Article

Consultants And Clients From Constructivist Perspectives

Barbara Czarniawska and Carmelo Mazza

in The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199235049
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199235049.013.0021

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

 Consultants And Clients From Constructivist Perspectives

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This article focuses on (social) constructivist perspectives on management consulting. It notes that while this perspective has been considered as a marginal issue, it may also provide some answers to the question of if and how management consultants are helping their clients. It reviews the history of constructivism and then defines the constructivist perspective. The next section demonstrates how constructivism can help in understanding the relationship between consultants and clients. It then considers consultants as ‘merchants of meaning’ and identifies several current developments of the constructivist approach to consulting. This article ends with a discussion of ‘liminality’, which is a transition stage where usual prerogatives are suspended.

Keywords: constructivism; social constructivist perspectives; management consulting; constructivist perspective; consultant-client relationship; liminality

Article.  8629 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business Strategy

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