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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Sulafa Badi, Hanxiao Ji and Edward G. Ochieng

This study aims to examine how embeddedness influences consultants' information seeking when making decisions within a social network of relationships, and how these…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how embeddedness influences consultants' information seeking when making decisions within a social network of relationships, and how these social networks evolve throughout the project delivery stages. The study is grounded in social network theory and examines embeddedness from three perspectives: structural (network cohesion), relational (tie strength in terms of friendship and knowledge awareness) and actor prominence.

Design/methodology/approach

A social network analysis (SNA) questionnaire was administered to a team of consultants working on a management consultancy project in Shanghai, China. The SNA measures of density, degree centrality and betweenness centrality were used to analyse relationship patterns among project team members, permitting comparison between the networks. Networks were also compared across the three project delivery stages of collect, consider and create.

Findings

Structural embeddedness was observed in the active information seeking behaviour among consultancy team members. The moderate network density of the self-organising information seeking networks across the project delivery stages ensures that the team remains connected but avoids information redundancy and overload. Relational embeddedness was evident through the multiplexity of ties among team members with overlapping friendship and information seeking relationships. The knowledge awareness network's sparseness indicates a team of autonomous knowledge workers with distributed expertise. Project managers were the most prominent actors across the three project delivery stages, underlining these actors' relational leadership role.

Practical implications

The study provides a deeper understanding of collaborative decision-making behaviours in dynamic-project environments. Limited attempts have been made to visualise and analyse the relationships involved in small consulting teams. The novelty of the network approach adopted stems from its ability to offer a structural view of the relationship among consultants, thus offering a distinctive and arguably more complete picture of consultancy team dynamics.

Originality/value

The study validates the social network theory of embeddedness in a real-world collaborative decision-making setting and provides a deeper understanding of information seeking behaviours for decision-making in dynamic-project environments. From a project management process viewpoint, the evolving nature of the information seeking network as it changes across the project stages with associated actors' roles was also visualised graphically, offering a distinctive and arguably more complete picture of consultancy team dynamics.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 71 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2008

Sandra Meredith and Martha Burkle

The purpose of this paper is to examine the level of benefit to learning through developing strong links between universities and industry, and to suggest a methodology…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the level of benefit to learning through developing strong links between universities and industry, and to suggest a methodology for building bridges between university and industry that provides a full learning experience for students.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach which included the development of interactive projects that join students with industry, and follow‐up questionnaire surveys of the outcomes, carried out among students and businesses.

Findings

It was found that both parties feel that they benefit from building bridges between universities and industry, and data from this research are reported on in greater detail in the latter part of this article

Research limitations/implications

Research is limited to students following the Manufacturing Management and Quality Systems courses within the Industrial Engineering Department of the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico, over a one year period.

Practical implications

Provides evidence for a positive factor that linking university students and industry in joint projects increases the potential for a fuller learning experience for the students.

Originality/value

The paper is based on actual experience of students, teachers and companies who participated in this experimental learning process.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 50 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

Bobby Watkins and Monica Gibson‐Sweet

Observes that a group of seven undergraduate consultancy project team members, studying in the final year of a business degree, greatly benefited from utilizing Meredith…

5714

Abstract

Observes that a group of seven undergraduate consultancy project team members, studying in the final year of a business degree, greatly benefited from utilizing Meredith Belbin’s team role theory. Notes that Belbin’s approach was particularly useful in identifying strengths and weaknesses; enabling tasks to be allocated based on competence. Also that a method for retrospective analysis of the team’s performance was developed using Belbin’s framework. In some cases the perception of self differed significantly from the observed actions and behaviours. Points out that each team member completed Belbin’s psychometric test at the outset of the project and that these results were then tested through peer assessment at the end of the project, using a hypothetico‐deductive method. Uses an analogous framework to illustrate the level of cohesion and team role balance necessary for the team to perform effectively. Concludes that the learning potential of students can be maximized by enabling them to experience and reflect on the realities of team working for themselves.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Simon O’Leary

This research aims to assess how marketing-related projects with small- and medium-size enterprises act as a form of experiential learning and help develop entrepreneurial…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to assess how marketing-related projects with small- and medium-size enterprises act as a form of experiential learning and help develop entrepreneurial and employability attributes for students in higher education (HE).

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on published material and an evaluation, within HE, of consultancy projects as a final assessment option alongside the well-established dissertation.

Findings

External initiatives that embrace experiential learning have helped students develop a better appreciation of client needs, while enhancing their confidence and team-working skills. The institutional degree programme studied is in its seventh year and more than half of students have chosen the project option so far. One key finding is the pivotal role of the academic supervisor and a need for that person to have suitable industry and sector knowledge, as well as effective and empathetic client relationship management abilities.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to one programme at one university but, as it encompasses a very broad definition of marketing-related activities, covers several years and is part of a longer-term longitudinal study, it constitutes research from which some conclusions can be drawn.

Practical implications

In addition to enhancing the students’ entrepreneurial and employability attributes, outward-facing activities help enrich the overall student experience and also offer HE institutions an opportunity to raise their profile with external organisations.

Social implications

With graduate employability rising in importance, initiatives such as these can help develop important graduate attributes and capabilities.

Originality/value

The principal originality and value is that this is a starting point for a potential longitudinal study of the impact of experiential learning and client-orientated projects on graduate career development.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Sui Pheng Low, Shang Gao and Ling Ling Grace Teo

The building sector is one of the main contributors to carbon dioxide emissions in Singapore. Over 90 per cent of life-cycle carbon emissions are due to the operations…

Abstract

Purpose

The building sector is one of the main contributors to carbon dioxide emissions in Singapore. Over 90 per cent of life-cycle carbon emissions are due to the operations phase of buildings, and 90 to 98 per cent of the building cost is associated with operation, maintenance and personnel costs. Hence, occupants have a major role in achieving environmental sustainability objectives. This study aims to understand the awareness level of potential homeowners and real estate agents concerning environmental sustainability issues in the built environment, to identify the types of green features required by potential homeowners and to understand real estate agents’ perceptions of the types of green features required by the homeowners in a green condominium.

Design/methodology/approach

The features of the Green Mark (GM)-awarded buildings, as well as the benefits derived by homeowners were identified from the literature. A survey of a group of potential homeowners and real estate agents was carried out in Singapore to analyse the gap, if any, between the potential homeowners’ needs and expectations and real estate agents’ perceptions of these needs and expectations with respect to the green features in the homes.

Findings

The results indicate that potential homeowners are more aware of environmental sustainability issues in the built environment than are real estate agents; potential homeowners seem to be more supportive of environmentally sustainable development than the real estate agents are aware of, despite the fact that the price of the apartment remains an important deciding factor; and potential homeowners are more concerned about the ease of maintaining green homes and paying greater attention to green features in the areas most heavily promoted by the government. However, green features do not constitute the main considerations of potential homeowners when making the decision to buy a green home.

Research limitations/implications

To close the gaps identified in the analysis, recommendations are suggested, including having public education and awareness campaigns to emphasize the long-term energy savings of green homes, conducting GM courses for real estate agents and involving real estate agents in the developers’ project consultancy team.

Originality/value

As there has been no prior research in this area, this study serves to provide fresh perspectives on how developers can better select the types of green features to be included in the green homes, so as to meet the potential homeowners’ needs and expectations and, at the same time, balance mandatory GM requirements with such demands. Choosing the right type of green features to incorporate in a residential development for homeowners to utilize increases the owners’ satisfaction level and allows them to reap the intended benefits of green features.

Details

Facilities, vol. 34 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1997

Eric Sandelands

Discusses, in this special issue, material grouped under four main headings: tomorrow’s executive challenges; effective organizational learning; the virtual university…

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Abstract

Discusses, in this special issue, material grouped under four main headings: tomorrow’s executive challenges; effective organizational learning; the virtual university model; and effective training capabilities. The items included are brief and to the point allowing the reader to take on board ranges of ideas and issues. Includes studies on IKEA; mentoring; Whitbread; Polaroid; BAA; Sema Group; Starbucks and McDonalds, among others.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Angela Eden

Advances in technology and changes in economic factors have resulted in a steady shift towards greater flexibility in working and employment patterns. Argues that this is…

1342

Abstract

Advances in technology and changes in economic factors have resulted in a steady shift towards greater flexibility in working and employment patterns. Argues that this is not a new phenomenon, but the changes do mean that the human resource management function within an organization does need to recognize and implement the changes that are necessary to ensure that organizations and individuals get the support they need to cope with such change.

Details

Work Study, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

293

Abstract

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 August 2010

Sara Nolan

94

Abstract

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

Article
Publication date: 10 November 2014

Atif Ahmad and Sean Maynard

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development, design, delivery and evaluation of a postgraduate information security subject that focuses on a managerial…

2431

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the development, design, delivery and evaluation of a postgraduate information security subject that focuses on a managerial, rather than the more frequently reported technical perspective. The authors aimed to create an atmosphere of intellectual excitement and discovery so that students felt empowered by new ideas, tools and techniques and realized the potential value of what they were learning in the industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops fundamental principles and arguments that inform the design and development of the teaching curriculum. The curriculum is aimed at security management professionals in general and consultants in particular. The paper explains the teaching method in detail including the specific topics of lectures, representative reading material, assessment tasks and feedback mechanisms. Finally, lessons learned by the authors and their conclusions are presented as a form of reflection.

Findings

The instructors recognized four key factors that played a role in the atmosphere of intellectual excitement and motivation. These were new concepts and ideas, an increased level of engagement, opportunities for students to make their own discoveries and knowledge presented in a practical context. Maintaining a high quality of teaching resources, catering for diverse student needs and incorporating learning cycles of assessment in a short period of time were additional challenges.

Originality/value

Most “information security” curricula described in research literature take a technology-oriented perspective. This paper presents a much-needed management point of view. The teaching curriculum (including assessment tasks) and experiences will be useful to existing and future teaching and research academics in “information security management”. Those interested in developing their own teaching material will benefit from the discussion on potential topic areas, choice of assessment tasks and selection of recommended reading material.

Details

Information Management & Computer Security, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-5227

Keywords

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