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date: 14 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on (social) constructivist perspectives on management consulting. It notes that while this perspective has been considered as a marginal issue, it may also provide some answers to the question of if and how management consultants are helping their clients. It reviews the history of constructivism and then defines the constructivist perspective. The next section demonstrates how constructivism can help in understanding the relationship between consultants and clients. It then considers consultants as ‘merchants of meaning’ and identifies several current developments of the constructivist approach to consulting. This article ends with a discussion of ‘liminality’, which is a transition stage where usual prerogatives are suspended.

Keywords: constructivism, social constructivist perspectives, management consulting, constructivist perspective, consultant-client relationship, liminality

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