Managing a research company towards standard services and consultancy

Date of publication: June 15, 1988

Company: Demoskopea SpA

Author: Carlo Erminero

Abstract:

In the most recent years demand for services to business enterprises has significantly grown because of various factors. Market research and management consultancy have both profited by this growth but the link between these two services still remains a question mark and is hard to define. If we compare consultancy services offered by research institutes or by single researchers with traditional consultancy, we realize there are some differences which should be evidenced. A market researcher when acting as a consultant is working under very special conditions which must be clearly identified to avoid any possible ambiguity or any dangerous conflicts. lip to the present the demand for market research/consultancy and the offer of this service have been rather limited because of some problems existing for the enterprises and also for the institutes. In this respect three main limiting factors were identified: (a) the type of methodological approach applied to market research, static and restrictive (b) resistance made to this service by residual corporate bureaucracies (c) the researchers' lack of training and experience With these definitions clearly in mind, we can say that the activity of market research tends progressively to incorporate values and operative modalities typical of consultancy. This evolution is desirable for it goes to the advantage of those researchers who find their own strategy and positioning on the market through this process.There are opportunities for developing standard services and opportunities for developing consultancy activities. In fact, the majority of market research business managements are still in an intermediate position. To quit this ungratifying position a considerable amount of money will have to be invested, no matter which direction one takes.

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