The first four chapters in this section have focused on the internal strategy actors (CEO, CSO, strategy teams and middle managers). In this chapter we turn our attention to external actors: the strategy consultants and their role in practicing strategy. While there are a number of studies concerning the consulting profession overall, the purpose of this chapter is to focus on the role of strategy consultants and reveal the ways they are involved in strategizing and with what effect. This chapter also allows the reader to start considering the complex relationships between internal and external strategists in their efforts to make and execute strategy. Our aim is to show how strategy consultants, as external strategic actors, become engaged in organizational activities and, ultimately how they influence the way strategy is practiced. We use the 3P framework to structure the present chapter. First we deal with the roles and characteristics of strategy consultants and the methods they employ (Practitioners and Practices) and finally we discuss their activities in the context of the consulting engagement (Praxis).
Keywords: consultancy engagement; external strategists; strategy consultants; strategy consultancies.