Management and Marketing - Doctoral Theses

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    Nurturing blue growth: enabling sustainable development of emerging marine sectors
    (University College Cork, 2024) Giannoumis, Jessica; Wheeler, Andrew; Dooley, Lawrence; Cummins, Valerie
    Current marine resource exploitation practices and management are unsustainable as resource degradation is ongoing and coastal regions struggle to realise sustainable development of marine resources. The key topic of this research is expanding knowledge on the reconciliation of environmental and economic models regarding the sustainable development of marine resources through the EU-introduced concept of blue growth. In the context of this research, blue growth refers to the sustainable development of marine resources, generating livelihoods, and securing well-being from innovation in emerging marine sectors. Blue growth development attracted interest across Europe and beyond, as the utilisation of marine resources is viewed as an opportunity to meet climate change obligations, enable a transition away from finite resources, and creating employment opportunities, thereby enabling long-term regional economic development. Blue growth development initially focused on the development of five emerging marine sectors with economic growth potential including coastal tourism, aquaculture, ocean renewable energy including offshore wind development, seabed mining, and marine biotechnology. Yet, EU coastal regions struggle with the realisation of blue growth as they received limited guidance from the European Commission on what blue growth is and what successful blue growth development looks like. This highlights a need to investigate what nurtures blue growth to enable coastal regions to realise their blue growth potential. This qualitative and interdisciplinary research focuses on the potential of blue growth in coastal regions focusing on the development of emerging marine sectors. In the context of this research, a region refers to coastal regions with common economic activities and characteristics, such as access to regionally specific marine resources, and common administrative characteristics such as specific political and governmental functions, e.g., regional economic development policies. Within the scope of this research, emerging sectors refer to rapidly growing industries utilising innovative technologies to enable sustainable development of regions, job creation, and technological advancement. This research investigates the manifestation and effectiveness of an EU intervention, the ProtoAtlantic project which includes regions of Orkney (SCT), Cork (IRE), Brest (FR), Porto (PT), and Las Palmas (SP) and two in-depth cases in Norway and Scotland. ProtoAtlantic was a Interreg Atlantic Area project, initially funded from November 2017 to October 2020, due to Covid-19, the project was extended to October 2021. The study harnessed an opportunity to engage with a wide range of multiple stakeholders representing stakeholders from government, industry, and academia. Data collection from the ProtoAtlantic cases included extensive desktop research and policy analysis of marine and generic development strategies in each case, analysis of regional blue growth stakeholder workshops which were carried out in each region, as well as analysis of additional material provided through the ProtoAtlantic project such as the outcomes of the ProtoAtlantic accelerator programme, and semi-structured interviews with nine regional stakeholders. The two deep dive cases included the offshore wind sector development around the DeepWind cluster in Scotland and the Norwegian aquaculture sector. Data collection from the in-depth cases included extensive desktop research and policy analysis of marine development strategies with particular focus on offshore wind development in Scotland and aquaculture development in Norway, in addition to 32 semi-structured interviews. To date, limited scientific attention has been paid to blue growth realisation from a marine governance perspective. Even less research has been undertaken to understand blue growth development from a business perspective. The research aim was to expand on how economic opportunities can catalyse sustainable development in a marine context. By achieving economic sustainability, coastal communities may consequently be in a better position to achieve environmental and social sustainability. The findings of this research address this research gap and provide practical contributions on how decisionmakers in coastal regions can nurture and realise their regional blue growth potential. In-depth analysis found that blue growth requires a systems approach which enables the integration of blue growth antecedents, this has been lacking from current marine management approaches. Furthermore, the study found that economic development approaches to marine resource management can secure well-being of coastal communities and ensure sustainable practices to marine resource utilisation. This research offers a modification of Ostrom’s Social-Ecological Systems framework, the expansions of the framework provide insight into collective action, the role of technology development, and the need for bespoke regional approaches to identify and realise blue growth. This research examines the role of regional stakeholders, the need for entrepreneurial activity and clustering activities in driving blue growth development and offers recommendations for policymakers and decisionmakers in coastal regions to nurture blue growth adoption and development. This research also presents a Practitioner’s Guide to Blue Growth which offers relevant questions to enable practitioners and intermediaries in the identification and realisation of their regional blue growth potential.
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    An investigation into how team resilience emerges in work
    (University College Cork, 2022) Dillon, Lorraine; O'Brien, Elaine; Sherman, Ultan; Leka, Stavroula; University College Cork
    Team resilience in the workplace has emerged as a significant topic of debate among organisational scholars. Team resilience is the ability of a team to positively adapt when faced with adversity. The aim of this research is to explore how team resilience emerges at work. This thesis combines two theoretical perspectives namely the job demands-resources theory and high-quality connections theory to explore the unique features of team resilience. Adopting a mixed methods approach, phase one consists of an online survey with 102 participants from the services and educational sector. Phase two draws on semi-structured interviews with 23 higher educational workers to explore their lived experiences of resilience within their teams specifically during Covid-19. Findings illustrate that while job demands predominately hinder the emergence of team resilience as they can be viewed as stressors, job resources have the opposite effect as they can be considered motivational. Findings also indicate that the quality of relationships play a major role in how team resilience emerges. This research articulates many contributions. Theoretically, this study brings together the job demands-resources and high-quality connections theory to explore how team resilience emerges. In doing so enables us to understand the individual and team level factors that impact team resilience and how these levels work together. Empirically, this thesis provides novel insights into the impact of Covid-19 on team resilience. Practically, this research calls attention to those factors that facilitate and inhibit the emergence of team resilience which holds particular relevance to organisations given ongoing efforts to develop resilience in workplaces in turbulent times.
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    Labour market segmentation and change: the case of female workers in the higher education sector in Saudi Arabia
    (University College Cork, 2023) Alqurashi, Bayan Naif A.; Leka, Stavroula; O'Brien, Elaine; Beck, Matthias
    Research indicates that female workers in the Middle East experience barriers in their labour market access and mobility. However, little is known about the impact of labour market modernization on the job and labour market experiences of this group of workers. This qualitative study was designed to explore, with a sample of female academics, the impact of labour market change on their jobs and working conditions. The rationale for this research emanates from the researcher’s desire to understand labour market change and the ways this change is impacting the job and labour market experiences of female workers. It was the researcher’s assumption that gaining a deep and holistic understanding of female workers’ job and labour market experiences would support the development of effective policy interventions that are attuned to the reality of female works in a changing segmented labour market and mitigate unintended negative consequences on their wellbeing. The purposefully selected sample was composed of 30 Saudi-national female academics who were drawn from different higher education institutions across Saudi Arabia. The primary data collection method was in-depth semi-structured interviews. The data was systematically coded and thematically analysed. Analysis and interpretation of findings were based on the literature review and answering the research three questions: (1) female workers’ mobility patterns and the labour market structure for female workers, (2) the ways institutional factors shape and impact academic jobs, and (3) psychosocial working conditions in academic jobs, their impact by labour market change, and implications for faculty wellbeing. This research found that female workers face a structural obstacle of limited job opportunity upon their entry to the labour market which forces them to compromise on the quality of their early career jobs. However, institutional change in the labour market is expanding their labour market opportunity. Second, public higher education institutions constitute internal labour markets where access to employment is controlled whereas private higher education institutions operate in an external competitive labour market where employment is subject to market factors. Third, the relationship the higher education institution has with state funding and the employment system followed in the employment of female academics differentiate compensation, employment stability, and employee training for this group of workers across the higher education labour market. Fourth, academic jobs are meaningful, include social support, and provide opportunity for development while at the same time lack job clarity in some areas, include restriction in job autonomy as well as time pressure. Nevertheless, academic jobs are considered good jobs by labour market standards and resourceful by organizational psychology standards and these characteristics combined render them supportive of faculty wellbeing. Recommendations are offered for future research, policy, and practice. Given the institutional complexity of the research context and acknowledging that context varies across cultures and economies, the research findings should be transferred to situations sharing key characteristics and the recommendations considered for their appropriateness for the situation of interest.
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    Hedonistic deconsumption and upcycling: active, emotional and pleasurable engagement with waste
    (University College Cork, 2019) O'Rourke, Grace; O'Sullivan, Stephen; Buckley, Joan
    A global environmental crisis and climate emergency have been declared. The planet cannot sustain current levels of resource depletion and waste production. To address this emergency, it is critical that we understand how sustainable consumption can become more widespread. Previous sustainable consumption research has directed attention towards passive or arduous forms of sustainable consumption (e.g. recycling), however, alternative practices such as freeganism, dumpster diving, and upcycling in particular, show emotional engagement with waste is evident, but underexplored. Alternative practices, and their apparent emotional and expressive nature, could hold the potential for a more widespread, celebrated culture of sustainable consumption as they hold attractive consumption characteristics. To gain an understanding of the pleasurable reasons to engage with sustainable consumption, and specifically upcycling, hedonism was used as a lens for this study. To understand the intricacies of the active, emotional and pleasurable nature of upcycling, a longitudinal immersive study was required. A blended-ethnography, consisting of traditional ethnographic data collection, supported by netnography (to understand online support networks) and visual ethnography (to understand object meanings), was required to capture the hands-on nature of the upcycling process. This study found that the elicitation of positive emotions plays a central role in the upcycling process. A conceptual framework illustrating the upcycling experience was developed, contributing to the ongoing research in the field of sustainable consumption. In practice, this study proposes that the facilitation of hedonistic deconsumption has the potential to contribute to degrowth strategies, and act as a desirable stepping stone towards a cleaner environment.
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    The role of cognitive-motivational traits in leader identity development: an expectancy theory perspective
    (University College Cork, 2022-11) Greeley, Sarah Ashley; Carbery, Ronan; McDonnell, Anthony; Barrett, Gillian; Irish Research Council
    Leader identity is the aspect of the self that is viewed as being and behaving as a leader. The development of leader identity is an important process to understand as it guides multiple facets of an individual’s leadership from affect to cognition and behavior, ultimately influencing leader and leadership development. However, there is little knowledge of how leader identities develop. While motivation is theorized to be integral to catalyzing leader identity development, no research has yet viewed leader identity development through a motivational lens. In not discerning the essential role of motivation in this process, complete understanding of leader identity development remains unclear, disallowing the practical application of this foundational leadership phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to understand the role of cognitive-motivational traits in instigating leader identity development. To clarify the antecedent relationship of motivation on leader identity development, this study develops a conceptual expectancy model which posits that self-efficacy, goal orientation, and perceived prototypicality instigate leader identity development through enhancing the motivation to engage in identity work. The conceptual model is tested by employing a three-wave, longitudinal, quantitative research design to track the rates of leader identity development of 109 individuals engaged in leadership development programs. Utilizing structural equation modeling and cross-lagged panel analyses, the findings reveal that self-efficacy and perceived prototypicality are the most influential in the development of a leader identity. However, these relationships weaken over time, suggesting that leader identity development experiences a plateauing effect. This study makes a significant theoretical contribution by advancing understanding of leader identity development as a function of expectancy perceptions. Self-efficacy and perceived prototypicality predict individual expectancies, which motivate active engagement in identity work, resulting in leader identity development. A critical methodological contribution is made through identifying a new factor structure within the currently accepted global measure of leader identity. This study suggests that to harness the power of leader identity development, it is important for organizations and practitioners to approach every stage of designing and implementing leadership development initiatives from an identity perspective. In doing so, organizations can begin to develop more effective leaders through placing a greater focus on the foundational role of leader identity within the broader leadership development process. This will have effects from the intrapersonal level of leader identity to the collective level of organizational leadership.