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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Ilias Vlachos and Evangelia Siachou

The purpose of this paper is to identify workplace factors with an impact on lean performance (LP). This can lead to better LP outcomes, thus facilitating organizations to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify workplace factors with an impact on lean performance (LP). This can lead to better LP outcomes, thus facilitating organizations to smoothly move from the conventional to lean management.

Design/methodology/approach

The direct effects of training, knowledge acquisition and organizational culture are empirically investigated using data from 126 managers employed at a global company, which recently has improved its LP. Study’s hypotheses were analyzed with hierarchical regression models.

Findings

The findings suggest that not all of the aforementioned workplace factors holistically affect LP. Only organizational culture is associated to the four LP variables (i.e. continuous improvement, waste, ergonomy and product quality). Training and knowledge acquisition offer partially effects on LP with training to contribute mostly to predicting continuous improvements. Knowledge acquisition alone, has significant yet negative impact on both continuous improvement and ergonomy. Even more, when training is combined with knowledge acquisition the results are different.

Originality/value

As this study highlights the impact of workplace practices on LP, attributes mainly importance to the distinct effects that each of the aforementioned factors has on the four distinct LP variables. Although the study results reflect a particular case, its recommendations could facilitate practitioners to achieve better lean outcomes.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 67 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2020

Ilias Vlachos

This study aims to investigate how contract design influences supplier performance. This study synthesises three theoretical views (efficiency, relational, contingency…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate how contract design influences supplier performance. This study synthesises three theoretical views (efficiency, relational, contingency) and provides empirical support on how effective contract design improves supplier performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study reviewed contract design literature and uncovered 18 factors that may impact supplier performance. Multi-criteria, decision-making analysis examined the impact of contract factors on three supplier groups: average-, over- and under-performers. Procurement experts working with a large multinational company dealing with hundreds of procuring contracts, yearly, provided their judgement on the impact of these factors on supplier performance. Semi-structured interviews with experts and other evidence were used for data and method triangulation.

Findings

Results show that contracting with under- and over- performers presents significant differences: in the case of over-performers, contracts have a dual, yet discrete, efficiency and relational role: at transaction level, they emphasise formality, protect from opportunism and include both liquidated damages and legal action clauses. At relational level, they focus on relational learning and incentivising suppliers. However, in the case of under-performers, contracts appear to focus on contingency factors, which can be a source of ambiguity, particularly in complex environments, and trust, which has a negative impact on supplier performance.

Social implications

Improving contract design can help reduce partner opportunism, reduce inter-firm conflicts and avoid disputes that can bear a social cost. This study demonstrates that companies can use advanced analytical tools to reflect upon their own decision-making process of contact design in making transparent supplier performance assessments.

Originality/value

To the author’s knowledge, this is the first study using decision-making techniques to enhance supplier performance by improving the contract design process.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2020

Ilias Vlachos, Morgane Fritz, Salomée Ruel and Vikas Kumar

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 70 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2020

Ilias Vlachos

The purpose of this paper is to empirically study the necessary and sufficient antecedents of customer loyalty to logistics service providers (LSPs). Despite the abundance…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically study the necessary and sufficient antecedents of customer loyalty to logistics service providers (LSPs). Despite the abundance of loyalty studies, few studies have empirically examined the complex causal relationships between loyalty and its antecedents using the appropriate research methods.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses fuzzy sets qualitative comparison analysis (FsQCA) to uncover the antecedents and antecedent configurations of customer loyalty. This study examined the necessity and sufficiency of five antecedents (operational collaboration, strategic collaboration, trust, service satisfaction and price satisfaction) and on five dimensions of loyalty (repurchase intension, switching costs, exclusiveness, referrals and overall loyalty). This study developed six research hypotheses based on existing literature and tested them empirically in a manufacturing context. This study compared results from FsQCA with regression analysis.

Findings

The findings reveal that only a few antecedent configurations lead to customer loyalty, including a combination of strategic and operational collaboration, bundling of service offerings and combining competitive price with strategic collaboration. Further, the absence of trust negatively affects loyalty, but the presence of trust does not lead to loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to business to business literature by demonstrating how to use FsQCA analysis to test the presence of equifinality, conjunction and causal asymmetry of complex relationships. This study applies FsQCA between antecedent factors and customer loyalty. Furthermore, we demonstrate how to compare and integrate FsQCA with conventional regression analysis which is based on correlation-bounded logic.

Practical implications

This study shows that no single antecedents that can generate loyalty, yet, few antecedent configurations work better than others: collaborating at both strategic and operational level with your partner has the highest impact on loyalty. Another configuration that leads to loyalty is to combine competitive prices with strategic collaboration, which particularly stimulates repurchase decisions. Price is are not sufficient enough to lead to customer loyalty.

Originality/value

This study applied a novel analysis to uncover necessary and sufficient conditions that conventional methods such as regression analysis and structural equation modelling have limited power.

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Article
Publication date: 21 January 2020

Ilias Vlachos and Selvie Carolin Dyra

Supply chains are becoming more complex and uncertain, yet existing theories are predominately based on empirical research of dyads overlooking triadic settings. This…

Abstract

Purpose

Supply chains are becoming more complex and uncertain, yet existing theories are predominately based on empirical research of dyads overlooking triadic settings. This study aims to bridge the gap between supply chain theories and praxis, this study examined multi-sourcing triads in terms of coordination, collaboration and integration.

Design/methodology/approach

Transaction cost economics, resource-based view in conjunction with social capital theory and agency theory were used to develop a research framework. Abductive, comparative research examined four triads. The triads comprised four retailers (EU, USA, Japan and one with a global presence), one third-party logistics provider (3PL) and 103 suppliers in textiles and the clothing industry.

Findings

All multi-sourcing triads achieved efficient coordination via network configuration showing varying degrees of collaboration and integration. Three research propositions were developed as follows: transaction complexity and dynamics necessitate triad coordination and control by the 3PL; relational and structural embeddedness emerge when actors invest in triad-specific resources and capabilities; information, relational and structural asymmetries may trigger bridge transfer and affect triad integration and performance.

Research limitations/implications

Empirical research on multi-sourcing triads complements existing research on logistics and service, transitive triads to uncover how triad coordination, embeddedness and power asymmetries affect supply chain performance. Future studies should examine the interrelationships between triad embeddedness, asymmetries and relational capital.

Practical implications

Compared to logistics or service triads, B3B triads excel in relational and structural embeddedness and offer unique production-distribution solutions that create value to end-consumers and triad actors.

Originality/value

B3B triads are a unique conceptualization in supply chain management that extends the concepts of logistics triads and service triads.

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Ilias P. Vlachos

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of the introduction of private label (PL) foods upon the governance of the food supply chains.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of the introduction of private label (PL) foods upon the governance of the food supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a multi-case study research examining the launch and development of PL cheeses in four large national-wide retail chains. The paper focused on the category of Products of Designated Origin (PDO) cheeses, including the popular feta cheese. Data collection involved semi-structured interviews and secondary sources of information. Data analysis involved single-case and within-case analyses.

Findings

There is a strong motive to launch and develop PL cheeses due to increasing consumer demand. Retailers choose suppliers based on criteria such as: compliance to quality assurance standards, modernisation of processing facilities, implementation of legislation, credibility, experience, and reputation. Retailers use contracts and prefer small suppliers than medium-sized companies. Supply chain governance turns from market to hierarchy status, which performs better in terms of supply chain cost, food quality, and consumer satisfaction. The structure of food industry is also affected by pressure put on medium-sized food companies.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on a multiple case study design that does not provide static generalisations, yet it offers a stepping stone to building new theory about supply chain governance, how it evolves and its effects on supply chain performance.

Practical implications

The introduction of PL cheeses favours small and dynamic cheese processing units willing to adopt retailer standards and prices over larger units, which poses a real threat to the survival of regional-wide food companies.

Originality/value

Few studies have examined how supply chain governance evolves and what triggers a change in governance structures.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 116 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2009

Ilias P. Vlachos

This study aims to examine whether are there human resources (HR) practices that influence firm performance of companies operating in the Mediterranean region and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine whether are there human resources (HR) practices that influence firm performance of companies operating in the Mediterranean region and, specifically, in Greece. Existing literature comes mostly from American studies, leaving a research gap what happens when HR practices are applied by companies in the Mediterranean region.

Design/methodology/approach

The author reviewed the existent literature and examined six HR practices, which were initially proposed by Pfeffer. Using a self‐reported questionnaire, the author surveyed managers in Greece. The author used univariate and hierarchical multiple regression models to analyse the data.

Findings

Analysis of data provides overall support for all HR practices except of job security. Selective hiring and compensation policy were significant predictors for all performance variables.

Research limitations/implications

Results from studies on a specific industry may have limitations to generalising to other sectors of the economy. More research is necessary to examine HR practices not covered by this study.

Practical implications

This study has practical implications particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that proliferate in Mediterranean countries. SMEs often find it difficult to see all the connections between antecedents (such as recruiting, compensating and training personnel) and consequences (such as turnover, financial performance). This study shows that there are high‐performance workplace practices that clearly pay off and thus, it is worthy investing on them.

Originality/value

This research is valuable to Mediterranean companies by highlighting the role of practices such as selective hiring and compensation policy in order to increase the overall firm performance.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 14 August 2020

Thorsten Merkle, Kayhan Tajeddini, Ilias Vlachos and Jim Keane

In this chapter, the authors investigate the experiences of air passengers in the airside setting of commercial airports. Whilst the concept of liminality has found…

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors investigate the experiences of air passengers in the airside setting of commercial airports. Whilst the concept of liminality has found increased interest in tourism studies, only few studies have contextualized the airside experience as a liminal one. We investigate the role of food and beverage (F&B) consumption in this context as well as factors influencing F&B outlet patronage intentions. Using a European non-hub commercial airport as practical unit, we applied a mixed methods single case-study methodology to investigate F&B outlet choice in the airside setting. It becomes evident that perceptions of liminality play an important role in this context. Findings support the claim that the airport environment constitutes a special context, an encapsuled or protected space; not only for passengers, but also for employees alike. Whilst airports have a certain uniformity to regular travelers, infrequent travelers perceive air travel as an extraordinary activity, often paired with a certain uncertainty about related procedures. Evidence suggests that passengers’ emotional states play a key role in consumption decisions. Depending on travel purpose and direction, passengers showed differing consumption behaviors.

Understanding the airport airside area as a liminoid space and using the concept of boundary work for the transition between home and work realms (and back again) thus serves as a suitable frame of reference to help understand the phenomena that were observed and analyzed in this study. F&B consumption can then be understood to support the mental transition between home and work realms. Our findings thus allow linking the passenger clusters’ different consumption behavior to prevailing emotional states in their transgressions between work and home realm in the liminoid airside context.

Details

Entrepreneurship as Empowerment: Knowledge Spillovers and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-551-4

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Zhibin Lin, Guangren He and Ilias P. Vlachos

The purpose of this paper is to examine Chinese tourists’ experience of Britain based on a conceptual model of tourist satisfaction and destination loyalty, and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine Chinese tourists’ experience of Britain based on a conceptual model of tourist satisfaction and destination loyalty, and to identify key issues that tourism organisations could address to provide an excellent experience for Chinese tourists.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected in collaboration with a tour operator; and 275 valid responses were received. Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modelling was used for data analysis.

Findings

The key destination attributes of Britain such as heritage sites, natural scenery and customer service provide an excellent experience for Chinese tourists. Other British destination attributes such as shopping facilities, food, accommodation, entertainment and night life are less impressive.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was drawn from Chinese tourists visiting Britain on package tours, which limits the generalisation of results to other Chinese tourists and other European/Mediterranean destinations.

Practical implications

There are two key challenges for British destination tourism managers: first, to maintain the current quality levels in the attributes that generate tourist satisfaction; and second, to concentrate on improving attributes with low performance ratings such as shopping, food and drink, accommodation, entertainment and night life. As the characteristics of Chinese tourists are culture-specific rather than destination-specific, tourism managers in other European destinations may find these recommendations useful too.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to examine Chinese tourists’ experience of a European destination. The results reveal unique characteristics of Chinese tourist requirements, which provide useful implications for tourism organisations to adapt their service strategies to better cater to this growing group of travellers.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 14 August 2020

Abstract

Details

Entrepreneurship as Empowerment: Knowledge Spillovers and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-551-4

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