Book Chapter

Management consultancy and humor in action and context



Sturdy A, Clark T, Fincham R & Handley K (2008) Management consultancy and humor in action and context. In: Fineman S (ed.) The emotional organization: Passions and power. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 134-150.

Consulting jokes have become part of popular business discourse. It seems that their services have become indispensable while we love to hate them at the same time. Why is this and what does it reveal about work and organizations and their emotional texture? Providing some answers to these questions is the purpose of this chapter. In particular, the authors use humor as a window on some of the emotions of consultancy. The authors do this in two related contexts: broader humor discourses around consultancy, such as that reflected in popular jokes and criticisms; and how consultant-related humor is experienced and practiced in actual client-consultant interactions. The chapter is organized in the following way. Firstly,the authors selectively explore some of the literature on emotion and humor. They then briefly introduce some examples of general consultancy criticisms, on which popular discourse is based, and then examine specific instances of such humor in client-consultant interactions. The authors conclude with a short discussion that compares these contexts and the implications for emotion in the context of consultancy and more generally. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved) (from the chapter)

10; 300; ADULTHOOD; AFFILIATION; age; analysis; Attitude; Attitudes; audience; BUSINESS; business discourse; C; Classification; client-consultant interactions; consultancy; Consultation; consulting; context; CRITICISM; criticisms; Customer Relationship Management; DATABASE; DATE; discourse; Discourse analysis; emotion; Emotions; evolution; EXAMPLE; financial; Financial support; humor; implications; Information; interaction; interactions; JOB satisfaction; JOB-SATISFACTION; jokes; knowledge; language; LITERATURE; location; love; Management; management consultant; media; NUMBER; ORGANIZATION; Organizations; Personnel; Population; Power; professional; Professional Consultation; PSYCHOLOGY; Psycinfo; RECORD; relationship; RELEASE; Research; research programme; rights; Satisfaction; school; service; services; support; texture; time; United Kingdom; universities; work

Publication date31/12/2008
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
Publisher URL…&site=ehost-live
Place of publicationMalden

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Professor Robin Fincham

Professor Robin Fincham

Emeritus Professor, Management, Work and Organisation