7,339 research outputs found

    Downsizing envoys: A public/private sector comparison

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    Aim This study builds on a previous research paper published by Acas (Ashman 2012) that explores the experiences of public sector employees that have been given the task of delivering the generally bad news of downsizing decisions face to face with the victims and then deal with the immediate repercussions – labelled downsizing envoys. The evidence from that paper is combined here with data gathered from envoys in the private sector in order to identify the similarities and differences in the experiences of envoys between the two sectors. The aim of this paper is to develop further our understanding of the envoy situation and to identify what instances of good practice can be garnered from either sector. Methodology In combination with evidence from the public sector study a total of 50 envoys were interviewed; where 24 came from across 9 public sector organisations, a further 24 from across 8 private sector organisations and two independent consultants. The interviewees are all presently or recently based in the North West of England. Including the 2 consultants 30 envoys are HR professionals and the other 20 are envoys drawn from other organisational functions. Findings A broad summary of the data gathered would indicate that in terms of how they undertake the role - that is, regarding attitude and personal conduct - the envoys are very similar irrespective of their sector or organisation. However, where the sector does have a differentiating influence is on how the role affects the envoys – in other words, the emotion and strain experienced in carrying out the task. Factors that make a difference here include how much support is available to envoys and what part they play in decision making processes. Suggestions for good practice The suggestions for good practice include ensuring that envoys are involved in decisions that affect their role and impact upon their understanding of downsizing rationale; that envoys do not feel forced into the role; that realistic efforts are made to train and develop envoys – especially with regard to the emotional aspects of the role; and to ensure that envoys are properly supported throughout downsizing activity

    ‘The nature of bad news infects the teller’: The experiences of envoys in the face to face delivery of downsizing initiatives in UK public sector organisations

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    Aim: This study builds on a previous research paper published by Acas (Ashman 2012) that explores the experiences of public sector employees that have been given the task of delivering the generally bad news of downsizing decisions face to face with the victims and then deal with the immediate repercussions – labelled downsizing envoys. The evidence from that paper is combined here with data gathered from envoys in the private sector in order to identify the similarities and differences in the experiences of envoys between the two sectors. The aim of this paper is to develop further our understanding of the envoy situation and to identify what instances of good practice can be garnered from either sector. Methodology: In combination with evidence from the public sector study a total of 50 envoys were interviewed; where 24 came from across 9 public sector organisations, a further 24 from across 8 private sector organisations and two independent consultants. The interviewees are all presently or recently based in the North West of England. Including the 2 consultants 30 envoys are HR professionals and the other 20 are envoys drawn from other organisational functions. Findings: A broad summary of the data gathered would indicate that in terms of how they undertake the role - that is, regarding attitude and personal conduct - the envoys are very similar irrespective of their sector or organisation. However, where the sector does have a differentiating influence is on how the role affects the envoys – in other words, the emotion and strain experienced in carrying out the task. Factors that make a difference here include how much support is available to envoys and what part they play in decision making processes. Suggestions for good practice: The suggestions for good practice include ensuring that envoys are involved in decisions that affect their role and impact upon their understanding of downsizing rationale; that envoys do not feel forced into the role; that realistic efforts are made to train and develop envoys – especially with regard to the emotional aspects of the role; and to ensure that envoys are properly supported throughout downsizing activity

    Hash-Tree Anti-Tampering Schemes

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    Procedures that provide detection, location and correction of tampering in documents are known as anti-tampering schemes. In this paper we describe how to construct an anti-tampering scheme using a pre-computed tree of hashes. The main problems of constructing such a scheme are its computational feasibility and its candidate reduction process. We show how to solve both problems by the use of secondary hashing over a tree structure. Finally, we give brief comments on our ongoing work in this area

    GROCERY STORE BUYING BEHAVIOR: EVIDENCE FROM LOYALTY PROGRAM DATA

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    Consumer/Household Economics,

    Diversity in Students’ Study Practices in Higher Education

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    A plethora of studies document the profound contextual changes leading amongst other things to diversity of the student population in the higher education sector in the developed world in the last two decades. However, the existing literature is less clear about (a) patterns of students’ study practices, and (b) how the factors underpinning diversity of the student population shape their study practices. This paper seeks to fill this gap. Employing a large data set of survey responses from a leading Australian university, this paper provides a quantitative analysis of students’ perceptions about their study practices in the teaching and learning process. Analysis of the survey data entailed two stages. First, factor analysis explored themes (or dimensions) within the survey. Multivariate analysis of variance was then undertaken using students’ factor scores as dependent variables, with their age, sex, ethnicity, study discipline, study level, and academic performance as grouping variables. Four factors, (Concordance and Engagement; Disconnection and Disengagement; Reflection and Realisation; and Learning Impediments) reflected students’ study practices. The core difference between students in their study practices was influenced by age, ethnicity, academic performance, and sex-ethnicity interaction.

    Changing Academic Environment and Diversity in Students’ Study Philosophy, Beliefs, and Attitudes in Higher Education

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    The diversity of students in higher education in Australia and elsewhere has changed significantly over the past two decades. The existing literature has provided limited clarity in terms of their effects on teaching and learning or on the way in which social and cultural changes shape what university students think about the teaching and learning process. Employing a large data set of survey responses from a leading Australian university, this paper provides an analysis of student perceptions of the teaching and learning process, in regard to their study philosophy, beliefs, and attitudes. Survey data were analysed in two stages. First, factor analysis was used to explore themes (or dimensions) within the survey. Multivariate analysis of variance was then undertaken using students’ factor scores as dependent variables, and age, sex, ethnicity, study discipline, study level, academic performance, and sex-ethnicity interaction as grouping variables. Three factors (Deep Learning, Expediency, and Responsibility) appeared to reflect students’ study philosophy, beliefs, and attitude toward teaching and learning. Students’ response on the three factors varied according to age, sex, ethnicity, study discipline, and academic performance, and sex-ethnicity effects. Students in business-related disciplines appeared to display greater expediency than peers in other disciplines, treating university education like any other commodity.

    Wide-Field Imaging from Space of Early-Type Galaxies and Their Globular Clusters

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    Wide-field imaging from space will reveal a wealth of information about the globular cluster systems of any galaxies in the local universe that are observed by such a mission. Individual globular clusters around galaxies in the local universe have compact sizes that are ideal for the excellent spatial resolution afforded by space-based imaging, while systems of these globular clusters have large spatial extent that can only be fully explored by wide-field imaging. One example of the science return from such a study is the determination of the major formation epoch(s) of galaxies from the ages of their globular clusters determined via their optical to near-infrared colors. A second example is determining the sites of metal-poor globular cluster formation from their cosmological bias, which constrains the formation of structures early in the universe.Comment: To appear in the conference proceedings of "Wide Field Imaging from Space" published in New Astronomy Reviews, eds. T. McKay, A. Fruchter, & E. Linde

    Explaining Diversity in Students’ Views and Expectations about Teaching and Learning Process in Higher Education

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    This paper provides a quantitative analysis of student perceptions in regard to their views and expectations about the purpose of university study. Over 800 survey responses from students attending a leading Australian university forms the empirical basis. Factor analysis was used to explore themes (or dimensions) based on data collected via a paper-and-pencil survey. Multivariate analysis of variance was then undertaken using students’ factor scores as dependent variables, and age, sex, ethnicity, study discipline, study level, and academic performance as grouping variables. Four factors (Approach to Teaching, Active Participation, Communication and Feedback, and Clarity of Focus and Purpose) reflected students’ views and expectations about the university teaching and learning process. These labels typified behaviour that reflected students’ keen interest in the lecturer’s teaching approach, active participation in the teaching and learning process, and the lecturers’ responsiveness to students’ needs. In turn, students’ perceived views about and expectations were affected by their sex, ethnicity, study discipline, level of study, sex-ethnicity interaction.
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