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Visits to the client when competing for new consulting contracts: sourcing information or influencing the client?

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Consulting firms (CFs) sell services on a project basis to many clients and must therefore continuously tender for new contracts. One frequently used strategy by CFs is to visit the clients in connection to the tenders. The reasons to the visits are: (1) to influence the client in his decision-making (e.g., marketing, bribing); and/or (2) to source information about the project so that a better proposal can be submitted. Using a unique database on individual export proposals submitted to emerging markets, which of these two reasons is the most important is examined empirically The estimations show that influencing the client dominates as explanation to the visits. Although it is not possible to determine whether this influence takes the form of bribing or marketing, all conditions necessary for bribes to occur are fulfilled.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI), Box 5501, S-114 85 Stockholm, Sweden, Email:

Publication date: 2003-09-20

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