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  • Urban poverty and the role of UK food aid organisations in enabling segregating and transitioning spaces of food access

    McEachern, Morven; Moraes, Caroline; Scullion, Lisa; Gibbons, Andrea; University of Chester
    This research examines the role of food aid providers, including their spatial engagement, in seeking to alleviate urban food poverty. Current levels of urban poverty across the UK have resulted in an unprecedented demand for food aid. Yet, urban poverty responsibility increasingly shifts away from policymakers to the third sector. Building on Castilhos and Dolbec’s (2018) notion of segregating space and original qualitative research with food aid organisations, we show how social supermarkets emerge as offering a type of transitional space between the segregating spaces of foodbanks and the market spaces of mainstream food retailers. This research contributes to existing literature by establishing the concept of transitional space, an additional type of space that facilitates movement between types of spaces and particularly transitions from the segregating spaces of emergency food aid to more secure spaces of food access. In so doing, this research extends Castilhos and Dolbec’s (2018) typology of spaces, enabling a more nuanced depiction of the spatiality of urban food poverty.
  • The influence of cultural constraints on entrepreneurial motivations: Exploring the experiences of Muslim women entrepreneurs in Pakistan

    Muhammad, Noor; Ullah, Farid; Smith, Robert; University of Huddersfield; University of Chester; University of the West of Scotland (SAGE Publications, 2023-12-27)
    This article explores the influence of cultural constraints on entrepreneurial motivations for women entrepreneurs of the Muslim faith. A qualitative approach is taken by drawing from extraordinarily rare interviews with 17 women entrepreneurs who run businesses in the open market in the Northwest region of Pakistan. Push and pull factors were examined in the context of cultural constraints using the lens of post-materialism and dissatisfaction theories. The findings reveal that some entrepreneurs are pulled into entrepreneurship to give something back to local youths and to improve their life chances and/or reduce hardship. In relation to the push factors, some entrepreneurs decided to do something about the harsh circumstances they found themselves in to demonstrate their agency. All were aware of the cultural constraints around them and are highly motivated to overcome these as role models for future generations and to hopefully achieve parity with male peers. This research contributes to the existing literature by providing new insights to the reader in extending the post-materialism and dissatisfaction theories for women Muslim entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Furthermore, it also demonstrates how cultural constraints related to family issues motivate women in a male-dominated society to become entrepreneurs.
  • Motivating, developing and retaining talent through job enrichment: an exploration of “side-of-desk” projects in a corporate environment

    Thomas, Carla; Rowe, Lisa; Moore, Neil; University of Chester (Emerald, 2023-12-25)
    Global talent shortages, new skill demand and rising numbers of unfilled posts are fuelling an increasingly challenging job market, exacerbated by economic uncertainty and transformational digital change. Seeking creative solutions in response, the authors examine talent management’s (TM) theoretical and conceptual foundations, specifically the identification and selection of talent and TM programme design to explore the challenges and benefits of side-of-desk projects as interventions. Design/methodology/approach Taking an inductive qualitative approach, questionnaires, focus groups and semi-structured interviews gathered data from three employee groups in a UK digital communications organisation. Findings The authors reveal inconsistencies in the definition and selection of talent, highlighting programme quality challenges to expose a direct correlation between participant experience and motivation and retention, along with the longer-term challenges of balancing talented human capital, shareholder expectations and sustainable workforce resourcing. Originality/value The authors' research extends existing knowledge concerning the effect of organisational culture, context and workforce demands upon TM programmes, providing theoretical and practical implications for leaders and policymakers in designing enrichment activities to motivate, develop and retain talent. The authors make recommendations to inform the future design of TM programmes, revealing new opportunities to develop hidden talent and presenting a realistic and sustainable toolkit for future practice in the form of an organisational logic model.
  • The core technology behind and beyond ChatGPT

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; Jones, Lewis; University of Chester (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, 2023-12-15)
    ChatGPT has garnered significant attention within the education industry. Given the core technology behind ChatGPT is language model, this study aims to critically review related publications and suggest future direction of language model in educational research. We aim to address three questions: i) what is the core technology behind ChatGPT, ii) what is the state of knowledge of related research and iii) the potential research direction. A critical review of related publications was conducted in order to evaluate the current state of knowledge of language model in educational research. In addition, we further suggest a purpose oriented guiding framework for future research of language model in education. Our study promptly responded to the concerns raised by ChatGPT from the education industry and offers the industry with a comprehensive and systematic overview of related technologies. We believe this is the first time that a study has been conducted to systematically review the state of knowledge of language model in educational research.
  • From bean-counter to lion-tamer: an ethnographical investigation into the lived experience of UK ACA chartered accountants and their career boundaries

    Wall, Tony; Gibbs, Brian; McLachlan, Carol P. (University of Chester, 2023-02)
    The accountancy profession of the twenty first century, and the roles therein, are rapidly evolving, transforming, and potentially contracting. As digitalisation deepens, the acceleration of Artificial Intelligence, robotics and distributed ledger accounting threaten to finally sound the death knell for the traditional ‘bean-counter’ stereotype. The purpose of this study was to examine the career boundaries of contemporary chartered accountants, to consider how boundary expanding is expressed in practice. Employing an ethnographical approach, the study investigated the lived experience of accountants’ career boundaries through the auto-ethnographical lens of the researcher, a chartered accountant herself. The research unearthed a rich and diverse collection of boundary-stretching and boundary-contracting case studies, spanning a full career generation, and contributes a new model of ‘career boundary elasticity’ which has implications for the accountancy profession.
  • Understanding consumer perceptions of expiry dates for cosmetics

    Davies, Gary; Ullah, Farid; Wang, Yujiao (University of Chester, 2023-06)
    The topic of cosmetics expiration is under researched in the marketing literature, and consumers can lack awareness about it. However, cosmetics expiration is important because it represents a consumer health issue, as illustrated by several papers published in medical journals. The aim of this research is to understand the role of cosmetics expiration date – specifically the Period After Opening (PAO) in cosmetics marketing, and how it influences consumer behaviour in the UK and China markets. This is the first study in a marketing management context that has investigated the role of PAO in consumer behaviour. The research adopts a mixed method approach and employs three studies: qualitative interviews in both countries (the UK and China), a quantitative experimental design in the UK, as well as a large survey in China. The data are analysed using NVivo, SPSS, AMOS and Fuzzy logic. The main findings and contributions to knowledge are: From the qualitative work: 1) A perceived risk framework is useful to an understanding of consumer attitudes to PAO in cosmetics. Self-brand connection (SBC) risk and environmental risk should be added to the existing risk framework. 2) Two major positionings in the cosmetics market can be identified: brands which emphasise the science behind their production and brands which emphasise their use of natural ingredients. 3) Some differences in PAO attitudes emerged by country (China versus the UK). In the UK study, psychological risk emerged as the most important in explaining overall risk, which is compatible with prior work. For UK respondents, the longer the PAO, the higher their purchase intention, irrespective of the brand type, thereby demonstrating that PAO can be a marketing signal as well as a statement of shelf life. In the China study, however, social risk emerged as more important, which can be explained by cultural differences. Different segments exist in the China market, defined by brand type, PAO, price and product type. PAO again emerged as a marketing signal. Both the UK and China studies indicate PAO and perceived risk can interact, and that such interaction can help explain the relationship between brand image and purchase intention. Specifically, perceived brand warmth is not as strong a predictor of purchase intention for cosmetics as prior work suggests it should be, and the interaction between PAO and perceived social risk in China and psychological risk in the UK helps explain why.
  • The Function and Dynamics of Interpersonal Trust within Workplace Learning in High Pressure Context

    Wall, Tony; Scott, Debbie; Hudson, Nigel E. (University of Chester, 2022-03-30)
    Against the backdrop of increasingly stressful bidding and sales workplace contexts, this study investigates the function and dynamics of interpersonal trust within workplace learning in high pressure context. It has significant relevance and importance to practice, as work related stress and ill health has become an international concern within the bidding profession, where relatively little is documented about the experiential ways in which knowledge is attained and how this may contribute to or mitigate the stress experienced by bid professionals. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to conduct twelve in depth interviews with six bidding professionals. Contributions from the study include the importance of vertical trust and management support for learning in high-pressure context; the importance of positive emotion, humanity, social empathy and care for trust decisions; that a long-term learning strategy encourages trust motivation and trust decisions by reducing short-term perceived risk and sensitivity to trust discrepancy; and deliberate manipulation of trust for learning can arise when intra-team competition is high. Implications for practice include the necessity for career-long experiential learning curricula that balance the immediate and long-term development needs of the individual, with proactive engagement and an increased sense of control mitigating the perceived high pressure caused by a chaotic and highly reactive work context. The study proposes a framework for practice that can inform the design and delivery of workplace learning curricula for those working in this context.
  • “Mind the Leadership Gap!” A Call to Action for the Future Research Agenda

    Murphy, Liam; Turnbull, Helen; University of Chester (GiLE Foundation, 2023-10-25)
    The coronavirus pandemic has acted as a catalyst for organisational change, disrupting historic ways of working, and spearheading organisations towards the next evolution of their working environments. In the aftermath of the largest concurrent work from home experiment in the world, organisations are coming to grips with the new policies and practices they need to implement to remain competitive. But there is one crucial stakeholder who continues to be left out in academic research, leaders. New questions now arise as to how we should remodel leadership in an increasingly remote world. What skills do leaders need to develop and how, in order to maintain employee wellbeing and manage the intergenerational divide? This paper presents a short synthesis of the challenges faced by leaders today specifically around remote team management but also in the context of a multigenerational workforce, alongside a summary of the research gaps we face in post-COVID literature. This paper concludes with the production of a future research agenda for scholars to close this gap, and to help organisations in building their leadership capability in the ‘new normal’.
  • Poverty and Austerity: An Introduction

    Moraes, Caroline; McEachern, Morven; O’Loughlin, Deirdre; University of Bristol; University of Chester; University of Limerick
    This chapter offers an introductory overview of relevant literature at the intersection of poverty and austerity, seeking to frame this edited collection and its unique interdisciplinary contributions. The chapter traces the evolution of, and interconnections between, poverty and austerity politics, reflecting critically on their increasingly pervasive and enduring impacts on individuals, markets and society. To guide the reader, this introduction provides an overview of how the book is organised and each of its chapters, explaining to students and researchers the theories, methods, policy applications and empirical contexts addressed in the book.
  • Theorising Resilience in Times of Austerity

    O’Loughlin, Deirdre; Szmigin, Isabelle; McEachern, Morven; Karantinou, Kalipso; Barbosa, Belem; Lamprinakos, Grigorios; Fernández-Moya, María E.; University of Limerick; University of Birmingham; University of Chester; Athens School of Economics and Business; University of Porto; University of Colorado
    Resilience is an important theoretical construct that helps to conceptualise the ways individuals and organisations attempt to countervail the effects of poverty and austerity. As a response to prolonged crises, such as the global economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, this chapter focuses on tracing the psychological, behavioural, sociological and spatial perspectives of resilience, advancing our current understanding of resilience theory within the marketing and consumption context of crises and austerity. The chapter reviews recent research exploring the importance of resilience, and more specifically the notion of persistent resilience in response to long-term stressors, such as unemployment, triggered by the austerity measures imposed by European governments following the global economic crisis as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. In advancing previous research in this area, we offer a broader perspective by underlining the impetus for businesses and communities to employ a range of resilience strategies while also highlighting the importance for individuals to develop a sustainable set of resilience capacities to help creatively navigate the market and flexibly adapt to the long-term effects of intense and long-standing crises.
  • Co-movement clustering: A novel approach for predicting inflation in the food and beverage industry

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; University of Chester (Universiti Utara Malaysia, 2023-10-23)
    In the realm of food and beverage businesses, inflation poses a significant hurdle as it affects pricing, profitability, and consumer’s purchasing power, setting it apart from other industries. This study proposes a novel approach; co-movement clustering, to predict which items will be inflated together according to historical time-series data. Experiments were conducted to evaluate the proposed approach based on real-world data obtained from the UK Office for National Statistics. The predicted results of the proposed approach were compared against four classical methods (correlation, Euclidean distance, Cosine Similarity, and DTW). According to our experimental results, the accuracy of the proposed approach outperforms the above-mentioned classical methods. Moreover, the accuracy of the proposed approach is higher when an additional filter is applied. Our approach aids hospitality operators in accurately predicting food and beverage inflation, enabling the development of effective strategies to navigate the current challenging business environment in hospitality management. The lack of previous work has explored how time series clustering can be applied to support inflation prediction. This study opens a new research paradigm to the related field and this study can serve as a useful reference for future research in this emerging area. In addition, this study work contributes to the data analytics research stream in hospitality management literature.
  • Navigating towards hyperautomation and the empowerment of human capital in family businesses: a perspective article

    Birkbeck, Andrew; Rowe, Lisa; University of Chester (Emerald, 2023-10-13)
    This paper aims to explore the past and future impacts of automation on family businesses, with a focus on the opportunities for human capital empowerment. Design/methodology/approach This paper draws upon a contemporary literature search to examine a range of scholarly and practitioner perspectives of the challenges and benefits of automation, exploring the evolvement towards hyperautomation and the empowerment of human capital in family businesses. Findings Automation, transforming to hyperautomation, general purpose artificial intelligence (AI) and beyond has the possibility of radically improving productivity. Fear of job obsolescence has been present since the birth of modern automation, and whilst some jobs are at risk of redundancy, a net gain towards higher-skilled labour is already evident. Family business leaders must be prepared to react appropriately to the accelerating war for talent by implementing a strategy for human capital empowerment. Originality/value This unique paper synthesises developments in automation and proposes a future perspective centred upon the empowerment of human capital in family businesses.
  • Reflecting on Paraliminality as a Theoretical Lens to Understand Experiences of Food Insecurity

    McEachern, Morven; Moraes, Caroline; Scullion, Lisa; Gibbons, Andrea; University of Bristol; University of Chester (Routledge, 2023-11-30)
    In this chapter we reflect on how theoretical perspectives, such as liminality, can be useful for researchers seeking to understand and alleviate lived experiences of poverty. We draw on how we deployed liminality theory in a recently published paper (Moraes et al., 2021), to conceptualise lived experiences of food insecurity as transitional; as fluctuating between phases of everyday food access and food marketplace exclusion. By using liminality as an exemplar theoretical perspective, we discuss a concept that we developed and termed paraliminality, a hybrid of two types of liminality phenomena that is both empowering and generative of a lasting form of indeterminate state. In reflecting upon paraliminality, we argue that it can illuminate the social mechanisms, practices and spaces that co-construct people’s more enduring, but fluid, experiences and phases of food insecurity and food access efforts. We illustrate the main theoretical arguments being made with data from our study of food insecurity (McEachern et al., 2020), involving interviews with people who were experiencing food insecurity, volunteers who were providing access to food aid, and fieldwork photographs of the independent foodbanks and pantries who took part in the research. The chapter contributes to food insecurity, poverty and marketplace exclusion scholarship by reflecting on the importance of using theoretical lenses in qualitative research work, and by reflecting on, and deploying, an illustrative research project to explain how theory can be used and why it matters.
  • An Exploratory Study of How Emotion Tone Presented in A Message Influences Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Recommendation System

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; University of Chester (Zibeline International Publishing, 2023-10-16)
    This innovative study aims to explore how emotion tone presented in a message influences the judgement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) bots. We established a scenario by using vacation rental introduction as input message to conduct experiments to explore the influences. Our findings suggest that AI bots demonstrate preferences on the input message presented in positive tones rather than input message with negative tones. Our pioneering study can serve as a crucial starting point for future studies, in particular opening up fresh avenues for future research endeavours and engenders discussions and debates concerning the development of recommendation system.
  • Women’s Football Subculture of Misogyny: The Escalation to Online Gender-Based Violence

    Fenton, Alex; Ahmed, Wasim; Hardey, Maz; Boardman, Rosy; Kavanagh, Emma; University of Chester; University of Stirling; Durham University; University of Manchester; Bournemouth University (Taylor & Francis, 2023-11-07)
    Research question: Given the worldwide growth of women’s football and its presence on social media, it is essential to explore and understand fan attitudes and culture. Research methods: This article provides the first empirical social media netnography focusing on English women’s football teams (Manchester United and Burnley) and international fan views towards women professional players on TikTok. We extend this discussion by utilising a netnography in which researchers immersed themselves for seven months in women’s football groups on TikTok to gather and analyse new qualitative data in this context. Results and Findings: We identify the escalation of gender-based violence on social media against women players. Four key themes emerged from the netnography: 1. Sexism: the place of women in football; 2. Misogyny and hatred of women; 3. Sexualisation of women; 4. Demand for a male-only space. Sexist comments were apparent in all the TikTok posts containing female football players, with some also containing more aggressive misogynistic comments. Other dominant comments sought to reduce women to objects of sexual desire and belittle their professional skills, whereas others were appalled at the presence of female players on the clubs’ official accounts, demanding them to be a male-only space. Implications: The study contributes to the understanding of online fan cultures on complex, video-based platforms such as TikTok. Through literature review and netnography, we identified a problem for football clubs on social media of longstanding, problematic issues of toxic fan comments.
  • An Exploration of the Drivers for Professionalism within UK Jewish Heritage Charities

    Moss, Danny; Lyon, Andy; Wall, Tony; Sung, Anna; Millan, Anne D. (University of Chester, 2023-09-01)
    The thesis explores the drivers of professionalism for Jewish Heritage Charities as well as the impact on the organisations in the study. Though there was a growing body of research on development of professionalism in charities, there is very limited studies on how this was impacting Jewish Heritage Charities in the UK. Charities have been reporting decreasing revenue from traditional fundraising activities over the last decade as well as significant competition for major grants and governmental funding. The loss of traditional funding and the increase in reliance on major donors and funding bodies has led to more regulation and now the growing concern with the management and accountability of charities. The study explored how this development of professionalism has impacted on (JHC). Using a case study approach, 11 interviews took place with senior management, trustees, and volunteers of three JHC’s and one non-Jewish museum that had recently been through major governance and structural changes. Due to the nature of the research and small sample the findings are limited to the case study however some good practice has been highlighted and professionalism within the case study was identified by the developing business processes and managerialism. The study also identified that rigorous governance procedures for trustees as well as performance management of trustees was needed however proved controversial. The study also identified the need for more development of recruitment processes of volunteers and trustees alongside professional development and training programmes to ensure professional practices are embedded into the organisations and good practice is maintained.
  • How is play expressed amongst Undergraduate Students from Medicine, Nursing & Allied Health Professions Programmes and does it relate to Psychological Wellbeing? An IPA Study

    Wall, Tony; Holmes, Gina; Rylance-Graham, Rebecca (University of Chester, 2023-02-01)
    The psychological wellbeing (PWB) of students undertaking Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions (AHP) programmes is at crisis point. Manifested as stress and mental health conditions, this group of students’ experience detriment to wellbeing before they join what is arguably a stressful clinical environment at the end of their professional programme. Strategies to improve the wellbeing of students and healthcare workers have yet to bear fruit and the issue of declining wellbeing appears to be escalating. Empirical studies within business literature suggest that play in the organisational context may improve PWB. This Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study explores the lived experiences of undergraduate students from Medicine, Nursing and AHP programmes and their expression of play in the clinical environment. The findings contribute to a sparse body of knowledge about play in the healthcare organisational context and offers some unique and original insights into the types of play that the participants engaged in, the facilitative and limiting factors of play, and how the enactment of play contributes to improved PWB.
  • Wellbeing and Engagement in Hybrid Work Environments - Coaching as a Resource and Skill for Leaders to Develop

    Franzen-Waschke, Ute; University of Chester (GiLE Foundation, 2021-12-08)
    This paper explores how working from home has impacted leaders and the workforce in corporate environments during the pandemic, how these experiences might influence the workplace of the future, and what role coaching could play to foster skill development in the 21st century workplace. Before the pandemic, plenty of research had already been done on what factors influence well-being and engagement in the workplace. Models explaining the elements of well-being and engagement, as well as, tools to measure their existence or the lack of have been reviewed, tested, and validated. We know little at this point about what combinations of factors caused the decline in well-being and engagement during the pandemic, and what skills in leaders, or requirements for the workplace would be necessary to hone and implement, to improve the situation of well-being and engagement in future work environments. This paper explores how coaching could support leaders in the 21st century workplace. The business world is facing challenges while moving into post-pandemic workplace scenarios. The plurality of interests increases the complexity of the topic. The literature on well-being and engagement has been reviewed. Data that was collected during the pandemic by different organisations and conclusions drawn from these were compared with what the literature says and it was combined with experiences the author made in the field while coaching leaders and their teams in corporate environments during the pandemic. This paper concludes with a recommendation on how to enhance coaching skills among leaders and to build their knowledge and literacy in the field of coaching, to result in positive effects on workplace well-being and engagement in contemporary work environments.
  • Working from home in 2020 - Lessons learned to leverage these learnings going forward as emerging leaders and a remote office workforce

    Franzen-Waschke, Ute; University of Chester (GiLE Foundation, 2021-07-01)
    This paper summarises some of the data that has been collected and presented in various contemporary articles on the challenges organisations and office workers have faced while working from home (WFH). What Bernstein, Blunden, Brodsky, Sohn and Waber call the largest experiment in history has already produced initial sets of data about how productive the workforce was in their home offices, and how happy or unhappy employees were while working from home. Productivity and employee happiness have always been focal points in the discussion about working from home. Before the pandemic hit, one of the biggest fears in many organisations was that WFH would negatively impact employee productivity, and employees were likewise sceptical about how one could separate private and working life in a healthy manner while working from home. The scope of this paper is about how working from home or anywhere has impacted employees and organizations. The data collected to-date indicates a decline in wellbeing and engagement and highlights a need for leaders and office workers to become more adept in managing their needs to continue to thrive in the workplace. Coaching can be one means to support and enhance this learning and development process and help ease the transition into the workplace of the future.
  • Leadership Skills: What's Expected?

    Franzen-Waschke, Ute; University of Chester (GiLE Foundation, 2022-10-12)
    As organisations are transitioning into a post-Covid working world, there is a myriad of unanswered questions in many areas of the corporate world (Work Trend Index, 2022). How leaders and the workforce need to be upskilled to lead and work better in that ‘new’ environment seems to be one of them (Billing et al., 2021).

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