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Consultant‐client relationship: one of the secrets to effective organizational change?

Hila Chalutz Ben‐Gal (Haifa University, Haifa, Israel)
Shay S. Tzafrir (Haifa University, Haifa, Israel)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 30 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the link between interpersonal and organizational factors in consultant‐client relationships and their contribution to the effectiveness of an organizational change process.


The authors designed two studies in order to gain insightful information, both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Study 1 is composed of semi‐structured one‐on‐one interviews conducted with pairs of clients and consultants. Study 2 is designed as a quantitative study and is a direct expansion of study 1. The sample, conducted between the years 2002 and 2007, is composed of departments within organizations that underwent an organizational change process, in which external consultants took part.


The authors found that a high level of commitment to change has a positive effect on the successful implementation of organizational change as a whole. Also, high levels of dyadic trust in the consultant‐client relationship result in higher levels of consultant commitment to the change process. Finally, consultant commitment to change partially mediates the relationship between trust and successful implementation of organizational change.


The paper explores the link between individual and organizational levels in pursuing organizational change processes and attempts to clarify this link.



Chalutz Ben‐Gal, H. and Tzafrir, S.S. (2011), "Consultant‐client relationship: one of the secrets to effective organizational change?", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 24 No. 5, pp. 662-679.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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