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  • Learning lessons from five student paramedics within their exposure to suicide: a critical narrative study

    Cureton, Debra; Dickens, Clare; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-04)
    Background A suicide loss leaves behind a ripple effect of exposure and sense-making. Postvention research and practice has in part focused on professional/occupational exposure. However, it appears to have largely neglected paramedic science and emerging professional/occupational contexts for students who are studying a Higher Education course in allied health professions. Methodology The study design is methodologically grounded in the narrative method. The stories of five student paramedics who self-identified as experiencing exposure to suicide in their emerging professional/occupational context were collected. Positioned as socially co-constructed, and emerging in a post-structuralist world, this narrative inquiry then becomes a critical narrative study. A collocation of sense-making emerges within the discussions and places the students’ narrations side-by-side with the wider discourse and discursive practices which surround and construct professional/occupational suicide exposure, which are then analysed through a Foucauldian lens. Findings Having engaged in a critical interpretive synthesis of the background literature, this thesis has exposed how professional/occupational suicide exposure research is constructed as a problem. Expanding this body of knowledge, the student paramedics’ experiences and sense-making are presented within this study against an emergent plot line of voyage and return, travelling through themes of anticipation, initial fascination, frustration, nightmare, and return, and offer a form of oral history and co-constructed sense-making. These themes are merged and held against a narrative plot line and depicts a metaphor of multiple journeys. The concluding chapter offers an evocative and poetic representation of this metaphor, which has the capacity to bridge concepts, and to extend imagination into recognising new possibilities that emerge from the lessons our student paramedics offer. Possibilities Other avenues of research as well as paramedic science pedagogic possibilities emerge from this study, such as a decision to focus on allied health professional students studying in a Higher Education and placement learning context when exploring suicide exposure. Narrative as a way of knowing, would see us move away from a research and pedagogic approach that simply imparts knowledge of an accepted culture to the next generation of professionals. More so, a student paramedics education should offer sufficient time, space, and place to critically evaluate, to develop better knowledge of themselves and their contexts so that they can participate in that professional/occupational space to transform it. The augmented theoretical and conceptual model that is constructed within this critical narrative study, could be adopted within any study focus or topic of inquiry.
  • Soundtracking American smart cinema: self-expression, identity and alienation

    Halligan, Benjamin; Pheasant-Kelly, Fran; Martin, Scott; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-03)
    The thesis argues that American smart cinema, a film development identified initially by Sconce (2002) and expanded by Perkins (2012), demonstrates a variation in its use of the diegetic soundtrack. This has allowed characters within its narratives to use the expressive qualities offered by listening and consuming music, furthering their desires to communicate with other characters and regulate their sense of self-identity. The thesis has therefore assembled a new and effective method of viewing this cycle of films, one that is characterised by its treatment of music, situated diegetically within the narrative. Rather than view the interrelationship between sound and image as a hierarchy in which the image dominates and soundtrack is subordinate to the visual realm of cinema, the thesis first looks to establish traditional soundtrack strategies and chart their development and alterations across the American smart cinema cycle, in contrast to more mainstream and historical modes of soundtrack. The intersection of the thematic concerns of American smart cinema, most overtly in representations of alienation, identity and memory as barriers towards communication, are supported by the use of the diegetic soundtrack, reinforcing uniformity across the cycle and helping to maintain a general consistency of tone, mood and characterisation. To conclude, this thesis contributes to a body of thought on the use of diegetic soundtrack as a key component in cinema, in this case helping to establish themes within the smart film cycle, namely those of fractured relationships, alienation, identity and nostalgia. Critically, I consider these features and examine the signifying functions in the overlaps between representation, narrative and soundtrack within American smart film.
  • Life for the student at a neoliberal university: a case study investigating the influence of neoliberalism on the experiences of higher education students

    Lalli, Gurpinder; Elliot, Mark; School of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-09)
    This study aims to develop an understanding of how students experience university life during neoliberal times. Literature which explains the influence of neoliberalism on higher education (HE) is reviewed. In addition, the social theory of Ritzer (2015) is employed to help understand developments in the HE sector. Whilst there is an abundant body of existing literature examining the impact of neoliberalism on HE, the experiences of students remain relatively unexplored. The research is philosophically underpinned by a constructionist ontology and an interpretivist epistemology. A case study research design is employed with semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis used to collect and analyse the data respectively. Throughout the project, the researcher attempts to occupy a reflexive position which emphasises the need for critical self-evaluation. Despite some participants rejecting the assertion that they were consumers of HE, the study finds that students are increasingly adopting a consumerist and instrumental orientation towards their studies and conceive of university as a means through which to enhance their career prospects. The research also finds that students are becoming increasingly performative and view their relationships with academic staff as transactional rather than pedagogical. This is to say that the experiences of students are increasingly neoliberal in character.
  • Targets and mechanism of actions of novel hybrid peptides with insulin-releasing or glucose-lowering effects

    Ojo, Opeolu O.; Falobi, Ayodele Abiodun; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-03)
  • Investigation of the anticancer activity and mechanisms of zinc diethyldithiocarbamate in multiple myeloma

    Wang, Weiguang; Basu, Supratik; Rajendran, Gowtham; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
    Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a haematological malignancy of the plasma cells that primarily arises in the bone marrow. Although the advent of multiple treatment options such as immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), proteasome inhibitors (PI), CAR-T therapy and antibody-based therapies have improved the prognosis of MM, all patients eventually relapse due to the presence and development of drug resistance. Therefore, the development of new drugs to meet this challenge is of clinical urgency. Due to the time (15 years) and costs (£1.5 billion/drug) for new drug development, repurposing old drugs for new indications is an emerging alternative strategy that is more viable in terms of costs and time. Disulfiram (DS), an anti-alcoholism drug used in the clinic for over 70 years, demonstrates excellent specific anticancer activity with no/low toxicity to normal tissues. DS chelates with transition metals such as copper and zinc to form metal-metabolite complexes (zinc/copper diethyldithiocarbamate), which are the active anticancer compounds. Diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC), a metabolite of DS, has previously been trialled in clinics to treat HIV patients due to its immunomodulatory properties. Zinc diethyldithiocarbamate (ZnDDC) is a promising compound to translate for MM treatment as a multi-target drug due to the established immunomodulatory properties of its structural moieties Zn and DDC. Although the anticancer potential of DS and its metabolites has been known for more than three decades, its translation has been limited by its very short half-life in the bloodstream (< 4 min) and its metabolite DDC is methylated in the liver that results in the loss of anticancer activity. This study focuses on investigating the anticancer and immunomodulatory potential of ZnDDC in MM and developing a novel PEGylated liposome nanoformulation of ZnDDC (PEGLipo-ZnDDC) to overcome the translational limitations of ZnDDC. Results: In this study, ZnDDC showed potent cytotoxicity in MM cell lines and patient-derived MM cells (IC50s: 5-10μM). ZnDDC synergistically enhances the cytotoxicity of IMiDs (lenalidomide, Pomalidomide) and PI (bortezomib) and reverses resistance of MM cells to these drugs. ZnDDC is able to induce apoptosis in MM cells, demonstrated by cleavage of PARP-1. Although ZnDDC has no effect on the mRNA expression of cereblon (CRBN), Ikaros (IKZF1), aiolos (IKZF3) and Interferon regulatory factor-4 (IRF4), a significant downregulation of protein levels was observed after treating the MM cell lines with sub-cytotoxic concentrations of ZnDDC (2-5 μM). After exposure to low concentration of ZnDDC, levels of both IL-2 mRNA and protein were significantly boosted in T lymphocytes. Molecular docking simulation using the AutoDock4 software predicted the potential binding of ZnDDC to the IMiD binding pocket present in CRBN. The study has led to the successful development of a PEGLipo-ZnDDC nano formulation with appreciable drug-loading content and stability. The formulation also retained the potent cytotoxic profile of free ZnDDC. Conclusion: ZnDDC demonstrates excellent cytotoxicity and synergistic effect when used in combination with clinically used IMiDs and BTZ in MM cells. The developed PEGLipo-ZnDDC nano formulation demonstrates desirable drug loading, size, and stability and retains the cytotoxicity.
  • Sustained competitive advantage using Industry 4.0 strategies: a case of UK infrastructure sector

    Renukappa, Suresh; Suresh, Subashini; Jallow, Haddy; School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-03)
    Globally, technological development is growing rapidly where nations around the world are becoming more digital and data driven to shift into the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). The United Kingdom is on the route to follow these footsteps as their government have set plans to digitise and automate industries to achieve the goal of better efficiency and productivity thus, improving the economy. Despite the efforts from the UK Government enforcing a mandate in a minimum Level 2 BIM (Building Information Model) for all public sector projects over the contract is over 12 months and worth £10,000,000 or more, organisations within the infrastructure sector are still witnessing challenges in incorporating industry 4.0 agenda within their projects and processes. Additionally, there is a scarcity of literature and research on the implementation of industry 4.0 strategies within the UK infrastructure sector to increase productivity and improve organisations competitiveness. Consequently, this research aims to conduct an evaluation of the UK infrastructure sector and their implementation of industry 4.0 strategies to improve processes and competitiveness. This research uses a qualitative approach, and 21 interviews were conducted from five large UK infrastructure sector organisations and eight small to medium sized organisations within the sector. Purposive sampling was adopted in the early stages of research which was turned into snowball sampling further in the research. The data collection method adopted was semi structured interviews where the interviews data were analysed through thematic analysis to gain a wider perspective of the interview data. To accomplish the aim of the research, the following systematic approaches were adopted; TISM (Total Interpretive Structural Model), Fuzzy MICMAC (Fuzzy Matrice d’Impacts Croises-Multiplication Applique an Classment), GTMA (Graph Theoretic and matrix Approach), and the Maturity Model. This research outputs a framework and a developed readiness tool. The results have suggested that the infrastructure sector have identified four key change processes that are vital for industry 4.0 strategies: People, Processes, Strategies, and Tools/Technology. The UK infrastructure sector is behind in complying with the laws set by the UK government despite organisations providing the required tools for implementation. It has been found that competitiveness has been one of the main key drivers for organisations implementing industry 4.0 initiatives. Software and hardware challenges were highlighted as the main challenges for industry 4.0 initiatives implementation within the infrastructure sector. The results of this research study highlight useful intuitions that would be beneficial to the UK infrastructure sector and the decision makers within their organisations to adopt and implement industry 4.0 initiatives to provide value to organisations productivity and efficiency.
  • Enemy of the state: political surveillance in twentieth century Britain

    Price, Oliver (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
  • Bio-active strategies: bacterial cellulose dressings for combating fungal wound infections

    Radecka, Iza; Swingler, Sam; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2024)
  • An IPA investigation into the experience of a hypnobirthing birth

    Wesson, Caroline; Brooks, Hannah; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
    Background: Pregnancy and birth pose significant emotional and physical challenges to birthing people. The prevalence of psychological trauma due to birth has been reported to occur in 7% of the birthing population, with up to 48% of those who have birthed reportedly finding birth as traumatic. The hypnobirthing method is gaining significant popularity and aims to improve the birth experience by reducing the need for medical intervention, increasing feelings of empowerment, control, and feelings of calm, as well as increasing birth partner support. Currently, no research is available on the subjective experience of a hypnobirthing birth that is traumainformed. We must understand more ways to protect birthing people from psychological trauma, and as such, the research aims to explore the experience of utilising this method for birth. Methods: Five participants were self-selected after approaching a local Katharine Graves hypnobirthing Facebook group. Semistructured interviews were conducted up to 6 months after birth. Interviews were analysed using an IPA method to understand the idiographic lived experience of participants. Results: Four superordinate themes were identified: Education protects the birthing process and increases coping; Choice empowers; ‘Rules’ or ‘guidance’ a self-perception; Labour and the ‘mother’ in societal discourse. Conclusions: The birthing people in this study reported that their educative experience helped to reduce fear, and increase their empowerment and perceived coping going into the birth experience. Their ability to engage with the hypnobirthing method appeared affected by their perception of it as ‘guidance’ or ‘rules’ and their feelings of support in the labour room. There were reflections on how the method interacts with the more general societal discourse around labour. Implications: Hypnobirthing antenatal preparation may help improve the labour experience and reduce the risk of psychological trauma following birth. However, the study points to important factors that should be considered. Counselling and Clinical Psychologists in Perinatal and Maternal Mental Health Services, hypnobirthing practitioners and antenatal educators are best placed to utilise the findings of this research and incorporate them into both their antenatal preparation delivery and training, as well as the formulations of service user birth trauma.
  • Asymmetries within elite youth soccer players: an investigation into the impact of soccer-specific loading

    Cloak, Ross; Grant, Lewis; School of Sport, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-10)
    This PhD thesis aimed to investigate how the training environment in youth soccer can influence the development of interlimb asymmetries and propose a holistic approach to reduce these asymmetries. The literature review provides a comprehensive review of the physical and technical demands of youth soccer and how they contribute to asymmetrical loading and adaptation between limbs. The high frequency of unilateral actions places uneven stress on each limb, potentially leading to performance deficits or increased injury risk if players are not adequately prepared to handle the load on their weaker side. Although current methods for reducing asymmetries have shown effectiveness, their implementation may be challenging owing to financial and time constraints. Moreover, these methods may only provide short-term solutions, as consistent loading discrepancies within soccer make asymmetries likely to reoccur. Therefore, it may be more appropriate to focus on reducing inter-limb loading discrepancies within the training environment for young soccer players. To assess the current perceptions and practical interventions regarding asymmetry in soccer from technical and physical standpoints, Study 1 explores the viewpoints of coaches, practitioners, and players. Survey responses revealed that although there is agreement on the importance of limb symmetry from a technical standpoint, coaches do not adequately emphasise training the non-dominant limb. Players often rely on their dominant limb for actions such as shooting and passing, indicating that current coaching methods are insufficient for promoting skill symmetry. On the other hand, practitioners reported a significant emphasis on reducing physical asymmetries during gym sessions by consistently prescribing unilateral exercises. However, the high prevalence of physical asymmetries among youth soccer players suggests that these gym programs alone are insufficient to achieve limb symmetry. The persistence of imbalances highlights the need for a more balanced distribution of load between limbs throughout the training week, as the current integrated training methods from coaches and practitioners are inadequate to resolve asymmetry in youth soccer players. Study 2 involves match analysis to quantify high-intensity unilateral actions, such as change of directions (CODs) and single-leg decelerations (SLDs), as well as the total sum of CODs and SLDs (TOT), performed by elite academy players during soccer matches. On average, 292 ± 34.1 unilateral actions were performed per match. When considering the direction of asymmetry (dominant vs. non-dominant limb), the frequency of CODs was significantly greater for the dominant limb than for the non-dominant limb. Furthermore, the analysis revealed large differences in the frequency of utilisation between limbs when direction was not considered. This indicates that although the difference in actions performed between the dominant and non-dominant limbs is only identified for COD frequency, players display significant asymmetries in the actions performed throughout a soccer match at the individual level. Study 3 focuses on the reliability of common tests used to assess physical asymmetries in elite male youth soccer players (U12-U16) across different maturation groups. Tests such as the isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP), countermovement jump (CMJ), single-leg countermovement jump (SLCMJ), and single-leg drop jump (SLDJ) were analysed. The results showed good reliability for the propulsive and braking phase metrics in jumping tests (CMJ and SLCMJ), whereas the metrics in the landing and transition phases were less reliable, particularly in the pre-peak height velocity (PHV) group. PHV is defined as the maximal rate of growth during the adolescent growth spurt (Read et al., 2016). The reactive strength index of the SLDJ also exhibited poor reliability. The IMTP peak force was reliable; however, time-specific forces were less reliable across groups, with reliability varying among maturation groups. In Study 4, a body weight warm-up program aimed at reducing asymmetry in elite youth soccer players is examined. Participants were assigned to a control group, bilateral warm-up group, or unilateral warm-up group. The warm-up was performed twice a week for six weeks, and players were tested before and after the intervention using the SLCMJ, bilateral CMJ, and IMTP. The results showed no significant reduction in asymmetry for any group or test, suggesting that alternative training methods may be needed to address asymmetry in youth soccer players. In summary, despite the recognised importance of symmetry, youth soccer players develop substantial asymmetry between limbs because of consistent asymmetric loading. Match analysis confirmed a high number of unilateral actions performed during games, with significant differences between limbs at the individual level. The warm-up protocol proposed in this study failed to reduce the asymmetry values for the reliable metrics identified in Study 3. This indicates that a longitudinal approach with a more even distribution of loading between limbs may be necessary as limb asymmetries are established over consistent loading over a longer period. Additionally, external resistance loads may be required, along with an even distribution of loading, to assist in reducing limb asymmetry in youth soccer players.
  • Exploring emotional eating and its management among Middle Eastern females living in the UK: From exploration to culturally adapted intervention

    Devonport, Tracey; Lim, Jennifer; Lalli, Gurpinder Singh; Ahmed, Suha; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-02)
    Rationale: Emotional Eating (EE) is a worldwide concern due to its potential impact on physical health. Despite this, there is a dearth of research and interventions, particularly among the Middle Eastern population whereby cultural differences are overlooked. This research was undertaken in two phases using a mixed-methods approach. Phase 1 Method: Semi-structured interviews explored EE among sixteen Middle Eastern females who identified EE as something they would like to better manage (mean age = 37, SD = 4.13). Results: Thematic analysis identified three themes compromising of: ‘Experiences of Emotional Eating’, ‘Factors Perceived as Influencing Emotional Eating’ and ‘Recommendations for culturally adapted Emotional Eating interventions’. These findings, along with relevant literature, and use of patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) were utilised when developing a culturally adapted intervention for delivery in phase two. Phase 2 Method: Thirteen Middle Eastern women participated in four sessions of Cognitive Behavioural group therapy over four weeks. This involved psychoeducation, identifying and challenging thoughts, goal setting, problem-solving, and formulating relapse plans. Ten participants were in a waiting list control group for comparative purposes. Results: Participants completed the emotional eating subscale from the modified Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ: Bailly et al., 2012). A repeated ANOVA analysed pre- and post-scores to assess the effectiveness of the intervention, and a statistically significant (F1, 21= 49.18, p<.001 η2=.701) reduction in participants’ EE post-intervention was found. Thematic analysis revealed the benefits of sharing and hearing others’ stories and psychoeducation in increasing understanding of EE and improving coping strategies for the management of unmet needs and unpleasant emotions. Implications: Findings offer insight into Middle Eastern women's experiences of EE, factors which contribute towards it, and the outcomes of a culturally adapted intervention intended to help manage EE. Future research could explore the use of culturally adapted interventions longitudinally to examine individuals’ experiences with, and management of EE longer term.
  • Understanding the motivation of voluntary joining and engaging in treatment programmes for intimate partner violence: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

    Wesson, Caroline; Purewal, Satvinder; Bhogal, Tarnveer; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-02)
    The present study explored the factors which influenced motivation on joining and engaging in voluntary treatment programmes for intimate partner violence (IPV). The aim was to understand the motivation of why men attend voluntary treatment programmes. The nature of most UK based IPV programmes have court-mandated attendance. The researcher wanted to understand why men would voluntarily undertake such programmes with the assumption that this attendance could then facilitate better outcomes in IPV programmes. Seven male attendees of a charity run IPV perpetrator programme were interviewed post completion of the intervention programme. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was completed with the data collected in the interviews. Four superordinate themes were found; ‘Getting Results’, ‘The Process of Change’, ‘Men as the Victim’ and ‘Can You See Me for Who I Am?’. The first superordinate theme highlights the need for the men to gain some result by attending the programme, such as having access to their children and or as a pre-emptive measure against any future court mandated need to attend IPV programmes. The second superordinate theme, ‘The Process of Change’ looks at the self-perceptions of the men prior to and during the programme. Specially, the men suggest wanting to develop themselves and become better fathers as poignant in this theme. However, a conflict in their perception of themselves as IPV perpetrators is also found within this superordinate theme. Thirdly, the theme of ‘Men as Victims’ gives an account of the male experiences of IPV being a ‘male issue’ and their interpretations of services and others stigmatising them. Lastly, the theme of ‘Can You See Me for Who I Am?’ describes acceptance and understanding from peers and facilitators as a motivator to meaningfully engage in the interventions of the programme. The findings help broaden the limited understanding of why men join and engage in IPV perpetrator programmes. Implications include adding to the already limited early intervention IPV research as well as contributing to the current knowledge of male experiences of IPV prevention intervention. The study also aims to highlight the importance of personal motivation in help seeking and readiness to change. The knowledge presented in the current study can support future IPV prevention and treatment interventions. Further recommendations of future research are also included.
  • The impact of servant leadership on job satisfaction within Indian family firms in the UK

    Firth, Janet; Wang, Yong; Singh, Guriqbal; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences; University of Wolverhampton Business School, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-08)
    Family businesses, including those owned by ethnic minority groups, are vital to the UK's economy. Indian family firms, for example, contribute significantly to the nation's GDP, providing employment, fostering innovation, and supporting local communities. The importance of servant leadership emphasises the leader's responsibility to serve others and prioritise their well-being and growth. This leadership style has been linked to higher job satisfaction among employees, a crucial factor for the success of small family firms. In family businesses, both family and non-family employees play essential roles. Family employees often profoundly understand the business's values, history, and long-term goals. In contrast, non-family employees bring diverse perspectives and expertise, contributing to the company's adaptability and resilience. Balancing the needs and expectations of both groups is vital for maintaining a harmonious and productive work environment, ultimately leading to the firm's success. Despite growing interest in leadership research within family businesses, there remains a notable gap in the study of ethnic minority businesses, particularly in the United Kingdom. This thesis addresses this gap by focusing on servant leadership and its influence on job satisfaction among family and non-family employees. It also explores the moderating effect of socioemotional wealth (SEW) on this relationship. This study aims to understand the subject matter using a mixed-method research design. The findings suggest that job satisfaction in small family firms differs in terms of its impact on family and non-family employees. This research offers several valuable contributions to understanding servant leadership within UK-based family firms, particularly those of Indian origin. Examining the role of servant leadership in enhancing job satisfaction for family and non-family employees in family businesses, thus shedding light on the potential benefits of adopting this leadership approach within such firms. Investigating the moderating impact of SEW on the relationship between servant leadership and job satisfaction reveals that while SEW positively influences family employees, it harms non-family employees. Expanding the scope of research on Indian family businesses in the UK contributes to the broader knowledge base on ethnic minority enterprises within the country.
  • ‘It’s a bit of a clan really, you either feel part of [it] or you don’t’. Transitioning to university: perceptions of students and staff at a UK university

    Scott, Howard; Hall, Val; Bentley, Jon; School of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-07)
    Transition to university is considered problematic for students and institutions. This has led to examination of the institutionally controlled elements of transition. Despite intervention, students, and universities in the United Kingdom (UK) still experience transition related issues. This, combined with the shifting landscape of UK higher education, presented an opportunity to explore transition through the lived experiences of students in a more embodied manner, beyond the academic setting. This research has explored the empirical nature of ‘transitioning’ as an emergent and dynamic experience, and considered if this theory is the best explanation. This mixed methods case study, explored the experiences of students at a specialist UK university. Twelve undergraduate students provided photo interview accounts of their experience. Interviews were also conducted with five members of university staff and 241 students contributed through a questionnaire. Despite an ecology system model indicating that students encountered similar transitional experiences, photo elicitation interviews and questionnaire results demonstrated students presented unique and individualised experiences. These findings demonstrated the non-homogenous nature of this student population. A key finding was how friendship and sense of community played an important role in university experience, which was concurrently identified as important by staff. Sense of Community theory highlighted the significant, and often polarised, impact of sociocultural and emotional experiences. This included themes of community and how students perceived themselves to either belong, or be alienated, from both the institutional community and social groups. A further significant finding was the role institutional social culture had in enabling or disabling sense of community, and how this influenced many facets of the students’ overall experience, including mental health. Emotionally, students regularly described university as a ‘rollercoaster’ often situated in the sociocultural setting. Cultural challenges were also evident when students entered the workplace, with female students negotiating barriers due to industrial stereotypes. Findings did not support the view that transition is a universal experience, or the narrative that institutions can effectively manage students’ transition through induction activities. Students provided evidence of continuous, overlapping transitions, demonstrating complex embodied movements. University experience was found to be a uniquely individual phenomenon involving multiple settings: academic, personal, sociocultural and emotional. Findings suggested any of these settings can, at any point, impact experience, acting to enable or disable engagement from the course or community. This research has found empirical evidence to support the theory of transitioning.
  • An investigation into organisational culture permeation and its impact on traits for improved organisation performance

    Firth, Jan; Croker, Kevin; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-07)
    Fragmented or negative organisational culture can have detrimental effects on morale, turnover, and overall performance. Research suggests that organisational culture plays a crucial role in enabling or hindering an organisation's ability to perform at its best and achieve strategic objectives (Ogbonna and Harris, 2000). When attempting to measure organisational culture, most survey instruments focus on treating the entire organisation as the unit of analysis. This approach is problematic as it overlooks the importance of organisational culture permeation between hierarchical levels and fails to capture the interactions that occur between the levels. To attain a more comprehensive measure and better understanding of organisational culture, it is necessary to adopt a lower level of analysis and consider the permeation of organisational culture between all levels of the organisation. When leaders establish a strong and positive culture throughout it fosters a consistent and cohesive environment (Iqbal, Guohao and Akhtar, 2017). This not only increases engagement, productivity, and overall job satisfaction it also helps to attract and retain top talent, all of which can serve as a competitive advantage and positively influence company performance (Albrecht et al., 2015). Using a mixed methods approach and adopting the Denison Organisational Culture Survey (DOCS) instrument as a framework, this thesis measures the permeation of organisational culture through several hierarchical levels, something not typically achieved by the traditional organisational culture surveys and instruments. Three different-sized diverse UK-based organisations were analysed to provide a comprehensive understanding of potential blockages and gaps that can potentially impact company performance. The researcher’s original contribution to knowledge is the measurement of organisational culture permeation between the hierarchical levels by adopting a rigorous abductive mixed methods approach rarely achieved in practice or academia, thus contributing to the organisational cultural discourse. The study found an association between leadership clarity in defining organisational culture and the implementation of a cohesive plan to ensure its permeation between all hierarchical levels. The findings also indicate that organisational size influences workers' interpretation of espoused values. Overall, the research supports the notion that effective organisational culture permeation throughout all hierarchical levels strengthens traits associated with improved effectiveness and performance.
  • The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and the Niger Delta: analysing the role of local communities in the programme between 1999 and 2017

    Kassimeris, George; O'Kane, Eamonn; Cunningham, Michael; Nnanta Amadi, Anele; School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
    This thesis examines the role of local agencies in peacebuilding initiatives within resource-rich conflict regions, focusing on the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) in Nigeria's Niger Delta. The Niger Delta has faced protracted unrest due to tensions between minority ethnic groups, the government, and multinational oil companies (MNOCs) operating in the area. In 2009, the government implemented the PAP centred on the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) of militants. However, the emergence of new militant groups suggests the Programme failed to achieve durable peace. This study aims to analyse how the PAP's conceptual foundations align with local needs and desires. It also investigates the level of participation of local stakeholders like youth, communities, and civil society organisations in PAP's design and delivery. Additionally, the research explores more inclusive and hybrid approaches to peacebuilding tailored to the Delta context. An embedded multiple case study methodology is utilised to examine perspectives from various local actors. Semi-structured interviews provide primary data on community experiences. The study argues that lasting peace depends on reconciling external templates like DDR with indigenous resources and agency. It contributes to scholarship on everyday peacebuilding and localising interventions. For policy, the findings recommend integrating top-down and bottom-up efforts for a hybrid approach resonant with the society being transformed.
  • The race to the top: the experiences and strategies of women of colour in UK academia

    Yamak, Sibel; Ogunseyin, Michael; Omhand , Khaoula; University of Wolverhampton Business School, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-04)
    Research has outlined the potential benefits of diversity at multiple levels of higher education. At the organisational level, the underrepresentation of BAME women in senior positions in academia, particularly in professorship positions remains of high interest for academics, practitioners, and policymakers. To have better understanding of this wicked problem, this study critically explores the extent to which neo-liberalism as a doxa has impacted the career progression of academic women of colour. It investigates the extent to which racialised experience and White privilege, and early life experience impact women of colour’s career progression, and investigates the strategies deployed by those women to succeed in UK universities despite these multi-layered challenges. The study contributes to the literature and theory in three major areas. This study applies Bourdieu’s practice theory (field, habitus, capital and doxa), Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) and Critical Race Theory (CRT) to investigate the ‘Race' of Women of colour to the top of the ivory tower. Using first Bourdieu thinking tools lens with a focus on field and doxa allowed the interaction between women of colour interviewed and their context to be recognised. This nexus of levels in this research was essential as it permitted the analysis of the macro context by examining the micro and equally the illumination of how macro level issues shape experiences at the micro level. Second, this study also challenges critical race theory by recognising that it doesn’t fully acknowledge or represent class aspects and the agency of the participants. This is illustrated in my need to draw on Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and capital to demonstrate the role of socio-economic class in shaping the career decision and progression of our participants. Lastly, to move beyond countering deficit views of women of colour in the UK academy; I proposed using CCW framework to help direct discussions of our participants away from their defect experiences toward their adequacies. Grounded in critical paradigm and Black feminist epistemology, and building upon Critical Diversity Studies, the 24 participants interviewed in this study share their experiential knowledge of journeying through the UK academia system by reflecting on their experience in getting professorship positions. Results exhibit the influence of neoliberalism as a doxa, class and race on their career journey in academia — from early life until securing academic positions. This research highlights some of the unique challenges confronted by this group including the extent to which the changing environment of higher education institutions and the ethos of neoliberalism as a doxa has disturbed their progression and development, the extent to which racism was endemic and remained rooted and positioned at different levels, and the role of early life and social class impacting upon participants’ decision to enter academia and thrive or struggle in their academic roles. Yet, due to strong commitment to reaching academic ‘success’ in their career journey, Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) strategies are utilised to overcome such challenges. Finally, limited understandings of academic career success and university leadership based on meritocratic and neoliberal underpinnings are questioned. I argue that current knowledge fails to recognise inherent inequalities within the university system that make it problematic for women academics of colour to achieve professorship positions. Thus, we explore prospects to (re)envisage academic career and university leadership including professorship positions beyond the dominant discourse of neoliberal meritocracy.
  • Relationship of the glycation gap to diabetes and its complications, and the potential role of adipokines

    Ojo, Opeolu; Idiakheua, Omoriawo Simeon; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-01)
    Background: Diabetes mellitus has become a global health menace and the management cost to both developed and developing countries is biting hard on the economy. Diabetes mellitus is primarily caused by hyperglycaemia and research has confirmed the strong link of obesity as a precursor of type 2 diabetes. Hyperglycaemia is a major and an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and atherosclerosis in diabetes. Obesity is also associated with cardiovascular disease which is one of the diabetic complications. Stress which is one the predisposing factor of obesity generates a vicious cycle leading to the release of high level of inflammatory adipokines and this is the link between obesity and CVD. Adipokines are believed to have a role in diabetic complications. This research intends to understand the role some specified adipokines plays in insulin secretions and beta cell failure. Glycation is a common and spontaneous reaction of proteins or lipids becoming glycated after exposure to sugars, occurring in vivo without the controlling action of an enzyme. Deglycation is an enzyme-mediated pathway and fructoseamine-3-kinase (FN3K) is believed to be one of the major enzymes. FN3K is known to play a protective role in the development of vascular complications in diabetes patients. In the absence of deglycation or deglycating enzymes, advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are formed. This research work employed 1-deoxy-1-morpholino fructose (DMF) a major enzyme which can prevent deglycation to show the importance of deglycation in beta cell and FN3K role in insulin secretion. Method: This research work analysed glycoprotein acetylation (GlycA) a known inflammatory marker that tracks systemic inflammation and cardiovascular risk. The investigation of the potential role of inflammation in the GGap using a novel (and putatively better than existing measures such as CRP) marker of inflammation, GlycA was carried out. A total of 54 diabetic patients were used for this research work and divided into 2 groups. GGap negative (G0) = 34 and GGap positive (G1) = 20. 1H- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) was used to analyse the samples and measuring the different peaks. Glycoscale was used for glycoproteins while liposcale was used for lipoproteins. Laboratory analyses were carried out to ascertain the pathophysiological role of adipokines in inducing insulin secretion. The laboratory analysis includes assessment of insulin secretion from MIN6 and BRIN-BD11 cells, effects of WISP1 on beta cells viability, effects of some adipokines (WISP1, eNAMPT/Visfatin, sFRP4) on insulin secretions/release from pancreatic beta cell. To this end, MIN6 cells were cultured in low and high glucose media, treated with different concentrations of adipokines, and tested for insulin secretion, beta cell failure and cell viability. Using insulin ELISA assay, the concentrations of insulin release/secretions was measured while cell viability was determined by using prestoleblue. Results: Visfatin/eNAMPT exhibited a dose dependant insulin response at high concentrations. WISP1 acute effects (incubating cells for 48hours) shows a dose-dependent outcome on insulin secretions and a reduced effects at high concentrations. Chronic effects of WISP1 (incubation of cells for over 72 hours) shows increase acute GSIS over 72hr period independent of glucose or WISP1 concentrations (P-value = 0.0025). With low glucose, MIN6 cell viability decreases over 72 hours while at high glucose, cells didn’t appear to have proliferated much over 72 hours. sFRP4 had an increased effect at higher glucose levels. The introduction of FN3K inhibitor in the presence of high glucose led to a drastic fall in insulin release with P value = 0.005. GlycA and GlycB but not GlycF concentrations were elevated in the Positive GGap group (p<0.001). BMI was higher in positive GGap indicating its link to diabetes and its complications. VLDL was higher in cholesterol and triglyceride in positive GGap patients while HDL was lower in cholesterol and triglyceride in positive GGap patients (p<0.001). Conclusion: This research has been able to show that the selected adipokines are able to induce insulin secretion. GGap positive patients are more susceptible to diabetes complications. GlycA and GlycB but not GlycF shows to be potent biomarker of inflammation. Lipoproteins particles of GGap positive patients are more exposed to diabetes complications. Lipoprotein particle measurement may be useful in patients at risk of CVD.
  • An examination of the perceptions of tribalistic behaviours in nursing and how they vary in the journey from student nurse to post qualification

    Matheson, David; Bell, Brian; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-01)
    The aim of this study was to examine perceptions of Tribalistic Behaviours in nursing during the journey from student nurse to post registration. There are concerns regarding the existence of a construct in nursing that promotes a structure of protective behaviours and allegiances within recognised nursing groups, establishing “Them v Us” beliefs (Rozenblit, 2008; Harari 2011). Despite the drive for a more generically skilled nursing workforce and new ways of working (NMC 2018a, NMC 2018b), professional tribes rather than being eradicated, appear to have survived within modern nursing cultures. In the absence of research exploring “Tribalistic Behaviours”, this thesis initially explored existing literature examining potentially aligned signs whilst utilising a semiotic framework. Guided by a qualitative methodology, current nursing students within the last six months of their MSc programme were invited to participate in the research. Mental Health student nurses (n = 6) and Adult student nurses (n = 6) engaged in field specific nursing focus groups and following a period of six months post qualification were also invited to participate in individual semi structured interviews. The study’s findings highlighted specific themes of social civilities and nursing rituals directly influenced by field specific tribalistic behaviours. The study’s findings led to the creation of three new themes as a result of the analysed data. The findings identified that students were exposed to tribalistic behaviours within their nurse education structures from an early stage, before being reinforced within their new clinical tribes in practice. Continued development within their nursing roles over time highlighted a deeper exposure to tribalistic behaviours and an increased awareness of field specific nursing codes and rituals. The new knowledge emerging from this study will heighten awareness of Tribalistic Behaviours in nursing and their encouraged development, along with the implications for nurse education and professional practice. Finally, the study’s limitations were examined, and recommendations were made for future nursing research.
  • The actor as rehabilitator: an examination of the Geese Theatre Company practitioner training to work with people in prison and those at risk of committing offences

    Caulfield, Laura; Rudge, Helen Carmen; School of Social Science and Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-06)
    The Arts have always played an important role in rehabilitation and this thesis continues to explore that. The main focus however is the role of the practitioner who carries out this work. The thesis examines the six-month training period which new practitioners must complete when arriving at Geese Theatre Company. Geese is an international theatre company founded in 1987 (UK) with National Portfolio status with Arts Council, England since 2003. They use Drama as a tool for rehabilitation with people who have committed offences and those who are at risk of offending. A third of new actor/ practitioner recruits to Geese are not taken on permanently after the six-month training period. There is published research and evaluation on the projects that Geese deliver but there is no research available on how a performer is trained to work with the company. Geese need to intensively train someone to have a combination of strong performance skill as well as an understanding of the psychological demands of this area of work. They are unique in having a substantial period of training following which the recruit is not necessarily taken on by the company. The thesis focuses particularly upon the training methods used by the company and on the journey of a new recruit. It explores the research questions through semi-structured interviews with Geese practitioners as well as conducting structured observations of workshops, facilitation and performance work by the company. The findings allow for: an exploration of the skills and experience a new recruit to Geese starts at the company with, a definition of the elements of the six-month training, an investigation into the skills and attributes needed to be successful at Geese and an analysis of which elements are missing when practitioners are not taken on after the training. This thesis is a contribution to knowledge as it examines the intensive training period for a Geese practitioner. The exploration of this as well as the conclusions about why around a third of trainees do not pass the training is not something which exists currently in literature. In addition, this contributes to the wider research area of actor/ facilitator training.

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