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The failure of consulting professionalism? A longitudinal analysis of the Institute of Management Consultants

Butler, Nick LU and Collins, David (2016) In Management and Organizational History 11(1). p.48-65
Abstract

Abstract: This paper offers a longitudinal analysis of the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC). Drawing on archive sources, we consider the manner in which the IMC sought to institutionalize a form of expertise specific to management consultants. Rejecting attempts to locate the boundaries of such expertise within idealized, archetypal frameworks, we analyse the IMC’s attempts to secure occupational closure in the field of consulting by means of normative, cognitive and symbolic mechanisms. While others account for the Institute’s professional project as a failure consequent upon consulting’s fragmentary knowledge base, we suggest that this project did not so much fail as drift towards another ‘hybrid’ form. In an attempt (a) to... (More)

Abstract: This paper offers a longitudinal analysis of the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC). Drawing on archive sources, we consider the manner in which the IMC sought to institutionalize a form of expertise specific to management consultants. Rejecting attempts to locate the boundaries of such expertise within idealized, archetypal frameworks, we analyse the IMC’s attempts to secure occupational closure in the field of consulting by means of normative, cognitive and symbolic mechanisms. While others account for the Institute’s professional project as a failure consequent upon consulting’s fragmentary knowledge base, we suggest that this project did not so much fail as drift towards another ‘hybrid’ form. In an attempt (a) to account for this shift and (b) to outline its key contours, we offer an archival analysis that explores the manner in which the Institute sought to reconcile the multiple interests and competing logics that construct professionalism within the field of consulting.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
hybridity, Management consultants, professional project, professionalism
in
Management and Organizational History
volume
11
issue
1
pages
18 pages
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • scopus:84961241914
  • wos:000373128000004
ISSN
1744-9359
DOI
10.1080/17449359.2016.1151363
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
41ef0b78-05e0-4b47-aef3-065eaa357f18
date added to LUP
2016-09-21 08:12:47
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:34:30
@article{41ef0b78-05e0-4b47-aef3-065eaa357f18,
  abstract     = {<p>Abstract: This paper offers a longitudinal analysis of the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC). Drawing on archive sources, we consider the manner in which the IMC sought to institutionalize a form of expertise specific to management consultants. Rejecting attempts to locate the boundaries of such expertise within idealized, archetypal frameworks, we analyse the IMC’s attempts to secure occupational closure in the field of consulting by means of normative, cognitive and symbolic mechanisms. While others account for the Institute’s professional project as a failure consequent upon consulting’s fragmentary knowledge base, we suggest that this project did not so much fail as drift towards another ‘hybrid’ form. In an attempt (a) to account for this shift and (b) to outline its key contours, we offer an archival analysis that explores the manner in which the Institute sought to reconcile the multiple interests and competing logics that construct professionalism within the field of consulting.</p>},
  author       = {Butler, Nick and Collins, David},
  issn         = {1744-9359},
  keyword      = {hybridity,Management consultants,professional project,professionalism},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {48--65},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Management and Organizational History},
  title        = {The failure of consulting professionalism? A longitudinal analysis of the Institute of Management Consultants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449359.2016.1151363},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2016},
}