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Are Consultants Moving Towards Professionalization?

Professional Service Firms

ISBN: 978-0-76231-302-0, eISBN: 978-1-84950-407-2

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 26 June 2006


Due to impressive market growth over several decades, consulting can today be regarded as an influential industry. In spite of this success, consulting is confronted with prejudices, which, to some extent, can be linked to difficulties in the evaluation of consulting services. By guaranteeing certain qualification levels, professionalism is generally considered useful for reducing this kind of uncertainty. In this chapter, using a German case as an example, we analyze professionalization efforts among consultants. We argue that these efforts will never be successful if the classical concept of professionalism is applied. However, seen from the perspective of the “new professionalism” that concentrates on work behaviour, consultants qualify as highly professional.


Groß, C. and Kieser, A. (2006), "Are Consultants Moving Towards Professionalization?", Greenwood, R. and Suddaby, R. (Ed.) Professional Service Firms (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 69-100.



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