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Business School - Executive Office
Oxford Brookes Business School
+44 (0) 1865 485841
CLC.G.20, Clerici Building, Headington Campus
Enterprise education has been identified as suffering from fluctuating policy, inconsistent funding and faddish practice, thereby limiting the development of a sustainable community of scholar-practitioners. In view of these constraints, this article considers the position of the often-isolated enterprise educators, and focuses on the role networks play in supporting their sustainable professional development and hence the domain itself. A case–based analysis draws on social-constructivist concepts of networks and communities of practice to analyse a UK-based network, Enterprise Educators UK (‘EEUK’). It is argued that the member-driven nature of EEUK is unique and important for providing a sustainable forum through which enterprise educators can engage, share practice, find identity, develop ownership of and deliver sustained innovation in enterprise education. Generating a rich picture of the enterprise educator’s ecosystem, the article makes a methodological contribution to network research by undertaking a longitudinal analysis of a decade of ‘Best Practice’ events. It extends Community of Practice theory of peripheral participation and identity in professional associations, and derives practical implications for enterprise educator networks. Recommendations are made for future research and dissemination of enterprise educator practice at, between, and beyond events, to further the development of the international enterprise education domain.
This article assesses the role that middle managers play in creating and sustaining entrepreneurial institutions. To date little is known about this role, with attention favouring a more macro-level, top-down focus on institutional leaders, and/or a micro-level, bottom-up focus on individual enterprise champions. This focus on unidirectional strategies, we argue, provides a partial understanding of the drivers of sustainable change. In its assessment, the article draws on and tests Trowler’s social practice theory which argues for meso-level task-group focus in education sector change. Drawing on empirical evidence from one enterprise-led change programme – the Enterprising Colleges Project, Trowler’s conceptual approach is assessed and extended. The paper argues in favour of a cross-level perspective which recognises that it is the interaction between levels that is the critical factor in ensuring engagement is embedded. Further, that in this regard the meso-level middle managers act as key enablers in the entrepreneurial process.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Contract Research, Consultancy and Bespoke Education Programmes
Internal Consultancy Projects and Professional Reports
Brand marketing consultancy
1999-2000 Management Consultant. Clients: M&S, Chelsea Football Club
1999-2000 UK Retail Operations Manager Virgin Clothing Company
Management of 10 Regional Business Managers and Key accounts management. Member of cross-company Virgin Clothing strategic working party. Strategic development of UK and European roll-out project lead.
1998-1999 Regional Business Manager, Virgin Clothing Company
Start-Up. Strategic and operational development of Regional accounts and B2B client management including securing Selfridges. Highest new accounts conversion.
1997-1998 Manager, Cheltenham. Management of start-up. 13 staff, £1m+ turnover
1993-1996 Manager, Cheltenham, 30 staff, £1.5m turnover
Turnaround of under-performing store increasing turnover and staff retention. Strategic review of product portfolio. Securing flagship and training store status. Design and delivery of company-wide training programme for new managers.
1993-1991 Manager, Oxford, 16 staff, £1.1m turnover
Turnaround of under-performing store increasing turnover and staff retention. Strategic review of product portfolio.
1990-1991 Assistant Manager, Brighton, 20 staff, £1.1m turnover
1989-1990 Concession Manager, Richmond, 8 staff, £0.5m turnover
PhD and MBA qualified and with a Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring, Nicolette Michels is an entrepreneurial retail marketing, operations and supply specialist. Nicolette has extensive, hands-on experience in retail operations and brand marketing. During a successful commercial career prior to academia, Nicolette established a track record of turning around under-performing business units in various operations management and consultancy roles for blue chip entrepreneurial companies such as Virgin, M&S, Liberty Retail and Hobbs.
Previous to her current role as Director of the oxford Brookes Global MBA Programme, Nicolette's academic career has thus far included roles as Programme Director for Retail and Business Management at Oxford Brookes University, Projects Manager of the Business School's former Enterprise Centre, and Principal Lecturer and Coordinator of Services-to-Business in Marketing and Operations Management. Nicolette has played a key leadership role in growing the Business School's relationships with industry partners.
As a teacher, researcher and management consultant in marketing, operational improvement and business enterprise growth, Nicolette has worked with individuals and organisations from a range of sectors, including premier division football, heritage and leisure; fashion retail and food manufacture; biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare; national and regional government, including SME business support; higher and further education.
Nicolette has worked successfully as consultant and business coach with local, national and international partners, including small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as corporate and statutory bodies. Past projects have supported organisations such as UK Trade and Investment China Department; Oxford Capital of Culture bid 2008; Thames Valley Museum Group; Business Link; South East England Development Agency; National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts; Milton Business Park Enterprises; East Oxford Action Social Enterprise; regional NHS trusts. Nicolette also mentors MBA students in their consultancy projects for corporate and regionally-based clients.
Multi-lingual in English, French, Spanish and Dutch, Nicolette has designed and taught retail and enterprise courses at Oxford Brookes University, Warwick Business School, Grenoble School of Management, and on internationally-sponsored programmes in Sweden and Singapore.