• Computer-mediated knowledge sharing and individual user differences: An exploratory study.

      Taylor, W. Andrew (2004)
      Prior research has shown that individual differences in users' cognitive style and gender can have a significant effect on their usage and perceived usefulness of management information systems. We argue that these differences may also extend to computer-mediated knowledge management systems (KMS), although previous research has not tested this empirically. Where employees are expected to use KMS for acquiring and sharing knowledge, we posit that some will gain more benefit than others, due to their innate personal characteristics, specifically gender and cognitive style. Based on a sample of 212 software developers in one large IS organization, we re-open these dormant debates about the effects of cognitive style and gender on technology usage. The paper contains four main findings. First, we present support for the proposition that cognitive style has an impact on KMS usage, although not for all components of the system. Second, that gender significantly affects KMS usage, with males being more likely to use such systems than females. Third, we find a small interaction effect between cognitive style and gender, but only for the use of data mining. Finally, the data suggest that there is a strong association between KMS usage levels and perceived usefulness. We conclude that if organizations do not recognize the inherent diversity of the workforce, and accommodate gender and cognitive style differences into their knowledge management strategies, they may be likely to propagate an intrinsic disadvantage, to the detriment of females and intuitive thinkers.
    • Does data warehouse end-user metadata add value?

      Foshay, N; Mukherjee, Avinandan; Taylor, W. Andrew (2007)
      Many data warehouses are currently underutilized by managers and knowledge workers. Can high-quality end-user metadata help to increase levels of adoption and use?
    • An operations perspective on strategic alliance success factors in the software industry: An exploratory study of alliance managers in the software industry.

      Taylor, W. Andrew (Emerald, 2005)
      Purpose ¿ To explore alliance managers' perceptions of the most significant determinants of strategic alliance success in the software sector. Design/methodology/approach ¿ The study is based on 30 key informant interviews and a survey of 143 alliance managers. Findings ¿ While both structural and process factors are important, the most significant factors affecting alliance success are the adaptability and openness of the alliance partners, human resource practices and partners' learning capability during implementation. Alliance partners should pay more attention to operational implementation issues as an alliance evolves, in order to achieve successful cooperative relationships. Research limitations/implications ¿ This research has responded to the call for more empirical study of the underlying causes of successful alliances. It contributes to the ongoing debate about which factors have most impact on strategic alliance outcomes, and complements prior research on several dimensions. First, using selected interview quotations to illuminate the quantitative analysis, it contributes to a deeper understanding of the alliance process, and reduced the ambiguity about which factors are most influential. In particular, the study provides support for those authors who have argued for the relative importance of the alliance implementation process. Second, support has also been found for the prominence of learning capability and the inter-partner learning process as a major component of effective alliance implementation. Third, the results are based on the views of practicing alliance managers, which addresses a recognized gap in the literature. Practical implications ¿ The results send a signal to senior managers contemplating strategic alliances that they should not underestimate the importance of alliance process factors and the role that alliance managers play in achieving successful alliance relationships. This is particularly important, given the high levels of alliance failure reported in the extant literature. Originality/value ¿ While past research on strategic alliances has placed more emphasis on the importance of alliance formation than on implementation, there is an ongoing debate about whether structural, formation factors have more influence on alliance success than implementation or process factors. There has been only limited empirical work examining this interplay between structure and process, particularly from an operations perspective, and very few studies have examined strategic alliances in the software industry.
    • Reverse e-auctions revolutionising the packaging industry in the UK

      Tassabehji, Rana; Wood, Alastair S.; Beach, Roger; Taylor, W. Andrew (2006)
      Reverse e-auctions are increasingly being used in business-to-business procurement and have been reported to yield significant price reductions for buyer firms. However, the adoption of online auction formats has raised many concerns among suppliers, often being criticized for damaging supplier-buyer relationships and for being antithetical to what is currently regarded as good supply chain management. Against this background this paper aims to examine the reverse auction phenomenon in the UK packaging sector. Data were collected from the direct experiences of one large food-packaging supplier, using case studies of reverse e-auctions, and from exploratory interviews with other suppliers in the sector. While buyers are reaping significant short-term price reductions, the benefits to suppliers are less obvious. In fact, little reference was detected to the often-quoted reductions in overall transaction costs for either buyers or suppliers. However, most respondents were not able to specify their transaction costs and associated risks and did not appear to have adequate costing systems to enable such quantification.
    • Sustainable supply chains: a framework for environmental scanning practices

      Fabbe-Costes, N.; Roussat, C.; Taylor, Margaret; Taylor, W. Andrew (2014)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the empirical reality of environmental scanning practices in sustainable supply chain management contexts. In particular it tests and extends a conceptual framework proposed by Fabbe-Costes et al. (2011). Design and methodology: The empirical data for this research were obtained from 45 semi-structured interviews with key informants, combined with a discussion of the main results with a focus group of supply chain experts. These data are compared with the literature and brought to bear on the framework. Findings - The research finds both breadth and depth in the scope of sustainability scanning practices of the respondents and provides evidence of multi-level scanning, with all respondents describing scanning activity at the societal level. It further demonstrates the adoption of multiple and diverse scanning targets at all levels in the conceptual framework. The articulation and ranking of scanning targets for sustainable SCM at all levels informs the development of priorities for practice. The paper also makes some observations about the boundaries of the scanning process. Practical implications: The results provide managers with guidance about what to scan in sustainable supply chain contexts. The validated framework can serve as a practical tool to assist managers with the organization and prioritization of their environmental scanning activities. Originality/Value: The paper is among the first to address the role of environmental scanning in sustainable supply chain contexts. It highlights the need for a multi-level framework for such scanning activities and opens up a debate about their implementation.