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  • Understanding Lived Experiences of Food Insecurity through a Paraliminality Lens

    Moraes, Caroline; McEachern, Morven G.; Gibbons, Andrea; Scullion, Lisa; University of Bristol; University of Chester; University of Salford; University of Salford (Sage Publications, 2021-04-30)
    This article examines lived experiences of food insecurity in the United Kingdom as a liminal phenomenon. Our research is set within the context of austerity measures, welfare reform and the precarity experienced by increasing numbers of individuals. Drawing on original qualitative data, we highlight diverse food insecurity experiences as transitional, oscillating between phases of everyday food access to requiring supplementary food, which are both empowering and reinforcing of food insecurity. We make three original contributions to existing research on food insecurity. First, we expand the scope of empirical research by conceptualising food insecurity as liminal. Second, we illuminate shared social processes and practices that intersect individual agency and structure, co-constructing people’s experiences of food insecurity. Third, we extend liminality theory by conceptualising paraliminality, a hybrid of liminal and liminoid phenomena that co-generates a persistent liminal state. Finally, we highlight policy implications that go beyond short-term emergency food access measures.
  • The Role of Community-led Food Retailers in Enabling Urban Resilience

    McEachern, Morven; Warnaby, Gary; Moraes, Caroline; University of Chester; University of Huddersfield; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Birmingham (MDPI, 2021-07-06)
    Our research examines the extent to which community-led food retailers (CLFRs) contribute to the resilience and sustainability of urban retail systems and communities in the UK, contributing to existing debates on the sustainability and resilience of the UK’s urban retail sector. While this literature has predominantly focused on the larger retail multiples, we suggest more attention be paid to small, independent retailers as they possess a broader, more diffuse spatiality and societal impact than that of the immediate locale. Moreover, their local embeddedness and understanding of the needs of the local customer base, provide a key source of potentially sustainable competitive advantage. Using spatial and relational resilience theories, and drawing on 14 original qualitative interviews with CLFRs, we establish the complex links between community, place, social relations, moral values, and resilience that manifest through CLFRs. In doing so, we advance the conceptualization of community resilience by acknowledging that to realize the networked, resilient capacities of a community, the moral values and behavior of the retail community needs to be ascertained. Implications and relevant recommendations are provided to secure a more sustainable set of capacities needed to ensure resilient, urban retail systems, which benefit local communities.
  • How to Use the Six-Step Digital Ethnography Framework to Develop Buyer Personas: The Case of Fan Fit

    Fenton, Alex; Heinze, Aleksej; Osbourne, McVal; Ahmed, Wasim; University of Chester; KEDGE Business School; Flight Story; University of Stirling (JMIR Publications, 2022-11-25)
    Background: One of the key features of digital marketing is customer centricity, which can be applied to the domain of health. This is expressed through the ability to target specific customer segments with relevant content using appropriate channels and having data to track and understand each interaction. In order to do this, marketers create buyer personas based on a wide spectrum of quantitative and qualitative data. Digital ethnography is another established method for studying web-based communities. However, for practitioners, the complexity, rigor, and time associated with ethnographical work are sometimes out of reach. Objective: This paper responds to the gaps in the practically focused method of using social media for digital ethnography to develop buyer personas. This paper aims to demonstrate how digital ethnography can be used as a way to create and refine buyer personas. Methods: Using a case study of the Fan Fit smartphone app, which aimed to increase physical activity, a digital ethnography was applied to create a better understanding of customers and to create and refine buyer personas. Results: We propose two buyer personas, and we develop a 6-step digital ethnography framework designed for the development of buyer personas. Conclusions: The key contribution of this work is the proposal of a 6-step digital ethnography framework designed for the development of buyer personas. We highlight that the 6-step digital ethnography could be a robust tool for practitioners and academicians to analyze digital communications for the process of creating and updating data-driven buyer personas to create deeper insights into digital and health marketing efforts.
  • Action research to reassess the acceptance and use of technology in a blended learning approach amongst postgraduate business students

    Sanusi, Muhammad S.; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2022-11-18)
    Although the pedagogy of blended learning in higher education has been well-accepted since 2000, its dimension has been changing, mainly due to the incessant technological innovations. The impact recorded on students’ experience has been reliant on various factors. Some of these factors are cultural diversity, technical abilities, level of organisational support, language difficulties, educational background, learning environment, and instructional design, among others. In this study, the acceptance and use of technology by international MBA students have been reassessed in the blended learning environment. The motivation for the selection of the cohort of international MBA students as a sample was to enable the inclusion of diversity as one of the focal points of the study. A two-cycle model of action research was adopted to reassess the use of technology and compare the attainment of learning outcomes between the blended and traditional learning approaches. Moreover, multiple regressions were employed using the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) to test the significance of each variable collected from the survey on the students’ learning experience and engagement. Our results have suggested that students’ engagement is determined by positive learning experience without any bias toward traditional or blended learning approach. Students’ age group was found to be relevant in the determination of behavioural intention, social influence, effort expectancy, performance expectancy and facilitating conditions towards the effective use of technology and blended learning. Students’ gender was an irrelevant factor in the success of a blended learning approach.
  • Determinants of user's intentions to book hotels: a comparison of websites and mobile apps

    Ali, Faizan; Ali, Laiba; Gao, Zhaoyu; Terrah, Abraham; Turktarhan, Gozde; University of South Florida; Eastern Meditarrenean University; University of International Business and Economics; Oklahoma State University; University of Chester (Emerald, 2022-11-18)
    This empirical study uses the stimulus-organism-response (S-O-R) framework to examine the interrelationships amongst hotel websites and app quality, flow, telepresence, user engagement and booking intentions. Design/methodology/approach Data from two different datasets, including users of hotel websites (N sample 1 = 257) and hotel mobile apps (N sample 2 = 292), were collected. Partial least squares (PLS-SEM) was used to test the research model. Findings Findings indicate that the quality of the hotel websites and mobile apps positively influences telepresence, flow and engagement. Telepresence and flow positively affect the users booking intentions for both the samples. However, for hotel website users, engagement has a no-significant effect on booking intentions. Finally, telepresence has a non-significant effect on flow, and flow has a non-significant effect on engagement for both the users of hotel websites and mobile apps. Originality/value This study uses two datasets to understand how hotel booking channel (hotel website and mobile app) quality leads to booking intentions by tapping into telepresence, flow and engagement.
  • Progress on green technology research in hotels: a literature review

    Gunduz Songur, Aysegul; Turktarhan, Gozde; Cobanoglu, Cihan; University of Central Florida; University of Chester; University of South Florida (Emerald, 2022-10-28)
    The aim of this research, which is based on a literature review and bibliometric analysis, is to reveal the development of green technologies in hotels, based on the articles published in tourism and hospitality journals between 1999 and 2020. Design/methodology/approach Based on five conditions and five databases, 64 journal papers were retrieved and reviewed. Among the surveyed publications pertinent to the eco-friendly/green technology practices at hotels, the majority focus was on the need for eco-friendly/green technology practices at hotels and the schemes implemented to achieve sustainable development. Findings The research findings especially from the last decade report that today's guests generally prefer green hotels based on their increased awareness of environmental degradation and an ever-growing need for conservation and sustainability. Practical implications The environmental responsibility which is inherent in the hospitality and tourism industry due to the environmental burden generated by the combined effect of both industries on Mother Earth, brings forth a substantial sense of commitment on the part of hotel companies. In that regard, a set of corporate initiatives in the form of green technology practices are implemented by hotels, toward the development of new product and service offerings, management of processes and corporate policy formation. Originality/value This research focuses on green technologies aimed at sustainability in the field of accommodation and tourism, consisting of a systematic literature search on the subject. It is important in the way that it provides a general overview to researchers in terms of the theoretical implications of green technologies while also offering a road map with respect to green technology applications to the practitioners of the field.
  • Antecedents of destination advocacy using symmetrical and asymmetrical modeling techniques

    Ali, Faizan; Turktarhan, Gozde; Chen, Xianglan; Ali, Murad; University of South Florida; University of Chester; Beijing Language and Culture University; Northumbria University (Taylor and Francis, 2022-12-16)
    This study uses a multi-method approach to examine antecedents of destination advocacy. Data were collected from 549 respondents via Amazon MTurk. A symmetrical analysis based on partial least squares-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) and asymmetrical analysis based on fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis explore how combinations of various antecedents, including hospitality, perceived authenticity, destination experience quality, and destination love lead to high and low levels of destination advocacy. Findings indicate that hospitality and authenticity significantly impact destination experience quality. Moreover, destination experience quality and destination love have a significant impact on destination advocacy. Finally, fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) results reveal that a high level of hospitality and destination quality leads to destination advocacy.
  • Liminal Consumption within Nigerian wedding rituals: The interplay between bridal identity and Liminal Gatekeepers

    Fagbola, Ladipo; McEachern, Morven; Raftopoulou, Christina; University of Chester; Nottingham Trent University; Grenoble Ecole de Management (Sage Publications, 2023-01-05)
    This article combines the theoretical lenses of bridal identity and liminal consumption to illustrate the processes of problem-solving, negotiation and reconciliation through which the bride creates her bridal identity, in the Global South context of Nigeria. Most wedding ritual studies typically emphasise the processes of creating and negotiating a successful bridal identity, but few acknowledge the possibilities of failure and its effect upon the liminars. In addition, within liminal consumption studies, the role of liminars’ mentors is often under-theorised. Thus, we contribute to the field by expanding on the concept of ‘liminal gatekeepers’ as the individuals and institutions who control and enforce certain norms associated with the liminal experience. Following an interpretivist approach, the article also advances our understanding of the ways in which the demands of liminal gatekeepers affect the liminars’ experiences and identifies three novel bridal identity outcomes, namely: i) Embedded Bridal Identity; ii) Synthesised Bridal Identity; and iii) Marginalisation. In this way, we advance marketing research around how a liminal consumer identity such as bridal identity is co-constructed between liminars and gatekeepers.
  • How to Use the Six-Step Digital Ethnography Framework to Develop Buyer Personas: The Case of Fan Fit

    Fenton, Alex; Heinze, Aleksej; Osborne, McVal; Ahmed, Wasim (2022-11-25)
    One of the key features of digital marketing is customer centricity, which can be applied to the domain of health. This is expressed through the ability to target specific customer segments with relevant content using appropriate channels and having data to track and understand each interaction. In order to do this, marketers create buyer personas based on a wide spectrum of quantitative and qualitative data. Digital ethnography is another established method for studying web-based communities. However, for practitioners, the complexity, rigor, and time associated with ethnographical work are sometimes out of reach. This paper responds to the gaps in the practically focused method of using social media for digital ethnography to develop buyer personas. This paper aims to demonstrate how digital ethnography can be used as a way to create and refine buyer personas. Using a case study of the Fan Fit smartphone app, which aimed to increase physical activity, a digital ethnography was applied to create a better understanding of customers and to create and refine buyer personas. We propose two buyer personas, and we develop a 6-step digital ethnography framework designed for the development of buyer personas. The key contribution of this work is the proposal of a 6-step digital ethnography framework designed for the development of buyer personas. We highlight that the 6-step digital ethnography could be a robust tool for practitioners and academicians to analyze digital communications for the process of creating and updating data-driven buyer personas to create deeper insights into digital and health marketing efforts. [Abstract copyright: ©Alex Fenton, Aleksej Heinze, McVal Osborne, Wasim Ahmed. Originally published in JMIR Formative Research (https://formative.jmir.org), 25.11.2022.]
  • The place of work-based learning in the development of leaders in a fast-changing world.

    Rowe, Lisa; Knight, Lisa; Irvine, Paul; Greenwood, Jo; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University; Lancaster University
    This developmental paper provides an overview of a collaborative research project to explore the lived experiences of senior leaders as they undergo a work-based learning programme with one of three universities in the North West of England. Qualitative data will be drawn from semi-structured surveys and interviews with leaders and thematically analysed to identify the experiences, key issues and challenges encountered. It is one of the first large scale studies of its kind, examining delivery of work-based leadership programmes across a range of industries and sectors in a post-pandemic context within the UK. The research is intended to provide a rich and descriptive picture of how both leaders and HEIs have adapted their practice during this period, identifying lessons learned, and making suggestions for future delivery of work-based leadership learning in an increasingly uncertain and challenging environment.
  • What Business Managers Should Know About Quantum Computing?

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; University of Chester (Organization for Research Development and Training, 2022-10-31)
    Business management requires rapid reactions to the changes of business environment effectively. Given quantum computing’s game-changing power will bring huge transformation, therefore managers should be aware of how to take the advantage of quantum computing and recognize its potential impacts to the business world. In fact, quantum computing will deliver exponential advantages for various problems, such as factoring very large numbers within very short time, therefore it has dramatic impacts on existing business issues, such as cybersecurity practice, business optimization, investment decision making, search from unstructured data, etc. However, although the topic is emerging, only very limited studies have been conducted with specific focus on the potential impacts of quantum computing on business management. Accordingly, this study was conducted to fill this knowledge gap. In this study, we began with analyzing quantum related investment markets, trends in scholarly publication and keyword search on the internet about quantum computing. In addition, we provided an introduction on what is quantum computing and discussed related quantum algorithms. Finally, we summarized four major potential applications of quantum computing in business management. Hopefully this paper can serve as a reference for researchers, industrial participators and policy makers engaged in future research or practical applications on related topics.
  • A Study of Preferred Learning Time of Online Learner in Multimedia Microlearning in Higher Education Context

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; Au, Robin; Lee, Ching; University of Chester; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, 2022-09-30)
    This study aims to explore when would online learners prefer to interact with multimedia microlearning†in higher education context. Although microlearning is an emerging topic, most of the previous studies were focus on reporting the application results of microlearning, only very few of previous works were specifically conducted on discussing when would online learners prefer to interact with multimedia microlearning. Total population sampling approach was adopted and questionnaire was used to collect primary data. In total, 77 participants attempted the survey, the response rate is 32.6%. The findings from this study indicate that more learners prefer to study during morning or afternoon time rather than evening or midnight time (H2) (p<0.05). On the other hand, there is no significant difference on when to attempt assessment (H1) and on gender issue (H3, H4). The findings from this study generates knowledge to fill the research gap in the field of microlearning. According to the researchers' best knowledge, this is the first time that a study like this had been conducted to review and discuss the online learners' preferences on interacting multimedia learning. Hopefully, this study could shed some lights on future directions of the development of microlearning.
  • Exploring SMEs attitudes to Net Zero & social media: Action Case research as a force for good

    Fenton, Alex; Marianne (Maz), Hardey; Wasim, Ahmed; Koral, Chris; University of Chester; University of Durham; University of Stirling
    We recently presented a full paper at the British Academy of Management 2022 entitled: Exploring SMEs attitudes to Net Zero & social media: Action Case research as a force for good. Action case is a method designed to bridge the gap between understanding and change. We created a research team of academics and practitioners in conjunction with the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme to explore this important topic. We aimed to address a research gap in SME understanding and attitudes to Net Zero and their communications. Our Action Case approach included a small-scale qualitative survey of SMEs and social network analysis of Twitter. We discovered a lack of clarity regarding the help available to SMEs and Net Zero. While the survey revealed some support for Net Zero from SMEs, it was unclear how this support corresponded with their social media strategy. The SNA revealed a dearth of SMEs in online discussions around Net Zero on Twitter. Government agencies and other organisations were dominant in these internet discussions. We also found SMEs opposed to government environmental programmes like clean air levies, which some saw as harmful to their operations. The Action Case method was demonstrated to be an effective method for bridging the academic-practice divide, and future research should build on this topic.
  • A study of learners’ interactive preference on multimedia microlearning

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; Au, Robin; Lee, Ching; University of Chester; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Emerald, 2022-09-13)
    This study aims to explore how learners prefer to interact with microlearning video. Microlearning is an emerging topic in work-based learning and the benefits of using video in supporting learning have been widely discussed. However, only very few of previous works were conducted on discussing how learners prefer to interact with microlearning video. This paper aims to fill this knowledge gap. A questionnaire was used in this study for data collection purposes. In total, the invitation had been sent to 236 enrolled learners from the 3 targeted modules through emails. 77 participants completed the survey with the response rate 32.6%. Chi-square is used in this study in order to conclude whether the findings from the sample related to hypotheses are statistically significant. By analysing primary data collected from a UK University, our findings suggest that: i) the perceived usefulness of the control functions and the expression functions of multimedia microlearning videos are generally high, ii) More participants prefer to have more control in their multiple-choice question’s arrangement and open-ended question’s arrangement, On the other hand, there is no significant difference on the preference of when to attempt assessment. This is the first time that a study like this had been conducted to review and discuss the interactive preferences between learners and multimedia microlearning. This study could shed some lights on future research in the field of microlearning and work-based learning.
  • Football Fandom as a Platform for Digital Health Promotion and Behaviour Change: A Mobile App Case Study

    Fenton, Alex; Anna, Cooper-Ryan; Marianne (Maz), Hardey; Wasim, Ahmed; University of Chester; University of Salford; Durham University; University of Stirling (MDPI, 2022-07-09)
    The last decade has seen a dramatic shift toward the study of fitness surveillance, thanks in part to the emergence of mobile health (mHealth) apps that allow users to track their health through a variety of data-driven insights. This study examines the adoption trends and community mediation of the mobile fitness application ‘FanFit’, a platform aimed at promoting physical activity among sports fans by creating a fitness app branded to their favourite team for health promotion. Objective: Our study looked at the impact of a specially designed mobile app (FanFit) as a digital health intervention for initiating and maintaining physical activity as part of football club membership. Our analysis indicates that app users will adopt healthier behaviours as a result of the app’s sense of fan community and behaviour change. Methods: The findings reported here are based on an implementation of the FanFit app and, in particular, on those who participated in a more in-depth study (n = 30). These participants were Rangers FC supporters with a mix of genders (n = 19 males and n = 11 females). Focus groups and interviews were conducted with participants to ascertain users’ perspectives on the most effective methods for nudging users toward adopting and maintaining a pattern of fitness behaviours. Results: The findings show that the user community was interested in fitness and wanted to live a ‘healthy lifestyle,’ which was augmented and fuelled by the app’s competitive architecture design. Furthermore, the data reveal a new fan-health discourse about a person’s developing wants, talents, and identities as embodied beings. Conclusions: We have developed and presented valid links between the use of sports club apps and health programmes. The app could be useful for sports programmes and club providers looking for mHealth applications that provide community support through fan discourse with opportunities for both male and female fans.
  • Editorial: Exploring the impact of agility and learning in organisations

    Rowe, Lisa; Brook, Cheryl; University of Chester; University of Portsmouth (Emerald, 2022-10-05)
    Welcome to Volume 14, Issue 2 of the Journal of Work Applied Management, a Special Issue dedicated to examining how work-based learning, action learning and organisational development methods are delivering against the unprecedented and urgent need for organisational agility, flexibility and ambidexterity. The diversity of ways in which these work-applied approaches are effectively curated are increasingly evident across different levels of organisational learning, development, and adaptation in response to the “megatrends” of technological hyper-connectivity, urbanisation, geopolitical tensions and a global climate crisis, amidst a challenging phase of post pandemic economic recovery affecting workforce readiness, supply chains and inflation (Deloitte, 2017; Price Waterhouse Cooper, 2021; 2022).
  • An examination of the dynamics of intergenerational tensions and technological change in the context of post-pandemic recovery

    Moore, Neil; Rowe, Lisa; Stokes, Peter; Lichy, Jessica; Rodgers, Peter; Smith, Simon M.; University of Chester; De Montfort University; IDRAC Business School, Lyon; University of Southampton; Oxford Brooks University
    Technological change is a feature of contemporary life encompassing interactivity, collaboration and, above all, real-time content sharing and livestreaming. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new dynamics in relation to digitisation and technology usage. Within organizations, these changes have been swift and profound, leading to online meetings, events and virtual team management. An explosion of literature has accompanied these changes and their human impacts. However, the generational and intergenerational issues remain under-examined and therefore constitute an important gap. The paper examines the literature on workplace technology, digitalisation and human impacts in relation to the COVID-19, and particularly, through the lens of different generational adoptive patterns. Taking an inductive qualitative approach, the paper’s empirical focus is analyses of semi-structured questionnaire data from intergenerational senior executives. The findings showcase alternative understandings of technology in the late-COVID-19 era and of Xer generational (i.e. born 1961-1981) resilience and operational change dynamics. This allows a number of contributions and implications to be developed.
  • Enhancing the degree apprenticeship curriculum through work-based manager and mentor intervention

    Quew-Jones, Rebecca; Rowe, Lisa; University of Portsmouth; University of Chester (Emerald, 2022-06-03)
    Purpose – Educational policy instruments such as apprenticeship levy and forthcoming lifetime skills guarantee are creating unprecedented opportunities for rapid growth in a range of work-based learning (WBL) programmes, requiring increasingly complex levels of collaboration between providers and employers. Apprenticeships require providers to assume responsibility in ensuring apprentices’ work-based managers and mentors (WBMMs) are equipped to provide effective support to individuals as they learn ‘on the job’. After six years of higher education institution (HEI) apprenticeship curriculum delivery there is opportunity to examine existing WBMM practice to inform the design, content and delivery of a shared knowledge base via a practical interactive toolkit. By developing clearer understanding of WBMMs’ experiences, expectations and challenges, the study aims to reduce potential gaps in knowledge and skills and encourage more effective collaboration between employers and providers to better support apprentices as they progress through WBL programmes. Design/methodology/approach – This paper discusses evolution of higher level and degree apprenticeships, explores guidance for WBMMs and investigates the influence of expectations and motivations of WBMMS. Theoretical and conceptual foundations relating to WBL programme delivery and WBMM role are analysed and discussed. Qualitative data drawn from semi-structured surveys are analysed thematically to investigate common patterns, clarify understanding and identify development areas to inform future university provider and employer practice. Findings - The findings suggest a number of themes to improve apprentice management; further clarity of WBMMs role, greater involvement of WBMM’s for negotiated learning, unplanned experiences do add value and scope for richer mentoring dialogues. WBL value for WBMMs is broader than expected, incorporating apprentice performance and output improvements, and solving complex problems. Research limitations/implications - The research is drawn from an established University with five years of experience. However, the context in which programmes are delivered significantly varies according to providers and employers. This means factors other than those highlighted in this paper may continue to emerge as the research in this field develops. Practical implications- The practical implications from findings can be used to cultivate stronger collaboration, providing a foundation of knowledge intended to provoke further dialogue regarding content for an interactive toolkit. The findings signal the need for further resources, a review of the restrictions associated with levy funding for co-creation of a more effective national apprenticeship framework. Originality / Value - This paper builds on a limited body of research examining employers’ perspectives of apprenticeship management. Degree apprenticeships have attracted limited scholarly attention over six years since their inception (Bowman, 2022) resulting in a significant paucity of research that focuses upon employer role. This study addresses this void by exploring WBMMs experiences, requirements and expectations, revealing new insights for providers of WBL, employers and individuals employed as WBMMs.
  • Understanding tourists’ policing attitudes and travel intentions towards a destination during an on-going social movement

    Lai, Michael; Yeung, Emmy; Leung, Rosanna; Macau University of Science and Technology; University of Chester; I-Shou University (Emerald, 2022-05-11)
    Purpose Policing activities aim to provide a safe environment for tourists. With the recent major protests that have erupted around the world, and the novel use of excessive police force against protestors, people may wonder if the policing deployment is for destination safety or to deter tourists from visiting. This paper aims to investigate anti-police and pro-police attitudes and tourists' behavioural responses towards a popular destination experiencing an ongoing social movement. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected between December 2019 and January 2020 (during the social movement). An online survey with a snowball sampling method was adopted to reach international tourists who were aware of the social movement in Hong Kong. Findings The results revealed that an individual with an anti-police attitude was found to be related to cognitive and affective destination images and perceived risks while those holding a pro-police attitude were more concerned with destination images only. No significant correlation was found between attitudes towards policing and travel intention. Originality/value This research presents a first attempt to investigate the relationship between tourists' policing attitudes and their behavioural responses during an ongoing social movement in a popular destination city.

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