Management consulting is a professional service that is concerned with “the rendering of independent advice and assistance about the process of management” (ICMCI, 2002).1 It comprises consulting in various management areas including finance, human resources, information technology, marketing, operations, organization, and strategy (e.g., Alpha Publications, 2002: 6–7; FEACO, 2004: 8; Kennedy, 2003a: 13–14; Kubr, 2002: 261–604). Like for other professional services such as auditing, commercial law, executive search, investment banking, and tax advisory, the economic good exchanged is a highly customized service — not a physical product — and is provided by trained professionals (Greiner & Metzger, 1983: 7; Haywood-Farmer & Stuart, 1990: 337; Lowendahl, 2000: 18–23; Morgan & Quack, 2004: 1). With the rise of the service economy at the outgoing industrial age, the industry that provides consulting services has developed into a sizeable economic sector and employment market (Ringlstetter et al., 2004a: 9–10; Thommen & Richter, 2004: 5).
KeywordsOrganizational Design Professional Service Contingency Factor Contingency Theory Consult Firm
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