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Title: Problems in practice : learning from experience in management consulting
Author: Lawday, G. D.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3605 8405
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2003
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One of the strengths of experiential learning in practice is the meaning that we give our actions and therefore our thinking. The inquiry is a reflective account involving participative research amongst 81 management consultants in which the author functions as a researcher and as a consultant. The research explores the subjective experiences of undertaking management consultancy and is concerned with the development of professional knowledge and practice. The researcher positions himself at the centre of the study as he examines the multiple ways in which management consultants reflect and learn as they undertake their practice. The principal aim is to assist the development of the researcher's own reflective practice, and to explore how learning from experience can enhance the way he undertakes management consulting. The researcher describes his own experiences within the research project and reflects upon the dynamics of management consultancy. He illustrates some of the mechanismst hat underlie client-consultantd ynamics and highlights some of the emotionally-chargedr elationshipst hat occur in client systems. The research involves the use of participatory approaches. During the inquiry the researcher reflects upon his own experience, attending to his feelings and values, and re-evaluates the experience in the light of interactions with a core group of the participants. His relationship to the research field and setting is that of immersion or "being fully there". An analysis is undertaken of the participants' psychological type and Learning Style preferences using data from self-report inventories. Comparisons are made with previous studies about consultants and change agents. A qualitative approach is considered for the study. This encourages interpretative human skills and is concerned with description and interpretation rather than with measurement and prediction. Two extended case studies using an Action Science methodology assist the reflective accounts amongst consultants, sponsors and clients, whose experiencesd rawd eeplyo n their personasl elvesi n rolep erformance. The researcher develops his own framework of learning from experience, by linking learning style with specific processes of reflection and reflexivity, and points the way towards a more reflexive approach in informing consultants' practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Experiential