Understanding the current wave in globalisation: the segmented outcomes of offshore service development in Mumbai and Manila


Contemporary globalisation is increasingly referred to as hierarchical integration in a new international division of labour, re-inventing and re-inscribing patterns of uneven development. This project concentrates on contemporary globalisation by means of the international expansion of offshore service delivery. Offshore service delivery is still at an early stage of development and there is limited knowledge on the scope and magnitude of this particular form of globalisation. To what extent this follows different patterns compared to industrial offshoring, with regard to issues such as the embeddedness of production and opportunities for upgrading and upward labour mobility has, so far, not been a subject of in-depth analysis. Furthermore, limited knowledge is available on the enclave-nature of contemporary globalisation and whether it strengthens inequalities between people who benefit from the new economic opportunities and those who are confronted with various forms of exclusion.

India is the leader and main beneficiary of offshore service sector development while the Philippines is recently emerging as a new offshoring destination. Offshore financial services are a relatively new branch in service offshoring and comprise both lower and higher end activities. This research project will analyse the emergence of the offshore financial back-office activities in Mumbai and Manila, and explain its role as a driver of economic and social change, by integrating the following research questions: 1) Which patterns of expansion of the offshore service-sector and transition towards higher value added service activities can be observed in both locations? 2) Which kind of segmentation of the labour force exists in the offshore service-sector and what opportunities are present for upward mobility within this sector? 3) Which role does the offshore service-sector play in middle class formation in both cities and what role does this group have as a driver of economic development? 4) What are the commonalities and differences between the current and previous wave of globalization? 5) How can the offshore service sector act as driver of inclusive development within both cities? The first three questions are each addressed by one PhD-researcher working in both cities while a post-doc researcher together with the senior researchers concentrate on question four and five. The proposed research will generate new input to discussions on patterns of economic development, based on the outsourcing of services, and their broader impact on the social fabric of emerging economies.


Book or monography

  • R.C. Kloosterman, B.A. Lambregts, NPC Beerepoot(2016): The Local Impact of Globalization in South and Southeast Asia pp. 238 , London
  • NPC Beerepoot, B.A. Lambregts, J.M. Kleibert(2017): Globalisation and Services-driven Economic Growth pp. 252


Scientific article

  • NPC Beerepoot, M Hendriks(2013): Employability of Offshore Service Workers in the Philippines: opportunities for upward labour mobility or dead-end jobs? Work, Employment and Society pp. 823 - 841
  • NPC Beerepoot, C Keijser(2014): The service outsourcing sector as driver of development: evidence from Ghana?s ICT for Accelerated Development programme Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie pp. 1 - 15
  • Kleibert JM(2014): Strategic coupling in ?next wave cities?: Local institutional actors and the offshore service sector in the Philippines Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography pp. 245 - 260
  • NPC Beerepoot(2014): Global convergence in the new international division of labour: the opportunities and challenges of outsourcing and offshoring The Broker pp. 1 - 4
  • NPC Beerepoot, B Lambregts(2014): Competition in online job marketplaces: towards a global labour market for service outsourcing? Global Networks pp. 1 - 20
  • J.M. Kleibert(2015): Islands of globalisation: offshore services and the changing spatial divisions of labour Environment and Planning A pp. 884 - 902
  • J.M. Kleibert(2015): Industry-Academe Linkages in the Philippines: Embedding Foreign Investors, Capturing Institutions? Geoforum pp. 109 - 118
  • NPC Beerepoot, R Kumar(2015): Upgrading service delivery and employment conditions through indirect insertion in global value chains Competition and Change pp. 374 - 389
  • NPC Beerepoot, I Roodheuvel(2016): Internationalization strategies of emerging market-based multinationals: integration of Indian ICT-ITES companies on the Dutch service outsourcing market European Planning Studies pp. 1374 - 391
  • J.M. Kleibert(2016): On the global city map, but not in command? Probing Manila‚Äôs position in the world city network. Environment and Planning A pp. 1 - 2 ISSN: doi: 10.1177/0308518.
  • J.M. Kleibert, L. Kippers(2016): Living the Good Life? The Rise of Urban Mixed-use Enclaves in Metro Manila. Urban Geography pp. 373 - 395
  • J.M. Kleibert(2016): Pervasive but neglected: conceptualising services and global production networks Geography Compass pp. 333 - 345

Professional publication

  • NPC Beerepoot, M Hendriks(2011): Overspoeld door Globalisering: De offshore dienstensector in de Filippijnen pp. 20 - 22

Publication meant for a broad audience

  • NPC Beerepoot(2013): Concurrentie op Friedman?s platte aarde: Online marktplaatsen als voorbode van globale concurrentie. pp. 18 - 19
  • J Tesorio(2013): The rise of the Philippine middle class
  • NPC Beerepoot, I Roodheuvel(2014): Integratie van Indiase bedrijven op de Nederlandse outsourcing markt pp. 10 - 11
  • J Tesorio, L Marasigan(2014): Call center workers: the new breed of heroes?
  • NPC Beerepoot(2016): De-industrialisatie in ontwikkelingslanden: het einde van een ontwikkelingsmodel? pp. 16 - 18

Publications for the general public

  • JM Kleibert(2014): Foreign Direct Investment in the Global Knowledge Economy: Industry-Academe Collaboration in the Philippines


Project number

W 01.65.329.00

Main applicant

Prof. dr. R.C. Kloosterman

Affiliated with

Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Team members

Drs. J.M. Kleibert, S. Krishnan, Dr. ir. B.W. Lambregts, M.L. Pasumbal, K. Randhir


01/02/2011 to 31/05/2016