• Modelling and analysis of sustainable operations management: certain investigations for research and applications

      Gunasekaran, A.; Irani, Zahir; Papadopoulos, T. (2014-06)
      Sustainable operations management (SOM) can be defined as the operations strategies, tactics and techniques, and operational policies to support both economic and environmental objectives and goals. The subject of sustainability has gained much attention from both researchers and practitioners in the past 6–8 years. Most of the articles deal with sustainability from environmental perspectives, but a limited number of them integrate both economic and environmental implications or focus on trading-off between profitability, competitiveness and environmental dimensions. Moreover, there is a limited focus on modelling and analysis (MA) of SOM integrating and balancing the interests of both economic and environmental interests. Therefore, an attempt has been made in this paper to review the extant literature on SOM. The objective is to understand the definition of SOM and present the current status of research in MA, as well as future research directions in the field. Considering the recent focus of the subject, we review the literature on MA of SOM beginning in 2000 in order to make our study current and more relevant for both researchers and practitioners. Finally, a summary of findings and conclusions is reported.
    • Organizational Energy: A Behavioral Analysis of Human and Organizational Factors in Manufacturing

      Irani, Zahir; Sharif, Amir M.; Papadopoulos, T. (2015-05)
      This paper seeks to explore the behavior and embodied energy involved in the decision-making of information technology/information systems (IT/IS) investments using a case within a small- to medium-sized manufacturing firm. By analyzing decision making within a given case context, this paper describes the nature of the investment through the lens of behavioral economics, causality, input-output (IO) equilibrium, and the general notion of depletion of executive energy function. To explore the interplay between these elements, the authors structure the case context via a morphological field in order to construct a fuzzy cognitive map of decision-making relationships relating to the multidimensional and nonquantifiable problems of IT/IS investment evaluation. Noting the significance of inputs and outputs relating to the investment decision within the case, the authors assess these cognitive interrelationships through the lens of the Leontief IO energy equilibrium model. Subsequently, the authors suggest, through an embodied energy audit, that all such management decisions are susceptible to decision fatigue (so-called “ego depletion”). The findings of this paper highlight pertinent cognitive and IO paths of the investment decision-making process that will allow others making similar types of investments to learn from and draw parallels from such processes.
    • Performance measures and metrics in outsourcing decisions: A review for research and applications

      Gunasekaran, A.; Irani, Zahir; Choy, K.-L.; Filippi, L.; Papadopoulos, T. (2015-03)
      Outsourcing, an operations strategy that influences the performance of a supply chain, has become an important component of global operations management. An effective global sourcing strategy helps companies to manage the flow of parts and finished products in meeting the needs of overseas and domestic markets. Outsourcing reduces the cost of assets, facilitates core competencies to reduce production costs, leads to strategic flexibility and reduces administrative and overhead costs. Some of the reasons why companies are against outsourcing include integration challenges, sacrificing their competitive base, opportunistic behaviour, rising transaction and coordination costs, limited innovation, and higher procurement costs. Despite these shortcomings, outsourcing will continue to play an important role in enhancing organizational competitiveness. Therefore, an attempt has been made to review the literature on outsourcing with particular reference to Performance Measures and Metrics (PMMs) used in arriving at outsourcing decisions. The main objective of this paper is to present a taxonomy (classification) of PMMs in outsourcing decisions at the pre-outsourcing, during-outsourcing, and post-outsourcing stages. Also, based on the literature review and analysis, an attempt is made to determine a list of specific tools and techniques for PMMs in outsourcing. Finally, the limitations of the paper and future research directions are presented.
    • Social media and Web 2.0 for knowledge sharing in product design

      Irani, Zahir; Sharif, Amir M.; Papadopoulos, T.; Love, P.E.D. (2017)
      Working collaboratively with internal and external partners (suppliers, customers and internal stakeholders) has been at the epicentre of product design. Knowledge sharing has been well recognised in this context. However, there is limited research that has addressed the role of social media/Web 2.0 in facilitating knowledge sharing for sense- and decision-making within product design. To address this gap, this study draws on the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm and two vignettes that relate to ‘collaborative co-design’ and ‘collaborative design-to-order’. We illustrate the role of social media/Web 2.0 in building knowledge sharing capabilities for sense- and decision-making for internal and external partners during product design. Limitations and further research into the use of social media/Web 2.0 are also discussed.