Transitions of Client Uniformity and Diversity

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This paper examines the nature of consulting interventions and their impact on producing transitory accounts of identity ‘uniformity’ and ‘diversity’ in the client. Despite the growing emphasis in the literature for understanding the different stakeholders comprising the client, little is known about the reasons for which transitions of client identity can exercise impact on the consulting engagement. The paper contributes to this research gap by showing that identity uniformity and diversity remain a transient process regulated by the intensity for achieving a desired state of change. Large transformative projects, like mergers, become an attractive means for introducing uniformity through long-term consulting initiatives. Such initiatives seek to detach the organization’s corporate needs from the individual members’ interpersonal agendas which might be perceived as obstacle to the making of corporate progress. This paper shows that even though client identity might be temporary subdued by the making of improvement initiatives it is nevertheless not transformed. Instead, clients develop identity clusters that come into direct collision with consulting efforts to produce uniformity. Such outcome is triggered by the client’s protectiveness over those social traits which sustain their identity and distinguish them from the organization. The paper advances the literature on client identity and identification by demonstrating how the intensity for change as supported by consulting activity creates a dual predisposition for uniformity but also diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication30th EGOS Colloquium
Place of PublicationRotterdam
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2015
Event30th EGOS Colloquium - Rotterdam, 3-5 July 2014
Duration: 5 Jul 2015 → …


Conference30th EGOS Colloquium
Period5/07/15 → …


  • client
  • identity
  • consultants
  • change
  • transition


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