Monday, 7 September 2009

The Services Sector does not exist

After a long pause, I finally came over the barrier that kept me from posting. It was a sentence I read just five minutes ago about a professors whose chair is named "Economy of the Services Sector".

It is not the word economy that got me fired, not even the words Services or Sector, but the combined notion of the latter two: Services Sector. How long will it take before we finally get rid of this incorrect use of the word Service?

Lets face it, who speaks of the product sector? Nobody isn't it? We have PC's, cars, tiles, gasoline, even software licences, but these do not form the product sector, they are part of sectors like Oil & Gas, Consumer Tech, or Automotive.

But for some strange reason the term Services Sector continues to creep in from time to time. And that simply annoys me. Especially because the solution is so simple: every economic activity has a services part, even product-related activities.

Aroujo and Spring have been very clear on this: products alone cannot be sold so mankind invented the product/service combination to make things transferable. Economic goods are goods because they can be traded like a good.

And ofcourse there are examples where trading does not work. Not in the sense that a certain good is traded. When that happens, when the customer does not know in advance what he or she will get, one can be very sure services are near! For the rest, its a combi. Every product has a services lining. And almost every services comes with a product. Isn't that what economists call complementaty consumption?

Wouldn't that be a good title for a chair "Professor of complementary product/service consumption". Any suggestions who is willing to sponsor that Chair are more than welcome :-)

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