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Thesis Introduction Samples
The Relationship between Loyalty Schemes and Purchase Behaviour in the British Retail Industry: A Moderating Effect of Consumer Intention on the Provision of Personal Data
Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1. Problem Statement and Literature Gaps The recent developments in the area of online marketing have provided companies with considerable opportunities for…View Sample
1. Introduction 1.1. Background A desire to obtain know how or new technological innovations is often suggested to be one of the main reasons behind…View Sample
Success Factors for UK-Based Crowdfunding Projects. Should the Founders’ Demographic Profile Match That of the Target Audience?
Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1. Problem Definition and Rationale Crowdfunding is the process of raising money through specialised online portals (i.e. crowdfunding platforms) by individuals, businesses,…View Sample
The Role of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Transforming the Business Model of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1. Existing Research Gaps With the world becoming more interconnected and the increasing disruptiveness of information technology, the concept of the internet…View Sample
Individual Consumer Characteristics in the Relationship between Technology Acceptance and Social Commerce Engagement
Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1. Research Problem Social networking websites were created with a simple idea in mind – to help users share their experiences and…View Sample
The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Millennials’ Employment Choices: Altruism or Attention Seeking?
Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1. Problem Statement and Rationale Millennial job seekers are frequently reported to ascribe a greater importance to corporate ethics and sustainability than…View Sample
PhD Sample Topics
The aim of this investigation is to evaluate the impact of attractive visuals, which are functionally unrelated to the verbal content of the message, on the purchase intention of social media users. The conceptual basis of this project is the systematic and heuristic processing theory. The research method is a 2x2 experiment involving 40 millennial customers. The participants are randomly assigned to one of the following conditions in each pair (absent vs. present visual element, and high vs. low cognitive demand task). After the main phase of the experiment, the participants are presented with a brief survey measuring their purchase intention.
Kergoat, M., Meyer, T. and Merot, A. (2017) “Picture-based persuasion in advertising: the impact of attractive pictures on verbal ad’s content”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 34 (7), pp. 624-635.
The research aim is to evaluate the effect of website content quality on the attraction of user traffic. The major theories informing this investigation are the Information Adoption Model (IAM) and the Information System Success Model (ISSM). The research method is a survey involving 72 millennial customers. The participants were presented with three pairs of website texts. Both texts in each pair advertised the same product or service. One piece of content in each pair was ordered from a top freelance writer charging significantly more than the market average, and the other from an average-charging freelance writer. The participants’ task was to evaluate the quality of the text and share their reactions.
Filieri, R., McLeay, F. and Tsui, B. (2017) “Antecedents of Travellers’ Satisfaction and Purchase Intention from Social Commerce Websites”, in R. Schegg and B. Stangl (Eds), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2017, Cham: Springer, pp. 517-528.
The aim of this doctoral project is to investigate whether home appliance retailers in the UK could improve their customers’ purchase intention by offering augmented reality (AR features in their mobile apps). The study suggests that the benefits of AR should only manifest for customers who are knowledgeable about this technology and are experienced in using mobile apps for shopping. Primary data is collected by contacting 276 millennial customers. The participants are categorised according to their demographics and AR technology familiarity. ANOVA is the main tool of statistical data analysis. The investigation provides valuable suggestions on how AR features may be improved to achieve more motivated purchase intentions. The findings from the UK should be applicable to other developed countries such as from Europe or the US.
Farshid, M., Paschen, J., Eriksson, T. and Kietzmann, J. (2018) “Go boldly!: Explore augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) for business”, Business Horizons, 61 (5), pp. 657-663.
The energy drinks industry is one of the key sources of sponsorship for e-sports events. This raises an issue of whether such marketing initiatives are effective in reaching millennial customers. The doctoral research aims to evaluate millennial customers’ brand perceptions of energy drinks when presented with overt sponsorships. It could be that sponsorship only reinforces brand awareness but has little to no effect on loyalty and perceived quality. 183 millennials who have either visited e-sports events personally or watched live streams and web videos are the target population. This audience is supplied with questionnaire forms that evaluate their brand opinions. This data will become vital for formulating new marketing strategies and leveraging e-sports as a marketing platform.
Bragg, M., Roberto, C., Harris, J., Brownell, K. and Elbel, B. (2018) “Marketing food and beverages to youth through sports”, Journal of Adolescent Health, 62 (1), pp. 5-13.
Digital detox refers to the increasing desire of consumers to refrain from using social media and instead switching to personal communications. Some outlets have issued guidelines and codes prohibiting the use of mobile phones or the Internet at their locations to promote this. However, the efficacy of digital detox as a driver of profitability remains under-evaluated. The goal of the current analysis is to establish whether digital detox could lead visitors of small restaurants in the UK to order more food and beverages. The study contacts 9 small restaurant owners with a request to participate in face-to-face interviews. These participants are supposed to share their opinions on digital detox and compare the pre-detox sales with post-detox figures. The obtained results could support marketing activities in small enterprises, providing valuable data for resource-constrained firms.
Ayeh, J. K. (2018) “Distracted gaze: Problematic use of mobile technologies in vacation contexts”, Tourism Management Perspectives, 26 (1), pp. 31-38.
Even though there is a large body of literature that explores the effect of shopping on consumers’ satisfaction through emotions, little emphasis has been put on the impact of joint shopping among Chinese consumers. In addition, the moderating role of consumers’ emotions in this relationship has been overlooked to date. This project explores whether and how Chinese consumers’ shopping motivations affect their intention to do shopping with a friend as well as the level of their satisfaction with this process. Primary quantitative data was obtained from 283 Chinese consumers by means of self-administered questionnaires distributed both online and offline. The findings demonstrate a direct effect of joint shopping on consumer satisfaction. In addition, positive emotions partly moderate the link between Chinese consumers’ joint shopping and satisfaction.
Wenzel, S. and Benkenstein, M. (2018) “Together always better? The impact of shopping companions and shopping motivation on adolescents’ shopping experience”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 44 (1), pp. 118-126.
The purpose of this doctoral project is to examine the adoption of revenue management techniques by London’s luxury hotels. This investigation is informed by the hedonic pricing and price optimisation theories. The research method is a case study using purposive heterogeneous sampling. The three focus cases are luxury hotels located in London. Primary data is collected through a combination of managerial interviews and observations of price dynamics on the hospitality organisations’ web pages.
Vives, A., Jacob, M. and Payeras, M. (2018) “Revenue management and price optimization techniques in the hotel sector: A critical literature review”, Tourism Economics, 24 (6), pp. 720-752.
The doctoral study is aimed to explore the attitudes of managers employed by British manufacturing companies towards ICO as a fundraising method. The most influential theories in the ICO field are the efficient market theory, behavioural theory, and game theory. A mixed-method research design is adopted. During the first stage, a survey of 78 managers is conducted. At the second stage, 2 interviews are conducted with the managers who are planning to start an ICO in the near future.
Conley, J. P. (2017) “Blockchain and the Economics of Crypto-tokens and Initial Coin Offerings”, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, VUECON-17-00008.
Risk evaluation is a crucial part of a more overwhelming framework of risk management. Many firms have recently begun to use risk analytics software such as Proggio to implement formal mechanisms of decision-making. Even though this change is significant, it remains unclear whether the software adoption trend will lead to measurable performance outcomes. The analysis chapter attempts to critically investigate the impact of risk analytics software on team performance for UK-based construction firms. As construction is a project-oriented setting facing environmental, supply and labour risks, this focus is justified. The sample is comprised of 10 managers of construction companies with at least two years of experience in using risk analytics tools. Semi-structured interviews, which rely on performance measures and examine the impact of software, are the main source of primary data collection.
Koulinas, G., Marhavilas, P., Demesouka, O., Vavatsikos, A. and Koulouriotis, D. (2019) “Risk analysis and assessment in the worksites using the fuzzy-analytical hierarchy process and a quantitative technique–A case study for the Greek construction sector”, Safety Science, 112 (1), pp. 96-104.
Entrepreneurial traits are conventionally viewed as beneficial for corporate decision-makers. However, recent research has revealed significant differences between entrepreneurs and managers in how they approach key business decisions and negotiations process. Thus, the assumption about entrepreneurs as outstanding business managers needs to be re-assessed. This doctoral project collects first-hand evidence by interviewing 10 former entrepreneurs and now managers in British companies. The focus of the study is on the ways in which entrepreneurial experience affects the managers’ decision-making processes and perceived challenges. It is assumed that managers with entrepreneurial experience will be particularly efficient in negotiations, but more likely to have conflicts with other decision-makers within the organisation.
Keane, S.F., Cormican, K.T. and Sheahan, J.N. (2018) “Comparing how entrepreneurs and managers represent the elements of the business model canvas”, Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 9 (1), pp. 65-74.
Cyber security threats are faced by all enterprises, regardless of their size. The management of this type of risks in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is constrained by the lack of awareness and scarce financial resources. The recent study by Osborn and Simpson (2018) revealed considerable gaps in how British SMEs approach cyber security. This doctoral study elaborates on these findings by looking into whether the SMEs representing various sectors of British economy will differ significantly in their approaches to cyber security. The target sample size is 30 SMEs, including manufacturing, IT, retail, and service businesses. A survey was chosen as the data collection method, with 5 questionnaires to be spread in each SME. The research focus is on the tools and measures adopted by companies to ensure cyber security. The anticipated pattern is the highest quality of cyber security risk management in IT SMEs, followed by manufacturing businesses and then by retail and service firms.
Osborn, E. and Simpson, A. (2018) “Risk and the Small-Scale Cyber Security Decision Making Dialogue—a UK Case Study”, The Computer Journal, 61 (4), pp. 472-495.
The pharmaceutical industry is deservedly considered as one of the most pollutant manufacturing sectors in the UK. Hence, the environmental sustainability of British pharmaceutical organisations is currently under intense scrutiny. However, the extent to which these companies are aware of green supply chain management (GSCM) practices and their impact on the social and economic dimensions of sustainable performance is still limited. This project attempts to explore the potential and current effect of such GSCM practices as green purchasing, reverse logistics, and environmental cooperation on the sustainability performance of 26 British pharmaceutical companies. For this purpose, the researcher obtained primary data from the senior and middle supply chain managers (n=108) of these enterprises who best understand the mentioned GSCM practices. Based on the empirical findings, the researcher provided the theoretical and managerial implications as well as future research directions.
Zaid, A., Jaaron, A. and Bon, A. (2018) “The impact of green human resource management and green supply chain management practices on sustainable performance: An empirical study”, Journal of Cleaner Production, 204 (1), pp. 965-979.
This investigation intends to explore the use of social media analytics in business decision-making processes at the example of a local Tesco store. The conceptual basis is the social comparison theory. The research method is semi-structured interviews that are conducted with three members of the store’s managerial team. The thematic analysis method is adopted to interpret the obtained qualitative data.
He, W., Shen, J., Tian, X., Li, Y., Akula, V., Yan, G. and Tao, R. (2015) “Gaining competitive intelligence from social media data: Evidence from two largest retail chains in the world”, Industrial Management & Data Systems, 115 (9), pp. 1622-1636.
The doctoral project seeks to evaluate the impact of open innovation on organisational performance in British hi-tech firms from the cost/benefit perspective. The major theoretical frameworks in the field are the absorptive capacity theory and the search depth theory. The research design is a case study using semi-structured interviews as the main data collection tool. 12 British hi-tech companies having experience with open innovation are sampled using a mix of convenience and snowball sampling. The interviews are conducted with one manager in each company.
Greco, M., Grimaldi, M. and Cricelli, L. (2015) “Open innovation actions and innovation performance: a literature review of European empirical evidence”, European Journal of Innovation Management, 18 (2), pp. 150-171.
Using drones for last-mile parcel delivery has been reported to save up to 90% of fuel costs and cut delivery time by 30%. In the UK, the development of drone delivery services was hindered by the ‘within-sight’ rule up to the recent time. However, this regulatory obstacle was removed in 2018, opening the air to British delivery businesses. This doctoral project investigates the attitudes of delivery companies towards adopting drones in the near future. The research method is semi-structured interviews, and the target sample size is at least 12 representatives of UK-based delivery businesses. The researcher expects to find that the adoption of drones in a more permissive regulatory environment is still hindered by infrastructure gaps and privacy concerns.
Yoo, W., Yu, E. and Jung, J. (2018) “Drone delivery: Factors affecting the public’s attitude and intention to adopt”, Telematics and Informatics, 35 (6), pp. 1687-1700.
China has a long-standing reputation as an attractive offshoring destination, due to its cheap and skilled workforce in combination with investor-friendly legislation. However, the recent shift of China’s government towards protectionism has led to the repatriation and ‘reshoring’ of manufacturing facilities to the US and the UK. The aim of this doctoral study is to evaluate the impact of China’s new policies on the British manufacturing sector and its offshoring experience. A purposive heterogeneous sampling method is used to approach two British manufacturing companies that have recently re-shored their facilities and two companies that are still outsourcing to China. The information about outsourcing experiences and the impact of new regulations is collected from the companies’ managers through semi-structured interviews. It is expected that the two companies that proceed with offshoring are facing considerable difficulties in the new regulatory environment, and that the exiting companies did it mainly because of the policy changes.
Vanchan, V., Mulhall, R. and Bryson, J. (2018) “Repatriation or Reshoring of Manufacturing to the US and UK: Dynamics and Global Production Networks or from Here to There and Back Again”, Growth and Change, 49 (1), pp. 97-121.
Similar to publishing industries in other countries, the UK’s publishing market has experienced a rise in e-book sales and a decline in demand for physical books. However, in 2016 this trend was reversed. As of 2018, the sales of digital books continued to decline, while the demand for physical copies increased. Publishers are also facing an intensified competition from websites providing illegal e-books. Despite the publishing industry’s significant contribution to British economy, exploratory research on how this industry is tackling the emerging challenges is lacking. This doctoral project is intended to bridge this research gap by investigating the experiences of British publishers. The focus of this study is three publishing houses dealing in print and digital books alike. The data is collected using semi-structured interviews with 5 managers and key employees from each publishing house, which suggests a total sample size of 15 individuals. The researcher is expecting to find that all publishing houses have to adapt their business models to the reversing demand trend.
Jonas, O. and Sirkeci, I. (2018) “Understanding determinants of illegal e-book downloading behaviour in the UK and Germany”, Transnational Marketing Journal, 6 (2), pp. 79-100.
Trust is commonly viewed as one of the main facilitators of successful inter-organisational relationship development. Contemporary business literature suggests that there are six major antecedents of trust between companies and business partners, namely communication, satisfaction, shared values, competence, integrity, and benevolence. However, the role of co-creation as another significant antecedent of cognitive and affective dimensions of trust in B2B relationships is usually overlooked. This project explores the effectiveness of co-creation in building trust between partnering companies in the People’s Republic of China. For this purpose, the researcher obtained primary qualitative data from 38 upper managers of large Chinese manufacturing companies by means of open-ended interviews. The analysis findings demonstrated that the active participation and collaboration of the buyer and the seller in the B2B context results in higher levels of trust and more successful relationships.
Ma, Y., Rong, K., Luo, Y., Wang, Y., Mangalagiu, D. and Thornton, T. (2019) “Value Co-creation for sustainable consumption and production in the sharing economy in China”, Journal of Cleaner Production, 208 (1), pp. 1148-1158.
The research aim is to investigate the comparative effects of text-based communication ability (TBCA) and the past real-world leadership experience on an individual’s becoming an emergent leader of a virtual team. The conceptual basis of this study is the adaptive structuration theory (AST). The research method is an experiment involving 40 undergraduate business students who are randomly assigned to teams of four (10 teams in total). The participants take a three-minute typing test to measure TBCA and participate in a survey on past leadership experiences. At the actual experiment stage, the groups are assigned a business simulation exercise to complete as a team. After finishing the exercise, the participants independently complete a survey on their experience intended to identify the one who undertook the leader’s role.
Charlier, S. D., Stewart, G. L., Greco, L. M. and Reeves, C. J. (2016) “Emergent leadership in virtual teams: A multilevel investigation of individual communication and team dispersion antecedents”, The Leadership Quarterly, 27 (5), pp. 745-764.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of employees’ affective commitment on innovative performance in the context of the British hi-tech start-up industry. The key theories in the selected research field are the psychological contract theory and the three-dimensional model of organisational commitment (distinguishing between affective, normative, and continuance commitment). A survey was chosen as the main research method. Questionnaires measuring affective commitment were distributed to 80 employees of IT start-up companies. To eliminate same-source bias, the employees’ innovative performance data was obtained from their supervisors.
Thompson, M. and Heron, P. (2006) “Relational quality and innovative performance in R&D based science and technology firms”, Human Resource Management Journal, 16 (1), pp. 28-47.
A major managerial trend is the implementation of flexible working initiatives with the aim of increasing individual and organisational productivity. Regardless of its significance, the research on how flexible working could improve employee loyalty remains scarce. This doctoral project aims to evaluate the appropriateness of flexible working for ensuring a higher level of employee loyalty in British software firms. The study contacted 97 software engineers currently employed in UK-based enterprises. An open-ended questionnaire was distributed among these participants to establish the key flexible working practices and their impact on loyalty. Text mining software was the main tool for data analysis. It is expected that flexible working may become a source of loyalty, thus potentially reducing turnover intentions and lowering spending on human resources.
Giovanis, E. (2018) “The relationship between flexible employment arrangements and workplace performance in Great Britain”, International Journal of Manpower, 39 (1), pp. 51-70.
The current forecasts expect AI to replace as much as 16% of all HR jobs in the global labour sector. Employee recruitment is the most prominent HR area where AI has already been implemented by large conglomerates. Academic discourse on the effectiveness of AI, however, remains ambiguous. This doctoral study establishes the specific dimensions to which AI could add the highest value from the perspective of employee recruitment. The researcher conducts interviews with 7 AI coding professionals and 8 managers of large manufacturing firms located in the UK. These are compared to address the gap between the theoretical advantages of AI implementation and its practical limitations.
Kaplan, A. and Haenlein, M. (2019) “Siri, Siri, in my hand: Who’s the fairest in the land? On the interpretations, illustrations, and implications of artificial intelligence”, Business Horizons, 62 (1), pp. 15-25.
The present-day software technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet-of-things (IoT), big data, and blockchain, can potentially replace humans doing routine jobs with algorithms. In the public sector, these developments can lead to the creation of the ‘digital government’ or e-government where most processes will be automated. However, it remains unclear which public sector jobs can be automated in the UK in the near future to produce significant cost savings and simultaneously improve service quality. This doctoral study attempts at answering this question by conducting 7 interviews with experts in the cutting-edge software technology field and 7 interviews with public sector managers. The outsider and insider perspectives will be compared to reach a balanced conclusion on which roles can be automated in the public sector. It is anticipated that between 10% and 20% of civil servant roles can be replaced by algorithms at the current stage of technological advancement.
Willis, M. and Meyer, E.T. (2018) “Work that enables care: understanding tasks, automation, and the National Health Service”, International Conference on Information, pp. 544-549.
In a rapidly changing and uncertain business environment of today, team innovation is a critical element of any company’s success and survival. While previous studies highlight the significance of leadership in team innovation, most of them are aimed at transformational or charismatic leadership. This project broadens the existing knowledge by exploring how inclusive leadership contributes to team innovation in the context of the UK public sector. A mixed method was adopted to achieve this aim. The researcher obtained primary quantitative data from 162 employees of 16 British public organisations by means of self-administered questionnaires. In turn, 21 managers of these establishments provided primary qualitative data collected during open-ended interviews. The empirical findings suggest that team members’ involvement in the decision-making process serves as an important process, which ‘transfers’ inclusive leadership to team innovation.
Randel, A., Galvin, B., Shore, L., Ehrhart, K., Chung, B., Dean, M. and Kedharnath, U. (2018) “Inclusive leadership: Realizing positive outcomes through belongingness and being valued for uniqueness”, Human Resource Management Review, 28 (2), pp. 190-203.
This research will investigate the possible advantages that might accrue to the United Kingdom from the ratification of the CISG following Brexit. The UK remains one of the few major States to have so far not ratified the convention, and instead relies on the UK’s domestic Sale of Goods Act 1979 to govern the sale of goods internationally. Given that many of the UK’s trading partners have ratified the convention, it is proposed that there will be commercial advantage for parties who seek to do business on the convention’s terms (as this will likely be familiar to parties operating in China and Japan especially as these two States have recently ratified the convention). This will help mitigate to some extent the enhanced difficulties of trading within the EU in the event that the UK will operate outside of the EU’s customs union and face the external tariff policy of the EU’s customs area.
Hayward B, Zeller B, Andersen CB, ‘The CISG and The United Kingdom: Exploring Coherency and Private International Law (2018) 67 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 607-641.
This research will consider whether or not there is possible hope for the doctrine known as the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) in international law, or whether this concept is doomed to failure as a result of the reservation of the responsibility to take collective action in a timely and decisive manner to the Security Council of the United Nations. The work will consider the failure of similar preceding concepts such as the argument that States have a right to intervene in the sovereign affairs of other States for humanitarian purposes, and will investigate whether it is likely that the R2P can be likely to avoid the same pitfalls that befell these efforts. The crux of the problem is that whilst R2P’s “third pillar” requires the international community to act coherently to intervene and protect citizens in states which are unwilling or unable to do so, the Security Council refuses to sanction such interference
Hobson C, ‘Responding to Failure: The Responsibility to Protect After Libya’ (2016) 44 Millennium: Journal of International Studies’  433-454
This dissertation will be an investigation into the Wates Report and the Financial Reporting Council’s new Corporate Governance Guidelines that will come into force later this year. These reforms will introduce a Corporate Governance Code which is applicable to “large” private companies which fall within the specific turnover or employee thresholds. The dissertation will hypothesise that the introduction of the code is a retrograde step given that there is not the same agency dilemma present in private companies compared to public ones. Furthermore, it is likely that the introduction of the code will harm the competitiveness and freedom of large companies to operate in a way which suits their specific needs and which lacks flexibility even in comparison to the Corporate Governance Code applicable to public companies. The work must consider theories of corporate governance and changing notions of stakeholderism in order to explain why the code has been introduced in order to properly rebut the rationale for the code’s introduction.
Morris G, ‘Proposed Governance Principles for Private Companies’ (2018) 42 Company Secretary’s Review  17-18
The aim of this research is to investigate the effects of a dementia-friendly initiative in the acute ward setting. The research will adopt a social ecological approach to dementia-friendly hospital design, reflecting the impact of the physical environment on the experiences of vulnerable patients. The use of specifically designed signage will be promoted within a single acute ward for a period of 16 weeks and the experience of patients with dementia will be evaluated during this time. A total of 20 patients will participate in semi-structured interviews to establish the impact of signage on wellbeing, orientation and overall care experience on the ward. These findings will be compared to an age-matched control group in another acute ward within the same hospital. This research aims to highlight how a simple ward-based intervention can affect the care experience, potentially leading to developments in dementia-friendly ward design.
Parke, B., Boltz, M., Hunter, K. F., Chambers, T., Wolf-Ostermann, K., Adi, M. N., & Gutman, G. (2016). A scoping literature review of dementia-friendly hospital design. The Gerontologist, 57(4), e62-e74.
Nurse leadership skills are vital in promoting optimal patient safety and care experiences. However, it is unclear as to the most effective strategies to promote leadership knowledge and skills in nurses. E-learning has emerged as a valuable tool for education and training in many healthcare contexts and may be a suitable means of guiding leadership development. This study will aim to evaluate a modular e0learning course over a period of 12 weeks. Baseline characteristics of a sample of nurses will be compared with post-test results assessed through a questionnaire, including perceptions of the utility of e-learning, practical applications of the course, and perceived changes in leadership knowledge and skills. The results will be compared using appropriate statistical methods to determine the impact of e-learning on leadership knowledge and skills.
Lacerenza, C. N., Reyes, D. L., Marlow, S. L., Joseph, D. L., & Salas, E. (2017). Leadership training design, delivery, and implementation: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(12), 1686.
Optimising the experience of end-of-life care is a key aspect of nursing in palliative care. This research will focus on the use of a nurse-led communication strategy as a means of discussing life expectancy and the care needs of patients receiving end-of-life care. The study will comprise a prospective series of semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of five nurses and five patients engaged in end-of-life car discussions. The interviews will focus on care experiences, satisfaction with communication, decision-making and patient outcomes. The follow-up period will be at least three months, with monthly interviews, intended to monitor changes over time and evolution of care processes and experiences. It is hoped that this study will provide a basis for supporting nurse-led communication techniques, while evaluating the aspects of communication and care planning that have the greatest benefit to both patient and nurse.
Walczak, A., Butow, P. N., Tattersall, M. H., Davidson, P. M., Young, J., Epstein, R. M., costa, D. S. J., & Clayton, J. M. (2017). Encouraging early discussion of life expectancy and end-of-life care: A randomised controlled trial of a nurse-led communication support program for patients and caregivers. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 67, 31-40.
The research aim of this study is to investigate how media reports utilise mechanics such as priming, the availability heuristic and other cognitive biases to influence reader’s opinions on key political topics such as immigration. The conceptual basis of this work is embedded in the systems theory of cognition. The research methods would involve psychology laboratory experiments in which randomly assigned participants are presented with a comprehension task regarding a specially developed ‘media’ report on the topic of immigration. Differing uses of heuristics within reports will define the separate groups, and following reading the ‘report’ participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire regarding both their comprehension of the article, and regarding their views on immigration. These results will be compared to pre-test questionnaire measuring political views on immigration. The comparative effects of heuristic techniques will be compared using inferential statistical tests.
Navarro, S. P., & Lopez de Arechavaleta, B. O. (2010). Heuristic reasoning and beliefs on immigration: an approach to an intercultural education programme. Intercultural Education, 21(4), 351-364.
The research aim of this study is to examine whether personalities of individuals vary significantly between on-line and real-world environments. Furthermore, this study will seek to identify if existing differences impact upon the mental health and wellbeing of the sample. The conceptual basis of this will be situated in the field of personality mapping. This study would consist of a methodology that can be conducted with a large sample via an online survey, and would require participants to complete a series of personality questionnaires (e.g. IPIP-NEO and HEXACO-PI-R) for both their online selves and when considering how they are in everyday life. Additionally, participants would be required to fill out the GAD-7 anxiety questionnaire and PHQ-9 depression questionnaire. Data could then be subsequently analysed to examine the extent of the differences between on-line and binary selves, and to subsequently examine correlational indices in relation to mental health symptomatology.
Feher, K. (2016). Digital identity: The transparency of the self. In Applied Psychology: Proceedings of the 2015 Asian Congress of Applied Psychology (ACAP 2015) (pp. 132-143).
This study aims to examine the prevalence and impact of transformational leadership styles within the modern healthcare system. This system is very much target-driven which lends itself to a transactional style of leadership; however, transformational leadership styles have been linked to improve staff welfare and patient satisfaction. This study will explore what style is most prevalent within healthcare settings - carried out via a nation-wide online survey - and subsequently examine the clinical impacts of these forms of leadership, via the conduction of semi-structured questionnaires with a sub-sample of participants. Interview data will be transcribed and analysed using the framework of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).This mixed methods approach will provide both generalisable data and data of a rich nature, which could be used to inform and advise policy makers and healthcare providers alike.
Cheng, C., Bartram, T., Karimi, L. and Leggat, S., 2016. Transformational leadership and social identity as predictors of team climate, perceived quality of care, burnout and turnover intention among nurses. Personnel Review, 45(6), pp.1200-1216.
International Relations Topics
Mulgan (1998) uses the term ‘connexity’ to describe the process of globalization whereby transport and communication technologies connect human beings irrespective where they are on the planet. This research will investigate the extent to which connexity in the form of control over the transport of goods and information will supplant ownership of the means of production and territorial control. It will especially concentrate on the potential for emerging forms of connexity to invert the hegemony of western states, by generating a reliance on new and emerging forms of networking. Examples include China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the development of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which is a China centred Asia-Pacific trading space that encompasses ASEAN, and the creation of a vast Afro-Eurasian integrated land and sea network that creates what has been described as a blueprint for a new multipolar world order based on full spectrum integration.
The topic of immigration in Europe has been dominated by the concept of creating Fortress Europe as a means of controlling the inflow of migrants. This is also being replicated in other parts of the world such as the United States and Australia. This research will examine the new emphasis on the creation if a European Moat which attempts to prevent migrants from reaching the European Union by displacing their entry efforts to more distant places where it is more difficult for humanitarian organizations and the media to monitor. This involves outsourcing border controls to peripheral states whereby countries, for example in North Africa are paid to detain potential migrants and destroy the boats used for crossing the Mediterranean. The research will investigate potential new approaches such as the current initiative by the European Investment Bank termed the Economic Resilience Initiative which aims to raise the funding from public and private sources to provide a long-term solution to the causes of migration. This will involve investment in infrastructure projects, and the delivery of public and social services as well as security.
The concept of the rise of the knowledge or information society has been prominent in the last two decades and describes a process whereby information becomes one of the most precious of assets, and expert knowledge is held at a premium. This research will examine the rise of the disinformation society that is characterized by the dissemination of falsely constructed information as a political weapon against democracy, the norms of western civilization and the nature of reality itself. This may be orchestrated by Russia, but the effects are increasingly being felt throughout society. Of particular concern is the concept of alternative facts that are aimed at eliciting an emotional response rather than rational or critical thinking. This obviates the need for expert opinion and increasingly makes facts a subjective construct that is as valid as any other fact. The research will examine the role of the disinformation society in areas such as the Brexit referendum, the current US administration as well as the way it is being used to undermine democracy in Europe.
The tariff war between the US and China effectively started in June 2018 and continues to unfold as both sides are taking discriminatory action against each other’s trade flows. The US additionally taxed a $253-billion worth of imports from China, and China fired back by taxing a $110-billion worth of American goods. In December 2018, the CFO of Huawei was arrested in Canada because of the company’s alleged violation of US sanctions. This opposition between the world’s two largest economies is projected to have a highly adverse impact on the global trade system. Nonetheless, a disruption in the US-China relations may hold opportunities for other nations to strengthen their positions in either the US or Chinese market. This doctoral project will look into whether such opportunities currently exist for the UK. A mixed data collection strategy will be followed by obtaining qualitative data through 10 semi-structured interviews with experts and quantitative data through longitudinal observations of financial market trends. The researcher expects to find that the declining price of many US and Chinese assets will make them a better investment for British companies.
Lawrence, R.Z. (2018) “Can the Trading System Survive US–China Trade Friction?”, China & World Economy, 26 (5), pp. 62-82.
Over two decades, the Web was envisioned as a powerful connecting force encompassing national and geographic boundaries. However, today, this assumption is being increasingly challenged by the rise of digital protectionism. The US, the EU and China have established their own regulations of digital data storage and processing, which are sometimes referred to as ‘three data realms’. These regulatory systems often come in conflict with each other, effectively preventing digital goods from freely transferring the borders. More and more countries are restricting or even prohibiting the operation of foreign digital services on their territories; the most prominent examples include Facebook and Twitter being banned in China. This doctoral research is testing the assumption that the current rise of digital protectionism in major nations is changing their political discourse and promoting support for right-wing and conservative forces. The sentiment analysis on social media is adopted as the key research method. The expected pattern is that an increase in digital protectionism will be matched by a rise of xenophobic and anti-globalisation sentiments in the population.
Aaronson, S.A. (2018) “What are we talking about when we talk about digital protectionism?”, World Trade Review, 2018 (1), pp. 1-37.
In 2014, Russia made the first military incursion into the territory of Ukraine, an Eastern European country. After Euromaidan protests as well as the fall of the President of Ukraine, Russian military forces annexed Crimea. Shortly after, pro-Russian groups’ demonstrations escalated into an armed conflict in the Donbas and Donetsk areas of Ukraine. This study attempts to explore and understand the key antecedents of this conflict by accessing and reviewing secondary data sources, such as books, articles, reports, and official statements. A special emphasis is put on the argument that Russia’s invasion was an attempt to prevent the eastern enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). At the same time, the Ukrainian-Russian conflict is considered to facilitate the former’s intention to become a member of NATO. The recent improvements in Ukraine’s relationships with the US and the European Union further support this argument.
Gokmen, G. and Yakovlev, E. (2018) “War and well-being in transition: Evidence from two natural experiments”, Journal of Comparative Economics, 46 (3), pp. 788-799.