Postdoctoral researchers' conceptions of research: a metaphor analysis

Rod Pitcher, Gerlese Akerlind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses the analysis of metaphors to study the conceptions of research held by a sample of post-doctoral researchers at five Australian universities. It is based on an analysis of the metaphors the researchers use in describing their research. The study produced four concepts that we have labelled ‘research is explorative’, ‘research is spatial’, ‘research is constructive’ and ‘research is organic’. This study is unusual in its focus on post-doctoral researchers and the use of metaphors to identify their conceptions of research. The primary aim of the study was to produce a view of post-doctoral researchers conceptions of research. A secondary aim was to demonstrate the usefulness and effectiveness of metaphor analysis as a method of studying those conceptions of research. The study achieves both of those aims
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-172
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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