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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2015

Elham Akhondzadeh-Noughabi and Amir Albadvi

– The purpose of this paper is to detect different behavioral groups and the dominant patterns of customer shifts between segments of different values over time.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to detect different behavioral groups and the dominant patterns of customer shifts between segments of different values over time.

Design/methodology/approach

A new hybrid methodology is presented based on clustering techniques and mining top-k and distinguishing sequential rules. This methodology is implemented on the data of 14,772 subscribers of a mobile phone operator in Tehran, the capital of Iran. The main data include the call detail records and event detail records data that was acquired from the IT department of this operator.

Findings

Seven different behavioral groups of customer shifts were identified. These groups and the corresponding top-k rules represent the dominant patterns of customer behavior. The results also explain the relation of customer switching behavior and segment instability, which is an open problem.

Practical implications

The findings can be helpful to improve marketing strategies and decision making and for prediction purposes. The obtained rules are relatively easy to interpret and use; this can strengthen the practicality of results.

Originality/value

A new hybrid methodology is proposed that systematically extracts the dominant patterns of customer shifts. This paper also offers a new definition and framework for discovering distinguishing sequential rules. Comparing with Markov chain models, this study captures the customer switching behavior in different levels of value through interpretable sequential rules. This is the first study that uses sequential and distinguishing rules in this domain.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2019

Hossein Abbasimehr and Mostafa Shabani

The purpose of this paper is to propose a new methodology that handles the issue of the dynamic behavior of customers over time.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a new methodology that handles the issue of the dynamic behavior of customers over time.

Design/methodology/approach

A new methodology is presented based on time series clustering to extract dominant behavioral patterns of customers over time. This methodology is implemented using bank customers’ transactions data which are in the form of time series data. The data include the recency (R), frequency (F) and monetary (M) attributes of businesses that are using the point-of-sale (POS) data of a bank. This data were obtained from the data analysis department of the bank.

Findings

After carrying out an empirical study on the acquired transaction data of 2,531 business customers that are using POS devices of the bank, the dominant trends of behavior are discovered using the proposed methodology. The obtained trends were analyzed from the marketing viewpoint. Based on the analysis of the monetary attribute, customers were divided into four main segments, including high-value growing customers, middle-value growing customers, prone to churn and churners. For each resulted group of customers with a distinctive trend, effective and practical marketing recommendations were devised to improve the bank relationship with that group. The prone-to-churn segment contains most of the customers; therefore, the bank should conduct interesting promotions to retain this segment.

Practical implications

The discovered trends of customer behavior and proposed marketing recommendations can be helpful for banks in devising segment-specific marketing strategies as they illustrate the dynamic behavior of customers over time. The obtained trends are visualized so that they can be easily interpreted and used by banks. This paper contributes to the literature on customer relationship management (CRM) as the proposed methodology can be effectively applied to different businesses to reveal trends in customer behavior.

Originality/value

In the current business condition, customer behavior is changing continually over time and customers are churning due to the reduced switching costs. Therefore, choosing an effective customer segmentation methodology which can consider the dynamic behaviors of customers is essential for every business. This paper proposes a new methodology to capture customer dynamic behavior using time series clustering on time-ordered data. This is an improvement over previous studies, in which static segmentation approaches have often been adopted. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that combines the recency, frequency, and monetary model and time series clustering to reveal trends in customer behavior.

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1921

Van Helmont considered he had found it in water, and thus records his famous Brussels experiment:

Abstract

Van Helmont considered he had found it in water, and thus records his famous Brussels experiment:

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 23 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1942

Twenty‐three years ago the most frequently met among many slogans was “ Food Will Win the War.” To‐day our food problems are fully as important to our defence; but they…

Abstract

Twenty‐three years ago the most frequently met among many slogans was “ Food Will Win the War.” To‐day our food problems are fully as important to our defence; but they present many new aspects. Then our prime duty was to save food : now it is to consume food in the way most conducive to fitness. Our knowledge of nutrition has advanced so rapidly that much of it is too new to have been assimilated into our everyday thought and practice. Yet it is precisely as guidance to everyday use of our familiar foods that the newest knowledge of nutrition can be of most benefit: of benefit both to the one‐third of our people who are officially declared “ ill‐nourished,” and to the great majority of the rest of us as well. For while finding that much of our previously baffling disease and frustration is due to shortage of certain nutritional factors in the food supply, research has also shown that a more scientifically guided use of our everyday foods constitutes a sort of superior chemical engineering of our own mechanisms which can increase the vitality and efficiency even of those people who are already healthy and efficient. The relations of nutrition to the functioning of the mind are, of course, more difficult of controlled investigation and not yet as objectively demonstrable as to the effects of food upon bodily functions and length of life. But careful research is now showing that even within the range of fully normal conditions, our daily food choices have much more important effects than science ever previously supposed upon that internal chemistry that directly environs and conditions all our life processes. The blood is the great mediator of this internal environment, and the same blood circulates through the brain as through all the other organs of the body, bringing its help or its hindrance to both mental and muscular activities. True there is much which remains to be clarified by further research; but the already established findings, of recent and current nutritional investigation, need only to be more widely known and used in order to make our people much stronger for the defence of our civilisation, and for its permanent advancement when the emergency has passed. In our “ intellectual climate ” of the moment there is still a good deal of inertia because the newest knowledge is not yet sufficiently understood, while at the same time the new view is perhaps being over‐coloured by some writers. This paper therefore does not seek to add more assertions; but rather to review objectively the evidence on what the Council of National Defence has announced as one of our present‐day needs, “ to make the American people nutrition‐conscious in terms of the nutritional science of to‐day.” Nutrition presents three major aspects : (1) that in which food serves as fuel to supply energy for the activities of the bodily machine; (2) that of the assimilation of certain food constituents into structural material first for the growth and later for the upkeep of the body tissues; and (3) the utilisation of food substances either directly or indirectly to serve the body in those self‐regulatory processes by which it maintains its relatively “ steady states ” or essential internal environment. It is in its energy aspect that nutrition has most fully arrived at the status of an exact science. Expert opinion is well agreed on the fundamental principles of the energy transformations in the body, on the values of the foodstuffs as sources of energy, and on at least the broad lines of theory as to the influence of different bodily conditions in determining the energy need. On the latter points, especially, many laboratories are actively engaged in increasing the precision of present knowledge, and at least three well‐endowed nutrition laboratories—those of the Carnegie Institution, of the Russell Sage Institute, and of the Rochester University Department of Vital Economics—are devoting their resources especially to the perfection of the energy aspects of nutritional knowledge. The protein aspect of nutritional research has also reached a relatively mature status with well‐defined objectives. Among many other laboratories working in this field, that of the United States Department of Agriculture is giving special attention to the purification and description of the proteins themselves; and the laboratory of physiological chemistry of the University of Illinois is very actively investigating the nutritional relationships of the individual amino acids, with the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation. We may look forward with confidence and great gratification to a presumably fairly near future in which this aspect of nutritional need can be stated quantitatively in terms of ten individually indispensable amino acids. The catalysts which make the chemical processes in the body go fast enough to support life overlap and in a measure integrate the subject matter divisions of the chemistry of nutrition. They function in the energy aspect; and in their own chemical constitutions they are derivatives of proteins (or their amino acids), mineral elements, and vitamins. This very active field of research is quite as frequently classified with general biochemistry as with nutrition. Until its current era of “ newer knowledge,” the chemistry of food and nutrition had for several decades faced the dilemma that foods could be analysed as elaborately, and their composition accounted for with as close an approach to one hundred per cent., as other natural materials; and yet nutrition could not be sustained with pure mixtures of the substances that the analyses revealed. Seeking deeper insights, chemists broadened their research methods to include the systematic use of feeding experiments with laboratory animals, carried on with as careful attention to accuracy of controls as in other experimental researches in the exact sciences. This extension of method in chemical research has been rewarded with a rapid series of discoveries of substances which are essential to our nutrition, but whose very existence was, until recent years, either entirely unknown or only vaguely apprehended. Neither in chemical nature nor in nutritional function do these substances have much in common with each other. That they came to be called by the group name vitamins was not the result of their being naturally related, but rather of the two circumstances, (1) that they were all discovered through the use of the same development of research method, and (2) that the discoveries of their existence and importance followed each other too rapidly for physical isolation and chemical identification and nomenclature to keep pace. The latter, however, are steadily catching up, and in several cases new names, which are individually distinctive of either the chemical structures or the historic associations of the substances, have been coined and are coming into general use.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1912

It is seven years ago since I first took up the estimation of dirt in milk samples; there had been numerous complaints about dirty milk sold in Chester, and the Public…

Abstract

It is seven years ago since I first took up the estimation of dirt in milk samples; there had been numerous complaints about dirty milk sold in Chester, and the Public Health Committee asked me if it would not be possible to estimate the dirt, so that proceedings could be taken against the milk sellers.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 14 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1921

As has been said, the commercial “infants' food,” leaving on one side the condensed milk, is almost invariably a powder, and, as such, should conform in composition as…

Abstract

As has been said, the commercial “infants' food,” leaving on one side the condensed milk, is almost invariably a powder, and, as such, should conform in composition as nearly as possible to a dried human milk. Of course, the preparations are not altogether free from water. From a large number of analyses it appears that the percentage in the great majority of cases varies between 4 and 8, the maximum being 13.9 and the minimum under 1. The average is approximately 6.5 per cent.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2008

John H.S. Craig and Mark Lemon

The aim of the original and recent research in this study is to determine why, in these rapidly developing economies, management systems such as TQM, ISO 14001 and ISO…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the original and recent research in this study is to determine why, in these rapidly developing economies, management systems such as TQM, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 fail to realize continuing improvement and remediation methodologies capable of improving technical performance and enhancing economic profit.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses cultural frameworks to analyze the mechanisms which are preventing a greater realization of opportunities in the improvement of management systems, going on to suggest interventions. Within this approach there were three modes of data collection, an administered Likert questionnaire (developed from prior research in Poland, and pre‐tested in Lithuania, Greece and the UK) comprising every manager in the management levels of 12 heavy industrial factories in China and Poland, interviews with the senior managers, and the determination of the empirical (true) reality for environmental performance in each factory. Analysis of these data sets supported an evaluation of the alignment between perceived and actual environmental performance, and a comparison within and between countries.

Findings

The interactions between management levels were influenced by socio‐cultural factors, which in turn determined the means of communicating knowledge between these levels. This might have affected the perceptions and mind‐sets of employees in the management chain, and hence the practical effects of any decisions based on concomitant mind‐sets “on the ground”. New management systems might not be properly understood owing to these factors.

Research limitations/implications

While the specific environmental impacts of culture were particular to each factory and cannot be generalized, the socio‐cultural phenomena on which they were based can be used for comparative purposes. There was a practical constraint, despite promises of confidentiality, on how questions were answered owing to a prevailing fear and punishment practice; in a process of remediation the constraint will be the reluctance of managers to step outside of this practice.

Practical implications

The practical outcomes of the study lie mainly in the re‐alignment of management perceptions subject to hierarchical constraints and cultures of dubious value.

Originality/value

The methodology, which included an assessment of the actual and potential risk to the environment for each factory (empirical reality), matched against cultural indicators is quite new. The paper has three areas of potential value: to researchers who wish to use a combination of soft and hard interpretations for environmental and quality performance; to management practitioners who can better interpret how the nature of communication between management interfaces affects the ability to take remedial action; and to academic researchers in a better understanding of socio‐cultural group dynamics.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Sabine Hommelhoff

The purpose of this paper is to take a new look at an old idea: since McGregor’s work in the 1960s, it is common knowledge that managers’ implicit theories about their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to take a new look at an old idea: since McGregor’s work in the 1960s, it is common knowledge that managers’ implicit theories about their followers can have self-fulfilling consequences. Surprisingly, McGregor’s work has largely remained within the bounds of employee motivation and has not met with a wide response in related fields such as service management. Assuming that managers do not only hold implicit theories of their followers but also of their customers (i.e. implicit customer theories), this paper transfers McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y to the service context. It further derives a framework of possible consistencies and inconsistencies between management styles and service strategies, depending on implicit managerial theories about the average employee and customer.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper integrates a management classic, current empirical findings, and media reports into a new line of thought.

Findings

This paper develops and undergirds the thesis that it is conducive to the development of trustful and productive relationships both with customers and followers if managers proceed from confident assumptions about them, thereby activating virtuous circles instead of vicious cycles.

Originality/value

This paper links concepts from the organizational domain to the service domain. It implies a normative component in arguing for the productive potential of positive and the destructive potential of negative assumptions about both followers and customers. The value of this idea lies in the potential for positive relational dynamics and better customer and workplace relationships.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Evgeniya Tsybina and Vera Rebiazina

The purpose of this paper is to broaden the current view of customer portfolio management by including the notion of customer interconnectedness.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to broaden the current view of customer portfolio management by including the notion of customer interconnectedness.

Design/methodology/approach

The previous research in customer portfolio theory is reviewed, with special attention to customer interconnectedness. Customer interconnectedness as a criterion to build customer portfolios is studied in the example of large Russian b2b company. First, the results of participative inquiry research within the company are presented and then the insights from five in‐depth interviews are described.

Findings

Findings suggest that the assumption of customer independence in a portfolio, on which most of customer portfolio models are based, may not fit certain markets and industries. This paper sheds light on to the specifics of customer portfolio building, in the Russian context and results in the customer interconnectedness assumption.

Research limitations/implications

Additional research beyond the provided exploratory study is needed to quantitatively test the assumption and generalize the results. The main research implications relate to the new perspective on customer portfolio theory based on customer interconnectedness.

Practical implications

The paper provides researchers and practitioners with insights into customer portfolio models specifics existing in Russia. This knowledge can be helpful, also, for foreign companies entering the Russian market.

Originality/value

The process of customer portfolio building in the Russian b2b markets has been addressed for the first time in b2b marketing research. The analysis of customer portfolio building in Russian b2b context shows that customer independence assumption is challenged and should be replaced with customer interconnectedness approach.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1936

From these and similar clinical experiments, together with the results of animal experimentation, it may be said that most modern authorities include xerophthalmia and…

Abstract

From these and similar clinical experiments, together with the results of animal experimentation, it may be said that most modern authorities include xerophthalmia and night blindness among the diseases resulting from deficient diet. Night blindness, in fact, is considered to be a delicate test of vitamin A deficiency.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 38 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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