Do you want a Paul Rand-ish 'this is your logo, here you go' approach or do you want to see as many choices as possible before coming to a decision?
I've been designing stuff for the past 8 years and still haven't found an answer to that. Wondering what you, in a client position, usually expect.
The creative brief and scope of engagement should define this. Usually a client has a budget for design. As you'd expect, offering multiple options takes a bit more time than just one. Just one creative option means the likelihood of rejection is higher.
Typically what I expect a sketch of three concepts all meeting the description in the creative brief. This comes at a very early stage, and then I can discuss with the designer the impressions, problems, and compliments on the three comps. From that, the designer should be able to take the critique and finish the one design that was the best fit.
If the client has a style book, it can be very helpful for the designer, so they aren't off in wild directions that won't be a match. Regardless of how organized their marketing department is, you should still be handing them a blank creative brief template that will answer the 20 questions you need to proceed with any job, small or big. When you make the client think about things in advance, you get fewer complaints and less re-work requested.
Can't comment as a client but yes, any stakeholder's expectation and deliverable should be laid out clearly in the beginning itself; irrespective of whether an internal employer-employee/employer-agency/employer-consultant etc.
Even if it's a creative process, else bill them extra for the additional effort put in.