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Identity work in consultancy projects: ambiguity and distribution of credit and blame

Alvesson, Mats LU and Sveningsson, Stefan LU (2011) In Discourses of Deficit p.159-174
Abstract
The consultancy industry — broadly defined — has boomed significantly over recent decades. A large and increasing proportion of the welleducated parts of the workforce are employed as management, IT and engineering consultants, communication advisors, etc. Large accounting firms employing hundred of thousands of employees also work with advice-giving on a consultancy (or consultancy-like) basis. So do law, advertising, architecture and many other kinds of firms. Consultancy work means coming from the outside, adding advice and/or expertise, helping client firms. In principle, the external professional is supposed to enter with objectivity, neutrality and supplementary or superior knowledge and increases the rationality and efficiency of... (More)
The consultancy industry — broadly defined — has boomed significantly over recent decades. A large and increasing proportion of the welleducated parts of the workforce are employed as management, IT and engineering consultants, communication advisors, etc. Large accounting firms employing hundred of thousands of employees also work with advice-giving on a consultancy (or consultancy-like) basis. So do law, advertising, architecture and many other kinds of firms. Consultancy work means coming from the outside, adding advice and/or expertise, helping client firms. In principle, the external professional is supposed to enter with objectivity, neutrality and supplementary or superior knowledge and increases the rationality and efficiency of client organisations. Client-orientation is an espoused dominating value and most consultants have a strong material incentive to satisfy their clients. Prompted by the prestige, high fees and attractiveness of consultancy jobs, talented and hard-working employees are often recruited and many consultancy firms make huge efforts in recruiting, retaining and developing talented people (and ‘letting go’ those viewed as less competent). All this could imply that relations between consultants and their clients are on the whole consensual and positive. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
Discourses of Deficit
editor
Candlin, Christopher and Crichton, Jonathan
pages
159 - 174
publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN
978-1-349-32089-9
DOI
10.1057/9780230299023_9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d138c1ed-fef7-418f-9e57-12641e5f5b33
date added to LUP
2016-06-30 21:11:11
date last changed
2016-10-03 13:34:34
@misc{d138c1ed-fef7-418f-9e57-12641e5f5b33,
  abstract     = {The consultancy industry — broadly defined — has boomed significantly over recent decades. A large and increasing proportion of the welleducated parts of the workforce are employed as management, IT and engineering consultants, communication advisors, etc. Large accounting firms employing hundred of thousands of employees also work with advice-giving on a consultancy (or consultancy-like) basis. So do law, advertising, architecture and many other kinds of firms. Consultancy work means coming from the outside, adding advice and/or expertise, helping client firms. In principle, the external professional is supposed to enter with objectivity, neutrality and supplementary or superior knowledge and increases the rationality and efficiency of client organisations. Client-orientation is an espoused dominating value and most consultants have a strong material incentive to satisfy their clients. Prompted by the prestige, high fees and attractiveness of consultancy jobs, talented and hard-working employees are often recruited and many consultancy firms make huge efforts in recruiting, retaining and developing talented people (and ‘letting go’ those viewed as less competent). All this could imply that relations between consultants and their clients are on the whole consensual and positive.},
  author       = {Alvesson, Mats and Sveningsson, Stefan},
  editor       = {Candlin, Christopher and Crichton, Jonathan},
  isbn         = {978-1-349-32089-9},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {159--174},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x8b1a600)},
  series       = {Discourses of Deficit},
  title        = {Identity work in consultancy projects: ambiguity and distribution of credit and blame},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230299023_9},
  year         = {2011},
}