• 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.