ABSTRACT

Preface

The project was devised by a multidsciplinary team comprising psychologists, economists and sociologists who have been working together for some time within the international association called MOSAICO. This team has also brought together other bodies and experts not only to broaden the international scope of the project, but also further to enrich the reading perspectives. Hence, the project team saw the participation of researchers, consultants and trainers with different cultural and disciplinary background coming from five different European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom).

The team members, all of whom have a log experience, have created a scenario to focus on critical aspects resources and opportunities; they have also analysed trends and possible developments.

Although from the very beginning of the research a constant effort has been made to hone methods and common concepts, the National Reports are not uniform in all respects; the national idiosyncrasies and the different reading perspectives which derive from different professional background within the multidisciplinary team are reflected in the different structures of the National Reports. However, the work's philosophy clearly emerges: "The aim of this study is to identify policies, plans and concepts upon which to graft the external consultancy and self-organisation actions of the companies, in order to enhance the capacity for innovation and learning. Recommendations are provided for the planners and for the policy-makers, on the basis of lessons that are drawn from a study of 21 cases of action and from a serie of encounters and work groups with the main stakeholders. A quantitative approach concentrating on the analysis of specific cases was chosen in order to obtain an initial overview of the successes and potential risks that small companies involved in consultancy processes face, and to highlight models of solutions to these problems.

The chief concern has been to enhance our knowledge of the possible ways of improving the processes of change and of consultancy" (Multi-Country Perspective - Introduction).