The Drivers of the Client-consultant Relationship: Reflections from Consultants

By Omar Belkhodja.

Published by Knowledge Management: An International Journal

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This paper investigates how consultants perceive their roles and contributions within client organizations. Series of interviews were conducted; that comprised of consultants with various professional backgrounds (e.g. change management, information technology, etc.) from the province of Quebec. The consultants were asked to comment on issues relating to their roles in the consultancy project and the determinants of success of the client-consultant relationship. Interview data were analyzed using an interpretive frame. The research findings reveal that consultants perceive their contribution and role positively and perceive themselves as change agents and knowledge transmitters. A long-term relationship built on trust and active communication is identified as the major determinant of success of the client-consultant relationship. The qualitative findings of the study add to, and help to support, earlier research findings on the question of how consultants perceive their roles and contributions within client organizations.

Keywords: Change Management, Consultancy, Role Theory, Qualitative Research

Knowledge Management: An International Journal, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp.61-79. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 412.617KB).

Dr. Omar Belkhodja

Assistant Professor of Management, Management Department, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

My teaching interests are varied and focus on these areas: organizational strategy, international business and international management, organizational behavior, human resource management, and knowledge management. My research interests include: foreign direct investment mechanisms in developing countries, knowledge management inside organizations, knowledge utilization and transfer and knowledge management, strategies of innovation and technical transfer in SMEs, organizational behavior, and collaboration between university, industry and government. I have published several articles in journals such as Science Communication, Social Science & Medicine, and Scientometrics.