Search results

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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.

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1989

Hari Johri and James Molnar

Internal consulting groups (ICGs) can offer the management of largeorganisations, including those in the public sector, with efficient andeffective means of achieving…

Abstract

Internal consulting groups (ICGs) can offer the management of large organisations, including those in the public sector, with efficient and effective means of achieving improvement and responding to pressures such as reduced resources. Those charged with developing an ICG should follow an institution building approach. Through the ICG′s early, growth and mature stages, key principles and issues of an institutional development plan must be addressed and reasonable goals set. Top management commitment to the plan is vital to its success.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 November 2018

Jukka Mattila, Sampo Tukiainen and Sami Kajalo

The paper advances research on the heterogeneity of client behavior and the understanding of “the client” as a key topic in the research of management consulting. First…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper advances research on the heterogeneity of client behavior and the understanding of “the client” as a key topic in the research of management consulting. First, this issue is addressed by summarizing the clients’ reasons for acquiring and utilizing management consulting services. Second, the purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which these reasons vary in four key client groups.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on 1,127 responses to a survey questionnaire, the clients’ motives for acquiring and using management consulting are examined in four different client groups. Principal component analysis with an eigenvalue greater than one and varimax rotation method was used to discern the motives for acquiring and using consulting.

Findings

The analysis identifies two co-existing factors as key reasons for acquiring and utilizing management consulting: “Impact” and “Significance.” This typology is used to show that the reasons for acquiring management consulting services are dependent on the hierarchical level of the client. While reasons related to “Impact” are consistently emphasized in the four examined client groups, reasons related to “Significance” show greater variance and are emphasized less higher up in the organizational hierarchy.

Research limitations/implications

The paper argues for the need to reconsider the conventionally marginal and subordinate position of subjective motivations in the management consulting literature. The paper creates bridges between previously contending paradigms by developing a holistic and comprehensive framework of the client motives for utilizing management consulting.

Practical implications

For practitioners, the results complement prior understandings of client purchase decision making. More fundamentally, this paper provides elements for restructuring the overall discourse on the roles and uses of consultants.

Originality/value

The paper is the first large-sample examination of client heterogeneity, developing an empirically verified typology of the reasons for utilizing management consulting. More importantly, the paper specifies how these reasons vary among four key client groups. The primary contributions of the paper are: the paper posits a robust typology on the previously multivocal and fragmented reasons for utilizing management consulting. The paper specifies how the reasons vary in four key client groups, developing a more nuanced understanding of the heterogeneity of “the client.”

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

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.

Details

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

Open Access
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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1986

Adrian Payne

Managers are increasingly using external consultants for the provision of a wide range of professional management services. The article discusses the structure of the…

Abstract

Managers are increasingly using external consultants for the provision of a wide range of professional management services. The article discusses the structure of the consulting industry, addresses the question of whether consultants “add value” for their clients, and describes how to identify, select and use relevant consultants.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Lakshmi Hymavathi Chillara, Debajani Sahoo and Abhilash Ponnam

The purpose of this paper is to explore the major determinants that influence the management teachers to practice management consulting. The second objective of this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the major determinants that influence the management teachers to practice management consulting. The second objective of this research is to understand how the experience in management consultancy leads to value addition in their class room teaching.

Design/methodology/approach

To address the first research objective, focus group discussions were conducted with management teachers practicing consultancy. These results were used to generate items for the questionnaire. Factor analysis performed on the data revealed six determinants influencing management teachers to engage in consulting activity. To address the second research objective, focus group discussions with MBA graduates were used to comprehend how teachers with management consulting experience enrich the pedagogy.

Findings

The major findings of the study suggest that the determinants influencing management teachers to practice consulting are: improving competencies, furthering professional advancement, accruing strategic and financial benefit, enabling holistic development. Through study 2, the authors found out that management teachers add value in pedagogy by forging corporate world connection through real-time examples, enable critical thinking by breaking established paradigms, effective classroom delivery through storytelling, etc., and lending student support by assuming a mentor’s role.

Practical implications

This study found that faculty consulting reduces the perceived gap between the industry and academia and it also leads to effective class room teaching.

Originality/value

The study is the first attempt to empirically test the determinants influencing management teachers to practice consultancy services and qualitatively assess how the consultancy experience enriches the in-class performance.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2016

Matias Bronnenmayer, Bernd W. Wirtz and Vincent Göttel

This paper aims to conceptualize perceived management consulting success, derive relevant success factors based on principal-agent theory and the resource-based view as…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to conceptualize perceived management consulting success, derive relevant success factors based on principal-agent theory and the resource-based view as well as investigate the particular factors’ influence. Management consulting has become important for improving the competitiveness of a variety of firms. Surprisingly, there is little empirical evidence clarifying what constitutes a successful management consulting project.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conduct a survey to empirically investigate the hypotheses. They develop the survey instrument through a literature review, expert interviews, a pre-test and an item-sorting test. To analyze the data from 348 management consultants, the authors apply structural equation modeling. Additionally, they choose a triangulation approach by asking secondary informants about the originally surveyed consultants’ responses.

Findings

Initially, the authors develop the second-order construct perceived management consulting success, consisting of the factors compliance with budget and schedule, degree of target achievement, profitability as well as expansion and extension. Additionally, they develop an understanding of management consulting’s success factors. In this regard, five of six factors show a significant impact on perceived management consulting success.

Originality/value

According to the results, the factor intensity of collaboration is of highest importance for perceived management consulting success. Further, the factors common vision, consultant expertise and top management support show comparably strong significant influences. Yet, the authors have to reject the hypothesis about trust. This result conveys the complicacy of the consultant–client relationship and shows that building a trustful relationship between both parties is hard to accomplish.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Steven H. Appelbaum and Anthony J. Steed

The primary intent of this study is to examine recent projects involving external management consultants at a North American telecommunications firm, from the employees…

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Abstract

Purpose

The primary intent of this study is to examine recent projects involving external management consultants at a North American telecommunications firm, from the employees’ point of view, to measure the extent to which the aforementioned “critical success factors” were perceived as being evident. A secondary purpose was to examine which, if any, of these factors differ between more or less successful consulting projects with a view to building a model to predict employees’ perceptions of the level of the projects’ success. A third objective was to gather employee opinions on the use of management consultancy and other factors that might contribute to the success of consulting projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 102 employees responded to a questionnaire consisting of 59 questions. A model including six independent variables was able to predict overall rating of project success, with an adjusted R2=0.68, F=27.81 (p<0.0001). The significant variables, in order of importance, were: the solution took into account one's internal state of readiness; the project included prototyping new solutions; the project deliverables were clear; the consultant partnered with the project team throughout; the consultant was professional; and the consultant understood the sense of urgency.

Findings

Substantial differences were seen on most measures between projects judged “successful” and projects judged “not successful”. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that many of the success factors suggested in the literature, and proposed under “an ideal client‐consultant engagement”, were judged as being present in management consulting projects at the telecommunications firm, to one degree or another. General opinions of management consultants were mixed and somewhat negative. Employees at the telecommunications organization do not agree with the traditional benefits of management consultants promoted by the industry.

Originality/value

The results of this study support the anecdotal and theoretical models, in particular those emphasizing the importance of process issues, the client‐consulting relationship and their impact on project outcome.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 October 2009

Tina C. Ambos and Bodo B. Schlegelmilch

At the pinnacle of the knowledge management hype, international consulting firms were widely viewed as the undisputed champions of the discipline. They were the ones that

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Abstract

Purpose

At the pinnacle of the knowledge management hype, international consulting firms were widely viewed as the undisputed champions of the discipline. They were the ones that pioneered the development of innovative knowledge management systems, they were at the forefront of creating knowledge management cultures and they recognized the productive potential of knowledge workers. While knowledge continues to be prominent on the strategic agenda of leading consulting firms, several knowledge management challenges remain unsolved. To shed light on this matter the paper aims to investigate how knowledge management is really embedded in their organizations and with which critical issues these firms still struggle .

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a qualitative empirical study based on 37 in‐depth interviews with representatives from international consulting firms in different locations around the world.

Findings

It is found that the promise of knowledge management can only be realized if people are open to changing business processes and adopt new ways of thinking.

Practical implictions

The study sheds fresh light on the knowledge management practices that have emerged in the consulting industry, and provides insights into the interplay of people and systems, the structuring of knowledge management, the divide between knowledge generalists and specialists, and the knowledge management strategy.

Originality/value

The paper presents a general approach to embedding knowledge management along the dimensions of people, systems and business processes and develops an integrative framework that links knowledge management strategies to a typical consulting project cycle. In addition, it sheds light on individual perceptions on the benefits from knowledge management.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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