Management Consulting - Criticism

Criticism

Despite consistently growing revenues, management consultancy also consistently attracts a significant amount of criticism, both from clients as well as from management scholars.

Management consultants are sometimes criticized for overuse of buzzwords, reliance on and propagation of management fads, and a failure to develop plans that are executable by the client. A number of critical books about management consulting argue that the mismatch between management consulting advice and the ability of executives to actually create the change suggested results in substantial damages to existing businesses. In his book "Flawed Advice and the Management Trap", Chris Argyris believes that much of the advice given today has real merit. However, a close examination shows that most advice given today contains gaps and inconsistencies that may prevent positive outcomes in the future.

More disreputable consulting firms are sometimes accused of delivering empty promises, despite high fees, and charged with "stating the obvious" or lacking the experience upon which to base their advice. These consultants bring few innovations, instead offering generic and "prepackaged" strategies and plans that are irrelevant to the client’s particular issue. They may fail to prioritise their responsibilities, placing their own firm’s interests before those of the clients.

Another concern is the promise of consulting firms to deliver on the sustainability of results. At the end of an engagement between the client and consulting firms, there is often an expectation that the consultants will audit the project results for a period of time to ensure that their efforts are sustainable. Although sustainability is promoted by some consulting firms, it is difficult to implement because of the disconnect between the client and consulting firms after the project closes.

Further criticisms include: disassembly of the business (by firing employees) in a drive to cut costs, only providing analysis reports, junior consultants charging senior rates, reselling similar reports to multiple clients as "custom work", lack of innovation, overbilling for days not worked, speed at the cost of quality, unresponsive large firms and lack of (small) client focus, lack of clarity of deliverables in contracts, not customizing specific research report criteria and secrecy.

Read more about this topic:  Management Consulting

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Famous quotes containing the word criticism:

    People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher—a Roosevelt, a Tolstoy, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It’s the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

    A friend of mine spoke of books that are dedicated like this: “To my wife, by whose helpful criticism ...” and so on. He said the dedication should really read: “To my wife. If it had not been for her continual criticism and persistent nagging doubt as to my ability, this book would have appeared in Harper’s instead of The Hardware Age.”
    Brenda Ueland (1891–1985)

    The critic lives at second hand. He writes about. The poem, the novel, or the play must be given to him; criticism exists by the grace of other men’s genius. By virtue of style, criticism can itself become literature. But usually this occurs only when the writer is acting as critic of his own work or as outrider to his own poetics, when the criticism of Coleridge is work in progress or that of T.S. Eliot propaganda.
    George Steiner (b. 1929)