The Merits of Academic Consulting and It’s Role in Organisational Development


In the UK, there is growing scrutiny and apprehension over government expenditure on consultancy firms, particularly over recent years. For example, it is estimated that Brexit-related spending on big consultancies increased by 20% in 2019 and the Pandemic has created new opportunities for consultants (a series of articles published in Financial Times in 2020 have focused on government’s spending on external consultants, for example see FT articles dated 29 January, 17 April, 19 August in year 2020). In general, it has been common practice for governments and private organisations alike to procure knowledge and expertise through consultancies large and small. We ask whether consultancies are the only source of advisory or can academic researchers fill this gap? There is ample evidence of governments commissioning University-based researchers to solve urgent problems such as the recent development of Covid-19 vaccine (also see recent calls for research funding from UKRI related to Covid-19 crisis). But such engagement tends to be mainly focused in the hard sciences (natural sciences) domain as opposed to soft sciences (social sciences), which includes management research and consultancy. Although some Business Schools in the UK are already explicitly running academic consultancy operations, how far can Universities assemble teams of academic consultants at the pace a commercial consultancy can deliver to address an immediate need for a client organisation is a moot point.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Advanced Services Group
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Publication ISSN: 2631-987X
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2023 09:34
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2022 09:14
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Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 8/mcj-2021-0013 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-12-26
Accepted Date: 2021-12-01
Authors: Balthu, Krishna
Owen, Chris (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7305-119X)

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