Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 560

Search results for: competitive

560 Impact of Dynamic Capabilities on Knowledge Management Processes

Authors: Farzad Yavari, Fereydoun Ohadi

Abstract:

Today, with the development and growth of technology and extreme environmental changes, organizations need to identify opportunities and create creativity and innovation in order to be able to maintain or improve their position in competition with others. In this regard, it is necessary that the resources and assets of the organization are coordinated and reviewed in accordance with the orientation of the strategy. One of the competitive advantages of the present age is knowledge management, which is to equip the organization with the knowledge of the day and disseminate among employees and use it in the development of products and services. Therefore, in the forthcoming research, the impact of dynamic capabilities components (sense, seize, and reconfiguration) has been investigated on knowledge management processes (acquisition, integration and knowledge utilization) in the MAPNA Engineering and Construction Company using a field survey and applied research method. For this purpose, a questionnaire was filled out in the form of 15 questions for dynamic components and 15 questions for measuring knowledge management components and distributed among 46 employees of the knowledge management organization. Validity of the questionnaire was evaluated through content validity and its reliability with Cronbach's coefficient. Pearson correlation test and structural equation technique were used to analyze the data. The results of the research indicate a positive significant correlation between the components of dynamic capabilities and knowledge management.

Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, knowledge management, sense capability, seize capability, reconfigurable capability, knowledge acquisition, knowledge integrity, knowledge utilization.

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559 A Process of Forming a Single Competitive Factor in the Digital Camera Industry

Authors: Kiyohiro Yamazaki

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This paper considers a forming process of a single competitive factor in the digital camera industry from the viewpoint of product platform. To make product development easier for companies and to increase product introduction ratios, development efforts concentrate on improving and strengthening certain product attributes, and it is born in the process that the product platform is formed continuously. It is pointed out that the formation of this product platform raises product development efficiency of individual companies, but on the other hand, it has a trade-off relationship of causing unification of competitive factors in the whole industry. This research tries to analyze product specification data which were collected from the web page of digital camera companies. Specifically, this research collected all product specification data released in Japan from 1995 to 2003 and analyzed the composition of image sensor and optical lens; and it identified product platforms shared by multiple products and discussed their application. As a result, this research found that the product platformation was born in the development of the standard product for major market segmentation. Every major company has made product platforms of image sensors and optical lenses, and as a result, this research found that the competitive factors were unified in the entire industry throughout product platformation. In other words, this product platformation brought product development efficiency of individual firms; however, it also caused industrial competition factors to be unified in the industry.

Keywords: Digital camera industry, product evolution trajectory, product platform, unification of competitive factors.

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558 Research of the Factors Affecting the Administrative Capacity of Enterprises in the Logistic Sector of Bulgaria

Authors: R. Kenova, K. Anguelov, R. Nikolova

Abstract:

The human factor plays a major role in boosting the competitive capacity of logistic enterprises. This is of particular importance when it comes to logistic companies. On the one hand they should be strictly compliant with legislation; on the other hand, they should be competitive in terms of pricing and of delivery timelines. Moreover, their policies should allow them to be as flexible as possible. All these circumstances are reason for very serious challenges for the qualification, motivation and experience of the human resources, working in logistic companies or in logistic departments of trade and industrial enterprises. The geographic place of Bulgaria puts it in position of a country with some specific competitive advantages in the goods transport from Europe to Asia and back. Along with it, there is a number of logistic companies, that operate in this sphere in Bulgaria. In the current paper, the authors aim to establish the condition of the administrative capacity and human resources in the logistic companies and logistic departments of trade and industrial companies in Bulgaria in order to propose some guidelines for improving of their effectiveness. Due to independent empirical research, conducted in Bulgarian logistic, trade and industrial enterprises, the authors investigate both the impact degree and the interdependence of various factors that characterize the administrative capacity. The study is conducted with a prepared questionnaire, in format of direct interview with the respondents. The volume of the poll is 50 respondents, representatives of: general managers of industrial or trade enterprises; logistic managers of industrial or trade enterprises; general managers of forwarding companies – either with own or with hired transport; experts from Bulgarian association of logistics; logistic lobbyist and scientists of the relevant area. The data are gathered for 3 months, then arranged by a specialized software program and analyzed by preset criteria. Based on the results of this methodological toolbox, it can be claimed that there is a correlation between the individual criteria. Also, a commitment between the administrative capacity and other factors that determine the competitiveness of the studied companies is established. In this paper, the authors present results of the empirical research that concerns the number and the workload in the logistic departments of the enterprises. Also, what is commented is the experience, related to logistic processes management and human resources competence. Moreover, the overload level of the logistic specialists is analyzed as one of the main threats for making mistakes and losing clients. The paper stands behind the thesis that there is indispensability of forming an effective and efficient administrative capacity, based on the number, qualification, experience and motivation of the staff in the logistic companies. The paper ends with recommendations about the qualification and experience of the specialists in logistic departments; providing effective and efficient administrative capacity in the logistic departments; interdependence of the human factor and the other factors that influence the enterprise competitiveness.

Keywords: Administrative capacity, human resources, logistic competitiveness, staff qualification.

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557 Game-Theory-Based on Downlink Spectrum Allocation in Two-Tier Networks

Authors: Yu Zhang, Ye Tian, Fang Ye Yixuan Kang

Abstract:

The capacity of conventional cellular networks has reached its upper bound and it can be well handled by introducing femtocells with low-cost and easy-to-deploy. Spectrum interference issue becomes more critical in peace with the value-added multimedia services growing up increasingly in two-tier cellular networks. Spectrum allocation is one of effective methods in interference mitigation technology. This paper proposes a game-theory-based on OFDMA downlink spectrum allocation aiming at reducing co-channel interference in two-tier femtocell networks. The framework is formulated as a non-cooperative game, wherein the femto base stations are players and frequency channels available are strategies. The scheme takes full account of competitive behavior and fairness among stations. In addition, the utility function reflects the interference from the standpoint of channels essentially. This work focuses on co-channel interference and puts forward a negative logarithm interference function on distance weight ratio aiming at suppressing co-channel interference in the same layer network. This scenario is more suitable for actual network deployment and the system possesses high robustness. According to the proposed mechanism, interference exists only when players employ the same channel for data communication. This paper focuses on implementing spectrum allocation in a distributed fashion. Numerical results show that signal to interference and noise ratio can be obviously improved through the spectrum allocation scheme and the users quality of service in downlink can be satisfied. Besides, the average spectrum efficiency in cellular network can be significantly promoted as simulations results shown.

Keywords: Femtocell networks, game theory, interference mitigation, spectrum allocation.

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556 Prediction of the Lateral Bearing Capacity of Short Piles in Clayey Soils Using Imperialist Competitive Algorithm-Based Artificial Neural Networks

Authors: Reza Dinarvand, Mahdi Sadeghian, Somaye Sadeghian

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Prediction of the ultimate bearing capacity of piles (Qu) is one of the basic issues in geotechnical engineering. So far, several methods have been used to estimate Qu, including the recently developed artificial intelligence methods. In recent years, optimization algorithms have been used to minimize artificial network errors, such as colony algorithms, genetic algorithms, imperialist competitive algorithms, and so on. In the present research, artificial neural networks based on colonial competition algorithm (ANN-ICA) were used, and their results were compared with other methods. The results of laboratory tests of short piles in clayey soils with parameters such as pile diameter, pile buried length, eccentricity of load and undrained shear resistance of soil were used for modeling and evaluation. The results showed that ICA-based artificial neural networks predicted lateral bearing capacity of short piles with a correlation coefficient of 0.9865 for training data and 0.975 for test data. Furthermore, the results of the model indicated the superiority of ICA-based artificial neural networks compared to back-propagation artificial neural networks as well as the Broms and Hansen methods.

Keywords: Lateral bearing capacity, short pile, clayey soil, artificial neural network, Imperialist competition algorithm.

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555 Products in Early Development Phases: Ecological Classification and Evaluation Using an Interval Arithmetic Based Calculation Approach

Authors: Helen L. Hein, Joachim Schwarte

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As a pillar of sustainable development, ecology has become an important milestone in research community, especially due to global challenges like climate change. The ecological performance of products can be scientifically conducted with life cycle assessments. In the construction sector, significant amounts of CO2 emissions are assigned to the energy used for building heating purposes. Therefore, sustainable construction materials for insulating purposes are substantial, whereby aerogels have been explored intensively in the last years due to their low thermal conductivity. Therefore, the WALL-ACE project aims to develop an aerogel-based thermal insulating plaster that would achieve minor thermal conductivities. But as in the early stage of development phases, a lot of information is still missing or not yet accessible, the ecological performance of innovative products bases increasingly on uncertain data that can lead to significant deviations in the results. To be able to predict realistically how meaningful the results are and how viable the developed products may be with regard to their corresponding respective market, these deviations however have to be considered. Therefore, a classification method is presented in this study, which may allow comparing the ecological performance of modern products with already established and competitive materials. In order to achieve this, an alternative calculation method was used that allows computing with lower and upper bounds to consider all possible values without precise data. The life cycle analysis of the considered products was conducted with an interval arithmetic based calculation method. The results lead to the conclusion that the interval solutions describing the possible environmental impacts are so wide that the result usability is limited. Nevertheless, a further optimization in reducing environmental impacts of aerogels seems to be needed to become more competitive in the future.

Keywords: Aerogel-based, insulating material, early develop¬ment phase, interval arithmetic.

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554 Branding Good Corporate Governance: A Pathway to Strengthen Investors’ Perception and Brand Equity

Authors: Azaz Zaman, Imtiaz Uddin Chowdhury, Mohammad Shariful Islam

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Corporate governance has become a crucial issue in both the business and academic world as a result of world-wide financial scandals and lack of trust in corporate practices. There is no doubt that in order to thrive and attain growth in the market, a company must earn the trust of its stakeholders by consistently delivering on its commitments. Directors of the companies thus comprehend the importance of upfront communication with relevant stakeholders to increase their confidence. The authors of this article argue that practicing good corporate governance is not enough in this highly competitive market place; corporate leaders need to market their good corporate governance practices in order to make the company more attractive to investors. This article also contends that the strength of corporate governance relies wholly upon the extent to which it is communicated simply, effectively and unceasingly to its stakeholders. The main objective of this study, therefore, is to explore the importance of branding good corporate governance in order to increase corporate brand equity, attract investors, and capture market share. A structured questionnaire comprising three sections and a total of 34 questions was prepared and surveyed by the authors among respondents residing in Bangladesh and who also have an academic and corporate background, to investigate the potential impact of branding good corporate governance in the market place. High mean values for individual questions and overall section depict that communicating and branding good corporate governance to the stakeholders will not only boost the investors’ confidence but also increase the corporate brand equity, yielding both profitable and sustainable business environment.

Keywords: Brand equity, investors’ preference, good corporate governance, sustainable business environment.

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553 Managing Business Processes in the Age of Digital Transformation: A Literature Review

Authors: Ana-Marija Stjepić, Dalia Suša Vugec

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Today, digital transformation is one of the leading topics that occupy the attention of scientific circles and business experts. Organizational success is most often reflected through the successful managing of business processes. Given the growing market for digital innovations and its ever-increasing impact on business, organizations need to be prepared for organizational changes that come with the digital era. In order to maintain their competitive advantage in the global market, organizations must adapt their processes to new digitalization conditions. The main goal of this study is to point out the link between the digital transformation and the business process management concept. Therefore, in order to contribute to the scientific field that explores the potential relation between business process management concept and digital transformation, a literature review has been conducted. Papers have been searched within the Business Process Management Journal by keywords related to the term digital transformation. Selected papers have been analyzed according to the topic, type of publication, year of publication, keywords, etc. The results reveal a growing number of papers published on the topic of digital transformation to the Business Process Management Journal, but the lack of case studies. This paper contributes to the extension of academic literature in this important, yet insufficiently researched, scientific field that creates the bond between two strong concepts of digital transformation and business process management.

Keywords: Business process management, digital transformation, digitalization, process change.

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552 Technical and Economic Analysis of Smart Micro-Grid Renewable Energy Systems: An Applicable Case Study

Authors: M. A. Fouad, M. A. Badr, Z. S. Abd El-Rehim, Taher Halawa, Mahmoud Bayoumi, M. M. Ibrahim

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Renewable energy-based micro-grids are presently attracting significant consideration. The smart grid system is presently considered a reliable solution for the expected deficiency in the power required from future power systems. The purpose of this study is to determine the optimal components sizes of a micro-grid, investigating technical and economic performance with the environmental impacts. The micro grid load is divided into two small factories with electricity, both on-grid and off-grid modes are considered. The micro-grid includes photovoltaic cells, back-up diesel generator wind turbines, and battery bank. The estimated load pattern is 76 kW peak. The system is modeled and simulated by MATLAB/Simulink tool to identify the technical issues based on renewable power generation units. To evaluate system economy, two criteria are used: the net present cost and the cost of generated electricity. The most feasible system components for the selected application are obtained, based on required parameters, using HOMER simulation package. The results showed that a Wind/Photovoltaic (W/PV) on-grid system is more economical than a Wind/Photovoltaic/Diesel/Battery (W/PV/D/B) off-grid system as the cost of generated electricity (COE) is 0.266 $/kWh and 0.316 $/kWh, respectively. Considering the cost of carbon dioxide emissions, the off-grid will be competitive to the on-grid system as COE is found to be (0.256 $/kWh, 0.266 $/kWh), for on and off grid systems.

Keywords: Optimum energy systems, renewable energy sources, smart grid, micro-grid system, on- grid system, off-grid system, modeling and simulation, economical evaluation, net present value, cost of energy, environmental impacts.

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551 Business Process Management and Organizational Culture in Big Companies: Cross-Country Analysis

Authors: Dalia Suša Vugec

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Business process management (BPM) is widely used approach focused on designing, mapping, changing, managing and analyzing business processes of an organization, which eventually leads to better performance and derives many other benefits. Since every organization strives to improve its performance in order to be sustainable and to remain competitive on the market in long-term period, numerous organizations are nowadays adopting and implementing BPM. However, not all organizations are equally successful in that. One of the ways of measuring BPM success is by measuring its maturity by calculating Process Performance Index (PPI) using ten BPM success factors. Still, although BPM is a holistic concept, organizational culture is not taken into consideration in calculating PPI. Hence, aim of this paper is twofold; first, it aims to explore and analyze the current state of BPM success factors within the big organizations from Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria and second, it aims to analyze the structure of organizational culture within the observed companies, focusing on the link with BPM success factors as well. The presented study is based on the results of the questionnaire conducted as the part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729) and financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results of the questionnaire reveal differences in the achieved levels of BPM success factors and therefore BPM maturity in total between the three observed countries. Moreover, the structure of organizational culture across three countries also differs. This paper discusses the revealed differences between countries as well as the link between organizational culture and BPM success factors.

Keywords: Business process management, BPM maturity, BPM success factors, organizational culture, process performance index.

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550 Assessing Innovation Activity in Mexico and South Korea: An Econometric Approach

Authors: Mario Gómez, Won Ho Kim, Ángel Licona, José Carlos Rodríguez

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This article analyzes innovation activity in Mexico and South Korea. It develops an econometric model to test for structural breaks in the number of patent applications filed by residents and nonresidents in these countries during the period of 1965 to 2012. These changes may suggest that firms’ innovative capabilities have changed because of implementing different science, technology and innovation (STI) policies in Mexico and South Korea. Two important features characterize this research from others already developed by these authors. First, the theoretical research framework in this research is the debate between the assimilation view of growth and the accumulation view of growth. This characteristic suggests that trade liberalization should be accompanied by an adequate STI policy to boost competitiveness among indigenous firms. Second, the analysis in this research stresses the importance of key actors (e.g. governments) to successfully develop innovation capabilities among indigenous firms. Therefore, the question conducting this research is how STI policies in Mexico and South Korea contributed to develop firms’ innovation capabilities in these countries during last decades? The results from this research suggests that STI policy in South Korea was more suitable to boost innovation firms to compete in markets. Data to develop this research was released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Keywords: Econometric methods, innovation, Mexico, South Korea, STI Policy.

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549 Core Competence Development while Carrying out Organizational Changes

Authors: Olga A. Shvetsova

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The paper contains the different issues of competence management in industrial companies. The theoretical bases of human resources management and practical issues of innovative enterprises’ competitiveness are considered. The research is focused on the modern industrial enterprise changes management problems; it focuses on the effective personnel management of industrial enterprises on the basis of competence approach. The influence of organizational changes on the competence development is discussed. The need for development of the new technologies is mentioned, proposal is based on competence-based approach in personnel management including in the conditions of carrying out organizational changes; methods of acquisition and development of missing key professional competences are discussed; importance of key competencies in forming competitive advantage of the organization is mentioned.

Keywords: Competence model, development of industrial company, organizational changes, competitiveness, core competencies.

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548 Quality as an Approach to Organizational Change and Its Role in the Reorganization of Enterprises: Case of Four Moroccan Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: A. Boudiaf

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The purpose of this paper is to analyze and apprehend, through four case studies, the interest of the project of the implementation of the quality management system (QMS) at four Moroccan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This project could generate significant organizational change to improve the functioning of the organization. In fact, quality is becoming a necessity in the current business world. It is considered to be a major component in companies’ competitive strategies. It should be noted that quality management is characterized by a set of methods and techniques that can be used to solve malfunctions and reorganize companies. It is useful to point out that the choice of the adoption of the quality approach could be influenced by the circumstances of the business context, it could also be derived from its strategic vision; this means that this choice can be characterized as either a strategic aspect or a reactive aspect. This would probably have a major impact on the functioning of the QMS and also on the perception of the quality issue by company managers and their employees.

Keywords: Business context, organizational change, quality, reorganization.

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547 Prospects of Iraq’s Maritime Openness and Their Effect on Its Economy

Authors: Mohanad Hammad

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Port institutions serve as a link connecting the land areas that receive the goods and the areas from where ships sail. These areas hold great significance for the conversion of goods into commodities of economic value, capable of meeting the needs of the society. Development of ports constitutes a fundamental component of the comprehensive economic development process. Recognizing this fact, developing countries have always resorted to this infrastructural element to resolve the numerous problems they face, taking into account its contribution to the reformation of their economic conditions. Iraqi ports have played a major role in boosting the commercial movement in Iraq, as they are the starting point of its oil exports and a key constituent in fulfilling the consumer and production needs of the various economic sectors of Iraq. With the Gulf wars and the economic blockade, Iraqi ports have continued to deteriorate and become unable to perform their functions as first-generation ports, prompting Iraq to use the ports of neighboring countries such as Jordan's Aqaba commercial port. Meanwhile, Iraqi ports face strong competition from the ports of neighboring countries, which have achieved progress and advancement as opposed to the declining performance and efficiency of Iraqi ports. The great developments in the economic conditions of Iraq lay a too great burden on the Iraqi maritime transport and ports, which require development in order to be able to meet the challenges arising from the fierce international and regional competition in the markets. Therefore, it is necessary to find appropriate solutions in support of the role that can be played by Iraqi ports in serving Iraq's foreign trade transported by sea and in keeping up with the development of foreign trade. Thus, this research aims at tackling the current situation of the Iraqi ports and their commercial activity and studying the problems and obstacles they face. The research also studies the future prospects of these ports, the potentials of maritime openness to Iraq under the fierce competition of neighboring ports, and the possibility of enhancing Iraqi ports’ competitiveness. Among the results produced by this research is the future scenario it proposes for Iraqi ports, mainly represented in the establishment of Al-Faw Port, which will contribute to a greater openness of maritime transport in Iraq, and the rehabilitation and expansion of existing ports. This research seeks to develop solutions to Iraq ports so that they can be repositioned as a vital means of promoting economic development.

Keywords: Transport, port, regional openness, development.

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546 Investigating the Usability of a University Website from the Users’ Perspective: An Empirical Study of Benue State University Website

Authors: Abraham Undu, Stephen Akuma

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Websites are becoming a major component of an organization’s success in our ever globalizing competitive world. The website symbolizes an organization, interacting or projecting an organization’s principles, culture, values, vision, and perspectives. It is an interface connecting organizations and their clients. The university, as an academic institution, makes use of a website to communicate and offer computing services to its stakeholders (students, staff, host community, university management etc). Unfortunately, website designers often give more consideration to the technology, organizational structure and business objectives of the university than to the usability of the site. Website designers end up designing university websites which do not meet the needs of the primary users. This empirical study investigated the Benue State University website from the point view of students. This research was realized by using a standardized website usability questionnaire based on the five factors of usability defined by WAMMI (Website Analysis and Measurement Inventory): attractiveness, controllability, efficiency, learnability and helpfulness. The result of the investigation showed that the university website (https://portal.bsum.edu.ng/) has neutral usability level because of the usability issues associated with the website. The research recommended feasible solutions to improve the usability of the website from the users’ perspective and also provided a modified usability model that will be used for better evaluation of the Benue State University website.

Keywords: Usability, usability factors, university websites, user’s perspective, WAMMI, modified usability model, Benue State University.

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545 Welding Process Selection for Storage Tank by Integrated Data Envelopment Analysis and Fuzzy Credibility Constrained Programming Approach

Authors: Rahmad Wisnu Wardana, Eakachai Warinsiriruk, Sutep Joy-A-Ka

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Selecting the most suitable welding process usually depends on experiences or common application in similar companies. However, this approach generally ignores many criteria that can be affecting the suitable welding process selection. Therefore, knowledge automation through knowledge-based systems will significantly improve the decision-making process. The aims of this research propose integrated data envelopment analysis (DEA) and fuzzy credibility constrained programming approach for identifying the best welding process for stainless steel storage tank in the food and beverage industry. The proposed approach uses fuzzy concept and credibility measure to deal with uncertain data from experts' judgment. Furthermore, 12 parameters are used to determine the most appropriate welding processes among six competitive welding processes.

Keywords: Welding process selection, data envelopment analysis, fuzzy credibility constrained programming, storage tank.

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544 A Quantitative Study about Assessing the Effectiveness of Electronic Customer Relationship Management: A Case of Two Hotels in Mauritius

Authors: Shaheena Erkiah, Adjnu Damar Ladkoo

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Worldwide, improving tourism competitiveness has been on the agendas of many stakeholders of the hotel sector, and they seem to have agreed that one of the best ways to compete is via the implementation of electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM). In so doing, the organizations enjoy strategic positioning on the competitive market by managing better not only the customers but, other business components including knowledge and employee management. Over the recent years, the tourism industry in Mauritius has witnessed a drastic economic boom at international and national levels; providing a new outlook to boost business performance through existing and potential customers. E-CRM has been one of the management tools used to achieving this position. Thus, this insightful context- Mauritius- was opted for the study. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of e-CRM as a strategic tool in the hotel sector in Mauritius through the implementation of business strategy to create competitive advantage and impact on the business performance. To achieve the objectives of the study, a quantitative research methodology was adopted and the research revealed that e-CRM is indeed an effective strategic tool in the hotel industry in Mauritius that can provide a competitive advantage and impact positively on the organization’s performance.

Keywords: Customer, electronic, management, relationship, strategic.

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543 Stimulating Policy for Attracting Foreign Direct Investment in Georgia

Authors: G. Erkomaishvili, M. Kobalava, T. Lazariashvili, N. Damenia

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Current state of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Georgia is analyzed and evaluated in the paper, the existing legislative background for regulating investments and stimulating policies to attract investments are shown. It is noted that in developing countries encouragement of investment activity, support and implementation are of the most important tasks, implying a consistent investment policy, investor-friendly tax regime and the legal system, reducing administrative barriers and restrictions, fare competitive conditions and business development infrastructure. The work deals with the determining factor of FDIs and the main directions of stimulation, as well as prospective industries where new investments are needed. Contributing and hindering factors and stimulating measures are analyzed. As a result of the research, the direct and indirect factors attracting FDI have been identified. Facilitating factors to FDI inflow are as follows: simplicity of starting business, geopolitical location, low taxes, access to credit, ease of ownership registration, natural resources, low burden of regulations, low level of corruption and low crime rates. Hindering factors to FDI inflow are as follows: small market, lack of policy for attracting investments, low qualification of the workforce (despite the large number of unemployed people it is difficult to find workers with necessary special skills and qualifications), high interest rates, instability of national currency exchange rate, presence of conflict zones within the country and so forth.

Keywords: Foreign direct investment, investment attracting policies, investor, reinvestment.

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542 A Geospatial Consumer Marketing Campaign Optimization Strategy: Case of Fuzzy Approach in Nigeria Mobile Market

Authors: Adeolu O. Dairo

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Getting the consumer marketing strategy right is a crucial and complex task for firms with a large customer base such as mobile operators in a competitive mobile market. While empirical studies have made efforts to identify key constructs, no geospatial model has been developed to comprehensively assess the viability and interdependency of ground realities regarding the customer, competition, channel and the network quality of mobile operators. With this research, a geo-analytic framework is proposed for strategy formulation and allocation for mobile operators. Firstly, a fuzzy analytic network using a self-organizing feature map clustering technique based on inputs from managers and literature, which depicts the interrelationships amongst ground realities is developed. The model is tested with a mobile operator in the Nigeria mobile market. As a result, a customer-centric geospatial and visualization solution is developed. This provides a consolidated and integrated insight that serves as a transparent, logical and practical guide for strategic, tactical and operational decision making.

Keywords: Geospatial, geo-analytics, self-organizing map, customer-centric.

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541 A Holistic Conceptual Measurement Framework for Assessing the Effectiveness and Viability of an Academic Program

Authors: Munir Majdalawieh, Adam Marks

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In today’s very competitive higher education industry (HEI), HEIs are faced with the primary concern of developing, deploying, and sustaining high quality academic programs. Today, the HEI has well-established accreditation systems endorsed by a country’s legislation and institutions. The accreditation system is an educational pathway focused on the criteria and processes for evaluating educational programs. Although many aspects of the accreditation process highlight both the past and the present (prove), the “program review” assessment is "forward-looking assessment" (improve) and thus transforms the process into a continuing assessment activity rather than a periodic event. The purpose of this study is to propose a conceptual measurement framework for program review to be used by HEIs to undertake a robust and targeted approach to proactively and continuously review their academic programs to evaluate its practicality and effectiveness as well as to improve the education of the students. The proposed framework consists of two main components: program review principles and the program review measurement matrix.

Keywords: Academic program, program review principles, curriculum development, accreditation, evaluation, assessment, review measurement matrix, program review process, information technologies supporting learning, learning/teaching methodologies and assessment.

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540 The Role of Business Process Management in Driving Digital Transformation: Insurance Company Case Study

Authors: Dalia Suša Vugec, Ana-Marija Stjepić, Darija Ivandić Vidović

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Digital transformation is one of the latest trends on the global market. In order to maintain the competitive advantage and sustainability, increasing number of organizations are conducting digital transformation processes. Those organizations are changing their business processes and creating new business models with the help of digital technologies. In that sense, one should also observe the role of business process management (BPM) and its maturity in driving digital transformation. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to investigate the role of BPM in digital transformation process within one organization. Since experiences from practice show that organizations from financial sector could be observed as leaders in digital transformation, an insurance company has been selected to participate in the study. That company has been selected due to the high level of its BPM maturity and the fact that it has previously been through a digital transformation process. In order to fulfill the goals of the paper, several interviews, as well as questionnaires, have been conducted within the selected company. The results are presented in a form of a case study. Results indicate that digital transformation process within the observed company has been successful, with special focus on the development of digital strategy, BPM and change management. The role of BPM in the digital transformation of the observed company is further discussed in the paper.

Keywords: Business process management, case study, Croatia, digital transformation, insurance company.

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539 A Preliminary Literature Review of Digital Transformation Case Studies

Authors: Vesna Bosilj Vukšić, Lucija Ivančić, Dalia Suša Vugec

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While struggling to succeed in today’s complex market environment and provide better customer experience and services, enterprises encompass digital transformation as a means for reaching competitiveness and foster value creation. A digital transformation process consists of information technology implementation projects, as well as organizational factors such as top management support, digital transformation strategy, and organizational changes. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is little evidence about digital transformation endeavors in organizations and how they perceive it – is it only about digital technologies adoption or a true organizational shift is needed? In order to address this issue and as the first step in our research project, a literature review is conducted. The analysis included case study papers from Scopus and Web of Science databases. The following attributes are considered for classification and analysis of papers: time component; country of case origin; case industry and; digital transformation concept comprehension, i.e. focus. Research showed that organizations – public, as well as private ones, are aware of change necessity and employ digital transformation projects. Also, the changes concerning digital transformation affect both manufacturing and service-based industries. Furthermore, we discovered that organizations understand that besides technologies implementation, organizational changes must also be adopted. However, with only 29 relevant papers identified, research positioned digital transformation as an unexplored and emerging phenomenon in information systems research. The scarcity of evidence-based papers calls for further examination of this topic on cases from practice.

Keywords: Digital strategy, digital technologies, digital transformation, literature review.

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538 Cloud Enterprise Application Provider Selection Model for the Small and Medium Enterprise: A Pilot Study

Authors: Rowland R. Ogunrinde, Yusmadi Y. Jusoh, Noraini Che Pa, Wan Nurhayati W. Rahman, Azizol B. Abdullah

Abstract:

Enterprise Applications (EAs) aid the organizations achieve operational excellence and competitive advantage. Over time, most Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are known to be the major drivers of most thriving global economies, use the costly on-premise versions of these applications thereby making business difficult to competitively thrive in the same market environment with their large enterprise counterparts. The advent of cloud computing presents the SMEs an affordable offer and great opportunities as such EAs can be cloud-hosted and rented on a pay-per-use basis which does not require huge initial capital. However, as there are numerous Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) offering EAs as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), there is a challenge of choosing a suitable provider with Quality of Service (QoS) that meet the organizations’ customized requirements. The proposed model takes care of that and goes a step further to select the most affordable among a selected few of the CSPs. In the earlier stage, before developing the instrument and conducting the pilot test, the researchers conducted a structured interview with three experts to validate the proposed model. In conclusion, the validity and reliability of the instrument were tested through experts, typical respondents, and analyzed with SPSS 22. Results confirmed the validity of the proposed model and the validity and reliability of the instrument.

Keywords: Cloud service provider, enterprise applications, quality of service, selection criteria, small and medium enterprise.

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537 Cost Effective Real-Time Image Processing Based Optical Mark Reader

Authors: Amit Kumar, Himanshu Singal, Arnav Bhavsar

Abstract:

In this modern era of automation, most of the academic exams and competitive exams are Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). The responses of these MCQ based exams are recorded in the Optical Mark Reader (OMR) sheet. Evaluation of the OMR sheet requires separate specialized machines for scanning and marking. The sheets used by these machines are special and costs more than a normal sheet. Available process is non-economical and dependent on paper thickness, scanning quality, paper orientation, special hardware and customized software. This study tries to tackle the problem of evaluating the OMR sheet without any special hardware and making the whole process economical. We propose an image processing based algorithm which can be used to read and evaluate the scanned OMR sheets with no special hardware required. It will eliminate the use of special OMR sheet. Responses recorded in normal sheet is enough for evaluation. The proposed system takes care of color, brightness, rotation, little imperfections in the OMR sheet images.

Keywords: OMR, image processing, hough circle transform, interpolation, detection, Binary Thresholding.

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536 Utilizing the Analytic Hierarchy Process in Improving Performances of Blind Judo

Authors: Hyun Chul Cho, Hyunkyoung Oh, Hyun Yoon, Jooyeon Jin, Jae Won Lee

Abstract:

Identifying, structuring, and racking the most important factors related to improving athletes’ performances could pave the way for improve training system. The purpose of this study was to identify the relative importance factors to improve performance of the of judo athletes with visual impairments, including blindness by using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). After reviewing the literature, the relative importance of factors affecting performance of the blind judo was selected. A group of expert reviewed the first draft of the questionnaires, and then finally selected performance factors were classified into the major categories of techniques, physical fitness, and psychological categories. Later, a pre-selected experts group was asked to review the final version of questionnaire and confirm the priories of performance factors. The order of priority was determined by performing pairwise comparisons using Expert Choice 2000. Results indicated that “grappling” (.303) and “throwing” (.234) were the most important lower hierarchy factors for blind judo skills. In addition, the most important physical factors affecting performance were “muscular strength and endurance” (.238). Further, among other psychological factors “competitive anxiety” (.393) was important factor that affects performance. It is important to offer psychological skills training to reduce anxiety of judo athletes with visual impairments and blindness, so they can compete in their optimal states. These findings offer insights into what should be considered when determining factors to improve performance of judo athletes with visual impairments and blindness.

Keywords: Analytic hierarchy process, blind athlete, judo, sport performance.

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535 Providing a Practical Model to Reduce Maintenance Costs: A Case Study in GeG Company

Authors: Iman Atighi, Jalal Soleimannejad, Reza Pourjafarabadi, Saeid Moradpour

Abstract:

In the past, we could increase profit by increasing product prices. But in the new decade, a competitive market does not let us to increase profit with increased prices. Therefore, the only way to increase profit will be to reduce costs. A significant percentage of production costs are the maintenance costs, and analysis of these costs could achieve more profit. Most maintenance strategies such as RCM (Reliability-Center-Maintenance), TPM (Total Productivity Maintenance), PM (Preventive Maintenance) and etc., are trying to reduce maintenance costs. In this paper, decreasing the maintenance costs of Concentration Plant of Golgohar Iron Ore Mining & Industrial Company (GeG) was examined by using of MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) and MTTR (Mean Time To Repair) analyses. These analyses showed that instead of buying new machines and increasing costs in order to promote capacity, the improving of MTBF and MTTR indexes would solve capacity problems in the best way and decrease costs.

Keywords: GeG Company, maintainability, maintenance costs, reliability-center-maintenance.

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534 Competency and Strategy Formulation in Automobile Industry

Authors: Chandan Deep Singh

Abstract:

In present days, companies are facing the rapid competition in terms of customer requirements to be satisfied, new technologies to be integrated into future products, new safety regulations to be followed, new computer-based tools to be introduced into design activities that becomes more scientific. In today’s highly competitive market, survival focuses on various factors such as quality, innovation, adherence to standards, and rapid response as the basis for competitive advantage. For competitive advantage, companies have to produce various competencies: for improving the capability of suppliers and for strengthening the process of integrating technology. For more competitiveness, organizations should operate in a strategy driven way and have a strategic architecture for developing core competencies. Traditional ways to take such experience and develop competencies tend to take a lot of time and they are expensive. A new learning environment, which is built around a gaming engine, supports the development of competences in specific subject areas. Technology competencies have a significant role in firm innovation and competitiveness; they interact with the competitive environment. Technological competencies vary according to the type of competitive environment, thus enhancing firm innovativeness. Technological competency is gained through extensive experimentation and learning in its research, development and employment in manufacturing. This is a review paper based on competency and strategic success of automobile industry. The aim here is to study strategy formulation and competency tools in the industry. This work is a review of literature related to competency and strategy in automobile industry. This study involves review of 34 papers related to competency and strategy.

Keywords: Competency, competitiveness, manufacturing competency, strategic formulation.

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533 Improving the Performance of Gas Turbine Power Plant by Modified Axial Turbine

Authors: Hakim T. Kadhim, Faris A. Jabbar, Aldo Rona, Audrius Bagdanaviciu

Abstract:

Computer-based optimization techniques can be employed to improve the efficiency of energy conversions processes, including reducing the aerodynamic loss in a thermal power plant turbomachine. In this paper, towards mitigating secondary flow losses, a design optimization workflow is implemented for the casing geometry of a 1.5 stage axial flow turbine that improves the turbine isentropic efficiency. The improved turbine is used in an open thermodynamic gas cycle with regeneration and cogeneration. Performance estimates are obtained by the commercial software Cycle – Tempo. Design and off design conditions are considered as well as variations in inlet air temperature. Reductions in both the natural gas specific fuel consumption and in CO2 emissions are predicted by using the gas turbine cycle fitted with the new casing design. These gains are attractive towards enhancing the competitiveness and reducing the environmental impact of thermal power plant.

Keywords: Axial flow turbine, computational fluid dynamics, gas turbine power plant, optimization.

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532 From Industry 4.0 to Agriculture 4.0: A Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability

Authors: Angelo Corallo, Maria Elena Latino, Marta Menegoli

Abstract:

Agri-food value chain involves various stakeholders with different roles. All of them abide by national and international rules and leverage marketing strategies to advance their products. Food products and related processing phases carry with it a big mole of data that are often not used to inform final customer. Some data, if fittingly identified and used, can enhance the single company, and/or the all supply chain creates a math between marketing techniques and voluntary traceability strategies. Moreover, as of late, the world has seen buying-models’ modification: customer is careful on wellbeing and food quality. Food citizenship and food democracy was born, leveraging on transparency, sustainability and food information needs. Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics, some of the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0, have a significant impact on market and will act as a main thrust towards a genuine ‘4.0 change’ for agriculture. But, realizing a traceability system is not simple because of the complexity of agri-food supply chain, a lot of actors involved, different business models, environmental variations impacting products and/or processes, and extraordinary climate changes. In order to give support to the company involved in a traceability path, starting from business model analysis and related business process a Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability was conceived. Studying each process task and leveraging on modeling techniques lead to individuate information held by different actors during agri-food supply chain. IoT technologies for data collection and Analytics techniques for data processing supply information useful to increase the efficiency intra-company and competitiveness in the market. The whole information recovered can be shown through IT solutions and mobile application to made accessible to the company, the entire supply chain and the consumer with the view to guaranteeing transparency and quality.

Keywords: Agriculture 4.0, agri-food supply chain, Industry 4.0, voluntary traceability.

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531 Main Tendencies of Youth Unemployment and the Regulation Mechanisms for Decreasing Its Rate in Georgia

Authors: Nino Paresashvili, Nino Abesadze

Abstract:

The modern world faces huge challenges. Globalization changed the socio-economic conditions of many countries. The current processes in the global environment have a different impact on countries with different cultures. However, an alleviation of poverty and improvement of living conditions is still the basic challenge for the majority of countries, because much of the population still lives under the official threshold of poverty. It is very important to stimulate youth employment. In order to prepare young people for the labour market, it is essential to provide them with the appropriate professional skills and knowledge. It is necessary to plan efficient activities for decreasing an unemployment rate and for developing the perfect mechanisms for regulation of a labour market. Such planning requires thorough study and analysis of existing reality, as well as development of corresponding mechanisms. Statistical analysis of unemployment is one of the main platforms for regulation of the labour market key mechanisms. The corresponding statistical methods should be used in the study process. Such methods are observation, gathering, grouping, and calculation of the generalized indicators. Unemployment is one of the most severe socioeconomic problems in Georgia. According to the past as well as the current statistics, unemployment rates always have been the most problematic issue to resolve for policy makers. Analytical works towards to the above-mentioned problem will be the basis for the next sustainable steps to solve the main problem. The results of the study showed that the choice of young people is not often due to their inclinations, their interests and the labour market demand. That is why the wrong professional orientation of young people in most cases leads to their unemployment. At the same time, it was shown that there are a number of professions in the labour market with a high demand because of the deficit the appropriate specialties. To achieve healthy competitiveness in youth employment, it is necessary to formulate regional employment programs with taking into account the regional infrastructure specifications.

Keywords: Unemployment. analysis, methods, tendencies, regulation mechanisms.

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