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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

An investigation into the nature, determinants, and dynamics of service quality expectations

Wragg, Tim January 1994 (has links)
On the basis of a review of the substantive quality and service marketing literature current knowledge regarding service quality expectations was found either absent or deficient. The phenomenon is of increasing importance to both marketing researchers and management and was therefore judged worthy of scholarly consideration. Because the service quality literature was insufficiently rich when embarking on the thesis three basic research issues were considered namely the nature, determinants, and dynamics of service quality expectations. These issues were first conceptually and then qualitatively explored. This process generated research hypotheses mainly relating to a model which were subsequently tested through a series of empirical investigations using questionnaire data from field studies in a single context. The results were internally consistent and strongly supported the main research hypotheses. It was found that service quality expectations can be meaningfully described in terms of generic/service-specific, intangible/tangible, and process/outcome categories. Service-specific quality expectations were also shown to be determined by generic service quality expectations, demographic variables, personal values, psychological needs, general service sophistication, service-specific sophistication, purchase motives, and service-specific information when treating service class involvement as an exogenous variable. Subjects who had previously not directly experienced a particular service were additionally found to revise their expectations of quality when exposed to the service with change being driven by a sub-set of identified determinants.

Individual differences in work behaviour of blue-collar workers : a study of rubber tappers in Malaysia

Ali, Hassan January 1999 (has links)
This thesis examines individual differences in work behaviour of rubber tappers. The study examined sex, age, experience and race differences and their interactions with terrain on job performance, absenteeism, and job satisfaction of 1053 rubber tappers. Rubber tappers are unskilled blue-collar workers who essentially do the same type of work and are paid the same rates of pay. There are very few studies that have compared male and female blue-collar workers doing similar jobs in organisational settings. This study is one of the few investigations that examine sex differences in job performance of blue-collar workers doing same job using production data. Studies on age differences in work behaviour encounter numerous methodological difficulties such as high turnover, internal transfers and problems associated with age differences in educational levels. The participation of rubber tappers in this study is envisaged to overcome these difficulties because attrition rates of rubber tappers are low, and internal transfers are non existent. Further, the educational levels of rubber tappers are relatively similar across different age cohorts, as most rubber tappers have little or no education. Two measures of both job performance and absenteeism were derived from payroll records. The two job performance measures were total crop production and attendance. The two absenteeism measures were avoidable and unavoidable absence rates. Overall job satisfaction was determined using a 4-item scale. Significant sex, age, experience and race differences were obtained for job performance, absenteeism and job satisfaction. Significant interactive effects were also obtained for sex, age , experience, race and terrain for job performance and absenteeism. The results are discussed in relation to the abilities and motivation of rubber tappers. The implication of these findings for employee selection and human resource management in rubber estates is discussed.

Resources and entrepreneurial capability within boards of directors in established smaller independent firms : sources of innovation and firm growth in the UK plastic processing industry

Gurling, Catherine January 2006 (has links)
No description available.

Human resource management, employee attitudes and business performance in Post Office Ltd

Bourne, Alan January 2007 (has links)
Whilst a consistent link between the adoption of human resource management (HRM) practices by organisations and their performance has been confirmed by numerous studies, there is a need for greater understanding of why such effects occur. Recently, the attention of researchers has shifted towards understanding the so-called ‘black box’ linking HRM and business performance. This study focuses on this area of research by testing processes through which HRM may affect performance, in particular the process of HR implementation, mediation mechanisms, and fit with internal and external boundary conditions. This research was based on a sample of 136 Post Office branches in the UK and investigated the role of HR implementation, employee attitudes and competitive environment. The study revealed that HR implementation, a climate for service, job satisfaction and effective organisational commitment predicted independent measures of economic and service performance in branches. Employee attitudes moderated the relationship between implemented HRM and service performance, and both job satisfaction and commitment were found to mediate relationships between a climate for service and service performance. Finally, relative levels of competition faced by branches moderated the relationship between employee attitudes and sales. The findings demonstrate how the process of HR implementation, interactions with employee attitudes and moderation by external competition all influence the impact of HR systems on service and economic performance outcomes. These results illustrate the need for greater attention to processes of internal and external fit within HRM research in order to develop theory relating to why HR systems affect performance.

A study of performance and regulation in telecommunications in the European Union

Dassler, Thoralf January 2003 (has links)
This thesis looks at two issues. Firstly, statistical work was undertaken examining profit margins, labour productivity and total factor productivity in telecommunications in ten member states of the EU over a 21-year period (not all member states of the EU could be included due to data inadequacy). Also, three non-members, namely Switzerland, Japan and US, were included for comparison. This research was to provide an understanding of how telecoms in the European Union (EU) have developed. There are two propositions in this part of the thesis: (i) privatisation and market liberalisation improve performance; (ii) countries that liberalised their telecoms sectors first show a better productivity growth than countries that liberalised later. In sum, a mixed picture is revealed. Some countries performed better than others over time, but there is no apparent relationship between productivity performance and the two propositions. Some of the results from this part of the thesis were published in Dabler et al. (2002). Secondly, the remainder of the tests the proposition that the telecoms directives of the European Commission created harmonised regulatory systems in the member states of the EU. By undertaking explanatory research, this thesis not only seeks to establish whether harmonisation has been achieved, but also tries to find an explanation as to why this is so. To accomplish this, as a first stage to questionnaire survey was administered to the fifteen telecoms regulators in the EU. The purpose of the survey was to provide knowledge of methods, rationales and approaches adopted by the regulatory offices across the EU. This allowed for the decision as to whether harmonisation in telecoms regulation has been achieved. Stemming from the results of the questionnaire analysis, follow-up case studies with four telecoms regulators were undertaken, in a second stage of this research. The objective of these case studies was to take into account the country-specific circumstances of telecoms regulation in the EU. To undertake the case studies, several sources of evidence were combined. More specifically, the annual Implementation Reports of the European Commission were reviewed, alongside the findings from the questionnaire. Then, interviews with senior members of staff in the four regulatory authorities were conducted. Finally, the evidence from the questionnaire survey and from the case studies was corroborated to provide an explanation as to why telecoms regulation in the EU has reached or has not reached a state of harmonisation. In addition to testing whether harmonisation has been achieved and why, this research has found evidence of different approaches to control over telecoms regulators and to market intervention administered by telecoms regulators within the EU. Regarding regulatory control, it was found that some member states have adopted mainly a proceduralist model, some have implemented more of a substantive model, and others have adopted a mix between both. Some findings from the second stage of the research were published in Dabler and Parker (2004). Similarly, regarding market intervention by regulatory authorities, different member states treat market intervention differently, namely according to market-driven or non-market-driven models, or a mix between both approaches.

An examination of organisational issues in third sector organisations which undertake nonviolent direct action

Carroll, Malcolm C. January 2008 (has links)
Th is thesis is an examinat ion of organisat ional issues faced by Third Sector organisations which undertake nonviolent direct action. A case sWdy methodology is employed and data gathered from four organisations: Earth First! ; genetiX Snowball; Grecnpeacc; and Trident Ploughshares. The argument commences with a review of the literature which shows that little is known of the organ ising of nonviolent direct action. Operational definitions of 'organ isation ' and "nonviolent direct action' are drawn from the literature. ' Organisation' is conceptualised using new institutionalism. 'Nonvio lent di rect act ion ' is conceptualised using new soci al movement theory. These concepts inform the case study methodology in the choice of case, the organisations se lected and the data gathering tools. Most data were gathered by semi-struclUred interview and participant observation. The research findings result from theory-building arising from th ick descri ptions of the case in the four organisations. The findings suggest that nonviolent di rect ac tion is qualitatively different from terrorism or violence. Although there is much diversity in philosophies of nonviolence, the practice of nonviolent d irect action has much in common across the four organisations. The argument is that nonviolent direct action is an institution. The findings also suggest that new institutionalism is a fruitful approach to st udies of these organi sations. A long with nonviolent direct action, three other institutions are identi fied: ' rules'; consensus decision-making; and 'affinity groups'. An unanticipated fi nding is how the four organisations are instances of innovation . Tentative theory is developed which brings together the seemingly incompatible concepts of in sti tutions and innovation. The theory suggests preconditions and then stages in the development of ncw organisational forms in new social movements: innovmion. The three pre-conditions arc: the existence of an institutional field ; an 'institution-broker' with access to different domains; and a shared 'problem' to resolve. The three stages are: unlocking existing knowledge and practice; bridging different domains of practice or different fie lds to add, develop or translocate those practices; and establishing those practices within their new combinations or novel locations. Participants are able to move into and between these new organisational forms because they consist of familiar and habitual institutional behaviour.

Economic and socio-economic evaluation of bioenergy schemes fueled with energy crops in Greece

Panoutsou, Calliope January 2002 (has links)
The main aim of this thesis is to evaluate the economic and socio-economic viability of energy crops as raw material for bioenergy schemes at the local level. The case examined is Greece, a southern Mediterranean country. Based on the current state, on foreseen trends and on the information presented in the literature review (conducted at the beginning of the study), the main goal was defined as follows: To examine the evidence supporting a strong role for dedicated energy crops local bioenergy developments in Greece, a sector that is forecasted to be increasingly important in the short to medium term.' Two perennial energy crops, cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) and giant reed (Arundo donax L.) were evaluated. The thesis analysed their possible introduction in the agricultural system of Rhodope, northern Greece, as alternative land use, through comparative financial appraisal with the main conventional crops. Based on the output of this comparative analysis, the breakeven for the two selected energy crops was defined along with a sensitivity analysis for the risk of the potential implementation. Following, the author performed an economic and socio-economic evaluation of a district heating system fuelled with energy crops in the selected region. Finally, the author, acknowledging that bioenergy deployment should be studied in the context of innovations proceeded in examining the different perceptions of the key groups involved, farmers and potential end users. Results indicated that biomass exploitation for energy purposes is more likely to be accepted when it is seen clearly as one strand in a national energy, environmental and agricultural policy which embraces several sources of renewable energy, and which also encourages energy efficiency and conservation.

Social and scientific issues in the acceptibility of radiation risks

Green, P. A. January 1990 (has links)
Ionising radiation hazards are perhaps the most documented and regulated occupational and environmental hazard. In the radiological protection field a single expert advisory organisation has had an unusually large influence on the international standard setting process. This is the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Two common, and opposing views, exist over the formulation of protection recommendations by the ICRP. The first, and most widely accepted, is that its recommendations are scientifically determined. The second view, is that its recommendations are politically or socially determined. Neither of these analyses adequately accounts for the complex process in which protection recommendations are formulated. A third view, provided by studies of the origins of scientific controversy, suggests that both science and social factors are important in the assessment and limitation of risk. The aim of this thesis is not simply to examine the origin of controversy. Issues of equal, if not more, importance are the resolution of controversy, the formation of consensus and the maintenance of expert authority and influence. These issues form the central focus of this thesis. The aim is to assess the process through which the ICRP formulates its radiological protection recommendations and comment on the extent that these are influenced by the affiliations of its members. This thesis concludes that the ICRP's recommendations have been shaped by a complex relationship of scientific and social considerations, in which a socio-technical commitment to nuclear energy has played a key role. The Commission has responded to new scientific data by making complex changes to its philosophy and methods of describing risk. It has reduced the value of its dose limits less frequently. Reductions in its dose limits have been accompanied by practical measures designed to limit the impact of the change by providing greater flexibility in their application. The Commission's aim has been to provide stability and continuity in its successive recommendations.

Trade unions and productivity: the impact of union presence on labour productivity in Korean manufacturing

Hur, Chan Y. January 1991 (has links)
This thesis examines the theoretical and empirical relationship between trade unions and productivity in the Korean auto and cement manufacturing industries, during the 1980s. It challenges the tenets of the existing debate by stressing the contingent nature of this relationship. In particular this thesis pinpoints inadequacies of econometric analysis as the only method of judging this association between union presence and productivity, because this ignores national and historical industrial relations contexts. Moreover, the polarity between positive and negative views of trade union influences on productivity is seen as needlessly limited, failing as it does to consider the full context of labour-management dynamics within the employment relationship. Empirically, this thesis focuses on the unionism and productivity during two contrasting political periods: the first a time of constraint on union action and the second a period of relative freedom. It examines these periods using a full range of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Of particular significant is the inclusion of attitude surveys of the relationship between the presence of unions and productivity conducted amongst workers, managers and trade union officials. The broad conclusion of the thesis is a rejection of the validity of continuing to examine the relationship between trade unions and productivity without locating this within national and historical industrial relations contexts.

The management of stress amongst professional carers within a social services department

Miles, A. J. E. January 1994 (has links)
This thesis considers four broad areas:(i) ANALYSIS OF THE STRESS FIELD.(a) research studies, relevant to the British Social Services considering the cultural setting, and the rigor with which they were conducted; (b) models of stress, specifically examining the theoretical soundness and practical application of the Medical, Engineering and Transactional models;(c) organisational models of stress relating specifically to human service organisations.(ii) QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES.(a) the appropriate application of each respective methodology and the particular usefulness of qualitative research designs; (b) the relevance of understanding the language and terminology associated with the subject area prior to the implementation of survey methods; (iii) FIELDWORK.(a) Phase 1. By use of focus groups, in-depth interviews and diary keeping amongst a small range of teams and managers, the Researcher develops a basic conceptual framework of stress within a Social Services context. In addition a small scale personality inventory was administered to participants.(b) Phase 2. This consisted of three key elements: 6 case studies in which the Researcher implements and appraises the impact of a range of intervention strategies designed to assist teams and their managers in dealing more effectively with stress; the administration of a large scale survey to all the field social work teams within the Social Services Department; an analysis of the user role within the stress process by way of two focus groups.(iv) THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENT.

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