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The impact of European institutionalisation on professional services : the case of business consultants

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Rudolph, Hedwig

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Corporate Editor Göteborg University, Department of Sociology
Abstract The original signatory states to the Treaty of Rome had formally committed themselves to policies of liberalisation by implementing mutual recognition in the sector of professional services by the end of the twelve year transition period. In fact, the process took much longer and the freedom of services implemented in the early 1990s affected professional services in various forms and different degrees. Business consulting is an industry with a tradition of rather low degree of market regulation in all European countries. However, it is indirectly affected by a high level of regulation in neighbouring fields of business services and in some of the fields where they have developed special consulting expertise. As a consequence re-regulations of these branches do have an impact on the consultants' business as well. There is a wide agreement in the political and scientific debates over the shift of decision making arenas and powers from the national to the supranational and from the public to the private sector. We argue that business asso-ciations and large companies can be regarded as co-responsible for the increasing impact of supranational institutions on the sectoral governance. Based on the analysis of documents and on expert interviews in Brussels and in Germany (with representatives of associations and companies) we will highlight the need for differentiation among professions (and would be-professions) and concerning groups of organisations (associations and companies).
Keywords European integration; service job; tertiary sector; management counsulting; opening up of markets; regulation; economic policy; competition; multi-level system
Classification European Politics; Economic Sectors; Labor Market Research
Method descriptive study
Collection Title Conceptual and comparative studies of Continental and Anglo-American professions
Editor Svensson, Lennart G.; Evetts, Julia
Document language English
Publication Year 2003
City Göteborg
Page/Pages p. 139-152
Series Research report from the Department of Sociology, Göteborg University, 129
Status Postprint; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works