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Delivering 'effortless experience' across borders: Managing internal consistency in professional service firms

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  • Segal-Horn, Susan
  • Dean, Alison

Abstract

This article explores how professional service firms (PSFs) manage across borders. When clients require consistent services delivered across multiple locations, especially across borders, then firms need to develop an organization that is sufficiently flexible to be able to support such consistent service delivery. Our discussion is illustrated by the globalization process of law firms. We argue that the globalization of large corporate law firms primarily takes place in terms of investments in the development of protocols, processes and practices that enhance internal consistency such that clients receive an 'effortless experience' of the service across multiple locations worldwide. Over the longer term the ability to deliver such effortless experience is dependent upon meaningful integration within and across the firm. Firms that achieve this are building a source of sustainable competitive advantage.

Suggested Citation

  • Segal-Horn, Susan & Dean, Alison, 2009. "Delivering 'effortless experience' across borders: Managing internal consistency in professional service firms," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 41-50, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:44:y:2009:i:1:p:41-50
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Julian Birkinshaw & Omar Toulan & David Arnold, 2001. "Global Account Management in Multinational Corporations: Theory and Evidence," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(2), pages 231-248, June.
    2. Brock, David M. & Yaffe, Tal & Dembovsky, Mark, 2006. "International diversification and performance: A study of global law firms," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 473-489, December.
    3. Thomas W Malnight, 1996. "The Transition from Decentralized to Network-Based MNC Structures: An Evolutionary Perspective," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(1), pages 43-65, March.
    4. Chang, Tung-Lung S. & Chuang, Cheng-Min & Jan, Wen-Shiung, 1998. "International collaboration of law firms: Modes, motives and advantages," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 241-262, October.
    5. Kristensen, Peer Hull & Zeitlin, Jonathan, 2004. "Local Players in Global Games: The Strategic Constitution of a Multinational Corporation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199275625.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brauer, Matthias & Heitmann, Mark, 2013. "Antecedents and temporal dynamics of strategic divergence in multinational corporations: Evidence from Europe," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 110-121.
    2. Karl Breunig & Katja Hydle, 2013. "Remote control: measuring performance for value creation and governance of globally distributed knowledge work," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(3), pages 559-582, August.
    3. Boussebaa, Mehdi, 2015. "Control in the multinational enterprise: The polycentric case of global professional service firms," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 696-703.
    4. Breunig, Karl Joachim & Kvålshaugen, Ragnhild & Hydle, Katja Maria, 2014. "Knowing your boundaries: Integration opportunities in international professional service firms," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 502-511.

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