Heloiza Izumi Hirano
Master's – The use of consulting information in strategic decision-making
Advisor: Profª. Dr.ª Bernadete de Lourdes Marinho Grandolpho
Comission: Profs. Drs. Abraham Sin Oi Yu, Francisco Carlos Paletta and Rosária de Fátima S. Macri Russo
Class: 217, FEA-5
In the strategic decision-making process in an organization, relying on quality information is an important competitive advantage. Considering the uncertainties and environmental and institutional challenges of the present time, large and medium companies find in consultancies a useful source of information that also offers a level of reliability and credibility, related to the consultant, who is an expert in certain sectors or market niches. In this context, the objective of this study is to understand how market information from consultants supports and interferes with strategic decision-making. Conceptually, the study is based on two research areas, both multidisciplinary and with common elements, with which the following also collaborates: in the strategic decision-making area, information processing in this process is noteworthy; in the market information study area, the analysis of information from consultancies is approached, and its specialization is related to the consultant's concept of expertise, individually. In this consolidated view, the behavioral factor, related to the influence of individual characteristics in the decision-making process, undergoing simultaneous alterations by the same process, is noteworthy. This study follows a descriptive approach, insofar as it observes the behavior of valuing and using information for strategic decision-making, although it considers, when addressing the decision-making process, the various existing phases, in its structured conception, originated in the normative approach of the area, balanced by the cognitive elements anchored in the idea of limited rationality of the individual. Regarding the expertise that characterizes the consultant, the source of the analyzed information, it is referred to the high level of proficiency in a specific subject, coming from academic qualifications and experience (Chi, 2006). Methodologically, the option is made to combine, in a complementary and subsequent manner, the quantitative research, in the form of a survey comprising 80 professionals who work directly with market information in large and medium-sized companies, and the qualitative research, carried out by 12 semi-structured interviews with two distinct profiles: 7 decision makers in large and medium-sized companies, and 5 consultants, experts in their field of expertise, who work in market consultancies serving large and medium-sized companies. The main results indicate that the information acquired from consultancies is used more consistently when incorporated into the contracting company's organizational knowledge, through the relationship between the consultant and the team involved in each project, and the role of the decision maker is significant to the process. It is observed that the transition from individual aspects of the expert and the decision maker to group and organizational aspects of the usefulness of the information and its incorporation into the company, simultaneously changing the subjects involved, both consultants and teams of the contracting companies, from the acquired knowledge is a complex phenomenon that could even motivate future studies.
*Abstract provided by the author