The aim of the article is to analyze the rationale for choice of suppliers and the influence these decisions have on the firm’s capabilities.
We examine the choice of in-house operations versus buying maintenance in the Swedish mining industry through a qualitative case study approach.
The findings reveal a strong tendency to outsource maintenance.
This in turn has a strong influence on the firm’s capabilities and long-term competitive advantage and sustainability.
Based on the empirical findings, we comment on the strength and weaknesses of the different outsourcing and attempt to find practical solutions that assist the firm in creating competitive advantage.
The unique contribution of this study is that it extends prior firm capabilities studies by investigating the impact of capability loss specifically in complex, intricate maintenance processes in a dynamic industry.