Frameworks, techniques, and theory: contributions of research consulting in social science

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Three questions are addressed in this article: What is social science research consulting? How is this form of consulting performed? and What contributions have been made to social science theory and practice? The first question is discussed in terms of the match between a client's needs and the consultant's skills, the various roles consultants play, and the professional culture they share. The second question is considered in terms of such basics as preparing a winning proposal, dealing with both an internal (the firm) and external (the marketplace) environment, and overcoming barriers to implementation. The third question is treated by giving examples of applied research projects implemented for clients. These include projects that analyze negotiating processes, develop models of political structures and processes, analyze intentions, evaluate techniques for enhancing performance, and design policy and training simulations. The article concludes with lessons learned from these experiences, contributing to knowledge, practice, and the craft of consulting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1666
Number of pages32
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000


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