Advanced

Squishy constructions. A critical study on the ‘client’ in the client-consultant relationship

Jansson, Anna Emilia and Kjellqvist, Elisabet (2011)
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Purpose: To gain a deeper understanding of consultancy by 1) emphasising the role of the client and 2) highlighting the paradoxical and dynamic nature of the client, as a discursive construction process made by consultants. Design/methodology/approach: The research is based on a performative approach to language and in depth interviews with 16 consultants serve as an empirical illustration of consultants’ discursive client constructions. Additionally, a review of existing literature gives further supports for the need to emphasise the importance and the ambiguous nature of client. Findings: The paper argues that 1) consultants construct clients using paradoxical accounts 2) paradoxes can be seen as a resource which enables the... (More)
Purpose: To gain a deeper understanding of consultancy by 1) emphasising the role of the client and 2) highlighting the paradoxical and dynamic nature of the client, as a discursive construction process made by consultants. Design/methodology/approach: The research is based on a performative approach to language and in depth interviews with 16 consultants serve as an empirical illustration of consultants’ discursive client constructions. Additionally, a review of existing literature gives further supports for the need to emphasise the importance and the ambiguous nature of client. Findings: The paper argues that 1) consultants construct clients using paradoxical accounts 2) paradoxes can be seen as a resource which enables the client-consultant relationship 3) the client-consultant relationship is better understood as viewing the client as a construction process the construction process reveals more about than the client construction itself does. Research limitations/implications: Understanding the client as a construction process made by the consultants will further the understanding of the client-consultant relationship and thereby consultancy as a phenomenon.
Practical implications: Practitioners are able to deeper their understanding of their own work and accept paradoxical client constructions as a resource and not a constraint. Originality/value: Proposes a hitherto neglected way of viewing the client as multifaceted, dynamic and discursive construction process, and thus contributing to balancing out the current power disequilibrium in critical management literature favouring studies on consultants. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Jansson, Anna Emilia and Kjellqvist, Elisabet
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Management of enterprises, paradoxes, client construction, performative approach to language, Consultancy, client-consultant relationship, Företagsledning, management
language
Swedish
id
1981325
date added to LUP
2011-05-23
date last changed
2012-04-02 18:47:49
@misc{1981325,
  abstract     = {Purpose: To gain a deeper understanding of consultancy by 1) emphasising the role of the client and 2) highlighting the paradoxical and dynamic nature of the client, as a discursive construction process made by consultants. Design/methodology/approach: The research is based on a performative approach to language and in depth interviews with 16 consultants serve as an empirical illustration of consultants’ discursive client constructions. Additionally, a review of existing literature gives further supports for the need to emphasise the importance and the ambiguous nature of client. Findings: The paper argues that 1) consultants construct clients using paradoxical accounts 2) paradoxes can be seen as a resource which enables the client-consultant relationship 3) the client-consultant relationship is better understood as viewing the client as a construction process the construction process reveals more about than the client construction itself does. Research limitations/implications: Understanding the client as a construction process made by the consultants will further the understanding of the client-consultant relationship and thereby consultancy as a phenomenon.
Practical implications: Practitioners are able to deeper their understanding of their own work and accept paradoxical client constructions as a resource and not a constraint. Originality/value: Proposes a hitherto neglected way of viewing the client as multifaceted, dynamic and discursive construction process, and thus contributing to balancing out the current power disequilibrium in critical management literature favouring studies on consultants.},
  author       = {Jansson, Anna Emilia and Kjellqvist, Elisabet},
  keyword      = {Management of enterprises,paradoxes,client construction,performative approach to language,Consultancy,client-consultant relationship,Företagsledning,management},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Squishy constructions. A critical study on the ‘client’ in the client-consultant relationship},
  year         = {2011},
}