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Management Consulting - Business Consulting

Are you looking for a management consultant for management consulting or business consulting? You’ve come to the right place. With long term experience on shareholder level of a medium-sized company and two degrees in economics, I will be happy to advise you. In addition to my studies, I have intensively learnt foreign languages so that I can assist you with 14 languages, especially in an international context.

What can you expect from management consulting? I provide consultancy in a scientific style coupled with practical experience.

Strategy consulting is a sub-area of management consulting and can be categorised under the management function of planning. Management consulting is in turn a sub-area of business consultancy.

Beratung

Global Management and Business Consultancy from Rhine-Ruhr (Wuppertal, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen, Dortmund)

Areas of Management Consulting

What can management consulting encompass? To answer this question, the five management functions of Koontz and O’Donnell (1972) will be addressed below. There, management is divided into the following five functions.

  • Planning
  • Organising
  • Staffing
  • Directing
  • Controlling

These five management functions overlap the functional areas (purchasing, production, sales) in a cross-sectional manner (Schreyögg & Koch, 2020). In order to answer the question of what can be part of management consulting, the five functions are presented in a brief and concise manner. The reference to management consulting is then established.

This is followed by a few book tips and information for self-study.

Planning

What does management consulting include within the management function of planning? Firstly, the management function of planning is introduced.

Planning means that future actions are anticipated. Planning is the main function of the management functions. Scherm and Julmi (2019) describe it as the first logical phase of the management process.

In terms of content, a distinction can be made between target and action planning. A further distinction is made between operational and strategic planning. The former utilises existing potential for success, while the latter creates new potential.

In the planning process, the complexity of reality must be abstracted and simplified (selection). In addition to this reduction in complexity, it must be taken into account that planning takes place under uncertainty. Planning should therefore be reflected upon afterwards (reflection). As planning takes place under uncertainty, ensuring flexibility is of paramount importance. The future room for manoeuvre is sounded out.

Strategy consulting takes place as part of the management function of planning. The basis for strategy consulting is an analysis of the company and its environment.

In accordance with the functional approach, the company analysis includes in particular the analysis of a company’s financial, physical, personnel, organisational and technological resources.
 

Alternatively, a distinction can be made between supporting activities (business infrastructure, recruitment, technology development and procurement) and primary activities (inbound logistics, operations, marketing and sales, distribution, outbound logistics, service) in accordance with the value-added approach.

The environmental analysis consists on the one hand of analysing the global environment (economic, political-legal, socio-cultural, knowledge-technological, natural). On the other hand, the task and competitive environment is analysed. This includes in particular an analysis of the stakeholders, an industry structure analysis, an industry-internal analysis and a competitor analysis.

Based on the findings of the company analysis and environmental analysis, strategic advice can be provided. Strategies can be formulated at corporate level, at business unit level or at functional area level.

At the corporate level, the strategy formulation includes in particular the international orientation, the form and timing of a market entry, the product/market positions, the utilisation of synergy potentials and the determination of the desired company size.

At business unit level, the strategy is to be differentiated in particular into cost leadership, differentiation, concentration on focal points (focussing) and hybrid competitive strategies.

A strategy evaluation should then be carried out.

Here you will find a detailed scheme for analysis and strategy development with references, which also apply to the text above.

As part of a management consultancy, we can jointly analyse your company and its environment and conduct forecasts. There may be focal points here. Based on this, we can jointly develop strategies and contingency plans for your company.

Organising

What does management consulting include in the management function of organising? First, the management function of organising is introduced.

A company needs clear structures and rules to fulfil its tasks. The basic tasks of the organisation are the division of labour and coordination. A further distinction can be made between external organisation and self-coordination.

In an international context, organisation becomes more complex due to different legal and economic systems, as well as spatial and cultural distances that need to be bridged.

At the highest level, a distinction can be made between the statutory and the operational structure. The statutory structure serves to optimise the management of financial cash flows, while the operational structure is important for the accomplishment of tasks.

 

In both national and international companies, the structure of the second hierarchical level can be organised functionally (according to tasks) or divisional (according to objects). If the functional and divisional structures are combined (multidimensional structures), we speak of a matrix organisation for two levels of structure and a tensor structure for three levels of structure. The list is not exhaustive and there are also hybrid structures and holding companies (operational holding company, financial holding company, management holding company).
 

In international companies, a distinction can be made between segregated (differentiated) (domestic and foreign are separate) and integrated organisations when integrating foreign business.

As part of a management consultancy, we can jointly analyse the tasks to be mastered and the current organisation of your company. I will work with you to develop optimisation proposals in line with your strategy.

Staffing

What does management consulting include within the management function of staffing? Firstly, the management function of staffing is presented.

The aim of staffing (personnel provision) is to ensure that sufficient personnel (quantitative) with the necessary qualifications (qualitative) are provided at the right time. It is also important that their behaviour is influenced in such a way that their personal goals harmonise as far as possible with the company’s goals.

The tasks of staffing (personnel provision) are in particular

  • Procurement
  • Selection
  • Deployment
  • Assessment
  • Development
  • Design of incentives
  • Leadership (see below)
 

In an international context, the complexity increases as different corporate environments have to be taken into account.

In addition to systematically analysing the provision of personnel, we can also jointly set priorities within the scope of management consulting. This may be, for example, preparation for a foreign assignment or the reintegration of employees.

Directing (Leadership)

What does management consulting include within the management function of directing (leadership)? Firstly, let us introduce the management function of directing (leadership).

Leadership is necessary in order to align the personnel in a given organisation with the company’s goals (behaviour control). Leadership is reciprocal, i.e. leadership not only affects the employees, but the employees also influence the leader. Leadership attempts to align the individual interests of the employees with the companies goals. The tasks of leadership are motivation and coordination.

The motivation together with the qualification of an employee results in the work performance.

Coordination ensures that the activities of employees are aligned with the company’s goals.

There are various leadership theories such as the LMX theory, transactional leadership, transformational leadership, the theory of implicit leadership and the theory of implicit culturally influenced leadership.

In an international context, it is also important whether it is a question of leading people from other cultures, leading in foreign cultures or leading over geographical distance.

The importance of leadership principles and leadership through target agreements, symbolic leadership and co-determination systems should also be emphasised.

However, more detailed explanations of leadership would go (far) too far here.

 

As part of the management consultancy, management training and coaching sessions can be tailored specifically to your company and your situation.

Controlling

What does management consulting include within the scope of the management function controlling? Firstly, the management function of controlling is introduced.

In planning, organising, staffing and directing, a selection is necessary due to the complexity of the real world, which is reflected in the context of the management function controlling (reflection).

Controlling as management support must be distinguished from the management function of controlling. This refers in particular to the procurement, preparation and provision of information.

In an international context, the existence of different corporate environments must be taken into account in controlling.

Reflection can take two forms. There is a deviation-orientated and a perspective-orientated reflection.

Deviation-orientated reflection takes place at an operational and strategic level and can take place both for the past (feed-back) and for the future (feed-forward). There is a connection to the concepts of effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness means that the right things are done (target setting) and efficiency means that things are achieved in a sensible way. Both are taken into account in deviation-orientated reflection.

 

Perspective-orientated reflection involves reflecting on the (inner cognitive) model on which the target system is based and on which decisions are made.
 

As part of management consulting, we can analyse existing controlling structures together with you and make suggestions for optimisation. On the other hand, we can also carry out a reflection in the sense of external controlling in the areas of your company that you require.

Books and Information about Management

Enclosed you will find some (German) books on the subject of management which may be of help to you. They are sorted alphabetically by title.

In addition for German speakers, the modules Unternehmensführung, Strategisches Management and Internationales Management at the Fernuniversität in Hagen are very convincing in terms of content. Alternatively, the MBA from HIMS should be mentioned. The content is convincing and sensibly selected.

References