Consultancy and extreme working hours: an everlasting marriage? An explanatory study on the inertia of the working time regime within a big consulting firm.
In this study the following research question has been answered: What are the underlying reasons for the enactment of lock-ins and their internal differences in a consulting firm, in order to explain the inertia of working time regime of that firm? In order to answer this question a qualitative research design and specifically the template analysis technique is used. Multiple possible underlying reasons have been drawn up from the literature, while leaving room for extra reasons which could be constructed from the empirical findings. The empirical information was gathered by conducting interviews with consultants of a big consulting firm. In this way the reasons for the enactment of lock-ins were examined in-depth. Findings suggest that this big consulting firm should at least tackle the following possible drivers for the enactment of lock-ins: ‘habitualization’, ‘reciprocal typification’ and ‘value infusion’. Strategies which tackle these reasons need to be developed in order to decrease the inertia of the working time regime and to cope with the negative consequences of working extreme hours.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen