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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Alain De Beuckelaer and Stephan M. Wagner

Attaining high response rates in survey‐based supply chain management (SCM) research is becoming increasingly difficult, but small samples can limit the reliability and…

Abstract

Purpose

Attaining high response rates in survey‐based supply chain management (SCM) research is becoming increasingly difficult, but small samples can limit the reliability and validity of empirical research findings. The purpose of this article is to analyze the status quo and provide a discussion of methodological issues related to the use of small samples in SCM research.

Design/methodology/approach

An in‐depth review of 75 small sample survey studies published between 1998 and 2007 in three journals in the field that frequently publish survey‐based research papers (TJ, IJPDLM, and JBL) was conducted, and key characteristics of these studies were compared with the characteristics from 44 small sample survey studies published in leading operations management (JOM) and management (AMJ) journals.

Findings

The review of papers published in TJ, IJPDLM, and JBL shows that small samples are frequently used in SCM research. This study provides an overview of current practices, opportunities for improvement, and a number of specific recommendations that may help increase the analytical rigor of (future) survey‐based studies that rely on small samples.

Originality/value

The recommendations provided in this article can greatly benefit researchers in the field of SCM. By following these proposals, the reliability and validity of research findings will be increased, researchers will be better equipped to investigate interesting questions where small samples are the norm rather than the exception (e.g., the study of dyadic supply chain relationships), and important and valid contributions to the theory and practice of SCM will be generated.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 42 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2018

Guotai Chi and Bin Meng

The purpose of this paper is to propose a debt rating index system for small industrial enterprises that significantly distinguishes the default state. This debt rating…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a debt rating index system for small industrial enterprises that significantly distinguishes the default state. This debt rating system is constructed using the F-test and correlation analysis method, with the small industrial enterprise loans of a Chinese commercial bank as the data sample. This study establishes the weighting principle for the debt scoring model: “the more significant the default state, the larger is the weight.” The debt rating system for small industrial enterprises is constructed based on the standard “the higher the debt rating, the lower is the loss given default.”

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the authors selected indexes that pass the homogeneity of variance test based on the principle that a greater deviation of the default sample’s mean from the whole sample’s mean leads to greater significance in distinguishing the default samples from the non-default samples. The authors removed correlated indexes based on the results of the correlation analysis and constructed a debt rating index system for small industrial enterprises that included 23 indexes.

Findings

Among the 23 indexes, the weights of 12 quantitative indexes add up to 0.547, while the weights of the remaining 11 qualitative indexes add up to 0.453. That is, in the debt rating of the small industry enterprises, the financial indexes are not capable of reflecting all the debt situations, and the qualitative indexes play a more important role in debt rating. The weights of indexes “X17 Outstanding loans to all assets ratio” and “X59 Date of the enterprise establishment” are 0.146 and 0.133, respectively; both these are greater than 0.1, and the indexes are ranked first and second, respectively. The weights of indexes “X6 EBIT-to- current liabilities ratio,” “X13 Ratio of capital to fixed” and “X78 Legal dispute number” are between 0.07 and 0.09, these indexes are ranked third to fifth. The weights of indexes “X3 Quick ratio” and “X50 Per capital year-end savings balance of Urban and rural residents” are both 0.013, and these are the lowest ranked indexes.

Originality/value

The data of index i are divided into two categories: default and non-default. A greater deviation in the mean of the default sample from that of the whole sample leads to greater deviation from the non-default sample’s mean as well; thus, the index can easily distinguish the default and the non-default samples. Following this line of thought, the authors select indexes that pass the F-test for the debt rating system that identifies whether or not the sample is default. This avoids the disadvantages of the existing research in which the standard for selecting the index has nothing to do with the default state; further, this presents a new way of debt rating. When the correlation coefficient of two indexes is greater than 0.8, the index with the smaller F-value is removed because of its weaker prediction capacity. This avoids the mistake of eliminating an index that has strong ability to distinguish default and non-default samples. The greater the deviation of the default sample’s mean from the whole sample’s mean, the greater is the capability of the index to distinguish the default state. According to this rule, the authors assign a larger weight to the index that exhibits the ability to identify the default state. This is different from the existing index system, which does not take into account the ability to identify the default state.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 57 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2012

Nicky Grant

Principal component (PC) techniques are commonly used to improve the small sample properties of the linear instrumental variables (IV) estimator. Carrasco (2012) argue…

Abstract

Principal component (PC) techniques are commonly used to improve the small sample properties of the linear instrumental variables (IV) estimator. Carrasco (2012) argue that PC type methods provide a natural ranking of instruments with which to reduce the size of the instrument set. This chapter shows how reducing the size of the instrument based on PC methods can lead to poor small sample properties of IV estimators. A new approach to ordering instruments termed ‘normalized principal components’ (NPCs) is introduced to overcome this problem. A simulation study shows the favourable small samples properties of IV estimators using NPC, methods to reduce the size of the instrument relative to PC. Using NPC we provide evidence that the IV setup in Angrist and Krueger (1992) may not suffer the weak instrument problem.

Details

Essays in Honor of Jerry Hausman
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-308-7

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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2015

Md Shah Azam

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to…

Abstract

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).

The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.

This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.

Details

E-Services Adoption: Processes by Firms in Developing Nations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-325-9

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2019

R. Dale Wilson and Harriette Bettis-Outland

Artificial neural network (ANN) models, part of the discipline of machine learning and artificial intelligence, are becoming more popular in the marketing literature and…

Abstract

Purpose

Artificial neural network (ANN) models, part of the discipline of machine learning and artificial intelligence, are becoming more popular in the marketing literature and in marketing practice. This paper aims to provide a series of tests between ANN models and competing predictive models.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 46 pairs of models were evaluated in an objective model-building environment. Either logistic regression or multiple regression models were developed and then were compared to ANN models using the same set of input variables. Three sets of B2B data were used to test the models. Emphasis also was placed on evaluating small samples.

Findings

ANN models tend to generate model predictions that are more accurate or the same as logistic regression models. However, when ANN models are compared to multiple regression models, the results are mixed. For small sample sizes, the modeling results are the same as for larger samples.

Research limitations/implications

Like all marketing research, this application is limited by the methods and the data used to conduct the research. The findings strongly suggest that, because of their predictive accuracy, ANN models will have an important role in the future of B2B marketing research and model-building applications.

Practical implications

ANN models should be carefully considered for potential use in marketing research and model-building applications by B2B academics and practitioners alike.

Originality/value

The research contributes to the B2B marketing literature by providing a more rigorous test on ANN models using B2B data than has been conducted before.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2019

Biao Mei, Weidong Zhu, Yinglin Ke and Pengyu Zheng

Assembly variation analysis generally demands probability distributions of variation sources. However, due to small production volume in aircraft manufacturing, especially…

Abstract

Purpose

Assembly variation analysis generally demands probability distributions of variation sources. However, due to small production volume in aircraft manufacturing, especially prototype manufacturing, the probability distributions are hard to obtain, and only the small-sample data of variation sources can be consulted. Thus, this paper aims to propose a variation analysis method driven by small-sample data for compliant aero-structure assembly.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a hybrid assembly variation model, integrating rigid effects with flexibility, is constructed based on the homogeneous transformation and elasticity mechanics. Then, the bootstrap approach is introduced to estimate a variation source based on small-sample data. The influences of bootstrap parameters on the estimation accuracy are analyzed to select suitable parameters for acceptable estimation performance. Finally, the process of assembly variation analysis driven by small-sample data is demonstrated.

Findings

A variation analysis method driven by small-sample data, considering both rigid effects and flexibility, is proposed for aero-structure assembly. The method provides a good complement to traditional variation analysis methods based on probability distributions of variation sources.

Practical implications

With the proposed method, even if probability distribution information of variation sources cannot be obtained, accurate estimation of the assembly variation could be achieved. The method is well suited for aircraft assembly, especially in the stage of prototype manufacturing.

Originality/value

A variation analysis method driven by small-sample data is proposed for aero-structure assembly, which can be extended to deal with other similar applications.

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

Javed Hussain and Harry Matlay

The purpose of this research is to show that while mainstream finance for small businesses has been researched, hard to reach segments of the UK owner/manager population…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to show that while mainstream finance for small businesses has been researched, hard to reach segments of the UK owner/manager population have eluded empirically rigorous investigation. The authors investigate the financing preferences of owner/managers in small ethnic minority businesses in the UK and examine their access to both formal and informal finance as well as the use of personal funding networks. The emergent results are compared with the findings from a matched “control sample” of white small business owner/managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Identical, in‐depth, face‐to‐face interviews were used with a sample of ethnic minority small business owner/managers and a matched control sample of white respondents in the West Midlands region of the UK.

Findings

Family and close associate networks were very important for the support of both ethnic minority and white owner/managers. All the respondents required loans from banks and other financial institutions, both at the start‐up stage and in subsequent years. For the ethnic minority owner/managers, the initial importance of financial institutions declined over the years. In contrast, in the control sample, institutional borrowing needs increased considerably. Ethnic minority owner/managers showed a preference for less intrusive and more “user friendly” financing options that allow them to remain in full control of their businesses.

Practical implications

Caution is advised in the use and generalisation of results emerging from qualitative research that involves small samples of respondents chosen from a restricted area of the UK.

Originality/value

The research shows the importance of “user‐friendly” financing options for owner/managers.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 18 February 2021

Wenguang Yang, Lianhai Lin and Hongkui Gao

To solve the problem of simulation evaluation with small samples, a fresh approach of grey estimation is presented based on classical statistical theory and grey system…

Abstract

Purpose

To solve the problem of simulation evaluation with small samples, a fresh approach of grey estimation is presented based on classical statistical theory and grey system theory. The purpose of this paper is to make full use of the difference of data distribution and avoid the marginal data being ignored.

Design/methodology/approach

Based upon the grey distribution characteristics of small sample data, the definition about a new concept of grey relational similarity measure comes into being. At the same time, the concept of sample weight is proposed according to the grey relational similarity measure. Based on the new definition of grey weight, the grey point estimation and grey confidence interval are studied. Then the improved Bootstrap resampling is designed by uniform distribution and randomness as an important supplement of the grey estimation. In addition, the accuracy of grey bilateral and unilateral confidence intervals is introduced by using the new grey relational similarity measure approach.

Findings

The new small sample evaluation method can realize the effective expansion and enrichment of data and avoid the excessive concentration of data. This method is an organic fusion of grey estimation and improved Bootstrap method. Several examples are used to demonstrate the feasibility and validity of the proposed methods to illustrate the credibility of some simulation data, which has no need to know the probability distribution of small samples.

Originality/value

This research has completed the combination of grey estimation and improved Bootstrap, which makes more reasonable use of the value of different data than the unimproved method.

Details

Grey Systems: Theory and Application, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-9377

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2012

R. Mithu Dey and Mary W. Sullivan

The purpose of this paper is to estimate the cost of the internal control audit for small firms and assess whether the costs are scalable or, alternatively, whether they…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to estimate the cost of the internal control audit for small firms and assess whether the costs are scalable or, alternatively, whether they are higher in relation to firm size for small firms than for larger firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The method estimates the Section 404 audit fee premium for companies that became accelerated filers for the first time in 2006 and 2007. The authors use the estimated audit fee premium as a proxy for the premium that non‐accelerated filers would have to pay if they were required to obtain an internal control audit.

Findings

The main finding shows that the Section 404(b) estimated cost of the internal control audit divided by assets are significantly higher for non‐accelerated filers and first‐time filers than for those of larger firms.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of the study is that, while it shows that the costs of the Section 404 audit are not scalable to firm size, it does not prove that the costs of the audit exceed the benefits for non‐accelerated filers.

Practical implications

The finding that the costs are proportionately higher for small firms provides some evidence supporting the decision to permanently exempt non‐accelerated filers from Section 404(b).

Originality/value

The results show that smaller firms pay proportionately more for the Section 404 internal control audit than larger firms. This suggests that the revised AS no. 5 did not succeed in making the internal control audit completely scalable to firm size.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Harry Matlay

Despite the growing significance afforded to small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in contemporary Britain, much of the industrial relations (IR) literature in this…

Abstract

Despite the growing significance afforded to small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in contemporary Britain, much of the industrial relations (IR) literature in this country is based on research undertaken in large organisations. The minority of IR studies that are focused on smaller firms tend to be prescriptive and their results polarise into either the “small is beautiful” or the “bleak house” perspective and involve relatively small target samples. As a result, there is a paucity of quantitative research that could be generalised across this important sector of the British economy. The research (1998‐2000) on which this article is based originated from a perceived need to redress this imbalance. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from a target sample of 6,000 organisations. Preliminary results indicate that the majority of small business owner/managers in the sample exhibited personalised and mostly informal management styles. It emerges that IR in this type of business can be as varied as the characteristics, personalities and preferences exhibited by the respondents in the research sample.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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