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Academy of Management


Research in Management Consulting

The Research in Management Consulting book series, was launched in 2001 by Division member Tony Buono (Bentley University) and is published by Information Age Publishing ( Tony, who recently retired, edited the book series from its launch until June 2020, when Tony engaged Division member David Szabla (Western Michigan University) ( to take over as the new editor-in-chief of the series.

The basic objectives of this research series are to further the links and dialogue between applied scholars and scholarly practitioners in the consulting field, capturing innovative empirical and conceptual research and field experience, and disseminating the resulting insight to a broad range of practitioners, academicians and organizational executives. Targeted articles will focus on a wide range of topics, encompassing research on: the consulting industry itself, including the management, marketing and expansion of professional services firms; critical examination of current trends in the consulting field; conceptualization and evaluation of intervention techniques and strategies; and reflections on consulting experiences. Interdisciplinary and international perspectives on these different topics are strongly encouraged, as are perspectives from both internal and external consultants and change agents.

Research and theory building in management consulting have grown rapidly during the past several years. Complexity and uncertainty in today's fast-paced business world are prompting a growing number of organizations - profit and not-for-profit alike - to seek guidance in their concomitant change efforts. External and internal consultants and change agents have become increasingly visible in most, if not all, organizational change initiatives. Individual consultants and consulting firms are becoming increasingly involved in not only providing organizational clients with advice and new ideas but in implementing those ideas and solutions as well. Yet, despite this rapid growth and influence, management consulting is still often criticized for its mystery and ambiguity.

A complete catalog of the RMC series is available here: Catalog PDF

Latest volume by Division members:

Strategic Engineering of the Reed

Reflections on Socio-Economic Strategy and Implementation

Henri Savall, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and ISEOR
Veronique Zardet, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and ISEOR

A volume in the series: Research in Management Consulting. Editor(s): Anthony F. Buono, Bentley University.

Published 2017

This volume is part of an ongoing partnership between the Research in Management Consulting book series and the Socio-Economic Institute for Firms and Organizations (ISEOR), located in Ecully, France, on the outskirts of Lyon. The socio-economic approach to management (SEAM) provides a pathway to creating more engaged, more responsible and responsive, and more productive organizations. In many respects this volume reflects a culmination of ISEOR’s work, drawing together Henri Savall and Veronique Zardet’s insights and framing them in the context of strategy creation and, just as if not more important, strategy implementation.

This volume casts SEAM in the context of strategy development and implementation. Reflecting on the changing nature of work and the workplace, the potential power of—and need to develop and build on—human potential has never been greater. Savall and Zardet have always thought that the Western concept of human resources was misguided, that people are not a resource to use up but rather a source of potential to invest in, develop, and nurture. People bring their potential to the organizations in which they work—and it is their choice as to whether they will apply it in their jobs. Thus, a core managerial challenge is to create an environment in which that potential can be maximized.

SEAM-based strategy builds on this premise, developing an approach to economic and social performance, providing direction as to how managers can create and implement strategies that enhance organizational effectiveness and efficiency. As Savall and Zardet argue, strategic vision does not have to be limited by constraints in the external environment—companies “are not compelled to enter in a ‘strategic’ tunnel” that mimics the competition and the market. Instead, companies can experience breakthroughs, turning constraints into opportunities by unleashing their internal energy, power, and cohesion, working and succeeding as a team. The SEAM approach to strategy is grounded in innovation and creation far more than imitation—and, as convincingly illustrated in the volume, that creativity can be self-financed through the value-added created by the elimination of organizational dysfunctions and the hidden costs they generate. The volume provides an insightful guide for enhancing economic and social performance, with a useful mixture of specific tools and techniques—grounded in a conceptual view of organizational life—interspersed throughout that illustrate how it can be done.