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Third Annual WRDTC Spring Conference 2014: PhD Posters Exhibition

May 30, 2014


Posters Abstracts

1. Karim Ahmed
Management, University of Leeds
Mapping the “Green” network (PDF, 305KB)
This poster aims to showcase the fundamental developments of Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) as well as the historical structure of the field. The field of GSCM is fragmented as different researchers have tried to assess it from varying perspectives, leaving it in need of a unifying definition. This poster showcases the need for further research to bring together practitioners and researchers as they endeavour to resolve the ongoing pollution problem that afflicts humans, animals and the environment alike. This is with the aim of reducing the pollution and harmful impact upon the environment caused by manufacturers. This is through the Systematic Literature Network Analysis of the literature in the field, identifying the barriers and drivers for organizations to become green and then utilizing this to establish a step-by-step guide to help organizations become green and make the world a better place.

2. Sumayyah Alalami
Comparative Literature, University of Leeds
Identity crises in contemporary Saudi women’s writing
Rajāʾ ʿAlem’s Tawq Al-Ḥamam (The Doves’ Necklace) addresses the crisis of identity in a specific spatial framework, the Holy City of Mecca. Through this cultural and religious heritage, which is embodied in the city, ʿAlem addresses the identity crisis caused by the quickly successive changes that have affected Mecca in the twenty-first century. These changes and new urban developments have accompanied the oil wealth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition to the increasing demand in Mecca to build residential towers to host the ever increasing millions of people who come to visit Al-Kaʿbah. In the novel, the avarice associated with this economic boom is accompanied by the demolition of historic monuments and the wiping out of the very history that these monuments embrace. The removal of these monuments results in a subsequent removal of spatial and temporal history, leading to a crisis in identity.

3. Haffiezah A. Azlan
Psychology, University of Sheffield
Examining Self-disgust in Cancer Patients (PDF, 2.64MB)
Depression has a significant impact on oncology patients’ quality of life. Cancer patients are typically associated with depression as they have to endure many challenges, experience a certain amount of bodily function losses, and need to confront many physical and psychological adjustments. Moreover, they also have to manage the symptoms of the illness and cope with the demands of treatment. Most cancer treatments have an impact on body image and sexuality, particularly when body integrity is breached or body function altered as a result of medical intervention. It is likely that these changes in body image and functions play a role in the genesis of depressive symptomatology in cancer patients, and it is hypothesised that self-disgust plays an important role in linking the two. Therefore this study aims to examine the role of self-disgust as one of the emotional factors in the development of depression among cancer patients. This quantitative study will use an online survey methodology with five measures administered. Specifically, the five measures to be included in the study are: the Self-Disgust Scale, the Revised Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity Scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised, and the Brief COPE. Participants for this study will be men and women with a broad range of cancer diagnoses identified via charities and support groups. Examining the role of self-disgust in cancer patients has important implications for understanding the emotional processes that affect their well-being and how these can be treated clinically.

4. Christian Beyle
Psychology, University of Sheffield
Adoption of ICT with learning purposes: Are we targeting right?
The interaction between learner attitudes towards ICT and cognitive characteristics is a relevant issue when designing effective digital learning environments (LE), whose first aim is a high rate of adoption. The present research attempts to test the idea that both “learning approaches” and “attitudes towards ICT” interact to drive the intention of adopting a digital LE.

228 participants took part in this online study completing a measure of “learning approach” (2 dimensions, deep and surface) before being randomised to receive either a structured or an unstructured LE in which they faced a hypothetical task. Subjects then reported their attitudes toward the assigned setting.
Results suggest that LE has a significant effect on all attitudes towards ICT. Nonetheless, the effect of LE is different when considering learning approach. Participants with a “deep approach” have better attitudes towards ICT and better intention of use than those with “surface approach”.

5. Stella Darby
Human Geography, University of Leeds
Values-based community practice in austere times, or, “How not to sell your soul when you’re skint”
I am conducting participatory action research with Oblong Community Resource Centre, a local grassroots group running Woodhouse Community Centre in Leeds. As a previous employee I am an embedded stakeholder and participant researcher. The organisation, which has 6 part-time staff and about 50 volunteers, espouses core values of empowerment, collectivism, sustainability, being community-led, equality, and respect and care. Having taken on a £300,000 loan to refurbish and take over running the community centre through Community Asset Transfer, Oblong also faces significant financial obligations. I view these responsibilities through the lens of neoliberal urban governance policies and the withdrawal of the state, with Oblong as an exemplary ‘third-sector’ case study. My research, using participatory methods and principles, focusses on the ways that Oblong maintains and prioritises its core values – through practice, process, structure and reflection – in spite of, alongside and also because of financial pressures and current economic and policy contexts.

6. Saima Eman
Psychology, University of Sheffield
Subtypes of Empathy and Subtypes of Antisocial Behaviours (PDF, 4.15MB)
Low levels of empathy, one of the key features of callous and unemotional traits are associated to antisocial behaviour. Moreover, sensation seeking personality traits are associated to both CU traits and antisocial behaviour. Using a survey research design, the present study investigates the relationship between the subtypes of empathy i.e. cognitive empathy, emotional reactivity and social skills, subtypes of antisocial behaviour i.e. delinquency and aggression as well as sensation seeking personality traits amongst N=540 predominantly female home student volunteers aged 17-25 years at University of Sheffield.

The results show that emotional reactivity inversely and sensation seeking positively predicts aggression. Cognitive empathy is inversely associated to aggression whereas social skills are inversely associated to both aggression and delinquency. However, when all the variables are entered in to the same regression model, social skills predict just aggression but cognitive empathy does not predict any subtype of antisocial behaviour. On the other hand, sensation seeking is only associated to social skills with which it has a positive correlation.

7. Marianne Hvistendahl Allday
Healthcare, University of Leeds
The Patient’s Voice: What Matters Most about Compression Therapy to Patients with Venous Leg Ulcers
Venous leg ulcers (VLUs) represent the majority of leg ulcers. They are caused by an underlying pathology of venous insufficiency. Generally, VLUs are regarded as a chronic condition. Compression therapy is treatment of choice but many patients experience difficulties with compression and/or cannot tolerate it. This research seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the psychological effects of living with an ulcer, find out about patients’ concerns regarding compression bandaging or hosiery and establish patient identified criteria to develop more acceptable forms of compression textiles It is hoped that the findings will provide markers to develop more acceptable and effective compression textiles. This in turn should lead to better healing rates and less frequent recurrence. The effects on time spent managing and treating VLUs – and therefore on costs to the NHS – will be substantial.

8. Zuraidah Ismail
Education, University of Leeds
Evolution of the Beginning Teachers’ Cognition in Malaysia Pre-Service English Language Teacher Education (PDF, 393KB)
Institutes of Teacher Education (ITEs) in Malaysia have been given the responsibility to run their own independent Bachelor of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) programmes in producing English teachers for primary levels. However, this process has been complicated by a number of challenges which include the drastic change of primary school curriculum and the generally poor abilities of primary trainees. These challenges might have an impact on the product of the first cohort of B.Ed. TESL produced by the ITEs. Thus, the primary focus in this study will be on a group of teachers graduated from ITEs B.Ed. TESL programme and I am interested in exploring: (i) the evolution of the beginning teachers’ cognition over their first year of teaching in terms of the set of beliefs about teaching, knowledge learnt and experiential knowledge; other constructs involved in adapting ones classroom practice; factors that have influenced the changes; and what the changes suggest about the ITE curriculum.

9. Dana Kakeesh
Management, University of York
The Impact of Strategic Airlines Alliances on Brand Management Practices: The Case of Royal Jordanian Airlines in Oneworld Alliance
There has been a phenomenal growth in demand and supply for airlines services since 1980. Airlines need to sustain high levels of customer approval and satisfaction. These coincide with significant movements towards globalization, which increased the competition among the airlines.

These have led to an increase in the pressure to reach more destinations and achieve a high level of integration and coordination despite the increasing cost and high number of regulatory barriers. This triggered the alliances frenzy era in the mid of 1990s.

Alliances led to the notion of a single global brand, focusing on how to build and design one single strategy across multiple markets. Existing literature reveals that there is a clear shortage in this area.

My study aims to explain how and why the brand alliances trend has become the prominent strategy in airlines industry while this is not the case in most of the other industries.

10. Catherine Laing
Linguistics, University of York
What does the cow say? And what it can do for us (PDF, 1.84MB)
It is now well-established that language learning begins in the womb (Vihman, 2014): infants are born already equipped with knowledge about the language that they will acquire, yet the critical period of learning between birth and the production of an infant’s first words is not sufficiently considered in terms of its long-term significance for language development. This PhD examines the importance of parent-infant interaction in this first year of language learning, and how the parent’s use of onomatopoeia may shape the first words that an infant is able to produce. Indeed, onomatopoeia are commonly found among young infants’ very first meaningful utterances (Menn & Vihman, 2011), yet much of the literature examining language acquisition fails to consider them as relevant to further language development (Fikkert & Levelt , 2008). The position taken here refutes this standpoint, and seeks to investigate why onomatopoeia feature so prominently in infants’ early language use.

11. Vasudha Malhotra
Education, University of Leeds
“It’s all about tightening the noose”— Indian teachers’ revelations about teaching Socio-scientific issues
One of the main aims of evolving science education goals across the globe is to attain scientific literacy. For this, the inclusion of Socio-scientific issues (SSIs) in the science curriculum has been considered as a prominent theme. One of the most important facets to this intriguing research topic is the teachers’ outlook towards teaching of SSIs. This doctoral research aims to explore this facet of research in the context of Indian Science classrooms, in particular: teachers` perspectives on SSIs, different strategies and methods employed by teachers for teaching these issues; and the factors that influence the teaching of SSIs. This poster presents an excerpt from the initial findings of my data collection, by interviewing and observing 14 Indian science teachers, focused on uncovering the different methods employed by teachers for teaching SSIs and the factors affecting their teaching.

12. Zoe Marshall
Institute of Psychological Sciences, The University of Leeds
“One Elephant, Two Elephants, Three Elephants” – Do Strategies Aid Children’s Temporal Memory?
Children’s short-term memory for time (‘temporal memory’) has been shown to increase with age, whilst older children are more likely to spontaneously use strategies to help them to remember. The current research aimed to examine whether teaching children strategies to aid their memory, or suppressing the use of strategies, would attenuate these age effects. One hundred and seven children (aged between six and eleven years) completed two computer tasks: sequencing shapes and reproducing short durations. Half were taught ways to improve their performance (rehearsal and counting techniques), whilst half employed articulatory suppression to prevent the use of strategies. Older children performed better than younger children on both tasks. Age effects remained for strategy and suppression conditions, although the difference was reduced: younger children benefited more than older children when using a strategy, whilst older children’s performance suffered more when suppressing strategies. Results are discussed in terms of educational implications.

13. Mahmoud Marzouk
Management, University of York
A Model for Corporate Risk Disclosure Quality (PDF, 479KB)
This study seeks to develop a model for assessing and improving CRD quality. The study therefore will first define the characteristics of useful risk information informed by the prior corporate disclosure literature in general and CRD research in particular. The study will also consider the publications of the professional accounting and regulatory bodies. Then a number of semi-structured interviews will be conducted with different groups of stakeholders including investors, mangers, annual report preparers, auditors, investors, creditors and member of the accounting professional bodies. The purpose is to identify the users` expectations for quality of risk information as well as constraints on mangers regarding risk communication. The model should maintain the balance between the information needs of users and management concerns. Consequently the model will be applied to investigate CRD quality in annual reports and investigate its key determinants by examining the relationship between CRD quality and some company-specific characteristics.

14. Edward Mitchell
Law, University of Sheffield
Developing agreements: contracts as performance in urban regeneration projects
My poster will focus on the performative power of legal contracts in the context of urban regeneration. It will discuss regeneration proposals in Sheffield and concentrate on proposals for a new retail quarter in the city centre. It will argue that the planning documents produced in conjunction with those proposals are the public face of the project but do not shed significant light on the relationships at the heart of the regeneration vision. It will then show that the legal agreements produced behind the scenes are just as important as the planning documents in performing a vision of a stable and enduring proposal. In that respect, the legal agreements become a type of advocate of the future envisioned for the city centre. However, their content remains resolutely private, although their presence is highly publicised. The poster will highlight the need for further investigation of this complex dynamic.

15. Maryam Mortazavi Nooghi
Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield
Informal Support and Quality of Life among Older People in Iran
In recent decades, the structures of social and economic life in Iran have undergone enormous changes. Iran society and culture have altered, especially in terms the role of family for main source of taking care for older people. The people most affected by the changes taking place around them include elderly people, who feel lonely, saddened and confused.

In the past, older people were less affected by such problems. They had an important role and had plenty with which to occupy them: Nowadays, however, as younger members of the family show less respect and concern for older people, it is clear that the situation has changed. This fact has prompted me to study in depth the problems of older people in Iran, the objective of improving their quality of life. My concern that older people’s emotional and social needs were perhaps not being met made me want to study further the situation of the daily life in older people.

16. Marina Polak
Management, University of Sheffield
The Nature and Characteristics of Informal Work in Slovenia (PDF, 1.92MB)
Over the past few years the problem of informal work has increasingly been recognized by Slovenian government, who continues to struggle tackling it. Until now, research on informal work in Slovenia has focused on employing indirect measurement methods, measuring its size, rather than understanding the nature and motives of people engaging in informal activities. This study adopts a direct measurement method, consisting of 120 semi-structured interviews carried out in urban area of Slovenia. Data collected is being analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Additionally it is being evaluated against existing competing theorisations of the informal economy. Preliminary results indicate the diverse nature of informal activities, and suggest that no single theory fully explains the informal economy in Slovenia. The early outcome of the research hints that if the government is to successfully tackle the problem of informal work, it needs to fully understand its diversity and adopt carefully tailored policy measures.

17. Matt Radburn
Leeds University Business School
Exploring Police Legitimacy, Social Identity and Self-Regulation in Crowds
This research will provide novel, longitudinal data that helps delineate the psychological processes that mediate the links between perceived police legitimacy and the positive self-regulatory crowd behaviours. This data and analysis will enable development of as yet under developed aspects of the Elaborated Social Identity Model (ESIM) of crowd behaviour. The work arising from this project will have impact through its theoretical relevance and ability to assist in the management of crowd events. It will aid in the understanding of the social and intergroup conditions necessary to render social conflict less likely. As a consequence, it will provide a scientific understanding for the prevention of public disorder and riots but also inform practitioners of crowd planning and safety, and apply more generally to the understanding of crowd behaviour.

18. Liza Isyqi Ramli
Education, University of Leeds
Preschool Teachers’ Attitudes on Inclusive Education in Malaysia
The Ministry of Education in Malaysia intends to improve inclusion programmes by introducing Inclusive Education (IE) at the preschool level. The introduction of IE will require high demands of preschool teachers to include pupils with special education needs yet these teachers are lack of knowledge about inclusion, lack of training in managing inclusion and lack of motivation. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify the attitude of government preschool teachers towards IE. The study will assess the factors which contribute to the preschool teachers’ attitude and how they affect the preschool teachers’ readiness in implementing IE. The preschool teachers will complete The Malaysian Preschool Teachers’ Attitudes on Inclusive Education Scales . The implications of this study could contribute to the improvement of preschool pre-service teacher training programs, give support to the preschool teachers and help the policy makers to restructure the preschool teacher training program for Inclusive Education in Malaysia.

19. Bharati Singh
Management, University of York
Outward Foreign Direct Investment from India. Strategy behind Firm Internationalisation
Outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has steadily increased from developing and transition economies over the past decade. Share of OFDI from developing economies constituted almost a third of total global outflows in 2012 (UNCTAD World Report, 2013). Due to this increase, international business scholars have also increased their focus on emerging MNEs (EMNEs) and the associated competitive advantage and business strategies towards internationalisation. Existing literature has a dearth of strategy research on the internationalisation of EMNEs either investing in other similar emerging markets or more developed markets (JMS 2005; Xu & Meyer 2013). India has remained under-researched despite its growing economic significance (Buckley et al. 2012). The country has seen an exponential increase in OFDI over the past decade. The main objective of this research will be to study the associated competitive advantage and business strategies of Indian companies towards internationalisation.

  • Buckley, P. J., Forsans, N., & Munjal, S. (2012). Host–home country linkages and host–home country specific advantages as determinants of foreign acquisitions by Indian firms, International Business Review, 21:5, pp. 878-890
  • UNCTAD World Investment Report, 2013, http://unctad.org/en/publicationslibrary/wir2013_en.pdf
  • Wright, M., Filatotchev, I., Hoskisson, R. E., & Peng, M. W. (2005). Strategy Research in Emerging Economies: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom*, Journal of management studies, 42:1, pp. 1-33
  • Xu, D., & Meyer, K. E. (2013). Linking theory and context:‘Strategy research in emerging economies’ after Wright et al.(2005), Journal of Management Studies, 507, pp. 1322-1346

20. Jian Xu
Architecture, University of Sheffield
Simulation of China’s industrial corridor growth with a system dynamic model (PDF, 3.29MB)
In this study, a system dynamic model that considers industrial growth and landscape ecology is developed and verified to allow for more sustainable development. The model can make multi-dimensional nonlinear dynamic predictions. In this paper, relationships between industrial development and landscape ecology in China are first examined, and five subsystems are then established: industry, population, urban economy, environment and landscape ecology. The main influencing factors are then examined for each subsystem to establish flow charts connecting those factors. Consequently, by connecting the subsystems, an overall industry growth and landscape ecology model is established. Using actual data of a typical industrial corridor in China, the model is validated in terms of historical behaviour, logical structure and future prediction.

21. Jia Yuan
Landscape, University of Sheffield
Integrating in the planting options for urban rain garden in UK (PDF, 288KB)
For years we have been discussing establishing the real permenant and valuable planting landscape for urban rain garden in the UK to have the upgraded blue-green infrastructure for better urban flooding solution and improvement of public health. But yet it has been push one step forward to be real ecological and having the dynamic visual impact – most of these features are still covered by poorly managed mown grasses. This PhD study focus on the selection of various perennials that are suitable for the typical habitat of urban rain garden and the development of idea of using the ecological planting design for having a dramatic and promising future flooding solution in the UK. Let us share the same Blue-Green dream and celebrate with the beautiful planting and rain.

22. Noor Hanis Zainol Abidin
Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield
The Commercialisation of Biotechnology in Malaysia: National and Local Policy Roles and Practices
Malaysia is among the late-industrializing countries but recently has changed its direction to become ‘fast follower’ in innovation strategy. Aiming to become a high developed nation in year 2020, the country believed that biotechnology sector has a strong potential in creating wealth and improving the societal well-being. Therefore this study aims to explore the issues the roles of national and local policy and practices to support the commercialization of biotechnology in Malaysia. Engaging with the concept of innovation, this study will focus the roles and relationship among the actors which is university, industry and government and how effectively each actor plays in commercializing university’s research results especially in the case of university spin off. It is expected the result of this study can be suggested to the related ministries and existing companies for their future growth and sustainability in bringing prosperity to the nation.