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Copyright © 2019, Tony Wall
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Welcome to Vol. 11 No. 1 of the Journal of Work Applied Management. Though I have had the pleasure of being an editor for a special issue of the journal previously (see Wall, 2017a), this is my first experience as editor-in-chief. I am picking up the scholarly baton from Professor Ruth Helyer from Leeds Trinity University and Dr Felicity Keliher from the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland. I know Ruth and Felicity have worked hard to support the growth of the journal, and I am grateful for their continued support.
As my inaugural issue, I am pleased to see that the quality of the scholarly material in the journal has been recognised in the latest Chartered Association of Business School’s Journal Quality list. At the same time, it is also important to reiterate the intent of The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA acknowledges:
[…]the need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations; the need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published; and the need to capitalize on the opportunities provided by online publication (such as relaxing unnecessary limits on the number of words, figures, and references in articles, and exploring new indicators of significance and impact).
Indeed, the issues around research impact in the context of workplace and work applied learning and management have been reported in this journal, and remain a global issue for practitioner–researchers across a variety of applied fields (for example see Wall et al., 2017). As one of the few high quality open access journals – importantly supported by the Global Centre for work-applied learning – we will continue to strive toward the sentiments of DORA, and as such, the editorial team will be developing the scope and intent of the journal over the coming years. Should you have ideas or perspectives on this, the editorial board will, I am confident, welcome your contribution.
In the meantime, I invite you to explore the full set of articles presented in this general issue. The first article of the issue starts with Lisa Rowe’s “Educating for the modern world: a report review” (Rowe, 2019). This paper is an incisive summary of one of the latest reports which gazes into the future of work to examine the implications for education. It is noteworthy, though not surprising, that work applied learning and management methodologies speak closely to the more engaged scholarship agenda.
Picking up the same futuristic theme, the next article is “Managerial learning challenges in a complex world” by Gerardo Abreu Pederzini (2019). Gerardo argues that amidst a complex professional context, we need to promote and embody “a carefulness-based management learning ideal, which by being underpinned by the quality of carefulness and the related concepts of critical thinking, negative capability and a deep learning style, suggests a potential new way to approach management learning in light of complexity”. Such an “ideal” seemingly embeds the sorts of commitment and sensitivity toward ethics, responsibility, and sustainability that has largely been silent in some dimensions of work-based learning for some time (Wall and Hindley, 2018).
The next article is by Hanan Kondratjew and Marion Kahrens, and explores “Leveraging experiential learning training through spaced learning” (Kondratjew and Kahrens, 2019). Hanan and Marion present a fascinating study at “The Model Warehouse” of the Karlsruher Institute for Technology in Germany, where professionals are trained in “lean warehouse logistics”. Not only did the students learn technical practice, but the study suggested that a spaced learning approach “significantly enhance[d] long-term knowledge retention” compared to other approaches. This study interestingly crosses experiential, technical and spatial perspectives, which are of course prominent in real, contemporary workplaces.
The fourth article is “An analysis of the impact of a leadership intervention on an undergraduate Work-Based Learning project for Human Resource Management students” by Trevor Gerhardt (2019). The wide ranging and interdisciplinary study draws from “an action research leadership intervention on a broader undergraduate WBL module taught across nine disciplines and numerous projects”, specifically for human resource management students. The study shares the underpinning model and acknowledges variable developments in leadership capabilities, as would be expected from practitioner-oriented approaches where the professional setting can have a significant influence. It is pleasing to see a leadership-oriented intervention in the field of human resource management, as this strategic perspective remains problematic in practice (Wall, 2017b).
The fifth article, by Scott Foster and Anna Foster, is “The impact of workplace spirituality on work-based learners: individual and organisational level perspectives” (Foster and Foster, 2019). Scott and Anna offer quite a poignant – almost polemic – argument that “Employee spiritual wellbeing is under-researched and overlooked by organisations. Changing the current spiritual intransigence is long overdue as employees’ spiritual fulfilment leads to high-trust relationships in the workplace and can further support those engaged in work-based learning”. Indeed, equality and diversity in the context of work-based learning is still in its infancy (Wall, 2017b) as a scholarly and empirical realm, and this piece perhaps reminds us to call for more work in this area. There are some very useful empirical and practical insights in this paper, for both practitioners and researchers to reflect on.
The penultimate paper is Louise Doyle’s “A practitioner researcher’s opportunities and challenges in accessing interpretive case participants in a public healthcare setting” (Doyle, 2019). This paper is an insightful viewpoint piece which shares the reflections of “a practitioner-researcher in accessing research participants in the public healthcare sector”. I, as those of you who have undertaken research in this sector – or who have attempted to – know how problematic it can be, so this paper offers heloful “considerations and seeks to address concerns in […] implementation in healthcare contexts”. My own view is that being aware of how others have navigated this highly sensitive context can really help inform your own research strategies and tactics for access.
The final paper of this issue is authored by an international research team; Kelvin Leong, Anna Sung, Taylor Williams, Costantine Andoniou and Flora Sun. Their paper “The importance of colour on the communication of financial data in management” (Leong et al., 2019), is different to the other papers but is particularly important to those work-based and work-applied learning and management contexts which involve financial data and decision making in relation to it. Though they recognise the contextuality and complexity of this issue, they deploy a relatively simple test to explore responses to the use of color to present financial information. They provide some initial results relating to the importance of “cool blue” which are – at the very least – provocative for practitioners and researchers to consider in practice. I agree with the authors that such insight has potential in the training of managers and practitioner–researchers.
Overall, I hope you find this issue interesting, as it combines future gazing on the field, implications for learning and development, and reflections on how we do work applied learning and management in practice. Should you have ideas for papers, either for bus to commission or for you to author, please feel free to e-mail me as email@example.com.
Abreu Pederzini, G.D. (2019), “Managerial learning challenges in a complex world”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, in press.
Doyle, L. (2019), “A practitioner researcher’s opportunities and challenges in accessing interpretive case participants in a public healthcare setting”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, in press.
Kondratjew, H. and Kahrens, M. (2019), “Leveraging experiential learning training through spaced learning”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, in press.
Leong, K., Sung, A., Williams, T., Andoniou, C. and Sun, F. (2019), “The importance of colour on the communication of financial data in management”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, in press.
Rowe, L. (2019), “Educating for the modern world: a report review”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, in press.
Wall, T. (2017a), “Exploring the impact of reflective and work applied approaches”, Journal of Work-Applied Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 90-94, available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/JWAM-10-2017-0028
Wall, T. (2017b), “A manifesto for higher education, skills and work-based learning: through the lens of the manifesto for work”, Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 304-314.
Wall, T., Bellamy, L., Evans, V. and Hopkins, S. (2017), “Revisiting impact in the context of workplace research: a review and possible directions”, Journal of Work-Applied Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 95-109, available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/JWAM-06-2019-0018
Wall, T. and Hindley, A. (2018), “Work based and vocational education as catalysts for sustainable development?”, Higher Education, Skills and Work Based Learning.
The editor would also like to thank the international panel of reviewers that have made this issue possible; your intellectual generosity and energy is incredible.