chapter 6 situation 1 –


When they created Round Table Group Inc. , Russ Rosenstein and Robert Hull envisioned a company of offering one stop shopping for intellectual expertise. They wanted to help business, management consultants, and litigation attorneys to get answers to important questions from top-notch thinkers anywhere in the world though internet.

RTG’s plan was to have a kind of SWAT team pf professors who would answer questions based on their expertise. A team might consist of one or two professors, who would communicate with client via email, phone, or videoconferencing on projects that might involve a few hours or a few weeks of input. In traditional management-consulting model, work on project often last as long as a couple years, and the team consist of a group of junior analysts, managers, and partners.

 RTG assembled database made up mainly of 3,000 university professors available to consult on basis. The firm fixed costs would be low because the professors would be paid when they did billable work. But a unexpected wrinkle soon emerged. RTG ‘s customers wanted RTG to start acting more like traditional consulting firm. Business executives wanted face to face contact with the professors giving the information. They also wanted number crunching and follow up analysis. And they wanted current, customized research.

That has left RTG at a crossroads. Should it try to become more traditional management-consulting firm or continue to pursue its original mission of providing advice though internet content or virtual links

Taking the first path would mean providing support to clients, adding infrastructure and formalizing its operations by dividing it into distinct specialties. That would have the downside of making RTG’s competitive point of differentiation murky. But the second path would risk putting off customers who say they want more.

Please answer 3 questions from above passage.

1. What is the basic problem that Rosenstein and Hull need to resolve

2.What are the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed online consulting and the traditional approach to consulting

3. What do you think Rosenstein and Hull should do?