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

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

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

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

      Feng, Feifei (2018-07-30)
      The aim of this study is to explore what the relevant factors of nurses' attitudes to and at work are. These include the separate but related hypotheses – the nature of the profession and changes in terms of management and training; the nature of the work situation including contracts and pay determination; and the nature of work relations as they impinge on nurse status including relations with co-workers and patients. All of which can be understood and compared with other workers in terms of both labour process and industrial relations as Goldthorpe (1968) did in the study of car workers. In the context of the contemporary Chinese social and political economy, the research also evaluates the roles of the government and how it affects nurses’ attitudes to the profession. It is grounded in a case study of 330 nurses in a Chinese public sector hospital, using questionnaires, interviews, and documentary evidence on government policies and hospital practices. The findings suggest that nurses at the case study hospital are frequently put under pressure due to the high number of patients they are expected to care for. This was caused by insufficient government funding for public sector hospitals, and the pressure to improve overall efficiency within the health service. The use of different types of employment contracts for nurses has caused strong resentment among nurses because it fails to award ‘equal pay for equal work’. In addition, the current system used in many Chinese hospitals for nurse education, recruitment, training and development, and pay have not helped establish realistic expectations of nursing or rewarded nurses for the work they do effectively.
    • An investigative study on the relationship between organizational factors and knowledge management effectiveness in UAE public organizations: the case study of Abu Dhabi

      Alkatheeri, Ayman (2018-07-01)
      This study examines the relationship between organizational factors (Culture, Structure, Strategy and Technology) and Knowledge Management Effectiveness (KME) in Abu Dhabi public organizations. The literature indicates that these factors are widely used to explore KME in construction organizations, but little analysis has been undertaken for UAE public construction companies. The government of Abu Dhabi regulates eight different construction organizations. This study obtained 414 samples from the considered organizations. An empirical research with quantitative methods was undertaken. First, a comprehensive literature reviewed enabled the derivation of three hypotheses, which were then verified through a quantitative survey of the eight organizations. A questionnaire was administered to 414 active department managers, supervisors and employees of Abu Dhabi public organizations whose job description indicated responsibility for KME implementation. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to evaluate the organizational factors and KME of the considered organizations. Ordered logistic regression was used to assess the influence of the organizational factors on KME, and factor analysis was used for the extraction of the significant dimensions of these factors. Ordered logistic regression was used to explore the relationships between the significant dimensions found in these factors and KME. It was discovered that there is significant relationship between organizational factors and KME, but only a few dimensions have significant impacts. Therefore, a model was subsequently developed for the improvement of KME in Abu Dhabi public organizations consisting of significant areas and dimensions of factors impacting on KME, which was developed in a group discussion conducted with senior and middle management leaders from the considered organizations, who were responsible for implementing knowledge management. This model was then validated in Abu Dhabi public organizations and the results indicate the areas and factors of Abu Dhabi public organizations’ knowledge management leaders that need to be strengthened to improve KME performance.
    • Automatic identification and translation of multiword expressions

      Taslimipoor, Shiva (2018-06-30)
      Multiword Expressions (MWEs) belong to a class of phraseological phenomena that is ubiquitous in the study of language. They are heterogeneous lexical items consisting of more than one word and feature lexical, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic idiosyncrasies. Scholarly research on MWEs benefits both natural language processing (NLP) applications and end users. This thesis involves designing new methodologies to identify and translate MWEs. In order to deal with MWE identification, we first develop datasets of annotated verb-noun MWEs in context. We then propose a method which employs word embeddings to disambiguate between literal and idiomatic usages of the verb-noun expressions. Existence of expression types with various idiomatic and literal distributions leads us to re-examine their modelling and evaluation. We propose a type-aware train and test splitting approach to prevent models from overfitting and avoid misleading evaluation results. Identification of MWEs in context can be modelled with sequence tagging methodologies. To this end, we devise a new neural network architecture, which is a combination of convolutional neural networks and long-short term memories with an optional conditional random field layer on top. We conduct extensive evaluations on several languages demonstrating a better performance compared to the state-of-the-art systems. Experiments show that the generalisation power of the model in predicting unseen MWEs is significantly better than previous systems. In order to find translations for verb-noun MWEs, we propose a bilingual distributional similarity approach derived from a word embedding model that supports arbitrary contexts. The technique is devised to extract translation equivalents from comparable corpora which are an alternative resource to costly parallel corpora. We finally conduct a series of experiments to investigate the effects of size and quality of comparable corpora on automatic extraction of translation equivalents.
    • The law and Regulation of Credit Rating Agencies in the US and EU

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

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

      Naim, Abdullah Abdulrahman Abdullah Al (2018-06-01)
      Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been well recognised all around the world as a technology driven approach that can bring radical improvements in construction productivity. There is considerable demand for using BIM in the KSA due to the large scale of its construction industry that needs to improve its productivity to overcome the persistent problems, such as project delays, planning inefficiencies, and waste of resources. The aim of this study is to investigate how the KSA construction organisations are implementing BIM for competitive advantage. Qualitative research approach was adopted to collect and analyse data from 46 BIM professionals. As part of the analysis of the interviews, content analysis was employed. The unit of analysis adopted for this study is the ‘construction industry’ and the embedded unit is ‘individual employee’. The KSA construction industry is heading in the right direction for implementing BIM, however it is lacking BIM knowledge and does not understand BIM as a set of requirements. Therefore, an industry wide awareness-raising programme on the concept of BIM needs to be developed and deployed. The existing education and training programmes need some reorientation. Furthermore, the KSA construction organisations would not survive if they choose not to use BIM. BIM is widely used during planning and design stage. The four most important drivers for BIM implementation are: client pressure, competitive pressure, to improve collaboration, and government pressure. Eleven challenges were also revealed in this study of which organisational culture for change is the key challenge for adoption of BIM in the KSA construction organisations. Leaders of a change process need to realise that most changes within an organisation will usually cause and expect some change in its existing culture and sub-cultures. Therefore, having a better understanding of the effects change has on the sub-cultures of an organisation, group or team, will in turn help leaders of a change process better understand the resistance towards the change itself, and provide a more realistic approach on how to manage it. A BIM implementation framework is developed for the benefit of KSA construction organisations. It is recommended that KSA construction stakeholders including the government and professional regulatory bodies should work together in ensuring that the enablers of BIM adoption such as the provision of regulations and industry standards guiding the implementation are provided and strengthened to make the industry ready enough for BIM adoption.
    • Representing Muslims: Islamophobic discourse and the construction of identities in Britain since 2001

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

      Richards, Lynn Maureen (2018-04-16)
      This research study explores the ways in which articulations of belonging are expressed by a small number of second year education undergraduates in a post-1992 university in the UK. Issues of student engagement and belonging in Higher Education (HE) have been the subject of research within recent years as a way to enhance rates of student retention and success, as the Widening Participation agenda has realised a changing demographic within the traditional student body. This study focuses on the First Generation Student (FGS), as reflective of the non-traditional student, who is subject to a negative framing within the educational literary discourse. The research adopts a metaphorical lens to locate the FGS as migrant within the HE landscape and to consider HE institutional efforts to foster a sense of belonging, as a strategic tool for success, as a colonising process. Working within an ecological framing of the topic, the study focuses on the differing contexts within which the research participants operate and considers the impact these have upon student engagement with the university. As a way to foreground respectful working with research participants, a person-centred approach has been employed, using a narrative inquiry methodological framework. Voices of the participants, as narrators, are privileged within this study in order to afford them the opportunity to add to the ongoing conversation on belonging. Creative strategies, based upon photo- and metaphor-elicitation, have been employed to facilitate discussion of the abstract and intangible concept of belonging and to provide a participatory nature to this research study. Findings signal a strong resolve by these narrators to overcome obstacles in their path to success within what is often an unfamiliar terrain within HE. The potentiality of the individual is privileged, showing strengths that are brought to the world of study which are often unrecognised by university practices. The affective dimension of belonging is emphasised within the research and metaphors of belonging, articulated by the narrators, offer alternative conceptual structurings which privilege aspects to do with security and adventure. Such insights afford opportunities to view belonging from differing perspectives, to re-figure ways in which students see themselves within HE processes, and to alert staff and personnel to new ways in which they might view the non-traditional student. Aspects of valuing the diversity of students and of a person-centred approach to working are viewed as key to creating the possibilities for belonging.
    • Global Extraction and Cultural Production: An Investigation of Forms of Extraction Through the Production of Artist-Video

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

      Davies, Christopher Dominic Stephen (2018-01-15)
      Teacher identity (Ti) is an important concept in helping to understand the variety of inter-connected influences that impact on the professional lives of teachers in further education (FE). Ti is under researched within the FE sector and is used in this study to analyse the impact of the marketization of FE (post-incorporation) on the roles of individual teachers and teacher managers. The study takes an interpretive stance using visual metaphors and the narratives of participant teachers, linked to their roles, and teaching journeys, to analyse and evaluate changes to professionalism and individual agency in response to the marketization of the sector. Key literature on Ti in FE, professionalism and teacher agency were used to develop an understanding of the effects of marketization in relation to the main question and market theory provided a lens through which to consider marketization in context. The findings identified the individualised nature of the effects of marketization on the identities of teachers and how they interpreted their roles. These were seen through different levels of teacher agency and changes to professionalism in response to managerialism and the altered culture of the colleges in the study. A summative conceptualisation of Ti in an FE context was developed, which provided an insight into the potential strategies adopted by staff in relation to marketization and the main question set for this study.
    • Development of a framework for sustainable construction waste management. A case study of three major Libyan cities

      Ali, Ashraf (2018-01-01)
      Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste is one of the most voluminous and harmful categories of solid waste worldwide, comprising 40% of the total volume of global waste. Waste minimisation is essential for sustainable waste management for environmental, social and economic benefits. Libya has particularly egregious C&D waste due to prolific and unregulated construction activities and conflict, and defective C&D waste management. This study presents a framework for sustainable construction and demolition waste management (SC&DWM) in the Libyan context. A critical analysis of different barriers affecting SC&DWM and strategies to overcome them are presented based on a combination of literature review and mixed methods research. During the first phase, questionnaires were distributed face-to-face to four different groups: the general public, two groups of experts and policy maker. The second phase involved a focus group discussion (FGD) to produce additional beneficial supporting data, particularly from experts, in order to strengthen the outcomes of the study. Data analysis revealed that the main barrier to SC&DWM in Libya is the lack of C&D waste management facilities, while the least important barrier was producing unrecyclable materials from construction activities. The key strategy for SC&DWM is increasing awareness of negative impacts of C&D waste and the positive influence of sustainable practices for organizational and national economics. The developed framework presents a coherent and systematic approach and identified strategies that could be used to address these barriers and lead to SC&DWM, including options available for SC&DWM, capacity building, implementation and enforcement and evaluation and reviewing. The practical implication of the findings is that Libyan central government, municipalities and organizations need clear vision, approaches and practices to achieve SC&DWM. To validate this research findings, internal and external sources were adopted. In addition, respondent validation technique was used to evaluate the framework. Respondents believed that this framework tailored to the Libyan circumstances and the framework is appropriate enough to obtain SC&DWM practices in the case study. The study also provides a range of targeted recommendations for SC&DWM in Libya to improve efficiency. Further work is necessary to implement construction waste management and waste management at the industrial level, as well as identifying the actual quantity C&D waste so far, and its composition and distribution in Libya.
    • Through the Lens: Using Auto-Driven Photo-Elicitation to Capture the Development of Career Aspirations of Business Management and Fine Art Students

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

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

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

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

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

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