• Exploring International Student Satisfaction in Private Higher Education Institutes in London

      Wall, Tony; Mehashwari, Vish; Qureshi, Fayyaz H. (University of Chester, 2020-07-29)
      In March 2019 the government of the United Kingdom developed a new strategy to strengthen Britain's leading role in the global higher education market, by aiming to increase the number of international students studying in the country by more than 30 per cent – which in turn would help to boost the income of educational exports to £35 billion (UK Government, 2019). The purpose of this study is to explore an understanding of international student satisfaction in institutions of private higher education in London, adding to the paucity of literature centred on international student satisfaction in private higher education in the UK in general and particularly in London. The private higher education sector in the United Kingdom is expanding rapidly, especially in London. An indicator of this is the number of private higher education institutions with degree awarding powers, which increased from only one private university to ten within less than a decade. Student satisfaction is a complex phenomenon and arguably related to or even extended from the concept of customer satisfaction, a relatively well-known concept in marketing literature. In higher education, only a few studies, mostly based on quantitative methods, are available within the subject area of student satisfaction. Furthermore, this existing body of work is limited to the public higher education sector. This is equally true for international students studying in private higher education institutions (PrHEIs) in London. This signifies the need to investigate thoroughly the perception and experience of international students studying at PrHEIs in London. The outcome of such a study should contribute to improving the quality of educational provisions not only in PrHEIs but also in public higher education institutions (PuHEIs). For this particular study, qualitative research was employed, by conducting twelve indepth interviews with international students to capture their experiences whilst measuring their levels of satisfaction, leading to the production of rich data. From this data, three themes emerged along with several subthemes; (1) Flexibility in policies - tuition fee policy, admission policy, multiple intakes and speedy admission processes, (2) Student friendly management- fast communication, a simple structure, quick decision making and easy access to senior management and (3) Feel being customers - customised service while the other significant existing themes such as course and institution selection, pre-arrival and arrival experience, learning & teaching , resources and overall satisfaction were matched to the expectations of the international students and findings in the literature. Recommendations were made particularly around emerging themes and subthemes in order to improve satisfaction by giving more value to student opinions and being more responsive to their needs and demands. This study further concludes that this can only be achieved if higher education (HE) considers students as customers. A need for further research was identified, to study more closely the relationship between new themes and subthemes and student satisfaction.
    • Exploring Public Sector Accounting Reforms in an Emerging Economy: A Case of Sri Lanka

      Nagirikandalage, Padmi; Binsardi, Ben; University of Chester, Glyndwr University (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015-10-15)
      The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges and influential factors experienced in the development of public sector accounting reforms in the emerging economy of Sri Lanka. The reforms aim to improve public governance and transparency while reducing corruption and dishonesty. Qualitative (thematic) analysis has been employed by using both primary and secondary data. Primary data was obtained by interviewing selected respondents from public sector organisations in Sri Lanka. The respondents were selected by using an expert purposive sampling technique. Apart from the primary data, secondary data such as government reports, relevant literature and paper articles was also analysed in order to produce more robust findings. The findings indicate that technological and cultural factors have influenced accounting reforms in the public sector in Sri Lanka. In addition, the politicisation and bureaucracy of the public sector as well as sluggish attitudes towards costs have served as prominent barriers to efficient implementation of the reforms. This study was limited in terms of generalisation because of relatively small sample sizes. A larger sample with more diversity could have enhanced the generalisation of the results which could serve as direction for further research. This paper is intended to fill a gap in the existing literature on public sector accounting reforms in the context of less developed or emerging countries. It is hopefully valuable for both policy makers and practitioners by allowing them to view the development, challenges and influential aspects of the implementation of New Public Management (NPM) in Sri Lanka in order that they will be able to make informed decisions about adopting more efficient NPM practices to enhance the country’s competitive advantages.
    • Exploring the impact of Investors in People: A focus on training and development, job satisfaction and awareness of the Standard

      Smith, Simon M.; Stokes, Peter; Wilson, John F.; University of Central Lancashire ; University of Chester ; Newcastle University (Emerald, 2014-04-01)
      Purpose – Investors in People (IiP) is a UK government-backed scheme aimed at enabling organizations to develop their training and development cultures and, thereby, their competitiveness. The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions and understandings of individuals in six organizations undergoing IiP to explore recent claims within the literature concerning the Standard’s impact on training and development, and job satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach – Data from 35 semi-structured interviews among managers and employees of six diverse organizations were gathered and analysed. Findings – The paper identifies three key findings in response to recent literature: first, the findings do not support a causal relationship between IiP and training and development; second, the findings do not support a causal relationship between IiP and job satisfaction; third, and to support the other findings, the results indicate little employee awareness of IiP. Practical implications – If IiP – UKCES are to realize the potential of their Standard, it needs to find a way to ensure it has a direct and positive impact on skill development. Originality/value –While much of the previous research has identified associations between IiP and various outcomes, this paper seeks to identify the extent to which these associations can be considered to be causal.
    • Exploring the Impact of Reflective and Work Applied Approaches

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      The impact agenda is now a global phenomenon with great expectations for ‘transformational’ impacts in the wider world (Gravem et al 2017). Paradoxically, such demands can hinder discovery through the avoidance unpredictable outcomes (ibid), and problematically, there is an over reliance on very narrow conceptualisations of impact, oftentimes adopting the metrics used by research councils or governments to allocate research monies. Such metrics are fiercely debated, partly because of a disconnect with practice, and their significance in creating and shaping industries whose primary purpose it is to administer and optimise the administration of research assessment activity...
    • Exploring the lived experiences of owner-managers who thrive at work

      Wild, Wendy (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-06)
      This thesis explores how owner-managers of scale-up companies thrive at work and aims to explore the experiences of owner-managers of these companies who are thriving at work. Empirical research to date is primarily conceptual and quantitative and conducted outside the UK with employees. This research addressed the literature gap by undertaking interpretative phenomenological analysis with owner-managers in the UK. Key findings both support and challenge the existing thriving at work construct proposed by Spreitzer, Sutcliffe, Dutton, Sonenshein & Grant (2005). Whilst this study was a based on a small number of atypical individuals, this appreciative inquiry extended existing knowledge by describing the insights and experience of owner-managers who were thriving at work using their own taxonomy, clearly expressing their need for self-development and energy, but combining these with a third dimension of being happy on a daily basis. For some, the number of participants might suggest that the findings have to be interpreted cautiously, however the underpinning methodology provided a robust rationale for such numbers to gain a deeper understanding of the idiographic experience ownermanagers have when they thrive at work. This research also contributes to the body of knowledge on spill-over, between home and work, as owner-managers were happy to have, and accepted, that their work-life and home-life would be intertwined. In the UK the Scale-up Institute report of 2014 recommended that an eco-system be developed to support these companies, and the findings of this thesis produce practical insights for stakeholders within this eco-system. Educationalists in particular should be facilitators who focus on the strengths of owner-managers, recognise that owner-managers are paratelic learners, so enable them to spot and respond to challenges to support their thriving, but importantly recognise that the speed of change could be gender specific. It is incumbent on stakeholders in the ecosystem to invest in external peer groups as a place in which owner-managers can be authentic, as inside their organisation they see themselves as role models to their staff, recognising the contagious effect their mood could have on those around them.
    • Exploring the power of high-level postgraduate international partnership work based learning programmes

      Weston, Philippa; Perrin, David; Meakin, Denise; CWRS, University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-05-25)
      This chapter explores students’ reflections of their experiential learning whilst enrolled on an HE work based learning (WBL) international internship programme jointly developed by the University of Chester and the Mountbatten Institute. The chapter commences with some background to help set in context why these two organisations came together to form this unique inter-organisational partnership involving the partner delivering and assessing, and the HEI accrediting the programme. Then using data gained from student evaluations together with quotes obtained from students’ reflective learning logs, submitted as part of their final project at the end of the taught element of the programme, the chapter explores students’ perceptions of what they perceive they have gained from this experience which they can take forward into their future careers. As such it provides a unique insight into the nature and value of this international learning experience.
    • Exploring UK consumer perceptions of mobile payments using smart phones and contactless consumer devices through an extended Technology Adoption Model.

      Hampshire, Chris (University of Chester, 2016-06)
      Widespread adoption of mobile payments has not taken place despite a decade of trials in various countries based upon a mobile phone handset that does not have the technology capabilities of today’s smart phones. However, significant technology developments have led to widespread consumer adoption of smart phones and other devices that may now provide the foundation for wider consumer adoption of mobile payments. Understanding UK consumer cultural perceptions on the new phenomenon is one of the first steps to influencing purchase behaviour. This thesis is based upon a post-positivist philosophy and a social constructionist ontology that explores UK consumer perceptions of mobile payments through human cognitive and affective responses of consumer payment behaviour as these influence attitude that leads to adoption. However, UK consumer interest in mobile payments on its own is unlikely to be enough to change payment behaviour, although meeting specific payment needs can motivate consumers to amend their payment behaviour that can lead to widespread adoption. Inductive empirical research is used to explore UK consumer perceptions of mobile payments through sequential mixed methods. A questionnaire is used as the 1st research instrument with closed questions that explore various aspects of consumer interest in the mobile payments phenomenon. The key themes identified from the numerical analysis of the questionnaire data are used to guide the semi-structured interviews. Content analysis is then undertaken on the qualitative interview data from which new knowledge on consumer perceptions of mobile payments is identified. Analysis of the empirical data suggests that UK consumers have significant technology and security concerns which negatively affect consumer interest. Despite these concerns, UK consumers demonstrate interest in the mobile payments phenomenon when perceived usefulness benefits are identified. The perceived usefulness positively influences attitude that overcomes perceived risks which can lead to amended consumer payment behaviour and widespread adoption. In addition, UK consumers have a significant lack of trust towards unknown organisations as well as new market entrants although there is an increased level of trust in mobile payments provided by UK banks as well as other established organisations. This research fills an important gap in existing literature on consumer payment behaviour as it explores UK consumer cultural perceptions of the mobile payments phenomenon using smart phones and contactless consumer devices; whereas earlier consumer payment research is based upon a mobile phone handset that does not have the technology capabilities of today’s smart phones and has an Asian and Nordic cultural focus. Furthermore, this research provides UK empirical evidence that refines and extends existing research through the use of sequential mixed methods whilst adding to the understanding of UK consumer attitudes related to UK payment instruments.
    • Facilitating employer engagement through negotiated work based learning: A case study from the University of Chester

      Perrin, David; Weston, Philippa; Thompson, Pauline A.; Brodie, Pandy; University of Chester ; University of Chester ; Department for Work and Pensions ; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2010)
      This report discusses the development of a work based learning framework at the University of Chester and identifies its key features, particulary in relation to employer engagagement.
    • Facilitating faster growth with small enterprise

      Wall, Tony; Grant, Danielle; University of Chester : LeaderShape (2012-02-07)
      This book chapter discusses a case study whereby the University of Chester collaborated with LeaderShape (a group of business leaders who develop their clients' leadership capability) to deliver a PGCert in Coach-Mentoring and Facilitation in Organisations, followed by further accredited short courses.
    • Facilitating Literature Searches for Work based learning Students Using an Action Research Approach.

      Talbot, Jon; Bennett, Lee; University of Chester
      This paper describes an action research project in a university to identify the requirements of Work based learning (WBL) students in respect of literature searches for practice enquiries and outlines measures subsequently taken to improve student support. The study confirms previous research that WBL students need to consult a wide variety of source material and not just academic texts. Students report uncertainty in using non-academic sources and difficulties searching. As a result, academic practices have been adapted to provide more consistent, comprehensive support. These include the production of online resources and modified practices by tutors and librarians. In line with the action research approach practices are monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure their continuing relevance.
    • Facilitating situated learning: A 'mode 2' pedagogical model

      Wall, Tony; Leonard, Dilys T.; University of Chester (2011-09)
      Learning through workplace activity and projects, as part of a university level qualification, is an increasingly common approach for practitioners to study part-time higher education. In facilitating and assessing such ‘learning through work’ approaches, we have identified three recurring practical issues: learners focusing on describing rather than critical reflecting on their work for new insight, learners rejurgitating theory, and/or critically reflecting on practice without reference to academic knowledge. As a result, the work based projects and assessments were considered to hold greater potential for change. A pedagogical model to address this has been developed and refined over a period of two years (emerging from Brodie and Irving, 2007) – drawing on practice and data from one of the largest providers of negotiated, work based university-level learning. Using a cyclic first person action research methodology (Whitehead and McNiff, 2006), the model was used in group workshop contexts and one-to-one facilitation contexts with professionals studying work based learning degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Three distinctive aspects emerged based on Gibbons et al’s (1994) conception of mode 1 and mode 2 knowledge, where ‘mode 1’ knowledge which is academic/theoretical, sequential knowledge, organised by disciplinary boundaries and where ‘mode 2’ knowledge is situated, messy, problem-based and trans-disciplinary. The model highlights three key areas for professionals to consider: 1. theoretical knowledge (mode 2 academic ideas, principles, theories), 2. critical reflection (questioning for new insight), and 3. the workplace (activity in it, as a location/space focus). We have identified that learners place a high value on the model to structure own thinking and to help them articulate and structure the assessments. For them, it clearly distinguishes three important elements to pay attention to, and for facilitators, it provides an easier and more efficient way to enable learners to engage in this mode of learning and assessment.
    • Factors affecting progress of the National e-Health Strategy in the NHS in England: A Socio-technical Evaluation.

      Page, Steve; Bellamy, Lawrence; Manning, Paul; Richardson, Keith (University of Chester, 2019-03-21)
      Background: This is a formative socio-technical study of the “middle out” NHS e-health strategy in England. It began in 2015 with an objective to become “paperless at the point of care by 2020”, focussing nationally on the “electronic glue”, (interoperability), to facilitate the inter-organisational exchange digital communications of patient data and leaving the choice of EHRs to local organisations. No academic research has been published into the strategy and similar studies rarely include sample groups of suppliers or IT consultants. So this study seeks to fill both gaps in knowledge. Such strategies are prevalent across westernised developed countries and can consume large sums of government funding and local resources. In consequence, their failure can be very costly. This study seeks to mitigate that risk whilst recognising that, as they operate in highly complex environments, choosing any particular type of “bottom up”, “middle out” or “top down” strategy construct does not guarantee success. Their outcome is dependent upon the successful navigation through a mix of factors, known and unknown, across technical, human and social, organisational, macro-environmental and wider socio-political dimensions through time. Findings: The “middle out” strategy is broadly more appropriate, rather than “bottom up” or “top down”, but the target, of becoming “paperless by 2020”, is unattainable. Major cultural barriers include resistance by powerful clinicians, who can perceive such strategies as threats to the moral order and their traditional role as gatekeepers of access to patient data. Other barriers include inadequate and delayed national funding; disruption caused by government reorganisations; major premature programme re-structuring and a shift away from the original intent, resulting in the inappropriate selection of single organisation pilot sites rather than multi-organisational community wide ones to promote interoperability. New factors found include: the threats of cyber security incidents and the need for protective measures; the mismatch between strategy timescales and local procurement cycles; the quality of IT suppliers and the competing demands of similar change management programmes for scarce local NHS resources. Proposition: To reflect those findings a new socio-technical model is proposed that incorporates those additional factors as well as two further cross cutting dimensions to reflect “Lifecycle” and “Purpose”, drawing on elements of both Change Management and Technology Lifecycle Theory. “Lifecycle” reflects the “passage of time” as the evidence suggests that factors affecting progress may vary in their presence and impact over time as a strategy moves though its lifecycle. The addition of a “Purpose” dimension supports a reflection on the “why”. Some support is found for the proposal that a “middle out” strategy is more likely to facilitate progress than “bottom up” or “top down” ones. However a shift in approach is advocated. It is proposed that “middle out” e-health strategies are more likely to be successful if their “purpose” shifts away from promoting EHRs, per se, like with single organisation pilot sites, towards inter-organisational clinical and social care workflow improvement across health and social care economies. To achieve that, the focus should shift towards interoperability and cyber security programmes. Those should promote and mandate the use of national interoperability infrastructure, national systems and national standards. They should also provide national funding support to health economy wide clinical and social care workflow improvement pilots and initiatives that span those economies.
    • Family-Centred Motivations for Agritourism Diversification: The Case of the Langhe Region, Italy.

      Lyon, Andrew; Canovi, Magali; University of Chester, ESCP Europe (Taylor and Francis, 2019-08-07)
      This paper examines the motivations underlying family wineries' decisions to diversify into agritourism. Empirical evidence is provided by a sample of North Italian family wineries that have recently engaged in agritourism. While the majority of studies have adopted an economic-noneconomic dichotomy approach when examining the motivations for agritourism diversification, this paper highlights the limitations of this approach, outlines the complexity of motivations and argues for the need to take the family context into account. Drawing on the socioemotional wealth (SEW) framework, we offer a conceptual model and derive a set of propositions to show how family owners' motivations for agritourism diversification are primarily driven by family-centred goals. This paper thus contributes to a better understanding of diversification in general, and of farming families' motivations for agritourism diversification in particular. Practical implications at the European and regional level are discussed. KEYWORDS: Agritourism, wine tourism, diversification, socioemotional wealth, family business
    • Family-owned businesses in the global marketplace: A taxonomy for generational evolution and directions for future research

      Ozdemir, Ozlem; harris, Phil; University of Chester; Regents University, London
      The words “global company” often conjure up images of large, publicly-traded organizations, while the words “family-owned business” may evoke images of small, tightly held companies. However, some of the world’s largest global companies are actually family-owned businesses. Global marketing research has paid little attention to investigating decision making and behavior in family-owned businesses. It has paid even less attention to the important role that women play in leading family-owned businesses. This chapter illuminates these gaps. The current study builds on extant theory about family business cultural impacts on succession using a multidimensional model of succession that adapts stewardship theory while including the previously under-researched perspectives of family-owned businesses. Keywords: Family-Owned Business, Succession, Women
    • Financial Technology for Sustainable Development

      Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; Teissier, Cedric; University of Chester, Finexkap
    • FinTech (Financial Technology): What is it and how to use technologies to create business value in FinTech way?

      Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; University of Chester (International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology, 2018-04-01)
      We define FinTech as a cross-disciplinary subject that combines Finance, Technology Management and Innovation Management. The definition had been presented to different audiences with different backgrounds, such as students and business professionals in various events, we found that the definition provides audiences better understanding on what is FinTech and its potential. Moreover, in order to discuss how FinTech would create value for businesses, we summarized various FinTech applications into four major categories: i) payment, ii) advisory service, iii) financing and iv) compliance. In addition, we also discuss what are the emerging technologies in FinTech and how they could possibility create business values. We believe that this study could serve as a reference for researchers, particularly from technology background, on how to identify and develop new Fintech solutions.
    • 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.
    • Freedom and transparency in turbulent times: Some thoughts and issues

      Harris, Phil; University of Chester (Wiley, 2017-08-21)
      Editorial of Volume 17, 3 of Journal of Public Affairs
    • Funding the growth of UK technology-based small firms since the financial crash: are there breakages in the finance escalator?

      North, David; Baldock, Robert; Ullah, Farid; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2013-07-04)
      This paper presents recent research assessing the impact of the financial crisis on young and established Technology-Based Small Firms (TBSFs) and considers whether their ability to contribute to economic growth is being affected by ongoing problems in obtaining external finance. It reports on original findings from a survey of 100 TBSFs undertaken in late 2010 as well as 20 in-depth interviews with a range of finance providers. The surviving TBSFs exhibited considerable demand for external finance since 2007, particularly for working capital and early stage R&D, sought mainly from banks, but also with younger TBSFs seeking business angel finance and innovation grants and more mature TBSFs seeking venture capital finance. However, both debt and equity finance have become harder to access for TBSFs, particularly for early stage funding and for more R&D intensive firms, hampering their growth potential. Where external finance has been available, the terms and conditions set by providers were often unacceptable to business owners. The paper concludes that the smooth operation of the finance escalator has proved difficult to achieve under recent financial conditions and identifies a number of breakpoints relating to TBSFs which government policy needs to address.
    • Future proofing the degree apprenticeship workforce - an exploratory study of resilience behaviours, resources and risks

      Moore, Neil; Moss, Danny; Rowe, Lisa (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-11)
      The Higher Education Institution (HEI) employer interface has attracted much attention recently, particularly over dissatisfaction with graduate work-readiness. Concurrently, pressure upon new graduates is accelerating through the unprecedented pace of global change in technologies, communications and robotics, revolutionising the workplace and requiring new lifelong learning strategies which embed critical transferable skills and resilience to adapt, thrive and perform effectively in an increasingly unpredictable global environment. Degree apprenticeships developed to counter such skills issues have forced HEIs to adapt pedagogic strategies and adopt work-based learning frameworks to ensure curricula meet new political apprenticeship reforms. The extant literature reflects an increasing demand for employee resilience, yet despite widespread acknowledgement that employability is dependent upon a self-driven and evolving conceptual toolkit containing resilience and transferable skills, there remains a dearth of research into the complex, multi-faceted interrelationships between resilience and skills. Central to this research is an examination of the influence of degree apprenticeship programmes upon resilience development within this evolving generation of learners, and the potential limitations caused by wider influences that shape resilience across a range of occupational settings. The theory of resilience is therefore a highly relevant conceptual lens with which to explore the experiences of degree apprentices, their employers and the academic team within a UK Business School. This research is particularly distinctive in its adoption of a qualitative approach to investigate the impact of situational influences upon resilience by incorporating a range of settings and professions. It provides a holistic evaluation involving multiple stakeholder perspectives to produce a contemporary view of funded HE work-based learning programme provision. The use of qualitative methods has added depth to the data, through the provision of rich and thick description to illustrate correlations between the characteristics and behaviours demonstrated by resilient students, highlighting the broader influences of environmental factors upon resilience. As such, this research makes an original contribution to the extant body of knowledge over the conceptualisation of resilience, revealing new insights into the influence of background and upbringing, goal setting and leadership competencies. Previously unexplored contextual tensions emerge, revealing challenges to educational providers’ perceptions of innovative pedagogies and exposing weaknesses in current practice. Together the findings and recommendations offer the opportunity to develop effective pedagogic practice, transferable to any work-based programme across a range of disciplines, further increasing the significance of this study.