• Labour flexibility: An analysis of the future trajectory of the employment of female graduates in Saudi Arabia

      ALFALIH, ABDULAZIZ (2016-04)
      Debates on flexible employment and labour persist in most Western market economies, while being largely absent regarding Saudi Arabia. Increasing unemployment among qualified Saudi citizens remains a major concern, particularly for females, despite a government policy of Saudisation. Notwithstanding incentives for prioritising Saudi citizens, foreign nationals dominate private sector employment. Few empirical studies consider the factors impacting employment of educated Saudi women: further, there are hardly any robust frameworks which offer policy makers, employers, and those championing the employment of this group a clear set of plausible guidelines bearing in mind the socioeconomic context of Saudi Arabia. The research aims, first and foremost, to examine how far "labour flexibility" in Saudi Arabia offers solutions to unemployment among educated Saudi females, exploring interalia the main institutions and regulatory framework of the Saudi labour market, and the effectiveness of these in managing the relationship between employers and employees. It also examines the major labour market and employment policy concerns of government, employers and employees, considering flexible employment forms in Saudi Arabia, and in what context employers and employees do or would consider flexible employment. Following on from this, the second aim is to develop a conceptual framework on key factors impacting the participation of educated Saudi females in the Saudi labour market. The framework that emerges from these analyses also provides some guidance for graduate women who seek labour market entry and participation. iii The study employed quantitative and qualitative methodologies, with targeted participants, returning 1347 usable questionnaires (41% response) augmented by 28 semi-structured interviews. The quantitative data underwent statistical examination by performing descriptive and inferential analysis on the SPSS software, and qualitative data were analysed using summative content analysis. A conceptual framework was developed and validated through interviews with ten representatives of the interviewed sample population, who held senior positions. To improve understanding of key influencing factors for educated women’s participation in the Saudi labour market for key stakeholders. The six factors identified were personal, socio-cultural, educational, legal/political, organisational and economic. The study identifies a relationship between increased flexible work patterns and increased employment of educated Saudi females and suggests a relationship between the challenges Saudi females face within employment practices and numbers employed in the labour market. Similarly, a relationship exists between educational level and employment chances for Saudi women. Recommendations are proffered to the Saudi Government, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Education, industrial sector, organisations, researchers and academia.
    • Land use and vegetation change on the Long Mynd

      Packham, J.; Trueman, Ian C.; Hill, M. O.; Musgrove, Nicholas James (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
      The plant communities of the Long Mynd plateau are the culmination of over 3000 years of human intervention that largely deforested the uplands, and subsequently maintained the generally treeless heath and grassland communities now extant. The capacity of these communities to respond to directional change is well known, indeed the traditional mode of heathland management, burning, depends on the regenerative capacity of the target species, generally heather (Calluna vulgaris), for its success. However, changes in post WW2 stocking practice; the loss of ponies followed by an increase in the numbers of sheep and a change to them being overwintered on the hill, led to excessive grazing and damage to the heath. This coincided with the spread over the hill by bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) and other changes in the distribution and nature of the vegetation. A sequence of vegetation surveys made by various individuals and organisations over the past 75 years or so has been analysed in an attempt to delineate spatial and temporal changes in the vegetation. This demonstrated the need for a standardised survey methodology to allow consistent monitoring. The analysis showed that bracken had been infiltrating most of the communities from its origins outside the lower limits of the Common as well as from some of the valley sides. Within the last decade, this expansion has apparently been contained in line with the current management plan for control. A survey of 730 quadrats in some 30 stands was made to characterise the variation of the vegetation on the plateau, and to relate it to some of the associated environmental factors. Classification, unconstrained ordination and ordination constrained by the abiotic environmental variables, showed that, a) the strongest trend in the vegetation distinguished water-flushed communities, b) non-wetland communities differentiate between heathland and grassland, c) this trend can be only partly be attributed to the measured abiotic environmental variables, d) the amount of pure Pteridietum [U20] is limited, although much of the heathland and grassland has bracken within it. There are indications that invasion by bracken often correlates with a loss of dominance of Calluna in favour of Deschampsia flexuosa and Vaccinium myrtillus. Difficulties in associating these trends with measured abiotic variables suggests, other factors probably management processes, are critical in driving this trend. Distribution of ‘heathland’ bryophytes was found to be associated more with the structure of their ‘host’ vascular communities rather than with abiotic factors. Finally, this investigation considers the practical implications with regard to the future encouragement of heather and the control of bracken. Cutting rather than burning appears to be the ecologically most suitable method for heather regeneration and bracken control.
    • Language and ideology: a linguistic analysis of school textbooks from the FRG and the GDR, with special reference to the role of language in socialisation

      Beverley, Angela (University of Wolverhampton, 1986)
      This thesis investigates the interrelationship of language end ideology as exemplified in a corpus of politics textbooks used in East and West German schools. The theoretical framework adopted is a development of the work of M A K Halliday, incorporating also work done in other fields of linguistics, in psychology, pedagogics, political science, and sociology. Part I discusses the corpus and the conceptual framework of the thesis. The role of language in the creation and maintenance of ideology, and the contrasting ways in which this finds expression in political education in the two German states, are discussed. The problematic issue of the standpoint of the linguist is considered. Part II presents the linguistic framework of the thesis; little immediately relevant work had previously been carried out. Halliday’s work provided the most appropriate tool for our analysis. In Part III the texts are discussed from the standpoint of each of the macrofunctions Transitivity, Mood and Theme, and contrasts are drawn where appropriate between the expression of these functions in the two sets of texts. The main overall conclusion of the thesis is that the two sets of texts are typologically distinct and express different universes with respect to the role of the reader and the text; these differences can be perceived in all the linguistic systems investigated. The thesis makes a major contribution to the discussion on the interrelationship of language and ideology, but goes beyond a simple rehearsing of contrasting lexical usage in East and West Germany by also analysing syntactic and semantic features. Examples of linguistic obfuscation, resulting from mismatches between language and ideology, are also discussed. Most importantly, the thesis is an original application of Hallidayan linguistics to German.
    • Leadership for implementing knowledge management strategies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      Renukappa, Suresh; Al Nabt, Saeed (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09-17)
      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) government aims to improve the current public service delivery and to achieve the Saudi’s Vision 2030, the KSA needs to extend on knowledge management (KM) strategies and programmes. However, the key to successfully embracing these changes and guide them to transform into twenty-first century public sector organisations would require visionary, innovative, creative, and dynamic form of leadership. Although featuring strongly in the popular media, trade, professional, and academic journals, the very concept of ‘leadership’ in the context of KM is elusive for the KSA public sector organisations. Therefore, the aim of this research is to investigate the roles of leadership for implementing KM strategies in the KSA public sector organisations. Given the new and unexplored nature of the research problem, a qualitative research methodology was adopted. In total, 42 semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data, which was then analysed using content analysis along with Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) for inference and conclusion. As revealed in the study, the critical success factors (CSFs) for effective implementation of KM strategies are broad, but nine key CSFs stand out. The association between the identified factors is established by employing an interpretive structural modelling (ISM) methodology that is based on multi-criteria decision making approach. The research result indicated that ‘leadership’ and ‘organisational culture’ are the most significant critical success factors having highest driving power. These factors are deemed to be most-effective for adopting KM strategies in the KSA public sector organisations. It is evident from this study that there are many misconceptions of what leadership meant to them and their organisations in a KM context. Ten key roles leadership plays in implementing KM related change initiatives. The main motivations for invest in leadership skills development programmes are to facilitate the growth of the department and retain staff. The key barriers for delivering knowledge leadership skills training programmes are time, cost, and culture. It is suggests that a more robust leadership training evaluation process would be desirable. A leadership skills awareness training tool was developed and validated. The research concludes that the leadership plays a key role in implementing KM strategies in the KSA. In order to meet the Saudi Vision 2030, KSA public sector organisations must show leadership. It is suggests that public sector wide awareness raising programmes on the concept of leadership needs to be implemented. Also, there is a need to re-assess the leadership skills required by the KSA public sector organisations. The existing education and training programmes in the KSA need some reorientation.
    • Lean-excellence business management for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies in Kurdistan region of Iraq

      Daniel, Emmanuel; Gyoh, Louis; Mohammad, Ibrahim Salih; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-06)
      To survive in the twenty-first century’s business environment, many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) depend on Lean Manufacturing (LM) techniques as their industrial strategies to enable them to reduce waste, time, effort, enhance quality and increase customer satisfaction constantly. However, many SMEs, especially in developing countries, fail to engage in lean programmes successfully. In this research, a strategic framework to support LM practices within manufacturing SMEs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) has been developed. Based on a comprehensive review of the literature, the research develops Lean-Excellence business management (LEBM), a conceptual framework resulting from the integration of lean tools with the criteria of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) excellence model. The framework assists lean practices through eight variables, namely lean leadership, strategic planning, customer relationship, continuous improvement, process management, human resource development, organisational learning and business results. The research applied mixed-method techniques, including a questionnaire administered to 207 SMEs, three case studies and an interview with nine experts to validate the framework. The findings indicate that lean practices in the KRI-SMEs are not matured. However, partial lean practices still positively influence business performance. Many factors impede the adoption of LM, including language barriers, outdated management style, substandard attitudes of employees, poor technological infrastructure, and lack of government support. The findings from this research could be a good driver to introducing LM to manufacturing SMEs within developing countries. However, external issues such as government support, national culture and workers’ personal values were excluded in this research, which can address critical gaps for further research.
    • Learners' perceptions of language proficiency, language test-taking strategies and emotional regulation in a test-taking context: a case study in an Egyptian EFL context

      Boraie, Deena (University of Wolverhampton, 2003)
      This study investigated adult EFL learners' perceptions of English language proficiency, identified their test-taking strategies and emotional regulation processes during test-taking and explored the relationship between test-takers' reported use of test-taking strategies and emotional regulation on the one hand and their performance on an English language placement test on the other. The study was conducted in the Center for Adult & Continuing Education at the American University in Cairo. The rationale for this study was two fold. Firstly, given that there is a variety of interpretations of the construct of English language proficiency, no empirically derived definition of language proficiency was available for this particular context. Secondly, a lack of research was found investigating test-taking strategies, emotional regulation and test performance within a process approach. Expanding on the Bachman & Palmer (1996) model, a Language Testing Processing (LTP) model was proposed. A mixed methods approach was used integrating qualitative and quantitative methods in different stages of the study. The context-specific definition of the construct of language proficiency was based on data collected from 36 learners using a semi-structured interview and from 41 teachers using an open-ended questionnaire. Test-taking strategies and emotional regulation processes were identified from think aloud data obtained from 12 test-takers who were asked to verbalize their thoughts and feelings while they took a placement test. Based on the think aloud data and the literature, the Test-Taking Strategies Questionnaire (TTSQ) was designed to investigate the relationship between test-taking strategies, emotional regulation and language test performance. The TTSQ was administered to 497 test-takers after they completed the placement test. Correlations, analysis of variance and discriminant analysis showed that emotional regulation influences the selection of particular test-taking strategies, which in turn is associated with performance on a language placement test. The LTP model was supported and further refined by the think aloud and quantitative data. The insights gained on perceptions of language proficiency, test-taking strategies and affective factors that influence test performance are discussed and the implications of these results on curriculum designers, test developers and teachers are presented.
    • Learning in boards: a grounded theory study of UK boards of directors

      ABAYOMI OJEBODE, ADEREMI (2017)
      Boards of directors have been described as an integral part of corporate governance research, being at "the apex of the internal control system" (Jensen, 1993, p.862). Early corporate governance research has examined whether, and to what extent, board characteristics impact on performance. However, the results of studies that focused on board structure/composition and performance produced mixed outcomes. Consequently, we saw the emergence of research on board processes and their impact on board task performance. Research on board processes is still ongoing, and scholars have been interested in, among other processes, how knowledge and skills by board members are being used (Gabrielsson and Huse, 2004; Kor and Sundaramurthy, 2009). At the same time, there is a gap within educational research on how knowledge is being created within teams that are episodic in nature, such as boards (Forbes and Milliken, 1999). As such, the concept of learning has to date been under-researched in a board context. In this thesis, board processes are studied by exploring the processes involved in the acquisition and sharing of knowledge and skills in boards. Further, as a response to calls for the adoption of alternative research approaches to the study of boards (Pettigrew, 1992; Johnson et al., 1996), this research is conducted using a qualitative method based on a grounded theory approach. The study is conducted based on evidence from semi-structured interviews with UK board members. The findings show that the creation of knowledge in boards depends on two dialectical processes of learning (acquisition of knowledge and skills from the external environment and sharing of knowledge and skills in the internal environment). The qualitative findings show that 1) directors possess certain levels of knowledge related to specific boards task – which is also known as directors’ knowledge base; 2) the gap between the level of knowledge and skills needed to perform specific board tasks and the directors knowledge base is regarded as a gap in directors’ knowledge; 3) that there are two processes of filling the gap(s) in directors’ knowledge – the process of acquiring knowledge and skills (from the external environment), and the process of sharing knowledge and skills within the board; 4) that there are factors which are impacting on the processes of acquiring and sharing knowledge in boards; and 5) the processes of learning in boards are circular and board members must continually update their knowledge to enhance their capabilities. The thesis contributes to knowledge by revealing new insights into how board members acquire knowledge and skills (processes of learning) and factors that are impacting on learning in boards, underpinning former conceptual models. Qualitative analysis itemised different types of processes for both acquiring and sharing knowledge and skills in boards. Additionally, the qualitative analysis revealed various forms of learning styles that are being employed by board members either to acquire or share knowledge and skills. Finally, this thesis contributes to qualitative research in boards and its findings have implications for board practice, especially boards’ tasks performance and processes of learning.
    • Learning to be an Insider Agent of Change in a Brazilian Rural University

      Kowalski, Robert; Bartlett, Steve; Botelho, Marcel (University of Wolverhampton, 2008)
      The “University” is under pressure to address both local and general requirements from society towards a phenomenon called globalisation. In Brazil, the Ministry of Education has tried, without success, to promote institutional change. Confronted by this situation a process initiated by an internal change agent and based upon the introduction of Action Research was itself the subject of this AR Study by the change agent. This thesis draws upon the findings of that AR and uses it to critically examine the potential to foster change within the higher education context in Brazil using AR. The research was designed in two synchronous processes taking place at two different levels. The first is the facilitation of the uptake of Action Research by a group of academic staff, and the second is the research into that process as a piece of Action Research in its own right by the change agent/facilitator. Facilitation of change has been described as taking place in three phases: a) Mobilization; b) Implementation; and c) Continuation. Throughout such phases in this case data were systematically gathered by the use of five instruments of data collection: 1) Observation; 2) Diary; 3) Questionnaires; 4) Interviews; and 5) Sociogram. Results show my personal learning in facilitating this process of change and two main contributions to knowledge. The first is one which, though local and specific, may nevertheless speak to the challenges faced by other practitioners. Exemplified in this study by the critical exploration of the ‘Daisy Model’ of introducing AR that led to its modification into the ‘Flower Model’. The second is that new knowledge which appears to be more generalisable and for which a case can be made for its wider applicability. Again exemplified in the continuous and disruptive process of change that unfolded to reveal a suitable framework for the use of Action Research as a vehicle of change in a rural university in Brazil where all actions were based on four central principles that emerged from the research: neutrality, voluntary participation, time and motivation. The future success and sustainability of the change processes begun are contingent upon the reaction of the current management of the institution. Five scenarios are examined and a second phase for this AR project is suggested that attempts to address the issues raised.
    • LEARNING WITHIN FORMAL MENTORING RELATIONSHIPS: WHAT MENTEES AND MENTORS LEARN AT DIFFERENT PHASES OF THE MENTORING LIFE-CYCLE AND FACTORS THAT MODERATE THE LEARNING PROCESS

      Jones, Jenni (2016-09)
      Mentoring is increasing in popularity in the workplace but we do not fully understand it. There is not enough evidence or clarity within the practitioner or academic field to demonstrate the learning outcomes for both parties and what factors moderate the mentoring relationship over time. Therefore, this doctoral research aims to investigate this gap. Following an extensive literature review of the mentoring, learning and moderating factors, four research questions were identified. These are: 1. What do mentees and mentors perceive they are learning during their formal mentoring relationships? 2. How does the learning change over time for both parties? 3. What are the factors that moderate mentee and mentor learning during their formal mentoring relationships? 4. How do these moderating factors change over time for both parties? The research was conducted within three collaborating public sector organisations drawn from the Healthcare sector (Case 1) and the Police sector (Case 2 & 3) of the United Kingdom. Interviews and focus groups were conducted: 38 mentee and mentor interviews and two focus groups in Healthcare, 68 interviews and four focus groups in the first Police study and 12 focus groups in the second Police study, spread across the four phases of the mentoring lifecycle; initiation, cultivation, separation and redefinition (Kram, 1988). Key findings have been revealed in relation to the particular types of learning outcomes that result from formal mentoring dyadic relationships and the moderating factors that impact positively and negatively on the mentoring learning process. The present study has identified that both mentors and mentees learnt across all four learning domains as defined by Wanberg et al., (2003): cognitive, skill-based, affective-related learning and social networks, in all three organisations. Generally for both parties, the largest number of mentee and mentor responses were in relation to the affectiverelated learning domain, in the area of confidence. For the moderating factors, there were common facilitating and hindering factors identified for both parties based on Hegstad and Wentlings’s (2005) moderating factors, with four new factors added as a result of this research: personal factors, other relationships, similarity and difference. There was no similar pattern of mentee and mentor responses in relation to moderating factors over the four phases of the mentoring lifecycle, across all three case organisations. However, a common factor for all three case study organisations was that formal mentoring relationships endured despite some significant hindering factors within the workplace. The thesis concludes by discussing implications for theory and practice that have emerged from this study. It confirms that mentors learn within the same four learning domains as mentees throughout formal mentoring and that there are some significant moderating factors for both parties that change in emphasis over time. These insights have led to the modification of one established formal mentoring model and the creation of two new theoretical models in relation to learning outcomes and moderating factors. Comments are also made about the power relationships within the public sector and how mentoring can be embraced or restricted through the organisational structure, culture and climate.
    • Life after death: An interpretative phenomenological study of men who have experienced a sudden bereavement

      Mangiorou, Lamprini; Cockshott, Christopher; Finney, Emily; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-09)
      The presented study investigated the lived experience of suddenly bereaved men. The aim was to identify the felt impact of such a phenomenon, including the meaning men ascribed to their experience, and to provide insight into interventions which participants recognised as helpful and unhelpful in their bereavement. Three men whose wives had died of natural causes within six weeks of admission to a hospital critical care setting, volunteered to be interviewed. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology was adhered to throughout the research process and used to develop themes which represented participants’ experiences. Three super-ordinate themes emerged, focussing on meaningful aspects of participants’ experiences. Firstly, ‘Sudden Loss’ details the impact of the suddenness of the loss and the resulting emotional impact, including the occurrence of an apparent ambivalence towards aspects of social support. The second super-ordinate theme, ‘Transitioning Self’ brought together features of participants’ experiences which were key within the process of transition to a new reality without their wives, including adaptions to their sense of self, re-evaluation of their lives and the felt impact of social influences on their grief. Lastly, the ‘Supporting Transition’ theme highlights facets which were supportive in navigating their journey post-bereavement. The findings illustrated the lived experience of a sudden bereavement impacted across multiple aspects of participants lives, including their sense of self, independent futures and considerations for social elements. Conflicting views within their experiences were also impactful within participants’ mourning. Implications for Counselling Psychology and professional practice are discussed, highlighting issues surrounding the reduction of social stigma regarding the demonstration of emotion in men’s mourning and the supportive value of continued bonds post-bereavement. Suggestions for future research are also identified.
    • Limit State Design of oil and gas well casings

      Huang, Xiaoguang (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)
      The casing is widely used as a protective conduit during all phases of drilling operations and production in the oil and gas industry. Traditionally casings were designed using working stress design, which had a number of shortcomings such as poor economics, inflexibility and uneven risk. This thesis was initiated by the increasing demand for an improved design of casings for the oil and gas industry. A new approach using the concept of limit state design is proposed to remedy the limitations of the present design code. Limit state design employs the probability of failure rather than the usage of a safety factor, from which the designer can gain an overall idea of the safety and adequacy of the design. The main objective of this thesis is to set up a set of limit state design equations for casings under different loadings. This objective is tackled by way of investigations into three fundamental casing failure modes, i. e. casing collapse, casing burst and casing axial tensile failure. Simple equations are proposed for the calculation of the load terms in the limit state design equations for the three failure modes. A comprehensive finite element methodology is developed to investigate the ultimate strength of casings with imperfections under different loadings. Extensive comparisons between finite element models and historical experimental data demonstrate that, if the variables are known, the ultimate strength of a casing can be predicted to a satisfactory degree of accuracy using the finite element method. Detailed parametric studies have been performed to investigate the effects of major factors (i. e., the ratio of outside diameter to wall thickness, ovality, eccentricity, material hardening, anisotropy and residual stress) on the casing strength. Existing design equations are assessed by means of full-scale test data, where they are found to be only accurate within a certain region. The investigations for new limit state design equations have been performed by employing a new concept of generalized material behaviour, which is constructed from experimental data and implemented in the finite element simulation. A set of limit state design equations are derived after regression analysis of the numerical results. Comparisons demonstrate that, the new design equations are capable of providing more accurate predictions of casing strength without compromising safety. The limit state design approach is provided in a structured way with a detailed design flow chart to enable a casing designer with a conventional engineering background to assess casing design using the limit state design methodology. It is anticipated that the implementation of a limit state design methodology in the design of casings will lay the foundation for an increased safety awareness whilst enhancing cost savings.
    • Limited Liability: A Pathway for Corporate Recklessness?

      Dabor, Igho Lordson (2016)
      This thesis argues that the twin concept of separate personality and limited liability from its historical beginnings, has entrenched corporate irresponsibility. It assesses the role that these concepts have played in tackling corporate irresponsibility from their historical origins to the present day, commenting on the lessons learnt. Whilst the institution of the company as a legal person is unquestionably the bedrock of modern company law, this thesis examines these concepts not necessarily from the position of disputing the philosophical, economic, or political imperatives, all of which are incredibly important – but from the viewpoint that historically, the principle of separate personality and limited liability entrenches corporate irresponsibility. As such, this thesis suggests a partial abandonment of the separate personality principle because it provides a mechanism for dishonest directors to escape liability for their fraudulent conduct. It also argues that the existing judicial evasion and concealment principles and the statutory fraudulent and wrongful trading provisions under the Insolvency Act 1986 are too restrictive, and ambiguous in combating corporate abuse. It is concluded that the existing common law and statutory rules geared towards combating abuse of limited liability provides no coherent format upon which the courts and legislature may effectively curb abuse of the corporate form. As such, these laws in light of their inability to make dishonest directors personally liable for their fraudulent conducts ought to be challenged. There is a need to challenge the existing rules in order to show the effect abuse of limited liability has on creditors, the public and the economy. This research indicates that there ought to be an adequate and effective alternative law which provides balance and support for genuine enterprise whilst providing a robust system whereby those who abuse the corporate form can be easily made liable for corporate debts.
    • Linguistic expression and perception of personality in online dating texts and their effect on attraction

      Fullwood, Chris; Kirwan, Gráinne; Connolly, Irene; Morris, Neil; Fox Hamilton, Nicola (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-02)
      Online daters report difficulties, frustration and anxiety in conveying their desired impression of themselves and from their lack of ability in perceiving another dater’s personality accurately. There is a lack of research on how expression of personality traits in profiles impacts on perception and on assessments of attractiveness. This thesis aims to fill this gap by exploring the expression and perception of personality traits in online dating profile texts, and to examine whether textually expressed personality affects attractiveness. The first two studies employed a linguistic and content analysis approach to determine how personality was expressed in dating profiles across different dating platforms and a comparison creative story text. There was considerable variation in expression indicating that language may not be a reliable indicator of personality. A lens model approach, using Funder’s Realistic Accuracy Model, was taken in the third study where accuracy of personality perception was examined in two contexts to determine whether dating profiles provided more salient trait-related cues to personality. The linguistic and content cues utilised by judges in making personality assessments were investigated. While some accuracy of perception was possible for emotional stability in online dating profiles, it was context dependent and unreliable, and few cues were utilised accurately. The effects of actual and perceived personality, and similarity of personality, on attractiveness were investigated and had not been examined previously in this context. This research shows that actual traits and similarity only affect attraction when it is perceivable, whereas perceived traits and similarity can affect attraction without accurate perception. This thesis illustrates the complexity of accuracy of interpersonal perception in text, and how context drives a considerable amount of the variation in achievement of accuracy. Additionally, the results offer some practical implications for online daters.
    • Lipsome encapsulated antimicrobial metal ions and essential oils

      Kenward, M.A. Dr, Martin Claire Dr, Hill D. J. Dr; Low, Wan Li (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-01)
      Abstract This study investigates the feasibility of using TTO and Ag+ alone and in combination either as free or liposome encapsulated agents. Based on the minimum lethal concentration (MLC), the fractional lethal concentration index (FLCI) showed that treatment with unencapsulated combinations of TTO and Ag+ exerted a synergistic effect against P. aeruginosa (FLCI = 0.263) and indifferent effects against S. aureus and C. albicans (0.663 and 0.880, respectively). Using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) emulsified agents in combination, showed synergistic effects against P. aeruginosa and S. aureus (FLCI = 0.325 and 0.375, respectively), but C. albicans remained indifferent (FLCI = 0.733). Time kill experiments revealed that the combined agent concentrations and elimination time (to the lowest limit of detection, LOD) are as follows: C. albicans: 0.12%v/vTTO:2.5x10-4Ag+:1.5hrs, P. aeruginosa: 1%v/vTTO:3.2x10-4Ag+:15mins and S. aureus: 1.2%v/vTTO:3.2x10-4Ag+:30mins. Repeating these experiments with emulsified TTO encapsulated in liposomes (lipo-TTO:PVA30-70kDa) against P. aeruginosa and S. aureus reduced the effective amount of TTO required (compared to free TTO). However, this was not observed in C. albicans. The required effective concentration of Ag+ from liposome encapsulated Ag+ (lipo-Ag+) was shown to remain the same as free Ag+. The effective concentration and elimination time of liposomal agents in combination are as follows: C. albicans: 0.05%v/vTTO:PVA:8.9x10-5Ag:PVA:2.0hrs, P. aeruginosa: 0.25%v/vTTO:PVA:3.2x10-4Ag:PVA:30mins and S. aureus: 0.05%v/vTTO:PVA:6.0x10-4Ag:PVA:1.5hrs. These results showed the potential of using TTO and Ag+ in combination, along with liposome delivery systems to effectively lower the MLC. Scanning electron micrographs of microorganisms exposed to Ag+ showed a reduction in cell size when compared to untreated cells. Transmission electron micrograph of C. albicans showed the cell surface damaging potential of Ag+. Furthermore, this investigation also demonstrated the feasibility of using chitosan hydrogels as an alternative delivery system for TTO and/or Ag+. The development of these controlled release systems to deliver alternative antimicrobial agents may allow sustained targeted delivery at microbiocidal concentrations.
    • Listening to the voices of boys in dance

      Matheson, David; Keane, Helen; School of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-06)
      This thesis examines how child-centred research illuminates complex and intertwined social dynamics for boys in dance. Male involvement in dance has been compared to effeminacy and homosexuality (Owen and Riley, 2020b), which has marginalised male participation. In doing so, dance has been distanced from orthodox masculinity, which is framed in heterosexuality, homophobia, and anti-femininity identities. The pressure to perform within such boundaries has impacted upon gendered and sexual identities. Nonetheless, an attitudinal revolution under the guise of inclusive masculinity theory (Anderson, 2009) maintains more liberal masculine identities are emerging. My research questions therefore ask: (i) what evidence of inclusive masculinity is present in primary aged boys? (ii) how do primary age boys perform masculinities in dance? (iii) What do boys aspire for within lessons to encounter meaningful dance through PE? These questions were answered through data from two case study schools in the West Midlands region of England. The study built on the ‘write, draw, show and tell’ (WDST) method (Noonan et al., 2016) and added the innovative use of ‘emojis’ to create the write, draw, show, tell and emoji’ (WDSTE) approach. Over a four month duration, observations, focus group interviews using WDSTE, and photo-elicitation, with 18 Year Five and Six (ages 9-11) boys were deployed. The boys’ visual and verbal data was thematically analysed (Braun and Clarke, 2006) giving insight into three themes, including the freestyling of masculinity, embodying inclusive masculinity and inquiry, and embodied learning in dance. Boys resisted hegemonic ideals, instead displaying increasing normalcy of homosocial tactility with other boys (Anderson and McCormack, 2014) as a means to cope in dance. The data demonstrated desired ownership over the content and increased social connectedness through collaborative activities. My thesis illustrated that contemporary masculinity is continuing to evolve and boys are not trapped by the stigmatisation of their interest in dance or physical closeness with other boys. I argue with, and for, boys, who saw a need to vocalise for more equitable practices in dance, where they aspired to be supported meaningfully to become competent. This thesis draws attention to the interest that boys hold towards dance and the need for educational purposes of dance to be mindfully considered to support holistic growth in primary school dance.
    • The lived experiences of counselling psychologists working with black, asian and minority ethnic survivors of domestic violence and abuse: An interpretative phenomenological analysis study

      Taiwo, Abigail; Morgan, Angela; Kandola, Sharanjit (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-01)
      Rationale: Research has shown that therapists face difficulties when providing therapy to BAME survivors of DVA. Due to the complexities of this client group, it appears that specialist skills are required for therapists to utilise in therapy. Previous research has highlighted these challenges concerned with the therapists’ personal and professional issues. However, there has been relatively minimal research on exploring Counselling Psychologists’ experiences of working with BAME survivors of DVA. It is apparent that it would be useful to explore how Counselling Psychologists feel and the impact it may have on their personal and professional lives. Method: A qualitative approach was adopted to explore the Counselling Psychologists’ lived experiences of working with BAME survivors of DVA. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with five Counselling Psychologists who had worked with BAME survivors of DVA. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was utilised to analyse the data. Findings: There were five major themes that emerged from the interviews. These were: (i) understanding the needs of a Counselling Psychologist, (ii) the complexity of working with BAME survivors of DVA, (iii) the psychological impact on a Counselling Psychologist, (iv) the need for containment as a Counselling Psychologist and (v) the identity of a Counselling Psychologist. Conclusion: These themes highlighted the personal and professional impact this has on Counselling Psychologists and the multifaceted challenges that occur when working with BAME survivors of DVA. The different aspects of culture, core beliefs, pressures of family and wider community and identity can intertwine and impact the Counselling Psychologist and ultimately the therapeutic alliance. The psychological impact on the participants appeared to be prominent through experiencing vicarious trauma, fear for clients’ safety and frustration. Participants reported how difficult it was for them to manage and understand the clients’ perspectives, therefore suggestions were made for further specialist cultural training, clinical and peer supervision, alongside self-care.
    • Living with Body Dysmorphic Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. An IPA study.

      Morris, Neil; Smook, Levina Johanna Lelanie (University of Wolverhampton, 2014)
      Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) share many similarities such as the presence of obsessions and compulsions, a similar age of onset and also similar activation of underlying structures within the brain related to obsessions and compulsion formation. The recently published DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) has grouped the two conditions together in a chapter entitled Obsessive Compulsive -and related disorders, recognising the similarities in presentation. This appeared to echo the classification within the NICE guidelines for OCD and BDD (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2006) where the two conditions were grouped together on the presence of obsessions and compulsions, neurological evidence pointing to the activation of brain areas responsible for obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts alongside strong familial links. Both OCD and BDD were understood (from both sets of guidelines) to respond well to the use of Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors and the treatment use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This qualitative research study focuses on the gap in existing literature by studying the lived experience of individuals living with obsessions and compulsions. Much focus has historically remained on understanding the clinical symptomology and underlying constructs as related to living with obsessions and compulsions, through the use of questionnaires or brain imaging. With recent changes in the DSM-V (Statistical Manual for mental Disorders; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) recognising OCD and BDD as part of the same family of conditions, it appeared timely to focus on the individuals living with OCD or BDD and their sense and meaning making as informed by their experiences of obsessions and compulsions.
    • Living with military partners with PTSD. The phenomenon of secondary traumatization.

      Cobley, Joanna Magdalena (2015)
      Objective: In the study the subjective experiences of UK partners of veterans and military personnel who were diagnosed with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how they cope with the impact of their experiences were explored. The study also examines the possible existence of the secondary traumatization (ST) phenomenon in this context. Method: This is a qualitative study which draws on Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six female participants, all of whom achieved a cut-off score of 30 on the PTSD Checklist for Civilians questionnaire (the PCL-C). The main findings: 1. Participants were, in general, negatively affected by their experiences of living with their military partners with PTSD, regardless of the length of their relationships. 2. Of the military partners’ PTSD symptom clusters, participants were mostly affected by avoidance and hyperarousal. 3. Participants, in general, were traumatised by their home experiences and this could be conceptualised as ST. 4. The most important element in ST development was ongoing, prolonged exposure to negative impacts of military partners’ PTSD. Conclusions: The study contributes to knowledge on the impacts of military-related PTSD on partners. By doing so it provides evidence of reciprocal effects of PTSD on all family members, suggesting that PTSD should be perceived as a family condition. The study also highlights the existence of ST phenomenon. Recommendations: 1. Recognition of ST, as a mental health condition or phenomenon, among professionals, general public and also partners themselves. 2. Recognition of PTSD as a family condition and its reciprocal impacts. 3. Introduction of early support in recognising, diagnosing and treating PTSD and ST.
    • Local-level policies for small firm sector development in Russia and Hungary: a comparative analysis.

      Machold, Silke (University of Wolverhampton, 1999)
      The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 heralded the beginning of systemic transformation from centrally-planned to market-type economies in Eastern Europe. From the outset, reforms were shaped by a neo-liberal policy agenda which was grounded in the belief that private ownership and markets would bring about resource reallocation and instigate growth. However, the experience after a decade of transition suggests that this agenda has been inadequate in addressing the complex social, economic, political and structural problems of the region. The progress that has been made in attaining macroeconomic stability continues to be threatened by the lack of deep restructuring at the microlevel. In this context, the development of new small firms assumes critical importance as they are viewed as key agents in the process of structural change in the transition economies. However, the development of small firms continues to be stymied by a number of internal and external factors. This thesis seeks to contribute to the growing literature on small firm development in Eastern Europe by taking a closer look at policy issues. Given the lack of domestic experience in the promotion of small firms, policy-makers in the region are looking to adopt 'best practice' from elsewhere. The question that emerges is whether these imported policies are appropriate in the context of transition economies. The research seeks to fill some of the gaps in the literature by exploring the theoretical and policy implications of the relevance of Western small firm policy experience in the context of two very diverse transition economies - Hungary and the Russian Federation. The research focuses especially on small firm policies developed at the local level in Russia and Hungary and aims to establish the extent to which emerging policies have been taken 'off the shelf. On the basis of regional case studies, the appropriateness of such policies will be explored.
    • 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.