• Designing in creativity: an investigation into the role of creativity in graphic design

      Arya, Rina; Meachem, Carol (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-02)
      Graphic design practice is currently entrenched within a process-driven, formulaic approach to design that is time constrained and closely aligned with the working practices of the business environment. This approach is not conducive to creativity. Although design institutions recognise the call from UK governments for increased creativity and innovation in support of economic, social, and cultural initiatives the current commodification of knowledge, developed in response to the needs of business and industry, has its limitations. There is today a tension in the academic community between the pursuit of creative practice as a valuable entity in itself and the preparation of graduates for employment. There is a growing concern within the industry at the educational marginalisation of creativity within the design process in an attempt to remain current with technological and professional skilling. The intellectual and theoretical underpinning of graphic design is weak with little scholarly debate in relation to creativity and critical thinking. The aim of this research therefore is to support future practice and educational initiatives by developing a new theoretical and contextual framework from which to engage with both industry and education. Utilising a mixed method approach together with the insider/outsider status of the researcher working as both a design practitioner and design educator the research addresses the following questions: what is the role of creativity in graphic design? Why is creativity important to graphic design education and industry practice? How can creativity be facilitated within graphic design education and industry practice? A small-scale qualitative online survey was conducted initially in the form of a targeted emailed questionnaire. It collected opinions, knowledge, and experiences from 9 universities within the UK Higher Education sector and a small number of industry practitioners. The aim was to gain insights from a cross-section of individuals most likely to have special knowledge about the research topic and provide a snapshot of how things are currently. The study built on these insights by considering creativity in different contexts and demonstrates through substantial critical investigation and analysis the theoretical and contextual knowledge underpinning discussions in relation to creativity. It explores the significance of creativity as a term and an activity in graphic design. It examines possible explanations for the marginalisation of creativity in graphic design by looking at the historical precedents for the split between the fine and applied arts and the impact that this has had on the way that design has been taught and practiced. The findings confirm that understanding the role of creativity within practice is fundamental to ensuring that graphic design remains relevant in twenty first century culture and society. However, what creativity is and the various forms it can take may be different to what is currently recognised by education and industry practice.
    • A framework for adopting solar energy governance in the Nigerian power sector

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

      Goldschmied, Anita Z. (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-12)
      My research concentrates on conditions including autism, intellectual disability and mental health. I explore the ways they are used to establish the divisions required by diagnostic criteria in the separated health and social approaches to care. Defining conditions rather than performances has resulted in a neglect of the consideration of connectivity. My project employs Actor-Network-Theory, and Latour’s and Baudrillard’s philosophy, to reconsider the specific metaphysical and ontological issues of how, when and why we judge hidden dis/ability as a universal and essential thing, rather than one constantly formed and performed (perFormed), solved and dissolved (disSolved), produced and reproduced (reProduced) by diverse human and non-human actors in complex webs of connections. I composed the 6D material-semiotic network practice to offer a new ontological ‘seeing’ of how the associations and significations of hidden dis/ability are produced, represented and thus consumed. I found that exploring the everyday performances of hidden dis/ability with the 6D material-semiotic network practice might not verify the apparently universal, fragmented and permanent notions that the distinct categories imply. I conclude that hidden dis/ability can be considered as in a constant state of transformation which, when people are left to their own devices, composes capacities for shared cultural experiences and practices dismantling long-held ideas, and will be one of the benefits giving opportunities to rethink how we provide apposite care, services and inclusion for the conditions.
    • Regulation of VEGF-activated signalling by the plasma membrane calcium ATPase 4 in endothelial cells

      Armesilla, Angel; Immanuel, Reshma Naomi Ranjit (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-01)
      INTRODUCTION: Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones. It is a tightly regulated processes involving pro- and anti-angiogenic molecules. Deregulation of this process is associated with aberrant blood vessel formation (excessive or insufficient) in several human pathologies. Among the many pro-angiogenic factors promoting angiogenesis, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been characterised as a major regulator of both physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Therefore, the characterisation of the molecular mechanisms that regulate VEGF-induced angiogenesis is essential to develop therapeutic strategies that correct abnormal angiogenesis. In this sense, our group has previously reported a negative role for the Plasma Membrane Calcium ATPase 4 (PMCA4) protein in endothelial cells, acting via inhibition of the pro-angiogenic calcineurin/NFAT signalling pathway. However, we hypothesise that other intracellular pathways might be regulated by PMCA4 in endothelial cells during VEGF stimulation of angiogenesis. METHODS: To identify PMCA4 regulated pro-angiogenic signalling pathways, we have screened gene arrays related to Notch signalling or extracellular matrix-Cell Adhesion Molecule (ECM-CAM) pathway using RNA isolated from PMCA4-silenced (or control) HUVEC. Changes in gene expression after PMCA4 knockdown have been further validated by TaqMan-based qPCR in HUVEC or HDMEC. RNA levels of PMCA4 in aging HUVEC were analysed by TaqMan qPCR using RNA isolated from HUVEC cultured from different passages (from 3 to 15 passages). RESULTS: siRNA-mediated PMCA4 knockdown led to increased expression of Notch ligand DLL1 and Notch target gene Hey1 in VEGF-stimulated HUVEC. Expression of the transcription factor c-Fos was also elevated after PMCA4 knockdown in HUVEC stimulated with VEGF for 1h. Analysis of a gene array containing genes encoding extracellular matrix and cell adhesion molecules revealed that PMCA4 silencing alters the basal expression of P-Selectin and L-Selectin in HUVEC. The expression of other genes in the array like, ADAMTS-1, E-Selectin, and VCAM-1, was affected by lack of PMCA4, but only when cells were stimulated with VEGF. Examination of changes in the expression of these genes in PMCA4-silenced HUVEC or HDMEC showed differences indicating that PMCA4 might differentially regulate these genes in different sub-types of endothelial cells. In conclusion, our results suggest that PMCA4 negatively regulates Notch signaling pathway, and it is required for proper synthesis of ECM-CAM molecules. A first step to investigate the expression of PMCA4 in endothelial cells during aging has shown that PMCA4 mRNA levels increase along cell culture passage in HUVEC. However, this initial result requires further verification of changes in PMCA4 protein levels and/or in other cellular types to conclude that PMCA4 expression increases with aging.
    • The development of British First World War remembrance on the battlefield from 1914 to 1929

      Badsey, Stephen; Gregor, Simon (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-12)
      This thesis explores the role of Western Front battlefield landscapes between 1914 and 1929 in shaping memories of the First World War. It asks who visited the battlefields during the conflict, what impressions they formed, how they communicated these to others, and what influence these initial views had on post-war conceptions of the battlefield landscape. It explores how post-war visitors were guided to and through the battlefields, both by guidebooks and by tour operators, and how these sought to influence individual experiences. It examines how individual visitors sometimes went outside the framework of tours and published itineraries, and made their own attempts to connect with personal memories enshrined in the landscape. Section A of the thesis examines the itineraries offered by published guidebooks – firstly in the well-known Michelin guidebooks translated from the French, and secondly in the less widely-recognised British-authored guidebooks of the 1920s. Section B explores writing about the battlefields during the conflict itself, both through short articles in an Anglo-American periodical, and through full-length wartime books published by four influential authors – Rudyard Kipling, Edith Wharton, John Masefield and Harry Lauder. Section C turns to the experiences of individual travellers, and the extent to which they followed or departed from the itineraries and experiences to which these published sources directed them. The thesis argues that over the period 1914-29 there was a gradual but significant shift in what visitors focussed on within the battlefield landscape as it was tidied and reconstructed – a shift from battlefields themselves towards cemeteries and memorials. However, it argues that alongside this trend, visitors experienced a growing urgency, notwithstanding the clearing of battlefields, to find moments of reconnection with an authentic battlefield landscape which was seen as enshrining deeply personal memories. It shows that for veterans, this often involved connecting with sites which held real wartime memories, whilst for non-combatants it was much more about connecting with a landscape of the imagination. In particular, this thesis challenges the conventional narrative that the most important changes to landscape in the post-war period were the construction of cemeteries and memorials, arguing that just as important in the formation of cultural memory were the organic changes to the wider battlefield landscape.
    • An exploration into the use of monitoring & evaluation by third sector sports themed employability charities to evidence a social impact

      Corrigan, Craig; Medcalf, Richard; Biscomb, Kay; Sellars, Chris (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-01)
      The third sector is under increasing demand to evidence the social impact that it achieves, especially as the government imposes greater financial restrictions (Harlock, 2013). Sport has been used by the third sector as a vehicle to attempt to achieve numerous objectives (Coalter, 2011). These objectives have included, amongst many more, combating crime, stopping racism and integrating immigrants (Coalter, 2011). This research focuses on third sector organisations that use sport to improve employability skills for young people (Roberts, 2016). The mystical power of sport to aid employability skills has been scrutinised for numerous years, without comprehensive results (Spaaij, Magee & Jeanes, 2013). Utilising a qualitative approach, this thesis aims to explore how through the use of Monitoring & Evaluation (M & E), sports themed employability charities can greater evidence their social impact (Arvidson, 2009). The qualitative research initiates with nationwide semi-structured interviews that offer in an in-depth exploration into the demand and realities faced within the third sector (McNiff, 2007). An Action Research period totalling twelve months explores further the realities of working within the third sector and investigates the findings revealed within the nationwide interviews. The Action Research period, completed at a Midlands based sports for good charity, produces immersive data acquired through interviews, observations and fieldwork (Anderson & Herr, 2005). The results identify that the third sector is under serious pressure to evidence impact, and is adjusting to a payments by results culture (Hyndman, 2017). The power struggles between funders, management teams and delivery teams to collate and showcase data for impact are identified (Foucault, 1982). The results expose that M & E can be extremely difficult, especially when attempting to collect data in challenging environments. The expectancy of M & E data collection differs greatly from the reality (Morgan & Costas Battle, 2016). The Action Research element of the thesis offers improvements, both short and long-term, to the host charity, through a collaborative method (Whitehead & McNiff, 2006). The thesis concludes by reviewing the impact of the Action Research at the host charity.
    • Characterisation of mechanically alloyed feedstock for laser-powder bed fusion: titanium silicon carbide metal matrix composite

      Lyall, Iain (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-03)
      The research presented investigates the characterisation of new materials for the additive manufacturing (AM) industry. Herein, a metal matrix composite (MMC) with a titanium (Ti6Al4V) matrix reinforced with silicon carbide (SiC) is characterised. The research investigated an innovative and novel feedstock production process involving elements of mechanical alloying, tailored to the requirements of the layer based additive manufacturing (ALM) process. Systematic evaluation and subsequent characterisation of process parameters including laser power, scan speed and hatch spacing are presented. A new and novel experimental route is discussed. Detailed findings are presented with a robust methodology for producing elemental feedstock in small batch sizes, and process parameter characterisation for in-situ alloying for laser bed fusion. Evidence showed that acceptable parameters could be found for mechanical alloying with a rotational speed of 500 rev/min and an alloying time of twenty-four minutes that showed minimal and acceptable changes in size and morphology, therefore enabling the feedstock to be used within the Laser-Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) process also referred to as Powder Bed Fusion (PBF). New knowledge is presented in the form of experimental methodologies, namely single bead evaluation in relation to energy density, the evaluation and comparison of single beads, the use of mini-chambers to experiment with reduced levels of feedstock, the two-rail system to accurately deliver powder for single layer experimentation and equations developed to calculate energy density for single beads and the maximum volume of reinforcement material achievable from particle size data. MMC material was successfully synthesised due to the use of the methodologies described, with silicon carbide (SiC), silicon oxide (SiO2) and titanium silicide (Ti5Si4) detected as chemical compositions within the sample.
    • The evolution of infantry brigade command in the British Army on the Western Front, 1916-1918

      Sheffield, Gary; Wood, Roger (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-10)
      This thesis challenges the orthodox view that the role of the infantry brigade command of the British Army during the First World War was unduly narrow. Instead, it is argued that the response of the brigadiers and their staff to the challenges of the Western Front secured their role as agents of organisational and tactical change. A series of case studies over the period 1916-1918 serve to demonstrate the significant contribution of brigade staff to the Army’s learning process. Much like that of the wider BEF however, this process was complex and uneven. As a consequence, the development and battlefield performance of the brigades varied in accordance with factors of an external and internal nature: of these, the influence of the corps or division under which a brigade served was fundamental.
    • PLGA-DS reverses chemoresistance in malignant mesothelioma by targeting hypoxia induced cancer stem cells

      Wang, Weiguang; Tyagi, Garima (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      Background: Malignant Mesothelioma (MM) is a malignancy related to asbestos exposure which causes a wide variety of molecular aberrations. MM has a very dismal treatment outcome with an overall survival of fewer than 12 months, with less than five drugs available for its treatment. MM recurrence is unavoidable due to chemoresistance. Long-term inflammation triggered by asbestos activates a key transcription factor, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), which is further upregulated in cancer stem cells (CSCs) by hypoxia. Both hypoxia and NF-κB pathway plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of stemness in hypoxia-induced CSCs leading to upregulation of anti-apoptotic signalling, chemo-radiation resistance and metastasis. Therefore, the development of drugs targeting hypoxia-NF-κB-CSCs axis is of clinical significance for MM treatment. Our previous studies have shown that Disulfiram (DS), a clinically used anti-alcoholism drug, in combination with Copper (II) (Cu) has substantial toxicity in CSCs in a wide range of cancer types. The clinical application of DS in Cancer is limited by its very short half-life (< 2 minutes) in the bloodstream. MM is Cancer which mainly infiltrates local organs and tissues with rare distant metastasis. Considering this growing feature of MM, we developed a biodegradable and controlled released poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticle-encapsulate disulfiram (PLGA-DS) for local treatment of MM. This study aims to examine the anti-MM effect of PLGA-DS and elucidate its molecular mechanisms. Methodologies: In order to determine drug sensitivity, stemness, apoptosis, invasiveness and NFκB status, the following methodologies were performed in this study: MTT cytotoxicity assay, flow cytometry, analysis of CSC markers, hypoxic cell cultures, western blot, stable transfection of MM cell line with NFκB, CRISPR-Cas9 knock out of NF-kB-p65, CSC sphere reformation, invasion and migration assay. Results and conclusions: Two MM cell lines were examined and cultured in a hypoxic environment. MM cell lines were highly resistant to Pemetrexed (PMT) and Cisplatin (CIS), the first-line chemotherapeutic agents for MM. Hypoxia cultured MM cells showed high NF-κB activity and CSC markers and manifested strong migration/invasion ability. The NF-κB-p65 over expressed transfected cell lines did not demonstrate CSC traits along with no increase in resistance to first line drugs. PLGA-DS/Cu completely abolished CSC population in a culture which is demonstrated by sphere reformation assays and flow cytometry analysis of CSC markers such as CD24, CD133 and ABCG2. PLGA-DS/Cu also inhibited the hypoxiainduced NF-kB expression and blocked the migration and invasion ability of MM cells. It showed substantial toxicity to MM cell lines and reversed hypoxia-induced chemoresistance. Also, PLGA-DS/Cu potentiated the cytotoxic effect of Cisplatin/Pemetrexed in vitro. Isobologram analysis indicates moderate synergistic effect between PLGA-DS and cisplatin and pemetrexed in MSTO 211 and JU77 cell lines, respectively. As an FDA approved a drug with all preclinical safety data available, further studies may quickly translate it into MM clinical treatment. This is very promising in vitro data and indicate that PLGA-DS could be a promising formulation for localised MM treatment.
    • Fish consumption and dementia in older people: impacts and determinants

      Chen, Ruoling; Bakre, Aishat T (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-01)
      Background: Dementia is one of the world's biggest health problems and is a major public health challenge that is becoming more common as the aged population grows. There is no known cure for dementia, and thus more efforts have been made to investigate its risk or protective factors for prevention. Previous studies suggested that increased consumption of fish reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, it is unclear whether the consumption of fish was associated with the risk of dementia and outcomes of people with dementia. Also, few studies have specifically examined factors influencing the consumption of fish in older people, despite the world population aging. The purpose of this research project was to conduct a systematic literature review and examine the determinants and impacts of fish consumption on the incidence and mortality of dementia in older people using a convergent parallel database mixed methodological approach. Methods: This study employed a systematic literature review and a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative approaches that is based on a large cohort study dataset from China and two focus group discussions from the United Kingdom. In 2007-2009, 6071 participants aged ≥60 years were randomly selected from urban and rural communities in five-provinces, China. Using a standard interview method, participants’ socio-economic status, disease risk factors and fish consumption over the past two years were documented at baseline and this was followed up until 2012. The data of the cohort were analysed in multivariate adjusted logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression models. In 2018, the focus group discussions that consisted of 12 older adults were conducted in the UK, and the qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. Results: The findings of these studies demonstrated that increased consumption of fish was associated with reduced risk of dementia and all-cause mortality among older people. The study also examined and found that large socioeconomic inequalities, and certain lifestyle, psychosocial factors and health-related conditions are significant determinants of fish consumption. The qualitative study further revealed that participants consume fish for its taste, flavour, the desire for variety of food and the nutritional and health benefit including reducing the risk of dementia and other health outcomes. Although cost, bony/scaly fish, smell and availability/accessibility of fish were highlighted as the major barriers of fish consumption. Conclusions: This research has provided evidence for preventing dementia and reducing all-cause mortality through adequate fish consumption. The findings of the study should be extended to improve public health policy, and this could form the basis for further research.
    • Ecological labyrinths and myths of the fall: An earth-centred approach to The Lord of the Rings and His Dark Materials

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

      Lane, Andrew; Robinson, Daniel (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-11)
      The purpose of the study is to examine psychological interventions and their contextual validity in endurance-based sporting events. Over the course of three studies the work examines interventions for coping with fatigue in both laboratory and real-world settings. Participants range in ability and experience from novice to sub-elite competitors. The two cycling-based studies explore pacing strategies and goal directed self-talk. The final study delivers brief interventions to sub-elite runners in repeated trials at their local parkrun. Results throughout were mixed and often it was not clear the extent to which the intervention had been effective. The studies highlight the complexity and challenge involved in trying to teach and then measure psychological interventions in this context. Many factors influence performance, and more work is needed in understanding and highlighting the impact of training, experience, competitive conditions, belief effect and so on. In particular the motivation levels of athletes are critical when trying to assess a maximal performance. Case studies will be a useful model in future research to understand the complexities of individual athletes. Finding creative ways to examine athletes in environmentally valid settings, where there can be a high degree of confidence in athlete effort levels, will be valuable. The relationship between belief effect and the athlete’s choice of coping strategy is worthy of further research.
    • The determinants and impact of inward oil and gas FDI in Nigeria

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

      Tom Mercer; Richard Darby-Davis; Fisher, Luke P. (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      Any form of post-encoding distraction, known as Nonspecific Retroactive Interference (NRI), may cause forgetting (Keppel, 1968; Wixted, 2004). However, recent experiments have not always found evidence for NRI and its effect may be very mild. NRI was tested across five experiments which aimed to take the epistemological approach of cognitive memory and forgetting research, and to incorporate the educational psychology domain of motivated learning through interest development. This enabled the exploration of factors which may affect NRI based forgetting, including wakeful rest, mind wandering (MW), and various forms of interest. Verbal memory was tested within a short-term (five-minute retention intervals) learning and recall setting by comparing conditions where NRI (usually elicited by spot-the-difference tasks) was present or absent. This project carefully manipulated the role of prior-tasks, measurements of interest and MW (depending on conceptualisation), and the NRI task. As a result, the thesis was able to explore the role of fatigue vs. cumulative similarity interference, the reliability of NRI effects, and provide a cognitive explanation of interest-based learning. The results demonstrated that (1) overall effects of NRI were more reliable than first hypothesised. (2) Interest is separate from NRI within this paradigm as it increases recall during the encoding phase, with interesting facts being retained more, but experiencing a similar susceptibility to interference as less interesting facts. (3) Subjective interest increases recall, with dispositional individual interest modulating the amount of situational interest evoked by the stimuli. (4) MW decreases recall but any interaction with interest requires further exploration. (5) Recall was consistently worse if the NRI condition was late-occurring, and there was limited evidence for a fatigue explanation. It is put forward that NRI is a low-level form of diversion interference which can accumulate with similarity-based PI, and potentially cognitive load.
    • The impact of food consumption patterns on identity: the case of Zimbabwean inbetweeners living in the UK

      Magede, Thomas (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-02)
      This study explores the concept of identity construction through food as exhibited by Zimbabwean inbetweener migrants in the UK. Literature was explored in relation to national identity, migration, consumer culture theory, consumer acculturation, diaspora theory, memory and nostalgia and food consumption and identity. The study used a qualitative research approach to address the issues under investigation. Interviews were used to collect data based on the understanding that food patterns and identity construction are context driven. The findings indicate that the food experiences of the Zimbabwean inbetweeners were specific to this group. Their food consumption patterns were found to be multi-dimensional. The thesis brings to the fore too, the dynamism of identity and food consumption practices. The food acculturation practices of the Zimbabwean inbetweener migrants showed three consumer acculturation strategies - rejection, adaptation and separation. These were chosen in response to the various challenges and environmental influences they had encountered as they settled in the UK. In the construction of a national identity in the UK, access to Zimbabwean foods, economic independence, the importance of family and the structured nature of British schools influenced how identity was expressed and constructed. The findings showed that food is a tool that the respondents used to contruct their identity, to develop and maintain relationships with family, friends, communities and general diasporan relationships. The respondents also indicated the importance of eating out and the tensions they experienced in different restaurants that presented themselves as ‘authentic’. Various contested identities were formed depending on the ‘authenticity’ strategy adopted in the ethnic restaurants. These ‘authenticity’ strategies focussed on purity, hybridity, concreteness and abstract. The study contributes to consumer culture theory by engaging in the study of migrant food consumption practices; and to understand how a migrant group, can relate to the operation and marketing of ethnic restaurants in the diaspora.
    • The Sudanese arbitration laws in transnational commercial arbitration and the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, under the Sudanese disputes settlement system

      Andrew Haynes; Jebarah, Salahaldin Abdelkader (University of Wolverhampton, 2021)
      The reason for writing this doctoral thesis was because of the development of the law and arbitration processes in Sudan and the issues which that process has left us with. Sudan is still going through another kind of social reform, particularly in view of the different faiths in the country, and an increasing propensity for the population to be conscious of their rights. Any single judicial process is likely to struggle to deal with such a wide range of issues, particularly in the context of increasing arbitration and transnational arbitration. The degree of uncertainty is exacerbated by the direct and indirect influence of Islamic jurisprudence on judicial outcomes. This research establishes that if the judiciary has not changed quickly enough to cope with the demands which these factors present and the development of the economy and society could be adversely affected. Furthermore, Sudan is now looking for private foreign investors, and there are reasonable grounds to conclude that the Sudanese judiciary may be inadequate to accommodate the inevitable commercial disputes which will emerge. Whether or not an effective system of dispute settlement through arbitration can be made in Sudan, it is apparent that unless Sudan gets appropriate arbitrators with sufficient knowledge of Sudanese society and law, it will be difficult for Sudan to attract much needed private foreign investment. This research engages in a critical analysis of the development of an appropriate arbitration system in Sudan and suggests that it is a condition precedent to the successful development of the Sudanese dispute resolution system.
    • Stakeholder management within BIM implemented projects in the UK construction industry

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

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

      Danny Hinton; Tracey Platt; Flowers, Trevor A. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021)
      Gelotophobes have a negative attribution bias skewing appraisal of laughter meaning expressions of joy negatively affect interpersonal interactions and could be a barrier to positive outcomes in therapy. This study investigated participants’ perceptions of gelotophobes and non-gelotophobes responding to expressions of joy and examined whether the empathic underpinnings of counselling psychology afforded greater empathy and was a predictive factor in correctly identifying facial affect. This study was a quasi-experimental design employing a quantitative method. Participants (N = 144) consisted of counselling psychologists (CP) (n = 44), non-psychologists (NP) (n = 54), and psychology other (PO) (n = 46). Participants were shown emotional stimuli, pre-coded using Facial Action Coding System (FACS), depicting gelotophobes and non-gelotophobes responding to expressions of joy and asked to identify the emotion from a choice of seven basic emotions. Participants also completed the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and the Empathy Quotient (EQ) questionnaires to discern affective and cognitive empathy levels. Results found significant differences in the correct identification, and perception, of non-gelotophobes’ and gelotophobes’ facial affect. CP had significantly higher levels of cognitive empathy and identified significantly more gelotophobe emotional states than NP, but differences with the PO were non-significant. There was also a positive correlation between cognitive empathy and number of emotions correctly identified. Cognitive empathy, however, did not mediate between participant group and correctly identifying gelotophobes’ facial affect; as such, further research is needed to understand these findings. There were also no significant differences in affective empathy. Research highlights factors contributing to gelotophobes’ interpersonal difficulties, a factor in the development of gelotophobia, as well as factors that will facilitate positive therapeutic outcomes.
    • Family learning in English for speakers of other languages (FLESOL): a case study of Yemeni women’s perspectives

      Linda Devlin; Brendan Bartram; Patel, Hasumatiben (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      This research examined a group of Yemeni women enrolled on a Family Learning (FL) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme in the UK. The study addressed three central elements: the ways in which the women conceptualise learning, their motives for engaging in FLESOL, and the barriers to learning they experience. The investigation begins by reviewing Government policies on ESOL learning in Adult Education (AE) and considers the challenges faced by ESOL learners. The review explores the wide-ranging factors which impact upon learning as discussed in existing research and literature. This research argues that government policy and cuts in funding underestimate the complexities of developing life chances for learning. The study contributes to the debate about the value of FLESOL in community learning and aims to provide a deeper understanding of the benefits for this group of learners. The notion of community underpins the learner-centred approach employed in the study, which used a narrative inquiry methodology. An in-depth narrative inquiry was conducted with five participants, involving qualitative semi-structured interviews and a focus group. The study employed imaginative strategies including memorable items and photo elicitation to prompt the views of the participants and to examine their experiences. By selecting a group of FLESOL participants who have not received consideration before, and whose voices are rarely heard, the research demonstrates the nuances of their learning, motivations and perceived barriers. Participants’ stories provide insights into what they feel is important for their learning in a FLESOL environment. Their stories have important implications for decision-makers regarding funding allocation and eligibility criteria to access ESOL. The emergent findings highlight the importance of learning English as a tool which supports change in women’s social capital, well-being and empowerment. It also illustrates that these changes have to come from within the Yemeni women themselves through balancing their new life in the UK with traditional family roles and expectations.