Manufacturing offshoring and reshoring in Poland. Evidence from the fashion and electromechanical meta-sectors
Keywords:reshoring, offshoring, relocation of the second degree, Poland, manufacturing
After decades of offshoring, in recent years, companies have sometimes revised their location decisions implementing one of the three alternatives of the so-called ?relocations of the second degree?. More specifically, they have relocated manufacturing activities either in their home country (back-shoring), in their home region (near-shoring), or in a further away location (further offshoring). While offshoring and relocations of the second degree have been heavily analysed in US and Western European countries, there is no evidence regarding companies in Central and Eastern Europe. This paper focuses on Polish companies belonging to the fashion and electromechanical meta-sectors. More specifically, it investigates the relocation of both manufacturing and supply activities. Based on 602 questionnaires collected during 2020-2021, it emerges that Polish companies rarely offshored their production activities in both the investigated industries. This is mainly explained by concerns in terms of reduced responsiveness, higher coordination and quality appraisal costs, and patriotism. Finally, some differences emerged in terms of geographical location between the two meta-sectors, inducing speculation that fashion companies were mainly boosted by efficiency-seeking aims, while electro-mechanical companies by market-seeking aims. Due to scant evidence of offshoring strategies, relocations of the second degree are very few. However, differences emerge between the two investigated meta-sectors. More specifically, when considering ?relocations of the second degree?, fashion companies preferred to back-shore, while electromechanical companies decided to relocate to a second host country.
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