Changing professional service archetypes in a law firm using Process Orientated Holonic (PrOH) Modelling


This paper gives an in depth action research case study on how organisational change has been implemented in a medium-sized law firm in the UK (Higgs & Sons). The Canonical Action Research process was followed and a specific novel type of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) known as Process Oriented Holonic (PrOH) Modelling was used to define systemic problems, support knowledge-based decision-making and implement change. This study found that as a result of increased competition, Higgs & Sons successfully transformed some of its services from a “professional partnership (P2)” delivery style towards having greater “managed professional business” (MPB) characteristics, but found that not all of its services were suited to this change, and that different types of service styles were necessary on a service by service basis. Practical changes and implications are discussed in the context of Pinnington and Morris’ (2003) “professional partnership” (P2) and “managed professional business” (MPB) archetype template.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Knowledge Management Research & Practice on 4 Feb 2019, available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: action research,innovation,knowledge management,Professional services,small-to-medium sized enterprise (SME),soft systems methodology,Management Information Systems,Business and International Management,Library and Information Sciences,Management of Technology and Innovation
Publication ISSN: 1477-8246
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2024 07:29
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 11:59
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.tan ... 38.2019.1571387 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-01-01
Published Online Date: 2019-02-04
Accepted Date: 2019-01-13
Authors: Clegg, Ben (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7506-5237)
Balthu, Krishna (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-9468-7541)
Morris, Glyn



Version: Accepted Version

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