• A study of learners’ interactive preference on multimedia microlearning

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

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

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

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

      Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; Au, Robin; Lee, Ching; University of Chester; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Lincoln University College, 2022-04-01)
      Data Analytics has been considered as a promising topic. This paper aims to review the trends of Data Analytics in terms of related publications. More specifically, in this study we analysed 18-years real-world data obtained from Web of Science database for the purpose. These data include the first relevant publication found in the database. In total, 18610 relevant publications have been identified during 2004 to 2021. According to the findings from analysing the identified publications, we suggest that Data Analytics is a glowing global topic involving affiliations and funding sponsors from different countries. On top of the industrial voice saying Data Analytics is an emerging topic, the findings from this paper can provide an additional reference for the education sector, government, and academia, to conduct, promote and support the Data Analytics related research. We believe this is the first time that a study has been conducted to comprehensively review the development trends of Data Analytics. Hopefully, this study can shed some light on related research.
    • How can the Organisational Ambidexterity concept be applied to the automotive industry as it aims to exploit current vehicles sales profit pools and explore autonomous electric mobility services?

      Manning, Paul; Moore, Neil; Moore, Andy (University of Chester, 2022-03-24)
      The Automotive Industry is facing unprecedented disruption from electrification, connectivity, autonomous driving, and diverse mobility. Throughout its 130-year history, the industry has been built on increment change and could now be facing an existential crisis if it does not respond to these disruptors. Organisational Ambidexterity (OA) is the dual challenge of exploiting current profit pools whilst also exploring future revenue streams. The literature presented four antecedent themes that will form the basis of this research (Differentiation vs Integration, Individual vs Organisation, Static vs Dynamic and Internal vs External). The most recent a priori body of knowledge is set against a backdrop of mergers and acquisitions within the automotive industry to achieve globalisation, scale and explore new markets. The current backdrop of facing disruption has received very little attention to date, which this thesis has set out to redress. OA is a social construct, created by the perceptions and actions of the actors within the research site. The nature of disruption is also a mutually constructed reality, assessed by the actors according to their own beliefs on the scale and impact on their organisations and themselves. A subjectivist ontological approach is taken, with an interpretivist epistemology viewing the world as assimilated through perception and discourse. This research is qualitative, using semi-structured in-depth elite interviews to gather data, and represents privileged access. Analysis will be using the Constant Comparative Method, with the coding steps carried out manually. The researcher is embedded in the research setting and will take a participant-observer approach. This methodology of elite interviews, reinforced with emic indwelling and manual coding, delivered rich insights in the current context of the automotive industry. This thesis makes contributions on three fronts. The contribution to theory provides an upto-date view of OA within the automotive industry, assesses the relevance of the four antecedent themes, and identifies three emergent themes – Collaboration, Speed and Scale. The contribution to practice is to provide managers and organisations insights and guidance on how OA could be applied. The findings provide privileged insights into how collaboration operates, identifies some of the challenges, and empathises with the Traditional and Contemporary OEM’s and their different stances. Outside of the Automotive industry, any industry that is facing disruption can gain transferrable insights. The contribution to methodology is demonstrating that elite interviews, underpinned by emic indwelling, can deliver rich insights from a privileged setting.
    • Binge Watching and the Role of Social Media Virality towards promoting Netflix’s Squid Game

      Ahmed, Wasim; Mariann, Hardey; Fenton, Alex; Das, Ronnie; University of Stirling; University of Chester; Durham University; Audencia Business School, Nantes (Sage, 2022-03-23)
      Management literature has extensively studied viral marketing in the last decade; however, there is a lack of research in understanding network structures and the role of influencers within popular cultural consumption, such as on-demand digital media and binge-watching. In this article, we investigate the role of social media in popularising the East Asian dystopian cultural drama Squid Game. We studied this phenomenon by analyzing social network structures, dynamics and influencer characteristics that transformed Squid Game into a popular global digital cultural consumption sensation. Stemming from the foundational theories of popular culture binge-watching, network theory, and the social media echo chamber effect; we demonstrate how careful ‘seeding’ and ‘broadcasting’ behaviour adopted by Netflix and key influencers helped ‘reciprocal merging’ of creative media content within the broader social media space. Our study found that 13,727 Twitter users were tweeting or mentioned on the day show was released, with a combined follower count of over 853,000,000. Our research findings further present the characteristic of individual group-based echo chambers and their role in value co-creation towards expanding the network boundary through e-WOM. This phenomenon led to the show’s unprecedented popularity amongst a global audience within a short period. Contributions of our work expand viral marketing and echo chamber concepts into the binge-watching and popular digital culture realm, where the interplay between dramatized Asian and Western dystopian social norms provided the very fabric of user-led promotion and value co-creation.
    • A Comparative Study on Students’ Learning Expectations of Entrepreneurship Education in the UK and China

      Lam, Wing; Harris, Phil; Ullah, Farid; Li, Lan (University of Chester, 2022-03)
      Entrepreneurship education has become a critical subject in academic research and educational policy design, occupying a central role in contemporary education globally. However, a review of the literature indicates that research on entrepreneurship education is still in a relatively early stage. Little is known about how entrepreneurship education learning is affected by the environmental context to date. Therefore, combining the institutional context and focusing on students’ learning expectations as a novel perspective, the main aim of the thesis is to address the knowledge gap by developing an original conceptual framework to advance understanding of the dynamic learning process of entrepreneurship education through the lens of self-determination theory, thereby providing a basis for advancing understanding of entrepreneurship education. The author adopted an epistemological positivism philosophy and a deductive approach. This study gathered 247 valid questionnaires from the UK (84) and China (163). It requested students to recall their learning expectations before attending their entrepreneurship courses and to assess their perceptions of learning outcomes after taking the entrepreneurship courses. It was found that entrepreneurship education policy is an antecedent that influences students' learning expectations, which is represented in the difference in student autonomy. British students in active learning under a voluntary education policy have higher autonomy than Chinese students in passive learning under a compulsory education policy, thus having higher learning expectations, leading to higher satisfaction. The positive relationship between autonomy and learning expectations is established, which adds a new dimension to self-determination theory. Furthermore, it is also revealed that the change in students’ entrepreneurial intentions before and after their entrepreneurship courses is explained by understanding the process of a business start-up (positive), hands-on business start-up opportunities (positive), students’ actual input (positive) and tutors’ academic qualification (negative). The thesis makes contributions to both theory and practice. The findings have far reaching implications for different parties, including policymakers, educators, practitioners and researchers. Understanding and shaping students' learning expectations is a critical first step in optimising entrepreneurship education teaching and learning. On the one hand, understanding students' learning expectations of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education can help the government with educational interventions and policy reform, as well as improving the quality and delivery of university-based entrepreneurship education. On the other hand, entrepreneurship education can assist students in establishing correct and realistic learning expectations and entrepreneurial conceptions, which will benefit their future entrepreneurial activities and/or employment. An important implication is that this study connects multiple stakeholders by bridging the national-level institutional context, organisational-level university entrepreneurship education, and individual level entrepreneurial learning to promote student autonomy based on an understanding of students' learning expectations. This can help develop graduates with their ability for autonomous learning and autonomous entrepreneurial behaviour. The results of this study help to remind students that it is them, the learners, their expectations and input that can make the difference between the success or failure of their study. This would not only apply to entrepreneurship education but also to other fields of study. One key message from this study is that education can be encouraged and supported but cannot be “forced”. Mandatory entrepreneurship education is not a quick fix for the lack of university students’ innovation and entrepreneurship. More resources must be invested in enhancing the enterprise culture, thus making entrepreneurship education desirable for students.
    • The ambidextrous interaction of RBV-KBV and Regional Social Capital and their impact on SME management

      Kraus, Patrick; Stokes, Peter; Tarba, Shlomo Y.; Rodgers, Peter; Dekel-Dachs, Ofer; Britzelmaier, Bernd; Moore, Neil; Pforzheim University; De Montfort University; University of Birmingham; University of Southampton; Loughborough University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2022-01-18)
      This paper argues that regional culture, encompassed within intricate forms of social capital, is inextricably linked to the resource-based view (RBV) concept - focused on inimitable resources possessed by a firm. These resources encompass knowledge (pertaining to the knowledge-based view (KBV)) – including the cultural knowledge and understandings that reside in a given region - as a key resource that is available to a firm, creating resources in order to render it competitive. The paper conceptually develops RBV-KBV within an organizational ambidexterity framework and highlights how regional context, RBV-KBV and firm dynamics inter-operate. This responds to an important gap in the literature, underscoring the vital role of regional contextualised RBV-KBV. Rather than viewing these contexts as taken-as-given artefacts it is important to see them as culturally, socially, and historically constructed and rooted phenomena. Drawing empirically on a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with German manufacturing SMEs in the Baden-Württemberg (BW) region (SW Germany), this paper provides novel insights into how SMEs manage resources and regional social capital in order to expand judiciously into international (emerging) markets. In so doing, the paper presents a novel organizational ambidextrous conceptual framework showing how companies move from traditional exploitative and conservative regional cultural RBV-KBV bases to more explorative and innovative internationalising ones. Within this, the paper also contributes fresh insights into the explorative ‘hidden champions’ phenomenon by showing how the latent BW conservative RBV-KBV and its regional social capital-informed exploitative postures act as persistent moderating drivers of explorative internationalisation.
    • The complementarities of Digitalization and Productivity: Redefining Boundaries for Financial Sector

      Gul, Razia; Ellahi, Nazima; Leong, Kelvin; Malik, Qaiser; University of Chester; Foundation University, Pakistan (Taylor & Francis, 2021-12-21)
      Digitalisation is portrayed as a transformative force, remodelling the way we live and businesses operate. In today's unprecedented business environment, the survival of organisations is in technological advancement and online presence. When masses rely on digital financial payments, there is a pressing need for the financial sector to offer innovative products and services to meet customers’ needs and achieve sustainable performance. This paper aims to investigate the impact of data analytics on the productivity of banks in Pakistan and employed two-step system generalised methods of moments for estimation. The findings suggest that 5.9% productivity is increased for banks that invested in data analytics on average. It was also found that productivity increase is associated with an investment in data analytics compared to a mere investment in any software. However, the moderating role of dynamic capabilities on the relationship between data analytics and banks’ productivity is insignificant, which raises a question on the relevance of research and development expense with human capital development. It is recommended that banks should invest in those analytics that have predictive, visualising and analytical capabilities. The use of these innovative technologies should be combined with training and human capital development to ensure sustainable firm performance.
    • A practical and theoretical approach to assessing Micro-Enterprise brand image signals

      Davies, Gary; Lam, Wing; Leong, Kelvin; Wang, Dian (University of Chester, 2021-10)
      This thesis aims to investigate how Micro Enterprises (MEs) communicate their brand image to their markets. The research takes a comparative approach and examines firms in both the UK and China. The main theoretical base for the work is that of the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) which holds that entities with humanistic associations (including brands and corporate brands) are automatically judged for their ‘warmth’ (trustworthiness, sincerity, supportiveness) and their ‘competence’ (effectiveness, efficiency). The status (prestigious, glamorous) of the entity is also included in the SCM model but as an antecedent to competence judgements. Recent work alternatively considers it as a dimension of imagery which is automatically judged by customers. The methodology is a mixed method and has three interlinked pieces of work, the first two of which are more exploratory and the last more confirmatory. A case study approach first explored the signalling of 14 MEs using in-depth, semi-structured interviews with their owner-managers. A thematic analysis of content showed that managers emphasize their competence and that fewer provided unprompted examples of status positioning. The second study involved the content analysis of parts of 66 ME websites labelled ‘who we are’ or similar. Competence descriptors were again the most frequent followed by warmth and then status items. The two studies evidence that MEs signal competence, warmth, and status but in that order of emphasis. An experimental study was conducted where the status signalling of a fictitious ME (a gift company) was manipulated. It explored why MEs use the signal less and test whether this changes the perceived competence of the company and the purchase intention and person-brand congruence of potential customers. The increase in status did not increase competence and it reduced outcome behaviour and warmth. As warmth explains consumer attitude best, using the status signal can reduce potential sales. This holds regardless of country (the UK and China), and control variable values. However, perceived higher prices and giving too much irrelevant information mediated and therefore explain the effect of status on consumer attitude. The main effects were positive, but the indirect effects were negative due to perceived higher prices and irrelevant information. Finally, all variables considered in this study were tested using Structural Equation Modelling, adding to the insights from the final study The primary contribution is to better understand how MEs communicate their imagery to their market. SCM thinking is also tested and developed in the context of ME marketing and recommendations made for its adaption.
    • Thriving at Work (Integrated Learning): An investigation into adult learners’ experiences of vitality and learning when successfully engaging with work integrated learning

      Wall, Tony; Foster, Scott; Weston, Philippa J. W. (University of Chester, 2021-08)
      Higher Education (HE) has a key role in re-educating an aging UK workforce through part-time programmes aimed at older (30+) working adults. However, since 2010 HE enrolments have plummeted further compounded by high attrition rates. As such, there is an urgent need for HE to research this important but overlooked student category in order to attract and support them. As a HE lecturer in work integrated learning, the researcher has a vested interest in addressing this gap as well as contributing to the thriving at work literature. Taking a social constructivist stance, narrative inquiry has been applied to explore eleven adult work integrated learners’ experiences of thriving to gain a deeper understanding of what positively influences their vitality and learning and how HE can facilitate them. Her findings show learners’ vitality towards work integrated learning mirror their vitality towards work. The opportunity to shape and share learning helps elevate and maintain vitality levels as well as deepen the learning experience so enabling them to thrive. Further, attitudes are not only influenced by the current context but also experiences and events from childhood. However, although HE tutors can positively influence learners’ experience of work integrated learning, most of HE appears to have little impact. As well as exploring thriving in the context of work integrated learning, this study contributes to the thriving at work literature by providing insights which suggest vitality exhibits state-like and trait-like qualities. When vitality combines with work integrated learning, it creates a virtuous circle where one construct builds on the other to enable the learner to thrive. This is further enhanced by learners’ shaping and sharing their learning experience with others. However, learners’ ability to engage with HE successfully in the present is also influenced by their experiences from the past and can impact on their needs and expectations. To attract and retain this important learner category, HE must understand and respond to learners’ needs and expectations not just via interactions with specific tutors but through the HE systems and processes laid down to support them.
    • 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 (BioMed Central, 2021-06-24)
      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 Impacts of the Early Outset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Climate Change Research: implications for policy-making

      Leal Filho, Walter; Wall, Tony; Alves, Fatima; Nagy, Gustavo J; Fernández Carril, Luis; Li, Chunlan; Azeiteiro, Ulisses M.; Mucova, Serafino; Platje, Johannes; Rayman-Bacchus, Lez; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-06-16)
      Since January 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the media and exercises pressure on governments worldwide. Apart from its effects on economies, education systems and societies, the pandemic has also influenced climate change research. This paper examines the extent to which COVID-19 has influenced climate change research worldwide during the first wave at the beginning of 2020 and how it is perceived to exploit it in the future. This study utilised an international survey involving those dedicated to climate change science and management research from Academia, Government, NGOs, and international agencies in 83 countries. The analysis of responses encompasses four independent variables: Institutions, Regions, Scientific Areas, and the level of economic development represented by the Human Development Index (HDI). Results show that: (1) COVID-19 modified the way the surveyed researchers work, (2) there are indicators that COVID-19 has already influenced the direction of climate change and adaptation policy implementation, and (3) respondents perceived (explicitly concerning the COVID-19 lockdowns of March-April 2020), that the pandemic has drawn attention away from climate policy. COVID-19 has influenced the agenda of climate change research for more than half of the respondents and is likely to continue in the future, suggesting that the impacts on their research will still be felt for many years. The paper concludes by outlining critical implications for policy-making.
    • To investigate the ambidextrous challenges and tensions of small and medium enterprises in the United Kingdom defence & security sector

      Wall, Tony; Moore, Neil; Lewis, Christopher C. (University of Chester, 2021-05)
      The defence and security industry is an extremely dynamic environment, influenced by policy and world events. Whilst it often needs to respond to rapid change, there is a dichotomy in that capital programs take years to come to fruition. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are involved in both of these short and long-term aspects of acquisition, thus creating strategic challenges. Though there has been much research around ambidexterity and SMEs, there has been very little in the fluid domain of defence and security supply-side SMEs. This study aims to investigate this gap in research. The investigation collected primary qualitative data through the use of semi-structured interviews, with research participants constituting the leadership functions of eighteen businesses that deliver either directly to the defence and security governmental departments, or into the supply chain. Findings indicate that within a shrinking defence sector, successful SMEs are operating in an ambidextrous fashion, often utilising the industrial partners of the industry trade organisations. Also, outside that of grand strategic change, Government policy has a limited impact on the SMEs in this sector. With scarce resources, the leadership of businesses see the competing needs of resource and finances as a major tension point. These two competing needs can be defined as exploration and exploitation respectively, and can be situated within an ambidextrous construct. Critically, successful businesses operate in a ambidextrous zone where there is constant iterative adjustment between both exploration and exploitation. This thesis advances the thought leadership in SME strategy, particularly around the key indigenous industry of defence and security, thereby adjusting the understanding of the definition of ambidexterity. This study contributes to the current literature, through the development of an alternative and responsive conceptual dynamic model of a growing business, theorising that ambidexterity functions change as SMEs grow, are constantly evolving, and are adjusted by both internal and external influences. The study concludes with recommendations for practice.
    • Experiences of international students studying in a UK university: how do international students studying in the UK’s Higher Education sector build academic resilience?

      Moore, Neil; Ullah, Farid; Brogden-Ward, Anthony J. (University of Chester, 2021-05)
      With the ever-increasing number of international students entering the global market, many of which enrol on post-graduate Higher Education (HE) programmes in the UK, current research offers limited insight into the key role academic resilience plays in enabling international cohorts’ progression and achievement. This study aims to fill the gap by investigating how international students studying in the UK build academic resilience, contributing to the literature and informing governmental policies and university practices. Guided by Bourdieu’s seminal concepts of social capital generation and conversion, this work develops the theories of other researchers in building capital to enhance the academic resilience of students. It achieves this by adopting a qualitative interpretivist paradigm aligned to similar studies, using a longitudinal representative case study in the UK. Over a period of 42-months, 36 respondents formed four non-probability samples. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews, a focus group and questionnaire, the findings of which were analysed using grounded theory methods and supported by computer-aided qualitative analysis software. The results identify six prevalent capitals that students either generate prior to their arrival in the UK or are socially constructed with newly formed peer-groups. Notably, the emergence of neo-familial capital akin to concepts of fictive kinship offers a fresh perspective on the need to formally address the importance academic resilience has on the international student’s learning experience and progression. The findings provide insight into the sources of international students’ academic resilience and how these can change over space and time. This insight offers universities with theoretical and practical guidance on the need to embed proactive student support systems that stimulate academic resilience amongst its international students. It also informs governmental policies on attracting students from overseas as it seeks to enhance the UK’s HE offer to global markets.
    • The Future of Events will be Hybrid

      Brown, Tim (Goodfellow Publishers, 2021-04)
      In early 2020 a pandemic was declared following the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe. As a result, numerous governments worldwide implemented strict measures to limit the movements of their populations to prevent increases in COVID-19 infections (Ludvigsen & Hayton, 2020; Mohanty et al., 2020). These restrictions included regional and national ‘lockdowns’ which severely restricted personal activities, with all but essential workers urged to work from home, schools and universities closed and moved online, and only critical business (such as supermarkets and pharmacies) to remain open (Richter, 2020). Many industries were affected by the lockdowns, with the tourism, hospitality, and events industries most severely affected (Mohanty et al., 2020). The Meetings Industry Association (mia) reported that in the UK the impact of COVID-19 on the events industry has resulted in £ billions lost in revenue through cancelled events and declines in enquiries, and that over 126,000 event jobs in the UK have been lost to date (mia, 2020), with fears this could increase to over 500,000 job losses without more government support (Fullard, 2020). This picture is mirrored in other countries, such as the USA, where it is outlined that 46% (8 million people) of those working in food, travel and events have lost their jobs (Dubay, 2020). Events are a global industry, worth $ trillions annually (Events Industry Council & Oxford Economics, 2018), and the shutdown of events presents an existential crisis to the industry which may take years to recover (EventMB, 2020b; mia, 2020; Mohanty et al., 2020).
    • Disruptive Philanthropy: Assessing the Challenges of Funding from “Big Tech” for a UK Charity

      Manning, Paul; Baker, Nigel T. (University of Chester, 2020-12-31)
      The immense wealth generated by the technology sector – or Big Tech – since the end of the 20th century has created a new breed of philanthropists, keen to use the business practices of Silicon Valley to ensure their money is employed to optimum social impact. This study considers how a long-established, UK-based journalism charity can understand, and engage with, the new philanthropic practices of the digital economy in to order to fund transformative change, while appreciating, and managing, the associated benefits and risks. A characteristic of the digital economy is that it has blurred conventional boundaries between commercial and philanthropic practices. Accordingly, this study was conducted through the theoretical framework of “hybrid organizations” – defined here as non-profit entities which adopt business practices to achieve social ends but face the challenge of balancing the competing institutional logics of mission and money. This study synthesises the literature on the new, more market-oriented philanthropic models - collectively described here as “disruptive philanthropy” – to provide a conceptual model to guide hybrid, non-profits like the journalism charity that wish to engage with the digital economy. The model is then used to inform a qualitative, inductive study of the journalism charity using semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of eight stakeholders from the journalism charity and four “elite” interviewees from the digital economy. This study makes a number of contributions to theory and practice in terms of understanding the digital economy’s business ethics and how non-profit organizations can assess clearly whether the funding support it is seeking from the digital economy is philanthropic or commercial. The conceptual model serves as a guide to hybrid, non-profit organizations on the factors to assess when seeking engagement with the digital economy. A framework is offered to help non-profits ensure good governance when accepting funds from the digital economy. The study reinforces the need for non-profits to have a clear identity and mission to obtain philanthropic funding. Finally, the study provides an understanding of how organizations from the digital economy assess their funding support through the benefits to their own “ecosystems” – which can be commercial, philanthropic or hybrid in nature.
    • 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.
    • Launching the creative practices for wellbeing framework: an international Q&A

      Wall, Tony; Sidsaph, Henry; University of Chester (Lapidus International, 2020-12-17)
      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).