Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Consulting, Gurus and Big Ideas

Clark, T.; Greatbatch, D.; Bhatanacharoen, P.

Consulting, Gurus and Big Ideas Thumbnail


T. Clark

D. Greatbatch

P. Bhatanacharoen


One of the most frequently commented upon facts about the management consultancy industry is the speed of its growth over the past forty years. When commentators explain the spectacular growth of management consulting they typically emphasise the broader tilt in the balance of advanced Western economies from manufacturing to services, the focus of client firms on core activities and externalization of more peripheral activities, and the central role of knowledge in modern economies and consultants as knowledge generators and disseminators par excellence. Whilst the intellectual contribution of well-known advocates of Scientific Management such as Frederick Taylor, Harrington Emerson and the Gilbreths to the early development of consulting has been acknowledged, the importance of subsequent management thinkers and their ideas in fuelling the continued expansion of consulting is overlooked. Indeed, the constant waxing and waning of management ideas fuels the growth of management consulting in several ways. First, it refreshes the knowledge base of consultancies and so supplies them with new ideas/services that can be sold to clients. Second, and related, this process of renewal sustains the general perception that there are lots of ideas around and that consultants provide access to them. In this article we focus on trying to explain why some ideas reach a threshold of popularity whereby certain management thinkers are ascribed guru status.? To answer this question we need to briefly discuss the nature of a guru before examining how they communicate their ideas through their books and lectures.


Clark, T., Greatbatch, D., & Bhatanacharoen, P. (2013). Consulting, Gurus and Big Ideas

Other Type Other
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Deposit Date May 13, 2013
Publicly Available Date May 14, 2013
Pages 22-27
Public URL
Additional Information URL of output:
Volume: Spring/Summer
Issue: 4
ISSN or ISBN: 2001-3272


You might also like

Downloadable Citations