Management, Marketing, Innovation and Internationalisation
Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels
Chapter 14: Globalization of services
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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