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Title: The role of legal and managerial competences in the delivery of professional legal services
Author: Stokeld, Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 5487
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis addresses the performance and delivery of professional legal services. Previous research has focused on the shape of professional services and the organisation of professional service firms. This study extends the scope of research into professional services and provides understanding on how opportunities to shape and deliver professional services in new, creative and innovative ways are identified. The empirical research examined the management and delivery of professional legal services across private law firms and in-house legal groups in the UK. Across the UK radical measures proposed for the provision of legal services under new business models suggest a transition towards dual activity and services across the professional institutions and organisational settings providing legal services. As lawyers face demands to deliver services that are increasingly driven by commercially focused strategic aims the professional dimension to their services is being subjected to increased scrutiny. Lawyers are facing demands to strategise and introduce innovation across their services that are diminishing the professionalism of their role and services but not significantly so. Increasing heterogeneity across the legal profession and the consequences for the professionalism of lawyers has seen lawyers diversifying their services and introducing innovation to their role both by adapting their existing skills and acquiring new skills A theoretical framework draws on three theoretical approaches to inform this research. The co-existence of firms and professions and the interdependencies between and interconnections across these two structures are examined. Resource theory (in the tradition of Penrose 1959) is used to understand not only the relationship between resources and services but also the level of strategic interaction across the processes combining resources. A resource approach to the strategic management of firms (Foss and Ishikawa 2007) is developed by explaining the management of the complex interconnections between firms and professions in the delivery of professional legal services. This research examines the influence of processes across these two social structures in driving innovation across the delivery of professional legal services. Specifically, process theory (Langley 1999, Van de Ven and Poole 2005) is used to develop ideas about the relationship between resources and services and to explain the relationship between the dual contexts of professions and organisations in order to understand how the processes of combining resources are influential in driving innovation in the delivery of a service. This exploratory research study was inductive in its approach and used a grounded theory methodology to address the research aims. The ontological, interpretivist view of grounded theory is appropriate to understand the complex social phenomena of this research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available