• Factors affecting active participation in B2B online communities: an empirical investigation

      Gharib, Rebwar Kamal; Philpott, Elly; Duan, Yanqing; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2016-11-22)
      There is a lack of understanding on the factors affecting active participation in Business-to-Business (B2B) Online Communities (OC). To address this gap, we developed a model based on two theories: Social Exchange Theory and the Information Systems Success Model. The model was validated by using survey data collected from 40 B2B discussion forums on LinkedIn (n = 521). Our work made a number of significant contributions including an integrated model of factors affecting active participation in B2B OCs and a new validated measure for active participation. Further, we proposed several guidelines which assist B2B OC providers in building and maintaining successful communitities.
    • Factors affecting consumers’ purchase intention of eco-friendly food in China: the evidence from respondents in Beijing

      He, Qile; Duan, Yanqing; Wang, Ruowei; Fu, Zetian; Coventry University; University of Bedfordshire; China Agricultural University (Wiley, 2019-05-07)
      The purpose aims to examine the key factors influencing Chinese consumer’s purchasing behaviour of eco-friendly food in China giving its context as an emerging economy and its rapidly rising importance in the world eco-friendly food market. This paper adopts and extends the Responsible Environmental Behaviour (REB) theory by empirically testing key psycho-social factors influencing the purchase intention of eco-friendly food and the moderating effects of consumers’ demographic characteristics on the relationship between the key psycho-social factors and the purchase intention.  A number of hypotheses are proposed. A questionnaire was designed and distributed via online survey in Beijing, China.  A total of 239 valid responses were received. The empirical data was used to test the research hypotheses using the hierarchical multiple regression analysis. The research finds that the personality factors in the REB model (i.e., pro-environmental attitudes, the internal locus of control and personal responsibly) have significant positive effects on the consumers’ eco-friendly food purchase intention. Such effect is stable across consumers with different income levels. On the other hand, the knowledge-skill factors in the REB model do not have significant effect on the purchase intention of consumers. This study contributes to a better understanding of factors affecting eco-friendly food consumption intention in China and the behavioural characteristics of consumers in developing countries. Moreover, the findings also shed light on the applicability of the REB theory in emerging economies and a specific industrial context.
    • 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.
    • Financial constraints, bank concentration and SMEs: evidence from Pakistan

      Saeed, Abubakr; Sameer, Muhammad (Emerald, 2015-10-05)
      Purpose – This paper aims to empirically investigate the impact of bank market concentration of financial constraints on firm investment. Design/methodology/approach – This analysis is based on cross-industries panel of 368 listed Pakistani non-financial firms over the period of 2001-2009. Further, the Generalized Method of Moments estimation technique has been used to estimate the dynamic panel data model. Findings – By applying a dynamic panel analysis, it was found that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are financially constrained in the credit market. The main finding indicates that reduction in bank concentration eases financing constraints, and this effect is more pronounced for SMEs. In addition, while testing the firm opacity in this context, results reveal that opaque firms are more financially constrained, and bank market competition is less favourable to the firms with greater opacity. Originality/value – The results, first, assess the efficacy of ongoing financial reforms in Pakistan and, second, offer implications for other economies that exhibit financial development similar to that of Pakistan.
    • 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.
    • A framework for the successful implementation of food traceability systems in China

      Duan, Yanqing; Mao, Meiyin; Wang, Ruimei; Fu, Zetian; Xu, Mark; University of Bedfordshire; China Agricultural University; University of Portsmouth (Taylor & Francis, 2017-06-02)
      Implementation of food traceability systems in China faces many challenges due to the scale, diversity and complexity of China’s food supply chains. This study aims to identify critical success factors specific to the implementation of traceability systems in China. Twenty-seven critical success factors were identified in the literature. Interviews with managers at four food enterprises in a pre-study helped identify success criteria and five additional critical success factors. These critical success factors were tested through a survey of managers in eighty-three food companies. This study identifies six dimensions for critical success factors: laws, regulations and standards; government support; consumer knowledge and support; effective management and communication; top management and vendor support; and information and system quality.
    • A framework on information behaviour of SME managers for decision-making on emerging ICTs

      Olatunji, Sulaimon; Bentley, Yongmei; Duan, Yanqing; Ong, Vincent Koon; University of Bedfordshire (Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2016-09-09)
      The aim of this study is to explore the perceived information needs and information behaviours of manager of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As technology advancement and innovation are changing rapidly affecting organisations in different ways, organization executives are introducing new technologies for their operations and business environment becomes more complex and dynamic, government introducing different policies to guide the use of these emerging ICTs. As a result, information becomes significant during adoption decision-making process for SME managers to make an inform decision. To achieve this aim, a framework is developed based on existing literature, using the technology organization environmental (TOE) model as the theoretical underpinning for empirical investigation on information behaviour of SME managers in this study. This study is qualitative in nature, and semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with twenty SME managers in the UK service sector. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. Following Myers and Newman’s (2007) guidelines for qualitative interview and triangulation method were used to validate the conceptual framework and established the research rigour and quality. The research findings explained information behaviours of SME managers in the contexts of technology organisation environment as information behaviour triggered and perceived information needs during the adoption decision in SMEs. These findings provide further insight into ICT adoption in SMEs through information behaviours and highlighted the significant of sources of information and pre-information needed during the decision-making process. The research also contributes to theory in the information systems field by using relevant literature from information science field to explore information behaviours of SME managers. Future research can be done in other sectors of the economy to show more holistic behaviours of SME managers.
    • Fuzzy modelling of fuel consumptions and emissions for optimal navigation of a BOEING-747 aircraft

      Obajemu, Olusayo; Mahfouf, Mahdi; Maiyar, Lohithaksha M.; He, Changjiang; Allerton, David J.A.; Chen, Jun; Weiszer, Michal; University of Sheffield; Queen Mary University of London (IEEE Computer Society, 2020-08-21)
      Air traffic at many airports around the world is expected to grow, more often than not and at near capacity. Investing in new infrastructure is an option albeit relatively long-term but making a better use of existing facilities is an even better short and mid-term solution. Although Aircraft ground movement represents only a fraction of overall operations, optimal airport taxiing in terms of fuel burn and CO emission can contribute significantly to running costs and environment impact. Hence, with the view of optimising ground movement at busy airports, this research paper investigates a new framework for utilising model predictions to optimise the planning of taxiing operations of a BOEING-747 Aircraft. Research studies relating to how fuel consumption and emissions models (such as Carbon monoxide oxides of Nitrogen) are carried out. Specifically, the use of fuzzy-logic based models via quantitative data for the successful prediction of fuel consumption and CO emissions is explored in the paper. The fuzzy models are accurate, transparent but most importantly are capable of dealing with uncertainties, normally present in the system, intrinsically. These models and analyses will be integrated into a future study involving the development of optimal taxiing and navigation algorithms and to which the development of accurate models of aircraft fuel consumptions and emissions is crucial.
    • Gaining competitive advantage from analytics through the mediation of decision-making effectiveness: An empirical study of UK manufacturing companies

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; University of Bedfordshire (Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, 2014-12-31)
      While it is widely believed that analytics capabilities enable a company to identify valuable insights from big data thereby to improve the effectiveness of decision-making and to gain competitive advantage, little empirical research has been undertaken to investigate the mechanisms through which analytics capabilities improve decision-making effectiveness and organisational competitiveness. This paper aims to reduce this research gap in the literature. Drawing on the resource-based view (RBV), it develops a research model to specify the interrelationships among information processing capabilities, resource heterogeneity, decision-making effectiveness, and competitive advantage. It then empirically tests the proposed model using structural equation modelling based on 232 responses collected from UK manufacturing companies. This paper has made several contributions to the research and practice of business analytics and decision-making. First, it advances the literatures by conceptually developing and empirically testing a path model linking information processing capabilities to decision-making effectiveness and competitive advantage. Second, it advances our knowledge by clarifying and testing the mediating role of decision-making effectiveness in affecting the relationship between information processing capabilities and competitive advantage. Third, it extends the RBV and decision-making literatures by explicating and testing the mediating role of resource heterogeneity in affecting the relationship between information processing capabilities and competitive advantage, and between information processing capabilities and decision-making effectiveness. Finally, this paper contributes to managers' and business analytics practitioners' knowledge by demonstrating the importance of improving decision-making effectiveness in gaining competitive advantage.
    • A generalised adoption model for services: a cross-country comparison of mobile health (m-health)

      Dwivedi, Yogesh Kumar; Shareef, Mahmud Akhter; Simintiras, Antonis C.; Lal, Banita; Weerakkody, Vishanth; Swansea University; North South University, Dhaka; McMaster University; Nottingham Trent University; Brunel University (Elsevier, 2015-07-17)
      Which antecedents affect the adoption by users is still often a puzzle for policy-makers. Antecedents examined in this research include technological artefacts from the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), consumer context from UTAUT2 and psychological behaviour concepts such as citizens' channel preference and product selection criteria. This research also investigated cultural domination on citizens' behavioural perception. The data for this study was collected among citizens from three countries: USA, Canada, and Bangladesh. The findings suggest that the UTAUT model could partially shape technology artefact behaviour and the extended UTAUT must consider specific determinants relevant to cognitive, affective, and conative or behavioural aspects of citizens. The model helps policy-makers to develop mobile healthcare service system that will be better accepted. The finding also suggests that this mobile service system should reflect a country's cultural traits. These findings basically extend the theoretical concept of UTAUT model to articulate adoption behaviour of any complex and sensitive ICT related issues like mobile healthcare system.
    • Global consumer culture positioning: the use of global consumer culture positioning appeals across four European countries

      Czarnecka, Barbara; Keles, Serap (International Management Development Association, 2014-01-01)
      This study proposes a framework of advertising appeals which could be used to express global consumer culture positioning (GCCP) strategy in advertising. The paper examines the use of such appeals in print advertising from four European countries comparing 847 advertisements for durable and non-durable goods from Poland, Hungary, Ireland and the UK. Contrary to expectations, GCCP appeals were more often used in advertisements for non-durable goods than durable goods. The study confirmed the expectation that GCCP appeals would be more frequently used in advertising in less developed markets than in more developed markets. The proposed framework of GCCP appeals may be useful to practitioners wishing to use this positioning strategy.
    • Green supply chain management – food for thought?

      Ali, Abdul; Bentley, Yongmei; Cao, Guangming; Habib, Farooq; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2016-09-13)
      This paper investigates the impact of green supply chain management (GSCM) practices on the performance of UK food retail small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A quantitative approach using a non-probability sampling of 84 participants was employed. Based on the literature review, five hypotheses were developed and tested using the partial least square-structural equation modeling (SEM-Smart PLS 2.03) approach. The reviewed literature revealed that key internal drivers (ID) and external pressures (EP) stimulate organizations to initiate GSCM practices in UK food retail SMEs. Though empirical findings strongly supported the statement that ID influence GSCM practices, they did not show a significant relationship between EP and GSCM practices. Literature also suggests that practicing GSCM can help improve the efficiency, brand image (BI) and profitability, and thus improve the overall firm performance which is also empirically proved. This study helps enrich existing theories on SCM and organizational performance. As to practical impact, this study should facilitate SMEs in GSCM practices and thus help green the economy. While the findings of this study have limited generalisability as the data were collected from UK SMEs only and the sample size was comparatively small, this research establishes a foundation for further study in this domain.
    • 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.
    • A heuristics approach for computing the largest eigenvalue of a pairwise comparison matrix

      Nachiappan, Subramanian; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan (Inderscience, 2019-04-10)
      Pairwise comparison matrices (PCMs) are widely used to capture subjective human judgements, especially in the context of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Consistency of judgements is normally computed in AHP context in the form of consistency ratio (CR), which requires estimation of the largest eigenvalue (Lmax) of PCMs. Since many of these alternative methods do not require calculation of eigenvector, Lmax and hence the CR of a PCM cannot be easily estimated. We propose in this paper a simple heuristics for calculating Lmax without any need to use Eigenvector Method (EM). We illustrated the proposed procedure with larger size matrices. Simulation is used to compare the accuracy of the proposed heuristics procedure with actual Lmax for PCMs of various sizes. It has been found that the proposed heuristics is highly accurate, with errors less than 1%. The proposed procedure would avoid biases and help managers to make better decisions. The advantage of the proposed heuristics is that it can be easily calculated with simple calculations without any need for specialised mathematical procedures or software and is independent of the method used to derive priorities from PCMs.
    • 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.
    • How correct were they? – a comparison of logistics/supply chain practitioner and educator views of near-term oil price with the actual oil price

      Bentley, Yongmei; Cao, Guangming; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Bentley, Roger; University of Bedfordshire; Petroleum Analysis Centre (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK, 2018-09-10)
      Purpose: Previous research (Bentley et al., 2016 & 2017) investigated the views of logistics and supply chain (SC) managers, and educators teaching these disciplines, about the impact of recent changes in oil price on these industries, and also their expectations of future oil price, and hence anticipated impacts. In this paper we look at how the opinions held by these groups on near-term oil price turned out, when compared to the oil prices that actually occurred. Given that the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others forecast that the oil price will rise significantly in real terms over the coming years, the purpose of this research is to better understand how well professionals associated with these industries are able to anticipate oil price change, and hence correctly plan for likely impacts. Research Approach: The research draws on three main rounds of surveys carried out from early 2016 to the end of 2017 at a range of UK and international logistic and SC events and conferences. The surveys used semi-structured questionnaires issued and collected personally. This adopted the ‘key informant’ approach, ensuring that only the target audience – here, of middle and senior managers in logistics and SC companies, and senior lecturers and above in universities - were surveyed, and that a high response rate - here, >90% - was achieved. The questionnaire was kept short and anonymous to assist this high take-up rate, with some 70 valid questionnaires being analysed by both qualitative and quantitative methods. Findings and Originality: This research is recent and original. Based on our previous findings, we know that these practitioners and educators forecast a surprisingly wide range of oil prices in both the near and medium term; for example, expecting the oil price 10 years from the survey date to range from below $30/bbl  to above $120/bbl; and giving corresponding explanations for this diversity of view. In this paper we find that over the period surveyed the forecasts made by these groups consistently underestimated the oil price rises that actually occurred. The analysis discusses the likely factors driving both the wide divergence of views on future oil price, and also why the forecasts of this price have so far turned out to be too low. These findings are presented in the context of IEA oil price forecasts, and the under-recognised fundamental constraints that drive changes in oil price. Research and Practical Impacts: Such a wide range of views on the likely future price of oil has significant implications in terms of correct planning of future company operational practices, and, importantly, in optimising major long-term investment decisions. Hence improving the understanding of the correctness of expected future oil prices - as analysed in this paper - has the potential to improve decision-making, and hence profitability, across the logistics and SC industries.
    • How do top- and bottom-performing companies differ in using business analytics?

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2017-09-21)
      Purpose Business analytics (BA) has attracted growing attention mainly due to the phenomena of big data. While studies suggest that BA positively affects organizational performance, there is a lack of academic research. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to examine the extent to which top- and bottom-performing companies differ regarding their use and organizational facilitation of BA. Design/methodology/approach Hypotheses are developed drawing on the information processing view and contingency theory, and tested using multivariate analysis of variance to analyze data collected from 117 UK manufacture companies. Findings Top- and bottom-performing companies differ significantly in their use of BA, data-driven environment, and level of fit between BA and data-drain environment. Practical implications Extensive use of BA and data-driven decisions will lead to superior firm performance. Companies wishing to use BA to improve decision making and performance need to develop relevant analytical strategy to guide BA activities and design its structure and business processes to embed BA activities. Originality/value This study provides useful management insights into the effective use of BA for improving organizational performance.
    • How individual values underpin SME environmental engagement

      Schaefer, Anja; Williams, Sarah; Blundel, Richard; University of Bedfordshire; Open University (Sage, 2018-01-10)
      We study the values on which managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) draw when constructing their personal and organizational-level engagement with environmental issues, particularly climate change. Values play an important mediating role in business environmental engagement, but relatively little research has been conducted on individual values in smaller organizations. Using the Schwartz Value System (SVS) as a framework for a qualitative analysis, we identify four “ideal-types” of SME managers and provide rich descriptions of the ways in which values shape their constructions of environmental engagement. In contrast to previous research, which is framed around a binary divide between self-enhancing and self-transcending values, our typology distinguishes between individuals drawing primarily on Power or on Achievement values and indicates how a combination of Achievement and Benevolence values is particularly significant in shaping environmental engagement. This demonstrates the theoretical usefulness of focusing on a complete range of values. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
    • Human resource development, creativity and innovation

      Loewenberger, Pauline Anne (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016-12-31)
      Human resource management (HRM) and development, learning, knowledge management and innovation represent complex and dynamic fields that draw upon multiple disciplines and emphasise the need for multilevel consideration. Such dynamic complexities present opportunities and challenges in an attempt to develop holistic theoretical approaches of how people management implications might contribute to sustainable innovation and performance. The various contributions to this book raise awareness and contribute to a shared understanding of innovation and HRM from multiple perspectives. They highlight the implications for people management through different lenses, including strategic and systems approaches at the level of the organisation, leadership, learning and the contribution of the broader national context to skill development.
    • Humanistic management: an alternative way of organising?

      Schwabenland, Christina; Harrison, Paul; University of Bedfordshire (2018-12-01)