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Article
Publication date: 21 January 2020

Mark Appiah-Twumasi, Samuel A. Donkoh and Isaac Gershon Kodwo Ansah

The purpose of this paper is to explore smallholder agricultural financing in Ghana’s Northern region by identifying farmers’ preferred traditional and innovative

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore smallholder agricultural financing in Ghana’s Northern region by identifying farmers’ preferred traditional and innovative financing methods and estimating the determinants of use of innovative financing methods.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presented a list of documented traditional financing methods to farmers during in-depth interviews and employed descriptive statistics to summarize choice and amounts sourced from traditional methods. Two questions from the survey revealed a felt need for extra financing sources for credit-rationed farmers. Farmers with positive responses to either or both questions were classified as “users of innovative financing”. The authors then used a probit model to examine factors that influence decisions to use innovative financing method.

Findings

Farmers’ own savings, reinvesting past season’s profits and financing maize production with income from other commercial crops were the most popular traditional methods. The authors found complementary relations between formal and informal lending systems in the rural financial market. Smallholders also took farm and non-farm “by-day” jobs to raise income for farm investment and/or joined Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) specifically to take advantage of possible credit opportunities. These two latter methods were operationalized in this study as innovative agricultural financing. The results show that access to credit, social capital and market participation increased the likelihood of using innovative financing methods. Alternatively, farmer group membership, diversity in crop production and being a household head diminished the likelihood of innovative financing use.

Practical implications

The activities of VSLAs can be regulated and expanded to spread its benefits to more farmers. Also, creating avenues for dry season labour market participation in the region could enable farmers raise capital for farm investment.

Originality/value

This study explores existing practices and farmer innovations to agricultural financing and, by so doing, deviates from the vast literature focussing mainly on microcredit provisioning as the main model of smallholder agricultural financing in Africa.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 80 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Erman Surya Bakti, Muhd Zaimi bin Abdul Majid, Rosli Muhamad Zin and Bambang Trigunarsyah

The purpose of this paper is to explore the process, and analyse the implementation of constructability improvement and innovation result during the planning and design…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the process, and analyse the implementation of constructability improvement and innovation result during the planning and design for seawater intake structure of fertilizer plant project.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology approach is case study method at the project level. This constructability improvement process was investigated by using constructability implementation checklists, direct observation, documented lessons learned analysis and key personnel interviews.

Findings

The case study shows that the implementation of constructability during planning and design stage for this seawater intake structure has increased the project performance as well as improved the schedule by five months (14.21 percent) and reduced the project cost by 15.35 percent.

Research limitations/implications

This case study was limited to three previous seawater intake projects as references and one new method seawater intake structure at a fertilizer plant project.

Practical implications

A constructability improvement checklist using theory and lessons learned for the specific construction project was documented.

Originality/value

The findings support the relevant study of constructability and provide specific lessons learned for three previous projects and one of the new methods of the construction project and which are documented by the company.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Zhiqiang Liu, Liang Ge and Wanying Peng

The purpose of this paper was to examine the relationship between organizational tenure and employee innovative behavior and the influence of culture difference and…

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1360

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to examine the relationship between organizational tenure and employee innovative behavior and the influence of culture difference and status-related moderators (i.e. status hierarchy and status stability) on the linkage.

Design/methodology/approach

By using a meta-analysis method that included 76 empirical studies, this study examines the relationship of organizational tenure and innovative behavior. In this study, 79 samples (N = 21659) derived from 76 empirical studies that met the inclusion criteria in the meta-analysis.

Findings

The results show that organizational tenure has a weak positive effect on employee innovative behavior (r = 0.04), and status hierarchy, position tenure, culture difference and measurement ways influence the relationship between the two. In addition, a three-way interaction among status hierarchy, position tenure and organizational tenure is found to jointly affect innovative behavior; specifically, for those who are low in status hierarchy and short in position tenure, their organizational tenures are positively related to innovative behavior, but for those with a longer position tenure in organizations, their organizational tenure may relate to innovative behavior negatively, whatever their status hierarchies are (high or low). This study is helpful in providing theoretical foundation and practical skills to such issues regarding how to trigger innovative behavior efficiently at different career stages.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations include tenure range of participants and no longitudinal samples in our studies. Future research should examine more contextual factors which influenced the relationship between organizational tenure and innovative behavior.

Practical implications

The results of this study show that long organizational tenure is not negatively related to innovative behaviors. For managers, do not ignore the contribution of long-tenured employees to innovation. Through promotion or job rotation to increase employees’ job satisfaction and innovative willing.

Originality/value

To authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to examine status attribute class variables in the relationship between organizational tenure on innovative behavior. The study is helpful in providing theoretical foundation and practical skills to such issues regarding how to trigger innovative behavior at different career stages correctly.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Gerson Tontini and Jaime Dagostin Picolo

This paper aims to present and compare a new method, improvement gap analysis (IGA), with two different versions of importance-performance analysis (IPA) – original IPA…

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1765

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present and compare a new method, improvement gap analysis (IGA), with two different versions of importance-performance analysis (IPA) – original IPA and diagonal IPA – focusing on how each method evaluates the possible impact of incremental innovations on customer satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

Two studies were carried out, one with users of mobile phones and another with users of a fitness centre. Mobile phone users answered questions about 24 attributes, of which six were incremental innovations at the time of the research. Users of the fitness centre answered questions about 16 attributes, of which three were incremental innovations.

Findings

Both case studies show that diagonal IPA overcomes two limitations of original IPA, in terms of IPA's failure to address: the high correlation between stated importance and customer satisfaction and the non-linear relationship between attribute performance and customers’ satisfaction. However, diagonal IPA is unable to identify the possible impact of incremental innovations on customer satisfaction. Thus, IGA is formulated to overcome both the problems with original IPA and the limitation of diagonal IPA.

Research limitations/implications

The new method, IGA, uses expected customer dissatisfaction as a measure of attribute relevance. Its relationship with other methods used to evaluate attribute importance should be studied in the future.

Originality/value

The paper presents a new method (IGA) that is able to overcome problems of original and diagonal IPA methods and is also able to identify the possible impact of incremental innovations on customer satisfaction.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 24 December 2021

Aref Gholizadeh Manghutay, Mehdi Salay Naderi and Seyed Hamid Fathi

Heuristic algorithms have been widely used in different types of optimization problems. Their unique features in terms of running time and flexibility have made them…

Abstract

Purpose

Heuristic algorithms have been widely used in different types of optimization problems. Their unique features in terms of running time and flexibility have made them superior to deterministic algorithms. To accurately compare different heuristic algorithms in solving optimization problems, the final optimal solution needs to be known. Existing deterministic methods such as Exhaustive Search and Integer Linear Programming can provide the final global optimal solution for small-scale optimization problems. However, as the system grows the number of calculations and required memory size incredibly increases, so applying existing deterministic methods is no longer possible for medium and large-scale systems. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a novel deterministic method with short running time and small memory size requirement for optimal placement of Micro Phasor Measurement Units (µPMUs) in radial electricity distribution systems to make the system completely observable.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the principle of the method is explained and the observability of the system is analyzed. Then, the algorithm’s running time and memory usage when applying on some of the modified versions of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 123-node test feeder are obtained and compared with those of its deterministic counterparts.

Findings

Because of the innovative method of step-by-step placement of µPMUs, a unique method is developed. Simulation results elucidate that the proposed method has unique features of short running time and small memory size requirements.

Originality/value

While the mathematical background of the observability study of electricity distribution systems is very well-presented in the referenced papers, the proposed step-by-step placement method of µPMUs, which shrinks unobservable parts of the system in each step, is not discussed yet. The presented paper is directly applicable to typical problems in the field of power systems.

Details

COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering , vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0332-1649

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Bartosz Gawron, Tomasz Białecki, Anna Janicka, Aleksander Górniak and Maciej Zawiślak

The purpose of this paper is to present an assessment method of the toxicity emission evaluation during combustion in the miniature turbojet engine.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an assessment method of the toxicity emission evaluation during combustion in the miniature turbojet engine.

Design/methodology/approach

A small-scale turbojet engine was used for the research because measurements on real aircraft turbines are complex and expensive. The experiment was performed in accordance with innovative BAT – CELL Bio – Ambient Cell method which consists of determination of virtual toxic impact of the gas mixture on the living cells; it is therefore a direct method. The most significant innovation of this method is that, during the test, which consists of exposing the cells to the gas mixture, the cells are deprived of culture fluid.

Findings

The preliminary analysis shows that the method used here allows to determine the virtual impact of the gases on the human respiratory system and skin. It could be useful in defining the arduousness of an airport. The obtained results show that both of exhaust gases represent similar toxicity.

Practical implications

The new in vitro method allows to determine the virtual impact of the gases on the human respiratory system and skin. Significant potential for further research not only on the miniaturised engines, but also in the case of real objects, as this method does not have to be performed in a laboratory.

Originality/value

The work presents potential application of the innovatory method for exhaust gases toxicity evaluation in jet engines, which could be useful in defining the arduousness of an airport.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 89 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Sally Sambrook and Jim Stewart

This paper seeks to analyse and explore the results of a research project, which aimed to identify recent and current research on TLA within HRD programmes. From that base…

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1561

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to analyse and explore the results of a research project, which aimed to identify recent and current research on TLA within HRD programmes. From that base the project also intended to identify areas for future research and a basis for establishing a Special Interest Group.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive review of the literature was undertaken and an electronic questionnaire survey was conducted of academic members of the UFHRD, EHRHD and AHRD databases. This provided coverage of widespread international population.

Findings

Findings suggest that while research into HRD as a subject and academic discipline is very healthy, there is a dearth of research into the TLA of HRD educational programmes or at least research that is published. They also suggest that academics involved in delivering HRD programmes would welcome support in TLA through additional and new resources as well as ideas on innovative approaches and methods of TLA. TLA in HRD, though, is subject to some constraints, including the role of the professional body in the UK and parts of Europe, the status of HRD in relation to wider business management as a subject and HRM in particular and the size and diversity of student groups. Respondents to the survey, however, were confident that these problems can be addressed.

Practical implications

A key conclusion drawn is that innovative practice in the TLA of HRD is probably more widespread than is evident from the literature. In addition, the notion of “innovative” does not have a fixed meaning and is context specific. This means that TLA practice, which is considered normal or usual in one context could and probably would constitute an innovation in different contexts.

Originality/value

Provides the first overview of research into the TLA of HRD educational programmes.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 34 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Book part
Publication date: 19 November 2015

Jessica M. Santoro, Aurora J. Dixon, Chu-Hsiang Chang and Steve W. J. Kozlowski

Team cohesion and other team processes are inherently dynamic mechanisms that contribute to team effectiveness. Unfortunately, extant research has typically treated team…

Abstract

Team cohesion and other team processes are inherently dynamic mechanisms that contribute to team effectiveness. Unfortunately, extant research has typically treated team cohesion and other processes as static, and failed to capture how these processes change over time and the implications of these changes. In this chapter, we discuss the characteristics of team process dynamics and highlight the importance of temporal considerations when measuring team cohesion. We introduce innovative research methods that can be applied to assess and monitor team cohesion and other process dynamics. Finally, we discuss future directions for the research and practical applications of these new methods to enhance our understanding of the dynamics of team cohesion and other processes.

Details

Team Cohesion: Advances in Psychological Theory, Methods and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-283-2

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2010

Saleh Abu Dabous and Sabah Alkass

A bridge network is a major capital asset that requires continuing investment in order to maintain the network within acceptable limits of safety and serviceability…

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1099

Abstract

Purpose

A bridge network is a major capital asset that requires continuing investment in order to maintain the network within acceptable limits of safety and serviceability. Ranking and prioritizing procedures have been widely used by several departments of transportation to select bridges for intervention and to distribute the available funds among competing projects. The available ranking and prioritizing procedures have various drawbacks, and an improved, rational ranking and prioritizing procedure is needed. The paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The requirements and characteristics of an innovative ranking and prioritizing method are identified during interviews with professionals involved in bridge management. Based on these requirements, multi‐attribute utility theory (MAUT) is selected to develop the method. A technique to develop utility functions based on the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) is discussed. A hierarchy structure that captures the decision‐making elements is presented. A case study is used to demonstrate the applicability and the validity of the proposed ranking method.

Findings

The research findings have identified the decision objectives and the criteria essential to rank and prioritize bridge projects, and these are included within a framework to rank and prioritize bridge projects while incorporating experts' input in the process.

Practical implications

The proposed framework includes weights for the various objectives and recommends utility functions to evaluate the different attributes. In addition, the framework provides flexibility to adjust the weights and to modify the utility functions to reflect network‐specific characteristics. This method can be used by departments of transportation to rank bridges in a network, even incorporating conflicting criteria, and it can be integrated within an already implemented bridge management methodology.

Originality/value

Ranking and prioritizing projects are essential steps in bridge management. Current methods for ranking and prioritizing bridge projects are associated with various drawbacks. This paper proposes an innovative ranking method for bridge networks, based on MAUT. This theory provides flexibility for the decision makers in expressing their degree of satisfaction with each bridge attribute.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2003

John Barker and Susie Weller

Over the past ten years, geographers have contributed to the growing body of interdisciplinary research developing new ways of undertaking research with children…

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5721

Abstract

Over the past ten years, geographers have contributed to the growing body of interdisciplinary research developing new ways of undertaking research with children. Traditional research methods which do not directly involve working with children, such as the large scale observation of children, have been criticised for carrying out research on rather than with children. Instead, drawing upon the increasingly important children’s rights movement, researchers have been developing inclusive and participatory children centred methodologies, which place the voices of children, as social actors, at the centre of the research process. In this paper, we draw upon two ongoing postgraduate geographical research projects with children to reflect upon our own experiences of adopting children centred research methodologies. We also critically evaluate our own use of different innovative children centred research techniques, such as photographs, diaries, in‐depth interviews and surveys.We also highlight the importance of considering the impact of the spaces in which we conduct our research.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 23 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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