An exploration into the personal and professional impact of the Bachelor of Applied Management on a small business owner
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Citation:Ellis, K. (2021). An exploration into the personal and professional impact of the Bachelor of Applied Management on a small business owner. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Professional Practice). Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand. https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.5902
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5902
INTRODUCTION The research focused on exploring the experience of our small business owner graduates who acquired a Bachelor of Applied Management through an independent learning pathway (ILP), which is a work-based learning qualification at Otago Polytechnic/Te Pūkenga. Graduates anecdotally report the process as transformational by enhancing their personal and professional selves. However, the impact of the learning process still requires investigation. Gaining an insight into these variables benefitted Otago Polytechnic and future learners. METHODOLOGY / METHODS The research methodology applied a qualitative approach utilising Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), and the data collection used semi-structured interviews undertaken either face-to-face or via phone. Nine graduates were interviewed. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim then analysed for emerging themes by the researcher. RESULTS The themes identified challenges small business owners face, such as feeling isolated and the effects of workplace stressors on their mental health and well-being. Sustaining self and business was a sub-theme, the participants recognising that a more holistic approach to business was required for long-term business viability. As a result, the participants prioritise self-care practices to benefit their well-being and employees, enabling them to sustain the "whole business". Reflective practice was identified as the tool to analyse, evaluate and lay to rest experiences of significant impact. The tools gained were described as having the ability to "self-counsel" to manage their well-being. Last, small business owners identified an amplification of their leadership capability, which enabled them to increase their effectiveness, thus, increasing the efficiency of their business. CONCLUSION The findings had implications for the facilitators of work-based qualifications, identifying strategies and tools that enrich the facilitator/learner relationship. Finally, there is evidence of the value our small business owners gained from working through an ILP rather than a traditionally taught program. The research provides evidence of the efficacy of ILP delivery through the College of Work-based learning and offers benefits to a wider sector within the business community. This research validates independent learning pathways' and encourages innovative education delivery across Te Pūkenga and other higher education institutions.
Keywords:New Zealand, small business owners, Otago Polytechnic, Bachelor of Applied Management, work-based learning, professional practice, impacts
ANZSRC Field of Research:350716 Small business organisation and management, 390303 Higher education
Degree:Master of Professional Practice, Otago Polytechnic
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