The comparison of two vertical outsourcing structures under push and pull contracts

Yulan Wang, Baozhuang Niu, Pengfei Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


In a three-tier supply chain comprising an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), a contract manufacturer (CM), and a supplier, there exist two typical outsourcing structures: control and delegation. Under the control structure, the OEM contracts with the CM and the supplier respectively. Under the delegation structure, the OEM contracts with the CM only and the CM subcontracts with the supplier. We compare the two outsourcing structures under a push contract (whereby orders are placed before demand is realized) and a pull contract (whereby orders are placed after demand is realized). For all combinations of outsourcing structures and contracts, we derive the corresponding equilibrium wholesale prices, order quantities, and capacities. We find that the equilibrium production quantity is higher under control than under delegation for the push contract whereas the reverse holds for the pull contract. Both the OEM and the CM prefer control over delegation under the push contract. However, under the pull contract, the OEM prefers control over delegation whereas the CM and the supplier prefer delegation over control. We also show that for a given outsourcing structure, the OEM prefers the pull contract over the push contract. In extending our settings to a general two-wholesale-price (TWP) contract, we find that when wholesale prices are endogenized decision variables, the TWP contract under our setting degenerates to either a push or a pull contract.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-625
Number of pages16
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • control
  • delegation
  • pull
  • push
  • three-tier supply chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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