Understanding Performance in Professional Services for Innovation Intermediation: Technology Consultants vs. Management Consultants

Christopher Williams, Sander Van Triest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The innovation intermediation (II) literature can be enriched by the professional service firm (PSF) literature when it comes to understanding the determinants of performance for different types of consultants that fulfil an II function in this era of digital transformation. The present study (1) contrasts two classic types of private-sector consultancy that have been shown to act as IIs amidst digital transformation (technology consultants vs. management consultants), and (2) shows how both II and the PSF literature point to three factors: the consultant’s client focus, the level of innovativeness within the consultant’s own firm, and extent to which the consultant’s own firm can learn. Analysis of the effects of these factors is based on a dataset of 122 observations at PSF practice level divided between technology consultants and management consultants. We find for technology consultants’ innovativeness and learning are beneficial for performance, while for management consultants these factors do not matter and that client focus is key. We discuss implications for II research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102824
Number of pages12
Early online date12 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

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