oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - Managing above the graft : how management needs its fertile wounds from which imagination can grow



The aim of this paper is to show how the incorporation of metaphoric and poetic ways of thinking into the evaluation of a leadership development programme both captured the imagination of the employees and benefited the core business of a manufacturing production plant. Qualitative data evaluating the effectiveness of a substantial leadership programme were presented back to all members of a manufacturing plant (executive and non-executive) in the form of composite narratives over an eighteen-month period. Recommendations were derived from the text of the narrative and were progressively implemented. Such was the positive response to the written narratives that senior management asked the researchers to present the narratives in the form of a 'live' performance. Evaluation through qualitative methodology lends itself to an imaginative interpretation and presentation. Although qualitative and quantitative data tend to be regarded as complementary in applied research, it was management's decision to employ only a qualitative process in this instance. The decision was fortuitous, given that the leadership development programme was initially judged to be a failure, as it triggered a subsequent imaginative engagement that turned a failure into a success.


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