• A Framework for Utilising Lean Construction Strategies to Promote Safety on Construction Sites

      Suresh, Subashini; Bashir, Abubakar Muhammad (University of Wolverhampton, 2013-06)
      The poor safety situation in the United Kingdom (UK) construction industry and its adverse socio-economic record are well documented in the existing literature. The application of Lean Construction techniques has been proposed as an effective strategy to address accidents on construction sites, a major safety concern in the construction industry. However, examination of the relationship between Lean Construction techniques and safety issues has been marginal. This study explores this relationship with the aim of developing a framework for using Lean Construction techniques to promote safety on UK construction sites. A framework was initially devised based on a synthesis of the literature and further refined based on findings from interviews held with 10 Lean Construction practitioners on antecedents of Lean Construction techniques and safety issues. In order to develop and confirm the framework, data was collected from practicing Lean Construction organisations using a questionnaire survey and analysed using descriptive statistics, inferential statistics and inter-rater agreement statistical test to examine the pattern and extent of the relationships. The study found a total of thirty-eight (38) relationships between Lean Construction techniques and safety issues. These relationships are mainly positive in nature in that they demonstrate path to improvement in safety on construction sites. They show which techniques could be used to address the relevant safety issue. Furthermore, it was established that the application of Lean Construction techniques on construction sites can be impeded by challenges such as: lack of Lean Construction knowledge, complexity, misconception about Lean and difficulties in changing employees’ working culture. The study identified strategies that could be used to address these challenges. These include enlightenment on benefits of Lean practice, publication of improvements realised from Lean practice, training, workers’ involvement and empowerment, persistence, robust planning and gradual step-by-step implementation. The study, therefore, concludes that Lean Construction techniques have positive relationships with safety issues on construction sites in the UK and on the basis of the relationships develops an integrated framework to guide application of the techniques by contracting organisations in promoting safety. The study makes a number of recommendations including the incorporation of Lean Construction practice into government health and safety initiatives, regulations and policies, and identifies areas for further research.
    • A generic model for effective implementation of empowerment in construction contractor organisations

      Nesan, Lenin Jawahar (University of Wolverhampton, 1997)
      This study addresses reengineering of UK construction (contracting) organisations for continuous business improvement, by the use of the concept of empowerment. The In aim of this research is to develop an implementation model, along with a best practice framework, to assist construction organisations in effectively implementing empowerment. This also includes identification of 'efficacy' information and their flow between various business participants (employees). Initial investigations, including literature search and questionnaire survey within leading UK construction and manufacturing companies identified and subsequently confirmed sixty two key empowerment activities attributed to nine major elements. The nine major elements are: leadership; empowerment system; resources development; involvement; education and training; teamwork; process improvement; performance measurement; and recognition. This indicates that the modem empowerment concept is no longer a domain of simply Participation in Decision Making (PDM) and 'delegation of authority. In addition, it includes several areas of the business as above. Analysis of the survey also developed an activity model along with an Empowerment Implementation Profile, using which companies can benchmark their implementation efforts. Having confirmed the basic constructs (elements and activities) of empowerment implementation, three of the major UK construction companies, who had pioneered with empowerment were studied in detail as to how to effectively implement empowerment in construction organisations. Using Structured Data Analysis (SDA) techniques, the current system 's of these three organisations were studied separately and subsequently, a generic model (along with a best practice framework) was developed. Ile SDA techniques also helped to identify and map the flow of efficacy information which is critical in the implementation of empowerment. Case studies also revealed that there has been a correlation between empowerment implementation and Strategic and Operational business performance improvement. Finally, a detailed feasibility study conducted amongst some of the leading construction companies confirmed that the model is technically, economically, and socially feasible to be applied to different types of construction companies.
    • A generic protocol for an integrated land information system in humid subtropical highlands: a case study in Yunnan Province, China

      Fullen, Michael A.; Hocking, Trevor J.; Bock, Laurent; Li, Yongmei (University of Wolverhampton, 2004)
      This study develops a basis for a land information system for the 40 ha subtropical highland catchment of Wang Jia, Yunnan Province, China. Information, including meteorology, geology, geomorphology, biology, pedology and crop productivity, was integrated using a geomorphopedological approach and expressed as maps using GIS. The developed protocol is proposed as a generic system, applicable to agricultural land evaluation in subtropical highland catchments. The results demonstrate that Wang Jia Catchment is relatively representative of the region, in terms of geomorphological features and land cover. Catchment soils, developed from residual, colluvial and alluvial materials of sandstone, shale and dolomite on different landscapes, were still young and strongly influenced by their geological parent material. Soils were normally slightly acidic to neutral. Soil fertility varied from poor to very fertile. Maize yield was significantly correlated with soil pH, total N, available N, P and K and thus the Soil Fertility Index. In 2002, maize yield was significantly correlated with manure and urea applications. There was considerable potential to increase maize yield with modified and innovative cropping practices in the catchment. Adopted primarily as a soil conservation practice, contour cultivation did not increase maize yield compared to downslope cultivation. Polythene mulch tended to increase maize yield in most years. These results largely accord with the results from controlled research plots in the same catchment. Analysis of intra-plot variations showed that soil samples from planting pits had higher total soil organic matter, total N, available N, available P and available K than inter-row samples, but with higher standard deviations. Most soil fertility parameters for inter-row samples were more similar to traditional random composite samples. These results suggest if composite samples were taken only from inter-rows, the results would have been similar, but the risk of sampling error would have been reduced. The land information system established in this study is suitable for designing, evaluating and monitoring sustainable agricultural practices central to soil conservation and crop yield improvement and thus contributing to decision-making for sustainable agricultural land management in this region.
    • A genre analysis of the processes of professional document design

      Wheatley, John (University of Wolverhampton, 1994)
      This thesis offers a range of analytical approaches, all within a generic framework, to spoken professional communication, and specifically to the processes of document design in technical writing and public relations. The data presents the problem of dealing with two very different kinds of interaction; one largely interactive and the other largely monologic. A principal feature of the analysis to be found in this thesis is the use of several interlocking approaches. Part One of the thesis uses discourse analysis linked with topic type analysis, and Part Two uses Rhetorical Structure Theory linked with topic type analysis. Chapters One to Four orient the thesis. Chapter Five deals with presentations. The three different presentation meetings are each shown to consist of the same five topic types. Additionally these topic types are shown to have a regular internal structure in terms of obligatory and optional elements that are realised by discourse analytic moves. Chapter Five looks at data that are of the same social activity and have similar textual characteristics. Chapter Six details generic features of texts that belong to the same social activity, a briefing, but which do not exhibit such close textual similarities. Chapter Seven completes the set of choices by examining texts that enact different social actions, a briefing and a draft review, but which make use of a similar text type, decision making. Part Two of this thesis introduces a new way of analysing the data. This coincides with a shift in emphasis to technical writing and the preponderance of monologic interaction in that data. Chapter Nine provides detailed RST analysis of monologic talk from the four pieces of interaction that are being dealt with; a Briefing and a Draft Review from both a technical writing and a public relations source. The Chapter is evidence of the mechanics of RST and its workability when applied to professional talk. Chapter Ten offers a genre and intertextual study of professional document design texts. It shows how key top level relations such as Solutionhood in Draft Review and Enablement in briefing activity convey similar information about similar kinds of entity. By the end of Chapter Ten three ways of making intertextual comparisons have been made available. Firstly there are differences in the discourse patterning. Secondly there is a change in top level rhetorical structure text organisation. Thirdly there is a change in information constituents as made visible by text type analysis. Part Two of this thesis seeks tý- subsume a clause relational analysis within a broader sequential interactive discourse analysis. This is the opposite route to that taken by Hoey (Hoey 1986). This thesis concludes that the solution to the way these types of analysis should be interwoven will not be a once and for all decision but will depend on the kind of interaction in the text. The thesis argues that a generic framework is very suitable. for understanding professional communication and that a rigid formalistic approach to genre analysis needs to be replaced with a set of more flexible but interlocking analytical techniques.
    • A grammar of sentiment thinking about sentimental jewellery towards making new art about love and loss.

      Collins, Tim; Payne, Antonia; Rangasamy, Jacques; Parmar, Bharti (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
      This practice-led research project explores English and French sentimental jewellery of the Victorian period. ‘Sentimental jewellery’ or ‘message jewellery’ denotes jewellery created to function as a tangible expression of feeling between donor and recipient, mediated through complex narratives relating to its exchange. These artefacts codify emotion through use of complex visual languages, employing the symbolic and coded use of gems, human hair, emblems, words and wordplay. The research has expanded to encompass memorial garments known as ‘widows weeds’. The aims of the research have been threefold: firstly, to add to understanding and interpretation of aspects of Victorian sentimental jewellery and associated craft practices; secondly, to explore the metaphors and narratives inherent within them; thirdly, to test the visual and technical possibilities of knowledge thus gained to address human feeling through art. Outcomes take the form of a body of new artwork and a written thesis, which are designed to be mutually informing. Together, they articulate my response to the project’s central question: can consideration of the ‘grammar of sentiment’ at work in Victorian sentimental jewellery yield new possibilities, through fine art practice, for communicating love and loss in the 21st century? The four artworks that are a main output of the research take the forms of: REGARD:LOVEME, an artist’s book exploring gem codes and wordplay; Plocacosmos, a set of hairworking trials; The Cyanotypes, which reflect upon the materiality and aesthetic of the amatory locket; and Widows Weeds, a large format photographic installation, which considers the materiality and lineage of mourning cloth. Collectively, they explore the typology of the sentimental artefact through development of text/image vocabularies that are conceived as providing a ‘grammar of sentiment’ through which to articulate aspects of human feeling. It is this exploration that constitutes my main contribution to knowledge.
    • A kind of superior hobby : women managers in the John Lewis Partnership 1918-1950

      Ugolini, L.; Faraday, Judith (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
      During the interwar period, a radical departure from earlier traditional management practices in British department stores can be identified. Increasing trade, combined with the introduction of new systems and stock, required a dramatic increase in the number and calibre of managers employed to run the shops. Using a case study approach, this thesis will identify the reasons for the implementation of a new recruitment and employment strategy. For the John Lewis Partnership, it considers how this translated into jobs and opportunities for middle-class educated women, a group of workers whose experience of the work place has previously received little academic attention. It assesses the contribution the women made to the overall development of the company. Addressing the social and practical issues which surrounded their employment, with specific reference to staff turnover, pay and conditions, the thesis considers how these recruits were perceived by their employer, their peers and by themselves. It presents a group of workers who entered and often left the workplace after achieving levels of managerial status. It identifies the influence these women were able to exert on their employers, creating and retaining their position within specialist fields of employment and dominating the middle management of the John Lewis Partnership during the period 1918 - 1950.
    • A knowledge based framework to support product development

      Oduoza, C.; Harris, Alan (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
      In recent times, the development and manufacture of new products and the necessary tools required to carry out such activities has resulted in vast amounts of knowledge and information being generated. In product development there are no hard and fast rules determining the length of product development projects and quite often over a 10-year period several hundreds of projects could come into being, quite often coinciding with huge advances in technology over the same period. This advancement in technology has often taken over the role of the designer who carries out calculations and attempt to provide solutions. This has resulted in certain cases with designers having very little to no understanding or practical experience of the manufacturing process and design expertise required to ratify product designs. The resultant loss of information and intent and the lack of exploitation of manufacturing constraints and product knowledge can quite often lead to difficulties resulting in product re-design and in some cases failure in the hands of the customer. In order to provide knowledge to support product development, there is a requirement to capture the knowledge of the manufacturing processes within the organization, which includes the process, materials, resource, design rules, capacity and other constraints that may limit the capabilities of the organization. The research presented in this thesis proposes a knowledge based framework to support product development Furthermore, the research includes the development of a knowledge based system in order to identify, capture, formalize, present and utilize knowledge within a product development environment. In this research, a knowledge based framework to support product development was developed in order to create an “AS-IS” process map of current product development practices within a case company from the cold roll forming industry. The process map guided the identification of information and knowledge required to support the product development process and formed the basis of the knowledge based system developed to provide effective decision support. Finally, the framework and knowledge based system were implemented within the case company. The results from the case study demonstrated how the knowledge based frame work and knowledge based system provided effective decision support by providing information and knowledge in the place, time and format required, thus ultimately reducing product development costs and improving quality
    • A knowledge based system for construction health and safety competence assessment

      Heesom, David; Proverbs, David G.; Buckley, Kevan; Oloke, David; Yu, Hao (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
      Organisational and individual Health and Safety (H&S) competence is an essential element to the successful completion of a construction project in a safe way and without hazards to the health of all workforce. Under the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2007, the client should take reasonable steps to ensure that the appointed duty-holders and engaged people are H&S competent to design, build or co-ordinate the project. Although the CDM Regulations 2007 and its Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) have established ‘Core Criteria’ to guide the client to assess duty-holders’ H&S competence in the outset of a project, it is still difficult for most inexperienced clients to discharge the duty of making the key decisions in H&S competence assessment. In order to help the client implement H&S competence assessment, it is important to develop a tool that can effectively and efficiently support the client to make reasonable decisions in the selection of H&S competent duty-holders. According to the findings of the case study of existing formal H&S competence assessment schemes undertaken as part of this work, H&S competence assessment was characterised as a subjective, qualitative and non-linear regulation-compliance checking process. In addition, the case study helped identify the latent shortcomings in the ‘Core Critiera’ and the operational drawbacks in current practice of implementing H&S competence assessment. Based on a review of Information Technology (I.T.) and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) applications in construction, Knowledge-Based System (KBS) is identified as being a suitable tool to support decision-making in H&S competence assessment, mainly due to its appropriateness to solve regulation-compliance checking problems and support subjective and qualitative decision-making process. Following a decision-making framework for H&S competence assessment, a KBS decision-support model was developed, applying three mechanisms to support the reasonable decision-making for H&S competence assessment. In order to develop an appropriate and practical KBS for H&S competence assessment, a textual knowledge base was developed, specifying the minimum satisfaction standards and a rating indicator system for ‘Core Criteria’. As a result, an online KBS was developed using Java Server Pages (JSP) technology and MySQL. The online KBS applied the textual knowledge base to support the screen, rating, ranking and reporting decision-supporting mechanisms. Simultaneously, the case inquiry and expert inquiry facilities were also included in the KBS for effective decision-making. Finally, construction experts and practitioners in H&S management evaluated the validity and usability of the KBS through a questionnaire survey. The prototype KBS was borne out to be an effective and efficient decision-support tool for H&S competence assessment and have the potential to be applied in practice.
    • A Knowledge Management Framework for Reducing the Cost of Poor Quality on Construction Projects

      Suresh, Subashini; Olayinka, Raymond Afolarin (2015-08)
      Knowledge management (KM) implementation strategies on construction projects can reap benefits such as improved performance and continuous improvement yet many projects are characterised by inefficiencies, repetition of mistakes and lack of lessons learnt. Poor skills, design changes, errors and omissions contribute to the internal failure cost element of the Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) while the resultant effect of client dissatisfaction contributes to the external failure cost. COPQ is prevalent regardless of project type and has been found to be over 10% of total project cost in certain cases. While the need to reduce COPQ is definite, it is uncertain what impact KM has in its reduction. The aims of the research therefore are twofold (i) to investigate the impact of KM in reducing COPQ on construction projects (ii) to develop a KM framework for reducing COPQ on construction projects. A mixed method approach was adopted for the research with an exploratory sequential research design utilising both qualitative and quantitative inquiries to address the research aims. Semi-structured interviews and questionnaire survey were selected as the method for qualitative and quantitative data collection respectively. The interviews were conducted with 25 industry experts involved in KM strategies for large construction organisations across UK to obtain data, based on their experiences and expertise on projects, which were then analysed using content analysis. The output from the analysis yielded variables and working hypotheses which were tested through the questionnaire survey. Further data were obtained from 114 survey respondents who have iii been mostly involved in KM initiatives for large construction organisations across UK. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics. From the interpretation of the entire qualitative and quantitative data, it was found that KM can be complex and difficult to manage within organisations and on projects. Although KM was perceived to have positive impact in reducing COPQ, organisations did not, and could not quantify COPQ neither could they measure the extent of the impact of KM on COPQ. Causal links were found between COPQ elements i.e. errors and omissions, design changes and poor skills, contrary to the theoretical suggestion of being mutually exclusive. It was found that KM currently has not been optimised to reduce COPQ due to a number of barriers. Optimising KM to reduce COPQ therefore involves overcoming the barriers as follows: develop performance metrics to assess the impact of KM on COPQ on projects; appoint knowledge champions to facilitate KM activities to reduce COPQ; adopt a positive organisational culture towards KM; allocate adequate time and budget for KM activities on projects; select procurement strategies that support and facilitate KM. A KM framework for reducing COPQ on construction projects was developed as an output of the research and evaluated by industry practitioners. It can be concluded that the optimisation of KM can significantly reduce COPQ. A key recommendation for industry practitioners therefore is to adopt a holistic approach to quantifying COPQ and assessing the impact of KM in reducing COPQ such as the one presented in this research. The research contributes to the body of knowledge in the area of cost reduction, quality improvements and knowledge management on projects.
    • A Language-Independent Static Checking System for Coding Conventions

      Newman, Robert; Mount, Sarah (University of Wolverhampton, 2013)
      Despite decades of research aiming to ameliorate the difficulties of creating software, programming still remains an error-prone task. Much work in Computer Science deals with the problem of specification, or writing the right program, rather than the complementary problem of implementation, or writing the program right. However, many desirable software properties (such as portability) are obtained via adherence to coding standards, and therefore fall outside the remit of formal specification and automatic verification. Moreover, code inspections and manual detection of standards violations are time consuming. To address these issues, this thesis describes Exstatic, a novel framework for the static detection of coding standards violations. Unlike many other static checkers Exstatic can be used to examine code in a variety of languages, including program code, in-line documentation, markup languages and so on. This means that checkable coding standards adhered to by a particular project or institution can be handled by a single tool. Consequently, a major challenge in the design of Exstatic has been to invent a way of representing code from a variety of source languages. Therefore, this thesis describes ICODE, which is an intermediate language suitable for representing code from a number of different programming paradigms. To substantiate the claim that ICODE is a universal intermediate language, a proof strategy has been developed: for a number of different programming paradigms (imperative, declarative, etc.), a proof is constructed to show that semantics-preserving translation exists from an exemplar language (such as IMP or PCF) to ICODE. The usefulness of Exstatic has been demonstrated by the implementation of a number of static analysers for different languages. This includes a checker for technical documentation written in Javadoc which validates documents against the Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) Coding Conventions and a checker for HTML pages against a site-specifc standard. A third system is targeted at a variant of the Python language, written by the author, called python-csp, based on Hoare's Communicating Sequential Processes.
    • A life cycle of eighteenth-century metal cooking vessels: a reflexive approach

      Dannehl, Karin (University of Wolverhampton, 2005)
      A seemingly mundane class of objects, metal cooking vessels, provides the basis for a new look at the parameters of economic and social development during the eighteenth century. As the 'workshop of the world' England saw growing levels of production and consumption and English society moved from a pre-modern to a modern form of consumption. Consumers from a widening range of social backgrounds gained access to a likewise growing range of manufactured objects. To assess how this relationship with the physical world accelerated, historians need to ask what sustained its momentum, and this study makes the case for approaching the question through the manufactures themselves. The study is based on the premise that humble objects of use are valuable sources of information and constitutive particles in the construction of the cultural and social activity of eighteenth-century England. This work consequently treats mundane, functional objects as integral to both the 'Industrial Revolution' and the 'Consumer Revolution'. A better understanding of their trajectory from objects of manufacture to objects of use will result in better understanding of the role of manufactured objects in the changing material world of eighteenth-century England and it will further contribute to a more complete understanding of domestic material culture. The study offers a more dynamic approach to Material Culture's products, to supplement the rather static picture provided by analyses of possessions. Objects not merely filled spaces, as physical markers they structured them and as tools they assisted in forming patterns of activity. Human beings use and need objects to demarcate and structure space and objects are part of the interior architecture and in their totality form an essential part of the built environment. Durable objects such as cooking vessels, while functional and embedded in users' traditions and therefore supporting continuity, also underwent important changes, which saw kitchen technology evolve from the open down-hearth fire to the enclosed range. Investigations of past activity are hampered by the fact that the past is matter without the dynamism of life. This should not deter from asking wherein the dynamics and activities consisted. People at all times were not merely producers or consumers but also users. Most people led lives that most of the time entailed physical activity and handling objects. Mundane, functional objects were the mainstay of the material culture of the vast majority of people who performed everyday tasks with them. The investigation of objects of everyday use allows a link to be made between inconspicuously mundane instruments for the preparation of food and its conspicuous consumption. Industriousness, innovation and change, which underpin these developments, however, may easily seem at odds with the slow-changing world of household implements. How much scope for innovation and fashion-induced change was there in the kitchen? To what extent can it be traced given the paucity of material documenting it? Constructive imagination soon meets its limitations when attempting to picture what was once a workplace of steaming activity from the remains of a battered pot. The study extends the traditional focus on the production or the consumer stage to embrace the entire life cycle from the workshops of production to the workshops of use. It looks in turn at the stage of production, the stages of virtual distribution and physical distribution, and finally the stage of use thereby taking the investigation from the workshops of metal smiths and founders to women's workshop, the kitchen. It argues that manufactured objects reward the effort of a life cycle investigation, demonstrating that each stage is integral to the object's specific and successful integration into the world of goods. It contends that ultimately all objects are tools, adding a new dimension to historians' understanding of consumption.
    • A Longitudinal Study of Academic Web Links: Identifying and Explaining Change

      Payne, Nigel (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
      A problem common to all current web link analyses is that, as the web is continuously evolving, any web-based study may be out of date by the time it is published in academic literature. It is therefore important to know how web link analyses results vary over time, with a low rate of variation lengthening the amount of time corresponding to a tolerable loss in quality. Moreover, given the lack of research on how academic web spaces change over time, from an information science perspective it would interesting to see what patterns and trends could be identified by longitudinal research and the study of university web links seems to provide a convenient means by which to do so. The aim of this research is to identify and track changes in three academic webs (UK, Australia and New Zealand) over time, tracking various aspects of academic webs including site size and overall linking characteristics, and to provide theoretical explanations of the changes found. This should therefore provide some insight into the stability of previous and future webometric analyses. Alternative Document Models (ADMs), created with the purpose of reducing the extent to which anomalies occur in counts of web links at the page level, have been used extensively within webometrics as an alternative to using the web page as the basic unit of analysis. This research carries out a longitudinal study of ADMs in an attempt to ascertain which model gives the most consistent results when applied to the UK, Australia and New Zealand academic web spaces over the last six years. The results show that the domain ADM gives the most consistent results with the directory ADM also giving more reliable results than are evident when using the standard page model. Aggregating at the site (or university) level appears to provide less consistent results than using the page as the standard unit of measure, and this finding holds true over all three academic webs and for each time period examined over the last six years. The question of whether university web sites publish the same kind of information and use the same kind of hyperlinks year on year is important from the perspective of interpreting the results of academic link analyses, because changes in link types over time would also force interpretations of link analyses to change over time. This research uses a link classification exercise to identify temporal changes in the distribution of different types of academic web links, using three academic web spaces in the years 2000 and 2006. Significant increases in ‘research oriented’, ‘social/leisure’ and ‘superficial’ links were identified as well as notable decreases in the ‘technical’ and ‘personal’ links. Some of these changes identified may be explained by general changes in the management of university web sites and some by more wide-spread Internet trends, e.g., dynamic pages, blogs and social networking. The increase in the proportion of research-oriented links is particularly hopeful for future link analysis research. Identifying quantitative trends in the UK, Australian and New Zealand academic webs from 2000 to 2005 revealed that the number of static pages and links in each of the three academic webs appears to have stabilised as far back as 2001. This stabilisation may be partly due to an increase in dynamic pages which are normally excluded from webometric analyses. In response to the problem for webometricians due to the constantly changing nature of the Internet, the results presented here are encouraging evidence that webometrics for academic spaces may have a longer-term validity than would have been previously assumed. The relationship between university inlinks and research activity indicators over time was examined, as well as the reasons for individual universities experiencing significant increases and decreases in inlinks over the last six years. The findings indicate that between 66% and 70% of outlinks remain the same year on year for all three academic web spaces, although this stability conceals large individual differences. Moreover, there is evidence of a level of stability over time for university site inlinks when measured against research. Surprisingly however, inlink counts can vary significantly from year to year for individual universities, for reasons unrelated to research, underlining that webometric results should be interpreted cautiously at the level of individual universities. Therefore, on average since 2001 the university web sites of the UK, Australia and New Zealand have been relatively stable in terms of size and linking patterns, although this hides a constant renewing of old pages and areas of the sites. In addition, the proportion of research-related links seems to be slightly increasing. Whilst the former suggests that webometric results are likely to have a surprisingly long shelf-life, perhaps closer to five years than one year, the latter suggests that webometrics is going to be increasingly useful as a tool to track research online. While there have already been many studies involving academic webs spaces, and much work has been carried out on the web from a longitudinal perspective, this thesis concentrates on filling a critical gap in current webometric research by combining the two and undertaking a longitudinal study of academic webs. In comparison with previous web-related longitudinal studies this thesis makes a number of novel contributions. Some of these stem from extending established webometric results, either by introducing a longitudinal aspect (looking at how various academic web metrics such as research activity indicators, site size or inlinks change over time) or by their application to other countries. Other contributions are made by combining traditional webometric methods (e.g. combining topical link classification exercises with longitudinal study) or by identifying and examining new areas for research (for example, dynamic pages and non-HTML documents). No previous web-based longitudinal studies have focused on academic links and so the main findings that (for UK, Australian and New Zealand academic webs between 2000 and 2006) certain academic link types exhibit changing patterns over time, approximately two-thirds of outlinks remain the same year on year and the number of static pages and links appears to have stabilised are both significant and novel.
    • A machine learning approach to the identification of translational language: an inquiry into translationese learning models

      Mitkov, R., Corpas, G., Inkpen, D.; Ilisei, Iustina-Narcisa (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-10)
      In the eld of Descriptive Translation Studies, translationese refers to the speci c traits that characterise the language used in translations. While translationese has been often investigated to illustrate that translational language is di erent from non-translational language, scholars have also proposed a set of hypotheses which may characterise such di erences. In the quest for the validation of these hypotheses, embracing corpus-based techniques had a well-known impact in the domain, leading to several advances in the past twenty years. Despite extensive research, however, there are no universally recognised characteristics of translational language, nor universally recognised patterns likely to occur within translational language. This thesis addresses these issues, with a less used approach in the eld of Descriptive Translation Studies, by investigating the nature of translational language from a machine learning perspective. While the main focus is on analysing translationese, this thesis investigates two related sub-hypotheses: simpli cation and explicitation. To this end, a multilingual learning framework is designed and implemented for the identi cation of translational language. The framework is modelled as a categorisation task, the learning techniques having the major goal to automatically learn to distinguish between translated and non-translated texts. The second and third major goals of this research are the retrieval of the recurring patterns that are revealed in the process of solving the task of categorisation, as well as the ranking of the most in uential characteristics used to accomplish the learning task. These aims are ful lled by implementing a system that adopts the machine learning methodology proposed in this research. The learning framework proves to be an adaptable multilingual framework for the investigation of the nature of translational language, its adaptability being illustrated in this thesis by applying it to the investigation of two languages: Spanish and Romanian. In this thesis, di erent research scenarios and learning models are experimented with in order to assess to what extent translated texts can be di erentiated from non-translated texts in certain contexts. The ndings show that machine learning algorithms, aggregating a large set of potentially discriminative characteristics for translational language, are able to di erentiate translated texts from non-translated ones with high scores. The evaluation experiments report performance values such as accuracy, precision, recall, and F-measure on two datasets. The present research is situated at the con uence of three areas, more precisely: Descriptive Translation Studies, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, justifying the need to combine these elds for the investigation of translationese and translational hypotheses.
    • A methodology for evaluating the marketing function in the UK construction industry

      Yisa, S. B. (University of Wolverhampton, 1995)
      The UK construction industry holds a major place in the British economy contributing an average of 6.2% of the total GDP for the UK and employs on average about 5.6% of the nation's employees in employment.. The industry is a complex interaction of a number of different types of organisations. At the hub of the industry are the professional (Designers) firms responsible for the technical and the engineering aspects of construction; and the "Main Contractors", - the organisations that co-ordinate and execute construction projects. Like many non consumer based industries, the construction industry has been slow to adopt the marketing concept. Marketing concept suggests a totally new way of looking at a business and would mean a departure from the traditional approach management of these firms. This study was set out as an exploratory study to investigate management and practice of the marketing function in construction industry, with a view to identify a wide range of marketing activities currently being carried out by the firms and criteria for setting marketing objectives. The study identified a wide variety of marketing practices currently being employed in the industry, and a wide range of marketing objectives as set by firms. The survey also form that marketing is still poorly managed in the industry. The study identified a wide range of factors affecting effective marketing practice in the industry. Further to this a case study was conducted to provide some psychological explanation to many of the issues arising from the main survey. Up till now, no comprehensive quantitative model for evaluation of marketing function is available to assist the construction firms in assessing their marketing practices. This report presents a quantitative model based on elements of efficiency and effectiveness of marketing practices within the UK construction firms. Although it is still at a preliminary stage it hold a great potential as an effective instrument for evaluating marketing practices in construction. Three different approaches were adopted for testing of this model. First, to test the characteristic average grading function for the industry as given by the model in Chapter 8. Second, to demonstrate how to apply this model to a group of individual firms and the interpretation of results. Third, sensitivity analysis to to study the responses of grading function to changes in the variables of the model construct. The three steps show that this model can , with a high degree of accuracy show the marketing position of a firm and also detect any managerial and resource deficiencies concerning marketing practices within the firm. The tests re-echoed a general lack of commitment on the part of senior managements in the industry to marketing function.
    • A methodology for predicting the performance of construction contractors

      Holt, Gary D. (University of Wolverhampton, 1995)
      This thesis addresses a fundamental decision problem, encountered by U. K. construction clients faced with a construction contract to assign: the judicious selection of a contractor. Initially, the inadequacies of current selection practices are confirmed. These findings influence the development of a new selection model, with emphasis on promoting a rationalised, quantitative technique able to identify the potential (project) performance of those contractors evaluated. This approach contrasts with present trends which promote subjectivity and rely heavily upon practitioner experience /judgment. A nationwide survey of practitioners and client groups identifies discriminating criteria essential to contractor selection, whilst also facilitating the knowledge of their importance (via weighting indices) within the selection process. The multiattribute analysis (MAA) technique embraces these criteria and is employed for its ability to aid decision making in the presence of multiple, often conflicting objectives, as characterised by this `real life' decision problem. Within the model contractor's attributes are measured, the resulting scores serving as multiplicands for the aforementioned weighting indices. The aggregate resultant yields a comparison measure. Utility values are also exercised to mirror client preferences and thereby influence optimal choice. The new technique is fully elucidated by worked example with validity being achieved by application to live selection situations. Finally, the potential for any change to existing tendering practice is investigated, via nationwide survey of U. K. construction contractors. The author has to some extent encompassed building and civil engineering, but the emphasis of this work is on the building sector.
    • A Model for Predicting the Performance of Project Managers in Mass House Building Projects in Ghana

      Ahadzie, Divine Kwaku (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
      Presently, within the human resource management (HRM) genre and including the construction management discipline, the identification and development of appropriate performance measures is seen as the only viable means for validating and engendering managerial excellence. There is also a growing awareness that appropriate predictive modelling practices can help engender the identification and development of these measures. Against the background that project-based sectors of the construction industry in developing countries need to adopt a proactive approach towards recognising and embedding performance measures in HRM practices, this thesis addresses the development of a model for predicting the performance of project managers (PMs) in mass house building projects (MHBPs) in Ghana. A literature review of the significance of performance measures in the HRM genre is first presented including an evaluation of the methodologies for measuring the performance of PMs. This is followed by a review of research and development in the management of human resources in the construction industry in developing countries including Ghana. Informed by the literature, an appropriate theoretical framework is adopted which draws on the organisational psychology theory of job performance, the conventional wisdom in project success criteria and an emerging framework of project lifecycle. Subsequently, a competency-based multidimensional conceptual model is developed. The conceptual model reflects both the elements of performance behaviours and outcomes in predicting the performance of PMs at the conceptual, design, tender, procurement, construction and operational phases of the project lifecycle. Adopting positivism as an appropriate research paradigm, structured questionnaire survey is used to elicit the relevant data from property developers in Ghana for the construction phase of the project lifecycle. Subsequently the data is analysed using one-sample t-test, factor analysis and multiple regression analysis (stepwise). From a broad range of competency-based measures used as independent variables, it is found that, the best predictors of the PMs’ performance at the “construction phase” of MHBPs are: job knowledge in site layout techniques for repetitive construction works; dedication in helping works contractors to achieve works programme; job knowledge of appropriate technology transfer for repetitive construction works; effective time management practices on the house-units; ability to provide effective solution to conflicts while maintaining good relationships; ease with which the PM is approachable by works contractors; and volunteering to help works contractors solve personal problems. These independent variables explained 74.4% of the variance in the model (at p < 0.0005). Validation of the model confirmed its goodness of fit and hence predictive accuracy. The findings suggest that at the construction phase of MHBPs, PMs who exhibit these behavioural competencies are likely to achieve higher levels of performance. Accordingly, PMs who aspire to achieve better managerial performance outcome on MHBPs should strive towards developing and improving these competencies. It is contended that the developed model could be used by property developers for the selection and recruitment of potential PMs and also for developing appropriate training requirements towards best practice improvement in the implementation of MHBPs. While the study focuses on Ghana, there is the potential for the model to be adopted for use by other developing countries towards the advancement of improved HRM activities in project management practice.
    • A model to investigate the impact of flooding on the vulnerability of value of commercial properties

      Bhattacharya, Namrata (2014-08)
      Flooding has the potential to have significant impact on the value of properties depending on the level of inherent vulnerability. Experts argue that it is not the actual risk but the perception of risk among property holders that influences vulnerability of value. The hypothesis that changing perception of flood risk could make property value vulnerable in the market is the main focus of the research. This dimension of research has received very low attention in commercial property literature.The existing knowledge base of flooding and property value reveals that focus has been largely associated with residential properties. Conceptual understanding of the extent and scale of the effect of flooding on the vulnerability of property value of commercial properties would be worthwhile for relevant stakeholders. The research methodology follows a quantitative approach with sequential application: of literature review, conceptual model generation, data collection from primary and secondary sources with remote questionnaire survey of selected study areas in the UK. The conceptual model was operationalised using analysis and interpretation of the collected data and finally cross validated with secondary data gained from commercial real estate experts . The strength of this research lies in the conceptualisation of the subject matter of property value in the context of flood vulnerability.This work provides innovative conceptual insight towards business vulnerability and vulnerability of value. The variables contributing towards vulnerability were hierarchically ranked using both collected data and deductive methods. The patterns of impact and recovery analysis emphasized that within the commercial sector indirect effects of flooding should be given equal importance with direct damages.The implication of perception on the vulnerability of property value showed a slightly different picture from business vulnerability in the chosen study areas when differentiated based on flood experience. In a nutshell the study reflected that the commercial property sector does not take flooding as one of their priorities. This is in part due to differential attitude towards risk of the population within the flood plain based on their knowledge and experience of flooding. The perception of stakeholders towards vulnerability of value can change with increasing magnitude and severity of floods and it is possible that the implications on market value of commercial properties will be visible in the future. Practitioners and researchers will find this study useful in developing an understanding of the vulnerability of commercial property value in the context of changing flood risk.
    • A multi-criteria decision analysis framework for sustainable rainwater harvesting in Ibadan, Nigeria

      Fullen, Michael A.; Chinyio, Ezekiel A.Oloke, David; Lade, Omolara (University of Wolverhampton, 2014)
      The approach to water management worldwide is currently in transition, with a shift from centralised infrastructures to greater consideration of decentralised technologies, such as rainwater harvesting (RWH). Initiated by recognition of drivers, including water demand, increasing risk of ground-water pollution and flooding, the value of RWH is filtering across the academic-policy boundary. However, in Nigeria, implementation of sustainable water management (SWM), such as RWH systems, is inefficient social, environmental and technical barriers, concerns and knowledge gaps exist, which currently restrict its widespread utilisation. This inefficiency contributes to water scarcity, water-borne diseases, and loss of lives and property due to flooding. Meanwhile, several RWH technologies have been developed to improve SWM through both demand and storm-water management. Such technologies involve the use of storage tanks, surface water reservoirs and ground-water recharge pits as storage systems. A framework was developed to assess the significance and extent of water management problems, match the problems with existing RWH-based solutions and develop a robust ready-to-use multi-criteria analysis tool that can quantify the costs and benefits of implementing several RWH-based storage systems. The methodology adopted was the mixed method approach, involving a detailed literature review, followed by a questionnaire survey of 1067 household respondents, 135 Nigerian Architects and Civil Engineers and focus group discussion with Stakeholders. A total of 1042 sets of data were collected through a questionnaire survey and analysed using SPSS, Excel and selected statistical methods to derive weightings of the attributes for the tool. Following this, three case studies were selected to collect data for hydrological modelling using the RainCycle model. From the results it is found that the most important barrier constraining sustainable RWH regime in Ibadan was obsolete and insufficient operational equipment, followed by poor renumeration of water corporation staff and misuse of available funds. In addition, the measure of importance of storage capacity was established, with the highest score of 4.5 which reflects the general inadequacy of storage as a major barrier to the adoption of RWH as a sustainable water management method. Further, respondents’ major health hazards associated with drinking contaminated water was established. A larger proportion (61.2%) of respondents chose prevalence of typhoid fever; some have a prevalence of diarrhea (19.4%), while few of respondents’ water sources is free from water-borne diseases (2.3%). The tool developed is an integrated platform of related evaluation techniques, including Whole Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Multi-Attribute Utility Theory. The tool uses data including cost and quantities of materials for building a RWH storage system and quantifies the cost and benefits of alternative RWH-based systems that can improve project management. This tool is novel, given its integration of the analytical techniques mentioned above and application for selecting the most appropriate RWH-based SWM systems. The implementation of the tool is envisaged to provide an objective platform for the quantification of the costs and benefits of RWH-based systems prior to implementation.
    • A novel mechanism for the anti-cancer activity of aspirin and its analogues

      Abstract Colorectal cancer (CRC), which includes cancer of the large bowel and rectum is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women and there is a poorer survival rate in less developed regions of the world such as West Africa mainly due to the ‘out of reach’ costs of chemotherapy. Evidence suggests that aspirin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) has the potential to decrease incidence of, or mortality from a number of cancers including CRC through several mechanisms of action. However, this evidence is dampened by aspirin’s gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity, which have been found to be mostly age-dependent. The search for potential aspirin-related compounds with the same or better cytotoxic effects against cancer cells accompanied by a safer toxicity profile has been ongoing over the years and led to us to synthesise a number of novel aspirin analogues. One of the mechanisms of action suggested for the anticancer property of aspirin is the COX-dependent pathway. In this thesis SW480 cell line, a CRC cell line that is COX-2 negative and mismatch repair (MMR) proficient was used to study the possible COX-independent mechanism of action for aspirin, its analogues and diflunisal at 0.5 mM. Diflunisal was included in this study because it is also a salicylate with reports of having cytotoxic effects. OE33 and FLO1 oesophageal cancer cells were also employed in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and synergy experiments to show effects were not just specific to SW480 cells alone. These aspirin analogues were synthesised, identified using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and infra-red (IR) spectroscopy, and tested for purity using thin layer chromatography (TLC) and melting point. The findings of this study suggest that these compounds breakdown into salicylates and perturb epidermal growth factor (EGF) internalization with PN517 (fumaryldiaspirin) and PN590 (ortho-thioaspirin) also driving EGF co-localization with early-endosome antigen-1 (EEA1). The perturbation of the internalization of EGF by aspirin and PN517 was also observed by a time-lapse assay using live confocal imaging. These compounds also had specific effects on different tyrosine phosphorylation sites of the EGFR, with none but PN590 inhibiting 4 phosphorylation at Y1068, and all but PN502 (ortho-aspirin), PN548 (meta-aspirin) and PN549 (para-aspirin) inhibiting phosphorylation at Y1045 and Y1173. Given that the EGF internalization assay involved the cells being treated with compounds for 2 h, cells were also treated for this same time period and probed with pEGFR 1045, which resulted in the compounds having no significant effect on phosphorylation at that site which is responsible for the ubiquitination of the EGFR. Most of these compounds were apoptotic with some showing a combination of apoptosis and necrosis. Aspirin and its isomers drove apoptotic cell death in SW480 cells via the BCL2-BAX pathway while the thioaspirins appear to follow the p21 pathway by decreasing the expression of the protein. In addition, it was shown that PN502 (aspirin), PN517 and PN590 had synergistic effects when used in combination with oxaliplatin at ED50, ED75 and ED90 in SW480 CRC cells. The cytotoxicity of these compounds individually or in combination was determined using MTT assay followed by the use of the CompuSyn and CalcuSyn software to calculate combination index (CI), which indicated whether a drug combination was synergistic, antagonistic or additive. PN517 and PN524 were synergistic when used in combination with cisplatin in OE33 oesophageal cancer cells. Effect of these compounds on the EGFR indicates a delay or disruption of the signalling pathway involved in the proliferation of cancer cells, thus, translating into protection against tumour formation or progression while the synergistic effects of these compounds when used in combination with platinum compounds can provide patients with less toxic chemotherapeutic regimen especially in patients with CRC tumours that harbour mutant TP53 gene and normally resistant to oxaliplatin. It is therefore proposed that the perturbation of EGF internalization is a novel mechanism of action for aspirin and its analogues in cancer therapy. These positive findings shed light on the understanding of the possible mechanism of action for aspirins and gives hope for a more affordable, less toxic therapy for the prevention, treatment and management of cancer.
    • A Novel Methodology for E-Learning Space Design in HEI Campuses

      Heesom, David; Nash, Angela; Dare, Fadeke Taiye (University of Wolverhampton, 2011-07)
      The Higher Education Institution and the Construction Industry are yet to define the most appropriate and effective design parameters for E-learning spaces. Those which exist, focus mainly on cost, budget and timely delivery i.e. the process only not the product. An effective approach to E-learning space design is needed to address the problems of space efficiency, effectiveness, quality, innovativeness, performance and client satisfaction. This study aimed to develop a novel methodology for e-learning space design, by investigating: the impact of e-learning on facilities and design; the impact of e-learning on the design of future spaces; the impact of blended learning on space design; designing for the learn anytime, anywhere paradigm; security issues of e-learning and e-learning space design, the levels of design risk in an e-learning infrastructure and inclusive design issues. A Grounded theory approach was used during initial desk studies, synchronized with a three part forum and pilot survey of 33participants. From this process, two hypotheses emerged; firstly, e-learning space design could affect users‘ learning outcomes and secondly that; user‘s learning requirements were different and varied. To investigate further, site based analyses of 11 HEI‘s, 10 interviews and subsequently a questionnaire survey was administered. Users‘ and stakeholders requirements and good examples of e-learning space design were identified. Data were analysed using a mixed-method research design approach. Three main constructs, Space design, Technology and the E-learning Space Design research focus (ELSD focus), emerged as significant components in the development of a novel framework for the design of e-learning spaces. The relationship between the components is such that the design of spaces with consideration of the ELSD research focus would ensure the effective identification, interpretation and delivery of users‘ requirement while maximising the benefits of the adoption of appropriate technology within HEI facilities. This was therefore proposed as the realistic framework/model for future design of E- learning Spaces in HEI campuses. The framework was adapted into a conceptual design guide to provide guidance for future space design. It is expected the study will support the HEI sector globally as it moves towards achieving best practice solutions to future E-learning space design in HEI campuses.