Consultancy and change agency

Published on August 31, 2015   44 min

Other Talks in the Series: Management Consultancy

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My name is Dr. Nick Wylie, I'm a senior lecturer in human resource management and organizational behavior at Oxford Brookes University in the UK. My talk is on the connections between consultancy and change agency. My research interests are fairly broad, but I have a focus on the changing nature of management, and I've done some research on the role of internal consultancy within organizations. And I'm also interested in the implications of internal consultancy and change agency for the professionalization of the HR function.
First thing that I want to do is to examine the nature of change agency by defining it. So that means answering this question, what is change agency. It can be a fairly common term, but one that isn't always well understood. It can mean different things to different people, and I want to highlight initially what do I understand, and what is important within any definition of change agency. From there I'm going to go on to talk about the development of change agency, so placing it in a more historical context and answering the question, where does change agency come from? So what does it actually involve? What does it mean to be a change agent within an organization? And also, a very important question and one that's not often asked, is how is change agency organized? So how is it implemented within organizations? The final section of the talk draws together some of the themes that I'm going to be highlighting, by thinking about change agency in an occupational context. So looking at who are the change agents? What are the occupational connections do they have? And what are the implications of that for management consultants, and for their claims to be able to deliver change within organizations? So that's an overview of what the talk is going to contain. And the first issue, as I've already mentioned, is to start thinking about defining change agency.