Talk Normal! How Management Consultants Translate Academic Knowledge into Practical Advice

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Management consultants play a key role in bringing academic knowledge into the realm of organizational practice. This paper investigates the processes through which consultants commodify academic management knowledge as they translate it into practice. Informed by a Scandinavian institutionalist approach, we conducted a qualitative case study of two consultancies. We traced how consultants co-constructed research-based consultancy products with their clients. We identity four strategies that consultants use to translate academic knowledge into consultancy advice in interaction with their clients: practical relevance, academic anchoring, comprehensible communication, and actionable advice. We also find their interactions to unfold through a three-step process during which consultants make use of one or more of these strategies as they translate academic knowledge into consultancy advice. The findings advance extant insight into knowledge flows between consultant and clients in the development of consultancy advice and offer a more dynamic and interactive account of how consultants use academic knowledge to develop their service offer.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2022
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event38th EGOS Colloquium 2022: Organizing: The Beauty of Imperfection - Vienna University of Economics and Business, Wien, Austria
Duration: 7 Jul 20229 Jul 2022
Conference number: 38


Conference38th EGOS Colloquium 2022
LocationVienna University of Economics and Business
Internet address


  • Management knowledge
  • Management consulting
  • Translation

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