Browse/search for people

Publication - Professor Andrew Sturdy

    The active client: The boundary-spanning roles of internal consultants as gatekeepers, brokers and partners of their external counterparts

    Citation

    Sturdy, A & Wright, C, 2011, ‘The active client: The boundary-spanning roles of internal consultants as gatekeepers, brokers and partners of their external counterparts’. Management Learning, vol 42, 5., pp. 485 - 503

    Abstract

    This article examines the active client of management consultancy as a key agent in managing and mediating knowledge flows across organisational boundaries. From a qualitative study of a particular case of active clients - internal consultants managing their external counterparts - three boundary-spanning roles are identified. Active clients can act as a ‘gatekeeper’, ‘broker’ and ‘partner’ with respect to both consultants and the knowledge they bring. These roles are shown to vary according to a client’s expertise, formal project responsibilities and personal reputation, as well as the different phases of consulting projects. They not only elucidate an otherwise neglected or static dimension of management consultancy – client activity - but highlight the dynamic and essentially political character of serving as knowledge barriers and/or bridges in the intermediation and co-production of management knowledge across organisational boundaries.

    Full details in the University publications repository