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Market definition

Along with classic management consulting firms, IT consultancies, advisory branches of auditing firms (eg KPMG Advisory) and consultancy branches of technology companies (eg IBM Global Business Services) were all eligible for consideration for the UK’s Leading Management Consultancies 2019.

Methodology

The list of management consultancies is based on two surveys; one among peers (partners and executives from consultancies) and one among their clients. Both surveys were conducted online.

Peer survey

Building on last year’s methodology, the longlist containing more than 1,000 management consulting firms was expanded and used as a basis for this year’s survey among peers. To update the longlist, Statista not only used last year’s recommendations, but also the following sources: lists of associations (eg the Management Consultancies Association), consulting directories (eg Consultingcase101) and company databases (eg Orbis).

The list of management consultancy partners and executives was primarily based on research on consultancies’ websites. It was also possible to register for the survey on ft.com, which resulted in additional contacts. The sample size was extended to 4,900 partners and executives of management consultancies in the UK.

Invitations to take part in the survey were sent via an email containing a personalised link. The field period ran from June 4 to June 30 2018.

Once more, 15 sectors and 14 consulting services were identified, in which partners and executives could make recommendations. Expanding on last year’s survey, respondents were given the opportunity to say whom they would refrain from recommending.

An auto-complete function helped them select a consultancy. They were also able to recommend any consultancy that did not appear on the auto-complete list. Recommendations for the consultancies in each sector and service were then counted. An overall score was given to each consultancy based on the number of positive recommendations and negative responses they received. Self-recommendations were excluded from the evaluation.

Client survey

Following the peer survey, an online survey was conducted among more than 1,000 senior executives, who have previously used the services of management consultancies. They were recruited through an online access panel. The field phase lasted from July 16 to August 13 2018.

Respondents were asked to indicate the sectors or consulting services in which they had collaborated with a management consultancy in the past four years. They were then asked to recommend consultancies by using an autofill list or adding them.

Participants could also indicate which consultancies they would not recommend. The recommendations for management consultancies in each sector and consulting service were then counted. The number of recommendations was calculated taking into account the proportion of positive and negative responses.

Reputation is typically built and established over several years and the list aims to reflect that longevity. Last year’s results were therefore also taken into account, but were given a low weighting in the final calculations.

Recommendations

In each sector and consulting service, management consultancies were sorted based on the number of recommendations (the sum of all recommendations for a consultancy taking into account the reduction for negative responses). The groups were sorted into the following classes: gold (very frequently recommended); silver (frequently recommended); bronze (recommended).

This was based on the average number of recommendations per sector or consulting service as detailed below:

  • Management consultancies that received well above the average number of recommendations from peers and clients were sorted into the gold class, “very frequently recommended”. The number of recommendations was at least double the average for the sector or consulting service.
  • Management consultancies that received fewer recommendations from peers and clients, but still clearly more than the average, were placed in the silver class, “frequently recommended”. The number of recommendations was less than double, but more than the average of each sector or consulting service.
  • Management consultancies that still received a significant number of recommendations from peers and clients entered the bronze class, “recommended”, within their industry or sector.
  • Management consultancies with an insufficient number of recommendations were excluded from the list. The consultancies within each class have been sorted alphabetically.

Disclaimer

The ranking is comprised exclusively of consultancies that have a sufficient number of recommendations; a mention is therefore positive and indicates a vote of confidence from the market. The quality of management consultancies not included in the list is not disputed.

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