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Content available
Book part
Publication date: 10 April 2019

Howard Thomas and Yuwa Hedrick-Wong

Abstract

Details

Inclusive Growth
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-780-6

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 August 2022

Thomas Howard Morris

Creativity has been positioned as a critical workplace competence, especially in societies in which conditions are rapidly changing. The fact that traditional educational…

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Abstract

Purpose

Creativity has been positioned as a critical workplace competence, especially in societies in which conditions are rapidly changing. The fact that traditional educational processes oppress creativity is theoretically important. The purpose of the present paper is to theoretically map the process of teacher-directed learning and how the process oppresses creativity.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical paper in which a conclusion is drawn that there is a primary and secondary process of creativity oppression with traditional teacher-directed learning.

Findings

It is proposed in the present paper that the primary process of creativity oppression is that the pathway to a “high achieving pass” is for learners to make knowledge constructions that mirror that of the educator (rewarding non-creative learning outcomes). A secondary, silent and powerful mechanism of creativity oppression is where the learner does not “buy in” with the educator to accept their knowledge inculcation. The student here may indeed produce a creative learning outcome from the process, but they are likely to be judged for that work as a “low achieving pass” or a fail.

Originality/value

The paper seeks to identify the mechanism in which creativity oppression may accumulate over time until learner creativity is quashed.

Details

On the Horizon: The International Journal of Learning Futures, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Howard Thomas and Alex Wilson

The purpose of this paper examines some of the controversies facing business schools in their future evolution and pays particular attention to their competitive positioning as…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper examines some of the controversies facing business schools in their future evolution and pays particular attention to their competitive positioning as centres of management research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines and builds on current literature to provide an analytic overview of the environment and competitive challenges to management research in business schools.

Findings

The paper assesses the impacts of a globalized environment and ever‐changing competitive dynamics, for example in terms of the supply of high‐quality faculty, on the activity of management research in business schools. It points out that research impacts must be judged not only in terms of theoretical development but also managerial and policy impact. However, managerial impact is difficult to measure and the “voice of practice” must be carefully identified.

Originality/value

The paper identifies the current challenges for undertaking innovative research in business schools in light of their competitive environment. Three interrelated conjectures focusing particularly on managerial impact are raised which identify problems and limitations of current debates on management research in business schools.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 October 2009

Howard Thomas and Xiaoying Li

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the strategic profiles and differences across globally leading business schools.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the strategic profiles and differences across globally leading business schools.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used the concepts of strategic group identity and domain consensus to examine the differences across the business schools. Cluster analysis is applied to identify strategic groups among 82 global schools from the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Findings

Ten strategic groups – essentially similar strategic “clusters” – are identified by the clustering analysis. The results demonstrate that the groups do have different resource and reputation profiles.

Research limitations/implications

Future research can improve the research base by collecting data on financial variables such as endowments, providing metrics by which a school's efficiency can be assessed, or collecting longitudinal data. Furthermore, a form of cognitive strategic mapping could be achieved through survey and interview mechanisms in order to highlight the perspectives of deans and senior managers of business schools.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the literature in two aspects. First, this research provides a clear mapping of the strategic “bands” across globally branded business schools. The results are highly timely in today's debate about the nature and future of business schools. Second, this research demonstrates that strategic group theory can be applied in the business school context.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 47 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 June 2021

Thomas Howard Morris

Fostering the skills necessary for self-directed learning (SDL) competence could be considered the most essential goal of formal education, especially due to uncertainty and…

Abstract

Purpose

Fostering the skills necessary for self-directed learning (SDL) competence could be considered the most essential goal of formal education, especially due to uncertainty and changing conditions – exampled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, SDL competence can afford a person the ability to adapt to changing social contextual conditions, thus facilitating personal growth and development – even in the face of volatile and rapidly changing social contextual conditions. The aim of this study is to explore, theoretically, the contextual quality of educational experience necessary for learners to secure adaptive meaning-making: in order to meet the demands of our changing world.

Design/methodology/approach

To date, research has failed to comprehensively identify exactly what type of educational experience is necessary for such an adaptive meaning-making process during SDL. The present theoretical paper attempts to redress this concern.

Findings

Highly contextualized educational experience is necessary to enable contextual-specific, adaptable, meaning-making. Two constituents of contextualized educational experience are proposed: contextual-specific information available during the educational experience; and contextual-specific meaning schemes resultant from the educational process.

Originality/value

This novel work presents an important argument that education should encourage learners to construct knowledge that is adaptable and transferable to their context, rather than automatized knowledge that is not adaptable or transferable. This is a key concern for persons who face rapidly changing social contextual conditions and therefore should be given consideration in both the design of education and in further research on SDL. Like a vaccine in an arm provides a certain protection against COVID-19, fostering our populations’ SDL competence is fundamental for affording persons with an ability to meet the demands of our rapidly changing world.

Details

On the Horizon: The International Journal of Learning Futures, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Charles Carroll and Howard Thomas

Strategic groups research has been hampered by the poor alignment between theory and methods. This has been due in large part to the lack of significance tests for cluster…

Abstract

Purpose

Strategic groups research has been hampered by the poor alignment between theory and methods. This has been due in large part to the lack of significance tests for cluster analysis. Now that significance tests are available, the theoretical and methodological implications are discussed. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The theory behind strategic groups is reframed to capitalize on the available significance tests. Subsequently, the significance tests are also modified to fit the proposed theory. Due to this integrative approach, this is both a theoretical and a methodological paper.

Findings

In lieu of significance tests, finding differences in performance emerged as the litmus test for the existence of discrete strategic groups. The concept of strategic groups gradually evolved to fit this requirement. Now that significance tests are available, these legacy effects of the structure-performance link can be removed. This reveals that three conflicting concepts have been sharing the label of strategic groups: strategic categories, interdependent strategic groups and strategic performance groups. The theory also reveals that the significance tests developed in ecological research need modifications for use in strategic groups research.

Research limitations/implications

A theory is proposed for interdependent strategic groups and a significance test of external isolation is proposed as part of this integrative solution.

Originality/value

This integrative solution appears to resolve the historical mismatch between theory and methods that has plagued this field since its inception. This creates a variety of intriguing areas for future research.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2009

Howard Thomas

In recent years, the role and value of management research is being increasingly challenged because of the perceived imbalance between its rigour and relevance. The purpose of…

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Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, the role and value of management research is being increasingly challenged because of the perceived imbalance between its rigour and relevance. The purpose of this paper is to review the progress of management research in the UK and focuses particularly on the need for sensible evaluation of the impact of management research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper outlines the research challenges faced by business schools from a UK perspective. It draws upon the author's experiences and the results of an analytic study of Economic and Social Research Council‐sponsored research undertaken by the author in 2008.

Findings

There is a perception that management as a discipline, and its resulting research profile, may be more difficult to evaluate than its social science sub‐disciplines such as economics, psychology, and sociology. In some instances, management research is perceived as of lower quality and capacity shortages of high‐quality management research scholars have also been identified. The dominant research challenges are both to successfully design practice‐informed management scholarship and to carefully address the dissemination of results in order to influence the impact of management research on practice.

Originality/value

The paper suggests that an increasing focus on practice and cross‐cutting inter‐disciplinary topics, such as climate change or the role of finance in society, should form a significant element of the research agendas of business schools. In any event, it is argued that cutting‐edge research should be the overarching aim of business schools in a knowledge society.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2007

Howard Thomas

The paper aims to present a framework for a systems perspective for business schools to formulate strategy, assess performance and adapt to change resulting from performance…

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to present a framework for a systems perspective for business schools to formulate strategy, assess performance and adapt to change resulting from performance, environmental and learning feedbacks.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on the balanced scorecard as a means of measuring performance and modifying business school strategies over time.

Findings

The paper provides a range of metrics for business schools from financial lenses to innovation and learning lenses, and adapts the scorecard framework to strategic processes from business planning to feedback and learning.

Originality/value

The paper links strategy formulation to key performance indicators and strategic change for business schools.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 January 2021

Howard Thomas, Helen Ougham and Dawn Sanders

The present paper aims to examine the concept of “plant blindness” in the context of current sustainability debates. “Plant blindness” was the term introduced in 1999 by the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The present paper aims to examine the concept of “plant blindness” in the context of current sustainability debates. “Plant blindness” was the term introduced in 1999 by the botanists and educators James H Wandersee and Elisabeth E Schussler to describe what they saw as a pervasive insensitivity to the green environment and a general neglect of plants on the part of biology education.

Design/methodology/approach

The fundamental importance of plants for life on Earth and the socio-educational challenges of redacted awareness of this importance are considered. Also, the diverse physiological, psychological, philosophical, cultural and geopolitical origins and consequences of indifference to plants in relation to aspects of sustainability agendas are examined with special reference to education.

Findings

An examination of the outcomes of a range of research and practical initiatives reveals how multidisciplinary approaches to education and public engagement have the potential to address the challenge of “plant blindness”. The need for these opportunities to be reflected in curriculums is not widely appreciated, and the socio-economic forces of resistance to confronting plant neglect continue to be formidable.

Originality/value

Plant blindness is a relatively new field of research, and the full breadth of its implications are only gradually becoming apparent. If the present paper contributes to positioning plants as an essential element in sustainability education and practice, it will have met its objective.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2007

Howard Thomas

The paper seeks to identify the key environmental forces and competitive drivers influencing the strategic management of a business school, and to give guidance about strategic…

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to identify the key environmental forces and competitive drivers influencing the strategic management of a business school, and to give guidance about strategic choices as the business school evolves in the new knowledge economy.

Design/methodology/approach

Analytic tools such as PEST analysis and competitive analysis are used to provide a model and framework for dialogue about strategic choice.

Findings

The influence of demographic, technological, entrepreneurship and globalisation drivers provides a series of implications for competitive action and strategic choice. In the current environment it offers a school strategy of a rigorous academic research profile informed and guided by practice. This is favoured over a more professional agenda.

Originality/value

The paper reviews and updates the literature on future strategies and scenarios for business schools from an analytic perspective.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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