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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2020

Steffen Roth, Vladislav Valentinov and Lars Clausen

This paper aims to probe the limits of the empirical-normative divide as a conceptual framework in business ethics.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to probe the limits of the empirical-normative divide as a conceptual framework in business ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

A systems theory perspective debunks this divide as a false distinction that cannot do justice to the conceptual complexity of the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) scholarship.

Findings

Drawing on the systems-theoretic ideas of Niklas Luhmann and the “Laws of Form” by George Spencer Brown, the paper shows that the divide may be dissected into a four-cell matrix constituted by two other distinctions-descriptive vs prescriptive and categorical vs hypothetical-the latter of which was seminally suggested by Donaldson and Preston (1995).

Practical implications

The emerging four-cell matrix is shown to centrally embrace the multiplicity of normative, empirical and instrumental approaches to CSR. This multiplicity is exemplified by the application of these approaches to the phenomenon of CSR communication.

Social implications

A more general implication of the proposed argument for the field of business ethics is in tracing the phenomena of moral diversity and moral ambivalence back to the regime of functional differentiation as the distinguishing feature of the modern society. This argument drives home the point that economic operations are as ethical or unethical as political operations, and that both economic and political perspectives on ethical issues are as important or unimportant as are religious, artistic, educational or scientific perspectives.

Originality/value

In contrast to the empirical-normative divide, the perspective is shown to centrally embrace the multiplicity of normative, empirical and instrumental approaches to CSR.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Naga Vamsi Krishna Jasti and Rambabu Kodali

The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on empirical research in lean manufacturing (LM). It provides a critical assessment of empirical research…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on empirical research in lean manufacturing (LM). It provides a critical assessment of empirical research methodology of 178 research articles published from 1990 to 2009.

Design/methodology/approach

The article reviewed a set of 178 empirical research articles in LM research with respect to empirical research design and its related facets. The 236 empirical research articles which are published in 70 journals during 1990-2009 are collected from four major management science publishers, namely, Emerald Online, Science Direct, Springer Link and Taylor & Francis. In total 178 research articles published in 24 journals are selected for critical review of empirical research methodology in LM. The approach for the critical review of 178 empirical research articles in LM is based on empirical research approach given by Flynn et al. (1990). The critical review discusses the current status of empirical research in LM and future directions.

Findings

It is concluded from the analysis of the results that: the number of empirical research articles in LM is increasing at a faster pace than ever before; theory building and theory verification articles are equally advanced; the researchers have also unexplored various aspects of empirical research such as importance of triangulation of data, alternate research designs other than survey and case studies; contextual focus is mostly on the manufacturing industry; more focus required on other aspects of empirical research such as collecting the samples from developing and undeveloped countries, larger sample size, longitudinal data collection methods. Finally, it concludes that there is a need of LM frameworks, which gives the stepwise process to remove all kinds of wastes from any organization.

Originality/value

To the knowledge of the authors, it is the first of its kind attempt to critically review the empirical research articles in LM. The review analysis entirely focussed on descriptive statistics of empirical research in LM. The sample size is one of the unique features of this research as the number of shortlisted articles is 178 in 24 journals published over a time span of 20 years (1990-2009).

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

François-Xavier DeVaujany, Sabine Carton, Nathalie Mitev and Cécile Romeyer

This paper investigates how Information Systems (IS) researchers apply institutional theoretical frameworks. The purpose of this paper is to explore the operationalization…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates how Information Systems (IS) researchers apply institutional theoretical frameworks. The purpose of this paper is to explore the operationalization of meta-theoretical frameworks for empirical research which can often present difficulties in IS research. The authors include theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects to explore modalities of use and suggest further avenues.

Design/methodology/approach

After an overview of institutional concepts, the authors carry out a thematic analysis of journal papers on IS and institutional frameworks indexed in EBSCO and ABI databases from 1999 to 2009. This consists of descriptive, thematic coding and cluster analysis of this textual database, this combined qualitative and quantitative method offers a unique way of analyzing how operationalization is carried out.

Findings

The findings suggest three groups of publications which represent different methodological approaches and empirical foci: “descriptive exploratory approaches,” “generalizing approaches,” and “sociological approaches.” The authors suggest that these three groups represent possible patterns of the use of “meta” social theories in IS research, reflecting a search for disciplinary legitimacy. This helps us analyze papers according to how they use and apply theories. The authors identify the “organizing vision” and the regulatory approach as two institutionalist “intermediary” concepts developed by IS researchers. Furthermore, the authors find that institutional theoretical frameworks have been used in “direct,” “intermediary” or “combined” conceptualizations. The authors also confirm the dynamism of the IS institutional research stream, as evidenced by the increase in number of articles between 1999 and 2009, and identify a maturation process of the IS field in investigating a social theory.

Originality/value

The evolution the authors identify in the application of institutional theoretical frameworks in the IS field reveals conformity in methodological, theoretical and empirical terms. By identifying these patterns, it becomes possible to understand institutional reasons for their existence and legitimacy; and to propose other avenues of exploration in future IS research, such as combining different theoretical lenses in institutional frameworks. The methodological contribution is to provide an innovative methodology which helps describe categories and levels of institutional theoretical frameworks used, leading to the identification of gaps and proposing further avenues of research.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

Vahed Ghiasi, Samad Ghiasi and Arun Prasad

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the methods employed for classifying and quantifying the potential of squeezing in tunnels. Along with the empirical and semi…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the methods employed for classifying and quantifying the potential of squeezing in tunnels. Along with the empirical and semi‐empirical approaches presently available in order to anticipate the potential of squeezing tunnel problems, the squeezing potential of Karaj water transfer tunnel and North West Tunnel Convey (NWTC) tunnels (Lot 2), located in Iran, are evaluated and presented. Those two case studies have an interesting geology profile and parameters to identify and then evaluate the squeezing potential.

Design/methodology/approach

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the tunnel construction. This paper describes the squeezing behavior of poor rock mass associated with deformability and strength properties. In Karaj water transfer tunnel, there are eight lithological rock types; and NWTC tunnel (Lot2) has 21 Lithological rock types. The parameters for rock classification, such as rock quality designation (RQD), rock mass rating (RMR), modified RMR, Q‐system, geological strength index (GSI), rock mass index (RMi), and rock structure rating (RSR) are evaluated and presented here. The parameters mentioned above are the input parameters for squeezing study in Karaj and NWTC tunnels. According to different methods of squeezing evaluation of tunnel presented in tables, the results of two case studies are presented in this paper.

Findings

One of the more significant findings to emerge from this study showed that about 3 km of the second part of NWTC tunnel, and 2 km of the Karaj tunnel have high squeezing potential. This research deals with not only an overview of the methods used for the identifying and quantifying of squeezing along with the empirical and semi‐empirical approaches presently available in order to anticipate the potential of squeezing tunnel problem, but also the case studies of NWTC and Karaj tunnels to evaluate and compare the potential of squeezing by different methods. These two tunnel case studies have high potential of squeezing therefore the lining of those two tunnels must be strong enough to overcome this issue.

Originality/value

This study is a precise and concise comparison of the evaluation of tunnels under squeezing rock condition. The present study confirms the previous findings and contributes additional evidence that suggests that there are many studies conducted using empirical and analytical methods to determine the squeezing phenomenon in tunnels. This paper responds to the various questions like, what is the squeezing phenomenon. How can we quantify the potential of squeezing in weak rock? What are the different approaches to the understanding of squeezing phenomenon?

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Martina G. Gallarza, Francisco Arteaga, Giacomo Del Chiappa, Irene Gil-Saura and Morris B. Holbrook

In the fertile line of research on consumer value from the services literature, a gap exists between theoretical and empirical knowledge, in particular regarding…

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Abstract

Purpose

In the fertile line of research on consumer value from the services literature, a gap exists between theoretical and empirical knowledge, in particular regarding Holbrook’s conceptual value framework. The purpose of this paper is to find construct validity for a multidimensional value scale based on Holbrook’s proposal.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review, a qualitative phase, and consultation with an expert, eight value scales (efficiency, service quality, play, aesthetics, status, esteem, ethics, and escapism as an adaptation of spirituality) are tested on a sample of 585 hotel customers and are further analyzed with simple and partial correlations, multiple regressions, and structural modeling.

Findings

Following the literature on the merits of Holbrook’s value typology, results are presented in three concatenated phases: validation of Holbrook’s eight value scales corresponding to his eight value types; interrelationships between these value types showing a predominance of the extrinsic-intrinsic and self-other dimensions; and construction of six indices based on the 2×2×2 matrix (self, other, extrinsic, intrinsic, active, and reactive) and a value index as a higher-order representation. The results support Holbrook’s typology, thereby supporting construct validity for the multidimensional scales.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for further conceptual research on value are presented. Meanwhile, the empirical study is context-specific, i.e. related to a hospitality experience.

Originality/value

Although Holbrook’s typology has gained widespread attention, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no previous research has tested all eight value types simultaneously in the same empirical work.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2012

Gunjan Soni and Rambabu Kodali

The purpose of this paper is to review the extant literature on empirical research in supply chain management (SCM). It provides a comprehensive assessment of research…

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3641

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the extant literature on empirical research in supply chain management (SCM). It provides a comprehensive assessment of research methodology of 619 empirical research articles on SCM published between 1994 and 2009. In total, 21 journals were short listed out of 115 journals for the purpose.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviewed a set of 619 empirical research articles in SCM research with respect to empirical research methodology and its related aspects, using the empirical research approach given by Flynn et al. The paper demonstrates the present status of empirical research in SCM.

Findings

It is concluded from the analysis of the results that empirical research in SCM is increasing at a faster rate than ever, with theory building more in focus than verification. On the other hand, SCM researchers seems to have left several aspects of empirical research unexplored, such as action research, significance of triangulation of data and longitudinal data collection. Other significant findings revealed that SCM research is very scanty in developing countries, the majority of research papers are written at firm level only and several industrial sectors such as construction, retail, and agriculture are still unexamined.

Originality/value

There have been a couple of literature reviews in SCM but none of them focused exclusively on empirical research methodology in SCM. Also the sample size with respect to the number of papers (619 papers), as well as number of journals (21 journals), is larger than ever considered for literature review in SCM. The papers spans a longer time period of 16 years (1994‐2009).

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Rolf Aaberge and Ugo Colombino

Abstract

Details

Handbook of Microsimulation Modelling
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-570-8

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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2018

Hedda Ofoole Knoll and Sarah Margaretha Jastram

This paper aims to highlight the challenges and opportunities of sustainable global value chain governance, it demonstrates strong theoretical deficits in this field and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight the challenges and opportunities of sustainable global value chain governance, it demonstrates strong theoretical deficits in this field and offers new pragmatist conceptual perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis is based on document analyses, 47 expert interviews and on field observations in Ghana, Africa.

Findings

Based on an in-depth analysis of a US firm operating a fair trade value chain in an intercultural environment, the authors show that universalistic value chain-oriented governance instruments often fail because of strong institutional and cultural distances. Against the prevailing strategies of top-down management, the authors suggest a more bottom-up, pragmatist and collaboration-based approach to sustainable global value chain governance.

Research limitations/implications

The results of an in-depth case study are not generalizable. Instead, they provide holistic insights into a so-far insufficiently examined field and an empirical fundament for further research on sustainable governance in global value chains. In particular, research on pragmatist, collaborative, dialogue based, bottom-up approaches of sustainable value chain governance will be of great value to further theoretical development of this field.

Practical implications

This study is relevant to researchers and practitioners in the field of sustainable value chain governance. It reveals several misunderstandings about the effectiveness and impacts of sustainable governance in less developed countries and thus builds a foundation for better and more effective problem-solving approaches in international sustainable management activities.

Social implications

Nontransparent supplier networks and (illegal) sub-contracting, as well as the strong influences of institutional, cultural and sub-cultural factors, make responsible value chain management a challenging task for any firm with international value creation activities. This leaves workers in local factories vulnerable to infringements of their fundamental human rights and the environment unprotected against long-lasting damages. Addressing these challenges and developing new solutions, therefore, can have strong impacts on the lives of workers in international supply chains.

Originality/value

The authors contribute, first, a differentiated empirical description and analysis of a sustainable value chain approach in a less developed country in Africa. Second, using an example of the field study, the authors highlight limitations of value chain-related governance theory based on a field study by illustrating the challenges and barriers and a lack of existing concepts concerning effective sustainable governance in global value chains. Third, the authors show different managerial responses to these cultural and institutional challenges between universalism and relativism, and, fourth, the authors suggest a more collaborative, bottom-up and pragmatist approach to sustainable value chain governance.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1995

S. Yoshimura, Y. Mochizuki and G. Yagawa

This paper describes an automated design system for nuclear structuralcomponents under complicated loading conditions. As a basic strategy ofdesigning structures…

Abstract

This paper describes an automated design system for nuclear structural components under complicated loading conditions. As a basic strategy of designing structures considering various loading conditions, the “generate and test” strategy is adopted because of simplicity and broad applicability. The object‐oriented knowledge representation technique is adopted to store knowledge modules related to design problems, while the data‐flow processing technique is utilized as an inference mechanism among the knowledge modules. As efficient design modification mechanisms, the present system utilizes two approaches, (a) an empirical approach based on experts’ empirical knowledge and the fuzzy control, and (b) a mathematical approach based on numerical sensitivity analysis. Using the present system, one can also obtain a “design window” which designates a satisfaction area for all design criteria in a design variable space. The fundamental performances of this system are clearly demonstrated through the design of a two‐dimensional model of the fusion first wall with a circular cooling channel.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 12 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Shu‐Jung Sunny Yang and Yanto Chandra

The aim of this paper is to offer agent‐based modelling (ABM) as an alternative approach to advance research in entrepreneurship. It argues that ABM allows…

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1237

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to offer agent‐based modelling (ABM) as an alternative approach to advance research in entrepreneurship. It argues that ABM allows entrepreneurship researchers (i.e. the designers) to find better ways in generating entrepreneurial outcomes by understanding alternative histories and examining a plausible future.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper begins with an overview of ABM, and discusses the shared conceptual foundations of entrepreneurship and ABM as the motives for the adoption of ABM as an appropriate methodology to study entrepreneurship. It offers a roadmap in using ABM approach for entrepreneurship research and illustrates this using a contemporary research question in entrepreneurship: the study of success/failure in business venturing.

Findings

This paper suggests the shared foundations between ABM and entrepreneurship as the basis for bringing the methodology and research domain closer. It offers a roadmap for advancing entrepreneurship research using agent‐based simulation approach and explains the contribution of ABM to further advance entrepreneurship research.

Originality/value

This paper addresses the methodological gap in entrepreneurship research and develops the argument for a wider adoption of ABM simulation approach to study entrepreneurship. It bridges the gap by examining the possibility of formalizing entrepreneurship processes by grounding an agent‐based model on empirical facts and generally‐accepted foundations of entrepreneurship. It offers a contribution to the literature by showing that ABM is a useful and appropriate methodological approach for entrepreneurship research in addition to the conventional variance and process approach.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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