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Service quality in consulting: what is engagement success?

Ron McLachlin (Assistant Professor, Operations Management, Faculty of Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



There are various views about the nature of service quality in a consulting engagement. This paper utilises literature from a number of disciplines, along with exploratory interviews with seven consultants and one client, to address one question, namely, “What is engagement success in consulting, from both the client and consultant points of view?”. In addressing this question, the paper considers distinctions between types of consulting, client expectations and needs, and short‐ and long‐term revenue streams. It concludes by suggesting that a consulting engagement is successful if the consultant has met client expectations (by improving one or more of client performance, client capabilities, or organisational culture, without making any category worse) – whether or not a core need has been addressed – and the consultant has enhanced his/her reputation, with expectations of future revenue streams – whether or not any immediate income has been received.



McLachlin, R. (2000), "Service quality in consulting: what is engagement success?", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 141-150.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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