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- Is pretty good, good enough?
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.
- Improving knowledge management
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.
- Nuanced retail pricing
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.
- A different kind of peer pressure
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.
- Encouraging the affordable innovators
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.
- Entrepreneurial adventures in India
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.
- Indonesia's Village Fund program and the dynamics of rural poverty
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.
- HRM by AI
A detailed literature review in the International Journal of Business Innovation and Research has looked at the interplay between artificial intelligence (AI) tools and human resource management (HRM). The review aims to provide clarity on the nuanced dynamics shaping the digital era.
The term artificial intelligence, AI, has been used colloquially, in fiction and in science for decades. There has never been a universally agreed definition of the term. Attempts to obtain such a definition are generally stymied by the ever-evolving nature of technology. With the current flurry of hyperbole regarding AI tools that can generate text, images, music, deep-fake videos, big-data analysis, and much more there is a pressing need to define AI its benefits and its limitations.
Mohand Tuffaha and M. Rosario Perello-Marin of the Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain, have looked at the role AI might play in human resource management (HRM). The review addresses a gap in our knowledge regarding AI in HRM and offers a precise definition of AI within the HRM context. The study examined 559 papers published between 2010 and 2020 covering "AI" topics including machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and artificial neural networks.
Based on their review, the researchers were able to offer guidelines for those needing to navigate the complexities of AI technologies within their organizations in the HRM area. They point out that despite growing interest in AI among human resource managers and academics, the issues of data security, privacy, and economics have not yet been addressed. They also point out that while recruitment is a well-explored area in this domain, there is a need for additional research into professional development and performance appraisal where AI might assist.
From a managerial perspective, the findings from the review could be used to guide management and specifically HRM practices. The insights the work offers should allow management to develop what might be referred to as a digitally aligned workplace. Moreover, as AI continues to evolve, the review underscores the need to set strategies for the adoption of AI in HRM.
Tuffaha, M. and Perello-Marin, M.R. (2023) 'Artificial intelligence definition, applications and adoption in human resource management: a systematic literature review', Int. J. Business Innovation and Research, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp.293–322.
- Algorithm advances uncompromising covert communication
A new algorithm that can enhance covert communication without compromising data integrity is reported in the International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems.
Mingfang Jiang of the School of Computer Science at the Hunan First Normal University in Changsha, China, has introduced an innovative algorithm, RDHEIAC (Reversible Data Hiding for Encrypted Images Algorithm with Adaptive Total Variation and Cross-Cyclic Shift). The work marks a significant step forward in information security and covert communication. The algorithm addresses the limitations of traditional methods by allowing the embedding of additional data into carrier data without compromising the integrity of the original information.
RDHEIAC departs from the conventional and employs adaptive total variation to generate a prediction error image. This optimizes the process for reduced prediction errors and improved embedding rates of secret messages. This ensures that additional data can be embedded seamlessly into the carrier data, allowing complete recovery of the original information without any damage.
Jiang's work also explains how RDHEIAC integrates various techniques such as bit-plane rearrangement, run-length encoding, cross-cyclic shift operation, diffusion operation based on chaotic maps, and bit substitution to do its job. These methods collectively contribute to the creation of secure encrypted images with a balance between privacy security, high embedding capacity, and image fidelity.
Preliminary tests demonstrate the algorithm's efficiency showing it can achieve a notable, about 47%, increase in embedding rate compared to previous RDHEI-type algorithms. The main application, of course, is covert military and business communications, but the same technology could be useful in medical imaging where privacy is paramount but there is a vital need for image integrity.
One notable feature of the RDHEIAC approach to image encryption and message embedding is that it keeps the information extraction and image restoration separate. This provides flexibility in scenarios demanding high information integrity. An additional possibility with this approach is being able to adding reversible visible watermarking in encrypted images.
Jiang, M. (2023) 'Reversible data hiding algorithm in encrypted images using adaptive total variation and cross-cyclic shift', Int. J. Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems, Vol. 16, No. 6, pp.611–631.
- Energy meter boost
A study aimed at improving the accuracy and reliability of grid electricity meters, particularly under challenging on-site conditions appears in the International Journal of Information and Communication Technology. The research offers practical suggestions for assessing and optimizing measurement performance.
Chencheng Wang of the State Grid Sichuan Electric Power Company Marketing Service Center in Sichuan, China, explains how he has developed a measurement error estimation method utilizing big data analysis technology. His method integrates environmental and electrical factor data collected during on-site operations, providing real-time measurement error assessment for intelligent energy meters.
Smart energy meters are subject to mandatory national verification and management. Errors in the readings they produce not only affect the interests of millions of households, but also affect the safety, stability, and economic operation of smart grids themselves. A prediction tool built on the Shapley combination model and a neural network was demonstrated to be more accurate at making predictions about demand than other approaches based on tests with historical data, according to Wang. However, a hybrid model constructed using the Shapley approach to bring together the BP neural network and RBF neural network demonstrated fast convergence and high accuracy, outperforming the conventional Holt Winters model.
The findings could be used in the reliable evaluation of smart meters with a view to improving operational decision-making and maintenance based on their real-time status. The work, by integrating and analyzing maintenance and abnormal data, also offers a lifespan survival probability model for smart meters.
The practical implications of this work lie in the improvement of error verification for electric energy meters operating on the grid. The researchers provided a conversion relationship curve between on-site measurement errors and laboratory reference conditions, aiding in identifying electric energy meters with larger measurement errors. This approach facilitates the efficiency of error inspections in on-site operations and enables the prediction of out-of-tolerance failures in measuring equipment in advance. Overall, these advancements contribute to the reliability and performance of smart meters on the grid.
Wang, C. (2023) 'A method for identifying and evaluating energy meter data based on big data analysis technology', Int. J. Information and Communication Technology, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp.424–445.
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.
Inderscience journals accepted for indexing in Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts database
The Editorial Office is pleased to report that the following journals have been accepted for indexing in Taylor & Francis's Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts database:
- International Journal of Business Innovation and Research
- International Journal of Comparative Management
- International Journal of Computational Economics and Econometrics
- International Journal of Sustainable Aviation
- International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing
- International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
- International Journal of Export Marketing
- International Journal of Gender Studies in Developing Societies
- International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business
- International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management
- International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Journal for International Business and Entrepreneurship Development
- MENA Journal of Cross-Cultural Management
- World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development
Editor in Chief invites submissions for newly relaunched journal, Atoms for Peace
Dr. Abdessamad Didi, the newly appointed Editor of Atoms for Peace: an International Journal (AfP), is delighted to announce an open call for research papers dedicated to advancing the field of nuclear science, with a particular focus on the peaceful applications of atomic energy. The journal invites authors to contribute articles that highlight innovative research and cutting-edge developments in nuclear science and its role in fostering global peace and sustainable development. Dr. Didi encourages researchers, academics and professionals from diverse backgrounds to submit their work to AfP, thereby facilitating the dissemination of valuable insights within this pivotal domain.
Scope of the journal
We welcome submissions related to, but not limited to, the following areas:
- Nuclear reactor technologies: exploration of pioneering reactor designs, safety enhancements and operational efficiency innovations in nuclear reactors
- Radiation medicine: advancements in radiation therapy, diagnostic radiology, and nuclear medicine aimed at enhancing healthcare outcomes
- Nuclear security and non-proliferation: strategies and technologies designed to ensure the peaceful utilisation of nuclear materials and the prevention of their misuse
- Nuclear energy policy: studies examining energy policy, regulatory frameworks and sustainable nuclear energy solutions
- Environmental impact assessment: evaluations of the environmental impact of nuclear facilities and waste management
- Nuclear education and public outreach: initiatives aimed at fostering public awareness and comprehension of nuclear science
AfP operates as a fully refereed international journal, committed to the publication of original articles that explore the theory and practical application of nuclear science. Our primary emphasis is on innovative approaches with substantial implications for advancing global peace and sustainable development. We invite researchers, scholars and experts in the field to contribute to AfP and contribute to the responsible utilisation of atomic energy for the betterment of society and the world.
The primary mission of AfP is to establish a global platform for the dissemination of pioneering research findings, ideas and concepts at the intersection of nuclear science, technology and the pursuit of international peace. AfP places a distinct emphasis on fostering knowledge exchange and innovation in the field of nuclear science, with a focus on its role in promoting global peace and sustainable development.
Our specific objectives include:
- Advancing nuclear science: to facilitate the exchange of groundbreaking research in the domain of nuclear science, including but not limited to reactor technologies, radiation medicine, nuclear security and environmental impact assessment
- Promoting peaceful nuclear applications: to promote the responsible use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, such as healthcare, energy generation and environmental management, while preventing its misuse
- Knowledge sharing: to serve as a conduit for the sharing of knowledge ideas, and expertise among scholars, researchers and practitioners in the field of nuclear science
- Public awareness and education: to contribute to public awareness and understanding of nuclear science, its benefits and its potential contributions to global peace and development
- Interdisciplinary collaboration: to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration by bringing together experts from various fields, including nuclear science, policy and environmental studies
- Ethical and sustainable practices: to promote ethical and sustainable practices in the application of nuclear science, ensuring the protection of human health and the environment
AfP's readership comprises nuclear scientists, healthcare professionals, policymakers, educators and the general public. This diverse audience seeks cutting-edge research and insights into nuclear science's peaceful applications, healthcare and sustainable energy. Professionals in nuclear medicine, environmental experts and decision-makers benefit from the journal's content. Educators and students use it as a valuable resource for teaching and learning. AfP also caters to global peace advocates and those curious about the responsible use of atomic energy.
AfP's content spans nuclear science advancements, healthcare applications and sustainable energy topics. It includes research on nuclear reactor technologies, radiation medicine, policy and environmental impact. Readers will find articles on medical innovations, ethical practices and global peace initiatives tied to nuclear science. AfP fosters interdisciplinary knowledge exchange and responsible atomic energy utilisation.
Submission processAll articles for this journal must be submitted using the online submissions system available via the Submitting Articles tab at www.inderscience.com/afp. Please follow all instructions and author guidelines.