This article summarises the findings of a study which canvassed clients’ views of strategic capabilities which lead to management consulting success. The survey was undertaken among 171 executives in the top 500 companies in Australia. The major elements that were investigated were the reasons for hiring the consultants and the strategic capabilities related to successful performance indicators as identified by clients. The findings show that the main reasons consultants are hired are insufficient in‐house expertise, independent/objective advice, gaining additional help/resources, insufficient manpower in‐house and quick resolution of issues. The top five strategic capabilities which clients identified as important to success, in order, were ability to listen to and comprehend the client, quality of service, client‐consultant communication, integrity and honesty and technical knowledge. All the strategic capabilities were related to one or more performance indicators. The top five performance indicators were achieving objectives agreed upon, customer/client satisfaction, timeliness of service delivery, recommendations actually implemented and achieving measurable results. Therefore the contemporary management consultant needs to be multi‐skilled and technically competent and, should have excellent people skills. Consultants also need to note that their view on what constitutes successful performance is not quite the same as that of their clients.
Simon, A. and Kumar, V. (2001), "Clients’ views on strategic capabilities which lead to management consulting success", Management Decision, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 362-372. https://doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000005472Download as .RIS
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