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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of public libraries as institutions underpinning a democratic public sphere as reasons legitimizing libraries compared to reasons that are more traditional and the actual use of libraries as public sphere arenas.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of representative samples of the adult population in six countries – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland – was undertaken.

Findings

Legitimations related to the libraries role as a meeting place and arena for public debate are ranked as the 3 least important out of 12 possible legitimations for upholding a public library service. Libraries are, however, used extensively by the users to access citizenship information and to participate in public sphere relevant meetings.

Originality/value

Few studies have empirically analyzed the role of libraries in upholding a democratic and sustainable public sphere. This study contributes in filling that gap.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article

Máté Tóth and Ragnar Audunson

The study aims to report on a research project that analyzed social websites for booklovers. These sites represent a service that is promising for public libraries in…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to report on a research project that analyzed social websites for booklovers. These sites represent a service that is promising for public libraries in their efforts to find new ways in promoting reading and literature. At the same time the growth of such sites is another example of how technological developments challenge librarianship. Many of these sites are established and run independently from the library field.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports from a research comparing two such websites – the Norwegian Bokelskere.no and the Hungarian Moly.hu. A questionnaire was published on the two websites in mid September 2010. It was accessible for approximately 20 days. A total of 777 users filled in and returned the questionnaire.

Findings

As the typical user of Moly/Bokelskere is a young, ethnic Hungarian or Norwegian, well educated, female from the bigger cities the complexity and pluralism of society is not reflected in the websites in the same way as it is in physical libraries. They are not heavy library users, and they have a relatively low trust concerning libraries in comparison with other sources of information. The sites are mainly used as information sources and not as places where one can meet with others. Although the social dimension of reading appears, it is related mainly to the family or friends and not to strangers.

Research limitations/implications

It would be inaccurate to claim that the study gives a comprehensive overview on social sites for booklovers. The relatively high number of respondents from the two analyzed websites provides an extensive, but not comprehensive, sample. Self‐recruitment of respondents might cause biases compared with a randomly drawn sample.

Practical implications

The study on which the paper is based is a part of the PLACE project, which aims at exploring the role of public libraries as meeting places. The study generates knowledge on the potential and role of virtual meeting places that is relevant for public libraries in their efforts to adapt to a new reality.

Social implications

The study generates knowledge that can be of importance for developing libraries and library policies in relation to digital meeting places.

Originality/value

There are few studies analyzing literary websites for booklovers and the study contributes in developing a new research field in library and information science.

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Article

Elena Corradini

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the main contents of the 18th BOBCATSSS Symposium, held in Parma, Italy in January 2010, dedicated to the main theme…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the main contents of the 18th BOBCATSSS Symposium, held in Parma, Italy in January 2010, dedicated to the main theme “Bridging the digital divide: libraries providing access for all?”

Design/methodology/approach

The report provides a concise presentation of the main themes discussed during the conference.

Findings

The topics presented focused mainly on the fields of access and delivery, community support and collections, with some others focusing on leadership and management.

Originality/value

This symposium is one of the few conferences in the world where students are the main characters and participate as organisers, reviewers and presenters of the contributions. Reports on such conferences are of interest to both students and to teachers and professionals.

Details

New Library World, vol. 111 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

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Article

Chiara Giachino, Luigi Bollani, Alessandro Bonadonna and Marco Bertetti

The aim of the paper is to test and demonstrate the potential benefits in applying reinforcement learning instead of traditional methods to optimize the content of a…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to test and demonstrate the potential benefits in applying reinforcement learning instead of traditional methods to optimize the content of a company's mobile application to best help travellers finding their ideal flights. To this end, two approaches were considered and compared via simulation: standard randomized experiments or A/B testing and multi-armed bandits.

Design/methodology/approach

The simulation of the two approaches to optimize the content of its mobile application and, consequently, increase flights conversions is illustrated as applied by Skyscanner, using R software.

Findings

The first results are about the comparison between the two approaches – A/B testing and multi-armed bandits – to identify the best one to achieve better results for the company. The second one is to gain experiences and suggestion in the application of the two approaches useful for other industries/companies.

Research limitations/implications

The case study demonstrated, via simulation, the potential benefits to apply the reinforcement learning in a company. Finally, the multi-armed bandit was implemented in the company, but the period of the available data was limited, and due to its strategic relevance, the company cannot show all the findings.

Practical implications

The right algorithm can change according to the situation and industry but would bring great benefits to the company's ability to surface content that is more relevant to users and help improving the experience for travellers. The study shows how to manage complexity and data to achieve good results.

Originality/value

The paper describes the approach used by an European leading company operating in the travel sector in understanding how to adapt reinforcement learning to its strategic goals. It presents a real case study and the simulation of the application of A/B testing and multi-armed bandit in Skyscanner; moreover, it highlights practical suggestion useful to other companies.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Book part

Olga Tóth

Hungary is situated in east central Europe with an area of 93 thousand square kilometers and a population of 10.2 million. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita was…

Abstract

Hungary is situated in east central Europe with an area of 93 thousand square kilometers and a population of 10.2 million. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita was 5,669 Euro in 2001 (Statistical Yearbook, 2001). Ninety-seven percent of the country’s population is Hungarian. The ethnic minorities, comprising 3% of the population, are German, Slovak and Romanian. The minority with the highest population, and of a peculiar status, is the Gypsies. Their proportion of the population of Hungary is estimated at 5–6% (Hablicsek, 2000). Gypsies are linguistically divided, with 70% speaking Hungarian as their maternal language. Their recognition as a separate ethnic group is currently a matter of political debate.

Details

Families in Eastern Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-116-3

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Article

Martina Topić

The purpose of this paper was to explore social interactions, banter and the office culture in the public relations (PR) industry in England with the use of the difference…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to explore social interactions, banter and the office culture in the public relations (PR) industry in England with the use of the difference approach and Bourdieu’s habitus theory. The paper explores whether PR organisations act as masculine habitus.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interviews were conducted with 26 women practitioners, and thematic analysis was used to analyse data. Women were asked questions on social interactions, banter and the office culture, as well as questions on exclusion, from business decisions and having to work harder to succeed.

Findings

Findings show that two main themes dominate in responses from interviewees, “de-patriarchalisation” of PR with no personal appearance requirements and no business exclusions because of gender, and “gendered organisations” where interviewees reported dismissive stereotypes of women who work in PR, networking as a job requirement and differences between male-dominated and female-dominated offices, which includes differences between social interactions and banter among men and women.

Practical implications

Results indicate that women feel there are differences in social interactions and banter between men and women. Interviewees also report masculine domination as and harmful stereotypes of public PR professionals, most of whom are women. Organisations who have PR departments, as well as those who hire PR agencies to do the work externally, should design policies on the office culture to ensure equality and respectful work environment for everyone.

Social implications

In line with the difference approach, women report differences in social interactions and banter between them and men, thus signalling that social differences influence the office culture and work interactions, which tend to be gendered. Findings also indicate that organisations are functioning as a masculine world where women struggle to fit in and obtain recognition. Consciousness-raising is needed in the industry because many women do not recognise oppression in the form of social interactions, and its effect on the position of women or the fact that the most feminized industry is being trivialised by the men on top.

Originality/value

To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first paper analysing interactions in PR offices using the difference approach and Bourdieu’s habitus theory.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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Article

Zsófia Tóth, Peter Naudé, Stephan C. Henneberg and Carlos Adrian Diaz Ruiz

This paper aims to conceptualize corporate reference management as a strategic signaling activity in business networks. While research has extensively outlined how firms…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to conceptualize corporate reference management as a strategic signaling activity in business networks. While research has extensively outlined how firms develop and maintain social capital through business-to-business (B2B) relationships, less is known about how they signal their participation in business networks to develop this social capital. Therefore, this paper conceptualizes B2B references, in particular corporate online references (COR), as a tool through which firms “borrow” attractiveness from their business network. Through the lens of structural social capital theory, COR is shown to capture advantages related to interconnectedness between firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports on a two-step qualitative and quantitative research design. First, the authors undertook a qualitative study that reports on the COR practices of senior business managers. A quantitative study then uses social network analysis (SNA) to audit a digital business network comprising 1,098 firms in a metropolitan area of the UK, referencing to each other through their corporate websites using COR.

Findings

The analyses find that COR practices contribute to building structural social capital in networks through strategic signaling. Firms do so by managing B2B references to craft strategic signals, using five steps: requesting, granting, curating, coding and decoding references. While the existing literature on business marketing portrays reference management as a routine and operational management practice, this investigation conceptualizes reference management, in particular COR, as a strategic activity.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to use SNA to represent B2B references in the form of COR as a network, which overlaps with (but is not entirely identical to) the business network. Further, the study re-conceptualizes reference management as a strategic signaling activity that leverages the firm’s participation in business networks to build structural social capital by borrowing attractiveness of prestigious business partners that leverages existing structural social capital. Finally, the paper coins and conceptualizes COR as an exemplar of referencing management and offers propositions for further research.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article

Gary Jensen

Although typologies of violence have become more common, relatively little attention has been given to Donald Black’s (1983) distinction between moralistic and predatory…

Abstract

Although typologies of violence have become more common, relatively little attention has been given to Donald Black’s (1983) distinction between moralistic and predatory violence. Moralistic violence is rooted in conflict; predatory violence is rooted in exploitation. We elaborate Black’s typology and show how it is similar to, but distinct from, other typologies of violence. We also address the criteria by which typologies of any kind might be judged. Borrowing from the literatures on typologies and on standards of scientific theory, we argue that explanatory typologies should be evaluated according to four criteria: the degree to which they are powerful, theoretical, general, and parsimonious. Applying the criteria to Black’s typology, we argue that the distinction between moralistic and predatory violence is an important contribution to the arsenal of the student of violence.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 22 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Market Research Methods in the Sports Industry
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-191-7

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Book part

Matthew M. Mars

This second chapter provides a useful backdrop for understanding innovation beyond the conventional focus on mainstream technology and science by detailing the conceptual…

Abstract

This second chapter provides a useful backdrop for understanding innovation beyond the conventional focus on mainstream technology and science by detailing the conceptual underpinnings of cultural innovation. First, the challenges of objectively assessing the worth of novel work in the various fields of art and architecture are explored through the philosophical views of beauty. Second, the strategies and models deployed over time by artists, patrons, and experts to characterize the merits of novelty in the creative fields are reviewed. Third, the economic principles that have been used to frame the value propositions associated with cultural innovations as articulated by cultural economists are explored.

Details

A Cross-Disciplinary Primer on the Meaning and Principles of Innovation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-993-6

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