• Investigating employee attitudes towards adopting green supply chain practices in Indian SMEs

      Dhillon, Manpreet Kaur; Bentley, Yongmei; Bukoye, Oyegoke Teslim; University of Bedfordshire (The 15th European Conference on Research Methodology, 2016-07-11)
       Green supply chain management (GSCM) is an increasingly important aspect in today’s supply chain practice. 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 industries are sometimes focusing more on making profits using green supply chain (GSC) practices rather than on saving the environment. To understand this aspect more clearly, this research aims to investigate the current drivers for Indian SMEs to adopt GSC practices in their businesses, the barriers they are facing in implementing these practices, and the attitudes of the SME employees’ towards adopting such practices. This is an on-going PhD research that highlights literature review and methodology that has been carried out so far. The research will be qualitative in nature, combining a multiple case study strategy with face-to-face semi-structured interviews to collect the main data. Data analysis will be conducted using thematic analysis, as this is considered the most appropriate approach to organise and analyse this class of qualitative data. The main contribution of the research will be to develop a conceptual framework of GSCM with a focus on Indian SME employee attitudes towards GSC practices. A future paper will discuss the research findings once the investigative part of this research has been completed. In addition, it is expected that this research will point out other relevant issues that were not considered in this study, but may be worthy of future investigation. 
    • Investigating the practices of project governance in public sector infrastructure program in Pakistan

      Khan, Asadullah; Waris, Muhammad; Ismail, Ishak; Sajid, Mirza Rizwan; Ali, Zaigham; Ullah, Mahfooz; Hussain, Ammar; Universiti Malaysia Pahang; University of Gujrat; Karakoram International University; et al. (Hindawi Limited, 2019-06-04)
      The governance of public sector infrastructure projects became an important area of interest in the literature on project management. Today, it is a focal point for policymakers to ensure successful appraisal and implementation of government-sponsored programs. This paper aims to investigate the current practices of project governance (PG) for steering the public sector infrastructure program in Pakistan. An empirical investigation was carried out among professionals of public sector organizations involved in different infrastructure development projects. Latent construct of PG was validated through second-order confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and quantified the three dimensions of PG, i.e., portfolio direction (PD), sponsorship, effectiveness, and efficiency (SEE), and disclosure and reporting (DR) through the relative importance index (RII) method. The result showed that DR is among the least practicing dimension having RII = 0.55, while PD and SEE have shown similar prevalence with RII = 0.70 and 0.69, respectively. Overall, the most practicing item in the PG was "the alignment of portfolios with objectives and strategy" whereas the lowest practicing item relates to the "completeness of project information distribution due to the multi-layered bureaucratic system." The findings of this study will guide the decision makers to take appropriate measures for enhancing the effectiveness of PG in Pakistan.
    • An investigation into the sustainable actions of micro and small businesses

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

      Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Duan, Yanqing; Ajmal, Tahmina; Dong, Feng; Van Ransbeeck, Samuel; Valverde, Joaquim Manoel Monteiro; Valverde, Silma Battezzati; University of Bedfordshire; Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia Catarinense (IEOM Society, 2019-12-31)
      The UNEP has identified Artisanal Fisheries (AF) as the most important sector for meeting the twin needs of economic development and environmental sustainability. During 2004-14, fish exports from Brazil declined from 107,000 tons to 34,000 tons while fish imports grew from 158,000 tons to 403,000 tons due to low productivity of Brazilian AFs. Hence it is important to understand opportunities for productivity improvement of these fisheries. With productivity improvement and further expansion, sustainability issues should be considered carefully. In a project funded by the Newton Fund in the UK and FAPESC in Brazil, we explored drivers of sustainable development of AFs in Santa Catarina via a stakeholder workshop and field visits. We also interacted with officials at the EPAGRI, the research and agricultural extension organization of the State of Santa Catarina. Findings of the workshop and field visits are briefly summarized below but will be elaborated during the presentation at the conference. • The level of technology use in aquafarms in Brazil is basic. There were one or two instances of old mechanical technology but there is no integration with the latest electronic, IoT technologies. • There is general lack of awareness of sustainability issues among most AFs. Since water supply is abundant, they tend to think pollution is not an issue. Without adequate efforts in treating the waste water before they leave aquafarms, pollution issues could be the most significant limiting factor for future expansion of AFs. • There is a lack of awareness of the fish supply chains as most AFs do not directly deal with supermarkets or final consumers. • Lack of financing and access to banks is also a serious bottleneck for future expansion. • The AFs tend to work with traditional models of fishing. More training on new business models (e.g., (i) linking directly to market, (ii) using cooperative structures to ensure large supplying power and consequently winning bargaining power, and (iii) developing future contracts for supply of fish to the market to ensure all fish produced are sold on time) will help the entire AF industry. • New Internet of Things (IoT) technologies should be developed with local culture in mind. It can be automatic resulting in fewer labour requirements but should be supplemented with proper guidance documents (e.g., user manuals or online provision). Working with local knowledge centres such as EPAGRI is crucial for continued diffusion of these technologies to all eligible AFs and for regular advice on maintenance. •Lack of supporting infrastructure for aquaculture development, e.g. analytic systems, ERP, e-learning, regulations, government support, legal frameworks, etc. On the basis of the study, three areas can be recommended for future IoT and Big Data applications: (i) improving the monitoring and control of water quality, such as oxygen and temperature, by using sensors and remote control digital technologies; (ii) optimising and managing the fish feed to improve resource efficiency; (iii)-enabling fish farmers to have better access to information (e.g. suppliers information, weather, market demand and prices, costs, etc), knowledge and technical support and expert advice via mobile Apps.
    • Is food advertising culture-bound? Contradictory results from three European countries

      Czarnecka, Barbara; Dahl, Stephan; Eagle, Lynne (Westburn Publishers, 2013-06-01)
      The objective of this study was to examine the proposition frequently noted in the extant literature that food advertising is culture-bound. Print advertisements for food, from Poland, Ireland and England, were content-analysed using Pollay's (1983) value appeals, linked to GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness) dimensions. Data analysis revealed that there were both differences and similarities in value appeals usage; however, these variations could not be related to, or explained with, cultural dimensions. These results contradict the proposition that food advertising is one of the most culture-bound forms of advertising. They suggest that advertisers seldom use culturally congruent appeals in food advertisements. Further research is needed to determine how these differences and similarities may be explained.
    • Isomorphic factors in the adoption of ERP by Indian medium-sized firms

      Sharma, Seema; Daniel, Elizabeth Mary (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2016-10-10)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to adopt an institutional theory perspective to investigate the adoption of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems by medium-sized firms in India. The rationale for this study is to provide a more complete understanding of ERP adoption, moving beyond the traditional technical and economic perspectives to include social, cultural and structural influences. These later influences are more implicit, insidious and pervasive and hence require elucidatory studies such as this, but offer a greater understanding of the adoption of information systems (IS). Design/methodology/approach: The study is undertaken by means of nine case studies of medium-sized firms in India that have adopted ERP systems. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with a range of staff in each firm and are supplemented by data from other sources such as site visit notes. Findings: Institutionally based studies have tended to focus on three high-level isomorphic pressures: coercive, normative and mimetic. The study identifies number of more detailed factors that contribute to each of these three pressures. These more detailed factors are then used to consider how factors can interact and how they can explain aspects of the Indian context of the study. Originality/value: The conceptual contribution of this study is to move beyond the technical and economic rationales frequently identified for the adoption of IS by identifying influences that are social, cultural and structural in nature. The study shows that the three high-level isomorphic pressures, mimetic, coercive and normative are comprised of more detailed factors. The empirical contribution of the paper is to identify these detailed factors, and to explore their influence, in the case of ERP adoption by Indian medium-sized firms. The study is of value to practitioners, since it is at the detailed level of factors that managers can recognize the forces they are subject to and can take action. It is also valuable to researchers since the detailed factors help address two limitations of institutional theory; a lack of agency perspective and a degree of conceptual ambiguity.
    • Key success factors of using social media as a learning tool

      Kofinas, Alexander K.; Al-Shawakbeh, Abdallah; Lim, Andriew; University of Bedfordshire; University of Greenwich; HotelSchool The Hague (IGI Global, 2017-10-01)
      Students are dedicated and innovative users of Social Media; in the context of Higher Education they use such media in a pragmatic fashion to enhance their learning. Higher Education institutions are thus in a position to facilitate their students’ learning by embedding Social Media in their teaching and learning pedagogy. This chapter will discuss the Key Success Factors of using Social Media as a coordinating, managing, and learning tool to enhance students’ education in the context of Higher Education. The Key Success Factors are mapped along the communication and activity flows of the student’s study enterprise as viewed from an Actor-Network Theory lenses.
    • Knowledge sharing for enhanced performance in the HEIs using a conceptual framework

      Khilji, Nasrallah; Duan, Yanqing; Tehrani, Jasmine; ; University of Bedfordshire (North American Business Press, 2021-04-30)
      Knowledge sharing is an essential management practice that provides a sustainable competitive advantage in a vibrant and dynamic economy (Kaur, 2019). To achieve an enhanced performance in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), it is essential to make sure that the teaching and learning system is determined by knowledge sharing approach (Nair and Munusami, 2019). The Higher Education Institutions are required to consider how they could better share knowledge from experts who have it to learners who need to get the best of such expertise (Darling-Hammond et al., 2019). This study examines the knowledge sharing behaviour among academics and leaners in the HEIs by providing a better understanding for their enhanced performance. This is aimed to comprehend the individual acts of knowledge creation and the collective efforts of knowledge sharing adapted in the HEIs towards continuous improvement. A literature review is carried out to propose a conceptual framework of knowledge sharing for enhanced performance in the HEIs.
    • The link between information processing capability and competitive advantage mediated through decision-making effectiveness

      Cao, Guangming; Duan, Yanqing; Cadden, Trevor; University of Bedfordshire; University of Ulster (Elsevier Ltd., 2018-10-23)
      While research underpinned by the resource-based view (RBV) appears to suggest that IT-enabled capabilities are positively linked to competitive advantage, such a link is often seen as a black box as the processes through which competitive advantage can be gained appears unclear. In particular, research appears to suggest that information processing capability is linked to decision-making effectiveness and competitive advantage; however little research appears to examine the interrelationship among them. This study, drawing on the RBV, develops a mediation model to examine the link between competitive advantage and the key tenets of value, rarity, inimitability and non-substitutability of information processing capability in the context of business analytics; and whether this link is mediated through decision-making effectiveness. Based on data collected from 633 UK companies, this study shows that there is a positive link between the value, rarity and inimitability characteristics of information processing capability and competitive advantage, which is partially mediated by decision-making effectiveness. The findings contribute to the theoretical development of the RBV by developing a mediation model that looks inside the black box. They also contribute to managers’ knowledge and understanding of the mechanism through which the strategic value of information processing capability can be maximized.
    • Living dangerously: generalizing in case study research

      Farquhar, Jillian Dawes; Deigh, Linda (Springer, 2016-01-01)
    • Managing knowledge in supply chains: a catalyst to triple bottom line sustainability

      He, Qile; Ghobadian, Abby; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Gallear, David (2019-05-10)
      Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) has attracted the attention of researchers in recent years. Arguably the interest in SSCM is stimulated by the triple bottom line (TBL) which itself has received significant attention. In addition, knowledge management (KM) and its positive role in improving facets of supply chain development and performance have been topics of interest to academics. Despite all this positive development there is a paucity of theoretical and empirical studies identifying the broad capabilities that affect a firm’s ability to simultaneously pursue economic, environmental and social success. In this paper we use the natural-resource-based view (NRBV) and the knowledge-based view (KBV) to develop a series of propositions linking KM capability to strategic and operational supply chain sustainability and competiveness. We further test the veracity of these propositions by ascertaining the perceptions of 275 practicing managers using a survey instrument. The paper offers a systematic analysis of KM’s role in the development of sustainable supply chain (SSC) strategies and operations respectively. The findings confirm the credibility of a set of theoretical propositions derived from the extant literature, and also identify how different KM processes specifically facilitate strategic or operational development of SSCs. The paper provides researchers with a framework and understanding to guide future research on KM as a catalyst to the TBL in supply chains.
    • Managing the sublime aesthetic when communicating an assessment regime: The Burkean Pendulum

      Kofinas, Alexander K. (SAGE, 2017-12-26)
      The importance of understanding students’ engagement is prominent in higher education. Assessment is a main driver of student engagement, a phenomenon known as backwash. I argue that students’ engagement with learning is often driven by an aesthetic motivation. I establish the connections between Burke’s (and Kant’s) conceptualisation of aesthetics as a dichotomy of beauty and the sublime (which I label the Burkean pendulum) to motivation. I explore the links between this aesthetic motivation and the assessment regime focusing on the Burkean/Kantian sublime and suggest four communication strategies to manage the sublime when it arises in students’ education journeys. My contributions are twofold:firstly, I introduce the Burkean Pendulum as a means for educators to reflect on the aesthetic aspects of their designed assessment regimes. Secondly, I propose a framework of communication strategy narratives (Thriller, Horror, Exploration, and Action) that could be used to manage the sublime of the assessment regime.
    • Market reaction to seasoned offerings in China

      Liu, Jia; Akbar, Saeed; Shah, Syed Zulfiqar Ali; Zhang, Dayong; Pang, Dong; University of Salford; University of Liverpool; University of Warwick; Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, China; University of Bedfordshire (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2016-06-27)
      This study examines stock market reaction to the announcement of various forms of seasoned issues in China. Our empirical evidence demonstrates that market reactions differ in ways that suggest a difference between management's internal assessment and the market's assessment of the stock price. The market responds unfavourably to the announcement, notably in the case of rights issues and also with regard to open offers. Private placements experience an unfavourable pre-announcement reaction, which contrasts with the favourable reaction after the event. Convertible bond issues generate positive excess returns consistent with the market's confidence that they can help to align management and shareholders’ interests. Further investigation shows that market reaction is related to factors specific to the issuer and issue by reference to the period immediately surrounding the issue. Specifically, ownership concentration, agency matters connected with equity offerings, investor protection connected with fund allocation and security pricing, and the influence of powerful moneyed interests together provide an instructive insight into market reaction. Institutional inefficiency pertaining to underwriting, auditing, analysts’ forecasts and credit ratings are found to have a weak association with market price, consistent with due public scepticism concerning management and their gatekeepers.
    • Mathematical images in advertising: constructing difference and shaping identity, in global consumer culture

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

      Khanijou, Ratna; Cappellini, Benedetta; Hosany, Sameer; University of Bedfordshire; Durham University; Royal Holloway University of London (Elsevier Inc., 2021-06-19)
      Drawing on practice theory, this ethnographic study investigates how meal practices are co-performed by 13 newly cohabiting couples. Findings reveal how practices previously performed by individual consumers become co-performed through a synergetic and chronologically multi-phased process. Disruption, the first phase, is characterised by misalignments of individually performed practices and their elements. The second phase, incorporation, is characterised by initial collective re-alignments of practices and their elements. The third phase, synergetic outcomes, shows three different ways in which alignments can shape a co-performed practice, namely blending, combining and domineering. Theoretically this paper offers two contributions to practice theory and domestic meal consumption. It reveals the synergetic process through which meal practices become co-performed over time and provides a typology of co-performed practices.
    • The mediating effect of environmental and ethical behaviour on supply chain partnership decisions and management appreciation of supplier partnership risks

      Gallear, David; Ghobadian, Abby; He, Qile; Brunel University; University of Reading; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2014-07-18)
      Green supply chain management and environmental and ethical behaviour (EEB), a major component of corporate responsibility (CR), are rapidly developing fields in research and practice. The influence and effect of EEB at the functional level, however, is under-researched. Similarly, the management of risk in the supply chain has become a practical concern for many firms. It is important that managers have a good understanding of the risks associated with supplier partnerships. This paper examines the effect of firms investment in EEB as part of corporate social responsibility in mediating the relationship between supply chain partnership (SCP) and management appreciation of the risk of partnering. We hypothesise that simply entering into a SCP does not facilitate an appreciation of the risk of partnering and may even hamper such awareness. However, such an appreciation of the risk is facilitated through CRs environmental and stakeholder management ethos. The study contributes further by separating risk into distinct relational and performance components. The results of a firm-level survey confirm the mediation effect, highlighting the value to supply chain strategy and design of investing in EEB on three fronts: building internal awareness, monitoring and sharing best practice.
    • Modelling and analysis of intermodal food grain transportation under hub disruption towards sustainability

      Maiyar, Lohithaksha M.; Thakkar, Jitesh J.; Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (Elsevier B.V., 2018-07-27)
      Escalating global food security concerns across several nations has shifted the focus of policy makers towards risk adaptive sustainable food grain operations. This paper builds a sustainable food grain transportation model for intermodal transportation operations between two Indian states, in the presence of hub disruption. A hub and spoke system is used to connect origin and destination warehouses through intermodal hubs in a multi-layered network. The problem is formulated as a multi-period mixed integer nonlinear single objective optimization problem considering minimization of transportation, hub location, rerouting, environmental and social costs with near optimal shipment quantities and hub allocations as the prime decisions. The proposed MINLP is solved using Particle Swarm Optimization with Differential Evolution (PSODE), a superior metaheuristic to deal with NP-hard problems. Convergence graphs and global optimal costs are reported for small, medium and large size instances consisting of 1824, 9768 and 28848 variables respectively, inspired from food grain industry in the southern part of India. Pareto plots are generated to capture the complementarity between economical and socio-environmental cost categories for all instances. The effect of hub location, hub disruption, cost consolidation and vehicle resource availability factors on individual and total costs is studied through sensitivity analysis. Results indicate that food grain demand is fulfilled with 14% increase in the mean total cost for single hub disruption case and with 40% increase for multiple hub disruption. Finally, managerial implications provide specific factor level recommendations for different strategic objectives.
    • Modelling India’s coal production with a negatively skewed curve-fitting model

      Wang, Jianliang; Bentley, Yongmei; Bentley, Roger; China University of Petroleum; University of Bedfordshire; Petroleum Analysis Centre (Springer Verlag (Germany), 2017-10-05)
      India’s coal demand is forecast to increase at a rapid pace in the future due to the country’s economic and population growth. Analyzing the scope for future production of India’s domestic coal resources, therefore, plays a vital role in the country’s development of sound energy policies. This paper presents a quantitative scenario analysis of India’s potential future coal production by using a negatively skewed curve-fitting model and a range of estimates of the country’s ultimately recoverable resources (URR) of coal. The results show that the resource base is sufficient for India’s coal production to keep increasing over the next few decades, to reach between 2400 and 3200 Mt/y at 2050, depending on the assumed value of URR. A further analysis shows that the high end of this range, which corresponds to our ‘GSI’ scenario, can be considered as the probable upper-bound to India’s domestic coal production. Comparison of production based on the ‘GSI’ scenario with India’s predicted demand shows that the domestic production of coal will be insufficient to meet the country’s rising coal demand, with the gap between demand and production increasing from its current value of about 268 Mt/y to reach 300 Mt/y in 2035, and 700 Mt/y by 2050. This increasing gap will be challenging for the energy security of India.
    • Modelling world natural gas production

      Wang, Jianliang; Bentley, Yongmei; ; China University of Petroleum; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2020-05-23)
      As the cleanest fossil fuel in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, natural gas demand is expected to increase rapidly in future due to its important role in the transition of the world energy system. In this case, understanding potential limits to future production of the world’s natural gas resources becomes increasingly important. This paper uses a modified multi-cycle generalized Weng model to forecast the long-term production of natural gas by region, and also globally. Both conventional and unconventional gas production are considered. Our results show that world natural gas production is likely to peak in the range 3.7 to 6.1 trillion cubic meters per year (tcm/y) between 2019 and 2060 depending on assumptions made on the size of the global ultimately recoverable resource (URR) of natural gas. A comparison of this paper’s forecasts with those from the scientific literature and from major energy institutes shows that the projection in this paper’s ‘high scenario’ can be seen as a likely upper-bound on future global natural gas production. To turn this upper-bound projection into reality, great efforts will be needed from the gas industry to discover more conventional and unconventional gas resources, and to make these recoverable.
    • Moderating roles of customer characteristics on the link between service factors and satisfaction in a buffet restaurant

      Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Di, Yun; Ramanathan, Usha (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2016-01-07)
      Purpose – In service sector, measuring quality of services is generally acknowledged to be difficult as it involves many psychological features. Hence, identifying the determinants of service quality and linkages with customer satisfaction is a challenging research topic. In this study, the authors take up a research study to address this challenge. The purpose of this paper is to examine the importance of factors influencing customer satisfaction in the context of a Chinese buffet restaurant in the UK. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use a questionnaire based on the SERVQUAL instrument for the purpose. Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, the authors have found that service quality could be grouped into four main factors – service, food, ambience and price. Findings – Using multiple-regression analysis, the authors have found that food is the most significant factor influencing customer satisfaction, followed by price, ambience and service, respectively. Using a multi-group analysis, the authors have found interesting moderating roles of age, gender and annual income on the influence of the four factors on satisfaction: ambience is considered significant by male customers while it is not significant for female customers; the influence of price on satisfaction is much higher for female customers than for male customers; food and service factors are important for younger customers while price is important for older customers; price is important for customers with lower levels of income but not important for high-income customers. Practical implications – These results are useful to restaurant managers in allocating appropriate levels of resources to different factors based on their contributions to customer satisfaction in order to maximize customer satisfaction efficiently and effectively. Originality/value – Analysis and findings of this research are based on the customers’ survey data of a Chinese buffet restaurant in the UK. The authors have found an interesting ranking of the importance of service factors: food followed by price, ambience and service. The results on the moderating role of customer characteristics provide newer insights in the literature on service quality. The research findings can help the hotel management to improve their service levels to attain maximum customer satisfaction.