AR3026 Professional Service Firm: Management and Excellence Syllabus:

AR3026 Professional Service Firm: Management and Excellence Syllabus – Anna University Regulation 2021


 To introduce the idea of profession, professional and professional service firm.
 To introduce the key areas of attention involved in a professional service firm.
 To inform about ways to maximise the potential of human resource for individual, organisational and societal benefit.
 To give familiarity about the different ways to protect ideas and knowledge.
 To introduce the idea of reflective practice to enable lifelong learning and professional excellence.


Definition of profession and professional. Attributes of a profession- unique body of knowledge, standards of entry, code of ethics, service orientation to the profession, sanctioning organisation. Professional service firm. Differences between a professional service firm and business firm, manufacturing firm and other services firm. Brief outline of aspects involved in a professional service firm – ethical and professional vision of firm, legal foundation of firm, form of organisation, organisational structure, financial strategies, project implementation, client relationship, professional conduct, human resource practices, team work, leadership, nurturing of key competencies, innovation and excellence, perception of firm by clientele and public, future vision.


Need to understand external environment and internal working. Client attraction, responding to clients needs, service and retention/relationship management. Conflicts of interest. Relational versus transactional services. Role of reputation/legitimacy. Professional values, attitude and skill development. Professional socialisation and acquiring of knowledge and values related to the profession. Role of mentorship. Managing career transitions. Global expansion of professional services. Managing across cultures. Multidisciplinary practices. Developing key competencies, creating value through innovation and excellence.
Literature and live case studies of architectural consulting firms to understand the above.


Importance of skills and sensitivity in working as teams and organisations. Human performance and capabilities. Importance of human resources management at the individual, organisational and societal levels. Individual behaviour and organisational behaviour. Perception, attitude, values, morals, ethics, responsibilities. Communication process and information management. Group behaviour and teams. Role of effective leadership. Motivation concepts and processes. Conflict management. Stress management. Transactional analysis. Leadership in professional service firms. Challenges of building a high performance team of professionals.


Introduction to intellectual property rights (IPR). Processes involved in IPR. Introduction to patents and patent laws. Procedure for obtaining a patent licensing and assignment of patent. Infringement of Patents. Concept of Copyright. Assignment/ registration of Copyright. Copyright Infringement and Remedies. Concept of Industrial Designs. Registration of Designs. Piracy of registered designs and remedies.


Reflective practice as approach to enable professionals use their knowledge explicitly in practical situations, combine action and learning effectively, give flexibility and openness to innovate and evolve. Concept of Reflective Practice. Approaches to address problems. Theory in Use and Espoused Theory. Reflective practice as thinking in action. Ways of generating knowledge to solve issues and problems- Experimentation, Speculation, Imagination, Scientific Method, Statistical Analysis, cycle SECI, Modelling, Mental models and virtual worlds. Framing (tacit framing, Analysing and understanding assumptions and values, reframing, paradigm shifts), Conceptual innovation,
Design. New democratic, collaborative and innovative approaches to reflective practice. Social enterprises and entrepreneurship. Literature case studies and first hand studies of practices in different creative disciplines, including architecture, in the above topics.


1. Ceasar McDowell, Claudia Canepa, and Sebastiao Ferriera, ‘Reflective Practice: An Approach for Expanding Your Learning Frontiers’. MIT Course No. 11.965,As Taught in January IAP 2007, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.
2. David H. Maister, ‘Managing the Professional Service Firm’, Free Press, 1997.
3. Donald A. Schon, ‘The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think In Action’, Basic Books, 1984.
4. Reddy T.S. and Murthy, ‘Financial Accounting’, Margham Publications, Chennai, 2012


1. Jagat Trivedi, ‘IIM: Insights Into Managing: A Must Read for Leaders, Managers, Aspiring Managers, Students, and Entrepreneurs’, Outskirts Press, 2013.