• “I couldn’t move forward if I didn’t look back”: Visual Expression and Transitional Stories of Domestic Violence

      Bird, Jamie; University of Derby (2015-02-13)
      Psychological, sociological and feminist models of understanding domestic violence have contributed to the development of interventions that seek to raise awareness, keep women safe, and help them to create new lives for themselves and their families. Research literature has extensively paid attention to the ways in which women both live with and move away from domestic violence, documenting how they employ strategies of survival and resistance. The research methods employed to investigate domestic violence includes a range of quantitative and qualitative methods with particular emphasis placed upon enabling women to tell their stories in as authentic a way as possible. This thesis adds to the literature by considering how women construct what will be referred to as transitional stories of domestic violence, within which they imagine their future selves and develop the means to become what they hope for. The methodology used is original within the study of domestic violence in its synthesis of arts-based, feminist and participatory methods. The adopted epistemology sought to value the use of embodiment and imagination in the construction of knowledge, both of which are considered to be situated. The use of an arts-based method is chosen to enable a different way for women to tell their stories about their response to living with and transitioning away from domestic violence. The evaluation of this methodology shows that it is a valid form of enabling women to have the embodied subjectivity of their experiences and imagination witnessed in a way that complements the written and spoken word, whilst better allowing the physical and metaphorical quality of their stories to come to the foreground. Following a feminist agenda, attention is paid to the influence of gender upon the researcher’s findings, and upon the participants’ and researchers’ reflexive engagement with the research process. The research shows that the home has special significance for women as they transition away from domestic violence and plan for their future. The home becomes a physical manifestation and container for women’s hopes and fears for a harmonious future that often incorporates the desire for the return to the idea of a complete family. Relationships with family, friends and services are shown to be both enablers of women’s agency and resistance. Those same relationships are also shown to be capable of acting as barriers to women’s positive transitional journeys. The findings show that attention needs to be placed upon the appearance of women’s agency within the everyday tasks of creating and maintaining a home and managing relationships as they move away from domestic violence. The findings also point to the need for services to work harder on empowering women, both by adequately listening to the stories told about their pasts and hopes for the future, and by helping them to achieve their plans through challenging the limitations imposed by policies and economics.
    • "I don't want to be touched all the time" - Street Harassment and the Indian Woman

      Holland, Fiona, Dr.; Williams, Sophie, Dr; Montague, Jane, Dr.; Khan, Sumana (University of DerbyCollege of Life & Natural Sciences, UoD, 2020-12-10)
      Street harassment is the gender-based sexual harassment of individuals in public spaces by strangers. Studies have shown that the majority of victims of street harassment are women and the perpetrators are men. Despite its serious implications on women’s quality of life and psychological well-being, street harassment remains an understudied area and has not been included in the wider ‘violence against women and girls’(VAWG) research and discourse. This research aimed to position street harassment as a distinct form of VAWG by exploring Indian women’s sense-making of their lived experiences of street harassment. The research was structured into two parts: Part 1 – The ‘Sociocultural Study’ implemented dispositive analysis of three recent Bollywood films of romantic genre to explore the construction of sociocultural discourses on Indian womanhood. Part 2 – The ‘Experiential Study’ explored the lived experiences of street harassment of adult Indian women by using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The participants included four single women (aged 25-35) and four mothers (aged 35-50) to teenage daughters. The Sociocultural Study provided the cultural context for the Experiential Study. The findings of the Sociocultural Study indicated that the concept of womanhood is constructed by the Indian male gaze—the virginal sanskari (traditional) Indian woman is considered the symbol of Indian womanhood, whereas the “westernised” vamp is the morally corrupt temptress of men. These patriarchal constructions were rooted in deeply ingrained sexism, sexual objectification, and rape myth acceptance, proposed as the ‘triad’ of core mediators of street harassment by this research. The ‘triad’ featured significantly in the meaning-making of the participants in the Experiential study. The participants interpreted their experiences in themes of disempowerment, emotional isolation, loss of sense of agency, identity conflicts, and stress in family relationships. The findings aligned with UN’s definition of ‘violence against women’. Recommendations for future research include better theoretical developments to explain street harassment; investigation of potential long-term effects of street harassment in women such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); designing studies with more male participants to explore an ‘insider’ view into harassment; and finally, development of new standardised quantitative instruments to measure various aspects of street harassment.
    • Identification of tourism developmental success factors: Benchmarking the Malawi tourism industry

      Heap, Tim; Kandaya, Hastings (University of Derby, 2019-07-05)
      This thesis explores the potential development of, and model for, tourism on Lake Malawi. It builds upon the historic associations attached to colonisation and how this led to the acceptance, for 30 years, of Western based models in formulating strategic plans for tourism development in Malawi. The study confirms that Lake Malawi has development potential to compete with existing successful destinations; both in the African region and the global tourism market. The thesis concentrates upon the power relationships between the current stakeholders involved in the development process and the potential mechanisms available to involve local people more in the heritage tourism dynamic. The study explores the concepts of historic tourism development within Malawi and assess the success or failure of those strategies within the context of sustainability. The primary research involved the local population within two areas on Lake Malawi, and the government employees responsible for the planning process. The literature pointed to there being a gap between theory and practice within Malawi. The study confirms the potential in the region by analysis of similar locations and their stages within the development process. The primary research confirmed the need to identify a successful model that could be adapted for the Lake Malawi. These are then adapted to country branding suggested for Malawi, as a basis for development models influenced by the branding imperative, which then concludes the circular argument built from the destination analysis.
    • 'Identity Work’ in the context of organisational change: a Gestalt perspective

      Weller, Paul; Brannigan, Chris; Blom, Susanne (University of DerbyEducation, Health, and Sciences, 2013-11-27)
      The purpose of the thesis is to make a contribution to the development of an empirically informed theory of identity work in organisations on the basis of a gestalt paradigm. Since its emergence almost three quarters of a century ago, gestalt has been applied to therapy, personal development, leadership education and organisational consulting. Gestalt remains, however, fundamentally a paradigm, which preferentially projects onto and deals with complex and dynamic organisational phenomena at individual, dyadic or small group levels. It can be argued that, with its focus on phenomenology and awareness, the gestalt paradigm is predominantly methodological, with only ambiguous or weak links to explicitly articulated epistemology or ontology. A long-term professional, consulting relationship with a trade union branch enabled conducting action research in order to explore the constituents and dynamics of its organisational identity, prior to and following significant change. The subsequent dismantling and closure of the branch demanded an adjustment of research design. The new situation offered a unique opportunity to follow the existentially challenged organisation as its members reacted to and made sense of the closure. The research is contextualised in three analytical clusters: identity and identity work, gestalt paradigm, and trade unions as organisations, institutions and social movements. An ontology of the intersectional field is posited, and on this foundation, four statements, seen as fundamental conditions for identity work, are operationalised through six propositions explicating identity work in a gestalt paradigm perspective. Methodologically, the overall design is informed by a constructivist grounded theory approach, moving abductively - iteratively and even recursively - between inductive and deductive analysis and reflection. The empirical component of the thesis comprises participant observation, field notes, in-depth interviews during and subsequently two years after the closure, and memos. The data proved relevant and informative in terms of identity work in the organisation. The result of the research is a hypothesis about identity work in organisations, firmly anchored in and commensurate with a present-day revised gestalt paradigm, which contribute to a formal development of a gestalt organisational theory. The hypothesis states that: “Identity work in organisations is a dialectical positioning, both individual and collective, between the existential polar opposites of inclusion and exclusion. The processes through which identity work is enacted are cognitive, affective, and conative, instrumentally served by the contact boundary dynamics of egotisming, confluencing, projecting, retroflecting, introjecting, and deflecting. “ The empirical findings are considered robust, and the theory formulation meaningful. Acknowledging the specific circumstances of the study organisation and empirical design, however, a more general application of the hypothesis requires further research in diverse contexts for verification and possibly refinement of the gestalt theoretical concepts at the organisational level. The research results are of interest to gestalt practitioners who teach or work in or with organisations, and equally so for those interested in dynamic process perspectives in which attention shifts - whether at the level of the individual, group, or organisation - from static assessment of reified identity to real-time identity work; from structure to mutual interaction and influence, in order to balance the well-being of the human beings “in” and “profitability” of the organisation.
    • The impact of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) on quality of life: exploration, measurement and intervention.

      Williams, Sophie; University of Derby (2016)
      Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders amongst women, estimated to affect one out of 10 women. Symptoms include infertility, obesity, alopecia, acne, hirsutism and menstrual irregularities. Women with the syndrome are also more likely to experience co-morbid physical and psychological conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, endometrial cancer and also depression and anxiety. PCOS has also been found to have a negative impact on quality of life. This thesis aimed to further understanding, and improve quality of life of women with PCOS in the UK. To achieve this, the thesis aimed to investigate and identify how women with PCOS in the UK perceive and define their quality of life and to further understanding of the day-to-day experience of living with PCOS. Moreover, in order to measure quality of life, it aimed to develop and validate a UK disease-specific quality of life measure for women with PCOS. It also aimed to identify, develop and test a pilot intervention to increase quality of life in women with PCOS. To achieve these aims a mixed-methods approach was taken employing a variety of data generation and collection methods including: photovoice, online Skype™ interviews; LimeSurvey and Qualtrics. The findings of this thesis emphasise that PCOS has a negative impact on quality of life; encompassing psychological, social, environmental, and physical domains of quality of life. Women with PCOS who experienced the symptoms of infertility, hirsutism, weight, alopecia, skin discolouration, skin tags and mood swings had significantly lower scores of overall quality of life than those women who did not experience the symptoms. In addition, those women with PCOS who had a diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression had reduced quality of life. The dissemination of these findings will enable health care professionals to better understand the experience of living with PCOS and its impact on quality of life. Moreover, this thesis identifies many areas for future research which will enable a better understanding of the impact of PCOS on quality of life. Finally, this thesis makes recommendations for clinical practice which include improvement of support from health care professionals for women with PCOS in order to help them better manage their symptoms, and therefore improve their overall quality of life.
    • The Impact of the Storyline Method on the Foreign Language Classroom: An Action Research Case Study with Military Linguist Cadets

      Mitchell, Peter; University of Derby (2016-04)
      The Storyline method requires learners to create a fictive world and take on the role of characters in a story which they develop themselves. The story, co-created with the teacher, is based around a topic in the curriculum. In the course of the story, key questions based on curriculum-mandated aims are asked by the teacher in order to engage the learners in tasks during which learning occurs. Although Storyline has been used for many years in the classroom, its applicability to the foreign language classroom has only been researched recently and not extensively. By establishing a simulated ‘real world’ and providing students with ownership of their learning, students can use and improve their language skills, developing intercultural communicative competence in a meaningful context. This action research case study investigated the impact of the Storyline method on the foreign language classroom in the context of teaching military linguist cadets at a Russian university. A fictive base of a United Nations military observation mission, invented by the students themselves, served as a meaningful context for learning. The aim of the study was to improve the effectiveness of teaching in terms of developing language skills and raising student motivation, in the context of teaching English as a foreign language to military linguist cadets. The study found that the student response was positive, with improvements in motivation and satisfaction with the teaching and learning process. Moreover, students also showed improvements in terms of English language skills. It was also discovered that Storyline could benefit from adaption to include form-focused instruction for teaching grammar points. Additionally, explicit explanations of certain Storyline activities, in particular art work, might be beneficial when working with military linguist cadets. Ultimately Storyline was found to be an effective foreign language teaching method for military linguist cadets in Russia and has potential for use in other foreign language teaching for specific purposes contexts owing to its capacity for making language learning more relevant to the real life contexts in which professionals find themselves.
    • Implementing sustainability initiatives in business processes

      Gallotta, Bruno; University of Derby (2018-10)
      Purpose – The sustainability topic has been receiving a growing importance in the corporate environment in recent years. More and more companies are adopting sustainability practices in all their organisational levels, operations and business process as a whole; however, they have still failed to achieve the anticipated goal. Existing roadmaps, frameworks and systems do not comprehensively support sustainable business transformation. This research proposes a four phases framework, based on BPM, to help organisations to implement sustainability practices in the organisation business processes and has verified it with industry/academic specialists and validated it in a local organisation focused on sustainability initiatives. Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual framework has been created, verified and validated. The framework is based on Business Process Management (BPM) principles, which was chosen because due its capability to work in a cross process way while providing the full control of the process performance. It was then verified using a Delphi study held with 21 specialists in Sustainable Operations Management from both academia and industry and validated using an action research study on a biomass company focused in the development of sustainable energy technologies that wished to improve the implementation of sustainability initiatives in its business processes and operations. Findings – It was identified that organisations still struggle to succeed the implementation of sustainability projects. The research outlined that the business process management (BPM) approach can be used as way to implement sustainability practices in an organisation’s business processes by using the conceptual framework. The benefits from this approach are the enablement of continuous process improvement, improvement of process quality; cost reduction; increase in the customer satisfaction; and better control 3 over process performance, which can be directly linked to the improvement of the sustainability improvement.Research limitations/implication – The main limitation of this research is the application of the framework in only one real-life scenario, which was expected due the research method chosen to validate it. Future work aims to apply the framework in different scenarios, in organisations with different sizes, different maturity level, different sector, and different locations. Further research will also investigate the symbiosis of the BPM approach with other management approaches, such as lean/green manufacturing, project management, and green supply chain and carbon footprint. In addition, in a further moment, once companies are familiarised with the project methodology, it is possible to create a centre of excellence (an area within the organisation with the best practices/ processes of the industry) in terms of sustainability bringing even more value, improving continuously and generating more innovation by the form of green reference process models. Practical implications – The proposed framework uses a Business Process Management (BPM) approach, which provides a systemic solution for the organisations adopt sustainability practices in their business processes.
    • Improving students' behaviour and academic achievement through a counselling intervention programme.

      Yahya, Sawsan; University of Derby (2018-06-05)
      In the cultural context of low achievement in Arab Israeli schools, this work-based study describes and evaluates a successful counselling intervention in one Israeli Arab elementary school. The intervention took place over six months and involved twenty activities. A mixed methods approach was adopted to evaluate the intervention. The use of both qualitative and quantitative methods provided an informative evaluation of the perceptions of students, teachers and parents about the effectiveness of the intervention. Students, parents and teachers reported that from their point of view, student behaviour, student/teacher/parent relationships and learning improved during the intervention. This positive analysis of perceptions was qualified by the possibility that other factors that were not analysed might be influential. The lessons learned from the intervention, such as the need for creating a teacher – parent strategic alliance, renouncing the use of aversive control and the adaptation of teaching styles to student learning styles, may prove to be a transformative approach to the education of Arab Israeli students.
    • The influence of caffeine expectancies on simulated soccer performance and perceptual states

      Hooton, Andy; Sheffield, David; Higgins, Matthew; Shabir, Akbar (University of DerbyThe University of Derby, School of Human Sciences, 2020-10)
      Caffeine (CAF) is the most widely consumed ergogenic substance in sport and has been reported to improve various attributes associated with successful soccer performance including, endurance capacity, gross motor skill performance and cognitions. These benefits are typically ascribed to pharmacological mechanisms (i.e. central nervous and peripheral tissue stimulation). However, the psychological and perceptual permutations that are associated with CAF expectancies are largely unaddressed in most experimental designs but could be as important as CAF pharmacology in understanding if/how CAF elicits an ergogenic response on sport performance. As the consumption of pharmacologically active CAF may not be necessary in observing a CAF associated ergogenic response, this body of work may prove beneficial to individuals suffering from pre-existing health concerns (e.g. hypertension, genetic polymorphisms, depression, insomnia etc.), CAF habituation, and those participating in late evening sports competitions whereby CAF consumption may impair sleep quality/duration. The main aim of this thesis is to evaluate and explore the psychobiological effects of expectancies associated with oral CAF consumption on various facets of simulated soccer performance and perceptual states. This was achieved via completion of the following objectives: (1) conducting a systematic review and meta-analyses pertaining to literature exploring the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on sport and exercise (A) and cognitive performance (B) (2) exploration of the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on high-intensity intermittent endurance capacity, reaction time and soccer skill proficiency (3) exploration of the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on perceptual fatigue and mood states (4) exploration of the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on subjective perceptions using the double-dissociation design but in particular the mixed methods approach (Brooks et al., 2015). There remains a severe under representation of the mixed methods design in the literature pertaining to the phenomenon of CAF expectancies on sport, exercise, and cognitive performance. The mixed methods design and associated triangulation of quantitative and qualitative data is fundamental to validly compare CAF’s psychological versus pharmacological impetus. Prior to this thesis, only two other studies (Beedie et al., 2006; Duncan et al., 2009) implemented the mixed methods design, with neither providing a rigorous account of methodological decisions, researcher reflexivity, and/or evidence of applying an epistemological framework. These factors were incorporated within the current thesis and improved the quality of data collection, analysis, and reflection. The results of our, novel, meta-analyses demonstrated that all studies exploring the psychobiological effects of CAF on sport and exercise performance displayed a beneficial effect (p=0.01) with an overall moderate effect size (Cohen’s d (ES): 0.40) observed. In contrast, no significant effect was observed for studies exploring the psychobiological effects of CAF on cognitive performance (p=0.142) with a small effect size (ES=0.1) observed. Though, due to significant methodological heterogeneity associated with studies exploring the psychobiological effects of CAF on cognitive performance, any associated implications here should be taken with caution. Experimental study 1 explored the influence of CAF expectancies on facets of simulated soccer performance (e.g. exercise capacity, reaction time and passing ability (LSPT)) and perceptual states via utilisation of a mixed-methods approach and double-dissociation design. Exercise capacity was greater (p<0.05) for CAF psychology (given placebo (PLA)/told CAF) (623 ± 117 s) versus pharmacology (given CAF/told PLA) (578 ± 99 s) with all participants running longer during psychology. This benefit appeared to be driven by CAF expectancies and reductions in perceptual effort. Interestingly, positive perceptions for told CAF conditions appeared to impair BATAK performance via potential CAF over reliance. In contrast, negative perceptions possibly facilitated BATAK performance via augmented conscious effort. A similar trend to BATAK was observed for LSPT performance. Following the completion of experimental study 1 it became apparent that the techniques used to modulate expectancies across experimental conditions (i.e. told PLA/CAF groups) here or any other study with a primary aim of exploring the influence of CAF expectancies on sport, exercise and/or cognitive performance, require validation. This was the premise of experimental study 2. No meaningful findings were observed from baseline to post-intervention across any outcome measure during experimental study 2. This lack of effect may be related to environmental factors, whereby individuals completed trials in classrooms and/or a home cinema, prior to lectures/seminars and/or social interactions, respectively. In contrast, participants in experimental study 1 were administered the appropriate expectancy modulating techniques after they had perceived to consume PLA or CAF within an environment that necessitated an immediate importance for CAF (e.g. prior to exercise performance). In summary, the novelty and original contribution of the current body of research entails: completion of a systematic review and meta-analyses pertaining to the influence of CAF expectancies on sport, exercise and cognitive performance; assessment of the influence CAF expectancies may have on simulated soccer performance; the implementation of a mixed methods approach and double dissociation design; an in depth rationale, description and set of instructions for the utilisation of the mixed methods approach in any future research, including the use of an epistemological framework; a summary of ecological factors that are fundamental in understanding the phenomenon of CAF expectancies across sport and exercise performance. With respect of the main findings from the experimental data contained in this thesis: the benefits associated with CAF expectancies may better suit tasks that entail lesser cognitive/skill specific attributes but greater gross motor function (e.g. cycling, weightlifting, running etc.) and this is likely due to reduced perceptual effort. Moreover, future studies aiming to validate expectancy modulating techniques or generally assessing expectancies should provide a greater immediate importance for CAF and this may be achieved by replicating environmental and/or psychosocial conditions associated with sport performance (e.g. the utilisation of a performance measure) and the perception for CAF consumption.
    • Influencing attitudes, changing behaviours and embedding a pro-sustainability mindset in the workplace.

      Hader, Khaled Farag Imhemed; University of Derby (2018-07-18)
      Although several sustainability implementation frameworks have been proposed, researchers have not yet proposed theories or models to help organisations speed up the rate of sustainability diffusion and narrow the gap between what is known and what is put into use. This study sought to fill this gap by proposing a sustainability diffusion model. The model was developed from an exhaustive review of the corresponding literature. It uses Rogers' (1962) diffusion of innovations theory and Ajzen's (1991) theory of planned behaviour as a theoretical foundation. The model was tested and its structural architecture was validated in three different sustainability contexts; namely, duplex printing in UK universities; sustainable computing in service-based businesses; and sustainability culture in UK universities. The primary data was analysed statistically using SPSS, and structural equation modelling (SEM) in particular was used to validate the structural architecture of the proposed model. The SEM results indicate that the structural architecture of the theory of planned behaviour is well-founded. All the hypotheses that underline the theory's paths were supported. In contrast, the structural architecture of the diffusion of innovations theory was weakly supported. Some of the paths were rejected in at least two occasions. For example, the relationship between pro-sustainability knowledge and attitude was neither statistically significant nor directional. Moreover, several components of the 'verified' model turned out to be statistically insignificant or were rejected altogether. These were knowledge, perceived self interest, perceived persuader legitimacy, perceived consequences, perceived argument quality, trialability and perceived source credibility. Accordingly, once these constructs were removed and the model was restructured in accordance with the results of SEM analysis, an entirely new version of the 'sustainability diffusion model' emerged (See Figure IX-2). The architecture of the new model suggests that in order to speed up the rate of sustainability diffusion, change agents must emphasise the relative advantage, compatibility, subjective norm and the urgency of the pro-sustainability initiative under implementation and de-emphasise any complexities or risks associated with its operationalisation. Unexpectedly, the new version of the proposed model relies more on Ajzen's (1991) theory of planned behaviour as a theoretical foundation than on Rogers' (1983) innovation-decision process model. In other words, the new model maintained almost all the features of the theory of planned behaviour, but it only absorbed some, but not all, of the components of Rogers' innovation-decision process model. Nevertheless, the new model maintained its holistic nature. It still takes into account both the person-specific and innovation-specific factors that influence the diffusion, adoption and actualisation of pro-sustainability behaviours/initiatives.
    • Inspection-time analysis of syllogistic reasoning processes

      Stupple, Edward J. N. (University of Derby, 2007)
    • An integrated decision support framework for the adoption of lean, agile and green practices in product life cycle stages.

      Udokporo, Chinonso Kenneth; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2017-11-15)
      In order to stay competitive in today’s overly competitive market place, businesses must be engineered to match product characteristics and customer requirements. This increased emphasis on achieving highly adaptive manufacturing with reduction in manufacturing costs, better utilization of manufacturing resources and sound environmental management practices force organisations to adopt efficient management practices in their manufacturing operations. Some of the established practices in this context belong to the Lean, Agility and Green (LAG) paradigms. Adopting these practices in order to address customer requirements may require some level of expertise and understanding of the contribution (or lack of it) of the practices in meeting those requirements. Primarily, the wide choice of LAG practices available to address customer requirements can be confusing and/or challenging for those with limited knowledge of LAG practices and their efficacy. There is currently no systematic methodology available for selecting appropriate LAG practices considering of the product life cycle (PLC). Therefore, this research provides a novel framework for selecting appropriate LAG practices based on PLC stages for reducing costs, lead time and generated waste. The methodology describes the application of analytic hierarchy process (AHP), statistical inference and regression analysis as decision support tools, ensuring a systematic approach to the analysis with appropriate performance measures. The data collected were analysed with the aid of SPSS and Excel using a variety of statistical methods. The framework was verified through a Delphi study and validated using a case study. The key findings of the research include the various contributions of lean, agile and green practices towards improving performance measures, the importance of green in improving performance measures and the importance of selecting appropriate practices based on product life cycle stages. This research makes a clear contribution to existing body of knowledge by providing a methodological framework which could serve as a guide for companies in the FMCG industry to systematically integrate and adopt lean, agile and green to better manage their processes and meet customer requirements in their organisations. However, the framework developed in this research has not been tested in other areas.
    • The Inter-cloud meta-scheduling

      Bessis, Nik; Antonopoulos, Nikolaos; Sotiriadis, Stelios (University of DerbySchool of Computing and Mathematics, 2013-07-09)
      Inter-cloud is a recently emerging approach that expands cloud elasticity. By facilitating an adaptable setting, it purposes at the realization of a scalable resource provisioning that enables a diversity of cloud user requirements to be handled efficiently. This study’s contribution is in the inter-cloud performance optimization of job executions using metascheduling concepts. This includes the development of the inter-cloud meta-scheduling (ICMS) framework, the ICMS optimal schemes and the SimIC toolkit. The ICMS model is an architectural strategy for managing and scheduling user services in virtualized dynamically inter-linked clouds. This is achieved by the development of a model that includes a set of algorithms, namely the Service-Request, Service-Distribution, Service-Availability and Service-Allocation algorithms. These along with resource management optimal schemes offer the novel functionalities of the ICMS where the message exchanging implements the job distributions method, the VM deployment offers the VM management features and the local resource management system details the management of the local cloud schedulers. The generated system offers great flexibility by facilitating a lightweight resource management methodology while at the same time handling the heterogeneity of different clouds through advanced service level agreement coordination. Experimental results are productive as the proposed ICMS model achieves enhancement of the performance of service distribution for a variety of criteria such as service execution times, makespan, turnaround times, utilization levels and energy consumption rates for various inter-cloud entities, e.g. users, hosts and VMs. For example, ICMS optimizes the performance of a non-meta-brokering inter-cloud by 3%, while ICMS with full optimal schemes achieves 9% optimization for the same configurations. The whole experimental platform is implemented into the inter-cloud Simulation toolkit (SimIC) developed by the author, which is a discrete event simulation framework.