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Showcasing robust research efforts through published books

Media Releases

Thu, 26 Aug 2021
Showcasing robust research efforts through published books
JCU research efforts through published books

A number of academics from James Cook University in Singapore have produced insightful edited books in 2021, showcasing the University’s research efforts.

James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore is devoted to addressing the critical challenges facing societies and the environment in the tropics, world-wide, through innovative and impactful research. This year, JCU, Singapore’s academics produced edited books published by Springer that explore a variety of important issues — including the use and value of public spaces in contemporary society, the key role of service excellence in the tourism and hospitality industry, how resource-constrained environments adapt and survive, and the ways social marketing can be used to address gaps in changing lifestyles among its targeted community.

These edited books showcase the University’s commitment to conducting research of excellence and high impact, particularly on issues of critical importance. So far, the edited books include:

The book “Urban Challenges in the Globalizing Middle-East” is a unique means to understand the use of public space in contemporary society, which is currently developing and transforming with the new needs of globalised communities. It examines the idea of public spaces within the context of the Middle East, and how urban design strategies can create and generate public spaces.

Dr Simona Azzali, lecturer and researcher in Urban Design at JCU in Singapore, said, “While cities are growing, public spaces are shrinking and declining worldwide. Nevertheless, public spaces have enormous potential, strategically supporting cities’ economic, environmental, and social agendas. Additionally, public spaces play an important role in urban centres as they can help address pressing issues such as social segregation and equity, public health, and safety. Public spaces are relevant as they satisfy many human needs, enabling people to interact and meet and those from different cultures and social backgrounds to encounter and learn from each other in social and spontaneous ways. However, decision makers tend to forget public spaces’ value, especially in the absence of a national regulatory framework in emerging globalised cities.”

She added, “The book is highly interdisciplinary with contributions across urban studies, social sciences, and public policy. The volume is envisaged to offer both theoretical and practical insights and meant to be a companion to urban scholars and practitioners across urban planning, architecture, urban design, tourism, public policy, heritage conservation, and social sciences.”

In “Service Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality”, Dr K. Thirumaran, Academic Head of Business at JCU in Singapore, and Dr Tang Chun Meng, Lecturer in Business at JCU in Singapore, worked together as two of the three editors on the book. It explores contributions and insights from JCU students on the tourism and hospitality industry, in collaboration with Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). The book shares concepts and case studies on service excellence such as measuring customer delight and achieving positive hospitality experiences through technology such as robotics, uniting various disciplines including business, economics, psychology and urbanism.

Dr Tang said, “Service excellence is the foundation of businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry. By establishing their integrity and striving to act in the best interests of their customers, businesses can create memorable experiences that lead to loyal customers and continued support. Through research, we found that despite the importance and relevance of this topic for tourism and hospitality, there was no book on this subject.”

Meanwhile, Dr Azzali and Dr Thirumaran came together as co-editors on the book “Tropical Constrained Environments and Sustainable Adaptations: Businesses & Communities”. The book investigates resource-constrained environments in the tropics and subtropics, where people’s lives and businesses are affected and adaptations occur periodically.

Dr Thirumaran said, “In the midst of rapid urbanisation, it is important to address pressing urban issues and build tropical resilience. Through exploring various disciplines such as architecture and planning, tourism, business and public policy, we can identify creative and sustainable solutions to create better tropical environments.”

The edited book comprises of 14 chapters contributed by scholars from a wide range of institutional affiliations with themes addressing resource management, local frameworks for businesses, designing, and planning for urban communities. Many of the chapters provide the quintessential strategies adopted by communities and businesses to challenging environments. Readers are invited to learn about past practices and think about new solutions, understand the benefits of empowering local communities and cultivate perspectives on the need to balance the built and natural environment for a sustainable world.

Finally, “Broadening Cultural Horizons in Social Marketing” tackles a unique series of health, social and environmental case studies to share the latest tools and approaches to changing behaviours for societal well-being. These ideas are critical to social marketing and social change.

Professor Abhishek Bhati, Campus Dean and Head of Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at JCU in Singapore, is one of the co-editors on the book. He said, “The book challenges beliefs about societal well-being through cross-cultural perspectives into the application of social marketing, to address gaps in changing lifestyles among its targeted community. In particular, it highlights unique challenges around behaviour and social change across the Asia-Pacific, showcasing successful social marketing interventions across the region. It allows the reader to learn new insights from academic, practitioner and industry experts.”

Discover further information on areas of research and research strength at James Cook University in Singapore.


Media: Pinky Sibal [email protected]