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This paper presents our development of a novel Internet‐based E‐manufacturing system to advance applications in micromanipulation and microassembly using an in situ…
This paper presents our development of a novel Internet‐based E‐manufacturing system to advance applications in micromanipulation and microassembly using an in situ polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric sensor. In this system, to allow close monitoring of magnitude and direction of microforces (adhesion, surface tension, friction, and assembly forces) acting on microdevices during assembly, the PVDF polymer films are used to fabricate the highly sensitive 1D and 2D sensors, which can detect the real‐time microforce and force rate information during assembly processes. This technology has been successfully used to perform a tele‐assembly of the surface MEMS structures with force/visual feedback via Internet between USA and Hong Kong. Ultimately, this E‐manufacture system will provide a critical and major step towards the development of automated micromanufacturing processes for batch assembly of microdevices.
This paper presents our development of a novel force and force rate sensory system to advance applications in micromanipulation using an in situ polyvinylidene fluoride…
This paper presents our development of a novel force and force rate sensory system to advance applications in micromanipulation using an in situ polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric sensor. To allow close monitoring of magnitude and direction of microforces acting on microdevices during manipulation, PVDF ploymer films are used to fabricate highly sensitive 1D and 2D sensors to detect real‐time microforce and force rate information during the manipulation process. The sensory system with a resolution in the range of sub‐micronewtons can be applied effectively to develop a technology on the force‐reflection microassembly of surface MEMS structures. In addition, a tele‐micromanipulation platform, which can be used to perform tele‐microassembly of the MEMS structures and tele‐cell‐manipulation with force/haptic feedback via Internet was also built successfully.
Smart card-based E-payment systems are receiving increasing attention as the number of implementations is witnessed on the rise globally. Understanding of user adoption…
Smart card-based E-payment systems are receiving increasing attention as the number of implementations is witnessed on the rise globally. Understanding of user adoption behavior of E-payment systems that employ smart card technology becomes a research area that is of particular value and interest to both IS researchers and professionals. However, research interest focuses mostly on why a smart card-based E-payment system results in a failure or how the system could have grown into a success. This signals the fact that researchers have not had much opportunity to critically review a smart card-based E-payment system that has gained wide support and overcome the hurdle of critical mass adoption. The Octopus in Hong Kong has provided a rare opportunity for investigating smart card-based E-payment system because of its unprecedented success. This research seeks to thoroughly analyze the Octopus from technology adoption behavior perspectives.
Cultural impacts on adoption behavior are one of the key areas that this research posits to investigate. Since the present research is conducted in Hong Kong where a majority of population is Chinese ethnicity and yet is westernized in a number of aspects, assuming that users in Hong Kong are characterized by eastern or western culture is less useful. Explicit cultural characteristics at individual level are tapped into here instead of applying generalization of cultural beliefs to users to more accurately reflect cultural bias. In this vein, the technology acceptance model (TAM) is adapted, extended, and tested for its applicability cross-culturally in Hong Kong on the Octopus. Four cultural dimensions developed by Hofstede are included in this study, namely uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, individualism, and Confucian Dynamism (long-term orientation), to explore their influence on usage behavior through the mediation of perceived usefulness.
TAM is also integrated with the innovation diffusion theory (IDT) to borrow two constructs in relation to innovative characteristics, namely relative advantage and compatibility, in order to enhance the explanatory power of the proposed research model. Besides, the normative accountability of the research model is strengthened by embracing two social influences, namely subjective norm and image. As the last antecedent to perceived usefulness, prior experience serves to bring in the time variation factor to allow level of prior experience to exert both direct and moderating effects on perceived usefulness.
The resulting research model is analyzed by partial least squares (PLS)-based Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach. The research findings reveal that all cultural dimensions demonstrate direct effect on perceived usefulness though the influence of uncertainty avoidance is found marginally significant. Other constructs on innovative characteristics and social influences are validated to be significant as hypothesized. Prior experience does indeed significantly moderate the two influences that perceived usefulness receives from relative advantage and compatibility, respectively. The research model has demonstrated convincing explanatory power and so may be employed for further studies in other contexts. In particular, cultural effects play a key role in contributing to the uniqueness of the model, enabling it to be an effective tool to help critically understand increasingly internationalized IS system development and implementation efforts. This research also suggests several practical implications in view of the findings that could better inform managerial decisions for designing, implementing, or promoting smart card-based E-payment system.
Even more than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination toward a number of groups in employment settings in the United States, workplace…
Even more than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination toward a number of groups in employment settings in the United States, workplace discrimination remains a persistent problem in organizations. This chapter provides a comprehensive review and analysis of contemporary theory and evidence on the nature, causes, and consequences of discrimination before synthesizing potential methods for its reduction. We note the strengths and weaknesses of this scholarship and highlight meaningful future directions. In so doing, we hope to both inform and inspire organizational and scholarly efforts to understand and eliminate workplace discrimination.
Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from…
Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from unstructured supply chain practices, lack of awareness of the implications of the sustainability concept and failure to recycle poultry wastes. The current research thus attempts to develop an integrated supply chain model in the context of poultry industry in Bangladesh. The study considers both sustainability and supply chain issues in order to incorporate them in the poultry supply chain. By placing the forward and reverse supply chains in a single framework, existing problems can be resolved to gain economic, social and environmental benefits, which will be more sustainable than the present practices.
The theoretical underpinning of this research is ‘sustainability’ and the ‘supply chain processes’ in order to examine possible improvements in the poultry production process along with waste management. The research adopts the positivist paradigm and ‘design science’ methods with the support of system dynamics (SD) and the case study methods. Initially, a mental model is developed followed by the causal loop diagram based on in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and observation techniques. The causal model helps to understand the linkages between the associated variables for each issue. Finally, the causal loop diagram is transformed into a stock and flow (quantitative) model, which is a prerequisite for SD-based simulation modelling. A decision support system (DSS) is then developed to analyse the complex decision-making process along the supply chains.
The findings reveal that integration of the supply chain can bring economic, social and environmental sustainability along with a structured production process. It is also observed that the poultry industry can apply the model outcomes in the real-life practices with minor adjustments. This present research has both theoretical and practical implications. The proposed model’s unique characteristics in mitigating the existing problems are supported by the sustainability and supply chain theories. As for practical implications, the poultry industry in Bangladesh can follow the proposed supply chain structure (as par the research model) and test various policies via simulation prior to its application. Positive outcomes of the simulation study may provide enough confidence to implement the desired changes within the industry and their supply chain networks.
Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).
The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.
This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.