Understanding the Dynamics Between Consulting Teams and Client Systems

Edited Book Chapter

Title: Understanding the Dynamics Between Consulting Teams and Client Systems
Year: 1991
Author Krantz, J., & Gilmore, T.

Consultants are faced with the need to frame problems and design interventions on the basis of extremely limited data about their client systems. (The discussion here is mostly concerned with social consultation, that is, understanding and intervening in the social system. However, the distinction between technical and social consultation is far from distinct because both require human collaboration. Designing and implementing even the most technical of interventions depends on the receptivity of the client system, an effective implicit theory of the social system, and an appropriate problem formulation. Often, the acceptance of a "technical" frame in the presenting problem is itself a form of collusion between client and consultant to steer away from more difficult, anxiety-laden aspects of a problematic situation.) Information is distorted and efforts toward change are often undermined by implicit and unrecognized forces that

emerge in the course of an intervention. Rice (1963, p. 274) illustrates this point: "What appears on the surface as a simple organizational problem may often be found to have underlying deep-seated and largely unrecognized emotional conflicts…."

Keywords: organizational consultation, unconsicous processes, social system, technical system, anxiety, Rice, Menzies
Language: English

Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Publisher Location: San Francisco
Editors: Manfred Kets de Vries and Associates
Title of Book:
Start page: 307
End page: 330

Submitted by:
James Krantz

Corresponding author:

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