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Abstract


ENGINEERING PROJECT ORGANIZATION JOURNAL - Volume 4 - Issue 2-3, September 2014

Pages: 123-133

Stakes and struggles in liminal spaces: construction practitioners interacting with management-consultants

Author: Christine Raisanen, Martin Lowstedt

Category: Project Organization Studies

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Abstract:

Although external consultant interventions are usual in construction organizations to mediate strategic change, micro-level analyses of these interactions remain scarce. We draw on rich data from a qualitative case study and focus on observations of a set of three management-consultant strategy workshop interventions, aka away-days, with top, middle and project managers, respectively, in a large construction company in Sweden. Our analysis uses the conceptual construct ‘liminality’ to frame the intervention practice and elements of Bourdieu’s theory of practice to examine the unfolding of the interaction at the boundary interface. The consultants failed to achieve take-up of their novel ideas, and the workshops became sites of contention in which power struggles were played out between two very different fields of expertise. Using an integrated framework provides better understanding of power struggles at intra- and inter-organizational boundary interfaces.

Keywords: Boundary interfaces, construction, cultural misalliance, habitus, liminality, management-consultants, strategy away-days, symbolic capital

DOI: 10.1080/21573727.2014.918033

DOI URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21573727.2014.918033