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Article
Publication date: 30 November 2021

Federico Barravecchia, Luca Mastrogiacomo and Fiorenzo Franceschini

Digital voice-of-customer (digital VoC) analysis is gaining much attention in the field of quality management. Digital VoC can be a great source of knowledge about…

Abstract

Purpose

Digital voice-of-customer (digital VoC) analysis is gaining much attention in the field of quality management. Digital VoC can be a great source of knowledge about customer needs, habits and expectations. To this end, the most popular approach is based on the application of text mining algorithms named topic modelling. These algorithms can identify latent topics discussed within digital VoC and categorise each source (e.g. each review) based on its content. This paper aims to propose a structured procedure for validating the results produced by topic modelling algorithms.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed procedure compares, on random samples, the results produced by topic modelling algorithms with those generated by human evaluators. The use of specific metrics allows to make a comparison between the two approaches and to provide a preliminary empirical validation.

Findings

The proposed procedure can address users of topic modelling algorithms in validating the obtained results. An application case study related to some car-sharing services supports the description.

Originality/value

Despite the vast success of topic modelling-based approaches, metrics and procedures to validate the obtained results are still lacking. This paper provides a first practical and structured validation procedure specifically employed for quality-related applications.

Details

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

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2021

Federico Barravecchia, Fiorenzo Franceschini, Luca Mastrogiacomo and Mohamed Zaki

The paper attempts to address the following research questions (RQs): RQ1: What are the main research topics within PSS research? RQ2: What are future trends for PSS research?

Abstract

Purpose

The paper attempts to address the following research questions (RQs): RQ1: What are the main research topics within PSS research? RQ2: What are future trends for PSS research?

Design/methodology/approach

Twenty years of research (1999–2018) on product-service systems (PSS) produced a significant amount of scientific literature on the topic. As the PSS field is relatively new and fragmented across different disciplines, a review of the prior and relevant literature is important in order to provide the necessary framework for understanding current developments and future perspectives. This paper aims to review and organize research contributions regarding PSS. A machine-learning algorithm, namely Latent Dirichlet Allocation, has been applied to the whole literature corpus on PSS in order to understand its structure.

Findings

The adopted approach resulted in the definition of eight distinct and representative topics able to deal adequately with the multidisciplinarity of the PSS. Furthermore, a systematic review of the literature is proposed to summarize the state-of-the-art and limitations in the identified PSS research topics. Based on this critical analysis, major gaps and future research challenges are presented and discussed.

Originality/value

On the basis of the results of the topic landscape, the paper presents some potential research opportunities on PSSs. In particular, challenges, transversal to the eight research topics and related to recent technology trends and digital transformation, have been discussed.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 32 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Federico Barravecchia, Fiorenzo Franceschini and Luca Mastrogiacomo

Service matching is defined in this paper as the process of combining a new service with one or more existing services. A recurring problem for service designer is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Service matching is defined in this paper as the process of combining a new service with one or more existing services. A recurring problem for service designer is to match new services with existing ones. This process may be seen as the fundamental action for the development of a service network. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the consequences that may follow from service matching.

Design/methodology/approach

Through an analogy with living organisms in natural ecosystems, the service relationship deployment (SRD) allows the investigation of the possible relationships between matched services.

Findings

This paper presents a new method, named SRD, developed to support the process of service matching in the early design phases of a new service. The description of the method is supported by some practical examples.

Originality/value

The focus of the scientific community on the problem of matching new services with existing ones, is very limited. This paper proposes a new methodology to address this issue.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Luca Mastrogiacomo, Federico Barravecchia and Fiorenzo Franceschini

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the practice of service recycling. There is an end of life to every product. At this stage, recycling is one option: it is the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the practice of service recycling. There is an end of life to every product. At this stage, recycling is one option: it is the process of converting waste materials into new products or raw materials. There is also an end of life to every service, which generally coincides with the end of service delivery. However, services are not made of materials or components that can be recovered or converted, so can they be recycled? If the concept of product recycling is something well established, then that of service recycling has not yet been sufficiently investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper introduces the perspective of service recycling, analyzing the modalities in which a service can be recycled by using an analogy with natural ecosystems. Some examples are also proposed to support this new vision.

Findings

This paper purports to formalize the practice of service recycling: recycling a service means recovering all the intangibles and tangibles resulting from the provision of a service that still may have a residual value. This practice may potentially lead to an increase in profits.

Originality/value

Although there are several examples of close relationships between two (or more) different services in which one of the two benefits from the externalities of the other, the concept of service recycling has not yet been structurally defined, and the authors believe that interesting perspectives of research may follow from its formalization.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Maurizio Galetto, Fiorenzo Franceschini and Luca Mastrogiacomo

The purpose of this paper is to verify a possible relationship between quality management system certification according to ISO 9001 standard and risk of failure of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to verify a possible relationship between quality management system certification according to ISO 9001 standard and risk of failure of Italian companies.

Design/methodology/approach

A synthetic index which summarize the most crucial economic/financial aspects of the studied companies is assumed as the response variable of a statistical model for studying the effects of four specific factors: certification, company size, regional development and manufacturing sub-sector. The analysis is conducted on a sample of Italian companies belonging to different manufacturing sub-sectors. The used data are obtained from the database Aida® by Bureau van Dijk and from the database of the Italian accreditation body Accredia. The study is based on analysis of variance (ANOVA) and contingency tables.

Findings

Preliminary results of ANOVA show that only company size, regional development and manufacturing sub-sector can be considered fully significant. Furthermore, the major conclusion from the analysis of contingency tables is that ISO 9001 certification is connected to the legal status (active, not active) of a company only for a portion for the studied manufacturing sub-sectors. Hence, the scenario is quite variegated and a significant positive interaction between certification and corporate performance is not always confirmed.

Research limitations/implications

Although the research shows some interesting results, it is liable to extensions and improvements. In particular, at the current exploratory level, it is limited to a specific period of time and considers only the Italian sector, but it could be extended to a wider number of years and to European and international level.

Practical implications

The study opens a way for a number of important questions about the meaning, usefulness and effectiveness of ISO 9001 certification. In particular, it may be time to ask whether the paradigm of certification actually needs a radical rethink.

Originality/value

This work represents a first exploratory attempt to correlate the risk of failure with the achievement of ISO 9001 certification. There are several similar works in literature which, however, focus mainly on sectorial aspects of the corporate background.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Mónica Cabecinhas, Pedro Domingues, Paulo Sampaio, Merce Bernardo, Fiorenzo Franceschini, Maurizio Galetto, Maria Gianni, Katerina Gotzamani, Luca Mastrogiacomo and Alfonso Hernandez-Vivanco

The purpose of this paper is to dissect the diffusion of the number of organizations that implemented multiple management systems (MSs), considering the International…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to dissect the diffusion of the number of organizations that implemented multiple management systems (MSs), considering the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards (quality, environment and safety) in the South European countries: Italy, Portugal and Spain. In addition, based on the data collected, forecasting models were developed to assess at which extent the multiple certifications are expected to occur in each studied country.

Design/methodology/approach

Data concerning the evolution of the amount of multiple MSs in Italy, Portugal and Spain were collected for the period between 1999 and 2015. The behavior of the evolution of the number of MSs over the years was studied adopting both the Gompertz and the Logistic models. The results obtained with these two models were compared and analyzed to provide a forecast for the next years.

Findings

The diffusion throughout the years of the number of MSs presents an S-shaped behavior. The evolution of the amount of MSs in countries with a lower saturation level are properly fitted by the Gompertz model whereas the Logistic model fits more accurately when considering countries with a larger saturation level.

Research limitations/implications

The data related to the early years are not available in some of the countries. To overcome this shortcoming missing data were extrapolated from the data set provided by the annual ISO survey. Additionally, the integration level attained by each company was not assessed and, on this regard and in the scope of this paper, an integrated management system is understood as implemented when organizations have multiple MSs implemented.

Practical implications

The results provide a cross-sectional portrayal of the diffusion of MSs certifications in the South European countries and enable a forecast for the trend in the next years.

Originality/value

This study aims for the first time, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, to analyze the diffusion of multiple MSs throughout the years.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 35 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2011

Fiorenzo Franceschini, Maurizio Galetto, Domenico Maisano and Luca Mastrogiacomo

The goal of this paper is to suggest a new incentive model that is capable of creating the conditions for the autonomous growth of diffusion and credibility of the ISO…

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this paper is to suggest a new incentive model that is capable of creating the conditions for the autonomous growth of diffusion and credibility of the ISO 9000 national quality certification system.

Design/methodology/approach

The first part of this work contains some considerations about the general interest of organisations in quality certification systems, emphasising the advantages and the drawbacks in being certified. Next, the attention shifts to future scenarios. Specifically, a new model is proposed that is capable of encouraging certified organisations (COs) and certification bodies (CBs) that operate blamelessly and seriously, while at the same time penalising those that do not.

Findings

The suggested model consists of two inter‐connected sub‐models relative to COs and CBs, respectively. Each sub‐model includes different states with different incentives/penalties. The switch‐over from one state to another depends on the practical results recorded in recent years by the CO/CB of interest. The switching rules are based on a set of objective, transparent, and non‐manipulable indicators.

Research limitations/implications

On‐site analyses and simulations are necessary so as to tune optimal switching rules to balance the whole model.

Practical implications

The (possible) future implementation of the model could have great impact on COs' and CBs' modi operandi, promoting the real implementation of quality management practices but – at the same time – not requiring significant additional effort from the state and the authorities accrediting/controlling CBs.

Originality/value

The proposed model is absolutely new and may represent a proper way to combine the interests and expectations of COs and CBs into a unique “virtuous circle” for improving the real implementation of quality management.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2008

Fiorenzo Franceschini, Maurizio Galetto, Luca Mastrogiacomo and Luciano Viticchiè

ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards certification is a phenomenon involving over the years a larger and larger number of companies and organizations. Looking at the empirical…

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Abstract

Purpose

ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards certification is a phenomenon involving over the years a larger and larger number of companies and organizations. Looking at the empirical data, it is observed that the phenomenon is close to saturation in many countries. In Italy, on the other hand, there is an important increase in the number of certifications. The purpose of this paper is to pick out the different components and aspects which make Italian dynamics so particular.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to do that the single commodity sector was analyzed, studying certifications diffusion in terms of certified sites. With the aim of specializing the analysis within commodity sectors, this information has been compared with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) percentage expressed by each sector.

Finding

The analysis shows that ISO certifications diffusion followed different dynamics depending on the commodity sectors. These reacted in different ways to the discontinuity of 2003, the year in which ISO 9000 standards changed from the 1994 to the 2000 version.

Research limitations/implications

Future research efforts will be directed at an in‐depth analysis of the differences between ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certified and analogous non‐certified firms. This analysis will be performed using performance indices such as the number of employees, the profitability, the volume of business, etc.

Originality/value

The paper analyzes the dynamic of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certification diffusion in Italy in different commodity sectors. The term of comparison is given by the contribution given by each sector to the GDP.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2010

Fiorenzo Franceschini, Maurizio Galetto, Domenico Maisano and Luca Mastrogiacomo

One of the stated goals behind the formation of the International Organization for Standardization was to develop standards to facilitate international trade in goods and…

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1075

Abstract

Purpose

One of the stated goals behind the formation of the International Organization for Standardization was to develop standards to facilitate international trade in goods and services. This goal has caused different country‐group trends in the diffusion of ISO certification. The purpose of this paper is to create a taxonomy of ISO 9000 certification diffusion in Europe.

Design/methodology/approach

The diffusion of ISO certificates in Europe was analyzed using the single linkage clustering algorithm. Then the features of each cluster were highlighted.

Findings

European nations were found to belong to three macro areas which differ for patterns of ISO 9000 certification diffusion: the constant growth area, the saturation area and the decline area.

Research limitations/implications

The present study deals with European nations, focusing on ISO 9000 standards. Future research will be addressed toward the analysis of other standards in a wider geographical area in order to see if the results found for the European reality may be extended. In addition the outcomes of such analysis may be used to enhance the existing models for the diffusion of ISO 9000 certification.

Practical implications

The analysis of the evolution of the certification market may arouse the interest of both companies and certification bodies that, from this study, may gain an insight into the future possible demand of certification. Furthermore, this study can be interesting from a legislature point of view, providing an answer to a more general question: “What is the general life cycle of standards or regulations?”

Originality/value

The novelty of the paper is the clustering approach that allows the grouping of different nations according to similar diffusion dynamics.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2008

F. Franceschini, M. Galetto, D. Maisano and L. Mastrogiacomo

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to provide a reference framework for the major properties of performance indicators, using the formalism of the Representation Theory.

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2538

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to provide a reference framework for the major properties of performance indicators, using the formalism of the Representation Theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Performance indicators shown are commonly used in many different areas of operations management in order to analyse process evolution. However, in practical applications many questions arise: “How many indicators should be used for representing a given process?”, “Is there an optimal set?”, “How to check whether the indicators used suitably represent the system investigated?”, etc. In the literature these questions have been addressed in relation to a number of different application fields. This has led to a maze of classifications and properties, which may create confusion in both the academic and the practitioner communities. In a previous work, the paper carried out an analysis of the existing literature, examining and comparing different approaches. This present work identifies and analyses the major properties which effective indicators should exhibit, and suggests an operational methodology to choose the “best” set of indicators.

Findings

The findings in this paper produce a detailed analysis of the properties of indicators and establish a schematic methodology facilitating the selection and verification of indicators. To make the process clearer, properties are explained by the use of practical examples.

Research limitations/implications

Indicators are utilized in many different contexts for a variety of purposes (for example, logistics, business management, manufacturing, sports competitions, etc.). The paper provides a general analysis of the most important properties of indicators, without entering into specific application contexts.

Practical implications

The paper proposes an operational methodology to support the selection and testing of the best indicators for a given process. This methodology may also be used for integrating other existing approaches.

Originality/value

Properties of indicators are examined from a mathematical/symbolic point of view, using the formalism of the Representation Theory.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 57 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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