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Peter W. Daniels (1945-2019) and Business and Professional Services: Automation, Commoditization and Emergent Geographies

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: John Bryson, Andrew Jones, Patrik Ström
Chairs: John Bryson


Geographers were at the forefront of research that began to explore the emergence of service-led economies. During the 1970s, economic geographers from the UK and the US challenged the dominance of research on manufacturing at a time when developed market economies were rapidly restructuring to become service economies. This session has two aims.

First, the session has been developed as an appreciation of the contributions made to service scholarship by Prof. Peter. W. Daniels who died in September 2019. These contributions include books on office location (1975), a geographical appraisal of service economies (1985), service industries and the world economy (1993), service worlds (2004), services and Asian economies (2012) and service business (2015). This session will reflect on the contributions that geographers have made to understanding service firms, work and economies.

Second, the growth of service work across economies has made an important contribution to creating new employment opportunities. Nevertheless, automation is behind an on-going process of commoditization that is altering the dynamics of service work. This session will reflect on the current research challenges that need to be explored to ensure that geographers continue to be at the forefront of understanding the changing geographies of service work and firms.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction John Bryson University of Birmingham 5
Panelist Andrew Jones City, University of London 15
Panelist Patrik Ström 15
Panelist John Bryson University of Birmingham 15
Discussant Patrik Ström 10

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