• Mathematical analysis of some virus models

      Kavallaris, Nikos I.; Yan, Yubin; Gildea, Joe; Roberts, Jason A.; Useni, Paul F. (University of Chester, 2014-09)
      The Mathematical Analysis of some virus models such as SIR epidemic model, HIV infection model and Ebola virus model are hereby presented. The stability of both the SIR and HIV infection models were investigated using linearization method. The SIR model has an endemic infection when the equilibrium is unstable i.e R0 > 1, and attain a disease-free equilibrium with regards to the existing population when the equilibrium is asymptotically stable i.e R0 = ra+ < 1. The analysis shows that the threshold behavior is directly related to the relative removal rate and that an epidemic will reach its maximum when S = with a condition that I(t) = 0. Also, there is an oscillatory behavior of susceptible and that of infective at the zero point and highest point respectively. Then the homosexual population and T-cell infection models consisting of supply rate solution and that of clonal production solution were discussed. In particular the stability of T-cell infection model was also investigated for HIV virus and it was proven that the unique critical point is globally asymptotically stable.In the last chapter of this thesis, the formulation of EVD model and its numerical solution using Euler's method is also presented. Finally, the conclusion and future work suggestions are stated.
    • Mathematical Modelling and it's Applications in Biology, Ecology and Population Study

      Forrest-Owen, Owain (University of Chester, 2016-09-12)
      This thesis explores the topic of mathematical modelling involving the simulation of population growth associated with mathematical biology and more specifically ecology. Chapter 1 studies how populations are modelled by looking at single equation models as well as systems of equation models of continuous and discrete nature. We also consider interacting populations including predator-prey, competition and mutualism and symbiosis relationships. In Chapters 2 and 3, we review stability properties for both continuous and discrete cases including differential and difference equations respectively. For each case, we examine linear examples involving equilibrium solutions and stability theory, and non-linear examples by implementing eigenvalue, linearisation and Lyapunov methods. Chapter 4 is a study of the research paper - A Model of a Three Species Ecosystem with Mutualism Between The Predators by K. S. Reddy and N. C. Pattabhiramacharyulu [32]. Here, we study the basic definitions and assumptions of the model, examine different cases for equilibrium solutions, prove global stability of the system and implement numerical examples for the model before reviewing existence and uniqueness and permanence properties. In Chapter 5, we construct a discrete scheme of the model from Chapter 4. We do this in two ways, by using Euler's method to create one autonomous time-invariant form of the system, and utilising the method of piecewise constant arguments implemented in [6] to establish another autonomous time-invariant form of the system. For both discretisations, we study equilibrium solutions, stability, numerical examples and existence and uniqueness, and permanence properties. Finally, we conclude the findings of the thesis, summarising what we have discovered, stating new questions that arise from the investigation and examine how this work could be taken further and built upon in future.
    • Mathematical modelling of mutualism in population ecology

      Kavallaris, Nikos I.; Roberts, Jason A.; Rowntree, Andrew P. (University of Chester, 2014-09)
      This research dissertation focuses on the symbiotic interaction of mutualism, we give explanations as to what it is before mathematically modelling population dynamics of two species displaying mutualistic behaviour. Throughout the course of this dissertation, we shall be re-examining the work done in the book by Kot [16] and the paper by Joharjee and Roberts [32], whilst providing further explanations of the mathematics involved and the steps taken. We begin by constructing a model for mutualism before attempting to improve the model in order to make it more realistic. We go on to add delays to our improved model and determine the stability of its equilibrium points. We formulate models via piecewise constant arguments and via a simple Euler scheme before determining stability for both systems. A graphical comparison will then be made to explain the differences in behaviour between the two discretised systems.
    • ‘The matrix of all problems’: Stephen King’s marriage of fundamentalism and the monstrous-feminine as social critique

      Ackers, Jenny L. (University of Chester, 2013-09)
      The place of women in society has long been decried by their place in religion – at least according to horror novelist Stephen King. Indeed, the release of first novel Carrie (1974) was the beginnings of an avid interest in both religion and gender stereotyping, the latter of which the author has been accused of utilising for horrific effect. Yet, this unison of themes is more complex than this. Certainly, these thematic concerns become the means with which King interrogates religious extremism and the conditions which cultivate such devotion; the novel succeeded in exposing the cataclysmic aftermath of a childhood so governed and restricted by militant Puritanism as to metamorphose Carrie White from a wholesome, all-American teen into an ardent evangelist responsible for a town massacre and the murder of her mother. However, utilisation of the fundamentalist agenda within this novel and later releases becomes the means with which King critiques both the archaic notions of the sin of femininity upheld within Christianity, and crucially, how and why such conceptions still pervade modern-day culture. In particular, King turns ‘his women’ monstrous because of their adherence to roles placed upon them by the conservative – even oppressive – conception of gender found within fundamentalist discourse; monstrous when they succeed in following such ideals – and monstrous when they do not – King also suggests that the origins and perpetuation of the image of the monstrous-feminine are far more sewn into the fabric of US society than its citizens would care to admit. This study will thus focus upon the methods of control found within fundamentalist ideology and how they presume to demarcate boundaries which dictate appropriate behaviour for women. Analyses of the monstrous-feminine within later novels will also demonstrate King’s motivation for marrying religion and the woman-as-horror scenario, and will be highlighted as not simply a mechanism within King’s oft-used toolbox of terror, but as the mechanism with which he turns the spotlight on both fundamentalism - and an avidly patriarchal society still struggling to maintain a hold over women.
    • Measuring anxiety in left and right handers via the BIS/BAS scale: Is there a difference when the scales are reversed?

      Rodway, Paul; Davis, Felicity (University of Chester, 2016)
      A considerable amount of research suggests that left-handers experience more behavioural inhibition and anxiety than right-handers. This is due to the assumption that left-handers operate with a right hemispheric dominance, where behavioural inhibition is believed to be processed. The current study examined the relationship between handedness, behavioural approach and inhibition, where it was hypothesised that left-handers would achieve a higher score of behavioural inhibition than right-handers. Additionally, the effects of inverting the scale of measurement were examined, as previous investigations suggest that left-handers prefer items to the leftward spatial area, whereas right-handers prefer items to the rightward spatial area. Participants (N=213) completed two self-report questionnaires online, Carver and White’s (1994) BIS/BAS scale and the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (Oldfield, 1971). Participants were presented with either the normal version of the BIS/BAS scale, or the inverted version. No significant effects of handedness were obtained, thus suggesting that being left-handed does not increase anxiety. Additionally, there were no significant effects of inverting the BIS/BAS scale. The lack of significant results are discussed in relation to the importance of measuring handedness as a continuous variable rather than as a dichotomous variable.
    • Meat abstention, heamoglobin levels and tiredness in a university population

      Fallows, Stephen; Pugh, Isobel (University of Chester, 2006-09-30)
      Rationale: Tiredness is related to reduced quality of life and productivity. Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) causes tiredness, and is the leading nutritional deficiency in the developed world. Numerous studies have compared iron status of vegetarians to omnivores; however, few studies have examined other patterns of meat consumption. This study compares three female populations: those that eat white meat>2x/wk but consume beef, lamb and their products 2x/wk (Red Meat Eaters, or RME), and vegetarians (VEG). Methods: 50 RMA, 47 VEG and 47 RME were compared. Capillary haemoglobin (Hb) levels were monitored using a Reflotron haemoglobin analyser and compared for significant differences using oneway ANOVA. Participants were also asked to recall if they felt tired at certain times of day, hours sleep needed per night, and difficulty sleeping per week, by questionnaire. Frequency of regular daily episodes of tiredness was compared to Kahneman and Krueger's Day Reconstruction Method (DRM). Non-parametric data was analysed using Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests. Testing for correlation between frequency of tiredness and Hb levels was conducted using Spearman's Rho. Results: Mean Hb was 13.7g/dl for VEG, 13.6g/dl for RME and 13.2g/dl for RMA: this result was non-significant (p = 0.140; p>0.05). Difficulty sleeping and hours' sleep needed were similar between groups (/7-0.969 and p=0.549 respectively; p>0.05). There was no significant correlation between Hb and number of reported incidences of tiredness (r=0.023; ;p=0.830; p>0.05); however, variability in healthy Hb levels may have confounded these results, and reduced the ability of the study to detect significant effects. Conversely, 7 RMA, 4 RME and 3 VEG fell below one recognised Hb cut off point for IDA (12g/dl); further, 4 RMA were the only individuals to fall below the second recognised cut off point of llg/dl. VEG also reported significantly less episodes of tiredness per day than RMA (p=0.0l6; p<0.05). An interesting finding was the large population of RMA within the university. Conclusion: This study has important implications for individuals interested in improving their quality of life, and institutions and organisations interested in improving productivity.
    • Mindful Individualism and Communitarian Engaged Buddhisms: A comparative analysis, with special reference to Thich Nhat Hanh.

      Dossett, Wendy; Ward, Laura (University of Chester, 2017-09)
      This dissertation argues that the contemporary Western mindfulness movement has taken two forms: 'mindful individualism' and 'communitarian engaged Buddhisms.' Mindful individualism adopts a personal, individual and 'self-help' view of mindfulness, and is largely commodified, secularised and disconnected from the Buddhist roots of mindfulness in order to further other agendas. Communitarian engaged Buddhisms maintains many connections to the history and teachings of Buddhism and tends to use mindfulness in conjunction with other Buddhist concepts, such as interconnectedness, with an overall emphasis on compassionate action and social justice. I provide a comparative analysis of mindful individualism and community-focused engaged Buddhism, while demonstrating that Thich Nhat Hanh, a significant figure in the contemporary mindfulness movement, is depicted as a paradoxical figure within the movement. While he maintains his reputation as the archetypal engaged Buddhist, peace activist and global spiritual leader, Hanh's bestselling books teach the benefits of mindfulness in a range of contexts, and have been especially popular among a secular Anglo-American audience. Hanh has therefore also been viewed as the archetypal 'packager' of mindfulness, which in contrast to the community-focused nature of engaged Buddhism, has been criticised as being individualistic, secularised, and disconnected from its Buddhist roots, since flourishing in Euro-America. This dissertation explores the ways in which mindfulness has been applied to a variety of secular contexts, including mindfulness as a therapeutic technique, corporate mindfulness, mindful eating and more. I use these examples to demonstrate that contemporary mindfulness has become largely individualistic, secular and focused on personal happiness, whilst in contrast, those involved in engaged Buddhism remain focused on the aspect of community and reducing the suffering of those around them. I argue that Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings function within both sides of this dichotomy, promoting a mindfulness which 'begins with the individual' and is accessible for a non-Buddhist readership, while actively engaging with and encouraging his concept of engaged Buddhism. This dissertation uses Hanh as a lens to explore and analyse the theoretical 'paradox' problem in Western Buddhism.
    • The mission practices of new church congregations in Manchester city centre

      Graham, Elaine L.; Edson, John B. (University of Chester, 2013-10)
      Religious practices, which are increasingly being perceived as the bearers of the religious tradition, reflect and then shape the theology of the tradition of which they are a part. This thesis examines the mission practices of two different, yet growing, church congregations in Manchester city centre by asking what can be learnt from their practices in mission. Throughout the thesis different missiological themes and mission practices emerge from the two congregations as a response to the same postmodern, urban space of Manchester city centre. This difference, in themes and practices, is particularly notable regarding bounded and centred practices and the prioritisation of poiesis, theoria and praxis. In King’s Church, the first congregation researched, the notion of boundedness is identified as the most significant factor in their identity. This is reflected in their mission practices, which are shaped by their bounded ecclesiology, eschatology and pneumatology. It is from this boundedness that an eschatological ecclesiology becomes apparent and boundary crossing mission practices develop. This eschatological ecclesiology prioritises theoria, and hence their mission practices prioritise theoria above praxis and poiesis. In contrast, centred mission practices are identified in the second congregation, Sanctus1. Their synthetic approach to the city centre is dialogical and hence the ecclesiology and mission practices that develop are shaped by both the culture of the city centre and their religious tradition. Alongside the centeredness of their mission practices, a prioritisation of poiesis can be discerned as mission is approached in an innovative and oblique way.
    • A modular approach to diabetes structured education: Effects on patient knowledge, self-efficacy, self-management and patient experience in diabetic kidney disease

      Woodall, Aly; Joseph, Frank; Mellor, Duane; Gallagher, Susan (University of Chester, 2014-12)
      Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a serious chronic complication of diabetes, associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, end stage kidney disease and mortality. Intensive management, incorporating dietary and lifestyle changes with pharmacological agents, has been shown to reduce associated risks of DKD. This requires multiple self-management (SM) actions to optimise risk factors including diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia. Diabetes structured education (DSE) is integral to diabetes management and research shows DSE is beneficial to knowledge, SM activities, and diabetes control (Dekain et al., 2009; Speight et al., 2010). However, little evidence exists in DSE focused on DKD, despite the increased risk of mortality associated with the condition and NICE guidelines (NICE, 2008; NICE, 2003) encouraging education to optimise management of diabetes and kidney disease. The aim of the research is to determine whether complication-specific DSE for DKD has an impact on SM, self-efficacy (SE), and knowledge related to DKD, and to identify what effect education has on participants. A mixed method approach, combining quantitative questionnaires and semi-structured qualitative interviews was utilised. A standalone education module specifically for adults with DKD was provided for participants, tailored to the needs of this distinct group. A single education module demonstrated positive changes in SM activities, specifically seeking information, asking questions regarding biomedical results and following suggestions to alter dietary and exercise habits. Improvements were also seen in knowledge related to DKD. Significant positive correlations were demonstrated between SM and SE outcomes related to seeking support and discussing worries with family and friends. Qualitative results identified that social support can have a negative or positive impact on participants depending on the nature of the support. It was also found that participants felt healthcare professionals did not inform them of their biomedical results. An education module specifically for DKD allows the information to be tailored to meet the needs of participants to a greater extend, which is in keeping with NICE guidelines (NICE, 2003). A single education session had a positive impact on participants demonstrated by improvements in DKD knowledge, SE and increased engagement in SM activities. Healthcare professionals can improve partnership with patients through the sharing of, and the significance of, biomedical information. This could have a benefit in reducing the health burden of DKD considering its morbidity and mortality risk.
    • Money in therapy: Private practitioners’ experiences and perceptions of charging for counselling - a qualitative study

      Doherty, Susan (University of Chester, 2012-11)
      This is a small-scale qualitative research study of 32 participants, drawn from private counselling practitioners who charge a fee for counselling/psychotherapy. It examines their experiences and perceptions around the fee transaction in the therapy room, in an attempt to explore whether a taboo remains in this area. The symbolic nature of money, the fee and its manifestations in the behaviours of counsellors and clients are examined, together with the roles value and self-worth play in the therapeutic journey of the client. Likewise, the counselling practitioner’s journey within the sphere of private practice is scrutinised in the light of his/her professional journey towards establishing an ethical counselling business. The findings that emerge are: (1) Counsellors face tensions by charging a fee; (2) Charging a fee signifies a contracted professional business service; (3) Charging a fee can be therapeutic; (4) The fee transaction has an impact on the therapeutic relationship; (5) Money in therapy is symbolic; (6) The counsellor undergoes a personal journey to feel comfortable charging fees. Recommendations from this study include adequate preparation of practitioners for private practice, through business training on counselling courses and specific personal development of practitioners to address their own issues around money. It is also recommended that knowledge and expertise is shared across related professions, e.g. money coaches and debt counsellors. Those mental health problems associated with debt such as, depression, relationship problems and potential suicides should be addressed openly by therapists in an attempt to reduce the financial ignorance which may be perpetuated by “money blindness” of therapists and clients alike, in an attempt to reduce the stigma of the financial conversation in today’s society.
    • Monitoring physiological biomarkers in soccer

      Holmes, Liam (University of Chester, 2014-09)
      Saliva and blood sampling has been increasingly used as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of physiological biomarkers in elite sport. In elite level soccer, considerable physiological and psychological stress can be experienced throughout the season. The consequence of having periods where players are in a sub optimal physiological state could lead to a reduction in performance, impaired immunity and increased risk of infection. Monitoring the variations and relationships of salivary and blood biomarkers in response to exercise and specifically elite soccer can provide detailed information on the physiological status of the players. This review will focus on the responses of salivary immunoglobin A (sIgA), cortisol, urea, and creatine kinase (CK) to exercise and elite soccer.
    • "The most astonishing triumphs": fresh light on primitive Methodist history, hagiography and detraction from northern Hampshire 1830-1852

      Young, David (University of Chester, 2014-11)
      This thesis contributes both new historical research and revised perception of early PMism. It is set against the absence of any historical account of the coming of Methodism to northern Hampshire. Its aim and method are twofold: to research the events, personalities, beliefs, experience and ethos; and by comparing these findings with popular and academic eulogy and obloquy of PMs to correct them where they do not match the primary sources. This is not primarily an institutional or statistical study of the Connexion, nor of its national leadership, but is a local study of pioneers and ordinary believers and the extent to which they conform to what might be deemed hagiography or detraction. Having researched the history of the movement, and ascertained that it is homogeneous with the nationwide movement, the thesis argues that much literature, popular and scholarly, has given misleading depictions of the inner world of the movement. Some writers take their admiration too far, or construct a falsely admiring image of PMs in accord with their own priorities. This thesis looks honestly at phenomena omitted in such hagiography. Other writers, misinterpreting the phenomena or motivation, disapprove of certain aspects of the movement. Although the material studied is akin to that used by other scholars, the dissertation aims to contribute a different strand to academic study of the movement, applying its methodology both to a different geographical area, and to the Methodists' subjectivity, seeking thereby to add a component missing from other writings. It first reviews secondary writing which impinges upon the inquiries. The methodology is then explained, including the use of primary sources, and justifying the dissertation’s chronological and geographical parameters. After a summary of the social and religious situation in Hampshire, and an overview of the wider PM movement, there is an account of its spread and ethos in northern Hampshire and of the early stages of transition from the period of rapid expansion to a calmer modus operandi. In the ensuing critical discussion, the ethos of the movement, and the characters of its pioneers and members, are compared with admiring and derogatory depictions, both academic and popular, of Methodists from Victorian to modern times, which portray them as resplendent heroes, enlightened forerunners of feminism, or noble working-class political activists, or as obsessed with hell and judgement, hysterically emotional, clinging to survivals from superstitious folk religion, and gloomily repressive. This dissertation aims to demonstrate that the first generation of PMs in the four circuits of northern Hampshire do not wholly match those depictions, and, by correcting facts or perceptions, to construct a more rounded and faithful portrayal of the life-world, characters and achievements of the preachers and members.
    • Movement Variability in the Frontcrawl and Breaststroke Swimming Starts

      Smith, Grace; Smith, Jessica (University of Chester, 2016-09)
      The purpose of this study was to quantify biological variability of linear and angular kinematics in breaststroke and frontcrawl starts, when using the track start technique. Four male and six female swimmers aged 18 – 21 years old (mass: 70.3 kg ± 3.9; height: 167.1 cm ± 9.5) with a minimum of five years’ competitive experience performed ten breaststroke and ten frontcrawl starts. One 120 Hz camera recorded block and flight phases for subsequent two dimensional full body manual digitisation, using Quintic software. One 60 Hz camera captured temporal data of each trial. One underwater 50 Hz camera captured the underwater phase from entry in the sagittal plane. Biological coefficient of variation (BCV%) was calculated by extracting technical error (SEM%) from the coefficient of variation (CV%). A series of paired t-tests were used to compare BCV% of each start parameter between strokes using SPSS version 22.0. BCV% of start parameters and task outcome (time to 15 m were compared). There was no significant difference in BCV% between start parameters of the breaststroke and frontcrawl starts, despite BCV% being lower in the majority of frontcrawl parameters. Variability in task outcome was considerably lower than linear and angular kinematic parameters of the start, supporting the dynamic systems theory. Whilst variability does exist in start parameters, the task constraint of the stroke swam does not produce significant differences in biological variation of key start parameters.
    • Moving towards person‐centred weight management: A literature review of factors affecting engagement and retention in community‐based, multi‐component, group lifestyle weight management interventions in the United Kingdom

      Williamson, Kathryn (University of Chester, 2014-09-26)
      Weight management programmes commonly experience high attrition rates, reducing both effectiveness and efficiency. Reasons for attrition remain unclear. Evaluating participant experience promotes identification of improvements not obvious to service providers, developing a more person‐centred service, whilst potentially reducing attrition. Aim of review: To explore factors impacting engagement and attrition of non‐commercial group based lifestyle weight management programmes in the UK, with specific reference to qualitative evaluations of participant experience. Data sources: Electronic databases (PubMed, PsychINFO) and reference lists of relevant studies were searched. Findings: Five different interventions, all including participant evaluation, were identified. Heterogeneity between studies prevented definitive conclusions. Targeted interventions, use of social marketing, pre‐intervention assessment and an integrated physical activity component all potentially promote effectiveness, person‐centred delivery and reduce attrition. Impact of group leader background appears negligible. Non‐completers views are rarely evaluated. Conclusion: UK group‐based weight management programmes are evolving away from a onesize‐fits‐all health professional delivery model. Further research on effectiveness, attrition and person‐centred delivery is required. Work on accessing noncompleters views needs prioritised.
    • Near-death experience in Indian religions: Encountering Yama

      Stockton, Shona (University of Chester, 2017-09)
      Visions and possessions are closely linked to one another. They can be either negative or positive experiences. They are also known to derive from a variety of circumstances, which include: illness (temporary or life threatening), the side-effects of drugs (i.e. anaesthetic or soma), and states of unconsciousness (i.e. dreams or visitations). However, when they involve an encounter with Yama (the Hindu Lord of the Dead), I propose they should be considered the equivalent of near-death experience (NDE). To investigate this, I will examine a variety of textual sources from a historical point of view. The selected material is from three different periods and will be discussed in a chronological order to appreciate the changing of religious beliefs in South Asia. The first collection of literature belongs to the Vedic period and consists of mythological narratives from Rgveda, Atharvaveda, and the Upanisads. The second include the Mahabharata and Puranas (Post-Vedic period), and the third assortment are contemporary ethnographic accounts. A comparative analysis of these sources permits to acknowledge how near-death experiences in India have changed from a sacrificial culture into one primarily concerned with the concept of karma (action) and its social and otherworldly outcomes, that is reward and punishment.
    • A New Predictor-Corrector Method for Solving Nonlinear Fractional Differential Equations with Graded Meshes

      Yan, Yubin; Leedle, Natasha (University of Chester, 2017-10-09)
      In this dissertation we consider the numerical methods for solving non-linear fractional differential equations. We first review the predictor-corrector methods for solving the nonlinear fractional differential equation with uniform meshes and discussed in detail how to prove the error estimates. The convergence orders of the predictorcorrector methods for solving nonlinear fractional differential equations available in the literature are only O(h1+α ), where α ∈ (0, 1) denotes the fractional order and h is the step size. It will take a long time to obtain the good approximate solutions by using such method. Therefore it is necessary to construct some higher order numerical methods to solve the nonlinear fractional differential equations. We construct a higher order numerical method with the convergence order O(h1+2α) by approximating the Riemann-Liouville fractional integral with the quadratic interpolation polynomials. The graded meshes can be used in the numerical methods to capture the singularity of the problem. Numerical examples are given to show that the numerical results are consistent with the theoretical results.
    • New technology and the Help Desk: Research into how new technology could be used to improve the efficiency of the Customer Services Help Desk at Cheshire County Council

      Southall, Garfield; Thomas, Shirley (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education)Cheshire County Council, 1998-10)
      This research identifies different technologies used to assist with the management of help desks, including Call Management Software, Problem Resolution Systems and Computer Telephony Integration, showing how they can improve efficiency. The requirements of the help desk at Cheshire County Council are identified by analysing the current system and by sending a survey to the customers. The survey also attempts to establish whether the use of new technology would be acceptable to the customers. A pilot study, giving staff in Social Services access to a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) was set up to gauge the effectiveness of a simple problem resolution system, however because of the pressures of other work on support staff this has not yet been completed. The research showed that the new technologies would not be beneficial unless the information held (particularly the contact database) is accurate. The failure to implement the FAQ in Social Services highlighted the problems of allocating the resources needed to achieve this in an organisation where staff are under pressure solving current problems. Providing the contact database is maintained and a knowledge base set up, with procedures in place to ensure the information is correct and relevant, then replacing the problem management system and introducing a problem resolution system could potentially improve the efficiency of the help desk. This would be achieved by giving management access to the relevant information to enable them to make decisions, increasing the spot rate (calls answered on first call) and by reducing the time to log calls. Recommendations are made for introducing changes and for further research.
    • "New ways of working": An assessment of the effectiveness of the management of change in Liverpool's community libraries

      Page, Steve; Stoker, David (University of Chester, 2009-06)
      Change is required almost constantly for organisations to survive, adapt to their internal and external environments, and improve if possible. The effective management of change is therefore of crucial importance. However, there are many competing and sometimes conflicting proposed theories and models, but often little assessment of change itself in practice, not least as perceived and experienced by the recipients of change. The key research problem to be addressed here is how change can be managed effectively and what are the key aspects to consider when trying to implement or stimulate change. This dissertation involves the detailed assessment of a practical example of change management in Liverpool's Community Libraries from 2005 onwards. This begins with a planned change in the form of a partial restructure followed by subsequent changes, including those accompanying refurbished libraries, with the aim of creating further continuous, emergent change. Libraries documentation and training programmes associated with this refer to "new ways of working." A conceptual model is developed based on a literature review. This attempts to set out key aspects to consider in the cyclical process of change and relates to change awareness and readiness, change design, and change evaluation. The model is used to inform a questionnaire sent to all of the change recipients. The results of the survey are analysed and presented along with the results of semi-structured interviews conducted with the change director, principal change agent, and five change recipients. It is found that there are mixed results from and perspectives on the changes. All aspects of the model have been paid attention to during the changes to a greater or lesser extent, but mostly with less emphasis than recommended hi the theory. In particular, it is found that less attention has been paid in practice to selling the vision, encouraging authentic participation, and evaluating the changes. Nevertheless, just over half of the staff believe that they have changed their ways of working with perceived benefits to the service to customers. It is recognised that no one model will be universally applicable but that certain key aspects of change always deserve as much consideration as possible.
    • “No pain, no gain”: Former elite female gymnasts’ engagement with pain and injury discourses

      McEvilly, Nollaig; Tynan, Ruby (University of Chester, 2014-10)
      This research investigates the discourses influential in former elite female artistic gymnasts' engagement with pain and injury. The purpose of this study was to examine participants' engagement with pain and injury discourses and interrogate the ways in which certain discourses became dominant. Despite extensive sociological research providing exposure to the ways in which athletes experience pain and injury, there is little research into gymnasts' experiences. Therefore, this research not only contributes to the sociological literature on pain and injury, but also provides a complimentary addition to the efforts towards injury prevention from the medical, epidemiological and psychological perspectives. A poststructural, Foucauldian theoretical framework underpins this study, which makes overt use of Foucault's work on discourses, techniques of power and technologies of the self. Data were generated through semi-structured interviews with seven former elite female artistic gymnasts, who were asked to reflect on their experiences with pain and injury. By analysing participants’ talk through poststructural discourse analysis, three main discourses were evident. Firstly, participants' persistence through pain and injury was due to the desire to compete. Secondly, participants were able to differentiate between "good pain" and "bad pain". Thirdly, participants had a higher tolerance for pain than for injury. Participants engaged with these discourses in multiple and sometimes conflicting ways. Ultimately however, these discourses were normalised through a combination of disciplinary techniques and technologies of the self. Therefore, this research raises serious questions about the ways in which gymnasts may develop an uncritical acceptance of the 'truths' surrounding pain and injury.
    • Northern Europe versus Rome: The use of the body in warfare

      Doran, John; Pinfold, Tom (University of Chester, 2012)
      Throughout time military commanders have relied on a combination of ‘shock and awe’ to win battles, whether they were the massed cavalry charges of the early Medieval period, the huge columns of men used by Napoleon to punch through enemy formations with drums beating and chants of ‘Vive l’Empereur’, through to the German Blitzkrieg against Poland or France, even today many counter-terrorist units such as the British SAS equip themselves in black body armour and gas masks giving them an otherworldly appearance. However, long before any of these, the Roman Legions and their Ancient British and Gallic adversaries were practicing body alteration on a grand scale, relying not only on physical strength but also ‘shock and awe’ to win battles. This dissertation is an investigation and a discussion of the techniques adopted and the motivations behind their adoption.