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Constructing global firms? National, transnational and postcolonial effects in international management consultancies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465 - 486
Number of pages22
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number4
DatePublished - Apr 2012


Drawing on an empirical study of four international management consultancies, this article examines managerial efforts to construct ‘global’ firms. We show how approaches to coordinating consulting projects and employees across nations were undermined by inter-office conflicts and inequalities over the allocation of revenues and resources. It is argued that such constraints cannot be adequately explained as an outcome of inappropriate organizational and reward structures for this relies on a ‘logic of consequences’. Emphasis is given to the ‘logic of appropriateness’ associated with institutionalism. Four different institutionalist lenses are developed and applied to the data. This reveals the need to adopt a multi-dimensional approach to the study of multinational firms, one that can account for not only national cultural and institutional effects, but also postcolonial and transnational conditions of intra-firm behaviour.

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