• 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.
    • The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship: Trials and Tribulations

      Rowe, Lisa; Perrin, David; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2016-11-14)
      Purpose: In 2014, the UK government introduced a new form of apprenticeship, the Degree Apprenticeship, which extends across all undergraduate degree and Master’s degree levels, maps to professional standards, and which is now embedded within governmental levies of large businesses. The purpose of this paper is to share early experiences of developing these Degree Apprenticeships, and consider the processes deployed to achieve it. Design/methodology/approach: This paper combines desk research with reflections on the experience of developing the new Degree Apprenticeships within Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and considers the implications of this upon current and emerging HEI practice and research. Findings: There were a number of key resources which facilitated the approval of the Degree Apprenticeship, and these included a pre-existing, flexible work based learning framework, the associated mechanisms of accreditation, existing professional networks, and a professionally oriented interface between the university, employer and professional body. Research limitations/implications: As the context is currently at the early stages of implementation, and the policy context is rapidly changing in the context of Brexit, so too will the related scholarship. This means factors others than those highlighted within this paper may emerge over the coming year or two. Practical implications: There are a number of practical implications for the development of Degree Apprenticeships from this research that are reflected in the findings, and include the development of flexible and collaborative processes, resources, and networks. Originality/value: This paper is one of the first published accounts of the development of a Degree Apprenticeship within the context of the new policy context in the UK.
    • The ignorant manager: conceptualising impact with Rancière

      Scott, Deborah S.; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to offer a response to expressions in the literature concerning the limitations of critical reflection, using Rancière’s exposition of the role of values and reasonableness to examine how forms of negotiated work based learning can support learners’ pathways to impact in their organisation. The implications for work applied management in terms of enabling these employees to make an impact are considered. Design/ methodology/ approach Vignettes illuminate and articulate Rancière’s (1991; 2010) ideas, the vignettes constructed through events experienced and narrated, perhaps imagined, tutorial conversations, assignments and work practices. Such construction of ‘multiple layers of fiction and narrative imaginings’ draws on Sparkes (2007, p. 522). They consider individuals’ negotiation of working practices using ideas developed during their studies, and personal and professional development prompted by unexpected insights into their capabilities, interests and possible roles. Findings Negotiated work based learning appears to offer the individual opportunity to take responsibility for action in their learning and in their workplace, but effect depends on several factors, and can be perceived in different ways. Students’ encounter with autonomy in their studies resonates with Rancière’s belief in equality. In the workplace (becoming ‘citizens’ alongside ‘reasonable’ individuals) their agency might, at best, lead to ‘reasonable moments’, as they encounter both negative and positive challenges of work applied management. Practical implications Successful utilisation of agency in learning prompts expectations of responsibility and equality in the workplace. Such equality can lead to diverse, unpredicted insights and consequent opportunities for changes in practice. Originality/ value This is the first paper to utilise Ranciére’s ideas to offer a critical consideration of both learning provision and workplace practice. Consideration of his profound stance on individuals’ freedom and agency provides rich (but challenging) prompts for analysis of one’s own practice, and the potential for impact when the manager is ‘ignorant’.
    • The impact of story: measuring the impact of story for organisational change

      Wall, Tony; Rossetti, Lisa; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      Purpose: The role of dialogue has recently been identified as being important in generating impact in organisations, but the purposeful use of narrative or story-based approaches to effect organisational change and service improvement is still relatively innovative. This paper documents and examines two projects in health and social care settings which aim to generate organisational development and service improvement. Design/methodology approach: The paper evaluates and compares two case studies of story based organisational development and service improvement projects in the UK. This involved developing an appropriate evaluation framework and assessing the impacts in each case using semi-structured interviews and thematic content analysis. Findings: This paper reports the diversity of impacts and outcomes that were generated by the projects. Specifically, it is argued that there is a strong indication that story-based projects best achieve their objectives when clearly linked to key organisational strategic drivers or pathways, as evidenced by robust evaluation. Practical implications: This paper recommends that researchers and practitioners, working with story-based methods, design credible and robust evaluative practices, in order to evidence how their work supports organisations to meet current sector challenges. The paper recommends a flexible evaluation framework for evaluating story-based projects in the workplace. Originality/value: This paper offers new evidence and insight into the impacts and outcomes of using story-based approaches, and a new evaluation framework for these sorts of projects.
    • The Lapidus 20th Anniversary Special Triple Edition - Capturing the Collective and Connected Spirit of Writing for Wellbeing

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Lapidus: The Writing for Wellbeing Organisation, 2016-08-31)
      Welcome to The Lapidus 20th Anniversary Special Triple Edition – we hope you agree that this exciting Triple Edition is bursting with ideas, metaphors, stories, science, and practices, to celebrate a very special year. Like any important anniversary we hold close to our hearts, we wanted to capture part of the celebration and share it with others. These were certainly the sentiments and experiences of our beautiful Lapidus Day 2016 and the lively conversations that were spurred on the Lapidus Facebook page afterwards...
    • The place and status of knowledge in Work Based Learning

      Major, David; Chester College of Higher Education (2002-11)
      This paper seeks to examine some of the epistemological issues which relate to the debate concerning the justification of Work Based Learning in the HE curriculum. It will take account of post-modern perspectives on the theory of knowledge and of the so-called knowledge revolution and the impact these have had on the University. The perceived divide between academic and vocational knowledge, universal and local knowledge, and Mode 1 and Mode 2 knowledge will be discussed, and it will be argued that such ways of thinking are inappropriate and a hindrance in any attempt to arrive at a satisfactory way of understanding the place and status of knowledge in Work Based Learning. It will be argued that Work Based Learning is involved as much in knowledge creation as it is with the application of knowledge and, therefore, that more holistic ways of perceiving knowledge are required. The paper will continue to argue that a more helpful way of thinking of knowledge (especially when arguing the case for WBL in HE) is in terms of its level rather than its type, and it will conclude by commenting on Barnett’s concept of the practising epistemologist, and suggesting that this befits the profile of both the WBL facilitator and learner, before pointing to Raelin’s contention that Work Based Learning needs a new epistemology of practice.
    • The RAF foundation degrees: Meeting employer need – a consortium approach

      Lucas, Mike; Minton, Ann; Perrin, David; Open University ; University of Derby ; University of Chester (University Vocational Awards Council, 2007-04)
      This Foundation Degree development involved assembling a consortium of Higher Education Institutions who could work together to develop bespoke a Foundation Degrees (Arts) in Business, and in Leadership and Management, to be offered as an elective learning opportunity to personnel within the Royal Air Force. As a development it clearly predates the Leitch Report, but nevertheless addresses many of the key issues raised and provides a context for discussion about how the university sector can work with large employers. This paper argues that the success of the consortium is founded in the shared vision of co-operative, rather than competitive working, the leadership of the RAF and their close involvement in all aspects of the consortium, together with the involvement of quality and finance managers from each HEI. In many respects it is a unique intervention by the HE sector in the field of FD provision and joint-working with clients.
    • The role of higher education institutions in sustainability initiatives at the local level

      Filho, Walter L.; Vargas, Valeria R.; Salvia, Amanda L.; Brandli, Luciana L.; Pallant, Eric; Klavins, Maris; Ray, Subhasis; Moggi, Sara; Maruna, Marija; Conticelli, Elisa; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-06-07)
      Universities are central players and important economic actors in many regions, and many of them are, in general, nationally and internationally active in respect of matters related to sustainable development. But there is a paucity of research which examines their contributions towards sustainability efforts at the local level, i.e. in the places they are situated. This paper addresses this need, by reporting on a qualitative study deploying a Matrix, which allows an analysis and reporting of regional sustainable development initiatives of a set of 22 universities in industrialised and developing countries. Recommendations to enhance their role are provided, including the importance of pursuing partnerships and joint initiatives, understanding the need of local communities, and making their know-how more widely available. The scientific value of this research is related to the understanding of how the interaction between universities and local communities happens and by shedding light to this topic, it supports universities to improve their own actions. Its implications are two-fold: it demonstrates the potential of universities as local players and outlines the range of activities they may engage with, and which may allow them to act as pillars to local sustainability initiatives.
    • Theory and practice in work based learning: an English case study

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (Waxmann, 2016-04-21)
      The chapter reviews the development of Work Based Learning in the UK and provides details of the Work Based and Integrated Studies programme at the University of Chester.
    • Towards a national-institutional policy for high-impact research

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (2016-03-14)
      Austerity has sharpened our attention on 'the impact debate' and has reinvigorated interest in action oriented and collaborative forms of research which create results in practice. At the same time, the potential of the University College Isle of Man (as a deeply connected part of the Isle) offers the rare and unique possibility of developing a strategic national-institutional policy to drive particular forms of research. This presentation envisions the possibility this ambition and highlights some of its rewards and risks. In this way, the presentation aims to both spark and contribute to collaborative research which involves results in practice.
    • Towards a philosophical underpinning for Work Based Learning: The ontological perspective

      Major, David; University of Chester (2005-12)
      This paper recognises that Work Based Learning is a relatively new phenomenon in the University curriculum and takes the view that it is incumbent upon its proponents to articulate a clear philosophical and educational rationale for its existence in Higher Education. It seeks to make a case for Work Based Learning as an example of ontological-relational thought, a philosophical concept essentially concerning self-knowledge. A central argument is that Work Based Learning leads to more holistic ways of knowing and being than does the conventional University curriculum. It examines critical reflection as a distinctive feature of Work Based Learning and considers the potential of the latter as a means of facilitating meaning-making. The article concludes with comment on Vaill’s concept of learning as a way of being.