• Knowledge sharing for enhanced performance in the HEIs using a conceptual framework

      Khilji, Nasrallah; Duan, Yanqing; Tehrani, Jasmine; ; University of Bedfordshire (North American Business Press, 2021-04-30)
      Knowledge sharing is an essential management practice that provides a sustainable competitive advantage in a vibrant and dynamic economy (Kaur, 2019). To achieve an enhanced performance in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), it is essential to make sure that the teaching and learning system is determined by knowledge sharing approach (Nair and Munusami, 2019). The Higher Education Institutions are required to consider how they could better share knowledge from experts who have it to learners who need to get the best of such expertise (Darling-Hammond et al., 2019). This study examines the knowledge sharing behaviour among academics and leaners in the HEIs by providing a better understanding for their enhanced performance. This is aimed to comprehend the individual acts of knowledge creation and the collective efforts of knowledge sharing adapted in the HEIs towards continuous improvement. A literature review is carried out to propose a conceptual framework of knowledge sharing for enhanced performance in the HEIs.
    • Retail analytics: store segmentation using rule-based purchasing behaviors analysis

      Bilgic, Emrah; Cakir, Ozgur; Kantardzic, Mehmed; Duan, Yanqing; Cao, Guangming; Iskenderun Technical University; Marmara University; University of Louisville; University of Bedfordshire; Ajman University (Taylor and Francis, 2021-04-09)
      Retailers are facing challenges in making sense of the significant amount of data for better understanding of their customers. While retail analytics plays an increasingly important role in successful retailing management, comprehensive store segmentation based on a Data Mining-based Retail Analytics is still an under-researched area. This study seeks to address this gap by developing a novel approach to segment the stores of retail chains based on “purchasing behavior of customers” and applying it in a case study. The applicability and benefits of using Data Mining techniques to examine purchasing behavior and identify store segments are demonstrated in a case study of a global retail chain in Istanbul, Turkey. Over 600K transaction data of a global grocery retailer are analyzed and 175 stores in İstanbul are successfully segmented into five segments. The results suggest that the proposed new retail analytics approach enables the retail chain to identify clusters of stores in different regions using all transaction data and advances our understanding of store segmentation at the store level. The proposed approach will provide the retail chain the opportunity to manage store clusters by making data-driven decisions in marketing, customer relationship management, supply chain management, inventory management and demand forecasting.
    • Identifying the configurational conditions for marketing analytics use in UK SME

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; Tian, Na (Emerald, 2021-04-09)
      While marketing analytics can be used to improve organizational decision-making and performance significantly, little research exists to examine how the configurations of multiple conditions affect marketing analytics use. This study draws on configuration theory to investigate marketing analytics use in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This research employs fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis using data collected from a survey of 187 managers in UK SMEs. The key findings show that (1) configurations of multiple conditions provide alternative pathways to marketing analytics use; and (2) the configurations for small firms are different from those for medium-sized firms. The research results are based on several key configurational factors and a single key-informant method to collect subjective data from UK SME managers. The study helps SMEs to understand that marketing analytics use is influenced by the interaction of multiple conditions, that there are alternative pathways to marketing analytics use, and that SMEs should choose the configuration that fits best with their organizational contexts.
    • Soft skills acquisition for the knowledge economy: a research strategy for policy development in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in intermediate and emergent economies

      Khilji, Nasrallah; Roberts, Stephen A.; University of Bedfordshire; University of West London (EBESWEB, 2021-01-06)
      This paper reports on a programme of study around ‘Soft skills acquisition for the knowledge economy’ and addresses a research strategy for policy development in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in intermediate and emergent economies’. Evidence from Pakistan as an emergent, intermediate economy is reviewed, with respect to preparing the younger generation (and especially graduates) for long term engagement with a knowledge-based economy. Technical and occupational skills continue to provide the base for economic capacity, but the knowledge economy requires new levels of personal and social abilities drawing on all aspects of human communication and interaction, in addition to having the facility to use digital technologies to explore, exploit and use sources of data, information, intelligence and knowledge. These elements are core constituents of ‘soft skills’. The review identifies the need for a research strategy for policy development in TVET in Pakistan. We have identified key parameters and components which need to be incorporated and monitored to assist policy development. In parallel, we are considering the nature of curricula for soft skills development and how these can be developed in practice in a variety of settings. As businesses have entered the knowledge economy they have accepted the need for cultural changes in business and organizations. In the same vein, the pathway to soft skills acquisition for the knowledge economy requires a similar level of cultural change. The results of work on Pakistan produces outcomes which are informative for and transferable to other countries.
    • The influence of informal social media practices on knowledge sharing and work processes within organizations

      Kwayu, Shirumisha; Abubakre, Mumin; Lal, Banita; Nottingham Trent University; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier Ltd, 2020-12-30)
      Contemporary information technologies such as social media have invigorated the way knowledge is shared within organizations to the extent that we have to rethink and reassess our understanding of the role and influence of technology in organizational processes and knowledge sharing. This paper uses the strategy as practice lens guided by the interpretivist philosophy to understand the influence of informal social media practices on knowledge sharing and work processes within an organization. The paper uses empirical evidence from the case study of a telecom organization in Tanzania to gain theoretical insight into informal social media practices and knowledge sharing. This research contributes to the Information Systems (IS) literature by asserting that organizational processes are achieved by mundane knowledge sharing mediated by informal social media use within the organization. Also, the study contributes to IS literature by highlighting how emerging informal practices are essential to daily processes within organizations.
    • Examining perceived entrepreneurial stress: a causal interpretation through cross-lagged panel study

      Arshi, Tahseen Anwer; Kamal, Qazi; Burns, Paul; Tewari, Veena; Rao, Venkoba; American University of Ras Al Khaimah; Leeds Beckett University; University of Bedfordshire; Majan University College (MDPI, 2020-12-22)
      The entrepreneurial stress construct’s nomological validity is not well established as past studies have not delineated between entrepreneurial and employee stress. This study investigated several entrepreneurship-specific stressors positing their causal effect on perceived entrepreneurial stress (PES). It examined four directional hypotheses testing the causal, reverse, reciprocal relationships and moderation effects between stressors and PES. Further, it looked at the moderating impact of psychological capital. More than 300 entrepreneurs in emerging markets, namely India, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates, participated in this longitudinal study (Time 1 n = 325, Time 2 n = 310). The study adopted a cross-lagged competing model research design and analyzed the data using structural equation modeling (SEM). The results show that entrepreneurship-specific personal, social, and occupational stressors cause PES. Further, the results also support the reverse causal effect of PES on stressors and a reciprocal relationship. The study advances resource-based theory to an entrepreneurial background, highlighting the role of intangible resource gaps in perceived entrepreneurial stress. The study concludes that entrepreneurship-specific intangible resources are useful to entrepreneurs at personal, social, and occupational levels. An actual or perceived loss of these resources may lead to perceived entrepreneurial stress. Furthermore, PES can interfere with the entrepreneurial capacity for innovation over time. Psychological capital can be an effective coping response as a moderator of perceived entrepreneurial stress’ adverse effects. This is one of the first studies that examines PES in an emerging market context, specific to entrepreneurial employment.
    • The production of garments and textiles in Bangladesh: trade unions, international managers and the health and safety of workers

      Khan, Md Asaduzzaman; Brymer, Katharine; Koch, Karl; Buckinghamshire New University; University of Bedfordshire; London South Bank University (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020-11-16)
      This paper offers a view of working practices within the garment and textile (G&T) industry in Bangladesh. The G&T industry accounts for over 84 per cent of Bangladesh exports and is therefore viewed as key to the country’s economic development. This importance is seen in the creation of Export Processing Zones (EPZs), which were created by that state to encourage foreign investment by offering a congenial climate free from cumbersome procedures. Trade unions are outlawed in these areas. Health and safety are poor within the G&T industry. However, the Rana Plaza disaster of 2013, which caused 1,132 deaths and over 2,500 injuries, placed the issue of workplace safety on the international agenda. Arguably, this prompted a change of attitude within Bangladesh and the G&T industry towards health and safety. The presence of international managers appears to have played a significant role in improving health and safety in the working environment, however these international managers do face a range of cultural barriers, which include both language and a different perception of the value of health and safety in the workplace. This paper has adopted a mixed method of both qualitative and quantitative data, collected through interviews and questionnaire surveys within the G&T industry in Bangladesh.
    • Predicting monthly natural gas production in China using a novel grey seasonal model with particle swarm optimization

      Li, Nu; Wang, Jianliang; Wu, Lifeng; Bentley, Yongmei; China University of Petroleum; Hebei University of Engineering; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2020-10-22)
      Accurate prediction of short and medium-term monthly natural gas production in a country is the basis for understanding the supply capacity of natural gas in different months, and for the timely adjustment of natural gas production and import strategies. In China the monthly production of natural gas has obvious seasonal and cyclical variations, thus the use of a traditional grey prediction model is not very effective. As a result, a novel grey seasonal model is proposed in this paper. This is the Particle swarm optimized Fractional-order-accumulation non-homogenous discrete grey Seasonal Model (PFSM(1,1) model). This model enhances the adaptability to seasonal fluctuation data in two ways: the seasonal adjustment of the original data, and improvement of model self-adaptability. We use monthly natural gas production data of China for the period 2013-2018 as samples to predict those for the period 2019-2023. To demonstrate the PFSM(1,1) model does indeed exhibit better predictive capability, we also use the Holt–Winters model and a seasonal GM(1,1) model to predict monthly natural gas production, and compare the results with the model proposed here. The prediction results show that monthly natural gas production in China will continue to increase throughout the 2019-2023 period, that the peak-to-valley differences in monthly production values will also increase, and that the seasonal variations in production will become increasingly pronounced. Moreover, although Chinese production of natural gas is increasing, it will still be difficult to meet future demand, and hence the gap between supply and demand will increase year by year. We conclude that China needs to develop a more complete import plan for gas to meet expected natural gas consumption.
    • A historical institutionalist perspective on the persistence of state controls during financial sector reforms: the insightful case of Myanmar

      Win, Sandar; Kofinas, Alexander K. (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2020-09-23)
      Purpose: Many transition economies are former socialist planned economies and have undergone market reforms of their financial sector to signal their transition towards democracy. However, governments in these countries have been reluctant to relinquish the pre-existing controls on economy and have adopted nuanced and sophisticated approaches to retain control. In such context, scholars may find it challenging to investigate the role played by the state in the success or failure of attempted market reforms. This work investigates the different forms of state-induced accounting controls that may preserve the status quo within the economy during transition, using Myanmar as an example. Design/methodology/approach: The authors adopted a longitudinal qualitative research method aiming to reveal the very processes and mechanisms used by the banks and their evolution over time. This method is in accordance with the historical institutionalist perspective that we have applied within this research. Findings: The authors found that the Myanmar government embarked on the privatisation of their financial sector from 1990 to 2016 as a major public sector reform initiative. Under the guise of market reforms, it used both state-led and market-led controls to emulate and retain the socialist banking model where banks are used to fund the immediate government's budget deficits. This created a series of intended and unintended consequences, resulting in the ultimate failure of the government's market reforms. Research limitations/implications: Previously, research on public sector management accounting in emerging economies was not relying consistently on using theory. The relative limited theorisation led to gaps when attempting to understand and explain the opaque forms of state control mechanisms in transition economies. By applying historical institutionalist perspective, and a more theory-driven, reflective approach to the interpretation of the data collected, we have provided a deeper insight and understanding on how different forms of state controls can emerge, adapt and persist in transition economies such as Myanmar. Practical implications: The authors demonstrated that though the state may have implemented market reforms to signal regimes change, this does not necessarily mean that the government has relinquished their control on the economy. The state could take a more sophisticated, covert approach towards state controls leading to both intended and unintended consequences. Thus, even if the state's preferences change, the decisions cannot be easily reversed, as path-dependent state controls may have become pervasive affecting any further institutional and policy developments. Thus, the authors suggest that governments in both transition and developed economies should be cautious when enacting regulations on corporate control. Originality/value: In this paper, the authors have applied a historical institutional perspective in our analysis instead of the more widely used sociological, institutionalist approach. This allowed authors to harness rich longitudinal data indicating that market reforms and their success or failure should be examined as an ongoing process rather than a completed action. This is especially important in transition economies where the state may be unwilling to renounce the existing controls on the industry and may resort to more opaque forms of state control, eventually obstructing the intended reforms.
    • Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on information management research and practice: transforming education, work and life

      Dwivedi, Yogesh Kumar; Hughes, D. Laurie; Coombs, Crispin; Constantiou, Ioanna; Duan, Yanqing; Edwards, John S.; Gupta, Babita; Lal, Banita; Misra, Santosh; Prashant, Prakhar; et al. (Elsevier Ltd, 2020-07-31)
      The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organisations to undergo significant transformation, rethinking key elements of their business processes and use of technology to maintain operations whilst adhering to a changing landscape of guidelines and new procedures. This study offers a collective insight to many of the key issues and underlying complexities affecting organisations and society from COVID-19, through an information systems and technological perspective. The views of 12 invited subject experts are collated and analysed where each articulate their individual perspectives relating to: online learning, digital strategy, artificial intelligence, information management, social interaction, cyber security, big data, blockchain, privacy, mobile technology and strategy through the lens of the current crisis and impact on these specific areas. The expert perspectives offer timely insight to the range of topics, identifying key issues and recommendations for theory and practice.
    • The effect of buyers’ socialization efforts on the culture of their key strategic supplier and its impact on supplier operational performance

      Cadden, Trevor; Cao, Guangming; Yang, Ying; McKittrick, Alan; McIvor, Ronan; Onofrei, George (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2020-07-30)
      This paper investigates if inter-organizational socialization mechanisms initiated by a buyer organization towards a strategic supplier can influence the culture within that supplier organization to ultimately improve supplier performance to the buyer. Using a quantitative sample of 279 UK companies from across a variety of industry sectors, statistical techniques were utilized to examine the effect of informal and formal socialization mechanisms on the culture of a strategic supplier as measured by their organizational practices and the subsequent supplier performance outcomes. It was found that both informal and formal socialization efforts by a buyer organization have a significant influence on the culture of the supplier organization as measured by their organizational practices. Socialization efforts by the buyer organization influence the organizational practices of the supplier to be more result-oriented, employee-centred, open, pragmatic to customer needs and market focussed. These organizational practices were found to positively influence supplier operational performance in the eyes of the buyer organization as measured by on time delivery, conformance to product specifications, flexibility to respond to changing customer needs and cost reduction initiatives. Modelling the influence of informal and formal socialization efforts by a buyer on the organizational culture of a key supply chain partner provides new insights to academics. Firstly, this work makes a significant contribution to the extant research on socialization in the supply chain literature. Secondly, it raises the importance of understanding the influence of culture on supplier operational performance. Although the study used a dyadic method to validate the cultural insights, our study only took a snapshot of culture at one point in time. Organization culture as displayed through organizational practices is a complex construct that changes over time. Therefore, to further understand the intricacies of organization culture, a longitudinal study would be useful in the future. Secondly, future studies could develop into themes such as the green supply chain and sustainability issues. Finally, our study was undertaken in the UK. It would be useful to replicate this study in a different setting, including Eastern countries. Organizations should engage early with their key supply base from a socialization perspective. The importance of joint away days, cross function teams alongside effective communication and on site visits have been fund to have a significant influence on shaping a high performance culture along the supply chain. Therefore, a buyers’ early understanding of their key supplier’s culture via these mechanisms appear critical for long-term supply chain success. Measuring supplier culture at the visible level of organizational practices removes the ethereal qualities often attributed to culture as a concept; buyers can influence supplier culture. This paper presents an empirically tested model which includes informal socialization, formal socialization, deconstructed organizational culture and supplier operational performance in a supply chain setting.
    • A framework for the application of Industry 4.0 in logistics and supply chains

      Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Duan, Yanqing; Philpott, Elaine; Ramanathan, Usha (Springer-Verlag, 2020-07-19)
      This research aims to identify and understand the contemporary practice of using Business Analytics (BA) in improving the performance of logistics companies by conducting exploratory case studies. We present seven case studies using a within-case and cross-case analysis of the practice of BA use in UK logistics firms. We position our analysis under major BA application areas identified in previous third-party logistics surveys. Based on an in-depth analysis, we present a Value-Adding Input-Output (VAIO) framework to support an understanding of the use of Business Analytics in logistics companies. One of the main findings is the recognition of four antecedents (skills, systems, technology, and trust issues) before deriving value from business analytics investments. When the antecedents are in place, it is possible for logistics companies to derive value by engaging in BA application areas. The value dimensions ultimately help logistics firms to be competitive in the market place. The framework supports the applicability of the Resource-Based View of a firm for BA use in logistics. The framework developed in this chapter provides a practical basis for logistics companies to derive value from their investments in Business Analytics. The Value-Adding Process Framework is a new framework suggested in this chapter.
    • Supply chain: strategies, issues and models

      Ramanathan, Usha; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan (Springer-Verlag, 2020-07-19)
      This book discusses supply chain issues and models with examples from actual case studies. Recent advances in sustainability, supply chains and technologies have brought promising potential for the management of sustainable global and local supply chains. While most of the current literature seem to consider developments in the field of sustainable supply chains and in the field of Industry 4.0 as two distinct entities, this book attempts to explore the synergy in bringing these two distinct fields together, and hence is designed as a sequel to our previous edited book (published in 2014) with the same title.
    • Reducing edible food waste in the UK food manufacturing supply chain through collaboration

      Cao, Guangming; Shah, Pramitkumar; Ramanathan, Usha; Ajman University; University of Bedfordshire; Nottingham Trent University (Springer, 2020-07-16)
      While a third of food produced is wasted at the pre-consumer stage in the UK food manufacturing supply chain (FMSC) and has had significant negative economic and environmental impacts, many challenges remain in how to reduce edible food waste. This chapter addresses the problem of whether and to what extent FMSC collaboration could lead to the reduction of edible food waste. Evidence in the literature suggests that despite an increasing attention having been paid to reduce edible food waste, there is a scarcity of studies that focus on the relationship between FMSC collaboration and the reduction of edible food waste. Consequently, the aim of this chapter is to develop a research model that explains the relationships among FMSC collaboration, collaborative effectiveness and the reduction of edible food waste. The model is underpinned by the relation view and has been empirically tested with 122 survey responses from food manufacturing firms, using structural equation modelling. The findings indicated that FMSC collaboration has a positive effect on collaborative effectiveness, which in turn results in the reduction of edible food waste during production, processing and storage. Thus, an important implication of this chapter is that the UK FMSC members would benefit from closely collaborating with their supply chain partners to achieve greater collaborative effectiveness and thereby reducing edible food waste.
    • Can environmental investments benefit environmental performance? the moderating roles of institutional environment and foreign direct investment

      Li, Ruiqian; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2020-07-06)
      Contribution of environmental investments (EI) to environmental performance (EP) is a lively topic for environmental researchers across the world. In spite of huge amount of research, there is still lack of clarity on the moderating factors that affect the role played by EI. In this study, we distinguish EI into pollution control investments (PCI) and pollution prevention investments (PPI). We further investigate whether institutional environment and foreign direct investment (FDI) can play their moderating effects both on the relationship between EI and EP and on the relationships between different types of investments and EP or not. The results indicate that EI has a positive effect on EP. More specifically, PPI plays a stronger positive role in EP, but PCI does not have a significant effect on EP. In addition, both institutional environment and FDI can strengthen the positive impact of EI on EP. The increase of EI in regions with better institutional environment or high FDI can lead to greater improvement in EP. These moderating effects of institutional environment and FDI are also confirmed on the link between PPI and EP. In summary, our results reinforce the existing views that EI, and specifically PPI, can improve EP, but further contribute to the understanding of the positive moderating roles played by the institutional environment and FDI on the link between EI and EP.
    • Imaginative communities: Admired cities, regions and countries, Govers, Robert Reputo Press, Antwerp, Belgium, 2018. 158 pp. $17.99 (paper) [book review]

      Stoica, Ioana S. (Wiley, 2020-06-29)
      Review of "Imaginative communities: Admired cities, regions and countries", Govers, Robert Reputo Press, Antwerp, Belgium, 2018. 158 pp. $17.99 (paper)
    • Opening the black box: the impacts of environmental regulations on technological innovation

      Li, Muyao; Zhang, Jinsong; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Li, Ruiqian; ; Harbin University of Commerce; University of Bedfordshire; Heilongjiang University (MDPI, 2020-06-16)
      Whether environmental regulations (ERs) can stimulate technological innovation (TI) is the key for realizing the win-win strategy between economic development and environmental protection. This study seeks to analyze the impacts of ERs on TI. Though previous literature has highlighted that the black box of TI can be decomposed into technology investment and technology transformation, further empirical studies on such a decomposition has largely been ignored. Moreover, a detailed discussion of the links between ER and the decomposed components of TI has not been conducted in developing countries such as China. Our study attempts to address these research gaps by (i) decomposing TI using a novel DEA procedure and to further analyze the impacts of ERs on the decomposed components of TI, and (ii) apply this novel methodology to Chinese context. Accordingly, this study is conducted in two stages. First, a novel application of the slack-based Network DEA model is developed to uncover the black box of TI using Chinese data; to estimate the overall efficiency of technological innovation (TIE) and decompose it into the efficiency of technology investment (TVE) and the efficiency of technology transformation (TTE). Second, a random effect Tobit model is applied to (i) investigate both the linear and non-linear impacts of ERs on TIE in all sectors, and (ii) examine whether the impacts of ERs on TVE and TTE in different sub-processes are heterogeneous or not. Our results have brought out the benefits of decomposing TI; while technology transformation in China closely follows the trend of TI, the trend of technology investment is somewhat different. The estimation results further indicate that the impacts of ERs on TIE are non-linear. Besides, ERs have heterogeneous impacts on the decomposed components of TI. The impacts of ERs on TVE are non-linear, whereas the impacts of ERs on TTE become insignificant.
    • A semiotics-oriented approach to aid the design of ubiquitously monitored healthcare systems

      Tehrani, Jasmine; Ahmed, Sajeel; University of Bedfordshire (SciTePress, 2020-05-31)
      Ubiquitous computing technology, sensor networks, and ambient intelligence have initiated the birth of pervasive health. While successful in many environments, in healthcare, monitoring technologies have been known to cause undesirable effects, such as increases in stress in patients being observed. To date, the use of this monitoring technology and its effect on human behaviour have not been thoroughly investigated, meaning future system designs may result in (preventable) undesirable effects. Pervasive healthcare’s envisioned deep intertwining with the patient’s day-to-day care, makes patient’s socio-cultural values a fundamental consideration. In this paper, we present a semiotics-oriented approach for analysing factors, identified in the literature and believed to influence patient’s behaviour, from both physical and social perspectives to aid the design of socially aware and patient-centric ubiquitous monitoring environments that are successfully adopted and used whilst aiding the incorporation of social aspects of pervasive technologies in the design.
    • Modelling world natural gas production

      Wang, Jianliang; Bentley, Yongmei; ; China University of Petroleum; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2020-05-23)
      As the cleanest fossil fuel in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, natural gas demand is expected to increase rapidly in future due to its important role in the transition of the world energy system. In this case, understanding potential limits to future production of the world’s natural gas resources becomes increasingly important. This paper uses a modified multi-cycle generalized Weng model to forecast the long-term production of natural gas by region, and also globally. Both conventional and unconventional gas production are considered. Our results show that world natural gas production is likely to peak in the range 3.7 to 6.1 trillion cubic meters per year (tcm/y) between 2019 and 2060 depending on assumptions made on the size of the global ultimately recoverable resource (URR) of natural gas. A comparison of this paper’s forecasts with those from the scientific literature and from major energy institutes shows that the projection in this paper’s ‘high scenario’ can be seen as a likely upper-bound on future global natural gas production. To turn this upper-bound projection into reality, great efforts will be needed from the gas industry to discover more conventional and unconventional gas resources, and to make these recoverable.