Management consultants experience numerous hindrances to the successful completion of strategy projects. Hindrances create an inability to strategise and are the result of inability preconditions. These preconditions accumulate into liabilities that not only limit the management consultant's ability to earn economic rents, but also that of its clients. Liabilities are rooted in the resource-based view and stem from previously identified liabilities such as the liabilities of newness and legitimacy. The consequences of unmitigated liabilities in the process of strategising are, however, not limited to the loss of economic rents. Unmitigated strategising liabilities will further result in prolonged competitive disadvantage. Combined, these consequences transform the liabilities into a strategic liability for the management consultant's client, which could bring about business failure. While academic literature is full of articles investigating the consultant–client relationship, it remains silent on the liabilities or hindrances faced by management consultants during the strategising process. Considering that these liabilities are effectively costing organisations billions of US dollars; can be regarded as strategic liabilities; have not been investigated by academia; and fall within both Domain H and Domain G of Strategy-as-Practice research that has been earmarked as future directions in this field, it is critical to identify, understand and mitigate the liabilities that consultants are most likely to encounter in the process of assisting organisations with strategising. The primary objectives of the research that informs this dissertation are to: <ul> <li> Identify liabilities that consultants face during the strategising process;</li> <li> Determine interrelationships between the relevant liabilities;</li> <li> Identify possible mediating and moderating factors associated with the relevant liabilities;</li> <li> Determine to which extent the relevant liabilities are experienced by consultants;</li> <li> Develop a conceptual framework for mitigating the liabilities</li> </ul> The research that informs this dissertation was undertaken from a Strategy-as-Practice perspective and is presented in three research articles. The first research article is based on research that set out to establish a theoretical baseline for the two subsequent articles. It endeavoured to identify and present a theoretical management consultant liabilities framework through the combination of an integrative literature review procedure and the systems approach. Semi-structured interviews were subsequently conducted to determine the practical relevancy of the theoretical liabilities framework which resulted from the first article. Snowball sampling was used and a saturation point was reached after 17 semi-structured interviews were conducted with practising consultants. The results of this research informed research article two. The research on which this dissertation was based contributes to the accumulation of Strategy-as-Practice knowledge. Used correctly, the resultant framework could reduce the number of management consultants with an inability to strategise successfully.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2013.