• Ubuntu in adult vocational education: Theoretical discussion and implications for teaching international students

      Tran, Ly Thi; Wall, Tony; Deakin University; University of Chester (2019-04-08)
      Evidence now calls into question the efficacy and appropriateness of pedagogical practices that force international students to adapt to economically-driven and Eurocentric expectations. As a response to calls for alternative perspectives, this paper introduces the construct of Ubuntu, an African worldview prioritising ‘humanness’ and interconnectedness, and utilises it as a conceptual lens to examine the key tenets of engaging pedagogical practices in teaching international students. The findings point to three main ways that the Ubuntu perspective can manifest in teaching international students: humanness, interconnectedness, and situatedness. The paper offers new insights into how an under-researched, non-western human wisdom – Ubuntu – can be used to interpret international education practice. In doing so, it contributes to both theory building and provokes consideration of an alternative pedagogical lens. In particular, the paper draws on Ubuntu as a critical framework to challenge the conventional ways of viewing international students as the ‘other’ in ‘our’ educational system.
    • Understanding organizational identity in UK charities

      Ward, Mark (University of Chester, 2013-11)
      There is a great deal of academic research around the topic of organizational identity in a corporate setting and an increasing level of interest in the area amongst practitioners. This study considers an under-researched area of identity scholarship in the UK charitable sector, specifically the degree to which internal stakeholders (employees) in two small to medium-sized UK charities, share an internally common understanding of organizational identity. An explicitly internal organizational perspective is explored to illuminate the communicated perceptions of employees in the participating organizations. A qualitative methodology was employed, using sixteen in-depth, one-to-one, unstructured interviews with a purposive sample of employees from the two organizations. Interview data is explored via a thematic template comprising codes emerging concurrently with analysis. Secondary data is provided to add depth to research discussion and conclusions. Findings indicated some interesting features in the ways that particular groups of UK charity employees understand organizational identity. Managers and non-managers expressed a broadly consistent group of themes, in articulating their understanding of organizational identity. One participating organization had a more internally-diverse understanding of identity than the other, which might suggest links between organizational performance and understanding organizational identity. Employees with less than two years’ service expressed their understanding in a clearly distinct manner from employees with long service.Whilst acknowledging the limitations of the study in terms of generalizability, the researcher proposes areas, around which practitioners might focus their efforts to develop, or improve, a shared understanding of organizational identity in their workforce, including induction and internal communication. Understanding of organizational identity for UK charity employees is notably under-researched. This study makes a number of contributions to the field of academic knowledge: directly addressing a deficiency in the existing topic literature; making some observations on methodology; highlighting areas of interest for future scholarly activity; and suggesting areas of focus for practitioners, around approaches to managing organizational identity.
    • Understanding the role of social media in relation to alternative food networks: a case of Chester and its region

      Harris, Phil; Alexander, Roy; Moss, Danny; Sidsaph, Henry W. (University of Chester, 2018-09-28)
      Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) are a system of food provision which is considered as the embodiment of the Sustainable Development (SD) agenda. They typically operate counteractively to conventional food networks (CFNs) seeking to reconnect all members in the supply chain through ethical and sustainable engagements. They are grounded by the theoretical underpinnings of quality conventions (Murdoch, 2000; Thévenot, 2002) and embeddedness notions such as alterity, valorisation, and appropriation (Dansero & Puttilli, 2014; Kirwan, 2004). Many scholars have focused on exploring AFNs in various contexts, initially focusing on binary notions of dichotomy between AFNs and CFNs, then developing discourse in terms of assessing hybridity (Holloway et al., 2006; Maye, 2013; Ponte, 2016; Renting, Marsden, & Banks, 2003; Tregear, 2011). Recent studies have indicated the potential for further research concerning social media based AFNs (Bos & Owen, 2016; Reed & Keech, 2017; Wills & Arundel, 2017). Therefore a contribution in terms of further understanding this issue arises from this thesis. The research was conducted in the midst of the referendum for the UK to withdraw from the European Union, the subsequent ‘leave’ vote resulting in a level of uncertainty in terms of policy implications. One policy implication may be that the UK will have to readdress the way it engages and supports its food and agriculture sector post-Common Agricultural Policy, therefore this research comes at a timely juncture. This research adopts an interpretivistic epistemological stance, with a constructivist ontological position. Social network analysis (SNA) of Twitter connections was conducted in order to assess connectivity and density of the AFN that was present in Chester and its region. Content analysis of this network was then conducted in order to understand SD related terms and shortlist pertinent actors for further analysis. Interviews were conducted with nine actors from this network in order to critically evaluate their perceptions of SD from an online and offline perspective. The results of the SNA suggest that the AFN of Chester and its region was not particularly well connected in terms of density. However, the SNA was a useful data collection tool, especially concerning the replicability and transferability of participant selection strategy. Further results suggested that there was a need for more organisational structures to support AFNs in becoming more mainstream and collaborative. It was also clear that there was still a degree of opposition between CFNs and AFNs, despite hybridity. A final finding of the research is the consideration of smart localism. The implications of this research are discussed, along with suggestions for future research including; the need to better understand leadership, relations between AFNs and CFNs, the role played by intermediates, and the expansion of social media based research.
    • Understanding tourists’ reactance to the threat of a loss of freedom to travel due to climate change: a new alternative approach to encouraging nuanced behavioural change.

      Font, Xavier; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2016-05-16)
      This article proposes that reactance theory can be used to better understand how tourists’ perceptions of climate change affect their travel decisions. Reactance theory explains how individuals value their perceived freedom to make choices, and why they react negatively to any threats to their freedom. We study the psychological consequences of threatening tourist’s freedoms, using a range of projective techniques: directly, using photo expression, and indirectly, through collage, photo-interviewing and scenarios. We find that reactance theory helps to explain the extent of travel to two destinations: Svalbard and Venice, providing a nuanced understanding of how travellers restore their freedom to travel through three incremental stages: denying the climate change threat , reducing tensions arising from travel and heightening demand particularly for the most visibly threatened destinations. The theory suggests a fourth stage, helplessness, reached when consumers dismiss the value of destinations once they can no longer be enjoyed, but for which we, as yet, have no data. Reactance theory questions the validity of awareness raising campaigns as behavioural change vehicles, provides alternative explanations of why the most self-proclaimed, environmentally aware individuals travel frequently, and helps identify nuanced, socially acceptable forms of sustainability marketing, capable of reducing resistance to change.
    • Understanding U.K. Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship from an Enterprise Culture Perspective

      Lam, Wing; Harris, Phil; Yang, Sen; University of Chester (Wiley, 2019-03-08)
      Objectives This paper is aimed at examining the enterprise culture within different ethnic groups (i.e., the enterprise subcultures) in the United Kingdom. The research aims to investigate the interplay between individuals and their institutional context (especially social and cultural context) and how the different institutional contexts then shape the different enterprise cultures, leading to differentiated ethnic business characteristics and consequently different levels of entrepreneurial activity in different ethnic communities. Prior work Unequivocal evidence shows that certain ethnic groups display higher levels of entrepreneurial activity than their White counterparts. Despite the large amount of work that has been dedicated to ethnic minority entrepreneurship, there is a lack of coherent conceptual and analytical framework that addresses the links between different factors contributing to ethnic minority entrepreneurship. This paper takes forward the available empirical evidence and theoretical constructs into a conceptual and methodological framework to aid understanding of ethnic minority entrepreneurship. Approach A process‐oriented research framework to investigate the enterprise culture within different ethnic groups (i.e., the enterprise subcultures) is proposed rather than one oriented primarily towards the differentiation of characteristics. Results A large‐scale national survey in the United Kingdom is adopted. The findings of the quantitative fieldwork will form the central part of this paper. . Implications Understanding how and why certain ethnic groups are more entrepreneurial may assist the different parties in different ways. First, learning from the more entrepreneurial subcultures may contribute to the development and implementation of more effective public policies and efficient service delivery programmes. Second, advancing understanding of ethnic communities helps to support more informed decisions by policymakers and local support agencies through improved anticipation and greater understanding of responses. Third, it helps entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs to have a better understanding of the nature of their perceived barriers and constraints by demonstrating potential solutions successfully employed by other subcultures. Value The conceptual and methodological development of this study has the potential to build the link between relevant parties and pave the way forward for ethnic entrepreneurship research.
    • Understanding UK Rewards-based Crowdfunding as an Alternative Source of Entrepreneurial Finance

      Harris, Phil; Lam, Wing; Zhao, Ying (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-06)
      Entrepreneurial financing plays a vital role in the survival and viability of businesses (Crosetto & Regner, 2018; Mason & Harrison, 1991; Signori & Vismara, 2017; Zhao et al., 2019). Research studies and financial commentators have suggested that reward-based crowdfunding (RBC) plays an increasingly important role in the process of business start-ups (Baeck et al., 2014; Bilau & Pires, 2018; Lelo de Larrea et al., 2019; Mollick, 2014). However, a review of literature indicates that little is known about the field of RBC from a theoretical perspective. Therefore, the main aim of the thesis is to address the knowledge gap by developing a conceptual framework to advance understanding of the RBC funding process through using a signalling theory lens. The author adopted a pragmatist epistemological stance. This study collected publicly available data of 636 UK start-up projects on a RBC platform, Kickstarter, from September to December in 2017 and repeated this for the same period in 2018. It was found that signal observability (the size and quality of the fundraiser’s network) play a significant role in crowdfunding success across all projects. Whereas, prosocial intention (charitable purpose) plays a stronger role in predicting the likelihood of the success of projects with a medium goal. This study identifies and evaluates how the key factors (project quality, project intention and signal observability) impact on crowdfunding’s success, as well as investigates the interplay between different actors (signallers, receivers and signals) in the RBC market. A further important contribution of this work arises from the use of rich qualitative data in addition to the quantitative research approaches previously utilised by others (Bi, Liu and Usman, 2017; Kunz et al., 2017). The thesis makes contributions to both theory and practice. The findings have major implications for different parties including: policy makers, practitioners, researchers and educators. It provides an insight for practitioners considering the adoption of a crowdfunding approach and the knowledge and recommendations in running a successful RBC campaign. It also helps nascent entrepreneurs to reconstruct their financing strategy through the better understanding of the position of RBC in entrepreneurial financing. An important implication is that this study can help policy makers to better understand the RBC industry, which is essential in developing relevant policies in this under-governed area. Finally, this research contributes to growing knowledge and interest in entrepreneurial finance, especially in the online alternative finance market, which is beneficial for both researchers and educators.
    • University models of work-based validation

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Gower, 2010-12-01)
      This book chapter discusses the practicalities of delivering work-based learning in a university setting to conform to the QAA guidelines and respond to policy intiatives.
    • Using a work based learning framework to deliver regeneration education for practitioners at the University of Chester

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (2009)
      This article discusses a regeneration practitioner programme delivered through the work based learning and integrative studies programme at the University of Chester.
    • Using Critical Management Approaches in Managing People and Organizations

      Stokes, Peter; University of Chester (Kogan Page, 2016-04-01)
      Chapter 3: Using Critical Management Approaches in Managing People and Organizations Peter Stokes Objectives • Providing an outline and understanding of the approaches to organization and management which have emerged and been developed during the last century and presenting a number of ongoing theoretical developments; • Providing introductions to philosophical stances such as postmodernism, post-structuralism, critical realism and related approaches such as discourse analysis and social constructionism; • Providing a counterpoint and alternative perspective on managing and organizing to the predominant modernistic casting and view of these areas; • Offering ideas and techniques to facilitate better understanding of issues such as organizational relationships, interpersonal and team dynamics, identity and power and their impact on work and practice. Introduction Chapter 2 outlined modernistic and positivistic outlooks which have represented the dominant manner of approaching and understanding organizational and managerial situations in many contexts during the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. The discussion also indicated the limitations that may exist with such approaches and, in particular, how they might not always reflect or respond to the complexities of the human conditions and situations in which human beings often create and find themselves in work and other contexts. Critical management studies and critical perspectives are approaches which have developed over recent decades and, in many ways, have challenged and provided a response to modernistic constructions and representations of the workplace. Knowledge of critical perspectives provides people in work situations, with alternative and deeper insights and understandings of the complex dynamics and operation of work settings. It may even be postulated that such knowledge assists in enabling people to become more rounded managers.
    • Using supervision: Support or surveillance?

      Peach, Jeremy; Horner, Nigel; University of Chester ; Nottingham Trent University (SAGE, 2007-03-29)
      This chapter will analyse supervision of staff in relation to developmental and managerial functions; argue that pressures on social services organisations have ensured that the need for agency accountability far outweighs its developmental function; suggest that the need for professional supervision is greatly enhanced given the development of inter-professional working arrangements; and propose that approaches to supervision can be applied to social work that have first been developed in the health service.
    • Value-based management (VBM) in Mittelstand – the relevance of VBM to specifically identified areas of management (Strategic decision-making, objectives, attitudes)

      Stokes, Peter; Moore, Neil; Normann-Tschampel, Carola (University of Chester, 2019-03-14)
      This study aims to understand the relevance of value-based management (VBM) in three specifically identified areas of management (strategic decision-making, objectives, attitudes) in German Mittelstand (broadly related to small- and medium-sized entities). VBM seeks to orientate all management activities towards the increase of the monetary company value. The review of literature on VBM in Mittelstand identifies three key topics – applicability of VBM, proposals for an adaptation of VBM and the empirical analysis of VBM’s application in management practice. The review also shows a gap that is crucial to the development of VBM in Mittelstand: On the one hand, there is a consensus on the applicability of VBM in Mittelstand and there are proposals for an application of VBM in Mittelstand which consider its characteristics. On the other hand, empirical studies show little application of VBM in Mittelstand management practice. However, there are differences and gaps in the existing empirical insights i.e. little insights related to decision-making and with regard to owner-managers’ attitudes. Consequently, this empirical study uses a specific focus and research approach to gain further understanding regarding existing gaps in empirical insights as well as the overall research gap. The research approach involves taking an interpretive stance and conducting semi-structured interviews with owner-managers of 28 companies from manufacturing Mittelstand in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The findings show that VBM is of minimal relevance for strategic decisionmaking. This includes different aspects such as limited application of the net present value method and other VBM management tools. Little relevance of VBM is found in objectives. However, from a holistic analysis, different nuances with regard to economic and non-economic objectives are found. Beyond this, the findings identify not only differences in the attitudes towards VBM but also differences in the understandings of VBM. In this respect, there is a considerable divergence to extant understanding in literature. Overall, it is concluded that VBM is of minimal relevance in all three areas of Mittelstand management. Thus, the research supports the existing empirical insights through a specific focus and approach. The findings as a whole imply a theory-practice gap. This research contributes to the body of knowledge by gaining a more indepth as well as open understanding of the relevance of VBM in the management of Mittelstand. The research addresses gaps in empirical insights. It considers different aspects and adds a new perspective on objectives which responds to existing rationales in the literature. The understanding gained from taking an interpretive stance towards ownermanagers’ practical experience also provides a valuable basis to further address the overall research gap. In this respect the understanding generated might be a basis for an intensified dialogue between researchers and owner-managers in Mittelstand.
    • Values and motivations in tourist perceptions of last-chance tourism

      Hindley, Ann; Font, Xavier; University of Chester (Sage Publications, 2015-11-26)
      Tourists’ perceptions of climate change affect decisions and choices to visit destinations, which are disappearing because of climate change impacts. Values and motivations are two of the personal variables underpinning tourists’ decisions. The study addresses both the limited values research in tourism and reveals unconscious motives by using projective techniques. Projective techniques avoid some of the social desirability bias present in much ethical research. Choice ordering technique and the list of values assist by assigning importance, with narrative responses providing meaning. The construction technique builds a story from a stimulus, with photo-elicitation using participants’ personal holiday photographs. A sample of pre, during and post visit tourists to the Arctic and Venice were interviewed. Results, which provide a more nuanced understanding of how the personal variables of values and motivations are underpinned by selfinterest, inform policies and the messages designed to influence pro-sustainability behaviour.
    • What content to post? Evaluating the effectiveness of Facebook communications in destinations.

      Molina, Arturo; Gomez Rico, Maria del Mar; Garcia, Evangelina; Lyon, Andrew; Loibl, Wilhelm; University of Castilla-La Mancha; University of Chester
      This study analyzes the marketing effectiveness of the social media posts of destination management organizations (DMOs) based on message format and content and the moderator effect of its message appeal in order to understand the users’ responses to destinations’ social media posts. The paper also discusses the most appropriate social media message strategy for Facebook campaigns for DMOs. The methodology is based on the content analysis of a sample of 3303 Facebook posts from 12 English and Spanish heritage city destinations. A Poisson regression was used to test the marketing effectiveness of the posts based on the number of Facebook reactions and message characteristics. Considering the particularities of each country, the results provide insights for DMOs for their social media message strategies. The results show that emotional messages tend to be more effective than informational messages in many cases, and several recommendations for Facebook usage are developed for the management of destinations through social media.
    • What counts as knowledge in a Professional Doctorate? Where is it appropriate to use more formal and less formal theoretical frameworks in practice enquiry?

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (UK Council for Graduate Education, 2012-04-03)
      The paper discusses the distinctive nature of practice knowledge in a professional doctorate, as opposed to knowledge in a traditional doctorate.
    • What does it take for flexible learning to survive? A UK case study

      Tabot, Jon; Perrin, David; Meakin, Bob; University of Chester
      Purpose: To identify potential reasons why an innovative Work based learning shell framework has succeeded in an adverse environment Design/methodology/approach: Case study Findings: Demand-led, flexible Work based learning programmes have to overcome a number of internal cultural and institutional barriers in order to succeed. Important requirements are likely to include effective leadership, financial viability, adherence to Quality Assurance, adaptability, entrepreneurialism and a cohesive community of practice incorporating these traits. Research limitations/implications: The conclusions are drawn from shared experience and are suggestive only as they are not readily susceptible to empirical verification. The authors accept that for some the conclusions appear speculative but they suggest that in order for innovative programmes to survive more is required than sound pedagogy. Practical implications: Although lessons may not be directly transferable, the paper draws attention to the importance of managerial, leadership and organisational factors necessary for innovative Work based learning programmes to survive and develop. Social implications: Originality/value: There is some literature on why some innovative higher education programmes and institutions have failed: there is little on why some programmes are successful.
    • What I'm passionate about

      Harris, Phil; University of Chester (Benham Publishing, 2017-12-01)
      Reflections on why understanding China is so important to modern business and people.
    • What influences ethnic entrepreneurs’ decision to start up: Some evidence from Aberdeen, Scotland

      Ullah, Farid; Rahman, Md Zillur; Smith, Robert; Beloucif, Ahmed; University of Chester (Emerald, 2016-11-21)
      ABSTRACT The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that influences ethnic entrepreneurs decision making to start a new business in Aberdeen, Scotland. By doing so, this paper investigates the motives, drivers and attitudes of ethnic minorities towards entrepreneurship opportunities in Aberdeen, Scotland. Using qualitative data, we explore the motivational factors of 25 ethnic entrepreneurs by conducting in depth face to face interviews with them. Our results reveal some interesting motivational factors which influences ethnic entrepreneurs decision to dive in and starting up a new venture in Aberdeen, Scotland. Some of these include a positive mind set or attitude, self-efficacy, strong determination, market research knowledge (due diligence), good financial management, and knowing the local business culture along with others.
    • What UK graduate employers think they want and what university business schools think they provide

      Harper, Andrea; Nolan, Terry; Warhurst, Russell; University of Chester ; Auckland University of Technology ; University of Chester (Inderscience Enterprises, 2009-02-20)
      This paper evaluates the increasing focus on the development of students' competencies and skills for management, in university business schools. The debate suggests that deeper understandings, concerning the role of managers are being sacrificed at the hands of an instrumentalist/technicist agenda focusing on competencies and skills. The paper adds to the discussion by scrutinising and applying theory from the literatures of occupational practice, knowledge and learning. Data is presented from sixty four job advertisements stipulating the competencies and skills required of applicants and which illustrate the premium put upon personal practice knowledge. By taking a critical management perspective students can begin to understand the social context and power-based nature of management practice in the workplace. While universities may try to further fulfil the 'narrow', industry-led, competency focus, early indications suggest that universities may possess a good deal of freedom in designing pedagogies supportive of a critical agenda.
    • What's the use of on-learn work based learning? Reflections on difficulties with reference to the University of Chester's work based and integrative studies (WBIS) programme

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (2007-06-27)
      This paper dicusses the work based and integrative studies programme at the University of Chester.
    • When Employer Brand Image Aids Employee Satisfaction and Engagement

      Davies, Gary; Mete, Melisa; Whelan, Susan; University of Chester; University of Manchester; Waterford Institute of Technology (Emerald, 2018-03-12)
      Purpose. To test whether employee characteristics (age, gender, role and experience) influence the effects of employer brand image, for warmth and competence, on employee satisfaction and engagement. Design/methodology. Members of the public were surveyed as to their satisfaction and engagement with their employer and their view of their employer’s brand image. Half were asked to evaluate their employer’s ‘warmth’ half its ‘competence’. The influence of employee characteristics was tested on a ‘base model’ linking employer image to satisfaction and engagement using a mediated moderation model. Findings. The base model proved valid; satisfaction partially mediates the influence of employer brand image on engagement. Age and experience, gender and whether the role involved customer contact moderate both the influence of the employer brand image and of satisfaction on engagement. Research implications. Employee engagement can be influenced directly or indirectly by different aspects of the employer’s brand image and to different extents. Employee demographics and role can influence the relationships between the employer’s brand image and both satisfaction and engagement. Practical implications. Engagement varies with employee characteristics and both segmenting employees and promoting the employer’s brand image differentially to specific groups are ways way to counter this effect. Originality. The contexts in which employer brand image can influence employees in general and specific groups of employees in particular are not well understood. This is the first empirical study of the influence of employer brand image on employee engagement and one of few that considers the application of employee segmentation. Keywords: Employer brand, segmentation, employee satisfaction, engagement, age, experience