Introduction: There are many reasons why individuals and organisations take the help of a consultant. Organisations resort to this practice regularly since the complexities of doing business are rising with reference to competition, new markets, laws and regulations, technology etc. Sometimes companies have their own consultants or they seek the help of professionals competent in their chosen field. In short a consultant is a person who is qualified to advise anyone who approaches him. This indicates that there should be trust in the client towards his consultant and the consultant on his part should not do anything to misuse it. In other words the consultant is expected to behave ethically toward his client. Ethical behaviour means a code of conduct with the belief that what is done is right with reference to own values, religious beliefs, law and what is generally accepted by the society.
Ethics in the profession of consultancy:咨询职业道德
One of the most respected authorities on ethical consultancy is Peter Block who is a consultant himself. He has authored a number of books including the widely acclaimed ‘Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used’. Mr. Block has given several guidelines that are expected to be a part of the code of conduct of a consultant. The most essential element according to Mr. Block is of the opinion that the consultant always tells the truth even if it is unpleasant to the client. The trouble with many consultants today is that they force the clients to think in their viewpoint by acting clever. It should be noted that the client may have his own viewpoints which may be relevant and the consultant is expected to review that before advising the client. Such behavior on the part of the client will make him skeptical of the consultant and the level of trust or faith in him will diminish. Clients see right through the fast language and persuasion techniques and, as a result, their level of skepticism rises. Instead, consultants should be who they are and tell the truth in a caring way, which will establish the balance that leads to a trusting, productive relationship with the client (Meet the MasterMinds: Flawless Consulting with Peter Block, Management Consulting News).
The author is of the opinion that the role of consultancy has changed over the years. Consultancy organizations have grown in size and the role they play is more of a manager than an advisor. They end up taking the responsibility of performing the tasks they advise the clients in the first place. What will happen in this case is that the consultants become a part of the client organization. They loose the freedom that is essential for a consultant because of the policies and organizational politics that exist in the client organization. Mr. Block says that this situation came about not because it is a part of consultancy but because there is money in performing such tasks for the client. Another area of concern regarding ethics is the lack of accountability on the part of the consulting industry. He consultancy firms have their own models and methods which they force it on the clients. There is no negative impact in this industry even if the models do not work. The fact is that the clients themselves have come to accept such a behavior on the part of the consultants. Sometimes the consultant will agree to the