Unpacking the client(s): Constructions, positions and client-consultant dynamics

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Unpacking the client(s): Constructions, positions and client-consultant dynamics. / Alvesson, Mats; Kärreman, Dan; Sturdy, Andrew; Handley, Karen.

I: Scandinavian Journal of Management, Vol. 25, Nr. 3, 2009, s. 253-263.

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Alvesson, Mats ; Kärreman, Dan ; Sturdy, Andrew ; Handley, Karen. / Unpacking the client(s): Constructions, positions and client-consultant dynamics. I: Scandinavian Journal of Management. 2009 ; Vol. 25, Nr. 3. s. 253-263.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Unpacking the client(s): Constructions, positions and client-consultant dynamics

AU - Alvesson, Mats

AU - Kärreman, Dan

AU - Sturdy, Andrew

AU - Handley, Karen

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Research on management consultancy usually emphasizes the rote and perspective of the consultants. Whilst important, consultants are only one element in a dynamic relationship involving both consultants and their clients. In much of the literature, the client is neglected, or is assumed to represent a distinct, immutable entity. In this paper, we argue that the client organisation is not uniform but is instead (like organisations generally) a more or less heterogeneous assemblage of actors, interests and inclinations involved in multiple and varied ways in consultancy projects. This paper draws upon three empirical cases and emphasizes three key aspects of clients in the context of consultancy projects: (a) client diversity, including, but not limited to diversity arising solely from (pre-)structured contact relations and interests; (b) processes of constructing 'the client' (including negotiation, conflict, and reconstruction) and the client identities which are thereby produced; and (c) the dynamics of client-consultant relations and how these influence the construction of multiple and perhaps contested client positions and identities. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

AB - Research on management consultancy usually emphasizes the rote and perspective of the consultants. Whilst important, consultants are only one element in a dynamic relationship involving both consultants and their clients. In much of the literature, the client is neglected, or is assumed to represent a distinct, immutable entity. In this paper, we argue that the client organisation is not uniform but is instead (like organisations generally) a more or less heterogeneous assemblage of actors, interests and inclinations involved in multiple and varied ways in consultancy projects. This paper draws upon three empirical cases and emphasizes three key aspects of clients in the context of consultancy projects: (a) client diversity, including, but not limited to diversity arising solely from (pre-)structured contact relations and interests; (b) processes of constructing 'the client' (including negotiation, conflict, and reconstruction) and the client identities which are thereby produced; and (c) the dynamics of client-consultant relations and how these influence the construction of multiple and perhaps contested client positions and identities. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KW - Management consultancy

KW - Client

KW - Projects

KW - Social construction

U2 - 10.1016/j.scaman.2009.05.001

DO - 10.1016/j.scaman.2009.05.001

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 253

EP - 263

JO - Scandinavian Journal of Management

JF - Scandinavian Journal of Management

SN - 0956-5221

IS - 3

ER -