While the Faculty of Business and Management is predominantly concerned with teaching and learning, it also offers a number of business services, from consultancy and research to in-house and bespoke training. The Faculty also manages the University's widely acclaimed work-based learning facilities.

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  • Storytelling for sustainable development

    Wall, Tony; Rossetti, Lisa; Sandra, Hopkins; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-07)
    The use of stories in higher education crosses a number of sustainable development dimensions, including the relationships between humans and the environment, but also for healing and well-being purposes. Although ‘story’ is often used synonymously with the terms ‘narrative’ or ‘narrative inquiry’, others view the notion of ‘story’ as having a special structure and utility (as will be discussed below) (e.g. Gabriel, 2000; Denning, 2011). Moon (2010: i) explains that stories are omnipresent in daily life, and can include “narrative, case study, life history, myth, anecdote, legend, scenario, illustration or example, storytelling and/or critical incident” and can be “‘told’ in many ways – spoken, written, filmed, mimed, acted, presented as cartoons and/or as new media formats”. In relation to sustainable development, Okri (1996) describes the role of the story as being vital to maintaining collective health: "A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves. Sick storytellers can make nations sick. Without stories we would go mad”. Similarly, Gersie (1992) argues that storytelling inherently considers our current concerns about the Earth and the future, as it formats our “understanding [of] the many ways in which we value and devalue our beautiful green and blue planet… [the] practical insight into approaches to our most persistent environmental difficulties.” (Gersie, 1992: 1). As such, storytelling in the context of sustainable development is recognised as having a deeply educational function, “passing on accumulated knowledge and traditions of culture” (Stevenson, 2002: 187) in ways which allow for a greater ‘stickiness’ because “stories allow a person to feel, and see, the information, as well as factually understand it … you ‘hear’ the information factually, visually and emotionally” (Neuhauser 1993: 4).
  • A Preliminary Situational Analysis of the Queen's English Society

    Pownall, Ian; Chester Business School (2018-11-06)
    The Queen’s English Society (QES), founded in 1972, is a small charity organisation operating within the UK. This report was requested by the Organising Committee (OC) as a situational analysis. It therefore seeks to offer initial recommendations for the OC to reflect upon based upon a mix of secondary data, author observations and convenience sampling on competitive data. The findings and recommendations presented in the report are as follows: 1) Seek collaborative arrangements with complementary voluntary organisations that can provide access to much needed capabilities in both marketing and digital activities. 2) Develop an attractive ‘hard’ offer in the marketplace whilst also developing supportive strategies to maximise available human resources that are currently under-utilised. 3) Develop as a matter of urgency alternative revenue streams – with patrons and corporate clients in particular. 4) Secure a clear understanding of member motivations for joining and leaving QES. Presently there is no information available on the market segment served by the society. 5) Revisit the membership structure so that it aligns with the actual social group operations of QES
  • Brexit Background Report - Meadow Foods

    Pownall, Ian; Chester Business School (2018-08-15)
    This is a Brexit briefing paper written for Meadow Foods. It offers a context for the senior staff meeting (15th August 2018) and to provide insights into the current known state of Brexit negotiations so that it might inform Meadows’ senior staff on potential contingency planning and implications. The paper seeks to adopt the goals of scenario analysis that challenge and prompt mindsets so as to encourage senior staff to reflect on patterns of understanding and thinking. The paper adopts a largely political economic viewpoint whilst also stressing potential trade impacts. It does this specifically to convey an understanding of the negotiating positions adopted by the UK and European Union (EU). Where possible and feasible, specific market insights are offered.
  • Organizational Resilience and Sustainable Development

    Evans, Vicky; Cregan, Karen; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-forth)
    Organisational resilience has been conceptualised in a variety of ways. Koronis and Ponis (2018) have articulated this as three distinct concepts: (1) the capacity of an organisation to 'bounce back' (to survive) after an adverse or traumatic event, (2) the capacity of an organisation to adapt to circumstances and events before they are experienced as adverse, as traumatic or a crisis, and (3) the aggregated capacities of people to absorb crises and operationally adapt to new situations. As yet, there is no consistently used terminology or conceptual foundations. Nevertheless, four key drivers of organisational resilience are highlighted in the literature – preparedness, responsiveness, adaptability and learning – which can be used as a starting point to identify associated interventions which may develop those drivers (Koronis and Ponis, 2018). Maturity models of organisational resilience suggest how these drivers develop progressively, interacting and reinforcing one another to the fullest extent in organisations which manage resilience holistically, achieving an “anti-fragile” stage of maturity where an organisation improves, prospers, and/or thrives in conditions of volatility, change or disruption in the wider environment (e.g. Leflar and Siegal, 2013; Ruiz and Martin et al, 2018).
  • Applied Fantasy and Well-Being

    Mackenzie, Anna; Wall, Tony; Poole, Simon; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-forth)
    Applied Fantasy is a new, innovative approach to well-being that demonstrates the significant potential within fantasy literature and media to provide effective and sustainable coping strategies for positive mental health. Emerging at the intersection of fantasy literature and media, mental health and well-being, and fan studies, the benefits from Applied Fantasy are twofold. First, the concept of an individual being part of a wider fandom is a positive step toward (a) combating isolation and (b) subverting the stigma surrounding mental health and, second, the contents of the fantasy works themselves provide solid examples and guidance on how to manage mental health concerns while not overtly discussing coping strategies for mental health.
  • Internationalisation, Sustainability and Key Challenges Facing SMEs: A comparative study of the UK and China

    Lam, Wing; Harris, Phil; Sidsaph, Henry; Wang, Dian; Zhou, Jinbo; Yang, Sen; University of Chester (West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce & University of Chester, 2018-03)
    This is a comparative study of UK and Chinese SMEs internationalisation, sustainable development and key barriers facing business
  • Resilience Education and Training

    Cregan, Karen; Rowe, Lisa; Wall, Tony (Springer, 2019-07)
    Gilligan (2000) describes resilience as process which engenders a sense of strength and confidence to succeed despite individual challenges faced and Noble and McGraph, (2011a; p.79) define it as "the ability to persist, cope adaptively and bounce back after encountering change, challenges, setback, disappointments, difficult situations or adversity and to return to a reasonable level of wellbeing". It has been suggested that these challenges can be controlled by an individual’s behaviours, thoughts and actions which, can be taught (American Psychological Association, 2018). However, Wu et al (2013) argue that developing resilience in individuals requires several ‘factors’ not least, an understanding of the genetic, epigenetic, developmental, psychological and neurochemical processes, as these can contribute to how an individual can cope with and develop resilience in the face of stress and trauma. In this way, resilience education and training is about building the capacities to cope as well as adapt to changes in generative ways, and includes a diverse range of strategies to develop personal purpose, confidence, flexibility and social support networks.
  • The integration of social responsibility and sustainability in practice: exploring attitudes and practices in Higher Education Institutions

    Leal Filho, W; Doni, F; Vargas, V.R.; Wall, T; Hindley, A; Rayman-Bacchus, L; Emblen-Perry, K; Boddy, J; Avila, L.V.; Hamburg University (Germany) & Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy); Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester; University of Chester; University of Winchester; University of Worcester; Griffith University (Australia); University of Santa Maria (Brazil) (Elsevier, 2019-02-14)
    The demands placed on Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to deliver sustainability initiatives alongside their long-standing social responsibility commitments has been recognised in literature. However, how these interrelate in practice continues to be relatively unexplored. The extant literature suggests that the integration of the two connected agendas can be problematic due to a range of factors, including a general lack of awareness or even misconceptions of the respective agendas. This paper explores the attitudes and practices related to the integration of social responsibility and sustainability initiatives at HEIs. Theoretically, this study highlights the ongoing relative positioning and importance of economic factors – as it relates to differentiation rather than integration – over others such as social responsibility and sustainability. The main implication of this study is that provide useful insights into how HEIs can closer integrate two contemporary but potentially competing agendas.
  • The integration of social responsibility and sustainability in practice: exploring attitudes and practices in Higher Education Institutions

    Leal Filho, Walter; Doni, Frederica; Vargas, Valeria Ruiz; Wall, Tony; Hindley, Ann; Rayman-Bacchus, Lez; Emblen-Perry, Kay; Boddy, Jennifer; Viega Avila, Lucas; Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Chester, University of Worcester (Elsevier, 2019)
    Abstract: The demands placed on Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to deliver sustainability initiatives alongside their long-standing social responsibility commitments has been recognised in literature. However, how these interrelate in practice continues to be relatively unexplored. The extant literature suggests that the integration of the two connected agendas can be problematic due to a range of factors, including a general lack of awareness or even misconceptions of the respective agendas. This paper explores the attitudes and practices related to the integration of social responsibility and sustainability initiatives at HEIs. Theoretically, this study highlights the ongoing relative positioning and importance of economic factors - as it relates to differentiation rather than integration - over others such as social responsibility and sustainability. The main implication of this study is that provide useful insights into how HEIs can closer integrate two contemporary but potentially competing agendas.
  • The effect of stroke type, stage of competition and final race position on pacing strategy in 200m swimming performance

    Thomson, Edd; Ward, Daniel (University of Chester, 2018-09-28)
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of stroke types, final race position and stage of competition on pacing strategy in elite women’s 200m swimming performance, and to appraise medallist’s stroke rate (SR) and stroke length (SL). Elite women’s 200m backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle performances (n = 576) formed twenty-four groups based on stroke type, final race position (medallists/non-medallists) and stage of competition (heats/semifinal/final). A mixed design with independent groups (stroke type/final race position) and repeated measures (stage of competition) was used. Official race and 50m split times were converted to velocities and normalised to average to show pacing strategy. Medallists SR and SL (n = 68) were quantified using a bespoke software. Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney U tests (post hoc) appraised significant differences between stroke types, multiple Mann-Whitney U tests appraised significant differences in final race position. Finally, Friedman test and multiple Wilcoxon tests (post hoc) appraised significant differences between both stages of competition and 50m splits. Generally, split times showed significant differences between splits (p<0.05, ES = 0.41-0.88) and normalised velocity showed significant differences between stroke type (p<0.05, ES = 0.33-1.10). Whereas, normalised velocity reported no significant differences regardless of final race position or stage of competition (p>0.05). Medallists SR and SL showed significant differences between splits (p<0.05, ES = 0.10-0.51) and stroke type (p<0.05, ES = 0.35-0.82). It was concluded that pacing strategies were dependent on stroke used with ‘fast start-even’ (backstroke/freestyle) and ‘positive’ (breaststroke/butterfly) reported, however, pacing remained consistent regardless of final race position or stage of competition. The differences were underpinned by stroke mechanics and changes in SR and SL.
  • Professional ‘lived’ experiences of middle managers in Further Education (FE) colleges in Wales: A study of the impact of major change

    Rowland, Caroline; Moss, Danny; Walford, Robert (University of Chester, 2019-01-14)
    Merger organizational change has been prolific across Wales and has significantly affected all Further Education (FE) colleges. The main merger driver was to reduce operational costs, whilst in the pursuit of increased organizational and departmental efficiencies and effectiveness. An imperative to widening access to education, an increase in the quality of curriculum provision and a need to reduce duplication of curriculum programmes were also important considerations. It is these changes that have shaped college organizations and the college middle manager role, post-merger, with a resulting impact on middle managers professional ‘lived’ experiences. The author’s research examines the effect of merger on the middle manager role and the influence of the college context on the ‘lived’ experiences of middle managers managing curriculum departments. The review of the literature highlights key relationships between mainstream management and the college middle manager role, as well as the influences likely to have an impact on this role. The author has developed a conceptual model with key elements consisting of professional ‘lived’ experiences of middle managers and role construct and behaviour, management and leadership. This study is exploratory in nature and uses a social constructionist philosophical approach. A subjectivist epistemology was adopted for this study, with the researcher applying a thematic analysis and an investigation of multiple realities. Data for this research was collected from in-depth semi-structured interviewees, which gave interviewees the opportunity to highlight their specific day-to-day professional ‘lived’ work experiences. The research study outlines a number of conclusions, which accord with this study’s specific research objectives and recommendations. In the post-merger era, the middle manager role has become more complex and challenging. Conclusions indicate a broader role for the middle manager, and a role defined by the college’s professional context, which contributes to influencing the college middle manager role. This study contributes to the field of academic study, and to professional practice. It provides insights to understanding the role of middle managers in the FE sector and also offers recommendations for college strategy and policy. Finally, it highlights opportunities for further research in Wales and beyond.
  • HIGHER EDUCATION OUTREACH: EXAMINING KEY CHALLENGES FOR ACADEMICS

    Johnson, Matthew; orcid: 0000-0002-9987-7050; Danvers, Emily; orcid: 0000-0002-0170-5331; Hinton-Smith, Tamsin; Atkinson, Kate; Bowden, Gareth; Foster, John; Garner, Kristina; Garrud, Paul; Greaves, Sarah; Harris, Patricia; Hejmadi, Momna; Hill, David; Hughes, Gwen; Jackson, Louise; O’Sullivan, Angela; ÓTuama, Séamus; orcid: 0000-0001-9315-9640; Perez Brown, Pilar; Philipson, Pete; Ravenscroft, Simon; Rhys, Mirain; Ritchie, Tom; Talbot, Jon; Walker, David; Watson, Jon; Williams, Myfanwy; Williams, Sharon (Informa UK Limited, 2019-02-04)
  • Redressing Small Firm Resilience: Exploring Owner-Manager Resources for Resilience

    Wall, Tony; Bellamy, Lawrence; University of Chester; University of Sunderland (Emerald, 2019)
    Purpose: The owner-manager of small firms is recognised as having a potentially significant role in the small firm’s competitiveness, growth and failure. However, the owner-manager’s own resilience has been largely overlooked in the small firm resilience literature. The purpose of this paper is to redress this and expand the debate and empirical basis of small firm owner-managers’ personal resources for resilience. Design/methodology/approach: This longitudinal qualitative study deployed semi-structured interviews with nine owner-managers, each being interviewed three or four times. Analytical procedures were employed utilising an established framework which conceptualised four key personal resources for resilience as adaptability, confidence, social support, and purposefulness. Findings: There were four key findings: (1) owner-manager adaptability can appear in extremes including a sense of helplessness or optimism where disruptive circumstances are not sensed as problematic, (2) owner-manager confidence levels often echo their own mindset of adaptability, that is, from helplessness to positive ambition, (3) owner-managers can utilise discursive tactics with strong/weak ties for a range of affective as well as technical resources for resilience, and (4) purposefulness tended to be framed in terms of a necessity for a longer term future state related to own or family lifestyle, rather than profit. It is also noted that the owner-manager and the firm are closely interrelated and therefore enhancement of personal resilience resources is likely to positively influence their resilience, and therefore the resilience of the organisation and strategic capability of the firm. Originality/value: The small firm resilience literature typically focuses on the organisational level which de-emphasises the salient role of the owner-manager and their resilience. This study attempts to redress this.
  • Critical discourse analysis and the questioning of dominant, hegemonic discourses of sustainable tourism in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, South Africa

    Lyon, Andy; Hunter-Jones, Philippa; University of Chester; University of Liverpool (Taylor & Francis, 2019-01-14)
    The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how critical discourse analysis (CDA), an under-utilised methodological approach, can be used to critically question the dominant, hegemonic discourses surrounding sustainable development and sustainable tourism development. The Waterberg Biosphere Reserve in South Africa provides the study context. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide the framework for review, sustainable development an integral part of this framework. This research study examines three SDGs in particular: discourses surrounding SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 15 (life on land). Interviews (n=35) were conducted, in South Africa, with multiple stakeholder groups. CDA techniques were applied to data analysis to examine the sustainable development/sustainable tourism discourses attached to the SDGs under review. Neoliberal discourses linked to the economy, the environment, and a sustaining of the tourism industry through top-down planning and unequal power distributions emerged. Conclusions reflect both upon the opportunities utilising a tool such as CDA presents, along with the limitations to take account of in applying it. CDA applications which explore SDGs by listening to the voices of the poor are suggested as one avenue for further research.
  • Workplace stress management

    Parkyn, Matthew; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-07)
    Sustainability encapsulates not only ecological and socio-economic dimensions, but also those dimensions focused on developing the quality of life of every human being (Di Fabio, 2017). As the global rise of work-place or work-related stress is now recognised for its interconnectedness with and impacts on other aspects of health such as depression and mortality and sustainable development more broadly, such as poverty, stress has become a significant sustainable development challenge (ILO, 2016; HSE, 2015; EU OSHA, 2014). Indeed, stress can be understood in a variety of ways, including biological or physiological stress (in terms of the pressures placed on the material body), experiential (in the sense of how those demands are perceived and made sense of), and a combination of these. In particular, work-related stress is the response people have when presented with work contexts, demands, and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities. Therefore, stress management encompasses a range of activities that are deployed by individuals, teams and organisations to manage the experience and impacts of stressors (ibid), and therefore has a role in the mitigation of the wider sustainable development impacts aforementioned.
  • Stress management training and education

    Parkyn, Matthew; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-07)
    Stress is understood in a variety of ways, including biological or physiological stress (in terms of the pressures placed on the material body), experiential (in the sense of how those demands are perceived and made sense of), and a combination of these. In particular, work-related stress is the response people have when presented with a work environment where job demands and pressures are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope with those demands. Therefore, stress training and education encompass the range of activities that are deployed by individuals, groups, and organisations to develop awareness, knowledge and skills about stress, stressors and how to manage these, with a view to manage the experience and impact of stress.
  • Technology-Enabled Experiential Marketing

    Haenel, Thorben; Loibl, Wilhelm; Wang, Hui (IGI Global, 2017)
    In recent years, there has been an increased interest from both academia and practitioners in the topic of customer experience. Companies nowadays are transforming their attention and endeavour to focus on memorable or customer experiences rather than premium prices or superior quality of products and services. Importantly, the value generated by unique customer experiences has a significant impact upon business performance in terms of customer commitment and customer loyalty. Along with the rapid and continuous development of ICT, the travel experience is no longer limited to services encounters on-site but is extended and dynamically created in both physical and virtual experience spaces. With the continuous proliferation of smart technology, travel industry has seen a radical transformation from product and service orientation to a customer-experience driven approach.
  • Mental toughness

    Strycharczyk, Doug; Clough, Peter; Wall, Tony; Perry, John; AQR Limited; University of Huddersfield; University of Chester; Mary Immaculate College (Springer, 2019-10-26)
    Since the turn of the 21st Century, Mental Toughness has been defined in a variety of ways (e.g. Clough, Earle & Sewell, 2002; Coulter, Mallett & Gucciardi, 2010; Fourie & Potgieter, 2001; Golby & Sheard, 2006; Gucciardi, Gordon & Dimmock, 2008; Jones, Hanton & Connaughton, 2007). Although they differ in many respects, the conceptualisation share a number of similarities. For example, self-belief is at the core of most definitions, motivation is central to most as is persistence in achieving and the ability to deal with setbacks. As such, Mental Toughness is an umbrella term that entails positive psychological resources, which are crucial across a wide range of achievement contexts and in the domain of mental health. Clough and Strycharczyk (2015: 33) suggest that: Mental Toughness is a narrow plastic personality trait which explains in large part how individuals respond differently to the same or similar stressors, pressures, opportunities and challenges… irrespective of prevailing circumstances.
  • Inquiry into the cultural impact on cost accounting systems (CAS) in Sri Lanka

    Nagirikandalage, Padmi; Binsardi, Ben; University of Chester; Glyndwr University (Emerald, 2017)
    The purpose of this paper is to critically explore the implementation of cost accounting systems (CAS) using content analysis. In particular, it aims to examine the impact of Sri Lankan cultural and local characteristics on the adoption of CAS. In particular, it examines the factors that facilitate or hinder the adoption of CAS in Sri Lanka. Primary data for the research were obtained by interviewing selected respondents from Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and service sectors. They were shortlisted using maximum variation sampling to obtain a representative cross-section of the national population. A total of 16 respondents were interviewed, which resulted in 57 interview paragraphs to be coded. Several theories were used to analyse them, namely, the theory of institutional isomorphism (homogeneity) and the theory of heterogeneity, as well as Clifford Geertz’s cultural theories. A cross-comparison between the findings and relevant literature indicates the existence of complete institutional isomorphism and partial institutional heterogeneity in Sri Lanka. Heterogeneity exists in organisations such as foreign multinationals, which have adopted unique and sophisticated CAS. In addition, inadequate access to information and the orientation of the local culture has affected the implementation of CAS in Sri Lanka, with a lack of awareness of the importance of CAS, a sluggish approach to costing and cultural values forming prominent barriers to its implementation. These findings are plausible in light of the relationship between a sluggish approach towards costing (a low cost awareness), and local attitudes towards the implementation of more efficient accounting practices such as CAS. This research is invaluable as a tool for Sri Lankan policymakers and practitioners, enabling the public and private sectors to provide education and training to enhance staff understanding and promote a positive attitude towards costing. With more efficient institutional CAS, the country’s economy will be more competitive internationally. As well as policymakers and practitioners, this research could be used by academicians for advancing theoretical development around the cultural triggers and barriers for adopting more innovative and fresher CAS in Sri Lanka. The originality of this research can be justified on two counts. Firstly, although a wealth of research exists that examines the influence of culture on behaviour, this research specifically evaluates the impact of cultural factors on attitudes towards costing. These factors could be facilitators or obstructions for implementing CAS. Secondly, this research aims to combine both earlier and recent theories of institutionalism with Clifford Geertz’s cultural theory, to investigate how people and institutions in Sri Lanka adopt CAS. Earlier studies have focused merely on earlier theories of institutional homogeneity.

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