Arguing for Relevance: Global and local knolwdge claims in management consulting
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Management consulting services are often viewed as local in the sense that they are based on knowledge of local conditions, are adapted to those conditions, and build on client interaction. Despite this view, globally active consulting firms continue to increase in number and relative size in national markets. To address this paradox and to understand the demand for globally active management consulting services, the present study investigated the efforts of consulting firms to be persuasive, and the ideational embeddeness of those efforts. This was done by examining how management consulting firms present their services in three media in the Swedish market for management consulting: public tenders, corporate web sites, and a yearly listing of the actors in the market, with special attention to ideas on management and organization drawn upon by the firms in their efforts to be persuasive.
Three distinct presentation profiles were identified and linked to categories of consulting firms. Although varying considerably, the profiles drew on common ideas, viz., management as a de-contextualized, global and scientific activity. Offering structured models and standardized tools was seen to provide advantages to consulting firms claiming to be able to do so. Local aspects of management, such as culture, were generally de-emphasized as a source of legitimacy in the presentations.
By considering how processes of consulting-firm legitimization through presentations make part of the structuring of non-regulated fields, the study contributes to a discussion of the interdependence of the evolution of the consulting industry and the development and diffusion of general ideas on management.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Företagsekonomiska institutionen , 2003. , 216 p.
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 100
Business and economics, management consulting, management knowledge, arguments, presentations, globalization
Economics and Business
Research subject Business Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3490OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3490DiVA: diva2:163012
2003-06-02, Hörsal 1, Ekonomikum, Uppsala, 10:15
Sturdy, Andrew, Professor
Kinch, Nils, DocentHallén, Lars, ProfessorFurusten, Staffan, Universitetslektor