Resources Platform for Management Consultants

The Client-Consultant Relationship

Process Consultation

Published by:



Process consultation revisited: Building the helping relationship,


Schein EH


The Reflective Practitioner

Published by:

Basic Books

The reflective practitioner. How professionals think in action,


Schon D

Consultancy as the Management of Impressions

Published by:


Managing consultants: Consultancy as the management of impressions,


Clark T

Management Consultancy: a Handbook 

Published by:


Management consultancy: a handbook for best practice,


Mulligan J, Barber P

Classics of Organization Theory

Published by:

Cengage Learning

Classics of organization theory (chapter 5)


Shafritz J, Ott J, Jang Y


Chapter 5 is an excellent review of how system theory applies to corporate organizations and in which respects consultants can most fairly be perceived as outsiders at the start of a project



Turner AN (1982) Consulting is more than giving advice, Harvard Business Reviews, 60(5): 120-129.


Appelbaum SH, Steed AJ (2005) The critical success factors in the client-consulting relationship, Journal of Management Development, 24: 68-93.


Mulligan J, Barber P (2001) The client-consultant relationship, In: Management consultancy: a handbook for best practice, Kogan, London (UK)


Chelliah J, Davis D (2011) What Clients Really Want from Management Consultants: Evidence from Australia, JIMS, 6: 22-30.


Glückler J, Armbrüster T (2003) Bridging uncertainty in management consulting: The mechanisms of trust and networked reputation, Organization Studies, 24(2): 269-297 


Drucker PF (1979) Why management consultants? In The Evolving Science of Management, Melvin Z, Greenwood RG, Amacom, New York


Schein EH (1978) The role of the consultant: content expert or process facilitator? The Personnel and Guidance Journal, 56(6): 339-343.


French WL, Bell CH (1998) Issues in Consultant-Client Relationships, In: Organizational Development 6th Ed, Prentice Hall, New Jersey


Nikolova N, Devinney T (2012) The Nature Of Client–Consultant Interaction: A Critical Review, In The Oxford handbook of management consulting, Clark T, Kipping M, Oxford University Press, Oxford


Nees DB, Greiner LE (1986) Seeing behind the look-alike management consultants, Organizational Dynamics, 13(3): 68-79.


Tomenendal M (2007) The Consultant-Client Interface – A Theoretical Introduction to the Hot Spot of Management Consulting, Institute of Management Berlin, 31, Berlin School of Economics, Berlin


Jespersen LC (2009) Client-Consultant Relationships – An analysis of the client role from the client’s perspective, MS Thesis, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen


Tilles S. (1961) Understanding the consultants role, Harvard Business Review, 39(6): 87-99.


(Alvesson M (1993) Organizations as Rhetoric: Knowledge-Intensive Firms and the Struggle with Ambiguity, Journal of Management Studies, 30(6): 997-1015.


Werr A, Styhre A (2002) Management consultants: friend or foe? Understanding the ambiguous client-consultant relationship, International Studies of Management & Organization, 32(4): 43-66.


Wright C, Kitay J (2002) But does it work? Perceptions of the impact of management consulting, Strategic Change, 11(5): 271-278


Nikolova N, Devinney TM (2009) Influence and power dynamics in client-consultant teams, Journal of Strategy and Management, 2(1): 31-55.


Clark T, Salaman G (1998) Creating the right impression: towards a dramaturgy of management consultancy, Service Industries Journal, 18(1): 18-38.


Tseganoff  L (2011) Benefit and best practices of management consulting, IMC Jordan, Institute of management Consultants and Trainers, Jordan


Schein EH (1997) The concept of client from a process consultation perspective, Journal of

Organizational Change Management, 10(3): 202-16.


Heller F (2002) What next? More critique of consultants, gurus and managers, In: Critical consulting: New perspectives on the management advice industry, Blackwell, Malden (MA)


Kieser A (2002) Managers as marionettes? Using fashion theories to explain the success of consultancies, In: Management consulting: Emergence and dynamics of a knowledge industry, Oxford University Press, Oxford


Simon A, Kumar V (2001) Clients' views on strategic capabilities which lead to management consulting success, Management Decision, 39(5): 362-372.


Vogl AJ (1999) Consultants... in their clients’ eyes, Across the Board, 36(8): 26-32.


Fullerton J, West MA (1996) Consultant and Client Working Together? Journal of Managerial Psychology, 11(6): 40-49.


Bergholz H (1999) Do More Than Fix My Company: Client's Hidden Expectations, Journal of Management Consulting, 10(4): 29-33.


AMCF Code of Ethics (2015) Association of Management Consulting Firms, AMCF


IMC USA Code of Ethics (2012) Institute of Management Consultants USA, IMC USA


David T (2014) Your Elevator Pitch Needs an Elevator Pitch, Harvard Business Reviews Blog, December 30