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Title: Working lives of management consultants
Author: Agnihotri, Navneet
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 4077
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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This doctoral research focuses on the exploration of the working lives of ‘management consultants’ with an emphasis on how consultants make sense of, interact with and construct their working lives. From a theoretical perspective, this research is situated within the critical management consulting literature that views consulting as a social phenomenon. In this study, sensemaking perspective has been used as a conceptual framework to explore the processes of management consultants’ sensemaking. This research employs a qualitative, interpretive, social‐constructionist perspective by which to understand the lived experiences of management consultants. The core methodology adopted in this study is life history research. In-depth life history interviews were carried out with research participants from leading consulting firms in the UK and Denmark. These interviews also included a visual inquiry based on the photographs/drawings generated by participants. The research findings highlight the multidimensional nature of the lives of ‘management consultants’ and their processes of sensemaking. Three prominent sensemaking processes emerged as part of the research findings: first, the use of differentiation/comparison with other non-consulting professions (outgroup) by management consultants to make sense of their work by equating challenges, downplaying deficiencies and glorifying the paybacks of consulting profession; second, the use of narrative presentations of 'projects’ that point towards iterative cycles of action and interpretation; and, third, the use of ‘metaphors’ to define their practice and open up ways of ‘seeing’ and intervening.
Supervisor: Oliver, Elizabeth ; Ford, Jackie ; Cunliffe, Ann Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available