Sub-theme 19: Management Innovators and Management Ideas

Stefan Heusinkveld
Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Andrew Sturdy
University of Bristol, UK
Andreas Werr
Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

Call for Papers

In recent years, we have witnessed the expansion of a 'management knowledge industry'. Here, scholarly attention has been given to how high profile, external 'knowledge entrepreneurs' such as external management consultants, business schools and management gurus interact with their consumers and the mass media in the co-production of management ideas and practices (Perkmann & Spicer, 2008).

But what about other groups concerned with management innovation, especially those located 'within' organizations (Birkinshaw et al., 2008)? Various occupational and functional management groups such as internal consultants, auditors, accountants, project managers, HR managers, purchasing managers and IT specialists, have sought to appropriate the position of management innovator or change agent by colonising 'external' roles and practices or even transforming themselves in their image – 'we are all consultants now'? These internal management innovators are diverse and can take hybrid forms (e.g. former consultants as managers) (Sturdy & Wright, 2008) which combine different normative expectations and often cross-organizational and occupational boundaries.

This sub-theme invites research on how different management innovators come together and compete in the enactment, adaptation and appropriation of management ideas and practices. We seek to generate insight into the way (dis)assembling organizations is not simply an outcome of external entrepreneurs of management ideas and practices, but intimately linked with the formation and proliferation of these ideas through the interactions of different groups of management innovators. Encouraging the use of innovative or critical approaches and diverse research traditions, we invite papers that deal with the topics outlined above as well as the following, non exclusive list:

  • The de-specialisation of organizational change discourses such as the appropriation of consultancy roles and identities by other occupational groups
  • Occupational competition, collaboration and boundaries associated with management ideas
  • Forms of collaboration and resistance between 'internal innovators' and external knowledge entrepreneurs
  • The role of professional/occupational institutions in appropriating organizational change and management innovation
  • The impact of shifts in the discourses of organizational change, management innovation and consultancy on the development of new management ideas, and actors
  • Lessons from other fields and traditions of research such as technological innovation; cultural studies; anthropology; political theory; sociology of work and occupations and historical approaches
  • Alternative and/or critical forms of organising management and organizational innovation
  • The emergence and (insider/outsider) dilemmas of hybrid forms of knowledge entrepreneurs and their consequences for the organizational change agenda


Birkinshaw, J., G. Hamel & M.J. Mol (2008): "Management Innovation." Academy of Management Review, 33 (4), 825-845.
Perkmann, M. & A. Spicer (2008): "How Are Management Fashions Institutionalized? The Role of Institutional Work." Human Relations, 61 (6), 811-844.
Sturdy, A. & C.A. Wright (2008): "Consulting Diaspora? Enterprising Selves as Agents of Enterprise." Organization, 15 (3), 427-444.


Stefan Heusinkveld 
Andrew Sturdy 
Andreas Werr