Organization and Management Theory OMT

CFP: From Near and Far: On the Role of Distance in Changing Professional Services

  • 1.  CFP: From Near and Far: On the Role of Distance in Changing Professional Services

    Posted 09-28-2023 05:02
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    From Near and Far: On the Role of Distance in Changing Professional Services



    Call for papers for a Special Issue of the
    The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science

    Guest Editors:

    ·         Tracey L. Adams, University of Western Ontario

    ·         David M. Brock, Ben-Gurion University

    ·         Daniel Muzio, University of York

    ·         John Amis, University of Edinburgh



    Most professional services are provided within organizational frameworks that are experiencing substantial change, altering the relationships between service providers and clients. Traditionally professional services were delivered with close proximity between the service provider and the client, reflecting both the experiential nature of these services and the need to establish and maintain trust (Von Nordenflycht, 2010). Thus, auditors and consultants have performed much of their work on the clients' premises, doctors are trained to assess and treat their patients face-to-face, and lawyers generally meet their clients on-site and/or in court. However, several factors-including globalization, enabling technologies, and the Covid-19 pandemic-have enabled more and more professionals to work in different offices, cities, and even countries than their clients, as professional expertise is increasingly delivered at 'a distance', both in geographical and in institutional terms. These changes have profound implications for a range of individuals, organizations and institutions and are triggering wide changes to how professional services are organized, produced and consumed. In particular, these changes have the potential to impact knowledge, decision-making, planning, collaboration, regulation, the content of services, work processes, and ethical conduct – altering what is done and how – to name only a few implications.

    This special issue is thus dedicated to understanding the implications of distance on professional services provided within and across organizations in a context of change-with particular attention to the implications for practice, relationships, knowledge, and interventions. Our special issue welcomes both empirical and conceptual studies that enhance our understanding on the changing role of distance in professional services, from a variety of perspectives and viewpoints.

    We invite contributions that include (but are not limited to):

    ·         Onsite versus offsite versus hybrid work: How can professional firms evaluate and implement various modes of working with their clients? How can professional organizations maintain a coherent culture and standards when working at a distance? (Adams, 2020; Li, 2019; Spicer, 2020)

    ·         Networks and Alliances: What organizational alternatives may allow professional firms to reach distant clients? (Kumar & Nti, 2004; Salvoldi & Brock, 2019, 2023)

    ·         The Pandemic effect: How has Covid-19 impacted the delivery of professional services? (Björkdahl & Kronblad, 2021; De Clercq & Pereira, 2021; Empson 2022)

    ·         Careers: How does distance work impact on development of professionals at different stages of their careers? (Malhotra, Morris & Smets, 2010; Yao, 2022)

    ·         Technology and organizations: Pathways to successful integration of new technology (Schwarz & Bouckenooghe, 2022).

    ·         Technology and professional work: To what extend can new technological approaches enable professional work at a distance? (Armour & Sako, 2020; Pareliussen, et al., 2022)

    ·         Regulation: Implications for professional organizations and services straddling multiple regulatory and normative frameworks as well as cultural contexts (Adams, 2022; Sabini & Paton, 2021)

    ·         Wrongdoing: Does distance imply weaker oversight and more scope for deviance, thus begging ethical questions? (Bierman, et al., 2019; Bres, et al., 2019; Muzio et al, 2016)

    Submission deadline: February 15, 2024.

    Submissions process: To be considered for publication, papers must be electronically received by the Guest Editors by Feb 15, 2024, with a target publication date of December 2024 or early 2025.  Enquiries about the special issue and questions about issue fit can be directed to the Guest editors: Tracey Adams (, John Amis (,  David Brock (, and Daniel Muzio ( Enquiries related to the online submission process should be directed to JABS (

    Please submit papers through Manuscript Central and prepare manuscripts according to JABS guidelines:  All papers will go through a blind review following JABS's normal review process. Any papers accepted for publication, but not included in the Special Issue will be published in a regular issue at a later point in time.



    Adams, T. (2022). Drivers of regulatory reform in Canadian health professions: Institutional isomorphism in a shifting social context. Journal of Professions and Organization, 9(3), 318-332.

    Armour, J. & Sako, M. (2020). AI-enabled business models in legal services: From traditional law firms to next-generation law companies? Journal of Professions and Organization, 7(1): 27-46.

    Bierman, L., Brymer, R., Dust, S., & Hwang, H. (2019). Gatekeeping and Our Moral Fabric: Has Social Capital Deterioration Vanquished Professional Oversight? Journal of Professions and Organization, 6(3), 377-386.

    Brès, L., Mosonyi, S., Gond, J-P., Muzio, D. Mitra, R., Werr, A., & Wickert, C. (2019). Rethinking professionalization: A generative dialogue on CSR practitioners. Journal of Professions and Organization, 6(2), 246-264. 

    Björkdahl, J., & Kronblad, C. (2021) Getting on track for digital work: Digital transformation in an administrative court before and during Covid-19. Journal of Professions and Organization, 8(3), 374-393.

    De Clercq, D., & Pereira, R. (2021). Taking the Pandemic by Its Horns: Using Work-Related Task Conflict to Transform Perceived Pandemic Threats Into Creativity. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 57(1), 104–124.

    Empson, L. (2021). Researching the post-pandemic professional service firm: Challenging our assumptions. Journal of Management Studies, 58(5): 1383-1388.

    Kumar, R., & Nti, K. O. (2004). National Cultural Values and the Evolution of Process and Outcome Discrepancies in International Strategic Alliances. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 40(3), 344–361.

    Li, J. (2019). All roads lead to Rome: Internationalization strategies of Chinese law firms. Journal of Professions and Organization, 6(2), 156-178.

    Malhotra, N., Morris, T., & Smets, M.  (2010) New career models in UK professional service firms: from up-or-out to up-and-going-nowhere? The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21:9, 1396-1413.

    Muzio, D, Gabionneta, C., Faulconbridge, F. and Greenwood, R. (2016) 'Wrongdoing and the Professions' in Palmer Smith-Crowe, and Greenwood (Eds) Organizational Wrongdoing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

    Pareliussen, B., Æsøy, V., & Giskeødegård, M. (2022). Professions, work and digitalization: Technology as means to connective professionalism. Journal of Professions and Organization, 9(1), 100-114.

    Sabini, L., & Paton, S. (2021). Professional Regulatory Entanglement: The Curious Case of Project Management in Italy. Journal of Professions and Organization, 8(1), 51-69.

    Salvoldi, R. & Brock, D. M (2019). Opening the black box of professional service network internationalization: An exploration of law firm networks. Journal of Professions and Organization, 6(3): 304-322.

    Salvoldi, R. & Brock, D. M. (2023). International Alliance Structure and Effectiveness: Evidence from Law Firms. Journal of Management & Organization,

    Schwarz, G. M., & Bouckenooghe, D. (2022). Future Scoping Intelligent Change and Development: The Race Alongside the Machine in Developing Organizations. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 58(2), 193–201.

    Spicer, A. (2020). Organizational Culture and COVID-19. Journal of Management Studies, 57(8), pp. 1737-1740. doi: 10.1111/joms.12625

    Von Nordenflycht, A 2010What Is a Professional Service Firm? Toward a Theory and Taxonomy of Knowledge-Intensive FirmsAcademy of Management Review, 35155–174.

    Yao, Y. (2022).  One foot in the online gig economy: Coping with professional identity split. Journal of Professions and Organization, 9(3), 273-290.

    David M. Brock
    Editor-in-chief | Journal of Professions and Organization
    Professor | Guilford Glazer Faculty of Management | Ben-Gurion University | Tel: +972-525-491-351


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