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Barriers and Opportunities to Innovation for Legal Service Firms: A Thematic Analysis-Based Contextualisation

Michalakopoulou, Kalliopi and Bamford, David and Reid, Iain and Nitikas, Alexandros (2021) Barriers and Opportunities to Innovation for Legal Service Firms: A Thematic Analysis-Based Contextualisation. Production Planning and Control. ISSN 0953-7287 (In Press)

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Abstract

The paper discusses innovation within the traditionally conservative legal sector as a diverse service improvement mechanism that models positive firm change. The resource-based view and the practice-based view provided a systematic approach for the fifty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted with law professionals from seven countries capturing their day-to-day work experiences and identifying the barriers that hinder and the opportunities that support innovation adoption in legal firms today. A data-intensive thematic analysis uncovers six core themes: human factor and culture, client and market, technology, organisational transitions, legal processes, and education. The paper contributes to the state of art by: (i) contextualising each of these themes and their diverse underpinning dimensions; (ii) developing an evidence-based conceptual framework that critically assesses legal innovation uptake barriers and opportunities; and (iii) advancing the theoretical and empirical understanding of law service operations demonstrating the rationale for legal firms to invest in technology, multidisciplinary education and training, and to adopt leaner, hybrid and more client-driven management approaches.

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