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Interpersonal Aspects of Data Gathering

A. In regards to Interpersonal Aspects of Data Gathering, what challenges does this approach create for a consultant? In the consulting work, how important is it to understand the way the problem is being managed, along with the presenting problem?

B. There are advantages of whole-system discovery when conducting internal research. Are there types of consulting problems where whole-system discovery is more effective? Are there types of consulting problems where third-party consulting is more effective? What criteria should a consultant use for deciding which is more appropriate?

C. If a consultant is conducting a competitive study, what assumptions does the client have that might influence the way the results are presented or received?

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A. In regards to Interpersonal Aspects of Data Gathering, what challenges does this approach create for a consultant? In the consulting work, how important is it to understand the way the problem is being managed, along with the presenting problem?

There can be several aspects of data gathering. For example, it maybe necessary to conduct a focus group discussion. Here the problems faced by me were that people say they have 'no time' to participate in the focus group. In addition, interviews and large focus groups may intimidate some participants. In fact one of participants told me that the interview reminded him of his job interview and this scared him. I have faced a challenge after a focus group and that is the documentation and analysis can be time consuming and may require the help of someone versed in qualitative analysis. In consulting work it is important to understand the way the problem is being managed. In at least two companies I found that the data entry and analysis was left to Systems Personnel! The result was that senior managers often found the 'results' from the computer personnel, far earlier than the results were presented to them. This same problem I faced when I conducted surveys. The problem again was data entry and analysis can be time consuming. I was often compelled to hand over the questionnaires to data entry operators. In addition, I found that it was difficult to receive completed surveys from stakeholders. A range of incentives is offered on return of completed surveys to boost the likelihood of response, from financial compensation for providers and families to parties for youth ...

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