University of Gloucestershire Research Repository

    Mick Holder shepherd Forest of Dean, secretary Commoners Association (pt1)

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    Mick Holder is an established commoner who has run large flocks of sheep for many years. He is also a businessman and secretary of the Commoners Association. He has had interested in haulage and coal distribution. He was born in Cinderford. He has worked tirelessly to maintain the tradition of commoning in the Forest of Dean. He is a member of the Sheep Liaison Group, a multi-agency group that addresses local issues and that established the Responsible Shepherding Agreement. He has also a point of contact for sheep related issues and runs a call out service for sheep related problems that is widely appreciated. Chris, his wife is very active on the farm and with shepherding. They live at Pleasant View Farm, Blaize Bailey with panoramic views over the Severn Estuary (2016)

    Evaluating Weaknesses of “Cognitive-Perceptual Training” and “Brain Training” Methods in Sport: An Ecological Dynamics Critique

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    The recent upsurge in “brain training and perceptual-cognitive training,” proposing to improve isolated processes, such as brain function, visual perception, and decision-making, has created significant interest in elite sports practitioners, seeking to create an “edge” for athletes. The claims of these related “performance-enhancing industries” can be considered together as part of a process training approach proposing enhanced cognitive and perceptual skills and brain capacity to support performance in everyday life activities, including sport. For example, the “process training industry” promotes the idea that playing games not only makes you a better player but also makes you smarter, more alert, and a faster learner. In this position paper, we critically evaluate the effectiveness of both types of process training programmes in generalizing transfer to sport performance. These issues are addressed in three stages. First, we evaluate empirical evidence in support of perceptual-cognitive process training and its application to enhancing sport performance. Second, we critically review putative modularized mechanisms underpinning this kind of training, addressing limitations and subsequent problems. Specifically, we consider merits of this highly specific form of training, which focuses on training of isolated processes such as cognitive processes (attention, memory, thinking) and visual perception processes, separately from performance behaviors and actions. We conclude that these approaches may, at best, provide some “general transfer” of underlying processes to specific sport environments, but lack “specificity of transfer” to contextualize actual performance behaviors. A major weakness of process training methods is their focus on enhancing the performance in body “modules” (e.g., eye, brain, memory, anticipatory sub-systems). What is lacking is evidence on how these isolated components are modified and subsequently interact with other process “modules,” which are considered to underlie sport performance. Finally, we propose how an ecological dynamics approach, aligned with an embodied framework of cognition undermines the rationale that modularized processes can enhance performance in competitive sport. An ecological dynamics perspective proposes that the body is a complex adaptive system, interacting with performance environments in a functionally integrated manner, emphasizing that the interrelation between motor processes, cognitive and perceptual functions, and the constraints of a sport task is best understood at the performer-environment scale of analysis

    Editorial

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    There is a strong international retail emphasis throughout the five submissions to this issue. The topics of the submissions include fast-fashion consumers’ post-purchase behaviours, store choice behaviour of Indian apparel shoppers, consumer behaviour towards store preferences in Oman, the performance of fresh fruit and vegetables departments with a special attention being paid to the deterioration of product quality in France, and mobile phone platform (Android vs. Apple iOS) and their use for purchasing and information-sharing activities

    Philosophizing Play

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    The Handbook of the Study of Play brings together in two volumes thinkers whose diverse interests at the leading edge of scholarship and practice define the current field. Because play is an activity that humans have shared across time, place, and culture and in their personal developmental timelines-and because this behavior stretches deep into the evolutionary past-no single discipline can lay claim to exclusive rights to study the subject. Thus this handbook features the thinking of evolutionary psychologists; ethologists and biologists; neuroscientists; developmental psychologists; psychotherapists and play therapists; historians; sociologists and anthropologists; cultural psychologists; philosophers; theorists of music, performance, and dance; specialists in learning and language acquisition; and playground designers. Together, but out of their varied understandings, the incisive contributions to The Handbook take on vital questions of educational policy, of literacy, of fitness, of the role of play in brain development, of spontaneity and pleasure, of well-being and happiness, of fairness, and of the fuller realization of the self. These volumes also comprise an intellectual history, retrospective looks at the great thinkers who have made possible the modern study of play

    An assessment of TQM implementation, and the influence of organisational culture on TQM implementation in Libyan banks

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    TQM has become a competitive strategy for organisations and has been widely implemented throughout the world. Over the previous three decades, there has been a dramatic growth globally in the implementation of total quality management (TQM) in many organisations with the aim of improving the quality of their products and services, and meeting customers‘ needs. Although the literature in the field relates the success of many organisations in the implementation of TQM, it also refers to the fact that there have been some failures or shortcomings and barriers to the implementation of TQM. These failures or barriers to adoption and implementation are due not only to a lack of top management commitment or weak understanding of total quality management, but also encompass organisational cultural factors. The purpose of this research is to assess the level of TQM implementation, and to explore the influence of organisational culture on TQM implementation in Libyan banks. In addition, this research identifies the main obstacles that affect the implementation of TQM in Libyan banks. This study uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to achieve the objectives of the research. A questionnaire was designed to determining the level of TQM implementation in Libyan banks, and to identify the causal relationships between factors, in order to explore the influence of organisational culture on TQM implementation. Complimentary semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers and supervisors to gain a greater understanding of some additional issues with regard to TQM practice and organisational culture. The results of data analysis show that the level of TQM implementation in Libyan banks was low. The competing value framework (CVF) as proposed and tested by Denison and Spreitzer (1991) was used to explore the influence of organisational culture types on TQM implementation factors in Libyan banks. The findings showed that group culture and developmental culture had a positive influence on all TQM implementation factors. In addition, hierarchical culture and rational culture did not have any influence on TQM implementation factors in this context. Moreover, the study revealed that some of the obstacles that affected the achievement of a high level of TQM implementation in Libyan banks were: a lack of top management commitment; a lack of training programmes relating to quality management; and a weak focus on customer expectations and satisfaction. The findings of this study make an original contribution to the academic and practical knowledge of TQM. It is the first exploratory study to have assessed TQM implementation, and to have investigated the influence of organisational culture types on TQM implementation in Libyan banks. Besides presenting some recommendations for Libyan banks, the research offers suggestions for further research in this area

    An Exploration of the Dynamics of Consensual Approaches in Biodiversity Planning for the Wider Countryside: Evaluating the Usefulness and Applicability of Actor-Network Theory

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    This research examines the usefulness of applying theoretical principles from the Sociology of Translation and Actor Network Theory to the scenario of biodiversity planning in Oxfordshire between the early nineteen nineties and 2001. It develops a model derived from a social constructionist approach to considering Nature, and seeks to apply it to empirical data on the development of Oxfordshire's Local Biodiversity Action Plan. The data is considered in relation to the four poles of the model which are the 'scientific knowledge or technical' pole; the 'institutional' pole; the 'production of practices' pole and the 'nature protected' pole. The idea that is applied is that scientific knowledge that is generated for a purpose becomes the accepted wisdom and consequently is institutionalized. From this acceptance of the importance of scientific or technical authority, practices will then be generated (for example, land or water management strategies) and these then protect particular elements of nature; essentially what society, and more specifically, the actors involved with problematising the issue deem as being elements that are important to preserve. Also, there is a time and space dimension built into the model since the author builds on the ideas of actor-network theorists who argue that a network is not a flat shape but that actors may act at a distance (e. g. global actor) but still be linked into a localized network. Similarly, actors may be incorporated from different times but may be held into place within a given network because their views or actions are part of a stable agreement (e. g. text/intermediary object) that has encapsulated a number of different actors.The actor-networks presented in this thesis are heterogeneous in nature in that they incorporate elements of nature and the human world as different actors represent the views of others. The research explores stable and unstable networks that are founded within consensual approaches through partnership working between many different types of organisation

    Children’s education in secure custodial settings: Towards a global understanding of effective policy and practice

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    This unique editorial paper is one of the first that discusses the education of incarcerated young people in an international education journal. We review the eleven papers in the Special Issue on children’s education in secure custodial settings to provide key insights with the aim of moving towards a global understanding of what effective policy and practice may look like. In examining the range of cross-disciplinary papers from a range of different cultural contexts including the UK, Germany, UAE, US, Nigeria and South Africa, we are able to illuminate some of the commonalities in the education of young people who are incarcerated as well as some of the background characteristics – many of which are strikingly similar. We employed the ideas of the bio-socio-ecological systems model to explore the proximal and distal systems that interact to affect the educational experiences of the young people. These included at the microsystemic level the importance of relationships in engaging the young people with education and learning and that, the relationships between the key actors (mesosystem) as well as the importance of effective leadership (exosystem) were critical elements in improving the experience of education in custodial settings. But rather predictably, the structural disadvantages (macrosystem) that young people who come into contact with youth justice face and how these are not appropriately addressed that came into sharp focus, possibly because many countries take a punitive approach to youth offending. We argue that there are things that can be done at each systems level but that in order to make the changes to genuinely improve the lives of these young people, we make a bold call upon the global community (macrosystem), through the UNCRC to challenge themselves for a radical overhaul of youth justice approaches which put the child as child first and offender second in order to meet the commitment in Article 28

    Can HRM Alleviate the Negative Effects of the Resource Curse on Firms? Evidence from Brunei

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    Purpose: The resource curse literature suggests that firms operating in non-oil and gas industries in petrostates face considerable challenges in securing competitiveness and sustaining themselves. Based on a firm level survey within a micro-petrostate, Brunei, this study explores the relationship between specific HR policies and practices and organisational performance, analysing, comparing and contrasting oil and gas with non-oil and gas sectors, and draws out the comparative lessons for understanding the potential and performance consequences of HR interventions in resource centred national economies. Design/methodology/approach: Data for this study was generated from a primary survey administered amongst the HR Directors in companies operating in all sectors in Brunei. A statistically representative sample size of 214 was selected. Findings: We confirmed that firms in the oil and gas sector indeed performed better than other sectors. However, we found that the negative effects associated with operating outside of oil and gas could be mitigated through strategic choices: the strategic involvement of HR directors in the affairs of the company reduced employee turnover and added positively to financial returns across sectors. Practical implications: Developing and enhancing the role of people management is still very much easier than bringing about structural institutional reforms: the study confirms that at least part of the solution to contextual difficulties lies within, and that the firm level consequences of the resource curse can be ameliorated through strategic choice. Originality/value: The nature of the present investigation is one of few studies conducted in South East Asia in general and in the context of Brunei in particular. It also contributes to our understanding whether HR interventions can ameliorate the challenges of operating in a non-resource sector in a resource rich country. Keywords: Human resources; employee turnover; perceived financial performance; resource curse theory; oil and gas sector

    ‘This loopy idea’ An analysis of UKIP’s social media discourse in relation to rurality and climate change

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    This paper focuses on the way that United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) attempted to communicate its policies and messages about the topic of renewable energy during 2013-14. Renewable energy is a fruitful topic to consider as it has a strategic importance in the discussion of the future of the UK while it raises questions about the role of science in politics, the tensions between the value of particular, mostly rural, places. The emergent theme from the analysis was not only rurality and renewable energy but the connection of the latter issue to scepticism about climate change. With the emergence of new forms of media, in particular, social media, the means of representation are more closely in the control of political actors. The immediacy and frequency of communication through platforms such as Twitter has added another strand of published materials to the more familiar pamphlets, reports, and manifestos. This paper uses the novel approach of the qualitative analyses the social media posts of one key UKIP representative and a sample of the linked materials, in tandem with newspaper coverage, to reveal the key themes in the UKIP discourse

    Assessing urban tree carbon storage and sequestration in Bolzano, Italy

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    Recent climate change, environmental design, and ecological conservation policies require new and existing urban developments to mitigate and offset carbon dioxide emissions and for cities to become carbon neutral. Some North American models and tools are available and can be used to quantify the carbon offset function of urban trees. But, little information on urban tree carbon storage and sequestration exists from the European Southern Alps. Also, the use of these North American models in Europe has never been assessed. This study developed a protocol to quantify aboveground carbon (C) storage and sequestration using a subsample of urban trees in Bolzano, Italy, and assessed two existing and available C estimation models. Carbon storage and sequestration were estimated using city-specific dendrometrics and allometric biomass equations primarily from Europe and two other United States models; the UFORE (Urban Forest Effects Model) and the CUFR Tree Carbon Calculator (CTCC). The UFORE model carbon storage estimates were the lowest while the CUFR Tree Carbon Calculator (CTCC) C sequestration estimates were the highest. Results from this study can be used to plan, design, and manage urban forests in northern Italy to maximize C offset potential, provide ecosystem services, and for developing carbon neutral policies. Findings can also be used to predict greenhouse gas emissions from tree maintenance operations as well as estimating green waste yield from landscape maintenance activities and its use as biofuel and compost. Managers need to be aware that available models and methods can produce statistically different C storage and sequestration estimates
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