Creation of Value in Management Consulting: A Resources and Dynamic Capabilities Perspective

  • Enrique Paez

Student thesis: Doctor of Business Administration


A definition of value, a higher order construct, how it is created and its constituents remains elusive. This research aims to explain value co-creation and its key enablers in the management consulting industry. Service Dominant Logic (S-DL) first published by Vargo & Lusch (2004) has fostered extensive debate ever since, and with the Service Logic theory of the so-called Nordic School of Marketing (Grönroos, 2011b) they have encouraged research on subjects under the optic of value co-creation (S-DL), value facilitation (SL) and exchange of service, arguing that value is only phenomenologically assessed by the customer (S-DL) and that the only real value is customer's value-in-use (SL). The understanding of how value is co-created has been scarcely researched empirically as, for instance, Aarikka-Stenroos & Jaakkola (2012) have. Capabilities management has been related to a firm's resources and the Resource-Based View (RBV); however, empirical research relating capabilities to the process of value co-creation in b2b context has also been discussed as sparse (Lindgreen, Hingley, Grant and Morgan, 2012).This research explores interconnectedness of value, relationship-interaction and dynamic capabilities in management consultancy, and responds to the following research question: What arrays of capabilities and interaction are required for management consulting sustained value-facilitation? The subjects of relationship and interaction are discussed as core to value co-creation while investigating the intervening role of dynamic capabilities.A qualitative abductive methodology is applied, founded on a critical realist philosophical argumentation. The iterative deductive-inductive methods involved in the abductive process ideally approach the open ended questions that emerge researching social phenomena. The data is obtained by elite interviews with executive consultants and CXO level customers, who have had profound experience of consulting assisted co-creation initiatives. Four abductive iterations of data collection and analysis are applied, departing from a theoretical framework that emerges from the review of extant literature and that is informed by the research question. The salient constructs from contextually complex discussions are analysed and lastly synthesized in an overarching model.This research contributes mainly in two areas: (1) The identification of relationship / interaction in consulting at the core of value co-creation, and its key characteristics as a dynamic context. Co-creation is proposed as an evolving-adaptive process dependent on relationship through interaction.(2) The identification of capabilities that allow relationship and co-creation and higher order capabilities that develop capabilities, which emerge from deliberate reflection of the consultant's strategy. Such dynamic capabilities develop and orchestrate capabilities for value facilitation and customer value creation.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJudith Zolkiewski (Supervisor) & Ebrahim Marandi (Supervisor)


  • Management consulting
  • Dynamic capabilitires
  • Value co-creation

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