The current state of knowledge in international business in producer services
In this paper the authors review recent research on the characteristics and operations of service multinationals. To provide an understanding of the determinants of internationalization, entry modes, and strategies of product and market diversification, examples are taken from producer service firms with specific emphasis upon accounting and advertising services. The competitive advantage of service multinationals in the United States and Western Europe is at the core of most discussion; however, the competitive strategies of the Japanese advertising firms vis-à-vis their Western counterparts are discussed to highlight interorganizational differences. This paper is organized into five sections: the definition of services and the determinants of growth in producer services in the industrially advanced nations; theoretical explanations of international investments in services; empirical research on the determinants of internationalization, entry mode, and business strategies of service firms; industry-specific examples of competitiveness in accounting and advertising; and implications for future research.
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