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21228 Management Consulting

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Management
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

This subject introduces students to the nature and characteristics of the consulting industry, major practice areas in consulting and the value creation activities of management consultants. It discusses the main success factors of consulting. It also considers methods of consultancy project design and management, and integrative problem-solving applying the principles of design thinking and different performance measures. Students are required to work on a real-life project. Finally, the subject takes a critical look at the responsibilities and ethics of consultancy contract management.

Note: This subject requires students to have completed the majority of their subjects and it should be taken towards the end of their degree.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. explain the nature and characteristics of consulting and the values underlying different perspectives and approaches to management consulting
2. assess effective methods of creating, developing, extending and transforming business enterprises, and determine the resource requirements of consulting projects related to them
3. review the primary skills and responsibilities exercised in engaging in management consultancy contracts including project management
4. identify the key liability and ethical issues involved in consultancy work.

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject forms part of the Management major and Management Consulting sub-major. It serves to integrate and develop the different aspects of management consulting. It considers different consulting perspectives on and approaches to applying the range of knowledge to finding potential solutions to business problems through business analysis and development and by applying the principles of integrative and design thinking. The subject informs students about appropriate performance measures in different business enterprises, and alerts students to the responsibilities of professional and ethical consulting practices.

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attribute:

  • Business practice oriented skills

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is based on a lecture and tutorial format. The lecture involves a combination of content presentation, case study discussions and problem solving activities to simulate the tasks conducted by consultants. The key role of teaching will be to facilitate the interdependent learning of students. An intensive tutorials program delivers a series of interactive learning discussions and exercises related to the use of various consulting tools and methodologies as well as case studies exemplifying the nature of the client-consultant relationship. Two out of three assessments are designed to replicate consulting deliverables. Early feedback is provided in the tutorials as students have to bring work in progress to class.

This subject adopts a blended learning approach where students take on the responsibility for their own learning. This includes preparing a range of materials before students come to class and actively contributing to the learning process in class. Prior to each class students are expected to read and reflect upon assigned materials including videos and reading material provided via UTS Online so that they are prepared to participate in class discussion and problem-solving exercises. In-class activities have a heavy focus on collaborative learning experiences, such as role plays, debates, working with peers to develop insights through using a range of consulting tools and methodologies and to develop insights for potential clients.

Content (topics)

  • Making sense of management consulting
  • Approaches to consulting
  • Success factors of consulting
  • Client–consulting relationship
  • Critical reflections on management consulting
  • The consultant as a change agent
  • The future of management consulting

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Project Report and Presentation (Group)

Intent:

This assessment will gauge students' ability to:

  1. understand and analyse both the theoretical and practical rationale for management consulting activities
  2. understand and analyse the skills required and responsibilities exercised in engaging in management consultancy contracts including project management.
Objective(s):

This addresses subject learning objective(s):

2 and 3

Weight: 30%
Length:

Proposal length max. 10 powerpoint slides; students are advised to prepare two different set of slides, one to be used as an audiovisual support for the pitch (containing minimal written text), and a second one, more text rich, as an hand-out for the client

Presentation length max. 10 minutes. All team members to take part in the presentation, either by delivering it or by answering clarification questions

Assessment task 2: Report (Individual)

Objective(s):

This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 3 and 4

Weight: 45%
Length:

Students may choose between a Word format and a PowerPoint format for the report (please note that most consulting reports are written in PowerPoint these days hence this is the recommended format).
• The length of the report should not exceed 2000 words (excluding references and Appendices) if written in Word.
• If using a PowerPoint format, the report can be up to 25 slides long (excluding Appendices).

Presentation length max. 20 minutes (including Q&A). All team members to take part in the presentation, either by delivering it or by answering clarification questions

Assessment task 3: Critical Reflection Essay (Individual)

Objective(s):

This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 25%
Length:

Maximum 1500 words (excluding references and Appendices)

Minimum requirements

Students are expected to attend all lectures and tutorials. Students might be asked to interact with a real-life client.

To pass the subject students need to achieve at least 50% of the total marks.

Required texts

O’Mahoney, J. and Markham, C. (2013) Management Consultancy, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press.

The first edition of the textbook, O'Mahoney (2010) is suitable too.

Recommended texts

A list of additional readings can be accessed via the following link (from the UTS Library website):

www.lib.uts.edu.au/drr/search.html?q=21228

Readings relevant for each week are listed in the program section of the subject guide and links to most readings are provided on UTS Online under Learning Content.

References

  • Armbruester, T. (2006) The Economics and Sociology of Management Consulting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Avakian, S. and Clark, T. (Eds) (2012) Management Consulting.The International Library of Critical Writings on Business and Management. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
  • Dawson, R. (2005), Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Fombrun, C. and Nevins, M. (2004), The Advice Business. Essential Tools and Models for Management Consulting. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
  • Gibbs, D. (2010), Management Consulting: A Guide for Students. Cengage Learning.
  • Sallmann, N (2012), Management Consultants in Australia. IBISWorld Industry Report L7856, January (accesible via UTS Library)
  • Wickham, P. and Wickham, L. (2008), Management Consulting: Delivering an Effective Project. Essex: Pearson Education Ltd.