Professional service firms as agents of economic globalization:a political perspective

Boussebaa, Mehdi and Faulconbridge, James Robert (2019) Professional service firms as agents of economic globalization:a political perspective. Journal of Professions and Organization, 6 (1). pp. 72-90. ISSN 2051-8803

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In recent decades, numerous professional service firms have gone ‘global’ in search new markets and to support clients requiring services across nations. Whilst a lively debate has developed over the organizational implications of this phenomenon, the role of the firms in globalizing the wider world economy has received less attention. In this paper, we address this imbalance through an inter-disciplinary synthesis of the literature at the intersection of the professions and economic globalization and apply a political perspective to frame our analysis. Our contribution is twofold. First, we argue for a broadening of the research agenda to better elucidate the critical role of professional service firms as agents of economic globalization. This role, we argue, should become a core research theme given the firms are not just businesses offering services across the globe but also active participants in the globalization of the world economy. Second, we shed light on and conceptualize the specific power strategies deployed by the firms as part of their role as agents of globalization. We develop an integrative framework which, firstly, distinguishes between ‘design’ and ‘implementation’ and, secondly, specifies how the firms exert power to their advantage in each of these related areas. This model provides a theoretical scaffolding for understanding how professional service firms shape and indeed become hegemonic agents of economic globalization.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Professions and Organization
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This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Professions and Organization following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Mehdi Boussebaa, James R Faulconbridge; Professional service firms as agents of economic globalization: A political perspective, Journal of Professions and Organization, Volume 6, Issue 1, 1 March 2019, Pages 72–90, is available online at:
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Deposited On:
06 Sep 2018 11:00
Last Modified:
30 Sep 2020 08:07