Manifestations of Cognitive Legitimation in the Client Consultant Relationship

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This paper examines manifestations of cognitive legitimation in the client-consultant relationship. The client organizational setting and the consultant proposed contribution is situated within a cognitive paradigm in which experienced challenges are contrasted against proposed recommendations/solutions. Organizational needs and proposed solutions are reduced into mental a paradigm comprised of socio-cognitive constructs that dominate the social exchange. The clients’ reason for conformity into a proposed course of action is underpinned by cognitive associations about envisaged outcomes which cannot be tested until they have been materialised. This paper makes an afresh contribution to the literature by demonstrating a two stage process of cognitive legitimation. The first stage concerns the perceived alignment between means and outputs. Here, cognitive legitimation happens on basis of demonstrating a convincing manipulation of resources for achieving outcomes. The second stage concerns the consultants’ demonstration of managing risk and implications on the assumptions that the desired changes were implemented. Here the proposed solutions are judged against internally situated interests and reactions. Cognitive legitimation occurs when there is conformity to a mental state that shifts the clients’ original position.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication29th EGOS Colloquium, 2013
Place of PublicationCanada
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2013
Event29th EGOS Colloquium, 2013 - Montreal, Canada, July 4–6, 2013
Duration: 5 Aug 2013 → …


Conference29th EGOS Colloquium, 2013
Period5/08/13 → …


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