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 17: Business and professional service firms and the management and control of talent and reputations: retaining expert employees and client relationship management

John R. Bryson


Economies are founded upon the simple premise that a given quantity of raw material is required to produce a product and that the cost of the product will be greater than the combined cost of all raw materials (Bryson, 2008b). This is the basis of the capitalist economic system in which production systems are expected to generate profit or surplus value. Profit is invested in innovation and in improvements to existing production processes and some profit is distributed to the owners of the production process or to investors or shareholders. The distribution of profits compensates the owners or investors for the risks associated with investment. This simple mechanism of profit generation, investment and redistribution to owners or investors differentiates the current economic system from other ways of organizing the production of goods and services. Profit is essential for the continued functioning of production and importantly for providing investment to enable innovation to occur.

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