Roller-coasters, Junctions and Butterflies: Career Metaphors for MBA Students

Guest Speaker:
Dr Chris Dalton (Henley Business School, University of Reading)
Dr Shelen Ho (Henley Business School Malaysia, University of Reading Malaysia)
Subject Area:
Date & Time:
Tue, 20. June 2017, 12:00 h - 13:30 h
N3.24, University of Reading Malaysia - EduCity@Iskandar​


The Personal Development module on the Henley Executive MBA includes a workshop activity where students draw a metaphor that represents, in some way, their career. We collected 300 of these. We then combined this workshop activity with another, namely adding a Career Anchor (Edgar Schein) to the picture.  We have collected another 300 such images. Recently we also began asking students to indicate, on a scale of 1-10, the extent they felt their metaphors and Anchors were in alignment. We so far have about 400 of these bits of data.

With over 1,000 images we are now interpreting our data to better understand what metaphor reveals about the nature and pattern of managerial career, and whether there is a pattern or typology in the metaphors chosen. In addition we are evaluating the levels of correlation between type or category of metaphor and Schein’s categories of Career Anchor.

This session is, in part, a presentation of this work. But only in part. It will also be an opportunity for everyone attending to undertake the same exercise, and reflect on what it tells them in terms of their own career choices.


Dr Chris Dalton

Dr Chris Dalton is Associate Professor of Management Learning and Subject Area Leader for Personal Development (PD) at Henley.

A dynamic and creative tutor and facilitator, Chris joined Henley in November 2005 and was the Programme Director for Henley Distance Learning MBA (Flexible Learning) until 2010, when he took over the PD role.

Chris has over 24 years of experience in management education and training. Before coming to Henley, he worked at the Central European University Business School (and its predecessor, the International Management Center) in Budapest, Hungary, where his posts included Director of their full-time and modular MBA program. He has also worked with the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, USA. Chris teaches on the MBA and runs corporate workshops and seminars related to management development in many parts of the world, including South Africa, central Europe and the Middle East.

Chris holds a PhD in Management Learning and Leadership from Lancaster University, and an MBA from Henley gained in 2000. He is a Henley certified coach and online tutor. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). His research is focused on the use of Reflection in Personal Development in post-experience Management Education. His first book, The Every Day MBA, was published at the beginning of 2015 and his second, Brilliant Strategy for Business, is published in February 10th 2016.

  • Admission is free.​
  • UoRM staff RSVP by responding to the internal event invitation.
  • All are welcome, RSVP by 16 June 2017.

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