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  • Impacts of COVID-19 and social isolation on academic staff and students at universities: A cross-sectional study

    Leal Filho, Walter; Wall, Tony; Rayman-Bacchus, Lez; Mifsud, Mark; Pritchard, Diana; Orlovic Lovren, Violeta; Farinha, Carla Sofia; Petrovic, Danijela; Balogun, Abdul-Lateef; Hamburg University of Applied Sciences; University of Chester; Winchester Business School; University of Malta; University of Bedfordshire; University of Belgrade; NOVA University Lisbon; Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS
    The impacts of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the shutdown it triggered at universities across the world, led to a great degree of social isolation among university staff and students. The aim of this study was to identify the perceived consequences of this on staff and their work and on students and their studies at universities. Method The study used a variety of methods, which involved an on-line survey on the influences of social isolation using a non-probability sampling. More specifically, two techniques were used, namely a convenience sampling (i.e. involving members of the academic community, which are easy to reach by the study team), supported by a snow ball sampling (recruiting respondents among acquaintances of the participants). A total of 711 questionnaires from 41 countries were received. Descriptive statistics were deployed to analyse trends and to identify socio-demographic differences. Inferential statistics were used to assess significant differences among the geographical regions, work areas and other socio-demographic factors related to impacts of social isolation of university staff and students. Results The study reveals that 90% of the respondents have been affected by the shutdown and unable to perform normal work or studies at their institution for between 1 week to 2 months. While 70% of the respondents perceive negative impacts of COVID 19 on their work or studies, more than 60% of them value the additional time that they have had indoors with families and others. . Conclusions While the majority of the respondents agree that they suffered from the lack of social interaction and communication during the social distancing/isolation, there were significant differences in the reactions to the lockdowns between academic staff and students. There are also differences in the degree of influence of some of the problems, when compared across geographical regions. In addition to policy actions that may be deployed, further research on innovative methods of teaching and communication with students is needed in order to allow staff and students to better cope with social isolation in cases of new or recurring pandemics.
  • The Isle of Man: All dressed up but nowhere to go. Can place branding and marketing strategies help turn around the fortunes of the Isle of Man?

    Moss, Danny; Ashford, Ruth; Clements, Florida (University of Chester, 2020-11)
    Place branding and marketing has become one of the tools employed in the competition between countries and cities for attracting businesses, investments and a talented workforce. Place branding and its underlying factors, place identity and place image, have been widely researched especially in the last two decades, however it is yet to be agreed upon models and frameworks which can assist practitioners in their day-to-day activity. Through investigating the role of place identity in place branding strategies, this research aims to explore how place branding strategies can help the IoM to enhance its image and attract businesses and a talented workforce. Identification of a place brand model or framework would assist the IoM brand managers in their efforts to show the IoM as an attractive location for businesses and workers. This research was conducted adopting a social constructionist philosophy and following an interpretivist theoretical perspective. The focus of the research is placed on comparing and contrasting how the Isle of Man is perceived by local and relocated business people with how it is portrayed through the IoM government websites, providing a contrast between place identity and place brand identity. Therefore 15 interviews are analysed using thematic analysis and six IoM government websites are analysed using qualitative content analysis. From the findings emerged a strong sense of ambiguity when looking at the IoM as a place for business and as a place of residence highlighting the fact that people’s perceptions about places are not one dimensional. This finding supports the suggestion that places have multiple identities. Also some of the characteristics of the IoM were aligned with what was presented in the websites, but other characteristics did not, which coincided with dissatisfaction for the respondents. These findings suggest that misalignment of certain place brand attributes with place identity coincides with dissatisfaction, however the source of dissatisfaction is not the misalignment but rather the quality of the attributes not matching the expectations. Classification of the place brand attributes that give rise to dissatisfaction or satisfaction is identified as an important factor in developing the place brand strategies. The contribution of this research is focused on making a difference to business practices by offering a practical solution; an adaptation of the Two-factor Theory is suggested as a tool that could aid the process of brand attribute classification. The application of the Two-factor Theory could assist the IoM brand managers to monitor and develop the alignment of place identity with place brand identity. Whilst the adaptation of the Two-factor theory has already been confirmed in product branding, further quantitative research could help in establishing its reliability and validity for place branding.
  • Launching the creative practices for wellbeing framework: an international Q&A

    Wall, Tony; Sidsaph, Henry; University of Chester
    This article is an edited transcript from the launch event of the Creative Practices for Wellbeing Framework in 2020 (Wall and Axtell, 2020). The guidance is now free to download in 20 languages through these web links here, including in English, Welsh, Chinese, and Russian).
  • Category management and strategic sourcing processes in local government: A phenomenographic investigation of the lived experiences of procurement managers

    Manning, Paul; Talbot, Jon; Benn-Ohikuare, Gregory A. (University of Chester, 2020-09)
    Increasingly tight financial constraints have meant category management (CM) and strategic sourcing (SS) processes have been adopted and integrated into the public sectors including English local government authorities (LGAs). The extant literature, however, argues that empirical research in these areas are underdeveloped especially in relation to competency and competencies. Therefore, this study aims to qualitatively investigate the different experiences of procurement managers in LGAs in England in terms of competency for accomplishing effective job performance through the use of CM and SS processes. The research methodology adopted is phenomenography, and data were collected through semi-structured interviews from a purposive sample of ten procurement managers. The data were analyzed following phenomenographic principles to identify the referential and structural aspects of experience. Ultimately, three main conceptions of competency for accomplishing effective job performance through the use of CM and SS processes are identified: Stakeholder Management; SocioTechnical Knowledge; and Achievement Orientation. This study not only expands the research context of phenomenography, but also contributes to the understanding of procurement managers’ conceptions of competency for accomplishing effective job performance through the use of CM and SS processes. The implications for procurement professionals are discussed.
  • Trends in Scientific Publishing on Sustainability in Higher Education

    Filho, Walter L.; Wall, Tony; Salvia, Amanda L.; Frankenberger, Fernanda; Hindley, Ann; Mifsud, Mark; Brandli, Luciana; Will, Markus; Hamburg University of Applied Sciences; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Passo Fundo; Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná-PUCPR; Positivo University-UP; University of Chester; University of Malta; University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz
    It is widely acknowledged that research and publications in peer reviewed journals offer important metrics in describing the academic outputs of higher education institutions on one hand, and their societal impacts on the other. Peer review is a well-tested method for quality control and has been successfully deployed over many decades in academic journals worldwide. But despite the fact that publications on matters related to sustainable development offer solid evidence of academic activity and excellence, there is a dearth of literature in this field. In order to address this need, the European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR) and the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP) have undertaken the World Survey on Sustainability Publishing and Research in Higher Education (WSSSP-HEI). The paper has two main aims. The first is to document and showcase trends in scientific publishing on matters related to sustainable development. The second aim is to contribute to a greater understanding of this rapidly growing field, by describing the latest developments and the role played by some of the journals active in this area. Consistent with these aims, this paper focuses on publications on sustainability in higher education, describes the methods used in the study and some of its results. It can be seen that despite the intrinsic value of research on sustainable development in higher education as a whole, and of publications in this field in particular, such practices are not as widely developed as one could expect. This paper discusses the possible reasons and also outlines some measures via which higher education institutions may be able to take more advantage of the many opportunities that publishing on sustainability offers to them.
  • Higher Degree Apprenticeships as Drivers for Social Change and Opportunity

    Rowe, Lisa; University of Chester
    This case study examines the impact that Higher Degree Apprenticeships have as drivers for social change and opportunity. It underpins a Chapter which explores the journey of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
  • Managerial Skills and Small Business Start-ups in the Rural Food Sector

    Binsardi, B; Jackson, G; Nagirikandalage, P; Preece, D
    The research is intended as an initial study to address managerial skills of small business start-ups to minimise small-business failures. Primary data from 126 respondents have been collected, consisting of stakeholders in the rural food sector in North Wales. Primary data was analysed by using mixed-methods research. The findings will be employed to design an online syllabus and virtual learning environment (VLE) to support the small-business community in the rural food sector including start-ups in North Wales. This research has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities –Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (Cadwyn Clwyd), which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
  • Reflections on the Impact of Coronavirus on Public Affairs

    Harris, Phil; Moss, Danny; University of Chester
    As the editorial team considered how we might best mark the 20th anniversary year of the publication of the Journal of Public Affairs and reflected on what significant developments have occurred in the world of public affairs over the past two decades, none of us around that table could have possibly imagined how the world of politics and society as a whole could and would change in just a few short months. Yes we all witnessed the horrible effects of Ebola in Africa, and of SARS in the Far East and in the UK we experienced the nationwide lockdown of countryside during the infamous foot and mouth disease that ravaged the countryside in 2001. However devastating each of these disease outbreaks that we might think of as contagions have been, none can really compare or have prepared us fully for a the rapidity and impact that the recent coronavirus pandemic has had across the world, not only in terms of the scale of the infection rising death rate, but in the profound impact it has had on the economy and on people's lives and livelihoods
  • Medium and large family businesses of North West England as learning organisations

    Harris, Phil; Lam, Wing; Page, Steve; Passikku Hannadige, Yimashi S. (University of Chester, 2020-10-30)
    This study is an exploration of the learning strategies of family businesses in the North West of England, within the framework of the theory of the Learning Organisation (LO). The main purpose of this study is to explore and evaluate the notion of the Learning Organisation and to investigate its prevalence and application to the Family Business sector within North West England. To date, a very limited amount of studies focused on the characteristics of the LO within the medium and large family business context. Therefore, this study contributes to knowledge by determining practical guidance for implementing LO characteristics that can be applied to family businesses. The study used a qualitative methodology, associated with the social constructivist and interpretivist paradigm. Six medium and large family businesses operating in North West England were chosen to facilitate the qualitative research. In the North West of England, medium and large family businesses have complex features which create high demand for owners and employees to adopt learning strategies discussed in the LO concept which makes it an ideal context to explore the prevalence and the application of LO characteristics. This research makes a number of contributions to knowledge. Firstly, through review and analysis of the currently available theoretical work from more than 40 LO theorists and practitioners spanning the last four decades. The development of this “theoretical frame of reference” and the terminology used for identifying and analysing of LO characteristics is not only seen as a vital fundamental step in the course of this thesis, but also as a major contribution to providing structure and improving the future academic study of LO. Second, findings from the study suggest that medium and large family businesses have shown the existence of some of the LO characteristics within the three main levels of the organisations. The notable findings of the research are that medium and large family businesses need to develop a learning culture with organisational learning to incorporate with the business strategy and provide a transformational leadership so as to achieve the possibility of becoming a LO. The findings identify that family businesses in the North West region have the potential to become Learning Organisations should they implement the proposed recommendations and changes to their currently family business models. Third, the thesis makes a methodological contribution by introducing a model of Learning Organisations which specifically relates to family businesses. Furthermore, this model aims to facilitate a learning culture that suggests family businesses adopt key characteristics of the LO for continuous improvement, collective learning, and enhancement of performance.
  • COVID-19: the impact of a global crisis on sustainable development teaching

    Leal Filho, Walter; Price, Elizabeth; Wall, Tony; Shiel, Chris; Azeiteiro, Ulisses; Mifsud, Mark; Brandli, Luciana; Farinha, Carla Sofia; Caeiro, Sandra; Lange Salvia, Amanda; et al.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global crisis, one which also influences the ways sustainability is being taught at universities. This paper undertakes an analysis of the extent to which COVID-19 as a whole and the lockdown it triggered in particular, which has led to the suspension of presence-based teaching in universities worldwide and influenced teaching on matters related to sustainable development. By means of a worldwide survey involving higher education institutions across all continents, the study has identified a number of patterns, trends and problems. The results from the study show that the epidemic has significantly affected teaching practices. The lockdowns have led to a surge in the use of on-line communication tools as a partial replacement to normal lessons. In addition, many faculty teaching sustainability in higher education have strong competencies in digital literacy. The sampled higher education educations have -as a whole- adequate infrastructure to continue to teach during the lockdowns. Finally, the majority of the sample revealed that they miss the interactions via direct face-to-face student engagement, which is deemed as necessary for the effective teaching of sustainability content. The implications of this paper two-fold. Firstly, it describes how sustainability teaching on sustainable development has been affected by the lockdown. Secondly, it describes some of the solutions deployed to overcome the problem. Finally, the paper outlines the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may serve the purpose of showing how university teaching on sustainability may be improved in the future, taking more advantage of modern information technologies.
  • The resistance in management accounting practices towards a neoliberal economy

    Nagirikandalage, Padmi; Binsardi, Ben; Kooli, Kaouther; Anh Ngoc Pham; University of Chester; Glyndwr University; Bournemouth University; Glyndwr University
    Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the resistance in management accounting practices (MAPs) in a developing economy in the manufacturing and service sectors in Vietnam. Design/methodology/approach – Data collection was carried out using survey questionnaires in Vietnamese language. The questionnaires were distributed to selected respondents from the manufacturing and service organisations in Vietnam. Textual structuralism was used to analyse different categories of data, i.e. survey questionnaires, photos and qualitative texts obtained from the literature. Findings –The findings indicate that the usage of MAPs is more prevalent in the manufacturing sector than in the service sector. In addition, various traditional and contemporary MAPs are being used concurrently in Vietnam, which challenges the classical twofold dichotomy between mere socialism and mere neoliberalism. Research limitations/implications – The textual and photographic structuralism is used in this study to analyse primary data (geography and society and time) in a static setting. Hence, it does not analyse the research phenomena in a dynamic equilibrium setting to view the development of the research phenomena over time. Further research could expand data collection to include longitudinal and dynamic settings. Practical implications – MAPs can be implemented in economic systems ranging from command to capitalist systems. Although most countries in the world follow a mixed economic system, specific MAPs could be designed for a transitional economic system such as that of Vietnam. This affects both theorists and practitioners in Vietnam applying sustainable MAPs to boost a country’s competitiveness during transition. Originality/value – This study expands understanding of the conformity of MAPs in relation to economic systems under the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) – the ruling party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Understanding the differences in the way these MAPs are utilised constitutes an essential area of the accounting discipline to advance MAPs in Vietnamese enterprises and progress theoretical development of sustainable MAPs.
  • A review of the trend of microlearning

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; Blanchard, Claire; Au, David; University of Chester; The Chinese University of Hong Kong; University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Emerald, 2020-12-17)
    Purpose Microlearning has been considered as a promising topic in work-based learning. This paper aims to review the trends of microlearning in terms of related publications and internet searches. Hopefully, the findings can serve as a reference for the education sector, government, business and academia, to promote, design and use microlearning. Design/methodology/approach In this study, two sets of analysis were conducted. Firstly, we analysed the publication trend of microlearning. Second, we analysed the trend of internet searches related to microlearning. More specifically, we analysed 14-years real-world data obtained from Scopus and Google Trends for the purpose. These data include the first relevant publication found in the database. Findings In total, 476 relevant publication have been identified during 2006 to 2019. According to the findings from analysing the identified publications, microlearning is a relevant new and emerging global topic involving authors, affiliations and funding sponsors from different countries. Moreover, many microlearning related publications were conducted from perspectives of elearning or mobile learning. Furthermore, we notice higher education was the most frequently mentioned education level in the identified publications. On the other hand, language learning (i.e. second language, vocabulary learning) had been mentioned more times in the titles and abstracts then other subject areas. Overall, the increasing trend of publications on ‘microlearning’ (as a knowledge supply) is in line with the established increasing internet searches of ‘microlearning’ (as a practical demand) in recent years. Practical implications From the work-based learning perspective, microlearning has been considered as one of the key topics in talent development topics. Policymakers, educators, researchers and participators, have the responsibility to explore how to promote, design and use microlearning to help people to learn in the right direction through valid knowledge with ethical consideration. Originality/value Although many works had been done on microlearning, there is a lack of comprehensive studies reviewing the trends of microlearning in terms of related publications and internet searches. This study aims to fill this gap by analysing real-world data obtained from Scopus and Google Trends - these data include the first relevant publication found in the database. We believe this is the first time that a study has been conducted to comprehensively review the development trends of microlearning. Hopefully, this study can shed some light on related research.
  • Modelling determinants of a cost accounting system: Mixed methodology and logistic regression

    Nagirikandalage, P; University of Chester
    Mixed methodology is becoming increasingly significant in several scientific research areas. Empirical management and cost accounting research attempt to integrate quantitative and qualitative methods and combine theories generally associated with incommensurable paradigms. Furthermore, mixed methods research could provide a more comprehensive understanding of cost accounting research by establishing a prevailing means of validation of research findings. However, this has also been criticised considerably in the social science aspects especially due to failings of presenting a vibrant philosophical foundation to produce valid knowledge statements and also in circumstances of a concept of triangulation is emerged as a mean of validation. As a methodological note on the analytical aspects, logistic regression model has been used in various studies of management and cost accounting research. However, there are criticisms over the presentations of the logistic model which has led to a misinterpretation of research findings. As per the usage of these methodologies in various contexts are concerned, scholars in management and cost accounting have argued that Sri Lanka seems to be more profound in methodology but the methodology should be determined by the research question and it is not given. Sri Lanka is perceived to be an empirical laboratory for management research as management practices in this country are different or distinctive. Hence, reporting on distinctiveness of practices will be very appealing to international audiences. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how the mixed methodology has been adopted and how the logistic regression model was used to model the determinants for the demand for cost accounting systems in Sri Lanka as a developing country. A cost accounting system (CAS) has been used for decision support, financial planning and control as well. Empirical evidence has shown that different factors have influenced on demand for CAS but again has shown mixed results and there is a lack of evidence from the developing country or emerging economy context as well. Hence, this research study attempts at bridging the gap between the literatures by modelling the determinants for the demand for a CAS within an emerging economy such as Sri Lanka. Logistic regression model has identified that the market competition, size, desire and need of the management, quality of the report generation and changing dynamics as significant predictors for the demand for a CAS. Thematic analysis has been adopted to analyse the qualitative data gathered to achieve an in-depth understanding of CAS. This paper allows understanding how mixed methods research is conceptualised across these studies. The findings show a range of perceived strengths and weaknesses/ limitations identified and opportunities and risks attributed to this approach as well.
  • What content to post? Evaluating the effectiveness of Facebook communications in destinations.

    Molina, Arturo; Gomez Rico, Maria del Mar; Garcia, Evangelina; Lyon, Andrew; Loibl, Wilhelm; University of Castilla-La Mancha; University of Chester
    This study analyzes the marketing effectiveness of the social media posts of destination management organizations (DMOs) based on message format and content and the moderator effect of its message appeal in order to understand the users’ responses to destinations’ social media posts. The paper also discusses the most appropriate social media message strategy for Facebook campaigns for DMOs. The methodology is based on the content analysis of a sample of 3303 Facebook posts from 12 English and Spanish heritage city destinations. A Poisson regression was used to test the marketing effectiveness of the posts based on the number of Facebook reactions and message characteristics. Considering the particularities of each country, the results provide insights for DMOs for their social media message strategies. The results show that emotional messages tend to be more effective than informational messages in many cases, and several recommendations for Facebook usage are developed for the management of destinations through social media.
  • The Impact of Wine Tourism Involvement on Winery Owners' Identity Processes

    Canovi, Magali; Lyon, Andrew; Mordue, Tom; ESCP Europe; University of Northumbria; University of Chester,
    This paper examines how involvement in wine tourism has affected winery owners’ identity processes. Using Breakwell’s Identity Process Theory (IPT) as a conceptual framework, we investigate the extent to which place is a part of winery owners’ self-identities, thereby giving them senses of belonging, distinctiveness, continuity, and self-esteem. Simultaneously, we find that these senses and feelings influence winery owners’ perceptions of the benefits and dis-benefits of wine tourism development in their region. We also discover how personal involvement in tourism can strengthen or threaten winery owners’ identities and thereby affect their support or otherwise for wine tourism. Empirical evidence is provided via a sample of twenty-eight winery owners in Langhe, Italy, who have recently engaged in various tourism-related activities due to the continuous development of the local tourism industry. Our research recognises that place is an integral part of the identity process.
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities recognition in Sub-Saharan Africa: a proposed model for investigation

    Bello, Moshood; Allman, Kurt; Udagedara, Susantha; University of Keele; University of Salford; University of Chester
    Earlier studies have predominantly investigated entrepreneurial opportunities recognition from either the discovery or creation perspectives in the developed economies of America and Europe respectively. These efforts have mostly generated contradictory theories or models, which are not suitable for universal investigation of entrepreneurial opportunities. This paper uses the principles of metatheory to integrate the two dominant theories of entrepreneurial opportunities to propose a Multiple Opportunities Recognition Universal Framework (MORUF), then used it to study entrepreneurial opportunities recognition process within an entirely new context of Sub-Saharan Africa. Qualitative data collected from 38 nascent entrepreneurs in Nigeria were used to test the model. Findings reveal that opportunity exists in more than one form, can transit from one state to another and be recognised either through the discovery or creation process. This paper offers an alternative framework to study multiple entrepreneurial opportunities and provides practical relevance for doing so, for practitioners.
  • Internal Knowledge Transfer: Professional Development Programmes and Embedding Real World Learning for Full-Time Undergraduates

    Perrin, David; Hancock, Connie; Miller, Ruth; University of Chester; Middlesex University
    Perrin, Hancock and Miller provide a discussion of the distinctive features of negotiated work-based learning frameworks that help capture and develop learning for part-time students who are professional practitioners. They demonstrate how approaches to teaching, learning and assessment established in these frameworks can also be leveraged for programmes aimed at full-time undergraduate students wishing to engage with ‘real world’ learning. In this way, full-time students are able to develop the type of professional practice outlooks and skills redolent of part-time students already in employment. The chapter includes two case studies of where this has occurred in UK universities and the methods that were used for this type of internal knowledge transfer.
  • Organizational Dynamics and Adoption of Innovations: A Study within the Context of Software Firms in Sri Lanka

    Udagedara, Susantha; Allman, Kurt; University of Salford; University of Keele (Routledge, 2019-11-11)
    This paper examines the effect of organizational dynamics on innovation focus using the residual dominant and emergent theoretical framework (RDE) and the empirical evidence of four case studies. The findings revealed that different types of innovation coexist, but one type becomes dominant over other types at a certain time as the innovation focus is changed in line with the strategic priorities of firms. We found that innovation focus takes the form of product, process, and organizational innovation pattern over time when the firms move from an entrepreneurial organization to a more formal business corporation. More importantly, the RDE framework provides an appropriate lens for practitioners, in identifying the enablers and barriers of innovation.
  • COVID-19: the impact of a global crisis on sustainable development research

    Leal Filho, Walter; Wall, Tony; Vasconcelos, Claudio R. P.; Lange Salvia, Amanda; do Paço, Arminda; Shulla, Kalterina; Levesque, Vanessa; Doni, Federica; Alvarez-Castañón, Lorena; Maclean, Claudia; et al.
    The crisis caused by COVID-19 has affected research in a variety of ways. As far as research on sustainable development is concerned, the lockdown has significantly disrupted the usual communication channels and, among other things, has led to the cancellation of meetings and long-planned events. It has also led to delay in the delivery of research projects. There is a gap in the literature in regards to how a global crisis influences sustainability research. Therefore, this ground-breaking paper undertakes an analysis of the extent to which COVID-19 as a whole, and the lockdown in particular, has influenced sustainability research, and it outlines the solutions pursued by researchers around the world to overcome the many challenges they have experienced. This paper also outlines some measures that may be implemented in the future to take more advantage of existing technologies that support research on sustainable development.
  • Guest editorial

    Scott, Deborah; Nottingham, Paula; Wall, Tony; University of Chester, Middlesex University, University of Chester
    Guest editorial for Special Issue: Creativity in Work-Applied Management. The editorial contextualises and introduces each of the articles published in the special issue. It considers the contribution creativity may make in work-applied management in the global situation at the time of publication, when extensive changes to working practices were being experienced due to strategies to control the pandemic caused by the virus COVID-19.

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