- Alvesson, Mats, et al.
Identity work in consultancy projects: ambiguity and distribution of credit and blame
Ingår i: Discourses of Deficit. - Palgrave Macmillan. - 978-1-349-32089-9 ; s. 159-174
- The consultancy industry — broadly defined — has boomed significantly over recent decades. A large and increasing proportion of the welleducated parts of the workforce are employed as management, IT and engineering consultants, communication advisors, etc. Large accounting firms employing hundred of thousands of employees also work with advice-giving on a consultancy (or consultancy-like) basis. So do law, advertising, architecture and many other kinds of firms. Consultancy work means coming from the outside, adding advice and/or expertise, helping client firms. In principle, the external professional is supposed to enter with objectivity, neutrality and supplementary or superior knowledge and increases the rationality and efficiency of client organisations. Client-orientation is an espoused dominating value and most consultants have a strong material incentive to satisfy their clients. Prompted by the prestige, high fees and attractiveness of consultancy jobs, talented and hard-working employees are often recruited and many consultancy firms make huge efforts in recruiting, retaining and developing talented people (and ‘letting go’ those viewed as less competent). All this could imply that relations between consultants and their clients are on the whole consensual and positive.