Today many firms are turning to consultant management in order to improve their performance and understand ways in which they can achieve their objectives. Consultancy management can be described as being both an industry as well as a practice where managers work from outside an industry or organization to try and help them improve. There are many reasons why organizations prefer to draw upon their services to deal with their problem the main being that this way they get an external viewpoint on the issues, a viewpoint not marred by the going on of the organization.
Moreover another major reason why this industry is growing is that these firms, due to their external exposure and their dealings with other companies too, have gathered a large amount of knowledge about the “best ways” to go about solving a problem.
The development of consultant management as an industry seemed to have started to grow independently in the year 1886. This is the same time when the first consulting firm was put up by Arthur D. Little. This industry saw its first growth when the Glass-Steagall Banking Act was made in 1930s when the demand for advice in finance, strategy and organization were in high at those times. It is during those periods where industry was focusing its growth only on the United States.
After the 1950s management consultant targeted not only the UK and European nations but also the Asian and South American clients. The main spurt of activity was seen after the World War II when a number of new management consultant firms were formed all over the world. A significant growth was seen in the industry during the 1980s and the 1990s but stagnated in the year 2001, though it recovered in 2003.
Management consultant can have two basic approaches to a given problem known as the “expert approach” and the “facilitative approach” on the other hand. In the “expert approach” the consulting firm will behave as an expert on the situation and will in that capacity approach the client. Once the client has put forth its problem they will take up the role of an expert and will provide expert assistance and advice on the matter to the client.
In the facilitative approach the consulting firm does not focus so much on the technical aspects of management but more on the method used for the consultation itself. However many firms have also been organized in a matrix structure where there are two axes – one being the business function or the type of consulting being used and the other being the focus of the industry itself.
Tips and comments
Management consultant has many benefits for the organization that hires its services. The firm having management consultant can bring along an impartial as well as individuality within the relationship. With management consultant’s immense knowledge and best practices can therefore be very helpful in handling various problems faced by most industries. Decision making of companies and industries cannot therefore be influenced with the aid of management consultancy.