• 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
    • Where are we with lifelong learning?

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (Nova Publications, 2016-04-21)
      The preface briefly reviews global economic development and lifelong learning
    • Who will accredit MOOC learning? a survey of work based learning departments in English and Welsh universities

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (The Open University, 2016-02-26)
      The presentation is of a small survey to determine whether Work based learning departments have sufficient flexibility to admit MOOC certificates as the basis for APL/RPL claims. The main finding is that there is low awareness of MOOCs among tutors such that is unlikely many would recognise the value of a MOOC certificate as the basis for a claim for past learning.
    • Why Educational Reform is Like 'looking for the Donkey whilst sitting on its back': provocations from a Zizekian analysis

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Deakin University, 2016-02-12)
      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? Through the analytical apparatus of contemporary philosopher and politico-cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek (who introduces a cocktail of Lacan, Hegel and Marx), this seminar offers an alternative perspective on these modern challenges and tensions in education.
    • Words, wellness and Trainspotting, 20 years' on

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Lapidus: The Writing for Wellbeing Organisation, 2016-08-01)
      It has been two decades since the movie release of Irvine Welsh’s novel ‘Trainspotting’. Saturated with the emotionally charged, experiential grittiness of drug addiction, infant death, and living in deprivation, it touched the hearts and minds of critics and moviegoers alike. It offered glimpses into perspectives and pressures that some of us may have to deal with on a daily basis in recovery work, and especially insightful those of us who may never come to know or even hear about such circumstances in our lifetimes. Whether or not you believe these were dramatisations or ‘reality’, Trainspotting offered the audience the possibility that these experiences may have been experienced – many scenes were deeply troubling...
    • Work based learning in the United Kingdom: What we know of practice and an example: The WBL module and WBIS program at the University of Chester

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (IGI Global, 2019)
      The chapter summarises the development and spread of Work based learning in British universities and includes case studies of at the University of Chester, where all three modes of practice are evidenced.
    • Work integrated learning for sustainability education

      Wall, Tony; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester (Springer, 2019)
      An encyclopedia article related to work-integrated learning as a form of education for sustainable development.
    • Work-based and vocational education as catalysts for sustainable development?

      Wall, Tony; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester (Emerald Insight, 2018-08-13)
      A louder call Over a decade ago, the United Nations’ established the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative to prompt a radical overhaul of how responsibility, ethics and sustainability are treated in higher education, particularly in relation to the business, management and organisation studies fields (Wall, 2017). By 2017, although there are now a range of radical responses available (Akrivou and Bradbury-Huang, 2015; Wall and Jarvis, 2015; Wall, 2016; Wall, Bellamy, Evans, Hopkins, 2017; Wall, Hindley, Hunt, Peach, Preston, Hartley and Fairbank, 2017; Wall, Russell, Moore, 2017; Wall, Clough, Österlind, Hindley, 2018), evidence suggests that little as has changed on a global or even national scale (Wall, Hindley, Hunt, Peach, Preston, Hartley and Fairbank, 2017), and there remain urgent calls at the highest levels of the United Nations for higher education to help promote responsibility, ethics and sustainability in education (UNESCO, 2016; Wall, 2018).
    • Work-based learning as a catalyst for sustainability: a review and prospects

      Wall, Tony; Hindley, Ann; Hunt, Tamara; Peach, Jeremy; Preston, Martin; Hartley, Courtney; Fairbank, Amy; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-02-20)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the continuing dearth of scholarship about the role of work based learning in education for sustainable development, and particularly the urgent demands of climate literacy. It is proposed that forms of work based learning can act as catalysts for wider cultural change, towards embedding climate literacy in higher education institutions. Design/methodology/approach: This paper draws data from action research to present a case study of a Climate Change Project conducted through a work based learning module at a mid-sized university in the United Kingdom. Findings: Contrary to the predominantly fragmented and disciplinary bounded approaches to sustainability and climate literacy, the case study demonstrates how a form of work based learning can create a unifying vision for action, and do so across multiple disciplinary, professional service, and identity boundaries. In addition, the project generated indicators of cultural change including extensive faculty level climate change resources, creative ideas for an innovative mobile application, and new infrastructural arrangements to further develop practice and research in climate change. Research limitations/implications: Practical implications: This paper provides an illustrative example of how a pan-faculty work based learning module can act as a catalyst for change at a higher education institution. Originality/value: This paper is a contemporary call for action to stimulate and expedite climate literacy in higher education, and is the first to propose that certain forms of work based learning curricula can be a route to combating highly bounded and fragmented approaches, towards a unified and boundary-crossing approach.
    • Workers researching the workplace using a work based learning framework: Developing a research agenda for the development of improved supervisory practice

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (E-learning Network of Australasia (ElNet), 2009)
      The article is case study of academic practice in respect of the supervision of research in the workplace by distance learners using a Work Based Learning (WBL) framework. Key aspects of the WBL are described including the role of technology in delivery. Drawing upon tutor experience at one institution and knowledge of practice elsewhere several conceptual and practical issues are raised as the basis for a planned research exercise to identify commonalities and differences in approach among practitioners. Ultimately, the purpose is to improve the relevance and application of workplace research by practitioners.
    • Workers researching the workplace: The confessions of a work based learning tutor

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (2009-06-29)
      This paper discusses the work based learning module at the University of Chester, its philosophical underpinnings and the community of practice amongst tutors; the evolution of the facilitation of workplace research, how it is currently deilvered and future developments; practitioner enquiry; a research agenda.