No Best Practice for Best Practice

20 April 2012 at 4:56 am 4 comments

| Lasse Lien |

An important selling point for the consulting industry is that consultants can presumably help a firm identify and implement “best practice.” Surely the consulting industry is an important channel for disseminating knowledge of better ways of doing things, but identifying what constitutes best practice for a given firm in a given situation is no trivial task, and even if the best practice could be identified, transferring it will be a significant challenge.

This begs the question of whether there is a best practice for identification and transfer of best practices, and whether the consulting industry has identified and adopted such a practice. According to this paper Benjamin Wellstein and Alfred Kieser, the consulting industry in Germany is nowhere near a best practice for best practice. This goes for for both inter- and intra-industry transfer. I’ll bet my hat that this finding holds everywhere.

Well, I guess as long as the consulting industry keeps finding better practices for transferring better practices, we shouldn’t be too disappointed that there is no best practice for best practice. (HT: E.S. Knudsen)

Entry filed under: - Lien -, Evolutionary Economics, Innovation, Jargon Watch, Management Theory, Myths and Realities, Papers. Tags: .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jim Rose  |  20 April 2012 at 6:20 am

    consultants are hired for the same reason economists are hired.

    the directors of the company managed a major risk and met their fiduciary duties by taking expert advice.

  • 2. Peter Klein  |  20 April 2012 at 11:56 am

    Are there best practices for scholarship that analyzes the ability of consultants to identify and impliment best practices?

    Turtles all the way down, baby.

  • 3. Lasse  |  20 April 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Nah, but see above for best practice for blogging about it

  • 4. business model innovation design » right  |  23 April 2012 at 5:28 am

    [...] No Best Practice for Best Practice | Lasse Lien | An important selling point for the consulting industry is that consultants can presumably help a firm identify and implement “best practice.” Surely the consulting industry is an… [...]

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