This research is concerned with the client-consultant relationships viewed as an engagement and a two-sided relation between the client system and the consulting system with a focus on the consultant's role. A model for the system of the consultant's relations is constructed and applied to this study. This model highlights the factors included within the consultant's role as a member of an independent consulting system when it engages with the client system. The main objective of the study lies in tracing the sources of the forces and tensions encountered by both the client and the consultant at the consulting interface. The construction of the research model and its application were carried out according to the author's experience in research and consulting and the research field work. Two case studies of different types of consulting institutions are presented and utilized in developing the research themes. The first case which is about a commercial consultancy was developed as part of the research field work. The second is about a government consulting institution in which the author is a member. The consulting relations were also tackled from the point of view of clients and their perceptions and expectations of the consulting engagement. This was accomplished on the basis of field interviews with a number of clients. The major thesis of the research is on reflecting upon the history of the organizational culture and its impact on the individual behaviour as well as the practices of the organization itself. Part of the conclusion of the research is that the historical dimension of the system of the consulting relations, becomes an important factor in causing tensions and anxieties for the people in the organization in adapting to changing circumstances. The system of the consulting relations is viewed as a complex tension system for the parties concerned.
|Date of Award||1985|