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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Jonas Meyer, Marlene Mader, Friedrich Zimmermann and Ketrina Çabiri

The purpose of this paper is to examine sustainability-related challenges in the two Western Balkan countries – Albania and Kosovo. It discusses the opportunities of local higher…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine sustainability-related challenges in the two Western Balkan countries – Albania and Kosovo. It discusses the opportunities of local higher education institutions (HEIs) taking responsibility to tackle these challenges by providing professional development through science–society collaboration in innovative training sessions for university educators.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review on actual challenges and transformations of higher education for sustainable development (ESD) in Albania and Kosovo will be the starting point of this paper. Subsequently, experiences from the on-going European Union (EU) project “ConSus” will be used to draw both a competence framework for ESD within science–society collaboration based on the training sessions, as well as possible scaling opportunities.

Findings

The paper draws possible approaches of training sessions for university educators promoting sustainable development and science–society collaboration in higher education. They will be concluded by addressing possible scaling opportunities of the project’s activities.

Practical implications

The experiences of the ConSus training sessions will outline competences of university educators in ESD gained in relation to transdisciplinary collaboration in research and teaching.

Originality/value

The paper will contribute to ESD approaches in higher education in Albania and Kosovo. Furthermore, scaling possibilities will be discussed to systematically implement ESD approaches also in higher hierarchical levels and other HEIs.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

Wolfgang Jonas

The paper seeks to make a substantial contribution to the still controversial question of design foundations.

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to make a substantial contribution to the still controversial question of design foundations.

Design/methodology/approach

A generic hypercyclic design process model is derived from basic notions of evolution and learning in different domains of knowing (and turns out to be not very different from existing ones). The second‐order cybernetics and evolutionary thinking provide theoretical support.

Findings

The paper presents a model of designerly knowledge production, which has the potential to serve as a genuine design research paradigm. It does not abandon the scientific or the hermeneutic or the arts & crafts paradigm but concludes that they have to be embedded into a design paradigm. “Design paradigm” means that “objects” are not essential, but are created in communication and language.

Research limitations/implications

Foundations cannot be found in the axiomatic statements of the formal sciences, nor in the empirical approaches of the natural sciences, nor in the hermeneutic techniques of the humanities. Designing explores and creates the new; it deals with the fit of artefacts and their human, social and natural contexts. Therefore foundations for design (if they exist at all) have to be based on the generative character of designing, which can be seen as the very activity which made and still makes primates into humans.

Practical implications

The hypercyclic model provides a cybernetic foundation (or rather substantiation) for design, which – at the same time – serves as a framework for design and design research practice. As long as the dynamic model is in action, i.e. stabilized in communication, it provides foundations; once it stops, they dissolve. The fluid circular phenomena of discourse and communication provide the only “eternal” essence of design.

Originality/value

“Design objects” as well as “theory objects” are transient materializations or eigenvalues in these circular processes. Designing objects and designing theories are equivalent. “Problems” and “solutions” as well as “foundations” are objects of this kind. This contributes to a conceptual integration of the acting and reflecting disciplines.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 36 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Francesca Liane Brown, Jonas Meyer and Mario Diethart

The purpose of this paper is to assist the United Nations Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) in continuing their fundamental work within the region and to address some of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assist the United Nations Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) in continuing their fundamental work within the region and to address some of the prominent challenges within the RCE community. Specific RCE case studies from the global network were employed, emphasizing experiences in collaboration with multiple stakeholders including higher education institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

Conducting a literature review and employing a qualitative research methodology with the use of a guided questionnaire, the paper aims to gain a deeper understanding of the operations of RCEs in general and more specifically the case studies.

Findings

The paper shows some of the strategies implemented by the cohort of case studies to overcome their common challenges. Key recommendations based on the findings are made in its quest for continual development and final conclusions assessing the contentious challenges are drawn.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on RCEs within Europe, with cases from the USA and Canada for comparison. Although the paper highlights common themes and challenges, it is highly probable that RCEs outside of the studied regions may contend with similar challenges; further research would have to be conducted to assess the wider scope of the situation.

Originality/value

The paper gives an external perspective of the challenges faced and identifies some areas in which improvements could be made. It is also generated from information gathered from multi-case study RCEs.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 24 January 2022

Eleonora Pantano and Kim Willems

This chapter provides an overview of technology management to support retailing, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, it focuses on the technologies developed…

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of technology management to support retailing, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, it focuses on the technologies developed and in use before the pandemic, the ones further developed as response to the pandemic, while the final part of the chapter proposes a new technology implementation process (cycle) to support retailers in introducing new technology. In particular, the process in based on seven main activities: (1) Technology need recognition; (2) Technology screening; (3) Initial development and testing; (4) Business analysis; (5) Technology development; (6) Market acceptance testing; and (7) Technology adoption, while monitoring and learning actions should occur constantly throughout the process to evaluate the benefit of the technology at each stage (or to discard for further investment).

Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Clemens Mader, Geoffrey Scott and Dzulkifli Abdul Razak

Numerous policy announcements and articles have been produced over the past 20 years calling for higher education institutions to give greater focus to social, cultural, economic…

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Abstract

Purpose

Numerous policy announcements and articles have been produced over the past 20 years calling for higher education institutions to give greater focus to social, cultural, economic and environmental sustainability in their curriculum, research, engagement activities and operations. However, there has been much less attention given to establishing how to ensure these desired developments are successfully initiated, implemented and sustained. It is to these key areas of effective change management, leadership, support and governance for embedding sustainability into the core activities of higher education institutions through transformation that this special issue of Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal (SAMPJ) gives focus. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper brings together a consolidated analysis of the existing empirical literature on effective change management and leadership in higher education transformation with particular focus on the results of a recent international empirical study of 188 experienced leaders of sustainability in universities in Australia, the UK, the European Mainland, North America and South Africa.

Findings

The paper brings together the case for action in the sector, identifies an integrating framework for addressing sustainable development in the university curriculum, research, engagement activities and operations consistently, comprehensively through a whole institutional approach and identifies the key challenges and lessons on effective change management and leadership for sustainability transformation initiatives in universities and colleges.

Originality/value

Higher education institutions often give more attention to discussing what should change in their provision than to ensuring that desired transformations are actually put into practice effectively, sustainably and with positive impact. This paper and the articles which follow seek to address this gap.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 September 2022

Kim Willems, Nanouk Verhulst, Laurens De Gauquier and Malaika Brengman

Service robots have increasingly been utilized in retail settings, yet empirical research on how frontline employees (FLEs) might deal with this new reality remains scarce. This…

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Abstract

Purpose

Service robots have increasingly been utilized in retail settings, yet empirical research on how frontline employees (FLEs) might deal with this new reality remains scarce. This mixed-methods study aims to examine how FLEs expect physical service robots to impact job characteristics and affect their job engagement and well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

First, explorative interviews (Study 1; N = 32) were conducted to investigate how FLEs currently experience job characteristics and how they believe robots might impact these job characteristics and job outcomes. Next, a survey (Study 2; N = 165) examined the relationship between job characteristics that retail FLEs expect to be impacted by robots and their own well-being and job engagement.

Findings

While the overall expectations for working with robots are mixed, retail FLEs expect that working with robots can alleviate certain job demands, but robots cannot help to replenish their job resources. On the contrary, most retail FLEs expect the pains and gains associated with robots in the workspace to cancel each other out, leaving their job engagement and well-being unaffected. However, of the FLEs that do anticipate that robots might have some impact on their well-being and job engagement, the majority expect negative effects.

Originality/value

This study is unique in addressing the trade-off between expected benefits and costs inherent to job demands-resources (JD-R) theory while incorporating a transformative service research (TSR) lens. By integrating different streams of research to study retail FLEs' expectations about working with robots and focusing on robots' impact on job engagement and well-being, this study offers new insights for theory and practice.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2023

Chelsea Phillips, Rebekah Russell–Bennett, Gaby Odekerken-Schröder, Dominik Mahr and Kate Letheren

The human service triad (i.e. the relationship between the customer, frontline employee (FLE) and managerial employee) experiences a range of well-being challenges when faced with…

Abstract

Purpose

The human service triad (i.e. the relationship between the customer, frontline employee (FLE) and managerial employee) experiences a range of well-being challenges when faced with the introduction of service robots. Despite growth in service robot scholarship, understanding of the well-being challenges affecting the human service triad remains fragmented. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to synthesise the literature and offer a research agenda aligned with the proposed Robotic-Human Service Trilemma. By taking a job performance approach (which considers the actions, behaviours and outcomes linked to organisational goals), the Robotic-Human Service Trilemma conceptualises three well-being challenges (intrusion, sideline and interchange). These challenges are realised via the realistic capabilities and constraints of service robot implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

This research relies on a systematic review of all disciplines concerning service robots. In total, 82 articles were analysed using thematic coding and led to the development of the Robotic-Human Service Trilemma and research agenda.

Findings

The analyses reveal the Robotic-Human Service Trilemma consists of three challenges: intrusion, sideline and indifference. The findings demonstrate that FLEs are required to counterbalance the constraints of service robots, leading to an uneven well-being burden within the human service triad. This paper suggests a research agenda for investigation of the challenges that underpin the Robotic-Human Service Trilemma.

Originality/value

Through the conceptualisation of the Robotic-Human Service Trilemma, this study is the first to explore how states of well-being equilibrium exist within the human service triad and how these states are challenged by service robots. The authors present a balanced centricity perspective to well-being that contrasts previous trade-off approaches and that enhances the body of service robot literature with a well-being lens.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2023

Dewi Tojib, Rahul Sujan, Junzhao Ma and Yelena Tsarenko

Service robots are gradually becoming more anthropomorphic and intelligent. This research aims to investigate how anthropomorphic service robots with different levels of…

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Abstract

Purpose

Service robots are gradually becoming more anthropomorphic and intelligent. This research aims to investigate how anthropomorphic service robots with different levels of intelligence affect their human counterparts.

Design/methodology/approach

Two between-subject experimental studies were used to test whether different levels of service robot anthropomorphism with different levels of intelligence influence employees' morale and resistance to service robots.

Findings

Study 1 shows that the effect of service robot anthropomorphism (low vs. high) on employees' resistance and morale is mediated by perceived job-security threat. Study 2 validates this mediating effect and shows that it is moderated by the type of AI (mechanical vs. analytical). Specifically, when exposed to mechanical AI-powered service robots, employees exhibit a higher perceived job-security threat toward robots with a high (vs. low) degree of anthropomorphism. This moderating effect is not observed when employees are exposed to analytical AI-powered service robots. This moderated mediation effect is also found for the signing of a petition as the behavioral outcome.

Practical implications

Service firms considering the adoption of mechanical AI-powered service robots should choose a low (vs. high) anthropomorphic robot to reduce the sense of job-security threat felt by human employees, which subsequently increases their acceptance. However, if analytical AI-powered service robots with are to replace their human employees, the degree of anthropomorphism becomes irrelevant.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study to explore how anthropomorphic service robots can influence human employees' evaluations and behaviors.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 March 2022

Gaia Rancati and Isabella Maggioni

Retailers are increasingly considering the introduction of service robots in their stores to support or even replace service staff. Service robots can execute service scripts…

Abstract

Purpose

Retailers are increasingly considering the introduction of service robots in their stores to support or even replace service staff. Service robots can execute service scripts during the service encounter that can influence customer interactions and the overall experience. While the role of service agents is well documented, more research is needed to understand customer responses to a technology-infused servicescape and to investigate the value of service robots as interaction partners. The purpose of this study is to examine the degree of customer immersion in human-human or human-robot interactions across different stages of the service experience and to understand how immersion affects store visit duration under each condition.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental field study was developed to test the research hypotheses. The study was conducted in a retail store selling premium Italian leather goods with 50 respondents randomly allocated to one of two experimental conditions, interaction with a service robot or interaction with a human sales associate. Participants’ biometrics were collected to measure their immersion in the service encounter and to assess its impact on store visit duration.

Findings

The interaction with a service robot increases the level of customer immersion during the service encounter’s welcome and surprise moments. Immersion positively affects visit duration. However, participants exposed to a robot sales associate reported a shorter visit duration as compared to those who interacted with a human sales associate.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the emerging service and retail marketing literature on service robot applications applying a neuroscientific approach to the study of human–robot interactions across different moments of the service encounter. For managers, this study shows the conditions under which service robots can be successfully implemented in retail stores in accordance with the type of task performed and the degree of immersion generated in customers.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 October 2023

Michael S.W. Lee and Damien Chaney

While the metaverse is promised to be the next big step for the Internet, this new technology may also bear negative impacts on individuals and society. Drawing on innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

While the metaverse is promised to be the next big step for the Internet, this new technology may also bear negative impacts on individuals and society. Drawing on innovation resistance literature, this article explores the reasons for metaverse resistance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on 66 semi-structured interviews, and the subsequent data were analysed thematically.

Findings

The findings revealed 11 reasons for metaverse resistance: lack of understanding, lack of regulation, addiction avoidance, claustrophobia, loss of social ties, disconnection from reality, privacy concerns, extreme consumer society, unseen benefits, infeasibility and nausea.

Practical implications

By understanding the various reasons for metaverse resistance managers and policymakers can make better decisions to overcome the challenges facing this innovation, rather than adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Originality/value

While the literature has mainly adopted a positive perspective on the metaverse, this research offers a more nuanced view by identifying the reasons why consumers may resist the metaverse. Furthermore, this study introduces for the first-time “addiction-driven-innovation-resistance (ADIR)” as a potential reason for metaverse resistance, which may also apply to other cases of innovation resistance, when new innovations are perceived as being “too good” and therefore potentially addictive.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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