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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Amir M. Sharif and Zahir Irani

The justification of information technology (IT) is inherently fuzzy, both in theory and practice. This is due to the largely intangible dimensions of IT projects. In view…

Abstract

The justification of information technology (IT) is inherently fuzzy, both in theory and practice. This is due to the largely intangible dimensions of IT projects. In view of this, this research note presents the results of ongoing research, in the application of Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM), as a tool to identify complex functional interrelationships associated with the justification of IT. This paper presents a theoretical functional model which describes these relationships and, by using an FCM, further interrelationships are developed in the context of justifying IT projects. A procedure which would address the optimisation of these intangible relationships in the form of a genetic algorithm (GA) is proposed as a process for investment justification.

Details

Logistics Information Management, vol. 12 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6053

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 3 August 2018

Emel Aktas, Hafize Sahin, Zeynep Topaloglu, Akunna Oledinma, Abul Kalam Samsul Huda, Zahir Irani, Amir M. Sharif, Tamara van’t Wout and Mehran Kamrava

Food waste occurs in every stage of the supply chain, but the value-added lost to waste is the highest when consumers waste food. The purpose of this paper is to…

32275

Abstract

Purpose

Food waste occurs in every stage of the supply chain, but the value-added lost to waste is the highest when consumers waste food. The purpose of this paper is to understand the food waste behaviour of consumers to support policies for minimising food waste.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) as a theoretical lens, the authors design a questionnaire that incorporates contextual factors to explain food waste behaviour. The authors test two models: base (four constructs of TPB) and extended (four constructs of TPB plus six contextual factors). The authors build partial least squares structural equation models to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The data confirm significant relationships between food waste and contextual factors such as motives, financial attitudes, planning routines, food surplus, social relationships and Ramadan.

Research limitations/implications

The data comes from an agriculturally resource-constrained country: Qatar.

Practical implications

Food waste originating from various causes means more food should flow through the supply chains to reach consumers’ homes. Contextual factors identified in this work increase the explanatory power of the base model by 75 per cent.

Social implications

Changing eating habits during certain periods of the year and food surplus have a strong impact on food waste behaviour.

Originality/value

A country is considered to be food secure if it can provide its citizens with stable access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. The findings and conclusions inform and impact upon the development of food waste and food security policies.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Amir M. Sharif and Zahir Irani

This paper aims to explain the uncertainties associated with food security and, in doing so, classifies them within the context of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explain the uncertainties associated with food security and, in doing so, classifies them within the context of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). In using this lens to frame the challenges of food security, the viewpoint proffers the need to be even more sensitive to heightened levels of uncertainty and highlights the need of governments to be prepared to meet a wider variety of external forces, risks, opportunities and threats to mitigate food insecurity.

Design/methodology/approach

This research constructs a novel morphology of food security and food waste policy futures based upon a range of scenario types based on contextual narratives relating to constraint, collapse, growth and transformation. In doing so, offering a representation that suggests order, complexity and chaos occur across a range of four domains of interaction: known (repeatable cause and effect); knowable (cause and effect separated over time); complex (cause and effect are unique and non-repeatable); and chaos (no cause and effect relationship perceivable). This orientation is represented in the form of a novel morphology that can be used to support decision-making and policymaking/consideration.

Findings

The authors have presented and identified a combination of a structured and unstructured methods to develop and hence classify a range of food security scenarios. Using the VUCA worldview and classification, the authors subsequently identify seven underlying and seven United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-derived factors, which when combined with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) four food security scenarios in a pairwise manner led to the generation of a further 16 subsequent VUCA-inspired scenarios composed within a morphological grid. These were subsequently reclassified against three sets of stakeholders and then finally mapped to the Cynefin framework as a set of ten scenarios to show the potential of making greater sense of the VUCA nature of food security.

Practical implications

The paper proposes a novel conceptual approach to framing and understanding the wider holistic aspects of explaining and providing foresight to the complexities of food security. Hence, this paper provides policymakers with two contrasting, yet complementary, food security scenario planning techniques (VUCA and Cynefin), which envelope 16 narrative food security scenarios which can be used with stakeholders and advocacy groups in facilitating discussion about complex, messy and “wicked” interlinkages within the food security domain.

Originality/value

This is the first time in the extant literature that a combination of structured and unstructured, problem-based versus mess-based, contrasting perspectives have been brought together and developed, with the intention of creating a normative family or portfolio of narrative-driven food security scenarios. The authors present and extend four existing scenarios from the extant food security literature, and subsequently, through interpreting these scenarios via a dual and combined lens (notably using UN SDG and VUCA elements), a grid of alternative food security scenarios is produced. By then using applying the Cynefin complexity framework to these new configurations, a thematic categorisation of alternative futures is presented, which may aid policy and decision-makers when considering this topic.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Zahir Irani and Muhammad Kamal

291

Abstract

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Zahir Irani and Amir M. Sharif

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use, applicability and relevance of strategic planning as a process and tool when applied to exploring food security…

4254

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use, applicability and relevance of strategic planning as a process and tool when applied to exploring food security challenges, in the context of existing research on food security and food waste in the food supply chain. The issues associated with robust and resilient food supply chains within a circular economy are increasingly being seen as supportive of creating enhanced levels of food security but the authors argue that this is only sustainable when strategically planned as part of a cross-enterprise, information-rich and complex supply chain. The relevance of the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental (PESTLE) strategic planning tool is explored to establish whether it can play a role tacking the complexity of food insecurity (i.e. a lack of food security).

Design/methodology/approach

This is a viewpoint piece therefore as a result, thought, normative literature and supposition are used as a means to ground and orientate the views of the authors.

Findings

The authors identify and conclude that strategic planning tools like PESTLE across enterprises may not be relevant in supporting the reduction of food insecurity. This conclusion is predicated on the heightened level of complexity surrounding the pursuit of food security and the simplistic categorisation of PESTLE factors in a linear fashion that underpin this tool. Rather, the authors’ call for the use of strategic planning tools that are able to capture a large number of inter-related factors holistically.

Practical implications

This insight to the inter-related factors that contribute to food insecurity will allow policy developers, decision makers and others to develop their understanding of how strategic planning can support increased levels of food security within a circular economy and across cross-enterprises.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the literature through a new insight of how normative strategic planning tools need to evolve in a complex, inter-connected world of international business and geo-politics. In doing so, it is expected that this research will motivate others to develop their line of enquiry around uncovering and exploring those inter-relationships connecting PESTLE factors.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Zahir Irani and Muhammad Kamal

283

Abstract

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Zahir Irani and Ahmad Irani

321

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Zahir Irani, Vlatka Hlupic, Lynne P. Baldwin and Peter E.D. Love

Previous research suggests that developing dynamic models of business processes prior to their radical change could increase the success of BPR projects. Identifies…

2237

Abstract

Previous research suggests that developing dynamic models of business processes prior to their radical change could increase the success of BPR projects. Identifies barriers encountered in existing business processes and presents an overview of business process modelling methods that can be used to identify ways of eliminating these barriers. A case study is used to demonstrate how simulation modelling can be used to effectively re‐engineer manufacturing processes. The developed model is then manipulated, with results being generated to discover the possibilities of increasing the through‐put of the system. The usability of simulation modelling for evaluating alternative business process strategies is then investigated. Guidelines for achieving more widespread use of business process simulation are then proposed.

Details

Logistics Information Management, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6053

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Zahir Irani

228

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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