The Service Industries Journal          The Service Industries Journal




Call for Papers Special Issue

Internationalization of Service Industry Firms



José Pla-Barber (University of Valencia, Spain)


Pervez N. Ghauri (King’s College London, United Kingdom)



Internationalization process and strategies has been a popular topic among international business researchers for some time. However, most of these studies deal with manufacturing firms and research on internationalization of service industry firms is rather scarce. At the same time, in the last decade, middle and upper income countries are experiencing a process of transformation by which services account for an increasing share of employment, international trade and FDI. In this sense, service industry firms have been most active in internationalizing their operations. Services sector firms now represent the largest share of global FDI flows accounting for 62% of world inward foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in 2006 (UNCTAD 2008).

This process of internationalization has been reinforced by the important outsourcing trend experienced in many value chain activities, the liberalisation of many national and international regulations and the creation and development of new service firms, based on telecommunication and information technologies, in an international framework (Sanchez and Pla-Barber, 2006). However, the heterogeneity of services implies considerable differences between sub-sectors in a range of factors including competitiveness and patterns of geographical distribution and internationalization. Therefore there is a need to investigate variables and models that go beyond those drawn from traditional empirical work focusing on the manufacturing sector. Moreover, services and manufacturing is becoming intertwined meaning that proportion of services even in manufactured goods is increasing and becoming more tangible. Most manufactured goods now contain a major proportion of service element. In the last decade or so many Western firms have moved their service components or operations to emerging markets to achieve cost benefits or other types of efficiencies (Buckley & Ghauri 2004). 

This special issue therefore, focuses on the changing nature of the firm and looks particularly on the internationalization of services firms. A number of studies point out the special nature of services firms and the location implications of globalization that may influence the future flows of FDI and their impact on economies and industries (Ahroni 1996; Buckley and Ghauri 2004 and Pla-Barber, Sanchez and Madhok, 2010).


Subject coverage 

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

1)                       The process of internationalization of service sector firms

2)                       Decisions regarding commitment and control in different services industries

3)                       Entry strategies of Western firms into emerging markets in services sector

4)                       Entry strategies of Emerging market firms into Western markets in service sector

5)                       FDI flows in service sector

6)                       The impact of FDI, particularly in service sector, on home and host economies.

7)                       Internationalization of different sectors, such as; banking, retailing, healthcare, hospitality,      consulting and education

8)                       Reconfiguration of sectors and resources at different locations

9)                       Knowledge flows between international services firms

10)                   Strategies of outsourcing/offshoring in the service industry firms

11)                   The impact of national and regional policies to foster services firms internationalisation.


Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Journal web page.


Important Dates

The deadline for submission is: May 31, 2011

Publication date: May, 2012


Editors and Notes

You may send one copy in the form of a PDF file attached to an e-mail (details in Author Guidelines) to the following:


Professor José Pla-Barber
Faculty of
of Valencia
Valencia (Spain)
Phone: +34 963828917
Fax: +34 963828333
E-mail: [log in to unmask]


Professor Pervez Ghauri
King’s College London

150 Stamford Street
London SE1 9NH, UK

Phone: +44-20-7848 4122
Fax: +44-20-7848 4639
E-mail: [log in to unmask]


Please include in your submission the title of the Special Issue.                                                       


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