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Investigating the Interactions that take Place Behind Closed Doors: An Insight into the Confidential Meetings Between Clients and Consultants

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Due to the nature of management consulting services, client-consultant interactions are central to success in consulting projects and subsequently in the development of long-term relationships. However, there is little research into the factors which positively and negatively affect client-consultant interactions. This paper presents the results from a participant observation experience, looking into the nature of client-consultant interactions and into the factors that can affect them. The paper concludes with the presentation of an integrative analytical framework summarising the key influencing factors. From an academic perspective, this investigation contributes to our understanding of client-consultant interactions, their power balances and the factors that can have a hindering and facilitating impact on them. The research also has managerial implications, both for consultants, as well as for client organisations, as it identifies the ways through which each party can have a facilitating impact on interactions and thus contribute to the success of the intervention.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2003

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