Critical Consulting: New Perspectives on the Management Advice Industry / Edition 1

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" important and theoretically innovative book highlighting thepower games and discursive strategies that consutlants used tolegitimise their knowledge claimes". Denis Saint-Martin,Universite de Montreal

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

"Management Consultants are unloved - perhaps even by their ownmothers - and they are misunderstood. This splendid volume tacklesthe latter problem with considerable success; now we understand whymanagement 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 managementadvice industry and a valuable addition to the critical literaturein this area". Dr Christopher Wright, University of New SouthWales

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631218197
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Clark is Professor of Organisational Behaviour atthe University of Durham Business School. He has written or editedseven 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, includingPrinciples of Organizational Behaviour (1999), now in itsthird edition.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables.

Notes on Contributors.

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

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

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

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

3. The Rise of Consultancy and the Prospect for Regions: PeterWood (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 andManagement Advice:.

5. Virtual Stories of Virtual Working: Critical Reflections onCTI Consultancy Discourse: Peter Case (Oxford BrookesUniversity).

6. The Vision Thing: Constructing Technology and the Future inManagement Advice: Brian P Bloomfield (Lancaster UniversityManagement School) and Theo Vurdubakis (Manchester School ofManagement).

7. Front-Line Diffusion: The Production and Negotiation ofKnowledge Through Training Interactions: Andrew Sturdy (Universityof Melbourne).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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