Unpacking the Client(s): Constructions, Positions and Client-Consultant Dynamics
AbstractIncreasing attention is being given to professional services in organisation and management theory. Whether the focus is on organisational forms or service processes such as knowledge transfer, the role of clients is often seen as central. However, typically, clients continue to be presented in a largely static, pre-structured and even monolithic way. While some recognition is given to the diversity of organisational clients and, to a lesser extent, individual clients, little attention has been given to the process by which 'the client' is actively constructed, negotiated and contested by actors. This process generates changing and multiple client positions according to different interpretive logics. Drawing on different research projects on management consultancy, we argue that what is meant by the client cannot be taken for granted. Rather, the notion of 'the client' is (inter)actively-produced, dynamic and potentially heterogeneous. This has implications for our understanding of management consultancy and professional services as well as client-consultant dynamics, including ways in which they share knowledge, develop relationships and engage in project activities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Lund University, Institute of Economic Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006/6.
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 20 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
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management consultancy; clients; constructions; professional services;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-10-07 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Schein, Edgar H., 1997. "The concept of client from a process consultation perspective : a guide for change agents," Working papers WP 3946-97., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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