Outsourcing was seen as a win-win. Companies abroad could get their back-office work done in cheaper, geographically well situated, English-conversant countries on the other side of the globe. And job-starved countries like ours could usefully employ fresh young people.
Customer complaints, rising labour costs, political opposition and job losses at home are forcing companies to do a rethink. Powergen, the British company that had shifted its entire call centre operation to India, has now gone back lock, stock and barrel. Almost.
Is "insourcing" of this kind just an exception? Or will more and more companies follow suit in the years to come?