Investigate factors which act as “competitive differentiators” for professional services firms
Investigate factors which act as “competitive differentiators” for professional services firms.
You are asked to construct an essay that encapsulates your view as to what are the competitive differentiators that professional services use. You will need to decide which professional services segment to study (Audit, Assurance, Tax, Consulting, Advisory, Actuarial, Corporate Finance and Legal) and engage in a five phased approach to the study which allows you to develop a structure to evaluate the true competitor differentiators.
The essay will reflect your reasoned views & assessment so there is no right or wrong answer. The essay contains five parts:
- What are the competitive differentiating factors in your chosen professional services sub-segment?
- Epistemic justification – Why the competitive differentiating factors make a difference for the professional services sub-segment.
- Examples from a professional services firm that has 2-3 competitive differentiators
- Conclusions & Recommendation
Essay Structure Guidance:
Part 1 (1) Introduction
The project begins with a short appreciation of the global professional services industry and further insight into your chosen sub segment.
Part 2: (2) What are the competitive differentiating factors in your chosen professional services sub-segment?
To complete this section you need to investigate for your global professional services sub-segment (e.g strategy consulting, accountancy) what are the competitive differentiating factors. You can look further to macro-economic conditions here and/or micro-economic analysis to determine these. In addition, looking through secondary data such as annual reports, academic articles, business publications will also be useful.
Part 3: (3) Epistemic justification – Why the competitive differentiating factors make a difference for the professional services sub-segment?
To complete this section you are asked to explore the reasons why you have chosen the competitive differentiating factors in part 1 & why you believe they act as so. In addition how long do you believe this a competitive differentiator for? Think of whether these differentiating factor(s) will be short term (up to a year) and whether they still be considered differentiators in the future.
Part 4: (4) Examples from a professional services firm(s) that has three competitive differentiators
To complete this section, you are asked to illustrate which companies exemplify at least three competitive differentiators you have identified.
Part 5: (5) Conclusions & Recommendations
This section should be dedicated to a brief summary of the competitive differentiators that are being used in the professional services industry sub-segment and further insight into your evaluation of whether these will be short term of longer term in nature.
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