251 research outputs found

    Exact Bayesian curve fitting and signal segmentation.

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    We consider regression models where the underlying functional relationship between the response and the explanatory variable is modeled as independent linear regressions on disjoint segments. We present an algorithm for perfect simulation from the posterior distribution of such a model, even allowing for an unknown number of segments and an unknown model order for the linear regressions within each segment. The algorithm is simple, can scale well to large data sets, and avoids the problem of diagnosing convergence that is present with Monte Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) approaches to this problem. We demonstrate our algorithm on standard denoising problems, on a piecewise constant AR model, and on a speech segmentation problem

    Identifying nurses' rewards: a qualitative categorization study in Belgium

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    BACKGROUND: Rewards are important in attracting, motivating and retaining the most qualified employees, and nurses are no exception to this rule. This makes the establishment of an efficient reward system for nurses a true challenge for every hospital manager. A reward does not necessarily have a financial connotation: non-financial rewards may matter too, or may even be more important. Therefore, the present study examines nurses' reward perceptions, in order to identify potential reward options. METHODS: To answer the research question "What do nurses consider a reward and how can these rewards be categorized?", 20 in-depth semi-structured interviews with nurses were conducted and analysed using discourse and content analyses. In addition, the respondents received a list of 34 rewards (derived from the literature) and were asked to indicate the extent to which they perceived each of them to be rewarding. RESULTS: Discourse analysis revealed three major reward categories: financial, non-financial and psychological, each containing different subcategories. In general, nurses more often mentioned financial rewards spontaneously in the interview, compared to non-financial and psychological rewards. The questionnaire results did not, however, indicate a significant difference in the rewarding potential of these three categories. Both the qualitative and quantitative data revealed that a number of psychological and non-financial rewards were important for nurses in addition to their monthly pay and other remunerations. In particular, appreciation for their work by others, compliments from others, presents from others and contact with patients were highly valued. Moreover, some demographical variables influenced the reward perceptions. Younger and less experienced nurses considered promotion possibilities as more rewarding than the older and more senior ones. The latter valued job security and working for a hospital with a good reputation higher than their younger and more junior colleagues. CONCLUSION: When trying to establish an efficient reward system for nurses, hospital managers should not concentrate on the financial reward possibilities alone. They also ought to consider non-financial and psychological rewards (in combination with financial rewards), since nurses value these as well and they may lead to a more personalized reward system

    Understanding How Social Entrepreneurs Fit into the Tourism Discourse

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    This chapter discusses how social entrepreneurs fit into the existing tourism discourse. It examines four areas of literature in particular, tourism entrepreneurs, sustainability, destination development and intrapreneurship, and analyzes how introducing the concept of social entrepreneurs into these discussions is useful, and contributes to our understanding. Furthermore the paper illustrates that as social entrepreneurs are relevant to a broad range of issues in the tourism literature this should prevent the development of research silos where social entrepreneurship scholars seek out their own vein of research. The nexus of common ground and interests, as displayed in this chapter, should enhance the development of research, thought and understanding of social entrepreneurs within the field as a whole The key argument is that research on social entrepreneurs is not just relevant for those interested in entrepreneurs it also effects our thinking on issues such as destination development, relationships between stakeholders, tourism policy and sustainability. The chapter concludes with a wide range of questions for further research

    Teaching Implicit Leadership Theories to develop leaders and leadership – How and why it can make a difference

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    Implicit leadership theories (ILTs) are lay images of leadership, which are individually and socially determined. We discuss how teaching ILTs contributes to developing leaders and leaderships by raising self- and social awareness for the contexts in which leadership takes place. We present and discuss a drawing exercise to illustrate different ILTs and discuss the implications for leaders and leadership, with a particular focus on how leaders claim, and are granted, leader identities in groups

    Seeing versus Doing: How Businesses Manage Tensions in Pursuit of Sustainability

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    Management of organizational tensions can facilitate the simultaneous advancement of economic, social, and environmental priorities. The approach is based on managers identifying and managing tensions between the three priorities, by employing one of the three strategic responses. Although recent work has provided a theoretical basis for such tension acknowledgment and management, there is a dearth of empirical studies. We interviewed 32 corporate sustainability managers across 25 forestry and wood-products organizations in Australia. Study participants were divided into two groups: (1) those considered effective at corporate sustainability and (2) a status-quo group. Contrary to current theory, our findings showed that acknowledgment of organizational tensions was widespread in the Australian forestry and wood-products industry and not limited to those managers who are effective at managing corporate sustainability. What differed was the degree to which managers did something about the perceived tensions—with the effective group more consistently acting to manage and resolve paradoxical scenarios. Our findings suggest that existing theoretical constructs of tension management may not adequately capture the individual-level complexity involved with managing tensions in practice

    Cardiovascular disease, risk factors and heart rate variability in the elderly general population: Design and objectives of the CARdiovascular disease, Living and Ageing in Halle (CARLA) Study

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    BACKGROUND: The increasing burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in the ageing population of industrialized nations requires an intensive search for means of reducing this epidemic. In order to improve prevention, detection, therapy and prognosis of cardiovascular diseases on the population level in Eastern Germany, it is necessary to examine reasons for the East-West gradient of CVD morbidity and mortality, potential causal mechanisms and prognostic factors in the elderly. Psychosocial and nutritional factors have previously been discussed as possible causes for the unexplained part of the East-West gradient. A reduced heart rate variability appears to be associated with cardiovascular disease as well as with psychosocial and other cardiovascular risk factors and decreases with age. Nevertheless, there is a lack of population-based data to examine the role of heart rate variability and its interaction with psychosocial and nutritional factors regarding the effect on cardiovascular disease in the ageing population. There also is a paucity of epidemiological data describing the health situation in Eastern Germany. Therefore, we conduct a population-based study to examine the distribution of CVD, heart rate variability and CVD risk factors and their associations in an elderly East German population. This paper describes the design and objectives of the CARLA Study. METHODS/DESIGN: For this study, a random sample of 45–80 year-old inhabitants of the city of Halle (Saale) in Eastern Germany was drawn from the population registry. By the end of the baseline examination (2002–2005), 1750 study participants will have been examined. A multi-step recruitment strategy aims at achieving a 70 % response rate. Detailed information is collected on own and family medical history, socioeconomic, psychosocial, behavioural and biomedical factors. Medical examinations include anthropometric measures, blood pressure of arm and ankle, a 10-second and a 20-minute electrocardiogram, a general physical examination, an echocardiogram, and laboratory analyses of venous blood samples. On 200 participants, a 24-hour electrocardiogram is recorded. A detailed system of quality control ensures high data quality. A follow-up examination is planned. DISCUSSION: This study will help to elucidate pathways to CVD involving autonomic dysfunction and lifestyle factors which might be responsible for the CVD epidemic in some populations

    Institutional effects on nurses’ working conditions: a multi-group comparison of public and private non-profit and for-profit healthcare employers in Switzerland

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    Background: In response to the need for competitive recruitment of nurses resulting from the worldwide nursing shortage, employers need to attract and retain nurses by promoting their competitive strengths in their working conditions (WCS) and by addressing their competitive weaknesses. This study investigated workplace differences between public hospitals (PuHs), private for-profit hospitals (PrHs), socio- medical institutions (SOMEDs), home care services (HCs), private medical offices (PrOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs), helping to provide a foundation for competition-oriented institutional employer branding and to increase transparency in the labour market for nurses. Methods: Data from the Swiss Nurses at Work study of the career paths of 11 232 nurses who worked in Switzerland between 1970 and 2014 were subjected to secondary analysis, assessing the effect of institutional characteristics on self-reported determinants of job satisfaction (such as WCS) using multivariate linear regression and post hoc tests with Bonferroni-adjusted significance levels. Principal component analysis was used to reduce the number of WCS in the original study. Results: Nurses at PuHs and PrHs were less likely to experience autonomy, flexibility of work hours and participation in decision-making than those at other workplaces. Although PuHs were rated higher than PrHs in terms of satisfaction with salary and advancement opportunities, they were associated with more alienating work factors, such as stress and aggression. SOMED workplaces were significantly more often associated with alienating conditions and low job satisfaction, but were rated higher than the other institutions in terms of participation in decision-making. The nurses’ ratings implied that PrO workplaces were more likely to offer a mild work environment, social support and recognition than other institutions, but that advancement opportunities were limited. NPO workplaces were associated with the highest degree of autonomy, flexibility, participation, recognition, organisational commitment and job satisfaction. In these respects, HC and NPO workplaces received similar ratings, although the HC workplaces were associated with a significantly lower organisational commitment and significantly lower job satisfaction. Conclusions: Due to their structural characteristics, NPOs, SOMEDs and HCs can attract nurses seeking greater self-determination, PuHs can attract career-oriented nurses, and PrOs and PrHs are likely to attract nurses through offering less-stressful working conditions
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