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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2018

Po-Hsing Tseng, Kendall Richards and Nick Pilcher

This paper aims to use an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and combine this with the fuzzy theory to identify key indicators influencing English-medium instruction (EMI…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to use an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and combine this with the fuzzy theory to identify key indicators influencing English-medium instruction (EMI) in the shipping courses of Taiwan’s higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review and expert interviews, an evaluation model with 4 indicators and 13 sub-indicators was developed. Questionnaire samples included university English teachers (eight), university shipping teachers (nine) and shipping practitioners (eight).

Findings

Using 25 effective samples, the results found that “teachers’ characteristics” is the most important indicator, followed by “syllabus design”, “university resources” and “students’ characteristics”. Such a finding could provide valuable teaching and managerial strategies for EMI design in both university and industry sectors.

Research limitations/implications

Expert questionnaire targets have focused on university English teachers, university shipping teachers and shipping practitioners. Other related field experts could be further surveyed and compared in the future studies.

Practical implications

The findings of EMI indicators in the shipping courses could be used for course and material design by shipping companies, shipping authorities and universities. It is expected that these indicators could inform the provision of reasonable teaching resources allocation.

Social implications

This paper provides important guidance for designing EMI in shipping courses. Related stakeholders will be able to understand important concepts regarding designing EMI courses.

Originality/value

First, EMI indicators in the shipping courses have seldom been studied in the past. They are, however, important for both shipping industries and education intuitions. Second, as its method, this paper adopts decision analysis quantitative tool to complement previous qualitative studies regarding EMI studies.

Details

Maritime Business Review, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-3757

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 June 2020

Po-Hsing Tseng, Nick Pilcher and Kendall Richards

Shipping courses contain much technical and specialist knowledge and present particular challenges for English medium instruction (EMI). This paper aims to investigate…

1901

Abstract

Purpose

Shipping courses contain much technical and specialist knowledge and present particular challenges for English medium instruction (EMI). This paper aims to investigate both student perceptions of the importance and satisfaction level of EMI in shipping courses in higher education in Taiwan and the perceptions of expert stakeholders through qualitative interviews.

Design/methodology/approach

Importance-performance analysis (IPA) is used to gather data on participants’ perceptions of what is (un)important and (un)satisfactory. Based on past studies, four dimensions with 20 items were developed and 121 effective questionnaires were collected. Further, qualitative interviews with expert stakeholders (n = 9) are undertaken to gather data to contextualize and complement the quantitative student data.

Findings

Findings show students attributed high importance but low satisfaction to items such as course learning objectives and students’ English level, and low importance and high satisfaction to items such as electronic teaching platform and relevance of subject to practice. Factor analysis and cluster analysis were used to divide samples into three groups. Qualitative interview results confirm many of the quantitative findings but also show where some quantitative findings require more attention or investment when delivering EMI programmes.

Research limitations/implications

Questionnaire samples focus on university students. Other related field samples (e.g. EMI teachers, shipping teachers, English teachers, etc.) could be surveyed and compared in future studies. Qualitative interviews could also be expanded to other stakeholders such as government policymakers.

Practical implications

The findings of IPA in the shipping courses and the qualitative interviews can be used for both teaching design and implementation in related courses by university lecturers and other stakeholders (e.g. policy and decision-makers). Such approaches can enhance students’ learning motivation and teaching performance.

Social implications

This paper provides important guidance and diagnosis for how to introduce English teaching in shipping courses. Related courses can be further applied in higher education to popularize and promote EMI teaching in shipping and related fields.

Originality/value

EMI has seldom been studied in the context of shipping courses in the past. This paper adopts IPA method and qualitative interviews to complement previous studies and address gaps in recent research. It is expected that the research findings could be adapted and applied in other fields.

Details

Maritime Business Review, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-3757

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 August 2021

Po-Hsing Tseng and Nick Pilcher

Much literature considers future impacts of the Kra Canal on shipping times and on individual countries. In this paper, the authors consider the maritime business…

2041

Abstract

Purpose

Much literature considers future impacts of the Kra Canal on shipping times and on individual countries. In this paper, the authors consider the maritime business potential of the Kra Canal for companies, ports and countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a combination of a review of the extant literature, quantitative data from relevant calculations and qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with experts (n = 20) from four countries in the region, this paper contextualises the business potential of the Kra Canal through a PESTELE (political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal and ethical) analysis before outlining a more targeted SWOT (strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to consider the potential for maritime business.

Findings

The PESTELE analysis reveals that there are a number of challenges related to the construction and possibility of the Kra Canal being built such as its impact on the political balance within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. The SWOT analysis shows that the potential of the Kra Canal for maritime business is significant, and that the strengths and opportunities of increased route possibilities and reduced sailing times outweigh any weaknesses and threats.

Originality/value

Most studies into the Kra Canal focus on highly specific research targets or provide a particular perspective (e.g. historical). This paper, by drawing on two commonly used analytical frameworks, considers the canal for the first time from a wider context perspective as well as a specifically business one. Recommendations are made for policy makers and maritime businesses on the basis of the results.

Details

Maritime Business Review, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-3757

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 November 2021

Nigel Craig, Nick Pilcher, Alan M. Forster and Craig Kennedy

The spirits industry is a major economic contributor worldwide, often requiring years of maturation in barrels that is associated with significant release of ethanol into…

Abstract

Purpose

The spirits industry is a major economic contributor worldwide, often requiring years of maturation in barrels that is associated with significant release of ethanol into the surrounding environment. This provides carbon nutrition for colonisation of black fungal growths, one type being Baudoinia compniacensis, or Whisky Black. Although growth is localised in production areas, numerous sites exist globally, and this paper's purpose is to investigate the extent and implications of colonisation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents and discusses the results of a visual survey of the area surrounding a site where whisky is maturing in nearby bonded warehouses. The evaluation considers radial zoning distance from the ethanol source and material substrate types and surface textures. Classical key stages of Building Pathology, namely manifestation, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy, are considered.

Findings

Key findings are that the colonisation of the fungus is non-uniform and dependent on the substrate building material. Additionally, rougher-textured building materials displayed heavier levels of fungal manifestation than smooth materials. Aspects such as distance, wind direction and moisture are considered relative to the extent and level of fungal growth.

Originality/value

This investigation provides the first assessment of the extent and nature of the fungal growth in properties built in surrounding areas to bonded warehouses. Such information can facilitate open dialogue between stakeholders that recognise the aspirations of values of corporate social responsibility, whilst balancing the economic importance of distilling with recognition of the fungus's impact on property values and appropriate recurring remedial treatments.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 December 2017

Po-Hsing Tseng and Nick Pilcher

The Northern Sea Route (NSR) could become viable in the near future. If this happens, it will radically reduce sailing times and distances on routes from Asia to Northern…

2883

Abstract

Purpose

The Northern Sea Route (NSR) could become viable in the near future. If this happens, it will radically reduce sailing times and distances on routes from Asia to Northern Europe. However, although much has been written about the feasibility of the NSR, about the issues involved and about the possible opening of the route, the views of key stakeholders from companies who would potentially benefit from the route have been little explored. The purpose of this paper is to complement the existing literature on the feasibility of and issues related to the NSR by presenting and discussing the results from in-depth qualitative interviews with nine key stakeholders based in Shanghai and Taiwan who have extensive research, knowledge and practical experience of NSR.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a grounded theory analysis, a total of nine key stakeholders knowledgeable about NSR and the majority with sailing experience of NSR are interviewed, including one government official, two professors, shipping experts in six liner and one bulk shipping companies.

Findings

The authors present interviewees’ thoughts regarding the feasibility of NSR at the current time in terms of practicalities, ships, costs, information and wider issues.

Practical implications

These thoughts show that whilst the potential of NSR is huge in theory, in practice the overall perception of it in terms of current feasibility from a company perspective is one of challenges and unknown issues. Shipping companies can benefit from the authors findings when considering the feasibility of NSR as a shipping route. Ultimately, the picture emerges that without one country, probably Russia, taking the lead on the route, it will remain only a theoretical one.

Originality/value

In-depth interviews with grounded theory are used to investigate current and actual thoughts on NSR. This paper highlights correlations and additions to show a fuller picture of current knowledge and adds views from Shanghai and Taiwan.

Details

Maritime Business Review, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-3757

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 August 2020

Nigel Craig, Nick Pilcher, Rebecca MacKenzie and Chris Boothman

The UK private housebuilding sector is the key supplier of new-build homes for customers, constituting a fifth of the entire UK construction industry. Yet, despite the…

Abstract

Purpose

The UK private housebuilding sector is the key supplier of new-build homes for customers, constituting a fifth of the entire UK construction industry. Yet, despite the high average cost of houses, and official reports advocating improvement, the sector remains blighted by criticism and a negative image of its quality. However, social media now offers customers new sources of advice and information. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to analyse social media forum posts from new-build homebuyers to reveal perceptions of the industry and illustrate the value of such data for others.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents and thematically analyses 147 comment posts from nine online Facebook forums under the themes of safety; standards; quality; workmanship; customer service; finance and money; advice; National House Building Council; ombudsman; and page closures.

Findings

Customers express frustration, anger, feelings of neglect and of an abdication of responsibility by the sector. Fundamentally, change is suggested at a systemic level, and it is urged this occurs through powerful and independent bodies.

Originality/value

To date, social media data has not been analysed in the context of the housebuilding sector. Yet, such data is key not only for its open and wide-reaching nature but also because it can be incorporated into government reports. It is hoped such data will be used by the new home ombudsman the UK Government hopes to establish in 2020 and help rectify many of the performance issues experienced and protect homebuyers.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Barbara McCrory, Nick Pilcher and Janice McMillan

The purpose of this paper is to detail a holistic practice based guiding framework for improving customer retention, which helps companies instil a customer service…

1361

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to detail a holistic practice based guiding framework for improving customer retention, which helps companies instil a customer service culture through encouraging them to concentrate on the three key areas of culture, continuous improvement (CI) and customer service.

Design/methodology/approach

The Delphi technique, using three rounds of hour long in-depth semi-structured interviews at director level across a range of industries. This was done with nine directors, totalling over 30 hours of data requiring in excess of 200 hours to transcribe.

Findings

In order to achieve customer retention, a holistic company approach underpinned by senior management buy-in is critical, with open communication, employee empowerment, and employing “the right” personnel. The framework is viable with specific organisation input and supplementation with ongoing customer research.

Research limitations/implications

The framework has only been tested with the companies in the study, and requires testing in practice. As such, it has not covered the ability of companies to change, but has simply developed a framework to assist in identifying the areas that need to be reviewed when considering changing to focus on the customer.

Practical implications

To use this approach to customer retention requires companies to amalgamate culture, customer service and CI equally alongside customer focussed leadership, as an underpinning for the ethos of the business.

Originality/value

The Delphi technique in an in-depth systemised approach with directors revealed unanticipated and significant insights regarding the benefits of amalgamating and devoting equal weight to the three areas of culture, customer service and CI to improve quality in all these areas

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Danielle Robyn Pilcher and Nick Eade

Despite the ongoing research into visitor motivation in the live events and tourism industries, only a limited amount of research has examined the motivational factors…

2324

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the ongoing research into visitor motivation in the live events and tourism industries, only a limited amount of research has examined the motivational factors exhibited in individual segments of society. The purpose of this paper was to identify a relationship between visitor demographics and visitor motivation, for the purpose of enhanced market research at folk festivals in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

In this research, a qualitative study of visitor demographics and their accompanying motivation to attend Purbeck Folk Festival is reported. The study was conducted in the form of interviews, which investigated the underlying motivation behind visitor attendance to Purbeck Folk Festival in 2014. The research process, guided by the literature of Robson (2011) and Bryman (2012), aimed to establish the extent to which visitor demographics did or did not impact visitor motivation to attend the event.

Findings

The study revealed five motivational dimensions, and from this devised five core audience segments including: the escapists, the socialites, the family type, the experience seekers and the folkniks. This study highlights the correlation between visitor demographics and visitor motivation and suggests further applications of this research and similar research in the field of live events. The study contributes an insight into the audience of Purbeck Folk Festival and may be used to provide an understanding of audience profile and behaviour at folk festivals within the UK.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the nature of the research, participants will be secured through non-probability quota sampling, which is a method of convenience. This approach may place limitations on the validity of the findings, as researcher bias may occur when selecting participants, for example, avoiding visitors who look intimidating or abnormal (Robson, 2011). The use of open-ended questions in the capacity of a greenfield event was identified as a potential difficulty, as participants are required to think about their answers and provide opinions, unlike a closed question method, which although quicker and easier, may not be as effective (Kumar, 2014). Therefore, to keep participants engaged and willing to provide further information, the interview design was kept short and questions are easily comprehendible.

Originality/value

The research study reflects early the work of Mayo (Dickson, 1973), Maslow (1954) and Herzberg (1966), and builds on more recent literature by Kruger and Saayman (2012), which analysed the relationship between audience profile and motivation to attend.

Details

International Journal of Event and Festival Management, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1758-2954

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1993

Melanie Williams

Discusses whether the monetary effectiveness of Training, development and empowerment is easily measured or whether measurement is even necessary. Describes the attitudes…

Abstract

Discusses whether the monetary effectiveness of Training, development and empowerment is easily measured or whether measurement is even necessary. Describes the attitudes of some companies towards the evaluation of these concepts. Concludes by considering the steps taken by Motorola to quantify the benefits. Records the company′s need to keep the whole chain competitive. It is the consumer who will determine what they will permit to last over what period of time.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1994

Driers for Waterborne Alkyds ‐ A complete range of driers suitable for waterborne alkyd systems is now being marketed in the UK by Chemitrade.

Abstract

Driers for Waterborne Alkyds ‐ A complete range of driers suitable for waterborne alkyd systems is now being marketed in the UK by Chemitrade.

Details

Pigment & Resin Technology, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0369-9420

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