A multidimensional model of client success when engaging external consultants

Gable, Guy (1996) A multidimensional model of client success when engaging external consultants. Management Science, 42(8), pp. 1175-1198.

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Too often the relationship between client and external consultants is perceived as one of protagonist versus antogonist. Stories on dramatic, failed consultancies abound, as do related anecdotal quips. A contributing factor to many "apparently" failed consultancies is a poor appreciation by both the client and consultant of the client's true goals for the project and how to assess progress toward these goals. This paper presents and analyses a measurement model for assessing client success when engaging an external consultant. Three main areas of assessment are identified:

(1) the consultant;s recommendations, (2) client learning, and (3) consultant performance.

Engagement success is emperically measured along these dimensions through a series of case studies and a subsequent survey of clients and consultants involved in 85 computer-based information system selection projects. Validation fo the model constructs suggests the existence of six distinct and individually important dimensions of engagement success. both clients and consultants are encouraged to attend to these dimensions in pre-engagement proposal and selection processes, and post-engagement evaluation of outcomes.

Impact and interest:

50 citations in Scopus
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38 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 68961
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Consultant Engagement, Management Consultants, Outsiders, Advisors, Management Advisory Services, Management Information Systems, IS Personnel Resource Management, Management Science, MIS success, Implementation Success, Package Selection, Otusourcing, Service Quality, Knowledge-Products, Marketing Intangibles
ISSN: 0025-1909
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)
Deposited On: 20 Mar 2014 23:36
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2014 07:14

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