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  • 1.
    Borčak, Fedja
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Film and Literature.
    A Children’s Literature?: Subversive Infantilisation in Contemporary Bosnian-Herzegovinian Fiction2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The past two decades of political and social disintegration in Bosnia and Herzegovina have given birth to literary counterreactions against hegemonic ways of imagining social life in the country. This thesis deals with a particular practice in BosnianHerzegovinian war and post-war literature, which uses infantile perspectives to critically address issues related to the socialist history of Bosnia as part of Yugoslavia, the war in the 1990s, and the socalled transitional post-war period. Drawing on an old Western literary tradition of using the child character to estrange conventional experiences of the world, the texts (by authors such as Miljenko Jergović, Nenad Veličković, Alma Lazarevska, Aleksandar Hemon, and Saša Stanišić) use the skewing and dislocating outlook associated with the infantile subject to expose and undermine perceivably problematic mechanisms in socialist, ethnonationalist, and Western liberal hegemonic discourses.

    In contrast to previous research on the topic, which has primarily focussed upon the narratological conditions for the infantile perspective, the focus here is on the subversive infantilisation of hegemonic discourse—that is, the very discursive act of representing and contesting dominant concepts, narratives, and representations. The texts are seen as transitional areas through which input from the social world passes and, in this process, is restructured and ultimately transformed into a configuration slightly or radically different from the original input. Theoretically inspired by discourse theory and ideas from New Historicism, the study isolates and investigates a set of techniques through which this reconfiguration occurs. Apart from discussing the use of the basic infantile perspective as such a technique, the study also considers how the notion of the infantile influences techniques of dichotomisation (the production of positional counterpoints), appropriation (the critical subsuming of dominant discourse), and blending (the mixing of dominant and childish imagery).

    The thesis also addresses the possible political implications of the strategy of subversive infantilisation. Here the approach is influenced by the political philosophy of Jacques Rancière, which enables an understanding of the aesthetic reconfiguration of how Bosnian social life is imagined as a way of constituting a new form of subjectivity that evades the excluding and oppressive framework of hegemonic discourse.

  • 2.
    Kohen-Vacs, Dan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Media Technology.
    A Design and Development Approach for Deploying Web and Mobile Applications to Support Collaborative Seamless Learning Activities2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this thesis I address challenges related to the design, development anddeployment of web and mobile technologies used to support CollaborativeSeamless Learning (CSL) activities practiced across a variety of learningcontexts. The scientific publications at the core of this thesis offer adescription of the research I have performed over the last five years, andcomprise studies involving several hundred users.My research efforts included the elicitations of the requirements for and thedesign of a number of web and mobile tools to support collaborative seamlesslearning activities. A web-based environment called CeLS was developed tosupport the orchestration of CSL activities. It was then expanded to integratemobile solutions, aimed to extend the ability of CeLS to support educationalinteractions performed inside as well as outside physical classroom. Thesemobile solutions were designed to implement learning activities that supportdata collection, personal response systems and interaction with mobile videos.The main aim of the research was to investigate how best to design tools andsystems to support students during the enactment of collaborative seamlesslearning activities, and to provide teachers with artifacts to design and assessthose. Special emphasis has been given to the exploration of approaches thatenhance the flow, reusability and sharing of learner-generated content acrossdifferent learning activities. Several studies were conducted in order to validateand assess these ideas and concepts. Various data collection methods wereused to gather data from different stakeholders during the deployment of thedifferent CSL activities. The outcomes were processed and analyzed resultingin a set of recommendations concerning the design, development anddeployment of web and mobile applications to support collaborative seamlesslearning. A software architecture including various web and mobile integratedcomponents used to support innovative CSL activities is also proposed.

  • 3.
    Ivanov, Sergej
    Umeå University.
    A Transnational Study of Criticality in the History Learning Environment2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines conceptions of criticality and its instruction in the History learning environ- ment in Sweden, Russia, and Australia as evidenced in one sample upper secondary class in each country. To achieve this, data were collected at macro, micro and meso levels. At the macro level, elements of curriculum theory were used to analyse the policy framework provided to develop students’ criticality in the upper secondary History classroom and to identify the conceptions of criticality as manifested in the policy documents. At the micro level, a content-based, thematic analysis was used to examine how the teachers and student focus groups conceptualise criticality and the ways of its teaching and learning. At the meso level, the conceptions of criticality and its instruction modes identified in the policy documents and interviews were used to analyse the class- room data collected in the selected classes.

    The combined findings from the three levels of analysis provide a transnational account of criticality and its instruction. They suggest that criticality is conceptualised as a generic skill of questioning at the overarching curriculum level, whereas it is reconceptualised as a discipline- specific skill at the subject level. Discipline-specific conceptions include criticality as source criti- cism, as meaning making from historical evidence, as questioning historical narratives, and as educating for citizenship. The findings indicate that the visionary criticality objectives of the curricula might be obstructed at other policy levels and by the interviewees’ conceptions of criticality as well as the classroom practicalities.

    Based on the transnational findings, it is proposed that harmonisation between the curriculum contents and time allocation might contribute to the promotion of narrative diversity. As argued in the study, narrative diversity is a prerequisite for criticality as questioning historical narratives. To nurture this form of criticality, the policy makers might consider a shift of attention towards the lower stages of schooling that could equip upper secondary students with necessary background knowledge. Further, harmonisation between the teaching objectives and learning outcomes of basic History courses might help avoid excluding certain groups of students from receiving criticality instruction on unclear grounds. This might ensure the equity of education with regard to criticality instruction for all upper secondary students, as required in the national curricula in Sweden, Russia and Australia. 

  • 4.
    Bertos-Fortis, Mireia
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Baltic Sea phytoplankton in a changing environment2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Future climate scenarios in the Baltic Sea project increasing sea surface temperature, as well as increasing precipitation and river runoff resulting in decreased salinity. These changes can severely impact the dynamics and function of brackish water communities, specifically phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are a significant source of organic matter to other trophic levels, and some species can be toxic. Their response to future climate conditions is of great relevance for the health of humans and aquatic ecosystems. The aim of this thesis was to assess the potential for climate-induced changes, such as decreasing salinity, to affect phytoplankton dynamics, physiology and chemical profiles in the Baltic Sea.

         Phytoplankton successional patterns in the Baltic Proper consist of a spring bloom where diatoms and dinoflagellates co-occur and a summer bloom dominated by filamentous/colonial cyanobacteria. The consensus is that future warmer conditions will promote filamentous/colonial cyanobacteria blooms. This thesis shows that phytoplankton biomass in the spring bloom was lower in years with milder winters compared with cold winters. This suggests that in terms of annual carbon export to higher trophic levels, loss of biomass from the spring bloom is unlikely to be compensated by summer cyanobacteria. High frequency sampling of phytoplankton performed in this thesis revealed a strong relationship between the dynamics of pico- and filamentous cyanobacteria. Large genetic diversity was found in cyanobacterial populations with high niche differentiation among the same species. At community level, high temperature and low salinity were the main factors shaping the summer cyanobacterial composition. These conditions may promote the predominance of opportunistic filamentous cyanobacteria, e.g. Nodularia spumigena. This species produces various bioactive compounds, including non-ribosomal peptides such as the hepatotoxin nodularin. In this work, N. spumigena subpopulations evolved different physiological strategies, including chemical profiles, to cope with salinity stress. This high phenotypic plasticity ensures survival in future climate conditions. Under salinity stress, some subpopulations displayed shorter filaments as a trade-off. This indicates that the future freshening of the Baltic Sea may promote grazing on filamentous cyanobacteria and modify carbon flows in the ecosystem. In this thesis, Baltic N. spumigena chemotypes and genotypes grouped into two main clusters without influence of geographical origin. Thus, chemical profiling can be used to explore conspecific diversity in closely genetically related N. spumigena subpopulations.

         Overall, this thesis has significantly expanded the knowledge on phytoplankton community and population responses to short- and long-term environmental changes, relevant to project the impacts of future climate conditions in the Baltic Sea.

  • 5.
    Nielsen, Amanda
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Challenging Rightlessness: On Irregular Migrants and the Contestation of Welfare State Demarcation in Sweden2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis explores the political struggles that followed after the appearance of irregular migrants in Sweden. The analysis starts from the assumption that the group’s precarious circumstances of living disrupted the understanding of Sweden as an inclusive society and shed light on the limits of the welfare state’s inclusionary ambitions. The overarching analytical point of entry is accordingly that the appearance of irregular migrants constitutes an opening for contestation of the demarcation of the welfare state. The analysis draws on two strands of theory to explore this opening. Citizenship theory, first, provides insights about the contradictory logics of the welfare state, i.e. the fact that it rests on norms of equality and inclusion at the same time as it is premised on a fundamental exclusion of non-members. Discourse theory, furthermore, is brought in to make sense of the potential for contestation. The study approaches these struggles over demarcation through an analysis of the debates and claims-making that took place in the Swedish parliament between 1999 and 2014. The focal point of the analysis is the efforts to make sense of and respond to the predicament of the group. The study shows that efforts to secure rights and inclusion for the group revolved around two demands. The first demand, regularisation, aimed to secure rights for irregular migrants through status, i.e. through the granting of residence permits, whereas the second demand, access to social rights, aimed to secure rights through turning the group into right-bearers in the welfare state. The thesis concludes that the debates and claims-making during the 2000s resulted in a small, but significant, shift in policy. In 2013, new legislation was adopted that granted irregular migrants access to schooling and health- and medical care. I argue that this was an effect of successful campaigning that managed to establish these particular rights as human rights, and as such, rights that should be provided to all residents regardless of legal status. Overall, however, I conclude that there has been an absence of more radical contestation of the citizenship order, and of accompanying notions of rights and entitlement, in the debates studied.

  • 6.
    Nzima, Ibrahimu
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Competence-based Curriculum (CBC) in Tanzania: Tutors' Understanding and their Instructional Practices2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of the study is to investigate tutors’ understanding of a competence-based curriculum (CBC) and how they train the student-teachers to implement CBC in actual classroom situations in ordinary level (O-level) secondary schools in Tanzania.

    The study employed a qualitative research approach informed by the interpretive paradigm. It involved a total of 12 methodology tutors. The tutors were purposively and conveniently selected from four teachers’ colleges in Tanzania that offer the Diploma in Secondary Education. Data were generated through semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and document review methods. Deductive and inductive approaches as well as the hermeneutic phenomenology tradition informed data analysis and interpretations, respectively.

    The findings, in brief, reveal that in certain respects tutors understand CBC in relatively different ways and thus give it different meanings. Two main understandings with regard to CBC’s meaning and intentions are identified: CBC as an application-oriented curriculum and CBC as an activity-based curriculum. In the former, CBC is understood as a curriculum emphasising the building of learners’ ability to become practical, creative, and applying the skills they receive to solving real problems in daily life and become functional in society. In the latter, CBC is understood as nothing but a curriculum emphasising learning through activities in the classroom. The key difference between the two categories of understanding is that, in the latter category, tutors are less sensitive to applying what is learned beyond classroom and subject contexts. As for reasons for the CBC introduction in Tanzania, five categories of understanding are identified, such as education being too theoretical, coping with global trends, the desire for a creative and independent generation, external influences, and poor academic performance. Interestingly, all tutors held an understanding that the teaching approaches relevant for CBC are learner-centred approaches.

    Moreover, the findings reveal that tutors’ instructional practices contradicted their understanding of CBC as a curriculum that basically emphasises invisible pedagogic practices. The tutors’ instructional practices could be described as more teacher-centred, theoretical, and maintaining instructions of an authoritarian, rather than a learner-centred character, as the new curricula seem to emphasise. Lecture-dominated instructions characterised by strong framing and classification are the norm. The findings of tutors’ understandings and their instructional practices can be attributed to the various contextual factors coined as administrative, pedagogical, and physical and ecological factors. The results show that contextual cues are possibly more powerful factors to explain tutors’ instructional practices and they may thus need to be accorded due attention. The tutors proposed some conditions to establish a long-term framework for tutor learning to support educational change. The tutors’ ideas are theorized in a framework constituting a combination of such conditions as reflection, community, conceptual inputs, action, and an institution dealing with education change.

  • 7.
    Blomberg, Frida
    Lund University.
    Concreteness, Specificity and Emotional Content in Swedish Nouns: Neurocognitive Studies of Word Meaning2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The present thesis investigated Swedish nouns differing in concreteness, specificity and emotional content using linguistic, psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic methods. The focus of Paper I was a semantic analysis of discourse produced by a person with a lesion in visual (left occipital) cortex. The results showed that the lesion site was related to with problems processing concrete nouns related to visual semantic features, as well as nouns with high semantic specificity. Paper II compared Swedish ratings of the cognitive psychological parameters imageability, age of acquisition and familiarity to English ratings, showing correlations indicating that ratings can be transferred between the two languages. Suggestions for constructing a Swedish psycholinguistic database were also outlined. In Paper III, four noun categories differing in specificity and emotional arousal (SPECIFIC, GENERAL, EMOTIONAL, ABSTRACT) were compared using a dichotic listening paradigm and a concrete/abstract categorisation task. EMOTIONAL nouns were shown to be processed faster than the other noun categories when presented in the left ear, possibly indicating more right hemisphere involvement. In Paper IV, PSEUDOWORDS as well as SPECIFIC, GENERAL, EMOTIONAL and ABSTRACT nouns were compared during lexical decision and imageability rating tasks using electroencephalography (EEG), targeting the event-related potentials (ERPs) N400 and N700, previously shown to be modulated by concreteness. On the assumption that abstract nouns have a larger number of lexical associates than more concrete nouns, N400 amplitudes were predicted to be smaller for abstract nouns than for concrete nouns. This prediction was supported by the results. Notably, even SPECIFIC and GENERAL nouns were observed to elicit different N400 amplitudes, in accordance with their hierarchical relationship in lexical semantic models. Bringing together theories and methods from linguistics, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, the present interdisciplinary thesis provides insights into word semantics as regards differences related to the cognitive dimension of concreteness and its relation to sensory and emotional meaning features.

  • 8.
    Kirchner, Jens
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Computer Science.
    Context-Aware Optimized Service Selection with Focus on Consumer Preferences2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Cloud computing, mobile computing, Service-Oriented Computing (SOC), and Software as a Service (SaaS) indicate that the Internet emerges to an anonymous service market where service functionality can be dynamically and ubiquitously consumed. Among functionally similar services, service consumers are interested in the consumption of the services which perform best towards their optimization preferences. The experienced performance of a service at consumer side is expressed in its non-functional properties (NFPs). Selecting the best-fit service is an individual challenge as the preferences of consumers vary. Furthermore, service markets such as the Internet are characterized by perpetual change and complexity. The complex collaboration of system environments and networks as well as expected and unexpected incidents may result in various performance experiences of a specific service at consumer side. The consideration of certain call side aspects that may distinguish such differences in the experience of NFPs is reflected in various call contexts.

    Service optimization based on a collaborative knowledge base of previous experiences of other, similar consumers with similar preferences is a desirable foundation. The research work described in this dissertation aims at an individually optimized selection of services considering the individual call contexts that have an impact on the performance, or NFPs in general, of a service as well as the various consumer preferences. The presented approach exploits shared measurement information about the NFP behavior of a service gained from former service calls of previous consumptions. Gaining selection/recommendation knowledge from shared experience benefits existing as well as new consumers of a service before its (initial) consumption. Our approach solely focuses on the optimization and collaborative information exchange among service consumers. It does not require the contribution of service providers or other non-consuming entities. As a result, the contribution among the participating entities also contributes to their own overall optimization benefit. With the initial focus on a single-tier optimization, we additionally provide a conceptual solution to a multi-tier optimization approach for which our recommendation framework is prepared in general.

    For a consumer-sided optimization, we conducted a literature study of conference papers of the last decade in order to find out what NFPs are relevant for the selection and consumption of services. The ranked results of this study represent what a broad scientific community determined to be relevant NFPs for service selection.

    We analyzed two general approaches for the employment of machine learning methods within our recommendation framework as part of the preparation of the actual recommendation knowledge. Addressing a future service market that has not fully developed yet and due to the fact that it seems to be impossible to be aware of the actual NFP data of different Web services at identical call contexts, a real-world validation is a challenge. In order to conduct an evaluation and also validation that can be considered to be close approximations to reality with the flexibility to challenge the machine learning approaches and methods as well as the overall recommendation approach, we used generated NFP data whose characteristics are influenced by measurement data gained from real-world Web services.

    For the general approach with the better evaluation results and benefits ratio, we furthermore analyzed, implemented, and validated machine learning methods that can be employed for service recommendation. Within the validation, we could achieve up to 95% of the overall achievable performance (utility) gain with a machine learning method that is focused on drift detection, which in turn, tackles the change characteristic of the Internet being an anonymous service market.

  • 9.
    Chen, Yuanyuan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mathematics.
    Continuity and compositions of operators with kernels in ultra-test function and ultra-distribution spaces2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this thesis we consider continuity and positivity properties of pseudo-differential operators in Gelfand-Shilov and Pilipović spaces, and their distribution spaces. We also investigate composition property of pseudo-differential operators with symbols in quasi-Banach modulation spaces.

    We prove that positive elements with respect to the twisted convolutions, possesing Gevrey regularity of certain order at origin, belong to the Gelfand-Shilov space of the same order. We apply this result to positive semi-definite pseudo-differential operators, as well as show that the strongest Gevrey irregularity of kernels to positive semi-definite operators appear at the diagonals.

    We also prove that any linear operator with kernel in a Pilipović or Gelfand-Shilov space can be factorized by two operators in the same class. We give links on numerical approximations for such compositions and apply these composition rules to deduce estimates of singular values and establish Schatten-von Neumann properties for such operators.  

    Furthermore, we derive sufficient and necessary conditions for continuity of the Weyl product with symbols in quasi-Banach modulation spaces.

  • 10.
    Ponomareva, Yuliya
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
    Costs and Benefits of Delegation: Managerial Discretion as a Bridge between Strategic Management and Corporate Governance2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation addresses the question of effective delegation, exploring it through the concept of managerial discretion (i.e., a latitude of managerial actions, which lie in the zone of shareholders’ acceptance). While the corporate governance perspective on managerial discretion focuses mainly on the costs associated with delegation, the strategic management perspective emphasizes its benefits in creating value for the firm. Building on research in corporate governance and strategic management, this dissertation develops and empirically tests a theoretical framework that explains how the two distinct dimensions of managerial discretion jointly influence organizational outcomes. The proposed framework illuminates the importance of balance between the restraining and enabling decisions undertaken by professional managers. This dissertation makes a two-fold contribution to the field of corporate governance. First, it identifies and explains organizational and environmental forces that jointly shape strategic and governance dimensions of managerial discretion, redefining the concept. Second, it conceptually and empirically explores an integrative model of managerial discretion within the broader corporate governance framework, providing evidence of the joint effects of governance and strategic dimensions of discretion on organizational outcomes. The results suggest that the effect of governance dimension of managerial discretion on a firm’s performance is contingent on the strategic dimension of discretion. This draws attention to potential strategic implications of board monitoring over managerial decision making. While the majority of studies emphasize the benefits of increased control over managerial decision making, particularly stressing board monitoring, this dissertation also considers the benefits of delegation for firms’ strategic development. By reversing the polarity of the current emphasis on disciplining managers, this dissertation provides a more balanced view of the notion of corporate governance. The value of this approach derives from the integrated model, which highlights the benefits and the costs of delegation. 

  • 11.
    Gardesten, Jens
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    "Den nödvändiga grunden": underkännanden och erkännanden under lärarutbildningens verksamhetsförlagda delar2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The thesis builds on how contemporary policy documents express an interest in gatekeeping and in controlling teacher competence, for instance in the form of aptitude tests before teacher education or during practicum in teacher education. The thesis is hence characterised by a general interest in teacher competence and what in the governmental official report SOU 2008:109 is referred to as “the essential basis” in terms of teacher competence – a metaphor that serves as a key notion in the thesis. By analysing interviews and surveys from teacher educators who have been involved in failing student teachers during practicum, the aim is to identify what is considered to be the content of this essential basis. The results indicate that the essential basis contains communicative and relational aspects of teaching, about the ability to take space (oneself) and make space (for others). The most fundamental part is however the ability to assume adult responsibility and maturity in relation to children/pupils in pre-school/school. This is described as an important initial value for teacher education and a desirable ”baseline” for those starting a teacher education. However, informants describe how it is possible within teacher education to work in multiple ways with students who need to learn how to distinctly take space (themselves), in order to then assume a more active role in teaching and in the interaction with children or adolescents. An approach based on a theory of recognition and the concept of social visibility (Heidegren, 2009) is used in this part of the analysis, in order to understand the informants’ description of what usually happens when student teachers develop this essential teacher ability. The interpretation is also backed by Polanyi’s theory on tacit knowledge (1962; 1966/2013). Moreover, findings indicate that the “gate” sometimes opens, even though teacher educators doubt whether the student teacher has developed an essential basis or not. An argument for this is that school is a workplace that ”cleans out rather briskly”, as one supervisor puts it, and school is ”not an easy environment to hold on to”. In brief, school itself is regarded to be an active gatekeeper after teacher education. This might explain the tendency to sometimes pass rather than to fail during teacher education. Therefore the thesis suggests and discusses that teacher education from the very beginning pursue what can be characterised as a “pedagogy of honesty”.


  • 12.
    Stevenson-Ågren, Jean
    University of Sheffield, UK.
    Documentation of Vital Signs in Electronic Health Records: A Patient Safety Issue2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and aim: Hospitals in the developed world are increasingly adopting digital systems such as electronic health records (EHRs) for all kinds of documentation. This move means that traditional paper case notes and nursing records are often documented in EHRs. Documentation of vital signs is important for monitoring a patient's physiological condition and how vital signs are presented in a clinical record can have a profound impact on the ability of clinicians to recognise changes, such as deterioration in a patient's condition. Vital signs have received minimal attention with regard to how they are documented in EHRs which suggests that there is an urgent need for this to be examined.


    Design, methodology and approach: A mixed methods study was conducted in a 372-bed county hospital in two phases. Phase one was a quantitative study, and was followed by a qualitative study in phase two. The aim of the quantitative study was to examine the vital signs documented in the electronic health records of patients who had previously suffered a cardiac arrest. The aim of the qualitative study was to investigate how medical and nursing staff measured, reported and retrieved information on vital signs. Observations were made and interviews were conducted in four clinical areas.


    Findings: The quantitative study found that documentation of vital signs was incomplete in relation to current universal standards for monitoring vital signs, and that vital signs were dispersed inconsistently throughout the EHR. The qualitative study provided a detailed understanding of the routines and practices for monitoring vital signs and demonstrated variation in routines and in methods of documentation in the four clinical areas. Documenting and retrieving vital signs in the EHR was problematic because of usability issues and led to workflow problems. Workflow problems were solved at ward level by the creation of paper workarounds.


    Contribution to knowledge: This thesis has shown that poor facilities for the documentation of vital signs in EHRs could have a negative impact on patient safety because it reduces the possibility of good record keeping. This leads to limited availability of easily accessible, up-to-date information, essential for identifying clinical deterioration and, thus, is a challenge to patient safety. Related to this, the thesis has identified possible solutions to usability problems in the EHR. Inconsistent routines and practices were also identified and suggestions were made for how this problem might be approached.

  • 13.
    Martins, Rafael Messias
    University of São Paulo, Brazil ; University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
    Explanatory visualization of multidimensional projections2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    One way of getting insight into large data collections (known nowadays under the name of ‘big data’) is by depicting them visually and next interactively exploring the resulting visualizations. However, both the number of data points or measurements, and the number of dimensions describing each measurement, can be very large – much like a data table can have many rows and columns. Visualizing such so-called high-dimensional datasets is very challenging. One way to do this is to construct low (two or three) dimensional depictions of the data, and find patterns of interest in these depictions rather than in the original high-dimensional data. Techniques that perform this, called projections, have several advantages – they are visually scalable, work well with noisy data, and are fast to compute. However, a major limitation they have is that they generate hard-to-interpret images for the average user.

    We approach this problem in this thesis from several angles – by showing where errors appear in the projection, and by explaining projections in terms of the original high dimensions both locally and globally. Our proposed mechanisms are simple to learn, computationally scalable, and easy to add to any data exploration pipeline using any type of projection. We demonstrate and validate our proposals on several applications using data from measurements, scientific simulations, software engineering, and networks.

  • 14.
    Donoso, Alejandra
    Stockholm University.
    Expresiones de movimiento en español como segunda lengua y como lengua heredada: Conceptualización y entrega del Camino, la Manera y la Base2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The current thesis is based on four individual studies which aim to account for the expression of motion events (ME) in Spanish and Swedish as first languages (L1), in Swedish as a second language (L2), and in Spanish as a heritage language (SHL). The data, resulting from audio-recordings of different sorts of stimuli, have been analyzed with special focus on (1) the most common structures used for referring to various types of ME, (2) the types and amount of information provided by the participants, in particular as regards the semantic components Path, Manner and Ground, and (3) grammatical aspect and types of syntactic structures resorted to, including the correlation between the two latter factors and speakers’ discursive preferences.

         Study 1 sets out to explore how Spanish and Swedish native speakers convey information about motion. The results show that the Swedish L1 speakers produced a wider range of descriptions concerning Manner and Path than the Spanish L1 speakers; furthermore, both groups delivered detailed Ground descriptions, although the Swedish native speakers expressed final destinations (endpoints) of ME to a greater extent.

         Study 2 aims to investigate to what extent Swedish L1 patterns for motion encoding are still at play in the acquisition of Spanish L2 even at advanced stages of L2 acquisition. The results show that the learner group used a larger amount of Path particles and Ground adjuncts (in particular those referring to endpoints) than did the Spanish natives; this finding supports the claim that L2 learners rely on the lexicalization patterns of their L1 when describing ME in an L2. As for Manner, the L2 speakers were found to express this component mainly outside the verb, and to deliver more information about Manner than the Spanish natives.

         Study 3 addresses the construal of ME in Swedish speakers of L2 Spanish, in particular concerning the encoding of motion endpoints and Manner of motion. The results show that the Swedish learners of Spanish exhibited the same, high frequencies of endpoint marking as did their monolingual Swedish peers, thus deviating from the Spanish native pattern. Moreover, the L2 speakers used the same amount of Manner verbs as did the Spanish natives but tended consistently to provide additional Manner information in periphrastic constructions.

         Finally, Study 4 sets out to analyze the ways in which L1 Spanish/L2 Swedish early and late bilinguals express ME in SHL. The aim is to show in which ways and to what extent the typological patterns for motion encoding in the L2 may impact on motion encoding in the L1 with regard to three parameters: (1) age of onset (AO) of the acquisition of L2, (2) length of residence (LoR) in the L2 environment and (3) contact level with the L1 (CL). The focus data, consisting of oral re-tellings produced by the bilinguals, were compared to analogous data produced by two control groups (native speakers of Spanish and Swedish) in order to analyze conflation patterns regarding Manner, Path and Ground information. The analysis points to the conclusion that both the individuals’ AO of L2 acquisition and their LoR in the L2 environment have affected their L1 conceptualization patterns while their CL plays a subordinate role.

         In summary, the findings lend support to the idea that the habitual conceptualization of events in the L1 influences L2 acquisition; conversely, the conceptual patterns of the L2 have an impact on L1 usage in bilinguals, especially in combination with an early AO and a long LoR.

  • 15.
    Nilsson, Bengt
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology.
    Extraction of logging residues for bioenergy: effects of operational methods on fuel quality and biomass losses in the forest2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Wood products play a key role in the transformation to a more sustainable society based on renewable bio-based resources, together with the positive effects on climate mitigation by replacing fossil fuels. However, to increase the use of forest fuel in practice it is important to understand the effects of handling and storage on its quality and removal of nutrients from the forest. This thesis addresses these effects with special focus on a comparative evaluation of the traditional dried-stacked with “new” and to some extent more controversial fresh-stacked methods for extraction of logging residues from Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst).

    The results indicate that a normal extraction of logging residues will leave at least 20% of logging residues at the clear-felled area, in accordance with Swedish Forest Agency recommendations. However, the results also indicate that the ambition of the dried-stacked method to leave the majority of the needles well spread over the clear-felled area does not meet these recommendations. In fact, the harvesting operation is more important than the extraction method, with respect to how much logging residues (nutrients) being left in the forest. The results also show that the quality of fuel yielded by the two handling methods differs only to minor extent, indicating that other factors have stronger effects, where “dried-stacked” and “fresh-stacked” logging residues from different clear-felling areas is often similar. Generally, logging residues stored over summer (regardless method), seem to provide sufficiently dry forest fuel, with a needle content of about 5–10%. There is a clear correlation between drying and effective loss of needles from twigs, but the loss does not necessarily mean that the needles will remain in the forest.  However, needle color (green or brown) is not a strong indicator for a reduction in needle content.

    Acceptance of the fresh-stacked method would provide opportunities for the development of new technologies, more efficient use of machinery throughout the whole year, reduced costs, shorter lead times and increased amounts of logging residues extracted from each clear-felled area. This is mainly because it would enable extraction at optimal times from a logistical, financial and/or forestry perspectives.

    Written in English with summary and conclusion in Swedish.

  • 16.
    Berger, Tobias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Fluoride in surface water and groundwater in southeast Sweden: sources, controls and risk aspects2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to determine the sources, controls and risk aspects of fluoride in surface water and groundwater in a region of southeastern Sweden where the fluorine-rich 1.45 Ga circular Götemar granite (5 km in diameter) crops out in the surrounding 1.8 Ga granites and quartz monzodiorites (TIB rocks). The materials of this thesis include both primary data, collected for the purpose of this thesis, and a large set of secondary data, retrieved from the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., the Swedish Geological Survey and the Kalmar County Council. A characteristic feature of the area is high fluoride concentrations in all kinds of natural waters, including surface waters (such as streams) and groundwater in both the Quaternary deposits (regolith groundwater) and bedrock fractures (fracture groundwater). A number of potential sources and controls of the high fluoride concentrations were investigated, including a variety of geological, mineralogical, mineral-chemical and hydrological features and processes. For the stream waters and regolith groundwater, high fluoride concentrations were correlated with the location of the Götemar granite. This finding is explained by the discharge of fluoride-rich groundwater from fractures in the bedrock and/or the release of fluoride due to the weathering of fluorine-bearing minerals in the Quaternary deposits; however, the Quaternary deposits had considerably lower fluoride concentrations than the underlying bedrock. The high fluoride concentrations in the fresh fracture groundwater (up to 7.4 mg/L) in the TIB-rocks are proposed to be the result of long residence times and the alteration/dissolution of fluorine-bearing primary and secondary minerals along the fracture walls. In terms of risk aspects, this thesis shows that fluoride can add to the transport and inorganic complexation of aluminium in humic-rich, acidic streams. Additionally, 24 % of the children in households with private wells in Kalmar County were assessed to be at risk of excess fluoride intake based on the WHO drinking water guideline value (1.5 mg/L). However, the risk increased significantly when instead the US EPA reference dose (0.06 mg/kg-day) was used, both when all relevant exposure pathways were taken into account as well as water consumption alone. Hence, it is shown that the risk of an excess intake of fluoride is strongly dependent on the basis for evaluation.

  • 17.
    Poggio, Eleonora
    Pablo de Olavide University, Spain.
    Foráneos y arraigados: Migración, inclusión y exclusión social de neerlandeses y alemanes en Nueva España, 1560-16502016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [es]

    Este trabajo estudia la evolución y el desarrollo de la comunidad neerlandesa y alemana que formó parte de la sociedad del virreinato de la Nueva España entre 1560 y 1650. Trata sobre las formas de inclusión y exclusión social, tanto al interior del grupo como con los otros agentes sociales en las relaciones verticales y horizontales a su alrededor. Es un trabajo que analiza la migración de larga distancia entre el norte de Europa y América, la formación de cadenas migratorias y el impacto social y económico de estos movimientos de pequeña escala para las sociedades locales y en el conjunto de la monarquía. En la base de todo lo anterior, esta tesis busca ampliar el conocimiento sobre la extensión indiana de los vínculos de interrelación y dependencia, de los intereses comunes, la colaboración y de los conflictos de las comunidades de septentrionales dentro de las redes sociales que componían el complejo entramado multicultural de la Monarquía Hispánica.

  • 18. Olteanu, Lucian
    Framgångsrik kommunikation i matematikklassrummet2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The research for this thesis was done to examine, describe and understand the ways in which mathematical content (algebra) is communicated in classrooms. It also sought to identify the opportunities that allow successful classroom communication.

    The educational design research approach in this study was used to understand the connection between teaching, communication and students' learning. The empirical material consisted of video-recorded lessons, observations, students’ tests and teachers’ written reports of the instructions for lessons. The empirical material was analysed using concepts relating to variation theory, strong compositionality and research results found in mathematics education.

    Some important findings have been found in this thesis. Communicative success is linked to a hierarchic structure of communicative events with a strong compositionality. It is also linked to the discernment of the structure of algebraic objects. This structure is a relation between para- and proto-mathematical concepts and a form of composition with a semantic character. Teachers support successful classroom communication by using research results found in mathematics education to open up patterns of variation in the critical aspects of an object of learning. Similarity is a pattern identified in this study, and it is defined as the property of two or more expressions to adapt the same meaning. Teachers also support successful classroom communication through a systematic analysis of the parts of an object of learning, relations between parts, how to relate the parts to each other in different ways, the relation between the parts, the relation between the parts and the whole as well as the relation between different wholes. Through and around tasks, teachers and students are communicating successfully or not according to the opportunities provided in the classroom to work out the meaning of the whole by understanding the meaning of the simple parts, the semantic significance of a finite number of syntactic modes of composition, and by recognizing how the whole is made up out of simple parts. If the choice/construction of tasks is focused on what may vary and what stays invariant, students' opportunities to distinguish aspects that could lead to algebraic generalizations are improved. One of the values of this study is in the design of the project that contributes to integration of research results found in mathematics education, in teachers' practice. In addition, a value of the study lies in its operational definition of the concept of communication, which can be used to study successful communication. Communication is a collectively performed patterned activity in which an aspect that is critical for one or more students (A) is focused on by the action of the teacher or other students (B) so that A discerns the aspects focused on by B.

  • 19.
    Torres-Ortega, Rosalina
    Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.
    From market orientation to orientation towards international marjets (OIM) of born global firms: evaluating the impact of OIM on born global firms' performance2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Although there is a considerable amount of research on market orientation, research on this concept in the context of born global firms is still lacking a precise definition and full operationalization. This research aims to investigate how the market orientation (MO) concept could be understood for a specific type of firm: the born global firm. The thesis is framed around three studies.

    First, an exploratory study that was developed by performing qualitative interviews in a sample of five Spanish firms from different sectors which had international activity. The data were analyzed using cross-case analysis. The results suggests that the market orientation concept should be developed into the concept of orientation towards international markets (OIM) for born global firms. This study also provides the components for measuring this orientation in this type of firm.

    Second, using samples of born global firms from the Nordic countries and Spain, we assess the dimensionality of OIM by considering the optimal number of scale items, with the exception of the network construct, and assess the measurement invariance of the construct across the samples. The results support the conceptualization of OIM as a multidimensional construct, using customer orientation, competitor orientation, interfunctional coordination, and innovativeness and technological capability. Measurement invariance was assessed using multi-group confirmatory factor analysis. The factors outlined above have a similar dimensionality and factor structure across countries.

    Finally the third study, examines how the extended concept of market orientation for born global firms that we have called OIM affects business performance, as measured by customer performance and financial performance, in the context of born global firms, and whether this effect varies between countries. The results show that the OIM components have a positive and significant effect on business performance in born global firms in both contexts (Nordic and Spanish companies) through customer and financial performance.

    Based on these research findings, the thesis‘s main theoretical contribution is the suggestion of how MO should be conceptualized for BG firms. Our findings provide evidence that it is necessary to incorporate components that relate to the international scope of this type of firm, with the concept of OIM. From a business practice perspective, this dissertation suggested that the scale we have developed can provide a reliable and valid analytical tool for assessing the orientation towards international markets of these firms. Thus born global managers may adopt the scale for a better understanding of the reality of foreign markets and to develop effective strategies to attract and retain customers in different markets overseas.

  • 20.
    Muthusamy, Sarala Devi
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Functional Profiling Of Metabolic Regulation In Marine Bacteria2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Oceans are powered by active, metabolically diverse microorganisms, which are important in regulating biogeochemical cycles on Earth. Most of the ocean surface is often limited by nutrients, influencing bacterial growth and activities. Bacterial adaptation to fluctuating environmental conditions involves extensive reprogramming, and redirection of bacterial metabolism and physiology. In this thesis, I investigated the molecular mechanisms of bacterial adaptation strategies to sustain their growth and survival, focusing on the regulation of gene and protein expression in heterotrophic marine bacteria.

    Comparative proteomics analyses of the growth and non-growth conditions, uncovered central adaptations that marine bacteria employ to allow them to change their metabolism to support exponential growth in response to nutrients and to readjust to stationary phase under nutrient limitation. Our results highlight that during nutrient rich conditions three distinct bacteria lineages have great similarities in their proteome. On the other hand, we observed pronounced differences in behavior between taxa during stationary phase.

    Analyses of the proteorhodopsin containing bacterium Vibrio sp. AND4 during starvation showed that significantly improved survival in the light compared to darkness. Notably, proteins involved in promoting cell vitality and survival had higher relative abundance under light. In contrast, cells in the dark need to degrade their endogenous resources to support their basic cellular demands under starvation. Thus, light strongly influences how PR-containing bacteria organize their molecular composition in response to starvation.

    Study of alternative energy generation metabolisms in the Alphaproteobacteria Phaeobacter sp. MED193 showed that the addition of thiosulfate enhanced the bacterial growth yields. Concomitantly, inorganic sulfur oxidation gene expression increased with thiosulfate compared to controls. Moreover, thiosulfate stimulated protein synthesis and anaplerotic CO2 fixation. These findings imply that this bacterium could use their lithotrophic potential to gain additional energy from sulfur oxidation for both improving their growth and survival.

    This thesis concludes that analyses in model organisms under defined growth conditions gives invaluable knowledge about the regulatory networks and physiological strategies that ensure the growth and survival of heterotrophic bacteria. This is critically important for interpreting bacterial responses to dynamic environmental changes.

    Moreover, these analyses are crucial for understanding genetic and proteomic responses in microbial communities or uncultivated organisms in terms of defining ecological niches of planktonic bacteria

  • 21.
    Nilsson, Ola
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
    Förtroendeperspektiv på aktiebolagsrevision2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation is motivated by the circumstance that theoretical discussions of statutory auditing are dominated by the principal-agent perspective. The effect of this has been so pervasive that general assumptions characterising the principal-agent perspective may have become regarded as true. On this basis, there are fears that important decisions, for example, could be made on erroneous grounds, as principal-agent perspectives essentially lack external validity. Critics have pointed out that the basic assumptions of the principalagent theoretical perspective – that individuals always act out of self-interest and that there is a constant risk of opportunism – become too general and need to be made more nuanced. It has been argued that trust, which may be regarded as a contrasting concept to self-interest and opportunism, might be integrated to support external validity. It may also be noted that this term – trust – has become a catchword for describing the significance and role of auditing in the practical discourse. These arguments support the relevance of this dissertation, where the overall purpose is to elaborate on a theoretical perspective on the statutory auditing including trust. This will contribute to explaining and understanding statutory auditing in a way that balances the currently dominant theoretical perspectives on auditing.

    The dissertation accomplishes this in three related ways building on three parts. The first of these aims to substantiate a theoretical proposition based on trust theory. It focuses on clarifying various dimensions of trust which may contribute to analysing the role and significance of auditing. The second is an empirical study aimed at elucidating auditing from a systems perspective and contains a historical analysis in which texts are used to reproduce and analyse some of the developments on the basis of the theoretical framework. The third is an empirical study which concerns auditing from an investors perspective. It is based on a survey of equity investors in companies listed on the Stockholm stock exchange, and also based on the theoretical framework. The two empirical studies contribute to substantiating the proposition that trust is a concept that should be integrated in theories explaining the role and function of auditing.

  • 22.
    Smirthwaite, Goldina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Genom genuslinser: Om patienters jämställdhet i tillgång till operation av gråstarr i Sverige2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The aim was to examine waiting times for cataract extraction in Sweden from an intersectional gender perspective; quantitative with regard to waiting times for different patient groups, and qualitative in order to identify factors that might contribute to gender differences in waiting time. Furthermore, the aim was to examine implications of critical realism and situated knowledges for studies of gender differences among patients regarding access to cataract extraction and more generally as grounds for studies of (in)equity in care.


    Methods: Studies I and II were register studies, and linear regression was performed in Study I and logistic regression in Study II. Mean waiting times for female and male patients were calculated in both studies. In Study III, focus group interviews were conducted at two eye clinics with differences in gender-related waiting times. The analysis method used was constructivist grounded theory, and text analyses were performed in Study IV.


    Main findings: Longer waiting times were associated with patients who were female, retired, of higher age, born outside the Nordic countries, having lower income, lacking education at university level and not being categorized by means of NIKE. Female patients had longer waiting time in all categories.

    The following factors might contribute to why female patients have longer waiting times: Traditional male occupations were constructed as being more demanding for visual acuity, while the need for good visual acuity in women’s work life was questioned; Assertive behaviour among men was explained in legitimizing ways; Behaviour among men with poor vision was constructed as safety risks in relation to driving and hunting. Concerning meta-theoretical aspects, both critical realism and situated knowledges can be fruitful for studies of (in)equity in care but are to some degree incompatible with each other.


    Conclusions: Differences in waiting times at eye clinics can be related to gender constructions. The prevailing pattern of female cataract patients systematically having longer waiting time than male patients that emerges in this thesis is noteworthy in relation to the principle of equity in care. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that waiting times were related to age, retirement, and native country as well as income and education levels.

  • 23.
    Akeab, Imad
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering.
    High frequency scattering and spectral methods2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of five parts. The first part is an introduction with references to some recent work on 2D electromagnetic scattering problems at high frequencies. It also presents the basic integral equation types for impenetrable objects and the standard elements of the method of moments. An overview of frequency modulated radar at low frequencies is followed by summaries of the papers.

    Paper I presents an accurate implementation of the method of moments for a perfectly conducting cylinder. A scaling for the rapid variation of the solution improves accuracy. At high frequencies, the method of moments leads to a large dense system of equations. Sparsity in this system is obtained by the modification of the path in the integral equation. The modified path reduces the accuracy in the deep shadow.

    In paper II, a hybrid method is used to handle the standing waves that are prominent in the shadow for the cylindrical TE case. The shadow region is treated separately, in a hybrid scheme based on a priori knowledge about the solution. An accurate method to combine solutions in this hybrid scheme is presented.

    In paper III, the surface current in the shadow zone of a convex or a concave scatterer is approximated by extracting the dominant waves. An accurate technique based on the symmetric discrete Fourier transform is used to extract the complex wavenumbers and amplitudes for those waves. The dominant waves constitute a concise form of scaling that is used to improve the performance of the method of moments. The effect of surface curvature on the dominant waves has been investigated in this work.

    In paper IV, frequency modulated continuous wave radar (FMCW) at low frequency is studied as a way to locate targets that are normally not detected by conventional radar. Three separate platforms with isotropic antennas are used for this purpose. The trilateration method is a way to locate the targets accurately by means of spectral techniques.

    The problem of ghost targets has been studied for monostatic and multistatic radar. In the case of confluent echoes in the spectra, potentially missing echoes are reinserted in order to locate all targets. The Capon method is used to obtain high resolution spectra and thus reduce the confluence problem. The need for bandwidth is also reduced.

  • 24.
    Wellfelt, Emilie
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
    Historyscapes in Alor: Approaching indigenous history in Eastern Indonesia2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis deals with history and history-making practices in Alor, a small island in southeastern Indonesia. As in all of Indonesia, the people of Alor have experienced European colonialism, and after independence, a period of centralised, authoritarian rule under the New Order (1965-1998). This regime focussed heavily on Indonesia as a united entity, and history was an instrument used in building the nation.

    Democratisation and decentralisation reforms after 1998 saw interest in formulating the history of the region, village or group rather than the nation blossom. My research took place in the history boom of the 2000s when recording history was a task of urgency for many in Alor. A theoretical and methodological challenge rose from the observation of two different approaches to history, each with separate understandings of what ‘history’ is and what its sources are: ‘academic history’ and ‘indigenous history’. Academic history is concerned with time and dates; indigenous history emphasises spatiality and place. Academic history tends to rely on archival sources and is concerned with establishing chronologies of events. By contrast, indigenous history in Alor is based on oral sources, objects preserved locally, and stories rooted in the landscape. Indigenous histories may include non-human actors like dragons or sea-people living in underwater villages. In academic history, such accounts are discarded as legends or myths of no relevance to history. In this thesis, the ontological gap between these two modes of history is central. I argue that indigenous stories reveal much about historical experiences. The realism claimed by academic history is just another human construct of the past.

    In the thesis, I develop the idea of a ‘historyscape’ as a methodological tool for handling indigenous histories displaying a wealth of narrators, stories and themes relating to the past. ‘Historyscapes’ is a term which unites conceptual and geographical understandings of an area or realm. A historyscape is shaped and marked off from other areas by stories and perceptions about, as well as experiences from, a shared past. Applied to Alor, the historyscape methodology reveals geographies based on the manner groups and areas connect to each other through key stories. For Alor, I establish four historyscapes. In each, an initial place-oriented reading of indigenous sources is followed by a chronological reading, in which the sources of academic history are included. The juxtaposition with academic history mainly shows the manner in which the colonial powers (Dutch and Portuguese) related to different parts of Alor at different times. From these sources periods of friction between colonial and indigenous are highlighted. The four historyscapes in Alor show variations in historical experiences within short distances, but also commonalities found across a new story-geography.

  • 25.
    Zambrell, Katarina
    University of Gothenburg.
    Identitet i arbete(t): Chefers reflektioner om arbetets dimensioner2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this thesis is to identify, describe and develop the understanding of what aspects at work are important for individuals' identity construction. In this understanding-oriented study the empirical data consists of three different groups: middle managers, cultural workers and “Airis-managers”. I have interpreted and analysed the 75 respondents’ stories, and in their experiences found similar patterns. My conclusion is that there are different dimensions at work that may affect the identity construction. My research question: What is it about work that is experienced as important for individuals’ identity construction? can be answered with the five different identity-related dimensions that I have identified: the enabling dimension, the legitimating dimension, the strengthening dimension, the touching dimension and the constraining dimension. All these dimensions, except the constraining dimension, contribute positively to identity construction. The constraining dimension can be compensated if the other positively confirming dimensions dominate. The identity construction for each individual appears different depending on what dimensions he/she experiences. That is why work’s impacts on the individual's identity construction vary. In order to illustrate the developed typology of identity-related dimensions, I created a model that aims to facilitate understanding of what aspects at work that may be important for the personal identity. When raising awareness of these dimensions, efforts to strengthen the most important dimensions can be made. Through their leadership and ways of organizing work, managers may influence their employees’ opportunities to construct and strengthen their identity.

    Much of the identity research discusses the more conscious identity work. In my third study my empirical data consists of managers’ who have brought artists into their organizations, i.e. conducted an artistic intervention called Airis. My interpretation is that implementing an artistic intervention can be considered as a way to challenge and develop the managers’ identity and be a part of their identity work.

    This thesis deals with “identity at work” (to reconnect to the title). People seldom discuss “identity construction” but that does not mean that identity issues are unimportant. On the contrary, people often talk about their jobs and their work experiences. What this "talk" really means is what this thesis highlights: Identity is constructed and confirmed at work, especially when others are told about the work-related experiences.

  • 26.
    Lewis, Peter
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Medicine and Optometry.
    Improving Peripheral Vision Through Optical Correction and Stimulus Motion2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The loss of central vision subsequent to macular disease is often extremely debilitating. People with central field loss (CFL) must use other peripheral areas of the retina in order to see; areas with inferior resolution capacity, which are also affected by off-axis optical errors. The overall aim of the work encompassed by this thesis was to identify and evaluate methods of improving vision for people with CFL; with focus on the effects of off-axis optical correction and stimulus motion on resolution acuity and contrast sensitivity.

    Off-axis optical errors were measured using a commercially-available COAS-HD VR open-view aberrometer. We used adaptive psychophysical methods to evaluate grating resolution acuity and contrast sensitivity in the peripheral visual field; drifting gratings were employed to   measure the effect of motion on these two measures of visual performance. The effect of sphero-cylindrical correction and stimulus motion on visual performance in healthy eyes and in subjects with CFL was also studied; in addition, the effect of adaptive optics aberration correction was examined in one subject with CFL.

    The COAS-HD aberrometer provided rapid and reliable measurements of off-axis refractive errors. Correction of these errors gave improvements in low-contrast resolution acuity in subjects with higher amounts of oblique astigmatism. Optical correction also improved high-contrast resolution acuity in most subjects with CFL, but not for healthy subjects. Adaptive optics correction improved both high and low contrast resolution acuity in the preferred retinal locus of a subject with CFL. The effect of stimulus motion depended on spatial frequency; motion of 7.5 Hz improved contrast sensitivity for stimuli of low spatial frequency in healthy and CFL subjects. Motion of 15 Hz had little effect on contrast sensitivity for low spatial frequency but resulted in reduced contrast sensitivity for higher spatial frequencies in healthy subjects. Finally, high-contrast resolution acuity was relatively insensitive to stimulus motion in the periphery.

    This thesis has served to broaden the knowledge regarding peripheral optical errors, stimulus motion and their effects on visual function, both in healthy subjects and in people with CFL. Overall it has shown that correction of off-axis refractive errors is important for optimizing peripheral vision in subjects with CFL; the use of an open-view aberrometer simplifies the determination of these errors. In addition, moderate stimulus motion can have a beneficial effect on contrast sensitivity for objects of predominantly low spatial frequency.

  • 27.
    Brolin, Rosita
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    "Jag kan öppna fönstret när jag vill": Boendesituationen för personer med psykisk funktionsnedsättning2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The overall aim of this thesis was to explore and develop knowledge about the housing situation for people with psychiatric disabilities, based on the residents' perspectives.

    Methods: Three studies are based on a new Swedish questionnaire (SHPD) containing preconceived questions (Studies I-II) and two open-ended questions (Study III), while two studies are theory-generating (Studies IV-V). I - the psychometric properties of SHPD (ICC, descriptive statistics, factor analysis); II - the degree and predictors of housing satisfaction (descriptive statistics, logistical regression analysis); III - the best and worst in housing situation (qualitative content analysis); IV-V - Classic grounded theories about people with psychiatric disabilities, living in supported housing (IV) and in ordinary housing with housing support (V).

    Results: The results show good psychometric properties for SHPD, a generally high degree of housing satisfaction, and reveal security, privacy and choice as important predictors for satisfaction. Life in supported housing is shown to be characterized by constant togetherness, limited self-determination and violated integrity. Being deprived of self-determination emerged as the main concern for residents, who handle this through striving for meaning. Life in ordinary housing with housing support is shown to be characterized by independence, self-determination, loneliness, and sometimes lack of support. The impossible mission in everyday life emerged as the main concern for residents, who deal with this concern through mastering everyday life. The housing support staff are important facilitators in the process of mastering everyday life, and the continuity of housing support is a prerequisite for the process to succeed.

    Conclusions: The thesis contributes knowledge about the housing situation for people with psychiatric disabilities. The thesis raises awareness of a need for changes in housing support services towards housing forms and support that strengthen the residents' integrity and autonomy. The individuals' experiences need to be considered in planning and performance of housing support services, and security, privacy, choice, social support and continuity in housing support need to be prioritized.

  • 28.
    Glad, Hanna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
    Keep V-ing: Aspectuality and event structure2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The principal aim of this thesis is to provide a comprehensive account of the meaning of keep V-ing constructions, see (1a) and (1b).

    (1) a. Mary kept winning (again and again).

    (1) b. John kept running (for another ten minutes).

    On the basis of a systematic study of combinations of keep with predicates of different aktionsarts, it is shown that keep can give rise to two different readings which share the overall meaning of ‘continued activity’. It is argued that the two readings of keep V-ing arise from different aspectual properties of the predicate in the complement clause. Under the first reading, labelled the continuative-iterative reading, (1a), the event in the complement clause is telic, and the interpretation is an iterative reading. Under the second reading, labelled the continuative reading, (1b), the event in the complement clause is atelic, and the interpretation is a reading of nonstop continuation.

    It is argued that keep combines with activity predicates in the relevant construction type, that is, with dynamic, durative and atelic events, and that keep has the ability to induce aspect shift when combining with predicates that are not inherent activities. Thus, in (1a), a punctual and telic winning event is iterated, creating a series which in itself is durative and atelic. In (1b), the running event is already durative and atelic.

    By comparing keep V-ing with the progressive construction be V-ing, (2), and with two other continuative constructions, continue V-ing, (3), and V on, (4), it is shown that keep readily shifts a telic predicate into an atelic reading by taking scope over the entire event, (1a), but cannot take scope over an internal part of a telic event. Both be V-ing, (2), and continue V-ing, (3), are able to take scope over an internal part of a telic event.

    (2) John was building the house.

    (3) John continued building the house.

    (4) John ran on.

    In addition, unlike continue V-ing and V on, keep V-ing does not necessarily denote continuation of an event which has already been initiated. 

  • 29.
    Blomqvist, Lars
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology.
    Laminated Veneer Products: Shape Stability and Effect of Enhanced Formability on Bond-Line Strength2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis concerns two aspects of the manufacture of laminated veneer products (LVPs). The first aspect is related to the possible improvement of the shape stability of LVPs, and the second has its starting point in the modification of the veneer for enhanced formability as well as the question of whether and how these modifications affect the bond-line strength.

    LVPs are veneers bonded with adhesive into predetermined shapes, mostly for the production of furniture and interior fittings. Since any deviation from the intended shape is a problem for both manufacturer and customer, various studies have sought to evaluate the influence of different materials and process parameters on shape stability. Parameters studied have included wood species (beech and birch), an adhesive system based on urea formaldehyde, the adhesive distribution on the veneer, climate, moisture content and fibre orientations of the veneers, as well as the orientation of the individual veneers in a multiply.

    Manufacturers of LVPs must consider some basic facts about wood in orders adequately to provide shape-stable LVPs to customers. Wood emits and absorbs moisture in relation to the surrounding climate, and this can lead to shrinkage and swelling. Such moisture induced movements differ in the wood’s different directions, and the magnitude is specific for the species. A thorough understanding of this is the basis for achieving shape-stable LVPs.

    Symmetry is defined in this thesis such that the veneer properties are balanced in the laminate. This means that opposite veneers on either side of the centre veneer have similar characteristic. An LVP will become distorted if the veneers are asymmetrically oriented before the press. Deviation from the desired shape can be small immediately after the pressing, but it may increase significantly with moisture content (MC) variations. Asymmetry may result when veneers with different fibre orientations are included in the laminate or when the veneers are placed asymmetrically. It may also occur if veneers with different MCs are bonded together asymmetrically. One aggravating factor is that the lathe checks that are introduced when the veneers are peeled or sliced from the log affect the shape stability. In 3-ply crosswise-oriented plywood, the veneer surfaces on which the lathe checks occur should be oriented in the same way for high shape stability.

    Based on existing knowledge, the production of shape-stable LVPs requires that the veneers are conditioned to a uniform MC and sorted with regard to fibre orientation and the side with lathe checks before bonding. End-user climates should govern the MC of the veneers and the moisture added with the adhesive during the process. Straight-grain veneers and symmetry should always be the goal.

    Moulding can cause stretching, i.e. strain, of the veneers depending on the curvature of the mould. To prevent the veneers from rupture, there are various ways to strengthen the veneers particularly in the transverse direction in which the veneer is weakest. However, tests have shown that these pre-treatments of veneers for enhanced formability can prevent the adhesive from penetrating the wood surface. It is therefore important to confirm that the pre-treatment does not affect the bond-line strength. 

  • 30.
    Åkerman, Niklas
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
    Learning strategies for international growth: On knowledge acquisition and opportunity realization2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Literature on firm internationalization has pointed out knowledge and learning as central components in the internationalization process. While much research has emphasized the development of experience in the firm as the main source of new knowledge, this notion has also been challenged. Furthermore, in internationalization literature, most attention has been paid to market entry and far less to growth in the market thereafter. This research addresses how internationalizing firms capture growth opportunities by acquiring new knowledge in foreign markets. The purpose is to describe and explain how internationalizing firms learn about foreign markets by combining various knowledge sources in order to realize growth opportunities in these markets.

    To address this purpose, data from two steps of data collection is analyzed. The first step contains qualitative focus-group data from seven Swedish firms and aims to describe learning from a combination of knowledge sources, which leads to the development of a typology of learning strategies. The tentative results from the first step are established in the second step, which contains survey data from 144 internationalizing Swedish firms. In addition to validating the typology, data from the second step explains heterogeneous knowledge outcomes based on differences in learning strategies, suggesting that a diversified strategy has the greatest potential for learning. These results indicate that external knowledge matters more than what has been previously recognized. Furthermore, the results show curvilinear effects of knowledge of the local network and international spread on the realization of international growth opportunities.

    By integrating components from international entrepreneurship, this research may contribute to internationalization-process literature by (1) describing the typology of how internationalizing firms learn in foreign markets, (2) establishing the described types and explaining the knowledge consequences for internationalizing firms, and (3) explaining how this knowledge impacts the ability to realize international opportunities. This chain of components provides the links between learning and growth of the internationalizing firm beyond the initial market entry. 

  • 31.
    Alkestrand, Malin
    Lund University.
    Magiska möjligheter: Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl och Cirkeln i skolans värdegrundsarbete2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Fantasy literature has the power to explore the real world in a magical guise. By creating magical realms where reality’s natural laws are challenged, subverted, and ultimately broken, this literary genre can help us to look at our own world in a new light. The thesis examines how the distancing perspective of fantasy literature makes this genre an ideal vehicle for discussing democracy, human rights, and multiculturalism in the classroom. The British Harry Potter series, the Irish Artemis Fowl series, and the Swedish Engelsfors Trilogy are analysed. 

    In the first chapter, the thesis’ theoretical framework is presented. The second chapter, ‘Democracy’, explores two examples of the righteous rebellion of the young in the Harry Potter series and the Engelsfors Trilogy. In both cases, the adolescents rebel in order to defend democratic values and democratic rights, when they are threatened by corrupt adults and institutions. At the same time, the rebellions problematise the distribution of power according to age.

    The third chapter, ‘Human rights’, explores in depth one of the most important genre characteristics of fantasy literature—the existence of magic. Three young fantasy characters’ use of magical powers, for the purpose of challenging the restrictions that intersections impose on them, are investigated and related to questions concerning human rights.

    The fourth chapter, ‘Multiculturalism’, investigates two culture clashes found in fantasy literature: a body switch between five teenage witches in the Engelsfors trilogy, and a confrontation between the human world and the fairy world in the Artemis Fowl series. In both cases, questions are raised about how a confrontation with “the Other” can enrich our lives and help us realise what type of person we want to be. Thus, the possible gains of multiculturalism are highlighted.

    Finally, the fifth chapter, ‘Magical possibilities’, summarises the conclusions of the thesis and suggests some guidelines for how teachers can best work with fantasy literature in the classroom.

  • 32.
    Basna, Rani
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mathematics.
    Mean Field Games for Jump Non-Linear Markov Process2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The mean-field game theory is the study of strategic decision making in very large populations of weakly interacting individuals. Mean-field games have been an active area of research in the last decade due to its increased significance in many scientific fields. The foundations of mean-field theory go back to the theory of statistical and quantum physics. One may describe mean-field games as a type of stochastic differential game for which the interaction between the players is of mean-field type, i.e the players are coupled via their empirical measure. It was proposed by Larsy and Lions and independently by Huang, Malhame, and Caines. Since then, the mean-field games have become a rapidly growing area of research and has been studied by many researchers. However, most of these studies were dedicated to diffusion-type games. The main purpose of this thesis is to extend the theory of mean-field games to jump case in both discrete and continuous state space. Jump processes are a very important tool in many areas of applications. Specifically, when modeling abrupt events appearing in real life. For instance, financial modeling (option pricing and risk management), networks (electricity and Banks) and statistics (for modeling and analyzing spatial data). The thesis consists of two papers and one technical report which will be submitted soon:

    In the first publication, we study the mean-field game in a finite state space where the dynamics of the indistinguishable agents is governed by a controlled continuous time Markov chain. We have studied the control problem for a representative agent in the linear quadratic setting. A dynamic programming approach has been used to drive the Hamilton Jacobi Bellman equation, consequently, the optimal strategy has been achieved. The main result is to show that the individual optimal strategies for the mean-field game system represent 1/N-Nash equilibrium for the approximating system of N agents.

    As a second article, we generalize the previous results to agents driven by a non-linear pure jump Markov processes in Euclidean space. Mathematically, this means working with linear operators in Banach spaces adapted to the integro-differential operators of jump type and with non-linear partial differential equations instead of working with linear transformations in Euclidean spaces as in the first work. As a by-product, a generalization for the Koopman operator has been presented. In this setting, we studied the control problem in a more general sense, i.e. the cost function is not necessarily of linear quadratic form. We showed that the resulting unique optimal control is of Lipschitz type. Furthermore, a fixed point argument is presented in order to construct the approximate Nash Equilibrium. In addition, we show that the rate of convergence will be of special order as a result of utilizing a non-linear pure jump Markov process.

    In a third paper, we develop our approach to treat a more realistic case from a modelling perspective. In this step, we assume that all players are subject to an additional common noise of Brownian type. We especially study the well-posedness and the regularity for a jump version of the stochastic kinetic equation. Finally, we show that the solution of the master equation, which is a type of second order partial differential equation in the space of probability measures, provides an approximate Nash Equilibrium. This paper, unfortunately, has not been completely finished and it is still in preprint form. Hence, we have decided not to enclose it in the thesis. However, an outlook about the paper will be included.

  • 33.
    Örnerheim, Mattias
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Mellan kunskap och politik: Kvalitetssystem och offentlig kunskapsstyrning i hälso- och sjukvården2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim with this thesis is to describe the quality development in Swedish healthcare from an institutional perspective, analyse implications of the development concerning the relationship between the medical profession and the public administrative system and discuss consequences for political direction and welfare organization. The study is based on four case studies and one conceptual analysis.

    The main conclusion is that the medical quality systems have been imbedded in the political management alongside the development towards a public knowledge management. The analysis has more specifically uncovered that quality registries in healthcare have been influenced by political ideologies, management ideas and ideas of transparency. It is also clear that open comparisons were an ‘unintended consequence’ of the quality registry development that has enhanced the development towards a public knowledge management.

    The analysis also shows that public knowledge management challenges the ideal of democratic enlightened understanding. The development of public knowledge management in the healthcare sector raises the question of who is governing whom in Swedish healthcare.

  • 34.
    Chen, Yousheng
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Model calibration methods for mechanical systems with local nonlinearities2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Most modern product development utilizes computational models. With increasing demands on reducing the product development lead-time, it becomes more important to improve the accuracy and efficiency of simulations. In addition, to improve product performance, a lot of products are designed to be lighter and more flexible, thus more prone to nonlinear behaviour. Linear finite element (FE) models, which still form the basis of numerical models used to represent mechanical structures, may not be able to predict structural behaviour with necessary accuracy when nonlinear effects are significant. Nonlinearities are often localized to joints or boundary conditions. Including nonlinear behaviour in FE-models introduces more sources of uncertainty and it is often necessary to calibrate the models with the use of experimental data. This research work presents a model calibration method that is suitable for mechanical systems with structural nonlinearities. The methodology concerns pre-test planning, parameterization, simulation methods, vibrational testing and optimization.

    The selection of parameters for the calibration requires physical insights together with analyses of the structure; the latter can be achieved by use of simulations. Traditional simulation methods may be computationally expensive when dealing with nonlinear systems; therefore an efficient fixed-step state-space based simulation method was developed. To gain knowledge of the accuracy of different simulation methods, the bias errors for the proposed method as well as other widespread simulation methods were studied and compared. The proposed method performs well in comparison to other simulation methods.

    To obtain precise estimates of the parameters, the test data should be informative of the parameters chosen and the parameters should be identifiable. Test data informativeness and parameter identifiability are coupled and they can be assessed by the Fisher information matrix (FIM). To optimize the informativeness of test data, a FIM based pre-test planning method was developed and a multi-sinusoidal excitation was designed. The steady-state responses at the side harmonics were shown to contain valuable information for model calibration of FE-models representing mechanical systems with structural nonlinearities.

    In this work, model calibration was made by minimizing the difference between predicted and measured multi-harmonic frequency response functions using an efficient optimization routine. The steady-state responses were calculated using the extended multi-harmonic balance method. When the parameters were calibrated, a k-fold cross validation was used to obtain parameter uncertainty.

    The proposed model calibration method was validated using two test-rigs, one with a geometrical nonlinearity and one with a clearance type of nonlinearity. To attain high quality data efficiently, the amplitude of the forcing harmonics was controlled at each frequency step by an off-line force feedback algorithm. The applied force was then measured and used in the numerical simulations of the responses. It was shown in the validation results that the predictions from the calibrated models agree well with the experimental results.

    In summary, the presented methodology concerns both theoretical and experimental aspects as it includes methods for pre-test planning, simulations, testing, calibration and validation. As such, this research work offers a complete framework and contributes to more effective and efficient analyses on mechanical systems with structural nonlinearities.

  • 35.
    Khodadad, Davood
    Luleå University of Technology.
    Multiplexed Digital Holography incorporating Speckle Correlation2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In manufacturing industry there is a high demand for on line quality control to minimize therisk of incorrectly produced objects. Conventional contact measurement methods are usuallyslow and invasive, meaning that they cannot be used for soft materials and for complexshapes without influencing the controlled parts. In contrast, interferometry and digitalholography in combination with computers become faster, more reliable and highly accurateas an alternative non-contact technique for industrial shape evaluation. For example in digitalholography, access to the complex wave field and the possibility to numerically reconstructholograms in different planes introduce a new degree of flexibility to optical metrology. Withdigital holography high resolution and precise three dimensional (3D) images of themanufactured parts can be generated. This technique can also be used to capture data in asingle exposure, which is important when doing measurements in a disturbed environment.

    The aim of this thesis is devoted to the theoretical and experimental development of shapeand deformation measurements. To perform online process control of free-formmanufactured objects, the measured shape is compared with the CAD-model to obtaindeviations. To do this, a new technique to measure surface gradients and shape based onsingle-shot multiplexed dual-wavelength digital holography and image correlation of speckledisplacements is demonstrated. Based on an analytical relation between phase gradients andspeckle displacements it is shown that an object is retrieved uniquely to shape, position anddeformation without the unwrapping problems that usually appear in dual-wavelengthholography. The method is first demonstrated using continues-wave laser light from twotemperature controlled laser diodes operating at 640 nm. Then a specially designed dual corediode pumped fiber laser that produces pulsed light with wavelengths close to 1030 nm isused. In addition, a Nd:YAG laser with the wavelength of 532 nm is used for 3D deformationmeasurements.

    One significant problem when using the dual-wavelength single-shot approach is that phaseambiguities are built in to the system that needs to be corrected. An automatic calibrationscheme is therefore required. The intrinsic flexibility of digital holography gives a possibilityto compensate these aberrations and to remove errors, fully numerically without mechanicalmovements. In this thesis I present a calibration method which allows multiplexed singleshotonline shape evaluation in a disturbed environment. It is shown that phase maps andspeckle displacements can be recovered free of chromatic aberrations. This is the first time that a multiplexed single-shot dual-wavelength calibration is reported by defining a criteria tomake an automatic procedure.

    Further, Digital Speckle Photography (DSP) is used for the full field measurement of 3Ddeformations. In order to do 3D deformation measurement, usually multi-cameras andintricate set-up are required. In this thesis I demonstrate the use of only one single camera torecord four sets of speckle patterns recorded by illuminating the object from four differentdirections. In this manner, meanwhile 3D speckle displacement is calculated and used for themeasurement of the 3D deformations, wrapping problems are also avoided. Further, the samescale of speckle images of the surface for all four images is guaranteed. Furthermore, a needfor calibration of the 3D deformation measurement that occurs in the multi-camera methods,is removed.

    By the results of the presented work, it is experimentally verified that the multiplexed singleshotdual wavelength digital holography and numerically generated speckle images can beused together with digital speckle correlation to retrieve and evaluate the object shape. Usingmultidirectional illumination, the 3D deformation measurements can also be obtained. Theproposed method is robust to large phase gradients and large movements within the intensitypatterns. The advantage of the approach is that, using speckle displacements, shape anddeformation measurements can be performed even though the synthetic wavelength is out ofthe dynamic range of the object deformation and/or height variation.

  • 36.
    Hulthén, Hana
    Lund University.
    On understanding of external and internal integration in supply chains: challenges and evaluation2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Benefits of implementing Supply Chain Integration (SCI) are acknowledged in existing integration literature. Integration extending beyond functional silos and firm boundaries is expected to provide value for customers in terms of higher quality, improved service level, and reduced costs.In addition, internal integration allows business functions to align around a single company goal. This type of integration promotes value creation while decreasing redundancies and costs.

    Yet, regardless of the significant advances in research and practice, many organizations still experience difficulties not only to integrate activities with supply chain partners, but they also struggle to integrate activities within an organization, for example, through implementation of a sales and operations planning (S&OP) process.

    To tackle these challenges, organizations may need to reconsider why and how they integrate both internally and externally. However, the previous integration research provides only limited guidelines for how to carry out such evaluations. Many organizations experience difficulties in addressing the complexity related to integration and evaluation of activities internally and with SC partners. The lack of concrete guidelines for evaluation of SCI in theory is seen as one of the reasons for the still sporadic examples of successful SCI in practice.

    Thus, the overall purpose of this research is to increase understanding of external and internal integration in supply chains. To address the purpose, three studies (1-3) have been conducted. The study 1 highlighted the current status and several SCI challenges in academic literature and in practice. One of the major challenges relates to the absence of a systematic comprehensive approach for evaluation of internal and external integration. To contribute to closing of this gap, study 2 was conducted to develop a context based framework for evaluation of external integration. Finally, the subsequent study 3 aimed to develop a framework for evaluation of the S&OP process.

    Concerning the SCI challenges, this research contributes to previous integration literature by confirming some existing challenges but also by identifying additional challenges. Related to challenges of external integration, a set of contextual factors are identified which were observed to challenge the establishment of an appropriate level of external integration with SC partners. As a result a misfit occurs between the contextual factors and applied level of external integration. Additionally, reasons for the misfits were identified and discussed.

    Associated with the challenges of S&OP process, this thesis adds to existing fragmented literature on the S&OP process evaluation challenges by synthesizing and extending the existing knowledge. A framework has been developed which is founded on two key areas of process performance – S&OP process effectiveness and efficiency, and on various maturity levels of the process. Although several challenges were found for each maturity level, some challenges were observed occurring across more levels.

    Moreover, in this research, a context based framework for evaluation of external integration is proposed. The framework extends the previous SCI frameworks. It is founded on contextual factors which were considered by the studied cases when integrating with their SC partners. Furthermore, the factors were observed to promote establishment of an appropriate level of external integration. Each level consists of identified external integration activities.

    The thesis further contributes to the S&OP performance research by addressing the lack of process oriented frameworks for evaluation of the process performance. The proposed framework of measuring the S&OP process performance considers the five major steps of the process and their outputs as well as the output of the entire process. To reflect the process performance measures, the framework structures and defines effectiveness and efficiency measures and their relation to the process performance. The framework also conforms to the majority of the criteria for designing of appropriate performance measures.

    Finally, the major results of the thesis are synthesized and a framework is suggested of external integration and its effect on S&OP process performance. The framework considers the identified contextual factors, appropriate levels of external integration, and the S&OP performance measures the integration can have effect on. The thesis also discusses, alongside with the theoretical contributions, how the developed frameworks can support managers in evaluating their supply chain integration practices. Additionally, several opportunities for future research are outlined.

  • 37.
    Järpvall, Charlie
    Lund university.
    Pappersarbete: Formandet av och föreställningar om kontorspapper som medium2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis explores office paper as a medium between 1920 and 1960 in Sweden. During this period, paper was muchdebated due to the number of standards that were implemented. These standardstransformed paper, making it a modern medium in many different ways. The aim ofthe present thesis is to analyze how office paper was reshaped to solveproblems regarding production, reproduction, circulation and use ofinformation. This reshaping, through a series of standards, addressed issuessuch as order, speed, quantity and control of information in the officematerial information system, and was also seen as a way of altering officepractices. The study draws on a wide range of source materials concerning the standardizationof paper: reports, articles from newspapers and journals, standard documents,ads, manuals and handbooks. Theoretically, the thesis applies a materialperspective on communication and mediation, meaning that focus is on howinformation is processed, rather than on the content being circulated.Following this perspective the office is understood as an information system,and paper as an information technology. A crucial methodological claim is thatthe ideas and notions of paper, and paperwork, that various actors expressedwhile discussing standards, materialized in changed paper sizes andstandardized forms.

    The analysis shows how the paperformat created from the proportion of the page as 1:√2 was associated to aspecific idea of scientific rationality. This rationality was imagined to betransmitted to the information system through adjusting office machines andfurniture, and other paper technologies, to the width and breadth of theA4-format. Another consequence of this process was that paper based informationbecame a quantifiable entity. Following the fixation of paper sizes was theredesigning the graphic interfaces of forms, which resulted in the “the modernform”. The 1940s also saw the emergence of a new occupation, the “form man”; ascience of forms; and the idea of the system of forms, to rationalize paperbased communication.

  • 38.
    Kazungu, John David
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Physical education policy and practice: Issues and controversies in Tanzania secondary schools2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Schools’ decisions to offer Physical Education (PE) is among the possible ways of involving students in physical activity, which has significant effects on students’ health, lifelong participation in physical activities and participation in sport. This thesis explores the factors and the ways they influence secondary schools’ decisions on whether or not to offer PE in Tanzania. The study is based on Institutional Theory, and on a social constructivist approach to knowledge generation, employing qualitative research methods, such as document analysis and interviews with different actors within and related to secondary schools.

    The study areas and the participants were purposefully sampled and included heads of school boards, heads of schools, PE teachers, parents and students. Document reviews were used in order to gather information concerning the regulative and normative conditions that govern schools. Four schools were more carefully studied – two that offer and two that do not offer PE. In these schools I focused on cultural conditions and local frames that could influence schools’ decisions.

    The findings indicate a number of factors which influence schools’ decisions whether or not to offer PE. Some of these factors are the availability of teaching and learning logistics, including facilities, equipment, qualified PE teachers, text books and teaching hours for the subject. Furthermore, the contribution of the examination for promotion purposes, the pen and paper examinations, the prioritization of other programmes and subjects, reliable support for the subject and the interest of those empowered to make decisions at school level also influence schools’ decisions concerning offering the subject.

    On the basis of the theory used in this study, to enable schools to make decisions favouring the offering of PE, there need to be consistency among the regulations and the normative and cultural-cognitive aspects of the institution. First, the regulative conditions are those that legalize the subject by forming the basis for schools’ decisions to offer the subject; these include governing and monitoring organs. Second, the normative conditions stipulate the logic of appropriateness for how the teaching should be approached; these include various normative directives, such as the curriculum and the syllabus. Finally, the cultural-cognitive conditions exert an influence on schools’ decisions through various perceptions held about the subject within the community.

    The thesis concludes with some implications of the study, indicating what changes will be needed concerning both the general institutional level and the school level.

  • 39.
    Li, Furong
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Pollen productivity estimates and pollen-based reconstructions of Holocene vegetation cover in Norhtern adn temperate China for climate modelling2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Model projections of future climate change require that coupled climate-vegetation models are developed and validated, i.e. these models should be able to reproduce past climate and vegetation change. Records of pollen deposited in lake bottoms and peat bogs can provide the information needed to validate these models. The aim of this thesis was i) to explore the modern relationships between pollen and vegetation in northern and temperate China and estimate pollen productivity of major plant taxa, and ii) to use the results of i) to produce the first reconstruction of plant cover in China over the last 10 000 years for the purpose of climate modelling. A study of the modern pollen-vegetation-climate relationships was performed in northwestern China (Paper I). Pollen productivity for 18 major plants of cultural landscapes in central-eastern China was estimated (Paper II). Based on a synthesis and evaluation of all existing estimates of pollen productivity in the study region, a standard dataset of pollen productivity for 31 plant taxa is proposed (Paper III). This dataset was used to achieve pollen-based REVEALS reconstructions of plant cover over the last 10 000 years in 35 regions of northern and temperate China (Paper IV). The major findings can be summarized as follows. Paper I: Annual precipitation (Pann) is the major climatic factor influencing pollen assemblages, followed by July precipitation (PJul). The shared effect of combinations of two climatic factors explains a larger portion of the variation in pollen data than individual variables. Paper II: Of the 16 reliable pollen productivities estimated, the estimates for 8 taxa are new, Castanea, Cupressaceae, Robinia/Sophora, Anthemis type/Aster type, Cannabis/Humulus, Caryophyllaceae, Cruciferae, and Galium type. Trees have in general larger pollen productivity than herbs. Paper III: Of the total 31 taxa for which estimates of pollen productivity are available in China, 13 taxa have more than 1 value. All or most of these values are similar for Artemisia, Cyperaceae, Larix, Quercus and Pinus. Eight taxa have very variable estimates. Paper IV: The REVEALS plant percentage-cover strongly differs from the pollen percentages, and they provide new important insights on past changes in plant composition and vegetation dynamics.

  • 40.
    Johansson, Andreas
    Lund University.
    Pragmatic Muslim Politics: The case of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation investigates the use of religious terms and symbols in politics. More specifically, it investigates Muslim politics. Its aim is to analyze the role of religious terms and symbols within a non-fundamentalist political party, namely the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), a Muslim political party that has been part of the democratic process in Sri Lanka since the 1980s. I thereby hope to broaden the range of research concerning political parties founded on religious ideologies. The empirical focus of the dissertation is on the official documents of the SLMC, such as internal documents to members, online publications from their official website and social media. The empirical data also includes parliamentary speeches made by the late leader M.H.M. Ashraff during the years from 1989 to 1992 and parliamentary speeches made by the current leader Rauff Hakkem during the years from 2006 to 2011. I have also conducted interviews with 33 leading members of the party on three different occasions. In 2006, 2011 and 2013 I visited Sri Lanka and had Colombo as my base.

    This thesis also contains an introduction to the history of Muslims in Sri Lanka and thereafter the structure of this thesis follows the different empirical data that I have collected. The first of my empirical chapters focuses on official documents written by the SLMC. The second presents and examines interviews with leading members of the SLMC. The third and fourth empirical chapters concern the parliamentary speeches of the two party leaders mentioned above, M.H.M. Ashraff (1989–1992) and Rauff Hakeem (2006–2011). The final chapter discusses the conclusions drawn from the empirical chapters in relation to the theoretical framework presented in Chapter 2.

    In sum, “Pragmatic Muslim politics” can be seen as the complete opposite of a politics that is ideology driven and utopian. This fits well with what has been observed in the case of the SLMC. The main use of references to Islam as a religious tradition in the party has been to delimitate Muslims as a specific group in a political situation in post-colonial Sri Lanka. While there have been some initial attempts made, particularly during the 1990s, to put forward specific “Islamic” solutions to social problems, with direct references made to the scriptures particularly in the field of economics, few if any such attempts can be seen today.

  • 41.
    Bengtsson, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Stopover Ecology of Mallards: Where, when and how to do what?2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is the most numerous and widespread duck in the northern hemisphere and a model species in ecology and harvest management. Migration is a crucial life stage for many birds and understanding the drivers of migration has important implications for conservation biology and assessment of animal population responses to global changes. Furthermore, mallard migration is a fundamental determinant of the epidemiology of many diseases of major relevance for both animal and human health. For example, it is the reservoir host for influenza A viruses (IAV), a widespread zoonosis causing mortality and economic damage. Improved knowledge of mallard behaviour during migration and the impacts of infection in mallards is needed to determine the role of wild birds in global IAV dynamics.

    This thesis focuses on mallard stopover ecology, an explicitly important part of the annual life cycle that is not well understood. The study area was southern Öland, SE Sweden, where mallard stopover behaviour was scrutinized by a combination of telemetry and ringing data analyses. Specifically, habitat preferences, movements, and emigration decisions were studied in-depth. Potential effects of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAIV) infection on movement parameters were also investigated. Radio-tracking revealed that stopover mallards adhered to a strict diel pattern, in which they spent the days resting along the coast, visited crop fields at dawn and dusk, and foraged on inland water bodies during the darkest night hours. Notably, the importance of residual maize, as well as small ephemeral wetlands on the unique alvar steppe habitat that predominates on Öland, was previously unknown. LPAIV infection status did not affect movement behaviour, highlighting the possible risk of spread of IAV from wild mallards to poultry along the migratory flyway. Through capture-mark-recapture modelling, it was confirmed that weather, particularly wind direction, was the most important determinant of departure from the stopover site. In contrast, the body condition of departing mallards was less crucial. Taken together, the research presented in this thesis contributes to improved knowledge about mallard stopover ecology and its role in LPAIV disease dynamics.

  • 42.
    Trischler, Johann
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology.
    Strategic raw material supply for the particleboard-producing industry in Europe: Problems and challenges2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Particleboard was invented to increase the utilization of wood and it soon became an important core material for furniture production. Nowadays, other industries such as the pulp and papermaking industry and the thermal energy recovery industry claim the same type of raw material. This leads to increasing competition and higher prices than in the past when that kind of wood raw material was widely available and of low price. The particleboard-producing industry is therefore seeking opportunities to reduce the competition and ensure the future supply of lignocellulosic raw material for their products.

    The purpose of the work summarised in this thesis was to investigate the strategic supply of lignocellulosic raw materials for particleboard production and to evaluate alternatives for the supply of lignocellulosic raw material for particleboard production.

    To encompass the complex field of strategic raw material supply, several publications have considered different stages along the supply chain. These papers range from empirical studies to practical tests on a laboratory scale. In this thesis, some of the papers are linked together, building the base for the overall results.

    The results show that the task of increasing the supply of lignocellulosic raw material as primary raw material source is limited by several factors, but that improved product design coupled with a suitable recycling concept can greatly increase the availability of lignocellulosic raw material as a secondary source. Alternatively, the use of non-wood plants might be an opportunity to substitute wood as raw material but there are still some problems relating to the particle properties which must be overcome first.

  • 43.
    Wu, Xiaofen
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Structure and function of microbial communities in acid sulfate soil and the terrestrial deep biosphere2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis describes the use of different DNA sequencing technologies to investigate the structure and function of microbial communities in two extreme environments, boreal acid sulfate soil and the terrestrial deep biosphere.

    The first of the two investigated environments was soils containing un-oxidized metal sulfides that are termed ‘potential acid sulfate soil’ (PASS) materials. If these materials are exposed to atmospheric oxygen by either natural phenomena (e.g., land uplift) or human activities (e.g., drainage) then the metal sulfides become oxidized and the PASS becomes acidic and is defined as an ‘acid sulfate soil’ (ASS). The resulting acid and metal release from metal sulfide oxidation can lead to severe environmental damage. Although acidophilic microorganisms capable of catalyzing acid and metal release have been identified from many sulfide mineral containing environments, the microbial community of boreal PASSs/ASSs remains unclear. This study investigated the physicochemical and microbial characteristics of PASSs and ASSs from the Risöfladan experimental field in Vasa, Finland. Sanger sequencing of 16S rRNA gene sequences of microorganisms present in the PASSs and ASSs were mostly assigned to acidophilic species and environmental clones previously identified from acid- and metal-contaminated environments. Enrichment cultures inoculated from the ASS demonstrated that the acidophilic microorganisms were responsible for catalyzing acid and metal release from PASSs/ASSs. Lastly, the study investigated how to mitigate metal sulfide oxidation and the concomitant formation of sulfuric acid by treating ASSs in situ with CaCO3 or Ca(OH)2 suspensions. The DNA sequencing still identified acidophilic microorganisms after the chemical treatments. However, the increased pH during and after treatment suggested that the activity of the acidophiles might be inhibited. This study was the first to identify the microbial community present in boreal PASSs/ASSs and suggested that treatment with basic compounds may inhibit microbial catalysis of metal sulfide dissolution.

    The second studied environment was the deep, dark terrestrial subsurface that is suggested to be both extremely stable and highly oligotrophic. Despite the scarcity of carbon and energy sources, the deep biosphere is estimated to constitute up to 20% of the total biomass on earth and thus, represents the largest microbial ecosystem. However, due to the difficulties of accessing this environment and our inability to cultivate the indigenous microbial populations, details of the diversity and metabolism of these communities remain largely unexplored. This study was carried out at Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden and utilized second-generation sequencing to identify the taxonomic composition and genetic potential of planktonic and biofilm populations. Community DNA sequencing of planktonic cells from three water types at varied age and depth (‘modern marine’, ‘undefined mixed’, and ‘old saline’) showed the existence of ultra-small cells capable of passing through a 0.22 μm filter that were phylogenetically distinct communities from the >0.22 μm fraction. The reduced cell size and/or genome size suggested a potential adaptation to the oligotrophic environment in the terrestrial deep biosphere. The identified planktonic communities were dominated by Proteobacteria, Candidate divisions, unclassified archaea, and unclassified bacteria. Functional analysis of the assembled genomes showed that the planktonic population from the shallow modern marine water demonstrated a predominantly anaerobic and heterotrophic lifestyle. In contrast, the deeper, old saline water was more closely aligned with the hypothesis of a hydrogen-driven deep biosphere. Metagenomic analysis of subsurface biofilms from ‘modern marine’ and ‘old saline’ water types suggested only a subset of populations were involved in initial biofilm formation. The identified biofilm populations from both water types were distinct from the planktonic community and were suggested to be dominated by hydrogen fed, chemolithoautotrophic and diazotrophic populations.

  • 44.
    Dagbro, Ola
    Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.
    Studies on Industrial-Scale Thermal Modification of Wood2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Wood as a raw material is useful for many purposes even though some properties are less than optimal, for example, dimensional stability and durability. These characteristics can however be improved by different treatment methods. Environmental awareness has led to an increased demand for environmentally friendly processes like thermal modification that does not add any chemicals to the wood in contrast to, for example, CCA-impregnated wood.This thesis mainly focuses on thermally modified wood from species such as pine, spruce and birch. The thesis present studies of physical attributes such as color, and chemical analysis of water-soluble compounds and degradation products. Treatment intensity is compared between two different industrial processes referred as Thermowood and WTT, which use respectively superheated steam and pressurized steam as heating media.Thermal modification processes darken the color of wood throughout its cross-section. The formation of darker color is related to a degradation processes that takes place during thermal modification. During thermal modification wood is exposed to temperatures between 160 - 220°C, and the temperature causes physical and chemical transformations that change some of the wood properties. Dimensional stability and durability are typically improved, but mechanical strength properties are usually negatively affected by the treatment.The studied wood species were Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) and Birch (Betula pendula L.). Treatments using pressurized steam were carried out under temperatures of 160°C, 170°C and 180°C, and treatments using superheated steam at normal air pressure were carried out at temperatures of 190°C and 212°C. Results showed that similar L* (lightness) can be reached at lower temperatures using pressurized steam compared to superheated steam. The residual moisture content after completed thermal modification was approximately 10% higher in wood treated with the pressurized steam process. It was found that despite an approximately 25°C lower treatment temperature, birch modified in pressurized steam was more acidic compared to birch modified in superheated steam. This will likely have further consequences, requiring more research concerning surface treatment and fixation.The thesis also includes the development of an industrial-quality control procedure based on nondestructive color measurements verified in industrial environment. Treatment intensity in industry is today certified by inspection of documented process schedule and measuring the temperature and time of the process. Quality control in this context refers to the measurement of wood color as an indirect measure of treatment intensity. The color in our study was measured using L*C*H color space. The study shows that it is possible for quality control purposes to measure the color of thermally modified wood from the surfaces of planed boards instead of sawdust or board cross sections that have been used in other studies.The thesis has a final section about academia-industry collaboration that describes how trust building was established through a fruitful relationship involving academia and regional wood products industry in northern Sweden. The study presents an example of a successful research and development alliance between university and a group of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This alliance has been a great example on international collaboration involving researchers originating from Finland, China, Bangladesh, Spain, Russia and Sweden. Through an in-depth multi-year study of how the research cooperation developed, the paper describes how the involved companies successfully entered into a new segment of the market.

  • 45.
    Bratt, Anna S.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Surviving the loss of a child, a spouse, or both: Implications on life satisfaction and mortality in older ages2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Losing a loved one – a child or a spouse –is described as one of the most stressful or negative experience of a person’s life. Aging is associated with a higher risk of the death of close family members, yet few studies have investigated the impact of such losses on different health outcomes either by type of loss or by the combined loss of both a child and a spouse. This thesis is based on three studies examining the effect of bereavement on the health of older adults who have lost a child, spouse, or both and whether the different losses were associated with Life Satisfaction (LS) or mortality. The sample was collected from the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care (SNAC).

    The results showed that the loss of a child, spouse or both was experienced as among the three most important negative life events in the bereaved groups. About 70% of those bereaved of a child or a spouse mentioned these losses as among their three most important negative life experiences. In the child-and-spouse-bereaved group, 48% mentioned both losses while 40% mentioned only the loss of a child or a spouse, but not both. However, only marginally effects on LS and mortality after child, spouse or child-spouse bereavement in older adults was found. Longer time since the loss was associated with higher LS and lower mortality risk, and type of loss did not seem to determine LS or mortality. Gender differences were found: child-, spouse and child-and-spouse-bereaved men had lower LS than the corresponding groups of bereaved women, and furthermore, child-bereaved men had an increased mortality risk compared to child-bereaved women. Finally, significantly more women in the child-and-spouse-bereaved group compared to the men in this group, mentioned the loss of their child but not the spouse, among the three most important negative life events.


  • 46.
    Boniface, Raymond
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy. University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
    Teachers' Retention in Tanzanian Remote Secondary Schools: Exploring Perceived Challenges and Support2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Teacher retention is a global challenge, and many developed and developing countries are struggling to staff and retain teachers in schools, particularly in low-performing, remote, and less desirable areas. In most of these countries, Tanzania in particular, the efficacy of fiscally inclined teachers’ retention strategies continues to be dubious. The aim of this study is to explore teachers’ perceived school level challenges and the support of retaining teachers in remote secondary schools in Tanzania. The study is inspired by a supportive management theoretical framework, particularly Organizational Support, Leader-Member Exchange and Coworkers’ Exchange. It is motivated by a pragmatic knowledge claim. Data were sequentially collected in three phases using interviews and survey questionnaires. A sample included 258 secondary schools teachers from 28 remote schools in the Dodoma region in central Tanzania. Mixed methods data analysis techniques were used.

    The current study identifies younger males of a well-educated and experienced teaching workforce as being the chief staffing in remote Tanzanian secondary schools. Such a teaching workforce is challenging to retain in remote areas, as it is rarely satisfied with the teaching career and highly susceptible to frequently changing employers and working contexts. Moreover, findings show that teachers perceive problems related to housing, social services, conflicts in schools, the inability to influence changes in schools, the teaching and learning situation and limited opportunities as the chief reasons for not remaining in remote schools. Furthermore, findings show that teachers perceive meaningful retention support as being contextually definitive. The catalyst is high quality exchanges amongst teachers which spearhead the development of intra- and extra-role practices, school citizenship behaviours, intraschool social capital (an investment), all of which could bind teachers together, enhancing performing and supporting each other beyond formal contracts. Such a situation triggers teachers’ beliefs that changes, improvement, adaptability and survival within difficult remote environments is possible, and this consequently influences the intention to voice and/or conversely, to exit. Teachers’ empowerment, justice practices and working voicing arenas are important practices for enhancing retention support, especially in remote areas.

  • 47.
    Håkansson, Krister
    Karolinska Institutet.
    The role of socio-emotional factors for cognitive health in later life2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With increasing life expectancies in most parts of the world, the prevalence of dementia and other age-related chronic diseases is growing. Several factors affect future projections and are discussed in this thesis, including possible limits to a continued growth of life expectancy. A related question is to what extent healthy ageing per se affects cognitive functions in old persons. Previous studies have generally exaggerated ageing effects on cognition, by applying study designs that did not account for common confounders, such as birth cohort differences, and the effects of terminal decline and subclinical dementia. In contrast to healthy ageing, dementia neuropathologies dramatically reduce cognitive performance, and proposed mechanisms behind dementia are briefly discussed with focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), on the role of genetic factors and on life course exposures. Three studies (study 1-3) investigated how cohabitant status and feelings of loneliness and hopelessness in midlife were associated with cognitive health in later life. Neurotrophic factors could potentially be involved in the biological mechanisms behind these and other associations between life-style factors and cognitive health. The fourth study aimed to explore how levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), measured in serum, were affected by performing different activities; physical exercise, cognitive training, and mindfulness.


    Study 1-3 were epidemiological association studies based on the Cardiovascular Risk Factor, Ageing and Dementia (CAIDE) Study, a population based cohort study on 1511 persons in eastern Finland, who at baseline were 50.4 years. Two re-examinations have been performed in the CAIDE Study, in 1998 when the participants were between 65 and 80 years, and between 2005-2008, averagely 25.3 years after the baseline examinations. The first two studies were based on the 1409 persons who fully participated in the first re-examination and the third study on the 1511 persons who participated in one or both re-examinations. In the first two studies logistic regression was the main statistical method with any cognitive impairment versus no cognitive impairment as outcome. In addition we performed analyses with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease as separate outcomes. In Study 1 and 2 we also analysed how apolipoprotein epsilon 4 (ApoE4) status affected the associations with Alzheimer’s disease. The statistical method in Study 3 was survival model analysis (Kaplan-Meyer and Cox regression) and the outcome variable was dementia, without subtyping. We compared the results from the analysis on the 1511 participants with the results when we used the total sample (by including register linked data on dementia diagnoses). We adjusted the associations for several potential confounding variables in all three studies.

    In Study 4 we used 19 elderly healthy volunteers who were between 65 and 80 years (mean = 70.8 years). They performed three different activities during 35 minutes on separate occasions, i.e. a within-subject cross-over experimental design where we randomized the order of the three conditions between the participants. We sampled blood from a suitable

    lower arm vein directly before and after each activity session and in addition at 20 and 60 minutes after the session had ended. After the serum had been analysed for BDNF levels, we used repeated measures ANOVA to calculate the differences in the effect of BDNF levels between the three conditions.


    We found that living alone in midlife was associated with approximately a doubled risk of cognitive impairment during the re-examination. Among the non-cohabitants the risk increase was especially high for persons who were widowed in midlife and who had continued to live alone until the re-examination (odds ratio (OR) 7.67, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6 – 40.0). Feelings of loneliness were common both among cohabitants and non-cohabitants, but we found that such feelings were only associated with an increased dementia risk if these persons had also been living alone. Feelings of hopelessness in midlife, but not at follow-up, were associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment at the re-examination, especially of Alzheimer’s disease (OR 2.90, CI 1.4 – 5.9). When we adjusted the association from midlife also for depression and hopelessness at the re-examination, this association was still statistically significant. Participants with a diagnosis of cognitive impairment had higher feelings of hopelessness at the re-examination, compared to the cognitively healthy group, but this difference between the groups existed already when they were in midlife. When we stratified the participants with reference to ApoE4 status, we found that participants who were also ApoE4 carriers had a dramatically increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to non-carriers without feelings of hopelessness, even after final adjustment for depression (OR 6.48, CI 2.4 –17.5). A similar stratification for ApoE4 status in Study 1 showed an even more dramatic increase in the association for persons who had lost their partner (widowed or divorced/separated) if they in addition were ApoE4 carriers.

    In Study 4 we found that physical exercise, but not cognitive training or mindfulness, led to a statistically significant increase in BDNF levels of around 25%, compared to baseline. We also found that the individual differences in BDNF levels after the physical exercise correlated with working memory performance, measured on a separate occasion.


    Social and emotional factors can have long-term consequences for cognitive health in later life. The long follow-up time in Study 1-3 suggests that the associations we found with dementia could reflect a causal, rather than a prodromal, relation. As other studies have found a range of adverse ill health consequences from both living alone and from depressive feelings, a possible mechanism behind the associations we found could be related to a systemic biological impact, and that the specific ill health outcome could be a result of individual vulnerability where genetic dispositions could play an important role. This conclusion seems consistent with the dramatic risk increases we found for AD when ApoE4

    status was combined with the social factor of living alone and with the emotional dimension of hopelessness. At the micro level, as synaptic dysfunction and loss is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, and as BDNF has a central role for synaptogenesis, impaired BDNF functionality could play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. More research is needed to further explore the role of BDNF in Alzheimer’s disease and if the disease can be prevented, or the disease process halted, by activities that stimulate BDNF expression in the brain.

  • 48.
    Chavan, Swapnil
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Towards new computational tools for predicting toxicity2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The toxicological screening of the numerous chemicals that we are exposed to requires significant cost and the use of animals. Accordingly, more efficient methods for the evaluation of toxicity are required to reduce cost and the number of animals used. Computational strategies have the potential to reduce both the cost and the use of animal testing in toxicity screening. The ultimate goal of this thesis is to develop computational models for the prediction of toxicological endpoints that can serve as an alternative to animal testing. In Paper I, an attempt was made to construct a global quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR)model for the acute toxicity endpoint (LD50 values) using the Munro database that represents a broad chemical landscape. Such a model could be used for acute toxicity screening of chemicals of diverse structures. Paper II focuses on the use of acute toxicity data to support the prediction of chronic toxicity. The results of this study suggest that for related chemicals having acute toxicities within a similar range, their lowest observed effect levels (LOELs) can be used in read-across strategies to fill gaps in chronic toxicity data. In Paper III a k-nearest neighbor (k-NN) classification model was developed to predict human ether-a-go-go related gene (hERG)-derived toxicity. The results suggest that the model has potential for use in identifying compounds with hERG-liabilities, e.g. in drug development.

  • 49.
    Salavati, Sadaf
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Use of Digital Technologies in Education: The Complexity of Teachers' Everyday Practice2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this dissertation the complex, dynamic, contextual and multi-dimensional practice of teachers’ use of digital technologies in their everyday work has been illustrated and presented. The research draws upon the experience of teachers and school leaders from two compulsory schools as well as representatives from the municipal Department of Education and IT-unit within a municipality in the south of Sweden.

    A focused ethnographic approach has been undertaken and applied observations and interviews. Systems Thinking, specifically Soft Systems Methodology in combination with Cognitive Mapping have been applied to analyze the empirical material.

    The theoretical foundation builds upon teachers’ worldview towards digital technologies, because it is noted that teachers more easily adopt and use innovations that are in accordance with their personal thoughts and beliefs about teaching and learning. Further, teachers’ attitude and perception towards use of digital technologies are addressed as well as the role of school leadership. Additionally, importance of context, teachers’ knowledge and pedagogics have been discussed referring to various frameworks.

    The dissertation aims to illuminate the complex nature of teachers’ everyday practice. To gain understanding of the situation as a whole, there is also need to shed light on various aspects and underlying perspectives. Thus, this research aims to illuminate and advance the understanding of the complexity of compulsory school teachers’ everyday work practices using digital technologies.

    The outcome of this dissertation illustrates the complexity of teachers’ everyday practices as well as additional issues adding to the complexity, and shows that these complex issues are worthy of further study. Among the issues emerged from this dissertation are differences in regard to how the complex situation is understood because different actors have multiple and sometimes conflicting worldviews. Ambiguities in core objectives and relevant concepts were found. Additionally, a pervasive lack of understanding about the realities of daily education and teaching practices, including variances in worldviews and mindsets was found adding to the complexity of teachers’ everyday practice using digital technologies.

  • 50.
    Persson, Magnus
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
    Utbildningskontraktets villkor: Utbildningsförlopp på en förändrad gymnasielärarutbildning2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    For the last decades the social position of the Swedish upper secondary schoolteacher programme has fallen dramatically in the field of higher education. The once social homogeneity among students has transformed into heterogeneity. This study investigates what educational action students take while studying, and making experiences from the programme and how this relates to their individual educational and social resources, and to the overall changes in the higher education sector.


    A centrepiece in the study is the relation between what students expect of the programme, on the one hand, and what the programme actually delivers on the other. This is understood as an educational contract. This contract is divided into a labour-market contract and a teaching-contract where the former regulates how teaching content connects with the future labour-market expectations held by the students, and the latter how demands from the programme connect to students’ expectations of what it is to be a university student. In this case it produces educational action that can’t be understood without knowledge about the social disposition of the individual student (elaborated as habitus in this study), as well as knowledge about the social position of the educational programme. The study draws on a longitudinal series of in-depth interviews, supplemented by survey data and historical material.  


    Three courses of education were identified. First the completed course, second the drop-out course and finally the changed course where students finished their academic degree but used it to get a higher social position in the labour-market than a position as upper secondary schoolteachers would have given them. The different courses of education exhibit a social pattern that can be understood both in relation to the expanded availability of higher education and to the social dispositions of the students; a key in the understanding of how conditions of the educational contract are formed both socially and historically. Some major findings can be formulated from this. First: Choice of courses of education mainly reproduced already existing internal social differences among the students but were revealed in new arrangements related to the altered field of higher education. Second: Expectations and choice of courses of education can in different ways, be traced to the social genealogy of teacher education. Third: Social pattern contributed to strengthen the on-going falling social position of the upper secondary schoolteacher programme.

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