Does further education mean business? : An investigation into the impact leaders of colleges of further education in England believe their organisations contribute towards business competitiveness

Maykels, Paul (2015) Does further education mean business? : An investigation into the impact leaders of colleges of further education in England believe their organisations contribute towards business competitiveness. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

Over £40 billion is invested annually in the United Kingdom by employers on business training and skills development in order to enhance the skills of the workforce and add competitive value to organisations. 216 general further education colleges in England, along with other public and private training providers contribute significantly towards this skills and training development. However, there is relatively little research that has been undertaken into investigating the impact leaders of further education colleges in England believe their organisations contribute towards business competitiveness. Within this thesis, a literature review prepares the way for new research on this topic through exploring theory on themes such as the nature of organisations, human capital, leadership and management and staff development. An analysis of research methodology on topics such as knowledge, ethics and mixed methods leads to a research design suitable for this investigation. Learning takes place throughout the research process. A pilot study provides the opportunity to revise questioning, understand and uncover topics of importance to leaders of further education colleges prior to the main research phase. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of respondents’ feedback along with face to face discussions provides first-hand information to develop a theoretical model for the flow of further education skills delivery leading to business competitiveness. It is proposed that contributions to knowledge and practice are made through the refinement of a theoretical research model which has the ability to be practically utilised across the sector, as well as the potential for adaptation at a further education college level. Additional contributions to knowledge and practice are also proposed. Incremental learning is uncovered through a staged and reflective approach to research which leads to discovery of poor stakeholder communications and a lack of impact measurement issues across the sector. Recommendations for practical improvements include more effective dialogue and stronger partnerships between stakeholders; potential for long-term cross-party planning and direction for the sector; and consideration of a consistent, national impact measure for the provision of further education college training to businesses. Limitations of the research are discussed and recommendations for further work considered, including widening the population feedback, sharing the research with the sector to further clarify or challenge the findings, as well as using elements within this research for others to build upon and further widen the field of knowledge on this and related topics.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of the thesis submitted as partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Bolton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business, Competitiveness, Education, FE, Further Education, Impact, Skills, Training
Divisions: Institute of Management > Bolton Business School
University of Bolton Theses > Business
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2016 08:45
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 14:42
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/849

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