Insegnamento a.a. 2020-2021


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  2 credits SECS-P/07  |  4 credits SECS-P/10)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza

Mission & Content Summary


The management consulting profession has today acquired a well known reputation among the service industries. Consultants offer their professional advice to client organizations by leveraging their know-how in the fields of management. Consultants often assist clients in the change process, and in some cases act as key characters in the implementation phase. This course is an advanced program in consultancy and it provides detailed insights on the following aspects. First, the nature of the ‘profession’ is explored by analyzing intervention techniques, consultancy models and methods, and trust-building approaches in different fields of management (organization, accounting and control, marketing, operation and information systems, etc.). Second, the course focuses on the dynamics of professional service firms in areas such as access to partnership, hiring and retaining professionals, managing knowledge capital, managing alliances and inter-organizational relationships.


  • The course aims at giving a comprehensive overview of the most widespread competitives trategies, comparing the approaches of multidisciplinary practices, “boutique” firms, and more focused local and regional firms.
  • At the same time, specific consulting knowledge is developed in areas such as business strategy and organization design.
  • The course combines both theoretical and applied materials.  Emphasis is placed upon case discussions and insights offered by visiting speakers from a variety of consulting firms. 
  • The aim of the course is to provide students with hands-on experience with issues of organization, strategy, and operational effectiveness as they emerge in modern management consulting firms.
  • The course is thus well-suited for those interested in pursuing careers in management consulting as well as those interested in learning more about how to analyse the integrated strategic, organizational and operational options and opportunities of a business.
  • Professional service firm management: definitions and characteristics.
  • The role of professions in the service economy.
  • Intervention modelsandtechniques.
  • Consultancy models and approaches in various management fields: organization and human resources, strategy, marketing, information systems, etc. 
  • Governance issues and access to partnership: splitting the profit pie and partners’ performance measurement.
  • Knowledgemanagement.
  • Alliances in the consulting field.

The main Learning Tracks of the Course are the following:

  • The management consulting industry: fundamental concepts and trends of evolution.
  • The management consulting profession: required skills and capabilities.
  • Delivering the service: the processide of a consulting project.
  • Organizational practices and people management in consulting firms.
  • Operational models and practices of management consulting firms.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Demonstrate understanding of the key principles of intervention practice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to carry out a project intervention / consultancy assignment within an organisation.
  • Demonstrate the ability to scope and define a client problem or opportunity.
  • Be able to prepare a proposal to undertake a consulting project.
  • Demonstrate successful operation of a piece of consulting work with a specific client


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Negotiate and communicate effectively in the course of the engagement.
  • Develop skills associated with data collection, analysis and presentation.
  • Demonstrate personal skills associated with the management and operation of a piece of advisory work.
  • Show an ability to be able to reflect upon progress throughout the project and to evaluate its outcomes.
  • Demonstrate general project management skills.
  • Appreciate the contribution of a specific intervention to the development of an organisation.
  • Appreciate client contextual factors (politics, structure, decision-making factors) as they impact project work.
  • Be able to integrate specific, technical skills from other modules within the generic consulting paradigm.
  • Appreciate key success factors in each of the main consulting stages.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


The detailed course schedule will illustrate each session and the relative teaching method of the session

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
x   x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
x   x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
x   x
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
x   x


Summary of evaluation criteria for attending students: students receive an individual evaluation at the end of the course composed as follows:

  • Consulting Project (teamwork activity) = 30%
  • Consulting Simulation (teamwork activity) = 15%
  • Final exam (individual) = 55%
  • Class participation (individual) +1/30 to max 5 students.
  • Eventual Peer Evaluation system.


Final exam (100% of grade) based on textbook for non attending students.

Teaching materials


Readings and cases provided online by faculty.


  • D. MAISTER, Managing the Professional Service Firm, The Free Press, 2003. 
  • D. MAISTER, True Professionalism, Simon & Schuster, 2000.
Last change 03/09/2020 09:54