• An emerging challenge: The development of entrepreneurial resilience for independent self-employment

      Evans, Vicky; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Research in Management Learning and Education (RMLE), 2019-07-31)
      Research suggests that 9-13% (up to 71 million individuals) of the working age population in the United States and the EU-15 rely on independent work for their primary income (Manyika et al., 2016). Even more significantly, this appears to be a growing trend. In the UK, for example, the number of solo businesses with no employees increased by 77% between 2000 and 2016 (Deane, 2016). Moreover, this growth in the proportion of people who are self-employed in this way appears to be a long-term and continuing trend, rather than a cyclical phenomenon, driven by a number of factors including the emergence of online marketplaces and expectations of higher levels of autonomy in the experience of work (Manyika et al., 2016). However, these solo businesses often operate precariously, more vulnerable to changes in their environment than larger businesses. Furthermore, the self-employed independent operates in a distinctive context which presents inherent challenges: the need to fulfil diverse roles to serve a number of clients concurrently; the responsibility for all the decisions about the strategy and operation of the business; finding enough customers or work; and isolation due to a lack of work colleagues (Deane, 2016). This begs the question: how do those who choose independent self-employment develop the resilience to manage its challenges? Entrepreneurship literature highlights the importance of entrepreneurial resilience but has not addressed the context of the self-employed independent. Moreover, this literature often employs a trait-based rather than process approach in the study of resilience and as a result, does not offer many resources to support the understanding of how to develop entrepreneurial resilience (Evans & Wall, 2019 forthcoming). Initial findings suggest the need to recognise that the cumulative development of entrepreneurial resilience is not a simple by-product of experience. It seems that resilience needs to be consciously developed by the individual themselves, involving the development of a capacity for resilient sense-making in relation to their personal ability to enact entrepreneurial processes and to respond resiliently to adverse circumstances. This QIC therefore explores three questions: (1) How exactly do self-employed independents deploy their capacity for resilience in conditions of adversity? (2) how do they turn passing experiences into learning and resources so that the process of resilience encompasses the evolution of an individual’s capacity for resilience over time? and (3) how can business schools prime the learning of entrepreneurial resilience processes to equip their learners for a future that is increasingly likely to include independent self-employment? Reference List Deane, J. (2016). Self-Employment Review An independent report Self-Employment Review: An independent report. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/529702/ind-16-2-self-employment-review.pdf Evans, V., & Wall, T. (2019 forthcoming) Entrepreneurial resilience, in Leal Filho, W. (ed) Encyclopaedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Good Health & Wellbeing, Springer, Cham. Kossek, E. E., & Perrigino, M. B. (2016). Resilience: A Review Using a Grounded Integrated Occupational Approach. Academy of Management Annals, (April), 1–69. Manyika, J., Lund, S., Bughin, J., Robinson, K., Mischke, J. & Mahajan, D. (2016). Independent work: choice, necessity and the gig economy. Mckinsey Global Institute. Ungar, M. (2011). The social ecology of resilience: Addressing contextual and cultural ambiguity of a nascent construct. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81(1), 1–17.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • Organisational resilience of business schools: exploring the possibilities of adaptation

      Cregan, Karen; Wall, Tony; Evans, Vicky; Marshall, Julie; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester (Research in Management Learning and Education, 2019-07-31)
      Organisational resilience of business schools: exploring the possibilities of adaptation The organisational landscape of business schools in some countries is in a state of fragility, plagued by an ongoing relevance critique, increasing competition from non-traditional private providers, demographics which intensify the competition for typical undergraduate students, increasing pressure for greater economic and environmental responsibility, a need to respond to technological advances, and a different political posture to the financial support of universities (Stokes et al 2018). As such, within this morphing landscape, the organisational resilience of business schools has perhaps become more pertinent in modern times than in recent history. Indeed, the UK is said to be experiencing an unprecedented market shake out of business schools with at least three facing imminent closure. Within this practice setting, organisational resilience has been conceptualised as (1) the capacity of an organisation to 'bounce back' (to survive) after an adverse or traumatic event, (2) the capacity of an organisation to adapt to circumstances and events before they are experienced as adverse, as traumatic or as a crisis, and (3) the aggregated capacities of people to absorb crises and operationally adapt to new situations (Koronis and Ponis, 2018; Evans, Cregan, & Wall, 2019 forthcoming). With this in mind, the first part of this QIC therefore explores how we might re-organise university-based business schools in ways which develop the adaptive capacities which are seemingly pertinent to contemporary circumstances. At the same time, organisational re-configurations are likely to, whether intended or unintended, shape the pedagogic practices of business schools (Akrivou & Bradbury-Huang, 2015) as well as have the potential for wider consequential tensions in a neo-liberal marketplace which emphasises individualism (Wall and Jarvis 2015). For example, a business school that develops strong employer involvement in curricula design, delivery and assessment may have a wider network of positive ties to sustain itself during difficult times, but adopting team based assessment practices (which can inculcate the wider social impact awareness of students) can create student experience challenges. So the second part of this QIC is to explore how the changes which are created for organisational resilience might shape pedagogic practices, and in turn, the possible consequences of organising in such ways. References Akrivou, K., & Bradbury-Huang, H. (2015). Educating integrated catalysts: Transforming business schools toward ethics and sustainability. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(2), 222-240. Evans, V., Cregan, K., & Wall, T. (2019 forthcoming) Organizational resilience, in Leal Filho, W. (ed) Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Good Health & Wellbeing, Springer, Cham Koronis, E., & Ponis, S. (2018). Better than before: the resilient organization in crisis mode. Journal of Business Strategy, 39(1), 32-42. Stokes, P., Smith, S., Wall, T., Moore, N., Rowland, C., Ward, T., & Cronshaw, S. (2018). Resilience and the (micro-)dynamics of organizational ambidexterity: Implications for strategic HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, , 1-36. doi:10.1080/09585192.2018.1474939 Wall, T. & Jarvis, M. (2015). Business schools as educational provocateurs of productivity via interrelated landscapes of practice. Leadership & Policy Series. The Chartered Association of Business Schools, London.
    • Organizational Resilience and Sustainable Development

      Evans, Vicky; Cregan, Karen; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-03-08)
      Organisational resilience has been conceptualised in a variety of ways. Koronis and Ponis (2018) have articulated this as three distinct concepts: (1) the capacity of an organisation to 'bounce back' (to survive) after an adverse or traumatic event, (2) the capacity of an organisation to adapt to circumstances and events before they are experienced as adverse, as traumatic or a crisis, and (3) the aggregated capacities of people to absorb crises and operationally adapt to new situations. As yet, there is no consistently used terminology or conceptual foundations. Nevertheless, four key drivers of organisational resilience are highlighted in the literature – preparedness, responsiveness, adaptability and learning – which can be used as a starting point to identify associated interventions which may develop those drivers (Koronis and Ponis, 2018). Maturity models of organisational resilience suggest how these drivers develop progressively, interacting and reinforcing one another to the fullest extent in organisations which manage resilience holistically, achieving an “anti-fragile” stage of maturity where an organisation improves, prospers, and/or thrives in conditions of volatility, change or disruption in the wider environment (e.g. Leflar and Siegal, 2013; Ruiz and Martin et al, 2018).
    • Pedagogies for resilience in business schools: Exploring strategies and tactics

      Rowe, Lisa; Wall, Tony; Cregan, Karen; Evans, Vicky; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester (Research in Management Learning and Education (RMLE), 2019-07)
      The capacity to bounce back after challenge or disruption and positive adapt to new circumstances has recently become more pronounced because of market volatilities, technological advances at work, as well as the ubiquitous and relentless use of social media (UNESCO 2017; Stokes et al 2018). Indeed, such changes have highlighted the strategic importance – and concern for the lack of – the resilience capacities of business school graduates at all levels (Robertson et al 2015; King et al 2015). Within this context, evidence indicates how the capacities for managerial resilience can be developed through various pedagogical aspects including strategies and tactics for promoting personal flexibility, purposefulness, self-confidence, and social networks (Cooper et al 2013). However, such capacities are curbed and contained by wider forces such as the broader organisational structure and culture of the business school itself and of the graduate employer, both of which limit potential flexibility (Akrivou & Bradbury-Huang, 2015; Robertson et al, 2015; Cregan et al 2019). To add further complexity, recent research has also highlighted the contextualised nature of resilience, whereby its meaning and manifestation vary across occupational settings (Kossek & Perrigino, 2016). Within this context, therefore, a critical challenge for contemporary business school education is to develop pedagogical interventions which might generate resources for resilience which are not only relevant to be able to express and mobilise resilience in a diverse range of occupational settings, but which are also sensitive to wider influences which shape resilience (e.g. employer organisational structures). Such a challenge needs to reflect the deeply pragmatic question of how to develop or integrate a pedagogical response in a context whereby (1) that response is culturally located in a business school organisational structure and culture which might limit capacity development, and (2) the curricula may already be heavily prescribed due to accreditation requirements or is already multi-layered from other agendas such as employability, responsibility, or sustainability (Wall et al, 2017; Cregan et al, 2019). Therefore this QIC aims to explore the strategies and tactics of how to inculcate the resilience capacities of business school learners where the expression of that capacity itself may manifest differently across occupational settings and which is organisationally bound in its development. References Akrivou, K., & Bradbury-Huang, H. (2015). Educating integrated catalysts: Transforming business schools toward ethics and sustainability. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(2), 222-240. Cooper, C. L., Flint-Taylor, J., and Pearn, M. (2013). Building resilience for success: A resource for managers and organizations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Cregan, K., Rowe, L., & Wall, T. (2019 forthcoming) Resilience education and training, in Leal Filho, W. (ed) Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Good Health & Wellbeing. Springer, Cham. King, D. D., Newman, A., & Luthans, F. (2015). Not if, but when we need resilience in the workplace: Workplace resilience. Journal of Organizational Behavior, n/a. Kossek, E. E., and Perrigino, M. B. (2016). Resilience: A review using a grounded integrated occupational approach. The Academy of Management Annals, 10(1), 729-797. Robertson, I. T., Cooper, C. L., Sarkar, M., and Curran, T. (2015). Resilience training in the workplace from 2003 to 2014: A systematic review. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 88(3), 533–562. Stokes, P., Smith, S., Wall, T., Moore, N., Rowland, C., Ward, T., & Cronshaw, S. (2018). Resilience and the (micro-)dynamics of organizational ambidexterity: Implications for strategic HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1-36. UNESCO (2017). Six ways to ensure higher education leaves no one behind, Policy Paper 30. Available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002478/247862E.pdf (Accessed 20th Nov, 2018). Wall, T., Russell, J., Moore, N. (2017) Positive emotion in workplace impact: the case of a work-based learning project utilising appreciative inquiry. Journal of Work-Applied Management, 9 (2): 129-146.
    • The plurality of academic activism: heterogeneous expression for opening up alternative futures

      Wall, Tony; Robinson, Sarah; Elliott, Carole; Blasco, Maribel; Kjærrgaard, Annemette; Callahan, Jamie; Padan, Tali; Bergmann, Rasmus; University of Chester; University of Glasgow; Roehampton University; Copenhagen Business School; Northumbria University; University College Copenhagen (Open University, 2019-06)
      Being and becoming an academic in the neoliberal business school has become a complex and hyper-political space fraught with competing performative agendas (Wall and Perrin, 2015; Bristow et al, 2017; Cunliffe, 2018), with a precarious landscape “[b]ringing in its wake the worrying manifestations of racism, xenophobia and anti-intellectualism” (Bristow and Robinson, 2018: 636). When set against a backdrop of global challenges, for instance social inequalities and climate change, such circumstances reignite critique and criticism around the role and responsibility of business schools and their academics (Shrivastava, 2010; Wall et al 2019). Here, some academics have responded by attempting to confront, challenge, resist, and pre/re-configure (Rhodes et al, 2018) in ways which intentionally move towards alternative futures which re-position people-profit-planet and the dominant sub-categories embedded within (Wall et al, 2019). Such responses not only move beyond writing a supposedly disruptive ‘journal article’ (Wall, 2016; Parker and Parker, 2017), but are heterogeneous and can include acts which politely ‘light a candle’ to spark action in others, and even take public social action to ‘burn The State’. Indeed, the acts themselves can be open and emotionally rich site for expression and exploration towards an alternative future. The heterogeneity of academic activism in the business school can be traced in the extant literature and can include (1) academics designing pedagogical structures inspired by pro-social action from the 1960s and 1970s such as service learning (Griffin et al 2015; Wall et al 2019), (2) academic re-visioning of business school organisational structures which prompt integrated forms of personality development oriented towards ethics and sustainability (Akrivou and Bradbury-Huang, 2015), (3) academics openly critiquing and challenging the practices of business schools and universities (Callahan, 2018; Parker, 2018), (4) academics engaging in social action in public spaces (Reinecke, 2018); and (5) academics taking moments to express resistance throughout their career but at the everyday level (Bristow et al, 2017; Wall, 2016). At the same time, the heterogeneity of the expression of academic activism in business schools has not yet been documented, mapped, or conceptualised. Therefore, this paper/session offers a tentative conceptualisation/characterisation in relation to (1) the target of change for the acts of academic activism (e.g. micro, meso, macro), and (2) the focus of that change (e.g. inequality of women leaders in higher education), (3) the individual-collective nature of those acts, and (3) the open/closed/ambiguous intentionality of those acts. It is intended that this initial conceptualisation will not only act as an initial device to prompt further exploration and theorisation of the heterogeneity of academic activism in business schools, but a device to prompt our own reflection into the forms of expression an academic may want to explore (as an academic activist). With a spirit of academic activism, this participatory session invites and welcomes a wide range of participants to both enrich and destabilise our attempt to capture the heterogeneity of academic activism in business schools.
    • Resilience Education and Training

      Cregan, Karen; Rowe, Lisa; Wall, Tony (Springer, 2019-10-01)
      Gilligan (2000) describes resilience as process which engenders a sense of strength and confidence to succeed despite individual challenges faced and Noble and McGraph, (2011a; p.79) define it as "the ability to persist, cope adaptively and bounce back after encountering change, challenges, setback, disappointments, difficult situations or adversity and to return to a reasonable level of wellbeing". It has been suggested that these challenges can be controlled by an individual’s behaviours, thoughts and actions which, can be taught (American Psychological Association, 2018). However, Wu et al (2013) argue that developing resilience in individuals requires several ‘factors’ not least, an understanding of the genetic, epigenetic, developmental, psychological and neurochemical processes, as these can contribute to how an individual can cope with and develop resilience in the face of stress and trauma. In this way, resilience education and training is about building the capacities to cope as well as adapt to changes in generative ways, and includes a diverse range of strategies to develop personal purpose, confidence, flexibility and social support networks.