• Leadership development for managers in turbulent times

      Hall, Roger D.; Rowland, Caroline A.; Hall Consultancy; University of Chester (Emerald, 2016-09-12)
      Purpose In a turbulent economic climate, characterised by pressures to improve productivity and reduce costs, leadership and performance management have a more central role in helping to ensure competitive advantage. This paper explores current demands on leaders; and endeavours to explore linkages between management education and agile leadership Design/methodology/approach Taking a grounded theory approach, this paper uses the concepts of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) to investigate the impact on desired attributes of leaders and the extent to which this is underpinned by current management education programmes. It draws on the VUCA model of agile management to examine current practices and experiences and considers future trends. Empirical research includes case studies and analysis of management syllabuses. Findings Syllabuses do not reflect the attributes that organizations expect leaders to possess and are content driven rather than process focussed. VUCA is not yet mainstream in academic thinking. Practical implications There is a disparity between the output of Business Schools and the expectations of organizations. This may affect productivity. It is suggested that the use of live consultancies may provide a more beneficial management development experience. Originality/value This research opens an international debate that seeks to assess the relevance of current management education to the needs of organizations for agile, high performing leaders
    • Sights and insights: Vocational outdoor students’ learning

      Hickman, Mark; Stokes, Peter; University of Central Lancashire; University of Chester (Outdoor Council of Australia, 2016-02-18)
      Outdoor leader and adventure sport education in the United Kingdom has been characterized by an over-emphasis on technical skills at the expense of equally important, but often marginalized intra- and inter-personal skills necessary for contemporary outdoor employment. This study examined the lived experience of vocational outdoor students in order, firstly, to identify what was learned about the workplace through using reflective practice and, secondly, what was learned about reflective practice through this experience. The study used a purposive sample of students (n=15) who were invited to maintain reflective journals during summer work experience, and this was followed up with semi-structured interviews. Manual Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) revealed that in the workplace setting students used reflective practice to understand and develop technical proficiency, support awareness of the value of theory, and acted as a platform to express emergent concepts of ‘professionalism’. Lessons about reflective practice emphasized its value in social settings, acknowledging different ways of reflection, and understanding and managing professional life beyond graduation.