• 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.
    • What does it take for flexible learning to survive? A UK case study

      Tabot, Jon; Perrin, David; Meakin, Bob; University of Chester
      Purpose: To identify potential reasons why an innovative Work based learning shell framework has succeeded in an adverse environment Design/methodology/approach: Case study Findings: Demand-led, flexible Work based learning programmes have to overcome a number of internal cultural and institutional barriers in order to succeed. Important requirements are likely to include effective leadership, financial viability, adherence to Quality Assurance, adaptability, entrepreneurialism and a cohesive community of practice incorporating these traits. Research limitations/implications: The conclusions are drawn from shared experience and are suggestive only as they are not readily susceptible to empirical verification. The authors accept that for some the conclusions appear speculative but they suggest that in order for innovative programmes to survive more is required than sound pedagogy. Practical implications: Although lessons may not be directly transferable, the paper draws attention to the importance of managerial, leadership and organisational factors necessary for innovative Work based learning programmes to survive and develop. Social implications: Originality/value: There is some literature on why some innovative higher education programmes and institutions have failed: there is little on why some programmes are successful.
    • Work-based learning as a catalyst for sustainability: a review and prospects

      Wall, Tony; Hindley, Ann; Hunt, Tamara; Peach, Jeremy; Preston, Martin; Hartley, Courtney; Fairbank, Amy; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-02-20)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the continuing dearth of scholarship about the role of work based learning in education for sustainable development, and particularly the urgent demands of climate literacy. It is proposed that forms of work based learning can act as catalysts for wider cultural change, towards embedding climate literacy in higher education institutions. Design/methodology/approach: This paper draws data from action research to present a case study of a Climate Change Project conducted through a work based learning module at a mid-sized university in the United Kingdom. Findings: Contrary to the predominantly fragmented and disciplinary bounded approaches to sustainability and climate literacy, the case study demonstrates how a form of work based learning can create a unifying vision for action, and do so across multiple disciplinary, professional service, and identity boundaries. In addition, the project generated indicators of cultural change including extensive faculty level climate change resources, creative ideas for an innovative mobile application, and new infrastructural arrangements to further develop practice and research in climate change. Research limitations/implications: Practical implications: This paper provides an illustrative example of how a pan-faculty work based learning module can act as a catalyst for change at a higher education institution. Originality/value: This paper is a contemporary call for action to stimulate and expedite climate literacy in higher education, and is the first to propose that certain forms of work based learning curricula can be a route to combating highly bounded and fragmented approaches, towards a unified and boundary-crossing approach.
    • Žižekian ideas in critical reflection: the tricks and traps of mobilising radical management insight

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2016-04-01)
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine how deeper psychosocial structures can be examined utilising a contemporary provocative theory within workplace reflection to generate more radical insights and innovation. Design/methodology/approach This paper outlines a provocative theory and then presents case examples of how deeper structures can be examined at the micro, meso and macro levels. Findings Deeper psychosocial structures are the forces that keep the status quo firmly in place, but deeper examination of these structures enable radical insights and therefore the possibility of innovation. Research limitations/implications Deep psychosocial structures shape and constitute daily action, and so work based and practitioner researchers can be tricked into thinking they have identified new ways of working, but maybe demonstrating the same workplace behaviours/outcomes. Workplace behaviours, including emotional responses to apparent change, are key indicators of deeper structures. Practical implications Ideas and processes for examining deeper structures can be integrated into daily reflective practices by individuals, within organisational processes, and wider, system processes. However, because deeper structures can appear in different forms, we can be tricked into reproducing old structures. Social implications (if applicable) Examining deeper structures increases the possibilities for more radical insights into workplace structures, and therefore, how to potentially mobilise innovations which may better serve people and planet. Originality/value (mandatory) This paper is the first to examine the work of Slavoj Žižek in the context of work based learning.