Research Purpose


Question Description

a critique of the research study in which you:

  • Evaluate the purpose statement using the Purpose Statement Checklist as a guide
  • Analyze alignment among the theory, problem, and purpose
  • Explain your position on the relationship between research and social change

Be sure to support your Main Issue Post and other scholarly evidence in APA Style.

use this sources

Babbie, E. (2017). Basics of social research (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
  • Chapter 4, “Research Design”
Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., & Crawford, L. M. (2016). The scholar-practitioner’s guide to research design. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Publishing.
  • Chapter 10, “Writing the Research Proposal”

evaluate the article


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International Journal of Operations & Production Management The role of management consultancy in implementing operations management in the public sector Zoe Radnor, Joe O'Mahoney, Downloaded by Walden University At 19:08 19 December 2018 (PT) Article information: To cite this document: Zoe Radnor, Joe O'Mahoney, (2013) "The role of management consultancy in implementing operations management in the public sector", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 33 Issue: 11/12, pp.1555-1578, Permanent link to this document: Downloaded on: 19 December 2018, At: 19:08 (PT) References: this document contains references to 92 other documents. To copy this document: The fulltext of this document has been downloaded 4243 times since 2013* Users who downloaded this article also downloaded: (2006),"Consultant's role: a qualitative inquiry from the consultant's perspective", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 25 Iss 5 pp. 416-500 https:// (2012),"Leaders and leadership – many theories, but what advice is reliable?", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 41 Iss 1 pp. 4-14 https:// Access to this document was granted through an Emerald subscription provided by emerald-srm:552352 [] For Authors If you would like to write for this, or any other Emerald publication, then please use our Emerald for Authors service information about how to choose which publication to write for and submission guidelines are available for all. Please visit for more information. About Emerald Emerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. 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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at The role of management consultancy in implementing operations management in the public sector Zoe Radnor Downloaded by Walden University At 19:08 19 December 2018 (PT) School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK Joe O’Mahoney Role of management consultancy 1555 Received 30 July 2010 Revised 13 April 2011 2 March 2012 26 March 2012 Accepted 27 March 2012 Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK Abstract Purpose – This paper reflects on the growing trend of engaging management consultancies in implementing operations management innovations in the public sector. Whilst the differences between public and private sector operations have been documented, there is a dearth of material detailing the impact of public sector engagements on the consultancies themselves and the operations management products and services they develop. Drawing on qualitative data, the paper aims to identify both the impact of operations management in the public sector and the impact of this engagement on the consultancies that are involved. Design/methodology/approach – This paper draws on rich, qualitative data from six large management consultancies, amounting to over 48 interviews. An inductive methodology sought to identify both how consultancies have adapted their operations management products and services, and why. Findings – The paper finds that the different context of the public sector provides consultants with considerable challenges when implementing operations management projects. The research shows that public services are often hampered by different cultures, structures, and managerial knowledge and investment patterns. Such constraints have an impact on both the projects being implemented and the relationship between consultants and clients. Originality/value – There are few studies that consider the implementation of operations management in the public sector and fewer still which examine the impact of public sector engagement on the products that consultancies develop. This paper aims to develop understanding in both. At a more theoretical level, the paper contributes to considering operations management through knowledge management literature in seeking to understand how consumers of management knowledge influence its producers. Keywords Public sector, Lean, Knowledge management, Process management, Management consultancy Paper type Research paper 1. Introduction This paper seeks to contribute to the theme of this special issue by exploring the intersection of two important trends in operations management: the growing influence of management consultants on operations management methods and the increased use of such methods in the public sector. These trends intersect in a highly visible arena since the “efficiency agenda” introduced by many Western governments has, somewhat ironically, lead to a growing trend in public spending on management consultancies to help implement these reforms (Boyne et al., 2003). In the UK, for example, the operational efficiency report (HM Treasury, 2009) stipulated that potential savings of around International Journal of Operations & Production Management Vol. 33 No. 11/12, 2013 pp. 1555-1578 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0144-3577 DOI 10.1108/IJOPM-07-2010-0202 IJOPM 33,11/12 Downloaded by Walden University At 19:08 19 December 2018 (PT) 1556 £10 billion a year should be achieved over the next three years. In order to achieve this, public sector organisations have sought to introduce a range of operations management approaches including Lean thinking, Six Sigma and business process reengineering (BPR) (Radnor, 2010). The evidence of the implementation of process management and improvement methodologies includes health (Guthrie, 2006; Fillingham, 2007), central government (Radnor and Bucci, 2007) and local government (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2005). As public sector managers rarely have the resources or skills to implement such programmes themselves, they have increasingly looked towards management consultancies to support them in their efforts (MCA, 2010). A review of the literature in this area highlights (at least) two under-developed areas in our understanding of this intersection. On the one hand, there is the question of how operations management methods and tools which consultancies have often developed for the private sector translate into the public sector. Previous insights have shown that the transfer of tools, concepts and programmes from the private sector can be problematic in public sector organisations which are “based much more on values, ethical and professional concepts and have to address many more issues than [those in the private sector]” (Diefenbach, 2009, p. 895). Whilst several studies have shown the impact, and limitations, of private sector tools and methods on public sector workers (Boyne, 2002) there is relatively little literature that specifically focuses on the consultancy experience of such transfers. Thus, in order to gain an insight into the important contextual processes which underpin such interventions, our first research question asks: RQ1. How do operations management consultancy interventions in the public sector differ to those in the private sector? A second area of consideration concerns the impact of public sector engagements on the methods and services that consultancies develop. In the literature concerning the knowledge developed by management consultancies there has been an increasing focus on both the ways in which consultancies commodify knowledge into formal products (Fincham, 1995; Suddaby and Greenwood, 2001; Clegg et al., 2004; Heusinkveld and Benders, 2005; Haas, 2006) and the manner in which such consulting services are implemented in client contexts (Fincham and Roslender, 2004; Sturdy et al., 2009; Nicolai et al., 2010). However, what has been less well understood is the way in which client-consultant interactions in different contexts have an impact on the ways in which knowledge is developed. To this end, we ask: RQ2. How does the public sector context influence the development of operations management consulting? The data to support this analysis is generated though semi-structured interviews with over 48 management consultants from six large management consultancies firms. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, we found that there were significant differences in the type and style of engagement between public and private sector organisations. These included the levels of organisational bureaucracy, the role of procurement, the skills and autonomy of client managers and their attitudes to risk. These findings are interpreted against the theoretical backdrop of the knowledge literature, specifically through a three-stage model examining client contexts, consultant-client relationships and operation management consultancy development. Our central insight is to show how the public sector context exerts a commodifying influence on the consultancy service. The findings help in creating an understanding of the development and use of Downloaded by Walden University At 19:08 19 December 2018 (PT) operations management by consultants and, within public services. By drawing on the knowledge literature the research and paper also contributes to the much needed theoretical development of operations management (Taylor and Taylor, 2009). To achieve this, the paper first provides a review of operations and process implementations in the context of the public sector showing not only that, such programmes are increasingly common but also that consultancies have growing popularity in supporting such interventions. Next, drawing on knowledge commodification literature, the paper outlines the theoretical framework used to structure our findings. Subsequently, the paper introduces the research methodology: an inductive and qualitative enquiry at six large UK consultancies undertaking process management interventions in the public sector. Using this data, the paper then identifies the changes that have occurred to consultancies, their products and the reasons why these changes have happened by reflecting on the use of operations and process management in the public sector. Finally, the paper considers the findings, arguing that the public sector engagements have an important impact on the operations management products that are generated by consultancies. This section considers how this impact might be theorised and the consequences for future research. 2. Operations and process management consultancy in the public sector The UK has been a rich source of information about public sector reform over the last two decades providing a valuable context in which to explore how and why practices are adapted or adopted across a whole institutional field (Boyne et al., 2003). In the UK, 18 per cent of the workforce are employed in the public sector (MacGregor, 2001) with around half of the workforce, or 2.8 million, working in local government and 1.5 million in the health services (Massey, 2005). Over the last 15 years, under pressure to cut costs and increase quality due to policies supported by Gershon (2004) review and the efficiency agenda (HM Treasury, 2008), UK public sector organisations have witnessed a transformation in their structures, strategies and management (Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2004). Central to this transformation has been the introduction of a wide range of service innovations from strategic tools (Llewellyn and Tappin, 2003; Williams and Lewis, 2008) and operational transformations (Silvester et al., 2004; Radnor and Boaden, 2008) to a more generalised shift in discourses of service and professionalism (Davies, 2007). In seeking to support such transformations, many public sector organisations have turned to the expertise and legitimacy offered by management consultancies (Saint-Martin, 2000). The result has been a growth in public spending on consultancies to the point where it now represents a global average of 19 per cent of consultancy revenues (Gross and Poor, 2008), or $57 billion (Kennedy Information, 2008). This represents a decade of phenomenal growth for the industry – in the UK the market grew in double digits each year 2002-2005, increasing revenue from £562 million in 2001 to £158 billion in 2005 (MCA, 2006). The resulting impact, both positive and negative, of consultancy innovations on the public sector has been explored in some detail by academics (Lapsley and Oldfield, 2001; Saint-Martin, 2004; Christensen, 2005), journalists (Craig and Brooks, 2006) and government watchdogs (National Audit Office, 2006; Public Accounts Committee, 2007). Yet cost reductions are not the only reason for the growth in the use of consultancies. Many new governments have faced strong opposition from their own civil servants and public sector workers to Role of management consultancy 1557 IJOPM 33,11/12 Downloaded by Walden University At 19:08 19 December 2018 (PT) 1558 proposed reforms. The use of consultants was used, in the early 2000s, as an explicit strategy to by-pass bureaucratic resistance and enable quicker reform (Saint-Martin, 2004; Craig and Brooks, 2006) (Figure 1 and Table I). There are good reasons to think that the public sector poses different challenges to consultancies than their traditional clients in the private sector. The sector posses a number of differences (Table II) which, might suggest differing outcomes for both clients and consultants. Comparing the two sectors, “from the bottom up” at a basic level, managerial requirements are similar between the two sectors (e.g. management of human resources, budget, project management, service delivery, etc). However, from a “top-down” perspective, democratic values, ministerial/politics, laws and rights shape a much different picture of managerial requirements (Savoie, 2003; Good, 2004). Often the accepted role of the private sector is to engage in commercial enterprise, for profit. Firms are generally free to engage or not engage, purchase inputs at the market price and abandon activities at will. Principally accountable to their owners, business is held accountable by the market against several “hard” indicators especially profitability 2,500 2,000 1,865 1,584 1,614 1,500 1,968 1,968 2008 2009 1,734 1,279 1,000 500 Figure 1. Growth in UK public sector spend on consultancy (£m) 562 605 2001 2002 384 0 2000 2008 fee income (£k) Central government 591,680 Local government 240,141 Defence 173,335 NHS, exac agencies & NDPBs 445,884 Other a 517,382 Table I. UK public sector spend on consultants 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Source: MCA (2010) a 2009 fee income (£k) % change 2008-2009 546,102 28 267,705 11 206,649 19 438,142 22 509,800 21 Note: Other includes: education (including further and higher education), devolved administrations, public corporations and non-UK governments Source: MCA (2010) Minimum set of law constraining all business (tax, environmental, employment, etc.) Legislative and judicial Most held in internally and remains confidential Primary stakeholder Role of information Source: Various including Rainey et al. (1976), Allison (1997) and Box (1999) Budgets Flexible, based on expected profit, ROI, EVA Budgets subject to significant changes Profit based Entrepreneurial Managerial style matches business needs Innovative Quicker decision making Through clear objectives Owners, shareholders Legal reporting requirement Shareholder is dominant stakeholder General culture Account-ability Profit Application is also measured by in/decrease in net returns on capital invested and shareholder/economic value added Overall goal Authority is generally invested in one CEO Can operate in any sector/market Profit Some attention on future profit Overall direction Authority Private sector Issue Central agencies, parliament/politicians, citizen Information generally “acquirable” (e.g. access to information laws) Role of media Conflicting and shifting stakeholder interests and dominance Potential with conflict with government policy Public media opinions influence decision making Exposure to intense public scrutiny – “managing in a fishbowl” Access to Information Act – managers must, and do, consider every memo, letter, briefing note, presentation and e-mail a public document Consideration must always be given to public perception and the potential for political embarrassment, even for logical and sensible decisions Relatively fixed, stable budgets Frequently budget based on previous year plus inflationary adjustment Government/minister establish directions Long term frequently limited to next election Subject to contradictory pressures Highly adversarial relations between political parties Direction may be at policy not administrative level Citizen “rights” Government managers must conform to legislation regardless of costs Generally subject to scrutiny by legislative oversight groups or even judicial orders Authority is often shared between senior officers/mangers and professional people (politicians, lawyers, doctors/surgeons, academics, etc.) Limited authority to expand/contract “sphere of operations” and to disengage from activities which are not meeting current goals Create and sustain citizen satisfaction Economic, efficiency and effective Value for money Ethical and equitable Values based Bureaucratic Risk adverse Public sector Downloaded by Walden University At 19:08 19 December 2018 (PT) Role of management consultancy 1559 Table II. Key differences between the private and public sectors IJOPM 33,11/12 Downloaded by Walden University At 19:08 19 December 2018 (PT) 1560 (Steward and Walsh, 1994). Whereas the key purpose of public services is to undertake activities in the areas where profit cannot be made, but the interests of society demand that the activities occur (Drucker, 1993; Box, 1999). Unlike the private sector, Smith (1995) argues public sector services must continue to operate however difficult the local environment, sometimes delivering nationally and regionally. Furthermore, Kelly et al. (2002) suggest that most public sector enterprises have multiple objectives with no single “bottom-line”. Even though financial indicators and ratios are widely used in the private sector with ratios permitting comparisons between choices and market accountability within the public sector, profit is an oxymoron (Johnson and Broms, 2000). Therefore, often financial indicators and ratios have limited application and receive effective little executive attention within government. This lack of use and monitoring of data could potentially have an impact on the justification of investment and resources required by operations management programmes such as Lean and will be explored later in the paper. Given the differences between the two sectors, the application of operations and process management tools without appropriate adaptation for public service organisations has been questioned (Radnor and Walley, 2008). Other authors argue that service characteristics are not an excuse for avoiding manufacturing methodologies as a means of efficiency gains (Levitt, 1972): any organization can gain substantial benefits from at least some new practices (Waterson and Clegg, 1997) whatever the size or sect ...
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School: Carnegie Mellon University



Research Purpose Article Critique




Research purpose article critique
The purpose statement using the Purpose Statement Checklist
The purpose statement outlines the critical aspect that research evaluates within a
research study. The integration of different elements provides a higher evaluation of essential
elements which provide a critical understanding of important changes which are necessary for
implementing positive outcomes. The purpose statement in the article has been it is possible to
understand the gap in research and the specific aspect that the researchers considered in making
an accurate determination of the findings. Thus, based on the purpose statement checklist, there
are vital aspects to consider to determine whether the researchers have exhaustively addressed
(Burkholder et al., 2017).
The authors have identified the increasing adoption of management consultancies
which provide a critical understanding of important changes that have been instituted within
the public sector to increase the level of innovation. Thus, it is possible to understand essential
aspects that define significant changes which provide the basis of the research. How...

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