Offshore outsourcing continues to gain prominence as the printing industry strides into the future. With different segments of the industry looking at reducing costs and, in exchange providing value-added services, more companies turn towards outsourcing services offshore as a solution. Although it is still unclear whether companies stand to gain from outsourcing offshore in the long-term, at present it is believed that sending parts of labor offshore provides companies with the much-needed opportunity to focus on their core businesses in addition to realizing monetary gains. The Premedia segment of the printing industry comprises several different types of work that take place prior to specifying the media used for output. Certain Premedia services are more likely to be outsourced offshore than are others. The main aim of this study is to predict which Premedia tasks and services are more likely to be outsourced, based on an understanding of the nature of the work involved. In their book, The New Division of Labor: How Computers are Creating the Next Job Market, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane (2004) write about the division of labor in today's industries and the kinds of jobs that are considered to be good candidates for offshore outsourcing. They state that rules-based work, which involves minimal complexities and misunderstandings, are the right choice for offshore outsourcing. The objectives of this research are: 1. To analyze the differences between the theory and the practice of outsourcing of Premedia tasks and services. 2. To present Premedia labor division models. These objectives are attained by considering the following research question: Are the types of Premedia work that lend themselves to offshore outsourcing rules based? This is exploratory research which identifies sixty-eight individual tasks in Premedia and categorizes them as fully automated, rules-based, or patterns-based. This is done through a study of relevant literature, observations, and personal judgments. The researcher concludes that, in Premedia, the types of rules-based work that are performed on digital material are theoretically more likely to be outsourced offshore. To support or refute this statement, the researcher conducted two interviews with Premedia services providers in India. The findings are that rules-based work is not the only type of work that is outsourced offshore. The varying levels of complexities associated with different types of work resulted in the researcher being able to predict that, even though rules-based Premedia work performed on digital material is most suited to be outsourced offshore, there is also patterns-based Premedia work that are moderately suited and least suited to be outsourced offshore.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Printing industry--Contracting out; Offshore outsourcing--United States; Printing industry--India; Division of labor

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Print Media (CIAS)


Birkett, Barbara

Advisor/Committee Member

Cummings, Twyla


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: HD2365 .N39 2009


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