• 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.
    • Principles of Responsible Management Education

      Wall, Tony; Mburayi, Langton; Johnson, Nerise D.; University of Chester (Springer, 2020)
      Business and management education has received stark criticism over the last decade on a number of grounds including the extent to which it is producing leaders and managers who are effective, efficient, and more importantly, ethical (Ghoshal, 2005). This includes the claim that business and management education is not doing enough to promote the sorts of awareness and capacities for sustainability which transpire into practice (Crawford-Lee and Wall, 2018). Indeed, there is an ongoing view that current forms of business and management education promote dispassionate and detached perspectives in favour of profit, despite the development of social responsibility and triple bottom line paradigms (Wall, 2017; Wall, Tran and Soejatminah, 2017). Empirical work now seemingly supports this with evidence which suggests that business and management students are less ethical and are more corruptible than students from other disciplines (e.g. Haski-Leventhal, 2014), and that the Master of Business Administration (MBA) – the supposed flagship postgraduate programme of business schools – produces graduates which are demonstrably more self-serving than others (Miller and Xu, 2016).
    • Praxes of Academic Activism: Exploring Pluralities and Perspectives

      Wall, Tony; Robinson, Sarah; Elliott, Carole; Blasco, Maribel; Kjærgaard, Annemette; Callahan, Jamie; Padan, Tali; Bergmann, Rasmus; University of Chester; University of Glasgow; Roehampton University; Copenhagen Business School; Northumbria University; University College Copenhagen (British Academy of Management, 2019-09-03)
      The performative imperatives of being and becoming a business school academic in contemporary neoliberal circumstances are fraught with critiques and contestations, especially when set against intense and urgent calls to address global scale, societal and climactic crises. Within this context, there is a plurality of ways in which academics attempt to challenge, resist, and de-construct in order to re-construct possibilities for futures which embody sustainable sensitivities and action. However, the literature has not yet documented this plurality, so this workshop aims to collate and map the alternative praxes of academic activism, that is, the different perspectives and possibilities of how theory-practice is imbricated and expressed in practice. This participatory workshop invites and welcomes a range of scholars to experiment and explore the praxes of academic activism in a supportive environment, and consider future individual and collaborative agendas and acts.
    • The Empty Box

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Research in Management Learning and Education (RMLE), 2018-07-31)
      We were once accustomed to uncomfortable questions, ideas and concerns about the relevance of management education. Fierce debate not only questioned our methodologies, methods, practices, and the structures of management education organisations, but also our inner most thoughts, perspectives and identities of being a management educator. At the same time, there is an omnipotent, omnipresent, and insidious drive for gain and utility which stains our desires to be relevant. Such desires become boxes which imprison our trajectories of how we think we should act. Yet what happens when we let go of such drives and desires? What happens when we have an opportunity to explore what might be outside of these prescribed boxes? This QIC aspires to explore these questions, with and amongst management educators, what happens when we temporarily suspend the need for utility, and literally and metaphorically play with empty boxes.
    • On becoming in pedagogical performance artist

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Research in Management Learning and Education (RMLE), 2018-07-31)
      Contemporary forms of management education continue to reproduce the mechanistic, bureaucratic structures which shape and position all involved in the management learning context. This includes hidden (and not so hidden) co-ordinates of how we should relate to each other, the planet, and its co-inhabitants. Such co-ordinates continue to be imbued with dis-passion and de-tachment, with dramatic and traumatic consequences in relation to sustainable development: the need for radical leaps in holistic, affective engagement is therefore urgent. As Paul Shrivastava’s work on ‘pedagogies of passion’ has illustrated, the arts are central to this movement. But as we move towards such spaces, some crucial questions remain: Who is the artist? What does it mean for a management educator to become an artist? What does it mean for the metaphorical classroom to become the canvas or the stage? Might becoming a (management) pedagogical performance artist become a path to existential crises? This QIC aspires to explore these prompts to raise new questions, concerns and ideas.
    • Integrating sustainability in business schools: The possibility of harmonic response across heterogenic landscapes?

      Wall, Tony; Hindley, Ann; Mburayi, Langton; Cregan, Karen; Evans, Vicky (Research in Management Learning and Education (RMLE), 2019-07-31)
      One of the ongoing critiques of management learning and education, and higher education more broadly, relates to how it promotes ethics and responsible managers of the future (Ghoshal, 2005; Snelson-Powell et al 2016). Indeed, the United Nations’ established the Principles of Responsible Management Education initiative in 2007 to help promote and deliver the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as part of its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, over a decade on, the integration of sustainability into management learning and education remains limited (Akrivou & Bradbury-Huang, 2015; Mburayi & Wall, 2018), and is beset with obstacles ranging from accreditation drivers to leadership challenges (Painter-Morland et al 2016). Adopted strategies have included the addition of sustainability content to existing modules; the creation of standalone sustainability modules; cross-curricula integration and cross-disciplinary course provision for business students, and a recommendation for a whole institution approach that develops capacities, builds connectedness and supports systematic leadership (Rusinko, 2010; Painter-Morland et al 2016). One conceptualisation of the issue posits that the organisation of the business school needs to direct and reflect sustainability values such that it inculcates sustainable behaviours across organisational units (Akrivou & Bradbury-Huang, 2015) – and as such, providing a harmony to direct and guide behaviour at the business school level. In contrast to the need for this harmonic response, there is evidence of emerging heterogenic responses across sub disciplines, for example: there seems to be comparatively little integration in the context of accounting and finance curricula or seemingly ‘bolt on’ approaches (Mburayi & Wall, 2018); tourism and events seemingly embed responsibility in the nature of place and space (Hall et al, 2015); and marketing, which is sometimes portrayed as a contributor to over-consumption, often questions its ability to market sustainability which creates its own tensions (Carrington et al 2016). Beyond this, others may purposively not engage in the education for sustainability agenda for a range of reasons including indifference, confusion, or the belief that it is not the concern of a business school (Rasche et al 2013). Therefore, this QIC aspires to examine the possibility of harmonic response across the heterogenic landscapes of business schools, with a view to exploring alternative pathways in practice and research. References Akrivou, K., & Bradbury-Huang, H. (2015). Educating integrated catalysts: Transforming business schools toward ethics and sustainability. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(2), 222-240. Carrington, M. J., Zwick, D., & Neville, B. (2016). The ideology of the ethical consumption gap. Marketing Theory, 16, 1, 21-38. Ghoshal, S. (2005), “Bad management theories are destroying good management practices”, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 75-91. Hall, C. M., Gossling, S., & Scott, D. (Eds.). (2015). The Routledge handbook of tourism and sustainability. Routledge. Mburayi, L. & Wall, T. (2018) Sustainability in the professional accounting and finance curriculum: an exploration", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 8 (3), pp.291-311. Rasche, A., Gilbert, D.U. and Schedel, I. (2013), “Cross-disciplinary ethics education in MBA programs: rhetoric or reality?”, Academy of Management, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 71-85. Rusinko, C.A. (2010), “Integrating sustainability in management and business education”, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 507-519. Snelson-Powell, A., Grosvold, J. and Millington, A. (2016), “Business school legitimacy and the challenge of sustainability: a fuzzy set analysis of institutional decoupling”, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 703-723. Painter-Morland, M., Sabet, E., Molthan-Hill, P., Goworek, H. and de Leeuw, S. (2016), “Beyond the curriculum: integrating sustainability into business schools”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 139 No. 4, pp. 737-754.
    • Pedagogies for resilience in business schools: Exploring strategies and tactics

      Rowe, Lisa; Wall, Tony; Cregan, Karen; Evans, Vicky; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester (Research in Management Learning and Education (RMLE), 2019-07)
      The capacity to bounce back after challenge or disruption and positive adapt to new circumstances has recently become more pronounced because of market volatilities, technological advances at work, as well as the ubiquitous and relentless use of social media (UNESCO 2017; Stokes et al 2018). Indeed, such changes have highlighted the strategic importance – and concern for the lack of – the resilience capacities of business school graduates at all levels (Robertson et al 2015; King et al 2015). Within this context, evidence indicates how the capacities for managerial resilience can be developed through various pedagogical aspects including strategies and tactics for promoting personal flexibility, purposefulness, self-confidence, and social networks (Cooper et al 2013). However, such capacities are curbed and contained by wider forces such as the broader organisational structure and culture of the business school itself and of the graduate employer, both of which limit potential flexibility (Akrivou & Bradbury-Huang, 2015; Robertson et al, 2015; Cregan et al 2019). To add further complexity, recent research has also highlighted the contextualised nature of resilience, whereby its meaning and manifestation vary across occupational settings (Kossek & Perrigino, 2016). Within this context, therefore, a critical challenge for contemporary business school education is to develop pedagogical interventions which might generate resources for resilience which are not only relevant to be able to express and mobilise resilience in a diverse range of occupational settings, but which are also sensitive to wider influences which shape resilience (e.g. employer organisational structures). Such a challenge needs to reflect the deeply pragmatic question of how to develop or integrate a pedagogical response in a context whereby (1) that response is culturally located in a business school organisational structure and culture which might limit capacity development, and (2) the curricula may already be heavily prescribed due to accreditation requirements or is already multi-layered from other agendas such as employability, responsibility, or sustainability (Wall et al, 2017; Cregan et al, 2019). Therefore this QIC aims to explore the strategies and tactics of how to inculcate the resilience capacities of business school learners where the expression of that capacity itself may manifest differently across occupational settings and which is organisationally bound in its development. References Akrivou, K., & Bradbury-Huang, H. (2015). Educating integrated catalysts: Transforming business schools toward ethics and sustainability. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(2), 222-240. Cooper, C. L., Flint-Taylor, J., and Pearn, M. (2013). Building resilience for success: A resource for managers and organizations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Cregan, K., Rowe, L., & Wall, T. (2019 forthcoming) Resilience education and training, in Leal Filho, W. (ed) Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Good Health & Wellbeing. Springer, Cham. King, D. D., Newman, A., & Luthans, F. (2015). Not if, but when we need resilience in the workplace: Workplace resilience. Journal of Organizational Behavior, n/a. Kossek, E. E., and Perrigino, M. B. (2016). Resilience: A review using a grounded integrated occupational approach. The Academy of Management Annals, 10(1), 729-797. Robertson, I. T., Cooper, C. L., Sarkar, M., and Curran, T. (2015). Resilience training in the workplace from 2003 to 2014: A systematic review. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 88(3), 533–562. Stokes, P., Smith, S., Wall, T., Moore, N., Rowland, C., Ward, T., & Cronshaw, S. (2018). Resilience and the (micro-)dynamics of organizational ambidexterity: Implications for strategic HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1-36. UNESCO (2017). Six ways to ensure higher education leaves no one behind, Policy Paper 30. Available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002478/247862E.pdf (Accessed 20th Nov, 2018). Wall, T., Russell, J., Moore, N. (2017) Positive emotion in workplace impact: the case of a work-based learning project utilising appreciative inquiry. Journal of Work-Applied Management, 9 (2): 129-146.
    • An emerging challenge: The development of entrepreneurial resilience for independent self-employment

      Evans, Vicky; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Research in Management Learning and Education (RMLE), 2019-07-31)
      Research suggests that 9-13% (up to 71 million individuals) of the working age population in the United States and the EU-15 rely on independent work for their primary income (Manyika et al., 2016). Even more significantly, this appears to be a growing trend. In the UK, for example, the number of solo businesses with no employees increased by 77% between 2000 and 2016 (Deane, 2016). Moreover, this growth in the proportion of people who are self-employed in this way appears to be a long-term and continuing trend, rather than a cyclical phenomenon, driven by a number of factors including the emergence of online marketplaces and expectations of higher levels of autonomy in the experience of work (Manyika et al., 2016). However, these solo businesses often operate precariously, more vulnerable to changes in their environment than larger businesses. Furthermore, the self-employed independent operates in a distinctive context which presents inherent challenges: the need to fulfil diverse roles to serve a number of clients concurrently; the responsibility for all the decisions about the strategy and operation of the business; finding enough customers or work; and isolation due to a lack of work colleagues (Deane, 2016). This begs the question: how do those who choose independent self-employment develop the resilience to manage its challenges? Entrepreneurship literature highlights the importance of entrepreneurial resilience but has not addressed the context of the self-employed independent. Moreover, this literature often employs a trait-based rather than process approach in the study of resilience and as a result, does not offer many resources to support the understanding of how to develop entrepreneurial resilience (Evans & Wall, 2019 forthcoming). Initial findings suggest the need to recognise that the cumulative development of entrepreneurial resilience is not a simple by-product of experience. It seems that resilience needs to be consciously developed by the individual themselves, involving the development of a capacity for resilient sense-making in relation to their personal ability to enact entrepreneurial processes and to respond resiliently to adverse circumstances. This QIC therefore explores three questions: (1) How exactly do self-employed independents deploy their capacity for resilience in conditions of adversity? (2) how do they turn passing experiences into learning and resources so that the process of resilience encompasses the evolution of an individual’s capacity for resilience over time? and (3) how can business schools prime the learning of entrepreneurial resilience processes to equip their learners for a future that is increasingly likely to include independent self-employment? Reference List Deane, J. (2016). Self-Employment Review An independent report Self-Employment Review: An independent report. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/529702/ind-16-2-self-employment-review.pdf Evans, V., & Wall, T. (2019 forthcoming) Entrepreneurial resilience, in Leal Filho, W. (ed) Encyclopaedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Good Health & Wellbeing, Springer, Cham. Kossek, E. E., & Perrigino, M. B. (2016). Resilience: A Review Using a Grounded Integrated Occupational Approach. Academy of Management Annals, (April), 1–69. Manyika, J., Lund, S., Bughin, J., Robinson, K., Mischke, J. & Mahajan, D. (2016). Independent work: choice, necessity and the gig economy. Mckinsey Global Institute. Ungar, M. (2011). The social ecology of resilience: Addressing contextual and cultural ambiguity of a nascent construct. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81(1), 1–17.
    • Organisational resilience of business schools: exploring the possibilities of adaptation

      Cregan, Karen; Wall, Tony; Evans, Vicky; Marshall, Julie; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester (Research in Management Learning and Education, 2019-07-31)
      Organisational resilience of business schools: exploring the possibilities of adaptation The organisational landscape of business schools in some countries is in a state of fragility, plagued by an ongoing relevance critique, increasing competition from non-traditional private providers, demographics which intensify the competition for typical undergraduate students, increasing pressure for greater economic and environmental responsibility, a need to respond to technological advances, and a different political posture to the financial support of universities (Stokes et al 2018). As such, within this morphing landscape, the organisational resilience of business schools has perhaps become more pertinent in modern times than in recent history. Indeed, the UK is said to be experiencing an unprecedented market shake out of business schools with at least three facing imminent closure. Within this practice setting, organisational resilience has been conceptualised as (1) the capacity of an organisation to 'bounce back' (to survive) after an adverse or traumatic event, (2) the capacity of an organisation to adapt to circumstances and events before they are experienced as adverse, as traumatic or as a crisis, and (3) the aggregated capacities of people to absorb crises and operationally adapt to new situations (Koronis and Ponis, 2018; Evans, Cregan, & Wall, 2019 forthcoming). With this in mind, the first part of this QIC therefore explores how we might re-organise university-based business schools in ways which develop the adaptive capacities which are seemingly pertinent to contemporary circumstances. At the same time, organisational re-configurations are likely to, whether intended or unintended, shape the pedagogic practices of business schools (Akrivou & Bradbury-Huang, 2015) as well as have the potential for wider consequential tensions in a neo-liberal marketplace which emphasises individualism (Wall and Jarvis 2015). For example, a business school that develops strong employer involvement in curricula design, delivery and assessment may have a wider network of positive ties to sustain itself during difficult times, but adopting team based assessment practices (which can inculcate the wider social impact awareness of students) can create student experience challenges. So the second part of this QIC is to explore how the changes which are created for organisational resilience might shape pedagogic practices, and in turn, the possible consequences of organising in such ways. References Akrivou, K., & Bradbury-Huang, H. (2015). Educating integrated catalysts: Transforming business schools toward ethics and sustainability. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(2), 222-240. Evans, V., Cregan, K., & Wall, T. (2019 forthcoming) Organizational resilience, in Leal Filho, W. (ed) Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Good Health & Wellbeing, Springer, Cham Koronis, E., & Ponis, S. (2018). Better than before: the resilient organization in crisis mode. Journal of Business Strategy, 39(1), 32-42. Stokes, P., Smith, S., Wall, T., Moore, N., Rowland, C., Ward, T., & Cronshaw, S. (2018). Resilience and the (micro-)dynamics of organizational ambidexterity: Implications for strategic HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, , 1-36. doi:10.1080/09585192.2018.1474939 Wall, T. & Jarvis, M. (2015). Business schools as educational provocateurs of productivity via interrelated landscapes of practice. Leadership & Policy Series. The Chartered Association of Business Schools, London.
    • Insurrection as Recognition: Urban Riots for Love, Rights, and Solidarity

      Chabanet, Didier; Lichy, Jessica; Wall, Tony; IDRAC Business School Lyon; University of Chester (British Academy of Management, 2019-09-03)
      Insurrection is theorised as a form of resistance in and around organisational life, often functioning to promote more sustainable forms of organisation and organising. However, urban riots, as a form of insurrection, are typically narrated through nonconformity, social injustice, and immigration, which often deny (1) riots as having a political message or form (i.e. they are ‘pure violence without claim’), and (2) rioters as having affirmative needs or qualities (i.e. they are ‘primitive rebels’). This study draws on publically available narratives and deploys the relational ontology of Axel Honneth to re-cast riots and rioters as responding to violations in basic human need for ‘recognition’, that is, as expressed through ‘love, rights, and solidarity’. In doing so, we hope to sit in contrast with the dominant insurrection and rioting scholarship, to explore as well as inspire alternative ways of organisation and organising in contemporary circumstances which are grounded in affirmative relationality.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • Exploring the power of high-level postgraduate international partnership work based learning programmes

      Weston, Philippa; Perrin, David; Meakin, Denise; CWRS, University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-05-25)
      This chapter explores students’ reflections of their experiential learning whilst enrolled on an HE work based learning (WBL) international internship programme jointly developed by the University of Chester and the Mountbatten Institute. The chapter commences with some background to help set in context why these two organisations came together to form this unique inter-organisational partnership involving the partner delivering and assessing, and the HEI accrediting the programme. Then using data gained from student evaluations together with quotes obtained from students’ reflective learning logs, submitted as part of their final project at the end of the taught element of the programme, the chapter explores students’ perceptions of what they perceive they have gained from this experience which they can take forward into their future careers. As such it provides a unique insight into the nature and value of this international learning experience.
    • 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.
    • Manager as Coach: An Exploratory Study into the Experience of Managers Dealing with Team Challenge

      Wall, Tony; Smith, Helen A. (University of Chester, 2019-03-14)
      Effective teams demand sharing, good communication, openness and engagement to create cohesion and collaboration. The modern team environment requires a highly competent manager capable of dealing with diversity, widening demographics, compression of roles, merging of organisational hierarchies and resource scarcity. This dynamic interplay has contributed to the transition from the traditional bureaucratic style of management to a higher proficiency of inclusive leadership, encompassing coaching. Within this context, there is an assumption that the manager as coach will successfully tackle the complexity of team challenge using conventional coaching interventions with the manager as coach becoming vogue. Thirty semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed using a critical incident for exploration. The data generated an appreciation of the origins of team challenge and how challenge can be recognised, identified and acted upon to avoid escalation and maintain functionality within the team. The findings offer a framework for managers, irrespective of coaching competency to deal with team challenge and specifically that arising from behaviour described as unproductive or dysfunctional within the complexity of multiple team variants. This research will further supplement existing team effectiveness models and highlight the need for the manager as coach to be alert to team behaviour, foster appreciation of team difference at all levels, be coach-minded and act speedily in addressing team challenge. Further insight is offered from the perspective of the practitioner with models for self-assessment and training in response to dealing with challenge.
    • Storytelling for sustainable development

      Wall, Tony; Rossetti, Lisa; Hopkins, Sandra; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      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).
    • Organizational Resilience and Sustainable Development

      Evans, Vicky; Cregan, Karen; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-forth)
      Organisational resilience has been conceptualised in a variety of ways. Koronis and Ponis (2018) have articulated this as three distinct concepts: (1) the capacity of an organisation to 'bounce back' (to survive) after an adverse or traumatic event, (2) the capacity of an organisation to adapt to circumstances and events before they are experienced as adverse, as traumatic or a crisis, and (3) the aggregated capacities of people to absorb crises and operationally adapt to new situations. As yet, there is no consistently used terminology or conceptual foundations. Nevertheless, four key drivers of organisational resilience are highlighted in the literature – preparedness, responsiveness, adaptability and learning – which can be used as a starting point to identify associated interventions which may develop those drivers (Koronis and Ponis, 2018). Maturity models of organisational resilience suggest how these drivers develop progressively, interacting and reinforcing one another to the fullest extent in organisations which manage resilience holistically, achieving an “anti-fragile” stage of maturity where an organisation improves, prospers, and/or thrives in conditions of volatility, change or disruption in the wider environment (e.g. Leflar and Siegal, 2013; Ruiz and Martin et al, 2018).
    • Applied Fantasy and Well-Being

      MacKenzie, Anna; Wall, Tony; Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester (Springer, 2019)
      Applied Fantasy is a new, innovative approach to well-being that demonstrates the significant potential within fantasy literature and media to provide effective and sustainable coping strategies for positive mental health. Emerging at the intersection of fantasy literature and media, mental health and well-being, and fan studies, the benefits from Applied Fantasy are twofold. First, the concept of an individual being part of a wider fandom is a positive step toward (a) combating isolation and (b) subverting the stigma surrounding mental health and, second, the contents of the fantasy works themselves provide solid examples and guidance on how to manage mental health concerns while not overtly discussing coping strategies for mental health.
    • Resilience Education and Training

      Cregan, Karen; Rowe, Lisa; Wall, Tony (Springer, 2019-10-01)
      Gilligan (2000) describes resilience as process which engenders a sense of strength and confidence to succeed despite individual challenges faced and Noble and McGraph, (2011a; p.79) define it as "the ability to persist, cope adaptively and bounce back after encountering change, challenges, setback, disappointments, difficult situations or adversity and to return to a reasonable level of wellbeing". It has been suggested that these challenges can be controlled by an individual’s behaviours, thoughts and actions which, can be taught (American Psychological Association, 2018). However, Wu et al (2013) argue that developing resilience in individuals requires several ‘factors’ not least, an understanding of the genetic, epigenetic, developmental, psychological and neurochemical processes, as these can contribute to how an individual can cope with and develop resilience in the face of stress and trauma. In this way, resilience education and training is about building the capacities to cope as well as adapt to changes in generative ways, and includes a diverse range of strategies to develop personal purpose, confidence, flexibility and social support networks.

      Johnson, Matthew; Danvers, Emily; Hinton-Smith, Tamsin; Atkinson, Kate; Bowden, Gareth; Foster, John; Garner, Kristina; Garrud, Paul; Greaves, Sarah; Harris, Patricia; et al. (Informa UK Limited, 2019-02-04)