Knowing the price of everything? Exploring the impact of increased procurement professional involvement on management consultancy purchasing

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  • The University of Warwick


Much of the estimated $554 billion annual expenditure on management consultancy services is accounted for by projects with a direct link to client profitability. As such, it is critical for clients (and arguably the wider economy) that the purchase process for such services is managed effectively. For many within the management consultancy literature, this requires close, bilateral buy-side service end-user / supplier engagement. In recent years, however, this bilateral engagement has been modified by a significant increase in procurement professional involvement. This has caused concern within the management consultancy literature as it is believed it will inevitably lead to a cost-focused approach that disrupts close end-user / supplier engagement and causes sub-standard service outcomes. In this paper, we explore, via qualitative research, whether this concern is justified. In the event, the analysis suggested partial justification. However, examples of positive procurement involvement were also reported, suggesting that existing models and assumptions within the management consultancy literature regarding the impact of increased procurement involvement require modification.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-167
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date9 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Management consultancy, Personal engagement model, Procurement, Service outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas