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What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an internal consultant as opposed to an external consultant to investigate a particular operating problem?

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“What are the advantage & disadvantage of using an internal consultant as opposed to an external consultant to investigate a particular operating problem”







What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an internal consultant as opposed to an external consultant to investigate a particular operating problem?



Alvin Chew hou ming        : 0359619


External consultants come from outside the company, stay for the duration of the contract and then leave. An internal consultant is an organization development professional that is employed full time by an organization, and who reports to a general manager or other senior manager. In any event, both consultants have their own merits in their contribution to the client’s company. This article considers all aspects and drill in deeper in view whether client should engage either or both consultant in the investigation of a particular operating problem.

Advantage of getting external consultant to investigate


Advantage of using an external consultant in investigation is that internal politics entanglement & unnecessary paperwork could be avoided. And independent viewpoints are more easily generated by an outsider who is able to stand back from the company and objectively investigate & assess a particular operating problem.

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Here, external consultants can be the answers to an urgent need for outside help. External consultants not deviated by immediate daily operational pressures will certainly remain more focused on the investigating project.


As an external consultant, they are seen as an expert in the particular field, with special qualifications and skills. They are exposed to many similar, even more complicated issues in many different companies. Having face the similar problem numerous time, their specialist skill in investigation far exceed internal consultant. Thus, they are more efficient in getting the things done and able to reap the best results in the given time frame. External consultants also have the advantage of being experienced observers and analysts which allow them to challenge previously established position or way of thinking in the client company.  They can justify the client’s decisions that are already made.

The required resource or skill base not being available within the organization and there is no justification for introducing a permanent position. External consultant offer a one stop temporary professional service and the client do not need to resort in employing a full time consultant at a short notice.  


External consultants are more exposed to the state-of-the-art technology in investigation.

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The end results in hiring any consultant should be improved productivity, quality, customer service, and/or profitability. Clients should comprehend that there will be a timeframe in systematic implementation planning to accomplish these results. The selected best consultants have in the past managed long-term complex implementations and have contributed to bottom-line results. In understanding these, Clients should not forced quick/immediate results but to have in faith in the external consultants they hired.

Being a Client, it can seem like a very lonely job at the top and having an external consultant that is not entangle in the company politics can surely provide a trusted confidant and friend in dealing organization issues.

Last but not least, the chemistry that exists between clients and any consultants are vitally important. Skills and experience are definitely required to assist an organization in making lasting changes. However, if client overlook the chemistry factor, the whole consultation process would become a failure.


  1. Clark, Timothy (1999), Managing Consultants: Consultancy as the Management of Impressions.Open University Press. Buckingham, United Kingdom
  1. Lacey, Miriam Y (1995), Internal Consulting: Perspectives on the process of planned change 3rd (Revised) Edition. International Labour Office, Geneva.
  1. Schein, Edgar H. (1999), Process Consultation Revisited --- Building the Helping Relationship. Addison Wesley OD Series. Reading. Massachusetts
  1. Smith, Roger C. (2000), Mind for Hire --- A Practitioner’s Guide to Management Consulting. UWA Press, Perth

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