Client-Oriented Interactional Behaviors for Professional-Client Settings



    1. Patricia J. Guinan (Ph.D., Indiana University, 1986) is an assistant professor in the Management Information Systems Department in the School of Management at Boston University.
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    1. Joseph N. Scudder (Ph.D., Indiana University, 1985) is an assistant professor in the Speech Communication Department at Southern Illinois University. This article is a revision of a paper presented to the Information Systems Division of the 1987 ICA Convention in Montreal. We wish to acknowledge financial support from the Institute for Research on the Management of Information Systems at the Indiana University School of Business and from the Special Interest Group on Business Data Processing of the Association for Computing Machinery.
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The outcomes of professional-client relationships are often less satisfactory than one would expect them to be. This study suggested that professionals using client-oriented interaction behaviors grounded in the interactional view (Reusch & Bateson, 1968; Watzlawick, Beavin, & Jackson, 1967) would be rated as more effective than those who did not. A field study of computer professionals revealed that highly rated professionals used client-oriented communication behaviors more frequently than their counterparts who were rated lower. Moreover, the client-oriented interactional behaviors provided substantial discrimination between high- and low-performing professionals.