University of Bedfordshire PhD e-theses

Recent Submissions

  • Satisfaction, destination quality and behavioral intentions: the case of UNESCO Heritage Sites in Jordan

    Al Zu'Mot, Rania (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2023-04)
    This study investigated the effect of quality of the cultural heritage destination on the Behavioural Intentions of its visitors and the role that Satisfaction plays in determining their Behavioural Intentions. The study questioned the ability of Destination Quality to predict the tourists’ Behavioural Intentions by using this explanatory variable as the sole determinant of tourist’s Satisfaction. By so doing, this study proposes alternative predictors of Satisfaction and, consequently, behaviour. The lack of a dedicated tool to measure quality, Satisfaction and Behavioural Intention in cultural heritage sites called for designing a new, dedicated instrument, called the Destination Quality Scale, and, hereafter, referred to as DESTINQUAL Scale, to achieve the study goals. Although this study adopted a mixed‐method approach, it is mainly quantitative in nature. The interviews helped in development of the questionnaire whereas the data needed for hypothesis testing and analysis were quantitative data that were processed following quantitative analysis methods. Of the 500 questionnaire forms distributed to local and foreign tourists in five World Cultural Heritage sites in Jordan, exactly 447 forms were retrieved. Of these, only 388 forms were usable. The research data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Smart PLS software. The results of hypothesis testing showed that all studied measures of quality of the cultural heritage site positively affected tourist’s Satisfaction and Behavioural Intentions to varying degrees. In addition, this study found that the individual effect of each of the investigated Destination Quality measures on the tourist’s Behavioural Intention were partially mediated by Satisfaction, except for Authenticity, whose effect on the tourist’s Behavioural Intention was fully mediated by Satisfaction. These findings confirm the proposition of this study that visitors of cultural heritage sites have special interests in these destinations and look for experience beyond the service quality. This study contributes to the theoretical knowledge by uncovering the factors that lead to certain behaviours in the cultural visitation context, which is a contribution that was only possible after development of a dedicated scale (the DESTINQUAL Scale) to assess quality of the cultural heritage destinations, which is, actually, a scale that can be used in any cultural heritage site in the World. At the methodological level, the study challenged the diagnostic ability of the widely used Expectancy‐Disconfirmation Theory in the cultural visitation context by providing evidence on that Satisfaction can be assessed via other measures than the service quality measures. At the practical level, the research tool and study results can help tourism planners and decision makers in heightening the level of Satisfaction of the cultural heritage site visitors and warranting the desired behavioural intentions, ultimately to contribute to enhancement of tourist’s experience and to tourism sector in Jordan.
  • Energy efficient technique for Hadoop MapReduce cluster management

    Alalawi, Manal Tawalai (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-03)
    Big data analytics, with datasets of terabyte and petabyte size, is now a reality for businesses. A widely used solution for data centres is the MapReduce model on open‐source Hadoop. Many organisations processing real‐time data of this magnitude rely on the Hadoop MapReduce model, and the massive increase in data generation means that even small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have a requirement for big data analysis. The business insights gained from this real‐time data analysis are vital in the modern world, and although this can be outsourced to data centres, SMEs will be more sustainable if they can do this for themselves. However, the increase in the amount of data has resulted in a corresponding increase in the amount of energy used for processing. The need to minimise the use of energy, both in terms of cost and ecology, is the main rationale behind this research, and energy‐efficiency will be the key to sustainability in the twenty‐first century. The initial categorisation of energy‐efficient methods for Hadoop components has been the starting point for a comparative evaluation in this research. The research has used Hadoop MapReduce performance modelling in a series of mathematical analyses and experimental tests, and these have led to the identification and design of an energy‐efficient model. This proposed model uses a novel method of data partitioning using virtual chunks. The idea is that rather than accessing the entire data file, blocks, or chunks of data are accessed that are virtually linked. The accuracy and efficiency of the proposed design have been evaluated mathematically and the results presented graphically, and the method has been shown to minimise the processing time and complete the different data operations. This reduction of processing time has resulted in minimising the I/O bottleneck of workload applications, thus reducing the amount of energy needed for processing big data. This improved energyefficiency can be maintained for datasets of all sizes and in multiple applications. The results of this research are transferrable and can be used by SMEs of any kind in any area of business.
  • Financing entrepreneurial innovation within England

    Soribe, Winifred Amarachi (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2023-05)
    Entrepreneurship has come to serve as a platform for innovation with majority of the world’s economies seeking to promote structures, policies and environments that encourage it. For entrepreneurial firms to succeed, availability of finance has been identified as a key factor; however, despite availability of new financial tools, a demand‐side gap still exists. This is quite important as entrepreneurial firms have particularly high hurdles to cross when seeking finance due to the complexity and uncertainty associated with their products/services. Several studies have investigated the access to finance problem without yielding unique results, this study adopts a novel conceptual framework where the intellectual capital of firm and its social media capabilities are examined to investigate the empirical relationship that exists between intellectual capital and access to finance. Entrepreneurial orientation and collaboration act as mediators with environmental munificence acting as the moderator. Theoretical triangulation is applied to this study as two main theories namely the Agency theory which provides a framework to assess the agency problems which are information asymmetry and moral hazard within an entrepreneurial setting. The second theory is the resource dependency theory which highlights dependencies created between firms and financiers when external finance is raised. This research adopts a quantitative methodology using questionnaire instrument to collect 488 valid responses. The responses were collected using both in‐person and online channels. The researcher had to engage in entrepreneurial activities to build their social capital by organising global events online, hosting online fireside chats, volunteering on various entrepreneurship mentoring platforms (Posters can be found in the appendix). Data collected was analysed using covariance based structural equation modelling. A detailed and rigorous analysis of data collected is carried out to test the measurement and structural model. Findings include but are not limited to the following: There is a direct and positive relationship between social capital and access to finance due to its legitimising qualities, social media is found to promote collaboration in the firm and with competitors. Structural capital is seen to have a positive relationship with access to finance as robust processes within a firm enables it mitigate information asymmetry problems. Firms possessing entrepreneurial orientation and collaboration capabilities are seen to leverage on their intellectual capital more efficiently thus aiding them to access finance. There is also a positive and direct relationship between environmental munificence and access to finance whereby firms operating in resource rich environments tend to raise external finance more easily. Several contributions are made to academia, practice and policy making that highlight the paramount role of intellectual capital which has become more pronounced as the world moves towards service‐based economies.
  • Stakeholder engagement in managing scope change during the execution phase of UK construction projects

    Memon, Faraz Ali (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2023-01)
    The UK construction projects face multiple challenges associated with poor performance, resource inefficiency and skilled labour shortages. It can be time-consuming, stressful and expensive. Construction project management has phases, from planning to scheduling to the build itself. Over the past few decades, few UK construction projects have been conducted according to their plan and budget. Therefore, taking appropriate decisions about every step in the execution phase becomes difficult for construction professionals. The scope is a vital part of project planning that involves specific project goals, deadlines, and budget information. A distinct scope helps stakeholders stay on the same page throughout the project lifecycle. The performance of construction projects is primality driven by its stakeholders. Also, the success of project delivery depends on stakeholder engagement. Hence, there is a need for an organised approach to engaging the stakeholders in managing scope change to improve project performance. This study adopts a qualitative approach with an interpretative stance. A total of 25 semi-structured interviews were conducted in the UK through a stratified random sampling technique. The data gathered was analysed using the NVivo 12 software. The key findings identified from this research are that stakeholders' engagement positively impacts the project scope and helps improve construction project performance. In addition, stakeholder engagement significantly impacts achieving the project time and cost objectives. However, a lack of stakeholder engagement can affect the project's success.The understanding of stakeholder engagement and scope management varied with the different roles of stakeholders. The results further reveal that stakeholder influence on the project scope is unavoidable. The completion of the project is highly dependent on stakeholder engagement within the project. The stakeholders, such as clients, are less experienced than project managers. Therefore, their change request may contain unnecessary demands. These midterm changes and needs could also jeopardise the entire project. Based on the findings from the semi-structured interviews and existing literature, a framework is set out to underline stakeholder engagement to manage scope change and improve construction project performance. Furthermore, the framework demonstrates that such engagement can be valuable in anticipating the expectations of the different stakeholders in managing mid-term changes. Moreover, the framework was validated through semi-structured interviews with four experienced project management professionals and academics who expressed their views on the proposed framework in validation. Finally, the research provides recommendations from both theoretical and practical perspectives to improve stakeholder engagement in managing scope change during the project execution phase.
  • Predicting metabolic syndrome in midlife: a life course analysis using the 1958 British birth cohort

    Ibrahim, Musa Saulawa (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-11)
    Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) - ‘a clustering of risk factors which includes hypertension, central obesity, impaired glucose metabolism with insulin resistance, and dyslipidaemia’ affects nearly a quarter of the world’s adult population. Individuals with MetS have higher risk of CVD, T2DM and death from all causes. Identifying those at high risk of MetS via the use of prediction models may guide targeted interventions aimed at reducing the burden of the syndrome. There is a large number of MetS prediction models in the literature, but their usefulness is not known. This makes it difficult for potential users to decide which model to apply in their practice. Therefore, the overall aim of this thesis is to identify and utilise existing risk models to predict MetS in midlife using the 1958 British birth cohort data. The thesis consists of two distinct but inter-related sub-studies. The first study aims to determine the performance of risk models and scores for predicting MetS. The second study aims to develop, and validate existing risk models for predicting MetS in midlife using the 1958 British birth cohort data. Methods: A systematic review was conducted in the first study, which is the first to determine the performance of existing MetS prediction models. The second study analysed the 1958 British birth cohort, which includes 18,558 individuals born in the first week of March 1958. Variables utilised were obtained prospectively at birth, 7, 16, 23 and 45 years. The outcome (MetS) was defined based on the National cholesterol education programme –adult treatment panel III (NCEP-ATP III) clinical criteria. In the first stage, a simple MetS prediction model was developed using multivariate logistic regression and evaluated using measures of discrimination and calibration. In the second stage, an existing model (Chinese MetS risk score), identified during the systematic review, was applied on the 1958 British birth cohort. Performance parameters were assessed, and comparison was made with the model developed in this thesis. Results: In the systematic review, twenty seven studies met the inclusion criteria. The overall performance of the included models was judged to be poor, mainly due to a general inadequacy both in terms of conduct and reporting as well as lack of external validation. iv Similarly, the developed model has good accuracy (AUROC 0.91 (0.90, 0.92)), is well calibrated (Hosmer-Lemeshow 4.01 (0.856)) and has good internal validity. On the contrary, the Chinese MetS risk score showed poor performance on the host data. This suggests that in its current form, the Chinese MetS risk score may not be suitable to be applied directly on an external population data without being updated. Conclusions: As research in MetS prediction evolves, emphasis may be placed on improving the conduct and reporting of model studies, external validation including comparative studies, and updating the existing ones.
  • The influence of digital marketing on brand equity for private hospitals in Jordan

    Abuhmeidan, Tahreer Mohammed (University of Bedfordshire, 2023-04)
    Traditional marketing has shifted to digital marketing due to the highly competitive market and technological advancements with the internet. In today's digital age, where the majority of people are online, digital marketing has become essential for businesses to establish, maintain, and enhance their brand equity. Digital marketing is the most growing industry, with the high number of viewers increasing regularly; it has changed the way brands are managed and forced businesses to deal with customers in a new, more interactive way, as well as the Jordanian private hospitals which are commercialised as any other brands and need to shine in the digital world. This thesis aims to examine the influence of digital marketing and its main dimensions (User Generated Content and Firm Generated Content) on overall brand equity for private hospitals in Jordan to determine which brand equity dimensions are most influenced by digital marketing strategy from the perspectives of hospital marketing managers and potential customers. In addition, to assess the behaviour of hospitals' potential customers due to exposure to the hospitals' digital marketing activities (primarily social media platforms and website content). Furthermore, it provides empirically validated recommendations to improve the effectiveness of hospital brand equity through digital marketing. The impact of digital marketing on brand equity for private hospitals in Jordan yields novel insights. It contributes to advancing healthcare marketing, branding, digital marketing, and marketing research knowledge. The research can ultimately help improve Jordan's healthcare system by providing private hospitals with a better understanding of using digital marketing to build and maintain a strong brand. The study attempts to fill these gaps by utilizing two marketing theories: high-involvement decision-making for potential customers and integrated marketing communication (IMC) from the perspectives of hospitals as presented in the PESO Model (Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned). Therefore, the thesis follows a mixed methodology approach with the domination of the qualitative approach to answer the research questions and cover the thesis's three primary sources of data collection (Observation, Interviews and questionnaire) to get unbiased findings that can be generalised and comprehensively cover the sources. The need to have three studies in the thesis that one study will not cover the whole picture of the thesis objectives and answer the research questions, starting with the hospitals' social media platforms; 15 hospitals' digital marketing platforms were observed and analysed precisely using several analytical tools and presented as study one in the thesis to examine the real understand and involvement for the hospitals and their status quo. The findings of study one led to the second data source, interviews with 14 hospitals' marketing managers, which were analysed qualitatively using NVivo and presented as study two as a complement to the first study to enrich the qualitative approach with thorough datasets and findings via the hospitals. The final stage involved quantitative data collection from customers using a digital questionnaire, and 677 responses were recorded and analysed using SPSS 26 and displayed as the third study. This study assists in covering the potential customers' perspectives and allows the generalisation of the findings and obtaining objective results. Results extracted from the three studies generally showed that digital marketing dimensions (User-generated content and Firm- generated content) strongly influence the overall brand equity of Jordan's private hospitals. User-generated content has a greater influence on all brand equity dimensions, namely (brand association, perceived quality, brand reputation, and brand loyalty) except brand awareness which was strongly influenced by the firm-generated content. In contrast, User-generated content has the most decisive influence on overall brand equity than Firm-generated content. So, hospitals should keep working potently on their brand awareness using digital marketing tools and enhance their presence to build good relations with their customers. Results also showed that even hospital marketing managers rely on digital marketing but still lack the knowledge of using the best methods and techniques. Additionally, some challenges facing the marketing managers, such as lack of management support, lack of some resources and regulatory pressure, have been barriers to Jordan hospitals using digital marketing. As a result, today's standard digital marketing methods require adaptation to emphasise research content and consistently publish. Additionally, respondents pointed out that they use the Facebook platform as their primary social media channel, so managers are recommended to enhance their Facebook presence for their target customers. It is worth mentioning that video content has better engagement results than the other content types, as well as not forgetting the hospitals' websites' significant role in affecting their digital presence. Future studies could examine the doctor's point of view as they are considered significant influencers on patients' decisions to head to a specific hospital to get the best service. They could also examine the employee's loyalty impact on digital marketing reach, engagement, and brand equity, adding to the management's role in investing in digital marketing to enhance their brands.
  • An evaluation of the impact of training and development: a case study of selected commercial banks in Nigeria

    Agena, Martina Ngohide (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-11)
    The Nigerian banking sector's dynamic nature demands continuous investment in training and development to remain competitive and enhance performance. However, many organisations in developing countries such as Nigeria still hold reservations about its return on investment. Existing literature that has explored training and development in the Nigerian banking sector has failed to do so from managers’ and employees' points of view. Therefore, this study provides an in-depth understanding of employees’ and managers’ perceptions of training and development in relation to the effectiveness and overall performance of selected commercial banks in Nigeria. To achieve the overall aim, four objectives were developed. To achieve the first objective, a systematic review was conducted. The systematic review was conducted to determine the impact of training and development on employees and organisational performance. The systematic review method was employed to identify, select, appraise, and extract evidence to meet the study's aim. A total of 18 primary studies were identified. Findings from the systematic review revealed that training and development has a significant positive impact on the effectiveness of employees and overall performance. However, in addition to investing in T&D, employers need to commit to providing motivational incentives to facilitate positive changes in the behaviour of their employees. To achieve the second, third, and fourth objectives, a qualitative study was conducted using face-to-face semi-structured interviews with purposively selected employees (n=15) and managers (n=10) from selected commercial banks in Nigeria. All the audio data were transcribed into written words and analysed using Microsoft and by hand by highlighting codes and subsequent themes, which have been reported thematically. Findings from this analysis revealed shared similarities and differing perceptions between managers and employees. Overall, employees and managers were of the shared perceptions that T&D increased their effectiveness and organisational performance. However, they revealed that regulatory changes in the bank hampered T&D effectiveness due to emotional instability, increased level of uncertainty, slow implementation of new ideas, increased work pressure, and overall reduced performance among employees, which has affected the transfer of skills and knowledge to their job functions. In conclusion, to increase employees' performance and that of the banks in line with the AMO theory, the management must endeavour to improve employees’ skills and abilities by aligning training with their job functions. Besides, the employees should be provided with an enabling environment, where they are given the opportunity to apply the skills they acquired while on training and placed on mentoring programmes where they can be given the opportunity to work alongside a senior colleague or manager. However, although management needs to integrate motivational incentives such as employee reward and recognition, the onus is on the employees to be self-motivated and pursue opportunities with the organisation to ensure effective training transfer.
  • Measurement and determinants of financial inclusion: the case of Jordan

    Al-Khub, Abdalla Fuad (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-12)
    This study focuses on measuring financial inclusion in Jordan and identifying its determinants in rural areas with respect to the socio-economic factors based on institutional and social exclusion theories. This is achieved by attempting to answer four interrelated research questions: 1) What is the level of financial inclusion in Jordan in terms of a multi-dimensional approach, and what is the impact of negative factors (Lag) on that level? 2) What are the main socio-economic variables determining having rural people the financial products? 3) What is the individual’s behaviour (purposes and methods) towards savings, credit and payments in rural areas? And 4) What barriers to financial inclusion exist in rural Jordan, and what are the individual factors that affect an individual’s perception of the barriers? Quantitative research methods are employed to achieve the research objective. For determinants of financial inclusion, data was collected through an online survey, and the Probit regression model was employed to analyse a sample of 260 individuals in three rural areas in Jordan. The financial inclusion level in Jordan is estimated using a developed measure which is constructed following Ambarkhane et al. (2016) and data drawn from Financial Access Survey (FAS), Global Findex, World Development Indicators (WDI), and World Governance Indicators (WGI) over the years 2011 through 2017. The empirical findings suggest that negative factors (Lag) and socio-economic factors matter in measuring financial inclusion and identifying its determinants. Firstly, an examination of the impact of negative factors on the level of financial inclusion in Jordan showed a decrease in the level of financial inclusion, demonstrating the most precise level of financial inclusion and the influence of Lag determinants on that level. Secondly, It is evident that being a man, more educated, rich, employed, married or separated, and older are more likely to be financially included. Gender, income, and education are significant variables determining the ownership of mobile money accounts in rural Jordan as the same factors that determine traditional banking. Thirdly, Results revealed that the biggest obstacle to financial inclusion in rural Jordan is a lack of money, followed by a family member having an account and no need for financial services in the third place. Lack of documentation, cost, trust, and religious reasons are not considered obstacles to financial inclusion in rural Jordan. Income and education are the main determinants for financial exclusion in rural Jordan, a tendency also found by Fungácová and Weill (2015) in China and Zins & Weill (2016) in Africa. The study offers the following contributions: Firstly, following previous measures, this is an extended work to measure financial inclusion. This comprehensive measure is vital to recognising financial inclusion and finding obstacles that may discourage people from accessing financial services. It is also critical to establish national financial inclusion goals and track progress toward those goals. Secondly, it provides distinct insights into the determinants of financial inclusion. This contributes to the limited empirical literature on factors influencing financial inclusion in rural areas. Therefore, the thesis provides a significant theoretical and empirical contribution to measuring financial inclusion and identifying the socio-economic factors that determine it by focusing on developing economies such as Jordan and marginalised rural societies and thus addressing the dearth of geographic research in this area. Based on the findings, recommendations to enhance the financial inclusion level and future research directions have been developed.
  • A “health party” intervention on genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer among Black African women in Luton

    Kabeya, Valencia Tshibuya (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-08)
    Background: Evidence suggests that although Black African women have the lowest incidence of breast and ovarian cancer, they have the highest mortality rate and low rates of uptake for healthcare services and cancer screening services for these conditions in the UK. This demonstrates the importance of developing an intervention to enable Black African women to pursue genetic testing and make informed choices if found to be eligible. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to develop and evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and fidelity of a designed intervention and assess changes in the knowledge, awareness, and uptake of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer amongst Black African women in Luton. Methods: Based on the findings of the literature review, the qualitative study, the health belief model theoretical framework and in correlation with the findings of the systematic review, a "Health Party" intervention was developed. The “Health Party” intervention included an educational session in a party setting conducted virtually. The Medical Research Council’s guidelines for developing complex interventions were also used as a framework for the development of the intervention. The feasibility of the intervention was conducted to assess the recruitment and data collection rates. Focus group discussions were conducted amongst the participants and the moderators to assess the acceptability and the fidelity of the intervention. Additionally, surveys conducted amongst the participants and the moderators were also used to assess the fidelity of the intervention. Lastly, data was collected prior the intervention, 2-3hrs and 6 months post intervention to assess changes in the knowledge, awareness and uptake of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer. Results: The findings showed recruitment rates of 40% and 34% and a data collection rate of 87.9%, suggesting that the intervention was feasible. Results from the surveys and the focus group discussions amongst the participants and the moderators suggest that the intervention was found to be both acceptable and feasible. High fidelity of training, receipt, and delivery (98%) were revealed by the data obtained from the surveys and the focus group discussions. Knowledge of genetic testing amongst the participants increased from 42.6% (prior to the intervention) to 80.9% (2-3hrs post-intervention), and from 80.9% to 81.9% (6 months post-intervention). P-values of less than 0.05 were obtained from the findings of the Wilcoxon signed rank test on knowledge which also showed a significant increase. Awareness of genetic testing increased from 11.8% (prior to the intervention) to 100% (2-3hrs post-intervention), a figure that remained at 100% 6 months after the intervention. The intention to uptake genetic testing increased from 0% (prior to the intervention) to 100% (2-3hrs post intervention) amongst eligible participants whilst the uptake of genetic testing was of 100% 6-month post-intervention. The intention to uptake genetic testing increased from 0% (prior to the intervention) to 93.6 % (2-3hrs post-intervention) and remained at 93.6% 6-month post-intervention amongst non-eligible participants. Conclusion: The findings reveal that a “Health Party” intervention is feasible, acceptable and increases the knowledge, awareness, and uptake of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer amongst eligible Black African women. The barriers and facilitators identified can also enable policy makers and healthcare services alike to gain a better understanding of the factors influencing Black African women’s help-seeking behaviours towards genetic testing services. Recommendations were also identified to inform a future trial.
  • An evaluation of the risks faced by rewards-based crowdfunders to improve their role in entrepreneurial funding

    Omidiora, Adetomi (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-12)
    The thesis examines the Rewards-based Crowdfunding model (RBCFM), in order to improve its effectiveness in bridging the entrepreneurial funding gap from a ‘risk perspective’; with an exploration of the impact of the sector on crowdfunder investment decisions. The gaps in the literature in this relatively new area of study, uncovered that although there was some research regarding the motivation of backers and project success, very little had been done in the area of risk - from the viewpoint of the crowd. A pragmatic epistemological stance was adopted, using a mixed method approach, which drew the scientific (risks inherent in the process), normative (risk/reward relationship), psychological (risk perception and attitude to risk) and socio-cultural (participation on social media platforms) theories of risk together, with an attempt to create an appropriate fit for the model. A triangulation parallel convergence model was employed. The quantitative segment of the study was carried out through an analysis of 207 questionnaire results via SPSS, in order to conduct a series of multiple regression analysis alongside a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the results. For the qualitative segment, 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using a thematic analysis, facilitated by the Nvivo software. The results of both aspects of the data analysis suggest that the investment decisions of Rewards-based Crowdfunders (RBCs) are affected by their perception of a project’s risk, with the risk of not receiving the rewards being the origin point in which all other themes emerge. Both segments of the research seemed to agree that the sector played a somewhat limited role in their investment decisions. RBCs were discovered to firmly stick to their sector/s of interest, because of their interest in the specific rewards. However, the qualitative analysis went on to uncover that crowdfunders do recognise that sectors have inherent sectorial risks – although their ability to correctly assess the level of this risk was highly variable. Furthermore, none of the RBCs interviewed in the study diversified on the Rewards Based Crowdfunding Platforms, as they had tendency to back projects of interest. Elements of crowdfunder’s risk perception and risk/reward stimulus are related to their attitude to risk, and the inherent risks present within each sector. This concept is presented within the NADA pragmatic risk framework provided. This framework should encourage RBCs who perhaps may be interested in backing other sectors but hold themselves back due to an incorrect risk perception. Furthermore, it may also prove useful for potential and present entrepreneurs and backers, in helping them to better understand the dynamics of risk taking – in order to improve their risk perception and help improve the entrepreneurial funding gap.
  • An investigation of ambidextrous mechanisms and processes at the subsidiary level in emerging market multinational corporations: a case study of Viettel Global

    Luong, Ha Hang (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-09)
    In the challenging global business environment, emerging market multinational corporations (EM MNCs) must handle their exploration and exploitation tasks to survive and compete more effectively against rivals, both at home and abroad. Organisational ambidexterity (OA), the concept of managing such paradoxical tasks, is highly compatible with the cultural, economic, and institutional challenges those firms encounter. Prior research has demonstrated that the implementation of OA significantly enhances success in overseas market expansion, compensates for EM MNCs' late-mover disadvantage on the global stage, provides certain operational advantages, and embraces an organisational learning mentality and flexibility in strategic choices, etc. However, the available streams of OA research have mainly been focused on its performance outcome, antecedents and static ambidextrous structural designs while neglecting the dynamic management of OA and the complex process that combine those antecedents and mechanisms. This study attempted to address this research gap in the context of EM MNCs, using a single case study of such a firm from Vietnam, Viettel Global (VTG). Study aim: This research investigated the manifestations of OA and the antecedents that help construct a pathway to achieve it in the case of the studied EM MNC. Through such investigation, it aimed to contribute to the intersections of the ambidextrous process and mechanisms research in the context of EM MNCs at the subsidiary level. Method: To achieve the above-mentioned aim, this two-phased research employed a case study approach involving qualitative data collection mainly using semi-structured interviews. The first phase (pilot study) collected and analysed the data from the pilot interviews, with the respondents being the MNC's headquarters managers. The second phase (main study) investigated four subsidiaries of the EM MNC in Southeast Asia by interviewing the subsidiary managers. Over the course of three years, primary data from 21 confidential email interviews and secondary data gathered from magazines, newspapers, and the EM MNC's websites were collected, compiled, and analysed. The analysis was conducted using the thematic data analysis approach and Nvivo software. A combined strategy of deductive and inductive methods was utilised: the deductive method was applied to use the findings from data to test propositions related to existing theories, while the inductive method helped collect, explore, and analyse data to find patterns to construct frameworks. Findings: Based on the empirical evidence collected, this research proposed two theoretical frameworks to fulfil the research objectives. Framework 1 employed an intellectual capital lens to systematically aggregate and organise ambidextrous mechanisms into a model by offering an empirical example of their use in a typical EM MNC. It made up for the absence of integrated studies (since ambidextrous mechanisms have often been studied individually) and offered an easy-to-follow approach that would assist researchers and practitioners in understanding and applying ambidextrous strategies more easily. The second framework strengthened and enriched the three-stage process model (including the initial stage, contextualisation stage, and implementation stage) of achieving OA by integrating the dimension of ambidextrous mechanisms into each step. Framework 2 provided a comprehensive and methodical tool that might be useful for EM MNCs in supporting OA at their subsidiaries in practice. It can also be taken as a premise for managers to consider investing in the intellectual capital (IC) that their organisation lacks to initiate, contextualise, and implement OA in the way they wish to.
  • A critical analysis of parental resistance and the impact of this on child protection social workers

    Anderson, Nicola (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-12)
    This qualitative research critically examined issues which affect child protection social workers, with a focus on their lived experiences of parental behaviours which fall under the umbrella term of ‘parental resistance’. This study also considered the effects of these behaviours on child protection social workers wellbeing and practice. Seventeen semi-structured interviews with child protection social workers were undertaken and analysed using the constructivist grounded theory approach. Participants were largely recruited through social media to limit involvement or influence by local authority employers. Although further steps such as a work network email and training events flyers were required and used successfully. Participants recounted frequent experiences of noticeably high levels of aggressive and ‘manipulative’ parental behaviour. However, they did not always recognise this as resistant behaviour or view it as a negative behaviour. Instead, from the participants emerged a sense of understanding towards parental resistant behaviour, an appreciation of the systemic positioning of parents, and a need to understand the cause of that behaviour. The term resistance was used in this study as it reflected an active parental behaviour designed to prevent change. However, the terminology of resistance was contested during the recruitment process and during interviews as the terms were perceived to be negative and blaming of parents by child protection social workers, academics and the public. Suggestions for reframing resistance emerged. Multiple interpretations of why resistance occurred were offered which fell into the following categories: parental characteristics; environmental response to experiences; natural response to the individual child protection social worker, or the child protection system; stage of change or active behaviour designed to affect the social worker or system. This reflected ‘resistance’ as a continuum of resistant behaviours from unconscious acts to conscious behaviour (Smollan 2011) rather than a static description of active behaviour used to distract or manage the social worker or situation. A recommendation for consideration is for change in the narrative of, and language use within, child protection social work. The findings indicated that child protection social workers find their role hard, and are affected cognitively, emotionally and physically by their work. These effects were experienced as both an impact and a cumulative effect leading to the proposal of an affectload model. Participants felt a strong sense of pressure in managing this complex role. This pressure emanated from both feelings of individual responsibility and external expectations from managers, the organisation and society. Child protection social workers do not get the support they want or need in relation to undertaking their multifaceted role and the effects this brings. Findings suggested the existence of a pervasive macho child protection social work culture which affects not only the individual worker’s attitude to seeking or accepting support, such as speaking about feelings, but also affects the organisation’s response to providing support. Recommendations reflect the need for a supportive culture and frameworks to ensure feelings are recognised and discussed.
  • Children’s palliative care: parent and professional perspectives of unmet needs, access and expectations

    Constantinou, Georgina (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-08)
    Understanding the needs of children and their families for children’s palliative care remains a top research priority internationally. The presented PhD thesis contributes to this gap in knowledge by exploring the lived experiences of the parents of these children and the professionals providing these services to families. Research stage 1, a scoping review, was conducted to synthesise the evidence based on the needs of children receiving Children’s Palliative Care from parents' perspectives of children with life-limiting conditions. The findings confirmed that there were as few as 55 studies worldwide investigating whether palliative care services meet families’ needs. Moreover, the evidence is primarily dated, of variable quality and scope, highlighting the need for further research to explore the family’s needs in palliative care. Through the adoption of a social constructivist and phenomenological research approach, two further stages were conducted to explore the lived experiences of the parents of these children and the professionals providing these services to families. Research Stage 2 included semi-structured interviews with a wide variety of professionals (n=29) across statutory and voluntary services who provide care to children with LLCs. Research Stage 3 included an interview-diary study (Phase 1) across two months with parents currently caring for a child with a life-limiting condition (n=12) alongside semi-structured interviews (Phase 2) with bereaved parents (n=5). The triangulated findings from qualitative studies revealed three overarching themes; (1) vicious circle of care, (2) no one was telling us anything and (2) out of the loop. The theme ‘vicious circle of care’ details experiences of parents' continuous caring role and the emotional impact of caring on parents' well-being and mental health. Professionals feared the parent’s ability to provide 24-hour care was used as a ‘bottomless resource’, leading to a crisis in some families without a break from caring. While experiences of families having to ‘fight’ to meet their child’s needs is not uncommon in the literature, the triangulated findings showed that some parents were ‘shouting the loudest’ to have their needs met, while others were depicted to be ‘suffering in silence’ which may explain parents coping in situations where they feel services are not meeting their needs. Parents detailed why they chose to behave in these ways, and professionals shared experiences of what it was like to be on the receiving end of these interactions. iii The second theme, ‘no one was telling us anything’ detailed experiences of informational needs not being met, with reports of parents not accessing services because they were unaware they existed. Parents collectively felt the need to do their research due to a lack of information provided by services. Many felt they could gain more information from other parents, condition-specific charities, and forums than services. While these services provide excellent support networks, this research was shown to influence parent expectations in care; the more networking and parent research performed, the higher the individual's expectations of the care they would like from the professional. This was reported in line with challenges of mismatched expectations, with some information being inaccurate or unachievable in the local provision. The third theme, ‘out of the loop’, encompasses experiences of poor communication and information sharing, including issues such as MDT approaches not being used frequently enough and difficulties in information sharing between the team around the child due to a lack of shared care records. In addition, parents described care as disjointed, and poor communication between services was discussed to impact the family's retelling of their story, which was deemed upsetting. This finding highlighted the experiences of some professionals working in isolation influencing families' access to certain services. These experiences reported negative attitudes toward hospices and palliative care, a lack of clarity with roles and responsibilities and stressed an overprotectiveness of some professionals, which hindered the working practices of the team around the child. This study contributes new knowledge of parent and professional lived experiences of unmet needs, facilitators, barriers to access and the influence of parent expectations in care. These findings can inform practice through professional understanding of parent coping behaviours by supporting them to identify which families may not be coping well and could need further support and providing awareness that those parents ‘shouting the loudest’ may not be coping as well as professionals may assume. In addition, funding short breaks for families must be addressed to allow families to access appropriate breaks from caring. Parents’ awareness of the recommended informational resources should be assessed, including ascertaining what information services are provided to determine how well it meets families' information needs and how readily available it is. In addition, understanding is needed surrounding the working practices of MDT teams in children’s palliative care, including the further exploration of the barriers to effective working between services.
  • Cryptographic hash-based anonymisation of wireless unique identifiers

    Ali, Junade (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-11)
    Nowadays, it is common for individuals to go about their lives carrying devices equipped to broadcast Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals. Smart cities, the internet of things (IoT) and epidemic contact tracing utilise unique identifiers broadcast from user devices to make their technology effective – from calculating journey times and time spent in train stations to alerting users who have potentially been in contact with an infected individual. User concerns and government regulations require that such data collection be done in a privacy-preserving way. Unfortunately, current techniques for anonymising wireless beacons have been compromised with relative ease. Prior work has demonstrated that existing hash-based approaches to anonymisation of MAC addresses can be easily inverted due to the small search space. Current app-based contact tracing protocols (including the Apple and Google protocol) allow for an attacker to passively collect proximity identifiers and then target an infected person when their diagnosis key is later disclosed. Even when it comes to opting out of tracking (as increasingly mandated by data regulations), users have to share their complete MAC address with third parties. This thesis presents models and experimentation demonstrating that practical, real-time, privacy-preserving communication protocols can be formed to address this issue by using k-anonymous bucketisation of cryptographic hash function outputs. Using this technique, we present a novel and practical approach to MAC address anonymisation by truncating computationally expensive hash function outputs to allow for k-anonymity. We provide an expression for computing the percentage of expected collisions, and experimentally demonstrate that, for digests of 24 bits, it is possible to store up to 168, 617 MAC addresses with a collision rate of less than 1%. Whilst existing literature identified the pitfalls of existing approaches, this is the first work to address such vulnerabilities. Using k-anonymous buckets of hashes in contact tracing protocols, we are also able to mitigate the 24-hour data exposure of infected individuals and cryptographically guarantee minimum exposure durations. We empirically demonstrate that this modified protocol can offer like-for-like efficacy compared to the existing protocol. Existing literature considered these vulnerabilities to be ‘endemic’ privacy risks without an apparent solution, however, our work addresses these issues using purely software protocol changes. In addition to using this approach to anonymise beacons themselves, we demonstrate that this technique can also be used for registering tracking opt-out preferences. We present a novel hybrid approach that allows opt-out preferences to be determined by the credentials a user uses to sign in toWi-Fi captive portals but also allows a limited cache of anonymised MAC addresses to be used for determining opt-out preferences when a device automatically connects to a Wi-Fi network but its user does not complete a captive portal sign-on workflow. This work represents the first time a privacy-preserving opt-out solution for MAC address tracking has been proposed or empirically evaluated. Through a literature review, we identify that this general technique can be applied to multiple other network identifiers. We find that there are multiple other use cases that can benefit from the application of this technology.
  • The school nurse role in identifying and supporting young people affected by child sexual exploitation

    Thomas, Ruth (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-02)
    The current evidence base on the school nurse (SN) role in supporting young people affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE) is limited. Contemporary research highlights that identifying CSE is challenging for practitioners and young people. Disclosing CSE can be difficult for young people and so researchers call for practitioners to get better at identifying CSE. Furthermore, evidence shows that experiencing CSE has detrimental short and long-term consequences on children, families and their communities. SNs are experienced in identifying child abuse and neglect and supporting vulnerable children in schools, but the literature highlights that CSE can require additional and sometimes different responses. As such, the SN role in responding to CSE requires further exploration. This original research investigates this aspect of the SN role by utilising Charmaz’s (2014) constructivist grounded theory approach. Applying ecological systems theory and relationship-based practice to the analyses of the SN questionnaire and interviews with SNs and young people provides a unique in-depth investigation of the relationship between the influences on the SN role in school and on young people’s access to SNs. This thesis shows valuable insights into the influences that help and hinder SNs to support young people affected by CSE. The SN role is affected by how prepared and equipped SNs are to identify CSE and support young people experiencing CSE; the understanding of the SN role within the wider professional network; the level of school nursing services commissioned in school; and the influences on young people’s access to the SN in school. My recommendations are drawn from the key tensions and findings arising from my data. To provide effective support for young people experiencing CSE, SNs need to be adequately prepared and supported themselves. As such, a specific SN response is proposed. The ‘school nurse response to CSE model’ assists SNs to implement the recommendations and apply the evidence base of what works in responding to CSE. This model is ecologically informed, drawing on the influences on the SN role and young people’s access to the SN. This model outlines the education, training and support needed to equip SNs to identify CSE and support young people affected by CSE. The model also outlines SNs’ responses to CSE that maintain young people’s privacy and builds trusting relationships between SNs and young people.
  • Steps towards peace of mind: integrating mindful presence in the practice of psychotherapy

    Bishop, David Gordon (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2021-05)
    When, despite leading evidence-based interventions, people remain trapped in mental illness, where might we find hope? As a Systemic Psychotherapist with a previous career in Psychiatry, the exploration of new possibilities drives my clinical passion and research interest. I currently work within the specialist field of eating disorders, in which Anorexia Nervosa holds the highest mortality of any psychiatric ‘disorder’. There is an ethical imperative to explore new territory. News of difference has arisen through my experience and training in both established, and novel, mindfulness-informed approaches. These include two lesser-known models from the complimentary field, called The Journey Method, and The Work. The impact of integrating new ideas has transformed my understanding of the potential for change in healing relationships. Clinical outcomes have improved, and, for some, therapy has sparked a transformation – a different order of change. What differences may be making a difference? I have begun to explore a new agenda for therapy, representing a radical shift from the notion of ‘symptom reduction’, to a perhaps, rather abstract idea, of an evolving ‘Peace of Mind’. From the insider-lens of practitioner-research, I describe four case studies from my clinical practice; two brief stories introduce the novel approaches, and two in-depth case studies explore ‘what is going on’. Relational ethnography – writing as a method of research – offers a rich and evocative way of describing, reflecting, and connecting. The chapters of the thesis portray a journey of connections and insights that might be conceived of as a series of philosophical and practical steps, which may contribute to the evolution of systemic thinking, and, for clients, steps towards Peace of Mind. I explore patterns which connect systemic thinking to mindfulness meditation, and philosophies embedded within the great spiritual traditions. I connect with Imelda McCarthy’s ‘Fifth Province’ and how Mindful Presence may offer a healing space. I make connections with ‘Common Factors research’, exploring how factors common to all therapies contribute to change. I connect with new ideas of systems, wholeness, and theories of Consciousness from the new Physics. I describe different ways of knowing beyond the rational-intellectual: how embodied, intuitive, and especially spiritual-transpersonal ways of knowing may be embraced alongside traditional ways of doing therapy. I develop new models and ideas about problem formation and change: I propose a ‘new’ (or ancient) Common Factor as a source of change and healing – a Meta, meta-sphere of influence. This factor is common to all of our clients, to all therapists, all therapeutic relationships; and, perhaps, represents a resonance with the foundation of our very existence. It has been referred to by many names – Presence, Mindful Awareness, Consciousness – an infinite, silent, peaceful Awareness. It can only be known experientially. I describe how, through communion in Presence within psychotherapy relationships, we may enable our clients to re-connect with this ‘common factor’. Change emerges through the dynamic, entangled, reflexive relationship between many factors. Yet, it is Presence that, for some, offers a difference that makes a difference. I describe such transformation as Fourth Order Change.
  • A theory-based content-based image retrieval approach for capturing user preferences during query formulation

    Artemi, Mahmoud Abolgasem Ali (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2021-09)
    Most image search systems rely on text-based retrieval. It is often challenging for users to describe their search intents by describing images using keywords; these may lead to unsatisfactory retrieval results containing irrelevant images with respect to the users’ search intents. To preserve the users’ intent visually and improve search performance, contentbased image retrieval (CBIR) has emerged. Since CBIR search uses the representation of visual features (such as colour, shape, and texture), it is built for users to express their intents more precisely. Although CBIR helps to cope with the ambiguity in text-based image search systems, sustained attention has been made to cope with two essential challenges in the CBIR system called the intention gap and semantic gap. The intention gap lies between user search intent and desired query, whilst the semantic gap refers to the difficulty of mapping high-level concepts to low-level image features. In an effort to solve both problems, most existing studies of CBIR system design focus on learning users’ information needs through relevance feedback at the result assessment stage only. However, in many CBIR systems, the underlying machine learning mechanisms need the users’ feedback at the query formulation stage to capture user intents for better training and search performance, which unfortunately is often not supported by the search interface design. The lack of support for the users’ query formulation through an effective CBIR interface has been a drawback for system performance and the users’ search satisfaction and experiences. We propose a new CBIR system design approach based on a multistagelinear model of information seeking named Vakkari’s model of the three-stage search process, which uses as a guide of interface design to capture user preferences in an early stage of the search process. The computational complexity is important since the process of user feedback and image matching is executed online, so to improve the system response to user’s feedback, we have applied a colour quantization algorithm called Improved Gray Scale (IGS) to reduce the colour intensities of images which aims to accelerate the image matching process. The designed interface support users to provide feedback at the query formulation stage through a user-centred interface. This interface enables the user to form and express their information needs by involving them to participate in the training phase of the active learning mechanism-based search model. The research focuses to investigate whether users find search functionalities or search mechanisms of the interface more efficient which influences user behaviour and perceptions. To evaluate the proposed CBIR system, two user studies were conducted in a lab-based setting using a screen-based eye tracker (Tobii Pro Nano) and Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) on the iMotions platform. The findings of both studies highlight the importance for the users to engage in all search stages of the search process, especially at the query formulation stage when the considered mechanism requires a training process, through a user-centred interaction design. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first research study in the context of content-based image retrieval (CBIR) that has investigated whether the multistage-linear model of information seeking can be employed as both an evaluation mechanism for a lab-based controlled experiment, and a guide of interface design. To this end, the overall aim of this research is to provide a principled investigation in exploring the synergistic effect between user involvements in system training over the exploratory search task and sense-making during the result assessment stage of CBIR.
  • Becoming ethical: the making of ethical practice in dialogical processes

    Miller, Fiona Catherine (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-09)
    I am a systemic therapist and would like to be able to describe my practice as ethical. I am familiar with the professional codes of ethics relevant to my work and sign forms at regular intervals to confirm that I adhere to them, but simply upholding them doesn’t convince me that I am therefore an ethical practitioner. I am coming to this inquiry with a desire to know more about what we as systemic therapists do in everyday practice that contributes to an understanding of our work as ethical. I describe this thesis as tartan, a metaphor for the way I weave together literature, conversations from practice, stories from my life, ethical considerations and methodology. Using writing as inquiry (Richardson 1997) as the primary methodology, I focus on moments in therapy sessions when there is an ethical dilemma and examine the dialogical process within which a decision is made about how to go on (Wittgenstein 1953). Writing as inquiry requires a pragmatic, emergent approach to methodology, as my thinking moves in response to and in anticipation of the writing. I weave together a reflexive, diffractive methodology with aspects of autoethnography, narrative inquiry and co-operative inquiry to present a multi-voiced piece of writing that takes an onto-epistemological position of “knowing in being” (Barad 2007). The practice material is generated from conversations in therapy and stories told by eight systemic therapists within a family therapy agency in the UK. It moves from systemic practitioner inquiry, in which moments of ethical dilemmas are enriched with heuristic models from the Co-ordinated Management of Meaning (CMM), to collaborative reflexive inquiry in which the team of therapists share stories from practice. We cycle through four ways of knowing, inspired by cooperative inquiry (Heron 1996) to bring together the knowing about ethical practice that comes with practical, clinical experience and the knowing that comes from theory and literature. From this, an understanding emerges of ethical practice being created in the moment, within the multiple voices and contexts in which the moment is situated. It therefore becomes difficult for us to be able to describe our practice as ethical; we can describe only the influences on the decision we make and how they orientate and influence us to step into ethical practices. This has implications for systemic practice, training and supervision where practitioners can be encouraged to pay closer attention to the relational, dialogical processes that create an understanding of what it means to become ethical.
  • The learning organization and intrapreneurship: pharmaceutics in a developing economy

    Ashal, Najwa Mohammad (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-10)
    This research aims to investigate and establish an in-depth understanding of the relationship between learning organization and intrapreneurship in a developing economy, the context of the pharmaceutical sector in Jordan. The literature review covers the key definitions, dimensions, and importance of the relevant concepts and the related areas to formulate the research gaps. Evident knowledge gaps have emerged from the review of relevant literature. Accordingly, a new framework has been developed. The framework explores the learning organization by combining various dimensions “supportive learning environment, concrete learning processes and practices, leadership that reinforces learning, and creating learning structures”. At the same time, intrapreneurship is defined by combining the dimensions of “new business venturing, innovativeness, self-renewal, proactiveness, and risk-taking”. Moreover, the research examines the effect of the organization age and size on implementing the learning organization and intrapreneurship aspects. The context of the developing economy, the pharmaceutical sector in Jordan has been chosen to test the hypotheses. The adopted research methodology is based on the ontological philosophy of Objectivism and the epistemological philosophy of Pragmatism. It adopts the deductive approach; it attempts to test a theory and examine the independent variable / dependent variable and their relationship. To answer the research questions, mainly the quantitative and partially qualitative methods have been employed. The survey was used as the primary strategy to collect the data. The population of this research comprises the managers and heads of departments in the pharmaceutical sector in Jordan, with a sample of 263 participants distributed between small, medium, and large organizations using the stratified sampling technique. In addition, nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with the managers in the small, medium and large organizations. The quantitative data was collected with a self-administered and electronic questionnaire. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) (version 26) was used to analyze the quantitative data. The quantitative findings of this research indicated a significant and positive correlation between learning organization and intrapreneurship. The qualitative findings strongly supported the quantitative findings and provided an in-depth understanding of the learning organization, intrapreneurship and their relationship. The quantitative and qualitative findings revealed that organizations could implement the aspects of learning organization and intrapreneurship regardless of their age and size. Qualitative data provided the research with richer information by spotting the light on other items to measure the learning organization and intrapreneurship. Moreover, the qualitative findings concentrated on some factors that could hinder the implementation of learning organization and intrapreneurship. The research bridges the identified knowledge gaps and presents a novel work. It adds value, enrich and contribute to the body of knowledge and practice.
  • Congruences and differences between mainstream and extremist discourse amongst university students in Jordan

    Harahsheh, Sabah A.M. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2022-01)
    This qualitative study deconstructs ISIS’s narrative in order to identify some of its main rhetorical tactics, before assessing whether such ideology and rhetoric appeal to Arab Muslim youth. This project depends on the rhetorical analysis by taking all speeches written and delivered by Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, ISIS’s media spokesman from 2011 until 2016, as a case study. The rhetorical analysis aims to demonstrate how ISIS appropriates the past, interprets the present, and visualises the future for Arab Muslims. The analysis of four focus groups reveal how young Arabs interpret extremist’s messages to demonstrate the convergence or divergence of extremist rhetoric with that of a sample of Arab youth living in Jordan. ISIS’s rhetoric shows that the group has been frozen in time and space; it relies on opposite dualities in managing the affairs of life, and puts the laws of God against the laws of man as a belief to establish the Caliphate. To do that, it borrows heavily but selectively from the Islāmic laws based on the teachings of the Qur’ān and Sunnah, and imposes the past on the present to reach the utopia it promises to establish. There is a congruence between the view of some youths and the vision of ISIS in terms of the audience’s interpretations of such extremist ideology regarding the ‘other’; some youths also believed that Sharīʿa should be applied to the letter because it is suitable for every time and place. The example provides a relational analysis or one that acknowledges the intricate and complex network that connects extremist ideas and ideologies with existing, mainstream ideas such as the anti-Shi’ite sentiment. The analysis demonstrates the need for developing a participatory communicative space for dialogue among youth and between youth and other actors, be it state, international organisations, or civil society.

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