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  • The emergence of so-called deepfake technology, which commonly involves the generation of fake images, video, and sound that seem so authentic as to confuse even expert viewers and listeners is at the point where it can influence important aspects of our lives, such as politics, finance, and beyond. This new era of deception sees sophisticated image and video forgeries making the headlines. Often these deepfakes are identified quickly, but sometimes the damage may well already be done once the deepfakes are called out, especially given the rate in which videos and other digital media can go viral on social media.

    Digital manipulations that alter or completely synthesize faces, have become alarmingly convincing, contributing to fake news and eroding public trust in digital media. Research in the International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems has led to a new approach that spots illumination inconsistencies within images and so can identify whether a video or photograph is a deepfake.

    According to Fei Gu, Yunshu Dai, Jianwei Fei, and Xianyi Chen of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology in Nanjing, China, deepfakes, which can be classified into four main types: identity swaps, expression swaps, attribute manipulations, and entire face synthesis. Each poses different threats and risk to. Identity swaps, where one person's face is replaced with another's, and expression swaps, which transfer facial expressions from one individual to another, are particularly worrying. Deepfakes can cause serious harm to the reputation and perception of the individuals or groups that are being deepfaked.

    The usual approach to deepfake detection is to take a binary classification approach. However, the conventional approach can fail if the video or images are highly compressed or of poor quality. Compression and quality can obfuscate facial features and reduce the trust in deepfake detection.

    Even expert deepfakers can falter when it comes to getting the lighting matched perfectly between altered and unaltered regions in an image or video. It is this issue that Gu and colleagues have focused on in their detection method, which uses a neural network to spot illumination discrepancies.

    Gu, F., Dai, Y., Fei, J. and Chen, X. (2024) 'Deepfake detection and localisation based on illumination inconsistency', Int. J. Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp.352–368.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJAACS.2024.139383

  • Middle managers play an important role in an organisation undergoing structural change. They are the ones who must implement the changes, but conversely as employees they will be subject to the very changes they put in place. This can often put them in a place of conflicting demands, where they must manage their own stress and uncertainty while carrying out new directives that will affect their colleagues and subordinates.

    A study in the International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion has taken a major bank as a case study in order to look at how middle managers might cope with this stress during corporate restructuring and what strategies they might use to overcome the stress and find their way around the many challenges.

    Pravitha Jogie, Annemarie Davis, and Catherine Le Roux of the Department of Business Management at the University of South Africa in the City of Tshwane suggest that middle managers generally respond to corporate restructuring in one of two ways. They either cope or they "cop out" and evade the responsibilities placed on them in some way. The team explains that coping usually involves proactive strategies such as positive reframing, where managers view themselves as agents of change and engage with the process. Positive reframing allows middle managers to perceive restructuring as an opportunity for growth and improvement. By contrast, "copping out" refers to disengagement and withdrawal behaviour, such as territorialism, where the middle manager protects their own interests and is perhaps involved in spreading rumours, all of which can disrupt the restructuring process but also provide something of a psychological escape route for the managers who engage in such behaviour.

    The business environment has always been marked by constant change where globalization, economic fluctuations, technological advancements, and international crises affect the way a company operates and its bottom line. The team explains that the financial services sector faces particularly intense competition, regulatory changes, and digital transformation. These factors have led to frequent organizational restructuring for many companies, which puts pressure on the middle managers to interpret, communicate, and implement new structures and strategies.

    The research suggests that it is obviously better that middle managers cope rather than cop out, and points to the learning of new skills and networking with peers and mentors as being useful tools to help in this regard. They even suggest that engaging in hobbies or other "extracurricular" activities might be useful coping mechanisms. It is possible then for a manager to maintain a sense of control and purpose, as this is essential for their mental well-being and their productivity in the workplace, as well as ensuring the same for colleagues and subordinates.

    However, the research often showed the converse. Middle managers might become withdrawn and disengage from the task at hand. This was especially common among managers who felt powerless or unsupported, indicating a need for organisations to foster a supportive environment to ensure smooth restructuring when this is needed.

    Jogie, P., Davis, A. and Le Roux, C. (2024) 'Middle managers' practices during organisational restructuring: coping or copping out?', Int. J. Work Organisation and Emotion, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp.1–21.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2024.139912

  • The Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus, is renowned for its striking appearance and perhaps even more than that, its remarkable long-distance migration. The population present in North America heads south each year in the late-summer, early autumn, travelling thousands of miles to its wintering grounds. The prowess of these magnificent butterflies as natural aviators is beyond doubt. Unlike almost every other species of butterfly, Monarchs do not have coupled forewings and hindwings. This gives them unique flight stability and manoeuvrability that allows them to generate great lift and navigate efficiently, even at low speeds and high angles of attack.

    Research in Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, An International Journal, has investigated the aerodynamics of the Monarch Butterfly. The work provides new insights into the species itself but also points to the potential for non-fixed wing micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs). Fadile Yudum Comez and Dilek Funda Kurtulus of the Middle East Technical University, and Nevsan Sengil of the University of Turkish Aeronautical Association in Ankara, Turkey, have used a model of the butterfly's wings to investigate the flow field around fully opened forewings at various angles of attack. With this study, the team hoped to understand the complex aerodynamic phenomena that allow these butterflies to fly so well.

    The researchers used computational fluid dynamics simulations, including unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations, to analyse the airflow around the model of the Monarch's rigid wings. An important finding from the study was the recognition of significant differences in the aerodynamic performance in smooth (laminar) or turbulent flow models, particularly at higher angles of attack. They showed that the maximum lift-to-drag ratio was achieved at an angle of 30 degrees, but the wings "stall" at 40 degrees. Such insights will be useful in designing and developing micro-aerial vehicles that might mimic Monarchs. Such flying machines may well one day be magnificent, but the designs will have to be able to copy with unsteady aerodynamic effects.

    Comez, F.Y., Sengil, N. and Kurtulus, D.F. (2024) 'Three-dimensional flow evaluation of monarch butterfly wing', Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp.191–203.
    DOI: 10.1504/PCFD.2024.139335

  • Research in the International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation has investigated how the preparedness of university students and graduates for the complexities of the job market might be improved. A software application that integrates challenge-based learning (CBL) with a personalized chatbot is introduced and the benefits discussed. The findings suggest that this innovative approach might well address some of the longstanding issues associated with conventional education and how to equip students with both the technical knowledge and the soft skills required in the world of work.

    Andrea Sofia Cornejo Paredes, Alexander Acuña Ramírez, Beatrice Cueva Medina, Aremi Isabel Paja Medina, José David Esquicha Tejada, and José Alfredo Sulla-Torres of the Universidad Católica de Santa María in Arequipa, Perú, explain that challenge-based learning, CBL, is a learner-centric educational tool that focuses on solving real-world problems and conducting research that contributes to societal development. The approach contrasts with conventional learning methods, which often prioritize theoretical knowledge over practical applications. By focusing on real-world challenges, CBL can be used to help learners develop critical skills such as teamwork, effective communication, and problem-solving.

    In the present work, the team has developed software, a mobile application, or app, using agile methodologies including the open workbench Scrum and a lean startup approach. These prioritize iterative development, user feedback, and minimal wasted resources, so that the final product meets user needs most efficiently. The app facilitates the publication and management of both academic and business challenges, providing a dynamic platform for students to apply their theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios.

    One of the main features of this application is its integration of a personalized chatbot. This AI-driven assistant supports students by answering queries related to CBL, so improving their understanding and effective use of the learning approach itself. The chatbot can offer immediate, tailored responses so that the learners receive the help they need precisely when they need it, making the learning process more efficient and engaging.

    Cornejo Paredes, A.S., Acuña Ramírez, A., Cueva Medina, B., Paja Medina, A.I., Esquicha Tejada, J.D. and Sulla-Torres, J.A. (2024) 'Mobile application that integrates challenge-based learning with a chatbot to encourage innovation in university students', Int. J. Mobile Learning and Organisation, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp.363–380.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2024.139718

  • Research in the International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy has looked at the concept of "fight-or-flight", a behavioural theory that was first proposed by American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon in 1915. The idea also "hyperarousal" or the "acute stress response" is an animal's physiological reaction to threats and is a survival response to that threat. Vidar Top, Carl Åberg, and Ole Boe of the University of South-Eastern Norway, have focused on fight-or-flight in the context of human conflict. They have undertaken a comprehensive literature review and carried out a comparative concept analysis to develop a unified understanding of how people react under pressure.

    The fight-or-flight concept has underpinned our understanding of animal behaviour and our own actions for more than a century. The concept has also evolved in that time and been applied to many different situations from one on one interactions, conflicts in the workplace, and at the international level.

    The team points out that despite extensive research, there remain inconsistencies and competing arguments about how emotions like anger and fear affect our behaviour. In order to address these inconsistencies, the team has analysed various word pairs related to the fight-or-flight response, finding that the terms "violence" and "silence" are common reference points that can encapsulate much of the behaviour associated with fight-or-flight. This, the team suggests, might unify diverse research perspectives and so could help with cross-disciplinary collaboration.

    One of the study's insights is the redefinition of silence. We might have conventionally perceived silence as a passive behaviour. However, in some contexts, silence is very much a proactive stance, often a deliberate tactic to withhold information from an aggressor. Silence might thus be a non-verbal form of violence, presenting as passive-aggressive behaviour. Silence may therefore have a much more active role in workplace dynamics, for instance, where it might be used to navigate office politics or ostracize colleagues.

    Conversely, the study also redefines the term "violence" to include aggressive communication tactics. This kind of non-physical action is often used by leaders to gain support or intimidate opponents. There are more subtle power plays and emotional undercurrents in human interactions than the simplistic "fight-or-flight" might suggest. In other words, by expanding the definitions of violence and silence in this way, the researchers have moved the theory beyond a binary paradigm and revealed a more complex picture of how we respond to conflict.

    Such new understanding might help in conflict management and so allow us to foster innovation, strengthen relationships at all levels, and enhance decision-making.

    Top, V., Åberg, C. and Boe, O. (2024) 'Revisiting Walter Bradford Cannon's 100-year-old fight-or-flight concept', Int. J. Management Concepts and Philosophy, Vol. 17, No. 5, pp.1–35.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2024.139807

  • Business environments that foster innovative work behaviour can become more competitive. If employees can introduce new ideas, processes, and solutions, then the company can thrive. An intriguing, yet little explored, factor that can significantly influence this is discussed in the International Journal of Work Innovation – workplace humour.

    A. Rajeswari and Pulidindi Venugopal of the Vellore Institute of Technology in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India, discuss how workplace humour, often seen as merely a source of entertainment, can have a greater significance in terms of employee attitudes, motivation, and overall work dynamics. The team has looked at the relationship between positive humour and innovative work behaviour, having surveyed 236 information technology (IT) employees. They found a positive association using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling to analyse the results of their survey. The work suggests that a workplace culture encouraging humour might improve innovative behaviour among employees and ultimately improve the company's bottom line.

    Humour as a way to tighten social bonds among employees, reduce stress, and even improve overall well-being has been noted in earlier studies. The benefits lead to greater job satisfaction, improved communication among colleagues, and better performance. There are additional benefits in terms of improved group cohesion, higher employee engagement, and reduced numbers of employees suffering burnout.

    It is important that any company hoping to harness the power of humour should ensure it promotes positive, constructive humour that enhances well-being and creativity. There are various strategies that a company might use such as encouraging light-hearted interactions, celebrating successes with humour, and creating opportunities for employees to share amusing experiences.

    Leadership thus plays an important role in setting the tone for humour in the workplace. Managers who are role models for positive humour can create an environment where employees feel safe to express themselves creatively and engage more deeply with their work. This top-down approach can ensure that humour is part of the organizational ethos and so cultivate an environment where a cohesive and happy workforce can grow and innovate to the benefit of both employee and employer.

    Rajeswari, A. and Venugopal, P. (2024) 'Examining the role of workplace humour in stimulating innovative work behaviour – an empirical investigation using structural equation modelling', Int. J. Work Innovation, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp.226–243.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJWI.2024.139443

  • Education and financial support are critical to whether or not women become entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, according to research in the International Journal of Business and Emerging Markets. The same study, which surveyed more than 350 female entrepreneurs, also suggests that government, social support, and national culture do not substantially influence a woman's decision to pursue entrepreneurship.

    Md. Shahadat Hossain of the Universiti Putra Malaysia, Weng Marc Lim of Sunway University both in Selangor, Malaysia, and Md Asadul Islam of BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, discuss how the global rise of female entrepreneurship is an important trend. It has been driven by technological advancements that have democratized access to business opportunities. Digital platforms have made it easier and safer for women to engage in entrepreneurial activities, facilitating online sales and other business operations. This is particularly apparent in developing nations. However, despite the progress, women entrepreneurs continue to face significant challenges associated with caregiving responsibilities, a lack of family support, and barriers across society.

    The team suggests that understanding the motivations of female entrepreneurs is important to improving access to business and support. It will help in increasing the number of women entering the entrepreneurial space, provide support for those already engaged in entrepreneurial activities, and boost the potential of female entrepreneurship.

    Education equips women with the knowledge and skills for starting and running their own businesses. An improved understanding of the impact of education can help fill knowledge gaps and guide both educators and policymakers. Financial support, which includes access to funding for business start-up and growth, is also a critical factor in whether women choose to start a business. There is perhaps now a need for better financial interventions to foster female entrepreneurship.

    The researchers suggest that the work could have far-reaching implications, particularly in developing nations and in collectivist societies, such as Bangladesh, where traditional support mechanisms may be less effective. There is a need to empower women through education and financial resources more effectively and to move away from relying on somewhat lacking government support structures as well as surmounting social barriers.

    Hossain, M.S., Lim, W.M. and Islam, M.A. (2024) 'Women entrepreneurship: the role of education, national culture, and various supports', Int. J. Business and Emerging Markets, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp.429–452.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJBEM.2024.139473

  • Aligning curricula with industry need has long been recognized as an important factor in making academic courses relevant to the job market. One effective approach involves educators collaborating with industry stakeholders to help shape the academic programs offered. Such collaboration leads to knowledge exchange and potentially an improved social impact of the education system in areas relevant to industry. Such an approach can help equip students with practical skills and knowledge that will be valued by potential employers

    Research in the International Journal of Business Performance Management looks at one method of aligning higher education curricula with industry requirements through an industry-driven curriculum framework. Tamilselvan Mahalingam of the Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai Men's Campus in Dubai International Academic City, UAE, has worked with subject-matter experts from various sectors to review syllabuses in order to identify gaps. The research shows the benefits of the approach in a specific institutional setting, which may well be more widely applicable. The results show the value of integrating an industry-driven curriculum framework into curriculum design and delivery to bridge the gap between academic offerings and industry needs.

    Of course, the concept of co-creating curricula is not new, and many educational institutions worldwide have adopted it with varying success. The research literature shows the benefits of such collaborations, including better graduate employability and curricula that better reflect industry requirements. However, the approaches to engaging industry partners differ significantly among institutions, and clear governance structures for these collaborations have proven advantageous.

    Mahalingam's approach fits the mould in this regard. Instead of focusing on developing generic frameworks and best practices and overlooking specific recommendations for co-creating curricula, the new work offers a dedicated framework. This framework can be integrated with the institution's existing governance system in order to improve collaboration and course content. Mahalingam demonstrates how valuable this framework approach could be and adds that continuous evaluation and adaptation would be important to maintaining its effectiveness in an ever-changing industry landscape.

    Mahalingam, T. (2024) 'Bridging the gap between academia and industry: a case study of collaborative curriculum development', Int. J. Business Performance Management, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp.589–603.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2024.139482

  • Research in the International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development has found that our feelings and attitudes during times of crises affect our behaviour and that during a globally testing times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, governments should make themselves fully aware of this prior to communicating with the public on the policy matters associated with addressing such a crisis.

    Kirti Dutta of Rishihood University in Haryana, India, Guillaume P. Fernandez of the Academy of Marketing and Communications SAWI in Geneva, Bart F. Norré and Joaquin Fernandez of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland in Marly, Switzerland, Dorota Reykowska of NEUROHM and Rafal Ohme of WSB University in Warsaw, Poland, Dunia Harajli of the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon, used the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) in their study. They focused on declared behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany and Sweden. Their findings offer useful insight for policymakers hoping to improve the government response to such a health crisis.

    TPB, originally developed by social psychologist Icek Ajzen, extended the theory of reasoned action and suggests that our behaviour has three main drivers: personal attitudes and views towards that behaviour, subjective norms, such as perceived social pressures to perform or not perform said behaviour, and perceived behavioural control, the ease or difficulty faced in performing the behaviour.

    Dutta and colleagues used this framework to look at the complex way in which people responded to the pandemic. Fundamentally, they found that people's perceived threats from the pandemic significantly affected their behaviour, as one might expect. But, the effect was both direct and indirect, and attitude then played an important part in how people responded to the different ways in which governments attempted to handle the pandemic. The team notes that in Australia and New Zealand, where the speed with which COVID-19 spread was lower than elsewhere, there were higher levels of social cooperation and positive public attitudes towards the health measures implemented by government. In contrast, the USA, India, and Brazil encountered challenges because of a lower level of public compliance.

    The research suggests that policymakers must prioritize understanding and shaping public attitudes through better strategic communication. This would allow them to improve the positive impact of any health measures needed during a future pandemic. Of course, public compliance during such a crisis may well pivot markedly depending on the behaviour and compliance of those policymakers themselves.

    In the broader context of the COVID-19 pandemic, these findings emphasize the importance of public attitudes in shaping behaviour. Governments worldwide will have to face global crises again. The study offers useful pointers on enhancing public health strategies and fostering greater social cooperation.

    Dutta, K., Fernandez, G.P., Norré, B.F., Reykowska, D., Ohme, R., Harajli, D. and Fernandez, J. (2024) 'Knowledge of declared behaviour: effect of attitude and intention', Int. J. Knowledge-Based Development, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp.133–161.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJKBD.2024.139361

  • Research in the International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing has investigated the effect of celebrity endorsements on consumer attitudes and purchasing decisions. The work focused on particular well-known brands and the influence of fan identification.

    Eduardo Fons, Maria-José Miquel-Romero, Manuel Cuadrado-García, and Juan D. Montoro-Pons of the University of Valencia in Valencia, Spain, surveyed 324 Spanish football league fans. They asked questions to find out about brand recall, brand attitudes, and purchase intentions related to celebrity-endorsed sports brands. The team's findings challenge the received wisdom that prominent brands significantly benefit from celebrity endorsements. Indeed, the implication is that the glamour has faded somewhat and that fans in this niche are perhaps experiencing celebrity fatigue when it comes to these kinds of so-called influencers.

    Since the 1960s, sport has evolved into a major form of mass entertainment. Athletes in many sporting areas, particularly football (soccer) leading players at the big teams have become celebrities. As such, these people can attract not only enormous fees from their clubs but command significant sponsorship from brands hoping to exploit their fame.

    Billions of dollars are invested in sponsorships each year, with some two-thirds of that being directed toward sports. Celebrity endorsement as a marketing strategy has for many years been a big part of this especially in attempting to influence younger people with disposable income.

    However, the present study suggests that the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements depends on the attributes of both the celebrity and the brand. Celebrities and brands bring unique characteristics to an endorsement relationship, and their compatibility can significantly impact the campaign's success. The team adds that until this work there was something of a gap in the research literature regarding the differential effects of celebrities and brands in endorsement campaigns, especially when both are already well-known.

    The most important finding from the work is that a fan's identification with a celebrity plays a crucial role in their perception of endorsements. Fans who strongly identify with a celebrity are more likely to recall the endorsed brand and exhibit positive attitudes and purchase intentions towards it. However, for prominent brands, celebrity endorsement does not change this significantly. In other words, celebrity endorsement does not necessarily boost sales of a previously strong and prominent brand. Marketing departments for such brands might save their money and side-step the sports stars.

    Fons, E., Miquel-Romero, M-J., Cuadrado-García, M. and Montoro-Pons, J.D. (2024) 'I like you, but I don't need you: the diminishing returns of celebrity endorsement for popular brands', Int. J. Sport Management and Marketing, Vol. 24, Nos. 3/4, pp.244–261.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2024.138985

News

Electronic Government indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index

Inderscience's Editorial Office is delighted to report that Electronic Government, an International Journal has been indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index

The journal's Editor in Chief, Dr. June Wei, would like to take this opportunity to express her deep appreciation to her Editorial Board Members and to Inderscience's Editorial Office staff. She says, "It is all their hard work and great support over the years that's brought Electronic Government the success of being indexed in Clarivate's ESCI."

New Clarivate Web of Science impact factors for Inderscience journals

Clarivate has recently released its latest impact factors, and Inderscience's Editorial Office is pleased to report that many Inderscience journals have increased their impact factors, particularly the European Journal of Industrial Engineering, International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, International Journal of Applied Pattern Recognition and International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics.

Impact factors are displayed on all indexed journals' homepages. We congratulate all the editors, board members, reviewers and authors who have contributed to these latest indexing achievements.

New Scopus CiteScores for Inderscience journals

Scopus has now released its 2023 CiteScores. Inderscience's Editorial Office is pleased to report that many Inderscience journals have improved their CiteScores, particularly the following titles:

All CiteScores are available on indexed journals' homepages. The Editorial Office thanks all of the editors, board members, authors and reviewers who have helped to make these successes possible.

Prof. Zongqing Zhou appointed as new Editor in Chief of International Journal of Hospitality and Event Management

Prof. Zongqing Zhou from the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators in the USA has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Hospitality and Event Management.

International Journal of Vehicle Performance indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index

Inderscience is pleased to announce the news that the International Journal of Vehicle Performance has been indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index.

The journal's Editor in Chief, Dr. Xiaobo Yang, has offered the following comments:

"I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the inclusion of the International Journal of Vehicle Performance (IJVP) in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI). This marks a significant milestone for IJVP and reflects the dedication and hard work of our editorial team, contributors and reviewers.

Inclusion in ESCI not only acknowledges the quality and relevance of the research published in our journal, but also enhances the journal's visibility and accessibility across the global academic community. We are confident that this will further encourage scholarly contributions and enrich the discourse within the field of vehicle systems performance.

We are committed to maintaining and improving the standards that have led to this achievement. This recognition provides us with the motivation to continue our efforts in publishing high-quality research and fostering academic excellence."