This article examines the active client of management consultancy as a key agent in managing and mediating knowledge flows across organisational boundaries. From a qualitative study of a particular case of active clients - internal consultants managing their external counterparts - three boundary-spanning roles are identified. Active clients can act as a ‘gatekeeper’, ‘broker’ and ‘partner’ with respect to both consultants and the knowledge they bring. These roles are shown to vary according to a client’s expertise, formal project responsibilities and personal reputation, as well as the different phases of consulting projects. They not only elucidate an otherwise neglected or static dimension of management consultancy – client activity - but highlight the dynamic and essentially political character of serving as knowledge barriers and/or bridges in the intermediation and co-production of management knowledge across organisational boundaries.
|Translated title of the contribution||The active client: The boundary-spanning roles of internal consultants as gatekeepers, brokers and partners of their external counterparts|
|Pages (from-to)||485 - 503|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|