Essays on Internal and External Consultants within a Ministry of Defence Context Coursework

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Internal and External Consultants within a Ministry of Defence Context" is a good example of business coursework.   Throughout the Ministry of Defence (MOD), it is common to hear the concept of consultancy; however, not many individuals can show the difference between it and the other customer-related practices. Apart from consultancy, there are other methods such as coaching, counseling, and mentoring that seem to seek efficiency in the short and long-term business planning. According to Kakabadse, Louchart, and Kakabadse (2006, p. 418), even the consultants are not aware of their roles in the organization sometimes.

In a nutshell, the consultancy concept has gained a lot of controversy over the years that have created a lot of confusion. Hoos et al. (2014, p. 1) defined consultancy as the characteristic of helping organizations to work by addressing the problems they face. The consultants have particular expertise and wisdom that they bring into the organization so that the institution can achieve their goals. On the other hand, Pascale and Sternin (2005, p. 72) see consultancy as a way of bridging the gap between what the organization can achieve and what is happening at that particular period.

Howlett and Migone (2013, p. 246) observed that there are two types of consultants, the internal and the external. This paper will give a critical examination of the two forms of consultancy by exploring the benefits and challenges that are linked to each. While both internal and external consultants are necessary to the MOD, each comes with advantages and disadvantages. Sturdy and Wylie (2011, p. 1) defined private consultancy into broad categories; a first category is a dedicated group within the organization which focuses on ensuring that they start projects and reach the defined objectives within the organization.

This form of the internal consultancy is independent and mostly found in the larger groups which are similar to that of external consultancy. The other category and the most common in all types of organization is a speciality in a particular area of the organization such as human resource management (HRM), business improvement, finance, marketing among others. In this case, the consultant will give expertise in the best way to manage a particular resource in an organization, for instance, if it is the human resource, the private HRM consultancy advises the senior staff about the appropriate employees.

Sturdy and Wylie (2011, p. 2), explained that there are dynamic and fluid internal consultants. Mina, Bascavusoglu-Moreau, and Hughes (2014, p. 856) describe the external consultants as outsiders who are hired because of their wisdom and knowledge in a particular field such as marketing. In short, the consultancy is about finding awareness and expertise in a particular area. The use of consultancy creates value in the organization.

Nevertheless, the magnitude of the value depends on the type of consultancy an organization uses. Some authors argue that the external consultancy (EC) create more value for the MOD than the internal consultancy (IC). The EC is believed to have high levels of expertise, credibility, and experience especially if they have published their credentials online and they are well known. The senior executives will prefer to hear from them so that they can benchmark their best practices and bury the pit holes of the organization. Additionally, since they lack any conflicting interest, they offer objectivity when it comes to solutions (O'Dwyer and Boomsma 2015, p.

45). Contrary, Pascale and Sternin (2005, p. 78) argue that though the internal consultants are not valued like the external experts, they give in-depth knowledge to the business. These ICs know more of the organization, and therefore the information they provide is sensitive to the real issues that the MOD is experiencing at that particular period. Unfortunately, since this IC position is less valued the MOD end up hiring a less experienced person so that they can give them less influential power.

In short, the external consultants especially the well-known are more valued than the internal experts who are mostly less experienced in any particular field.


Conley-Tyler, M., 2005. A fundamental choice: internal or external evaluation?. Evaluation Journal of Australasia, 4(1/2), p.3.

Cousins, J.B., Goh, S.C., Elliott, C., Aubry, T. and Gilbert, N., 2014. Government and voluntary sector differences in organizational capacity to do and use evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 44, pp.1-13.

DE&S TRANSFORMATION: The Freedom to Change. 2015. Ministry of Defence.

Hartley, J., Benington, J. and Binns, P., 1997. Researching the Roles of Internal‐change Agents in the Management of Organizational Change. British Journal of Management, 8(1), pp.61-73.

Hoos, F., Messier, W.F., Smith, J.L. and Tandy, P., 2014. The Effects of Serving Two Masters and Using the Internal Audit Function as a Management Training Ground on Internal Auditors' Objectivity.

Howlett, M. and Migone, A., 2013. Policy advice through the market: The role of external consultants in contemporary policy advisory systems. Policy and Society, 32(3), pp.241-254.

Kakabadse, N.K., Louchart, E. and Kakabadse, A., 2006. Consultant's role: a qualitative inquiry from the consultant's perspective. Journal of Management Development, 25(5), pp.416-500.

Mina, A., Bascavusoglu-Moreau, E. and Hughes, A., 2014. Open service innovation and the firm's search for external knowledge. Research Policy, 43(5), pp.853-866.

O'Dwyer, B. and Boomsma, R., 2015. The co-construction of NGO accountability: Aligning imposed and felt accountability in NGO-funder accountability relationships. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 28(1), pp.36-68.

Pascale, R.T. and Sternin, J., 2005. Your company’s secret change agents. Harvard business review, 83(5), pp.72-81.

Scott, B. and Hascall, J., 2016. Inside or outside: Internal and external consultants.

Sturdy, A. and Wylie, N., 2011. Internal consultants as agents of change. Economic & Social Research Council.

Szulanski, G., 1996. Exploring internal stickiness: Impediments to the transfer of best practice within the firm. Strategic management journal, 17(S2), pp.27-43.

Tholens, S., 2017. Border management in an era of ‘statebuilding lite’: security assistance and Lebanon's hybrid sovereignty. International Affairs, 93(4), pp.865-882.

Thompson, J. 2014. Ministry of Defence Improvement plan. Ministry of Defence.

Trist, E.L., Higgin, G.W., Murray, H. and Pollock, A.B., 2013. Organizational choice. Routledge.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us