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Paradoxes and management approaches of competing for work in creative professional service firms

Published on Mar 1, 2017in Scandinavian Journal of Management1.42
· DOI :10.1016/j.scaman.2016.10.002
Beatrice Manzoni2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Bocconi University),
Leentje Volker8
Estimated H-index: 8
(TU Delft: Delft University of Technology)
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Abstract
Abstract Despite their business relevance, creative professional service firms are under-researched, in particular with regard to how they compete for work. Competing for work is key to survival, but also extremely challenging due to the complexity of the services offered. In this paper we use a paradox framework to investigate the opposing demands that creative professional service firms experience when competing for work. Based on a set of semi-structured interviews in the context of architectural competitions, we show that creative professional service firms face two interwoven paradoxes which relate to the strategic intent (why to compete) and the design intent (what to propose) of client propositions. We describe these paradoxes and explain how organizations manage and cope with them through both synthesis and separation management approaches. Contributions of this study can be found in theorizing paradoxes of competing for work from the professional service provider’s perspective, and in fostering the firms’ paradoxical mind-set, which facilitates the acceptance and resolution of complexity and different competing demands.
  • References (77)
  • Citations (5)
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References77
Newest
#1Marina Bos-de Vos (TU Delft: Delft University of Technology)H-Index: 1
#2J.W.F. Hans Wamelink (TU Delft: Delft University of Technology)H-Index: 1
Last.Leentje Volker (TU Delft: Delft University of Technology)H-Index: 8
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#1Jonathan Schad (University of Geneva)H-Index: 4
#2Marianne W. Lewis (City University London)H-Index: 24
Last.Wendy K. Smith (UD: University of Delaware)H-Index: 20
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Cited By5
Newest
#1Marina Bos-de Vos (TU Delft: Delft University of Technology)H-Index: 1
#2Leentje Volker (TU Delft: Delft University of Technology)H-Index: 8
Last.Hans Wamelink (TU Delft: Delft University of Technology)H-Index: 3
view all 4 authors...
#1Marina Bos-de Vos (TU Delft: Delft University of Technology)H-Index: 1
#2Bente Lieftink (Radboud University Nijmegen)H-Index: 1
Last.Kristina Lauche (Radboud University Nijmegen)H-Index: 14
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#1Isabel Duarte de Almeida (ISCTE-IUL: ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon)H-Index: 3
#2Maria João Delgado (University of Lisbon)
Last.João Pardal Monteiro (University of Lisbon)
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