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Keywords:

  • business services;
  • expert labour;
  • knowledge work;
  • professional services;
  • professions

The idea of ‘expert labour’ as a category uniting many kinds of knowledge-based work has long been of interest. At the same time, existing models often do not differentiate between the many forms of ‘new’ expertise in the main business and technological groups. These tend to be consolidated in single categories of ‘entrepreneurial’, ‘organisational’ or ‘commercial’ professions. This paper built on Reed's seminal account of the expert division of labour. It used his analytic dimensions of power, knowledge and organisation to develop a new framework comparing clusters of expert labour in professional services, business services and knowledge work. It offered a more detailed classification and a comparative view that throws fresh light on key debates around new professionalism and emergent technologically defined occupations.