‘Of course, trust is not the whole story; narratives of dancing with a critical friend in social enterprise-public sector collaboration’

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Hot off the press! Our BLCC member Dr Pam Seanor has published the following chapter:

‘Of course, trust is not the whole story; narratives of dancing with a critical friend in social enterprise-public sector collaboration’  in Pascal Day and Chris Steyaert (Eds) Social entrepreneurship: An affirmative Critique, Cheltenham UK and Northampton, MA, USA, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 159-181

Pam tells us, “The chapter began from hearing a story told at an academic conference. The story stayed with me and led me to query the adequacy of academic narratives which frame trust in univocally positive terms by conceiving it as an essential lubricant in collaborative relations between social enterprises and government. Based on interviews with social entrepreneurial practitioners and government officials in England, it shares the “everyday” stories where trust, rather the forming a linear and stable “thing”, is a fluid, constantly changing and contested social practice. Shedding light on the co-implication of trust and control, and the ubiquity of distrust, “calculative trust” and practitioner resistance, the chapter works as an injunction to rethink the centrality of trust in everyday life of social enterprises.”

Pam welcomes conversations with practitioners of their everyday aspects of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship: Pam.Seanor@uwe.ac.uk

Behaviour change in the illegal wildlife trade.

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By Dr Fiona Spotswood.

 

Recently I was invited to speak and take part in a policy workshop at Cambridge University on the Illegal Wildlife Trade. The event was coordinated by Cambridge University’s Science and Policy Research Centre, TRAFFIC and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The idea was to explore ideas in the run up to the main conference on the IWT, this autumn in London. This was the first time I had been involved in this topic, and it was a fascinating few days.

My contribution was as the expert in behaviour change. I presented some ideas around different theoretical assumptions underpinning behaviour change interventions and policies. I have presented this same talk in many different contexts, but normally it relates to physical activity or sustainability. The context of pangolins and rosewood was a first for me. However, the same theoretical contexts were highly prevalent. Can we think about the consumption of pangolin scales or rhino horn as a deliberated, conscious consumer decision, or is that decision embedded in established routines? These questions are at the heart of all my research into the way people enact everyday behaviours and answers many of our questions about why people get ‘stuck’ into different habits. Often, the people want to budge those habits, but sometimes they don’t.

The consumer context of the illegal wildlife trade is complex. For some consumption activities, the illegality of the purchase is part of the appeal. For others, there is confusion and mystery about the law. Rosewood is a good example. We know little about the consumer demand for illegal rosewood. It may be that rosewood furniture is part of a set of traditions that have nothing to do with its protected status. Understanding the practices in which rosewood furniture consumption is a significant moment would be a first step in identifying how to shape these practices and kerb consumption to within sustainable limits.

Practice theory offers insights into how behaviours happen and how they can be tackled. Often, the answer does not lie with persuasive approaches, although these can be an important ongoing focus. However, persuasion alone is unlikely to shift ingrained cultural routines and collective conventions. A good example of an intervention for the IWT which could easily have been designed using practice theory (although I should note was not) relates to the tradition use of shark fin in large, formal Chinese banquets. Shark fin has connotations of wealth, status and grandeur, so attempting to persuade banquet consumers, such as the ‘mother of the bride’ to forgo the tradition is unlikely to work. However, working with conference, wedding and party organisers has seen a shift in the way the banquets are planned and ‘framed’ to consumers. Alternatives have been offered and shark fin has gradually been consumed less and less on these occasions. Gradually, the collective conventions surrounding shark fin consumption have shifted so that its consumption is seen as outmoded.

Behaviour change is a complex area, but practice theories show time and again how embedded our ‘decisions’ are into our culturally significant routines, and how little we ‘decide’ about consumption activities which are just part of how our worlds work.

Dr Fiona Spotswood

@fispotswood

www.fionaspotswood.uk

LATEST BLOG: https://policyandpoliticsblog.com/

#myUWEBBSview …a new collaborative research project with ISG, Stride Treglown and Bristol Business School, UWE.

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An exciting new research project is now underway at Bristol Business School and Law School.

We would like all UWE Bristol staff, students, services and visitors to get involved.

Over the next year, we are asking everyone to take photos to show how they are using the building and how they feel about the building.

Participants can then post their pictures on Instagram using #myUWEBBSview and in the comments box, tell us what the picture means to you.

Or, you can email your pictures and comments to myUWEBBSview@uwe.ac.uk

Check out our project website for more details: www.myUWEBBSview.com

The research project is led by Dr Harriet Shortt, Associate Professor in Organisation Studies, in collaboration with ISG, the contractors, and Stride Treglown, the architects of the building.

Stride Treglown have also featured the project on their website.

Watch this space over the next year for more details!

Creating space for a critical approach to entrepreneurship .

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By Dr Pam Seanor.

 

The idea of this book took off from the 3E conference with invited participants who, like us, had voiced their interest and concerns regarding entrepreneurship education, experiencing a gap between entrepreneurship practices we studied and found in textbooks and what we felt was asked for in the classroom. I had the pleasure to be invited to co-facilitate a PDW and have now published a book chapter on my work:

Seanor, P. (2018). A space on the side of the road: creating space for a critical approach to entrepreneurship. K. Berglund, JK. Verduijn. In: Revitalizing entrepreneurship education: adopting a critical approach in the classroom. Routledge, pp.99-118.

Book description: Within mainstream scholarship, it’s assumed without question that entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education are desirable and positive economic activities. Drawing on a wide range of theoretical approaches and political-philosophical perspectives, critical entrepreneurship studies has emerged to ask the questions which this assumption obscures.

Students of entrepreneurship need to understand why and how entrepreneurship is seen as a moral force which can solve social problems or protect the environment, or even to tackle political problems. It is time to evaluate how such contributions and insights have entered our classrooms. How much – if any – critical discussion and insight enters our classrooms? How do we change when students demand to be taught “how to do it”, not to be critical or reflexive.

If educators are to bring alternative perspectives into the classroom, it will entail a new way of thinking. There is a need to share ideas and practical approaches, and that is what the contributions to this volume aim to do and to illuminate new ways forward in entrepreneurship education.

 

If you would like more information about this book the please contact Pam directly.

Dr Robert French: in memoriam…

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Br Professor Peter Case.

It’s with great sadness that we announce that our long-time colleague, Dr Robert French, passed away peacefully on Friday 5th January. A dedicated scholar and teacher, Robert joined UWE (then Bristol Polytechnic) more than thirty years ago, having spent the early part of his career in secondary school education. Robert was a remarkable man and someone whom we all valued greatly as a colleague.

A handsome and physically impressive figure, I shall always remember the intellectual acuity and creativity he brought to the many academic collaborations we engaged in together. He was ever a font of intellectual insight and wisdom, as well as someone whose great learning was admired and respected by all who knew him. He and I shared a great passion and interest in matters philosophical, publishing several articles and book chapters in collaboration with Dr Peter Simpson on the themes of workplace spirituality and leadership philosophy. We also wrote on the topic of ‘friend and betrayal’ jointly with professor Jonathan Gosling of Exeter University.

I’m sure that Robert’s deep Christian faith would have been a source of confidence and assurance as he faced the challenges that his illness presented him with, particularly in the latter stages. I shall miss our regular conversations – often in the company of Peter Simpson – very much indeed. I shall also miss his joie de vivre and wry wit; the broad smile that he greeted one with was invariably the source of joy and uplift.

There was often a mischievous aspect to his humour. I remember well the way he once drew me in with the following joke: ‘Peter’, he said, ‘you know, of course, that Proudhon and his anarchist compatriots only ever drank herbal tea’. Believing him to be relating an established historical fact, in my naivety I replied ‘No, why on earth was that?’. ‘Because proper-tea [property] is theft!’, came the swift retort.

It was an honour and privilege to have known Robert and spend time in his generous presence. I and all my colleagues in the Organization Studies department at UWE shall miss him greatly.

 

 

Please follow the links below to view some of Robert’s work:

 

http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/24450/1/UWE%20Research%20extract.pdf

http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/view/author/French=3ARobert=3A=3A.html

 

‘Rich pictures’ – Delta 7 come to UWE to talk visual representations and relationship building

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On the 6th December 2017, the BLCC hosted a practical workshop from Delta 7 – an innovative Organisational Development Consultancy. In their practice, Elinor Rebeiro and Julian Burton engage with organisations to explore their problems and employ novel methods to help resolve issues. Most notably they make use of ‘rich pictures’ – visual representations – to invoke discussion and dialogue. A short introduction to this can be seen here.

Whilst there were discussions regarding this method during the workshop, the primary aim was the explore the ethos and heart behind Delta 7’s work: relationship building. Throughout the two-hour session the significance of emotions, vulnerability and trust were explored in great detail. Eli and Julian drew on their own tales to express how current organisational practice seems to be ‘stuck’ in mechanistic and individualistic modes where work is done in a mostly transactional and depersonalised manner.

They pushed for a deeper understanding of relational leadership approaches to make for more ‘meaningful and productive’ workplaces. Here, they argued, we must be able to challenge our basic assumptions about working patterns and learn to develop a language that allows for relationships to develop more freely. Leadership therefore moves away from more traditional command and control styles and toward a more flexible, pluralistic, dynamic and human(e) process. This concept has received increasing attention from academics in recent years – including UWE researchers – yet Delta 7 offered actual embodied insights to ask why these approaches are not being operationalized, and how we might be able to integrate further in the future.

For more information on Delta 7, please visit their website.

The Art of Management and Organization – deadline extended!

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If you haven’t been to this conference before…you might be missing out!

Come to Brighton in the UK next summer and join us!

The theme is ‘Performance’ and exhibitions, installations, workshops and performances are all welcome!

Deadline for abstracts and contributions has just been extended to February 9th 2018:

Call for Contributions Deadline Extended February 9th, Brighton 2018!

Organization and Leadership Development for Malaria Elimination in Zimbabwe

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Picture above: ODME staff and trainees. From left to right: Dr Greyling Viljoen, Dr Gladwin Muchena, Professor Peter Case, Dr Macdonal Hove, Mr Munashe Madinga, Ms Nomaqhawe Mpala, Prof. Jonathan Gosling, Prof. Peliwe Mnguni, Dr Rudo Chikodzore,Mr Notho Dube.

Professor Peter Case returned recently from Zimbabwe where he and Professor Jonathan Gosling have been progressing a project to assist the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) in that country. Peter and Jonathan were both working in Bulawayo when the Zimbabwean military took control on 14th November and, for a few days, had to contend with a high degree of uncertainty as political events unfolded around them and they were advised to remain in their hotel. Despite the difficult circumstances, they worked alongside two other FBL Associate Lecturers, Dr Greyling Viljoen and Professor Peliwe Mnguni, to deliver the first of a series of workshops to a cohort of medics and senior administrators from Matabeleland South – members of a provincial team that has been involved with the wider project since August 2016 and who have embarked on a training programme entitled Organization Development for Malaria Elimination (ODME). The plan is to build OD training capacity in the Zimbabwean health system with a longer-term aim of expanding the process-improvement work to other nations in the region. The training is accredited through UWE Bristol’s Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice and the students (pictured below with the FBL project team) have all expressed an interest in pursuing a UWE-based masters degree. Dr Carol Jarvis, Felicity Cargill and Sue Brown have assisted greatly with setting up the PG Cert and enrolling the first cohort.

The two-day induction event (13-14 November) was judged to be a success by all concerned and several of the trainees made themselves available to assist Professors Mnguni, Case and Gosling with a large-scale workshop designed to address malaria-specific challenges in Matabeleland North province. For delivery of the workshop, the team expanded to include Professor Daniel Chandramohan – a world leading expert on malaria from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – and Precious Chitapi an OD facilitator based in Harare. Now in its second year, the project will be active in over half of Zimbabwe (geographically) by the end of the 2017-18 malaria season. The work has been contracted by the Malaria Elimination Initiative – based at the University of California, San Francisco – and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project has been approved by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and in-country administrative support is provided by the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

How to Increase Coach-Coachee Trust in Coaching.

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11 December 2017, UWE Bristol Business School and EMCC Event.

Sign up now to this great morning event run by the EMCC and hosted at UWE Bristol Business School on the 11 December 2017, 9am – 12pm.

There will be tea, coffee, mince pies, opportunities for great networking and 2 fantastic key speakers, including one of our UWE MSc Leadership and Management (Coaching and Mentoring) students, Katie Joyce.

See below and this link for full details and how to sign up:

Recent research by Bozer and Jones highlights the essential role of trust in the coaching relationship on effective coaching, in particular that trust is essential to ensure the level of openness and sharing required to facilitate lasting behaviour change. This roadshow session will focus on the topic: ‘How to increase coach-coachee trust in coaching’. The session will include a presentation of the key research findings in relation to trust and coaching effectiveness, followed by a facilitated discussion on best practice guidance on increasing trust in coaching.

Dr Rebecca J Jones

Dr Rebecca J Jones is an Associate Professor in Coaching at Henley Business School. Rebecca is actively engaged in researching workplace coaching, teaching the new generation of coaches and engaging with organisations regarding their coaching practice. Rebecca’s background is in Occupational Psychology and she is passionate about building the evidence-base of workplace coaching to inform theory, research and practice.

Katie Joyce

Practice Placement Manager (PPM), Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. Katie Joyce is a UWE Bristol Business School Postgraduate part-time student on the MSc Leadership and Management (Coaching and Mentoring) programme. Katie is currently conducting a research project  that explores the potential for using a virtual blog as a coaching method and as a learning tool to support the transitional development phase of Newly Qualified Midwives (NQMs) in the NHS.  Katie will discuss her findings so far and reflect on how this coaching tool might be effectively used in the future.

Venue and Travel Details

Reception will be from 8.30 a.m for a 9.00 a.m. start.
The event will be held in the Business School – Fifth Floor, Room 5X101
Visitors driving to Frenchay Campus and the Bristol Business School should use the North Entrance to access car parks (BS34 8QZ for your sat nav) from the A4174 Ring Road.
There will be parking spaces reserved in the Bristol Business School visitors car park; you may have to pick up a ticket at the barrier and get it ‘cleared’ at reception inside.
Refreshments will be served from 08.30,  with the event starting at 09.00.  After the event there will be more refreshments and homemade mince pies, with time and space for networking.  Please be aware – traffic on the ring road can get heavy in the morning rush-hour.
Useful links…
Travelling to UWE Bristol
Bus information
Frenchay campus map
Bristol Parkway rail station is very convenient for the University’s Frenchay Campus and there are regular buses directly to campus.
There are great cycle paths from the centre of Bristol and around the area.

Spaces of in-between-ness in a ‘green’ city: Exploring ‘wandering’ as an affirmative critique of utopian practice

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By Dr Pam Seanor.

 

” … what does it mean to reflect upon a position, a relation, a place related to other places but with no place of its own – a position in-between?” Elizabeth Grosz 2001.

I write as I am coming to an end of the Wandering about Bristol project and pause to reflect on the recent workshop, where we screened a film to the participants who filmed videos of wanders in Bristol (view film here). As such, the film draws upon participant videos capturing – How to navigate a “green” city? – and wandering opens up opportunities for using research to actively participate in, and render visible, spaces of in-between-ness which defy some of the official narrative introduced by the Green Capital 2015 initiative. In the wanders, the one narrative of the ‘green’ city is broken up by the street and the official voice and imagery is replaced with the sound of conversation partners. Representatives included those from the Bristol 2015 Co., who created the imagery and those who delivered projects as part of Bristol 2015 European Green capital initiative, local government, Sustrans, consultants, architects, landscape architects, Artists and those creating skate parks. The three wanders, 2015-2017, were co-created with practitioners, as they held the videos (please see links below to the wanders). Moreover, each of the wanders and the workshop were created from conversations with and listening to practitioners over coffee and cake or breakfast, sometimes walking and conversations ending up at the pub over a pint. However, when it came to writing up, each practitioner – research partner – was clear; none wanted any part of that experience. That role was (mostly) mine, with my working up drafts sent back and forth between me in Bristol and my co-writer Pascal Dey, whilst he was in Zurich and/or Grenoble. It is this part thinking/writing up space of which I speak.

In writing up, I am drawn to Steyaert’s (2011) thoughts of ‘movement and being moved’, as I too feel the moving and moving images, raise questions and reveal varied perspectives of spaces. On the one hand, the official imagination of Bristol as a ‘European Green Capital’ city and, on the other, the availability of alternatives to it. From the above citation, Grosz (2001) argues for openness to questioning perceptions and that the metaphor of ‘in-between’ offers a space from thinking solely in terms of binaries and dualisms. Where Grosz’s comment speaks of place, I am interested in Henri Lefebvre’ triad of space; it is her thinking of in-between-ness which has stayed with me. In a similar manner following Hjorth’s (2005, p.395) thoughts of ‘stepping in to the in-between’, I like the notion of transition and of the unexpected – Neither one thing nor the other but an-other space. The metaphor of in-between-ness offers such a space for transitions, the space of crossing a line, and new interpretations, a space for juxtaposing notions. In this particular instance, I am interested in juxtaposing how urban space might be thought about and how people move in-between ideas about Bristol as a ‘green’ city, what Lefebvre termed ‘official’ space and what they do in their everyday practices: Lefebvre’s ‘lived’ space. As Rajchman (2001, p.17 cited by Massey, 2005, p.159) posed ‘What kind of lines of flights of thought take off when we start to depart from ways we have been determined to be towards something other, we are not yet quite sure what…’. This last part is crucial in that wandering and the use of moving imagery is well suited to transcending dichotomies and communicating ideas that are complex and address plurality. And, though the thinking of the ‘other’ sits well with writers of critical writing of management and/or organisation studies, the imagery of utopia, often seen in green capital imagery, does not sit easily with the critical literature (Parker et al., 2014). What appears missing from these utopian imaginaries are the everyday, to which I now turn to step in to the methodology of capturing how we negotiate spaces. The wanders offered a way of moving in-between official utopian notions of Bristol as a ‘green’ city with how Bristolians’ everyday life, including their understanding and practices of greenness.

As my point of departure, the project began by looking at how those in cities organize and re-imagine as a ‘green’ city.  In conceiving the ‘entrepreneurial’ city as a ‘site of organization’ (Beyes, 2015), there are challenges making the interactions complex; Timon notes that ‘greenness’ is heralded as a pertinent means to ‘save the city’ (p.208). Recent times have witnessed an increasing interest amongst city planners, including those in universities, in ‘greenness’, as a means for reconceiving urban space in line with concerns around environmental pollution and climate change.

Cities have long been privileged sites of power investments, as different stakeholders perpetually try to shape urban space in defined ways (Steyaert and Katz, 2004). These writers often drawn upon the thinking from other fields of study including, anthropology and human or cultural geography. Beyes (2010, 231) noted: ‘As Steyaert argues with regard to organisation studies, what makes cities interesting is their ‘imaginative geography’ (2006, 253), their possibilities for ‘transitional’ spaces that can be found in the organising processes of cities, ‘specific, “potential” or “other”, spaces and timings, which (…) allow transition and transformation (…)’ (2006, 248).

Knox (2010, p.187) too noted:

‘Cities are both the drivers of change and sites where transformations, which organisation scholars have observed elsewhere, can be re-interrogated and rethought’.

However, where Knox explores transformations using the lens of technological change and the nature of information in the city, I am interested in transformation from another vantage point. My study highlights how practitioners re-image their everyday practices.

My approach to the fieldworking is ‘on the move’ (Czarniawska 2007) in order to capture shared experiences and differing views. There was a moment when it became clear to me that the study required moving imagery, and the aspect of movement felt to fit the methodology and attitude of this project. Drawing its inspiration from existing research in organisation studies on walks/walking (for instance, Timon Beyes, Damian O-Doherty, Filipa Matos Wunderlich, Mary Phillips), the study advances the notion of ‘wandering’ as an embodied, collective and spatial research methodology which opens up opportunities for bringing to light spaces of in-between-ness which are glossed over and marginalized by dominant imagination. In reading, and re-reading the above writers, I have observed the fecundity of collective wandering in critical management studies, as a mode of critical inquiry, which in this study generates spatially embedded narratives and practices that reveal tensions and paradoxes within the official narrative of Bristol as a site of ‘green living’. Exposing ‘rupture lines’ of the conceived imagery of Bristol as a ‘green city’, wandering, I argue, also bears purchase as a means of utopian imagination since offering new opportunities for stepping into ‘the in-between’ to stimulate experiences of transition and a plurality of meanings in movement as opposed to notions of apparent stability and predictability. The tentative conclusion toward which the study gravitates is that the critical thrust of wandering is deeply imbricated with the possibility of utopian imagination, not in the sense of advancing clear-cut alternatives to the dominant imagination, but by creating a distance from the dominant notion of ‘green city’ to create possibilities for looking at urban space afresh.

Finally, in the metaphor of in-between-ness, there is one last thought. I find myself as part of this project and seek to offer affirmative critique which can change practices. I think that wandering and/or capturing conversations using moving imagery offers the opportunity to question existing tools and methods in organization studies, and to open up a conversation of the need to look around for alternative ways. Yet, in sharing these ideas at conferences, it has yet to find a place. In presenting at EGOS 2015, to the Space and materiality stream, mine was the only paper looking at spaces in a city, most researchers were focusing on space in a building (e.g. hospitals seemed particularly popular sites of study). My feedback being scholars present had not before seen a Prezi and people liked this tool and my use of colour. At EGOS 2016, I tried the Ethnography stream to find the study did not fit well there either: one said I was not writing of an organization, and another that I had neglected to draw upon the traditional anthropology literature. In the Manchester International Ethnography Symposium, this summer, again, it did not to fit comfortably in the visual studies stream, as two attendees said it was not aesthetically pleasing (e.g. there are noises from the city and it is not professionally videoed), nor was it of ‘a standard expected for it to be an ethnography’. I submitted an earlier manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, and the editor-in-chief kindly sent me two e-mails saying he regrettably rejected the manuscript as ‘Space’ does not sit easily within the narrative of his journal, and the second that he too attempts to publish in this field of study and gets rejected as this research sits at the margins. Hence, I it is a bit with irony that I find my thinking in Grosz’s position of in-between-ness. I welcome conversations to discuss these ideas and experiences with those also interested in affirmative critique.

Wandering about Bristol is a Small Research Grant for the project ‘Thinking urban spaces differently: Articulating and contesting “green” imageries of Bristol as an enterprising city’ and is supported by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust.

» Wander 1

 

» Wander 2 

 

» Wander 3