Reinserting the professional into the study of globalizing professional service firms: The case of law

James R. Faulconbridge*, Daniel Muzio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In discussions of the globalization of professional service firms there is an increasing recognition that understanding the 'social construction' of organizational architectures is essential. In this article we argue, using the management of transnational law firms as an example, that to understand effectively these social constructions we must reincorporate an understanding of the principles of professionalism into discussions. We highlight the importance of occupational autonomy to professionals and how this is likely to influence the strategies that global professional service firms use. We also point to what we term the 'varieties of professionalism' and the spatially variable professional projects that underlie the values and identities of lawyers. This reveals the way rational and efficient forms of organizing have to be adapted as a result of professional values and the diverse ideals and beliefs of lawyers in different international jurisdictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-270
Number of pages22
JournalGlobal Networks
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Globalization
  • Legal practice
  • Professional service firms
  • Professionalism
  • Varieties of professionalism

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