Now showing items 1-20 of 1116

    • Examining the gap between employees’ expectations and their experience of HR practices in luxury five-star hotels in Thailand. A cross-sector comparison of local hotels, national and international chains hotels

      Glaister, Alison J.; Suengkamolpisut, Wallapa (University of BradfordFaculty of Management & Law, 2017)
      Tourism and hospitality play a crucial role in the growth of the Thai economy and hoteliers need to consider how to retain their talented employees. The major output of tourism and hospitality is service and this is most critically driven by the human capital of the organisation and supported by human resource practices. This study examined workforce expectations and experiences of work relationships, job security, WLB, pay and remuneration, PM systems, career promotion, training and development and challenging job roles in luxury five-star hotels in Thailand. It employs a multi-method research design using a pragmatic lens, mixed methods and sequential explanatory design through a survey of 578 respondents, followed by 62 semi-structured interviews, the study shows that national chain hotels are more willing and better able to adapt their HR practices initiatives to local conditions when compared to local and international chain hotels. Thai hotel employees emphasise harmonious social relations and a physical closeness to be taken care of by their supervisors and management team like family members. They are increasingly aware of the need for bundles of HR practices and managers therefore need to understand their workforce and the need to incorporate more flexibility in their working practices as part of a brandconsistent system. Finally, managers need to consider the relational psychological contract of the workforce and understand workforce commitment and how this relates to the broader strategy of the organisation.
    • Psoriasis activation of cells important in cardiovascular disease

      Graham, Anne M.; Wittmann, Miriam; Bridgewood, Charlie (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2017)
      Psoriasis is an immune mediated inflammatory disease which affects 2-3% of the world’s population. Over the last decade, psoriasis has been acknowledged as an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. The precise mechanism or mechanisms of the heightened risk is widely speculated. Endothelial cells and macrophages are central players in the immunopathological development of both diseases. Interleukin-36 cytokines (IL-36) have been heavily implicated in psoriasis immunopathology. Significant upregulation of epidermal IL-36 is a recognised characteristic of psoriatic skin inflammation. IL-36 induces inflammatory responses in dendritic cells, fibroblasts and epithelial cells. While vascular alterations are a hallmark of psoriatic lesions and dermal endothelial cells are well known to play a critical role in dermal inflammation, the effects of IL-36 on endothelial cells have not been defined. We report that endothelial cells including dermal microvascular cells express a functionally active IL-36 receptor. Adhesion molecules VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 are upregulated following IL-36γ stimulation, and this is reversed in the presence of the endogenous IL-36 receptor antagonist. IL-36γ-stimulated endothelial cells secrete the proinflammatory chemokines IL-8, CCL2 and CCL20. Chemotaxis assays showed increased migration of T-cells following IL-36γ stimulation of endothelial cells. Both resident and infiltrating inflammatory myeloid cells contribute to the immunopathology of psoriasis by promoting the IL-23/IL-17 axis. We show that IL-36γ induces the production of psoriasis-associated cytokines from macrophages (IL-23, TNFα) and that this response is enhanced in macrophages from psoriasis patients. This effect is specific for IL-36γ and could not be mimicked by other IL-1 family cytokines such as IL-1α. Furthermore, IL-36γ stimulated macrophages potently activated endothelial cells as illustrated by ICAM-1(CD54) upregulation, and led to increased adherence of monocytes, effects that were markedly more pronounced for psoriatic macrophages. Interestingly, regardless of stimulus, monocytes isolated from psoriasis patients showed increased adherence to both the stimulated and unstimulated endothelium when compared to monocytes from healthy individuals. Collectively, these findings add to the growing evidence for IL-36γ having roles in psoriatic responses, by enhancing endothelium directed leukocyte infiltration into the skin and strengthening the IL-23/IL-17 pathway. Our findings also point to a cellular response which could potentially support cardiovascular comorbidities in psoriasis.
    • The Development of Theory of Mind and Social Competence in Young Pakistani Children

      Waters, Gillian M.; Johnson, Sally E.; Sireer, Nafeesa (University of BradfordDivision of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2017)
      Theory of mind (ToM) refers to a cognitive ability that enables one to attribute mental states (such as desires, emotions, beliefs) to self and others. In recent years researchers have identified cultural variations in the onset of ToM understanding in collectivist and individualist cultures. However, the findings of cross-cultural studies regarding these variations are inconsistent. The major aim of this innovative research was to investigate differences in the acquisition of ToM in children from a collectivist culture (Pakistan) and an individualist culture (UK). The second aim of the study was to assess the specific association between ToM and social competence in a culturally diverse sample. An additional aim of the study was to investigate the universality of various correlates of ToM such as executive functioning (EF), parenting styles, and maternal mental state talk. The findings of the studies demonstrated a significant delay in the acquisition of ToM in Pakistani children, when compared with Western children from individualist societies. These findings were corroborated by the results of novel cross-cultural study that compared the performance of White British, British Pakistani, and Pakistani children on a ToM scale. White British children outperformed both Pakistani and British Pakistani children on measures of ToM, EF, and social competence. The current findings also provide support for the association of mental state understanding with EF, social competence, parenting styles, and maternal mental state talk. These findings have important implications for the role of general (collectivist vs. individualist cultures) as well as specific cultural practices (such as parenting and education) in the acquisition of mental state understanding.
    • Occupational Pension Schemes and their Relevance for the Employment Relationship in Germany. A Case Study Approach in the German Financial Services Sector

      Prowse, Peter J.; Smith, Andrew J.; Lütke Kleimann, Mechthild (University of BradfordFaculty of Management and Law, 2018)
      Due to employees’ reduced entitlements to the German statutory state pension on the one hand, and the challenge to employers of a skilled worker shortage on the other, employers’ contributions towards occupational pension schemes (OPS) might be an effective human-resources management tool. Thus, the overarching research question is: What is the relevance of OPS for the employment relationship in Germany? Five sub-research questions address the role of OPS in recruitment and retention management, organisational commitment, the potential differences between women and men and between young and old employees and the employees’ psychological contract. The empirical study is a single case study in the financial-services sector. Key findings: OPS are of more relevance for retaining employees than for recruiting them. Their role differs significantly between employees with different generations of the OPS and, therefore, different pension entitlements. Only minor differences can be found between women and men and between younger and older employees. Satisfaction with the occupational pension scheme has no significant impact on organisational commitment. The majority of employees perceived psychological contract fulfilment with respect to the OPS. The contribution to theory is the closure of five research gaps. As far as is known, this is the first study in Germany that analyses the role of OPS in a specified context and from multifaceted viewpoints (recruitment/retention, quantitative/qualitative, men/women, age groups). The contribution to practice comprises the provision of a transferable analysis blueprint of the role of OPS in the employment relationship and the provision of recommendations that relate, among others, to communication and information aspects, cost-benefit calculations and the usage of additional employer contributions as a possible selective reward element.
    • Therapeutic Targeting of BMP and TGF-β Signalling Pathways for the Resolution of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

      Nasim, Md. Talat; Graham, Anne M.; Sharmin, Nahid (University of BradfordSchool of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, 2018)
      Vascular remodelling due to excessive proliferation and apoptosis resistance of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle (PASMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) has been attributed to the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It is an incurable cardiovascular disorder, which leads to right heart failure and death, if left untreated. Heterozygous germline mutations in the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPR2) have been linked with the majority (~75%) of the familial form of the disease (HPAH). Mutations in the BMPR2 gene impinge upon the BMP signalling which perturbs the balance between BMP and TGF-β pathways leading to the clinical course of the disease. Current therapies were discovered prior to the knowledge that PAH has substantial genetic components. Hence, this study aims to identify novel therapeutic intervention and provide novel insights into how the dysfunctional BMPRII signalling contributes to the pathogenesis of PAH. This work demonstrates that cryptolepines and FDA approved drugs (doxorubicin, taxol, digitoxin and podophyllotoxin) inhibit the excessive proliferation and induce apoptosis in BMPR2 mutant PASMCs by modulating the BMP and TGF-β pathways. Moreover, established drug PTC124 has also been tested but has failed to promote translational readthrough. I have also shown that dysregulated apoptosis of PASMCs and HPAECs is mediated through the BMPRII-ALK1-BclxL axis. Finally, the siRNA screen targeting approximately 1000 genes has identified novel proteins including PPP1CA, IGF-1R, MPP1, MCM5 and SRC each capable of modulating the BMPRII signalling. Taken together, this study for the very first time has identified novel compounds with pro-BMP and anti-TGFβ activities which may provide therapeutic intervention prior to or after the onset of PAH.
    • Towards an integrated approach to the assessment and management of children with reading difficulties

      Gilchrist, James A.; Barrett, Brendan T.; Chambers, Caroline A. (University of BradfordSchool of Optometry and Vision Science, 2017)
      Learning to read is a complex and demanding skill which is vital in order for children to be able to access a broad curriculum of learning within the school environment. Reading requires the integration of many different processes, it is possible that difficulties with one or more of these processes has the possibility to interfere with reading ability. The research aimed to investigate the presence and co-occurrence of difficulties across many factors thought to be involved in the reading process. Data were collected from 126 schoolchildren, aged 8-10 years on performance measures associated with reading; reading ability, visual sensory and oculomotor function, visual perception, attention, memory, phonological awareness and rapid naming. Differences in mean performance between different reading ability groups (ANOVA), and correlations between the variables studied, were used to investigate the presence and magnitude of any relationships. Many of the variables studied were found to be significantly different between reading ability groups and significantly correlated with reading ability to varying degrees. The analysis of multiple single-case studies determined that each child has a unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses and that many children including ‘average/above average’ readers, show below average performance on several measures included in the study, with affected skills rarely existing in isolation. Thus, it is recommended that an individualised multi-factorial approach is taken to the assessment of children struggling to read. This will require communication by a multi-professional team to ensure all possible contributing factors are explored to enable each child to achieve their potential.
    • Conceptualizing of value offerings from a customer perspective. Understanding the elements of value and their relationship with customer satisfaction

      Wright, Gillian H.; Mehraramolan, Amirreza (University of BradfordSchool of Management, 2016)
      The initial idea for this research is based on the gap that I found in my company performance and specifically in the process of value offering and the relationship with customers. The company has recently faced the challenges of a loss of market share and competitive advantage. The aim of this study is to provide a validated value offering constructs for the company. That is, knowing the customers’ needs, value and preferences better; identifying what kind of value the customers are looking for and improving the value offerings of the company in order to raise customers´ satisfaction. Understanding the priority of value offering elements from customers’ perspective, the nature of customer satisfaction and the relationship between the elements of value offering and customers´ satisfaction are the main objectives. The relevant literature and research related to value offering including its elements, value, perceived value and customer satisfaction are reviewed comprehensively. The methodology used is a case study. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are used for collecting and analysing the data. In qualitative phase, 16 customers were selected for in-depth interviews and for quantitative phase 268 customers who all are dentists responded a survey made up of 24 scales. The result showed that the highest significant element is Price value and also it was revealed in which important parts related to value offering and customer satisfaction the company is performing poorly.
    • The characteristics of effective leadership in an academic context: A case study of four colleges of technology in Oman

      Spicer, David P.; Maybury, Alan; Al Kalbani, Darwish A.A. (University of BradfordFaculty of Management and Law, 2017)
      Purpose – The purpose of this study is to advance the literature on leadership by investigating the Full Range Leadership Model (FRLM) Bass and Avolio (1994-1997) in the context of the Colleges of Technology (CoTs) in Oman. Design/methodology/approach – In order to achieve the research objective and answer the research questions, a qualitative study was undertaken. The data was obtained by two methods, namely semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The semi-structured interviews were held with College Deans, Heads of Departments (HoDs) and teachers. The focus groups were carried out with seven groups of students from four CoTs. The data was analysed by a thematic approach, following the systematic steps outlined by Braun and Clarke (2006). Findings – Significant relationships were found between the transactional leadership approach and institutional theory (Isomorphism and legitimacy). The findings advance leadership knowledge by exploring the relationship between the components of FRLM, transformational and the transactional leadership approaches in hierarchical levels of leadership in the context of the CoTs in Oman. Both the Deans and the HoDs employed transactional leadership approaches to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Ministry of Manpower. Moreover, the study extended the leadership literature by exploring the interaction between leadership approaches of the Deans and the HoDs on multi-national teachers and Omani students. Originality/value – The originality of this research lies in its exploration of the relationship between transformational and transactional leadership approaches in hierarchical levels of academic leadership and its identification of the characteristics of effective leadership in HEIs from a multicultural perspective.
    • DISH Everywhere: Study of the Pathogenesis of Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis and of its Prevalence in England and Catalonia from the Roman to the Post-Medieval Time Period

      Buckberry, Jo; Beaumont, Julia; Castells Navarro, Laura (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2018)
      Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is a spondyloarthropathy traditionally defined as having spinal and extra-spinal manifestations. However its diagnostic criteria only allow the identification of advanced DISH and there is little consensus regarding the extra-spinal enthesopathies. In this project, individuals with DISH from the WM Bass Donated Skeletal Collection were analysed to investigate the pathogenesis of DISH and archaeological English and Catalan samples (3rd–18th century AD) were studied to investigate how diet might have influenced the development of DISH. From the individuals from the Bass Collection, isolated vertical lesions representing the early stages of DISH (‘early DISH’) were identified. Both sample sets showed that the presence of extra-spinal manifestations varies significantly between individuals and that discarthrosis and DISH can co-exist in the same individual. In all archaeological samples, the prevalence of DISH was significantly higher in males and older individuals showed a higher prevalence of DISH. In both regions, the prevalence of DISH was the lowest in the Roman samples, the highest in the early medieval ones and intermediate in the late medieval samples. While when using documentary resources and archaeological data, it was hypothesised that the prevalence of DISH in the English and Catalan samples might have been different, the results show no significant differences even if English samples tend to show higher prevalence of DISH than the Catalan samples. This possibly suggests that the development of DISH depends on a combination of dietary habits and, possibly, genetic predisposition might influence the development of DISH. The individuals from the Bass Collection showed high prevalence of metabolic and cardiovascular conditions. In contrast, no association was found between DISH and rich-diet associated conditions (e.g. carious lesions and gout) or deficiency-related conditions (e.g. scurvy, healed rickets).
    • Investigation of drug ionic liquid salts for topical delivery systems

      Paradkar, Anant R.; Brown, Elaine C.; Karodia, Nazira; Bansiwal, Mukesh (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2017)
      Pharmaceutical companies and FDA (Federal Drug Administration) rules rely heavily on crystalline active pharmaceutical ingredients delivered as tablets and powders in the form of neutral compounds, salts and solvates of neutral compounds and salts. About half of all drugs sold in the market are in the form of salts which are held together by ionic bonds along with some other forces. Recently, Ionic liquids (ILs) an interesting class of chemical compounds have offered potential opportunity for exploration as novel drug ionic liquid salts, particularly in the field of transdermal/topical drug delivery. Due to the multifunctional nature of these salts they could allow generation of new pathway to manipulate the transport and deposition behaviour of the drug molecule. It is this modular approach of IL that forms the basis of the research presented here, in which pharmaceutically acceptable compounds are combined with selected drugs with known problems. IL salts were generated by combining at least one drug molecule with FDA approved compounds and were assessed for physicochemical properties, skin deposition and permeation studies. Skin deposition data suggested that these systems exhibit high skin retention, which was found to correlate with the molecular weight. On the other hand, permeation data displayed an inverse relationship between flux values and molecular weight of the permeant. Similar work was extended with ILs with mixed anions containing two drugs. The benzalkonium-sulfacetamide ILs were investigated for synergism and the biological studies data display no synergistic effect. It was also illustrated that in-situ IL based ibuprofen hydrogels systems could be manipulated via IL approach for topical application. These findings suggest the potential applicability of IL based formulations for topical delivery of drugs.
    • Stone tools employed in prehistoric metal mining. A functional study of cobblestone tools from prehistoric metalliferous mines in England and Wales in relation to mining strategies by use-wear analysis and cobble morphometry

      Ottaway, Barbara; Pollard, A. Mark; Gale, David (University of BradfordDepartment of Archaeological Sciences, 1995)
      This is a study of cobblestone tools from metalliferous mine sites in England and Wales dated to the Bronze Age which were most probably used to extract copper ore. The site assemblages studied are from the Great Orme, Copa Hill in Cwmystwyth, Nantyreira, Parys Mountain and Alderley Edge. The majority of the tools are hammerstones used to mine and beneficiate metal ore. Some of these have been modified to facilitate hafting. The functional uses of these tools have been identified by the form and position of use- wear on a macroscopic level. The recording procedure encompasses cobble morphology, the degree, type and direction of use, breakage patterns, the reuse of tools and tool fragments and the classification of hafting modification. The possibility of tool specialization within tool types has been examined by the analysis of use-wear and cobble shape and size. The analysis of stone hammer size suggests that the Great Orme material is related to specific working techniques employed to extract ore from the different types of ore deposits. Ore comminution has been demonstrated to have been generally achieved by ‘block-on-block’ crushing with flat-sided hammers. Conclusions are draw on the overall efficiency of ore extraction in the Bronze Age and theories on the organization of mining are presented. The sedimentary form of the cobblestone tools has also been examined, including the identification of natural abrasion marks and features. At Cwmystwyth and the Great Orme possible sources of cobblestones have been studied in order to assess the nature of cobble selection.
    • 3D Mapping of Islamic Geometric Motifs

      Ugail, Hassan; Palmer, Ian J.; Sayed, Zahra (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering & Informatics, 2017)
      In this thesis a novel approach in generating 3D IGP is applied using shape grammar, an effective pattern generation method. The particular emphasis here is to generate the motifs (repeat unit) in 3D using parameterization, which can then be manipulated within 3D space to construct architectural structures. Three unique distinctive shape grammar algorithms were developed in 3D; Parameterized Shape Grammar (PSG), Auto-Parameterized Shape Grammar (APSG) and Volumetric Shell Shape Grammar (VSSG). Firstly, the PSG generates the motifs in 3D. It allows one to use a single changeable regular 3D polygon, and forms a motif by given grammar rules including, Euclidean transformations and Boolean operations. Next, APSG was used to construct the architectural structures that manipulates the motif by automating the grammar rules. The APSG forms a wall, a column, a self-similarity star and a dome, the main features of Islamic architecture. However, applying Euclidean transformations to create non-Euclidean surfaces resulted in gaps and or overlaps which does not form a perfect tessellation. This is improved upon by the VSSM, which integrates two key methods, shell mapping and coherent point drift, to map an aesthetically accurate 3D IGM on a given surface. This work has successfully presented methods for creating complex intricate 3D Islamic Geometric Motifs (IGM), and provided an efficient mapping technique to form visually appealing decorated structures.
    • Design and Implementation of System Components for Radio Frequency Based Asset Tracking Devices to Enhance Location Based Services. Study of angle of arrival techniques, effects of mutual coupling, design of an angle of arrival algorithm, design of a novel miniature reconfigurable antenna optimised for wireless communication systems

      Abd-Alhameed, Raed A.; Noras, James M.; Jones, Steven M.R.; See, Chan H.; Asif, Rameez (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2017)
      The angle of arrival estimation of multiple sources plays a vital role in the field of array signal processing as MIMO systems can be employed at both the transmitter and the receiver end and the system capacity, reliability and throughput can be significantly increased by using array signal processing. Almost all applications require accurate direction of arrival (DOA) estimation to localize the sources of the signals. Another important parameter of localization systems is the array geometry and sensor design which can be application specific and is used to estimate the DOA. In this work, various array geometries and arrival estimation algorithms are studied and then a new scheme for multiple source estimation is proposed and evaluated based on the performance of subspace and non-subspace decomposition methods. The proposed scheme has shown to outperform the conventional Multiple Signal Classification (MUSIC) estimation and Bartlett estimation techniques. The new scheme has a better performance advantage at low and high signal to noise ratio values (SNRs). The research work also studies different array geometries for both single and multiple incident sources and proposes a geometry which is cost effective and efficient for 3, 4, and 5 antenna array elements. This research also considers the shape of the ground plane and its effects on the angle of arrival estimation and in addition it shows how the mutual couplings between the elements effect the overall estimation and how this error can be minimised by using a decoupling matrix. At the end, a novel miniaturised multi element reconfigurable antenna to represent the receiver base station is designed and tested. The antenna radiation patterns in the azimuth angle are almost omni-directional with linear polarisation. The antenna geometry is uniplanar printed logspiral with striplines feeding network and biased components to improve the impedance bandwidth. The antenna provides the benefit of small size, and re-configurability and is very well suited for the asset tracking applications.
    • Fully automated computer system for diagnosis of corneal diseases. Development of image processing technologies for the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba and Fusarium diseases in confocal microscopy images

      Qahwaji, Rami S.R.; Ipson, Stanley S.; Sharif, Mhd Saeed; Alzubaidi, Rania S.M. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2017)
      Confocal microscopy demonstrated its value in the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba and fungal keratitis which considered sight-threatening corneal diseases. However, it can be difficult to find and train confocal microscopy graders to accurately detect Acanthamoeba cysts and fungal filaments in the images. Use of an automated system could overcome this problem and help to start the correct treatment more quickly. Also, response to treatment can be difficult to assess in infectious keratitis using clinical examination alone, but there is evidence that the morphology of filaments and cysts may change over time with the use of correct treatment. An automated system to analyse confocal microscopy images for such changes would also assist clinicians in determining whether the ulcer is improving, or whether a change of treatment is needed. This research proposes a fully automated novel system with GUI to detect cysts and hyphae (filaments) and measure useful quantitative parameters for them through many stages; Image enhancement, image segmentation, quantitative analysis for detected cysts and hyphae, and registration and tracking of ordered sequence of images. The performance of the proposed segmentation procedure is evaluated by comparing between the manual and the automated traced images of the dataset that was provided by the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. The positive predictive values rate of cysts for Acanthamoeba images was 76%. For detected hyphae in Fusarium images, many standard measurements were computed. The accuracy of their values was quantified by calculating the percent error rate for each measurement and which ranged from 23% to 49%.
    • The Relationship between HRM Practices and Innovation: Perceptions of Employees in the Telecommunications Industry in Jordan

      Spicer, David P.; Thneibat, Motasem M.M. (University of BradfordSchool of Management, 2016)
      The purpose of this research is to provide a better understanding of the relationship between human resource management (HRM) practices and innovation. This research responds to calls in the literature on HRM and innovation to consider a wider number of HRM practices that have previously been neglected and are likely to produce a positive impact on innovation awareness and commitment (Shipton et al., 2006; Zhao et al., 2012). Therefore, the research is concerned with a wide number of HRM practices and their impact on innovation awareness and commitment. The underpinning rationale is that while previous studies have revealed that HRM practices can be significant for innovation, these studies are not inclusive, and the research is still scant and in its early stages as there has been a lack of consideration of a comprehensive range of HRM practices (Shipton et al., 2006). In simple terms, previous studies have looked at the relationship between HRM practices and innovation based on a limited number of practices and at the macro or inter-organisational level. Therefore, the fundamental contribution of this thesis is the shift in perspective. While previous research has looked at a limited number of HRM practices that largely appear to be borrowed from high-performance work systems (HPWs), this thesis considers a wider range of practices that can impact on innovation at the intra-organisational level – more specifically, to study employees’ perceptions of HRM practices that may promote innovation awareness and commitment. Innovation awareness and commitment refers to the extent to which the organisation is engaged in innovation. Degree of innovativeness and the open innovation approach are studied in this research, to determine whether HRM practices can impact on radical or incremental open innovation. Additionally, departmental differences are considered in this thesis: that is whether employees in different departments have different perceptions of the extent to which HRM practices promote innovation’. To this end, the data set was obtained from two research phases. A quantitative survey was distributed to 280 employees in a Jordanian telecommunications company. Findings from the first phase of the research indicated a number of new HRM practices that were not recognised by previous studies. This research found a positive impact of HRM practices in promoting innovation, as perceived by employees. HPWs, HRM hygiene factors, motivation and communication were perceived by employees to promote innovation in their organisation. The results show that the relationship between HRM practices and innovation is perceived by employees to promote the origins of innovation, specifically open innovation and radical innovation. No support was found for expectations and sharing information to promote innovation. Phase two of the research consisted of semi-structured interviews conducted with senior managers and employees in the same company that participated in phase one. In phase two of the research, the interviews provided better insights and explanations of the results and findings from the survey questionnaire. The results from phase two confirmed the findings from the statistical analysis, and a distinctive finding was the differences between managers’ and employees’ perceptions of HRM practices. Employees identified or perceived practices that are related to their performance and that enable them to develop their levels of motivation and commitment. Managers identified practices that work in the favour of the organisation, with less focus on employee needs. This was clear when comparing which practices and indications were mentioned by managers and employees. It is worth mentioning here that, given the relatively close conceptualisation in the literature that innovation is a form of organisational performance, this thesis does not intend to rebrand ‘performance’ as ‘innovation’ per se. This is especially in this research as it seeks to understand the relationship between HRM practices and innovation by looking at employees’ perceptions of HRM practices that may promote innovation and cause their company to be perceived as an innovative workplace. This research is probably the first attempt to study the role of a comprehensive list of HRM practices in influencing innovation by considering employees’ perceptions of HRM practices that may promote innovation. Moreover, the intra-organisational level was considered, along with departments, degree of innovativeness (radical-incremental innovation) and types of innovation approach (open vs closed).
    • Relative Bio-Equivalence of Salbutamol MDIs Without and With the Attached Spacers. Development and validation of novel HPLC methods for the determination of salbutamol (and terbutaline) in urine excreted post-inhalation for bioequivalence and pharmacokinetic studies of Salbutamol MDIs

      Assi, Khaled H.; Paluch, Krzysztof J.; Mazhar, Syed H.R. (University of BradfordSchool of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, 2018)
      This research explored in-vitro and in-vivo performance of three salbutamol metered dose inhalers (MDIs): Ventolin Evohaler (Evo), Airomir (Airo) and Salamol. In the in-vitro studies, critical quality attributes of the MDI using an Andersen cascade impactor (ACI) were examined and included measurement of fine particle dose (FPD) and total delivered dose (TDD). Bioequivalence studies were conducted in humans using the urinary pharmacokinetic method. Post-inhalation urinary excretion of salbutamol in the first 0.5 hour (lung deposition, USAL0.5) and over 24 hours (total systemic bioavailability, USAL24) were compared to determine the bioequivalence of the MDIs. The spacers recommended for use with these inhalers were also studied, and charcoal block studies were performed to assess the extent of USAL0.5. The three MDIs had FPD (μg) of 78, 91 and 89, respectively; the latter pair was equivalent. Their USAL0.5 (6, 7 & 7 μg) was however not bioequivalent. These MDIs delivered equivalent dose (177, 174 & 180 μg) which reflected on their USAL24 (101, 84 & 97 μg). Nevertheless, USAL24 was inequivalent between Evo and Airo. The FPD of Evo with Volumatic (VOL), AeroChamber Plus (AERO) and Able spacer was 78, 68 and 74 μg, respectively. The AERO treatment method was not equivalent to the MDI while VOL and Able were equivalent between them. Spacer USAL0.5 (16, 15 & 14 μg) was not bioequivalent to the MDI but to each other. The spacer in-vitro TDD (95, 85 & 92 μg) was inequivalent to the MDI treatment method. In contrast, their USAL24 was bioequivalent (97, 85 & 90 μg). The FPD of Airomir with AERO (95 μg) was in-vitro equivalent while USAL0.5 (15 μg) of this treatment method was bio-inequivalent to the MDI alone. On the contrary, the TDD (110 μg) and USAL24 (84 μg) of AERO were respectively in-vitro inequivalent and bioequivalent to the MDI alone. The FPD (μg) of Salamol MDI alone and with VOL (84) and AERO (86) as well as between the spacers was equivalent. However, the USAL0.5 of the MDI was not bioequivalent to spacers (20 and 18 μg) despite being equivalent between the spacers. In contrast, the respective TDD (103 and 95 μg) of spacer treatment methods were in-vitro inequivalent to the MDI alone albeit having bioequivalent USAL24 (86 and 87 μg). The variations in the in-vitro performance of the three MDIs are most likely due to differences in their formulations and designs. As the performance metrics of the MDI influence lung deposition, substituting one MDI with another can have clinical implications. Although the spacers reduced in-vitro TDD of the MDI to about half, their use increased lung deposition by over two folds, the magnitude of which varied with the MDI and spacer type. Despite significant decrease in dose delivery, the total systemic bioavailability with the spacers was similar to that with the MDI alone. This systemic bioequivalence is more likely due to greater USAL0.5 with the spacers. The results of the charcoal block studies reinforced this outcome. The present study is unique as it used a clinically relevant salbutamol MDI dose (two puffs), assessed results for equivalence and analysed ACI deposition data further as stage groups. The deposition on adjacent ACI stages were grouped together as coarse, fine and extra-fine particle masses to identify their more likely deposition sites in the human respiratory tract. Moreover, this thesis describes highly sensitive and novel HPLC and SPE methods, developed and validated to quantify salbutamol in urinary and aqueous matrices. As the clinical effects of MDIs are related to their lung deposition, the current work emphasizes the importance of spacer use. Nevertheless, differences in dose delivery between spacers may have clinical consequences. Hence, only the specific spacer recommended for use with the MDI should be used.
    • Modelling and Optimization of Conventional and Unconventional Batch Reactive Distillation Processes. Investigation of Different Types Batch Reactive Distillation Columns for the Production of a Number of Esters such as Methyl Lactate, Methyl Decanoate, Ethyl Benzoate, and Benzyl Acetate using gPROMS

      Mujtaba, Iqbal M.; Rahmanian, Nejat; Aqar, Dhia Y. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2018)
      The synthesis of a number of alkyl esters such as methyl lactate, methyl decanoate, and ethyl benzoate via esterification in a reactive distillation is quite challenging. It is due to the complexity in the thermodynamic behaviour of the chemical species in the reaction mixture in addition to the difficulty of keeping the reactants together in the reaction section. One of the reactants (in these esterification reactions) having the lowest boiling point can separate from the other reactant as the distillation continues. This can result in a significant drop in the reaction conversion in a conventional reactive distillation whether it is a batch or a continuous column. To overcome this challenge, new different types of batch reactive distillation column configurations: (1) integrated conventional (2) semi-batch (3) integrated semi-batch (4) integrated dividing-wall batch distillation columns have been proposed here. Four esterification reaction schemes such as (a) esterification of lactic acid (b) esterification of decanoic acid (c) esterification of benzoic acid (d) esterification of acetic acid are investigated here. A detailed dynamic model based on mass, energy balances, chemical reaction, and rigorous thermodynamic (chemical and physical) properties is considered and incorporated in the optimisation framework within gPROMS (general PROcess Modelling System) software. It is found that for the methyl lactate system, the i-SBD operation outperforms the classical batch operations (CBD or SBD columns) to satisfy the product constraints. While, for the methyl decanoate system, the i-DWCBD operation outperforms all CBD, DWBD and sr-DWBD configurations by achieving the higher reaction conversion and the maximum product purity. For the ethyl benzoate system, the performance of i-CBD column is superior to the CBD process in terms of product quality, and conversion rate of acid. The CBD process is found to be a more attractive in terms of operating time saving, and annual profit improvement compared to the IBD, and MVD processes for the benzyl acetate system.
    • Localising Peacebuilding in South Sudan? A Case of Transitional Justice and Reconciliation

      Harris, David; Francis, David J.; Agwella, Martin O.L. (University of BradfordFaculty of Social Sciences, Division of Peace Studies, 2018)
      Despite the signing of the 2005 Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the two decades of South-North Sudan war; and the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, to end the current civil war, armed conflicts persist in South Sudan. Two key inadequacies of the liberal peacebuilding model, applied to address modern conflicts in Africa and across the globe are its insistence on international justice instruments such as the International Criminal Court, and the failure to recognize the role of local approaches and to incorporate them into peacebuilding intervention policies. This has resulted in failures to address the grievances and bitterness of war affected people and to reconcile divided communities. This study examines the potential and limits of applying local approaches to post-conflict peacebuilding in South Sudan. Based on empirical data obtained through qualitative case study conducted in South Sudan over five months in 2016, the findings reveal that despite the wide use of local institutions and justice mechanisms, many challenges exist, that pose serious difficulties in solely applying these strategies to transitional justice. However, for the liberal peacebuilding model to address the root causes of internal conflicts and build sustainable peace, local strategies could provide a significant complementary contribution, since dealing with the past entails more than retribution and truth seeking. The study has wider implications in practical and theoretical considerations for ongoing armed conflicts in Africa and other parts of the world.
    • An investigation into the influence of personality factors on cultural intelligence and the direct and moderating effects of international experience

      Mohr, Alexander T.; Martinus, Richard (University of BradfordThe School of Management, 2018)
      Globalization has created tremendous opportunities for organizations, but also created challenges due to cultural diversity, highlighting the importance of cross-cultural competencies in becoming successful nowadays. Cultural Intelligence (CQ) has emerged as an important concept describing the individual capabilities needed to effectively interact across cultures. Utilizing the theory of evolutionary personality psychology, several relationships are predicted between certain personality traits and factors of CQ. In addition, social learning theory is applied to explain the expected relationships between international experience and CQ. Thirdly, several hypotheses are developed to investigate if international experience strengthens the relationship between certain personality traits and elements of CQ. Based on a sample size of 197 employees from a financial services company, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses validate the theorized four-factor CQ model. The results, based on stepwise regression analyses, confirm the expected relationship between international experience and all factors of CQ, except BCQ. In addition, the results reveal several significant relationships between personality factors and CQ. Novel for the research on CQ is the confirmation of several significant correlations between “dark-side“ personality traits (which have been characterized as ineffective behaviours) and elements of CQ. This study also shows several moderating relationships, providing new insights and posing important questions for future research, contributing to the accumulating literature on CQ. In addition, the results of this study provide interesting suggestions for practice, emphasizing the importance of adapting Human Resources policies to recruit, enable and retain those employees who are likely to successfully grasp the opportunities that globalization offers. In order to achieve this, organizations should rely on a broad range of assessment and development tools, focussing on CQ, personality traits and previous international experience, when selecting and preparing individuals for cross-cultural careers.
    • The Role of vision and refractive correction changes in dizziness

      Elliott, David B.; Alderson, Alison J.; Armstrong, Deborah (University of BradfordBradford School of Optometry and Vision Science, 2018)
      Dizziness is a common, multifactorial problem that causes reductions in quality of life and is a major risk factor for falls, but the role of vision is a very under-researched area. This study aimed to investigate any link between dizziness and vision and to establish if changes in spectacle lens correction could elicit dizziness symptoms. A link between dizziness and self-reported poor vision was indicated in the epidemiological literature as shown by a systematic review, provided lightheadedness was not included in the definition of dizziness. Cases of individuals who reported vision-related dizziness were investigated to determine potential areas of research for this thesis and subsequently two studies investigated the effects of refractive correction changes on dizziness status. The first study was limited by logistical problems, although it highlighted limitations in the short form of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory that was used to quantify dizziness. Results of an optometry practice recheck study found that oblique cylindrical changes were significantly more likely to be associated with dizziness symptoms than other spectacle lens changes. It also highlighted that optometrists do not ask/record about dizziness symptoms with only 4% of records including “dizziness” as a problem when 38% of patients reported dizziness symptoms when directly asked. All studies highlighted a need for a patient-reported outcome measure to be designed to assess vision-related dizziness. Literature review, interviews with experts and patients and focus groups led to the development of a pilot questionnaire and subsequently a 25-item Vision-Related Dizziness instrument, the VRD-25. This was validated using responses from 223 respondents, with 79 participants completing the questionnaire a second time to provide test-retest data. Two subscales of VRD-12-frequency (VRD-12f) and VRD-13-severity (VRD-13s) were shown to be unidimensional and had good psychometric properties, convergent validity and test-retest repeatability. The VRD-25 is the only patient-reported outcome measure developed to date to assess vision related dizziness and will hopefully provide the platform to further grow this under-researched area that seems likely to provide important clinical information.