The world has been dramatic over the past decade, reflecting a combination of economic growth in which most of the new value-added has come from services and in some cases, an absolute decline in traditional economic activities such as agriculture, mining, and manufacturing. Ireland, Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai show the strongest growth in the value added by services as a percentage of the GDP, thanks to a remarkable economic growth rate that has given people more spending power; increased tourism in such areas as financial services, telecommunications, and customer call centers.
Services organizations range in size from huge international corporations based on such enterprises as airlines, banking, insurance, telecommunications, hotel chains, and freight transportation to vast array of locally owned and operated small business, including restaurant laundries, taxi companies, optometrists, and numerous business-to-business services Franchised service outlets-in fields ranging from fast foods to bookkeeping-combine the marketing characteristics of a large ha in that offers a standardized product with local ownership and operation of a specific facility. McKenna has written, "Companies best equipped for the twenty-first century will consider investing in real-time systems as essential to maintaining their competitive edge and keeping their customers"
Governments and non-profit organizations are also in the business of providing services although the extent of such involvement may vary widely from one country to another, reflecting both traditional and political values. In many countries, colleges, hospitals, and museums are in public ownership or operate on a not-for-profit basis, but for-profit versions of each type of institution also exist. Many countries are experiencing a significant shift from public to private ownership.
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