International Journal of Quality and Innovation (8 papers in press)
Managing agricultural supply chains in COVID-19 lockdown
by Pooja Malhotra, Digvijay Pandey, Binay Kumar Pandey, P. Madhusudana Patra
Abstract: Alongside many other countries around the world, India has fought voraciously against the coronavirus pandemic 2019 (COVID-19). Of particular interest in this paper is agriculture supply chains in India, where the harvesting period of rabi crops coincides with the COVID-19 outbreak. The fruitful harvest during the pandemic has caused many states in India to face unprecedented challenges in reaping and post-reaping tasks of harvest in agriculture supply chains. Customarily, harvesting utilises transient work from different locations in India, yet during the lockdown, many workers in the agriculture industry have relocated back to their hometowns, thereby leading to labour shortage and halting harvesting activities during the pandemic. Besides the shortage of labour, this paper also identifies pertinent challenges relating to climate change, occupational health and safety, pricing and revenue and transportation. The legislature is a significant stakeholder that needs
to proactively devise frameworks to overcome agriculture supply chain challenges, with suggestions for agriculture supply chain management during global pandemics offered herein.
Keywords: agriculture; COVID-19; harvest; India; rabi corps; supply chain management.
Donning the Mask: The Impact of COVID-19 on Emotional Labour Performance
by Niamh Lafferty, Sarah MacCurtain, Patricia Mannix McNamara
Abstract: Emotional labour, the workplace management of emotions, is integral to work performance and relies on the observation and recognition of emotion in the service industry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sudden global increase in the number of employees and service users required to wear face masks, resulting in a new normal for emotion expression and emotion recognition in the emotional labour performance. This paper explores emotional labour theory and proposes a theoretical consideration of the challenges and benefits this modification to the service user-employee interaction may have. Suggested challenges include changes to the service user-employee relationship due to impaired communication and increased customer anxiety and frustrations. Organisational responses are discussed in relation to training and cross-industrial sharing of knowledge. Finally, opportunities for organisational research are discussed alongside suggestions for future research.
Keywords: emotional labour; COVID-19; coronavirus; face masks; customer service; customer interactions.
Quality infrastructure services capability assessment in the coffee value chain
by Mesfin Demissie Woldecherkos, Dagne Tsegaye, Birhanu Beshah, Frank Ebinger
Abstract: Coffee generating about 25%-30% of total export and securing about 15 million peoples livelihoods in Ethiopia. But, it has several quality issues. Studies show a total of 272 million USD of which 99% due to the non-conformance cost of the export product incurred annually. This justifies mitigating quality problems in the sector is important. Therefore, to deal with this issue coffee quality related data collected from Ethiopian national quality infrastructure institutions (ENQI) and coffee quality inspection and certification association (CLU). 18 experts purposively selected from both institutes were asked to associate quality service with defects. Finally, lack of accreditation has the highest contribution followed by conformity and metrology with a share of 83.3%, 75%, and 54% for defects points. Moreover, issues like control of temperature and humidity in storage and transport, lack of soil nutrition testing, inspection performance, and commitment to standards implementation are issues need to be improved.
Keywords: national quality infrastructure; NQI; coffee value chain; CVC.
Special Issue on: Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies to Overcome the Disruptions of the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Crisis
Remote working challenges and solutions: insights from SMEs in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic
by Md Asadul Islam, Paul Agu Igwe, Mahfuzur Rahman, Abu Naser Mohammad Saif
Abstract: The impact of global COVID-19 pandemic, both in health and economic terms is becoming clearer. This article critically explores the challenges in implementing remote working practices in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Bangladesh. Based on the qualitative approach, interviewing 14 participants from SME owners, consultants, government officials and professors, we found several challenges such as financial constraints,
bureaucracy, lack of knowledge and interest, communication problem, high employee turnover and difficulty to find trustworthy employee implementing remote working practices. The study also advanced some solutions such as convincing the benefits of remote working practices, government rules, financial incentives, training and IT courses and remote (online) classes in universities in implementing remote working practices in the SMEs not only during COVID-19 pandemic but also for the long-term. These have several implications regarding SMEs performances and workers benefits.
Keywords: remote working practices; COVID-19 pandemic; challenges; solutions; small-medium enterprises; SMEs; Bangladesh.
Special Issue on: Innovating Business Models Through Digitalisation Advances, Challenges, and Opportunities
Improving business models through augmented reality applications. Evidence from history, theory and practice
by Daniele Leone, Maria Cristina Pietronudo, Luca Dezi
Abstract: The higher complexity of managing multiple and fast-changing business models might push innovators to use more sophisticated technologies such as augmented reality (AR). The article proposes a detailed observation of the passage from virtual reality to the use of AR, highlighting, especially, the capability of AR in improving business models. Thus, research question of the study is: how does augmented reality determine improvement of the business models? Analysing the historical background, the contribution of recent studies, and the applications results in various sectors (e.g., the military, medicine, automotive, and retail), a conceptual model is proposed. We show an augmented reality influence on different business model components (e.g., proposition, value configuration, partner network, relationship, target customer, distribution channel, cost structure, and revenue model), describing several value creation improvements, value proposition, and value capture. The paper fills the literature gap related to organisations that have improved their business models by applying augmented reality systems.
Keywords: augmented reality; virtual reality; business models; technology; innovation.
How is digitalisation changing the business model of FinTech companies? The case study of an Italian non-bank financial institution
by Chiara Torriero, Raffaella Montera, Nicola Cucari
Abstract: Although digital transformation in the financial industry is gaining momentum in recent years, the literature exploring FinTech business models is still scant. We fill this gap by analysing, through a case study, the business model of a big bang disruptor. Specifically, we select the case of Alpha1, that is considered one of the most important players in the provision of digital lending services in Europe. We use a business model canvas, deemed as the most suitable analytical framework to this end. We find that, in the FinTech industry, the business model of a big bang disruptor is customer-oriented and its services are provided through a digital platform, in order to ensure a better user experience. Additionally, a big bang disruptor leverages partnerships with different actors to co-create value. Finally, we claim that the business model of a big bang disruptor is characterised by agility, flexibility and adaptability. We contend that these features are crucial to remain competitive in an ever-changing environment.
Keywords: digitalisation; business model; big bang disruptor; BBD; disruptive innovation; factoring; FinTech.
BMI and digitalisation: a contribution to the bibliometric debate
by Pietro Vito, Francesca Iandolo, Antonio La Sala
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to spark a debate on bibliometric methods of analysis and systematisation of scientific literature. The analysis is carried out about the impact of digitalisation on business models of firms, which are moreover currently conditioned by the pandemic emergency, but the discussion of the results and the conclusions are intuitively generalisable to any other theme. Specifically, a bibliometric analysis of our conception, that does not belong to the methods of classical bibliometry, is presented. The analysis is established on the coupling of scientific contributions by author keywords. The results obtained systematise the scientific literature according to a complementary perspective to those of the classical bibliometry and show how they lead to different but complementary conclusions, tracing the entire excursus of the analysis to the subjectivity of the scholar, contrary to what is generally shared in the literature on the objectivity of bibliometric methods.
Keywords: business model innovation; BMI; digitalisation; bibliometrics; bibliometry; servitisation; review; business models.
How big data innovate organisation's business model? A systematic literature review
by Emilia Romeo, Nicola Capolupo
Abstract: Research in business model innovation (BMI) has dramatically spread over the last decade. The increasing availability of data and the related possibility to exploit them with analytic has sparked a brand-new discussion: how big data (BD) could generate innovation processes that lead firms to reinvent themselves? This paper aims to identify the main constructs questioned by the literature on the BD and BMI connection. It provides the analysis of academic literature indexed in Scopus, adopting a systematic literature review approach conducted with the PRISMA methodology, and carried out with a third type content analysis. Following trends for BD and BMI has been finding and discussed.
Keywords: big data; business model innovation; BMI; business model; organisation; systematic literature review; SLR; data-driven innovation.