• A unifying, boundary crossing approach to developing climate literacy

      Hindley, Ann; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2017-11-18)
      Empirical evidence suggests that educational approaches to climate change remain limited, fragmented, and locked into disciplinary boundaries. The aim of this paper is to discuss the application of an innovative unifying, boundary-crossing approach to developing climate literacy. Methodologically, the study combined a literature review with an action research based approach related to delivering a Climate Change Project conducted in a mid-sized university in England. Findings suggest the approach created a unifying vision for action, and did so across multiple boundaries, including disciplinary (e.g. psychology, engineering, business), professional services (e.g. academic, library, information technology), and identity (e.g. staff, student, employee). The project generated a number of outcomes including extensive faculty level climate change resources, plans for innovative mobile applications to engage people in climate literacy, and new infrastructural arrangements to continue the development of practice and research in climate change. This paper outlines empirical insights in order to inform the design, development, and continuity of other unifying, boundary-crossing approaches to climate literacy.
    • A Žižekian gaze at education

      Wall, Tony; Perrin, David; University of Chester (Springer, 2015-07-31)
      Žižek demands we take a long, hard look at the painful reality of education in contemporary capitalist society, and to actively seek out its ‘trouble in paradise’: Why is it education is supposedly failing to meet the demands of our society? Why is it there are record levels of stress for teachers? Why is it there is a record level of complaints from our university students? How is it now possible to compare a higher education course with a vacuum cleaner, toaster or television? This book illuminates aspects of Žižek’s ideas which sheds light into these modern challenges and tensions in education, and considers alternative ways forward. Though Žižek frustrates as much as he inspires with his own recipe of Lacan, Hegel and Marx, this book aims to give an entry route into Žižekian critique of education, a topic area he very rarely directly talks about.
    • Accounting and Sustainable Development: A Case of Poverty Reduction in an Emerging Economy

      Nagirikandalage, Padmi; University of Chester
      Accounting has been widely used in both public and private sectors across the globe for the sustainable development of corporates as well as economies. However, in the recent past, there has been a wide discussion on poverty reduction and public sector accounting reforms especially in emerging economies in order to enhance the transparency in government expenditure, auditing and accountability as well. Since the governments are responsible on providing essential public services which have a greater impact on poverty, adequate measures in place to monitor the spending is vital for any country with an emerging economy. Moreover, according to the United Nations Millennium Development goals (MDGs) especially on reducing poverty, governments may require to recruit more employees for public sector to fill the gaps in the service in many essential areas such as education, health, and agriculture. Additionally, the recent past financial crisis and recession also have impacted on poverty reduction programs within emerging economies especially which are prone to corruption, fraud, and lack of transparency on government expenditures as well. Due to these various reasons, some emerging economies such as that of Sri Lanka are struggling to minimize the huge budget deficit of the government while leaving with less money for poverty reduction within the country as well. Therefore, unless these gaps are filled, many people in emerging economies will continue to live in poverty (Tridico 2009).
    • Applied Fantasy and Well-Being

      MacKenzie, Anna; Wall, Tony; Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester (Springer, 2019)
      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.
    • Art-Based teaching on sustainable development

      Wall, Tony; Österlind, Eva; Fries, Julia; University of Chester; Stockholm University (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      The connections between art, art making, education, and responsibility in relation to the wider natural and social world have been given increasing attention over the last thirty years. For example, there have been a variety of journal special issues dedicated to art, education, and: ecology (Krug, 1997), social justice and social change (Bolin, 1999), community and responsibility (Carpenter, 2004), ecology and responsibility (Stout 2007), health and wellbeing (Haywood Rolling 2017), and human rights (Kraehe 2017). Such a rise has been linked to trends in the human search for meaning and significance amongst (and resistance against) globalisation, domination of market forces, and an increasingly complex and chaotic environment (Taylor and Ladkin, 2009)...
    • Arts based approaches for sustainability

      Wall, Tony; Österlind, Eva; Fries, Julia; University of Chester; Stockholm University (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      The arts encompass a broad and diverse landscape of interrelated creative practices and professions, including performance arts (including music, dance, drama, and theatre), literary arts (including literature, story, and poetry), and the visual arts (including painting, design, film) (see UNESCO, 2006). They have been explicitly linked to sustainable development in higher education at a global level through UNESCO’s Road Map for Arts Education (UNESCO, 2006) and The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education (UNESCO, 2010). Specifically, the arts have been deployed to promote human rights, enhancing education, promoting cultural diversity, enhancing well-being and, most broadly, “to resolving the social and cultural challenges facing today’s world” (UNESCO, 2010: 8)...
    • Author Response: Provocative Education: From Buddhism for Busy People® to Dismal Land ®

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2016-03-11)
      When we engage with Žižekian thought, we might conceptualise contemporary education as part of wider machinery to perpetuate and deepen the grasp capitalism has in a globalising world (also see Furedi, 2006, 2010). We might see how ideas, knowledge, and ‘everything else’ (c.f. Hawking, 2001, 2007) can and is packaged up into forms that are easily consumed by audiences buying the educational objects. Such processes of commodification actively render objects to the audience for sale, and appear across all spheres of human activity; this is why we must remember that according to some philosophical stances, the signified has a slippery relationship with the signifier (c.f. Lacau and Mouffee, 1985). Three examples help animate this phenomenon and some of the different consequences of it. The first example illustrates how commodification can apply to areas of life that we might think of as difficult to capture spiritually or experientially: now, for time-poor people who want to quickly reap the existential benefits of Buddhism, there is a wide range of easily accessible texts at affordable prices to choose from. Titles include “Buddhism for Busy People”, “Buddhism Plain and Simple”, “The Little Book of Buddhism”, “Buddhism Made Simple”, “Buddhism: for Beginners!”, “Buddhism for Dummies”, “Sit Like A Buddha”, “Hurry Up and Meditate”, “Enlightenment to Go”, and “The Dalai Lama's Cat”. In and through such texts, commodified versions of Buddhism appear, much the same way as Buddha-like statues appear in NASA photos of Mars (Feltman, 2015).
    • COVID-19: the impact of a global crisis on sustainable development research

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

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

      Wall, Tony; Fries, Julia; Rowe, Nick; Malone, Niamh; Österlind, Eva; University of Chester; Stockholm University; York St John University; Liverpool Hope University; Stockholm University (Springer, 2019-10-01)
      The rock art of indigenous communities from 20,000 years ago have been interpreted as early indications of how humans have connected performance, in a broad sense, with the health and well-being of their communities (Fleischer and Grehan, 2016). Now, at a global level, there is increasing recognition that drama and theatre can facilitate a variety of health and wellbeing outcomes for an extensive range of groups, not pre-determined by affluence or socioeconomic status (APPG, 2017). In a broad sense, drama and theatre are a constellation of arts based practices, processes, and spaces, which intentionally work with more or less fictive characters, roles, relationships, and plots, in order to generate a wide range of experiences or outcomes (Wall, Österlind and Fries, 2018, forthcoming). Indeed, theatre and drama have been described as “the most integrative of all the arts: they include singing, dancing, painting, sculpture, storytelling, music, puppetry, poetry and the art of acting” (British Medical Association, 2011, p 10), which can help people to understand and then change how they relate to and then live out their own world.
    • Emerging Technologies in Education for Sustainable Development

      Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; Cunningham, Stuart; University of Chester; Manchester Metropolitan University
      N/A
    • Entrepreneurial resilience

      Evans, Vicky; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-10-01)
      The vast majority of businesses in all countries - between 70% and 95% - are micro-businesses, i.e. enterprises that employ fewer than ten people (OECD, 2017). Their impact on the economies and societies in which they operate is therefore significant, collectively acting as important sources of employment, growth and innovation (ibid, 2017). However, the existence of many of these businesses is often precarious, especially in the early stages of their development. Many newly created businesses fail within the first few years of life with mortality rates ranging from around 10% (UK, USA, Sweden) to 45% (Slovak Republic) in the first year (ibid, 2017). As a result, the entrepreneurial activity to create and manage these businesses is very demanding and exposes entrepreneurs to situations which would be expected to create high levels of stress among the general population (e.g. a rapidly changing and unpredictable environment, high responsibility, high workload). The demands of business start-up and ownership could be expected to create a higher risk of mental health problems. Isolation and long working hours could contribute to an increased risk of depression. Moreover, for many entrepreneurs, their business ventures are personal passions and their self-worth and well-being can be intimately connected to the success of those ventures (Murnieks, Mosakowski and Cardon, 2014). On a practical level, the pressures are often high and can create anxiety as personal financial well-being is often directly related to the ability to close the next deal. Furthermore, Spivak, McKelvie and Haynie (2014) highlight a possible “dark side” of entrepreneurship outcomes, finding that habitual entrepreneurs can suffer from symptoms of behavioural addictions - withdrawal-engagement patterns, obsessive thoughts, and negative emotions - arising from repeated venture creation activities. However, at the same time, Baron, Franklin and Hmieleski (2016) find that entrepreneurs experience lower stress compared to other occupational groups when creating new ventures. Baron et al (2016) suggest self-selection effects as the underlying mechanism producing entrepreneurs that are above average (as a group) in their capacity to handle stress effectively, arguing that those who persist in entrepreneurship acquire this capacity, the resilience to handle the stressors and challenges of their entrepreneurial context.
    • Financial Technology for Sustainable Development

      Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; Teissier, Cedric; University of Chester, Finexkap
      N/A
    • Flexible Systems in HR

      Bamel, Umesh; Stokes, Peter; Indian Institute of Management Raipur; University of Chester (Springer, 2016-02-26)
      Research on the concept of ‘flexibility’ has produced a substantive scholarly in recent decades and has evolved as a focal area of management research (Mønsted 1991; Sushil 1994; Skipper et al. 2014; Krishna et al. 2015). According to Sushil (2001) ‘Flexibility offers freedom of choice and is highly context specific’. Here, ‘context specific’ refers to the role of contingencies within flexibility which might render it as a form of a firm’s dynamic capability. The dynamic capability scholarship argues that in order to achieve excellence, organizations should develop capabilities complementary to their competencies (Teece et al. 1997; Helfat and Peteraf 2009). Thus, flexible HR practices can help organizations in achieving sustainable competitiveness through creating, integrating, reconfiguring, and building on its human resource base. For example, organizations can achieve competitive edge by customizing training and development programs.
    • Globalization and International Students: Re-modelling Micro-international Aspects for the Entrepreneurial University

      Hancock, Connie; Stokes, Peter; Moore, Neil; University of Chester
      In the highly competitive higher education (HE) market for international students, the adoption of entrepreneurial approaches to internationalization by universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) is imperative in order to ensure a sustainable organizational future. Due to program popularity, HEI business schools often find themselves at the forefront of internationalization. While an appreciation of the need for ‘entrepreneurial’ behavior with regards to macro-aspects of internationalization (for example, international recruitment and market development) is longstanding, a developed understanding of, and the extension of ‘entrepreneurial’ approaches into the micro-contexts (i.e. student experience in the classroom setting) remains surprisingly understudied, particularly at the micro-operational level. This chapter adopts an inductive case study approach, focusing on a HEI business school undergraduate cohort in the United Kingdom (UK). The study collected data via semi-structured interviews, focus groups and questionnaires conducted with students and academic staff involved in internationalization. Overall, the study generates a micro-portrayal of the issues faced by a UK HEI business school as it attempts to develop ‘entrepreneurial’ approaches to, and models for, its internationalization strategy. Specifically, the chapter develops insights into the challenges associated with student experience and linguistic engagement, program design and delivery and highlights areas of potential development. These findings and their implications enable HEI business schools to rethink and remodel ways in which issues originating in macro-aspects of internationalization can be successfully addressed at the micro-level.
    • Human capital, international standards

      Stokes, Peter; Wall, Tony; De Montfort University; University of Chester (Springer, 2020)
      The drive for progress is a central underlying tenet of the development of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG), and any form of progress will involve resources, structures and protocols. Yet it is also recognised that all of these are necessarily driven through human resources, or more generally expressed, people/human beings, thus, it is important to focus attention on the human dimensions that are ultimately the driver of initiatives such as the UN-SDG. The establishment of national and international standards can play an important role in this and constitute mappings and protocols which seek to span, encompass and codify recommended conditions, practice, and processes in relation to a given product, domain, or phenomenon (Stokes et al, 2016). The process of their drafting almost invariably involves consultation with a wide array of stakeholders and the resultant documents provide employees, managers, directors, and policy makers with guidelines which inform and work as a guide to ‘good practice’ (Crawford-Lee and Wall, 2018, forthcoming)...
    • Inequalities and Agencies in Workplace Learning Experiences: International Student Perspectives

      Wall, Tony; Tran, Ly Thi; Soejatminah, Sri; University of Chester; Deakin University; Deakin University (Springer, 2016-10-31)
      National systems of vocational education and training around the globe are facing reform driven by quality, international mobility, and equity. Evidence suggests that there are qualitatively distinctive challenges in providing and sustaining workplace learning experiences to international students. However, despite growing conceptual and empirical work, there is little evidence of the experiences of these students undertaking workplace learning opportunities as part of vocational education courses. This paper draws on a four-year study funded by the Australian Research Council that involved 105 in depth interviews with international students undertaking work integrated learning placements as part of vocational education courses in Australia. The results indicate that international students can experience different forms of discrimination and deskilling, and that these were legitimised by students in relation to their understanding of themselves as being an ‘international student’ (with fewer rights). However, the results also demonstrated the ways in which international students exercised their agency towards navigating or even disrupting these circumstances, which often included developing their social and cultural capital. This study, therefore, calls for more proactively inclusive induction and support practices that promote reciprocal understandings and navigational capacities for all involved in the provision of work integrated learning. This, it is argued, would not only expand and enrich the learning opportunities for international students, their tutors, employers, and employees involved in the provision of workplace learning opportunities, but it could also be a catalyst to promote greater mutual appreciation of diversity in the workplace.
    • 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.
    • Mental Toughness Development

      Wall, Tony; Strycharczyk, Doug; Clough, Peter; University of Chester; University of Huddersfield (Springer, 2019-11-29)
      Though there are different conceptions of mental toughness, there are a number of important commonalities, including: self-belief, attentional control, resilience, a success mindset, optimistic thinking, emotional awareness and regulation, ability to deal with perceived challenge, and contextual awareness and understanding (Crust and Clough 2011). As such, mental toughness has been conceptualised as a personality trait which describes the mindset that is engaged by people across extreme events as well as everyday events (Clough and Strycharczyk 2015; Stokes et al, 2018). It is closely related to qualities such as character, resilience, and grit, but whereas most personality models and measures assess the behavioural aspects of personality (how we act), mental toughness differs in that it assesses something more fundamental, that is, ‘how we think’, or why we act (and respond emotionally) to events (Clough and Strycharczyk, 2015).
    • NVQs and approaches to competence in the UK: Contexts, issues and prospects

      Stokes, Peter; University of Chester (Springer, 2016-10-04)
      Chapter 15. NVQs and approaches to competence in the UK: Contexts, issues and prospects. Peter Stokes, University of Chester, UK Abstract Competence frameworks are a long-standing part of the (United Kingdom) UK training and development environment (Chang et al. 2013; CIPD, 2007, 2013, 2014; Sparrow and Bognanno, 1994). In the British context, competence-based approaches and qualifications evoke strong reactions both in terms of supporters and detractors regarding their worth, viability and relevance. Nevertheless, they have been repeatedly employed by governments and employers’ bodies as a means of responding to skills gaps in business sectors and the national economy. The Chapter examines these tensions and surfaces the underlying paradigms and drivers contributing a novel insight into competence in the UK context. The Chapter identifies prevalent characteristics in the UK competence domain. It explains these features through the impact of hegemonic modernistic and positivistic paradigms built on British socio-political traditions of empiricism, pragmatism and the valuing of the experiential. These, in turn, dominate large areas of management, organization thinking and competence approaches operating in connection with processes of commodification, marketization and socio-political issues. This context is illustrated with an ethnographically-styled case study on the implementation of a competence framework in a British semi-skilled employee organizational setting. Overall, the Chapter, in identifying and contextualising the paradigms which operate at the heart of competence in the UK, reveals implications linked to individual meaning, social class and professional identity and, also, potential future trajectories of competence in an increasingly complex world.