Gill, Gobinder Singh (University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
Emotional intelligence has become a popular construct in both academic and applied settings (Petrides, Furnham, & Fredickinson, 2004; Zizzi, Deaner, & Hirschhorn, 2003). Research indicates that emotional intelligence is associated with successful performance outcomes in a range of domains including academia (Parker, Summerfeldt, Hogan, & Majeski, 2004), business (Zeidner, Matthews, & Roberts, 2004) and health (Pau & Crocker, 2003). Such findings have prompted researchers to explore the potential utility of emotional intelligence in sport (Meyer & Fletcher, 2007; Meyer & Zizzi, 2007). The present MPhil thesis has a two-pronged approach of examining emotional intelligence in sport. Conceptual issues of emotional intelligence are examined in relation to model approach and measurement. Therefore, two studies investigated the validity and reliability of the Emotional Intelligence Scale (EIS: Schutte et al., 1998). Results demonstrate that a revised version of the EIS (Schutte et al., 1998) is a useful measure of emotional intelligence for use in sport, although it has several limitations. These investigations also found support for the use of a six-factor model of the EIS (Schutte et al., 1998) comprising of appraisal of own emotions, appraisal of others emotions, regulation, utilization of emotions, optimism and social skills. Once conceptual issues have been examined and psychometric properties are found for a measure, it is also prudent to explore relationships between emotional intelligence and other related variables. To this extent, two studies explored the relationships between emotional intelligence and other related variables. In examining relationships between emotional intelligence and anger, both quantitative and qualitative data demonstrated that participants high in emotional intelligence ability were able to utilise strategies to combat the negative effects of anger. In a follow up study, relationships between emotional intelligence, mental toughness, and psychological skills were examined. Results showed that emotional intelligence, mental toughness, and psychological skills relationships co-exist. Arguably, these findings are important given that these variables can relate to emotional control and successful performance outcomes. Findings also lend support to the assumption that practitioners could utilise intervention programmes to assess emotional intelligence and its direction in relation to mental toughness and psychological skills. In summary, emotional intelligence is an important construct and its utility in sport should be further examined.
In recent times, the development and manufacture of new products and the necessary tools required to carry out such activities has resulted in vast amounts of knowledge and information being generated. In product development there are no hard and fast rules determining the length of product development projects and quite often over a 10-year period several hundreds of projects could come into being, quite often coinciding with huge advances in technology over the same period. This advancement in technology has often taken over the role of the designer who carries out calculations and attempt to provide solutions. This has resulted in certain cases with designers having very little to no understanding or practical experience of the manufacturing process and design expertise required to ratify product designs. The resultant loss of information and intent and the lack of exploitation of manufacturing constraints and product knowledge can quite often lead to difficulties resulting in product re-design and in some cases failure in the hands of the customer. In order to provide knowledge to support product development, there is a requirement to capture the knowledge of the manufacturing processes within the organization, which includes the process, materials, resource, design rules, capacity and other constraints that may limit the capabilities of the organization. The research presented in this thesis proposes a knowledge based framework to support product development Furthermore, the research includes the development of a knowledge based system in order to identify, capture, formalize, present and utilize knowledge within a product development environment. In this research, a knowledge based framework to support product development was developed in order to create an “AS-IS” process map of current product development practices within a case company from the cold roll forming industry. The process map guided the identification of information and knowledge required to support the product development process and formed the basis of the knowledge based system developed to provide effective decision support. Finally, the framework and knowledge based system were implemented within the case company. The results from the case study demonstrated how the knowledge based frame work and knowledge based system provided effective decision support by providing information and knowledge in the place, time and format required, thus ultimately reducing product development costs and improving quality
Ashman, Kelly Louise (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
This thesis is an investigation into the creative balance between pre-compositional and musical decisions. The title represents my workings as a composer, and how the influence of others have effected my decisions to use their musical language and in the same way de-construct the workings of those significant techniques within the portfolio. The portfolio represents my development as a composer, from one with a good basic knowledge, to a composer who’s absorption of others techniques has become a subconscious part of my own tonal style. The first chapter reviews the general set up of the portfolio and the reasoning behind the structuring of the pieces within. There is also a focus on the influences throughout the compositions that have filtered into the works. The following four chapters refer to each of the compositions individually in order of composition; Elusive Landscapes, Percushett, Seven Songs and Dimensions, providing in depth explanations for the decisions made throughout the compositional process. This is accompanied by an in depth analysis of the pre-compositional process and how each one is deconstructed. The appendix contains the original presentation of the E.E.Cummings poems as used in Seven Songs as they appear on the page. These include Nine Birds(rising, The little horse is newly Born), Now, (more near ourselves than we, If everything happens that can’t be done, Voices to voices, One winter afternoon and FINIS…Over silent waters, ordered in the appendix in the order they appear in the composition.
Gupta, Abhishek (University of Wolverhampton, 2008)
Reproducibility of third level fingerprint detail is important in personal identification. The effect of different substrates on the reproducibility of pore dimensions in inked reference fingerprints was investigated. Photomicrographs of reference prints were taken and pore area was measured repeatedly using appropriate software. Reproducibility of pore area was also studied in latent prints. Latent prints were deposited on chosen absorbent and non-absorbent surfaces and developed using Cyanoacrylate and Ninhydrin to determine pore area reproducibility. Photomicrographs of ridged skin were captured directly by focusing under microscope and pore area reproducibility in these images was studied. Live scans were also included in the study to see if pore area can be relied upon in live scans at 500ppi (pixels per inch). Results revealing best third level detail in inked prints were achieved by deposition onto a variety of non-absorbent substrates but inter-print variation indicated that pore area in inked prints deposited onto paper substrates cannot be used reliably in personal identification. In case of latent prints, variation was greater than normal acceptable limits suggesting that pore area is not reproducible in latent prints developed using Cyanoacrylate and Ninhydrin techniques. Results of direct microscopic images also showed too great inter-image variation which has further supported the unreliability of pore area as a tool in personal identification. Live scans at 500ppi did not prove to be useful in providing good pore detail for study. This study casts doubt on the use of pore area as a reliable identification tool in personal identification and suggests raising the scanning resolution to study pore detail in live scans.
This thesis discusses two important anti-socialist organisations which have received little attention from historians: the British Empire Union (BEU) and the National Citizens’ Union (NCU). It assesses the ideology, activity and impact of these bodies between 1917 and 1927. Difficulties arise in this task due to the absence in the archives of substantial amounts of manuscript evidence such as minute books and correspondence. The history of these organisations has, therefore, been reconstructed primarily from contemporary published sources. This material allows us to develop a picture of these organisations which reveals a close affinity with mainstream Conservatism both in terms of ideology and personnel. This contradicts to an extent the impression given in the relatively thin treatment of these organisations in the historiography, which tends to focus on their alleged extremism. The thesis shows that the BEU and the NCU embodied opinions which encompassed a range of political positions, ranging from support for the Liberal-led post-war Coalition as a means of uniting all those ‘Constitutionalist’ forces opposed to socialism, to calls for the setting up of an ‘English Fascisti’ to emulate Mussolini’s example in Italy and physically destroy the socialist movement in Britain. The thesis examines the role of the BEU in combating the alleged menace of ‘British Bolshevism’. It assesses the importance of the NCU in the events leading to the collapse of the Coalition government in October 1922; and its role in strikebreaking. It looks at how both organisations had a part in the development of Conservative strategies for defeating the electoral challenge of the Labour Party. It assesses the relationship between the British anti-socialist right and fascism as it was understood in the 1920s. The thesis concludes that the two organisations under discussion were relatively influential inside the Conservative Party, particularly among backbench MPs and party activists; they were important catalysts in the development of anti-socialist alliances in municipal elections, which arguably influenced Conservative strategies in parliamentary contests; and they were able to divert potentially ‘fascist’ energies and obsessions into the respectable, mainstream political discourse of British Conservatism. Ironically the Conservative Party's openness to anti-socialism contributed significantly to the marginalisation of the BEU and the NCU, as did the weakness of the revolutionary socialist threat in Britain, particularly after the failure of the General Strike in May 1926.
Rathnapala, Delpagoda Gamage Tharinda (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
Conventional business procedures are increasingly being replaced by dynamic and revolutionized growth due to the integration of Information and Communication technologies to meet changing business requirements. For survival in this highly competitive field of construction, the adaptation of new technologies enhancement and its revolution is considered as an essential requirement. Emerging ICT developments and new construction techniques have generated much needed discussion about how these two streams are connected together. The concept of prefabrication has grown in recent years to change conventional construction processes and simultaneously Building Information Model (BIM) has emerged to brighten up traditionally ill functioned business communication flow. Building Information Modelling in the early stage of building construction development provides the vehicle to bring the construction industry into line with other technically driven fields, such as Automotive and Aerospace. However, in the past this has not given much consideration towards interaction between itself and the much improved construction industry prefabrication process. This research has reviewed the current state of BIM capability in the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) professions and establishes what is technologically possible. It also closely scrutinises one of the leading UK‟s cold rolled steel prefabricator‟s design and manufacturing process. The result of the findings leads the research to undertake in-depth benchmarking process to review and select an appropriate BIM application for live implementation. Upon selection, BIM application is customised to cater current and future design process of the above SME unit and implemented within a live construction project environment. Latest design process within SME unit along with BIM solution then evaluated against commercial criteria which determine the validity of incorporating construction industry prefabricating processes into current BIM applications iiand highlighted its overall benefits for the prefabricators and construction industry as a whole. Latter part of the research investigated the latest technological advancement available within BIM applications. Review has lead to highlight Application Programming Interface (API) available within the BIM applications. API provided much needed control mechanism to end users via standard programming mechanisms which captured during this research as the gateway to incorporate prefabricating information into BIM. Future Novel Framework developed based on API capabilities of the BIM applications in order to incorporate prefabricating processes into BIM Applications
Chohan, Sandeep Singh (University of Wolverhampton, 2008)
Based upon two years fieldwork in Wolverhampton and Coventry, and several field trips to Punjab, this thesis focuses on the prevalence of possession and exorcism as a manifestation of Punjabi religion amongst the Punjabi diaspora in Wolverhampton. Euro-centric scholarship and reform movements in the 1900s, in India, suppressed religious traditions that did not conform to the textual and institutionalised forms of religion. This thesis proposes that the phenomenon of possession and exorcism observed amongst the Punjabi diaspora in Wolverhampton is in no way novel, rather it is a diasporic reconstruction of a vital tradition found within the religious traditions from the Punjab, and on a larger scale in the Indian sub-continent. Furthermore the Punjabi diaspora in Wolverhampton are in no way unique in the re-construction of this religious tradition in Britain. Various forms of supernatural malaise are prevalent amongst the Punjabi diaspora in Wolverhampton that are utilised by the community to explain the inexplicable diversities they face in daily life. These supernatural afflictions provide the Punjabi diaspora with a useful method of accepting adversity but also various methods to tackle it through the assistance of a baba or bhagat. This thesis explores the underlying cosmological discourses prevalent in the worldview of north Indian religious traditions in an attempt to analyse a relatively untouched phenomenon of religious beliefs and practices of the Punjabi diaspora in Wolverhampton.
Reynolds, Margaret Grace (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
The focus of this study is the exploration of the relationship between parenting skills and young children’s developmental progress. The Government purports that good parenting makes a difference in children’s lives by preventing many social and health related problems. Although the literature supports this relationship, it lacks evaluation from the young child’s perspective. The study has 4 main aims. These are to ascertain if there is a relationship between parenting skills and young children’s developmental progress; to identify what it is within that relationship that enables the growth of resilience in the child; to find out if teaching parenting skills to parents of young children improves parenting skills, and to consider the outcome of improved parenting skills on the 0-5 year old child’s development. The overarching paradigms are both qualitative and quantitative, and triangulation of data is used to give confidence to interpretation of data. The method employed in the study is action research, comprising of 2 cycles, each containing the following elements; survey of opinion, questionnaire, semi-structured interview, collective case study and evaluation. The main tool used in cycle 1 of the study 1 was The Schedule of Growing Skills l (SOGS l), a pre-published tool. In cycle 2, the main tools used were The Schedule of Growing Skills ll (SOGS ll updated SOGS l), the Parenting Skills Scale (PSS), and a questionnaire entitled ‘Questions about you and your family’ developed for use in this study. Use of a similar tool at the validity stage of PSS development was a possible weakness, although no tool the same as PSS was available. Inclusion of a larger number of respondents at the evaluation stage could have improved the robustness of the data. Ethical approval was obtained from The University of Wolverhampton, and Dudley Primary Care NHS Trust. Issues considered included confidentiality, informed consent and potential harm versus benefit. Respondents were drawn from parents living in Dudley and their 0-5 year old children, and professionals from health and social services within the area. There were 4 respondent groups involved in the evaluation of the specialist area, child protection, in cycle 1. These were child protection register children n=6, each registered child’s health visitor n=6, local comparison group n=60 and National Profile SOGS l scores. PSS development respondents included in face validity, reliability and concurrent validity stages were n=20, n=100 and n=50 respectively. Evaluation respondents in cycle 2 were parent groups n=3, 5, 3, 5 and 8, children n=3, 5, 3, 5 and 9 respectively, and health visitors involved with each group n=5, local comparison group children n=100 and National Profile SOGS ll scores The main finding in cycle 1 was a link between poor parenting skills and young children’s developmental progress. Cycle 2 results found teaching and application of improved parenting skills improved developmental progress in the child. The contribution to knowledge, resulting from this study, is that early teaching and application of improved parenting skills seems to improve the child’s developmental progress, demonstrated by the use of PSS in conjunction with SOGS ll. The PSS tool has been shown to be effective in evaluating the outcome of teaching parenting skills for both the child in the 0-5 year age range and the parent. The method used enabled professionals and parents to be actively involved in the research. This study has provided an evidence-based evaluation tool for the outcomes of teaching parenting skills. Further evaluation involving larger numbers in different areas could give more insight into the effectiveness of the tool, and identification of an optimum subtotal in each scale area.
Atkinson, David (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
A Global New Product Introduction and Development (GNPID) process is one of the cornerstones towards a competitive advantage in the automotive marketplace today. A fully optimised GNPID process in combination with other lean and agile manufacturing techniques and systems is guaranteed to reduce lead-time and save on cost. In the typical post-launch product life-cycle the problems faced by most manufacturing companies lies not only in accelerating and maintaining sales after the launch but in reducing the costly development time before the launch. In an effort to improve timelines and effectiveness, a number of firms within the automotive industry are experimenting with different best practices in their NPID processes. While much of the previous research has focused on NPID in a single location, little has been reported on how actual companies are addressing the problems with globalisation of NPID. The author aims to develop a set of methodologies for rapid new product introduction in a global manufacturing environment using an integrated framework of concurrent engineering tools and methods. This is to support the development of customer focused agile product and to meet customer expectations in terms of innovation and customisation, quality, competitive price, sustainable and environmentally friendly product.
Zheng, Dang Cong (University of Wolverhampton, 2011)
Accent conversion intends to change the accent of a speaker to a desired accent and preserve the speaker’s voice identity. This technology can offer a number of useful applications. For example, integrating accent conversion to a text-to-speech system (TTS) can produce a voice with a desired accent instantly and inexpensively. Applying the technology to the film industry can change an actor’s or actress’s accent to a desired accent without hard training for the actor or actress to learn a new accent; this can be achieved by modifying the accent of the film recordings. As a foreign language learning tool, it could allow the learners to listen to their own voice with the native speaker’s accent and to mimic that accent. Hence, enhance learning experience and improve learning progress. In this dissertation, a new approach in both accent analysis and conversion has been proposed. In contrast to previous approaches in accent-related research, such as in regional or foreign accent classification and identification, where the databases are formed from large groups of single-accent speakers, this study uses data from an individual who can speak in two accents. This removes the effects of inter-speaker variability and facilitates efficient identification and analysis of acoustic features of different accents. Two British regional accents which display distinct differences to the human listener were used in this study as two typical British regional accents. Vowel based acoustic analysis was carried out to investigate the acoustic characteristics of the two accents and identify the prominent features that are most influential on the variability of accents. Acoustic characteristics such as formant frequencies, fundamental frequency and its variation slope, intensity of speech, and duration of phone were used for accent acoustic analysis. In this dissertation, accent conversion via formants modification and pitch contour manipulation was investigated. Three different formant-based spectral mappingalgorithms, mean-variance linear conversion, Nth order non-linear conversion and piece-wise linear transformation based on Gaussian mixture model conversion were investigated. Furthermore, the project has implemented accent conversion on a general speech analysis and synthesis system; the output speech synthesized by the three mapping algorithms was assessed by objective and subjective evaluation. The effects of spectral conversion and pitch contour conversion on accent conversion were also evaluated. The results of the study showed that accent conversion can be achieved to some degree via formants modification and pitch contour manipulation.
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