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Applied Business and Technology

​​​​​​The Applied Business and Technology priority area is focused on enhancing an organisation’s resilience to its environment, improving its internal resources’ effectiveness and good governance, and ensuring productive relationships for the benefit of its stakeholders and partners. 

The research priority area addresses subjects across a wide spectrum that impact on international, regional and local commercial and social enterprise, and organisations. The highly rated research addresses real contemporary challenges confronting a fast changing and dynamic world, whether in the private, public or third sectors. Thinking with creativity and innovation underpins the research expertise that leads to new and novel approaches to applying research in a wide array of practical approaches and solutions. 

The research activity across the ABT research priority area is focussed on a multidisciplinary approach across business and entrepreneurship, services marketing, cyber security, and technology and engineering.

Business and entrepreneurship

This area of research has developed from work that addresses education, management, leadership, skills and expertise capacity building needs within large, medium and small organisations. A wide body of research informs a greater understanding of how businesses, structures and organisations interact and respond to their environment and supply chain, to underpin their existence and welfare in an ever increasing digital world.

Services marketing

This area of research looks beyond traditional concerns that focus on marketing functions and the organisation itself. These include consuming behaviours, including cultural anthropology in marketing and consumer identity, and the digitalisation and digital environments from supply chain integration to engagement with technology as an alternative consumer-to-consumer exchange mechanism. In examining these concerns, we take a critical stance on the role of marketing, retailing and consumers in society.

Cyber security

This area of research is based on work seeking to enhance an organisation's resilience from the vulnerability of cyber attack and other forms of information security compromise. This work relates to cyber security technology for risk identification, evaluation and management, and understanding coding, and adaptive and responsive defence applications from across global networks and its impact on organisational and national security.

Technology and Engineering

This area of research has developed from the internet of things and high value STEM science. Research investigates the enabling of wireless networks of devices to connect, collect and exchange data. Cutting edge research investigates Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as neural network, genetic algorithms and deep learning for data mining, smart system design and development, various bio-inspired optimum algorithms for product design and development by learning from nature. Further, research addresses the engineering competivity in science and technology development.

Projects

Growing Indonesia: a triangular Approach (GITA)

by Prof Neil Towers and Nadine Sulkowski

The European Union Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) (GITA Project 2017-2020 586244-EPP-1-2017-1-UK-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP) is a three year project led by the University of Gloucestershire. The aim is create a triangular approach to capacity building in the Indonesian HEI sector to include three streams of activities addressing the priority area of university-enterprise cooperation, entrepreneurship and employability of graduates. The project will also result in creating a virtual Learning Network including students, enterprises and other stakeholders that operates at the HEI level. The project includes seven Indonesian universities across Java in Indonesia with strong links to European HEIs, faith based universities, social enterprise based universities, and science subject lead universities. Three European partner HEIs whose expertise contributed to the triangular approach include the Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland), Fachhochschule des Mittelstands (Germany) and University of Innsbruck (Austria). DIT’s contribution included their HEInnovate self-assessment tool, which is a methodology to assess an HEIs innovative potential. FHM operate a “Competence Centre” that acts an interface between institution and the SME sector and thus promotes university-business collaboration, whereas UI has experience in running an entrepreneurship centre, the “InnCubator” in collaboration with the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

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Introducing Problem Based Learning in Moldova: (PBLMD)

by Dr Colin Simpson

Problem Based Learning is one of a number of student-centred pedagogies which have been widely adopted by modern universities, and which are often contrasted with traditional, didactic approaches to curriculum delivery. The project 561884-EPP-1-2015-1-DK-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP Introducing Problem Based Learning in Moldova: Toward Enhancing Students’ Competitiveness and Employability is a classic three-year project co-financed via the Erasmus + programme of the European Union aimed at capacity building in the institutions of transitional economies. As the UK partner in this project, UoG is working alongside partners in Germany, Denmark and Sweden with the aim of modernising the delivery of the Law, Business Management and Computing curricula of several Moldovan universities.

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Human Resource Management in Brunei

by Dr Tamer Darwish and Jocelyne Fleming

This is a research of institutions and the impact of HR practices on organisational performance in an emerging market setting. As such, this research seeks to evaluate the utility of more sophisticated HR practices where institutional arrangements may be less developed or more fluid, as well as on the relative incentives encouraging firms to make use of these practices in such contexts. This research provides performance-driven solutions that could add value to the wider business community in the country of Brunei and other comparable markets in South East Asia and beyond. This work is distributed through high-impact journal articles, conference presentations, research workshops and seminars, and initiatives with CIPD.

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Consultancy Development

by Dr David Dawson

Positive Leadership Practices

Bringing together philosophy and the study of business, the Positive Management Practices project examines how Virtue Ethics can help promote more ethical and productive organisational practices. Work over a period of 15 years has examined how stories of good practice influence our behaviours in the workplace, the virtues of good leaders and managers as people working in organisations see them, and how we can encourage virtuous practices in our leaders and managers. The project is currently focused on creating tools to support leaders and managers develop the virtues and the delivery of workshops using those tools.

The Human Resource Management Ethics Project

The HR Ethics Project monitors the landscape of ethical HR practice from the perspective of practitioners. Based on quadrennial surveys, the project has identified the areas considered to be of ethical concern in HR and is monitoring trends in their occurrence and severity of impact. Identifying the drivers of better performance on ethical issues in organisations is also a central goal of the project. Currently organisational support, driven by senior leadership, and the setting of clear standards have been identified as key to ethical HR. The results are disseminated through practitioner workshops, conference presentations, and research papers.

Supply Chain Visibility Audit Tool

by Prof Neil Towers and Dr Louise F. Reid​

The aim of the project is to bring together a strategic partnership to create a high quality vocational resource and training (VET) fashion supply chain visibility resource for the benefit of those engaged in the fashion sector in Europe. The main goal of the VET resource is to create knowledge to support a successfully functioning transnational European-based fashion supply chain by improving the visibility amongst supply chain members. Three European partner HEIs whose expertise contributed to developing the training tool include the Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland), Alexander Technological Educational Institute (Greece), Politechnico di Milano (Italy) and ESSCA School of Management (France). The project incorporates how training should be offered to the different members of the same international supply chain by taking the different cultural and economic background across the EU into consideration. The project creates a VET resource including a web based digital tool and training materials that address an established knowledge gap and provides an easily accessible resource for career orientated learners, and those that are least likely to take part in learning opportunities.

Fashion Retail Environment Simulation in Virtual and Augmented Reality Spaces

by Dr Louise F. Reid​, Dr Philippa Ward, Dr Don Parker and Dr Alan Marvell​

This fashion retail simulation project aims to design virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) stores to allow customers to engage with physical store and online store functions simultaneously. The project achieves this through commercial partnerships with virtual store design teams informed through the findings of a series of research streams at The University of Gloucestershire. The project output will be a viable VR/AR sales platform for rental by fashion organisations, the development of the technology required for garment visualisation and a simulation of the sensory consumption experience within an omnichannel retail store.

Three-dimensional Body Scanning

by Dr Louise F. Reid, Dr Philippa Ward​ and Prof Neil Towers​

Our three-dimensional body scanning project develops a diverse database of human body scans for use in virtual reality, garment design and three-dimensional printing applications. The project delivers consultancy for small and large organisations working in the fashion and healthcare industries. This project shall collaboratively seek government funding schemes, design a digital tool to determine body scan quality and conduct commercial technology validation studies. Our body scanning expertise allows collaboration across industries and research centres, the scope of which are continuously expanding.

Youth voting - Political Marketing Research: Democracy Threatened?

by Dr Stuart Hamner-Lloyd

Our research examines young (18-22) first-time voters' attitudes towards negative political advertising as well as their trust in politicians and political parties. It is the only long term academic research that has tracked first-time voters' attitudes since the 2001 General Election with the recent 2017 General Election data currently being analysed to investigate, for example, whether a 'Corbyn effect' existed. Our results suggest that negative advertising, particularly adverts directly attacking politicians rather than their policies, puts young people off politics and contributes to their non-voting behaviour. Similarly, our research confirms that distrust rather than trust of politicians and political parties exists amongst our first-time voters. This is also reflected in their levels of cynicism, lack of personal efficacy and alienation which also contributes to their non-voting behaviour. Thus, our research clearly shows that politicians behaviour and political party marketing strategy can directly threaten our democracy by creating successive generations of non-voters.

Bionic Principle and Key Technologies for Cell-Pulsation-Based Health Enhancement Systems

by Prof Shujun Zhang​, Dr Hassan Chizari and Prof Kamal Bechkoum

The health of living organisms is dependent on a cell’s condition and research shows that the more energetically a cell pulses, the healthier it is. This project employs scientific and engineering theories to study the relationship between electromagnetic signals and cell pulsations, with the aim of developing bionic technologies to enhance cell pulsations and, hence, their health, then the health of human beings and animals. This is an international collaboration project between the University of Gloucestershire, Imperial College, Jilin University and a number of companies in UK and China.

Deep Learning Meta-Models for Water Systems Optimisation

by Dr William Sayers​ and Dr Thomas Win​

The research utilised an adapted multi-objective optimisation algorithm called NSGA-II, adding onto this algorithm machine-learning based meta-models in a manner based on Learning Evolution Models for Multiple Objectives (LEMMO) to create the LEMMO-ANN algorithm and optimise drainage networks in terms of reduction of flood risk (measured economically as expected annual damage), and reduction of cost of necessary modifications to the drainage network being optimised.

A Smart Integrated E-business System for SEMs Employing E-Market Places (Such as ebay.com and Amazon.com) as Their Trading Platforms

by Prof Shujun Zhang and Dr Hassan Chizari

This is a planned Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with our industrial partner - G&Z Ltd - to research, design and develop a smart, fully integrated e-business system through the applications of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and data mining technology etc to enhance their business activities with increased operation efficiency and reduced daily costs. In this project, it is the first time to adopt the university developed technology to design and develop a smart SVG-based 3D inventory management system.

Research of Advanced Cyber Security Protocols Using Body Physiological Signals

by Dr Hassan Chizari​, Prof Shujun Zhang​ and Dr Paula Thomas​

The security of Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs) is an emerging area in research where classical cryptographic methods are not applicable in IMDs due to limitation of available resources. This project employs scientific and engineering theories to extract true randomness from body physiological signals, with the aim of developing advanced cryptographic methods for devices with scarce resources. This is a collaborative project between the University of Gloucestershire and Imperial College, funded by PETRAS hub and InnovativeUK.

Jockey Club and Irish Tourist Board

by Prof Neil Towers

The research examines the attendance pattern, motivational factors and economic footprints of Cheltenham four day festival attendees to identify patterns that will inform managerial decisions. The economic impact analysis (EIA) examined the effect of the 4 day event on the local Gloucestershire economy measuring visitor spending patterns and contribution to local GDP and their consequential impact within defined spend categories.

A subsequent study sought to estimate the direct economic impacts of attendees who travelled from Ireland for the 4 day Cheltenham Festival. It examined how much was spent whilst attending the festival with very interesting results on expenditure on tour packages, transportation, food & drinks (refreshment), accommodation, entry fees, and entertainment including betting, shopping and any other expenses.

Millennial purchasing decisions

by Prof Neil Towers

The shopper journey can cross a number of channels leading up to the point of a possible purchase, which may be unseen by the retailer or brand for the targeted purchase. This research gains a greater understanding of the decision making and purchase intention activity for online millennial shoppers in deciding what fashion garments to buy in the digital retail environment. The use of technology and social media involvement in the shopper journey leading up to the point of purchase is also an important facet. The research highlights a picture of shoppers going on very different shopper journeys with different lengths, influenced by different touch points and using different media and devices. Each customer has their own individual experience and expectation. Most striking is their willingness to reach out and be influenced by other people beyond the control of any retailer – using platforms that are not necessarily specifically related with any retailer. Moreover, for some or part of the digital journey the shopper can often be unseen by the retailer or brand.

Legal and Ethical Aspects of Uterus Transplantation

by Dr Natasha Hamond-Browning​

Research on uterus transplantation examines the legal, ethical and social implications of this novel transplant and reproductive technology. The aim of the research is to investigate attitudes of women with Absolute Uterine Factor Infertility and others towards uterus transplantation, legal difficulties of regulation, ethical issues, and to investigate selection and allocation criteria. This work is undertaken from a national and international perspective.

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