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Service sector innovation – new Nyenrode focus

19 June 2007, 00:00

The university in Breukelen plans to perform research into the operation of professional service providers and the demands imposed on the sector by economic developments.

Nyenrode Business Universiteit is setting up a Professional Services Institute. As a service economy, the professional services sector is of huge importance to the Netherlands, yet the scientific focus on the management of, for example, consultancy companies, financial service providers, lawyer firms and service providers in ICT, communications, technical design, HR or market research is limited to date. The university in Breukelen plans to perform research into the operation of professional service providers and the demands imposed on the sector by economic developments.

Themes will include the fragmentation of the sector as a result of the increasing number of stand-alone professionals, the lack of innovative capacity in many companies, and the War for Talent. In the Nyenrode Professional Services Institute, the sector will be scrutinized using various areas of expertise. In addition to research, the institute will also be organizing teaching and network meetings.

The Professional Services Institute is led by Professor Dr Renq Tissen who, in addition to an academic career, has been an associate of various professional service companies for some time. As co-initiator, Professor Dr Frank Kwakman will also be closely involved. At the end of 2005, he was inaugurated as the first Professor of Professional Service Provision Management in the Netherlands. The initiators are looking expressly to involve international colleagues in their research, education and network activities.

Professor Dr Bert de Groot, Rector Magnificus and Dean: "Professional service providers account for some 10 per cent of GNP; in the Netherlands alone, there are between 500,000 and 750,000 people in the sector. As a business university, you therefore have to develop an interdisciplinary vision for such a prominent sector with which the entrepreneurial strength of the sector can be reinforced. This is all the more the case when we consider the Dutch knowledge economy ambitions and the large number of knowledge-intensive service providers in the Netherlands."

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