• Exploring determinants of entrepreneurial performance

      Dakin, John; Thompson, Roy H. (University of Derby, 2013-02-11)
      This thesis reports research into elements of entrepreneurial performance with a particular focus on gender differences and their determinants. Inductive research during the initial literature review uncovered a range of factors affecting performance leading to an investigation of smallholder dairy entrepreneurs in Central Malawi. The primary research utilised a mix of both quantitative and qualitative instruments including innovative use of an adaptation of the ‘circle and stones’ proportional piling instrument. This participatory technique explored changes in the household economy following the introduction of the dairy enterprise, including projecting entrepreneurial intentions into the future. A notable feature of the research was the use of a range of context-specific performance measures developed from an outcomes model. These were both separately applied in a performance ranking exercise, and compiled into an overall performance rating (OPR) which was then compared with the initial post-interview field performance rating (FPR). The research involved extensive use of internal and external triangulation of information sources, comparing results from different instruments in the field research, and situating and comparing primary research findings with those from the academic literature and analysis of secondary data. Despite controlling for factors including industry-type, size of enterprise, provision of business and extension support, and taking into account differences in age and educational background, the research uncovered gender disparities in entrepreneurial performance. The performance disparity was greater for those females who are the de facto head of their households, and lesser for those who have the support of a resident male partner. The finding of female underperformance runs contrary to the a priori expectation of industry key informants in Malawi, and much of the academic literature. The research included exploration of risk mitigation strategies and their potential effect on entrepreneurial performance, as possible explanatory factors. Follow-on fieldwork then sought alternative explanations for the gender differentials through focus group discussions and key informant interviews, which uncovered time constraints of females as a potential factor in underperformance. Future research direction indicated includes an in-depth exploration of the intra-household dynamics of time allocation in managing enterprises.
    • Handling cultural factors in human-computer interaction

      Bourges-Waldegg, Paula (University of Derby, 1998)
    • 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.
    • Knowledge and discourse matters

      Longbottom, David; Self, Richard; Crane, Lesley (University of DerbyFaculty of Business, Law and ComputingJ Wiley & Sons, 2015-05-19)
      This work draws on the discipline of Discursive Psychology for a theory of language, shown to be all but absent in the organizational knowledge management literature, and a methodology for the study of discourse. Organizational knowledge sharing is selected as the topic of primary research for its accessibility to analysis, and because it is considered to be an underpinning action to new knowledge creation. The research approaches discourse as action-orientated and locally situated, as constructed and constructive, with function and consequence for speakers. Indicative research questions are concerned with the discursively accomplished phenomena of trust, risk, identity and context, how these are accomplished in rhetorical interaction and with what effect on organizationally situated knowledge sharing. Recordings of organizations’ everyday knowledge sharing meetings, as well as an online discussion forum, are analysed focusing on these four themes. Findings show them to be accomplished as speakers’ live concerns in knowledge sharing talk. It is claimed that trust, risk and identity, as contexts displayed and oriented to by speakers themselves, are tacitly and collaboratively accomplished actions, shown to be co-relational and influential to knowledge sharing scope and directions. A further claim is that the analysis of discourse for what contexts in general speakers invoke displays speakers’ orienting to trust, risk and identity. Limitations of the present study are discussed, along with speculated implications for knowledge management and future directions for research. This work aims to contribute to the field of knowledge management in three ways. First, in extending the directions that some scholars and practitioners are already indicating through focusing the interest of study on organizational discourse. Secondly, the study seeks to understand how tacit knowing, as a phenomenon invoked by speakers themselves, is accomplished and how it influences the scope and directions of knowledge sharing actions, and with what effect. Finally, it is claimed that the research provides some support for those theorists in the knowledge management field who promote the knowing how-knowing that formulation, and those who are critical of conventional knowledge management’s heavy reliance on technology to deliver its objectives.
    • Mangement control systems and management accounting varieties

      Angelakis, George (University of Derby, 2009)
    • Negotiation strategy in Egyptian multinational enterprises.

      Abouhamada, Abdelmawgoud Abdalla (University of Derby, 2001)
    • An online intelligent system for teaching engineering design technologies

      Oraifige, Amal Yousef Nour (University of Derby, 2010)
    • Professional accountants’ perceptions of servant-leadership: contexts, roles and cultures

      Jones, Christine; Dupernex, Simon; Gande, Tapiwa (University of DerbyDerby Business School, 2014-05-28)
      The study takes servant-leadership and attempts to find if there is an equivalent concept in management. Leadership and management have been extensively compared and contrasted in research and theory and while there are divergent views of exactly what each entails, others hold the view that they might be equal and complementary. The research design follows a positivist philosophy. An instrument that measures distinct leader, manager and professional role preferences is used to check the discrete operation of three contexts among a sample of members of the accountancy profession. The instrument is derived from contextualising pre-developed and pre-tested servant-leadership measuring instruments. Items from the role preference map instrument are added together with demographic details to come up with a meta-instrument adapted for the study. After validating it through pilot-testing, the instrument is applied in real-world research. The research was conducted among a sample of professional accountants working in 28 countries across four continents in organisations with over 82,000 employees. Statistical analysis, employing; analysis of variance, correlations, frequencies, significances, means, variances and tests of scale reliability was performed on both the data and the instruments. The research found clear and reliable servant-leadership-type behaviours exhibited across the three discreet roles and contexts of leader, manager and professional. Some professional accountancy courses are delivered across many countries in the world. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is one such professional accountancy body that offers qualifications on a global scale. However, as accountants originate from, and practice in diverse cultures and economies around the world they are trained by institutes like ACCA from a common syllabus that has elements of management as a subject. Servant-leadership is a type of leadership that is theorised to be humanistic and spiritual rather than rational and mechanistic. Management practice on the other hand needs rationality and contains some mechanistic elements in typical management functions like coordinating and controlling. The implication is whether servant-leadership attributes can be exhibited if professional accountants contextualise themselves as leaders, managers or professionals. The study focuses on the profession of accountants and tests the operation of servant-leadership behaviours from the manager, leader and professional contexts using pre-tested servant-leadership scales and applying them in specific leader and manager contexts. This approach is new in its treatment of servant-leadership in this fashion. A further original approach is the use of the accountancy profession. This treatment of instruments from other fields like psychology and sociology is new.