Open Access

Failed Professionalization and Management Consultancy’s Image Problem - a UK Perspective


This article reflects on the disproportionate academic and media attacks that management consultancy seems to attract and links this to the failure of developing strong professional institutions on the example of comparable professions such as law and accountancy. In particular, whilst a professional project was initially at play within this sector, it eventually lost support from key stakeholders, in particular the large firms who employed a majority of management consultants. As such professional associations in the management consultancy field engaged in a series of accommodation strategies to win back some corporate support. The result was a weaker form of corporate professionalism.