International Journal of Management and Decision Making (8 papers in press)
The influence of cultural dimensions on lean projects success and barriers
by Sara Antomarioni, Filippo Emanuele Ciarapica, Ilaria De Sanctis
Abstract: Implementing lean projects harbors relevant difficulties, hence it is interesting to evaluate whether companies that operate in different cultural context experience the same kind of barriers. Few studies analyzed the influence of cultural dimensions on lean projects failure. In this context, this work aims at addressing the existing research gap, trying to answer the following research questions: -Do the cultural dimensions influence the perception lean projects' success and lean practices implementation level? -Does the type and level of barriers to lean practices implementation depend on the cultural dimensions? Therefore, the experiences of 171 companies were collected through a questionnaire and clustered on the basis of the cultural dimensions, through a k-means procedure. Two clusters were defined and were compared through Mann-Whitney test, proving a statistically significant difference for lean practices implementation and for the majority of lean barriers, both during the start-up and the sustaining phases.
Keywords: Lean projects; Lean success; Lean barriers; Lean implementation; national cultural dimensions; cluster analysis; k-means; Mann-Whitney test.
Technology readiness and satisfaction in Vietnam
by Le Van Huy, Pham Thi Hoan Nguyen, Long Pham, Ronald Berry
Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the relationships among customer's technology readiness, technology acceptance, and satisfaction with technologies commonly available in luxury hotels. The data for this study was collected from 828 international tourists who stayed in luxury hotels in Vietnam. The results showed that optimism and innovativeness positively influenced perceived ease of use, while four dimensions of technology readiness positively influenced perceived usefulness. In addition, optimism, discomfort, and insecurity had impacts on customer satisfaction with technologies. Moreover, perceived ease of use had impacts on perceived usefulness and on customer satisfaction with technologies. Finally, theoretical contributions, managerial implications, and future research directions are discussed.
Keywords: Technology acceptance; technology readiness; satisfaction; luxury hotels; Vietnam.
Development and testing of a software tool for warehouse design and picking optimization
by Eleonora Bottani, Roberto Montanari, Marta Rinaldi
Abstract: TThe picking process is a manual, labour-intensive process, whose efficiency is affected by a number of different factors, which contribute to determine the travel distance covered by pickers. This paper describes the development of an original software tool programmed with Microsoft ExcelTM to help design picker-to-parts order picking systems and simultaneously evaluate the effect and interactions of various design and operating factors on the process performance. The software allows the geometry of any rectangular warehouse to be reproduced as a function of its main parameters, i.e. the number of aisles and cross-aisles, shape factor and total storage capacity, and the application of four routing policies to be simulated. The software was applied to derive the travel distance as a function of the routing policy, shape factor, number of cross-aisles and length of the order picking list, in a warehouse of fixed storage capacity.
Keywords: warehouse design; software tool; travel distance; routing.
Managing complexity through business relationships: the case of the Swedish electricity market
by Cecilia Lindh, Lennart Haglund, Tommy Kovala
Abstract: In the industrial market, electricity is an essential resource for production, as a stop in its flow may cause expensive production loss and thus tremendous cost. This strong resource dependence and the inevitable competition that comes with deregulation of the market, makes the electricity business complex and relationships of long-term orientation to form. To study such relationships, a mixed method is applied to provide contextual knowledge:by four interviews and a descriptive model and a structural model with three hypotheses developed (n = 122). Managers of products that may seem simple and traded in a market where low cost prevails should think again - stable relationships are a necessity for rational decisions also in this case, particularly since interdependence is influential.
Keywords: business relationship; buyer-seller relationships; commitment; complexity; deregulation; electricity intensive industry; electricity retailers; interdependence; mixed method; trust.
An Integrated Core Competence Evaluation Framework for Portfolio Management in the Oil Industry
by Bang Nguyen, Khalid Hafeez, Pantea Foroudi
Abstract: Drawing upon resource-based theory, this paper presents a core competence evaluation framework for managing the competence portfolio of an oil company. It introduces a network typology to illustrate how to form different types of strategic alliance relations with partnering firms to manage and grow the competence portfolio. A framework is tested using a case study approach involving face-to-face structured interviews. We identified purchasing, refining and sales and marketing as strong candidates to be the core competencies. However, despite the company's core business of refining oil, the core competencies were identified to be their research and development and performance management (PM) capabilities. We further provide a procedure to determine different kinds of physical, intellectual and cultural resources making a dominant impact on company's competence portfolio. In addition, we provide a comprehensive set of guidelines on how to develop core competence further by forging a partnership alliance choosing an appropriate network topology.
Keywords: competence portfolio; resource-based view; resource-asset-capability; core competence; network topology; collective learning.
An advanced platform for power system security assessment accounting for forecast uncertainties
by Andrea Pitto, Emanuele Ciapessoni, Diego Cirio, Nicolas Omont, Helena Vasconcelos, Leonel Carvalho
Abstract: Accounting for the increasing uncertainties related to forecast of renewables is becoming an essential requirement while assessing the security of future power system scenarios. Project iTesla in the seventh framework program (FP7) of the European Union (EU) tackles these needs and reaches several major objectives, including the development of a security platform architecture. In particular, the platform implements a stochastic dependence model to simulate a reasonable cloud of plausible 'future' states - due to renewable forecast - around the expected state, and evaluates the security on relevant states after sampling the cloud of uncertainty. The paper focuses on the proposed model for the uncertainty and its exploitation in power system security assessment process and it reports the relevant validation results.
Keywords: Nataf transformation; pair copula decomposition; power systems; principal component analysis; renewables; security assessment; uncertainties.
Assessing the impacts of Circular Economy: a framework and an application to the washing machine industry
by Gianmarco Bressanelli, Marco Perona, Nicola Saccani
Abstract: The literature usually depicts circular economy as a path to embrace sustainability into economic systems. Shifting from a linear to a circular economy leads to environmental and social benefits. However, despite a growing attention from academia, policymakers and businesses, circular economy implementation projects are still scarce. One of the reasons is that circular economy scenarios may be challenging from an economic perspective. In order to spur a transition towards circular economy, new methods to support the assessment of economic, environmental and social impacts of circular economy scenarios are needed. This paper presents a systemic framework to support a simplified evaluation of circular economy scenarios. The framework, developed specifically for durable goods, is applied to the washing machine industry, thanks to a case study. The application results show how the framework adoption may contribute to reduce the uncertainties that are often an obstacle to the transition towards circular economy.
Keywords: Circular Economy; Servitised business model; Closed-loop supply chain; Washing machine; Impact assessment; Systematic framework.
The Effects on Anchoring of Increasing Quantities of Disconfirming Evidence
by Bryan Cataldi, Tom Downen, Zhan Furner
Abstract: Anchoring has been shown to influence judgements in a wide variety of contexts, often in a dysfunctional manner (particularly when anchors are deemed unreliable). Identifying methods for mitigating the effects of anchors is important. Our experimental study utilises three abstract settings and arbitrary anchor values. We find strong anchoring effects in initial judgements. Providing disconfirming evidence of moderate helpfulness does, however, reduce the anchoring effects. Specifically, providing one or two items of disconfirming information is shown to have significant incremental benefits in reducing or even eliminating anchoring effects. However, surprisingly, providing three items of disconfirming information, in our setting, did not further reduce anchoring, suggesting some diminishing effect of additional evidence. This is consistent with prior research suggesting that individuals adjust until they are 'close enough', and then stop considering additional information. Our results have implications for a wide variety of judgement contexts, and the results are encouraging in suggesting that a relatively small quantity of disconfirming evidence could be sufficient for overcoming anchoring.
Keywords: Anchor and Adjust; Judgment and Decision Making.