The Quinary Sector of Global Economy

The sectors of the economy developed statically, in a geographically limited perspective until the beginning of the 1950s, when the society advanced to the third industrial revolution – Industry 3.0. Since the early 1960s, the three-model economic sectors have been criticised as too limited. Therefore, in 1961, Jean Gottmann proposed for the first time the division of the tertiary sector by subdividing it into tertiary and quaternary sectors.

In 1961, Gottmann described the “quaternary occupations” as those providing services that require research, such as ”analysis, judgment, briefly, brain and responsibility” and “what might be called the quaternary forms of economic activity; managerial and artistic functions, government, education, research and brokerage of all kinds of goods, services and securities” (Gottmann, 1961). In 1969, Deane suggested adding a new sector of the economy, the Quinary sector (Kellerman, 1985).

As a result, the late 1960s brought together a new discussion in the field: the “Q-Sectors” of the economy.

High Decision Level Sector

Adams (1977) defined the quinary sector as consisting of establishments that engage in control activities, the production and processing of information and non-routine decision-making. Government is the main quinary industry, but it exists both in the private sector, through corporations, and in the voluntary sector, through NGOs and Think-Thanks.

The Quinary's Sectors

  • Private Sector – Businesses
  • Public Sector – Governments
  • Social Sector – NGOs
  • Benefit Sector – The Fourth Sector*

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Private Sector

The private sector in the quinary sector is typically made up of large multinational corporations, as well as smaller businesses and startups that are focused on developing and commercializing new technologies and innovations.

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Public Sector

The public sector is made up of government agencies, departments, and institutions that are responsible for providing a range of services and benefits to the public, including education, healthcare, social services, and infrastructure.

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Fourth Sector

The fourth sector is a concept that refers to the emergence of a new approach to economy and enterprise that combines the best of the public sector (governments), private sector (for-profit businesses), and third sector (non-profits).

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NGO Sector

The NGO sector is made up of non-governmental organizations, such as charities, foundations, and advocacy groups, that are committed to addressing social and environmental issues and promoting the public good.

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