• Assessing the value of hotel online reviews to consumers

      Reino, Sofia; Massaro, Maria Rita; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2016-03-03)
      Previous research studied the impact of travel online reviews. However, this is quantitative and lacks of conceptual frameworks to ensure consistency. Only a few of these have considered influencing variables (i.e. characteristics of the review and the reader, and surrounding circumstances). Some of their findings are conflicting, which could relate to the lacking of a consistent approach. This study will only focus on online reviews about accommodation establishments. Its aim is to gain an understanding of the value of accommodation online reviews, through a qualitative study. A conceptual framework, based on consumer-perceived value theory, has been developed and face-to-face interviews with accommodation online review readers have been undertaken. The results suggest that the value of reviews is primary epistemic and partially functional, but limited emotional and social value has been reported. Furthermore, the elements eliciting the different value dimensions and additional variables influencing on their value (such as information search patterns) are identified.
    • The availability of critical minerals for China’s renewable energy development: an analysis of physical supply

      Wang, Jianliang; Yang, Lifang; Bentley, Yongmei; Lin, Jingli (Springer, 2020-01-13)
      In the context of depletion of fossil energy and environmental impacts of its use, society has begun to develop vigorously renewable energy (RE). As a result, concerns about the availability of critical minerals used in RE systems have been raised. This paper uses a generalized Weng model to analyze the long-term production of critical minerals for China’s RE development. In our pessimistic case, the results show that the production of most of the minerals investigated for China will peak before 2030, with a relatively high decline rate thereafter. This is an unsustainable situation for China’s RE development unless large and growing quantities of these minerals can be imported. In our optimistic case, although this delays the peak date only slightly, it significantly increases the maximum production rate and lowers the subsequent decline rate. The impacts of many other factors on production, and the implications of China’s domestic minerals production on world’s minerals supply chain, are also analyzed. We conclude that both China and the world should pay close attention to the potential supply risks to critical minerals. Possible measures in response are suggested for both China and the world.
    • Best practices in the cost engineering of through-life engineering services in Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Design To Cost (DTC)

      Baguley, Paul (Springer, 2020-04-30)
      This chapter defines a number of Cost Engineering challenges from industry and their potential best practice solutions as industry case studies and industry practices surveys completed during the previous 5 years. In particular Life Cycle Costing in the context of upgrade and revamp in the process industry and also an example of design for full life cycle target cost for the manufacturing industry. Life Cycle Costing of complex long life cycle facilities is exemplified by identification and development of a life cycle costing of oil refineries through a survey of 15 companies and full life cycle experts and a review of the literature. Life cycle costing practices and a standardised life cycle cost breakdown structure are identified. Design to full life cycle target cost practices have been identified in the development of a full life cycle cost estimating tool for marine radar systems. In particular a survey of 17 companies and a case study with a marine radar systems company has identified specific practices useful in developing products to full life cycle target cost. In planning for future Through Life Engineering Services it is proposed that the collection of cost data and the understanding of Cost Engineering practices is a potential competitive advantage.
    • Citizens’ adoption of an electronic government system: towards a unified view

      Rana, Nripendra P.; Dwivedi, Yogesh Kumar; Lal, Banita; Williams, Michael D.; Clement, Marc; Swansea University; Nottingham Trent University (Springer, 2015-11-24)
      Sluggish adoption of emerging electronic government (eGov) applications continues to be a problem across developed and developing countries. This research tested the nine alternative theoretical models of technology adoption in the context of an eGov system using data collected from citizens of four selected districts in the state of Bihar in India. Analysis of the models indicates that their performance is not up to the expected level in terms of path coefficients, variance in behavioural intention, or the fit indices of the models. In response to the underperformance of the alternative theoretical models to explain the adoption of an eGov system, this research develops a unified model of electronic government adoption and tests it using the same data. The results indicate that the proposed research model outperforms all alternative models of technology adoption by explaining 77 % of variance in behavioural intention, with acceptable values of fit indices and significant relationships between each pair of hypothesised factors.
    • Does the use of a web-based collaborative platform reduce cognitive load and influence project-based student engagement?

      Oluwajana, Dokun; Adeshola, Ibrahim; Clement, Seyefar (Springer, 2021-08-06)
      The web-based supported collaborative learning is increasingly used to support student social activities in higher institutions. However, little is known about the factors of collaborative learning in a web-based supported learning environment. Therefore, this study examines the use of a web-based supported collaborative platform to enhance project-based student engagement. This research aims to determine the factors that determine collaborative learning and subsequent student satisfaction. Moreover, this research determines students’ cognitive load understanding, social influence, and learner’s motivation towards collaborative learning and the resultant impact of the web-based supported collaborative platform on student satisfaction. The data was collected from university post-graduate students who used the TRELLO platform. A total of 115 post-graduate students participated in this study, and the resulting data were analyzed based on partial least squares structural equation modelling statistical approach. The study results suggest that students’ social influence and motivation positively influence collaborative learning; directly and indirectly, students are satisfied using a web-based supported collaborative learning platform to support project-based student engagement.
    • Editorial: Special issue on "Bright ICT: security, privacy and risk issues"

      Lawrence, Victor B.; Ayaburi, Emmanuel W.; Andoh-Baidoo, Francis Kofi; Dwivedi, Yogesh Kumar; Lal, Banita (Springer, 2022-04-02)
      Bright ICT, a 2015 initiative of the Association of Information Systems introduced by Prof J.K. Lee, refers to the grand vision of a bright society enabled by ICT. Bright ICT research involves taking a holistic view at the design of ICT enabled future society (Lee, 2016; Lee et al., 2018). This concept entails the development of relevant technologies, business models, public policies, social norms, international agreements, metrics for measuring national progress and preventing undesirable activities on the Internet. It is also at the center of discussions on adoption or modification of technologies, policies, and organizations from which new business models—that create a bright safe internet—can evolve. As a double edge sword, technology creates huge benefits such as the use of mobile phones for healthcare access but create challenges such as delayed access to healthcare providers (Haenssgen & Ariana, 2017). Legal frameworks such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and opt-in/out rules that are promulgated to protect individuals’ private data have dual effect of reducing users’ information sharing intentions and giving power to a few Tech market players (Johnson et al., 2020).
    • Enhancing organisational competitiveness via social media : a strategy as practice perspective

      Kwayu, Shirumisha; Lal, Banita; Abubakre, Mumin; Nottingham Trent University (Springer, 2017-12-20)
      The affordances, popularity and pervasive use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have made these platforms attractive to organisations for enhancing their competitiveness and creating business value. Despite this apparent significance of social media for businesses, they are struggling with the development of a social media strategy as well as understanding the implications of social media on practice within their organisations. This paper explores how social media has become a tool for competitiveness and its influence on organisational strategy and practice. Using the ‘strategy as practice’ lens and guided by the interpretivist philosophy, this paper uses the empirical case of a telecom organisation in Tanzania. The findings show that social media is influencing competitiveness through imitation and product development. Also, the findings indicate how social media affects the practices within an organisation, consequently making the social media strategy an emergent phenomenon.
    • Factors motivating Indian manufacturing SME employers’ to adopt GSCM practices

      Dhillon, Manpreet K.; Bentley, Yongmei (Springer, 2020-05-06)
      The growth of manufacturing SMEs is vital, as their contribution towards the national economy is significant. In this era of globalisation, SMEs are compelled to ensure sustainable profitability through cost saving, while being environmentally conscious at the same time. It has been reported in the past empirical studies, that adoption of green supply chain management (GSCM) practices by SMEs could enable such enterprises to improve their performance and succeed in their operations. Hence, to gain and maintain competitive advantage and succeed, SMEs need to change their practices and adapt their strategies to the dynamic environment of today. The factors motivating adoption of GSCM among Indian SMEs have not been thoroughly explored in the past studies. This sets the motivation for the present research. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore the factors motivating Indian manufacturing SME employers in adopting GSCM practices in their firms and to develop a GSCM framework based on the literature review and the empirical findings of this study.
    • Green supply chain management – practices and trends in developing countries

      Bentley, Yongmei; Dhillon, Manpreet Kaur (Springer, 2019-07-29)
      Purpose - The emergent issue of green supply chain management (GSCM) has been rapidly evolving, matched by the growth in the number of academic publications in this field. GSCM that incorporates environmental thinking into the supply chain management activities has gained popularity across the world, but mainly in the developed countries though the trend is noticeable in developing countries as well. The purpose of this research is to explore the existing studies in the field of GSCM in developing countries via a comprehensive systematic literature review (SLR) and compare the findings to those of the developed countries. Thus, this research aims to present the GSCM research from a comprehensive point of view and analyse the trend of growth in the last two and a half decades using the SLR method. Design/Methodology/Approach – This study uses the SLR approach to explore the present status of GSCM research in developing countries. Journal articles pertaining to GSCM in developed countries has also been studied for the purpose of comparing the results with the developing countries. For this review, Scopus and web of science database have been searched for papers published between 1990 and 2018 using the keywords ‘green supply chain management’ and ‘GSCM’. Articles identified were further reviewed and categorized under different attributes namely year, journal, geographical regions, research design, research methodology, and finally research issues. The classifications enabled the identification of crucial gaps in the literature for further research. Expected Outcomes – One of the main findings is that the research in GSCM has been dominated by quantitative study with mathematical modeling and surveys as the most commonly used methods to study GSCM issues. The full chapter will reveal the present status of GSCM research in developing countries in comparison with that in the developed countries. Thus, the results should improve the understanding of GSCM research in both developed and developing countries and highlight the opportunities that still need further investigation. Originality/Value - This study is original. The SLR method graphically illustrates the evolution of publications in developing countries over last quarter of a century in comparison to that with those in developed countries. This research has identified the gaps and directions that should be useful to guide researchers and practitioners in this area.
    • An investigation into the sustainable actions of micro and small businesses

      Marshall, S.; Williams, Sarah (Springer, 2018-10-03)
      Although much is written about the approach of larger companies towards their environmental responsibilities, there is much less concerning smaller companies. This gap in research is particularly apparent within micro businesses. If the sustainability actions of a business are related to the perceived drivers and barriers of the leader, then this should be even more apparent in very small companies where the leader is closer to the firm. This paper contributes by investigating the current sustainability behaviours of micro and small businesses, with a specific emphasis on the drivers and barriers of their environmental activity. In order to achieve this, an empirical, cross-sectional study was carried out using a mixed methods approach in partnership with the UK-based Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The results find a surprising number of eco-friendly activities carried out by micro and small business with a strong desire for support to overcome resource and capability barriers. 
    • Living dangerously: generalizing in case study research

      Farquhar, Jillian Dawes; Deigh, Linda (Springer, 2016-01-01)
    • Mathematical images in advertising: constructing difference and shaping identity, in global consumer culture

      Evans, Jeff; Tsatsaroni, Anna; Czarnecka, Barbara; Middlesex University; University of the Peloponnese; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2013-10-02)
      Mathematics educators have long emphasised the importance of attitudes, beliefs, and feelings towards mathematics, as crucial in motivating (or not) its learning and use, and as influenced in turn by its social images. This paper is about images of mathematics. Our search for advertisements containing such images in UK daily newspapers, during 2006–2008, found that 4.7 % of editions included a “mathematical” advert, compared with 1.7 % in pilot work for 1994–2003. The incidence varied across type of newspaper, being correlated with class and gender profiles of the readership. Three quarters of advertisements were classified as containing only very simple mathematics. ‘Semiotic discursive’ analysis of selected advertisements suggests that they draw on mathematics not to inform, but to connote qualities like precision, certainty, and authority. We discuss the discourse on mathematics in advertising as ‘quasi-pedagogic’ discourse, and argue that its oversimplified forms, being empty of mathematical content, become powerful means for regulating and ‘pedagogising’ today's global consumers.
    • 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.
    • Review of knowledge sharing: conceptual foundations for microlevel sharing and readiness for change related behaviours

      Patel, Dilip; Samara, Khalid; Patel, Shushma (Springer, 2011-12-31)
      In the organisational change and knowledge sharing literature, recognition of high failures of change efforts is said to be associated to the organisations lack of understanding of how to manage readiness for change. In this paper, the case for change readiness is invoked by a need for further explanation of micro level foundations. A survey of 105 scholarly academic journals in the area of knowledge sharing research from 1994 to 2009 with keywords salient to knowledge sharing studies was conducted to explore current thinking about organisational change issues. The findings reveal that there is yet no well-established method or clear conceptual definition to exploring the phenomena of change for knowledge sharing on both individual and organisational levels. Based on the literature survey a model is proposed to integrate the relevant themes that influence knowledge readiness. A discussion is presented, demonstrating future directions towards knowledge sharing for micro-level knowledge sharing and readiness for change related behaviours.
    • A review of physical supply and EROI of fossil fuels in China

      Wang, Jianliang; Feng, Jiang-Xuan; Bentley, Yongmei; Feng, Lianyong; Qu, Hui; China University of Petroleum; University of Bedfordshire; Petroleum Industry Press (Springer, 2017-09-19)
      This paper reviews China’s future fossil fuel supply from the perspectives of physical output and net energy output. Comprehensive analyses of physical output of fossil fuels suggest that China’s total oil production will likely reach its peak, at about 230 Mt/year (or 9.6 EJ/year), in 2018; its total gas production will peak at around 350 Bcm/year (or 13.6 EJ/year) in 2040, while coal production will peak at about 4400 Mt/year (or 91.9 EJ/year) around 2020 or so. In terms of the forecast production of these fuels, there are significant differences among current studies. These differences can be mainly explained by different ultimately recoverable resources assumptions, the nature of the models used, and differences in the historical production data. Due to the future constraints on fossil fuels production, a large gap is projected to grow between domestic supply and demand, which will need to be met by increasing imports. Net energy analyses show that both coal and oil and gas production show a steady declining trend of EROI (energy return on investment) due to the depletion of shallow-buried coal resources and conventional oil and gas resources, which is generally consistent with the approaching peaks of physical production of fossil fuels. The peaks of fossil fuels production, coupled with the decline in EROI ratios, are likely to challenge the sustainable development of Chinese society unless new abundant energy resources with high EROI values can be found.
    • Understanding value conflict to engage SME managers with business greening

      Williams, Sarah; Schaefer, Anja; Blundel, R. (Springer, 2017-02-01)
      The objective of this chapter is to contribute to the understanding of why SME managers engage with business greening. Ethical tensions are understood through use of the Schwartz Value System. The starting assumption is that the business framing of the environment, to save money and save the planet (win-win), is not value free but instead draws on conflicting values of power and universalism. The empirical research for this chapter engaged 31 SME managers in semi-structured interviews from a variety of business sectors within the East of England. The results showed that ‘power’ values are not the only way of filtering and constructing business greening. Managers were found to be drawing on the full range of values with marker values linked with ‘achievement’, particularly clear. It is concluded that manager values, especially within SMEs, are key to understanding the interplay of motivations for engaging with business greening. The ‘win-win’ concept needs to evolve to take managers beyond quick financial savings. It is argued that one way to do that may be to reframe environmental issues for business to stimulate values other than power. Practitioner work, in partnership with Bedfordshire Green Business Network (GBN), reports the usefulness of such approaches.  
    • Water footprint assessment for coal-to-gas in China

      Wang, Jianliang; Liu, Xiaojie; Geng, Xu; Bentley, Yongmei; Zhang, Chunhua; Yang, Yuru (Springer, 2019-01-01)
      To increase its domestic gas production and achieve cleaner end-use utilization of its coal resources, China is actively promoting its coal-to-gas (CTG) industry. However, one of the major concerns for CTG development is the consequent significant water usage. To better understand this aspect, this paper presents a quantitative assessment of the water footprint (WF) for China’s CTG industry. The results show that the WF of CTG in China is typically in the region of 0.055 m3 water per cubic meter of produced gas. In addition, the analysis of the components of this WF indicates that most of the water resources are used both in the process of CTG production itself, and also in the dilute discharge of pollutants. In terms of the planned production capacity of China’s CTG projects, this paper finds that the water use in some regions of Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi and Liaoning may account 30–40% of regional water resources, which means the large-scale development of CTG projects may present significant risks to regional water resources. Therefore, this paper suggests that the status of regional water availability should be one of the key factors considered by policy makers in order to achieve sustainable development of the country’s CTG industry.
    • Working from home during Covid-19: doing and managing technology-enabled social interaction with colleagues at a distance

      Lal, Banita; Dwivedi, Yogesh Kumar; Haag, Markus; ; University of Bradford; Swansea University; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2021-08-27)
      With the overnight growth in Working from Home (WFH) owing to the pandemic, organisations and their employees have had to adapt work-related processes and practices quickly with a huge reliance upon technology. Everyday activities such as social interactions with colleagues must therefore be reconsidered. Existing literature emphasises that social interactions, typically conducted in the traditional workplace, are a fundamental feature of social life and shape employees' experience of work. This experience is completely removed for many employees due to the pandemic and, presently, there is a lack of knowledge on how individuals maintain social interactions with colleagues via technology when working from home. Given that a lack of social interaction can lead to social isolation and other negative repercussions, this study aims to contribute to the existing body of literature on remote working by highlighting employees' experiences and practices around social interaction with colleagues. This study takes an interpretivist and qualitative approach utilising the diary-keeping technique to collect data from twenty-nine individuals who had started to work from home on a full-time basis as a result of the pandemic. The study explores how participants conduct social interactions using different technology platforms and how such interactions are embedded in their working lives. The findings highlight the difficulty in maintaining social interactions via technology such as the absence of cues and emotional intelligence, as well as highlighting numerous other factors such as job uncertainty, increased workloads and heavy usage of technology that affect their work lives. The study also highlights that despite the negative experiences relating to working from home, some participants are apprehensive about returning to work in the traditional office place where social interactions may actually be perceived as a distraction. The main contribution of our study is to highlight that a variety of perceptions and feelings of how work has changed via an increased use of digital media while working from home exists and that organisations need to be aware of these differences so that they can be managed in a contextualised manner, thus increasing both the efficiency and effectiveness of working from home.