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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Alexander Kaiser and Birgit Fordinal

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new type of ba, called “vocation ba” and to describe the main aspects of this type of ba as well as its methods.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new type of ba, called “vocation ba” and to describe the main aspects of this type of ba as well as its methods.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the literature in the field of self‐transcending knowledge and the concept of ba and shows the main aspects for the design of a new methodology and framework. Additionally it analyzes experiences with the new method from several case studies.

Findings

First the concept of vocation ba describes a space on the individual level as well as on the collective level for the generation of self‐transcending knowledge. Second the method of Vocation‐coachingWaVe is a helpful method within the vocation ba. The experiences with these two new concepts from several case studies are very encouraging.

Research limitations/implications

The number of case studies at the collective level is still limited, as the authors have been working with the method of Vocation‐coachingWaVe at the collective level for two years. At the moment further research is done in larger systems.

Practical implications

This study gives insight and information about the method of Vocation‐coachingWaVe and the concept of vocation ba.

Originality/value

The paper presents one of the few studies, which theoretically and practically deals with the aspect of self‐transcending knowledge in the context of vision development processes and knowledge‐based management on the individual level as well as on the collective level. The method of Vocation‐coachingWaVe at the collective level is a continuous approach of a bottom‐up vision development process.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2016

Rory Shand and Mark Hyde

Is public entrepreneurship an oxymoron? Why and how is enterprise/entrepreneurship important for public service delivery? The growing role of enterprise within the public…

Abstract

Purpose

Is public entrepreneurship an oxymoron? Why and how is enterprise/entrepreneurship important for public service delivery? The growing role of enterprise within the public sector has been the subject of much recent debate and policy focus, surrounding issues such as public value, meeting targets, and the need for innovation across public services by policy makers and managers given rapid reduction of budgets in this sector. This chapter reflects on these developments and examines the effects that an enterprise focus in the public services has in terms of vocation. Drawing on the Weberian notion of vocation (1941) in politics and the sciences, what does enterprise mean for the notion of public service? Certainly, historically the public services have enjoyed a strong vocational drive from its workforce, resulting in employee loyalty, and links with communities as well as higher levels of public trust than politicians or bankers, for example. The chapter draws on examples from education, public services and localism, all of which have seen to some degree the parachuting of managers in from the private sector or the aping of these behaviours and cultures in search of more entrepreneurial delivery. Drawing on the Weberian framework of bureaucracy and vocation, the chapter examines the changing role of public service and notions of community and duty, arguably damaged by failures of the Big Society agenda (Shand & Higman, 2014; Smith, 2010) and examines if and how enterprise can maintain the ethos of public service and vocational areas of the public sector in the enduring and pressurised new public management environment of meeting targets and value metrics.

Methodology/approach

The chapter adopts a Weberian approach in terms of vocation, and applies this concept to the notion of enterprise across the public services. The vocation approach in the public services, drawing upon Weber’s discussion of politics and science, underpins our discussion in this chapter as we argue that the role of innovation needs to be more widely applied and appreciated in the public services.

Findings

The chapter finds that examples of innovative behaviour and delivery are evident across the public services, but these need to be understood within the context of culture, values and ethos. These underpinning goals, across several frontline and first respondent public services particularly, are driven by dedication to duty and having to respond to rapid changes in targets, ‘customer’ service, and most recently, austerity. These responses need to be seen as innovative traits, linked to leadership and the Weberian notion of vocation.

Practical implications

The chapter raises several issues driven by failures or mistrust in the practical delivery and underpinning ethos of the public services. The focus on ethos has direct implications for both leadership within the public services and how these leaders’ roles and actions are interpreted by sections of wider society such as the media or the public. Notions of public trust are touched upon in the chapter, which highlight the role of key public services as different from the activities of politicians and bankers, areas which have become central to growing attitudes of mistrust among the public. The notion of vocation in the chapter is applicable to the practical arena as the role of innovation in public service needs to be reconsidered. The chapter suggests that, to date, the idea of innovation in public services has been driven by private sector innovation, and this has led to far too narrow an appreciation of what we term innovation within and across the public services.

Originality/value

This chapter unites debates around trust and innovation in the public and private sectors with the Weberian ideal of vocation, drawing upon key public services and their leadership and delivery to argue that we need to understand the drivers and motivating ethos behind the public services when we consider the role of innovation and indeed how we understand and apply this term within public service delivery.

Details

New Perspectives on Research, Policy & Practice in Public Entrepreneurship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-821-6

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

John G. Cullen

The concept of “career” has become the dominant mode of thinking about the “lifespan” of one's working life in contemporary late capitalist society. The research…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of “career” has become the dominant mode of thinking about the “lifespan” of one's working life in contemporary late capitalist society. The research literature on the concept of “vocation” and/or “calling” has grown in recent years, but has not yet received extensive treatment in the area of management career development. The purpose of this paper is to address this lacuna by outlining and describing the practice of vocational ideation (or considering one's work as calling, as opposed to a career or a job) in relation to its potential utilization in contemporary management and career development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is essentially conceptual and is informed by an extensive review of research literature and theory which examines how the concept of the “calling” has been integrated with learning, educational and developmental activities.

Findings

The paper discusses the implications of the return to the concept of “vocation” in HR and Management Development theory and demonstrates why “calling” is a small but significant nuance which can change the way in which managers engage with career development practices. The literature on introducing the concept of vocational ideation to career development activities has grown in research years. However, the literature review found that this body of work tends to focus on pre-experience college students, which indicates that it has not often been considered as a viable avenue for management development practice or research.

Research limitations/implications

As the paper is purely conceptual, and most of the literature in this field tends to focus on pre-experience students, potential implications for practice and avenues for future research are outlined. One of the two main categories of research need which emerged from the conceptual work described in this paper in relation to vocationally oriented career ideation was concerned with developing an understanding the dynamics of introducing the concept of vocational calling into management career development interventions.

Practical implications

A template for “doing” for vocational ideation in a management career development or management development context was offered. This outline may be altered to assist management development practitioners to develop and augment vocational ideation initiatives as part of their work and professional practice.

Social implications

Another area of research need emerging from this work was concerned with understanding changing perspectives on non-economic aspects of work as a social practice, the impact of culture on how vocations are understood, and the relationship between spirituality and meaningfulness and career behavior. In summary there appears to be a need for more studies which demonstrate how changed understandings of the vocation is reflective of broader social change.

Originality/value

The concept of vocational ideation is original and does not exist as a concept or a practice in the professional or research literature. It is discussed here in the context of the growth of interest in spirituality and religion in workplaces. Specific attention is given to how it can be applied in contemporary workplaces and organizations as part of management development practices.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 32 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2010

Madeleine Parkes, Katja Milner and Peter Gilbert

People go into employment for a range of reasons. One of those is usually to find a sense of meaning, as humans are meaning‐seeking animals.In the public sector there is…

Abstract

People go into employment for a range of reasons. One of those is usually to find a sense of meaning, as humans are meaning‐seeking animals.In the public sector there is even more likelihood of some kind of ‘calling’. This may not be a religious call, or even an overtly spiritual one, but there will usually be some sense in which the role and the individual reach out to one another.In a time of recession and strain on public finances and services, leaders need to work in a way that appeals to the spirit, the vocation in each person and the team.

Details

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9886

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Book part
Publication date: 12 December 2003

Joseph W Weiss, Michael F Skelley, John C Haughey and Douglas (Tim) Hall

What is my purpose in life? Why am I in this job, this organization, this industry? How did I get here in the first place? Am I working to live or living to work? How do I…

Abstract

What is my purpose in life? Why am I in this job, this organization, this industry? How did I get here in the first place? Am I working to live or living to work? How do I measure my success? Does my work serve any greater purpose? Many individuals ask these kinds of questions at some point in their lives. When faced with life and death situations, as many were during and after the September 11th attack, these questions move out of the shadows. For some of us, questioning our purpose in life and career are frequently forced to the forefront by the pressures and challenges – and sometimes boredom and emptiness – of our workplace. Still, these questions are a powerful way in which our human spirit manifests itself. Therefore, finding meaningful answers to them is one of the essential tasks we face when we attempt to integrate spirituality more fully in our lives.

Details

Spiritual Intelligence at Work: Meaning, Metaphor, and Morals
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-067-8

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Giovanni Pino, Gianluigi Guido and Alessandro M. Peluso

This paper aims to assess the extent to which the perceived images and personalities of places mirror their prevalent production orientations, or “vocations”. It also…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the extent to which the perceived images and personalities of places mirror their prevalent production orientations, or “vocations”. It also investigates the factors that shape the expectations and desires of residents, tourists, local firms and export markets, as well as these users’ overall place experience.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 600 questionnaires containing both closed-ended and open-ended questions were administered in four local territorial systems (LTSs) of a Southern Italian province. Data were analyzed by using both quantitative and qualitative techniques.

Findings

Results showed that place image mirrors the respective productive orientation for only one of the examined LTSs. Meanwhile, for all four LTSs, place image was congruent with place personality.

Research limitations/implications

The generalizability of the results is limited, as the research focused on LTSs located in a specific geographical area.

Practical implications

The paper provides suggestions regarding the formulation of marketing policies aimed at improving the willingness of residents, tourists, local firms and export markets to use the products/services/resources of the studied LTSs. Communication and branding strategies that leverage the personality traits of the examined LTSs are also illustrated in the paper.

Originality/value

By examining the coherence among place image, personality, and prevalent vocation, this research addresses a neglected area of investigation. This study is one of the few that provides empirical evidence of misperceptions of the actual production orientation of places.

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2014

Hannes Zacher, Daniel C. Feldman and Heiko Schulz

We develop a conceptual model, based on person-environment fit theory, which explains how employee age affects occupational strain and well-being. We begin by explaining…

Abstract

We develop a conceptual model, based on person-environment fit theory, which explains how employee age affects occupational strain and well-being. We begin by explaining how age directly affects different dimensions of objective and subjective P-E fit. Next, we illustrate how age can moderate the relationship between objective P-E fit and subjective P-E fit. Third, we discuss how age can moderate the relationships between P-E fit, on one hand, and occupational strain and well-being on the other. Fourth, we explain how age can impact occupational strain and well-being directly independent of P-E fit. The chapter concludes with implications for future research and practice.

Details

The Role of Demographics in Occupational Stress and Well Being
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-646-0

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Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2019

Daniel M. Harrison

As the social scientists of modern society, sociologists find themselves in a peculiar situation. Human civilization appears on the brink of collapse; the ravages of…

Abstract

As the social scientists of modern society, sociologists find themselves in a peculiar situation. Human civilization appears on the brink of collapse; the ravages of global capitalism are turning natural and social orders upside down. Some theorists are declaring the “end of history,” while others wonder if humans will soon become extinct. People find themselves increasingly shouldering burdens on their own, strangers to themselves and others. Struggles for recognition and identity are forged in harsh landscapes of social dislocation and inequality. The relationship of the individual to the state atrophies as governmental power becomes at once more remote and absolutely terrifying. How are we as sociologists expected to theorize under such circumstances?  What implications result for the mission of sociology as a discipline and area of study? What political initiatives, if any, can counter these trends?

This chapter provides an immanent critique of sociology as a profession, vocation, and critical practice. Sociology today (in the US and around the globe) faces fierce social, economic, and political headwinds. The discipline continues to be a perilous choice as a vocation for independent researchers as much as the shrinking professoriate. Yet while the traditional functions of sociology are thrown into doubt, there has been an increase in critical practices on the part of some sociologists. As institutional norms, values, and traditions continue to be challenged, there will be passionate debates about the production of social worlds and the validity claims involved in such creation. Sociologists must play an active role in such discourse. Sociology is needed today as a mode of intervention as much as occupational status system or method of inquiry.

Details

The Challenge of Progress
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-572-6

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Sue Mortimer

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the Triple-V model of experiential learning, when applied to Higher Education (HE), can transform the student-learning…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the Triple-V model of experiential learning, when applied to Higher Education (HE), can transform the student-learning experience by integrating the model’s three elements of Vision, Value and Vocation into delivery, assessment and beyond.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper sets out how the Triple-V model was introduced in three case studies. Feedback data were gathered through formal and informal surveys with students and other respondents.

Findings

The Triple-V model expounds the virtues of integrating Vision, Value and Vocation into HE to engage students in deep learning and to provide an external employability reference framework, which is particularly vital for students leaving HE with concerns about securing suitable employment to service soaring levels of student debt. The implementation of the model, based on measured outcomes, met with positive feedback from respondents.

Research limitations/implications

The Triple-V model was tested across three scenarios, using different respondents, within a School of Management. A Twitter account has been established (#triple_v_model) to invite wider participation and feedback to hone the model further, in particular its suitability for more esoteric, and less exoteric, subjects.

Originality/value

The Triple-V model is entirely original, devised by the present author, and is intended to enhance the HE student learning experience, contextualising for students their studies within a wider employability framework.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1990

Edgar Krau and Liora Ziv

Traditionally, the process of choosing a vocation has been presented as the matching of a person's interests and aptitudes with occupational requirements. Maintaining the…

Abstract

Traditionally, the process of choosing a vocation has been presented as the matching of a person's interests and aptitudes with occupational requirements. Maintaining the individual's role as an agent in the process of “self‐selection into an occupation” (Krech, Crutchfield and Ballachey, 1962), one ought to give attention not only to the push‐ but also to the pull‐ factors, i.e. to the occupational appeal which embodies the occupation's motivational “valence” (to use the term coined for a social context by Lewin, Dembo, Festinger and Sears, 1944).

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 10 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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