Event

Reflections on the use of Employer Critical Action Learning to Promote Positive Mental Health

The Centre for Work, Organisation and Society would like to invite you to explore Critical Action Learning arising from an University of Essex IAA Impact Fund project by Dr Maria Hudson from the Essex Business School

  • Wed 13 Feb 19

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Colchester Campus

    NTC.1.04

  • Event speaker

    Dr Maria Hudson

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Centre for Work, Organisation and Society Research Seminars

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Maria Hudson

This seminar aims to share participant perceptions and experiences of an Employer Action Learning Set on the Promotion of Positive Mental Health that ran from October 2017 to September 2018. It will explore what worked well and suggestions for improvement in the collaborative, deliberative and reflective approach to individual learning and the mobilisation of workplace change.

Seminar abstract

There are ongoing concerns about the lack of employer take-up of better practice in management of mental health at work (Stephenson and Farmer, 2017). It has been argued that Critical Action Learning has the potential to be transformational (Rigg and Trehan, 2004). Critical Employer Action learning offers a collaborative, deliberative and reflective approach to individual learning and the potential to mobilise workplace change.

This seminar examines participant and facilitator perceptions and experiences of a recent Employer Action Learning Set on the Promotion of Positive Mental Health that run from October 2017 to September 2018. This study was funded by the University of Essex IAA Impact fund. The seminar will also provide insights into how (Critical) Action Learning can be fostered, participant and organisational outcomes and the potential contributions the moral economy.

While evaluating action learning is not without its challenges (Edmonstone, 2015) drawing on an experimental approach to evaluation, this seminar will explore;

  • how and why the Action Learning Set (ALS) arose
  • the theory and characteristics of (Critical) Action Learning and how the ALS was organised
  • participant reasons for getting involved, their perceptions and experiences of the learning approach and processes, including the introduction of criticality through engagement with lived experience of mental health. Exploring the ALS as 'a structure that reflects' and 'a structure that connects' (Ram and Trehan, 2010; Nicolini et al., 2004)
  • examining perceptions of what worked well and what might have work better
  • individual and organisational outcomes (in the short term) and the potential collaborative learning fostering progressive change in workplace (in)equality
  • plans to more widely disseminate the employer learning resources that arose from the project to engage with mindsets, processes and practice in fostering positive mental within and beyond the workplace

The seminar will also include employer discussant reflections from Kris Bruin, on of the ALS participants and a member of the CIPD Essex and Ipswich Branch.

Booking

This is an open event. Feel free to bring your colleagues, classmates and friends along.

Speaker bio

Dr Maria Hudson is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the Essex Business School. She has led a wide range of funded research projects engaging with workplace inequality and discrimination, mental health, precarious work, social cohesion and labour market programmes.

Maria joined Essex Business School in March 2016 following several years of working independently as an employment and social policy researcher and analyst.

Prior to this she spent nearly ten years working as a Research Fellow, then Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster.

Since joining the Essex Business School her research activities have included undertaking an ACAS funded research project on the management of mental health at work, drawing on findings to co-organise a workshop for Essex based employers on the promotion of positive mental health.

Maria recently built on this employer engagement to facilitate an ALS for a small group of employers in Essex and Ipswich.

She is currently exploring the potential of Employer Critical Action Learning in mobilising and sustaining organisational process on equality.

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