Title: Let's go to lunch!: informal client contacts by consultants in the UK

Authors: Yvette Taminiau, Liselore Berghman

Addresses: Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Organization Science, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands. ' Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Organization Science, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: This exploratory study describes the importance of informal client contacts for consultants in the UK. From the consultant|s perspective it is crucial to build a trustful and deep relationship with clients in order to ensure long-term survival of their firms. This is done through a strategic use of informal activities (such as enjoying sports together or a cultural event) and settings (lunches, restaurants and pubs). Based on interview data of consultants in the UK, this study shows consultants| perspectives on how they have to move smoothly in informal spaces although this can sometimes result in unsettling situations.

Keywords: consultancy; consultant-client relations; informal client contacts; business lunches; UK consultants; United Kingdom; trust; informal activities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2010.034880

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2010 Vol.4 No.2, pp.194 - 211

Available online: 26 Aug 2010 *

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