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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2019

Qing Lu, Jie Wu, Mark Goh and Robert De Souza

The ramp-up in humanitarian logistics operations is a stage when the demand surges, often at the start of an emergency. In response, agility is a key strategy used by the…

Abstract

Purpose

The ramp-up in humanitarian logistics operations is a stage when the demand surges, often at the start of an emergency. In response, agility is a key strategy used by the humanitarian organizations (HOs). However, the HOs are constrained by their existing resources and have to respond in the ramp-up process under their resource dependency. The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework on agility-building strategies used by HOs for the ramp-up.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies both the dynamic capabilities perspective and resource dependence theory to humanitarian relief operations, and develops four testable propositions to explore the agility-building strategies of the HOs for the ramp-up process. A multiple-case study is conducted on six international HOs operating in Indonesia to verify them, in addition to an extensive literature search.

Findings

The case study shows that the human resource management, pre-positioning, standardization and supplier management of the HOs are all related to their resources and environment in the ramp-up process. The authors highlight the practical differences between the few super large, resource rich and centralized HOs with the second-tier HOs.

Research limitations/implications

Given the small sample size and single country as the site of study, some findings may not be applicable to the other HOs or in other regions.

Practical implications

The propositions could be applicable to other HOs operating under similar environments, and potentially to the commercial enterprises operating in a highly volatile environment with severe resource scarcity.

Originality/value

This study provides new insights into ramp-up operations and into how HOs build their agility and reduce their resource dependencies. Theoretically, the paper applies two established theories in the strategic management literature to a new field.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2018

Qing Lu, Mark Goh and Robert De Souza

Trust is essential for any team working together. In humanitarian logistics operations, relief organizations often have to work collaboratively in hastily formed networks…

Abstract

Purpose

Trust is essential for any team working together. In humanitarian logistics operations, relief organizations often have to work collaboratively in hastily formed networks. Trust in such a context, termed as “swift trust” in the literature, is an important but less explored topic. The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore the antecedents of swift trust as well as its impact on the coordination among the humanitarian workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors choose the humanitarian workers in Southeast Asia as the research sample. An exploratory survey study is conducted in three Southeast Asian countries, namely, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines, with 89 usable responses.

Findings

The empirical results have shown support for most hypotheses. Third-party certification, competency, similarity in procedure standards and organizational values, can all generate swift trust. Moreover, swift trust can lead to greater openness in information sharing for coordination, though not to active assistance. Both coordination activities would lead to greater coordination effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies could examine the four antecedent conditions for swift trust with better proxies. The connection between swift trust and coordination effectiveness can be explored in depth.

Practical implications

NGOs and governments could use these means effectively to build swift trust among the humanitarian players. For example, organizing field-oriented training activities would be beneficial for humanitarian workers in both network building and enhancing personal competency.

Originality/value

The findings point to the importance of swift trust in humanitarian operations and identify several means to enhance this trust. It has filled a research gap on the empirical investigation of the antecedents and impact of swift trust on inter-organizational coordination in humanitarian logistics operations.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Qing Lu, Mark Goh and Robert De Souza

In humanitarian logistics operations, performance measurement is crucial for effective operation. The purpose of this paper is to develop a set of indicators for…

Abstract

Purpose

In humanitarian logistics operations, performance measurement is crucial for effective operation. The purpose of this paper is to develop a set of indicators for humanitarian relief organizations (HROs) for their organizational-level logistics operations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors applied the supply chain operations reference (SCOR) framework to the context of humanitarian supply chains. By taking a bottom-up approach with the support of a large HRO, the authors identified the most important metrics through examining its supply chain processes. The initial metrics are then validated by seven HROs to ensure their applicability in humanitarian logistics operations.

Findings

A hierarchical benchmarking framework is proposed, and a set of 26 metrics is identified. The validation of these metrics supports the initial work with all metrics deemed important. It also highlights the implementation difficulty as only five indicators are readily available. The authors further suggested the automation of key logistics processes, which would significantly increase the number of implementable metrics to 14.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size of the validation is small, and the last mile delivery is not covered by the metrics.

Practical implications

With these performance metrics, HROs are able to monitor their logistics performance better with processed-based measures, which may lead to their policy and process adjustments for performance improvement.

Originality/value

The work contributes to performance measurement in humanitarian logistics with a framework of a generic metrics set. The validation result is also original to reveal the state of performance measurement on the ground.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2015

ENZE LIU

The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical review of China’s anti-corruption efforts, from the ancient period of Chinese slavery societies to the late 1970s…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical review of China’s anti-corruption efforts, from the ancient period of Chinese slavery societies to the late 1970s before China launched its profound economic reform, under the current status of the harsh crusade against corruption that the Chinese new leadership initiated.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is mainly based on a great deal of historical literature and empirical findings, with relevant comparative analysis on policies and regulations between various periods of China.

Findings

The phenomenon of corruption has existed in Chinese history for thousands of years, throughout Chinese slavery societies, feudal societies, republic period and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Anti-corruption laws formed an important part of ancient Chinese legal system, and each dynasty has made continuous and commendable progress on fighting such misconduct. Innumerable initiatives have also been taken by the ruling party Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since the founding of the PRC. The PRC government created various specially designed government organizations and a series of updated regulations for preventing economic crimes. They have realized that periodic movements against corruption would no longer be helpful, and the paramount issue nowadays is indeed how bold the leaders are in striking out those unhealthy tendencies.

Originality/value

This paper fills in the blanks in the Western world with a comprehensive description of, and comments on, the historical efforts on China’s corruption and economic crime prevention. It also, in various ways, provides meaningful information that links to China’s current furious war against corruption.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Yajun Leng, Qing Lu and Changyong Liang

Collaborative recommender systems play a crucial role in providing personalized services to online consumers. Most online shopping sites and many other applications now…

Abstract

Purpose

Collaborative recommender systems play a crucial role in providing personalized services to online consumers. Most online shopping sites and many other applications now use the collaborative recommender systems. The measurement of the similarity plays a fundamental role in collaborative recommender systems. Some of the most well-known similarity measures are: Pearson’s correlation coefficient, cosine similarity and mean squared differences. However, due to data sparsity, accuracy of the above similarity measures decreases, which makes the formation of inaccurate neighborhood, thereby resulting in poor recommendations. The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel similarity measure based on potential field.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed approach constructs a dense matrix: user-user potential matrix, and uses this matrix to compute potential similarities between users. Then the potential similarities are modified based on users’ preliminary neighborhoods, and k users with the highest modified similarity values are selected as the active user’s nearest neighbors. Compared to the rating matrix, the potential matrix is much denser. Thus, the sparsity problem can be efficiently alleviated. The similarity modification scheme considers the number of common neighbors of two users, which can further improve the accuracy of similarity computation.

Findings

Experimental results show that the proposed approach is superior to the traditional similarity measures.

Originality/value

The research highlights of this paper are as follows: the authors construct a dense matrix: user-user potential matrix, and use this matrix to compute potential similarities between users; the potential similarities are modified based on users’ preliminary neighborhoods, and k users with the highest modified similarity values are selected as the active user’s nearest neighbors; and the proposed approach performs better than the traditional similarity measures. The manuscript will be of particular interests to the scientists interested in recommender systems research as well as to readers interested in solution of related complex practical engineering problems.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 45 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Qing Lu, Mark Goh and Robert De Souza

As humanitarian organizations often operate in highly volatile environments, a good understanding of their learning mechanisms would improve the knowledge acquisition and…

Abstract

Purpose

As humanitarian organizations often operate in highly volatile environments, a good understanding of their learning mechanisms would improve the knowledge acquisition and retention in these organizations, and complement the formal logistics education and training for their relief staff. The paper explores the following research question: what learning mechanisms are used by humanitarian organizations to acquire sufficient knowledge for their logistics operations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opts for a theoretical study based on the existing literature. We apply organizational learning theory to examine the learning process and mechanisms of humanitarian organizations. An actual case is used to validate the findings.

Findings

The study develops a theoretical framework for the learning mechanism of humanitarian organizations, and reports four learning mechanisms: learning by hiring, learning by doing, learning by observing, and learning by searching. Five propositions are proposed for empirical validation.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the theoretical nature of the study, the research is still an exploratory one. The organization learning literature employed is not comprehensive. Researchers are encouraged to test the proposed propositions further.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for humanitarian organization to better manage their learning processes, improve the effectiveness of their knowledge management, and benefit more disaster-affected people.

Originality/value

This paper fills a gap in the learning processes and knowledge management of humanitarian organizations.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Timothy Wai Wa Yuen, Yan Wing Leung and Sally Jie Qing Lu

Liberal Studies (LS), as a compulsory subject for senior secondary students (S4-6) who sit for the Diploma of Secondary Education, was introduced in 2007. There has been…

Abstract

Purpose

Liberal Studies (LS), as a compulsory subject for senior secondary students (S4-6) who sit for the Diploma of Secondary Education, was introduced in 2007. There has been increased discussion about merits of the subject. This paper was written based on a study the researchers conducted with LS teachers and students to probe the role LS may play in relation to civic education. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a qualitative methodology and a series of in-depth interviews were carried out with real LS teachers and students to tap their views about LS from their lived experience.

Findings

Findings suggest that LS, if conducted appropriately, can be one of vehicles of civic education particularly in such matters related to enhancing social awareness and the ability to partake in public affair debates. It can also be of potential use to nurturing civic virtues in support of democratic discussion. On the other hand, its relationship with real social and political participation by students was not confirmed.

Originality/value

This paper represents one of the first to explore about LS’s possible role in civic education with real grounded data. The paper will be of reference value to readers interested in civic education and teachers, students and policy planners of the subject.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Qing Lu, Mark Goh, Miti Garg and Robert De Souza

Remanufacturing is a process whereby value from old products is recovered by replacing and recovering used components to bring such products to a new or like-new state…

Abstract

Purpose

Remanufacturing is a process whereby value from old products is recovered by replacing and recovering used components to bring such products to a new or like-new state. Today, both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and third parties are engaged in remanufacturing activities, investing in many locations throughout Asia. The purpose of this paper is to examine the reasons for initiating remanufacturing activities as well as the location determinants for the remanufacturing sector in Asia.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conduct a multiple case study. Triangulation is applied to gain objective views from interviewing three OEMs, one logistics firm, and three local small enterprises. Real options theory is the theoretical lens used to examine the location choice of the OEMs.

Findings

Firms engaged in remanufacturing tend to co-locate facilities with existing manufacturing facilities, and those investing in new sites for remanufacturing view the regulatory environment as the most important factor. OEMs tend to leverage on existing manufacturing facilities or third-party remanufacturers to reduce their cost of commitment when starting remanufacturing at new locations.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size is still small for the generalization of the results. Further empirical study is needed to test the propositions from this paper.

Practical implications

This paper could assist managers and decision makers in the multinational corporations to design appropriate logistics-related solutions for remanufacturing in Asia.

Originality/value

The authors work contributes to the theory on remanufacturing location determinants. It shows that OEMs and third-party remanufacturers can have a collaborative relationship instead of the commonly assumed competitive one, which is currently not found in the literature.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Lina Xu, Eagle Zhang and Corinne Cortese

The purpose of this paper is to consider the role of accounting in the construction and maintenance of political hegemony during Mao’s People’s Commune movement in China…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the role of accounting in the construction and maintenance of political hegemony during Mao’s People’s Commune movement in China between 1958 and 1966. Drawing on concepts of ideological power and intellectual diffusion in political and civil society from Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, it analyses the process by which accounting intellectuals established a set of socialist accounting practices to meet the political challenges of the People’s Commune.

Design/methodology/approach

Gramsci’s theory is adopted to examine how the accounting systems of People’s Commune acted as a mechanism that reflected Mao’s political ideas.

Findings

This paper demonstrates that the accounting system that emerged during these socio-political movements served the ideological purpose of reinforcing Mao’s political ideology and his hegemonic leadership. Accounting functioned within the spheres of both political and civil society to facilitate a national collective will, and to construct behaviours that satisfied the political requirements of the People’s Commune.

Originality/value

This paper will contribute to the accounting history in China from 1958 to 1966.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2012

Xiangdong Gu, Louise T. Higgins, Lixiang Weng and Xiaoye Holt

The aim of this paper is to examine the evolution and development of the selection process and methods used by the Chinese government for appointing public officials.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine the evolution and development of the selection process and methods used by the Chinese government for appointing public officials.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts an approach combining literature and document reviews with discussion with field experts.

Findings

China has a long history of selecting the most able individuals for government officials. During the political turmoil of the twentieth century, this was abandoned for ideological reasons. Current selection criteria and process are increasingly based on solid psychology and management approaches.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is an overview of developments in Chinese government official selection approaches and process.

Practical implications

It may serve as a baseline for future research and practice on exploring sound and institutionalized selection methods and processes.

Originality/value

This is an initial attempt to explore senior Chinese officials' selection process.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resources Management, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

Keywords

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