rss_2.0Management Consulting Journal FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Management Consulting Journal Consulting Journal Feed and Challenges: Ethics in Consulting<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper critically examines the principle of professional independence in the consulting industry, focusing on ethical challenges through the lenses of consequentialism and stakeholder theory. Utilizing a case study involving a Dutch media company’s acquisition bid, the analysis reveals the tension between maintaining professional independence and succumbing to client pressures, resulting in an inflated and ultimately unsuccessful bid. The discussion highlights the importance of consultants adhering to ethical standards, considering all stakeholders’ interests, and maintaining objectivity to ensure long-term beneficial outcomes. By integrating stakeholder theory and consequentialism, the paper underscores the necessity of ethical rigor and professional integrity in consulting practices.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Ethics: How the Code of Conduct’s Superficiality Can be Combatted by Supplementing Decision-Making with Internal Advisors<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper examines how internal advisors can enhance ethical decision-making beyond the scope of a corporate code of conduct, using a case from a major Dutch financial institution. The case study explores a decision involving a loan request for selling laughing gas, where the internal advisors’ assessment went beyond legal compliance to consider ethical implications, potential consequences, and stakeholder interests. The analysis highlights the use of ethical theories such as consequentialism, deontology, and stakeholder analysis, demonstrating how internal advisors can provide a human and interactive dimension to ethical decision-making. Ultimately, the paper underscores the importance of integrating internal advisory roles with corporate codes of conduct to foster comprehensive and ethically sound decisions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Professionalization and Management Consultancy’s Image Problem - a UK Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article reflects on the disproportionate academic and media attacks that management consultancy seems to attract and links this to the failure of developing strong professional institutions on the example of comparable professions such as law and accountancy. In particular, whilst a professional project was initially at play within this sector, it eventually lost support from key stakeholders, in particular the large firms who employed a majority of management consultants. As such professional associations in the management consultancy field engaged in a series of accommodation strategies to win back some corporate support. The result was a weaker form of corporate professionalism.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue you Hiring and Managing the Right Pi-Shaped People?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>If we truly believe that “people are our greatest asset” as the old saying goes, we generally don’t treat them as assets. Traditional assets such as furniture, buildings and intellectual property are treated in a prescribed manner on financial statements as well as the ongoing care and maintenance of that asset. The author challenges the notion of considering people as expenses only and introduces five different models (or asset classes) of a management consulting firm’s greatest resource - its people. Some of these models have been around for decades, some are emerging, and all are changing with the incessant demand for adaptation of our management consulting industry worldwide.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Compromise: The Struggle of Moral Codes in Business<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper investigates the ethical dilemmas faced by consultants when balancing personal morals with professional obligations, using a real-life case study involving a consultant overhearing illegal price-fixing activities. The case highlights the consultant’s internal conflict and the decision to remain silent due to fear of professional repercussions and power dynamics. The analysis discusses violations of the Dutch OOA code of conduct, particularly concerning integrity and professional independence, and explores the ethical frameworks of moral disengagement, consequentialism, and virtue ethics. The paper emphasizes the complexity of moral integrity in consulting and the potential consequences of both action and inaction in ethically challenging situations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Partnerships of Independent Management Consultants - The Path to Professional Success<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper presents an analysis of the possibilities for developing a community of independent management consultants and forming partnerships in conditions of global uncertainty. The purpose of the study was to show the core of activity, level of competencies and uniqueness of knowledge of the management consultants’ community; determine its growth points. Individual consultants from the National Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Russia (NICMC), Fifty eight consultants took part in the study as a sample. Using the author’s questionnaire, it was possible to identify perspective areas of community development strategies and partnerships for consultants that allow them to achieve greater success in consulting.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Transformative Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Management Consultancy Sector<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper explores the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the management consultancy sector over the next five years. Tracing the evolution of AI from its inception in 1956 to recent language and image capabilities, the study addresses the imminent challenges posed to consultancy by AI startups. Examining global legislative approaches, including the EU’s strict AI Act, the UK’s flexible stance, the self-regulatory approach in the US, and China’s targeted regulations, it unveils the legislative ambiguity for software developers. The essay anticipates transformative implications on consultancy firms, emphasizing the war for talent, potential shifts in business models, and the evolving role of consultants as agents of thought. As AI becomes integral, consultancy firms are urged to adapt, incorporating AI into their models while navigating ethical and legal considerations. The paper underscores that while AI will automate mundane tasks, strategic decision-making remains a strength of consultancy firms, ensuring continued relevance in the evolving landscape.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Consulting in the Artificial Intelligence – LLM Era<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Management Consulting is one of the oldest and most well-established professional services across the world. Consultants have developed subject matter expertise and competency in a variety of areas such as General and Strategic Management, Financial Management, Marketing &amp; Distribution Management, e-Business, Operations Management, Human Resource Management, Knowledge Management, Enterprise Performance Management, Business Transformation, Quality Management, and Information Technology. Information Technology as a discipline has evolved rapidly in the last three decades with software development paradigms and the advancement in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. The space of AI &amp; ML technologies is rapidly evolving, impacting the way insights are arrived at, how decisions are taken, organization models, and organization structures. This article explores the challenges, new opportunities and potential changes to the ways of working for management consultants given the developments in AI, particularly with large language models.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Creation of Chartered Management Consultant: A UK Gold Standard for Consulting Competence<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper explains the creation and purpose of the Chartered Management Consultant (ChMC) award in the UK, outlines the preparation and initial launch of the accreditation, describes the growth to mid-2023 and discusses how continued growth is needed not just in volume of chartered practitioners, but in the diversity of the accredited community.</p> <p>The paper describes the purpose and creation of the award, reviews growth and suggests where to focus next. The first part describes the two UK organisations who have been responsible for setting up and promoting the ChMC award – Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) – and how the ChMC award supports their respective organisational raison d’etre. The second part provides a timeline between 2017 and 2020, in the run-up to the global pandemic. The third part describes the promotion of ChMC and the setting of pace coming out of the pandemic. The fourth part reviews the channels and levers used to accelerate growth in the take-up of ChMC during late 2022 and early 2023; and reflects on how to balance growth in volume of uptake whilst maintaining an appropriately reflective blend of community diversity. The fifth part discusses the practical challenge of promoting an industry-wide standard in a hitherto-unregulated environment. The sixth part covers the case for a strengthened approach; and The seventh and final part covers closing comments and a possible approach to build on the success achieved by CMI/MCA to date, drawing on the CMI’s IC arm.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Intelligence’s Impact of the Management Consultancy Sector over the Next Five Years<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This essay explores the imminent impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the management consultancy sector over the next five years. After tracing the historical context of technological innovation and societal unease with disruption, we delve into the current landscape of management consultancy, emphasizing its evolution and present dynamics. Specialized themes in the consultancy market today, such as internal consulting and data-centric approaches, highlight the industry’s dynamism.</p> <p>The core focus anticipates the implications of AI on management consultancy, with a shift towards AI-powered analytics and insights transforming consultants’ roles. Market segmentation deepens as specialized AI-driven consulting firms emerge, challenging traditional players. The competitive landscape witnesses the entry of tech giants, intensifying competition and prompting strategic shifts in consultancy models. A forward-looking perspective considers changes in pricing and cost structures, emphasizing ethical considerations in AI deployment.</p> <p>In this transformative landscape, a blended future emerges, envisioning AI-driven quick insights complemented by human consultants offering context, creativity, and empathy. This condensed exploration provides a crucial foundation for academics, industry practitioners, and policymakers navigating the evolving interplay between AI and management consultancy.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue National Consulting Index 2023<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The National Consulting Index (NCI) determines the strength of a national management consulting sector relative to other countries. It was first created in 2017 following research and analysis conducted at the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI). This paper provides an update to the NCI project and estimates the size of the management consulting sectors for several countries around the world. The paper also offers qualitative insight from some countries about the trends and dynamics of their management consulting industries.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Consulting’s Black Holes: A Question of Time and Space<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Performance improvement interventions undertaken by management consultants, like many others, can experience difficulty in ensuring that the bulk of the effort put into the intervention translates into the desired change. While consultants themselves are limited in what they can control once their work is completed, there are nevertheless activities they can carry out or at least initiate to improve the chances of change being brought about. Goal setting, self-management and action planning have demonstrated positive effects, particularly where behavioural change is required. Similarly, based on a tested model of learning transfer, other activities relating to peer support, manager support and external coaching can be encouraged and set in train.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Models of Consulting Firms: What do their Leaders Need to Know?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Management consultants have found the business model concept to be a useful consulting tool. This article explores its application to management consultancy itself, identifies some business models used by consulting firms, and explores what information leaders of management consulting firms need in order to check whether their business models are right for their markets, and working appropriately.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Advice on Investigations into Possible CEO Misconduct<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper sets out for fellow consultants: (i) internal controls to avoid a client’s hiring of a chief executive officer (CEO) who may have had a past or current instance(s) or pattern of misconduct; (ii) the forms of possible misconduct of a CEO; (iii) the component steps and process to follow in investigating such misconduct; and (iv) respecting a CEO’s procedural rights during the investigation.</p> <p>This paper provides consultants with content upon which to advise during their practices, including their advice to organizational clients, senior management, and boards of directors.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Employability: An Update on Behaviours Prized by Employers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>There is a strong need for MSc occupational psychology courses to produce employable graduates. However, many universities and students want to know what are the skills and behaviours needed by employers? To answer this question, two job analyses were completed in a multinational management consultancy and in a boutique firm specialising in assessment and development centres (Biggs, 2010). This research highlighted eight competencies that could be developed by students making them more employable. Many students have used this competency framework, not only in our successful evening-based MSc in Occupational Psychology at Gloucestershire, but at other universities and on other degrees. As such there was a call by others to ensure that the research completed over a decade ago still had currency today and that the eight consultancy competency framework was still valid. This paper sets out an update to that original research demonstrating that the framework is still relevant today.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Chinese Wisdom to Rekindle Strategy Consulting<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Strategy consulting has plateaued since 1995, argues former Harvard Business Review editorial Walter Kiechel III. Kmind, the top Chinese strategy consulting firm, has found the spark to reignite the industry: Oriental wisdom. By repeatedly transforming firms from obscurity to market leaders by directly implementing their solutions, they provide a solid proof-of-concept for the next generation of strategic consulting.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue End of Management Consulting as We Know it?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The management consulting business model requires new changes in this new era of disruptions. The typical management consulting business mode is based on consultants either training and developing or engaging in actual management consulting. Today, this has been combined due to operational risk management. The reason is that identifying problems and providing solutions to senior managers is not enough today - consultants need to also be able to offer and execute solutions. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has placed consultants in what is known as a dual role. In this article, we examine the challenges of the management consulting business model and provide an alternative way for large consulting companies and those medium to small organizations to re-emerge with sustenance. These challenges were found in our interviews with 81 senior management consultants at McKinsey &amp; Company and Boston Consulting Group, Inc. in the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Practice Areas of Consultancy Firms<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We reflect on a multi-year study of practice areas within professional service firms that has resulted in impact in various ways, including research publications, class teaching, and industry dissemination. We describe the challenges in conducting academic research at the practice area level, rather than the firm level. These challenges are grouped into two camps: fieldwork challenges and conceptual challenges. While we navigated these during our project in order to achieve our goals, we believe more work needs to be done at the practice area level within the consultancy industry, especially as this unit of analysis is affected by trends in AI and ESG that were not so prominent 20 years ago. We suggest one way forward will be to utilize collaborative systems approaches through a holistic stance, rather than focus on narrow sets of variables in a reductionist stance.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Social Desirability Bias: Doing Jokes-Based Interviews<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Jokes-based interviews can help to reduce social desirability bias of responses on sensitive topics, such as unethical business behaviour or other norm transgressions. The jokes-based interview method is relevant for academic researchers, as well as for practitioner researchers such as consultants, or journalists. The method uses public jokes as invitation to reflect on work experiences related to the jokes, such as pressuring leadership, dirty work, or work-life conflict that tend to be normalised. Illustrated for a critical leadership cartoon, the interview method triggers junior consultants’ memories of experiences with pressuring managers, and managers’ memories of how their juniors deal with overly high leadership demands. The method creates rapport, as the business jokes not only introduce the topic, but also serve as an icebreaker. When applying the method, joke selection is key, as some jokes introduce the topic better than others. Cartoons are especially good at inviting an open conversation on norm transgressions relating to ethics, aesthetics, or social norms. Interviewees also need sufficient room to freely interpret, associate, and elaborate. Next, follow-up questioning is important, and preparing a topic list may help to do so. Some limitations to this method are that jokes can become leading, and that interviewees do not give authentic answers. Therefore, it is important to use public jokes and to keep distance as a researcher: do not make these jokes yourself. Also consider that business jokes are critical, and that jokes-based interviews initially do not invite reflection on the positive side of business life. However, in the follow up conversations this may very well happen.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Management Consultancy: Old Wine or New Normal?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>I begin to explore some of the issues involved to help stimulate debate and empirical research on what might be termed (socially) ‘responsible consulting’ (see also Sturdy 2023). How novel, radical, and comprehensive are these developments and what are the enabling or limiting factors? And finally, what does such a ‘normative turn’ imply, if anything, for the dominant critiques of consultancy and the need for improved governance?</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue