• Revisiting impact in the context of workplace research: a review and possible directions

      Wall, Tony; Bellamy, Lawrence; Evans, Vicky; Hopkins, Sandra; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      The purpose of this paper is to revisit the scholarly impact agenda in the context of work-based and workplace research, and to propose new directions for research and practice. This paper combines a contemporary literature review with case vignettes and reflections from practice to develop more nuanced understandings, and highlight future directions for making sense of impact in the context of work-based learning research approaches. This paper argues that three dimensions to making sense of impact need to be more nuanced in relation to workplace research: (1) that interactional elements of workplace research processes have the potential for discursive pathways to impact, (2) that presence (and perhaps non-action) can act as a pathway to impact, and (3) that the narrative nature of time means there is instability in making sense of impact over time. The paper proposes a number of implications for practitioner-researchers, universities/research organisations, and focus on three key areas: the amplification of research ethics in workplace research, the need for axiological shifts towards sustainability, and the need to explicate axiological orientation in research. This paper offers a contemporary review of the international impact debate in the specific context of work-based and workplace research approaches.
    • Sights and insights: Vocational outdoor students’ learning

      Hickman, Mark; Stokes, Peter; University of Central Lancashire; University of Chester (Outdoor Council of Australia, 2016-02-18)
      Outdoor leader and adventure sport education in the United Kingdom has been characterized by an over-emphasis on technical skills at the expense of equally important, but often marginalized intra- and inter-personal skills necessary for contemporary outdoor employment. This study examined the lived experience of vocational outdoor students in order, firstly, to identify what was learned about the workplace through using reflective practice and, secondly, what was learned about reflective practice through this experience. The study used a purposive sample of students (n=15) who were invited to maintain reflective journals during summer work experience, and this was followed up with semi-structured interviews. Manual Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) revealed that in the workplace setting students used reflective practice to understand and develop technical proficiency, support awareness of the value of theory, and acted as a platform to express emergent concepts of ‘professionalism’. Lessons about reflective practice emphasized its value in social settings, acknowledging different ways of reflection, and understanding and managing professional life beyond graduation.