In English

Informalities and the Consultant’s Value Contribution to the Client Organization Adapting to the client’s internal structures as an external consultant

Johan Moisander ; Måns Lundberg
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2018. 76 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, 2018.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

When approaching the client organization as an external consultant informal factors are often causes of great ambiguity. Informal factors can in many ways affect the consultant’s value contribution to the client organization (CVCCO), and this study aims to enable deeper understanding of the concept of informal factors and the efficient management of said factors. Stepping off in established theory the researchers construct a theoretical framework based on the limited available research on informal factors from the consultant perspective, as well as general work on consultancy, organizational behavior and corporate political behavior. Interviewing thirteen management consultants, from six different firms and with different levels of experience, a set of empirical data was gathered. Through iterative data processing, patterns were found, and then analyzed with the help of the theoretical framework. These patterns let the researchers find generally applicable approaches to assist consultants in understanding and managing informal factors more efficiently. This analysis led to the development of a set of definitions of informal concepts. By introducing a new application of the term informalities, functioning as a contextually dependent term to use when discussing surrounding concepts, and through reinterpreting existing definitions, this study contributes towards generalizing a situationally and contextually dependent subject. Delving deeper into informalities the researchers clarify ambiguous informal concepts while providing the consultant with tools to better their own process of understanding informalities in the client organization. The paper explores the different ways informalities may affect CVCCO, predominately negative effects but also a few opportunities to positively affect CVCCO by utilizing certain informalities. Furthermore, several approaches for consultants to manage informalities are established and overviewed, providing specific contextual applicability to help the consultant select an appropriate approach when encountering informal factors in the client organization. The main conclusions of this study are: Informalities are always present in every organization. These informalities are likely to have an impact on CVCCO, therefore there is a risk in ignoring them. The way that the external consultant manages informalities in the client organization is an area where consultants have room for improvement. The junior consultant has a comparatively limited understanding of informalities, especially informal communication channels and corporate political activity compared to a senior consultant.

Nyckelord: Informal organization, informal hierarchy, external consultant, client relationship, informalities, consultant value contribution, corporate politics



Publikationen registrerades 2018-07-02. Den ändrades senast 2018-07-02

CPL ID: 255395

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