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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Hanna Silvola and Eija Vinnari

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors examine auditors' attempts to promote sustainability assurance and establish it as a practice requiring the professional involvement of auditors.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying institutional work (Lawrence and Suddaby, 2006) and institutional logics (Thornton, 2002; Thornton et al., 2012) as the method theories, the authors examine interview data and a variety of documentary evidence collected in Finland, a small society characterized by social and environmental values, beliefs in functioning institutions and public trust in companies behaving responsibly.

Findings

With this study, the authors make two main contributions to extant literature. First, the authors illustrate the limits that society-level logics related to corporate social responsibility, together with the undermining or rejected institutional work of other agents, place especially on the political and cultural work undertaken by auditors. Second, the study responds to Power's (2003) call for country-specific studies by exploring a rather unique context, Finland, where societal trust in companies is arguably stronger than in many other countries and this trust appears to affect how actors perceive the need for sustainability assurance.

Originality/value

This is one of the few accounting studies that combines institutional logics and institutional work to study the uptake of a management fashion, in this case sustainability assurance.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2019

Gao Niu, Jeyaraj Vadiveloo and Mengnong Xu

In this chapter, we consider the model of call center incoming call forecasting and staffing-level optimization. We first present the structure of the model and how an…

Abstract

In this chapter, we consider the model of call center incoming call forecasting and staffing-level optimization. We first present the structure of the model and how an agent-based modeling technique could enrich the decision rule and the model. A matrix layout is introduced to present the model so that it can be understood in an efficient way from the perspective of a programmer. The agent-based queuing model will be used in forecasting. We then utilize the bisection method and stepwise method to optimize the staff level to satisfy a target range service-level criteria. Call center management could use the model in practice for their management forecasting and optimization decision-making process in terms of how many agents they need to achieve the target business efficiency goal.

Details

Advances in Business and Management Forecasting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-290-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Novi Lailatul Khoirunnisa and Rangga Almahendra

This study aims to explore the extent to which inter-organizational hybrid governance manages the micro design for optimum reverse knowledge transfer in the open…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the extent to which inter-organizational hybrid governance manages the micro design for optimum reverse knowledge transfer in the open innovation context. The authors use two essential facets of micro design in hybrid governance: product adaptation and integration mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this study were collected from franchisees through structured questionnaires in Indonesia.

Findings

Results indicated that product adaptation has a positive relationship with reverse knowledge transfer. This study also found that the formalization strengthens the relationship between product adaptation and reverse knowledge transfer. However, the socialization does not have a moderation effect.

Research limitations/implications

This research estimates the knowledge transfer from the agent’s side only. Therefore, further research is expected to estimate the reverse knowledge transfer in dyads (from agent and principal) to get a detailed understanding of reverse knowledge transfer.

Practical implications

This study offers guidelines to managers, especially in inter-organizational hybrid governance. The authors suggest reverse knowledge transfer as a form to manage the dispersed knowledge from their agents. Governing institutions should change their view that agents have diverse knowledgebase from experience adapting to local conditions and can improve their open innovation through reverse knowledge transfer. From the results, it is found that giving agents the flexibility to adapt products can boost reverse knowledge transfer to support open innovation.

Originality/value

This study provides an understanding of the utilization of external knowledge sourcing in the context of open innovation from agent to principal in hybrid governance through reverse knowledge transfer, which has thus far been empirically under-researched.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 February 2021

Chaturika Priyadarshani Seneviratne and Ashan Lester Martino

The present study aims to explore how various doings, strategic actions and power relations stemming from internal agents are instrumental in (re)constituting the…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to explore how various doings, strategic actions and power relations stemming from internal agents are instrumental in (re)constituting the different forms and meanings of budgeting in a specific field.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a single-case study method based on a Sri Lankan public university. Data are collected using interviews, documentary evidence and observations.

Findings

The empirical evidence suggested that internal agents are crucial, and they are the producers of budgetary practice as they possess practical knowledge and power relations in the field where they operate. The case data demonstrate that organisational agents do have real essence as active and acting to produce effects in budgeting practices, and the significance of exploring the singularity of multiple agents in terms of their viewpoints, trajectories, dispositions and power relations, who may form, sustain or interrupt budgetary practices in a given setting.

Research limitations/implications

As the research is directed towards the selection of in-depth enquiry of specific setting infused with culture, values, perception and ideology, it might cause to diminish the researcher's analytical objectivity and independence of the research.

Practical implications

As budgetary practices are product of human interaction, it is important to note that practitioners should be concerned with what agents do in actual practice and their inactions, influences and power relations in budgeting practices, which might not align with the structural forces enlisted in the budgeting. It would be of interest for future empirical research to explore the interplay between the diverse interests of organisational agents and agents beyond the individual organisations.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on management control practices by documenting the importance of understanding the “practice” through relational thinking of all three concepts is emphasised, such interrelated theoretical insights are seldom used to understand accounting practices. This research emphasises the importance of bringing out the microprocessual facets of management control to open up its non-conscious, non-strategic and non-rationalist forms.

Details

Asian Journal of Accounting Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2443-4175

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2021

Hong Li, Changhong Li and Zhan Wang

The effective transfer of knowledge within an organization is critical for its sustainable competitive advantage. Based on the norm of reciprocity, it can be concluded…

Abstract

Purpose

The effective transfer of knowledge within an organization is critical for its sustainable competitive advantage. Based on the norm of reciprocity, it can be concluded that individuals’ primary motivation to transfer their treasured knowledge can be summarized as “trust,” that is, the individuals trust their selfless transfer behavior can be reciprocated by the recipients in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, a simulation model based on knowledge transfer behavior and reciprocal trust between individuals is built through agent-based modeling and simulation to investigate the factors that influence the efficiency of knowledge transfer within an organization.

Findings

Experiments are performed to test the impact of reciprocal trust and organizational structure on the efficiency of knowledge transfer.

Originality/value

The results indicate a significant role of key elements of reciprocal trust and organizational structure, which provides relevant practical guidance for both individuals and organization managers in the context of knowledge transfer.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2021

Maurice Yolles

This two-part paper is concerned with the creation of a generalised cybernetic agency-based ecosystem. The purpose of the first part is to explore the basis for the…

Abstract

Purpose

This two-part paper is concerned with the creation of a generalised cybernetic agency-based ecosystem. The purpose of the first part is to explore the basis for the creation of an agentic ecology theory to provide a generalised multidisciplinary context-free manifold that can be applied to specific domains and contexts. As an element of this, it will explore the relationship between agency and its agents (at various foci) and the nature of agency ecologies and their evolution. It will also explore the relationship between viability and sustainability. In the second part of the paper, the purpose will be to formulate a general basis for agency ecology, followed by an agency model that recognises the analytical and decision-making attributes of the viability–sustainability relationship by centering on the modelling a socioeconomic ecosystem and a social disciplinary species model.

Design/methodology/approach

Agency theory will be used to model a generic agency ecology and its environment of subordinate elements – especially those subordinates that can be used as amenities to satisfy the needs to agency development. Part 1 of the paper will take a tour of concepts relevant to the representation of neo-ecosystem structures and their application. Part 2 will centre on delivering a schema capable of embracing agency neo-ecology from which applications may derive.

Findings

It is shown that agency theory as a modelling schema can be used as a methodology through which to provide diagnosis to examine the condition of, or for locating problems within, an agency in its ecosystem environment. This is illustrated within a socioeconomic context.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conceptual in nature, and there has been no intention to diagnose any substantive issues within the socioeconomic context.

Originality/value

A generalised agency ecology approach is proposed over this two-part paper that is novel through the use of third-order cybernetics.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2021

Zeeda Fatimah Mohamad, Mohd Zufri Mamat and Muhamad Faisal Muhamad Noor

The notion of students as change agents have widely been used in the campus sustainability literature, but very little has been done to unpack what it really means in…

Abstract

Purpose

The notion of students as change agents have widely been used in the campus sustainability literature, but very little has been done to unpack what it really means in practice. This paper aims to critically investigate university students’ perspectives on their role as a change agent for campus sustainability in the context of Malaysian universities.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews were carried out with 21 students that have been categorized as change agents through selection criteria at three leading universities in the area of campus sustainability in Malaysia. The data collected from the interviews were analysed through content-based and thematic analysis.

Findings

Findings demonstrate that students are the backbone behind the implementation of campus sustainability activities. They play the multi-faceted role of leaders, supporters and ambassadors in initiating and driving campus sustainability. The results further suggest that support and freedom to act are the empowering factors that have driven these change agents in carrying out their initiatives. However, without a position, the students’ voices are not significant.

Originality/value

This study provides deeper evidence-based insights on the notion of students as change agents and how it can be operationalized in the context of campus sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2021

Yandong Liu, Dong Han, Lujia Wang and Cheng-Zhong Xu

With the rapid development of e-commerce, logistics demand is increasing day by day. The modern warehousing with a multi-agent system as the core comes into being. This…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid development of e-commerce, logistics demand is increasing day by day. The modern warehousing with a multi-agent system as the core comes into being. This paper aims to study the task allocation and path-planning (TAPP) problem as required by the multi-agent warehouse system.

Design/methodology/approach

The TAPP problem targets to minimize the makespan by allocating tasks to the agents and planning collision-free paths for the agents. This paper presents the Hierarchical Genetic Highways Algorithm (HGHA), a hierarchical algorithm combining optimization and multi-agent path-finding (MAPF). The top-level is the genetic algorithm (GA), allocating tasks to agents in an optimized way. The lower level is the so-called highways local repair (HLR) process, avoiding the collisions by local repairment if and only if conflicts arise.

Findings

Experiments demonstrate that HGHA performs faster and more efficient for the warehouse scenario than max multi-flow. This paper also applies HGHA to TAPP instances with a hundred agents and a thousand storage locations in a customized warehouse simulation platform with MultiBots.

Originality/value

This paper formulates the multi-agent warehousing distribution problem, TAPP. The HGHA based on hierarchical architecture solves the TAPP accurately and quickly. Verifying the HGHA by the large-scale multi-agent simulation platform MultiBots.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2021

Maurice Yolles

This paper is in two parts. The purpose of the first part was to explore the basis for the creation of an agentic ecology theory that could provide a generic…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is in two parts. The purpose of the first part was to explore the basis for the creation of an agentic ecology theory that could provide a generic multidisciplinary context-free manifold that can be applied to specific domains and contexts. As an element of this, it explored the relationship between agency and its agents (at various foci) and the nature of agency ecologies. It also explored the relationship between viability and sustainability. In this second part, the purpose is to create an agency model that will recognise the analytical and decision-making attributes of the viability–sustainability relationship by centring on the modelling a socioeconomic ecosystem and a social disciplinary species model.

Design/methodology/approach

Agency theory will be used to model a generic agency ecology and its environment of subordinate elements – especially those subordinates that can be used as amenities to satisfy the needs to agency development. Part 1 of the paper took a tour of concepts relevant to the representation of ecosystem structures and their application. Part 2 will centre on delivering a schema capable of embracing agency ecology from which applications may derive.

Findings

It is shown agency theory is not only a modelling schema but can also provide diagnosis to examine the condition of, or for locating problems within, an agency in its ecosystem environment. This is illustrated within a socioeconomic context.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conceptual in nature, without any to diagnose any substantive issues within the socio-economic context.

Originality/value

A generalized agency ecology approach is proposed over this two-part paper that is novel through the use of 3rd order cybernetics.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Dejun Chen, Zude Zhou, Yingzhe Ma and D.T. Pham

The purpose of this paper is to create a platform framework based on agent for virtual enterprise (VE) with the characteristic of supply chain by adopting multi‐agent technology.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to create a platform framework based on agent for virtual enterprise (VE) with the characteristic of supply chain by adopting multi‐agent technology.

Design/methodology/approach

According to the system hierarchy theory and the features of VE with the characteristic of supply chain, the conception and organization structure of supply chain‐oriented VE are proposed. Combined with characters of multi‐agent, a platform framework based on agent for VE with the characteristic of supply chain is created. Aiming at complexity of net node of running platform framework, two‐layer architecture mode, which are information alternation layer and basic function layer inside net node based on agent, are designed. The modes are proved to be reasonable in the management of the system and networks resources.

Findings

The theory base of realization of the VE based on agent with the characteristic of supply chain is found.

Research limitations/implications

The reasonable basic function design of various agents are main limitations.

Practical implications

The paper presents a very useful tool for the operation and management of VE.

Originality/value

A new approach and scheme for VE with the characteristic of supply chain is presented. This paper is aimed at researchers and engineers.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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