• The impact of sustainability committee characteristics on corporate sustainability performance: Evidence from the FTSE 150 non-financial companies

      Yamak, Sibel; Korzhenitskaya, Anna; Rahimi, Roya; ABDULLAH, ASO; University of Wolverhampton Business School, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-06)
      Following considerable business and academic interest in sustainability over the last two decades, this study’s aim was to extend previous research by examining through the lens of stakeholder theory, Resource Dependence Theory (RDT) and legitimacy theory: through (1) the impact of sustainability committee characteristics (SCC) on Corporate Sustainability Performance (CSP) and (2) any significant differences between findings when focused and non-focused sustainability committees are compared. This thesis applied positivist methodology and adopted fixed effects regression models on a sample of 112 non-financial companies from FTSE 150 for the period 2010-2018. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data was gathered from the Refinitiv database along with data on sustainability committee characteristics collected from Fame database, companies’ annual reports and London Stock Exchange (LSE). The main findings show a positive and significant relationship between organisational factors including firm size, profitability and firm age with Environmental and ESG scores. There is also a positive and significant association between frequency of committee meeting and age diversity with Governance scores only. The empirical finding shows these positively significant relationships under the presence of focused and non-focused committees equally. Additionally, the results show that only social and governance sustainability performance significantly improved from 2016 following the Paris Agreement of 2015 and the publication of the 2030 SDGs. Furthermore, the findings revealed the frequency of committee meetings is negatively and statistically significantly related to the Environmental dimension. The finding shows that firms focused/non-focused committees with greater independent members tend to have a statistically negative relationship to Governance Sustainability Performance. Importantly this research study also provides empirical evidence of the insignificant relationship of independent variables on the sub-dimension of Social Performance, thus, this finding supports the argument that firms act by greenwashing. This study has evidenced that no single theory provides a rationale for how SCCs influence CSP and its conclusions include suggestions for academics as well as businesses in terms of ongoing development and research.
    • ‘Behind the scenes’: Stories of grandmothering in the neonatal intensive care unit. An autoethnographic, narrative study

      Holyoake, Dean-David; Paniagua, Hilary; Lumsden, Hilary; School of Allied Health and Midwifery, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-05)
      This study is concerned with listening to the stories of grandmothers who had a critically ill grandchild in a neonatal intensive care unit. There is a wealth of research on the parents of premature or sick babies, but the parents’ parents are an ignored area in nursing and midwifery literature. In July 2013, my grandson was born seven weeks early and became very unwell on day two of life. This left me questioning what stories other grandmothers would have to tell of having a sick grandchild. As a neonatal nurse, midwife and educator by profession, I felt a duty to explore this neglected area further. Using my own autoethnographic experience as a grandmother as a basis for this study, I interviewed five grandmothers in two inner city neonatal intensive care units in the West Midlands. My position as a grandmother/researcher with my specialist professional antecedents adds a unique insider perspective in this research. Uniquely, I used a theme board to enable me to tell my own story, which then facilitated grandmothers to tell me their own story. From the rich data generated from those narratives, and to allow their stories to breathe, I crafted fictional stories as one stage of the analytical process. A hybrid methodology of performance autoethnography and narrative approaches has been used to explore this hard-to-reach group of women who are silenced when their grandchild is unwell and being cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit. Continuing with a crafts-based analysis, a bricolage of grandmothers’ stories was sewn together creating a patchwork quilt of their words. Their stories tell of ‘getting there’, ‘getting in’ and ‘staying in’. What I discovered was that grandmothers act quietly ‘behind the scenes’, restricted by a ‘border of technology as a barrier’ and emerge as ‘silent heroines’. What grandmothers’ stories tell have the potential to alter the way in which they are seen in the neonatal intensive care unit. I make recommendations for changes in policy and practice to allow these silent heroines to have a voice.
    • The effect of iron supplementation and tumour location on the mucosal microbiological and immunological environment in colorectal cancer patients with iron deficiency anaemia

      Omar Al-Hassi, Hafid; Brookes, Matthew; Phipps, Oliver; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-07)
      Iron deficiency is a common complication of colorectal cancer, being present in ~60% of patients and often leading to the manifestation of anaemia. Preoperative anaemia in colorectal cancer patients is associated with inferior clinical outcomes, hence this leads to the requirement of iron supplementation to treat anaemia. The current standard treatment for iron deficiency anaemia is oral iron supplementation. However, this can contribute to an increased gut luminal iron concentration, which has the potential to alter the gut microbiota and mucosal immune system, potentially leading to inferior oncological outcomes. Previous animal studies have supported this association; however, here is provided the first human clinical studies to assess the microbiological and immunological outcomes of iron supplementation, through a colorectal cancer randomised control trial comparing oral and intravenous iron therapy. The results of these studies suggest that oral iron leads to differential bacterial populations, potentially contributing to a more procarcinogenic microbiota, as well as leading to greater tumour immune cell activity and increased pro-inflammatory cytokine production, compared to intravenous iron therapy. Furthermore, this research provides an insight into the differences between patients with right- and left-sided colorectal cancer; showing the non-tumour microbiota is significantly different between right- and left-sided colorectal cancer patients, whereas the tumour microbiota is more consistent. Furthermore, the results show that right-sided colorectal tumours are more immunogenic, showing an increase in inflammatory cytokines compared to patients with left-sided colorectal tumours. Finally, presented is the long term clinical data from this cohort of patients, assessing differences in tumour location and iron therapy on survival outcomes. Collectively the results of these studies support the use of intravenous iron therapy preoperatively in colorectal cancer patients with iron deficiency anaemia, in order to limit the potential microbial perturbations and inflammatory outcomes associated with oral iron therapy. As well as supporting the stratification of colorectal cancer based upon tumour location, particularly in regard to studies of probiotic and immune therapies.
    • “My parents do not understand my diagnosis… they think it’s not real”: Understandings and perceptions of mental well-being amongst Sikhs in the UK

      Takhar, Opinderjit; Galbraith, Niall; Khutan, Ranjit; Uppal , Supreet; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-05)
      Background: The United Kingdom is represented as a diverse country in regards to ethnicity and culture. However, research suggests many individuals belonging from ethnic minority communities encounter disadvantages in relation to contemporary issues such as when seeking professional help from healthcare settings. Research has found that traditional and cultural practices within the South Asian community can result in negative influences on attitudes towards mental well-being due to how it is perceived by others. However, there is limited research how individual South Asian subgroups make sense of mental well-being including; defining, understanding causations, attitudes and help seeking for mental health difficulties. The current research study will explore attitudes towards mental health amongst Sikhs living in the UK including investigating how the Sikh faith and teachings contributes to experiences of mental health difficulties. Method: A mixed methodology approach was selected to utilise both diverse techniques from qualitative and quantitative research designs. This allows the current research project to conduct both surveys and interviews. The research study consists of three data collection methods utilising an integrated mixed methods approach referred to as triangulation. The three data collection methods are: (a) The online survey (b) Initial face to face interviews (c) Over 65’s face to face interviews Analysis: The studies were analysed using several types of quantitative and qualitative techniques. For quantitative analysis, SPSS was used to conduct several tests such as; Analysis of variance (ANOVA), Chi-squared and Crosstabs. Transcripts were analysed for the qualitative studies employing Thematic Analysis, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and Content Analysis. Results and Conclusion: The mixed methodology applied resulted in several themes emerging from the research findings: ‘faith & spirituality’, ‘concept of shame’ and ‘religious coping strategies’. These themes and factors influence the understanding, caution, interpretation and the types of help sought for negative mental well-being by the Sikh community living in the UK. Gender and generational differences were also identified in the data collection from participants. Sikh teachings, referred to as Sikhi are fundamental in the way that the Sikh participants understand mental well-being. The implications of the current study findings include clinical, educational and research factors.
    • Facilitating pedagogical change in online learning in higher education through professional development

      Traxler, John; Lawton, Megan; Miles, Carmen; Institute of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-06)
      The onset of Covid-19 gave rise to a huge wake-up call across the higher education sector as it switched to what has been termed ‘emergency remote teaching’ during 2020. This unprecedented rise in the uptake of online learning accentuated the need for lecturers to develop pedagogically-informed online teaching practices. This research used an appreciative inquiry methodology during the first wave of the pandemic to explore enacted TPACK (technology, pedagogy and content knowledge) knowledge of in-service teachers. The research makes an original contribution to research, addressing a gap in knowledge arising from the literature review relating to the use of TPACK to support in-service lecturers. As practice- based research, findings illustrated how teaching practices can be developed using professional development strategies to uncover the potential of online learning to deliver a transformative learning experience. Key findings of the research included a set of indicators for student-centred online teaching practices, examples of core and advanced teacher competences, and a mapping of technology affordances to support student-centred learning (SCL) pedagogies. The findings highlighted the importance of lecturers having permission to experiment, and the relevance of TPACK to support the development of a collective knowledge of SCL pedagogies to create innovation and reflection within communities of practice. The findings include a conceptualisation of the TPACK framework for use by lecturers and programme teams to support the design and development of SCL online pedagogies. In addition, recommendations arising from the research include a framework for supporting communities of practice develop contextual TPACK indicators using appreciative inquiry, and the need for strategic leadership through institutionally-led initiatives that take into consideration elements within the conceptualised TPACK framework.
    • Combined operations in the American War of Independence and the Naval War of 1812 in the North American theatre: a comparative study of strategy, tactics and effectiveness

      Fuller, Howard; Hardman, Michael David; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-01)
      This thesis examines the use of combined operations in the American War of Independence and the Naval War of 1812, hereafter referred to as the War of 1812. It compares the use of combined operations in both wars and examines the extent to which the use of combined operations contributed to the very different outcomes of the two wars. However, certain factors such as weather or chance referred to in this thesis as thematic constraints intervened to prevent the success of combined operations. By examining combined operations in both of these conflicts, and also the influence of the thematic constraints on combined operations, various lessons and conclusions can be drawn about combined operations as a distinct art of war by the early nineteenth century. The first war resulted in a clear British defeat and the loss of the thirteen colonies in North America. The second war ended in a political stalemate in which neither side lost any territory. This thesis demonstrates that combined operations and the associated thematic constraints were overwhelmingly influential in determining the different outcomes of the two wars. The thesis examines the lexicographical problems which arise in the definition of the term ‘combined operations’ and arrives at a working definition. It then argues that the objective of combined operations was to deliver a victory, but that the fog and friction of war intervened under certain circumstances in the form of the thematic constraints. Their presence could be sufficient to cause the combined operation to fail. The thematic constraints were not all equally important. Some like political constraints or defects in leadership were more important than others. The relative importance of the thematic constraints to each other and the criterion used to assess their relative importance are discussed in detail below. The thematic constraints could operate in isolation, such as weather, or in conjunction with other thematic constraints. They could intervene at the planning level to prevent the successful formulation of a combined operations plan, or more usually, at the operational level to prevent the combined operation from being successfully implemented. This thesis argues that combined operations and the thematic constraints were overwhelmingly influential in determining the outcomes of the two wars. It acknowledges the thematic constraints as a group of factors which overwhelmingly influenced the outcome of combined operations. It does so in a structured format which allows for a comparison of the thematic constraints in the conduct of combined operations and in doing so it develops and builds upon the existing historiography.
    • Research data sharing, reuse, and metrics: adoption and challenges across disciplines and repositories

      Thelwall, Mike; Khan, Nushrat; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021)
      Data sharing is widely believed to be beneficial to science and is now supported by digitization and new online infrastructures for sharing datasets. Nevertheless, differences in research cultures and the sporadic development of data repositories, support services, guidelines, and policies have resulted in uneven data sharing and reuse practices. An overall understanding of the current situation is therefore needed to identify gaps and next steps. In response, using two case studies and two surveys, this dissertation explores the current landscape and identifies challenges within data sharing and reuse practices. The results demonstrate how present systems and policies could be modified to support and encourage these activities. The researcher survey found that the type and format of data produced, as well as systematic data sharing varied between disciplines, with Physical Sciences and Earth and Planetary Sciences leading and Business and Economics, Engineering, and Medicine lagging in some respects. Surveys and observations were frequently produced in most fields, with samples and simulations being common in science and engineering and qualitative data being more prevalent in the social sciences, business, and humanities. Researchers who had prior data reuse experience shared data more frequently (56.8%, n=1,004) than those who only used their primary data for research (32.6%, n=396). The biodiversity case study and surveys show that secondary data are valuable for many purposes, but most struggle to find datasets to reuse. Data citations can incentivize data sharing, although a lack of appropriate data citations and reliable technologies make it difficult to efficiently track them. In biodiversity, where the sharing and reuse of open data via mature infrastructures is common, citing secondary datasets in references or data access statements has been increasing (48%, n=99). However, users simultaneously exploiting many data subsets in this field complicate the situation. This thesis makes recommendations for handling large numbers of biodiversity data subsets to attribute citations accurately. It also suggests further enhancements for the article-dataset linking service, Scholexplorer, to automatically capture such links. Based on responses from data repository managers, this research further identifies nine objectives for future repository systems. Specifically, 30% (n=34) of the surveyed managers would like integration and interoperability between data and systems, 19% (n=22) want better research data management tools, 16% (n=18) want tools that allow computation without downloading datasets, and 16% (n=18) want automated systems. It also makes 23 recommendations in three categories to support data sharing and promote further data reuse including 1) improved access and usability of data, as well as formal data citations; 2) improved search systems with suggested new features; and 3) cultural and policy-related issues around awareness and acceptance, incentives, collaboration, guidelines, and documentation. Finally, based on researcher feedback, this study proposes an alternative scoring model that combines a dataset quality score and a data reuse indicator that can be incorporated in academic evaluation systems. The outcomes from this research will help funders, policymakers and technology developers prioritize areas of improvement to incentivize data sharing and support data reuse with easily discoverable and usable data.
    • Screening and evaluation of multifunctional excipients: a novel approach for the local delivery of chlorhexidine against streptococcus mutans biofilms

      Rahman, Ayesha; Mohamed Zaid, Norhaziland; School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-10)
    • The continuation of female genital mutilation in Nigeria: a mixed methods study of Igbo men’s views and perpetuating factors

      Morgan, Angela; Bellingham-Young, Denise; Stonard, Karlie; Hemuka, Ngozika Jane; Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-12)
      Background/Aim: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a harmful practice involving the partial or total cutting of the external female genital organs or other injuries to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes. The views and attitudes of women towards FGM are widely researched and known. However, very little empirical research has been conducted to attempt to explain the views of men about the practice. This research was therefore undertaken to empirically investigate the knowledge, views, and attitudes of men from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria towards FGM. Methods: A mixed methods approach involving a survey and in-depth interviews was employed for this study. The study was conducted amongst Igbo men aged 18 years and older who are indigenes and currently living in Uturu, Nigeria, in 2017. Data were collected sequentially. 250 questionnaires were distributed, of which 215 were completed and returned, giving a high response rate of 86%. In-depth interviews were conducted for 10 participants. Bivariate and binary logistic regression was conducted for the quantitative data using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS version 24), while thematic analysis was carried out for the qualitative data using NVivo version 11 software. Results: The study showed that the sociodemographic predictors of favouring FGM continuation include age, education, and occupation. The protective factors include mass media and having a Christian faith. Believing that FGM is a religious requirement that increases marriageability of girls, enhances cleanliness/hygiene, and improves male sexual satisfaction, significantly (p < 0.05) predicts men’s view of favouring its continuation. Conclusion: The study provides evidence to suggest that some Nigerian Igbo men’s view of FGM is less than favourable. As an outcome of this study, an explanatory funnel model of factors influencing Igbo men’s views on FGM, which is grounded in both modernisation and masculinity theories was developed. The model presents measures to be put in place both at the individual and community levels, which may contribute even further to FGM decline. Findings from this study also demonstrate the importance of using a mixed methods approach to gain a broader understanding of men’s knowledge, views, and attitudes towards FGM continuation. This is the first mixed methods study to investigate Igbo men’s views of FGM, so this study is methodologically unique. Recommendations: In view of the findings, policy makers should focus on increasing access to media messages regarding the harmful consequences of FGM and develop more awareness campaigns against the practice and ensure access to higher education, particularly in rural areas to enhance employment opportunities. There is a need for sensitively designed health programmes for men to improve their knowledge of the normal structure and functions of the female reproductive system and, also, to offer psychosexual therapy to the affected male members of practising communities.
    • Evaluation of sustainable strategies adoption for competitiveness within the Qatar oil and gas sector

      Renukappa, Suresh; SARRAKH, Redouane; School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-11)
      With the increasing importance given to sustainable development, now-a-days countries around the world are shifting their focus and efforts to changing the previous unsustainable growth framework that has been ineffective. Qatar seems to be following the rest of the world and has decided to introduce a sustainability plan to ensure prosperity through its national vision and strategy plans. However, despite Qatar’s National Vision 2030 implementation, several organisations within the oil and gas sector still have difficulties in embedding sustainability agenda in their systems and processes. There is, also, a paucity of empirical research on the implementation of sustainability strategies within the Qatar oil and gas sector to improve competitiveness. Therefore, the aim of this research is to evaluate the Qatar oil and gas sector implementation of sustainability strategies so as to improve its competitiveness. A qualitative approach was adopted to collect and analyse data based on 24 interviewees from eight Qatar oil and gas organizations. The research started with a purposive sampling method that was later adapted to snowball. Semi-structured interview was selected as the data collection tool, and thematic analysis was chosen to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the interviews. Systematics approaches, such as the Total Interpretive Structural Modelling (TISM), Fuzzy Matrice d’Impacts Croises-Multiplication Applique an Classment (FuzzyMICMAC), maturity model and Graph Theoretic and matrix Approach (GTMA), were selected appropriately in order to achieve the research objectives. A framework and readiness tool were developed as the output of the research findings. The results of the study revealed that the Qatar oil and gas sector identified six main areas of interest to evaluate the performance of the sector and its organisations: workforce, health and safety, society, environment, climate change, and economy. Overall, the Qatar oil and gas sector is operating within or above governmental laws and regulations, which is evident in some organisations’ adapted policies and strategies. It is found that international standards and governmental regulations and laws are amongst the main drivers that fuelled for the implementation of sustainability initiatives within the sector. While strategic issues were highlighted as the main inhibitor to sustainability implementation within the sector. The findings of this research provide valuable insights that would help the Qatar oil and gas industry’s decision makers to implement sustainability initiatives to improves the sector’s competitiveness.
    • Exploring the applicability of a continuous improvement philosophy to a ‘self-improving school-led system’

      Suresh, Subashini; Lawton, Megan; Tsouroufli, Maria; Starr, Sean; Institute of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-02)
      In recent years the concept of a ‘self-improving school-led system’ has been at the heart of the English Government’s education policy, with a core focus on ‘high-autonomy-and-high-accountability’ within the system. With greater autonomy comes the expectation that schools will be the main drivers of systemic improvement to ensure effective outcomes. Adopting a continuous improvement (CI) approach may reduce the impact of the changeable nature within an open system, such as those attributed to schools. A CI philosophy has been demonstrated to be a critical influence for sustained performance within unpredictable environments in sectors outside of education. The study explores the applicability of a CI philosophy to support school improvement. This research is situated within a human activity system (HAS) based around the dynamics of school improvement within six schools, situated in the West Midlands, during 2016. The literature review demonstrated an agreement on the critical success factors (CSFs) required to develop a CI philosophy. These CSFs situate around leadership, people, process, purpose and culture. The research was positioned in a interpretivsit paradigm and used a Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) approach to explore the dynamics of school improvement within compulsory education due to the complexity of this HAS. This inductive process reveals a congruence of elements associated with CSFs of CI within a compulsory school setting. However, this study concludes that a CI philosophy would be unsustainable under the current educational climate in schools. This is due to missing or under-represented CSFs, in particular those related to leadership and culture. If schools are to meet new demands associated with the external and strategic environment, it is essential that clarification and understanding between the implementation of CI and the schools’ improvement agenda be explored further.
    • Manpower and military conscription in Acton, 1916-1918

      Ugolini, Laura; Henderson, Caroline; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-01)
      The human resource – or ‘manpower’ – problem faced by the British during the First World War is a topic that has been neglected and is therefore much misunderstood. This thesis sheds light on the ways in which the nation attempted to organise its citizens to serve four concomitant manpower needs: the sufficient supply of men for the armed forces, the workforce required for the munitions industry, the personnel needed to cater for the needs of the civilian population, and the people who worked to maintain the country’s financial and economic stability. This is done through study of the implementation and administration of compulsory military service. The principal archival source is the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal archive, held at The National Archives in Kew. The urban district of Acton has been used as a data sample. This thesis examines five different occupations and considers the three groups of people involved in the tribunal process: the potential conscripts, their associated contemporaries and the tribunal members. This thesis demonstrates the complexities involved in balancing the nation’s manpower needs. Indeed, many of the problems were never fully solved. With little overall central guidance the demands made by various government departments, the military authorities, trade associations, employers, the local populace, family members and the appellants themselves were often difficult for the military service tribunals to resolve. This thesis shows that home front imperatives were a fundamental aspect of the decision making with regard to the nation’s manpower. A man’s skill, his local influence and his health were important points to consider when deciding whether he should remain on the home front or serve in the armed forces. In addition it is clear that tribunals paid mere lip service to some central government advice, such as that related to one-man businesses. Much of Britain’s manpower legislation was enacted as a reaction to the problems caused by the country’s implementation of compulsory military service in the middle of the war. As this thesis demonstrates, tribunals were expected to implement a manpower policy that was constantly evolving to deal with the very conscription they were supposed to manage.
    • Plans and planes: United States Army aviation in American colour-coded war plans, 1920-1939

      Buckley, John; Shipp, Robert; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
      The use of airplanes and rigid airships during the First World War forever transformed the way the nations around the world would wage war. By the time the Americans joined the fray, air power had become an integral element of modern warfare. During the interwar period, United States Army war planning staffs understood the essentiality of air power in any future war and intentionally integrated it into the colour-coded war plans created and maintained between 1920 and 1939. This thesis examines the extent United States Army air power was included in the eight colour-coded war plans created or revised between 1920 and 1939. It demonstrates that the intentional inclusion of air power within the plans was due to the planners’ understanding of air power ideology, the inclusion of aviation units and types within the organization of the combatant commanders, the basis for the plans – the international tension which might warrant the use of military force, and the plan creation process within which airmen were included at many if not all levels. War planners at all levels of the United States Army were exposed to air power doctrine, whether through experience or courses taken at the various professional development schools. This understanding influenced policies and the structure of the United States Army, both being reflected within the plans of the interwar years. Moreover, the planning process, which throughout the period included airmen, ensured air power’s inclusion. Finally, the nature of the proposed conflict demanded planners consider both the enemy’s and their own air power capabilities.
    • The impact of socioemotional wealth on the relationships between entrepreneurial orientation and debt financing of family businesses: empirical evidence from Nigeria

      Wang, Yong; Mahmood, Samia; Jaiyeola, Afusat; Management Research Centre, University of Wolverhampton Business School, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-08)
      Family businesses play an important role in economic development and income growth. However, increasing business competition has placed family businesses in a volatile position due to their limited resources. Undoubtedly, the family business’s success in responding to the challenge of the business environment depends on their strategy for engaging in entrepreneurial behaviours and the availability of debt financing to family businesses. Understanding the factors that influence debt financing, therefore, becomes important. In exploring the factors that influence debt financing, prior studies investigate the effects of entrepreneurial orientation and socioemotional wealth (SEW) in isolation from each other. Moreover, literature on the effect of SEW on debt financing shows mixed conclusions. The current study, by considering SEW as the kernel, firstly examines the influence of entrepreneurial orientation on debt financing. Secondly, it examines the impact of SEW on the relationships between entrepreneurial orientation and debt financing. To avoid bias from utilising one particular research method, this study purposely employed an explanatory sequential triangulation strategy. This was intended for model testing and an in-depth understanding of the research issues in the Nigerian context. Primary data were collected from Nigeria via a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews. Adopting a purposive sampling and snowball sampling method, a total of 500 self-administered questionnaires were sent out in August 2019 to family businesses to collect primary data. Out of the number sent, 405 useful responses were gathered for the quantitative study generating a response rate of 81%. For the qualitative study, 10 interviews were conducted with family businesses. A hierarchical regression analysis was applied in assessing the impact of SEW on the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and the debt financing of family businesses. Research results suggest that, firstly, entrepreneurial orientation influences the debt financing of family businesses. More importantly, SEW has a significant moderating impact on the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and debt financing. The study contributes to the literature in three major areas. Firstly, against the backdrop of mixed conclusions in prior research about the effect of SEW on debt financing this study finds that the effect of SEW could be examined along with the dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation. Specifically, it establishes that SEW moderates the effects of the EO dimensions on debt financing of family businesses i.e., the antecedents of debt financing. This helps clarify the role of SEW. Secondly, unlike prior studies and models that examine the influence of entrepreneurial orientation and SEW in isolation from each other, this study develops and validates a model to examine how these factors jointly shape debt financing. Specifically, the model shows that entrepreneurial orientation influences debt financing but also SEW would intensify the influence of entrepreneurial orientation on company debt financing. Lastly, even though family businesses are the dominant form of organisation in the world and are the prime source of wealth creation and employment for both developed and emerging economies, it has received insufficient research attention in Nigeria. This study has, therefore, added to the scanty research available about family businesses and their contribution to poverty alleviation, employment generations, and sustainable economic growth in Nigeria. On the whole, the study makes a theoretical and methodological contribution to the study of debt financing of family businesses.
    • The impact of mental ill health on medication adherence level in patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

      Morrissey, Hana; Ball, Patrick; Bibi, Nasreem; School of Pharmacy, Research Institute in Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-02)
      Background: In the UK, 4.9 million people have type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), costing the NHS £10 billion annually. One in six-people (17.0%) in England has experienced depression or anxiety in the past 12 months. T2DM is managed by pharmacological therapy and lifestyle adjustment. The aim of this study was to explore if there is a relationship between depression, anxiety and poor medication adherence in patients diagnosed with T2DM. Method: A pilot, single-site, observational study of patients with T2DM (n=64) randomly assigned into group A (3-consultations) or group B (2-consultations). All initial consultations were in-person, while follow-ups were by telephone. Participants were screened; for medication adherence using MMAS-8©; for depression using CUDOS© and anxiety with CUXOS©, and the findings were managed appropriately. The measurable outcomes were changes in HbA1c, BP, medication-adherence, depression, anxiety and self-reported wellbeing. Thematic and comparative analysis was conducted by groups and demographic variables using paired sample t-test and statistical regression. Results: Adherence to diabetes medications improved for both groups (intentional: p = 0.15 and unintentional, p =0.01). Similarly, adherence to all other chronic diseases medications means were improved for both groups (intentional, p = 0.32 and unintentional, p = 0.02). The depression, anxiety and well-being means were also improved (p = 0.01 and p = 0.04 p = <0.01 respectively). HbA1c results did not show statistical significance (p = 0.77). BP readings were unchanged but remained in the recommended range for both groups, under 130/82 mmHg. Based on the manual thematic coding, there were three possible phenomenon (high self-care efficacy and favourable disease prognosis [F= 7 & M=4], high self-care efficacy and poor disease prognosis [F= 15 & M=11] and poor self-care efficacy and poor disease prognosis[F= 12 & M=11]) and one phenomenon was not proven due to the small sample size and possible patients self-reporting bias (poor self-care efficacy and favourable disease prognosis [F= 1 & M=3]). Conclusions: A significant inter-relationship was found between depression and/or anxiety, adherence to therapy and T2DM prognosis. More frequent interventions were advantageous. Two prototype T2DM management algorithms; generic and tailored to patients from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds were created. These were adopted in the study site and were provided to the HRA in the final ethics report for NHS use in the wider primary care. Other ethnicities and chronic conditions could be similarly investigated.
    • Investigating the likely impact of new public management on human resource managers and academic lecturers in the Saudi Arabian higher education sector

      Ali, Shaukat; Iafrati, Stephen; Alhammami, Naser; Management Research Centre, University of Wolverhampton Business School, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-03)
      Since the 1980s, new public management (NPM) has been considered the dominant model of public management. The model has many elements that have been adopted from different countries around the world, in particular Western countries, to reform their public sector organisations. This research examines four main models of NPM and extracts the common and most influential elements (e.g., decentralisation and empowerment) to build the theoretical framework for this research. Using this framework, the study investigates the implementation of aspects of the NPM model in a non-Western context, namely the higher education sector of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Saudi Arabia is undergoing historic transformation since 2016, including the launch of the country's largest economic reform plan to date- Vision 2030. This plan aims to reduce the dependence on oil revenues and to enhance the role of the public and private sectors in the Saudi economy. The Vision aims also to modernise its public sector administrative model. This research investigates the likely impact of NPM-oriented public sector reforms on the Saudi HE sectors. The research takes the form of qualitative case studies. Five public universities were selected to represent the five geographical regions of the country. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews. Using an interpretive lens, the researcher explored the multiple interpretations, different meanings and experiences of the participants regarding the research issues. NVivo software was used in the coding and classification of the data. Content analysis helped with the analysis of the huge number of texts and identification of the patterns and relationships among the five cases. The results indicate that the Saudi HE sector has several managerial problems such as strict centralisation, lack of empowerment, participation and competition, which appear to have put pressure on the government to launch its reform agenda. The Vision 2030 has led to many positive effects, including the autonomy of three universities and the issuance of new civil performance measurement. From the research findings, the NPM model is unlikely to be applicable in Saudi Arabia due to the revealed challenges such as the prevalence of the central style, weak empowerment and participation. The working conditions of the Saudi public employees, such as job security, workload, work pressure, and salary, are expected negatively impact the applicability and implementation of NPM tenets in Saudi Arabia. This research contributes to the study of NPM reforms, and sheds new light on its applicability in the HE sector in a non-Western, nondemocratic context.
    • An exploration of the roles and experiences of governance officers in an NHS trust

      Kanjilal, Mahuya; Jester, Rebecca; Haynes, Mike; Ahme, Taiwo Jumoke; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-09)
      Background Accountability is a key issue in the UK National Health Service (NHS). Clinical governance officers are a relatively new group of staff that are employed to help ensure accountability at the local level of the NHS. Aim This thesis explores the role of governance officers in an NHS Trust. It examines how they negotiate the space between managers and clinicians to ensure accountability. Method Using a phenomenological approach, semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted to explore lived experiences and views of governance officers. The study draws on theoretical frameworks relating to role theory, Foucault’s theory of power and Bourdieu’s theory of habitus. The data is analysed thematically using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) method. Findings and Discussion The key themes emerging from the data are the governance officer role; pleasures and pains; unity versus diversity; in pursuit of accountability; the dual role of the governance officer (policing and nurturing); self-perception and perception of others; complex connections. Surveillance, a network of interactions and power dynamics influence how governance officers ensure accountability and this shapes their identity. Recommendations The major recommendations of the study are to review training relating to the governance officer role; to streamline processes in order to efficiently enhance accountability; to develop the role of the governance officer and its positionality within ensuring accountability, by the formation of Communities of Practice in order to enhance their identity and professional standing. Conclusion This study has addressed a gap in knowledge by providing an insight into the governance officer’s role. This pivotal role is important in ensuring accountability at the local level of the NHS and also in providing high-quality patient treatment and care.
    • Theatre, performance and digital culture

      Doyle, Denise; Marshall, Gregory; School of Performing Arts, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2022)
      This thesis proposes that the theory of aesthetic agency derived from gaming in digital culture may be used as a lens through which live theatre and performance may be analysed. I argue that the aesthetics, immersion and play with identity in live theatre and performance are informed by digital culture through the behaviour and agency of the participants, be they audience or participants. Using a grounded theory methodological approach, four large-scale outdoor immersive productions and two traditional theatrical productions have been selected to provide a comparative analysis using aesthetic agency. Aesthetic agency is central to the analysis of immersion and play with identity in the productions selected. Comprising intention, perceivable consequence, narrative potential, transformation, co-presence and presence aesthetic agency is the feeling of pleasure audience and participants derive through the experience of live theatre and performance. Analysis using aesthetic agency in immersive productions examines qualities such as interaction and participation, discovery, understanding social rules, proximity to points of engagement within the performance, the use of narrative or gameplay, liminality and the suspension of disbelief and the use of physical or imaginary boundaries. Aesthetic agency in play with identity uses qualities of transportation, presence and co-presence and is analysed using themes of liminality, ritual, agency and memory which offer the opportunity of real experience within the virtual environments. The outcomes of the study highlight the opportunities to analyse and understand the meaning making process in live theatre and performance in a new manner through the lens of aesthetic agency derived from digital culture. Through examples, the outcomes show how digital culture theory may be used in live theatre and performance to examine and explain the experience for spectators and participants. The future use of aesthetic agency as a dramaturgical tool then becomes a possibility which may enhance the development process and enrich the subsequent experience of spectators and participants. Further, aesthetic agency may find utility as a dramaturgical tool when used to aid the creation of new live productions.
    • Effect of ATF2 transcription factor on DLL4 gene expression in angiogenesis

      Armesilla, Angel; Kalyanakrishnan, Krithika; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-11)
      INTRODUCTION: ATF2 belongs to the AP1 transcription factor family that homodimerize or heterodimerize with other members of the bZIP family and regulates the transcriptional activation of target genes. Previous studies have shown that ATF2 mediates VEGF-induced angiogenic processes but the molecular mechanisms implicating ATF2 as a regulator of angiogenesis and its effect on other angiogenic related genes are largely unknown. METHODS: The sequences of the enhancers and the promoter of the DLL4, which is an angiogenic-related gene, were obtained from the ensembl website and using the ConTraV3 R software, the putative binding sites of ATF2 on the regulatory regions of DLL4 were identified. Among the four enhancers and the promoter regions identified, it was attempted to clone one enhancer sequence in a luciferase-based reporter plasmid. ATF2 functionality was suppressed by infecting HUVEC with an adenovirus expressing a phosphorylation-mutant, dominant-negative version of ATF2 (Ad-ATF2AA). HUVEC infection with an adenovirus encoding GFP (Ad-GFP) was used as a control. Alternatively, ATF2 expression in HUVEC was suppressed by siRNA-mediated knockdown. qPCR was performed to determine the effect of ATF2 functional suppression on the expression of DLL4-target genes and other genes related to angiogenesis. A colony of ATF2flox/flox mice was established by crossing ATF2flox/flox breeders with the intention of a future development of an endothelial-specific ATF2 knockout mice for future in vivo studies. RESULTS: In silico analysis revealed that ATF2 has potential binding sites on the regulatory regions of the DLL4 locus suggesting its involvement in the regulation of DLL4. HUVEC deficient in ATF2, achieved by overexpression of a mutant protein or knockdown of ATF2, showed a significant increase in the expression of the Notch ligand DLL4 in basal and VEGF-stimulated conditions. The gene expression of angiogenic related genes HEY1 and NRARP were also altered, suggesting ATF2 involvement in the regulation of these proteins. CONCLUSION: This study shows that activation of ATF2 is essential for the negative regulation of DLL4, HEY1 and NRARP. Interestingly, activation of these Notch-related genes has been reported to have an inhibitory effect on angiogenesis. These results indicate that the negative effect of ATF2 suppression observed in angiogenesis might implicate upregulation of DLL4, HEY1 and NRARP.
    • The process and impact of special measures upon an NHS trust

      Yarwood-Ross, Lee; Mortimore, Janet; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-09)
      NHS Trusts that perform poorly in inspections by the regulator (Care Quality Commission) are rated inadequate and may be placed into special measures by NHS Improvement. There is a paucity of research on the process and impact of special measures. The purpose of this research was to explore how a Trust comes to be in special measures and how special measures impacts on organisational culture. The ethnographic case study of a Trust that was in special measures at the time comprised a thematic analysis of qualitative data collected via semi-structured interviews, autoethnography and published material. The participants were purposively selected staff from a wide range of roles predominantly at the lower end of the NHS pay bands (groups that have been underrepresented in previous studies of culture in healthcare organisations). The findings revealed that participants perceived a complicated tangle of operational and cultural issues to have led to the Trust’s poor performance. Participants’ perceptions of the Trust’s culture cut across the integration, differentiation and fragmentation perspectives of organisational culture, at times within the context of a single interview. Secondary analysis revealed that participants appeared to have experienced a reaction process to the label of special measures. Participants perceived that some improvement had been made in staff engagement following placement in special measures, which may be more aligned to organisational climate than culture. It is recommended that previously ‘hidden voices’ are included in NHS inspection regimes, as they appear to be an untapped resource in terms of potential organisational improvement. In addition, whereas NHS guidance espouses organisational culture as a route to performance improvement, the investment in managers to improve the climate within work groups is recommended, with the aspiration that these improvements will work their way through the system and have a long-term positive impact on culture throughout the NHS.