• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Project management: practice-based learning at a UK university

      Philpott, Elly; Owen, David; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2016)
      The chapter evaluates Practice-Based Learning on a UK postgraduate course and proffers conceptual models and measures for the student practice-based experience. Improved understanding and experience is explored through the use of an in-depth case study of a practice-based unit on an MSc in Project Management. Data is collected through an exit survey of students which compares their understanding of hard and soft project management tools before and after completing a unit. Experience data is collected from the analysis of personal reflective reports. The results show a positive shift in understanding of hard and soft project management tools indicating significant value to the students. Supplementary value also comes in the form of teaching development, value to the clients and value to the university in terms of sustainable engagement and profile. Student experience of the unit was positive and negative. Positive experiences stem from good client communications, a motivated team and the buzz of a real project and lead to a perception of pride in outcomes and personal transferrable skills. Negative experiences stem from the lack of life experience, language difficulties, client unavailability, lack of Project Management knowledge and literature gaps which left students feeling ill-equipped to deal with the international group context. Negative experiences lead to stress and poor group development. Conceptual models for positive and negative experience are proposed. ‘Open Business Learning’ is introduced to distinguish Practice Based Learning in a business context. The study is based on a single simple case and has no statistical validity externally but is nonetheless based on a sound methodology which has sought to reduce problems with internal validity, reliability and bias. There is a balance to be sought between providing a positive student experience and practical learning. Practice-Based Learning may add significant value to the student in terms of improved understanding of hard and soft tools, but may need to be based upon positive and negative experience. We should be mindful of striving for a solely positive student experience if it is at the cost of more valuable learning.
    • The partner proliferation problem in disaster response networks

      Hasani, Sara; El-Haddadeh, Ramzi; Aktas, Emel (Springer International Publishing, 2016)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Linking business analytics to decision making effectiveness: a path model analysis

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; Li, Gendao; University of Bedfordshire (IEEE, 2015-06-24)
      While business analytics is being increasingly used to gain data-driven insights to support decision making, little research exists regarding the mechanism through which business analytics can be used to improve decision-making effectiveness (DME) at the organizational level. Drawing on the information processing view and contingency theory, this paper develops a research model linking business analytics to organizational DME. The research model is tested using structural equation modeling based on 740 responses collected from U.K. businesses. The key findings demonstrate that business analytics, through the mediation of a data-driven environment, positively influences information processing capability, which in turn has a positive effect on DME. The findings also demonstrate that the paths from business analytics to DME have no statistical differences between large and medium companies, but some differences between manufacturing and professional service industries. Our findings contribute to the business analytics literature by providing useful insights into business analytics applications and the facilitation of data-driven decision making. They also contribute to manager's knowledge and understanding by demonstrating how business analytics should be implemented to improve DME
    • 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.
    • Bringing the world to Carnival: practice based teaching at a UK university

      Philpott, Elly; Corfan, D.; University of Bedfordshire (2015)
    • 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.
    • An empirical examination of stakeholder pressures, green operations practices and environmental performance

      Yu, Wantao; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; University of East Anglia; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2014-06-26)
      This study explores two key attributes constituting green operations practices (i.e. internal green management and green product/process design) and examines the links of adopting green operations practices with its antecedent factors (stakeholder pressures) and consequent performance outcomes (environmental performance). Data collected from 167 manufacturing firms in the UK were analysed using structural equation modelling. The results reveal that stakeholder pressures have a significant positive effect on internal green management, and that internal green management significantly affects green product/process design. The two attributes of green operations practices are significantly and positively related to environmental performance. More specifically, we find that internal green management fully mediates the relationship between stakeholder pressures and green product/process design and the relationship between stakeholder pressures and environmental performance.
    • A path model linking business analytics, data-driven culture, and competitive advantage

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; University of Bedfordshire (European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), 2014-06)
      Business analytics (BA) has become increasingly important for companies to gain valuable insights from big data and ultimately competitive advantage. However, little empirical evidence exists regarding the mechanisms through which BA impacts on competitive advantage. In light of this paucity, this paper aims to advance our understanding of the impact of BA on competitive advantage. First, this paper provides a BA classification. Second, drawing on contingency theory and the resource-based view, it develops a research model that specifies the paths from BA to competitive advantage. Third, it empirically tests the proposed model using structural equation modelling, offering valuable insights into how different types of BA impact on competitive advantage. Fourth, it systematically tests how resource valu, rarity and inimitability impact on competitive advantage. The findings demonstrate that BA, through the mediation of a data-driven culture, positively impacts on information processing capabilities, which in turn have a positive effect on competitive advantage. The findings also demonstrate that resource valu, rarity and inimitability partially but strongly mediate the impact of information processing capabilities on competitive advantage. Finally, the paper contributes to managers´ knowledge by demonstrating how different types of BA should be implemented to develop information processing capabilities and gain competitive advantage.
    • Inter-firm knowledge transfer and innovation in SMEs: a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis

      Poorkavoos, Meysam; Duan, Yanqing; Edwards, John S.; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; University of Bedfordshire; Aston University; Roffey Park Institute (International Conference on Information Resources Management - Conf-IRM, 2014-05)
    • 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 impact of organizational pressures on environmental performance of firms

      Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Poomkaew, Boonchan; Nath, Prithwiraj; University of Bedfordshire; Nottingham University; University of East Anglia (Wiley, 2014-03-04)
      The role of various organizational pressures in influencing performance of firms has been an interesting research topic in a variety of fields and has received the attention of researchers working in the field of environmental strategy. Although there are previous studies that have looked at the influence of various pressures in influencing firms’ environmental strategies, our study provides a more holistic analysis considering a variety of such pressures in a single framework. We discuss a research study to analyze how pressures from internal and external stakeholders of a firm, economic pressures, environmental regulations, and pressures of environmental compliance have affected environmental performance of firms using data collected from manufacturing firms in the United Kingdom. We have found that internal stakeholders provide the greatest impact in shaping environmental performance of firms, closely followed by economic pressures, environmental regulations, and external stakeholders in that order. Fears of penalties due to environmental compliance have the least impact, although this pressure also has a positive and significant impact on environmental performance.
    • Supply chain strategies, issues and models

      Ramanathan, Usha; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; University of Bedfordshire (Springer London, 2014)
      This book contains eleven chapters on Supply Chain Strategies, Issues and Models
    • Exploring the commercial value of social networks: enhancing consumers’ brand experience through Facebook pages

      Chen, Hsin; Papazafeiropoulou, Anastasia; Chen, Ta-Kang; Duan, Yanqing; Liu, Hsiu-Wen; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2014)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand the factors which impact upon the consumers’ willingness to utilise company Facebook pages and e-word-of mouth by proposing and testing a conceptual framework which is inspired by theories in marketing and information systems fields. The authors believe that only by applying both theories will provide a more complete understanding of the relationship between brand experience and Facebook. The research model attempts to illustrate the factors according to customers’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivations and their impact on brand experience, brand Facebook page loyalty and e-word-of-mouth (E-WOM). Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopted an online survey method for data collection. The subjects the authors used were Facebook users. The data were collected in Taiwan over spring 2011. The authors then used the structural equation model to analyse the data collected. Findings – The findings suggest that users are influenced by the technical characterises of a brand Facebook page, such as ease of use and usefulness, which might be combated by attempting to reduce customer effort when accessing Facebook pages. The authors conclude that customer effort influenced brand experience and consequently loyalty to brand Facebook pages and E-WOM. Research limitations/implications – The limitations of this study relate to the investigation of consumer perspectives in a specific geographical context and time frame. Originality/value – The study’s contributions are both theoretical and practical, as it offers new insights into brand experience attitudes in an online environment and useful insights to companies willing to market themselves on Facebook. Keywords Marketing, Facebook, Virtual community, Extrinsic motivations, Intrinsic motivations Paper type Research paper
    • Green characteristics of RFID technologies: an exploration in the UK logistics sector from innovation diffusion perspective

      Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Ko, Lok Wan Lorraine; Chen, Hsin; Ramanathan, Usha; University of Bedfordshire; Nottingham University (Business Science Reference, 2014)
      Logistics is an integral part of the supply chain. Many logistics service providers have acknowledged that if they want to operate more efficiently and responsively, they must adopt technologies that help manufacturers, warehouses, and retailers to communicate with each other more efficiently. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has been identified as an important application among many logistics technologies and is increasingly gaining both practitioners' and researchers' attention. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the factors affecting logistics service providers' intentions to use RFID technology, with special emphasis on its environmentally friendly green characteristics. The theoretical perspective diffusion of innovations is used for the purpose. The data is collected using a questionnaire survey among the UK logistics companies. The analysis shows that observability of green characteristics positively influences the intention to use RFID.
    • An analysis of the diffusion of RFID in the UK logistics sector using a technology-acceptance perspective

      Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Ramanathan, Usha; Ko, Lok Wan Lorraine; University of Bedfordshire; Nottingham University (Business Science Reference, 2014)
      In this chapter, the authors explore the factors affecting the UK logistics service providers' intention to use RFID technology from the theoretical perspective of a Technology-Acceptance Model (TAM). The survey data analysis shows that perceived usability of RFID has a significant relationship with the levels of adoption of the technology, but perceived privacy issues and perceived security issues do not have such a significant relationship. Using further moderation analysis, the authors find that the relationship between usability and adoption becomes stronger if there is a high level of support for RFID projects within an organisation. The study points to the need to improve the appreciation and support in an organisation for RFID projects. For example, top management should be well informed so as to provide good support, while employees should be motivated to back the use of RFID in their operations. An appropriate level of the required infrastructure will also help increase the usability and hence the adoption of RFID in UK logistics.