Evolution of External Consultant Involvement in Human Resource Management in Eastern Europe (1990-2007)

József Poór, Imola Józsa


This paper aims to analyze the evolution of Human Resources (HR) consulting in transitional economies of Eastern Europe (EE) from the political changes till the economic crisis (2008). This article provides insights into the specific socio-economic environment and HR practice of the region.  Following Markham's model (1999) we analyze specific characteristics of four typical ways of external consultant involvement: informative-becnhmarking, design, change and organizational learning consulting.  in this region. In general, before the political changes at the end of the 1980's, in most EE countries , consulting service was redendered by sector  research institutes, controlled by the state or by the different minsitries. Consulting approach in EE countries  were predominant similar to the school of scientific management. HR consulting hardly existed that time. Since changes in the regime's consulting linked to privatization, firm restructuring, and development has been developing significantly in all countries of the region. HR consulting underwent a significant development in the region.


Human Resources, Consulting, Eastern Europe


Alas,R. and Svetlik,I. (2004). ‘Estonia and Slovenia: building modern HRM using a dualist approach’, in Brewster,C., Mayrhofer,W., and Morley,M. (eds.), Human Resource Management in Europe: Evidence of Convergence? London; Elsevier.

Allee, V. (1997). ‘12 Principles of knowledge management’, Training & Development, 11: 71-74.

Amstrong, M. (1999). ‘Human Resource Management Practice’, London; Kogan Page.

Anderson, C. (1997),’Values-Based Management’ Academy of Management Executive, 4: 25-46.

Arah, J. (2006). ‘General Trends in Management Consulting in Central and Eastern Europe’ (Proceeding) Prague; FEACO-ESCO.

Curnow, B. and Reuvid, J. (2003). ‘The International Guide to Management Consultancy’ London, Kogan Page.

Brewster,C.,Mayrhofer,W. and Morley, M. (Eds.) (2004). ‘Human resource Management in Europe: Evidence of Convergence?’ Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann Publishers.

Budhwar, P.S. and Debrah, Y.A. (2001).’Human resource management in developing countries’ London; Routledge.

Burke, W.W. (1993). ‘Organizational Development: A Process Learning and Changing’ Reading (MA), Addison-Wesley.

Cakrt, M. (1993).’Management education in Eastern Europe: Toward mutual understanding’ Academy of Management Executive, 4: 63-68.

Clark. T. and Fincham, R. (2001). ‘Critical Consulting New Perspectives on the Management Advice Industry’ Oxford; Blackwell.

Claessens, S. and Djankov, S. (2002). ‘Privatization in Eastern Europe’, Journal of Public Economics, March: 307-324.

Cooley, M.S. (1994).’Selecting the Right Consultant’, HR Magazin, August: 100-103.

Cranet (2006).’Cranet Survey on Comparative Human Resource Management’, Cranfield; Cranfield University.

Cummings, T.G. and Worley, C.G. (1993). ‘Organization Development and Change’, St. Paul; West Publishing Co.,

Dowling, P.J. and Welch, D. E. (2004). ‘International Human Resource Management’, London; Thomson.

Drucker, P.F. (1979). ‘Why Management Consultant?’ in Zimmer, M. and Smiddy, H. (eds.) The Evolving Science of Management, New York; AMACOM.

Dudás, F.,Karoliny, M-né.,László, Gy.,Lévai, Z. and Poór,J. (eds.) (2003). ‘Introduction into Human Resource Management in Public Sector’, (In Hungarian) Budapest; Public Sector Institute..

Evans, A. (1977). ‘Benchmarking’ ,(In Hungarian) Budapest; Közgazdasági és Jogi Publishing Co.

Farkas, F. (2004). ‘Change Management’, (In Hungarian) Budapest; Közgazdasági és Jogi-Kerszöv Publishing Co..

FEACO (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007). ‘Survey of the European Management Consultancy Market’, Brussels; FEACO-Federation European Management Consulting Associations.

FEACO-SESMA (2004). ‘Building a Competitive Knowledge – Based European Economy The Role of Consultant’, (Conference Proceeding) Athens; FEACO-SESMA, 21-22 October.

FEACO- VTMSZ (2001).’Contribution of Management Consultants to the Development and Renewal of Emerging Countries of Europe’, Budapest, (Conference Proceedings) FEACO-VTMSZ, June 1st.

Fenn, D. (1994).’How to Distinguish Delphins from Sharks’, Personnel Management, August: 32-35.

Garvin, D. A. (1973).’Building a Learning Organization’, Harvard Business Review, July-August: 78-91.

Gross, A., Poór, J. and Roberson, M. (2003). ‘Management Consulting in Central Europe, An Overview’ C2M-Consulting to Management Journal, March: 33-39.

Gross, A. and Poór,J. (2008). ‘The Global Management Consulting Sector’ Business Economics, October: 69-78.

Gross,A., Holzblatt, M., Javalgi,R., Poór, J. and Solymossy,E. (2013). ‘Professional Occupations, Knowledge-Driven Firms, and Entrepreneurship: A National and Regional Analysis’ Business Economics, 4: 246-259.

Hiltrop, J-M.(1991).’Human Resources Practices of Multinational Organizations in Belgium’, European Management Journal, 4: 404-411.

I.W. (2004).’Relocation from Germany- International Comparison’, (In German) Köln (Cologne): Institute fürWeltwirtshaft.

Karoliny, M-ne .,Farkas, F., Laszlo, Gy.and Poor, J. (2003). ‘Human Resource Management’, Hungarian) Budapest, Közgazdasági és Jogi Kerszöv Publishing Co.

Kasagic, M. (2004).’Human capital as growth factor’, (Conference proceeding) Vienna; 2nd Symposium Central and Eastern Europe Connecting Corporate and Academic Group, 18-19 November.

Katz, D. and Kahn, R.L. (1978). ‘The Social Psychology of Organizations’, New York; John Wileyand Sons.

Kieser, A.(1995), Organizational Theories, (In Hungarian) Aula Publishing Co., Budapest.

Kindler J. (2002), “Rehabilitation of Emotions” (In Hungarian) In: Kocsi T. (Ed.), People based Economy, Válasz Publishing Co., Budapest.

Kipping,K. and Clarck,T.(2014), The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Kotter, P.J. (1999), Change management .(In Hungarian) Közgazdasági és Jogi-Kerszöv Publishing Co., Budapest.

Koubek, J. and Brewster, C. (1995).’Human resource management in turbulent times: HRM in the Czech Republic’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2: 223-247.

Koubek, J. and Vatckova, E. (2004).’Bulgaria and Czech Republic: Countries in Transition’, in Brewster, C.,Mayrhofer, W. and Morley, M., ‘Human Resource Management in Europe Evidence of Convergence?’, London; Elsevier.

Kubr, M. (1993): How to select and use consultants, a client’s guide, Geneva: International Labour Office.

Kubr, M. (1996). Management Consulting A Guide to the Profession, Geneva: International Labour Office.

Leonard-Barton, D. (1995). ‘Wellsprings of Knowledge’, Oxford; Harvard Business School Press.

Lewis, P.C.(2005). ‘How the East Was Won’, New York; Palgrave Macmillan.

Lewin, K. (1933). ‘A Dynamic Theory of Personality’, New York, McGraw-Hill Book.

Lewin, K. (1948).’Self-hatred among Jews. Resolving Social Conflicts’, New York; Harper and Row.

Lewin, K. (1973).’Force Field Analysis’, in Jones, J.E and Pfeiffer, J.W., Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators, San Diego.

Lippitt, G.and Lippitt, R. (1978).’The Consulting Process in Action’, LaJolla; University Associates Inc..

Maister, D. .H. (1993).’Managing the Professional Service Firm’,New York; Free Press.

Manolescu A. (2003). ‘Human Resource Management’, (In Romanian), Bucharest; Editura Economica.

Markham, C. (1999).’The Top Consultant’, London; Kogan Page.

Martensson, M. (2000).’A critical review of knowledge management as a tool’, Journal of Knowledge Management, 3; 204-216.

Mathis, R. L. and Jackson, J.H. (2003). ‘Human Resource Management’, Mason (OH); Thompson-Southwestern.

McCristy, N. (2002).’Creating a Learning Organization’, Office Solution Magazine. February: 26-29.

Mercer (2006). ‘Global Compensation Planning Report’, Geneva; Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Miles, I.,Coombes, R. and Metcalfe, S. (1999).’Services and Innovation Background’, Paper for the 6 Countries Programme Workshop, Manchester; 22-23 April.

Morgan, G. (1986). ‘Images of organization’, London, Sage.

Nadler, D. A. (1997). ‘Champions of Change’, San Francisco; Jossey-Bass.

Nidereicholz, Chr. (1996).’Management Consulting’ (In German) Münich; R. Oldenbourg.

OECD/LEED (2005). ‘Business Clusters: Promoting in Central and Eastern Europe’, Paris; OECD.

Pearce, J.L., Branyiczki, I.and Bakacsi, Gy. (1993).’Person Based Reward Systems Reward Practices in Reform Communist Organizations’ in: Maruyama (ed.), Management Reform in Eastern and Central Europe, Dartmouth.

Pfeffer, J.(1994). ‘Competitive Advantage through People’, Boston; Harvard Business School Press.

Piispanen-Krabbe, T. K. (1990). ‘Yankee Traders in the New Europe: Recent Experiences in the Eastern Bloc’, International Executive,3: 29-32.

Pléh Cs.,Kovács Gy. and Gulyás B. (2003).’Cognitive Neurology’,(In Hungarian) Budapest; Osiris Publishing Co..

Polanyi, M. (1967). ‘The tacit dimension’, Garden City; Anchor Publishing.

Poór,J. and Gross,A. (Eds.): Management Consultancy in an Eastern European Dimension. Budapest: Economic and Law Publishing House (Közgazdasági és Jogi Könyvkiadó – Kerszöv).

Poór J. and Roberson, M. (2003).’Global Development. Effectiveness of Human Resource Management at Hungarian Firms’(In Hungarian) Hungarian Management Review (Vezetestudomány) 1: 13-19.

Poór, J. (2006).’HR in transition – internationalization in Human Resource Management’,Budapest; MMPC Publishing Co..

Poor, J.,Roberson, M.and Gross, A. (2006).’Global Evolution: HR Effectiveness in Hungarian Companies at the Mid of the First Decade in 21st Century’, Berlin; (Conference Proceeding) VIIIth IFSAM Conference, September 28-30.

Poor, J., Gross, A., Farkas F., Roberson, M., Karoliny, Mne. and Susbauer, J. (2007). ‘Human Resource Management in Central Europe: Policies and Practieces’, (Conference Proceeding) San Francisco; IBEC Conference,January 4-7.

Porth, S. J. and McCall, J. (2001).’Contemporary Management Theory and Catholic Social Teaching: Similarities and Difference’, Review of Business, Fall: 8-16.

Schein, E.H. (1999). ‘Process Consultation’, Reading-MA, Addison-Wesley.

Schein, E. H. (2002).’Consulting: What Should it Mean?’, in Clark, T. and Fincham, R. ‘Critical Consulting’, Oxford; Blackwell Business.

Senge, P. M. (1990).’The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization’, New York; Doubleday-Currency.

Steele, F. (1975).’Consulting for Organizational Change’, Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press.

Sturdy,A. (2011). ‘Consultancy’s Consequences? A Critical Assessment of Management Consultancy’s Impact on Management’ British Journal of Management, 22: 517–530.

Sun, Q. (2003).‘Economic globalization affecting economic development of East&Asia‘, International Journal Asian Management:1-13.

Suntari, R. (2001).’Organizing for the New Economy’, CMA Management, 12.

Ulrich, D. (1997).’Human Resource Champions’, Boston; Harvard Business Review Book.

UN (2005).’ Unlocking Human Potential for Public Sector Performance’,New York, United Nations.

Vatchkova, E. (2001).’The Speed of Changes – Bulgarian Way to the Integrated European HRM. Vth Chemenitz Forum’, Human Resource Management in Transition, University Technology, Chemnitz, 21-23 March.

Vatchkova, E. (2004).’Competence-based Human Resource Management Training. HRM in a Knowledge Based Economy Ljubljana, 2-4 June.

Wood, D. (1985). ‘The Uses and Abuses of Personnel Consultants’, Personnel Management, October: 41.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The IEECA Press

ISSN 2328-8272 (print)   ISSN 2328-8280 (online)