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Summary: Management Consultancy & Policy Advice

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  • Article 1 - Werr. Management consultants

    This is a preview. There are 3 more flashcards available for chapter 01/04/2019
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  • Network organization discourse

    oReframing of the organization into knowledge society
    oThere is constant change and reformulating practices and routines in organizations
    oNetwork organizations is continuously adapting to its environment
    oIt’s open to external influences
    oManaging the network organizations is about leadership
    oCollaboration determines roles of and control of relationship
  • Image 1 – the client-consultant relationship as partnership. 

    -Relationship is consultant’s possession of specific knowledge and expertise

    -Managers have limited ability to look at the big picture – hence external consultants are highly valued

    -Relationship is close and stable and well-established
    -Informal contacts as starting point of formal consulting assignments

    -Consultants were deeply involved in change projects – resources and expertise
    - House consultants – contribute to implementation of internal ideas through their networks and close relationships with different parties

    -Boundaries between consultant and client are blurred and flexible
  • Image 2 – issues of power and control: re-establishing distance.

    - Concerned with client’s loss of power and control
    -Importance of maintaining client control was emphasized

    - Projects should be owned by managers in the organization
    -Clear idea about why consultants are hired is needed
    -Manager is responsible and in charge – clear boundaries are needed

    -Consultant and client have different interests - consultant can't be trusted --> limited responsibility
    - §Use of consultants is threat to managers’ identity – questions their competence 
  • Article 2 - Lapsley. Transforming the public sector

  • Role of management consultants

    - They are key players in the process of changing management practices in the public sector
    -They advise the central government on the reform of administrative structure and implementation of policy.
    - They see themselves as knowing the truth and seeing the need for change in the public sector. 
  • The traditional client-consultant relationship

    - Consultants describes as missionaries, they believe in the work they do
    - Doctor-patient relationship, experts who bring radical positive change
  • Why consultants are able to access power

    oLack of expertise within the organization, consultants provide this expertise
    oConsultants provide reassurance for insecure management
    oConsultants play on insecurities of management
    o   Consultants have legitimacy

    oCharacter of consultants – clever, manipulative, confident
  • What is the nature of the work that management consultants do within the public sector?

    - To work on a particular problem (typical role)
    - Come in as an extra resource (of increasing importance)  
    - Consultant is an extra pair of hands, not there to bring about radical change
    -Critics of consultancy: management consultants simply tell the organization what they already know, but:
    ----- But they have very specific expertise
    ----- Information can exist but not be recognized 

  • 1.What distinctive attributes and experiences do management consultants bring, and how do they see themselves?

    -Consultants believe they possess objectivity, specific expertise, experience, an injection of fresh thinking.

    -No indication that consultants have a mission to change organizations
    -Extreme personalities such as missionaries are not apparent.

    -Work of management consultants is restricted by internal forces at play
  • What is their view on the current situation within the public sector and the changes that have taken place within it?

    - Decision making: long time, inefficient
    - Working practices: improvements in efficiency are necessary, flexibility has improved (influence of politics is constraint)
    - Accounting functions: has improved, but not as powerful as in private sector, mixed opinions about visibility of finance functions
    The management functions: management has become stronger and more influential in some parts, but not in all because of low remuneration, ability to make a decision
    - Adoption of private sector ideas: has become more commercial, but no consensus on the degree of success
    - Future: downsizing, needs to develop customer service relationships, too resistant to change, hard to change because of politics
  • Difference between people who work in large companies and those who work in small companies or for themselves:

    - Sole practioners: more down to earth
    - Members of large organizations: greater belief in what they are doing because surrounded with like-minded individuals, more concerned with image
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