By F. Ciampi
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To identify the causes, the consultant must deconstruct the problem, starting with an analysis of the symptoms manifested. The aim is to identify the signiﬁcant cause-effect relationships between basic components. This work calls for the simultaneous application of analytical, synthetic, empathetic, and intuitive skills. Analytical skills are indispensable for the deconstruction of the problem and the reconstruction of the system of cause-effect relationships between the signiﬁcant variables18.
The problems to be faced by the management consultant (directly or indirectly) concern the functions of the client ﬁrm’s senior managers which are “not delegable” (Ciampi, 2004; Fazzi, 1982) and, consequently, the consulting problem must (directly or indirectly) regard at least one person belonging to the client ﬁrm’s top management (which therefore represents “the primary client”23 of the consultant). I immediately decided to take up the KPMG offer, even though the starting salary they proposed was 20% lower than what I was paid by Alfa Consulting24 [a company offering Information and Communication Technologies services to manufacturing ﬁrms].
A series of services aiming to identify and solve enterprise decision problems, with a speciﬁc type of clientele (executives and managers) …”; – Steele (1975, p. 3) deﬁnes management consulting as “any form of providing help on the content, process, or structure of tasks or series of tasks, where the consultant is not actually responsible for doing the task itself but is helping those who are”; – Greiner and Metzger (1983, p. 7) state that “Management consulting is an advisory service contracted for and provided to organizations by specially trained and qualiﬁed persons who assist, in an objective and independent manner, the client organization to identify management 1 THE KNOWLEDGE CREATION POTENTIAL OF MANAGEMENT CONSULTING The conceptual delimitation of management consulting proposed here is an attempt to identify the distinctive ontological (real, essential and relatively stable) features that qualify the inner nature of this particular and fascinating service activity (Ciampi, in press-b; in press-c).