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There is a widely held but scarcely challenged belief that most organizational changes fail, especially in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Failure of M&A is often attributed to factors such as differences in organizational cultures, contested identities, perceived injustice, lack of trust, ineffective leadership and poor communication. A qualitative study was conducted in an acquiring company and two target companies to identify the criteria of a successful change, to explore perceptions of the degree of success of the acquisition(s) they had experienced, and to investigate the factors influencing these perceptions. The findings demonstrated that M&A can be considered successful when attention is paid, not only to integration of practices, but also to socio-cultural factors in managing M&A processes. The overall evaluation of these two acquisitions was that they had been successful. Implications for theory and practice include the possible differences between small- and large-scale M&A experiences.
The temporal structures of provincial realist novels set in extraction landscapes convey the new understanding of futurity that attended the nineteenth-century rise of an industrial system powered by a nonrenewable, diminishing stock of underground resources. Focusing on Joseph Conrad's Nostromo (1904), George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss (1860), and Fanny Mayne's Jane Rutherford; Or, the Miners' Strike (1853), this article demonstrates how these works adapt the provincial realist novel's emphasis on social renewal by way of marriage, reproduction, and inheritance to the extraction-based society of industrial Britain, undergirded by a trajectory of depletion and exhaustion rather than renewal. These works' deviation from novelistic chrononormativity expresses a new understanding of an extraction-based present that is claimed at the expense of future generations.
This essay recasts the central locale of The Mill on the Floss in order to show how the geography and society of George Eliot's novel function together as a conjoined ecological system. I show that the port at St. Ogg's is set on an estuary, and from this observation, I claim that the entanglement of multiple estuarial waters provides a formal model for the overall ecology of the novel. Referring to this system as “ecological form,” the essay shows how the characters’ misunderstanding of the estuarial nature of the St. Ogg's hydrography is the primary source of the communal divisions with which the novel is so famously riven. In so doing, this essay makes two methodological interventions, one local, and one slightly more global. In the first, I show how unsticking the progression of our criticism from that of a novel's plot—especially one with such a catastrophically strong telos as Mill’s—can allow us to view form and, particularly, geography as newly vital to literary history. This leads to the second intervention, in which I suggest that reading practices in an age of environmental collapse should look beyond disaster itself and toward affected communities’ systemic ties to those extraneous systems—economic, legal, imperial—that aid and abet disasters elsewhere and even ignore the potential for catastrophic reoccurrence in the near future. In other words, reading for water readily yields a wide-ranging map of global capitalism perhaps unexpectedly centered on a small town in Lincolnshire.
This article explores the ecology of form presented in George Eliot's novel Silas Marner. Though many have read the novel as a tight-knit account of an organic society, this author reads a more disorienting, emergent, and conflicted study of the coproduction of lives and environment. George Henry Lewes's account of physiology, particularly his discussion of epigenesis, is foundational to this disorganizing turn in Eliot's fiction. Finally, the author explores how the contingent relation between Eppie and Silas Marner underlines the recent convergence between discussions of queer futurity and the agential turn in ecocriticism.
This article traces the rise of modern oil culture to interlocking innovations in British fiction, political economy, natural science, and colonial capitalism. It advances a method called “transitive reading” to understand those innovations and to show how writers first conceived of oil in relation to established energy inputs such as coal. The article then reads Joseph Conrad's late masterpiece, Victory (1915), as an ambivalent artifact of the British petro-imagination. In representing the “liquidation” of overseas coal capitalism, Victory articulates a desire for freedom from carbon power, while nevertheless binding that desire to a world where petroleum or “liquid coal” was becoming increasingly constitutive of the self.
This essay reads Gerard Manley Hopkins's poetry for its “ecological perception”: a perceptual modality involving the dynamic interaction between human bodies and environmental givens or potentialities. Linking Hopkins's syncretic ideas about perception to the psychologist J. J. Gibson's account of our sensitivity to environmental “affordances,” the essay assesses three scales of ecological perception in Hopkins (arboreal, atmospheric, apocalyptic) and stresses the particular relevance of the intermediate (atmospheric) scale for our experience of environmental crisis. In “The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe,” Hopkins recognizes the “teleconnections” bridging global systems and specific sites without remaining rooted to the local or bioregional (arboreal) or rushing to a vantage beyond planetary confines (apocalyptic).
Taking a long view of mycological history, this essay considers how studies of fungal life have modeled fugitive, cryptic, and queer forms of belonging that open the body and the body politic to modes of collectivity that trouble the equation of ecology with holistic closure. Turning to Arthur Machen's The Hill of Dreams, this essay shows how the geographies of desire and belonging created through fungal intimacies make it impossible to speak of either the self-contained individual or ecology in the singular. Open and plural, selves and worlds proliferate, contaminate, and interpenetrate through the infectious touch of fungal relations.
This essay presents an ecocritical analysis of Hannah Crafts's The Bondwoman's Narrative, the 1850s manuscript novel by a formerly-enslaved African American woman that was recovered by Henry Louis Gates in 2001. Examining Crafts's extensive engagement with Charles Dickens's Bleak House, it argues that Crafts's fictionalized narrative of enslavement and self-emancipation re-imagines a Victorian politics of environmental health as a critique of environmental racism. Showing how Crafts presents the material ecology of the plantation South as a site and vector of violence, it reads The Bondwoman's Narrative as resisting nineteenth-century scientific discourses of racialized immunity that sought to legitimize the systemic neglect of enslaved people in the antebellum United States.
This essay returns to the early nineteenth-century prehistory of ecology to argue that the anthropocentrism of Victorian social novels should be understood as a deliberate, pragmatic response to the ethical dilemmas of ecological entanglement—dilemmas visible by the late eighteenth century. Interspecies entanglement and its discontents provided the cornerstone of Malthus's infamous arguments about overpopulation in the Essay on the Principle of Population (1798). Inspired by Malthus's proto-ecological vision of endless interconnection, Harriet Martineau adopted it as the plot structure of her Illustrations of Political Economy (1832–34), some of the earliest and most influential examples of industrial fiction. Later social novelists borrowed Martineau's narrative technique of disclosing community by tracing material interdependence, but they excluded relations that crossed the species barrier. Those exclusions arose not from arrogance or ignorance of humanity's dependence on other species but from the decision to bracket often unanswerable questions arising from interspecies collectivity to foreground the practical importance of attending to the urgent needs of human beings.
This collection of essays turns to the nineteenth century in order to weigh the legacy of its holistic conception of systems and to resurrect alternative discourses of openness, permeability, and indeterminate relation. If modern ecocriticism has sometimes been hobbled by a restrictively organic, harmonious conception of how ecologies work, we wager that a return to Victorian interrogations of natural and social collectives can furnish more open, less integrated models for how assemblages operate. The nineteenth century saw both the first acceleration of anthropogenic climate change and the birth of a host of sciences-economic, social, geological, energetic, and (yes) ecological-that now struggle to address the planetary implications of that acceleration. Our growing awareness that we are now living in the long tail of this conjuncture and at the birth of the Anthropocene has prompted a re-evaluation of what we think we know about how nature and society work, and how they might work together.
Studies of symbiosis have been instrumental in recent thinking about bodies and ecologies as open systems. But even before the invention of symbiosis toward the end of the nineteenth century, parasitism helped scientists conceive of open ecologies marked by complex, interdependent intimacies. This essay shows how the invention of symbiosis as an umbrella term for “true parasitisms” and “non-parasitisms” helped to close off previously existing (if precarious) possibilities for reciprocality within the older concept, and suggests that the time has come for a revitalization of parasitism as a conceptual tool in the face of social and ecological crisis
This article argues that Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor articulates a mid-nineteenth-century urban ecology that resonates with the “open” and “unfinished” form of midcentury London and Mayhew's London Labour itself. Mayhew's extensive elaboration of midcentury recycling, repurposing, and reusing practices is put into dialogue with the volumes’ print innovations and, in particular, print recycling practices. Drawing on the passage in which Mayhew describes his ecological vision most compactly—itself recycled from an earlier work—it illustrates how these volumes unite “the ragpicker” and the writer in the production of open and usable forms generative of social change.
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for the detection of foetal aneuploidy through analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in maternal blood is offered routinely by many healthcare providers across the developed world. This testing has recently been recommended for evaluative implementation in the UK National Health Service (NHS) foetal anomaly screening pathway as a contingent screen following an increased risk of trisomy 21, 18 or 13. In preparation for delivering a national service, we have implemented cfDNA-based NIPT in our Regional Genetics Laboratory. Here, we describe our validation and verification processes and initial experiences of the technology prior to rollout of a national screening service.
Data are presented from more than 1000 patients (215 retrospective and 840 prospective) from ‘high- and low-risk pregnancies’ with outcome data following birth or confirmatory invasive prenatal sampling. NIPT was by the Illumina Verifi® test.
Our data confirm a high-fidelity service with a failure rate of ~0.24% and a high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of foetal trisomy 13, 18 and 21. Secondly, the data show that a significant proportion of patients continue their pregnancies without prenatal invasive testing or intervention after receiving a high-risk cfDNA-based result. A total of 46.5% of patients referred to date were referred for reasons other than high screen risk. Ten percent (76/840 clinical service referrals) of patients were referred with ultrasonographic finding of a foetal structural anomaly, and data analysis indicates high- and low-risk scan indications for NIPT.
NIPT can be successfully implemented into NHS regional genetics laboratories to provide high-quality services. NHS provision of NIPT in patients with high-risk screen results will allow for a reduction of invasive testing and partially improve equality of access to cfDNA-based NIPT in the pregnant population. Patients at low risk for a classic trisomy or with other clinical indications are likely to continue to access cfDNA-based NIPT as a private test.
International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 355 drilled Sites U1456 and U1457 in Laxmi Basin (eastern Arabian Sea) to document the impact of the South Asian monsoon on weathering and erosion of the Himalaya. We revised the chronostratigraphic framework for these sites using a combination of biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy and strontium isotope stratigraphy. The sedimentary section at the two sites is similar and we divided it into six units bounded by unconformities or emplaced as a mass-transport deposit (MTD). Unit 1 underlies the MTD, and is of early–middle Miocene age at Site U1456 and early Paleocene age at Site U1457. An unconformity (U1) created by emplacement of the MTD (unit 2) during the late Miocene Epoch (at c. 9.83–9.69 Ma) separates units 1 and 2 and is identified by a marked change in lithology. Unit 3 consists of hemipelagic sediment with thin interbeds of graded sandstone of late Miocene age, separated from unit 4 by a second unconformity (U2) of 0.5–0.9 Myr duration. Unit 4 consists of upper Miocene interbedded mudstone and sandstone and hemipelagic chalk deposited between c. 8 and 6 Ma. A c. 1.4–1.6 Myr hiatus (U3) encompasses the Miocene–Pliocene boundary and separates unit 4 from unit 5. Unit 5 includes upper Pliocene – lower Pleistocene siliciclastic sediment that is separated from unit 6 by a c. 0.45 Myr hiatus (U4) in the lower Pleistocene sediments. Unit 6 includes a thick package of rapidly deposited Pleistocene sand and mud overlain by predominantly hemipelagic sediment deposited since c. 1.2 Ma.
A 1108.6 m long core was recovered at Site U1457 located on the Indus Fan in the Laxmi Basin of the eastern Arabian Sea during IODP Expedition 355. Shipboard examinations defined five lithologic units (I to V) of the lower Paleocene to Holocene sedimentary sequence. In this study, δ13C values of sedimentary organic matter (SOM) confirm the differentiation of the lithologic units and further divide units III and IV into two subunits (1 and 2). Based on the underlying assumption that the SOM is decided primarily by a mixture of marine and terrestrial origins, δ13CSOM values at Site U1457 provide information on the terrestrial catchment conditions since late Miocene time. Low δ13CSOM values from late Miocene to late Pleistocene times are similar (c. −22.0 ‰) for the most part, reflecting a consistent contribution of terrestrial organic matter from the catchment areas characterized by dominant C3 land plants. Significantly lower δ13CSOM values (c. −24.0 ‰) in Unit III-2 (∼8 to ∼7 Ma) might be due to a greater input of C3 terrestrial organic matter. The increase in δ13CSOM values at ∼7 Ma and the appearance of high δ13CSOM values (c. −18.0 ‰) within Unit III-1 (∼7 to ∼2 Ma) indicate that C4 biomass overwhelmed the terrestrial catchment environment as a result of enhanced terrestrial aridity in the Himalayan foreland. The three-end-member simple mixing model, estimating the relative contributions of SOM from terrestrial C3 and C4 plants and marine phytoplankton, supports our interpretation of the distribution of C3 and C4 land plants in the terrestrial catchment environment.
We consider the spreading of a thin viscous droplet, injected through a finite region of a substrate, under the influence of surface tension. We neglect gravity and assume that there is a precursor layer covering the whole substrate and that the rate of injection is constant. We analyse the evolution of the film profile for early and late time, and obtain power-law dependencies for the maximum film thickness at the centre of the injection region and the position of an apparent contact line, which compare well with numerical solutions of the full problem. We relax the conditions on the injection rate to consider more general time-dependent and spatially varying forms. In the case of power-law injection of the form
, we observe a switch in the behaviour of the evolution of the film thickness for late time from increasing to decreasing at a critical value of
. We show that point-source injection can be treated as a limiting case of a finite-injection slot and the solutions exhibit identical behaviours for late time. Finally, we formulate the problem with thickness-dependent injection rate, discuss the behaviour of the maximum film thickness and the position of the apparent contact line and give power-law dependencies for these.
Adolescence is a critical time point in the lifecourse. LifeLab is an educational intervention engaging adolescents in understanding Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concepts and the impact of the early life environment on future health, benefitting both their long-term health and that of the next generation. We aimed to assess whether engaging adolescents with DOHaD concepts improves scientific literacy and whether engagement alone improves health behaviours.
Six schools were randomized, three to intervention and three to control. Outcome measures were changed in knowledge, and intended and actual behaviour in relation to diet and lifestyle. A total of 333 students completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires. At 12 months, intervention students showed greater understanding of DOHaD concepts. No sustained changes in behaviours were identified.
Adolescents’ engagement with DOHaD concepts can be improved and maintained over 12 months. Such engagement does not itself translate into behaviour change. The intervention has consequently been revised to include additional components beyond engagement alone.
The number of people entering specialist drug treatment for cannabis problems has increased considerably in recent years. The reasons for this are unclear, but rising cannabis potency could be a contributing factor.
Cannabis potency data were obtained from an ongoing monitoring programme in the Netherlands. We analysed concentrations of δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the most popular variety of domestic herbal cannabis sold in each retail outlet (2000–2015). Mixed effects linear regression models examined time-dependent associations between THC and first-time cannabis admissions to specialist drug treatment. Candidate time lags were 0–10 years, based on normative European drug treatment data.
THC increased from a mean (95% CI) of 8.62 (7.97–9.27) to 20.38 (19.09–21.67) from 2000 to 2004 and then decreased to 15.31 (14.24–16.38) in 2015. First-time cannabis admissions (per 100 000 inhabitants) rose from 7.08 to 26.36 from 2000 to 2010, and then decreased to 19.82 in 2015. THC was positively associated with treatment entry at lags of 0–9 years, with the strongest association at 5 years, b = 0.370 (0.317–0.424), p < 0.0001. After adjusting for age, sex and non-cannabis drug treatment admissions, these positive associations were attenuated but remained statistically significant at lags of 5–7 years and were again strongest at 5 years, b = 0.082 (0.052–0.111), p < 0.0001.
In this 16-year observational study, we found positive time-dependent associations between changes in cannabis potency and first-time cannabis admissions to drug treatment. These associations are biologically plausible, but their strength after adjustment suggests that other factors are also important.