Exploring the meaning for clients of the arts-related organisational consultancy offered by ABS: What are we doing here?

PhD Thesis

Trainor, Kay 2012. Exploring the meaning for clients of the arts-related organisational consultancy offered by ABS: What are we doing here? PhD Thesis University of East London Tavistock Clinic https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.3993
AuthorsTrainor, Kay
TypePhD Thesis

The purpose of this study is to explore the relational territory between the arts-related consultancy organisation ABS (not its actual name) and sixteen clients, during a period of six years. The company set out, at the start of this period, to explore the potential of bringing together the practice of consultants who used a Tavistock, or system psychodynamic approach, to organisational consultancy with the practice of artists whose aim was to promote or facilitate creativity. The motivation for the study was the frustration felt by the researcher (the co-founder and CEO of the company) and her colleagues that clients didn’t seem to take the work seriously and wanted to book ABS to do something other than the combination of consultancy and creativity being offered.
An approach based on Grounded Theory was developed and adapted to fit the specific kind of data used in the study – mainly the researcher’s own process notes, email communications with clients, and accounts of various sorts of meetings.
The study discovered a series of unconscious roles to which consultant, artist and client were assigned in this context – ultimately exploring a dynamic of three in which the consultant was excluded from a pair consisting of client and the artist in-the-mind of the client. The study explores the possibility that the partnership was set up unequally at ABS and this may have pre disposed the pair, of consultant and artist, to splitting - and played a part in attracting a particular set of clients, at a particular time, pre disposed to make use of such an unequal pairing. The potential for developing the dual technology originally imagined is re-examined in the light of these findings.
Accounts of consultancy in other contexts are reviewed. The researcher suggests that her whole context approach to assessing the work of her company is unusual and adds to the field a particular sort of account which differs from the more usual case study or review of themes in client organisations.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.3993
Publication dates
PrintJul 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Dec 2014
Publisher's version
Permalink -


Download files

  • 81
    total views
  • 171
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 3
    downloads this month

Export as