Forschung & Projekte

Entrepreneurship in Professional Services


Projekt 1

Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship in Professional Services. Cheltenham: Edgar Elgar
Research on entrepreneurship in professional services is rather limited. We argue that one reason why the two fields of professional services and entrepreneurship have operated in isolation rather than in mutual interaction are inherent contradictions between the very ideas of entrepreneurship and professionalism. Our perspective on entrepreneurship for this handbook is rather broad focusing on renewal in professional service firms and embracing aspects such as learning, innovation, and institutional change. After reviewing managerial challenges of the entrepreneurial professional service firm we preview the contributions to this handbook. These are structured according to three levels of analysis – the professional service team, the professional service firm, and finally the organizational field within which the creation and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities takes place.

Co-editor: Prof. Andreas Werr, Stockholm School of Economics

Projekt 2

Entrepreneurial strategies of professional service firms
An analysis of commercial law firm spin-offs in Germany

During the last years knowledge-driven industries gained significant importance as economic factor. Professional service firms (PSFs) such as law, accounting, auditing, or consulting firms are providing knowledge-based services as final product while relying strongly on the capabilities of their employees. Although various strategic fields relevant when managing such PSFs have been investigated in mature PSFs (e.g. service delivery, client management, or human resource strategies), little research has addressed the particular strategic challenges of newly founded, entrepreneurial PSFs. Based on an explorative grounded theory approach focusing on two outstanding law-firm spin-offs in Germany, we argue that spin-offs have to address three groups of strategies to manage the entrepreneurial phase: indispensable, differentiating and stabilizing strategies. Despite the focus on law firm spin-offs the findings also inform general theory building on entrepreneurship and professional services.

Research partner: Andreas Günther, Bain & Company


  • Prof. Dr. Markus Reihlen