Recent Submissions

  • Agricultural information dissemination using ICTs: a review and analysis of information dissemination models in China

    Zhang, Yun; Wang, Lei; Duan, Yanqing; Ministry of Agriculture, China; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2016-03)
    Over the last three decades, China’s agriculture sector has been transformed from the traditional to modern practice through the effective deployment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Information processing and dissemination have played a critical role in this transformation process. Many studies in relation to agriculture information services have been conducted in China, but few of them have attempted to provide a comprehensive review and analysis of different information dissemination models and their applications. This paper aims to review and identify the ICT based information dissemination models in China and to share the knowledge and experience in applying emerging ICTs in disseminating agriculture information to farmers and farm communities to improve productivity and economic, social and environmental sustainability. The paper reviews and analyzes the development stages of China’s agricultural information dissemination systems and different mechanisms for agricultural information service development and operations. Seven ICT-based information dissemination models are identified and discussed. Success cases are presented. The findings provide a useful direction for researchers and practitioners in developing future ICT based information dissemination systems. It is hoped that this paper will also help other developing countries to learn from China’s experience and best practice in their endeavor of applying emerging ICTs in agriculture information dissemination and knowledge transfer.
  • Linking operations, marketing and environmental capabilities and diversification to hotel performance: a data envelopment analysis approach

    Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Ramanathan, Usha; Zhang, Yubo (Elsevier, 2016-03)
    This study examines the impacts of marketing capability, operations capability, environmental capability and diversification strategy on performance of hotel industry in the UK. We conceptualize these impacts by drawing on the resource-based-view of a firm as the theoretical underpinning. We use the financial archival data and information obtained from websites. We use content analysis, regression analysis and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Our results show that operations capability and environmental capability have significant positive effects on performance, marketing capability has a significant negative impact but diversification strategy does not impact on performance. Additionally, there is no evidence of the moderating effects of efficiency on these impacts. Our study suggests that hotel industry in the UK ought to focus on developing operations and environmental capabilities especially by exploiting the synergies between them but reduce excessive reliance on marketing. This paper makes two important contributions to the literature. First, it applies a framework linking the three capabilities (operations, marketing and environment) and diversification to the specific case of the hotel industry. Second, unlike similar previous studies, ours is the first to incorporate environmental capabilities in the analysis.
  • Understanding complexity: the curvilinear relationship between environmental performance and firm performance

    Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan (Springer, 2016-02-26)
    The nature of the relationship between environmental performance (EP) and firm performance (FP) of corporations is a long standing and contentious issue in the literature. This study is intended to advance this debate by arguing for the existence of curvilinear relationship and empirically testing the same using survey data on UK manufacturing firms. FP is captured in terms of growth in sales and market share. Our results show evidence for a quadratic relationship—as firms improve their EP, they seem to achieve much higher levels of FP. These results are consistent with the resource-based view of a firm; as firms engage in EP activities, they are able to gain inimitable knowledge that helps in further learning to further improve performance. Based on our results, we suggest that new studies focus on strategies to extend the period of increasing returns and maximizing the benefits of the positive association between EP and FP.
  • Environmental management practices and environmental performance: the roles of operations and marketing capabilities

    Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Yu, Wantao; University of Kent; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2016)
    Purpose – The main purpose of this paper is to provide an initial analysis of the roles of functional capabilities in adopting environmental management practices (EMP) and improving environmental performance from an organizational capability perspective. Design/methodology/approach – By combing survey data and archival data from 121 UK based manufacturing firms, this study explores the relationships among functional capabilities (marketing and operations), EMP and environmental performance. Findings – The results show that marketing and operations capabilities significantly affect EMP, which in turn leads to improved environmental performance. More specifically, this study finds that EMP fully mediates the relationship between marketing capability and environmental performance. Practical implications – The results of this study provide guidance for managers considering how to develop environmental capability in order to improve environmental performance. Originality/value – This study addresses a demonstrable gap in the existing literature that few empirical studies have explored the potential effects of functional capabilities on implementing EMP.
  • The partner proliferation problem in disaster response networks

    Hasani, Sara; El-Haddadeh, Ramzi; Aktas, Emel (Springer International Publishing, 2016)
  • The value of dynamic pricing for cores in remanufacturing with backorders

    Xiong, Yu; Li, Gendao; Chongqing Technology and Business University; University of East Anglia; Jilin University (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012-10-10)
    In remanufacturing, the supply of used products and the demand for remanufactured products are usually mismatched because of the great uncertainties on both sides. In this paper, we propose a dynamic pricing (DP) policy to balance this uncertain supply and demand. Specifically, we study a remanufacturer’s problem of pricing a single class of cores with random price-dependent returns and random demand for the remanufactured products with backlogs. We model this pricing task as a continuous-time Markov decision process, which addresses both the finite and infinite horizon problems, and provide managerial insights by analysing the structural properties of the optimal policy. We then use several computational examples to illustrate the impacts of particular system parameters on pricing policy and the benefit of DP. In addition, the models are extended to account for the price adjustment costs. We show through numerical example that the nice structural properties do not exist any longer, and find when DP is better than static pricing.
  • The bright side of manufacturing–remanufacturing conflict in a decentralised closed-loop supply chain

    Zhou, Yu; Xiong, Yu; Li, Gendao; Xiong, Zhongkai; Beck, Matthias (Taylor & Francis, 2013-05)
    Researchers and managers broadly agree that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), which have opportunities to produce both new and remanufactured products, are better off by centrally controlling their manufacturing and remanufacturing activities. Thus, OEMs should not remanufacture used products until the remanufacturing cost is sufficiently low to overcome the negative impact of new product cannibalisation. In this paper, we present a contrasting view of the manufacturing–remanufacturing conflict: OEMs sometimes benefit from the decentralised control mode under which they ignore the internal cannibalisation rather than the remanufacturing option. We consider a decentralised closed-loop supply chain in which one OEM can purchase new components from one supplier to produce new products and collect used products from consumers to produce remanufactured products. The key feature of our model is that the OEM can select a centralised or decentralised control mode to manage its manufacturing and remanufacturing activities before the supplier prices the new component. In a steady state period setting, we analyse the players’ optimal decisions and compare the OEM's profits under centralised and decentralised control modes. Our analytic results reveal that the decentralised control within the OEM can outperform the centralised control when the cost structure of producing new and remanufactured products satisfies certain conditions. Finally, the key findings are distilled in a conceptual framework and its managerial implications are discussed.
  • Opposites attract: organisational culture and supply chain performance

    Cadden, Trevor; Marshall, Donna; Cao, Guangming; University of Ulster; University College Dublin; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2013-01-18)
    Purpose – The aim of this paper is to expand the knowledge of buyer‐supplier relationships by investigating the extent to which organisational cultural fit between a buyer and supply chain participants influences performance. Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted in a FMCG supply chain. A cultural dimensions questionnaire was used in a focal organisation (the buyer) and it identified best and poorest performing supply chain. The results were analysed using a series of ANOVA's within the respective supply chains. The findings were then triangulated via qualitative methods. Findings – The findings demonstrate that complementarity rather than congruence between the supply chain partners achieved successful performance outcomes. Organisations in the high‐performing supply chain had significantly different cultural profiles, reporting significant statistical differences across all six cultural dimensions. Organisations in the low‐performing supply chain had almost identical profiles across all six cultural dimensions with significantly lower mean scores across each dimension. Research limitations/implications – The deconstruction of organisational culture into its constituent dimensions in a supply chain provides insights for academics. Propositions are presented which provide a platform for further studies. Future studies could develop these findings by using a larger sample, over a longer period of time, and adding mediating variables that impact supply chain outcomes. Practical implications – Managers should pay attention to cultural evaluation within the supplier selection process as well as finance or strategic evaluations. A shared supply chain culture of norm‐based trust and openness may yield better outcomes and reduced conflict and uncertainty throughout the supply chain. Originality/value – This is one of the first papers to deconstruct and measure organisational cultural fit empirically in a supply chain context.
  • Multilevel HRM systems and intermediating variables in MNCs: longitudinal case study research in Middle Eastern settings

    AL-Husan, Faten Baddar; AL-Hussan, Fawaz Baddar; Perkins, Stephen J. (Taylor & Francis, 2013-09-02)
    This paper uses longitudinal case studies of HR reform within privatised Jordanian undertakings, with French parent companies, to analyse HRM knowledge transfer across geographical and ‘psychic’ boundaries, following business acquisitions in an emerging Middle Eastern economy. It does this by paying attention to organisational information and control mechanisms utilised by multinational companies (MNCs). The findings indicate that, when working across transcultural settings, MNC managers who pay attention to the intermediating influences of how the parties build common understanding and learn to work together affect the success of inter-unit knowledge transfer.
  • A relational approach to understanding knowing in communities of practice

    Kakavelakis, Konstantinos; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2010-10)
    The typology of knowledge communities and knowledge collectivities has aimed to enhance the analytical clarity of the communities of practice concept (CoPs). This is achieved by outlining key differences in the knowing unfolding in CoPs and in less ‘homogeneous’ collectives such as multi-disciplinary project teams. This paper argues that the typology offers an account which denies any significant role to agency within CoPs. Additionally, it explicates the knowledge processes CoPs engage with, by reference to their internal constitution and in isolation from the broader contexts in which they are embedded. To address this limitation the paper employs a relational perspective of agency and context interplay. It reports data from two case studies of CoPs operating within the context of a merger in the UK brewing sector. The evidence reaffirms the significance of agency in CoPs. It also illustrates how the exercise of agency is mediated by performative expectations derived from the positioning of work practices within broader relations of production. The interplay of agency and context poses limitations to the reification of the characteristics of knowing—in terms of the types of knowledge drawn upon and the outcomes of such a process—in different groups.
  • A DST-based approach for construction project risk analysis

    Taroun, Abdulmaten; Yang, J.B.; University of Bedfordshire (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013-04-03)
    Despite its huge potential in risk analysis, the Dempster–Shafer Theory of Evidence (DST) has not received enough attention in construction management. This paper presents a DST-based approach for structuring personal experience and professional judgment when assessing construction project risk. DST was innovatively used to tackle the problem of lacking sufficient information through enabling analysts to provide incomplete assessments. Risk cost is used as a common scale for measuring risk impact on the various project objectives, and the Evidential Reasoning algorithm is suggested as a novel alternative for aggregating individual assessments. A spreadsheet-based decision support system (DSS) was devised to facilitate the proposed approach. Four case studies were conducted to examine the approach's viability. Senior managers in four British construction companies tried the DSS and gave very promising feedback. The paper concludes that the proposed methodology may contribute to bridging the gap between theory and practice of construction risk assessment.
  • Explaining the price of oil 1971–2014 : the need to use reliable data on oil discovery and to account for ‘mid-point’ peak

    Bentley, Roger; Bentley, Yongmei; University of Bedfordshire; University of Reading (Elsevier, 2015-11)
    This paper explains, in broad terms, the price of oil from 1971 to 2014 and focuses on the large price increases after 1973 and 2004. The explanation for these increases includes the quantity of conventional oil (i.e. oil in fields) discovered, combined with the decline in production of this oil that occurs typically once ‘mid-point’ is passed. Many past explanations of oil price have overlooked these two constraints, and hence provided insufficient explanations of oil price. Reliable data on conventional oil discovery cannot come from public-domain proved (‘1P’) oil reserves, as such data are very misleading. Instead oil industry backdated proved-plus-probable (‘2P’) data must be used. It is recognised that accessing 2P data can be expensive, or difficult. The ‘mid-point’ peak of conventional oil production results from a region's field-size distribution, its fall-off in oil discovery, and the physics of field decline. In terms of the future price of oil, estimates of the global recoverable resource of conventional oil show that the oil price will remain high on average, unless dramatic changes occur in the volume of production and cost of non-conventional oils, or if the overall demand for oil were to decline. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
  • The role of collaboration in the UK green supply chains: an exploratory study of the perspectives of suppliers, logistics and retailers

    Ramanathan, Usha; Bentley, Yongmei; Pang, Gu; University of Bedfordshire; Newcastle University (Elsevier, 2014-05)
    Many companies around the world have started to realise that working alone will not be sufficient in their move towards a greener supply chain (SC). More specifically, recent UK government regulations on implementing strict CO2 reduction encourage SC operators to work collaboratively, in production and logistics and in other operations, to achieve their green objectives. In this research, we look at some underlying factors of SC collaboration, focussing on suppliers, logistics and retailers, for the purpose of improving the environmental sustainability of companies' SCs. To facilitate our study, we conduct case studies in two overseas supplier companies with the aim of providing a better understanding of how green issues imposed by European and UK customers influence the companies' actions to meet agreed environmental goals. Then, staff in middle-management and related roles in sixteen companies operating in the UK are interviewed to understand their business practices in achieving the goal of CO2 reduction. Finally, drawing upon the information from company reports and websites, a number of UK leading retailers' actions to reduce CO2 emissions are investigated. We develop a conceptual framework of three levels of SC collaboration for environmental sustainability to help companies improve their level of collaboration between suppliers and buyers in terms of meeting their environmental objectives. The proposed framework will serve as a base model for the companies using or considering SC collaboration to achieve their environmental agendas, in line with governmental green regulatory requirements.
  • The moderating effect of operations efficiency on the links between environmental performance and financial performance: the UK evidence

    Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Akanni, Adewole Oluwatomi (Korea Technology Innovation Society, 2015-05-01)
    Drawing upon the resource-based-view of a firm, we investigate the moderating role of operations efficiency on the link between environmental and financial performance. Extant literature has highlighted that operations efficiency is closely associated with the environmental/financial performance of firms, but no empirical study has investigated how operations efficiency affects the link between environmental and financial performance. We argue that operations efficiency could act as a moderator of this relationship. To test the hypothesized relationships, we have used available secondary quantitative UK data, namely data on the environmental/financial performance of Britain’s most admired companies. By employing moderated regression analysis, we have found strong evidence for the moderating impact of operations efficiency. Our results are useful to managers in that they show that improvements in operations efficiency in a company can also help improve environmental/financial performance and vice versa.
  • A note on the role of logistics in e-commerce transactions using customer feedback

    Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; George, Joseph; Ramanathan, Usha (Springer, 2014)
  • IN&OUT model: knowledge management applied to the succession process in family business

    Sarabia, Maria; Obeso, Maria; Philpott, Elly; University of Cantabria; University of Bedfordshire; University of Cantabria (2015)
    Evidence suggests that only 30 per cent of family businesses survive after the first generation. The purpose of this paper is to explain how the unique culture and knowledge forms, which are identified as intangible and relevant advantages on family businesses, can be protected through leadership succession. IN&OUT succession model is built on three previous frameworks: Denison culture model, Nonaka and Takeuchi's knowledge creation and next-generation socialization theory. The IN&OUT model presents a step-by-step process where the successor receives from the founder and from the business (IN); and the successor contributes to the group and to the organization (OUT), creating a dynamic loop of biographical leadership.
  • Virtual Team Community of Practice (VTCoP) theory can inform the delivery of online learning

    Philpott, Elly; Pike, David; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013)
    Purpose – As higher education becomes an increasingly global commodity, the rush is on to embrace best practice in the delivery of online courses. This author advocates that the delivery of such courses be treated as management of a Virtual team community of practice (VTCoP) and as such, delivering academics should embrace relevant theory and tools in this area. Design/methodology/approach – Based on extensive work on European projects, the author advocates a timeline of relevant theory and tool application that can be applied to the lifecycle of an online course. Theory overviewed includes Use and Gratification theory, Social Exchange theory, Bond theory and Identity theory as well as IT-based models such as Information Systems Success Model (ISSM). Findings – A theoretical model is presented. Research limitations/implications – The theoretical model has still to be tested. Practical implications – The paper argues that by creating the conditions commensurate with a successful VTCoP throughout the engagement lifecycle, students are more likely to be engaged and committed to completing an online course. Social implications – The paper uses existing theory to potentially improve completion rates on online courses. Originality/value – The paper is original in that it combines existing socio-technical theory from the information systems domain with that of educational pedagogy to inform good practice.
  • The use of models and methods for strategic planning: towards an holistic view of strategy

    Philpott, Elly; Hamblin, David; Baines, Tim; Kay, G; University of Luton; University of Central Lancashire; Cranfield University (Wiley, 2004)
    Formulating manufacturing business strategy is often fragmented in as much as current tools address upstream and downstream vertical integration with product integration, or more recently, product and infrastructure integration. Rarely do tools address all of these dimensions in an holistic manner. The research described in this paper is that undertaken in the MAPSTRAT project: a scoping study with industrial partners, aiming to satisfy this business need. A comprehensive literature study is described which is contextualized using six case studies. The paper stresses the importance of ‘joined-up thinking’ and outlines plans for an appropriate tool that is under development.
  • Making European research work for your company: strategic guide to the successful use and dissemination of the results of research and development projects

    McNerney, O.; Stachowicz, A.; Czuprynski, P.; Philpott, Elly; Kolman, D.; Martin, D.; Hermann, E.; IPIC; CUT; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Steinbeis Publications, 2009)

View more