• 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.
    • Transcending the relevance gap: The accelerated practitioner research approach

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Macrotheme Capital Management, 2013-01)
      Within Academe, business and community engagement professionals still report the challenges of working with practitioners outside of Academe. Mintzberg referred to this as a consequence of ‘the relevance gap’ between the knowledge (and practices) produced within universities, and that which is understood and appreciated outside of them. This still seems to be the case globally, certainly within business disciplines (and is no doubt wider in social science research). However, pockets of excellence which actively facilitate pragmatic research have emerged, which go beyond ‘applied’ research approaches, locating the site of knowledge produce within individual practice settings. Even more scarce, is the pedagogic research of practices which facilitate this type of research. This paper specifically focuses on the pedagogic research of facilitating pragmatic research with individuals, drawing on ongoing grounded, action research. It reports the resulting model that has come to be known as APRA (the Accelerated Practitioner Research Approach), and the empirical results of using it so far.
    • Transforming leadership, learning and life through work based learning

      Wall, Tony; Douglas, Jane; Lord, Jo; University of Chester : Learning to Inspire UK : Learning to Inspire UK (Libri, 2011-11-01)
      This book chapter discusses a case study whereby the University of Chester worked with Learning to Inspire (a national, leading learning and development company) to acredit their Certified Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming - which eventually grew into a Graduate Certificate in the Art of Leadership.
    • Transforming research-learning performance with professional lifelong learners

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2014-02-21)
      In Europe, universities promote accredited professional development opportunities as a key strand of their lifelong learning commitment. Within this context, learning about research methods can be problematic to busy professionals, as it can appear dislocated from practice and unworthy of the energy and effort it takes to understand what might be perceved as a purely academic pursuit. The purpose of the study was to tackle this situation: to enhance the professional's experience and learning performance in research methods, in the context of work based learning Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Action research was used to develop a pedagogic approach to faciliate learning with busy professionals. The results suggest a significantly more positive experience for the learners, and a verified increase in performance (% grades) in assessed work. This paper gives an overview of the pedagogic approach and tools developed.
    • Turning practitioners into practitioner researchers

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015-10)
      This book chapter discusses practitioner research.
    • Tussles with ambidexterity: The case of managers of health professional education

      Wall, Tony; Moore, Neil; Collins, Evelyn (University of Chester, 2019-07-23)
      This case study explores the lived experience of managers within an academic faculty concerned with the professional education of the health care workforce in the UK. Recent advances in the global trend towards the marketisation of Higher Education and the current era of public and quasi-public-sector austerity, sees these actors tasked with practising their craft amidst a powerful set of forces which are transforming their world of work and raising opportunities and challenges in equal measure. At the heart of these challenges lies the imperative to maintain and enhance current capabilities whilst simultaneously adopting a future orientation to develop new ones. The extant literature offers powerful evidence of the efficacy of the construct of ambidexterity as a lens through which to understand the way in which organisations and individuals pursue these dual aims and provides a fitting theoretical framework for the study. The case study integrates data elicited from interviews with managers with archival documentary data, relating to a four-year period, to facilitate analysis on both an individual and business-unit level. The findings offer a novel exploration of the construct of ambidexterity in the Higher Education arena and address the plethora of calls to advance our understanding regarding managers’ interpretation and responses to the tensions which arise from the pursuit of ambidexterity. The research makes a unique contribution to the existing body of knowledge revealing a conceptualisation of contextual ambidexterity in which the dual modes of operation (exploitation and exploration) are positioned along a continuum. Context-specific ambidextrous tensions emerge, including the dichotomous perception of other educational providers as both competitors and collaborators and the enduring deleterious impact of explorative activity on exploitative endeavours. Ambidextrous tactics are also in evidence with the imperative to develop social capital with external stakeholders, who are espoused with consumer sovereignty, taking precedence in this complex educational marketplace. Together the findings afford a unique insight into the way that managers of professional healthcare education perceive and manage the complexity and dynamism of ambidexterity in their everyday practice.
    • Ubuntu in adult vocational education: Theoretical discussion and implications for teaching international students

      Tran, Ly Thi; Wall, Tony; Deakin University; University of Chester (2019-04-08)
      Evidence now calls into question the efficacy and appropriateness of pedagogical practices that force international students to adapt to economically-driven and Eurocentric expectations. As a response to calls for alternative perspectives, this paper introduces the construct of Ubuntu, an African worldview prioritising ‘humanness’ and interconnectedness, and utilises it as a conceptual lens to examine the key tenets of engaging pedagogical practices in teaching international students. The findings point to three main ways that the Ubuntu perspective can manifest in teaching international students: humanness, interconnectedness, and situatedness. The paper offers new insights into how an under-researched, non-western human wisdom – Ubuntu – can be used to interpret international education practice. In doing so, it contributes to both theory building and provokes consideration of an alternative pedagogical lens. In particular, the paper draws on Ubuntu as a critical framework to challenge the conventional ways of viewing international students as the ‘other’ in ‘our’ educational system.
    • University models of work-based validation

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Gower, 2010-12-01)
      This book chapter discusses the practicalities of delivering work-based learning in a university setting to conform to the QAA guidelines and respond to policy intiatives.
    • Using a work based learning framework to deliver regeneration education for practitioners at the University of Chester

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (2009)
      This article discusses a regeneration practitioner programme delivered through the work based learning and integrative studies programme at the University of Chester.
    • Using supervision: Support or surveillance?

      Peach, Jeremy; Horner, Nigel; University of Chester ; Nottingham Trent University (SAGE, 2007-03-29)
      This chapter will analyse supervision of staff in relation to developmental and managerial functions; argue that pressures on social services organisations have ensured that the need for agency accountability far outweighs its developmental function; suggest that the need for professional supervision is greatly enhanced given the development of inter-professional working arrangements; and propose that approaches to supervision can be applied to social work that have first been developed in the health service.
    • Value-based management (VBM) in Mittelstand – the relevance of VBM to specifically identified areas of management (Strategic decision-making, objectives, attitudes)

      Stokes, Peter; Moore, Neil; Normann-Tschampel, Carola (University of Chester, 2019-03-14)
      This study aims to understand the relevance of value-based management (VBM) in three specifically identified areas of management (strategic decision-making, objectives, attitudes) in German Mittelstand (broadly related to small- and medium-sized entities). VBM seeks to orientate all management activities towards the increase of the monetary company value. The review of literature on VBM in Mittelstand identifies three key topics – applicability of VBM, proposals for an adaptation of VBM and the empirical analysis of VBM’s application in management practice. The review also shows a gap that is crucial to the development of VBM in Mittelstand: On the one hand, there is a consensus on the applicability of VBM in Mittelstand and there are proposals for an application of VBM in Mittelstand which consider its characteristics. On the other hand, empirical studies show little application of VBM in Mittelstand management practice. However, there are differences and gaps in the existing empirical insights i.e. little insights related to decision-making and with regard to owner-managers’ attitudes. Consequently, this empirical study uses a specific focus and research approach to gain further understanding regarding existing gaps in empirical insights as well as the overall research gap. The research approach involves taking an interpretive stance and conducting semi-structured interviews with owner-managers of 28 companies from manufacturing Mittelstand in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The findings show that VBM is of minimal relevance for strategic decisionmaking. This includes different aspects such as limited application of the net present value method and other VBM management tools. Little relevance of VBM is found in objectives. However, from a holistic analysis, different nuances with regard to economic and non-economic objectives are found. Beyond this, the findings identify not only differences in the attitudes towards VBM but also differences in the understandings of VBM. In this respect, there is a considerable divergence to extant understanding in literature. Overall, it is concluded that VBM is of minimal relevance in all three areas of Mittelstand management. Thus, the research supports the existing empirical insights through a specific focus and approach. The findings as a whole imply a theory-practice gap. This research contributes to the body of knowledge by gaining a more indepth as well as open understanding of the relevance of VBM in the management of Mittelstand. The research addresses gaps in empirical insights. It considers different aspects and adds a new perspective on objectives which responds to existing rationales in the literature. The understanding gained from taking an interpretive stance towards ownermanagers’ practical experience also provides a valuable basis to further address the overall research gap. In this respect the understanding generated might be a basis for an intensified dialogue between researchers and owner-managers in Mittelstand.