The Knowledge Creation Potential of Management Consulting


Ciampi, F.

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The Knowledge Creation Potential of Management Consulting interprets management consulting from a knowledge perspective, and proposes a general conceptual framework for investigating and interpreting that potential. To begin with, the main dynamics of change that characterize today’s demand for management consulting is outlined, and is it suggested that firms are becoming increasingly aware of the real cognitive (rather than only the economic) value generation potential that can be activated through the consulting relationship. Also, the possible pathways for evolutionary transformation of consulting practices, models and roles that consulting firms could follow if they want to take advantage of the important changes that are taking place, are looked at. Next, a definition of management consulting is proposed, which aims to identify the distinctive ontological (real, essential and relatively stable) features of this particular service and emphasizes the mainly cognitive nature of its value-creation potential. Furthermore, two approaches to interpreting management consulting are discussed: the diachronic approach, and the synchronic approach. To conclude, the theories interpreting knowledge creation processes as knowledge conversion processes are explained, and applied to the specific context of management consulting relationships.