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Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).
The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.
This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.
This paper gives a bibliographical review of the finite element and boundary element parallel processing techniques from the theoretical and application points of view…
This paper gives a bibliographical review of the finite element and boundary element parallel processing techniques from the theoretical and application points of view. Topics include: theory – domain decomposition/partitioning, load balancing, parallel solvers/algorithms, parallel mesh generation, adaptive methods, and visualization/graphics; applications – structural mechanics problems, dynamic problems, material/geometrical non‐linear problems, contact problems, fracture mechanics, field problems, coupled problems, sensitivity and optimization, and other problems; hardware and software environments – hardware environments, programming techniques, and software development and presentations. The bibliography at the end of this paper contains 850 references to papers, conference proceedings and theses/dissertations dealing with presented subjects that were published between 1996 and 2002.
With numerous and ambiguous sets of information and often conflicting requirements, construction management is a complex process involving much uncertainty. Decision…
With numerous and ambiguous sets of information and often conflicting requirements, construction management is a complex process involving much uncertainty. Decision makers may be challenged with satisfying multiple criteria using vague information. Fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making (FMCDM) provides an innovative approach for addressing complex problems featuring diverse decision makers’ interests, conflicting objectives and numerous but uncertain bits of information. FMCDM has therefore been widely applied in construction management. With the increase in information complexity, extensions of fuzzy set (FS) theory have been generated and adopted to improve its capacity to address this complexity. Examples include hesitant FSs (HFSs), intuitionistic FSs (IFSs) and type-2 FSs (T2FSs). This chapter introduces commonly used FMCDM methods, examines their applications in construction management and discusses trends in future research and application. The chapter first introduces the MCDM process as well as FS theory and its three main extensions, namely, HFSs, IFSs and T2FSs. The chapter then explores the linkage between FS theory and its extensions and MCDM approaches. In total, 17 FMCDM methods are reviewed and two FMCDM methods (i.e. T2FS-TOPSIS and T2FS-PROMETHEE) are further improved based on the literature. These 19 FMCDM methods with their corresponding applications in construction management are discussed in a systematic manner. This review and development of FS theory and its extensions should help both researchers and practitioners better understand and handle information uncertainty in complex decision problems.
This paper gives a review of the finite element techniques (FE) applied in the area of material processing. The latest trends in metal forming, non‐metal forming, powder…
This paper gives a review of the finite element techniques (FE) applied in the area of material processing. The latest trends in metal forming, non‐metal forming, powder metallurgy and composite material processing are briefly discussed. The range of applications of finite elements on these subjects is extremely wide and cannot be presented in a single paper; therefore the aim of the paper is to give FE researchers/users only an encyclopaedic view of the different possibilities that exist today in the various fields mentioned above. An appendix included at the end of the paper presents a bibliography on finite element applications in material processing for 1994‐1996, where 1,370 references are listed. This bibliography is an updating of the paper written by Brannberg and Mackerle which has been published in Engineering Computations, Vol. 11 No. 5, 1994, pp. 413‐55.
Examines the thirteenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched…
Examines the thirteenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched aspects. Subjects discussed include cotton fabric processing, asbestos substitutes, textile adjuncts to cardiovascular surgery, wet textile processes, hand evaluation, nanotechnology, thermoplastic composites, robotic ironing, protective clothing (agricultural and industrial), ecological aspects of fibre properties – to name but a few! There would appear to be no limit to the future potential for textile applications.
Examines the fourteenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched…
Examines the fourteenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched aspects. Subjects discussed include cotton fabric processing, asbestos substitutes, textile adjuncts to cardiovascular surgery, wet textile processes, hand evaluation, nanotechnology, thermoplastic composites, robotic ironing, protective clothing (agricultural and industrial), ecological aspects of fibre properties – to name but a few! There would appear to be no limit to the future potential for textile applications.
The statistical method plays an extremely important role in quantitative research studies in library and information science (LIS). The purpose of this paper is to…
The statistical method plays an extremely important role in quantitative research studies in library and information science (LIS). The purpose of this paper is to investigate the status of statistical methods used in the field, their application areas and the temporal change patterns during a recent 15-year period.
The research papers in six major scholarly journals from 1999 to 2013 in LIS were examined. Factors including statistical methods, application areas and time period were analyzed using quantitative research methods including content analysis and temporal analysis methods.
The research studies using statistical methods in LIS have increased steadily. Statistical methods were more frequently used to solve problems in the information retrieval area than in other areas, and inferential statistical methods were used more often than predictive statistical methods and other statistical methods. Anomaly analysis on statistical method uses was conducted and four types of anomaly were specified.
The findings of this study can help educators, graduates and researchers in the field of LIS better understand the patterns and trends of the applications of statistical methods in this field, depict an overall picture of quantitative research studies in LIS from the perspective of statistical methods and discover the change patterns of statistical method applications in LIS between 1999 and 2013.
Quantitative methods, especially statistical methods, play an increasingly important role in research of library and information science (LIS). For different journals, the…
Quantitative methods, especially statistical methods, play an increasingly important role in research of library and information science (LIS). For different journals, the uses of statistical methods vary substantially due to different journal scopes and aims. The purpose of this paper is to explore the characteristics of statistical methodology uses in six major scholarly journals in LIS.
Research papers that used statistical methods from the six major journals were selected and investigated. Content analysis method, descriptive statistical analysis method, and temporal analysis method were used to compare and analyze statistical method uses in research papers of the investigated journals.
The findings of this study show that there was a clear growth trend of statistical method uses in five of the investigated journals; statistical methods were used most in The Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology and Information Processing & Management; and the top three most frequently used statistical methods were t-test, ANOVA test, and χ2-test.
The findings can be used to better understand the application areas, patterns, and trends of statistical methods among the investigated journals and their statistical methodology orientations in research studies of LIS.