Internationalisation of service intermediaries


This project, conducted by Sigrid Quack and Sebastian Botzem, looks at the internationalisation of knowledge-intensive service intermediaries using the example of law and accounting firms. We hope to gain a better understanding of co-evolutive processes characterised by the mutual influence of institutional conditions and actor behaviour. In particular, we analyse:

  • International and transnational normative and regulative acts by public and/or private actors (e.g. development of European competition law, development of international accounting standards (IAS)) and
  • The internationalisation of knowledge-based service intermediaries (organised as companies and/or networks of companies and experts).

The co-evolution of these elements will be examined using empirical studies based around the following questions:

  • What is the role played by international service intermediaries in the development and diffusion of institutionalised norms and regulations in the global economy?
  • Which globalisation strategies are chosen by knowledge-intensive service firms in regard to the co-ordination and integration of organisational units and professionals from institutionally and culturally different countries and regions?
  • In how far are knowledge intermediaries - either internally or through networking with each other - capable of generating organisation-based, transnational problem-solving competencies?

The empirical studies are based on a combination of document analysis, statistical evaluation and interviews with experts.

The aim of the project is to make a problem-orientated contribution to discourses on the increasing significance of self-regulation (including economically motivated self-regulation) across national boundaries, and the challenges which ensue for national government.

Main content

The project was carried out in co-operation with
Marie-Laure Djelic (Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales, ESSEC) and
Glenn Morgan (Warwick University)