College of Business and Law - Masters by Research Theses

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    The information needs of prospective postgraduate students: a data placemats approach
    (University College Cork, 2023) Patton, Aaron; Sammon, David; Nagle, Tadhg
    This is an exploratory study into the information needs of final year students when considering a postgraduate offering. There is little academic evidence on such information needs in the Higher Education Institution (HEI) context, yet the challenges that HEIs face to design effective data-driven recruitment and marketing strategies, and the variability in information currently provided to prospective postgraduate students presents a real opportunity for further investigation. For the purposes of this research, we are focusing on final year business school students only (Cork University Business School) and their interest in postgraduate programmes within the business school and beyond. This allows the research to focus on the information needs for recruitment but also retention. Hearing the final year student voice in this research but also comparing it to the HEI recruitment personnel voice will highlight the alignment of the respective positions on information needs. It is expected that this research will lend itself to the prescription of design guidelines for information needs. These design guidelines would be of practical value to HEIs.
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    The efficient market hypothesis applied to greyhound racing
    (University College Cork, 2022) Gaine, Bill; Butler, Robert; Butler, David
    Despite a growing amount of literature applying the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) in sports betting markets (Angelini, Angelis, Singleton, 2019, Brechot and Flepp, 2020). Many sports, like horse racing, could be subject to corruption through shirking (Goodwin and Corral, 1996). Greyhound racing provides a unique sporting environment when testing betting market efficiency, where shirking is almost impossible. This study applies EMH to anecdotal evidence from the greyhound racing industry. A longstanding anecdotal belief in greyhound racing is that a dog placed in Trap Four of the six possible traps is the coffin trap. This belief implies that being in Trap Four reduces the chance of success in any given contest. This study used multiple iterations of a Poisson regression to perform three distinctive groups of regressions. This first included Pre-Race variables; the second included the determinants of finishing position: within-race bends, and finally, the third factored in the determinants of finishing position: trap dummies. The “coffin trap” theory holds weight; Trap Four significantly predicted race outcomes across each regression. Trap Three was also significant across most regressions, showing that it could also be considered a coffin trap. Interestingly, when either Trap Three or Trap Four were removed, either trap came out with an advantage over the other traps, indicating that avoiding crowding was crucial in determining race outcome. Greyhound racing provides a unique area to further investigate the EMH in sports betting markets without corruption through shirking. This study could be furthered in the future by incorporating the jurisdictions of Ireland and Australia and diverse types of races from different distances, hurdles or handicap races.
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    Exploring capabilities driving SME development of technological readiness within the marine sector
    (University College Cork, 2022-05-18) Sadeghi Gargari, Negar; Shinnick, Edward; Dooley, Lawrence
    SMEs contribute to the economy along with industrial expansion. However, there are challenges for SMEs in the present environment to keep pace with the turbulent technological advances, and most new technologies fail to traverse the gap between the proof-of-concept and prototype demonstrated in the relevant environment (valley of death between TRL 3 to 7). This requires detailed real-time information on the challenges of SMEs through the chronological evolution path and required capabilities to develop their technology and bring it to the market. Given the vast quantities of untapped renewable energy, the strategic importance of the sector and the emergence of a cluster of such SMEs, this exploratory study focused on how technology-based SMEs can develop technological, organisational, and managerial capabilities through their technology development to move from proof-of-concept to scalable prototyping through the technology readiness spectrum. For this purpose, the research started with a survey of the existing population for a broad understanding of the subject through 33 quantitative questionnaires. Then, three explorative interviews were conducted to delve into issues raised in questionnaire results, and finally, an in-depth analysis was carried out to assess the issues raised in questionnaires by nine qualitative case studies. The results showed that technology development programs do not only rely on technological capabilities and must prioritise organizational and managerial capabilities and outsource the capability gaps through partnerships with academic institutions, SMEs, large companies, and the customer market. In this regard, consistent learning from prior experiences and knowledge transfer between SMEs and large companies in the marine energy sector and other sectors is crucial for developing technological capabilities. Besides, experimental analysis and testing at test facilities and sites require a robust, scalable idea regarding the facilities' technical specifications. Furthermore, the findings highlighted the crucial role of financial resources, which can be achieved by writing convincing grant proposals or creating a cash flow in the firm. This can be achieved by increasing the focus on commercialization even at earlier TRLs by finding intermediary markets. All this can lead to developing organizational capabilities in a firm. Moreover, the results showed that besides technological and organizational capabilities, managerial capabilities and human skills could help SMEs through the valley of death, which requires training in management and business for technology developers. Finally, the networking and partnership capability is particularly significant to fill the capability gaps, which should be facilitated by government assistance. The research findings will contribute to improving the ability of SME marine renewable energy firms to develop their technology and bring it to the market for societal benefit. Implications for theory, marine energy technology developers and policy offer a deeper understanding of how we can better nurture marine-based SMEs in traversing across the valley of death (TRL3-TRL7) by developing technological, organizational, managerial, and external capabilities.
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    The analysis, design, and development of a digital contact tracing prototype application for the identification of passengers in the event of a biological threat scenario onboard an airplane
    (University College Cork, 2021-10-31) Gleeson, Michael; Neville, Karen Mary; Pope, Andrew
    With the ever-increasing global aviation network, contagion can spread anywhere in the world within 24 hours. As a result, the potential risk of introduction and spread of infectious disease is on the rise. With over four billion airline passengers in 2017 and over seven billion expected by 2036, the transmission of infectious diseases in-flight, such as influenza A (H1N1), TB, and potentially Ebola, is of the utmost concern to global health. In 2003, the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) showed the potential of a contagion to emerge, spread and affect the health, social and economic life of people globally. Most recently, we have experienced the global spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), its impact on travel, society (individually and as a whole), and on the global economy. The increased mobility of people, facilitated by increased air travel, has resulted in the increased spread of contagion, including the a greater awareness of bioterrorism agents, across geopolitical boundaries of the globe. Many practitioners and researchers agree that contact tracing represents an important factor in mitigating the global spread of a pandemic. This study aims to explore the analysis, design and development of a ‘contact tracing’ prototype application in relation to (but not limited to) airline passengers in the event of a biological threat or pandemic. The current paper-based method of contact tracing, using the passenger locator form, often results in incomplete passenger data and delays in the dissemination of this data. These limitations can lead to delayed identification of passengers at-risk of potential infection and can ultimately result in the increased spread of contagion. From these limitations, the objective of identifying the stakeholders and user requirements of a digital contract tracing application, and to prototype the design stemming from those identified requirements, was developed in this research, from the perspective of Emergency Management (EM). In the event of a biological threat or infectious viral outbreak, it is EM practitioners and public health officials who are responsible for the collection, collation and dissemination of airline passenger data for the purposes of contact tracing. Through engaging with these practitioners from the beginning of this research a clear set of end-user requirements was identified to better inform the design and development of a prototype contact tracing application. An analysis of existing commercial systems in this area also informed this research and by examining the current processes of application development and research methodology, the most appropriate means of application development was chosen. Through employing an agile development methodology coupled with action design research, a prototype contact tracing application was developed, with collaboration from the end-users at each stage of the development process. This study provides for a comprehensive and complete prototype application encompassing information systems technology to facilitate an appropriate means to rapidly collect and analyse passenger data in an efficient and effective manner. Evaluation of the prototype application was two-fold: functional testing was carried out at each iteration of development, and user acceptance testing was conducted at the final iteration ensuring that the prototype application satisfied the needs of the end-user.
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    Interactive linkages, non-interactive linkages, and innovative activity in the offshore renewable energy sector
    (University College Cork, 2021) Barrett, Shane; Crowley, Frank; Doran, Justin; O'Connor, Mari; European Regional Development Fund; Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme; The Selkie Project
    Previous firm level studies have provided evidence of a positive relationship between external knowledge linkages (interactive and non-interactive) and innovative activity. However, empirical evidence for the offshore renewable energy sector remains scarce. Using novel firm level data from a purpose-built survey, this paper examines the effect external linkages has on innovative activity. We find that more interactive linkages are positively related to more innovative activity. However, this relationship is subject to diminishing returns. In contrast, a significant relationship is absent for increased levels of non-interactive linkages and innovative activity. When the type of linkages is disaggregated to individual indicators, collaborating with suppliers, consultants, and accessing scientific journals are conducive for R&D activity and process innovation. Collaborating with customers is associated with the decision to introduce new products and processes. This paper suggests policymakers support backward linkages to suppliers and consultants by providing tax incentives for external R&D collaborations.