n South African Journal of Business Management - The management consulting industry in South Africa - a strategic assessment

Volume 34, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2078-5585


The Management Consulting Industry (MCI) is considered to be one of the most powerful forces shaping organisational strategy. However, from its major growth phase during the late 1980s into the 1990s, and until the present time, it now appears that the industry is in a mature consolidation phase. Perhaps even an early decline. The scope and nature of the MCI is global and, consequently, the South African industry is inextricably linked to and integrated with global developments. The local industry is large in absolute terms and high in value-adding propensity. Vertical integration is limited and little advantage appears to be taken of economics of scale. The industry moves in tandem with well established international driving forces and no inflection point is expected. Nevertheless, it is considered to be under severe competitive pressures which impose a dampening effect on the overall level of industry profitability. The competitive positions and profile of rival business strategic approaches display a degree of comparability in strategic typologies. Thus, the challenge for the 'winners' in the MCI will be to differentiate themselves for both strategic and marketing positioning and even to consider redefining the business model in this turbulent and fragmented industry.This article is based upon a research project by Kim M. Kirsten, An investigation into the industry attractiveness of the management consulting industry in South Africa, submitted in 2002 to the University of Stellenbosch Business School in partial fulfilment for the MBA degree. It was awarded a distinction.

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