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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2019

Seyed Ashkan Zarghami and Indra Gunawan

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to shift away from an exclusive probabilistic viewpoint or a pure network theory-based perspective for vulnerability assessment of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to shift away from an exclusive probabilistic viewpoint or a pure network theory-based perspective for vulnerability assessment of infrastructure networks (INs), toward an integrated framework that accounts for joint considerations of the consequences of component failure as well as the component reliability.

Design/methodology/approach

This work introduces a fuzzy inference system (FIS) model that deals with the problem of vulnerability analysis by mapping reliability and centrality to vulnerability. In the presented model, reliability and centrality are first fuzzified, then 16 different rules are defined and finally, a defuzzification process is conducted to obtain the model output, termed the vulnerability score. The FIS model developed herein attempts to explain the linkage between reliability and centrality so as to evaluate the degree of vulnerability for INs elements.

Findings

This paper compared the effectiveness of the vulnerability score in criticality ranking of the components against the conventional vulnerability analysis methods. Comparison of the output of the proposed FIS model with the conventional vulnerability indices reveals the effectiveness of the vulnerability score in identifying the criticality of components. The model result showed the vulnerability score decreases by increasing reliability and decreasing centrality.

Practical implications

Two key practical implications for vulnerability analysis of INs can be drawn from the suggested FIS model in this research. First, the maintenance strategy based on the vulnerability analysis proposed herein will provide an expert facilitator that helps infrastructure utilities to identify and prioritize the vulnerabilities. The second practical implication is especially valuable for designing an effective risk management framework, which allows for least cost decisions to be made for the protection of INs.

Originality/value

As part of the first contribution, we propose a novel fuzzy-based vulnerability assessment model in building a qualitative and quantitative picture of the vulnerability of INs. The second contribution is especially valuable for vulnerability analysis of INs by virtue of offering a key to understanding the component vulnerability principle as being constituted by the component likely behavior as well as the component importance in the network.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 August 2019

Seyed Ashkan Zarghami and Indra Gunawan

In recent years, centrality measures have been extensively used to analyze real-world complex networks. Water distribution networks (WDNs), as a good example of complex…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, centrality measures have been extensively used to analyze real-world complex networks. Water distribution networks (WDNs), as a good example of complex networks, exhibit properties not shared by other networks. This raises concerns about the effectiveness of applying the classical centrality measures to these networks. The purpose of this paper is to generate a new centrality measure in order to stick more closely to WDNs features.

Design/methodology/approach

This work refines the traditional betweenness centrality by adding a hydraulic-based weighting factor in order to improve its fit with the WDNs features. Rather than an exclusive focus on the network topology, as does the betweenness centrality, the new centrality measure reflects the importance of each node by taking into account its topological location, its demand value and the demand distribution of other nodes in the network.

Findings

Comparative analysis proves that the new centrality measure yields information that cannot be captured by closeness, betweenness and eigenvector centrality and is more accurate at ranking the importance of the nodes in WDNs.

Practical implications

The following practical implications emerge from the centrality analysis proposed in this work. First, the maintenance strategy driven by the new centrality analysis enables practitioners to prioritize the components in the network based on the priority ranking attributed to each node. This allows for least cost decisions to be made for implementing the preventive maintenance strategies. Second, the output of the centrality analysis proposed herein assists water utilities in identifying the effects of components failure on the network performance, which in turn can support the design and deployment of an effective risk management strategy.

Originality/value

The new centrality measure, proposed herein, is distinct from the conventional centrality measures. In contrast to the classical centrality metrics in which the importance of components is assessed based on a pure topological viewpoint, the proposed centrality measure integrates both topological and hydraulic attributes of WDNs and therefore is more accurate at ranking the importance of the nodes.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Seyed Ashkan Zarghami, Indra Gunawan and Frank Schultmann

The increased complexity of water distribution networks (WDNs) emphasizes the importance of studying the relationship between topology and vulnerability of these networks…

Abstract

Purpose

The increased complexity of water distribution networks (WDNs) emphasizes the importance of studying the relationship between topology and vulnerability of these networks. However, the few existing studies on this subject measure the vulnerability at a specific location and ignore to quantify the vulnerability as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by extending the topological vulnerability analysis further to the global level.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper introduces a two-step procedure. In the first step, this work evaluates the degree of influence of a node by employing graph theory quantities. In the second step, information entropy is used as a tool to quantify the global vulnerability of WDNs.

Findings

The vulnerability analysis results showed that a network with uniformly distributed centrality values exhibits a lower drop in performance in the case of partial failure of its components and therefore is less vulnerable. In other words, the failure of a highly central node leads to a significant loss of performance in the network.

Practical implications

The vulnerability analysis method, developed in this work, provides a decision support tool to implement a cost-effective maintenance strategy, which relies on identifying and prioritizing the vulnerabilities, thereby reducing expenditures on maintenance activities.

Originality/value

By situating the research in the entropy theory context, for the first time, this paper demonstrates how heterogeneity and homogeneity of centrality values measured by the information entropy can be interpreted in terms of the network vulnerability.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Hirokazu Yamada

This study aims to find technologically important patent identification methods and indicators early and efficiently to grasp the technical qualitative level of patents…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to find technologically important patent identification methods and indicators early and efficiently to grasp the technical qualitative level of patents, which are output indicators of research and development (R&D) results.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports on two methods for distinguishing important patents and the indicators obtained from those methods. One of the discrimination methods is Heckman's two-step estimation procedure. The second method is to find the centrality of each patent by network analysis of the citation relationship between publications and to find the importance from the magnitude of the centrality value.

Findings

In Heckman's analysis, the number of citations within three years after publication and the applicant's right acquisition/maintenance motivation index had positive effects on patent importance. The discriminative indicators of important patents by network analysis were degree centrality, mediation centrality, proximity centrality and transit values in the aggregated subnetworks. These two analytical methods are in a relationship that can complement each other's shortcomings. To efficiently evaluate the qualitative importance of patents, it is recommended to use these two methods together.

Research limitations/implications

The indicators of important technical patents might change depending on the technical field. Future studies can apply this research to multiple technical fields to improve robustness and to construct an algorithm that can efficiently evaluate the quality of patents.

Practical implications

This study's results can be useful for grasping the patent position of the company or competitors numerically and for quantitatively evaluating the quality of R&D activities. Furthermore, it is possible to streamline the routine for an exploratory search of a huge number of patents. For example, it could be useful for detecting changes in the paradigm of specific technical knowledge, evolving the genealogy of technical knowledge and creating patent maps for new R&D. These methods greatly increase the effectiveness of technical knowledge information, which is the basis of R&D. In addition, the results of this study can help in evaluating patented assets.

Social implications

This study confirmed the development process of technical knowledge. It is a fact that sharing, sympathy and mutual trust for technical issues and technical values are created among professional engineers and researchers inside and outside the organization, and their preferences and interactions develop and expand technical knowledge. Understanding the process of development and the evolution of this technical knowledge gives hints, such as expanding the discretionary power of engineers and researchers regarding corporate secrets, or reviewing the balance between control and independence, to solve Japanese management problems, which are often closed and monetized in R&D activities.

Originality/value

This study presents a scoring of the technical significance of patents by combining the two analytical methods. In addition, there are proposals as a method for detecting changes in the genealogy and paradigm of technical knowledge. As an analysis method, it is a new proposal that has never existed before.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Seyed Ashkan Zarghami and Jantanee Dumrak

The methods presently used for project stakeholder analysis have typically followed two distinct patterns: (1) a project-centric approach that places a project at the…

866

Abstract

Purpose

The methods presently used for project stakeholder analysis have typically followed two distinct patterns: (1) a project-centric approach that places a project at the center, and subsequently, concentrates on dyadic relationships between the project and its stakeholders; (2) a network theory-based approach that emphasizes on the interconnections within the network of project stakeholders. The main contention of this study is built upon the premise that neither the sole analysis of dyadic relationships between a project and its stakeholders nor the stand-alone use of the network theory methods is adequate for reliable analysis of stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

This article proposes a model that bases the salience of stakeholders on their relationships with the project as well as on their interdependencies in the project. In doing so, this work explores the potential of a Fuzzy Inference System (FIS) to provide a comprehensive picture of stakeholder analysis. Using a real-world biodiversity project, this paper analyses the project stakeholders based on their possession of various attributes as well as the extent to which each individual stakeholder influences the entire connected network of all stakeholders.

Findings

A salient feature of the proposed FIS model is its ability to provide a high capacity for analyzing the results. The model is able to generate the input–output relationship surface view for stakeholder analysis. Further, unlike the traditional project stakeholder analysis methods that are linear, the proposed model is strongly nonlinear. This implies that change in the input variables of the fuzzy-based model is not expected to lead to a proportional change in the model output.

Practical implications

Two practical implications can be drawn from the presented stakeholder analysis model. First, confronted with mounting pressure to understand the stakeholder environment and to effectively manage stakeholders, project managers need to establish a sound stakeholder management strategy. The stakeholder analysis model developed herein casts a wider net for the critical ranking of stakeholders in a project, thereby providing a more accurate prioritization of the stakeholders. Second, while stakeholders independently require managerial attention, understanding the effect of competing and cooperative stakeholder interactions are unarguably of great importance. The presented model prompts the project managers to recognize not only the influence of key stakeholders on the project but also the interactions of multiple stakeholders within the stakeholder network.

Originality/value

The proposed stakeholder analysis model possesses several desirable features. First, it is not constrained to capturing only stakeholder attributes discussed in the example project provided in this study. The model is flexible and adaptable to all business and management contexts. Second, the stakeholder mapping in the model is not a function of a sole attribute but rather a cumulative effect of multiple stakeholder attributes. In fact, the power of the suggested model lies in its ability to incorporate the three aspects of stakeholder theory into a single model. Third, the presented model builds a quantitative and qualitative picture of the stakeholder salience. The suggested FIS model is capable of processing both qualitative perception of stakeholder attributes and quantitative analysis of the network of stakeholder interactions. This allows for a more comprehensive and synergistic utilization of model inputs.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Seung Ik Baek and Young Min Kim

The purpose of this paper is to explore the dynamics of an online community by examining its participants’ centrality measures: degree, closeness, and the betweenness…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the dynamics of an online community by examining its participants’ centrality measures: degree, closeness, and the betweenness centrality. Each centrality measure shows the different roles and positions of an individual participant within an online community. To be specific, this research examines how an individual participant’s role and position affects her/his information sharing activities within an online community over time. Additionally, it investigates the differences between two different online communities (a personal interest focussed community and a social interest focussed community), in terms of the interaction patterns of participants.

Design/methodology/approach

For this research, the authors collected log files from Korean online discussion communities (café.naver.com) using a crawler program. A social network analysis was used to explore the interaction patterns of participants and calculate the centrality measures of individual participants. Time series cross-sectional analysis was used to analyze the effects of the roles and the positions on their information sharing activities in a longitudinal setting.

Findings

The results of this research showed that all three centrality measures of an individual participant in previous time periods positively influenced his/her information sharing activity in the current periods. In addition, this research found that, depending on the nature of the discussion issues, the participants showed different interaction patterns. Throughout this research, the authors explored the interaction patterns of individual participants by using a network variable, the centrality, within a large online community, and found that the interaction patterns provided strong impact on their information sharing activities in the following months.

Research limitations/implications

To investigate the changes of participant’s behaviors, this study simply relies on the numbers of comments received and posted without considering the contents of the comments. Future studies might need to analyze the contents of the comments exchanged between participants, as well as the social network among participants.

Practical implications

Online communities have developed to take a more active role in inviting public opinions and promoting discussion about various socio-economic issues. Governments and companies need to understand the dynamics which are created by the interactions among many participants. This study offers them a framework for analyzing the dynamics of large online communities. Furthermore, it helps them to respond to online communities in the right way and in the right time.

Social implications

Online communities do not merely function as a platform for the free exchange and sharing of personal information and knowledge, but also as a social network that exerts massive influence in various parts of society including politics, economy, and culture. Now online communities become playing an important role in our society. By examining communication or interaction behaviors of individual participants, this study tries to understand how the online communities are evolved over time.

Originality/value

In the area of online communities, many previous studies have relied on the subjective data, like participant’s perception data, in a particular time by using survey or interview. However, this study explores the dynamics of online communities by analyzing the vast amount of data accumulated in online communities.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 115 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

Andreia Fernandes, Patrícia C.T. Gonçalves, Pedro Campos and Catarina Delgado

Based on the data obtained from a questionnaire of 595 people, the authors explore the relative importance of consumers, checking whether socioeconomic variables influence…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the data obtained from a questionnaire of 595 people, the authors explore the relative importance of consumers, checking whether socioeconomic variables influence their centrality, detecting the communities within the network to which they belong, identifying consumption patterns and checking whether there is any relationship between co-marketing and consumer choices.

Design/methodology/approach

A multilayer network is created from data collected through a consumer survey to identify customers’ choices in seven different markets. The authors focus the analysis on a smaller kinship and cohabitation network and apply the LART network community detection algorithm. To verify the association between consumers’ centrality and variables related to their respective socioeconomic profile, the authors develop an econometric model to measure their impact on consumer’s degree centrality.

Findings

Based on 595 responses analysing individual consumers, the authors find out which consumers invest and which variables influence consumers’ centrality. Using a smaller sample of 70 consumers for whom they know kinship and cohabitation relationships, the authors detect communities with the same consumption patterns and verify that this may be an adequate way to establish co-marketing strategies.

Originality/value

Network analysis has become a widely used technique in the extraction of knowledge on consumers. This paper’s main (and novel) contribution lies in providing a greater understanding on how multilayer networks represent hidden databases with potential knowledge to be considered in business decisions. Centrality and community detection are crucial measures in network science which enable customers with the highest potential value to be identified in a network. Customers are increasingly seen as multidimensional, considering their preferences in various markets.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 February 2021

Juliano Munik, Edson Pinheiro de Lima, Fernando Deschamps, Sergio E. Gouvea Da Costa, Eileen M. Van Aken, José Marcelo Almeida Prado Cestari, Louisi Francis Moura and Fernanda Treinta

This study aims to conduct a literature review on factors that influence the implementation and design of performance measurement systems in nonprofit organizations.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to conduct a literature review on factors that influence the implementation and design of performance measurement systems in nonprofit organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The research strategy is conceived through a literature review focused on the analysis of authorship, supported by bibliometric techniques such as citation, co-citation and co-authorship social networks.

Findings

Models and theories proposed for measuring performance in non-profit organizations are being researched, starting to form an intellectual structure related to performance measurement systems and nonprofits. Three main research topics have been given more attention: strategic performance and public service performance, health-care performance and nonprofit operations strategy and performance measurement.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to scientific journal papers and could benefit from the addition of new sources of information such as conference papers, books and standards. The body of knowledge of this topic could also benefit from an in-depth investigation through a comprehensive review of models and theories, as a proposal for a future research agenda.

Practical implications

As practical applications are identified, groups of researchers in different countries and subjects that can generate research agendas, scientific communities used to investigate issues related to performance in nonprofit activities.

Originality/value

Performance measurement in nonprofit organizations is a topic of study that has been receiving considerable attention in recent years, to the point that the literature is revealing specific models for measuring performance in this type of organizations. Particular models and theories are being conceived, specializing existing models and theories related to performance measurement and management.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 November 2020

Dario Cottafava and Laura Corazza

The need for stakeholder theory has been widely highlighted in the literature to develop solid strategies for a large organization. However, there is still a lack of…

Abstract

Purpose

The need for stakeholder theory has been widely highlighted in the literature to develop solid strategies for a large organization. However, there is still a lack of user-friendly visualization tools and no unique approach exists to identify and engage stakeholders. This paper aims to propose a general methodology to co-design the sustainability ecosystem at the local scale, to explore it and to assess the impact of a large organization within the identified ecosystem.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology consists of two main processes: identifying an ontological map of the sustainability topics network and designing the local sustainability stakeholders ecosystem. Both processes are based on a nodes identification phase and a nodes prioritization phase. The identification phase was achieved by engaging 160 citizens, for the topics network and nearly 40 relevant stakeholders, for the stakeholders’ ecosystem, with a collaborative participatory mapping process. The prioritization phase was conducted because of three indicators, i.e. the closeness, the betweenness and the eigenvector centrality.

Findings

Betweenness centrality results to be the best indicator to assess the importance of a stakeholder with respect to the whole network, while eigenvector centrality highlights the quality of the already engaged stakeholders of an organization, as it mainly depends on the number of links of the first order neighbors. On the contrary, the closeness centrality, when applied to a small network, seems to be not appropriate to assess the centrality of a stakeholder.

Research limitations/implications

This approach revealed some criticalities in the mapping process, as in the weighting link procedure. Further investigations are needed to generalize the approach to a dynamic one, to allow real-time mapping and to develop a robust interconnection among centrality degrees and the power, interest and legitimacy concept of stakeholder theory.

Practical implications

Obtained results for a case study, i.e. the position of the University of Turin Green Office within the City of Turin sustainability ecosystem, are discussed showing how social network analysis centrality degrees can be used to quantitatively assess the role of an organization within a stakeholders’ ecosystem.

Social implications

Centrality analysis allows identifying emergent topics/stakeholders within a network of words/actors that, at a first sight, should not be considered by decision-makers and managers.

Originality/value

A new methodology for stakeholder identification and prioritization is proposed exploiting online data visualization tools, participatory mapping and social network analysis.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 50 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Nienke M. Moolenaar and Peter J. C. Sleegers

While in everyday practice, school leaders are often involved in social relationships with a variety of stakeholders both within and outside their own schools, studies on…

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Abstract

Purpose

While in everyday practice, school leaders are often involved in social relationships with a variety of stakeholders both within and outside their own schools, studies on school leaders’ networks often focus either on networks within or outside schools. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which principals occupy similar positions in their school’s network and the larger district network. In addition, the authors examined whether principals’ centrality in both networks can be attributed to demographic characteristics and transformational leadership (TL).

Design/methodology/approach

Using social network analysis, correlational and regression analysis, and an advanced social network technique, namely p2 modeling, the authors analyzed data collected among 708 educators in 46 Dutch elementary schools. The authors also offer a visualization of the district social network to explore principals’ relationships with other principals in the district.

Findings

Results suggest that principals who occupy a central position in their school’s advice network are also more likely to occupy a central position in their district’s collaborative leadership network. Moreover, TL was found to affect the extent to which principals are central in both networks.

Originality/value

The study is unique as it simultaneously explores principals’ social relationships in schools and the larger district. Moreover, the authors advance the knowledge of TL as a possible mechanism that may shape the pattern of these relationships, thereby connecting two streams of literature that were until now largely disconnected. Limitations to the study warrant further qualitative and longitudinal research on principals’ social relationships in schools, districts, and the larger community.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 53 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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