Guess who's coming to dinner? Structures and uses of liminality in strategic management consultancy
Sturdy, Andrew, Schwarz, Mirela and Spicer, Andre. (2006) Guess who's coming to dinner? Structures and uses of liminality in strategic management consultancy. Human Relations, 59 (7). pp. 929-960. ISSN 0018-7267Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726706067597
Organizational studies have recently drawn our attention to the importance of liminality in our working lives. This transitional time-space is characteristic of precarious or mobile employment such as temporary, project and consulting work especially It is understood as a fluid and largely unstructured space where normal order is suspended and which is experienced as both unsettling and creative. This article critically explores liminality through a detailed study of the neglected activities of business dinners and back-stage management consultancy. We argue that liminality can in fact be a highly and multi-structured, comfortable and strategic or tactical space. We find that the use of wider norms and routines of eating and socializing as well as of hierarchical patterns of working and of exclusion and inclusion shape the experience and outcomes of liminality. Moreover, we highlight how the context of liminality is sustained by highly structured organizational activities in the production of domestic and public meals. We conclude that business meals mark a traditional, rather than modern, practice where 'official secrets' continue to grease the wheels of commerce. At the most senior levels especially, the liminality between work and private spheres can be far from unsettling and fluid.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Human Relations|
|Publisher:||Sage Publications Ltd.|
|Number of Pages:||32|
|Page Range:||pp. 929-960|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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