Title: When West meets East: the case of a Scandinavian consulting firm's expansion into India

Authors: Flemming Poulfelt; Irene Skovgaard Smith; Kåre Groes Christiansen

Addresses: Copenhagen Business School, Porcelaenshaven 18 B, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark ' Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK ' Valcon A/S, Christianshusvej 187, 2970, Horsholm, Denmark

Abstract: The paper explores how a Scandinavian management consulting firm entered the Indian market and how this process of international expansion set in motion a significant change in organisational identity. The purpose of the article is to explore and reflect on how a medium-sized consulting firm managed its transition to the new context of India and the resulting implications for practising consulting in a new environment. In this case, the experience in India changed the firm and challenged preconceptions about the process of globalisation being a one-way export of Western products, knowledge and ideas. A different firm emerged from the experience: one that is not only more international but which is also now becoming more clearly differentiated in the Scandinavian market. The phenomenon observed is termed 'reverse consulting' and is emerging as a new driver in the internationalisation of professional services firms.

Keywords: management consulting firms; internationalisation; international management; entry strategy; professional service firms; reverse consulting; organisational identity; integration process; Scandinavia; India; market entry; international expansion; globalisation.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2014.062964

European Journal of International Management, 2014 Vol.8 No.4, pp.373 - 391

Available online: 10 Jun 2014 *

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