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Critical Consulting: New Perspectives on the Management Advice Industry

Timothy Clark (Editor), Robin Fincham (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-21820-3
296 pages
October 2001, Wiley-Blackwell
Critical Consulting: New Perspectives on the Management Advice Industry (0631218203) cover image
The critical analysis presented here evaluates what management consultants offer as well as analysing the emergence of their industry as a contemporary social phenomenon.

  • Presents the latest research from the most influential researchers in the field.
  • Takes an inter-disciplinary approach, chapters analyse critical theory, organizational behaviour, sociology, psychology, actor-network theory and narrative analysis.
  • Provides the first critical evaluation of the different actors and activities that comprise the management advice sector.
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List of Figures and Tables.

Notes on Contributors.

Introduction: The Emergence of Critical Perspectives on Consulting: Robin Fincham (Stirling University) and Timothy Clark (King's College).

Part I: Setting the Scene: The Nature of Management Consultancy and Management Advice:.

1. Consulting: What Should it Mean?: Edgar H Schein (MIT Sloan School of Management).

2. Trapped in their Wave: The Evolution of Management Consultancies: Matthias Kipping (University of Reading).

3. The Rise of Consultancy and the Prospect for Regions: Peter Wood (University College London).

4. On Knowledge, Business Consultants and the Selling of TQM: Karen Legge (University of Warwick).

Part II: The Contexts of Management Consultancy and Management Advice:.

5. Virtual Stories of Virtual Working: Critical Reflections on CTI Consultancy Discourse: Peter Case (Oxford Brookes University).

6. The Vision Thing: Constructing Technology and the Future in Management Advice: Brian P Bloomfield (Lancaster University Management School) and Theo Vurdubakis (Manchester School of Management).

7. Front-Line Diffusion: The Production and Negotiation of Knowledge Through Training Interactions: Andrew Sturdy (University of Melbourne).

8. Knowledge Legitimation and Audience Affiliation Through Storytelling: The Example of Management Gurus: Timothy Clark (King's College) and David Greatbatch (Independent Social Scientist).

9. A Fantasy Theme Analysis of Three Guru-Led Management Fashions: Brad Jackson (Victoria University of Wellington).

Part III: Critical Reflections on Management Consultancy and Management Advice:.

10. Charisma versus Technique: Differentiating the Expertise of Management Gurus and Management Consultants: Robin Fincham (Stirling University).

11. On Communication Barriers between Management Science, Consultancies and Business Companies: Alfred Kieser (University of Mannheim).

12. Professionalism and Politics in Management Consultancy Work: Mats Alvesson (Lund University) and Anders W Johansson (Jonkoping International Business School, Sweden).

13. Understanding Advice: Towards a Sociology of Management Consultancy: Graeme Salaman (Open University).

14. What Next? More Critique of Consultants, Gurus and Managers: Frank Heller (Centre for Decision Making Studies).

Index.

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Timothy Clark is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the University of Durham Business School. He has written or edited seven previous books including Managing Consultants (1995) and has written numerous articles in a range of leading journals. He is also an Assistant Editor of Human Relations.

Robin Fincham is Senior Lecturer at Stirling University. He has written or edited three previous books, including Principles of Organizational Behaviour (1999), now in its third edition.

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  • Presents the latest research from the most influential researchers in the field.
  • Takes an inter-disciplinary approach, chapters analyse critical theory, organizational behaviour, sociology, psychology, actor-network theory and narrative analysis.
  • Provides the first critical evaluation of the different actors and activities that comprise the management advice sector.
See More
"...an important and theoretically innovative book highlighting the power games and discursive strategies that consutlants used to legitimise their knowledge claimes". Denis Saint-Martin, Universite de Montreal <!--end-->

"This book represents an admirable resource for learning about current consulting practices, about their historical roots, and their underlying assumptions. The case studies are rich with concrete illustrations and informed by sound scholarly research." Chris Argyris, Harvard Business School

"Management Consultants are unloved - perhaps even by their own mothers - and they are misunderstood. This splendid volume tackles the latter problem with considerable success; now we understand why management consultants are unloved." Stuart Macdonald, University of Sheffield

"With contributions from the leading researchers in the area, this book provides fresh insights into the growth of the management advice industry and a valuable addition to the critical literature in this area". Dr Christopher Wright, University of New South Wales

"This book is a landmark that will set the parameters for future thinking about the role of consultants." Professor Stephen Hill, London School of Economics

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