Chapter | The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting | Forthcoming

Structuring Consulting Firms

by Tim Morris, Heidi K. Gardner and N. Anand

Abstract

This chapter presents a model of the way in which consulting and other professional-service firms organize themselves and grow. We will argue that the fundamental structural-design challenge for consulting firms, like other professional firms, is to adapt appropriately to market and institutional demands. Central to this challenge are decisions about how best to organize the expertise they marshal to compete. Expertise is organized at two levels: at a micro level through flexible project-team structures and at a macro level principally through units called practices. Macro structural choices define and promote development of the practice portfolio.

Keywords: Experience and Expertise; Management Practices and Processes; Demand and Consumers; Service Operations; Organizational Design; Organizational Structure; Projects; Groups and Teams; Consulting Industry; Service Industry;

Citation:

Morris, Tim, Heidi K. Gardner, and N. Anand. "Structuring Consulting Firms." In The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting, edited by Matthias Kipping and Timothy Clark. Oxford University Press, 2012.