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University of London International Programmes

Explore Management Concepts through Metaphor and Music

University of London International Programmes and Royal Holloway, University of London via Coursera


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How can exploring and analysing music and metaphors help us to better understand management, work organisations, working lives, and ultimately ourselves too? As you set out on your journey through this innovative course, the answers to these questions will be revealed. Through the lens of metaphor and music, you will be introduced to core managerial and organisational concepts and theories. You will explore issues related to, for example: organisational and work design; motivation and productivity; employee voice; careers; and management and leadership styles. You will research and analyse contemporary management dilemmas and challenges and gain new insights into the lived experience of work. You will explore the power of music to creatively engage and motivate employees, boost their morale, and give voice to workers who might otherwise remain unheard. The course has been designed to be highly interactive and creative with lots of opportunities for you to share your ideas and engage in discussion and debate with your fellow students. You will develop your own original organisational metaphors, write lyrics to your own company song, write and record your own short radio play, and develop your own motivational music playlist. By the end of the course, your understanding of management, organisations and the lived experience of work will have increased considerably. You will develop new skills in research and creative writing and will have lots of new ideas to take away with you and apply in your own organisation and your own working life.


  • Introduction to management, metaphor and music
    • This week includes: management and organisational metaphors, musical management metaphors, classical management theory and the machine metaphor and McDonaldization.
  • Management, metaphor, music and the lived experience of work
    • This week includes: career metaphors, the concept of the McJob, the lived experience of work through the eyes and musical performances of workers.
  • Music, motivation, metaphor and management maestros
    • This week includes: music and its impact on productivity and motivation, company songs and corporate anthems, leadership and musical management metaphors.

Taught by

Amal El-Sawad


4.9 rating at Coursera based on 11 ratings

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