"Deepening Impact" - Faculty Research Conference 2017

The Faculty of Business and Management is delighted to announce the next Faculty Research Conference on Monday 11th September 2017, with the theme of “Deepening Impact”. Highlights include:

  • International keynotes speakers including Professors Carole ParkesRalph Tench, and Jonathan Garnett
  • A range of high-impact and interactive roundtable presentations discussions from our faculty
  • Our widest range of sponsored AWARDS, supported by the Global Centre for Work Applied Learning in Australia, the Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development, Lapidus International, and our Faculty!

Tickets are selling out fast - BOOK NOW click here - http://uoc_bam17.eventbrite.co.uk

Ticket sales will close in July!

Link to
Monday, 11th September, 2017
09:30 - 16:00
Churchill House, Queen's Park Campus

Schedule - a fast-paced format

The day will consist of internationally significant research delivered in a face-paced format. Our roundtable format is designed to be highly engaging and enable contributors to share and develop their research ideas.

  • For early career researchers, the activity provides an opportunity to talk about your research in a very supportive environment, your ideas with friendly peers, and quickly build your confidence.
  • For advanced or experienced researchers, it gives an opportunity to experiment with how you share your research as well as quickly engage and enthuse others in your research area.
  • How it works: you will talk about your research with a small group of people for 7 minutes and then have 7 minutes of questions/answers. After this time, you will move to the next table and repeat this up to 3 more times with different groups of people.

As you know, all of our doctoral students are required to attend, to maximise opportunities for development, including building your research confidence and networking.

9.30

Registration, refreshments, selecting streams (please list your name on the relevant booking sheets) (atrium)

10.00

Welcome – Cannon Professor T Wheeler Vice Chancellor (Room 009)

10.15

Key notes chaired by Professor L Bellamy (Room 009)

11.30

Panel Provocations and Q&A chaired by Professor L Bellamy (Room 009)

  • Professor Ralph Tench
  • Professor Jonathan Garnett
  • Professor Carole Parkes

12.00

Lunch and selecting streams (please list your name on the relevant booking sheets) (atrium)

12.40

Roundtables - session 1

8 roundtable discussions, examples (to be organised into two concurrent tracks) include:

1.50

Refreshments and networking (atrium)

2.10

Roundtables - session 2

8 roundtable discussions, examples (to be organised into two concurrent tracks) include:

3.30

Awards and researcher networking chaired by Professor L Bellamy (Room 009)

4.00

Finish


Contribute a 7 minute roundtable discussion (submissions now CLOSED)

  • The task: to talk for 7 minutes on the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of your research plus findings so far (if available), up to 4 times - see above. Abstracts have now been selected. 
  • Abstracts will also be selected by various journal editors and encouraged to submit to journals including the Journal of Work Applied Management, amongst others.
  • The process of selecting contributors for AWARDS has begun!

In the spirit of inclusivity, it is asked that all participants avoid the use of natural latex rubber in conference or exhibition materials. Examples of latex rubber include rubber bands, balloons and self-sealing envelopes. Your support is appreciated.

Disclaimer: We will try to ensure all events run as advertised, but there may be exceptional circumstances when an event cannot run as advertised. While we will take reasonable action to ensure an equivalent session runs, we accept no liability for any costs incurred as a result.

Social media - start now!

Feel free to tweet or use other social media before, during and/or after the event. Here are some guidelines:

  1. The purpose of the tweets: to disseminate sound bites / insights / questions that the conference prompts
  2. Use the #uoc_bam17 tag in each post
  3. If you are going to take a photo please make sure you've asked the presenter and others in the shot - do not reveal faces of the audience unless you have permission.

Abstracts and biographies (examples so far)

Stick or twist - Is there a winning hand for business school research?

Professor Ralph Tench

Professor Tench’s keynote discusses the current status and the flexible future for business schools. He argues contemporary business schools need to reflect the market place of business and specifically the job roles that business school alumnus move into. With evidence from a ‘new’ business discipline, Dr Tench discusses empirical findings from transnational studies to exemplify the changing landscape for one discipline to highlight the future flexibility required by business schools if they are to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills that employers’ need. This includes reflections on the influence of multi-disciplinarity, the increasing flexibility of business functions, the role and impact of technology and the transformation of future roles.

Professor Ralph Tench's research focuses on two communications strands, firstly for social impact and secondly in organizational strategy, behaviour and performance. His work involves national and international funded projects including working with either large organisations and business, such as the annual European Communication Monitor, the largest and longest running worldwide survey in strategic communication and now in its 12th year (www.communicationmonitor.eu), business leaders, professions or small to medium sized enterprises. For example he recently led a €600K EU project on climate change using deliberative engagement. He also completed a similar sized competency project for the communicators across Europe, again funded by the EU, and supports a new EU funded SME e-learning project (SME-ELEARN). He is part of a research team into Whole Systems Obesity funded by Public Health England.  He has written and edited 26 books; published over 30 academic journal papers; presented worldwide more than 60 peer reviewed papers.  His  books include the market leading textbook for the public relations subject internationally, Exploring Public Relations, in its 11th year and fourth edition and with a worldwide readership.  Professor Tench is President (2017-2020) of the European Public Relations Research and Education Association (EUPRERA) where he has been a Board Director (2013-2017) and Head of Scientific Committee (2009-2014).

 

The Role of Evaluation in Strategically Aligned Human Resource Management: A strategy for uncertain times?

Mark Jamieson

 The role of HRM is becoming increasingly strategic as organisations look to their talent to provide competitive edge. Intensifying global accountability trends resulting from a period of sustained economic and political uncertainty, and seismic demographic shifts, have heightened the pressure on management to do two things: strategically align HRM and evaluate their investments in HRM, specifically for talent development - it is evident that organisations continue to find both problematic. This discussion sets out to be deliberately provocative, challenging the pace of progress in this field and academic assumptions around organisational needs. It begins to connect talent (as a resource for competitive advantage), strategic alignment (to enable organisations to operate within an uncertain context) and evaluation (to inform strategic decision making) and asks the question: do managers and scholars alike, underestimate evaluation as part of the wider decision making process of a protean strategy?

Mark Jamieson spent 25 years in UK professional service firms at executive board level. Most recently he was a partner and Regional Chairman at Strutt & Parker, running the Home Counties business, specialising in national residential property markets. He retired in 2015 to set up the Jamieson Partnership, an executive coaching consultancy, and begin work on his Professional Doctorate. His current research is focused on evaluating the impact of executive coaching, and organisational perceptions of evaluation in a persistent VUCA context. He coaches at CEO and founder level across organisational sectors, as well as engaging in a small number of specialist projects, most recently focused on education and coaching for employability.

 

Ambidexterity and SMEs: Is it possible and what are the influences?

Chris Lewis

As the dynamics of British industry changes in the 21st Century the need for UK small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to cope with the change becomes more important. The SMEs need to be in a position where they are able to manage the competing aspects of maintaining their current business profiles, whilst also looking over the horizon to establish what to do next, in terms of technology, process and customer interaction, with the aim of establishing and sustaining long-term growth. Through the study and application of ambidexterity, these competing tensions can be managed. Whilst the literature surrounding ambidexterity is extensive, little is focused on, or looking from, the perspective of SMEs. By adopting a systematic approach to review the available literature, this paper has drawn on previous study to develop and further advance understanding through the elaboration of the concept of ambidexterity for growing and developing organisations.

This has been uniquely attempted through the understanding of the impact of the strategic approach to ambidexterity and the major influences of leadership and the environment of the SMEs. Through the development of an alternative and responsive conceptual model of a growing business, the paper theorises that ambidexterity functions and manifests change as SMEs grow. This review demonstrates that ambidexterity is not a static ratio function but iterative, constantly evolving, being adjusted depending on internal and external influences. This paper further advances the thought leadership in SME strategy, adjusting the understanding of the definition of ambidexterity, in that it does not necessarily mean that explore must equal exploit but should be treated as a ratio within an acceptable zone, rather than a definitive point to be achieved.

Chris Lewis served as an Army Officer in the Royal Signals; with operational deployments, all over the world including the Balkans and Iraq. The culmination of his military service was commanding Signal Squadron. Since leaving the forces, he has largely remained in the defence and cyber security industry, delivering business development, strategy and leadership across the domain. Chris has given evidence in a Parliamentary report on UK Export, provided thought leadership for the Strategic Defence and Security Review, and is part of the team that is writing and developing the Security Export strategy for the UK. Currently Chris is responsible for a strategic campaign for business growth in Europe, leading different cross domain capabilities. He spends a significant amount of time travelling, liaising with UK and European Governments to deliver an effective solution to emerging threats to people, infrastructure and assets. Chris is a guest lecturer at Cranfield University, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He has a first degree in Biochemistry and an MA in Sales Management. Chris is now working towards a DProf in the University of Chester’s Centre for Work Related Studies.

 

Indra’s Net: Nurturing the Spirit of Ubuntu at Work

Lisa Rossetti and Dr Tony Wall

TheNurturing the Spirit of Ubuntu at Workproject is a recent innovative research study carried out to collectively establish and explore a research development space for people with complex professional demands – and was intentionally designed to promote resilience and well-being.

It was informed by the philosophy of ubuntu, an African idea of personhood, which in practice prioritises welfare and collective gain (e.g. ‘I am because we are’). The study conceptualised ubuntu as a form of ‘connected and collective’ way of working which develops a connected and collective group spirit to promote individual and group resources for resilience and well-being. Creative interventions, designed as stimuli and provocations, were underpinned and mapped to the Six Ways of Wellbeing framework. 

Emergent themes were connectedness and interconnectedness, the tensions between Individual and “Tribe”, social consensus, belonging and separation, protection of Self, the Collective, and the Environment. Storylines as an underlying dynamic and tool for connectedness and sensemaking within the group were also a strong theme. Impacts were evaluated through responses to a culminating collective exhibition of creative expressions.

This paper presents the findings about how ubuntu practices can both support and challenge individual resilience, and inform development of healthier work practices. Overall, the project created multiple, deep, and significant ripples effects across professional spaces in practice – or what can be metaphorically represented as ‘Indra’s Net’.

Lisa Rossetti is a senior researcher with the The International Thriving at Work Research Group at the University of Chester. She achieved a Masters in Applied Storytelling for Health and Social Care (WBIS) in 2014; shortlisted for The Barclays Achievement Award. A director of Lapidus, the writing for wellbeing organisation, she also practises as a leadership coach; currently engaged with Airbus Group Leadership University. Co-author of Story Skills for Managers: Nurturing Motivation in Teams (Rossetti, L & Wall, T, 2013); recommended reading for Airbus Experienced Managers Programme.

 

Exploring the management of the Teaching Excellence Framework within Business Schools

Tadzio Jodlowski

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) represents a government policy which may have long term consequences for Higher Education in the United Kingdom. The TEF contains many aspects which include increasing competition between universities, raising the standard of teaching, broadening the intake of students, and giving universities the opportunity to raise their fees in line with inflation when they reach a required standard. In this sense, the TEF may be seen as an interesting policy to study in terms of how it will be managed. Changes in policy within universities often result in individuals or teams being asked to manage the changes caused by the implementation of new rules.

This research explores how the TEF will be managed and seeks to examine if individuals or project teams will be involved, to what extent, and how their response to the TEF might change over time. In order to explore this new topic from a fresh perspective, the perspective of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) was chosen, to reflect the complex, emergent, and adaptive nature of the professional setting. Three business schools in the UK were used as case studies, constructed through interviews and other sources. Analysis of the data shows that there are similarities, differences, and areas of convergence between the three case studies. The results add to an emerging body of literature regarding the TEF by exploring the response to its emergence while also adding to the body of literature on CAS. 

Tadzio Jodlowski is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing and International Projects at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has a Master of Research from MMU and is currently completing his Doctorate in Business Administration at the University of Chester. He has previously been a programme leader for Foundation Year at Hollings Faculty where he won an award for inspirational teaching and was also manager of the International Student Support Unit for several years. Tadzio’s other interests include Philosophy, Psychology, history, writing, and music composition. He says: “I have had the opportunity to work with students at all levels of the university and students from all across the world – it has been very rewarding to contribute towards building their confidence and helping them to develop their professional skills”.

 

Thriving at Work Through Learning at Work: a review of the antecedents, processes and outcomes of thriving at work

Pip Weston

Since Spreitzer et al’s 2005 conceptual paper ‘A Socially Embedded Model of Thriving at Work’ presented a case and introduced the socially embedded model of thriving at work (SEM), there has been growing interest within the wider research community to explore thriving in the workplace.  This review examines the empirical research to date investigating Spreitzer et al’s second order concept of ‘thriving’ and two underlying constructs, ‘learning’ and ‘vitality’.

Spreitzer et al.’s conceptual paper is now 12 years old, yet no formal review has taken place to ascertain the current position of research within this important field of study.  The primary purpose of this paper is therefore to develop a better understanding of the nature and focus of empirical studies exploring ‘thriving at work’ and the SEM model.  The review reveals that most empirical studies which draw on Spreitzer’s et al’s work examine ‘learning’ and ‘vitality’ as a compound construct.  Where studies focus on one or other of the underlying constructs, typically this has been ‘vitality’ rather than ‘learning’ and, with the exception of the first empirical study which introduced the 10-point ‘thriving at work’ measure, none appear to explore workplace learning which is formalised through HE.  However, whilst there is a general consensus both are necessary for thriving to occur, there is also recognition ‘vitality’ and ‘learning’ differ greatly in nature.  As such, this paper argues there is an urgent need to analyse in greater depth the relationship between ‘learning’ and ‘’vitality’ for thriving to occur.  Further it presents a case to explore the relationship between formalised HE workplace earning and thriving at work.

The review introduces and defines thriving at work before setting out the SEM model.  The methodology then provides a rationale before setting out the process followed for undertaking a systematic review.  An analysis is then presented to ascertain the purpose and nature of research undertaken to date as well as provide an overview of key findings and their contribution to our understanding of thriving at work.  Finally, an argument is presented of the need to explore the relationship between the two underlying constructs in the context of HE learning.

Pip Weston is a senior lecturer in the Centre for Work Related Studies (CWRS), who is also enrolled on a DProf at the University of Chester.  She has worked in HE for over 15 years in Business and Management, first at Northumbria University in its business school then at the University of Chester. 

Her research focuses on of ‘thriving’ and its relationship to ‘learning’ and ‘vitality’ in relation to HE and the workplace.  Coming from the field of social psychology, thriving is part of a growing body of positive psychology research that explores how people adapt, develop and grow.  As such her interest in researching this topic is both professionally and personally motivated as it is derived not only from her experiences as an academic member of staff responsible for supporting students through the learning process, but also in terms of her experiences trying to balance work-life pressures as a part-time student.

 

Is our love of models limiting our connectedness in the coaching relationship?

Dr. Rachel Robins

Models are currently used extensively in the delivery of coaching. These models are used to give structure and form by coaches. The purpose of this paper is to present an alternative viewpoint of the impact of the use of models in the coaching relationship.

The approach taken has been to reflect on recent conversations across professional networks. The cooperative curiosity and questioning of some of our professional assumptions explores using models in coaching to enhance our practice, rather than limiting it. The paper acts as an exploratory prompt to question our practice and the role of the coach in the client/coach relationship.

The paper suggests that models are used, to a greater extent by the more inexperienced coaches to support their early practice. It is suggested that with greater experience there is less reliance and use of format and recognised models. The paper proposes the more experienced coach provides ‘freedom without models’ creating an alternative type of environment.

The implications of this paper are that if we are to grow and develop our practice and profession we need to continue to research what current practice is delivering and offering the clients. We need to question if the early career coaches have the skills to meet the needs of the clients who engage them.

Researching our practice intends to will spark new ideas that may enhance the coaching practice and deliver the requirements of clients looking for development in a volatile and challenging corporate business world.

Dr Rachel Robins is a practicing Coach, Mentor and Mediator with a practitioner background as a Director of HR, Organisational Development and Improvement in the public sector. She is passionate about personal development and fulfillment of individuals by enabling them to reach their full potential. She believes that if we spoke to our friends in the same tone as we often spoke to ourselves, then our friends would walk away and leave us. She uses her skills and excellent communication to raise personal awareness and learn how to improve ‘self-talk’ for personal improvement. Undertaking the DBA at UOC focused her desire for knowledge and gave her the opportunity to contribute to wider debates in her professional field. Following her doctoral research, into Executive Coaching in Local Government, she believes that she enhanced both her performance as a reflective practitioner and her professional practice. Now an active member of a research community, Director of RVR Consultancy, CIPD author, Mentor Advisor of CIPD Merseyside and North Cheshire Branch Committee, Rachel continues to engage in research to improve her practice and the experience of her individual clients and organisations with which she works. Her current research interest is the role that resilience and mental toughness plays in individual and organisational improvement.

 

Ordinary and Extraordinary Magic: A systematic literature review of entrepreneurial resilience, its antecedents, processes, and outcomes

Vicky Evans

It has been more than 15 years since Masten (2001) called for a conception of resilience as the “ordinary magic” of human adaptational processes in response to adversity. Amid burgeoning interest in resilience across disciplines and settings, there have been calls for a more contextualised conception of resilience, shifting the focus towards what is unique or extraordinary about resilience in particular occupational contexts. Entrepreneurial resilience is a strong candidate for this contextual approach as the entrepreneurial context appears to be extraordinary and entrepreneurs as a group appear to be extraordinary in their response to it. There has been a small but significant growth in studies examining the resilience of entrepreneurs since 2008. This literature underlines the importance of entrepreneurial resilience, suggesting a strong link with entrepreneurial success. However, until recently this literature has tended to conceptualise resilience as a response to high stress situations rather than more everyday stressors, and as a trait rather than as a process, thereby limiting the possibilities for learning and development.

A systematic literature review is used to propose a conceptual framework for entrepreneurial resilience integrating both an ordinary (everyday process) and extraordinary (contextual) perspective.  This conceptual framework defines resilience specifically in the entrepreneurial context, as a response to adversity created within the business environment and inherent within the challenges of entrepreneurial activity. This response leads to the three-fold outcomes of recovery, positive adaptation, and resources for future resilience. A process model of entrepreneurial resilience is developed consisting of three interacting and mutually supportive groups of processes relating to emotion regulation, creative problem-solving, and the development of resources for future resilience. This process model highlights three extraordinary aspects of entrepreneurial resilience: 1) the “Goldilocks” role of positive affect; 2) the pivotal role played by autonomy; and 3) the importance and complexity of social resources. This analysis is then used to highlight avenues for further investigation of entrepreneurial resilience, including the apparent cultural variation in the use of resources for entrepreneurial resilience, the role of creativity and the importance of sense-making in relation to different forms of adversity.

Stress at work: what do we know about how line managers manage workplace stress experienced by their subordinates?

Matthew Parkyn

Whereas the literature on workplace stress management identifies that line managers have a key role in managing stress at work, this paper argues that little is known about how line managers manage workplace stress in practice. This paper examines the existing literature in relation to line managers and how they manage workplace stressors, use stress management interventions and the various stress management tools available to them. The contributions of this paper lie in drawing together the literature in relation to workplace stress management and suggesting potential future areas of research intended to inform improvements in stress management practice. Given that the manager’s role is seen as significant in managing stress in the workplace, this paper concludes by suggesting a research agenda to investigate what is known about what line managers are doing to manage work stress.

 

On the development of an ekphrastic method of analysis

Si Poole

I have recently been concerned with the writing of the folklorist Bausinger (1961) and his theory of folklore in a world of technology. Specifically, how he views folk culture as expanding as a result of technology and our resultant changing relationship with nature. I explore his ideas through arts-based practice. These analyses have resulted in ekphrastic poems containing metaphors that have helped me to understand the tensions of connectedness. Ekphrasis is writing produced as a rhetorical exercise, typically in response to a work of visual art; in this case it is a description of the feelings, ideas and experiences of viewing photographs of the natural world that I have taken throughout my life.

Being part of a research circle unexpectedly gave me the licence to create poetry that was purposefully written quickly, and left unedited. I was able to capture my initial raw thoughts. These poems analysed the same three 'horizons' that Bausinger did in his theory of expansion: The spatial; temporal; and social. I found that the temporal and spatial were unavoidably and integrally intertwined with it. For example, metaphors of constellations came about to express an understanding of time and archipelagos to appreciate the spatial aspect; both inexorably led to considerations of the social, 'be-longing' and the tension between identity and community.

In the last five years, Simon Poole has had a number of roles at the University of Chester, lecturing on post- and undergraduate teaching programmes. His areas of research interest are Creativity; Music; Folklore; Poetry; and the Philosophy of Education. He became the Programme Leader for the Masters in Creative Practice in Education three years ago, linking his passion for the arts and education. More recently he has been jointly appointed by Storyhouse and the University of Chester, in a new role as Senior Leader for Cultural Education and Research, in order to liaise between the institution and the organisation to share and develop the best of learning and research. Alongside this role he is also an active researcher in the Faculty of Education’s research centre: RECAP (Research into Education, Creativity and Arts through Practice). He is also a published poet, father of a 23 month old; husband; professional singer with the folk band ‘the loose kites’; Managing Director of a record label called ‘Soil Records’, and a keen gardener.

 

The plurality of care: International student perspectives

Nerise Johnson

Despite a year on year decline in the number of International students choosing to study in the UK, Internationalisation is still at the heart of most Universities growth strategies.  Student dissatisfaction and punitive Tier 4 regulations are undermining these strategic goals.  With satisfaction known to be linked to the caring relationships students establish with the University, understanding the students lived experiences of care may be one way to influence the metrics through which their dissatisfaction is reflected. Extending existing research in this area, a qualitative case study was used to explore the experiences of International undergraduate students captured at the completion of their degree.  The purpose of this study was to understand whether care forms a notable part of their experience, what its impact is and how this could be used to inform future academic and support practices.

Results confirmed that from their perspective, care is essential to an enriching and successful University experience.  By unpacking these complex relationships, a previously unidentified plurality shaped by the perceived authenticity of the relationship between student and tutor emerged. Participants distinguished between authentic and counterfeit caring which determined the interpretation of and value in the tutor’s actions. This research suggests that genuine caring is only present in an authentic caring relationship. At the same time, behaviours that may traditionally be viewed as uncaring can be received as caring if there is perceived genuine motivation and intention in these actions.

Nerise Johnson is the Head of International Operations and Postgraduate Programmes Director at the University of Chester. She has been teaching International students at the University since 2010, and her current teaching areas are finance focused modules on Postgraduate programme. She is also part of the academic quality review team for domestic and international partnerships, leading on teaching and learning enhancement and assessment design for overseas partners on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.  Outside of the University she works in a voluntary capacity advocating for young people with autistic spectrum condition, supporting them and their education providers in navigating the complex world of special educational needs provision. Previously, Nerise worked in the not for profit and commercial sectors, specialising in maximising the impact of internal and external financial and legal training. Her research interests draw upon her own pedagogic and personal experiences in teaching students where a ‘one size fits all’ approach is a barrier to success and how educating the educators is the critical core of developing effective individually negotiated learning.

A unifying, boundary crossing approach to climate literacy: work-based learning as a catalyst

Dr Ann Hindley, Dr Tony Wall, Tamara Hunt, Jeremy Peach, Martin Preston, Courtney Hartley, Amy Fairbank

This study aims to counter the continuing dearth of scholarship about the role of work based learning in education for sustainable development, and in particular the urgent demands of climate literacy. It is proposed that forms of work based learning can act as catalysts for wider cultural change, towards embedding climate literacy in higher education institutions. Data is drawn from action research to present a case study of a Climate Change Project conducted through a work based learning module at the University of Chester. Contrary to the predominantly fragmented and disciplinary bounded approaches to sustainability and climate literacy, the case study demonstrates how a form of work based learning can create a unifying vision for action, and do so across multiple disciplinary, professional service, and identity boundaries. The project generated indicators of cultural change including extensive faculty level climate change resources, creative ideas for an innovative mobile application, and new infrastructural arrangements to further develop practice and research in climate change.

Dr Ann Hindley is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism, Marketing and Events within the Faculty of Business and Management at the University of Chester. Ann is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Member of the Tourism Society, Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Associate Member of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment. Ann completed her PhD in Responsible Tourism and her research focuses on tourism and climate change, climate change education and tourism and seniors. She is also a researcher at the International Thriving at Work Research Group at the University of Chester, UK. and the Co-convenor of the Climate Change Special Interest Group.

Tamara Hunt is a Sustainability Officer at the University of Chester, leading an initiative to embed sustainability within the curriculum. Her key interest lies in creating cross-faculty collaborations that expose students to the real-life challenges of climate change relevant to their subject and supporting them in development of innovative solutions.

Jeremy Peach leads the renowned, academically credited programme of Work-Based Learning at the University of Chester. Previously he was a Senior Lecturer in Work-Based Learning and Organisational Behaviour, specialising in HRM, starting his career as an HR Manager for a deep mining company and a large public sector organisation.

Martin Preston is a Geography Student at the University of Chester. He believes that climate change is too serious an issue to ignore and can potentially steer humanity towards a different, more delicate future.

Courtney Hartley is a Psychology Student at the University of Chester. She believes she has strong interest into individuals’ thoughts and behaviour, and that this stems towards climate change; researching into how individuals can be influenced to become more sustainable is of great interest.

Amy Fairbank is an International Business with Tourism Student at the University of Chester. She believes that climate change is a global problem which needs to be addressed, and is keen to learn even more about it.

 

The Certainty of Uncertainty: The Impact of college merger organizational change on the Middle Manager Role in the Further Education sector in Wales

Robert Walford

College mergers in Wales have resulted in an overall reduction of further education colleges. This has been a challenging time for college middle managers managing curriculum departments and cross-college support departments. This study focuses on the potential impact of college organizational change on the professional ‘lived’ experience of the middle manager. Through a thematic analysis, the researcher has explored both the work patterns of middle managers and pertinent external factors, with the potential to impact on the role of the middle manager. Whilst uncertainty prevails in any organizational change arising from merger, the researcher argues that a degree of certainty exists which can contribute significantly to merger success. The research was driven by Robert’s interest in college mergers arising from involvement in several merger transitions whilst working as a senior manager in the further education sector in Wales.

After an initial period of ten years work-based experience in both the private and public sectors, the researcher followed a career in the further education sector in Wales. Robert’s experience in the further education sector included teaching posts as lecturer and senior lecturer in higher and further education colleges. There followed posts as head of several departments, which included: Catering and Hospitality, Business and Administration, IT and Trade Union Studies.  For twelve years Robert was a Senior Manager, responsible for progressing commercially funded work within industry. This work involved the planning and implementation of management training in SME’s and also large companies such as Hanson Quarries, Airbus UK, Iceland Frozen Foods, Toyota, Rolls-Royce, to name a few, in addition to managing several commercial contracts. During Robert’s time in further education he has also completed successfully, three prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize Awards for higher and further education for commercial work and undergraduate placements in Roll-Royce and Bae Systems in addition to numerous other educational awards including Beacon Awards and the Total Quality Standards Award.  Robert has also been involved in various European training projects in: Spain, France, Finland, and Italy. He is currently involved as visiting lecturer at the University of Chester.

 

The digital economy, non-profits and market-orientation

Nigel Baker

A review of literature of CSR and corporate philanthropy shows emerging evidence that the digital revolution has generated new funding paradigms for non-profits seeking corporate support.  From “venture philanthropy” to “impact investing” and “data philanthropy”, a common aim is to help beneficiaries strengthen their core capacity, as well as supporting projects in pursuit of their mission.

The review was undertaken as part of a research project into ways to finance the digital transformation of a media-related charity, and creates a conceptual framework for non-profits seeking to connect with the new types of funders. The research was viewed through the lens of “hybrid” organizations which pursue the dual mission of financial sustainability and social purpose.  

Nigel Baker is entering the fourth year of his DBA course. He hopes his research will make a direct contribution to the international media development charity, Thomson Foundation, of which he is chief executive. Before taking up his current role in 2012, he was vice president of business operations (EMEA and Asia) for the international news agency, Associated Press. He began his career as a journalist, and previously held senior roles at Reuters, ITN and Sky News. He holds an MSc in Multimedia Computing for eCommerce from Brunel University.

 

The ignorant manager: conceptualising and realising impact with Rancière 

Debbie Scott

Rancière’s exposition of the role of values and reasonableness (as set out in The ignorant schoolmaster) is used to examine how forms of negotiated work based learning can support learners’ pathways to impact in their organisation.  Vignettes illuminate and articulate Rancière’s ideas, constructed through events experienced and narrated, perhaps imagined, tutorial conversations, assignments and work practices.  Individuals negotiate learning, and, consequently, impact on working practices, experiencing personal and professional development through unexpected insights into their capabilities, interests and possible roles.

Negotiated work based learning appears to offer the individual the opportunity to take responsibility for action in their learning and in their workplace, but success depends on several factors, and can be perceived in different ways. Students’ encounter with autonomy in their studies can resonate strongly with Rancière’s belief in equality.  In the workplace (becoming ‘citizens’ alongside ‘reasonable’ individuals) their agency might, at best, lead to ‘reasonable moments’, as they and their colleagues encounter both negative and positive challenges of work based learning.

Successful utilisation of agency in learning prompts expectations of responsibility and equality in the workplace. Such equality can lead to diverse, unpredicted insights and consequent opportunities for changes in practice.  Ranciére’s ideas prompt a critical review of both learning provision and workplace practice, allowing consideration of the potential impact of the ‘ignorant’ manager.

Debbie has worked with adult learners in range of contexts for many years. She is interested in encouraging learning, personal and professional development and works with both individuals and organisations to develop strategies for this to happen.

She finds that there is always more to learn about learning - from how an organisation might encourage employees' learning, to the range of approaches a person might take to achieve progression which build on their strengths and take account of particular difficulties.

Her work with students with specific learning difficulties illustrated strongly how, if barriers are removed, talents can be recognised and used.

Currently engaged in doctoral study, she is currently planning her thesis, for which she anticipates drawing on work from Rancière, Bhaba, Sparkes, Clough and others.

She works in Centre for Work Related Studies (Communication Skills, Academic Skills for Work Related Learning, and other WBIS framework modules) and the Work Based Learning department.

 

Exploring managerial role behaviour amongst local government communications professionals

Wendy Moran

Since 2010 there have been significant changes to local government communications practice. Whilst sharing information and co-ordinating service delivery is widely recognised as part of local government’s license to operate, central government’s reduction in council funding by £18 billion since 2010 has brought about shared services, strategic integration and joint strategic commissioning across local public services. This has been further accelerated more recently through devolution and the emergence of centralised communication hubs serving a combined authority with the diminishment of corporate communication teams in individual public service organisations. This research critically examines the role of the public service communications practitioner.

Wendy Moran is a Senior Lecturer in Public Relations and Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, specialising in communication across the public services. In 2009, Wendy launched 'Second Steps', the first accredited post grad programme for local government PR practitioners in the UK, in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Local Public Services Group and MMU. In 2013, she co-authored ‘PR and Communication in Local Government and Public Services’ as part of the CIPR PR in practice series. As Chair of the CIPR Local Public Services Group in 2015, Wendy led a national research project examining the challenges for public service communicators in the age of austerity. The report 'Influence for Impact' was launched at CIPR HQ in October 2015. Wendy is currently undertaking doctoral studies examining the role of the PR practitioner in public services with Professor Danny Moss.

 

Corporate brands’ influence on the decision making unit in a B2B

Stuart Paul

The central theme of this thesis is to explore the potential role of corporate brands in influencing individual members of the decision making unit in a B2B complex purchasing decision context. The importance of corporate brands has been well documented. There have been a number of approaches to building corporate brands which include the early work of Abratt and Shee 1989 and Balmer 2003. The more recent literature has built on the work of Hatch and Schulz (2003, 2009) in which the corporate brand is built on the values of the organisation which are influenced by and influence the corporate culture. The image is then formed by the external customer. The more recent literature suggests that the corporate brand is developed through the engagement of customer (Kantanen, 2012) and the co-creation process (Juntunen, 2013) and that for the corporate brand it must resonate with the customer. However, much of the literature on corporate brands is in the B2C sector. There is limited research in the B2B sector (Alexander et al., 2009).

The B2B literature is coming to accept that brands play a role in influencing the purchase decision (Bendixen et al., 2004). However, there is currently a lack of research examining circumstances in which the corporate brand influences the purchase decision or how it influences different members of the DMU (Beverland et al., 2007). From the buyers perspective two objectives are to reduce the level of risk and to maximise the value gained from the purchase (Faroughian et al., 2012). As most suppliers can satisfy customers with existing products or tailor products (Konečný and Kolouchová 2013) to meet the desired product specifications there is little product differentiation between suppliers. Consequently the purchase decision is made on both rational and emotional criteria (Leek and Christodoulides 2012). The corporate brand communicates benefits and adds value to the offering to help improve differentiation. This leads to the question of the extent to which the corporate brands influences buyers and what brand values help reduce risk and add value in new complex buying situations. The research uses in depth interviews with industrial organisations in a complex buying context.

Stuart Paul's teaching career started in FE and after completing a Masters in Marketing at the University of Portsmouth and the professional CIM diploma I moved to the University of Chester. The teaching aspects have focused on marketing management, marketing research and marketing communications. Although I have produce a conference paper on service marketing my core interest is corporate branding which has extended into role of corporate brands in the B2B buying process. Hence this is the area of my PhD.