Recent Submissions

  • Microscopic Sampling of Dentine and Bone Collagen: Development of Sampling Methods for Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis

    Beaumont, Julia; Koon, Hannah E.C.; Armit, Ian; Wilson, Andrew S.; Curtis, Mandi J. (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences. School of Archaeological and Forensic Science, 2021)
    Sampling methods for dentine and bone collagen have been evolving for several decades. Incremental dentine collagen sampling and bone collagen sampling have been limited by the available technology throughout that time. As the technology for isotope ratio mass spectrometry analysis improves, the sampling methods should improve as well. This research focused on developing a new incremental dentine collagen sampling method and bone collagen microsampling method for stable isotope analysis. This research aimed to increase the temporal resolution of incremental dentine collagen sampling and provided sequential collagen sampling from bone collagen for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis while limiting the destructive nature of bioarchaeological analysis. It was determined that the temporal resolution for incremental analysis could be reduced to approximate three months, opposed to the nine months found in other sampling methods. It was also determined that detailed isotopic data could be obtained from bone collagen when sampling the microstructures. The increased amount of isotopic data from the bone collagen was an improvement on the commonly used bulk collagen sampling. This research can be utilised to answer several of the questions that archaeologists have been asking about past populations. Isotopic analysis using the methods developed in the research can provide a more detailed observation of the diet and health of past populations. In addition, the developed methods for bone and dentine collagen reduced the amount of tissue subjected to destructive analysis.
  • Role of N-terminal residues of CCL19 and CCL21 in binding and activation of CCR7

    Afarinkia, Kamyar; Alotaibi, Mashael A.F.J. (University of BradfordInstitute of Cancer Therapeutics. Faculty of Life Science, 2021)
    Chemokines are chemotactic cytokines, which mediate cell trafficking and play a key role in mobilisation of leukocytes. More recently, chemokines and their cognate receptors have been described as key players in different aspects of cancer biology contributing to proliferation, angiogenesis and metastasis. In particular, chemokines CCL19 and CCL21 acting on their associated receptor CCR7 are postulated to be key drivers of lymph node metastasis in a number of malignancies including breast, colon, gastric, & thyroid cancers. It has been reported that the cleavage of the pre-cysteine bridge N-terminal residues of CCL21 (SDGGAQD) and of CCL19 (GTNDAED) renders both peptides incapable of fully activating CCR7. However, little is known about the nature of the interactions that occur between the N-terminal residues of CCL19 or CCL21 and the CCR7 receptor, or the role they have in activation of CCR7. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of the residues in the N-terminus of CCL19 and in particular CCL21 in the context of CCR7 activation and to use this information in the discovery of novel CCR7 antagonists or agonists. To achieve this, we synthesised a number of short (three to seven amino acids) peptides and peptidomimetics inspired by the seven N-terminal amino acid residues of CCL19 and CCL21 and pharmacologically characterised their ability to activate CCR7 or block the activation of CCR7 using a number of in vitro assays such as calcium flux, trans-well (Boyden chamber), and Western blotting. We also carried out computational studies to better understand and predict the activity of these peptides. Our results demonstrate that some of these peptides are indeed capable of acting as agonists or antagonists of CCR7.
  • Crystal Engineering of Pharmaceuticals: Modulating Physicochemical Properties of Active Ingredients by the Formation of Cocrystals

    Vangala, Venu R.; Paradkar, Anant R.; Jhariya, Aditya N. (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2021)
    Pharmaceuticals with suitable therapeutic properties often found to encounter challenges with dosage form development due to their poor physicochemical properties. Aim of thesis is to evaluate potential of crystal engineering directed cocrystallisation of active ingredients in modulating their physical attributes. The model compounds considered are isoniazid, caffeine, nifedipine, glyburide, chlorpropamide and riboflavin. Co-formers selected are based on the suitability of functional groups for hydrogen bond formation. Co-crystal screening and preparation methods used include neat grinding (NG), liquid assisted grinding (LAG) and solution crystallisation. Antituberculosis drug, isoniazid, upon cocrystallisation with melamine, solubility has reduced as per high performance liquid chromatography assay, however, antimicrobial properties determined using REMA assay confirms that cocrystal anti-mycobacterial activity is not compromised. Next, caffeine-glutaric acid cocrystal polymorphic forms (Forms I and II) subjected to mechanical property evaluations in multiple faces using nanoindentation and correlated relationship between crystal structure and mechanical property. The results suggest that metastable form, Form I, could display suitable tablet properties to that of thermodynamically stable form, Form II. Subsequently, photosensitive drug, nifedipine, cocrystallised with theophylline and caffeine. Notably, photochemical stability along with solubility and drug release of cocrystals is found to be superior to that of nifedipine. Lastly, crystal engineering principles utilised in preparation of multicomponent crystals of antidiabetic model drugs, glyburide and chlorpropamide with various coformers. Interestingly, during the preparation of chlorpropamide-2-nitrobenzyl alcohol, high Z prime crystal (Z’=3) of 2- nitrobenzyl alcohol is serendipitously identified. In conclusion, crystal engineering based cocrystallisation is a viable technology for modulating physicochemical properties of pharma and nutraceuticals.
  • En face OCT imaging for the assessment of glaucoma

    Denniss, Jonathan; Bloj, Marina; Cheloni, Riccardo (University of BradfordSchool of Optometry and Vision Science, Faculty of Life Sciences, 2021)
    Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss globally, and demands early and accurate diagnosis. OCT has become a key investigative technique in glaucoma, and, although it provides invaluable clinical support, detection of early glaucoma remains imperfect. Recent OCT developments enabled direct assessment of retinal nerve fibre bundle (RNFB) reflectance in en face OCT images. The technique has considerable potential in the assessment of glaucoma, yet it has limited clinical usability due to an incomplete understanding of RNFB features in healthy and glaucoma eyes and the lack of accepted methods to identify reflectance defects. This thesis aimed to better understand characteristics of RNFB reflectance in en face OCT imaging and to develop objective methods to extract defects in this domain. Structural and functional measures of glaucoma changes were collected in eyes with established glaucoma and age-similar controls. Results showed that the healthy configuration of RNFB varies across the retina and between different eyes. We developed a method for automated and objective examination of reflectivity changes in en face images. This method considers individual anatomy and varying RNFB configuration, and found more abnormalities than previous approaches. Measures of en face reflectance and conventional retinal nerve fibre layer thickness were strongly related. The agreement between changes of reflectance and visual function was moderate-to-good, and both testing domains presented concordant abnormalities in all tested eyes. Following further minimisation of artefacts in en face images, direct use of reflectance analysis or its combination with perimetry appear viable and with significant potential for clinical examination of glaucoma.
  • What were the effects of the post-colonial experience of counterinsurgency on UK forces in southern Iraq? Were the lessons absorbed and implemented?

    Harris, David; Pankhurst, Donna T.; Bulleyment, Neil D. (University of BradfordDivision of Peace Studies and International Development, 2021)
    This thesis examines the British army and its legacy of counterinsurgency from the 20th century. It analyses the effects of post-colonial counterinsurgency and the army’s ability to learn from previous counterinsurgency conflicts to create new doctrine from earlier examples that could have had lessons for the UK forces in southern Iraq. Doctrine (both official and unofficial) ranges from endorsed army field manuals to theory written by experts while on defence fellowships. The army’s ability to create new doctrine from previous campaigns lessons and how it is diffused across the armed forces is also assessed. The conflicts used as post-colonial counterinsurgencies scrutinise Oman and Northern Ireland. These two case studies provide mixed lessons, that should advance and expand British counterinsurgency theory and models. The previous historical occurrences of counterinsurgency have created a British approach which has established a four-pillar framework which encompasses minimum force, civil-military co-operation, use of intelligence and tactical flexibility. This approach could identify lessons for a modern British army deployed to Iraq. If lessons and previous outcomes are analysed to create new doctrine, strategy and tactics that encompass the four pillars framework, what went wrong in southern Iraq? Could lessons from earlier campaigns have assisted British efforts?
  • Impact of Foreign Directors on Firms’ Corporate Governance, Risk and Performance

    Pinto, Helena; Ozkan, Aydin; Javid, Sammiah (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2021)
    This thesis explores board nationality diversity, focusing on foreign non-executive directors and their relationship with CEO compensation, firm performance, and crash risk for a sample of UK firms from 2002 to 2015. First, we examine the changes in board composition over the years and find an increase in foreign non-executive directors and in the number of foreign CEOs managing UK firms. We discover boards have become smaller, more independent and CEOs occupying dual roles have considerably reduced. Next, we analyse the relationship between foreign non executive directors and CEO compensation and note that firms with more foreign non executive directors pay less to their CEO. Moreover, European and other international non-executive directors are particularly effective at limiting CEO compensation. Then we examine the impact of foreign non-executive directors on firm performance and show that foreign non-executive directors positively impact firm value. CEO and executive directors’ equity-like compensation and share ownership also positively influences firm performance. Our findings suggest that European and American non executive directors are more effective in improving corporate performance. Finally, we analyse the relationship between foreign non-executive directors, CEO compensation and crash risk. Foreign non-executive directors monitor the board and mitigate the impact of CEO equity-linked pay on stock price crash risk. Our analysis reveals that leverage increases crash risk, but that foreign non-executive directors, of high leverage firms lower crash risk. Overall, foreign non-executive directors serve as effective monitors and advisors to moderate executive pay, improve firm performance and reduce stock price crash risk.
  • The Objective Pluralism of Isaiah Berlin A Historical Approach to Ethical and Political Philosophy

    Weinert, Friedel; Housden, Martyn; Ackroyd, John (University of BradfordSchool of Social Sciences. Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2021)
    Isaiah Berlin’s doctrine of objective pluralism has been criticised as amounting in fact to ethical and political relativism. Berlin has relied on two arguments in attempting to refute this charge, those from common intelligibility and from shared values. I propose that the former argument alone is sufficient to refute relativism, whilst the latter argument leads not to pluralism but to a broad or narrow monism, depending on the number of shared values, since it fatally undermines the strong sense of incommensurability which is the defining characteristic of pluralism as a distinct and radical doctrine. Alongside his view that values are commonly intelligible, Berlin retains a minimal ethical universalism, framed in terms of his concept of ‘negative liberty’, or freedom from unwarranted interference. Some have argued that this inviolable ‘core’ of human freedom constitutes a form of liberal universalism. Whilst I concede that Berlin’s objective pluralism does exhibit a decidedly Western character, I argue that his ‘core’ is in fact a rational and pragmatic assertion of the minimal conditions for any meaningful and sustainable human life, whatever its diverse forms, rather than an endorsement of any universalist claims of liberalism, even minimal ones. I further argue that the common intelligibility of values on which Berlin’s refutation of relativism can be thought convincingly to rest is possible only because there is an essence and continuity in human ideas of a kind which is denied by Quentin Skinner and the Cambridge School, and which enable the historical understanding we clearly can achieve.
  • The Impact of the Empowerment of Women Police and Enhancing Their Role in Leadership. A Case Study of the Abu Dhabi Police General Head Quarter

    Irani, Zahir; Al Belooshi, Aamna M. (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2021)
    Women's empowerment in the police sector as leaders is an important study that has received little attention in the literature. Understanding the problems and hurdles, as well as solutions to empower women police today as leaders in the police force, was the emphasis of the study. The goal of this research was to investigate the concept of female police empowerment in the Abu Dhabi Police. This study looks at the important elements of empowerment for ADHGHQ women police, as well as the problems they encounter because of their gender in a historically male-dominated industry. The following four research questions served as a guide: 1) To what extent the principles of empowerment are implemented of women police in the ADPGHQ? 2) What is the impact of empowerment implementation on leadership of women police in the ADPGHQ? 3) What is the impact of empowerment implementation on skills of women police in the ADPGHQ? 4) What is the impact of empowerment implementation on the abilities of women police in the ADPGHQ? An in-depth survey and personnel meeting were conducted with women police operating in all ADPGHQ sectors to have a better grasp the issue. The data collection and analysis paradigms used in the research investigation were quantitative. The core data is gathered through questionnaires and personal meetings with a group of 650 female police officers from various sectors who work at the Abu Dhabi Police (ADHGHQ). Data was gathered via e-mail, and personnel were present. This research finishes with practice recommendations for strengthening police leadership in the ADPGHQ and removing real and perceived barriers to women's full involvement in the workforce and leadership. A proposal method was established to improve the position of women's police empowerment in leadership, according to the study. This approach is intended to empower female police officers in positions of leadership at ADPGHQ, but it can also be used as a general conceptual framework to empower women in other police sectors. Based on these findings, it can be concluded that women police require empowerment to achieve the desired leadership position.
  • Sensemaking in Dynamic Business Environments: Managerial Practices in the Oil and Gas Sector in Bahrain

    Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Husain, Ismaeel M. (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2021)
    It has become the norm for organisations in many industrial sectors to constantly operate in dynamic, uncertain and challenging business environments. Technology, regulations, global economy, changing political actions and international conditions are all changing rapidly, creating dynamic business conditions for organisations to understand, react to and thus survive. The Oil and Gas (O&G) sector which is the backbone of the economic growth for many countries in the Middle East region is not an exception to the real world of business filled with uncertainties. The construction of meaning or sensemaking is a prerequisite management skill for complex problem solving and decision-making for survival in today’s increasingly dynamic business environments. Current literature on sensemaking tends to focus on senior management’s role in the process, overlooking the critical role middle management teams play in the construction of meaning. Further, although sensemaking literature illustrates the influence of sensegiving and sensebreaking on sensemaking, there is limited empirical research in existing literature on how middle management teams apply sensegiving and sensebreaking to influence the process. Finally, this research fills a gap in sensemaking research in developing countries to decolonise Western-based research and ensure that local culture and ideologies are taken into account. In particular, it provides important data for the O&G sector in Bahrain, which is important for the Middle East region. Therefore, this research investigates how middle management teams use sensemaking to understand complex problems and how they apply sensegiving and sensebreaking to influence the sensemaking process in Bahrain’s O&G sector. The data was gathered using a qualitative approach using in-depth semi-structured interviews, middle management team meeting observations and operational documents review. The findings include seven themes and 26 sub-themes are visualised in a four-step sensemaking process framework. This framework also illustrates the sensemaking triggers and properties, as well as the influences and sources of information middle management teams adopt to construct meaning in dynamic O&G environments. Further, the four-step sensemaking process framework incorporates the different sensegiving and sensebreaking techniques embraced. This research extends the existing sensemaking literature by providing a descriptive empirical framework to better understand middle management team sensemaking, sensegiving and sensebreaking in dynamic O&G environments. This four-step sensemaking process framework gives middle management teams a way to organise information related to events in an objective manner, enabling them to develop effective reactions to a fast-changing environment. The framework also offers human resource practitioners a platform to assess and develop middle management sensemaking skills.
  • Expressing Identity, Experiencing Belonging, and Everyday Life in Heavy Metal Music

    Alam, M. Yunis; Sullivan, Paul W.; Schulz, Douglas H.I. (University of BradfordDivision of Sociology and Criminology. Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2022)
    When heavy metal fans traverse through their everyday life, they are faced with countless opportunities to engage in social interactions with others. Such interactions question, establish, and strengthen fans’ heavy metal identities whilst providing them with a sense of community and belonging through engaging with others who also share a preference for heavy metal music. This thesis is built on a qualitative research approach, complimented by an insider and ethnographic orientation in order to explore identity expression, the feeling of belonging and community, everyday life processes, and the role of heavy metal music in the everyday life of heavy metal fans. Through social interactions based on shared musical preference, heavy metal fans are able to meaningfully engage with others through which communal affiliations are strengthened and reinforced. Despite mainstream, and largely negative attitudes towards heavy metal, the music provides a safety net for listeners and is a driving force in their experience of the reciprocal relationship between personal identity and group membership and community. Due to the deep connection listeners have with heavy metal, the music becomes something which fans are able to call theirs alone.
  • Determinants of Intellectual Capital Disclosure and its Impacts on Audit Effort and Analyst Forecast Accuracy: UK Evidence

    Li, Jing; Wu, Steven; Akbar, Saeed; Hong, Juan (University of BradfordSchool of Management. Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2021)
    Structural changes in the knowledge economy have greatly affected the way business is conducted and the processes firms create value. The financial reporting system is inadequate as a result of such changes, and disclosure of intellectual capital (IC) information has gained importance for communicating with capital markets. Empirical research documents corporate governance (CG) factors influencing IC disclosure practices, as well as demonstrates the value-relevance and predictive power of IC information. The disclosure of IC information by listed firms is a topic that has attracted considerable attention from contemporary researchers, but scant empirical evidence exists. Much of the researchers has examined CG as a key determinant of IC (and nonfinancial) disclosure; in contrast, few provides evidence for explaining their controversial findings of board independence on disclosure. In addition, a lack of studies confirms the literature about the use of IC information by capital market participants. Therefore, this thesis aims to examine disclosure of IC information in relation to outside directors, auditors, and sell-side analysts respectively. The specific objectives of this thesis are to examine whether outside directors’ expertise is a determinant of IC disclosure; and the extent to which the disclosure of IC information impacts on audit effort and analysts’ forecasts. In order to address these research objectives, a content analysis of IC disclosure (a self-constructed index of 64 coded items) in strategic reports released by FTST 350 companies is used. The content analysis captures and measures IC disclosure by category (i.e., human, structural & relational capital), notion (i.e., static vs. dynamic), and connection (i.e., across categories vs. with strategies). Using multivariate regression models that were primarily developed upon information asymmetry arguments and agency theory, the specific objectives of this thesis are addressed in three empirical chapters. The findings in Chapter 3 showed that proportion of outside directors (NEDs) with cross-directorship, nonaccounting and academia expertise has a positive association with IC disclosures, whereas board independence itself has no effect on the disclosures. The findings indicates that the monitoring role of NEDs alone is inadequate in promoting IC disclosure. Rather, it supports the importance of the dual role (i.e., monitor and advisory) of a supervisory board. The results also respond to the UK CG Code in their recommendation that the combination of skills, experience and knowledge guarantees a sound information environment to the market. Nonetheless, findings raised a further concern about the quantity of IC disclosures when companies have more NEDs with accounting expertise. On whether and how disclosure of IC information impacts on audit effort, Chapter 4 found that firms with high levels of IC disclosure in the previous year pay more audit fees (proxied for audit effort) in the current year regardless of their earnings quality conditions. It was also found that firms greatly disclosing dynamic IC information are charged more than those of focusing on static IC disclosure. In addition, findings in Chapter 5 revealed that there is a negative relation between IC disclosure and analyst forecast errors, indicating that UK sell-side analysts appreciate the disclosure of IC information and thus confirming that IC information has predictive ability of explaining a firm’s future value. It was further identified that disclosed IC information absorbs the negative effect of concentrated executive ownership and opaque financial environment. Overall, the results of this thesis suggest that IC reporting process could be improved by having sufficient outside directors with certain types of expertise on the board. In doing so, improved IC disclosure helps to reduce information asymmetry (proxied by analyst forecast accuracy) between firms and outside investors, albeit firms bear a significant increase in audit fees. This study calls for guidelines for IC disclosure in the UK and the support of assurance services to enhance credibility of firm-provided IC information in a bid to promote the communication of IC information with the capital market.
  • Understanding Customer Experience and Its Mediating Roles in Human-Chatbot Interaction

    Fukukawa, Kyoko; Yakimova, Raisa; Trivedi, Rohit; Nguyen, Trong H. (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2021)
    The advancement of artificial intelligence and its diverse applications have attracted great interests from several research scholars examining communication between humans and chatbots. Many have explained the motivations of chatbot use, however, less emphasis has been given to myriad customer experiential needs for the interaction with this AI-powered technology. Therefore, in the light of U&G theory, this thesis presents a conceptual framework for customer experience as the needs for chatbot use. SOR model was also adopted to establish the links among customer experience as organisms (utilitarian – perceived informativeness and credibility; hedonic – perceived transparency, enjoyment and engagement; anthropomorphism – mindful and mindless anthropomorphism; and social presence), their primary stimuli (functionality, communication style similarity and aesthetics) and responses (customer satisfaction and reuse intention). 417 convenient samples were collected from the UK where chatbots are widely used. Results from SEM revealed that perceived credibility, informativeness, enjoyment, functionality and communication style similarity hold the keys for customer satisfaction, while effects of anthropomorphism and social presence are not significant in this research setting. This study has enriched U&G theory by addressing customer experience as ones’ motivations to use chatbots. Also, it has presented a fresh understanding of customer experience in chatbot context by considering utilitarian, hedonic, anthropomorphism and social presence as dimensions of customer experience rather than merely measuring how customers think, feel, sense, act and relate. In addition, practical implications and direction for future research are discussed.
  • Implementing Total Quality Management Philosophy through Human Capital Development: An Exploratory Study of Selected Ready-Made Garment Establishments in Bangladesh

    Danquah, Joseph K.; Spicer, David P.; Mahmud, Qazi M. (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences. School of Management, 2022)
    The significance of human capital development (HCD) from an organizational perspective is adequately reflected in the extant literature; however, its inherent connection with total quality management (TQM) philosophy is yet to be investigated. Hence, this study intends to explore the role of HCD in implementing TQM philosophy and to develop a comprehensive HCD framework in this respect. The labor-intensive Bangladesh ready-made garment sector is used as the research site since the phenomenon under inquiry is not readily evident in the chosen setting. The interpretivist worldview is espoused in this exploratory research to accomplish the research aim. Correspondingly, an inductive approach followed by a qualitative multiple case study methodology is adopted. Five (5) RMG establishments are purposively selected as case organizations. Thirty (30) in-depth interviews (6 from each case organization) are conducted, using the semi-structured interview technique to generate rich and thick primary data. Reflexive thematic analysis is manually performed to analyze the interview transcripts. Findings imply that HCD engenders three major effects: reduced costs of operations, improved product quality, and on-time shipment. Thereby HCD ensures greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, which is the essence of TQM philosophy. Empirical evidence specifically suggests that HCD can contribute to TQM implementation by empowering employees to reliably participate in problem solving and decision-making, innovatively perform tasks, and effectively accomplish appropriate changes in work processes and procedures. This study contributes to the knowledge by evidencing the fact that an HCD framework integrating both learning and healthcare interventions has an explicitly positive nexus with TQM philosophy.
  • The assessment and management of medicine-related risks associated with hospital readmission for older people living with frailty

    Silcock, Jonathan; Sowter, Julie; Hamilton, Neil D.; Cheong, V. Lin (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2019)
    Older people living with frailty are at a higher risk of medication-related incidents due to frequent hospitalisation, complex health needs and polypharmacy. There is evidence that identifying patients at high risk of hospital readmission can enhance the impact of interventions to prevent readmission. However, there is insufficient evidence of the role of medication in readmission in this vulnerable patient group, and what pharmacists can do to reduce readmissions. This research used a mixed-method approach to examine the association between medicines-related risks and readmissions, and the pharmacists’ interventions thought to be important by key stakeholders to reduce readmissions. Medicines-related risks such as polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate medicines and high risk medicines did not have a strong association with repeated hospital admission in multivariable logistic regression. Patients who had multi-morbidities, and non-supported discharge, had a higher risk of repeated hospital admissions. A consensus survey study with three iterative rounds identified a list of pharmacists’ interventions viewed as high priority for reducing readmissions in frail elderly patients. The interventions with the highest scores included medicines reconciliation at discharge, on admission, preparation of discharge summary, provision of tailored patient education about medicines and inter-disciplinary working in ward rounds. A systematic intervention development method was used to further develop an intervention, underpinned by the theoretical domains framework. There is a need to further explore the role of medication-related risks in contributing to readmission using other validated tools and larger datasets. This could be used to inform development of future risk stratification tools to identify high risk patients in order to target interventions to maximise its impact.
  • Ethical Human Resource Management and Employee Welfare: Empirical Perspectives from the Bangladeshi RMG Sector

    Danquah, Joseph K.; Analoui, Farhad; Faysal, Niaz M. (University of BradfordHuman Resource Management. Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2021)
    This study explores employee welfare and working conditions in relation to ethical HRM practices from the employees’ perspective in the Bangladeshi Ready-Made Garment (RMG) sector. This research is inspired by the need to understand the challenges that employees face in their practical work settings and the unfair Human Resource Management (HRM) process that they experience in their work. The interpretivist philosophical approach and the qualitative research approach have been adopted in this research study, while the semi-structured interview method has been applied for primary-data collection. A total of 25 semi-structured interviews with General Employees, Informal Representative Leaders, Employees, Middle and Senior Managers have been undertaken in this process. Five focus-group discussions have also been applied to corroborate the data generated from the 25 semi-structured interviews. The case-study strategy has also been implemented as a research strategy and thematic analysis has been applied to the data-analysis process. The findings of this research study show the need for deeper understanding and application of ethical HRM practices in particular national and sectoral contexts, specifically in the Bangladeshi RMG sector. These ethical HRM practices include, but are not limited to, the initiation of rights-based understanding and respect-based perception, the inclusion of welfare facilities, the implementation of a fair payment policy, the equitable recruitment and selection policy, and the initiation and equality of training and development facilities. These new ethical understandings contribute to the field of ethical HRM in the context of the development of employee welfare and decent working conditions in this sector.
  • The Influence of Islamic Work Ethic on Employees’ Responses Towards Organizational Change: An Empirical Investigation on Islamic Banks in Kuwait

    Irani, Zahir; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Al-Shamali, Ahmed (University of BradfordFaculty of Management and Law, 2019)
    The corporate world today is highly competitive and in order for organizations to survive and remain competitive, they must constantly evolve through change. However, the majority of organizational changes neither result in successful implementation or foster sustained change. It is suggested that the success of changes are highly contingent on employees’ responses towards them. To this end, Islamic Work Ethic (IWE) has become a subject of growing interest amongst academia and human resource literature attempting to understand and predict employees’ responses towards organizational change, particularly in Muslim societies. Despite this, studies attempting to uncover IWE’s influence on characteristics of employees’ responses towards change have revealed varying outcomes. Thus, the nature of the relationship remains ambiguous. To tackle this gap, this study contributes to knowledge by developing a conceptual model that assists in identifying the influence of IWE on employees’ responses towards change in the shape of their commitment to change and organizational deviance behaviors. The testing of these relationships was carried out in the ever changing and developing Islamic banking industry within the Middle Eastern context of Kuwait. Through a quantitative case-study approach, data was collected from 398 branch-level employees via questionnaires. The outcomes revealed that the extent of IWE’s influence on employee commitment to change varied greatly across different components (affective, normative and continuance). On the other hand, IWE was found to negatively influence employee engagement in organizational deviance towards change. Due to such findings, several theoretical implications, practical recommendations and future research directions are put forward.
  • The use of silent substitution in measuring isolated cone- & rod- human electroretinograms. An electrophysiological study of human rod- and cone- photoreceptor activity derived using silent substitution paradigm

    McKeefry, Declan J.; Tripathy, Srimant P.; Kommanapalli, Deepika (University of BradfordBradford School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, 2019)
    After over a decade of its discovery, the Electroretinogram (ERG) still remains the objective tool that is conventionally used in assessment of retinal function in health and disease. Although there is ongoing research in developing ERG- recording techniques, interpretation and clinical applications, there is still a limited understanding on how each photoreceptor class contribute to the ERG waveform and their role and/or susceptibilities in various retinal diseases still remains unclear. Another limitation with currently used conventional testing protocols in a clinical setting is the requirement of an adaptation period which is time-consuming. Furthermore, the ERG responses derived in this manner are recorded under different stimulus conditions, thus, making comparison of these signals difficult. To address these issues and develop a new testing method, we employed silent substitution paradigm in obtaining cone- and rod- isolating ERGs using sine- and square- wave temporal profiles. The ERGs achieved in this manner were shown to be photoreceptor-selective. Furthermore, these responses did not only provide the functional index of photoreceptors but their contributions to their successive postreceptoral pathways. We believe that the substitution stimuli used in this thesis could be a valuable tool in functional assessment of individual photoreceptor classes in normal and pathological conditions. Furthermore, we speculate that this method of cone/rod activity isolation could possibly be used in developing faster and efficient photoreceptor-selective testing protocols without the need of adaptation.
  • Contributions for Handling Big Data Heterogeneity. Using Intuitionistic Fuzzy Set Theory and Similarity Measures for Classifying Heterogeneous Data

    Neagu, Daniel; Trundle, Paul R.; Ali, Najat (University of BradfordDepartment of Computer Science, 2019)
    A huge amount of data is generated daily by digital technologies such as social media, web logs, traffic sensors, on-line transactions, tracking data, videos, and so on. This has led to the archiving and storage of larger and larger datasets, many of which are multi-modal, or contain different types of data which contribute to the problem that is now known as “Big Data”. In the area of Big Data, volume, variety and velocity problems remain difficult to solve. The work presented in this thesis focuses on the variety aspect of Big Data. For example, data can come in various and mixed formats for the same feature(attribute) or different features and can be identified mainly by one of the following data types: real-valued, crisp and linguistic values. The increasing variety and ambiguity of such data are particularly challenging to process and to build accurate machine learning models. Therefore, data heterogeneity requires new methods of analysis and modelling techniques to enable useful information extraction and the modelling of achievable tasks. In this thesis, new approaches are proposed for handling heterogeneous Big Data. these include two techniques for filtering heterogeneous data objects are proposed. The two techniques called Two-Dimensional Similarity Space(2DSS) for data described by numeric and categorical features, and Three-Dimensional Similarity Space(3DSS) for real-valued, crisp and linguistic data are proposed for filtering such data. Both filtering techniques are used in this research to reduce the noise from the initial dataset and make the dataset more homogeneous. Furthermore, a new similarity measure based on intuitionistic fuzzy set theory is proposed. The proposed measure is used to handle the heterogeneity and ambiguity within crisp and linguistic data. In addition, new combine similarity models are proposed which allow for a comparison between the heterogeneous data objects represented by a combination of crisp and linguistic values. Diverse examples are used to illustrate and discuss the efficiency of the proposed similarity models. The thesis also presents modification of the k-Nearest Neighbour classifier, called k-Nearest Neighbour Weighted Average (k-NNWA), to classify the heterogeneous dataset described by real-valued, crisp and linguistic data. Finally, the thesis also introduces a novel classification model, called FCCM (Filter Combined Classification Model), for heterogeneous data classification. The proposed model combines the advantages of the 3DSS and k-NNWA classifier and outperforms the latter algorithm. All the proposed models and techniques have been applied to weather datasets and evaluated using accuracy, Fscore and ROC area measures. The experiments revealed that the proposed filtering techniques are an efficient approach for removing noise from heterogeneous data and improving the performance of classification models. Moreover, the experiments showed that the proposed similarity measure for intuitionistic fuzzy data is capable of handling the fuzziness of heterogeneous data and the intuitionistic fuzzy set theory offers some promise in solving some Big Data problems by handling the uncertainties, and the heterogeneity of the data.
  • What is left for the youth at-risk? Honouring local peace dividends, rehabilitation and integration through the relational sensibility approach. An analysis of reintegration approaches and their effectiveness on youth at-risk of criminalisation – a Somalia case study

    Chesters, Graeme S.; Kelly, Rhys H.S.; Schumicky-Logan, Lilla (University of BradfordFaculty of Social Science. Department of Peace Studies, 2018)
    The liberal peace approach guided the Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes under the auspices of the United Nations. While both practitioners and policymakers recognised that context fitted approaches are required, which resulted in the revision of DDR policy and practice, the driving principle approach remained the liberal peace theory, which creates a hierarchical relationship between the intervener and the intervened. I argue that applying the relational sensibility concept that places relations, dialogue, and hybridity in its focus can (potentially) contribute to a more effective locally designed, led, and implemented reintegration programme that is owned by the different stakeholders instead of imposed. Most reintegration programmes focused on the economic reintegration of ex combatants yielding limited results. I argue that social development for not only former combatants but also for youth at-risk of criminalisation is an essential element of reintegration. I probe the applicability of an alternative peace-building approach to the liberal peace that prioritises actions over relations by reviewing past DDR programmes and a specific case study in Somalia. I establish that an inclusive, community-based reintegration programme that focuses on the social rehabilitation and integration of vulnerable and at-risk youth by strengthening their social and spiritual capitals, as well as promotes restorative justice, can contribute to the decreased level of aggression at the individual level and the perceptions of the increased level of community security in Somalia. I conclude that DDR programmes both policy and practice, should look into more community-based approaches, inclusivity, and balancing between social and economic development opportunities.
  • Female friendships in the workplace: A qualitative study of women's relationships in the Kuwaiti education sector

    Williams, Jannine; Kelly, Simon; Alkandari, Anwaar M. (University of BradfordFaculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, 2018)
    This thesis draws upon the qualitative findings of 20 interviews undertaken with female teachers in order to explore the topic of workplace friendships between women in an all-female organisational setting. The interview data sheds light on these friendships within the all-female workplace context, examining how the workplace setting can influence the forms of friendship women build with one another. This thesis explores this topic across three main areas: 1) the way in which women develop workplace friendships, and the forms that women-women relations take in all-female workplaces; 2) the importance of workplace friendships and the meanings attached to these friendships; and 3) the blurred boundaries between family and friends, which result in unique workplace-friendship relationships. This study contributes to current knowledge on friendship development and, specifically, the issues associated with women’s development of friendships within the all-female workplace context. The findings highlight the difficulties that some women experience in creating and developing friendships based on cultural boundaries. The findings also emphasise the weaker utility in female friendships, which remains both unacceptable and unchallenged yet nonetheless recognised by women. Furthermore, women are argued to create “other-self” friends and to experience another form of suffusion process in the workplace context. This study also contributes to the current literature on the barriers and opportunities associated with female friendship-building by highlighting how female misogyny employed in the workplace and that workplace friendship is a surviving tool used, adopting a sociological perspective to explore and analyse the findings.

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