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Copyright © 2019, Tony Wall
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Welcome to the Journal of Work Applied Management’s (JWAM) second issue of volume 11, another open access, rich and interdisciplinary issue for a range of researchers, practitioners and policymakers. Before you start enjoying this current issue, I would like to bring your attention to two special issues which are currently in the pipeline, and encourage you to consider contributing to them. Both of the special issues aim to re-orient our attention to the larger scale “great challenges” or “grand challenges” of our time. As Phil Torres (2019, p. 4) recently described it:
The Great Challenges framework offers a novel scheme that highlights the most pressing global-scale risks to human survival and prosperity. The author argues that the “big-picture” approach of this paper exemplifies the sort of scholarship that humanity needs more of to properly understand the various existential hazards that are unique to the twenty-first century.
To this end, we are calling for two special issues: one on sustainability and the other on creativity. In terms of the first of these, the call for papers is currently on the JWAM website (www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/services/publishing/jwam/index.htm).
Call for papers 1: sustainability in work-applied management
The issue of sustainability has become even more prominent in 2019, with public, private and third sector organisations declaring a Climate Emergency across the globe (see https://climateemergencydeclaration.org/). Despite some empirical work (e.g. see Wall, Hindley, Hunt, Peach, Preston, Hartley and Fairbank, 2017; Wall, Russell, and Moore, 2017; Rossetti and Wall, 2017), the empirical and practical evidence suggests that sustainability has not been a significant driver in the workplace (Wall, 2017; Wall, Bellamy, Evans and Hopkins, 2017).
This special issue aims to stimulate and collate empirical and practical work in the field given the urgency to change practice. In line with the aims and scope of the journal, we are particularly interested in sustainability-focused research which uses work-based work-applied (Zuber-Skerritt and Abraham, 2017), collaborative or experiential approach such as case research (Yin, 2014), reflective (Helyer, 2015) or action-oriented research methodology (Eden and Huxham, 1996).
The manuscript could, for example, address one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/) such as tackling hunger (SDG2), enhancing the health and well-being or people in organisations or disadvantaged communities (SDG3), ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education (SDG4), promoting gender equality (SDG5), ensuring access to water and energy for all (SDG6&7), enhancing the quality of work (SDG8), creating sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG12), tackling climate change (SDG13), building accountable and inclusive institutions (SDG16), or strengthening global partnership for sustainable development (SDG17).
Details of the length of the submission are located within the author guidelines: www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/services/publishing/jwam/authors.htm
Call for papers 2: creativity in work-applied management
This second call is currently being developed to respond to the need for human creativity given the grand challenges the world is facing, especially in the context of technology advances which might undermine such capacities. Here, where individual creativity may be of central importance, the need to cultivate it is a shared responsibility across individuals, organisations and educational establishments (Robinson, 2011). Particularly pertinent to JWAM and the broader fields of work-applied management approaches are the ways in which we create spaces for creativity is (Soja, 1996; Page et al., 2014; Adams and Owens, 2016). This emerging call for papers is seeking to collate insights into creativity in work-applied management, and might include, for example:
artistic or creative approaches to reflective practice;
creative approaches to facilitate change and transition in organisations;
creative approaches to collaborative or integrated partnership working;
work-applied learning or management in the creative industries; and
art artefacts in the context of work-applied learning or management.
Please re-visit JWAM’s website to learn more about this call for papers as it develops (www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/services/publishing/jwam/index.htm).
Returning to this issue
This issue brings together another seven original articles relevant to influencing change in organisational contexts, remaining cognisant of inclusion as we do so, and being aware of how technology and work trends are driving changes in work. In the first article, “The Nature of Work-Related Problems: Messy, Co-Produced and Wicked”, Lee Fergusson (2019) challenges the two pronged view of workplace problems as either definable/solvable or ill-defined/not easily solvable. Instead Lee argues that all work-related “problems have one thing in common: they are typically messy, constantly changing and complex, and many are co-produced and wicked”. This is perhaps partly due to the multiple perspectives that exist in practice, but is a helpful reminder of why work-applied management interventions and methodologies are so critical.
Moving from a conceptual to an empirical piece, Nadeem El-Adaileh and Scott Foster (2019) examine the literature on “Successful Business Intelligence Implementation”, that is, implementation of those systems which deliver information to help decision makers. Through their systematic review of studies from over 10 countries, Nadeem and Scott were able to identify factors important to successful implementation, such as management support, user participation and change management. These resonate with central elements to work-applied management interventions, so this work will be particularly helpful for work-applied management projects in the intelligence and IT fields.
In the next article, Anna Foster (2019) shares an insightful piece on the use of language in the workplace. In “Leading By Limitation? Language and Communication within the Workplace”, Anna draws on the heated and controversial Brexit scenario in the United Kingdom (UK) and the effects of language on self and others. This is a critical reminder of the importance of language at work whether or not the practitioner or researcher is trying to institute change through work-applied interventions.
The next two articles refer specifically to a work-applied management practice area that is increasingly popular: coaching. In the first of these, Yi-Ling Lai and Stephen Palmer (2019) report the outcomes from an extensive study involving literature and expert review in “Psychology in Executive Coaching: An Integrated Literature Review”. They highlight the most common psychological approaches adopted as well as other key factors or skills involved in this work, which in turn, is incredibly useful for identifying the tools practitioners and research might use in organisational learning and development work.
In the second coaching article, “Manager as Coach Characteristics for Dealing with Team Challenge”, Helen Smith (2019) describes the characteristics managers need in engaging with coaching to deal with behavioural or performance challenges. Helen’s knowing, appreciating, assessing and intervening framework seems particularly helpful for managers and manager-coaches, but also action learning facilitators and work-applied management practitioners/researchers more broadly.
In the penultimate article, Debora Jeske and Theresa Ruwe (2019) highlight the emergence of mobile working across different countries, partly driven by technology and gig-economy trends. In “Inclusion Through Use and Membership of Co-working Spaces” Debora and Theresa highlight how co-working spaces “provide important sources of support, learning and networking opportunities (and hence inclusion) which may offset the lack of community and opportunities that mobile workers face when working outside the main offices of their employers”. Importantly, this article highlights practice and research challenges for those work-applied management interventions and methodologies which rely on co-location and assume singular organisational structures; what can the field do to support mobile workers who may be loosely connected managers? Debora and Theresa offer us some research and practice questions.
The final article of this issue retains a focus on technology trends, and specifically targets an emerging area of development: Financial Technology (FinTech). An international research team, Anna Sung et al. (2019), document their “Exploratory Study of the FinTech (Financial Technology) Education and Retraining in UK”. The team suggest FinTech has disruptive qualities in relation to employment opportunities, specifically in relation to managerial, technical and analytical capabilities. This raises questions about how (if at all) the field of work-applied management might be adjusting to these shifts in capability expectations, especially in relation to integrating analytics (Sung et al., 2019) and of course business intelligence (El-Adaileh and Foster, 2019) into change management interventions and methodologies.
Adams, J. and Owens, A. (2016), Creativity and Democracy in Education: Practices and Politics of Learning through the Arts, Routledge, Abingdon.
Eden, C. and Huxham, C. (1996), “Action research for management research”, British Journal of Management, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 75-86.
El-Adaileh, N. and Foster, S. (2019), “Successful business intelligence implementation: a literature review”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 121-132.
Fergusson, L. (2019), “The nature of work-related problems: messy, co-produced and wicked”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 106-120.
Foster, S. (2019), “Leading by limitation? Language and communication within the workplace”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 121-132.
Helyer, R. (2015), “Learning through reflection: the critical role of reflection in work-based learning (WBL)”, Journal of Work-Applied Management, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 15-27.
Jeske, D. and Ruwe, T. (2019), “Inclusion through use and membership of co-working spaces”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 174-186.
Lai, Y.L. and Palmer, S. (2019), “Psychology in executive coaching: an integrated literature review”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 143-164.
Page, M., Grisoni, L. and Turner, A. (2014), “Dreaming fairness and re-imagining equality and diversity through participative aesthetic inquiry”, Management Learning, Vol. 45 No. 5, pp. 577-592.
Robinson, K. (2011), Out of Our Minds: The Power to be Creative, 3rd ed., Capstone, Chichester.
Rossetti, L. and Wall, T. (2017), “The impact of story: measuring the impact of story for organisational change”, Journal of Work-Applied Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 170-184.
Smith, H. (2019), “Manager as coach characteristics for dealing with team challenge”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 165-173.
Soja, E.W. (1996), Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places, Blackwell, Malden, MA.
Sung, A., Leong, K., Sironi, P., O’Reilly, T., McMillan, A., Wai, S. and Tsang, C. (2019), “An exploratory study of the FinTech (Financial Technology) education and retraining in UK”, Journal of Work Applied Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 187-198.
Torres, P. (2019), “Facing disaster: the great challenges framework”, Foresight, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 4-34, available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/FS-04-2018-0040
Wall, T. (2017), “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, available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-06-2017-0036
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.
Wall, T., Hindley, A., Hunt, T., Peach, J., Preston, M., Hartley, C. and Fairbank, A. (2017), “Work-based learning as a catalyst for sustainability: a review and prospects”, Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 211-224.
Wall, T., Russell, J. and Moore, N. (2017), “Positive emotion in workplace impact: the case of a work-based learning project utilising appreciative inquiry”, Journal of Work-Applied Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 129-146.
Yin, R.K. (2014), Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 5th ed., Sage, Newbury Park, CA.
Zuber-Skerritt, O. and Abraham, S. (2017), “A conceptual framework for work-applied learning for developing managers as practitioner researchers”, Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 35-50.
Bakhshi, H., Downing, J., Osborne, M. and Schneider, P. (2017), The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030, Pearson and Nesta, London.
Pässilä, A., Owens, A. and Pulkki, M. (2016), “Learning jam: an evaluation of the use of arts based initiatives to generate polyphonic understanding in work based learning”, Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 178-192.
One again, I would also like to thank our international panel of reviewers that have made this issue possible; your intellectual generosity and energy inspires and is absolutely incredible.