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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2021

Tom Olney, Chenxi Li and Juan Luo

The purpose of this paper is to identify staff skills and competencies on which Chinese open universities should focus their professional development activities in order…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify staff skills and competencies on which Chinese open universities should focus their professional development activities in order to enhance the quality of open and distance learning (ODL) in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from surveys of 220 academic and academic-related Chinese staff, each of whom participated in one of seven 3-day Learning Design and Course Creation (LDCC) workshops at three large regional open universities in China between 2017 and 2019. The workshops were based on the UK Open University (UKOU) approach to learning design (LD) and course creation. Using content analysis methodology, textual responses were analysed and compared against the Instructional Design Competencies framework provided by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (IBSTPI).

Findings

(1) Designing instructional interventions, (2) keeping up to date with design theories, (3) communicating in order to manage stakeholders, teams and projects were the main competencies identified from the participants responses. However, these three identified competencies differed in emphasis between the institutions that took part.

Originality/value

In Western higher education institutions (HEIs), LD has developed as an important approach to improving quality. A need has been identified for robust approaches to quality and professional development opportunities to enhance teaching and learning standards in open and distance learning (ODL) in China. This paper identifies and discusses specific LD skills and competencies that could be targeted to improve the quality of ODL in China.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2015

Lin Yuan and Nitin Pangarkar

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the performance implications of internationalization strategies for Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs). Specifically…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the performance implications of internationalization strategies for Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs). Specifically, the authors examine the individual and joint effects of speed of internationalization in developed and developing countries and age on Chinese MNCs’ performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors constructed a unique and comprehensive database on the internationalization strategies of 206 Chinese firms over 14 years and deployed random-effect regressions to assess the effects of age, speed of expansion in terms of number of subsidiaries and countries, and the types of destination (developed vs developing country) on firm performance.

Findings

The analyses show that age is negatively related to performance but rapid expansion of subsidiaries in developing countries and geographic scope in developed countries are positively related to performance. In addition, the impacts of young age and two types of expansion, fast expansion of subsidiaries in developing countries and fast expansion of geographic scope in developed countries, are cumulative.

Originality/value

The authors combine the arguments of the learning advantages of newness and fast movers and model the simultaneous effects of age and speed of two types of international expansion (in terms of number of subsidiaries and countries) in both developed and developing countries on performance. The strong empirical support for the hypotheses based on analyses of a unique data set of Chinese MNCs’ internationalization patterns lends credence to the proposed model.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Samira Khodabandehlou and Mahmoud Zivari Rahman

This paper aims to provide a predictive framework of customer churn through six stages for accurate prediction and preventing customer churn in the field of business.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a predictive framework of customer churn through six stages for accurate prediction and preventing customer churn in the field of business.

Design/methodology/approach

The six stages are as follows: first, collection of customer behavioral data and preparation of the data; second, the formation of derived variables and selection of influential variables, using a method of discriminant analysis; third, selection of training and testing data and reviewing their proportion; fourth, the development of prediction models using simple, bagging and boosting versions of supervised machine learning; fifth, comparison of churn prediction models based on different versions of machine-learning methods and selected variables; and sixth, providing appropriate strategies based on the proposed model.

Findings

According to the results, five variables, the number of items, reception of returned items, the discount, the distribution time and the prize beside the recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) variables (RFMITSDP), were chosen as the best predictor variables. The proposed model with accuracy of 97.92 per cent, in comparison to RFM, had much better performance in churn prediction and among the supervised machine learning methods, artificial neural network (ANN) had the highest accuracy, and decision trees (DT) was the least accurate one. The results show the substantially superiority of boosting versions in prediction compared with simple and bagging models.

Research limitations/implications

The period of the available data was limited to two years. The research data were limited to only one grocery store whereby it may not be applicable to other industries; therefore, generalizing the results to other business centers should be used with caution.

Practical implications

Business owners must try to enforce a clear rule to provide a prize for a certain number of purchased items. Of course, the prize can be something other than the purchased item. Business owners must accept the items returned by the customers for any reasons, and the conditions for accepting returned items and the deadline for accepting the returned items must be clearly communicated to the customers. Store owners must consider a discount for a certain amount of purchase from the store. They have to use an exponential rule to increase the discount when the amount of purchase is increased to encourage customers for more purchase. The managers of large stores must try to quickly deliver the ordered items, and they should use equipped and new transporting vehicles and skilled and friendly workforce for delivering the items. It is recommended that the types of services, the rules for prizes, the discount, the rules for accepting the returned items and the method of distributing the items must be prepared and shown in the store for all the customers to see. The special services and reward rules of the store must be communicated to the customers using new media such as social networks. To predict the customer behaviors based on the data, the future researchers should use the boosting method because it increases efficiency and accuracy of prediction. It is recommended that for predicting the customer behaviors, particularly their churning status, the ANN method be used. To extract and select the important and effective variables influencing customer behaviors, the discriminant analysis method can be used which is a very accurate and powerful method for predicting the classes of the customers.

Originality/value

The current study tries to fill this gap by considering five basic and important variables besides RFM in stores, i.e. prize, discount, accepting returns, delay in distribution and the number of items, so that the business owners can understand the role services such as prizes, discount, distribution and accepting returns play in retraining the customers and preventing them from churning. Another innovation of the current study is the comparison of machine-learning methods with their boosting and bagging versions, especially considering the fact that previous studies do not consider the bagging method. The other reason for the study is the conflicting results regarding the superiority of machine-learning methods in a more accurate prediction of customer behaviors, including churning. For example, some studies introduce ANN (Huang et al., 2010; Hung and Wang, 2004; Keramati et al., 2014; Runge et al., 2014), some introduce support vector machine ( Guo-en and Wei-dong, 2008; Vafeiadis et al., 2015; Yu et al., 2011) and some introduce DT (Freund and Schapire, 1996; Qureshi et al., 2013; Umayaparvathi and Iyakutti, 2012) as the best predictor, confusing the users of the results of these studies regarding the best prediction method. The current study identifies the best prediction method specifically in the field of store businesses for researchers and the owners. Moreover, another innovation of the current study is using discriminant analysis for selecting and filtering variables which are important and effective in predicting churners and non-churners, which is not used in previous studies. Therefore, the current study is unique considering the used variables, the method of comparing their accuracy and the method of selecting effective variables.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 19 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Juan Wang, Bowen Zheng and Hefu Liu

Omnichannel retail are catching increasing attention from multiple research area, due to its widespread and essential application in retailing industry. The principal…

Abstract

Purpose

Omnichannel retail are catching increasing attention from multiple research area, due to its widespread and essential application in retailing industry. The principal object of this paper is to systematically review current studies on omnichannel retail in information systems, operations and marketing research area. Further, the second purpose of this study is to provide insights and guides on omnichannel research to facilitate advance research in the area.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic review on omnichannel retail in retailing industry has been conducted. 33 research articles from 2014 to 2020 from Financial Times 50 journals (FT 50 journals) were identified to be reviewed. The articles were reviewed on the basis of study area namely: information systems, operations and marketing. These research areas were further divided into subcategories to provide in-depth and crystal clear review of literature.

Findings

The review outcome showed that omnichannel topics are active in management studies. There are three main research areas: information systems, operations management and marketing. This study found that IT enhances channel capabilities and expands demand in omnichannel retail; operations can be better optimized based on understanding of cross-channel interactions, product category and retailer types; consumer heterogeneity, product category, channel capabilities and retailer type are all found to contribute to complexities of omnichannel marketing.

Originality/value

This study provides a pioneering review to gauge the updated literature concerned with omnichannel research in terms of IT, operations and marketing perspective. Further, a systematic literature review provides insights and guides for future significant studies on potential research subjects.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 121 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2020

Xuan Bai and Julie Juan Li

The purpose of this paper is to examine the types of justice that affect knowledge acquisition and opportunism in strategic alliances and how these justice mechanisms function.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the types of justice that affect knowledge acquisition and opportunism in strategic alliances and how these justice mechanisms function.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from both top-level and operating-level boundary spanners in 295 strategic alliances in China (a total of 590 boundary spanners). A structural equation model (SEM) with bias-corrected bootstrap method was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results show that although both procedural justice and distributive justice are important in deterring opportunism, procedural justice is more effective at enhancing knowledge acquisition than distributive justice is. The results also demonstrate that boundary spanners' helping behaviors are more effective at fostering knowledge acquisition, whereas boundary spanners' voice behaviors have more impact on mitigating opportunism. In addition, boundary spanners' citizenship behaviors partially mediate the relationship between justice and interfirm-level performance.

Originality/value

This study adds a boundary-spanning lens to justice literature by uncovering the missing link between justice and alliance outcomes.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 59 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 March 2021

Xuan Bai, Shibin Sheng and Julie Juan Li

This paper aims to examine alliance governance at different hierarchical levels.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine alliance governance at different hierarchical levels.

Design/methodology/approach

The data is collected from both top-level and operating-level managers in 286 strategic alliances in China (a total of 572 managers). Hierarchical moderated regression models are adopted to test the hypotheses and two-stage regression analyzes are used to correct for endogeneity.

Findings

This paper finds that relational governance has a greater impact on alliance performance than contract utilization at the top level. Furthermore, the simultaneous use of relational governance at the top and operating levels have a detrimental impact on alliance performance. Finally, top-level contract utilization has a negative interaction with operating-level relational governance but a positive interaction with operating-level contract utilization.

Research limitations/implication

First, the cross-sectional nature of the data collection approach provides only a snapshot of how each type of governance mechanism and its interactions affect alliance performance. Second, the sample is limited to firms located in emerging markets.

Practical implications

Managers should realize that the effectiveness of contract and relational governance mechanisms varies across different management levels and they should be cautious about the cross-level governance mechanism alignment.

Originality/value

This study advances the interfirm governance literature in that this paper examined alliance governance at different hierarchical levels and provides new insights into the ongoing debate on whether the contract and relational governance mechanisms function as complements or substitutes by exploring the governance alignment across different alliance hierarchies.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 10 November 2020

Haifeng Yan, Qihu Wang, Yi Ke and Juan Wang

It is widely accepted that business excellence comes from firm-specific factors. However, it is still unclear how institutional relatedness – the degree of embeddedness…

Abstract

Purpose

It is widely accepted that business excellence comes from firm-specific factors. However, it is still unclear how institutional relatedness – the degree of embeddedness with the dominant institutions that confer resources and legitimacy, influences the business excellence of the firm. The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of three kinds of institutional relatedness, i.e. home government ties, initial public offerings (IPOs) and alliances with foreign firms, on the business excellence of Chinese firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a sample of firms enlisted on the “Most Respected Companies” rank in China during the period 2002–2015 and their paired firms who are absent from the list, by means of ordinary least square regression estimator, to explore the relationship between institutional relatedness and business excellence.

Findings

The empirical results suggest that IPOs and alliances with foreign firms significantly strengthen firms’ business excellence. Furthermore, home government ties have positive effects on outbound IPOs and alliances with foreign firms but hinder business excellence.

Originality/value

This study extends the business excellence literature by characterizing institutional rather than firm-specific factors from an institution-based view. It also enriches research on outcomes of institutional relatedness through investigating empirically its impact on business excellence. The findings provide new insights into the dual role of home government ties in achieving business excellence.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 2 July 2020

Yu Luo, Zewei Fang, Juzhi Guo, Hao Lu and Juan Li

This paper aims to improve the scene sense of a virtual scene, the welding model of a virtual reality system of riser automatic equipment was constructed using Unity3D and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to improve the scene sense of a virtual scene, the welding model of a virtual reality system of riser automatic equipment was constructed using Unity3D and UG software, which mainly included a welding car, welding guide rail, welding power supply, virtual camera and other equipment and the model was rendered.

Design/methodology/approach

The human-computer interaction page and simulation test of the system was produced using the user interface GUI system for creating a human-computer interaction scene. The operator could capture the welding status of the physical equipment accurately and in real-time so the virtual reality technology was very suitable for the remote monitoring operation integrated with the welding system.

Findings

Human-computer interaction design and collision detection were realized. In addition, the system simulation experiment was accomplished. With the continuous improvement and development of virtual reality technology real-time virtual simulation and monitoring, technology will become the main development trend.

Research limitations/implications

Based on virtual reality, the monitoring system can capture the operation status of physical welding equipment in real-time and accurately, which is very suitable for remote monitoring operation integrated with the welding system and also conducive to improving the monitoring level of the welding process.

Practical implications

This technology is time-saving and money-saving, for the operators do not have to be in a real welding environment and therefore they can get away from dangerous places. Consequently, it can avoid unnecessary injuries and problems.

Social implications

This technology can replace people to enter the dangerous and extreme environment to carry out welding operation, so it becomes the most effective means of nuclear power plant maintenance, space structure construction and marine engineering construction. In addition, it is time-saving and money-saving.

Originality/value

With the rapid development of virtual reality technology in recent years, it is a new research direction to apply virtual reality technology to the remote welding operation. This technology is different from the traditional way of welding for the operators can stay away from the welding scene especially some dangerous places.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Nima Gerami Seresht, Rodolfo Lourenzutti, Ahmad Salah and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, construction engineering and management involves the coordination of many complex and dynamic processes…

Abstract

Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, construction engineering and management involves the coordination of many complex and dynamic processes and relies on the analysis of uncertain, imprecise and incomplete information, including subjective and linguistically expressed information. Various modelling and computing techniques have been used by construction researchers and applied to practical construction problems in order to overcome these challenges, including fuzzy hybrid techniques. Fuzzy hybrid techniques combine the human-like reasoning capabilities of fuzzy logic with the capabilities of other techniques, such as optimization, machine learning, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) and simulation, to capitalise on their strengths and overcome their limitations. Based on a review of construction literature, this chapter identifies the most common types of fuzzy hybrid techniques applied to construction problems and reviews selected papers in each category of fuzzy hybrid technique to illustrate their capabilities for addressing construction challenges. Finally, this chapter discusses areas for future development of fuzzy hybrid techniques that will increase their capabilities for solving construction-related problems. The contributions of this chapter are threefold: (1) the limitations of some standard techniques for solving construction problems are discussed, as are the ways that fuzzy methods have been hybridized with these techniques in order to address their limitations; (2) a review of existing applications of fuzzy hybrid techniques in construction is provided in order to illustrate the capabilities of these techniques for solving a variety of construction problems and (3) potential improvements in each category of fuzzy hybrid technique in construction are provided, as areas for future research.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2019

Yanjie Bian, Juan Xie, Yang Yang and Mingsong Hao

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of corporate social capital and local embeddedness on perceived business performance of Chinese enterprises operating…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of corporate social capital and local embeddedness on perceived business performance of Chinese enterprises operating overseas, whose recent growth resulted from the Belt and Road Initiative.

Design/methodology/approach

This study reports the results of a sample of 83 Shaanxi outward foreign direct investment (FDI) firms operating in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. In-depth interviews with a few sampled firms are used to develop the survey questionnaire and help interpret the results of statistical analysis.

Findings

This study proposes two hypotheses and both are supported by the data. First, corporate social capital is a three-dimensional concept, covering governmental, market and personal sources with each source making an equal, positive effect on perceived overseas performance of the surveyed firms. Second, these firms do better when having developed a higher degree of local embeddedness, a measure on local channels used to obtain information and mobilize resources. While local embeddedness indeed mediates some effect of corporate social capital, both variables have shown direct impact on performance.

Research limitations/implications

Reported findings are from a small sample of 83 firms in an inland Chinese province, and business performance is measured by subjective evaluation rather than economic output.

Practical implications

The practical implication is that a Chinese FDI firm is expected to maintain all three relational channels – governmental, market and interpersonal – because the firm can gain different kinds of information and resources from these sources and each channel is necessary and equally important for the firm’s development. Importantly, it needs a different strategy to maintain and best use each channel. For the Belt and Road Initiative to be effective, China must establish platforms through which enterprises can strengthen and reconfigure their corporate social capital, as well as to cultivate and sustain their local networks in foreign destinations.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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