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Online services: An equalising force between the global north and the global south?

Chapter in book
Authors Robert Wentrup
Richard Nakamura
Patrik Ström
Published in Globalisation and Services-Driven Economic Growth: Perspectives from the Global North and South, Edited By Niels Beerepoot, Bart Lambregts, Jana Kleibert
Pages 55-71
ISBN 9781317127185
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon
Publication year 2016
Published at Centre for International Business Studies
Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Pages 55-71
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315585055
Keywords Internet, Online services, Africa
Subject categories Business Administration

Abstract

Following drastic shifts in the spatial organization of goods production, increasingly fierce competition now forces firms also to look critically at how to organize the production of services. While digitization and advances in information and communication technologies have enabled firms to unbundle service production processes, the increased global availability of skilled labour allows for the relocation of ever more of these processes around the world. As a result, a new geography of services production takes shape: a geography that is defined by new interregional and international divisions of labour and held together by increasingly complex global services production networks. This book examines how the reorganisation of services production alters relations between and generates different sets of challenges and opportunities for economic development in the Global North and the Global South. Drawing from 11 case studies probing various aspects of services production in different parts of the world, the book brings out the remarkable heterogeneity and transformative capacities of services. It successively shows how global trade in services creates new interdependencies between services producing and services consuming regions; reveals how services help to mitigate the impact of and contribute to recovery from economic crises in the Global North; and demonstrates how services offshoring fosters economic development and service-sector driven modernisation processes in the Global South. The book’s openness to the heterogeneous and dynamic nature of services production enlarges our understanding of which particular services in which spatiotemporal context have the capacity to generate good jobs, contribute to productivity and drive economic growth. The book stands out from other books in the field in that it combines perspectives on services-driven transformations from both the Global North and the Global South and looks into the role of various services segments. Based on pioneering empirical research and original data it offers a timely contribution to this growing debate. The book provides valuable insights for students, scholars and professionals interested in services, services offshoring, services-driven growth, and socioeconomic transformations in the Global North and South.

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