This book compares the approaches of consultants and academic advisers and provides an in-depth analysis of their advice argumentation. Both compete on the market for economic advice, with consultants enjoying a larger market share and usually obtaining higher fees. However, academics criticize them for overcharging, shallowness, and quick-and-dirty methods. So, are consultants’ clients misled or even cheated? Not necessarily. The book reveals that academics have drawbacks as well; their arguments are less balanced than those of consultants and their estimates contradict each other more.
Economic Advice and Rhetoric argues that clients should be cautious, challenging academics to reconsider their understanding of consulting practices. Onno Bouwmeester illustrates that the instrumental concept of academic advice as assumed by mainstream economists and policy scientists does not guide the practice of academic advisers and thus creates wrong expectations. He deconstructs the current understanding of academic advice, and counters the view held by critical academics that consultants’ rhetoric is misleading by comparing it to the rhetoric of academics.
This rhetorical analysis will be informative to academics and advisors with an interest in the subject of consulting. Students aiming to become consultants, as well as consultants who want to learn more about academic advisers as their competitors, will also find this book an invaluable resource.