• 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).
    • Spirituality and wellbeing in the workplace

      Foster, Scott; Wall, Tony; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (2019-11-29)
      The late 20th century and the early 21st centuries have seen a growing interest in spirituality in general and its role in the workplace (Petchsawanga and Duchon, 2012; Bell and Burack, 2001; Sedikides, 2010; Wagner-Marsh and Conley, 1999). However, despite this growing interest in spirituality and its place within the organisation, the concept remains undertheorized, and there is no generally accepted definition. The literature is primarily dominated by speculative discussion, fragmentation, dearth and incomprehensibility and a marked lack of empirical data, especially quantitative research (Khaled et al. 2012). Corner (2008: 377) goes on to note that, much of this work is in fact useful and thought-provoking but “…needs to be extended with experience or empirical data to prevent theories being remote from the phenomenon they intend to describe.” Often, the words spirituality, ethics and religion tend to overlap, so there is a need to clarify the concepts (Giacalone and Jurkiewicz, 2010). In a broad sense, ethics normally differentiates between right and wrong, religion is concerned with beliefs, prayers, and related formalised practices, whilst spirituality tends to refer to an individual’s determination to experience a deeper meaning to life through the way in which they live and work. (Snyder and Lopez, 2008).
    • Organizational Dynamics and Adoption of Innovations: A Study within the Context of Software Firms in Sri Lanka

      Udagedara, Susantha; Allman, Kurt; University of Salford; University of Keele (Routledge, 2019-11-11)
      This paper examines the effect of organizational dynamics on innovation focus using the residual dominant and emergent theoretical framework (RDE) and the empirical evidence of four case studies. The findings revealed that different types of innovation coexist, but one type becomes dominant over other types at a certain time as the innovation focus is changed in line with the strategic priorities of firms. We found that innovation focus takes the form of product, process, and organizational innovation pattern over time when the firms move from an entrepreneurial organization to a more formal business corporation. More importantly, the RDE framework provides an appropriate lens for practitioners, in identifying the enablers and barriers of innovation.
    • 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.
    • Mental toughness

      Strycharczyk, Doug; Clough, Peter; Wall, Tony; Perry, John; AQR Limited; University of Huddersfield; University of Chester; Mary Immaculate College (Springer, 2019-10-26)
      Since the turn of the 21st Century, Mental Toughness has been defined in a variety of ways (e.g. Clough, Earle & Sewell, 2002; Coulter, Mallett & Gucciardi, 2010; Fourie & Potgieter, 2001; Golby & Sheard, 2006; Gucciardi, Gordon & Dimmock, 2008; Jones, Hanton & Connaughton, 2007). Although they differ in many respects, the conceptualisation share a number of similarities. For example, self-belief is at the core of most definitions, motivation is central to most as is persistence in achieving and the ability to deal with setbacks. As such, Mental Toughness is an umbrella term that entails positive psychological resources, which are crucial across a wide range of achievement contexts and in the domain of mental health. Clough and Strycharczyk (2015: 33) suggest that: Mental Toughness is a narrow plastic personality trait which explains in large part how individuals respond differently to the same or similar stressors, pressures, opportunities and challenges… irrespective of prevailing circumstances.
    • Workplace stress management

      Parkyn, Matthew; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-10-01)
      Sustainability encapsulates not only ecological and socio-economic dimensions, but also those dimensions focused on developing the quality of life of every human being (Di Fabio, 2017). As the global rise of work-place or work-related stress is now recognised for its interconnectedness with and impacts on other aspects of health such as depression and mortality and sustainable development more broadly, such as poverty, stress has become a significant sustainable development challenge (ILO, 2016; HSE, 2015; EU OSHA, 2014). Indeed, stress can be understood in a variety of ways, including biological or physiological stress (in terms of the pressures placed on the material body), experiential (in the sense of how those demands are perceived and made sense of), and a combination of these. In particular, work-related stress is the response people have when presented with work contexts, demands, and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities. Therefore, stress management encompasses a range of activities that are deployed by individuals, teams and organisations to manage the experience and impacts of stressors (ibid), and therefore has a role in the mitigation of the wider sustainable development impacts aforementioned.
    • Creative writing for health and wellbeing

      Wall, Tony; Field, Victoria; Sučylaitė, Jūratė; University of Chester; Canterbury Christ Church University; Klaipėda University (2019-10-01)
      Creative writing for health and wellbeing has emerged from a constellation of arts-based practices which have been explicitly linked to health and wellbeing, that is, a set of practices which are recognised as having a role in “resolving the social and cultural challenges facing today’s world” (UNESCO, 2010, p.8). With a burgeoning empirical base of evidence of the role and impacts of arts-based practices for health and wellbeing, there is an increasing acknowledgment that such practices can help “keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived [and] help meet major challenges facing health and social care… ageing, long term conditions, loneliness and mental health” (APPG, 2017, p.4)...
    • Organizational Initiatives for Spiritual Wellbeing in the Workplace

      Foster, Scott; Wall, Tony; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-10-01)
      Spirituality can be understood in a pluralistic way, with varying conceptualisations through history and in different cultural contexts, and have included conceptions which place it synonymously with the practice of religious rituals as well as practices which enable people to experience a higher life purpose separate from a religious belief. However, within the context of work, its discussion has come to focus on re-orienting or re-balancing the experience of organisational life in developed countries in The West towards a more sustained and meaningful life in a context of workforce diversity and a greater sense of connectedness to others (Wall et al 2019). Against this backdrop, in the last decade, there has been a steady rise in interest regarding spiritual wellbeing and an increase inthe correlation between the expression of one’s spirituality and cases that are regarded as discrimination (Krahnke and Hoffman, 2002; Loo, 2017). Spiritualty has quickly become topical within the workplace and within business literature, partly due to the increase in technology such as the internet and social media (Long and Mills, 2010; Krishnakumer and Neck, 2002; Pawar, 2016; Bhatia and Arora, 2017). Whilst organisations are attempting to understand the complexity of spirituality, there are warnings in the literature that workplace spirituality is a prominent reality in the current business environment and it should not be dismissed (Deshpande, 2012; Alas and Mousa, 2016; Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2014). Therefore, workplace spirituality can be defined as a “contextualised phenomenon that examines questions of how spirituality relates to one’s work organisation and can be conceptualised as a lived experience and expression of ones spirituality in the context or work and workplace”. (Sheep, 2006:358)
    • 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.
    • Drama and theatre for health and well-being

      Wall, Tony; Fries, Julia; Rowe, Nick; Malone, Niamh; Österlind, Eva; University of Chester; Stockholm University; York St John University; Liverpool Hope University; Stockholm University (Springer, 2019-10-01)
      The rock art of indigenous communities from 20,000 years ago have been interpreted as early indications of how humans have connected performance, in a broad sense, with the health and well-being of their communities (Fleischer and Grehan, 2016). Now, at a global level, there is increasing recognition that drama and theatre can facilitate a variety of health and wellbeing outcomes for an extensive range of groups, not pre-determined by affluence or socioeconomic status (APPG, 2017). In a broad sense, drama and theatre are a constellation of arts based practices, processes, and spaces, which intentionally work with more or less fictive characters, roles, relationships, and plots, in order to generate a wide range of experiences or outcomes (Wall, Österlind and Fries, 2018, forthcoming). Indeed, theatre and drama have been described as “the most integrative of all the arts: they include singing, dancing, painting, sculpture, storytelling, music, puppetry, poetry and the art of acting” (British Medical Association, 2011, p 10), which can help people to understand and then change how they relate to and then live out their own world.
    • 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.
    • Art-Based teaching on sustainable development

      Wall, Tony; Österlind, Eva; Fries, Julia; University of Chester; Stockholm University (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      The connections between art, art making, education, and responsibility in relation to the wider natural and social world have been given increasing attention over the last thirty years. For example, there have been a variety of journal special issues dedicated to art, education, and: ecology (Krug, 1997), social justice and social change (Bolin, 1999), community and responsibility (Carpenter, 2004), ecology and responsibility (Stout 2007), health and wellbeing (Haywood Rolling 2017), and human rights (Kraehe 2017). Such a rise has been linked to trends in the human search for meaning and significance amongst (and resistance against) globalisation, domination of market forces, and an increasingly complex and chaotic environment (Taylor and Ladkin, 2009)...
    • Arts based approaches for sustainability

      Wall, Tony; Österlind, Eva; Fries, Julia; University of Chester; Stockholm University (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      The arts encompass a broad and diverse landscape of interrelated creative practices and professions, including performance arts (including music, dance, drama, and theatre), literary arts (including literature, story, and poetry), and the visual arts (including painting, design, film) (see UNESCO, 2006). They have been explicitly linked to sustainable development in higher education at a global level through UNESCO’s Road Map for Arts Education (UNESCO, 2006) and The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education (UNESCO, 2010). Specifically, the arts have been deployed to promote human rights, enhancing education, promoting cultural diversity, enhancing well-being and, most broadly, “to resolving the social and cultural challenges facing today’s world” (UNESCO, 2010: 8)...
    • Storytelling for sustainable development

      Wall, Tony; Rossetti, Lisa; Hopkins, Sandra; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      The use of stories in higher education crosses a number of sustainable development dimensions, including the relationships between humans and the environment, but also for healing and well-being purposes. Although ‘story’ is often used synonymously with the terms ‘narrative’ or ‘narrative inquiry’, others view the notion of ‘story’ as having a special structure and utility (as will be discussed below) (e.g. Gabriel, 2000; Denning, 2011). Moon (2010: i) explains that stories are omnipresent in daily life, and can include “narrative, case study, life history, myth, anecdote, legend, scenario, illustration or example, storytelling and/or critical incident” and can be “‘told’ in many ways – spoken, written, filmed, mimed, acted, presented as cartoons and/or as new media formats”. In relation to sustainable development, Okri (1996) describes the role of the story as being vital to maintaining collective health: "A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves. Sick storytellers can make nations sick. Without stories we would go mad”. Similarly, Gersie (1992) argues that storytelling inherently considers our current concerns about the Earth and the future, as it formats our “understanding [of] the many ways in which we value and devalue our beautiful green and blue planet… [the] practical insight into approaches to our most persistent environmental difficulties.” (Gersie, 1992: 1). As such, storytelling in the context of sustainable development is recognised as having a deeply educational function, “passing on accumulated knowledge and traditions of culture” (Stevenson, 2002: 187) in ways which allow for a greater ‘stickiness’ because “stories allow a person to feel, and see, the information, as well as factually understand it … you ‘hear’ the information factually, visually and emotionally” (Neuhauser 1993: 4).
    • Conjuring A ‘Spirit’ for Sustainability: a review of the socio-materialist effects of provocative pedagogies

      Wall, Tony; Clough, David; Österlind, Eva; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester; Stockholm University (2019-09-30)
      Evidence suggests that wider sociological structures, which embody particular values and ways of relating, can make sustainable living and working problematic. This paper introduces ideology critique, an innovative methodological perspective crossing the fields of theology, cultural studies and politics, to examine and disturb the subtle and hidden ‘spirit’ which is evoked when we engage with everyday objects and interactions. Such a ‘spirit’, or ideology, embodies particular models of how humans relate to other humans, animals, and the planet more broadly. This paper aims, firstly, to document and demonstrate the subtleties of how the hidden ‘spirit’ can render attempts at sustainable working futile in the context of education, and then, second, to demonstrate how it can be used to intentionally evoke alternative ‘spirits’ which afford new relationality amongst humans, animals and the planet. In a broader sense, therefore, this paper explores how concepts and political commitments from the humanities, such as ideology critique and ‘spirit’, can help (1) analyse how wider social structures shape our values and beliefs in relation to sustainable learning, living and working, (2) explain how these behaviours are held in place over time, and (3) provoke insight into how we might seek to disrupt and change such persistent social structures.
    • Reflective practice for sustainable development

      Wall, Tony; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      The efficacy of developing institutional approaches for, and curriculum content about, sustainable development, has been criticised as insufficient to change behaviour in practice (Wall et al, 2017). This partly reflects the deeply engrained nature of educational practices and systems and their effects on learners, and how these are an intimate part of how (un)sustainable futures are perpetuated. As Orr (1994, p. 5) articulates it, “[t]he truth is that without significant precautions, education can equip people merely to be more effective vandals of the Earth”. Against this backdrop, scholars have called for approaches which employ a deeper link between individuals’ knowledge and their critical attributes, that is, a greater need to facilitate the capacities of learners to engage in critical reflection to help transform how they view their responsibilities regarding a sustainable future (Viegas et al, 2016)...
    • Stress management training and education

      Parkyn, Matthew; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-09-10)
      Stress is understood in a variety of ways, including biological or physiological stress (in terms of the pressures placed on the material body), experiential (in the sense of how those demands are perceived and made sense of), and a combination of these. In particular, work-related stress is the response people have when presented with a work environment where job demands and pressures are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope with those demands. Therefore, stress training and education encompass the range of activities that are deployed by individuals, groups, and organisations to develop awareness, knowledge and skills about stress, stressors and how to manage these, with a view to manage the experience and impact of stress.
    • Praxes of Academic Activism: Exploring Pluralities and Perspectives

      Wall, Tony; Robinson, Sarah; Elliott, Carole; Blasco, Maribel; Kjærgaard, Annemette; Callahan, Jamie; Padan, Tali; Bergmann, Rasmus; University of Chester; University of Glasgow; Roehampton University; Copenhagen Business School; Northumbria University; University College Copenhagen (British Academy of Management, 2019-09-03)
      The performative imperatives of being and becoming a business school academic in contemporary neoliberal circumstances are fraught with critiques and contestations, especially when set against intense and urgent calls to address global scale, societal and climactic crises. Within this context, there is a plurality of ways in which academics attempt to challenge, resist, and de-construct in order to re-construct possibilities for futures which embody sustainable sensitivities and action. However, the literature has not yet documented this plurality, so this workshop aims to collate and map the alternative praxes of academic activism, that is, the different perspectives and possibilities of how theory-practice is imbricated and expressed in practice. This participatory workshop invites and welcomes a range of scholars to experiment and explore the praxes of academic activism in a supportive environment, and consider future individual and collaborative agendas and acts.
    • Insurrection as Recognition: Urban Riots for Love, Rights, and Solidarity

      Chabanet, Didier; Lichy, Jessica; Wall, Tony; IDRAC Business School Lyon; University of Chester (British Academy of Management, 2019-09-03)
      Insurrection is theorised as a form of resistance in and around organisational life, often functioning to promote more sustainable forms of organisation and organising. However, urban riots, as a form of insurrection, are typically narrated through nonconformity, social injustice, and immigration, which often deny (1) riots as having a political message or form (i.e. they are ‘pure violence without claim’), and (2) rioters as having affirmative needs or qualities (i.e. they are ‘primitive rebels’). This study draws on publically available narratives and deploys the relational ontology of Axel Honneth to re-cast riots and rioters as responding to violations in basic human need for ‘recognition’, that is, as expressed through ‘love, rights, and solidarity’. In doing so, we hope to sit in contrast with the dominant insurrection and rioting scholarship, to explore as well as inspire alternative ways of organisation and organising in contemporary circumstances which are grounded in affirmative relationality.
    • Behavioural Economics and Social Economics: Opportunities for an Expanded Curriculum

      Manning, Paul; University of Chester (Emerald, 2019-08-12)
      The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) undermined the legitimacy of orthodox economic assumptions, which nevertheless continue to frame business school pedagogy. In consequence, there is an opportunity for socio-economic insights to be more fully incorporated into the business school curriculum. This article reports and reflects on a socio-economic case study that was delivered to MBA students. The article demonstrates that the developing literature on behavioural economics has the potential to enhance students’ social-economic understanding of key areas of the curriculum. The paper presents an inter-disciplinary socio-economic teaching case that was informed by insights from behavioural economics. The teaching case concerned a socio-economic understanding of corruption and white-collar crime. It was also inter-disciplinary to include inputs from business history and criminology. The aim of the teaching case was to develop an appreciation among students that corruption and white-collar crime can be analyzed within a social economics lens. The teaching case example discussed in this article offered an alternative socio-economic understanding to core areas of the MBA curriculum, enabling students to apply a behavioural economic approach to corruption and more generally to white-collar-crime. The findings derived from this case study is that behavioural l economics has the potential to enhance the teaching of socio-economics. The GFC presents an opportunity to re-shape the business school curriculum to acknowledge the centrality of socio-economics and consequently to offer an alternative to the dominant ontological assumptions -taken from the economic understanding of rationality-that have previously under-pinned business school pedagogy. The originality of this article is to apply behavioural economics to a socio-economic teaching case studies in core subject areas of the MBA curriculum.