6,154 results for ScholarlyCommons@AUT

  • The influence of board leadership and governance on club capability within New Zealand community sport clubs

    Crawford, Scott

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The emergence of the commercialisation and professionalisation of sport has been observed globally by researchers and has resulted in increased academic research within the realms of both leadership and sport governance. To date, however, the majority of this research has been predominantly focussed on national sporting organisation (NSO) boards. The emergence of a more business-like’ delivery of sport has proven challenging to the sporting sector (Breitbarth, Walzel, Anagnostopoulos, & Eekeren, 2015; Shilbury & Ferkins, 2011), notably with community non-profit sport club organisations (CSCs), as they are traditionally governed by volunteer boards that serve to deliver their respective sport codes to the community via limited resources (Lowther, Digennaro, Borgogni, & Lowther, 2016). The challenges facing CSCs, particularly in relation to leadership and governance, have been acknowledged within the New Zealand sporting sector at national, regional and government level (Sport New Zealand, 2015b). New Zealand Rugby, recognising the need to understand the leadership and governance capabilities of its CSCs (rugby clubs), entered into a collaborative partnership with both Aktive – Auckland Sport & Recreation and Auckland University of Technology’s Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ). Accordingly, this research was undertaken to investigate the current understanding and influence, of leadership and governance at CSC board level, in order to potentially develop club capability. Specifically, the central research question was, “How can community non-profit sport clubs develop club capability within the realms of board leadership and governance”. Three sub-questions supported this overarching question. These involved exploring: what understanding do board/committee members possess concerning leadership and governance; what perceptions do board/committee members possess concerning club capability; and what areas can be identified within leadership and governance with a view to potentially developing community sport club capability. The theoretical foundations upon which this study was grounded were underpinned by traditional leadership and governance theory. However, this qualitative study sought to extend upon emerging sport leadership and governance theory by way of three instrumental case studies, cross-case analysed in a multiple case research approach. The holistically orientated research approach allowed the creation of new knowledge by gaining a deeper understanding, within CSCs, of leadership and governance as an influence on club capability. Founded on a constructivist-interpretive paradigm, data were collaboratively generated between researcher and CSC (rugby club) board members. Primary data were generated utilising fourteen individual semi-structured interviews and an inter-club focus group, supported by participant observation. Data analysis, as part of both the instrumental and multiple case study process, was achieved by way of supplementary documentation, audio-tape transcriptions, focus group videos, and reflective note-taking to identify emerging themes and sub-themes. Outcomes from the study reveal that within the leadership realm, CSCs have a traditional, leader-centric approach in the form of chair leadership and, are underpinned to varying degrees by a servant leadership foundation. Key governance findings from the study reveal that CSCs show considerable disparity in their governance practices and that a progressive approach is required to achieve attainment of collaborative governance. Whilst untested and beyond the scope of this study, these key findings could assist NSOs to focus their resources on chair leadership development, with an emphasis on servant leadership qualities such as emotional intelligence, and to develop club capability by working towards an NSO-styled shared leadership model. These findings also potentially allow for a CSC progressive governance model to be created with the aim of developing club capability by establishing collaborative governance in the form of inter-organisational relationships.

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  • Investigating the skills and capabilities that software testers need: A New Zealand study

    Liang, Ling

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Software testing has changed a lot with the rapid developing software market in the last two decades. Many companies have to either keep up with competitors or gain a competitive advantage by the continuous deploying high quality and user-friendly products. This depends heavily on the efficiency and effectiveness of testing. New techniques, tools and methodologies are emerging in software testing, which increases the requirements on skills and capabilities for testers and has caught the shortage of test professionals. For example, they are now expected to be involved in software development to the earliest extent due to the prevalence of agile methodologies. Traditional exploratory testing is not enough and automation test is introduced. The industry has realised the importance of software testing, but the perception of many people on the skills and capabilities for testers is limited. In some people’s cognition, testers explore defects by input and click; almost everybody, either with or without IT background, can do the testing job. It is essential to understand the roles and responsibilities of testers in contemporary software development environments and the corresponding skills and capabilities the testers need. It may benefit different communities, including employers, test practitioners or potential testers, educators and researchers who are doing similar research. The thesis aims to investigate the most important skills and capabilities for testers and gain insights into the reasons why the skills and capabilities are more, or less, important. To conduct the research, a systematic literature review was performed to get an overview understanding of the status of this topic. There were just a few studies on this topic. As software testing is an essential part of software development, we extended the search scope to software development team. The key concepts of the research were explained, and the current understanding on this topic from references was presented. The top important skills and capabilities and their associated importance were illustrated. A two-pronged approach was taken to answering the research questions. Job adverts were designed to answer the research questions from employers’ perspective. Those adverts reflected the most favourable skills and capabilities that employers wanted for testers. Data were collected from the most popular websites that contain job adverts for testers in New Zealand (NZ) and analysed using content analysis approaches. The whole process was conducted in a hermeneutic circle and complemented using VBA and python. The frequency of each of the skills and capabilities from the sample of adverts was used to rank the importance and identify the most important ones. Besides, a conceptual model of skills and capabilities for testers was generated to compare the importance of different sources and present the findings. The categories for roles and seniority levels were also identified. On the other hand, interviews were conducted to gather opinions from test professionals who had rich testing experience in NZ. Data were collected using both semi-structured questions as well as structured questions using the Likert scale. Semi-structured questions were designed to gain a general understanding about the most valuable skills and capabilities of testers while structured questions were used to gather interviewee’ view on the importance levels of each of the skills and capabilities in the proposed model and speak out loud the reasons for the importance. Thematic analysis was performed for semi-structured questions while frequency distributions and median of each skill or capability were used to analysis the importance levels. In conclusion, this study adds knowledge to the skills and capabilities for testers and may benefit different stakeholder categories: employers, testers, educators and researchers. Further research can be conducted to gain broader and more comprehensive understanding of this area.

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  • Use of high resolution melting for genotyping Leptospira spp.

    Zhang, Ke

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonosis that is endemic in tropical areas. The species Leptospira interrogans is the primary agent in human infections, but other pathogenic species, such as L. kirschner and L. borgpetersenii, are also associated with human leptospirosis. Methods and Findings In this study, an unsupervised high resolution melting (HRM) analysis of the products that were amplified with five pairs of primers lfb1 F/R, G1/G2, VNTR-4Bis, VNTR-Lb4 and VNTR-Lb5 facilitated an accurate species classfication of Leptospira reference strains from New Caledonia Institute Pastéur. Next, the genotypes at the subspecies level was identificated by using method with LightCycler®480 instrument and the High Resolution Melting Master kit (04909631001). LightCycler®480 Gene Scanning Software was used to perform a futher analysis results. Conclusions This new HRM method enabled the identification of Leptospira strains at the species and subspecies levels and support the direct genotyping of Leptospira in biological samples without requiring cultures.

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  • Pictorial markers with hidden codes and their potential applications

    Le, Huy

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Most of the today’s Augmented Reality (AR) applications would use either black and white data markers or pictorial (template) markers to allocate, identify, and render the virtual information on the real scene. The data markers, in general, do not deliver meaningful visual information to users; whereas, the template markers suffer from the system processing complexity. However, they both survive until today as each of these markers has many uniquely worthy points which could resolve other’s drawbacks. In this thesis, we propose several different novel concept designs of AR marker which combine the technical advantages of both data markers and template markers. These markers are capable of embedding either a one-dimensional bar-code or a two-dimensional quick response (QR) code in a coloured figure to enhance AR experiences. They are not only aiming to improve the system performance but also present the useful and meaningful realistic-looking graphical content to the users. Another advantage of our proposed markers is that they could provide self-error detection and correction which could help to recover the lost information. In short, these following markers will be introduced within this thesis: • Pictorial Marker with Hidden Bar-code (PMBC) is capable of hiding a single one-dimensional bar-code in a graphical content using autostereogram theory. • Curtain Styled Pictorial Marker (CSPM) is capable of embedding the two dimensional QR code in a coloured figure and also provides a correct orientation of virtual objects. • Envelope Styled Pictorial Marker (ESPM) is an improved method of CSPM which could provide wider graphical content visualisation and more accurate self-error detection and correction. We conducted the several different experimental exercises have been conducted to qualify our proposed methods on technical performances. We have also presented few proposed marker physical prototypes and produced several working demos. Moreover, our proposed markers have an equivalent system processing performance to it of data markers whereas the visual information remains unchanged.

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  • Seabird sentinels: The barometer for island conservation in a changing world

    Borrelle, Stephanie

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Seabirds are the most threatened group of marine animals, 53% of Procellariiformes (albatrosses, petrels, storm petrels, shearwaters, fulmars, and prions) are experiencing population declines; thus, their protection is a global conservation priority. On land, seabirds are vulnerable to invasive mammalian predators, due to physiological, behavioural and demographic traits, such as extended immaturity, low reproductive output and colonial nesting habits. At-sea, seabirds are impacted by human activities; suffering increasing levels of mortality from fisheries bycatch, pollution, and climate change. Land-based conservation actions, such as predator eradication have been the focus of conservation efforts. Currently, gaps remain in our understanding about the recovery of seabirds on islands following predator eradication. Moreover, little is known about the population level impacts of extrinsic stressors. In this thesis, I am to contribute to understanding if invasive predator control will deliver enduring benefits for seabirds and their island ecosystems. To do this, I investigate the factors that influence seabirds returning to islands after predator eradication, how island ecosystems are recovering, new ways of measuring the abundance and recovery of seabirds to islands, and how seabird recovery is affected by intensifying marine threats. In chapter 2, I evaluate the recovery of seabird colonies (n=97) in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand; a seabird diversity hotspot (27 species) which has a long history of predator eradications. I conduct a comparative analysis of seabird assemblages on islands with three predator histories: never invaded, eradicated of predators, and with invasive mammalian predators present. I found islands cleared of predators show recovery of seabirds over time and had more unique seabird taxa than islands that never had predators. However, recovery appears to be influenced by a suite of site- and species-specific factors. While time following the eradication is an important factor, space, demographic traits and population dynamics may have a stronger influence on the passive recovery and recolonisation of seabirds to islands. As such, consideration of additional conservation management actions may be necessary to facilitate seabird island recovery. Seabirds influence island flora and fauna communities through soil disturbance from burrowing, and from subsidies of marine derived nutrients via guano, failed eggs, prey remains, and corpse deposition to their terrestrial breeding grounds. In chapter 3, I quantify seabird nutrient distribution on islands where seabirds are recovering. I investigate the ecological factors that may influence the accumulation and distribution of seabird nutrient enrichment to plants using a cross island comparison, on islands with three predator histories: never invaded by non-native predators, cleared of predators (approximately 30 years ago), and newly eradicated (<2 years). I found that there is a strong relationship of soil and leaf variables with seabird burrow density, but there is variability in the ecological influences on seabird nutrient distribution and accumulation in vegetation. While seabird nutrient influences can be detected rapidly in some foodweb components of island ecosystems, the overall enrichment of the ecosystem, which is a key driver of ecosystem function and composition, may take longer to recover. While seabirds are a global conservation priority, only a fraction of seabird species or their island habitats are consistently monitored, and in many instances, the monitoring is spasmodic, or insufficient to detect informative changes to populations that are useful for adaptive management strategies. In chapter 4, I capitalise on the established relationship between soil-foliar nutrients and spectral reflectance to investigate if seabird nutrient enrichment can be detected in the spectral reflectance of island plant species with a controlled experiment and field testing. I found that nutrient enrichment from seabirds can be detected in the spectral reflectance of pōhutukawa, a common island canopy species, in experimental conditions; however, in field testing the relationship is less apparent. While more work is needed to refine methods, our results suggest that there is potential to use spectral reflectance as a proxy measure for seabird abundance. The large spatial distribution of seabirds at-sea means they can be exposed to multiple anthropogenic stressors, such as fisheries bycatch, pollution, and climate change, which can be cumulative or interactive in nature. Quantifying the impacts of individual or interactive marine stressors on a seabird species is challenging because of the ambiguity of detecting at-sea mortality, and is confounded by demographic factors (e.g., reproductive factors; age, success, frequency), ecological noise, and how sub-lethal threats potentially manifest at the population level. In chapter 5 of this Thesis, I explore how these threats may affect the population recovery of seabirds after predator eradication using a theoretical modelling approach. Using a model specifically developed for data-limited species, I calculated the intrinsic population growth rate, and the limit of annual mortality for each population for 81 Procellariiformes. I found the mortality limits were commensurate with IUCN Red List categories, and that body size and spatial distribution are good predictors of the risk of population collapse from marine threats. Furthermore, I found a high phylogenetic signal of the sensitivity of species analysed to demographic impacts by at-sea threats, implying that the model may also help inform other closely related species that have not yet been evaluated.

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  • The financial impact of cultural diversity on multinational firms

    Zhang, Fan (John)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis investigates the influence of cultural diversity within U.S. multinational firms on their performance, capital structure, and dividend policy. While existing literature has documented that formal institutions and regulations affect multinational firms, less attention has been paid to the influence of culture. However, culture is important because cultural diversity is an inherent characteristic of multinational firms. During their overseas expansions, multinational firms establish subsidiaries in different countries where cultures differ from one another. Further, according to North (1990) and Williamson (2000), culture affects financial activities either through the daily routines of individuals’ behavior or countries’ overall value systems. Therefore, cultural diversity can significantly influence corporate strategy, operating efficiency and the financial aspects of multinational firms. To investigate the effects of cultural diversity, first, we need to understand what culture is. Chapter 2 provides this background information, which includes definitions and characteristics of culture. Further, there are substantial cross-cultural differences in financial activities and outcomes and Chapter 2 looks into how cultural traits and cultural distances cause these differences. Finally, based on theoretical foundations established in existing studies, Chapter 2 develops arguments on how cultural diversity affects the financial aspects of multinational firms. Chapter 3 constructs a sample of U.S. listed firms over a ten-year period 2004-2013 and an entropy measure of cultural diversity used throughout this thesis. Empirical analyses are carried out starting from Chapter 4, which investigates the impact of cultural diversity on the value of multinational firms. The results in Chapter 4 show that there is a significant and negative relation between cultural diversity and firm value. This negative relation holds after controlling for the firm-level factors, economic treaties, and macroeconomic risks. The negative valuation effect of cultural diversity becomes stronger when controlling for shared language, shared law, and colonial relations, indicating that the effect of cultural diversity is distinctive and not a proxy for these country-level similarities. Further, the negative relation between cultural diversity and firm value does not disappear after using alternative culture and valuation measures. Finally, the negative effect of cultural diversity on firm value is robust over time and to endogeneity tests, suggesting that the result is not driven by the business cycle and that the relation between cultural diversity and firm value is causal. These results support the idea that global diversification negatively affects firm value (Denis et al. 2002). Chapter 4 extends this idea by showing that this valuation effect is associated with the cultural diversity of multinational firms. Chapter 5 examines the impact of cultural diversity on the capital structure of multinational firms. The results show that cultural diversity is negatively related to book and market leverage ratios after controlling for firm-level determinants, country-level factors, and macroeconomic variables. Further, these results are robust to alternative cultural measures, different periods, and endogeneity. The results provide complementary evidence to multinational capital structure studies, in particular to Desai et al. (2008) who show how foreign expansion risk affects the leverage ratios of multinational firms. Therefore, the results suggest that both formal and informal institutional variables are important for determining leverage ratios in a multinational setting. Moreover, Chapter 5 looks into the channels through which cultural diversity reduces leverage ratios and finds that lower leverage ratios associated with higher degrees of cultural diversity are mainly caused by equity issuance rather than debt reduction. These results are in line with Vijh (2006) who finds that firms with parent-subsidiary structures tend to issue equity and Myers (2000) who documents that complex firms are more likely to conduct equity activities. Chapter 5 demonstrates that cultural diversity is related to firm complexity and therefore is a relevant factor in managerial decision-making on the capital structures of multinational firms. Chapter 6 investigates the relation between cultural diversity and the dividend policies of U.S. multinational firms. Specifically, this chapter examines the effect of cultural diversity in the context of the outcome and substitute of agency models. The results show that the effect of cultural diversity on dividend ratios is negative and significant, after controlling for the determinants of dividend decisions documented in prior research. The negative effects of cultural diversity are robust to alternative cultural measures, alternative estimation techniques, as well as a range of subsample analyses. Further analyses show that the effect of cultural diversity is not related to factors that may be associated with dividend decisions in international operations. Therefore, Chapter 6 provides evidence supporting the substitute model that shareholders of U.S. multinational firms with higher cultural diversity concern less about agency problems and therefore accept a lower dividend payout ratio. In conclusion, multinational firms inherently differ from purely domestic firms as their operating environment is more complex. Financial performance, activities, and policies of multinational firms are influenced not only by firm characteristics but also by cultural challenges. However, so far the effect of culture is largely neglected in existing studies. By focusing on cultural diversity and its effects on financial aspects of multinational firms, this thesis fills several important research gaps in the existing literature.

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  • Narrative cure and the writing of A Girl Called Frank

    Bradley, Anne

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Writers of women’s literary fiction often draw from life experience in their creative process. Self-referential narrative captures memories, events and relationships in order to create meaning rather than recount facts (Smith & Watson, 2010). Truth becomes a flexible concept, as the writer merges fact and fiction to recreate lived experiences (Gilmore, 1994). On a quest to make sense of my past, I sought to explore experiences and events, key characters and relationships in a work of fiction. I wanted to engage in a transformational process of increased self-knowledge and emancipation from the obsolete values and traumatic events of my past, and make sense of the challenges in my present. Many authors of contemporary women’s fiction explore this concept in their writing. The problems of the past are examined, and resolution is discovered deep within the self. Winterson (2011) identifies with writing as a therapeutic process. Instead of a therapist, she proposes, the book becomes a ‘container’ for the feelings, the information. Van der Kolk, et al. (1995) acknowledge the benefit of telling the story, in enabling trauma survivors to relegate the events to the past and regain control of life. Well known American-Indian feminist writer Paula Gunn Allen (1992) notes how her mother’s stories helped establish her identity as a woman. “In all of those stories, (my mother) told me who I was, who I was supposed to be, whom I came from and who would follow me” (p. 12). This reciprocity in life writing is acknowledged by many: We get to know ourselves through getting to know others (Bolick, 2015). I have personally gained immense value and growth from reading about other women’s lives whether via memoir or fiction. The process of writing my creative thesis, “A Girl Called Frank” and the accompanying exegesis, has been an exercise in hope. Turning my past into fictional narrative has to some extent enabled me to make sense of it. Piecing it together, viewing it as a story whose ending I can still change has brought me some healing. Relief. Clarity. A “Narrative Cure” (Robson, 2001).

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  • Transitioning into an innovative learning environment: Perceptions and experiences of longer-tenured and newly appointed teachers

    Lamberton, Fiona

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Recent Ministry of Education (MOE) policy in New Zealand has encouraged schools to create Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs); environments that provide flexibility and openness so learning can be personalised according to each individual’s strengths, abilities, languages, and cultures. Together, with the focus internationally of moving towards 21st century learning, many secondary schools are questioning their traditional single cell environments and are moving towards ILEs. It is apparent, as these open, flexible spaces are created, it is not just the physical environment that changes; an entire culture shift is required as teachers readjust their traditional roles and develop new skills. This study explores the experiences and support given to teachers as they transition from single cell classrooms into such an environment, and how this might differ for longer-tenured teachers compared to recently appointed teachers. The research focused on a single case study of a New Zealand secondary school. An individual, face-to-face interview with the leader in charge of professional development was conducted, followed by two separate focus group interviews with each selected group of teachers to gain their perceptions and experiences. Then a review of relevant documentation was carried out so the documented support could be identified and compared to the teachers’ perceptions of their experiences. The findings from this case study identified both the challenges and support experienced by the participants. Both focus groups commented on expecting a pedagogical change but not the cultural change that accompanied the transition into the ILE. Their combined experiences indicated there was no single solution to supporting teachers in their transition but instead suggest the culture of the school was a significant factor. Providing structures and processes that allow collaborative practices and trust to develop were identified as essential for building a culture where teachers learn from each other. This case study may have implications for the support of teachers particularly in new schools that only have ILEs, as it has highlighted the shift needed in both cultural and pedagogical change by teachers as they transition into an ILE, and the type of culture leaders can encourage in their schools to support this.

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  • Playscapes: Pure Ludens

    Yan, Jewel

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    More than just a frivolous activity, play can be a means of expression, escape, and familiarity. But how does play fit within a hospital context; a context where treatment, care, efficiency, and function supersede the comfort and experience of patients and visitors? Based at Starship Children’s Health in Auckland, New Zealand, this research supports the output of a design proposal for central public spaces within the hospital (atrium, mezzanine, and the Koromiko Garden). An investigation into hospital design saw a shift towards more patient-centred design. With play being inherently linked to how children see the world, a notion of play drives this project and asks; how can an enquiry into play activate therapeutic hospital environments through empathy, imagination, and re-enchantment? User-engagement through staff interviews and a children’s design charrette helped frame the brief and ensured their voices were central to the project. Material studies of colour, drawings, and mappings created connections between ideas from users and the site. Iterative developments of the design proposal layered these imaginative interrelationships between people and their environment, with the aim of improving the experiences for Starship patients, families, and staff.

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  • Cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis of tiotropium treatment for Bronchiectasis: Evidence from a cross over randomised trial

    Coomarasamy, Christin

    Thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the relative cost-effectiveness of administering tiotropium compared to a placebo in adult patients with non-cystic fibrosis (CF) bronchiectasis with airflow obstruction, from a funder perspective. Methods: Clinical efficacy data was obtained from a randomised placebo-controlled crossover study of tiotropium treatment in adult patients with stable, non-CF bronchiectasis in combination with aggregated hospital costs and cost of health services (NZ, 2016) obtained via self-reported health utilisation data. A decision tree/Markov model consisting of patient transition and outcomes was developed. A cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis was performed to produce incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and reported in costs per exacerbation avoided and costs per quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained. Sensitivity and scenario analyses were also conducted to test the robustness of outcomes illustrated by using cost-effectiveness acceptability curves against a willingness-to-pay threshold (WTP) and identifying the conditions in which tiotropium could be cost- effective for bronchiectasis patients. The WTP threshold was based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Results: There were no significant differences between costs and outcomes for treatment and control arms. The mean (Standard error) number of exacerbations was 1.2 (0.12) for tiotropium and 1.23 (0.11) for the placebo; the mean QALYs was 0.88 and 0.87 respectively. First year costs per patient were NZD 641 (95% CI $583, $702) for tiotropium (TI) and NZD 503 (95% CI $430, $585) for placebo (PL) treatment in the year 2016. Patients treated with tiotropium gained 0.62 (95% CI 0.58, 0.65) quality adjusted life years compared to 0.59 (95% CI 0.56, 0.62) QALYs for the placebo. In incremental terms, TI gained additional QALYs of 0.03 units and 0.01 of exacerbation events at an incremental cost of NZD 137 resulting in the cost per exacerbation avoided of NZD 12,896 (95% CI $5,850, $15,300) and the cost per QALY gained of NZD 4,655 (95% CI $3,900, $7,650). The reported incremental cost effectiveness ratios are well-below the willingness-to-pay threshold for New Zealand (~ NZD 40,000). Conclusion: The results from this study show that tiotropium may be cost-effective compared to a placebo, particularly in terms of improving QALYs, but less likely in respect of reducing exacerbations. Sensitivity analysis suggests that favourable outcomes may be linked to patients with moderate to severe bronchiectasis. Further studies are required before a more definitive answer can be reached.

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  • Carry trade and its relationship with the Stock Market: Evidence from New Zealand

    Jin, Dacheng

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study investigates the New Zealand dollar carry trade and its effect on the New Zealand stock market. Using a Vector Autoregression (VAR) model, the Granger causality relationship is from carry trade to stock market. The US dollar, Euro and Swiss Franc dominate carry trade as funding currencies and the New Zealand Dollar as investment currency. There is no evidence of Japanese Yen and New Zealand Dollar carry trade during the sample period of 2007 to 2017. Carry trade returns’ effect on New Zealand stock market sector returns are generally attributed with various degree and preference. The basic materials sector is the only exception, where there is no Granger causality relationship in either direction. It also indicates carry trade returns positively affect the New Zealand stock market in both periods of crisis and post crisis. However, the Granger causality relationship is stronger in crisis period than it is in post crisis period.

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  • The concept of luxury hotel in the context of 21st century China: An insight into factors influencing guests’ satisfaction with luxury hotels in China

    Zhao, Jiali

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The factors influencing different types of guests’ satisfaction with hotels has been studied in different countries; however, researches into factors influencing different types of hotel guests' satisfaction in the Chinese context are limited. Therefore, the aim of this study is to learn about satisfaction with hotels in the Chinese context. This study examines online comments by Chinese guests regarding satisfaction with luxury hotels in Beijing and hotel description on their websites, to find the factors influencing Chinese business and leisure guests' satisfaction. The research was conducted using a qualitative approach. Ten luxury hotel descriptions were collected from their official websites, and 150 Chinese guests' comments online were collected, about ten luxury hotels in Beijing. Content analysis was adopted for analysing the collected data. The results of this study show luxury hotels described themselves as providing luxurious accommodation and traditional Chinese design of hotels. However, both Chinese business and leisure guests placed less emphasis on luxurious accommodation and traditional Chinese design of hotels. Both business and leisure guests placed considerable emphasis on hotel location. Furthermore, staff service also plays an important role in the business guests' satisfaction; amenities are a significant factor influencing leisure guests' satisfaction with luxury hotel in Beijing. The results of this study contribute to the current literature about the factors influencing hotel guests' satisfaction in China, and how hotels see themselves on their websites. The results of study can also be useful for hotels as they could distinguish their characteristics in their descriptions from their competitors, and can be materials using to better introduce themselves on their websites. In addition, factors influencing different types of Chinese guests' satisfaction with luxury hotels in Beijing can be a reference regarding the needs of Chinese guests in luxury hotels.

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  • The effect of coupled shoulder girdle and hip extensor strength training on sprint performance and ball speed in youth field hockey players

    Anyadike-Danes, Kechi

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Sprint performance is important in many team sports including field hockey. Despite this, so far no studies have examined the effect of strength training on sprint performance in this cohort. Previous studies in other sports have shown a positive association between the increases in lower body strength and improvements in sprint performance. An often overlooked aspect of sprinting is the role of the upper extremities in the sprint action. Another key skill in field hockey is shooting where a player’s ability can be evaluated based on ball velocity and the time taken to execute a shot. Similarly to sprinting no studies have examined the effect of strength training on ball speed in field hockey. Research looking at both sprinting and ball striking in other sports have highlighted the importance of both the shoulder girdle and hip extensor musculature. Therefore it was the aim of this thesis to ascertain whether strengthening the hip extensors and shoulder girdle specifically could improve both sprint performance and ball speed in youth hockey players and establish inter-relationships between sprint speed, ball velocity, shoulder girdle and hip extensor strength in hockey players. Chapter 3 presents the reliability for two novel isometric assessments, the isometric lateral pulldown (ILP) and isometric hip thrust (IHT), amongst 10 male participants with at least 2 years of structured resistance training. The IHT had a relatively small (6%) mean difference (MDiff) and effect size ([ES] 0.14) indicating moderate to good reliability between testing sessions. A test-retest intraclass correlation (ICC) of 0.97 in combination with a coefficient of variation (CV) of 7.3% indicated a small average variability. A small MDiff (4%) and ES (0.17) are indicators of good reliability for ILP’s inter-session performance. While an ICC of 0.9 and a CV of 8.1% indicated that the average variability between sessions was small. Using these methods Chapter 4 determined the relationship between impulse generated and both sprint and ball striking performance in 23 youth male secondary school representative youth field hockey players. No significant relationships were found between sprint times and either of the isometric strength measures. Significant (p=0.000) large and positive correlations (r=0.68) were found between forehand ball release speed and isometric hip thrust results. Significant (p=0.046) moderate and positive correlations (r=0.42) were found between forehand ball release speed and isometric lateral pulldown results. Significant (p=0.025) moderate and positive correlations (r=0.47) were found between reverse ball release speed and isometric hip thrust results. Chapter 5 investigated the effects of a five week specialised strength training programme, targeting the shoulder girdle and hip extensor, on sprint performance and ball speed in a group of 10 youth male secondary school representative youth field hockey players. The programme resulted in significant large and positive improvements in both isometric hip thrust (p=≤0.000, ES = 1.21, +52.6%) and isometric lateral pulldown (p=0.007, ES = 1.46, +63.4%) and non-significant trivial and small positive improvements in forehand and reverse ball speed respectively (p=0.813, ES = 0.09, +1.15%, p=0.303, ES = 0.27, 4.95%). However, significant small and negative decrements were experienced in 10-m (p=0.03, ES = 0.57, 2.67%), 30-m (p=0.016, ES = 0.44, 2.21%) and 40-m (p=0.016, ES = 0.43, 2.24%) sprint performance while non-significant (p=≤0.07) small and negative decrements (ES = 0.31, 1.55%) were found for 20-m. For this thesis it was determined that strengthening the shoulder girdle and hip extensors specifically may increase ball speed but not sprint performance in youth hockey players.

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  • Affect in art education: Spinoza, Deleuze and Guattari and the emerging creative subject

    Boberg, Ingrid

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This research explores the relationship between art pedagogy and art practices of the emerging creative subject in the art school studio. The significance of this research is in its contemplation of how art education “functions more as an idea of education” (Groys, 2009, p. 27). The “unspecificity” of art pedagogy enables students to utilise individual and personalised capabilities to create innovative, and novel methodologies and methods for the development of an art practice. The “studio” is conceptualised as an environment for working/exploring/learning that is unfettered by the constraints of more traditional learning environments. In this milieu, the art school lecturer acts as incumbent and facilitator, holding the space and providing subtle direction. One of the core contributions of this study is in locating Barach Spinoza’s concepts within art education (specifically the art critique), and its use of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s notion of rhizomatic thinking to substantiate methodologies and methods in art-making: where embracing an intuitive practice, and forgoing pre-conceived outcomes becomes essential to the unfolding of a student’s knowledge and ethical understanding. The emerging creative subject is positioned as generator, performer, witness, beneficiary and student within the art school studio milieu. I explore how the studio milieu enables learning through affective negotiation and response. These affective responses within the art encounter, in turn connect with new and expanding conceptual territories. This encompasses the generation and presentation of the artwork and the ensuing art critique. In this respect, I examine how new experience translates into knowledge, where percept, affect and concept interact to generate conceptual-contextual understanding for the student. I explore how studio facilitates such interactions, and how in the process normative hegemonies dissolve into a state of provisionality. This occurs because difference is continuously emerging in practice and in perception. The thesis utilises theories and philosophy of Spinoza, Deleuze, and Guattari to frame pedagogical processes, events and behaviours conducive to the processes of “becoming” of the subject within the context of the studio. It looks at the functionality, connectivity and productivity associated with studio life, highlighting the importance of the body and mind working in unison as meaning is made from the art encounter. The recognition and appreciation of the body as intelligence has influenced a turn towards Spinozist theories and the affectual capability of the body in relation to art pedagogy and becoming-artist. The thesis explores how affective encounters provide opportunity for the development of ideas that not only belong to an art practice, but are also part of the processual acts belonging to subjectivity and individuation. I discuss the processes that may occur for the art student as dynamic experiences applicable to creative practice including: emergence, provisionality, contingency, tendency, change, and difference. This is encouraged by prompting ethical and empathic thinking through the conscious expansion of what Spinoza (1996) calls “inadequate ideas” into “more adequate ideas”. This thesis adopts a methodology that, like the processes occurring within the art school studio, draws on intuition and rhizomatic movement in conjunction with appetite to shape and forge the argument that affect is imperative to art education.

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  • Alignment of teaching and practice: Entrepreneurial SME marketing

    Thair, Ali

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This research is investigating the gap between New Zealand university marketing degree content and SME marketing job requirements. Marketing has changed drastically in the Internet age. This study asks if university marketing courses have kept pace with the requirements of small-to-medium enterprises. The aim of the research is to explore the gap between SME marketing requirements and university marketing courses. To identify the strategic implications of any gap for businesses, universities and society and to suggest methods of remedying any gap identified. The methodology employed was content analysis of SME marketing job descriptions and university undergraduate marketing course curricula, followed by semi-structured interviews with undergraduate marketing coordinators from three New Zealand universities. The findings indicate a gap indeed exists. Industry analysis identified four key areas in demand: soft skills, communication skills, theory and industry skills. Industry skills are most lacking in the marketing curricula while marketing theory is well covered. However, marketing theory tends to emphasize large business; no SME or startup-oriented theory or coursework was identified. Massey University was the only university to offer specific communication courses in its marketing curricula. Waikato offered the most digitally-enriched curricula. Interviews revealed there are political barriers to reform of the curricula, especially universities’ adherence to the PBRF system and emphasis on research publications by academics. Teaching and industry experience appear to have minimal weighting in career progression for academics. Universities should seek to incorporate all four areas identified into their business and marketing curricula. Academic career progression should place additional weight on teaching and industry experience. There appear to be an excess of academics who have never worked in marketing or business. Business schools need to embrace a balance between scholarly theory and practice, and install this into the curricula. More thorough internships, business-university associations and a greater emphasis on teaching excellence are recommended.

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  • Psychological perspectives on narrative and storytelling

    Beachman, Lisa

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Anthropologists identify storytelling as universal feature of human cultures, and theorists in a range of social sciences characterize it as a defining attribute of our species. But despite the fact that psychotherapy is a discipline predicated on sharing stories, relatively little critical attention has been directed at this core human behaviour from within our field. By means of a hermeneutic literature review, this dissertation seeks to identify the conceptions of storytelling and narrative available within psychologically informed research literature, with the intention of forming a basis of understanding for further exploration of the function and uses of narrativity in psychodynamic psychotherapy. My findings suggest that the ability to use narrative effectively is a strong indicator of psychological wellbeing, with implications for both intrapsychic integrity and interpersonal effectiveness. Research moreover suggests that storytelling may be an instinctive human drive with profound implications for our understanding of the world. Thus narrative may also offer insights into how an individual identity is formed, and how it may be transformed within the context of psychotherapy. Current work in the field suggests the importance of further reflection on the epistemological and ethical issues raised by contemporary narrativist conceptions of psychotherapeutic engagement, with implications for both the development of psychodynamic theory and professional practice.

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  • The more you know, the more you see: M-learning of visual literacy skills

    Guinibert, Matthew

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Changing technology has created new demands on how people communicate, with the average person now needing to communicate more visually to fully participate in the contemporary world. This has prompted renewed interest in the learning of visual literacy skills. Based on the presupposition that visual literacy skills are not usually learned unaided “by osmosis” but require targeted learning support, this research explores how everyday encounters with visuals can be leveraged as contingent learning opportunities. The study proposes that a learner’s environment can become a visual learning space if appropriate learning support is provided. This learning support may be delivered via the “anytime and anywhere” capabilities of mobile learning (m-learning), which facilitates peer learning in informal settings. The study found that personalised learning, situated learning, and collaborative learning significantly assist visual literacy learning. Informed by a review of existing learning models, the study propositions a rhizomatic m-learning model of visual skills. The learning model describes how everyday visuals may be leveraged as visual literacy learning opportunities. By devising a tailor-made practice-based research approach, the visual learning model was implemented and tested as an m-learning app. Usability testing and interviews were used to evaluate the app as a learning application, as well as the underlying learning model. The outcomes of the study demonstrate that visual literacy can be achieved by novice learners from contingent learning encounters in informal learning environments through collaboration and by providing context-aware learning support. This finding is encouraging for teaching visual literacy, as it shifts the onus of visual literacy learning away from academic programmes and, in this way, opens an alternative pathway for the learning of visual skills.

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  • The bioactive potential of New Zealand farmed abalone (Haliotis iris)

    Serpes, Craig

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries are always in search for new bioactive molecules. Though synthetic compounds can be constructed by just studying their intended targets, natural sources can provide an abundance of unique chemical structures that are hard to replicate. These industries utilise the vast biodiversity offered by the ocean, by screening various plants, animals and microbes for bioactive compounds. Marine molluscs, especially those of commercial value, have consistently been shown to contain bioactives. A plethora of bioactives have been isolated from the meat, blood and shell, of commercially viable abalone species. These compounds typically demonstrate antioxidant, antiaging, antihypertensive, antimicrobial or anticancer activities. However, there is a lack of biochemical or pharmacological data on New Zealand endemic black-footed abalone (Haliotis iris) or ‘paua’. So the present study was prompted to primarily determine the bioactive potential of farmed paua. Solvent extraction with either methanol, ethanol, acetone, n-butanol, ethyl acetate, hexane or hot water, was used on grounded paua meat or shell powder. The gravimetrically measured dry yield of these extracts, indicated that a 90 % yield could be achieved for the meat using acetone. For the shell extracts, methanol achieved a yield of 4.5 %. However, neither hot water extracted (HWE)-meat or -shell extracts surpassed 1 %. Fermentation and enzyme hydrolysis processes improved HWE-meat by a factor of 160 or more. FT-IR analysis indicated the presence of uronic acid and the absence of sulphate groups for meat and shell extracts, which were also respectively supported by the carbazole and barium chloride-gelatin methods. The Bradford assay revealed that HWE-meat contained approximately 17.07 mg/ml uncharacterized protein. Fermentation or enzyme hydrolysis broke this down to less than 1 mg/ml. The blood contained only 0.28 mg/ml haemocyanin protein. The DPPH, cupric reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC) and ferrozine assays respectively revealed the free radical scavenging, reducing and metal chelating activities of paua. The solvent-derived meat extracts had weak scavenging activities, but showed low to moderate reducing and metal activities. The measured antioxidant activities of HWE-meat were increased via fermentation or enzyme hydrolysis. The supernatant and pellet of the waste blood, as well as the solventderived shell extracts, demonstrated chelation activity as strong as EDTA (positive control). The blood pellet and supernatant also showed antiaging properties by inhibiting collagenase activity by 59.7 and 61.58 % respectively. HWE-meat and methanol-derived meat extracts were stronger, measuring 71.27 and 68.22 % respectively. Lastly, disc and well-diffusion assays were used to determine the potential antibacterial properties of paua. However, none of the meat, shell or blood extracts had any antibacterial affect against Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumonia and Streptococcus pyogenes. In conclusion, New Zealand farmed paua has antioxidant and anti-collagenase properties which could be utilised in antiaging creams. Additionally, the meat extracts could also be utilised in health supplements. Future studies on these extracts is required to determine if pH adjustments influence activity. Purification and structural elucidation of the bioactive compounds in paua is also required.

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  • Cultural components of early childhood teacher education programmes: Reflection for lecturers

    Afrin, Tahera

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Early childhood teacher education programmes are offered by Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) where teaching-learning takes place between the student teachers and lecturers. Cultural components, in this study, are the references made from the culture by the student teachers and the lecturers, while implementing the teacher education curriculum. While there are a number of research projects related to diversity in early childhood education with regard to children, very few are from the perspective of teacher education. This study was intended to contribute to this gap. The research objectives were to discover the cultural components of early childhood teacher education programmes and to explore the impacts of these components on teaching and learning. Under a socio-cultural theoretical framework, twelve lecturers from three TEOs were interviewed. Three cohorts of student teachers from the same TEOs participated in focus groups. Using manual thematic coding, nine broad areas of cultural components were identified. These are bicultural contexts of Aotearoa, ethnicities and multi-culturalism, individual identities, cross-cultural interactions, comfort zone, female majority, socio-economic struggles, spirituality and technology. Student teachers reported feeling empowered when they shared components from their culture. Sharing of these components were found helpful for perception building. Lecturers acknowledged these components as they believed these contributed to their emotional and professional growth. The findings were applied to a Teaching as Inquiry model for developing a reusable reflection framework for the lecturers of early childhood teacher education.

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  • Reliability of measuring abductor hallucis muscle parameters using two different diagnostic ultrasound machines

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Background Diagnostic ultrasound provides a method of analysing soft tissue structures of the musculoskeletal system effectively and reliably. The aim of this study was to evaluate within and between session reliability of measuring muscle dorso-plantar thickness, medio-lateral length and cross-sectional area, of the abductor hallucis muscle using two different ultrasound machines, a higher end Philips HD11 Ultrasound machine and clinically orientated Chison 8300 Deluxe Digital Portable Ultrasound System. Methods The abductor hallucis muscle of both the left and right feet of thirty asymptomatic participants was imaged and then measured using both ultrasound machines. Interclass correlation coefficients (ICC) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to calculate both within and between session intra-tester reliability. Standard error of the measurement (SEM) calculations were undertaken to assess difference between the actual measured score across trials and the smallest real difference (SRD) was calculated from the SEM to indicate the degree of change that would exceed the expected trial to trial variability. Results The ICCs, SEM and SRD for dorso-plantar thickness and medial-lateral length were shown to have excellent to high within and between-session reliability for both ultrasound machines. The between-session reliability indices for cross-sectional area were acceptable for both ultrasound machines. Conclusion The results of the current study suggest that regardless of the type ultrasound machine, intra-tester reliability for the measurement the abductor hallucis muscle parameters is very high.

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