November 20, 2023
Lecture by Professor Matthias Kipping “How Management Consultants Became Hegemonic: An American Horror Story Going Global”
Date & Time: November 20, 2023, 13:00-14:30 (JST)
Venue: Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies Main Building 6th floor, Meeting room, Hongō Campus, University of Tokyo
Management consultants have been in the news recently, with two books discussing what happens When McKinsey comes to town (Bogdanich & Forsythe 2022) and “How the Consulting Industry Weakens our Businesses, Infantilizes our Governments and Warps our Economies”, deserving the label The Big Con, (Mazzucato & Collington 2023). Neither the cases where consultants have caused harm to individuals, private or public sector organizations, and even countries are new nor is the critique. The question then becomes how they managed to obtain such a powerful, almost unassailable position in modern economies, and societies, and increasingly the polity. The presentation retraces their long, apparently inexorable rise from modest origins in the late 19th century US to a position of global hegemony. It argues that they originally latched on to established institutions, namely science and the professions, but then obtained their own legitimacy, notably by attaching themselves to extant networks and ultimately building their own. It also shows how they transferred ideas and their underlying belief systems from the US to other parts of the globe, in the process reducing the variety of alternative solutions to a wide range of challenges and the possible ways in which knowledge can be shared.
About Dr. Matthias Kipping:
Dr. Matthias Kipping is Professor of Strategic Management, Richard E. Waugh Chair in Business History and Associate Dean, Executive MBA at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Canada. He obtained Master degrees from the Sorbonne in Paris, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a doctorate from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany. Prior to joining Schulich, he held positions in the UK and Spain. He has been a frequent visitor to Japan, now as a Visiting Professor at Kyoto University with a JSPS short-term Fellowship. His research has focused on the history and role of management consultants, though he as also worked on historical approaches in management studies and is currently editing The Oxford Handbook of Industry Dynamics (jointly with Takafumi Kurosawa and D. Eleanor Westney).
Moderated by Dr. Ai Hisano, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, Univ. of Tokyo
Co-organized by ITASIA Program, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, University of Tokyo, and the Political Economy Tokyo Seminar (PoETS), University of Tokyo
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