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Department of Intelligent Operations and Marketing
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1.Delivery time dynamics in an assemble-to-order inventory and order based production control system

Author:Lin, JY;Naim, MM;Spiegler, VLM


Abstract:System dynamics play a critical role in influencing supply chain performance. However, the dynamic property of the assemble-to-order (ATO) system remain unexplored. Based on control theory, the inventory and order based production control system (IOBPCS) family, can be utilized as a base framework for assessing system dynamics. However, the underlying assumption in traditional IOBPCS-based analytical studies is that the system is linear and the delivery time to end customers is negligible or backlog is used as a surrogate indicator. Our aim is to incorporate customer delivery lead-time variance as the third assessment measure alongside capacity availability and inventory variance as part of the so-called 'performance triangle'- capacity at the supplier, the customer order decoupling point (CODP) inventory and the delivery lead-time. Using the 'performance triangle' and adopting non-linear control engineering techniques, we assess the dynamic behaviour of an ATO system in the electronics sector. We benchmark the ATO system dynamics model against the IOBPCS family. We exploit frequency response analysis to ensure a robust system design by considering three measures of the 'performance triangle'. The findings suggest delivery LT variance can be minimised by maintaining the ATO system as a true Push-Pull hybrid state with sufficient CODP stock, although increased operational cost driven by bullwhip and CODP variance need to be considered. However, if the hybrid ATO system 'switches' to the pure Push state, the mean and variance of delivery LT can be significantly increased.

2.The Reinforcing Effects of Formal Control Enactment in Complex IT Projects

Author:Liu, GHW;Chua, CEH


Abstract:Complex IT projects pose particular challenges for the application of control, because of the dynamism and uncertainty involved. Prior studies suggest self-control can complement formal control within complex projects. However, how managers can enact controlee self-control remains an unsolved question. This paper proposes and investigates how enacted formal control unfolds during the course of an IT project and, in particular, how formal control enactment can promote or hinder controlee self-control. We demonstrate through case studies of a control in two wireless communication product development projects that an enabling control style can induce controlees to act to the benefit of both the controller and the controlee, while an authoritative control style encourages controlees' self-interested behavior. We also show how controlees influence the enactment of control within complex projects and demonstrate the reinforcing effects of the controller's enactment and controlee response on project outcomes. For practice, this research identifies preconditions necessary for inducing controlee self-control.

3.Factors Influencing the Acceptance of Self-Service Technologies: A Meta-Analysis

Author:Blut, M;Wang, C;Schoefer, K


Abstract:To facilitate efficient and effective service delivery, firms are introducing self-service technologies (SSTs) at an increasing pace. This article presents a meta-analysis of the factors influencing customer acceptance of SSTs. The authors develop a comprehensive causal framework that integrates constructs and relationships from different technology acceptance theories, and they use the framework to guide their meta-analysis of findings consolidated from 96 previous empirical articles (representing 117 independent customer samples with a cumulative sample size of 103,729 respondents). The meta-analysis reveals the following key insights: (1) SST usage is influenced in a complex fashion by numerous predictors that should be examined jointly; (2) ease of use and usefulness are key mediators, and studies ignoring them may underestimate the importance of some predictors; (3) several determinants of usefulness impact ease of use, and vice versa, thereby revealing crossover effects not previously revealed; and (4) the links leading up to SST acceptance in the proposed framework are moderated by SST type (transaction/self-help, kiosk/Internet, public/private, hedonic/utilitarian) and country culture (power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance). Results from the meta-analysis offer managerial guidance for effective implementation of SSTs and provide directions for further research to augment current knowledge of SST acceptance.

4.Predicting customer absence for automobile 4S shops: A lifecycle perspective

Author:Wang, JW;Lai, X;Zhang, S;Wang, WM;Chen, JH


Abstract:Repair and maintenance services are among the most lucrative aspects of the entire automobile business chain. However, in the context of fierce competition, customer chums have led to the bankruptcy of several 4S (sales, spare parts, services, and surveys) shops. In this regard, a six-year dataset is utilized to study customer behaviors to aid managers identify and retain valuable but potential customer churn through a customized retention solution. First, we define the absence and presence behaviors of customers and thereafter generate absence data according to customer habits; this makes it possible to treat the customer absence prediction problem as a classification problem. Second, the repeated absence and presence behaviors of customers are considered as a whole from a lifecycle perspective. A modified recurrent neural network (RNN-2L) is proposed; it is more efficient and reasonable in structure compared with traditional RNN. The time-invariant customer features and the sequential lifecycle features are handled separately; this provides a more sensible specification of the RNN structure from a behavioral interpretation perspective. Third, a customized retention solution is proposed. By comparing the proposed model with those that are conventional, it is found that the former outperforms the latter in terms of area under the curve (AUC), confusion matrix, and amount of time consumed. The proposed customized retention solution can achieve significant profit increase. This paper not only elucidates the customer relationship management in the automobile aftermarket (where the absence and presence behaviors are infrequently considered), but also presents an efficient solution to increase the predictive power of conventional machine learning models. The latter is achieved by considering behavioral and business perspectives.

5.Supply chain finance: Latest research topics and research opportunities

Author:Chen, LJ;Chan, HK;Zhao, XD


6.Enhancing Antenatal Clinics Decision-Making Through the Modelling and Simulation of Patients Flow by Using a System Dynamics Approach. A Case for a British Northwest Hospital

Author:Hernandez, JE;Adams, T;Ismail, H;Yao, H


Abstract:In the past 60 years, the maternal mortality rate in the United Kingdom has dropped considerably. However, the number of high-risk pregnancies including those complicated by pre-existing maternal health problems e.g. diabetes or lifestyle illnesses e.g. obesity has resulted in an increased demand on obstetric outpatient management of pregnancy at British National Health Service hospitals. In addition, patients also expect better access and convenient appointments in the antenatal clinic. Despite on-going work in these areas, long delays in clinic waiting rooms continue to be a great source of frustration for patients and staff. These delays have a considerable social cost to the economy and a financial cost to the health economy. Therefore, this paper considers a realistic study for supporting decision-makers in antenatal clinics in British northwest hospitals by using a system dynamics approach through causal-loop diagrams. The focus is to enhance the performance of the clinic, by understanding the flow of patients though a hospital clinic thereby aiming to reduce waiting times for patients.

7.Sustainable supply chain Finance:Towards a research agenda

Author:Jia, F;Zhang, TY;Chen, LJ


Abstract:Supply chain finance (SCF) as an effective method for improving supply chain (SC) financial performance has attracted attention from both academics and industries in recent years. In the development of SCF research and practice, there is growing interest in how SCF solutions help to promote SC sustainability performance. However, the research on sustainable SCF (SSCF) remains scant; both scholars and managers have not fully realized the significant economic, environmental, and social value behind this concept. This study, based on a systematic literature review of 47 articles related to SCF and sustainability, summarizes SSCF motives, practices and outcomes. In addition, to further investigate this emerging topic, this review discusses how SSCF solutions may help to drive sustainable SC enablers as well as mitigate sustainable SC barriers, which, in turn, improves sustainable SC performance. Based on the descriptive and thematic findings, this review then develops a conceptual framework that facilitates the conceptual development of SSCF. Finally, it identifies gaps in the existing literature and provides recommendations for future research. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

8.Preference reversals in decisions that matter: Education choices in China

Author:Desmarchelier, B;Qian, LX;Fang, ES


Abstract:Context effects are often tested with experiments about casual consumption choices. In this paper, we test for the emergence of such effects in life-changing choices made by respondents who are deeply considering the presented choice-set at the moment of the experiment. A choice experiment about postgraduate studies is implemented with 1486 Chinese undergraduate students. We observe the emergence of both attraction and compromise effects. Echoing a recent literature, we bring evidence that the attraction effect is violating the maximization theory.

9.Reconciling engineer-to-order uncertainty by supporting front-end decision-making

Author:Reid, Iain ; Bamford, David ; Ismail, Hossam

Source:International Journal of Production Research,2019,Vol.57

Abstract:This paper presents the dynamics of engineer-to-order (ETO) practice through Integration Definition for Function Modelling (IDEF) practice. The paper describes and defines how an ETO manufacturer utilised IDEF-QA in order to manage project uncertainties within the tendering process. The research is conceptualised through an empirical action research approach, involving an active role in the assessment of the ETO process. The paper revisits the use of IDEF, showcasing an assessment of output quality. It also suggests a road map for resource uncertainty within ETO, specifically when scoping the supply chain for ETO projects. The paper then presents an IDEF Quality Assessment model for improving the tendering process of ETO, and it examines the importance of evaluating project behaviour for supporting new future projects. The principal contribution is in how a structured approach provides IDEF with a quality assessment of resources, thereby consolidating and establishing a relationship for highlighting the uncertainties experienced by ETO manufacturers within the decision-making process. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

10.Recent Advancements in Big Data Technologies and Applications in Computing, IoT and Computer Engineering Technology J. UCS Special Issue

Author:Man, KL;Liu, O;Hughes, D;Lu, C


11.Achieving sustainability in global sourcing: towards a conceptual framework

Author:Jiang, Y;Jia, F;Blome, C;Chen, LJ


Abstract:Purpose This paper aims to set out the development, based on the extant literature, an integrated conceptual framework for the emergent field of sustainable global sourcing (GS) that synthesizes its antecedents, GS practices and sustainable performance. Design/methodology/approach Conceptual theory building combined with content analysis is used to develop a framework and propositions representing a middle-range theory of sustainable GS. A literature review of the 89 most influential papers is followed by a further discussion based on the resource orchestration perspective (ROP) to advance an integrated conceptual framework. Findings Three main themes are identified from the literature as antecedents, GS practices and sustainable performance, with each theme being detailed in a variety of constructs. Based on the ROP, the relationships between these constructs are revealed, and therefore, an integrated conceptual framework is advanced via three sets of propositions in recourse orchestration breadth, recourse orchestration depth and resource orchestration evolution, respectively. Eight directions for future research are further proposed. Originality/value First, this study provides a comprehensive framework for future study in the emergent field of sustainable GS. Second, the authors contribute to theory development by proposing a ROP to explore the GS practices towards sustainability. Third, the future research directions we proposed can benefit scholars interested in the overlapping areas of GS and sustainability.

12.Schedule length and reliability-oriented multi-objective scheduling for distributed computing

Author:Liu, GQ;Zeng, YF;Li, D;Chen, YK

Source:SOFT COMPUTING,2015,Vol.19

Abstract:Maximizing system reliability and minimizing schedule length are the two major objectives in scheduling a distributed computing system. These two objectives have been considered separately by most researchers, although more realistically they should be considered simultaneously. This paper addresses the problem by taking a multi-objective approach in scheduling. A Tabu search algorithm is proposed and two lateral interference schemes are used to distribute the Pareto optimal solutions along the Pareto front uniformly. Randomly generated directed acyclic graphs and a real application task graph are used to study the performance of the proposed algorithms. Experimental results show that for this problem lateral interference has no influence on the non-dominated solution number, but does benefit the uniform distribution of non-dominated solutions, irrespective of the computation method used to determine distances between the solutions.

13.Does energy efficiency affect financial performance? Evidence from Chinese energy-intensive firms

Author:Fan, LW;Pan, SJ;Liu, GQ;Zhou, P


Abstract:Energy-intensive firms are confronted with increasing pressure to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. This paper explores the relationship between the energy efficiency and financial performance of a sample of firms in China based on a panel dataset for the period 2010-2014. Six financial indicators representing the benefits of different stakeholders are used in the analysis. Our empirical results show that energy efficiency is positively related to return on equity, return on assets, return on investment, return on invested capital and return on sales but has no significant relationship with Tobin's q. In addition, we examine the interaction effect between energy intensity and firm growth and find that firm growth helps to enhance the positive relationship between energy intensity and financial performance. Our findings provide incentive for firms to be proactive in their efforts towards energy conservation and emissions reduction. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

14.Do environmental management systems help improve corporate sustainable development? Evidence from manufacturing companies in Pakistan

Author:Ikram, M;Zhou, P;Shah, SAA;Liu, GQ


Abstract:This study assessed whether the adoption of an environmental management system (EMS) as a part of an integrated management system (IMS) helps improve corporate sustainability based on the data for 211 manufacturing companies in Pakistan. A stakeholder-weighted CSR index and an equal-weighted CSR index were used to measure CSR performance of the selected companies. Descriptive t-test and exploratory factor analysis were employed to test the hypothesis and internal consistency. Structural equation modelling was used to measure various useful links between latent and observed variables. Results revealed that the mean CSR performance of EMS adopters was significantly higher than that of non-EMS adopters. Further, EMS adopters had positive and significant effect on soundness, environmental protection, fairness and contribution to society, whereas, the non-EMS companies had positive and substantial impact on employee satisfaction and economic contribution. In conclusion, EMS adoption can be an effective tool for organisations to address economic, social and environmental issues. Moreover, EMS adoption appears to be a viable means to develop business goals and improve CSR activities. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

15.Sharing Sustainability: How Values and Ethics Matter in Consumers' Adoption of Public Bicycle-Sharing Scheme(vol 149, pg 313, 2018)

Author:Yin, JL;Qian, LX;Singhapakdi, A


Abstract:© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016. The full mail address of the first and second authors is: International Business School Suzhou, Xi’an Jiaotong- Liverpool University, No.111 Ren’ai Road, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215123, Jiangsu, China The authors of the above mentioned article would like to add the following paragraph: Acknowledgments The authors thank the reviewers for their helpful comments. This research was supported by Jiangsu Philosophy Social Science Funding Programme of Jiangsu Department of Education (Project No. 2015SJD618 and No. 2015SJD617) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71573213, 71202025, 71402093). Authors also thank Professor Russell Belk, Professor Florian Kohlbacher and the seminar participants at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, for their helpful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this article.

16.Spatial network analysis of carbon emissions from the electricity sector in China

Author:He, YY;Wei, ZX;Liu, GQ;Zhou, P


Abstract:This paper constructs a spatial association network of carbon emissions from the electricity sector in Chinese provinces by using an improved gravity model and the data on carbon emissions in 2005-2016 from the electricity sector. Social network analysis and the quadratic assignment procedure were used to analyse spatial association characteristics and influential factors. It is found that the overall structure of the carbon emission spatial network in China's electricity sector was relatively stable and provinces were closely linked. Shanghai, Jiangsu, Tianjin, Beijing and Zhejiang all played a leading role in the network centre position. Spatial adjacency relationships and per capita GDP were positively correlated with carbon emissions from the electricity sector, but electricity intensity and industrial structure were negatively correlated. Urbanisation level does not affect the spatial correlation network of carbon emissions from electricity sector. Based on the results, some policy recommendations are finally made for reducing the carbon emissions from the electricity sector in China. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

17.Do announcements of WTO dispute resolution cases matter? Evidence from the rare earth elements market

Author:Proelss, J;Schweizer, D;Seiler, V

Source:ENERGY ECONOMICS,2018,Vol.73

Abstract:Rare earth elements (REEs) have gained increasing attention recently for several key reasons: 1) they are vital to many strategic industries, 2) they are relatively scarce, 3) they frequently exhibit high price fluctuations, 4) China holds a quasi-monopoly on their mining, and 5) China's REE policy, which was overly restrictive and led to a formal complaint from the U.S., Japan, and the EU at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2012. This paper investigates whether the announcement of a WTO dispute resolution case has the power to fundamentally change market dynamics. We find empirical support for this notion because REE prices exhibit a structural break around the announcement of the WTO dispute, and show lower variance ratios for all tested REEs afterward. This indicates a tendency toward efficiency, although REE prices still do not follow a random walk. Similarly, we find that stock price informativeness of companies in the REE industry increases after the announcement, reflecting more firm-specific than marketwide information and less governmental influence. Finally, we show that model uncertainty for option pricing models decreases, which we measure by the lower pricing differences among them. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

18.An intelligent decision support approach for reviewer assignment in R&D project selection

Author:Liu, O;Wang, J;Ma, J;Sun, YH


Abstract:In the process of Research and Development (R&D) project selection, experts play an important role because their opinions are the foundation on which to judge the potential value of a project. How to assign the most appropriate experts to review project proposals might greatly affect the quality of project selection, which in turn could affect the return on investment of the funding organization. However, in many funding organizations, current approaches to assigning reviewers are still based on simply matching the discipline area of the reviewers with that of the proposal, which could result in poor quality of project selection and poor future financial return. Additionally, these approaches might make it difficult to balance resources and resolve conflicts of interests between reviewers and applicants. Therefore, to overcome these problems, there is an urgent need for a systematic approach to support and automate the reviewer assignment process. This research aims at proposing an intelligent decision support approach for reviewer assignment and developing an Assignment Decision Support System (ADSS). In this approach, heuristic knowledge of expert assignment and techniques of operations research are integrated. The approach uses decision models to determine the best solution of reviewer assignment that maximizes the total expertise level of the reviewers assigned to proposals. It also balances the distribution of proposals at different grades and solves conflicts of interests between reviewers and applicants. Its application in the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the computational results of its effectiveness and efficiency are also described. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

19.Sharing economy-based service triads: Towards an integrated framework and a research agenda

Author:Li, D;Liu, GQ;Jia, F;Sun, H


Abstract:Sharing economy has gained momentum in recent years. In this paper, a concept and a synthesised conceptual framework are developed for Sharing Economy-based Service Triad (SEST). Service triads have increasingly become an interesting topic in supply chain management literature. The study adopts a systematic literature review method carrying out content analysis of 100 peer-reviewed journal article focused on triad and sharing economy in order to propose a concept and develop a conceptual development of SEST. Case examples identified from secondary sources are used to illustrate the model. Based on the literature review and case example, the research first coins the term 'Sharing Economy-based Service Triad' (SEST) by differentiating it from traditional manufacturing triads and manufacturing service triads. Then, building on social-capital and balance theories, the study develops a conceptual framework, which proposes two types of strategy for sharing-economy platforms (commitment- and control based platform strategies). These strategies reveal five service-triad structures/archetypes, which lead to different outcomes (e.g., service quality and social capital), which eventually lead to triple bottom line performance and avoid negative externalities. Finally, the study argues that SEST should not only follow economic logic, i.e., economic benefits but also adopt a social and environmental sustainability logic given the negative externalities. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

20.A Simulation Based System for Manufacturing Process Optimisation

Author:Ismail, HS;Wang, L;Poolton, J


Abstract:Simulation models have been extensively used in manufacturing to enhance the design, planning and decision making processes. However, the tendency has been to use simulation in one-off applications, often at the start of a project and not take account of inherent process changes over time. This has inhibited their contribution as a real-time decision make tool. This paper describes how simulation is used as a component of an integrated optimisation platform to support real-time decision making in a highly variable manufacturing process environment where outputs are stochastic. The paper follows by proposing an integrated framework for addressing issues of process variability in simulation based systems.
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