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Management as Consultancy
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Book description

The nature of management is changing: managers are becoming more like consultants, focusing on projects, functional integration, change and 'clients'. This timely book is based on a large-scale, international study of new management practices and examines the emergence of consultant managers. It breaks new ground in our understanding of this hybrid role, uncovering working practices, identities and occupational dynamics, to shed light on both management and consultancy. It unpacks the changing relationship between external consultants and management to reveal important implications for the future of consultancy. Both private and public sectors are covered, with a focus on managers in large and multinational organisations such as former consultants and those in specialisms such as human resource management who adopt consulting roles. In addition to advancing our understanding of changes in management, this book offers a demystifying view of consultancy as a whole, from one of the largest ever studies of this occupation.


‘The central proposition of this book is highly intriguing and captured my attention immediately. The authors argue convincingly that we need to re-think our assumptions about what management is and the role of management consultants as external experts doing different things to managers. It will have a very substantial impact on academic debate and, perhaps more importantly, on how practicing managers see their roles and careers.’

Timothy Morris - University of Oxford

‘In an age of information and connectivity, power and advantage for organisations is no longer gleaned through controlling information flows and decisions through a structured chain of command. Organisations are evolving to respond to the new ‘networked economy’, and from this has evolved what Sturdy, Wright and Wylie term the ‘consultant manager’. Management as Consultancy is thought-provoking, and provides important insights for organizations to grasp in the evolving world of work.’

Charlotte Park - Partner and Managing Director, Mercer Singapore

‘Both the research and conclusions in this book are aligned with learnings from our global network of internal management consultants, many of whom are internal consultants by role but not in formally designated groups. These are often subsets of various functional areas of the enterprise which have business partnering type roles - such as HR, IT, Quality, Auditing, Project Management and others - and are increasingly realizing its importance for future success. Our focus is to help develop the necessary level of professionalism to maximize their impact, and this book provides … [a] useful resource.’

Bill Trotter - Managing Director, Association of Internal Management Consultants, USA

‘… of interest to managers fascinated by the theory of management or to students studying management at postgraduate/post-experience level … This is a complex book, offering food for thought and many topics for debate … worth reading by a serious manager or leader.’

Andy Cowe - Management and Consulting Book Club, Chartered Management Institute

'Overall, the book is a timely contribution, not just to research on consultancy, but more broadly to our understanding of management. Few studies successfully manage to do both and this certainly succeeds in opening up an area for future research to more fully explore the extent to which consultancy has pervaded the field of management.'

Crawford Spence Source: Management Learning

‘This book is a good reminder that management consultant is not a homogeneous group and that there are distinct classes of professionals within it … Original and stimulating work … illustrating the blurring of management and consulting careers in neo-bureaucratic organizations.’

Marion Brivot Source: Organizational Studies

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