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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Professional Service Firms (Na Fu)

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Na Fu

Professional Service Firms

During the 1990s, Ireland attracted significant foreign direct investment (FDI) which is evidenced by the amount of multinational companies who set up in Ireland. Both MNCs and domestic firms needed accounting and legal services. Such increasing demands in professional service promoted the fast growth in scale and significance of professional service firms in Ireland during the Celtic Tiger.

Academically, professional service firms (PSFs) are defined by Greenwood and his colleagues as ‘those whose primary assets are a highly educated (professional) workforce and whose outputs are intangible services encoded with complex knowledge’. Examples of PSFs are accounting, law, consulting and architecture firms. PSFs are knowledge-based or knowledge-intensive organisations. However, they are different from knowledge-intensive firms as their knowledge output is highly customised. In other words, both the services provided by PSFs and the processes involved are customised or tailored to individual customers’ needs. In this way, pharmaceutical and software companies are categorised as knowledge-intensive firms, but are not professional service firms, as they sell the same products/services to all customers and do not tailor them for individual clients as PSFs do.

PSFs are knowledge intensive and highly dependent on people. Their input is knowledge embedded in their professional workforce, and their outputs are expert knowledge in the form of customised solutions for their clients. There are three types of capital resources to maintain the PSFs’ competitive advantages: human (knowledge, abilities and skills of individuals), social (who you know,...

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