A Multi-disciplinary Perspective
Edited by Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal
Introduction: Filling the Innovation Gap in the Service Economy – A Multidisciplinary Perspective
Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal Modern economies are inescapably service economies. For several decades now, services have been our main source of wealth and jobs. The process of deindustrialisation began a long time ago in all the developed countries (1955 in the US, 1950 in the UK, 1973 in France and 1980 in Japan, for example). While it is hardly surprising that the profound economic and social upheavals linked to deindustrialisation have given rise to anxieties, both legitimate and fantastical, the persistence of these anxieties in certain cases is, on the other hand, quite difficult to understand. After all, the service society is still quite frequently associated with negative images of servitude, state bureaucracy and industrial decline. Thus, despite some changes of attitude, it is still regarded with a certain degree of suspicion, in both academic studies and political discourse. This political discourse is based on a number of particularly hardy myths about the service economy and its performance, the quality of its jobs and its capacity for innovation. The purpose of this book is to re-examine these myths and to try to allay certain fears by championing the notion that the service economy is an economy characterised not by decline but rather by high performance and innovation. 0.1 Services and performance Classical economics, with its focus on manufacturing industry, helped to construct an image of services as deficient in terms of economic performance. Thus Adam Smith (1960 ) contrasted the productive labour of manufacturing industry with the unproductive...
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