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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2018

Sebastian Martin, Dorothea Greiling and Daniela Wetzelhütter

A growing amount of German and Austrian utilities create own Facebook accounts to communicate with their stakeholders. Whereas existing studies describe how utility…

Abstract

Purpose

A growing amount of German and Austrian utilities create own Facebook accounts to communicate with their stakeholders. Whereas existing studies describe how utility companies are currently using Facebook, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, there exists no study which focuses on the actual expectations of Facebook users. Nevertheless, as the occurrence of social media redefined stakeholders’ expectations, research on the expectations of Facebook users become crucial. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to contribute to the existing social media literature by investigating the expectations of Facebook users towards a virtual stakeholder dialogue with their public utility companies on Facebook.

Design/methodology/approach

Eight German and six Austrian public utilities supported the empirical study by posting a link to an online survey on their Facebook account. In total, 258 Facebook users followed that link and completed the survey.

Findings

The broad majority of participants expect public utility companies to use Facebook as a communication channel. They request to regularly receive a variety of information on different topics. In addition, participants want to have the opportunity to post general queries, complaints or criticism, suggestions for improvement, positive feedback or queries in a crisis situation. Moreover, the empirical data reveal that user-specific characteristics such as gender, age, country of residence, length of Facebook membership or number of Facebook friends impact the expectations towards a Facebook conversation.

Originality/value

The findings enable scholars and practitioners to gain in-depth insights into Facebook conversations from the actual user perspective.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 April 2021

Sebastian Martin, Daniela Wetzelhütter and Birgit Grüb

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of external factors on the Facebook dialogue. As both weather and point in time substantially. As both weather…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of external factors on the Facebook dialogue. As both weather and point in time substantially. As both weather and point in time substantially influence people’s lives, it can be assumed that both factors may also affect communication on Facebook. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study focusing on the impact of the external factors “weather” and “point in time” on a public utility’s Facebook communication.

Design/methodology/approach

The potential influence is explored through the case study of an Austrian public utility. The study focuses on 321 postings, published via the company’s official Facebook account between August 2016 and February 2018.

Findings

The empirical results confirm the influence of “weather” and “point in time” indicators on the stakeholder dialogue. The findings highlight how the relevant items affect the posting behavior of a utility, as well as stakeholders’ reactions, comments and shares.

Originality/value

By introducing both external factors to the social media literature, this paper broadens the understanding of Facebook communications beyond the sender and receiver of digital information. In this way, the research contributes to a more holistic view of Facebook dialogue. It provides practical advice on how social media managers of public utilities may use weather forecasts and “point in time” considerations to more strategically foster stakeholder dialogue in social media.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Sebastian Martin

German, Austrian and Swiss utilities are confronted with radical changes in the European energy sector. A dialogue between the utility companies and their various groups…

Abstract

Purpose

German, Austrian and Swiss utilities are confronted with radical changes in the European energy sector. A dialogue between the utility companies and their various groups of stakeholders is gaining importance. Increasingly, utilities create their own Facebook presence enabling such a dialogue. Still, to the best of the author’s knowledge there exists no research which explicitly focuses the stakeholder dialogue of German, Austrian or Swiss utilities on Facebook. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyse Facebook as an instrument for dialogic communication in the energy sector.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was distributed to 1,280 German, Austrian and Swiss utilities, and 14 per cent of the utilities completed the survey, including 130 German, 19 Austrian and 25 Swiss companies. The participating utilities are primarily in public ownership.

Findings

The Facebook conversation of utility companies and their stakeholders meets the basic requirements of a virtual stakeholder dialogue. Nevertheless, less than half of the companies perceive their current stakeholder conversation on Facebook as truly interactive. Therefore, even if the basic requirements of a dialogue are met, most companies still do not seem to fully use the dialogue potential of Facebook.

Originality/value

This study provides first insights into virtual stakeholder dialogues in the energy sector. A suggestion to operationalise such a virtual dialogue is provided. Both operationalisation as well as the empirical results help researchers and practitioners to better understand virtual stakeholder dialogues.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

SEBASTIAN MACMILLAN, JOHN STEELE, PAUL KIRBY, ROBIN SPENCE and SIMON AUSTIN

This paper reports the outcome of a 2‐year research project that set out to provide a process map of the concept stage of building projects. From a literature review…

Abstract

This paper reports the outcome of a 2‐year research project that set out to provide a process map of the concept stage of building projects. From a literature review, comparison of current process maps, and through interviews and case study analyses, a tentative new framework for the concept stage was developed and tested. It comprises 12 activities in five phases. The framework formed the basis of a graphical method used to plot the activities of design teams in a series of workshops. This graphical method illustrates design iteration in a way which we believe has not been undertaken before, and the patterns it reveals are intuitively understood by design team members themselves, helping them reflect on their own design process. We have also constructed a prototype internet‐based decision support tool for the concept stage of design. This is intended to be inherently flexible and supportive of non‐linear routes through concept design, while also offering a structured approach, design tools to broaden the solution space or evaluate competing options, team management advice, and the recording of decision making. Initial testing of this tool showed it to be well‐received, although it was criticized for focusing too much on the gates between activities and too little on the issues and decisions within each activity.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2013

Carmen Jaca, Elisabeth Viles, Martin Tanco, Ricardo Mateo and Javier Santos

Teamwork is one of the most powerful tools to ensure success across any activity. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that actively contribute to the…

Abstract

Purpose

Teamwork is one of the most powerful tools to ensure success across any activity. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that actively contribute to the effectiveness of teams. This research looks at two different types of teams: care delivery teams representing healthcare and improvement teams representing the manufacturing industry. The aim is to provide greater knowledge about the application of team work factors in different environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interviews about teamwork factors were conducted with 17 leaders of teams from healthcare and 22 leaders from manufacturing industries. The responses were categorized into different levels according to the application of each factor. Then, the factors were analyzed to draw conclusions about the different approaches to teamwork and their application.

Findings

Most of the factors analyzed are highly applied in both sectors. However, we found significant differences between hospitals and the manufacturing industry when it comes to factors such as strategies, feedback on results, leadership, participation and communication.

Originality/value

Measuring each factor in two different sectors (healthcare and industry) has yielded noteworthy findings and the best practices for their implementation.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Daniel Jurburg, Elisabeth Viles, Carmen Jaca and Martin Tanco

Continuous improvement (CI) is regarded as a powerful approach to achieve business excellence. However, the implementation is not simple as it involves managing a…

Abstract

Purpose

Continuous improvement (CI) is regarded as a powerful approach to achieve business excellence. However, the implementation is not simple as it involves managing a considerable amount of tangible and intangible factors throughout the whole organization. The purpose of this paper is to fill the gap by presenting first-hand information about how companies really implement and organize their CI processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on semi-structured interviews in ten high performing companies in the Basque Country, a region in northern Spain well known for its business quality. The objective was to analyze the state of their CI processes, putting special focus on how the organizational structure integrates with the CI processes and what are the characteristics of the corresponding measurement system.

Findings

The study shows a lack of company-wide focus on CI, little written evidence of previous improvement activities, unclear improvement process owner, and poor use of adequate measurement systems to monitor CI.

Practical implications

Managers should understand that is not enough to guarantee their own commitment and provide the structure, since in order to become learning organization, a different holistic approach towards the CI process must be adopted.

Originality/value

While most previous work on this field have focused primarily on how to implement different techniques in order to achieve better productive performance, this study presents empirical research from a more holistic approach, assessing the characteristics affecting CI by considering strategy, structure, and the measurement system.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

David S. Martin, Ryan Howell, Christopher Newman and Kelly Martin

The purpose of this paper is to validate a shortened measure of consumers’ satisfaction with the service quality at sporting events. The scale's ability to predict both…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to validate a shortened measure of consumers’ satisfaction with the service quality at sporting events. The scale's ability to predict both customer satisfaction and future behavioral intentions is also measured.

Design/methodology/approach

The measure, entitled Eventserv‐Short, was tested across the five most popular American sports and across two levels (collegiate and professional). An online survey was utilized with a total of 854 respondents.

Findings

Results showed that Eventserv‐Short is a reliable and valid measure of satisfaction with service quality that is invariant across various sporting events; also, Eventserv‐Short predicts overall customer satisfaction and future behavioral intentions.

Originality/value

The paper's importance is demonstrated by the measure's consistent performance across the different types of sports and settings. Further, these results show that researchers and managers can now more quickly, reliably, and accurately measure consumers’ satisfaction with the service quality they perceive while attending sporting events.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Sebastian Martin and Birgit Grüb

This paper aims to provide an in-depth evaluation of how German and Austrian utilities use Facebook to engage stakeholders, including a look at the objectives pursued with…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an in-depth evaluation of how German and Austrian utilities use Facebook to engage stakeholders, including a look at the objectives pursued with the use of Facebook, addressed stakeholders as well as the provided information. German and Austrian utility companies are confronted with serious changes in the European energy sector. In this context, stakeholder theory emphasises the importance for utility companies to actively manage the relationships with the relevant stakeholders. Nowadays, a considerable number of these stakeholders might be addressed by using Facebook.

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative study includes 88 German and Austrian utility companies.

Findings

Research findings indicate that Facebook is a common instrument in the German and Austrian energy sectors. It seems that so far, no real stakeholder dialogue has been achieved. Moreover, issues which deeply affect a wide variety of citizens are not emphasised on most Facebook accounts. Therefore, so far, the majority of utilities is not using the full potential of Facebook.

Originality/value

By developing a process of agenda-setting driven by social media, the paper contributes to the existing literature and gives practical implications for public and private entities in the energy sector.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2012

Sebastian Zenker and Adrian Seigis

To develop a city, officials frequently invest a great deal of taxpayers' money in large‐scale place development projects, which are often sparsely supported by the…

Abstract

Purpose

To develop a city, officials frequently invest a great deal of taxpayers' money in large‐scale place development projects, which are often sparsely supported by the citizens because such projects often lead to unwanted effects (such as gentrification). This results in conflicts between planners and citizens, which are expressed in public protest and resistance. The instrument of citizen participation is repeatedly raised as a solution for such conflicts, but it remains unclear how and especially why this concept should be effective. The purpose of this paper is to empirically highlight the mediating role in this process: the feeling of being respected. By this means, the paper will contribute to a better general understanding of citizen participation.

Design/methodology/approach

In an experimental scenario study (n=368), different types of citizen participation (i.e. cases where the result was binding for the city vs non‐binding) were researched using a between‐groups design. To validate results, in a second step, the outcome was discussed with three experts, all of whom have worked in the field.

Findings

Surprisingly, it seems that neither the type of participation nor satisfaction with the project makes a difference with regards to citizen satisfaction, but simply the condition of being asked. One could argue that the feeling of being respected is the main mediator in this process. These results show the effectiveness of the participation tool in general, and give a possible explanation for this effect.

Originality/value

This paper concentrates on the variables underlying citizen participation. It shows empirically that the feeling of being respected is the mediator within this process. By this means, the paper offers a valuable insight into citizen participation in general and discusses its usage in place marketing.

Details

Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8335

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Prasanta Kumar Dey

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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