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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2020

Akira Higashida

This study aims to clarify systematically the contribution of material flow cost accounting (MFCA) to green supply chain management (GSCM) by examining the coordination mechanisms.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to clarify systematically the contribution of material flow cost accounting (MFCA) to green supply chain management (GSCM) by examining the coordination mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach

Two qualitative case studies are conducted in a major Japanese manufacturing company, which introduced MFCA in two different supply chains. The concept of coordination mechanisms in supply chain management is used to consolidate the understanding on the usefulness of MFCA in GSCM.

Findings

The study’s findings reveal the significant role played by MFCA in coordinating material flows and eliminating sub-optimization in the supply chain from both economic and environmental perspectives. Furthermore, the focal company in the chain has an important role as the MFCA leader in implementing MFCA in the chain. In particular, the environmental department can eliminate suppliers’ concerns regarding opportunistic buyer behaviors and focus on material flows across the supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

The study highlights the possibility of reviewing existing transactions by coordinating material flows. This is a new direction for the adoption of MFCA in GSCM. In addition, although the study highlights the importance of the environmental department as an MFCA leader, future research is necessary to establish this aspect with greater precision.

Practical implications

The two case studies discussed in this paper demonstrate the usefulness of MFCA expansion into the supply chain, as well as information sharing and progression, in the development of GSCM.

Social implications

This study will contribute to enhance the green supply chain by implementing MFCA.

Originality/value

This study indicates that MFCA can potentially reveal the material losses caused by sub-optimization and provide information to avoid sub-optimization in decision-making. Moreover, it highlights the importance of the environmental department as an MFCA leader.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1986

Willen F.G. Mastenbroek

The problems of sub‐optimisation and resistance to change are chronic in organisations. Sub‐optimisation is endemic in horizontal relations, resistance to change in…

Abstract

The problems of sub‐optimisation and resistance to change are chronic in organisations. Sub‐optimisation is endemic in horizontal relations, resistance to change in vertical relations. Both involve a dynamic trend towards maintenance and/or improvement of one's strategic position in relation to others in the organisation. Two solutions are presented: structural — from vertical control to horizontal competition; and skills — how to balance co‐operation and competition, with particular emphasis on negotiating skills. The structural approach attempts to reduce intergroup rivalries and to channel competitive energies towards organisational goals by using organisational structure and incentives. The skills approach focuses on the negotiating process as a set of social skills to balance co‐operation and competition. A model of negotiating is presented which could be instrumental in charting the behaviour of negotiators, e.g. in training sessions for structuring feedback.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Witold Artur Klimczyk and Zdobyslaw Jan Goraj

This paper aims to address the issue of designing aerodynamically robust empennage. Aircraft design optimization often narrowed to analysis of cruise conditions does not…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the issue of designing aerodynamically robust empennage. Aircraft design optimization often narrowed to analysis of cruise conditions does not take into account other flight phases (manoeuvres). These, especially in unmanned air vehicle sector, can be significant part of the whole flight. Empennage is a part of the aircraft, with crucial function for manoeuvres. It is important to consider robustness for highest performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Methodology for robust wing design is presented. Surrogate modelling using kriging is used to reduce the optimization cost for high-fidelity aerodynamic calculations. Analysis of varying flight conditions, angle of attack, is made to assess robustness of design for particular mission. Two cases are compared: global optimization of 11 parameters and optimization divided into two consecutive sub-optimizations.

Findings

Surrogate modelling proves its usefulness for cutting computational time. Optimum design found by splitting problem into sub-optimizations finds better design at lower computational cost.

Practical implications

It is demonstrated, how surrogate modelling can be used for analysis of robustness, and why it is important to consider it. Intuitive split of wing design into airfoil and planform sub-optimizations brings promising savings in the optimization cost.

Originality/value

Methodology presented in this paper can be used in various optimization problems, especially those involving expensive computations and requiring top quality design.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 89 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Vesa Johannes Kämäräinen, Antti Peltokorpi, Paulus Torkki and Kaj Tallbacka

Healthcare productivity is a growing issue in most Western countries where healthcare expenditure is rapidly increasing. Therefore, accurate productivity metrics are…

Abstract

Purpose

Healthcare productivity is a growing issue in most Western countries where healthcare expenditure is rapidly increasing. Therefore, accurate productivity metrics are essential to avoid sub-optimization within a healthcare system. In this article, we focus on healthcare production system productivity measurement.

Design/methodology/approach

Traditionally, healthcare productivity has been studied and measured independently at the unit, organization, and system level. Suggesting that productivity measurement should be done in different levels, while simultaneously linking productivity measurement to incentives, this study presents the challenges of productivity measurement at the different levels. The study introduces different methods to measure productivity in healthcare. In addition, it provides background information on the methods used to measure productivity and the parameters used in these methods. A pilot investigation of productivity measurement is used to illustrate the challenges of measurement, to test the developed measures, and to prove the practical information for managers.

Findings

The study introduces different approaches and methods to measure productivity in healthcare.

Research limitations/implications

Practical implications

A pilot investigation of productivity measurement is used to illustrate the challenges of measurement, to test the developed measures, and to prove the practical benefits for managers.

Originality/value

We focus on the measurement of the whole healthcare production system and try to avoid sub-optimization. Additionally considering an individual patient approach, productivity measurement is examined at the unit level, the organizational level, and the system level.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Abolghasem Yousefi-Babadi, Ali Bozorgi-Amiri and Reza Tavakkoli-Moghaddam

To avoid sub-optimization in wheat storage centers, one of the most strategic facilities, it is necessary to review and relocate them to be optimized regularly. The…

Abstract

Purpose

To avoid sub-optimization in wheat storage centers, one of the most strategic facilities, it is necessary to review and relocate them to be optimized regularly. The present study aims to propose an integrated method using geographic information systems (GISs) and an appropriate weighting algorithm for the relocation of wheat storage facilities.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the goal mentioned above, sustainability pillars in facility location and relocation are initially developed; afterward, a set of suitable criteria are obtained from various scientific resources. Then, the weight of each sustainable development pillar and its corresponding sub-criteria were identified through utilizing the best–worst method (BWM). By applying the obtained weights in the ArcGIS software package, various geographical layers were designed, and land-use planning, logistics planning and sustainable logistics planning are carried out in the regions. The regions are ranked based on the scores obtained in the processes, and the best regions are selected for sustainable relocation problem.

Findings

A case study including 430 regions (counties) in Iran is conducted to evaluate the efficiency of the suggested approach. The study results indicate that Iran possesses a superior state for establishing wheat storage centers in terms of infrastructural and social aspects. Also, it is established that 16% of counties are recognized as sustainable locations for relocating the wheat storage facilities.

Research limitations/implications

There is no most suitable analysis of the wheat storage facilities, as well as their strategic position in the supply chain, and there is a lack of considering sustainability in wheat storage facility location, despite the particular importance of it to the supply chain.

Practical implications

This framework is applied in an Iranian wheat-bread supply chain to find the best sustainable facilities. It is noted that this algorithm can be applied in other strategic facilities by minor and some major changes.

Originality/value

Decision-makers can apply the proposed methodology to find the best relocation sites for wheat storage facilities as the main part of wheat-bread supply chain in order to prevent sub-optimization and improve the efficiency of their supply chain.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2010

Xiaopan Zhang, Xide Fu and Xiaohui Yuan

The purpose of this paper is to propose a rolling horizon procedure (RHP) to deal with the large‐scale and strongly NP‐hard problem on cooperative lockage‐timetables and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a rolling horizon procedure (RHP) to deal with the large‐scale and strongly NP‐hard problem on cooperative lockage‐timetables and service‐policies of the five locks in the Three Gorges Project.

Design/methodology/approach

RHP based approach is composed of a series of periodical short‐time sub‐optimizations instead of global optimization. Each of the sub‐optimizations is modeled by a mixed‐integer‐programming and solved by a branch and bound algorithm with terminal penalty.

Findings

The RHP method is found to be effective and efficient. The size of the rolling horizon is positively correlated to the total weighted area of ships.

Research limitations/implications

Precision of short‐time predictions is the main limitation.

Originality/value

This procedure promotes the navigation capacity of the Three Gorges Project and proposes a solution to the lockage‐scheduling problem of the Three Gorges Project.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 39 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1997

Alan Hankinson

Examines output determination in a sample of 50 small engineering firms with up to 100 employees in the Hampshire, Sussex, Dorset and Wiltshire region during 1992‐1997…

Abstract

Examines output determination in a sample of 50 small engineering firms with up to 100 employees in the Hampshire, Sussex, Dorset and Wiltshire region during 1992‐1997. Face‐to‐face interviews using a personal, open, unstructured approach were conducted in all firms with selected follow‐up discussions during the five‐year period. The findings indicate disconcerting problems of output determination within the sample. As a result of non‐optimum approaches to output determination displayed by the firms, financial returns will inevitably tend to remain disappointing for the small engineering firm. Seeks to provide all those interested in the promotion of business activity in the small firm sector, such as industry itself, higher education, government departments, the advisory bodies, consultants and local authorities, with a clearer appreciation of the real motivations and weaknesses behind output decision making.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 35 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Anette Brannemo

The objective of this paper is to present how two Swedish companies work, or plan to work, with sourcing decisions. The aim is furthermore to analyze if their decision…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to present how two Swedish companies work, or plan to work, with sourcing decisions. The aim is furthermore to analyze if their decision process, or parts of it, can be used as a base for building a rightsourcing decision model. In this paper rightsourcing is defined as; “the process to actively apply in‐and outsourcing strategically to be competitive now and in the future”.

Design/methodology/approach

Since the business environment is dynamic and the global aspects are increasing, companies tend to focus on what they do best‐their core competence. The concept of outsourcing has, therefore, been growing rapidly during the last decade. Many companies seem to have a vague understanding about the risks and benefits of outsourcing, except from a general idea that it will reduce cost. Many companies hence experience that sourcing decisions are complex and the need for a model supporting sourcing decision exist within many corporations. This is accomplished through a literature overview and a multiple case study.

Findings

The results indicate that a model for sourcing decisions ought to include, or be based on, following aspects, e.g. the companies overall strategy, the companies core competence, both qualitative and quantitative data and risk analysis. The sourcing process also ought to be made with a process approach, avoiding functional sub‐optimization. The results also indicated that financial evaluation and documentation of the decision is important.

Research limitations/implications

The multiple case study was conducted in one mechanical company and one engineering company from Sweden. The fact that the study only included two studies could affect the possibility to generalize the result.

Originality/value

This paper offers help to companies that consider sourcing decisions.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2010

A. Kaveh and S. Talatahari

The computational drawbacks of existing numerical methods have forced researchers to rely on heuristic algorithms. Heuristic methods are powerful in obtaining the solution…

Abstract

Purpose

The computational drawbacks of existing numerical methods have forced researchers to rely on heuristic algorithms. Heuristic methods are powerful in obtaining the solution of optimization problems. Although they are approximate methods (i.e. their solution are good, but not provably optimal), they do not require the derivatives of the objective function and constraints. Also, they use probabilistic transition rules instead of deterministic rules. The purpose of this paper is to present an improved ant colony optimization (IACO) for constrained engineering design problems.

Design/methodology/approach

IACO has the capacity to handle continuous and discrete problems by using sub‐optimization mechanism (SOM). SOM is based on the principles of finite element method working as a search‐space updating technique. Also, SOM can reduce the size of pheromone matrices, decision vectors and the number of evaluations. Though IACO decreases pheromone updating operations as well as optimization time, the probability of finding an optimum solution is not reduced.

Findings

Utilizing SOM in the ACO algorithm causes a decrease in the size of the pheromone vectors, size of the decision vector, size of the search space, the number of function evaluations, and finally the required optimization time. SOM performs as a search‐space‐updating rule, and it can exchange discrete‐continuous search domain to each other.

Originality/value

The suitability of using ACO for constrained engineering design problems is presented, and applied to optimal design of different engineering problems.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2018

Stine Hendler

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how digital and physical product development can be successfully coordinated and which new product development and contextual…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how digital and physical product development can be successfully coordinated and which new product development and contextual practices are suitable for the combined digital-physical product development process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a multiple-case study within one company with three digital-physical product development projects as the units of analysis. The data collection and analysis are guided by an existing research model. The case study is used deductively to illustrate the model.

Findings

When combining digital and physical development processes, one or both need to change. This may lead to sub-optimization of one or both of the processes but optimizes the combined digital-physical process. Various development and coordination practices as well as contextual measures must be put into place to improve fit to the digital-physical process characteristics and mixed materiality.

Research limitations/implications

The paper illustrates the research model with case evidence and suggests tentative theory in the form of propositions. Further research needs to explore the impact of the practices and contextual measures proposed.

Practical implications

This research proposes a range of conditions facilitating the successful development of digital-physical products.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first to empirically explore the complex process of digital-physical product development. Taking a process perspective and focusing on organizational and managerial practices and the influence of context, organization theory is used as the theoretical lens.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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