• Radio frequency energy harvesting for autonomous systems

      Ivanov, Ivan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-04)
      Radio Frequency Energy Harvesting (RFEH) is a technology which enables wireless power delivery to multiple devices from a single energy source. The main components of this technology are the antenna and the rectifying circuitry that converts the RF signal into DC power. The devices which are using Radio Frequency (RF) power may be integrated into Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), biomedical implants, Internet of Things (IoT), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), smart meters, telemetry systems and may even be used to charge mobile phones. Aside from autonomous systems such as WSNs and RFID, the multi-billion portable electronics market – from GSM phones to MP3 players – would be an attractive application for RF energy harvesting if the power requirements are met. To investigate the potential for ambient RFEH, several RF site surveys were conducted around London. Using the results from these surveys, various harvesters were designed and tested for different frequency bands from the RF sources with the highest power density within the Medium Wave (MW), ultra- and super-high (UHF and SHF) frequency spectrum. Prototypes were fabricated and tested for each of the bands and proved that a large urban area around Brookmans park radio centre is suitable location for harvesting ambient RF energy. Although the RFEH offers very good efficiency performance, if a single antenna is considered, the maximum power delivered is generally not enough to power all the elements of an autonomous system. In this thesis we present techniques for optimising the power efficiency of the RFEH device under demanding conditions such as ultra-low power densities, arbitrary polarisation and diverse load impedances. Subsequently, an energy harvesting ferrite rod rectenna is designed to power up a wireless sensor and its transmitter, generating dedicated Medium Wave (MW) signals in an indoor environment. Harvested power management, application scenarios and practical results are also presented.
    • Radio resource scheduling in homogeneous coordinated multi-point joint transmission of future mobile networks

      Shyam Mahato, Ben Allen (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-06-21)
      The demand of mobile users with high data-rate services continues to increase. To satisfy the needs of such mobile users, operators must continue to enhance their existing networks. The radio interface is a well-known bottleneck because the radio spectrum is limited and therefore expensive. Efficient use of the radio spectrum is, therefore, very important. To utilise the spectrum efficiently, any of the channels can be used simultaneously in any of the cells as long as interference generated by the base stations using the same channels is below an acceptable level. In cellular networks based on Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), inter-cell interference reduces the performance of the link throughput to users close to the cell edge. To improve the performance of cell-edge users, a technique called Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) transmission is being researched for use in the next generation of cellular networks. For a network to benefit from CoMP, its utilisation of resources should be scheduled efficiently. The thesis focuses on the resource scheduling algorithm development for CoMP joint transmission scheme in OFDMA-based cellular networks. In addition to the algorithm, the thesis provides an analytical framework for the performance evaluation of the CoMP technique. From the system level simulation results, it has been shown that the proposed resource scheduling based on a joint maximum throughput provides higher spectral efficiency compared with a joint proportional fairness scheduling algorithm under different traffic loads in the network and under different criteria of making cell-edge decision. A hybrid model combining the analytical and simulation approaches has been developed to evaluate the average system throughput. It has been found that the results of the hybrid model are in line with the simulation based results. The benefit of the model is that the throughput of any possible call state in the system can be evaluated. Two empirical path loss models in an indoor-to-outdoor environment of a residential area have been developed based on the measurement data at carrier frequencies 900 MHz and 2 GHz. The models can be used as analytical expressions to estimate the level of interference by a femtocell to a macrocell user in link-level simulations.
    • Random responses? understanding sexually exploited young women’s relationships with secondary school education

      Rawden, Helen Doreen (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-01-18)
      This thesis aims to explore the relationships that young women who have experienced, or have been at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE), have had with secondary school education. Previous studies of CSE have not dealt with the effects on young women’s education during and following CSE. Therefore, the educational outcomes for this cohort of young women are poorly understood. To respond to this gap in knowledge, this thesis asks questions about the educational and labour market experiences of young women who have experienced CSE during their secondary school years. In the light of those experiences, what are the policy and practice implications, and what effect does experiencing CSE have on young women’s perceptions of their aspirations for their future. Interviews have taken place with nine young women who have experienced CSE, 16 specialist CSE voluntary sector key workers and three professionals variously working in safeguarding children and in Pupil Referral Units (PRU’s). As a result of these interviews, this study has discovered concerning levels of school exclusion and referral to PRUs among young women who experience, or who are at risk of CSE during their secondary school years. This thesis argues that the experiences of sexually exploited young women are not being taken into account when decisions are made about their education and that their right to an adequate education is not being met. A search of historical literature established that the identification of behaviour among female pupils, which can be recognised as CSE was documented in the Newsom Report (1963). A review has been undertaken to establish how far CSE policy and procedure has advanced to meet the needs of sexually exploited young women since the recommendations made by Melrose, Barrett and Brodie (1999). Conclusions have been drawn from the literature of the previous decade that there has been a lack of attention to the educational outcomes of young women experiencing CSE. Two theoretical foundations underpin this research: firstly, a Feminist Constructivist Grounded theory approach to women who have experienced sexual violence, contributing to recommendations for policy change that will benefit young women. Secondly, the thesis employs Social Pedagogy, in terms of the relationships which can be built with young women who have experienced CSE, to support their engagement with education. This is supported by consideration of the discourse on the rights of a child to an education appropriate to their needs and aspirations. This thesis concludes that young women’s education is liable to be damaged by experiencing CSE and that there is not enough knowledge to resolve this problem. Further research is required to understand what is involved in ensuring that sexually exploited young women’s rights to education are being met.
    • (Re)membering England: a disclosure analysis of the governance of diversity

      Feighery, William G. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004-06)
      Studies on the representation of 'local' populations, in and through tourism, have tended to focus on 'traditional' peoples in 'developing' countries. In this study of the representation of ethno-cultural diversity in the discourse of Official Tourism Organisations (OTOs), by contrast, I focus on a 'developed' West European country: England. This study was carried out in order critically to inspect the representation/signification of 'minority' ethnic populations in the text and talk of OTOs in England within the period 2000-2003. The study is framed within an anti foundational dialogue of social constructionism. In analysing OTO discursive practices I use Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to explore the representation of ethno-cultural diversity in a number of 'interview', 'operational' and 'promotional' texts. The CDA framework employed is designed to reveal patterns of discourse in the text as well as to provide a basis for understanding the micro context (for 'operational' and 'promotional' texts) of text production and distribution. Also, the framework facilitates a consideration of the macro institutional context within which OTOs in England operate. From the analysis of OTO texts carried out in this study I propose a number of interpretative findings, including 'discourses' of denial, equality and otherness. Overall, the 'interpretative findings' suggest that OTO texts are produced and circulated within a discourse of silence on matters of ethno-cultural diversity in England. I conclude this study by suggesting a number of transforrnative actions for the development by OTOs in England of an ethical 'politics of articulation'. In addition I identify a number of problematic arenas within which tourism studies scholars might pursue future research agendas and to that end I propose some potentially useful points of entry into the broader social science literature.
    • Re-forming multi-storey housing: the regeneration of urban housing estates in Britain

      Towers, Graham (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1998-11)
      Estates of multi-storey housing present some of the most intractable problems for urban policy. Socially, many are characterised by a complex of deprivation. Physically, they often suffer from serious technical problems and poor environmental quality. This study traces the development of multi-storey housing from its early beginnings in the 19th century to the period from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s when most of the contemporary legacy of estates was built. In this period, it is suggested, the concentration on 'low cost' led to the poor design of access systems, the use of untried mass-production techniques and the virtual elimination of social facilities. All these economies sowed the seeds of the social rejection and degeneration that was to follow. The central question is whether such estates can be successfully modernised -or whether the only solution is to demolish them. In seeking an answer the various responses of social landlords are analysed. It emerges that the older, smaller estates can be effectively adapted to provide good housing. The large scale, more recent estates, however, have proved more resistant to improvement. Despite the fact that government has increasingly targeted the problem estates of the 1960s and 70s, many improvement schemes have met with limited success. Drawing on an analysis of past practice, a 'model of regeneration' is defined. This concentrates on the need for tenant participation; on the importance of design solutions which are both technically and socially appropriate; and on management which is sensitive to local needs. This model was tested through case studies on recent improvement schemes. From the results, conclusions are drawn about the value of the model and the prospects for regenerating the various types of multi-storey housing Finally, a strategic approach is defined which can re-form the estates and re-integrate them into the mainstream urban environment.
    • Reading attitudes in L1 and L2 among rural and urban learners in a Pakistani context

      Memon, Shumaila (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-06)
      This study investigated the relationship between reading attitudes in L1 and in L2 of learners in Pakistan. It also investigated the differences between reading attitudes of learners from different home backgrounds, rural and urban. The participants of the study had Sindhi as their L1 and English as their L2. They came from rural (n=186) and urban (n=202) parts of Sindh. The study employed a mixed methods approach. It collected data through a questionnaire, and semi-structured interviews. The questionnaire collected information on four reading attitude variables: self perception as a reader, utilitarian value for reading, personal involvement for reading and lack of reading anxiety both in Sindhi and in English. The fifth variable was learner’s rural/urban home background. My study partially confirms findings from previous studies indicating that reading attitudes in L1 and in L2 are related. Rural learners displayed a stronger relationship between reading attitudes in L1 and in L2, whereas urban learners displayed a weaker relationship. This finding was further confirmed when, through a multiple regression analysis, the contribution of each reading attitude was checked in terms of the coefficient values. A learner’s ‘rural/urban home background’ emerged as the strongest indicator of a learner’s reading attitudes than his/her reading attitudes in Sindhi. Thus, urban home background seems to add positively to reading attitudes in English. The findings show the importance of one’s educational background, home and society on the whole in the process of developing a learner’s attitudes towards reading in English. Furthermore, this study also demonstrated marked differences in the reading attitudes of both the groups in terms of their reading attitudes in L1 and in L2. The rural learners had better reading attitudes in L1 than their counterparts, whereas the urban learners had better reading attitudes in English than the rural learners. Such a finding again supports the role of society and social background in shaping learners’ reading attitudes in L1 or in L2.
    • Reading during an academic reading-into-writing task: an eye-tracking study

      Latimer, Nicola (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-09)
      The study aimed to establish the types of reading university students engaged on an academic reading-into-writing task through a mixed-methods approach. To achieve this, eye-tracking technology was used to record 30 students’ eye-movements as they engaged in a one-hour computer-based academic reading into writing test task. After the test events, stimulated recall interviews and a cognitive process questionnaire were used to collect more comprehensive data on these students' academic reading processes. The study also investigated whether there were differences in the reading patterns of students with more experience of performing academic reading into writing tasks and those students with less experience. Differences in the way high and low scoring students tackled the task were also investigated. 30 participants (15 first year undergraduates and 15 third year undergraduates or postgraduates) were recruited from a range of UK universities. The participants were observed and their eye movements were recorded whilst they completed the reading into writing task. After the task, participants watched a replay of their reading and writing activity and were prompted to recollect their thought processes during the task. Finally, participants completed a short cognitive processing questionnaire. This research made five key findings relating to university students' academic reading processes in the context of a reading into writing task. Participants spent almost half their time (47 per cent) fixating on their own emerging text and about a third of their time reading the source texts. The task instructions were relatively poorly attended to. The fixations on the written source text were more homogeneous than fixations on the participant emerging work. Fixations on the written source texts reported a shorter mean v fixation duration and contained much higher rates of regression than for reading reported in the literature. Careful reading accounted for less than 30 per cent of reading of the written source texts. Other forms of selective reading accounted for the remaining 70 per cent of reading. The predominance of selective reading appears to result from participants targeting their reading to spend more time on the more relevant sentences, although several factors seem to interact to determine total time on each sentence. When differences between the Year 1 (Y1) and Year 3+ (Y3+) groups were examined, it emerged that the Y3+ group spent much more time fixating on their own work than the Y1 group. It also emerged that the Y3+ group engaged in more selective reading than the Y1 .The increased levels of selective reading may have contributed to the greater attention that the Y3+ group devoted to the more relevant sentences. When the results for the five highest and five lowest scoring participants were compared it emerged that the low scoring participants were much less effective at focusing their attention on the most relevant sentences. In short, these findings suggest that reading during an academic reading into writing task is different to the careful reading described in the literature. It demands a wide range of selective reading skills and strategies in addition to careful reading skills. Task representation can influence the way the writer interacts with the source text(s). The findings imply that development of selective reading skills, in conjunction with developing task representation skills, could help inexperienced students produce better written work earlier in their courses.
    • Real bad girls : the origins and nature of offending by girls and young women involved with a county youth offending team and systemic responses to them

      Williams, Jeanette Deborah (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2009-10)
      Amidst growing concerns about a rise in girls entering the Youth Justice System and official data highlighting increases in girls violent offending this doctoral thesis focuses on girls in the Youth Justice System. Drawing on case files and in depth interviews with a cohort of girls supervised by a Home Counties Youth Offending Team (YOT), and interviews with YOT practitioners it explores their needs and offending patterns and examines contemporary system responses to them. It aims to contribute to practice knowledge and understanding about girls offending, and to identify approaches and interventions most likely to be effective with them. Findings point to girls having multiple and interrelated needs and troubled backgrounds. Exclusion from school and non attendance, experience of severe family conflict and violence, heavy alcohol use and poverty and disadvantage are all cited as key risk factors for girls’ involvement in offending and other types of behaviour which can lead to social exclusion. Minor assault and the influence of alcohol emerge as key features in girls offending patterns. Assaults commonly arise from disputes with friends or family members, or occur whilst girls are in a mixed peer group where assaults are perpetrated against another young person or a Police Officer. The impact of more formal responses by Police and YOTS are evident and show that the highly regulated and male oriented Youth Justice System hampers the likelihood of successful interventions with girls. This study cites the importance of gender specific responses and interventions which are holistic, informal and flexible to meet the distinct needs and offending patterns of girls in the Youth Justice System. More widely early identification of girls at risk, information sharing across children, health and adult services, and the provision of a range of support and positive opportunities to girls which extend beyond the life of a Court Order are identified as key aspects of strategies aimed at improving future outcomes for girls.
    • A real-time demand response pricing model for the smart grid

      Mahmud, ASM Ashraf (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-02)
      This thesis contributes to a novel model for Real-Time Price Suggestions (RTPS) of the Smart Grid (SG), which is the next generation modern bi-directional grid, particularly with respect to the pricing model. The research employs an experiment-based methodology which includes the use of a simulation technique. The research developed a Demand Response (DR) pricing model. Energy users are keen to reduce their bills, and Energy Providers (EP) is also keen on reducing their industrial costs. The DR model would benefit them both. The model has been tested with the UK-based traditional price value using real-time usage data. Energy users significantly reduced their bill and EP reduced their industrial cost due to load shifting. The Price Control Unit (PCU) and Price Suggestion Unit (PSU) utilise a set of embedded algorithms to vary price based upon demand. This model makes suggestions based on an energy threshold and makes use of Simultaneous Perturbation Stochastic Approximation Methods to produce prices. The results show that bill and peak load reductions benefit both the energy provider and users. The tests on a daily basis and monthly basis both benefit energy users and energy provider. The model has been validated by building a hardware prototype. This model also addresses users’ preferences; if users are non-responsive, they can still reduce their bills. The model contributes significantly to the existing models, and the novel contribution is the PSU which uniquely benefits energy users and provider. Therefore, there is a number of fundamental aspect of contributions to the model RTPS constitutes the final thesis of the PhD. The Real-Time Pricing is a better pricing system, algorithm developed on a daily basis and monthly basis and finally building a hardware prototype.
    • Reclaiming youth work: from evidence-based practice to practice-based evidence.

      Factor, Fiona (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016-09)
      An abiding criticism of youth work is the inability of its practitioners either to articulate the theoretical basis of their practice or evidence its practical impact (House of Commons, Services for Young People: Third Report of Session 2010-12). This study explores whether, and to what extent, youth workers can articulate their practice wisdom in a form that can generate a body of ‘practice-based evidence’; sufficiently robust to persuade both those responsible for formulating youth work policy and those commissioning services of its efficacy. It develops a model which aims to assist youth workers in this endeavour, designed to support them in contributing to critical debates about the nature of their practice. This thesis is based upon a case study undertaken with a large voluntary sector youth organisation in the north of England. A number of research methods were used in the study including the design of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded knowledge exchange event, the administration of questionnaires to student youth workers at the University of Bedfordshire and semi-structured interviews with practitioners. The study uses Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as the lens through which the findings are derived from the data. The findings suggest that youth workers are able to conceptualise and articulate their practice wisdom and that the opportunity to engage in knowledge transfer activities is methodologically extremely helpful. It appears that practice-based evidence can be generated via such a process which helps to make explicit the nature of the work and its impact upon young people. On the basis of these findings, the author presents a model describing the key prerequisites for the generation of practice-based evidence in youth work. However, the current social, political and economic climate in England has meant that the applicability of such a model is entirely dependent upon the political and administrative context in which youth work is practiced. The imposition of tightly demarcated targets and narrowly defined outcomes, together with the individualisation of much service provision for young people requiring case work interventions, has meant that youth work’s phronetic intentions have become obscured, and for some organisations, lost. This is against the backcloth of the needs of the young people being targeted by youth services becoming more complex, requiring a more specialist, therapeutic intervention. The author suggests that the time has come for bolder initiatives utilising critical social pedagogy as a threshold concept which, she asserts may allow the profession to embark upon a process of ‘reclaiming’ its professional roots.
    • Redefining borders: exploring narrative stance, intertextuality, ideology and reader positioning in radical crossover fiction

      Oliver, Chantal (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-10)
      The huge popularity of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels and Philip Pullman’s challenging trilogy His Dark Materials flagged up a widening audience and increasing status for children’s literature in the West. As Sandra Beckett (2009) notes, children’s fiction is now being embraced with enthusiasm by adult readers, writers, critics and publishers. From this increased profile there has emerged the distinct publishing category of ‘crossover’ fiction. In contrast to earlier children’s novels with broad audience appeal, contemporary crossover works are noted for their contextually radical resistance to conventions and bold innovations in content, style and form. Whilst this has given rise to greater critical interest, however, the focus in general has been on adult authored fiction, rather than the now growing body of work being produced and promoted by children and adolescents themselves. In effect, adult critics and reviewers either exclude or take for granted young authors’ fictions as being formulaic and/or lightweight. The purpose of this study has been to investigate the implications of this stance. Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1965) theory of carnival and its associated concepts, I have conducted a comparative analysis of published fiction by adult and teenage authors whose works have been identified as subversive and/or marketed as crossover texts. A Bakhtinian perspective on style, structure and themes in each confirms, or otherwise, their radical status before consideration is given to the implications of any differences in approach. Given John Stephens’ (1999) observation that boundaries between children’s and adults’ fiction are more fundamentally blurred in the fantasy and sub-fantasy modes, the influence of genre has been investigated too. My findings indicate that radical texts with broad audience appeal can, in fact, arise through a variety of narrative forms and writing styles and regardless of authorial age. At the same time, characteristic differences in ‘perspectives’ are shown to mark off adolescent from adult authors’ works. I conclude that the young writers’ near-perspectives can produce hybrid fictions which might be understood as breaking new ground. The fresh insights this study contributes, then, demonstrate that any comprehensive account of the vibrant and ever-shifting contemporary literary scene must encompass broader and altogether more considered critical review of young adults’ input than has been offered to-date.
    • Refocusing distance of a standard plenoptic camera

      Hahne, Christopher; Aggoun, Amar; Velisavljević, Vladan; Fiebig, Susanne; Pesch, Matthias; University of Bedfordshire; ARRI Cine Technik (Optics Society of America, 2016-09-19)
      Recent developments in computational photography enabled variation of the optical focus of a plenoptic camera after image exposure, also known as refocusing. Existing ray models in the field simplify the camera’s complexity for the purpose of image and depth map enhancement, but fail to satisfyingly predict the distance to which a photograph is refocused. By treating a pair of light rays as a system of linear functions, it will be shown in this paper that its solution yields an intersection indicating the distance to a refocused object plane. Experimental work is conducted with different lenses and focus settings while comparing distance estimates with a stack of refocused photographs for which a blur metric has been devised. Quantitative assessments over a 24 m distance range suggest that predictions deviate by less than 0.35 % in comparison to an optical design software. The proposed refocusing estimator assists in predicting object distances just as in the prototyping stage of plenoptic cameras and will be an essential feature in applications demanding high precision in synthetic focus or where depth map recovery is done by analyzing a stack of refocused photographs.
    • Reinventing the book: exploring the affordances of digital media to (re)tell stories and expand storyworlds

      Franco, Claudio Pires (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-10)
      The focus of this thesis is on analysing the affordances of new technologies of the book. It looks at the transition between the affordances of the material book and the digital, focusing on the formal aspects of the book and its digital production and consumption. The research uses a coreperiphery model to locate innovation, looking first at a range of practices and then at selected producers and artefacts to identify relevant uses of the affordances of digital media, namely participation, co-creation, online reading communities, and the potential for cross-media extension of stories into other forms. The analyses of selected digital artefacts evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and ask: how have the affordances of the digital medium been used? What do these affordances offer to producers and consumers? And how have certain affordances changed the use value, the pleasures and the suitability of texts for their intended functions? This evaluation takes into account professional publishing contexts and a range of practices, looking at the ways in which producers make, classify and present their works. Affordances theory is used throughout, and ultimately shows that good design practices reinvent the medium, push the boundaries of the book, whilst considering the habits, needs and expectations of readers/users. A practice-led project is subject to analysis and reflection on practice in order to draw further insights and recommend approaches and tools for designers, publishers and other producers. This project experimented with reader engagement and co-creation to adapt the Nature Mage fantasy book series (Duncan Pile, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016) onto enhanced digital book and digital game texts. Media-specificity is used as a framework to look at the ways in which stories can be translated and expanded onto new forms that explore the affordances of digital media. The adaptations are located at the intersection of media, shaped by a range of intertexts from both analogue and digital media, and offering not simply another way of enjoying the narrative but texts that explore the digital affordances also to design features that relate to ludic, creative and social motivations and pleasures. Ultimately the thesis revisits the very definition of the book, its functions, its value and the ways in which emerging digital artefacts are doing the work of books and — thanks to new affordances and their hybrid nature — are not only changing the experience of reading, but also mixing it with the work of other media forms and genres. In doing so, this thesis contributes to furthering professional practice by highlighting a range of uses of the affordances of the digital medium to reinvent the book in the next chapter of its evolution.
    • Relating practice to performance : a study of investment and technology in UK manufacturing industry

      Li, Xiaohong (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2000-05)
      This study has quantitatively explored the relationships between investment, the use oftechnology and manufacturing perfonnance in UK manufacturing industry from 1979 to 1995. The exploration ofthe relationships is based on the review and the meta-analysis ofmanufacturing practice and performance relationships in the past along with the related theories and economic factors. The review of the operational management theory and the economic factors, which may influence manufacturing performance and practice relationship, helps to establish the wide context for this research and also contributes to the identified gaps. The meta-analysis ofthe relationships between practice and performance in the published studies has also contributed to the identified gaps in this research area. After the consideration ofthe discovered gaps and the availability of the database, the relationship between investment, the use oftechnology and manufacturing performance has been explored in this research. In order to quantitatively evaluate the relationships between investment, the use of technology, their interaction and manufacturing perfonnance, econometric modelling techniques have been used as methodological approaches. Two types ofmethods have been developed based on the review ofthe econometric techniques used in the past and the exploration of relevant econometric literature. The first method uses multiplicative interaction regression models combined with the centralisation method and ordinary least square estimation technique to investigate the relationship between investment, technology usage and their interaction and one dimensional perfonnance. The second method employs multiple-output models using the maximum correlation estimation technique to investigate the relationships between investment, technology usage and their interaction and two dimensional performance measures. A UK manufacturing database including two time periods, the 1980s and the early 1990s, covering seventeen years has been used to test the hypothesised relationships between investment in several forms, technology usage, their interaction and financial performance. The research discovers that it was difficult for investment to bring benefits for performance improvement at the year ofinvestment. The results support the hypotheses that a long-term planned investment brought benefits for manufacturing companies in the 1980s, however was not the case in the early 1990s. Technology usage was very important for performance improvement in the 1980s but the benefits brought by technology were diminishing as the mature stage ofsome key technologies was reached in the early 1990s. The analysis of the data suggests that the economic recession in the early 1990s was an important factor in explaining the phenomena and other economic factors might playa role as well. Investment and technology did interact with each other to contribute to performance improvement but it was not always the case. The results of the multiple-outputs model support the hypothesis that profitability and growth were two joint products of investment, the use oftechnology and their interaction in the immediate year or two after investment. This research also demonstrates the values of mUltiplicative interaction regression modelling and multiple-outputs modelling for manufacturing relationship studies.
    • Relational management in British-Chinese business interactions

      Xing, Jianyu (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2002-05)
      This dissertation sets out to investigate the management of relationships in British-Chinese business settings. Whilst set in the frameworks of politeness theory and accommodation theory, this dissertation studies the management of relationships in British-Chinese business interactions from a more comprehensive perspective. It examines the sociocultural as well as the communicative behaviour of the interactions between British and Chinese business people, to explore how relationship issues were handled and how communicative as well as cultural/sociocultural strategies affected the management of relationships. This work is based primarily on research conducted in Britain during November-December 1996, June 1997, and November 1997, when three Chinese delegations were visiting a local engineering company in the southeast of England. For the purpose of this study, three kinds of data were collected: 1) video recordings of authentic meetings between British business people and their Chinese clients (including training sessions); 2) comments from subsequent interviews and playback sessions held with the British and Chinese participants; 3) field notes. This study has shown that a variety of aspects can be held accountable for the management of relationships in intercultural settings. On a macro level, linguistic features alone can not adequately explain the process of negotiating relationships in fonnal intercultural settings, it also involves the non-linguistic perspective. From a linguistic perspective, attending to face needs is not the sole agent for relational management. Accommodation and respect for sociality rights also play an important part in it. The thesis attempts to distinguish the self-claimed face (self-image) and the perceived face (public self-image) and explore their respective functions in the management ofrelationships. The research also claims that group face is more likely to surface in group-versus-group. individual (group identity marked)-versus-group, or individual (group identity marked)-versus-individual (group identity marked or unmarked) settings. This study also argues that communication accommodation theory should incorporate convergence, maintenance or divergence along the line of culture specific behaviour. It proposes a new conceptualisation of CAT that should involve both speech and non-speech accommodative features. This study shows that a wider range of perspectives are needed in order to investigate intercultural communication.
    • The relationship between attention and consciousness: evidence for phenomenal overflow

      Baldwin, Michael (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-03)
      There is an ongoing debate in the study of consciousness regarding the relationship between consciousness and attention. While it is widely accepted that attention and consciousness are two distinct processes, the debate is over the nature of the relationship, does consciousness overflow attention? Four experiments were carried out to investigate the relationship between consciousness and attention, using a modification of the visual search paradigm, searching for a target in a display of non-targets and pressing a key to indicate whether the target was present or not present. The same Methodology was used in all for experiments with eye tracking, to monitor the direction of the gaze. A gaze contingent display was used to disrupt the allocation of attention under two of the experimental conditions. Participants were instructed to search for a given target under three conditions, Constant, Variable and Moveable. In the Constant condition, the target remained when a fixation was made. In the Variable condition, the target changed to a non-target just prior to fixation, changing back to the target when the gaze moved away. In the third, Moveable condition, the target moved to another part of the display when an attempt was made at fixation, with further relocations on subsequent attempts at fixation. It was hypothesised that under the Variable and Moveable conditions increased levels of cognitive engagement as measured by fixation and fixation durations would indicate awareness of the target while still resulting in a failure to report. Study One, involved a feature search, searching for a target that differed from the background by colour, looking for a light red block in a display of dark red blocks. Participants failed to report the presence of the target on around 50% of the trials. The results suggested that participants were making more effort to determine that the target was not present than correctly reporting the presence of the target. Study Two involved s second feature search for orientation. The target was an angled bar in a display of vertical bars. Findings were consistent with Study One, failure to report occurring on around 50% of the trials. Again, failure to report was accompanied by more fixations on the target than correct report, indicating that participants were aware of the target, but were unable to focus attention. Study Three involved a search for higher order properties in terms of shape or form. In this case, looking for an oval in a display of circles. The findings supported those of the first two studies. Failure to report on around 50% of the trials, with a failure to report being accompanied by more fixations of the target than correct report Study four employed a conjunction search, looking for a green circle in a display of yellow circles and green squares. While there were less failures to report than the previous studies, overall findings were the same. Participants were fixating on the target more times before deciding it was not there than correct report. Overall, the findings from all four experiments were broadly similar. Increased levels of engagement in the Variable and Moveable conditions than the Constant condition, for both correct and incorrect report. Further, incorrect report was associated with higher levels of engagement than correct report. This was interpreted as evidence that awareness can occur outside of focal attention, supporting the consciousness first position. Further, that a failure to report does not necessarily been a lack of awareness. This interpretation is open to possible alternative explanations, which are discussed.
    • The relationship between ERP systems success and internal control procedures: a Saudi Arabian study

      Shaiti, Hani (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-05)
      In recent years, Internal Control has become the focus of attention every time there is a notable scandal in the corporate world. An effective internal control system can prevent an organisation from fraud and errors, and provide an organisation with assurance and competitive advantages. It is argued that in order to have a robust internal control system, an integrated system, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is needed. ERP systems have the ability to control user access and facilitate the separation of duties, which is one of the most common internal control mechanisms used in order to deter fraud within financial systems. Moreover, there are other factors that can provide support for effective internal control systems. This thesis aims to explain how ERP success, organisational and ERP factors affect the effectiveness of internal control procedures. In particular, this thesis develops and validates a research model with empirical evidence collected in the context of the Saudi Arabia business environment. In order to achieve the research aim, this research identifies four key propositions derived from the existing literature to establish the relationships between organisational factors, ERP factors, ERP success and effectiveness of internal control procedures. An exploratory study is used to initially test the four propositions. The findings indicate that different companies follow different requirements that mainly depend on ownership. Additionally, the study indicates that the eight components of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission’s (COSO) Enterprise Risk Management framework are considered by the companies investigated, however there are variations regarding their level of consideration. The findings suggest that further study is needed to explain the impact of ERP success on internal control and to measure the effect of the organisational and ERP factors. Based on the four propositions, four hypotheses are developed and tested in a quantitative study. A questionnaire is constructed and sent to 217 Saudi ERP-implemented companies. 110 valid responses are received. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) is adopted for data analysis and hypothesis testing. The results suggest that the maturity of the ERP systems, formalisation and centralisation can impact on the success of ERP systems. Prospectors’ strategy, organisational culture and management support are positively related to the effectiveness of internal control procedures. The study results show a positive significant relationship between the success of ERP systems and effectiveness of internal control procedures. This research contributes to the knowledge at different levels. At the theoretical level, it develops and validates a theoretical framework that links the ERP system success to the effectiveness of internal control procedures. At the methodological level, unlike many of previous studies, this study adopts multiple data collection methods, and a powerful statistical technique, PLS-SEM to generate more robust outcomes. Finally, at the practice level, the study is conducted in Saudi Arabia, which is different from the developed countries in many aspects, such as internal control regulations and taxation system. Thus, the findings can be beneficial to Saudi organisations as well as other Middle-East countries.
    • The relationship between Infantile Postural Asymmetry and unsettled behavior in babies: a quantitative observational study

      Ellwood, Julie A. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016-01)
      Background: Unsettled infant behaviour is a common problem of infancy without known aetiology or effective management, and it is costly in both social and economic terms. Some osteopaths propose that musculoskeletal dysfunction contributes to unsettled infant behaviour, yet reported improvement following osteopathic treatment is anecdotal. A primary issue is the absence of a measurement tool to test musculoskeletal dysfunction in infants. Aims and Objectives: This research aimed to investigate: the reliability and validity of the infantile postural asymmetry (IPA) measurement scale; whether there was a relationship between IPA and unsettled infant behaviour as measured by the Revised Infant Behavior Questionnaire – short form (IBQ-Rs); and whether any relationship between IPA and unsettled infant behaviour was mediated by, or confounded with, the demographic variables of age, sex, birth weight and weight gain in twelve- to sixteen-week-old infants. Methods: Fifty-eight infants aged twelve- to sixteen-weeks-old were recruited through public health clinics, and their behaviour was assessed using the parent-report IBQ-Rs. Infantile asymmetry was measured using observer ratings of spontaneous movements in the IPA scale. A quantitative cross-sectional observational design was used to investigate the relationship between IPA and unsettled behaviour. Results: An association between unsettled behaviour and musculoskeletal dysfunction was not found in twelve- to sixteen-week-old infants using the IPA measurement scale. Ratings for the trunk convexity parameter of the IPA scale were unreliable and excluded from statistical analysis. A significant difference between high and low cervical rotation deficit groups for Surgency was detected in female babies and needs further examination. Some subsets of the IBQ-Rs were unstable when measuring behaviour in twelve- to sixteen-week-old infants. Future research targeting infants younger than twelve-weeks-old, and presenting with unsettled behaviour, is indicated. Conclusion: A causal relationship between unsettled infant behaviour and musculoskeletal dysfunction is still unproven. The literature suggests benefits associated with a consistent approach to providing parents with information, support and advice on normal behaviour patterns and optimal handling of infants. Non-specific effects cannot be ruled out in reported improvements following osteopathic treatment. Management strategies require early implementation and a multidisciplinary approach. The absence of common terminology in infant behaviour problems is an obstacle in cross-professional communication. A role for osteopathy may be in developing a shared language to facilitate management and research, and to examine the importance of positioning and handling practices on infant asymmetry and the relationship with the musculoskeletal system.
    • The relationship between internal corporate governance mechanisms and the quality of external audit process - empirical evidence from Jordan

      Almasria, Nashat Ali (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-11-28)
      Due to prevalent corporate scandals and audit failures around the world in the recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the relationship between Internal Corporate Governance Mechanisms (ICGM) and External Audit Quality (EAQ). This research seeks to investigate important and recent interrelated issues; specifically, the main aim of this research is to examine empirically the relationship between ICGM and EAQ. Empirical findings prior to this study are inconclusive and not comprehensive enough to address different aspects ICGM in terms of its effect on EAQ. Hence, this research extends the scope of previous empirical studies and fills the research gaps by offering empirical evidence relevant to the debate about how these mechanisms can influence EAQ in Jordan. This is essential, as the Jordanian regulations and international auditing standards highlighted the importance of these mechanisms for the external audit process such as JCGC and ISA. In order to achieve the set objectives, this research adopts mixed-methodology “sequential explanatory design”, which consists of two main phases through collecting data regarding the board of director responsibilities and characteristics, internal audit factors, audit committee responsibilities and external audit quality attributes. The first phase was a quantitative study in the form of survey questionnaire. Subsequently, follow–up semi-structured interviews were employed in order to get detail views of the external auditors to explain and clarify how the early quantitative findings are occurring as well as offer a better understanding of the study relationships. Adopting this research design (mixed methods) was mainly as a response to the recent calls as there is a lack of this kind of study that investigate the relationship between the ICGM and EAQ. This research focuses on the perception/insight of the Jordanian external auditors regarding the influence of ICGM on EAQ. Thus, this study uses a sample of 206 Jordanian external auditors for the survey and 13 participants from this sample for the interview. The results of the research aim to offer a better understanding concerning the relationships between ICGM and EAQ and what are the governance mechanisms that can influence some aspects of EAQ. The descriptive and regression findings illustrate that work performance of internal audit and audit committee as well as independence of internal auditor are the most vital monitoring factors. They have significant influence on some aspects of the EAQ. With a response rate of 66%, the majority of the Jordanian external auditors agree with the importance of the role of the board of director responsibilities in terms improving some aspects of EAQ. Moreover, the auditor perceived that audit committee plays vital role in enhancing the quality of audit process and the quality of financial reporting process especially its role in terms of reviewing and approving the company’s financial reports and auditor’s report. Further, the qualitative stage employed the thematic analysis to analyse the interview data. The interview results highlighted that there are different ways and stages that the ICGMs can influence the EAQ, for example, through holding effective regular meeting, ensuring the auditor compliance with the audit requirements “regular monitoring”, discussing the initial and significant audit results “draft of discussion”, taking necessary follow-up actions “feedback” as well as requesting the auditor to conduct additional tests which can in turn enhance the EAQ. The results also suggest that ICGM can assist improving different aspects of EAQ such as the quality of the evidence that are collected by the ICGM and the valuable guidance from the ICGM to the external auditor. The communication between the ICGM and external auditor can be focused on different issues related to the audit process such as auditors’ findings, the effectiveness of internal control, scope limitations and material misstatements which allow improving the effectiveness of audit process. This indicates that, the auditor must be aware of the dynamic deciding of the role of particular mechanisms in improving the external audit process. Moreover, the results have implications for the practitioners and regulators who are assessing the role of ICGM in improving the reliability of the financial report and auditor’s report. The empirical findings demonstrate that different ICGM can influence different aspects of the EAQ. More importantly, the results reveal that audit practice in Jordan is experiencing some difficulties in terms of the independence of the auditor especially, for the small local firms and providing non-audit service. In addition, there is no professional body for board of director; internal audit and audit committee like Jordanian association of certified public accountant (JACPA) for the external auditor, thus, responsibility of the bodies need to be formally overseen by a higher authority. For the policymakers, this study offers a unique proposition to improve the effectiveness of the ICGM to achieve EAQ. These empirical findings of this study also highlight the importance of improving EAQ as a solution for the agency problems through reducing information asymmetry, improving the disclosure practice, level of confidence and assurance of the financial reporting as well as deterring the opportunistic behaviour from different parties. Key Terms: External Audit Quality, Internal Audit, Corporate Governance, Board of Director, Audit Committee.
    • The relationship between myoelectrical properties and contraction intensity

      Lane, Christopher (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-06)
      The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between muscle force and electromyography (EMG) amplitude of muscles around the ankle, elbow, and knee. Frequency analysis was also conducted. 31 healthy volunteers (24.55 ± 4.64 years, 1.72 ± 0.08 m, 72.08 ± 23.67 kg) participated in this study. Volunteers were injury-free and provided informed consent before taking part. Surface EMG (sEMG) electrodes were situated over a total of 15 muscles over three joints. The right ankle, elbow, and knee joints were fixed at their mid-range of motion while participants isometrically contracted antagonistic muscle pairs at 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 per cent contraction intensity. Visual inspection and coefficient of determination (R2) of a linear trendline was used to determine linearity of the EMG-force relationship of each muscle tested. An R2 value ≥ 0.990 indicated a linear relationship, between 0.980 – 0.989 indicated a curvilinear relationship, and ≤ 0.979 indicated an elbow point relationship; Linear relationships: triceps brachii – lateral head (R2 0.995), triceps brachii – long head (R2 1.000), semitendinosus (R2 0.997), fibularis brevis (R2 0.999), fibularis longus (R2 0.992). Curvilinear relationships: biceps femoris (R2 0.987), soleus (R2 0.985), tibialis anterior (R2 0.983). Elbow point relationships: biceps brachii (R2 0.965), brachioradialis (R2 0.930), rectus femoris (R2 0.968), vastus lateralis (R2 0.971), vastus medialis (R2 0.967), gastrocnemius lateralis (R2 0.964), gastrocnemius medialis (R2 0.968). Based on these data muscle fibre type and joint angle appear to have the greatest influence on the EMG-force relationship. Future research using a wider range of joint angles would be recommended.