The unexpected benefits of reflection: a case study in university-business collaboration

Bravenboer, Darryll (2018) The unexpected benefits of reflection: a case study in university-business collaboration. Journal of Work-Applied Management, 10 (1) . pp. 50-62. ISSN 1836-5159 [Article] (doi:10.1108/JWAM-01-2017-0002)

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the development process and outcomes from a six-year collaboration between Halifax Bank (part of the Lloyds Banking Group) and Middlesex University between 2010 and 2016 in the UK. The collaboration involved the construction of work-integrated higher education programmes that were, from the outset, redicated on clear return on investment criteria for the Bank. One unexpected outcome from the collaboration was the emergence of critical reflection as a valued business benefit that, it is argued, has the potential for significant cultural change within the organisation.
Design/methodology/approach – This case study discuses how “productive reflection” can lead to an integrated approach to organisational learning. The study is located in the context of Halifax’s specific organisational objectives established following the banking crash of 2008. Quantitative and qualitative evidence is considered to illustrate the extent to which the “return on investment” criteria established by Halifax have been achieved.
Findings – The case study indicates that the challenging business context of the financial crash of 2008 provided the impetus for a sustained collaborative development that allowed the potential pitfalls of restricted learning opportunities to be addressed resulting in an integrated approach to organisational learning. In addition to the organisation’s return on investment criteria being met, there is evidence that the work-integrated approach has raised the prospect of productive reflection becoming part of an emerging learning culture.
Originality/value – The scale and sustained period of the university-business collaboration is unique and provides valuable insight into how an organisation’s learning culture can be affected by a work-integrated approach. In demonstrating the perceived business value of productive reflection, the case presented illustrates how learning can start to become considered as a normal aspect of working life.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
Item ID: 25566
Notes on copyright: © Darryll Bravenboer. Published in the Journal of Work-Applied Management. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at
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Depositing User: Diana Tamics-Bahadoor
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2018 12:42
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 20:19

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