Remapping Debate: ‘Looking beneath a consulting firm’s façade of objectivity’
In a recently released article, Remapping Debate takes an in-depth look at the ‘objectivity’ of private consulting firms in the production of reports that impact U.S. business practices.
Analysis of past reports from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and others shows that private firms have long been “champions of the free movement of capital, encouraging companies to relocate offshore in low-cost countries with loose regulatory standards” in order to boost profit margins.
The problem, according to Remapping Debate and the industry experts they contacted, is that firms such as BCG fail to take outside factors, or “externalities” – such as wages, working conditions, environmental standards, and national economic interests – into account when churning out their research.
Even though a new report by BCG seemed to advocate the reshoring of jobs in the United States, experts in the article say that the underlying mantra has not changed.
As Scott Paul, Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) said: “It’s essentially the same message… They’re saying, ‘Do what’s best for your bottom line.’”
The ethical obligations of private consulting firms do not mandate that externalities be considered. So the question remains – should they? Professor Gene Laczniak of Marquette University framed the implications of such requirements best:
“If [consulting firms] felt obligated to consider social responsibility as well as economic gain, they might have said, ‘Well, those jobs maybe shouldn’t have left in the first place.”
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