Insource, Offshore, Outsource -- Help!

The number of new work-allocation terms floating around could confuse any small-business owner. Here's what they really mean

Insourcing, offshoring, outsourcing, near-shoring: The confusing terms crop up frequently but aren't always well-defined. What do they mean in practical terms? Should small-business owners sign on to these oft-promoted business models? Do they really deliver on promised cost-savings? Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein recently posed these questions to Phil Bloodworth, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers' advisory performance-improvement practice. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow:

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