• Knowledge management practices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia public sector organisations

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Traxler, John; Holt, Jayne (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-07)
      This research explores and reveals the complexity of Further Education (FE) teachers’ viewpoints in relation to digital teaching and learning technologies. The enquiry begins by reviewing the Government policies that surround digital learning technologies in Further Education (FE) and recognises the challenges that policy, reform, social, economic and educational changes present to the FE Sector. Policy suggests that changes in education may be necessary for developing skills that are required to live and work effectively in a globally connected world and for what the UK Government terms a modern Britain. This means teaching, learning and assessment in FE might need to change, which may lead to considerable changes to the role of the teacher. This research argues that government policy is underestimating the complexities of developing a culture of integrated digital teaching and learning technologies, and has a view too simplistic for the upskilling of teaching staff and transformation of the FE Sector with digital learning technologies. Q-methodology and qualitative semi-structured interviews have been used to illuminate the views of teachers and how they position themselves for using digital learning technologies in their teaching. By selecting a group of experienced teachers who are considered, by the College, to be advanced teachers and a second group of teacher-education (TED) students, the research demonstrates the nuances of the teaching habitus, whether evolving through long-term teaching experience or through the initial teacher-education (ITE) programme. This research explores the concept of the digital teaching habitus through Bourdieu’s theoretical lens of field, habitus and capital from which the participants are revealed to have a continuum of positions and level of digital capital at play within their digital teaching habitus. By interpreting these different emerging positions, several digital teaching habitus are identified with associated levels of digital capital for the participants. The teachers’ voice provides current knowledge on what teachers feel is important to the teacher-student relationship in a digital education environment and the prominence that FE teachers assign to managing students’ aspirations and to preparing students for their occupations and future workplaces.
    • Building query-based relevance sets without human intervention

      Oakes, Michael; Makary, Mireille (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-06)
      collections are the standard framework used in the evaluation of an information retrieval system and the comparison between different systems. A text test collection consists of a set of documents, a set of topics, and a set of relevance assessments which is a list indicating the relevance of each document to each topic. Traditionally, forming the relevance assessments is done manually by human judges. But in large scale environments, such as the web, examining each document retrieved to determine its relevance is not possible. In the past there have been several studies that aimed to reduce the human effort required in building these assessments which are referred to as qrels (query-based relevance sets). Some research has also been done to completely automate the process of generating the qrels. In this thesis, we present different methodologies that lead to producing the qrels automatically without any human intervention. A first method is based on keyphrase (KP) extraction from documents presumed relevant; a second method uses Machine Learning classifiers, Naïve Bayes and Support Vector Machines. The experiments were conducted on the TREC-6, TREC-7 and TREC-8 test collections. The use of machine learning classifiers produced qrels resulting in information retrieval system rankings which were better correlated with those produced by TREC human assessments than any of the automatic techniques proposed in the literature. In order to produce a test collection which could discriminate between the best performing systems, an enhancement to the machine learning technique was made that used a small number of real or actual qrels as training sets for the classifiers. These actual relevant documents were selected by Losada et al.’s (2016) pooling technique. This modification led to an improvement in the overall system rankings and enabled discrimination between the best systems with only a little human effort. We also used the bpref-10 and infAP measures for evaluating the systems and comparing between the rankings, since they are more robust in incomplete judgment environments. We applied our new techniques to the French and Finnish test collections from CLEF2003 in order to confirm their reproducibility on non-English languages, and we achieved high correlations as seen for English.
    • Nurse academics identities and contributions to the clinical practice environment: An appreciative inquiry

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

      Arif, Mohammed; Kaushik, Amit (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-05-31)
      The green building and sustainability revolution from the early 21st century provided a significant improvement in building performance and reduced their carbon footprint. When building and operational costs are compared, personnel cost accounts for 85% of the operational cost of any organisation. Major green building guidelines across the world discuss human comfort and health aspects but don’t focus on human productivity in the office or other building typology. This gap presented an excellent opportunity to develop a model that establishes the relationship between indoor environmental quality and occupant productivity in office buildings. The study was conducted in Doha, Qatar using experiment and survey using 90 sensors in 15 zones in an office building for a period of nine month. Occupant productivity was captured using online survey with nine questions. Occupant response was analysed against various indoor environmental quality parameters using Response Surface Methodology to outline various relationships. Research study achieved its aim and objectives and produced eight innovative equations that represent the relationship between various indoor environmental factors and occupant productivity. Results also indicate that outside temperature and humidity have an indirect impact on occupant productivity; while temperature, relative humidity and light levels have the most significant impact on productivity. Lux levels have an indirect effect on an occupant’s perception of temperature, and outdoor relative humidity has an indirect effect on thermal comfort. Indoor environmental quality factors have direct impact on occupant productivity. This study’s unique focus and research design can be used to extend occupant productivity studies in different types of buildings in different climatic regions. It has provided a substantial contribution to the knowledge gap that existed between indoor environmental quality and occupant productivity. Future researchers can use this study to investigate occupant productivity and indoor environment further.
    • The experiences of women who have successfully navigated alcohol and child protection services: importance of connection to healing

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

      Young, Christopher H.; Algadafi, Walid (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-04-27)
      The Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas) is an endangered antelope in North Africa whose range is now restricted to a few small populations in arid, semi-desert conditions. To be effective, conservation efforts require fundamental information about the species, especially its abundance, distribution and genetic factors. Prior to this study, there was a paucity of such data relating to the Dorcas gazelle in Libya and the original contribution of this study is to begin to fill this gap. The aim of this study is to develop strategies for the conservation management of Dorcas gazelle in post-conflict North East Libya. In order to achieve this aim, five objectives relating to current population status, threats to the species, population genetics, conservation and strategic population management were identified. These were explored using three distinct methods: questionnaires, a distance sampling field survey and genetic analysis. The findings from both the questionnaires and the field survey indicated that there had been a significant decrease in the population in the study area compared to historical records from the 1970s. The respondents to the questionnaire estimated the decrease in the wild gazelle population to be in the range of 80% and 100% following the conflict in Libya in 2011. The responses also indicated that the main threat to the survival of Dorcas gazelle is illegal hunting and that, to reverse the decline, protected areas should be established and protection laws enforced. The respondents also believed that local communities and international conservation efforts are necessary, including captive breeding and reintroduction programmes. The findings suggested that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classification of Dorcas gazelle in Libya should be revised from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Critically Endangered’ and conservation efforts increased. Questionnaire and distance sampling methods gave different population estimates at 233 and 1070 respectively, with the distance sampling results considered to be the more accurate. The genetic analysis of the sampled Dorcas gazelle population from North East Libya found eight haplotypes, four of which have not been identified elsewhere, indicating a unique genetic diversity. This suggests that, at present, there is no major risk of a genetic bottleneck. The strategic management outcomes identified seven intervention strategies: declaration of the study area as a protected area, protection laws, awareness-raising, research and monitoring, supplementary feeding, captive breeding and international cooperation, each of theses upported by short-, medium- and long-term activities. However, achieving these requires input from local and international stakeholders and experts in a way that reflects the IUCN’s ‘One Plan’ approach.
    • Beside engagement: a queer and feminist reading of socially negotiated art through dialogue, love, and praxis

      Penzin, Alexei; Sunshine Wong, Yet Chor (2019-04-01)
      This thesis constructs a concept of socially negotiated art as an emergent practice. Displacing a socially engaged art, it uses a methodology of “beside” (Sedgwick, 2003) to explore the affective and corporeal relations that are made, maintained, and transformed as part of the artistic process. The research draws upon queer studies, feminist studies, and affect studies to formulate an embodied criticality that self-reflexively confronts the more difficult dimensions of these art practices. The opening chapter analyses and disrupts a selection of influential concepts that have shaped the understanding of socially “engaged” art. Their “refractions” are interventions on art theories including relational aesthetics (Bourriaud, 2000), participatory art (Bishop, 2012), concatenations of art and revolution (Raunig, 2007), and the continuing avant-garde project (Léger, 2012) through the lens of embodiment. A number of refractions, including counterpublics and disorientation, recur as important anchor points throughout the research. The subsequent three chapters investigate the “relational material” of socially negotiated art. Each one of them breaks down one of its constitutive aspects: dialogue (chapter two), love (chapter three) and praxis (chapter four), which are parameters borrowed from the work of radical educator Paulo Freire. Because of the significant overlap between radical education and socially negotiated art in politics and practice, and because Freire’s pedagogy offers clear demonstrations of situated practice, his writings are used to help centre relations within the context of a socially negotiated art. Ultimately, the three components are unsettled by corporeal and affective proximity: the open inclusivity of dialogue is questioned by intimate, frictive forms like gossip and teasing; the mobilisation of political love multiplies into attachments, body borders, and caring labour; and the transformative urge of praxis is complicated by subjective displacement and situatedness. Together, they present a theoretical articulation of a more peculiar and textured relational material that contributes towards a socially negotiated – rather than engaged – art.
    • Can elite male academy players be taught to perform under pressure?

      Devonport, Tracey; Lane, Andy; Nicholls, Wendy; Kent, Sophie (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-04)
      To gain a professional contract in UK academy football, young players must demonstrate an ability to perform under pressure (Larsen et al., 2014). A systematic review was conducted to synthesise findings from applied studies that focus on interventions developed to enhance an individual's ability to cope under performance pressure. Simulation training alongside cognitive-behavioural (CB) workshops was an intervention format that may develop an academy football player’s ability to perform within the highly-pressurised environment of academy football (Bell, Hardy and Beattie, 2013). A limitation of much simulation training that is intended to help individuals perform in highly-pressurised environments is the failure to generate meaningful performance pressure. Similarly, CB workshops can also be limited in their effectiveness due to a failure to identify contextually specific factors that may develop coping skills. Such factors should be embedded within CB workshops to align with the needs of individuals in their respective pressure domain. Moreover, study one of this programme of research aimed to identify meaningful pressure conditioned stimuli, along with factors perceived to be facilitative or debilitative of performance under pressure within academy soccer. The perceptions of pressure, and factors of influence identified within study one were used by academy coaches to inform the design of a contextually specific pressure intervention. Study two, presents and evaluates this pressure training intervention. A mixed-methods approach using quantitative (simulation training data) and qualitative data (interviews with players and reflective diary extracts) provided insight into the effectiveness of the pressure intervention. Findings indicate that simulation training alone could enhance performance under pressure within age groups 11-14 years. Players across all age groups described improvement in confidence, emotional intelligence, meta-cognition, focus and challenge appraisal following the intervention. Future research is warranted to investigate the benefits of simulation training and CB workshops within a larger sample, over-time.
    • An Analysis of British Army Veterans’ Oral Testimony and the Campaign in Northwest Europe, 1944-1945

      Buckley, John; Cheetham, Thomas (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-04)
      War veterans have long been seen as natural subjects for oral history, and the task of collecting their reminiscences has been the focus of substantial attention by institutions such as the Imperial War Museum. Military historians often draw upon such interviews in their research; however, their handling of this evidence remains hesitant and largely divorced from the substantial theory which has been developed by academic oral historians. Oral historians have themselves devoted little attention to the particular problems posed by the use of veterans’ testimony. This thesis applies oral history theory to the testimony of thirty-three British Army veterans of the 1944-5 campaign in Northwest Europe, in order to explore the unique features of veterans’ oral history and assess its usefulness in military history. This involves firstly establishing the basic reliability of oral evidence, and then considering the effects of popular memory, the individual circumstances of the interviewees, and trauma, in order to gain a well-rounded understanding of the distortions that can arise in veterans’ testimony. The interview evidence is then applied to three key issues of the 1944-5 campaign, combat experience, morale, and doctrine, to assess the contribution it can make to key issues in military history. The thesis outlines a more complex understanding of veteran’s testimony than has previously been put forward, and contends that when subjected to an appropriate research methodology interview evidence can be a valuable tool in the military historian’s arsenal.
    • One transition: three journeys

      Chen-Wilson, J.; Brown, Z.; Watkins, Cheryl (2019-04)
      The focus of the research was to explore the transition period from primary to secondary education for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, their parents’ and the professionals’ perspectives. This would facilitate future recommendations of the challenges faced and alterations to improve current procedures to make the process smoother. The analysis followed Charmaz’s (2006) constructivist grounded theory approach. Semi-structured interviews with five adolescents, seven mothers and eight professionals were conducted to ascertain their transitional experiences. The findings developed three theories of the transition period. The Mothers’ theory ‘the transitional emotional rollercoaster’ encapsulated the core category emotional response. For the mothers the sense of being prepared and involved with the transition and the choice of school were significant factors in feeling emotionally balanced. The central storyline for the adolescents’, ‘weighing up the transitional balance’, related to the emotional reaction during the transition. The adolescents wanted to be informed of their new school, with information on timeframes and support to prepare them, alongside meeting peers to increase friendships and interactions. The professionals storyline, the ‘nitty gritty’, referred to achieving a smooth transitional process by being a prominent figure in the bigger transitional process, ensuring and facilitating the needs of the adolescent, parents and professionals. The professionals desired to be equipped with an awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder, to understand the needs of the adolescent and to have resources to manage the adolescent efficiently in the education setting. All of the populations referred to being powerless in the transition process, so future focus would benefit on empowering all entities through inclusion. Counselling Psychologists would benefit from the findings to support the different populations. Future development of working together as a collective to form a robust support network, good planning, communication and distribution of information would enable a smoother and more successful transition for all.  
    • God in times of adversity: A mixed-methods study investigating the relationship between religious coping and identification on the trauma appraisals and world assumptions of Muslim refugees/asylum seekers

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

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

      Sembi, Pritpal Singh (2019-03-05)
      This thesis explores the management of change in higher education by applying a Habermasian conceptual framework to understand, explore and operationalise academic perceptions of Educational Technology. It questions the uncritical acceptance of techgerialism (i.e. managerialism through technology) in the Higher Education Institution (HEI) in a case study of academic perceptions of Educational Technology over a decade of change in one post-1992 HEI. Perceptions were drawn from participants in one school in the HEI to counter the paucity of research focusing on academics’ views of Educational Technology. Increasingly in-depth interviews were conducted over three rounds of data collection in an emergent research design based on narrative analysis. Each phase of change was interpreted as an example of formal, political and then more collegial change respectively. Academic participants expressed broadly similar negative perceptions of Educational Technology change in their HEI: suspicion, resistance, displacement and lack of confidence in leadership. These were categorised as examples of Habermasian social pathologies (anomie, alienation, disintegration and social instability) rooted in concerns about an increasingly powerful HEI systemworld. When discussing Educational Technology, participants expressed socio-cultural concerns more readily than they addressed pedagogic issues and demonstrated both critical and tolerant beliefs towards the management of change. The insider-outsider position of the researcher changed during the research which influences its development. The impact of this shifting perspective is considered reflexively throughout the thesis. The main contribution to knowledge is the augmentation of a Habermasian conceptual framework around lifeworld, systemworld and communicative rationality. Adapting his theory of social pathologies, the thesis suggests that there are corollary values, predominantly unarticulated by the participants, which may ameliorate these pathologies. The Educational Technology pathologies found in the data are ‘inverted’ to values (e.g. anomie to enculturation, alienation to solidarity) as part of the analysis. The thesis concludes by presenting a mechanism for operationalising a Habermasian public sphere, informed by these identified values, as a forum for developing intersubjective consensus and undistorted communication in the HEI.
    • The influence of lesson design on the teaching and learning process in secondary school mathematics

      Rickhuss, Michael G. (2019-03-01)
      This study involves a collaborative qualitative case study in a single secondary school with two classes of 11 and 12 year old pupils and a group of mathematics teachers. Its aim was to investigate the use of pedagogical language and terminology relating to lesson design for the teaching of mathematics. The rationale was based on a critical review of the literature arguing that pedagogical terms are often used interchangeably by teachers and that these have particular meanings when designing lessons and for the learning of mathematics. The research was viewed through the lens of a single study school with a group of teachers who had all received their initial teacher training in the same institution (the one in which I work). The research process involved the plan-do-review cycles during which the participating teacher facilitated the video recording of the lessons with the classes. Each of these lessons was followed by a conversation in the form of semi-structured interviews between the teachers and researcher supported by video recordings of classroom interactions. Following each analysis and evaluation of the lessons the participating teachers had time and space to develop lesson plans using their newly acquired understandings of the pedagogical terminology. The thesis outlines the ways in which the project developed through the cycles. The conversations between teachers and researcher were analysed using a form of analysis based on dialogic assumptions about the multi-voiced nature of talk. The findings suggest that there were changes in the ways in which the teachers communicated with each other about their ideas of lesson design. Pupil interview data suggests that children experienced an increased opportunity to explore an aspect of mathematics. Pupils also developed a deeper conceptual understanding of what is a mathematical abstract concept (the division of fractions), and that this was independent of prior attainment. Although the findings do suggest a shift in teacher use and understanding of pedagogical terminology relating to lesson design, there were issues around using small groups of pupils and a single setting for generalisation but not for transferability to other mathematical topics. The study does conclude that there is a strong link between teacher shared understandings of pedagogical terminology and lesson planning with the result being pupils from across the attainment range being able to access a mathematically difficult topic. Finally, it is acknowledged that there are multiple demands being placed upon practising teachers attempting to implement a myriad of changes together with the approaches from this research. Even given these multiple constraints their enthusiasm and learning resulted in changes to lesson design and a common shared understanding of terminology for the framing of lessons.