Now showing items 1-20 of 8820

    • Towards a practice theory of goal setting: assessing the theoretical goal-setting of a leprosy organisation in Nigeria

      Ogbeiwi, Osahon (2020)
      Goal-setting is indispensable for effective healthcare management. Yet, literature evidence suggests many organisations worldwide do not know how to formulate ‘SMART’ goals. Evidence of how existing theories work in practice is scarce, and the practices in low-income countries are unknown. Therefore, this research explored how leprosy project goals were formulated to describe the theoretical practice framework of A leprosy-focused organisation in Nigeria. Using a case-study design, ten managers were interviewed individually concerning their goal-setting knowledge, experience and perspective; and documented goals of six projects were reviewed. A five-step constructionist thematic data analysis generated eleven theoretical frameworks from the concepts of the emergent core themes of ‘stakeholders’, ‘strategies’ and ‘statements.’ Further theorisation reduced them to one general framework. This revealed organisational goal-setting practice as a four-stage centre-led, top-down, beneficiary-focused and problem-based process. The stages were national preparation, baseline needs-survey, centralised goal formulation and nationalised planning. The outcome was the formulation of assigned, ‘non-SMART’ objective statements, which are then used for planning projects. Other theoretical models constructed included a Goal Effects Cycle, ‘SMARTA’ goal attributes and hierarchical criteria for differentiating goal-types. A theory developed from the goal-setting practice postulates that: ‘Assigned non-SMART goal formulation directly results from centralised goal-setting practice and is the predictor of unrealistic project planning.’ Therefore, I propose that goal statements will be ‘SMARTA’ and plans, more realistic and relevant if goal-setting is done collaboratively by all stakeholders at all stages of the process. Also, ‘Change-Beneficiary-Indicator-Target-Timeframe’ and ‘Change-Beneficiary-Location-Timeframe’ frameworks are recommended as templates for writing SMART objectives and aims respectively.
    • Equivalence classes of coherent projectors in a Hilbert space with prime dimension: Q functions and their Gini index

      Vourdas, Apostolos (2020-05)
      Coherent subspaces spanned by a finite number of coherent states are introduced, in a quantum system with Hilbert space that has odd prime dimension d. The set of all coherent subspaces is partitioned into equivalence classes, with d 2 subspaces in each class. The corresponding coherent projectors within an equivalence class, have the 'closure under displacements property' and also resolve the identity. Different equivalence classes provide different granularisation of the Hilbert space, and they form a partial order 'coarser' (and 'finer'). In the case of a two-dimensional coherent subspace spanned by two coherent states, the corresponding projector (of rank 2) is different than the sum of the two projectors to the subspaces related to each of the two coherent states. We quantify this with 'non-addditivity operators' which are a measure of quantum interference in phase space, and also of the non-commutativity of the projectors. Generalized Q and P functions of density matrices, which are based on coherent projectors in a given equivalence class, are introduced. Analogues of the Lorenz values and the Gini index (which are popular quantities in mathematical economics) are used here to quantify the inequality in the distribution of the Q function of a quantum state, within the granular structure of the Hilbert space. A comparison is made between Lorenz values and the Gini index for the cases of coarse and also fine granularisation of the Hilbert space. Lorenz values require an ordering of the d 2 values of the Q function of a density matrix, and this leads to the ranking permutation of a density matrix, and to comonotonic density matrices (which have the same ranking permutation). The Lorenz values are a superadditive function and the Gini index is a subadditive function (they are both additive quantities for comonotonic density matrices). Various examples demonstrate these ideas.
    • Citizens' continuous use of eGovernment services: The role of self-efficacy, outcome expectations and satisfaction

      Alruwaie, M.; El-Haddadeh, R.; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P. (2020-07)
      The continuous use of eGovernment services is a de facto for its prosperity and success. A generalised sense of citizens' self-efficacy, expectations, and satisfaction offer opportunities for governments to further retain needed engagements. This study examines the factors influencing citizens' continuance use of eGovernment services. Through the integration of Social Cognitive Theory, Expectation Confirmation Theory, DeLone and McLean IS success model, and E-S-QUAL, a survey of 471 citizens in the UK, engaging in online public services, found that prior experience, social influence, information quality, and service quality, personal outcome expectation, and satisfaction, are significant predictors of citizens' intention to use eGovernment, when they are regulated, through citizens' self-efficacy. The present study extends the roles of pre-adoption and post-adoption by offering a self-regulating process. Therefore, it demonstrates how critical it is for the government's leaders to understand the patterns of the long-term process for electronic systems continually.
    • Lotus-leaf inspired surfaces: hydrophobicity evolution of replicas due to mechanical cleaning and mold wear

      Romano, J-M.; Garcia-Giron, A.; Penchev, P.; Gulcur, Mert; Whiteside, Benjamin R.; Dimov, S. (2020-03)
      Inspired from the low wetting properties of Lotus leaves, the fabrication of dual micro/nano-scale topographies is of interest to many applications. In this research, superhydrophobic surfaces are fabricated by a process chain combining ultrashort pulsed laser texturing of steel inserts and injection moulding to produce textured polypropylene parts. This manufacturing route is very promising and could be economically viable for mass production of polymeric parts with superhydrophobic properties. However, surface damages, such as wear and abrasion phenomena, can be detrimental to the attractive wetting properties of replicated textured surfaces. Therefore, the final product lifespan is investigated by employing mechanical cleaning of textured polypropylene surfaces with multipurpose cloths following the ASTM D3450 standard. Secondly, the surface damage of replication masters after 350 injection moulding cycles with glass-fiber reinforced polypropylene, especially to intensify mould wear, was investigated. In both cases, the degradation of the dual-scale surface textures had a clear impact on surface topography of the replicas and thus on their wetting properties, too.
    • An efficient assay for identification and quantitative evaluation of potential polysialyltransferase inhibitors

      Guo, Xiaoxiao; Malcolm, Jodie R.; Ali, Marrwa M.; Ribeiro Morais, Goreti; Shnyder, Steven D.; Loadman, Paul M.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Falconer, Robert A. (2020-05)
      The polysialyltransferases (polySTs) catalyse the polymerisation of polysialic acid, which plays an important role in tumour metastasis. While assays are available to assess polyST enzyme activity, there is no methodology available specifically optimised for identification and quantitative evaluation of potential polyST inhibitors. The development of an HPLC-fluorescence-based enzyme assay described within includes a comprehensive investigation of assay conditions, including evaluation of metal ion composition, enzyme, substrate and acceptor concentrations, temperature, pH, and tolerance to DMSO, followed by validation using known polyST inhibitors. Thorough analysis of each of the assay components provided a set of optimised conditions. Under these optimised conditions, the experimentally observed Ki value for CMP, a competitive polyST inhibitor, was strongly correlated with the predicted Ki value, based on the classical Cheng-Prusoff equation [average fold error (AFE) = 1.043]. These results indicate that this assay can provide medium-throughput analysis for enzyme inhibitors with high accuracy, through determining the corresponding IC50 values with substrate concentration at the KM, without the need to perform extensive kinetic studies for each compound. In conclusion, an in vitro cell-free assay for accurate assessment of polyST inhibition is described. The utility of the assay for routine identification of potential polyST inhibitors is demonstrated, allowing quantitative measurement of inhibition to be achieved, and exemplified through assessment of full competitive inhibition. Given the considerable and growing interest in the polySTs as important anti-metastatic targets in cancer drug discovery, this is a vital tool to enable preclinical identification and evaluation of novel polyST inhibitors.
    • Understanding consumer adoption of mobile payment in India: Extending Meta-UTAUT model with personal innovativeness, anxiety, trust, and grievance redressal

      Patil, P.; Tamilmani, Kuttimani; Rana, Nripendra P.; Raghavan, V. (2020-10)
      Mobile payments are the future as we move towards a cashless society. In some markets, cash is already being replaced by digital transactions, but consumers of many developing countries are slower in transition towards digital payments. This study aims to identify major determinants of consumer mobile payment adoption in India the country with second largest mobile subscribers in the world. Existing mobile payments adoption studies have predominantly utilised Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), which was primarily developed in organisational context and criticised for having deterministic approach without much consideration for users’ individual characteristics. Therefore, this study adapted meta-UTAUT model with individual difference variable attitude as core construct and extended the model with consumer related constructs such as personal innovativeness, anxiety, trust, and grievance redressal. Empirical examination of the model among 491 Indian consumers revealed performance expectancy, intention to use, and grievance redressal as significant positive predictor of consumer use behaviour towards mobile payment. Moreover, intention to use was significantly influenced by attitude, social influence, and facilitating conditions. The major contribution of this study includes re-affirming the central role of attitude in consumer adoption studies and examining usage behaviour in contrast to most existing studies, which examine only behavioural intention.
    • Mathematical modelling of performance and wear prediction of PDC drill bits: impact of bit profile, bit hydraulic, and rock strength

      Mazen, Ahmed Z.; Mujtaba, Iqbal M.; Hassanpour, A.; Rahmanian, Nejat (2020-05)
      The estimation of Polycrystalline Diamond Compact (PDC) cutters wear has been an area of concern for the drilling industry for years now. The cutter's wear has been measured practically by pulling the bit out for evaluation at the surface. It is important to find the right time for tripping out as this helps to avoid the fishing job and reduces the operational cost significantly. The prediction of the drilling performance is based on the interaction of cutter and rock. Several authors focused on the cutter-rock interface but only a few researchers tried to model the wear of the PDC bit cutters. The aim of this research is to understand the relationships between the rate of penetration (ROP) and the drilling variables per each foot, and then determine the overall bit efficiency for the whole drilling operation. A new mathematical model is derived to predict the PDC bit performance by considering the factors that were already not taken into account. These factors include rock strength, bit design, and bit hydraulic. The model investigates the effect of these parameters to estimate the abrasive cutters wear on the inner and the outer bit cones by deriving modified equations to calculate the mechanical specific energy (MSE), torque, and depth of cut (DOC) as a function of effective blades (EB). The model is used to forecast the bit cutters wear conditions in four wells in the oil fields located in Libya, which were drilled with three different PDC's sizes. The model enables the results to be compared to the actual bit cutters wear measured for inner and outer cones. The results are found that are well in agreement with the actual field data obtained in bit records.
    • EU-Africa Relations, China, and the African Challenge

      Trouille, Jean-Marc (Elipsa, 2020-03)
      The African continent is a sleeping giant which will increasingly be a player to be reckoned with on the global stage. At the same time, its migration potential will be multiplied by Africa’s forthcoming demographic explosion. Consequently, the EU and Africa have a shared interest in working together towards making African development sustainable. African integration will be key towards speeding up this process. This paper first evaluates the stakes of the African challenge for the European Union. It considers the economic potential that can be unleashed by speeding up integration processes in Africa. Second, it argues that Africa will be ‘the China of the 21st Century’, and that any development, positive or negative, taking place there will have large repercussions in Europe, and that therefore the EU and Africa are communities of destiny in need of a joint approach towards African industrialisation. Finally, it provides a roadmap of important steps that Europe needs to consider in its endeavour to support African development.
    • Logical goal-setting frameworks for leprosy projects

      Ogbeiwi, Osahon (2020)
      Introduction: Goal setting is a fundamental practice in the effective management of healthcare services worldwide. This study investigated the extent to which leprosy goal formulation in Nigeria is logical and SMART. Method: Document review of baseline problems, goal statements and goal attainments for 2016 in six leprosy projects using a customised logical framework matrix. Results: A total of 15 main problems, 6 aims, 19 objectives and 42 indicators were found. The goals were problem-based and logically linked, with a pattern of a single aim per project, multiple objectives per aim, and multiple indicators per objective. Goal statements specified only impact in 5/6 aims, and only outcome and terminal timeframe in 17/19 (89.5%) objectives. Only one objective stated all four SMART components of outcome, indicator, target and timeframe. While three (7.1%) indicators and two (10.5%) objectives were measurable, no target was attainable. Discussion: Goal-setting frameworks for leprosy projects should be problem based and logical according to best practice. That most leprosy objectives were not completely SMART is similar to the reported structure of objectives published by other health organisations globally.
    • De la reconciliation a l'integration regionale - L'exemple franco-allemand comme reference a la reconciliation au Rwanda

      Trouille, Helen L.; Trouille, Jean-Marc (2020-03)
      How, after 1945, did France and Germany succeed in overcoming their rivalry, a rivalry marked by numerous bloody conflicts, to heal the wounds of the past and work towards a common European future? How, after 1994, did Rwanda succeed in overcoming the devastation of the genocide and reconcile its communities, to become a key actor in East African regional integration? These two difficult reconciliations are at first sight very different, but they warrant comparison, in order to gain a better understanding of the strategies which enabled each party in each case to overcome the most unimaginable challenges. Through their respective approaches, addressing the scars of the past and via respectful joint acts of remembrance, France and Germany on the one hand and the Rwandan communities on the other, have been able to rediscover peace and form a desire to work together as well as with their neighbors towards attaining a more prosperous future.
    • Outcomes of implementing Team-Based Learning (TBL): the experiences of UK educators

      Nelson, M.; Tweddell, Simon (The Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement (RAISE) Network, 2020-05)
      Team-Based Learning (TBL) is a collaborative learning model that refocuses classroom time to solving relevant problems instead of dispensing information. This is accomplished by a pre-class readiness assurance process that promotes accountability to self-directed learning and teamwork. While research related to the student experience with TBL is present in the literature, there is a relative lack of research published on the experiences of academic staff with TBL. Using a qualitative approach and a semi-structured interview format, this study explored the experiences of 26 academic staff in the UK who implemented TBL using a semi-structured interview format. Thematic analysis of interview text yielded five themes related to curriculum design, student outcomes, and the professional development of academic staff.
    • Flow structures in wake of a pile-supported horizontal axis tidal stream turbine

      Zhang, J.; Lin, X.; Wang, R.; Guo, Yakun; Zhang, C.; Zhang, Y. (2020-03)
      This study presents results from laboratory experiments to investigate the wake structure in the lee side of a scaled three-bladed horizontal axis tidal stream turbine with a mono-pile support structure. Experiments are conducted for a range of approaching flow velocity and installation height of rotor. Analysis of the results shows that bed shear stress increases with the increase of approaching velocity and decrease of installation height within 2D (D is the diameter of the rotor) downstream of the rotor. The flow field within 2D downstream of the rotor is greatly influenced by the presence of nacelle and mono-pile. Low stream-wise flow velocity and large turbulence intensity level is detected along the flume center right behind the nacelle and mono-pile from 1D to 2D downstream of the rotor. Stream-wise velocity at the blade tip height lower than the nacelle increases sharply from 1D to 2D and gradually grows afterwards. Correspondingly, the turbulence intensity decreases quickly from 1D to 2D and slowly afterwards. Large bed shear stress is measured from 1D to 2D, which is closely related to turbulence induced by the mono-pile. It is also found that the presence of the mono-pile might make the flow field more ‘disc-shaped’.
    • A review of modelling and verification approaches for computational biology

      Konur, Savas (2020)
      This paper reviews most frequently used computational modelling approaches and formal verification techniques in computational biology. The paper also compares a number of model checking tools and software suits used in analysing biological systems and biochemical networks and verifiying a wide range of biological properties.
    • A review on hydrodynamics of free surface flows in emergent vegetated channels

      Maji, S.; Hanmaiahgari, P.R.; Balachandar, R.; Pu, Jaan H.; Ricardo, A.M.; Ferreira, R.M.L. (MDPI, 2020-04)
      This review paper addresses the structure of the mean flow and key turbulence quantities in free-surface flows with emergent vegetation. Emergent vegetation in open channel flow affects turbulence, flow patterns, flow resistance, sediment transport, and morphological changes. The last 15 years have witnessed significant advances in field, laboratory, and numerical investigations of turbulent flows within reaches of different types of emergent vegetation, such as rigid stems, flexible stems, with foliage or without foliage, and combinations of these. The influence of stem diameter, volume fraction, frontal area of stems, staggered and non-staggered arrangements of stems, and arrangement of stems in patches on mean flow and turbulence has been quantified in different research contexts using different instrumentation and numerical strategies. In this paper, a summary of key findings on emergent vegetation flows is offered, with particular emphasis on: (1) vertical structure of flow field, (2) velocity distribution, 2nd order moments, and distribution of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) in horizontal plane, (3) horizontal structures which includes wake and shear flows and, (4) drag effect of emergent vegetation on the flow. It can be concluded that the drag coefficient of an emergent vegetation patch is proportional to the solid volume fraction and average drag of an individual vegetation stem is a linear function of the stem Reynolds number. The distribution of TKE in a horizontal plane demonstrates that the production of TKE is mostly associated with vortex shedding from individual stems. Production and dissipation of TKE are not in equilibrium, resulting in strong fluxes of TKE directed outward the near wake of each stem. In addition to Kelvin–Helmholtz and von Kármán vortices, the ejections and sweeps have profound influence on sediment dynamics in the emergent vegetated flows.
    • Indices for the Betterment of the Public

      Vincent, Charles; Emrouznejad, A.; Johnson, M.P. (2020-01)
      Over the years, the quest for a better society has led to the birth of a variety of composite indices of development, from the gross domestic product to the happiness index. These indices usually integrate various social, cultural, psychological, and political aspects and are considered of vital importance for evaluating a country’s level of development and for assessing the impact of policy especially in the public sector. Overall, they consist of numerical measures that describe the well-being of both the individual and the society as a whole. This Special Issue on Indices for the Betterment of the Public of Socio-Economic Planning Sciences includes thirteen research articles by authors from Belgium, Colombia, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
    • Structural similarity in chiral-achiral multi-component crystals

      Scowen, I.J.; Alomar, T.S.; Munshi, T.; Seaton, Colin C. (2020)
      The creation of multi-component crystals between chiral and achiral components has gained increased interest in recent years. In many cases the overall crystal structure is similar with the creation of a pseudo-inversion centre in the enantiopure case. This allows for the formation of solid solutions between the two extremes, which may have applications within chiral resolution. Utilising a combination of database mining, computational prediction and experimental screening, the frequency of formation for such materials has been investigated showing that for co-crystals this occurs more frequently than for salts, though there is a limited number of samples to draw structural conclusions. Computational modelling indicates the prediction of such systems can be challenging due to the similarities in energy of many crystal structures, so development of tools to design such systems is required to fully utilise these concepts.
    • Re-evaluating cyclosporine A as a hair growth-promoting agent in human scalp hair follicles

      Hawkshaw, N.J.; Haslam, I.S.; Ansell, David M.; Shamalak, A.; Paus, R. (2015-08)
      Cyclosporine A (CsA) has long been recognized as a potent hair growth stimulator in both humans and rodent. The induction of a dose-dependent hypertrichosis is one of the most frequent adverse effects of long-term CsA therapy (Lutz, 1994). However, it is unclear how this immunosuppressant induces hypertrichosis in patients or stimulates hair growth in human scalp skin transplanted on nude mice (Gilhar et al., 1988; Gilhar et al., 1991).
    • Endocrine drivers of photoperiod response

      Helfer, Gisela; Dumbell, R. (2020-04)
      Life in a seasonally variable environment has evolved to interpret the time of year through day length (photoperiod) which is translated into a neurochemical signal. In mammals, the pars tuberalis is a key site where seasonal time signal (melatonin) interfaces and relays photoperiodic information to the hypothalamus via thyrotropin. Recent work has elucidated a potential circannual clock in ‘calendar cells’ of the pars tuberalis. In the hypothalamus, tanycytes are an integral part of the hypothalamic network. Previous studies show the importance of local synthesis of thyroid hormone and retinoic acid in tanycytes. Recently novel downstream neuroendocrine signals, e.g. VGF, FGF21 and chemerin, were identified to govern seasonally appropriate phenotype. Additionally, the hypothalamic-pituitary-growth axis has been implicated in seasonally bodyweight and torpor regulation. Here, we will focus on the endocrine drivers of photoperiod response and highlight novel downstream effects on bodyweight and growth focusing on recent findings from seasonal rodent studies.
    • Talent management: managerial sense making in the wake of Omanization

      Glaister, A.J.; Al Amri, R.; Spicer, David P. (Routledge, 2019)
      We examine how managers in Oman make sense of localization policies (Omanization) through their use of talent management (TM). Through an institutional logics (IL) lens, it is possible to examine how organizations confront institutional complexity and understand the interplay between state, market and societal logics. The paper analyses twenty-six interviews with managers in the Petroleum and Banking sector and is the first to examine TM within the context of Omanization using a layered, IL perspective. The paper finds that punitive state logics encourage organizations to focus on the societal wellbeing of their TM measures and inspires a sense of corporate social responsibility. Yet, the market logic dictates a stratified and differentiated approach that manages impressions of inclusivity while safeguarding organizational interests.
    • Exploring change in small firms' HRM practices

      Wapshott, R.; Mallett, O.; Spicer, David P. (Springer, 2014)
      The academic literature widely acknowledges changes and variation in the practices of small firms but only a small amount of empirical work has explored the processes through which HRM practices undergo change. Research has tended, instead, to examine the presence and effectiveness of HRM in small firms and has often viewed this in terms of a deficit model relating such practices to an understanding of HRM derived from larger firms. This chapter focuses on the recruitment and selection and staff payment practices in use in three small services firms to explore the everyday, ongoing detail of their HRM processes and practices. Identifying the different processes through which recruitment and selection and staff payment practices changed in the participant firms provides a base for discussing persistent forms of informality and the lack of stability that reflects the everyday realities of the firms, not only in contrast to their formalized policies but in engagement with them. This chapter advances understanding of selected HRM practices in small services firms after periods of formalization and adoption of HRM policies and practices. The chapter also discusses how developing knowledge of small firms’ HRM practices in this way has implications for researchers and practitioners.