International Journal of Decision Sciences, Risk and Management (11 papers in press)
Exploring the resilience of crude oil markets via nonlinear dynamics and wavelet-based analysis: an international experience
by Emmanuel Senyo Fianu
Abstract: This paper investigates a signal modality analysis for the characterisation and detection of nonlinearity in crude oil markets. Given the nonlinear and time-varying characteristics of international crude oil prices, this study employs the recently proposed delay vector variance (DVV) method, which examines local predictability of a signal in the phase space to detect the determinism and nonlinearity in a time series. In addition, wavelet transforms, which have recently emerged as a mathematical tool for multiresolution decomposition of signals, are used. In particular, a complex Morlet wavelet is used to detect the various phases of oil prices through the trajectory of market developments. The findings of this paper highlight the significant phases of the series and its relation to realworld phenomena, with an indication of early warning signals of future significant events, thereby providing a guide for proper decision making and risk management practices of market participants.
Keywords: crude oil prices; delay vector variance; nonlinearity; surrogates; wavelet analysis; risk management.
Application of fuzzy analytic hierarchy process for development of risk index for elevated corridor metro rail project in western India
by Debasis Sarkar, Manvinder Singh, H.B. Raghavendra
Abstract: Construction of elevated corridor metro rail projects involves activities such as piling works, pier construction, segment casting, segment transportation, segment erection with launching girder, and pre-stressing operations for joining the segments, which are risky in nature and need to be implemented very carefully. This paper is an attempt to develop a risk index for the elevated corridor for metro rail construction project in western India. The risk index is developed by application of the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process to the quality parameters associated with the piling works, pier construction, segment casting, transportation and erection. This risk index would help the project authorities to identify the most risky activities and plan the suitable risk mitigation measures accordingly. This would help the project to be completed successfully within the stipulated time and cost frame. The risk index developed would act as a guide for developing risk management strategies for any future metro rail construction projects.
Keywords: fuzzy analytic hierarchy process; risk index; elevated corridor; metro rail project.
Extracting firm performance using a financial statement: a case of Jordan
by Osama Aljarrah, Richard De Groof
Abstract: Financial data analysis is becoming more and more important as the data from daily operations is exponentially increasing in the presence of data mining. Many financial analysts hope to extract useful knowledge from the data in the decision-making process to achieve, maintain or enhance their competitive advantages. Cluster analysis is one of the most used techniques in data mining for configuring optimal classifications. In business, companies performances are usually characterised in a high dimensional space and can be categorised into different groups based on their key performance indicators (KPI). Many studies have used different approaches to classify companies based on different types of financial dataset source. Although a plethora of multivariate data analysis algorithms and software have been available, the computational requirements with the highly complex datasets are challenging the available clustering algorithms in terms of the efficiency. In this paper, we propose and introduce a new strategy by integrating dimensional compression techniques with clustering. The former identifies and projects the data in a few major variability dimensions; the latter further clusters the data points into groups. An application case study (data from Amman stock exchange bulletin) is provided for illustration and verification. The developed methods showed a promising potential in a wide variety of business applications.
Keywords: principal component analysis; singular value decomposition; kernel PCA; cluster analysis; financial statements.
Cyber-conformity and safety: the groupthink dilemma
by Fred Storseth
Abstract: The capable group is part of the ethos in resilience-based safety management. Group ideas draw upon psychology. But, what if the psychological blueprints no longer apply? My thesis is that we are changed by cyber-conformity: a trait-like propensity grooved into our psychology as we immerse ourselves in the ever-present digital social spheres for attention, confirmation and approval of the others. What if cyber-conformity renders aspects of group psychology obsolete? In applied safety, decision-making accentuates group dynamics under pressure. Is the group still capable? The aim is to explore how cyber-conformity spills into group dynamics, and in turn plays out in decision-making. With groupthink as the analytical approach, the paper identifies the groupthink dilemma, i.e. although the conventional ingroup loses meaning, the dangers of groupthink are as strong as ever. It is discussed how group-based decisions tinted by cyber-conformity form the potential of long-distance groupthink and funnel-vision decision-making.
Keywords: conformity; decision-making; group dynamics; groupthink; internet; information technology; psychology; safety management; safety method; social media.
A novel diagnostic prognostic approach for rehabilitated RC structures based on integrated probabilistic deterioration models
by Ahmed Mohammed Abdelalim
Abstract: The task of maintaining the huge stock of structures provides both owners and engineers with financial and technical challenges. On the one hand, owners of public structures, such as relevant authorities and government agencies, are faced with questions which relate to the "managerial aspect" of structural maintenance. "Which structures need to be repaired, which need to be demolished and which require minimum maintenance?"; "How can the available funding be best used for maintenance?"; Such questions have to be answered. To this end, a comprehensive management system is needed to assist high level policy-makers in allocating resources for maintenance, and for providing managers with relevant guidelines for developing detailed maintenance plans. Building managers are increasingly faced with having to maintain their building assets more efficiently whilst reducing the short- and long-term cost of rehabilitation. Several approaches employing a Markovian model have been adapted to the bridge structure domain; fewer in the domain of concrete buildings. The present paper describes a parallel approach to maintenance management used in bridge structures, but adapted to the maintenance of RC buildings. The maintenance of several components of a concrete structural system is considered in the context of both yearly and longer-term maintenance planning. The significance of different components in relation to others in the system is determined by first conducting a Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) on all structural/nonstructural elements. The FMECA permits developing a component criticality index from which their relative importance is assigned amongst the different building components. An optimisation of different possible maintenance actions is considered in relation to the cost of specified actions or replacement of components based on a multi-objective index. This index provides a means of relating competing maintenance objectives; that of controlling maintenance intervention costs and maintaining component condition ratings. It provides yearly maintenance costs of individual components for a given structural system over a long-term horizon that spans the life of the buildings.
Keywords: concrete buildings; building maintenance; component deterioration; failure mode analysis; criticality index; multi-objective index; condition rating; maintenance; Markovian models; decision making; optimisation.
Special Issue on: HOU MBA Programme Business Administration
Strategic management in times of crisis: the case of marble enterprises in the prefecture of Drama, Greece.
by Maria Tsertsi, George Zobolas
Abstract: Every enterprise, consciously or not, in an explicit form or otherwise, follows a strategy. The main purpose of this paper is to provide a clear insight as to whether and which kind of strategies have been applied by the marble enterprises operating in the prefecture of Drama, Greece, in order for them to cope with the crises (global and national) that have emerged in recent years. The structure of the marble industry of Drama is outlined in terms of the economic sector of activity and legal form. Covering a six-year period (from 2008 to 2013) of data relating to commercial (i.e. exporting, for the greater part) activities for key Drama enterprises in conjunction with the views of specially selected leaders of the local industry, an attempt has been made to verify the existence of and, in continuation, to recognise the main competitive advantage of, the said industry. The extent to which strategic management principles have been or are being applied by the above companies in regard to their international expansion, as well as coping with the global and national crises, is defined, and the undertaken strategies are evaluated as to their degree of fit in the industry and their contribution to the overall efficiency of the companies.
Keywords: strategic management; marble companies management; marble enterprises management; Drama marble enterprises; Drama marble companies; Greece marble enterprises; Greece marble companies.
The role of China in the global shipping industry, with emphasis on the dry bulk market
by Georgia Kompougia, Dimitrios Kyrkilis
Abstract: This paper examines the role of China in the development of the global maritime industry, focusing on the dry bulk market. The gradual reforms of the Chinese economy, starting from the late 70s until the countrys accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, triggered an unprecedented growth of all sectors of the shipping industry, with the dry bulk sector being at the epicentre of the trading boom. China became one of the main driving forces of the demand and supply of ship transportation. An econometric model has been developed to test the validity of the theoretical analysis. Through a multiple regression model, a series of Chinese economy-related variables, potential drivers of the demand and supply of ship transportation, have been estimated as to their effect on the dry bulk market earnings using the OLS technique. Six of these factors, including the Chinese industrial production growth, the Chinese dry bulk seaborne imports, the Chinese-owned dry bulk fleet, and the Chinese shipyards output, are proved to be statistically significant determinants of the dry bulk vessels earnings. The evaluation of the regression results provides sufficient comfort in relation to the validity of the conclusions.
Keywords: China; shipping; dry bulk market; ship transportation; multiple regression.
Greek public airports efficiency assessment using DEA modelling: factors influencing efficiency and economic recession environment (2009-2014) implications
by Athanasios Kasioras
Abstract: Airports are an essential part of the air transport system. The Greek airport network is mainly a public organisational system, with the most important part of it currently transformed into a privately operated subsystem. The present work aims to provide an efficiency assessment of Greek Public Airports, operated by the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) for the years 2009-2014. The technical efficiency is estimated in a relative manner using the non-parametric method of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), establishing which airports operate relative efficiently and which are inefficient. Airports are assessed as uniform production and decision making units and additionally with respect to the two well recognised and defined processes, airside and landside. Particular emphasis is given to the relative importance of inputs and outputs, whilst focusing in the efficiency improvement through output maximisation efforts.
Keywords: airport; aviation; Greece; data envelopment analysis; decision making unit; technical efficiency; airside efficiency; landside efficiency.
Coaching: a plus (+) to managerial skills
by Panagiota Alexiou
Abstract: The present analysis is about coaching and its benefits to the managerial position. It is a descriptive and analytical research analysis based on primary data collected using a questionnaire. The sample comprises 190 managers of all types of "IT and communications Greek Enterprises" (SEPE), from small to multinational ones. The sample was analysed to investigate whether coaching is significant as a process to the administrative role of managers. The results indicated that managers have a clear perception of coaching though they do not trust the process as far as how beneficial it is. They found it quite challenging to insert coaching as a process to the companies they work in, though they recognised that it is all about lack of knowledge to use this tool correctly. So, it appears that coaching is very effectual and well known in Western countries, Greek organisations, companies, and smaller businesses, but its use is somewhat limited or even non-existent.
Keywords: coaching; management; mentoring; consulting; training; skills; coaching culture; managerial skills; communication; performance; emotional intelligence.
Comparative analysis of the contemporary public sector quality determinants in relation to the satisfaction level of the Greek judicial officials and citizens in civil, criminal and administrative courts
by Charitmeni Kalogeropoulou, George Petrakos
Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to provide a quality assessment of the four key factors of the existing Greek Judicial System, namely the environment, the professional competence, the prejudice and the burn-out, and investigate their structural relationship to the satisfaction of citizens and officials within different demographic segments. The results are mainly based on the statistical analysis of relative data gathered from an empirical survey conducted in civil, criminal and administrative courts of Thessaloniki, among citizens and judicial officials. Serious differentiations have been reported in different segments and also in different court and respondent type. Interesting findings and figures also came out of the data gathered from administrative records regarding human recourses and the adoption and usage of information and communication technologies. The main results of this research point out the need for a reform in the Greek Judicial System in accordance with the key dimensions of the New Public Management.
Keywords: public administration; service quality; judicial system; governance; new public management; human recourses; information and communication technologies.
Special Issue on: HOU MBA Programme Business Administration
Motivation and job satisfaction: the case of call centres in Greece
by Grigorios Despoteris, Barbara Myloni
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to describe the current level of job satisfaction and the factors that lead to it from the perspective of call centre employees in Greece, using Herzbergs two-factor theory as the primary theoretical framework. Specifically, it determines the overall degree of job satisfaction among call centre employees presents the level of motivators hygiene factors provided by call centre companies and finally describes the relationship between motivators hygiene factors and job satisfaction. Given the virtual absence of research on job satisfaction and motivation in call centres in Greece, this paper aims to fill this gap. In addition to the theoretical importance, this research has practical relevance. In a stressful working environment like call centres, identifying the factors that contribute to job satisfaction can help companies achieve higher productivity, lower staff turnover and simultaneously satisfy their employees.
Keywords: motivation; job satisfaction; call centres; motivators; hygiene factors; intrinsic motivation; extrinsic motivation; Greece; Greek call centres.