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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2008

Steven H. Appelbaum, Adam Marchionni and Arturo Fernandez

The purpose of this article is to describe multi‐tasking behaviour in the workplace; to link its cause to the increasing prevalence of low‐cost information and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to describe multi‐tasking behaviour in the workplace; to link its cause to the increasing prevalence of low‐cost information and communications technologies and to the changing organizational structures that have evolved to meet the demands and opportunities of these technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is a presentation of the current literature on multi‐tasking behaviour among knowledge workers with a selective bibliography addressing empirical research into the behavioural, managerial and technological aspects of this phenomenon. It then expands to comprehensive coverage of the literature on past and current thinking about task structuring, strategies for coping in a multi‐tasking environment and the changing nature of work and organizations, which fuels the need to multi‐task in response to these changes.

Findings

Among knowledge workers, multi‐tasking behaviour appears to be an inevitable consequence of the presence of increasingly easy access to information. Despite the detrimental effect that multi‐tasking has on specific task completion, the paradox is that this does not seem to have an effect on overall organizational productivity. For the USA at least, an average 4 per cent growth rate over the past several years of the late twentieth and early twenty‐first centuries shows that productivity has increased in tandem with an increase in multi‐tasking behaviour and information technologies.

Practical implications

Multi‐tasking behaviour needs to be understood in the context of its manifestation as a variable that is at least partially dependent on the existence of relatively “cheap” information. In essence, in an information economy, task completion by knowledge workers to a set deadline may be counterproductive to the interests of the organization as a whole. This article describes certain strategies that can be used to minimize the harmful aspects of continuous task switching and to maximize the returns to experience that multi‐tasking can bring to an organization.

Originality/value

Multi‐tasking behaviour and its link to complexity theory may lead to a new understanding of organizations as highly fluid and variable entities that are impossible to design or maintain centrally and yet whose goals lead to the moment by moment creation of micro‐organizational structures that accomplish tasks in a manner that engages the full resources of knowledge workers.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 46 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2013

Kohei Arai, Hirotsugu Kitada and Keisuke Oura

This study aims to investigate the relative weight of financial and non-financial performance measures used to evaluate production managers (such as shop floor managers or…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relative weight of financial and non-financial performance measures used to evaluate production managers (such as shop floor managers or foremen) in a modern manufacturing setting.

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey data from Japanese factories, the paper examines the association between the choice of profit, cost, and non-financial performance measures with two characteristics of manufacturing systems: interdependence and multi-tasking.

Findings

The results indicate that interdependence has a significant and positive association with the importance of profit information, while multi-tasking is associated negatively with the importance of profit information, and positively with non-financial information for performance evaluation.

Originality/value

In recent years, a significant shift has been observed in Japanese production management with many companies now focusing on profit information instead of cost information. For example, the past studies show that large Japanese manufacturing companies are now using micro-profit centres and include profit information when evaluating factories. However, little empirical evidence is available on performance measurement at the shop floor foreman level, and even less is known about the importance of profit information in the evaluation of these lower level managers.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2016

Jun Wu, Shaowei Fan, Minghe Jin, Kui Sun, Cheng Zhou and Hong Liu

– The purpose of this paper is to present the design and experiment of a universal space-saving end-effector for multi-task operations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the design and experiment of a universal space-saving end-effector for multi-task operations.

Design/methodology/approach

The universal end-effector is equipped with capture and actuation transmission capabilities with two corresponding subsystems, which are highly integrated systems of mechanics, electronics and sensors. A trefoil-shaped capture system is developed for closed envelop. The worm gear pair is adopted for self-locking and space-saving, and it is used in a unique manner for three grapple chains’ synchronous motion. The combination of optimal straight path linkage and pantograph mechanism is proposed in the transmission system. The electrical structure and the multi-sensory system provide the foundation for control strategy.

Findings

Simulations and experiments demonstrated characteristics of the universal end-effector. The compliance of the manipulator guaranteed the achievement of “soft capture” by the end-effector. Due to the self-locking property, the end-effector and the grapple interface could keep rigid connection when powered off.

Practical implications

The design process takes practical requirements into consideration. Through experiments, it is proved that the proposed end-effector can be used for the multi-task operations with corresponding tools.

Originality/value

Among end-effectors with operation function, the misalignment tolerance (MT) is originally regarded as a key factor. The adoptions of the worm gear pair and the linkage make it space-saving compared to conventional designs.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2011

David Nicholas, Ian Rowlands, David Clark and Peter Williams

The purpose of this paper is to report on continuing research undertaken on the way the Google Generation behave on the internet and to compare this with an earlier highly…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on continuing research undertaken on the way the Google Generation behave on the internet and to compare this with an earlier highly publicised study by the paper's authors.

Design/methodology/approach

This research use a televised practical experiment and a remote web global test incorporating search, working memory and multi‐tasking experiments.

Findings

The Google Generation appears to behave very differently from older generations. By their own admission they are less confident about their searching prowess and this is also demonstrated by the fact that they viewed fewer pages, visited fewer domains and undertook fewer searches. Also, tellingly, their search statements were much more the product of cut and paste. The Google Generation also have poorer working memories and are less competent at multi‐tasking, both of which may have implications for researching in an online environment.

Originality/value

The paper introduces of multi‐tasking and cognitive measurement in evaluating and describing information‐seeking behaviour; comparing the web behaviour of young and old; the first time this has been shown on public television.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 63 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Patricia Crifo‐Tillet and Marie‐Claire Villeval

In relation to the analysis of inequality and skill‐bias innovation, this article develops a theoretical model for determining the influence of work organisation on…

Abstract

In relation to the analysis of inequality and skill‐bias innovation, this article develops a theoretical model for determining the influence of work organisation on incentives and earnings. In a linear agency model, which explains innovative work organisation practices from an incentive perspective, we show that the static impact of organisational forms on expected earnings can be decomposed into two effects (a risk premium effect and a task complementarity effect originated in learning and information diffusion). Such effects drive productivity and expected pay‐offs upward, as observed in many recent empirical studies. Thus, the development of new work practices based on a greater degree of delegation contributes to the increase of earnings inequality. In a dynamic perspective, the model shows that knowledge dissemination will in general sustain the same trend. However, when initial efforts and productivity are relatively high, output and pay‐offs will decline during the transition to the steady‐state. The overall impact of organisational forms on earnings and inequality may therefore be ambiguous, depending on the importance of learning.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 22 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

John Mortimer

A new manufacturing plant has been installed in Solihull, UK, to manufacture the new Range Rover sports utility vehicle. An important aspect of the £80 million investment…

Abstract

A new manufacturing plant has been installed in Solihull, UK, to manufacture the new Range Rover sports utility vehicle. An important aspect of the £80 million investment at the site is a body‐in‐white assembly shop containing 123 robots, many of which are employed in multi‐tasking roles.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1989

Amit Kumar Chattopadhyay

The design and development of a computer‐based information system requires an understanding of the operating system of the computer. This knowledge helps in efficient file…

Abstract

The design and development of a computer‐based information system requires an understanding of the operating system of the computer. This knowledge helps in efficient file design for optimal utilisation of disk space which results in increased system efficiency. This paper describes an Indian multi‐tasking/multi‐programming operating system called WDOS, especially its data‐structure and how an online, multi‐user bibliographic information storage and retrieval system has been developed under it utilising the knowledge of its operating system. A set of functional specifications drawn in consultation with users has guided the system development work. The system has been validated and successfully implemented. It has been found to be efficient in terms of response time and this may be attributed to its file design.

Details

Program, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2020

Wei Jiang, Dehua Zou, Xiao Zhou, Gan Zuo, Gao Cheng Ye and Hong Jun Li

The purpose of this study is to solve the key technical problems of the practical application of electric robots. The UHV multi-split transmission line power cable…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to solve the key technical problems of the practical application of electric robots. The UHV multi-split transmission line power cable operation robot is an important equipment to ensure the reliable operation of high voltage lines and is a useful exploration to realize high-quality power transmission. As the robot system platform equipment mature and operation environment gradually become more complex, the double arm coordination motion control in extreme environment becomes one of the main bottleneck for its practical in power system.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper summarizes the key technologies related to power cable robots, and aims at key technical indicators such as operation reliability, operation efficiency and operation quality in the robot’s practical process. The dynamic evolution mechanism of the robot’s mechanical configuration, the multi-physics information fusion algorithm in extreme environments, the robot’s autonomous positioning and its error compensation control, the robot’s robust motion control in extreme environments and the dual-arm force-position hybrid coordination control and the dynamic distribution and elimination mechanism of internal forces in the closed chain between robots and operating objects, all the research methods and solutions of the key technologies are proposed, respectively.

Findings

Finally, a new control architecture for power cable robots in the background of the Ubiquitous Power Internet of Things is proposed so as to manage the operation and maintenance of electric power systems. The above key technologies are a new exploration of the operation and maintenance management of EHV (Extra High Voltage) multi-split transmission lines which have laid a solid theoretical foundation for the power cable robot.

Originality/value

High voltage transmission line is the main channel of power transmission. It is an important means to improve the integration of operation and maintenance management of power system to use robot instead of manual inspection and maintenance of power line, in the promotion and application of electric robot. The authors pay attention to the practicability, and the breakthrough of key technologies of robot is the premise of the practicability of robot. In this paper, the robot operation and control in multi-task and complex scenes are studied. The research and implementation of the main key technologies, such as the dynamic evolution mechanism of robot configuration, the coupling and fusion law of multi physical fields in the extreme electric power environment, the autonomous positioning control of manipulator, the robust control of robot in the super electromagnetic field environment and the cooperative operation control of multi manipulator, are discussed.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 22 November 2019

Shuo Xu and Xin An

Image classification is becoming a supporting technology in several image-processing tasks. Due to rich semantic information contained in the images, it is very popular…

Abstract

Purpose

Image classification is becoming a supporting technology in several image-processing tasks. Due to rich semantic information contained in the images, it is very popular for an image to have several labels or tags. This paper aims to develop a novel multi-label classification approach with superior performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Many multi-label classification problems share two main characteristics: label correlations and label imbalance. However, most of current methods are devoted to either model label relationship or to only deal with unbalanced problem with traditional single-label methods. In this paper, multi-label classification problem is regarded as an unbalanced multi-task learning problem. Multi-task least-squares support vector machine (MTLS-SVM) is generalized for this problem, renamed as multi-label LS-SVM (ML2S-SVM).

Findings

Experimental results on the emotions, scene, yeast and bibtex data sets indicate that the ML2S-SVM is competitive with respect to the state-of-the-art methods in terms of Hamming loss and instance-based F1 score. The values of resulting parameters largely influence the performance of ML2S-SVM, so it is necessary for users to identify proper parameters in advance.

Originality/value

On the basis of MTLS-SVM, a novel multi-label classification approach, ML2S-SVM, is put forward. This method can overcome the unbalanced problem but also explicitly models arbitrary order correlations among labels by allowing multiple labels to share a subspace. In addition, the multi-label classification approach has a wider range of applications. That is to say, it is not limited to the field of image classification.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2010

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The old joke about men not being able to multi‐task has become particularly tired and over‐worked of late. Coincidentally, during the last few years the need for workforces to be multi‐skilled has become far more widely discussed and mulled over. Multi‐tasking and being multi‐skilled are related but not quite the same thing, which if there's any truth in the joke, is just as well for men.

Practical implications

Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Social implications

Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that can have a broader social impact.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to‐digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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