Handbook of Service Business
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Handbook of Service Business

Management, Marketing, Innovation and Internationalisation

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.
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Chapter 12: The organization of service business

Andrew Jones


This chapter begins the third major section of this Handbook concerned with ‘managing service business’. We begin by considering the state-of-the art knowledge about the nature of service business organization in the twenty-first century, with a particular focus on how this relates to the organization of service activity across space and between places in today’s (unevenly) globalized economy. Later chapters in this section and the next will examine some of the issues that arise in more depth, such as human resource management and the nature of service business globalization, but first there is a need to provide a broader overview of how service firms in the global economy are organizing their activities. This chapter therefore focuses on organizational processes which, it is argued, have a strong (and arguably increasingly) geographical dimension to them as service industry activity integrates at a variety of scales. In that sense, the following discussion provides an important context for understanding how service firms are addressing the major challenges discussed in subsequent chapters, including those posed by economic globalization, newly emerging economies, changing information technologies and the evolving needs of clients.

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