Some semantics! In the course of this literature words like consulting, management consulting, professional services may be used quite often. It is therefore imperative to give some guidance on what each of these terms mean in this thesis since different meanings have been adduced by different authors. Generally, this section discusses literature on the subject of consulting. Though the subject has been in existence for a long time, there seems to be relatively few scholarly articles (Haywood-Farmer and Nollet, 1994) related to consulting as compared to the growth it has experienced over the years (Greiner and Metzger, 1983) especially between 1980 and 1990 (Kyro 1995). Consulting is quite broad in the sense that it denotes advice and judgment (Sandberg, 2003; Kubr, 2002; Haywood-Farmer and Nollet, 1994) and therefore may fit well in any particular industry or subject area. A broad overview of consulting is depicted in figure 2.8 below. From this broad view, consulting organisations can be categorised into two: Corporate consulting and Professional service consulting. Professional Service Consulting (PSC) will be discussed in-depth, since it is the focus of this thesis, but some classifications ought to be made beforehand.
The context of this thesis is a business or management consulting entity. In order to ensure an appropriate focus for the theoretical review, discussions would be biased towards management consulting and related business subject-matter such as Accounting, Audit, Tax and Finance since these broadly represents the main service offerings of the entity. One element of PSC that has enjoyed quite some extensive literature is management consulting (Kyro, 1995) and therefore commands majority of the theoretical discussions on PSC. However, since this thesis is about consulting firms in general and professional service consulting specifically, we have resisted the temptation of defining management consulting and rather considered it as a part of PSC along with Accounting, Audit, Finance and other business related subjects. It is, however, worth mentioning that a definition of management consulting provided by Greiner and Metzger (1983) connotes advice, which is a key element of consulting discussed above. This thesis therefore follows the steps of Kubr, (2002), Lowendahl (2000) and Kyro (1995), who clearly emphasise that management consulting is an aspect of PSC. Figure 2.8 below depicts the broad overview of consulting
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