Paper 12: Research, Consultancy and Advisory

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About Course

The Professional courses are administered at Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced Levels. Each level requires an average of one year, though candidates are advised to provide for an additional one year to meet requirements for internship/ practical experience.

A student must book for a minimum of three papers in a level in any order unless is exempted or has credits.

This course is aimed at persons who wish to qualify and work or practice as corporate secretaries, policy formulators, and consultants in governance, governance and compliance auditors and administrators at county and national levels and in the private sector.

Course Content

Underlying Theories/Models of Research, Consultancy and Advisory
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

  • Selected Research and Consultancy Theories Part 1

Introduction to Research
Research Philosophies  Research Methodologies  Types of Research  Research design Purpose and importance of research  Research ethics and integrity

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 6.6 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Unpublished Sources  Published Data  Necessary Guidelines for Collecting Reliable Data  Methods of Collecting Data  Stages in the Collection of Data  Design of a Good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

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

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

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 

8.1 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

10.1 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 
-    Y 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

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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