Handbook on Responsible Leadership and Governance in Global Business
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Handbook on Responsible Leadership and Governance in Global Business

  • Elgar original reference

Edited by Jonathan P. Doh and Stephen A. Stumpf

Ethics, social responsibility, leadership, governance. These terms are heard in the classroom, in the boardroom, and viewed on the front page of newspapers and magazines. Yet serious attention to the relationships among these concepts is lacking. Although commitments to leadership, ethics, and social responsibility are evident, individuals and companies are falling short in combining these duties into policies and cultures that guide behavior and decisions. The missing element is a broad-based and integrated approach to responsible leadership and governance. This volume provides the leading thinking on these issues and includes a discussion of emerging areas that require future attention.
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Chapter 15: Management and Governance of Professional Services Firms

Kevin D. Clark, Jonathan P. Doh and Stephen A. Stumpf

Extract

15 Management and governance of professional services firms Kevin D. Clark, Jonathan P. Doh and Stephen A. Stumpf Introduction In this chapter, we uncover the particular features and challenges associated with the management and governance of professional services firms.1 We begin with a discussion of the enormous global growth of professional services firms (PSF) in the areas of management consulting, information technology (IT) consulting, public accounting, investment banking, law and advertising/public relations. Problems associated with PSF service, particularly for large management consultancies, have been documented (for example, see O’Shea and Madigan, 1997; Pinault, 2000; Schaffer, 1997). Recent ethical and legal questions raised with respect to public accounting have highlighted the need to reassess the management and governance structures of PSFs. We assert that there are inherent differences in the structure of ownership and the resulting management in PSFs as compared to traditional organizations, and that research in management and governance as it is currently conceived fails to account satisfactorily for these differences. We review the research on PSFs that is suggestive of the issues we highlight. We observe, however, that this research fails to address the core incentive and alignment issues in PSFs that have contributed to the recent high-profile cases. These cases, and the paucity of research to draw upon to address them, provide both a scholarly and a practical justification for the critical importance of aggressively incorporating PSFs into the organizational theory research agenda. We will focus on one mechanism that has been identified as...

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