Research, Consultancy and Advisory KASNEB CS notes

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This paper is intended to equip the candidate with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable him/her to design and implement research, translate research findings as well as undertake consultancy and advisory services on matters of governance, compliance and management.

A candidate who passes this paper should be able to:
– Articulate a clear research question or problem and formulate a hypothesis
– Identify and apply appropriate research approaches and methodologies
– Write a research report and explain their research findings through presentations
– Effective manage and implement management consultancy projects
– Develop project implementation plans
– Demonstrate coaching and facilitation skills and techniques as components of consultancy and advisory services


1. Underlying Theories/Models of Research, Consultancy and Advisory

1.1 Selected Research and Consultancy Theories
– Social-systems theory
– Social network theory
– Situated learning theory
– Otherness & Parasites theory
– The Intervention Theory of Argyrols.
– Blake and Mouton’s Consultation Theory
– Weisberg’s Theory of Organisational Diagnosis
– Theory of Planned Behaviour
– Innovation diffusion theory.
– General Deterrence Theory

2 Introduction to Research
2.1 General Overview
– Research Philosophies
– Research Methodologies
– Types of Research
– Research design
– Purpose and importance of research
– Research ethics and integrity
2.2 Types of Research
– Historical Research
– Comparative Research
– Descriptive Research
– Correlation Research
– Experimental Research
– Evaluation Research
– Causal research
– Correlational research
– Action Research
– Echogenic Research
– Feminist Research
– Cultural Research

3 Research Process
3.1 Problem Formulation
– Problem identification/conceptualization
– Research Questions
– Hypothesis construction, characteristics of hypothesis, hypothesis testing.
– Statement of Objectives
– Literature Review; citations
– Conceptual framework
3.2 Tests of Hypothesis
– Basic Concepts Concerning Testing of Hypotheses
– Procedure for Hypothesis Testing
– Type I Type II Errors
– Test of Significance
3.3 Methods of Sampling
– Systematic Sampling
– Distinction between a Systematic Random sample and a Simple Random Sample
– Stratified Sampling
– Strategies involved in Stratified Sampling
– Advantages of Stratified Sampling over other Sampling Methods
– Disadvantages of Stratified Sampling
– Some Non-Random Sampling Method
3.4 Data Collection
– Unpublished Sources
– Published Data
– Necessary Guidelines for Collecting Reliable Data
– Methods of Collecting Data
– Stages in the Collection of Data
– Design of a Good Questionnaire
3.5 Processing and analysing data
– Steps in Data Analysis
– Methods of data analysis
– Narrative Data Analysis
– Statistical Data Analysis
– Descriptive Data Analysis
– Data Analysis Techniques
– Univariate Distribution
– The Frequency Distribution
– Measures of Central Tendency
– Measures of Dispersion
– Types data analysis and significance tests.
– Use of software
– Interpretation of results
– The cyclic nature of research
3.6 Data interpretation and presentation
– Technique of Interpretation
– Precaution in Interpretation
– Frequency tables
– Pie charts
– Graphs
3.7 Writing the report.
– Significance of Report Writing
– Different Steps in Writing Report
– Layout of the Research Report
– Types of Reports
– Oral Presentation
– Precautions for Writing Research Report

4 Research Proposal, Research Report Writing and Referencing
– Basic principles
– Formats, contents, presentation data presentation; use of charts, graphs and tables.
– Referencing styles, citation of primary and secondary sources, foot notes and end notes, bibliography and references
– Format of Certified Secretaries research project

5 Introduction to Advisory and Consultancy
5.1 General Background
– Role of consultants
– Qualities of a good consultant
– Developing internal consulting skills
– The internal consultant’s role
– How the internal consultant differs from line management and external consultancy
– Skills and knowledge requirements
– Time management, managing customer expectations, creative problem solving, communication skills, working with clients, managing politics, managing conflict, managing client-consultant relationships.
– Difference between Consultancy and Advisory
– Uses of consultants – public sector, private sector, and internal consulting
– Consulting roles and culture
– Professionalism and ethics
– Legal and ethical considerations
5.2 Nature and Purpose of Management Consulting
– What is consulting?
– Why are consultants used? Five generic purposes
– How are consultants used? Ten principal ways
– The consulting process
– Evolving concepts and scope of management consulting

5.3 The Consulting Industry
– A historical perspective
– The current consulting scene
– Range of services provided
– Generalist and specialist services
– Main types of consulting organisation
– Internal consultants
– Management consulting and other professions

6 The Advisory Discipline
– Role of an Advisor
– What Makes a Good Advisor?
– Strategy, Execution and Accountability
– Crisis Management
– Business Resilience Overview
– Mapping Out the Client Discovery
– Building Trust
– Confidence and Experience
– Business Planning Process

7 Conducting Consultative & Advisory Services
7.1 Basic Consultative Approaches
– Expert Approach
– Medical (Doctor-Patient) Approach
– Process Approach
– Emergent Approach (Emergent Organisational Development And Change (EODC)
7.2 The Client and Consultant Relationship
– Defining roles and expectations
– The client and the consultant systems
– Critical dimensions of the consultant–client relationship
– Negotiation, persuasion and coaching skills
7.3 Professionalism and Ethics in Consulting

– Is management consulting a profession?
– The professional approach
– Professional associations and codes of conduct
– Certification and licensing
– Legal liability and professional responsibility
8 Facilitation Skills
8.1 Introduction to facilitation
– Definition of facilitation
– Purpose of facilitation
– Role and skills of the facilitator
– Differences between facilitation, instruction, training, and chairing
8. 2 Facilitation process
– Problem/goal identifications
– Problem resolution/decision making
– Implementing solution
– Groups dynamics
– Group decision making
– Guidelines for group consensus building
– Managing behaviours
– Team development
– Facilitations tools and techniques: brainstorming, cluster, voting, process mapping, storyboarding, Ishikawa diagram – fishbone, nominal group technique, de bono, thinking hats, solving performance problems, etc.
– Presentation: opening and closing; audience; purpose (convince, educate, motivate etc.); content; time; tools; style; practionalities – 3 ps (prepare, practice and practice again); preparing PowerPoint presentations
– Handling controversial issues
– Communication skills
– Listening skills-watching both verbal and nonverbal cues
– Providing effective feedback
– Managing divergent perspectives
– Leveraging on ICT in facilitating

9 Coaching Skills
– Role and skills of an effective coach
– Managing from a coaching perspective
– Handling resistance to constructive criticism
– Using effective probing and questioning
– Workplace coaching techniques
– Key motivational coaching skills
– Limitations of coaching
– Differences between coaching, mentoring, counselling, training, managing, consulting and life coaching
– Essential coaching skills: listening, questioning, reflecting back and mirroring, paraphrasing and summarising
– The grow model and its applicability
– Selecting a coaching style to match the individual situation
– Planning and delivering a structured coaching session
– Measuring the success and impact of the coaching
10 The Consulting Process
10.1 Introduction
– Entry and Contracting
– First client meetings
– Preliminary problem diagnosis
– Terms of reference – Technical proposals and Financial proposals
– Assignment strategy and plan
– Proposal to the client
– The consulting contract
– Types of projects and project cycles
– Proposal development
– Consulting contract
– Service Quality
– Engagement and Implementation
– Management of projects
– Presentations and communicating with clients
– Ongoing client contact and service
– Extension, Recycle, or Termination
– Time for withdrawal
– Final reporting
– Evaluation & validation
– Feedback to the client

10.2 Action Planning
– Searching for possible solutions
– Developing and evaluating alternatives
– Presenting action proposals to the client

10.3 Implementation
– The consultant’s role in implementation monitoring implementation
– Training and developing client staff
– Some tactical guidelines for introducing changes in work methods
– Maintenance and control of the new practice

10.4 Termination
– Time for withdrawal
– Evaluation
– Follow-up
– Final reporting

11 Managing a Consulting Firm
– Fundamentals of management in the consulting profession
– The management challenge of the professions
– Managing a professional service
– Managing a professional business
– Achieving excellence professionally and in business

11.1 The Consulting Firm’s Strategy
– The strategic approach
– The scope of client services
– The client base
– Growth and expansion
– Going international
– Profile and image of the firm
– Strategic management in practice

11.2 Legal and Ethical Issues
– Legal risks and management
– Client privilege issues
– Professional ethics
– Client’s Perspective
– Selection of consultants
– Effective management of consultants
– Evaluation of performance
– Use of consultants
– Maintaining independence and objectivity
11.3 Marketing Professional Services
– Features of services: Intangibility; Inseparability; Heterogeneity (or variability); Perishability.
– Challenges in marketing services
– Marketing techniques for professional services
– Specialization and niche targeting
– Blogs and articles
– A lead-generating website
– Search engine optimization (SEO)
– Speaking engagements
– Trade show participation
– Social media
– Online video
– Other techniques
– Direct and indirect channels of distribution
– Legal, professional and ethical considerations. – ICS guideline on professional ethics and conduct

11.4 Pricing Professional Services
– Factors that determine pricing: cost, client value, competition, one off or retainer, pricing guidelines by professional body
– Pricing strategies
– A value-based pricing strategy
– Time and materials pricing
– Market pricing,
– Package pricing/ fixed pricing

12 Managing Consultancy and Advisory Process Cycle
– Obtaining the assignment
– Terms of reference for consultancy assignments
– Technical and financial consultancy proposals
– Preparation for consultancy assignments
– Understanding clients’ needs
– Determining the scope of assignment
– Client readiness and consultant’s capability
– Gathering key information
– Developing an action plan
– Recording progress and client feedback
– Report writing
– Step-by-step approach of the advisory process
– Implementation of your advice/change
– checking for consistency, understanding your clients, and proposals,
– Monitor and evaluate consultancy assignments
– Legal and ethical issues in the management of consultancy assignments

13 Case studies in research, consultancy and advisory


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