Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
Please confirm you are human
(Sign Up for free to never see this)
← Back to Search

Managing Consultants In A Small Firm: A Case Study

M. Ram
Published 1999 · Business

Save to my Library
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy
Share
An increasingly noted feature of the small business population is the rise of the small, professional‐service firm. Explanations of the emergence, employment potential and economic contribution of such firms have been much debated. But comparatively little is known of the dynamics of managing such enterprises. This paper aims to illuminate the nature of the management process in such settings by examining the case of one particular management consultancy, WhitCo. A broad conception of the management process is argued for that recognizes the tensions of working in a ‘high‐trust’ environment. The study, which is based on an intensive investigation in the case‐study firm over a year‐long period, explores three processes. First, the development of the enterprise, particularly in relation to the recruitment of consultants; this establishes the basis of ‘trust’ in the firm. Second, the management of client relationships and their impact on work relations. Third, the dynamics of ‘project management’. The findings highlight how fragile ‘co‐operation’ in such a context can be, and identifies tensions that stem from pressures for organizational efficiency and the need to encourage ‘entrepreneurialism’ among key staff
This paper references
10.1007/978-1-349-24394-5_2
Understanding and managing expertise
H. Scarbrough (1996)
10.1111/J.1467-8551.1996.TB00104.X
Uncovering the Management Process: An Ethnographic Approach1
M. Ram (1996)
10.2307/2093702
Size of industrial organization and worker behaviour
G. Ingham (1970)
10.1177/017084069601700114
Robert Goffee and Richard Scase : Corporate Realities. The Dynamics of Large and Small Organisations
Robert Goffee (1995)
10.1177/017084069501600605
Knowledge, Knowledge Work and Organizations: An Overview and Interpretation
F. Blackler (1995)
10.1177/095001709594008
Re-Constituting Work: Trends towards Knowledge Work and Info-Normative Control
S. Frenkel (1995)
10.1111/J.1748-8583.1997.TB00280.X
Managing creativity, maintaining control: a study in pharmaceutical research
K. Randle (1997)
An introduction to management consultancy
S. Hyman (1961)
Strategy Through People: Adaptation and Learning in the Small-Medium Enterprise
C. Hendry (1995)
10.1111/J.1467-6486.1995.TB00338.X
ON THE STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS OF SOME SMALL, UK‐BASED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FIRMS*
S. Ackroyd (1995)
10.2307/589231
Working-Class Images of Society@@@The Deferential Worker: A Study of Farm Workers in East Anglia
H. Moorhouse (1978)
10.1002/HRM.3930340302
Coming unstuck? In search of the “corporate glue” in an international professional service firm
A. Ferner (1995)
The Fragmentation of Industrial R&D
R. Whittington (1991)
10.1111/J.1467-6486.1993.TB00472.X
MANAGING THE KNOWLEDGE-BASED ORGANIZATION: THE CASE OF ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE
G. Winch (1993)
10.1111/j.1467-954X.1992.tb00401.x
Management Consultants: Systems Development, Power and the Translation of Problems
B. Bloomfield (1992)
10.1093/SF/73.3.811
Corporatist Control and Organizational Commitment among Professionals: The Case of Lawyers Working in Law Firms
Jean E. Wallace (1995)
10.1007/978-1-349-24394-5_3
Hard times for the salariat
G. Burrell (1996)
10.1177/0950017096101005
Management and the Control of Technical Labour
Gordon Causer (1996)
Investigating Small Firms: Nice Work?
R. Holliday (1995)
10.1515/9783110900569
Management Of Knowledge-Intensive Companies
M. Alvesson (1995)
10.5465/AMR.1994.9410122009
Developmental Processes of Cooperative Interorganizational Relationships
P. S. Ring (1994)
10.1080/02642069400000036
Problems and Risks in the Purchasing of Consultancy Services
V. Mitchell (1994)
10.1177/0950017096104007
The White-Coated Worker: Professional Autonomy in a Period of Change
K. Randle (1996)
10.5465/AME.1989.4274740
An Anatomy of Autonomy: Managing Professionals
J. Raelin (1989)
10.1177/014920638601200408
Self-Reports in Organizational Research: Problems and Prospects
P. M. Podsakoff (1986)
10.1111/J.1467-6486.1991.TB00287.X
CHANGE IN AN AUTONOMOUS PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION
C. Hinings (1991)
10.2307/2519297
Patterns Of Industrial Bureaucracy
Alvin W. Gouldner (1954)
10.1007/978-1-349-07469-3_8
The Social Production of Technical Work
P. Whalley (1986)
10.1108/EB045112
Managing Professionals in Organisations
Susan Segal‐Horn (1987)
10.1111/1467-6486.00056
The Consultancy Process — An Insecure Business?
Andrew Sturdy (1997)
Managing to Survive: Working Lives in Small Firms
M. Ram (1994)
10.1080/00131727609336501
The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society
D. Bell (1973)



This paper is referenced by
10.1111/IJMR.12143
Maternity Management in SMEs: A Transdisciplinary Review and Research Agenda
Bianca Stumbitz (2018)
Entrepreneurship and Professional Service Firms – A Literature Review
Markus Reihlen (2014)
10.1111/J.1748-8583.2003.TB00097.X
Knowledge‐intensive firms: the influence of the client on HR systems
J. Swart (2003)
10.1177/0266242606067276
A Multiparadigmatic Perspective of Strategy
A. Bhalla (2006)
10.1111/j.1467-8551.2012.00836.x
Informality and Employment Relationships in Small Firms: Humour, Ambiguity and Straight�?Talking
O. Mallett (2014)
10.1108/s0742-618620190000025007
The Effects of Ownership on Labor Standards in China: A Comparison of Foreign Multinationals and Indigenous Firms
W. Li (2019)
10.1177/2399654417691514
Take-up and variation of advice for new firm founders in different local contexts
K. Mole (2018)
10.1002/HRDQ.21261
Problematizing HRD in SMEs: A “Critical” Exploration of Context, Informality, and Empirical Realities
Ciara T. Nolan (2016)
12143 Maternity Management in SMEs : A Transdisciplinary Review and Research Agenda
Bianca Stumbitz (2018)
Hiring by knowledge-intensive firms in China
E. Roome (2012)
Professional Service Firms confronted with management challenges: can democracy be an organizational solution? A case-study in a democratic consulting firm
S. Gand (2007)
Materiaalin puhdistus puhdastilaan : Muuttaako alkoholikäsittely pakkausmateriaalin läpäisevyyttä?
S. Seppälä (2010)
10.1057/JIBS.2010.55
Theorising from case studies: Towards a pluralist future for international business research
Catherine Welch (2011)
10.1177/0018726707084914
When and why is small beautiful? The experience of work in the small firm
Chin-Ju Tsai (2007)
Organisatoriska förändringsprojekt : -Ett åskådliggörande av svårigheter med dessa och med konsultanvändande
Jesper Ankarberg (2010)
10.1177/0266242608091172
Surfacing Tacit Sources of Success
V. Ambrosini (2008)
10.1016/S0963-8687(02)00006-9
The communal resource and information systems
G. V. Krogh (2002)
10.1177/0266242612450728
The unspoken side of mutual adjustment: Understanding intersubjective negotiation in small professional service firms
R. Wapshott (2013)
10.1080/10438590802194168
The implications of public sector small business advisers becoming strategic sounding boards: England and Scotland compared
K. Mole (2009)
10.1108/02634500310499202
Small Asian‐owned retail businesses in the UK: an exploratory investigation
S. Chaudhry (2003)
An investigation into the knowledge requirements for entrepreneur and small business support practitioners
R. L. Martin (2008)
10.1108/14626000210427348
Entrepreneurship and small business research – a European perspective
R. Hisrich (2002)
Managing The Entrepreneurial Firm Stream 9: Critical-Realist Perspectives On Entrepreneurial Organizations And Discourses
L. Collins (2003)
Grounding the theory of virtue
Carter Crockett (2005)
The power/knowledge of consultants and project management office in enterprise system implementation: a case study of a Saudi Arabian university
Ibrahim Almatrodi (2015)
10.1177/0950017013491306
Gender in the UK architectural profession: (re)producing and challenging hegemonic masculinity
Katherine Sang (2014)
10.1111/1467-6486.00346
Internal Market Failure: A Framework for Diagnosing Firm Inefficiency
A. Vining (2003)
10.1111/j.1467-8543.2007.00643.x
The Conditions Promoting Compromise in the Workplace
J. Bélanger (2007)
10.1108/00483480810862305
Flexibility through HRM in management consulting firms
A. Carvalho (2008)
10.1002/9781119207245.CH19
Knowledge Sharing in Organizations: The Role of Communities
G. V. Krogh (2015)
10.1111/ijmr.12218
Management Consulting: Towards an Integrative Framework of Knowledge, Identity, and Power
Szilvia Mosonyi (2020)
10.1108/13620430110397532
The missing link: coaching as a method of improving managerial skills in smaller businesses in Asia
Philip C. Wright (2001)
See more
Semantic Scholar Logo Some data provided by SemanticScholar