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Management Consultant Industry - Essay Example

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Methodology of Analysis/Assessment The analysis of the given statement for this essay has been done on the basis of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) proposed by Peter Checkland (Williams 2005, Lester 2008). This methodology follows a seven stage approach for analyzing the given statement…
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Management Consultant Industry
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"Management Consultant Industry"

Download file to see previous pages There has been a lot of criticism of consultants, consulting companies as well as consulting as a profession. This also spurred a large number of jokes and sarcastic comments being made on consultants, one of them being ‘All that management consultants do is to borrow their clients' watches and tell them the time, then send in a huge bill’. Many articles have also been penned on various unethical practices being carried out by consultants especially in big consulting firms (Kitay & Wright 2004, Pinault 2000). While some amount of criticism is valid and makes sense, a large part is also exaggerated. This essay aims to critically analyze both sides of the picture before arriving at the do’s and don’ts for a successful marriage between business and consulting. Criticism against Consultants (Stage 3- Root Definition) Consulting by nature is a service industry and hence its deliverables are highly intangible and subjective (Lemann 1999). Therefore, different business organizations have different evaluation of work done by consultants for them. Consultants generally charge a very high fee. Many times, their recommendations actually lead to worsening of conditions. Moreover, consultants have the inclination to implement or suggest certain standard solutions which have developed in their own organizations or are generally used best practices in the industry. Hence, they don’t make it a point to customize the solution for a particular organization or come up with a new solution. (Pringle 1998). Consultants are often seen focusing on latest management fads in the market or using fashionable business jargon to impress the clients but which may have no implications on the output (Clark & Salaman 1998, Pinault 2000). A large number of consulting projects have simply failed to deliver the results while many others lost touch with reality mid-way and had to be scrapped (Klenter & Mollgard 2006, Seidl & Mohe 2007). In many cases, implementation of the consultants’ advice has produced disastrous circumstances for an organization (Byrne 2002). Ferdinand Piech, former CEO of Volkswagen, even went to the extent of saying that “If you want to ruin a company, you only have to try fixing it with the help of external consultants” (Seidl & Mohe 2007). Analysis of Client- Consultant interaction through CATWOE approach Let us understand the client consultant relationship through CATWOE approach proposed by Checkland (Williams 2005). a. Customers: The customers here would be the end consumers the client caters to. For example, for a steel manufacturer people buying utensils may be the customer. The impact of the client consultant relationship on the customers may occur in the medium to long term. b. Actors: Actors would be the consultants or consulting firm who enable the transformation. The role of consultants is the most significant for the success of this relationship. Now days, consultants work in teams which comprise members of the client side as well. Therefore, in such cases certain client side employees are also actors. c. Transformation: The transformation is the conversion from an unsolved problem to a well laid out solution. The solution may be a suggestion, recommendation, documentation, model or an end to end implementation depending upon the nature and scope of work. d. Weltanschauung: The compensation of the consu ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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