CapableNZ Dissertations and Theses

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    Exploring the application of Design Thinking to develop a work-based learning programme for hospitality and tourism
    (2023) Searle, Rosalind
    Due to the significant effect the COVID-19 epidemic had on employment and education within the tourism and hospitality sectors (Cameron et al., 2022; Carr, 2020; Fletcher et al., 2022) the purpose of this research project was to identify whether a different approach to vocational learning could better equip learners with the skills necessary to be work-ready. This research aimed to explore the application of a design thinking methodology to the development of a work-based learning programme for hospitality and tourism that serves the needs of industry and learners. The following fundamentals formed the basis of the research. • Explore the insights that can be gained by applying Design Thinking theory as a critical lens to evaluate teaching and learning initiatives in Tourism and Hospitality • Independently apply knowledge and implement this into the development of work-based learning pedagogic approach in tourism and hospitality education. • Evaluate the use of Design Thinking as a tool for pedagogic development through rigorous intellectual analysis, reflective practice, criticism and problem-solving. Initially, the methodology was Design Thinking incorporated into a work-based learning environment. However, the structure of the project had to be modified as a result of my transition to another role outside of Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. As this was a major pivot, I realised that by creating a reflective case study, I could discover how Design Thinking might feature in the study. Therefore, Design Thinking was used to explore the insights of how Design Thinking could be applied to a living event in an educational setting. The key insights were that a Design Thinking approach to hospitality and tourism education enables learners to grow holistically because the skills are not technical rather 21st Century skills whereby the learners develop both soft and core skills. Additionally, there was evidence of increased levels of student confidence, motivation, whanaungatanga and interdisciplinary collaboration. However, there were challenges and the following recommendations were made. Design Thinking can be messy and for Design Thinking pedagogy to be implemented into a curriculum there needs to be collaboration across a variety of sectors and you need tutorial staff with agile ability to cope with different needs. Moving away from a prescribed delivery dictates the need to develop a toolbox of resources and as traditional education is highly structured and prescribed compared with Design Thinking which responds to ‘just in time’ teaching there-needs to be flexibility without time constraints. Through my experience as a practitioner, I have gained invaluable insights from completing my Master of Professional Practice. A key outcome from my research project is the ability to view and formulate innovative pedagogic concepts by approaching it through a Design Thinking perspective. My development has spanned the kaiako role I held within Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, to the role as Ringa Whanake (Qualifications Development Facilitator) and a researcher. My new learning was a lived experience, unfolding and empowering changes to my practice.
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    An Entrepreneurial Journey
    (2023) Naumai, Averil
    My Master of Professional Practice thesis, named ‘An Entrepreneurial Journey,’ examines the key success elements that are characteristic of female entrepreneurs in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ). It offers useful information for aspiring business owners, those already on their entrepreneurial journey, and stakeholders who are decision-makers for entrepreneurship. There has been a lot of interest in the study of entrepreneurship from academic and professional groups due to its broad and dynamic nature. Entrepreneurship is a vital component of the business landscape and understanding the success factors that enable, specifically female entrepreneurs, to launch, maintain, and grow their businesses in NZ is important to contribute to economic growth. Therefore, I aimed to answer the question, “What are the key success elements involved in starting and growing female-led businesses in New Zealand?” A multifaceted methodology was used that combined a pragmatic philosophy with a qualitative research methodology using thematic content analysis and inductive reasoning to investigate and comprehend the research question. The methods included action research, surveys, and a literature review which received ethical approval from the College of Work-Based Learning Ethics Committee. The research was divided into two parts: one being a practical real-life business startup and product development project, which included a feasibility survey and journal, and the second being a survey of six successful NZ female entrepreneurs that contained 16 open-ended questions. The practical project covered several entrepreneurial process stages, including opportunity identification, business startup, and product development, as well as project management, budgeting, and risk analysis. Knowledge was gained through taking practical action and learning from the process and outcomes. The survey results provided insightful information on the participants’ organizations from their founding to their growth. The combined literature review, practical project, and survey identified four main categories with twelve success factors: Personal Factors: Motivation Characteristics Mastery Startup Factors: Opportunities Startup Business Factors: Operations Money Risk Management Marketing Growth Challenges External Factors: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Under personal factors, motivation was a primary success factor, comprising passion-driven and purpose-driven product development based on the entrepreneur’s ‘why.’ Entrepreneurial characteristics portrayed an entrepreneurial mindset and skill mastery was also a dominant theme. The startup factors included products or services aligned with the entrepreneurs ‘why’ and passion, as well as a robust business plan. The business factors incorporated funding and investment, a great team, planning, quality equipment, cashflow management, risk management, customer-centric marketing, branding, and experience in the industry. The external factors included the entrepreneurial ecosystem consisting of mentors, investors, government funding, and training. Conclusions and recommendations of this thesis aim to: advance the field of entrepreneurship; guide aspiring entrepreneurs to get clarity on their ‘why’; encourage schools and tertiary institutes to establish a strong foundation in entrepreneurship; promote further development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in NZ including starting an innovation hub for product development; and provide access to female entrepreneurship statistical information. The ‘entrepreneur is the business’ and without the entrepreneur, the business would not exist. Entrepreneurship is a life-changing adventure, and entrepreneurs embrace the journey to fulfil their vision.
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    Establishing a strategy to create a safe community space in and around Selwyn Reserve, Mission Bay, Auckland
    (2022) Norriss, Lyle; Otago Polytechnic, Te Pūkenga; https://online.op.ac.nz/industry-and-research/research/expertise/search/
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Selwyn Reserve is a large reserve in the Auckland suburb of Mission Bay. The reserve is characterised by a stone house and fountain which sit close to the North facing beach. Selwyn Reserve is frequented by people from across Auckland’s isthmus and tourists to the region. The chronic issue which exists pertains to the alcohol consumed during hours of darkness in Selwyn Reserve, particularly during the weekend. The purpose of this research was to establish a long-term sustainable solution for the chronic issue which exists at Selwyn Reserve, Mission Bay, Auckland. RESEARCH APPROACH The research utilised Te Ara Tika (Hudson et al. 2010) as a framework, bringing Te Ao Māori into all components of the research ensuring the voice of iwi was present, heard, and actioned. The research was conducted utilising a sequential mixed-method design, with existent Police and Council data, influencing the questions asked in the interview phase and during a community led hui. Un-tested PANDA Model At the time of the research PANDA (Problem, Analyse, Nominate, Deploy, Assess the impact) was an untested method for solving chronic issues. Research findings identified what the issue at Mission Bay was, when it occurred, and who was involved. Additionally, the commitment of the community to solve the chronic issue is considerable. The approach taken to interviews and the hui was beneficial in ensuring that the various components of PANDA could be covered, to establish a comprehensive long-term sustainable solution for Selwyn Reserve, Mission Bay. The learnings around the approach will assist others seeking solutions for chronic issues.
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    Small decisions towards social justice: How leaders of not-for-profit social services can be supported to include social justice in decision-making
    (2023) Robinson, Bonnie; https://online.op.ac.nz/industry-and-research/research/expertise/search/
    This thesis explores how leaders of not-for-profit (NFP) social services in Aotearoa New Zealand can uphold social justice in our leadership practice. NFPs in Aotearoa New Zealand must confront some distinct challenges if they want to uphold social justice. There is little large-scale philanthropy in Aotearoa New Zealand and a dependence on government contracts. NFP organisations and their leaders therefore face the daily possibility of mission and culture drift as they struggle to meet government operating requirements and measures of success. These requirements and measures can create tension with and prioritise other outcomes over social justice. The research question for my thesis asks how I can support myself and other NFP social service leaders to include social justice in our leadership practice and in particular, our decision-making? Exploring this question of the relationship between social justice and the practicalities of leadership is important to the achievement of social justice. It is my experience as a leader focused on social justice that a more just and equitable society is created not only through big policy and economic shifts, but also through daily small decisions by organisations who work to support vulnerable individuals and communities. Daily decisions demonstrate, or not, the focus on social justice and can help to determine whether a context is shifted towards something more just. The application of ‘positive for social justice values’ is identified as an important focus in this thesis. There are many discussions in the literature about how leaders can and should use values, and multiple training opportunities. However, leaders of NFPs, due to the complexity, and busyness of their roles, and often a lack of budget, may not be able to use these resources. I was interested to discover what might be practice-useful in daily leadership life. To explore my research question, I used a range of qualitative methodologies and methods. Using evocative autoethnography, I critically reflected on my own experience as a leader, and wove this throughout the thesis, in a practice-reflection-research loop in which my practice impacted on my research and my research on my practice. To gain data and perspective beyond my own experience, I interviewed 16 NFP leaders, and explored with them how they understood the task of leading social justice and what helped them to do so. Using narrative rich methods, I created a factual/fictional story to both communicate the findings of my interviews and demonstrate one answer to my research question – the usefulness of story as a supportive decision-making tool. Three practice stories show the progression of my thinking about the place of values, and of story, within social justice focused leadership and decision-making. A story tool, used in my own practice, and also workshopped with leaders, arises out of and is included within the factual/fictional communication of findings. ‘Positive for social justice values,’ deeply held and used in daily leadership practice emerged as a key finding of the research. When as leaders we lead and decide through values, we create the space for social justice of occur. ‘Positive for social justice’ values link vision and pragmatism, supporting a visionary-pragmatic approach that is required by leaders who want to consistently shift their contexts towards justice. To uphold values, leaders need practice-useful tools to support them ‘in the moment.’ Story emerged from the research as a useful tool to support leaders to uphold values in their decision-making and as a contribution to research itself. This thesis might therefore be useful to other NFP leaders, boards of governance or anyone working within the NFP sector who seeks to uphold social justice-orientated values within the pressured, complex and competitive environment in which such organisations now exist. While my aim has been to understand how NFP leaders can be supported, there is potential for this work to go beyond the NFP sector to leaders in other sectors who have an orientation towards social justice. This thesis also contributes through its creative approach to communicating data analysis using factual/fictional story, which makes research potentially more accessible and usable in practice situations.
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    Creating a workflow that aims to respond to the unique needs of young people in Emergency Supports in Aotearoa New Zealand
    (2023) Muir, Abbie-Louise; https://online.op.ac.nz/industry-and-research/research/expertise/search/
    This project undertaken as part of my Master Professional Practice was specifically designed to understand and improve outcomes for young people requiring Emergency Support in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Emergency Support is the term used for taking young people from their place of living into an emergency place – this is often a motel or hotel. A more fulsome explanation of this is provided in the Literature Review section. This work-based pragmatic research project drew on a multi-method approach to recognise the critical need for effective and efficient systems to address the immediate needs of vulnerable youth in crisis situations. The project integrated understanding and knowledge gathered from data utilising my experience, the literature, surveys, and a series of interviews with the young people themselves. The final output was a workflow that helps Social workers address deficiencies in the Emergency Support system and a report that brings together the understanding, data and knowledge that resulted from my explorations. The project began with a thorough review of existing literature, policies, protocols, and interventions for Emergency Support for young people in Aotearoa. Data was collected through surveys and interviews to measure the outcomes and identify areas for improvement. This data incorporated insights from key stakeholders, Social workers, community organisations, and young people, and sought to understand the current challenges and areas for improvement in the system. A key emphasis of the project was on promoting a youth-centred approach. The resulting workflow integrates overarching mana-enhancing principles which are crucial for effective practice. These principles are designed to foster the autonomy and agency of youth, promote transparent communication, and foster whānau (family) connection. The workflow aims to streamline, identify, and respond to young people in emergency situations, ensuring their safety, well-being, and access to appropriate support services. This project also sought to enhance understanding of my own professional practice as a front line Social worker. young people in crisis. This part of the process revealed deeper insights and learning that has strengthened my professional framework of practice. Empowered me to document my growing expertise in supporting and enhancing organisational practice and equipping me with knowledge and motivation for the potential opportunities that the future brings. As I worked through this project and my findings, three things became clear: 1. For the most part, rangatahi (teenagers) are being traumatized in the Emergency Support where they have sought sanctuary. 2. Tamariki(Children )are experiencing ongoing trauma within the care system with higher reoffending rates, and escalating problems. 3. Mana enhancing principles have the potential to empower young people. As I worked through this process however I found that at a high level my interview and survey data, and the literature were in strong alignment. What the research did was to delve deeper at a more nuanced level where the voices of the care experienced youth challenged some of the previous assumptions. I found that my originally selected methodologies, didn’t ‘fit’ as well as anticipated resulting in the need to take a dive into methodologies and uncovering an alternative way.