• 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.
    • Spirituality and wellbeing in the workplace

      Foster, Scott; Wall, Tony; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (2019-07)
      The late 20th century and the early 21st centuries have seen a growing interest in spirituality in general and its role in the workplace (Petchsawanga and Duchon, 2012; Bell and Burack, 2001; Sedikides, 2010; Wagner-Marsh and Conley, 1999). However, despite this growing interest in spirituality and its place within the organisation, the concept remains undertheorized, and there is no generally accepted definition. The literature is primarily dominated by speculative discussion, fragmentation, dearth and incomprehensibility and a marked lack of empirical data, especially quantitative research (Khaled et al. 2012). Corner (2008: 377) goes on to note that, much of this work is in fact useful and thought-provoking but “…needs to be extended with experience or empirical data to prevent theories being remote from the phenomenon they intend to describe.” Often, the words spirituality, ethics and religion tend to overlap, so there is a need to clarify the concepts (Giacalone and Jurkiewicz, 2010). In a broad sense, ethics normally differentiates between right and wrong, religion is concerned with beliefs, prayers, and related formalised practices, whilst spirituality tends to refer to an individual’s determination to experience a deeper meaning to life through the way in which they live and work. (Snyder and Lopez, 2008).
    • Exploring Public Sector Accounting Reforms in an Emerging Economy: A Case of Sri Lanka

      Nagirikandalage, Padmi; Binsardi, Ben; University of Chester, Glyndwr University (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015)
      The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges and influential factors experienced in the development of public sector accounting reforms in the emerging economy of Sri Lanka. The reforms aim to improve public governance and transparency while reducing corruption and dishonesty. Qualitative (thematic) analysis has been employed by using both primary and secondary data. Primary data was obtained by interviewing selected respondents from public sector organisations in Sri Lanka. The respondents were selected by using an expert purposive sampling technique. Apart from the primary data, secondary data such as government reports, relevant literature and paper articles was also analysed in order to produce more robust findings. The findings indicate that technological and cultural factors have influenced accounting reforms in the public sector in Sri Lanka. In addition, the politicisation and bureaucracy of the public sector as well as sluggish attitudes towards costs have served as prominent barriers to efficient implementation of the reforms. This study was limited in terms of generalisation because of relatively small sample sizes. A larger sample with more diversity could have enhanced the generalisation of the results which could serve as direction for further research. This paper is intended to fill a gap in the existing literature on public sector accounting reforms in the context of less developed or emerging countries. It is hopefully valuable for both policy makers and practitioners by allowing them to view the development, challenges and influential aspects of the implementation of New Public Management (NPM) in Sri Lanka in order that they will be able to make informed decisions about adopting more efficient NPM practices to enhance the country’s competitive advantages.
    • Global Perspectives on Work-Based Learning Initiatives

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (IGI Global, 2018-06-15)
      The book is the first to appraise developments in Work based learning from a global perspective. 'Work based learning' (WBL) in the context of a formal programme of study in higher education is defined as all forms of learning relevant to the workplace to include closely related terms such as Work Integrated Learning, Work Applied Learning and Work Related Learning. Three types of WBL can be described: learning for students currently outside the workplace seeking to enter it gaining experience in the form of a work placement; learning for students who are part located in the workplace and part in an educational institution typically in the form of an apprenticeship and learning for students fully engaged in the workplace studying part time. All three forms of WBL are increasingly common around the world in response to the perceived deficiencies of the traditional curriculum as part of a desire on the part of students, employers and policy makers to create learning more relevant to the labour market and workplace. The book reviews all types on WBL practice in ten countries- Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Japan, South Africa, Eire, the Netherlands, USA, Germany and the UK.
    • Age-related differences when measuring political hypocrisy

      Prete, M. Irene; orcid: 0000-0001-9360-0475; Guido, Gianluigi; Pichierri, Marco; Harris, Phil (Wiley, 2018-04-16)
    • Behavioural Economics and Social Economics: Opportunities for an Expanded Curriculum

      Manning, Paul; University of Chester (Emerald, 2018)
      The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) undermined the legitimacy of orthodox economic assumptions, which nevertheless continue to frame business school pedagogy. In consequence, there is an opportunity for socio-economic insights to be more fully incorporated into the business school curriculum. This article reports and reflects on a socio-economic case study that was delivered to MBA students. The article demonstrates that the developing literature on behavioural economics has the potential to enhance students’ social-economic understanding of key areas of the curriculum. The paper presents an inter-disciplinary socio-economic teaching case that was informed by insights from behavioural economics. The teaching case concerned a socio-economic understanding of corruption and white-collar crime. It was also inter-disciplinary to include inputs from business history and criminology. The aim of the teaching case was to develop an appreciation among students that corruption and white-collar crime can be analyzed within a social economics lens. The teaching case example discussed in this article offered an alternative socio-economic understanding to core areas of the MBA curriculum, enabling students to apply a behavioural economic approach to corruption and more generally to white-collar-crime. The findings derived from this case study is that behavioural l economics has the potential to enhance the teaching of socio-economics. The GFC presents an opportunity to re-shape the business school curriculum to acknowledge the centrality of socio-economics and consequently to offer an alternative to the dominant ontological assumptions -taken from the economic understanding of rationality-that have previously under-pinned business school pedagogy. The originality of this article is to apply behavioural economics to a socio-economic teaching case studies in core subject areas of the MBA curriculum.
    • Research Policy and Practice Provocations: Coaching evaluation in diverse landscapes of practice – towards enriching toolkits and professional judgement

      Wall, Tony; Jamieson, Mark; Csigás, Zoltan; Kiss, Olga; University of Chester; European Mentoring and Coaching Council (European Mentoring and Coaching Council, 2017-03)
      The European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), with its vision to be the ‘go to’ body for coaching and mentoring across the globe, considers research to be a cornerstone of its strategy to spur the enhancement of practice, to spur innovation, and to drive the highest standards in professionalisation...
    • Exploiting the social fabric of networks: a social capital analysis of historical financial frauds

      Manning, Paul; The University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-10-21)
      ABSTRACT The article will present two strategic cases of financial fraud that demonstrate the recurring reference points that conmen use to facilitate their white-collar crimes. The cases are constructed from the Ponzi and Madoff financial frauds, perpetrated by the most well swindlers of the twentieth and (so far) twenty-first centuries. The article will illustrate that their ‘modus operandi’ shared essential reference points, as it owed as much to their sophisticated socioeconomic insights and consequent exploitation of social capital processes, as it did to their sophisticated insights into criminal financial schemes and financial engineering. This article will demonstrate that social relations and the resources that inhere in these relations (social capital) can be negative. This contribution will add to an emerging field of analysis that considers deviant organizational behavior. For this article, the negatives of social capital will be described as its shadow aspect, which for financial fraud includes decision-making based on excessive in-group trust, as well as general credulity replacing due diligence. The article’s theoretical contribution will be to develop understanding of historical phenomenon, in this instance of financial fraud, with the application of the shadow side of the social capital concept.
    • Through the looking glass: the factors that influence consumer trust and distrust in brands

      Mal, Carmen; Davies, Gary; Diers-Lawson, Audra (Wiley, 2018-09-27)
      This paper aims to identify the factors responsible for creating brand trust and brand distrust among consumers. It uses a grounded theory approach to guide the conduct and analysis of 20 semi-structured interviews that yielded 120 descriptions of consumer-brand interactions. The 3 stage model that emerged shows a process whereby consumers prioritize product/service quality information and subsequently consider how the company behind the brand behaves towards consumers in the name of the brand, specifically behaviors signalling its integrity and benevolence. Finally, consumers consider characteristics of the company behind the brand (e.g. its financial status) and how it behaves in its own name towards other stakeholder groups (e.g. employees). The process for distrust mirrors that for trust, implying the two are polar opposites. The data also show that trust and distrust in a brand can co-exist but within separate domains.
    • Organizational Initiatives for Spiritual Wellbeing in the Workplace

      Foster, Scott; Wall, Tony; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Springer, 2019)
      Spirituality can be understood in a pluralistic way, with varying conceptualisations through history and in different cultural contexts, and have included conceptions which place it synonymously with the practice of religious rituals as well as practices which enable people to experience a higher life purpose separate from a religious belief. However, within the context of work, its discussion has come to focus on re-orienting or re-balancing the experience of organisational life in developed countries in The West towards a more sustained and meaningful life in a context of workforce diversity and a greater sense of connectedness to others (Wall et al 2019). Against this backdrop, in the last decade, there has been a steady rise in interest regarding spiritual wellbeing and an increase inthe correlation between the expression of one’s spirituality and cases that are regarded as discrimination (Krahnke and Hoffman, 2002; Loo, 2017). Spiritualty has quickly become topical within the workplace and within business literature, partly due to the increase in technology such as the internet and social media (Long and Mills, 2010; Krishnakumer and Neck, 2002; Pawar, 2016; Bhatia and Arora, 2017). Whilst organisations are attempting to understand the complexity of spirituality, there are warnings in the literature that workplace spirituality is a prominent reality in the current business environment and it should not be dismissed (Deshpande, 2012; Alas and Mousa, 2016; Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2014). Therefore, workplace spirituality can be defined as a “contextualised phenomenon that examines questions of how spirituality relates to one’s work organisation and can be conceptualised as a lived experience and expression of ones spirituality in the context or work and workplace”. (Sheep, 2006:358)
    • Work based learning in the United Kingdom: What we know of practice and an example: The WBL module and WBIS program at the University of Chester

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (IGI Global, 2019)
      The chapter summarises the development and spread of Work based learning in British universities and includes case studies of at the University of Chester, where all three modes of practice are evidenced.