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Conflicts of client commitment for independent consultants

Conflicts of client commitment for independent consultants
Conflicts of client commitment for independent consultants
As the world of work changes, individuals are able to form bonds of commitment to a range of increasingly diverse targets (Meyer, 2009). Committing to multiple targets and the interaction of these targets can be seen as conflicting, synergistic or compensatory (Johnson, Groff, & Taing, 2009). There are questions as to how these interactions arise, are experienced and can be resolved (Becker, 2016; Becker, Klein, & Meyer, 2009). Using the conceptualisation of Klein, Molloy, and Brinsfield (2012) we present the findings of a qualitative study of 50 independent consultants and freelance knowledge workers that used critical incidents to investigate interactions in client commitment. These individuals exist outside of an organisational employer-employee relationship and through the lens of liminality we see that the freedom of self-employment can create a conflict between the targets of commitment. We identify 3 main bases for the conflict and offer 4 ways of managing derived from our empirical material. This enables us to contribute to the literature on the dynamic interaction of commitment to multiple targets and extend commitment theory in a nonstandard but increasingly common context where theory on organisational commitment becomes 'muddled' and doesn't quite 'stack up' (Gallagher & McLean Parks, 2001).
commitment, Conflict, consultancy, self-employment
Cross, David
a240c578-1f07-45d8-b2f5-a61d71ec061d
Swart, Juani
a9474956-09f1-4faf-a612-61c7670dcbc9
Cross, David
a240c578-1f07-45d8-b2f5-a61d71ec061d
Swart, Juani
a9474956-09f1-4faf-a612-61c7670dcbc9

Cross, David and Swart, Juani (2017) Conflicts of client commitment for independent consultants. 4th Conference on Commitment: Understanding Context, Exploring Contingencies, and Seeking Consensus, Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, United Kingdom. 13 - 15 Oct 2017.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

As the world of work changes, individuals are able to form bonds of commitment to a range of increasingly diverse targets (Meyer, 2009). Committing to multiple targets and the interaction of these targets can be seen as conflicting, synergistic or compensatory (Johnson, Groff, & Taing, 2009). There are questions as to how these interactions arise, are experienced and can be resolved (Becker, 2016; Becker, Klein, & Meyer, 2009). Using the conceptualisation of Klein, Molloy, and Brinsfield (2012) we present the findings of a qualitative study of 50 independent consultants and freelance knowledge workers that used critical incidents to investigate interactions in client commitment. These individuals exist outside of an organisational employer-employee relationship and through the lens of liminality we see that the freedom of self-employment can create a conflict between the targets of commitment. We identify 3 main bases for the conflict and offer 4 ways of managing derived from our empirical material. This enables us to contribute to the literature on the dynamic interaction of commitment to multiple targets and extend commitment theory in a nonstandard but increasingly common context where theory on organisational commitment becomes 'muddled' and doesn't quite 'stack up' (Gallagher & McLean Parks, 2001).

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More information

Published date: 31 October 2017
Venue - Dates: 4th Conference on Commitment: Understanding Context, Exploring Contingencies, and Seeking Consensus, Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, United Kingdom, 2017-10-13 - 2017-10-15
Keywords: commitment, Conflict, consultancy, self-employment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426630
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426630
PURE UUID: 3d104bfd-01cf-4f43-a7ad-fda24df08b2e
ORCID for David Cross: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7984-3718

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Dec 2018 17:30
Last modified: 08 Aug 2020 01:50

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