About

The Professional Service Firms Group includes some of the world's foremost thinkers in the field.

The group seeks to explore key challenges confronting the professional services sector and to inform policymaking. Its members sit on the editorial board of several academic journals, including the Journal of Professions and Organization (JPO), and their work has been published in leading international journals as well as prize-winning monographs. Each year, JPO announces the winner of its 'best paper' award at the Annual Oxford Conference on Professional Service Firms, an award of $1,000 sponsored by the PSF research cluster. The teaching team is also well known for its work in executive education and advisory work with professional firms.

Research

The group investigates the internal and external dynamics of professional service firms and their impact on business and society. They are concerned with the professional firm as a distinct organisational form and the impact of this distinctiveness on processes of innovation and change. They are interested in the development and management of professional expertise and ethics, and examine social and formal processes by which these are nurtured and regulated.

Research projects are focused around the observation and management of such firms, the issues faced by people working within them, and policy issues of concern to both clients and regulators. Current projects seek to examine the ways in which professional service firms aim to influence external stakeholders in order to build a novel reputation and cement their strategic position, and to review the ways in which team leaders seek to balance contradictory goals in the management of individuals and teams.

 

Publications

Firm-Level Strategy and Global Value Chains

Chapter  |  Handbook on Global Value Chains  | 
  • Mari Sako,
  • Ezequiel Zylberberg
International Business
Mega Project Management
Professional Service Firms

Free Trade in a Digital World(opens in new window)

Journal article  |  COMMUNICATIONS OF THE ACM  | 
  • Mari Sako
International Business
Mega Project Management
Professional Service Firms
  • Michael SMETS,
  • Tim MORRIS,
  • Ali Aslan Gumusay
Organisation Studies
Professional Service Firms
  • Michael SMETS,
  • Tim MORRIS,
  • Ali Aslan Gumusay
Organisation Studies
Professional Service Firms
  • Tomomi Kito,
  • Steve New,
  • Felix Reed-Tsochas
Health Care
Mega Project Management
Professional Service Firms
Technology and Operations Management
See more publications

Insights

Strategic learning and development in professional services firms 

The business model of professional service firms is rapidly evolving. This series of papers seeks to answer some of the most important strategic questions on the agenda of professional services today. Find out more.

Novak Druce Centre insights

This series aims to provide accessible summaries of research by members and associates of professional service firms. Derived from academic papers and books, but re-written and presented with practitioners in mind, it is designed to be thought-provoking and challenging. Find out more. 

 

Conference

Embracing the “new normal” in professional service

The annual Oxford Saïd conference on Professional Service Firms is a partnership between Saïd Business School and the Journal of Professions and Organization. This year the conference will seek to harness this spirit of innovation, dialogue and community. Find out more. 

 

Programmes

Class debate

The group teaches students at all levels on a range of programmes, including:

Mari Sako on general counsel and innovation

 dandelion clock made from cotton reels