Original Research

Client-consultant ethical relationship considerations within management consulting

Alyson Smith, L. J. Van Vuuren, Deléne Visser
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 29, No 1 | a80 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v29i1.80 | © 2003 Alyson Smith, L. J. Van Vuuren, Deléne Visser | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 October 2003 | Published: 24 October 2003

About the author(s)

Alyson Smith, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa
L. J. Van Vuuren, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa
Deléne Visser, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa

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Abstract

Ethical conduct within consulting has become increasingly important since management consulting has developed into an independent profession. The objective of this research was to determine if differences exist in client consultant relationship ethics within a defined group of management consultancies in South Africa. A questionnaire was developed to assess ethical behaviour across five dimensions, namely the client consultant relationship, financial and contractual concerns, delivery of expectations, orientation and competence of consultants, and ethics in consultant behaviour. Thirty-nine respondents completed the questionnaire. Significant differences on ethical dimensions in relation to job level, between consulting firms, the level of senior management commitment to ethics and the existence of a code of ethics were obtained.

Opsomming
Namate bestuurskonsultasie as ‘n onafhanklike professie ontwikkel het, het etiese optrede binne hierdie professie algaande belangriker geword. Die doel met hierdie navorsing was om vas te stel of daar verskille ten opsigte van etiek tussen bestuurskonsultasie-ondernemings in Suid-Afrika is sover dit die kliënt-konsultantverhouding aangaan. ‘n Vraelys is ontwikkel om die etiese dimensie van bestuurskonsultasie oor vyf dimensies te beoordeel, naamlik die kliënt-konsultantverhouding, finansiële oorwegings, voldoening aan verwagtinge, oriëntasie en bevoegheid van konsultante, en die etiese gedrag van konsultante. Nege-en-dertig respondente het die vraelys voltooi. Beduidende verskille in die etiese dimensies ten opsigte van posvlak, die konsultasie-onderneming, die graad van senior bestuur se toegewydheid tot etiek, en die bestaan van ‘n etiese kode is gevind.


Keywords

Client-consultant ethical relationship; Management consulting

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