Flourishing relationships with consulting clients

DProf thesis

Davis, R. 2017. Flourishing relationships with consulting clients. DProf thesis Middlesex University / Ashridge Business School Business School
TypeDProf thesis
TitleFlourishing relationships with consulting clients
AuthorsDavis, R.

Some relationships go quite well - others less well. In this dissertation I explore consulting relationships that flourish and how such a bond develops between consultant and client. I distil the essence of my and some other practising consultants’ experience of flourishing relationships using transcendental phenomenological methods. Unlike quantitative analysis, the description obtained in this way retains the complexity of our experience and I present it as a series of dialogues, mirroring the form of the conversations from which it was drawn.
In the flourishing consulting relationships I researched, I found firstly that consultant and client mark out some fundamental common ground they have with one another in terms of their beliefs, interests and behaviours. They check that something is at stake that both value. While they do so, they discover ways to mutually engage, to let each other in. They came to like, respect, trust and feel accepted by one another. They enter into each other’s emotions and perspectives, empathising deeply with the other. Neither feels superior. They become energised about what they are doing. They maintain a strong sense of personal connection despite the peaks and troughs experienced thereafter.
Then, as a partnership develops, they become a dyadic unit, one in spirit. They co-own their project, embedded together in it. They ask for and value each other’s opinions, given honestly. They feel responsible for one another. They share the work, their skills and experience synergised. Finally, operating as a team, they are able to act in concert as they engage with the outside world to further the purpose of the assignment that brought them together. They have a common purpose, aim, plot and script, within which they can both improvise.
A summary description of the phenomenon is presented, accompanied by diagrams showing the underlying structures. I apply my findings to my own practice and reflect on how they help me, what I have learned about myself and how I relate to others, and the contribution I hope my inquiry makes to knowledge.
A paper summarising this dissertation has been published in the peer-reviewed Work Based Learning e-Journal international, published by Middlesex University (Davis, 2015).

Research GroupWork and Learning Research Centre
Department nameBusiness School
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Ashridge Business School
Publication dates
Print08 Feb 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Feb 2018
Accepted11 Apr 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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