• A semiotics-oriented approach to aid the design of ubiquitously monitored healthcare systems

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

      Schwabenland, Christina; Tomlinson, Frances; University of Bedfordshire; London Metropolitan University (Sage, 2015-06-18)
       Within the field of critical diversity studies increasing reference is made to the need for more critically informed research into the practice and implementation of diversity management. This article draws on an action research project that involved diversity practitioners from within the UK voluntary sector. In their accounts of resistance, reluctance and a lack of effective organizational engagement, participants shared a perception of diversity management as something difficult to concretize and envisage; and as something that organizational members associated with fear and anxiety; and with an inability to act. We draw on the metaphor of the phantasmagoria as a means to investigate this representation. We conclude with some tentative suggestions for alternative ways of doing diversity. 
    • Soft skills acquisition for the knowledge economy: a research strategy for policy development in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in intermediate and emergent economies

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

      González Muñoz, Raúl; Shehab, Essam; Weinitzke, Martin; Fowler, Chris; Baguley, Paul (World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET), 2017-09-19)
      Software applications have become crucial for the aerospace industry, providing a wide range of functionalities and capabilities. However, due to the considerable time difference between aircraft and software life cycles, obsolescence has turned into a major challenge for industry in last decades. This paper aims to provide a view on the different causes of software obsolescence within aerospace industry, as well as a perception on the importance of each of them. The key research question addressed is what drives software obsolescence in the aerospace industry, managing large software application portfolios. This question has been addressed by conducting firstly an in depth review of current literature and secondly by arranging an industry workshop with professionals from aerospace and consulting companies. The result is a set of drivers of software obsolescence, distributed among three different environments and several domains. By incorporating monitoring methodologies to assess those software obsolescence drivers, benefits in maintenance efforts and operations disruption avoidance are expected. 
    • Solidarity with Soufra: dividuality and joint action with Palestinian women refugees

      Schwabenland, Christina; Hirst, Alison; University of Bedfordshire; Anglia Ruskin University (Sage, 2021-10-08)
      Based on an exploratory study of Soufra, a women’s catering social enterprise in the Bourj al Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, we analyse how solidarity across difference can be organized. We conceptualize ‘difference’ not in terms of ‘whole’ individuals, but in terms of dividuals, the multiple roles and social positions that individuals occupy; this enables similarities between individuals of different ethnicities, nationalities and statuses to become apparent. We find that, despite their extreme and protracted marginalization, Soufra does not seek to organize solidarity relationships with co-resisters joining their struggle against oppressors. Rather, they initiate exchange relationships with different others via carefully managed impressions of similar dividualities (e.g. professional cooks and businesswomen) and different dividualities (e.g. having refugee status and lacking any citizenship). These encounters provide opportunities for solidarity relationships to be created and underlying cultural predispositions to be transformed. Whether these opportunities are taken up or rejected is dependent, at least to some extent, on the willingness of participants to allow such transformations to occur.
    • Strategic orientation, triadic strategic alignment and firm performance

      Al-Surmi, Abdulrahman Mohamed; Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing (Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, 2016-12-31)
      To survive and success in the very competitive business environment, firms should have clear business strategy supported by appropriate IT and marketing strategies. While many prior studies argue that strategic alignment between for example business strategy and information technology (IT) strategy generally enhances organisational performance, strategic alignment including multiple factors has received little attention and strategic orientation of firms is rarely considered. This research, drawing on contingency theory and strategic management literature, aims to understand the performance impact of triadic strategic alignment between business, IT, and marketing strategies based on strategic orientation of firms. A number of hypotheses are proposed to identify generic types of triadic strategic alignment. The hypotheses are tested through MANOVA using data collected in a questionnaire survey of 242 Yemen managers. The findings indicate that (1) there is an ideal triadic strategic alignment for prospectors and defenders; (2) triadic strategic alignment has a positive impact on organisational performance; and (3) triadic strategic alignment provides a better indication of the nature and performance impact of strategic alignment. This research also contributes to managers' knowledge and understanding by suggesting how a firm should coherently align its strategies to improve organisational performance.
    • Supply chain strategies in difficult times

      Bentley, Yongmei (Springer-Verlag London Ltd, 2014-12-31)
      This chapter examines the strategic decisions taken by supply chain managers during the current (post-2008) economic recession. The objective was to identify and understand the changes that companies had made, or planned to make, in their company supply chain strategy in response to this changing economic environment. A longitudinal approach was adopted, and a series of questionnaire survey rounds were carried out. Over 300 responses from three countries were received. The findings from the first two survey rounds indicated that only a limited number of companies had made significant changes to their supply chain strategies, but this number increased as the recession continued. While a common company response was to downsize the organisation, there were also other strategic changes such as changes in the use of third party logistics, in warehousing choices and in a move to more local suppliers. In the broader context, the results can contribute to the understanding of how companies evolve their supply chain strategies when dealing with a significant change in the external environment.
    • Supply chain: strategies, issues and models

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

      Kika, Claudette Adamma; Duan, Yanqing; Cao, Guangming (Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2015-12-31)
      Providing students with the best learning experience and ensuring their academic success throughout their university lifecycle has been a serious challenge for Higher Education Institutions' (HEIs). Whilst advances in digital technologies have enabled HEIs to collect more data in various forms (Big Data) and as some HEIs begin to realise the strategic potential of using Business Analytics (BA) to support student management, many HEI managers are still sceptical about the use of BA even though they are struggling to make sense of the ever growing amount of data and information. A few BA studies suggest that large commercial companies that use BA perform better than those that do not in making better decisions and creating competitive advantages; however, little academic research exists either to understand the current challenges faced by HEI managers in student management in dealing with big data or explore how BA can be utilised to support student management. Experts in the analytics field have also stated that most literature on analytics focuses on the institutional benefit and not the staff-student benefit. These knowledge gaps constrain HEIs abilities to improve student experience and academic success. Therefore, this research seeks to understand the managerial challenges in student management and explore the use and impact of BA for improving student experience through a date driven student management in UK HEIs from an organisational information processing perspective. Employing a qualitative methodology, this research reports an exploratory case study in a UK university with semi-structured interviews. The initial findings of this research help to develop an understanding of the key challenges faced by the HEI managers in student management, and a preliminary framework for future research on the use and impact of BA student management. This research suggests that BA should play a critical role in effective student management, which therefore leads to better student experience and academic performance.
    • Systemic capabilities: the source of IT business value

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; Cadden, Trevor; Minocha, Sonal; University of Bedfordshire; University of Ulster (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2016-09-01)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop, and explicate the significance of the need for a systemic conceptual framework for understanding IT business value. Design/methodology/approach – Embracing a systems perspective, this paper examines the interrelationship between IT and other organisational factors at the organisational level and its impact on the business value of IT. As a result, a systemic conceptual framework for understanding IT business value is developed. An example of enhancing IT business value through developing systemic capabilities is then used to test and demonstrate the value of this framework. Findings – The findings suggest that IT business value would be significantly enhanced when systemic capabilities are generated from the synergistic interrelations among IT and other organisational factors at the systems level, while the system’s human agents play a critical role in developing systemic capabilities by purposely configuring and reconfiguring organisational factors. Practical implications – The conceptual framework advanced provides the means to recognise the significance of the need for understanding IT business value systemically and dynamically. It encourages an organisation to focus on developing systemic capabilities by ensuring that IT and other organisational factors work together as a synergistic whole, better managing the role its human agents play in shaping the systems interrelations, and developing and redeveloping systemic capabilities by configuring its subsystems purposely with the changing business environment. Originality/value – This paper reveals the nature of systemic capabilities underpinned by a systems perspective. The resultant systemic conceptual framework for understanding IT business value can help us move away from pairwise resource complementarity to focusing on the whole system and its interrelations while responding to the changing business environment. It is hoped that the framework can help organisations delineate important IT investment considerations and the priorities that they must adopt to create superior IT business value.
    • This advert makes me cry: disclosure of emotional response to advertisement on Facebook

      Mogaji, Emmanuel (Taylor & Francis, 2016-05-04)
      As social media is transforming how consumers interact with brands and how brand-related content is consumed, this paper aims to investigate if and how Facebook users express their emotions towards advertisements of brand share on the site. Seven hundred and three comments about the Lloyds 250th Anniversary advertisement on Facebook were analysed as positive, negative or neutral attitude towards the advert. Facebook users found the advertisement emotionally appealing and voluntarily report their emotion of love, pride and in some cases anger. The presence of an iconic image like the black horse and the cover music was found to be emotionally appealing. The background music as well aroused positive emotions and engaging. This study introduces the possibility of analysing Facebook comments on brand content to understand consumers’ emotional responses and attitudes to the brand. Managers can explore these opportunities to identify what consumers find interesting in advertisements and how best to develop their creative strategies. It also offers the opportunity to allocate resources better to engage consumers with creative advertisement. Unlike interviews or surveys, this is a pioneering study on measuring emotional responses to advertisement through users’ self-report on social media. Public Interest Statemen
    • Thought piece – learning to play the game; delivering a live project to 800 first year business students

      Hooper, Jane; Minett-Smith, Cathy (Chartered Association of Business Schools, 2017-09-06)
      To succeed in that first interview, there is an even greater need today to be able to ‘play the game’; to impress the employer and be the one they want to take onto a graduate scheme or internship. The graduate job market is tough and super competitive, but full of brilliant opportunities for those with the confidence to jump through the hoops and get a foot in the door.  For many students the very thought of having to fight for a place is daunting and they find themselves lacking in efficacy. So the benefit for students who work on a Live Project in year one is that it gives them the confidence to feel they can ‘get a foot in the door’. The University of Bedfordshire Business School has been delivering a Live Project  to first year students for three consecutive years in collaboration with clients from Active Luton and Luton Borough Council.  The clients explained that 1/3 of people in Luton (c71k) are inactive – so do less than 30 minutes activity per week.  The direct cost in Luton is estimated to be £2.4 million with the figure increasing to £48 million when indirect costs are included. So, the benefits for the clients if the students achieved their aim of getting Lutonians more active, was huge! The collaboration was part of the Business School’s Practice Week initiative where first year students put what they learn in the classroom into practice.  During each year all the first year business students took part in this core activity; 259 students, supervised by 12 tutors each year - that is approximately 800 students in total.  This long term partnership required considerable organisation skills and clarity, but worked to the mutual benefit of all parties. Persistence to keep the scale of the activity and resist temptation to simplify it, consequently reducing the educational benefits, was paramount. The three year project comprised: ·        Year 1 2014-15 examined the reasons and barriers why young people are not engaging in sports and leisure activities (Market Research) ·        Year 2 – 2015–16 explored the barriers to participation (identified by year 1), by examining the accessibility and suitability of facilities through ‘mystery visits’ (Mystery Shopping) ·        Year 3 -2016–17 designed an awareness campaign to inspire and motivate the people of Luton to participate in more activity. (Change Strategies).  At the launch all students met the clients to clarify the task and start planning. They then worked in teams to go out into the community to ‘test’ their ideas. At this point the networking and contacts and connections of the lead tutor and clients were utilised. Being confident to send nearly 300 first years out into the community requires considerable ground work with contacts briefed ready for their arrival. Once out there, students invariably use their initiative and the activity must be flexible enough to be shaped by students but maintain the relationship with contacts.   The final step was for each team to ’sell’ their idea to the panel (2 panels of employers running for two days) with 12 tutors in place making sure the schedule ran smoothly. It was worth it as the students were so excited. It sounded like it was ‘Britain’s got talent!’ At each stage students were trained in the necessary skills to complete the task with input from the clients to emphasise the credibility of the exercise. By overcoming any fears the students had before the project they learned how to play the game – to be brave and tactical and impress from the start. The longitudinal aspect of this partnership is one of the reasons this final year has proved so fruitful.  The responsibility of the results of the previous years’ weighs heavy on the current groups to continue to succeed. The Mayor, the Vice Chancellor and the Dean all joined the celebrations where winning teams received prizes. The winning team designed bill board concepts which will be displayed around the town. Aviation and Airport Management student Frantisek said: ‘It feels brilliant to have won.  It was very much a team effort and we were pleased our project was chosen and that the client liked our ideas.’  Business Economics student Kamila said:  ‘It was a great experience for us.  It has really helped me develop my communications skills and learn how to work under pressure.’ Active Luton’s Matt Corder said ‘We were impressed with how the students met with people in the community, visited our sports facilities and put together their campaigns from their research and observations.  Their insight work will help us and the council in many aspects of our work to improve the health and wellbeing of Luton’s residents – from children and young people right through to older people’.  By taking part in Live Projects, the Business School believes that all students will be better prepared to ‘Play the game’ and relate to employers in a confident responsible way enabling them to stand out as the preferred candidate when they come to apply for graduate posts.  ‘Success comes from having dreams that are bigger than your fears’ Dr Nina  Ansary.    
    • Transport analytics in action: a cloud-based decision support system for efficient city bus transportation

      Mathirajan, Muthu; Devadas, Rajesh; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Indian Institute of Science; University of Bedfordshire (IOS Press / Taylor & Francis, 2020-03-05)
      Optimising city bus transport operations helps conserve fuel by providing the urban transport service as efficiently as possible. This study develops a Cloud-based Decision Support System (C-DSS) for transport analytics. The C-DSS is based on an intelligent model on location of depots for opening new depots and/or closing a few existing depots and allocation of city-buses to depots. The C-DSS is built on the Cloud Computing architecture with three layers and includes an efficient and simple greedy heuristic algorithm. Using modern information and communications technology tools, the proposed C-DSS minimizes the cost of city bus transport operations and in turn to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in urban passenger transport. The proposed C-DSS is demonstrated for its workability and evaluated for its performance on 25 large scale pseudo data generated based on the observation from Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) in India.
    • UK companies’ initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions in logistics operations

      Bentley, Yongmei (The European Operations Management Association, 2016-06-01)
    • UK company strategies in reducing carbon dioxide emissions

      Bentley, Yongmei; University of Bedfordshire (Academy of Business and Retail Management, 2016-07-01)
      This study investigated a number of large UK companies’ strategies in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in their supply chain operations. In-depth interviews were conducted with logistics/supply chain (SC) managers across different sectors. The research identified the main CO2 reduction strategies, and examined these in the light of existing literature in the research domain. One of the key findings was that there was a strong tension between cost reduction (identified as the major driver for reducing CO2) and lack of resources (the main barrier). It was also found that most CO2 reduction strategies had started only fairly recently, and so far, were mainly operational and tactical in nature. This study makes an empirical contribution to a better understanding of how companies form their CO2 reduction strategies in response to environmental pressures. It has implications for policy makers in terms of how to motivate logistics/SC managers to implement strategies to reduce the environmental impact of CO2 emissions in their business operations. Therefore, it is recommended that logistics/SC managers develop and implement practical initiatives and strategies to reduce CO2 emissions, and to embed these into corporate strategy.
    • Uncertainty of Net Present Value calculations and the impact on applying integrated maintenance approaches to the UK rail industry

      Kirkwood, Leigh; Shehab, Essam; Baguley, Paul; Starr, Andrew; Cranfield University (Elsevier, 2015-10-27)
      The Public performance indicator (PPI) is an important Key Performance Indicator for Network Rail and monitored carefully by the organisation and their external stakeholders. Condition monitoring is of increasing interest within network rail as a suitable method for increasing asset reliability and improving the PPI metric. As condition monitoring methods are identified each will need assessment to establish the cost and benefit. Benefit can be measured in cost savings as poor PPI performance results in fines. Within many industries Net Present Value (NPV) calculations are used to determine how quickly investments will break-even. Cost-risk is a term that is used to describe the financial impact of an unexpected event (a risk). This paper outlines a more detailed approach to calculating NPV which considers the cost-risk effect of changes of the denial of service charging rate. NPV prediction is of importance when assessing when to deploy different fault detection strategies to maintenance issues, and therefore the cost-risk of the NPV calculation should be used to support asset management decisions.
    • Understanding airline organizational attractiveness using interpretive structural modelling

      Vatankhah, Sanaz; Ilkhanizade, Shiva; University of Bedfordshire; Cyprus International University (Akdeniz University, 2021-06-18)
      This study investigates whether and how key components of organizational attractiveness are interrelating to impose the maximum positive impact on the air transportation job market. An expert panel was shaped to gauge judgments regarding the driving power of each criterion over the other. The results of Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) revealed that organizational and job characteristics are the main criteria with the most driving power in the model fostering perceived fit. In addition, corporate branding and corporate social responsibility (CSR) demonstrated the highest dependence on the other criteria. The results were further validated through Impact Matrix Cross-reference Multiplication to a classification (MICMAC). The hierarchical pattern of study findings offers theoretical contributions to the study of organizational attractiveness. Practical implications of the results and study limitations are also provided.
    • Understanding collaborative innovation from a dynamic capabilities perspective

      Alford, Philip; Duan, Yanqing; University of Bedfordshire; Bournemouth University (Emerald, 2017-08-01)
      Abstract Purpose – This paper aims to understand the key factors affecting collaborative innovation in a destination management organisation from a dynamic capability perspective. Design/methodology/approach – An in-depth case study was conducted, using semistructured interviews with the CEO and Chairman of the DMO and internal DMO documents from 2011-2016. Thematic analysis was carried out on the data both deductively, with generic themes identified and informed by theory, and inductively, where detailed subthemes were developed from the data. Findings –The success of innovation in the context of a DMO depends on having a strong base of microfoundations that underpin the DMO’s capabilities to sense and seize opportunities and reconfigure its assets for competitive advantage. Collaboration with the key players in the sector has been the essential elements of these microfoundations. Research limitations/implications – This study has been conducted within a single DMO case study. Future research should test the proposed models in different types of organisation and collaborative contexts. Practical implications – The proposed dynamic capability framework helps managers to achieve collaborative innovation, leading to competitive advantage through better development of relevant capabilities. Originality/value – The study represents a first attempt to understand the key factors enabling successful collaborative innovation in the context of DMOs, from a dynamic capability perspective. The unique opportunity of accessing information and witnessing the changes in a DMO over a period of five years enabled the authors to gain in-depth insights and comprehensive understanding as to why and how a UK DMO has been successful in enhancing its business performance through a successful collaborative innovation.
    • Understanding current research on the use and impact of big data analytics: a systematic literature review

      Duan, Yanqing; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Cao, Guangming; Khilji, Nasrallah (IADIS, 2018-12-31)
      With the increasing applications of Big Data Analytics, it is imperative for researchers to keep abreast with the rapid development and emerging research challenges in this field. Therefore, the research reported in this work in progress paper aims to update our knowledge and understanding of the state of the art research on the applications of Big Data Analytics by conducting a comprehensive and systematic review of the recent publications. The literature review is mainly focusing on the emerging new concepts and definitions, theories, research models, research methodologies, critical success factors, and impact on business performance. It is expected that the insights gained through this comprehensive review will contribute to our knowledge on the current status of Big Data Analytics research and associated emerging research challenges and opportunities. Due to the increased interests in Big Data Analytics, the critical analysis of emerging literature will identify the research gaps that provides valuable direction for future studies.