Management consulting & academic research and theory : – jointly connected or increasingly separated?
The management consultancy profession has shifted from being a deeply academically rootedprofession to a profession where the connection to academic institutions is more indistinct.Where the knowledge within management consultancy firms comes from is more and moreunclear. The gap between management practice and academic research is sometimesdescribed as unbridgeable for several reasons. Our purpose of this study is to see howimportant academic research and theory is to management consultancy firms’ knowledge baseand what impact obstacles and outer pressure can have on this.As our theory base for this study we have the “Three Basic Elements of theKnowledge System and their Interrelations” model by Werr and Stjernberg (2003). We haveredefined and also added some elements to this model and thereby designed our own model“The Knowledge Base System in an Institutionalized Environment” which functions as aground for our analysis.We have performed this study by using the quantitative method ofquestionnaires where we have used two types of questionnaire, one for the companies and onefor the consultants. The conclusions that we can draw is that academic research and theory isvery important to management consultancy firms’ knowledge bases. However, the consultantssay they have greater usage of their experiences in their daily work, even though they useacademic research and theory as a mean to communicate with each other within theconsultancy firm. A conclusion of this is that experience and academic research and theorymight not be in conflict but have different functions and complement each other.
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