• Web-based information systems: An assessment of impact

      Page, Steve; Holman, Dennis (University College ChesterUniversity College Chester, 2003-05)
      Chester College developed its first formal Information Strategy in 1999, within which was the major commitment to develop an integrated web-based information system to replace the majority of unintegrated and/or paper-based systems used across the institution. The system, ‘IBIS’ (Internet-Based Information System), was seen as a major driver for instigating change and had a broad range of objectives beyond the purely functional ones, including the changing of work practices and a realignment of attitudes and culture. In 2001 College committees received a summary of functional changes resulting from IBIS. However, a number of authors suggest that to gain a real understanding of the impact which an information system has achieved within its organisation it is necessary to take into account a whole range of issues, attitudes, and perceptions at both individual and workgroup level. To date no such appraisal has been undertaken within Chester College, though the available literature suggests that the College is anything but unique in this as few firms successfully undertake the exercise in practice. This present research study was therefore undertaken in order to assess the impact that IBIS had achieved during its first four years of development and implementation. A questionnaire, the design of which was informed by a literature survey and exploratory interviews with three staff, was issued to 55 current academic staff members who had been employed full-time by the institution prior to the introduction of IBIS. The 50 responses were analysed in tabular form for perceived impacts upon individuals, workgroups and the institution as a whole. The conclusion reached was that, overall, IBIS has achieved a positive impact within the College and the potential benefits identified within the 1999 strategy were being achieved. However, a number of issues were identified from the analysis which were leading to the potential impact being lessened for certain individuals and workgroups, resulting in some loss of organisational efficiency and effectiveness. Recommendations are proposed to address these issues.
    • Weight loss intervention trial comparing intermittent low carbohydrates versus continuous Mediterranean diet

      Todd, Sandra (University of Chester, 2015-09)
      Intermittent low carbohydrate diet (ILCD) may result in greater overall weight loss and body fat % than a daily restricted Mediterranean diet (DRMD). Overweight women (BMI 25kg/m2 - <32.4kg/m2) (n 85) aged 25- 65 years on healthy women not on any medication were randomised to a continuous 25% daily energy restriction in both groups, to either a DRMD (7d/ week) or ILCD (<20% carbohydrates for 2d/ week consecutively then follow a DRMD 5d/week) for a twelve week weight- loss period. Body fat % reduced with the DRMD (median -2.9kg (95% CI: -2.6, -2.1) and the ILCD diet (median -2.9kg (95% CI: -2.3, -2.0). Reductions were not significantly different between the two diets. Reductions in weight loss in the DRMD (median -1.7kg (95% CI: -1.6, -0.1) and ILCD (median -1.0kg (95% CI: -1.5, -1.0) between groups also showed no statistical difference. Waist reduction in the DRMD (mean -5.7cm (95% CI: -5.8, - 40 5.5) and in the ILCD (mean -5.6cm (95% CI: -3.6, -5.8) with greater reductions in the DRMD compared to the ILCD group was significant (mean -0.1cm (95% CI: -2.2, -0.3, P= 0.04). Hip reduction in the DRMD (median -4.3cm (95% CI: -4.6, -4.2) and in the ILCD (median -3.7cm (95% CI: -4.6, -1.2) with greater reductions in the DRMD compared to ILCD group was also significant (median -0.6cm (95 CI: -0.0, -3.0, P= 0.02). Both diets overall are just as effective and there is no evidence that ILCD is superior for fat loss than a DRMD. In the short term DRMD is comparable to ILCD with respect to waist (P = 0.04) and hip circumference (P = 0.02). Drop out rate was low (11%) compared to previous studies (22%- 25%). Long- term studies into the effectiveness and adherence to the ILCD diet are warranted and rejects both hypotheses.
    • What are the maximum protein requirements of strength athletes? A systematic review

      Fallows, Stephen; Foster, Brandon (University of Chester, 2008-09-30)
      Protein intakes above the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adult males have been suggested to be essential in accreting lean body mass, particularly in active individuals. Though, what is the maximum protein requirement of strength athletes in order to maximise their performance. A systematic review was conducted on all primary literature to establish the maximum protein requirements of strength athletes. A comprehensive search strategy involving searches of six electronic databases and ‘grey’ literature were conducted. The search was restricted to studies published after 1986 to the present day. All primary research literature that presented the effect of total dietary protein intake on lean body mass was included. Studies that met the inclusion criteria were assessed for methodological quality using the Downs and Black checklist. 4 studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria, although only 3 studies met the quality assessment criteria; two randomised trials and one non-randomised trial. Statistically non-significant trends (p>0.05) deriving from muscle mass measurements, determined that the maximum protein requirement for strength athletes to be a moderate quantity of 1.4g/kg Bw/day. Similar results were shown in all three studies. There is a sparsity of evidence and an inconsistency in the methodological designs between trials, regarding what the maximum protein requirement of strength athletes to be. Yet, it is likely to be a moderate protein intake, rather than a high protein intake.
    • What are University of Chester staff perceptions of the role of Chester Students’ Union in relation to the student experience at Chester?

      Webb, Paul; Hodkinson, Ruth (University of Chester, 2013-06)
      Research suggests that Students’ Unions (SU) role has changed over the years. Historically, SUs were viewed as political and debating organisations and then moving far more towards extracurricular and commercial areas. This attracted negative press and has resulted in the work of SUs not always being portrayed as positive or professional. Research suggests there has recently been a shift by SUs to re-establish their core role of representation. This is due to a number of factors including, National Students Survey (NSS) and National Union of Students (NUS)/Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) initiatives encouraging far more emphasis on student experience whilst working in partnership with their Universities to ensure the student voice is heard through their SUs. This research has undertaken a qualitative approach, using semi structured interviews with 8 University of Chester staff (UoC) staff to gauge university staff perceptions of the role of Chester Students’ Union (CSU) and how this contributes to student experience. Findings from these interviews suggested staff were aware of the role of a SU and the core role of representation. However when questioned about the existing working partnership with CSU their knowledge was fragmented and relied on professional/personal experiences rather than overall awareness. Commercial and social aspects of the role of CSU were far more apparent. The role of representation was noted as being ineffective. If SUs are only being observed by their universities for their social activities rather than a professional partner within student experience this could have negative results for funding and functions of SUs in future. Recommendations have been made to address issues of effective engagement of students, representation and partnership working with the university. This will be addressed with an implementation plan presented at strategic planning meetings.
    • What barriers are perceived to be preventers in a serviced based organisation realising business process management?

      Black, Kate; Artell, Victoria J. (University of Chester, 2013-06)
      The focus of this research is to consider what key factors can reduce the effectiveness of Business Process Management (BPM) within a service based organisation, more specifically within Organisation X. In order to benefit from the potential advantages of BPM, Organisation X needs to identify the challenges which are perceived by internal stakeholders which may hinder BPM within the business environment. Using a case study approach, the Delphi method was employed as a way to identify and rank the perceived barriers within Organisation X. Twenty-five different barriers were identified, six of which were deemed to have the greatest impact on BPM within Organisation X. Leadership was identified as the greatest barrier followed by Communication, Value of processes, Accountability, Motivation and finally, Culture. Although the barriers identified from the findings are broad topics within business literature as a whole, they should be considered in the context of BPM as well as within the wider organisational context. It is suggested that Organisation X continues to migrate from a traditional, functional, siloed based environment to a process driven environment. The list of barriers identified within the research gives Organisation X a starting point in which to focus their initial efforts of introducing BPM. However, it is important to consider the interdependencies that exist between barriers and the context descriptions provided by the participants.
    • What does neuroscience offer us in understanding cognitive therapy and person-centred therapy for depression? A realist synthesis review

      Parnell, Tony; Ruby, Madi A. (University of Chester, 2011)
      A need for increased access to effective therapies for depression has been identified in the United Kingdom. There has been significant investment in Cognitive Therapy but a perceived lack of funding for alternatives. This study takes a pluralistic perspective in enquiring into what neuroscience offers us in understanding Cognitive Therapy and Person-Centred Therapy for Depression. This realist synthesis review provides a background of the theories, mapped for commonality in causality and therapy for depression. It examines neuroscience theory of depression and fMRI evidence of the effects of Cognitive Therapy and Person-Centred therapeutic concepts on the brain. This review highlights some of the limitations of scanning technology and the way that research within ‘schools’ interprets evidence from the perspective of a particular theory. This has led to evidence being presented for the case of cognitive control of emotion. The alternate hypothesis for emotional regulation was not tested in the studies reviewed despite being observed as the mechanism of change in drug therapy for depression. Since all disciplines and theories reviewed suggest the involvement of both cognitive and affective processes further research is suggested to clarify their interaction.
    • What does Paul say about the scope of salvation in his epistle to the Romans?

      Morris, Wayne; Henry, Joyphen C. (University of Chester, 2012-10)
      This study seeks to understand the argument for salvation in Romans and what meaning Paul intended for the reader. It will examine the different approaches to salvation, looking at exclusivism and its facets of justification by faith and the doctrine of election. It will also consider inclusivism and universalism and to a lesser extent pluralism. The principal part of the study will be focused on the key texts in the Epistle used by scholars as authority for their arguments. It will use tools of exegesis and historical-critical hermeneutics to determine the extent to which the different approaches are aligned to Paul’s theology on salvation.
    • What does the future hold for intermediate care?

      Proctor, Tony; Barry, Michelle (University of ChesterLiverpool City Council, 2007-08)
      Intermediate care (IC) is seen as a key element in government policy to reduce hospital waiting lists, it was developed to promote independence for older people by developing a range of integrated health and social care services fully networked into local hospital, community Health, social services and primary care services. It was specifically designed around the needs of older people to facilitate hospital discharges and prevent admissions in other words; it is a bridge between home and hospital. In some localities older people with mental health problems or varying degrees of cognitive impairment including dementia are deliberately being excluded from intermediate care. This is based on the assumption that older people with dementia cannot benefit from rehabilitation. The UK has an ageing population as a result of declines both in fertility rates and in the mortality rate. The older people population growth combined with the prevalence of dementia increasing with age has implications for local authorities, and to meet the challenges of an ageing society, and address the needs of all older people there needs to be a rethink in intermediate care service delivery. This study looks at planning and forecasting models that can be used to predict service demand and plan for future the future of IC. A total of seven authorities including Liverpool City Council (LCC) participated in this research. Interviews and surveys explored current service provision to determine what if any specialist intermediate care was available for older people with a diagnosis of dementia. It then went on to establish what if any planning and forecasting systems were being used by the authorities to assist in meeting the challenges of an ageing society. Results drawn from the data analysis showed that even among top performing authorities the approach to forecasting and forward planning is not very sophisticated, only a couple of authorities seem to be taking an objective, quantitative and systematic approach to determine future requirements in older peoples services.
    • What effect do formalised human resource procedures such as contracts and appraisals have on employee motivation in the hospitality industry

      Webb, Paul; Powell, Victoria (University of Chester, 2009-05)
      This paper examines the effects of formalised HR procedures on employee motivation in the hospitality sector. It has long been accepted that staff turnover, the ultimate sign of poor employee motivation, is very high within the hospitality industry (Thomas, 2006), This research attempts to establish whether this is affected by the presence or absence of formalised HR procedures. Rowley and Purcell (2001) and many others have discussed the possibility of 'turnover culture' within the industry and indeed whether it has been both borne from and reinforced by the industry itself, even to the point of it being accepted as 'tradition' for hospitality workers to develop their skills by moving between establishments. Unfortunately there is still an overall perception that there is ignorance towards the importance of human resource development as a contributing factor to service provision within the industry (Baum et al 1997). Coupled with this, leadership within the hospitality industry has historically been based on the principles of bureaucratic management, considering employees as a resource like any other; cost driven to achieve the goals of the organization (Lucas & Deery, 2004). This does not fall in line with current thinking on "best practice HRM". An investigation was undertaken into the level of presence of formalised HR procedures such as appraisals, interviews, personal development plans and contracts and compared with levels of employee turnover within the industry to detect any positive or negative correlation between the two. The report concludes and provides evidence that organisations within the industry would all benefit from implementing or improving HR procedures. The report also shows evidence that employee turnover positively correlates with increasing HR procedures cementing the recommendation that the hospitality industry should look to improve practices as a whole.
    • What Factors Impact the Mental Health of Transgender People?

      Lafferty, Moira E.; Cartwright, Tim (University of Chester, 2017)
      Gender dysphoria is a major cause of distress for transgender people, however the very nature of being transgender brings numerous other factors that cause stress and anxiety which can impact mental health. To identify and further understand these factors, 167 participants took part in an online survey which sought to understand their experiences and feelings surrounding various aspects of their transgenderism. Qualitative analysis of the responses revealed 37 lower order themes or factors that appear to impact the mental health of transgender people. These can be placed into 6 key dimensions; their feelings towards the initial development of their gender dysphoria; the extent in which they are accepted and understood by family, friends, and society; how successful they are at aligning their appearance with their gender identity; the quality of professional services received, including the effects of hormone treatment and surgery; the quality of their personal and sexual relationships before and after transition; their current feelings towards being transgender. Recommendations from the data include the necessity of social support from family and friends, as well as more societal education. Furthermore, more professional support is advocated as well as improvements in clinical and professional settings to speed up treatments for transgender people. Finally, transgender people may benefit from an intervention programme which considers these 6 key areas and seeks to ameliorate any negative psychological effects that are directly caused by the abovementioned factors.
    • What is the impact of a peer counselling approach to help vulnerable children during lunchtimes?

      Tindall, Angela M. (University of Chester, 2008-11)
      There are many forms of peer support and collaboration projects and they are becoming increasingly popular throughout the world in both secondary and primary school. Peer counselling is individualised and palliative and this study examines the impact of four trained Year 5 and Year 6 counsellors on four Year 4 and Year 5 vulnerable, marginalised children with an extremely low sociometric status, who would become the focus group. The aim of the study was to increase prosocial interactions of the focus group. Sociometric testing was used before the project in order to identify the focus group and counsellors. Sociometric testing was used after the project to assess the impact of the intervention. Behavioural observations and questionnaires were also used to provide variable support for the projects effectiveness. Although two of the focus group left before the end of the project, the outcome was that positive interactions with peer counsellors and other children in the playground during lunchtimes very gradually increased. One child of the two remaining had a higher social status at the end of the project. Peer counselling proved a very useful model for a healthier world outside the classroom and a useful supplement to existing pastoral and inclusive strategies.
    • Where Ghosts are No More: Exploring Abandoned Lanscapes and Mnemonic Tendencies Through Material Culture in the Villages of Imber and Tyneham

      Williams, Howard; Rodriguez-Franco, Christina (University of Chester, 2017)
      There are many ways in which society accommodates and remembers historical events: however, one of the most commonly used forms of remembering is in the construction of physical monuments or memorials. These memorials are said to be designed and determined by the community and the shared memory of a person or event, yet in the creation of these spaces of remembrance and memorialization there are, according to Moriarty (1997, p. 125) and Dross (2012), dominant and dominated forms of memories: memories and memorials that exist with approval by agencies of power (dominant) and those which are created by spontaneity and devotion (dominated). Gabriel Moshenska (2010) also mentions this power of selectiveness by stating how some narratives are expressed while others are marginalized or suppressed by a dominant force. Moshenska goes further to say that in this selectiveness and power struggle the past and the landscape are re-imagined. Because of the selectiveness in how -and who- an object, person, or event is represented in permanent states is dictated by a powerful force, society tends to believe that those are the only versions of the history in existence. But the standard forms of memorialization through paint, concrete, marble, or bronze are not the only conduits to remembering the past.
    • Who am I as a teacher? The professional identity of teachers and its implications for management of the “Every Child Matters” agenda

      Warhurst, Russell; Black, Kate (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2008-06-01)
      Changes within national and local government following the 2003 Every Child Matters agenda which fashioned the 2004 Children’s Act and recent 2007 Children’s Plan, is requiring professionals across children’s services, until now working in isolation, to work inter-professionally for the well-being of the child. As the fragmented discourse of service provision in England and Wales is replaced by an integrated, holistic approach, this will, it is suggested, have significant implications for all professionals working with children, young people and their families. Exploring the imperative through the lens of teachers’ professional identity, this research considers how its precepts might risk the agenda’s management and success. The research design takes constructivism as an epistemological stance and adopts a sequential mixed methods approach. Grounded within the literature of professional identity and inter-professional working, it works abductively with the data and draws upon the insights of the established socio-psychological theorising, approached from the theoretical constructs of social identity theory, also the paradigmatically divergent communities of practice and activity theory, to explore the interactions between teacher identity and current public service policy reform. Conducted with a sample of teachers from Secondary Schools from within Cheshire and Wirral (N=40), this small-scale, triangulated, empirical research maps, through survey and interviews, perceptions of teacher identity and the Every Child Matters (ECM) imperative. The data collected, both quantitative and qualitative, reveals that whilst teachers perceive their identities differently, they hold considerable strength of identity, possibly a coping mechanism as they are forced into an unfamiliar socio-cultural context. With influencing factors, especially those of gender, teaching life phase and subject taught, demonstrated to influence both perceptions of teacher identity but also their approach to the ECM agenda and inter-professionalism, this pragmatic aspect is of paramount practical importance for change interventionists. As such, this research has value in elucidating how teachers perceive their professional identity and its implications for the facilitation of inter-professionalism. Such it is hoped will be of value for Leaders/Managers in supporting teachers as they implement this change.
    • Who built St Oswald's? A study of land ownership and the physical development of Chester's northern suburb from the 17th century to the present

      Gaunt, Peter; Bird, Polly (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 1998-11)
      This dissertation discussed the development of the Chester suburb of St. Oswald's from 1641-1998, focusing on the physical development of the area and land ownership.
    • Who cares for the carer: the impact of supporting those who self-harm on professional carers.

      Heath, Hannah; Armstrong, Laura (University of Chester, 2018)
      Self-harm is a serious health issue in the UK. One of the most vulnerable populations for self-harm is thought to be young people who are removed from their families and live in group home settings. There is existing literature about the effects and attitudes of medical professionals who care for those who self-harm, however very little that looks at self-harm from the prospective of residential care workers. From ten semi-structured interviews with residential care workers, analysed with Thematic Analysis, similar attitudes that have been reflected in recent studies with medical professionals were reflected in the residential care worker’s accounts. Participants felt it is necessary for better and more robust self-harm training for staff, and more available and structured organisational and colleague support. Additionally, over time, the care workers became accustomed to the behaviours, with some becoming emotionally disconnected from the care they provided. The study explores the previously unheard voices of the residential care workers and highlights the need to provide better support for residential care workers.
    • Whole brain teaching and learning in an infant classroom: An empirical study

      Dukes, Kathryn (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 1996-07)
      The study explores the validity and applicability of ideas deriving from what is known as 'integrative learning'. The investigation took place over a twelve week period with a class of Reception and Year One children in an urban primary school situated in a family stress area. The research focuses on activities associated with 'right brain thinking'. 'Circle time' and other activities designed to encourage a positive self-concept in the children and positive interpersonal relationships were trialled along with scripted fantasy, which was introduced with a view to enhancing the children's imagination and the quality of their language work. Evidence is provided of particular positive effects resulting from the introduction of the activities; these include more positive interpersonal relationships, improvement in academic achievement and increase in motivation.
    • Why all the Anxiety? Exploring ‘the Horror’ of the Darkest Interior in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and the Adventure Narrative

      Hall, Leonora (University of Chester, 2015)
      This dissertation sets out to prove that anxiety in Heart of Darkness arises because ‘heroic’ behaviour abroad inevitably transgresses the values which inform Victorian masculine identities, thereby undermining them. The premise is based on the strong links between fin-de-siècle adventure stories set within the empire and notions of Victorian masculinity, with the main focus on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899), whilst drawing on late-nineteenth-century texts from Stevenson, Rider Haggard, Kipling, Conan Doyle and Stoker, as well as the real-life derring-do of Henry Morton Stanley. This dissertation shows that degenerative behaviour set within the colonial space, where empire and masculine authority ‘permitted’ violence, is a necessary part of the male hero’s rite de passage, and such behaviour can be viewed as attractive and forgivable. The conventional/transgressive identity of colonial adventurers is explored through Marlow, with Kurtz offering Marlow the opportunity to experience, in extremis, the dilemmas and struggles which reside within the ‘self’. This dissertation shows how the anxiety in Heart of Darkness is not just discovering and embracing the ability to transgress, but it arises from the undoing of an idealised fiction of heroic masculinity by offering a horrific alternative: the ‘triumphant darkness’ within. In extending the reasoning of reverse colonization so that the returning hero becomes the agent of decay on home soil, this dissertation claims that anxiety is manifold in fin-de-siècle imperial adventure narratives, not only from embracing transgressive behaviour which undermines the ideals of the Victorian adventure hero’s identity, but also from the threat to the very foundations of society, because the returning hero brings his barbarian behaviour home with him and, either in action, through finding his new identity no longer fits within societal norms, or through the intended reader; he corrupts his society.
    • ‘With whom shall I identify?’: Nineteenth-Century Representations of Parental Influences and Adolescent Identity Formation

      Ravenscroft, Michelle D. (University of Chester, 2018-11-26)
      This inter-disciplinary research considers cultural influences, such as religion and education, on adolescent identity formation and parental role-models in nineteenth-century texts. Definitions and representations of constructed identities are explored in relation to the influence of cultural factors using twentieth-century psychological, sociological and psychiatric theories surrounding adolescent and parental identity. Representations of adolescent experiences and parental influences within the home and society reflect changing attitudes towards shifting gender boundaries throughout the century. The conflict of changing family dynamics, in relation to parental roles and authority, are also considered with regards to how these influence the adolescent during this critical life-stage. The conflict and crisis involved in the process of adolescent identity formation is linked to the need for the adolescent to identify with a successful role-model. The analysis of representations of socially constructed role-models in the nineteenth-century suggests there are many factors that determine the success or failure of an adopted identity. This research supports the theory that the concept of a problematic adolescence is not borne out of the inability of adolescents to form an identity, rather the inability of nineteenth-century parents to provide a stable, positive and successful role-model, and the adolescent’s increasing awareness of this instability and their need for an individual identity. Representations support the argument that the growing pressure of individual responsibility for life-choices throughout the nineteenth century also increases the conflict and crisis of the adolescent experience and creates an adolescent desire for autonomy to realise their full potential.
    • Working with suicide: An exploration of the tensions that may exist if counsellors’ beliefs and agency suicide policy conflict

      Jones, Elaine (University of Chester, 2015-10)
      This research explores the experiences of counsellors working with suicidal clients with a focus on how counsellors respond to, and are affected by, a suicide policy with which they have disagreements. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted. Four counsellors who have tensions with their agency’s suicide policy were interviewed and their experiences explored. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The research concludes that counsellors who would otherwise feel confident in their work with suicidal clients feel anxious and concerned for the safety of their clients as a result of working within a policy that feels inadequate. The research also demonstrates that counsellors feel isolated when in this position and points to the need for counsellor organisations, such as the BACP, to provide a forum in which such issues can be addressed. The research has also resulted in the production of suggestions as to how policy could be improved and demonstrated that the implementation of these changes would alleviate the stress felt by counsellors and provide more support to clients experiencing a suicidal crisis. In addition the conclusions of the research suggest, controversially, that it is ethical for counsellors to breach policy if they believe that the policy does not have the best interest of the client at its heart, and if it does not protect the client in times of crisis.
    • The year of mutinies: An analysis of the naval mutinies at Spithead and the Nore in 1797

      Mackie, Philip D. (University of Chester, 2010)
      The so-called "great naval mutinies of 1797" marked a significant turning point in Royal Navy history. The events of that year sent shockwaves through the navy and fundamentally altered the attitudes of officers towards their crews, and vice versa, giving ordinary seamen a new voice over issues concerning their pay, victuals, and treatment by those above.