Recent Submissions

  • Investigation of the effect of disulfiram on the chemoresistance and invasiveness in pancreatic cancer cells

    Wang, Weiguang; Nkeonye, Ogechi; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-07)
    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancers worldwide with a mortality to incidence ratio of 94%. It is the 10th most common cancer in the UK with a 5-year survival less than 7%. In contrast to the improved therapeutic outcomes in many other cancers, the prognosis of PDAC remains dismal. One reason for this is because most PDAC patients are asymptomatic and end up being diagnosed after the cancer has advanced to a late stage. Another major obstacle in PDAC management is that PDAC cells are highly resistant to currently available anticancer drugs and the resistant cells metastasize to vital organs leading to a high rate of fatalities. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for chemoresistance, relapse and metastasis. It is widely accepted that CSCs are located in the hypoxic niche which is responsible for maintaining stemness and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). The stemness of cancer cells is a reversible state mediated by the hypoxic tumour microenvironment. Hypoxia initiates stemness in cancer cells by activating genes which inhibit apoptosis, modify glucose metabolism, increase cell proliferation and enhance cell pluripotency. Therefore, development of new drugs to target hypoxia-induced CSCs will be of clinical urgency in PDAC treatment. Due to the time and costs for new drug development, repositioning of old drugs for new ailments is an emerging drug R&D strategy in recent years. Disulfiram (DS) is an anti-alcoholism drug used in clinic for over 60 years. It demonstrates excellent activity against a wide range of cancers such as glioblastoma, non-small cell lung cancer and, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma without toxicity to normal cells. Whereas, its effect on PDAC cells is still largely unknown. In this study, the in vitro effect of hypoxia on the stemness, chemosensitivity and invasiveness of Panc-1, a PDAC cell line, and a panel of patient-derived PDAC primary cultures was investigated. The sphere-cultured PDAC cells contained high hypoxic population which demonstrated CSC/EMT traits and were resistant to the first line anti-PDAC drugs; gemcitabine and paclitaxel. The study manifested that the hypoxia-cultured monolayer PDAC cell line and primary cells also expressed CSC markers, ‘ALDH, CD133, ABCG2’ and EMT markers, ‘Vimentin, Snail1, N-cadherin, Snail2’. The hypoxia-cultured cells were highly resistant to gemcitabine and paclitaxel. Significantly higher migration and invasion activities were detected in the hypoxia-cultured PDAC cells compared to the normoxic cultures. Our previous studies demonstrated that copper is essential for the anticancer activity of DS. In this study, the effect of cyclodextrin encapsulated DS and copper (CycDex DS/Cu) on PDAC cells was examined. In line with previous studies, CycDex DS/Cu showed strong cytotoxicity in sphere- and hypoxia-cultured PDAC cells. It blocked hypoxia-induced CSC/EMT traits and reversed hypoxia-induced chemoresistance to gemcitabine and paclitaxel in PDAC cells. DS is an FDA approved medicine. The study suggests that further studies may translate it into PDAC clinic application in a fast track. Many hypotheses claim that hypoxia activates NFкB which in turn activates a cascade of genes that promote metastasis and chemoresistance in cancer. Our previous results indicate that NFкB plays a key role in chemoresistance and invasiveness in some types of cancer. For these reasons, the effect of NFкB on PDAC cells was investigated, NFкBp65 was genetically overexpressed and knocked out in Panc-1 PDAC cell line. The NFкBp65 overexpressed clones showed significantly higher migration rate but failed to induce chemoresistance. In contrast to our previous findings, the NFкBp65 overexpression and knockout did not influence the expression of CSC/EMT markers. These results suggest that we still need to set up further studies to elucidate the molecular anti-PDAC mechanisms of cyclodextrin encapsulated DS/Cu in PDAC cells.
  • Knowledge sharing within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia large construction organisations

    Renukappa, Suresh; Alamil, Hani Mohammed; School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022)
    An increasing number of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) construction organisations are turning to knowledge sharing as a key to leverage their distinctive core competencies in their pursuit of competitive advantage. However, the construction industry is one of the most challenging environments where managing people effectively is vital to ensure that they contribute their knowledge to organisational success. Knowledge sharing is part of knowledge management process, one of the building blocks for an organisation’s success and acts as a survival strategy in this knowledge era. However, knowledge sharing is an under-researched area in the KSA large construction organisations context, despite several policy transformations announced by the KSA government. Thus, the main aim of this research was to investigate how KSA large construction organisations are knowledge sharing en-route to competitiveness. The findings are based on qualitative methodology adopting semi-structured interviews with 44 professionals. The content analysis revealed five key drivers for knowledge sharing. The single most important driver for knowledge sharing is the integration of knowledge assets. Furthermore, seven key knowledge sharing strategies are implemented in large construction organisations in the KSA. Regular sharing of best practices related to project knowledge is the most widely implemented. The study revealed eight knowledge sharing techniques and technologies that are extensively used in the KSA large construction organisations. The key challenge for knowledge sharing is the lack of communication skills whereas knowledge sharing strategies contribute to the acceleration of construction processes. A framework for knowledge sharing was developed and evaluated for the benefit of KSA large construction organisations, which is the main contribution to the knowledge. The study concludes that knowledge sharing is an integrated and complex process. The results suggest that, for effective implementation of knowledge sharing strategies, there is an urgent need for the KSA large construction organisations to develop and deploy appropriate knowledge sharing related management training programmes. The most estimable contribution of this study is to provide valuable insights that would help the KSA construction industry’s decision makers to implement knowledge sharing strategies to improves the sector’s competitiveness. The findings of this research are limited to the KSA construction industry context only; as such, the generalisability of the results outside this context may be very limited.
  • Experience of anger: Perceptions of anger in self and family members

    Hinton, Daniel; Stevens-Gill, Debbie; Markson, Alexandra; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-03)
    Family emotion literature usually focuses on emotions generally, or specific emotions (sadness), often using questionnaires with parents and young children. There is little research on anger, specifically, in families and how it is experienced by family members. This research aimed to investigate individuals’ lived experience of anger, and their experience of family member anger expression while growing up. Meaning obtained from their experiences is examined, considering anger-related beliefs and messages. As literature often interchanges ‘anger’ with ‘aggression’, this study attempted to investigate anger as separate from aggression, while acknowledging that both constructs might co-occur. Six participants attended semi-structured interviews, and using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), multiple themes were developed from participant accounts. Main findings include the internal and external experience of anger, with perceived shifts in control, as well as physiological, cognitive, and behavioural components that support the proposed model. Individuals adopted a dynamic role in anger within the family, shaped by family messages. Additionally, anger was found to be confused with aggression, with aggression often viewed as acceptable when perceived as justified or as punishment. This study contributes to the anger literature by highlighting new phenomena experienced by participants, family anger dynamics, and the idea that individuals take on a dynamic role in family anger. Additionally, a model of anger – the Layers Model – is proposed, as a template for anger experience. This is the first known model of anger experience, which also attempts to differentiate anger from aggression, while acknowledging how these constructs fit amongst other possible ‘layers’ within the anger experience. This model offers a template for future anger research, but also has potential value in therapeutic settings with adults and children. Further suggestions on how this research and its findings are important to clinical practice and Counselling Psychology is addressed.
  • Factors that influence how relationships adjust to a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome: A grounded theory

    Chadwick, Darren; Gutteridge, Robin; Swinton, Jennifer; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-01)
    Background: There is relatively little research explaining how an intimate couple jointly adapt to a diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/ chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). A large body of literature exists that investigates the impact of ME/CFS on the individual and a smaller body of work addresses the effect on the partner and the influence the partner has in the management of the condition. This research, therefore, sought to illuminate couples’ experiences of ME/CFS, in order to gain a greater understanding of the factors that influence adaptation to the condition in their joint relationship. A Grounded Theory Methodology was adopted to create a tentative theory of adaptation which could supplement the current evidence base and begin to inform future professional practice. Method: Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with experiencers diagnosed with ME/CFS. Five interviews were conducted with the experiencer alone and three interviews also involved the experiencer’s partner. Interviews focused upon the couple’s experience of living with and adapting to ME/CFS. Interviews were analysed following the constructivist grounded theory principles outlined by Charmaz (2006). Findings: A tentative model of reconciliation was constructed which explained the couple’s journey from disruption towards adaptation. This tentative model explained how the couple manage ‘fundamental disruptions’ to their identities and expectations brought about by the introduction of a powerful entity ME/CFS (‘Illness identity or It’). The couple managed these disruptions by working through periods of ‘loss and grief’ using skills such as humour, communication and understanding. Through this process the couple were able to identify and begin to implement appropriate ‘adaptations’ that helped them to manage the impact of ME/CFS within their relationship. Conclusion: This research identified how ME/CFS impacts upon the individual with the diagnosis and their partner and illuminates that the process of reconciling with loss and grief and implementing adaptations is a joint journey. It highlights the importance of considering the couple and not just the individual in the management of ME/CFS and makes tentative recommendations that could inform professional support interventions in the future.
  • Developing a safety assessment framework for the transportation of petroleum products: A case study of the Nigerian petroleum downstream industry

    Georgakis, Panos; Odogun, Augustine; School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-10)
    In Nigeria, downstream transportation and distribution of petroleum products is mainly done using pipelines and tanker vehicles. However, the latter have been linked to serious accidents/incidents with substantial consequences on human safety and the environment. This project aims to develop a safety assessment framework for mitigating the impact of accidents and improve road safety during the transportation of petroleum products between a loading depot and retail stations using tankers. During this study, a review of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry with respect to petroleum products transportation was carried out to identify key legislations and stakeholder interests within the context of accident mitigation and safety. A mixed research approach was adopted, using a questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews for data collection. The questionnaire survey was used to investigate the problems of petroleum products transportation and distribution using road tankers from a tanker driver perspective, while semi-structured interviews were designed to elicit the opinions of professionals and elucidate their opinions and experiences in relation to the variables in this study. The results from the survey and the interviews conducted revealed gaps in the following areas related to the transportation of petroleum products: technologies, risk management, regulations, environmental management and training leading to the development of a Safety Assessment Framework (SAF) which constitutes the main contribution to knowledge. The developed framework integrates different components of safety to enhance the efficiency and reliability of transportation of petroleum products using tankers. This research would be of benefit to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary the Petroleum Products and Marketing Company (PPMC) which oversees the transportation and distribution of petroleum products across the country. Also, the major oil marketers and the independent oil marketers which make up the freight transporters of the downstream oil and gas transport industry will benefit from this research. Concluding, this work may form a foundation for future research in the field of transport safety in Nigeria and Africa with regards to the transportation of petroleum products and other hazardous materials (HAZMATs).
  • Underachievement in story writing: Using psychological theories to investigate boys’ perceptions and experiences

    Lalli, Gurpinder; Palmer, Jonathan; School of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-01)
    This case study investigates the underachievement in writing of a group of six year 4 boys in a one form entry primary school in the West Midlands. Exploring one class teacher’s perceptions about the boys and capturing the boys’ perceptions about their experience of learning to write provided a detailed insight into why this group of boys was underachieving in writing (Simons, 2009). The boys were all eligible for free school meals and most demonstrated disruptive behaviour in the classroom. Literature on social policy has focused on ways to improve the teaching of writing within the curriculum specifically for children who receive free school meals and exhibit disruptive behaviour (Bennett, 2017; DfE, 2012). Consequently, literature about boys as writers has focused on their underachievement, for which disruptive behaviour is a contributing factor. This literature has not explained the causes of disruptive behaviour that can lead to underachievement in writing. Therefore, I have researched possible causes and developed a conceptual framework for my study that was influenced by psychological theories. This conceptual framework is used throughout the study to explore a broad range of possible causes for disruptive behaviour that go beyond focusing on the consequences of that behaviour. Data collection in this study focused on a questionnaire, interviews and a group interview with six year 4 boys to capture their perceptions and experiences relating to story-writing. An interview with the boys’ class teacher was also used to ascertain her perspectives about the boys as story-writers. In the initial interviews with the boys, it became clear that they did not understand what skills are identified as requirements for successful writing in the end of key stage two assessment criteria. Following this data collection I delivered sixteen additional story-writing activities over four weeks and carried out follow up interviews. The main contributions of this research to knowledge and practice are the need to look beyond disruptive behaviour as a cause of boys’ underachievement. The research highlights the need for boys to practice the skills required for successful writing prior to their having to demonstrate them in story-writing tasks. The teacher-learner relationship may also have a role in supporting learning and reducing disruptive behaviour.
  • An investigation into the experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities of online risks: Online contract, conduct, content and contact, including online negative comments and/or messages

    Chadwick, Darren; Orchard, Lisa; Clements, Fiona; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-02)
    Background: Despite numerous benefits to being online, a digital inequality exists; where those with intellectual disabilities often have their internet access and use restricted, as a result of barriers, such as gatekeeping (Chadwick et al., 2013, 2017). Large gaps in the literature exist, in relation to the online risks which people with intellectual disabilities may encounter and how experiencing online risks may impact people with intellectual disabilities. In better understanding the online risks experienced, and how they impacted people with intellectual disabilities, we can better support people with intellectual disabilities to manage these threats as part of a positive risk-taking approach to internet membership, thus closing the digital inequality divide (Seale, 2014; Seale & Chadwick, 2017). This thesis addresses these gaps and seeks to contribute to counselling psychology’s social justice agenda by improving digital inclusion, through better understanding online risks for adults with intellectual disabilities. Method: Fifteen adults with intellectual disabilities were interviewed remotely using semi-structured interviews. Findings: The data from the interviews were analysed using Template Analysis, which evidenced four main themes: 1) The Types of Online Risk; 2) The Psychological Impact of Online Risk; 3) The Management of Online Risk and 4) The Support for Online Risk. The study findings offer novel insights, where all participants had knowledge of online risks, and those who had experienced victimisation reported experiencing a wide range of negative emotions immediately following the event, but in some instances, there was also personal growth, and the majority of participants were able to delineate different coping strategies which they use to manage online risks. The implications and recommendations based on the findings for practitioners including counselling psychologists are outlined. The researcher provided an original contribution to knowledge in the form of phenomenological experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities of online risks, including online negative comments and/or messages.
  • Mothers' childcare and labour supply choices: an empirical, comparative analysis between Brazil and United Kingdom

    Cusimano, Alessandro; Jackson, Ian; Rodrigues, Diego; University of Wolverhampton Business School, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-06)
    Despite the growing literature, the relationship between childcare provision and mothers' labour supply decisions is not fully comprehended by researchers and policymakers yet. The quite consensual importance is commonly followed by non-conclusive empirical evidences, generating doubts about the actual effectiveness of childcare policies due to promote mothers' life-balance between family and work. This thesis aims to contribute to this debate presenting an empirical, comparative analysis between a developing and a developed country, Brazil and United Kingdom (UK), addressing different interventions regarding mothers' childcare and labour supply choices. For the Brazilian case, this thesis presents and discusses the effects a reform on Brazil's primary education system possibly had on mothers' labour market outcomes. This reform advanced children's compulsory enrolment in primary education schools from the age of 7 to 6. Because of the imperfect compliance of the reform implementation, children's month of birth is used as an instrumental variable to control the endogeneity present at their actual enrolment in schools. The results show that to advance children's enrolment in the primary education system had positive effects on the labour supply of the single and least educated mothers, increasing their participation in job market and probability of becoming full time workers respectively. These results are different from those found in the recent literature about traditional kinds of childcare and mothers' labour supply, suggesting that childcare and primary education policies have to be considered separately regarding their influences on mothers' labour supply outcomes. In turn, UK is one of the largest investors in childcare policies among the developed countries. However, the empirical literature shows these investments have been ineffective to support British working mothers, what becomes even more complex in a context where informal kinds of childcare are available to mothers. In this scenario, UK equally appears as an important case study, since this country is the one where mothers present the highest preference for informal kinds of childcare among the OECD members (OECD, 2016). To deal with this, bivariate probit and multinomial logit econometric strategies are applied to UK's data to verify the determinants of mothers' preferences for formal childcare and labour supply, considering the use of informal childcare as one of the explanatory variables. The results highlight the positive influence the use of informal childcare by British mothers has on their labour supply and formal childcare choices. Furthermore, they show British married mothers conciliate formal and informal childcare arrangements as complements. The conclusion is that childcare remains as key intervention to support working mothers in both contexts of Brazil and the UK - in Brazil's case, to address the lack of childcare provision and, in the UK's one, regarding the use/availability of informal kinds of childcare. Furthermore, mother's marital status plays an essential role in the way she responds to childcare interventions, being particularly and positively affected in the case of Brazil and responding to informal childcare use/availability whether she is married in the case of UK. It generates important childcare policy implications due to support working mothers, such as the expansion of childcare provision in Brazil, the account of informal childcare in the UK, and the consideration of mother's marital status (and education) in both cases.
  • An exploration of what determines teacher pedagogy in the context of conceptual change in science

    Devlin, Linda; Taylor, Peter; School of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-05)
    This study investigated the factors influencing learning decisions made by a group of teachers using as a context lessons intended to achieve conceptual change. To achieve this change, teachers look to move their pupils’ understanding of key ‘big’ scientific ideas toward versions nearer to those accepted as accurate by the scientific community. As one of the three fundamental goals of science education this context offers the potential to both develop science teachers and improve secondary school science teaching; in consequence offering the potential to enhance the learning of children within science lessons. The extent to which teachers’ pedagogic choices change with increasing experience was considered and the factors bringing this about investigated. The participants in this case study were secondary school teachers, all alumni from an English university-based teacher-training provider. The research intention was to better understand the practice of these teachers, to support teacher development within a specific context and to develop new knowledge of this practice that could be usefully communicated to a wider audience. Its original contribution to practice and understanding arises from demonstrating the importance to expose all new teachers, particularly those from school-based training routes to social constructivist teaching strategies and to then support them in adopting and retaining such strategies, as have been shown to be more evident in their more experienced colleagues practice. This interpretivist research used a ‘learning theory lens’ to consider teachers’ responses to an on-line questionnaire, in-depth interviews and lesson observations to examine their motives and the culture, philosophy and pressures underpinning their choices. The findings suggest differences in preferred teaching strategy arise from teachers’ initial teacher training, their experience as a teacher and the culture present in their school. Recommendations for the professional development of science teachers are made which include enhancing teacher awareness of the teaching strategies that provide opportunities for conceptual change. It is also suggested that within the wider context of schools an easing of prescriptive pupil seating policies, which often inhibit discourse, will improve pupils’ opportunity to achieve understanding of big ideas in science. Teacher discussion, and lesson observation tools based upon learning theory have been developed which utilise a framework of learning theory to encourage teacher self-reflection and peer-to-peer examination of teachers’ practice.
  • A framework for adoption of drones in the Dominican Republic construction industry

    Suresh, Subashini; Heesom, David; Renukappa, Suresh; Reynoso Vanderhorst, Hamlet; School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-06)
    There is a severe problem in developing countries in whether or not adopt technologies for facilitating daily tasks. It is happening mostly in sectors with low skills employees as the construction industry. The adoption of technologies in developing countries is a challenge that affect health, economy, and consciousness advancement. Furthermore, the scepticism in the what, how, and why the effectiveness of certain technologies, as drones, difficult the cost-benefit of the decision-making process for organisations in developing countries. This cost-benefit decision, involved in the cases of UAS applications, covers the regulatory and practical implications that are barriers in developed countries. But, in developing one, seems to have another set of barriers that should be investigate in-depth. Therefore, the aim of this research is to develop an ontology for public, private, and non-profit organisations that explain the epistemological implications in the implementation of Unmanned Aerial Systems for the Construction Industry in the Dominican Republic. The study approaches an iterative strategy of interviewing 24 participants in a semi-structured format. Then, the Nvivo 2020 software was used to identify cases utilising ground theory coding, thematic and content analysis. Later, the root cause reasons and challenges of implementing UAS were identified utilising Interpretative Structured Method (ISM) and their sub analyses. 5 Cases of studies were presented (real estate, construction, infrastructure, urban development, and disaster management) to illustrate the drone operations. The findings reveal that a hybrid management adoption approach have been the most suitable with drones in the country. The root cause of drone implementation and its barriers were cost reduction and reactive cultural respectively. Strategic and operational ontologies for UAS skill programs, understanding of UAS outcomes, and Building Information Modelling integration were developed in order to focus efforts on developing drones for cargo, assisting humans, and digitalisation. Mandates are recommended for policy makers as drones for digitalisation initiates digital workflows towards BIM. Other scenarios should be considering scenarios where autonomous aerial operations affect safety in future operations. Furthermore, recommendations on legal and standards should be updated in order to allow UAS outcomes as law acceptable. Further works are recommended in decentralised systems, artificial intelligence, and drone applications.
  • Understanding honour-based abuse: The role of sexism and scripting amongst Pakistani adults living in rural Pakistan administered Kashmir, Pakistan and England

    Taiwo, Abigail; Morgan, Angela; Banaris, Bushrah; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-05)
    Honour-based abuse (HBA) is a pervasive form of abuse that has the capacity to cause significant harm. To date, there is a paucity of research that explores HBA beliefs, and the factors that promote and perpetuate these beliefs within the Pakistani community. This research aimed to understand HBA through a concurrent mixed-methods design, examine the role of ambivalent sexism (AS) and scripting on HBA beliefs, as well as explore the significant drivers promoting and perpetuating HBA beliefs within the Pakistani community. The studies aimed to explore nuanced variations of HBA beliefs across three South Asian populations, in Pakistan, Kashmir and the Pakistan and Kashmir diaspora in England. Two hundred and forty-seven participants from Pakistan and Kashmir and 276 participants from England completed four surveys, consisting of the honour concerns scale, ambivalent sexism inventory, gender scripting scale and traditional masculine script scale. Surveys were administered in English and Urdu. Nine participants from Pakistan and Kashmir and nine participants from England took part in semi-structured interviews in English, Urdu and Pahari. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics, t-tests, 2x2 ANOVA, regression analysis and thematic analysis. Findings showed that benevolent sexism, being female and education levels are significant predictors of HBA beliefs among all participants. Furthermore, participants who originated or resided in rural areas reported higher HBA beliefs compared to those from urban demographics. Overall, the location of participants, religion, education, as well as cultural and gender scripting emerged as key role players in perpetuating HBA beliefs among participants. The results suggest the need to consider these factors in the designing and delivery of change programmes and implicate religious informed psychoeducation programmes to address HBA within the Pakistani communities.
  • The impact of sustainability committee characteristics on corporate sustainability performance: Evidence from the FTSE 150 non-financial companies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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