What Factors of Consultant Make the SMEs Receive the Consultation?
Background/Objectives: This study examined what factors of the consultant the Korean SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) prefer and how the relative importance of the consultant preference factors influence on their intention to receive consultation. In other words, this is a study on the consultant preference factors in the perspective of consulting service consumers who have direct impact on the intention to receive consultation and are differentiated from preceding studies on consultant’s capabilities in the perspective of suppliers. In this light, this study was divided two studies. The one is the study on the relative importance of consultant preference factors (education, consulting license, consulting experience, experience in similar project, and consulting fee) (Study I) and the other study is on the relationship between consultant preference factor and intention to receive consultation-whether the intention of SMEs to receive consultation becomes stronger when the consultant preference factors becomes more significant (Study II).
Methods/Statistical analysis: Study I used conjoint analysis and Study II, FISHBEIN model. This research conducted a survey twice to 125 managers who are almost owner of SMEs located in Daegu city and Gyeongbuk province.
Findings: Finally, 250 copies of a questionnaire (Study ?: 125 and Study ?: 125) were used in the analysis and the outcomes are as follows. First, in Study I which used conjoint analysis, the experience in similar project had the highest relative importance among consultant preference factors, followed by consulting experience, consulting fee, education, and consulting license. Second, in Study II which used FISHBEIN model, the experience in similar project had the strongest impact on the intention to receive consultation of the SMEs, followed by consulting experience, consulting license, education, and consulting fee. By summarizing these outcomes, it is possible to realize that the consultant preference factor with greater relative importance has greater impact on the intention to receive consultation of SMEs.
Improvements/Applications: It is also possible to notice that the relative importance is different between the consultant’s capabilities in the perspective of supplier (consulting company or individual consultant) and the consultant preference factors in the perspective of consumers (company intending to receive consultation). Therefore, the consulting service suppliers, the consulting companies or individual consultants, shall make utmost efforts to accumulate the experience in similar projects or the consulting experience which has the biggest influence on the intention to receive consultation of the consulting consumers, especially like the SMEs or in developing capabilities as consultants with expertise in specific areas.
Keywords: Consultant’s Capabilities, Consultant Preference Factor, Intention to Receive Consultation, Conjoint Analysis, FISHBEIN Model