• A journey towards becoming a systemic practitioner: becoming a project manager and an educationalist

      Cammack, Ian Joseph (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-01)
      This thesis is a systemic examination of my practice as an educator specialising in the development of early career project managers. This inquiry is conducted through an internal inquiry into my living theory and an externally focussed inquiry into the journey that the early career project managers take to becoming a project manager. Four broad foci of my living theory are identified, ‘Soft Systems Methodology’, ‘Action Learning’, ‘Reflective Practice’ and ‘Systemic Practice’. These are discussed in order to consciously consider the foundations of my practice and to identify areas where the practice has been eroded through familiarity and developed through innovation. The external inquiry draws on three sources of qualitative data. The first two sources of data explore the experiences of students enrolled on the MSc in Project Management at Lancaster University during an action learning project. These two sources are an analysis of ‘word clouds’ and ‘critical incidents‘ presented in the dissertations that reflect on these projects. The third source of data is a series of interviews held with alumni of the MSc in Project Management at Lancaster University. These two areas of inquiry combine to present a framework for project management practitioner education that comprises of three broad areas of development. These areas of development align to the ‘ways of knowing’, ‘ways of doing’ and ‘ways of being’. The ways of knowing zone is made up of the development of a systematic approach to project management. This zone is complemented by the ‘ways of doing’ that looks at the development of this systematic perspective through the development of a range of analytical and social skills. It is suggested that systemic eloquence may be gained by enhancing the ‘ways of knowing’ and ‘ways of doing’ with a systemic perspective that encompasses relational dispositions to the practice of project management. This relational disposition covers the ways in which project managers learn to understand the dynamics of the problem situations that they co-create with their stakeholders. Furthermore, it is noted that the development of project management practitioners should be facilitated through their experience in the practice of projects. This ‘hands on’ engagement combined with an approach to self-development founded on reflective practice helps to develop people capable of delivering projects rather than talking about the delivery of projects.
    • Journeys of resilience? Aimhigher and the experiences of young people looked after and in alternative education

      Kukhareva, Maria (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-05)
      The study explores the impact of Aimhigher activity on the lives of young people looked after and in alternative education. In the background of the mixed messages around the effectiveness of the Aimhigher initiative and its closure of the latter in 2011, it is argued that Aimhigher did, in fact, play a very positive role in the young people’s lives. In view of recent messages that a similar initiative may be under way, it is necessary to understand, and make use of Aimhigher legacy, including critique and best practice. The remit of the scheme was mainly associated with improving social justice through increasing the participation of disadvantaged groups in higher education. However, due to ineffective targeting strategies and flawed monitoring mechanisms, it was not possible to establish a link between heavily funded Aimhigher activity and widening participation trends. Additionally, there was a general scarcity of research literature available on the issues related to Aimhigher and its effectiveness. At the same time, documents produced by Aimhigher partnerships feature positive accounts of pupils and teaching staff. Connections have also been made between Aimhigher activity and potential transformations in the young peoples’ attitudes and behaviour. There is also a small body of literature that highlights the importance of exploring the unexpected and the unintended outcomes of any project. It is argued that an in-depth exploration of individual experiences is needed in order to understand whether Aimhigher had a positive effect on its participants. The exploration is carried out using the resilience framework, which allows the researcher to examine the changes in the young people’s lives over time. Therefore, the Aimhigher experience is understood as a part of the participants’ life trajectories, which are constructed of the young people’s interactions with their environment. Grounding this investigation within literature on resilience and its applications is particularly useful, as there has been an increase in the practitioners’ interest in operationalising the resilience framework. The understanding of the resilience-building mechanisms can be utilised in the design of current and future interventions for those disadvantaged and vulnerable, thus contributing to the strength-based discourse around vulnerability and risk. Interviews were carried out with nineteen young people who were looked after or in alternative education at the time of their Aimhigher participation. In addition, nine professionals from gate keeping organisations were interviewed, all of whom had knowledge of the initiative and the young people. The findings reveal that taking part in Aimhigher activity can act as a protective factor in a young person’s development, thus enhancing their resilient patterns. For several participants Aimhigher acted as an important turning point in their life. However, as resilience is understood as a dynamic complex interaction across several domains, it is the cumulative effect of factors that is crucial. The participants who seemed to be navigating their environments most effectively had the most exposure to developmental opportunities and access to support networks. The study also highlights wider issues around practice and policy on vulnerable young people.
    • Keep the conversation going : a study of conversational spaces during family business succession

      Kebbe, Lisen (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2011)
      This practice doctorate study addresses the question of succession in family business, and whether it is possible to facilitate the succession process and enhance family relations by working in a systemic, conversational and dialogical way. The high percentage of successions in family businesses which fail and result in closed down businesses has led to extensive research and caused public debate in Sweden. This study contains of four sections. The first section gives an introduction to my felt need of developing the facilitation of the succession process in business families. It also contains a philosophical background to the systemic way of working and a presents my ontology, epistemology and methods for my study and its ethical considerations. The second section puts my study in a wider perspective of this study with a short presentation of the field of family business research; there are interviews with mainstream consultants that are elaborated on and lastly there is a gender perspective on family business consultations. The eight essays in the third section portray my action research into my facilitation of the succession process in the Bjärges family. The succession process began at the end of 2006 and lasted almost five years. Facilitation was performed during the first two and a half years and the last follow-up conversation was held in the beginning of 2011. The Bjärges essays are written in a generative and reflexive way by means of radical, social poetics thus allowing personal involvement in the text. Some of the essays study the succession process from the perspective of dialogical moments; a couple of them reflect on the succession process in a longer perspective and finally there are follow-up conversations with the family members. The fourth section deals with knowledge gained from working with this study, knowledge I have taken into my practice where I facilitate family members to make their own decisions. It also includes my reflections on theory and on differences in consultancy to family business. Accountants and legal advisors focus on what is best for business, while facilitators working in the dialogical way have family relations at heart. This work proposes a 3rd Way, a new way of facilitating and supporting business families by collaboration of different competences in multi-professional teams. Thus both business and family relations would be addressed.
    • The knowledge base for physical education teacher education (PETE): a comparative study of university programmes in England and Korea

      Lee, Chang-Hyun (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013)
      This study compares and explains the knowledge base (Kirk et al, 1997; Shulman, 1987) for teaching physical education in Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) programmes in England and Korea from the 1960s to the present. In the USA (Siedentop, 1989), the UK (Kirk, 1992) and Australia (Macdonald et al, 1999), the erosion of time spent on content knowledge (CK) for sports and other physical activities has been noted as a matter of concern. The academicisation of the physical activity field and the marginalisation of PETE within it are major factors in the shift in the knowledge base. Data was presented from a comparative study of four PETE programme in two countries in respect of social constructionism (Berger and Luckmann, 1966). The historical resources such as timetables, curricula and official documents were analysed using documentary methods and grounded theory. Grounded theory was also used to analyse interviews with previous and present teacher educators, student teachers, and teachers who graduated from each university. I found that for universities in both countries, first, the hours of theoretical content knowledge (TCK) and practical content knowledge (PRACK) in PETE had been reduced over time. Time for units of physical activity had decreased significantly. Second, student teachers learnt physical activity to introductory levels only, and the spiral system for the physical activity curriculum, where students ideally move from introductory to advanced levels of knowledge, did not work well. In terms of differences between the countries, first, in England there were many sessions where PRACK was interrelated with pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and knowledge of learners and their characteristics (KLC). However, this was less common in Korea. In particular, interrelationships between PRACK and PCK and KLC were very weak because the Korean system is based on the study of kinesiology. Second, many students and teachers in England requested sessions to assist them to teach at GCSE and A Level. In Korea, in contrast, the need for PCK and KLC was identified. I conclude by confirming that CK forms only a small proportion of the knowledge base for teaching physical education confirming that there is a gap between the knowledge base in PETE and the knowledge requirements for teaching physical education in schools. I suggest developing special units in the PETE course based on models of learning, teaching and philosophy and being suitable for inclusion in the academic and scholarly culture of the university.
    • Knowledge transfer across cultural boundaries in the global economy based on the model of travel of ideas exemplified by the quality transfer in car manufacture from West Europe to Poland

      Dobosz-Bourne, Dorota (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004-04)
      The idea of quality has travelled globally for many years as a result of globalisation (Crosby, 1979; Deming, 1989). It has become a key factor of increased competition in the global economy, which led to the attempts of international companies to transfer quality to different locations and cultures in order to achieve high-quality standards globally. Car manufacture became an important field for the international knowledge transfer. A quest to achieve high quality in car manufacturing has travelled along various management tools and production models since 1911 (Tolliday, 1998) and after 1990 it also began to travel to Eastern Europe, including Poland. The concept of quality in car manufacture in Poland is a good example of an idea that was successfully translated. Due to the absence of research on this topic it was chosen as a subject for this study. Henceforth, this thesis investigated the travel of the idea of quality in the car manufacturing industry, from Western Europe to Poland. The research explored the process by which this idea was negotiated within General Motors company, in particular its two plants -Vauxhall Luton in the UK and Opel Polska in Poland. A group of 30 managers involved in the knowledge transfer between these two locations were interviewed by means of ethnographic and the Repertory Grid techniques. A combination of these two methods contributed to our knowledge about the possible methods that can assist the exploration of the organisational cultures and values embedded in them. Additionally, the application of this methodological approach gave us an insight into the Resistance to Change phenomenon and possible factors behind it. The thesis identified reverse translation as an important area for future research. Reverse translation may be equally important as the forward process (Boyer et al, 1998), and in this study we argued that the initial research, prior to reverse translation and the identification of the appropriate type of RD to be implemented, can play a crucial role in the outcome of this process.
    • Knowledge, learning and reflection : consulting in communities of practice

      Lawday, Geoff (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2009-06)
      The objectives of the research was to identify how knowledge, learning and reflection is mediated in communities of practice. The overall aim was to base the evidence from the lived experiences of those who are part of the communities of practice under study. The research was undertaken through a qualitative inquiry using a social constructionist perspective. The research was pursued through participative action research in one case study organisation, and through participative observation, or observation in fifteen others. The key findings of this inquiry include six sociological elements which were common to all sixteen organisations. Further, four key knowledge flow processes were consistent across all cases. In total forty-one main findings were identified to the pursued research questions. Two conceptual models of learning and reflection were presented as ways to help understand how knowledge, learning and reflection are mediated in communities of practice. The models can be used at different levels of abstraction and conceptualisation. The study provides original insights into consulting activity within communities of practice, and highlights key themes based upon the lived experiences of the participants in the inquiry.
    • L2 writers' revisions in a computer-based academic English writing test task: a keystroke logging study

      Anbreen, Tanzeela (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020)
      This study investigated the revision patterns and purposes of forty native Urdu speaking English L2 writers in a computer-based academic English writing test task. The chosen writers were divided into a more successful and less successful group based on the score obtained in the given IELTS academic writing task 2. A keystroke logging program Inputlog recorded each writing session including all revisions, and it could be re-played after the session. From the recorded sessions, idea or meaning related revisions were further investigated. The writers were shown these revisions immediately after the session as a stimulus, and verbal protocols were obtained to investigate their revision purposes. The revisions obtained from keystroke logging program were analysed using a revision taxonomy based on Stevenson, Schoonen and Glopper (2006) and Lindgren and Sullivan (2006) studies. Findings suggested that in general, both groups focused on form revisions more than the concept revisions. But, more successful writers made conceptual revisions more than form revisions. Also, more successful writers revised larger text chunks, such as clause, sentence and paragraph. Both the groups reported seven revision purposes; however, eighth category 'writers did not remember' also emerged from the data. The seven revision purposes included clarity, explicitness or emphasis, coherence, hedging, modify an idea, eliminate an idea, creating a new global content unit and making text reader-friendly. However, more successful writers expressed more awareness of their revision purposes than less successful writers. The findings of this study have theoretical, pedagogical and methodological implications, particularly in the Urdu L1 context. These findings provide empirical evidence about the revision patterns and purposes of L2 writers which may be useful for the teachers or instructors teaching English writing to L2 writers, particularly to the Urdu speaking English L2 writers. They can use these findings to help them improve their writing skills by focusing on the revisions. However, future research in this area is suggested.
    • Language behaviour and the contributing factors towards it among the Georgian ethnic minorities in Luton

      Kandelaki, Ekaterina (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-12)
      This study investigated the Georgian language behaviour and contributing factors to this language behaviour among the Georgian ethnic minorities in Luton (UK). Attention was paid to the following: language choice and code-switching as the language behaviour phenomena in bi-/multilingual context. Research into language behaviour explored age-related behaviour, attitudes towards maintaining the Georgian language, social networks including closest and non-closest ties in the UK and outside the UK, and participants’ perceptions of their identity (ethnicity). Forty-two individuals were approached to participate in this sociolinguistic and partly ethnographic study, employing mixed-methods approach conveyed in the questionnaire, interview and observation data collection formats. The research results indicate consistent links between the language behaviour and contributing factors to the language behaviour – social networks, age, language maintenance and identity. It was found that language choices, as well as code-switching, depend on other factors too, such as their interlocutors, environment, activity, choice of topic, length of utterances, language fluency, which varied across the age groups, hence language choice and code-switching patterns. Language shift was found in a non-indigenous member of the Georgian community. Accommodation took place in the observed interactions whilst participants converged or diverged in their speech. Code-switching instances varied across the age groups with different speakers. It was found that they code-switch either intentionally or spontaneously. Various types of code-alterations were found in participants’ speech, such as inter- and intra-sentential code-switching, and intra-word code-switching. The stronger networks participants had with Georgians, the more they used Georgian. It was evident that participants try to maintain Georgian and preserve their identity through their language, culture and networks and vice versa- maintain their identity and social networks through their language.
    • Laser interference lithography for applications in biomedicine

      Li, Wenjun (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-10)
      Surface modification of implant biomaterials has become the commonly used methods for the long life artificial implants and successful orthopaedic implantation. Numbers of technologies have been developed to improve the performances of artificial implants in biological systems. However, most of the technologies are associated with complex, time-consuming and not fully controllable processes, resulting in undesirable micro and nano structures. DLIL provides an effective method for nanomanufacturing of well-designed structures with controllability. The research reported in this thesis tackles the issues with particular focus on DLIL for the fabrication of well-designed micro and nano structures with functionalities including superhydrophobic, wear resistant property and biocompatibility on various biomaterials. Four-beam DLIL was developed to design and fabricate the micro and nano convex structures on silicon surfaces. Parameters such as incident angle, azimuthal angle and polarisation direction were adjusted to simulate micro patterns in period of 5.5 μm for structure design, and laser fluence and exposure duration were set to fabricate micro and nano hierarchical structures with the aspect ratio of 2-3. The CA value of 153.2° was obtained with excellent superhydrophobic property. Three-beam DLIL was used to design and fabricate micro circular dimpled structures on Co-Cr-Mo alloy. The optimal setting of incident angle, azimuthal angle and polarisation direction for three interference beams was developed to form the circular dimpled patterns in period of 8 μm. Laser fluence and exposure duration were properly adjusted to fabricate circular dimpled structures with the optimal area density of 14.8%. The modified surfaces performed the improved wear resistant property with a 64% reduction of friction coefficient and 42% enhancement of hardness. Two-beam DLIL was employed to fabricate micro grooved structures and three-beam DLIL was used to form micro dotted and dimpled structures on Ti6-Al-4V alloy by adjusting incident angle, azimuthal angle and polarisation direction. Microstructures in grooves, dots and dimples with roughness value ranged from 0.6 μm to 1.7 μm were achieved by the proper setting of laser fluence and exposure duration. MG-63 osteoblast cells were used to culture on modified Ti6-Al-4V alloy surfaces and the biocompatibility was improved by promoting cell proliferation, spreading and adhesion. In this work, DLIL were developed to modify the biomaterials including silicon, Co-Cr-Mo alloy and Ti6-Al-4V alloy for their specific functions in artificial joint. The wear resistant property has been studied on modified Co-Cr-Mo alloy for the bearing surface of artificial femoral head and the biocompatibility of modified Ti6-Al-4V alloy has been investigated for the interfaces of artificial joint stem and bone tissue. The silicon has been also used to achieve the superhydrophobic performance for the foundation preliminary study of anti-bacteria property and bacteria infection.
    • A layered control architecture for mobile robot navigation

      Qiu, Jiancheng (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1998-01)
      This thesis addresses the problem of how to control an autonomous mobile robot navigation in indoor environments, in the face of sensor noise, imprecise information, uncertainty and limited response time. The thesis argues that the effective control of autonomous mobile robots can be achieved by organising low level and higher level control activities into a layered architecture. The low level reactive control allows the robot to respond to contingencies quickly. The higher level control allows the robot to make longer term decisions and arranges appropriate sequences for a task execution. The thesis describes the design and implementation of a two layer control architecture, a task template based sequencing layer and a fuzzy behaviour based low level control layer. The sequencing layer works at the pace of the higher level of abstraction, interprets a task plan, mediates and monitors the controlling activities. While the low level performs fast computation in response to dynamic changes in the real world and carries out robust control under uncertainty. The organisation and fusion of fuzzy behaviours are described extensively for the construction of a low level control system. A learning methodology is also developed to systematically learn fuzzy behaviours and the behaviour selection network and therefore solve the difficulties in configuring the low level control layer. A two layer control system has been implemented and used to control a simulated mobile robot performing two tasks in simulated indoor environments. The effectiveness of the layered control and learning methodology is demonstrated through the traces of controlling activities at the two different levels. The results also show a general design methodology that the high level should be used to guide the robot's actions while the low level takes care of detailed control in the face of sensor noise and environment uncertainty in real time.
    • Leadership development in an Arab context: the case of Syria

      Megheirkouni, Majd Saleh (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014)
      Leadership development is adopted as a strategy to become a learning organisation. The emphasis on leadership or transfer of leadership training is perceived as central to the development of a learning organisation, which is the only sustainable competitive advantage in response to an increasingly unpredictable business environment. Leadership development may be seen as oriented towards building capacity in anticipation of unforeseen challenges. In this vein, developing leadership behaviours/capabilities might be a priority for successful organisations. This suggests that organisations should be able to develop their leaders by ensuring the harmony between the requirements of corporate strategy and the context in which they work. Given the fact that leadership is such essential part of organisational development, the methods for developing the leadership behaviours/capabilities must be present. Without defining leadership behaviours/capabilities, and their development methods, organisations may fail to optimize the outcomes of their leadership. This indicates the importance for understanding how leadership development (LD) is approached. Consequently, this study explores how LD occurs and what factors influence this phenomenon in the Arab context using evidence from Syria, and develops an integrated model to support the introduction of LD to organisations operating in the Syrian/Arab context. This study utilises a qualitative multiple-case design to understand and explain the character of and the influence on LD in the Arab world using evidence from Syria. Specifically, the study was based upon a sample of three cases of for-profit companies. Research data was gathered through 36 in-depth semi-structured interviews with the middle and top management levels. The findings reveal that LD occurs through the process that begins once a company identifies its leadership needs. This occurs by analysing internal/external environment to select the leadership behaviours/capabilities required, and their development methods. It was noted that this process seems to be similar among the three companies, but the type of behaviour/capabilities required tends to be context specific. Additionally, the findings reveal that there were two types of factors that influence LD at the three companies: Factors were seen as determinant factors through which the decisions of whether to introduce LD were made; and factors influencing the successful application of LD. The findings also reveal that there is a dynamic interaction between the mechanism used for understanding the weakness to identify leadership needs from one side and the context in which the companies operate from the other side. This relationship poses the basis for each company to select what fits its internal/external needs. This was evident through the types of behaviours/capabilities required and the purpose of each development method adopted by each company for developing the behaviours/capabilities required. The findings provide several contributions, but the major contribution is the discovery of how LD is applied in an Arab context, what behaviours/capabilities and development methods work best with for-profit companies in this context, how companies operating in an Arab context identify leadership needs for development, and what factors they perceive as determinants of LD and what factors influence the implications of LD. The study makes an additional contribution by developing an empirical model for introducing LD in an Arab context using evidence from Syria. The model was based on the data obtained from the field study. This could be appropriate for the Syrian/Arab context from one side that shares the same traditional characteristics, and companies working in these contexts (Arab) from the other side.
    • A leader’s journey to engage : an interpretive study

      Trinder, Jane (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2010-01)
      This research focuses on the perspectives and capabilities held by leaders as they seek to develop an effective engagement strategy when leading change. It has brought together aspects of change, leadership, engagement and leadership development theory in seeking to understand what helps and hinders leaders in developing engagement capabilities. The concept of engagement has taken on increasing significance in recent years, due to its link with higher performance and profitability in organisations. Much existing literature focuses on processes that encourage the involvement of others, and measuring engagement using survey questions. The surveys tend to focus on identifying if someone finds meaning in their role, and whether the environment they operate in enables engagement. This research has sought to use research methodologies based on action learning that encourages the development of capabilities enabling engagement, whilst examining the psychological and contextual factors that help and hinder development. The research draws on adult maturity theory which is used as a framework to aid analysis. This theory suggests that the capability to engage may unfold with the maturing process. This theory aligned with the findings resulting in a profile of what engagement looked like at various levels of maturity. This is useful in that by understanding the capabilities associated with engagement at various levels of maturity it supports leaders and HR consultants to identify development required, and potentially can aid the choice of leader for running change programmes. Four key themes were identified during the analysis. Firstly, the impact of context and how it impacts choices made. Secondly, the importance of capabilities associated with authenticity. Thirdly, the link with emotional intelligence. Finally, the importance of developing a learning practice. The implication of this research is that intent to engage is insufficient as is the focus on process and policy aspects of engagement. Engagement capabilities can be developed and the development of the individual needs as much consideration as the need to ensure strategy, policy and process is appropriate for the engagement strategy. It suggests that when considering major change in organisations focus should be placed on the mindset and capabilities of potential change leaders, to identify whether they have the capabilities likely to align to a particular engagement strategy and to support their understanding of their development needs.
    • Learning to teach English in Hong Kong: effects of the changeover in sovereignty

      Urmston, Alan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2003-07)
      Teachers undergo changes in their beliefs, knowledge and practices on an individual level as they learn how to teach. If society undergoes significant change, as Hong Kong did during the transition from British to Chinese rule in 1997, then social groups within society such as teachers are likely to react to change in different and complex ways. The purpose of this investigation is to exam.ine the changes experienced by teachers of English in Hong Kong, with a focus on teachers who received their teacher preparation at one Hong Kong institution during the final years leading up to the transition. The educational, linguistic, social and political context of Hong Kong is first described through a study of the research literature and a number of theories and models of change are presented through which the findings of the investigation are analysed. The main sources of data for the investigation consist of questionnaire responses, interview transcriptions and lesson observation reports of trainee English teachers during and after graduation from a BA course in TESL at a Hong Kong university. The main conclusions of the investigation are: (i) Educational issues and particularly those affecting ELT became more high-profile and politicised in the lead up to and after the changeover. (ii) English teachers in Hong Kong experience conflict between their desired approaches and the realities and constraints of the Hong Kong teaching context. These constraints provide a common justification for lack of innovative behaviour and make it possible for teachers to put off being innovative in the classroom indefinitely. (iii) At the same time, English teachers in Hong Kong are becoming more empowered within the educational system in reaction to challenges to their competency and as they have realised that they can affect educational policy through individual and collective action. The findings suggest that colonial discourses as documented by Pennycook (1998) of English language teaching still persist in Hong Kong, as they have been shown to do in other post-colonial societies, and Hong Kong is undergoing a post-handover period of change as it struggles to synthesise the educational legacies of the colonial period with new initiatives adopted to address Hong Kong's changing educational and social needs. The results of the research are developed into an original model of the factors impacting English language education in Hong Kong. The generic model is then elaborated in two versions, one of which applies before the changeover and the other after it.
    • Left ventricular diastolic mechanics in trained athletes during submaximal exercise using speckle tracking echocardiography

      Beaumont, Alexander (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-12)
      This thesis investigated sport specific responses of diastolic mechanics at rest and during submaximal exercise. Two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) was used to assess diastolic mechanics at rest and whilst triathletes (TRI, n=9, 32 ± 7 years), long distance runners (LDR, n=7, 34 ± 3 years), resistance trained (RT, n=5, 24 ± 5 years) and untrained controls (CON, n=5, 29 ± 5 years) performed dynamic and static exercise. Cycling consisted of 5 minute stages at 30% and 60% maximum workload (Wmax), and leg extension involved 15 second contractions at 40% and 75% maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). Peak untwisting velocity (PUV), apical and basal rotation velocities did not differ between groups at rest or during exercise (p>0.05). PUV increased in TRI from rest to 30% and 60% Wmax (p<0.01), remained unchanged in LDR, RT and CON from rest to 30% (p>0.05, p<0.05, p>0.05, respectively) and 60% Wmax (p=0.018, p>0.05, p>0.05, respectively). PUV did not change from rest to 40% (p>0.05) and 75% MVIC in TRI, LDR, CON (p>0.05) and RT (p<0.05). These findings suggest diastolic mechanics do not differ at rest or during exercise based on sport specificity, yet mixed training (TRI) athletes demonstrate augmented diastolic mechanics during dynamic exercise.
    • Legimate victimisation? how young people experience professional support and courts as victims of child exploitation

      MacDonald, Mandy (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-11)
      This thesis critically examines young people’s perceptions of support as victims and witnesses in Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) trials. This includes their views of support when disclosing the abuse, during the investigation phase, on the journey to court, in court and post court. My thesis is framed within the respondents’ experiences of negative and positive support provided to them when engaging with welfare and criminal justice agencies. This research presents empirical data drawn from in-depth qualitative interviews with 11 young people, 3 males and 8 females, who were under 16 years of age at trial. It answers the central research question of: How do Young People Experience Professional Support and Court as Victims of Child Sexual Exploitation? The theoretical framework used to analyse the data was critical realist and grounded theory. From those perspectives the respondents’ individual accounts are reviewed, then compared with all respondents’ views. From the synthesised data, theories emerged that explained the respondents’ subjective, real-world and empirical view of their experiences. The theories that emerged from the respondent data included gender inequality, disclosure, labelling theory and children’s rights issues identified through power imbalance between professionals and victims as service users and intimidated, vulnerable victims. The thesis set out to determine whether after nearly 30 years of challenge to improve child victim support, there have been improvements in practice with child victims of abuse, who must engage with welfare services and the criminal justice system. These respondents have spoken of their rights as a victim being circumvented and their explicit needs and wishes being overlooked. As a result, some have suffered anxiety and trauma, often perceived as a direct result of professional action or inaction. The thesis incorporates findings, set around the theories that emerged from the data. Findings include information about disclosure experiences, communication and contact with professionals within the criminal justice system and experiences of the adversarial court system. The thesis then moves on to discuss unexpected findings related to levels of selfharm amongst the respondent group and the impact of media and social media commentary on victims. The thesis concludes with recommendations for change to policy and welfare and criminal justice practice to improve support to these vulnerable and intimidated victims. My hope is that these findings will contribute to balancing the rights of child victims and add to the existing body of literature to better understand and improve support to adolescent victims of sexual exploitation.
    • Leveraging contextual-cognitive relationships into mobile commerce systems

      Hooper, Mark Alan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-12)
      Mobile smart devices are becoming increasingly important within the on-line purchasing cycle. Thus the requirement for mobile commerce systems to become truly context-aware remains paramount if they are to be effective within the varied situations that mobile users encounter. Where traditionally a recommender system will focus upon the user – item relationship, i.e. what to recommend, in this thesis it is proposed that due to the complexity of mobile user situational profiles the how and when must also be considered for recommendations to be effective. Though non-trivial, it should be, through the understanding of a user’s ability to complete certain cognitive processes, possible to determine the likelihood of engagement and therefore the success of the recommendation. This research undertakes an investigation into physical and modal contexts and presents findings as to their relationships with cognitive processes. Through the introduction of the novel concept, disruptive contexts, situational contexts, including noise, distractions and user activity, are identified as having significant effects upon the relationship between user affective state and cognitive capability. Experimental results demonstrate that by understanding specific cognitive capabilities, e.g. a user’s perception of advert content and user levels of purchase-decision involvement, a system can determine potential user engagement and therefore improve the effectiveness of recommender systems’ performance. A quantitative approach is followed with a reliance upon statistical measures to inform the development, and subsequent validation, of a contextual-cognitive model that was implemented as part of a context-aware system. The development of SiDISense (Situational Decision Involvement Sensing system) demonstrated, through the use of smart-phone sensors and machine learning, that is was viable to classify subjectively rated contexts to then infer levels of cognitive capability and therefore likelihood of positive user engagement. Through this success in furthering the understanding of contextual-cognitive relationships there are novel and significant advances that are now viable within the area of m-commerce.
    • Lexical vagueness handling using fuzzy logic in human robot interaction

      Guo, Xiao (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2011-10)
      Lexical vagueness is a ubiquitous phenomenon in natural language. Most of previous works in natural language processing (NLP) consider lexical ambiguity as the main problem in natural language understanding rather than lexical vagueness. Lexical vagueness is usually considered as a solution rather than a problem in natural language understanding since precise information is usually failed to be provided in conversations. However, lexical vagueness is obviously an obstacle in human robot interaction (HRI) since the robots are expected to precisely understand their users' utterances in order to provide reliable services to their users. This research aims to develop novel lexical vagueness handling techniques to enable service robots to precisely understand their users' utterance so that they can provide the reliable services to their users. A novel integrated system to handle lexical vagueness is proposed in this research based on an in-depth understanding of lexical ambiguity and lexical vagueness including why they exist, how they are presented, what differences are in between them, and the mainstream techniques to handle lexical ambiguity and lexical vagueness. The integrated system consists of two blocks: the block of lexical ambiguity handling and the block of lexical vagueness handling. The block of lexical ambiguity handling first removes syntactic ambiguity and lexical ambiguity. The block of lexical vagueness handling is then used to model and remove lexical vagueness. Experimental results show that the robots endowed with the developed integrated system are able to understand their users' utterances. The reliable services to their users, therefore, can be provided by the robots.
    • A Linear Logic approach to RESTful web service modelling and composition

      Zhao, Xia (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-03)
      RESTful Web Services are gaining increasing attention from both the service and the Web communities. The rising number of services being implemented and made available on the Web is creating a demand for modelling techniques that can abstract REST design from the implementation in order better to specify, analyse and implement large-scale RESTful Web systems. It can also help by providing suitable RESTful Web Service composition methods which can reduce costs by effi ciently re-using the large number of services that are already available and by exploiting existing services for complex business purposes. This research considers RESTful Web Services as state transition systems and proposes a novel Linear Logic based approach, the first of its kind, for both the modelling and the composition of RESTful Web Services. The thesis demonstrates the capabilities of resource-sensitive Linear Logic for modelling five key REST constraints and proposes a two-stage approach to service composition involving Linear Logic theorem proving and proof-as-process based on the π-calculus. Whereas previous approaches have focused on each aspect of the composition of RESTful Web Services individually (e.g. execution or high-level modelling), this work bridges the gap between abstract formal modelling and application-level execution in an efficient and effective way. The approach not only ensures the completeness and correctness of the resulting composed services but also produces their process models naturally, providing the possibility to translate them into executable business languages. Furthermore, the research encodes the proposed modelling and composition method into the Coq proof assistant, which enables both the Linear Logic theorem proving and the π-calculus extraction to be conducted semi-automatically. The feasibility and versatility studies performed in two disparate user scenarios (shopping and biomedical service composition) show that the proposed method provides a good level of scalability when the numbers of services and resources grow.
    • Lingual articulation in children with developmental speech disorders

      Gibbon, Fiona E. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1998-02)
      This thesis presents thirteen research papers published between 1987-97, and a summary and discussion of their contribution to the field of developmental speech disorders. The publications collectively constitute a body of work with two overarching themes. The first is methodological: all the publications report articulatory data relating to tongue movements recorded using the instrumental technique of electropalatography (EPG). The second is the clinical orientation of the research: the EPG data are interpreted throughout for the purpose of informing the theory and practice of speech pathology. The majority of the publications are original, experimental studies of lingual articulation in children with developmental speech disorders. At the same time the publications cover a broad range of theoretical and clinical issues relating to lingual articulation including: articulation in normal speakers, the clinical applications of EPG, data analysis procedures, articulation in second language learners, and the effect of oral surgery on articulation. The contribution of the publications to the field of developmental speech disorders of unknown origin, also known as phonological impairment or functional articulation disorder, is summarised and discussed. In total, EPG data from fourteen children are reported. The collective results from the publications do not support the cognitive/linguistic explanation of developmental speech disorders. Instead, the EPG findings are marshalled to build the case that specific deficits in speech motor control can account for many of the diverse speech error characteristics identified by perceptual analysis in previous studies. Some of the children studied had speech motor deficits that were relatively discrete, involving, for example, an apparently isolated difficulty with tongue tiplblade groove formation for sibilant targets. Articulatory difficulties of the 'discrete' or specific type are consistent with traditional views of functional lingual articulation in developmental speech disorders articulation disorder. EPG studies of tongue control in normal adults provided insights into a different type of speech motor control deficit observed in the speech of many of the children studied. Unlike the children with discrete articulatory difficulties, others produced abnormal EPG patterns for a wide range of lingual targets. These abnormal gestures were characterised by broad, undifferentiated tongue-palate contact, accompanied by variable approach and release phases. These 'widespread', undifferentiated gestures are interpreted as constituting a previously undescribed form of speech motor deficit, resulting from a difficulty in controlling the tongue tip/blade system independently of the tongue body. Undifferentiated gestures were found to result in variable percepts depending on the target and the timing of the particular gesture, and may manifest as perceptually acceptable productions, phonological substitutions or phonetic distortions. It is suggested that discrete and widespread speech motor deficits reflect different stages along a developmental or severity continuum, rather than distinct subgroups with different underlying deficits. The children studied all manifested speech motor control deficits of varying degrees along this continuum. It is argued that it is the unique anatomical properties of the tongue, combined with the high level of spatial and temporal accuracy required for tongue tiplblade and tongue body co-ordination, that put lingual control specifically at risk in young children. The EPG findings question the validity of assumptions made about the presence/absence of speech motor control deficits, when such assumptions are based entirely on non-instrumental assessment procedures. A novel account of the sequence of acquisition of alveolar stop articulation in children with normal speech development is proposed, based on the EPG data from the children with developmental speech disorders. It is suggested that broad, undifferentiated gestures may occur in young normal children, and that adult-like lingual control develops gradually through the processes of differentiation and integration. Finally, the EPG fmdings are discussed in relation to two recent theoretical frameworks, that of psycho linguistic models and a dynamic systems approach to speech acquisition.
    • Listening to the voice of children : systemic dialogue coaching : inviting participation and partnership in social work

      Olsson, Ann-Margreth E. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2010)
      This is a study in and about systemic coaching in social work – systemic, and, as it unfolded, dialogical coaching, later named Dialogue Coaching (DC). Focus lies on what the conducted coaching brought forth, generated and created in the context of social work and for the members of the participating social welfare organisations. My specialities as coach became to inspire social workers to invite clients and especially children into partnership, making their voices heard, both in the written text and in the process of social investigations. The study was integral parts of commissions (and vice versa) of the County Administrative Board of Scania, Sweden, in my profession as systemic consultant and supervisor in Sweden. It was a study in how dialogical communication could improve how social workers, listening to the children’s invitation, could make children’s voices more heard in social investigations. In all, 55 social workers in seven municipalities participated in the dialogical participatory action research (DPAR) study, developing coaching and improving the dialogical interaction in social investigations. Focus moved from collecting data for decision-making, about what would be best for the child and other clients, to focusing on the changing process in relation to the participating clients, including children when they wanted to and could, co-creating new orientation on how to go on. The focus on communication and dialogue in the coaching changed and developed the participants’ approach in relation to clients and one another and others. In the emerging awareness of how we reciprocally and reflexively cocreate occurrences and outcomes, including who we become in relation to one another, the participating social workers’ awareness of the impact of their own contributions, and their own importance in relation to children and other clients, also improved. The expressions listening ears and listening questions were invented, capturing my, the coach’s, participation of placing myself completely 8 at the other participants’ disposal, completely accessible in the mutual responsiveness in the moment – being here and now in the present. The systemic methods and techniques were reflexively influenced and adapted from within the relational dynamic of joint actions in the dialogical interplay, metaphorically presented as peloton cycling in a voyage tour, becoming living tools in both the social workers’ practice and the coaching researcher’s practice, facilitating learning-by-doing with methods and approach connected to Appreciative Inquiry (AI). One of the living tools was reflecting teams emerging also into so called delta-reflecting teams with open narrating included.