• Understanding the intersection of culture, religion and gender on diversity management: a qualitative study of Nigerian hotels

      Ukachukwu, Amarachukwu (2018-12-01)
      Recent attention has been drawn to human resource management within the Nigerian context, with increased interest in the improvement of organisational management practices to enable Nigeria to compete in an increasingly globalised economy (Fajana et al., 2011). Despite this, however, there is a distinct paucity of academic literature addressing the effects of culture and religion on gender equality in management within Nigerian organisations (Tiemo and Arubayi, 2012). Nigeria does not have an indigenous tradition of human resource management, and as a consequence, many of its management practices are imported alongside foreign investment and amalgamated with local practices (Fajana et al., 2011). Nigeria’s patriarchal culture and demographic context have significant implications on diversity management, and this reflects on the composition of the workforce (Tiemo and Arubayi, 2012). Qualitative data collected in Northern, Southern and Eastern regions of Nigeria through in-depth interviews were coded and analysed. The study found that hotels in Nigeria are still grappling with the problem of gender inequality with females’ career development suffering greatly under the burden of a patriarchal culture. Females are also made to take job responsibilities that reflect their positions in the society and households. Secondly, the intersecting factors of gender, religion and culture put severe pressures on women, which tend to have a negative impact on work-life balance. Thirdly, family responsibility and expectations deter females from seeking promotion to the higher level of hotel administration. Many females who attempt to ‘rebel’ against the standing cultural order find themselves in marriage crises. Finally, gender diversity management is not promoted in Nigerian hotels. The study makes contributions to theory and practice. It finds common ground for the application of hegemonic masculinity framework and intersectionality perspective in gender and management inquiries. The study recommends radical holistic change is required regarding policy, cultural, programmatic, attitudinal and social actions.
    • Religion and spirituality within the Sikh religion: how counselling psychologists can help

      Kaur, Mandeep (2018-11-01)
      This study investigated the spiritual and religious experience of members of the Sikh community with a focus on how such an experience affects their sense of wellbeing. Consequently, the central aim of this study is to explore how Sikhs use religion and spirituality with coping. This was examined by exploring how Sikhs deal with stressful events and how these impacted on their wellbeing. The thesis was comprised of two parts. Study one comprised of the thematic analysis of questionnaires. 56 UK based Sikh participants (23 males and 33 females; age range 17-62) took part. The findings from study one speculated that the older age group appeared more accepting of their religion and spirituality suggesting maybe they are less occupied by a quest to explore their life through religion and spirituality than the 20-30 year old age group. Consequently, study two looked more closely at participants aged between 20-30 year olds to further explore their lived experience. In line with the IPA methodology, a small well-defined opportunity sample of six people (4 males and 2 females) in the Sikh faith, who have been practicing their religion for at least 2-3 years and between the ages of 20-30 were invited to participate in the interviews. Four superordinate themes were found which represented an overall story. The themes were namely, religious and spiritual struggles; religion and spirituality assisting with the development of self and identity; spiritual striving and aids to well-being: religious/spiritual coping. It is hoped that findings from this research will help to inform our understanding of how Sikh client’s religious and spiritual beliefs influences their wellbeing as well as incorporating this knowledge into the therapy process to make good clinical judgements. This study will enhance research in counselling psychology with regards to religion and spirituality and mental health specifically with regards to young Sikh’s.
    • Developing a framework for BIM implementation in the Saudi Arabian construction industry

      Alhumayn, Saud Abdullah (2018-10-01)
      The construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is faced with challenges of incessant delays, cost overruns and poor quality. The premise of the research reported here is that effective adoption and implementation of Building Information modelling (BIM) can contribute to the achievement of the necessary improvement. Against this backdrop, the aim of the research was to produce a strategic framework to underpin such adoption and implementation. It entailed investigation of the awareness of BIM, the extent of its use in KSA and the barriers to its more effective adoption and implementation. A mixed research approach was adopted, using a questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews for collecting data. The questionnaire survey was used to obtain information on the awareness, barriers, drivers and status of BIM usage in the KSA construction industry, while the semi-structured interviews were designed to elicit the opinions of professionals and elucidate their own experiences in relation to the variables in this study. The data obtained were analysed using descriptive statistics, inferential statistics and thematic content analysis. The study found that the awareness of BIM in the Saudi construction industry is low and faced with inherent barriers that impede its successful application. These barriers were found to be a lack of knowledge of BIM, initial and running costs of implementation, a lack of training of personnel, and a fear of changing from the traditional methods of construction. The study identified strategies that could be used to address these challenges. These include enlightenment on the benefits of BIM application; creating awareness of BIM through workshops, seminars and conferences; training of workers; and the introduction of government intervention to enforce the application of BIM. In addition, this study identified the relevant factors that would enable the application of BIM in the Saudi construction industry to be meeting client's expectations and the requirement to use BIM technology, and using BIM because of the benefits it offers such as cost savings, efficiency, quality and increase in productivity. Regardless of these BIM drivers, however, the most important aim is to bring the stakeholders to commit themselves and invest in the necessary technology, tools and resources in order to improve construction processes. A strategic framework was developed to serve as a roadmap for BIM implementation. The framework also encompassed the key parties in the process and the specific roles to be played by them. The study concludes that the implementation of BIM could improve project performance in Saudi Arabia in terms of time, cost and quality.
    • The law and Regulation of Credit Rating Agencies in the US and EU

      Hemraj, Mohammed Baker (2018-06-16)
      The need for regulation of the credit rating agencies (CRAs) arose due to their role in the subprime mortgage crisis. The CRAs awarded risky securities ‘3-A’ investment grade status and then failed to downgrade them quickly enough when circumstances changed which led to investors suffering substantial losses. The causes identified by the regulators for the gatekeeper failure were conflicts of interest (as the issuers of these securities pay for the ratings); lack of competition (as the Big Three CRAs have dominated the market share); and lack of CRA regulation. The regulators, both in the US and EU, have tried to address these problems by introducing soft law self-regulation in accordance with the International Organisation of Securities Commissions Code and hard law statutory regulation such as that found in the “Reform Act” and “Dodd-Frank Act” in the US and similar provisions in the EU. This thesis examines these provisions in detail by using a doctrinal black-letter law method to assess the success of the regulators in redressing the problems identified. It also examines the US case law regulation relating to the legal liability of CRAs. The findings are that the US First Amendment protection, exclusion clauses and case law, all lack a deterrent effect on the actions of CRAs. As CRAs have escaped substantial damages, investors are left uncompensated for their losses. The thesis concludes that the issues of conflicts of interest and an anti-competitive environment persist. This thesis recommends the introduction of liability for the CRAs based on the Australian Bathurst case and which should be put in a statutory footing, including the requirements that are needed for making exclusion clauses effective. Rotation of CRAs for every three years would minimise the conflicts of interest. Regulators should require CRAs to purchase professional indemnity insurance, if available, to compensate investors.
    • An investigation of building information modelling implementation in KSA

      Naim, Abdullah Abdulrahman Abdullah Al (2018-06-01)
      Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been well recognised all around the world as a technology driven approach that can bring radical improvements in construction productivity. There is considerable demand for using BIM in the KSA due to the large scale of its construction industry that needs to improve its productivity to overcome the persistent problems, such as project delays, planning inefficiencies, and waste of resources. The aim of this study is to investigate how the KSA construction organisations are implementing BIM for competitive advantage. Qualitative research approach was adopted to collect and analyse data from 46 BIM professionals. 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 KSA construction industry is heading in the right direction for implementing BIM, however it is lacking BIM knowledge and does not understand BIM as a set of requirements. Therefore, an industry wide awareness-raising programme on the concept of BIM needs to be developed and deployed. The existing education and training programmes need some reorientation. Furthermore, the KSA construction organisations would not survive if they choose not to use BIM. BIM is widely used during planning and design stage. The four most important drivers for BIM implementation are: client pressure, competitive pressure, to improve collaboration, and government pressure. Eleven challenges were also revealed in this study of which organisational culture for change is the key challenge for adoption of BIM in the KSA construction organisations. Leaders of a change process need to realise that most changes within an organisation will usually cause and expect some change in its existing culture and sub-cultures. Therefore, having a better understanding of the effects change has on the sub-cultures of an organisation, group or team, will in turn help leaders of a change process better understand the resistance towards the change itself, and provide a more realistic approach on how to manage it. A BIM implementation framework is developed for the benefit of KSA construction organisations. It is recommended that KSA construction stakeholders including the government and professional regulatory bodies should work together in ensuring that the enablers of BIM adoption such as the provision of regulations and industry standards guiding the implementation are provided and strengthened to make the industry ready enough for BIM adoption.
    • Exploring postcolonial trauma in Nigeria as stimulus for creating new plays

      Agboaye, Isikhuemen (2018-06-01)
      This research is situated within the practice-led method, enabling me as a playwright to gain stimulus for creating trauma informed plays. The framework for creating such plays in this research is the centre-periphery concept (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2013, 43) situated with the imagined nation as backdrops for understanding postcolonial trauma. In order to gain stimulus for playwriting in this research, I explored Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman to understanding postcolonial trauma in my part of Africa, being Nigeria. I also explored other sources for the purpose of gaining stimulus from embedded trauma motifs, useful for writing The Longest Snake, The Endless Walk and the Alternative plays. The Alternative plays draw meanings from the initial plays and are interventive and socio-dramatic; revealing how trauma may be understood from other perspectives. The originality of this research and contribution to knowledge may be perceived in the new plays which incorporate trauma notions; the role of the ‘circle’ in conceptualisation and the use of the ‘centre-periphery’ concepts as template for playwriting and analysis. The originality may also be inferred from the interventive relevance of the created plays, touching on how postcolonial trauma may be understood from the lens of the imagined nation, and events in the centre-periphery context. It is also important to mention how the collectives are traumatically affected by the negative effects of colonisation as mirrored in the textual sources explored. Equally relevant are my personal experiences and the African folklore and folktale milieu, which are relevant for understanding postcolonial trauma through praxis; reiterating Gray and Marlins’ (2016: 2) thoughts that ‘We learn most effectively by doing – by active experience, and reflection on that experience,’ which may be seen in the context of the practice-led approach I adopted in this research.
    • Representing Muslims: Islamophobic discourse and the construction of identities in Britain since 2001

      Jackson, Leonie (2018-05-01)
      Employing critical race theory as a theoretical and analytical framework, this thesis explores the nature, structure and purpose of Islamophobic discourse, and offers two central contributions to the scholarly debate on Islamophobia. First, it contributes to the literature on the nature of Islamophobia by analysing the form and structure of discourse that seeks to represent Muslims and Islam in a number of social and political sites. Second, the thesis addresses a significant gap identified in the scholarly literature, which has largely overlooked the purpose that Islamophobic discourse serves for those employing it. In order to address the nature and structure of Islamophobic discourse, the thesis analyses representations of Muslims and Islam in dominant national community cohesion and counterterrorism discourses; rearticulation of these discourses at the local level in the West Midlands town of Dudley; the use of Islamophobic discourse by the English Defence League; and the ways in which Islamophobic narratives were used to mark national boundaries in Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and France. I explain the convergence of narratives across these levels by extending Ghassan Hage’s theoretical formulation of racism as nationalist practices to Islamophobic discourse and argue that, as a cultural racism, Islamophobia can be conceptualised as upholding a system of Eurocentric supremacy, where Western subjects receive a better social, economic and political ‘racial contract’ and seek to defend these privileges against real and imagined Muslim demands. Whether employed for local, national or civilisational purposes, Islamophobia relies on the notion that space has been culturally compromised by Muslims and must be restored to authenticity by legitimate non-Muslim cultural managers. Islamophobia operates through a three-stage ideological process, and restores fantasised power to those who perceive Muslim cultural difference to be unacceptably changing the spaces in which they reside by representing Muslims as making incongruous demands of a territory, singling out a particular timeless value that is under threat, and reifying this value to an absolute. Through this process Muslims are put back in their place, while those employing this discourse experience a restoration of their cultural power to decide the values of a space.
    • Global Extraction and Cultural Production: An Investigation of Forms of Extraction Through the Production of Artist-Video

      Brand, Carina (2018-03-01)
      This research is a practice-based, theory-led, examination of forms of extraction under capitalism. The thesis addresses the question of where and how does extraction take place, both in and outside of the wage relationship. Directly employing Marx’s concept of surplus extraction, but further extending the concept of extraction as an analytic tool, artistic method, and identifying its aesthetic form. Through the production of an original body of artistic video work, I explore three disparate sites where ‘extraction’ takes place and employ Science Fiction methods of narrative, the utopian impulse and the ‘alienation effect’ to critique global capitalism. Drawing on political economic theory, I argue that these new ‘zones’ of extraction have; forced the further ‘subjectification’ of labour; supported continued and on-going primitive accumulation – through the creation of global space/time; and promoted the intensification of both relative and absolute surplus value, through the mechanisation of reproduction and the blurring of work and life, through digital technology. The Video Trilogy sets up a dialogue between – fictionreality and space–time, and situates current readings of global extraction in a future/past space, where the inconsistencies of capital are played out. Extraction as concept is utilised to bring together, and expand on, both theoretical readings of the political economy, and to identify that extraction can be redeployed as a cultural or artistic form. I argue that extraction is mobilised through culture, but more importantly, I identify the specific cultural forms of extraction itself. By situating the research between theory and practice, I am able to represent, or interpret, the forms extraction takes – appropriating, performing and re-making them as material and subject within the videos. The research contributes to current critiques of capitalism, in critical theory, art theory, political economy and art-practice-as-research. The video submission brings together a range of aesthetic styles and techniques to construct an original alien world, which is an allegory of our own.
    • Through the Lens: Using Auto-Driven Photo-Elicitation to Capture the Development of Career Aspirations of Business Management and Fine Art Students

      Turley, Helene (2018)
      The uniqueness of this study is primarily in the application of a visual research methodology to generate knowledge and understanding in an area that is often associated with quantitative research. Careers and employment research typically focuses on statistical information which can provide general information but does not give an in-depth understanding of the area under study. Visual research can give an in-depth understanding; in addition to giving access to a different kind of knowledge, supported by Harper (2002) who proposes “that images can evoke deeper elements of human consciousness than words alone.” I explore the various ways in which students perceive and develop different career aspiration including what motivates and what might inhibit students’ development of their career aspirations. This understanding will enhance my professional practice and encourage the Careers and Employment department within the University to adapt their service and give students the relevant tools and information to prepare them for employment. A visual research methodology is utilised as this fits comfortably with my background in art and gives the in-depth knowledge I require for my research (see Clark-Ibáñez, 2004; Collier (1957); Collier and Collier, 1986; Cousin, 2009; Guillemin and Drew, 2010; Harper, 2002; Harris and Guillemin, 2012 and O’Brien, 2013 for further information on the benefits of using a visual research methodology). Auto-driven photo-elicitation (ADPE) is used with six fine art and six business management students. These students often have less career direction and tend to struggle to secure graduate level positions (Swani, 2016); in addition, the two subject areas were chosen because they are a contrast in terms of how their curriculum is delivered. Using visual research to inform careers and employment is unique and through sharing my research and research experience I want to initiate a shift in how careers and employment research is approached in the future. In addition to the uniqueness of using a visual research methodology in careers and employment my findings indicate there are five orientations business management and fine art students’ use when developing their career aspirations: a strong sense of direction, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, weak planning and dreams. This research discusses the five orientations and the factors that might contribute to a rich learning environment for career building. Subject and professional identity are discussed in relation to identity formation and career building. Four main sources of identity formation are identified: identity through being (transition from study to profession), identity through self-discovery, identity through belonging (concerning the informal and cultural aspects of community life), and identity through peripheral participation (activities that are akin to peripheral participation in a professional community). This research establishes there is a relationship between the development and building of identity and self-efficacy through belonging, professional experience and working alongside mentors when developing strategies to develop career aspirations.
    • Self evaluation variables and social media

      Harrad, Rachel (2018)
      People are motivated to self evaluate and undertake this in their interactions with others. Interactions with others are increasingly taking place online, including via social networking websites, which can contain several differences to face to face interaction. This thesis examined how specific self-evaluation factors (self-esteem, social comparison tendency and self-concept clarity) affect various behaviours on and psychological outcomes of engaging with social media sites, including Facebook. Self-esteem predicted positive mood during Facebook use, whilst one’s relationship with the site (i.e. how emotionally connected to the site one is – or ‘Facebook intensity’) predicted engagement with activities interpreted as indicative of a ‘fear-of-missing-out’ (e.g. finding out what friends were up to). High scorers in performance and appearance self-esteem reported a positive mood shift after profile editing whilst low scoring counterparts reported the reverse. Those who compared to others frequently experienced a negative mood shift after viewing the Facebook newsfeed possibly reflecting the cognitive effort associated with social comparison. Self-esteem predicted use of positive emotions in status updates whilst number of Facebook friends was negatively predicted by self-concept clarity and positively by social comparison tendency. Participants textually described both their actual and ideal self enabling consideration of the implications for self-presentation attempts in certain online environments. Low self-esteem individuals decreased their use of anxious language when idealising the self whilst those with low self-concept clarity increased their use of positive emotions. The discrepant word count between actual and ideal selves suggested that the actual self appeared more easily articulated, most 4 pronounced amongst those who infrequently compared themselves to others. When others rated these self descriptions it appeared high scorers in self-esteem and self-concept clarity and those who compared frequently to others were generally most positively received. It appears that whilst those with unclear self-concepts and low self-esteem can present a more positive and less anxious idealised self than actual self, the overall thesis findings appear to support the rich-get-richer hypothesis (Valkenburg, Schouten, & Peter, 2005) with high scorers on these self-evaluation factors garnering the most benefits from social media. Whilst those who compare frequently may be adversely impacted by viewing the Facebook newsfeed, idealisation of self attributes appears to benefit these individuals in terms of positivity of impressions formed by others. Findings suggest that social media engagement may hold advantages and disadvantages for users dependent on the type of activity engaged with and the individual differences variables of the user.
    • ‘Doing the Portfolio’ – Pre-registration training for biomedical scientists and developing the capable practitioner

      Smith, Sara (2018)
      Integration of work-placements into undergraduate degrees is now established on awards linked to professional registration in healthcare. Pre-registration training forms the basis for development of capability and entry onto a professional register. This enquiry explores how key stakeholders on a programme leading to registration as a Biomedical Scientist (BMS) position themselves in their role and the subsequent impact of this upon the development of the capable BMS. It draws upon current knowledge of work-based pedagogy and utilises a constructivist grounded theory (CGT) approach to explore the perceptions and experiences of individuals and groups to develop an interpretative portrayal and deeper understanding of the implementation of pre-registration training in one region of England. Data gathering and analysis was divided into two stages. The first employed analysis of professional documents to provide an insight into current discourses around BMS training. This provided initial developing categories and directed the creation of a questionnaire. Questionnaire responses confirmed the relevance of the developing categories and a summary of responses provided an ‘ice-breaker’ to guide stage two of data gathering. This stage employed focus groups and interviews to enable a greater understanding of how individuals make sense of their experiences. Initial, focused and theoretical coding allowed synthesis and conceptualisation of the data gathered and presented direction for the enquiry. The findings expose the challenges of integrating professional registration training into an academic programme of study. Three theoretical categories were identified: Role conflict, Expectations and Ownership. Conceptualising the interactions and intersections of these categories enabled the recognition of ‘Doing the portfolio’ as a way of describing and conceptualising the stakeholders positioning within the current programme. The registration portfolio has become an objective reductionist measure of learning, reflecting the positivist typology of practice in this profession. This provides a theoretical explanation as to how the programme is delivered and why there is a need to rethink conceptualisation of the role of the programme in supporting pre-registration training and the development of the capable BMS. To ensure that BMS students are supported to develop not only technical skills but also professional capability there is a need for a paradigm shift from a positivist episteme to one that embraces both the positivist and socio-cultural paradigms, viewing them as complementary and parallel. The novel research approach used in this enquiry has generated rich insights into how stakeholders interact with the pressures of internal and external influences and the impact this has upon behaviours and strategies adopted. The theoretical understanding proposed, which recognises the tensions emerging from a positivist typology of practice, has a range of implications for practice and for the development of practitioner capability through pre-registration training and beyond.
    • Evaluation of bacterial polymers as protective agents for sensitive probiotic bacteria

      Adebayo, Olajumoke O. (2018)
      Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer one or more health benefits on the host. Different processing conditions, the acidic condition of the stomach and exposure to hydrolytic enzymes affect the viability and efficacy of probiotic organisms. This study investigated the protective effects of two biopolymers poly-gamma-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) and bacterial cellulose (BC) on probiotics during freeze drying and during exposure to simulated intestinal juices and bile salts. The antibacterial property of Bifidobacterium strains was also investigated against four pathogenic bacteria. γ-PGA, a naturally occurring biopolymer was produced by two bacteria (Bacillus subtilis ATCC 15245 and B. licheniformis ATCC 9945a) in GS and E media, γ-PGA yields of about 14.11g/l were achieved in shake flasks and molecular weight of up to 1620 k Da was recorded, γ-PGA production was scaled up in a fermenter with B. subtilis using GS medium. BC, an edible biopolymer was produced by Gluconacetobacter xylinus ATCC 23770 in HS medium and a modified HS (MHS) medium. A yield of about 1.37g/l was recorded and BC production with MHS medium was used for probiotic application. B. longum NCIMB 8809 B. breve NCIMB 8807 and B. animalis NCIMB 702716 showed the best antimicrobial properties against the investigated pathogens. Survival of Bifidobacterium strains was improved when protected with powdered BC (PBC) although γ-PGA offered better protection than PBC. Viability of B. longum NCIMB 8809, B. breve NCIMB 8807 and B. animalis NCIMB 702716 in simulated gastric juice (SGJ) and simulated intestinal juice with bile salts was improved when protected with 5% γ-PGA and 5% γ-PGA+PBC with a reduction of <1 Log CFU/ml while a reduction of ≤2 Log CFU/ml was recorded in PBC protected cells. Protecting Bifidobacterium strains with γ-PGA, PBC or a novel γ-PGA + PBC combination is a promising method to deliver probiotic bacteria to the target site in order to confer their health benefits on the host.
    • ‘Soldier-Diplomat: a reassessment of Sir Henry Wilson’s influence on British Strategy in the last 18 months of the Great War’

      Spencer, John (2018)
      Sir Henry Wilson remains one of the most controversial British Army generals of the Great War. A colourful character in life, he attracted admirers and detractors in equal measure; in death, his reputation was ruined by a biography based on his personal diaries. The Wilson of the historiography is, at best, a politician rather than a soldier, at worst an ambitious Francophile intriguer. This thesis looks beyond this accepted characterisation, reassessing his role in the formation of British and Allied strategy in the final months of the war. Wilson attained influence, and subsequently power, when Lloyd George consulted him after failing to persuade Britain’s leading generals to change their strategic focus. The thesis re-examines Wilson’s policy critique, which led to the creation of the Supreme War Council, and negated plans for a major Allied offensive on the Western Front in 1918. This thesis aims to shine new light on Wilson’s work on the Council, with an analysis of its policy recommendations. The research will also explore the manpower crisis, the key issue for the entente in this period, and Wilson’s contribution to the establishment of Allied unity of command. The diplomatic skills Wilson deployed to defuse serious strains between the entente powers will be examined, with particular reference to his time as Chief of the Imperial General Staff. His contribution to the debate on Britain’s post-war imperial grand strategy will also be evaluated. The thesis will refute the long-established onedimensional view of Wilson and suggest that he played a more influential role in British strategic development than has hitherto been acknowledged.
    • The purification of industrial wastewater to remove heavy metals and investigation into the use of zeolite as a remediation tool

      Salih, Ali Mohammed (2018)
      Zeolites are well-known aluminosilicate minerals that have been widely used as adsorbents in separation, purification processes and environmental pollution control. Zeolites are used in various industrial applications due to their high cation-exchange ability, molecular sieve and cataltic properties. In order to reduce the costs of acquisition and minimise the disposal of adsorbents, both modified natural zeolite and synthetic zeolite (derived from kaolinite) were used for the purification of wastewater. The characteristic properties and applications of adsorbents are also discussed including the advantages and disadvantages of each technique. The present work involves the study of the removal of Cu2+, Fe3+, Pb2+ and Zn2+ from synthetic metal solutions using natural zeolite. Laboratory experiments were used to investigate the efficiency of adsorbents in the uptake of heavy metals from industrial wastewater. These include equilibrium tests, kinetic studies and regeneration studies. The physical and chemical characterization of the zeolites was carried out using different analytical techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS), X – Ray Diffraction (XRD), X – Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy and Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES). The kinetic study indicated the suitability of the natural zeolite for the removal of Cu2+, Fe3+, Pb2+ and Zn2+ ions from synthetic wastewater. Batch experiments were used to identify the effect of parameters that affect the rate of adsorption such as the effect of adsorbent mass, effect of adsorbent particle size, effect of initial solution pH, effect of initial solution concentration, effect of agitation speed and effect of pre-treatment of adsorbent and evaluated their impact on the efficiency of the zeolite in the removal of heavy metals from industrial wastewater. The kinetic studies showed that the capacity of the adsorbents for the removal of heavy metals increased with a greater mass of absorbent, increased initial solution pH, increased agitation speed, higher solution concentration as well as the application of a pre-treatment. The results from the equilibrium studies positively demonstrated that natural zeolite can be used as an excellent adsorbent for removing heavy metals from multi-component solutions. The equilibrium experiments indicated that the capacities of natural zeolite for the uptake of heavy metals increased when the initial solution pH increased. The results indicated that the maximum removal capacities Q were 22.83, 14.92, 14.49 and 17.54 mg/g natural zeolite for copper, iron, zinc, and lead respectively. Both the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models were used to characterize the experimental data and to assess the adsorption behaviour of natural zeolite for copper, iron, lead and zinc. The experimental data were slightly better suited to the Langmuir isotherm than the Freundlinch isotherm. The value of the correlation coefficients r2 ranged from 0.93 to 0.99 for the Langmuir isotherm and from 0.90 to 0.99 for the Freundlich isotherm. The present work also involved the study of synthetic zeolite A, which was derived from natural kaolinite. The conversion of the raw materials into zeolitic materials was carried out in two ways: first, conventional hydrothermal synthesis and second, alkaline fusion prior to hydrothermal synthesis. The results from both routes show that zeolite A was synthesised successfully. Finally, the experiments show that both natural and synthetic zeolites can be available in commercial quantities. Synthetic zeolites are more attractive for some specific applications, while the cheapness of natural zeolite may favour its use.
    • Towards a more efficacious treatment for Oropharyngeal Candidiasis (OPC): Hydrogel-forming tablets for the controlled release delivery of Chlorhexidine diacetate

      Al-Ani, Enas Atallah (2018)
      Oropharyngeal candidiasis is a localised infection in the oropharynx region caused by Candida species, predominately C. albicans. It is commonly spread among immunocompromised patients and aggravated by hyposalivation or xerostomia. Current treatment is by systemic antifungals, which might be accompanied by gastrointestinal tract disorders, headache, allergic reactions and drug interactions or Candida becoming resistant to them. In the present work, the anti-candida activity of chlorhexidine diacetate (CHD) was tested as the drug of choice, it has no systemic side effects and microorganisms do not develop resistance against it. Thymol and farnesol were also tested individually and in combination with CHD to investigate a synergistic effect against Candida planktonic cells. The effects of CHD and thymol were investigated against C. albicans biofilm after two hours exposure by testing the metabolic stress, vacuolar activity and protein content. The results of the anti-Candida activity of CHD and thymol based on the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum biocidal concentration (MBC) were 2.5 and 5 μg/ml for the former and 125 and 250 μg/ml for the later. Farnesol did not show an MIC and MBC at the investigated concentrations, however, it increased the MIC and MBC of CHD to 5 and 40 μg/ml and of thymol to 250 and >250 μg/ml, respectively. The antibiofilm activity of CHD and thymol was concentration dependent and CHD was more potent than thymol. A concentration of 20 μg/ml and 2 hours treatment of Candida biofilm grown for 24 hours showed an 85% decrease in oxidative stress, 78% and 60% loss of vacuolar activity and protein content, respectively. The combination of both drugs showed a limited increase in the activity. The cytotoxic effects of CHD and thymol were tested on human embryo kidney epithelial cell line (HEK 293); the metabolic stress, lysosomal activity and protein content were tested. The cytotoxic effects were also concentration dependent and the combination have increased the cytotoxicity. A concentration of 20 μg/ml and 2 hours treatment showed a 40% decrease in oxidative stress and neither the lysosomal activity nor protein content of HEK 293 cells was affected by the treatment Finally, a mucoadhesive hydrogel buccal tablets for the controlled release of CHD were designed and prepared to increase the residence time of an effective concentration of CHD in the oral cavity for two hours. They were prepared using Poloxamer 407 (P407), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) and either sorbitol, mannitol or xylitol at different ratios. The tablets were investigated for their physical properties, ex vivo mucoadhesion, the rate of hydration, gelling efficiency using image analysis, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and in vitro dissolution using Apparatus I and a novel method based on controlled flow rate to mimic salivary drug delivery in the oral cavity. Based on the antibiofilm activity and the cytotoxic effect of CHD a concentration of 20 μg/mL was chosen to be released from the tablets to maintain both efficacy and safety. Accordingly, to maintain this concentration the final formulations were prepared with a 2.5 mg dose of CHD. Tablets analysis showed no chemical interaction with the excipient based on DSC, FTIR and XRD. Furthermore, a novel dissolution method was developed based on a constant flow rate of the dissolution media to mimic oral salivary flow. By comparing CHD release using App I and the flow rate method it was shown that hydrogel-forming tablets successfully controlled the release of CHD regardless of the volume of the dissolution media with approximately 90% release and an average release concentration of 19 μg/ml and 1 ml/min flow rate. This making it a potential candidate for future application for treatment of candidiasis in all types of patients.
    • Integration of Process Planning and Scheduling in the Manufacturing Sector to Enhance Productivity – a Case study of Developing Countries

      McCarthy Emeka, Bryan (2018)
      This thesis describes research carried out to investigate and address the problems associated with integration of process planning and scheduling through collaboration between diverse functions within manufacturing companies in Nigeria. Collaboration is an emerging necessity for functions of manufacturing companies in developing countries and has been influenced by the evolving need for gathering segmented groups with diverse knowledge and experience in developing new solutions to support addressing complex problems in a domain. Use of new technologies, to some extent, assists interaction and collaboration between segregated functions. This approach has been a feasible solution for real-time communication in virtual environment, however, functional boundaries influence the recognition of the problem-related factors affecting different functions in a domain and results in conflicts of perspectives and ineffective interaction between functions. The study carried out here investigated the limitations of existing approaches to manufacturing with a view to engaging segregated functions by integration of process planning and scheduling functions and thereby develop a new approach to address a key manufacturing company’s complex problem. Consequently, this thesis addresses the research question “How do we minimise the limitations to existing manufacturing approaches which integrate process planning and scheduling in developing countries?”. In doing so, this research brings together current literature on manufacturing systems and empirical evidence to investigate the factors that influence the effectiveness of integration of process planning and scheduling through collaborations with different functions. Review of the existing approaches to integration of process planning and scheduling and the limitations of each approach shows that the effectiveness of this integration has not been fully achieved. This resulted in developing, refining and validating a new approach to integration of process planning and scheduling which was applied in different manufacturing companies. The study resulted in significant contributions to knowledge and benefits for the manufacturing companies involved. A key contribution is development of a new approach to integration of process planning and scheduling called EC-FIKT which emphasises Effective Communication through Facilitated Information and Knowledge Transfer. The applications of EC-FIKT in the field suggest that it eliminates some of the main deficiencies of well-known approaches to integration of process planning and scheduling, and which brings additional benefits to manufacturing companies. The research has also identified areas where there is significant scope for further research and investigation.
    • Drought and drought mitigation in Yobe State, Nigeria

      Hassan Gana, Abdullahi (2018)
      Drought is regarded as a natural phenomenon and its impacts accumulate slowly over a long period. It is considered to be insufficient precipitation that leads to water scarcity, as triggered by meteorological parameters, such as temperature, precipitation and humidity. However, drought mitigation has mostly been reactive, but this has been challenged by extreme events globally. Many countries and regions around the world have made efforts in mitigating drought impacts, including Nigeria. This research produced frameworks for drought amelioration and management as a planning tool for Yobe State, Nigeria. Mixed methods were employed to investigate the effects of drought; 1,040 questionnaires were administered to farmers in three regions of Yobe State (South, North and East). Some 721 were returned, representing a 69.3% return rate. Drought is pronounced in the State and has been recent over the years; it has also affected many people, with losses of ~70-80% of their harvests and livestock. Drought coping strategies have also caused environmental degradation in Yobe State. Farmers over-harvest their farms, practise deforestation and over-exploit wild animals. Several efforts to mitigate the impacts of drought by the Nigerian Government have failed, thus this research adopts a bottom-top approach to mitigate drought impacts in Yobe State. Focus Group Discussions (FGD) were also conducted at government and community levels to gather farmers’ and government officials’ opinions on their drought experience and suggestions for mitigation measures. Farmers believed that rainfall is their main problem and officials pointed that there are no proper drought mitigation plans in Yobe State. Four validated drought mitigation and management frameworks were developed for Yobe State. The frameworks were evaluated pre-use through respondent validation. State officials and farmers believed that these frameworks will reduce the impacts of drought in Yobe State. The frameworks include social, economic, environmental impact mitigation and an Integrated Drought Mitigation and Management Framework. The proposed frameworks were designed and have advocates a paradigm shift, using both proactive and reactive measures. A new drought definition was proposed based on the findings of the study. The definition states that drought is the shortage of rainfall or water that affects people’s livelihood and the environment both directly and indirectly.
    • Arab adolescents’ attitudes towards mental health in Kuwait

      Al Sayed, Sara (2018)
      Aims and Rationale: Individuals suffering from mental health difficulties and disorders experience stigma and discrimination in various areas of their lives. Mental illness stigma results in diminished self-esteem, increased risk of suicide, feelings of shame and a decrease in their desire to seek support from mental health professionals. This study aimed to assess changes in attitudes following a brief informative talk on mental health. Moreover, the study aimed to explore the attitudes and beliefs of Arab high school students in Kuwait towards people suffering from mental illness. The findings aim to broaden an understanding of the subject area within the Arab population in order to inform future approaches to decrease stigmatizing beliefs and increase more accepting attitudes and help-seeking behaviors. Method: A mixed-method approach was used to examine attitudes towards individuals suffering from mental disorders in 111 Arab high school students. Firstly, the quantitative part of the study explored changes in attitudes following an informative talk using a survey questionnaire. 105 Arab high school students took part in the study and were divided into two groups, one group received a talk on ‘Myths and Facts’ around mental illness while the second group received a talk on ‘Education and Career’ paths one could take in the field of psychology. The qualitative part of the study explored 6 Arab high school students’ beliefs around mental illness as well as their personal experiences in dealing with mental health difficulties and discrimination using semi-structured interviews. Results: The findings of the quantitative study demonstrated an overall increase in benevolence and an overall decrease in social restrictiveness following the talks. Students in the ‘Myths and Facts’ group displayed a significant improvement in social restrictiveness attitudes following their talk, the ‘Education and Career’ group did not show this improvement. Findings from the qualitative study represented a juxtaposition between participants’ expressed positive and supportive views towards individuals with mental illness and their expectations of negative behaviors and attitudes from the public towards those suffering from mental health difficulties. Conclusion: The findings provide an understanding of existing beliefs around mental illness in the Arab youth which in turn provides mental health professionals with the required knowledge to tackle the issue of stigma within this specific population. Educational approaches offer adolescents insight on mental illness and positively impact their opinions and views towards people suffering from mental disorders. This is crucial in promoting more accepting attitudes and encouraging help-seeking behaviors.
    • Physiochemical and drug release properties of liquisolid formulations in comparison to their physical mixture counterparts

      Bello, Hussaini (2018)
      Various techniques have been used for modifying the release properties of drugs over the past years. Techniques such as liquisolid technology have raised a lot of interest in many researchers which can be employed to enhance or sustain dissolution. Various liquisolid (LS) tablets of diltiazem containing Polysorbate 80 as a non-volatile solvent for sustained release were prepared. PolyoxTM is an attractive pharmaceutical polymer used in controlled release dosage forms mainly because of its insensitivity to the pH of the biological medium and ease of production. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of several formulation factors i.e., the PolyoxTM grade at different molecular weight (MW), PolyoxTM particle size and ratio, the AEROSIL® grade, the use of diluent, polymer type and the drug type as well as their interactions on drug release from LS formulation in comparison to their physical mixture (PM). The result showed that PolyoxTM MW was a key determining step in achieving sustained release, with the higher MW of PolyoxTM resulting in a more delayed release profile. The delayed DTZ release could be related to the rate and extend of hydrogel formation on the tablet surface. The P–CMRs and net–CMRs of both LS and PM formulation powders also showed increasing trends with increasing the MW of PolyoxTM. The release of DTZ from both LS and conventional tablets showed mostly decreasing trends with increasing PolyoxTM concentration and decreasing PolyoxTM particle size distribution. This could be attributed to the formation of stronger and thicker gel layers on the tablet surfaces in the case of higher concentrations of PolyoxTM. The results also showed LS tablets to produce slower release of drug than their PM counterparts, regardless of PolyoxTM particle size. The release profile of the DTZ from both LS tablets and their counterpart PM tablets showed decreasing trends with increasing the surface area of hydrophilic AEROSIL® (from 65 m2/g to 225 m2/g). This could be due to the higher tensile strength (TS) of the tablets containing AEROSIL® particles with higher surface area compared to those prepared using AEROSIL® particles having lower surface areas. Also, the result showed that comparing the different diluents showed that hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) provided the slowest release pattern of DTZ across diluents used in both the LS compacts and PM tablets. This could be attributed to hydrophobicity imparted by HVO to matrix system when in contact with aqueous medium it takes a longer time to penetrate into the tablet. Drug release from LS tablets was affected by the polymer type. The release was in the order: Eudragit® RL < Eudragit® RS < Hypromellose < PolyoxTM < Psyllium. Hydrophilic Psyllium provided a slowest DTZ release across the different polymers used in the preparation of both the LS and PM compacts. The incorporation of Psyllium into PolyoxTM further elicited a decrease in drug release rate from individual polymer matrices. This was ascribed to the reduced entrance of aqueous media into the matrix due to the presence of the stronger viscose gel within the two hydrophilic matrices compared to individual Psyllium and PolyoxTM. The ratio between PolyoxTM and Psyllium has critically influenced diltiazem release profile. The results showed that matrices containing (Psyllium:PolyoxTM) at 1:1 ratio can slow down the drug release more than the matrices compacts containing 1:3 and 3:1 (Psyllium:PolyoxTM) ratio. The results also suggest that the ii combination of PolyoxTM and Psyllium at 1:1 ratio showed robust dissolution against pH and rotational speed and therefore indicates an appropriate sustained-release profile. The dissolution rate of PolyoxTM:Psyllium from different pure drugs showed a decreasing trend with an increase in their solubility. The solid state analysis studied in this work confirms the presence of a fraction of the drug mass in a solubilised state within polysorbate 80 in LS powders. Regardless of all variables used in this study, LS formulations showed slower drug release than their PM counterparts. In conclusion, the mechanical properties of LS formulation are poor in comparison to their counterpart PM. Therefore, further work is required to improve the hardness of LS tablet comprehensively.
    • The impact of FNGO services on the performance of micro and small enterprises: Empirical evidence from the Volta Region, Ghana

      Atiase, Victor Yawo (2018)
      Financial Non-Governmental Organisations (FNGOs) are regulated microfinance institutions (MFIs) that operate with the social welfare logic in the delivery of Microcredit (MC) and Entrepreneurship Training (ET) to the poor in Ghana. The provision of these two capitals (MC and ET) is aimed at supporting the poor to create sustainable Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) which is aimed at generating both skilled and unskilled employment. The major aim of this study is to investigate the impact of MC and ET delivered by FNGOs on the performance of MSEs in Ghana. Theoretically, the study adopts both the Institutional Theory and the Resource-Based View theory as the underlying theoretical frameworks, assuming that institutional and resource factors have a great influence on FNGOs in their delivery of MC and ET to MSEs in Ghana. The research design adopted in undertaking this study is based on the pragmatic research philosophy. Specifically, the mixed strategy with an explanatory triangulation method has been used. The mixed method has been adopted purposely for model testing as well as for exploring various issues on FNGOs and their role in the performance of MSEs. Primary data were collected through a quantitative method using a survey as well as through qualitative interviews. Adopting a stratified random sampling method, a total of 720 self-administered questionnaires were sent out in March 2017 to MSEs in the Volta Region of Ghana to collect primary data. Out of the number sent, 506 questionnaires were retrieved generating a response rate of 70.2%. Also, interviews were conducted with 10 MSEs. A multiple regression model was applied in measuring the impact of MC and ET on the performance of MSEs. The findings suggest that firm characteristics such as gender, managers educational level, industry category and business age correlate positively with employment sales and profitability growth which are statistically significant at 1% level. Secondly, the study also found that both MC and ET factors have a significant impact on MSE performance in the areas of employment, sales and profitability at 1% significant level. The qualitative findings also support the model tested in this study in the sense that the combined approach of both MC and ET have a significant impact on MSE performance in Ghana. This study has made two main contributions. Firstly, the provision of MC by FNGOs can only have the desired impact on the performance of MSEs if it is combined with entrepreneurship training, thereby leading to a sustainable employment, sales and profitability growth. Therefore, by using the 506 MSEs financed by FNGOs in the Volta region of Ghana, this study has for the first time in the Ghanaian microfinance landscape tested an empirical model and came out with meaningful findings for effective integration of ET into microfinance to improve the delivery of financial services to MSEs in Ghana by FNGOs and other socially oriented MFIs. The study has therefore developed a practical framework for ensuring that ET is provided alongside the delivery of MC in order to have the desired impact on the performance of MSEs. The study provided implications for policy and practice for making MC and ET more accessible to MSEs to achieve the desired goal of creating employment. Secondly, even though FNGOs play a very important role in providing entrepreneurial finance to MSEs particularly in developing countries, it has received insufficient research attention. This study has, therefore, added to the scanty research available about FNGOs and their contribution to entrepreneurship development and poverty reduction in developing countries.