowering costs (or increasing quality, thereby increasing revenue). The Lord then gave him a handful of roasted rice, saying that only that would satiate Ganesha.

Economists argue that machines on the car assembly line must have a higher quality to cost ratio than workers because, if they didn’t, there would be no incentive for the firm to replace workers with machines. Desperate, Kubera rushed to mount Kailasa to ask Shiva to remedy the situation. Today these workers are replaced by machines because they are cheaper in the long run, produce better quality products, or a combination of both (the firm is trying to increase its quality to cost ratio, quality being defined by the consumer and inferred from revenue). If you don't give me something else to eat, I will eat you as well!", he said to Kubera. American Motor Company Ford relied heavily on workers in the past to assemble car parts. "I am hungry. Some economists have argued that outsourcing is a form of technological innovation analogous to machines on a car assembly line. Terrified, Kubera prostrated himself in front of the little omnivorous one and supplicated him to spare him, at least, the rest of the palace.

That many large businesses outsource and continue to outsource suggests that in many cases outsourcing is successful in that it increases product quality, lowers costs substantially, or both. Having devoured everything which had been prepared, Ganesha began eating the decorations, the tableware, the furniture, the chandelier... Proponents of outsourcing believe that arguing that outsourcing leads to lower product quality is pointless because if it were true, consumer demand will force firms to shift back to producing the good or service in-firm rather than out-firm. There was not even time to substitute one plate with another because Ganesha had already devoured everything, and with gests of impatience, continued waiting for more food. If the company does it correctly, it benefits from higher profits. His appetite did not decrease even after he had devoured the servings which were destined for the other guests. The decision to outsource is like the decision to expand a business overseas, to incorporate computer technology, or to hire new workers. While the servants of Kubera were working themselves to the bone in order to bring the portions, the little Ganesha just continued to eat and eat and eat...

Critics of outsourcing often talk about outsourcing failures without mentioning instances of outsourcing success. After these initial rites, the great banquet began. The decision to outsource is like any other business investment decision in that there is risk. There, he offered him a ceremonial bath and dressed him in sumptuous clothing. In fact, many American companies like Dell have moved customer service divisions back to America as a result of poor quality [2]. He took the little son of Shiva with him into his great city. But the outsourcing firm has freedom to move a firm department or division back home if its profits are suffering as a result of poor quality. But I warn you that he is a voracious eater." Unperturbed, Kubera felt confident that he could satisfy even the most insatiable appetite, like that of Ganesha, with his opulence.

One criticism of outsourcing is that product quality suffers. Shiva smiled and said to him: "I cannot come, but you can invite my son Ganesha. [1]. Since he was extremely vain, he invited Shiva to a feast in his fabulous city, Alakapuri, so that he could show off to him all of his wealth. A recent poll of economists by the Wall Street Journal found that only 16 % of them saw outsourcing as having a significant impact on the overall job picture. One anecdote, taken from the Purana, narrates that the treasurer of Svarga (paradise) and god of wealth, Kubera, went one day to mount Kailasa in order to receive the darshan (vision) of Shiva. "Offshoring”, on the other hand, represents a relocation of an organizational function to a foreign country, not necessarily a transformation of internal organizational control. Ganesha is also known as the destroyer of vanity, egoism and pride.

In short, “outsourcing” means sharing organizational control with another organization, or a process of establishing network relations within an organizational field. Shiva, satisfied with this response, pronouned his son the winner and, from that moment on, he was acclaimed with the name of Ganapati (Conductor of the celestial armies) and Vinayaka (Lord of all beings). “Offshoring”, in contrast, represents the transfer of an organizational function to another country, regardless of whether the work stays in the corporation or not. Ganesha told him of his encounter with Narada and of the Brahmin's counsel. When this third party is located in another country the term “offshore outsourcing” makes more sense. Ganesha returned to his father, who asked him how he was able to finish the race so quickly. To be consistent, “outsourcing”, in corporate context, represents an organizational practice that involves the transfer of an organizational function to a third party. Narada consoled him, exhorting him not to despair, and gave him a word of counsel:.

Note that “outsourcing”, “offshore outsourcing” and “offshoring” are used interchangeably in public discourse despite important technical differences. The son of Shiva explained to him the motives for his sadness and his terrible desire to win. In some cases, the agents are not allowed to even give out their real name. Nonetheless, the great Brahmin succeeded in calming his fury. The agents were often not able to tell the customer they did not actually directly work for the original manufacturer. Moreover, it wasn't considered a good sign to be asked where one was heading when one was already on the way to some destination; therefore, Ganesha felt doubly unfortunate. These agents generally worked in call centers where the information needed to assist the calling customer was indexed in a computer system. Notwithstanding the fact that Narada was the greatest of Brahmins, son of Brahma himself, this was still a bad omen.

In some cases these companies hired technical writers to simplify the usage instructions of their products, index the key points of information and contracted with temporary employment agencies to find, train and hire generally low-skilled workers to answer their telephone technical support and customer service calls. Ganesha was very annoyed and went into a rage because it was considered unlucky to encounter a solitary Brahmin just at the beginning of a voyage. The term "outsourcing" became more well known largely because of a growth in the number of high-tech companies in the early 1990s that were often not large enough to be able to easily maintain large customer service departments of their own. He had not yet made much headway when there appeared before him the sage Narada (son of Brahma), who asked him where he was going. This usually involves continued direct or indirect management and decision-making by the client of the out-tasking business. The gods took off, each on his or her own vehicle, and even Ganesha participated with enthusiasm in the race; but he was extremely heavy and was riding on a mouse! Naturally, his pace was remarkably slow and this was a great disadvantage. A related term is out-tasking: turning over a narrowly-defined segment of business to another business, typically on an annual contract, or sometimes a shorter one. The competitors were required to circle the world as fast as possible and return to the Feet of Shiva.

Many companies, most notably Dell and AT&T Wireless, have gained significant negative publicity for their decisions to use non-US labor for customer service and technical support; one of the most prominent complaints being the expectation that the replacement staff will have more trouble communicating with customers. There once took place a great competition between the Devas to decide who among them should be the head of the Gana (the troops of semi-gods at the service of Shiva). Due to this demand call centers have sprung up in Canada, China, Eastern Europe, India, Israel, Ireland, Pakistan, Philippines and even the Caribbean. This explains why, in certain moments, the light of the Moon goes off and then begins gradually to reappaer; but its face appears whole only for a brief period of time, since it is once again "broken" in half to the point of disappearing. The logical extension of these decisions was of outsourcing labor overseas to countries with lower labor costs, this trend is often referred to as offshoring of customer service. Ganesha softened his curse such that the moon would wax and wane in intensity every fifteen days and anyone who looks at the moon during Ganesh Chaturthi would incur bad-luck. The overhead costs of customer service are typically less where outsourcing has been used, leading to many companies, from utilities to manufacturers, closing their in-house customer relations departments and outsourcing their customer service to third party call centers. Ganesha relented and since a curse cannot be revoked, only softened it.

Outsourcing business is characterized by expertise not inherent to the core of the client organization. Hearing this, Chandradev realised his folly and asked for forgiveness from Ganesha. Many companies also outsource customer support and call center functions, manufacturing and engineering. He then cursed it, decreeing that anyone who happens to see the moon will incur bad luck. Business segments typically outsourced include Information Technology, Human Resources, Facilities and Real Estate Management and Accounting. Ganesha, being the short-tempered one, cursed Chandradev for his arrogance and breaking off one of his tusks, hurled it against the Moon, slashing its luminous face in two. Many companies look to employ expert organizations in the areas targeted for outsourcing. Chandradev (Moon God) saw the whole scene and laughed.

In theory, this business segment should not be mission-critical, but practice often dictates otherwise. Satisfied by this solution, he remounted his mouse and continued his excursion. Organizations that deliver such services feel that outsourcing requires the turning over of management responsibility for running a segment of business. He took the serpent which had caused the accident and used it as a belt to keep his stomach closed and bandage the injury. Outsourcing always involves a considerable degree of two-way information exchange, co-ordination, and trust. Nonetheless, he was too intelligent to get angry about this accident and, without wasting any time in useless lamentations, he tried to remedy the situation as best he could. Likewise, buying services from a provider is not necessarily outsourcing or out-tasking. Ganesha's huge stomach smashed against the ground so forefully that it burst open and all of the sweets that he had eaten were scattered around him.

Buying products from another entity is not outsourcing or out-tasking, but merely a vendor relationship. Suddenly a snake appeared out of nowhere and nearly frightened the mouse to death, causing it to jump and Ganesha was thrown off his mount. Outsourcing and/or out-tasking involve transferring a significant amount of management control to the supplier. It was a magnificent night and the moon was resplendent. Outsourcing is defined as the management and/or day-to-day execution of an entire business function by a third party service provider. He got on the mouse which he used as his vehicle and took off. . It is said that one day Ganesha, after having received from many of his devotees an enormous amount of sweets (Modak), in order to better digest this incredible mass of food, decided to go for a ride.

EDS was the first company to establish the outsourcing business. Parashurama hurled himself at Ganesha with his axe and Ganesha (knowing that this axe was given to him by Shiva) allowed himself to be struck and lost his tusk as a result. Outsourcing became a popular buzzword in business and management in the 1990s. One day Parashurama, an avatar of Vishnu, went to pay a visit to Shiva, but along the way he was blocked by Ganesha. Offshoring is similar to outsourcing when companies hire overseas subcontractors, but differs when companies transfer work to the same company in another country. He broke off a tusk and used it as a pen so that the transcription could proceed without interruption, permitting him to keep his word.[2]. A related term, offshoring, means transferring work to another country, typically overseas. The dictation began, but in the rush of writing Ganesha's pen broke.

Outsourcing is a business decision that is often made to lower costs or focus on core competences. In this way, Vyasa might recuperate a bit from his continuous talking by simply reciting a difficult verse which Ganesha could not understand. Outsourcing (or contracting out) is often defined as the delegation of non-core operations or jobs from internal production within a business to an external entity (such as a subcontractor) that specializes in that operation. The sage, in his turn, posed the condition that Ganesha would not only have to write, but would have to understand everything that he heard before writing it down. ^  "Outsourcing is the Kool" (kOOL PEOPLE). Ganesha agreed, but only on the condition that Vyasa recite the poem uninterruptedly, without pausing. 3. In the first part of the epic poem Mahabharata, it is written that the sage Vyasa asked Ganesha to transcribe the poem as he dictated it to him.

^  Should we “Save Jobs”? by Walter Williams. There are various anecdotes which explain how Ganesha broke off one of his tusks. 2. The river goddess Ganga claimed him as her son, but Shiva declared him to be Parvati's son, reduced his five heads to one and enthroned him as the Controller of obstacles (Vigneshwara). ^  “Outsourcing” and “Saving Jobs” by Thomas Sowell. Still another tale states that on one occasion, the used bath-water of Parvati was thrown into the Ganges and this water was drunk by the elephant-headed Goddess Malini, who gave birth to a baby with four arms and five elephant heads. 1. When this happened, the head of Indra's elephant was used to replace it.

Universities in the European Union granted 40 % more science and engineering doctorates than the United States, with that figure expected to reach nearly 100 % by about 2010 according to Freeman's paper. Kashyap cursed Shiva and declared that Shiva's son would lose his head. were in science and engineering compared with a world average of 27 % and 52 % in China. Shiva however restored life to the dead boy, but this could not pacify the outraged sage Kashyapa, who was one of the seven great Rishis. He found that in the year 2000, 17 % of university bachelor degrees in the U.S. Another tale of Ganesha's birth relates to an incident in which Shiva slew Aditya, the son of a sage. ^  This view is borne out by a recent study by Richard Freeman at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Washington. The infant was named Ganesha and all the Gods blessed Ganesha and wished Him power and prosperity.

The head of the elephant was joined with the headless body of Parvati's son, thus reviving him. Seeing Shiva and Parvati grief stricken, Vishnu mounted on Garuda, his divine eagle, and rushed to the banks of the Pushpa-Bhadra river, from where he brought back the head of a young elephant. However Parvati insisted that he look at the baby, which Shani did, and immediately the infant's head fell off and flew to Goloka. However Shani, the son of Surya, hesitated to look at the baby since Shani's gaze is said to be harmful.

This event was celebrated with great enthusiasm and all the gods were invited to take a look at the baby. Accordingly, Krishna was born to Parvati as a charming infant. Lord Krishna, after the completion of the sacrifice, announced that he would incarnate himself as her son in every kalpa (eon). On the insistence of Shiva, Parvati fasted for a year (punyaka vrata) to propitiate Vishnu so that he would grant her a son.

A less well-known story from the Brahma Vaivarta Purana narrates a different version of Ganesha's birth. This is the result of the gift of Shiva to Gajasura. From then on, in India, the tradition is that any action, in order to prosper, must begin with the adoration of Ganesha. The musical Vishnua responded: "Can you give me that which I ask?" Gajasura replied: "Who do you take me for? I can immediately give you whatever you ask." The flautist then said: "If that's so, liberate Shiva from your stomach." Gajasura understood then that this must have been no other than Vishnu himself, the only one who could have known that secret and he threw himself at his feet and, having liberated Shiva, he asked him for one last gift: "I have been blessed by you with many gifts; my last request is that everyone remember me adoring my head when I am dead." Shiva then brought his own son there and substitued his head with that of Gajasura.

The enchanting performance of the bull sent the demon into ecstasies and he asked the flautist to tell him what he desired. He trasformed Nandi (the bull of Shiva) into a dancing bull and conducted him in front of Gajasura, assuming, at the same time, the apperance of a flautist. Then Vishnu, the omniscient director of the cosmic game, staged a small comedy. I will find out what has happened.".

He, who knows everything, reassured her: "Don't worry, dear sister, your husband is Bhola Shankara and promptly grants to his devotees whatever they ask of him, without regard for the consequences; for this reason, I think he has gotten himself into some trouble. As a last recourse, she went to her brother Vishnu, asking him to find her husband. It was for this reason that Parvati, his wife, sought him everywhere without results. In fact, Shiva is also known as Bhola Shankara because he is a deity easily propitiated; when he is satisfied with a devotee he grants him whatever he desires, and this, from time to time, generates particularly intricate situations.

Shiva granted even this request and he took up residence in the demon's stomach. The demon responded: "I desire that You inhabit my stomach.". Gajasura continued his penitence and Shiva, who appeared in front of him from time to time, asked him once again what he desired. The Lord granted him his request.

The demon wished that he could emanate fire continually from his own body so that no one could ever dare to approach him. Shiva, satisfied by this austerity, decided to grant him, as a reward, whatever gift he desired. Another story regarding the origins of Ganesha and his elephant head narrates that, once, there existed an Asura (demon) with all the characteristics of an elephant, called Gajasura, who was undergoing a penitence (or tapas). From then on, he was called Ganapathi, or head of the celestial armies and was to be worshipped by everyone before beginning any activity.

They found an elephant which slept in this manner and decapitated it, attaching the elephant's head to Ganesha's body and bringing him back to life. Shiva then sent his celestial armies (Gana) to find and and take the head of whatever creature they happened to find asleep with its head facing north. As a last resort, Shiva approached Brahma who suggested that he replace Ganesha's head with the first living being that came his way which lay with its head facing north, which happened to be an elephant. All attempts to find the head were in vain.

But, unfortunately, Shiva's Trishul was so powerful that it had hurled Ganesha's head very far off. She demanded that Shiva restore Ganesha's life at once. When Parvati came out and saw her son's lifeless body she was very angry and sad. At last he severed Ganesha's head with his Trishul (trident).

Shiva lost his patience and had a fierce battle with Ganesha. But Ganesha would not hear any other person's word other than his dear mother's. He told Ganesha that he was Parvati's husband and he demanded Ganesha to let him go in. Shiva was infuriated at this strange little boy who dared to challenge him.

After a while Shiva returned from outside and as he tried to enter the house, Ganesha stopped him. Parvati ordered Ganesha not to allow anyone to enter the house and Ganesha obediently followed his mother's orders. Hence she created a boy's idol out of turmeric paste which she prepared to cleanse her body (Turmeric was used for its anti-septic and cooling properties) and infused life into it, and thus Ganesha was born. Once, while his mother Parvati wanted to bathe, there were no attendants around to guard her and stop anyone from accidentally entering the house.

The most well-known story is probably the one taken from the Shiva Purana. And many of the these same stories reveal the origins of the enormous popularity of his cult. The highly articulated mythology of Hinduism presents many stories which explain the manner in which Ganesha obtained his elephant head; often the origin of this particular attribute is to be found in the same anecdotes which tell about his birth. In other depictions, his consorts are Sarasvati (goddess of culture and art) and Lakshmi (goddess of luck and prosperity), symbolizing that these qualities always accompany he who has discovered his own internal divinity.

In the north of India, on the other hand, Ganesha is often portrayed as married to the two daughters of Brahma: Buddhi (intellect) and Siddhi (spiritual power). It is said that Ganesha, believing his mother to be the most beautiful and perfect woman in the universe, exclaimed: "Bring me a woman as beautiful as she and I will marry her.". This devotion is the reason that the traditions of southern India represent him as celibate (see the anecdote Devotion to his mother). Consequently, the relationship of Ganesha and his mother is unique and special.

So Ganesha was born out of the exclusively female desire of Parvati to procreate. Shiva, in fact, being eternal (Sadashiva), did not feel any need to have children. It is interesting to note how, according to tradition, Ganesha was generated by his mother Parvati without the intervention of her husband Shiva. This represents the mind which has been completely subordinated to the superior faculty of the intellect, the mind under strict supervision, which fixes Ganesha and does not approach the food unless it has permission.

Moreover, the mouse (extremely voracious by nature) is often depicted next to a plate of sweets with his eyes turned toward Ganesha while he tightly holds on to a morsel of food between his paws, as if expecting an order from Ganesha. Ganesha, riding atop the mouse, becomes the master (and not the slave) of these tendencies, indicating the power that the intellect and the discriminative faculties have over the mind. Yet another interpretation says that the mouse (Mushika or Akhu) represents the ego, the mind with all of its desires, and the pride of the individual. However, it was once traditional in Maharashtrian art to depict Mooshak as a very large mouse, and for Ganesha to be mounted on him like a horse.

The Mooshak is usually depicted as very small in relation to Ganesha, in contrast to the depictions of vehicles of other deities. Both Ganesha and the Mooshak love modaka, which is traditionally offered to them both during worship ceremonies. As the vehicle of Lord Ganesha, a mouse teaches us to remain always on alert and illuminate our inner-self with the light of knowledge. Thus it is also a symbol of ignorance that is dominant in darkness and fears light and knowledge.

A mouse leads a clandestine life below the ground. It symbolizes minute investigation of a cryptic subject.
According to one interpretation, Ganesha's divine vehicle, the mouse or mooshikam represents wisdom, talent and intelligence. There are various anecdotes which explain the origins of this particular attribute (see section How did Ganesha's tusk break off?).

However, there are many other meanings that have been associated with this symbol. The broken tusk of Ganesha, as described above, stands primarily for his ability to overcome or "break through" the illusions of duality. Moreover, in the Tamil language, the sacred syllable is indicated precisely by a character which recalls the shape of the elephant's head of Ganesha. For this reason, Ganesha is considered the bodily incarnation of the entire Cosmos, He who is at the base of all of the phenomenal world (Vishvadhara, Jagadoddhara).

In fact, the shape of his body is a copy of the outline of the Sanskrit letter which indicates the celebrated Bija Mantra. Ganesha is also defined as Omkara or Aumkara, that is "having the form of Om (or Aum) (see the section The names of Ganesha). Every element of the body of Ganesha has its own value and its own significance:. Moreover, Ganesha is associated with the first chakra (wheel), which represents the instinct of conservation and survival, of procreation and material well-being.

Throughout India and the Hindu culture, Lord Ganesha is the first idol placed into any new home or abode. It is also for this reason that, traditionally, all sessions of bhajan (devotional chanting) begin with an invocation of Ganesha, Lord of the "good beginnings" of chants. traveling, taking an examination, conducting a business affair, a job interview, performing a ceremony,) with such incantations as Aum Shri Ganeshaya Namah (hail the name of Ganesha), or similar. It is for this reason that his grace is invoked before the undertaking of any task (e.g.

In general terms, Ganesha is a much beloved and frequently invoked divinity, since he is the Lord of Good Fortune who provides prosperity and fortune and also the Destroyer of Obstacles of a material or spiritual order. All of them individually and collectively have deep symbolic significance. Four animals, man, elephant, the serpent and the mouse have contributed to the makeup of his figure. The image of Ganesha is a composite one.

Some figures may be seen with six, some with eight, some with ten, some with twelve and some with fourteen hands, each hand carrying a symbol which differs from the symbols in other hands, there being about fifty-seven symbols in all, according to some scholars. Hence, Ganesha figures are most commonly seen with four hands which signify their divinity. According to the strict rules of Hindu iconography, Ganesha figures with only two hands are taboo. In the Vedas one can also find one of the most important and commonly chanted prayers to Ganesha, in the part which constitutes the beginning of the Ganapati Prarthana:.

[1] This Vedic Hymn also contains one of the most famous mantras associated with this divinity: Om Gam Ganapataye Namah (literally, I surrender myself to You, Lord of the hosts).. A description of all of the characteristics and attributes of Ganesha can be found in the Ganapati Upanishad (an Upanishad dedicated to Ganesha) of the rishi Atharva, in which Ganesha is identified with Brahman and Atman. He also symbolizes the discriminative capacities which provide the ability to perceive distinctions between truth and illusion, the real and the unreal. He represents the perfect equilibrium between male and female energies (Shiva and Shakti), between force and kindness and between power and beauty.

Ganesha, in fact, is the symbol of he who has discovered the Divinity within himself. As is the case with every other external form with which Hinduism represents god, in the sense of the personal appearance of Brahman (also referred to as Ishvara, the Lord), the figure of Ganesha too is an archetype loaded with multiple meanings and symbolism which expresses a state of perfection as well as the the means of obtaining it. . His devotees are called Ganapatya.

The cult of Ganesha is widely diffused, even outside of India. Typically, his name is prefixed with the Hindu title of respect, 'Shree'. He is frequently represented sitting down, with one leg raised in the air and bent over the other. He is depicted as a big-bellied yellow or red god with four arms and the head of a one-tusked elephant, riding on, or attended to by, a mouse.

Ganesha is thus considered the master of intellect and wisdom. 'Ga' symbolizes Buddhi (intellect) and 'Na' symbolizes Vijnana (wisdom). Vinayagar (in Tamil) and Vinayakudu in Telugu. He is also called Vinayaka in Marathi, Malayalam and Kannada.

He is the first born son of Shiva and Parvati, and the husband of Bharati, Riddhi and Siddhi. In Hinduism, Ganesha (Sanskrit: गणेश or श्रीगणेश (when used to distinguish lordly status) (or "lord of the hosts," also spelled as Ganesa and Ganesh, sometimes also referred to as Ganapati) is one of the most well-known and venerated representations of god. the god Tyr in Nordic mythology). the other Indoeuropean traditions in which a mutilation is the consequence of keeping one's word (e.g.

^ Cfr. ^  Contrary to popular opinion, early Vedic Hinduism was neither polytheist nor monotheist, but is more properly identified as a henotheist religion: the different manifestations and forms of god (among which are the Avatars and the Devas) are considered to be infinite emanations of Brahman (the impersonal and founding principle of all reality from which all worlds and beings derive) created in order to render Brahman itself accessible to man. the fourth hand holds a lotus flower (padma), and it symbolizes the highest goal of human evolution, the sweetness of the realised inner self. The third hand, turned towards the devotee, is in a pose of blessing, refuge and protection (abhaya);.

The whip conveys that worldly attachments and desires should be rid of;. The second hand holds a whip, symbol of the force that ties the devout person to the eternal beatitude of God. The axe is also to prod man to the path of righteousness and truth;. With this axe Ganesha can both strike and repel obstacles.

The hand waving an axe, is a symbol of the retrenchment of all desires, bearers of pain and suffering. Lord Ganesha represents the pure consciousness - the Atman - which enables these four attributes to function in us;

    . The four arms of Ganesha represent the four inner attributes of the subtle body, that is: mind (Manas), intellect (Buddhi), ego (Ahamkara), and conditioned conscience (Chitta). the position of his legs (one resting on the ground and one raised) indicate the importance of living and participating in the material world as well as in the spiritual world, the ability to live in the world without being of the world.

    It signifies the bounty of nature and equanimity, the ability of Ganesha to swallow the sorrows of the Universe and protect the world;. Ganesha’s pot belly contains infinite universes. on the forehead, the Trishul (weapon of Shiva, similar to Trident) is depicted, symbolising time (past, present and future) and Ganesha's mastery over it;. the curved trunk indicates the intellectual potentialities which manifest themselves in the faculty of discrimination between real and unreal;.

    The large ears indicate that when God is known, all knowledge is known;. Ears are used to gain knowledge. They signify the importance of listening in order to assimilate ideas. The wide ears denote wisdom, ability to listen to people who seek help and to reflect on spiritual truths.

    The fact that he has a single tusk (the other being broken off) indicates Ganesha’s ability to overcome all forms of dualism;. The elephant head indicates fidelity, intelligence and discriminative power;.

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