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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2019

Emma O'Brien, John McCarthy, Ileana Hamburg and Yvonne Delaney

This paper aims to explore how in Irish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), problem-based learning (PBL) could possibly provide a paradigm which addresses two key…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how in Irish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), problem-based learning (PBL) could possibly provide a paradigm which addresses two key research objectives: What are the learning needs and challenges faced by Irish SMEs? and How could PBL satisfy these needs through integrating formal and informal learning?

Design/methodology/approach

An action research methodology was adopted using Lewin’s (1994) action research cycle. In the reconnaissance stage, surveys and focus groups were conducted with a purposive research sample of Irish SMEs regarding their learning needs and challenges. Based on these results, a plan was formulated to adapt the traditional PBL model into a workplace PBL model (wPBL). Lastly, the wPBL model was implemented and evaluated in 42 SMEs.

Findings

The research identified several specific learning needs for SMEs, namely, learning that is cost-effective, tailored to the company and its challenges, immediately applied, demonstrates a tangible outcome (is measurable), organically fostering a learning culture, addresses knowledge gaps, continuous, develops communication, team work, problem-solving and technical skills. The traditional PBL model was adapted into a wPBL model to meet the above learning needs of SMEs. It was found that the wPBL model had the potential to address long-standing company problems (making it cost-effective), facilitate continuous learning and develop horizontal and transversal skills such as problem-solving and communication.

Originality/value

Much of the learning that takes place in SMEs is incidental or informal, and often does not contribute to the long-term sustainability of the organisation. This paper aims to propose a practical framework using wPBL to structure incidental and informal learning in SMEs so that it provides an immediate benefit to the company. To date, there has been little research into the application of PBL outside higher education, and the paper proposes a framework to assist the transition of PBL to a workplace environment.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 7 October 2021

Emma O’Brien, Bojana Ćulum Ilić, Anete Veidemane, Davide Dusi, Thomas Farnell and Ninoslav Šćukanec Schmidt

This paper aims to examine the development and piloting of a novel European framework for community engagement (CE) in higher education, which has been purposefully…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the development and piloting of a novel European framework for community engagement (CE) in higher education, which has been purposefully designed to progress the CE agenda in a European context.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed framework was co-created through the European Union (EU)-funded project towards a European framework for community engagement in higher education (TEFCE). The TEFCE Toolbox is an institutional self-reflection framework that centres on seven thematic dimensions of CE. This paper follows the development of the TEFCE Toolbox through empirical case study analysis of four European universities and their local communities.

Findings

The findings in this paper indicate that the TEFCE Toolbox facilitates context-specific applications in different types of universities and socioeconomic environments. Incorporating insights from engagement practitioners, students and community representatives the TEFCE Toolbox was successfully applied in universities with diverse profiles and missions. The process facilitated the recognition of CE achievements and the identification of potential areas for improvement.

Originality/value

Despite a range of international initiatives, there remains an absence of initiatives within the European higher education area that focus on developing tools to comprehensively support CE. The TEFCE Toolbox and case-study analysis presented in this paper address this gap in knowledge. The broader societal contribution and social responsibility of higher education have become increasingly prominent on the European agenda. The TEFCE Toolbox represents an innovative, robust and holistic European framework with the potential to support universities in reflecting upon their pursuit of addressing grand societal challenges, whilst promoting CE.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2019

Emma O’Brien, Thomas M. Cooney and Per Blenker

Entrepreneurship education has moved from an elitist view focussing on a start-up and picking-the-winners philosophy towards a broader enterprising behaviour approach;…

Abstract

Purpose

Entrepreneurship education has moved from an elitist view focussing on a start-up and picking-the-winners philosophy towards a broader enterprising behaviour approach; recognising entrepreneurship as an activity of relevance for everybody. The purpose of this paper is to extend this development and identify how university entrepreneurial ecosystems can be expanded to support communities that are under-represented in entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an integrative literature review (Torraco, 2005), this paper draws together and synthesises literature from the field of entrepreneurship, higher education studies and under-represented communities in an integrated fashion, leading to the development of a new conceptual model.

Findings

This paper challenges the traditional role of universities in supporting entrepreneurship as focussing mainly on economic growth and new venture creation, and identifies how universities are also positioned to provide greater civic support to entrepreneurial learning amongst under-represented communities. Through a critical analysis of the literature, the conceptual model proposed identifies six key considerations in the expansion of university entrepreneurial ecosystems for under-represented communities.

Practical implications

There are currently 96.6m people at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the EU (OECD, 2017) and an estimated 43.1m Americans (US Census Bureau, 2017). This paper explores how university entrepreneurial ecosystems can be expanded to support minority and disadvantaged communities who are under-represented in terms of entrepreneurial activity.

Originality/value

Given that there is little research regarding how universities might activate inclusive entrepreneurship initiatives amongst under-represented communities, this paper expands existing knowledge as it identifies the key considerations encompassing university-led community collaborative enterprise support.

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2009

Emma O'Brien and Phillipa Robertson

With tectonic plate shifting change and continuous uncertainty, a reliance on leadership competencies rooted in the past will no longer be successful. Instead, it is…

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Abstract

Purpose

With tectonic plate shifting change and continuous uncertainty, a reliance on leadership competencies rooted in the past will no longer be successful. Instead, it is argued that the emerging business environment now demands a new set of leadership skills that are aligned to the requirements of the future. This paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A foresight orientation was taken to identify leadership skills necessary for success in the near future. Based on in‐depth analysis of key business, societal, organisational and leadership trends, nine key leadership competencies were identified. An exploratory study was then conducted to assess the current level of future leadership capability in a diverse sample included of current and emerging leaders from a variety of organisations across Europe and Asia Pacific.

Findings

Results suggest that both current and emerging organisational leaders are significantly under prepared for the challenges ahead.

Research limitations/implications

The present study provides a starting‐point for further research exploring the leadership capabilities needed for success in the emerging business environment.

Practical implications

It is argued that unless organisations begin to cultivate requisite skills for the future, they will inevitably forfeit their potential for future success.

Originality/value

The paper adds clear value to the field of study due to its unique futures perspective and orientation, in addition to its practical applications.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Abstract

Details

Management and Administration of Higher Education Institutions at Times of Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-628-1

Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Emma O’Brien and Thomas M. Cooney

A decade after the 2008 global financial crisis, economic growth is returning to many OECD countries and EU states. However, a “rising tide does not lift all boats” and…

Abstract

A decade after the 2008 global financial crisis, economic growth is returning to many OECD countries and EU states. However, a “rising tide does not lift all boats” and there are currently 96.6 million people at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the EU (OECD, 2017). Addressing this concerning social situation, requires innovative approaches and it has been suggested that inclusive entrepreneurship may be part of the solution. Yet, many under-represented groups (in terms of entrepreneurial activity) face significant barriers to entrepreneurship. This research study identifies how Higher Education Institutions can utilise their multidisciplinary knowledge and expertise in partnership with government, industry and civil society to address the economic and social challenges within under-represented communities by engendering higher levels of enterprising behaviour. Emerging studies in the literature have demonstrated how some Higher Education Institutions are providing tailored and holistic enterprise support to under-represented groups in their communities. However, such initiatives are not common and there is little research on how other HEIs might replicate inclusive entrepreneurship initiatives. Through the presentation of a conceptual model, this chapter identifies how HEIs can move outside of their formal education setting and dynamically support the development of enterprising competencies and behaviours amongst people within their local communities. The findings highlight six key areas for consideration in such developments including: 1. Teaching and Learning; 2. Resources; 3. Infrastructure; 4. Multidisciplinary Approaches; 5. Stakeholders and 6. Culture. These findings highlight the requirements for impactful HEI-community engagement and suggest that HEI community engagement through entrepreneurial education is a novel way of adding value for both under-represented communities and HEIs.

Details

Management and Administration of Higher Education Institutions at Times of Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-628-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Emma O'Brien and Stuart Tooley

– The purpose of this study is to identify the extent to which not-for-profit (NFP) organisations disclose information on volunteer contributions of services.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the extent to which not-for-profit (NFP) organisations disclose information on volunteer contributions of services.

Design/methodology/approach

The study relies on information disclosed in the web sites of NFP organisations.

Findings

This paper finds that disclosure was more prevalent on NFP web sites compared to digital annual report disclosures. This paper finds that more NFPs provided disclosure on the activities of their volunteers than other items pertaining to volunteers and the quantification and valuation of volunteer contributions were the least likely to be disclosed. Importantly, the findings illustrate an accountability deficiency in the comprehensiveness of disclosure which results in an under-representation of the contribution that volunteers provide to organisational sustainability and impact on mission fulfilment.

Research limitations/implications

The convenience sample size restricts further interrogation to tease out organisational characteristics that may influence current disclosure practices.

Practical implications

The findings contribute to international debate over the inclusion of volunteer contributions in the assessment of a NFP's accountability over its resources and ultimately the enhancement of its sustainability.

Originality/value

This exploratory study examines the current state of practice in the disclosure of volunteer contributions at an organisational level in the Australian context.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 10 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 February 2020

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

148

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Finding an approach to learning that meets their requirements remains a challenge for SMEs. An appropriate blend of formal and informal learning aspects offers some encouragement and problem-based learning has the potential to tick the right boxes in this respect.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and Akila Sarirete

Over the past few decades, the higher education landscape underwent dramatic changes, causing strain on higher education institutions (HEI) worldwide. The academic debate…

Abstract

Over the past few decades, the higher education landscape underwent dramatic changes, causing strain on higher education institutions (HEI) worldwide. The academic debate is filled with very well-argued accounts of these developments. Advances in information and communication technology (ICT) add an additional layer to this already complex reality. Against this backdrop, it is necessary that the question of managing and administering HEI today be rethought. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing, augmented, virtual and mixed reality (R+), Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, bear the promise to effectively assisting HEI administrators in navigating their institutions through the period of profound change. This chapter offers a brief account of that.

Details

Management and Administration of Higher Education Institutions at Times of Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-628-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Víctor Hernández-Santaolalla

The popularization of slasher as subgenre begins with the release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper, 1974) and Halloween (Carpenter, 1978). Both films serve to define…

Abstract

The popularization of slasher as subgenre begins with the release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper, 1974) and Halloween (Carpenter, 1978). Both films serve to define the topic of the subgenre: a serial killer that often slaughters groups of teenagers, especially attractive young women, using bladed weapons (Linz & Donnerstein, 1994; Molitor & Sapolski, 1993, 1994). Thus, although the definition of the slasher is not really fixed in terms of gender, the killers have been traditionally interpreted by men, while the victims have been usually interpreted by women (Clover, 2015; Trencansky, 2001; Weaver et al., 2015). Not for nothing, another important character is the final girl, who uncovers the monster´s motivations and finishes the killer off in the final scene; an important role that is actually a form of female subjugation. However, some exceptions can be found such as Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th, Cunningham, 1980), but she is simply defined as Jason´s mother. More interesting is the case of the Scream saga, in particular Scream 4 (Craven, 2011) where a teenage girl, portrayed by Emma Roberts, tries to play the role of the killer and the final girl at the same time.

In recent years, the slasher has gained importance in television. After Harper’s Island (CBS, 2009), an homage to the subgenre rather than a real slasher TV show, in 2015, MTV launched Scream, based on the film series and which continues exploring the gender roles anticipated by the last movie of the saga. In the same year, Fox launched Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens (2015–2016) starred by Jamie Lee Curtis, the final girl of Prom night (Lynch, 1980) and Halloween saga, and Emma Roberts. In this regard, current television tries to renew the slasher, but starting from the clichés and even some familiar faces of the subgenre.

The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate the representation and evolution of female characters in slasher television series, exploring the relationship among the killer, the final girl and the rest of the victims. In this way, television series like Scream, Scream Queens (Fox, 2015–2016) or Slasher (Super Channel, 2016–) are analysed.

Details

Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-103-2

Keywords

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