Defining a role for internal consultants in contemporary strategic practice

O'Shannassy, T 2006, 'Defining a role for internal consultants in contemporary strategic practice' in Michael Muetzelfeldt (ed.) APROS 11: Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies 11th International Colloquium, Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organisation Studies, Melbourne, pp. 374-383.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title Defining a role for internal consultants in contemporary strategic practice
Author(s) O'Shannassy, T
Year 2006
Title of book APROS 11: Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies 11th International Colloquium
Publisher Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organisation Studies
Place of publication Melbourne
Editor(s) Michael Muetzelfeldt
Start page 374
End page 383
Subjects Organisational Planning and Management
Summary This paper investigates the modern day practice of Henry Mintzberg's internal consultant described in his classic 1994 book The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning. In the research a total of 18 semi-structured interviews were undertaken with some of the leading figures in Australian business. Lacey (1995) in Journal of Organizational Change notes that the internal consultant's role is rarely discussed in the literature. Against this background the results of the empirical study reported in this paper offer numerous useful insights into the contemporary internal consultant's role. Among the findings was evidence of strong support for the internal consultant networking, collaborating and engaging throughout the organization on strategy issues. This aspect of the internal consultant's role could be both proactive and reactive to the needs of executives and directors in the organization. Another useful finding was the possibility of the senior internal consultant as the keeper of the corporate chequebook providing approval for capital expenditure activity at the discretion of the board and the CEO. Another theme to emerge was the lack of contact of line managers with internal consultants - an observation counter to remarks from other stakeholders and counter to insights in the theoretical and empirical literature (Mintzberg 1994; Bonn and Christodoulou 1996; Hill and Stephens 2003).
Copyright notice © 2006 RMIT University Press
Keyword(s) strategy practice
internal consultant
qualitative data
ISBN 192116638X
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