Conceptualisation of the consultancy pricing paradox

Owusu-Manu, De-Graft, Badu, Edward, Edwards, David J., Adesi, Michael and Holt, Gary David (2012) Conceptualisation of the consultancy pricing paradox. Structural Survey, 30 (4). pp. 357-378. ISSN 0263-080X

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Purpose – Despite widespread demand for consultants and especially within the surveying profession, driving forces of service/pricing/quality are not fully understood and have received minimal research attention. The purpose of this paper is to review contemporary knowledge in this field, highlighting en route the dilemmas of the consultancy pricing paradox.

Design/methodology/approach – Methodology is of axiological, philosophical tradition – induction and inference, generalized concepts and theories. A critique of extant literature underpins a theoretical pricing problem framework, a future research agenda, and a model of the pricing paradox.

Findings – The study elucidates paradoxical aspects regarding value perceptions, objectives, strategies, cost recovery, competition and systematic processes. It conceptually models the dilemma of service pricing and suggests a research agenda based on process and value, nature of service, competence and branding.

Research limitations/implications – The formalisation of the paradox and development of the conceptual model opens opportunities for a new research agenda in the future, which is highlighted as part of the study.

Practical implications – Advancement of theory will impact pricing paradigms.

Originality/value – The paper presents a novel conceptualisation of the subject.

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