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Expert Advice

Classical organisational theory sees organisations as structures which are orientated towards a purpose, which should reach their goal with effective use of funds. This interpretation projects a technical, mechanically-thinking construct onto organisations. If this viewpoint were completely wrong, it would not have sustained itself for such a long time. Out of this, the role and profession of ‘management’ grew, which carried the task of optimally shaping the means/purpose calculation. For this, differing forms of expertise are needed: technical, economic and legal, as well as marketing skills etc.

However, if a need for optimisation is established or suspected, it is obvious to improve the professional competence within parts of management. One seeks consultants or trainers who have, or claim to have, a certain expertise of a specific nature. The attempt is made to import knowledge, in order to improve. Thus, a world-wide consultancy industry has developed, which promises to deliver an injection of knowledge. In this context, the means of cross-comparisons (=benchmarking) has emerged as a particularly attractive tool, which the large organisational consultancy firms successfully sell.

In this consultancy model are hidden many (problematical and often criticised) implications: success grows from optimisation, knowledge can be taken from others, other people’s solutions are correct for one’s own organisation, are desired and can be implemented. The closer the action context is to technically-coupled systems, the more likely it is that these exceptions apply. The more complex, the more loosely coupled and dynamic the systems are, the more inappropriate they become.

For this reason you could say that one requires a special expertise in order to know whether the expert advice will more likely be useful or damaging.