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Consulting That Matters

A Handbook for Scholars and Practitioners

Jennifer H. Waldeck and David R. Seibold

Each year, thousands of consulting contracts are awarded by organizations to experts who help them with challenges involving people, processes, technologies, goals, resource allocation, decision making, problem solving, and more. These experts – consultants – diagnose problems, recommend solutions, facilitate interventions, and evaluate outcomes that are often related to human communication. Some consultants are academicians skilled in both doing and interpreting research for clients; others are practitioners with little use for research and theory. Driving all of the ideas showcased in Consulting That Matters: A Handbook for Scholars and Practitioners is the premise that sound theory and research are critical to consulting success, and should be the blueprints for successful organizational transformation. Thus, this book is for all types of consultants, including the very best who are at the top of their games and those who believe theory and research belong in ivory towers, not business settings. Featuring a «who’s who» of preeminent communication scholars/consultants, each author shares frameworks, strategies, and examples from their own diverse experiences, all grounded in rich, substantive theory and research. The volume offers even the most skilled and experienced consultants a range of alternative approaches, paradigms, and competencies to build their credibility and make them more valuable to their clients in a dynamic, ever-evolving business climate.
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Contributor Bios


Jennifer H. Waldeck (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara) is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Chapman University, where she also teaches in the M.S. program in Health and Strategic Communication. Her research in the areas of organizational and instructional communication and new technology has appeared in such journals as Communication Monographs; Communication Education; The Journal of Applied Communication Research; Journal of Business Communication; Learning, Media, and Technology; and Journal of Education for Business. She is author of a number of book chapters, co-author of Business and Professional Communication in a Digital Age and author of Communication Competence: Goals & Contexts. For several years, she worked full-time in the consulting and performance improvement industry for Scher Group, based in Cleveland, OH. Over the past 20 years, she has provided consulting services in the automotive, education, healthcare, real estate, financial services, public service and safety, and industrial sectors. Her roles have involved curriculum design, training and speaking, program evaluation, research design and data analysis, teambuilding and conflict facilitation, strategic planning leadership, and process and task analysis.

David R. Seibold (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is Professor and Vice Chair of Technology Management (College of Engineering), Professor of ← 355 | 356 →Communication by courtesy (Division of Social Sciences), and Director of the Graduate Program in Management Practice, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching center on managing innovation, technology teams, group decision making and interpersonal influence, management communication and organizational change, and theory-practice issues. He is...

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