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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2019

Thomas N. Garavan, Sinead Heneghan, Fergal O’Brien, Claire Gubbins, Yanqing Lai, Ronan Carbery, James Duggan, Ronnie Lannon, Maura Sheehan and Kirsteen Grant

This monograph reports on the strategic and operational roles of learning and development (L&D) professionals in Irish, UK European and US organisations including…

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Abstract

Purpose

This monograph reports on the strategic and operational roles of learning and development (L&D) professionals in Irish, UK European and US organisations including multinational corporations, small to medium enterprises, the public sector and not for profit organisations. This paper aims to investigate the contextual factors influencing L&D roles in organisations, the strategic and operational roles that L&D professionals play in organisations, the competencies and career trajectories of L&D professionals, the perceptions of multiple internal stakeholders of the effectiveness of L&D roles and the relationships between context, L&D roles, competencies/expertise and perceived organisational effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

The study findings are based on the use of multiple methods. The authors gathered data from executives, senior managers, line managers, employee and L&D professionals using multiple methods: a survey (n = 440), Delphi study (n = 125) and semi-structured interviews (n = 30).

Findings

The analysis revealed that L&D professionals increasingly respond to a multiplicity of external and internal contextual influences and internal stakeholders perceived the effectiveness of L&D professionals differently with significant gaps in perceptions of what L&D contributes to organisational effectiveness. L&D professionals perform both strategic and operational roles in organisations and they progress through four career levels. Each L&D role and career level requires a distinct and unique set of foundational competencies and L&D expertise. The authors found that different contextual predictors were important in explaining the perceived effectiveness of L&D roles and the importance attached to different foundational competencies and areas of L&D expertise.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to have investigated the L&D professional role in organisations from the perspective of multiple stakeholders using multiple research methods.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2017

George Saridakis, Yanqing Lai, Rebeca I. Muñoz Torres and Anne-Marie Mohammed

Drawing on the motivation theory and family business literature, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of family effect in growth behaviour of…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the motivation theory and family business literature, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of family effect in growth behaviour of small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors first compare the actual and expected growth of family and non-family-owned SMEs. The authors then compare the growth behaviour of small family firms managed by owner-directors and small family businesses co-managed by family and non-family directors with the non-family-owned SMEs.

Findings

The authors find a negative effect of family ownership on actual and intended small business growth behaviours. In addition, the findings also suggest that small family firms co-managed by non-family and family directors are no different from non-family-owned firms, in terms of reporting past actual growth in employment size and turnover as well as expecting growth in workforce size and turnover. The authors also observe a significant difference in anticipating sales growth between family-controlled and non-family-controlled firms. However, this difference is not explained by the heterogeneity of a top management team.

Practical implications

The study has important implications for managerial practice to family firms and on policies that improve the growth of SMEs. Specifically, the competence of managers and decision makers matters considerably in evaluating the efficient operation of the business and maximising the economic growth in SMEs.

Originality/value

The study makes two important theoretical contributions to small business growth literature. First, the findings underline a negative family effect in the actual and expected growth behaviour of SMEs. Second, the mode of family ownership alone may not sufficiently capture family effect and offer a thorough understanding of growth behaviour in SMEs.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Yanqing Duan and Russell Kinman

Small businesses play a crucial role in national and local economies, but their problems are not always accorded the same importance as those of larger organisations…

Abstract

Small businesses play a crucial role in national and local economies, but their problems are not always accorded the same importance as those of larger organisations. Research shows that many small businesses fail from lack of management ability. It has been argued that small businesses can improve their performance and increase their competitiveness with better information and decision support systems (DSS). Study of the few research papers available reveals that the current use of computers in small and medium‐size enterprises (SMEs) is often limited, and geared to operational support rather than managerial decision making. The work discussed in this paper investigated current DSS use in small manufacturing businesses in Bedfordshire, and canvassed the views of managers as to what additional support they most needed. Conclusions are drawn from the results of interviews with managers of six small manufacturing businesses and a large‐scale self‐report survey of Bedfordshire firms.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 October 2021

Wenjie Fan, Yong Liu, Hongxiu Li, Virpi Kristiina Tuunainen and Yanqing Lin

Drawing on attribution theory, the current paper aims to examine the effects of review content structures on online review helpfulness, focusing on three pertinent…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on attribution theory, the current paper aims to examine the effects of review content structures on online review helpfulness, focusing on three pertinent variables: review sidedness, information factuality, and emotional intensity at the beginning of a review. Moreover, the moderating roles of reviewer reputation and review sentiment are investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

The review sentiment of 144,982 online hotel reviews was computed at the sentence level by considering the presence of adverbs and negative terms. Then, the authors quantified the impact of variables that were pertinent to review content structures on online review helpfulness in terms of review sidedness, information factuality and emotional intensity at the beginning of a review. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression was employed to test the model.

Findings

The results reveal that review sidedness negatively affects online review helpfulness, and reviewer reputation moderates this effect. Information factuality positively affects online review helpfulness, and positive sentiment moderates this impact. A review that begins with a highly emotional statement is more likely to be perceived as less helpful.

Originality/value

Using attribution theory as a theoretical lens, this study contributes to the online customer review literature by investigating the impact of review content structures on online review helpfulness and by demonstrating the important moderating effects of reviewer reputation and review sentiment. The findings can help practitioners develop effective review appraisal mechanisms and guide consumers in producing helpful reviews.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Yanqing Duan, Roisin Mullins, David Hamblin, Stanislaw Stanek, Henry Sroka, Virgilio Machado and Joao Araujo

The rapid advancement in information and communication technologies (ICTs) has brought enormous business opportunities as well as challenges. One of these challenges is…

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Abstract

The rapid advancement in information and communication technologies (ICTs) has brought enormous business opportunities as well as challenges. One of these challenges is the demand for ICTs skills and expertise in adopting and implementing these emerging technologies. Coping with skills shortage poses a serious challenge across all European countries. Lack of ICTs skills and knowledge is more evident in small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). As training is regarded as the most effective way of improving skills and enhancing knowledge, this paper attempts to address skills shortage at pan‐European level by identifying SMEs’ needs on ICTs training in the UK, Portugal and Poland. The investigation focuses on the most needed training areas, the required training levels and the preferred training delivery channels. The paper summarises findings from three‐country investigations and highlights the implications of findings for the design and development of a Web‐based training system for the use of ICTs in SMEs.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 26 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2020

Shima Nakisa, Naghi Parvini Ahmadi, Javad Moghaddam and Habib Ashassi-Sorkhabi

The composition and corrosion behaviors of recycled and virgin Pb anode were investigated in industrial zinc electrowinning solution with different methods. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

The composition and corrosion behaviors of recycled and virgin Pb anode were investigated in industrial zinc electrowinning solution with different methods. The purpose of this study is the illustration of good anticorrosion activity of virgin Pb anodes compared to recycled one in industrial operation, while the compositions of both of them are the same which obtained from quantmetry method.

Design/methodology/approach

Its corrosion properties and electrocatalytic activity toward oxygen evolution reaction were appraised using potentiodynamic polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, galvanostatic polarization and ionic equilibrium methods. In addition, composition of anodes investigated with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) method. The surface composition of samples was studied via X-ray diffractogram (XRD).

Findings

The results indicate that the anodes display different anodic behaviors during the galvanostatic polarization. Virgin Pb anode shows a “potential reduction” about 320 mV lower than recycled Pb anode after 6 h of polarization; also, the stable potential after 72 h for virgin Pb anode is 100 mV lower than recycled Pb anode. Also, The XPS results show a trace amount of Cl in recycled anodes which cause the more corrosion activity. XRD results indicate that virgin Pb anodes have been covered by more oxides than recycled anodes after 72 h of electrowinning.

Originality/value

The treatment of corrosion behavior by virginity has not been detected by any researchers yet. Therefore, it is imperative to study the corrosion behavior and exact composition analysis of virgin and recycled Pb anodes to comprehension of them. This paper fulfills this need.

Details

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, vol. 67 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0003-5599

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Jing Liu

The purpose of this paper is to apply analysis of public discourses on Ze Xiao to explore and interpret the power relationships shaping inequality in admission to public…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply analysis of public discourses on Ze Xiao to explore and interpret the power relationships shaping inequality in admission to public junior high schools in urban China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study first introduces the rise of Ze Xiao as an educational phenomenon in China. It then elucidates power relationships in public school admission by analyzing continuities and changes in stakeholders’ interaction in public school admission. It concludes by discussing educational reform for equal public school admission in urban China. Data were collected from written and spoken texts about public school admission, including newspaper articles from the 1980s to the 2000s, policy documents and interviews with relevant stakeholders.

Findings

Findings demonstrate that multi-layered power relationships caused diverse inequalities in admission to public secondary education in urban China. These are represented by political and institutional privileges and an imbalance in education development during the social transition from a profit-driven approach in the 1990s to a balance-centered one after 2000. Arguably, there is a necessity to further promote a systematic reform to terminate the privileges and imbalance for an equal and balanced public secondary education in urban China post-2015.

Originality/value

This study attempts to make a contribution toward reconstructing the meaning of inequality in admission to public junior high schools in urban areas by revealing the power relationships among stakeholders constituted through their interactions in public education during the different stages of socio-economic development in urban China.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Carmen Torres-Sanchez and Nikolaos Balodimos

The purpose of this paper is to propose a nanodiamond-particle-loaded food-grade lubricating oil, a nanolubricant, that can be used over a broad range of loads in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a nanodiamond-particle-loaded food-grade lubricating oil, a nanolubricant, that can be used over a broad range of loads in factories (low load applications like conveyor systems and high load applications like heavy machinery).

Design/methodology/approach

Tribological performance of the nanolubricant was studied at both load levels. A typical factory-sized conveyor belt used for beverage packaging (aluminium cans, glass and PET bottles) was employed for the low load range. Coefficients of friction and wear scars were measured and the lubricating performance was quantified. A four-ball tester was used to characterise the performance of the nanolubricant as per ASTM D2783/D4172. A comparison between the nanolubricant and baseline oils was carried out.

Findings

Results show an overall decrease in the coefficients of friction and wear scars for all packages at low pressures when the nanolubricant is used. They also show a better friction-reduction performance in the high load regimes. The results indicate that the nanolubricant is versatile in both ranges of loading.

Practical implications

The current protocols for lubrication in the food and drink factories involve the use of water-based detergents for the conveyor lines and industry-grade oils for the machinery. The use of a single and versatile lubricant for both ranges of loads may have a positive impact on the sustainability and environmental performance of the sector.

Originality/value

Beverage processing and packing factories need their mechanised conveyor systems suitably lubricated to avoid excessive friction between the containers and the load-bearing surface of the conveyors (e.g. belts or chains). Other areas of the conveying systems, such as motors, gears, rollers and bearings, also need suitable lubrication to prevent failure and lengthen their operating life. There is a myriad of lubricants and lubricating solutions for each of these areas independently, but there is no commercial lubricating fluid that could be used on both successfully.

Details

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, vol. 69 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0036-8792

Keywords

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