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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Merlin Stone, Jonathan Knapper, Geraint Evans and Eleni Aravopoulou

The purpose of this paper is to investigate information management in a smart city. It identifies the main trends in progress and how innovation in information technology…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate information management in a smart city. It identifies the main trends in progress and how innovation in information technology is helping all those in the smart city ecosystem in terms of generating new sources of data and connecting them. It investigates how information management in the smart city may go through several phases, but contests the notion that the co-ordinated information management that is the dream of many city managers is an appropriate vision, given the tendency in the private sector for competing information platforms to develop, giving value in different ways.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper has been written by using a combination of academic insight and literature, extensive research of relevant grey literature (e.g. blogs and industry press) and interviews and interaction with some of the organisations involved in developing and implementing the smart city concept, including public transport organisations, other data providers, analysts and systems and sensor suppliers.

Findings

Smart city concepts are evolving in different ways, with divergence of views which involves centralisation and control of information by city authorities and a more democratic view in which the information is managed on different platforms between which smart city stakeholders can choose.

Research limitations/implications

The research method is exploratory. Validating the findings would require a more structured approach in which stakeholders of all kinds are consulted.

Practical implications

All organisational stakeholders in the idea and delivery of smart cities need to consider how their interests in smart city information and those of other stakeholders are evolving and to what extent they should be in partnership with other members of the ecosystem in generating and using the information.

Social implications

Individuals, whether workers, commuters, shoppers, tourists or others, will be greatly affected by the evolution of smart city information, and their choices about whether to be smart themselves will have an important effect on the benefits they receive from city smartening and on the viability of the smart cities.

Originality/value

Little research has been carried out into the different choices organisations and individuals have in terms of how they will relate to smart city information and how they can manage it. This research makes a start on this task.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 31 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 April 2020

Merlin Stone, Eleni Aravopoulou, Yuksel Ekinci, Geraint Evans, Matt Hobbs, Ashraf Labib, Paul Laughlin, Jon Machtynger and Liz Machtynger

The purpose of this paper is to review literature about the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in strategic situations and identify the research that is needed…

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2703

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review literature about the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in strategic situations and identify the research that is needed in the area of applying AI to strategic marketing decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach was to carry out a literature review and to consult with marketing experts who were invited to contribute to the paper.

Findings

There is little research into applying AI to strategic marketing decision-making. This research is needed, as the frontier of AI application to decision-making is moving in many management areas from operational to strategic. Given the competitive nature of such decisions and the insights from applying AI to defence and similar areas, it is time to focus on applying AI to strategic marketing decisions.

Research limitations/implications

The application of AI to strategic marketing decision-making is known to be taking place, but as it is commercially sensitive, data is not available to the authors.

Practical implications

There are strong implications for all businesses, particularly large businesses in competitive industries, where failure to deploy AI in the face of competition from firms, who have deployed AI to improve their decision-making could be dangerous.

Social implications

The public sector is a very important marketing decision maker. Although in most cases it does not operate competitively, it must make decisions about making different services available to different citizens and identify the risks of not providing services to certain citizens; so, this paper is relevant to the public sector.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first papers to probe deployment of AI in strategic marketing decision-making.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2020

Brett Parnell, Merlin Stone and Eleni Aravopoulou

This paper aims to explore the problems of managing superprojects and identifies how a different approach to controlling them can reduce the incidence of cost and time…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the problems of managing superprojects and identifies how a different approach to controlling them can reduce the incidence of cost and time overruns and benefit shortfalls.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review accompanied by conceptual analysis.

Findings

Project cost and timing overruns and benefit shortfalls are very frequent in superprojects. These problems can be ascribed partly to the way in which they are planned is not taken into account in designing and implementing control systems, particularly the governance processes and the information they have available.

Practical implications

This paper has serious implications for those designing control processes, governance and information management for superprojects. It suggests that if a new approach is taken, fewer superprojects will suffer from cost overruns and benefit shortfalls because remedial actions will be taken earlier for projects, which are experiencing problems, while learning will be fed back to those planning new projects.

Social implications

There will be saving of public money and reduced deferment of benefits that normally result from failed or delayed projects and reduced allocation of large incremental budgets dedicated to resolving problems.

Originality/value

The taxonomy of different types of superprojects is original, as is the idea of ambidextrous control, and the diagnosis of failure reasons lying in the nature of control and governance processes, and the lack of relevant information available during the control process.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 March 2019

Merlin Stone, Neil Woodcock, Yuksel Ekinci, Eleni Aravopoulou and Brett David Parnell

This paper aims to review the development of thinking about the information needed by companies to create an accurate picture of how well they manage their engagement with…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the development of thinking about the information needed by companies to create an accurate picture of how well they manage their engagement with customers, taking into account the evolution of thinking and practice in this area over the past three decades towards the idea of data-driven customer engagement. It then describes the evolution and use of an assessment and benchmarking process and tool which provide the needed information.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review, conceptual analysis and explanation of the management consulting process are used.

Findings

Companies can get an accurate picture of how well they manage customer engagement provided that a careful assessment approach is used where assessors are properly selected and trained and that there is a strong focus on compliance with requirements rather than “box-ticking” based upon managers’ perceptions.

Research limitations/implications

The assessment and benchmarking process was developed mainly for use by larger companies, though the findings could be adapted for use by smaller companies.

Practical implications

Companies whose success depends upon customer engagement should consider using the assessment and benchmarking tool to guide their planning and implementation. They should heed the warnings about the risks of inaccurate assessments which may arise because of the incentives by which managers are managed.

Social implications

The assessment and benchmarking process has been used by the public sector and government, and given government’s desire to engage citizens better, they should consider adopting the ideas in this paper to reform citizen engagement.

Originality/value

This is the only paper which reviews the development of the assessment process for customer engagement.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Merlin Stone and Eleni Aravopoulou

This case study describes how one of the world’s largest public transport operations, Transport for London (TfL), transformed the real-time availability of information for…

Abstract

Purpose

This case study describes how one of the world’s largest public transport operations, Transport for London (TfL), transformed the real-time availability of information for its customers and staff through the open data approach, and what the results of this transformation were. The purpose of this paper is therefore to show what is required for an open data approach to work.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study is based mainly on interviews at TfL and data supplied by TfL directly to the researchers. It analyses as far as possible the reported facts of the case to identify the processes required for open data and the benefits thereof.

Findings

The main finding is that achieving an open data approach in public transport is helped by having a clear commitment to the idea that the data belong to the public and that third parties should be allowed to use and repurpose the information, by having a strong digital strategy, and by creating strong partnerships with data management organisations that can support the delivery of high volumes of information.

Research limitations/implications

This research is based upon a single case study, albeit over an extensive period, so the findings cannot be applied simply to other situations, other than as evidence of what is possible. However, similar processes could be applied in other situations as a heuristic approach to open data strategy implementation.

Practical implications

The case study shows how open data can be used to create commercial and non-commercial customer-facing products and services, which passengers and other road users use to gain a better travel experience, and that this approach can be valued in terms of financial/economic contribution to customers and organisations.

Social implications

This case study shows the value that society can obtain from the opening of data in public transport, and the importance of public service innovation in delivering benefits to citizens.

Originality/value

This is the first case study to show in some detail some of the processes and activities required to open data to public service customers and others.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Suzanne Jozefowicz, Merlin Stone and Eleni Aravopoulou

The purpose of this paper is to explain the rise of geospatial data, its importance for business and some of the problems associated with its development and use.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the rise of geospatial data, its importance for business and some of the problems associated with its development and use.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews a certain amount of previously published literature but is based mainly on analysis of the very large number of responses to a consultation paper on geospatial data published by the UK Government.

Findings

The findings are that while there is strong appreciation of the potential benefits of using geospatial data, there are many barriers to the development, sharing and use of geospatial data, ranging from problems of incompatibility in data definitions and systems to regulatory issues. The implication for governments and for providers and users of geospatial data relates to the need to take a long-term approach to planning in resolving the issues identified.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings are limited to the UK, but similar findings would be likely in any other large Western country.

Practical implications

This paper confirms the need for a strong and coherent approach to the planning of geospatial data and systems for the establishment of a clear basis for the different parties to work together and the need to clearly separate the roles of the government in establishing frameworks and standards and the role of the private sector in developing applications and solutions.

Social implications

Society is increasingly dependent on the use of geospatial data, in improving living standards and dealing with social problems. The recommendations identified in this paper, if followed, will facilitate these improvements.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is the tight synthesis that it provides of a wide ranging and complex range of responses to the UK Government consultation and placing these responses in the wider context of the development of geospatial data.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Brett David Parnell, Ryan Stott, Merlin Stone, Eleni Aravopoulou and Lucy Timms

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of analysts in providing information to support business model innovation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of analysts in providing information to support business model innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on initial research by two of the co-authors on business models (Stott et al., 2016), to which is added the experience of members of the team in working in strategic analyst firms or in working closely with clients of business analyst firms and further secondary data.

Findings

The findings of this paper show that analysts could do more to help their clients capture the opportunities and meet the threats of business model innovation, but this may require business leaders and analyst firms to think differently about their mutual relationship, particularly the briefs that clients provide analysts and how analysts aggregate information to provide a clearer picture of business model choices and their likely consequences.

Research limitations/implications

This paper needs confirmation of views by primary empirical research.

Practical implications

This study identifies the need for firms to brief their analysts to provide much enhanced information concerning business model opportunities and threats, and for teachers and researchers in marketing to become more closely acquainted with the business model literature and analyst reports and processes.

Social implications

As the idea of business model change becomes a more acceptable part of the strategic armoury of firms, the understanding of the information requirements to support such change to become more widely understood, and business model change to be consequently more common can be expected. This paper contributes to the understanding of the information requirements involved in such changes.

Originality/value

This study highlights the gap in the discussion of information provision to business leaders concerning business model innovation requirements and threats.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Merlin Stone, Jon Machtynger, Liz Machtynger and Eleni Aravopoulou

The purpose of this paper is to identify the main characteristics of what have come to be called information nations and to identify some of the determinants of success in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the main characteristics of what have come to be called information nations and to identify some of the determinants of success in becoming an information nation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a critical review of the literature and of secondary data on information technology and services from studies of the innovativeness of nations.

Findings

Success in becoming an information nation is not necessarily closely connected with investments in information technology and services by firms and policies supporting these investments by governments, or with education policies designed to support the development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Other factors, such as the vibrancy of capitalism, particularly the funding of new ventures, the culture of the nation and its focus on non-scientific determinants of innovation, such as design, are also important. Governments should be careful not to take credit for achievements when their policies are merely coincident with those achievements.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations relate to the focus of this article on two sets of nations, South East/East Asia and two Western nations. The review of their performance is relatively high level and needs to be deepened, while the number of nations included in the research needs to be increased.

Practical implications

This paper has substantial practical implications for government policymakers, in terms of whether and how they should make policy at all in this area, and for companies trying to establish a long-term position in the global economy, in terms of being careful not to go against the very strong economic forces which favour certain kinds of activities in certain countries.

Social implications

This paper has significant social implications, because much of the thinking about developing information societies relies on generalisations about the creation of information nations that may not hold. Governments and social commentators are encouraged to approach the idea of making “big policies” in this area with some scepticism.

Originality/value

The content of this paper is not original, but the challenge to policymakers is relatively original, as too often the work of academics is sponsored by governments that are trying to legitimate the value of their own efforts.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2018

Brett Parnell, Merlin Stone and Eleni Aravopoulou

The purpose of this study is to explore the information leaders keep their organisations competitive by determining if their business model is under threat and/or needs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the information leaders keep their organisations competitive by determining if their business model is under threat and/or needs changing and whether business model innovation is needed.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a grounded theory approach to probe an area which has been so far researched very little.

Findings

The paper identifies that while quality of management information affects leaders’ decisions about whether their business model is under threat or needs changing, leaders may or may not choose to use it.

Research limitations/implications

The research was carried out with large firms in six sectors in the UK. Research in other sectors, in smaller firms and in other countries, should be carried out to test generalisability.

Practical implications

Although many large firms have made very large investments into areas such as customer insight in the past few years, there may be resistance to using this information even if it indicates that a firm’s current business model is under threat, because of straightforward denial or because of the inertia associated with factors such as difficulties in changing business models or the extent to which the firm’s financial situation is based upon exploiting its current business model, no matter how much that model is under threat from firms with other business models. Therefore, in strategic reviews, firms should factor in these risks and seek to mitigate them.

Social implications

In public sector organisations, these risks of denial or inertia may be stronger because of conservatism and lack of willingness to take the risks of change, so public sector decision makers need to be particularly aware of these risks and seek to mitigate them.

Originality/value

The theoretical contribution of this research is to add to business model and strategic management literature by explaining the role that information plays in business model choice and how its role depends on whether and how the information is used by senior management.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2018

Merlin Stone, Eleni Aravopoulou, Geraint Evans, Esra Aldhaen and Brett David Parnell

This paper reviews the literature on information mismanagement and constructs a typology of misinformation that can be applied to analyse project planning and strategic…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper reviews the literature on information mismanagement and constructs a typology of misinformation that can be applied to analyse project planning and strategic planning processes to reduce the chances of failure that results from information mismanagement. This paper aims to summarize the research on information mismanagement and provide guidance to managers concerning how to minimize the negative consequences of information mismanagement and to academics concerning how to research and analyse case studies that might involve information mismanagement.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review accompanied by conceptual analysis.

Findings

Information mismanagement is widespread in organizations, so all those involved in managing and researching them need to be far more aware of the damage that can be done by it.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on the Western society (Europe and North America). The same research should be carried out in other parts of the world. Also, all the case studies could usefully be investigated in more depth to apply the taxonomy.

Practical implications

Managers should be much more aware of their own and others’ tendencies to mismanage information to their own benefit.

Social implications

Stakeholders in public sector activities, including citizens, should be much more aware of the tendency of the government and the public sector to mismanage information to justify particular policy approaches and to disguise failure.

Originality/value

The taxonomy on information mismanagement is original, as is its application to project planning and strategic decision-making.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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