Masters Dissertations

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The Masters Dissertations collection contains digital copies of AUT University masters dissertations deposited with the Library since 2007 and made available open access. From 2007 onwards, all dissertations for masters degrees awarded are required to be deposited in Tuwhera Open Theses & Dissertations unless subject to an embargo.

Dissertations submitted prior to 2007 are usually recorded in the AUT Library catalogue where the full text, if available, may be accessed with an AUT password. Other people should request an Interlibrary Loan through their library.

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 1094
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    Exploring the Luxury Train Experience: A Case Study of the TranzAlpine Train
    (Auckland University of Technology, 2024) Patel, Khushbu Satish
    This dissertation aims to explore the key aspects that define a luxury train experience and assess the opportunities and risks of enhancing its appeal to luxury tourists. The research described here was rooted in a qualitative methodology, within an interpretive paradigm to analyse traveller reviews of 10 luxury trains worldwide from TripAdvisor, along with data from the TranzAlpine’s website. Through thematic analysis, the research identified eight main themes that define the luxury train experience: Memories, Service, Food and beverages, Cabin, Excursions, Booking, Onboard amenities, and Travel assurance. The study conducts an opportunity and risk analysis for incorporating these aspects into the TranzAlpine train service, aiming to transform it into a luxury tourism product. The findings suggest significant opportunities for the TranzAlpine to differentiate itself and attract luxury tourists by enhancing service quality, offering exclusive experiences, ensuring passenger comfort and satisfaction. However, risks such as the need for substantial investment, maintaining high service standards, and managing operational complexities must be carefully navigated. This dissertation contributes to the literature on luxury train tourism and offers theoretical and practical insights for industry practitioners. In providing a detailed analysis of luxury train travel and its application to the TranzAlpine, the study proposes eight recommendations that could redefine the service, turning it from a scenic journey into a luxurious and memorable travel experience.
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    The Pasifika Youth Sporting Experience: Pressure, Opportunities and Gaining an Understanding Through a Coaching Lens
    (Auckland University of Technology, 2023) Robinson, Tayla
    The experience of Pasifika youth in Aotearoa who participate in sport is important to understanding coaching and athlete development. Although Pasifika have higher participation rates in sport within the youth space, little has been done to privilege their voices. This qualitative descriptive study unpacks the perceptions and experiences of Pasifika youth in sport. The participants in this study were secondary school athletes aged 16-18 years who identified as being of Pasifika-descent and played at least one sport at the school representative level. Data was gathered using a culturally appropriate method, Talanoa. Using thematic analysis, four dominant themes were identified that shaped the participants experiences: familial obligations, athlete perceptions of culture, coach-athlete relationship, and stereotypes and stigma. Pressures stemming from the need to reciprocate parents for providing opportunities for engagement was evident with participants. Opportunities to reconnect with heritage and redefine team culture were highly valued amongst this cohort. Coaches who formed an environment which embraced the backgrounds and individuality of athletes formed positive connections with youth. Participants were victim to various forms of stereotyping and racial prejudice both on and off the field. The findings suggest that coaches who engage with Pasifika athletes must take into consideration their individuality by creating an environment which embraces the backgrounds of their constituents to form positive connections. By strengthening the connections with the athletes, practitioners may be in a better position to understand the motives behind their engagement and help navigate the associated pressure of being a developing Pasifika athlete. Through maintaining a high level of cultural responsiveness, coaches and practitioners alike can better utilize their role as a support mechanism to shape and enhance the experiences of Pasifika youth in sport.
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    The Influence of Paid, Owned, and Earned Social Media Content on the Customer Experience
    (Auckland University of Technology, 2023) Singh, Bhavina
    This study aims to understand how the customer experience is impacted in the context of so-cial media marketing. To do this, the three main types of social media content, paid, owned, and earned, are investigated in relation to the customer experience. This is researched in the context of Instagram to answer the research question, how does paid, owned, and brand-related content on Instagram impact the customer experience? This is a qualitative study which interviews ten participants who have made a purchase from Instagram within the last 6 months. The findings present three key themes: 1) perception of trust 2) product value 3) gender preferences. These themes are discussed in relation to the customer experience where paid and earned media impact the customer experience positively for female consumers and owned content impacts the customer experience positively for male consumers. It is also found that paid and earned media diminish the exclusivity associated with owning high-value products. The findings of this research imply that factors such as the value of the product and the gender of the target audience for the product should be considered when using paid, owned, and earned social media content to create positive customer experiences.
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    Women’s Career Expectations and Gender Barriers in the New Zealand Hotel Industry
    (Auckland University of Technology, 2024) Qian, Xinye
    This research explores hotel staff work conditions in the New Zealand context. Furthermore, it explores women’s career expectations and gender barriers in the New Zealand hotel industry. Previous studies have highlighted a significant issue: women and men hold different career expectations and experience distinct progressions within their hospitality careers. Particularly notable is the observation that women encounter more obstacles compared to men in advancing within the hotel industry. To have a better understanding of women’s hotel careers, this study has focused on exploring women’s career expectations and whether gender barriers affect their career expectations and career progressions. This research applied a quantitative method, and an online survey was used to collect data about demographic profiles, career conditions, career progressions career expectations and barriers. The survey was open to eligible hotel employees in New Zealand. There were three main findings from this study. Firstly, the results indicated that women and men were facing some common challenges in their hotel careers while women were more negatively affected by these issues. Secondly, sexual harassment, work-life conflicts, and mobility issues were the main gender barriers women faced. Lastly, this study had a novel finding that women’s career expectations tended to decline as their careers progressed due to the barriers, while men’s were increasingly positive. This dissertation concludes with theoretical and practical implications of the study, in the hope it will help create better and more reasonable career development for women in the New Zealand hotel industry.
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    The Relationship Between Sport Specialisation, Participation Volume, and Injury History in New Zealand Youth Basketball
    (Auckland University of Technology, 2023) Fossum, Andreas
    The surge in youth basketball participation in New Zealand (NZ) prompts an investigation into the associations between participation volume, sport specialisation, and injury history among young New Zealand basketballers. With secondary school basketball witnessing a 45% increase in participation over the last two decades, concerns have been raised about players specialising and the potential for increased injuries. This dissertation aims to address three key research questions: (I) Is there an association between sports participation volume and injury history? (II) Is there an association between sports specialisation (in basketball) and injury history? (III) Does the ratio of organised sports participation to free-play relate to injury history in young New Zealand basketball players? This cross-sectional study surveyed three hundred and sixty-six (50% male, aged 10-19) New Zealand basketball players from the 2020 Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) junior nationals’ selection camp. Electronic tablets with SurveyMonkey were used to gather the data on sports specialisation, injury history, weekly sport participation volume, and free-play hours over the previous 12 months. A previously published questionnaire (McGowan et al., 2020) was adapted for basketball-specific purposes. One-way ANOVA, Pearson's Chi-squared test, and multiple logistic regression analyses adjusted for sex, age, and participation hours, assessed associations between sport specialisation, sport participation volume recommendations, and injury outcomes. The threshold for statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Fifty-five per cent of players reported at least one injury, with lower-limb injuries constituting 70% of total injuries. Forty-six per cent were highly specialised, 40% moderately, and 14% low specialised. Weekly sport participation volume averaged 9.5 ± 4.67 hours, with no significant differences between specialisation groups. Over half of the participants exceeded the 2:1 organised sport-to-free-play ratio, and 88% played basketball for more than 8 months per year. After adjusting for age, gender, and weekly participation hours, neither medium nor highly specialised players showed increased odds of 'any injury' or 'lower limb injury' compared to the low specialisation group. Males had significantly higher odds of reporting any injury, while the medium specialisation group was less likely to report lower limb injuries than the low specialisation group. Exceeding participation volume recommendations showed no significant association with injury history. Our study of New Zealand youth basketball players found a higher prevalence of high specialisation (46%) compared to previous studies (McGowan et al., 2020). Exceeding participation volume recommendations showed no significant association with injury history, challenging established norms. Notably, basketball players who participated for more than 8 months per year did not exhibit increased odds of injury, contrary to previous literature. Recreational free-play did not show a protective effect, possibly reflecting changing activity patterns among young athletes. While our study provides valuable insights, limitations include potential recall bias, a lack of injury detail, and a lack of generalisability outside the New Zealand basketball population. Further research is necessary to further our understanding of youth sports specialisation and participation volume, considering regional and sport-specific factors.
Dissertations are protected by the Copyright Act 1994 (New Zealand). The dissertation may be consulted by you, provided you comply with the provisions of the Act and the following conditions of use:
  • Any use you make of these documents or images must be for research or private study purposes only, and you may not make them available to any other person.
  • Authors control the copyright of their dissertation. You will recognise the author’s right to be identified as the author of the dissertation, and due acknowledgement will be made to the author where appropriate.
  • You will obtain the author’s permission before publishing any material from the dissertation.