Consultant Peter Block defines a consultant as « someone who has influence over an individual, group, or organization, but who has no direct authority to implement changes ». He contrasts this with a surrogate manager, who is a person who « acts on behalf of, or in place of, a manager ». The key difference is that a consultant never makes decisions for the individual or group, whereas a surrogate manager does make decisions. Consultancy UK defines the role as providing « professional or expert advice in a particular field of science or business to either an organisation or individual ».

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