DORA (De Montfort Open Research Archive) is De Montfort University's research repository. It forms the primary public and institutional record of DMU research outputs. The breadth of research at DMU means that these outputs include articles, conference papers, books, book chapters, and other material available in a digital form. The record for each item contains descriptive information as well as, where possible, a version of the final research output. DORA also provides access to DMU PhD theses. This includes most PhD produced from 2009 onwards.


Recent Submissions

ItemOpen Access
Women Entrepreneurs A Cross-Cultural Study of the Impact of the Commitment Competency on the Success of Female-Owned SMMEs in South Africa
(The International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research, 2016-05-22) Irene, Bridget
There are substantial theories and case studies linking culture and the development of entrepreneurial competencies. The commitment competency domain and its link to business success have also been identified in previous studies by various researchers. In a recent cross-cultural study of South African female entrepreneurs conducted by the researcher, the importance of commitment was highlighted by more than half of the participants. This paper reviews and reports the cultural differences in the development and application of commitment competency among female entrepreneurs of the four government-identified racial groups in South Africa (Black, White, Asian and Colored). A qualitative approach is utilized comprising semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. The core of the interviews was a list of behaviours identified under the commitment competency domain from previous theoretical and empirical studies. Entrepreneurs were asked open-ended questions for exploratory purposes. Samples were drawn from female SMME operators in different cultures in South Africa. The data was analyzed qualitatively using thematic content analysis. Whilst all participants from the four government-identified racial groups agreed that commitment competency is important for business success, only participants from one of the racial groups considered it vital to business success. Arguably, commitment competency is valued more highly by female entrepreneurs in this racial group (White) than participants from the other groups. The data also revealed that some female entrepreneurs could be regarded as “serial entrepreneurs”, giving up entrepreneurship and taking up paid employment when they encountered difficulties, only to return to entrepreneurship again and again. Inferences can also be made from the findings on the “inability” of South African female SMME operators to sustain their businesses. This study is the first to offer a comprehensive analysis of the cultural differences in the development and application of the commitment competency of South African female entrepreneurs. By identifying these cultural differences, the research provides a basis for an agenda for focus on the training and development of female entrepreneurs in South Africa.
ItemOpen Access
The Development of ‘A Germ’s Journey’: Interactive Health Education Resources for Children in the UK and Internationally
(De Montfort University, 2023-09) Crosby, Sapphire
This thesis reports on the findings of four studies, as part of a wider project (‘A Germ’s Journey’), which aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a set of specifically developed educational resources designed to teach young children about pathogen transmission and handwashing in the UK and India. Furthermore, the thesis evaluates the study’s co-creation approach to developing the resources for the UK, India and Sierra Leone (such as books, posters, webgames, songs/videos) as well as exploring how wider public health information can be disseminated to communities. The methods used to evaluate the usefulness of the resources for teachers and parents, and children’s engagement and understanding after completing the pedagogic workshops include questionnaires (completed by parents and teachers), observations of the children during the workshops, follow-up interviews with teachers and pre and post workshop questions and worksheets for children. Data was collected across a total of 19 case study sites (n=790) including primary schools and community centres in the UK and rural areas in India (studies 1 and 2). To evaluate the approach of co-creation, qualitative data was drawn from in-depth interviews with five key stakeholders including a learning and engagement officer at the Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum (UK), an Assistant Director for the office of international relations and projects at the University of Makeni (Sierra Leone), a project co-ordinator at Manav Sadhna charity (India) a member of the Marketing team at PAL International, cleaning products manufacturers (UK) and an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Teacher (UK). Focus group data from 37 teachers in Sierra Leone and responses to open-ended questionnaires completed by 66 teachers in India and 63 in the UK was also gathered (Study 3). Lastly, specialists across seven countries took part in five semi-structured podcast interviews discussing different communication techniques with the aim to challenge and aid our understanding of global health communications, particularly on the use of community-focussed approaches (Study 4). Results found that the learning resources were successful in aiding children in the EYFS’ understanding of germs and hand-hygiene (80–100% of parents and teachers strongly agreeing/agreeing), with teachers reporting that they had seen an increased knowledge in their pupils (UK). In India, two months after participating in the workshops using the original UK resources, 60%–73% of children knew the relationship between germs and illness, and 76%–80% knew how to remove germs from hands. After completing a workshop using newly co-created Gujarati resources, 54% of children scored higher afterwards, showing an increased understanding of microbiology (Studies 1 and 2). As a result of the interviews regarding the co-creation approach, themes regarding teamwork, shared ownership and improved outcomes were explored alongside the importance of working with appropriate partners and understanding the significance of local context, especially in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) (Study 3). Three key challenges to public health communications were identified within the podcast discussions: digital literacy, the digital divide and misinformation. Having discussed ways in which to combat these three barriers, the importance of audience research to overcome issues surrounding digital literacy; multimodal dissemination in response to the digital divide and using trusted sources to reduce the spread of misinformation was highlighted (Study 4). Following the use of A Germ’s Journey co-created resources, children had an improved understanding of the causes of bacterial disease and the health implications of not using adequate health-hygiene practices in both the UK and India. Recommendations for the future development of resources include the use of a Participatory Research Model of research, co-creation with end users, and working alongside local organisations and participants to access ‘hard-to-reach’ areas, however it is important to consider the challenges of logistics and in managing the potentially conflicting goals within the Co-Creation process. When disseminating health information, traditional methods, often utilised by larger media outlets, are not always effective. Empowerment and collaboration/co-creation to tailor information to different communities and using community-focussed models of communication are key. Researching and working alongside end-users and utilising multimodal dissemination enables valuable and successful health communications.
ItemOpen Access
Exploring Resilience Capabilities of Micro and Small Businesses during Crisis in Nigeria
(De Montfort University, 2023-03) Ariyo, Bisola
This research explores resilience capabilities in micro and small businesses (MSBs) within Nigeria's agriculture, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors during crises. Despite existing studies highlighting the importance of resilience in business survival during crises, there is a gap in understanding how MSBs in these specific sectors adapt and sustain themselves amidst diverse challenges. The study aims to identify the types of crises affecting MSBs and discuss their resilience capabilities by evaluating their dynamic capabilities (adaptive, absorptive and innovative capabilities) and propose resilience-building strategies. The research adopts a qualitative methodology, incorporating focus group discussions and individual interviews with MSB owners and managers across Southwest Nigeria. This approach allows for an in-depth exploration of resilience practices and perceptions within these specific business sectors. Findings reveal that MSBs face both man-made crises (kidnapping, herders-farmers conflicts, banditry, and armed robbery) and natural crises (COVID-19 pandemic, flooding), each with distinct impacts on operations and sustainability. MSBs demonstrate various resilience capabilities, including rapid environmental scanning, information assimilation, innovative product and service adaptation and resource reallocation strategies from the three dynamic capabilities evaluated. Sector-specific differences are also evident in how these capabilities are applied. This research contributes theoretically to the dynamic capabilities framework, particularly in its application to MSBs in a Sub-Saharan context such as Nigeria during crises. It extends the framework by Wang and Ahmed (2007), demonstrating how MSBs in volatile environments employ dynamic capabilities for resilience. The study also provides empirical insights into the unique challenges and strategies of MSBs in different sectors during crises, thereby contributing to the academic discourse on business resilience and crisis management. Methodologically, this study determined the value of qualitative research in capturing the different experiences of MSB owners and managers. The use of focus groups and individual interviews offers a comprehensive understanding of resilience strategies and provides the practical realities of operating a business in challenging environments. Practically, this research provides actionable insights for MSB managers in Nigeria and similar contexts. By understanding the nature of crises and the required resilience capabilities, MSBs can better prepare and adapt to survive and thrive. Policymakers can leverage the findings to develop more effective support mechanisms and policies tailored to the distinct needs of MSBs across different sectors. Overall, this research makes significant contributions to the understanding of MSB resilience in the face of crises, offering a framework for further exploration in similar developing economy contexts.
ItemOpen Access
(De Montfort University, 2023-09) UGAMAH, SYLVANUS NWOSULOR
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across the world have been at the forefront of playing a crucial roles in advocating for human rights, promoting economic growth, social advancement and humanitarian services to mediate on people’s suffering. However, there has been rising concern of NGO misconduct in advocacy, fund use, accountability, management, and governance issues. Therefore, this study explored the challenges of accountability and governance issues among Nigerian NGOs. The study adopted qualitative survey research design. The population of the study comprised all the registered NGOs in Nigeria. Purposive sampling technique was used to draw 35 respondents who participated in the in-depth interview. The data was analyzed with the aid of NVivo 14 Pro software, using thematic method. The result shows that there was accountability challenges and governance issues among Nigerian NGOs. This was arising from corruption, poor annual financial reporting and governance. The findings further revealed that communication gap exist on NGOs accountability and stakeholders. The study recommends mandatory requirements for the monitoring of NGOs by statutory establishments, and a separate audit report on the accounting system of NGOs. These are essential for good governance, accountability, transparency and proper documentation among Nigerian NGOs.
ItemOpen Access
Social, Cultural and Biomedical Construction of Menopause in Punjab, Pakistan
(De Montfort University, 2023-06) Rashid, Sumaira
Menopause is commonly defined as a universal biological phenomenon of permanent cessation of menstruation experienced by all females. Menopause is considered to have different cultural meanings and cultural construction in different cultures. This thesis explores how menopause is socially, culturally, and biomedically constructed in Punjab, Pakistan. In particular, it explores the meaning of menopause as defined by participant women and medical practitioners. Ethnographic fieldwork was carried out in Punjab between March 2019 and October 2019. It involved semi-structured interviews with participant women and practitioners, and participant. A total of 25 interviews were conducted with participant women including 15 women who experienced natural menopause and 10 women who experienced surgically-induced menopause. Data was thematically analyzed using ethnographic principles. A comprehensive literature review was conducted based on empirical studies on the experience and perception of menopause. In these research papers, experience and perception of menopause are described into three main categories including menopause as a distressing time, menopause as a liberating time, and menopause as a neutral time of life. Drawing on Scott’ (2018) conceptual framework of the sociology of nothing and McGoey’s analytical framework on the sociology of ignorance (McGoey, 2012), this research study demonstrates that cultural and social framing of menopause is no-thing, underrepresented and ignored where nothing means non-existence, underrepresented is non-presence of something that actually exists, and ignorance is unawareness of something regardless of its existence. This study's findings show that menopause is culturally non-existent for women of Punjab because it is absent in their everyday conversations and their understanding of health and ageing. Similarly, this study also suggests that menopause is underrepresented because its presence is not acknowledged by health care practitioners which means it is not recognized as a disease. In addition, surgical menopause is ignored because despite its existence and presence healthcare providers and participant women ignore its presence. Moreover, this study suggests that gender is at the core of shaping the absence of menopause interwoven with other cultural aspects such as socioeconomic status, religion, and interpersonal relations in Punjabi society. This study argues that the concepts of health and illness are multidimensional and need to be analyzed through cultural concepts of diseases. The integration of the theoretical framework of the sociology of nothing and the sociology of ignorance in this study offers a novel theoretical underpinning to understand menopause in a culture where its presence is not acknowledged and accepted. Given the burgeoning work on differences in menopause experience across the globe, this thesis is timely and useful in supporting the approach that menopause is a phase of life that people experience differently in different cultural settings and in different time periods of their lives. This study suggests that the meaning of menopause as a universal experience is unstable and needs to be reanalysed through a novel lens.