• Managerial interpretations and sectoral comparisons of performance management in the third sector

      McKeaveney, Dan (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-10)
      The subject of performance management within the third sector is both a comparatively new area of research and also relevant to wider national debates over the role of charities in delivering services as part of the 'big society.' The austerity programme has affected funding of charities whilst local authorities and other governmental bodies have sought to get more from the third sector for the money they provide. As such it is interesting to see how third sector organisations are managing performance in order to meet these challenges. This research project will interview third sector employers who deliver services on behalf of, or in partnership with, public sector organisations. The third sector is predominantly comprised of registered charities and voluntary groups and the sector has an established track record of providing contracted services using paid staff. The aim of this research is to investigate the performance management culture of sector organisations and, via interviews with key personnel, establish what systems are in place and how managers perceive their effectiveness. The findings of this research should allow voluntary organisations to share best as well as drawing attention to common problems of performance management within the sector. By conducting a thorough examination of academic and business journals related to the areas of performance management, particularly where these concern delivering services for the public good, in addition to third sector specific articles a theoretical basis for this research will be established. Performance management within the third sector is a relatively new and underdeveloped area of research and so there is inherent value in actively comparing articles relating to the public sector, and their experiences of these issues, with original research. Specific literature relating to key theories, models and empirical research will also be examined and reviewed. This research offers an interpretivist view of the sector and will be reliant on the successful interviewing of respondents and coding of their recorded experiences. This presents a number of challenges in ensuring concrete experiences are correctly categorised to differentiate nuances and safeguard against the conflation of unique 'stories' into a broad brush approach. Additionally adjustments for selection bias, the subjectivity of experience, and sample size limitations will be considered.
    • Managerial qualities and management development in the National Health Services

      Thavanayagam, Thavanesan (University of Bedfordshire, 2002-10-28)
      This research was initiated in order to establish the relationship between managerial meta-qualities and the learning style preferences of a senior manager having board level responsibilities. In this connection, the National Health Service (NHS) of the England and Wales was selected for the study. It is one of the largest organizations, complex in operations, having multiple objectives to attain. In the last three decades it is experiencing an on-going complex process of change due to political, economical, social and ethical reasons. Literature search found that no similar researches were completed before. This presumption was subsequently endorsed by those academics involved when consulted It is evident that previous researches have taken diversity from the two main concepts: managerial meta-qualities and learning style preferences since. Popular instruments were used to check the manager profiles, the metaqualities profile and the Learning style preferences profile. The hypothesis tested the relationships between the two key variables, and its significance. The null hypothesis suggests that there exist no relationships. Further, this research contributes knowledge on certain facts where there are necessities for further examination in the future. From the strength of the data it was concluded that having evidence for relationships in two combinations of the sub variables: Mental-agilityReflector and Self-knowledge-Theorist. No relationship found between the two key variables in its consolidated profile state. The observed relationships were quite significant for the high score group compared to that of low score group. Research results also used to predict a balanced learner profile using the pertinent learning style preferences profile. Finally it recommends further imminent researches in this area, certainly with larger sample base.
    • Managing change in SMEs : approaching new markets

      Meredith, Neil (University of Bedfordshire, 2010-03)
      This thesis explores the change management process necessary for a small to medium sized enterprise (SME) to approach new markets with new products or services. The study details relevant literature, its objective to identify best practice to enable the development of a framework and "check list" that will guide decision-makers through the considerations and actions necessary for the change activity to take place. The research outputs take the form of a flow chart process map to be used in conjunction with a series of check lists that prompt the end-user to evaluate their goals against current circumstances and potential future activities. A suitable SME is used as a case study, enabling empirical study and serving as a comparator for the primary output of the research. The outputs of the research were externally tested and verified on a scenario application basis. The work is of particular value to the case study company and similar SME owner / managers undertaking a change process, especially when restricted by limited knowledge, time and money. Further, small business consultants and change agents can utilize the outputs to the same ends.
    • Managing line managers' career development in a public sector organisation: a study of the career development of line managers' within the non-uniformed area of the support service at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS)

      Smith, Cathie (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-10)
      Change has always been with us and organisations in general have all experienced a combination of fast developments in multiple areas such as the economy, technology and society in general. These have wide implications for the management of people at work and in parlicular the planning and management of their careers. Managers have responded to changing environments by adopting new and more flexible organisational structures, which in tum has implications for career patterns. This project presents a case study of a public sector organisation and how the organisation supports the career development of its non-uniformed line managers. It suggests what "good" career development looks like from the perspectives ofpractitioner and theory, as well as those line managers themselves. The project identifies that by providing "good" career development both the organisation and the employee will benefit. The employee by way offeeling valued and rewarded, which enhances performance and aids retention, and the organisation by having committed, satisfied and engaged employees allowing them to plan for the future.
    • MATLOG: a Feistel based poly-alphabetic encryption

      Zaland, Zubair (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-05)
      One might question, "What makes MATLOG different from other feistel based ciphers?", the answer is the encryption methods that are both Feistel and non Feistel. First of all the idea of poly-alphabetic encryption is unique to feistel approach. The capabilities like generating round keys from a single key like Advance Encryption Standard (The Rijndeal Algorithm ) but that of variable lengths and the AES itself not being feistel based. The idea of security through obscurity, although not implemented with its true meaning but MATLOG does not use the user key directly for encryption and the computer generated keys do not directly encrypt the data not even letting the user himself know how it is done. The artefact is currently set to 10 rounds of encryption whereas within each round it performs 2 - 6 rounds of substitution and one round of transposition using two methods of transposition joined as one. In this document I am going to discuss the various standards of encryption and various modes of operation they work on. Then discuss the survey I conducted online in which the university students and other people on social networks having the knowledge of the subject took part, Followed by the design of the algorithm Itself which involves splitting of the plaintext first of all; Splitting the block here means creating two separate blocks out of random numbers and the user data, topic is discussed in further detail under the heading of design. after splitting the blocks we apply transposition to one block and substitution to the other and vice versa to the result of the first round this process goes on for ten rounds and finally we have our cipher text when the result of the two encrypted blocks is merged into one. The decryption process is the same only the keys decrypt the opposite way i.e. the last key decrypts first. The process of key management is very crucial, even though the user key is hardly used in encryption the application has to maintain the user key and the automatically generated keys intact until decryption successfully takes place. MATLOG is a highly flexible and dynamic algorithm it can be set to transposition in several ways, the keys are always different and they process the poly-alphabetically generated data, the keys are also of different size and value for every round within substitution function making the substitution half highly flexible too and best of all it can be commercially implemented both on hardware and the application layer. It can also be set to perform cryptography on storage devices and not only communications. The design of MATLOG is based on independent blocks eliminating the block dependencies like that of cipher block chaining (CBC) , this allows the algorithm to support parallel processing making it as efficient as it would be as any stream cipher algorithm. I have eliminated the Initialization vector in this algorithm and replaced it with the One-time pads making it stronger and leaving no patterns of encryption which was one of the flaws on initialization vector, it needed frequent management one of the reasons that caused the WEP 1 protocol to fail was the short size and mismanagement of the initialization vector, instead my idea of spreading blocks is highly random and the transposition and substitution functions reinforce the safety to the my idea of IV's replacement.
    • A memory-integrated artificial bee algorithm for heuristic optimisation

      Bayraktar, Tugrul (University of Bedfordshire, 2014-02)
      According to studies about bee swarms, they use special techniques for foraging and they are always able to find notified food sources with exact coordinates. In order to succeed in food source exploration, the information about food sources is transferred between employed bees and onlooker bees via waggle dance. In this study, bee colony behaviours are imitated for further search in one of the common real world problems. Traditional solution techniques from literature may not obtain sufficient results; therefore other techniques have become essential for food source exploration. In this study, artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is used as a base to fulfil this purpose. When employed and onlooker bees are searching for better food sources, they just memorize the current sources and if they find better one, they erase the all information about the previous best food source. In this case, worker bees may visit same food source repeatedly and this circumstance causes a hill climbing in search. The purpose of this study is exploring how to embed a memory system in ABC algorithm to avoid mentioned repetition. In order to fulfil this intention, a structure of Tabu Search method -Tabu List- is applied to develop a memory system. In this study, we expect that a memory system embedded ABC algorithm provides a further search in feasible area to obtain global optimum or obtain better results in comparison with classic ABC algorithm. Results show that, memory idea needs to be improved to fulfil the purpose of this study. On the other hand, proposed memory idea can be integrated other algorithms or problem types to observe difference.
    • Methods for developing secure software and environments for small and medium enterprises

      Pollonais, Sean (University of Bedfordshire, 2007)
      Information Security covers activity concerned with the protection of data to ensure that information remains available, to those with rightful access, in the condition that it was originally stored or transmitted. The push to interact via electronic data is constantly increasing. Businesses are demanding that software designers find novel ways of facilitating electronic commerce, creating new business models that have only become possible with the development of the Internet. With the increase of traffic in information across the Internet, the risks associated with data have multiplied, matching the global growth in connectivity. Web application security deals with the measures taken to secure software built to promote e-commerce. Because it is necessary to accept user input across the Internet these applications carry a particular set of vulnerabilities that require a more technical approach to their mitigation. The applications themselves are usually composed of modules that interact across trust boundaries which all require hardening. Information Security governance controls how a company secures its data and that of its clients. While there are laws and standards that address the security requirement, applying them to all magnitude of businesses is difficult because the policies are biased towards large organisations in their assumptions of resources. This thesis investigates an international standard that can be used by small businesses to achieve legal compliance and a reasonable level of security. The thesis brings together a method for producing secure web applications and a checklist procedure for improving a company's data protection practices. Both offerings apply to small software production houses where there may be some overlap in role function and the pressure to meet software production deadlines can sometimes lead to a culture where security is seen as an avoidable expense.
    • Mobile Anti Theft System (MATS)

      Shetty, Ajay (University of Bedfordshire, 2012)
      Mobile Anti-Theft system is an application based on Android used for tracing back stolen or lost mobile. Once our system is installed onto a mobile phone and an alternate number is fed into the software (ATS). The owners SIM card gets registered in the database. Whenever phone is rebooted ATS is invoked in stealth mode and verifies whether if the SIM card present in mobile phone is of owner. If the SIM belongs to owner (registered in database), the software doesn’t do any activity. If SIM is been changed and that SIM is not registered in the database then, ATS sends a message to the alternative mobile number (friends / relatives number which is been saved while installing the application) in stealth mode and starts listening for incoming SMS messages. Now if owner send a SMS request to ATS asking for GPS co-ordinates, ATS would do so. Since our system is based on GOOGLE Android operating system our system would send the complete address (postal address) as to where the mobile is.
    • A model to offer reliable data transmissions in vehicular ad hoc network

      Jameel, Meharaj (University of Bedfordshire, 2018-06-18)
      Vehicular Ad-hoc Network (VANET) is one of the widely used networks across various intelligent transport applications in order to support the autonomous driving, reduce network congestion and overcome any kind of the accidents occurring on the road. This report involves in focusing on the safety applications where the vehicles involve in broadcasting the safety messages that are highly time critical and reliability sensitive. The importance of delivering the broadcasted safety messages of VANET in highly timely and reliable manner has resulted in undertaking this research work. In order to support the reliable delivery of the broadcasted safety messages, this research has developed a model called Reliable Vector Clustering (RVC) which involves in neighbour node identification, vehicle cluster formation and broadcasting the coded data using the network coding method. In order to evaluate this developed model, analytical model developed and simulation studies have been carried out in this report. The analytical model has developed a criterion that helps in choosing the best vehicle as the cluster head node and the simulation studies have compared the effectiveness of the developed method. These simulation studies have revealed the effectiveness of proposed RVC method in improving the packet error recovery probability and packet delivery ratio when compared to the existing methods.
    • A model to offer reliable data transmissions in vehicular ad hoc network

      Jameel, Meharaj Theen (University of Bedfordshire, 2020)
      Vehicular Ad-hoc Network (VANET) is one of the widely used networks across various intelligent transport applications in order to support the autonomous driving, reduce network congestion and overcome any kind of the accidents occurring on the road. This report involves in focusing on the safety applications where the vehicles involve in broadcasting the safety messages that are highly time critical and reliability sensitive. The importance of delivering the broadcasted safety messages of VANET in highly timely and reliable manner has resulted in undertaking this research work. In order to support the reliable delivery of the broadcasted safety messages, this research has developed a model called Reliable Vector Clustering (RVC) which involves in neighbour node identification, vehicle cluster formation and broadcasting the coded data using the network coding method. In order to evaluate this developed model, analytical model developed and simulation studies have been carried out in this report. The analytical model has developed a criterion that helps in choosing the best vehicle as the cluster head node and the simulation studies have compared the effectiveness of the developed method. These simulation studies have revealed the effectiveness of proposed RVC method in improving the packet error recovery probability and packet delivery ratio when compared to the existing methods.
    • The modified k-means algorithm and its application to type-1 diabetes glucose data clustering

      Dai, Jin (University of Bedfordshire, 2010-11)
      Most of previous studies of were concentrated on data mining algorithms for type 2 diabetes patients. This study aims to design and implement a data mining algorithm to assist doctors to diagnose and analyze type 1 diabetes patients' condition. In order to achieve the aim of this study, data of glucose of the diabetes patients have been collected first. Mainstream data mining algorithms have been then studied and compared through literatures review. A K-means algorithm has been initially selected to be applied to deal with diabetes patients' data. However, there are three disadvantages of the K-means algorithm: a) The performance of the K-means algorithm tightly relies on the order of input data. b) Outliers can determine the performance of the algorithm. c) The data samples which fall into the overlap are difficult to deal with. Therefore, fuzzy logic techniques have been introduced to collaboratively work with the K-means algorithm. Experiments are to be carrying out in order to test and verify the proposed algorithm after the implementation of the software. The proposed algorithm and the software are going to be optimized in the nearly future.
    • Motivating scientific knowledge workers: an investigation of the rewards leading to the motivation of scientific knowledge workers

      Edginton, Joanne (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-10)
      Numerous studies have been previously conducted, investigating motivation and the role of rewards as motivators for knowledge workers. While many studies have investigated knowledge workers, the scientific knowledge worker group has attracted little attention. Through a survey carried out on 132 scientific knowledge workers employed in a Research and Development function, this study identifies which rewards motivate this group of knowledge workers and investigates the differences of reported motivation from these rewards between the different demographics of the respondents. The results from this study highlight that there are inconsistencies in reported motivations between the different demographics surveyed, namely gender, age and educational background. This study also discovers that scientific knowledge workers are most motivated by financial rewards, progression, job title and recognition. These findings recommend that further research is required to fully understand the rewards leading to the motivation of scientific knowledge workers and the difference in demographics. It is also recommended that businesses employing scientific knowledge workers recognise the importance of these factors in motivating their employees, in order to ensure motivation, job satisfaction and high performance, thus leading to a competitive advantage.
    • Myo-Electric Sensor system for precise robot control

      Rana, Khaqan-Jim (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-11)
      Robotic prosthetics has been a field of great interest in recent years and much work has been conducted in the various disciplines that it consists of. Among these disciplines is the research on sensor technology which used to enable control of such prosthesis through muscle activation. Responsiveness and accuracy is vital to implement a functional sensor system for prosthesis, as such this thesis will present the research and development of a sensor system used to control a robotic prosthesis as well as a feedback system which compares the position of the robot fingers and the intended movement in order to correct the servo motor position. These sensor systems are developed to produce precise robot control of prostheses without causing amplification errors. The research will discuss the suitability of different sensors for the sensing of the muscle activity of the user and sensors for the development of the feedback system and describe their implementation and processing. In addition to this, different configuration of sensors and code will be employed and compared, so that the most suitable configuration is found, which is the configuration that is responsive to the muscle activation of the user, eliminates noise and prevents amplification errors, and enables movement of analogue manner rather than digital in order to create a natural feeling control of a prosthesis which imitates the intention of the user. Furthermore, the cost of commercially available robotic prostheses are expensive, making it inaccessible to lower-income users and people within conflict zones who are in need of such technology, thus the research will focus on using inexpensive components and material to lower the production costs in order to raise the accessibility of robotic prostheses to people in conflict zones and countries of low income. This research shows that the implementation of the proposed sensor system and feedback system indeed enables analogue mannered, responsive and accurate control of a robotic hand while preventing amplification errors, and the use of commonly available components and low-cost material is a viable option.
    • Nanoparticles based drug delivery platform to improve oral uptake for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

      Kaur, Gurpreet (University of Bedfordshire, 2020)
      Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a rapidly progressive chronic neurodegenerative disease, which eventually leads to brain damage. Despite combined efforts of the research community, no fully effective treatment has been identified yet. Drug delivery is a major issue in neurodegenerative diseases due to the complexity of the diseases but the difficulty in accessing targets. A medicine is only effective if it reaches its target. As such, while some active molecules can be demonstrated very efficiently in vitro, side effects and unreachable targets bring delivery at the forefront of drug efficiency. Rivastigmine is one of the reversible Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) Inhibitors, which is used for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia of either AD or Parkinson’s disease (PD). As a cholinesterase inhibitor, its role is to inhibit AChE activity to maintain ACh level by decreasing its breakdown rate, therefore boosting cholinergic neurotransmission in forebrain regions and compensate for the loss of functioning brain cells Rivastigmine has shown some success in improving ACh level in AD patients and also inhibiting amyloid plaques deposition in the brain. It is commercially available in different forms including oral solutions, tablets, and patches but therapeutic regimens require frequent dosing causing fluctuations is the plasma level. Whereas the oral form has been associated with a high incidence of gastrointestinal side effects, the transdermal patch formulation has been shown to have a better tolerability profile but adverse dermatologic reactions remain a concern. In addition, an important safety concern persists with dermal application with the risk of treatment overdose by administering multiple patches at the same time, potentially leading to fatal outcomes. Therefore, the oral form could be safer if its side effects could be controlled. Following initial uptake, crossing the blood-­‐brain barrier (BBB) is another major obstacle to be considered. Due to its hydrophilic nature, rivastigmine efficacy is also restricted by its poor ability to cross BBB. Its bioavailability is reported to be only up to 35%. To overcome these issues, this work has focused on the delivery of rivastigmine, particularly its uptake with nanoparticle-­‐based formulations that can facilitate uptake, protect the active molecule from early degradation, and provide targeted delivery while preventing side effects due to unwanted interactions. Rivastigmine loaded nanoparticles have previously been designed and proven to have numerous fundamental properties that assist their effectiveness such as biocompatibility, lack of toxicity, reduced side effects, and increased tolerated dose of the drug but not effective enough for the treatment. Their enhanced retention time within the systemic circulation and their ability to cross BBB still remains challenging. The novel formulations designed in this study were designed for slow release to prevent cytotoxicity while providing stability and high uptake in GI tract to reach the systemic circulation. Biodegradable composition of these formulations will prevent the risks that may contribute to accumulation of inorganic material inside the brain. As the aim of the research is the successful targeted delivery of Rivastigmine, the first objective of this study was to design an efficient method to monitor and analyse delivery, using UPLC in an analytical set up standardised using in house developed standard solutions. In the second part of this study, several formulations were designed and investigated to improve rivastigmine intestinal uptake, where both negatively and positively charges drug loaded nanoparticles were formulated. In the third part of this work ,a Caco-­‐2 cell duodenal model was used to assess membrane permeability, uptake, and intake of Rivastigmine. Cytotoxicity of nanoformulations was determined by MTT assay showing low toxicity in the case of rivastigmine-­‐loaded nanoparticles. The final results of this study demonstrate that nanoparticle formulations provide a slower stable release of rivastigmine from nanoparticles than previously designed nanoformulations. I addition, some of these formulations provide high bioavailability over both apical and basal membrane, therefore, providing higher intake to target the BBB, with limited unwanted interaction in the intestine therefore limiting the major concern about side effects
    • New media and its impact on marketing communications

      Curran, Wayne (University of Bedfordshire, 2007)
      New media marketing is now a crucial weapon in a companies quest to communicate with their target audience. In particular the widespread adoption of the internet has presented significant opportunities, as has the convergence of various mediums. Recent TV programmes such as Big Brother and Pop Idol have successfully integrated mobile technology with internet and traditional TV. This has provided for additional opportunities for communicating with the programmes target audience. Additionally companies are increasingly adopting new techniques such as viral marketing, SMS messaging and e-mail marketing. This research programme has culminated in a 30 minute documentary that provides a critical overview of the current state of these technologies. Major areas covered are advertising, in the form of traditional web sites, banner ads and SEO. Direct marketing covering the topics of e-mail marketing, viral and SMS marketing. And marketing PR covering blogs, social media and online discussion forums. The final documentary produced achieved it's overall aim of providing a comprehensive overview of new media marketing technologies for an audience of marketing professionals. However there were apparent weaknesses in tenns of documentary form.
    • Not just anodyne confections: responding to Jack Zipes' post-Marxist reading of Disney's fairy tale films with a specific focus on 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

      Syer, Paul (University of Bedfordshire, 2011-10)
      Within the fairy tale corpus, there are constant retellings of the tales using a range of mediums. Furthermore, amongst these retellings, Disney’s fairy tale films stand alone as being both the most popular and most criticised of all fairy tale adaptations. Leading the criticism toward Disney’s films is fairy tale scholar and critic Jack Zipes. However, Zipes only presents one reading of Disney’s fairy tale adaptations, that of denouncing them by applying both a historicist and post-Marxist reading to them. This thesis looks at two interconnected areas in order to be better placed to respond to Zipes’ comments regarding Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and to answer the questions of why the film has such an enduring longevity and popular reception. Firstly, there needs to be a clear definition of what constitutes a fairy tale. This is especially pertinent as Zipes dismisses Disney’s films as a ‘violation’ of the genre (Zipes, 1999, p. 353). Once this has been achieved, a close reading of Snow White as belonging to a larger fairy tale corpus which includes literary, dramatic, live-action and animated versions of fairy tales can be embarked upon and it is here that the link between chapters one and two of this thesis are to be found. If Disney’s Snow White adheres to the characteristics that delimit and define all fairy tales, then Zipes’ dismissal and partial reading of the film can be responded to by approaching Disney’s film from the same perspective as one would approach any other version of a fairy tale: by judging the film on its own merits as a version of a literary tale. Chapter two looks at these merits which include the adoption and innovation of new technology, and the multimodal nature of the film to render meaning and produce pleasure.
    • A novel graph-based method for targeted ligand-protein fitting

      Hannaford, Gareth James (University of Bedfordshire, 2008-08)
      The determination of protein binding sites and ligand -protein fitting are key to understanding the functionality of proteins, from revealing which ligand classes can bind or the optimal ligand for a given protein, such as protein/ drug interactions. There is a need for novel generic computational approaches for representation of protein-ligand interactions and the subsequent prediction of hitherto unknown interactions in proteins where the ligand binding sites are experimentally uncharacterised. The TMSite algorithms read in existing PDB structural data and isolate binding sites regions and identifies conserved features in functionally related proteins (proteins that bind the same ligand). The Boundary Cubes method for surface representation was applied to the modified PDB file allowing the creation of graphs for proteins and ligands that could be compared and caused no loss of geometric data. A method is included for describing binding site features of individual ligands conserved in terms of spatial relationships allowed identification of 3D motifs, named fingerprints, which could be searched for in other protein structures. This method combine with a modification of the pocket algorithm allows reduced search areas for graph matching. The methods allow isolation of the binding site from a complexed protein PDB file, identification of conserved features among the binding sites of individual ligand types, and search for these features in sequence data. In terms of spatial conservation create a fingerprint ofthe binding site that can be sought in other proteins of/mown structure, identifYing putative binding sites. The approach offers a novel and generic method for the identification of putative ligand binding sites for proteins for which there is no prior detailed structural characterisation of protein/ ligand interactions. It is unique in being able to convert PDB data into graphs, ready for comparison and thus fitting of ligand to protein with consideration of chemical charge and in the future other chemica! properties.
    • A nurse led assessment prior to elective admission for surgery

      Jackson, Jane Elizabeth (University of Bedfordshire, 1999)
      'This thesis reports on a study undertaken at an NHS Trust during a thirty month period commencing January 1994. The aim of the study was to evaluate the results of a preoperative assessment clinic for adult patients due to undergo major and minor elective surgery, (other than those admitted for gynaecological procedures). The primary focus was on hospital efficiency, within government initiatives, and the use of assessment as a means to guarantee a bed on admission, reducing theatre cancellations and waiting list times. The main outcome measures are the reduced theatre cancellation rates, increased patient throughput, and a clear reduction in length of stay. A secondary theme was explored, that of multi-disciplinary collaboration in particular doctor nurse collaboration; the role and ability of an advanced nursing role, whereby the assessment clinic provided the environment for comparison of patient outcome between those seen by doctor or by nurse assessor. The study compared all patient admission episodes and outcomes with respect to patients assessed and those not assessed. The study is able to demonstrate that a nurse performed at least as well as the doctor.
    • Online brand advocates of luxury fashion accessories

      Kanthavanich, Poramate (University of Bedfordshire, 2011)
      This study observes brand advocacy and online brand advocates behaviours. The research is using a netnographic approach to uncover perceptions, behaviours and characteristics of online brand advocates within the framework of the loyalty ladder and online brand communities in the context of luxury fashion accessories, particularly handbags. The study analyses discussions, conversations and activities in four online communities. The findings show that brand advocates perceive hedonic values of luxury fashion accessories such as being a source of happiness, fulfilment and belonging. Frequent participation in discussions and activities with others brand fans in the online communities can increase advocacy level and love for the brands, and subsequently turn participants into active brand advocates. Positive word-of-mouth, recommending, defending and sharing love for fashion brands are the key online advocacy behaviours which are caused by love and passion for luxury fashion accessories. The findings also suggest that brand advocacy may not be a stable state depending on the favour and love of the brands at a particular point of time. Thus, brand advocates can exhibit advocacy behaviours for several fashion brands simultaneously. The study makes a contribution to brand advocacy by extending the loyalty ladder with the behaviours and characteristics of online luxury fashion brand advocates. The research provides insights to online advocacy which will be beneficial to both academic research and provide valuable feedback to brand managers.