In Search of Organization Consulting´s Other: Introducing Poststructural Organization Theory to Systemic Practices of Consulting

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

The management consulting sector exhibits a remarkable homogeneity when it comes to its prevailing paradigm and, related therewith, its preferred subjectivity (i.e. being). In concrete terms, the consulting sector largely depends on a rationalistic model which fosters, among other things, the view that the world can be subdivided into workable data; that those data are to be viewed as objective, stable facts; that those facts can be analyzed in an unbiased manner; and that they can subsequently be used to support the decision making of management.
The aim of the present contribution is two-fold: first, to critically reflect the prevailing management consulting literature against the backdrop of (poststructuralist) organization theory. The second and related objective is to find ways to render the respective insights amenable to practice. The argument will reveal along the following three steps. In the first step, the rationalistic heritage of consulting is brought to light, which holds, for instance, that consulting forms a linear process based on sound planning, implementation and monitoring. Second, in an attempt to transcend the individualist, realist and rationalist grounding of management consulting, reference will be made to poststructural organization theory which is supposed to decouple consulting from its rationalist, progressive presumption. The third part is devoted to reflect on the practical application of a non-realist approach. Systemic consulting approaches will therefore be summoned and blended with the tenets of poststructural thinking. Potential synergies between the two streams of thought will be discussed on the basis of a consulting project carried out in a large non-profit organization.

Authors Resch, Doerte; Dey, Pascal & Schulz, Florian
Projects Resch, Doerte; Müller, Björn; Hoyer, Patrizia; Schulz, Florian & Steyaert, Chris (2008) Beratung und Intervention von Individuen und Organisationen [applied research project]
Language English
Keywords management consulting, systemic consulting, systemic practices, poststructural organization theory
Subjects other research area
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 13 June 2009
Publisher The Management Consultant Division - Academy of Management and IFF - Faculty for Interdisciplinary Studies
Place of Publication Klagenfurt
Page Range 1-19
Number of Pages 19
Title of Book The Changing Paradigm of Consulting - Adjusting to the Fast-Paced World
Event Title 4th International Conference on Management Consulting (MCD 2009)
Event Location Vienna
Event Dates 11.-13.06.2009
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Doerte Resch
Date Deposited 16 Jun 2009 12:28
Last Modified 14 Sep 2017 14:59


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Resch, Doerte; Dey, Pascal & Schulz, Florian: In Search of Organization Consulting´s Other: Introducing Poststructural Organization Theory to Systemic Practices of Consulting. 2009. - 4th International Conference on Management Consulting (MCD 2009). - Vienna.

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