Difference Between Management and Strategy Consultants

Doing MBA research and a lot of schools break 'management' and 'strategy' consulting into two distinct categories in employment reports. Clearly the majority show MBB as 'management' consulting, but there are also some listing strategy. What are the differences between the two?

What is Management Consulting? - Job of Management Consultants

Management consulting comprises of planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling an organization in order to achieve or accomplish a goal. Due to the variety of firms, management can include human resources as well. The overall goal of management consulting is to improve performance and efficiency for the firm.

What is Strategy Consulting? - Strategy Consulting Definition

Strategy consulting is a branch of management consulting. The main focus is on corporate strategy and establishing different tactics that are concerned with conduct of engagement. User @Holybanker", a consulting associate, makes a good point regarding the roles:

Holybanker - Consulting Associate:
Strategy consulting refers to how you do in your industry, how you can draw inner market forces to gain an edge and how you compete against your competitors, namely: M&A Strategy

Marketing Strategy: how your product relates to that of your competitors, namely channel, pricing and customer experience
Corporate Strategy: including growth, Market positioning, portfolio strategy (how you spend your budget across different business units, identifying your growth engine)

If you have any other comments regarding the difference between management and strategy consulting please comment below!

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Comments (40)

 
Jul 21, 2010 - 9:36am

Hello

Management- Management in all business areas and organizational activities are the acts of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal. Resourcing encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.

Because organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action, including design, to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system. This view opens the opportunity to 'manage' oneself, a pre-requisite to attempting to manage others

STRATEGY- Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. How a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: the terms and conditions that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy, which is part of the four levels of warfare: political goals or grand strategy, strategy, operations, and tactics.

Hope this helps
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Jan 6, 2014 - 5:27am

Strategy Consulting is a specific function of management consulting services firms. Go to McKinsey's website, and look under "Functions". You'll see one category labeled "Strategy". However, you'll also see functions such as: corporate finance,Marketing,Operations,Risk etc.

Management consultancy is considered to be amongst the most interesting, intellectually stimulating and potentially financially rewarding work available in the professional services market, and as a consequence is highly sought after by job seekers, many of whom come from an accounting background.

Yesenia Cuddy
management consulting services
KPMG

 
Jan 6, 2014 - 12:30pm

Yesenia-Cuddy:

Strategy Consulting is a specific function of management consulting services firms. Go to McKinsey's website, and look under "Functions". You'll see one category labeled "Strategy". However, you'll also see functions such as: corporate finance,Marketing,Operations,Risk etc.

Management consultancy is considered to be amongst the most interesting, intellectually stimulating and potentially financially rewarding work available in the professional services market, and as a consequence is highly sought after by job seekers, many of whom come from an accounting background.

Yesenia Cuddy

management consulting services

KPMG

well that was a pretty shameless plug.

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 4:05am

Business strategy consultants, sometimes called management consultants and analysts, evaluate and transform business models for public and private organizations in order to improve organizational effectiveness, expand the business, or increase profits.

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 6:04am

The difference it's a bit subtle but there go mi 2 cents:

Strategy consulting is first and foremost a functional practice embedded in management consulting, second, my point is that strategy consulting refers to how you do in your industry, how you can draw inner market forces to gain an edge and how you compete against your competitors, namely:

  • M&A Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy: how your product relates to that of your competitors, namely channel, pricing and customer experience
  • Corporate Strategy: including growth, Market positioning, portfolio strategy (how you spend your budget across different business units, identifying your growth engine)

Management Consulting involves other funtional practices like Risk, Operations, Finance and broadly speaking is much more related to process improvement.

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 6:05am

Corporate Strategy vs. Management Consulting vs. Banking (Originally Posted: 11/30/2009)

Hey guys,

I just got offered a pretty unique opportunity to work in a Corporate Strategy Analyst Job at a Fortune 100 company. Its in an industry that I am particularly interested in but also have the opportunity to join a top 5 consulting firm. I wanted to get a sense of how Corporate Strategy jobs are viewed in the industry in terms of exit opps relative to consulting/banking. I know this corp. strategy job will look good for business schools as most grads end up at top 3 bschools because it stands out. But since its pretty rare to see people in corporate strategy, I wanted to see how it looks for PE firms and other business dev opportunities/start ups. The work they do is a mix of M&A and Strategy consulting work in the industry. Looking forward to hearing your opinions.

Cheers,
JohnStamos

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 6:08am

That seams a bit harsh. Why is corporate strategy thought of as for people who didnt make it to MBB or Banking? Im not trying to toot my own horn here or anything, but as far as numbers go, they take 1-2 candidates a year from only the top 5 undergrad institutions, while banks and MBB hire more than 10 candidates a year from at least 10 different schools.

Also what do you mean there is nothing outside of MBB, isn't Booz & Co pretty good?

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 6:13am

Assuming it is Disney, which from your initial description was what it sounded like, and which is probably the most prestigious corp strategy option, that is a very strong option. Bearing in mind you said "Top 5" consulting, I'll assume it's Booz, and Disney is definitely better than Booz. Since you didn't mention a banking offer, I'd take the Disney spot.

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 6:17am

Hey,

It really depends on where you want to go and what you see yourself doing. The CSA position sounds very exclusive and prestigious but that maybe because it isn't broad. I am assuming you'll be studying the business and re-assessing their market strategies with respect to competitors. It sounds like a cool job but again, they will always have more bankers, and they'll make more money cuz they bring in the revenue.

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 6:20am

Deloitte isn't top 5. Deloitte is mediocre.

MBB are the best broadly across sectors, but other firms are just as strong or stronger in single sectors. OW FS for example is on par with M and better than BB.

I think corporate strategy can be a great path to senior roles on the buy-side, but I don't think it has the breadth of exit opps that consultancy/banking do.

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 6:21am

Corporate Strategy vs. Management Consulting (Originally Posted: 11/30/2009)

Hey guys,

I just got offered a pretty unique opportunity to work in a Corporate Strategy Analyst Job at a Fortune 100 company. Its in an industry that I am particularly interested in but also have the opportunity to join a top 5 consulting firm. I wanted to get a sense of how Corporate Strategy jobs are viewed in the industry in terms of exit opps relative to consulting/banking. I know this corp. strategy job will look good for business schools as most grads end up at top 3 bschools because it stands out. But since its pretty rare to see people in corporate strategy, I wanted to see how it looks for PE firms and other business dev opportunities/start ups. The work they do is a mix of M&A and Strategy consulting work in the industry. Looking forward to hearing your opinions.

Cheers,
JohnStamos

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 6:27am

(According to the people on this board) there is no such thing as a top 5 consulting company, because there is MBB and then there is everyone else. Your saying "top 5" suggests your offer is not MBB, which means you're taking a second-tier consulting firm and trying to lump it into the top. This makes no sense, because there is a big gap between MBB and everyone else.

I'm curious what the other two firms are. Booz? Oliver Wyman? Hopefully you don't mean ATK, ACN or Deloitte.

 
Feb 4, 2016 - 6:29am

These replies are really obnoxious. Congrats on both offers.

In my first project, I worked right alongside corporate strategy guys, basically helping them do their jobs. Our responsibilities for that period were virtually identical. Obviously that's not true for all projects, but from what I've seen, many major companies have strategy groups (frequently staffed with ex-consultants anyway) that do the exact same thing as consultants. Your role there would be comparable to being a part of a dedicated client team at a major consultancy.

I suggest you weigh the prospects for other opportunities that may interest you at the two firms as well as their respective corporate cultures. You'll make your own exit opportunities regardless.

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