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New Sociology and Development publication

Congratulations to Professors Sara Ashencaen Crabtree and Jonathen Parker in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences on the recent publication of their paper ‘‘Behaving like a Jakun!’ A case study of conflict, ‘othering’ and indigenous knowledge in the Orang Asli of Tasik Chini’ in the Journal of Sociology and Development [1]. This paper reports on an ethnographic study of the indigenous Jakun Orang Asli in West Malaysia.


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen




  1. Parker, J., Ashencaen Crabtree, S., Crabtree Parker, M., Crabtree Parker, I., 2019. ‘Behaving like a Jakun!’ A case study of conflict, ‘othering’ and indigenous knowledge in the Orang Asli of Tasik Chini. Journal of Sociology & Development, 3 (1):23-32.

More pilots please!

“More pilots please!” is not a call from British Airways, Ryanair or the Royal Air Force.  No, it a reminder to students to do more piloting in their postgraduate research projects.  Between us we have read many (draft) theses and examined over 60 PhD theses external to Bournemouth University, and it is clear to us that many students do not do enough pre-testing or piloting of their research instruments.  Perhaps they did some piloting or feasibility work for their projects but don’t write enough about it.  Or they present some feasibility or piloting in their thesis but haven’t added references to methodological texts.

The term ‘pilot studies’ refers to mini versions of a full-scale study (also called ‘feasibility’ studies), as well as the specific pre-testing of a particular research instruments such as data collection tools (i.e. questionnaire or semi-structured interview schedule). Pilot studies are key to good study design [1-6].  Conducting a pilot study does not guarantee success in the main study, but it does increase the likelihood of success. Pilot studies have several of important functions in research design and can provide valuable insights to the researcher on both tools and research processes.  We think it is telling that our most cited paper on Google Scholar is not one of our papers reporting research findings but a methods paper highlighting the importance of pilot studies [2].


Professors Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen




  1. van Teijlingen E, Rennie, AM., Hundley, V, Graham, W. (2001) The importance of conducting & reporting pilot studies: example of Scottish Births Survey, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 34: 289-95.
  2. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2001) The importance of pilot studies, Social Research Update Issue 35, (Editor N. Gilbert), Guildford: University of Surrey. Web:
  3. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V.(2002) ‘The importance of pilot studies’ Nursing Standard 16(40): 33-36. Web:
  4. Hundley, V., van Teijlingen E, (2002) The role of pilot studies in midwifery research RCM Midwives Journal 5(11): 372-74.
  5. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2003) Pilot study, In: Lewis-Beck, M., Bryman, A. & Liao, T. (eds.) Encyclopaedia of Social Science Research Methods, Vol. 2, Orego, Sage: 823-24.
  6. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2005) Pilot studies in family planning & reproductive health care, Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care 31(3): 219-21.



Delayed rewards for international engagement

It took more than two years to experience the delayed effects of the promotional work I have done during my trip to India for the Global Festival of Learning, 2017.

I attended the festival in Pune and then did an activity in Delhi. My session involved interviewing a MSc Tourism & Events alumni (Arjun Bahl) who co-founded the St+art India project, the largest street art festival in the country.

When I attended the GFoL, I also did promotional work by visiting a number of study abroad agents in Delhi and Mumbai (Thank you IMSRT!). It was great to interact with those who are selling the university, and realise how much information they have about all the different universities across the world, while at the same time how little specific information they have about specific courses offered by BU, such as the tourism, hospitality, sport and events. I found agents to be very appreciative of the valuable information I gave them, which they thought will help them to do a better job at selling BU and these courses in particular.

I also delivered a guest lecture about events experiences to tourism students at Amity University in Mumbai, whose course was lead by an MSc Tourism Management alumni. Even though I was suffering from severe food poisoning, I made all efforts to fulfill the commitment of going to talk at Amity. Not only I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but tangible benefits to BU materialised this September.

The tourism course had started not long ago and the audience for the guest presentation was small – around 20 students – but extremely interested. One second year student came to talk to me at the end to introduce himself and to show his enthusiasm for the idea of coming BU to do an Events Masters once he graduated. We became friends on Facebook and he contacted me a few times since 2017, asking questions about Bournemouth, BU and the course.

Two and a half years on, not only has Abde Ali joined the MSc Events Management, but he has now been elected course rep and Secretary for Events Society BU. According to Abde, “I kind of knew I wanted to do further studies in a more specific area within tourism, but events never occurred to me before Miguel’s presentation. Miguel’s presentation not only made me realise that events was what I wanted to study, but also that Bournemouth University was the place to do it”.

Abde’s example shows two things: 1) the power of guest lectures and personal interaction in persuading students to come to BU, and 2) the delayed effects of promotional work via guest lectures or the GFoL, in this instance more than two years.

I am delighted by Abde’s decision to join us, and his example just reinforces my view that while the Internet plays an important role, interpersonal interaction with academics can become a decisive influence on the decision to come to BU. After all, academics have a lot of knowledge about the courses they teach and they can talk about them very passionately. Activities like the GFoL can be an effective way of promoting University internationally, and more so if they are maximised through activities like guest lectures and agent visits.

Invisible barriers to policy and media impact

Last week we shared a blog exploring academic engagement with the media. It can serve as a vehicle to raising professional visibility and contribute to the national expertise in the specialist research area. We recognised that a media presence can be both essential and daunting. This week Wonkhe have another interesting blog – Invisible barriers keep many academics from the media – by Liz Gloyn from Royal Holloway. It’s another great (and quick read) highlighting how breaking into the media (or policy world) can seem an impossible task. It focuses on the difficulties in making connections and specifically getting on the journalist’s (or parliamentary staff’s) radar.


There is a large group of early career academics and mid-career scholars who would love to be doing more media work and to be building better connections with journalists, particularly women and people of colour. Yet invisible barriers get in the way..

When journalists want a comment on a story, they often want it very quickly, and they need to know it will be fit for purpose. Their instinctive choice will be to look through their list of pre-existing contacts and reach out to somebody they already know – which is precisely how academics with a high profile in the media maintain it.

Media appearances also breed media appearances: previous engagements make it more likely for other journalists to add you to their list of contacts. Getting on the radar of media people working in your field, or becoming “discoverable”, is a common piece of advice to people wanting to engage with the media, but in practice it is incredibly difficult to do.

It doesn’t help that the focus of a lot of media training available to academics focuses on what to do once you are in the interview seat, not how to get there in the first place. An informal call for experiences on Twitter brought out lots of responses from people whose media training had focused on how to be interviewed and what pitfalls to avoid – there was very little evidence that people were being given guidance on how to be proactive about publicising their expertise.

Fortunately here at BU we do support colleagues and focus on how to build your external profile through a range of sources. If you are looking for your research to create a policy impact then get in touch. We’d love to hear about your work and support your journey to parliamentary influence.

NEW PAPER: Buhalis, D., Harwood, T., Bogicevic, V., Viglia, G., Beldona, S., Hofacker, C., 2019, Technological disruptions in Services: lessons from Tourism and Hospitality, Journal of Service Management,

NEW PAPER: Buhalis, D., Harwood, T., Bogicevic, V., Viglia, G., Beldona, S., Hofacker, C., 2019, Technological disruptions in Services: lessons from Tourism and Hospitality, Journal of Service Management, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 484-506


Technological disruptions such as the Internet of Things and autonomous devices, enhanced analytical capabilities (artificial intelligence) and rich media (virtual and augmented reality) are creating smart environments that are transforming industry structures, processes and practices. The purpose of this paper is to explore critical technological advancements using a value co-creation lens to provide insights into service innovations that impact ecosystems. The paper provides examples from tourism and hospitality industries as an information dependent service management context.


The research synthesizes prevailing theories of co-creation, service ecosystems, networks and technology disruption with emerging technological developments.


Findings highlight the need for research into service innovations in the tourism and hospitality sector at both macro-market and micro-firm levels, emanating from the rapid and radical nature of technological advancements. Specifically, the paper identifies three areas of likely future disruption in service experiences that may benefit from immediate attention: extra-sensory experiences, hyper-personalized experiences and beyond-automation experiences.

Research limitations/implications

Tourism and hospitality services prevail under varying levels of infrastructure, organization and cultural constraints. This paper provides an overview of potential disruptions and developments and does not delve into individual destination types and settings. This will require future work that conceptualizes and examines how stakeholders may adapt within specific contexts.

Social implications

Technological disruptions impact all facets of life. A comprehensive picture of developments here provides policymakers with nuanced perspectives to better prepare for impending change.


Guest experiences in tourism and hospitality by definition take place in hostile environments that are outside the safety and familiarity of one’s own surroundings. The emergence of smart environments will redefine how customers navigate their experiences. At a conceptual level, this requires a complete rethink of how stakeholders should leverage technologies, engage and reengineer services to remain competitive. The paper illustrates how technology disrupts industry structures and stimulates value co-creation at the micro and macro-societal level.


Celebrating World mental Health Day on the 10 October provides a very suitable occasion to promote the recently published volume of papers entitled Historic Landscapes and Mental Well-being. The result of a cross-faculty research programme, the editors include Timothy Darvill, Kerry Barrass, and Yvette Staelens from FST and Vanessa Heaslip from FHSS.

Contributions to the volume arise out of the public outreach work associated with the HLF-supported Human Henge project, including a session at the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) meeting at the University of Cardiff in December 2017, and a whole-day multi-disciplinary conference held at Bournemouth University in April 2018. The aim of bringing these papers together was two-fold. First, is to illustrate how archaeological sites, ancient landscapes, and the historic environment more generally, are being used rather successfully as tools to enhance mental health well-being in a range of communities across Britain and beyond. The projects and approaches described deserve wide recognition for their international levels of originality in terms of the deployment of aspects of the historic environment in novel ways, the significance of what is being achieved in changing people’s lives for the better, and the rigour that has been applied in thinking through the underpinning logic and the practices themselves. Second, is to prompt further debate about the contribution that the historic environment can make to the attainment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 3 over the next decade or so, and to assess the contribution that this work can make to delivering public value from heritage assets.

Using archaeological sites and historic landscapes to promote mental health well-being represents one of the most significant advances in archaeological resource management for many years. Its potential contribution to health-care and wellness initiatives is boundless. Prompted by the Human Henge project working within the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, the papers in this volume provide an overview of work going on across Britain and the near Continent at many different scales. Contributors share experiences, and discuss the outcomes, implications, and theoretical underpinnings of heritage-based well-being projects.

Historic Landscapes and Mental Well-being (Archaeopress: 2019) is available in printed form and can be downloaded free as an open access publication by clicking here.

Research Leadership Training Programme – Open for nominations

Following on from last year’s successful Research Leadership Programme, (consistently rated 4+ out of 5), we are running a similar programme in 2019-20. This programme supports the development of all academics including Early Career Researchers, Mid-Career Academics, Senior Research Leaders and Associate Professors.

Participants will :

  • Be helped to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to lead teams to successfully deliver funded research projects, in line with stakeholder and funder requirements.
  • Gain an understanding of effective team leadership and team working within a research context in order to be able to devise strategies to get the best out of teams in the challenging environment of research.
  • Be equipped with an understanding of their strengths and limitations in order to be confident in developing their leadership skills in line with their career stage and future aspirations and be more confident to expand their funded research activities.

Quotes from last year :

“Totally relevant to tasks we have to undertake and very enjoyable learning experience”, (Early Career);

“Excellent workshop, learned a lot of useful information I didn’t know”, (Mid-Career); and

“Fantastic tools were given for future leaders both in research and academic leadership”, (Senior Research Leader).

Full details including the timetable are available  – Research Leadership Programme Overview

Nominations will be required from Heads of Department in line with the training needs of the individual. No form is needed – an email will be fine, sent to

Nominations need to be received by 30th November 2019. If you have any queries, please contact

(Please be aware that is NOT a course on bid writing.)


‘Home Sweet Home’ exhibition at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (Dr Varuni Wimalasiri, FOM)

‘Home Sweet Home’ – Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

Dr Varuni Wimalasiri was invited by the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter (RAMM) to be part of the hosting team of their ‘Home Sweet Home’ exhibition. This event was part of ‘RAMM’s lates’ and took place on the 4th of October 2019 at the RAMM museum in Exeter.  ‘Home Sweet Home’ is an exhibition showcasing things and ways people use to welcome guests into their homes. These included greetings, rituals inherited from our parents and cultures or unconsciously copied from friends. The exhibition showcased students, migrants, refugees and even North Londoners amongst it’s line up and was curated by Ruth Gidley of RAMM.

The image taken shows Souad Fadel (Refugee Support Devon) with a ‘Bhakhoor’ burner used to open and end social gatherings in her home and in homes throughout Arabic countries (Left), Ruth Gidley (Far right) with candlesticks that belonged to her Jewish grandparents and connected her to her ancestral roots and  Varuni (middle) contributed with Sri-Lankan serving spoon. In Sri-Lanka these spoons made from various parts of the coconut plant are used in almost all households. Those which are decorated (like the one Varuni is holding) are used for special occasions and to host guests.  Culinary traditions are important to Sri-Lankans and things like these spoons cut across race, religion, economic and social boundaries in SL.  The exhibition portrays how simple gestures and belongings can be great meaning makers and create a sense of home anywhere we are in the world.  We were some of the ‘live’ exhibits that accompanied the image exhibition curated by Ruth Gidley.

This collaboration came about through Dr Varuni Wimalasiri’s current research looking at work and employment of women refugees during resettlement in Devon in Partnership (BU GCRH funded) with one of the Devon County Council’s.  The early work for this project was funded by the Big Lottery (Project ‘Woman’s Work’).

CEMP awarded DCMS grant

CEMP are partners on a new research grant from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Julian McDougall, Isabella Rega and Richard Wallis will be working on GB-London: Online Safety – Media Literacy Strategy – Mapping Exercise and Literature Review. 

In April 2019 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the Home Office jointly published the Online Harms White Paper (OHWP), which sets out government’s proposals for regulation and policies to tackle harms taking place online. The government is currently evaluating consultation responses to the proposals set out in the White Paper and is due to publish its response to the consultation by the end of 2019.

The DCMS have commissioned the project to:

a. undertake a mapping exercise of online media literacy initiatives, including any evaluation which accompanies them;

b. conduct a literature review of evidence on the levels of media literacy among online users and any barriers to media literacy; and

c. identify and review any existing evaluation of media literacy initiatives which were identified in the mapping exercise (part (a) above).

This research will feed into the government’s media literacy strategy.

Paper on Mixed Reality Accepted by Leading Computer Graphics Journal

Paper titled ” Context-aware Mixed Reality: A Learning-based Framework for Semantic-level Interaction” has been accepted for publication in the leading journal Computer Graphics Forum.

Dr Long Chen, the first author, was a matched-funded PhD student graduated in April 2019. He was under the supervision of Professor Wen Tang, Professor Jian Jun Zhang at BU, Dr Tao Ruan Wan at the University of Bradford and Professor Nigel John at the University of Chester as the matched-funder.

Mixed Reality is a powerful interactive technology for new types of user experience. This paper presents a semantic-based interactive
MR framework that is beyond the current geometry-based approaches, offering a step-change in generating high-level
context-aware interactions. The key insight described in this paper is that semantic understanding in Mixed Reality not only greatly enhances user experience through context-aware object behaviours, but also paves the way for solving complex interaction design challenges. The proposed computational framework generates semantic properties of the real-world environment for Mixed Reality, through a dense 3D scene reconstruction and deep image understanding scheme. A simple MR game has been developed to evaluate the proposed concept and the efficacy of the framework.

The team is invited to give an oral presentation at the premier conference Eurographics or Pacific Graphics, depending on presentation slot arrangement.

ACORN Funding Workshop for Early Career Researchers

The current round of ACORN funding is open, and the closing date for applications is 30th October. For those considering applying, this workshop is for you!

Monday 21st October   15:00 – 17:00 at the Talbot Campus in the CREATE Lecture Theatre (Fusion)

The ACORN fund is internal to BU and is aimed at giving Early Career Researchers an opportunity to hone both application and project management skills and an opportunity to receive constructive feedback from the funding panel members. Details of the scheme are available in the Acorn Fund Policy and there is a separate ACORN Fund application form.

If you would like to attend the ACORN workshop, please email

NEW ARTICLE The impact of online reputation on profitability




The purpose of this study is to quantify the impact of online customer reputation on financial profitability.


Online reputation is captured by extracting the most recurring textual themes associated with customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction, expressed within positive vs negative online guest reviews on Latent semantic analysis is used for textual analysis. Proxies of overall financial performance are manually constructed for the sample hotels, using financial data from the Financial Analysis Made Easy (FAME) database. Ordinary least squares is used to gauge the effect of online customer reputation on financial profitability.


Empirical findings indicate that recurring textual themes from positive online reviews (in contrast to negative reviews) exhibit a higher degree of homogeneity and consensus. The themes repeated in positive, but not in negative reviews, are found to significantly associate with hotel financial performance. Results contribute to the discussion about the measurable effect of online reputation on financial performance.


Contemporary quantitative methods are used to extract online reputation for a sample of UK hotels and associate this reputation with bottom-line financial profitability. The relationship between online reputation, as manifested within hotel guest reviews, and the financial performance of hotels is examined. Financial profitability is the result of revenues, reduced by the costs incurred in order to be able to offer a given level of service. Previous studies have mainly focused on basic measures of performance, i.e. revenue generation, rather than bottom-line profitability. By combining online guest reviews from travel websites ( with financial measures of enterprise performance (FAME), this study makes a meaningful contribution to the strategic management of hotel businesses.