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Title: The utilisation of social and behavioural science through consulting
Author: Hendry, Christopher N.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3553 211X
Awarding Body: Sheffield City Polytechnic
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1985
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The thesis is concerned with organisational consulting, and the 'theories' which guide social and behavioural consultants in what they do. To preserve the 'integrity of the phenomena' the research has utilised an interviewing methodology to obtain accounts which reveal 'personal theories'. The aim has been to achieve an adequate phenomenology of consultants' ideas, rooted in their personal lives and organisational role situations, and not just to treat consultancy as the disembodied application of skills and knowledge. Consultants' ideas and practices can thereby be viewed in relation to their role-contexts, and can be seen as adapted to specific operating situations, particularly in the comparison of internal,commercial and academic consultants. Thus far, the study makes a substantive contribution to the understanding of social consultancy by locating ideas and practices in role circumstances. But such consultants are also ah occupational group, sharing a common role-context. The role is the product of wider organisational and societal processes. Beyond the specific slant given by differences in their immediate work-role, therefore, there appear common features in their working models. Two paradigms, the negotiative and systems, are identified and analysed as projections of consultants' role experiences which were also functional for clients, insofar as they developed the cohesion of managers as a group and their capacity to cope with problems facing organisations in the period 1960-79. Ideas and practices are thus viewed, ideologically, in relation to an historical period and social formation. By considering consultants' ideas, as ideology, in relation to their market situation (expressed in role) we confront a central question in social theory - the relation between ideas and the material structures and processes of society. At this point the study therefore attempts to connect the sociology of knowledge directly with the theory of ideology, and to make a substantive contribution to each.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Management consultation