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  • A study in the International Journal of Services Technology and Management has investigated the effects of leadership style and organisational culture on innovation within companies. The research used qualitative interviews across diverse organizations in Sweden and Sri Lanka and suggests a nuanced relationship between leadership, organizational culture, and innovation and hints at how these might be nudged to boost innovation.

    Ruzlin Akter, Shashiprabha Rathnayaka, and Zahra Ahmadi of the University of Gävle in Gävle, Sweden, surveyed six different organisations and found from their analysis of the results that specific organizational cultures, such as process- and job-oriented cultures, and certain leadership styles, like transactional leadership, can have either a positive or a negative effect on the development of innovation within those companies. However, they demonstrated that result-oriented, employee-oriented, and a pragmatic organisational culture when combined with transformational leadership can be much more effective in fostering innovation.

    Of particular interest, in Sweden is that there can be a unique influence of organizational culture and leadership on specific companies as was found to be the case with one Swedish outlier when compared with its global counterparts. Indeed, whereas many companies have adapted their organizational cultures and leadership styles to enhance innovation, this outlier has adhered to a staid and traditional approach to management and organisational culture and has suffered the negative impact of such a stance on how well it innovates when compared with more forward-looking companies elsewhere.

    From a managerial perspective, the team suggests that the study underscores the part leaders can play within a company as role models. Companies benefit, it seems from a management style that emphasizes openness, flexibility, appreciation of ideas, and the encouragement of employee creativity and empowerment.

    These insights might be used to offer companies that are less innovative, but nevertheless aspirational, a practical approach to the identification of obstacles to innovation within their organisation. This could help them improve their management style by removing constraining processes, unlocking communication channels, improving transparency, and removing any culture of fear of change and mistakes. Such an approach should stand any company in good stead for becoming more competitive, more innovative, and making a greater contribution to the economy.

    Akter, R., Rathnayaka, S. and Ahmadi, Z. (2023) 'The effect of leadership and organisational culture on organisational innovation', Int. J. Services Technology and Management, Vol. 28, Nos. 5/6, pp.360–388.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2023.135084

  • Research in the International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management has investigated workplace happiness and its impact on productivity within and outside the information technology sector in Delhi. Their findings shed light on the significant impact of workplace happiness on employee engagement and emphasize its universal relevance.

    Sana Vakeel and Sunita Shukla of the ITS Engineering College and Vikas Singh of ITS – The Education Group, all in Greater Noida, India, statistical analyses such as Karl Pearson's correlation and regression methods to glean information from employees surveyed about their jobs and happiness. The analysis found that between a fifth and a quarter (23.7% variance) of employee engagement could be attributed to their happiness in the workplace.

    This degree of statistical significance thus underscores the integral role of employee happiness in fostering organizational success. This points to a need for managers and employers to be aware of their employees' psychological well-being not only as part of an inclusive approach to employment but also for the benefit of the organisation's own well-being.

    Interestingly, the positive correlation observed between workplace happiness and employee engagement holds true in both the IT sector and in other areas of work. The variance in the IT sector was 23.1 percent and slightly lower at 22.8 percent in the non-IT sector, although these two figures are close enough to suggest a universality of workplace happiness influencing employee engagement.

    The team points out that the research corroborates earlier findings that looked at various other factors alongside happiness and job characteristics with regard to employee engagement. The results underscore the strategic importance of prioritizing workplace happiness for the mutual benefit of employee and employer. As businesses grapple with an ever-changing economic environment and a constantly shifting social landscape, it becomes increasingly important to consider factors such as employee happiness.

    Vakeel, S., Shukla, S. and Singh, V. (2023) 'Impact of workplace happiness on employee engagement: a comparative study of IT and non-IT sector employees', Int. J. Public Sector Performance Management, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp.482–496.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJPSPM.2023.135031

  • In the wake of a pandemic caused by an airborne pathogen, it is easy to forget that many other pathogens are transmitted through very different routes. For instance, many diseases that cause serious and sometimes lethal illness are transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces and thence to the nose and mouth, other orifices, or even cuts and wounds. Research in the International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms has looked at whether or not the Internet of Things (IoT) might be used to help combat the spread of disease commonly associated with poor lavatorial hygiene.

    R. Giridhararajan, Ikram Shah, and S. Karthikeyan of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, the Armita University in Coimbatore, and colleagues Shriram K. Vasudevan of the K. Ramakrishnan College of Technology in Trichy, and S.N. Abhishek of the Cognitive Technology and Innovation Centre in Karnataka, India, point out that there are many remote locations with public toilet facilities. Such facilities may not necessarily come under conventional or frequent cleaning and maintenance schedules and so can be a source of hazardous pathogens.

    In addition, there are also toilets at airports, railway stations, on ships, and other modes of transport to consider. While some may be regularly cleaned and well-maintained there is always the potential for this not to be the case and for a toilet to become a hub through which many people become infected with a given pathogen.

    The team points out that microbes such as staphylococcus, escherichia, and streptococcus as well as norovirus and other viruses can cause serious health problems. Children, older people, and those with pre-existing health conditions may be most at risk of sickness and even death.

    A frugal IoT-based system has now been developed by the team that could be used to monitor and help with the hygiene of lavatories. The system uses various sensor inputs, allowing real-time monitoring, data collection, and user feedback on lavatory conditions. Automated alerts generated by the system prompt necessary cleaning and maintenance as required. Such a system ensures quality levels can be maintained and reduces the burden from frequent cleaning to necessary cleaning where facilities have been used little. While, ideally, all lavatories would be cleaned frequently and thoroughly, where staff and budget are constrained, IoT monitoring could ensure that hygiene issues are addressed in a timely manner at well-used and toilets that have become unacceptably dirty while reducing the urgency of cleaning facilities that are little used and generally clean.

    The researchers add that integrating machine learning into the system could improve efficiency still further by predicting usage and soiling patterns over time.

    Giridhararajan, R., Vasudevan, S.K., Shah, I., Karthikeyan, S. and Abhishek, S.N. (2023) 'A system to prevent toiletry (lavatory)-based diseases such as norovirus, staphylococcus, escherichia and streptococcus through IoT and embedded systems', Int. J. Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp.158–170.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJAIP.2023.135027

  • Research in the International Journal of Business Information Systems has used social network analysis to look at the most important and influential users utilising PGP (pretty good privacy) data encryption to reveal where there might be problems that could lead to compromise of data.

    Victor Chang and Qianwen Ariel Xu of Teesside University, Middlesbrough UK, Lina Xiao of Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China, Anastasija Nikiforova of the University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia, Ben S.C. Liu of Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA, point out that PGP is most commonly used in protecting email but there is the issue of ensuring that the encryption keys being used have not been forged and so are not vulnerable to snooping or hacking by malicious third parties.

    The team used social network analysis tools to examine the online interactions of PGP users with a view to identifying putative threats and vulnerabilities in the system. The team conducted two analyses: first a traditional centrality analysis and secondly the less common K-means clustering analysis. The former allowed them to identify the key figures within the network based on higher centrality, which suggests greater influence over other users. The latter, more precise method, allowed them to find clusters of important users in order to give them a comprehensive picture of the overall community structure of the network.

    The team found that there were a range of interaction patterns among PGP users, ranging from frequent to isolated interactions. However, those users with higher centrality, tended to be more frequent PGP users, making them potential targets for scrutiny. The K-means clustering algorithm highlighted influential users who might be perceived as targets by malicious third parties. It also hinted at the converse, where a seemingly influential and trusted user may not be entirely legitimate and may themselves be present and gaining widespread trust for nefarious purposes, such as forging illicit PGP keys for fraudulent, espionage, and other dishonest activities. The implications extend beyond PGP, offering a framework applicable to various domains such as business partnerships, supply chains, and criminal network studies.

    Chang, V., Xiao, L., Nikiforova, A., Xu, Q.A. and Liu, B.S.C. (2023) 'The study of PGP web of trust based on social network analysis', Int. J. Business Information Systems, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp.285–302.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2023.134956

  • Research published in the International Journal of Business Information Systems looks at how effective knowledge management within a project-oriented organization can improve efficiency. The study explores the intricacies of knowledge management, focusing on best practices derived from past experience to enhance future projects.

    In the contemporary business landscape, knowledge is an invaluable asset for most organizations, especially those that are project-driven. The ability to learn from and manage experience creates an environment for the improvement of internal processes, services, and of course, the products that are the essential output of the company. The paper asserts that at the heart of organizational knowledge is project management. As organizations undertake projects, often intricate and constrained by time and budget, handling the knowledge generated is important for running those projects and benefiting future projects.

    The research shows that at least half of the problems encountered during a new project will have been seen in a previous project. Whether they addressed those problems successfully or not is a different matter, but having this knowledge to hand when working on a new project can help guide the team on the new project to build on earlier successes and avoid repeating mistakes.

    One key aspect of the findings is the necessity of measuring learning success. The team echoes Peter Drucker's insight that "we can't manage what we can't measure." The paper thus emphasizes the need for clear objectives and a strategic framework for successful knowledge management. Project managers, the study suggests, have a critical role to play in fostering a culture of continuous learning and facilitating knowledge transfer between organizational initiatives.

    The researchers allude to a model proposed within the pharmaceutical industry in 1999. However, they also suggest that contemporary research must now validate the relevance of that model in the current era. Moreover, the researchers stress the need for adaptability to future situations and environments as new projects are initiated. They advocate for the development of distinct models tailored to specific project types and their integration into the project management system with knowledge management at its heart.

    Pereira, L., da Costa, R.L., Dias, Á., Gonçalves, R. and Santos, R. (2023) 'How can you manage the knowledge of your projects?', Int. J. Business Information Systems, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp.180–201.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2023.134947

  • Online businesses often use personalized pricing strategies to entice new customers to buy but at the detriment to loyal customers who simply get offered the standard price. According to research in the International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, which has examined market dynamics in this context, there is a complex interplay between suppliers, retailers, and customers. In the world of pricing and advertising competition, dominant and weaker retailers could do well to understand the pros and cons of their strategies in terms of their bottom line.

    Biao Ma and Li Li of Nanjing University of Science and Technology in Jiangsu Province, China have found that dominant retailers consistently opt for unified pricing, a fixed strategy, while weaker retailers employ personalized pricing when it is cost-effective and only use unified pricing when they perceive it not to be. Weaker retailers generally imagine that personalised pricing will lead to greater profits.

    Historically, dominant retailers with significant market power, can, of course, secure products at lower wholesale cost, when compared with the prices at which weaker retailers are able to buy their stock. The fundamental issue is that the smaller retailer simply lacks bargaining power and cannot compete on its offering to consumers without turning to personalized pricing strategies, a strategy facilitated by e-commerce.

    The perception is that a personalized pricing strategy draws in new customers without alienating loyal customers, although wily consumers will be well aware that retailers use this approach to price and may be deterred from sticking with a retailer if they feel they are being duped or can get a better deal elsewhere.

    The new study builds a model to look at how pricing and advertising competition guide retailer decision-making and ultimately the profits they make. The model challenges the assumption that personalized pricing universally benefits retailers, highlighting that intense price competition actually favours their suppliers. Moreover, it becomes obvious from the work that information technology can shape personalized pricing but does not necessarily control the effectiveness of personalised pricing strategies across markets. The work emphasises the importance of recognizing asymmetric markets, where dominant retailers embrace unified pricing, and weaker retailers flip between personalized and unified pricing.

    Ma, B. and Li, L. (2023) 'Who can profit from personalised pricing – supplier, retailers, or consumers?', Int. J. Networking and Virtual Organisations, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp.183–210.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2023.134990

  • A study in the International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies has looked at the dynamics of student peers helping each other with their educational needs. Peer mentoring and collaborative learning are highlighted but the research shows a worrying phenomenon whereby a high-performing student becomes resentful of a fellow student to whom they give assistance when that student then outperforms them and achieves higher grades. Such resentment might well scupper efforts to encourage peer mentoring and collaborative learning and must be taken into consideration when developing educational programs to facilitate such approaches to study.

    Shih Yung Chou, Niyati Kataria, Shainell Joseph, and Charles Ramser of the Dillard College of Business Administration at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA, conducted a qualitative study of 113 undergraduate students enrolled on a business program. They explored the students' motivations behind peer assistance and the interplay between assistance and resentment, and the impact these had on subsequent student behaviour.

    Peer helping, a form of student-student interaction where knowledge is shared voluntarily to aid every student's understanding of the course materials, is widely recognized as having a broadly positive impact in education. However, the new study, using a grounded theory approach to analyze qualitative data, sheds light on the putative emotional fallout of peer assistance that, for some students, might have negative effects on some students and so hinder future collaboration.

    The team identified various reasons as to why students might help their peers: a sense of moral obligation, mastery of course material, or simple requests from their fellow students for help. There is a critical pivot point around which the student helper may feel aggrieved and resentful of the successes of the student they help, however. Such resentment is triggered by factors such as a perceived lack of effort from their peer or an imbalance in the give-and-take dynamic. This can significantly influence the helper's future behaviour in this context, making it less likely that they will agree to helping any of their peers in the future.

    The researchers suggest that educators and educational policymakers need to address the emotional and interpersonal aspects of peer assistance so that collaboration among students can be sustained. There is a need to maximize the mutual benefits of collaborative learning, while minimizing potential problems that can arise.

    Chou, S.Y., Kataria, N., Joseph, S. and Ramser, C. (2023) 'I shouldn't have helped you! When and why the student helper resents helping the peer: a qualitative inquiry', Int. J. Teaching and Case Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp.148–165.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTCS.2023.134847

  • Research in the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing has looked at the dynamics of affordable innovations and investments and shed light on the role played by products and services designed for economically constrained consumers. The research shows that contrary to a popular misconception that many innovations in this area are low-tech, they can encompass complex, tailored solutions addressing the specific needs of people of limited financial means.

    Nadine Gurtner and Sebastian Gurtner of Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland and Ariane Segelitz-Karsten of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany distinguished between affordable and premium innovators in their study. The new work challenges previous studies that identified general drivers for innovative behaviour and instead emphasizes the need to recognize the unique factors that influence different types of innovation. The findings offer new insights for the innovating companies themselves, policymakers, and society in general.

    The team has focused on innovations such as "OneDollarGlasses". This device can produce lenses for spectacles at a cost of just one dollar. Such an innovation offers individuals in developing countries an opportunity to make a living selling such spectacles even to those in poverty. In a slightly different vein, General Electric's VScan, a portable medical ultrasound machine, stands out as an example of affordable innovation, offering a cost-effective alternative to conventional medical equipment for cash-strapped hospitals and maternity units.

    The research highlights the various drivers for affordable and premium innovators and emphasizes the pivotal role of individual commitment in shaping the course of innovation. Such insights could guide companies hoping to innovate and help them find the appropriate personnel present within their organisations or to hire the right people from outside.

    From the point of view of society, the research also underscores how fostering innovation is important. While what we might refer to as premium innovations address certain challenges, affordable innovations are often more desirable and perhaps even essential in helping low-income populations. Policymakers could lubricate the machinery of innovation through specific, targeted actions, such as awards recognizing successful endeavours. This would not only boost the value to society but encourage individuals to actively participate in developing the very solutions that will benefit those in the most need.

    Gurtner, N., Segelitz-Karsten, A., Reinhardt, R. and Gurtner, S. (2023) 'Affordable or premium innovation? The influence of individual and contextual factors on innovators' engagement in different innovation types', Int. J. Entrepreneurial Venturing, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp.468–506.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2023.134934

  • In the world of entrepreneurship, the choice between venture capital and angel funding stands can be critical for the long-term success of a startup company. Traditionally, companies backed by venture capital are hailed as the frontrunners in success, overshadowing their angel-funded counterparts. However, a recent in-depth study of the Indian startup landscape published in the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, challenges the received wisdom and sheds new light on a more nuanced perspective.

    Praveen M. Kulkarni of the KLS Institute of Management Education and Research, Y.M. Satish of the MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, and Prayag Gokhale of KLE Tech, Belagavi Campus, all in Karnataka, India, looked at the economically vibrant backdrop of Bengaluru. This region is perhaps India's leading startup hub with over 5000 ventures across many diverse sectors. The research investigates the performance of startups based on their funding sources, venture capital or angel funding. The findings have implications in this region and way beyond it.

    The researchers emphasize the significance of adopting a professional approach and utilizing appropriate performance metrics for startups in the Indian business milieu. Unlike earlier research that often simply drew from the experiences of established small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or larger corporations, this study instead focuses on the distinctive framework of startup ecosystems.

    Venture capital funding is well known for not only injecting capital into a fledgling company but also in providing invaluable experience and knowledge-based support for the company. Angel funding, on the other hand, tends to operate through third-party arrangements and while it allows startups to retain complete ownership and control, this means angel-funded startups do not necessarily benefit from the external expertise crucial for sustained growth that is almost a given with venture funding.

    Kulkarni, P.M., Satish, Y.M. and Gokhale, P. (2023) 'Performance measures of startups', Int. J. Entrepreneurial Venturing, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp.409–422.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2023.134932

  • A study published in the International Journal of Economics and Business Research looks at rural poverty in Indonesia and sheds light on the interplay between the Village Fund program, agricultural sector growth, population migration, and changes in land use. The study used multigroup structural equation modelling with WarpPLS (partial least squares) to analyse data obtained from the Central Bureau of Statistics for 33 provinces.

    Earlier work in this area had treated the Village Fund program as an independent variable. The new study, undertaken by Abd. Rahman Razak and Nur Imam Saifullah of Hasanuddin University, Adji Achmad Rinaldo Fernandes of Brawijaya University, reveals that this program has a a moderating effect, influencing the strength of relationships between other key factors associated with rural economics. Critically, the team found that an increase in the Village Fund can either enhance or weaken connections between population migration, changes in land use, agricultural sector growth, and rural poverty.

    The work thus underscores the need for prudent Village Fund management. Funds should be allocated strategically to projects that support agricultural sector growth, maintain land use and help to reduce rural poverty. Strategies such as using the Village Fund for building basic infrastructure, supporting productive agricultural businesses, and developing agro-industry are thus emphasised with a view to ensuring the program has a positive mediating effect overall.

    Fundamentally, in order to address issues such as land use change and outward migration, an annual increase in the Village Fund is needed. Also, effort must be made to attract agricultural sector investors and create an investment-friendly environment in villages. There is a need too, to develop the agricultural sub-sectors at the forefront of each village's economic activity and to emphasize the processing of agricultural products to boost value and improve competitiveness.

    The research offers practical insights for policymakers, advocating for a comprehensive and stimulating approach to using the Village Fund program with a view to improving rural development and the lives of those people living and working in these regions.

    Razak, A.R., Fernandes, A.A.R. and Saifullah, N.I. (2023) 'Moderation of village funds and mediation of agricultural sector growth on poverty in rural areas', Int. J. Economics and Business Research, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp.463–483.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEBR.2023.134882


Inderscience journals newly listed by Cabells

Inderscience's Editorial Office is pleased to announce that the following Inderscience journals have been newly listed in the Cabells database:

Dr. Adrianna Kozierkiewicz appointed as new Editor in Chief of International Journal of Intelligent Information and Database Systems

Dr. Adrianna Kozierkiewicz from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology in Poland has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Intelligent Information and Database Systems.

Prof. Bice Della Piana appointed as new Editor in Chief of European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management

Prof. Bice Della Piana from the University of Salerno in Italy has been appointed to take over editorship of the European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.

Dr. Fan-Hsun Tseng appointed as new Editor in Chief of International Journal of Agile and Extreme Software Development

Dr. Fan-Hsun Tseng from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Agile and Extreme Software Development.

Prof. Adel Sarea appointed as new Editor in Chief of MENA Journal of Cross-Cultural Management

Prof. Adel Sarea from Ahlia University in Bahrain has been appointed to take over editorship of the MENA Journal of Cross-Cultural Management.