Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 447

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Industrial and Systems Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

447 Analysis of Highly Cited Retracted Article on Covid-19 through the Altmetric Prism

Authors: Rosy Jan


The COVID-19 pandemic remains a major public health risk around the world. The global rush to produce research on the epidemic has raised the rate of scientific productivity and researcher inaccuracy and hastened the review process, increasing the likelihood of research misbehaviour. Thus, the retraction process aims to withdraw articles that display seriously flawed or erroneous data and alert readers of an article’s serious mistakes. However, such articles are continuously cited and used by the scientific community. This study examines the extent to which the retracted article “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”, published in The Lancet in 2020 by Mandeep R Mehra as lead author, is visualized in terms of Altmetric Attention Score using the Altmetrics Bookmarklet. Data extracted from the article include the overall attention score and demographics of sharers by thousands of times to an audience of potentially hundreds of millions of readers and followers. These findings have potential implications for better understanding the spread of misleading or false information perpetuated in retracted scholarly publications.

Keywords: scholarly communication, retraction, retraction watch, COVID-19

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446 An Approach for Estimating Open Education Resources Textbook Savings: A Case Study

Authors: Anna Ching-Yu Wong


Introduction: Textbooks play a sizable portion of the overall cost of higher education students. It is a board consent that open education resources (OER) reduce the te4xtbook costs and provide students a way to receive high-quality learning materials at little or no cost to them. However, there is less agreement over exactly how much. This study presents an approach for calculating OER savings by using SUNY Canton NON-OER courses (N=233) to estimate the potentially textbook savings for one semester – Fall 2022. The purpose in collecting data is to understand how much potentially saved from using OER materials and to have a record for future further studies. Literature Reviews: In the past years, researchers identified the rising cost of textbooks disproportionately harm students in higher education institutions and how much an average cost of a textbook. For example, Nyamweya (2018) found that on average students save $116.94 per course when OER adopted in place of traditional commercial textbooks by using a simple formula. Student PIRGs (2015) used reports of per-course savings when transforming a course from using a commercial textbook to OER to reach an estimate of $100 average cost savings per course. Allen and Wiley (2016) presented at the 2016 Open Education Conference on multiple cost-savings studies and concluded $100 was reasonable per-course savings estimates. Ruth (2018) calculated an average cost of a textbook was $79.37 per-course. Hilton, et al (2014) conducted a study with seven community colleges across the nation and found the average textbook cost to be $90.61. There is less agreement over exactly how much would be saved by adopting an OER course. This study used SUNY Canton as a case study to create an approach for estimating OER savings. Methodology: Step one: Identify NON-OER courses from UcanWeb Class Schedule. Step two: View textbook lists for the classes (Campus bookstore prices). Step three: Calculate the average textbook prices by averaging the new book and used book prices. Step four: Multiply the average textbook prices with the number of students in the course. Findings: The result of this calculation was straightforward. The average of a traditional textbooks is $132.45. Students potentially saved $1,091,879.94. Conclusion: (1) The result confirms what we have known: Adopting OER in place of traditional textbooks and materials achieves significant savings for students, as well as the parents and taxpayers who support them through grants and loans. (2) The average textbook savings for adopting an OER course is variable depending on the size of the college and as well as the number of enrollment students.

Keywords: textbook savings, open textbooks, textbook costs assessment, open access

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445 In Response to Worldwide Disaster: Academic Libraries’ Functioning During COVID-19 Pandemic Without a Policy

Authors: Dalal Albudaiwi, Mike Allen, Talal Alhaji, Shahnaz Khadimehzadah


As a pandemic, COVID-19 has impacted the whole world since November 2019. In other words, every organization, industry, and institution has been negatively affected by the Coronavirus. The uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last caused chaos at all levels. As with any other institution, public libraries were affected and transmitted into online services and resources. As internationally, have been witnessed that some public libraries were well-prepared for such disasters as the pandemic, and therefore, collections, users, services, technologies, staff, and budgets were all influenced. Public libraries’ policies did not mention any plan regarding such a pandemic. Instead, there are several rules in the guidelines about disasters in general, such as natural disasters. In this pandemic situation, libraries have been involved in different uneasy circumstances. However, it has always been apparent to public libraries the role they play in serving their communities in excellent and critical times. It dwells into the traditional role public libraries play in providing information services and sources to satisfy their information-based community needs. Remarkably increasing people’s awareness of the importance of informational enrichment and enhancing society’s skills in dealing with information and information sources. Under critical circumstances, libraries play a different role. It goes beyond the traditional part of information providers to the untraditional role of being a social institution that serves the community with whatever capabilities they have. This study takes two significant directions. The first focuses on investigating how libraries have responded to COVID-19 and how they manage disasters within their organization. The second direction focuses on how libraries help their communities to act during disasters and how to recover from the consequences. The current study examines how libraries prepare for disasters and the role of public libraries during disasters. We will also propose “measures” to be a model that libraries can use to evaluate the effectiveness of their response to disasters. We intend to focus on how libraries responded to this new disaster. Therefore, this study aims to develop a comprehensive policy that includes responding to a crisis such as Covid-19. An analytical lens inside the libraries as an organization and outside the organization walls will be documented based on analyzing disaster-related literature published in the LIS publication. The study employs content analysis (CA) methodology. CA is widely used in the library and information science. The critical contribution of this work is to propose solutions it provides to libraries and planers to prepare crisis management plans/ policies, specifically to face a new global disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the study will help library directors to evaluate their strategies and to improve them properly. The significance of this study lies in guiding libraries’ directors to enhance the goals of the libraries to guarantee crucial issues such as: saving time, avoiding loss, saving budget, acting quickly during a crisis, maintaining libraries’ role during pandemics, finding out the best response to disasters, and creating plan/policy as a sample for all libraries.

Keywords: Covid-19, policy, preparedness, public libraries

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444 Factors Influencing the Use Intention of Unmanned Retail Stores

Authors: Yen-Ting Chiu, Chia-Ying Lin, Pei-Hsuan Ho


New technologies can help solve the problem of labor shortage and the decline of birthrate. Technologies can improve human’s life and reduce the burden on the staff and bring convenience to people. That’s why unmanned retail store X-Store was established in Taiwan to create more valuable services and shopping experiences based on smart retailing. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of unmanned stores, X-Store, on customers’ behavioral intentions. It uses the Unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model as a basis and adds a perceived value factor to explain customer willingness to use the X-Store. In addition, the study further divided the sample into gender and age groups to compare behavioral differences between different groups. The study collected 214 valid questionnaires through online questionnaires. Using SPSS as a statistical analysis tool, the results of the study show that effort expectancy, social influence, facilitating conditions, and perceived value have a significant impact on behavioral intention to use X-Store. However, performance expectancy is not significant. This research concludes with managerial implications and suggestions for retail practitioners.

Keywords: perceived value, smart retailing, unmanned store, UTAUT, X-Store

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443 Influence of Celebrity Credibility on Perceived Brand Trust Study on Multinational Mobile Service Brands in Bangladesh

Authors: Md. Amran Hossain


Celebrity credibility is a vital marketing practice across the world whilst it finds challenges to get effective results in the cluttered marketing atmosphere. Celebrity acts as credibility communication sources for marketing awareness, creating a brand image, and building a brand via spreading a message with fans. Celebrity commits to brands reaching out across the countries. The influence of celebrity credibility on perceived brand trust is a curial matter for the brand to meet desired responses within the market. Celebrity is the national and international level of pride to spread information about the products to end the customer end. Celebrities are used as credible sources to educate and motivate the customer to get aware or actively participate in disaster management activities. This paper examined these issues based on a sample of students via a quantitative survey method to study how celebrity credibility influences perceived brand trust in multinational mobile services in Bangladesh. Hypotheses were formed on how celebrity credibility influences brand trust. A size of 200 samples was contacted for the survey. SPSS-23 software was executed to test the hypotheses. Results verified the significance of the influence of celebrity credibility on perceived brand trust in multinational mobile services in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Bangladesh, brand trust, celebrity, credibility, multinational mobile service

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442 Essential Family Leadership Style for Family Business

Authors: Nitin Appajirao Salunkhe, Asha Prasad, D. P. Sahoo


Leadership in family firms has gained more scholarly attention as a result of its unique leadership and organizational setting. Based on this, our study provides an idea of family leadership by configuring family involvement and family leadership over a contextual leadership style that envisages context and dynamics within the internal and external environment. Forging a conceptual framework by reviewing current studies is based on a study of literature that focuses on family involvement and family leadership components specific to family enterprises. This study adds to the body of knowledge on family leadership by reaffirming the fundamentals of family involvement and its linkages to family leadership—contextual dynamic leadership style, which spurred the development of a conceptual framework. With this in place, senior family members will be able to define and build future family roles and responsibilities, and the concepts and viewpoints offered will aid in intelligently organizing existing work on family leadership styles and further studying the relationships.

Keywords: family business, leadership styles, family involvement, family dynamics

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441 Enhancement of a Business Continuity Program Through the Utilization of the Saudi Health Council Emergency Codes

Authors: Yassen Mallawi, Eugene Galvin, Karen Pompey


This paper presents an enhancement of the business continuity program at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. Adopting the unified emergency codes stipulated by the Saudi Heath Council as the foundation for the business continuity program, allows for the development of a robust, flexible and straight-forward process to implement an emergency preparedness, operations and recovery framework for a healthcare institution. This approach provides a clear, concise methodology which is easy to communicate and disseminate at all levels in the Hospital.

Keywords: business continuity, King Faisal specialist hospital and research centre, Saudi health council, emergency codes

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440 Multi-Objective Four-Dimensional Traveling Salesman Problem in an IoT-Based Transport System

Authors: Arindam Roy, Madhushree Das, Apurba Manna, Samir Maity


In this research paper, an algorithmic approach is developed to solve a novel multi-objective four-dimensional traveling salesman problem (MO4DTSP) where different paths with various numbers of conveyances are available to travel between two cities. NSGA-II and Decomposition algorithms are modified to solve MO4DTSP in an IoT-based transport system. This IoT-based transport system can be widely observed, analyzed, and controlled by an extensive distribution of traffic networks consisting of various types of sensors and actuators. Due to urbanization, most of the cities are connected using an intelligent traffic management system. Practically, for a traveler, multiple routes and vehicles are available to travel between any two cities. Thus, the classical TSP is reformulated as multi-route and multi-vehicle i.e., 4DTSP. The proposed MO4DTSP is designed with traveling cost, time, and customer satisfaction as objectives. In reality, customer satisfaction is an important parameter that depends on travel costs and time reflects in the present model.

Keywords: multi-objective four-dimensional traveling salesman problem (MO4DTSP), decomposition, NSGA-II, IoT-based transport system, customer satisfaction

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439 A Study on Paradigm Shift Towards Digital Marketing amid Pre-Post COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Jasnoor Kaur


The present paper attempts to study consumer attitudes toward digital marketing. It aims to study the impact of COVID-19 on digital marketing. Further, it gives an insight into the factors affecting consumer behavior toward digital marketing. The research study was conducted in May 2021. Student’s t distribution was used to study the difference in consumer behavior toward digital marketing during the pre and post-lockdown period. 3 and 5-point Likert scale was used to rate the responses of the respondents and to apply manipulation checks. Chi-square test was performed to find an association between the gender of the consumers and their online buying behaviour. Percentages were calculated to study the responses of respondents. The conclusions of this study give insight into consumers’ inclination toward digital marketing. Further, it explores consumer attitudes toward online shopping. The findings of this paper are paramount to outline constructive strategies by marketers in the changing digital world.

Keywords: consumer behavior, COVID-19, digital marketing, factors affecting digital marketing

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438 Labor Legislation and Female Economic Empowerment: Evidence from Night Work, Regulatory and Seating Laws

Authors: Lamis Kattan, Joanne Haddad


This paper examines the impact of gender focused labor legislation on women's labor force participation and economic empowerment. We rely on historical legislative acts passed by state legislatures and exploit whether or not states passed regulatory laws regulating overall and industry specific employment and work conditions for women, night work laws and labor laws requiring provision of seats for working women. We exploit the fact that not all states enacted these laws as well as the variation in the timing of enactment of such laws. Our results show that women in comparison to men in treated states are more likely to be in the labor force post introduction of night work laws in comparison to control states. We also document the effect of industry-specific labor policies on women's likelihood to be employed in the affected industry and in higher-wage occupations within the industry of interest. Policy implications of our findings endorse the adoption of labor laws in favor of women to advocate their empowerment through a higher involvement in the labor market and financial independence.

Keywords: female employment, labor laws, marriage, fertility

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437 Accounting and Auditing Standards Influence on Income Smoothing Perspective in Islamic Financial Institutions

Authors: Fatma Ezzahra Kateb, Neila Boulila Taktak, Mohamed Kabir Hassan


We examine the impact of Islamic accounting and auditing standards issued by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) on the income smoothing perspective of Islamic financial institutions located in the Middle East and North Africa region between 2013 and 2018. Based on General Least square regression for panel data, we find a significant and positive relationship between intentional income smoothing and earning persistence and cash flow predictability in all models. However, we discovered that AAOIFI accounting standards (FAS) had a negative and significant effect on intentional income smoothing and earning persistence. As a result, the income smoothing efficiency is lower for IFIs that use FASs than IFIs that use IFRSs. Our findings emphasize the need for specific standards to enhance the relevance of financial reports disclosed by Islamic financial institutions.

Keywords: AAOIFI, financial reporting quality, income smoothing perspective, MENA countries

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436 Medicinal Plants Supply Chain Innovations for Producer Surplus: Relationship Integration to Benefit the Rural Agrientrepreneurs in Bangladesh

Authors: Akm Shahidullah


This paper assessed the medicinal plants production and related entrepreneurial and management aspects with a focus to understand the present medicinal plants-based supply chain of Bangladesh. It delineated the overall supply chain and the extent of benefit that the plant-producingagrientrepreneursderive out of the existing system of the chain. The key objective was to put forward innovative supply chain strategiesthatcan leverage the benefit of the rural farmer-entrepreneur of medicinal plants. A field-based investigation was carried out in the Natore district of northwest Bangladesh, where a total of 225 farmers and households from eight villages were engaged in the production of medicinal plant species. The research had a survey with the agrientrepreneurs of two of those villages and focus group discussions at a union level to gather information about the price, buyers, seasonality, and overall supply infrastructure and trading mechanisms of the plant products. The research also gathered explanations on the overall supply chain system of the plants and plant-based processed products through key informant interviews with the local and regional selling agents, stockists, wholesalers, and secondary processors. The findings revealed that, in the existing supply chain system, the primary and wholesale secondary markets were mostly dominated by middlemen who cause market distortions and inflated prices due to a lack of coordination between the primary producers and secondary processors. The discoordination and inefficiencies in the supply chain system could be offset by the producer-processor relationship integration that could result in a multitude of benefits to both the parties in terms of price, quality, lead time, and overall control of the supply chain. Therefore, to ensure the growth of medicinal plants production, the industry users, secondary processors, and policy stakeholders should ensure that the primary producers get the fair share of the benefit; the producer-processor relationship integration in the supply chain offers to ensure that fairness with maximum producer surplus.

Keywords: medicinal-plants, agrientrepreneur, supply chain, relationship integration, Bangladesh

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435 Dynamic Analysis of Mono-Pile: Spectral Element Method

Authors: Rishab Das, Arnab Banerjee, Bappaditya Manna


Mono-pile foundations are often used in soft soils in order to support heavy mega-structures, whereby often these deep footings may undergo dynamic excitation due to many causes like earthquake, wind or wave loads acting on the superstructure, blasting, and unbalanced machines, etc. A comprehensive analytical study is performed to study the dynamics of the mono-pile system embedded in cohesion-less soil. The soil is considered homogeneous and visco-elastic in nature and is analytically modeled using complex springs. Considering the N number of the elements of the pile, the final global stiffness matrix is obtained by using the theories of the spectral element matrix method. Further, statically condensing the intermediate internal nodes of the global stiffness matrix results to a smaller sub matrix containing the nodes experiencing the external translation and rotation, and the stiffness and damping functions (impedance functions) of the embedded piles are determined. Proper plots showing the variation of the real and imaginary parts of these impedance functions with the dimensionless frequency parameter are obtained. The plots obtained from this study are validated by that provided by Novak,1974. Further, the dynamic analysis of the resonator impregnated pile is proposed within this study. Moreover, with the aid of Wood's 1g laboratory scaling law, a proper scaled-down resonator-pile model is 3D printed using PLA material. Dynamic analysis of the scaled model is carried out in the time domain, whereby the lateral loads are imposed on the pile head. The response obtained from the sensors through the LabView software is compared with the proposed theoretical data.

Keywords: mono-pile, visco-elastic, impedance, LabView

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434 Arginase Enzyme Activity in Human Serum as a Marker of Cognitive Function: The Role of Inositol in Combination with Arginine Silicate

Authors: Katie Emerson, Sara Perez-Ojalvo, Jim Komorowski, Danielle Greenberg


The purpose of this study was to evaluate arginase activity levels in response to combinations of an inositol-stabilized arginine silicate (ASI; Nitrosigine®), L-arginine, and Inositol. Arginine acts as a vasodilator that promotes increased blood flow resulting in enhanced delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain and other tissues. ASI alone has been shown to improve performance on cognitive tasks. Arginase, found in human serum, catalyzes the conversion of arginine to ornithine and urea, completing the last step in the urea cycle. Decreasing arginase levels maintains arginine and results in increased nitric oxide production. This study aimed to determine the most effective combination of ASI, L-arginine and inositol for minimizing arginase levels and therefore maximize ASI’s effect on cognition. Serum was taken from untreated healthy donors by separation from clotted factors. Arginase activity of serum in the presence or absence of test products was determined (QuantiChrom™, DARG-100, Bioassay Systems, Hayward CA). The remaining ultra-filtrated serum units were harvested and used as the source for the arginase enzyme. ASI alone or combined with varied levels of Inositol were tested as follows: ASI + inositol at 0.25 g, 0.5 g, 0.75 g, or 1.00 g. L-arginine was also tested as a positive control. All tests elicited changes in arginase activity demonstrating the efficacy of the method used. Adding L-arginine to serum from untreated subjects, with or without inositol only had a mild effect. Adding inositol at all levels reduced arginase activity. Adding 0.5 g to the standardized amount of ASI led to the lowest amount of arginase activity as compared to the 0.25g 0.75g or 1.00g doses of inositol or to L-arginine alone. The outcome of this study demonstrates an interaction of the pairing of inositol with ASI on the activity of the enzyme arginase. We found that neither the maximum nor minimum amount of inositol tested in this study led to maximal arginase inhibition. Since the inhibition of arginase activity is desirable for product formulations looking to maintain arginine levels, the most effective amount of inositol was deemed preferred. Subsequent studies suggest this moderate level of inositol in combination with ASI leads to cognitive improvements including reaction time, executive function, and concentration.

Keywords: arginine, inositol, arginase, cognitive benefits

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433 Social Entrepreneurship as an Innovative Women Empowerment Model against the Poverty in Türkiye

Authors: Rumeysa Terzioglu


Social entrepreneurship is not only a new concept but also an engaging factor of development that utilizes opportunities in economic and social areas for women. Social entrepreneurs have experience in determining and solving social problems with community participation. Social entrepreneurship is a consequence of individual social and economic initiatives contributing to women’s social and economic development against poverty. Women’s empowerment is an essential point for development. Türkiye has been developing an alternative empowerment model for women affected by the national development plan. Social entrepreneurship is an alternative model of social and economic empowerment of women’s status in Türkiye.

Keywords: social entrepreneurship, women, women empowerment, development

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432 Work Life Balance Strategies and Retention of Medical Professionals

Authors: Naseem M. Twaissi


Medical professionals play an important role in society, and in general, they care more about their patients than about their personal well-being. They need to take a professional approach to maintain a work-life balance. Through a collection of primary data from 1020 medical professionals and the application of relevant statistical tools, this paper explores the pressures on medical professionals with reference to their work-life balance. This study highlights how hospital management, in addition to economic reasons, needs to identify variables to enhance the work-life balance of medical professionals so that quality healthcare facilities may be provided to the citizens of Jordan. Results indicate that formulation and implementation of policies for enhancing work-life balance together with career and retention plans for medical professionals would enhance the performance of hospitals and the quality of health care in Jordan, leading to greater societal well-being.

Keywords: work life balance, job environment, job satisfaction, employee well-being, stress, hospital industry

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431 Rebalancing your Workforce Post-COVID -- A Leadership Framework For Unlocking Performance And Strengthen Resilience

Authors: Thomas Seemann, Melanie Seemann


The work environment has changed considerably due to the COVID pandemic. A growing body of empirical research shows that employees feel increasingly stressed and anxious. They consider themselves more detached from the organization they work for than previously. Organizations need to readjust their leadership practices to cope with this situation and rebuild work motivation and resilience. We propose a leadership tool that focuses on two key dimensions, which we call the "task channel" and the "energy channel." Managing the task channel comprises balancing the challenge [C] of a task and the corresponding skill set [S] of the individual performing the task. Recent research findings shed light on how to balance these two factors and create optimal work conditions in the workplace. Managing the energy channel comprise balancing the workload [WL] of an employee and his/her capacity to work [CW]. This ensures that the mid-term and long-term effectiveness of employees is maintained and energy depletion, fatigue, and burn-out are prevented. Organizations can actively apply strategies to leverage wellsprings and effectively reenergize their workforce. Thinking through and acting upon these factors will provide leaders with the insights they need to maximize their people's performance and, at the same time, establish a more mindful workplace.

Keywords: resilience, motivation, employee engagement, leadership

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430 Initial Settlers and Gender Norms: Evidence From the United States

Authors: Joanne Haddad


The distinctive traits of early settlers at initial stages of institutional development may be crucial for cultural formation. In 1973, the cultural geographer Wilbur Zelinsky postulated this in his doctrine of “first effective settlement”. There is however little empirical evidence supporting the role of early settlers in shaping culture over the long run. This paper tests this hypothesis by relating early settlers’ culture to within state variation in gender norms in the United States. Settlers’ culture is captured using past female labor force participation, women’s suffrage, and financial rights at their place of origin. The paper documents the distinctive characteristics of settlers’ populations and provide suggestive evidence in support of the transmission of gender norms across space and time. Results from this analysis show that women’s labor supply is higher, in both the short and long run, in U.S. counties that historically hosted a larger settler population originating from places with favorable gender attitudes. Findings from this study shed new light on the importance of the characteristics of immigrants and their place of origin for cultural formation in hosting societies.

Keywords: female labor force participation, settlers, gender norms, cultural formation.

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429 Promoting Organizational Learning Facing the Complexity of Public Healthcare: How to Design a Voluntary, Learning-Oriented Benchmarking

Authors: Rachel M. Lørum, Henrik Eriksson, Frida Smith


Purpose: In recent years, the use of benchmarks for the improvement of healthcare has become increasingly common. There has been an increasing interest in why improvement initiatives so often fail to eliminate the problems they aspire to solve. Benchmarking comes with its fair share of challenges and problems, such as capturing the dynamics and complexities of the care environments, among others. In this study, we demonstrate how learning-oriented, voluntary benchmarks in the complex environment of public healthcare could be designed. Findings: Our four most important findings were the following: first, important organizational learning (OL) regarding the complexity of the service and implications on how to design a benchmark for learning and improvement occurred during the process. Second, participation by a wide range of professionals and stakeholders was crucial for capturing the complexity of people and organizations and increasing the quality of the template. Third, the continuous dialogue between all organizations involved was an important tool for ongoing organizational learning throughout the process. The last important finding was the impact of the facilitator’s role through supporting progress, coordination, and dialogue. Design: We chose participatory design as the research design. Data were derived from written materials such as e-mails, protocols, observational notes, and reflection notes collected during a period of 1.5 years. Originality: Our main contributions are the identification of important strategies, initiatives, and actors to involve when designing voluntary benchmarks for learning and improvement.

Keywords: organizational learning, quality improvement, learning-oriented benchmark, healthcare, patient safety

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428 Healthcare Education via Lean Startup Approach in Bhutan

Authors: R. C. Meyer, T. S. Hatten, S. A. Meyer


Bhutan has made significant inroads for advanced educational expertise and rigor in the first two decades of the 21st century. The small Himalayan Kingdom is a leader in literacy and educational modeling for South Central Asia. The potential attention to innovation in healthcare education within the country, while looking at the success of current educational programs and identifying current gaps, will be addressed. Namely, healthcare training still falls behind many other forms of higher education in this country, a crucial point as healthcare is a cornerstone in economic development. Suggestions and justifications for growth in this area are included. Specifically, a case will be built on the application of the Lean Startup approach developed for and by business entrepreneurs to speed up the improvement of new products and services. Lean startup causes technologies to develop faster, more efficiently, and effectively to meet customer needs. Three reasons that a lean startup approach in healthcare, beginning with healthcare education, will have a positive impact: a) it drives down costs, an important factor in an industry as important as the health of citizens, especially in a country with limited resources, b) it drives innovation needed to develop new treatments and procedures quickly, and c) while lean startup was originally developed for high tech companies, it is a tool that favors organizations (and countries) that are smaller and more nimble in their decision-making. With lean startup, small seeds can grow quickly, beginning in healthcare education before spreading to hospitals, clinics, and other providers. Bhutan offers an excellent opportunity for study and possibility in this area due to several factors: their standing as a leader in educational indicators, their internal government support and free education, their ties to Western institutions of higher education, and their use of the English language in all levels of education beginning at age four. Finally, the significance of Bhutan as a role model for educational reform and focus elsewhere as drivers of economic development will be addressed.

Keywords: Bhutan, economic development, healthcare education, lean start approach

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427 The Impact of Blended Learning on the Perception of High School Learners Towards Entrepreneurship

Authors: Rylyne Mande Nchu, Robertson Tengeh, Chux IWU


Blended learning is a global phenomenon and is essential to many institutes of learning as an additional method of teaching that complements more traditional methods of learning. In this paper, the lack of practice of a blended learning approach to entrepreneurship education and how it impacts learners' perception of being entrepreneurial. E-learning is in its infancy within the secondary and high school sectors in South Africa. The conceptual framework of the study is based on theoretical aspects of systemic-constructivist learning implemented in an interactive online learning environment in an entrepreneurship education subject. The formative evaluation research was conducted implementing mixed methods of research (quantitative and qualitative) and it comprised a survey of high school learners and informant interviewing with entrepreneurs. Theoretical analysis of literature provides features necessary for creating interactive blended learning environments to be used in entrepreneurship education subject. Findings of the study show that learners do not always objectively evaluate their capacities. Special attention has to be paid to the development of learners’ computer literacy as well as to the activities that would bring online learning to practical training. Needs analysis shows that incorporating blended learning in entrepreneurship education may have a positive perception of entrepreneurship.

Keywords: blended learning, entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurship intention, entrepreneurial skills

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426 Decision Quality as an Antecedent to Export Performance. Empirical Evidence under a Contingency Theory Lens

Authors: Evagelos Korobilis-Magas, Adekunle Oke


The constantly increasing tendency towards a global economy and the subsequent increase in exporting, as a result, has inevitably led to a growing interest in the topic of export success as well. Numerous studies, particularly in the past three decades, have examined a plethora of determinants to export performance. However, to the authors' best knowledge, no study up to date has ever considered decision quality as a potential antecedent to export success by attempting to test the relationship between decision quality and export performance. This is a surprising deficiency given that the export marketing literature has long ago suggested that quality decisions are regarded as the crucial intervening variable between sound decision–making and export performance. This study integrates the different definitions of decision quality proposed in the literature and the key themes incorporated therein and adapts it to an export context. Apart from laying the conceptual foundations for the delineation of this elusive but very important construct, this study is the first ever to test the relationship between decision quality and export performance. Based on survey data from a sample of 189 British export decision-makers and within a contingency theory framework, the results reveal that there is a direct, positive link between decision quality and export performance. This finding opens significant future research avenues and has very important implications for both theory and practice.

Keywords: export performance, decision quality, mixed methods, contingency theory

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425 Contractor Selection by Using Analytical Network Process

Authors: Badr A. Al-Jehani


Nowadays, contractor selection is a critical activity of the project owner. Selecting the right contractor is essential to the project manager for the success of the project, and this cab happens by using the proper selecting method. Traditionally, the contractor is being selected based on his offered bid price. This approach focuses only on the price factor and forgetting other essential factors for the success of the project. In this research paper, the Analytic Network Process (ANP) method is used as a decision tool model to select the most appropriate contractor. This decision-making method can help the clients who work in the construction industry to identify contractors who are capable of delivering satisfactory outcomes. Moreover, this research paper provides a case study of selecting the proper contractor among three contractors by using ANP method. The case study identifies and computes the relative weight of the eight criteria and eleven sub-criteria using a questionnaire.

Keywords: contractor selection, project management, decision-making, bidding

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424 A Value-Oriented Metamodel for Small and Medium Enterprises’ Decision Making

Authors: Romain Ben Taleb, Aurélie Montarnal, Matthieu Lauras, Mathieu Dahan, Romain Miclo


To be competitive and sustainable, any company has to maximize its value. However, unlike listed companies that can assess their values based on market shares, most Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which are non-listed cannot have direct and live access to this critical information. Traditional accounting reports only give limited insights to SME decision-makers about the real impact of their day-to-day decisions on the company’s performance and value. Most of the time, an SME’s financial valuation is made one time a year as the associated process is time and resource-consuming, requiring several months and external expertise to be completed. To solve this issue, we propose in this paper a value-oriented metamodel that enables real-time and dynamic assessment of the SME’s value based on the large definition of their assets. These assets cover a wider scope of resources of the company and better account for immaterial assets. The proposal, which is illustrated in a case study, discusses the benefits of incorporating assets in the SME valuation.

Keywords: SME, metamodel, decision support system, financial valuation, assets

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423 Presenting a Model in the Analysis of Supply Chain Management Components by Using Statistical Distribution Functions

Authors: Ramin Rostamkhani, Thurasamy Ramayah


One of the most important topics of today’s industrial organizations is the challenging issue of supply chain management. In this field, scientists and researchers have published numerous practical articles and models, especially in the last decade. In this research, to our best knowledge, the discussion of data modeling of supply chain management components using well-known statistical distribution functions has been considered. The world of science owns mathematics, and showing the behavior of supply chain data based on the characteristics of statistical distribution functions is innovative research that has not been published anywhere until the moment of doing this research. In an analytical process, describing different aspects of functions including probability density, cumulative distribution, reliability, and failure function can reach the suitable statistical distribution function for each of the components of the supply chain management. It can be applied to predict the behavior data of the relevant component in the future. Providing a model to adapt the best statistical distribution function in the supply chain management components will be a big revolution in the field of the behavior of the supply chain management elements in today's industrial organizations. Demonstrating the final results of the proposed model by introducing the process capability indices before and after implementing it alongside verifying the approach through the relevant assessment as an acceptable verification is a final step. The introduced approach can save the required time and cost to achieve the organizational goals. Moreover, it can increase added value in the organization.

Keywords: analyzing, process capability indices, statistical distribution functions, supply chain management components

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422 The Increasing of Perception of Consumers’ Awareness about Sustainability Brands during Pandemic: A Multi Mediation Model

Authors: Silvia Platania, Martina Morando, Giuseppe Santisi


Introduction: In the last thirty years, there is constant talk of sustainable consumption and a "transition" of consumer lifestyles towards greater awareness of consumer choices (United Nation, 1992). The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic that has hit the world population since 2020 has had significant consequences in all areas of people's lives; individuals have been forced to change their behaviors, to redefine their owngoals, priorities, practices, and lifestyles, to rebuild themselves in the new situation dictated by the pandemic. Method(Participants and procedure ): The data were collected through an online survey; moreover, we used convenience sampling from the general population. The participants were 669 Italians consumers (Female= 514, 76.8%; Male=155, 23.2%) that choice sustainability brands, aged between 18 and 65 years (Mₐ𝓰ₑ = 35.45; Standard Deviation, SD = 9.51).(Measure ): The following measures were used: The Muncy–Vitell Consumer Ethics Scale; Attitude Toward Business Scale; Perceived Consumer Effectiveness Scale; Consumers Perception on Sustainable Brand Attitudes. Results: Preliminary analyses were conducted to test our model. Pearson's bivariate correlation between variables shows that all variables of our model correlate significantly and positively, PCE with CPSBA (r = .56, p <.001). Furthermore, a CFA, according to Harman's single-factor test, was used to diagnose the extent to which common-method variance was a problem. A comparison between the hypothesised model and a model with one factor (with all items loading on a unique factor) revealed that the former provided a better fit for the data in all the CFA fit measures [χ² [6, n = 669] = 7.228, p = 0.024, χ² / df = 1.20, RMSEA = 0.07 (CI = 0.051-0.067), CFI = 0.95, GFI = 0.95, SRMR = 0.04, AIC = 66.501; BIC = 132,150). Next, amulti mediation was conducted to test our hypotheses. The results show that there is a direct effect of PCE on ethical consumption behavior (β = .38) and on ATB (β = .23); furthermore, there is a direct effect on the CPSBA outcome (β = .34). In addition, there is a mediating effect by ATB (C.I. =. 022-.119, 95% interval confidence) and by CES (C.I. =. 136-.328, 95% interval confidence). Conclusion: The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected consumer consumption styles and has led to an increase in online shopping and purchases of sustainable products. Several theoretical and practical considerations emerge from the results of the study.

Keywords: decision making, sustainability, pandemic, multimediation model

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421 Impact of Artificial Intelligence Technologies on Information-Seeking Behaviors and the Need for a New Information Seeking Model

Authors: Mohammed Nasser Al-Suqri


Former information-seeking models are proposed more than two decades ago. These already existed models were given prior to the evolution of digital information era and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. Lack of current information seeking models within Library and Information Studies resulted in fewer advancements for teaching students about information-seeking behaviors, design of library tools and services. In order to better facilitate the aforementioned concerns, this study aims to propose state-of-the-art model while focusing on the information seeking behavior of library users in the Sultanate of Oman. This study aims for the development, designing and contextualizing the real-time user-centric information seeking model capable of enhancing information needs and information usage along with incorporating critical insights for the digital library practices. Another aim is to establish far-sighted and state-of-the-art frame of reference covering Artificial Intelligence (AI) while synthesizing digital resources and information for optimizing information-seeking behavior. The proposed study is empirically designed based on a mix-method process flow, technical surveys, in-depth interviews, focus groups evaluations and stakeholder investigations. The study data pool is consist of users and specialist LIS staff at 4 public libraries and 26 academic libraries in Oman. The designed research model is expected to facilitate LIS by assisting multi-dimensional insights with AI integration for redefining the information-seeking process, and developing a technology rich model.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, information seeking, information behavior, information seeking models, libraries, Sultanate of Oman

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420 Mitigating the Negative Effect of Intrabrand Clustering: The Role of Interbrand Clustering and Firm Size

Authors: Moeen Naseer Butt


Clustering –geographic concentrations of entities– has recently received more attention in marketing research and has been shown to affect multiple outcomes. This study investigates the impact of intrabrand clustering (clustering of same-brand outlets) on an outlet’s quality performance. Further, it assesses the moderating effects of interbrand clustering (clustering of other-brand outlets) and firm size. An examination of approximately 21,000 food service establishments in New York State in 2019 finds that the impact of intrabrand clustering on an outlet’s quality performance is context-dependent. Specifically, intrabrand clustering decreases, whereas interbrand clustering and firm size help increase the outlet’s performance. Additionally, this study finds that the role of firm size is more substantial than interbrand clustering in mitigating the adverse effects of intrabrand clustering on outlet quality performance.

Keywords: intraband clustering, interbrand clustering, firm size, brand competition, outlet performance, quality violations

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419 Transferable Knowledge: Expressing Lessons Learnt from Failure to Outsiders

Authors: Stijn Horck


Background: The value of lessons learned from failure increases when these insights can be put to use by those who did not experience the failure. While learning from others has mostly been researched between individuals or teams within the same environment, transferring knowledge from the person who experienced the failure to an outsider comes with extra challenges. As sense-making of failure is an individual process leading to different learning experiences, the potential of lessons learned from failure is highly variable depending on who is transferring the lessons learned. Using an integrated framework of linguistic aspects related to attributional egotism, this study aims to offer a complete explanation of the challenges in transferring lessons learned from failures that are experienced by others. Method: A case study of a failed foundation established to address the information needs for GPs in times of COVID-19 has been used. An overview of failure causes and lessons learned were made through a preliminary analysis of data collected in two phases with metaphoric examples of failure types. This was followed up by individual narrative interviews with the board members who have all experienced the same events to analyse the individual variance of lessons learned through discourse analysis. This research design uses the researcher-as-instrument approach since the recipient of these lessons learned is the author himself. Results: Thirteen causes were given why the foundation has failed, and nine lessons were formulated. Based on the individually emphasized events, the explanation of the failure events mentioned by all or three respondents consisted of more linguistic aspects related to attributional egotism than failure events mentioned by only one or two. Moreover, the learning events mentioned by all or three respondents involved lessons learned that are based on changed insight, while the lessons expressed by only one or two are more based on direct value. Retrospectively, the lessons expressed as a group in the first data collection phase seem to have captured some but not all of the direct value lessons. Conclusion: Individual variance in expressing lessons learned to outsiders can be reduced using metaphoric or analogical explanations from a third party. In line with the attributional egotism theory, individuals separated from a group that has experienced the same failure are more likely to refer to failure causes of which the chances to be contradicted are the smallest. Lastly, this study contributes to the academic literature by demonstrating that the use of linguistic analysis is suitable for investigating the knowledge transfer from lessons learned after failure.

Keywords: failure, discourse analysis, knowledge transfer, attributional egotism

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418 Disrupting Traditional Industries: A Scenario-Based Experiment on How Blockchain-Enabled Trust and Transparency Transform Nonprofit Organizations

Authors: Michael Mertel, Lars Friedrich, Kai-Ingo Voigt


Based on principle-agent theory, an information asymmetry exists in the traditional donation process. Consumers cannot comprehend whether nonprofit organizations (NPOs) use raised funds according to the designated cause after the transaction took place (hidden action). Therefore, charity organizations have tried to appear transparent and gain trust by using the same marketing instruments for decades (e.g., releasing project success reports). However, none of these measures can guarantee consumers that charities will use their donations for the purpose. With awareness of misuse of donations rising due to the Ukraine conflict (e.g., funding crime), consumers are increasingly concerned about the destination of their charitable purposes. Therefore, innovative charities like the Human Rights Foundation have started to offer donations via blockchain. Blockchain technology has the potential to establish profound trust and transparency in the donation process: Consumers can publicly track the progress of their donation at any time after deciding to donate. This ensures that the charity is not using donations against its original intent. Hence, the aim is to investigate the effect of blockchain-enabled transactions on the willingness to donate. Sample and Design: To investigate consumers' behavior, we use a scenario-based experiment. After removing participants (e.g., due to failed attention checks), 3192 potential donors participated (47.9% female, 62.4% bachelor or above). Procedure: We randomly assigned the participants to one of two scenarios. In all conditions, the participants read a scenario about a fictive charity organization called "Helper NPO." Afterward, the participants answered questions regarding their perception of the charity. Manipulation: The first scenario (n = 1405) represents a typical donation process, where consumers donate money without any option to track and trace. The second scenario (n = 1787) represents a donation process via blockchain, where consumers can track and trace their donations respectively. Using t-statistics, the findings demonstrate a positive effect of donating via blockchain on participants’ willingness to donate (mean difference = 0.667, p < .001, Cohen’s d effect size = 0.482). A mediation analysis shows significant effects for the mediation of transparency (Estimate = 0.199, p < .001), trust (Estimate = 0.144, p < .001), and transparency and trust (Estimate = 0.158, p < .001). The total effect of blockchain usage on participants’ willingness to donate (Estimate = 0.690, p < .001) consists of the direct effect (Estimate = 0.189, p < .001) and the indirect effects of transparency and trust (Estimate = 0.501, p < .001). Furthermore, consumers' affinity for technology moderates the direct effect of blockchain usage on participants' willingness to donate (Estimate = 0.150, p < .001). Donating via blockchain is a promising way for charities to engage consumers for several reasons: (1) Charities can emphasize trust and transparency in their advertising campaigns. (2) Established charities can target new customer segments by specifically engaging technology-affine consumers in the future. (3) Charities can raise international funds without previous barriers (e.g., setting up bank accounts). Nevertheless, increased transparency can also backfire (e.g., disclosure of costs). Such cases require further research.

Keywords: blockchain, social sector, transparency, trust

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