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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2021

Mark Francis, Ron Fisher and Malin Song

To consider how quality should be conceptualized to improve understanding for researchers and practitioners, some researchers have discussed quality in terms of an essence…

Abstract

Purpose

To consider how quality should be conceptualized to improve understanding for researchers and practitioners, some researchers have discussed quality in terms of an essence or necessary condition. Others have regarded quality as individual and experiential, based on differences in actors’ conceptions of quality. This paper aims to resolve the tension caused by these competing views and propose an appropriate method for future research in the area of quality.

Design/methodology/approach

In many studies, researchers have attempted to understand quality in terms of necessary conditions or through a dualistic ontology. At the same time, an increasing number of researchers have emphasized its experiential nature while discussing quality in conjunction with meeting customers’ expectations. This study investigates how quality can be understood using a conceptual framework based on family resemblances.

Findings

There is no necessary condition or essence by which quality may be conceptualized or defined. This finding resolves the tension that has arisen from the simultaneous search for a common feature and the assertion that quality is experientially created by individuals. The research also highlights that the nature of quality may differ between people, time and place, or some aspects of it may be the same. Regarding quality in terms of family resemblances accommodates actors’ different conceptions of quality. Phenomenography is proposed as an appropriate research approach with its focus on the qualitatively different ways in which actors make sense of phenomena in their lifeworld.

Research limitations/implications

Understanding quality as a family of attributes, and using phenomenography as method, provides methodological clarity to long-standing research issues. Using the approaches outlined in this study will enable empirical studies of quality, in any context, to be conducted soundly and relatively quickly. It will also provide a more inclusive and holistic set of meanings based on the experiences of individuals.

Practical implications

The research provides important insights for researchers and practitioners through clearer conceptions of quality. These include the ability to plan and deliver business outcomes that are more closely aligned with customers’ expectations. Understanding the conceptions of quality, as experienced and determined through family resemblances, has clear implications for researchers and practitioners.

Originality/value

Understanding actors’ conceptions of quality through the lens of family resemblances resolves long-standing research issues. Using phenomenography as method is innovative, as it is an emerging research approach in the business domain.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 October 2018

Malin Song, Jing Wang, Shuhong Wang and Danqing Zhao

The establishment of free trade zones (FTZs) is an important experiment as part of the reform and opening up policy. This paper aims to focus on the issue of production…

Abstract

Purpose

The establishment of free trade zones (FTZs) is an important experiment as part of the reform and opening up policy. This paper aims to focus on the issue of production efficiency of environmental protection enterprises in FTZs. Changes in the external and internal environments of enterprises can easily lead to changes in the production efficiencies of enterprises. The establishment of FTZs can change the external environment of enterprises. Knowledge accumulation changes the internal environment of enterprises. However, traditional efficiency analysis has usually ignored the internal and external heterogeneity of decision-making units, resulting in the distortion of the evaluation results.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examines the relationship between knowledge accumulation and development potential based on financial data of environmental protection enterprises that were listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen A stocks, from 2009 to 2016. Then, through data envelopment analysis cross-efficiency analysis of the listed environmental protection enterprises from external heterogeneity, BP neural network model is set up.

Findings

The results show that the model set up in this paper is stable and reliable. The paper makes policy suggestions such as stimulating trade inside industry, quickening technological progress and enhancing environmental protection.

Originality/value

This paper analyzes the economy, environmental protection, science and technology and education to simulate the external environment of enterprises. Based on the experience data from the completion of Shanghai FTZ, this paper predicts the future development potential of Hainan FTZ enterprises.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 23 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Malin Song, Mei Chen and Shuhong Wang

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the influence that the financial restrictions of Chinese enterprises exert on their green innovation abilities with their increased…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the influence that the financial restrictions of Chinese enterprises exert on their green innovation abilities with their increased integration into the global supply chain (GSC).

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses customs, import, and export data for 222,773 Chinese enterprises and examined them by ownership type, capital density, and degree of pollution.

Findings

The results show that the deeper the integration into the GSC, the looser the financing environment would be, and the stronger the green innovation abilities of the enterprises.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that China should step up privatization of state-owned enterprises, increase government subsidies to private enterprises, and loosen their financing restrictions to address the recent economic decline in the country and ensure smooth and fast economic growth.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first of its kind to develop and empirically analyze the relationship between the GSC and the financing restrictions and their determinant factors in China. It uniquely contributes to help the authors find approaches to constructing China’s green innovation and has far-reaching implications for other developing countries.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Malin Song and Shuhong Wang

Technical progress is an important technique within improving China’s comparative advantages, as new and renewable technologies will be beneficial for energy security…

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2217

Abstract

Purpose

Technical progress is an important technique within improving China’s comparative advantages, as new and renewable technologies will be beneficial for energy security. Productive technical progress and green technical innovation are necessary to improve working conditions and productivity of industries. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to study technical progress in China under such harsh competitive circumstances, as well as types of technical progress that can be promoted, productive technical progress or green technology progress, and how technical progress will affect China’s competitive advantages.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors perform a multi-index multi-factor constitutive model based on a sample of 468 Chinese industries, and divide the industries into four categories.

Findings

The results indicate that there is a “U”-shape relationship between green technology progress and comparative advantages and an inverted “U”-shape relationship between the intensity of market competition and comparative advantages.

Research limitations/implications

China has crossed the inflection point of the “U”-shaped curve. This, coupled with the slowing of economic growth, demonstrates the need for advocating green technology in China to decrease the pollutant discharge. Establishing Chinese national brands within overseas markets and earning a profit through the downstream of production chain enhance China’s international competitiveness.

Originality/value

One of the most original findings of this paper points out that China is faced with a situation in which exports are severely decreased and domestic environment pollution is increased. Vigorous promotion of green technology progress, improvement of the quality and the technical content of exported products, the establishment of national brand within the overseas market, as well as enhancement of China’s international competitiveness, is needed.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 56 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 August 2018

Jiandong Chen, Yinyin Wu, Chong Xu, Malin Song and Xin Liu

Non-fossil fuels are receiving increasing attention within the context of addressing global climate challenges. Based on a review of non-fossil fuel consumption in major…

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3589

Abstract

Purpose

Non-fossil fuels are receiving increasing attention within the context of addressing global climate challenges. Based on a review of non-fossil fuel consumption in major countries worldwide from 1985 to 2015, the purpose of this paper is to analyze trends for global non-fossil fuel consumption, share of fuel consumption and inequality.

Design/methodology/approach

The similarities were obtained between the logarithmic mean divisia index and the mean-rate-of-change index decomposition analysis methods, and a method was proposed for complete decomposition of the incremental Gini coefficient.

Findings

Empirical analysis showed that: global non-fossil fuel consumption accounts for a small share of the total energy consumption, but presents an increasing trend; the level of global non-fossil fuel consumption inequality is high but has gradually declined, which is mainly attributed to the concentration effect; inequality in global non-fossil fuel consumption is mainly due to the difference between nuclear power and hydropower consumption, but the contributions of nuclear power and hydropower to per capita non-fossil fuel consumption are declining; and population has the greatest influence on global non-fossil fuel consumption during the sampling period.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this study is its analysis of global non-fossil fuel consumption trends, disparities and driving factors. In addition, a general formula for complete index decomposition is proposed and the incremental Gini coefficient is wholly decomposed.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 57 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Beibei Xiong, Yongli Li, Ernesto D.R. Santibanez Gonzalez and Malin Song

The purpose of this paper is to measure Chinese industries’ eco-efficiency during 2006-2013. The Chinese industry attained rapid achievement in recent decades, but…

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1119

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure Chinese industries’ eco-efficiency during 2006-2013. The Chinese industry attained rapid achievement in recent decades, but meanwhile, overconsumption of energy and environmental pollution have become serious problems. To solve these problems, many research studies used the data envelopment analysis (DEA) to measure the Chinese industry’s eco-efficiency. However, because the target set by these works is usually the furthest one for a province to be efficient, it may hardly be accepted by any province.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper builds a new “closest target method” based on an additive DEA model considering the undesirable outputs. This method is a mixed-integer programming problem which can measure the ecological efficiency of provinces and more importantly guide the province to perform efficiently with minimum effort.

Findings

The results show that the eco-efficiency of Chinese provinces increased at the average level, but the deviations remained at a larger value. Compared to the “furthest” target methods, the targets by the approach proposed by this study are more acceptable for a province to improve its performance on both economy and environment counts.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to introduce the closest targets concept to measure the eco-efficiency and set the target for each provincial industry in China.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Shuhong Wang, Hui Yu and Malin Song

As the functions of environmental regulations cannot be quantified while assessing their environmental efficiency, there has been no comprehensive evaluation of…

Abstract

Purpose

As the functions of environmental regulations cannot be quantified while assessing their environmental efficiency, there has been no comprehensive evaluation of environmental efficiency. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate environmental regulations based on triangular and trapezoidal fuzzy numbers.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses L-R fuzzy numbers to transform the evaluation language into triangular fuzzy numbers, and adopts an α-level flexible slacks-based measurement model to evaluate the performance of these regulations. Trapezoidal fuzzy numbers are combined with a data envelopment analysis model, and an α-slack-based measurement (SBM) model is used to evaluate the environmental efficiency. The α-SBM model is confirmed to be stable and sustainable.

Findings

Relevant index data from 16,375 enterprises were collected to test the proposed model, and models corresponding to triangular fuzzy numbers and trapezoidal fuzzy numbers were used to evaluate their environmental efficiency. Comparative results showed that the proposed model is feasible and stable.

Originality/value

The main contributions of this study are twofold. First, this paper provides a valuable evaluation method for environmental regulation. Second, our research improves the practical performance of trapezoidal fuzzy data envelopment analysis and enhances its feasibility and stability.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 118 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2021

Malin Song, Chenbin Zheng and Jiangquan Wang

The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging, which calls for an exploration of how to prevent and control pandemics to promote sustainable development. The purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging, which calls for an exploration of how to prevent and control pandemics to promote sustainable development. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of the digital economy in sustainable development, the relationship between the two, the impacts of the outbreak on economic and social development, and changes in China's digital economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used the time-series data from 2002 to 2019 and an unconstrained VAR model to examine the relationship between the digital economy and sustainable development before the pandemic.

Findings

China's digital economy has promoted the country's sustainable economic and social development; it has advanced rapid economic growth, improved people's living standards, increased efficient utilization of resources, and strengthened environmental protection.

Research limitations/implications

Amid the pandemic, China's digital economy developed effectively; it showed strong resilience because of its unique advantages. The digital economy in China has helped the country to control the pandemic in a short period, reduced the risk of supply chain disruption, promoted China's economic growth, and ensured the orderly operation of society. Therefore, countries worldwide are encouraged to prioritize their digital economies.

Originality/value

Compared with the extant literature, this study explores the sustainable supply chain in a broader sense in the context of a pandemic, and how the supply chain is influenced by the digital economy. It not only includes the stability, resilience, and viability of the supply chain in economic development but also involves aspects of people's life, resource utilization, and environmental protection.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2021

Xiaowei Ma, Muhammad Shahbaz and Malin Song

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of the off-office audit of natural resource assets on the prevention and control of water pollution against a background…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of the off-office audit of natural resource assets on the prevention and control of water pollution against a background of big data using a differences-in-differences model.

Design/methodology/approach

This study constructs a differences-in-differences model to evaluate the policy effects of off-office audit based on panel data from 11 cities in Anhui Province, China, from 2011 to 2017, and analyzes the dynamic effect of the audit and intermediary effect of industrial structure.

Findings

The implementation of the audit system can effectively reduce water pollution. Dynamic effect analysis showed that the audit policy can not only improve the quality of water resources but can also have a cumulative effect over time. That is, the prevention and control effect on water pollution is getting stronger and stronger. The results of the robustness test verified the effectiveness of water pollution prevention and control. However, the results of the influence mechanism analysis showed that the mediating effect of the industrial structure was not obvious in the short term.

Practical implications

These findings shed light on the effect of the off-office audit of natural resource assets on the prevention and control of water pollution, and provide a theoretical basis for the formulation of relevant environmental policies. Furthermore, these findings show that the implementation of the audit system can effectively reduce water pollution, which has practical significance for the sustainable development of China's economy against the background of big data.

Originality/value

This study quantitatively analyzes the policy effect of off-office auditing from the perspective of water resources based on a big data background, which differs from the existing research that mainly focuses on basic theoretical analysis.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Malin Song, Xiongfeng Pan, Xianyou Pan and Zhiming Jiao

The purpose of this paper is to add to the existing research about how corporate performance is influenced by their basic research (BR) investment. On this basis, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to add to the existing research about how corporate performance is influenced by their basic research (BR) investment. On this basis, the authors examined the moderating effect of human capital structure (HCS) on the relationship between BR investment and corporate performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were tested using static and dynamic models to analyze a large-scale data of Chinese A-share listed companies.

Findings

This study provides empirical evidence that contributes to the research about how private BR investment influences corporate performance in the digital age. In addition, human resource is an important dynamic ability for enterprise development. Based on the dynamic capability theory, further research finds that the human resources practice on the knowledge stock can enhance the company’s dynamic capability, thereby enhancing the company’s core competitiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The results may be affected by the context of the data set. This study considers the influence of private research investment type on corporate performance, further studies considering the influence of specific contextual variables, such as corporate industry differences, could yield richer insights that would help validate the results of this study.

Practical implications

This study provides useful information for managers. As well as increasing the investment in the BR of enterprise and creating the necessary conditions to increase the competitiveness of enterprise, they should strive to adjust the structure and quality of researchers involved in BR projects.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the enterprise’s BR investment and the management of human capital resource. It points that the investment of BR positively influences the corporate performance. In addition, the increasing of high-skilled labor’s proportion positively promotes the promotion of BR investment on corporate performance.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 57 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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