• Off the rails: the cost performance of infrastructure rail projects

      Love, P.E.D.; Zhou, J.; Edwards, D.J.; Irani, Zahir; Sing, C-P. (2017-05)
      Governments in Australia place great emphasis on the development and expansion of their rail networks to improve productivity and service the increasing needs and demands from businesses and commuters. A case study approach is used to analyze the cost performance of 16 rail projects constructed by a contractor between 2011 and 2014, which ranged from AU$3.4 to AU$353 million. Findings indicate that scope changes during construction were the key contributors that lead to the amendment of each project’s original contractual value. As a result, there is a need for public and private sector asset owners to establish a cost contingency using a probabilistic rather than a deterministic approach to accommodate the potential for scope changes during construction. To improve cost certainty during the construction of rail projects, it is suggested that use of collaborative forms of procurement juxtaposed with the use of Building Information Modelling and Systems Information Modelling are implemented. The utilization of such technological and process innovations can provide public and private sector asset owners charged with delivering and maintaining their rail networks with confidence projects can be delivered within budget and are resilient to unexpected events and adaptable to changing needs, uses or capacities.
    • On the Dialectics of Charisma in Marina Abramović’s 'The Artist is Present'

      Senior, A.; Kelly, Simon (2016-06)
      While ‘charisma’ can be found in dramatic and theatrical parlance, the term enjoys only minimal critical attention in theatre and performance studies, with scholarly work on presence and actor training methods taking the lead in defining charisma’s supposed ‘undefinable’ quality. Within this context, the article examines the appearance of the term ‘charismatic space’ in relation to Marina Abramović’s retrospective The Artist is Present at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2010. Here Abramović uses this term to describe the shared space in which performer and spectator connect bodily, psychically, and spiritually through a shared sense of presence and energy in the moment of performance. Yet this is a space arguably constituted through a number of dialectical tensions and contradictions which, in dialogue with existing theatre scholarship on charisma, can be further understood by drawing on insights into charismatic leaders and charismatic authority in leadership studies. By examining the performance and its documentary traces in terms of dialectics we consider the political and ethical implications for how we think about power relations between artist/spectator in a neoliberal, market-driven art context. Here an alternative approach to conceiving of and facilitating a charismatic space is proposed which instead foregrounds what Bracha L. Ettinger calls a ‘matrixial encounter-event’: A relation of coexistence and compassion rather than dominance of self over other; performer over spectator; leader over follower. By illustrating the dialectical tensions in The Artist is Present, we consider the potential of the charismatic space not as generated through the seductive power or charm of an individual whose authority is tied to his/her ‘presence’, but as something co-produced within an ethical and relational space of trans-subjectivity.
    • On the Manager's Body as an Aesthetics of Control.

      Harding, Nancy H. (2003)
      Over the last decade or so, aesthetic and art theory has played an increasingly significant role in the way work and its organization has come to be understood. Bringing together the work of an international spectrum of academics, this collection contributes, in an overall more critical vein, to such emerging debates. Combining both empirical and theoretical material, each chapter re-evaluates the emerging relationship between art, aesthetics and work, exploring its potential as both a medium of critical analysis, and as a site of conflict and resistance.
    • Online Banking Information Systems Acceptance: An Empirical Examination of System Characteristics and Web Security

      Hussain Chandio, F.; Irani, Zahir; Zeki, A.M.; Shah, A.; Shah, S.C. (2017)
      Prior work on the technology acceptance model (TAM) is mainly devoted to the influence of TAM’s core motivational factors and their impact on behavioral intent toward IS acceptance. Relatively little research has focused on what specific system design characteristics motivate individuals toward IS acceptance. This article identified specific systems design factors and examined their impact on TAM’s motivational factors through the TAM. The findings will help designers to design and implement better user-accepted systems.
    • Online expansion: is it another kind of strategic manufacturer response to a dominant retailer?

      He, R.; Xiong, Y.; Cheng, Y.; Hou, Jiachen (2016)
      The issues of channel conflict and channel power have received widespread research attention, including Geylani et al.’s (2007) work on channel relations in an asymmetric retail setting. Specifically, these authors suggest that a manufacturer can respond to a dominant retailer’s pricing pressure by raising the wholesale price for a weak retailer over that for the dominant retailer while transferring demand to the weak retailer channel via cooperative advertising. But, is online expansion another kind of strategic manufacturer’s optimal response to a dominant retailer? In this paper, we extend this work by adding a direct online selling channel to illustrate the impact of the manufacturer’s internet entry on firms’ demands, profits, and pricing strategies and on consumer welfare. Our analysis thus includes a condition in which the manufacturer can add an online channel. If such an online channel is opened, the channel-supported network externality will always benefit the manufacturer but hurt the retailers. Consumers, however, will only benefit from the network externality when a dominant retailer is present and will be hurt when both retailers are symmetric.
    • Open data and its usability: an empirical view from the Citizen’s perspective

      Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Irani, Zahir; Kapoor, K.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Dwivedi, Y.K. (2017)
      Government legislation and calls for greater levels of oversight and transparency are leading public bodies to publish their raw datasets online. Policy makers and elected officials anticipate that the accessibility of open data through online Government portals for citizens will enable public engagement in policy making through increased levels of fact based content elicited from open data. The usability and benefits of such open data are being argued as contributing positively towards public sector reforms, which are under extreme pressures driven by extended periods of austerity. However, there is very limited scholarly studies that have attempted to empirically evaluate the performance of government open data websites and the acceptance and use of these data from a citizen perspective. Given this research void, an adjusted diffusion of innovation model based on Rogers’ diffusion of innovations theory (DOI) is proposed and used in this paper to empirically determine the predictors influencing the use of public sector open data. A good understanding of these predictors affecting the acceptance and use of open data will likely assist policy makers and public administrations in determining the policy instruments that can increase the acceptance and use of open data through an active promotion campaign to engage-contribute-use.
    • Operations management research: contemporary themes, trends and potential future directions

      Taylor, Andrew; Taylor, Margaret (2009)
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify the contemporary research themes published in IJOPM in order to contribute to current debates about the future directions of operations management (OM) research. Design/methodology/approach All 310 articles published in IJOPM from volume 24 issue 9 in 2004 through volume 29, issue 12 in 2009 are analysed using content analysis methods. This period of analysis is chosen because it represents all the articles published in issues for which the authors are able to have full control, during their period of tenure as Editors of the journal. This analysis is supplemented by data on all 1,853 manuscripts submitted to the journal during the same time period and further, by analysis of reviews and feedback sent to all authors after review. Findings The paper reports the main research themes and research methods inherent in the 310 published papers. Statistics on the countries represented by these papers and the size and international composition of author teams are provided, together with the publication success rates of the countries that submit in the highest volumes, and the success rates associated with the size of the author team. Finally, data on the reasons for rejection of manuscripts are presented. Research limitations/implications There is some residual inaccuracy in content analysis methods, whereby, in extracting research themes there is often more than one topic covered. In the same vein, as regards categorisation of the causes of rejection of manuscripts during the review process, there is frequently more than one reason for rejection, so perhaps a weighted scoring system would have been more insightful. In determining the country of origin of papers, while the country of the corresponding author is used, it should be recognised that some studies originate from international collaborations so that this method may give a slightly distorted picture. Finally, in computing publication success rates by comparison of submissions and published papers there is a time delay between the two data sets within any defined period of analysis. Practical implications The analysis adds generally to debates about contemporary research themes; in particular it extends the work of Pilkington and Fitzgerald, which analyses all articles solely in IJOPM between 1994 and 2003. In addition, the findings suggest a need for more frequent exploitation of multiple research methods, for greater rigour in the planning and execution of fieldwork, for greater engagement with the world of OM practice and finally, consideration of how OM research can address wider social and political issues. Originality/value This paper represents an inside view of the publication process from a leading OM journal; this kind of insight is rarely available in the public domain.
    • 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.
    • Optimizing enterprise risk management: a literature review and critical analysis of the work of Wu and Olson

      Choi, Y.; Ye, Xiaoxia; Zhao, L.; Luo, A.C. (2016-02)
      Risks exist in all aspects of our lives. Using data in both Scopus and ISI Web of Science, this review paper identifies pioneer work and pioneer scholars in enterprise risk management (ERM). Being ranked the first based on the review data, Desheng Wu has been active in this area by serving as a good academic network manager on the global research network, His global efforts with diverse networking have enabled him to publish outstanding papers in the field of ERM. Therefore, this paper also conducts a literature review of his papers and critical analysis of the work of Wu and Olson, from the perspective of the ERM, to glean implications and suggestions for the optimization and customization of the ERM.
    • The optimum prepaid monetary incentives for mail surveys

      Jobber, David; Saunders, J.; Mitchell, V. (2009-07-20)
    • Organisational commitment in the police service: exploring the effects of performance measures, procedural justice and interpersonal trust

      Sholihin, Mahfud; Pike, Richard H. (2010)
      This study aims to investigate whether, and how, the use of performance measures, procedural justice, and interpersonal trust interact to affect organisational commitment of police officers. Drawing on a survey based on a sample of 57 senior officers within a single police force, we find that the use of performance measures, procedural justice, and interpersonal trust are positively associated with organisational commitment. Further analysis reveals that trust between officer and superior mediates the relationship between the use of non-financial measures and organisational commitment, but procedural justice does not have a mediating effect on commitment. These findings are further explored through selected interviews with respondents.
    • Organisational culture and TQM implementation: investigating the mediating influences of multidimensional employee readiness for change

      Haffar, Mohamed; Al-Karaghouli, W.; Djebarni, R.; Gbadamosi, G. (2018)
      Despite the robust evidence for the direct relationship between organisational culture (OC) and total quality management (TQM), the mechanisms underlying this relationship are not fully explored and have received little empirical attention. This paper extends prior TQM research in a novel way by building and then empirically testing a theoretical model that includes the mediating role of employee readiness for change dimensions (ERFCs) in the OC –TQM relationship. The paper adds value through its contextual originality in being one of the first studies that are conducted in Algeria; which has special ties with the EU geographically, politically and economically. The empirical data for this study was drawn by distributing a questionnaire to 226 middle managers of Algerian firms. Our findings support the mediating roles of two dimensions of ERFC, namely: self-efficacy (ERFC1) and personal valence (ERFC4) in the OC –TQM relationship. This indicates that the improvement in TQM implementation is not a direct consequence of supportive organisational culture but rather of self-efficacy and personal valence transferring the impact of group and adhocracy culture to TQM. To this effect, these results go beyond previous research and contribute significantly in explaining the underlying psychological mechanisms in the OC –TQM relationships model.
    • 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.
    • Organizational learning in smaller manufacturing firms.

      Spicer, David P.; Sadler-Smith, E. (2006)
      This article describes the development and validation of a measure of a firm's organizational learning orientation and considers the relationships between this and firm performance. The measure assesses owner-managers¿ perceptions of their organizations¿ orientation to learning in terms of higherorder (active) and lower-order (passive) levels of learning. Its development is a response to the criticisms that organizational learning research is beset by a paucity of valid and reliable measures to assess the ways in which organizations engage in learning at the collective level (Tsang, 1997). Data are presented from a number of samples of small- and medium-sized enterprises in the UK that indicate that the organizational learning orientation measure exhibits acceptable reliability and validity. Furthermore, a number of relationships between organizational learning and financial and non-financial performance were observed. The implications of the findings for research, policy and the management of learning within organizations are discussed.
    • Overruns in transportation infrastructure projects

      Love, P.E.D.; Sing, C-P.; Wang, X.; Irani, Zahir; Thwala, D.W. (2014)
      Transportation infrastructure projects are prone to cost and schedule overruns. At the time of contract award, a construction contingency budget is often used to accommodate for unplanned events such as scope changes. Recent empirical research has shown that rework during construction as a result of design changes, errors and omission are the major contributors of overruns in projects. The statistical characteristics of rework, and cost and schedule overruns that are experienced from a project's contract award for 58 Australian transportation infrastructure projects are analysed. Theoretical probability distributions are fitted to the rework, cost and schedule overrun data. Goodness of fit tests are used in conjunction with probability-probability (P-P) plots to compare the sample distribution from the known theoretical distribution. A Generalised Logistic probability density function is found to describe the behaviour of cost-overruns and provides the best overall distribution fit. The best fitting distribution for schedule overruns and rework data were the Four Parameter Burr and a Johnson SB distribution, respectively. The distributions are used to calculate the probability of rework, cost and schedule overruns being experienced. A case illustration is presented and discussed to demonstrate how the derived probabilities may be utilised in practice.
    • Ownership types, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility disclosures: Empirical evidence from a developing country

      Alshbili, I.; Elamer, Ahmed A.; Beddewela, E. (2018)
      This study aims to examine the extent to which corporate governance structures and ownership types are associated with the level of Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures (CSRD) in a developing country. Design/methodology/approach: Multiple regression techniques are used to estimate the effect of corporate governance structures and ownership types on CSRD using a sample of Libyan oil and gas companies between 2009 and 2013. Findings: First, our results suggest that although the level of CSRD in Libya is low in comparison to its western counterparts, ownership factors have a significant positive influence on CSRD. Second, we find board meetings to have a positive impact on CSRD. However, we fail to find any significant effect of board size and presence of CSR committees on CSRD. Overall, our results support prior theoretical evidence that pressures exerted by the government and external stakeholders have a considerable influence in promoting firm-level CSRD activities, specifically as a legitimising mechanism in fragile states. Research limitations/implications: First, our research is based on the annual reports and it did not examine any other reports or other mass communication mechanism that companies’ management may use to disclose CSR information. Future studies might consider disclosures in other channels, if any, such as the internet, CSR reports etc. Additionally, this research adopts the neo-institutional theory perspective. Future studies might integrate multi-theoretical lense to offer a richer basis for understanding and explaining CSRD determinants. Originality/value: Our research contributes to the literature by first providing additional evidence for existing studies, which suggest that on average better-governed companies are more liable to follow a more socially responsible agenda than poorly governed companies as a legitimising mechanism in fragile states. Also, our study overcomes a major weakness in existing Libyan studies, which have mainly used descriptive data.
    • Participant responses to photo-elicitation methods in the study of work-life balance

      Cassell, C.; Malik, Fatima; Radcliffe, L. (2015-01)
      This paper explores the responses of 17 participants to using photo-elicitation as part of a project exploring their daily experiences of work-life balance. We explicitly asked participants about their experiences of using the method that involved taking photographs of their work-life balance experiences and interpreting these photographs through participation in semi- structured interviews. Participants took 108 photographs in total. We explore important methodological issues for researchers seeking to use these methods and explain that photograph-elicitation has much to offer management and organizational researchers. A major benefit of the method is the role of photographs as a ‘conversational technology’ in encouraging re-interpretation and reflection of experiences in a manner not always achieved when using other qualitative techniques.
    • Partnership and process in the maritime construction industry.

      McBride, Jo; Stirling, J. (2002)
      The authors provide a case study of a partnership agreement in the Tyneside maritime construction industry. They focus on the role of trade unions and the complex tensions that emerge between regional and local officials and workplace representatives. They argue that agreements can only be understood within the context of existing employee relations structures. Their conclusion suggests that the agreement had little impact on a ¿branch plant¿ of a national company and that it was often received with hostility and little commitment. As a consequence the partnership became a symbolic agreement with potential significance for external customers but no role in shaping workplace employee relations.