6,731 results for Victoria University of Wellington

  • Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management

    Bridgman, T. (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Kurt Lewin’s ‘changing as three steps’ (unfreezingchangingrefreezing) is regarded by many as the classic or fundamental approach to managing change. Lewin has been criticized by scholars for over-simplifying the change process and has been defended by others against such charges. However, what has remained unquestioned is the model’s foundational significance. It is sometimes traced (if it is traced at all) to the first article ever published in Human Relations. Based on a comparison of what Lewin wrote about changing as three steps with how this is presented in later works, we argue that he never developed such a model and it took form after his death. We investigate how and why ‘changing as three steps’ came to be understood as the foundation of the fledgling subfield of change management and to influence change theory and practice to this day, and how questioning this supposed foundation can encourage innovation.

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  • Aura of the Past: The Rehabilitation of ‘Puhipuhi Mercury Mine’

    Jackson, Nicola (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Through the development of the case site ‘Puhipuhi Mercury Mines’ this design led thesis presents the fusion of ruins with new design, aiming to rehabilitate the site and its history. The delicate nature of the site’s past and its remaining relics present the potential to curate a history. The method of integrating old and new design to reestablish value is explored. Puhipuhi mine has a negative reputation today. Documented memories focus on the mine's industrial downfall and remaining areas of contamination. This has dampened its prospects. The case site has remained dormant since its closure in 1945 (Butcher). With political controversy surrounding the site, and with natural growth dominating the remains, it has become virtually inaccessible. The challenge presented by the characteristics of the site poses the following research question: ‘How can the fusion of old and new architecture add value to a forgotten and contaminated historic site as a means to preserve its history and rehabilitate it for current day use?’ Abandoned elements which lay dormant in our landscape have the opportunity to be valued as iconic elements in New Zealand's history, yet we are hesitant to seek appreciation for the narratives of their past and as a result we are presented with the possibility of historic loss. The site's processing plant presents a need to preserve its architectural heritage and document its history as a means to re mediate the damage of contamination and the devalue that has generated since the closure of the program. Attention is needed to establish it as the beautiful landscape, intriguing remains and educational opportunity that it has the potential to become. Through the establishment of age, historic and use values, new programmes are constructed: a toxicity museum and laboratory.

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  • The Limits and possibilities of history: How a wider, deeper and more engaged understanding of business history can foster innovative thinking.

    Bridgman, T. (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Calls for greater diversity in management research, education and practice have increased in recent years, driven by a sense of fairness and ethical responsibility, but also because research shows that greater diversity of inputs into management processes can lead to greater innovation. But how can greater diversity of thought be encouraged when educating management students, beyond the advocacy of affirmative action and relating the research on the link between multiplicity and creativity? One way is to think again about how we introduce the subject. Introductory textbooks often begin by relaying the history of management. What is presented is a very limited mono-cultural and linear view of how management emerged. This article highlights the limits this view outlines for initiates in contrast to the histories of other comparable fields (medicine and architecture), and discusses how a wider, deeper and more engaged understanding of history can foster thinking differently.

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  • Healthcare in the Digital Age - The Future of Health Records

    Slevin, Eliot (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Electronic Health Record software (EHR), is used by medical professionals regularly to interact with patient records. The functionality of this software is key to public health, however the quality of this software does not match it's importance, or its cost. Developing innovative healthcare software is a difficult due to the inherent challenges of complexity, risk, and distribution faced by healthcare software. In response these challenges, this thesis proposes Barnett: a novel system to store, share, and interact with health records across institutions. Notably, this system moves control from the vendor to the user - through iterative, crowd based improvement, and ownership. This allows the system to fit unique, and varied user needs. Barnett was developed through an interdisciplinary qualitative research process, grounded in perspectives from design, software engineering, healthcare; and interviews with healthcare professionals. The survey of current EHRs, healthcare models, and the design process indicates that developing systems which enable a faster iterative cycle of design, development, and distribution is potentially a more sustainable approach to electronic health records.

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  • Seeing and being seen as a management learning and education scholar: Rejoinder to ‘Identifying Research Topic Development in Business and Management Education Research Using Legitimation Code Theory’

    Bridgman, T. (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    We greatly appreciate the editors’ invitation to respond to Arbaugh et al’s (2016) thought-provoking article about the current state of business and management education (BME) research. As incoming and current co-editors of Management Learning, it is an excellent opportunity to contribute to a discussion about how we in the management learning and education community see ourselves and want to be seen by others, both within the academy and beyond.

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  • Re-stating the case: How revisiting the development of the case method can help us think differently about the future of the business school

    Bridgman, T. (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Whilst supportive of calls for business schools to learn the lessons of history in order to address contemporary challenges about their legitimacy and impact, this article argues that our ability to learn is limited by the histories we have created. Through contrasting the contested development of the case method of teaching at Harvard Business School, and the conventional history of its rise, we argue that this history, which promotes a smooth linear evolution, works against reconceptualizing the role of the business school. To illustrate this, we develop a ‘counter-history’ of the case method: one which reveals a contested and circuitous path of development and discuss how recognizing this would encourage us to think differently. This counter-history provides a means of stimulating debate and innovative thinking about how business schools can address their legitimacy challenges, and, in doing so, have a more positive impact on society.

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  • “Illicit drive-through sex”, “Migrant Prostitutes”, and “Highly Educated Escorts”: Productions of ‘acceptable’ sex work in New Zealand news media 2010 – 2016

    Easterbrook-Smith, Gwyn (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In 2003 New Zealand passed the Prostitution Reform Act, decriminalising sex work and associated activities. This thesis examines news media representations of sex work and workers from 2010 to 2016 to determine how these texts construct sex work in a post-decriminalisation environment. The key questions this thesis considers are: which sex workers are presented by journalists as acceptable, and what conditions are attached to that acceptability? Using media studies frameworks to analyse the texts, this thesis demonstrates that in a decrimininalised environment the media plays a regulatory role, with the power to dictate what modes of sex work are acceptable largely shifting away from the courts. In the absence of a debate about the il/legality of sex work, a different kind of binaristic construction emerges, frequently related to public visibility or invisibility. This thesis uses discourse analysis techniques to examine texts relating to three key media events: the repeated attempts legally restrict where street sex workers could work in South Auckland, texts about migrant sex workers around the time of the Rugby World Cup, and texts about independent or agency-based sex workers. My methodology involved examining the texts to establish who was situated as an expert through discourse representation, what words were used to describe sex workers and their jobs, and then discerning what narratives recurred in the texts about each event. My analysis indicates that in a decriminalised environment news media representations of sex work afford acceptability to those who are less affected by structural oppressions: predominantly young, white, cisgendered, middle or upper-class women who see few clients and work indoors. However, for workers who fall outside these bounds news reports continue to reproduce existing sex work stigma. I highlight how racism and transmisogyny frequently play into news representations of sex work, even under a framework of decriminalisation, in ways that serve to avoid acknowledging the work of (some) sex workers as legitimate labour, and how transmisogyny is used in attempts to exert and justify bodily control over sex workers. By considering how these representations function to undermine the legitimacy of the work, this thesis demonstrates the ways news media functions as a site at which stigma about sex work is produced, reinforced, or validated for a non-sex working audience. Additionally, this thesis argues that the ways acceptable sex work is produced are predicated on agency and independent workers’ performance of choice and enjoyment, requiring the actual labour involved in sex work to be obscured or minimised. This obfuscation of the “work” of sex work makes it more difficult to advocate for improved employment rights and conditions, which is heightened due to the advertorial function of some news media texts. Furthermore, the ways in which sex workers’ narratives are constructed is also indicative of which workers are or are not acceptable: only certain workers are permitted to speak for themselves, and frequently only when their accounts are supported by other, non-sex working, voices. This thesis therefore concludes that while news media represents some limited forms of sex work as acceptable, the ways in which this is discursively achieved restrict the ability of workers to self-advocate. Furthermore, even workers represented as acceptable are in a precarious position, with this acceptability being mediated by their ability or willingness to adhere to specific, heteronormatively mediated, identity categories, and to inhabit a specific enthusiasm in their voiced feelings about their work.

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  • How New Zealand schools manage the transition of disabled students leaving secondary education: A multiple-case study

    Fraser, Cameron Stuart (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The transition from secondary education to post-secondary life is a difficult one for students with intellectual disabilities. Schools are key to the preparation and management of this transition. There is little New Zealand (NZ) research on the transition of disabled students and lack of examples of effective practice. A multiple-case study was used to investigate the transition practices of three schools teaching disabled students with ORS (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme) funding. Qualitative data was collected through interviews and observations of staff members. Findings were that the schools began the process by no later than the students being 16-years-old and ensured the student and family were at the centre of the planning. Schools taught a combination of functional life skills and self-determination skills. Community inclusion was practiced through work experience and visits to potential future environments. Common post-school barriers in transition included reduced support and few opportunities. A forthcoming government review of ORS funding for disabled students aged 18-21, highlights the need for future research to investigate these post-school barriers.

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  • Nanogrid topology, control and interactions in a microgrid structure

    Burmester, Daniel (2018)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Distributed generation, in the form of small-scale photovoltaic installations, have the potential to reduce carbon emissions created by, and alleviate issues associated with, centralised power generation. However, the major obstacle preventing the widespread integration of small-scale photovoltaic installations, at a residential level, is intermittency. This thesis addresses intermittency at a household/small community level, through the use of "nanogrids". To date, ambiguity has surrounded the nanogrid as a power structure, which is resolved in this thesis through the derivation of concise nanogrid definition. The nanogrid, a power distribution system for a single house/small building, is then used to implement demand side management within a household. This is achieved through the use of a hybrid central control topology, with a centralised coordinating controller and decentralised control nodes that have the ability to sense and modulate power flow. The maximum power point tracker is used to observe the available photovoltaic power, and thermostatically controlled loads present in the household are manipulated to increase the correlation between power production and consumption. An algorithm is presented which considers the expected power consumption of the thermostatically controlled loads over a 24 hour period, to create a hierarchical ratio. This ratio determines the percentage of available photovoltaic power each load receives, ensuring the loads that are expected to consume the most power are serviced with the largest ratio of photovoltaic power. The control system is simulated with a variety of household consumption curves (altered for summer/winter conditions), and a week of realistic solar irradiance data for both summer and winter. In each simulated scenario, a comparison was made between controlled and uncontrolled households to ascertain the extent grid power consumed by a household could be reduced, in turn reducing the effect of intermittency. It was found that the system had the ability to reduce the grid power consumed by as much as 61.86%, with an average reduction of 44.28%. This thesis then explores the concept of interconnecting a small community of nanogrids to form a microgrid. While each nanogrid within the network has the ability to operate independently, a network control strategy is created to observe the possibility of further reducing grid power consumed by the community. The strategy considers the photovoltaic power production and thermostatically controlled loads operating within the network. A ratio of the network's photovoltaic power is distributed to the thermostatically controlled loads, based on their expected consumption over a 24 hour period (highest consumption receives largest ratio of power). This was simulated with a range of household cluster sizes, with varied consumption patterns, for a week with summer/winter solar irradiance. The tests show that, compared to an uncontrolled nanogrid network, the combined control can reduce grid power consumed by as much as 55%, while a 7% decrease is seen when comparing the combined control to the individually controlled nanogrid networks. When compared to an uncontrolled individual house scenario, the combined control interconnected nanogrids can reduce the power purchase from the grid by as much as 61%.

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  • Laterally Grown ZnO Nanowires for Sensing Applications

    Matthews, Campbell (2018)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Zinc oxide nanowires are a semiconducting material that has many uses in electronic applications. In particular, ZnO nanowires have been used in field effect transistors and applied as sensors for the detection of gases, biomolecules, UV light and as pressure sensors. ZnO nanowires can be fabricated using many different methods, but most require the use of high tempertures and have extensive setup costs. Hydrothermal growth, however, provides a cheap and low temperture method for growing ZnO nanowires. Much work has been done on the synthesis and charcetristaion of ZnO nanowires grown using hydrothermal growth, in partiuclar for photovoltaic applications. Little work has been done on the performace of hydrothermally grown ZnO nanowires in field effect transtors. This thesis looks at applying hydrothermally grown ZnO nanowires as field effect transistors (FET). The FETs are characterised and developed with the intention of using them in senseing applications. The nanowire FET structure is optimised for sensing by developing a method that constrains the nanowires to exclusively lateral growth. A Ti capping layer is fabricated on top of a ZnO seed layer. The ZnO seed layer is then etched with dilute acid so that the Ti layer overhangs the ZnO. This acts as a physical barrier to vertical wire growth from the ZnO seed layer. The maximum deviation of the nanowires from the horizontal can be controlled by etching for different times. Two device types are fabricated using different size nanowires. One uses large nanowires, or nanorods (diameter 400 nm), while the second device type uses a hybrid structure of large nanorods with much thinner nanowires (diameter 20 nm) growing off them. Both device types are characterised as FETs in dry conditions and also when immersed in a number of different liquids. Two different gating setups are also used with the Si/SiO₂ substrate used as a backgate and a Ag/AgCl electrode inserted into liquid as a topgate. The large nanorods only show field dependence when wet due to the large capacitance of the elctric double layer and enhanced band bending. The wet nanorods can achieve on/off ratios of 10³. In contrast, the thinner nanowires show field dependence both when dry and when wet. On/off ratios of more than 10⁴ are achieved. In general the nanowires have superior on off ratios and smaller off current due to their larger surface to volume ratio. Attempts are made to functionalise the nanowires with aptamers so that they can be used as a biosensor. The functionalisation procedure is documented, however the overall procedure proves to be unsuccessful due to the instability and dissolution of the nanowires in tris buffer. The rate of decay in buffer solution is investigated. Both device types are also tested as gas sensors for humidity and ethanol detection. The nanorods show no apparent detection, while the nanowires show some response to ethanol. Further development of the experimental setup is necessary to better characterise the devices. Finally future work on these nanowires is discussed and possible improvements proposed for future development as biosensors and gas sensors.

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  • The Reproductive Biology of Deep-Sea Elasmobranchs and Batoids from Chatham Rise and the Sub-Antarctic Region of New Zealand

    Dutilloy, Adèle (2018)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The reproductive biology of thirteen poorly studied deep-sea elasmobranch species, on Chatham Rise and the Sub-Antarctic region of New Zealand, was assessed. The study species are all commonly caught as bycatch in commercial fisheries and include: three viviparous species (Centroselachus crepidater, Centrophorus squamosus, Deania calcea), five deep-sea catsharks (Apristurus spp.), and five deep-sea batoid species. However, due to a lack of knowledge on their general biology, ecology, and taxonomy – the impact of fishing on these species is unknown. A species’ resilience to fishing pressure depends on its biological productivity and susceptibility to capture. Accurate assessment of maturity is critical to understanding productivity and the effects of fishing pressure on fished stocks. Maturity is commonly assessed macroscopically, using a visual assessment that lacks precision and relies on subjective judgement. The wide array of macroscopic maturity assessment keys, used internationally, employ various sets of characteristics to define the same reproductive processes, which can lead to errors and inconsistencies in maturity assessment and parameter estimates (e.g. length-at-maturity), making direct comparisons between studies difficult. Objective reproductive measurements (oviducal gland size, follicle size, uterus width, follicle number and gonad weight) were used to assess the validity and quality of the macroscopic maturity staging key used in New Zealand, towards determining the onset of maturity and accurately distinguishing between macroscopic stages. The results showed that no single measurement gave a clear-cut indicator of maturity and some fish classified as ‘maturing’ were very likely ‘mature’. Uterus width, follicle size and gonadosomatic index values were found to be the most useful attributes in determining the onset of maturity. Uterus width and follicle size were also useful in determining differences between different macroscopic stages, whilst gonadosomatic index values were useful in distinguishing between reproductive strategies. Histological observations, with a particular focus on sperm storage, were also used to inform the quality of macroscopic maturity assignment. Sperm storage was observed for the first time in Centroselachus crepidater, Centrophorus squamosus and Brochiraja asperula. This study successfully highlighted problems in the macroscopic maturity assessment key currently used in New Zealand and proposes an improved, more objective macroscopic staging key. The improved key aims: 1) to assist in distinguishing between maturity stages, particularly between stage 2 (maturing), stage 2 (resting) and stage 6 (post-partum) females, by examining the same key reproductive structures across all macroscopic stages, and 2) to provide more representative maturity data for use in fisheries and demographic models, for more robust assessment of the impacts of fishing pressure on poorly studied deep-sea chondrichthyans.

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  • Simulating Psychedelic Therapy Through Mediated Reality

    Hillstead, Andrew (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Due to the illegality of psychedelic substances, and despite proven efficiency, people suffering from various psychiatric illnesses and disorders are unable to receive potentially life-changing psychedelic therapy. With the recent technological development of computer-mediated realities, designers and developers now have the opportunity to digitally recreate such treatments. Through practical application along with the review of literature and conferences, this study aims to analyse the potential of mediated realities to convincingly simulate psychedelic therapy. Augmented reality (AR) and modulated realities (ModR) such as modified and diminished reality show insufficient evidence for practical use in simulated psychedelic therapy. Augmented virtuality (AV), mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR) and modulated virtuality (ModV) contain a range of characteristics fundamental to potentially simulating mind manifesting psychedelic therapy. However, mediated reality in general appears to be extraneous for practical use in mind loosening psychedelic therapy. Currently, virtual reality (VR) shows the greatest potential for healing, trauma release, personal growth and exploration of the psyche by simulating closed-eye psychedelic experiences through adding virtual information via an HMD. Accordingly, the author of this study has proposed a proof of concept (POF) for a neurofeedback driven VR experience which simulates aspects of both mind loosening and mind manifesting psychotherapy. This POF is intended to simulate the transformation of phosphenes into complex geometric pattern based hallucinations. With further development in this field, one day people suffering from various mental conditions might be able to receive safe, accessible and legal forms of simulated psychedelic therapy.

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  • Early career development in the public sector: Lessons from a social constructionist perspective

    Bridgman, T. (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This article explores the contribution a social constructionist paradigm can make to the study of career, through a small-scale empirical study of recent graduates employed in New Zealand’s state sector. A social constructionist lens denies the possibility of an individualised, generalized understanding of “career”, highlighting instead its local, contingent character as the product of social interaction. Our respondents’ collective construction of career was heavily shaped by a range of context-specific interactions and influences, such as the perception of a distinctive national identity, as well as by their young age and state sector location. It was also shaped by the research process, with us as researchers implicated in these meaning-making processes. Social constructionism shines a light on aspects of the field that are underplayed by mainstream, scientific approaches to the study of career, and therefore has valuable implications for practitioners, as well as scholars.

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  • Taking subjectivity and reflexivity seriously: Implications of social constructionism for researching volunteer motivation

    Bridgman, T. (2016)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper explores the contributions a social constructionist paradigm can make to researching volunteer motivation, by reflecting on an active membership study of volunteer netball coaches at a New Zealand high school. Social constructionism is based on philosophical assumptions which differ from those of positivism and post-positivism, the dominant paradigms for understanding and representing volunteer motivation. It highlights the social processes through which people give meaning to their motives and views researchers as necessarily implicated in this meaning-making process. Through a critique of the extant literature on volunteer motivation and an illustration of the insights of social constructionism from our empirical study, we consider how our research could be different if we took subjectivity and reflexivity more seriously.

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  • Why Management Learning Matters

    Bridgman, T. (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Ann’s departure means this is our first joint editorial as incoming Editors-in-Chief and we take this opportunity to explain why Management Learning continues to be a journal that matters in the field of management learning and education. In addition to the core features of reflection and critique that are highlighted by the journal strapline, we want to emphasise the importance of ‘engagement’. This underlying motif cuts across many of the papers published in the journal, as well as the approach to scholarship that those who contribute to it value and encourage.

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  • Expecting the unexpected in Management Learning

    Bridgman, T. (2018)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In this editorial we seek to explore the meaning of quirkiness and, through this, to embrace the possibilities that such a positioning affords. In so doing, we follow a tradition of reclaiming words that have formerly been used to subjugate or undermine, such as ‘queer’, and using them to ‘question dominant foundational assumptions about what is “normal” and what is “abnormal”’ (Rumens and Tyler, 2016: 225). By attempting to unsettle what is considered ‘normal’ in the study of management knowledge and learning, we endeavour to reclaim the word ‘quirky’ as a term with critical, reflexive potential.

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  • Distributional impacts of disaster recovery: Sri Lankan households a decade after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

    De Alwis, Diana (2018)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This paper investigates the impact of recovery from the 2004 tsunami on income and consumption distribution across households in Sri Lanka, using a quasi-quantile regression method and other inequality measures. The analysis finds that the income of households in the entire distribution has recovered, with low-income households increasing their income by a higher proportion compared to the higher income households. The paper also observes that the affected regions appear more income-equal ex-post compared to the unaffected regions. Household consumption recovered in short and medium-term favoring both high and low-income households compared to those in the middle-income category. Nonetheless, long-lasting recovery of consumption appears only among high income households.

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  • The battle for ‘Middle-Earth’: The constitution of interests and identifies in the Hobbit dispute

    Bridgman, T. (2017)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This article draws on an industrial dispute over the filming of The Hobbit in New Zealand in 2010 to contribute to the theorisation of the interplay between interests and identities and our understanding of mobilisation and collective identity. While industrial disputes are typically viewed as a conflict between groups with opposing material interests, this may miss the way in which both the identities of those involved and their interests are discursively constituted in articulatory processes. Specifically, we apply Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory and in doing so demonstrate that the dispute was more than a conflict over working conditions, it was a hegemonic struggle to fix meaning. In making this conceptual contribution we highlight a tendency within industrial relations analysis to reify interests.

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  • Overcoming the problem with solving business problems: Using theory differently to rejuvenate the case method for turbulent times

    Bridgman, T. (2018)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

    A questioning of the neoliberal consensus in the global economic order is creating turbulence in Western democracies. Long regarded as the only viable capitalist model, neoliberalism is now subjected to increasing scrutiny. Management education that has been aligned to a neoliberal worldview must now respond to this shifting landscape in order to retain its legitimacy. One core element of management education undergoing revision as a result is the case method of teaching. The case method’s traditionally narrow focus on training students to solve business problems is increasingly problematic in an environment where the structure of the capitalist system in which firms operate is now a topic of debate. To address this, we argue that is a good time to a reconceptualize the case method’s relationship with theory. This has conventionally taken two forms: a hostility to any inclusion of theory in the analytical process; and an approach that uses theory as an instrument for profit maximization. We propose an alternative third approach that encourages students to engage in a critical questioning of business-as-usual capitalism from the perspective of multiple stakeholders, including managers, employees, unions, not-for-profit organizations, government and the natural environment.

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  • Microbiota of an Invasive Wasp Vespula vulgaris and Hymenopteran relatives: Interpreting the microbiome

    Quinn, Oliver (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Invasive species represent a critical threat to ecosystems and ecological communities, causing changes through overwhelming predation as well as competing with native species for resources. Understanding the mechanisms behind invasive success is essential for understanding why they invade and the consequences of their invasions. Furthermore, invasive species, like all macroscopic organisms, harbour symbiotic and pathogenic microbes that constitute their microbiomes, which could explain invasive success. The complex ecological interaction networks within the microbiome can have a positive or negative impact on host abundance and dominance. These interactions may be significant for invasive species, where microbial influences acting on an exotic host can potentially drive the ecological success of an invasive population to the detriment of recipient communities. This thesis explores the microbiota of one of the most globally invasive species, the common wasp Vespula vulgaris, with the overall aim to investigate and characterise the microbiome of V. vulgaris, using metagenomics, bioinformatics and molecular techniques. The initial comparative microbiota study focused on three distinct life stages (larvae, worker and queen), from two ranges. This analysis revealed a core bacteriome community present in V. vulgaris. There was evidence of higher microbial diversity in wasp larvae compared with workers and queens. The Queen (gyne) microbiome revealed a more specific microbiome with absences of certain microbiota found in larvae and workers from the same nest, indicating a more distinctive microbiome. Interestingly, analysis of life stages between ranges showed significant dissimilarity in microbiomes, with microbiota loses, and acquisitions in the introduced New Zealand range. Using the same techniques, the microbiota of V. vulgaris and four hymenopteran hosts (Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris, Vespula germanica and Linepithema humile), were comparatively analysed. The analysis investigated both shared microbiota and host specific microbiota. This analysis indicated the polyphagous V. vulgaris as having a diverse microbiome varying between nests and sites, indicating less specific microbiota in comparison to other hymenopteran hosts in this study. Vespid wasp colonies are known to occasionally crash in the presence of diseases; however, there is a lack of reliable evidence indicating pathogenic micro-organisms play an essential role in wasp colony dynamics. Incorporating knowledge gained in previous analyses, the next aim was to investigate V. vulgaris nests symptomatic of an infectious agent to discover the cause of pathology. Through molecular techniques, such as Illumina RNA-Seq, PCR and Sanger sequencing, the potential cause of infection and decline of diseased nests was examined. The metatranscriptomic comparison of diseased and healthy larvae highlighted five putative infectious agents. The bacteria Moellerella wisconsensis, Moku virus, Kashmir Bee Virus, Aspergillus and the microsporidian Vavraia culicis floridensis found in infected larvae, potentially causing pathology in the host. The first known instance of Moku virus, and potentially V. culicis floridensis and M. wisconsensis was documented as potential pathogens of V. vulgaris present in New Zealand. To test for potential virulence of these putative infectious agents, an infection study was carried out. Vespula vulgaris nests and larvae were orally infected in the lab using homogenised infected larvae. Subsequently, test and control larvae were sampled to conduct and quantify a time series analysis of infection using RT-qPCR using designed primers. This dissertation provided the first insight into the microbiome of V. vulgaris in the native and introduced range providing a baseline for further research. This analysis and the subsequent microbiota identified may play a role in wasp population dynamics, giving a better understanding of the observed thriving V. vulgaris population dynamics in New Zealand.

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