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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2019

Gao Niu, Jeyaraj Vadiveloo and Mengnong Xu

In this chapter, we consider the model of call center incoming call forecasting and staffing-level optimization. We first present the structure of the model and how an…

Abstract

In this chapter, we consider the model of call center incoming call forecasting and staffing-level optimization. We first present the structure of the model and how an agent-based modeling technique could enrich the decision rule and the model. A matrix layout is introduced to present the model so that it can be understood in an efficient way from the perspective of a programmer. The agent-based queuing model will be used in forecasting. We then utilize the bisection method and stepwise method to optimize the staff level to satisfy a target range service-level criteria. Call center management could use the model in practice for their management forecasting and optimization decision-making process in terms of how many agents they need to achieve the target business efficiency goal.

Details

Advances in Business and Management Forecasting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-290-7

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2021

Soroosh Saghiri and Vahid Mirzabeiki

This paper aims to explore how omni-channel data flows should be integrated by specifying what data, omni-channel agents and information and digital technologies (IDTs…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how omni-channel data flows should be integrated by specifying what data, omni-channel agents and information and digital technologies (IDTs) should be considered and connected.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study method is used with 17 British companies. The studies are supported by 68 interviews with the case companies and their consumers, 5 site visits, 4 focus group meetings and the companies’ archival data and documentations.

Findings

This paper provides novel frameworks for omni-channel data flow integration from consumer and business perspectives. The frameworks consist of omni-channel agents, their data transactions and their supporting IDTs. Relatedly, this paper formalizes the omni-channel data flow integration in the forms of horizontal, vertical and total integrations and explores their contributions to the adaptability of omni-channel, as a complex adaptive system (CAS). It also discusses that how inter-organizational governance mechanisms can support data flow integration and their relevant IDT implementations.

Research limitations/implications

The breadth and depth of the required IDTs for omni-channel integration prove the necessity for omni-channel systems to move toward total integration. Therefore, supported by CAS and inter-organizational governance theories, this research indicates how data flow integration and IDT can transform the omni-channel through self-organization and autonomy capability enhancement.

Originality/value

This research’s recommended frameworks provide a robust platform to formalize data flow integration as the omni-channel's core driver. Accordingly, it moves the literature from a basic description of “what omni-channel is” and provides a novel and significant debate on what specific data should be shared at what levels between which agents of the omni-channel, and with what type of relationship governance mechanism, to assure omni-channel horizontal, vertical and total integrations.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2021

Mahasweta Saha and Sangeeta Sahney

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between the dimensions of the pre-purchase information search (PS) such as direction (reliance on the information…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between the dimensions of the pre-purchase information search (PS) such as direction (reliance on the information sources-RIS) and pattern (reliance on the utilitarian value-RUV), moderating role of the online shopping experience (OSE), and their influence on the behavior of the socialization agents (family communication (FC), peer communication (PC), TV advertising-TVAdv, social media communication (SMC)) for buying branded apparel.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a questionnaire, and a total of 458 responses were obtained. A measurement model with the dimensions of the pre-purchase information search and socialization agents was analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis. The conceptual model with hypotheses (direct and moderated effects) was analyzed using a moderated approach using Hayes Macros.

Findings

The findings confirm the significant influence of the dimensions of the PS (RIS and RUV) on the behavior of socialization agents for buying branded apparel with the strongest influence of RIS on SMC. The moderated effects of OSE between the dimensions of PS and socialization agents are found to be significant except for the relationship between RIS and FC. The direct effects of the RIS and RUV on the socialization agents are higher for consumers having high OSE and lower for consumers having low OSE.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the growing body of literature on the PS, highlighting the importance of consumer socialization for the purchase decision of consumers in emerging markets. No previous studies have applied a psychological approach to explain the variation in the external search incorporating the dimensions like direction (RIS) and pattern (RUV), which did not receive research attention so far. This study uniquely sets a new direction for the researchers by establishing a theoretical linkage between the dimensions of PS that can act as antecedents and can significantly influence the behavior of socialization agents using the consumer socialization approach based on the social learning theory. The results reveal the strongest influence of SMC and establish the moderating role of OSE for the buying decision of branded apparel. The findings are valuable for online marketers who must acknowledge that social media is the strongest platform for reaching customers and must create a formal page for displaying their latest updates about their products and services. Marketers must engage all the family members through online contests and feedback sessions for developing trust for online shopping platforms.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2021

Suleyman Karaman and Furkan Yigit

This paper is intended to investigate the economic, organizational and social factors affecting the receipt of advance payment by greenhouse vegetable producers from…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is intended to investigate the economic, organizational and social factors affecting the receipt of advance payment by greenhouse vegetable producers from commission agents operating in the wholesale market.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were gathered through questionnaire forms developed for this specific purpose through face-to-face interviews with 180 producers growing greenhouse vegetables in the central district and Serik, Antalya in the Western Mediterranean Region of Turkey. A logistic regression model was employed to analyse the factors affecting the likelihood of greenhouse vegetable growers getting advance from commission agents.

Findings

A good financial status of enterprises producing greenhouse vegetables and the fact that their production input needs are met by cooperatives reduce their dependence on commission agents, thereby increasing their bargaining power when selling their products. Since producers can readily meet their need for the capital required for the vegetable production process from commission agents, they do not prefer to borrow from lending institutions making agricultural loans with requirements such as collateral. The fact that greenhouse vegetable farmers receive technical and market information and advice from commission agents strengthens their relationship with them.

Originality/value

It is the first study that evaluates in detail the financial aspect of the relationships between producers and commission agents in the greenhouse vegetables wholesale market. It contributes significantly to agricultural policymakers regarding the functioning of the greenhouse vegetable market, and in particular, the regulations on agricultural loans for production processes.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2021

Richard Conde, Victor Prybutok and Kenneth Thompson

Previous sales control research has limited the definition of outcome controls exclusively to sales outcomes in an outside sales context. In addition to sales outcome…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous sales control research has limited the definition of outcome controls exclusively to sales outcomes in an outside sales context. In addition to sales outcome controls, inside sales managers use phone operational outcomes to influence inside sales agent performance, supporting the need to expand the broader definition of outcome controls. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to explore the need to bifurcate outcome controls into two distinct variables: sales and phone operational controls. Researchers know little about the application of sales outcome controls beyond sales-only outcomes, which, in turn, limits the definition of outcome controls.

Design/methodology/approach

Through the utilization of survey, secondary operational data and sales manager’s feedback, this paper demonstrates that the definition of outcome controls needs to be divided into two distinct areas, sales and phone operational controls for inside sales agents, which, in turn, acts collectively to impact an inside sales agent’s job performance and satisfaction.

Findings

This research demonstrates that inside sales managers depend on both sales and phone operational outcome controls to drive sales agent performance, varying in degrees by industry. Even as inside sales managers focus on creating an employee-centric autonomous motivational work culture, the overarching controlling factors associated with phone operational outcomes dampen an inside sales agent’s performance and job satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, as the first sales control research to examine an inside sales context, this study provides support to further study sales controls in an inside sales context. This research can be enhanced by examining business-to-consumer inside sales environments, behavior controls, greater sample size and additional work outcomes such as turnover and tenure.

Practical implications

The findings have important implications because they can help practitioners understand the effect that both sales and phone operational outcomes have on sales agent performance. It also illuminates the need for inside sales managers to be less controlling in their focus on phone operational outcomes, as such a practice has a negative influence on key sales agent job outcomes.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to triangulate multiple data sources to illustrate the need to evaluate both sales and phone operational outcomes as broader components of sales outcome controls. The study of sales controls in a different sales context suggests that sales management controls may differ by sales context, opening the door to extend the vast sales control literature beyond its current context of outside sales.

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2021

Liqun Xiang, Yongtao Tan, Geoffrey Shen and Xin Jin

The applications of multi-agent systems (MASs) are considered to be among the most promising paradigms for detailed investigations and reliable problem-solving methods…

Abstract

Purpose

The applications of multi-agent systems (MASs) are considered to be among the most promising paradigms for detailed investigations and reliable problem-solving methods, and MAS applications make it possible for researchers and practitioners to better understand complex systems. Although a number of prior studies have been conducted to address complex issues that arise from construction projects, few studies have summarised the applications and discussed the capacity of MASs from the perspective of construction management. To fill the gap, this paper provides a comprehensive literature review of MAS applications from the perspective of construction management.

Design/methodology/approach

Web of Science and Scopus are the most commonly used international databases in conducting the literature reviews. A total of 86 relevant papers published in SCI-Expanded, SSCI and Ei Compendex journals related to the application of MASs from the perspective of construction management are selected to be analysed and discussed in this paper.

Findings

Based on the 86 collected publications, the utilisations of MASs to support the management of the supply chain and the improvement of project performance are identified from the perspective of construction management, the characteristics and barriers of current MAS applications are analysed, a framework for developing agent-based models to address complex problems is proposed, and future research directions of MAS applications are discussed.

Originality/value

This review can serve as a useful reference for scholars to enhance their understanding of the current research and guide future research on MASs. The proposed framework can help build agent-based models to address complex problems in construction management.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Fábio Lotti Oliva, Andrei Carlos Torresani Paza, Jefferson Luiz Bution, Masaaki Kotabe, Peter Kelle, Eduardo Pinheiro Gondim de Vasconcellos, Celso Claudio de Hildebrand e Grisi, Martinho Isnard Ribeiro de Almeida and Adalberto Americo Fischmann

This study aims to investigate the risks associated with managing the dispersed knowledge in inter-organizational arrangements for innovation. Specifically, it proposes a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the risks associated with managing the dispersed knowledge in inter-organizational arrangements for innovation. Specifically, it proposes a model to analyze the knowledge management risks in open innovation, applied in four steps.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, the authors carried out a systematic literature review (SLR) on the concepts that connect knowledge management, inter-organizational arrangements for innovation and risks. The SLR results led to a complementary theoretical review on the conceptual elements in question. Based on the findings, the authors have developed a model to analyze the knowledge management risks in open innovation, which was validated by experts. It was then studied the case of GOL Airlines, a company that uses innovation to overcome the paradox between low-cost and full service in the commercial air transportation industry, considering the application and adjustment of the proposed model.

Findings

Open innovation is one of the inter-organizational arrangement types most applied in the context of innovation. Relations between agents are the primary sources of risks when managing the dispersed knowledge in these arrangements. The authors have found five main risks associated, namely, risk of the innovative effort does not reach the expected objective, risk of knowledge transfer being ineffective, risk of misappropriation of value, risk of dependency (lock-in) and risk of relations.

Practical implications

The practical implication is the proposition of a procedure for applying the model to analyze the knowledge management risks in open innovation, which makes it a prescriptive model for identifying risks. The proposed model is described in four steps, namely, to identify the agents in the environment of the value of open innovation; to identify the types of relations of each agent; to consider the barriers to knowledge management in innovation; and to assess the risks considering the possibilities derived from the agents, their relationships and the barriers. The model is applied in the GOL case and the results are presented.

Originality/value

First, it uses a novel approach to investigate open innovation while studying its risks. This approach considers the knowledge is dispersed and flows from one organization to another through a combination of relations inside the environment of value where the open innovation materializes. Second, it contributes to theory development by opening a research front that fuses four areas: risk management, knowledge management, innovation and inter-organizational arrangements. Third, this paper proposes a theoretical model and presents its operationalization. The study aims to make an impact beyond academia and uses a case study to illustrate the model application in a real and interesting open innovation project to support the business model at GOL Airlines.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Dejun Chen, Zude Zhou, Yingzhe Ma and D.T. Pham

The purpose of this paper is to create a platform framework based on agent for virtual enterprise (VE) with the characteristic of supply chain by adopting multi‐agent technology.

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642

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to create a platform framework based on agent for virtual enterprise (VE) with the characteristic of supply chain by adopting multi‐agent technology.

Design/methodology/approach

According to the system hierarchy theory and the features of VE with the characteristic of supply chain, the conception and organization structure of supply chain‐oriented VE are proposed. Combined with characters of multi‐agent, a platform framework based on agent for VE with the characteristic of supply chain is created. Aiming at complexity of net node of running platform framework, two‐layer architecture mode, which are information alternation layer and basic function layer inside net node based on agent, are designed. The modes are proved to be reasonable in the management of the system and networks resources.

Findings

The theory base of realization of the VE based on agent with the characteristic of supply chain is found.

Research limitations/implications

The reasonable basic function design of various agents are main limitations.

Practical implications

The paper presents a very useful tool for the operation and management of VE.

Originality/value

A new approach and scheme for VE with the characteristic of supply chain is presented. This paper is aimed at researchers and engineers.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

Reggie Davidrajuh and Ziqiong Deng

First this paper introduces the concepts of virtual manufacturing system (VMS). The host enterprise and the multiple numbers of supply and distribution enterprises that…

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2157

Abstract

First this paper introduces the concepts of virtual manufacturing system (VMS). The host enterprise and the multiple numbers of supply and distribution enterprises that make up a VMS, and the hierarchical and horizontal relationship that exists between these enterprises are explained. The steps involved in formation and operation of a VMS are then analyzed in detail. Second, we present a three view based methodological approach to make a multi‐agent model of VMS. Finally, with the help of a testing prototype, we show how to develop an autonomous Internet based data collection system for operation of VMS in accordance with the proposed methodological approach.

Details

International Journal of Agile Management Systems, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1465-4652

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1996

Ed Gordon

This article describes the use of intelligent agents to filter and categorise information and concludes with case studies of select Verity partners who have built unique…

Abstract

This article describes the use of intelligent agents to filter and categorise information and concludes with case studies of select Verity partners who have built unique applications using Verity agent technology.

Details

VINE, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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