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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2008

Aapo Länsiluoto and Tomas Eklund

The purpose of this study is to present and compare the results of an evaluation of two self‐organizing map (SOM) models' suitability for financial environment analysis…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to present and compare the results of an evaluation of two self‐organizing map (SOM) models' suitability for financial environment analysis. The models are constructed for analyzing the macro‐ and firm‐level environments in the international pulp and paper industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the evaluation were collected through a field survey in 13 publicly‐noted Finnish companies, with a total of 36 respondents. All the respondents were involved in business intelligence or corporate development related tasks.

Findings

The results indicate that, the respondents appreciated the capabilities of both SOM models. All of the factors relating to accuracy, content, format, timeliness, and usability for strategic decision making received ratings higher than neutral. Respondents also concluded that the SOM models have additional benefits compared to currently used methods. Finally, the respondents were willing to utilize the SOM as a complement to other tools for analyzing the competitive environment. Some subfactors of the firm level SOM model received statistically higher averages than the macro‐level SOM model.

Originality/value

Despite the SOM having been utilized in thousands of different applications, user satisfaction with the SOM and its information products has not previously been widely evaluated, especially not by potential end‐users.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Aapo Länsiluoto, Annukka Jokipii and Tomas Eklund

This study aims to examine and visualize the adopted internal control structure and effectiveness in firms and present a typology of firms. Control structure and…

6646

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine and visualize the adopted internal control structure and effectiveness in firms and present a typology of firms. Control structure and effectiveness are measured based on the assessment of management, rather than using reported material weaknesses as most studies do. This type of evaluation is more purposeful for firms that do not apply the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Internal control frameworks provide only broad guidance concerning internal control concepts, leaving the details to the adopting firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey data (from 741 CEOs) are clustered using the self-organizing map, a visual artificial neural network approach. A three-dimensional effectiveness proxy is used.

Findings

The analysis reveals four alternative types of internal control effectiveness in firms and visually presents how the components of the internal control structure are associated with each one. A typology of internal control structure and effectiveness is then created.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that there are interrelated, but not straightforward, relationships between internal control variables and that there is a link between some of them and higher internal control effectiveness in practice. These findings have important implications for those responsible for improving or assessing internal control, such as management, personnel and internal and external auditors.

Originality/value

This paper uses a clustering approach to create a typology for alternative types of internal control structure and effectiveness, based on data from actual firms. Instead of using material weaknesses as a measure, this study uses managers’ own assessments of internal control effectiveness.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Aapo Länsiluoto, Tomas Eklund, Barbro Back, Hannu Vanharanta and Ari Visa

Multilevel environment analysis is important for companies operating on the global market. Previous studies have in general focused on one level at a time, but the need to…

1754

Abstract

Multilevel environment analysis is important for companies operating on the global market. Previous studies have in general focused on one level at a time, but the need to perform multilevel environment analysis has also been stressed. Multilevel analysis can partly explain the benchmarking gap between companies, as changing conditions in the upper environment levels affect lower levels. In today's information‐rich era, it is difficult to conduct multilevel analysis without suitable computational tools. This paper illustrates how the self‐organizing map can be used for the simultaneous comparison of industry‐level changes and financial performance of pulp and paper companies. The study shows the importance of simultaneous analysis, as some simultaneous changes were found at both industry and corporate levels. Also found were some industry‐specific explanatory factors for good (Scandinavian companies) and poor (Japanese companies) financial performance. The results indicate that the self‐organizing map could be a suitable tool when the purpose is to visualize large masses of multilevel data from high‐dimensional databases.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2008

Juan A. Marin‐Garcia, Manuela Pardo del Val and Tomás Bonavía Martín

The purpose of this paper is to show a real experience of how a scheme of continuous improvement has been gradually transformed, from a very unsuccessful start, passing…

1587

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show a real experience of how a scheme of continuous improvement has been gradually transformed, from a very unsuccessful start, passing through different phases and finally delivering results for the firm.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyse the evolution of the formal programs of continuous improvement of a firm in a traditional sector (food). The data for the research were gathered by means of participatory observation over the course of 18 months spent in the firm attending the meetings of the improvement teams.

Findings

Both programs (individual and group) have proved to be very profitable for the company. However, there is no magic formula for the correct operation of the system of continuous improvement. The existing system has to be continually improved, correcting faults and trying always to contribute something new to re‐launch the system regularly.

Practical implications

This study has also permitted the authors to highlight the importance of continuous improvement in the firm from both the economic point of view and that of worker development.

Originality/value

The investigation aims to help to cover the lack of longitudinal case studies of continuous improvement.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 April 2022

Khoa The Do, Huy Gip, Priyanko Guchait, Chen-Ya Wang and Eliane Sam Baaklini

While robots have increasingly threatened frontline employees’ (FLEs) future employment by taking over more mechanical and analytical intelligence tasks, they are still…

318

Abstract

Purpose

While robots have increasingly threatened frontline employees’ (FLEs) future employment by taking over more mechanical and analytical intelligence tasks, they are still unable to “experience” and “feel” to occupy empathetic intelligence tasks that can be handled better by FLEs. This study, therefore, aims to empirically develop and validate a scale measuring the new so-called empathetic creativity as being creative in practicing and performing empathetically intelligent skills during service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a multistage design to develop the scale. Phase 1 combines a literature review with text mining from 3,737 service robots-related YouTube comments to generate 16 items capturing this new construct. Phase 2 assesses both face and content validity of those items, while Phase 3 recruits Prolific FLEs sample to evaluate construct validity. Phase 4 checks this construct’s nomological validity using PLS-SEM and Phase 5 experiments dedicated effort (vs natural talent) as an effective approach to foster FLEs’ perceived empathetic creativity.

Findings

The final scale is comprised of 13 refined items that capture three dimensions (social, interactive and emotional) of empathetic creativity. This research provides timely implications to help FLEs in high-contact services stay competitive.

Originality/value

This study introduces the new construct of empathetic creativity, which goes beyond the traditional definition of creativity in services and highlights the importance of empathetic intelligence for FLEs in future employment. This study also develops a multi-item scale to measure this construct, which can be applied to future service management research.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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