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A multifaceted perspective on the role of management consultants: - A qualitative case study of management consultant’s role in a Swedish MNC
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


There are many and varied views on the role of the management consultant. Roles range from the  functional perspective  to  variations of  the  critical perspective. Despite these many perspectives, there is low consensus and a poor under-standing of what the consultant actually does. Adding to the mix is that there is even poorer  understanding  of how  the  implementation of a new  concept af-fects the consultant’s role. Consequently, the authors will look at what role a management consultant take when working with new knowledge, and how this role  is viewed from the perspective of the consultant, managers and employee in the client organization: a Swedish MNC.  The research issue was examined through the authors’ own model, which was tested through in-depth interviews with management consultant, managers and employee within the case company.  Interview material was complemented through participant observations. Data was then analyzed  as authors tried to understand the informants through an emic research perspective. The study shows that the role of the management consultant varies depending on who is asked. The perspective ranges from the functional perspective on management consulting to the critical perspective, even if no informant can be said to argue that the management consultant belong to only one of the two perspectives. What is more, the study indicates that the closeness (relationship) of the client and the management consultant as well as the knowledge used by the consultant determines the consultant’s role. The authors suggest that further research should focus on how knowledge de-termines the role of the consultant, the effect of closeness between client and consultant and finally how implementation of new knowledge affects the view of the management consultant’s role.

KEYWORDS: management consultants, management consultants’ role, functional perspec-tive, critical perspective, tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge, knowledge management, client-consultant relationship & reforms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 58 p.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-179515OAI: diva2:545077
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-08-20 Created: 2012-08-17 Last updated: 2012-08-20Bibliographically approved

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