• “Taking the path of least resistance”: a constructivist grounded theory of H.E. teacher practice enactments at a UK landbased college

      Rapley, Eve (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-09)
      Landbased Studies Foundation and Bachelor degrees (FD and BSc) are generally taught in specialist FE landbased colleges, with teachers typically teaching both FE (Ofqual RQF Levels 0–3) and HE (Ofqual RQF Levels 4–6). Such teachers are designated in the literature as being HE in FE (Higher Education in Further Education) or CBHE (College Based Higher Education) teachers. Using a single case study landbased college, this study adopts a qualitative, naturalistic methodology using intensive interviewing and classroom observations of six Animal, Equine and Veterinary Nursing Studies HE in FE teachers. Characterised as an under-represented group within UK education research, these teachers teach both HE and FE within a small, UK landbased college. The study examines the nature of HE teacher pedagogic practice enactments, and factors which enable and constrain them within an FE college environment. Conceived within a interpretivist socio-constructivist framework, this study is influenced by the anti-dualist social philosophy of Practice Theory (PT) whereby people, places and material objects all contribute to how practice is enacted. Rather than considering material artefacts to be merely background objects and a college being simply an inert container where teaching takes place, a sensitivity to Practice Theory considers the FE context, material aspects and teacher pedagogic practices as a whole, rather than from one or other side of the structure versus agency divide. Within this study a particular variant of Practice Theory, Practice Architectures (PA) (Kemmis and Grootenboer, 2008), has been used to sensitise the study. The study adopts a Constructivist Grounded Theory (CGT) approach as a means of exploring a neglected and under-theorised area of Post-Compulsory education. The CGT methodology influenced and guided the research design and interpretive data iv analysis. Using purposive sampling of teacher participants, theoretical sampling, and the iterative cycles of constant comparison associated with Grounded Theory (GT), the data was used to construct four key categories. From these categories three main theoretical themes were identified from the data; Surveillance and Control, Teacher Identity and Agency, and Pedagogic Risk Aversion. The interpretive analysis suggests that HE pedagogic practice enactments are influenced and constrained by the college as a site, by its management, and by the wider neoliberal landscape of surveillance and auditing, as well as by the teachers themselves, the HE students, and material, non-human physical spaces and artefacts. The resultant HE pedagogic practice enactments are risk averse, tending towards instrumentalism and teacher-centeredness. The final CGT theoretically accounts for the HE practice enactments of the HE in FE teachers at the college and is discussed in relation to HE in FE literature, and to a number of pertinent theories within and beyond education. The CGT contributes to an enhanced understanding of HE teacher pedagogic practice enactments, and has potential for generalisability beyond the specific college. The original contributions to knowledge consists of: devising a novel methodology whereby PT/PA and CGT are articulated; adding to the body of literature for HE in FE pedagogy; and adding to the pauce corpus of literature for landbased education.
    • Taking the private into the public

      Wilson, Annette (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2012)
      This document is an invite to join me on a journey that follows the path of bereaved children, adolescents and their families who attended seven bereavement groups within a mental health setting. This thesis sets out to illustrate how families hold and maintain grief within the family system and how effective a bereavement group is as a form of therapeutic intervention. The bereavement group is a platform where families bring their private stories into a public domain and talk about the concerns that they have seen in their families since the bereavement. As an insider/outsider researcher I am of the opinion that by talking, listening and sharing their stories with other families with similar experiences within the groups, families can begin to think about what could be done differently if they want something to change within their family system. By sharing, families learn how to go with their grief without their loved ones and begin to create new narratives about the next part of their journey. The group can provide an opportunity for families to hear the ‘Untold’ stories and begin to create new narratives within their family system. The bereavement group also acts as a lens that allows me to look into my practice as a family therapist within a social constructionist framework and make new meaning of the stories that families bring within the bereavement groups. A tapestry is created from the complex diverse stories of grief that are interwoven with each family that attends the bereavement group. Each family brings their own pattern of bereavement and creates new patterns as their experience is shared with other families. Data is taken from the conversations at the assessment, treatment and follow up stages to highlight what difficulties the families have when there is bereavement. This is to ascertain what factors may be contributing to holding and maintaining the grief in the family and whether a bereavement group is effective in bringing the issues out for all family members to discuss. Different methods are used to deconstruct the different themes and unpick the ‘Told’ stories. At the end of this journey my hope is that there is more awareness about the effect of bereavement and how it shows itself in children’s mental health and how the family system can be affected.
    • Teachers as evaluators : a grounded approach to project evaluation

      Leask, Marilyn; Cambridge Institute of Education (University of East AngliaUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1988-04)
      The aim of the research is to establish the potentIal of au approach to formative evaluation which utilizes and develops the skills of teachers. This 'teacher evaluator' approach depends on teachers planning, directing, controlling and carrying out evaluations. A detailed case study of the practice as it developed in one LEA over a three year period was undertaken. The research contributes to the debate about educational evaluation practice in five areas: It advances theory of educational particular reference to the UK. -It identifies an approach which enhances the professionalism of teachers. -Through the publication of a detailed case study it promotes the development of theory from the reality of practice. -It provides the ground work for forging new links between professional educational evaluators and the teaching profession. -It defines an approach to evaluation which has the potential to provide timely, relevant, and effective, formative evaluation. The teacher evaluator approach to evaluation can be seen as a natural extension of the developing research tradition in the UK which was stimulated by the work of Stenhouse. In the UK, partvcularly since Stenhouse published hiS seminal work in 1975, there have been a number of developments in educational evaluation practices particularly in the area of qualitative evaluation through action-research and school self-evaluation. It is the contention of this thesis that the teacher-evaluator approach fills a gap in this developing teacher-researcher tradition - that of LEA-wide project evaluation by teachers. Through careful examination of the evidence collected, the significance of thls development in the teacher~based research tradition, was analysed and subsequently confirmed. An approach such as this, which hands over the power of evaluation to teachers, is especially relevant in the light of current demands for accountability in education. However, the success and effectiveness of the approach was found to be affected by a variety of issues. These issues are covered in detail in the text and relate to three key areas: the framework established for the evaluation which depends on the local context; the role and responsibilities of the teacher-evaluators; the methodology and practices adopted. It is conSidered that this approach prOVides the framework for a new model of educational evaluation which combines the strengths of professional external evaluation with the knowledge and expertise of teachers, and which provides long term benefits for the LEA. ThiS case study is presented as a contribution to the development of an educational research tradition which Stenhouse identifies as essential to the improvement of education. Publication of this research may further stimulate work in thiS area and thus contribute to the advancement of theories relating to teacher-led evaluation.
    • Teaching as an evidence informed profession: knowledge mobilisation with a focus on digital technology

      Procter, Richard (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-01)
      The use of research evidence to improve the practices of teachers is considered one of the ways of improving the educational outcomes for children. This study was focussed on determining how an online approach could be used to increase knowledge mobilisation in education, by giving teachers better access to research knowledge that they could use to support and develop their practices. This study had two aims. The first aim was to investigate what research knowledge and research practices teachers were using and what value they ascribed to those practices; the second was to explore teachers' views and opinions of a new online approach to the presentation of research knowledge. This was a mixed method study using questionnaires, interviews and focus groups to gather a range of both qualitative and quantitative data. The findings of this study show that practitioners value research practices more than they are able to participate in them, and that there is a consistent valuepractice gap across the range of research practices. Exploratory factor analysis revealed five underlying factors; engagement with research, engagement with the research community, promotes professional discussion of research, promotes teacher knowledge generation, and promotes wider engagement of the school with research and the research community. These factors showed that teachers and their schools want to engage both with research knowledge and with the wider research community so that the use of research knowledge can be enhanced in education. The findings also show that practitioners were receptive to the use of an online approach to the delivery of research knowledge and the piloted approach was accessible and intuitive. Practitioners exhibited interest in using the approach in a range of collaborative interactions with colleagues. Overall this study revealed that online approaches to knowledge mobilisation have potential but that teachers need to be supported in their engagement with research and the wider research community. This thesis is a contribution to the knowledge of how online approaches can be developed and deployed to enhance knowledge mobilisation towards teaching being an evidence informed profession. Equally school leaders and policy-makers need to create environments that are supportive of teachers' use of research, if they want teachers to use research knowledge to inform their practices.
    • Tectonic studies at the S.W end of the Aar Massif, Switzerland

      Taylor, Christopher (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1976-09)
      Comparisons are drawn of the effects of the Alpine orogeny on Mesozoic sediments and the underlying Hercynian massif basement rocks at the SW end of the Aar Massif. The study has also brought a clearer understanding of the pre-Permian geological history of the massif. The main lithological units in basement and cover are briefly described, and their mapping on 1 : 10,000 scale has shown large and medium scale structures. Deformation sequences have been established for the basement (D1b to D6b) and for the cover (D1c to D3c) and there is a clear correlation of Alpine st ructures (D1c to D3c equivalent to D4b to D6b). In the basement the late-Hercynian deformation of Upper Carboniferous metasediments is recognizable. These sediments were deposited on the older Altkristallin gneiss complex which had previously suffered the main Hercynian deformation and metamorphism. The trend of Alpine structures is subparallel to the trend of late-Hercynian structures, producing difficulties in discernment, and consolidating the regional NE-SW trend of basement structures. Alpine deformation was fairly simple, comprising one main deformation, followed by two weak phases producing only localized small-scale structures. Quantitative strain analysis for the main Alpine deformation investigates local situations and compares different types of strain marker. Incremental strains are recorded in curved pressure shadow quartz fibres in both basement and cover. These indicate early extension directions steeply plunging SE, later rotating through gentle plunge E, to subhorizontal NE and gentle plunge SW. Deformed Carboniferous pebbles, and cover ooids, intraclasts, faecal pellets, and ammonites have been analyzed, but all except faecal pellets suffer from the presence of initial preferred orientations and ductility contrasts with their matrix materials. Illite crystallinity studies show that the pelitic rocks investigated (basement and cover) reached a degree of Alpine metamorphism just inside low-grade as defined by WINKLER (1974) though the presence of graphite may have allowed this grade to be attained at relatively low temperatures. Further studies show this to have been a Barrovian-type syntectonic metamorphism. Generally similar finite Alpine deformation of basement and cover may be inferred from similar development of structures and similar quantitative strain estimates, but the very varied compositions and textures of rocks will have required somewhat different deformation mechanisms, and varied strain distribution.
    • Tectonics and mineralization of Wadi Allaqi, south Eastern Desert, Egypt

      El Kazzaz, Yahia Abbas Hamed Abdalla (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1995-08)
      Neoproterozoic volcanic, sedimentary and volcano-sedimentary rocks of central Wadi Allaqi were deformed and metamorphosed to greenschist facies during the Pan-African orogeny. Three major, geochemically and lithostratigraphically distinct, tectonic-stratigraphy Successions with an intermediate tectonically-emplaced unit of ophiolitic rocks (Gebel Taylor Wedge), which have been metamorphosed to blueschists facies prior to emplacement, are recognised. The tectonic pile has been intruded by four granitic plutons and basic igneous sills, which were emplaced at various stages in the tectonic history. A series of large-scale thrust duplexes with a few major nappe-like folds and shear-zones, the most conspicuous of which is the Allaqi Shear-zone, structurally dominate the area. A complex polyphase structural history has been deduced consisting of earlier ductile and late more brittle deformation phases and this has been related to the regional metamorphic development. A gold mineralized quartz vein system was emplaced syn-tectonically along the first deformation (D1) shear-zones. Data from structures, petrography, fluid inclusions and stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen tend to support a metamorphic provenance for the auriferous fluids. The petrological, geochemical and structural evidence strongly support a back-arc basin environment for the sedimentary development of central Wadi Allaqi before the Pan-African Orogeny. A single Wilson Cycle is proposed for the evolution of the area, in which following an extensional phase, during which the marginal elements of the ancient Mozambique Ocean (in the sense of Dalziel 1991) were developed. Back-arc sedimentary rocks and volcaniclastic rocks were metamorphosed and transported as a thrust-duplex system northward over the Nile Craton and any associated marginal sedimentary sequence.
    • Theorising marketing communications practices in the context of small businesses in emerging markets

      Kuzmina, Ekaterina (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-05)
      As part of the main research contribution this study raises the substantive theory on Marketing Communications (MCs) in the novel context of the Russian market and small ‘organic’ skincare businesses by this building the foundations for further research studies in this area of SMEs with intangible attributes and markets with emerging marketing practices. This research explores how small businesses in organic skincare industry in Russia practice MCs; and specifically focuses on what contextual factors impact on ‘inside-out’ and ‘outside-in’ approaches to marketing communications. While the ‘inside-out’ approach represents a more company-controlled and brand-informed marketing, the ‘outside-in’ approach mainly focuses on a customer-centric and considering that MCs have mostly been investigated in the context of large scale companies with advanced marketing practices, it is worthwhile to provide more insight into how small businesses with emerging marketing practices understand MCs and implement its core principles of customer and brand orientation. In this sense a salient example is the Russian market, where marketing as a discipline initiated its development only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 90-ies. MCs will be investigated in the context of organic skincare products. Local skincare companies in Russia extensively label their brand ‘organic’ to gain a competitive advantage on the market. Despite that, there is a lack of insight into how the ‘organic’ concept and its characteristics are communicated to the local audience and whether they are consistent with a customer’s locally constructed perception of ‘organic’. In response to that, this research aims to fill in this gap and to shed the light on whether and how local small companies in the industry manage to create a consistent customer-centric brand identity. The research consists of two sets of data collection methods: the analysis of online consumers’ discourses on organic skincare (netnography) and the interviews with the small organic skincare companies in Russia, which respectively provide insight into a customer’s local perception of ‘organic’ in skincare and the company’s communicated ‘organic’ brand identity. The present study is informed by the grounded theory methodology with the social constructivist and symbolic interactionism dimensions that guide and support the subsequent substantive theory on MCs in the defined context. As part of the main contribution the research introduces the concept of the business self (the owner-manager’s perception of the business) as the main constituent that defines MCs practices. In the case of the ‘restricted business self’ the company describes itself as a business with restricted resources and limited ability to invest into customer-informed marketing practices. The main focus of the company is on communicating a consistent brand identity, which is however hardly supported by a customer insight. Thus, this practice demonstrates more of the brand orientation and the ‘inside-out’ MCs. Conversely, in the case of the ‘desired business self’, where the company envisions itself in a favourable market situation, it expresses the ‘desire’ to invest into rigorous primary customer research and customer relationship management (CRM) to achieve a higher level of customer centricity to inform its brand identity. Thus, the case of the ‘desired business self’ demonstrates the shifts towards the customer orientation and the practice of ‘outside-in’ MCs.
    • Thinking about gangs

      Andell, Paul (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015)
      It can be argued that policy formations in the UK to address street gangs has encompassed positions of both gang denial and gang blame. These policy positions precede and succeed the English riots of 2011. The policy pendulum of denial and blame raises questions about what is actually going on with regard to UK gangs and what are the ideas and influences that have framed our responses to this issue? This thesis explores these concerns by an analysis of empirical evidence from 3 sites in 2 English regions from a time line, which encompasses periods of both gang denial and gang blame. An examination of some of the drivers and contingencies involved in policy making are examined with respect to UK gangs and discrepancies between empirical evidence, how this is understood and represented is highlighted. In short the thesis is an examination of the relationship between theory, policy and practice in the context of the current UK gangs debate. The thesis argues that there is a need to formulate a less partial analysis of gangs and to recapture the debate from analyses and responses which either under play or over play the gang problem. It is contended that in order to do so a realist approach is needed which defines what constitutes social reality and overcomes theoretical and methodological difficulties in order to critique present formulations of gangs. The thesis provides this critique and makes suggestions for a more comprehensive and democratic approach to gang policy in what can be termed a Critical Realist approach to gangs.
    • Time series prediction using supervised learning and tools from chaos theory

      Edmonds, Andrew Nicola (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1996-12)
      In this work methods for performing time series prediction on complex real world time series are examined. In particular series exhibiting non-linear or chaotic behaviour are selected for analysis. A range of methodologies based on Takens' embedding theorem are considered and compared with more conventional methods. A novel combination of methods for determining the optimal embedding parameters are employed and tried out with multivariate financial time series data and with a complex series derived from an experiment in biotechnology. The results show that this combination of techniques provide accurate results while improving dramatically the time required to produce predictions and analyses, and eliminating a range of parameters that had hitherto been fixed empirically. The architecture and methodology of the prediction software developed is described along with design decisions and their justification. Sensitivity analyses are employed to justify the use of this combination of methods, and comparisons are made with more conventional predictive techniques and trivial predictors showing the superiority of the results generated by the work detailed in this thesis.
    • A tissue engineered human skeletal muscle model for use in exercise sciences

      Martin, Neil Richard William (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2012-11)
      Skeletal muscles are composed of thousands of muscle fibres (muscle cells), densely packed together in parallel and surrounded by connective tissue sheaths. These fibres are multinuclear in nature, which allows for the control and regulation of the highly organised, protein rich cellular interior. The primary function of skeletal muscle is to produce force, which allows for movement to occur or posture to be maintained, and the regulation of this function is in turn reliant on the expression of specific genes and proteins. Skeletal muscle exhibits a high degree of plasticity, and can adapt in response to stimuli such as increased/decreased use, metabolic perturbations or changes in the systemic environment which often occur as a result of exercise, ageing, disuse or disease. Examining responses and adaptations in skeletal muscle in vivo are challenging due to experimental restrictions, and studies are limited by ethical issues surrounding experimentation on human beings and indeed on animals following the principals of refinement, reduction and replacement. Thus in vitro studies are often conducted in order to further understand mechanisms involved in adaptation. However, the environment to which skeletal muscle cells are exposed to in vitro is far removed from that in the body, and the resulting cellular architecture is often abnormal in morphology. Tissue engineered skeletal muscle has shown much promise in rectifying these issues, as cells can be grown on/within a matrix which is biologically relevant and engineered to grow in a uniaxial manner in parallel to one another. However, this field is in its relative infancy, and to date little data exists with regards the behaviour and characteristics of human muscle derived cells (MDCs) in tissue engineered constructs. In this thesis, human skeletal MDCs were obtained, characterised and subsequently cultured in a suitable model for tissue engineering purposes. MDCs were seeded on to a fibrin based hydrogel, which self-assembled over time to form a cylindrically shaped construct held in place between two anchor points. In ii this model, the cells were shown to align uniaxially and in parallel to one another in a fascicular like structure. The model was improved in terms of biomimicity and maturation by both increasing the seeding density of the MDCs, and by increasing the ratio of myogenic to non-myogenic cells. These models appear to promote the development of a slow muscle, as evidenced by the favourably high levels of MYH7 transcription in comparison to other isoforms, and showed suggestions of sarcomeric organisation as indicated by the classically striated pattern of protein organisation when myosin heavy chain immunostaining was conducted. The work conducted in the final chapter of this thesis focussed on developing a system capable of assessing and quantifying the force produced by these tissue engineered human skeletal muscle constructs when electrically stimulated. Further work in this area should aim to determine these functional characteristics and thereafter use the model for physiological, cellular and molecular studies in exercise science.
    • Tissue oxygenation response to systemic and localised hypoxia during intermittent isometric contractions.

      Gooch, Simon (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-04)
      The use of either blood flow restriction (BFR) and systemic hypoxia (HYP) during resistance exercise has been shown to increase hypertrophy and strength to a greater extent compared to traditional resistance exercise alone. However, the mechanisms underpinning these enhanced adaptations remain to be elucidated. Differences in skeletal muscle oxygenation may be one of several factors that leads to increased hypertrophy and strength with BFR and HYP. Nevertheless, this has been sparsely investigated. High intensity resistance exercise is also accompanied by an increase in oxidative stress, providing beneficial hypertrophic signalling. The addition of BFR has been observed to decrease these beneficial signals and the effect of HYP is unknown. PURPOSE: To investigate the skeletal muscle oxygenation and oxidative stress response during moderate intensity rhythmic isometric handgrip exercise with BFR, HYP, and resistance exercise alone. In addition, to observe the perceived pain (PP) response to these novel exercise modalities during exercise. METHODS: Eight recreationally active males (23 ± 1 yr, 76 ± 10 kg, 175 ± 6 cm) completed three sets of 45 repetitions of isometric handgrip exercise (60% 1RM) either with BFR (80 mmHg proximal cuff) 5 minutes pre and during exercise, with HYP (14% O2) 5 minutes pre and during exercise or with resistance exercise alone (CON). Exercise was completed in a supine position, with one-minute rest in-between sets. Skeletal muscle oxygenation was measured throughout using a dual wave near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) device placed on the forearm flexors, with output variables of tissue saturation index (TSI), oxygenated haemoglobin (O2Hb), de-oxygenated haemoglobin (HHb) and total haemoglobin (THb). NIRS variables were reported as a delta from a pre-exercise control period and represented a change from baseline. Oxidative stress was measured in whole blood via glutathione ratio (GSSG:GTSH). PP was measured during each exercise set with a visual analogue scale. RESULTS: TSI was lower in BFR (-11.5 ± 10.3 %) compared to CON (-1.3 ± 5.1%, p = 0.007) and lower with no significant difference compared to HYP (-4.5 ± 5.1 %, p = 0.059), there was no difference between CON and HYP (p > 0.05). There was no difference in O2Hb between conditions (p >0.84). HHb was higher in BFR (13.9 ± 5.1 μmol) compared to both CON (2.06 ± 5.87 μmol, p = 0.001) and HYP (6.83 ± 6.11 μmol, p = 0.042), with no difference between CON and HYP (p > 0.05). THb was significantly higher in BFR (9.41 ± 9.54 μmol) compared to both CON (-1.22 ± 5.50 μmol, p = 0.001) and HYP (1.59 ± 5.04 μmol, p = 0.008), with no difference between CON and HYP (p > 0.05). There was no increase in GSSG:GTSH pre-post exercise with no significant difference between conditions (p > 0.085). PP was higher in the BFR condition (6 ± 1 a.u) compared to CON (2 ± 2 a.u, p = 0.001) and HYP (2 ± 2 a.u, p = 0.001), with no difference between CON and HYP (p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Moderate intensity rhythmic isometric handgrip exercise with BFR results in an increased blood volume (THb), decreased clearance of HHb and lower TSI compared to HYP and CON, however O2Hb delivery remains similar between conditions. The differences in skeletal muscle oxygenation with the addition of BFR to resistance exercise provide further insight into the mechanisms acute of BFR; however, further investigation is required with over a prolonged period of training. The current protocol did not elicit a whole blood oxidative stress response in the form of increased GSSG:TGSH, therefore the role of oxidative stress could not be determined.
    • To explore the factors that influence the millennial generation entrepreneurs identifying entrepreneurial opportunity in Malaysia

      Abdul Hami, Heliza (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-10)
      In recent years, development of entrepreneurship in both scholarly and entrepreneurial activity has seen growing importance in Malaysia. Entrepreneurship can be labelled as the “engine of growth”. Simultaneously, entrepreneurs have brought an enormous positive contribution to not only the economic development but also social development. The importance of entrepreneurship to the Malaysian economic growth can be evidenced from the various support mechanism and policies by the Malaysian government. In 2010, the Malaysian government unveiled the New Economic Model, a 10-year plan to double the country’s per capita income by 2020. The New Economic Model has been successful in promoting entrepreneurship by providing entrepreneurial training and funding to encourage entrepreneurship. As a result, from the Malaysia Labour Force Survey (2018), the percentage of entrepreneurs increased by 9% from 2016 to 2017, indicating that the government’s efforts have been fruitful. However, the increase in number shows the classification of age range falls between 22 and 34. Thus, it can be concluded that the young age of the entrepreneurs or familiarly known as millennial generations are those who were born between 1982 and 2000. Reviewing previous research on millennial generation entrepreneurs, particularly from the Malaysian perspective, indicates that the research within the entrepreneurship discipline is fragmented and underdeveloped. Therefore, the topic chosen for this study falls within the focus of entrepreneurial opportunity identification. Research on millennial generation entrepreneurship has hindered knowledge development and creation in the field of entrepreneurship. This study aims to explore the factors influencing millennial generation in identifying entrepreneurial opportunity in Malaysia. This study is relevant in helping to build resilient businesses, to strengthen policy-making and encourage the millennials to consider entrepreneurship as a career. The research is based on qualitative investigation informed by an interpretivist ontology and epistemology. The author adopted semi-structured interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the aim of the study. Purposive sampling was adopted. The selection of participants was based on the specific criterion. The data were analysed using thematic analysis to create a meaningful classification of the influencing factors. All themes were coded using Nvivo 11 software. This study revealed that the factors influencing the identification of entrepreneurial opportunity among the millennial generation entrepreneurs in Malaysia differs based on the business industry, personal background and position. The interview data captured two main categorisations that can be acknowledged as individual factors and environmental factors. The findings that fall under the individual factors include alertness, prior knowledge, entrepreneurial cognition, social network, self-efficacy, personality traits, online digital platform, digital skills and Bumiputera status. Whereas, under the environmental factors, community, economic environment and regulatory or policy seem to be the most prominent factors in identifying entrepreneurial opportunity. The diverse background of the interviewees has added value to the findings by providing contending perspectives to the research. The findings suggest that the factors that influence millennials in identifying entrepreneurial opportunity in Malaysia differ from the in-depth available literature linked to developed countries. This study has advanced our understanding of entrepreneurial opportunity identification in a developing nation. The findings of this study offer fresh insight and value to academics, practitioners, as well as to policymakers and open up several research areas for entrepreneurship development in business start-ups, mainly focusing on the millennial generation. Thus, the findings provide an essential baseline for future quantitative and qualitative studies focusing on the Malaysian millennial generation.
    • To take the flow of leisure seriously: a theoretical extension of Csikszentmihalyi's flow

      Elkington, Samuel D. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2009)
      Csikszentmihalyi's (1975b) 'flow' theory has been extensively developed and utilised, providing the leading explanation for positive subjective experiences in the study of leisure. The prescriptive tenets along with the archetypal descriptive characteristics of the flow state have been well documented. What is less explicit, however, is what occurs within experience in the instances immediately prior to the onset of flow and those immediately following: in what the author has come to term as pre-flow and post-flow experience (Elkington, 2006 and 2007). This research approaches the dearth of knowledge concerning pre- and post-flow experience from the perspective of existential-phenomenological psychology with the aim of bringing clarity to the experiential, conceptual, and theoretical uncertainty surrounding what goes before and after a state of flow and with it a more complete and holistic understanding of flow experience. The research explores the intricacies of flow experiences of participants from one activity characteristic of each of Stebbins' (2007a) amateur, hobbyist, and career volunteer serious leisure categories, namely: amateur actors, hobbyist table tennis players, and volunteer sports coaches. Using narrative meaning as an interpretative tool to generate descriptions of the specific experiential situations and action sequences that comprise pre- and post-flow produced a single representative narrative of pre- and post-flow experience, and the first empirical insights into the phenomenology of such phases of experience. Examining flow in the context of serious leisure has revealed there to be significantly more to the act of experiencing flow than depicted in Csikszentmihalyi's (1975b) original framework, re-conceptualising flow as a focal state of mind in a broader experience-process model comprising distinct, intricate, and highly-personalised phases of pre-flow, flow-in-action, and post-flow experience. Combining flow and serious leisure has evoked the affinity of serious leisure activity for flow experience and the discovery that serious leisure and flow are not two disparate frameworks, but are structurally and experientially 'mutually reinforcing' of one another, revealing an explanatory framework of optimal leisure experience. The newly-emerged process view of flow was used to provide insights into the phenomenology of flow in serious leisure, adding to the explanatory capacity of Stebbins' serious leisure theoretical framework. Conflating flow and serious leisure in this way provides for significant and exciting opportunities for knowledge transfer between these two established leisure-related frameworks and signifies new vistas for future research in both fields.
    • Too little, too late? parenting orders as a form of crime prevention

      Vlugter, Roberta (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2009-10)
      The development of Youth Justice in the UK since the early 1990s has been informed by the belief that the family plays a key role in youth offending. In 1998 the parenting order was introduced, based on the assumption that interventions to improve parenting will have a positive effect upon offending. The availability of the order was extended in 2005, reflecting the view that parents who do not undertake parenting support are being wilfully negligent of their responsibilities and must be made to take the help offered. In this thesis the assumptions justifying the parenting order and its extensions are questioned. Evidence suggests that although parenting is influential, it is one of many factors associated with the onset of or desistence from offending. Furthermore, as this thesis highlights, parents likely to receive parenting orders are often experiencing several personal and environmental 'stressors', creating high levels of need. These situational pressures and high level of need, this thesis argues, are likely to make it difficult for them to be effective in their role, or to gain long term benefit from attending a parenting programme. Furthermore, many parents have histories of unsuccessfully seeking assistance from 'helping agencies', refuting the assumption of wilful neglect. This thesis considers the advantages and limitations of parenting work as a form of crime prevention and specifically looks at the use of the parenting order. An argument is presented for a wider, more holistic approach to parenting work than that offered by the parenting order as a form of crime prevention and for providing assistance to families earlier.
    • Tourism and development: using tourism as a strategy for poverty reduction in Narok District, Kenya

      Kareithi, Samuel (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004-03)
      This dissertation uses a livelihood analysis approach to examine the potential role of tourism as a strategy for poverty reduction. While many studies have examined the role of tourism in economic and local area development in developing countries, this research focuses on understanding the impact of tourism upon the livelihoods of poor people, in this case Narok in Kenya. The thesis first reviews the theoretical explanations and definitions of poverty within the discourse of development studies. The key argument of the thesis is that the continued macro economic focus for tourism development in developing countries is inappropriate for targeting poverty. The macro economic disc0~[se assumes that the benefits of economic growth from tourism will trickle down through a series of economic multiplier processes to 'poorer' sections of the population. Yet, this research shows that poor people have different definitions of poverty from those that are conventionally used in macroeconomics. Poor people's definitions are based upon their own local circumstances of making a livelihood. It is argued that it is therefore necessary to understand the term 'poverty' as defined by the 'poor' in order to produce tourism strategies that are 'pro poor'. Using multiple methods and narratives of poverty experiences in the Narok District of Kenya, the study investigates the local perceptions of poverty amongst poor people that participate in tourism livelihood activities. Using a livelihood analysis, the study examines the economic, social and political factors that affect how poor are able to access and use tourism in their livelihoods. Subsequently, recommendations are made on the institutional structures that would enhance the livelihood opportunities for poor people in Narok. The research concludes that for tourism to maximize its contribution to poverty reduction, various policy and institutional adjustments are necessary in order to shift the economic benefits of tourism towards poor people. Such changes would not only secure the livelihoods of those already involved in tourism, but also expand the potential for poor people who are currently excluded from economic participation in tourism.
    • Tourism and economic development: retaining competitive advantage through clustering, learning and innovation in the Costa del Sol

      Fernández, Ana Belén Martin (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2002-08)
      This research investigates the role of clustering, learning and innovation in retaining competitiveness in an existing tourism area in a peripheral region of Europe. To do this it draws on the tourism resort area known as the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. Structurally, it focuses on hotel and catering businesses, which are considered to be at the heart of the tourism industry. Tourism is shown not only to be fundamental to the development ofthis coastal agglomeration, but also critical to the development of the province of Malaga (of which the Costa del Sol is a part) and the wider region of Andalucia. Hence the need to examine the evolution oftourism, the sources of competitive advantage and how such advantage can be retained in a globalised marketplace. The key proposition is that retaining competitive advantage can best be achieved through learning and innovation and that agglomerations provide a milieu in which learning and innovation are stimulated. Agglomeration theory and the role of learning and innovation are tested through an examination of the spatial and temporal evolution of hotel and catering businesses and through questionnaire surveys covering these businesses. In particular, the surveys are directed at addressing the issues of learning and innovation and assessing the extent to which the Costa del Sol operates as a 'learning region'. Questionnaire work met with severe problems of non-response despite being undertaken in conjunction with local business organisations. Nevertheless, sufficient responses were obtained to provide some tentative answers to the questions being posed and to provide the foundation for further research. The principal conclusions were that the Costa del Sol has acted as a growth pole and seedbed for business development, and that learning and innovation are promoted as much by competition as by co-operation. Finally, some public policy implications are drawn from these conclusions.
    • Tourism, poverty and poverty reduction in Msambweni district, Kenya

      Barasa, Davis Wekesa (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2010-06)
      This thesis examines the potential of tourism’s contribution to poverty reduction as perceived by local people in Msambweni district in Kenya. Whilst many studies in tourism have focused mainly on the macro-economic impacts of tourism in developing countries, there is little empirical work on understanding its effects upon poverty reduction. Furthermore, researches on how the poor or local people define poverty are also at their embryonic stage. The research utilises multiple qualitative methods and participatory approaches including focus group discussions and meetings. Key objectives of the research are: to critically analyse how poverty is conceptualised by local people; to identify the barriers to participation in the tourism industry and development process; and make recommendations on how to overcome them. The thesis reviews the theoretical framework of poverty within the discourse of development studies. Contrary to the conventional economic definition of poverty, poor people in Msambweni view it as a multidimensional concept. The understanding of the concept of poverty as perceived by the ‘poor’ themselves is critical for addressing barriers to their participation in the tourism development process and in designing meaningful tourism-led anti-poverty strategies. The thesis also reviews other relevant tourism concepts and development paradigms. The central argument of this thesis is that the current model of tourism development in Msambweni is not suitable for addressing poverty. The study identifies barriers to local people’s participation in tourism development in Msambweni. Key barriers include weak capacity in the context of physical, human, financial and institutional capital; corruption; poverty; lack of information; weak linkages with the local economy attributable to the lack of access to tourist markets; and the inability to develop and promote the ‘right’ types of tourism. Ecotourism, volunteer tourism and ‘philanthropy tourism’, although practiced on a small scale, are the most preferred types of tourism by local people. Philanthropy tourism, an emergent term of this study, involves tourists visiting local attractions, villages, and schools and making donations to support various projects. The study concludes that for tourism to have meaningful contribution to poverty reduction, barriers that limit local people’s participation must be addressed. There is also the need for a paradigm shift to embrace policies that facilitate the transfer of economic benefits from the macro-level towards the poor at the micro-level, combined with the development and promotion of the ‘right’ types of tourism as identified by local people.
    • Towards the rapid analysis of total glucosinolate in oilseed and vegetable crops

      Jezek, Jan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1999-08)
      This work describes approaches to the development of an analytical method for the determination of glucosinolates -important plant metabolites that affect the commercial value of both vegetable and oilseed crops. One approach was to modify an established myrosinase/glucose oxidase bi-enzyme biosenscr so as reduce the previously reported by-product interference of the sensor signal. Covalent immobilisation of glucose oxidase on nylon nets replaced direct immobilisation on the electrode surface, and oxygen consumption replaced hydrogen peroxide formation as the measurand. Myrosinase was dissolved in the background solution. The sensor responded rapidly (< 10 min) to the presence of isolated glucosinolates in solution although the magnitude of response varied between classes of glucosinolates. By-product interference was greatly reduced even following continuous exposure.. However, there was insufficient time to explore the full potential of this biosensor approach to the rapid determination of glucosinolates. Another approach exploited the general observation that under certain conditions glucosinolates can reduce ferricyanide. Whilst no reaction was observed between glucosinolates and ferricyanide neutral pH, the incubation with glucosinolates in alkaline solutions resulted in reduction of ferricyanide to ferrocyanide. Both electrochemical and spectrophotometric techniques could be used to monitor the reaction progress. The reaction mechanism of the process was elucidated and lthioglucose, an alkaline degradation product of glucosinolates, identified as the species that reacted with ferricyanide. A method was further developed so as to enable the analysis of glucosinolates in rapeseed extracts. Given sample pre-treatment to reduce interference from phenolics, the spectrophotometric technique was shown to allow determinations of total glucosinolates in rape seeds that were in close agreement with independent analyses using official ISO methods. The procedure recommended in this work could be further improved by developing more effective methods of eliminating interference from residual phenolics. Nevertheless, the procedure already has some advantages both over ISO methods and over other existing methods for total glucosinolate determination. Furthermore, given recent advances in thick-film fabrication of miniature fluidic devices, it could be possible to adapt the procedure so that it could be carried out using a simple convenient single-use sensor format.
    • Towards understanding stakeholder relationship during strategic planning: the case of an airline company

      Al Katheeri, Mohamed (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016-10)
      This research investigates the relationship among the stakeholders during the strategic planning process in an airline company. The concept of involving stakeholders in strategic planning is based on the assumption that engaging stakeholders in a meaningful way will increase the benefits for both the organization and the stakeholders. The growth trend of the company investigated has resulted in complexity due to the growth of its internal and external stakeholders and the influence that their relationships can have on strategic planning. Whereas studies have identified a number of factors that can influence stakeholder relations, it has also been suggested that relationships could further be influenced by host of other stakeholder-related attributes. It is in this context that the study answers the following research questions: (1) how do stakeholders understand their responsibilities in strategic planning?; (2) how do they perceive the importance of communication and coordination to their relationship during the planning process?; and (3) how do the stakeholders‘ expectations shape the challenges faced by the company and their relationship during strategic planning? The study employs the qualitative method of research using the interview technique to collect data to gain insights into how the participants perceive and make sense of their relationships during strategic planning in their company. The conceptual dimension of the study is premised on the two streams of meaning of relationships and the dynamics of stakeholder relations during strategic planning projected in the literature. The methodological dimension is premised on the importance of lived experience as a significant source of knowledge. In this respect, the study draws on phenomenology using narrative analysis and inductive content analysis in the treatment of data. Accordingly, the study found that stakeholders bring to the table a plethora of responsibilities which have significant upward and downward influences during strategic planning. There is a consensus among stakeholders on the general importance of the relational benefits of coordination and communication. Real time coordination and communication with external stakeholders is differentially perceived within the range of poor to excellent. Likewise, there is differential perception of the relational importance of communication in terms of organizational context. Whether the coordination among stakeholders is perceived as excellent or poor, the bottom line is that stakeholder relations in the company remains a challenge. Stakeholders have multiple expectations of the company strategic plan and the strategic planning process which further raises multi-faceted challenges to the company. Based on the findings the study came up with a model that highlights the streams of thought pursued in the study. The findings affirm the view that relationships result from what transpires, happens, or occurs during strategic planning. Likewise, the inherent connectivity that results from the social nature of individuals involved in the planning process is affirmed. The former is on account of the responsibilities of the stakeholders and the latter on account of the inherent value that stakeholders place on strategic planning. The quality and extent of stakeholder relations however is moderated by extent and quality of coordination and communication before and during the planning process.
    • The transfer and diffusion of human resource (HR) policies and practices of European multinational companies (MNCS) to their Nigerian subsidiaries

      Akhile, Janet Francis (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-06-21)
      Human resource (HR) practices diffusion within multinational companies (MNCs) is an imperative area of research for strategic international human resource management (SIHRM). The existing literature noted that there are critical factors that affect the transfer and diffusion process of human resource practices. This research seeks to address certain shortcomings in existing SIHRM literature, in particular the lack of work on human resource policies and practices adopted by multinationals operating in developing sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. This research extends the focus of SIHRM literature beyond MNCs parent companies into the subsidiary’s context in developing SSA country. This work builds from broader analytical frameworks to examine and interpret the dynamic underlying process of human resource practices diffused. More precisely, drawing upon SIHRM literature and institutional theory to provide a comprehensive understanding of the transfer and diffusion of human resource practices. The empirical data was collected from international human resource managers (IHR), local management staff in the Nigerian subsidiaries including human resource managers, senior managers and line managers. The research involved forty-two semi-structured interviews, supplemented by company documents, from two European companies operating in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. This work used thematic analysis to evaluate and interpret the data. Analysis of the interviewers account showed that both company and country factors shape the adoption and diffusion of human resource practices in the Nigerian subsidiaries. The findings indicate that the strategic importance of each human resource practice is a driving force behind the transfer process. The two European MNCs utilised exportive and integrative SIHRM orientation to disperse a wide range of HR practices from the parent companies. Furthermore, the findings indicate that employment regulations and trade union effects alone do not influence MNCs’ choice of practices diffused in the Nigerian subsidiaries. Socio-cultural factors such as values and beliefs affect the workforce's personal actions and perceptions, and these are key factors to consider when transferring HR practices. The findings of this work thus make a valuable contribution to SIHRM literature and institutional theory literature with a focus on HRM in MNCs operations.