OUHK Institutional Repository
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(for projects granted by Research Grants Council)
OUHK Institutional Repository
(for projects granted by Research Grants Council)
  • Principal Investigator

    Dr WOO Ka Shing (B&A)

    Abstract

    Hong Kong has a service-oriented economy with almost 90% of the workforce engaged in various service sectors. It is important that the delivery of service by employees is up to customer expectation, leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty. One of the key success factors in the process of service delivery lies in the emotional regulation of service employees when interacting with their customers. Nowadays, organizations impose, either explicitly through company literature or implicitly by practice, certain requirements on what emotions employees should and should not show during service delivery, including (1) display of positive emotions and (2) suppression of negative emotions. The first rule requires service employees to initiate a series of positive emotional display actions including smiling, greeting, keeping eye contact, and ending with a "thank you" message. The second rule is more straightforward in that service employees are not allowed to show negative emotions even when the customer is displeased. How do service employees react to these two rules? They either fake the necessary emotions (termed "surface acting"), or show their genuine emotions by putting themselves in the shoes of their customers (termed as "deep acting").

    In Western cultures, repetitively faking positive emotions through surface acting is found to be detrimental to both employees (in the form of emotional exhaustion and burnout) and customers (for the lack of authenticity). Positive emotional display through deep acting results in employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. We question, however, whether these findings apply in the Chinese culture. Two facets are at stake: (1) does Chinese culture matter in influencing employee emotional display, and (2) in what way does it make Chinese emotional display unique if indeed it does? This project is an early endeavour to investigate these two facets. More specifically, we will examine the impact of Chinese cultural values (i.e., relational harmony, yuan (½t), respect for hierarchy, and shame) on organizational display rules (i.e., positive emotional display and negative emotional suppression) and employee acting strategies (i.e., surface acting and deep acting) as well as their impact on customer evaluation of service quality. This project will not only contribute to relevant academic literature, but will also provide practical implications to managers and service employees on how to deliver "service with a smile, and with a heart" bearing Chinese cultural values and norms in mind.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Conference papers
    Woo, K. S. & Chan, Y. L. (2016). Examining the Moderating Role of Chinese Cultural Values on the Relationship between Emotional Labour Acting Strategies and Related Micro-expressions. Paper presented at the Australian New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference, Australia, December 2016. Retrieved from http://www.mang.canterbury.ac.nz/ANZMAC/ANZMAC%20proceedings%202016.pdf
    Chan, Y. L. & Woo, K. S. (2016). Examining the Impact of Chinese Cultural Values on Emotional Labour Acting Strategies. Paper presented at the Australian New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference, Australia, December 2016. Retrieved from http://www.anzam.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf-manager/2801_ANZAM-2016-239-FILE001.PDF
  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Angus WONG Kin Yeung (S&T)

    Abstract

    The rapid development of wireless networks and devices has been generating an explosive and ever-increasing demand for the limited radio spectrum. Cognitive radio networks (CRNs) offer the promise of improving this problem, in which the cognitive radio (CR) devices are able to sense and utilize spectrum holes or available spectrum channels (i.e., those channels temporally unused by their licensed users) for data communications. Since CR devices are commonly equipped with limited storage and processing power, to perform more sophisticated functions, the cloud resources (storage and computation) can be utilized. No wonder more and more International companies have set up their cloud centers in Hong Kong.

    Providing connectivity to cloud is essential for the users in CRNs. However, the existing cloud connectivity in CRNs is inefficient and unsecure because the algorithms they are using are not adaptive to the environment changes and are vulnerable to malicious activities. The aim of this project is to solve the problems by designing algorithms that are adaptive to environment changes and able to detect the possible malicious nodes.

    In this project, we will first tackle the cloud gateway placement problem by determining the minimum number of cloud gateways needed and their placement so as to minimize the deployment cost while maintaining acceptable quality of service. Then, we will design a default gateway selection algorithm for CR nodes to select cloud gateways so that more efficient cloud connectivity can be achieved. After that, we will design a routing algorithm for CRNs, which is able to adapt to the changing network environment of CRNs including topological changes, dynamic traffic demands, and available capacity of cloud gateway. Finally, we will propose an algorithm to identify those malicious nodes that are disrupting cloud connectivity in CRNs and void them in the future path discovery process.

    Due to the different nature of the above problems, in the design of the corresponding solutions and algorithms, different models are used, including optimization model, collaborative feedback model, reinforcement learning model, and belief propagation model. These models will be collectively used to provide efficient and secure cloud connectivity to CRNs.

    The solutions proposed in this project will be applicable in real CRNs, which will not only benefit network carriers but also cloud service providers and end users. This is because the network resources can be better utilized and users can experience better cloud services.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Conference papers
    Hou, L., Wong, K. Y., Yeung, K. H. & Choy, S. S. (2016). Using trust management to defend against routing disruption attacks for cognitive radio networks. Paper presented at the 2016 IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics-China (ICCE-China), Guangzhou, China, December 2016. Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7849766/?reload=true
    Hou, L., Wong, K. Y., & Yeung, K. H. (2016). Exploring the Impact of Node Cooperation Level on Routing in Cognitive Radio Networks. Paper presented at The Sixth International Conference on Advances in Cognitive Radio, Lisbon, Portugal, February 2016. Retrieved from https://www.thinkmind.org/download.php?articleid=cocora_2016_1_20_80024
  • Principal Investigator

    Dr CHAN Chi Wai (E&L)

    Abstract

    The market of early childhood education in Hong Kong is basically a private market although influences from the Hong Kong Government is emerging. The implementation of the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme (PEVS) in 2007, which has brought about a performance review on kindergartens, has become the most prominent mechanism through which the Hong Kong Government is exercising its intervention in the early childhood education market. In the meantime, there are increasing demand for accountability, call for improvement in the quality of pre-school education, societal changes and the uncertainties arising from a globalized Hong Kong society. All these might have made subtle changes in the work relationship between principals and teachers and the kindergarten principals' ways of leading their schools. The leadership styles and strategies adopted by them might have been changed to meet the challenges. Kindergarten principals need to be a strategic leader that they are able to create a viable future for their schools. This will be particularly important to them because the early childhood education is basically a free market.

    Unlike the primary and secondary education sectors in which the majority of schools are publicly funded, there is no school places allocation scheme for admission to kindergartens. Parents are free to choose a kindergarten for their kids and kindergartens enjoy freedom in admitting students. Kindergartens also enjoy much greater freedom than public sector primary and secondary schools in using their resources. But on the other hand, the Hong Kong Government is exerting its influence on the management of kindergartens through the implementation of PEVS and other administrative measures. Privately-run kindergartens and publicly funded primary and secondary schools are of different scenarios in school management and leadership. Since the previous studies about school leadership in Hong Kong were mainly about primary and secondary schools of which most of them are publicly funded, this study attempts to fill the gap in Hong Kong's school leadership and explore how strategic leadership is being practised in kindergartens which form a market akin to a free market but facing with increasing government influences.

    Another deliverable of this study will be a scale for evaluating kindergarten leaders' strategic leadership characteristics. It will help kindergarten leaders diagnose their weaknesses in exercising their leadership and then develop their own plans for making improvement accordingly.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Journal Articles
    Chan, C. W. (2017). Leading today’s kindergartens: Practices of strategic leadership in Hong Kong’s early childhood education. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com.ezproxy.lib.ouhk.edu.hk/doi/full/10.1177/1741143217694892

    Conference papers
    Chan, C. W. (2017). Contextual intelligence in school leadership. Paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Conference on Social Sciences and Management 2017. Taipei, Taiwan, March 2017.
    Chan, C. W. (2016). A pilot study about the strategic leadership practices of kindergarten leaders in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 2015 International Symposium on Teaching, Education, and Learning. Nagoya, Japan, July 2016.
  • Principal Investigator

    Mr Edmund CHENG Wai (A&SS)

    Abstract

    This project aims to study the dynamics of activism in a pseudo-democracy undergoing multiple transitions. It examines the diffusion and escalation of transgressive actions in post-2006 Hong Kong, during which time contention has intensified and changed in form. It also analyses the mechanisms and processes by which some claims are politicised and some local or isolated issues are evolved into popular events, whereas others are not.

    Hong Kong has long been regarded as an apathetic society in which socio-political contention is minimised, absorbed, or kept latent. Unlike some of the other developed areas that were severely affected by the global financial crisis in 2008, Hong Kong?s economy has continued to boom and its government has remained efficient. However, in recent years there have been an increasing number of unorganised, spontaneous, and perpetual struggles in the city-state that not only aimed to resist the policies of particular administrations, but also to defy the legitimacy of the regime as a whole.

    In post-2006, concerns over universal suffrage, the environment, cultural heritage, the rural community, education curriculum, minority rights, and public broadcasting have proven to be contentious. This wave of activism has been rather effective in legitimising claims and sanctioning concessions, some of which could not be achieved by lawmakers and professional lobbyists. Political parties and institutionalised civil society organisations are increasingly neither the initiators nor the leaders of these salient contentious events. This trend indicates the conventional institutions? inability to solicit loyalty and articulate interests, and warrants our attention as to how and why different social actors have begun to be mobilised along a wide range of issues and to perform vigorous actions.

    Based on selected event data, in-depth interviews, content analysis, and ethnographic accounts, this project will trace and analyse the mechanisms and processes by which some grassroots claims and performances have transformed into transgressive contentions in post-2006 Hong Kong. It intends to produce a systematic description of the changes in the scale and style of contentious events between 1997 and 2005 and between 2006 and 2015; to assess any recurring combinations that may account for the diffusion or escalation of salient contentious events; to examine the exchanges and interactions among different groups of contentious participants in terms of claim making and mass mobilisation; and to evaluate how feedback from previous events shapes the performance or framing of subsequent events.

    This study is expected to produce new evidence concerning the repertoire of contention in relations to participatory decision-making at field and the role of spontaneous activism in the course of democratic transition. Its interactive approach will also contribute to the debate concerning grievance-based and opportunity-based theories in contentious politics. Its findings will provide new data and practical insights for local policymakers regarding the magnitude and nature of contention in the midst of a legitimacy crisis.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Journal Articles
    Cheng, W. & Yuen, S. (2017). Neither repression nor concession? A regime’s attrition against massive protests. Political Studies, 65 (3), 611-630. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0032321716674024
    Cheng, W. & Chan, W. Y. (2017). Explaining spontaneous occupation: antecedents, contingencies and spaces in the Umbrella Movement. Social Movement Studies, 16 (2), 222-239. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14742837.2016.1252667
    Cheng, W. (2016). Street politics in a hybrid regime: The diffusion of political activism in post-colonial Hong Kong. The China Quarterly, 226, 383-406. Retrieved from https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/china-quarterly/article/street-politics-in-a-hybrid-regime-the-diffusion-of-political-activism-in-postcolonial-hong-kong/FEF8107574306D4ADC7D65A3D562B2BF

    Conference papers
    Cheng, W. (2015). Reinventing Civic Pride: Rationality and Utopianism in the Umbrella Movement. Paper presented at The Second Association-in-Asia Conference, Academia Sinica, Taipei, June 2015.
    Cheng, W. & Yuen, S. (2014). The Umbrella Movement and its Impact on Hong Kong’s Civil Society. Paper presented at the Workshop on Hong Kong’s Social Transformation, Academia Sinica, Taipei, November 2014.
    Cheng, W. (2014). How Feedback Matters? The Diffusion of Activism in Postcolonial Hong Kong. Paper presented at the Workshop on the Boundaries of Democracy, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, October 2014.
  • Principal Investigator

    Professor CHIU Yu Lok (A&SS)

    Abstract

    The project intends to elaborate the close relationship between the modern Chinese intellectuals who came to Hong Kong from China (henceforth "South-coming intellectuals") and their sense of national identity as reflected in relevant Hong Kong literary works. Such observation is of increasing importance in studying the rise of Chinese nationalism as well as reconstructing the China state theory from late Qing onwards. By examining their impressions of Hong Kong through poetry, diaries, monographs and local records written in different periods, we will be able to understand the mentalities of these people in response to a changing China.

    A focus of this project is to observe the identity crisis experienced by the South-coming intellectuals in the context of the country's instability. The Chinese literary people in late Qing blended rich knowledge from Confucian classics with innovative Western knowledge. Amidst the rise of the nation-state and nationalism, and guided by their personal experience in Hong Kong, many of them expressed their mixed feelings in writing, thereby providing rich literary resources to assist us in deconstructing basic intellectual thoughts regarding the relationships between the country and the citizen, the state and the ethnic groups, as well as centralization and regionalism. Moreover, a thorough investigation of these South-coming intellectuals' traditional values, worldviews, and expectation of modernity regarding the colonial and westernized situation in Hong Kong would help explain the intellectual environment in the mainland and other overseas Chinese societies.

    Intellectuals who visited Hong Kong in the 19th century demonstrated their political awareness of the need for reform and revolution in their literary works. Following their footprints in Hong Kong, late Qing elders in the early 20th century preferred to avoid political controversies and instead traced Hong Kong's historical and ethnical ties with the mainland China in a more scholarly way. The national sentiment climaxed in the third phase when writers of different backgrounds came to Hong Kong during 1920s-1940s to promote various political and social ideas during wartime.

    As a contextual study, the project aims at systematically investigating modern intellectuals who had connections with Hong Kong and Lingnan and who featured prominently in Modern Chinese History. Through a precise study on the South-coming intellectuals, future learners will have a better understanding of regional studies and nationalism. The project findings are intended to be published in book form and will serve as a practical teaching aid for civil education in local secondary schools.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Book
    Chiu, Y. L. (2016). Modern South-coming Intellectual’s Impression of Hong Kong and Their Nationalist Awareness, 3 Volumes《近代南來文人的香港印象與國族意識》三卷. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.jointpublishing.com/publishing/catalogue/humanity-academic/world-vision/history/9789620440854.aspx
  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Winnie CHOR Oi Wan (A&SS)

    Abstract

    Virtually all natural languages have their own means to convey meanings of various kinds, from those that are more objective or impersonal (e.g. meanings concerning time and quantity), to those that are more subjective, conveying different shades of the speaker's moods and perspectives (e.g. how the speaker evaluates a certain situation, how evident the speaker's conclusion of a situation is.) Recent studies have revealed a wide range of strategies that speakers adopt to signal their attitude towards what they are reporting (an aspect of stance marking), as well as to indicate their degree of certainty (or lack thereof). Speakers make use of lexical means such as modals (e.g. may, might), adverbials (e.g. probably, certainly), epistemic phrases (e.g. I think, I believe), as well as other lexically transparent expressions (e.g. I just hate that, I simply love that) to explicitly communicate their epistemic attitude and subjective mood. Besides, speakers also frequently indicate the degrees of commitment to their claims by acknowledging the source and reliability of their information (e.g. as stated in the most recent report), a phenomenon known as evidentiality (Willett 1988; Aikenvald 2004).

    A number of recent studies have shown that epistemic modality and evidentiality are closely related, with evidential markers often used in conversations as discourse-pragmatic markers to modulate the strength of the speaker's epistemic claim and to help externalize his or her attitude (Kim 2005, 2011). Based on data from historical and contemporary corpora, natural conversations and interviews, the present study will complement previous research on evidentiality and stance marking, and attempt to uncover the range of strategies that Cantonese speakers employ to indicate their attitude. In particular, this study will focus on how various grammatical resources and strategies, including grammaticalized evidential markers, particles, and discourse markers, can be used to externalize the speaker's subjective mood and to modulate his or her epistemic commitments, from a discourse-pragmatic perspective. More importantly, the present study will seek to find out what these grammaticalized markers add to our utterances, and how they have come about from a diachronic perspective. Since the speaker's attitude and epistemic judgments mostly appear in interactional contexts, data will be analyzed within an interactional linguistic framework that draws upon techniques used in discourse analysis (DA) and conversational analysis (CA). The theory of grammaticalization will also be adopted for diachronic analysis.

    While this project will mainly focus on Cantonese, the findings will have important implications for cross-linguistic comparisons.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Journal Article
    Chor, O. W., Yap, F. H. & Wong, T. S. (2016). Chinese Interrogative Particles as Talk Coordinators at the Right-Periphery – A Discourse-Pragmatic Perspective. Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 17(2), 178-207. Retrieved from http://www.jbe-platform.com/content/journals/10.1075/jhp.17.2.02cho

    Book chapter
    Chor, O. W. (2015). Epistemic modulations and speakers stance in Cantonese conversations. In M. Harvey and A. Antonia (eds.), The 45th Australian Linguistic Society Conference Proceedings - 2014. (pp.104 – 130). The University of Newcastle. Retrieved from http://ogma.newcastle.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/uon:21580

    Conference papers
    Chor, O. W. & Yap, F. H.(2017). Cantonese interrogative particles as (inter)subjective stance markers: a discourse-pragmatic perspective. Paper presented at the 15th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA). Belfast, Northern Ireland, July 2017. Retrieved from http://ipra.uantwerpen.be/download.aspx?c=.CONFERENCE15&n=1537&ct=1537&e=18722
    Chor, O. W. (2016). Sentence final particles as epistemic modulators in Cantonese conversations – a discourse-pragmatic perspective. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Hong Kong Association for Applied Linguistics (HAAL). The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, June 2016.
    Chor, O. W. (2016). Implicit deicticity and negative attitudinal marking: The case of nei di and go di [Demonstrative + Classifier] constructions in Cantonese discourse. Paper presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS-26). Manila, the Philippines, May 2016.
    Chor, O. W. (2016). Knowing is seeing – on the grammaticalization and subjectification of tai2 “see” in Cantonese. Paper presented at the 28th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-28). Brigham Young University, Utah, US, May 2016. Retrieved from https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/a6646b_1746514d8536488f9801f8dfd858bf76.pdf
    Chor, O. W. & Yap, F. H. (2016). Ho2 as a talk coordinator in Cantonese conversations - a discourse-pragmatic perspective. Paper presented at the 20th International Conference on Yue Dialects. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, December 2015. Retrieved from http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/chi/yue20/abstract_book_web_1.pdf
    Chor, O. W. (2016). Expressing epistemic and evidential meanings in Cantonese: Subjectification of the perception verb tai2 ‘see’ and related constructions. Paper presented at the 48th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics. University of California, Santa Barbara, US, August 2015. Retrieved from http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/icstll/ICSTLL48%20Abstracts.pdf
    Chor, O. W. (2016). Epistemic modulations and speaker stance in Cantonese conversations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Australian Linguistic Society (ALS). Western Sydney University, Australia, December 2014. Retrieved from http://www.als.asn.au/sites/default/files/ALSNewcastle2014Abstracts.pdf
  • Principal Investigator

    Dr LI Kam Cheong (URC)

    Abstract

    This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of mobile learning in undergraduate nursing courses. It follows the Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) model (Koole, 2006, 2009) which has been widely adopted in mobile learning studies. The model construes mobile learning as a process resulting from the interaction of mobile technologies, human learning capacities, and the social aspects of learning. This study attempts to refine the model by addressing two problems of applying it into practice. First, the model has yet to define the relation between the learning process and learners' motivation to engage in mobile learning for explaining practical issues, e.g., the common phenomenon that learners' positive attitudes towards the use of mobile devices do not guarantee their use in actual practice. Second, the relation between the learning process and enhancement of learning performance has remained unclear. For example, little research has yet been conducted on how mobile learning should be implemented to bring about improvements in course performance. These problems have led to difficulties in applying mobile learning, because of the lack of adequate theoretical support for guiding the design, delivery and evaluation of this mode of learning.

    The evaluation will focus on students' motivation, their learning process, and learning performance in nursing courses that are offered by OUHK (OUHK). It will leverage OUHK?s substantial experience and data from a decade of practicing mobile learning in its nursing programmes for the evaluation, which will distinguish it from most previous studies of mobile learning that were conducted in experimental conditions and did not involve practices in a course setting. The substantial course size (around 200 students per course) will facilitate relatively complex statistical operations for model building.

    The evaluation will be multi-dimensional, focusing on the aspects of learning, teaching and instructional design. First, interviews with students, teaching staff and instructional designers of the courses will be conducted to elicit their views and experience. Then survey questionnaires will be developed based on the interview results, and validated through statistical tests with student samples from the courses. The questionnaires will then be administered on students of a theory course and a practicum course. The interviews, surveys as well as students' log-in records will provide both qualitative and quantitative findings that would shed light on the relationship among the different aspects of effectiveness of mobile learning. The proposed experimental period will fit well with the transition of a relevant course from the conventional learning mode to the mobile mode enabling the project to capture effects of mobile learning through comparisons.

    The study will contribute to filling the knowledge gap in understanding the relevant factors affecting the effectiveness of mobile learning in nursing courses, and offer effective instruments for evaluation and use in such a context. It will also generate a more comprehensive theoretical foundation for effective practice of mobile learning. Research outcomes will support instructional designers and teachers in designing and implementing quality mobile learning in nursing courses with a sound theoretical basis. The evaluation instruments of mobile learning effectiveness may be utilized for alerting teachers to potential problems of students' engagement in mobile learning, and for identifying directions for solving problems.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Journal Articles
    Li, K. C., Lee, Y. K., Wong, S. L., Yau, S. Y. & Wong, T. M.. The effects of mobile learning for nursing students: An integrative evaluation of learning process, learning motivation, and study performance. International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation,
    Li, K. C., Lee, Y. K., Wong, S. L., Yau, S. Y. & Wong, T. M.. Evaluation of the use of mobile devices for clinical practicum in nursing education. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning,
    Li, K. C., Lee, Y. K., Wong, S. L., Yau, S. Y. & Wong, T. M. (2017). Mobile learning in nursing education: Catering for students and teachers’ needs. Asian Association of Open Universities Journal,

    Book chapters
    Li, K. C. & Wong, T. M. . Indicators of success in mobile learning. In Advances in Open and Innovative Education: Research and Practices. Springer.
    Li, K. C., Lee, Y. K., Wong, S. L., Yau, S. Y. & Wong, T. M. (2017). Effects of mobile apps on learning motivation and study performance of nursing students. In S.K.S. Cheung, L.-f. Kwok, W.W.K. Ma, L.-K. Lee, H. Yang (Eds.), Blended Learning: New Challenges and Innovative Practices (pp. 259–269). Springer.
    Li, K. C., Lee, Y. K., Wong, S. L., Yau, S. Y. & Wong, T. M. (2016). Preference and readiness of nursing students for mobile learning. In, Innovations in Open and Flexible Education. Springer.

    Conference Papers
    Li, K. C., Lee, Y. K., Wong, S. L., Yau, S. Y. & Wong, T. M. (2016). The effects of mobile learning on students’ learning motivation and study performancew.. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities. Philippines, October 2016.
    Li, K. C. & Wong, T. M. (2016). A review of indicators of success in mobile learning. Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on Open and Flexible Education. Hong Kong, July 2016.
    Li, K. C., Lee, Y. K., Wong, S. L., Yau, S. Y. & Wong, T. M. (2016). Preparing for mobile learning in nursing education: Perspectives of students and teacher. Paper presented at the 29th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities. Malaysia, November 2015.
    Li, K. C., Lee, Y. K., Wong, S. L., Yau, S. Y. & Wong, T. M. (2016). Mobile learning in nursing education: Preference and readiness of nursing students. Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Open and Flexible Education. Hong Kong, July 2015.
  • Principal Investigator

    Professor Robin YANG Ruo Wei (E&L)

    Abstract

    The proposed research will conduct a Conversation Analysis (CA) based on authentic video recordings of online tutoring sessions (e-tutorials) that were archived in the past years from the Basic Chinese for Non-Chinese Speakers programme at OUHK (OUHK), focusing on repair practice and its relationship with learning Chinese as a second language (L2).

    The research aims to investigate the organizational repair and grammatical correction occurred in L2 interactional learning in general, and the different ways in which they were related to L2 Chinese learning in e-tutorial where this study will take place in particular.

    There is an increasing body of research conducted from a CA perspective into second language acquisition (SLA), an area that has been called 'CA-for-SLA'. While studies in this area have been much interested in repair, up to date, there is no research carried out with a concern of its dichotomous practice in L2 interaction for learning - organizational repair (to keep the interaction going on) and grammatical correction (to help acquire the language). As the dichotomy of repair is an existing phenomenon, it deserves to be explored in contrasting ways for discovering their respective roles and their integrated relationship with L2 learning. Thus, the proposed project contributes by filling in the research gap through analyzing repair in the setting of e-tutorial for L2 Chinese learning, and mirrors a perceived dichotomy of organizational repair and grammatical correction, as opposed to a unilateral one, for study of CA-for-SLA.

    The database for the study is video recording of more than 50 online tutoring sessions with a total time of approximately 60 hours between four tutors (two females and two males) and 17 adult learners (eight females and nine males). Each session involved 2-5 participants. All recordings will be transcribed and analyzed following a CA tradition of qualitative 'single-episode analysis' (Schegloff et al. 1987). In addition, quantitative analysis will be used as a supplementary means to find out evidence to strengthen relevant points.

    This study will contribute to the recent CA-for-SLA stream of inquiry by demonstrating how repair may inform our understanding of learning and how CA approach could be applied to analyze interaction for L2 learning. This study will add fresh data to existing works of CA-for-SLA on interactional construction of L2 Chinese - an area where little work has been carried out.

    The study will yield two or more articles in internationally peer-reviewed journals. The database developed in this project (a large body of transcribed text with annotation) will provide an abundant resource for further study.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Journal Article
    Yang, R. R. (2018). Sorry Used by L2 Adult Learner: Managing Learning Opportunity and Interpersonal Relationship in Classroom Interaction. International Journal of English Linguistics, 8(2), 48-55. Retrieved from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijel/article/view/71616
    Yang, R. R. (2017). Sorry as a Marker for Self-negation Used by Learners in Language Classrooms. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 5(6), 391-399. Retrieved from http://www.hrpub.org/download/20171130/LLS1-19310310.pdf

    Conference Papers
    Yang, R. R. W. (2017). Sorry as an indicator of self-negation used by learners in L2 classroom. Paper presented at the Fifteenth International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities. London, the U.K., July 2017.
    Yang, R. R. W. (2017). Sorry used by L2 learner: Managing learning opportunity and interpersonal relationship in classroom interaction. Paper presented at the 18th International Conference on Linguistics & Language Research (ICLLR). Rome, Italy, June 2017. Retrieved from https://gplra.org/proceeedings/19.pdf
    Yang, R. R. W. (2016). Analysis of learner code-switched self-repetition in L2 classroom talk. Paper presented at the BAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG conference. Lancaster, the U.K., June 2016. Retrieved from http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/baal-sig-learn-teach/files/2015/10/BAAL-SIG-LLT-Programme-Booklet-for-website-FINAL.pdf
    Yang, R. R. W. (2015). Strategies for other-repair in L2 Chinese classroom. Paper presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics. Athens, Greece. July 2015. Retrieved from https://www.atiner.gr/abstracts/2015ABST-LNG.pdf
    Yang, R. R. W. (2015). Conversational repair and its relationship with L2 acquisition: Analysis of online tutorials for adults learning Chinese. Paper presented at the Canada International Conference on Education. Toronto, Canada, June 2015.
  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Sandy CHOI Pin Pin (S&T)

    Abstract

    The growing ageing population has prompted the local authority to increase the supply of residential care places, with the aim of addressing the escalating service demand in long-term care services. Along with the efforts devoted to meeting the service need, considerable attention has been drawn to the challenge of increasing voluntary turnover among residential care staff. Strong concern has been expressed about the need to improve the quality of the practice environment in residential care homes, so as to attract new entrants and retain existing staff. Mounting evidence from previous studies points to an inseparable link between the attributes of the practice environment and staff outcomes in residential care settings. No systematic research has been conducted into these aspects in the local context, and this study is intended to fill the gap by identifying the attributes of the practice environment which influence staff satisfaction and retention in the residential care service sector.

    This study aims to delineate the attributes of the practice environment through explicating the lived experiences of staff working in the residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) in Hong Kong. The inquiry will be guided by Van Kaam's phenomenological method, which is rooted in psychology and was previously adopted by two research team members to study the phenomenon of increasing voluntary turnover among frontline nurses in local public hospitals. Potential participants will be recruited through the maximum variation sampling strategy, which involves a purposive selection of participants with different work roles and experiences. These include registered and enrolled nurses, health workers and personal care workers with different experiences of working in subvented, contract or private RCHEs, comprising those with long years of service and those who have resigned from their current positions.

    Around 40 to 50 participants will be invited to take part in an individual semi-structured interview, and aspects related to their work and practice environment - such as job demands, co-worker relationship, career development, job satisfaction and turnover intention - will be extensively examined. All the interviews will be transcribed verbatim, and the descriptive findings will then be analyzed through a systematic process of listing, preliminary grouping, reduction, elimination, hypothetical identification, application and final identification. The ultimate goal of the analysis is to develop an empirically grounded conceptual framework, which explicates the positive and negative attributes of the practice environment underlying RCHE staff's sense of satisfaction and turnover intention.

    It is believed that the findings will have implications for formulating appropriate strategies to improve staff satisfaction and retention, while also contributing to an empirical foundation to guide similar studies and further initiatives to advance the practice environment in RCHEs in the future.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Journal Article
    Choi, S. P. P., Yeung, C. C. Y. & Lee, J. K. L. (2015). Beyond numbers and ratios: A study of the manpower shortage phenomenon in long-term care facilities for the elderly in Hong Kong. Journal of Nursing Home Research, 1, 45-46. Retrieved from http://www.nursing-home-research.com/ABSTRACT%20NH_.pdf

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Kevin HUNG King Fai (S&T)

    Abstract

    In the past, numerous parties have used traditional exercises as interventions for improving physical activity levels in individuals. These were found effective in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes and hypertension. Recent studies have shown that exergames can provide an alternative means of physical activity intervention. The term ―”exergame” refers to the newly emerged category of games which combines video games with physical exercise. Instead of using handheld controllers, the participant needs to control and play exergames with body movements and gestures, which are captured by a camera or motion sensors. Noting the potential health benefits, various clinics have started investigating the use of exergames to promote long-term and sustained health. Their preliminary results have confirmed that exergames can indeed help reduce sedentary lifestyle, enhance balance competence and improve physical functioning in healthy people, the elderly and stroke patients. Because exergames are popular and easily accepted by people of a wide range of ages and cultures, many believe that they have the potential to be officially used in physical therapy, physical fitness training and sports training. More health organizations now seriously consider exergames for health care provision. For example, in a 2011 summit organized by the American Heart Association (AHA), there was a special address about the development of exergames to promote healthy lifestyle.

    Despite the promising results from studies and worldwide efforts, two challenges remain to be tackled before exergames can be widely and effectively deployed in the above applications. First, there is currently no standard or guideline for the prescription of exergame-based physical activity intervention. There is limited information about the relationship between game types, corresponding energy expenditure, body movements and muscle activities. Previous studies have only compared different gaming levels and inter-game energy expenditure, concluding that intensities of exergames varied greatly. However, the factors affecting energy expenditure have not been systematically analyzed. Some have related the amount of limb movements to energy expenditure, but their results were based only on researchers’ observations rather than quantitative analysis. Without the information, it is impossible for health professionals to make an informed selection of games for the targeted health benefits. Second, previous studies have revealed that players’ levels of energy expenditure in exergames are generally lower than in traditional exercises, suggesting the limitation of current exergaming platforms in providing adequate intensities of interventions. One reason for this is the absence of force haptic feedback. The existing game control interfaces are solely based on passive sensing (e.g. capturing body movements with a camera or with a handheld device). They can at most provide tactile haptic in the form of vibration, but not force haptic feedback. Compared to real sports, players’ interactions in exergames are less physical and this factor discourages the widespread use of exergames in sports training. Considering the above problems, the present project aims to:

    - design and develop an exergaming system with tactile and force haptic feedback;
    - use the developed exergaming system to investigate the effects of tactile and force haptic feedback on energy expenditure and muscle activities during exergaming; and
    - use the developed exergaming system to investigate the relationship between body movements, energy expenditure and muscle activities during upper-extremity-focused exergames and lower-extremity-focused exergames.

    The novel haptics components will be made by combining a series of small electromagnetic brakes (EBs) with 3D-printed braces worn on the player‘s limbs. It is hypothesized that i) the addition of force haptic feedback in an exergame system will result in higher energy cost, which is closer to that in traditional exercises, and ii) exergames involving more muscle activities will produce greater energy expenditure. After this exergaming system is finalized, it will be used in subsequent projects for setting guideline for prescribing exergame interventions. The results will provide scientific evidence to the exergame industry for designing more effective health-benefitting games.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Eric SZE Tung Po (S&T)

    Abstract

    The increase in the use of herbal medicines, including Chinese herbal medicines, is a global trend. In Hong Kong, Chinese medicines are not only widely used by the public, but also plays an important role in international trade. According to the Census and Statistics Department, the value of imports and re-exports of Chinese herbal medicines amounted to $2.35 billion and $0.95 billion respectively in 2011.

    Falsification or adulteration of Chinese Material Medica (CMM) has become a big issue in the quality and safety of Chinese medicinal products. Examples such as the substitution of Flos Campsis (­â¾]ªá) by poisonous Flos Daturae Metelis (¬vª÷ªá), and the adulteration of falsified species in Cordyceps sinensis (¥VÂήL¯ó) have been reported. Flos Campsis is massively used in preparation of "Wu Hua Cha" or "Five flower tea" (¤­ªá¯ù), a famous Chinese health food preparation. In addition, ultra-high value of Cordyceps sinensis is an incentive to introduce adulterants with similar morphological features by criminals in the market.

    The Department of Health (DH) has published six volumes of the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS) since 2002, covering a total of 200 CMM. The "HKCMM Standards" adopts various approaches including microscopic examinations, physicochemical identification and chromatographic techniques to authenticate the CMM. However, the HKCMMS do not cover the above two groups of CMM. Besides, techniques specified in HKCMMS require both extensive knowledge and experience of the personnel in microscopic examinations, or available chemical markers for qualitative and quantitative analysis. For chemical testing methods in HKCMMS, usually a large number of samples together with lengthy testing time are required, which are not cost-effective or practical when applied by medicinal retailers and traders as their quality control processes or routine incoming goods inspection programmes.

    To address the questions, the research team proposes to develop new test methods that offers rapid, cost-effective and user-friendly approaches for the authentication of 2 model groups of CMM: 1) Flos Campsis and Flos Daturae Metelis and 2) Cordyceps sinensis and its counterfeit species. Such a method involves the preliminary work to discover biomarkers of the two groups of CMM by using matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF MS), with the aid of proteomic separation techniques. The use of MALDI-TOF MS in screening and identification of CMM is an emerging technique which requires less sample preparation and running cost, but with a faster analysis time when compared with the chromatographic approaches as stated in HKCMMS. Unlike traditional microscopic examination technique, analysts of MALDI-TOF MS do not require extensive knowledge of the morphological structure as well as skills in the sample preparation of the target CMM. The proposed approach by using MALDI-TOF MS can thus serve as an option for the further development in HKCMMS.

    Results of this project can also provide further insights for the development of in-situ technique such as molecular chip or genetically modified cell lines for faster qualitative analysis.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Journal Articles
    Chan, K. K., Kwok, C., Sze, E. & Lee, F. (2018). Evaluation of the Use of TRIzol-Based Protein Extraction Approach for Gel-Based Proteomic Analysis of Dried Seafood Products and Chinese Tonic Foods. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19(7), 1998. Retrieved from http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/7/1998/htm
    Chan, R. C.H., Lam S. S. W., Fong F. L. Y., Chan D. T. W., Lee F. W. F. & Sze E. T. P. (2018) Optimization of protein extraction and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis profiles for the identification of Cordyceps sinensis and other similar species. PLoS ONE 13(8), e0202779. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202779

    Refereed conference paper
    Sze, E. T. P. (2017). Authentication of Cordyceps sinesis and other counterfeit species by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Paper presented at the 6th International Conference on Food Safety & Regulatory Measures, Milan, Italy, June 2017.
  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Rebecca LAU Suk Yin (B&A)

    Abstract

    Teams are becoming more prevalent in organizations nowadays. Researchers have long identified the benefits of employees' close social exchange relationships in which support, feedback, information, and other social resources are shared. The benefits include higher commitment to the organization, improved satisfaction with the job, and enhanced job performance. Nevertheless, situations do exist in which some employees prefer to stay distant from their coworkers, and are unwilling to offer social resources to others. Given the benefits of employee-sharing to individual attitudes and behaviors, why are there still some employees who are unwilling to get involved?

    This study's first aim is to provide an answer to this question by taking a personality perspective. People have different personality traits, and we believe that these differences may explain why some people are more willing than others to exchange social resources. In particular, three traits are explored: (1)the propensity to trust, i.e. the degree to which one is willing to trust others;(2)reciprocation wariness, i.e. the degree to which one is worried that one will be taken advantage of in a social relationship; and (3)exchange ideology, which refers to the extent to which one follows the norm of reciprocity, i.e. the social norm to return a favor when one is received.

    After answering the question "why are some employees unwilling to get involved?" the question that follows is "what can be done then?" Here, we take it one step further to explore how organizational settings may affect the association between personality and team members' social exchange relationships. Two contextual features are investigated: task interdependence and shared leadership. Task interdependence represents the degree to which a task requires employees to coordinate activities or exchange information to get it done. Shared leadership is a leadership style in which team members share the responsibilities of a leader, each thus taking a role as a leader. We believe that, by increasing task interdependence and shared leadership among team members, employees -even if they are inclined not to share because of personality characteristics-become more motivated to exchange with each other. This exploration, we believe, is of the utmost importance as it offers practitioners managerial insights. Employers, in most cases, cannot select employees on the basis of personality. If they are aware that certain contextual features may stimulate employees to share and exchange social resources, they can design the work context accordingly to encourage their employees to become more involved in social relationships. In addition, this will help demonstrate the relevance of trait activation theory and social identity theory in the examination of employees' social exchange relationships.

    Finally, we try to answer one more question: "can employees improve work-life balance by getting more involved in social exchanges?" The concept of work-life balance is no longer new to employers and employees. Nevertheless, it is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve it fully. Employers have been advised to develop various organizational interventions to help employees strike work-life balance. Many of these interventions, however, incur costs which may be difficult to justify or may put small firms in difficult financial situations. In this study, we propose that stimulating the development of close social exchange relationships among team members may help. As employees are more engaged in social exchanges with their team members, they get more social resources that are related to their work, hence promoting more efficient and effective completion of their tasks. In addition, through these close relationships, they also receive family-related information and help from their coworkers which can enhance the functioning of their family role. As a consequence, when the functioning of both the work and family roles is enriched, the conflict between these two roles is minimized, resulting in a higher work-life balance experience.

    A cross-sectional research design is proposed to test the relationships mentioned above. Data will be collected from employees working in various occupations and organizations in Hong Kong. It is hoped that this study will shed light on why some employees are unwilling to 'return the favor' in teams and how managers can design the work context accordingly to promote social exchanges which eventually will benefit not only the organization (by improving employees' job performance) but also the employees (by achieving work-life balance).

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Eddie LAW Kuok Kei (B&A)

    Abstract

    Much of the knowledge management (KM) literature focuses on knowledge workers in formal office settings and treats knowledge as an objectified and commodified asset. However, the theoretical lens of 'knowledge-as-situated-practice', which focuses on how individuals come to apprehend and define knowledge that is embedded and situated in everyday work practices, has challenged such conventional wisdom. For example, Gherardi and Nicolini (2002) have demonstrated the social and cultural character of the learning of safety knowledge by building-site novices. Later, by anchoring the same theoretical perspective, Kamoche and Maguire (2011) have examined how coalminers attempted to legitimize and 'trade' their socially constructed risk assessment knowledge (pit sense) with the management for job security and found evidence of the management treating the workers' contextual tacit knowledge as a hindrance to the pursuit of economic gain. These findings demonstrated that there is much to be learnt regarding the emergence and sharing of situated knowledge in non-traditional settings, and that its legitimization and appropriation are often contested by the management.

    The proposed research seeks to better theorize the 'knowledge-as-situated-practice' perspective by focusing on its contentious nature with regard to its legitimization, sharing, and appropriation within webs of power relations in a non-traditional, peripheral context - the scaffolding industry. A scaffold is a kind of temporary structure used in construction work to provide access and platforms to enable work to be done by other construction workers. The erection and dismantling of a scaffold tower requires sophisticated knowledge and thorough risk assessment emerging from and embodied in the senses and interactions of scaffold workers.

    Three core objectives guide our research. First, we will examine how scaffold workers identify their working knowledge as constituted in everyday practices, and how they conceptualize the legitimization and value of the knowledge they possess. This analytical approach will shed further light on the emergent, yet under-researched, view of knowledge as social accomplishment of workers. Second, we will attempt to understand in what forms, and by means of what mechanisms, scaffold workers articulate and transfer their socially constructed, embodied and sensory knowledge to others, particularly novices. This will allow us to better depict the sharing and inheritance of the seemingly ambiguous form of situated knowledge. Third, we will examine how the appropriability of knowledge is contested and determined between the scaffold workers and the management. While intellectual workers might withhold their knowledge to retain their 'bargaining power' vis-?-vis management, scaffold workers might be less inclined to take such a risk, and enjoy potentially less power. We see a compelling need to explore this dilemma in further research. Given the highly complex nature of the research setting, a qualitative research design is deemed suitable for exploring the phenomenon in question. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with scaffold workers, the management of scaffolding companies and relevant government officials responsible for promoting safety on construction sites. The interviews are used to collect insights and information on how scaffolding and risk assessment knowledge is defined, shared and learned among scaffold workers, as well as whether and how its legitimization and appropriation would come under threat when the management or the government introduce "more bureaucratic procedures rationalized on the basis of commercial outcomes and health and safety" (Kamoche & Maguire, 2011, p. 725).

    The proposed research will contribute to the literature by unpacking how situated knowledge is legitimized, shared and appropriated by workers under the threat of imposition of modern scientific safety measures. It thus enables us to unravel potential or latent conflicts and ambiguities attendant to the management of situated and sensory knowledge. It also casts light on the KM practices in the under-researched peripheral contexts in which conventional wisdom may not be appropriate and helps advance the emerging paradigm of the importance of situated and sensory knowledge.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Refereed conference paper
    Law, K. K. & Kamoche, K. (2017). Situated Knowledge in Power Relations: Its Legitimization, Sharing and Appropriation. Paper presented at the 23rd Organization Science Winter Conference, Park City, Utah, USA, 2-5 February, 2017.
  • Principal Investigator

    Ms Pauline HUNG Hie Yiin (B&A)

    Abstract

    This project examines the impacts of family firms on CEO compensation and dividend policy, and whether family shareholders make use of compensation and dividend practices as alternative means to expropriate firm resources, or both. The Hong Kong economy is dominated by family firms (SCMP, 2002). In October 2014, of the 50 leading Hong Kong firms, 22 are family firms (market value: $4,734,298 million), representing 19.35% of total market capitalization. Through the years, executive compensation has been an unresolved issue among the practitioners and academia. Recently, excessive CEO pay has become a topic of debate, particularly after the financial tsunami. Dividend policy is important as dividend payment represents the return of investment for shareholders and potential investors which affects the attractiveness of the shares. In this project, we explore how these corporate policies are designed in family firms.

    Agency problems exist when there is separation of ownership and management (Type I) and majority-minority shareholders conflicts (Type II). Type II agency problems between majority and minority shareholders are evitable for family firms. Family firms with concentrated ownership have been criticized for severe entrenchment problems due to owner opportunism in expropriating firm resources at the expense of minority shareholders. For Type I agency problems relating to owner-manager conflicts, their severity depends on whether family-owners have enlarged their influence by serving as managers. In family firms, it is common for family-owners to appoint family-members to hold board and executive positions. This situation of ownership domination with control often exacerbates the agency problems.

    Agency theory suggests that CEO compensation and dividend payment practices can be used to mitigate owner-manager and majority-minority shareholders conflicts. Incentive compensation can be offered to align the interests of agents and principals to motivate the managers to act in the best interest of shareholders. Cash dividend payment can be used to reduce free cash flow and corporate wealth from the abuse of managers and majority shareholders at the expense of minority shareholders. However, compensation practice and dividend policy can also be manipulated by the controlling shareholders for tunneling purposes. Owing to managerial and owner opportunism, managers and controlling shareholders can extract firm resources through excessive CEO compensation and large dividend payout. Therefore, in view of the significance of family firms in the Hong Kong economy, it is important to understand whether family firms make use of dividend and CEO compensation practices to tunnel firm resources, and the extent of these activities.

    First, we examine the impacts of family control on dividend policy to explore whether the family owners retain firm resources to increase the moral hazard conflicts between controlling and minority shareholders or distribute excessive dividends. Next, we study the differences in compensation for family-related CEOs, hired CEOs working in family firms and non-family firms. Finally, we test whether there is a substituting effect between CEO compensation practice and dividend policy in family firms to investigate whether compensation and dividend decisions are employed by family owners as alternative tunneling devices.

    This project attempts to offer contributions to several strands of the literature: family business, CEO compensation and dividend policy. In the literature, little attention is paid to the relation between dividend and compensation policies in family firms. As there is no tax on dividend income and dual-class share structure, Hong Kong offers a clean setting for such a study to help clarify the mixed evidence in previous research. This project provides evidence on whether family owners engage in tunneling activities and the extent of the expropriation. The findings may have an impact on policy-making on whether more monitoring is needed.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Karen WONG Ho Yan (B&A)

    Abstract

    In a perfect market without any frictions, it is expected that shares will be traded at any given ending price point with an equal likelihood. However, the clustering phenomenon observed in the finance area indicates that stock prices would concentrate on some ri.htmlost digits, particularly round numbers. Psychological evidence argues that stock traders' preference for round numbers is because these thresholds are always taken as cognitive reference points for rough relative comparisons in investment decision-making. If such a round number bias is present in the security market, excess buying (selling) may be observed for 9-ending (1-ending) stock prices adjacent to an integer threshold. For example, a one-cent drop in the share price from $10.00 to $9.99 would motivate investors to generate an illusion of a one-dollar decline, which triggers a buy trade at this price point. On the contrary, if the share price rises from $10.00 to $10.01, a small premium relative to the round number would cause investors to initiate a sell trade at this price point. Furthermore, buy-sell imbalances around round numbers could have an impact on inducing the return predictability. Based on the global intraday high-frequency trading dataset, the impact of round number biases on trading behavior can be firstly evaluated by looking into the buy-sell imbalances and their induced return predictability by price points around round numbers.

    Following the marketing literature, the round number bias in price setting also motivates consumers to buy by means of increasing their purchase intention. Similarly, investors purchase intention might be enhanced if they perceive a price drop from the round number threshold. A higher purchase intention is likely to be associated with a shorter response time that investors take to complete the transaction. The inter-trade time recorded in the tick-by-tick data allows further investigation of investor response time in the face of share prices ending a penny above and below the round number. This is another effect of round number biases on trading behavior examined in the present research project.

    Finally, this study would conduct a country-level analysis on the impact of round number biases on buy-sell imbalances, returns, and transaction time using the global dataset. Specifically, I relate the cross-country determinants to macro variables such as culture, country governance, stock market features, and level of economic development and explore the extent to which investors adjust their trading pattern subject to distinct macro-structure settings.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Anna TSO Wing Bo (A&SS)

    Abstract

    English academic writing skills are crucial for all university students, locally and worldwide. Students who are keen on academic writing are more likely to perform well in their studies and become high achievers in higher education. In Hong Kong, most tertiary institutions run compulsory English academic writing courses for Year1students. Unfortunately, English academic writing is often mistakenly viewed as a "transparent medium" (Lillis, 2006), or a set of core skills transferable to all contexts and all disciplines. Year after year, English academic writing, which should have been introduced as social and cultural practices, is unwittingly taught as generic study skills which are detached from authentic writing practices within different academic disciplines. While atomized skills -such as summarizing, mechanical drilling of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.-are included in the syllabuses of most generic writing courses, domain-specific discourses and genre-based writing instruction are often left unexplored. One reason for this is that the one-size-fits-all course setting [the kind of setting used at the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK)] is not compatible with the contextualized teaching approach. Despite the best effort of course designers, one English writing course cannot include a wide variety of text types and discourses from all disciplines. Consequently, academic writing courses that employ the simplistic study-skills approach fail to enhance university students' competency in English academic literacy, in particular academic writing.

    The mastery of English academic literacies means much more than sheer grammatical accuracy. As recent research has suggests, academic literacy is discipline-embedded and discourse-relevant (Hill, Tinker & Catterall, 2010; Kapp & Bangani, 2011). Also, academic writing is a socially situated activity (Russell et al, 2009) that involves meaning-making, identity forming, and power relations between writer and reader (Lea & Street, 1998). To help students improve their English academic writing, teachers of English academic writing need to have a better understanding of their students' literacy histories (Stein, 1998), literacy events and literacy practices (Barton, Hamilton, & Ivani?, 2000).Furthermore, universities have the responsibility to create the literacy environment to help their students gain better access to the discourse community (Ganobcsik-Williams, 2006). ESL learners should be given sufficient opportunities to develop their sociocultural sensitivity and reading and writing strategies for various written genres in their own field of study. The traditional English writing class setting should move beyond the grammatical and lexical deficit model. Also, different writing classes should be tailor-made for students coming from various disciplines.

    With the aim of helping local English second language (ESL) learners to improve their academic writing, this research study will explore Hong Kong students' literacy background and actual experiences of developing English academic literacy, with a special focus on academic writing. Using a mixed research methodology (e.g. Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004), this project will first collect quantitative data through a questionnaire survey of approximately 200 students. Then, it will obtain qualitative data from students' written assignments, subject teachers and tutors' feedback, in-depth interviews and follow-up contacts with students taking ENGLA101F: University English Writing Skills (a 5-credit foundation level course) at the OUHK. The research project aims to investigate how local ESL students make sense of English academic writing practices. It will also identify the major issues and challenges Hong Kong students face as they engage in English academic writing in the first 18 months of their university studies. Recommendations for improving the English academic writing course will also be made.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

    Journal Articles
    Chung, S. K. (2017). Computer-assisted Language Learning: Collocation Analysis and Learning in Corpora. The International Journal of Literacies, 24 (2), 33–44. Retrieved from https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/computerassisted-language-learning
    Tso, W. B. & Ho, S. Y. (2017). Teaching English Academic Writing in the Second Language Classroom and Beyond. Canadian Journal for Teacher Research, 5. Retrieved from http://www.teacherresearch.ca/blog/article/2017/05/28/325-teaching-english-academic-writing-in-the-second-language-classroom-and-beyond
    Tso, W. B. & Chung, S. K. (2017). Academic literacy development: University students’ perceptions and experiences of English academic writing in Southeast Asia. Pacific- Asian Education, 28, 51–61. Retrieved from http://pacificcircleconsortium.org/PAEJournal.html

    Book
    Tso, W. B., Ho, S. Y. & Chung, S. K. (2016). Academic Writing for Arts and Humanities Students. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Education. x + 161 pages. Retrieved from http://hub.hku.hk/handle/10722/224921

    Refereed conference papers
    Tso, W. B. (2017). Chances and Challenges: Teaching Academic Writing to University Students in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the Pre-conference Convention of the International Conference on Education and Workforce Development’17, Higher Colleges of Technology - Abu Dhabi Women's College, Abu Dhabi, UAE, January 2017.
    Tso, W. B. (2017). A Case Study of Academic Literacy Development at The Open University of Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 11th International Symposium on Teaching English at Tertiary Level, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, December 2016.
    Tso, W. B. (2016). Issues in Teaching and Learning Academic Writing at University. Paper presented at the Canadian International Conference on Advances in Education, Teaching & Technology 2016, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, July 2016.
    Tso, W. B. (2016). Academic Literacy Development at University: A Case Study in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 2016 Learning Conference: Education in the Age of the Anthropocene, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, July 2016.
    Chung, S. K. (2016). Computer Assisted Language Learning: Collocation Analysis and Learning. Paper presented at the 2016 Learning Conference: Education in the Age of the Anthropocene, Teaching & Technology 2016, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, July 2016.
    Chung, S. K. (2016). Collocation Analysis of the Word ‘habit’: Corpus-based Approaches. Paper presented at the 2nd Conference on Digital Humanities: Digitization and Reconceptualization of the Humanities, The Open University of Hong Kong, July 2016.
  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Eden LI Sum Hung (A&SS)

    Abstract

    The proposed research project will investigate political discourses as political acts in Hong Kong. Adopting the systemic functional perspective, it will study the political discourses employed by government officials of the People's Republic of China(PRC) and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region(HKSAR), key figures of various political parties including both pro-establishment and pan-democratic camps, and various interest groups, in their political acts in the course of the "5-Step Process of Constitutional Development", leading up to the election of the Chief Executive of the HKSAR in 2017.

    This proposed study will first collect spoken political discourses in the form of debates, interviews/media sessions and speeches and written political discourses in the form of press releases, news articles, statements, commentaries and editorials in both English and Chinese-the two official languages in Hong Kong. The materials will be analysed at four levels: lexical, clausal, discourse and contextual. Through these analyses, the study intends to answer the following questions: (1) What can the theory of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) contribute to analyzing political discourses as political acts in achieving political objectives and to theorizing the relationships between political discourse and political ideologies? (2) How are the political ideologies of government officials and key figures of political parties and interest groups reflected and embedded in their political discourses? (3)What particular political strategies do they adopt in the political discourses to achieve their objectives? (4) How do they change their political strategies at different political stages leading up to the election of the Chief Executive in 2017?

    The proposed study will make three contributions. First, the findings will provide a comprehensive understanding of how political figures employ political discourses to promote their ideologies at different political stages to achieve particular political objectives. Second, theoretically, the study will explicate how the theory of SFL can directly contribute to analyzing and theorizing political discourses as political acts to achieve political functions in political contexts, i.e. approaching political discourse analysis (PDA) from the systemic functional perspective. Third, pedagogically, it will build up a corpus of authentic political discourses, which we will call The Corpus of Hong Kong Political Discourse, to support the teaching and to serve as the learning materials of three course sat the Open University of Hong Kong: Language and Politics in the Society of Hong Kong as a General Education course; Language, Power and Society as a Language Studies course; and The Politics of Language as a Public Administration and Political Science course.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Polly LAO Kam Ling (E&L)

    Abstract

    The proposed research aims to investigate the nature of knowledge of early childhood teachers necessary for developing children's early mathematical concepts under the influence of technology (MtEceK) in Hong Kong (HK). The purpose of this study is to unpack MtEceK through the practice-based development of a conceptual framework with components identified, and to explore how the components are related in the early childhood education (ECE) context in HK.

    This study fills gaps in three areas: research on mathematics education; research on early childhood education; and research on teacher knowledge. The current research on mathematics education rarely focuses on teacher knowledge in ECE. Research on early childhood education rarely focuses on the knowledge necessary for developing children's early mathematical concepts. Research on teacher knowledge, with consideration of the influence of technology, is rarely contextualized within the mathematics-related teacher tasks in classroom.

    In this connection, with reference to Ball, Thames and Phelps' (2008) and Herbst and Kosko's (2014) research, this study will develop the conceptual framework of MtEceK (the Framework) in four phases. In the first phase of framework conceptualization and contextualization, a hypothesized framework of teachers' knowledge base and its components will be defined and refined, based on the research literature and a series of discussions by an expert panel (EP) and a focus group (FG) of experts and practitioners in ECE and teacher education grounded on ECE teacher practice in HK.

    In the second phase of instrument construction, at least 10 job-embedded multiple-choice and multiple-response items for each component will be constructed with reference to the Framework, the HK pre-primary curriculum guide (CDC, 2006) and the list of mathematics-related teacher tasks generated from group discussion. Cognitive pretests will be conducted with the EP and the FG; and items will be revised on the basis of the results from the cognitive pretest. Problems will be resolved in EP and FG meetings to ensure the interpretability and validity of items. A pilot-test for the revised items will be carried out with at least 30 in-service early childhood teachers who are enrolled in the elective courses of the Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education Programme (BEDECE) offered by the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). Cronbach's alpha and biserial correlation will be applied to establish the statistical fit and reliability of the items.

    In the third phase of testing and analysis, after excluding poorly performed items and consideration of the time limitation, an instrument with at most 35 items will be compiled for testing. To maintain a relatively stable context for comparison between the item piloting and instrument testing, the OUHK's BEDECE core courses students will be targeted to take the testing of instruments. Data from at least 80 respondents will be collected. After checking the internal reliability and exploring the correlations among components and correlations between components and demographic variables, the Framework and its related definitions of components will be refined after discussion with the EP.

    In the last phase of reporting and dissemination, a teacher knowledge framework with components defined, a validated instrument and an HK MtEceK database will be produced, in addition to a dissemination seminar and at least one academic paper. Overall, the study will contribute to the academic field by extending research on teacher knowledge of mathematics education to ECE; and initiating research on teacher knowledge for early mathematics learning, thus providing a new framework and instruments with an Asian perspective and potential research use in other countries. Interpretation of teacher knowledge is culture-specific and contextually sensitive. While the existing research findings and the instruments developed in Western countries are of limited applicability to the HK context, this study will contribute to the quality of early mathematics in HKECE by informing professional development needs in teacher education and by relating teacher knowledge to teacher practice and tasks in classrooms. In the long term, it may also contribute to policy-making through territory-wide profiling of teacher knowledge.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Professor TAM Kwok Kan (A&SS)

    Abstract

    This is a critical study of Chinese Ibsenism as contested ideologies in social framing and self-fashioning, as well as politics in the Chinese (including Hong Kong) theatre and social culture. It will explore the ideological implications in recent Chinese stage productions of Ibsen, particularly with reference to the reinvention of the post socialist self and gender in China and the postmodern experimentations in Hong Kong, in order to arrive at an understanding of the interplay between aesthetics and politics. The study will shed light on the key issues in the Chinese models of selfhood hinging on concepts of the Ibsenian self.

    Ibsenism has been playing a key role in the Chinese quest for a new definition of the self since the 1910s. It was first considered a new philosophy of individualism and a new identity of the self to replace the Confucian collectivist identity. Stage productions of Ibsen in the early 20th century focused mainly on the concept of individualist self-identity and non-Confucian self-autonomy.

    With the rise of socialist ideas in China in the 1930s, Ibsenism was redefined according to class ideology when class conflicts surfaced as matters of life and death in Chinese politics. Different interpretations of Ibsenism emerged as debates between individualism and collectivism in Chinese newspapers and journals. Numerous versions of Ibsen's A Doll's House were staged for a new experimentation with the concept of class in the redefinition of an individual. This strand of Ibsenism was extended into the 1960s with the individual characterized as a product of class consciousness. Ibsen's Nora and other characters were then seen in the new light of socialist characterization.

    Since the opening up of China in the 1980s, Ibsenism, however, has been subjected to new interpretations. Experimentations with Western concepts of gender and feminism can be found in the latest stage productions of A Doll's House, The Lady from the Sea and Hedda Gabler shown in China and Hong Kong. Ibsen's other plays that deal with the concept of self and self-identity, such as Peer Gynt, Ghosts and The Master Builder, were added to the theatre repertoire in China as well as in Hong Kong, and became new sites of contestation in representing complexities of the self with psychical depths.

    Chinese Ibsenism has inherited from Bernard Shaw's "Ibsenism" in its emphasis on the social ideas in Ibsen's drama, but also deviated from it in that Chinese Ibsenists (including Hong Kong Ibsenists) have tended to re-brand Ibsenism as a Chinese moral authority for debates over sociopolitical dimensions of life. As part of the Chinese theatre, Hong Kong Cantonese theatre, particularly that before the 1980s, has also seen a great impact of Ibsenism in both form and matter. Since the last decade, Hong Kong theatre directors, however, has begun to reinterpret Ibsen from the perspective of psychological complexity in his drama.

    Developing from my previous work and also different from the work of other scholars, I propose in this project to study the Ibsenian self and its manifestations in China/Hong Kong as both artistic and ideological constructs. The purpose of this study, hence, is to reexamine Chinese Ibsenism in its re-emergence as contested ideologies involving complex relations between the self, gender, class, state, culture and stage representations. The project seeks to address the following issues:
    1. In what ways has Ibsenism been redefined in China's post socialist era and how does this redefinition bear on the theatrical experimentations in China and Hong Kong?
    2. What visions of the self and gender have been experimented with in such productions?
    3. What discourse lies behind the new stage experimentations?
    4. What ideological implications are hidden in the new aesthetics of stage productions?

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Maggie CHU Ying Ying (B&A)

    Abstract

    In recent years, there has been a heated debate about waste management in Hong Kong. Every year, more than 6 million tons of municipal solid waste are produced, putting a big burden on our existing waste management facilities, particularly the three landfills. Worse still, the present consumption-led lifestyle has speeded up the growth of many types of solid waste. Products often end up unused or partially used before being sent to the landfills. People often buy products without regard to their actual needs - for example, ordering too much food in restaurants; or throwing away a fully functional phone, merely for a change in style. Despite the controversy over the government's proposed means of dealing with the waste problems in Hong Kong, there is a common consensus that waste must be reduced by changing consumer behavior. How can we encourage more responsible consumption? The proposed project aims to address this issue. In particular, we assume that consumers' decisions to reduce waste are governed by negative emotional reactions that are associated with wasting, in particular, shame and guilt. We will examine the underlying process by which these emotions affect consumer behavior and the factors giving rise to these emotions.

    Although shame and guilt are related, they differ in a number of important psychological dimensions (Han, Duhachek, & Agrawal, 2014; Lindsay-Hartz, 1984; Niedenthal, Tangney, & Gavanski, 1994; Tangney, 1990; Tangney, Miller, Flicker, & Barlow, 1996). For example, when people feel guilty, they perceive themselves to have engaged in bad behavior and thus become motivated to take action to undo the harm they have caused. When people feel shame, however, they see themselves as "bad persons" more generally, and this gives rise to a tendency to avoid situations in which they are likely to be evaluated negatively. In the context we are considering, therefore, these emotions can have different implications for behavior. That is, guilt tends to motivate more constructive behavior (e.g., to reduce purchase quantity next time and to reuse an old phone), whereas shame tends to result in more passive responses. However, guilt and shame can often coexist. Therefore, an understanding of what gives rise to these emotions and the conditions in which each has the predominant effect is important.

    Previous research seems to suggest that the experience of guilt and shame are both preceded by some sort of social comparison. However, the target of comparison tends to be different. People feel guilty particularly when they find themselves over-privileged in relation to others (Baumeister, Stillwell, & Heatherton, 1994) - for example, when one wastes uneaten food while others are starving (i.e., a downward comparison). On the other hand, the experience of shame entails a comparison with others that unveils one's inferiority (Lindsay-Hartz, 1984), such as comparing oneself with others who have acted responsibly (i.e., an upward comparison). In combination, if the situation activates these different comparisons, they can have different effects on consumption behavior.

    We speculate that the experience of shame will lead consumers to reduce waste if doing so enables them to gain social approval (i.e., to be accepted and more positively evaluated by others). This is because shame is characterized by a feeling that one's wrongdoing (e.g., having consumed irresponsibly) is socially exposed and disapproved of by the observing others (actual or imaginary). Therefore, when reducing waste can serve as a means to gain social approval, the shame-laden consumers would be more likely to do so. But since the desire to regain social approval is not core to the experience of guilt, its effect on consumer behavior should not depend on this contingency. To conclude, the potential findings of this project would provide policymakers with important insights into how to stop wasteful consumption by influencing people's experience of guilt and shame associated with wasting.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Franklin LAM Sze Sing (B&A)

    Abstract

    Corporate sustainability has been at the top of the management agenda for many global corporations. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting provides important information for investors to evaluate the sustainability of corporations. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) has recently revised the Listing Rules to require companies to either comply with ESG disclosure requirements or explain any non-compliance. This generates pressure on corporations to scrutinize and reshape their corporate social responsibility (CSR) program to cater to sustainable development.

    Corporate philanthropy is a major form of CSR. The practice not only benefits society, it may also enhance the corporation's reputation leading to long-term advantages. However, the theories proposed in the literature disagree on whether philanthropic giving would contribute to financial performance. Although a number of recent overseas studies have provided some empirical evidence suggesting that corporate philanthropy has positive impacts on corporate financial performance, the results may not apply to Hong Kong enterprises for the following reasons. First, most of the studies utilized US data with only a few using mainland China data. With a different social and political environment than those in the US and mainland China, the financial impact of philanthropic initiatives may vary significantly in Hong Kong. Second, the data were collected before 2009. The social consciousness of consumers has risen drastically worldwide as well as in Hong Kong in the last five years. New and contemporary data are required for substantiating the relationship in Hong Kong. Last, prior studies mainly focused on the monetary measure of philanthropic activities. But corporate philanthropy goes beyond mere donations. The relationship between non-monetary donations and financial performance also deserves investigation.

    This project aims to examine the relationship between corporate philanthropy and corporate financial performance based on companies listed on the main board of the HKEx. The listed companies consist of local companies (Hong Kong companies) and mainland companies that seek listing in Hong Kong (mainland companies). Philanthropic information regarding the monetary donations and non-monetary donations of listed companies will be hand-collected from their annual reports, CSR reports, sustainability reports and websites. The database developed can be used to evaluate: (1) the relationship between different types of donations and financial performance in Hong Kong companies and mainland companies; (2) the impacts of the social and political environment and ownership structure on the relationship; and (3) the effects of stringent control on ESG reporting on the relationship. This project will not only contribute to the relevant research on corporate philanthropy, but also provide practical insights on making philanthropic investments in corporations and the regulatory control of relevant information reporting. The database will serve as a brand new resource for future research on the corporate philanthropy of Hong Kong-listed companies.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Professor HO Kin Chung (S&T)

    Abstract

    The Environmental Protection Department (EPD), and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) of Hong Kong Government have been collecting and logging different environmental data along coastal waters in Hong Kong for a few decades. Based on these measured and collected data, we shall design and develop a "Big Data" computing system for forecasting the occurrences of harmful algal blooms (HABs). HABs pose threats to the marine habitation and economy in the coastal areas around the world. It would be very desirable to devise and develop a novel monitoring and forecasting system for identifying any potential HAB events. The effectiveness of this monitoring and forecasting system relies on the accuracy of HAB estimation and detection algorithm.

    In this project, we shall create an operating Big Data computing system to be used for identifying harmful algal blooms. Many computation models rely on numerous sampled and logged raw data, such as pH, the amount of dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature and other physical characteristics of the water. To achieve this target, we shall initiate the creation of an early phased in-house Big Data system, which will be constructed through the interconnection of multiple computing units. In this project, we shall verify the functionality of this system, and deploy it for implementing different models of harmful algal blooms. And in the future, this system will be expanded and built to handle much larger amount of raw data with different HABs models and mathematical algorithms. The computation models for HABs will be selected and coded to generate numerous data points, which will be evaluated and used to feed into different machine learning (ML) algorithms. That is, the data collected from both the EPD and AFCD may go through multiple computation processes due to the different types of machine learning algorithms in terms of both supervised and unsupervised learning designs. The findings from the different algorithms could give different results regarding the occurrences of algal blooms. The goals of this proposal are to: (1) create an operable early phase Big Data system; (2) select formulae from different HAB models that accept the collected data information; (3) investigate collected data and the feasibility of mapping HAB model formulae into ML algorithms; (4) develop a simple ML algorithm into program code that will run in the Big Data computing system. We look forward to designing and building a highly reliable and high-performance Big Data computing system for HAB.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Vanliza CHOW Mei Yung (E&L)

    Abstract

    The proposed research will investigate the language used in nursing discourse on an intra-disciplinary level using across-method triangulation.

    The study will examine two sets of data about two nursing specialties, namely oncology and paediatric nursing, in order to explore their language specificness. The first set of data will consist of nursing journal articles of these two specialties. Articles specifically about patients, the role of nurses and the care they provide which were published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing and European Journal of Oncology Nursing between January 2010 and December 2016 will be downloaded and compiled into two written sub-corpora. Meanwhile, another set of data generated from interviews with 25 oncology and 25 paediatric nurses in Hong Kong will also be compiled into two spoken sub-corpora and analysed in the same way. The ethnographic data drawn from interviews will complement the sub-corpora to provide special lexis, including metaphors, which characterises the knowledge of the two nursing specialties, particularly in the context of Hong Kong.

    The proposed study using triangulation of data and methods will contribute to explore the special lexical items and their respective language patterns characterising the two selected nursing specialties, especially the patients, nurses and kinds of care provided in them, particular in a Hong Kong context. The findings would also increase our awareness of the use of metaphor to construct nursing knowledge on an intra-disciplinary level. These two kinds of knowledge would then help to facilitate English learning and teaching for specific purposes (hereafter ESP) in the nursing field in Hong Kong.

    A pilot study has been conducted to grasp a preliminary picture of the possible specific lexical items and their respective phraseologies describing these two nursing specialties. The findings revealed that special language patterns (including metaphors) describing the work of pediatric and oncology nurses were used. A larger scale study would allow more lexis and language features encoding the knowledge of the two nursing specialties, particular in a Hong Kong context, to surface.

    The whole investigation of the two sets of data will be divided into four phases: i) a quantitative analysis in which the words and their frequencies used in the two written and two spoken sub-corpora will be counted in order to uncover any specific use of words in describing the patients, roles of nurses and the care they provide in the two nursing specialties; ii) an in-depth investigation of the lines describing the words 'nurse(s)', 'patient(s)', 'oncology', 'pediatric', 'health care' and 'care' extracted from the four sub-corpora to explore whether any of these words may co-occur with any specific lexis, especially verbs (renamed as process types in systemic functional linguistics, SFL hereafter) and the language patterns in describing the patients, nurses and the kinds of care delivered in these two nursing specialties; iii) a search for the use of metaphors in these lines extracted from the four sub-corpora to analyse what, if anything, these metaphors reveal about the knowledge of the two nursing specialties; and iv) a comparison of the results generated from the two written and two spoken sub-corpora to examine any special lexis and metaphors used to construct knowledge of the two nursing specialties, especially about their patients, roles of nurses and the care they provide, particularly in the context of Hong Kong.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Terence SHUM Chun Tat (A&SS)

    Abstract

    Hong Kong is a major first asylum port in Asia for refugees who originate from different South/Southeast Asian and African countries. Many of them have travelled to different cities and countries before arriving in Hong Kong. Refugee issues in Hong Kong have gained considerable attention in the past few years. Yet, few have been concerned with their migration journeys, its meaning for the refugees, and its relation and psychosocial impact to their daily encounter with Hong Kong society. Based on qualitative research method, the proposed research will examine the experience of the asylum-seeking journeys among refugees in Hong Kong and the meanings which are attributed to the journeys. It will demonstrate the actual process of journeying from homelands to Hong Kong and how it feels to be a refugee. It will address memory, fear, identity reconstruction, community building and personal growth of refugees during the journey.

    Hong Kong government considers all refugees as 'illegal immigrants' and the refugees are often negatively portrayed as passive victims and welfare-dependent individuals in the media reports and public discourse. The proposed research will give voice to refugees' unique experience by examining the migration stories from the point of view of refugees. By studying the lived experience of the journeys and their survival strategies in Hong Kong, this research will examine how their everyday life experience in Hong Kong is affected by what happened on the journeys and by its meaning for the individual. It will make an important contribution to the literature and teaching on forced migration, refugee studies and Hong Kong studies. This research will offer a new perspective for understanding refugees in a first asylum port and will also have policy implications to the government who can shape the humanitarian policies that are more responsive to the refugee experience.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Samuel CHOI Ping Man (B&A)

    Abstract

    Limit order books (LOBs) enable a centralized, order-driven trading mechanism which has been widely adopted in global securities markets. The degree of LOB transparency greatly affects market efficiency and is one of the most studied topics in financial market design. Various levels of pre-trade and post-trade information on the LOB provide investors with different trading insights and thus regulators are concerned with what degree of transparency it is best suited for the stock market. Previous studies on the impact of market transparency on trading profitability were relatively scarce. In this project, we propose utilizing a reinforcement learning (RL) framework to measure trading profitability to examine how the transparency of LOBs affects the performance of algorithmic trading strategies. It may provide some empirical evidence for whether transparent or anonymous LOBs are more beneficial to the overall market quality.

    Technological trading strategies such as algorithmic trading (AT) and high frequency trading (HFT) have become widespread in recent years and it is reported that the majority of stock orders and transactions are currently executed by computers in major stock markets such as the United States and Japan. Technological trading not only improves market liquidity but also increases market volatility. To safeguard market integrity, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange introduced a volatility control mechanism in 2016. As AT and HFT traders can take immediate action according to the disclosed information, they may be able to gain an advantage that further affects market efficiency and performance. It is therefore desirable to explore to what extent investors’ returns will be affected by the level of LOB transparency.

    This research proposes an RL framework to measure the impact of LOB transparency on the profitability of stock trading. We will analyze and utilize the Hong Kong stock market’s transparent LOB, which offers market information for a subscription fee. In particular, the broker identity, and modified and cancelled orders will be incorporated into the RL model to facilitate the prediction of stock price movements. This study will thus provide new perspectives for assessing the impact of the transparency policy of LOB in stock markets. It will also enhance our understanding of the efficiency of AT in transparent markets.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr YU Xuying (A&SS)

    Abstract

    China in the 20th century has witnessed two “fevers” of national learning (guoxue). One refers to the movement of “Rearranging the National Heritage” (zhengliguogu) in the 1920s; the other is a comprehensive revival of national learning in the academic, public and official fields in the 1990s. The first rise of national learning marks a paradigmatic shift from traditional scholarship to modern scholarship by scientization, specialization, and de-ideologicalization of national learning. The second rise of national learning in the post-socialist condition consists of two parts: the academics’ “scholastic turn” towards the pure, disengaged and standardized national learning of the early 1990s, and a renaissance of Confucianism in the public as well as the state promotions of the late 1990s. From an elitist interpretation of national heritage to popular culture, the second fever has seen a process of popularizing, obscuring, and ideological reinstating of national learning.

    Both fevers can be regarded as post-enlightenment phenomena. Appearing near the end of the New Cultural Movement that has been labeled as the enlightenment movement in the modern China, and with the task changing from “repudiating” to “rearranging” Chinese tradition, the first fever signaled a decline of enlightenment discourse. Although proposing a critical examination and systematic re-evaluation of national heritage does not mean a conservative turn, it does reveal Chinese modern intellectuals’ identity shift from the enlightenment thinker to scholar. In response to the post-socialist condition, contemporary intellectuals’ advocacy for replacing intellectual history with the history of scholarship, and pursuing apolitical scholarship, is not only a call of rethinking the enlightenment, but also a silent retreat from the public sphere. The scholastic turn and the regime’s advertising the rejuvenation of national culture together with the commodification of Confucianism, have contributed to the rise of conservatism in the 1990s, which is opposite to the “New Enlightenment” Movement in the 1980s.

    By contextualizing and comparing these two fevers, this research sets out to complete three tasks. Firstly, to decode how “national learning” as a discursive-political device has been produced and reproduced with layers of meaning. Secondly, to examine how it opens up strategic possibilities for intellectuals to legitimize themselves, struggle for their positions in multiple-level spaces, and make their mark on history. Thirdly, to sketch the trajectory of the modernity discourse of China shifting its focus from the Western model to an alternative modernity by uncovering the tension between enlightenment and national learning.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr Rebecca LEUNG Mo Ling (A&SS)

    Abstract

    Following the publication of her first novel in 1943, Eileen Chang (張愛玲, 1920–1995) went on to become an active member in the cultural fields of Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Even after her death in 1995, she still exerted a profound impact on literature today. In many of her works, Eileen Chang illustrated how she perceived Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Shanghai. Her perception obviously shaped the ways she portrayed the three places, which resulted in the rise of their diverse images in her writing. On the other hand, after Eileen Chang published her first novel, she and her subsequent works continued to be shaped by the cultural fields of the three places. Between 1943 and 2016, an enormous amount of reports concerning Eileen Chang appeared in newspapers, magazines, and websites. A wide range of topics were discussed, including the author and her writing, her interaction with other intellectuals and scholars, her movies and film promotion, etc. These reports provide a wealth of data that could shed light on the structure of different cultural fields. For example, the reports showed how Eileen Chang and her writing interacted with different members in the cultural fields such as publishers, editors of newspapers and magazines, scholars, readers, etc. Further analysis could be conducted in relation to nationality and gender. In this context, this study aims to examine how the ‘imagination’ process of Eileen Chang was affected by multiple cultural fields in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Through analyzing the newspaper reports published in the three places, the effects will be examined in the following four time periods: 1943–July 1952, August 1952–1969, 1970–1989, and 1990–present. In addition to exploring how Eileen Chang shaped the images of the three places, this study will focus also on how the three places in turn shaped Eileen Chang during different periods of time. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing the interplay between the structure of multiple cultural fields and Eileen Chang herself. Also, we will discuss how various forces in the cultural fields ‘shadowed’ and ‘imagined’ Eileen Chang.

    The significance of this proposed study lies in its provision of a new direction for research about Eileen Chang. Most studies in the past focused primarily on analyzing the texts written by Eileen Chang and the impact of her works. This study, however, will be the first to examine ‘how Eileen Chang shaped the three places on the two shores’ and ‘how the three places on the two shores in turn shaped Eileen Chan’. Through comparing the cultural fields of the three places on the two shores, we will be able to demonstrate how Hong Kong played unique roles in shaping Eileen Chang.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr WONG Chi Hung (A&SS)

    Abstract

    Not only is Du Fu’s (杜甫, 712–770) poetry influential in China, it has also attracted the eyeballs of countless readers worldwide. In the history of Chinese literary criticism, a myriad of literati have attempted to annotate Du Fu’s poetry, and figuratively mentioned in the field of Du Fu studies “Du [Fu’s poetry] is annotated by a thousand specialists” (qianjia zhudu 千家注杜). These annotations have greatly shaped our understanding of Du Fu and his poetry, as well as the evolution of Du Fu studies in later generations. Recently, some of the ancient annotated editions of Du Fu’s poetry have been collated and published.

    Du Fu’s poetry illustrates the decline of the Tang dynasty (618–907) through abundant content, in which many scholars believe that he is the greatest Chinese poet of all times and have been fervently exploring his life and poetry. By studying the commentaries made by a numbers of annotators, researchers are able to both probe the hidden meanings and metaphors of Du Fu’s poetry and examine the academic style of different times and different commentators.

    It is true that ever since Du Fu’s poetry was introduced to Japan, the Japanese literati have shown profound interest in citing his poetry in their Chinese poetic writings and interpreting his writing style. In the Edo period (1603-1868), Shao Fu’s (邵傅, fl. 1587) Collected Explanations on Du’s Eight-line Regulated Verse (Dulu jijie 《杜律集解》) has been imported and translated, and this book, simply put, is an annotated introduction to Du Fu’s eight-line regulated verse (lushi 律詩). Edo sinologists have also critically annotated Du Fu’s poetry based on Shao Fu’s works. These annotated editions are Utsunomiya Ton’an’s (宇都宮遯庵, 1633–1707) Supplementary to Collected Explanations on Du’s Eight-line Regulated Verse (Gōto zōkō Toritsu shūge 《鼇頭增廣杜律集解》), Daiten Kenjō’s (大典顯常, 1719–1801) Elucidations of Du’s Eight-line Regulated Verse (Toritsu hakki 《杜律發揮》), and Tsusaka Tōyō’s (津阪東陽, 1757–1825) Detailed Explanations on Du’s Eight-line Regulated Verse (Toritsu shōkai 《杜律詳解》).

    Although many studies have shed light on Du Fu based on materials found in Asia, the Japanese materials have not yet been thoroughly explored. This project thus aims at collating and annotating the three Japanese annotated editions mentioned above, to dig out the characteristics of Japanese sinology and Du Fu studies, to see how they interpret Du Fu’s poetry, and to examine the relationship between Chinese and Japanese documentology. We will fill these research gaps by introducing Japanese materials to the audiences and delving into the Japanese interpretation, and ultimately presenting the relationship between Chinese and Japanese Du Fu studies, in order to arouse the interest of scholars in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data

  • Principal Investigator

    Dr HUNG Chi Kum (A&SS)

    Abstract

    This project will focus on two magazines in Hong Kong, Daren (《大人》,1970–1973) and Dacheng (《大成》,1973 -1995), as its objects of study. Dacheng came down in lineage from Daren and the two should be treated as successive generations of the same publication that was in press for 25 years with a total of 304 issues. They were edited by an eminent Shanghai litterateur Shen Weichuang (沈葦窗) and thus were similar in style and content. Contributors of the magazines were conspicuous and came from diverse professional backgrounds including literature, military, and politics. The list of contributors is long. They include, to name a few, famous painters Chang Dai-chien (張大千) and Lin Feng-mien (林風眠); Peking opera actress Meng Linghui (孟令輝), also known as Meng Xiaodong (孟小冬); art critic Zhu Pu (朱樸), also known as Zhu Xingzhai (朱省齋); litterateurs Jin Xiongbai (金雄白), also known as Zhu Zijia (朱子家), Gao Zhenbai (高貞白), also known as Gao Boyu (高伯雨) or Lin Xi (林熙), Chen Cunren (陳存仁), Li Huang (李璜), Zuo Shunsheng (左舜生), and Liang Shih-chiu (梁實秋); and lyricist and writer Chan Dip-yi (陳蝶衣). Their anecdotes from first-hand experience provide valuable primary sources for modern and contemporary Chinese Studies and Hong Kong Studies, as well as contributing to the areas of Chinese literature, history, and culture.

    This project will approach the topic by studying newspapers and periodicals (報刊研究), a well-established methodology used in Chinese Studies. The idea is to make use of valuable resources found mainly in Chinese newspapers and magazines to study different aspects of the arts and humanities, similar to a more recent branch of study known as Periodical Studies. The findings will be analyzed from both textual and contextual perspectives, using Daren and Dacheng as a database of published articles for a thematic study of post-war Hong Kong cultural history. This project will also attempt to outline the personal history and social network of the chief editor, Shen Weichuang, in order to investigate the role and significance of the editor and his publications in the context of Chinese periodicals. Furthermore, this project will situate Daren and Dacheng in a broad historical background and, through comparison of the two magazines with other periodicals on culture and history, trace the relationship between Japanese-occupied Shanghai and post-war Hong Kong. The findings of this project will be presented or published to enrich the discourse on post-war Hong Kong literature and culture. This project will also generate an index of Daren and Dacheng to be made available online free of charge to scholars and readers worldwide.

    Research Output and/or Accessible Raw Data