• The determinants and impact of inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria

      Mark Cook; Lucy Zheng; Ari, Mayor N. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
      Endowed with enormous natural resources but with a volatile economy, this study seeks to conduct an empirical analysis investigating the determinants and impact of inward oil and gas FDI on Nigeria’s economic growth and export performance. The study dataset covers a period of 17 years from 2001 to 2017. The country-level dataset was analysed in three separate models, which include, the country as a whole, OECD group and non-OECD group using dynamic panel data analysis techniques proposed by Blundell and Bond (1998) known in methodology literature as sys-GMM (system Generalized-Method-of-Moment). The study’s empirical evidence provides statistical support that inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria is determined by market-seeking (proxied by GDP per capita), resource-seeking (proxied by fuel export) and efficiency-seeking (proxied by labour force). As a whole, it is seen that OECD countries’ FDI is more attracted by market-seeking and efficiency-seeking determinants, while, non-OECD countries are more attracted by resource-seeking factors. The study also found that inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria has a significant positive effect on economic growth (proxied by GDP per capita). However, the study shows that OECD countries oil and gas FDI impact on Nigeria’s economic growth is higher compared to non-OECD countries oil and gas FDI. As regards export performance, the empirical results showed that inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria has a significant positive effect on export performance in Nigeria (proxied by oil and gas exports). Also, from the empirical results, it is observed that the impact of non-OECD countries’ oil and gas FDI is higher compared to OECD countries oil and gas FDI impact on Nigeria’s foreign export. The empirical results corroborate the complementarity hypothesis of FDI and trade nexus by providing empirical evidence using oil and gas FDI in Nigeria. The main theoretical contributions of this study stem from the empirical evidence on inward oil and gas FDI examining the heterogeneity of the investing MNEs and, showing how this heterogeneity of investing MNEs impact on Nigeria’s economic growth and export performance. The study also provides valid evidence for FDI promotion agencies in Nigeria on how best to harness the benefits of inward oil and gas FDI in a volatile economy for greater economic and export performance.
    • Adoption of smart and sustainable strategies in the State of Qatar

      Suresh Renukappa; Al Meraikhi, Hamda (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-04)
      With the increasing importance given to sustainable development nowadays, countries around the world are shifting their focus and efforts to changing the previous unsustainable growth framework that has been ineffective. Therefore, Qatar, following in the footsteps of the rest of the world, decided to introduce a sustainability plan to ensure the population’s prosperity through its Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030). However, little is known about how Qatar organisations are responding to this encouragement. The aim of this research is to investigate how Qatar public sector organisations are embedding smart and sustainable strategies in order to achieve the QNV 2030. Given the relatively new and unexplored nature of the research problem, a qualitative research method was adopted to collect and analyse data. Semi-structured interviews with 56 professionals were used to collect data which was then analysed using content analysis for inference and conclusion. The study concluded that smart and sustainable issues are complex, dynamic, and multifaceted. A complex mix of government, economic, social and environmental forces drives Qatar organisations to implement smart and sustainable strategies. Overall, the outlook for improved sustainable strategies efforts from the state of Qatar looks quite promising at present. Qatar organisations face significant challenges in taking the first steps towards implementing smart and sustainable strategies. To improve smart and sustainable performance, therefore, leaders have to recognise and better understand the concept of smart development and sustainability. The current study results suggest that, to meet the goals of the QNV2030, the implementation of healthcare strategies is still evolving in the State of Qatar. Therefore, there is a need to re-examine the National Health Strategy to Qatar’s health challenges, aligned to a global shift in thinking towards population health and smarter and more integrated care. The scarcity of knowledge and expertise associated with sustainable strategies is, and will continue to be, a huge challenge for Qatar public sector organisations. Therefore, training programmes related to the management of smart and sustainable related knowledge will help leaders, managers, and change agents better understand how to craft and implement various smart and sustainable strategies to achieve QNV 2030. An innovative business model for the integration of smart and sustainable strategies into day-to-day operational decisions was developed and validated. This model is intended to offer guidance for the successful implementation of smart and sustainable strategies to simultaneously improve environmental, social and economic performance. It is recommended to explore the level of embeddedness of smart and sustainable strategies in the public sector between developed and developing countries.
    • Stakeholder management within BIM implemented projects in the UK construction industry

      Ezekiel Chinyio; Subashini Suresh; Singh, Sukhtaj (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-04)
      Over the last decade, the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has proliferated to manage the increasing complexity of construction projects. Project managers face challenges while managing stakeholders on BIM-implemented projects because the BIM concept is still relatively new to many stakeholders. The implementation of BIM brought new and complex activities to the already complex process of project management, which led to radical change in the working practices of project stakeholders and generated risk for diverse areas. In this study, the challenges, techniques, enablers and benefits of managing stakeholders within BIM-implemented projects were investigated. This exploratory study adopts a qualitative approach with an interpretative stance at its core, which is an appropriate approach to adopt when the variables and theory base are not known. Pilot study was conducted to test the research instrument. A total of 23 semi-structured interviews were conducted in the UK, via purposive and snowball sampling techniques. The data gathered was analysed using content analysis and the NVivo 11 Pro software. The findings include a persisting low understanding of the BIM concept in project team, especially the client. The users’ resistance to change, and disintegration of BIM and traditional teams leads to unanticipated issues. Holding face-to-face meetings with client at the onset of a project for discussing BIM process and arranging frequent meetings of BIM users among themselves are the key techniques of mitigating issues proactively. Furthermore, organisations should create a sharing and learning environment to encourage and facilitate adoption of BIM. The effective management of stakeholders leads to generating good quality information, avoiding unanticipated issues and assists in understanding the result clearly. A descriptive framework was developed and validated. This framework provides requirements that needs to be integrated during stakeholder management in BIM projects. Every construction project has a unique set of stakeholders. Therefore, project managers should conduct a BIM assessment of all key stakeholders and develop a bespoke stakeholder management plan based on that. BIM has a huge potential to manage stakeholders effectively on construction projects. Even the roles that are not directly/indirectly related to BIM can benefit from increased and better communication and collaboration. Communication, collaboration, stakeholder engagement, trust, common goals, technology and people are at the core of managing stakeholders within BIM projects. Top management should proactively support stakeholder management plan because the lack of knowledge and understanding of BIM among project participants on an ongoing project may lead to conflicts. Larger organisations should help smaller organisations on BIM-implemented projects because smaller organisations usually do not have enough budget to train their staff. To date, researchers have focused on implementation of BIM and stakeholder management aimed at the micro level with little attention to the effect of new digital ways of working with stakeholder. This research provides a richer understanding and awareness of the enablers and techniques, which organisations have to focus on while making strategies in order to face minimum resistance from stakeholders. The study is unique in a way that it considers BIM from a management perspective, especially the stakeholder management. The previous studies have identified challenges of BIM in isolation. The enablers, techniques and benefits pertaining stakeholder management were identified and prioritised in the context of BIM. Furthermore, this study has established new ways which managers can adopt to manage stakeholders in addition to technical approaches.
    • A visual ethnographic study on nurse lecturers’ enactment of compassionate care within the adult pre-registration nursing curriculum

      Lucy Pursehouse; Drummond, Juliet (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-02)
      Aim of the study: To explore how compassionate care is enacted within the adult pre-registration nursing curriculum (APNC) by Nurse lecturers (NLs). Background: Compassionate care is rooted in the nursing profession and there is a general assumption that nurses are compassionate to those they serve. There has been much debate on whether compassionate care can be taught or is it innate to individuals. There are a number of studies that explore the experiences of student nurses, patients and healthcare professionals. However, there are a limited number of studies exploring NLs’ experiences, attitudes and behaviours. This thesis explores NL’s perspective of their performance of compassionate care within APNC. This has an important impact on the pre-registration nursing education of student nurses and future care delivery. Methodology: A qualitative approach was applied using purposeful sampling to recruit nine participants. A visual ethnographic methodology was employed, using auto-driven photo-elicitation interviews. The same nurse lecturers were then invited to a focus group to develop individual and collaborative concept maps, of which five attended. Data was collected between March 2017 to August 2018. Findings: This interpretative study revealed five emergent themes: (1) compassionate care; (2) compassionate people; (3) compassionate curriculum; (4) compassionate culture (5) compassionate lens. A framework has emerged which informs pre-registration nursing education and health services. The themes are also represented in the photographs, concepts maps, an atlas of compassionate care within the adult preregistration nursing curriculum , and the map of compassionate care. Conclusion: In summary, this study represents the complexity of how compassionate care is performed by NLs in their role in supporting and developing student nurses. The individual and shared experiences of NLs highlight the numerous ways compassionate care is experienced and performed. The identified themes demonstrate the many opportunities available for all levels of staff to be compassionate in their role to those in need. It is hoped that the impact of this may drive up standards and delivery of compassionate care in healthcare services and nursing education. Originality: This study contributes a comprehensive analysis of the performance of NLs in compassionate care in the APNC. Using a visual ethnographic methodology provided a thick description of the experiences of NLs, therefore adding to the body of knowledge in the understanding and delivery of compassionate care in nursing education. The infusion of photographs, concept maps and dialogue give insight into the multiple ways NLs experience and perform compassionate care. It is anticipated that the findings offer a valuable insight to how higher education institutions, healthcare organisations and researchers can shape compassionate nursing practice both locally and nationally.
    • The impact of food consumption patterns on identity: the case of Zimbabwean inbetweeners living in the UK

      Magede, Thomas (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-02)
      This study explores the concept of identity construction through food as exhibited by Zimbabwean inbetweener migrants in the UK. Literature was explored in relation to national identity, migration, consumer culture theory, consumer acculturation, diaspora theory, memory and nostalgia and food consumption and identity. The study used a qualitative research approach to address the issues under investigation. Interviews were used to collect data based on the understanding that food patterns and identity construction are context driven. The findings indicate that the food experiences of the Zimbabwean inbetweeners were specific to this group. Their food consumption patterns were found to be multi-dimensional. The thesis brings to the fore too, the dynamism of identity and food consumption practices. The food acculturation practices of the Zimbabwean inbetweener migrants showed three consumer acculturation strategies - rejection, adaptation and separation. These were chosen in response to the various challenges and environmental influences they had encountered as they settled in the UK. In the construction of a national identity in the UK, access to Zimbabwean foods, economic independence, the importance of family and the structured nature of British schools influenced how identity was expressed and constructed. The findings showed that food is a tool that the respondents used to contruct their identity, to develop and maintain relationships with family, friends, communities and general diasporan relationships. The respondents also indicated the importance of eating out and the tensions they experienced in different restaurants that presented themselves as ‘authentic’. Various contested identities were formed depending on the ‘authenticity’ strategy adopted in the ethnic restaurants. These ‘authenticity’ strategies focussed on purity, hybridity, concreteness and abstract. The study contributes to consumer culture theory by engaging in the study of migrant food consumption practices; and to understand how a migrant group, can relate to the operation and marketing of ethnic restaurants in the diaspora.
    • ‘This is about an ordinary average life with all its ups and downs’: Continuity and change in the life and family experiences of fifty English working-class individuals between the years 1900 and 1945

      Ugolini, Laura; Ball, Rebecca Mary (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-01)
      This thesis is a study of the everyday lives of fifty working-class individuals in the first half of the twentieth century. These twenty-six women and twenty-four men were all born between 1899 and 1915 in England and self-identified as working class. These individuals were not politicians, influential historical figures or famous household names – such life histories have been recounted on many occasions – rather these are ‘ordinary average’ people, whose unpublished autobiographies this thesis draws upon to offer an insight into the everyday struggles, sacrifices and triumphs that the working class experienced between the years 1900 and 1945. By taking a microhistorical approach and focusing on this sample of fifty life stories, this thesis sheds light on wartime life, the impact of social change and the continued importance of working-class family values during the first half of the twentieth century. It uses these autobiographies to question the assumption that living through a period that witnessed two world wars would automatically equate to a life that was completely overshadowed by them. It also challenges the often accepted idea that wider social changes such as educational reform, the opening up of new employment opportunities and the fertility decline would have necessarily affected each working-class individual, suggesting instead that whilst change in these areas had certainly occurred by the end of the twentieth century, it was often too late to affect the lives of these autobiographers. Instead, the autobiographies suggest that the working-class lives were shaped by other issues of significance, most notably domesticity and the family life cycle. The thesis’ chapters focus on the five topics that the autobiographers most frequently discussed: death, absence, family relationships, consumption (with a particular focus on leisure, food and housing), and education and employment opportunities. The reminiscences on these topics revealed much that confirmed existing academic insights into working-class life between the years 1900 and 1945, including the importance of domestic ideals to working-class family life and the continued popularity of marriage as an institution Yet, importantly, as this thesis argues, they also revealed a variety of differing, although equally relevant and noteworthy experiences that have thus far been overlooked. These include a distinct lack of war-related deaths or war-related absences of immediate family members despite living through two conflicts, the subtle shift towards a companionate style of marriage and the significance of expectations of the working-class family life cycle in responses to instances of death or absence.
    • An examination of the emotional impact of the insertion of documentary footage into trauma cinema

      Badsey, Stephen; Pheasant-Kelly, Frances; Hockenhull, Stella; Yiassemides, Spyros C. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-01)
      This thesis proposes that trauma cinema fiction films based on true dramatic events stand to gain much from utilising specific nonfiction material in their staged narratives and, furthermore, enhance emotional affect for the spectator. It deploys David Bordwell’s and Kristin Thompson’s (2017) formalist film theory to textually analyse a range of films, while also considering the dialogue between journalistic approaches and contemporary critical reviews of the films examined. The aim of this study is to show that there are similarities between certain films in the embedding and utilisation of documentary footage within the narratives of these films and that the footage has the ability to invite an emotional response in audiences, depending on certain personal factors and conditions. In general, previous work in Film Studies links actuality in feature films to greater emotional affect but does so epidermically. In other words, it fails to examine how footage which is real and not staged affects the emotional dynamics of the narratives in which it is inserted. The focus of this study is specifically on the 9/11 sub-genre where, arguably, the utilisation of actuality material in these films is a useful technique for encouraging an emotional response. Three films belonging to the 9/11 sub-genre of trauma cinema are examined in this work where there are certain commonalities of theme and style. These are World Trade Center (Stone, 2006), United 93 (Greengrass, 2006) and Zero Dark Thirty (Bigelow, 2012). There is also an emergent pattern in the way that actuality footage is deployed within the three films’ narratives, namely through props such as television sets, which appears to influence how the associated nonfiction content is relayed. Arguably, this delivery of the footage is more easily assimilated by audiences familiar with this initial mode of communication of the events of 9/11. Theoretically, the results produced mean that filmmakers can utilise documentary inserts in the same effective way as other emotion-eliciting cinematic devices, such as close-ups, cut zoom ins, and poignant non-diegetic music, to augment the narrative engagement of the spectator and to enhance the experience. In summary, this thesis contributes to knowledge in that it identifies possible usage of documentary inserts in the narratives of feature films not previously considered and suggests ways in which the emotional potential of these inserts can be exposed therein. It therefore provides a new way to think about calibrating the emotional barometer of these films through heightening the realism of their storylines by making use of documentary inserts
    • Can the empathic underpinning of counselling psychologists detect gelotophobic responses to expressions of joy above non-counselling psychologists and psychology others?

      Danny Hinton; Tracey Platt; Flowers, Trevor A. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021)
      Gelotophobes have a negative attribution bias skewing appraisal of laughter meaning expressions of joy negatively affect interpersonal interactions and could be a barrier to positive outcomes in therapy. This study investigated participants’ perceptions of gelotophobes and non-gelotophobes responding to expressions of joy and examined whether the empathic underpinnings of counselling psychology afforded greater empathy and was a predictive factor in correctly identifying facial affect. This study was a quasi-experimental design employing a quantitative method. Participants (N = 144) consisted of counselling psychologists (CP) (n = 44), non-psychologists (NP) (n = 54), and psychology other (PO) (n = 46). Participants were shown emotional stimuli, pre-coded using Facial Action Coding System (FACS), depicting gelotophobes and non-gelotophobes responding to expressions of joy and asked to identify the emotion from a choice of seven basic emotions. Participants also completed the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and the Empathy Quotient (EQ) questionnaires to discern affective and cognitive empathy levels. Results found significant differences in the correct identification, and perception, of non-gelotophobes’ and gelotophobes’ facial affect. CP had significantly higher levels of cognitive empathy and identified significantly more gelotophobe emotional states than NP, but differences with the PO were non-significant. There was also a positive correlation between cognitive empathy and number of emotions correctly identified. Cognitive empathy, however, did not mediate between participant group and correctly identifying gelotophobes’ facial affect; as such, further research is needed to understand these findings. There were also no significant differences in affective empathy. Research highlights factors contributing to gelotophobes’ interpersonal difficulties, a factor in the development of gelotophobia, as well as factors that will facilitate positive therapeutic outcomes.
    • The Sudanese arbitration laws in transnational commercial arbitration and the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, under the Sudanese disputes settlement system

      Andrew Haynes; Jebarah, Salahaldin Abdelkader (University of Wolverhampton, 2021)
      The reason for writing this doctoral thesis was because of the development of the law and arbitration processes in Sudan and the issues which that process has left us with. Sudan is still going through another kind of social reform, particularly in view of the different faiths in the country, and an increasing propensity for the population to be conscious of their rights. Any single judicial process is likely to struggle to deal with such a wide range of issues, particularly in the context of increasing arbitration and transnational arbitration. The degree of uncertainty is exacerbated by the direct and indirect influence of Islamic jurisprudence on judicial outcomes. This research establishes that if the judiciary has not changed quickly enough to cope with the demands which these factors present and the development of the economy and society could be adversely affected. Furthermore, Sudan is now looking for private foreign investors, and there are reasonable grounds to conclude that the Sudanese judiciary may be inadequate to accommodate the inevitable commercial disputes which will emerge. Whether or not an effective system of dispute settlement through arbitration can be made in Sudan, it is apparent that unless Sudan gets appropriate arbitrators with sufficient knowledge of Sudanese society and law, it will be difficult for Sudan to attract much needed private foreign investment. This research engages in a critical analysis of the development of an appropriate arbitration system in Sudan and suggests that it is a condition precedent to the successful development of the Sudanese dispute resolution system.
    • A retrospective review of educational interventions and innovations using actor network theory. Creating learning designs that develop human capabilities by purposeful assembly of heterogenous actors

      Michael Jopling; Sarah Hayes; Royle, Karl (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-12)
      This thesis contributes an approach to learning design for education professionals which can be applied to reform or transform practice through a process of iterative development. The approach can be used by teachers with their class, in a subject area, by a whole institution or system wide, and by researchers as well as curriculum designers. The approach is contextualised, with each potential implementation being different as a result. The ‘retrospective’ approach taken in this thesis stems from agile product development, where a team looks back over recent practice to see how things were done , how they might be done differently in future iterations and what to stop doing. The retrospective was developed using actor network theory to engender reflexivity over the output time period. I adopt various reflexive positions within the text and interestingly, output 8 was instrumental in catalysing the retrospective in this form. My thesis therefore contributes as a model that others might find useful to analyse their practice. The thesis uncovers several positional transformations in my own practice. This includes a movement from tracing cause and effect to mapping wider systems giving insight into how networks are bounded, their borders drawn, power relationships established, and notions of absence, presence and othering are manifested. This wider view enabled a discussion of the purpose of education and the realisation that my practice is situated within both a neoliberal and global economy. The later papers consider ways of acting within this environment, by focusing on the capability approach to determine whether education systems either support or limit possibilities for human flourishing. Focusing on the notion of agency freedom, I connect the capability approach to agile work practices and self-organisation. The thesis concludes with a proposal that flips actor network theory from being an analysis tool to a potential scaffold for agentic learning design, alongside agile product development and capability approach. The scaffold and contribution to knowledge is formed through six principles that combine actor network theory, agile product development, iterative design, and self-organisation through a reflexive positioning. In this way, a purposed actor network can assemble to develop learning environments that recognise freedoms and constraints, but are closer to emancipatory than transmissive.
    • Five go to academia: narratives of becoming

      Devlin, Linda; Harris, Stephen (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09-23)
      This autoethnographic inquiry aims to capture the complexity within the storied life history accounts of five academics, including my own, regarding the experiences they believe shaped the becoming of their workplace self. The individual stories are narrated, and then discussed collectively to encourage dialogue and deepen understanding. This inquiry is set against the context of previous research that focusses on the impact neoliberal policy and practice places upon the academic (Shore & Wright 2000; Morley, 2004; Harris, 2005; Billot, 2010; Floyd & Dimmock, 2011; Fanghanel, 2012). However, as a postmodern study, recognising ‘self’ as a transposable, contested and fluid entity it casts a wider lens to support this inquiry’s aim, and its two subordinate research outcomes. The first outcome is to inform my own academic and management practice by drawing on Bourdieu’s (1992; 1996) notion of capital and habitus. The second outcome is to develop and then test two multi-disciplinary conceptual frameworks that can be used, amended, or indeed discarded by self and identity researchers when meaning-making qualitative findings (Rainbow & Rose, 1994). The first of these frameworks draws mainly on the three broad categories of differing selves identified by Trede (2012), while the second returns to Bourdieu to consider his notion of ‘world hypothesis’, one that rejects dualisms (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992, p.11). The methodological strategy I use is informed primarily by both the five key features of analytic autoethnography (Anderson, 2006, pp.379-386) and Frank’s (2010, pp.105-110) six acts of dialogical narrative analysis preparation. I use four research questions to individually examine each storied transcript from different epistemic angles. The four questions, two aligned to each research outcome, seek out the socio-cultural power constructs that influence a participant’s temporal, synchronic and agentic understanding of the becoming of their academic self (Bamberg, 2011). Findings of the influences that shape academic self include, but are not limited to, parental expectations, life-history influences, immigration, race, gender, workplace experience outside of the university, as well as the impact of neoliberalism. These then inform recommendations that centre on the development of my own academic practice, as well as wider scholarly, and institutional ones.
    • Leadership for implementing knowledge management strategies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      Renukappa, Suresh; Al Nabt, Saeed (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09-17)
      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) government aims to improve the current public service delivery and to achieve the Saudi’s Vision 2030, the KSA needs to extend on knowledge management (KM) strategies and programmes. However, the key to successfully embracing these changes and guide them to transform into twenty-first century public sector organisations would require visionary, innovative, creative, and dynamic form of leadership. Although featuring strongly in the popular media, trade, professional, and academic journals, the very concept of ‘leadership’ in the context of KM is elusive for the KSA public sector organisations. Therefore, the aim of this research is to investigate the roles of leadership for implementing KM strategies in the KSA public sector organisations. Given the new and unexplored nature of the research problem, a qualitative research methodology was adopted. In total, 42 semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data, which was then analysed using content analysis along with Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) for inference and conclusion. As revealed in the study, the critical success factors (CSFs) for effective implementation of KM strategies are broad, but nine key CSFs stand out. The association between the identified factors is established by employing an interpretive structural modelling (ISM) methodology that is based on multi-criteria decision making approach. The research result indicated that ‘leadership’ and ‘organisational culture’ are the most significant critical success factors having highest driving power. These factors are deemed to be most-effective for adopting KM strategies in the KSA public sector organisations. It is evident from this study that there are many misconceptions of what leadership meant to them and their organisations in a KM context. Ten key roles leadership plays in implementing KM related change initiatives. The main motivations for invest in leadership skills development programmes are to facilitate the growth of the department and retain staff. The key barriers for delivering knowledge leadership skills training programmes are time, cost, and culture. It is suggests that a more robust leadership training evaluation process would be desirable. A leadership skills awareness training tool was developed and validated. The research concludes that the leadership plays a key role in implementing KM strategies in the KSA. In order to meet the Saudi Vision 2030, KSA public sector organisations must show leadership. It is suggests that public sector wide awareness raising programmes on the concept of leadership needs to be implemented. Also, there is a need to re-assess the leadership skills required by the KSA public sector organisations. The existing education and training programmes in the KSA need some reorientation.
    • A multiple optical tracking based approach for enhancing hand-based interaction in virtual reality simulations

      Hartley, Thomas; Worrallo, Adam Grant (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      Research exploring natural virtual reality interaction has seen significant success in optical tracker-based approaches, enabling users to freely interact using their hands. Optical based trackers can provide users with real-time, high-fidelity virtual hand representations for natural interaction and an immersive experience. However, work in this area has identified four issues: occlusion, field-of-view, stability and accuracy. To overcome the four key issues, researchers have investigated approaches such as using multiple sensors. Research has shown multi-sensor-based approaches to be effective in improving recognition accuracy. However, such approaches typically use statically positioned sensors, which introduce body occlusion issues that make tracking hands challenging. Machine learning approaches have also been explored to improve gesture recognition. However, such approaches typically require a pre-set gesture vocabulary limiting user actions with larger vocabularies hindering real-time performance. This thesis presents an optical hand-based interaction system that comprises two Leap Motion sensors mounted onto a VR headset at different orientations. Novel approaches to the aggregation and validation of sensor data are presented. A machine learning sub-system is developed to validate hand data received by the sensors. Occlusion detection, stability detection, inferred hands and a hand interpolation sub-system are also developed to ensure that valid hand representations are always shown to the user. In addition, a mesh conformation sub-system ensures 3D objects are appropriately held in a user’s virtual hand. The presented system addresses the four key issues of optical sessions to provide a smooth and consistent user experience. The MOT system is evaluated against traditional interaction approaches; gloves, motion controllers and a single front-facing sensor configuration. The comparative sensor evaluation analysed the validity and availability of tracking data, along with each sensors effect on the MOT system. The results show the MOT provides a more stable experience than the front-facing configuration and produces significantly more valid tracking data. The results also demonstrated the effectiveness of a 45-degree sensor configuration in comparison to a front-facing. Furthermore, the results demonstrated the effectiveness of the MOT systems solutions at handling the four key issues with optical trackers.
    • Prescriber use of Medicines Information Service advice in their decision-making and patient care: an exploratory qualitative study

      Paniagua, Hilary; Rutter, Jill (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      Pharmacy-led Medicines Information (MI) Services provide evidence-based advice to clinicians, with high levels of user satisfaction. However, satisfaction does not necessarily reflect improved patient care or patient outcome. This has led to MI research concentrating on the effect MI advice has on patients, despite a lack of agreed definitions of effectiveness and the construction of inappropriate outcome measures. Although the majority of prescribing happens in primary care, most MI research has focused on secondary care. The aim of this qualitative study was to better understand how primary care clinicians used MI advice in shaping their prescribing decision-making and subsequent patient care. Taking an interpretive, idealist perspective and using a generic qualitative, exploratory methodological approach, this study tried to understand how prescribers use MI advice in decision-making and patient care. Prescribers (general practitioners and dentists) across England who contacted MI Services with a medicine-related question, were interviewed by telephone. To expand on findings from these interviews, additional prescribers in North West England were interviewed face-to-face. All interviews (n=55) were analysed inductively using constant comparison to identify themes. Key findings of this study were clinicians describing using MI advice as a safety net to shape, support, or do their difficult research and make prescribing decisions, especially for complex or high risk cases. New knowledge was incorporated into their ‘mindlines’ and shared with their ‘community of practice’, for future decision-making. They valued advice provided by a trusted, expert ‘help desk’, which empowered them to make prescribing changes for their patients confidently and safely, and was also quicker than, and avoided, patient referrals. To conclude, this is the first study to describe the direct influence MI advice has on clinician decision-making and prescribing. In light of this work there is a need to revisit currently used definitions describing impact and outcome, with MI services working alongside health library services to achieve this goal. The role of medicines advice giving in prescribing models also needs to be recognised.
    • Different constellation and shining stars: lesbian parents’ experiences of accessing healthcare for their adopted children in England

      Morgan, Fiona; Cureton, Debra; Kelsall-Knight, Lucille (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      Introduction: The past few decades have seen significant changes in family demographics. It is now more common for parents to be lesbians, which is due to increased social acceptance and the dissolution of legal barriers to parental responsibility. Adoption transforms the lives of some of the most vulnerable children. In 2019, 1 in 7 children in England were adopted by same-sex parents. Adopted children have an increased incidence of additional health care needs and therefore dental and medical appointments in comparison to children who remain with their biological parents. Aim: This study sought to explore the experiences of lesbian mothers accessing healthcare for their adopted children in England and the rhetoric, language and treatment they encountered. Method: A small scale qualitative study, utilising a Narrative Inquiry approach was the chosen method. The study population gained by purposive sampling was of six lesbian adoptive parents. A combined data analysis tool was utilised which used critical incident recall (Webster and Mertova, 2007) and broadening, burrowing, storying and re-storying (Clandinin and Connelly, 1990). A composite character couple was created to ‘re-story’ the participants’ experiences in healthcare and to maintain anonymity. Results and discussion: The needs and challenges of lesbian adoptive families may be different to those of heterosexual and biological families when accessing healthcare. There was an undercurrent of discriminatory practice, shown by various healthcare professionals, and a lack of understanding of the adoption process, knowledge surrounding the child’s history and legal stance with regards to parental responsibility. Emergent themes were: navigating heteronormativity, navigating healthcare settings and professionals and having an ‘adopted’ status, intersectional identity of lesbian parented adoptive families accessing healthcare, reflective imagery of lesbian parents and adoptive families and professional expectations. Self-imposed strategies instigated by the parents to strengthen and protect their familial identities were also discovered. Implications and recommendations for practice: The findings demonstrated that the healthcare provider must take more proactive steps to ensure that practitioners are adhering to Equality legislation and professional standards and are not discriminating against same-sex parents and adopted children who utilise healthcare services. Practitioners should also receive training to ensure they are aware of the adoption process in England; diversity of the population in which they practice; the importance of appropriate terminology and families seeing positive representation of adoption and same-sex parenting in healthcare settings.
    • Family learning in English for speakers of other languages (FLESOL): a case study of Yemeni women’s perspectives

      Linda Devlin; Brendan Bartram; Patel, Hasumatiben (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      This research examined a group of Yemeni women enrolled on a Family Learning (FL) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme in the UK. The study addressed three central elements: the ways in which the women conceptualise learning, their motives for engaging in FLESOL, and the barriers to learning they experience. The investigation begins by reviewing Government policies on ESOL learning in Adult Education (AE) and considers the challenges faced by ESOL learners. The review explores the wide-ranging factors which impact upon learning as discussed in existing research and literature. This research argues that government policy and cuts in funding underestimate the complexities of developing life chances for learning. The study contributes to the debate about the value of FLESOL in community learning and aims to provide a deeper understanding of the benefits for this group of learners. The notion of community underpins the learner-centred approach employed in the study, which used a narrative inquiry methodology. An in-depth narrative inquiry was conducted with five participants, involving qualitative semi-structured interviews and a focus group. The study employed imaginative strategies including memorable items and photo elicitation to prompt the views of the participants and to examine their experiences. By selecting a group of FLESOL participants who have not received consideration before, and whose voices are rarely heard, the research demonstrates the nuances of their learning, motivations and perceived barriers. Participants’ stories provide insights into what they feel is important for their learning in a FLESOL environment. Their stories have important implications for decision-makers regarding funding allocation and eligibility criteria to access ESOL. The emergent findings highlight the importance of learning English as a tool which supports change in women’s social capital, well-being and empowerment. It also illustrates that these changes have to come from within the Yemeni women themselves through balancing their new life in the UK with traditional family roles and expectations.
    • Factors influencing the popularity of YouTube videos and users’ decisions to watch them

      Thelwall, Michael; Foster, David (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      YouTube has substantial impact on modern society as the second most popular website in the world. Despite its sustained popularity, little is known about which types of video are most viewed and the reasons why people choose to watch them. This research critically analyses the sample of videos provided by the YouTube API, then uses the metrics associated with these videos to help assess which types of YouTube video are popular. It also harnesses a questionnaire of mainly UK teacher education graduate YouTube users to investigate which factors influence decisions to watch YouTube videos. This was a convenience sample selected to achieve a high response rate, which it achieved (81%), minimising non-response bias. The video lists provided by the YouTube API were not random samples but contained a wide range of types of video (including both popular and unpopular), except that older videos were avoided. There were substantial differences between categories in the average properties of the videos returned and the proportion of videos returned on multiple days. The most popular categories from the YouTube metadata collected based on average view counts are varied: From TV, Best of, Animation and How-to. Cause-based video categories tended to be unpopular. Video popularity did not seem to be affected by video duration, on average. Users are more likely to interact with (comment, like, dislike) videos that are useful or supporting in some way. Videos that are interacted with more are not always more popular, with subject content affecting this relationship. In addition, high view counts associated with fewer likes, dislikes and comments per view, suggesting that indicators of popularity may not attract new viewers. The most popular categories with survey respondents were slightly different, partly reflecting their educational background (e.g., Education videos), and there were some (stereotypical) gender differences in the most popular categories. Respondents rarely believed that they were influenced by a video’s popularity or evidence of other users’ reactions to it when deciding to watch the video. Instead, they were most likely to be influenced by content-related factors, such as a video’s title and thumbnail picture. Despite previous research showing that people can be influenced by the opinions and watching habits of others, respondents claimed to be little influenced by this. Nevertheless, they frequently reported watching videos posted to Facebook, possibly trusting the person that posted the video. Thus, despite extensive discussion of various forms of viral information spreading, content, rather than popularity, is king in YouTube, although online word-of-mouth sharing through trusted relationships is also important. The main limitations of this research are that the data used may not be representative of YouTube and all UK YouTube users overall, so the conclusions should be interpreted cautiously.
    • ‘One thing I’d never stand for in a relationship is violence, so when she tried to kill me, that was it’: The impact of heteronormativity and assimilation on Domestic Violence and Abuse in same sex women’s relationships

      Morgan, Angela; Paniagua, Hilary; Kelly-Teare, Vik (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) is most commonly spoken of as a heterosexual issue and as such it remains hidden within the lesbian community both from the inside and the outside. In the era following civil partnership and same sex marriage legislation, it may be logical to assume that speaking out about abuse would be easier. However, this study suggests that the politics of assimilation has entrenched the hidden nature of domestic violence and abuse in same sex relationships between women making it more and more difficult to recognise or speak out about. Whilst recent research in the area has highlighted these issues, this study foregrounds, through the women’s lived experience, the importance of structural, social and cultural contexts for women’s identities resulting in limited recognition of abuse and consequential action on it. The study contributes to the developing and existing body of literature through the exploration of the impact of heteronormativity on domestic violence and abuse in relationships between women in a specific age cohort (of one generation) who identify as gay. The results are presented in a narrative ethnographic thematic form, providing three women’s in-depth stories of experiencing and surviving abusive relationships. From within these stories, it focuses on the use of identity in abuse, set against the backdrop of increasing political, legislative and social assimilation. Using the COHSAR Power and Control Wheel to inform the coding framework the study presents a theoretical conceptualisation of physical and emotional abuse as coercive control and focuses on the difference of experience. The results enabled a theoretical conceptualisation of identity abuse and enabled the development of a new model for understanding identity abuse in relation to intersectional identities. Four key tactics areas emerged in relation to identity abuse: the known self (personal and public identity), intimacies, threats and false allegations. These key tactical areas are weaponised in personal, social and cultural, and structural domains of life. The critical inquiry presented is methodologically grounded in analytic autoethnography (with the researcher as full member participant) and utilises standpoint theory and intersectionality as conceptual framework. The study promotes the use of a new practitioner and educator model for understanding identity abuse to be used in conjunction with the COHSAR Power and Control Wheel and the stories themselves may also be used as tools for learning. In an era of assimilation, research on the lived experience of domestic violence and abuse is key in understanding the nuances of experience based on identity; without this, practitioners and educators are limited in their ability to resource, raise awareness of, and assist those experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
    • Systems modelling and ethical decision algorithms for autonomous vehicle collisions

      Burnham, Keith; Pickering, James Edward (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      There has been an increasing interest in autonomous vehicles (AVs) in recent years. Through the use of advanced safety systems (ASS), it is expected that driverless AVs will result in a reduced number of road traffic accidents (RTAs) and fatalities on the roads. However, until the technology matures, collisions involving AVs will inevitably take place. Herein lies the hub of the problem: if AVs are to be programmed to deal with a collision scenario, which set of ethically acceptable rules should be applied? The two main philosophical doctrines are the utilitarian and deontological approaches of Bentham and Kant, with the two competing societal actions being altruistic and selfish as defined by Hamilton. It is shown in simulation, that the utilitarian approach is likely to be the most favourable candidate to succeed as a serious contender for developments in the programming and decision making for control of AV technologies in the future. At the heart of the proposed approach is the development of an ethical decision-maker (EDM), with this forming part of a model-to-decision (M2D) approach. Lumped parameter models (LPMs) are developed that capture the key features of AV collisions into an immovable rigid wall (IRW) or another AV, i.e. peak deformation and peak acceleration. The peak acceleration of the AV is then related to the accelerations experienced by the occupant(s) on-board the AV, e.g. peak head acceleration. Such information allows the M2D approach to decide on the collision target depending on the selected algorithm, e.g. utilitarian or altruistic. Alongside the EDM is an active collision system (ACS) which is able to change the AV structural stiffness properties. The ACS is able to compensate for situations when AVs are predicted to experience potentially severe and fatal injury severity levels.
    • Balance performance of undergraduate dancers: an evaluation of current and novel approaches in balance testing and training in theatrical dance

      Wyon, Matthew; Clarke, Frances A. (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      Balance skills are considered essential for dancers as they are required to perform complex, virtuoso movements. However, there is a dearth of evidence on the appropriateness of existing balance tests and training protocols for dancers. The aims of this thesis were to: (a) test sequentially the assumptions of associations between different field balance tests and between dancers’ balance ability and their dance performance, followed by an examination of the relevance of sports functional balance tests on dancers and, building on the first aim, (b) develop a reliable, dance-specific balance scoring tool and testing protocol examining the effects of balance training in a randomised controlled trial. Study 1 assessed associations between five field balance tests: Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), the modified Romberg test, the Airplane test, the BioSway Balance System (Biodex, USA) and a dance-specific pirouette test. Results showed strongest relationships between some (SEBT) reach directions (p<0.01), but very weak to moderate relationships between some balance tests including some SEBT directions, Romberg, Airplane, Biosway, and pirouette (p<0.01 and p<0.05). Study 2 assessed associations between balance ability and dance performance comparing the five field tests from Study 1 to the same participants’ technique and repertoire performance scores in ballet, contemporary, and jazz genres. Results showed a low predictive association of balance ability on dance performance (p<0.01 and p<0.05). The first two studies demonstrated low predictive association between field tests and between balance ability and dance performance, suggesting limitations in the sensitivity of the tests for the dance population. Thus, studies 3 and 4 used a more functional tool to assess its sensitivity towards balance ability of the undergraduate population. Study 3 examined the effects of potential bilateral differences on dynamic postural stability during single-leg landing using a time to stabilisation protocol. Asymmetric training has been suggested in the literature but results showed that bilateral differences did not correlate with dancers’ balance ability; no significant differences were found in dynamic postural stability between the right and left leg and poor effect size was noted. Next, Study 4 examined the effects of fatigue using the same time to stabilisation protocol as Study 3. Fatigue has been associated with injury levels in dancers and balance ability in pre-professional dancers. Results showed that a fatigue condition (Dance Aerobic Fitness Test) had no significant effect on dancers’ postural stability or bilateral differences. Similar to the earlier studies, the functional test protocols in these two studies were limited to basic movements for dancers and lacked the sensitivity to measure variable postural control adaptations. Building on the findings of the first four studies, Study 5 developed a novel Accumulation Balance Score designed to gather data on postural stability and control in a variety of dance-specific settings. Results showed excellent interrater (ICC=0.963) and intrarater (0.992) reliability. Study 6 examined the effects of balance training on postural stability in a randomised trial. To capture postural control data, the Accumulation Balance Score was applied to the data. Results showed effects of training on some balance tasks: time (p=0.048), distance (p=0.004), and in various balances: arms (p=.014), legs (p=.016 and p=.001 and p=.042), and spine (p=.041 and p=.018). Post hoc tests revealed mixed findings between groups. Collectively, the results in this thesis revealed that current balance testing and training may not be functionally relevant for dancers with expertise in organising and patterning balance strategies. In contrast, aspects of novel dance-specific balance training may challenge dancers’ entrained responses, and the reliable Accumulation Balance Score can be applied to more novel approaches and protocols in assessing balance, more closely replicating embodied dance experience with ecological validity. For the first time, postural stability and postural control can be measured together in a balance assessment.