• 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.
    • The implications of fossil fuel supply constraints on climate change projections: a supply-side analysis

      Wang, Jianliang; Feng, Lianyong; Tang, Xu; Bentley, Yongmei; Höök, Mikael; China University of Petroleum; University of Bedfordshire; Uppsala University (Elsevier Ltd, 2016-05-17)
      Climate projections are based on emission scenarios. The emission scenarios used by the IPCC and by mainstream climate scientists are largely derived from the predicted demand for fossil fuels, and in our view take insufficient consideration of the constrained emissions that are likely due to the depletion of these fuels. This paper, by contrast, takes a supply-side view of CO emission, and generates two supply-driven emission scenarios based on a comprehensive investigation of likely long-term pathways of fossil fuel production drawn from peer-reviewed literature published since 2000. The potential rapid increases in the supply of the non-conventional fossil fuels are also investigated. Climate projections calculated in this paper indicate that the future atmospheric CO concentration will not exceed 610ppm in this century; and that the increase in global surface temperature will be lower than 2.6°C compared to pre-industrial level even if there is a significant increase in the production of non-conventional fossil fuels. Our results indicate therefore that the IPCC's climate projections overestimate the upper-bound of climate change. Furthermore, this paper shows that different production pathways of fossil fuels use, and different climate models, are the two main reasons for the significant differences in current literature on the topic.
    • In favor of large classes: a social networks perspective on experiential learning

      Kofinas, Alexander K.; Tsay, Crystal Han-Huei; University of Bedfordshire; University of Greenwich (SAGE Publications Inc., 2021-06-15)
      Most of the literature has viewed large classes as a problem and a challenge. Furthermore, large classes are often presented to be an obstacle to students’ experiential learning and a multitude of solutions can be found in the literature to manage large classes; solutions that include innovative technologies, alternative assessment designs, or expanding the capacity of delivery. This conceptual paper advocates that large classes, when used intentionally as a pedagogical tool, can be a powerful means for socialized and experiential learning for our students. In this work we connect the phenomenon of large classes with social network theory and concepts to re-conceptualize large classes as a social micro-cosmos consisting of a multitude of interconnected student communities. On this conceptual basis we offer three positive features of large classes: (i) higher levels of freedom for students to learn in their own terms (ii) learning from a diverse body of students and (iii) the provision of meaningful experiences of learning. We conclude with suggestions that should enable educators in large classes shift from an individualistic psychology-based model of experiential learning to a sociological model of experiential learning.
    • Individual values and SME environmental engagement

      Schaefer, Anja; Williams, Sarah; Blundel, Richard; Open University; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE Publications Ltd, 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.
    • The influence of informal social media practices on knowledge sharing and work processes within organizations

      Kwayu, Shirumisha; Abubakre, Mumin; Lal, Banita; Nottingham Trent University; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier Ltd, 2020-12-30)
      Contemporary information technologies such as social media have invigorated the way knowledge is shared within organizations to the extent that we have to rethink and reassess our understanding of the role and influence of technology in organizational processes and knowledge sharing. This paper uses the strategy as practice lens guided by the interpretivist philosophy to understand the influence of informal social media practices on knowledge sharing and work processes within an organization. The paper uses empirical evidence from the case study of a telecom organization in Tanzania to gain theoretical insight into informal social media practices and knowledge sharing. This research contributes to the Information Systems (IS) literature by asserting that organizational processes are achieved by mundane knowledge sharing mediated by informal social media use within the organization. Also, the study contributes to IS literature by highlighting how emerging informal practices are essential to daily processes within organizations.
    • Influence of social media practices on the fusion of strategies within organisations

      Kwayu, Shirumisha; Lal, Banita; Abubakre, Mumin; Nottingham Trent University; University of Bedfordshire (Springer New York LLC, 2019-05-19)
      Contemporary information technologies such as social media have brought into question the usefulness of the alignment perspective in understanding the role and influence of technology in organisational strategy. This has prompted some scholars to argue for a fusion view of Information Systems (IS) which sees IS as integral to business strategy. Despite the suggestion of the fusion view, there is little empirical evidence of how the fusion of strategy is realised. For instance, literature suggests that executives are struggling with how to implement social media strategy within an organisation. This paper uses the strategy as practice lens guided by the interpretivist philosophy to explore the influence of social media practices on the fusion of strategies within an organisation. The paper uses empirical evidence from the case study of a telecom organisation in Tanzania to gain theoretical insight into the role of social media in organisational strategy. This research contributes to the management literature by arguing that the fusion of strategy is achieved by the intertwinement of historical background, context, technological advances and social intent. Also, it contributes to IS literature by showing how social media extends the IS scope within an organisation while minimizing the need for organisational IT infrastructure. In practice, this research highlights the significance of informal social media practices such as WhatsApp communication in organisational processes such as knowledge sharing and customer service.
    • The influence of supplier collaboration on green supply chain management practices and sustainable firm performance in UK food supply chain SMEs

      Ali, Abdul; Bentley, Yongmei; Cao, Guangming; University of Bedfordshire (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK, 2016-09-07)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of supplier collaboration on Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) practices and Sustainable firm performance in UK food supply chain SMEs. Supplier collaboration is the management of collaborative relationship with the key supply chain partners when sourcing products or services. There has been extensive research on SCM, SC collaboration and GSCM practices of large organisations. However, no research has been found on UK SMEs in particular and their performances due to Collaborating with suppliers and GSCM practices. Thus, this study attempts to fill this gap and contributes to the current academic research and practice. Research Approach: A systematic literature review was undertaken to examine articles published in international journals during 2000-2016. SCOPUS database was used to collect information on articles and subsequently they were collected using various sources including EBSCOhost. For this study, supplier collaboration was drawn from previous literature in Supply chain collaboration and GSCM practices while performance measurement was adopted from the Triple Bottom Line Approach. From a comprehensive literature review, a conceptual framework was developed which will subsequently be empirically tested in the UK SMEs perspective.   Findings and Originality: The review of literature suggested that supplier collaboration is crucial for a firm to practice GSCM in their operations especially in SMEs. The literature also suggests that trust, dependence, knowledge and information sharing, risk and reward sharing between the firms are the major determinants of mutual collaboration. This study also suggests that collaborating with suppliers help firms practice GSCM which will bring sustainable firm performance.  However, this is yet to be empirically tested.   Research Impact, Practical Impact and Limitations: This study should help enrich the existing theories on SCM, GSCM, SC collaboration and organisational performance. Furthermore, this study suggests trust, dependence, and sharing of information, knowledge, risk and reward are major determinants of supplier collaboration. As to practical impact, this study should also facilitate SMEs in assessing the necessity for them to collaborate with their suppliers. This study also suggests that for SMEs to practice GSCM, supplier collaboration is essential. Furthermore, it highlights that supplier collaboration affects firm performance. Moreover, as the UK government is campaigning for greener economy, it can only be possible when SMEs, which consists of 99% of UK businesses, are greening their operations for which the collaboration between the buyers and the suppliers are crucial. However, the findings of this study are limited because this is based on literature review and not empirically proved yet. Nevertheless, as this is an initial part of a bigger research project, it should help establish the foundation for further study.
    • Information sharing and business analytics in global supply chains

      Ramanathan, Usha; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan; Nottingham Trent University; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2021-05-17)
      The importance of collaboration in business and transparent information exchange among supply chain partners, have been topics of discussion for several years. Global businesses such as Walmart and P&G have focused on collaborative relationships with downstream partners (buyers) and upstream partners (suppliers) to meet customers’ demands. While supply chain collaborations support transparent information exchange, business analytics is proving to be the source of generating business intelligence to all supply chain partners for production planning, logistics, and distribution in this digital era. This chapter highlights the fact that businesses with transparent inventory and demand information could realize cost reductions and improve service levels using sensible business analytics. However, creating a platform to share the information and developing trustworthy partnerships are paramount. Our study discusses a few examples from current businesses to bring out the importance of collaboration by (1) sharing information with all supply chains partners and (2) moving from traditional ordering to an automated system with the support of business analytics and supply chain collaboration.
    • Integration of cost-risk assessment of denial of service within an intelligent maintenance system

      Carlander, L.; Kirkwood, Leigh; Shehab, Essam; Baguley, Paul; Durazo-Cardenas, Isidro; Cranfield University (Elsevier, 2020-04-29)
      As organisations become richer in data the function of asset management will have to increasingly use intelligent systems to control condition monitoring systems and organise maintenance. In the future the UK rail industry is anticipating having to optimize capacity by running trains closer to each other. In this situation maintenance becomes extremely problematic as within such a high-performance network a relatively minor fault will impact more trains and passengers; such denial of service causes reputational damage for the industry and causes fines to be levied against the infrastructure owner, Network Rail.     Intelligent systems used to control condition monitoring systems will need to optimize for several factors; optimization for minimizing denial of service will be one such factor. With schedules anticipated to be increasingly complicated detailed estimation methods will be extremely difficult to implement. Cost prediction of maintenance activities tend to be expert driven and require extensive details, making automation of such an activity difficult. Therefore a stochastic process will be needed to approach the problem of predicting the denial of service arising from any required maintenance. Good uncertainty modelling will help to increase the confidence of estimates.      This paper seeks to detail the challenges that the UK Railway industry face with regards to cost modelling of maintenance activities and outline an example of a suitable cost model for quantifying cost uncertainty. The proposed uncertainty quantification is based on historical cost data and interpretation of its statistical distributions. These estimates are then integrated in a cost model to obtain accurate uncertainty measurements of outputs through Monte-Carlo simulation methods. An additional criteria of the model was that it be suitable for integration into an existing prototype integrated intelligent maintenance system. It is anticipated that applying an integrated maintenance management system will apply significant downward pressure on maintenance budgets and reduce denial of service. Accurate cost estimation is therefore of great importance if anticipated cost efficiencies are to be achieved. While the rail industry has been the focus of this work, other industries have been considered and it is anticipated that the approach will be applicable to many other organisations across several asset management intensive industries.   
    • 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.