There is still no generally accepted quality model of consulting services. This is particularly the case for management consulting projects, where scope is often indefinite. The purpose of this paper is to identify the clients’ underlying utility preferences and their perceived quality dimensions.
The research is a qualitative data collection from 22 expert interviews performed in the financial service sector. Interviewees from the client-side were decision-makers from different hierarchical levels with considerable experience in working with consultants, while the consultant sample was obtained by selecting professionals with relevant project experience. The model development was based on the grounded theory.
Based on a content analysis of a 600-page transcript of interviews, it was found that customers construct their judgments on consulting service quality through five main attributes: consultants, client adaption, consulting process, deliverables and communication. Because of the strong overlaps of the attributes, four better separable quality dimensions – as a conceptual model – were identified: expertise, relations, involvement and performance.
Among managerial implications for consulting firms, support of buying organization in setting clear project objectives, flexibility in partnership and readiness for overperformance can be underlined.
There is little empirical research that focuses on the conceptualization of management consulting service quality from a client perspective. The value of the paper is the exploration of perceived service quality dimensions of management consulting projects and a consulting context-specific list of quality attributes.
Veres, Z. and Varga-Toldi, K. (2021), "ERIP: service quality model of management consulting projects", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 1090-1102. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-05-2020-0226
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