Title: Strategic and organisational determinants of performance in Italian management consulting firms

Authors: Emanuela Delbufalo; Andrea Appolloni; Corrado Cerruti

Addresses: Department of Economics, European University of Rome, Via degli Aldobrandeschi 190, 00163 Rome, Italy. ' Department of Business, Government, Philosophy Studies, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Columbia 2, 00133 Rome, Italy. ' Department of Business, Government, Philosophy Studies, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via Columbia 2, 00133 Rome, Italy

Abstract: This study focuses on the determinants of performance of management consulting firms. These firms are successful examples of organisations whose ability to incorporate knowledge into the service provided to the clients is critical to their success. The study aims to explain the process by which specific strategic choices and distinctive organisational practices of these firms influence their performance in ways not found in other settings. Specifically, we propose that service and geographic diversification have a positive impact on the performance of management consulting firms. We also propose that partnership leverage, as a distinctive organisational practice developed to increase the retention and commitment of personnel, influences the performance of these firms. We test the theoretical predictions using data from a large sample of Italian management consulting firms and adopting a multilevel linear regression model. Our results support the hypotheses, provide interesting insights and suggest further research.

Keywords: service diversification; geographic diversification; partnership leverage; firm performance; management consulting; Italy; management consultants; linear regression modelling; personnel retention; personnel commitment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2013.050488

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2013 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.78 - 97

Available online: 27 Nov 2012

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