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BA/MA Cultural Anthropology University of Amsterdam
Oxford Brookes Business School
+44 (0) 1865 485736
Clerici, CLC 1.26
I am a lecturer at the Oxford Brookes Business School. With a cultural anthropology background, I conduct research on a variety of topics within organization and management. My PhD research is on professionalisation and identity in private security organizations. I am currently involved in projects on discourses of ‘the employable worker’ for students and older workers (with Dr Karen Handley), on scenarios for law enforcement organisations in the UK and The Netherlands (with Prof Juliette Koning), and on defining and evaluating intellectual challenge in contemporary Higher Education (with Dr Berry O’Donovan). I have a second MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice, where I conducted research on cross-cultural transitions in international students.
I am module leader for the two research methods modules for the HRM MSc and MA programmes (including an online version).
This term I am seminar leader on Critical Enquiry Research Project (UG), and on Critical Approaches to Business (MBA).
In addition to current teaching, I have taught on Business Ethics; Business and Society; Research Methods; Work, Employment, and Globalisation, and Alternative Perspectives of Business and Management.
I supervise Master’s dissertation students on the Global MBA, and on the HRM MSc and MA programmes, notably for qualitative research projects within organizations.
Security futures for female employees: making private security organizations work for women?
In the new organizational security-scapes of multiple and diffuse security locations with changeable meanings and configurations, what possibilities are opened up for a new type of security worker? An organization studies perspective on organizations as sites of meaning, my PhD research focusses on femininity, professionalisation and identity.
This article examines the narratives of 24 knowledge workers aged 48-58 as they anticipate their future employment and employability. The term knowledge worker is used to indicate occupational roles such as software engineer, academic, architect, manager and lawyer, where work involves non-routine problem-solving using 'intellectual assets'. Four narrative patterns about future employment are presented - winding down; reorienting 'self' away from work; seeking progression; renewal. These patterns reveal contrasting self-evaluations of employability and potential.
We argue that employability is not a straightforward function of human capital, which usually refers to experience, knowledge and qualifications. We show through our data how judgements about a person’s employability – both self-evaluations as well as evaluations by others - are complicated by social norms and cultural understandings of 'potential'. Strategies to signal one's potential become more complex and sometimes less effective for older knowledge workers. We contend that a person's age influences others' evaluations of their employment potential, such that the relationship between attributed merit (based largely on past experience) and attributed potential (based on assumptions about a person's future) is inverted as workers become older.
The findings have implications for public policies such as Extending Working Lives. Policies that remove legal and institutional barriers to extended working lives may be only partially successful without changes to cultural attitudes about older workers' employment potential.
Purpose. The purpose of this paper is to determine if and how role models presented in entrepreneurship education can influence students’ entrepreneurial activity given that the lack of financial and material means render most role models unattainable. Design/methodology/approach.
Data were collected in three stages from an entrepreneurship workshop programme held in Lagos, Nigeria. Nigerian and European undergraduate and graduate business students worked together to develop sustainable business ideas for the European and African market. In this exploratory paper, the emphasis for analysis is on the Nigerian students. Findings. Based on the research results, the authors identified four types of role models and gained insight into how and why they could inspire students at different stages of entrepreneurship education. Research limitations/implications.
This research is highly contextual with an emphasis on Europe and Africa. Given the relatively small sample of the European students in this study, this paper only presents findings from the Nigerian students. In view of time and sample size constraints, it would be useful to do a longitudinal international study to compare the approaches taken by European and African higher education institutions to develop an understanding of role models in entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial activity. Further study is needed to explore whether role models are the way forward to address the processes of student entrepreneurial learning in the context of entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. Further work could also uncover deeper convictions, the attitudes of students with regard to race and gender, and consider implications for practice between university and industry. Practical implications. The paper contributes to the development of entrepreneurship education in the context of Nigeria’s emerging economy and makes suggestions on how to stimulate entrepreneurial activity through the targeted use of role models. Social implications. In view of financial, material or societal constraints to attain role models, the result of this study can be applied in other African contexts or emerging economies to develop the understanding of the relationship between role models in the industry, higher education practices and government policy. The findings of this study show that the highest impact gained is from “real-life” exchanges between students and entrepreneurs. Originality/value. Traditional entrepreneurship education fails because the learner’s process of integrating and applying behaviours of entrepreneurial examples and programmes is opaque. Research on role models suggests that where they have a positive impact is where they are perceived as self-relevant and attainable. This idea is explored in the particular context of entrepreneurship education in Nigeria in West Africa, which is characterised by highly limited and fluctuating resources despite Nigeria’s relative wealth. The authors conclude with suggestions for the use of role models in entrepreneurship education, especially in the Nigerian higher education context. This paper, therefore, contributes to research on entrepreneurship role model education in emerging economies.
HE institutions persistently seek to increase student engagement and satisfaction with assessment feedback, but with limited success. This study identifies the attributes of good feedback from the perspective of recipients. In a distinctive participatory research design, student participants were invited to bring along actual examples of feedback that they perceived as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to 32 interviews with student researchers. Findings highlight the complex interdependency and contextual nature of key influences on students’ perspectives. The feedback artefact itself, its place in assessment and feedback design, relationships of the learner with peers and tutors, and students’ assessment literacy all affect students’ perspectives. We conclude that standardising the technical aspects of feedback, such as the feedback artefact or the timing or medium of its delivery is insufficient: a broader consideration of all key domains of influence is needed to genuinely increase student engagement and satisfaction with feedback.
Unreliability in marking is well documented yet we lack studies that have investigated assessors’ detailed use of assessment criteria. This project used a form of Kelly’s Repertory Grid method to examine the characteristics that 24 experienced, UK assessors notice in distinguishing between students’ performance in four contrasting subject disciplines: that is their implicit assessment criteria. Variation in the choice, ranking and scoring of criteria was evident. Inspection of the individual construct scores in a sub-sample of academic historians revealed five factors in the use of criteria that contribute to marking inconsistency. The results imply that whilst more effective and social marking processes that encourage sharing of standards in institutions and disciplinary communities may help align standards, assessment decisions at this level are so complex, intuitive and tacit that variability is inevitable. It concludes that universities should be more honest with themselves and with students and actively help students to understand that application of assessment criteria is a complex judgement and there is rarely an incontestable interpretation of their meaning.
A weakness of the burgeoning policy-related literature on older workers is a tendency to treat ‘older workers’ as a single, homogenous group, overlooking the influence of intersectional factors such as income, education, social background, occupation, age and the type-of-work on individual experience. Only ‘gender’ has attracted sustained research attention, yet other socio-demographic characteristics are likely to have effects which are just as important. To take one example, professionally qualified accountants have very different opportunities in later life compared with car assembly workers whose activities are tied to ‘the track’ and therefore lack portability. Age itself is a key variable in older worker research. The experiences, motivations and aspirations of a 50-year-old are likely to be barely comparable with those of an 85-year-old; the 35-year gap is almost a generational difference. This heterogeneity of older worker experiences, contexts and situations suggests that research should be more attentive to variations. This can be partly achieved by investigating sub-groups within the broader ‘older worker’ category. The potential advantage of doing so is a greater understanding of older workers, which may lead to more targeted policymaking. This study seeks to contribute to this broader agenda by focusing on one particular group of workers: those aged between 48 and 58 years employed in, or studying at, a higher education institution. People in this group are getting older, but are certainly not elderly, and they potentially have many years of work ahead of them. In the literature and the media, they are often referred to as the ‘sandwiched’ generation with caring responsibilities for their offspring as well as for longer living parents.
Hudson, J; Bloxham, S.; den Outer, B.; Price, M. (2017) Conceptual acrobatics: talking about assessment standards in the transparency era, Studies in Higher Education, 42(7), 1309-1323. DOI:10.1080/03075079.2015.1092130. ABS ranking: 3*
Handley, K. and den Outer, B. (2016) Work and careers: narratives from knowledge workers aged 48-58, in: Manfredi, S. and Vickers, L. (eds.) Challenges of active ageing for equality law and for the workplace. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bloxham, S.; den Outer, B.; Hudson, J,; Price, M (2016) External peer review of assessment: an effective approach to verifying standards?, accepted by Higher Education Research & Development. ABS ranking: 3*
Bloxham, S., den Outer, B., Hudson, J. and Price, M. (2015) Let's stop the pretence of consistent marking: exploring the multiple limitations of assessment criteria, Assessment and Evaluation. DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2015.1024607.
Handley, K., den Outer, B., and Price, M. (2012) Learning to mark: exemplars, dialogue and participation in assessment communities, Higher Education Research and Development, January, ISSN 0729-4360. ABS ranking: 3*
Den Outer, B., Handley, K. and Price, M. (2012) Situational analysis and mapping for use in education research: a reflexive methodology?, Studies in Higher Education, January, ISSN 0307-5079. ABS ranking: 3*
Den Outer, B. (2010) Coaching and cross-cultural transitions: a narrative inquiry approach, International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, Special Issue 4, pp. 95-104, January, ISSN 1741-8305.
I have a great interest in, and experience of, research methodology as a critical and philosophical inquiry, and specifically in a number of qualitative data collection and analysis methods, such as maps, audio-diaries, interviews, focus groups, surveys, images, grounded theory, situational analysis, (linguistic) ethnography, and (critical) discourse analysis.
Den Outer, B. and Handley, K (2018) Older Workers & Potentiality in the Knowledge Economy, paper presented at the Work, Employment & Society Conference, Wednesday 12 - Friday 14 September 2018, Belfast
Den Outer, B (2018) Female employees in private security organisations: identity construction in a stigmatised industry, paper presented at the workshop ‘Gender in conflict, violence and security’, University of Birmingham on 28 April 2018.
Den Outer, B. (2018) Female employees in private security organisations: identity construction in a stigmatised industry? Paper presented at the EDAMBA Summer School, Athens, July 2018.
Koning, J and den Outer, B (2016) The road to silence: sustainability discourses at work, paper to be presented at 12th International Conference on Organizational Discourse, Amsterdam 13-15 July, 2016.
Den Outer, B and J. Koning (2016) The sites of silence: sustainability discourses at work, paper presented at International Research Conference, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University 16 June 2016.
den Outer, B. and Price, M. (2015) 'Discourses of assessment: learning from language to develop assessment literacy'. Paper presented at the Society for Research into Higher Education conference, Newport, December.
den Outer, B. (2014) 'Skilful compliance or critical stance? Assessment literacy in academic communities'. Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Madrid, August.
den Outer, B. and Hannam, S. (2014) 'Assessment literacy in international contexts: putting the theory into practice'. Paper presented at the Inform conference 2014, Canterbury, July.
den Outer, B. (2014) 'External examiner standards close up'. Paper presented at the Higher Education Close Up,, Lancaster, July.
den Outer, B. (2014) 'The discourse of assessment literacy: our turn to language to explore academic membership'. Paper presented at the Oxford Brookes International Conference, Oxford, June.
den Outer, B. (2013) 'Dear Diary? An assessment of the audio diary as research method'. Paper presented at the Oxford Brookes-Burgundy Research Conference, Dijon, June.
den Outer, B. and Price, M. (2012) 'Assessment literacy in university students: what is it and how is it developed?'. Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Conference, Brussels, August.
Price, M., O'Donovan, B., Rust, C., Handley, K. and Outer, B. d. (2012) 'Assessment literacy – a perspective on the student role in assessment for learning'. Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Conference, Brussels, August.
Price, M., Handley, K. and Outer, B. d. (2012) 'Learning to mark: exemplars, dialogue and participation in assessment communities'. Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Conference, Brussels, August.
Den Outer, B. and Price, M. (2011) 'Assessment literacy in academic communities: what is it and how can it be developed?'. Paper presented at the Society for Research into Higher Education, Newport, December.
Price, M. and Outer, B. d. (2011) 'Investigating assessment literacy in Oxford Brookes University's learning communities: what is it and how can it be developed?'. Paper presented at the Brookes Learning & Teaching Conference, Oxford, June.
Handley, K. and den Outer, B. (2010) 'From clones to heretics?: an investigation of how new academic staff come to understand and participate in the assessment practices of a UK Business School'. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association conference, Warwick, September.
Den Outer, B. d. and Handley, K. (2010) 'Standards, Situation and Self-Criticality: Exploring situational analysis, grounded theory after the postmodern turn, to enhance reflexive practice in higher education'. Paper presented at the Higher Education Close Up 5, Lancaster, UK, July.
Den Outer, B., Handley, K. and Price, M. (2010) 'Staff, Standards and Situation: Using situational analysis as method of inquiry on tutor experiences of assessment standards in higher education'. Paper presented at the Higher Education Close-up 5: Questioning Theory-Method Relations in Higher Education, Lancaster University, July.
den Outer, B. (2010) 'Coaching and Cross-Cultural Transitions: a narrative inquiry approach'. Paper presented at the 6th Annual Coaching and Mentoring Research Conference, Oxford, UK, April.
Handley, K. and den Outer, B. (2009) 'Staff, Standards and Situation: Tutor Experiences of Assessment and Belonging in Academic Communities using Situational Analysis'. Paper presented at the Improving Student Learning Conference, London, September.
Handley, K. and den Outer, B. (2009) 'Staff, Standards and Situation: The Tutor Perspective of Assessment and Belonging in Academic Communities using Situational Analysis'. Paper presented at the EARLI (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction), Amsterdam, August.
MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Amsterdam
MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice (distinction), Oxford Brookes University.
Post-graduate certificate in Social Science Research Methods, Oxford Brookes University.