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  • 1.
    Borg, Elisabeth
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Enhancing liminality through formal training: creating alterities through rites of passage2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Liminality is gaining a greater importance in contemporary organizations. Workers’ organizational membership is often ambiguous and their assignments are often temporary and boundary-crossing. The aim of this study is to investigate how an introductory development program (IDP) for newlyhired consultants addresses the liminal positions of mobile project workers, and whether IDP can aid the participants in dealing with positions of liminality at work. The findings suggest that, unlike “traditional” organizational introduction programs, the studied IDP does not emphasize socialization of the participants into such that they identify with the company; instead, their alterity is emphasized – thereby enhancing the workers’ liminal position. Moreover, the study shows how distancing techniques used to reflect on liminality at work can broaden the liminars’ scope of action.

  • 2.
    Fried, Andrea
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Jönsson, Arne
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Human-Centered systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Mirtsch, Mona
    Communicating preventive innovation - the case of the information security standard ISO/IEC 270012022Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Preventive innovation differs from ordinary innovation. The innovation diffusion literature claims that the economic benefits of preventive innovation to adopters, such as ensuring information security, are mainly intangible and often time-delayed and sometimes only adopted for incidents that may never occur. Adopter communication about preventive innovation therefore seems to be crucial.

    Using the example of the information security standard ISO/IEC 27001, we examine how communication of preventive innovations is shaped by its adopters. By analyzing texts about the information security standard ISO/IEC 27001 on Swedish corporate websites using computational linguistics tools and classical content analysis, we could identify, first, different adoption approaches of preventive innovation driven, second, by three modes of data governance: agency, stewardship and brokerage. Third, we provide evidence that the communication of preventive innovation depends on its data governance mode, but, fourth, also on the economic benefits of preventive innovation for adopters.

    Our contribution to the innovation literature is twofold. First, the concept of preventive innovation originally presented by Rogers (1995) is revived and further developed. Comparing it to its original scope, we show that preventive innovation can be meaningful for adopting organizations not only when they go through all possible adoption phases identified by Rogers (1995). Also an economic benefit from preventive innovation is possible. Both aspects, adoption approach as well as economic opportunity strongly shape the production of meaning in communication about preventive innovation. Second, we show that computational linguistics can support qualitative research in the study of meaning production in communication, especially when dealing with large amounts of data, for instance, gained from corporate websites.

  • 3.
    Jönsson, Arne
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Human-Centered systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Bandyopadhyay, Subhomoy
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Fried, Andrea
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Analyses of information security standards on data crawled from company web sites using SweClarin resources2023In: CLARIN Annual Conference Proceedings: 2023 / [ed] Krister Lindén, Jyrki Niemi, and Thalassia Kontino, 2023Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Jönsson, Arne
    et al.
    Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Human-Centered Systems.
    Bandyopadhyay, Subhomoy
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Fried, Andrea
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Analyses of information security standards on data crawled from company web sites using SweClarin resources2024In: Proceedings of the CLARIN Annual Conference 2023, 2024Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With the purpose of  analysing Swedish companies' adherence and adoption of the information security standard ISO 27001 and to examine the communicative constitution of preventive innovation in organisations, we have created a corpus of corporate texts from Swedish company websites. The corpus was analysed from multiple interdisciplinary perspectives in close cooperation with management researchers and SweClarin researchers using SweClarin tools and resources as well as standard language technology tools. Some analyses require deep reading, which was performed by management researchers, often guided by results from language analyses. Initial results have been presented at a management studies conference. In this paper, we focus on presenting the research issues, the methods used in the project, the results, and the experience of SweClarin researchers supporting researchers in  social sciences. Our contribution is to show how it is possible, through the integration of human insights and digital methods, to increase the credibility and validity of a digitally acquired data set and subsequent research findings. In our view, a combination of human deep reading (management researchers), contextual lexical verification (management studies) and language technology (content and sentiment analysis) can help to sensitise computational text analysis for medium-sized data sets.

  • 5. Order onlineBuy this publication >>
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Swift transition and knowledge cycling: A study of knowledge transfer in technical consulting2015Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The prominent shifts towards greater flexibility in work arrangements as well as in organizational forms have had profound effects on the labor market for engineers, and given rise to the technical consulting industry. The technical consulting firm is becoming increasingly important in many technology-based industries, as a growing number of technology-based firms rely on technical consulting firms to produce their outputs. In that respect, the technical consulting firm is an important actor for the organization and development of engineering knowledge, as well as for the transfer of knowledge to and among technology-based firms. However, despite its growing importance, the technical consulting firm has received scant scholarly attention. Hence, the purpose of this thesis is to enhance the understanding of the roles of the technical consulting firm and the technical consultants for the transfer of knowledge among problem-solving contexts and client organizations.

    This thesis is comprised of a compilation of three papers and an extended summary. It draws upon a qualitative single-case study in one of Scandinavia’s leading technical consulting firms. This thesis takes a multilevel perspective, and utilizes an embedded case study design to study both the organizational and the individual level of analysis. In total, it builds on 54 interviews with managers and consultants, 14 observations of a competence development program for engineers who are in the beginning of their careers as technical consultants, and 2 workshops with managers.

    This thesis identifies two primary capabilities, developed through the interaction between the firm and the individual level: swift transition and knowledge cycling. The findings indicate that the link between the respective capabilities creates the foundation for the successful organization of engineering knowledge. Hence, these capabilities illustrate that the technical consulting firm has other roles to play than merely solving the problem of numerical and functional flexibility. Moreover, this thesis develops the process of knowledge cycling. The knowledge cycling process addresses the role of the individual consultant in the transfer of knowledge within and among problem-solving contexts, and consists of three distinct knowledge processes found prominent during the different phases of a consulting assignment: (1) knowledge acquisition, (2) knowledge integration, and (3) knowledge transfer. Furthermore, this thesis provides insight into how formal training affects the technical consultants’ ability to transfer knowledge. The findings suggest that this ability is developed through a three-stage process: (1) identifying the core of an assignment, (2) broadening the scope of action, and (3) becoming more self-confident in the role of consultant.

    List of papers
    1. Exploring the knowledge-based advantages of the technical consulting firm: Swift transition and knowledge cycling
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the knowledge-based advantages of the technical consulting firm: Swift transition and knowledge cycling
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    There are currently major changes underway concerning the organization of human resources in engineering-intensive industries. These changes entail, inter alia, the externalization of the workforce, novel employment contracts, and increasing use of consultants to respond to fluctuating market demands and higher task uncertainties. This opens up for a number of opportunities for researchers interested in investigating the role of the firm, the boundaries of the firm, and the capabilities of the firm. In this article, we investigate the nature and capabilities of one actor in this emerging market for human resources – the technical consulting firm. Based on an in-depth single-case study, spanning multiple organizational levels including interviews with top managers, middle managers, consultant managers and individual consultants, of one of Scandinavia’s leading technical consulting firms this article identifies two primary capabilities: swift transition and knowledge cycling. This article demonstrates that these two capabilities are formed through the interaction between the firm and the individual level. Furthermore, it argues that the interplay between the respective capabilities creates the foundation for the successful organization of engineering knowledge.

    Keywords
    Professional service firm, technical consulting firm, mobility, capabilities, swift transition, knowledge cycling
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118494 (URN)
    Available from: 2015-05-28 Created: 2015-05-28 Last updated: 2015-05-29
    2. The nature and process of knowledge cycling: A study of labor mobility among technical consultants
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>The nature and process of knowledge cycling: A study of labor mobility among technical consultants
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge transfer is fundamental to the successful performance of firms in a range of sectors. Technical consulting constitutes an industrial domain where the transfer of knowledge is perhaps particularly important. This article centers on the relationship between labor mobility and knowledge transfer. Based on a single-case study of a leading Scandinavian technical consulting firm, this article focuses on the technical consultant’s role in the transfer of knowledge among organizational contexts. The article draws upon field data comprising a large number of interviews with managers and consultants in the studied firm. Emerging from the case study is a knowledge process that we label the knowledge cycling process. The notion of knowledge cycling refers to the intentional and scheduled rotation of individuals among problem-solving contexts to allow for the transfer of knowledge. The article contributes to the literature on knowledge transfer in technical consulting, especially by recognizing the role of the individual as an agent in the transfer of knowledge, and the rotation among assignments as a critical component to stay current and be able to participate in the process of knowledge cycling.

    Keywords
    Temporary organizing, technical consultants, knowledge transfer, labor mobility, knowledge cycling
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118495 (URN)
    Available from: 2015-05-28 Created: 2015-05-28 Last updated: 2015-05-29Bibliographically approved
    3. Training for knowledge transfer: A study of formal training for mobile engineers
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Training for knowledge transfer: A study of formal training for mobile engineers
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose The aim of this article is to explore how engineering consultants develop the ability to effectively transfer knowledge through a formal training program for newly graduated engineers

    Design/methodology/approach This article reports on a qualitative case study of an introductory development program in a Scandinavian technical consulting firm. The study is based on 14 observations in training sessions and meetings, and 18 interviews with participants, trainers and developers of the program.

    Findings This study identifies a process, comprised of three consecutive stages, which develops the engineering consultants’ ability to effectively transfer knowledge by enabling them to master their mobile and transient work situation: (i) identifying the core of an assignment, (ii) broadening the scope of action, and (iii) becoming more self-confident in the role of consultant.

    Originality/value This article adds to the knowledge transfer literature by taking an individual level perspective and identifying how formal training in the context of technical consulting affects the engineering consultants’ ability to transfer knowledge.

    Keywords
    Mobile engineers, engineering consultants, liminality, knowledge transfer, formal training
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118496 (URN)
    Available from: 2015-05-28 Created: 2015-05-28 Last updated: 2015-05-29Bibliographically approved
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  • 6. Order onlineBuy this publication >>
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    The interplay between organizational capabilities and individual skills: Studies of technical and engineering consulting firms2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The number of professional service firms has increased rapidly in the recent decades. This thesis focuses on a type of professional service firm that has, thus far, been under-researched, namely the technical and engineering consulting (TEC) firm. TEC firms are important actors with regard to innovation, knowledge development, and the transfer of knowledge among problemsolving contexts. This thesis addresses the organization and development of engineering knowledge and the roles of the TEC firm and the technical consultants in the transfer of knowledge among assignments, projects, client organizations, and industries.

    This thesis consists of a compilation of four papers and an extended summary. It builds on four qualitative studies and takes a multilevel perspective by utilizing an embedded case-study design to examine both the organizational level and the individual level as well as the interaction between the two levels. The thesis draws upon interviews with managers, consultants, client representatives, and industry experts and analysts. Moreover, it presents findings from an in-depth study of a competence development program for technical consultants.

    This thesis contributes to the professional service firm literature by uncovering the knowledgebased advantages accrued by TEC firms through the organization and development of engineering knowledge. This thesis identifies two capabilities, swift transition and knowledge cycling, and argues that the link between these capabilities creates the foundation for the successful organization of engineering knowledge. The thesis demonstrates that the capabilities developed by TEC firms are formed through the interaction between the organizational level and the individual level. In addition, this thesis illustrates that capabilities differ among TEC firms. These differences stem from the organizational processes of the firm and the individual skills of the technical consultants. Based on these differences, the thesis identifies two ideal types of firms: resource-capitalizer and project-capitalizer. Furthermore, it develops the notion of knowledge cycling which demonstrates how the mobility inherent in the technical consultants’ work facilitates the transfer and development of knowledge within and among problem-solving contexts. This process highlights the roles of the individual consultant, the TEC firm, and the client organization in the transfer of knowledge within and among assignments, projects, client organizations, and industries. Finally, this thesis provides insight into how formal training can develop the consultants’ ability to transfer knowledge among problem-solving contexts by enhancing their liminality competence.

    List of papers
    1. On the move to stay current: Knowledge cycling and scheduled labor mobility
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the move to stay current: Knowledge cycling and scheduled labor mobility
    2018 (English)In: Management Learning, ISSN 1350-5076, E-ISSN 1461-7307, Vol. 49, no 4, p. 429-452Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Technical consulting plays an increasingly important role in developing and transferring knowledge in a wide range of industries and sectors. We present a case study of Swift Tech, a leading Scandinavian technical consulting firm, to identify and assess the importance of knowledge cyclinga knowledge process based on scheduled and recurrent rotation of technical consultants among organizational and problem-solving contexts. Our study identifies four main phases of knowledge cycling: entering an assignment, building experience, contributing to the project, and shifting to a new assignment. These phases underpin our model of knowledge cycling, which demonstrates that two aspects of local knowledge processes are critical: project task familiarization and project organization familiarization. We show that knowledge cycling relies on a dynamic interaction between client organization, consulting firm, and individual consultant in the ongoing transfer of knowledge among distinct contexts and communities. Knowledge cycling demonstrates the significance of mobile knowledge for the development of situated knowledge; hence, our results have important implications for situated learning theory.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2018
    Keywords
    Knowledge cycling; knowledge transfer; labor mobility; liminality; project-based work; technical consultants
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151496 (URN)10.1177/1350507618772258 (DOI)000443429800003 ()
    Note

    Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council; Jan Wallanders and Tom Hedelius foundation

    Available from: 2018-09-24 Created: 2018-09-24 Last updated: 2019-05-14
    2. Creating the mobile engineer: a study of a training program for engineering consultants
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Creating the mobile engineer: a study of a training program for engineering consultants
    2018 (English)In: European Journal of Training and Development, ISSN 2046-9012, E-ISSN 2046-9020, European Journal of Training and Development, ISSN 2046-9012, Vol. 42, no 7/8, p. 381-399Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this paper is to explore how a technical consulting firm approaches the development of engineering consultants, to prepare them to deal with their liminal, i.e. mobile and transient work situation. More specifically, this paper addresses how a training program, designed for newly graduated engineers, can increase the consultants’ liminality competence.

    Design/methodology/approach

    This paper reports on a qualitative case study of an introductory development program in a Scandinavian technical consulting firm. The study is based on observations of training sessions and meetings, and interviews with developers, leaders and participants of the program.

    Findings

    This study identifies three processes, which develop the engineering consultants’ ability to master their mobile and transient work situation: identifying the core of an assignment, embracing “in-betweenness” and broadening the scope of action.

    Originality/value

    This paper enhances the understanding of formal training in the context of technical consulting and adds to the knowledge of how engineering consultants can master their liminal work positions; in particular, the study identifies how liminality competence can be elevated through formal training.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018
    Keywords
    Knowledge transfer, Liminality, Engineering consultants, Formal training, Liminality competence, Mobile engineers
    National Category
    Economics and Business Business Administration Work Sciences Learning
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156832 (URN)10.1108/EJTD-12-2017-0117 (DOI)000448530200002 ()2-s2.0-85053274684 (Scopus ID)
    Available from: 2019-05-14 Created: 2019-05-14 Last updated: 2019-05-21Bibliographically approved
    Download full text (pdf)
    The interplay between organizational capabilities and individual skills: Studies of technical and engineering consulting firms
    Download (png)
    presentationsbild
  • 7.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Borg, Elisabeth
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Creating the mobile engineer: a study of a training program for engineering consultants2018In: European Journal of Training and Development, ISSN 2046-9012, E-ISSN 2046-9020, European Journal of Training and Development, ISSN 2046-9012, Vol. 42, no 7/8, p. 381-399Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this paper is to explore how a technical consulting firm approaches the development of engineering consultants, to prepare them to deal with their liminal, i.e. mobile and transient work situation. More specifically, this paper addresses how a training program, designed for newly graduated engineers, can increase the consultants’ liminality competence.

    Design/methodology/approach

    This paper reports on a qualitative case study of an introductory development program in a Scandinavian technical consulting firm. The study is based on observations of training sessions and meetings, and interviews with developers, leaders and participants of the program.

    Findings

    This study identifies three processes, which develop the engineering consultants’ ability to master their mobile and transient work situation: identifying the core of an assignment, embracing “in-betweenness” and broadening the scope of action.

    Originality/value

    This paper enhances the understanding of formal training in the context of technical consulting and adds to the knowledge of how engineering consultants can master their liminal work positions; in particular, the study identifies how liminality competence can be elevated through formal training.

  • 8.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Borg, Elisabeth
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Training for knowledge transfer: A study of formal training for mobile engineersManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose The aim of this article is to explore how engineering consultants develop the ability to effectively transfer knowledge through a formal training program for newly graduated engineers

    Design/methodology/approach This article reports on a qualitative case study of an introductory development program in a Scandinavian technical consulting firm. The study is based on 14 observations in training sessions and meetings, and 18 interviews with participants, trainers and developers of the program.

    Findings This study identifies a process, comprised of three consecutive stages, which develops the engineering consultants’ ability to effectively transfer knowledge by enabling them to master their mobile and transient work situation: (i) identifying the core of an assignment, (ii) broadening the scope of action, and (iii) becoming more self-confident in the role of consultant.

    Originality/value This article adds to the knowledge transfer literature by taking an individual level perspective and identifying how formal training in the context of technical consulting affects the engineering consultants’ ability to transfer knowledge.

  • 9.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Pemer, Frida
    Professional identity formation at a distance: Exploring the effects of Covid-19 on project-based professional service firms2022Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, organizations have been facing a worldwide anomaly, in which taken-for-granted work practices, norms, and identities are challenged. Building on a literature review and qualitative interview study, the current paper explores how professionals in project-based PSFs form and reform their identities as they adjust to working remotely via digital tools. We find that working virtually negatively influences both socialization and belonging in the project teams. This, in turn, leads to unintended consequences, such as cultural changes, a loss of uniqueness, and increased risk of commodification. Thus, the anomaly that Covid-19 has presented us with, seems to normalize the hitherto “unique” PSFs, thereby decreasing their status and competitiveness. 

  • 10.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Pemer, Frida
    Professional Identity Formation: Exploring the Effects of Covid-19 on Management Consulting Firms2023In: Professional Identity Formation: Exploring the Effects of Covid-19 on Management Consulting Firms, Academy of Management , 2023Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, organizations have been facing a worldwide anomaly, in which taken-for-granted work practices, norms, and identities are challenged. Building on a literature review and qualitative interview study, the current paper explores how consultants in management consultancies form and reform their identities as they adjust to working remotely via digital tools. We find that working virtually negatively influences both socialization and belonging in the consulting project teams. This, in turn, leads to unintended consequences, such as cultural changes, a loss of uniqueness, and increased risk of commodification. Thus, the anomaly that Covid-19 has presented us with, seems to normalize the hitherto “unique” management consultancies, thereby decreasing their status and competitiveness.

  • 11.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Pemer, Frida
    Working Betwixt And Between: Virtual Teamwork In Management Consulting2023Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Covid-19 has disrupted social norms, cultural practices, and established ways of working – from going to work and meeting physically, to working remotely or in hybrid formats. This change has been particularly salient in project-based professional service firms (PSFs), which are based on team collaboration. However, the shift towards remote and hybrid work means that both the teams and their members increasingly find themselves in a state of liminality, working betwixt and between. The current study explores how professionals in project-based PSFs experience and navigate liminality caused by remote teamwork. Based on an interview study with 32 management consultants, we find that the pandemic has forced the consultants into a state in which they have to deal with three liminal states simultaneously. Thus, they experience and must navigate triple liminality: liminality as a process, liminality as a position and liminality as a place. We contribute to the literature on the future of work, particularly in PSFs, and the still scant but growing literature on liminality in professional services. 

  • 12.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Söderlund, Jonas
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Exploring the knowledge-based advantages of the technical consulting firm: Swift transition and knowledge cyclingManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    There are currently major changes underway concerning the organization of human resources in engineering-intensive industries. These changes entail, inter alia, the externalization of the workforce, novel employment contracts, and increasing use of consultants to respond to fluctuating market demands and higher task uncertainties. This opens up for a number of opportunities for researchers interested in investigating the role of the firm, the boundaries of the firm, and the capabilities of the firm. In this article, we investigate the nature and capabilities of one actor in this emerging market for human resources – the technical consulting firm. Based on an in-depth single-case study, spanning multiple organizational levels including interviews with top managers, middle managers, consultant managers and individual consultants, of one of Scandinavia’s leading technical consulting firms this article identifies two primary capabilities: swift transition and knowledge cycling. This article demonstrates that these two capabilities are formed through the interaction between the firm and the individual level. Furthermore, it argues that the interplay between the respective capabilities creates the foundation for the successful organization of engineering knowledge.

  • 13.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Söderlund, Jonas
    BI Norwegian Business School, Norway.
    Swift transition and knowledge cycling: Key capabilities for successful technical and engineering consulting?2020In: Research Policy, ISSN 0048-7333, E-ISSN 1873-7625, Vol. 49, no 1, article id 103880Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The organization of innovation labor is undergoing major changes in technology-based and engineering-intensive industries worldwide. Those changes reflect fluctuating market demands and increasing task uncertainty, and they are characterized by three related developments: externalization of the workforce, development of new types of employment relations, and greater use of technical consultants. These trends have led to the technical and engineering consulting (TEC) industry becoming a major player in the organization of innovation labor and thus also in the development and transfer of engineering knowledge. Determining what underlies the growth of this industry and the performance of TEC firms requires a better understanding of their nature and capabilities. Our paper builds on an in-depth case study—spanning multiple organizational levels and incorporating 50 interviews with a leading Scandinavian TEC firm's top managers, middle managers, consultant managers, individual consultants, and clients as well as field observations and diary studies. These data lead us to posit two central capabilities associated with innovation labor in technical and engineering consulting: swift transition and knowledge cycling. The interplay between these capabilities, each of which arises from interactions between the firm level and the individual level, seems crucial for the successful development, organization, and supply of innovation labor and engineering knowledge.

  • 14.
    Pantic-Dragisic, Svjetlana
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Söderlund, Jonas
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    The nature and process of knowledge cycling: A study of labor mobility among technical consultantsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge transfer is fundamental to the successful performance of firms in a range of sectors. Technical consulting constitutes an industrial domain where the transfer of knowledge is perhaps particularly important. This article centers on the relationship between labor mobility and knowledge transfer. Based on a single-case study of a leading Scandinavian technical consulting firm, this article focuses on the technical consultant’s role in the transfer of knowledge among organizational contexts. The article draws upon field data comprising a large number of interviews with managers and consultants in the studied firm. Emerging from the case study is a knowledge process that we label the knowledge cycling process. The notion of knowledge cycling refers to the intentional and scheduled rotation of individuals among problem-solving contexts to allow for the transfer of knowledge. The article contributes to the literature on knowledge transfer in technical consulting, especially by recognizing the role of the individual as an agent in the transfer of knowledge, and the rotation among assignments as a critical component to stay current and be able to participate in the process of knowledge cycling.

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Output format
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf