You are hereStandards of Professional Conduct for Academic Management Consultants (1978)
Standards of Professional Conduct for Academic Management Consultants (1978)
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Standards of Professional Conduct for Academic/Management Consultants
The articles that follow are intended to aid academic/management consultants so that they can maintain a high level of ethical practice in the conduct of their consulting activities. They are standards by which academics who counsel management may determine the propriety of their behavior in relationships with students, teaching institutions, colleagues, prospective clients, and society. The code is made available so that self regulation is possible.
Tile Academy of Management encourages academics to consult "when these activities are conducive to the professional growth of the individual and contribute to the management discipline through the enrichment of teaching, research, and understanding of the field." The code presented is provided specifically for academic/consultants and within the established standards of the broader consulting field. In client and industry relationships, we accept and abide by the spirit of the ethical code of the ACME.
1. We believe that academics have a professional and moral obligation to offer their expertise to management only in areas of competence
2. We believe that continuing consulting activities collectively enrich the total academic; however, the primary object of a specific engagement is to serve clients to the best of our ability
3. We accept the responsibility to maintain a balance between consulting activities and other academic activities such as teaching, advising students, research, writing, and services to the teaching institution and professional societies
4. We agree to accept consulting offers only when no conflict of interest is involved with students, colleagues, clients, or the university
5. We will not misuse or misrepresent our academic position in a way that would imply that the university is responsible for our conduct
6. We believe that the confidentiality of client relationships is essential; thus, university officials should not be informed of the names of clients we serve
7. We agree to involve students in engagements only when they are fairly compensated and aware of the nature of work they are doing
8. We will be alert to findings that help develop the body of knowledge pertaining to the practice of management consulting, will encourage research to more deeply
explore it, and will take the initiative to disseminate such findings
9. We believe that there is research potential in each consulting engagement that can collectively create a library of cases beneficial to the advancement of management; hence, we encourage members to contribute case briefs sufficiently disguised to that collection
1. We will at all times place the interests of clients ahead of our own and serve them with integrity, competence, and independence. We will assume an independent position with the client, making certain that our advice to clients is based on impartial consideration of all pertinent facts and responsible opinions
2. We will guard as confidential all information concerning the affairs of clients that we gather during the course of professional engagements; will not take personal or financial advantage of material or inside information coming to our attention as a result of our professional relationship with clients; nor will we provide the basis on which others might take such advantage. Observance of the ethical obligation of (consultants or) tile management consulting firm to hold inviolate tile confidence of it's clients not only facilitates the full development of facts essential to effective solution of the problem, but also encourages clients to seek needed help on sensitive problems
3. We will serve two or more competing clients on sensitive problems only with their knowledge
4. We will inform clients of any relationships, circumstances. or interests that might influence our judgment or the objectivity of our services
5. We will present our qualifications for serving a client solely in terms of our competence, experience, and standing, and will not guarantee any specific result--such as amount of cost reduction or profit increase. We should, however, state as specifically and accurately as feasible the risks and benefits clients can expect from taking a course of action we recommend
6. We will accept only those engagements we are qualified to undertake and which we believe will provide real benefits to clients. We will assign personnel qualified by knowledge, experience, and character to give effective service in analyzing and solving the particular problem or problems involved
7. We will not accept an engagement so narrowly circumscribed that it impedes our ability to appraise the client of the major sequential influences of the implementation of a recommendation made
8. We will, before accepting an engagement, confer with the client or prospective client in sufficient detail and gather sufficient facts to gain an adequate understanding of the problem, the scope of study needed to solve it, and the possible benefits that may accrue to the client. The preliminary exploration will be conducted confidentially on terms and conditions agreed upon by the member and the prospective client
9. We will, except for those cases where special client relationships make it unnecessary, make certain that the client receives a written proposal that outlines the objectives, scope and, where possible, the estimated fee or fee basis for the proposed service or engagement. We will discuss with the client any important changes in the nature, extent, timing, or other aspects of the engagement, and obtain the client's agreement to such changes before taking action on them. Unless the circumstances make it unnecessary, we will confirm these changes in writing
10. We will perform each engagement on an individualized basis and develop recommendations designed specifically to meet the particular requirements of the client situation. Our objective in each client engagement is .to develop solutions that arc realistic and practical
11. We will not serve a client under terms or conditions that might impair our objectivity, independence, or integrity. Moreover, we will reserve the right to withdraw if conditions beyond our control develop which could interfere with the successful conduct of the engagement
12. We will acquaint client personnel with the principles, methods, and techniques applied so that the improvements suggested or installed may be properly managed and continued after completion of the engagement
13. We will maintain continuity of understanding, knowledge now ledge of clients' problems, and the work that has been done to solve them by maintaining appropriate files of reports submitted to clients. These are protected against unauthorized access and supported by files of working papers, consultants' log books, and similar recorded data
14. We will not accept an engagement for a client while another consultant or management consulting firm is serving that client unless we arc assured, and can satisfy ourselves, that there will be no conflict between the two engagements. We will not endeavor to displace another management consulting firm or individual consultant once we have knowledge that the client has made a commitment to the other consultant
15. We will review the work of our client's other management consultant(s) only with the knowledge of the latter unless the work subject to review has been finished or terminated. However, even though the other consultant's work has been finished or terminated, it is a matter of common courtesy to let the consulting firm or individual know that the work is being reviewed
16. We will charge reasonable fees which are commensurate with the nature of services performed and the responsibility assumed. An excessive charge abuses the professional relationship and discourages the public from utilizing the services of management consultants. On the other hand, adequate compensation is necessary to enable consulting participants to serve clients effectively and preserve the integrity of the profession. Determination of the reasonableness of a fee requires consideration of many factors including the nature of services performed; the time required; the consulting firm's experience, ability and reputation; the degree of responsibility assumed; and the benefits that accrue to the client. Wherever feasible, we will agree with the client in advance on the fee or fee basis
17. We will neither accept nor pay fees or commissions to others for client referrals; enter into any arrangement for franchising our practice to others; and we will not accept fees, commissions, or other valuable considerations from individuals or organizations whose equipment, supplies, or services we might recommend in the course of our service to clients
1. We will strive continually to advance and protect the standards of management consulting. We will endeavor continually to improve our knowledge, skills, and techniques, and will make available to our clients the benefits of our professional attainments
2. We recognize our responsibilities to the public interest and to our profession to contribute to the development and understanding of better ways to manage various organizations in our society. By reason or education, experience, and broad contact with management problems in a variety of administrative and functional structures, consultants are especially qualified to recognize opportunities for improving managerial and operating processes. We therefore have an obligation to contribute such knowledge to the discipline of management.
*Approved by the Division of Managerial Consultation at the national meetings of the Academy of Management in 1978.