The Economics and Sociology of Management Consulting

The Economics and Sociology of Management Consulting

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Thomas Armbrüster
Cambridge University Press, 4/1/2010
EAN 9780521142243, ISBN10: 0521142245

Paperback, 268 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.7 cm
Language: English

Management consultancy is a key sector in the economic change toward a service and knowledge economy. Originally published in 2006, this book explains the mechanisms of the management consulting market and the management of consulting firms from both economic and sociological perspectives. It also examines the strategies, marketing approaches, knowledge management and human resource management techniques of consulting firms. After outlining the relationships between transaction cost economics, signaling theory, embeddedness theory and sociological neoinstitutionalism, Thomas Armbrüster applies these theories to central questions such as: Why does the consulting sector exist and grow? Which institutions connect supply and demand? And which factors influence the relationship between clients and consultants? By applying both economic and sociological approaches, the book explains the general economic changes of the previous thirty years and sharpens the relationship between the academic disciplines.

List of figures
List of tables
Preface and acknowledgements
1. Management consultancy viewed from economic and sociological perspectives
Part I. The Mechanisms of the Consulting Market
2. Why do consulting firms exist and grow? The economics and sociology of knowledge
3. How do supply and demand meet? Competition and the role of social institutions
4. Who is more powerful? Consulting influence and client authority
5. Substitutes or supplements? Internal versus external consulting
Part II. The Drivers of Managing a Consulting Firm
6. Diversified services or niche focus? Strategies of consulting firms
7. Fostering reputation and growth? Marketing consulting services
8. Economics and sociology of knowledge distribution
organizational structure and governance
9. Gaining talent and signaling quality
human resource management
Part III. Conclusions
10. The knowledge economy, management consultancy, and the multitheoretical approach

Review of the hardback: 'This is one of the very best books on management consulting to appear in the last decade. It systematically applies four theoretical perspectives to one of today's fastest and least understood industries. The result is an unusually rich set of insights. The author is careful not to overstate the general relevance of these insights, but this book will be of considerable value to anyone interested in the broader field of professional services.' Royston Greenwood, Professor of Strategic Management, University of Alberta, Canada