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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2021

Oran Doherty and Simon Stephens

This paper explores the implications for higher education of the rapid development in technology used by the manufacturing sector. Higher education programmes change or…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the implications for higher education of the rapid development in technology used by the manufacturing sector. Higher education programmes change or new courses are introduced in attempts to match labour market demands. However, the pace of change in the manufacturing industry challenges the authors to reconceive how programmes and modules can and should be designed and delivered.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on interviews with 26 senior management representatives from manufacturing companies in Ireland. The 26 senior managers and their companies represent the wide diversity of Ireland's manufacturing sector. All the interviews were face to face, complimented by a short questionnaire. Follow-up interviews focussed on the emergent findings were carried out to aid the writing of recommendations for the best practice in programme design and delivery.

Findings

What emerges from this study is that the manufacturing industry needs skills at three distinct levels. The authors define and classify the skill requirements at entry, competent and expert level. The authors place an emphasis on upskilling as an aid to movement between the three levels. In addition, and significantly, the desired time frame for delivery of these skills and/or upskilling is very short.

Originality/value

Accelerated reskilling programmes with faster, shorter bursts of work-based learning (WBL) and experiential training are required. With a growing demand for those at competent and expert level, it is necessary to promote WBL to facilitate the upskilling of those employed in manufacturing roles, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Details

Education + Training, vol. 63 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2021

Simon Stephens and Padraig Gallagher

This paper aims to explore the experiences, attitudes and expectations of higher education managers in relation to the increased use of metrics. Specifically, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the experiences, attitudes and expectations of higher education managers in relation to the increased use of metrics. Specifically, the authors examine a system of metrics which was introduced as part of the process for establishing Technological Universities in Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 12 managers were interviewed. The authors present data from the interviews in which the authors explore: the previous use of metrics; the impacts of the introduction of metrics; and the future use of metrics. A mix of narrative structuring and thematic analysis is used.

Findings

The introduction of metrics evokes a mixed reaction from the managers. The metrics allow performance in a range of activities to be measured, assessed and benchmarked. However, there are both direct and indirect impacts of the transition to a metric-based system, which the authors explore using six themes.

Originality/value

The authors apply the Academics Responding to Change model proposed by Trowler (1998) as the theoretical lens. This helps to capture the complex mix of direct and indirect effects that metrics can have on activities both at an individual and institutional level.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Simon Stephens, Isobel Cunningham and Yousra Kabir

The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of the impact that a crisis such as that created by COVID-19 has on entrepreneurs. The authors focus on female…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of the impact that a crisis such as that created by COVID-19 has on entrepreneurs. The authors focus on female entrepreneurs and their ability and propensity to continue their entrepreneurial journey.

Design/methodology/approach

For each respondent (n = 113), data was collected using an online survey. The survey was distributed in April 2020 during a nationwide lockdown and again in September 2020 as the economy reopened. In completing the survey, respondents were asked a series of multiple-choice questions and a series of open-ended questions.

Findings

The authors present data characterizing the female entrepreneurs, their experience during a time of crisis and the enablers and disablers to the continuation of their entrepreneurial journey. The key findings that emerge from this study include the resilience of the female entrepreneurs, their willingness to contribute to community-based organizations during a crisis and their desire to seek and receive support from their peers.

Originality/value

The findings from this study provide novel insights with regard to the resources and strategies used by female entrepreneurs during a time of crisis. The data was collected during two periods of great uncertainty for the entrepreneurs and at times when their availability was extremely limited.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2013

Simon Stephens

As people again consider what the future holds for higher education, this paper aims to provide a review of the futures documented for higher education. Authors including

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900

Abstract

Purpose

As people again consider what the future holds for higher education, this paper aims to provide a review of the futures documented for higher education. Authors including McNay; Schuller; Bourner et al.; Abeles; Avila and Ledger; Tynan and Lee; and Melville‐Ross, have scoped the future for higher education. This paper aims to consider the structure of these predictions and to explore the changes that have been proposed.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis of literature in this paper refers to documents produced by: governments and their agencies; books; and academic articles. This categorisation is based on the framework used by Tight. Two additional constraints are placed on the literature to keep it focused and manageable. First, the literature is restricted to publications in the English language. Second, the literature is limited to material published in the last 20 years. The rationale for this restriction is that the majority of futures research is produced with a 20 year horizon.

Findings

Numerous ideas on the future of higher education have been proposed over the last 20 years. Authors have proposed ideas under a range of themes. Although no significant pattern emerges, repeatedly authors have proposed change in relation to: access, teaching, institutional design, funding, ICT/virtual delivery, the student experience and the needs of the economy/labour market.

Originality/value

The value of this article is to help create some order, providing an overview of previous writing on the future of higher education.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Simon Stephens

The relationship between doctoral students and their supervisors impacts on degree completion rates; faculty research performance; and postgraduate satisfaction with their…

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1713

Abstract

Purpose

The relationship between doctoral students and their supervisors impacts on degree completion rates; faculty research performance; and postgraduate satisfaction with their alma mater. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between the experience of supervision and subsequent supervision practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Totally, 40 supervisors who are doctoral students/graduates were approached to participate in the study, and 32 agreed. For each participant, data were collected to explore their development as a supervisor.

Findings

Supervisors seek guidance from textbooks, workshops, peers, colleagues and their doctoral supervisor to develop as a supervisor. Their supervision style emerges as a reaction to both positive and negative experiences of supervision. A recurring theme in the data is that if there is something missing in the supervision experience, the student will emphasise this element in their approach to supervision.

Practical implications

The changing nature of doctoral provision is changing the role of the supervisor. This paper explores the relationship between a student and their supervisor. The outcome is that insights are provided into how the experience of doctoral supervision is reflected in the supervisory practices of the supervised.

Originality/value

The impact of the supervisor on the doctoral student's/graduate's subsequent approach to supervision can be mapped against previous research. Additional research is needed to identify the different styles of supervision practised, and how each style is valued within the academic community.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 56 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1990

Iain Crow, Paul Richardson, Carol Riddington, Frances Simon and Stephen Fineman

This book has been produced by a research team from NACRO (National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders). Readers familiar with NACRO publications will…

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237

Abstract

This book has been produced by a research team from NACRO (National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders). Readers familiar with NACRO publications will feel a bit cheated because a large part of its solid empirical centre has been published elsewhere (Unemployment and Magistrates' Courts, NACRO, 1987) — in a more user‐friendly, and much less‐expensive, form.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2020

Omokolade Akinsomi

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are historically considered as attractive assets to investors particularly as the underlying assets are properties which are…

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2253

Abstract

Purpose

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are historically considered as attractive assets to investors particularly as the underlying assets are properties which are income-producing. REITs also distribute substantial amount of profits as dividends to shareholders. Stephen and Simon (2005) find that REITs in a mixed asset portfolio of stocks and bonds enhance returns and reduce risk. This paper examines the role a pandemic (COVID-19) plays in the performance of global REITs index and REIT sectors.

Design/methodology/approach

To examine the effects of COVID-19 on REITs, the year-to-date (YTD) returns of global returns index and REITs sectors in the United States are observed and a comparative analysis is employed from January 2020 to May 2020.

Findings

Based on a three-month return ending 22 May 2020, FTSE EPRA NAREIT index is the biggest loser at −31.83% whilst the FTSE EPRA Asia–Pacific index has the lowest loss at −23.20%. The author examines YTD returns which show disparities on the effect of COVID-19 on REIT sectors. The US market is examined; most REIT sectors suffered big losses as at April 2020; the analysis reveals YTD returns for the top three REIT sector losers are lodging/resort REITs (−45.81%), retail REITs (−41.16%) and office REITs (−22.63%). Data centre REITs are the only sector REITs with positive returns at 17.66%.

Practical implications

Most sector REITs during the pandemic have lost considerable value based on YTD returns as at May 2020. Flight to quality is expected during this uncertain period to REITs such as data REITs, grocery-anchored REITs and storage REITs. These REITs are not as adversely affected by COVID-19 in comparison to other REITs.

Originality/value

This paper identified the impact of COVID-19 on the performance of global REITs and US sector REITs during the periods from January 2020 to May 2020.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2014

Simon Stephens, Oran Doherty, Billy Bennett and Michael Margey

The purpose of this paper is to explore the key challenge(s) experienced by employers, employees and academics during work based learning (WBL) programmes at undergraduate…

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518

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the key challenge(s) experienced by employers, employees and academics during work based learning (WBL) programmes at undergraduate level. The idea of academic mentors is proposed as an aid to addressing the challenges common to WBL programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study presented in this paper involves a large multinational organisation and a higher education institution, both of which are based in Ireland. Interviews were used to explore the outcome(s) of a WBL programme.

Findings

The challenges associated with WBL place demands on the design of curriculum, pedagogy and accreditation. The use of academic mentors can help translate academic knowledge into workplace practice; and address challenges which are common in WBL programmes.

Practical implications

The understanding of best practice in the design of WBL programmes is enriched. A role for academics as mentors is identified and the implications explored.

Originality/value

The success of WBL can be linked to the relationships that form between employers, employees and academics. There is evidence that the academic is central to the development of these relationships.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

Simon Bell and Stephen Morse

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248

Abstract

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Ultan Faherty and Simon Stephens

Although there is significant literature on innovation activities in large and medium-sized enterprises, studies that report on innovation practices in micro enterprises…

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2280

Abstract

Purpose

Although there is significant literature on innovation activities in large and medium-sized enterprises, studies that report on innovation practices in micro enterprises are lacking. The purpose of this paper is to explore three issues: understanding of the term “innovation”, innovation practice(s) and how innovation can be effectively measured.

Design/methodology/approach

The 12 case studies presented in this paper involve micro enterprises based in Ireland. Data collected during depth interviews provide insights into understanding, practices, motivations, behaviours and attitudes relating to innovation.

Findings

Although awareness of innovation theories, processes and procedures is found to be low, all of the micro enterprises studied engage in a range of innovation activities across products, processes, people and marketing. Innovation is important to the development of the enterprises; however, innovation is not a managed or systematic process, and this is often due to lack of resources.

Practical implications

This paper presents six recommendations which are of use to academics, micro enterprises and government support agencies. These recommendations include making changes to the service provided by support agencies, simplifying innovation, developing an innovation brokering facility, and improving the design/delivery of innovation programmes.

Originality/value

The paper enriches understanding of the experience of participants through the use of narrative structuring, and augments knowledge on the innovation practices of micro enterprises.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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