• Branding of Southern African politics: The Case of the Democratic Progressive Party of Malawi and the African National Congress of South Africa

      Harris, Phil; Perrin, David; Simenti-Phiri, Easton D.; University of Chester (Global Business and Technology Association, 2015-07)
      A paper which examines the professionalisation of political campaigns in Southern Africa, using comparative methodology to examine the cases of Malawi and South Africa, selecting prominent political organisations in each.
    • Business School Perceptions of the Possible Impact of the Teaching Excellence Framework: A Complex Adaptive Systems Perspective.

      Wall, Tony; Maheshwari, Vish; Jodlowski, Tadzio R. (University of Chester, 2019-07-23)
      The implementation of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) at institutional level 2017, presents universities with the challenge of responding to a government policy which has the capacity to change the Higher Education landscape. Educational policies are capable of introducing complexity into organisations and inspiring disruptive behaviour. The strategic response to policy implementation within universities is often thought to be the domain of business schools due to their assumed autonomy and links to management. The responses of business schools towards policy implementation have not been previously explored. Therefore, the research explores the response of business schools towards the Institutional level TEF as well as wider policy changes, within the context of an assumed sense of autonomy. An interpretivist research methodology was chosen in order to explore business school responses towards the voluntary participation of the TEF in 2017 through interviews with respondents from universities across the country. This includes analysis of sense making from respondents as they drawing upon their respective knowledge networks. Qualitative research was utilised in order to explore the response from business schools and increase the understanding of policy response within the Higher Education sector. The research utilised purposive sampling followed by the use of snowball sampling. Complex Adaptive Systems theory was used a theoretical lens, and the data was explored though the use of thematic analysis which examined cluster formations in NVivo and identified patterns of data emerging into four main CAS areas. The findings suggest that business school responses towards the Institutional Level TEF in 2017 represents a moment in time when participating universities found themselves responding to an educational policy which contained an evolutionary element, capable of introducing change into the existing order - thus providing an example of punctuated equilibrium. The response to the TEF was hierarchical, and involved individuals reporting to their respective Vice Chancellors, while receiving support from self-regulating groups. The TEF is identified as a Complex Adaptive System due to its none-linear and unpredictable behaviour. Finally, Zimmerman’s Zone of Complexity is utilised in order to illustrate the manner in which the Edge of Chaos is capable of representing an opportunity for innovative though, when the decision is made to alternate between managerial clockware and innovative swarmware
    • Business schools as educational provocateurs of productivity via interrelated landscapes of practice

      Wall, Tony; Jarvis, Madeleine; University of Chester; University of Chester (Chartered Association for Business Schools, 2015-12-01)
      In an ever-changing and global marketplace, it could be argued that the role of business schools is no longer to train graduates for specific roles. Whilst this concept that we are educating ‘for jobs that don’t yet exist’ has become more widely accepted, educational practices in business schools are arguably still contained by traditional Western practices of individualistic student instruction. Indeed, even the relevance of academic theory to practice has sparked heated debate in business schools for some time and has led to calls for a different attitude of engagement with theory (Ramsey, 2011, 2014). Some have pushed the debate from relevance to relevating as a process of challenge, change and impact (Paton, Chia and Burt, 2014). But even this is insufficient to spark forms of business and management education which provoke new ways of thinking and acting in practice which are infused with social connectedness and are beyond single discipline thinking. Notions of ‘autonomous learning’ and working ‘critically’ may be viewed as a positive development from pedagogy to andragogy in UK tertiary education. However, these can still be interpreted in deeply individualistic ways which are oppositional to notions of learning rooted in and oriented towards larger social groupings (Goodall, 2014, Yunkaporta and Kirby, 2011). Simply ‘training’ individuals in specific management activities is likely to be insufficient in unlocking transformative (and productive) community action. A new educational ontology of being is needed.
    • Can universities deliver regeration skills? Reflections on the experience with the University of Chester's 'regeneration for practitioners' using a work based learning framework

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (2008-05-29)
      This conference paper discusses the development of a regeneration programme at the University of Chester.
    • Changing power relations in work based learning: Collaborative and contested relations between tutors, learners and employers

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2010-12-13)
      This book chapter discusses some of the implications for the role of university tutors and the centrality of educational objectives in circumstances where there is a 'cultural shift' towards meeting the needs of learners and employers. The work based and integrative studies (WBIS) programme at the University of Chester is used as a case study to examine the changing power relations between university tutors, learners, employers and the university, compared to relations on traditional programmes.
    • Co-delivery of higher level learning and role perceptions: A practitioner research study

      Wall, Tony; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (2011-11-06)
      Models of higher education which support personal and organisational transformation have emerged in various forms over time. One of these forms has been the negotiated, work-based learning framework which allow learners to integrate interdisciplinary study into their work activity. Such frameworks remain as innovative approaches for learning, and are more widely recognised than ever before. So much so, more and more learning and development departments of public, private and voluntary sector organisations are seeking recognition of their in-house training courses – so trainees can be awarded university credits or awards upon successful completion of a training experience. Although this may be seen as an innovative form of widening access and diversity in universities, it is also a strategic recognition that higher level learning is facilitated out of the classroom, in the workplace, in an applied setting (professional knowledge, ‘mode 2’ learning). In designing and delivering this provision, staff from the organisation offering the training (called Associate Tutors) and the university (called Associate Tutor Advisor) work together in a close relationship to ensure adherence to quality assurance standards, requirements and processes. Even though this is a growing area within higher education, this relationship is un-researched, and this paper raises important questions. Overall, this paper investigates how staff from organisations providing such training perceive their role: Do they see themselves as trainers? Do they see themselves as academics of the University? A hybrid? Or both? This paper draws data from innovative practice through a qualitative action based research methodology. It is argued that Associate Tutors can primarily see themselves as delivering a commercial training service with a brand-value, which is focused on a ‘mode 1’ transmission of knowledge – whereas the teaching, learning and assessment activities associated with being an academic in higher education is a secondary consideration. The implications and challenges of these perceptions are shared, discussed and critiqued in order to further develop innovative practice in facilitating partnerships for mode 2 knowledge creation, outside of universities.
    • Coaching and ethics in practice: dilemmas, navigations, and the (in)spoken

      Wall, Tony; Hawley, Rachel; Iordanou, Ioanna; Csigás, Zoltan; Cumberland, Nigel; Lerotic-Pavlik, Nathalie; Vreede, Alex; University of Chester; European Mentoring and Coaching Council (2018-05-23)
      This Research Policy & Practice Provocations Report is the third issue in a series which aims to influence how we think about and how we conduct coaching and mentoring research. Developing our ethical compass is challenging but rewarding process as part of the professional development of coaching and mentoring practice. This report brings you an opportunity to refresh your thinking regarding ethics and ethical issues, and prompts us to consider expert perspectives towards illustrative challenges. Ethics and ethical practice are often seen as crucially important, both professionally and morally (Wall, Iordanou, Hawley and Csigas, 2016), and indeed has been found to be an area which is especially important to the high impact world of the coach and mentor (Wall, Jamieson, Csigás, and Kiss, 2017). In the last Provocations Report, for example, we highlighted an important question that needed to be addressed: “What might be the ethical tensions in evaluating coaching?”.
    • Commodification in practitioner research

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (2011-11)
      Action research can be described as a family of approaches and methodologies rather than a well-defined, particular form of enquiry. One strand of ‘relations’ within that family is first-person action research (FPAR), sometimes referred to as self-inquiry or self-study. A growing literature on ‘quality’ in this form of research indicates the need to be questioning and critical – and there are various tools and techniques available to do that such as cycles and models of reflection. These tools have been criticized for not being emancipatory, or actually reinforcing powerful ideological forces at work. This paper offers additional theoretical apparatus which enables the practitioner to glimpse into the possibility of ideological forces as play, and the choices that may become available once these forces become known. The theoretical ideas are drawn from psychoanalysis (Freud, Lacan and Zizek), in a form of psychoanalytical FPAR, in the particular style of Tony Brown and colleagues in the UK. Within psychoanalysis, the notions of the Imaginary, Symbolic and the Real create a situation whereby we can identify with *commodified* versions of things (not ‘real’ versions), which ‘miss the mark’, but which nonetheless create a view of the world and how we should act in it. Data from a particular case is offered from cutting-edge practitioner research whereby academics are working with commercial organisations. The case provides a living example of how the theoretical apparatus can helps explain some of the professional struggles and tensions of the academic, and bring supposed ideological forces into some level of awareness. Using the ideas, the paper demonstrates how the academic variously identifies with and understands his practice – caught between a desire to be a ‘client-oriented academic’ whilst governed by a drive to be a guardian of quality assurance. The approach is questioned and critiqued, with a view to create new approaches and ideas. We will: - provide data examples for 'live' interpretation, questioning and challenge - offer challenging questions throughout - ask for ideas and feedback throughout - be provoking, reflective and collegial
    • Conjuring A ‘Spirit’ for Sustainability: a review of the socio-materialist effects of provocative pedagogies

      Wall, Tony; Clough, David; Österlind, Eva; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester; Stockholm University (2019-09-30)
      Evidence suggests that wider sociological structures, which embody particular values and ways of relating, can make sustainable living and working problematic. This paper introduces ideology critique, an innovative methodological perspective crossing the fields of theology, cultural studies and politics, to examine and disturb the subtle and hidden ‘spirit’ which is evoked when we engage with everyday objects and interactions. Such a ‘spirit’, or ideology, embodies particular models of how humans relate to other humans, animals, and the planet more broadly. This paper aims, firstly, to document and demonstrate the subtleties of how the hidden ‘spirit’ can render attempts at sustainable working futile in the context of education, and then, second, to demonstrate how it can be used to intentionally evoke alternative ‘spirits’ which afford new relationality amongst humans, animals and the planet. In a broader sense, therefore, this paper explores how concepts and political commitments from the humanities, such as ideology critique and ‘spirit’, can help (1) analyse how wider social structures shape our values and beliefs in relation to sustainable learning, living and working, (2) explain how these behaviours are held in place over time, and (3) provoke insight into how we might seek to disrupt and change such persistent social structures.
    • Contesting ownership and responsibility: A practitioner research study

      Wall, Tony; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (2011-11-05)
      It is clear in higher education quality and policy guidance and frameworks that higher education institutions (HEIs) are responsible for the awards which are granted in their name, and for the student experience. Within the traditional direct-delivery model of ‘HEI-provides-to-student’ relationship, it is possible to map ownership and responsibility across an HEI, approximating functional and departmental demarcation. Yet this is fundamentally challenged in the context of collaborative provision, whereby organisations which are external and separate to the HEI deliver and assess learning which to lead to HEI credits and awards (also termed co-delivery). This remains an innovative area of consistent growth in the UK, especially for accrediting the training activity of commercial training providers – but also remains an un-researched area. Within co-delivery contexts, the student selects the training provider, pays them, and undertakes their training – and unlike the ‘HEI-provides-to-student’ relationship, the student may never come in to contact with the HEI – but the HEI is still responsible in the same way. Within such a context, who owns the student? Do students belong to the providers of the teaching and learning activity (it is their training, they deliver and assess it, they are paid for it)? Or, do students belong to the HEI, whereby the so-called ‘ultimate’ responsibility of quality assurance, assessment and awarding powers lie? Within this context, a sense of contested ownership and contested responsibility emerges and is never resolved. This paper draws on rich and authentic data from on-going practitioner research from one of the largest frameworks for co-delivery in Europe. It highlights the contested notions of ownership and responsibility in the context of the co-delivery of higher education, and the resultant professional tensions and challenges. The paper also questions these notions more generally, and examines the implications for practitioners in co-delivery and practitioners more broadly.
    • COVID-19: the impact of a global crisis on sustainable development research

      Leal Filho, Walter; Wall, Tony; Vasconcelos, Claudio R. P.; Lange Salvia, Amanda; do Paço, Arminda; Shulla, Kalterina; Levesque, Vanessa; Doni, Federica; Alvarez-Castañón, Lorena; Maclean, Claudia; et al.
      The crisis caused by COVID-19 has affected research in a variety of ways. As far as research on sustainable development is concerned, the lockdown has significantly disrupted the usual communication channels and, among other things, has led to the cancellation of meetings and long-planned events. It has also led to delay in the delivery of research projects. There is a gap in the literature in regards to how a global crisis influences sustainability research. Therefore, this ground-breaking paper undertakes an analysis of the extent to which COVID-19 as a whole, and the lockdown in particular, has influenced sustainability research, and it outlines the solutions pursued by researchers around the world to overcome the many challenges they have experienced. This paper also outlines some measures that may be implemented in the future to take more advantage of existing technologies that support research on sustainable development.
    • COVID-19: the impact of a global crisis on sustainable development teaching

      Leal Filho, Walter; Price, Elizabeth; Wall, Tony; Shiel, Chris; Azeiteiro, Ulisses; Mifsud, Mark; Brandli, Luciana; Farinha, Carla Sofia; Caeiro, Sandra; Lange Salvia, Amanda; et al.
      The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global crisis, one which also influences the ways sustainability is being taught at universities. This paper undertakes an analysis of the extent to which COVID-19 as a whole and the lockdown it triggered in particular, which has led to the suspension of presence-based teaching in universities worldwide and influenced teaching on matters related to sustainable development. By means of a worldwide survey involving higher education institutions across all continents, the study has identified a number of patterns, trends and problems. The results from the study show that the epidemic has significantly affected teaching practices. The lockdowns have led to a surge in the use of on-line communication tools as a partial replacement to normal lessons. In addition, many faculty teaching sustainability in higher education have strong competencies in digital literacy. The sampled higher education educations have -as a whole- adequate infrastructure to continue to teach during the lockdowns. Finally, the majority of the sample revealed that they miss the interactions via direct face-to-face student engagement, which is deemed as necessary for the effective teaching of sustainability content. The implications of this paper two-fold. Firstly, it describes how sustainability teaching on sustainable development has been affected by the lockdown. Secondly, it describes some of the solutions deployed to overcome the problem. Finally, the paper outlines the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may serve the purpose of showing how university teaching on sustainability may be improved in the future, taking more advantage of modern information technologies.
    • Creative Practices for Wellbeing - Practice Guidance

      Wall, Tony; Axtell, Richard; University of Chester; Lapidus International
      Using creativity for wellbeing has grown significantly over the years and is now becoming commonplace in many different contexts and settings, such as classrooms, workplaces, hospitals, hospices, community spaces, festivals, and even government. Evidence for the use of creative practices such as poetry, storytelling, or biographical writing to support recovery or promote personal development is long established and is growing, and demonstrates an incredible power and potential. Amidst this setting, and with the support of TS Eliot Foundation, The Old Possum’s Practical Trust, and the University of Chester, this guidance was developed to support practitioners in delivering effective and safe practice.
    • Creative writing for health and wellbeing

      Wall, Tony; Field, Victoria; Sučylaitė, Jūratė; University of Chester; Canterbury Christ Church University; Klaipėda University (2019-10-01)
      Creative writing for health and wellbeing has emerged from a constellation of arts-based practices which have been explicitly linked to health and wellbeing, that is, a set of practices which are recognised as having a role in “resolving the social and cultural challenges facing today’s world” (UNESCO, 2010, p.8). With a burgeoning empirical base of evidence of the role and impacts of arts-based practices for health and wellbeing, there is an increasing acknowledgment that such practices can help “keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives better lived [and] help meet major challenges facing health and social care… ageing, long term conditions, loneliness and mental health” (APPG, 2017, p.4)...
    • Creatively expanding research from work-based learning

      Scott, Deborah; University of Chester
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of creativity in work-based research and practice to yield deeper understanding of practice situations. Unexpected insights can lead one (or a team) to identify new approaches, tackling workplace issues differently, leading to unexpected outcomes of long-term impact. Design/methodology/approach – This paper draws on work conducted for a doctoral thesis, investigating the impact of work-based learning for recent masters graduates of a work-based learning programme. Fiction was incorporated into analysis of the data, creating play scripts to represent key aspects of the researcher’s perceptions and interpretations for each participant. Findings – Research participants experienced personal, professional and organisational impact, although there was considerable variability between individuals. Additionally, societal impact was wished for and/or effected. The approach to representation of analysis, which involved fictionalising participants’ experiences, created a strong Thirdspace liminality. This appeared to deepen awareness and understanding. Research limitations/implications – Such approaches can transform the researcher’s perspective, prompting insights which lead to further adventure and development in work-based research and practice. Practical implications – Managers and employees taking creative approaches in the workplace can prompt wide-ranging development and, with professional judgement, be constructive. Social implications – Managers and employees taking creative approaches in the workplace can prompt wide-ranging development and, with professional judgement, be constructive. Originality/value – The creation of play scripts, representing an interpretation of participants’ stories about their work-based learning experience, is an innovative feature of this work.
    • Curriculum design for the post-industrial society: The facilitation of individually negotiated higher education in work based learning shell frameworks in the United Kingdom

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (Nova Science Publishers, 2017-02-01)
      During the past twenty years there has been increasing demand for more flexible forms of higher education, especially for adult learners. Adults have strong preferences for vocational learning, tailored to their professional context. Universities, organised along lines designed to meet the needs of an industrial society have been largely unable to adapt to the consequences of increased role specialisation in the post-industrial labour market. This chapter reviews developments in accredited universities in the United Kingdom where the development of ‘shell frameworks’, based upon the requirements of learners rather than subject discipline, has enabled some adults to fulfil their learning requirements and gain formally accredited qualifications. In the absence of research in this area a detailed case study familiar to the author is presented and an agenda for further research outlined.
    • Delivering distance education for modern government: The F4Gov programme

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (2007-05-01)
      This article discusses the development and operation of an innovative, work based, distance delivered foundation degree developed by the University of Chester and the British Civil Service. Three areas for formal evaluation are identified - the implications of employer involvement in the design and management of the programme, the differential nature of the learning experience and factors underlying performance, and the impact of the programme in meeting employer goals.
    • Delivering distance education for modern government: The F4Gov programme at the University of Chester

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (2006-11-02)
      The Foundation for Govenment (F4Gov) programme developed for the British Civil Service is an innovative low-cost accredited programme of distance learning using a dedicated Virtual Learning Environment designed to improve individual and hence organisational performance. It is flexible in terms of design and delivery and enables individuals and organisations to devise learning which meets their needs. The emphasis upon theory and practice is designed to reflect practice as well as embed deeper learning associated with higher education. The content of the programme is designed to equip participants with the skills necessary to deliver modern government.
    • Delivering distance education for the Civil Service in the UK: The University of Chester’s Foundation for Government programme

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (Information Age Publishing, 2009-04-01)
      This book chapter discusses a distance delivered work based learning programme using a dedicated virtual learning environment for the British Civil Service called 'Foundation for Government'. There are currently about 350 students on the programme and at time of writing, the first learners are completing. The programme is designed to equip the broad mass of Civil Servants with the essential skills for modern government. While the programme has undoubtedly been successful, it has also raised a number of issues requiring further research. These are: the involvement of employers; technological versus educational imperatives; learner experience and progression and the assumption of knowledge transfer.
    • Delivering distance learning for modern government: The F4Gov programme at the University of Chester

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (2006-11-30)
      The Foundation for Government (F4Gov) programme developed for the Civil Service is an innovative low cost accredited programme of distance learning using a dedicated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) designed to improved individual and hence organisational performance. It is flexible in terms of design and delivery and enables individuals and organisations to devise learning which meets their needs. The emphasis upon integrating theory and practice is designed to reflective practice as well as embed deeper learning associated with higher education. The content of the programme is designed to equip participants with the skills neccessary to deliver modern government. Progress with F4Gov is ongoing as new departments participate for the first time and additional HE providers are identified.