Constituting best practice in management consulting

Collins, David (2016) Constituting best practice in management consulting. Culture and Organization, 22 (5). pp. 409-429. ISSN 1475-9551

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This paper offers critical reflections on the construction and propagation of ‘best practice’: a concept which has become increasingly important in the business world and in civic life more generally. Focusing upon the activities of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), we offer an analysis of the awards process instituted to applaud ‘best practice’ in the arena of consulting. Departing from existing academic representations of the advice industry which generally exclude this trade body from the analytical frame, we consider the role that the MCA performs in the field of consulting. Situating the MCA's attempt to constitute best practice within the work of Bruno Latour, we argue that this construct depends upon the mobilization of an extended network of allies, advocates and spectators whose interactions have been written out of academic analysis. The paper concludes by proposing the need for further research designed to explore, both, the heterogeneity and the porosity of the networks that construct, convey and applaud key knowledge products such as ‘best practice’.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: best practice, management consultants, networks, collectives, Latour
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Suffolk Business School
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2018 09:24
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2018 15:37

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