Create more value for all: a human dignity oriented approach to consulting

Bal, P. Matthijs and De Jong, Simon (2017) Create more value for all: a human dignity oriented approach to consulting. In: Management consultancy insights and real consultancy projects. Routledge. ISBN 9781472479297


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This chapter explores how consultants may address societal and business challenges which have become increasingly more manifest since the economic crisis of 2008. These issues range from bankruptcies and corporate scandals to increased burnout amongst employees. We argue that in contrast to the contemporary utilitarian approach of perceiving people as instrumental to company goals and of focusing on the maximum amount of short-term profit for a select few, consultancy can be designed on the philosophy of humanism and human dignity so that it provides more value to all stakeholders. First, the concept of human dignity is introduced and we highlight that people should not be treated as means to an end, but rather as ends in themselves. Then, we argue that one practical way of achieving human dignity is to increase organizational democracy. Subsequently, the concepts of human dignity and organizational democracy are applied to three main phases of the consulting process, namely 1) entry, diagnosis, and planning 2) action, engagement, and delivery), and 3) evaluation and termination. The chapter ends by concluding that an inclusive, democratic way of running consultancy projects is likely to pay off in the long run, not only for employees and society, but also for companies and shareholders as well as consultants themselves, as it strengthens human and organizational capabilities to effectively manage the uncertain circumstances which characterize contemporary businesses and societies.

Keywords:Consulting, Dignity, Workplace democracy, Consulting process
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:24873
Deposited On:28 Oct 2016 09:14

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