"You call it a structure taboo!" : Relating consultant experiences to changing dynamics in healthcare

Antonie van Nistelrooij, Thijs Homan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive reflective perspective on the effects of an intervention in a healthcare organization, as experienced by a consultant. What does a consultant experience when things flounder?

Design/methodology/approach: This paper applies a complex responsive process approach as a research perspective and autoethnography as a method to better understand the tensions of a consultant in interacting with members of a client-system.

Findings: Focusing on the experiences of the first author during his work as a consultant in a healthcare institution. This approach contributes to the literature by providing a witness, rather than an aboutness, perspective on the experiences of a consultant during a completely unexpected event.

Research limitations/implications: This paper is limited by looking at one case in the public sector. It should be considered as exploratory research.

Originality/value: The paper can be of value to consultants who are working as a facilitator, as well as to management scholars and practitioners in the field of change management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-193
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2019


  • Management consultancy
  • Organizational autoethnography
  • Organizational change
  • Unexpected developments in change projects


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