There is a longstanding interest in the 'production of markets' and the various political- and cultural-economic strategies associated with demand-creation. This article shows how the professions, because of their central role in contemporary economy, provide an example of both the political- and cultural-economic production of international markets. Drawing on interviews conducted in the European executive search industry, we examine how firms and professional associations have combined cultural- and political-economic strategies of professionalization to legitimize the internationalization of the industry. We show how the success of these approaches is determined by the degree to which geographical variability exists in the use of cultural- and political-economic market production and legitimation tactics. We suggest that there is scope to bring work on the sociology of the professions into closer dialogue with work on the internationalization of professional services in ways that can be beneficial for wider debates about the 'production of markets'.
- MGMT International Business Management and Strategy
- professional service firms
- LAW FIRMS