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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.

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

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Book part
Publication date: 10 July 2006

Giulia Balboni

Structural Equating Modeling (SEM) is a formal model for representing dependency relations between variables of psychological events and may be used for verifying the…

Abstract

Structural Equating Modeling (SEM) is a formal model for representing dependency relations between variables of psychological events and may be used for verifying the structural organization of a theoretical model. “Rules of thumb” for the use of SEM are presented regarding each step of its application: specification of the structural model, measurement of the psychological event, and estimation of the adequacy of the model in representing the event. The investigation of the factorial structure of Greenspan's model of personal competence is presented as an example of SEM application with participants with disabilities.

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Applications of Research Methodology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-295-5

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Marcelo Santiago Sousa, Pedro Paglione, Roberto Gil Annes Silva, Flavio Luiz Cardoso-Ribeiro and Sebastião Simões Cunha

The purpose of this paper is to present a mathematical model of one very flexible transport category airplane whose structural dynamics was modeled with the strain-based…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a mathematical model of one very flexible transport category airplane whose structural dynamics was modeled with the strain-based formulation. This model can be used for the analysis of couplings between the flight dynamics and structural dynamics.

Design/methodology/approach

The model was developed with the use of Hamiltonian mechanics and strain-based formulation. Nonlinear flight dynamics, nonlinear structural dynamics and inertial couplings are considered.

Findings

The mathematical model allows the analysis of effects of high structural deformations on airplane flight dynamics.

Research limitations/implications

The mathematical model has more than 60 degrees of freedom. The computational burden is too high, if compared to the traditional rigid body flight dynamics simulations.

Practical implications

The mathematical model presented in this work allows a detailed analysis of the couplings between flight dynamics and structural dynamics in very flexible airplanes. The better comprehension of these couplings will contribute to the development of flexible airplanes.

Originality/value

This work presents the application of nonlinear flight dynamics-nonlinear structural dynamics-strain-based formulation (NFNS_s) methodology to model the flight dynamics of one very flexible transport category airplane. This paper addresses also the way as the analysis of results obtained in nonlinear simulations can be made. Comparisons of the NFNS_s and nonlinear flight dynamics-linear structural dynamics methodologies are presented in this work.

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Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 89 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Denis Stijepic

The three-sector framework (relating to agriculture, manufacturing and services) is one of the major concepts for studying the long-run change of the economic structure…

Abstract

Purpose

The three-sector framework (relating to agriculture, manufacturing and services) is one of the major concepts for studying the long-run change of the economic structure. This paper aims to discuss the system-theoretical classification of the structural change in the three-sector framework and, in particular, its predictability by the Poincaré–Bendixson theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This study compares the assumptions of the Poincaré–Bendixson theory to the typical axioms of structural change modeling, the empirical evidence on the geometrical properties of structural change trajectories and the methodological arguments referring to the laws of structural change.

Findings

The findings support the assumption that the structural change phenomenon is representable by a dynamical system that is predictable by the Poincaré–Bendixson theory. This result implies, among others, that in the long run, structural change is either transitory or cyclical and can be used in further geometrical/topological long-run structural change modeling and prediction.

Originality/value

Although widespread in mathematics, geometrical/topological modeling methods have not been used in modeling and prediction of long-run structural change, despite the fact that they seem to be predestined for this purpose owing to their global, system-theoretical nature, allowing for a reduction of ideology content of predictions and greater robustness of results.

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foresight, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Xuanya Shi, Francis Boadu and Yifei Du

Both the scope of postentry growth and the scale of postentry growth are essential for Chinese multinational enterprises' aggressive internationalization. Yet, prior…

Abstract

Purpose

Both the scope of postentry growth and the scale of postentry growth are essential for Chinese multinational enterprises' aggressive internationalization. Yet, prior literature has not considered the synergistic approach of postentry growth that seeks the scope of growth and the scale of growth simultaneously. Building upon the embeddedness perspective and the learning view, we address how structural embeddedness directly affects firms' postentry growth in the form of scope and scale and indirectly affects postentry growth via both the scope of growth and the scale of growth. Particularly, we investigate the decreasing mediating effect of the growth's scale on the growth's scope when embeddedness strengthens.

Design/methodology/approach

With a survey data set of 206 Chinese multinational firms from manufacturing and service industries, we conduct structural equation modeling (SEM), partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM), instantaneous indirect effect assessment and hierarchical linear regression model to test our hypotheses.

Findings

First, Chinese multinational enterprises’ (CMNEs) structural embeddedness is positively related to their scope of postentry growth, while has a U-shaped relationship with their scale of postentry growth. Second, CMNEs' scope of postentry growth mediates the relationship between structural embeddedness and the scale of postentry growth, the mediation effect counts for 33.5% of the over effect. Finally, the indirect effect of structural embeddedness on the scope of postentry growth through the scale of postentry growth is nonlinear. As the structural embeddedness strengthens, the positive indirect effect gradually weakens.

Originality/value

We believe this study further connects core international business research on postentry growth to the fast-growing literature on emerging markets multinational enterprises' internationalization. In addition, we undertake an initial effort in addressing an important gap in the literature: how structural embeddedness matters to firms' postentry growth. Moreover, this study finds important evidence to support the direct and indirect effect of structural embeddedness on postentry growth.

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Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2020

Ranjit Kumar Chaudhary, Tathagata Roy and Vasant Matsagar

Despite recognizing the significance of risk-based frameworks in fire safety engineering, the usual approach in structural fire design is largely member/component level…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite recognizing the significance of risk-based frameworks in fire safety engineering, the usual approach in structural fire design is largely member/component level, wherein effect of uncertainties influencing the fire resistance of structures are not explicitly considered. In this context, a probabilistic framework is presented to investigate the vulnerability of a reinforced concrete (RC) members and structure under fire loading scenario.

Design/methodology/approach

The RC structures exposed to fire are modeled in a finite element (FE) platform incorporating material and geometric nonlinearity, in which the transient thermo-mechanical analysis is carried out by suitably incorporating the temperature variation of thermal and mechanical properties of both concrete and steel rebar. The stochasticity in the system is considered in structural resistance, thermal and fire model parameters, and the subsequent fragility curves are developed considering threshold limit state of deflection.

Findings

The fire resistance of RC structure is reported to be significantly lower in comparison to the RC members, thereby illustrating the current prescriptive design approaches based on studies of structural member behavior to be crucial from a safety and reliability point of view.

Practical implications

The framework developed for the vulnerability assessment of RC structures under fire hazard through FE analysis can be effectively used to estimate the structural fire resistance for other similar structure to enhance safety and reliability of structures under such extreme threats.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a novel methodology for vulnerability assessment of three-dimensional RC structures under fire hazard through FE analysis and provides comparison of the structural fragility with fragility developed for structural members. Moreover, the research emphasizes to assume 3D behavior of the structure rather than the approximate 2D behavior.

Details

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-2317

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Zefeng Xiao, Yongqiang Yang, Di Wang, Changhui Song and Yuchao Bai

This paper aims to summarize design rules based on the process characteristics of selective laser melting (SLM) and structural optimization and apply the design rules in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to summarize design rules based on the process characteristics of selective laser melting (SLM) and structural optimization and apply the design rules in the lightweight design of an aluminum alloy antenna bracket. The design goal is to reduce 30 per cent of the weight while maintaining the stress levels in the original part.

Design/methodology/approach

To reduce weight as much as possible, the titanium alloy with higher specific strength was selected during the process of optimization. The material distribution of the bracket was improved by the topology optimization design. The redesign for SLM was used to obtain an optimization model, which was more suitable for SLM. The component performance was improved by shape optimization. The modal analysis data of the structural optimization model were compared with those of the stochastic lightweight model to verify the structural optimization model. The scanning data were compared with those of the original model to verify whether the model was suitable for SLM.

Findings

Structural optimization design for antenna bracket realized the mass decrease of 30.43 per cent and the fundamental frequency increase of 50.18 per cent. The modal analysis data of the stochastic lightweight model and the structural optimization model indicated that the optimization performance of structural optimization method was better than that of the stochastic lightweight method. The comparison results between the scanning data of the forming part and the original data confirmed that the structural optimization design for SLM lightweight component could achieve the desired forming accuracy.

Originality/value

This paper summarizes geometric constraints in SLM and derives design rules of structural optimization based on the process characteristics of SLM. SLM design rules make structural optimization design more reasonable. The combination of structural optimization design and SLM can improve the performance of lightweight antenna bracket significantly.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2010

Siu Loon Hoe and Steven McShane

The topic of organizational learning is populated with many theories and models; many relate to the enduring organizational learning framework consisting of knowledge…

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2230

Abstract

Purpose

The topic of organizational learning is populated with many theories and models; many relate to the enduring organizational learning framework consisting of knowledge acquisition, knowledge dissemination, and knowledge use. However, most of the research either emphasizes structural knowledge acquisition and dissemination as a composite construct, or focuses solely on the structural aspect of knowledge acquisition and dissemination. The primary objective of this study is to develop and test a model of organizational learning that incorporates both structural and informal knowledge acquisition and dissemination and as separate processes. The predictors of these processes are also proposed

Design/methodology/approach

A model of organizational learning that incorporates both structural and informal knowledge acquisition and dissemination constructs, along with three predictors of these organizational learning constructs were developed and quantitatively tested.

Findings

An inference to the research questions and hypotheses suggests that informal knowledge acquisition and dissemination have significant paths to market knowledge use, whereas structural knowledge acquisition and dissemination have, at best, a weak association with market knowledge use. Although the results were based on exploratory analysis, they provide tentative quantitative evidence that informal knowledge processes are at least as important as structural knowledge processes in market‐based organizational learning.

Originality/value

While the hypothesized model did not satisfy the goodness‐of‐fit tests, data‐driven exploratory analysis helped to refine two separate structural and informal models for future testing. The statistical explanation provided and procedures used to remedy the non‐fit issues should help future researchers to deal with structural equation‐modeling issues when similar non‐fit problems arise.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1995

David A. Collier

Describes research which continues the quest to model performanceusing structural equation models. The objective is to provide meaningfuland substantively interpretable…

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2026

Abstract

Describes research which continues the quest to model performance using structural equation models. The objective is to provide meaningful and substantively interpretable predictions of process performance using structural equation modelling. Develops structural equation models which clearly define the performance relationships for a backroom bank card remittance process using criteria such as process quality errors, employee turnover rates, labour productivity, on‐time delivery, and unit cost. Also defines the idea of a process quality equilibrium point (error rate) using structural equation modelling, and investigates how to use these structural equation models to help set internal and external standards of performance.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 14 February 2020

Ben Ruben R., S. Vinodh and Asokan P.

The study aims to describe the development of a structural measurement model using structural equation modeling technique to validate the association that exists between…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to describe the development of a structural measurement model using structural equation modeling technique to validate the association that exists between Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and sustainable manufacturing strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

Both LSS and sustainable manufacturing aim at improving the firm’s business competitiveness which forms a strategic link that benefits the manufacturing organizations. The study aims to investigate the relationship among constructs that leads to operational excellence while deploying LSS and sustainable manufacturing strategies in organizations.

Findings

Empirical data needed for the study are collected from experts belonging to various industries that are implementing both LSS and sustainable manufacturing practices. Later statistical estimates (hypotheses) are being formulated to confirm the developed measurement model. Based on the obtained results after analysis of the structural model, the statistical estimate is either being accepted or rejected. Results of this study reveal that there exists a strong correlation between LSS and sustainable manufacturing factors that leads to organizational performance.

Research limitations/implications

Additional indicators could be included to deal with technological advancements in sustainable manufacturing.

Practical implications

The study has been done with regard to Indian automotive component manufacturing organizations scenario. Hence, the inferences derived have practical relevance.

Originality/value

The development of structural model for the Lean Six Sigma system with sustainability considerations is the original contribution of the authors.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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