Consultant-client relationship: One of the secrets to effective organizational change?

Hila Chalutz Ben-Gal, Shay S. Tzafrir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: 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. Design/methodology/approach: 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. Findings: 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. Originality/value: The paper explores the link between individual and organizational levels in pursuing organizational change processes and attempts to clarify this link.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-679
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Change management
  • Management consulting
  • Organizational behavior
  • Organizational performance
  • Trust


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