The troubled strategic-business-advice industry: Why it's failing decision makers

  • Abraham S
  • Allio R
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Purpose – The authors call attention to the rising customer dissatisfaction with the strategic‐business‐advice industry. Looking at each segment they find that some aspect of its business model has broken down. .Design/methodology/approach – A business model describes how a firm delivers customer value. While this definition usually applies to a firm and its strategic business units, it can be applied to an industry or segment. Thus, we could ask, “What is the extant business model for management education in the US?”Findings – Academic researchers, seeking professional advancement, put methodological rigor and peer approval ahead of creating value for business leaders and organizations. B‐schools reward research that peer reviewers assert is scientifically rigorous and that other specialists often cite –without measuring its usefulness to managers or organizations. Academic research is usually communicated exclusively to its own constituency – instead of to the world of business. Consultants, though they clearly have a stake in the welfare and success of their clients, seldom face up to their inherent conflict of interest.Practical implications – Some specific recommendations for each segment of the strategic‐business‐advice industry: Business schools. Collaborate with corporations to identify critical issues and priorities as a guide for faculty research. Consultants. Become more client‐centered and less sales‐oriented, focusing on what the client really needs and how that differs from what the consultant has to sell. Corporations. Collaborate actively with business schools in the design of curricula and the establishment of research priorities. Journal publishers. Accelerate the review process; slash the cycle time and get their information out quickly.Originality/value – The article examines the strategic‐business‐advice industry as a set of business models that need rethinking and it suggests astute solutions..

Author-supplied keywords

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Learning cycles

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  • Stan Abraham

  • Robert J. Allio

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