A research team of past and present Oxford Saïd academics has won this year’s Colonel Lyndall F. Urwick Prize, which is awarded annually by the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants, a City of London Livery company, for an outstanding piece of research relevant to management consultancy.
The prize-winning paper, Reputation and identity conflict in management consulting, published in Human Relations in May 2016, was co-authored by Tim Morris, Professor of Management Studies at Oxford Saïd, with Will Harvey and Milena Mueller Santos, former Research Fellow and DPhil candidate respectively with the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation, which helped fund the research. Will Harvey is now Associate Professor of Management Studies at University of Exeter Business School.
Based on the case study of a large consulting firm, the paper provides a model for how professional service firms overcome conflict between their identity and reputation. It considers how organisations respond when their identity is misaligned with the perceptions of external stakeholders, and how other forms of identity come into play to remediate this gap.
‘We are delighted with the award,’ said Tim Morris. ‘Tensions between reputation and identity within management consulting firms are common, complex and multi-faceted. We have provided a framework to help organisations to overcome these tensions.’
A cup that accompanies the award will be presented at an event hosted by the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants on 6 June.