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Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2019

Tim Seidenschnur and Georg Krücken

This chapter focuses on the circumstances under which active clients in universities construct external management consultants as actors. Much research focuses on how…

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the circumstances under which active clients in universities construct external management consultants as actors. Much research focuses on how consultants legitimize decisions and trends in business organizations, but we know little about how consultants become legitimized as actors in other organizational fields. In the academic field, clients are embedded in a variety of organizational settings embedded in different institutional logics, which determine their sense making. By analyzing how consultants are legitimized, the authors contribute to a better understanding of the organizational preconditions that support the construction of an external expert as an actor. By focusing on IT and strategy consulting in academia, further, the authors discuss the role of competing institutional logics in legitimization processes and the importance of intra-organizational communities.

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Agents, Actors, Actorhood: Institutional Perspectives on the Nature of Agency, Action, and Authority
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-081-9

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Book part
Publication date: 21 November 2018

Audrey A. Gramling, Arnold Schneider and Lori Shefchik Bhaskar

This study’s purpose is to examine whether providing prior consulting services influences internal auditors’ subsequent assessments when providing assurance services to…

Abstract

This study’s purpose is to examine whether providing prior consulting services influences internal auditors’ subsequent assessments when providing assurance services to assist management in its assessment of internal control over financial reporting. A behavioral experiment is used, with internal auditors as participants. We provide some evidence that internal auditors who perform prior consulting services are less likely than others to conclude that an identified control deficiency is a material weakness, but only when the deficiency is directly related to the prior consulting services performed. Limitations include relatively small sample sizes and manipulation check failure rates that, although consistent with several prior studies, are somewhat high. If internal auditors have provided consulting services, they may want to consider limiting the assurance services provided to management that are more directly related to their consulting services. While prior studies have examined the effects of internal auditors’ role in designing internal controls on subsequent services, this is the first study to focus on the impact of providing internal audit consulting services on subsequent assurance services.

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Integrating Service-Learning and Consulting in Distance Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-412-5

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2019

Caroline (Carly) Manion

This chapter presents the findings from an exploratory mixed-methods study that examined the significance of social location(s) and intersectionality in shaping the…

Abstract

This chapter presents the findings from an exploratory mixed-methods study that examined the significance of social location(s) and intersectionality in shaping the opportunities and experiences of an international sample of individuals engaging in education consulting work. Educational consulting is a growing field, attracting entrepreneurial professionals from practitioner and academic communities around the world (Gunter & Mills, 2017); however, very little research exists on this diverse and diffused group of workers. The research sought to answer two questions: (a) What is the influence of social identity and social position(s) on education consulting opportunities and experiences? (b) What benefits and challenges do educational development consultants experience in their work? Insights from feminist intersectionality theory (Crenshaw, 1989, 1991) and theories concerning implicit bias (Williams, 2014) guide the analysis and discussion. The central argument made, based on the findings from the online survey and interviews with consultants, is that identity and social positioning are significant factors shaping who secures contracts and the nature and value of such experiences for individuals’ personal and professional development, as well as their professional contributions and impact overall. The findings clearly suggest that identity and social position are believed to be influential as enabling and constraining factors on education consultants work experiences. While geographic location emerged as pivotal in shaping who had access to consulting opportunities, intersections with socioeconomic status, class, ethnicity, and age were thought by participants to either further marginalize them or enhance their consulting opportunities and experiences.

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Gender and Practice: Knowledge, Policy, Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-388-8

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Abstract

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Advances in Accounting Education Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-867-4

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Book part
Publication date: 20 June 2005

Marc G. Baaij, Frans A.J. Van den Bosch and Henk W. Volberda

The “resources, dynamic capabilities and competences perspective” (Sanchez, 2001) has challenged firms to apply these concepts to improve their competitive position…

Abstract

The “resources, dynamic capabilities and competences perspective” (Sanchez, 2001) has challenged firms to apply these concepts to improve their competitive position. Management consulting firms may assist clients in these efforts. However, the roles that management consulting firms fulfill in these processes can differ considerably and are under-researched. Therefore, insight in these different roles and the impact of these roles on clients’ competitive positioning in their industries is required. The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework that highlights the importance of distinguishing both roles and the implications for management consulting firms and for their clients. We illustrate the framework by elaborating on the relationship between both roles and the strategic renewal context of client firms. We conclude by pointing out the increasing importance of the competence leverage role of management consulting firms and how this development might contribute to a more hypercompetitive context for their clients.

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Competence Perspectives on Managing Interfirm Interactions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-169-9

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Book part
Publication date: 21 August 2012

Christopher McKenna

Purpose – This chapter traces the creation of a market for strategy by management consulting firms during the second half of the twentieth century in order to demonstrate…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter traces the creation of a market for strategy by management consulting firms during the second half of the twentieth century in order to demonstrate their impact in shaping debates in the subject and demand for their services by corporate executives.

Design/methodology/approach – Using historical analysis, the chapter draws on institutional theory, including institutional isomorphism. It uses both primary and secondary data from the leading consulting firms to describe how consultants shifted from offering advice on organizational structure to corporate strategy and eventually to corporate legitimacy as a result of the changing economic and regulatory environment of the time.

Findings/originality/value – This study provides a historical context for the emergence of corporate and competitive strategy as an institutional practice in both the United States and around the world, and provides insights into how important this history can be in understanding the debates among consultants and academics during strategy's emergence as an academic subject and practical application.

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2020

Zoltan Veres and Katalin Varga-Toldi

There is still no generally accepted quality model of consulting services. This is particularly the case for management consulting projects, where scope is often…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2021

Linda Gabbianelli and Tonino Pencarelli

The purpose of the paper is to investigate the marketing and communication activities carried out by small management consulting firms and how they relate to customers.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to investigate the marketing and communication activities carried out by small management consulting firms and how they relate to customers.

Design/methodology/approach

After the framing of the literature on the subject, the study is based on the results of a survey carried out through an online questionnaire. The sample under investigation is represented by 914 small consulting firms located in central Italy.

Findings

Results show that half of the sample carried out marketing and communication activities, mainly through the website and social media, while others participating in events as speakers at conferences. It also emerges that management consulting firms carry out activities aimed at maintaining relationship with customers even if they do not invest time in market research in order to find potential and new clients.

Practical implications

The study suggests that management consulting firms should adopt a systematic and strategic approach to communication and should develop a complete and integrated digital communication strategy, as well as to rethink the consulting business model.

Originality/value

There are no previous studies that provide insight into the everyday practice of marketing and communication of small management consulting services in today's dynamic and changing economic environment.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 September 2020

Babajide Oyewo, Oluwafunmilayo Ajibola and Mohammed Ajape

This study investigates the characteristics of business and management consulting firms (firm size, international affiliation and scope of operation) affecting the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the characteristics of business and management consulting firms (firm size, international affiliation and scope of operation) affecting the adoption rate (i.e. recency of adopting big data analytics (BDA) as a new idea) and usage level of BDA. Ten critical areas of BDA application to business and management consulting were investigated, (1) Human Resource Management; (2) Risk Management; (3) Financial Advisory Services; (4) Innovation and Strategy; (5) Brand Building and Product Positioning; (6) Market Research/Diagnostic Studies; (7) Scenario-Based Planning/Business Simulation; (8) Information Technology; (9) Internal Control/Internal Audit; and (10) Taxation and Tax Management.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data was obtained through a structured questionnaire from one hundred and eighteen (118) consultants in Nigeria from diverse consulting firm settings in terms of size, international affiliation and scope of operation (Big 4/non-Big 4 firms). Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, cluster analysis, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), multivariate discriminant analysis and multivariable logistic regression.

Findings

Whereas organizational characteristics such as firm size, international affiliation and scope of operation significantly determine the adoption rate of BDA, two attributes (international affiliation and scope of operation) significantly explain BDA usage level. Internationally affiliated consulting firms are more likely to record higher usage level of BDA than local firms. Also, the usage level of BDA by the Big 4 accounting/consulting firms is expected to be higher in comparison to non-Big 4 firms.

Practical implications

Contrary to common knowledge that firm size is positively associated with the adoption of an innovation, the study found no evidence to support this claim in respect of the diffusion of BDA. Overall, it appears that the scope of operation is the strongest organizational factor affecting the diffusion of BDA among consulting firms.

Originality/value

The study contributes to knowledge by exposing the factors promoting the uptake of BDA in a developing country. The originality of the current study stems from the consideration that it is the first, to the researchers' knowledge, to investigate the application of BDA by consulting firms in the Nigerian context. The study adds to literature on management accounting in the digital economy.

Details

Journal of Asian Business and Economic Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2515-964X

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