Achieving Balance in a Consultation Setting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper focuses on how clients’ perceptions of consultants’ motivation and behavior affect clients’ reactions to consultation. Eighty psychology students formed forty role-playing dyads. Each dyad played two types of consultation: person-oriented and problem-oriented. An analysis of “clients”’ post-consultation questionnaires showed that, in the problem-oriented situation, perception of typical person-oriented variables has the strongest effect on reaction and vice versa. Results suggested that clients demand a certain balance between personal support and understanding on the one hand, and expertise, guidance, and decisiveness on the other. When the situation is loaded with one element, clients’ reactions are determined by the presence of the other element. This phenomenon is discussed in relation to similar findings, especially in the area of leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-376
Number of pages11
JournalGroup and Organization Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1979


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