But do you your (expensive management) consultant?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Business Strategy, 2010, 31 (2), pp. 34 - 42
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to confirm the existence of PE and the role it plays from the perspective of management consultants. One of the greatest challenges facing management consultants today is how to win business through satisfying client needs. There are a number of authors who have identified that meeting clients' unwritten and unspoken expectations i.e. psychological expectations (PE), can yield competitive advantage for consultants. However, there is a dearth of research in this area. Design/methodology/approach: Semi structured interviews were carried out with twenty management consultants in Australia. Questions canvassed their views on the existence of PE, the forms it took and its strategic value in client-consultant relationships. Findings: Types of PE identified in literature were found to exist widely in practice. Consultants were very aware of PE and the importance of addressing them. Benefits of meeting PE reported were additional business with existing clients or referrals by satisfied clients to other clients. Some PE presented an ethical dilemma to consultants and in some cases they would rather walk away from assignments which they deem as unethical. Originality/value: The paper showed that the strategic importance placed on PE by practitioner literature is worthy of focus. Through this research, it has been established for the first time that psychological expectations impact upon the success of the client-consultant relationship from the viewpoint of consultants. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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