How Knowledge Accumulation Has Changed Strategy Consulting: Strategic Options for Established Strategy Consulting Firms

Strategic Change, Vol. 14, pp. 25-34, 2005

Posted: 16 Aug 2005

See all articles by Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch

Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Marc Baaij

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship

H. W. Volberda

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Abstract

There is considerable research evidence to confirm that the accumulation of knowledge contributes to the competitive advantage of firms. However, in strategy consulting, one of the most knowledge-intensive professional services, established firms that exploited their knowledge accumulation by adding exploitative consulting practices have found their performance has deteriorated.

The increasing share of exploitative practices in the strategy consulting industry has attracted both established ICT-related consulting firms and new entrants. Moreover, it has enabled clients to expand their problem-solving abilities. These developments in terms of competitiveness and client competencies have reduced the attractiveness of exploitative practices for established strategy consulting firms.

To analyse this development and to provide strategic options for the established strategy consulting firms, a conceptual framework is proposed. Based on this framework three strategic option are identified: 'follow the herd', 'become ambidextrous' and 'back to the original focus.' In summarizing our argument, we highlight the pros and cons of these options and the implications for top management.

Keywords: consulting, strategy, knowledge

JEL Classification: L10

Suggested Citation

Van Den Bosch, Frans A. J. and Baaij, Marc and Volberda, Henk W., How Knowledge Accumulation Has Changed Strategy Consulting: Strategic Options for Established Strategy Consulting Firms. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=771385

Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 1955/2005 (Phone)
+31 10 453 0137 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/fvandenbosch

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Marc Baaij (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Henk W. Volberda

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 2761 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9013 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eur.nl/fbk/dep/dep4/faculty_members/Henk_Volberda

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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