Varieties of Power in the Diffusion of Management Ideas: The Case of McKinsey and Co

Organisation Studies

Speaker:Professor Andrew Sturdy, University of Bristol
Date: Tuesday 12 November 2013
Time: 4.00 pm
Location: Bateman Lecture Theatre, Building One, Streatham Campus

Further details

The success of many professional services firms rests, in part, in their capacity to create and diffuse management ideas and products, a process which many studies show is dependent on the exercise of forms of power. This paper explores this relationship through the case of arguably, one of the most powerful PSFs, McKinsey & Co.. It does so by developing and applying three processes of power to the context of management ideas and to the activities of McKinsey outlined in secondary sources and other publically available information such as in the business media. In particular, we focus on specific illustrations or vignettes in order to explore the success of McKinsey and its limits at different levels of power effect and to identify the overlapping nature of forms of power. At the same time, we seek to contribute to a further politicisation of organisation studies.
Andrew Sturdy is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Head of the Department of Management at the University of Bristol, UK. His interests are in power and identity in the use of management ideas, especially in management consultancy. He has researched and published widely on these topics. He is co-author of ‘Management Consultancy’ (2009, Oxford University Press) and has a public policy interest in the use and effects of management consultancy.