The Hollowness of Management Consulting

Management consulting has been called many things. This new analysis suggests that one might even call it hollow :

Hollow from the start? Image professionalism in management consulting,” Matthias Kipping [pictured here], Current Sociology, July 2011 vol. 59 no. 4 530-550. (Thanks to investigator Dan Vergano for bringing this to our attention.) The author, at Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada, reports:

“This article shows how over the course of more than a century management consulting firms have managed to create an image of professionalism in order to both gain external legitimacy with their clients and control their own human resources. Adding to the extant literature on ‘professionalism as a resource’, it demonstrates in particular how during the development of the industry, the sources of this ‘image professionalism’ changed significantly, ranging from a close association with existing professions (engineering and accounting), to a mimicry of the legal profession, to a purely linguistic notion, akin to ‘professional’ sports. Hence, the ‘professionalism’ of management consulting was in many ways hollow from the start and hollowed out even further through its history.”

BONUS CONSULTING FIRMS: Hollow Developers – Web Consulting, Ghost Hollow Consulting, Sleepy Hollow Computer Consultants

BONUS: Post an Inquiry for relevant Empty Fruit Bunch Experts

MUSIC BONUS: The Consultants – “Hollow Bodied Evening”, of whom one critic says: “New York twee-pop trio The Consultants are so indie that they make Belle & Sebastian sound like Cannibal Corpse


HYPER HOLLOW BONUS: T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” in hypertext