• Enterprise zones: do they create or add value? A rejoinder

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (Henry Stewart, 2014)
    • Entrepreneurial resilience

      Evans, Vicky; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-10-01)
      The vast majority of businesses in all countries - between 70% and 95% - are micro-businesses, i.e. enterprises that employ fewer than ten people (OECD, 2017). Their impact on the economies and societies in which they operate is therefore significant, collectively acting as important sources of employment, growth and innovation (ibid, 2017). However, the existence of many of these businesses is often precarious, especially in the early stages of their development. Many newly created businesses fail within the first few years of life with mortality rates ranging from around 10% (UK, USA, Sweden) to 45% (Slovak Republic) in the first year (ibid, 2017). As a result, the entrepreneurial activity to create and manage these businesses is very demanding and exposes entrepreneurs to situations which would be expected to create high levels of stress among the general population (e.g. a rapidly changing and unpredictable environment, high responsibility, high workload). The demands of business start-up and ownership could be expected to create a higher risk of mental health problems. Isolation and long working hours could contribute to an increased risk of depression. Moreover, for many entrepreneurs, their business ventures are personal passions and their self-worth and well-being can be intimately connected to the success of those ventures (Murnieks, Mosakowski and Cardon, 2014). On a practical level, the pressures are often high and can create anxiety as personal financial well-being is often directly related to the ability to close the next deal. Furthermore, Spivak, McKelvie and Haynie (2014) highlight a possible “dark side” of entrepreneurship outcomes, finding that habitual entrepreneurs can suffer from symptoms of behavioural addictions - withdrawal-engagement patterns, obsessive thoughts, and negative emotions - arising from repeated venture creation activities. However, at the same time, Baron, Franklin and Hmieleski (2016) find that entrepreneurs experience lower stress compared to other occupational groups when creating new ventures. Baron et al (2016) suggest self-selection effects as the underlying mechanism producing entrepreneurs that are above average (as a group) in their capacity to handle stress effectively, arguing that those who persist in entrepreneurship acquire this capacity, the resilience to handle the stressors and challenges of their entrepreneurial context.
    • Eupneic inquiry and 'quality' in first person action research

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (2010-09-09)
      Metaphorically, 'action research' can be constructed as a colourful group of powerful worlds, with different worldviews, including potentially different views of, amongst other things: who we are as inquirers, our relationship with the world/ourselves, what we should aim to do, and how we should get there. One world (or perhaps a beautiful lake within a world?) that has become particularly vibrant is the world of first-person action research (also referred to as self inquiry or self study). A particular strand within this world thrives off the 'lived experience of the everyday'. This strand can gel and entangle productively with notions and connotations of 'eupnea': a medical term for 'normal, unlaboured' breathing. A natural activity. An activity that allows us to create energy, and remove waste. Regulated utWsub-consciously, as well as consciously, second-by-second. It sustains our life, (usually) from the day we are born. Such an entanglement can create a notion of inquiry, which moves from a formal, Research Project space, into a more informal, everyday, live space. A space, which is occupied with inquiry for-life, with-life, as-life, and in-life. Through my ongoing research about 'quality' in such first person action research, a number of themes emerged, including: managing sharp attention-in-the-moment; critical questioning; cycles of action/reflection; exploring perspectives and interpretations; capturing 'thick, live descriptions' to enable readers to 'relive' the researcher's experience; being ethical; the use of others' voices to verify and/or validate; and issues relating to communicating 'findings' to others. More importantly, voices had emerged that articulated the notion of 'quality' in research as "taking an attitude of inquiry". This notion echoes the breathing notion, where the research becomes an ongoing activity, pervading, shaping and enhancing our life over time. This session tentatively constructs the notion of breathing inquiry as practices for life long inquiry as life long learning, and reviews the challenges of such a notion. It shares (and questions) the recent research undertaken on 'quality' in such lived inquiry, and glimpses at specific strategies and tools inquirers can adopt to develop and enliven current inquiries. It is hoped that the co-inquiry in the session will shape the notions constructed above.
    • Evaluating Self Care in an English hospital

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (2015-09-07)
      This is the presentation of results from a small scale evaluation of a programme in an English hospital designed to improve staff welfare and reduce sickness absence. The results suggest some success in reducing sickness (measured by 12 months pre with 12 months post attendance) where participants attended follow up sessions. However individuals identified as suitable for the programme who did not actually attend improved their sickness record by a comparable rate to those attending. While the programme appears to have some value, the hospital had no effective strategy for dealing with the biggest cause of sickness - gastrointestinal illness. The study suggests further reductions in sickness rates are dependent upon a multi-faceted approach using data the hospital routinely collects as the basis for effective actions.
    • The Evaluation of Leadership Coaching Through a Lens of Ambidexterity

      Jamieson, Mark (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-07-24)
      Leadership coaching has grown to become a significant intervention to respond to the management needs of an increasingly complex organisational environment. The substantial investment in leadership coaching corresponds with current accountability trends, raising the profile of evaluation; however, evidence shows that organisations treat evaluation in this context as being of low strategic value, characterised as limited and problematic, both operationally and strategically. Specifically, whereas evaluation has primarily focused on current organisational imperatives and financial targets, there is also evidence of the increasing emphasis on a new set of leadership behaviours to achieve competitiveness through adaptive capacities characterised by complex decision-making which balances short term outcomes in known circumstances with longer term capacity building in unknown contexts. In response, this study adopts ambidexterity (the adaptive capacity to balance shortterm-known and long-term-unknown demands) as a conceptual lens to examine the evaluation of leadership coaching and used in depth semi-structured interviews with 12 senior practitioners engaged in this area. The study found multiple incongruences between espoused strategic priorities and evaluation practice in-use, and identified apparent moderators that influence evaluation practice in-use. As such, an exploration of moderators contributed fresh insights into barriers and enablers, including six new dimensions for evaluation problematics, and seven promising movements with implications for practice. More generally, this study also asserts that the lens of ambidexterity presents new opportunities for an expansive exploration of evaluation in terms of a wider strategic contribution and, accordingly, suggests the dimensions of an ambidextrous framework, simultaneously pursuing a workable system that is also strategically helpful.
    • Exploration of the key factors to enable Negotiated Work Based Learning to be accepted within HE - a case based approach

      Weston, Philippa; University of Chester (ASET, 2014-09)
      Using a case based approach, this paper will examine some key factors that appear necessary if negotiated forms of work based learning (NWBL) have any chance of being accepted into the HE provision. The case study examined here is part of a wider doctoral study examining what factors impact on how different universities perceive and locate work based learning (WBL) and particularly NWBL into their HE provision. The case study is based on the University of Chester (Chester) which is generally recognised within the wider academic community in WBL as having created one of the most flexible academic frameworks to support different forms of WBL and NWBL. The study focuses on the experiences, memories and reflections of three key individuals who were involved in the early stages of developing the Work Based and Integrative Studies (WBIS) framework at Chester which is now used extensively to support all forms of WBL both internally within the university and also in the wider external community (Major, Meakin, & Perrin, 2011). The flexibility and sustainability of Chester’s WBIS framework is evidenced by its ability to facilitate an increasing variety of WBL projects from the more traditional HE WBL offerings such as placements, corporate programmes and contract partnerships to projects that are more challenging for HE such as co-delivery arrangements and formal partnerships (Talbot, Perrin, & Meakin, 2014). Drawing on the work of Major, Perrin, Talbot, Wall and Meakin who are all practitioners and researchers of NWBL and WBL at Chester, together with prominent researchers within the wider field of NWBL such as Portwood, Costley and Gibbs, the paper identifies some key factors, such as the need for a champion, the influence of the university’s culture, the relevance of the word ‘integrative’ and the importance of timing. In addition it will highlight that for such initiatives to be effective and sustainable, WBL and in particular NWBL must be underpinned through strong organisational and governance capabilities to ensure the resultant programmes meet the criteria from a quality assurance perspective. The paper concludes by drawing together and evaluating whether the factors which appear key in enabling the WBIS framework at Chester could be embraced by other Universities in their pursuit of WBL initiatives (Talbot et al., 2014).
    • Exploring the Impact of Reflective and Work Applied Approaches

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      The impact agenda is now a global phenomenon with great expectations for ‘transformational’ impacts in the wider world (Gravem et al 2017). Paradoxically, such demands can hinder discovery through the avoidance unpredictable outcomes (ibid), and problematically, there is an over reliance on very narrow conceptualisations of impact, oftentimes adopting the metrics used by research councils or governments to allocate research monies. Such metrics are fiercely debated, partly because of a disconnect with practice, and their significance in creating and shaping industries whose primary purpose it is to administer and optimise the administration of research assessment activity...
    • 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.
    • Facilitating employer engagement through negotiated work based learning: A case study from the University of Chester

      Perrin, David; Weston, Philippa; Thompson, Pauline A.; Brodie, Pandy; University of Chester ; University of Chester ; Department for Work and Pensions ; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2010)
      This report discusses the development of a work based learning framework at the University of Chester and identifies its key features, particulary in relation to employer engagagement.
    • Facilitating faster growth with small enterprise

      Wall, Tony; Grant, Danielle; University of Chester : LeaderShape (2012-02-07)
      This book chapter discusses a case study whereby the University of Chester collaborated with LeaderShape (a group of business leaders who develop their clients' leadership capability) to deliver a PGCert in Coach-Mentoring and Facilitation in Organisations, followed by further accredited short courses.
    • Facilitating Literature Searches for Work based learning Students Using an Action Research Approach.

      Talbot, Jon; Bennett, Lee; University of Chester
      This paper describes an action research project in a university to identify the requirements of Work based learning (WBL) students in respect of literature searches for practice enquiries and outlines measures subsequently taken to improve student support. The study confirms previous research that WBL students need to consult a wide variety of source material and not just academic texts. Students report uncertainty in using non-academic sources and difficulties searching. As a result, academic practices have been adapted to provide more consistent, comprehensive support. These include the production of online resources and modified practices by tutors and librarians. In line with the action research approach practices are monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure their continuing relevance.
    • Facilitating situated learning: A 'mode 2' pedagogical model

      Wall, Tony; Leonard, Dilys T.; University of Chester (2011-09)
      Learning through workplace activity and projects, as part of a university level qualification, is an increasingly common approach for practitioners to study part-time higher education. In facilitating and assessing such ‘learning through work’ approaches, we have identified three recurring practical issues: learners focusing on describing rather than critical reflecting on their work for new insight, learners rejurgitating theory, and/or critically reflecting on practice without reference to academic knowledge. As a result, the work based projects and assessments were considered to hold greater potential for change. A pedagogical model to address this has been developed and refined over a period of two years (emerging from Brodie and Irving, 2007) – drawing on practice and data from one of the largest providers of negotiated, work based university-level learning. Using a cyclic first person action research methodology (Whitehead and McNiff, 2006), the model was used in group workshop contexts and one-to-one facilitation contexts with professionals studying work based learning degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Three distinctive aspects emerged based on Gibbons et al’s (1994) conception of mode 1 and mode 2 knowledge, where ‘mode 1’ knowledge which is academic/theoretical, sequential knowledge, organised by disciplinary boundaries and where ‘mode 2’ knowledge is situated, messy, problem-based and trans-disciplinary. The model highlights three key areas for professionals to consider: 1. theoretical knowledge (mode 2 academic ideas, principles, theories), 2. critical reflection (questioning for new insight), and 3. the workplace (activity in it, as a location/space focus). We have identified that learners place a high value on the model to structure own thinking and to help them articulate and structure the assessments. For them, it clearly distinguishes three important elements to pay attention to, and for facilitators, it provides an easier and more efficient way to enable learners to engage in this mode of learning and assessment.
    • Future proofing the degree apprenticeship workforce - an exploratory study of resilience behaviours, resources and risks

      Moore, Neil; Moss, Danny; Rowe, Lisa (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-11)
      The Higher Education Institution (HEI) employer interface has attracted much attention recently, particularly over dissatisfaction with graduate work-readiness. Concurrently, pressure upon new graduates is accelerating through the unprecedented pace of global change in technologies, communications and robotics, revolutionising the workplace and requiring new lifelong learning strategies which embed critical transferable skills and resilience to adapt, thrive and perform effectively in an increasingly unpredictable global environment. Degree apprenticeships developed to counter such skills issues have forced HEIs to adapt pedagogic strategies and adopt work-based learning frameworks to ensure curricula meet new political apprenticeship reforms. The extant literature reflects an increasing demand for employee resilience, yet despite widespread acknowledgement that employability is dependent upon a self-driven and evolving conceptual toolkit containing resilience and transferable skills, there remains a dearth of research into the complex, multi-faceted interrelationships between resilience and skills. Central to this research is an examination of the influence of degree apprenticeship programmes upon resilience development within this evolving generation of learners, and the potential limitations caused by wider influences that shape resilience across a range of occupational settings. The theory of resilience is therefore a highly relevant conceptual lens with which to explore the experiences of degree apprentices, their employers and the academic team within a UK Business School. This research is particularly distinctive in its adoption of a qualitative approach to investigate the impact of situational influences upon resilience by incorporating a range of settings and professions. It provides a holistic evaluation involving multiple stakeholder perspectives to produce a contemporary view of funded HE work-based learning programme provision. The use of qualitative methods has added depth to the data, through the provision of rich and thick description to illustrate correlations between the characteristics and behaviours demonstrated by resilient students, highlighting the broader influences of environmental factors upon resilience. As such, this research makes an original contribution to the extant body of knowledge over the conceptualisation of resilience, revealing new insights into the influence of background and upbringing, goal setting and leadership competencies. Previously unexplored contextual tensions emerge, revealing challenges to educational providers’ perceptions of innovative pedagogies and exposing weaknesses in current practice. Together the findings and recommendations offer the opportunity to develop effective pedagogic practice, transferable to any work-based programme across a range of disciplines, further increasing the significance of this study.
    • Global Perspectives on Profound Pedagogies

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2015-09-01)
      Welcome to the global perspectives on profound pedagogies special issue of Higher Education, Skills and Work Based Learning (HESWBL). This special issue aspires to contribute to work-based learning (WBL) scholarship and highlights two dimensions important in contemporary educational settings: global perspectives and profound pedagogy. The first of these is increasingly important in the context of the relentless internationalisation and globalisation of education. According to the latest OECD reports, the number of students “enrolled outside their country of citizenship” doubled to 4.5 million between 2000 and 2012, “despite” the global recession (OECD, 2014, p. 343), and predictions indicate that this is set to reach 7.2 million by 2025 (Altbach et al., 2009). This trend is reflected within vocational higher education more specifically, especially Luxembourg (49 per cent of vocational higher education students), New Zealand (21 per cent), Australia and Denmark (both 11 per cent) (OECD, 2014, p. 354). Globally, the OECD inform us that 29 per cent of the 450 educational policy reforms examined by the OECD between 2008 and 2014 target vocationally oriented/work-based education as well as internationalisation (OECD, 2015).
    • Global Perspectives on Work-Based Learning Initiatives

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (IGI Global, 2018-06-15)
      The book is the first to appraise developments in Work based learning from a global perspective. 'Work based learning' (WBL) in the context of a formal programme of study in higher education is defined as all forms of learning relevant to the workplace to include closely related terms such as Work Integrated Learning, Work Applied Learning and Work Related Learning. Three types of WBL can be described: learning for students currently outside the workplace seeking to enter it gaining experience in the form of a work placement; learning for students who are part located in the workplace and part in an educational institution typically in the form of an apprenticeship and learning for students fully engaged in the workplace studying part time. All three forms of WBL are increasingly common around the world in response to the perceived deficiencies of the traditional curriculum as part of a desire on the part of students, employers and policy makers to create learning more relevant to the labour market and workplace. The book reviews all types on WBL practice in ten countries- Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Japan, South Africa, Eire, the Netherlands, USA, Germany and the UK.
    • Guest editorial

      Scott, Deborah; Nottingham, Paula; Wall, Tony; University of Chester, Middlesex University, University of Chester
      Guest editorial for Special Issue: Creativity in Work-Applied Management. The editorial contextualises and introduces each of the articles published in the special issue. It considers the contribution creativity may make in work-applied management in the global situation at the time of publication, when extensive changes to working practices were being experienced due to strategies to control the pandemic caused by the virus COVID-19.
    • Higher Degree Apprenticeships as Drivers for Social Change and Opportunity

      Rowe, Lisa; University of Chester
      This case study examines the impact that Higher Degree Apprenticeships have as drivers for social change and opportunity. It underpins a Chapter which explores the journey of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
    • Higher Education Academy impact study report - University of Chester

      Willis, Karen; University of Chester (2007)
      This study aims to examine aspects of the impact of work based learning on both employees and employers and forms part of a larger scale study undertaken by the HE Academy. Employees who had successfully completed work based learning programmes of study at undergraduate level (excluding Foundation Degrees) were interviewed as, where possible, was their line manager or employer representative. Several issues arose concerning access to employers for interviews, which in some cases extended to difficulties in gaining access to former learners from organisational cohorts. Evidence emerging from the study highlights the effectiveness of higher level negotiated work based learning programmes in developing employees in ways that extend beyond role-specific competence. In particular, benefits in the development of self-awareness; learning to think and question; and improved confidence and work performance were valued by employees and employers alike. Work based learning projects, involving the reflection on practical experience, were thought to have benefited both individuals and organisations. More than half of the employees interviewed have since changed jobs or gained promotion, and the majority are now engaged in further higher level programmes of study. Employer support is seen to be an important factor for most learners, but not for all. The role of the HE tutor, though, is seen by learners as central to their success. Credit accumulation and accreditation of prior learning and experience are significant stages in engaging learners and facilitating their progression. Most learners are highly self-motivating, but cohort learners on programmes designed through employers need to be supported by them in the course of their studies. In-house programmes linked to assessment for HE accreditation need to be well-integrated and learners clearly advised by the employer on the commitment and expectations.
    • HIGHER EDUCATION OUTREACH: EXAMINING KEY CHALLENGES FOR ACADEMICS

      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)
    • Human capital, international standards

      Stokes, Peter; Wall, Tony; De Montfort University; University of Chester (Springer, 2019-09-26)
      The drive for progress is a central underlying tenet of the development of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG), and any form of progress will involve resources, structures and protocols. Yet it is also recognised that all of these are necessarily driven through human resources, or more generally expressed, people/human beings, thus, it is important to focus attention on the human dimensions that are ultimately the driver of initiatives such as the UN-SDG. The establishment of national and international standards can play an important role in this and constitute mappings and protocols which seek to span, encompass and codify recommended conditions, practice, and processes in relation to a given product, domain, or phenomenon (Stokes et al, 2016). The process of their drafting almost invariably involves consultation with a wide array of stakeholders and the resultant documents provide employees, managers, directors, and policy makers with guidelines which inform and work as a guide to ‘good practice’ (Crawford-Lee and Wall, 2018, forthcoming)...