Management innovation through standardization: Consultants as standardizers of organizational practice

C. Wright, A. Sturdy, Nick Wylie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Management innovation and the consultants who promote and support it are both typically associated with the ‘new’, with departures from the norm and from standard approaches. Indeed, standardization is often seen as an impediment to innovation, especially in the current ‘post-bureaucratic’ era. This article challenges such a view, arguing that consultant-led management innovation is often highly standardized. Based upon qualitative research into internal consultancy in large business organizations, both standardizing agendas and standardized methods are identified from a range of consultant-led management innovation programs. The analysis then points to some of the structural and cultural features of organizations that lead to managers favouring incremental, standardized approaches to change, even if these are often contested. In conclusion, the article points to the need to consider a range of different dimensions in the relationship between standardization and management innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652–662
JournalResearch Policy
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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Standardization
Innovation
Lead
Managers
Consultants
Organizational practices
Management innovation
Industry

Bibliographical note

This paper is not available on the repository

Keywords

  • Management innovation
  • Standardization
  • Management consultancy
  • Organizational change
  • Change methods

Cite this

Management innovation through standardization: Consultants as standardizers of organizational practice. / Wright, C.; Sturdy, A.; Wylie, Nick.

In: Research Policy, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2011, p. 652–662.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wright, C. ; Sturdy, A. ; Wylie, Nick. / Management innovation through standardization: Consultants as standardizers of organizational practice. In: Research Policy. 2011 ; Vol. 41, No. 3. pp. 652–662.
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