Now showing items 1-20 of 616

    • Nurse academics identities and contributions to the clinical practice environment: An appreciative inquiry

      Sque, Magi; Corness-Parr, Clare Elizabeth Mary (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-06)
      Nurse academics have a key role in supporting the Clinical Practice Environment (CPE) where student nurses undertake 50% of their course. Much of the previous literature regarding nurse academics contributions to the CPE has appeared to be quite negative and they have appeared stuck in a no-man’s-land between the HEI and the CPE. Alongside this, the literature indicates that nurse academic identities are complex, fluid and situational. Nurse academic identities appear to have been shaped by a culture of subservience learnt from practice and reinforced by wider society. Appreciative Inquiry was used to explore new perspectives framed in being ‘possibility centred’ rather than ‘problem centred’ to elicit new understandings. The aim of the study was to develop practice guidance through exploring the identities of nurse academics and their contribution to the CPE. Primary data was collected from nurse academics (N=10) and nurses in practice (N=6) using a range of data collection methods, which included individual semi-structured interviews, focus groups and theme board technique. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. Findings indicated that nurse academic identities are derived from CPE engagement, where positive relationships with practice and the ability to draw on their clinical expertise ‘anchor’ nurse academics identities. Nurse academics primarily identified themselves as nurses and were comfortable with that. Nurse academics and nurses in practice identify positively where nurse academic role and practice contributions are harmonised. Nurse academics independence from the CPE was perceived as positive in terms giving advice and guidance to students and nurses in practice. Nurses in practice see education as an intrinsic element of being a nurse and therefore feel affiliated to the HEI and built positive relationships with nurse academics. Nurse academics had positive identities within the Higher Education Institution (HEI) and CPE, viewing themselves as ‘complex hybrids’. Findings also indicated contested areas, which included logistical constraints, competing demands and ‘Queen Mother’ visits to practice (lacking purpose), impacted on nurse academics contribution to the CPE. There was a level of dissonance from nurse academics regarding how ‘practice’ was defined, which influenced perceived contributions to the CPE. This research presents a differing perspective on nurse academic identities, which shows that they are established in the HEI setting and can make meaningful contributions to the CPE using their academic repertoire. Recommendations include that senior managers in HEI's and the CPE should work more closely to retain the highly prized intersection with the CPE. Nurse academics themselves need to confidently assert opportunities to utilise their clinical, educational and research skills explicitly through career planning and should support clinical areas that draw on their expertise.
    • God in times of adversity: A mixed-methods study investigating the relationship between religious coping and identification on the trauma appraisals and world assumptions of Muslim refugees/asylum seekers

      Hinton, Danny; Munsoor, Hannah S. (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-03-31)
      Background: The Cognitive Model of PTSD highlights the importance of pre-trauma beliefs on trauma appraisals and coping mechanisms. Worldview-based models propose that traumas shatter fundamental world assumptions, resulting in a search for meaning. Religion provides one way of offering meaning for individuals during times of distress. This research aimed to link Religious Coping Theory with cognitive and worldview-based trauma models to investigate the role of religious coping and identification on world assumptions and trauma appraisals within a community sample of Muslim refugees/asylum seekers. Method: A sequential mixed-methods design was used. Quantitative questionnaires were initially administered to eighty four participants, followed by qualitative interviews with six participants. Results: Quantitative findings indicate that religious coping and identification did not explain substantial variance in trauma symptoms, appraisals and world assumptions. Exploratory analyses revealed significant correlations between questionnaire language and trauma symptoms as well as immigration status, trauma appraisals and world assumptions. Qualitative findings, in contrast, illustrate the significant influence of Islam on the trauma appraisals, world assumptions and coping mechanisms of participants. Islam seemed to be used to evaluate and deal with trauma experience within premigration, migration and postmigration phases of the refugee/asylum seeker journey. Conclusion: These findings illustrate the need for greater research on cultural explanatory models of trauma for this population. This study provides specific insight into how participants utilise Islam in appraising and coping with their trauma experiences through the various phases of their journey. Findings are discussed in light of limitations, research and clinical implications.
    • Reflections from practice using the UK QAA Quality Code as a framework to assist in managing and subsequently closing an international branch campus

      Devlin, Linda; Houlton, Loraine Jennifer (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-01)
      This study is based on a single longitudinal live case study of an International Branch Campus The scope of this study relates to learning lessons from the current literature in relation to International Branch Campuses [IBC]. The review of the current literature allowed me to identify risks based on experiences from my fellow practitioners, which then allowed me to mitigate my own exposure to them. This related initially to the setting up of an IBC and thereafter the delivery at an IBC. The introduction of a Quality Framework, in December 2012, by the Quality Assurance Agency [QAA] is an independent body whose role is safeguard standards and improve the quality of UK higher education wherever it is delivered around the world. The Quality Framework was a unification of standards across the whole of the UK, whereas previously there were separate systems in England, Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland. The framework introduced two key new concepts, firstly, a ‘risk based approach’, the first phase of risk management is risk identification according the Institute of Risk Management and by reviewing existing literature I was able to identify risks from learning lessons from existing case study examples. The second concept related to quality enhancement rather than just focusing on quality assurance. This encourages a continuous monitoring of processes rather than the previous concept of annual monitoring. This was piloted in the case study example in the form of a lessons learned log which identified risks at the earliest opportunity, which then fed into the Course Journal. A lessons learned log approach allowed students to be engaged in the quality process more and quality became a positive element, looking at what went well, and even better if…mind set rather than ticking a box in relation to compliance. This research is based in a lived in case study example of an IBC which opened in March 2012, prior to, and the subsequent introduction of the Quality Framework, and illustrates the lessons learned through the first year of operation providing an insight to examples of quality enhancement in relation to pedagogical examples of delivery, content and student engagement. In June 2015 a decision was made to close the case study International Branch Campus whilst reviewing literature in relation to closing an International Branch Campus there was a gap in relation to ‘how to’ close rather than providing data on how many had closed [although this appears to be lacking in rigor], and identifying the reasons for closure. This study will illustrate how to close an International Branch Campus using the QAA Quality Framework to ensure that student enhancement opportunities are identified to support student success.
    • How do Further Education (FE) teachers see their role changing in the future to exploit digital teaching and learning opportunities in an increasingly digital education environment?

      Traxler, John; Holt, Jayne (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-07)
      This research explores and reveals the complexity of Further Education (FE) teachers’ viewpoints in relation to digital teaching and learning technologies. The enquiry begins by reviewing the Government policies that surround digital learning technologies in Further Education (FE) and recognises the challenges that policy, reform, social, economic and educational changes present to the FE Sector. Policy suggests that changes in education may be necessary for developing skills that are required to live and work effectively in a globally connected world and for what the UK Government terms a modern Britain. This means teaching, learning and assessment in FE might need to change, which may lead to considerable changes to the role of the teacher. This research argues that government policy is underestimating the complexities of developing a culture of integrated digital teaching and learning technologies, and has a view too simplistic for the upskilling of teaching staff and transformation of the FE Sector with digital learning technologies. Q-methodology and qualitative semi-structured interviews have been used to illuminate the views of teachers and how they position themselves for using digital learning technologies in their teaching. By selecting a group of experienced teachers who are considered, by the College, to be advanced teachers and a second group of teacher-education (TED) students, the research demonstrates the nuances of the teaching habitus, whether evolving through long-term teaching experience or through the initial teacher-education (ITE) programme. This research explores the concept of the digital teaching habitus through Bourdieu’s theoretical lens of field, habitus and capital from which the participants are revealed to have a continuum of positions and level of digital capital at play within their digital teaching habitus. By interpreting these different emerging positions, several digital teaching habitus are identified with associated levels of digital capital for the participants. The teachers’ voice provides current knowledge on what teachers feel is important to the teacher-student relationship in a digital education environment and the prominence that FE teachers assign to managing students’ aspirations and to preparing students for their occupations and future workplaces.
    • Exploring the engagement in clairvoyant readings; attending to the lived experiences of patrons

      Taiwo, Abigail; Meredith, Joanne; Feeley, Sara Louise (University of Wolverhampton, 2018)
      Recent research claims that clairvoyant readings are therapeutic (Beischel, Mosher & Boccuzzi, 2015; Nelson, 2013; Osborne & Bacon, 2015; Roxburgh, 2010; Sanger, 2009), as such it is possible that there are an unknown population seeking support through this alternative practice. An exploration of the lived experience of patrons of Clairvoyants was studied to ascertain whether the engagement is done so to meet a need, that may be more appropriately met in traditional therapeutic services. A Qualitative approach was adopted, Semi-structured interviews were analysed using Relational Phenomenological Analysis (RPA). Six participants were interviewed about their beliefs and engagement in clairvoyant readings. One main theme emerged; Clairvoyant readings as a way of managing loss, with four subthemes; Readings in place of Traditional support, Need for reassurance and proof of existence- to manage anxiety, The conflict of rational and emotional, Sense of belonging and connectedness. Readings with clairvoyants may potentially be harmful, despite patrons expressing benefits. Due to an unknown percentage of the population engaging in readings, it was found that additional research is needed in this area, as the phenomena appears to be underrepresented in Psychological empiricism.
    • Application of repertory grid technique to explore perceptions of expertise held by those working within the profession of conductive education

      Nicholls, Wendy; Kinnersley, Theresa (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-03-29)
      Conductive Education (CE), a psycho-pedagogic approach to working with individuals with neuromotor disorders (Sutton,2002), is practised in Statutory and Third Sector health and education provisions within the UK. This fact alone raises the need to explore the role and professional accountability of the conductor as the professional delivering this programme of education. Whilst there is a Professional Body (Professional Conductors Association) (PCA) and a requirement for validated Continuing Professional Development (CPD), there is no benchmark for expertise, or identification of the characteristics, skills and knowledge associated with it. This thesis as an exploratory study of conductors’ perceptions of expertise is the first of its kind to be undertaken with conductors working in the UK. CE, underpinned by both constructivist and constructionist methodologies (Grundtvig, 2012), fits well with Personal Construct Theory (PCT), the chosen methodology for this study. This study is undertaken in two main phases. In the first, Repertory Grid Technique (RGT), as a research method associated with PCT (Hagans, Neimeyer, Goodholm, 2000), is used to interview 20 Conductors working in the UK. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is used to construct a quantitative analysis of individual grid findings, a process that serves to underpin subsequent thematic analysis. An iterative process of thematic analysis, influenced by Constructivist Grounded Theory (Charmaz, 2006), facilitates synthesis of the conductors’ perceptions of expertise. Expertise is perceived by the conductors to be holistic in nature and comprised of belief, personality, knowledge and skill. With reference to the pragmatist underpinnings of Positive Psychology, (Peterson & Seligman, 2004), items generated in phase one are subsequently used to construct a 92-point questionnaire. This questionnaire as a self-reflective measurement tool serves to complete the aims of this study. This exploratory study broadly fulfils its aims and addresses expressed need for greater accountability, academic justification of practice, desire for professional development and pragmatism within CE (Kozma, 1995). Weaknesses are identified, however the findings of this study serve to raise awareness of expertise, impact practice and conductor training.
    • The experiences of women who have successfully navigated alcohol and child protection services: importance of connection to healing

      Morgan, Angela; Taiwo, Abigail; Freedman, Gail (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-05)
      Background: A proliferation of research about maternal addiction problems and child protection involvement exists but there is a noticeable dearth of studies concerning how these services are experienced in conjunction. Research regarding the effectiveness of parental interventions for substance abuse is scarce in the UK. Further research highlights that social workers are inadequately prepared for working with parents with substance misuse problems even though substance abuse problems are as high as 70% in child protection caseloads. Aim: The aim of this study is to elicit and understand the experiences of women who have successfully navigated alcohol and child protection services. How dual involvement with services was initiated, experienced, and identify sources of resiliency that enabled the women to live substance free lives. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven women to produce a qualitative research data. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and a Relational Centred Analysis (RCA) to explore the lived phenomenological and relational experiences of these services. Findings: Four main themes emerged across the narratives. Key findings include the importance of language used by services, which either continues to isolate or enhance the therapeutic alliance where hope, trust and connection to others flourishes. Implications: The findings contribute to our understanding of women with addiction problems and their needs through the recovery process. These are discussed within a range of psychological theories and, finally, the implications for counselling psychology are considered.
    • The Myth of good character: assessing the performance of nursing and midwifery pre-registration students using a modified Delphi approach

      Hopkins, Alex; Arkell, Sharon (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-09)
      The requirement for pre-registration student nurses and midwives to demonstrate good character is detailed in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) quality assurance framework for higher education institutions (NMC, 2016a). This study used a qualitative methodology, interpreted through a post-modern lens, to examine the perspectives of decision-makers when assessing the good character of nursing and midwifery preregistration students in relation to their continued fitness to practise. Participants were purposively sampled from higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. All participants were qualified nurses or midwives and had experience of making decisions about students’ good character. Thirty-three participants agreed to take part in a qualitative three-round study based on a modified Delphi approach. Twenty-two participants completed all three rounds. Qualitative data from all rounds were analysed using thematic analysis. A final overall analysis and interpretation was undertaken to synthesise the perspectives of this group of participants. The use of vignettes in round one enabled the participants to have a professional asynchronous conversation and contributed to their professional development through the opportunity to engage in reflection. The myth of good character is presented within the discourse as the good and caring nurse or midwife who abides by the Code (NMC, 2015a). The myth hides the underlying discursive practices that exist within the discourse to control behaviour, which was witnessed in this study through the assessment of the students’ ability to operate technologies of the self, as described by Foucault (1988a). Technologies of the self were assessed by the student’s ability to demonstrate self-awareness through insight, reflection and remorse, and honesty and integrity through self-surveillance in relation to a duty of candour. The decision-makers indicated that students were assessed upon their performance and their ability to learn how to be good rather than any fixed notions of character.
    • Knowledge management practices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia public sector organisations

      Renukappa, Suresh; Algahtani, Khaled (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-09-20)
      After a decade of sustained oil-based growth, KSA is at a transition towards knowledge based economy. Today, achieving that goal has become essential. To address these change challenges, knowledge is increasingly accessed and shared across different functional departments and professionals. This knowledge interdependence creates new management challenges resulting from the risks and difficulties of knowledge transactions across boundaries. Providing access to key tacit and explicit knowledge to decision makers during potential changes seems to be critical for effective decision-making. Recent technological developments have made a significant and positive impact on the ability and desire to manage knowledge. These challenges have made the government think to adopt Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives. There is, however, a paucity of empirical research on the key KM practices that have been implemented in the public sector organisations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – which is the core rationale for this study. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate how KSA public sector organisations are managing knowledge to gain sustainable competitive advantage. A web based, online questionnaire survey method was employed to collect data. Descriptive and inferential analysis was used to analyse the data obtained from the 107 completed and usable questionnaire for inference and conclusion. The survey revealed that to improve access to key knowledge is most important driver for managing knowledge in KSA public sector organisations. The extent of implementation of KM initiatives is relatively low in the KSA public sector organisations. Furthermore, study revealed that conventional, simple and cost effective KM techniques and technologies are effective and extensively used. Lack of government support for using new technologies, lack of awareness of knowledge, and lack of leadership support are key challenges for managing knowledge in the KSA public sector organisations. KM strategies have a very high positive impact on improving citizen relations. The study concluded that the challenge of managing knowledge is a daunting task for any organisation. An organisation’s knowledge resources are complex and multifaceted, ranging from tacit components to knowledge that is explicitly represented. The ultimate key to organisations successfully embracing KM initiatives into daily operation is leadership. Therefore, the KSA government should take a greater leadership role in shaping the information environment and the role of emerging technologies in society that have significant impacts. It is necessary for KSA public sector decision makers to recognise and use a blend of ICT and non-ICT based KM techniques and technologies. Before embarking on a KM journey, decision makers have to understand what it is that they would like to achieve with KM and what value it needs to add to their organisation in the context of Saudi Vision 2030. The scarcity of knowledge and expertise a huge challenge for many KSA public sector organisations. Therefore, training and education related to the management of knowledge will help leaders, managers, and change agents to better understand on how to craft and implement various KM strategies for competitive advantage.
    • Oil and gas contracts: a law in context analysis using Nigeria as a case study

      Haynes, Andrew; Adebayo, Jamiu Olohundare (University of Wolverhampton, 2018-12-31)
      The legal and regulatory framework of the oil and gas industry and the contracting obligations arising thereof have evolved over time in many forms across oil producing states. Given the peculiarities of each of these oil producing states, the framework is constantly changing. The changing face of politics, climate and rapidly developing technology are changing the landscape of the industry, demanding a fundamental need for petroleum resource-endowed states to take a strategic view and choose what legal framework and contracting approaches are likely to deliver their ultimate objective: optimum production with topmost financial gains. The idea behind the exploration and exploitation of natural resources is to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into developing states with the anticipation that such investment will put them on the centre stage of global economics and lead to an improvement in research and technology transfer that would sustain economic growth and development. However, the objective of transnational corporations is to maximise their profits. Ultimately, it is the exploration licensing contracts that states use to implement oil exploration and exploitation policies. The present research therefore seeks to look at the dynamics of the legal and regulatory framework of the oil and gas industry focussing on its everchanging contract types and nature. The research attempts to look at the causes of the imbalance in international oil and gas contracts with an eye on the observation that one of the causes of the imbalance are the investment treaties because they focus on a state’s obligations with little or no focus on obligations from transnational corporations towards the states. Some critical clauses that need to be taken into account by parties to the contract are also explored because it is argued that contractual clauses are also among the causes of imbalance in international oil and gas contracts. This research therefore addresses the causes of imbalance by looking at the problems associated with investment treaties and the long-term contractual relationship between the host states and the transnational corporations, particularly the associated risks with oil and gas contracts such as; political, economic, natural and technical risks. Essentially, the study will narrow down on the processes, technicalities, case studies and the features of four main types of oil and gas contracts namely, Production Sharing Agreement, Joint Ventures, Service Contracts and the two Concessions, (Old and New). The research also attempted to answer the following questions: what is the current structure of oil contracts and to what extent can parties’ commitments be altered to ensure the sustenance of economic stability? Which type of contract is the best for development and financial purposes? What are the causes of imbalance in the oil contract and to what extent have the principles of international environmental law been utilised at a state level and whether developing countries have been able to overcome the pressures from transnational corporations on the issue of environmental law? The research will address these questions through its five chapters.
    • ‘Are they ready to fly?’ Flying faculty preparedness and professional learning: an exploratory study of transnational education staff perspectives

      Devlin, Linda; Bartram, Brendan; Whieldon, Joan Ann (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-01)
      The international mobility of higher education institutions and courses is increasing exponentially. In 2016–17, there were 707,915 students on UK degrees outside the UK with 1.6 times more students now on UK degree programmes offshore than there are international students based at universities in the UK. They are referred to as ‘glocals’ – students having global aspirations with local experiences. Transnational education takes a number of forms, one of which involves UK academic staff working as ‘flying faculty’ offshore. This requires a tutor flying to a host country, delivering the programme of study intensively and then flying out, returning to the awarding institution in the UK. This study examines the impact of these short-term teaching sojourns by staff and their ‘lived lives’ at the pre-, during- and post-delivery stages. The study investigates what training or preparation takes place and whether the challenges and opportunities of undertaking the work of flying faculty affects them personally and/or professionally. There is also consideration of their future development needs. Six staff from two universities were interviewed as part of this research using the biographical narrative interpretive method (BNIM), supported by a focus group of twelve participants originally involved as part of a project supported by the Higher Education Academy. This wide demographic provided a significant representation of the sector with flying faculty experience ranging from zero to fifteen years. Conclusions which evolved from this study are authoritative since they emanate from experts in the field, with participant samples identified as typical. Results demonstrate that preparation and on-going support for this pedagogical practice is ad hoc, informal and of uncertain design leading to significant apprehensions for staff. A lack of focus by UK higher education institutions on the personal and pedagogic needs of flying faculty subverts any Maslowian aspirational achievements. In spite of continuing rapid growth in this area of education, there is no structured training, development or support for those staff involved. The intention of this study is to provide a starting point for higher education institutions to move forward, encouraged by regulatory, fiscal and personnel incentives. The design of personal and pedagogically structured preparation, support and development for flying faculty in the future would represent a positive paradigm shift in the way that flying faculty are prepared, developed and perceived. The results of the study should be recognised as a contribution to knowledge engendering the need for change.
    • The hidden role: a focused ethnographic study of the nurse link tutor in higher education

      Paniagua, Hilary; Fuller, Pauline; Sadler Moore, Della; Clifton, Elizabeth Susan (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-08)
      Despite long standing debates relating to the role and function of the nurse teacher who acts as a link tutor in Higher Education, there is little understanding and evidence relating to their practice role. This focused ethnographic study sought to identify the role, the complexities and challenges, and future role requirements of the nurse link tutor, while supporting undergraduate, adult field nursing students on clinical placements. A guiding theoretical framework of symbolic interactionism used throughout this study contributed to an interpretation of the nurse link tutors' role from participants' perspectives and an understanding of the factors that affect and influence their role. This two phase study employed purposive sampling of nurse link tutors working in practice teams, spanning two hospital trusts. The first phase sought understanding using participant observation and informal interviews using the Developmental Research Sequence method (Spradley, 1979). Data collection in phase one took place over eleven months of field work, followed by a second phase focus group with the same nurse link tutors. The focus group helped to confirm findings from phase one as well as gain further insight into the role and future role requirements. Researcher reflexivity was important and integrated throughout this study. Data analysis in phase one applied domain and taxonomic analysis (Spradley, 1979) followed by Leininger's (1985) thematic and pattern analysis in the second phase. A symbolic interactionist approach used the application of “generic social processes” (Blumer, 1969; Prus, 1996) as an interpretive framework. The role was found to be emotionally demanding and a number of tensions and challenges were identified involving a constant juggling of an academic and practice role in order to support students in practice and enhance practice learning. This study revealed unknown aspects of the nurse link tutors' practice role, involving emotion work in the supportive aspects of their role in practice. This contributed to their professional nursing identity, however, the emotional labour they carried out remained hidden and unrecognised. Study recommendations for the nurse link tutor role, come at a time of new education standards for student nurse supervision and assessment (NMC, 2018) involving changes to roles in practice. However, in order for the nurse link tutor to fulfil a credible role in practice, there is a need for greater clarity of their role and support to enable them to juggle an academic and practice role. The emotion work and emotional labour they carry out should be made more visible and recognised. In order to develop and enhance their future professional role as nurse educators in practice they should be taking a leadership role and working with practice learning partners to enhance practice education. This study offers a contribution to knowledge of the insights into the emotion management perspective as applied to the nurse link tutor's experience of emotionality and how they manage their emotions to express their professional role identity.
    • The impact of implementing heritage elements in contemporary buildings in the United Arab Emirates

      Arif, Mohammed; Al Qasimi, Shaikha Khuloud Humaid (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-02)
      Due to the rapid growth and development which occurred during the last century the United Arab Emirates witnessed dramatic changes after oil discovery and the economic boom. This affected the building and construction sector that formed the urban fabric of the country. The four fundamental architectural heritage elements of the UAE are the mashrabiya, the wind tower, the courtyard and the broken entrance, these essential architectural heritage elements were efficiently implemented in traditional buildings. In the context of the contemporary; preservation challenges are experienced particularly when foreign architectural design is seen to be increasing dominating the cityscape and the architectural heritage elements are being misused neglecting their functionalities. This research aims to analyze and compare the efficiency of architectural heritage elements in the contemporary buildings and seeks to gather thorough rationale and logical interpretation in heritage elements. In order to investigate these four architectural heritage elements further, ‘case study ‘methodology has been used to inspect the performance of four local contemporary buildings and a comparison technique ( Comparative Analysis ) was conducted to better understand the outcomes of the analysis. The case study research is being preferable as a strategy due to the exploratory nature of the research and it essentially responds to research questions that seek explanation rather than experimentation. This research diverse from the usual traditional and contemporary comparison of heritage elements and focuses on comparing their reliability and functionality when addressed in contemporary buildings. It asserts that preservation must be in mind as a pre-requisite towards interpretation of heritage elements and ensures that currently more advanced technologies can be fully exploited to embrace traditional elements to achieve development requirements.
    • Embedding sustainable strategies for competitive advantage in the UAE sports sector

      Renukappa, Suresh; Almenhali, Ali Abdulqader Abdulrahman (University of Wolverhampton, 2019)
      Sports industry is receiving an imperious call to reduce their negative influences associated with their events, operations and facilities on the natural environment. Hence, it has developed numerous initiatives to address pertinent issues, bearing in mind two significant initiatives; reducing their ecological footprint and using the power and popularity of sport as a means to promote and raise environmental awareness and to inspire positive social change amongst fans and spectators. Despite the growing popularity given to sports industry lags behind other forms of facilities with reference to sustainability strategies. Therefore, this study aims to investigate how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sports sector is embedding sustainability for competitive advantage. A mixed methodology of research was adopted to collect and analyse data. Descriptive analysis was used to analyse quantitative data obtained from 124 completed online survey questionnaires. The results were further augmented by qualitative results derived from semi-structured interviews with 30 professionals from 20 sports organisations. As part of the analysis of the interviews, content analysis was employed. The unit of analysis adopted for this study is the ‘sports sector’ and the embedded unit is ‘individual employee’. The study concluded that the UAE sports sector is still in the developing stage. The implementation of initiatives related to sustainability is relatively low in the UAE sports sector organisations. Therefore, there is a need to reshape the UAE sports sector organisations existing sustainability strategy in order to gain sustainable competitive advantage. To improve the UAE sports sectors sustainability performance, decision makers have to recognise and understand the concept of sustainability. The lack of leadership skills for successful deployment of sustainability initiatives is one of the most important challenges for the UAE sports organisation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop and deliver a bespoke leadership training programs to address, improve and measure the effectiveness of leadership skills for driving change towards sustainability. A sustainable assessment framework was developed and evaluated. This study has made significant contributions to knowledge since there is no previous research explored on embedding sustainability strategies in the context of UAE sports sector. Findings of this research are limited to the UAE sports sector context only, as such, the level of generalisability outside this context may be very limited.
    • Embedding knowledge management strategies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia construction industry

      Renukappa, Suresh; Alosaimi, Hanouf (University of Wolverhampton, 2019)
      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) construction sector is an important industry and contributes approximately 20% of the GDP. It has been the most significant economic activity outside the oil sector. However, uncertainty, complexity, sustainability, climate change, and Saudi Arabia National Policy Plan 2030 are among the most important features of the current construction business environment in the KSA. As organisations try to meet these complex challenges, they need to be innovative. It is widely recognised that knowledge is an essential strategic resource for a firm to retain a sustainable competitive advantage. Although Knowledge Management (KM) has been widely practiced in the western countries, there is a little evidence in the KSA especially in the construction industry. Therefore, this research focuses on key KM strategies that the KSA construction organisations implemented en-route to organisational competitiveness. The findings are in the main, based on semi-structured interviews with 46 professionals from 30 construction organisations. The data analysis revealed that, the key initiatives implemented broadly under the umbrella of KM are: knowledge sharing initiatives, knowledge capturing initiatives and knowledge mapping initiatives. Furthermore, seven types of KM specific training strategies adopted in the KSA construction organisations. The single most important driver for managing knowledge is to improve cost savings. The key challenge for managing knowledge is capturing tacit knowledge. The KM strategies contribute to improved competitiveness on cost savings. Furthermore, a framework for managing knowledge is developed and validated. The study concludes that managing knowledge is an integrated and complex process. More effective knowledge-sharing within and across construction organisations is required. Therefore, the KSA professional institutions and construction industry should support and participate in the work of knowledge-sharing groups to address perceived risks and opportunities from new technologies and processes. The results do suggests that for effective implementation of KM strategies, there is an urgent need for KSA construction industry to develop and deploy appropriate KM related management training programmes. Leadership plays an important role in breaking down barriers in achieving KM strategies. This study has made significant contributions to knowledge since there is no previous research explored on KM programmes in the KSA construction organisations. Findings of this research are limited to the KSA construction industry context only, as such, the level of generalisability outside this context may be very limited.
    • An evaluation of the Black Country in Motion: a community led intervention for the engagement of hard to reach, physically inactive communities of the Black Country

      Lane, Andrew; Medcalf, Richard; Sellars, Christopher; Jackson, Jade (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-08)
      Physical activity has been associated with reducing the risk of poor health and improving health and wellbeing. However contrary to this knowledge, physical activity levels remain significantly low with an estimate of 20 million adults being inactive in the UK (BHF, 2017), the cost of which is a suggested £2.8 billion per year to the UK’s economy. Subsequently, those who experience socio-economic disadvantage are more inclined to be inactive. As a means to tackling inactivity within such demographic groups, community-led interventions have been used to engage individuals and increase social cohesion and social capital. However the challenges experienced in measuring the efficacy, effectiveness and impact of real world community intervention have been well documented. Objectives - To evaluate the effectiveness of a community based, community-led physical activity intervention aimed at increasing physical activity Intervention - The Black Country in Motion (BCiM) is a 3 year programme, delivered in areas of high socioeconomic disadvantage in the Black Country area of the West Midlands. UK. The intervention aimed to increase physical activity, wellbeing and social capital. Design of the Evaluation - This evaluation uses a mixed-methods approach comprising of measuring physical activity using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, the examination of change through qualitative analysis (based upon the Transtheoretical model for behaviour change framework), examining volunteerism in these communities and the volunteering physical activity facilitators and process evaluation. Setting - Community facilities and leisure centres in the Black Country Area of the West Midlands, UK Participants - Over a 3 year period, n=1205 participants had registered with the BCiM programme, at the point of analysis n=991 had engaged with the programme. Ages ranged from 12- 84 years and from across the Black Country region. 39.1% (n=387) were male and 60.9% (n=604) female participants. The objective of the intervention was to increase the physical activity of these participants, this was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and through semi-structured interview. Interviews identified the processes of change and psychosocial variables that impacted engagement adherence/drop out. Volunteers - A total of one hundred and forty four volunteers were recruited to deliver physical activity, of whom 22 were interviewed examining narratives and experiences throughout the delivery of the programme. Volunteers were aged 19-62 (SD = 32), 14 females and 8 males. Measuring Behaviour Change and Outcome Evaluation - Quantitative Measures - All participants completed a single item measure at baseline and were required to complete the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) to determine physical activity levels. This was a predetermined measure from funders and measured the duration and intensity of activity. Physical activity was measured at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 month follow ups. Drop out in the research process was significant and at the point of analysis n=73 participants had completed this measure. Qualitative Measures - To determine the effectiveness of the community-led intervention, 5 case studies (including interview data from 11 engaged participants and 12 disengaged participants), examined the processes of change, project efficacy and the psychosocial variables that impacted community engagement. Process Evaluation - A number of physical activity sessions were delivered as planned. Recruitment was challenging and the original target number of participants was not reached at the point of project completion. At the point of analysis, the reach of the project had engaged 991 participants, 36.1% (n=358) of those that had registered and attended at least one physical activity session resided in the target areas of this intervention. The efficacy of the programme was not delivered as intended and the sustainability of sessions was affected by low attendance and attrition. Volunteerism and the Community Volunteer - With current sport policy rhetoric including volunteering and the voluntary sectors impact on sport and physical activity delivery. This thesis examines community volunteering. One hundred and forty-four volunteers were recruited for the delivery of physical activity in this intervention. Drawing on this intervention’s emphasis on community and community volunteering, the principles of volunteerism were explored within these communities. Using semi-structured interviews, the narratives of those who volunteered in the BCiM were examined to identify the impact of this community intervention on developing social capital and community cohesion. Conclusion - The Black Country in Motion was effective in facilitating and enabling social mobility and increases in physical activity with those who were inactive prior to engagement and adhered to the programme. Those that had disengaged from the programme had suggested that the intensity of exercise delivered was challenging and in some instances subsequently sought alternative provision. It is argued that this may be a result of inexperience of the volunteers in their inability to differentiate activities and intensity. Those that were engaged discussed the social bonds that were developed and reaffirmed through their engagement in their communities, however these social bonds were fragile, as experiences within a community were relative to the individual. It is suggested that further investigation in recruitment and retention is required.
    • Sustainable and digital strategies for enhancing United Arab Emirates construction industry competiveness

      Renukappa, Suresh; Al Neyadi, Ahmed (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-08)
      The United Arab Emirates (UAE) construction sector is an important industry and contributes approximately 11% of the GDP. It has been the most significant economic activity outside the oil sector. However, recession, uncertainty, complexity, sustainability, and climate change are among the most important features of the current construction business environment in the UAE. Although many construction firms throughout the world have successfully embedded sustainability, there is little information on how UAE construction organisations are embedding sustainability strategies for competitive advantage. Therefore, the aim of this research is to explore how the UAE construction organisations are embedding sustainable strategies to improve their competitive advantage from a social, environmental and economic point of view. The findings are in the main, based on semi-structured interviews with 44 professionals from UAE construction organisations. As part of the analysis of the interviews, content analysis was employed. The unit of analysis adopted for this study is the ‘construction industry’ and the embedded unit is ‘individual employee’. The study recommend that the overall outlook for improved sustainability initiatives efforts from the UAE construction organisations looks quite promising at present. However, the implementation of green Building Information Modelling (BIM) and mobile applications technologies to tackle sustainability issues are relatively low uptake in the UAE construction organisations. Therefore, there is a need to reshape the UAE construction organisations existing digital strategy in order to gain sustainable competitive advantage. The decision makers have to recognise and understand the concept of sustainability from a triple bottom line concept. It is concluded that before organisations embed sustainability initiatives they need to understand and recognise key drivers, which are pushing them towards implementation. The lack of skills for successful deployment of sustainability strategies is one of the most important challenges for the UAE construction sector. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop and deliver a bespoke training program to address, improve and measure the effectiveness of leadership skills for driving change towards sustainability. Most of the technologies included in Industry 4.0 are still at their infancies and for the future would recommend more research to be carried out on these technologies, this will enable the construction industry to understand the benefits that can be gained from these technologies and with the industry being known for resisting change, demonstrating these benefits can be the start of the construction industry embracing the change. Furthermore, it is recommended that future research on mobile applications for sustainability should focus on user readiness aspects, as well as organisation readiness for adoption and usage patterns of mobile devices. A framework for managing sustainability strategies in the UAE construction industry was developed and validated. Findings of this research are limited to the UAE construction industry context only, as such, the level of generalisability outside this context may be very limited.
    • Managing construction projects in the United Arab Emirates to gain competitive advantage

      Mushatat, Sabah; Renukappa, Suresh; Al Shamsi, Sultan Khamis (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-08)
      A tremendous growth has been experienced in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the construction industry. It is also mirrored by the expansion and development of project management tools and techniques. The term project management prevails as a trending topic in the business world due to its vitality in the transformation process and execution of new business opportunities. However, regardless of the increasing importance of project management, still UAE construction industry is facing massive challenges in controlling their assignments since projects continue to fail in very high rate. Therefore aim of this research is to explore how the UAE construction organisations are managing construction projects to enhance competitive advantage. Given the relatively new and unexplored nature of the research problem, qualitative research method was adopted to collect and analyse data. Semi-structured interviews with 65 professionals were used to collect data which was then analysed using content analysis for inference and conclusion. The study concluded that a complex mix of political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental forces drives construction project management in the UAE. Therefore, understanding the macro-environmental factors that impact on the UAE construction project management is important. Furthermore, it is noted that understanding drivers is imperative for smooth project implementation. As revealed in the current study, the single most important driver for managing projects in UAE is to improve greater efficiency. In addition, the UAE project management education struggles with challenges such as there are too many knowledge areas in project management, and struggle to provide education to professionals from different background and learning styles. Therefore, the UAE project management training and education should lead to a more active/practical approach. The study concludes that adoption of digital technologies in the UAE construction industry is still at their infancy. Despite of the incremental significance of project management, yet, businesses are confronting encounters in controlling their assignments since projects keep failing in very high rate. A project management competency framework for managing construction projects was developed and validated. It is recommended to explore the level of embeddedness of construction project management between developed and developing countries. This should lead to a generation of benchmark data and best practices in addressing global construction project management issues.
    • Designing a safe dendronised polymeric nanocarrier for hydrophobic drugs or gene delivery in cancer therapy

      Tang, James; Wali, Aisha Roshan Mohamed (University of Wolverhampton, 2018-11)
      The hardship of cancer is continuously increasing and is rapidly spreading globally. At present, almost one-third of newly discovered potential therapeutics have poor pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutical properties. Chemotherapeutic agents known to be the most effective treatment, lack tumour specificity and suffers from poor solubility. The lack of specificity results in severe side effects in off-target tissues, whereas poor soluble drugs exhibit short half-life in the bloodstream and high overall clearance rate. Amphiphilic block copolymers based on hydrophobic dendrons have shown to be a promising strategy to enhance the solubility of hydrophobic drugs, prolong circulation time, minimise non-specific uptake, and allow for specific tumour-targeting through the EPR effect. Herein, we have proposed the development of a new safe and more specific non-viral vector system based on peptide dendronised polymeric micelles to enhance the delivery of hydrophobic drugs into liver cancer cells. G3(PLLA and OGPLLL) arginine dendron of third generation bearing eight peripheral hydrophobic or cationic groups (PBF and BOC or guanidine groups) were synthesised in high yield, identified and tested for purity using NMR, MS and TLC. A series of three amphiphilic system characterised by different hydrophilic pullulan derivatives segments were then synthesised using Huisgen azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition between pullulan (P), lactosylated pullulan (P(Lac)) and pullulan bearing disulphide linkage (PSS) with the G3 dendron to lead amphiphilic block copolymers P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA and PSS-PLLA, respectively. Hydrophilic pullulan and lactobionic acid were selected for amphiphilic modification, aiming at specific asialoglycoprotein receptors recognition onto hepatocytes cells in the liver. Macromolecular structures of amphiphilic P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA and PSS-PLLA were able to self-assemble spontaneously into spherical nanoarchitectures of sizes less than 90nm with low polydispersity in the aqueous media, which was confirmed by CAC, DLS and TEM. Furthermore, the polyaromatic anticancer drug Doxorubicin (Dox) was selectively encapsulated in the hydrophobic core through multiple interactions with the dendron, including π-π interactions, hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions. Such multiple interactions had the merits of enhanced drug loading capacity (>16%), excellent stability against dilution, and excellent sustained release property. Results showed that a high number of hydrophobic segments within a micellar core enhance higher loading efficiency of hydrophobic drugs, whereas, an increase of surface hydrophilicity or an increase in the length of the hydrophobic segment, both have an effect in reducing the micellar size and CAC value. The disulfide-containing PSS-PLLA micelles were able to co-encapsulate both hydrophobic drugs Dox and Curcumin (Cur) which could simultaneously be co-released in high rate from the carrier (>80wt% in 60hours) in response to the high redox potential environment. Most importantly, the release of Dox from the carrier at pH 5 enhanced the release of curcumin, whereas curcumin, in turn, would improve the efficiency of Dox anticancer activity by overcoming Dox MDR. Such a delivery system provides a promising approach for combination therapy in cancer. The cell viability assay presented that the blank micelles had excellent biocompatibility both in the normal and tumour cells. Moreover, loaded drugs nanoparticles could be effectively internalised into the hepatoma carcinoma cells, and Dox-Cur-PSS-PLLA dramatically inhibited cell proliferation. Also, cationic dendron conjugated pullulan (P-OGPLLL) could efficiently condense DNA with excellent hemocompatibility and high gene transfection in Hela and Hek293T cells. Thus, this work offers an effective strategy of designing a non-viral system and the P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA, PSS-PLLA and P-OGPLLL nanocarriers serve as a reliable drug/gene delivery nanoplatform to enable the improvement of the bioavailability, targetability, efficacy and overcome MDR of therapeutic agents.
    • Joint venture and production sharing contracts in less developed countries – a critical legal analysis

      Haynes, Andrew; Wigwe-Chizindu, Veronica (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-01)
      The thesis principally examines the three categories of petroleum arrangements in Nigeria and gives examples of other developing countries. This study presents a systematic and in-depth analysis of both the structure and substance of some modern petroleum arrangements that have emerged in recent years and examines, the financial benefits of such associations. The thesis is divided into two parts. Part 1 deals with participation agreements, joint venture and production sharing contracts, whilst Part 2 examines mutual benefit and marginalisation of the host communities. These agreements are usually long-term, without any mechanism for renegotiations and are shrouded in secrecy and confidential clauses. A good example is the NNPC and Ashland oil contract. Due to this lacuna, it is usually the practice for renegotiation to be done through the passing of a legal notice or new law, resulting in the presence of quite a few laws in the petroleum industry and the attendant mystification. This practice would have been simple if renegotiation clauses were enshrined in the agreement, enabling changing circumstances; and confidential clauses removed, aiding transparency in the transaction. The study finds that some of the laws and the regulations are very old and clearly out of style with the times, not to mention in an industry that is forever changing and dynamic and further affected and determined by international factors. Further, the study also found that the activities of the oil and gas companies, to a great extent have not employed international best practices or remained compliant with the existing laws of the nation; resulting in oil spillages, various forms of pollution, serious health hazards, gross environmental degradations, rural agricultural destruction, distortion of social harmony and peace that exist in, and between host communities and have fuelled underdevelopment in these communities. As long as these social inequalities and injustice continue, human rights violations, gross mismanagement of natural resources, corruption in all forms and sizes exist and the activities of the participants in that sector are not addressed satisfactorily, so shall poverty, insecurity and serious threat to national existence and survival continue.