University of Portsmouth

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16 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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Sally Rumbles & Alex Tymon

University of Portsmouth

BMAF conference 2011

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Better qualified


More relevant degrees


Better grades


Better educated


Contribute to society


Increased employability skills


A degree on its own is not longer enough
(Brown & Hesketh 2004, Moreau & Leathwood 2006, Tomlinson
2008)


Number of graduates has doubled since
1991
(Branine 2008, Rae 2007)

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


The philosophical argument


A threat to academic freedom
(
Kreber 2006, Moreau & Leathwood 2006)


The “Elitist” view
(Brown & Harvey 2004)


The economic argument


Funding issues, student number targets and widening
participation
(Kreber 2006, Rae 2007)


The willingness argument


Are HEIs willing and able to change the way they teach?


Post 92 Universities appear to be better at doing so
(Hefce 2001,
Harvey 2005)


The ability argument


Employability is better and more easily developed outside of
the formal curriculum


Work experience is what counts
(Hefce 2001, Doctorjob.com 2004, Yorke
2004, 2006, Andrews and Higson 2008)


The effectiveness argument


Employability does not necessarily lead to increased
employment
(Rothwell et al 2008)


C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Employability matters to us:


HEIs are increasingly expected and pushed to
provide “oven ready” employees



Increasingly we will be measured on
our employability statistics


By those choosing university


By funders of education


(DIUS 2008, T.H.E. Sept. 2010)


C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Introduction to the complexity of
employability


Group activity/discussion on the meaning
of employability


The student perspective


Research from Portsmouth


How can we develop the employability of
our graduates


Sharing ideas


Future directions


The hunt for the “Midi
-
Chlorians”


Plenary

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


“A contentious concept with a plethora of
misconceptions
” Harvey (2005:13)



Is it simply attractiveness to employers?


Is it just getting a job?



”a set of achievements, skills, understandings and
personal attributes, that make graduates more likely
to gain employment and be successful in their chosen
occupations, which benefits themselves, the
workforce, the community and the economy

(Yorke
2004:7)



Should the focus be on the EMPLOY or the ABILITY?



C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Define
an “Oven ready”
graduate
employee, who can
“Hit the ground
running”
(DIUS 2008)






Generic skills, Attributes, Characteristics,
Values, Competencies, Qualities,
professional skills, Abilities etc.

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Perceived differently by different parties
(Hughes
-
Jones, Sutherland & Cross (2006)


The main interested parties:


Government


Society


Employers


HEIs


Students


Graduates


Current


Research available for all these groups with
the exception of current students


where it is
very limited.


C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Experience as an Admissions tutor


Experience encouraging the development of
employability skills at level 1


Personal tutoring level 2 students


Feedback from the placements office


Teaching “Career management” Unit at level 2


The Marmite unit!



Why the difference?


Why do we bother?


C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011



C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011

The missing
perspective?


Focus groups with the exception of level 3, non
-
placement students where data was collected by
questionnaire. Autumn term 2009.



Level ONE
-

16 groups, est. 160 students (50% of
population) in week 2


Level TWO
-

22 groups, est. 200 students (65% of
population) in week 1


Level THREE


15 students (5% of the population) in week 4

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


What is your understanding of the term employability?


What if any are the core skills or transferable skills that
might make up employability?


Either:


For level one students


To what extent do you expect the university to
support the development of your employability and
how?


To what extent did this affect your choice of
university?


For all other groups


How much does university support the development
of your employability and how?


To what extent do you think employability matters?


C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Some alignment between the views of our students
and the literature on the definition of employability


Skills linked to the needs of employers


Communication skills, Team working, IT skills and Planning &
Organising


Personal attributes


Flexibility/adaptability, hard working, committed, dedicated


However there are differences by level:


Levels 1 and 2, quite superficial


Fairly narrow range of items, fewer mentions, uneven
contributions


They know the words to use, but.....


Level 3 students much more attuned


14 times as many items mentioned and much more even
contribution





C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


All levels and groups
said
employability mattered
massively


All stated the individual benefits with a focus on getting a job,
any job


Much less mention was made of quality of job and benefits to
others such as employers or society


However much less genuine concern at levels 1 and 2


Far fewer responses


Less anxious


Not unanimous


Non
-
specific answers


C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


How to develop employability


Top of the list for all levels on university support were:


Placement
and placement office, CV writing support, Purple door


But again at levels 1 and 2 we see contradictory evidence


Say placements are very important


But did not rate experience highly as part of what employability is?


Embedded activities, mentioned much less frequently


Presentations, working with others, developing communication skills,
managing themselves


Student driven activities received fewer mentions still


Societies, Volunteering etc
.




C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Increasing the understanding or what
employability is and why it matters


Increase concern over grades at level 1


Increase motivation to develop employability


Examine the embedded activities


Be more overt?


Increasing real awareness of the value of
experience, at a much earlier stage


Do something to raise the profile of student
driven activities

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


What ideas do you have for increasing
development of employability?

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


What if we could find an easy way
to improve our employability
statistics?


Research into the literature
uncovered the concept of
“proactive personality” (P.P.) or
“personal initiative” (P.I.)


Evidence suggests this is far more
important than skills and many
other personal attributes


C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


“Proactive behaviour is future focussed and mindful
…………..When employees choose to behave
proactively, they are focussed on the goal of
meaningfully altering the self, others, or the
contexts in which they are situated”
Crant & Ashford
(2008:9)



“P.I. is a work behaviour defined as self
-
starting and
proactive that overcomes barriers to achieve a
goal”
Frese & Fay (2001:133)



Different from the Big 5.



P.P. positively predicts a number of criterion
variables over and above the big 5.
(Bateman & Crant
1993, Chan 2006)


C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Increases organizational and individual
effectiveness”
(Fay & Frese 2001)


So valued by employers


People high in P.P.. receive:


Improved SUBJECTIVE evaluations of performance
by direct supervisors in various contexts
(Fuller,
Hester & Cox 2010, Fuller & Marler , 2009, Thompson 2005)


Improved OBJECTIVE evaluations and ACTUAL
performance as measured via company appraisal
(Fuller, Hester & Cox 2010)

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


People high on P.P. benefit from:


Improved career progression and
satisfaction
(Erdogan & Bauer 2005, Seibert et al 2001)


Higher salaries more frequent promotions
and more satisfying careers
(Seibert et al 1999)


“A one
-
point increase in the proactive
personality scale was associated with an
$8,677 increase in yearly salary after
controlling for other variables”

(Seibert, Crant
and Kraimer 1999:423)


People high in P.P.


Find jobs more quickly and rebound better
from unemployment
(Frese & Fay 2001)



C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Maybe those high on P.P. could be:


More engaged with employability development
at University


Or even studying itself


More likely to get better grades?


Further enhancing their employability


So maybe we should be recruiting
students who are higher on P.P.?



C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


In the world of “Star Wars”, it is believed that
“Jedi Knights” are born and not made.



“Candidates to become Jedi Knights are
detected, identified and taken into the order as
infants where their inherent attributes are
developed and honed by intensive training.
One
method
of detection is through blood sampling
with those who have great “Force” potential
often having high midi
-
chlorian counts in their
bloodstream”.


www.starwars.com/databank/organization/thejediorder

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


People high in P.P.


Are more likely to invest in their social and
human capital?
(Crant & Ashford 2008)


Actively network
(Byrne, Dik and Chiaburu, 2008,
Thompson 2005)



Proactivity can be seen as a process:


Anticipating, Planning and Striving


Striving behaviours include:


Feedback seeking


Acting on feedback


Alternative seeking



C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


How can we develop Proactive personality in
our students?

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Andrews, J. & Higson, H. (2009) Graduate Employability, “Soft Skills” versus “Hard Business Knowledge”:
A European Study.
Higher Education in Europe
. 33:411
-
422


Bateman, T. & Crant, M. (1993) The proactive component of organizational behaviour: A measure and
correlates.
Journal of Organizational Behavior
. 14:103
-
118


Bowers
-
Brown, T. with Harvey, L. (2004) Are there too many graduates in the UK? A literature review and an analysis
of graduate employability.
Industry and Higher Education.

August 2004:243
-
254


Branine, M. (2008) Graduate recruitment and selection in the UK. A study of recent changes in methods
and expectations.
Career Development International
. 13 (6):497
-
513


Brown, p. & Hesketh , A. ( 2004) The mismanagement of talent: Employability and jobs in the knowledge
economy Oxford. Oxford university press


Byrne, Z., Dik, B. & Chiaburu, D. (2008) Alternatives to traditional mentoring in fostering career success.
Journal of Vocational Behavior
. 72:429
-
422


Chan, D. (2006) Interactive Effects of Situational Judgement Effectiveness and Proactive personality on
Work perceptions and Work Outcomes.
Journal of Applied Psychology.

91 (2) 475
-
481


Crant, A. (2000) Proactive behaviour in organisations.
Journal of management
. 26:435
-

462


Crant, A. & Ashford, S. (2008) The dynamics of proactivity at work.
Research in Organizational behaviour.

28:3
-
34


DIUS Consultation report (2008). Accessed at
http://www.dius.gov.uk/hecsu.rd/researchreport129.htm


Doctorjob.com. (2004) Are graduate employability initiatives worth it? GTI specialist Publishers
Wallingford. Oxon.



Erdogan, B. & Bauer, T. (2005) Enhancing career benefits of employee proactive personality: the role of
fit with jobs and organisations.
Personnel Psychology
. 58: 859
-
891


Fay, D. & Frese, M. (2001) The Concept of Personal Initiative: An overview of Validity Studies.
Human
Performance
. 14 (1):97
-
124


Frese, M. & Fay, D. (2001) Personal Initiative: An Active Performance Concept for the 21
st

Century.
Research in Organizational behaviour
. 23:133
-
187


Fuller, Jr, J., Hester, K. & Cox, S. (2010) Proactive Personality and Job performance: Exploring Job
Autonomy as a Moderator.
Journal of Managerial issues
. XXII 1:35
-
51

C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011


Fuller, B. & Marler, L. (2009) Change driven by nature: A meta
-
analytic review of the proactive
personality literature.
Journal of Vocational Behaviour
. 75:329
-
345


Harvey, L. (2005) Embedding and Integrating Employability.
New Directions for Institutional Research.

128:13
-
28


Hefce (2001) How Much Does Higher Education Enhance the Employability of Graduates?
A summary report
to HEFCE


Hugh
-
Jones, S. & Sutherland, E. (2006) The Graduate: Are we giving employers what they want?
The University of Leeds Teaching and learning Conference
.


Kreber, C. (2006) Setting the Context: The Climate of University Teaching and Learning.
New Directions for
Higher Education
. 133:5
-
11


Moreau, M.P. and Leathwood, C. (2006) Graduates` employment and the discourse of
employability: a critical analysis.
Journal of Educations and Work
. 19:305
-
324


Rae, D. (2007) Connecting enterprise and graduate employability. Challenges to the higher education culture
and curriculum?
Education and Training

49:605
-
619.


Seibert,S., Crant,J. & Kraimer,M. (1999) Proactive Personality and Career Success.
Journal of
Applied psychology
. 84 (3) 416
-
427



Seibert, S., Kraimer, M.,Crant, J. (2001) What do proactive people do? A longitudinal model
linking proactive personality and career success.
Personnel psychology
. 54, 845
-
874


Thompson, J. (2005) proactive personality and Job Performance: A Social Capital perspective.
Journal of Applied Psychology
. 90 (5) 1011
-
1017


Tomlinson, M. (2008) `The degree is not enough`: Students` perceptions of the role of higher
education credentials for graduate work and employability. British
Journal of Sociology of
Education
. 29 (1):49
-
61


Yorke, M. (2004) Employability in the Undergraduate Curriculum: Some student perspectives.
European
Journal of Education
. 39:409
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427


C.O.R.D. University of Portsmouth 2011