• Analysing supply chain integration through a systematic literature review: a normative perspective

      Kamal, M.M.; Irani, Zahir (2014)
      This paper aims to focus on systematically analysing and synthesising the extant research published on supply chain integration (SCI) area, given the significance of SCI research area. More specifically, the authors aim to answer three questions: “Q1 – What are the factors (e.g. both driving and inhibiting) that influence SCI?”, “Q2 – What are the key developments (e.g. both in research and industry) in SCI area?” and “Q3 – What are the approaches employed/discussed to integrate supply chains?”. Over the past decade, SCI has gained increasing attention in the supply chain management (SCM) context, both from the practitioners’ perspective and as a research area. In realising the global transformations and competitive business environment, a number of organisations are collaborating with their supply chain (SC) partners, to conduct seamless SC operations. A systematic and structured literature review is carried out to observe and understand the past trends and extant patterns/themes in the SCI research area, evaluate contributions and summarise knowledge, thereby identifying limitations, implications and potential directions of further research. Thus, to trace the implementation of SCI practices, a profiling approach is used to analyse 293 articles (published in English-speaking peer-reviewed journals between 2000 and 2013) extracted from the Scopus database. The Systematic Review Approach proposed by Tranfield et al. (2003) was followed to analyse and synthesise the extant literature on SCI area. The analysis presented in this paper has identified relevant SCI research studies that have contributed to the development and accumulation of intellectual wealth to the SCI and SCM area. Each of the 293 papers was examined for achieving the aim and objectives of the research, the method of data collection, the data analysis method and quality measures. While some of the papers provided information on all of these categories, most of them failed to provide all the information, especially for Q2 and Q3 that resulted in 23 and 21 papers, respectively. This study would have benefited from the analysis of further journals; however, the analysis of 293 articles from leading journals in the field of operations and SCM was deemed sufficient in scope. Moreover, this research has implications for researchers, journal editors, practitioners, universities and research institutions. It is likely to form the basis and motivation for profiling other database resources and specific operations and SCM-type journals in this area. This systematic literature review highlights a taxonomy of contextual factors driving and inhibiting SCI for researchers and SC practitioners to refer to while researching or implementing SCI. It also exemplifies some areas for future research, along with the need for researchers to focus on developing more practical techniques for implementing SCI and improving organisational performance. The prime value and uniqueness of this paper lies in analysing and compiling the existing published material in relation to Q1, Q2 and Q3, including examining other variables (such as yearly publications, geographic location of each publication, type of publication, type of research methods used), which lacks in the recent published five SCI literature review-based articles (by Kim, 2013; Leuschner et al., 2013; Alfalla-Luque et al., 2013; Parente et al., 2008; Fabbe-Costes and Jahre, 2007). This has been achieved by extracting and synthesising existing publications using “Supply Chain Integration” keyword. This paper provides a critique of the conceptual and empirical works in SCI discipline and offers research agendas that can stimulate future researchers to carefully explore the topic.
    • Critical analysis of Big Data challenges and analytical methods

      Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Kamal, M.M.; Irani, Zahir; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P. (2017-01)
      Big Data (BD), with their potential to ascertain valued insights for enhanced decision-making process, have recently attracted substantial interest from both academics and practitioners. Big Data Analytics (BDA) is increasingly becoming a trending practice that many organizations are adopting with the purpose of constructing valuable information from BD. The analytics process, including the deployment and use of BDA tools, is seen by organizations as a tool to improve operational efficiency though it has strategic potential, drive new revenue streams and gain competitive advantages over business rivals. However, there are different types of analytic applications to consider. Therefore, prior to hasty use and buying costly BD tools, there is a need for organizations to first understand the BDA landscape.Given the significant nature of the BDand BDA, this paper presents a state-ofthe- art review that presents a holistic view of the BD challenges and BDA methods theorized/proposed/ employed by organizations to help others understand this landscape with the objective of making robust investment decisions. In doing so, systematically analysing and synthesizing the extant research published on BD and BDA area. More specifically, the authors seek to answer the following two principal questions: Q1 –What are the different types of BD challenges theorized/proposed/confronted by organizations? and Q2 – What are the different types of BDA methods theorized/proposed/employed to overcome BD challenges?. This systematic literature review (SLR) is carried out through observing and understanding the past trends and extant patterns/themes in the BDA research area, evaluating contributions, summarizing knowledge, thereby identifying limitations, implications and potential further research avenues to support the academic community in exploring research themes/patterns. Thus, to trace the implementation of BD strategies, a profiling method is employed to analyze articles (published in English-speaking peer-reviewed journals between 1996 and 2015) extracted from the Scopus database. The analysis presented in this paper has identified relevant BD research studies that have contributed both conceptually and empirically to the expansion and accrual of intellectual wealth to the BDA in technology and organizational resource management discipline.
    • Enabling sustainable energy futures: factors influencing green supply chain collaboration

      Irani, Zahir; Kamal, M.M.; Sharif, Amir M.; Love, P.E.D. (2017)
      This article explores the relationship between sustainability strategies and future energy needs, supply chains need to reduce their CO2 emissions through developing their green credentials and improving performance. Knowledge management (KM) is an enabler to support collaboration efforts. The SCM and KM areas have largely focused on improving organisational performance. While the latter has yielded successful outcomes in different sectors, there is still a scarcity of research on identifying influential factors highlighting those aspects which may enable green supply chain collaboration (GrSCC), thus leading to sustainable energy futures and carbon-efficient production. This paper examines the role of KM in facilitating GrSCC. Through the identification of key factors extrapolated from the literature, a model for implementing GrSCC using a futures-based perspective is proposed. This paper inductively demonstrates the relationship between identified GrSCC factors through fuzzy cognitive mapping technique. Findings support a futures-based perspective that enhances understanding and refines forward-looking strategies for GrSCC.
    • Exploring the role of supplier relationship management for sustainable operations: an OR perspective

      Sharif, Amir M.; Alshawi, S.; Kamal, M.M.; Eldabi, T.; Mazhar, A. (2014-06)
      This paper provides a systems-based approach to the exploration of the relationship and integration between Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) factors as part of a Sustainable Operations Management (SOM) agenda. The authors have chosen electronic procurement (e-Procurement) as a suitable context in this light. Through a review of extant literature, a Systems Archetype (SA) model was developed (based on the ‘Accidental Adversaries’ archetype) and findings from a quantitative pilot study exploring key factors pertinent to e-Procurement SRM were gathered, and hence evaluated against SOM factors. The objective of this research was to describe and visualise the causal interrelationships involved in SRM-SOM through the application of a SA (as an Operations Research tool). The authors believe that this research also provides a unique approach to developing and harnessing the useful and unique properties of Systems Thinking (ST), by attempting to reduce and organise the (generally ad hoc and wide-ranging) sequence of subjective perspectives commonly experienced in causal mapping experiments. The paper builds upon the extant literature, and provides further basis for continuing research in the areas of ST, SAs and the application of operational research to plan sustainable operations.
    • Intelligent Systems Research in the Construction Industry

      Irani, Zahir; Kamal, M.M. (2014-03)
      With the increasing complexity of problems in the construction industry, researchers are investigating computationally rigorous intelligent systems with the aim of seeking intelligent solutions. The purpose of this paper is therefore to analyse the research published on ‘intelligent systems in the construction industry’ over the past two decades. This is achieved to observe and understand the historical trends and current patterns in the use of different types of intelligent systems and to exhibit potential directions of further research. Thus, to trace the applications of intelligent systems to research in the construction industry, a profiling approach is employed to analyse 514 publications extracted from the Scopus database. The prime value and uniqueness of this paper lies in analysing and compiling the existing published material by examining variables (such as yearly publications, geographic location of each publication, etc.). This has been achieved by synthesising existing publications using 14 keywords2 ‘Intelligent Systems’, ‘Artificial Intelligence’, ‘Expert Systems’, ‘Fuzzy Systems’, ‘Genetic Algorithms’, ‘Knowledge-Based Systems’, ‘Neural Networks’, ‘Context Aware Applications’, ‘Embedded Systems’, ‘Human–Machine Interface’, ‘Sensing and Multiple Sensor Fusion’, ‘Ubiquitous and Physical Computing’, ‘Case-based Reasoning’ and ‘Construction Industry’. The prime contributions of this research are identified by associating (a) yearly publication and geographic location, (b) yearly publication and the type of intelligent systems employed/discussed, (c) geographic location and the type of research methods employed, and (d) geographic location and the types of intelligent systems employed. These contributions provide a comparison between the two decades and offer insights into the trends in using different intelligent systems types in the construction industry. The analysis presented in this paper has identified intelligent systems studies that have contributed to the development and accumulation of intellectual wealth to the intelligent systems area in the construction industry. This research has implications for researchers, journal editors, practitioners, universities and research institutions. Moreover, it is likely to form the basis and motivation for profiling other database resources and specific types of intelligent systems journals in this area.
    • Response to Lane: ‘What we talk about when we talk about “Systems Thinking”

      Sharif, Amir M.; Alshawi, S.; Kamal, M.M.; Eldabi, T.; Mazhar, A. (2016-03)
    • Servitization implementation in the manufacturing organisations: classification of strategies, definitions, benefits and challenges

      Kamal, M.M.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Bigdeli, A.Z.; Missi, F.; Koliousis, Y. (Elsevier, 2020-12)
      The integration of products and services into a bundled product/service offering by manufacturing organisations is seen as a global trend in today’s competitive business environment. The shift of product-based manufacturers towards offering business solutions and value-added services to consumers is termed as ‘Servitization’. Contrary to the potential benefits expected by adding service activities to the offerings, advocates voice their concerns towards experiential problems and challenges in employing the servitization strategy – termed as ‘Servitization Paradox’. Nevertheless, the shift from product-based delivery to a service-based provision has the potential to significantly impact on developing sustainable and eco-friendly environment. To provide greater insights to the servitization phenomenon, this paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the servitization implementation in manufacturing organisations. In order to respond to the latter, we propose the following three research questions “Q1 – what are the different types of servitization strategies”, “Q2 – what are the different servitization definitions”, “Q3 – what are the potential benefits in selecting a servitization strategy?”, “Q4 – what are the challenges in transitioning towards servitization?”. A systematic literature review is carried out to understand the past trends and extant patterns/themes in the servitization strategy research area, evaluate contributions, summarise knowledge, thereby identifying limitations, implications and potential further research avenues. The key findings confirm servitization studies have contributed both conceptually and empirically to the development and accumulation of intellectual wealth to the manufacturing operations and supply chain discipline. Moreover, the findings clearly indicate the potential of servitization in transitioning manufacturing organisations (e.g. benefits) and utilising innovative technologies to generate business value. Nevertheless, some voices are backing further research/development in the area of servitization due to the several existing challenges.
    • Visualising a knowledge mapping of information systems investment evaluation

      Irani, Zahir; Sharif, Amir M.; Kamal, M.M.; Love, P.E.D. (2014-01-01)
      Information systems (IS) facilitate organisations to increase responsiveness and reduce the costs of their supply chain. This paper seeks to make a contribution through exploring and visualising knowledge mapping from the perspective of IS investment evaluation. The evaluation of IS is regarded as a challenging and complex process, which becomes even more difficult with the increased complexity of IS. The intricacy of IS evaluation, however, is due to numerous interrelated factors (e.g. costs, benefits and risks) that have human or organisational dimensions. With this in mind, there appears to be an increasing need to assess investment decision-making processes, to better understand the often far-reaching implications associated with technology adoption and interrelated knowledge components (KC). Through the identification and extrapolation of key learning issues from the literature and empirical findings, organisations can better improve their business processes and thereby their effectiveness and efficiency, while preventing others from making costly oversights that may not necessarily be only financial. In seeking to enlighten the often obscure evaluation of IS investments, this paper attempts to inductively emphasise the dissemination of knowledge and learning through the application of a fuzzy Expert System (ES) based knowledge mapping technique (i.e. Fuzzy Cognitive Map [FCM]). The rationale for exploring knowledge and IS investment evaluation is that a knowledge map will materialise for others to exploit during their specific technology evaluation. This is realised through conceptualising the explicit and tacit investment drivers. Among the several findings drawn from this research, the key resulting knowledge mapping through FCM demonstrated the complex, multifaceted and emergent behaviour of causal relationships within the knowledge area. The principal relationships and knowledge within IS investment evaluation are illustrated as being determined by a blend of managerial and user perspectives.