Management consulting firms as institutional agents: strategies for creating and sustaining institutional capital

Markus Reihlen, Michael Smets, Andreas Veit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We classify the strategies by which management consultancies can create and sustain the institutional capital that makes it possible for them to extract competitive resources from their institutional context. Using examples from the German consulting industry, we show how localized competitive actions can enhance both individual firms’ positions, and also strengthen the collective institutional capital of the consulting industry thus legitimizing consulting services in broader sectors of society and facilitating access to requisite resources. Our findings counter the image of institutional entrepreneurship as individualistic,
“heroic” action. We demonstrate how distributed, embedded actors can collectively
shape the institutional context from within to enhance their institutional capital.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-339
Number of pages23
JournalSchmalenbach Business Review
Volume62
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • institutional capital
  • institutional strategy
  • consulting
  • embedded agency
  • neoinstitutionalism

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