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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2019

Yurgos Politis, Louis Olivia and Thomas Olivia

People with cognitive disabilities have a right to an inclusive society, and to have access to services and products that meet their specific needs. Participatory design (PD…

Abstract

Purpose

People with cognitive disabilities have a right to an inclusive society, and to have access to services and products that meet their specific needs. Participatory design (PD) represents a potentially effective way to ensure these rights, because users become influencers of the technological development and design process, are actively involved in the customization of that technology and develop a relationship with the designers/developers. Literature suggests that user involvement in technology development produces better products and has shown that this process offers users a voice and the process is also conducive to mutual learning between researchers and participants. This paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Here the authors will present the development of a virtual world (VW) platform, having as a starting point a minimally viable initial version. This was followed by the creation of a networking framework to test each feature of the VW, which allowed connected users, most of whom on the autistic spectrum, to interact with each other in real time in the VW, and to see each other’s effects. Stress testing sessions were initiated with a mixed group of 15 users, 8 of whom with autism (7 male and 1 female). Ten of the participants were male and five were female (Figure 1).

Findings

Even though the platform is feature-complete, its code is still in development; features can be improved/expanded upon, which necessitates further testing. The most commonly flagged issues from the stress testing were requests for videos/text manuals, the camera controls and chat message errors. These were implemented/fixed or added to the feature roadmap. “Heavy avatar customization” was also suggested, which has conceptual merit, but is not a priority.

Practical implications

PD is an inclusive approach that addresses personal needs and preferences, matching up the person with the tools and environments to ensure equity and inclusion. The VW whose development is described in this paper has been used for communication skills training with autistic young adults. It could be used for other social, life, academic and vocational skills training. This type of training through VR/VW may help enhance the employment-related skills of neurodiverse populations (and thus empower independent living) and has the potential for broader implementation and wider access in terms of distance learning.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the rather limited literature on applying PD approaches in the development of products for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The authors will present such a process for the development of a VW with people with autism. Although literature suggests that user involvement produces better outcomes, adopting this approach is not straightforward. The paper will describe in detail not only the contribution the participants made in every phase but also the limitations of applying a PD approach with a neurodiverse population, in order for them to be equal partners in the process and be involved in a meaningful way.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 18 December 2016

Abstract

Details

The Crisis of Race in Higher Education: A Day of Discovery and Dialogue
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-710-6

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2023

Victoria Brown

The purpose of the study is to examine the experiences of emerging adults transitioning from college to career and the implications of this transition on clothing choice and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to examine the experiences of emerging adults transitioning from college to career and the implications of this transition on clothing choice and identity formation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilized a phenomenological approach to address how appearances are used by emerging adults during the transition from college to the workplace and how those appearances help form identity.

Findings

The study found that participants have a desire for high-status consumption, primarily fueled by social comparison and the desire to keep up with colleagues, a desire to express identity through clothing, even if they are working from home, and the tendency to convey maturity during this transitory time by dressing the part.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study is the homogenous nature of participants. Most are white females in their 20s who work in the fashion industry. It would be fruitful to consider a more representative population of emerging adults to examine the role of clothing choice on identity formation during this critical time.

Practical implications

This study highlights the need for change in the retail sector, regarding which garments create a professional wardrobe. Since the pandemic, many companies have shifted to a casual dress code, thus rendering the historically professional wardrobe of business attire obsolete.

Originality/value

Examining what it means to be an emerging adult joining the workforce in today's post-pandemic world is a complex and ongoing process. This study provides insight into how this experience is navigated via clothing and how identities are shaped during this transition in a person's life.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2022

Mona Mrad, Maya Farah and Nour Mehdi

The purpose of this study is to explore the pros and cons of WhatsApp communication service and its likely effects on consumer behavior and one’s perception of luxury brands.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the pros and cons of WhatsApp communication service and its likely effects on consumer behavior and one’s perception of luxury brands.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducted 27 in-depth interviews with UK-based participants. This study used NVivo12 to thematically analyze the collected data.

Findings

The findings indicate that perceived communication convenience, searching for prepurchase information, intimate consumer–brand relationship, perceived self-worth and the thrill of a new service positively contribute to luxury customers’ acceptance of WhatsApp communication usage. Nevertheless, many factors including push promotional strategy, poor service quality, brand “massification” effect, deficient sensory experience, fear of financial risk and deceptive practices, all curbed the participants’ acceptance of this communication platform. When service is poor, all these factors jeopardized the luxury image, causing an impaired brand image, accompanied with negative word of mouth and in some instances, unexpected anticonsumption reactions.

Research limitations/implications

This study carries the limitations of any exploratory and qualitative research. Therefore, future research should replicate this study in other areas and for other instant messaging platforms.

Practical implications

The implications of this study serve as a reference for luxury brands’ managers when managing their WhatsApp service. This study provides important insights into the risk of using WhatsApp by luxury brands to communicate with customers. The overall conclusion is that WhatsApp communication service requires a close, supervised and innovative use to benefit luxury brands.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the topic of WhatsApp usage as a communication mean in the luxury industry is still largely underexplored, hence filling a gap in the literature that needs to be addressed given its significant implications.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 January 2024

Michael Sony, Mariam Ali Ramadan, Jiju Antony, Maha Khalifa Al Dhaheri, Olivia McDermott and Elizabeth A. Cudney

This research aims to establish the applicability of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 18404 standard to the service sector, identify any required…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to establish the applicability of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 18404 standard to the service sector, identify any required amendments and identify the critical success factors and barriers to deploying the standard within the service sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative approach by interviewing operational excellence (OPEX) professionals who work in the service sector.

Findings

The findings indicate a significant lack of knowledge about the existence of the standard and a general scepticism regarding the applicability of the current ISO 18404 standard to the service sector.

Research limitations/implications

Limited examples of the application of ISO 18404 in organisations exist, as only a few organisations have adopted the standard. Therefore, the research focussed on the challenges and obstacles that experienced OPEX professionals perceived could be an issue.

Originality/value

The study will aid service sector organisations in understanding the standard and, subsequently, determine whether to pursue it as part of an OPEX programme. This research is the first study on the application of ISO 18404 to the service sector.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 July 2024

Maryam Zulfiqar, Shreeranga Bhat, Michael Sony, Willem Salentijn, Vikas Swarnakar, Jiju Antony, Elizabeth A. Cudney, Sandra Furterer, Olivia McDermott, Raja Jayaraman and Monika Foster

While educators impart FMEA instruction, its practical implementation within the educational sector remains limited. This study investigates the application of FMEA within higher…

Abstract

Purpose

While educators impart FMEA instruction, its practical implementation within the educational sector remains limited. This study investigates the application of FMEA within higher education institutions. Implementing FMEA in these institutions is difficult due to statutory requirements, schedule restrictions, and stakeholder participation challenges. Moreover, higher education institutions struggle with preserving education quality, faculty training, and resource management, complicating organised methods such as FMEA.

Design/methodology/approach

This research conducted a global survey to identify the critical success factors, benefits, and common challenges in using FMEA in the higher education sector.

Findings

The outcomes highlighted that lack of awareness regarding the tools’ benefits is the primary barrier to FMEA implementation. However, respondents perceive that FMEA can improve process reliability and quality in higher education institutions. Further, the analyses found that knowledge about the FMEA tools is the prime critical success factor, and the lack of time due to other priorities in the organisation is a significant challenge in tapping the potential of FMEA.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of the study is the relatively low number of HEIs surveyed globally. Further, the study provides a broad perspective rather than a focused study on one HEI.

Practical implications

This study addresses this gap by exploring the potential benefits, challenges, and factors associated with the successful adoption of FMEA in academic settings. Using this information, HEIs can become more successful in applying FMEA.

Originality/value

This study is unique in its exploration of the application of FMEA with higher education institutions for service quality improvement.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 March 2021

Jiju Antony, Olivia McDermott, Michael Sony, Elizabeth A. Cudney, Ronald D. Snee and Roger W. Hoerl

This paper aims to present and summarise the arguments for and against the ISO 18404 standard and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of implementing it.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present and summarise the arguments for and against the ISO 18404 standard and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of implementing it.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative interview approach was utilised by interviewing a panel of leading academics and practitioners familiar with Lean Six Sigma.

Findings

The results indicate that Lean Six Sigma professionals have conflicting opinions on ISO 18404. An overwhelming majority of the panel questioned the “quality” of the standard and whether it is “fit for purpose”, while others see the advantages of a common standard in helping continuous improvement deployment.

Research limitations/implications

As the standard has not been widely adopted, there were limited examples on ISO 18404 discussion in the literature. Much of the current literature focuses on the theoretical application of the standard, with sparse practical examples providing case study deployment. Also, the interviews were short and at a high level. There is an opportunity for further study and analysis. It was difficult to find qualified interviewees who were familiar with the standard. A very real constraint when conducting research into ISO 18404 is to obtain a balanced view of the standard from those who have a vested interest in its continuation and evolution, or not.

Originality/value

The paper provides a resource for people to obtain insight into the value or non-value add of a standard in Lean Six Sigma and the appropriate details of such a standard. These results can form the basis of a case for the implementation of the standard for those organisations currently trying to decide whether to implement it or not.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2021

Jiju Antony, James Lancastle, Olivia McDermott, Shreeranga Bhat, Ratri Parida and Elizabeth A. Cudney

The purpose of this paper is to conduct an empirical study derived from the previous literature from the perspective of benefits, tools and techniques, continuous improvement (CI…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conduct an empirical study derived from the previous literature from the perspective of benefits, tools and techniques, continuous improvement (CI) and quality improvement (QI) methodologies and critical failure factors (CFFs) of Lean and Six Sigma (SS) in the national health service (NHS).

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was carried out to identify previous findings, empirical data and critical variables concerning Lean and SS in healthcare for over ten years. Second, primary research in quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews was carried out with 110 participants who have experience using Lean and SS in the NHS.

Findings

Lean and SS have evolved into common practices within the NHS and now have an established list of tools and techniques frequently employed by staff. Lean and SS are considered robust CI methodologies capable of effectively delivering extensive benefits across many different categories. The NHS must overcome a sizable amount of highly important CFFs and divided organizational culture.

Originality/value

This paper has developed the most extensive empirical study ever produced on Lean and SS in the NHS and has expanded on previous works to create new and updated research. The findings produced in this paper will assist NHS medical directors and practitioners in obtaining up-to-date insight into Lean and SS status in the NHS. The paper will also guide the NHS to critically evaluate their current CI strategy to ensure long-term sustainability and deliver improved levels of service to patients.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 18 December 2016

Abstract

Details

The Crisis of Race in Higher Education: A Day of Discovery and Dialogue
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-710-6

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 12 September 2017

Abstract

Details

The Power of Resistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-462-6

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