Research, Consultancy and Advisory KASNEB Notes

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CS Intermediate Level Notes


This paper is intended to equip the candidate with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable him/her to design and implement research, translate research findings as well as undertake consultancy and advisory services on matters of governance, compliance and management.


A candidate who passes this paper should be able to:

  • Articulate a clear research question or problem and formulate a hypothesis
  • Identify and apply appropriate research approaches and methodologies
  • Write a research report and explain their research findings through presentations
  • Effective manage and implement management consultancy projects
  • Develop project implementation plans
  • Demonstrate coaching and facilitation skills and techniques as components of consultancy and advisory services


Underlying Theories/Models of Research, Consultancy and Advisory

Selected Research and Consultancy Theories

  • Social-systems theory
  • Social network theory
  • Situated learning theory
  • Otherness & Parasites theory
  • The Intervention Theory of Argyrols.
  • Blake and Mouton’s Consultation Theory
  • Weisberg’s Theory of Organisational Diagnosis
  • Theory of Planned Behaviour
  • Innovation diffusion theory.
  • General Deterrence Theory

Introduction to Research

  • General Overview
    • Research Philosophies
    • Research Methodologies
    • Types of Research
    • Research design
    • Purpose and importance of research
    • Research ethics and integrity

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Types of Research

  • Historical Research
  • Comparative Research
  • Descriptive Research
  • Correlation Research
  • Experimental Research
  • Evaluation Research
  • Causal research
  • Correlational research
  • Action Research
  • Echogenic Research
  • Feminist Research
  • Cultural Research

Research Process

  • Problem Formulation
    • Problem identification/conceptualization
    • Research Questions
    • Hypothesis construction, characteristics of hypothesis, hypothesis testing.
    • Statement of Objectives
    • Literature Review; citations
    • Conceptual framework

Tests of Hypothesis

  • Basic Concepts Concerning Testing of Hypotheses
  • Procedure for Hypothesis Testing
  • Type I Type II Errors
  • Test of Significance

Methods of Sampling

  • Systematic Sampling
  • Distinction between a Systematic Random sample and a Simple Random Sample
  • Stratified Sampling
  • Strategies involved in Stratified Sampling
  • Advantages    of    Stratified    Sampling    over    other    Sampling    Methods    6.6 Disadvantages of Stratified Sampling
  • Some Non-Random Sampling Method

Data Collection

  • Unpublished Sources
  • Published Data
  • Necessary Guidelines for Collecting Reliable Data
  • Methods of Collecting Data
  • Stages in the Collection of Data
  • Design of a Good Questionnaire

Processing and analysing data

  • Steps in Data Analysis
  • Methods of data analysis
  • Narrative Data Analysis
  • Statistical Data Analysis
  • Descriptive Data Analysis
  • Data Analysis Techniques
  • Univariate Distribution
  • The Frequency Distribution
  • Measures of Central Tendency
  • Measures of Dispersion
  • Types data analysis and significance tests.
  • Use of software
  • Interpretation of results
  • The cyclic nature of research

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Data interpretation and presentation

  • Technique of Interpretation
  • Precaution in Interpretation
  • Frequency tables
  • Pie charts
  • Graphs

Writing the report.

  • Significance of Report Writing
  • Different Steps in Writing Report
  • Layout of the Research Report
  • Types of Reports
  • Oral Presentation
  • Precautions for Writing Research Report

Research Proposal, Research Report Writing and Referencing

  • Basic principles
  • Formats, contents, presentation data presentation; use of charts, graphs and tables.
  • Referencing styles, citation of primary and secondary sources, foot notes and end notes, bibliography and references
  • Format of Certified Secretaries research project

Introduction to Advisory and Consultancy

  • General Background
    • Role of consultants
    • Qualities of a good consultant
    • Developing internal consulting skills
    • The internal consultant’s role
    • How the internal consultant differs from line management and external consultancy
    • Skills and knowledge requirements
    • Time management, managing customer expectations, creative problem solving, communication skills, working with clients, managing politics, managing conflict, managing client-consultant relationships.
    • Difference between Consultancy and Advisory
    • Uses of consultants – public sector, private sector, and internal consulting
    • Consulting roles and culture
    • Professionalism and ethics
    • Legal and ethical considerations

Nature and Purpose of Management Consulting

  • What is consulting?
  • Why are consultants used? Five generic purposes
  • How are consultants used? Ten principal ways
  • The consulting process
  • Evolving concepts and scope of management consulting

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The Consulting Industry

  • A historical perspective
    • The current consulting scene
    • Range of services provided
    • Generalist and specialist services
    • Main types of consulting organisation
    • Internal consultants
    • Management consulting and other professions

The Advisory Discipline

  • Role of an Advisor
  • What Makes a Good Advisor?
  • Strategy, Execution and Accountability
  • Crisis Management
  • Business Resilience Overview
  • Mapping Out the Client Discovery
  • Building Trust
  • Confidence and Experience
  • Business Planning Process

Conducting Consultative & Advisory Services

  • Basic Consultative Approaches
    • Expert Approach
    • Medical (Doctor-Patient) Approach
    • Process Approach  
    • Emergent Approach (Emergent Organisational Development And Change (EODC)

The Client and Consultant Relationship

  • Defining roles and expectations
  • The client and the consultant systems
  • Critical dimensions of the consultant–client relationship
  • Negotiation, persuasion and coaching skills

Professionalism and Ethics in Consulting

  • Is management consulting a profession?
  • The professional approach
  • Professional associations and codes of conduct
  • Certification and licensing
  • Legal liability and professional responsibility

Facilitation Skills

  • Introduction to facilitation
    • Definition of facilitation
    • Purpose of facilitation
    • Role and skills of the facilitator
    • Differences between facilitation, instruction, training, and chairing

Facilitation process

  • Problem/goal identifications
    • Problem resolution/decision making
    • Implementing solution
    • Groups dynamics
    • Group decision making
    • Guidelines for group consensus building
    • Managing behaviours
    • Team development
    • Facilitations tools and techniques: brainstorming, cluster, voting, process mapping, storyboarding, Ishikawa diagram – fishbone, nominal group technique, de bono, thinking hats, solving performance problems, etc.
    • Presentation: opening and closing; audience; purpose (convince, educate, motivate etc.); content; time; tools; style; practionalities – 3 ps (prepare, practice and practice again); preparing PowerPoint presentations
    • Handling controversial issues
    • Communication skills
    • Listening skills-watching both verbal and nonverbal cues
    • Providing effective feedback
    • Managing divergent perspectives
    • Leveraging on ICT in facilitating

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Coaching Skills

  • Role and skills of an effective coach
  • Managing from a coaching perspective
  • Handling resistance to constructive criticism
  • Using effective probing and questioning
  • Workplace coaching techniques
  • Key motivational coaching skills
  • Limitations of coaching
  • Differences between coaching, mentoring, counselling, training, managing, consulting and life coaching
  • Essential coaching skills: listening, questioning, reflecting back and mirroring, paraphrasing and summarising
  • The grow model and its applicability
  • Selecting a coaching style to match the individual situation
  • Planning and delivering a structured coaching session
  • Measuring the success and impact of the coaching

The Consulting Process

  • Introduction
    • Entry and Contracting
    • First client meetings
    • Preliminary problem diagnosis
    • Terms of reference – Technical proposals and Financial proposals
    • Assignment strategy and plan
    • Proposal to the client
    • The consulting contract
    • Types of projects and project cycles
    • Proposal development
    • Consulting contract
    • Service Quality
    • Engagement and Implementation
    • Management of projects
    • Presentations and communicating with clients
    • Ongoing client contact and service
    • Extension, Recycle, or Termination
    • Time for withdrawal
    • Final reporting
    • Evaluation & validation
    • Feedback to the client

Action Planning

  • Searching for possible solutions
  • Developing and evaluating alternatives
  • Presenting action proposals to the client


  • The consultant’s role in implementation monitoring implementation
  • Training and developing client staff
  • Some tactical guidelines for introducing changes in work methods
  • Maintenance and control of the new practice


  • Time for withdrawal
  • Evaluation
  • Follow-up
  • Final reporting

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Managing a Consulting Firm

  • Fundamentals of management in the consulting profession
  • The management challenge of the professions
  • Managing a professional service
  • Managing a professional business
  • Achieving excellence professionally and in business

The Consulting Firm’s Strategy

  • The strategic approach
  • The scope of client services
  • The client base
  • Growth and expansion
  • Going international
  • Profile and image of the firm
  • Strategic management in practice

Legal and Ethical Issues

  • Legal risks and management
  • Client privilege issues
  • Professional ethics
  • Client’s Perspective
  • Selection of consultants
  • Effective management of consultants
  • Evaluation of performance
  • Use of consultants
  • Maintaining independence and objectivity

Marketing Professional Services

  • Features of services: Intangibility; Inseparability; Heterogeneity (or variability); Perishability.
  • Challenges in marketing services
  • Marketing techniques for professional services
    • Specialization and niche targeting
    • Blogs and articles
    • A lead-generating website
    • Search engine optimization (SEO)
    • Speaking engagements
    • Trade show participation
    • Social media
    • Online video
    • Other techniques
  • Direct and indirect channels of distribution
  • Legal, professional and ethical considerations. – ICS guideline on professional ethics and conduct

Pricing Professional Services

  • Factors that determine pricing: cost, client value, competition, one off or retainer, pricing guidelines by professional body
  • Pricing strategies
  • A value-based pricing strategy
  • Time and materials pricing
  • Market pricing,
  • Package pricing/fixed pricing

Managing Consultancy and Advisory Process Cycle

  • Obtaining the assignment
  • Terms of reference for consultancy assignments
  • Technical and financial consultancy proposals
  • Preparation for consultancy assignments
  • Understanding clients’ needs
  • Determining the scope of assignment
  • Client readiness and consultant’s capability
  • Gathering key information
  • Developing an action plan
  • Recording progress and client feedback
  • Report writing
  • Step-by-step approach of the advisory process
  • Implementation of your advice/change
  • checking for consistency, understanding your clients, and proposals
  • Monitor and evaluate consultancy assignments
  • Legal and ethical issues in the management of consultancy assignments

Case studies in research, consultancy and advisory

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