Heather Anderson

Heather Anderson


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Area of academic expertise - outline

Responsible Tourism Management including Tourism Operations Management, supporting resilience in event and tourism management education.

The development of creative learning experiences in HE and managerial practice Business ethics of tourism, events and hospitality

Quality service; quality assurance and evaluation of the customer experience including organisational and staff development in the arts and entertainment industries.

Current research activities

Initial Scoping Studies - This has been an exploratory and non-directive phase utilising ad hoc opportunities to explore perceptions of resilience in the Higher Education community. These included availability of various response formats at HE practitioner events such as in-house conferences; staff development sessions and training courses. The purpose was to gather information on the language used to express the concept of resilience in HE and to allow practitioners to influence the tone and format of the language used in the wider research process. Informal conversations with colleagues in hospitality, tourism and events management disciplines reveal personal insights that as hospitality and events industry practitioners, they bring pre-learned resilience which can be applied to the HE context so this is an aspect which is worthy of further research.

Desired research direction

It is hoped that in the process of my doctoral research project, through examining individual and organisational experiences of resilience and related concepts of adaptive capabilities, (Beltman et al, 2011) a body of new knowledge will emerge to reflect the unique nature of Higher Education practitioners of teaching and learning.

This should contribute to new knowledge in terms of work-life balance; emotional intelligence and resilient thinking and behaviours, (Walkate, 2013). In particular, it is envisaged that significant progress could be made in understanding how academic practitioners develop resilient behaviours and attitudes and to discover if there are underlying institutional and policy issues that result in differences across disciplines or institutions.

What remains unresolved includes developing a work-life balance that addresses the expectations of HEIs and the diversity of our industry. This is challenging and much can be learned from different institutional and individual practices. The key benefits are enhanced understanding of the concept of resilience in Higher Education practitioners; knowledge of the role of resilience in the discourse of professional identity in HE and finally in identifying challenges to existing models and thinking regarding developing resilient universities with practitioner support and adaptive capabilities. 


Target collaborative organisations

Developing further research with other Higher Education institutions and to develop consultancy and professional development projects with tourism, arts, events and public sector organisations. Previous consultancy and training clients have included: Scottish Opera, Borderline Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival,         The Usher Hall, Edinburgh, MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling, Glasgow City Council: Cultural and Leisure Services / Performing Arts and Venues,               The List magazine, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, ACVMS - Association of Cultural Venue Managers in Scotland,  Aberdeen Performing Arts - His Majesty's Theatre, NHS Education Event Management Team.



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