‘All research is consultancy; all consultancy is research’

‘All research is consultancy; all consultancy is research’

Introducing the series...


3 February 2017

This statement describes the work of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations as an integrated social science research and consultancy organisation. Research and consultancy are two sides of the same coin, the ‘coin’ being a deep curiosity about the human condition and a drive to study all aspects of it in order to advance knowledge of society and people that leads to improvement. Study and change are basic to the Institute’s aims that are expressed via high-level professional research and consultancy activity.

Some clients of the Tavistock Institute call for our independent research capability and expect to move forward by implementing the research or evaluation results themselves; others call for consultancy in order for change to be produced before fully knowing what the problem is or what needs changing. In both situations, the Tavistock Institute approaches assignments in two stages – first, researching the designated problem, and secondly, engaging the client in partnership to resolve the problem through a research and consultancy and change process.

Over the next few months, we will be posting a number of articles that describe important aspects of work with individuals, teams, organisations, partnerships, coalitions and federations. From a very wide field of themes, we will select examples of work that we think will interest readers.

The first article “Tavistock, we have a problem ……!” about lifting the leadership capabilities of the 2nd tier of organisational leaders, appeared in January. A second article appearing later in February: “It cannot be us; it must be them”, is an article about amplification peaks and stock-level swings in the supply chain. In April we will post an article concerning the impact of redundancy and later an article titled: “The client speaks” which will describe the experience of receiving consultancy from the client’s point of view.

We trust that readers will enjoy reading the stories of the work of the Tavistock Institute that spring from the experience of researchers and consultants and of their clients.

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