College of Business and Law - Masters by Research Theses
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- ItemExploring capabilities driving SME development of technological readiness within the marine sector(University College Cork, 2022-05-18) Sadeghi Gargari, Negar; Shinnick, Edward; Dooley, LawrenceSMEs 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.
- ItemThe 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, AndrewWith 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.
- ItemInteractive 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 ProjectPrevious 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.
- ItemExploring the benefit of apps operating under PSD2 to consumers(University College Cork, 2021-10-01) Horgan, Conor.; Mcavoy, John; Nagle, Tadhg; State StreetThe financial services industry has undergone major disruption as the evolution of information technology has necessitated an unprecedented change to business models. Regardless of whether financial institutions and consumers have resisted or accepted this change, the second iteration of the European Union’s Payment Services Directive (PSD2) has mandated the industry to adapt. Much has changed since 2015 when the directive was first introduced with financial institutions and third-party providers (TPPs) developing security architecture and optimising the experience for customers. There is time for reflection as PSD2 took effect on December 31st, 2020. The debate over whether the regulation is overzealous or not has continued since its inception. The purpose of this thesis is to determine whom PSD2 has benefited and to what extent. It contains three core chapters, each tackling a separate research question as part of the overarching research objective, examining how PSD2 benefits its stakeholders. The thesis begins with a literature review of the core concepts of PSD2. It investigates each concept to determine whether it benefits the key stakeholders: financial institutions, third-party providers, and consumers. The concepts of PSD2 are found to be improvements in the following: competition, innovation, affordability, customer experience, transparency, and security. The results suggest that PSD2 primarily benefits consumers who have availed of cheaper prices, improved innovation, and improved customer experience. These are a by-product of increasing competition in the market. This increase in competition has resulted from PSD2 removing the barriers of entry for TPPs who have naturally benefited from an influx of consumers to their platform. The results of this study also show that financial institutions have not benefited from PSD2 as their oligopoly has dissolved. This study supports the argument that the oligopoly was unsustainable regardless of the effects of PSD2. However, a consolation to financial institutions is that PSD2 at least ensures the emergence of third-party providers is accompanied by security standards that protect financial institutions’ customer data from TPPs with insufficient security. As the study develops, it continues by examining, through a quantitative survey, whether consumers experience the benefits of PSD2 in their interactions with applications operating under the regulation. The direction to study the benefits of PSD2 to its stakeholders through the lens of the consumer impact was influenced by two significant findings from the literature review: • Out of all stakeholders PSD2 benefits consumers the most • Financial intuitions and TPPs are mainly impacted by the uncertainty in devising the most optimised PSD2 strategy to attract more customers. Therefore, a survey which weighs the most impactful PSD2 benefits to consumers is a valuable study in shaping the strategy of financial institutions and TPPS Consequentially, chapters three and four examine both the importance of PSD2 benefits to consumers and the efficacy of producing the benefits in PSD2 enabled services thus far. This presents to what extent TPPs and financial institutions have been exposed to the PSD2 benefits that are only realised when customers adopt their PSD2 enabled services. In the quantitative study, consumers graded each of PSD2’s benefits as “very present” and “important” in their experience using financial services. Security improvements are graded by surveyed consumers as the most important PSD2 benefit. On the other hand, increased competition, improved innovation and improved transparency are graded as the least, second-lest and third-least important PSD2 benefit respectively by consumers. The survey results are further analysed in the final component of this study to understand whether PSD2’s security improvements have a positive or negative effect on the regulation’s other benefits. The effects are found to be positive by this study which suggests that security should be prioritised by applications implementing a strategy for PSD2. Overall, this study identifies aspects of PSD2 which companies should focus on to gain a competitive advantage. Similarly, it also identifies aspects which the European Union Commission should recognise as a success and an avenue to deliver future regulatory improvements.
- ItemAn examination of the deprivation amplification hypothesis: an application to GAA pitches in Ireland(University College Cork, 2022-05-06) O'Mullane, Colm; Butler, Robert; Butler, David; Eakins, JohnResearch Question – This study analyses the levels of accessibility to GAA pitches and aims to discern whether those who live in more deprived areas have worse levels of accessibility, in line with the deprivation amplification hypothesis proposed by Macintyre (2007). The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has existed since 1884 and is the governing body for indigenous Irish sports such as hurling and Gaelic football. GAA pitches are quite well dispersed throughout the country, which makes them ideal to gauge the levels of accessibility. Results and Findings – The likelihood of a GAA pitch being located in an electoral division is not affected by deprivation. It is found that in the majority of cases those living in more deprived areas do not have worse levels of accessibility to a GAA pitch. Those living in more deprived areas have a shorter distance to travel to a GAA pitch in an urban electoral division, but a longer distance to travel to a GAA pitch in a rural electoral division. Implications and Recommendations – The results of this study offer insights into the levels of accessibility for sport facilities in Ireland. These results can inform the strategic decision making of sporting bodies such as the GAA, as well as the Irish government and policymakers in regard to the allocation of sports funding and grants, as well as the location of new sporting facilities.