Nzekwe-Excel, Chinyere(University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
With increasing competitive pressures in today‟s market, it has become critical for businesses to recognise the significance of satisfying their customers so as to ensure their economic stability. Various studies have emphasised on the need for customer focus and project satisfaction in the construction industry sector. The industry, however, has not fully embraced the practice of project satisfaction, which is grounded on meeting the needs of the customer. Though most research on project satisfaction has focussed on the client, it is essential that the satisfaction of the project delivery team and in the wider context, the stakeholders be considered. In this case, the client is the centre of gravity of the project team. In order to satisfy the project team, there are challenges in assessing their requirements. This necessitates the need to develop a unique and robust method for capturing and analysing the level of integrated project team satisfaction. In this research, the project delivery team and the stakeholders have been lumped together as an integrated project team. Therefore, integrated project team satisfaction entails recognising the client and project participants‟ requirements that guarantees project successful completion and acceptance by the team. In view of this, this research presents a framework, which has been developed to plug these needs and challenges. The framework, known as the Satisfaction Assessment Integrated Framework (SAIF) involves an integrated approach that considers the participants of a construction project as a tree structure, and each member of that tree as an intermediate or top element. Relationships and interactions of the elements, and how these affect the overall satisfaction levels of a single project, are analysed based on understanding their requirements and invoking modern satisfaction attainment theory. The framework includes a method for understanding and identifying the satisfaction attributes; multi-attribute analysis for prioritising the satisfaction attributes of the clients and project participants; fault tree analysis strategy for defining the satisfaction relationship in a particular project team; and an assessment scoring system (a combination of multi-attribute analysis, and failure mode and effects analysis methodical approach) that evaluates how much each member of the project team meets the requirements or satisfaction attributes of other participants. Hence, SAIF, a novel assessment methodology, investigates and identifies possible links and the influence of integrating the construction project team and their satisfaction attributes with the aim of improving their satisfaction levels as a team. Through the findings of this research, recommendations are made to further explore the implications of satisfying a given participant against dissatisfying the participant; and subsequently improve the satisfaction assessment process.
Watkiss Singleton, Rosalind(University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
This thesis examines continuity and change in the three Black Country localities of Pensnett, Tipton and Sedgley between 1945 and c1970. The dominant historiography of the period suggests that the prosperity of post-war British society, the safety-net of state welfare provision and unprecedented levels of consumer spending mostly eradicated the inter-war behaviour patterns of individuals, families and communities. Utilising the oral testimony of sixty residents from the three localities, and supplemented by a range of primary sources, the thesis demonstrates that growing affluence impacted only marginally upon the customary social mores of the lowermiddle and working-class inhabitants. Whilst aspirations to new housing and increased consumption affected perceptions of status and social standing, the economic strategies of the pre-war period prevailed. The thesis evaluates the effect of affluence upon earning, spending and saving. It questions assumptions that the support of kinship networks, matrilocality and community cohesion disappeared as slums were replaced with new housing estates. It demonstrates that the Welfare State impacted little upon attitudes to income and employment and that the wages derived from formal employment were augmented by informal work, penny-capitalist ventures and illicit activities. It shows that despite embracing the consumer society, families within these localities adhered to traditional methods of shopping and the financing of consumption. The thesis challenges the work of a range of historians who have emphasised change over continuity in characterisations of British society in the post-war period and endorses Hoggart’s claims that despite post-war innovations “old habits persist”
Bitou, Angeliki(University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
This thesis poses a number of questions about research and pedagogy with young children under three, with a particular focus on the opportunities for children’s ‘voices’ to be heard and for them to participate in the planning of the curriculum in early years’ settings. The persistent division between education and care has been an issue in many European countries for a long time (OECD, 2006). The thesis reports on the findings of a research project in both England and Greece. The research aims were to consider how the meaning of children’s participation is defined in the settings in the two countries; whether children use the resources provided according to adult expectation and initial planning and how practitioners react to children’s choices by supporting, ignoring or disapproving them. The theoretical underpinning for the thesis is drawn particularly from the work of Rogoff and Corsaro. Research focused on six children in both England and Greece who were observed during their involvement in both adult directed and child initiated activities in the settings. An ethnographic approach together with a range of ‘participatory’ methods were used including data gathered through video recordings made by both children and adults.This study has found that children express their perceptions during an activity in a very complicated way, elaborating and examining all the parameters that could place them in trouble. Additionally, the findings have shown that what the child is doing during an activity is not always what he is thinking, while many times children appeared to have their own agenda, thus ignoring or subverting adult plans. The main finding is that no matter what the differences and similarities in early years’ education and care between the two countries are, there is an urgent need to promote the children’s participatory rights, as adult’s authority and power is generally taken for granted. This thesis argues for ethical tensions in research with young children and for balanced pedagogy where both adults’ and children’s voices influence the curriculum.
Silva-Maceda, Gabriela(University of Wolverhampton, 2013-11)
The association between receptive language skills and reading comprehension has been established in the research literature. Even when the importance of receptive skills for reading comprehension has been strongly supported, in practice lower levels of skills tend to go unnoticed in typically developing children. A potentially more visible modality of language, expressive skills using speech samples, has been rarely examined despite the longitudinal links between speech and later reading development, and the connections between language and reading impairments. Even fewer reading studies have examined expressive skills using a subgroup of speech samples – narrative samples – which are closer to the kind of language practitioners can observe in their classrooms, and are also a rich source of linguistic and discourse-level data in school-aged children. This thesis presents a study examining the relationship between expressive language skills in narrative samples and reading comprehension after the first two years of formal reading instruction, with considerable attention given to methodological and developmental issues. In order to address the main methodological issues surrounding the identification of the optimal linguistic indices in terms of reliability and the existence of developmental patterns, two studies of language development in oral narratives were carried out. The first of the narrative language studies drew data from an existing corpus, while the other analysed primary data, collected specifically for this purpose. Having identified the optimal narrative indices in two different samples, the main study examined the relationships between these expressive narrative measures along with receptive standardised measures, and reading comprehension in a monolingual sample of eighty 7- and 8-year-old children attending Year 3 in the UK. Both receptive and expressive oral language skills were assessed at three different levels: vocabulary, grammar and discourse. Regression analyses indicated that, when considering expressive narrative variables on their own, expressive grammar and vocabulary, in that order, contributed to explain over a fifth of reading comprehension variance in typically developing children. When controlling for receptive language however, expressive skills were not able to account for significant unique variance in the outcome measure. Nonetheless, mediation analyses revealed that receptive vocabulary and grammar played a mediating role in the relationship between expressive skills from narratives and reading comprehension. Results and further research directions are discussed in the context of this study’s methodological considerations.
The approach to water management worldwide is currently in transition, with a shift from centralised infrastructures to greater consideration of decentralised technologies, such as rainwater harvesting (RWH). Initiated by recognition of drivers, including water demand, increasing risk of ground-water pollution and flooding, the value of RWH is filtering across the academic-policy boundary. However, in Nigeria, implementation of sustainable water management (SWM), such as RWH systems, is inefficient social, environmental and technical barriers, concerns and knowledge gaps exist, which currently restrict its widespread utilisation. This inefficiency contributes to water scarcity, water-borne diseases, and loss of lives and property due to flooding. Meanwhile, several RWH technologies have been developed to improve SWM through both demand and storm-water management. Such technologies involve the use of storage tanks, surface water reservoirs and ground-water recharge pits as storage systems. A framework was developed to assess the significance and extent of water management problems, match the problems with existing RWH-based solutions and develop a robust ready-to-use multi-criteria analysis tool that can quantify the costs and benefits of implementing several RWH-based storage systems. The methodology adopted was the mixed method approach, involving a detailed literature review, followed by a questionnaire survey of 1067 household respondents, 135 Nigerian Architects and Civil Engineers and focus group discussion with Stakeholders. A total of 1042 sets of data were collected through a questionnaire survey and analysed using SPSS, Excel and selected statistical methods to derive weightings of the attributes for the tool. Following this, three case studies were selected to collect data for hydrological modelling using the RainCycle model. From the results it is found that the most important barrier constraining sustainable RWH regime in Ibadan was obsolete and insufficient operational equipment, followed by poor renumeration of water corporation staff and misuse of available funds. In addition, the measure of importance of storage capacity was established, with the highest score of 4.5 which reflects the general inadequacy of storage as a major barrier to the adoption of RWH as a sustainable water management method. Further, respondents’ major health hazards associated with drinking contaminated water was established. A larger proportion (61.2%) of respondents chose prevalence of typhoid fever; some have a prevalence of diarrhea (19.4%), while few of respondents’ water sources is free from water-borne diseases (2.3%). The tool developed is an integrated platform of related evaluation techniques, including Whole Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Multi-Attribute Utility Theory. The tool uses data including cost and quantities of materials for building a RWH storage system and quantifies the cost and benefits of alternative RWH-based systems that can improve project management. This tool is novel, given its integration of the analytical techniques mentioned above and application for selecting the most appropriate RWH-based SWM systems. The implementation of the tool is envisaged to provide an objective platform for the quantification of the costs and benefits of RWH-based systems prior to implementation.
Baffour Awuah, K.G.(University of Wolverhampton, 2013-04)
The deficiency of sub-Saharan Africa urban land use planning regimes has received extensive discussion in the literature. As yet, little is known of the extent and magnitude of the economic impact of these planning regimes on the economic wellbeing of individuals and the society. This situation is further compounded by the lack of simplified and bespoke methodologies for calibrating economic impacts of planning policies even in the developed world where there are relatively huge volumes of organised data. This study aims to prescribe a simplified quantitative methodology, which is subsequently employed to gauge the economic impacts of these regimes. It proceeds on the central argument that planning regimes in the sub-region are weak with low compliance with planning regulations, partly because they do not provide incentives for property owners/developers/land users. The study adopts a cross-sectional survey strategywith questionnaires and administrative data extraction to procure the requisite data from Accra, Ghana to feed the devised methodological framework. The study establishes that Ghana’s urban land use planning regime, in its current form, imposes huge cost on residential property owners compared to its benefits; it creates a disincentive for property owners. A substantial amount of this cost emanates from pipe-borne water, and tarred roads and concrete drain infrastructural facilities. It is further established that the cost of title formalisation requirement constitutes a huge portion of the cost on express requirements under the planning regime. A major portion of this cost results from the cost other than official fees. However, on individual basis the requirement generates marginal net benefit. Incidental costs for the other express requirements, architectural design and building permit are also substantial. In terms of benefits, tarred roads and concrete drains, formalised title, electricity and pipe-borne water, individually, are found to generate the most benefits under the planning regime. The study makes a number of recommendations. These include formulation of planning policies on the basis of providing incentives to property owners/developer/land users, strategies for reduction of infrastructural and amenities costs, as well as incidental cost relating to compliance with the subject planning regime express requirements.
Broad, Roy M(University of Wolverhampton, 2012-11)
Abstract Research on business networks has traditionally focussed on understanding the nature of relationships in networks but seldom the outcomes from business networking activities. This thesis examines the benefits from business networking from the perspective of firms in the West Midlands and explains the factors which improve networking performance. Networking is hailed by academics and marketing practitioners as a way to improve business performance. Firms are encouraged to invest resources in networking activities, without necessarily being able to measure the result. Researchers following in the ‘markets as networks’ tradition have identified understanding the benefits from business networking activities as a subject for further investigation. Using survey data from 298 firms in the West Midlands, the findings show that strength of relationship, planned networking behaviour and networking intensity to be significant indicators of networking performance. Analysis also shows degree of embeddedness to have a mediating effect on networking performance. This study provides empirical support for the idea that firms which adopt a systematic approach to business networking achieve better outcomes in terms of networking performance when measured as a percentage of sales turnover, compared to firms adopting an ad-hoc approach to networking. This study contributes to the marketing and markets as networks literature as well as advancing the conceptualisation of networking performance measured in terms of sales turnover. The thesis offers insights from the focal firm’s perspective as to why business networking is important and identifies factors which contribute to positive networking outcomes and a measure of networking performance
Lahart, I. M.(University of Wolverhampton, 2014-05)
Background: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and a leading cause of cancer death among females, both worldwide and in the UK. Although, UK incidence of breast cancer is rising, breast cancer mortality rates are falling, due largely to early detection and improved treatment. As a result there are more women living with a diagnosis of breast cancer than ever before. Due mainly to side-effects of adjuvant therapy, breast cancer patients may require diagnostic, therapeutic, supportive or palliative services many years post-diagnosis, which poses a major challenge to already stretched healthcare services. Accordingly, effective and inexpensive interventions that can alleviate treatment side-effects, improve health, quality of life and potentially reduce risk of early mortality are required for breast cancer patients. Awareness of the positive influence that physical activity can have on breast cancer development and outcome is an important determinant of physical activity levels. A higher level of physical activity before and after breast cancer diagnosis is related to a lower risk of all-cause and breast cancer-related mortality. Randomised controlled trials have reported beneficial effects of physical activity interventions on outcomes relating to health, quality of life and mortality risk among breast cancer survivors. Aims: The present project aimed to: 1) assess awareness of the role of physical activity on breast cancer risk and the sufficiency of physical activity undertaken in women attending the NHS breast screening programme (NHSBSP), 2) compare physical activity levels of women at different stages of breast cancer pathway, 3) investigate the effects of a low-cost six-month home-based physical activity intervention on physical activity, body mass, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), insulin resistance and blood lipid profiles of breast cancer survivors and 4) assess the effects of our home-based intervention on cardiorespiratory fitness in a subset of breast cancer survivors. Methods: A total of 309 volunteers (188 NHSBSP attendees, 41 breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and 80 post-treatment breast cancer survivors) participated in the current project. Physical activity was assessed via the International Physical activity Questionnaires (IPAQ). In studies one and two, Body mass and body mass index (BMI) were assessed directly in chemotherapy patients and breast cancer survivors, and indirectly from self-reported values in NHSBSP attendees. While in study three, body fat percentage was measured via bioelectrical impedance analysis, HRQoL was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B) questionnaire and fasting blood samples were taken to measure lipid, glucose and insulin concentrations at baseline and post-six month home-based physical activity intervention. In study four, a random subsample of 32 breast cancer survivors undertook an exercise tolerance test to establish peak oxygen uptake values. Results: A high proportion (70%) of NHSBSP attendees engaged in low-moderate levels of physical activity and performed low amounts of recreational physical activity. Attendees demonstrated high awareness (75%) of the role of physical activity in reducing breast cancer risk but those categorised as “low activity” were significantly unaware of insufficiency of activity (p<0.05). Chemotherapy patients and breast cancer survivors had significantly lower levels of total physical activity than NHSBSP attendees (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). The randomised controlled trial revealed significant improvements in total physical activity, body mass (p<0.05), BMI (p<0.05) HRQoL (breast cancer subscale, p<0.01; trial outcome index, p<0.05) and total (p<0.01) and low-density lipoprotein (p<0.05) cholesterol concentrations in the intervention group compared to usual care, and significant improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness (p<0.05) in a subsample of breast cancer survivors allocated to intervention. Conclusions: Physical activity interventions that incorporate strategies aimed at increasing awareness of recommended physical activity guidelines may be required in populations at risk of breast cancer. A relatively large proportion of women at risk of breast cancer may not be sufficiently exposed to the potential benefits of physical activity on breast cancer outcomes. Post-treatment breast cancer patients may be more receptive to physical activity interventions as the negative effects of chemotherapy begin to resolve, and therefore, may benefit from physical activity interventions. Results suggest that a low-cost home-based physical activity intervention with counselling and telephone support can improve the health and HRQoL of breast cancer survivors, which may in turn potentially reduce risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease-related mortality. Given the encouraging results and its highly portable and feasible nature, our intervention represents a promising tool for use in health and community settings to benefit large numbers of breast cancer survivors. The current project supports the inclusion of physical activity promotion as an integral component for the management and care of breast cancer survivors
DARE,FADEKE TAIYE(University of Wolverhampton, 2011-07)
The Higher Education Institution and the Construction Industry are yet to define the most appropriate and effective design parameters for E-learning spaces. Those which exist, focus mainly on cost, budget and timely delivery i.e. the process only not the product. An effective approach to E-learning space design is needed to address the problems of space efficiency, effectiveness, quality, innovativeness, performance and client satisfaction. This study aimed to develop a novel methodology for e-learning space design, by investigating: the impact of e-learning on facilities and design; the impact of e-learning on the design of future spaces; the impact of blended learning on space design; designing for the learn anytime, anywhere paradigm; security issues of e-learning and e-learning space design, the levels of design risk in an e-learning infrastructure and inclusive design issues. A Grounded theory approach was used during initial desk studies, synchronized with a three part forum and pilot survey of 33participants. From this process, two hypotheses emerged; firstly, e-learning space design could affect users‘ learning outcomes and secondly that; user‘s learning requirements were different and varied. To investigate further, site based analyses of 11 HEI‘s, 10 interviews and subsequently a questionnaire survey was administered. Users‘ and stakeholders requirements and good examples of e-learning space design were identified. Data were analysed using a mixed-method research design approach. Three main constructs, Space design, Technology and the E-learning Space Design research focus (ELSD focus), emerged as significant components in the development of a novel framework for the design of e-learning spaces. The relationship between the components is such that the design of spaces with consideration of the ELSD research focus would ensure the effective identification, interpretation and delivery of users‘ requirement while maximising the benefits of the adoption of appropriate technology within HEI facilities. This was therefore proposed as the realistic framework/model for future design of E- learning Spaces in HEI campuses. The framework was adapted into a conceptual design guide to provide guidance for future space design. It is expected the study will support the HEI sector globally as it moves towards achieving best practice solutions to future E-learning space design in HEI campuses.
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