• Factors influencing e-diplomacy implementation: Exploring causal relationships using interpretive structural modelling

      Al-Muftah, H.; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Rana, Nripendra P.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Irani, Zahir (2018-09)
      Electronic diplomacy (E-diplomacy) is the use of technology by nations to define and establish diplomatic goals and objectives and to efficiently carry out the functions of diplomats. These functions include representation and promotion of the home nation, establishing both bilateral and multilateral relations, consular services and social engagement. It encapsulates the adoption of multiple ICT tools over the Internet to support a nation’s interests in other countries while ensuring that foreign relations are improved between the countries. Given its embryonic nature, little scholarly research has been undertaken to study its influence on diplomatic functions and the various factors that influence its implementation. This paper applies the Interpretative Structural Modelling (ISM) methodological approach to identify factors that impact the implementation of e-diplomacy and to determine their causal relationship and rankings. This study applies the ISM methodology to the subject of e-diplomacy. The ISM-based model provides a framework for practitioners to aid decision-making and manage the implementation of e-diplomacy.
    • Factors influencing user acceptance of public sector big open data

      Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Kapoor, K.; Balta, M.E.; Irani, Zahir; Dwivedi, Y.K. (2017)
      In recent years Government departments and public/private organisations are becoming increasingly transparent with their data to establish the whole new paradigm of big open data. Increasing research interest arises from the claimed usability of big open data in improving public sector reforms, facilitating innovation, improving supplier and distribution networks and creating resilient supply chains that help improve the efficiency of public services. Despite the advantages of big open data for supply chain and operations management, there is severe shortage of empirical analyses in this field, especially with regard to its acceptance. To address this gap, in this paper we use an extended technology acceptance model to empirically examine the factors affecting users’ behavioural intentions towards public sector big open data. We outline the importance of our model for operations and supply chain managers, the limitations of the study, and future research directions.
    • Fostering Smart Cities through ICT Driven Policy-Making: Expected Outcomes and Impacts of DAREED Project

      Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Lee, Habin; Irani, Zahir; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P. (2014-07)
      The concept of smart city is emerging as a key strategy to tackle the problems generated by the urban population growth and rapid development. It is widely recognised that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) play a key role in addressing some of the urban societal challenges such as improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Although there are various ICT tools providing intelligence and services relating to energy consumption and monitoring processes, they mostly tend to work in isolation. Therefore, this paper presents the outcomes and impacts of the concept of DAREED which aims to deliver an integrated ICT service platform to drive energy efficiency and low carbon activities at neighbourhood, city and district levels. Furthermore, the research highlights the need for ICT-driven policy making using platforms such as DAREED in the context of e-Government. This paper contributes to the current understandings of e-Government literature in terms of how ICT can help public authorities and stakeholders such as policy makers to achieve and drive energy efficiency. From a practical stance, the paper offers valuable insights to public administrations on how ICT can be used to address pressing societal challenges such as efficient energy use and facilitate better policy making.
    • From design to operations: a process management life-cycle performance measurement system for Public-Private Partnerships

      Liu, H.J.; Love, P.E.D.; Smith, J.; Irani, Zahir; Hajli, N.; Sing, M.C.P. (2018)
      Public–Private Partnerships (PPPs) have become a critical vehicle for delivering infrastructure worldwide. Yet, the use of such a procurement strategy has received considerable criticism, as they have been prone to experiencing time/cost overruns and during their operation poorly managed. A key issue contributing to the poor performance of PPPs is the paucity of an effective and comprehensive performance measurement system. There has been a tendency for the performance of PPPs to be measured based on their ex-post criteria of time, cost and quality. Such criteria do not accommodate the complexities and lifecycle of an asset. In addressing this problem, the methodology of sequential triangulation is used to develop and examine the effectiveness of a ‘Process Management Life Cycle Performance Measurement System’. The research provides public authorities and private-sector entities embarking on PPPs with a robust mechanism to effectively measure, control and manage their projects’ life cycle performances, ensuring the assets are ‘future proofed’.
    • I-MEET Framework for the Evaluation eGovernment Services from Engaging Stakeholders' Perspectives

      Osman, I.H.; Anouze, A.L.; Hindi, N.M.; Irani, Zahir; Lee, Habin; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P. (2014-06)
      I-MEET is an Integrated Model for Evaluating E-government services Transformation from stakeholders' perspectives. It is based on an integration of concepts from value chain management and business process transformation to optimize the system-wide value chain of providers and users simultaneously. It aims to align stakeholders on a common global value against traditional disintegrated approaches where each stakeholder optimizes its e-service local value at the expense of others. The measured variables are derived from the literature and focused groups. They are then categorized into cost and risk (Inputs) and (benefit and opportunity) Outputs after a validation process based on Structured Equation Models using a sample of 1540 user-responses of e-services in the UK. Finally, Data Envelopment Analysis is conducted to derive an aggregated of an e-service satisfaction value using the various inputs and outputs. The empirical results demonstrate that data-derived weights for aggregating indicators are variable rather than fixed across e-services. The novelty of the assessment approach lies in its capability to provide informed suggestions to set targets to improve an eservice from the perspective of all engaging users. Hence it provides a better transformation of public administration services and improved take up by citizens and businesses.
    • Identifying the trends and impact of graduate attributes on employability: a literature review

      Osmani, M.; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Hindi, N.; Al Esmail, R.; Eldabi, T.; Kapoor, K.; Irani, Zahir (2015)
      Graduate employability has become an issue since there are broad mismatches between the acquired graduate skills from university and the required skills by employers. While previous researches have outlined the salient skills that need to be embedded in graduate education, to date no studies have attempted to methodically identify and synthesize the literature on graduate attributes. In this paper a total of 39 relevant studies on graduate skills and attributes in the subject areas of business and management, accounting, and computer science were extracted from Scopus® (database). This revealed a total of 53 graduate attributes, with some being highly used, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, technological skills, creativity, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, self-management and flexibility/adaptability. The majority of studies used a quantitative survey method to collect and rank graduate attributes, and Australia emerged as the most active country in researching the domain.
    • The impact of organisational justice on ethical behaviour

      Shah, N.; Anwar, S.; Irani, Zahir (2017)
      Within the workplace, justice is influenced by the interpersonal relationships between colleagues and/or management among other things. The main reason for this research is to examine the correlation between organisational justice and the ethical behaviour of employees. Based on the literature, the conceptual model developed in this paper integrates distributive, procedural, interpersonal and informational justice in relation to ethical behaviour. By applying an adapted survey questionnaire, data were collected from teaching staff at public sector higher education institutions. Multiple regression analysis was applied to 360 samples and this showed that distributive and procedural justice have a more positive and significant impact than informational and interpersonal justice on the ethical behaviour of employees. This is an empirical study which may contribute to the literature on ethical behaviour, organisational development and employee development.
    • The influence of individual readiness for change dimensions on quality management implementation in Algerian manufacturing organisations

      Haffar, Mohamed; Al-Karaghouli, W.; Irani, Zahir; Djebarni, R.; Gbadamosi, G. (2019-01)
      A comprehensive literature review reveals a lack of empirical studies investigating the influence of individual readiness of change (IRFC) as a multidimensional construct on effective quality improvement programmes (often referred as TQM) implementation. Much of the normative literature is conceptual in nature. Moreover, there is very limited research investigating the mediating role of employee affective commitment to change (IACC) between IRFCs and TQM. Therefore, this study proposes to fill this gap by providing empirical evidence leading to advancement in the understanding of direct and indirect influences of IRFC components on TQM implementation. To achieve this, a questionnaire-based survey was developed and self-administered to 226 middle managers in Algerian manufacturing organisations (AMOs) with a good rate of return of 52%. The analysis of the collected data revealed that two of the IRFC components, namely personally beneficial and change self-efficacy are the most supportive IRFC dimensions for TQM implementation. Furthermore, the results of this study show support for the mediating role of IACC in the relationship between IRFCs and TQM implementation. Therefore, this paper makes a novel contribution by providing a refined and deeper comprehension of the relationships between IRFCs and TQM implementation.
    • 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.
    • The latent causes of rework in floating production storage and offloading projects

      Love, P.E.D.; Edwards, D.J.; Irani, Zahir; Forcada, N. (2014)
      There is growing demand for cost effective and reliable floating production systems to maximize marginal and new deepwater fields worldwide. Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels are considered to be the most economical and viable options to meet this demand. Yet, FPSO projects are prone to significant cost and schedule growth. On average, FPSOs have been reported to experience a 20% cost growth and are delayed by six months. Overruns and delays represent uncertainties for owners, contractors and financial institutions. In-depth interviews with twenty-three practitioners about their experiences with FPSO projects revealed that rework arising from design and construction errors were major contributors to cost and schedule growth. Key latent conditions contributing to rework are classified according to people, organization and project. Using retrospective sensemaking an examination of the determinant histories in a new build and conversion FPSO that experienced rework was undertaken. The sharing of experience(s) is deemed pivotal for reducing rework in future projects, particularly through the use of communities of practice that are able to stimulate situated learning to take place. A reduction in rework will not only reduce cost and schedule growth, improve operational performance and augment safety.
    • Localising Professional Skills Development Strategies in the GCC: Research and Policy Considerations for Qatar

      Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Al-Esmail, R.; Hindi, N.M.; Osmani, M.; Irani, Zahir; Eldabi, T. (2015-09)
      This paper examines the issues and challenges faced by Qatar, a developing Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country, when localising established professional skills development strategies used in developed countries. The paper is based on the synthesis of viewpoint formed through the collective practical experiences of the authors. The paper posits that Qatar, a nation that is striving to move from an economy heavily reliant on oil and gas and the skills and competencies of foreign professionals to one that is knowledge driven and managed by its own citizens, needs to consider several micro, macro and policy level implications for implementing a meaningful professional skills development agenda. The unique demographic context as well as value and belief systems that are influenced by the social-cultural environment play a significant role in influencing the implementation of any performance assessment and management and the development of professional skills in the country.
    • Making sense of rework and its unintended consequence in projects: the emergence of uncomfortable knowledge

      Love, P.E.D.; Smith, J.; Ackermann, F.; Irani, Zahir (2019-04)
      To make sense of the rework phenomena that plagues construction projects a longitudinal exploration and mixed-method approach was undertaken to understand its causal setting and why it remained an on-going issue for organizations contracted to deliver an asset. The research reveals that rework was an zemblanity (i.e., being an unpleasant un-surprise) that resulted in: (1) project managers ignoring established organisation-wide procedures and, at their discretion, amend them to suit their own goals while denouncing the importance of recording and learning from non-conformances; (2) a deficiency of organisational controls and routines to contain and reduce rework; and (3) an absence of an organisation-project dyad that supported and promoted an environment of psychological safety. A new theoretical conceptualization of error causation that is intricately linked to rework and safety incidents is presented. The research provides managers with ‘uncomfortable knowledge’, which is needed to provide insights into the determinants of rework that form part of their everyday practice.
    • Making Sense of Rework Causation in Offshore Hydrocarbon projects

      Love, P.E.D.; Ackerman, F.; Smith, J.; Irani, Zahir; Edwards, D.J. (2016)
      Retrospective sensemaking is used to determine how and why rework in offshore hydrocarbon projects occurred. Staff from organizations operating at the blunt end (e.g., clients/design engineers providing finance and information) and those at the sharp end (e.g., contractors at the “coalface”) of a project's supply chain were interviewed to make sense of the rework that occurred. The analysis identified the need for managers to de-emphasize an environment that prioritizes production over other considerations and instead systematically examine mechanisms and factors that shape people's performance. Limitations of the research and the implications for managerial practice are also identified.
    • Managing e-Government: value positions and relationships

      Rose, J.; Persson, J.S.; Heeager, L.T.; Irani, Zahir (2015-09)
      Public sector managers take much of the responsibility for selecting, commissioning, implementing and realising benefits from information technology (IT) projects. However, e-Government initiatives often suffer from complexity, vision failure, lack of goal clarity and insufficient commitment. These problems may stem from value traditions that are deeply ingrained in managers’ cultural environments but not always in harmony with each other. A first step towards working with value complexity is to understand it; we synthesise a model of value positions for e-Government derived from major traditions in the public administration literature. Four value positions relevant to e-Government together with their IT assumptions are identified; they reflect the ideals of professionalism, efficiency, service and engagement. A qualitative investigation of Danish local authority managers displays both value congruence and value divergence. The interpretive study results in a theoretical model that combines value positions and relationships, and the model’s implications for researchers and practitioners in focusing successful e-Government initiatives are outlined.
    • Managing food security through food waste and loss: Small data to big data

      Irani, Zahir; Sharif, Amir M.; Lee, Habin; Aktas, E.; Topaloğlu, Z.; van't Wout, T. (2018-10)
      This paper provides a management perspective of organisational factors that contributes to the reduction of food waste through the application of design science principles to explore causal relationships between food distribution (organisational) and consumption (societal) factors. Qualitative data were collected with an organisational perspective from commercial food consumers along with large-scale food importers, distributors, and retailers. Cause-effect models are built and “what-if” simulations are conducted through the development and application of a Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM) approaches to elucidate dynamic interrelationships. The simulation models developed provide a practical insight into existing and emergent food losses scenarios, suggesting the need for big data sets to allow for generalizable findings to be extrapolated from a more detailed quantitative exercise. This research offers itself as evidence to support policy makers in the development of policies that facilitate interventions to reduce food losses. It also contributes to the literature through sustaining, impacting and potentially improving levels of food security, underpinned by empirically constructed policy models that identify potential behavioural changes. It is the extension of these simulation models set against a backdrop of a proposed big data framework for food security, where this study sets avenues for future research for others to design and construct big data research in food supply chains. This research has therefore sought to provide policymakers with a means to evaluate new and existing policies, whilst also offering a practical basis through which food chains can be made more resilient through the consideration of management practices and policy decisions.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.