Projects per year
My research interests lie in the social construction of identity and the intra- and inter-personal dynamics that shape organizational life. His current work considers the way in which the intersection between professional, individual and group identities enables and constrains people under conditions of change.
Academic / Professional qualifications
- PhD in Organisation Studies (University of Strathclyde);
- MBA with distinction (University of Strathclyde);
- PGCert in Advanced Academic Practice (University of Strathclyde);
- Diploma in Operations Management (Glasgow Caledonian University);
- SHND (Accounting, Glasgow Caledonian University).
- Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA)
With ten years managerial experience in the manufacturing and service sectors, Peter’s teaching is designed to enhance the acumen and critical thinking skills that are the bedrock of effective management. Bringing together his research interests and experience Peter delivers challenging classes including ones on Change Management, Strategic Facilitation and Management Practice for the school’s postgraduate and executive education clients. In all his teaching Peter encourages thought and reflection on the complexities of managing through techniques appropriate for the audience. This includes observation and discussion through case studies and video in the early stages of education; analysis and conversation with practitioners in intermediate stage; simulation and experience in the latter stages; and, in the final stages, through intervention and research. The success of Peter’s approach is reflected in his having received nominations for Teaching Excellence in four or the past five years.
Peter is a graduate of Strathclyde’s prestigious Masters in Business Administration programme who discovered through his studies that the most interesting thing about studying management, is studying management! The enduring question which drives his research is in what ways do our ideas of who we are (compared to who they are) inform shape what self and other can and cannot be. For instance, in a study of an acquisition by a national retailer, Peter traced the sharpening of divisions between the two organizations, and between the departments which became the focal point for integration activities. As was the case in this research project Peter’s prefers to work alongside of local management as a way of checking his understanding, and in formulating ways of intervening in problematic situations. In a study within the National Health Service this took the form of a series of workshops in which different professional groups were encouraged to recognise the contribution each other made to the success of a change project.
Peter’s intellectual contribution has been to the field of Identity studies, publishing material on identity work, professional identity and change dynamics in a variety of journals including the Scandinavian Journal of Management and the International Journal of Public Administration. He is currently collaborating on work examining the way in which inquiry reporting represents those who engage with the process, and how employees respond and adjust to strategic change. Peter is part of the Department of Strategy and Organization’s Leadership research grouping, employing his understanding of the processes of identity construction to explore the way societal ideas of ‘leadership’ constrain and enable those holding formal roles. His current research focus is on the challenges emerging organizational practices, such as computer-mediated groups and those working in Agile project management teams, throw up for these individuals. Further details, including those topics and approaches in which Peter can supervise research students can be found on his research interests page.
Internally, Peter has held roles including Director of Teaching and Learning for is department. This saw him manage postgraduate programmes including the MBA. Building on his success with postgraduate degrees, Peter is currently Coordinator for the Management degree programme. Externally, Peter is an elected member of the British Academy of Management’s (BAM) decision making Council. This sees him contributing to policy as well as to events organized by the Capacity Building sub-committee. He has, for many years, been part of the organizing committee of the BAM Special Interest Group in Identity. This group enjoys an excellent reputation as an active developmental community who organize frequent workshops on different aspects of identity, and conference streams in identity at conferences including BAM, Critical Management Studies (CMS) and the European Academy of Management (EURAM).
Peter’s research investigates the personal and interpersonal dynamics created by issues of identity in organizational settings. By examining who people say they are, and how they understand others to be acting, affords insight to the types of activities and attitudes that shape the-way-things-are-around here. Peter’s social constructionist stance allows him to study identity as a dynamic negotiation of relations occurring at a variety of a levels (individual, collective, professional etc.). Unifying his work, however, is his preference for ‘engaged research’ where dialogue with research sponsors shapes the direction of a longitudinal qualitative study.
Often what Peter focusses upon in his work are the way in which thematic ideas circulating within the social setting drive the way in which people believe self and other should relate to each other. This has, for instance, seen him examine the relationship between medical professionals and those they advise. More recently he has critically examined the way in which government inquiry reports contained contradictory portrayals of the citizens they engaged in the process.
As an extension of his discursive approach, Peter has turned his attention to investigating how ideas of ‘leadership’ inform, and in what ways they constrain, organized activities. What type of people do we become through leadership discourse? And, to what extent are these appropriate for the rapidly evolving practices of today’s organizations? He is currently working with doctoral researchers on these questions, and welcomes enquiries from those who share his interests and might wish to take up doctoral studies.
- identity work
- social construction
- Leadership as practice
- qualitative research
Research Output per year
From bodies as 'meat' to bodies as 'flesh': the expression of performance management as 'sacrificial acts' within professional rugbyMcConn-Palfreyman, W., McInnes, P. & Mangan, A., 8 Aug 2019, In : Culture and Organization. 25, 4, p. 253-271 19 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Exploring leadership as it is expressed within professional rugby : the application of Merleau-Ponty's sensual ontology of flesh to organisational practiceAuthor: McConn-Palfreyman, W., 31 May 2019
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
Activities per year
Activity: Participating in or organising an event types › Participation in workshop, seminar, course