• Research Policy and Practice Provocations – Towards Research that Sparks and Connects

      Wall, Tony; Hawley, Rachel; Iordanou, Ioanna; Csigás, Zoltan; University of Chester; European Mentoring & Coaching Council (European Mentoring and Coaching Coucil, 2016-06)
      The Research Policy & Practice Provocations reports offer a forum to engage in cooperative curiosity and to question some of the underlying assumptions our profession may hold about itself and about coaching and mentoring research. We hope you find some new energy, sparks, creative insight and connectivity by engaging with this new series. We extend a warm welcome to another opportunity to co-create our future profession. The first in the series, the June 2016 Research Policy & Practice Provocations Report aims to influence how we think about and how we conduct coaching and mentoring research. This report shares: 1. A snapshot of a study to investigate the perceived ‘gap’ between scholarly research in coaching and mentoring and the reality of everyday practice, and 2. Provocative ways of potentially responding to and dealing with the results of the survey – in terms of EMCC, researchers, and practitioners...
    • Research Policy and Practice Provocations: Coaching evaluation in diverse landscapes of practice – towards enriching toolkits and professional judgement

      Wall, Tony; Jamieson, Mark; Csigás, Zoltan; Kiss, Olga; University of Chester; European Mentoring and Coaching Council (European Mentoring and Coaching Council, 2017-03-31)
      The European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), with its vision to be the ‘go to’ body for coaching and mentoring across the globe, considers research to be a cornerstone of its strategy to spur the enhancement of practice, to spur innovation, and to drive the highest standards in professionalisation...
    • Resilience and the (Micro-)Dynamics of Organizational Ambidexterity: Implications for Strategic HRM

      Stokes, Peter; Smith, Simon M.; Wall, Tony; Moore, Neil; Rowland, Caroline A.; Ward, Tony; Cronshaw, Suzanne; University of Chester; University of Winchester; University of Central Lancashire; Liverpool Hope University (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-17)
      In the twenty-first century, resilience has emerged as an important topic linked to calls for adaptability, well-being and organizational performance. Extant strategic human resource management (HRM) literature and practices have developed many insights into resilience. However, overall, they have a propensity to conceptualise resilience as being associated with ‘macro-’ and ‘extreme’ situations. This paper complements the prevailing perspective by developing a micro-focus on resilience through the conceptual framework of organizational ambidexterity surfacing under-examined individual resilience in connection with HRM practices. Methodologically, the paper adopts a qualitative approach presenting data from two illustrative contexts: an ‘everyday’ quasi-governmental institution and a prima facie ‘extreme’ pan-international military organization. Using template analysis, a number of valuable themes and similarities are identified. The findings and discussion underline the managerial challenges in handling organizational ambidextrous dynamics and tensions surrounding resilience, positive and sceptical approaches in relation to individual and organizational stances towards HRM practices. As such, the results point at value in HRM managers and practices recontextualising and appreciating ‘extremes’ and resilience more as an everyday (rather than exceptional) phenomenon wherein myriad micro-moments are highly significant in constructing and influencing macro-contexts. This also implies a need to see cynical resistance as normative rather than automatically negatively.
    • 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.
    • Revisiting impact in the context of workplace research: a review and possible directions

      Wall, Tony; Bellamy, Lawrence; Evans, Vicky; Hopkins, Sandra; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      The purpose of this paper is to revisit the scholarly impact agenda in the context of work-based and workplace research, and to propose new directions for research and practice. This paper combines a contemporary literature review with case vignettes and reflections from practice to develop more nuanced understandings, and highlight future directions for making sense of impact in the context of work-based learning research approaches. This paper argues that three dimensions to making sense of impact need to be more nuanced in relation to workplace research: (1) that interactional elements of workplace research processes have the potential for discursive pathways to impact, (2) that presence (and perhaps non-action) can act as a pathway to impact, and (3) that the narrative nature of time means there is instability in making sense of impact over time. The paper proposes a number of implications for practitioner-researchers, universities/research organisations, and focus on three key areas: the amplification of research ethics in workplace research, the need for axiological shifts towards sustainability, and the need to explicate axiological orientation in research. This paper offers a contemporary review of the international impact debate in the specific context of work-based and workplace research approaches.
    • Reviving the Ubuntu Spirit in Landscapes of Practice: Evidence from Deep within The Forest

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2016-12-01)
      Contemporary being is framed and marred by commodification and individualism according to many scholars (for example Žižek, 2015; Furedi 2006, 2010). Walk around any large city and you will see advert, upon advert, upon advert, targeting individuals, with commodified items or experiences which aspire to make the individual feel better. Adverts for family health insurance do not target the collective family unit – they target and appeal to the concerns, values, or feelings of the purchaser to act as a responsible individual towards their family. You can walk past a faith establishment and find how they have been commodified – “Church for Hire!” (see Wall and Perrin, 2015: p16)...
    • Risk management and cultural virtue in HE co-delivery arrangements

      Talbot, Jon; Perrin, David; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (Emerald, 2014-04-01)
      The paper is a case study of how risk assessment principles are used to quality assure delivery of higher education programmes by third parties. A three level system of Quality Assurance is described- external, university level and tutor level. In contrast to some who view QA as a constraint on traditional academic autonomy, the validity of each layer is recognised as performing an essential function but that quality has no meaning unless it is embedded in day to day academic culture and practice.
    • Service learning and sustainability education

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (2019-09-30)
      In the context of higher education, service-learning has been adopted for various dimensions of sustainability education across disciplines including environmental studies (Helicke 2014), engineering (Seay et al 2016), entrepreneurship (Niehm et al 2015), nursing (Dalmida 2016), clinical studies (Petersen et al 2015), psychology (Bringle et al 2016), and political sciences (Benjamin-Alvarado, 2015). It has been described as a philosophy, pedagogy, and programme (Jacoby 2015), conceptualised as a form of experiential education based on ‘reciprocal learning’ (Sigmon, 1979) where the ‘head, hands and heart’ can become integrated (Sipos et al 2008). Here, both the learner offering service and the recipient of that service are considered equally important, and both are mutually changed or transformed in some way (a relationship signified by the use of a hyphen between service and learning, ibid). Such reciprocity, however, distinguishes service-learning from volunteering and community service (which typically tend to prioritise the recipient of the service learner’s efforts), as well as field and internship education (which typically tend to prioritise the learner) (Sigmon, 1994)...
    • Service-learning and academic activism: a review, prospects, and a time for revival

      Wall, Tony; Giles, Dwight; Stanton, Tim; University of Chester; University of Massachusetts; Stanford University (Emerald, 2018-08-23)
      Service-learning is an educational movement with roots in academic activism fuelled by commitments to accessibility, social mobility, social justice, community engagement, sustainable development, and learning. Reviewing the voices of the original US ‘pioneers’ and contemporary practitioners over the last 30 years, this chapter argues that (1) contemporary service learning has been ‘mainstreamed’ in various ways, and that (2) such a re-conceptualisation seems to have re-formatted educational commitments in line with contemporary economic-framings and circumstances of higher education. However, it also argues that beyond overt compliance and resistance, it is possible for practitioners and higher education more broadly to create responses and spaces where educational adaptation and transformation can emerge. To facilitate such responses, it is important to embrace the strong driving force of passion and emotion which can drive and sustain change agents in practice. This chapter aspires to revitalise and rejuvenate academic activism as a legitimate catalyst of educational transformation on a global platform.
    • Shaping the tools: Study skills in theology

      Ackroyd, Ruth; Major, David; Chester College of Higher Education (Darton, Longman & Todd, 1999-09-01)
      This book discusses how to develop effective reading, effective writing, assessment, and critical skills to assist with theological study.
    • Spirituality and wellbeing in the workplace

      Foster, Scott; Wall, Tony; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (2019-09-26)
      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).
    • Story skills for managers: Nurturing motivation with teams

      Wall, Tony; Rossetti, Lisa; University of Chester (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013-08-28)
      Scientists tell us our brains are wired to live through stories. Stories are not just a natural way to communicate; they are used to boost engagement and well-being. This books offers managers practical tools and guidance on: >How stories keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on >How to design stories to target motivational needs >How to tell high impact stories for optimal effect >How to breed stories in an upward spiral of positive cultural effect.
    • Storytelling for sustainable development

      Wall, Tony; Rossetti, Lisa; Hopkins, Sandra; University of Chester; Positive Lives; Lapidus International (Springer, 2019-05-28)
      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).
    • 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.
    • Sustainability 2030: a policy perspective from the University Vocational Awards Council

      Wall, Tony; Crawford-Lee, Mandy; University of Chester; University of Bolton (Emerald, 2018-08-13)
      Purpose: The policy and practice sphere of higher education, skills and work-based learning has become increasingly problematic in the last few years, and the extent to which sustainability and sustainable development are embedded in policy and practice spaces is a cause for concern. This paper posits a policy perspective from the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC), the national representative organisation for universities committed to the vocational agenda and an independent voice in the sphere of higher education, skills and work-based learning. Design/methodology/approach: This paper is a reflective policy and practice piece which draws on the latest policy moves by the UK government and associated organisations and engages the latest literature to examine the issues in policy and practice that need to be tackled. Findings: This paper argues for a greater integration of sustainable development into higher education, skills and work-based learning policy and practice, and specifically in relation to (1) creating inclusive workplaces, (2) promoting social mobility, (3) a balanced approach to productivity, health and wellbeing, and (4) embedding educational approaches and methods which promote inequality in workplaces. Originality/value: The paper is the only UK policy perspective explicitly dedicated to sustainability and sustainable development in the context of the sphere of higher education, skills and work-based learning. Although it is focused on UK policy context, it will be of interest to international readers wishing to learn about UK developments and the sustainable development challenges in relation to its apprenticeship, technical and vocational education system.
    • Sustainability in the professional accounting and finance curriculum: an exploration

      Mburayi, Langton; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (2018-08-13)
      Purpose: Whereas the integration of sustainability into business schools has received increasing attention in recent years, the debate continues to be generic rather than recognising the peculiarities of the more quantitative sub disciplines such as accounting and finance which may of course be intimately linked to professional standards. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to examine the extent to which sustainability is integrated into accounting and finance curricula in business schools, how, and to understand some of the challenges of doing so. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents the findings from a systematic form of literature review which draws on the previous literature about how sustainability is embedded into business school curricula and the challenges in doing so. A particular focus is placed on how the ways in which sustainability is integrated into accounting and finance curricula in business schools. Findings: The paper demonstrates that accounting and finance lags behind other management disciplines in embedding sustainability and that institutional commitment is oftentimes a strong imperative for effective integration of sustainability. Practical implications: This paper is a call to practitioners and researchers alike to explore new ways of integrating sustainability in the accounting and finance curricula, including working across boundaries to provide learning opportunities for future accountants, financial managers, and generalist managers. Originality/value: The paper offers an original analysis and synthesis of the literature in the context of the accounting and finance curricula in business schools, and proposed a conceptual framework to further develop sustainability education in the context of business schools.
    • Talent management and the HR function in cross-cultural mergers and acquisitions: The role and impact of bi-cultural identity

      Liu, Yipeng; Vrontis, Demetris; email: vrontis.d@unic.ac.cy; Visser, Max; Stokes, Peter; Smith, Simon; email: simon.smith@winchester.ac.uk; Moore, Neil; Thrassou, Alkis; email: thrassou.a@unic.ac.cy; Ashta, Ashok (Elsevier, 2020-01-13)
      Abstract This paper examines bi-cultural talent in relation to human resource management (HRM) practices in cross-cultural merger and acquisitions (M&A). The intersection of HRM, bi-cultural talent management and cross-cultural M&A literature proposes a conceptual framework to capture the complexity of bi-cultural talent management and reveals the dominant macro-characterization of the extant HRM literature focussing on a more micro-orientated perspective. The paper develops a matrix by underlining spatial dimensions (spanning micro-aspects of the individual employee through to the macro-entity of firm and its location in the macro-national cultural context) and temporal dimensions (consisting of pre-merger, during merger and post-merger phases). This provides a template which examines the multi-level dynamics of bi-cultural talent management. The argument identifies ways in which extant cross-cultural lenses require deeper understanding of bi-cultural talent management in M&A settings. Future research directions and agendas are identified.
    • Teaching, learning and technology: An e-route to deep learning?

      Peach, Jeremy; University of Chester (Nottingham Trent University, 2008)
      This paper details a research project that considered the extent to which e-learning is congruent with the notion of inculcating and maintaining deep approaches to learning within HE. Also, to explore what actions may be taken to engender and or maintain a deep approach when using e-learning as the central androgogy as knowing what (is possible) and how (it may be achieved) provides a fuller picture. Whilst this paper is designed to help inform practice and professional judgement it is not purporting to provide absolute answers. Whilst I have attempted to provide an honest account of my findings, truth and reality are social constructions (Pring 2000). The research was based upon methodical triangulation and involved thirty-eight undergraduate students who are undertaking study through e-learning and five academic members of staff who utilise e-learning in their programmes. As such, the project was small scale and how much may be inferred as applicable to other groups and other contexts may be contested, as those sampled for this research have their own unique paradigms and perceptions. Finally, it is always worth remembering that effective teaching and learning is contextual (Pring 2000). The research revealed that deep approaches to learning are situational (Biggs 2003) and e-learning can authentically lead to a student adopting and maintaining a deep approach. There are several factors that increase the likelihood of a student adopting this desired approach. These include; where students perceive the programme to be of high quality (Parker 2004), they have feelings of competence and confidence in their ability to study and interact with the technology and others. In addition, students require appropriate, reliable access to technology, associated systems and individualised planned support (Salmon 2004). Further to this deep approaches are more likely to be adopted where programmes are built on a constructivist androgogy, constructive alignment is achieved, interaction at several levels and a steady or systematic style of learning are encouraged (Hwang and Wang 2004). Critically study programmes should have authentic assessment in which deep approaches are intrinsic to their completion. To effectively support students in achieving a deep approach to learning, when employing e-learning, staff require knowledge and skill in three areas: teaching and learning, technology, and subject content (Good 2001). They also require support from leaders at cultural, strategic and structural levels (Elloumi 2004).
    • The Americanisation of Southern African Political Campaigns: A comparative study from Malawi and South Africa

      Harris, Phil; Perrin, David; Simenti-Phiri, Easton D.; University of Chester (North American Business Press, 2014-10-13)
      This paper seeks to examine extent and rationale of Malawian and South African campaigns incorporating America –style practices and becoming Americanised. Specifically the paper explores existence of evidence supporting the notion of Americanisation in both Malawian and South African politics. Using a mixed methods approach, semi structured interviews, focus group discussions and content analysis were conducted. Results show evidence of Americanisation and increased use of marketing and campaign professionals in both Malawi and South Africa, due to democratisation, development of the media and changes in the social-economic factors. Practical implications of these findings and ideas for further research are presented.
    • The challenges of managing degree apprentices in the workplace: a manager’s perspective

      Rowe, Lisa; Moss, Danny; Moore, Neil; Perrin, David; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      This paper explores the issues and challenges facing employers as they manage degree apprentices in the workplace. It examines the relationship between managers and apprentices undertaking a work-based degree. This research is of particular relevance at this time because of the UK government’s initiative to expand the number of apprenticeships in the workplace to three million new starts by 2020 inevitably bringing a range of pressures to bear on employers (BIS, 2015). The purpose is to share early experiences of employer management of degree apprenticeships, and provide a range of recommendations to develop and improve employer and HEI practice. This paper combines desk research with qualitative data drawn from interviews with a range of cross-sector organisations to investigate the employer’s experience of developing the new Degree Apprenticeships. The data is explored inductively using thematic analysis in order to surface dominant patterns and considers the implications of findings upon current and emerging HEI and employer practice and research. There were a number of key themes which emerged from the data collected. These included the need for effective, employer-led recruitment processes, careful management of expectations, sound HEI retention strategies, employer involvement and board level motivators to ensure organisational benefits are derived from effectively situated workplace learning and a focus upon effective, empowering mentoring and support strategies. As degree apprenticeship standards and programmes are currently at the early stages of implementation, and opportunities, funding and resourcing are rapidly changing in the context of government policy, so too will employer appetite and strategies for supporting degree apprentices, along with apprentice behaviour. This means that additional findings, beyond those highlighted within this paper may emerge in the near future. There are a number of practical implications supporting managerial development and support of degree apprentices in the workplace from this research. These are reflected in the findings, and include the development of flexible and collaborative processes, resources, mentor training and networks. This paper is one of the first published accounts of the employers’ perspective of managing a Degree Apprenticeship within the new policy context in the UK. As a result the work offers a unique insight into the emerging challenges and issues encountered by managers working with degree apprentices in the twenty first century business environment.