Barriers and opportunities to innovation for legal service firms: a thematic analysis-based contextualization

Kalliopi Michalakopoulou, David Bamford, Iain Reid, Alexandros Nikitas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The paper discusses innovation within the traditionally conservative legal sector as a diverse service improvement mechanism that models positive firm change. A resource-based view and practice-based view blend provided a systematic theoretical benchmark for the study. 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, organizational transitions, legal processes, and education. The paper contributes to the state of art by (i) contextualizing 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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Early online date7 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jul 2021

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