Why do Consultants Perform Better than Academic Advisers?
Chapter 1: Introduction: Consultants and Academics in Competition
EMPTY RHETORIC OR QUESTIONABLE RESEARCH? Sometimes we need advice. Say you are a member of a works council and the CEO wants your advice about a reorganization project that will cost many colleagues’ jobs. Is it really necessary? The works council does not have the requisite expertise, so you need help from an adviser. After all, these are your colleagues and you have a responsibility to treat the issue with care. A consultant can help to articulate and legitimize your views towards your colleagues and towards your CEO. Or you are the CEO of an international airport and think growth is in order, but you are aware of some negative effects. Can they be managed? What are their sizes? Will the positive effects outweigh the negative? You need help to answer these questions in order to legitimize your decision. Or you are a minister and want to make public transport (distribution of electricity, the delivery of post) more market competitive. What degree of liberalization is appropriate? What steps are needed to introduce liberalization? What conditions have to be monitored? Often the questions that require advice are so complex, the consequences so big and the interests involved so different that careful deliberation is needed. Consultants and academic advisers both offer their services in such situations, but which should you ask? Who can give you the guidance you need? Who has enough authority to legitimize your views? Who can inform you most adequately? Who can help you to decide in the midst...