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  • 'Work an honest day and get the usual raw deal': accessing 'hard to reach groups' and emotions in the research process

    Smith, Andrew J.; McBride, J. (2019)
    This chapter is based on detailed qualitative research into the working lives of low-paid workers in multiple employment. We discuss the research design and practicalities of researching a ‘hard to reach group’ of workers. The emotive and sensitive issues that emerged for both the researchers and participants are also assessed.
  • Technology as a disruptive agent: Intergenerational perspectives

    Mahroof, Kamran; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Onkal, Dilek; Hussain, Zahid I. (2018)
    This study explores how British South Asian parents perceive their children’s technology consumption through their collectivist lenses and interdependent values. The findings for this qualitative study indicate that second and third generation South Asian parents acknowledge the benefits of children’s technology use; but largely perceive technology as a disruptive agent, whereby children are becoming isolated and increasingly independent within the household. The analysis aims to understand how parents view their children’s relationship with others as a result of technology consumption. Accordingly, this paper proposes an extension of the Construal of self conceptualisation and contributes a Techno-construal matrix that establishes a dyadic connection between technology consumption and cultural values. Overall, the study reveals that children display less inter-reliance and conformance typically associated with collectivist cultures, resulting from their technology use. Consequently, parents interpret their children’s shift from interdependence to more independence as a disruptive and unsettling phenomenon within the household.
  • The role of a digital engineering platform in appropriating the creation of new work-related mind-set and organisational discourse in a large multi-national company

    Hussain, Zahid I.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Hussain, N. (2018)
    This paper reports on a case study involving a strategic and innovative approach to creation of an in-house multifaceted digital engineering platform (the DEP) in overcoming a number of organisational problems at a multinational engineering company. The DEP was to be used strategically for simplifying the operational complexity and to create and appropriate new work-related mind-set and new organisational discourse to achieve homogenous working across the organisation, which is a huge challenge. The need for this system emerged from the need to resolve many organisational services related problems that carried phenomenal amount of processes, health and safety risks and to regulate, and, control the running of engineering project. Research data were collected using a longitudinal case study approach over a period of six months. In order to make sense of how the DEP helped the organisation, the study used certain elements of Extended Structuration Theory as a lens to assess the case study. This research discovered that the DEP succeeded in creating and appropriating work-related mind-set and organisational discourse. It also had real influence on working processes and employees at all levels while encouraging transparency, responsiveness, agility and accountability. It continues to help the organisation to govern, manage and maintain good standard of service but many barriers still remain.
  • Risks and drivers of hybrid car adoption: A cross-cultural segmentation analysis

    McLeay, F.; Yoganathan, Vignesh; Osburg, V-S.; Pandit, A. (2018)
    Throughout the developed world, consumers are increasingly being encouraged to adopt cleaner, more eco-friendly behaviours. However, hybrid car adoption remains low, which impedes the move towards a lower carbon economy. In this paper, we examine the risks and drivers of hybrid car purchases, drawing on consumer behaviour and cultural dimensions theory to account for the heterogeneous, segmented nature of the market. As risk perceptions differ across cultures, and in order to address the lack of cross cultural research on eco-friendly cars, we focus on Australian, South Korean, and Japanese consumers. Based on a survey of 817 respondents we examine how five types of risk (social, psychological, time, financial, and network externalities) and three factors that drive purchasing behaviour (product advantages, product attractiveness, and product superiority) influence consumers perceptions of hybrid cars. Four segments of consumers are identified (pessimists, realists, optimists, and casualists) that also vary according to their environmental self-image, and underlying cultural values. Our results extend theory by incorporating self-image and cultural dimension theories into a multi-country analysis of the risks and drivers of hybrid car adoption. Our findings have practical implications in terms of marketing strategies and potential policy interventions aimed at mitigating risk perceptions and promoting the factors that drive hybrid car adoption.
  • The Core Value Compass: visually evaluating the goodness of brands that do good

    Yoganathan, Vignesh; McLeay, F.; Osburg, V-S.; Hart, D. (2018)
    Brands that do good for the society as well as for themselves are motivated by the core values they espouse, which necessitates a better understanding of what qualities a true core value must possess. The inherent tension within brands that do good, between commercial interests to increase competitiveness, and societal interests that are closely linked to the brand’s authenticity, has largely been overlooked. Hence, we develop and demonstrate a relatively easy-to-apply visual tool for evaluating core values based on a set of ‘goodness’ criteria derived from extant theory. The Core Value Compass adopts a paradox-based, evolutionary perspective by incorporating the inherent tensions within true core values, and classifying them according to their temporal orientation. Thus, we contribute towards a better understanding of underlying tensions of core values and provide a practical tool that paves the way for improved, and indeed ethical, corporate branding strategies. Furthermore, we demonstrate the Compass’ application using the case of a public sector brand, which is a quintessential brand that does good. Therefore, we also contribute to the nascent theoretical discourse on public sector branding. This paper therefore adds to the notable attempts to bridge the gap between theory and practice in core values-based corporate branding.
  • Sensory stimulation for sensible consumption: Multisensory marketing for e-tailing of ethical brands

    Yoganathan, Vignesh; Osburg, V-S.; Akhtar, P. (2018)
    Amidst strong competition and lack of resources and functional superiority, ethical brands may seek an experiential approach to marketing online. A between-subjects online experiment (N=308) shows that ethically congruent visual and auditory cues, and a tactile priming statement, positively influence consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for an ethical brand online. Altruistic and Biospheric value-orientation (ALTBIO) and Need for Touch (NfT) were considered as moderators to account for specific segments. For consumers with high ALTBIO, the effects of visual and auditory cues are mediated by Consumer Perceived Brand Ethicality (CPBE). Tactile priming has a significant effect only for consumers with high NfT. However, the interaction between the three cues has a positive effect on WTP irrespective of CPBE, ALTBIO, and NfT. Findings illustrate multisensory marketing's efficacy in fostering sensible consumption (considerate of natural and societal environments and their inhabitants) online for the mass-market and specific segments by creating an experiential customer judgement-context.
  • Classifying residents' roles as online place-ambassadors

    Uchinaka, S.; Yoganathan, Vignesh; Osburg, V-S (2018)
    Residents are pivotal in the competitiveness of tourism destinations. Yet, their role as place-brand ambassadors needs better understanding, particularly in relation to social media, which directly link visitors to residents through user-generated-content (UGC). This paper explores residents’ roles as place-brand ambassadors on Twitter, using the case of Onomichi (Japan), where decreasing population meets economic dependence on tourism. From a content analysis of residents’ tweets, four distinct roles are identified, and corresponding types of content are mapped on a two-dimensional continuum based on direct vs. indirect word-of-mouth and the level of sentiment. Authors discuss implications for Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). Findings highlight the increasingly shifting role of residents towards being primary sources of place-marketing, especially due to social media, and as active proponents (rather than passive targets) of place-branding in the digital age. Such organic place-marketing may be the key to sustaining tourism in the face of rising anti-tourist sentiments worldwide.
  • A compromise between the temperature difference and performance in a standing wave thermoacoustic refrigerator

    Alamir, M.A.; Elamer, Ahmed A. (2018)
    Thermoacoustic refrigeration is an evolving cooling technology in which the acoustic power is used to pump heat. The operating conditions and geometric parameters are important for the thermoacoustic refrigerator performance, as they affect both its performance and the temperature difference across the stack. This paper investigates the effect of the stack geometric parameters and operating conditions on the performance of a standing wave thermoacoustic refrigerator and the temperature difference across the stack. DeltaEC software is used to make the thermoacoustic refrigerator model. From the obtained results, normalised values for the operating conditions andgeometric parameters are collected to compromise both the performance and the temperature difference across the stack.
  • The Impact of Risk Committee on Financial Performance of UK Financial Institutions

    Elamer, Ahmed A.; Benyazid, I. (2018)
    Following the recent financial crisis, Walker (2009) recommended that financial institutions should form a separate board level risk committee (RC) to manage various risks and prevent excessive risk taking. This research focuses on investigating how firms with separate risk committees differ from those that do not have one. The main research question we address is whether RCs have a fundamental influence on financial performance. We measure financial performance by ROA and ROE and we control for firm size, liquidity and gearing. Our sample consists of all listed financial institutions in FTSE-100 index from 2010 through 2014. Results indicate a negative relationship between risk committee characteristics (i.e., existence, size, independence, and meeting frequency) and financial performance. The results also indicate that firms without risk committee (RC) performed considerably well than firms with RC. The results are contradictory to Walker’s (2009) where RCs are recommended for their ability to mitigate and manage risks more expertly. However, we argue that establish strong RC constrain management ability to make excessive risk taking behaviour which may affect financial performance negatively. We contribute to the current research on the impact of risk committee governance attributes on financial performance after banking and governance reforms.
  • A Study of Environmental Policies and Regulations, Governance Structures and Environmental Performance: The Role of Female Directors

    Elmagrhi, M.; Ntim, C.G.; Elamer, Ahmed A.; Zhang, Q. (2018)
    This paper seeks to contribute to the existing business strategy and the environment literature by examining the effect of governance structures on environmental performance within a unique context of improving environmental governance, policies, regulations and management. Specifically, we investigate the extent to which corporate board gender diversity, including the proportion, age and level of education of female directors, affect environmental performance of Chinese publicly listed corporations. Using one of the largest Chinese datasets to-date, consisting of a sample of 383 listed A-shares from 2011 to 2015 (i.e., observations of 1,674), our findings are three-fold. First, we find that the proportion and age of female directors have a positive effect on the overall corporate environmental performance. Second, our findings indicate that the proportion and age of female directors also have a positive effect on the three individual environmental performance components, namely environmental (i) strategy, (ii) implementation and (iii) disclosure, respectively. Finally, and by contrast, we do not find any evidence that suggests that the level of education of female directors has any impact on environmental performance, neither the overall environmental performance measure nor its individual components. Our findings have important implication for regulators and policy-makers. Our evidence is robust to controlling for alternative measures, other governance and firm-level control variables, and possible endogeneities. We interpret our findings within a multi-theoretical framework that draws insights from agency, legitimacy, neo-institutional, resource dependence, stakeholder, and tokenism theoretical perspectives.
  • The Corporate Governance–Risk Taking Nexus: Evidence from Insurance Companies

    Elamer, Ahmed A.; AlHares, A.; Ntim, C.G.; Benyazid, I. (2018)
    This study examines the impact of internal corporate governance mechanisms on insurance companies’ risk-taking in the UK context. The study uses a panel data of all listed insurance companies on FTSE 350 over the 2005-2014 period. The results show that the board size and board meetings are significantly and negatively related to risk-taking. In contrast, the results show that board independence and audit committee size are statistically insignificant, but negatively related to risk-taking. The findings are robust to alternative measures and endogeneities. Our findings have important implications for investors, managers, regulators of financial institutions and effectiveness of corporate governance reforms that have been pursued.
  • Academies, managerialism and school teachers’ working lives: a labour process perspective

    Morrell, Sophie E. (2018)
    The English school sector has been transformed over recent decades through wide-ranging education policies. One far-reaching change has been the dramatic rise in academy schools driven by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition (2010-2015) (Stevenson 2016), with 64.7% of secondary state-funded schools now holding academy status (Department for Education 2018). A central issue emerging from this context is the changes to school teachers’ pay and working conditions, given that autonomy over employment terms and conditions transfer from local authorities to operating education trusts under the academy model (see Academies Act 2010). Stevenson (2011) importantly argued that rather than establishing new directions in education policy, recent changes – such as the academy expansion enterprise – solidify the long-standing trajectory of restructuring to public education, underpinned by neoliberal ideologies. Such projects seek to fragment a public service accountable to local authorities, superseding it with a state-subsidised system buttressed by predominantly private investors (Stevenson 2011); pressing schools into competition for students and resources (Connell 2009). Dovetailed in this setting, a significant study by Carter and Stevenson (2012:491), exploring workforce remodelling in teaching, found strong evidence for “an accelerated form of creeping managerialism,” with middle-grade teachers carrying increasing responsibility for the monitoring of colleagues. The combined effects of markets and managerialism, that bolster the grander-scale neoliberal project, have worked in unison to fundamentally recast teachers’ experiences of work (Stevenson and Wood 2013). Currently in its analytical phase, this PhD study, informed by a labour process theoretical (LPT) perspective, set out to explore (1) the various formal and informal structures and processes (control strategies) that impact on school teachers’ work, (2) how teachers experience those control strategies, (3) teachers’ orientations to work and (4) how teachers’ orientations to work interrelate with their experiences of control strategies. Several scholars employ an LPT perspective to facilitate critical studies of teachers’ work (for examples see Carter and Stevenson 2012; Stevenson and Wood 2013). Yet there remains a paucity of research that takes an LPT approach to the in-depth interpretive analysis of teachers’ work. Inspired by a call from Reid (2003) for research that combines LPT with detailed single-site ethnographic accounts, a qualitative ethnography of one academy school in Northern England was conducted over a four-month period. This comprised interviews with 26 teachers, senior managers, HR and trade union representatives; a six-week shadowing period; non-participant observations and document collection. This article focuses on two key issues relating to the impact of academies and widespread managerialism on teachers’ work experiences: working time and teaching preparation. In particular, it highlights the erosion of autonomy previously given to teachers to manage their own time, lessons and resources; with accounts of increased frustration at the rising mechanisation of teaching. The central contribution of this paper, therefore, is the application of LPT to the context of contemporary teachers’ work in England, to gain an in-depth understanding of the impact of academies and widespread managerialism on school teachers’ working lives.
  • Examining citizens' perceived value of internet of things technologies in facilitating public sector services engagement

    El-Haddadeh, R.; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Osmani, M.; Thakker, Dhaval; Kapoor, K.K. (2018)
    With the advancement of disruptive new technologies, there has been a considerable focus on personalisation as an important component in nurturing users' engagement. In the context of smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT) offer a unique opportunity to help empower citizens and improve societies' engagement with their governments at both micro and macro levels. This study aims to examine the role of perceived value of IoT in improving citizens' engagement with public services. A survey of 313 citizens in the UK, engaging in various public services, enabled through IoT, found that the perceived value of IoT is strongly influenced by empowerment, perceived usefulness and privacy related issues resulting in significantly affecting their continuous use intentions. The study offers valuable insights into the importance of perceived value of IoT-enabled services, while at the same time, providing an intersectional perspective of UK citizens towards the use of disruptive new technologies in the public sector.
  • Analysis of factors that influence customers’ willingness to leave big data digital footprints on social media: A systematic review of literature

    Muhammad, S.S.; Dey, B.L.; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P. (2018-06)
    Big data has been discussed extensively in existing scholarly works but scant consideration is given to customers’ willingness to generate and leave big data digital footprints on social media, especially in the light of the profusely debated issue of privacy and security. The current paper endeavours to address this gap in the literature by developing a conceptual framework. In doing so, this paper conducts a systematic review of extant literature from 2002 to 2017 to identify and analyse the underlying factors that influence customers’ willingness to leave digital footprints on social media. The findings of this review reveal that personal behaviour (intrinsic psychological dispositions), technological factors (relative advantage and convenience), social influence (social interaction, social ties and social support) and privacy and security (risk, control and trust) are the key factors that influence customers’ willingness to generate and leave big data digital footprints on social media. The conceptual framework presented in this paper advances the scholarship of technology adoption and use and provides useful direction for future empirical research for both academics and practitioners.
  • The impact of social networking sites on socialization and political engagement: Role of acculturation

    Kizgin, H.; Jamal, A.; Rana, N.; Dwivedi, Y.; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P. (2018)
    This research examines the extent to which immigrant consumers' use of social networking sites affect their socialization and political engagement in the Netherlands. The study uses self-administered questionnaires to collect data from 514 Turkish-Dutch respondents of various ages, occupations, levels of education and locations in the Netherlands. The study finds that the propensity to share information, the intensity of use, and privacy concerns positively impact socialization on online social networking sites. In addition, a significant positive relationship between socialization and political involvement positively impacts voting intentions. The study also examines the interaction effects of enculturation and acculturation orientations on the relationship between socialization and political involvement. The study's findings point to a positive moderating role of acculturation in this relationship but a negative one for enculturation. The study is the first to investigate simultaneously the drivers of socialization on social networking sites in the context of immigrant consumers and the impact of their socialization on political involvement and voting intention. The research further contributes to the scholarly work by exploring the interaction effects of acculturation and enculturation orientation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
  • Effects of ethical certification and ethical eWoM on talent attraction

    Osburg, V.S.; Yoganathan, Vignesh; Bartikowski, B.; Liu, H.; Strack, M. (2018)
    Whilst previous studies indicate perceived company ethicality as a driver of job seekers’ job-pursuit intentions, it is poorly understood how and why ethical market signals actually affect their application decisions. Perceptions of company ethicality result from market signals that are either within the control of the company (e.g. ethical certifications) and from market signals that are beyond the company’s control (e.g. ethical eWoM). Building on communication and information processing theories, this study therefore considers both types of ethical market signals, and examines the psychological mechanisms through which they affect job seekers’ intention to apply for a job. The results from a controlled online experiment show that both types of ethical market signals increase job seekers’ job-pursuit intentions. These relationships are mediated by applicants’ attitude towards the job advertisement, their perceptions of corporate employment image and self-referencing. Consequently, the present study alerts practitioners to consider the effects of company-controlled and non-company-controlled ethical market signals, particularly when aiming to recruit highly-qualified millennial candidates.
  • Do seasoned offerings improve the performance of issuing firms? Evidence from China

    Zhang, D.; Wu, Yuliang; Ye, Q.; Liu, J. (2018)
    This study provides new evidence that the performance of issuing firms varies by issue type, based on survival analysis methods. Our non-parametric results show that firms raising capital through rights issues, and notably through cash offers, experience a greater risk of delisting following issuance, as compared to those issuing convertible bonds. Our Cox model analyses demonstrate that plain equity issues, in contrast to convertible issues, are subject to different degrees of regulatory discipline, obligations and incentives in shaping survival trajectory. Further, high ownership concentration, agency issues intrinsic to equity offerings, weak shareholders' protection, and corporate ownership and governance and corporate control development at the time of an offer markedly influence post-issue survival. Plain equity issues, notably cash offers, are strongly linked with the agency costs of free cash flows. A large and truly independent board, allied to a separation of CEO and chairman powers, acts as a primary restraint on managers' self-interested behaviour. Such a cohesive governance mechanism can restrain rent-seeking in the firm's fundraising initiative. These observations hold when we take into account information available before an issue, at the time of an issue, and after an issue, demonstrating the robustness of our findings.
  • Evaluating financial performance of insurance companies using rating transition matrices

    Sharma, Abhijit; Jadi, D.M.; Ward, D. (2018-11)
    Financial performance of insurance companies is captured by changes in rating grades. An insurer is susceptible to a rating transition which is a signal depicting current financial conditions. We employ Rating Transition Matrices (RTM) to analyse these transitions. Within this context, credit quality can either improve, remain stable or deteriorate as reflected by a rating upgrade or downgrade. We investigate rating trends and forecast rating transitions for UK insurers. We also provide insights into the effects of the global financial crisis on financial performance of UK insurance companies, as reflected by rating changes. Our analysis shows a significant degree of rating changes, as reflected by rating fluctuations in rating matrices. We conclude that insurers with higher (better) rating grades depict rating stability over the long-run. An unexpected but interested finding shows that insurers with good rating grades are nevertheless susceptible to rating fluctuations. General insurers are more likely to be rated and they demonstrate higher levels of rating grade variations over the period studied. Using comparative rating transition matrices, we find more variations in rating movements in the post-financial crisis period. We also conclude that general insurers reflect less stable rating outlooks compared to life and general insurers.
  • Inflation linkages within the Eurozone: core vs. periphery

    Magkonis, Georgios; Sharma, Abhijit (2018)
    We examine the process of inflation transmission among GIIPS countries (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain) and Germany. Our findings suggest that inflation spillovers have increased since 2001. We also find that peripheral economies are (dis‐)inflation transmitters to the core. This finding is significant for policy formulation, given the very low inflation environment that currently exists in the Euro area and the macroeconomic implications that arise from this.
  • Neutralization techniques as a moderating mechanism: ethically questionable behavior in the Romanian consumer context

    Fukukawa, Kyoko; Zaharie, M-M.; Romonti-Maniu, A-I. (2018)
    Based on an empirical investigation in the context of Romania, this paper identifies a moderating role of neutralization techniques within ethically questionable consumer behavior. The quantitative study is based upon a synthesized model of Theory of Planned Behavior incorporating the factor of perceived unfairness and neutralization techniques. Significantly, neutralization techniques are shown to have a negative, but definite impact on the action to behave unethically. This leads to their consideration as a process of thinking, rather than as static judgement. As such, neutralization techniques are conceptually distinctive to the other factors. The paper analyses the results specific to the Romanian context, but noting implications for an understanding of the morality of markets with similar historical, political and economic conditions. Overall, the findings offer a more nuanced reading of consumer behavior. The paper places moral flexibility in terms of a specific cultural context, but also reveals how neutralization techniques can moderate ethically questionable behaviors beyond matters of self-interest, which in turn has implications for how companies can consider their responsibilities in relation to their customers.

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