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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2018

Catarina Grillo, Fernando A.F. Ferreira, Carla S.E. Marques and João J. Ferreira

The 2008 global financial crisis showed that the ability to innovate is a key management skill and that approaches to assessing the innovation capability of small- and…

Abstract

Purpose

The 2008 global financial crisis showed that the ability to innovate is a key management skill and that approaches to assessing the innovation capability of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to be as realistic as possible. This study aims to address the latter practical need through a sociotechnical approach.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a combined use of cognitive mapping and the Decision EXpert (DEX) technique, and grounded on the insights generated by a panel of SME managers and entrepreneurs in two intensive group meetings, a knowledge-based assessment system for evaluating SMEs’ innovation capability was created, tested and validated.

Findings

The knowledge-based assessment system identified the most innovative SMEs in a sample of companies. The “plus-minus-1” and dominance analyses carried out provided further support for the results.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed system is extremely versatile but process-oriented and idiosyncratic in nature, meaning that extrapolations to other contexts need to be done with due caution.

Practical implications

The panel of SME decision makers agreed that the system improves the current methods used to evaluate SMEs’ innovation capability, contributing to a more informed perspective on management issues. The panel members also noted that the proposed system functions as a learning mechanism, facilitating the development of well-focused suggestions for improvements SMEs can make.

Originality/value

The integrated use of cognitive maps and rule-base decisions contributes to a better understanding of how to assess SMEs’ innovation capability. No prior work reporting the integrated use of these two techniques in this study context has been found.

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Joana M. Gonçalves, Fernando A.F. Ferreira, João J.M. Ferreira and Luís M.C. Farinha

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have become increasingly important in national and international markets because they contribute to the development of local and…

Abstract

Purpose

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have become increasingly important in national and international markets because they contribute to the development of local and national economies. SMEs often face serious challenges when competing with multinational companies. The purpose of this paper is to develop a method for assessing SMEs’ competitiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a constructivist epistemology, this study makes an integrated use of cognitive mapping and the measuring attractiveness by a categorical-based evaluation technique (MACBETH). To this end, face-to-face sessions were conducted with a panel of entrepreneurs and senior managers who deal with the challenges of maintaining SME competitiveness every day. The proposed assessment system was tested and validated by the panel members.

Findings

The methodological processes adopted in this study provide promising results for decision makers seeking to identify the most competitive SMEs. Specifically, the results emphasize, among other points, the importance of innovation and the human dimension to gaining competitive advantages.

Research limitations/implications

The evaluation system developed in this study is extremely versatile and confirms the usefulness of integrating cognitive mapping and MACBETH to facilitate evaluations of SME competitiveness. However, due to its idiosyncratic and process-oriented nature, generalizations need to be done with caution.

Practical implications

The proposed method can be valuable to researchers seeking to develop mechanisms for evaluating SMEs’ entrepreneurial performance and include specialized know-how and sensemaking in organizational decision-making processes.

Originality/value

The integrated use of cognitive maps and MACBETH contributes to a better understanding of how to assess SMEs’ competitiveness. No prior work reporting the use of this dual methodology in this study context has been found.

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2018

Bernardo M.S. Castela, Fernando A.F. Ferreira, João J.M. Ferreira and Carla S.E. Marques

The aftermath of the recent financial crisis has shown that the ability to innovate is a vital management skill and that the methodologies used to evaluate innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

The aftermath of the recent financial crisis has shown that the ability to innovate is a vital management skill and that the methodologies used to evaluate innovation capability within small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should be as holistic and integrative as possible. The purpose of this paper is to address this issue through the combined use of cognitive mapping and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP).

Design/methodology/approach

Cognitive mapping and multiple criteria decision analysis have proved over the years to be effective in handling a wide range of complex decision problems. Following a socio-technical approach, a non-parametric method of evaluating SME innovation capability – based on the results of group meetings with a panel of information technology entrepreneurs and SME chief executive officers – was created, tested and validated.

Findings

The methodological processes adopted in this study provide promising results for decision makers seeking to identify the most innovative SMEs. Furthermore, the sensitivity analyses carried out also supported the findings.

Research limitations/implications

This study confirms the usefulness of integrating cognitive mapping and the AHP to facilitate evaluations of SME innovation capability. However, due to the process-oriented nature of the research, extrapolations without proper adjustments are not recommended.

Practical implications

The panel members who participated in this study consider the proposal extremely versatile and see great potential for further applications in the measurement of SME innovation capability.

Originality/value

The combined use of cognitive mapping and the AHP offers a holistic and well-informed perspective on the issue in question. The authors know of no prior work reporting this approach in the same research context.

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2019

Elsa Vieira, João J. Ferreira and Ricardo São João

The blue ocean strategy refers to how rebuilding the inputs that customers value in the designing of a new value curve fundamentally requires a four field of action…

Abstract

Purpose

The blue ocean strategy refers to how rebuilding the inputs that customers value in the designing of a new value curve fundamentally requires a four field of action structure: reduce, eliminate, create and raise. However, this does not propose a methodology to identify these fields of action. Hence, the purpose of this study is to present importance-performance analysis (IPA), as a support tool to identify these fields of action given their relevance and utility to managers.

Design/methodology/approach

The 101 ex-customers of health club answered a survey to determine the cut-off boundaries for IPA, and therefore, maximising the discriminatory power of the logistical regression model. This correspondingly incorporated the evaluation of both the area below the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) and the adoption of coefficients for concordance and correlation.

Findings

The research results demonstrate the need to concentrate efforts on the attributes of: price, responses to complaints, emergency procedures, innovative services, changing rooms, support for selecting the activities members choose to undertake and an appropriate number of members per activity. With low levels of performance and importance, are candidates for elimination, specifically, the availability of specialist appointments, member socialisation activities, maintaining memories of members, bar services and services for children.

Originality/value

The contribution: presenting an IPA methodology applicable to identify the fields of action recognised by the blue ocean strategy as the literature currently only covers concrete situations in which organisations achieve success through reducing, eliminating, creating and elevating and does not set out any methodology to identify those same fields of action; the definition of the cut-off points in IPA based on the ROC curve, which is a more rigorous and exact statistical method than that applied in other studies; the study population, the ex-customers, who not only represent a very important source of latent demand but also because ex-customers are likely to return more impartial.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2020

Sara M. Martins, Fernando A.F. Ferreira, João J. M. Ferreira and Carla S.E. Marques

The prosthodontics sector is facing major challenges because of scientific and technological advances that imply a clearer definition of lines of action and decision…

Abstract

Purpose

The prosthodontics sector is facing major challenges because of scientific and technological advances that imply a clearer definition of lines of action and decision making processes. Measuring quality of service in this sector is a complex decision problem since the perceptions of three main players need to be considered: patients, dentists and dental technicians. This study sought to develop an artificial-intelligence-based (AI-based) method for assessing service quality in the dental prosthesis sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Using strategic options development and analysis (SODA), which is grounded on cognitive mapping, and the measuring attractiveness by a categorical based evaluation technique (MACBETH), a constructivist decision support system was designed to facilitate the assessment of service quality in the dental prosthesis sector. The system was tested, and the results were validated both by the members of an expert panel and by the vice-president of the Portuguese association of dental prosthesis technicians.

Findings

The methodological process developed in this study is extremely versatile and its practical application facilitated the development of an empirically robust evaluation model in this study context. Specifically, the profile analyses carried out in actual clinics allowed the cases in which improvements are needed to be identified.

Originality/value

Although already applied in the fields of AI and decision making, no prior work reporting the use of SODA and MACBETH for assessing service quality in the prosthodontics sector has been found.

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2020

João Lopes, Sergio Jesus Teixeira, João J.M. Ferreira, Paulo Silveira, Luís Farinha and João Lussuamo

The purpose of this paper is to involve the differences in the entrepreneurial intentions of student at higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Portuguese regions…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to involve the differences in the entrepreneurial intentions of student at higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Portuguese regions (mainland and insular).

Design/methodology/approach

Applying a sample of 594 valid responses, the authors analyzed the data according to linear regression models.

Findings

The results convey how HEI students generally do not intend to become entrepreneurs in both the mainland and the insular regions. Although HEI students broadly do not aim to launch their own businesses, the results show that students in mainland regions feel they have the skills to start a business and drive it to success. In insular regions, students feel encouraged by their friends and family to set up their own business. When comparing insular and mainland regions, the results demonstrate how in insular regions, there is a greater probability that HEI students become entrepreneurs than in the mainland regions. Furthermore, entrepreneurial intentions in the mainland regions develop in terms of “opportunities” while driven by necessity in the insular regions.

Practical implications

This furthermore makes recommendations to regional governments and to HEIs in order to enable better encouragement of entrepreneurship in academia.

Originality/value

This study is original and innovative due to its comparison of the entrepreneurial intentions prevailing in mainland and insular regions and may propose new highlights to the academic scientific literature.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 62 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Luís Cruz, Eduardo Barata, João-Pedro Ferreira and Fausto Freire

This paper aims to explore the potential contribution of integrated traffic and parking management strategies to ensure more rational use of available parking spaces and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the potential contribution of integrated traffic and parking management strategies to ensure more rational use of available parking spaces and to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by commuters traveling to the University of Coimbra (UC) main campus.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrated modelling approach is used, including the characterization of supply and demand for parking and public transport, the creation and implementation of a survey to campus users and a life-cycle approach to assess six transportation and parking strategy scenarios.

Findings

This comprehensive analysis demonstrates the importance of integrated management measures to greening commuters’ transportation and parking within a University campus, identifying and quantifying opportunities for successfully making the transitions toward a more sustainable future, namely, increasing well-being and reducing environmental impact.

Practical implications

Results demonstrate that effective control of illegal parking and different forms of modal shift toward public transportation may contribute to important reductions in environmental impacts.

Social implications

Local population reveals willingness to participate in collective efforts to tackle traffic and parking problems, challenging authorities to take action and empowering ever more people to engage in such cathartic changes.

Originality/value

This comprehensive approach is highly valuable for the management of parking and traffic within the UC campus, providing innovative lessons on the social and environmental impacts that would result from this policy approach to urban areas (e.g. historical centers) facing the typical problems of a carbon society, such as traffic congestion, non-regulated parking and intensive car use.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Joao Ferreira

Researchers have found that a firm's external environment plays a profound role in influencing corporate entrepreneurship.

Abstract

Researchers have found that a firm's external environment plays a profound role in influencing corporate entrepreneurship.

Details

New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2574-8904

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2020

Luís Farinha, João Lopes, João Renato Sebastião, João José Ferreira, José Oliveira and Paulo Silveira

This paper aims to understand how the different stakeholders assess the adequacy of smart specialization policies defined for their regions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand how the different stakeholders assess the adequacy of smart specialization policies defined for their regions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper has followed a quantitative methodology through the application of questionnaire surveys to stakeholders of the various territorial regions in Portugal.

Findings

As a result, from the “resource-based view” approach applied to the various regions, the attained results highlight that the suitability of smart specialization policies defined for the Portuguese regions is not unanimous among its stakeholders.

Originality/value

The research can be used as a tool to assist regional policymakers in strategic reflection when defining and adjusting smart specialization strategies in their territories.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Management Decision, vol. 58 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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