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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Lizhen Cui, Xudong Zhao, Lei Liu, Han Yu and Yuan Miao

Allocation of complex crowdsourcing tasks, which typically include heterogeneous attributes such as value, difficulty, skill required, effort required and deadline, is…

1889

Abstract

Purpose

Allocation of complex crowdsourcing tasks, which typically include heterogeneous attributes such as value, difficulty, skill required, effort required and deadline, is still a challenging open problem. In recent years, agent-based crowdsourcing approaches focusing on recommendations or incentives have emerged to dynamically match workers with diverse characteristics to tasks to achieve high collective productivity. However, existing approaches are mostly designed based on expert knowledge grounded in well-established theoretical frameworks. They often fail to leverage on user-generated data to capture the complex interaction of crowdsourcing participants’ behaviours. This paper aims to address this challenge.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper proposes a policy network plus reputation network (PNRN) approach which combines supervised learning and reinforcement learning to imitate human task allocation strategies which beat artificial intelligence strategies in this large-scale empirical study. The proposed approach incorporates a policy network for the selection of task allocation strategies and a reputation network for calculating the trends of worker reputation fluctuations. Then, by iteratively applying the policy network and reputation network, a multi-round allocation strategy is proposed.

Findings

PNRN has been trained and evaluated using a large-scale real human task allocation strategy data set derived from the Agile Manager game with close to 500,000 decision records from 1,144 players in over 9,000 game sessions. Extensive experiments demonstrate the validity and efficiency of computational complex crowdsourcing task allocation strategy learned from human participants.

Originality/value

The paper can give a better task allocation strategy in the crowdsourcing systems.

Details

International Journal of Crowd Science, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-7294

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 January 2022

Qianwen Zhou, Xiaopeng Deng, Bon-Gang Hwang and Miao Yu

Although knowledge transfer in the context of projects and project-based organizations (PBOs) has gained increasing attention from academia and industry, it is not clear…

Abstract

Purpose

Although knowledge transfer in the context of projects and project-based organizations (PBOs) has gained increasing attention from academia and industry, it is not clear how knowledge transfers from projects to their parent PBOs. This research aims to explore the main factors influencing knowledge transfer from projects to their parent PBOs, and analyze how these factors integrate the transfer process as system components using the system dynamics (SD) method.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the literature review, investigation and interview, this paper adopts the event analysis to obtain the influencing factors from historical cases and establishes a conceptual model of knowledge transfer from five dimensions, which simultaneously considers the knowledge sender, knowledge receiver and the relationship between the knowledge sender and receiver, knowledge features and transfer context. Then, the relationships between variables in the qualitative model were clarified, and a quantitative model including seven feedback loops was established using the SD model. Lastly, the system simulation and sensitivity analysis of the main parameters were realized in Vensim PLE software.

Findings

The simulation analysis results show that the model can simulate the knowledge transfer process from projects to the PBO to a certain extent. This research fully demonstrates the impact of variables from five dimensions on knowledge transfer and incorporates the knowledge gap and transfer threshold in the research category. Moreover, the rationality of seven feedback loops proposed in the model was verified. And the effects of various factors on the amount of knowledge transferred and the PBO's knowledge stock were examined through sensitivity analysis. Furthermore, recommendations for developing an integrated knowledge transfer mechanism of PBOs and projects to enhance transfer effect are offered.

Research limitations/implications

This research provides other researchers with a systematic understanding of transfer process from projects to PBOs, and insight for further research on knowledge transfer in project and organization contexts. Furthermore, this study guides researchers to focus on the causal processes that constitute knowledge transfer and explores the expected and unexpected phenomena generated over time. However, some variables involved in the transfer process are simplified, and the establishment of a more complex dynamic model needs further research and discussion.

Practical implications

By establishing a simulation model for knowledge transfer from projects to their parent PBOs, this study helps project teams and PBOs grasp the overall picture of the transfer process. Especially, this paper provides target-oriented recommendations for project and PBO managers to implement effective knowledge transfer practices, which have certain practical values for knowledge cultivation, coordination, reuse and innovation in the organization.

Originality/value

This study contributes to knowledge management and project management literature by simulating the knowledge transfer process from projects to their parent PBOs. Additionally, this paper provides a reference for PBO and project managers to establish an integrated knowledge-transfer mechanism in the work process and comprehensively implement effective knowledge transfer practices.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 July 2019

Fangwei Zhu, Mengtong Jiang and Miao Yu

The challenge of unforeseen uncertainties in exploratory projects requires the lead firm in a project alliance to effectively manage exploratory co-innovation. The purpose…

Abstract

Purpose

The challenge of unforeseen uncertainties in exploratory projects requires the lead firm in a project alliance to effectively manage exploratory co-innovation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the types of capabilities a lead firm required in exploratory projects and how these capabilities enable the exploratory innovation of the project alliance.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case study was done to provide empirical evidence for the rationale of the capabilities of the lead firm. The provided analysis used abductive reasoning of two typical exploratory projects in China.

Findings

This paper identifies two types of capabilities: innovation-related capabilities and network-related capabilities. Furthermore, a process model of the capabilities of the lead firm is developed that enables exploratory co-innovation in a project alliance. The capabilities of the lead firm input varied at four different stages.

Practical implications

Innovation-related capabilities and network-related capabilities could form the foundation for the lead firm in an exploratory project alliance. This will enable an exploratory co-innovation and collaboratively overcome the barriers of exploratory projects.

Originality/value

Although exploratory project attracts extensive attention for its unique characteristics and universal value, there is limited amount of research on the context of joint exploratory projects. This study starts from the role of lead firm in an exploratory project alliance, contributes toward the comprehension of the link between the lead firm’s capabilities and the process of exploratory co-innovation. The findings will be of value in supporting the management of exploratory innovation in a project alliance.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 March 2019

Fangwei Zhu, Linzhuo Wang, Miao Yu, Ralf Müller and Xiuxia Sun

Silencing behavior among project team members (PTM) poses a potential threat to project results. Hence, breaking silence in projects is critical to motivate team members…

1534

Abstract

Purpose

Silencing behavior among project team members (PTM) poses a potential threat to project results. Hence, breaking silence in projects is critical to motivate team members and beneficial for project outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between transformational leadership (TL) of project manager (PM) and silence behavior of PTMs. It proposes a mediating role of feeling trusted (FT) to fill this gap by conducting an empirical research.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model was developed and a series of hypotheses were proposed based on existing literature. Then, regression analysis was conducted on a sample of 219 team members of a diverse set of projects in China.

Findings

The paper empirically shows that TL of PM is significantly negatively related to team members’ defensive and prosocial silence (PS), but not with their acquiescence silence. In addition, the study also discovered that team members’ FT mediates the effects of TL on team members’ defensive and PS.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributed to the project management literature by showing that feeling trusted link the relationship between TL of PM and PTMs’ silence. The studies’ findings also contribute to the silence theory in project context through discussions of the rationale behind the main effects. Practical implication is provided for PMs that making the most of TL can reduce the silence of PTM, through building trusted feelings. The limitation to this study is the research setting regarding culture-related issues that focused only on projects in China.

Originality/value

This research is one of the early studies that address the issue of silence behavior in project context, which is a contribution to the coordination and communication in project management.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2021

Qiang Lu, Yang Deng, Miao Yu, Hua Song and Beini Liu

This paper examines how weak ties and strong ties in the supply chain network influence the financing performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines how weak ties and strong ties in the supply chain network influence the financing performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the mediation of information sharing and innovation capability.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were administered to 208 financial managers responsible for supply chain finance in SMEs in China. Data analysis techniques used included multiple regression analysis and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis.

Findings

The authors found that weak ties had a more substantial impact on the financing performance of SMEs than strong ties did. Information sharing and innovation capability played a mediating role between weak and strong ties and the financing performance of SMEs. In addition, information sharing and innovation capability complement each other and jointly influence the financing performance of SMEs.

Practical implications

SMEs are suggested to actively embed themselves in the supply chain network to increase financing opportunities and reduce financing costs. The authors also recommend SMEs to enhance the level of their information sharing in the supply chain network and take advantage of their network ties to access and adopt new technology from other organisations and conduct collaborative innovation with partner institutions.

Originality/value

The paper extends the authors’ understanding of supply chain finance by exploring the intrinsic mechanism of how various constructs (weak ties, strong ties, information sharing and innovation capability) in the supply chain network have an impact on the financing performance of SMEs. In particular, the authors explore the under-researched mediating effect of information sharing and innovation capability on the relationship between network ties and the financing performance of SMEs.

Article
Publication date: 23 July 2018

Miao Yu and Chonghui Guo

The purpose of this paper is to propose an approach for predicting the movements of Chinese medicinal material price indexes using news based on text mining.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an approach for predicting the movements of Chinese medicinal material price indexes using news based on text mining.

Design/methodology/approach

A research framework and three major methods, namely, domain dictionary construction, market convergence time calculation and dimensionality reduction integrating semantic analysis, are proposed for the approach. The proposed approach is applied in practice for predicting the price index movements of the top ten Chinese medicinal materials that receive the greatest media attention.

Findings

A set of experiments performed herein show that a predictive relationship exists between the news and the commodity market and that each of the three major methods improves the forecasting performance.

Research limitations/implications

Because the field of Chinese medicinal materials lacks a corpus that can be used for sentiment analysis, the accuracy of a trained automatic sentiment classifier is lower than obtained by a manual method, which can cause the calculated convergence result to be inaccurate, thus affecting the final prediction model. The manual method of having people label news decreases the proposed method’s aspects of being intelligent and automatic.

Practical implications

Using the method proposed herein to predict the trends in Chinese medicinal materials prices helps farmers arrange a reasonable planting plan to pursue their best interests.

Social implications

The method proposed herein to predict the trends in the prices of Chinese medicinal materials is conducive to the government arranging planned drug availabilities in order to avoid disasters in which herbs are looted.

Originality/value

The produced prediction result is meaningful in supporting farmers and investors to make better decisions in growing and trading Chinese medicinal material, which leads to financial returns on investments and the avoidance of severe losses.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 118 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Miao Yu, Jun Gong, Jiafu Tang and Fanwen Kong

The purpose of this paper is to provide delay announcements for call centers with hyperexponential patience modeling. The paper aims to employ a state-dependent Markovian…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide delay announcements for call centers with hyperexponential patience modeling. The paper aims to employ a state-dependent Markovian approximation for informing arriving customers about anticipated delay in a real call center.

Design/methodology/approach

Motivated by real call center data, the patience distribution is modeled by the hyperexponential distribution and is analyzed by its realistic significance, with and without delay information. Appropriate M/M/s/r+H2 queueing model is structured, including a voice response system that is employed in practice, and a state-dependent Markovian approximation is applied for computing abandonment. Based on this approximation, a method is proposed for estimating virtual delays, and it is investigated about the problem of announcing virtual delays to customers upon their arrival.

Findings

There are two parts of findings from the results obtained from the case study and a numerical study of simulation comparisons. First, using an H2 distribution for the abandonment distribution is driven by an empirical study which shows its good fit to real-life call center data. Second, simulation experiments indicate that the model and approximation are reasonable, and the state-dependent Markovian approximation works very well for call centers with larger pooling. It is concluded that our approach can be applied in a voice response system of real call centers.

Originality/value

Many results pertain to announcing delay information, customer reactions and links to estimating hyperexponential distribution based on real data that have not been established in previous studies; however, this paper analytically characterizes these performance measures for delay announcements.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 117 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 October 2022

Qiang Lu, Yudong Yang and Miao Yu

The purpose of this study is to examine how the quality management of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) impacts their supply chain financing performance (SCFP)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how the quality management of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) impacts their supply chain financing performance (SCFP). This study also investigates the mediating roles of organisational dependence between quality management and the SCFP of SMEs, as well as the moderating role of environmental dynamics.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were administered to 248 financial managers responsible for supply chain finance (SCF) in SMEs in China. Data analysis techniques used include necessary condition analysis and multiple regression analysis.

Findings

Research findings show that, in SCF, the quality management of SMEs positively predicts their SCFP through the mediation of the organisational dependence of the focal enterprises in the supply chain network. Environmental dynamics are also found to moderate the relationship between quality management and SCFP through the organisational dependence of capital providers.

Originality/value

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to explore the relationships between SMEs' quality management and their SCFP. Also, this study provides a new theoretical lens through which to study SCF by introducing signalling theory.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 November 2018

Lifang Wu, Lidong Zhao, Meng Jian, Yuxin Mao, Miao Yu and Xiaohua Guo

In some three-dimensional (3D) printing application scenarios, e.g., model manufacture, it is necessary to print large-sized objects. However, it is impossible to…

1144

Abstract

Purpose

In some three-dimensional (3D) printing application scenarios, e.g., model manufacture, it is necessary to print large-sized objects. However, it is impossible to implement large-size 3D printing using a single projector in digital light processing (DLP)-based mask projection 3D printing because of the limitations of the digital micromirror device chips.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-projector DLP with energy homogenization (EHMP-DLP) scheme is proposed for large-size 3D printing. First, a large-area printing plane is established by tiling multiple projectors. Second, the projector set’s tiling pattern is obtained automatically, and the maximum printable plane is determined. Third, the energy is homogenized across the entire printable plane by adjusting gray levels of the images input into the projectors. Finally, slices are automatically segmented based on the tiling pattern of the projector set, and the gray levels of these slices are reassigned based on the images of the corresponding projectors.

Findings

Large-area high-intensity projection for mask projection 3D printing can be performed by tiling multiple DLP projectors. The tiled projector output energies can be homogenized by adjusting the images of the projectors. Uniform ultraviolet energy is important for high-quality printing.

Practical implications

A prototype device is constructed using two projectors. The printable area becomes 140 × 210 mm from the original 140 × 110 mm.

Originality/value

The proposed EHMP-DLP scheme enables 3D printing of large-size objects with linearly increasing printing times and high printing precision. A device was established using two projectors to practice the scheme and can easily be extended to larger sizes by using more projectors.

Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Fangwei Zhu, Mouxuan Sun, Linzhuo Wang, Xiuxia Sun and Miao Yu

The complexity caused by conflicting values of stakeholders is a critical issue influencing the performance and sustainability of stock public–private partnership (SPPP…

Abstract

Purpose

The complexity caused by conflicting values of stakeholders is a critical issue influencing the performance and sustainability of stock public–private partnership (SPPP) projects, which is a special type of public–private partnership (PPP) project in China. The purpose of this paper is to focus on value conflicts between local government and private sector, which are two major stakeholders in SPPP projects, and investigate exchange rules to resolve value conflicts.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a mixed method approach, 55 semi-structured interviews were conducted for 15 stakeholders involved in a representative SPPP project. Social network analysis was then adopted to outline the value conflict network based on data drawn from focus group discussions. Finally, 24 value conflicts between local government and private sector were analyzed through another 13 semi-structured interviews in an abductive approach.

Findings

Results show that value conflicts between local government and private sector are dynamic and intertwined within and across three project phases, based on which six exchange rules, rationality, Altruism, power consistency, competition, group gain and reciprocity, are identified. Two sets of situational factors which potentially influence exchange rules adopted by the two parties are revealed, namely, urgency and professionality for local government and short-term interests and long-term interests for private sector. A summary of paired exchange rules is provided to predict if value conflicts between the two major stakeholders will be resolved or not.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretical implications are twofold. First, the results provide a contribution to PPP project management by investigating value conflicts between local government and private sector, which deepen the understanding on the unique characteristics of SPPP projects. Second, the findings contribute to a comprehensive understanding of social exchange theory by suggesting a summary of condition-based and pair-based exchange rules.

Originality/value

One strength of the study is in the concentrated analysis of a single case which allows for a deep understanding of value complexity between local government and private sector in SPPP projects from a dynamic and networked perspective. A guideline is provided for both parties when a value conflict is found hard to resolve. Besides, this study is also among the first that addresses value issues in SPPP projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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