Farm management consultants' Modus operandi: Case studies in the South Island of New Zealand
The objective of this thesis is to describe and analyse the farm management consultants' modus operandi in the South Island of New Zealand. Using the "Grounded Theory" qualitative research method, seventeen consultants were interviewed to derive hypotheses on methods used by farm management consultants to operate their businesses and advise their clients. The results showed that to be successful in the profession, consultants should have credibility, trustworthiness, accountability and sound technical knowledge. Farm management consultancy is a very demanding profession requiring sound professional and personal skills, including good communication skills and an ability to work with people. For new consultants, the process of entering the profession is difficult until a good reputation is established. The most common profile of successful consultants is a farming background, an agriculture-related university degree, followed by joint consultancy work to gain experience. Consultants attempt to establish a long-term relationship with a portfolio of clients in their area of expertise. A typical professional relationship with a new client begins with a phone call for an appointment. The visit begins by obtaining background information, a farm inspection, and discussion of possible alternatives for management problems. Final decisions are made by the client, and the consultant may write a summary at the end of the visit. With traditional clients, the consultant becomes more involved in the whole family and business operation, so the exposure to management problems is longer and the timing of the visits or contacts can be set up in advance. Office work may include report writing and the provision of advice over the telephone and by fax. The most common equipment and business aids used are described, as well as the sources of information, and the methods used to keep up-to-date with technical and managerial information.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsagriculture; farm consultancy; farm advice; farm management; farm management consultants; New Zealand; grounded theory
Access RightsDigital thesis can be viewed by current staff and students of Lincoln University only. If you are the author of this item, please contact us if you wish to discuss making the full text publicly available.
Staff/student login to read