• Strategic Management in Small and Medium Enterprises.

      Analoui, Farhad; Karami, Azhdar (2003)
      In most countries, statistics show that 99% of businesses are classified as ?small businesses?. In the UK alone, 99.8% of businesses employ less than 250 staff and these companies contribute more than a half of the UK's turnover. This new textbook goes where other strategic management texts have not and focuses on these small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), rather than focussing on large corporations and the actions of their CEOs. The authors consider how managers of small firms perceive the processes associated with strategic management, what decisions and actions they adopt to ensure competitive advantage, how business strategies are formulated and implemented in SMEs, and what the strategic role of entrepreneurship within small businesses is. They also discuss how SMEs should act for maximum competitive advantage, and consider the ?gap? between ideal theory and practice. This unique textbook will be essential for students on Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise modules at undergraduate and Masters level, and will also be useful on core modules in Strategy, Business Policy and Strategic Management at all levels.
    • Strategic planning for wood farming development (Case study: Urmia)

      Nezhad, S. Khayati; Hosseinzadeh, O.; Hajjarian, M.; Abdi, M. Reza (2018)
      Wood farming is one of the strategies of agricultural development programs to reform unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Poplar is one of the known species for wood farming in the country. This species is fast-growing and has numerous Colognes has the ability to adapt to different climatic conditions. Fast growth, good economic returns and traditional agricultural knowledge, favorable habitat to agriculture are advantages of poplar for agricultural development. However, the result of previous studies indicates existing barriers to the development of plantation and its development need strategic planning. What seem essential today are strategies to overcome these obstacles. Accordingly, this present study with a holistic view trying to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of poplar farming. And the most appropriate strategies for the development of poplar farming in Urmia have offered. This research was a Field study and conducted using questionnaires. In this study, strategies were defined using SWOT analysis and the strategies were prioritized using analysis network process. The results showed the history of poplar farming in this region is the most important benefit to development and the many uses for poplar wood is the next priority. Increasingly replacement of poplar farming with alternative cultures is one of the main weaknesses of poplar farming development in this region. After that long return of profitability in poplar farming is the second priority. The most important opportunities for the development were the development of credit specialists to support of poplar farming and the most important threat was lack of annual financing of farmers. Also the results of strategic prioritization showed, Modern irrigation methods to reduce water consumption and planning to teach correct principles of technical planting, farming and harvesting are considered as the most important strategies.
    • Strategic success in winter sports destinations: a sustainable value creation perspective.

      Flagestad, A.; Hope, Christine A. (2001)
      According to annual reports of European and North American ski resort corporations, winter sports destinations are facing stagnating markets and at the same time challenges in the management of environmentally sensitive mountainous areas and villages. The survival and development of winter sports destinations are to a large extent centred around strategies for creating competitive advantage and at the same time meeting the criteria of sustainable tourism laid down by the WTO. In this paper, performance on these two dimensions is combined into the concept of strategic performance. Sustained value creation is suggested as a goal of strategic performance in winter sports destinations.Two new models related to the strategic analysis of winter sports destinations are developed. The first is a suggested configuration of value creation in winter sports destinations¿the ¿value fan¿¿and the second is a conceptual organisational model providing a framework for analysis at strategic level of such destinations. The models have emerged from examining the central body of literature in the field of strategic management. Development of the models is part of ongoing research into what kind of organisational structure of winter sports destinations will lead to superior performance in terms of strategic success. Here the concepts of the ¿community model¿ and the ¿corporate model¿ of destination management are introduced.
    • Strategy, contracts and control in government IT work

      Vincent, S.; Grugulis, C. Irena (2007)
    • 'Stressed out of my box': employee experience of lean working and occupational ill-health in clerical work in the UK public sector

      Carter, B.; Danford, A.; Howcroft, D.; Richardson, H.; Smith, Andrew J.; Taylor, P. (2013)
      Occupational health and safety (OHS) is under-researched in the sociology of work and employment. This deficit is most pronounced for white-collar occupations. Despite growing awareness of the significance of psychosocial conditions – notably stress – and musculoskeletal disorders, white-collar work is considered by conventional OHS discourse to be ‘safe’. This study’s locus is clerical processing in the UK public sector, specifically Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, in the context of efficiency savings programmes. The key initiative was lean working, which involved redesigned workflow, task fragmentation, standardization and individual targets. Utilizing a holistic model of white-collar OHS and in-depth quantitative and qualitative data, the evidence of widespread self-reported ill-health symptoms is compelling. Statistical tests of association demonstrate that the transformed work organization that accompanied lean working contributed most to employees’, particularly women’s, ill-health complaints.
    • Strikes

      Gall, Gregor (2016)
    • A study designed to investigate stakeholder reaction to a proposed internet portal designed to manage student accommodation at a major language school chain in the UK

      Hussain, Zahid I.; Kelly, R. (2016-04)
      The company, a market-leading language school chain with five schools in the UK, struggles in the successful provision of UK homestay accommodation for its students. Although a complex problem, it is caused mainly by the students’ pre-arrival expectations of their accommodation quality, and a complicated and only partially-adequate booking process, making for an inefficient process. A proposed solution to the problem is an accommodation internet portal. This paper describes a study that investigated stakeholder reaction to the proposed solution with the aim of enabling the company’s management to understand what is necessary to achieve stakeholder ‘buy in’ and thus benefit from the Portal’s efficiencies, and ultimately to decide on whether to sponsor the Portal’s development. Focus groups and interviews were used to investigate the participants’ understanding of stakeholder theory, to categorise them as stakeholders, to elicit their reactions to the proposed Portal idea, and to gather suggestions on its features and the potential issues its introduction might cause. Despite there being a range of views regarding the introduction of the Portal, the results showed that if correctly implemented the Portal’s radical transformation of the accommodation booking process would lead to significant organisational efficiencies. The conclusion recommends that for the company to benefit from the potential efficiencies of a portal, its management introduce a hybrid portal where users can select the level of engagement they have with it, that the company consults its stakeholders on the design of the Portal, and that the change process is managed carefully and effectively.
    • A study looking at the influence of context on implementation of e-governance: What comes first - Context or System?

      Hussain, Zahid I.; Chamas, H.B.; Abdi, M. Reza (2016)
      The relationship between context and e-governance has been gaining a significant momentum in academic circles due its social and technical complexities. There are many challenges posed by the disparity between the context and the system when it comes to e-governance in developing countries. This research aims to reveal more successful adoption of e-governance initiatives and exposes factors that hinder its implementation. We develop a conceptual framework showing the reciprocity between the context and the system or what is termed “Context-System Gap”. Therefore, this research will study the appropriateness of the context and its influence on the system and the influence of the system on the context.
    • A study looking at ways to increase acceptance of E-Government systems in Developing Countries: A focus on The Context-System Gap

      Hussain, Zahid I.; Chamas, H.B.; Abdi, M. Reza (2016)
      For developing countries involved in enhancing communication between citizens and public administration and minimizing corruption, it is imperative to exploit information technology. However, certain factors surrounding the context of e-government adoption can either facilitate or hinder the achievement of this objective. In this paper we develop a conceptual framework that aims to enable more successful e-government adoption and aim to expose the factors hindering implementation. Most empirical research and theories on the implementation of e-government in developing countries remain at the macro-level and fail to highlight contextual complexities of deployment and the role of the gap between the citizens and the government. Therefore, this research offers an empirical model differentiating between the electronic context and the electronic system and shed a light over a new gap, government-citizen gap, in the adoption of e-government.
    • A Study of Environmental Policies and Regulations, Governance Structures and Environmental Performance: The Role of Female Directors

      Elmagrhi, M.; Ntim, C.G.; Elamer, Ahmed A.; Zhang, Q. (2018)
      This paper seeks to contribute to the existing business strategy and the environment literature by examining the effect of governance structures on environmental performance within a unique context of improving environmental governance, policies, regulations and management. Specifically, we investigate the extent to which corporate board gender diversity, including the proportion, age and level of education of female directors, affect environmental performance of Chinese publicly listed corporations. Using one of the largest Chinese datasets to-date, consisting of a sample of 383 listed A-shares from 2011 to 2015 (i.e., observations of 1,674), our findings are three-fold. First, we find that the proportion and age of female directors have a positive effect on the overall corporate environmental performance. Second, our findings indicate that the proportion and age of female directors also have a positive effect on the three individual environmental performance components, namely environmental (i) strategy, (ii) implementation and (iii) disclosure, respectively. Finally, and by contrast, we do not find any evidence that suggests that the level of education of female directors has any impact on environmental performance, neither the overall environmental performance measure nor its individual components. Our findings have important implication for regulators and policy-makers. Our evidence is robust to controlling for alternative measures, other governance and firm-level control variables, and possible endogeneities. We interpret our findings within a multi-theoretical framework that draws insights from agency, legitimacy, neo-institutional, resource dependence, stakeholder, and tokenism theoretical perspectives.
    • A Study on trust restoration efforts in the UK retail banking industry

      Ahmed, S.; Bangassa, K.; Akbar, Saeed (Elsevier, 2020-01)
      This paper aims to capture the perception of banking services providers on how to restore their customers’ trust in the UK banking industry. Twenty frontline employees (FLEs) who have customer-facing responsibilities are interviewed and a thematic analysis of the interview transcripts is undertaken. Through the emergence of three different major themes and a number of sub-themes, we have presented our findings in the form of a trust restoration model. Interviewees have reported three major themes as an action framework to restore their customers’ trust. Firstly, banks are implementing enhanced transparency in their operations, by appropriately disclosing the key features of their lending and other banking activities. Secondly, they are implementing policies and procedures that can help strengthen their relationship banking, such as improving employee and customer engagement activities for supporting small businesses and the community. Thirdly, they are promoting operational efficiency by adequately investing in information technology infrastructure. However, some financial service practices identified by the interviewees, for example, the deliberate sale of financial products that are unsuitable for their customers or too complex to understand, still continues. Ultimately, this ‘sale before service’ tactic is incompatible with the industry claims of compliance with the new financial regulations.
    • Studying Transformational Government: A review of the existing methodological approaches and future outlook

      Omar, Amizan; Weerakkody, Vishanth J.P.; Daowd, A. (2020-04)
      In light of the heterogeneity of scholarly publications on the subject of transformational government (T-Gov), this paper examines research trends and assesses methodologies used to investigate the topic with the aim of analysing directions for future research. A comprehensive analysis of T-government research published in four Chartered Association of Business Schools ranked journals within the field of Public Administration, e-Government and Information System is presented. The paper outlines research directions for further inquiry to promote the formulation of much needed theoretical constructs and approaches to research that would help bridge the existing gaps in knowledge in the area of T-Gov.
    • Subsidiary Role and Skilled Labour Effects in Small Developed Countries

      McDonald, Frank; Gammelgaard, J.; Tüselmann, H-J.; Dörrenbächer, C.; Stephan, A. (2009)
      The proportion of skilled labour in subsidiaries is influenced by size and development of host country, and subsidiary role, the latter being connected to autonomy and intra-organisational relationships. In this paper, we conceptually explore subsidiary¿s proportion of skilled labour in relation to subsidiary role within the context of a small developed country. Specifically, we draw on the literature of strategic development of multinational corporations, and insights of inward foreign direct investments in small developed countries. This is presented in a unifying framework in order to predict diverse categorizations of subsidiary role¿s impact on the proportion of skilled labour in subsidiaries.
    • Subsidies for Renewable Energy Facilities under Uncertainty

      Adkins, Roger; Paxson, D. (2016-02-23)
      We derive the optimal investment timing and real option value for a facility with price and quantity uncertainty, where there might be a government subsidy proportional to production quantity. Where the subsidy is proportional to the multiplication of the price and quantity, dimensionality can be reduced. Alternatively, we provide quasi-analytical solutions for different quantity subsidy arrangements: permanent (policy is certain); retractable; suddenly permanent; and suddenly retractable. Whether policy uncertainty acts as a disincentive for early investment depends on the type of subsidy arrangement. The greatest incentive for early investment is an actual retractable subsidy, a ‘flighty bird in hand’.
    • Supermarket interventions and diet in areas of limited retail access: policy suggestions from the Seacroft Intervention Study

      Rudkin, Simon (2015-03)
      Globally supermarkets have been seen as a remedy to the problems of poor diets in deprived neighbourhoods where access to healthy foodstuffs has been limited. This study seeks to quantify the consequences of one such United Kingdom intervention, in Seacroft, Leeds. Where previous work often focused on fruit and vegetables, this paper presents evidence on all food and drink consumed before, and after, the new opening. It is shown that utilising large format retailers can also bring significant negative consequences for already unhealthy diets, exactly the opposite of what policy makers set out to achieve. Suggestion is therefore made that policymakers consider using price, or education, interventions rather than promoting large shops, which, while stocking cheap healthy food also offer shoppers the unhealthy produce they like at low prices.
    • Suppliers, do you know your customers?

      Schofield, R.A.; Breen, Liz (2006)
      The purpose of this study is to investigate the customer’s perception of service quality within the context of the pharmaceutical supply chain, and look specifically at the supplier/customer relationship. The research in question focuses on the trading relationship between a pharmaceutical wholesaler and its pharmacy customers. Existing literature shows that quality of the overall service is determined by the customer’s perceptions of that service; therefore it is important that the supplier measures the customer’s perception of service quality and understands what factors influence that perception and build this into their service delivery. The data were collected via a series of qualitative semi-structured interviews with hospital and retail pharmacies located in the North West of England. The findings show that pharmacy customers have a range of vitally important to less important criteria associated with good service quality and that pharmaceutical wholesalers as suppliers should aim to excel at the vital and important issues and meet those of lesser importance to satisfy customers expectations of service quality. This reinforces the importance of measuring customer expectations and incorporating outputs into service design to ensure a customer focus to the service provided. Further consideration should be given to adopting the SERVQUAL tool in conducting future research and analysis. Suppliers should be aware that there are vital activities that customers expect to have performed/delivered and that they need to know what these are and excel at these, whilst managing less important criteria effectively. This paper provides an insight into the customer-supplier relationship within the pharmaceutical supply chain in the NHS, which will be of benefit to practitioners and academics in this field.
    • Supply chain agility responding to unprecedented changes: empirical evidence from the UK food supply chain during COVID-19 crisis

      Do, Q.; Mishra, N.; Wulandhari, N.B.I.; Ramudhin, A.; Sivarajah, Uthayasankar; Milligan, G. (2021-09-06)
      Purpose: The COVID-19 outbreak has imposed extensive shocks embracing all stages of the food supply chain (FSC). Although the magnitude is still unfolding, the FSC responds with remarkable speed, to mitigate the disruptive consequences and sustain operations. This motivates us to investigate how operationalising supply chain agility (SCA) practices has occurred amid the COVID-19 crisis and expectations for how those practices could transform the supply chain in the post-COVID-19 era. Design: Following an exploratory case-based design, we examine the various agile responses that three supply chains (meat, fresh vegetables and bread) adopted and elaborate using the dynamic capability (DC) theoretical lens. Findings: First, the findings demonstrate how, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, each affected case pursued various agile responses through sensing and seizing capabilities. Sensing includes identifying and assessing the relevant opportunities and threats associated with the specific supply chain context. Seizing involves acquiring, combining and modifying the tangible and intangible resources at the firm and supply chain levels. Second, supply chain transformation is likely if firms and their supply chain develop the sustaining capability to ensure that the desirable changes outlast the crisis. Originality: This study provides a novel and unique perspective on the role of SCA in crisis—in this case, the pandemic. We synthesise the empirical stories of the agile responses in the FSC and elaborate on the DC framework, to identify theoretical and practical implications. We establish the sustaining capability as the missing DC capability for enabling transformation in the post-COVID-19 era. Practical contribution: This study provides an actionable guide for practitioners to develop agile responses to systemic changes in times of crisis and to sustain favourable changes so as to enable their outlasting the crisis.
    • Supporting better practice benchmarking: A DEA-ANN approach to bank branch performance assessment

      Tsolas, I.E.; Vincent, Charles; Gherman, T. (2020-12)
      The quest for best practices may lead to an increased risk of poor decision-making, especially when aiming to attain best practice levels reveals that efforts are beyond the organization’s present capabilities. This situation is commonly known as the “best practice trap”. Motivated by such observation, the purpose of the present paper is to develop a practical methodology to support better practice benchmarking, with an application to the banking sector. In this sense, we develop a two-stage hybrid model that employs Artificial Neural Network (ANN) via integration with Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is used as a preprocessor, to investigate the ability of the DEA-ANN approach to classify the sampled branches of a Greek bank into predefined efficiency classes. ANN is integrated with a family of radial and non-radial DEA models. This combined approach effectively captures the information contained in the characteristics of the sampled branches, and subsequently demonstrates a satisfactory classification ability especially for the efficient branches. Our prediction results are presented using four performance measures (hit rates): percent success rate of classifying a bank branch’s performance exactly or within one class of its actual performance, as well as just one class above the actual class and just one class below the actual class. The proposed modeling approach integrates the DEA context with ANN and advances benchmarking practices to enhance the decision-making process for efficiency improvement.
    • Sustainability and the Circular Economy

      Clift, R.; Martin, G.; Mair, Simon (Elsevier, 2022)
      Sustainability is a triad including techno-economic efficiency, compatibility with the “Planetary Boundaries”, and equity - enabling a decent quality of life for all. Circular Economy models often focus only on closing material flows in order to increase economic activity or market share. This overlooks the equity dimension. Here we focus on the Performance Economy, which extends the Circular Economy in ways that can enhance equity. The Performance Economy model concentrates on making best use of stocks in the economy, including labour which is a renewable resource. Extending product life through re-use, remanufacturing and reprocessing and shifting from non-renewable inputs (including energy) to renewable inputs (including labour) can improve resource efficiency and increase the supply of rewarding employment. The Performance Economy requires changes in business practices more than technological innovation, including a different view of the functions of value chains, and can be promoted by different approaches to taxation.