Gender Imbalance in Management Consulting Firms – A Story about the Construction and Effects of Organizational Identity

Matthias Tomenendal, Cansu Boyoglu


Official statements by management consulting firms on the importance and benefits of gender balancing stand incontrast with remarkably imbalanced boards of those firms in Germany and subjective perceptions of individualemployees about gender biased human resource practices. It can be assumed that there are deep level root causes ofgender imbalances in consulting firms which are not easy to change and which touch upon questions of organizationalidentity. Exploring this topic from a specific angle – explaining gender imbalance in German consulting firms byprocesses of identity construction –, an innovative approach is taken: a fictitious story of a female consultant joining alarge management consultancy in Germany is mirrored by general findings from social identity theory literature inorder to derive conceptual, interpretative conclusions on root causes of gender imbalances on senior managementlevels of management consulting firms.

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Management and Organizational Studies  ISSN 2330-5495 (Print)  ISSN 2330-5509 (Online)

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