Management consulting firms as institutional agents:strategies for creating and sustaining institutional capital

Article English OPEN
Reihlen, Markus ; Smets, Michael ; Veit, Andreas (2010)

We classify the strategies by which management consultancies can create and sustain the institutional capital that makes it possible for them to extract competitive resources from their institutional context. Using examples from the German consulting industry, we show how localized competitive actions can enhance both individual firms’ positions, and also strengthen the collective institutional capital of the consulting industry thus legitimizing consulting services in broader sectors of society and facilitating access to requisite resources. Our findings counter the image of institutional entrepreneurship as individualistic, “heroic” action. We demonstrate how distributed, embedded actors can collectively shape the institutional context from within to enhance their institutional capital.
  • References (111)
    111 references, page 1 of 12

    Abrahamson, Eric (1996), Management fashion, Academy of Management Review 21, 254-285.

    Alvesson, Mats (1993), Organizations as rhetoric: Knowledge-intensive firms and the struggle with ambiguity, Journal of Management Studies 30, 997-1022.

    Armbrüster, Thomas (2004), Rationality and its symbols: Signalling effects and subjectification in management consulting, Journal of Management Studies 41, 1247-1269.

    Armbrüster, Thomas (2006), The economics and sociology of management consulting, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Armbrüster, Thomas and Christoph Barchewitz (2004), Marketing instruments of management consulting firms: An empirical study, Paper presented at the Academy of Management Conference, New Orleans.

    Bäcklund, Jonas and Andreas Werr (2001), The construction of global management consulting - a study of consultancies' web presentations, SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration 3, 1-30.

    Barley, Stephen R. and Pamela S. Tolbert (1997), Institutionalization and structuration: Studying the links between action and institution, Organization Studies 18, 93-118.

    BCG (2006), Innovationsstandort Deutschland - quo vadis,, 23.03.2008.

    BCG (2008), Corporate Citizenship,, 20.03.2008.

    BDU (2007), Facts & Figures zum Beratermarkt 2006/2007, Bonn: Bundesverband Deutscher Unternehmensberater BDU e.V.

  • Similar Research Results (1)
  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark