• Consultancy in management education

      Matthias, Olga; Campbell, J. (2018)
      The chapter interrogates the teaching and application of management consultancy as part of an MBA and examines its relevance in management education. Mature and experienced students, many with impressive CVs recording multiple career successes, demand that the core experience of their MBA programmes provide opportunities apply theoretical knowledge in real-life situations. The further opportunity to work with blue-chip clients on projects of strategic importance to the client offers further opportunities to test management thinking and consultancy practise in a robust and challenging manner. Students often have experience of working with consultants previously, but most have little experience of managing and delivering projects for clients within a consultancy framework. The pedagogical challenge is to teach students the true value proposition in consultancy beyond the transactional relationship inherent in answering a question set by the client. The basic process approach moves students from considering consultancy as a phenomenon that ‘happens’ to a client with a solution magically appearing upon project conclusion, to a position where students recognise consultants as a true ‘change agent’, unfreezing clients from previous positions and realising new capabilities (Lewin, 1951). There is an examination of ensuring the relevance of the management consultancy approach to students as part of their MBA journey as well as relevance to the client companies in engaging with the University. There is discussion on how teaching the right approach to management consultancy project management and research-orientated methodology retains the focus on the performance of the client organisation (Applebaum and Steed, 2005). There is consideration of how true impact on client companies is achieved by ensuring legacy forms part of expectation management (Kirk, 2000) with client companies keen to reengage with future MBA student teams. The chapter concludes with a reflection on future development of consultancy within management education, including syllabus co-design with consultancy clients.