A Survey of the Client - Consultant Relationship:The Perception of Management Consultancy Firms in Kenya
It is no big secret that the client-consultant relationship is fraught with potential pitfalls, disappointments, and frustrations. Its very success or failure hinges on the delicate balance between expectations met versus expectations which remain unarticulated or unanswered. The emerging challenges of globalization, new technologies and competitiveness required by firms to operate have lead to the increasingly important role of management consultancy firms. The objectives of the study were to determine the client- management consultant relationship as perceived by management consultants and to establish the factors that influence the relationship of the client and management consultant. The study was to benefit the existing and new management consultancy firms in identifying and sustaining the client consultant relationship. Further management consultancy firms may be able to consider service offering competences in mind of clients' success factor considerations like fitness, consulting integrity, client readiness and involvement, client agreement and control. The population of the interest in this study consisted of all management consulting firms in Nairobi. This is due to the fact that most of the management consultant firms in Kenya are found in Nairobi, which is the main industrial and Commercial centre of Kenya. A sample of 50 firms was randomly selected for the study. This - represents 62% of the population considered for the study. All the firms in the population could not be studied due to time and cost limitations. In recognition that most of the firms have almost had similar problems and work environment 50 firms was considered sufficient. The study found out that most of the respondents agreed to a great extent that mapping out the network or relationship in the management consultant was operating roles and methods of intervention in the clients' management consultancy relationship were extremely important. Categories of client-management consultancy relationship was considered very important by most of the respondents. Key factors in taking up management consultancy assignment by the companies were extremely important to consider. Maintenance of the relationship with the firms by the Me was considered to a very great extent by the majority of the respondents. Most of the respondents have strongly agreed that management consultant influenced their work with the clients. Obstacles considered in this study were strongly agreed majority of the respondents to client management consultant relationship. It was clear from the study that most client management relationship has had problems for largely non-technical reasons.