Civil engineering students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology generally find the final year research project very daunting. In most cases it is the first time…
Civil engineering students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology generally find the final year research project very daunting. In most cases it is the first time that they are not “learning” passively by sitting in lectures, receiving notes and worked out examples, memorising the material and then writing an examination to demonstrate their “competency”. Suddenly learning comes by doing, and they are faced with the challenge of executing a significant research project. For students who do not have good management skills, this becomes a very difficult task. To address this problem, staff have, over the past decade, integrated project management with the research project to the extent that it has now become one subject with two final year credits. This means that students learn how to use project management skills to manage the research project, which runs over one year. Project management skills integrated with a rigid structure, complemented by lecturer support in a web‐based e‐learning environment, has been developed to assist students in completing the research project. This has proved to be very successful and students have commented that without the newly acquired project management skills, they would not have been able to complete the projects on time. The results indicate that the integration of project management skills can relieve the role reversal entrapment problem. However, interventions to prepare the students more adequately must be considered over the first three years of study. The paper presents the historical background to the problem, an overview of how the revised methodology is being implemented, and it indicates how e‐learning is used to manage the course.
As the techniques of computer chip manufacturing are applied to etching the surface of lenses in extremely precise ways, a world of optical marvels unknown to traditional…
As the techniques of computer chip manufacturing are applied to etching the surface of lenses in extremely precise ways, a world of optical marvels unknown to traditional lens‐grinders will come swimming into view.
The study here responds to the view that the crucial problem in strategic management (research) is firm heterogeneity – why firms adopt different strategies and…
The study here responds to the view that the crucial problem in strategic management (research) is firm heterogeneity – why firms adopt different strategies and structures, why heterogeneity persists, and why competitors perform differently. The present study applies complexity theory tenets and a “neo-configurational perspective” of Misangyi et al. (2016) in proposing complex antecedent conditions affecting complex outcome conditions. Rather than examining variable directional relationships using null hypotheses statistical tests, the study examines case-based conditions using somewhat precise outcome tests (SPOT). The complex outcome conditions include firms with high financial performances in declining markets and firms with low financial performances in growing markets – the study focuses on seemingly paradoxical outcomes. The study here examines firm strategies and outcomes for separate samples of cross-sectional data of manufacturing firms with headquarters in one of two nations: Finland (n = 820) and Hungary (n = 300). The study includes examining the predictive validities of the models. The study contributes conceptual advances of complex firm orientation configurations and complex firm performance capabilities configurations as mediating conditions between firmographics, firm resources, and the two final complex outcome conditions (high performance in declining markets and low performance in growing markets). The study contributes by showing how fuzzy-logic computing with words (Zadeh, 1966) advances strategic management research toward achieving requisite variety to overcome the theory-analytic mismatch pervasive currently in the discipline (Fiss, 2007, 2011) – thus, this study is a useful step toward solving the crucial problem of how to explain firm heterogeneity.
This paper aims to discuss natural capital by offering some viewpoints on the economic rationality facilitated by the concept. The paper highlights the likely…
This paper aims to discuss natural capital by offering some viewpoints on the economic rationality facilitated by the concept. The paper highlights the likely performativity of the concept and, ultimately, how this may impact us.
This paper draws on existing literature to develop its arguments.
The concept of natural capital may be necessary and accepted, but it is not benign and it facilitates the expansion of economic rationality to new areas. The paper uses some examples to draw out some potential implications of economic rationality that the concept of natural capital may facilitate that are morally dubious.
This paper is a cautionary note to those who might use the concept of natural capital and offers considerations through the use of examples.
The practical implications of this paper are that users of capitals or natural capital frameworks should consider all the potential outcomes of applying those frameworks and whether they are desirable. In particular, it argues that the application of capital frameworks facilitates the expansion of economic decision logics to those areas that are currently not mediated in such a way and this outcome may not have favorable outcomes.
This paper highlights how the use of the concept of natural capital could advance economic rationality to those interactions that are not classically considered economic. It argues that this advance may result in economic rationality being applied to our person-to-person (social) interactions, and, thus, the right and wrong of such interactions is measured via an economic calculation. A result one may not consider desirable but may be unavoidable through applying capitals frameworks.
In drawing on existing literature, the originality lies in its discussion of how natural capital is not a neutral term, its framing will likely have implications.
This study examines the impact of school-district governance characteristics, which include board and management entrenchment and budget and audit committee expertise, on…
This study examines the impact of school-district governance characteristics, which include board and management entrenchment and budget and audit committee expertise, on fiscal measures. Despite the significant influence school boards have over the determination and use of the bulk of property taxes, virtually no empirical research exists that examines the influence of school-district governance structures on fiscal outcomes. We find a positive association between board entrenchment and spending and find a negative association between budget and audit committee expertise and spending. The findings of this study confirm that governance structure matters for fiscal outcomes and recommendations are provided to support efforts to improve fiscal efficiency of school-district governance.
This paper examined the effects of corporate governance structures on the incidence of corporate illegality by analyzing the relationship between environmental violations…
This paper examined the effects of corporate governance structures on the incidence of corporate illegality by analyzing the relationship between environmental violations and several dimensions of corporate board structure. Results demonstrated that the value of stock owned by corporate officers and directors was positively and significantly associated with serious environmental violations. Outsider dominance, joint CEO‐Chairpersons, social responsibility committees, and attorneys on boards were not significantly related to corporate illegal behavior. The control variables of size, industry profitability, firm profitability, and industry concentration were all significantly related to environmental violations. The findings involving board structure cast doubt on the efficacy of many popular corporate governance reform proposals.
China’s economy is transforming at a brisk pace. A partially dismantled command economy and introduction of competition have fueled consumer demand for a greater selection of innovative new products in the retail market. The challenge for retail buyers is to adjust their procurement processes to respond to consumer needs in an efficient and effective manner. This study examines factors influencing buyer‐supplier relationships in a transition economy. We present a model to explain the factors driving retail buyer dependence on suppliers. We find that retailer evaluation of supplier credibility mediates the relationship between retailer perceptions of a supplier ability to add value to its business and the ability to achieve its desired goals. In part, this is due to the supplier’s market orientation. Interestingly, guanxi ties have no impact on the retailer perceptions of the supplier credibility, but have a positive affect on retailer dependence on its supplier partners.
The purpose of this study is to examine the interplay between the curatorial practices of consumers as collectors and the materiality of the collected objects. In…
The purpose of this study is to examine the interplay between the curatorial practices of consumers as collectors and the materiality of the collected objects. In particular, this study explores how the material substances of collected objects shapes curatorial practices and how the ongoing use of the collected objects challenges curatorial practices.
Taking advantage of the publicization of once-private collections on social media, we collect 111 YouTube videos created by plastic shoe aficionados. Drawing from visual anthropology and theorizations of materiality, we analyze consumer interactions with the objects they collect.
This study’s findings elucidate consumers’ interactions with the material substances of the objects they collect and demonstrate how these interactions shape the ways in which consumers curate their collections, including how they wear, care for, catalog, and display the collected objects.
Our findings have implications for theorization on consumer collections, consumer identity, and consumer participation in brand communities and are relevant for consumer researchers who study the interactions and relationships between consumers and consumption objects.
This study is the first to re-examine consumers as collectors to extend and update consumer research on the curatorial practices of physical, wearable collectibles. This study sets the foundations for further research to advance our understanding of consumers as collectors as well as to illuminate other theories and aspects of consumer research that consider consumer–object interactions.
Soft systems methodology (SSM) is well documented in the academic and management literature. Over the last 40 years, the methodology has come to be adapted depending on…
Soft systems methodology (SSM) is well documented in the academic and management literature. Over the last 40 years, the methodology has come to be adapted depending on the tool users’ skills and experience in order to fit the problem. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate good teaching and learning practice from a pedagogical perspective.
Dr Ian Yeoman of Victoria University of Wellington provides a personal reflection of how the methodology is used in the teaching and learning of TOUR301 Tourism Policy and Planning as a policy and scenario analysis method.
The paper articulates the seven stages of SSM from problem situation unstructured, through to Rich Pictures, vision and guiding principles, policy solutions, comparisons, feasibility and implementation stages. The paper uses a series of teaching tasks to breakdown the complexity of the methodology thus guiding students and teachers in how to deploy the methodology in the classroom.
The value of the paper demonstrates the reflective practice of SSM in action as an exemplar of good practice. The paper clearly articulates the stages of the methodology so students and teachers can adopt this approach in classroom environments following a scaffolding learning approach. The use of teaching tasks throughout the paper helps bring clarity and order thus enabling the teacher to effectively teach the subject and the students to learn. The most significant contribution of this paper is the articulation of good teaching practice in policy and scenario analysis which articulated through four learning lessons: facilitating a learning environment; the impact of visual thinking; political theory; the importance of incremental learning; and problem-based learning and international students.