85,985 results

  • Re-earth

    du Mee, Eileen (2012-10-05)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This work includes an exegesis and a draft thesis entitled Re-Earth. In the exegesis, the method section highlights the research and writing process undertaken by the author for the development and completion of the thesis. The discussion section enlarges on the method section. It explores the different genres upon which Re-Earth draws inspiration and considers Re-Earth in relation to published works which have informed the work. It also views the work from a world perspective with both a historical and contemporary insight. The thesis is a fictional story about a persecuted religious minority on the distant planet Re-Earth. Here, a Christian engaged couple struggles to survive in an environment tipped towards genocide. After an eight-year hate campaign against the Christians, the antagonist instigates the use of an anti-Christian device with the intention of exterminating all ‘true Christians’ for his personal and political ambitions. The object was to create a thesis that would interest a reader who wanted a fast-paced story with a topical theme.

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  • A tangled web

    Oosterman, Allison Lorna (2012-10-11)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    A Tangled Web is the story of 19th century radical New Zealand journalist, William Kitchen. Told as a fictionalised biography, the work follows his life from leaving Wellington as a 22-year-old for Otago until his death at 34 in Sydney. Showing early writing promise he became a journalist on working-class newspapers in Dunedin rising to become editor of The Globe. He won prizes for his short stories and was instrumental in establishing one of the country’s first literary journals. Kitchen was deeply involved in the burgeoning of working-class consciousness of the late 1800s and was an outspoken supporter of the Maritime Strike of 1890 and the first labour candidates contesting the election that year. His fervent socialism was treated with derision by conservative papers but he fought injustice as he perceived it, even if it meant taking on Truby King, head of the Seacliff Lunatic Asylum. His willingness to carry a fight, however, meant he alienated many conventional Dunedinites. When a suspicious fire burnt down The Globe offices, although uninvolved, Kitchen decided to leave New Zealand, his wife and children, and head to the Australian colonies. Landing first in Sydney, he applied for but failed to get the editorship of the Australian Workman. The working-classes here were also turning to the ballot box and Kitchen went to Melbourne and worked with prominent members of the labour movement leading up to the 1891 election. When journalistic work was unavailable Kitchen took to the stage under a pseudonym and it was during this time he met and then later married Lottie Hannam, an actress and palmist. Disguising himself and using another assumed name, he and Lottie travelled to New Zealand, visiting the southern provinces, but not before he inserted a notice in the papers saying Kitchen had died in Tasmania. He acted as Lottie’s manager, as she toured as Madame Aramanda. Despite his disguise he was recognised and finally conceded he was William Kitchen. Chased by the police he was captured boarding a ship at Bluff and taken to Wellington to face charges. These charges were dismissed and instead his first wife filed for divorce on the grounds of bigamy and adultery. Kitchen returned to Sydney and two years later remarried Lottie. He became embroiled in a lengthy legal dispute with John Norton, the editor of Truth, when Norton published an article labelling him a wife deserter and bigamist. Kitchen sued Norton for libel but two trials in 1897 saw hung juries. The case was eventually dropped, although Kitchen did win two contempt of court cases against Norton. Overcome by the effects of the trials and a serious stage accident suffered by Lottie, Kitchen took his own life in December 1897.

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  • Feasibility of using miniaturised electromagnetic actuator in small air pumps

    Wang, Lei (2011-06-21)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The feasibility of using an electromagnetic actuator as an important part in a portable diaphragm air pump is investigated. The ideal electromagnetic actuator will have capabilities of producing large deflection and high tuneable frequency. These two characteristics make the actuator very attractive for the present application. Much effort has been put into the development of the proposed diaphragm air pump because it is easily integrated into the complex system. The characteristics of the magnetic field of the electromagnetic coils are thoroughly investigated in order to complete the design optimization for the proposed electromagnetic actuator. As the base of the design optimization for the proposed planar and cylindrical coils, the proposed model of magnetic field distribution for a circular current loop is developed. The design optimization for various parameters of planar coils was thoroughly investigated. Approximate approaches to determine the electromagnetic forces are discussed. Models for diaphragm deflection were determined. The fluid model for evaluation of flow rate form the output of diaphragm pump was developed. The feasibility of using nozzle/diffuser elements as components of air pumps is investigated. The geometry of nozzle/diffuser elements was designed and the chamber configuration for the proposed electromagnetic air pump was determined. The proposed air pumps, including the electromagnetic actuator, PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) diaphragm, and chamber and nozzle/diffuser elements were built. Several experiments were conducted to investigate the performances of the proposed electromagnetic actuator including the deflection of diaphragm and frequency characteristics. The flow rate of the proposed air pump was measured. In conclusion this study supplies solid evidence of achievements using electromagnetic actuators in air pumps.

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  • Understanding the therapeutic alliance in stroke rehabilitation

    Bishop, Megan Lyndall

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study identified and explored the core components of a strong therapeutic alliance and those factors perceived to influence its development within an inpatient stroke rehabilitation setting. The therapeutic alliance has been a consistent predictor of outcome in psychotherapy and mental health research and there is growing evidence that it may facilitate beneficial change in other health settings. A systematic review of the brain injury rehabilitation literature (completed as part of this research) identified associations between the therapeutic alliance and a range of rehabilitation outcomes including improved productivity, self-awareness and emotional regulation. However, the review highlighted very few studies specifically exploring the therapeutic alliance in stroke rehabilitation, and a lack of clarity around whether psychotherapy-based alliance concepts and measures apply to brain injury rehabilitation research. The empirical study then undertaken used Interpretive Description methodology to explore client and clinician perceptions of their therapeutic alliances. Clients (n=10) with a range of stroke-related difficulties and clinicians (n=7) from a range of professional backgrounds (nurses and therapists) were recruited. Semi-structured individual (clients) and focus group (clinicians) interviews were the primary source of data collection. Interviews were transcribed and uploaded to NVivo data management software, and data analysed using thematic analysis with careful attention to rigour. Two themes emerged from the data. The first theme, everyone is different, described the core components of a strong therapeutic alliance. These were: a personal connection, a professional collaboration and family/whānau collaboration. Client participants appeared to prioritise each component to varying degrees and these priorities could change over their rehabilitation stay. Further, a range of personal factors and competing demands seemed to influence alliance development. This meant that therapeutic alliances were often dynamic and complex. The second theme, relationship disruptions, outlined the factors that could compromise alliance quality. The strength of the pre-existing alliance and the management of the ‘disruption’ seemed to impact on whether client participants continued to engage in these alliances and therapy, or whether a relationship breakdown would occur and impact on future work with the practitioner. The therapeutic alliance model proposed in this thesis extends current understandings of how alliances may be conceptualised and operationalised in an inpatient stroke rehabilitation service. Based on these findings and other relevant literature, a number of practice-based recommendations are discussed. These include the need for a person-centred, flexible approach to determine, regularly review and respond to each client’s alliance needs and preferences, rather than assume what these may be. In this research, strong alliances were considered to alleviate distress and promote hope, rehabilitation engagement, wellbeing and progress. As such, explicit consideration of each person’s therapeutic alliance needs and preferences should arguably be considered a crucial component of clinical work, in order to augment stroke rehabilitation processes and outcomes. Intervention studies testing different approaches to developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships are needed, with this work informing the key components of those interventions. Meantime, the study makes clear that the way clinicians connect with each client matters, and that how we might best connect varies between clients and over time.

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  • My brother's keeper

    Browne, Anthony John (2012-08-01)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The thesis My Brother’s Keeper is a novel about the intersecting lives of three young Australians, trying to find their way in the world against a backdrop of the Vietnam War and small town cultural stereotypes. Rose is a teenage mother. She planned to leave Broken River to attend university but her pregnancy means this has been all but forgotten. A collection of classic novels is the only way she keeps a tenuous hold on her dreams. Hers is a life of solitude, both enforced upon her by the isolated location where she lives, and also psychological, as she turns her back on those who rejected her when her pregnancy became apparent. She becomes financially and psychologically dependant on Connor, her husband. Connor works at the local sugar mill. Like Rose he did not plan to be a parent at such a young age and sees his future as a life of drudgery, working 10 hour shifts at the mill for a minimal wage and coming home to raise a family. He feels trapped and longs for an escape, dreaming of surfing away from it all. Connor’s twin brother Regan has, it would seem, escaped. After being expelled from school he goes to Sydney, and finds work as an errand boy for shady property developer Frank Sheldon. Regan soon finds himself moving ahead in Sheldon’s organisation, with the trapping to show for it. The conscription ballot is to prove a turning point for all three characters. Regan is drafted, but Connor, seeing an opportunity to escape, offers to take his place, enabling Regan to stay in Sydney and continue building his capital. Connor’s decision shatters Rose’s world, leaving her alone, and ultimately venerable to the unhealthy interest that Regan has in her. Then both Regan and Connor find that the escape from Broken River they have chosen for themselves is an illusion. Connor is exposed to the horror of war and is shot and seriously injured. His scars run deeper and her returns from Vietnam a changed man. Regan’s loss of a bag containing money that Frank Sheldon destined for a corrupt council official shows how fragile his escape is, and he finds himself on the run, his life threatened. Both men come back to Broken River, back to Rose, asking her to decide between them, or for herself. The Exegesis Between Thorns examines the themes of Cultural Stereotyping, the Divisiveness of War, Vietnam War metanarratives and ideas surrounding Individualisation and Actualization. I also discuss technical and stylistic challenges that I encountered in the writing of My Brother’s Keeper, and how I worked to overcome these challenges, as well as major influences on my writing and research undertaking to underpin my work.

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  • The effect of pressure oscillations on respiratory performance

    Reddy, Prasika Inderjeeth

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis is aimed at understanding the effective operation of the Bubble CPAP System when treating neonates with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). It is also aimed at determining the effect that pressure oscillations have on respiratory performance in terms of the work of breath (WOB) and surfactant dynamics. The principle objectives were to: • Create an original multi-compartmental model of the neonatal lung that includes compartment-specific inertance and viscoelasticity for 128 day (premature) and 142 day (near-term) gestation lambs. • Validate the model with experimental data obtained from clinical trials. • Use the model to determine the effect of pressure oscillations as produced by the Bubble CPAP System on respiratory performance. • Determine the frequencies of oscillation that provide the optimal respiratory support. • Build a surface tension model that simulates surface tension dynamics in an alveolus exposed to pressure oscillation frequencies in the range typically produced by the Bubble CPAP System. • Validate the surface tension model with experiments conducted on a custom-built pulsating bubble surfactometer (PBS). To fulfill the first four objectives, a mathematical model of the neonatal ovine lung was developed in Simulink within the Matlab environment. Mechanical and physical parameters that were required for the model were either empirically determined from measurements on preterm lamb lungs or derived from the literature. Simulations were then performed to determine the effectiveness of Bubble CPAP and the use of ‘optimal frequencies’ in neonatal respiration. To study the surface tension dynamics, a PBS was constructed to study the effect of frequencies on a surfactant bubble which simulated an alveolus. Modulated frequencies (10-70 Hz) were superimposed on the breath cycle at 3 different amplitudes expressed as a percentage of the tidal volume (TV) excursion (15%TV, 22.5%TV and 30%TV). A numerical model was also built in Matlab to characterize the surfactant behaviour and help determine the mechanisms responsible for any observed changes in surface tension. The experimental results and computer simulations resulted in the following conclusions: • The model is able to accurately predict the respiratory parameters at the airway opening during CPAP and Bubble CPAP operation. • The model shows the ability to predict the uneven ventilation profiles in the neonatal lung. • Both model predictions and experimental measurements show the trend that the mechanical WOB is greater (improved) during ventilation under Bubble CPAP when compared to CPAP. • Pressure oscillation frequencies which show improved WOB measures in the 128 day gestation lamb lung were identified as 19, 23, 28, 33, 44, 49, 54, 81, 88, 99, 111 and 113 Hz. • Model predictions showed that the improvement in WOB (due to mechanical effects) relative to CPAP-only treatment was 1-2% when introducing single frequencies at the generator, but increased to 4-6% when introducing ‘mixed frequencies’ at the generator and 4-10% when introducing ‘mixed frequencies’ at the patient interface. • It was shown that the Bubble CPAP System delivers frequencies similar to the identified optimal frequencies of the 128 day gestation lung (17 and 23 Hz) which contribute to the noticed improvement in WOB. • The average trends of all the experiments on a PBS and results from the numerical model revealed that the minimum and maximum surface tension in an alveolus decreases with increasing frequency and increasing amplitude. • The mechanism of improvement of surface tension in the alveolus with frequency and amplitude is due to the increased diffusion and adsorption of surfactant molecules to the air-liquid interface, increasing the interfacial surface concentration and decreasing the surface tension.

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  • Family Portraits: a collection of stories about queer people in New Zealand

    Orchard, Samuel (2012-11-26)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Family Portraits is a graphic novel that explores a diverse range of queer stories in Aotearoa. I move beyond traditional coming out narratives and explore how age, history, gender, and ethnicity shape our experiences of ourselves. The varying protagonists in each vignette illustrate the diversity of the queer community, and the diverse experiences that we have. The novel attempts to peel back the concept of being ‘queer’ and to examine individuals’ investments and overlaps with the ‘queer community’ and other communities they belong to. Each vignette is told using different graphic storytelling devices, comic styles, and genres. The intention is to provoke a response from the reader and to explore how graphic storytelling devices can be used to add to the story itself. The novel includes my own story as a queer-identified transman. In using my own voice as a narrator I aim to take readers on a journey that interweaves the story of me, a queer transman who was(n’t) a lesbian, with short stories of queer people I have interviewed. I examine the burden of creating queer media, and how the stories of others shape and affirm my own (whether through connections or differences).

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  • Living/Moving: designing adaptable domestic furniture for a world in flux

    Stewart, Thomas Finn

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    With the invention and constant improvement of international travel and global connectivity our options and opportunities are expanding rapidly. As we negotiate this constantly changing world we must rely on our possessions to accommodate and adapt to transitions and not impede them. What might domestic furniture look and behave like in this flux? This research project aims to posit ideas for a furniture system which sits outside and adjacent to traditional domestic furniture models. Employing nostalgic and utilitarian inspirations this project follows an experimental approach to generating a domestic furniture system which is intuitive and practical to use, whilst also engaging with a sense of fun and whimsy.

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  • Our community voices: the birth of community television in Whangārei

    Peters, Carol

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    How to create a sustainable community television station that met the needs of local communities in Whangārei was the objective of this research, and of Channel North itself. I was a participant in Channel North and led the action-research process which supported and recorded development between its on-air launch in 2008, through transition to digital broadcast, and into 2014 with strong local networks and collaborations. Participatory-action-research was the key methodology used in this research. I filmed and interviewed participants, interviewed external stakeholders, evaluated documents and kept journal reflections. The content, process, underlying ideas and hopes of the group were analysed for themes and social networks. Data was scrutinised from both people-centred and systems-thinking perspectives. The research found that a community-led development approach (involving community, state and business), while it had the strength of achieving an ambitious goal, did mean that the group struggled with their desire to encourage wide participation and yet be professional; and with their intention to collaborate with local groups and take challenging positions where necessary. That said, the research also found that the station’s team had developed strategies to involve young children; to promote the use of indigenous language; to support community partners and local small businesses; and to provide stepping stones for people through training that led them into media jobs. These strategies included the roles of skilled ‘know-how people’ to make filming and broadcast technically accessible, ‘connecting people’ to link to external groups and ‘coordinators’ to hold the operation together. Channel North came into existence through the dedicated work of local people. The project was a community commons providing local access to media story-telling and broadcast. I found that a more supportive government environment would contribute to its resilience, but it was the involvement of local people that both met communities’ needs and sustained the project.

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  • Interaction history based answer formulation for question answering

    Perera, R; Nand, P

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    With the rapid growth in information access methodologies, question answering has drawn considerable attention among others. Though question answering has emerged as an interesting new research domain, still it is vastly concentrated on question processing and answer extraction approaches. Latter steps like answer ranking, formulation and presentations are not treated in depth. Weakness we found in this arena is that answers that a particular user has acquired are not considered, when processing new questions. As a result, current systems are not capable of linking two questions such as “When is the Apple founded?” with a previously processed question “When is the Microsoft founded?” generating an answer in the form of “Apple is founded one year later Microsoft founded, in 1976”. In this paper we present an approach towards question answering to devise an answer based on the questions already processed by the system for a particular user which is termed as interaction history for the user. Our approach is a combination of question processing, relation extraction and knowledge representation with inference models. During the process we primarily focus on acquiring knowledge and building up a scalable user model to formulate future answers based on current answers that same user has processed. According to evaluation we carried out based on the TREC resources shows that proposed technology is promising and effective in question answering.

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  • Study of the effectiveness of China’s corporate governance reform – a board characteristics view

    Miao, Shu

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study investigates the effectiveness of China’s corporate governance reforms in the year 2002 on firm performance. Specifically, the study investigates the relationship between good firm performance and board characteristics that capture boards’ monitoring and resource provision abilities before and after the corporate governance reform. This study firstly examines whether the Chinese corporate governance reform in year 2002 has caused changes in board characteristics, then the study relates the measurements for good firm performance to board characteristics that represent boards’ monitoring role (i.e., director independence, CEO-chair duality, concentration of directors appointed after the CEO, and director share ownership) and resource provision role (i.e., board size, directors on multiple board, director tenure, and frequency of supervision board meetings). The study uses a data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach to calculate a firm economic efficiency score as the main measurement of firm performance. For sensitivity analysis, traditional measurements including share returns, return on assets and Tobin’s Q have also been applied to consolidate the findings. The study provides evidence that China’s corporate governance reforms in year 2002 has resulted in changes regarding to the number of independent directors on board, CEO-chair duality, director tenure and frequency of supervision board meetings. Those changes are towards enhancing investor protection and improving firm performance, which the evidence is consistent with the prediction that the year 2002 corporate governance reforms will change the corporate governance factors of Chinese listed firms. However, inconsistent with the agency theory and resource dependence theory predictions, this study shows that board characteristics do not have a significant relationship with firm economic efficiency score. The additional tests of using traditional performance measurements also shows corporate governance factors before and after the reform do not influence firm performance. These findings point to a significant problem. It would seem that China’s corporate governance reform in year 2002 has made Chinese listed firms simply obeys the governance code, rather than fully utilise it. Therefore, the corporate governance reform in the year 2002 has enhanced the corporate governance factors, however failed to improve firm performance. Therefore, the findings have implications for regulators in emerging economies, that the corporate governance code should be developed and modified based on the specific characteristics of a countries economy, rather than simply following the developed countries’ regulatory system.

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  • Flexibility, Impulsivity, and Relational Responding: A study of the relationship between experiential avoidance, delaying of aversive outcomes, and brief immediate relational responding

    Graddy, Joseph Patrick (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Abstract The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) is a relatively new tool for assessing verbal behaviour, and shows promise in measuring verbal behaviour that participants may be unable to report otherwise. In this exploratory study, I sought to determine the relationship between responding as measured using the IRAP, a clinical measure of experiential avoidance, and impulsiveness. The first experiment was a first attempt to validate the use of the IRAP in a New Zealand sample by administering three IRAP tasks to undergraduate students. Results in the first experiment were consistent with past research and supported the validity of the IRAP in a New Zealand sample. In the second experiment, participants completed two IRAPs, the Action and Acceptance Questionnaire II, and an aversive delay discounting task. The first IRAP measured relational flexibility around gender roles, while the second measured relational flexibility around accepting and avoiding emotions. The results showed that more relational flexibility around gender chores predicted more self-control on the delay discounting task, and more experiential avoidance while more relational flexibility around emotions predicted more impulsiveness. My results from the second experiment represent one of the first attempts at linking the concepts of experiential avoidance, impulsiveness, and relational flexibility and as such my study is an important first step in understanding the relationship between these concepts.

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  • Career as meaning making: a hermeneutic phenomenological study of women's lived experience

    Elley-Brown, Margaret Jean

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The multifaceted nature of women’s careers has received growing interest in the career management literature. This research utilises hermeneutic phenomenology (Heidegger, 1927/2008) a methodology previously little used in management research, to illuminate previously unexposed aspects, of women’s career experiences within the perspective of their wider lives. Women’s careers are at the heart of this study, which contributes to the quest to reveal a more comprehensive picture of this complex dynamic. “Conversational” interviews were undertaken (van Manen, 1990), with a purposive sample of fourteen women aged between 30 and 61 years, working in the education industry. Using a minimum of direct questions, participants were encouraged to describe their career experiences in detail in a discussion co-led by participant and researcher. Phenomenology supports the view that people make sense of their world from within, from the “inside,” or the lifeworld (trans. Ger. lebenswelt). By enabling participants to re-establish contact with their original experiences, rich interview data for analysis were produced. Phenomenological anecdotes or evocative stories of the “lived experience” of women’s careers were crafted from the interviews. These were hermeneutically interpreted against the philosophical writings of Heidegger (1927/2008) and Gadamer (1960/1998), as informed by the human science approach to phenomenology outlined by van Manen (1990). Key findings include three overarching and intertwining themes, entitled, “Where have I come from” “Who will help me” and “Who am I becoming?” Using the dual concepts of Heidegger’s historicity (1927/2008) and Bourdieu’s (1977) habitus, this research reveals how sociological aspects of a woman’s life were crucial in shaping her career identity. An early disposition towards leadership and teaching was identified early in these women’s lives. A key finding was that limited cultural capital and habitus did not necessarily restrict; rather they tended to inspire. Women made sense and meaning of their present situation, and their future, by being conscious and aware of the influences of their past, their culture, and their heritage. A second theme concerns the impact of an ethic of care in these women’s lives (Gilligan, 1982). Heidegger (1927/2008) opined care is fundamental to our existence, it makes us feel more human; an argument embodied by the women in this research. Being shown care in their everyday existence meant these women had increased meaningfulness in their careers; it caused a positive change in their psychological state, and was instrumental in the development of career agency. In its imperfect state, its negative influence meant women became disillusioned and lacking in purpose. Strong ties with significant family members, particularly her mother or her partner, were found to be key to these women’s career confidence. Further her career often took precedence over that of her partner; these women did not opt out; they continued to seek challenge throughout their careers (Mainiero & Sullivan, 2005). The findings of this study reveal that being shown an ethic of care exposes the finely tuned balance of the intricate relationship between psychological and physical life passages (Sullivan & Baruch, 2009). A third theme concerns women’s movement desire to be “true to themselves” and to seek authenticity (Hall & Mao, 2015). Women in this study were often non-conformists; they followed self-crafted individual pathways, and responded to a calling. They pursued educational opportunities throughout their careers, they desired to become increasingly masterful in their work, and to reach the highly desirable state of practical wisdom, Aristotle termed phrönesis (Sellman, 2012). For women in this study, their career had more expressed meaning when they could be true to themselves, follow their own pathway, and become increasingly reflective and masterful. The contribution of this study is empirical, methodological and theoretical. It adds to empirical knowledge by broadening the understanding of women’s career management and revealing facets of the relationship between subjective and objective career. By providing a detailed explanation of the methods used in this hermeneutic phenomenological study, it provides a guide to assist other researchers investigating careers. The three emergent key themes exist in an organic synergy, linked by time, by psycho-social and environmental factors. A tri-partite model based on the three identified themes is introduced as a step towards an emergent theory of women’s careers.

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  • The Symbiotic Existence of Interorganizational and Interpersonal Networks in Collaboration

    Ekanayake, Kankanamalage Chamila Samanthi (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Most traditional theories adopted to explain collaboration in interorganizational relationships (IOR) have failed to adequately address the micro and macro dynamics of the phenomenon. Collaboration theory developed within the mainstream of public administration research views leveraging structure, processes, and people as the key to successful collaboration. Yet, the applicability of the theory’s principles and abstractions in the private sector remains unexplored. Social network theory also presumes that IOR arise out of ongoing interaction at both micro and macro levels. However, the field is fragmented, with the interpersonal and interorganizational networks being studied separately. Thus, an opportunity exists to combine collaboration theory with social network perspective and to view interorganizational collaboration from a multilevel lens. An exploratory case study methodology informed by an interpretivist epistemological stance was used to address this gap. An egocentric network of a third party logistics company that covers six relationships provided a rich context for the study. The study finding expands our understanding of the distinction between the two types of networks: the interorganizational and the interpersonal and their corresponding elements - which are the structural and processual ties and the workflow and commercial friendship ties rspectively. By proposing a new conceptualization ─ ‘a symbiotic existence’ to explain the interdependent nature of these four elements, the study goes beyond the traditional micro and macro divide to consider the multiplexity of networks in IOR.The major practical implication of this study is that the decision makers should pay attention to the changes in both micro and macro elements and their knock-on effects to ensure a symbiosis of the four elements for collaborative synergies. Practitioners’ attention should also centre significantly on the effects of interpersonal networks on collaboration and how mechanisms at macro level could be set effectively to benefit from the emerging community of practices within the collaboration.

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  • Poverty impacts of agricultural trade liberalisation in Sri Lanka

    Ranathunga, Seetha P.B. (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    There remains controversy over whether trade liberalisation in general, and agricultural trade liberalisation in particular, leads to poverty reduction in developing countries. Since the impacts of agricultural trade liberalisation differ according to the characteristics of the country and specific groups of people within that country, country-specific studies are imperative. It is both important and timely to investigate the poverty impact of agricultural trade liberalisation in Sri Lanka, a country that began opening its economy three decades ago and has reduced poverty tremendously, despite a civil war lasting nearly three decades. This study focused primarily on changes in poverty due to agricultural trade liberalisation in Sri Lanka. Analysis was undertaken in three main areas. Firstly, it investigated poverty determinants and their behaviour over sectors and over expenditure deciles in Sri Lanka since the second wave of economic liberalisation, and found that remittances (both local and foreign) have been a leading factor in poverty reduction in Sri Lanka over the last two decades. Thus, secondly, an attempt was made to capture the economic impact of rural-to-urban labour migration and the use of remittances within agricultural communities in Sri Lanka. Finally, the poverty, impact of future agricultural trade liberalisation in Sri Lanka was assessed within a global computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling framework using the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model and database, augmented with poverty data for Sri Lanka (GTAP-POV). In addition, policies contributing to poverty reduction in Sri Lanka were analysed. The results of the econometric analysis using household survey data indicated that education and remittances were the primary factors which reduced poverty in Sri Lanka over the last two decades. Significant variations were identified regarding the direction and magnitude of the poverty determinants in Sri Lanka irrespective of the sector. The local remittance variable was tested as a poverty determinant for the first time in the Sri Lankan context and found to be significant in poverty reduction in the rural and estate sectors in particular. The poverty decomposition result indicated that the redistribution component has dominated the growth component of the change in poverty in Sri Lanka over the last two decades. This study also examined the economic impact of rural-to-urban labour migration and remittances using a sample survey data collected from Gampaha District, where the majority of the factories are located in Sri Lanka. It specifically investigated the “in-kind” variable as a determinant of remittances and confirmed a positive and significant impact. Individual migrants’ average income gains from migration varied between 4,000 and 9,000 rupees per month and migrants who shifted from agricultural sector jobs to factory jobs had the highest income gain in rural-to-urban migration. Individual income gain in the urban sector is rewarded by level of education and work experience, in contrast to rural sector earnings. Analysis using the GTAP-POV model indicated that agricultural trade liberalisation in Sri Lanka reduces poverty much more significantly in each population stratum under multilateral and unilateral trade liberalisations, than is the case with bilateral trade liberalisation. Poverty elasticities were derived and applied for all household strata in Sri Lanka in the GTAP-POV framework. It was estimated that more than one million individuals would escape from extreme poverty in the rural diversified stratum under the scenario of full trade liberalisation of the agricultural sector, as well as around four million individuals would move above the US$2/day poverty line. Rural labour stratum and diversified urban stratum also show a significant level of poverty reduction under the agricultural trade liberalisation. The analysis of poverty-focused policies in Sri Lanka indicated that poverty was initiated in the colonial period with the importation of Indian Tamil labour for the plantations. Welfare policies focused on the poor since independence have aimed at compensation of consumption expenditure rather than having an investment focus. Sri Lanka needs investment-focused poverty policies with welfare-focused compensation policies to achieve systematic poverty alleviation.

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  • Development of an environmental education programme for waste management with local communities in Sabah, Malaysia

    Pudin, Susan (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    Environmental education can play a major role in achieving sustainability. In the context of this research, environmental education is defined as a process to impart and instil knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations and commitment among the population to work towards environmental solutions, problem prevention and to live sustainably. This research focussed on non-formal environmental education with adults in communities in Sabah, Malaysia. In Sabah, solid waste is a significant problem, and oil palm plantations are one of the main agricultural activities that produce solid agricultural waste or by-products in rural areas. This research focussed on co-constructing an environmental education programme for waste management with villagers, including the independent oil palm smallholders, in local communities in Beaufort, Sabah. This research has elements of both interpretivism and a critical theory approach. It has elements of interpretivism because of the interaction with the local communities to obtain their views and perceptions on waste management practices in their own areas. It was also partially aligned with the critical theory paradigm because it sought to create positive changes among the communities in terms of waste management practices by providing an avenue for discussions, creating empowerment and collaboration. The theoretical principles of community environmental education drawn from the areas of community education and environmental education guided the framing of the research design. Data were collected in two stages. Stage one involved interviews with government officers, a community survey and a focus workshop with two rural communities. This data combined with the theoretical principles of community environmental education guided a co-construction of an educational programme on waste management for the two communities. Stage two involved the programme implementation, and an evaluation process which included a survey, interviews and observation. All closed and scale questions in both surveys were analysed quantitatively. The open-ended data gathered from the questionnaires, interviews, focus workshop and observation were analysed using thematic analysis. This study found that the communities had a genuine concern for the environment and a desire to improve their waste management practices. However, they did not seem to know how to do so, and their knowledge of environmental and waste management issues seemed low. An attitude-behaviour gap in which favourable environmental attitudes were not matched by environmentally-friendly behaviours was also observed. The community members were unaware or uncertain about guidelines that might guide their waste management. It was also reported there was a lack of environmentally-friendly options such as waste disposal and recovery facilities and services, as well as alternatives for proper disposal in their villages. Change in attitudes and behaviour among the community seemed slow to progress, and it was found that changes in waste management practices at a personal level were easier to effect, rather than as a community. The findings of this research indicated a tendency towards pro-environmental behaviour motivated by goals other than environmental; in this case, monetary gains or incentives. The evidence in this research showed that it was possible to co-construct an environmental education programme with local communities. The programme was co-constructed and implemented based on the literature and data on the perceptions, needs and current situation of community waste management through the perspectives of the government officers and local communities. There was clear evidence that the programme made a difference in a short-term; however, long-term outcomes of the programme were not apparent. This study has shown that a model developed from theoretical principles of community environmental education provided useful guidance in practice but that implementation of the model in local contexts has many constraints that need to be considered.

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  • Portfolio of compositions

    Tang, Xu (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The compositions in this portfolio aim to synthesise aspects of contemporary Western classical composition with techniques from traditional Chinese classical music in a way unique to the composer. That aim generates a number of artistic and technical questions which require creative solutions. The portfolio of compositions addresses several of these issues, especially how to utilise selected performance techniques used in playing Chinese instruments such as qin, pipa and erhu on Western instruments such as the violin, cello and piano. The portfolio includes music for a variety of ensembles. All the music was composed in 2014-15. The works span several genres, from the piano trio Bamboo Groves to the orchestral piece Shadow, Additionally, the piano trio Bamboo Groves integrates some sounds from the natural world into the composed musical texture, so stones, tree branches and water are played by the instrumentalists. The unusual and highly characterful ensemble of nine cellos, Cellophonics, which is based in the University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music, inspired the composition of Sun Wukong, the story being drawn from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. The theatrical monodrama Lament of Mistress Xiang Lin requires two performers playing a prepared piano along with a soprano, and uses some electronic amplification.

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  • Development of a novel humidifier for air breathing devices

    Brizio, Pablo Joaquin (2011-07-21)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Continuous positive pressure of air on the airways (CPAP) is the most common treatment for the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Humidification of the air applied to the patient improves patient compliance by preventing congestion and nasal and throat dryness. Most humidifiers used in CPAP systems are traditional heating-type humidifiers which consume large amount of energy. In this thesis, a non-traditional humidification technique was developed to be used in various respiratory supportive device applications such as CPAP therapy. Atomization processes were reviewed and ultrasonic atomizers were found to be the most suitable in terms of power consumption, droplets size distribution of the spray generated and size of the device. Four setups were used for experiments with these atomizers using five frequencies (1.5, 1.7, 2.1, 2.6 and 3.0 MHz). The experiments demonstrated that excitation with sine pulses has better efficiency than square pulses. In order to avoid overheating of the ultrasonic atomizer, the pulses must be sent in bursts and the frequency at which this bursts are sent (duty cycle) was proportional to the heating of the transducer. The droplet size distribution was measured by three different methods (photographic, impact and optic) and it did not have a significant change with the power applied to the transducer. The power did have a direct relationship with the atomization rate. Ultrasonic transducers with resonant frequency of 1.5 MHz are recommended for this application since the generated droplets have a small diameter (which facilitates its evaporation). The complexity of a driving circuit also increases with the frequency. Ideally there should be no water droplets in the air supplied to the patient. The evaporation of the droplets was mathematically modelled and experimentally tested to determine if the air that will be supplied needs to be heated to reach the fully evaporation. With an airflow rate of 60 L/min, the full evaporation of the droplets was reached in a relatively short distance (0.05 m) compared with the normal separation between the equipment and the patient (1.50m). There is no need to use a heater achieve such evaporation of the droplets. In this device, the pathogen risk could be reduced with the use of hydrophobic filters. This work demonstrates that ultrasonic transducers are capable of atomizing sufficient quantities of water for this application with low power consumption.

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  • Effects of combined bronchodilators and oscillations on the the airway smooth muscle response

    Mathur, Meha (2011-07-22)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The current study aims to investigate the combined effects of oscillations and bronchodilators on the dynamics of the isolated contracted airway smooth muscle. Current day asthma treatments commonly use bronchodilators such as Isoproterenol to reduce the symptoms of asthma. Previous studies have shown the ability of length oscillations (such as those occurring during tidal breathing and deep inspirations) to have a bronchodilatory effect on normal activated airway smooth muscle both in vitro and in vivo. However, this effect is absent or transient in asthmatic airway smooth muscle. Although, many studies have been conducted to possibly understand the role of oscillations on the airway smooth muscle (ASM) dynamics, the exact mechanism is still unclear. Many studies have been conducted to look at the effects of length oscillations or perturbations on the contracted ASM dynamics, along with separate set of studies investigating the behaviour of ASM in the presence of bronchodilators. This study is novel in the sense that it experimentally investigates the effects of bronchodilators combined with length oscillations of varying parameters on the isolated airway smooth muscle. The experimental data suggest that the combined effect of the bronchodilator Isoproterenol and length oscillations is higher than that of each when applied alone. This response has been tested by varying the amplitudes and frequencies of the oscillations. The relaxation of the ASM subsequent to the application of oscillations was found to be proportional to the amplitude, but independent of the frequency of oscillations. This study gives more insight into the role of bronchodilators and oscillations (such as while breathing) on the contracted airways in an optimal goal of developing a new treatment methodology for asthma.

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  • System on Chip (SoC): a real time touch screen system on programmable chip

    Xu, Stephen Sheng (2012-06-13)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis is involved with the investigation, implementation, verification, validation and optimization of a purpose built on-chip solution customized for a real world touch screen application. A Field Programmable Gate Array based application specific controller has been designed and built in this research as a substitute for a general purpose controller to explore the feasibility and capability of meeting the required system performance while maintaining the minimum consumption of system resources. A variety of new mechanisms, approaches and techniques have been evaluated, developed and applied to different design stages at multiple levels to achieve an overall optimized system outcome. A dedicated optical imaging acquisition system has been developed with a concurrent control mechanism, faster operational speed and lower signal noise; a customized touch information processing unit has been designed to perform edge detection, object positioning, and touch motion indication with low system latency and highly parallelism; and a computer interface has been built to demonstrate the coherent real-time system performance with visualized validation of results. In the optical based touch screen area, this research presents an original and compact on-chip solution with a significant number of algorithm and method improvements in terms of the touch object detection and localization efficiency as well as touch motion analyzing capability. The system design has been optimized after establishing the desired functionality to minimize logic resource and memory storage consumption, based on a wide range of techniques with a certain amount of architectural restructuring. The overall economic on-chip resource consumption has been achieved in this research with further consideration for migrating the design into a more application specific high integration density chip in the future for large volume manufacture.

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