- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Notes on the Contributors
- Researching Management Consulting: An Introduction to the Handbook
- The Engineering Origins Of the Consulting Industry And its Long Shadow
- Human Relations And Management Consulting: Elton Mayo And Eric Trist
- Institutional Change And The Growth Of Strategy Consulting In The United States
- Cuckoo in the Nest? the Rise of Management Consulting in Large Accounting Firms
- It Consulting And Outsourcing Firms: Evolution, Business Models, And Future Prospects
- Sociological Perspectives On Management Consulting
- Consultants In Context: Global Dominance, Societal Effect, And The Capitalist System
- Professions And Professionalism In Management Consulting
- Economics Approaches To Management Consulting
- The Geographies Of Management Consultancy Firms
- Knowledge Management And Management Consulting
- Consultants And Organization Concepts
- Structuring Consulting Firms
- Managing Consultants: Control And Identity
- Consultants In The Management Fashion Arena
- Management Gurus As Celebrity Consultants
- Business Schools And Consultancies: The Blurring Of Boundaries
- The Nature Of Client–Consultant Interaction: A Critical Review
- The Client In The Client–Consultant Relationship
- Consultants And Clients From Constructivist Perspectives
- Governments And Management Consultants: Supply, Demand, And Effectiveness
- The Future Research Agenda
- Consulting And Ethics
- Gender In Consulting: A Review And Research Agenda
- Management Consulting In Developing And Emerging Economies: Towards A Postcolonial Perspective
Abstract and Keywords
This article focuses on (social) constructivist perspectives on management consulting. It notes that while this perspective has been considered as a marginal issue, it may also provide some answers to the question of if and how management consultants are helping their clients. It reviews the history of constructivism and then defines the constructivist perspective. The next section demonstrates how constructivism can help in understanding the relationship between consultants and clients. It then considers consultants as ‘merchants of meaning’ and identifies several current developments of the constructivist approach to consulting. This article ends with a discussion of ‘liminality’, which is a transition stage where usual prerogatives are suspended.
Barbara Czarniawska is Professor of Management Studies at Gothenburg Research Institute, the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She studies connections between popular culture and practice of management, and techniques of managing overflow in affluent societies—exploring techniques of fieldwork and the applications of narratology in social sciences. Recent books in English are Cyberfactories: How News Agencies Produce News (2011) and Managing Overflow in Affluent Societies (edited with Orvar Löfgren, 2012).
Carmelo Mazza holds a Ph.D. in Organization Theory from IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain. He has taught in several business schools throughout Europe and is currently Affiliate Professor at IE Business School in Madrid. His research interests range from the institutionalization of practices in media/cultural industries to the study of the consulting profession. His recent studies on the university reforms in Europe have led to several publications and conferences. Carmelo Mazza has published articles in several high-rated journals including Organization Studies, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Organization, and Human Relations, in which he is also active as a reviewer.
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