The Management Idea Factory
Innovation and Commodification in Management Consulting
Routledge – 2014 – 144 pages
Routledge – 2014 – 144 pages
Although there has traditionally been considerable field-level attention on how consultants market their ideas and practices, there is still a lack of research that discusses the earlier intra-organizational phases in the development process. While the present literature provides important insights that enhance our understanding of consulting, the consultancy industry, and the way that consultants present their ideas and services on the market for management solutions, we know relatively little about the way knowledge-based innovations develop within consultancy firms and the mechanisms that shape the intra-organizational evolution of these ideas and practices.
This book seeks to address this gap by revealing how the development of new ideas and practices takes shape in consultancies. The work addresses questions such as: In which way do consultancies sense the contemporary market needs? How do new ideas and practices become established within a consultancy? How do consultancies seek to maintain their repertoire? And what role do these new ideas and practices play in their assignments? To provide more insight into these different aspects of knowledge-based innovation in consultancies, the book draws on and integrates literature from diverse relevant fields such as product innovation and market orientation, but also uses institutional and practice-based perspectives. The research presented in this book can be seen in the light of emerging research into ‘knowledge-based innovation’ and ‘new concept development’ that concentrate on empirically studying how knowledge entrepreneurs seek to develop commercially viable ideas and practices that have the potential to have a significant impact on management and organizational praxis.
"This book develops a distinctive focus on management consultants as ‘knowledge entrepreneurs’. Whereas the bulk of literature has been concerned with the practice and consumption of management ideas, this focus on the ideas generation stage of the consultancy process stresses the crucial role of consultants in the production of management knowledge, as well as filling out our understanding of this important occupational group." – Robin Fincham, Stirling Management School, UK
1. Management Ideas as Commodities 2. Studying Management Idea Production 3. Sensing the Market 4. Structural Tensions 5. Gaining Currency 6. Practicing and Preaching 7. Stretching Cycle 8. Conclusion
Stefan Heusinkveld is Associate Professor at the VU University Amsterdam. His research focuses on the production and consumption of management ideas and, in particular, the role of management consultants and management gurus. His work has been published in journals including Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, and Organization Studies.