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Book part

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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Book part

Dekar Urumsah

The concept and practice of e-services has become essential in business transactions. Yet there are still many organizations that have not developed e-services optimally…

Abstract

The concept and practice of e-services has become essential in business transactions. Yet there are still many organizations that have not developed e-services optimally. This is especially relevant in the context of Indonesian Airline companies. Therefore, many airline customers in Indonesia are still in doubt about it, or even do not use it. To fill this gap, this study attempts to develop a model for e-services adoption and empirically examines the factors influencing the airlines customers in Indonesia in using e-services offered by the Indonesian airline companies. Taking six Indonesian airline companies as a case example, the study investigated the antecedents of e-services usage of Indonesian airlines. This study further examined the impacts of motivation on customers in using e-services in the Indonesian context. Another important aim of this study was to investigate how ages, experiences and geographical areas moderate effects of e-services usage.

The study adopts a positivist research paradigm with a two-phase sequential mixed method design involving qualitative and quantitative approaches. An initial research model was first developed based on an extensive literature review, by combining acceptance and use of information technology theories, expectancy theory and the inter-organizational system motivation models. A qualitative field study via semi-structured interviews was then conducted to explore the present state among 15 respondents. The results of the interviews were analysed using content analysis yielding the final model of e-services usage. Eighteen antecedent factors hypotheses and three moderating factors hypotheses and 52-item questionnaire were developed. A focus group discussion of five respondents and a pilot study of 59 respondents resulted in final version of the questionnaire.

In the second phase, the main survey was conducted nationally to collect the research data among Indonesian airline customers who had already used Indonesian airline e-services. A total of 819 valid questionnaires were obtained. The data was then analysed using a partial least square (PLS) based structural equation modelling (SEM) technique to produce the contributions of links in the e-services model (22% of all the variances in e-services usage, 37.8% in intention to use, 46.6% in motivation, 39.2% in outcome expectancy, and 37.7% in effort expectancy). Meanwhile, path coefficients and t-values demonstrated various different influences of antecedent factors towards e-services usage. Additionally, a multi-group analysis based on PLS is employed with mixed results. In the final findings, 14 hypotheses were supported and 7 hypotheses were not supported.

The major findings of this study have confirmed that motivation has the strongest contribution in e-services usage. In addition, motivation affects e-services usage both directly and indirectly through intention-to-use. This study provides contributions to the existing knowledge of e-services models, and practical applications of IT usage. Most importantly, an understanding of antecedents of e-services adoption will provide guidelines for stakeholders in developing better e-services and strategies in order to promote and encourage more customers to use e-services. Finally, the accomplishment of this study can be expanded through possible adaptations in other industries and other geographical contexts.

Details

E-services Adoption: Processes by Firms in Developing Nations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-709-7

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Article

Hui Lei, Thuong Thi Nguyen and Phong Ba Le

Knowledge sharing (KS) and innovation are generally believed as the antecedents of key outcomes that help firms to attain and sustain competitive advantage in long term…

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge sharing (KS) and innovation are generally believed as the antecedents of key outcomes that help firms to attain and sustain competitive advantage in long term. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the mechanism of how interpersonal trust and leader support affect KS and improve firm’s innovation capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a research paper which is built using empirical data collected from 68 manufacturing and service firms in China.

Findings

First, the findings show that leader supports moderate the correlation between interpersonal trust and KS. Second, KS serves as mediator in the relationship between interpersonal trust and firm’s innovation capabilities.

Research limitations/implications

KS plays a crucial role in stimulating innovation capabilities for both manufacturing and service firms. Future research should explore the effects of the motivational factors (such as positive psychological state, perceived benefits and costs) on KS and firm’s innovation capabilities.

Practical implications

The paper provides the evidence for the positive effects of interpersonal trust on KS, which in turn is significantly associated with product innovation and process innovation. It highlights the important role of leader supports in promoting the degree of sharing knowledge among individuals to enhance innovation capabilities for firms.

Originality/value

This study puts the theory of innovation forward based on exploring the key factors that have potential and positive impacts on two specific types of innovation capability, namely, product innovation and process innovation, for both manufacturing and service firms.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Abstract

Details

The World Meets Asian Tourists
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-219-1

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Article

Yuhe Wang, Gui Ye, Yuxin Zhang, Ping Mu and Hongxia Wang

In response to the 2008 financial crisis, the performance of the Chinese construction industry seems to be more successful, especially in total factor productivity growth…

Abstract

Purpose

In response to the 2008 financial crisis, the performance of the Chinese construction industry seems to be more successful, especially in total factor productivity growth (TFPG) and its contribution (TFPGC). Hence, the purpose of this paper is to investigate and reveal the potential successful lessons in this regard.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is conducted innovatively based on a special comparative analysis of TFPG and TFPGC between pre- and post-2008 financial crisis. Solow Residual Approach is used to measure TFPG and TFPGC for the period 2002–2016. Given that the crisis hit China at the end of 2008, the pre-2008 financial crisis period is from 2002 to 2008, and the post-2008 financial crisis period is limited to 2009–2016.

Findings

The results indicate that the industry indeed has better performance in promoting TFPG and TFPGC, TFP thus achieved significant accumulative growth before and after the crisis. However, from an evolutionary perspective, both TFPG and TFPGC presented an overall downward trend from before the crisis to after the crisis. Further, the game between the centrally planned economy and the market-oriented economy was identified and revealed as the essential reason behind the evolution of TFPG and TFPGC.

Practical implications

Some valuable lessons for policies and practices in promoting TFPG and TFPGC were summarized and learned from the Chinese experience, such as reducing administrative intervention and making the construction market play a decisive role.

Originality/value

This study provides some new empirical evidence to enrich the overall body of knowledge on growth theory, especially in promoting TFPG and TFPGC.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Lei Wang, Haijun Xia, Yaowen Yang, Yiru Cai and Zhiping Qiu

The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel non-probabilistic reliability-based topology optimization (NRBTO) method for continuum structural design under interval…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel non-probabilistic reliability-based topology optimization (NRBTO) method for continuum structural design under interval uncertainties of load and material parameters based on the technology of 3D printing or additive manufacturing.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the uncertainty quantification analysis is accomplished by interval Taylor extension to determine boundary rules of concerned displacement responses. Based on the interval interference theory, a novel reliability index, named as the optimization feature distance, is then introduced to construct non-probabilistic reliability constraints. To circumvent convergence difficulties in solving large-scale variable optimization problems, the gradient-based method of moving asymptotes is also used, in which the sensitivity expressions of the present reliability measurements with respect to design variables are deduced by combination of the adjoint vector scheme and interval mathematics.

Findings

The main findings of this paper should lie in that new non-probabilistic reliability index, i.e. the optimization feature distance which is defined and further incorporated in continuum topology optimization issues. Besides, a novel concurrent design strategy under consideration of macro-micro integration is presented by using the developed RBTO methodology.

Originality/value

Uncertainty propagation analysis based on the interval Taylor extension method is conducted. Novel reliability index of the optimization feature distance is defined. Expressions of the adjoint vectors between interval bounds of displacement responses and the relative density are deduced. New NRBTO method subjected to continuum structures is developed and further solved by MMA algorithms.

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Article

Shouhui Wang, Jianguo Dai, Qingzhan Zhao and Meina Cui

Many factors affect the emergence and development of crop diseases and insect pests. Traditional methods for investigating this subject are often difficult to employ and…

Abstract

Purpose

Many factors affect the emergence and development of crop diseases and insect pests. Traditional methods for investigating this subject are often difficult to employ and produce limited data with considerable uncertainty. The purpose of this paper is to predict the annual degree of cotton spider mite infestations by employing grey theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors established a GM(1,1) model to forecast mite infestation degree based on the analysis of historical data. To improve the prediction accuracy, the authors modified the grey model using Markov chain and BP neural network analyses. The prediction accuracy of the GM(1,1), Grey-Markov chain, and Grey-BP neural network models was 84.31, 94.76, and 96.84 per cent, respectively.

Findings

Compared with the single grey forecast model, both the Grey-Markov chain model and the Grey-BP neural network model had higher forecast accuracy, and the accuracy of the latter was highest. The improved grey model can be used to predict the degree of cotton spider mite infestations with high accuracy and overcomes the shortcomings of traditional forecasting methods.

Practical implications

The two new models were used to estimate mite infestation degree in 2015 and 2016. The Grey-Markov chain model yielded respective values of 1.27 and 1.15, whereas the Grey-BP neural network model yielded values 1.4 and 1.68; the actual values were 1.5 and 1.8.

Originality/value

The improved grey model can be used for medium- and long-term predictions of the occurrence of cotton spider mites and overcomes problems caused by data singularity and fluctuation. This research method can provide a reference for the prediction of similar diseases.

Details

Grey Systems: Theory and Application, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-9377

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Article

Yan Xia, Yi Wan, Hongwei Wang and Zhanqiang Liu

As the transmission component of a locomotive, the traction gear pair system has a direct effect on the stability and reliability of the whole machine. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

As the transmission component of a locomotive, the traction gear pair system has a direct effect on the stability and reliability of the whole machine. This paper aims to provide a detailed dynamic analysis for the traction system under internal and external excitations by numerical simulation.

Design/methodology/approach

A non-linear dynamic model of locomotive traction gear pair system is proposed, where the comprehensive time-varying meshing stiffness is obtained through the Ishikawa formula method and verified by the energy method, and then the sliding friction excitation is analyzed based on the location of the contact line. Meantime, the adhesion torque is constructed as a function of the adhesion-slip feature between wheelset and rail. Through Runge–Kutta numerical method, the system responses are studied with varying bifurcation parameters consisting of exciting frequency, load fluctuation, gear backlash, error fluctuation and friction coefficient. The dynamic behaviors of the system are analyzed and discussed from bifurcation diagram, time history, spectrum plot, phase portrait, Poincaré map and three-dimensional frequency spectrum.

Findings

The analysis results reveal that as control parameters vary the system experiences complex transition among a diverse range of motion states such as one-periodic, multi-periodic and chaotic motions. Specifically, the significant difference in system bifurcation characteristics can be observed under different adhesion conditions. The suitable gear backlash and error fluctuation can avoid the chaotic motion, and thus, reduce the vibration amplitude of the system. Similarly, the increasing friction coefficient can also suppress the unstable state and improve the stability of the system.

Originality/value

The numerical results may provide a systemic understanding of dynamic characteristics and present some available information to design and optimize the transmission performance of the locomotive traction system.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 37 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

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Article

Xiaoping Zhang, Yanhui Li, Meixiu Li, Qiuju Du, Hong Li, Yuqi Wang, Dechang Wang, Cuiping Wang, Kunyan Sui, Hongliang Li, Yanzhi Xia and Yuanhai Yu

In order to discover a new adsorbent that can be used to purify dye wastewater in the textile and apparel industry, a novel type of graphene oxide/gluten composite…

Abstract

Purpose

In order to discover a new adsorbent that can be used to purify dye wastewater in the textile and apparel industry, a novel type of graphene oxide/gluten composite material using an improved acid bath coagulation method was synthesized, which can remove methylene blue in an aqueous environment.

Design/methodology/approach

After experimentally compounding different ratios of graphene oxide and gluten, the graphene oxide/gluten composite material with 20% graphene oxide content and superlative adsorption effect was chosen. The synthesized material was characterized by different techniques such as FT-IR and SEM, indicating the microstructure of the material and the success of the composite. Various factors were considered, namely, the influence of temperature, dosage, pH and contact time. The isotherms, kinetics and thermodynamic parameters were successively discussed.

Findings

The qmax value of 214.29 mg/g of the material was higher compared to the general sorbent, thus, the graphene oxide/gluten composite material was a suitable sorbent for methylene blue removal. Overall, the graphene oxide/gluten composite material can be considered as an effectual and prospective adsorbent to remove methylene blue in the textile and apparel industrial effluent.

Originality/value

Graphene oxide is a potentially excellent sorbent. However, the high dispersibility of GO is detrimental to adsorption, it disperses rapidly in an aqueous solution making separation and recovery difficult. The high load capacity and recyclability of gluten as a colloid make it a suitable carrier for fixing GO. Studies on the combination of GO and GT into composite adsorption material and for the removal of dyes from dyeing wastewater have not been reported. The composite material research on GO and GT can provide new ideas for the research of these kinds of materials and contribute to its wider and convenient application in wastewater treatment.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

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Article

Zhi Yang, Van Thithuy Nguyen and Phong Ba Le

This paper aims to investigate the correlation between collaborative culture, knowledge sharing and innovation capabilities in Chinese firms.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the correlation between collaborative culture, knowledge sharing and innovation capabilities in Chinese firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used structural equation modeling to examine the level of how collaborative culture and knowledge sharing impact on two types of innovation capabilities (product innovation and process innovation) based on using data collected from 77 Chinese firms.

Findings

The research findings show that knowledge sharing plays a mediating role between collaborative culture and two specific types of innovation, namely, product innovation and process innovation. The paper first confirms the moderating role of ownership form in the relationships between knowledge sharing and innovation capabilities. The results underline the necessity of building a collaborative culture to stimulate employees’ knowledge sharing behavior, which in turn positively promotes innovation capabilities in an organization.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has not evaluated the relationship between latent variables under the condition of moderating variables of individual characteristics (such as optimism and self-efficacy) or firm characteristics (such as industry type, firm size and firm age). Further research should examine the moderating effects of these variables to have clearer relationship between the constructs.

Practical implications

This paper offers leaders a deeper understanding of the effects of ownership forms and potential factors to promote innovation capabilities in their firms.

Originality/value

The paper has contributed to theoretical and practical initiatives on the theory of innovation management which enable firms to identify the necessary factors and mechanism to enhance firm capabilities for innovation.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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