An industry structural trend
which arose in the early part of the 21st century was the spin-off or separation of the consulting and
accounting units of the large diversified professional advisory firms most notably Ernst & Young, PwC and
KPMG. For these firms, which began business as accounting and audit firms, management consulting was a new
extension to their business. But after a number of highly publicized scandals over accounting practices, such
as the Enron scandal, these firms began
divestiture of their management consulting units, to more easily comply with the tighter regulatory scrutiny
that followed. In some parts of the world this trend is now being reversed where the firms are rapidly
rebuilding their management consulting arms as their corporate websites clearly demonstrate.
of Internal Corporate Consulting Groups
Added to these approaches are
corporations that set up their own internal consulting groups, hiring internal management consultants
either from within the corporation or from external firms employees. Many corporations have internal groups
of as many as 25 to 30 full-time consultants.
Internal consulting groups are
often formed around a number of practice areas, commonly including: organizational development, process
management, information technology, design services, training, and development.
There are several potential
benefits of internal consultants to those who employ them:
If properly managed and
empowered, internal consulting groups evaluate engagement on projects in light of the corporation's
strategic and tactical objectives.
Often, the internal
consultant requires less ramp up time on a project due to familiarity with the corporation, and is able
to guide a project through to implementation—-a step that would be too costly if an external consultant
provides opportunities to keep certain corporate information private.
It is likely that the time
and materials cost of internal consultants is significantly less than external consultants operating in
the same capacity.
positions can be used to recruit and develop potential senior managers of the