The Innovation Project

I am running a two year research project which aims to understand how innovative management practices are generated and disseminated through consulting interactions with client organisations and other institutions.

It is an exploratory piece of work showing how new consulting ideas and processes are generated, disseminated and embedded through an interaction of the macro, such as environments, structures and institutions, and the micro, such as agency, culture and practice.

Specifically, the research seeks to:

  • Understand what innovation means in the context of client / consultant relationships
  • Explore what the contraints and enablers of innovative practice are in the consulting environment.
  • Explore how stakeholders understand innovative practice to have changed
  • Understand how consultants work with clients and other stakeholders to generate and diffuse locally effective management practices.
  • Understand the role of stakeholders such as representative bodies, networks and government agencies in enabling and constraining these processes.

The project uses a number of methods to achieve these aims, including:

  • Interviews with management consultants, clients and stakeholders. The consultants and clients cover a range of different organisations. The stakeholders include the instutions of consultancy (MCA, IBC, ICMCI), procurement (OGC, CIPS) and clients (BIS, IOD, CBI).
  • Participant observation in an innovate management consultancy. For a period of time I worked with a consultancy team developing a new, innovative management product. This generated rich empirical data to better understand the processes that underpin innovative practice.
  • A survey of 200 management consultancies examining their perceptions of innovative practice when engaging with clients.

For further information please download the Proposal impact statement and the Research summary here.