Highlights Management Consulting

Autumn 2017
In November 2017 Gert-Jan Melker successfully defended his dissertation ‘Critical career transitions and career development’. His study analyzes the effectiveness of management development activities (e.g., coaching, mentoring, training, education etc.) in enhancing the possibility that critical career transitions in managerial careers will be successful. The complete thesis can be found in the VU library. It made him Dutch PhD student of the week. Read for more information the article.

Summer 2017
On July 5th, 2017, Onno Bouwmeester did a keynote address at the second DAFC conference in Lugano.
The conference on Discourse Approaches of Financial Communication (DAFC) took place the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI) in Lugano, Switzerland. Participants had backgrounds in linguistics, argumentation analysis, communication, IT, sociology, economics and finance, which made the conference both multi and interdisciplinary. His speech was on Debated rationality and irrationality of investment decisions. Controversial decisions in the keynote were investments in flexible working, pension rights in Gurkha and the controversial public bronze sculpture of Santa Claus by McCarthy. The cases were taken from the analysis in his recently published book (2017): The Social Construction of Rationality.
Onno was invited to do the keynote because of his studies on argumentation in the context of investment decisions.

Spring 2017
19 juni presenteerden Elise Busstra en Dmitri Andronov hun bevindingen aan hun opdrachtgevers Dorien de Wit en Annemiek Meinen, beiden consultant bij De Beuk.
Locatie: Het Gegeven Paard te Utrecht. De Beuk had de MC groep van de VU opdracht gegeven onderzoek te doen naar de mogelijkheden rond ‘inclusive consulting’. Voor de studenten was dit hun eerste betaalde adviesopdracht, die zij uitvoerden als onderdeel van hun Master opleiding Management Consulting. Het was een open opdracht, waarbij literatuur onderzoek gecombineerd is met interviews. Consultants van De Beuk en opdrachtgevers van De Beuk hebben in interviews en groepsbijeenkomsten aangegeven waar inclusie moeilijk is, en hoe we mensen of ideeën buitensluiten. Vanuit de ervaringen van de Beuk, opdrachtgevers, reflectie op hun opdrachten en wetenschappelijke inzichten hebben we naar interventies gezocht om vooral sociale buitensluiting en mentale uitsluiting door vooroordelen of beperkingen bespreekbaar te maken. Het doel was om een weg te zoeken richting inclusiviteit. Het onderzoek stond vanuit de VU onder leiding van Onno Bouwmeester, de fotograaf (o.bouwmeester@vu.nl).

Winter 2017
As part of the EGOS Standing Working Group on “Management, Occupations and Professions”, Stefan Heusinkveld organizes together with Prof. Andreas Werr and Prof. Daniel Muzio a track on the forthcoming EGOS conference in Copenhagen (July 6-8, 2017). The track engages with the increasing proliferation and specialization of ‘new’ management occupations or ‘emerging professions’ (Muzio et al., 2011) such as CSR, project management, health and safety management, and risk management to name a few. In particular, we focus on the redefinition, challenging or blending of occupational domains, knowledge and their boundaries (e.g. Bechky, 2003), the various impacts this has on private and public organizations, as well as the changing organization of the production and delivery of this knowledge through internal staff functions, internal consultancies or external professional service firms (PSFs).

News 2016
Autumn 2016
Tessa Kok shortlisted for VU thesis award
Tessa, alumnus of the BA master specialization Management Consulting is shortlisted for the VU thesis award 2017, together with two other VU master students. Tessa graduated cum laude in 2016. She wrote her thesis on moral leadership in situations of moral taint: Managing juniors in the consulting industry. The thesis can be found in the vu library: http://www.ubvu.vu.nl/pub/fulltext/scripties/27_2163721_0.pdf

Jost Sieweke Joins MC group.
Jost defended his PhD in 2012 with the title: Putting Bourdieu into Action – Analyzing the Contributions of Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice to Research in Management and Organisation Studies. He has some good publications already also one in the field of MC: Sieweke, Jost; Birkner, Stephanie; Mohe, Michael (2012): Preferred supplier programs for consulting services: An exploratory study of German client companies. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management 18 (3), 123-136. On top of that he received the best teaching award 2014 from Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf.

Summer 2016
Ruben van Werven leaves MC group

After working on his PhD and staying for one year as assistant professor at the MC group Ruben has left us for Cass Business School. It is a highly ranked business school in the UK, London. He will concentrate more on entrepreneurship research, as in his PhD.

Lucie Noury joins MC group
Lucie joined the Management Consulting group as Assistant Professor. She has obtained her PhD from Mines ParisTech in Paris, which was entitled “Work-Life Balance in Consulting: from individual proactivity to organisational arrangements”. Her research interests have to do with work-life balance and careers within professional organisations. Her fieldwork has been done in many French consultancies. She was finalist of the FNEGE-AIMS PhD award. Recently she got a paper accepted in Journal of Professions and Organization with the title: Tackling the work-life balance challenge in professional service firms, the impact of projects, organizing and service characteristics.

Marlieke van Grinsven, Stefan Heusinkveld and Jos Benders win AOM Management Consulting Division Best Paper Award
The paper, written by Marlieke van Grinsven, Stefan Heusinkveld and Jos Benders (KU Leuven) titled "Aligning the meaning of lean: Boundary spanning agents in the translation of management concepts" has won the Management Consulting Division Best Paper Award at the Academy of Management 2016 Annual Meeting in Anaheim, United States of America. This study focuses on the boundary spanning strategies of intermediate agents involved in the implementation of Lean Management in hospitals. The authors show how these boundary spanners translate the meaning of this management concept across different hierarchical levels and how they shift strategies as a function of their intention to achieve acceptance or implementation.

Gertjan Schuiling en Hans Vermaak win AOM Organization Development and Change Division’s best action research paper
The paper, written by Gertjan Schuiling (VU) and Hans Vermaak (associate Twynstra Gudde and associate Sioo) is titled “Four contexts of action research: Crossing boundaries for productive interplay”. The paper explores how action research takes place within and between four contexts: adding practical value, improving institutions, developing professions and researching theory. The authors argue that action research is not just a combination of activities within any one of these contexts, but more importantly a process of handling the generative tensions in the boundary regions between contexts. Framing action research this way has proven helpful in legitimizing such tensions as meaningful amongst collaborators, in thinking through research designs in teaching and practice, and in paying sufficient attention to boundary work as practitioners. Both the model and its application have been refined during two decades of ongoing practice and reflection by the authors.

Spring 2016
The winner of M&C article competition 2015-2016 is MC student Michael Klofac. His article is published in M&C 2016 Issue 2. The title of his article is: ‘Why you (and your clients) should be happy you went to uni’ Second and third were Linette Inderbiethen en Jeffrey de Bruijn The competition was about the use of academic knowledge for consultant. The news item on the website of M&C can be found here (in Dutch) https://www.managementenconsulting.nl/nieuws/algemeen/winnaar-publicatieprijs-bekend_5991

Autumn 2016
The Financieele Dagblad paid attention to research by Ard-Pieter de Man and Master student David Seipl into business model innovation in consultancies. Consultants working in the public sector work with more traditional business models due to outdated government procurement policies that focus too much on cost: https://fd.nl/ondernemen/1177201/overheid-verspilt-belastinggeld-bij-inhuur-consultants #FD