The impact of management consultants on public service efficiency

Ian Kirkpatrick, Andrew Sturdy, Nuria Reguera Alvarado, Antonio Blanco-Oliver, Gianluca Veronesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
1135 Downloads (Pure)


Public sector organisations often make use of management consultants in policy implementation, but we know little about the outcomes. The paper reports one of the first quantitative evaluations of the impact of consulting advice on efficiency of public sector organisations. We employ an extensive dataset covering English NHS acute care hospital trusts over a four-year period. Based on PCSEs estimations, the findings show a significantly positive relationship between consulting expenditure and organisational inefficiency. These results lend support to critical accounts of management consulting, highlighting the need for organisations to be circumspect in deciding whether and how to use these services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-95
Number of pages19
JournalPolicy and Politics
Issue number1
Early online date20 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019


  • Healthcare
  • Management consultancy
  • Public sector organisations
  • Service improvement


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