Original Research

The management consulting industry in South Africa: A strategic assessment

H. Oosthuizen
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 34, No 4 | a688 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v34i4.688 | © 2018 H. Oosthuizen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2018 | Published: 31 December 2003

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H. Oosthuizen, Graduate School of Business, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Abstract

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.

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