The paper summarises the scope, methodology and main findings of a PhD thesis about how the use of metaphor can be used to constructively influence project team behaviours. The purpose of this paper is to inform other candidates on the experience of the research journey using action research in a project environment and highlight how creative metaphor can stimulate relationship building in team environments.
The research approach that was used in the thesis is described in this paper. Candidate and supervisor reflections are shared on how the thesis journey process was experienced, including some of the challenges of doing academic research in a practitioner environment.
This research provides a simple and pragmatic reflective model that enables leaders and team members to increase the awareness of opportunities for collaborative behaviours. Facilitating creative metaphor conversations around model engages team members and leads them towards understanding how behavioural awareness can improve performance outcomes.
This paper provides insights into how simple and fun behavioural interactions can be used to enhance the performance of project teams. Implementing the intuitive metaphorical conversations will enable team leaders to leverage behavioural diversity as an asset rather than be a victim of it. Managers and leaders in all organisations have experienced the difficulties of inappropriate behaviours that have led to suboptimal performance, stress or outright conflict. Research candidates and supervisors will find this methodology an interesting option to conduct pragmatic research that is also robust.
Behaviour can be an asset or a liability in projects. This approach helps to leverage behaviour in a constructive way and decreases the likelihood of behavioural challenges and conflict in project teams and with stakeholders.
For the practice of project management the Reflective Performance Cycle is a unique model that can be used as a practical tool to build relationships in teams. From a social research perspective the research design and data interpretation process are new innovative ways to generate data and insights that are both robust and relevant, enabling more effective dialogue between researchers and practitioners.
W. Shelley, A. and Maqsood, T. (2014), "Metaphor as a means to constructively influence behavioural interactions in project teams", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 752-766. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-02-2014-0018Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited