Business Consulting

Throwaway thought on business consulting models.  I’m thinking mainly of strategy consulting and not accounting, technology, or outsourcing.

Consulting is a diverse industry. Best known are the elite strategy consultancies such as McKinsey & Co, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain. Firms such as AT Kearney, Booz & Company and Oliver Wyman do the same sort of work but are smaller. A second category comprises the consulting units of the Big Four accounting firms—PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young. All but Deloitte shed their consulting units in the early 2000s, amid post-Enron fears of conflict- of-interest, but have since grown new ones. A third group consists of technology firms with big consulting businesses, such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard, which focus on installing and integrating computer systems. Finally, some consultants are hard to distinguish from pure outsourcing firms.

What are the different business consulting models?  How are they similar/dissimilar?  Those questions should be fairly easy to find out through careful reading.  How could you determine which was most popular or effective?  Seeing how often a case study was cited in the academic literature?