• The development and validation of a new instrument to assess the role of social media in college adjustment for undergraduate students

      Attrill-Smith, Alison; Stenson, Audrey (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-09)
      Undergraduate university and college students are increasingly using social media to overcome college adjustment challenges such as creating social networks, maintaining old friendships and confronting academic pressures. Areas that remain unexplored in the college adjustment literature comprise of contemporary views of how college adjustment challenges have changed since the pre-social media era, and consequently the influence of personality on these challenges. Moreover, most college adjustment research has not taken diverse social media sites into consideration, such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram. The current research addresses these issues as well as the dearth of appropriate measures to gauge the role of social media in contemporary college adjustment. Using existing offline adjustment scales such as the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (Baker & Siryk, 1989) and the College Adjustment Test (Pennebaker et al., 1990), the current work follows recommendations for the development of the Student Adjustment Scale to assess the role of social media as a facet of college adjustment for undergraduate students (Feldt et al., 2011a; Taylor & Pastor, 2005). The first study employs a thematic analysis of student group interviews and identifies five overarching themes associated with contemporary college adjustment issues. The second study involves devising a set of items, based on the five overarching themes, for the Student Adjustment Scale by using a principal components analysis (PCA). This results in a reliable scale with six distinct components. The third study involves a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) but returns to an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to further reduce the dimensions of the scale to five factors. The final study explores personality and student adjustment. Data analysis reveals that facets of the Student Adjustment Scale are predicted by personality variables where those who have a baseline of emotional stability will more likely adjust to college. Differences in data patterns across studies suggest that college adjustment may be considered both state and trait based. The overall findings illustrate that college adjustment is best considered a multi-faceted construct. Social media use is a facet of the Student Adjustment Scale but can be a distraction from time management and academic endeavours. The current work illustrates the complexity and multi-facets of college adjustment for undergraduate students in a social media era, which was previously unexplored in the context of scale development and personality. To conclude, some practical recommendations are suggested for faculty and student experience teams
    • Judicial politics in the Privy Council: a legal analysis of its impact on the constitutionality of the death penalty in the Commonwealth Caribbean

      Haynes, Andrew; Edwards, Vincel Anthony (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-08)
      An institution such as the Privy Council is the supreme judicial body for some Commonwealth countries. The main objective of this research is to understand the extent to which the Privy Council decision making on the constitutionality of the death penalty in the Commonwealth Caribbean influenced by judicial politics. This issue is extant to the Commonwealth Caribbean society and therefore a legal analysis of it is necessary to generate new insights into the judicial politics of the Privy Council. Therefore, the decision making on the constitutionality of the death penalty is the vehicle used in this research to present explanations in response to this issue. This is demonstrated through the theories of judicial behaviour in the perspectives of the legal model, the institutional model and the attitudinal model of such behaviour. It worth noting that in some Commonwealth Caribbean States the death penalty is the punishment prescribed by law for persons guilty of the crime of murder. However, there are serious concerns with the application of this punishment. A case law analysis of the death penalty in the Commonwealth Caribbean from a policy perspective will be pursued. Also, of major concerns in this regard is that it is hypothesized that the constitutionality of the death penalty in the Commonwealth Caribbean is influenced by judicial politics. This research will focus on exploring, evaluating and explaining the hypothesis on the death penalty in the area of judicial politics. It involves examining the structure, nature and the relationship between the concept of judicial politics and that of the constitutionality of the death penalty. Wider issues such as an analysis of judicial reasoning by the Privy Council involving the death penalty and also human rights issues have been pursued. Thus this research also necessitates assessing the jurisdiction and jurisprudence of the Privy Council and the Caribbean Court of Justice in evaluating the judicial attitude towards the issue of cruelty of the death penalty in the Commonwealth Caribbean.
    • Intentional forgetting of emotional memories in the item-method directed forgetting task

      Mercer, Tom; Hinton, Danny; Darby, Richard; Ahmed, Sumera (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-07)
      Forgetting is often viewed as a nuisance, but research has indicated that forgetting is an adaptive process that works to remove irrelevant information (Bjork,1989). Such 'intentional’ forgetting concerns the active removal of information from memory, with evidence coming from the Think/No-Think paradigm (Anderson & Green, 2004) and most importantly the Directed Forgetting paradigm (Bjork, 1970). The Directed Forgetting paradigm assesses intentional forgetting through the use of two cues (Remember and Forget) and a majority of studies suggest a successful inhibition of the 'Forget' items in comparison to the 'Remember' items. However, there is a long-term dispute within research in regard to valence and intentional forgetting. Specifically, it is unclear whether directed forgetting is reduced for emotional stimuli, in comparison to neutral stimuli. In the current thesis, Directed Forgetting was tested in six experiments and consistently reported when retrieval was assessed through free recall. The Directed Forgetting effect also applied to emotional material. However, valence differences for the 'Remember' cue (positive vs negative) were greater than the differences found for the 'Forget' cue. This suggests that both positive and negative words can be successfully forgotten. Additionally, factors such as time (Chapters 2, 3 and 5), individual differences (Chapters 4 [sex differences] and 5 [mood and emotional reactivity]) and stimuli characteristics (Chapters 5 [concreteness] and 7 [word type]) had a minimal impact on Directed Forgetting. The experiments within this thesis have been successful in highlighting DF within free recall. Yet when a cued recall procedure was used, the DF effect was abolished, and there actually seemed to be a form of inverted DF for negative words. Lastly, limitations, theoretical implications and future directions are considered in Chapter 8 (the general discussion).
    • Attitudes and behaviours of user groups on Cannock Chase area of outstanding natural beauty

      Dale, Crispin; Jackaman, Clare (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-07)
      Increasing amounts of leisure time and more availability of income following postrecessional financial issues have contributed towards growing public usage of free parkland areas, such as Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, putting such areas under pressure from environmental issues. The behaviours of users of parklands have been extensively researched, with scarce attention to the investigation of underpinning attitudes. Of available theory, Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour (1985) model and Dunlap et al.’s (2000) New Ecological Paradigm scale are arguably the most effective in identifying and measuring the link between attitude and behaviour. The aim of the present programme of study was to explore user and non-user attitudes to environmental issues and then develop and test an intervention to increase awareness and pro-environmental attitudes. Baseline data involved data collection from 701 users and 210 non-users. Participants completed both attitudinal questionnaires and users took part in semi-structured interviews. Baseline data analysis indicated user group participants reported low proenvironmental attitude scores, suggesting room for improvement. In terms of improving pro-environmental attitudes, studies show educational interventions are highly effective, with simultaneous use of multiple emotional appeals used in an online format. Content analysis of existing AONB intervention posters and leaflets were used to develop an image based poster intervention. Intervention was emailed to participants with an initial questionnaire (n=234). Over a six month longitudinal study, participants repeated questionnaire completion at months two (n=196) and six (n=210). Results indicated pro-environmental attitudes all improved initially from baseline, then all decreased at month two, and largely increased from month two to month six. Females, higher qualified, middle income, car users, photographers, nature activities and runners were among the most pro-environmental postintervention. Mood data identified all emotions built into poster were experienced, therefore improvements were influenced by the intervention. Viewed collectively, results indicate that the study has identified poster interventions are an inexpensive, easy and effective method of improving pro-environmental attitudes. Research has shown poster method can be used by subject specialists and non-specialists; such an intervention is scalable and potentially effective. Future research is needed to investigate the efficacy and effectiveness of scalable interventions to improve proenvironmental attitudes
    • The long and winding road to reflexology: A post-structural narrative inquiry

      Edwards Price, Sally (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-07)
      Background: Reflexology has suffered a troubled and tumultuous journey travelling a long and winding road, experiencing times of interest and intrigue alongside suspicion and doubt. This study explores the topic through a post-structural lens to discover new possibilities for the discipline. Methodology: The research design used a narrative inquiry and emerged a Derridean theoretical approach encompassing some of the key concepts of Jacques Derrida’s writings (Derrida, 2016, 1993, 1982, 1978). It concerns poetical notions of text, context and intertextuality as a backdrop to re-explore traditional stories told by five prominent reflexologists accompanied by an autobiographical story. Using narrative inquiry, it explored how narratives allow reflexologists to perform and make heard the whispered voices in order to let reflexology stories (the reflexstories) breathe (Frank, 2012). Findings: This study firstly, at a textual level, uncovered the literature surrounding reflexology (the reflexliterature) proffering an evolution of the therapy and secondly, for context, embraced the methodology of narrative inquiry, eliciting synchronic narratives. Beatles song titles have been used as headings, bringing into focus my own intertextuality to capture the spirit of Derridean thought which emerged during the era reflexology was presenting as a popular practice. The study contributes to furthering the body of knowledge of reflexology by providing personal narratives and poems for pedagogic application and explores emerging cultural and dialogical accounts of the modality in order to find possibilities for practice rather than affording truth claims on its efficacy and effectiveness. Moreover, it offers a theoretical model for the application of a schema of critical questioning so as to expose the metaphysical assumptions of the subject in question which revealed reflexology as a spectre in healthcare. Recommendations: A standardised data collection tool could be developed to replace the use of many varied questionnaires within the research on reflexology and the numerous reflexology associations could try again, to converge and adopt one collective organisation. Reflexology could be utilised in other areas of healthcare identified in the literature rather than only the current provision. Finally, the theoretical model could be exploited for other subjects in order to interrogate the hierarchies, dichotomies and binary oppositions which are present within the topic of inquiry.
    • Emerging trends in construction law at the confluence of academia and industry

      Chinyio, Ezekiel; Charlson, Jennifer (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-07)
      Engineering UK’s 2018 report on the state of engineering records that in 2016, engineering enterprises generated 23.2% of the UK’s total turnover of £5.3 trillion (£1.23 trillion) and construction had a turnover of £171.91 billion, representing 14.0% of the total turnover produced within the engineering sectorial footprint. The congruence and distinction between the law underpinning construction and engineering in academia and industry is uncertain. The research aim therefore is construction and engineering law compared and contrasted from academia to industry. The author adopted a constructionist or subjective epistemology and relativist ontological stance. Constructivist and pragmatic philosophical paradigms and qualitative methodologies were selected including document analysis, interviews, case studies and focus groups. The construction and engineering law required by professional institutions to be taught in academia to undergraduates were analysed. Some similarity between the legal topics mandated by engineering and construction professional institutions was identified; for example, the legal framework, contract, environmental and health and safety law. The differences are that engineering bodies also require intellectual property awareness and construction institutions incorporate dispute resolution and land law. It was also argued that the importance of European Law should be recognised. Guidance for construction expert witnesses, who are engaged in dispute resolution, arising from three relevant significant documents that were published in 2014 by the Civil Justice Council, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Society of Construction Law was researched. The following were suggested as barriers affecting experts: regulations, budgetary controls, availability of evidence and deadlines. Construction-specific legal risks relevant to SMEs in Europe with a view to manage them were identified. The study confirms that the relevant legal risks for construction SMEs in Italy are: procurement, building regulations, construction contract and dispute resolution. The civil engineering SME case study touched on contract terms, regulations and dispute resolution and the additional issue of intellectual property protection was recognised. Environmental law issues surrounding the regeneration of brownfield land including contaminated land, waste management, water pollution, regulators, environmental impact assessment issues were investigated. Contractors’ standard of design responsibility in current standard forms of contract was analysed and recent relevant case law was reviewed. In conclusion, the overlap in academia, between construction and engineering law of legal topics including legal framework, contract, environmental and health and safety law has been identified. They differ in that engineering bodies additionally require intellectual property awareness and construction institutions include dispute resolution and land law. These findings in academia are reflected in industry. Although framed in a construction law context, the research on expert witnesses also applies to engineering expert witnesses. However, as identified by the accrediting professional bodies, there is a greater requirement for dispute resolution in the construction industry. Environmental law is relevant to both engineering and construction industries. Similarly, current standard forms of contract and recent case law are pertinent to both industries. The congruence and distinction between the law underpinning construction and engineering in academia and industry has been clarified. Subsequent research developed a design, manufacture and construct procurement model for volumetric offsite manufacturing in the UK housing sector and examined the introduction of Brownfield Land Registers in England. Topical and timely research examined the impact of BREXIT and the COVID-19 pandemic on construction law
    • Designing play equipment to develop the social competence of children with cerebral palsy

      Harrison, Dew; Niedderer, Kristina; Rozsahegyi, Tunde; Borzenkova, Ganna (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-06)
      This study investigated the design of play equipment for encouraging peer-to-peer social interactions amongst children with cerebral palsy aged from 4 to 6 years, as a means of developing their social competence. The focus was on developing a new conceptual model and criteria for designing this specialist play equipment and, thus, creating a level playing field for children with different manifestations of cerebral palsy. According to the statistics of the National Health Service, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 400 children is born with cerebral palsy in the UK (NHS, 2017). It is recognised that these children often have reduced social engagement, yet socialisation plays a fundamental role in development. In spite of this, there are few toys specifically developed for children with cerebral palsy and even fewer which support peer socialisation. Therefore, there is a need to develop relational play equipment for them. The research presented here is interdisciplinary and informed by a social perspective on disability. It combined theoretical investigation with design practice within an action-research approach. User-centred design was used for the design development and intervention. Observations of children with cerebral palsy and interviews with their parents and conductors were employed for collecting data about the children’s social interactions before and during the design intervention in order to determine the effectiveness of the proposed concept. Data collection was carried out at the National Institute of Conductive Education in Birmingham, England. A conceptual design model of play equipment for enhancing the social competence in children with cerebral palsy was developed. The model focused on designing semiotic content that could trigger cognitive, emotional, social and physical processes to encourage children to participate in relational play and facilitate peer-to-peer social interactions. Based on this model, design criteria were developed, integrating two interrelated sets of indicators. The first set pertained to the design position and comprised child-friendly design criteria. The second pertained to the social purpose, comprising indicators of social competence, such as social skills and self-confidence. Based on these criteria, a number of design ideas were developed, using ideation, intuitive hand sketching and brainstorming. A final idea of the thematic play environment, “Undersea Friends”, which corresponded best to the conceptual model of play equipment and met most of the design criteria and recommendations from parents and conductors, was chosen for the design intervention. “Undersea Friends” consists of the toys intended for practising particular social skills, where each toy in the play space is a creature-friend and a facilitator of children’s interactions. These toys are Octopush Olly for practising turn taking, Hexapush Hetty for practising cooperation and Larry Long Legs for sharing. Two prototype toys for this environment were developed and evaluated with children with cerebral palsy for the purposes of this study. This completed study highlights the difficulties which children with cerebral palsy may experience with peer interactions while playing. It provides a new understanding of the development of social competence through engaging children in relational play, facilitated by specialist play equipment, as well as the prototype toys of the play environment, “Undersea Friends”. This research contributes to understanding of how designers can approach the creation of such play equipment by providing design criteria, design recommendations and suggestions for further investigation.
    • A framework for adopting solar energy governance in the Nigerian power sector

      Suresh, Subashini; Abdullahi, Dahiru (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-06)
      The Nigerian economy is almost exclusively dependent on oil and gas as more than 80% of its revenue is currently generated from this sector. However, lack of stable electricity from all sources has impacted the socio-economic growth over a long period of time. This research explores the drivers, barriers and benefits of implementing solar energy strategies. In doing so, a framework for adopting solar energy governance in the Nigerian power sector was developed based on literature review and findings from the semi-structured interview held with 25 top management officials of solar energy stakeholders in Nigeria. The philosophical position of this research is inductive approach and interpretivist paradigm. The qualitative data collection method was employed, data were interpreted and analysed using content analysis. Interpretive Structure Modelling (ISM) was used further to analyse the barriers for solar energy implementation in Nigeria. The study revealed that socio-cultural aspects, lack of financing and lack of awareness of the technology are the key barriers that has slowed the implementation of solar energy strategies. The power sector reform Act’s energy mix, synergy of private and public sector and lack of access to electricity were revealed as the key drivers for solar energy strategies to be implemented. While economic and environmental aspects were identified as key benefits for solar energy implementation. This identification and interconnectivity of the parameters helped in the development and evaluation of a framework for adopting solar energy governance in the Nigerian power sector.
    • Nurses’ views on compassionate care: a study using Q methodology

      Gutteridge, Robin; Bond, Carol; Philp, Ann (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-06)
      Compassion and compassionate care are identified as essential elements in nursing. They enhance quality care, wellbeing, and the overall quality of patients’ lives. However, incidents of substandard care have highlighted inherent tensions between competing professional and organisational demands in a rapidly changing workplace. This research investigated nurses’ views of the promoters and inhibitors of provision and maintenance of compassionate care. Participants were third year student nurses and qualified nurses in a large inner-city Trust hospital. An integrative literature review revealed three overarching themes that impact on nurses’ ability to provide and maintain compassionate care. Sumner’s (2008a) Moral Construct of Caring in Nursing as Communicative Action Theory (MCCNCAT) was applied as the theoretical framework. Q methodology supported the investigation of subjectivity within an interpretive design. 54 statements were developed from the literature review and focus group participation, representing the breadth of debate on compassion and compassionate care. Participants (n=30) rank-ordered these statements onto a quasi-normal distribution grid (the Q sort). They provided post Q sort data via Report Sheets and semi-structured interviews; thematic analysis was used to explore interview data. Completed Q sorts were analysed using correlation and by-person factor analysis, resulting in two distinct factors. Some participants shared commonalities across factors and did not contribute to the construction of the factor estimates. Remaining participants (n=18) included student nurses (n=10) and qualified nurses (n=8). Compassionate care was found to be complex, interconnected, and multifaceted. There was consensus from student nurses and qualified nurses in the three overarching themes: • Personal/relational – Improved patient outcomes impact positively on patients and motivate nurses to provide compassionate care. Satisfaction gained from providing compassionate care creates a virtuous circle, enhancing wellbeing, personal motivation, professional commitment, and job performance. It supports collegial relationships and positive patient outcomes. • Organisational – Organisations must promote compassionate care, supporting nurses and providing necessary resources. Managers, leaders, mentors, and colleagues should demonstrate compassion towards patients and staff. Developing and supporting a culture of compassion can counter factors that inhibit compassionate care. Nurses should be encouraged to develop self-compassion, which promotes their own wellbeing. • Educational – Nurses’ clinical experiences should be connected to teaching and learning. This means replacing inappropriate didactic, classroom-based education with approaches that are experiential and creative, using strengthened links with practice, so that learning is relevant to the reality of clinical practice. These findings were incorporated in an explanatory diagram, underpinned by MCCNCAT (Sumner 2008a) which makes visible the dynamics involved and strategies that build and sustain compassionate care.
    • Suggestion support system for healthcare facilities in Saudi Arabia: an assessment framework

      Arif, Mohammed; Khusheim, Lina H. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-06)
      Saudi Arabia has developed an ambitious vision, Vision 2030, where the healthcare industry is one of the significant focus areas, making the healthcare industry more efficient and effective is crucial to attracting the private sector and making this vision a reality. Therefore, improving healthcare organisations' performance and competitiveness is necessary to achieve this sector's vision. In such a continuous improvement journey, suggestion systems can be considered an essential continuous improvement tool that identifies the industry's shortfalls and allows for potential future opportunities. It was found that the classical suggestion systems’ development process is subject to human behaviour that might discourage overall participation. Thus, interactive and straightforward systems will encourage productive participation. Furthermore, a study showed that employee creativity and positive engagement remain crucial in successful suggestion system implementation. Therefore, simplicity is considered the critical success factor in any suggestion system development and implementation process. The goal of this study is to develop an assessment framework for Saudi healthcare suggestion systems. A thorough review of the literature highlighted eighteen variables that act as drivers for the suggestion system's success. To account for a technology evaluation parameter, we adopted Nielson's definition of usability. He defines usability as a phenomenon that consists of five major factors: learnability, efficiency, memorability, error recovery, and satisfaction. A further understanding of the relationships between the suggestion system drivers and the adopted technical evaluation parameter's definition are investigated. A questionnaire on the eighteen variables was conducted, and 138 responses were collected. Based on a series of scientific analyses, the researcher identified three significant latent factors affecting the usability of a healthcare suggestion system: the Personal factor, System and Institutional factor, and Social Support factor. A maturity model with three levels of maturity was developed. The first level was defined as Low level, the second level was defined as a Medium level, and the third level was the High one. An Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was performed to prioritise variables within each construct and among the three latent factors. AHP showed that the most critical factor is the Personal factor, followed by the System and Institutional factor, and then the Social Support factor. The first latent factor, the Personal one, includes the following suggestion system success variables: Reward, Ease of Use, Clear Scope, Autonomy, Trust, anonymity, Problem Solving, and Feedback. Under the second latent factor, System and Institutional, the success variables are Resources, Supervisor Support, Training, Publicity, Colleague Support, Compliance, and Equality. While the Social Support factor listed variables are Social Media and Social Networking. In order to test the developed model, two Saudi healthcare facilities were investigated. Furthermore, the developed model was found useful not only in assessing the current state of their suggestion systems but also in identifying the potential improvement opportunities. Having a prioritised list ensures that organisations can focus on improving factors that have a higher impact on the overall usability of the system.
    • Parameterized monads in linguistics

      Le, An Ha; Viet, Ha Bui (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-06)
      This dissertation follows the formal semantics approach to linguistics. It applies recent developments in computing theories to study theoretical linguistics in the area of the interaction between semantics and pragmatics and analyzes several natural language phenomena by parsing them in these theories. Specifically, this dissertation uses parameterized monads, a particular theoretical framework in category theory, as a dynamic semantic framework to reinterpret the compositional Discourse Representation Theory(cDRT), and to provide an analysis of donkey anaphora. Parameterized monads are also used in this dissertation to interpret information states as lists of presuppositions, and as dot types. Alternative interpretations for demonstratives and imperatives are produced, and the conventional implicature phenomenon in linguistics substantiated, using the framework. Interpreting donkey anaphora shows that parameterized monads is able to handle the sentential dependency. Therefore, this framework shows an expressive power equal to that of related frameworks such as the typed logical grammar and the dynamic predicate logic. Interpreting imperatives via parameterized monads also provides a compositional dynamic semantic analysis which is one of the main approaches to analysing imperatives.
    • The determinants and impact of inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria

      Mark Cook; Lucy Zheng; Ari, Mayor N. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
      Endowed with enormous natural resources but with a volatile economy, this study seeks to conduct an empirical analysis investigating the determinants and impact of inward oil and gas FDI on Nigeria’s economic growth and export performance. The study dataset covers a period of 17 years from 2001 to 2017. The country-level dataset was analysed in three separate models, which include, the country as a whole, OECD group and non-OECD group using dynamic panel data analysis techniques proposed by Blundell and Bond (1998) known in methodology literature as sys-GMM (system Generalized-Method-of-Moment). The study’s empirical evidence provides statistical support that inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria is determined by market-seeking (proxied by GDP per capita), resource-seeking (proxied by fuel export) and efficiency-seeking (proxied by labour force). As a whole, it is seen that OECD countries’ FDI is more attracted by market-seeking and efficiency-seeking determinants, while, non-OECD countries are more attracted by resource-seeking factors. The study also found that inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria has a significant positive effect on economic growth (proxied by GDP per capita). However, the study shows that OECD countries oil and gas FDI impact on Nigeria’s economic growth is higher compared to non-OECD countries oil and gas FDI. As regards export performance, the empirical results showed that inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria has a significant positive effect on export performance in Nigeria (proxied by oil and gas exports). Also, from the empirical results, it is observed that the impact of non-OECD countries’ oil and gas FDI is higher compared to OECD countries oil and gas FDI impact on Nigeria’s foreign export. The empirical results corroborate the complementarity hypothesis of FDI and trade nexus by providing empirical evidence using oil and gas FDI in Nigeria. The main theoretical contributions of this study stem from the empirical evidence on inward oil and gas FDI examining the heterogeneity of the investing MNEs and, showing how this heterogeneity of investing MNEs impact on Nigeria’s economic growth and export performance. The study also provides valid evidence for FDI promotion agencies in Nigeria on how best to harness the benefits of inward oil and gas FDI in a volatile economy for greater economic and export performance.
    • Ecological labyrinths and myths of the fall: An earth-centred approach to The Lord of the Rings and His Dark Materials

      Wilson, Frank; Greenfield, Stephen Richard (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
      Ecological criticism (ecocriticism) bifurcates between two paths that offer alternative definitions of ecology as a structure. One leads to a fixed, cyclical model, the other moves in a dynamic, evolutionary direction. These differences of orientation frame ecocritical responses that appear irreconcilable to each other. This research provides a way of reading the structure of fantasy texts as parallel to ecological structure in a way that brings the two definitions of ecology into dialogue. The divergence in approaches to ecocriticism has caused a chasm to open between the respective ends of an ecocritical spectrum in the polemical positions of deep ecology and ecohumanism. These positions reflect fundamental differences over the structure of ecology and tend toward mutual antagonism. This research addresses division in facilitating dialogue through analysis of structural ecological positions as a binary that creates meaning. Such a comparative approach leads to a nuanced understanding of ecological structure and its articulation through narrative design. The reading draws out structural ecological meaning, highlights inconsistencies and weaknesses, and reconciles divergent polemical positions as complementary. The general principle of reading the quest hero as exemplifying ecological structure has been used by Rachel McCoppin in her analysis of mythological texts to identify ‘botanical heroism’. McCoppin chose to map myths from pre-Darwinian ages to a simple seasonal cycle of nature as her structural model. As such her research does not deal with the complex and nuanced twentieth-century confusion over ecological structure. My research confronts that problem, proposing a method for understanding discontinuities that are, in any case, ecological in nature. I arrived at an alternative to the cycle of nature that articulates the struggle to define a pattern of ecological relationships, in the form of the labyrinth. The labyrinth comprises a dichotomy. On the one hand a unicursal model articulates structure as a series of concentric loops that act as boundaries and lead toward a point of illumination. This model incorporates the cycle of nature within a more complex scheme than McCoppin’s seasonal model of regeneration. On the other hand the labyrinth in multicursal form comprises a maze that resists regularity, replacing certainty with choice leading either to continued progress or dead-ends. The labyrinth as a symbol of alienation, disorientation and confusion captures the ambition of ecological readings of quests to reconcile humanity and nature. I apply the eco- labyrinthine model to my reading of two of the twentieth-centuries most popular quest fantasies, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. The following study shows that an eco-labyrinthine approach to reading modern fantasy quest provides a way of bringing together alternative perspectives of ecological structure in a dialogue that undermines claims to mutual exclusivity. By way of answers the eco-labyrinth provides a spectrum, or continuum, against which to plot inconsistencies. It opens up questions about heroism mapped against an ecological model. This thesis illustrates how an eco-labyrinthine exegesis works in relation to certain texts to reassess their ecocritical meaning. Some of the questions this research raises about how authors engage with ecology, biodiversity and evolution through structural modelling of fictitious worlds, reflected in narrative structure, will necessarily benefit from a lively and continuing debate.
    • Reflections beyond words: using auto-driven photo-elicitation to explore the pain management programme journey

      Cureton, Debra; Lawton, Megan; Ward, Gavin; Roberts, Suzanne (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
      In the UK, around one-third to one-half of the population are estimated to be affected by persistent pain, a long-term complex condition which can have serious implications for an individual’s everyday functioning and quality of life. A biopsychosocial approach to care and pain management programmes can be adopted as a treatment option. A growing body of research supports the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy based pain management programmes. This research, however, is based on analyses of pre-post changes in pre-defined outcome measures. Limited qualitative research has focused on programme evaluation and the notion of acceptance. This study aimed to explore the individuals’ everyday experience of change as they progressed through a pain management programme to enhance understanding of the change process from the individuals’ perspective. This study also aimed to establish how auto-driven photo-elicitation can support participants to articulate their pain management journey. Nine participants who were part of a six-week online pain management programme were asked to generate weekly images representing a meaningful change in their pain management. These images were discussed in photo-elicitation interviews at week two, four and six of the programme. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. The findings represented the way participants created meaning associated with changes in their pain management across the three timepoints of data collection. The significance of these time points in relation to pain management were constructed as: (1) Insight and Awareness, (2) Integration and (3) Reframing. All participants described a shift in their perspective towards pain, which appeared to be facilitated by factors of ‘acceptance’ and ‘empowerment’. Auto-driven photo-elicitation was found to ‘invite reflection’ and held ‘therapeutic value’ which facilitated the change process. Photography was found to be an engaging and valuable method for helping individuals articulate their pain management journey. This provides support for the adaptability of pain management programmes and the use of photography to create therapeutic opportunities.
    • Producing the translators of tomorrow: designing a student-centred and competence-based translation curriculum for Saudi universities

      Almugharbil, Sara Mohammed (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
      The main aim of this research project is to investigate the extent to which translation courses in Saudi Arabia adequately prepare students to take up careers as professional translators according to current market needs. Saudi Vision 2030 acknowledges that graduates must be able to operate at a professional level of competence in order to be competitive in terms of employability. Accordingly, there is a need to improve the translation skills and competences of graduates of translation courses in Saudi Arabia and, more broadly, in the Arabic-speaking world. Using a Saudi case study, this research explores how competency-based course content can be combined with analysis of multiple stakeholders’ perspectives and a review of research, policies, and best practice to identify potential gaps between undergraduate translator training approaches and the needs of the translation industry. Primary data has been collected by surveying four samples: a sample of staff teaching translation modules at Saudi Universities, a sample of students and graduates of EFL and translation at Saudi universities as well as a sample of some of the top employers in Saudi Arabia. The data gathered is intended to help the course designers and educational practitioners in developing translation skills curricula through evidence-based recommendations. By implementing them, universities can more closely align the translation components of undergraduate degree programmes with the needs of the market, thereby enhancing graduates’ employability. The results shed light on the changes that have to be made in the current provision and existing teaching practices, curricula, and student skill sets in Saudi universities. These changes could improve the course design and teaching of translation so that these universities can produce graduates with the necessary vocationally oriented profile to work in the translation sector. This research can also help to inform education policy in the HE sector in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region overall.
    • Teaching itself: a mythology of learning in theory and practice

      Jopling, Michael; Bennett, Pete (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
      What I attempt in this dissertation is to make coherent sense of a body of work produced with others over a period of ten years. This was a decade in which the progressive principles that inform my work were being progressively pushed back by an increasingly nihilistic neoliberalism across the Western world and a peculiarly retrogressive manifestation (The Govist turn) in the UK. In the most extreme case a book that was conceived as creatively and playfully reimaging Media Studies ‘after the subject’ turned out almost to be the subject’s epitaph as its survival at A level turned out to be a close run thing. I hope in passing to consider the impact of this context but also to argue that the context of writing this commentary, at the time of a global pandemic, has probably added more significantly to its value, which I measure only pragmatically, of ideas being produced in a way that is useful to other people. As the pandemic has exposed our flawed models of education far more powerfully than I could myself, indeed have myself, so it has also provided an imperative for affirmative critical action. I hope this work can make a small contribution to that process in suggesting ways in which we might fundamentally perform the educational ‘act’ differently. For that reason there is a more heavily weighted focus on the ways in which my more recent publications constitute a hardly intended deconstruction of the dominant educational paradigm and tentative presentation of an alternative in four steps. As this has been an interpretation of the work inspired by this process alone, I have tried also to make the creation of the commentary an active element of the final version. In this I am partly acknowledging the influence of Barthes’ famous book lengthy critical study of his own work, ‘RB by RB’. I would like to think that the structures, fluidity and playfulness of the commentary also convey something of the whole project.
    • Adoption of smart and sustainable strategies in the State of Qatar

      Suresh Renukappa; Al Meraikhi, Hamda (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-04)
      With the increasing importance given to sustainable development nowadays, countries around the world are shifting their focus and efforts to changing the previous unsustainable growth framework that has been ineffective. Therefore, Qatar, following in the footsteps of the rest of the world, decided to introduce a sustainability plan to ensure the population’s prosperity through its Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030). However, little is known about how Qatar organisations are responding to this encouragement. The aim of this research is to investigate how Qatar public sector organisations are embedding smart and sustainable strategies in order to achieve the QNV 2030. Given the relatively new and unexplored nature of the research problem, a qualitative research method was adopted to collect and analyse data. Semi-structured interviews with 56 professionals were used to collect data which was then analysed using content analysis for inference and conclusion. The study concluded that smart and sustainable issues are complex, dynamic, and multifaceted. A complex mix of government, economic, social and environmental forces drives Qatar organisations to implement smart and sustainable strategies. Overall, the outlook for improved sustainable strategies efforts from the state of Qatar looks quite promising at present. Qatar organisations face significant challenges in taking the first steps towards implementing smart and sustainable strategies. To improve smart and sustainable performance, therefore, leaders have to recognise and better understand the concept of smart development and sustainability. The current study results suggest that, to meet the goals of the QNV2030, the implementation of healthcare strategies is still evolving in the State of Qatar. Therefore, there is a need to re-examine the National Health Strategy to Qatar’s health challenges, aligned to a global shift in thinking towards population health and smarter and more integrated care. The scarcity of knowledge and expertise associated with sustainable strategies is, and will continue to be, a huge challenge for Qatar public sector organisations. Therefore, training programmes related to the management of smart and sustainable related knowledge will help leaders, managers, and change agents better understand how to craft and implement various smart and sustainable strategies to achieve QNV 2030. An innovative business model for the integration of smart and sustainable strategies into day-to-day operational decisions was developed and validated. This model is intended to offer guidance for the successful implementation of smart and sustainable strategies to simultaneously improve environmental, social and economic performance. It is recommended to explore the level of embeddedness of smart and sustainable strategies in the public sector between developed and developing countries.
    • Stakeholder management within BIM implemented projects in the UK construction industry

      Ezekiel Chinyio; Subashini Suresh; Singh, Sukhtaj (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-04)
      Over the last decade, the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has proliferated to manage the increasing complexity of construction projects. Project managers face challenges while managing stakeholders on BIM-implemented projects because the BIM concept is still relatively new to many stakeholders. The implementation of BIM brought new and complex activities to the already complex process of project management, which led to radical change in the working practices of project stakeholders and generated risk for diverse areas. In this study, the challenges, techniques, enablers and benefits of managing stakeholders within BIM-implemented projects were investigated. This exploratory study adopts a qualitative approach with an interpretative stance at its core, which is an appropriate approach to adopt when the variables and theory base are not known. Pilot study was conducted to test the research instrument. A total of 23 semi-structured interviews were conducted in the UK, via purposive and snowball sampling techniques. The data gathered was analysed using content analysis and the NVivo 11 Pro software. The findings include a persisting low understanding of the BIM concept in project team, especially the client. The users’ resistance to change, and disintegration of BIM and traditional teams leads to unanticipated issues. Holding face-to-face meetings with client at the onset of a project for discussing BIM process and arranging frequent meetings of BIM users among themselves are the key techniques of mitigating issues proactively. Furthermore, organisations should create a sharing and learning environment to encourage and facilitate adoption of BIM. The effective management of stakeholders leads to generating good quality information, avoiding unanticipated issues and assists in understanding the result clearly. A descriptive framework was developed and validated. This framework provides requirements that needs to be integrated during stakeholder management in BIM projects. Every construction project has a unique set of stakeholders. Therefore, project managers should conduct a BIM assessment of all key stakeholders and develop a bespoke stakeholder management plan based on that. BIM has a huge potential to manage stakeholders effectively on construction projects. Even the roles that are not directly/indirectly related to BIM can benefit from increased and better communication and collaboration. Communication, collaboration, stakeholder engagement, trust, common goals, technology and people are at the core of managing stakeholders within BIM projects. Top management should proactively support stakeholder management plan because the lack of knowledge and understanding of BIM among project participants on an ongoing project may lead to conflicts. Larger organisations should help smaller organisations on BIM-implemented projects because smaller organisations usually do not have enough budget to train their staff. To date, researchers have focused on implementation of BIM and stakeholder management aimed at the micro level with little attention to the effect of new digital ways of working with stakeholder. This research provides a richer understanding and awareness of the enablers and techniques, which organisations have to focus on while making strategies in order to face minimum resistance from stakeholders. The study is unique in a way that it considers BIM from a management perspective, especially the stakeholder management. The previous studies have identified challenges of BIM in isolation. The enablers, techniques and benefits pertaining stakeholder management were identified and prioritised in the context of BIM. Furthermore, this study has established new ways which managers can adopt to manage stakeholders in addition to technical approaches.
    • Establishing an ex vivo model of acanthamoeba keratitis and investigating the phenotypic similarities between the protozoan acanthamoeba and human macrophages

      Heaselgrave, Wayne; Al-Antary, Noor Tawfiq Mohamad (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-04)
      Acanthamoeba is a small free-living amoeba found in tap water and soil with two life stages: the trophozoite and cyst. Acanthamoeba species are opportunistic pathogens of humans that cause two main diseases including a potentially blinding infection of the cornea called Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) in immunocompetent individuals, and a fatal granulomatous encephalitis in the immunocompromised. In this study, an ex vivo model of AK was developed to better understand the pathophysiological processes that occur in this disease. The model has several applications such as studying the interaction of Acanthamoeba with cells of innate immunity, investigating the efficacy of different pharmaceutical products in stopping the progression of the disease beside using the model to correlate between in vivo and ex vivo confocal microscopy findings of various morphologies of Acanthamoeba cysts and trophozoites. Furthermore, the study evaluated the phenotypic similarities between Acanthamoeba and cells of the innate immune system mainly macrophages using flow cytometry analysis to enhance the understanding of how immune cells interact with Acanthamoeba Porcine corneas were used to establish a reproducible ex vivo model which was maintained for four weeks and optimised by the supplement of CO2 and the use of air – liquid interface rocking system that mimics natural eye blinking. Once the model was established, Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts were added to the corneal model to evaluate the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba keratitis, and the study successfully demonstrated the development of the infection in the model. This study was also able to demonstrate that the addition of macrophages and neutrophils to the AK model did not limit the process of the infection as these cells were phagocytosed by Acanthamoeba. The model was also used to investigate the efficacy of doxycycline and polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) in stopping the disease progression and the results demonstrated the ability of PHMB to inactivate Acanthamoeba trophozoites with minimal toxicity to the corneal epithelium. Doxycycline was not found to have any major antimicrobial effect on the viability of Acanthamoeba. The model was also utilized to study the ex vivo confocal microscopy (EVCM) features of various forms of Acanthamoeba and correlate these findings to in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) images from culture positive AK cases. The study demonstrated similarity in the morphological features of Acanthamoeba in both ex vivo and in vivo confocal microscopy images, which makes EVCM images a reliable reference to validate IVCM findings. Finally, this study evaluated the phenotypic similarities between Acanthamoeba and macrophages using flow cytometry analysis which identified various degrees of positive reactivity of amoebic cell surface to a limited number of anti-human monoclonal antibodies. This suggests some structural and functional similarities in protein surfaces between amoeba and macrophages which can potentially offer a future tool for screening.
    • Added value through design for healthcare facilities/buildings in Saudi Arabia within the legislative regulations of Saudi Arabia

      Arif, Mohammed; Fadel, Bedour A. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-03)
      High-quality physical environments can promote health and well-being. A healthcare facility with an environment that is user centered, welcoming, and accessible, while also supporting staff and patient privacy and security has been found to enhance medical outcomes, and patient and staff comfort and well-being, which in turn have a positive effect on medical outcomes. The use of Evidence Based Designhas been shown to be of benefit to add value through design to a building . A comprehensive review of relevant literature was used to develop an understanding of the factors perceived to add value to a healthcare facility. Data were derived from two instruments an expert survey and a group AHP pairwise comparison survey. The findings of the first instrument resulted in validation of the factors, both directly and indirectly related to design, proposed in the literature and added insight into some culturally specific perceptions of factors which add value to a healthcare facility. The second instrument was a pairwise comparison of the six main design criteria and 25 related sub-factors to gain a multi-user perspective of their priority in adding value. The results from the first expert survey of the factors found in the literature and the AHP pairwise comparison survey were synthesized to develop a proposed framework to add value to healthcare facilities through building design . The framework was developed with consideration of factors indirectly impacted by design in addition to the design factors themselves. The proposed framework has six main criteria of Risk and Safety, Accessibility and Way-finding, Functionality, Cultural factors , Aesthetics, Comfort and Well-being and Cost with 25 sub-factors directly related to design of varied priority ranking found to add value to a healthcare facility within the Saudi Cultural context and presented in order of priority weighting . These were then related to their impact on the factors which add value to a healthcare facility which have been shown to be indirectly related to the healthcare facility design. Findings suggest that while perceptions of factors that add value are mostly in agreement with those found in other studies, that there are some culturally specific factors that need to be considered in order to design facilities that provide the greatest value, including patient rooms of a size and design that allow for a caretaker to be present and to accommodate for a large number of visitors, In addition, there is a need to consider the direction for the prayer and the need for signage to indicate it in the room layout. They also suggest that added value through design can have a positive effect on medical outcomes and the satisfaction and well-being of staff and patients.