International Journal of Qualitative Research in Services (9 papers in press)
Relating Human Resource Management to The Goal By Eli Goldratt
by Brian Galli
Abstract: In recent years, the business industry changes had caused a reassessment of Human Resource Management (HRM) positions and structures. In the past, Human Resources (HR) was centralized. However, with the consistent organizational culture changes, HR is becoming decentralized and its operations integrated other departments. Today, HRM is an integral part of business processes similar other departments (finance, accounting, and so forth). However, with regards to specialized areas, like compensation and recruitment, HR remains centralized. Analysis of "The Goal" by Goldratt demonstrates its relation to HRM. This paper discusses and assesses the implications of HRM on a company's operations. It explains how HRM is related to the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and how both concepts help to achieve the company's true goal.
Keywords: Theory of Constraints; Human Resource Management; Process; Critical Chain; Process Improvement; Mapping; Project Management; Work Flow.
An Assessment of Industry Position on Shared Equity Housing Model development in the UK
by Oladotun Ayoade, Vian Ahmed
Abstract: This paper investigated affordable housing problems and how they impact the development of Shared Equity Housing Models (SEHM) with emphasis on the Community Land Trust (CLT). The methodological approach identified and tackled inherent industry sources of barriers to Community Land Trust Shared Equity Housing Models (CLT SEHM) development through literature reviews and the text analysis of semi-structured interview responses from key stakeholders. Findings indicated that industry sources of barriers to CLT development occur within crucial bilateral dimensions impacting its capabilities as an adoptable model for major housing providers, and for local practitioners in well-defined communes for localised housing. This study opens a further debate on the downsides of the current housing delivery arrangement, and the need for an improved capacity for innovation through more sustainable alternatives/policies - particularly in a sector dominated by tested mainstream options, however with performance and affordability inconsistencies in UK housing development.
Keywords: housing development; affordable housing; industry; shared equity housing models; SEHM; community land trust; CLT; qualitative research.
A qualitative study on understanding the trustworthiness of online reputation management
by Abhisek Dutta, Pranav Ranjan
Abstract: The paper aims at understanding the customers mindset towards online reviews posted on the website regarding products. In-depth interview technique was used to collect data from informants to perform thematic analysis to find emerging themes. These themes helped to identify those variables which impact the trustworthiness of reviews like review search, content, multitude, reciprocity and untrustworthiness. The findings of this paper shall help practitioners in the field of digital marketing and online shopping to view into the mindset of customers, who read these reviews to arrive at purchase decisions. A better understanding of what people feel about these reviews may enable companies to identify the lacunae in reviewing activities.
Keywords: Trustworthiness; online reviews; qualitative research; depth interview; trust in reviews; website product reviews.
Roles played by frontline employees in the delivery of governmental services: qualitative evidence from the public sector of Jordan
by Shaker Aladwan
Abstract: This research has the aim of exploring roles played by government service employees in the provision of services to the public. Qualitative approach was adopted to conduct this research and to collect the primary data. More specifically, semi-structured interviews, which were undertaken within field work in the Jordanian public sector. Interviews of a total of 30 employees were undertaken. It has been interesting to note that the research findings showed that service employees working within the Jordanian public sector played four different roles, i.e. complementary (32%), collaborator (41%), enabler (46%) and mediator (54%) (MECC). There has been both a theoretical and practical change to the role of employees within the service sector within the last twenty years. Previous research, however, has been insufficiently integrated and there was a need for a framework with internal consistency so that the roles of frontline service employees working within the context of governmental services could be understood. The implications that the findings of the study have are to show a shift in the function of public sector employees in terms of values such as freedom, participation and collaboration. Furthermore, the MECC matrix provided has the aim of helping policymakers and practitioners, particularly when roles are distributed amongst frontline employees within organisations in the public sector in Jordan.
Keywords: qualitative approach. Public services; public sector organisations; frontline employees; Jordan.
Medical Tourism in Japan: An Examination of Japans International Hospitals Online Communication
by Michael Guiry
Abstract: This study examines the online information about Japanese hospitals, designated Japan International Hospitals by the Japanese government, provided at JAPAN Hospital Search, a government portal site, and the hospital websites in order to explore how these hospitals are presented online and attempt to appeal to the perceived needs of prospective medical tourists. The content of 39 hospital websites are analyzed across five dimensions: hospital information and facilities, admissions and medical services, interactive online services, external activities, and technical items. Results show differences in the extent to which the hospitals convey information across the five dimensions. Additionally, the findings reveal inconsistencies between the hospital information presented at JAPAN Hospital Search and the hospital websites. Recommendations for improving the online communication about the hospitals are discussed, and suggestions for future research are proposed. The study serves as a starting point for further research on the online communication about Japan International Hospitals as Japan strives to grow its medical tourism industry.
Keywords: medical tourism; Japan International Hospitals; online communication; JAPAN Hospital Search; hospital websites; content analysis; medical tourists; medical care; healthcare; health tourism.
TERRORISM AND TOURISM IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY IN TANZANIA: A CASE OF NORTHERN REGIONS
by Hellen Meshack, Sadananda Prusty
Abstract: The Northern regions of Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Manyara have an incredible number of tourists attractions and therefore an increasing number of hotels to host guests. This paper examines preparedness of a terrorist attack by the hotel industry with the northern regions as the case study. Over the years, terrorists have bowed to hotels as one of their major target. An in-depth interview with five interviewees having over fifteen years of experience revealed that all the tourist hotels that are members of Hotels Association of Tanzania (HAT) have some preparations by having fire extinguishers, CCTV cameras installation, security guard personnel, employees training, and use of metal detectors. Tourist hotels studied are from three star level as posited by the interviewees since most Tanzania hotels are un-graded. Through observation, some non-members of HAT lack those minimal security measures observed in HAT members. Moreover, high turnover of employees requires ongoing training on security.
Keywords: tourism; terrorism; hotel industry; safety management; security.
The Airbnb Effect: How Tourist Destinations are addressing Short Term Vacation Rentals
by Jerome Agrusa
Abstract: This study examined the effect of Short Term Vacation Rentals (STR) on two tourist destinations, an up-and-coming tourist destination Japan, and an established tourist destination Honolulu, Hawaii. The governments role in both destinations have addressed the introduction of STRs or Airbnb along with their legislative position. Each of the destinations selected for this study have addressed the issue of STRs or Airbnb in their own, unique way.
Keywords: Airbnb; Short Term Vacation Rentals (STR); Government regulations; Effects on residents.
Ethics of Government Regulation of IT How To View Them And The Implications
by Brian Galli
Abstract: People have homes to shelter and protect their valuables. They are contained, and some even have alarm systems. Most people choose to lock up their money in a bank account so that no one can steal it from under the mattress. As a matter of convenience, when the computer came along, peoples personal information got stored in a computer system. This is very much like the way money is saved in a wallet. Others want to get that valuable commodity (whether it is the money in a purse or the information from a website). Then, along came the government, who decided that it was time to put some laws in place. These laws were meant to protect consumers from theft or violation of their information when it is stored on computers. The purpose of this paper is to decide if the government is doing enough to protect the public by asking the following: are we safe from computer hackers, and is the government doing enough to prepare?
Keywords: Information technology; identity theft; hackers; government regulations.
The emergence of defense contractors as knowledge workers: An analysis of expansion opportunities into BRIC nations
by Daniel Thoman, Robert Lloyd, Mallory Milstead
Abstract: This paper provides an examination of the potential for U.S. private defense firms to expand into the four BRIC nations: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Specific attention is placed on the role of knowledge workers as a means to achieve this expansion. Furthermore, this paper aims to identify which nation among these four presents the greatest potential for international expansion of the U.S private defense services industry with respect to projected economic opportunity in the defense sector as well as the operational risks and challenges of conducting business in these countries. Several key indicators of opportunity, risk, and challenge were identified, and each BRIC nation was analyzed and ranked with respect to the other four on each of these defined measures. The resulting aggregate rankings conclude that China presents the greatest potential for successful globalization of professional defense services, followed closely by India.. Subsequently, Russia and Brazil appear to have the least potential for international expansion in this industry according to the findings of this research.
Keywords: defense contractor; knowledge worker; service provider; BRIC.