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  • The responsibility for maintaining online safety relies on content moderators particularly in times of crisis. However, not all platforms even have moderation systems in place and so disinformation, misinformation, propaganda, and fake news often circulate freely. The time of the COVID-19 pandemic was a case in point, but the propagation of fake news occurs during times of political change and in the wake of other kinds of crises and socioeconomic upheaval. However, there is much content online that is illegal rather than simply being fake and that must be removed summarily.

    Some social media platforms and websites do have individuals and even teams who are tasked with checking user-generated content to ensure it does not contravene the law. Elena Martellozzo, Paula Bradbury, Ruth Spence, and Jeffrey DeMarco of Middlesex University, London, UK, and Paul Bleakley of the University of New Haven, West Haven, USA, point out that during and after the COVID-19 pandemic there was a surge in the volume of illegal content. They report details of their findings and the implications in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management.

    The researchers have looked at the experience of content moderators during this period and their findings offer new insights into how this important online role can affect the moderators' mental well-being. Indeed, the upward trend in illegal material being shared online, exacerbated by lockdown measures during the pandemic, put the content moderators under immense pressure. There was a heightened risk of personal burnout, mental health problems, and even trauma when it came to particular kinds of illegal content that required moderation. The new findings suggest that there is an urgent need to improve the working conditions and personnel backup for such moderators.

    Lessons drawn from the pandemic era should provide service providers and their staff, including their content moderators, useful guidance for the improvement of working conditions. Employers must prioritize mental health support, fair compensation, and comprehensive training, the research suggests. This is especially important given the role played by content moderators in helping to remove illegal content from the internet.

    The researchers add that clear communication, professional development opportunities, and tailored support mechanisms, particularly for those working remotely or in a hybrid work environment, are important considerations for employers and service providers.

    Martellozzo, E., Bleakley, P., Bradbury, P., Spence, R. and DeMarco, J. (2024) 'Supporting digital key workers: addressing the challenges faced by content moderators during and after the COVID-19 pandemic', Int. J. Technology, Policy and Management, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp.212–228.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTPM.2024.137818

  • The advent of crowdfunding, whereby innovative ideas find financial backing from the collective support of online communities, such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, has allowed countless projects to become viable in recent years. Many of those projects, while attractive and ultimately successful, may never have garnered support from conventional investors and backers. Of course, not all crowdfunding enterprises are successful, and a study in the International Journal of Electronic Business has looked at how much effect first impressions has on what a campaign might ultimately achieve.

    Mathupayas Thongmak of the Thammasat Business School at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, has focused on Indiegogo as a well-known crowdfunding platform. She points out that to date, the rate of success among crowdfunding campaigns remains relatively low. The present study offers insights that might help putative campaigners develop a more effective strategy for success.

    Presentation is almost all when it comes to a successful campaign. Potential backers wading through many project options commonly rely on first impressions to decide whether to investigate a given campaign further. In other words, an attractive thumbnail image, text introduction, and category choice, are vital. Without them, most backers scanning for opportunities will simply swipe left, to use the parlance of dating apps, where such a swipe amounts to a rejection.

    Earlier work has looked at the factors that coincide with a successful crowdfunding campaign, but Thongmak has used descriptive statistics, word clouds, tree maps, and hierarchical regression analysis to analyse data from more than 300 campaigns to look at what characterises successful outcomes. It seems that timing is almost everything, but appropriate category choice can affect success rate for campaigners significantly. Moreover, the most likely to succeed are campaigns in the technology and innovation sectors, with health and fitness products featuring prominently, followed by home, travel, and outdoor equipment. It is worth noting that text on a thumbnail image did not affect success rate. As such, Thongmak suggests that campaigners should use their thumbnail image to make their project stand out more from the other images through the choice of a more creative design and colour scheme.

    Thongmak, M. (2024) 'Does first impression count? A look at Indiegogo campaigns on the 'Explore All Projects' page', Int. J. Electronic Business, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp.181–208.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2024.137688

  • Research in the International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics has looked at the various factors that affect the overall effectiveness of shipping alliances in the container shipping industry. These alliances, formed as cooperative agreements between container carriers, have become an important part of the industry, providing benefits such as expanded market access, operational efficiency, and keeping companies afloat in turbulent times.

    Hui Ting Lu, Kum Fai Yuen, and Kim Hock Tan of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Guanqiu Qi of Chung-Ang University in South Korea surveyed 180 executives from major shipping lines involved in prominent alliances. They used the survey results to identify 20 factors associated with successful alliances. They then measured the impact of these factors, such as opportunistic behaviour and constructive coordination, on outcomes for the companies involved in the alliances.

    In order to formalise their results, the team categorized the critical success factors as: alliance rationale and conditions, partner search and selection, partnership design, partnership implementation, and partnership outcome evaluation. Within these different phases, the team found that alliance rationale and conditions in particular influenced constructive coordination among partners.

    The team also used various theoretical frameworks, such as transaction cost theory, resource-based view, knowledge-based theory, sociological approaches, and general management and leadership theory to provide a comprehensive understanding of critical success factors and how they relate to those different phases and the outcomes among shipping alliances.

    The team found that the initial phases of alliance building depended on strong foundations built through careful partner selection and the ongoing strength of the alliance needed a good working relationship for its implementation but also continuous evaluation of the pros and cons. The researchers also found that success depended on the ability for partners to adapt to external factors such as regulatory changes and cybersecurity threats to maintain coordination and achieve their goals.

    The container shipping industry must ride the waves of changing markets. The research highlights a continued need for improved understanding of how alliances between different companies can work and to allow them to navigate safely through smooth seas and dire straits.

    Lu, H.T., Yuen, K.F., Tan, K.H. and Qi, G. (2024) 'Critical success factors of strategic alliance in the shipping industry', Int. J. Shipping and Transport Logistics, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp.111–137.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2024.137890

  • An analysis of glacial data spanning four decades has provided valuable insights into the changes taking place in the glaciers of the Pir Panjal range within the Kashmir basin in India. The research, published in the International Journal of Hydrology Science and Technology, analysed data for the period 1980 to 2020. It reveals significant losses in glacial mass and points out just how important this could be for the people and ecosystems that rely on the melt waters from these glaciers. It also highlights the flood risks associated with sudden catastrophic changes in the glaciers as they melt.

    Mohmad Ashraf Ganaie and Syed Kaiser Bukhari of the National Institute of Technology Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India, identified 122 glaciers that by 2020 had decreased notably in size since 1980. For example, a glacial region of almost 26 kilometres in 1980 had shrunk to just under 16 square kilometres by 2020. One particular glacial watershed, Vishaw, which encompasses 55 glaciers, had lost more than 6 square kilometres.

    Topography plays an important role in how rapidly glaciers have receded during this period of time. The smaller glaciers, those less than or equal to 0.5 square kilometre, were found to be receded faster than the bigger glaciers. Moreover, south-facing glaciers and those at lower elevations demonstrated too were receding more rapidly, the team found. The different rates of glacial loss suggest that there are many complex factors at play.

    The Himalayan glaciers are a vital source of water for those in their shadow. They play a major role in sustaining river flow and supporting human activities such as agriculture and hydroelectric power generation, as well maintaining the natural, local ecosystems, wildlife, and habitats. The impact of glacial loss will be gradual, but with accelerating loss due to climate change there is the risk of melted glacial lakes suddenly release huge volumes of water downstream, which could devastate human settlements and the ecosystems in its path.

    Historically, there have been limited numbers of remote sensors and monitoring of the glaciers in this region. There is now a pressing need to understand the changes taking place and the effect these changes will have on water resource management, flood risk, and the local environment.

    Ganaie, M.A. and Bukhari, S.K. (2024) 'Inventory and status of glaciers in the Pir Panjal Range Kashmir basin between 1980 and 2020', Int. J. Hydrology Science and Technology, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp.319–347.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJHST.2024.137781

  • Employee engagement among independent gig workers is an important issue facing organisations working with remote teams and individuals. A study in the International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy which looked at the connections between gig workers and their client teams, suggests there is a need to improve engagement to improve working conditions, well-being, and mental health for remote workers.

    The gig economy is a labour market where individuals work on short-term contracts or as long-term freelancers. Freelancers have been a part of the economy for many years, but in the digital era, applications and platforms have opened up many jobs that were previously restricted to the conventional workplace. Gig workers enjoy flexibility but also face challenges like job security and benefits.

    Rebecca Wason of Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, has used a structured questionnaire based on William Kahn's three facets of employee engagement – meaningfulness, safety, and availability – and found significant differences in gig worker engagement levels. It seems that gig workers commonly feel satisfied with their work, but often feel isolated from their peers and management.

    The research found that many respondents felt a lack of clarity from their managers regarding the significance and purpose of their work was a major problem. In addition, Wason found that some respondents felt that they had insufficient guidance on organisational culture and norms. This, the work suggests, leads to difficulty in integrating within client teams as well as a problem with forming social bonds. This leads to feelings of exclusion and detachment.

    Effective communication, clear task assignment, and supportive organisational structures are all important in improving gig worker engagement. Addressing such issues could improve the working lives of gig workers, as well the outcomes for the organisations for which they work.

    Wason, R. (2024) 'Disengaged: the problem of employee engagement in gig workers', Int. J. Management Concepts and Philosophy, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp.149–160.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2024.137637

  • The global COVID-19 pandemic caused much suffering and tragedy and continues to do so. One aspect of our everyday lives that was massively disrupted was education. Conventional classroom teaching methods had to be digitised urgently during lockdowns when schools were forced to close to reduce the risk of spreading the potentially lethal coronavirus. A study in the International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation has looked out how new strategies had to be developed during this time and how educators were forced to tackle the emergence of cyberbullying among middle school students that the shift to online learning led to.

    In their work, Sasipim Poompimol, Suthiporn Sajjapanroj, and Thanyaluck Ingkavara of Mahidol University in Nakhon Pathom, Patcharin Panjaburee of Khon Kaen University in Khon Kaen, Chanayuth Changpetch of Mahasarakham University in Maha Sarakham, and Preeyada Tapingkae of Bansanpasak School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, introduced a digital board game along with multimedia debriefing sessions that could be used as educational tools for online and distance learning. These tools can be used to reduce the incidence of cyberbullying during a major crisis and afterwards, where online learning has become part of the new normal.

    The team's case study involved 56 middle school students. The team found that the students' understanding and perceptions of cyberbullying after participating in gaming sessions with multimedia debriefing was much greater than when compared to those gaming sessions without the debriefing. Self-reported questionnaires and interviews further indicated positive experiences with the multimedia debriefing method and effectiveness of this game-based approach to learning in improving the students' understanding of cyberbullying and hopefully leading to a fall in the number of such incidents.

    The research also has implications beyond addressing the problem of cyberbullying. A similar approach might also be used to address mental health and digital well-being issues that arise when students are isolated from classmates and find themselves learning in their homes rather than the classroom, where there might be family or other environmental pressures on them. Innovation of this kind allows teachers to improve the learning experience for students. This will be relevant in the post-pandemic world and in the future when we have to face another such crisis.

    Poompimol, S., Panjaburee, P., Sajjapanroj, S., Changpetch, C., Tapingkae, P. and Ingkavara, T. (2024) 'Ubiquitous game-based learning with a multimedia debriefing on cyberbullying during the COVID-19 pandemic', Int. J. Mobile Learning and Organisation, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp.135–168.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2024.137610

  • Sustainable competitive advantage and business are critical to long-term viability in the hospitality industry in India, according to a study published in the International Journal of Business Excellence. The study focused on the National Capital Region but could equally apply more widely. Such insight is important to those working in the sector, given its highly competitive nature and ever-changing consumer preferences.

    Deepali Anand and Alka Munjal of Amity University in Noida, India looked at the sector regarding hotels given star ratings in the region. They investigated how hoteliers boost their competitive advantage through cost leadership and differentiation. Cost leadership involves minimizing production and distribution costs while still offering a high-quality service to hotel guests. This is typically done through measures such as economies of scale and improved technology that can improve efficiency. On the other hand, differentiation focuses on giving customers a unique "offering" or "value proposition" that improves brand loyalty and the chances of a customer using the hotel repeatedly or sticking with a given of hotels if visiting other areas.

    The hospitality industry, by its very nature, is obviously service-oriented. Aspiring to excellence at whatever star-rating a given hotel has, is critical to its long-term success. This involves excellent customer relations, organizational growth, employee satisfaction, and the quality of what the hotel offers its guests. However, demands of the modern traveller are constantly changing, albeit the basic need remains the same – a room with a bed and bathroom facilities. In India, there are also government initiatives that are there to support the hospitality sector. Hotels can benefit from these, but must, in their part, adapt to change and so innovate when it comes to how they operate.

    The team considered whether hotels could benefit from prioritizing cost leadership, differentiation, or a combination of both. And, yes, these strategies do affect how hotels are run. Understanding the effect of different strategies can then decide whether a given hotel will have greater or less success in a competitive market environment.

    Anand, D. and Munjal, A. (2024) 'Effect of sustainable competitive advantage on business excellence in the hotel industry', Int. J. Business Excellence, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp.545–560.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJBEX.2024.137569

  • Research in the International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations has investigated compulsive online shopping behaviour in India, with a specific focus aimed at unzipping the triggers and antecedents related to the purchase of jeans.

    D. Manimegalai of the Department of Management Studies and S. Senthilkumar of the College of Management at the SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Tamil Nadu, India, carried out an online survey with more than 200 participants. They identified several factors that drive compulsive shopping tendencies among different demographic groups, including both male and female consumers.

    The team has identified, through a detailed statistical analysis of their survey results, what compels shoppers to by denim trousers. Internal triggers, such as emotions and personal experiences, interact with external stimuli like online usage patterns and social influences to shape the purchasing decisions of online shoppers. Their findings could help marketing executives better understand consumer behaviour and so develop strategies to sell more jeans online.

    The researchers point out that there are almost three-quarters of a billion pairs of jeans sold each year in India. That suggests on average that the population as a whole has a new pair of jeans every two years. But, the assumption is that everyone from toddlers to senior adults wears jeans. However, the research does suggest that there is a lot of compulsive behaviour and presumably a lot of adults with disposable income buying many more pairs of genes than that glib average would suggest.

    Such repetitive buying may have future financial implications as well as highlighting latent social and psychological well-being issues. This would be especially the case if the compulsive buying extended to other products and led to increasing levels of debt. Indeed, the findings hint at the role of loneliness, anxiety, and novelty-seeking tendencies in driving compulsive shopping. The work thus highlights a responsibility and the need for targeted interventions and support mechanisms.

    Manimegalai, D. and Senthilkumar, S. (2024) 'The triggers on compulsive online shopping of jeans', Int. J. Networking and Virtual Organisations, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp.206–219.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2024.137541

  • A study in the International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics has outlined strategies to help liner shipping companies navigate the global market more effectively. The work was undertaken by Umur Bucak of the Department of Maritime Business Administration at Kocaeli University in Turkey against a challenging seascape. The study identifies key trends that are shaping the sector and offers practical insights for how companies might maintain competitiveness and build bridges to span the many challenges they face.

    Bucak focused on the impact of geopolitical tensions, environmental regulations, and crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The work emphasises how liner shipping companies must be able to change course quickly to benefit from changes in the market.

    Using a combination of expected utilities theory and competitive advantage theory, Bucak was able to assess the prevalent market trends, which include digital transformation, decarbonisation initiatives, and supply chain integration. These trends are all key to making strategic decisions in the industry.

    In order to determine effective strategies that would align with these trends, Bucak then used a hybrid methodology involving a fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) model and the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). The work showed that the prioritization of rapid shipping between ports emerged as particularly beneficial and reflects the industry's focus on speed and reliability amid rising freight rates and port congestion. The research also considers the economic implications of the trends identified by Bucak. By providing a framework for decision-making, his work could assist industry practitioners anchor themselves in a competitive market.

    The study thus represents a significant step towards understanding and responding to changes within the liner shipping market. By using methodological innovations and theoretical frameworks, the research offers new and invaluable guidance for companies seeking to thrive amidst market shifts.

    Bucak, U. (2024) 'Expected utilities of liner shipping market trends: how can companies benefit?', Int. J. Shipping and Transport Logistics, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp.92–110.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2024.137588

  • A study of economic indicators in the wine industry across the European Union has shown significant variation between member states. Many of these are influenced by factors such as vineyard size and specialization.

    Writing in the Journal for Global Business Advancement, a team from Cyprus explains how they used the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) methodology to examine the economic indicators crucial for assessing the financial health of wine-producing farms. Aleksandra Figurek, Alkis Thrassou, and Demetris Vrontis of the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, EU, focused on metrics such as farm net value added (FNVA), FNVA per annual working unit (AWU), farm net income (FNI), and family farm income (FFI/FWU) for wine producers participating in the FADN. The team's analysis provides insights into productivity and profitability by looking at the ratio between total output and input utilization, including intermediate consumption and specific expenses.

    Despite this diversity between EU member states, the FADN methodology uses a standardized framework for analysing financial performance. It is this that allowed the team to identify best practices and areas for improvement, which could be useful for various stakeholders across the wine industry in different parts of the EU.

    The transition to the Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN) for many wine producers highlights the opportunity to expand data collection efforts to include environmental and social practices. This integrated approach enables a more comprehensive assessment of agricultural performance, which could help stakeholder decision-making at the local, micro, and macro levels. Additionally, the implementation of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) (2023 to 2027), which prioritizes environmental sustainability and support for smaller farmers, aims to align agricultural growth with ecological and technological goals while enhancing competitiveness. The data analysis could thus help evaluate the efficacy of the CAP.

    This research shows how new data methodologies can be used to study what programs are improving economic performance in wine production across the EU. By using such data-driven insights and seeing how this fits in with the ever-changing policy frameworks, the EU wine industry might at once address the challenges it faces and capitalize on the opportunities for sustainable growth and competitiveness in the global market.

    Figurek, A., Thrassou, A. and Vrontis, D. (2023) 'Economic performance of wine production in EU: a multi-indicator comparative analysis', J. Global Business Advancement, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp.3–30.
    DOI: 10.1504/JGBA.2023.137469

News

Associate Prof. Xin Wang appointed as new Editor in Chief of International Journal of Signal and Imaging Systems Engineering

Associate Prof. Xin Wang from Shenyang Jianzhu University in China has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Signal and Imaging Systems Engineering.

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index

Inderscience is pleased to announce that the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business has been indexed by Clarivate's Emerging Sources Citation Index.

The journal's Editor in Chief, Prof. Leo Dana, thanks his editorial board and IJESB's reviewers for the parts they played in reaching this significant milestone, as well as all the authors who've submitted their research to the journal.

International Journal of Sustainable Aviation indexed by Scopus

We are pleased to report that the International Journal of Sustainable Aviation has been indexed by Scopus. Inderscience's Editorial Office congratulates the journal's Editor in Chief, Prof. T. Hikmet Karakoc, along with his Associate Editors and Editorial Board.

Editor's call for papers for the International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management

Prof. Marco Valeri (marco.valeri@unicusano.it), the new Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management (IJCLM), invites articles on topics related to complexity in leadership, governance, management and organisational dynamics. This will help to provide a summary of current research along with predictions of where research is likely to go in the future on the subjects of complexity, nonlinearity, consciousness, intrinsic intelligence, collective intelligence, connectivity, autopoiesis, adaptation, diversity, self-organisation, emergence, dissipation, edge of chaos, butterfly effect and sustainability. Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit articles to IJCLM so that they can share their research on the subject.

List of topics

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Leadership sensitive to initial input, innovation and creativity
  • Empirical research in frameworks and practices
  • Internationalisation
  • Cultural entrepreneurship
  • Digitalisation and artificial intelligence
  • Tourism management
  • Nonlinear intelligence/thinking, knowledge management, organisational learning
  • Complexity/intelligence mindset, intelligence paradigms
  • Family business and financial performance
  • Complexity adaptive dynamics, complexity/intelligence-centric processes
  • Impact of managerial organisation on communities
  • Developments and changes in managerial ideas
  • Gender impact on organisations
Objectives

IJCLM is an international peer-reviewed journal. It aims to promote a deeper comprehension and to provide dialogue across country borders and cultures on the issues of complexity in leadership, governance and management. In this respect, it aims to serve as a platform where new philosophies, theories, empirical research findings and case studies can be published and shared internationally.

Readership

IJCLM is a vehicle which provides the latest findings, developments and thinking in management, governance and leadership to corporate leaders, company managers, business consultants, education leaders, national policy makers, military leaders, academics and researchers. IJCLM is also a forum through which different stakeholders worldwide can disseminate new thinking, theories, strategies and practices involved in complexity in leadership, governance and management, thus learning from each other's expertise and experience.

Contents

IJCLM publishes original papers in theoretical development and empirical research, case studies, discussion papers, conference reports, book reviews, commentaries and news dealing with the frontiers of complexity in leadership, governance and management. IJCLM welcomes worldwide contributions from academics, researchers, policy makers, corporate leaders, educators and business consultants and practitioners with interest in the topics specified.

Submission process

All articles for this journal must be submitted using the online submissions system available via the Submitting Articles tab at www.inderscience.com/ijcih. Please follow all instructions and author guidelines.

There are no charges for publishing with this journal, unless you require your article to be Open Access. You can find more information on OA here.

Associate Prof. Laura Broccardo appointed as new Editor in Chief of International Journal of Corporate Strategy and Social Responsibility

Associate Prof. Laura Broccardo from Università degli studi di Torino in Italy has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Corporate Strategy and Social Responsibility.