• 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)
    • Hybrid accountabilities and managerial agency in the third sector

      Schwabenland, Christina; Hirst, Alison (Wiley, 2018-10-29)
      This paper investigates how the dynamics of conflicting accountabilities are managed within the context of the third sector; specifically in organizations providing services for people with learning difficulties.  Multiple accountability relationships create organizational settings that are subject to multiple constraints and risks but also offer resources for agency. We analyse how managers take up agency to enable them to enact, resist or reconcile multiple accountabilities. Our study’s contribution lies in our elucidation of the far-reaching hybridity of the third sector and the complex forms of actorhood it cultivates, in which managers are able to handle resources with great dexterity, in pursuit of settlements which may only be contingent and temporary.
    • 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.
    • Identifying the configurational paths to innovation in SMEs: a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis

      Poorkavoos, Meysam; Duan, Yanqing; Edwards, John S.; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Roffey Park Institute; University of Bedfordshire; Aston University (Elsevier Inc., 2016-05-01)
      Using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), this study investigates the conditions leading to a higher level of innovation. More specifically, the study explores the impact of inter-organisational knowledge transfer networks and organisations' internal capabilities on different types of innovation in Small to Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) in the high-tech sector. A survey instrument was used to collect data from a sample of UK SMEs. The findings show that although individual factors are important, there is no need for a company to perform well in all the areas. The fsQCA, which enables the examination of the impacts of different combinations of factors, reveals that there are a number of paths to achieve better incremental and radical innovation performance. Companies need to choose the one that is closest to their abilities and fits best with their resources.
    • Ideology and ostensive-inferential communication

      Zegarac, Vladimir (Japan Pragmatics Society, 2004-01-01)
      This article is based on a paper presented at the Workshop on Relevance Theory, held at the Gakushuin University Research Institute for Humanities, Tokyo, December 2002
    • 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)
    • The impact of aligning business, IT, and marketing strategies on firm performance

      Al-Surmi, Abdulrahman Mohamed; Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier Inc., 2019-04-10)
      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.
    • 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.
    • Impact of engaging teaching model (ETM) on students’ attendance

      Bukoye, Oyegoke Teslim; Shegunshi, Anjali; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2016-08-24)
      Non-attendance in Higher Education is not a new concept. In recent years with the exponential growth in digital learning, physical attendance has become a more complex issue. Educators are continually advocating an engaging teaching approach for students as a means of enhancing learning. This on-going study focuses on exploring the existing issues related to student non-attendance and the impact of a proposed engaging teaching model (ETM) on students’ attendance. This research questions whether an engaged learning session could make a positive impact on students’ attendance. The objectives highlighted in this study are to examine the reasons for non-attendance and generic measures for increasing attendance; and highlight the impact of an engaging teaching model on students’ attendance. The inference drawn from the qualitative method undertaken by 89 participants is the development of ETM to enhance students’ attendance. The study is beneficial to educators, researchers and policy-makers, in order for them to consider not only the content of their subjects, but also how students engage with these resources, which consequently facilitate students’ interest in attending lectures.
    • The impact of Indian SMEs managers/owners on adopting green supply chain practices

      Dhillon, Manpreet Kaur; Bentley, Yongmei; Bukoye, Oyegoke Teslim; University of Bedfordshire (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK, 2016-09-07)
      Purpose: Green supply chain management (GSCM) is an increasingly important aspect in today’s supply chain practices. Meeting environmental concerns in industrial operations has evoked interest among environmentalists, government bodies, academics and business organisations in recent years. However, current research indicates that SMEs are often focusing more on making profits than on saving the environment by adopting GSC practices. The purpose of this research is to investigate the current GSC practices in Indian SMEs, the drivers for SMEs to adopt GSC practices, the barriers faced by the SMEs in implementing such practices, and the impact of Indian SME managers/owners on adopting GSC practices. Research Approach: The investigation used literature review approach to determine the current status of implementation of GSCM in Indian SMEs, and associated aspects of the same. Literature pertaining to the subject in context of Indian SMEs has been studied for the purpose of developing the paper. However, the research will be qualitative in nature using face-to-face interviews to collect the main data. Findings and Originality: The study shows the initial investigation done through secondary data, which involved extensive literature review of the topic area. Since this is a work-in-progress research, the empirical data collection is in process by semi-structured interviews. Initial findings of the study show that in general, Indian SMEs have not done much in the adoption and implementation of GSC practices. Research Impact: The main purpose of the research is to develop a conceptual framework for GSCM with a focus on the adoption of GSC practices of the Indian SME managers/owners in their firms. However this research will help increasing awareness among the Indian SME managers/owners about adopting GSCM practices in their organisations. Practical Impact: Findings from this study could help SME employers not only in India, but also in other countries have a better understanding of the benefits of GSC practices and their impact on the performance of their firms. This paper contributes to the literature by providing empirical evidence on various aspects of GSCM in India.
    • Impact of Islam on socially responsible and ethical behaviour in Middle Eastern organisations

      Koleva, Petya Milhaylova (Cambridge University Press, 2016-08-07)
      Despite numerous publications on the role of religion on individual and organisational ethical behaviour, academic literature seems to lack a comprehensive understanding of how religion affects the moral reasoning, decision-making and ethical behaviour of organisations. This gap seems to be even more significant with regard to developing countries. By conducting twenty-two interviews with executives and top managers from the private and public sectors and using Grounded Theory approach for data analysis we identified how Islamic moral postulates and ethics impact on individual-level moral and ethical behaviour and thus moral reasoning, decision-making and ethical organisational behaviour. We contribute to the literature by identifying that the repetitive interactions of social actors with religious affiliations create behavioural expectations in the form of religious duties and that these behavioural expectations and religious duties, when repeated and consequently internalized, become a constituent part of the person’s identity and determine how the individual interacts with the surrounding environment. Driven by intrinsic religious motivation, the religious self affects organisational behaviour. We also add to literature by identifying how individual-level ‘ethical behaviour’ and ‘character’ translate to organisational-level ethical operations by providing empirical evidence for the impact of religion on individual-level ethical decision-making.
    • Impact of recent and anticipated change in oil price on global logistics and supply chain activities - a survey of practitioner and educator opinions

      Bentley, Yongmei; Bentley, Roger; Cao, Guangming (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK, 2016-09-07)
      Purpose: This research investigated the views of logistics and supply chain (SC) managers, and also those of educators teaching these disciplines, of the impact of the recent fall in oil price, and also anticipated future oil prices, on global logistics and SC activities. In terms of future prices, this work has sought to understand how these professionals see the oil price as evolving in the near term (3-years) and medium term (10-years), and hence understand the impacts they foresee for logistics and SC activities. Research Approach: The research is empirical, with semi-structured questionnaires being handed out and collected at a recent industry logistic and supply chain event in the UK, at a corresponding conference in the UK, and likewise at an international conference in the US. This approach ensured that only the target audience - middle and senior managers in companies, and lecturers and above in universities - were surveyed, and that a high response rate was achieved. The questionnaire was kept short and anonymous to assist this high take-up rate. A total of 31 valid questionnaires were returned, and these were analysed using both qualitative and quantitative (SPSS) methods.   Findings and Originality: This research is recent and original. One key and perhaps surprising finding is that about half of respondents thought that the recent fall in oil price had had no significant impact on logistics and supply chain activities, while the other half thought there had been an impact, classing this as ‘medium’, and identifying the nature of these impacts. A second key finding was the very wide range of expectations, from both managers and educators, of the future price of oil; with estimates for the expected oil price 10 years hence ranging from below $30/bbl to over $120/bbl.   Research and Practical Impacts: The survey showed that the risk of a significant medium-term constraint to global oil supply, sufficient to raise the oil price to above $90/bbl, was thought unlikely by nearly two-thirds of those that responded to the questionnaire. In terms of research impact, it is hoped that this paper will help raise awareness of this future price risk, both for practitioners within the logistics and SC industry, and for those that teach these topics within academia. 
    • Impacts of industrial heterogeneity and technical innovation on the relationship between environmental performance and financial performance

      Li, Ruiqian; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Harbin University of Commerce; University of Bedfordshire (MDPI AG, 2018-05-21)
      In this paper, we investigate the relationship between environmental performance (EP) and financial performance (FP) from the perspective of technical innovation in Chinese industrial sectors. We also consider industrial heterogeneity and take temporal variations of the link into account. We collect the required data from different Chinese statistical yearbooks from 2004 to 2015. We use an aggregated index of environmental pollutants as a proxy for EP and return on assets as a proxy for FP, and we employ research and development expenditure to capture technical innovation. The empirical results indicate that industrial heterogeneity exists and the EP–FP link varies in different industrial groups. There is no evidence that the EP–FP link becomes more positive and more significant over time. Furthermore, the mediation effect of technical innovation and environmental pressures can jointly affect the link. Finally, technical innovation partially mediates the EP–FP link but only in Chinese light-polluting sectors not in heavy-polluting sectors. The mediating role of technical innovation has a great impact on shaping the EP–FP link. When technical innovation partially mediates the focal link, apart from the indirect link, the direct EP–FP link is likely to be positive. If not, the direct EP–FP link is likely to be negative.