The terms, consultancy and consulting, are often used interchangeably to explain a set of knowledge acquired and implemented in a specialised field or in specialised fields. In recent years, organisations have realised the constant need for third party expertise; and this affirms the significance of consulting services in the competitive global business environment. Services provided by consultants in various professional fields have proven to be essential to the socioeconomic development and growth of organisations and economies across the globe. Its significant contributions notwithstanding, activities of the consulting industry are believed to be muscled by a number of factors. The main objective of this scientific inquiry was to examine the realities and misconceptions associated with the activities of professionals in the consulting industry. Specifically, the present research sought, among other objectives, to examine the effect of professional service delivery on the reward of consultants in the consulting industry. The quantitative approach to scientific inquiry formed the basis for the conduct of this research. A cross-sectional design was adapted and used in the study. This allowed the researchers to gather relevant research data over a specific period of time. Data required for the research were obtained essentially from secondary sources including text books, journals, research papers, newspaper publications; and Google Search Engine, among other relevant sources. Descriptive statistics and regression models were used to describe the research variables; and to evaluate their behaviour over the stated time frame in the consulting industry. The research findings revealed professional dispositions of consultants account for about 99% of the variation in their average earnings in the consulting industry. The study recommended the need for consultants to pay attention to project details; and ensure strict adherence to project deadlines. Consultants with multiple talents could fit into several specialised areas. Consultants’ creativity and quick resolution of difficult problems would be a trump card. Providing meaningful solutions to clients’ problems is predicated on strong understanding of the problems on hand. To this end, it behoves the consultant to ask all the relevant questions and demand answers from the client. Consultants must continually avail of themselves to learning to be abreast of current happenings and dynamics in the consulting industry to assure the provision of contemporary and state-of-the-art consulting services for clients. Consultants who wish to achieve remarkable success in their chosen profession must be committed to listening; and building meaningful and healthy relationship with their clients.
Keywords: Consultancy, consulting, external consultant, internal consultant, myth, reality
Author: Ebenezer M. Ashley (PhD)
Fellow Chartered Economist & CEO of EBEN Consultancy