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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Alejandro M. Suárez, Manuel A. Duarte‐Mermoud and Danilo F. Bassi

To develop a new predictive control scheme based on neural networks for linear and non‐linear dynamical systems.

Abstract

Purpose

To develop a new predictive control scheme based on neural networks for linear and non‐linear dynamical systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach relies on three different multilayer neural networks using input‐output information with delays. One NN is used to identify the process under control, the other is used to predict the future values of the control error and finally the third one is used to compute the magnitude of the control input to be applied to the plant.

Findings

This scheme has been tested by controlling discrete‐time SISO and MIMO processes already known in the control literature and the results have been compared with other control approaches with no predictive effects. Transient behavior of the new algorithm, as well as the steady state one, are observed and analyzed in each case studied. Also, online and offline neural network training are compared for the proposed scheme.

Research limitations/implications

The theoretical proof of stability of the proposed scheme still remains to be studied. Conditions under which non‐linear plants together with the proposed controller present a stable behavior have to be derived.

Practical implications

The main advantage of the proposed method is that the predictive effect allows to suitable control complex non‐linear process, eliminating oscillations during the transient response. This will be useful for control engineers to control complex industrial plants.

Originality/value

This general approach is based on predicting the future control errors through a predictive neural network, taking advantage of the NN characteristics to approximate any kind of relationship. The advantage of this predictive scheme is that the knowledge of the future reference values is not needed, since the information used to train the predictive NN is based on present and past values of the control error. Since the plant parameters are unknown, the identification NN is used to back‐propagate the control error from the output of the plant to the output of the controller. The weights of the controller NN are adjusted so that the present and future values of the control error are minimized.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 35 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Andrea Martin-Chavez

After more than five years of teaching Open Building to students in the last year of their architectural training we have learned one thing: it is easier to master the…

Abstract

After more than five years of teaching Open Building to students in the last year of their architectural training we have learned one thing: it is easier to master the Open Building methodologies if we first apply some of its main ideas to extract the urban and architectural rules from the reality and only afterwards, students have an easier time learning and applying the methodology to make new OB design proposals. To achieve this we work either in downtown Mexico City or in other Mexican colonial cities where the historical urban fabric provides an easier reading of the urban and architectural typologies.

In this article I am going to talk about our last year's teaching experience and the results we achieved. There are three main objectives to be met in this last year of architectural training. The main one is to deal with socially relevant problems that involve real communities. The second one is that the teaching resembles the practice of architecture as much as possible. And one that we have added to the curricula is to train students to understand, learn and apply OB ideas in their urban and architectural work.

Architectural competitions have turned into important part of the practice. For that reason we encourage students to enter at least one of the multiple options that occur during the year. This time there was the opportunity to enter a competition aimed for students organized by ARQUINE (a well known international trimester architectural publication). The competition objective was to design studios and housing for art students in an empty lot in historical downtown Mexico City.

To achieve the objectives of the course, as well as to participate in the competition, we divided the course in three parts. In the first part students made an urban diagnosis of the area, a site analysis and a design proposal for the competition. In the second part they studied traditional housing vecindades as well as the families living in that particular area. They applied the support idea to these typologies to get acquainted with the generals of the method. In the third part they studied the methodology thoroughly to be able to design a support building to relocate the studied families. In the end, each student designed a different support building in an empty lot nearby to the studied area.

In our experience, students are very enthusiastic and responsible when working with users and applying OB ideas. Most students from this last generation are now working in housing related agencies. Two of these students work for the Mexican Architectural Association and recently promoted a new competition jointly with the local government Program of Housing Improvement. The competition goal is to design incremental housing in the periphery or in downtown areas, avoiding prototypes. They are strongly supporting the use of OB ideas for the competition and this year's students will participate in it.

Details

Open House International, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2021

Néstor F. Ayala, Paolo Gaiardelli, Giuditta Pezzotta, Marie Anne Le Dain and Alejandro G. Frank

The purpose of this study is to analyse the effect of different forms of service supplier involvement on the service business dimensions necessary for servitisation and on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyse the effect of different forms of service supplier involvement on the service business dimensions necessary for servitisation and on the resulting servitisation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Three different configurations of service supplier involvement are considered in this study: black box (service design and execution driven by the service supplier), grey box (joint service design) and white box (service design driven by the product firm). The study analyses their contribution by means of a cross-sectional quantitative survey with 104 Brazilian and Italian firms using multivariate analysis of variance.

Findings

Companies that adopted the grey box configuration presented the best results in servitisation. White and black box may offer different benefits depending on the service business dimension that the company chooses to emphasise.

Originality/value

The results show which type of service supplier involvement is more effective for servitisation. The empirical data demonstrate that a joint service design (grey box involvement) is the best approach, but the paper discusses limitations for its implementation and alternatives regarding the two other types of service supplier involvement. The findings contribute to the discussion on the role of service suppliers in servitisation and provide empirical evidence to support operations managers in deciding on how to organise their service supply chain when aiming for servitisation.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 25 November 2020

Guilherme Tortorella, Gopalakrishnan Narayanamurthy, Moacir Godinho Filho, Alberto Portioli Staudacher and Alejandro Francisco Mac Cawley

This paper aims at examining the impact that COVID-19 pandemic and its related work implications have on the relationship between lean implementation and service performance.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at examining the impact that COVID-19 pandemic and its related work implications have on the relationship between lean implementation and service performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The author surveyed service organizations that have been implementing lean for at least two years and remotely maintained their activities during the COVID-19 outbreak. Multivariate data techniques were applied to analyze the dataset. This study was grounded on sociotechnical systems theory.

Findings

The findings indicate that organizations that have been implementing lean services more extensively are also more likely to benefit from the effects that the COVID-19 had on work environments, especially in the case of home office. Nevertheless, social distancing does not appear to mediate the effects of lean services on both quality and delivery performances.

Originality/value

Since the pandemic is a recent phenomenon with unprecedented effects, this research is an initial effort to determine the effect the pandemic has on lean implementation and services' performance, providing both theoretical and practical contributions to the field.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Néstor F. Ayala, Wolfgang Gerstlberger and Alejandro G. Frank

The purpose of this paper is to study service innovation in product companies (servitization) by considering the relationship (moderation) between product companies and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study service innovation in product companies (servitization) by considering the relationship (moderation) between product companies and service suppliers.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a relational view of the firm, the authors propose that there are three main business dimensions that product companies have to manage in servitization and that the support of service suppliers can moderate the effects of these dimensions on the benefits obtained from the product–service system (PSS) delivered. To test these hypotheses, the authors perform a cross-sectional quantitative survey in 104 Brazilian and Italian product companies.

Findings

The findings show that the three business dimensions are important for servitization while there is a trade-off decision regarding service suppliers’ support since suppliers act differently depending on the PSS orientation (product- or service-oriented).

Research limitations/implications

The work is limited to the analysis of what should change in a company during servitization and the impact of supplier’s support. Further research is needed to complement this study by analyzing the process and context of the organizational change.

Practical implications

The research contributes an understanding about how the benefits practitioners can obtain from servitization are strongly influenced by the support of service suppliers and how this influence depends on the PSS orientation of the product company.

Originality/value

This is one of the first quantitative studies to provide evidence of how service suppliers’ involvement affects different servitization business dimensions and the obtained benefits for both product- and service-oriented outputs.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

José David Vicente‐Lorente and José Ángel Zúñiga‐Vicente

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role played by different types of firm innovation on employee downsizing. Drawing on economic and management views, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role played by different types of firm innovation on employee downsizing. Drawing on economic and management views, the authors aims to assess the potential positive or negative effect of different types of processes (i.e. new technology via the introduction of new equipment as well as new methods of organizing the workforce) and product (i.e. number of innovations) innovations on employee downsizing.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical setting is a sample of Spanish manufacturing firms over the period 1994‐2006. The authors employ probit models for panel data as an empirical tool.

Findings

The results show a negative and significant effect of process innovations associated with acquiring and deploying new production equipment and product‐oriented innovations on the probability of carrying out important reductions in workforce. However, a positive and significant effect is found when process innovations are linked to the adoption of new methods of organizing the workforce.

Practical implications

Managers might play a significant role in employment creation, especially when they carry out process innovations related to the acquisition of complementary production assets (i.e. new equipment) and market highly innovative products. Policy makers might contribute to diminish the potential number of employees affected by firms’ downsizing strategies by designing, for example, public subsidies systems that deliberately prompt both types of innovations.

Originality/value

The authors make an effort to provide alternative explanations about why firms downsize, as they analyze different types of process and product innovations whose effects on employment (and, thus, downsizing) do not seem to be clear. Moreover, the paper furthers one's understanding of the effect of firm innovation by focusing on the potential effect of one type of process innovation which has not been examined until now: the adoption and implementation of new methods of organizing the workforce owing to new technology.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2013

Arturo J. Galindo, Alejandro Izquierdo and Liliana Rojas-Suarez

This chapter explores the impact of international financial integration on credit markets in Latin America, using a cross-country dataset covering 17 countries between…

Abstract

This chapter explores the impact of international financial integration on credit markets in Latin America, using a cross-country dataset covering 17 countries between 1996 and 2008. It is found that financial integration amplifies the impact of international financial shocks on aggregate credit and interest rate fluctuations. Nonetheless, the net impact of integration on deepening credit markets dominates for the large majority of states of nature. The chapter also uses a detailed bank-level dataset that covers more than 500 banks for a similar time period to explore the role of financial integration – captured through the participation of foreign banks – in propagating external shocks. It is found that interest rates charged and loans supplied by foreign-owned banks respond more to external financial shocks than those supplied by domestically owned banks. This does not hold for all foreign banks. Spanish banks in the sample behave more like domestic banks and do not amplify the impact of foreign shocks on credit and interest rates.

Details

Global Banking, Financial Markets and Crises
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-170-0

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2013

Alejandro López-González, Rubén C. Lois-González and Rubén Fernández-Casal

This paper evaluates the effect of Spain's regulatory framework on Mercadona's expansion. Mercadona is the main company in this commercial distribution sector and so we…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper evaluates the effect of Spain's regulatory framework on Mercadona's expansion. Mercadona is the main company in this commercial distribution sector and so we have taken the North American company Wal-Mart as a classic example of the sector on a world scale. In Spain the regulatory framework is characterized by the high grade of autonomy of the regional governments over the development of business regulation. In other words, the main objective is to check the extent of competitive bias resulting from regulatory risk.

Design/methodology/approach

The article discusses the stores and retailers of Mercadona. Through the use of quantitative indicators the degree of concentration-dispersion is studied, which is reflected graphically with a series of maps. It also discusses the normalisation constraints by quantitative data analysis from a region with trade liberalisation criteria (Madrid) and another with criteria for restricting the construction of large retail outlets (Barcelona)

Findings

In the commercial distribution sector, certain firms stand out due to their rapid expansion, firms that have been successful in implementing widely different business philosophies. This article interprets the course and the immediate challenges for Mercadona, taking Wal-Mart as a reference, since this company is already at a more advanced stage of development: the conversion of an operator on an international scale.

Originality/value

The study described helps in understanding the process of forming a large commercial distribution chain in Southern Europe. This example in turn allows an understanding of business concentration processes in this sector.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Denise N Obinna

Instead of identifying them as a single monolithic group, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate whether the academic performance of black immigrants differs from…

Abstract

Purpose

Instead of identifying them as a single monolithic group, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate whether the academic performance of black immigrants differs from African Americans as well as Asian and Hispanic students of comparable immigrant generation. By identifying how well black immigrant students perform on standardized tests, grade point averages (GPA) and college enrollment, this study proposes a more comprehensive look into this growing immigrant group.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a data from the Educational Longitudinal Survey of high school sophomores conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Data used in this study are from the baseline survey in 2002 and the second follow-up in 2006 when most students had graduated from high school. The methodology includes OLS, binary and ordered logistic regression models.

Findings

The study finds that while second-generation blacks outperform the native-born generation on standardized tests, this does not extend to GPA or college enrollment. In fact, it appears that only second-generation Hispanic students have an advantage over their native-born counterparts on GPA and standardized tests. Furthermore, first and second-generation Asian immigrants do not show a higher likelihood of enrolling in college than their native-born counterparts nor do they report higher GPA.

Originality/value

This paper sheds light on a growing yet understudied immigrant population as well as drawing comparisons to other immigrant groups of comparable generation.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2020

Jorge Alejandro Silva Rodríguez de San Miguel

The purpose of this paper is to look at how the topic of water governance in the USA reflects the discussion just prior to the contemporary wave of privatisation that now…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look at how the topic of water governance in the USA reflects the discussion just prior to the contemporary wave of privatisation that now characterises a large section of water in the country.

Design/methodology/approach

In addition to select classic articles, the body of literature chosen for review includes studies published between 2000 and 2019, using The PRISMA statement. Studies chosen were published in recognised journals in core disciplines relating to governance, water management, policy and regulation.

Findings

Private equity firms and water-focused investment funds are significant investors in private companies that operate municipal water works in the USA. This has caused much of the public water infrastructure in the country (and globally) to become privatised and held by international investors as securitised assets.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for further primary research to more comprehensively capture what actions the US government are taking to carve out a large policy-making space for themselves in a country that there is not an extensive body of literature on takeover decisions in water governance.

Originality/value

The confluence of privatisation in water governance within the US government is an area of growing concern to those interested in how water governance systems and protocols shape broader justice and equality developments across the country.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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