Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2013

Publication Title

Business Economics

Keywords

professional occupations; Entrepreneurship/Innovation

Disciplines

Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations

Abstract

The worldwide dominance of Western nations in commercial knowledge-intensive services has declined between 1995 and 2010, but the slippage in revenue was only from 88 to 79 percent. The European Union and North America remain the two largest regions in consumption and in exporting. Four professional service sectors—accounting, law, engineering, and management consultancy—have shown stability or even growth in the past decade. Entry and expansion requirements in these fields, at home and abroad, constitute barriers for both individual professionals and companies. Entrepreneurship is evident in these sectors, as small and medium size enterprises have maintained their viability against large firms. Only accountancy shows a high degree of concentration, but competition in this sector, too, is expected from the emerging economies, especially China. Professional service firms of the West have forged strong linkages with both domestic and foreign clients via relationship marketing. Technology is an important factor via automation. Although each of the four sectors is facing both external and internal challenges, they continue to grow and appear to be meeting the challenges in part by more innovation and transparency.

DOI

10.1057/be.2013.22

Version

Postprint

Volume

48

Issue

4

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