Archetype Change in Professional Organizations: Survey Evidence from Large Law Firms

15 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2003

See all articles by Ashly Pinnington

Ashly Pinnington

University of Queensland - Business School

Timothy Morris

University of Oxford - Said Business School; University of Oxford - Said Business School

Abstract

This paper examines the proposition that the traditional archetype of the professional partnership is said to have changed into a more 'business-like' entity, the managed professional business. It broadens the restricted case sample base on which much of the evidence has been adduced, by developing a survey questionnaire through which 197 large British law firms were sampled. Change, consistent with the notion of a more commercially oriented and consciously managed organization, is concentrated in the market-facing area of the firm but coexists with areas of continuity in the governance of the firm and its strategic management. The findings reveal a more managerial form of organization in which the core elements of the traditional form of professional organization have not been transformed. These results contest the assertion of either transformational or sedimented change found in other, case-based research and suggest that archetype change needs theoretically to be distinguished from the general phenomenon of greater managerialism within the professional service firm.

Suggested Citation

Pinnington, Ashly and Morris, Timothy, Archetype Change in Professional Organizations: Survey Evidence from Large Law Firms. British Journal of Management, Vol. 14, pp. 85-99, March 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=410953

Ashly Pinnington (Contact Author)

University of Queensland - Business School ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Timothy Morris

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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