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Managing Professional Services Firms - MAN00053H

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  • Department: The York Management School
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Daniel Muzio
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

Professional services are one of the fastest growing and most successful sectors in advanced economies.

Professional Services firms are one of the top employers for university graduates. Yet these have been largely under looked as part of university curricula. As a result graduates tend to have little appreciation of the nature, characteristics, activities and practices of these firms and of the impact that this will have on their own careers, experiences and working conditions as future professionals. This is important not only because these organisations and their activities depart in significant ways from traditional manufacturing or retail organisations but also because these organisations are currently undergoing an unprecedented process of regulatory (Globalisation, Brexit) technological (AI) and organisational (consolidation, diversification) change.

This research-led and case study based module, one of the first in its kind, seeks to address this gap in our student’s knowledge and to equip them with the relevant theories, conceptual tools and factual information necessary to gain an understanding of Professional services firms their work and organisation.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the nature, structure and of key trends within Professional Services Firms in the UK and beyond ;

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the regulatory, economic, social and technological challenges that are affecting this sector and of organisational responses to these;

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the strategies, managerial practices and organisational structures which characterise these firms

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature of professionalism as a work organisation method and how this may depart from alternatives such as managerialism or entrepreneurship;

  • develop a critical appreciation of the role and importance of these organisations in contemporary advanced economies and societies.

Module content

  • - Professionalism, managerialism and entrepreneurship as work organisation methods

    - Professional Services Firms Today: Facts and Figures

    - The organisation of professional services firms

    - Strategy and Professional Services firms

    - Marketing and client relations in PSFS

    - Working in PSF : Managing professional careers and remuneration systems

    - Globalisation and PSFS

    - Diversity and equal opportunities in law firms

    - Ethics, misconduct and regulatory issues

    - The future of professional services firms


Task Length % of module mark
Essay - Managing Professional Services Firms Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay - Managing Professional Services Firms Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

Empson L, Muzio, D., Broschak, J., Hinings, B. (eds) (2015). Oxford Handbook of Professional Services Firms. Oxford Handbooks. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.