Recent Submissions

  • What does the mid-1990s soybean liberalization tell us about the role of foreign investment in China's rural industrialization?

    Fares, Tomaz Mefano; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2024-01-09)
    This article reassesses the role of foreign investments in China’s rural industrialization in the 1980s and the early 1990s. It draws upon the power disputes between agribusiness transnational corporations (TNCs) and central domestic players in the country’s soybean complex. I follow Chris Bramall’s argument that food processing infrastructure grew progressively since the Maoist era in the 1960s and 1970s, instead of springing from foreign investments or pro-business local state officials during the reform and opening up. However, I go beyond this assumption by suggesting that foreign investments often had a detrimental role in rural industrialization, depending on their political action. I show through in-depth empirical analyses that due to the Maoist industrial legacy, soybean processors from Northeast China consolidated an endogenous form of accumulation based on local circuits of production and consumption under state protectionism. This specific industrialization trajectory has put them on opposite sides from agribusiness TNCs. The liberalization agenda pushed by the TNCs through bilateral and multilateral levels of influence culminated in the opening of China’s soybean imports in the late 1990s, allowing the consolidation of their global trade monopoly to the detriment of domestic players.
  • The entrepreneurial academic: leveraging finite resources

    Oham, Charles A.C.; University of Bedfordshire (2024-02-07)
    This presentation was delivered at the Business and Management Research Institute Seminar series on the 6th of February 2024. Academics adopting an entrepreneurial mindset can leverage more resources to further their research and scholarly objectives. The theories and philosophies of entrepreneurship to the role of an academic using an author-ethnographic method to narrate the research journey of the presenter.
  • Wenhua dacai (great cultural talent): paradoxical discourses and practices in the revival of Confucian classical education in contemporary China

    Wang, Canglong; Wang, Shuo; Gao, Youjiang; University of Hull; University of Bedfordshire; Zhejiang University of Finance & Economics (Springer Science and Business Media B.V., 2023-08-02)
    Cultivating wenhua dacai (great cultural talent) is a central goal of the ongoing dujing (classics reading) education movement, which is an integral part of the broad Confucian revival in contemporary China. Focusing on the concept of wenhua dacai, this article explores three interrelated issues. First, as a term used in the context of dujing education, wenhua dacai refers to an idealized Confucian subject shaped by an interweaving of nationalism and cosmopolitanism. Moreover, it is expected not only to revive Confucian/Chinese culture but also to contribute to human cultural exchange. Second, the tendency of students to embrace individualistic virtues in their experience of classics reading poses a challenge to the lofty and sacred ideal of wenhua dacai, which reinforces the need for rigid discipline in learners. Finally, contextualizing the idea of wenhua dacai into the general transformation of education in China can contribute to a more thorough understanding of it. This article concludes that the cultivation of wenhua dacai dreamed of by Confucian dujing education activists is constituted by paradoxical discourses and practices embedded in the ideological complexities of Chinese education.
  • A visual overview of key developments of international family business research in the past three decades

    Zhang, Xinrui; Dou, Junsheng; Chen, Zhijun (2020-06-01)
    The family business is an important form of economic organization. In 1988, the authoritative aca- demic journal of the research field, the Family Business Review, marked the official formation of the family business research field. With the development of the research field, it is particularly important to systematically sort out the research status and development of the field and grasp the development trend of future research. We use the citation visualization software CiteSpace to conduct a bibliometric analysis of the 2054 family research literatures from SSCI sources from 1988 to 2017. The study found that from the perspective of the law of scientific development, the research institute of the family business in 2000 was in the sporadic exploration period, which just started to attract the attention of the academic circles. From 2000 to 2006, the family business field began to learn from the mature theoretical analysis phenomenon of other disciplines in the social science field. The research literature has grown rapidly and entered the development period. After 2007, it entered the emergence period of the paradigm. The new leading research perspective showed the socioemotional wealth framework, and the research results began to show an exponential upward trend. From the research theme, entrepreneurship, succession, and corporate governance are the key areas for family business research. From the perspective of leading theory, the agency theory in the first two decades is the most important mainstream theory in family business research. In the past ten years, the framework of socioemotional wealth has sprung up, which has opened up a new direction for family business research. From the geographical distribution of research literature, the current focus of family business research is in North America represented by the United States and Canada and Western Europe represented by the United Kingdom, Spain, etc. Australia, China and other countries/regions are also widely distributed. Among them, scholars such as Chrisman, Chua and Miller are representative scholars in North America, and Gomez-Mejia and De Massis are representative scholars in Europe. This paper has the following contributions: (1) In terms of methods, this paper uses CiteSpace, a citation visualization software, as a research tool to help readers understand the current situation and development trend of family business research intuitively, comprehensively and deeply. (2) In terms of sample source, the sample papers of this paper come from a wide range of sources, including 2054 articles from 1988 to 2017. (3) In terms of theoretical cognition, this paper identifies families with scientific law theory and four-stage model, and helps researchers to understand the current development stages and development requirements of family business research. This study provides a clear presentation of the results of the research through visualization techniques, providing a basis for family business researchers to quickly and intuitively understand the domain's profile and progress. Regardless of the theoretical aspect or the empirical method, there are still missing "puzzles" in the research field of family business. Therefore, the article provide four recommendations for future research directions. First, family business researchers need to focus on the accumulation of core knowledge. And future researchers can use meta-analysis and other methods to analyze, collate and summarize core knowledge on the basis of many documents that do not reach consensus conclusions, and promote further research. Second, the socioemotional wealth (SEW) of family businesses requires more direct measurement. Call on future researchers to use the grounded theo- ry and other methods to explore more direct SEW measurement methods, and also integrate into the Chinese con- text, further refine the SEW dimensions and explore its unique situation. Third, family business research can be more integrated into Chinese contextual factors. At present, the results of family business research are mainly based on Western research results, most of which are used in domestic research, ignoring some unique Chinese situational factors. Finally, new concepts in this field are difficult to guarantee external validity based on the lack of cross-country research. The future research can add more evidence of transnational research.
  • How do the successors’ training patterns affect the succession performance of family business: mediation of successors’recognition

    Dou, Junsheng; Zhang, Xinrui; Li, Shengxiao; Chen, Zhijun (Chongqing University, 2020-04-02)
    Internal experience and external experience are common patterns for family business to train successors. This paper focuses on the differences in the effects of these two different patterns on firm performance after successors have exerted significant influence on the firm. Based on the learning theory, this paper proposes a partially adjusted mediation effect model, and uses the 2016 survey data of 183 family firms in Zhejiang province to empirically test the hypothesis models. The results of data analysis show that the influence of the successors' training patterns on the succession performance of firms is completely mediated by the successors’ recognition, and this is a typical indirect mediating effect. Specifically, the internal experience pattern plays a positive role in the successors’ recognition and can promote the firm performance. While the external experience pattern has a negative effect, which will have a negative impact on firm performance. However, the tutor can effectively alleviate or even reverse the negative impact of the external experience pattern. This study uses the learning theory for the first time to integrate the research on the succession process and results of family business successors, and finds that the successor’s recognition is the intermediate mechanism between the successor training patterns and firm performance, which will help to improve the systematic understanding of the training process of family business successors.
  • Cognitive cohesion, family commitment and organizational creativity

    Chen, Zhijun; Ma, Pengcheng; Zhang, Xinrui; Min, Yijie (South China Journal of Economics, 2017-08-02)
    Although issues about innovation and entrepreneurship have drawn growing attention recently in family business research field, organizational creativity, which could be a significant and supportive factor in the above issue, seems still ignored to a large extent. This paper focus on the link among family features, family’s involvement in firm and organizational creativity, as well as the moderate effect of intergenerational relationship. The finding shows that: ( 1) family cohesion enhances family’s cultural commitment on firm; ( 2) family’s cultural commitment is positively related with creativity; (3) family’s cultural commitment play a mediate role in the above mechanism; (4) intergenerational attention strengthen the positive relationship between family cohesion and family’s cultural commitment, but intergenerational authority does not play a significant role. These findings suggest that ( 1) family features are important antecedents in family business research; ( 2) both family and firm factors should be taken into consideration in intergenerational succession process, and positive climate in family is meaningful for family firm’s prosperity.
  • Family business and corporate fraud in a transitional economy

    Zhang, Xinrui; Luo, Xiaowei (Academy of Management, 2023-07-23)
    Research on family firms often assumes them to be long-term oriented and care about their reputation, but this assumption is not investigated in transitional economies. We propose that family firms in transitional economies may commit more corporate fraud compared to other privately-controlled firms. Due to the lack of legitimacy, family firms face more resource limitations and thus have a lower possibility of survival, which leads them to risk committing fraud in order to survive. To verify our logic, we explore the tendency of family firms to engage in fraud when they are subject to greater survival pressures, when they have social-political sources of support, and when the intensity of external monitoring changes. Our argument is supported by examining publicly listed private firms in China from 2003 to 2015. Our research contributes to the literature on family businesses by showing how institutional contexts impact family business attributes, and to research on corporate fraud by understanding the influence of organizational legitimacy and family governance.
  • Underperformance duration and strategic change: an attention-based view of the firm

    Zhang, Xinrui (Academy of Management, 2022-07-06)
    Performance feedback, especially underperformance feedback, is a vital factor influencing a firm’s strategic change; yet, there is little evidence on underperformance duration. Drawing on attention-based view and cognitive literature within psychology, we argue that the length of time that a firm has been underperforming leads to firms’ strategic change, while this effect could be moderated by the TMT stability, the firm’s goals, and the family governance of a firm. Specifically, we proposed that the TMT stability will weaken the effect of underperformance duration on strategic change, while the firm’s growth orientation will strengthen this effect. Furthermore, both of these moderating effects will be flattened by family ownership. Our hypotheses were supported by a ten-year panel data of 2070 firms listed on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ) in China. We also discussed the statistical and practical significance of the results.
  • Family firms and regional development: evidence from China

    Zhang, Xinrui; Dou, Junsheng; Fang, Hanqing (Routledge, 2021-04-07)
    This chapter provides an overview of family business and regional development in the Chinese context. Motivated by the line of “contextualizing” family business studies, this chapter begins by discussing the Chinese context and regional development, and how these contribute to the unique challenges faced by Chinese family firms. The chapter discusses the historical development, current status, and future prospects of family firms in China. Finally, we conclude by exploring the theoretical and practical implications of this study and its limitations, which provide opportunities for future research aimed at extending knowledge about family business and regional development.
  • Endogeneity issues in family business research: current status and future recommendations

    Zhang, Xinrui; Fang, Hanqing; Dou, Junsheng; Chrisman, James J.; ; Missouri University of Science and Technology; Zhejiang University; Mississippi State University; University of Alberta (SAGE, 2023-12-06)
    Although the family business research field and related disciplines are paying increasing attention to improvements in methodology, there is still insufficient attention being paid to endogeneity issues. We therefore raise awareness of endogeneity and suggest ways to reduce biased results in family business studies. We review publications in the family business literature in terms of (1) the consideration of endogeneity issues, (2) sources of endogeneity for different research topics, and (3) various methods that researchers have used to control for endogeneity. We discuss important lessons learned from the review and offer methodologically oriented recommendations for future family business studies.
  • Fly green: environmentally specific servant leadership and its impact on green performance outcomes

    Vatankhah, Sanaz; Fejes, Odette Felicia; Karatepe, Osman M.; Nosrati, Saeid (Routledge, 2023-11-24)
    A careful examination of the pertinent literature denotes that no empirical study has tested the consequences of environmentally specific servant leadership (ESS) among cabin crew so far. This is surprising because the airline industry has long been at the forefront of green debate for its significant environmental problems (e.g., climate change, CO2 emission, and waste). With this realization, drawing on the stimulus-organism-response framework and social learning theory, our paper explores climate for green creativity (CGC) and green creativity (GC) as the serial mediators linking ESS to green recovery performance (GRP). Data came from cabin crew in major European low-cost carriers. The results from the PROCESS plug-in for statistical package for social sciences reveal that CGC or GC mediates the influence of ESS on GRP. More importantly, CGC and GC mediate the positive association between ESS and GRP in a sequential manner. The presence of ESS results in the establishment of the climate where cabin crew can offer novel green ideas and feedback that in turn enables them to display better GRP. Theoretical implications are discussed and implications for managers are given in the paper.
  • Institutions and macroeconomic indicators: entrepreneurial activities across the world

    Altinay, Levent; Vatankhah, Sanaz; Kara, Oğuz; Bağış, Mehmet; Kurutkan, Mehmet Nurullah (Emerald, 2023-11-27)
    Purpose: Entrepreneurial activity is a phenomenon that boosts the economic growth of countries and improves social welfare. The levels of economic development in countries have significant effects on these entrepreneurial activities. This research examines which institutional and macroeconomic variables explain early-stage entrepreneurial activities in developed and developing economies. Methodology: We conducted panel data analysis on data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and International Monetary Fund surveys covering 2009–2018. Findings: To begin with, our results reveal that cognitive, normative, and regulatory institutions, as well as macroeconomic factors, have differential effects on early-stage entrepreneurial activity in developed and developing countries. Moreover, our findings indicate a stronger positive impact of cognitive, normative, and regulatory institutions on early-stage entrepreneurship in developed countries compared to developing countries. Finally, our results suggest that macroeconomic factors play a more significant role in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in developing countries than in developed countries. These findings have important implications for institutional theory, macroeconomics, and the entrepreneurship literature. Originality: This study provides a better understanding of the components that help explain the differences in entrepreneurship between developed and developing countries regarding institutions and macroeconomic factors. In this way, it contributes to developing entrepreneurship literature with the theoretical achievements of combining institutional theory and macroeconomic indicators with entrepreneurship literature.
  • Alternative-fuel station network design under impact of station failures

    Tran, Trung Hieu; Nguyen, Thu Ba T.; University of Nottingham (Springer Science and Business Media {LLC}, 2018-09-24)
    In this paper, we have formulated a mixed-integer non-linear programming model for alternative-fuel station location problem in which each station can fail with a site-specific probability. The model aims to maximise the total expected traffic volume that can be refuelled by the unreliable alternative-fuel stations. Based on the linearisation techniques, i.e., probability chains and piecewise-linear functions, we linearise the non-linearity of compound probability terms in the non-linear model to solve this problem efficiently. An efficient Tabu search algorithm is also developed to solve the large-size instances. In addition, we extend the model to deal with reliable multi-period alternative-fuel station network design. Computational experiments, carried out on the well-known benchmark instances where the probability of station failures is uniformly generated, show that the proposed models and algorithm can obtain the optimal solutions within a reasonable computation time. Compared to a standard station location model that disregards the potential for station failures, our model designs more reliable alternative-fuel station network under risk of station failures. A sensitivity analysis of failure probabilities in the station network design is investigated to demonstrate the robustness of our model and study how variability in the probability of station failure affects solution robustness.
  • An efficient heuristic algorithm for the alternative-fuel station location problem

    Tran, Trung Hieu; Nagy, Gábor; Nguyen, Thu Ba T.; Wassan, Niaz A.; University of Nottingham; University of Kent; University of Southampton (Elsevier, 2018-04-21)
    We have developed an efficient heuristic algorithm for location of alternative-fuel stations. The algorithm is constructed based on solving the sequence of subproblems restricted on a set of promising station candidates, and fixing a number of the best promising station locations. The set of candidates is initially determined by solving a relaxation model, and then modified by exchanging some stations between the promising candidate set and the remaining station set. A number of the best station candidates in the promising candidate set can be fixed to improve computation time. In addition, a parallel computing strategy is integrated into solving simultaneously the set of subproblems to speed up computation time. Experimental results carried out on the benchmark instances show that our algorithm outperforms genetic algorithm and greedy algorithm. As compared with CPLEX solver, our algorithm can obtain all the optimal solutions on the tested instances with less computation time.
  • A network flow approach for tactical resource planning in outpatient clinics

    Nguyen, Thu Ba T.; Sivakumar, Appa Iyer; Graves, Stephen C.; ; Nanyang Technological University (Springer Science and Business Media {LLC}, 2014-05-31)
    This paper introduces a deterministic model to plan the physician requirements for outpatient clinics to achieve service targets for the appointment lead-times of patients. The Ministry of Health of Singapore has established targets for the median, 95th percentile, and 100th percentile of appointment lead-times for patients, since long appointment postponements are regarded as being unacceptable for health care services. The study is to match the capacity of the healthcare providers to the patient demand for a re-entry system, subject to restrictions on the appointment lead-times for patients. We propose a mixed-integer programming model for planning capacity with the minimization of the maximum required capacity as its objective. In the model we assume a finite planning horizon, deterministic arrivals, multiple types of patients, identical physicians, and dependent demand between types of patients. We solve this model with a Branch and Cut algorithm. We test the model with numerical experiments using real data from the chosen specialty at the outpatient clinic of the studied hospital. The results show the value of the proposed model via a systematic push-pull mechanism in scheduling patients’ requests to minimize the objective. The clinic should use one of the appointment lead-time targets to determine the patients’ appointment dates. Finally, from the sensitivity analyses we demonstrate that the objective is negatively correlated with first-visit patients’ appointment lead-time targets, the discharge rates, and the re-visit patients’ mean appointment lead-time; we find a positive correlation between the first-visit patients’ mean appointment lead-time and the appointment lead-time targets.
  • Optimising parcel deliveries in London using dual-mode routing

    Nguyen, Thu Ba T.; Bektas, Tolga; Cherrett, Tom J.; McLeod, Fraser N.; Allen, Julian; Bates, Oliver; Piotrowska, Marzena; Piecyk, Maja; Friday, Adrian; Wise, Sarah (Informa {UK} Limited, 2018-11-09)
    Last-mile delivery operations are complex, and the conventional way of using a single mode of delivery (e.g. driving) is not necessarily an efficient strategy. This paper describes a two-level parcel distribution model that combines walking and driving for a single driver. The model aims to minimise the total travelling time by scheduling a vehicle’s routing and the driver’s walking sequence when making deliveries, taking decisions on parking locations into consideration. The model is a variant of the Clustered Travelling Salesman Problem with Time Windows, in which the sequence of visits within each cluster is required to form a closed tour. When applied to a case study of an actual vehicle round from a parcel carrier operating in London, savings of over 20% in the total operation time were returned over the current situation where 144 parcels were being delivered to 57 delivery locations.
  • Scheduling rules to achieve lead-time targets in outpatient appointment systems

    Nguyen, Thu Ba T.; Sivakumar, Appa Iyer; Graves, Stephen C.; (Springer Science and Business Media {LLC}, 2016-08-08)
    This paper considers how to schedule appointments for outpatients, for a clinic that is subject to appointment lead-time targets for both new and returning patients. We develop heuristic rules, which are the exact and relaxed appointment scheduling rules, to schedule each new patient appointment (only) in light of uncertainty about future arrivals. The scheduling rules entail two decisions. First, the rules need to determine whether or not a patient's request can be accepted; then, if the request is not rejected, the rules prescribe how to assign the patient to an available slot. The intent of the scheduling rules is to maximize the utilization of the planned resource (i.e., the physician staff), or equivalently to maximize the number of patients that are admitted, while maintaining the service targets on the median, the 95th percentile, and the maximum appointment lead-times. We test the proposed scheduling rules with numerical experiments using real data from the chosen clinic of Tan Tock Seng hospital in Singapore. The results show the efficiency and the efficacy of the scheduling rules, in terms of the service-target satisfaction and the resource utilization. From the sensitivity analysis, we find that the performance of the proposed scheduling rules is fairly robust to the specification of the established lead-time targets.
  • Understanding the impact of e-commerce on last-mile light goods vehicle activity in urban areas: the case of London

    Allen, Julian; Piecyk, Maja; Piotrowska, Marzena; McLeod, Fraser N.; Cherrett, Tom J.; Ghali, K.; Nguyen, Thu Ba T.; Bektas, Tolga; Bates, Oliver; Friday, Adrian; et al. (Elsevier, 2017-07-29)
    Growth in e-commerce has led to increasing use of light goods vehicles for parcel deliveries in urban areas. This paper provides an insight into the reasons behind this growth and the resulting effort required to meet the exacting delivery services offered by e-retailers which often lead to poor vehicle utilisation in the last-mile operation, as well as the duplication of delivery services in urban centres as competitors vie for business. A case study investigating current parcel delivery operations in central London identified the scale of the challenge facing the last-mile parcel delivery driver, highlighting the importance of walking which can account for 62% of the total vehicle round time and 40% of the total round distance in the operations studied. The characteristics of these operations are in direct conflict with the urban infrastructure which is being increasingly redesigned in favour of walking, cycling and public transport, reducing the kerbside accessibility for last-mile operations. The paper highlights other pressures on last-mile operators associated with managing seasonal peaks in demand; reduced lead times between customers placing orders and deliveries being made; meeting delivery time windows; first-time delivery failure rates and the need to manage high levels of product returns. It concludes by describing a range of initiatives that retailers and parcel carriers, sometimes in conjunction with city authorities, can implement to reduce the costs associated with last-mile delivery, without negatively impacting on customer service levels.
  • Minimizing total cost of home energy consumption under uncertainties

    Tran, Trung Hieu; Nguyen, Thu Ba T.; Cranfield University (Informa {UK} Limited, 2022-11-29)
    Along with the development of renewable energy sources, energy storage units are introduced to increase the stability and reliability of electricity production. The storage units can improve the efficiency of energy consumption for consumers as well. By smartly controlling home appliances, renewable energy sources and energy storage units, consumers can satisfy their energy demand with a minimum cost. However, the declined maximum capacity of energy storage units and the unstable power of electricity grid, due to randomly unexpected failures, can cause challenges for consumers’ energy plans. In this article, we develop a novel joint chance-constraint mixed-integer linear programming model to support consumers in finding the optimal energy plans for a minimum cost of energy consumption under the simultaneous impact of unexpected failures on energy storage units and electricity grid. A case study for a set of households in Nottingham, United Kingdom, is used to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed model. Some interesting insights are achieved for home energy management under uncertainties.
  • Formulation and solution technique for agricultural waste sollection and transport network design

    Tran, Trung Hieu; Nguyen, Thu Ba T.; Le, Hoa Sen T.; Phung, Duc Chinh; Cranfield University; University of Bedfordshire; Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry, Vietnam; Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change, Vietnam (Elsevier, 2023-09-07)
    Agricultural waste management in developing countries has become a challenging issue for rural planners due to the lack of an efficient planning tool. In the countries, farmers burnt agricultural waste at fields after each harvesting season to solve the issue. As a result, it has caused air and water pollution in the rural areas of the countries. In this paper, we present a mixed-integer nonlinear programming model for agricultural waste collection and transport network design that aims to stop burning waste and use the waste to produce bio-organic fertilizer. The model supports rural planners to optimally locate waste storages, and to determine the optimal set of routes for a fleet of vehicles to collect and transport the waste from the storages to the bio-organic fertilizer production facility. In the novel location-assignment-routing problem, the overall objective is to minimize total cost of locating storages, collecting waste from fields and planning vehicle routes. A solution technique is developed to linearise the mixed-integer nonlinear programming model into a model in linear form. In addition, a parallel water flow algorithm is developed to solve efficiently the large-sized instances. The efficiency of the proposed model and algorithm is validated and evaluated on the real case study in Trieu Phong district, Quang Tri province, Vietnam, as well as a set of randomly generated large-sized instances. The results show that our solution approach outperforms the general optimisation solver and tabu search algorithm. Our algorithm can find the optimal or near-optimal solutions for the large-sized instances within a reasonable time.

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