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Knowledge and learning in professional service firms

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date13/08/2015
Host publicationThe Oxford handbook of professional service firms
EditorsLaura Empson, Daniel Muzio, Joseph Broschak, Bob Hinings
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9780199682393
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter reveals that three fundamental lines of research about professional service firms – (a) organizational form, management and governance, (b) the varying roles and effects of knowledge networking via databases versus knowing in practice through communities, and (c) the jurisdiction of a firm and claims about exclusive rights over a market - are all related to the key characteristics of knowledge and learning in such organizations. Perhaps most importantly these areas of research are all contested domains in terms of optimum modes of organizing and trajectories of change due to the ambiguous and heterogeneous nature of knowledge, leading to questions about the pros and cons of apparently growing bureaucracy, commodification and internationalization. The chapter thus identifies how such issues generate key future research agendas around organizational forms, knowledge management strategies, and the implications of change for service quality, professional jurisdictions and practices in a transnational age.