Table of Contents

Handbook of Service Business

Handbook of Service Business

Management, Marketing, Innovation and Internationalisation

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels

Service business accounts for more than 75 per cent of the wealth and employment created in most developed market economies. The management and economics of service business is based around selling expertise, knowledge and experiences. This Handbook contributes to on-going debates about the nature of service business and the characteristics of service-led economies by exploring disciplinary perspectives on services, services and core business processes and the management of service business. A series of case studies are also provided. The volume pushes back the frontiers of current critical thinking about the role of service business by bringing together eminent scholars from economics, management, sociology, public policy, planning and geography.

Chapter 14: Globalization of services

Joanne Roberts

Subjects: business and management, marketing, economics and finance, services, geography, economic geography, urban and regional studies, regional studies


The globalization of services is part of the wider economic phenomenon of intensifying cross-border economic activity. Since the 1990s, academics and commentators have claimed that we live in a globalized economic environment (e.g. Ohmae, 1990; Reich, 1992). From the 1990s we have seen an intensification of this globalization as its drivers continue unabated. Yet it is important to note that globalization did not suddenly appear in the 1990s; rather, its antecedents are to be found in the past 200 years, and for some activities, much earlier. For instance, shipping and finance, which facilitate trade in goods, are perhaps the most obvious examples of trade in services that has occurred for many hundreds of years. Other examples include the cross-border services provided by mercenary soldiers, as well as the international supply of educational services, whether through the movement of students or tutors. As the importance of services has grown within the domestic economy, so too has their role in the international economic environment. The past 30 years have witnessed a rapid rise in cross-border service transactions (UNCTAD, 2004), yet the overseas expansion of service businesses remains poorly appreciated (Blomstermo et al., 2006; Kundu and Merchant, 2008).

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