Today, services officially represent more than 22% (or about USD 3 trillion) of world trade and are the fastest growing sector of world trade for the last two decades (OECD, 2004; WTO, 2001). Optimist analysts believe that services will reach 50% of world trade by 2020 (Hibbert, 2003). Nearly half of the 100 biggest multinationals are service firms with an average revenue of over USD 50 million in 1997 (Hibbert, 2003; Keillor, Hult & Kandemir, 2004). The American McKinsey and Company in management consulting, the Danish ISS in facility management and the Dutch VNU in business information illustrate how service firms may succeed in gaining and holding a global dominant position. On top of the official service economy, the (hidden) service component of product markets is responsible for a major and increasing part of the total value of the world merchandise trade (Brown et al., 2001; Grönroos, 1990). Illustrative in this respect is the critical role of the global service systems of the Swedish/Swiss ABB in automation technology and of the American Caterpillar in construction and mining equipment.
Pauwels, P. and de Ruyter, K. (2005), "RESEARCH ON INTERNATIONAL SERVICE MARKETING: ENRICHMENT AND CHALLENGES", de Ruyter, K. and Pauwels, P. (Ed.) Research on International Service Marketing: A state of the Art (Advances in International Marketing, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-7979(04)15001-1
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