Seeing What’s Next in the Management Consulting Industry - A qualitative study of how the management consulting industry might become disrupted

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: The world we live in is in constant change, transforming the business landscape acrossindustries. The rapid economic and social development is affecting all sources of activity,turning industrial change into one of the 21st century’s biggest challenges for businesses. Thereare multiple sources of industrial change, where the one of disruption is a process thatchallenges historically successful incumbents. The phenomenon of disruption has shaken manyindustries throughout time, but not yet the one of management consulting.This thesis strives to investigate if there are any opportunities for conducting disruptiveinnovations in the management consulting industry and if any actors have begun to capitalizeon those opportunities. The purpose of this research is to contribute with theoretical andpractical knowledge to the field of disruption in the management consulting industry. Thepurpose is met by answering the research question of How might the management consultingindustry become disrupted? through a qualitative case study based on twelve interviews withemployees at various management consulting firms.The empirics are structured as an assessment of the current situation in the managementconsulting industry around the themes of customers, business model, competition andinnovation. It is concluded that customers’ decreasing willingness to pay for further sustaininginnovations is allowing low-end disruptive innovations to target the growing overshot customersegment in the management consulting industry. In addition, new data-democratizingtechnologies possess the ability to create a new way of accessing information and knowledge,which potentially could lead to a new-market disruption of the management consulting industry.

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