The business department is based at both the Queen's Park and Warrington campuses and is well placed for students who wish to study in the North West. The department of Business was established at the University in 1999 and offers a range of Business and Management degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. University of Chester Business School also has a solid portfolio of Research and Knowledge Transfer Projects with a range of organisations. These projects are intended to give mutual benefits for students and the region’s business community by providing access to the University’s resources, knowledge and expertise. The majority of the School’s research is applied in a practical context and it is committed to constructing and improving sustainable relationships with external organisations and businesses.

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Recent Submissions

  • Flexibility

    Izak, Michal; University of Chester (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2024-07-30)
    Importance and popularity of the concept of flexibility in the context of work is only matched by its lack of clarity. While it is clearly on the upward trajectory, both as an organizational practice and as a topic for discussions on academic and practitioner fora, it is yet riddled with paradoxes, used to denote different meanings and practices, and therefore confusion as regards flexibility at work is never far away. This entry intends to present the practical importance of flexibility at work, while also demonstrating the complex nature of discussions in which it is imbued and the divergent practices which it is used to designate. It also attempts to provide a critical reflection on the potential trajectory which could lead to alleviating the paradigmatic fractures between different flexibility clusters towards supporting a more seamless practical application and more coherent intellectual environment for exploring it.
  • Student-Led Live Broadcast Tour: An Elevated Learning Journey for Tourism Students

    Lai, Michael T. H.; Yeung, Emmy; Ching, Larry K. W.; Li, Betty M.; Saint Francis University; University of Chester; Hong Kong Metropolitan University (Springer, 2024-04-20)
    Drawing upon the concept of student-led live broadcasting tour (LBT), this study aims to construct and empirically test the Input-Process-Output (IPO) framework that links inputs, processes, and outputs within online tourism educational context. The sample involved students who are currently studying a tourism program in the Greater Bay Area, China. One group of students was invited as the audience with another group of students acting as tour guides to lead a live broadcasting tour. Upon completion of the tour, the audience group was invited to fll in the questionnaire survey. The data were gathered through the questionnaire survey from December 2022 to March 2023. The survey instruments were designed based on existing research and the IPO framework. The quantitative data were analysed by SPSS and SmartPLS. 5 hypotheses were developed based on the IPO framework. The results confrmed that students perceived student-led LBT positively in terms of input dimensions (intrinsic motivation and resources support), process dimension (learning climate) and output dimension (learning outcomes and satisfaction). This study gives implications to educators on how student-led LBT can be designed and implemented under the constraints of travel. The utilisation of technology ofers educators the possibility to enrich the learning experience of tourism students in a more afordable and efective way.
  • Escaping the enlightenment’s damaging legacy: Scenario planning as if-then conditional prospection

    Derbyshire, James; University of Chester (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2024)
    The chapter sets out a new theory, underpinning philosophy, and practical approach to decision-making under uncertainty through use of the tool scenario planning. The new approach is based on an alternative to the presently mainstream understanding of rational decision-making based on Rational Choice Theory. The outlined alternative is a combination of frame-sensitive reasoning and if-then conditional prospection. The implications for scenario planning of this alternative understanding of rationality are explored in detail.
  • Integrating modelling-based and stakeholder-focused scenario approaches to close the planning gap and accelerate low-carbon transitions

    Derbyshire, James; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2024-04)
    While many transition scenarios describe potential low-carbon systems, few link these system-level outcomes to the microlevel stakeholder decision-making needed to actualise them, resulting in a ‘planning gap’. Closing this gap requires that insights from modelling-based transition scenarios on what must happen to achieve climate targets are linked to those on how to make it happen from stakeholder-focused transition scenarios. This link requires a different understanding of decision-making rationality from that of a representative agent with rational expectations, as employed in much climate-change modelling currently. Rationality conceived as ‘frame-sensitive reasoning’ can better account for heterogenous stakeholders’ alternative preferences, the actions they take in pursuit of them, and the effect of these actions on low-carbon transitions. This paper augments the Intuitive Logics (IL) stakeholder-focused scenario approach to enable frame-sensitive reasoning and provide modelling-based transition scenarios with realistic innovation-diffusion assumptions. In so doing, the paper assists in closing the planning gap.
  • Reducing the carbon footprint of the textile sector: an overview of impacts and solutions

    Leal Filho, Walter; Dinis, Maria Alzira Pimenta; Liakh, Olena; Paço, Arminda; Dennis, Karen; Shollo, Fran; Sidsaph, Henry; Manchester Metropolitan University; Hamburg University of Applied Sciences; University Fernando Pessoa; University of Coimbra; University of Bologna; Universidade da Beira Interior; Ketchup Clothes; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2024-03-18)
    The clothing, footwear, and household textiles sectors play a significant role, providing employment opportunities on a global scale. However, they are also associated with a considerable consumption of natural resources, leading to high levels of water pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. The carbon footprint (CF) of textiles depends generally on fabric types and production processes. Natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and silk, generally have a lower CF when compared to synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon, requiring more energy and chemicals during production. In addition, fabrics manufactured through eco-friendly methods, such as closed-loop systems and sustainable production processes, have a significantly lower CF than those produced using conventional means. Accordingly, there is a perceived need for comprehensive studies that investigate the environmental and climate implications of the textile sector. Considering these concerns, a study was undertaken on the topic, encompassing a literature review and data collection so as to present an overview of the environmental impacts and CF associated with the textile sector. The results from the research show that the resource consumption associated with the textile sector, particularly its CF, demands urgent action in order to reduce its impacts. Also, actionable measures are needed so as to reduce the CF of the textile industry. These are described in the paper, along with the obstacles that need to be overcome so as not only to reduce the CF of this sector, but also to pursue the objectives outlined in the sustainable development goals.
  • Urban poverty and the role of UK food aid organisations in enabling segregating and transitioning spaces of food access

    McEachern, Morven; Moraes, Caroline; Scullion, Lisa; Gibbons, Andrea; University of Chester; University of Birmingham; University of Salford; Soil Association, UK (SAGE Publications, 2024-03-19)
    This research examines the role of food aid providers, including their spatial engagement, in seeking to alleviate urban food poverty. Current levels of urban poverty across the UK have resulted in an unprecedented demand for food aid. Yet, urban poverty responsibility increasingly shifts away from policymakers to the third sector. Building on Castilhos and Dolbec’s (2018) notion of segregating space and original qualitative research with food aid organisations, we show how social supermarkets emerge as offering a type of transitional space between the segregating spaces of foodbanks and the market spaces of mainstream food retailers. This research contributes to existing literature by establishing the concept of transitional space, an additional type of space that facilitates movement between types of spaces and particularly transitions from the segregating spaces of emergency food aid to more secure spaces of food access. In so doing, this research extends Castilhos and Dolbec’s (2018) typology of spaces, enabling a more nuanced depiction of the spatiality of urban food poverty.
  • The influence of cultural constraints on entrepreneurial motivations: Exploring the experiences of Muslim women entrepreneurs in Pakistan

    Muhammad, Noor; Ullah, Farid; Smith, Robert; University of Huddersfield; University of Chester; University of the West of Scotland (SAGE Publications, 2023-12-27)
    This article explores the influence of cultural constraints on entrepreneurial motivations for women entrepreneurs of the Muslim faith. A qualitative approach is taken by drawing from extraordinarily rare interviews with 17 women entrepreneurs who run businesses in the open market in the Northwest region of Pakistan. Push and pull factors were examined in the context of cultural constraints using the lens of post-materialism and dissatisfaction theories. The findings reveal that some entrepreneurs are pulled into entrepreneurship to give something back to local youths and to improve their life chances and/or reduce hardship. In relation to the push factors, some entrepreneurs decided to do something about the harsh circumstances they found themselves in to demonstrate their agency. All were aware of the cultural constraints around them and are highly motivated to overcome these as role models for future generations and to hopefully achieve parity with male peers. This research contributes to the existing literature by providing new insights to the reader in extending the post-materialism and dissatisfaction theories for women Muslim entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Furthermore, it also demonstrates how cultural constraints related to family issues motivate women in a male-dominated society to become entrepreneurs.
  • The core technology behind and beyond ChatGPT

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; Jones, Lewis; University of Chester (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, 2023-12-15)
    ChatGPT has garnered significant attention within the education industry. Given the core technology behind ChatGPT is language model, this study aims to critically review related publications and suggest future direction of language model in educational research. We aim to address three questions: i) what is the core technology behind ChatGPT, ii) what is the state of knowledge of related research and iii) the potential research direction. A critical review of related publications was conducted in order to evaluate the current state of knowledge of language model in educational research. In addition, we further suggest a purpose oriented guiding framework for future research of language model in education. Our study promptly responded to the concerns raised by ChatGPT from the education industry and offers the industry with a comprehensive and systematic overview of related technologies. We believe this is the first time that a study has been conducted to systematically review the state of knowledge of language model in educational research.
  • From bean-counter to lion-tamer: an ethnographical investigation into the lived experience of UK ACA chartered accountants and their career boundaries

    Wall, Tony; Gibbs, Brian; McLachlan, Carol P. (University of Chester, 2023-02)
    The accountancy profession of the twenty first century, and the roles therein, are rapidly evolving, transforming, and potentially contracting. As digitalisation deepens, the acceleration of Artificial Intelligence, robotics and distributed ledger accounting threaten to finally sound the death knell for the traditional ‘bean-counter’ stereotype. The purpose of this study was to examine the career boundaries of contemporary chartered accountants, to consider how boundary expanding is expressed in practice. Employing an ethnographical approach, the study investigated the lived experience of accountants’ career boundaries through the auto-ethnographical lens of the researcher, a chartered accountant herself. The research unearthed a rich and diverse collection of boundary-stretching and boundary-contracting case studies, spanning a full career generation, and contributes a new model of ‘career boundary elasticity’ which has implications for the accountancy profession.
  • Understanding consumer perceptions of expiry dates for cosmetics

    Davies, Gary; Ullah, Farid; Wang, Yujiao (University of Chester, 2023-06)
    The topic of cosmetics expiration is under researched in the marketing literature, and consumers can lack awareness about it. However, cosmetics expiration is important because it represents a consumer health issue, as illustrated by several papers published in medical journals. The aim of this research is to understand the role of cosmetics expiration date – specifically the Period After Opening (PAO) in cosmetics marketing, and how it influences consumer behaviour in the UK and China markets. This is the first study in a marketing management context that has investigated the role of PAO in consumer behaviour. The research adopts a mixed method approach and employs three studies: qualitative interviews in both countries (the UK and China), a quantitative experimental design in the UK, as well as a large survey in China. The data are analysed using NVivo, SPSS, AMOS and Fuzzy logic. The main findings and contributions to knowledge are: From the qualitative work: 1) A perceived risk framework is useful to an understanding of consumer attitudes to PAO in cosmetics. Self-brand connection (SBC) risk and environmental risk should be added to the existing risk framework. 2) Two major positionings in the cosmetics market can be identified: brands which emphasise the science behind their production and brands which emphasise their use of natural ingredients. 3) Some differences in PAO attitudes emerged by country (China versus the UK). In the UK study, psychological risk emerged as the most important in explaining overall risk, which is compatible with prior work. For UK respondents, the longer the PAO, the higher their purchase intention, irrespective of the brand type, thereby demonstrating that PAO can be a marketing signal as well as a statement of shelf life. In the China study, however, social risk emerged as more important, which can be explained by cultural differences. Different segments exist in the China market, defined by brand type, PAO, price and product type. PAO again emerged as a marketing signal. Both the UK and China studies indicate PAO and perceived risk can interact, and that such interaction can help explain the relationship between brand image and purchase intention. Specifically, perceived brand warmth is not as strong a predictor of purchase intention for cosmetics as prior work suggests it should be, and the interaction between PAO and perceived social risk in China and psychological risk in the UK helps explain why.
  • Poverty and Austerity: An Introduction

    Moraes, Caroline; McEachern, Morven; O’Loughlin, Deirdre; University of Bristol; University of Chester; University of Limerick
    This chapter offers an introductory overview of relevant literature at the intersection of poverty and austerity, seeking to frame this edited collection and its unique interdisciplinary contributions. The chapter traces the evolution of, and interconnections between, poverty and austerity politics, reflecting critically on their increasingly pervasive and enduring impacts on individuals, markets and society. To guide the reader, this introduction provides an overview of how the book is organised and each of its chapters, explaining to students and researchers the theories, methods, policy applications and empirical contexts addressed in the book.
  • Theorising Resilience in Times of Austerity

    O’Loughlin, Deirdre; Szmigin, Isabelle; McEachern, Morven; Karantinou, Kalipso; Barbosa, Belem; Lamprinakos, Grigorios; Fernández-Moya, María E.; University of Limerick; University of Birmingham; University of Chester; Athens School of Economics and Business; University of Porto; University of Colorado
    Resilience is an important theoretical construct that helps to conceptualise the ways individuals and organisations attempt to countervail the effects of poverty and austerity. As a response to prolonged crises, such as the global economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, this chapter focuses on tracing the psychological, behavioural, sociological and spatial perspectives of resilience, advancing our current understanding of resilience theory within the marketing and consumption context of crises and austerity. The chapter reviews recent research exploring the importance of resilience, and more specifically the notion of persistent resilience in response to long-term stressors, such as unemployment, triggered by the austerity measures imposed by European governments following the global economic crisis as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. In advancing previous research in this area, we offer a broader perspective by underlining the impetus for businesses and communities to employ a range of resilience strategies while also highlighting the importance for individuals to develop a sustainable set of resilience capacities to help creatively navigate the market and flexibly adapt to the long-term effects of intense and long-standing crises.
  • Co-movement clustering: A novel approach for predicting inflation in the food and beverage industry

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; University of Chester (Universiti Utara Malaysia, 2023-10-23)
    In the realm of food and beverage businesses, inflation poses a significant hurdle as it affects pricing, profitability, and consumer’s purchasing power, setting it apart from other industries. This study proposes a novel approach; co-movement clustering, to predict which items will be inflated together according to historical time-series data. Experiments were conducted to evaluate the proposed approach based on real-world data obtained from the UK Office for National Statistics. The predicted results of the proposed approach were compared against four classical methods (correlation, Euclidean distance, Cosine Similarity, and DTW). According to our experimental results, the accuracy of the proposed approach outperforms the above-mentioned classical methods. Moreover, the accuracy of the proposed approach is higher when an additional filter is applied. Our approach aids hospitality operators in accurately predicting food and beverage inflation, enabling the development of effective strategies to navigate the current challenging business environment in hospitality management. The lack of previous work has explored how time series clustering can be applied to support inflation prediction. This study opens a new research paradigm to the related field and this study can serve as a useful reference for future research in this emerging area. In addition, this study work contributes to the data analytics research stream in hospitality management literature.
  • Reflecting on Paraliminality as a Theoretical Lens to Understand Experiences of Food Insecurity

    McEachern, Morven; Moraes, Caroline; Scullion, Lisa; Gibbons, Andrea; University of Bristol; University of Chester (Routledge, 2023-11-30)
    In this chapter we reflect on how theoretical perspectives, such as liminality, can be useful for researchers seeking to understand and alleviate lived experiences of poverty. We draw on how we deployed liminality theory in a recently published paper (Moraes et al., 2021), to conceptualise lived experiences of food insecurity as transitional; as fluctuating between phases of everyday food access and food marketplace exclusion. By using liminality as an exemplar theoretical perspective, we discuss a concept that we developed and termed paraliminality, a hybrid of two types of liminality phenomena that is both empowering and generative of a lasting form of indeterminate state. In reflecting upon paraliminality, we argue that it can illuminate the social mechanisms, practices and spaces that co-construct people’s more enduring, but fluid, experiences and phases of food insecurity and food access efforts. We illustrate the main theoretical arguments being made with data from our study of food insecurity (McEachern et al., 2020), involving interviews with people who were experiencing food insecurity, volunteers who were providing access to food aid, and fieldwork photographs of the independent foodbanks and pantries who took part in the research. The chapter contributes to food insecurity, poverty and marketplace exclusion scholarship by reflecting on the importance of using theoretical lenses in qualitative research work, and by reflecting on, and deploying, an illustrative research project to explain how theory can be used and why it matters.
  • An Exploratory Study of How Emotion Tone Presented in A Message Influences Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Recommendation System

    Leong, Kelvin; Sung, Anna; University of Chester (Zibeline International Publishing, 2023-10-16)
    This innovative study aims to explore how emotion tone presented in a message influences the judgement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) bots. We established a scenario by using vacation rental introduction as input message to conduct experiments to explore the influences. Our findings suggest that AI bots demonstrate preferences on the input message presented in positive tones rather than input message with negative tones. Our pioneering study can serve as a crucial starting point for future studies, in particular opening up fresh avenues for future research endeavours and engenders discussions and debates concerning the development of recommendation system.
  • An Exploration of the Drivers for Professionalism within UK Jewish Heritage Charities

    Moss, Danny; Lyon, Andy; Wall, Tony; Sung, Anna; Millan, Anne D. (University of Chester, 2023-09-01)
    The thesis explores the drivers of professionalism for Jewish Heritage Charities as well as the impact on the organisations in the study. Though there was a growing body of research on development of professionalism in charities, there is very limited studies on how this was impacting Jewish Heritage Charities in the UK. Charities have been reporting decreasing revenue from traditional fundraising activities over the last decade as well as significant competition for major grants and governmental funding. The loss of traditional funding and the increase in reliance on major donors and funding bodies has led to more regulation and now the growing concern with the management and accountability of charities. The study explored how this development of professionalism has impacted on (JHC). Using a case study approach, 11 interviews took place with senior management, trustees, and volunteers of three JHC’s and one non-Jewish museum that had recently been through major governance and structural changes. Due to the nature of the research and small sample the findings are limited to the case study however some good practice has been highlighted and professionalism within the case study was identified by the developing business processes and managerialism. The study also identified that rigorous governance procedures for trustees as well as performance management of trustees was needed however proved controversial. The study also identified the need for more development of recruitment processes of volunteers and trustees alongside professional development and training programmes to ensure professional practices are embedded into the organisations and good practice is maintained.
  • Flexible lives: spatial, temporal, and behavioural boundaries in a fluid world of work and home

    Izak, Michal; Reissner, Stefaine; Shortt, Harriet; University of Chester; University of Essex; University of the West of England (Taylor & Francis, 2023-08-08)
    The world of work and home has become increasingly fluid (Bauman 2000), due to an increase in flexible working. Work has become decoupled from time and space (Gajendran and Harrison 2007), making it increasingly common for knowledge-based workers to work at different times and in multiple spaces across a working day or week (Duxbury et al. 2014; Sewell and Taskin 2015; Kingma 2016). The Covid-19 pandemic in particular has been a catalyst for questioning accepted norms of where, when, and how work takes place and has encouraged many to experiment with new ways of working at spatio-temporal distance from a regular workplace (Gandini and Garavaglia 2023). This reshaping of traditional modes of working has had a significant effect on working patterns, social workplace interactions, personal relationships, and the boundaries between familial and working lives, which we seek to explore in this Special Issue.
  • Rural space and the local food landscape: Consumers’ construction of food localness through the politics of belonging

    Graciotti, Alessandro; McEachern, Morven; University of Macerata; University of Chester (Emerald, 2023-07-24)
    Purpose – This research aims to investigate consumers’ construction of food localness through the politics of belonging in a regional context. Design/methodology/approach – Following a socio-spatial lens and considering the ‘realm of meaning’ of place, this research focuses on local consumers’ lived meanings of ‘local’ food choice, and hence adopts a phenomenological approach to the data collection and analysis of 20 in-depth interviews with residents of the Italian region of Marche. Findings – Drawing on Trudeau’s (2006) politics of belonging, we reveal three interconnected themes which show how local consumers articulate a local food ‘orthodoxy’ and how their discourses and practices draw and maintain a boundary between local and non-local food, whereby local food is considered ‘autochthonous’ of rural space. Thus, our participants construct a local food landscape, conveying rural (vs. urban) meanings through which food acquires ‘localness’ (vs. non-‘localness’) status. Practical implications – Our findings provide considerable scope for food producers, manufacturers and/or marketers to differentiate local food products by enhancing consumers’ direct experience of it in relation to rural space. Thus, enabling local food producers to convey rural (vs. urban) meanings to consumers, who would develop an orthodoxy guiding future choice. Social implications – Our findings enable regional promoters and food policymakers to leverage the symbolic distinctiveness of food autochthony to promote place and encourage consumers to participate in their local food system. Originality/value – By utilising the politics of belonging as an analytical framework, we show that the urban-rural dichotomy – rather than being an obsolete epistemological category – fuels politics of belonging dynamics and that local food consumers socially construct food localness not merely as a romanticisation of rurality, but as a territorial expression of the contemporary local/non-local cultural conflict implied in the politics of belonging. Thus, we advance our theoretical understanding by demonstrating that food ‘becomes’ local and therefore, builds on extant food localness conceptualisations.
  • City neighbourhood branding and new urban tourism

    King, Brian; Richards, Greg; Yeung, Emmy; Texas A&M University; Breda University of Applied Sciences; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2023-05-24)
    City authorities worldwide have sought to rejuvenate and diversify their tourism product offerings by dispersing visitors into less familiar and frequented locales. Despite calls to understand such ‘new tourism areas’ (NTAs) in urban areas, few researchers have examined visitor responses to the implementation of NTA strategies, particularly outside Europe. This quantitative approach considers the profiles, attitudes and behaviours of NTA visitors in an Asian city that was undertaking dispersal efforts pre-pandemic in the context of mass inbound Chinese visitation. Distinct profiles are found for NTA visitors relative to other city arrivals in response to Hong Kong’s branding propositions. It is found that NTAs appeal to repeat visitors seeking cosmopolitan experiences and may help tourist dispersal and product differentiation, though the proposition that NTA visitors are more highly educated was not supported.
  • The influential role of austerity in normalising sustainable consumption

    O’Loughlin, Deirdre; McEachern, Morven; Szmigin, Isabelle; Karantinou, Kalipso; Barbosa, Belem; Lamprinakos, Grigorios; Fernández-Moya, María E.; University of Limerick; University of Chester; University of Birmingham; Athens University of Economics and Business; University of Porto; Universidad de Oviedo (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023-05-11)
    The financial crisis of 2008 leading to the imposition of strict austerity measures particularly within certain EU states is an appropriately significant and enduring context in which to explore consumer attitudes and behaviour change. While the negative implications of austerity measures are well documented (Krugman, 2012), it proposed that economic downturns trigger a normative towards sustainable consumption (e.g. Evans, 2011) which is similarly reflected by pro-environmental behaviours evidenced during the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic (Orîndaru et al, 2021). This research draws upon social normalisation (Rettie et al., 2011, 2012) and practice theory (Warde, 2005; Shove, 2009) as key conceptual frameworks through which to explore the normalisation of practices among everyday consumers within the context of austerity. Employing an interpretive approach, in-depth interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 38 EU consumers across 6 countries including Ireland, UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. A multi-stage analysis of the data revealed three key themes: Normalised sustainability practices; Social normalisation of frugality; and Normalisation of frugal-induced sustainability. Given the prevalence and sustained nature of modern day crises, this study contributes to consumer research by offering an EU-wide account of how shifting consumer knowledge, attitudes, behaviour and cultural values in the context of austerity impact on everyday sustainable consumption practices. Our research highlights how sustainable consumption practices are being increasingly normalised for several reasons beyond environmental motivations including economic, (manifested by increased frugality), as well as social. Our research foregrounds the transformative and long-term effect of austerity on norms, practices, values and meanings at both individual and societal levels. We specifically reveal the critical influence of social norms in the form of values of shared empathy and solidarity vis-à-vis others affected by austerity. We also advance knowledge of the importance of the “carrier” role (Shove et al (2012) by evidencing how normalised, frugality-induced sustainability practices are performed and reproduced within EU countries. In conclusion, we outline several recommendations for policy and practice to more effectively promote and support sustainability change and progression at local community and national levels.

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