• Data of the impact of aligning business, IT, and marketing strategies on firm performance

      Al-Surmi, Abdulrahman Mohamed; Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2019-10-15)
      The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled “The Impact of Aligning Business, IT, and Marketing Strategies on Firm Performance” [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019850118304449]. In order to succeed in today's competitive business environment, a firm should have a clear business strategy that is supported by other organizational strategies. While prior studies argue that strategic alignment enhances firm performance, either strategic alignment including multiple factors or strategic orientation of firms has received little attention. This study, drawing on contingency theory and configuration theory, investigates the performance impact of triadic strategic alignment among business, IT, and marketing strategies while simultaneously considers strategic orientation of firms. A research model is tested through SEM and MANOVA using data collected in a questionnaire survey of 242 Yemen managers. The findings indicate that (1) triadic strategic alignment has a positive impact on firm performance and (2) there is an ideal triadic strategic alignment for prospectors and defenders. This research contributes to strategic alignment literature and managers' understanding of how to align business, IT and marketing strategies to improve firm performance.
    • The debate on flexibility of environmental regulations, innovation capabilities and financial performance - a novel use of DEA

      Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Ramanathan, Usha; Bentley, Yongmei; University of Bedfordshire; Nottingham Trent University (Elsevier Ltd, 2017-03-27)
      Operational research models have been employed to understand development issues associated with environmental sustainability. This article describes a novel application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to help extend a specific debate in the literature on Porter’s hypothesis in environmental policy. The debate deals with the impact of flexibility of regulations on the relationship between innovation capabilities on financial performance in organisations. Using the resource based view of a firm, we hypothesise that relationship between innovation capabilities and financial performance in firms depends on how flexible or inflexible environmental regulations are. We apply DEA to capture the flexibility of environmental regulations. Our results indicate that innovation capabilities significantly influence financial performance of firms if firms feel that the environmental regulations they face are flexible and offer more freedom in meeting the requirements of regulations. On the other hand, corporations that feel that they face more inflexible regulations are not so effective in improving their financial performance with their innovation capabilities.
    • Designing an organization for innovation in emerging economies: the mediating role of readiness for innovation

      Arshi, Tahseen Anwer; Burns, Paul; Majan University College; University of Bedfordshire (Vilnius University Press, 2019-12-31)
      The study proposes an organizational design framework that impacts innovation in corporate firms. In an emerging economy like Oman, innovation helps to reduce the dependence on oil revenues and enhance its international competitiveness. However, the corporate organizations in emerging economies are unable to innovate effectively because they are not designed for innovation. Further, scarcity of resources undermines their readiness for innovation. This study empirically validates measures of an entrepreneurial organizational design framework in Omani corporate sector. In order to explain how a corporate organizational design promotes innovation and clarify the missing links between corporate entrepreneurial activity and innovation, the mediating role of readiness for innovation (RFI) is tested. Using a quantitative research approach, data is collected from 401 corporate firms in Oman and analysed using structural equation modelling. The findings support the proposition that entrepreneurial organizational design promotes both radical and incremental innovation degree and frequency, while RFI partially mediates the relationship between entrepreneurial inputs and innovation outputs. The study contributes to the understanding of innovation in emerging economies as it explains that RFI helps firms to enhance its innovation potential by optimizing its resources, capabilities and processes for innovation. These measures are essential for organizations, particularly in emerging economies focused on low cost innovation. The findings of the study will inform managerial decision-making in terms of designing organizations for innovation and implementation of measures related to readiness for innovation. PDF
    • Developing a conceptual framework for sustainable ‘last-mile’ delivery for Chinese online retailing market

      Zhang, Boyong; Bentley, Yongmei; University of Bedfordshire (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK, 2018-09-03)
      This study aims to develop a conceptual framework for sustainable last-mile delivery for China’s online retailing market via systematic literature review (SLR) and semi-structured interviews. Based on our SLR, European academia is the most productive and creative region regarding last-mile delivery research. Unfortunately, many projects and studies have failed or remained at preliminary stages. Nevertheless, European researchers and practitioners are very vigorous to implement new ideas into operations. They have introduced and developed different models, alternative solutions, new vehicles, regulatory suggestions, along with some inspiring frameworks and reviews. In the Chinese context, last-mile research remained at a theoretical level. Scholars are still trying to explain the relationship between e-commerce and last-mile delivery (Chen and Lin, 2013; Wang and Xiao, 2015), few have entered the innovative stage of research. Chinese scholars rarely mention terminologies such as sustainable last-mile, smart-cities, or smart logistics. They are in dire of need a roadmap which can provide guidance for last-mile decision-making process. ---
    • Developing a real-time monitoring traceability system for cold chain of Tricholoma matsutake

      Li, Xinwu; Yang, Lin; Duan, Yanqing; Wu, Zhigang; Zhang, Xiaoshuan; China Agricultural University; Tibet Agricultural and Animal Husbandry College; University of Bedfordshire (MDPI, 2019-04-11)
    • Development and evaluation of a brine mining equipment monitoring and control system using wireless sensor network and fuzzy logic

      He, Liu; Cui, Yan; Duan, Yanqing; Stankovski, Stevan; Zhang, Xiaoshuan; Zhang, Jian; China Agricultural University; University of Bedfordshire; University of Novi sad; Beijing Information Science & Technology University (SAGE, 2017-03-29)
      The brine mining equipment failure can seriously affect the productivity of the salt lake chemical industry. Traditional monitoring and controlling method mainly depends on manned patrol that is offline and ineffective. With the rapid advancement of information and communication technologies, it is possible to develop more efficient online systems that can automatically monitor and control the mining equipment and to prevent equipment damage from mechanical failure and unexpected interruptions with severe consequences. This paper describes a Wireless Monitoring and feedback fuzzy logic-based Control System (WMCS) for monitoring and controlling the brine well mining equipment. Based on the field investigations and requirement analysis, the WMCS is designed as a Wireless Sensors Network module, a feedback fuzzy logic controller, and a remote communication module together with database platform. The system was deployed in existing brine wells at demonstration area without any physical modification. The system test and evaluation results show that WMCS enables to track equipment performance and collect real-time data from the spot, provides decision support to help workers overhaul the equipment and follows the deployment of fuzzy control in conjunction with remote data logging. It proved that WMCS acts as a tool to improve management efficiency for mining equipment and underground brine resources.
    • Development of an effective cost minimization model for food grain shipments

      Maiyar, Lohithaksha M.; Thakkar, Jitesh J.; Awasthi, Anjali; Tiwari, Manoj Kumar; Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur; Concordia University (Elsevier, 2015-08-31)
      This paper makes an attempt to address the issue of food grain shipments taking a case of Indian food grain supply chain. The existing process of transportation and distribution has been represented as a four stage process. In this work only the first stage has been formulated as a bi-level nodal capacity network flow problem with linear model in the first level and a mixed integer non-linear model in the second level considering minimization of transportation costs. The model captures rail-road flexibility. Finally two variants of particle swarm optimization algorithms are used to solve the model and results are compared.
    • Distributional characteristics of interday stock returns and their asymmetric conditional volatility: firm-level evidence

      Balaban, Ercan; Ozgen, Tolga; Girgin, Mehmet Sencer; University of Bedfordshire; Craig Associates, Edinburgh; TJK, Istanbul (Elsevier B.V., 2018-05-16)
      This paper is a pioneering effort to jointly analyze the characteristics of interday distributions of stock returns and their asymmetric time varying volatility using firm-level data in local currency from an emerging stock market, namely, the Bourse Istanbul, for the period January 1996 to December 2015. Using a modified Threshold Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity-in-Mean [TGARCH(1,1)-M] model; these distributional characteristics statistically assess in a unique framework (i) the weak-form informational efficiency based on the stylized facts of day of the week effects on stock returns and their conditional volatility; (ii) volatility persistence and asymmetry in conditional volatility; and (iii) the conditional total risk–return relationship, and the impact of systematic risk as an asset pricing factor. It is found that at firm level there are statistically significant positive or negative day of the week effects on either stock returns or their conditional volatility, or both. However, for a sample of 120 firms, a full and cross-sectional analysis of the interday distributions does not lead to a systematic pattern of return differences across days of the week. The average volatility is found to be highest on Mondays and the lowest on Wednesdays. It is reported that – as a proxy of total risk in a mean–variance framework – the estimated conditional standard deviation does not have a significant impact on stock returns for the great majority of the sample firms. With reference to the total risk–return relationship and the asymmetry in volatility, there are no significant differences between the industrial and financial sector companies. It is reported that the systematic risk is always priced; and the results are highly significant with a high explanatory power. Volatility is decidedly persistent for all firms investigated; while, a significant asymmetry in the conditional volatility cannot be reported for most of the firms. Contributing to the existing literature as a first time analysis of firm-level distributional characteristics of interday stock returns and their asymmetric conditional volatility with an additional proper risk-impact investigation, the empirical results are of importance primarily for asset pricing and risk management research and practice.
    • Do top-performing companies use business analytics differently and why?

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; University of Bedfordshire (CEUR-WS, 2015-12-31)
      It is suggested that companies that use business analytics perform better than those that do not in making strategic decisions and creating business value. However, little academic research based on theories exists to examine the extent to which companies differ in using business analytics and why this difference may contribute to company performance difference. To reduce this knowledge gap, this paper investigates the extent to which top and bottom performing companies differ in using business analytics by means of analysis of variance based on 232 responses collected from UK manufacturers, and seeks to explain how this use difference may be linked to performance difference drawing on the information processing view and path dependence theory. The research findings indicate that top-performing companies are three times more likely than bottom-performing companies to use business analytics and develop a data-driven environment simultaneously; and that the company differences regarding the use of business analytics and the resultant performance may be due to path dependence and how relevant organisational factors are designed. The study contributes to business analytics literature by providing empirical evidences and offering a theoretical-based understanding of business analytics, providing a foundation for future research. This study also has important managerial implications by demonstrating how business analytics can be used to improve performance.
    • Doing gender in the ‘new office’

      Hirst, Alison; Schwabenland, Christina; University of Bedfordshire; Anglia Ruskin University (2017-11-09)
      Our paper investigates how gender is performed in the context of an office setting designed to promote intensive, fluid networking. We draw on an ethnographically-oriented study of the move of staff into a new office building constructed primarily from glass, and incorporating open plan offices, diverse collective areas and walking routes. Although the designers aimed to invoke changes in the behaviour of all staff, they conceptualized these changes in masculine terms. We therefore analyse the gender norms materialized by the workspaces of the ‘new office' and how women responded to these. We suggest that the new office encourages an image of the ideal worker which brings together ways of acting and interacting that have been characterised as both masculine and feminine – active movement and spontaneous encounters, but also intensive face-to-face interaction and deep relationship-building. Women are driven into this mode of working in an uncompromising, almost aggressive way, but a straightforward gender-based dynamic does not emerge in their responses, with conventional gender characteristics being reshuffled and recombined.
    • A dual attention network based on efficientNet-B2 for short-term fish school feeding behavior analysis in aquaculture

      Chen, Yingyi; Yang, Ling; Yu, Huihui; Cheng, Yuelan; Mei, Siyuan; Duan, Yanqing; Li, Daoliang (2021-07-08)
      Fish school feeding behavior analysis based on images can provide important information for aquaculture managers to make effective feeding decision. However, it is a challenging task due to intra-class variation, cross-occlusion, and unbalanced image categories in real high-density industrial farming. At present, most of the existing works on fish school feeding behavior are limited because they seem to ignored the spatial relationship between the region of interest in fish feeding images. To address this research gap, we propose a dual attention network with efficientnet-b2 for fine-grained short-term feeding behavior analysis of fish school. The algorithm includes EfficientNet-B2 network and two parallel attention modules, which focus on the feature extraction of the feeding region. In addition, several training strategies, such as mish activation function, ranger optimizer, label smoothing, and cosine annealing, are employed to improve the algorithm performance. Especially, label smoothing technique is used to address the problem of image class imbalance. To evaluate the effectiveness of our method, performance of proposed algorithm is analyzed on fish school feeding behavior dataset and it is also compared with benchmark Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) including AlexNet, VGG, Inception, ResNet, Densenet, SENet, and MobileNet. Comprehensive experimental results show that proposed algorithm achieves very good results in terms of the accuracy (the test accuracy is 89.56% on datasets), precision, parameters and floating point operations per second (FLOPS), compared with the benchmark classification algorithm. Therefore, we proposed method can be integrated into aquacultual vision system to guide farmers to plan their feeding strategy.
    • A dynamic capability view of marketing analytics use: evidence from UK firms

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; El-Banna, Alia; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2018-08-10)
      While marketing analytics plays an important role in generating insights from big data to improve marketing decision-making and firm competitiveness, few academic studies have investigated the mechanisms through which it can be used to achieve sustained competitive advantage. To close this gap, this study draws on the dynamic capability view to posit that a firm can attain sustained competitive advantage from its sensing, seizing and reconfiguring capabilities, which are manifested by the use of marketing analytics, marketing decision-making, and product development management. This study also examines the impact of the antecedents of marketing analytics use on marketing related processes. The analysis of a survey of 221 UK firm managers demonstrates: (a) the positive impact of marketing analytics use on both marketing decision-making and product development management; (b) the effect of the latter two on sustained competitive advantage; (c) the indirect effect of data availability on both marketing decision-making and production development management; and (d) the indirect effect of managerial support on marketing decision-making. The research model proposed in this study provides insights into how marketing analytics can be used to achieve sustained competitive advantage.
    • Editorial: Can Big Data be a panacea for business?

      Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan (London Churchill College, 2017-09-07)
      This issue features a number of interesting but varied articles on the theme of business. There is focus on economic issues (e.g., Mudaraba Financing), environmental issues (e.g., BP Oil disaster), and social issues (e.g., smart education, job satisfaction and CSR) facing businesses. There is an acute need for supporting businesses for efficiently managing these economic, social and environmental issues. Can Big Data be a panacea here? 
    • Editorial: How to develop a quality research article and avoid a journal desk rejection

      Dwivedi, Yogesh Kumar; Hughes, Laurie; Cheung, Christy M.K.; Conboy, Kieran; Duan, Yanqing; Dubey, Rameshwar; Janssen, Marijn; Jones, Paul; Sigala, Marianna; Viglia, Giampaolo; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-09-21)
      The desk rejection of submitted articles can be a hugely frustrating and demotivating process from the perspective of the researcher, but equally, a time-consuming and vital step in the process for the Editor, tasked with selecting appropriate articles that meet the required criteria for further review and scrutiny. The feedback from journal Editors within this editorial, highlights the significant gaps in understanding from many academics of the journal assessment process and acceptance criteria for progression to the review stage. This editorial offers a valuable “lived-in” perspective on the desk rejection process through the lens of the Editor, via the differing views of nine leading journal Editors. Each Editor articulates their own perspectives on the many reasons for desk rejection, offering key insight to researchers on how to align their submissions to the specific journal requirements and required quality criteria, whilst demonstrating relevance and contribution to theory and practice. This editorial develops a succinct summary of the key findings from the differing Editor perspectives, offering a timely contribution of significant value and benefit to academics and industry researchers alike.
    • 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.
    • Effectuation and home-based online business entrepreneurs

      Daniel, Elizabeth M.; Di Domenico, MariaLaura; Sharma, Seema; Open University; University of Surrey; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2014-06-11)
      This article explores effectual processes within home-based, online businesses. Our empirical evidence provides a number of refinements to the concept of effectuation in this specific domain. First, the ubiquity of non-proprietary online trading platforms encourages the adoption of effectual approaches and removes the importance of forming proprietary strategic alliances and pre-commitments. Second, the notion of affordable loss – a central tenet of effectuation – should be extended beyond the notion of economic to social affordable loss, including loss of status and reputation, and finally, home-based online businesses allow effectuation to be associated with low levels of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and experience.
    • An empirical validation of a unified model of electronic government adoption (UMEGA)

      Dwivedi, Yogesh Kumar; Rana, Nripendra P.; Janssen, Marijn; Lal, Banita; Williams, Michael D.; Clement, Marc; Swansea University; Delft University of Technology; Nottingham Trent University (Elsevier, 2017-03-31)
      In electronic government (hereafter e-government), a large variety of technology adoption models are employed, which make researchers and policymakers puzzled about which one to use. In this research, nine well-known theoretical models of information technology adoption are evaluated and 29 different constructs are identified. A unified model of e-government adoption (UMEGA) is developed and validated using data gathered from 377 respondents from seven selected cities in India. The results indicate that the proposed unified model outperforms all other theoretical models, explaining the highest variance on behavioral intention, acceptable levels of fit indices, and significant relationships for each of the seven hypotheses. The UMEGA is a parsimonious model based on the e-government-specific context, whereas the constructs from the original technology adoption models were found to be inappropriate for the e-government context. By using the UMEGA, relevant e-government constructs were included. For further research, we recommend the development of e-government-specific scales.
    • Employee voice in the SME context

      Sameer, Muhammad; Özbilgin, Mustafa F. (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 2014-04-25)
      In this chapter, we show that employee voice in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is largely absent in academic studies, representing a missing link in the theorization of employee voice. We present a general overview on important contemporary debates in the employee voice literature and locate it in industrial relations and human resource management literatures. Finally, we explore how employee voice in SMEs can be studied. We offer a number of suggestions for the academic and practitioner use of employee voice in the SME sector.
    • Enhancing country competitiveness for investment: the role of investment promotion agencies

      Papadopoulos, Nicolas; Hamzaoui-Essoussi, Leila; El Banna, Alia (Athens Institute for Education and Research, 2017-01-01)
    • Enhancing customer-linking marketing capabilities using marketing analytics

      Cao, Guangming; Tian, Na (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2020-03-25)
      Purpose: Evidence in the literature has indicated that customer-linking marketing capabilities such as customer relationship management (CRM) and brand management are important drivers of marketing performance and that marketing analytics use (MAU) enables firms to gain valuable knowledge and insights for improving firm performance. However, there has been little focus on how firms improve their CRM and brand management via MAU. This study aims to draw on the absorptive capacity theory, research on marketing capabilities and marketing analytics to examine the capability-developing mechanisms that enable a firm to use marketing analytics to enhance its CRM and brand management capabilities, thereby improving its marketing performance. Design/methodology/approach: A research model is developed and tested based on an analysis of 289 responses collected using an online survey from middle and senior managers of Chinese firms with sufficient knowledge and experience in using marketing analytics for survey participation. Findings: The findings demonstrate that MAU is positively related to both CRM and brand management capabilities, which in turn are positively associated with marketing performance; and that both CRM and brand management capabilities mediate the relationship between MAU and marketing performance. Research limitations/implications: The study’s outcomes were based on data collected from a survey, which was distributed using mass e-mails. Thus, the study is unable to provide a meaningful response rate. The research results are based on and limited to Chinese firms. Practical implications: MAU is essential for enhancing customer-linking marketing capabilities such as CRM and brand management, but it alone is not sufficient to improve marketing performance. Firms wishing to improve marketing performance should leverage the knowledge and insights gained from MAU to enhance their critical customer-linking marketing capabilities. Originality/value: This study explicates the capability-developing mechanisms through which a firm can use its market-sensing capability as manifested by MAU to enhance customer-linking marketing capabilities and to improve its marketing performance. In so doing, this study extends our understanding of the critical role of absorptive capacity in helping firms identify, assimilate, transform and apply valuable external knowledge.