Facilitating individualised learning solutions: the case of hospitality and tourism owner/managers in Greater Belfast
thesisposted on 2016-04-07, 14:12 authored by Gerard Anthony Prior
This research addresses the question: How can the facilitation of individualised learning solutions for SME owner/managers be reconceptualised? In answering this question a questionnaire was utilised within a comparative case study design to conduct semistructured interviews. Subjects were drawn from a diverse range of hospitality and tourism firms including hotels, guest houses, pub/restaurants, coffee shops and a brewery. The research addresses wider issues affecting training and learning contexts rather than simply training alternatives. Such issues included, conceptions of learning, workplace learning environments, owner/learner identity, managerial skills and entrepreneurial talent. Consequently, conclusions were drawn highlighting that accessing learning solutions must be driven by the owner/manager. Such learning is identified as being available within the workplace or from the accessible open curriculum of the external environment. This open curriculum includes, working in other organizations, visiting benchmark firms as customers, accessing existing, or devising individualised training courses. This led to the development of the ‘owner/manager learner access model’ which reconceptualises how the owner/manager can move towards accessing individualised learning solutions. The model illustrates the positions of owner/managers in relation to their relative levels of activity in pursuing self-generated access to learning. From this, the requirement of a new layer of learning to help owner/managers develop a propensity for the acquisition of learning is identified. This layer is suggested as a pre-requisite to training in specific managerial skills. It involves equipping the owner/manager with the capacity to identify sources of new knowledge and skills and the ability to gain access to them. Two additional conclusions then emerge. Firstly, the ability to access self-generated learning is an entrepreneurial trait. Secondly, there is a link between delegation and moving to the domain of the self-generated learner. Delegation allows the time necessary to identify, develop and participate in new learning activities.