On the construction of problems and solutions in the client-consultant relationship

Stefan Heusinkveld*, Klaasjan Visscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperAcademic

Abstract

In this paper we examine the way problems and solutions are constructed in a client-consultant relationship. Consultants play a prominent role in the supply of new and fashionable organization concepts on the market for management solutions, but it is still unclear how they use these concepts in their assignments within client organizations. Drawing on the work of Schön, this study shows that, unlike current conceptualizations, consultants do neither regard the construction of problems and solutions as predetermined by these concepts nor as an entirely unstructured and open-ended effort. More specifically, our analysis identifies several key factors related to the client, the problem situation and the consultant's background that determine the variety of possible routes in the way problems and solutions are constructed during consulting assignments. We believe this has some notable implications for any theoretical treatment of the client-consultant relationship and the role of new concepts and methods in this.

Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006
Event66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2006 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: 11 Aug 200616 Aug 2006

Conference

Conference66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2006
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA
Period11/08/0616/08/06

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