The Internationalization And Localization Of Professional Services

The case of executive search firms in Australia

Authored by: Jonathan Beaverstock , William S. Harvey

The Routledge Companion to the Geography of International Business

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138953345
eBook ISBN: 9781315667379
Adobe ISBN:


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There is now an established literature on the internationalization of global professional service firms (PSFs) (e.g. Aharoni, 1993; Brock, Powell & Hinings, 1999; Jones, 2005; Morgan & Quack, 2006; Faulconbridge, Hall & Beaverstock, 2008; Segal-Horn & Dean, 2011; Boussebaa, Morgan & Sturdy, 2012; Brock, 2012; Muzio & Faulconbridge, 2013). Yet, within these literatures, there remains a knowledge deficit and a lack of evidence-based understandings of internationalization outside of North America and Europe, although there are notable exceptions within the field of Economic Geography (e.g. Morshidi, 2000; O’Connor & Daniels, 2001; Beaverstock, 2004; Hutton, 2004; Daniels, 2012). Few scholars of International Business have focused on global PSFs (except notably, Dunning, 1993). The aim of this chapter is to advance knowledge on the internationalization of global PSFs through an analysis of the retained executive search industry in Australia. We focus on retained executive search firms in Australia because the industry has been well-established since the 1970s. Although the sector is relatively invisible in certain academic disciplines, it is highly influential for assessing, placing and developing leaders in a variety of economic sectors.

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