• A Framework for the Systematic Implementation of Green-Lean and Sustainability in SMEs

      Siegel, R; Antony, J; Govindan, K; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Lameijer, B; Samadhiya, A; University of Derby (Taylor&Francis, 2022-03)
      Evidence suggests that smaller organisations find the implementation of combined operations- and environmental Sustainability improvement initiatives such as Green-Lean and Sustainability (GLS) challenging. This paper, therefore, develops a framework for the systematic implementation of Green-Lean and Sustainability in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to achieve long-term improvement of environmental, social and economic processes and performance. A literature assessment of theories, frameworks, and concepts was employed in the study to better comprehend the difficulties confronting the modern business world. In addition, the research employed expert perspectives from the lean, green-lean, and sustainability fields to propose, develop, test, and validate a framework for addressing business concerns. The research uncovers considerable implementation problems, such as employee motivation and integration, responsibilities, and measurements. It also underlines the success factors for the implementation process, such as management, firm- goals and strategy, reviews and audits, vision, and guidance by lean, green and sustainability frameworks. The novelty in this research lies in the approach where Green-Lean and Sustainability are combined and applied in an SME context. The presented framework offers the potential to be implemented in SMEs that operate in different sectors and contexts and are affected by different environmental and social considerations.
    • Analysing the Barriers to Sustainable Sourcing in the Apparel and Fashion-Luxury Industry

      Bhandari, N; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Rocha-Lona, L; Kumar, F; Naz, F; Joshi, R; University of Warwick; University of Derby; ESCA Santo Tomás, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico; London Metropolitan University; et al. (Elsevier, 2022-02-19)
      The fashion industry’s transition to Sustainable Sourcing (SS) is crucial to address some of the social and environmental problems faced by societies. While previous research has identified SS implementation barriers in the mainstream fashion industry, this article provides a methodical identification, validation, and prioritization of the 20 key SS implementation barriers for the global apparel and fashion-luxury sector. The paper employs a multi-phase research methodology to benchmark the SS implementation barriers in the apparel and fashion-luxury sector. These barriers were analysed through 154 responses received from global SS professionals by employing a survey questionnaire. Through an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), the barriers were categorized into six unique dimensions. To establish their importance, an analytical hierarchy process (AHP) analysis further provided a global ranking of the identified barriers. The results of the study revealed that ‘Management, Government Support, and Infrastructure Barriers’ hold the most significant importance among all barrier dimensions, followed by ‘Material Barriers’, ‘Finance Barriers’, ‘Supplier Barriers’, ‘Certificates and Customer Perceptions’, and ‘Sustainable Packaging and Human Resource Barriers’. Furthermore, the results showed that specific barriers such as ‘Undersupply of Sustainable Raw Materials’, ‘Insufficient Commitment from Top Management’, and ‘Inadequate Awareness’ are the top three barriers according to global ranking. The research theoretically contributes by identifying and ranking the SS barriers that may hinder the efforts of the fashion sector to become more sustainable. This will facilitate researchers, sourcing professionals, fashion retailers, policymakers, and governing bodies in the formulation and deployment of dynamic strategies to overcome them and successfully implement SS practices.
    • Redesigning Traditional Linear Supply Chains into Circular Supply Chains – A Study into its Challenges

      Tarun, Roy; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Kumar, Vikas; Kumar, Anil; Agrawal, Rohit; University of Warwick; University of Derby; University of the West of England; London Metropolitan University; Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (Elsevier, 2022-02-12)
      Transitioning to a Circular Economy (CE) is considered the most promising way to achieve economic and environmental sustainability. However, companies and governments are faced with challenges in redesigning existing linear supply chains (SCs) into circular supply chains (CSCs). Although previous research has tried to identify challenges in the implementation of CE in their own specific contexts, the literature lacks a systematic identification and validation of challenges to transition to circular supply chain management (CSCM). This study identifies the key barriers to the redesign of SCs into CSCs in the global manufacturing sector and develops a broad classification to facilitate their mitigation. An extensive review of the state-of-the-art literature on CSCM identified a list of 20 barriers plaguing manufacturing firms and impeding the transition of their linear SCs into CSCs. The barriers were analysed through 200 responses received from experts in the fields of CE and supply chain management using a questionnaire-based survey. The findings of the study suggest significant restraints towards CSCs implementation owing to the lack of incentives and policies, and product complexity. Moreover, the study of the broadly classified barriers such as standardisation and legal barriers, and financial and economic barriers indicate substantial similarities between the results and findings of the extant literature thereby implying significant alignment between the industry and the academia regarding the subject. This work is useful in formulating strategies to redesign CSCs, and helps researchers and practitioners to understand the challenges in implementing CSCs.
    • Green Lean Six Sigma for Improving Manufacturing Sustainability: Framework Development and Validation

      Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2022-02)
      In the past few decades, a competitive landscape, learned customers and rigorous regulations have forced manufacturing industries to focus on sustainability alongside operational efficiency. The main objective of the present study is to develop a systematic Green Lean Six Sigma (GLSS) framework for improvement in operational efficiency together with environmental and social sustainability. Further, the proposed framework was tested in a leading manufacturing company. The framework was designed with insights gained from the literature and industrial personnel and encompasses the systematic application of different tools of the Green paradigm, Lean, and Six Sigma, from the identification and assessment of the problem to the sustainment of the adopted measures. A systematic application of lifecycle assessment and social lifecycle assessment was used to assess environmental and societal performance. The sustainability focused GLSS framework enhances the environmental capability, process performance and provides a new perspective for researchers and practitioners to support GLSS projects to achieving higher sustainability dynamics.
    • Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Manufacturing Operations and Supply Chain Resilience: Effects and Response Strategies

      Bastas, A; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; University of Derby (Emerald, 2022-02)
      Manufacturing organisations are striving towards adapting and responding to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the operations research streams endeavouring to support their recovery. With a view to bridging our knowledge gap on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on manufacturing operations, this paper investigates the key challenges and strategies formulated by manufacturing organisations operating in the Northern region of Cyprus. The research was conducted through 10 in-depth interviews that analyzed the effects of the pandemic, the associated causes, and the response strategies implemented. The effects of the pandemic on the manufacturing organisations investigated are identified, along with the associated causes, and the response strategies deployed. Learnings and countermeasures implemented to date are established in light of the insights captured from the practitioners. Learnings and countermeasures implemented to date are established in light of the insights captured from the practitioners. Contributions are made to the body of knowledge on manufacturing management and manufacturing supply chain resilience (SCR) through fostering our understanding of the impacts that the pandemic had on manufacturing organisations, and practical contributions are presented through evidencing and transferring of the operations management knowledge and solutions devised in various sectors to date.
    • A Framework for Assessing Trust in E-government Services under Uncertain Environment

      Shayganmehr, M; Kumar, A; Luthra, S; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; London Metropolitan University; University of Derby (Emerald, 2022)
      In this study, a novel framework was proposed to assess the trust in e-government (e- Gov) services under an uncertain environment. The proposed framework was applied in Iranian municipality websites of e-Gov services to evaluate the readiness score of trust in e-Gov services. A unique hybrid research methodology was proposed. In the first phase, a comprehensive set of indices were determined from an extensive literature review and finalized by employing the fuzzy Delphi method. In the second phase, Interval-Valued Intuitionistic Fuzzy Sets (IVIFS) was utilized to model the problem’s uncertainty with Analytic called IVIFS- Hierarchy Process (AHP) to determine the importance of indices and indicators by assigning the weights. In the third phase, the Fuzzy Evaluation Method (FEM) is followed for assessing the readiness score of indices in case studies. The findings indicated that “Trust in government” is the most significant index affecting citizen’s trust in e-Gov services while “Maintenance and support” has the least impact on user’s intention to use e–Gov services. The study is one of the few to indicate significant indices of trust in e-Gov services in developing countries. The study shows the importance of indicators and indices by assigning a weight. Additionally, the framework can assess the readiness score of various case studies. Research Implications: The study contributes by introducing a unique research methodology that integrates three phases, including Fuzzy Delphi, IVIFS AHP and Fuzzy Evaluation method. Moreover, the Fuzzy sets theory helps to reach a more accurate result by modeling the inherent ambiguity of indicators and indices. Interval-Valued Intuitionistic Fuzzy models the ambiguity of experts’ judgments in an interval. The study helps policy makers to monitor wider aspects of trust in e-Gov services as well as understanding their importance. The study enables policy makers to apply the framework to any potential case studies to evaluate the readiness score of indices and recognizing strengths and weakness of trust dimensions as well as recommending advice for improving the situation.
    • An Analysis of Operational Behavioural Factors and Circular Economy Practices in SMEs: An Emerging Economy Perspective

      Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2021-12-31)
      Circular Economy (CE) principles are relatively unexplored, especially in emerging economies. None of the studies have also explored operational behavioural factors and CE practices in the context of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). To address this gap, the present study explores operational behavioural factors that contribute to the adoption of CE practices in SMEs of emerging economies for the sustainable development of their societies. The study was conducted in three different phases. This involved an extensive literature review, a brainstorming session with experts, an empirical investigation based on 162 responses from SMEs, the development of a factors structure model employing Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and building a Network Relationship Map (NRM). The study contributes to the theory of planned and operational behaviour by considering the influence of personal determinants in assessing the adoption of CE among SMEs to examine the behavioural factors that influence CE adoption in these organisations.
    • Lean Accounting: A structured literature review

      Alves, R.; Vieira Neto, J.; Nascimento, D.L.M.D; de Andrade, F.E; Tortorella, G.L; Garza-Reyes, J.A; Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil; University of Jaén, Jaén, Spain; Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil; University of Derby (Emerald, 2021-11-14)
      The purpose of this paper is to perform a review and analyze the literature on Lean Accounting (LA), to develop insights into how LA research is developing, offering a critique of the research to date, and underlining future research opportunities. This research uses a structured literature review to categorize and analyze 39 research articles from relevant journals with a publication date from 1996 to 2020 (September) and to answer three research questions. Findings demonstrated that although LA seems to be the most suitable method for lean companies, it still lacks research in terms of the role of accountants in lean organizations as well as how its concepts are integrated with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This paper provides both academics and practitioners with valuable insights regarding the role of management accounting and accountants in the pursuit of lean transformation , presenting meaningful themes and a complete analysis of the literature along with research gaps for future research. This paper contributes to lean manufacturing literature by providing a comprehensive structured literature review of articles regarding LA. Also, it serves as a basis for developing future research agendas in management accounting practices for lean organizations.
    • Impact of I4.0 Technologies and their Interoperability on Performance: Future Pathways for Supply Chain Resilience Post-COVID-19

      Frederico, G.F.; Kumar, V; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Kumar, A; Agrawal, R; Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil; University of the West of England; University of Derby; London Metropolitan University; National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli, Tiruchirappalli, India (Emerald, 2021-10-05)
      This study aims to investigate the impact of I4.0’s technologies and their interoperability on Supply Chains (SCs) performance and how the integration of such technologies and their interoperability can create pathways for SCs resilience post-COVID-19. This is of paramount importance in the context of COVID-19 as the investigation around I4.0 technologies may provide relevant insights on how SCs may better respond to unexpected situations like the current pandemic with the use of digital technologies. A survey research method was designed based on some constructs extracted from the literature regarding the main disruptive technologies, interoperability, elements of Supply Chains Processes (SCPs) performance such as integration, collaboration, transparency, efficiency, responsiveness, and profitability. The data were collected from March-July 2020 from different regions of the world when the peak of the first wave of the pandemic had occurred. The survey resulted in 115 valid responses. The study employed a combination of descriptive, correlation and multiple regression methods to analyse the data. The study indicates that disruptive technologies significantly impact SCPs performance (integration, collaboration, responsiveness, and transparency) and their resilience. The findings did not support the notion that these technologies improve the efficiency of SCs, a significant contrast to the existing literature. Our findings also refute the existing understanding that interoperability moderates the impact of disruptive technologies on SCPs performance and enhancing the resilience of SCs. However, the findings show that the integration of I4.0 technologies and their interoperability has a positive impact on SCPs profitability. The findings strongly advocate that this integration plays an important role in improving SC performance, and a future pathway of supply chain resiliency post-COVID-19. Considering that the I4.0 trend will impact SCs in the coming years, this study brings a relevant contribution to researchers and practitioners. This study makes a unique contribution by investigating a novel causal relationship between the main elements (I4.0 technologies, interoperability, processes performance, and strategic outcomes) related to the SC in this new context.
    • Analysis of critical success factors for implementing industry 4.0 integrated circular supply chain – moving towards sustainable operations

      Kumar, Anil; Choudhary, Sangita; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Kumar, Vikas; Rehman Khan, Syed Abdul; Mishra, Nishikant; University of Derby; BML Munjal University, Gurgaon, India; University of the West of England, Bristol, UK; Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; et al. (Taylor and Francis, 2021-10-05)
      Many threats, such as scarcity of sources and climate change, are forcing the business community to examine their commitment towards the environment and society. Because of this pressure, companies have started to implement long term sustainable practices into their operations. An example of this is the adoption of circular supply chain (CSC), Industry 4.0. How the integration of Industry 4.0 and CSC can be implemented to achieve sustainable supply chain operations is an important question for research. Very little discussion is available in current literature in this regard. This study objective is to analyse the critical success factors (CSFs) for this integration. A three-phase study framework has been utilized to achieve the objective. In the first phase, CSFs are identified through literature review and experts’ inputs; in the second phase, an empirical research is conducted for finalization of CSFs and in the last phase, influencing and influenced factors are identified by using Hesitant based Fuzzy DEMATEL. The analysis shows that in the adoption of CSC integrated with Industry 4.0 to achieve sustainability in supply chain operations, ‘knowledge of CSC and Industry 4.0’ is the most important factor followed by ‘top management commitment’. With the help of this research study’s findings, both theoretical and practical contributions are provided which further help the operation. This will assist supply chain managers in achieving sustainability in supply chain operations through an effective adoption of the integration of CSC and Industry 4.0.
    • Exploring the Challenges of Electric Vehicle Adoption in Final Mile Parcel Delivery

      Anosike, Anthony; Loomes, H; Udokporo, C.K.; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2021-09-23)
      The rise in e-commerce has increased last mile parcel deliveries, in turn affecting the sustainability of transport. With the worldwide efforts to minimise fossil fuel use including the UK Government's plans to end the sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, alternative fuels need to be explored. Currently one of the most promising solutions is the electric vehicle which produces zero tailpipe emissions. This paper aims to explore the challenges of adopting Electric Vehicles (EVs) in final mile parcel deliveries, and thus identify potential directions for future research. To achieve this, we developed a systematic literature review to better understand the nature of these challenges and to provide a background from which to acquire more information from leading logistics companies in the form of in-depth interviews. We found that the companies encountered different challenges based on their fleet sizes, schedule and capacity to implement the required structural and infrastructural changes to support the efficient running of their last mile delivery operations on EVs.
    • An Empirical Examination of Benefits, Challenges, and Critical Success Factors of Industry 4.0 in Manufacturing and Service Sector

      Sony, M; Antony, J; McDermott, O; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia; Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; College of Engineering an Science, National University of Ireland, Gallway, Ireland; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2021-09-20)
      Industry 4.0 marks a new paradigm and has expanded its domain from theoretical concepts to real-world applications. Industry 4.0 is, however, still in the state of infancy and conceptual state wherein it is not clear as to how to incorporate many dynamic technological concepts in different sectors. Previous studies have conceptually delineated the benefits, challenges, and CSFs of Industry 4.0, however, there is yet to be an empirical study that critically examines the differences in benefits, challenges, and critical success factors (CSFs) of Industry 4.0 in both manufacturing and service industries and rank them. This study through an online survey captures the view of senior management professionals who have experience in Industry 4.0 implementation in major companies in Asia, Europe, and North America. 96 senior management professionals participated in this study through an online survey. The qualitative data on benefits and challenges were analysed using thematic analyses. The quantitative data on critical success factors were ranked using the normalisation of the mean to find the most important factors. Further agreement analysis was conducted in the manufacturing and service sectors for the CSFs. This study identifies the top five benefits and challenges in the manufacturing and service industries. The CSFs for Industry 4.0 was put forward and ranked in both the manufacturing and service industries.
    • Exploration and Investigation of Green Lean Six Sigma Adoption Barriers for Manufacturing Sustainability

      Kaswan, Mahender Singh; Rathi, Rajeev; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Antony, Jiju; Lovely Professional University, Punjab, India; University of Derby; Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE (IEEE, 2021-09-16)
      The increased awareness about effect of operations on sustainability dynamics and governmental pressure to cut emission rates has forced industries to adopt sustainable approaches like Green Lean Six Sigma (GLSS). Despite increasing interest in GLSS, very limited research has focused on its implementation and no research has investigated barriers that hinder GLSS execution. This study investigates GLSS implementation barriers, their relationship, and removal of same in manufacturing sector. In this research, 18 GLSS barriers have been recognized through literature review and formulated into logical groups using principal component analysis. This study pioneers with decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) with intuitionistic fuzzy set to prioritize barriers and handle the important and causal relationship among the same. The results of the study were validated through intuitionistic fuzzy best worst method (IF-BWM). The results reveal that management-related barriers are the top-ranked followed by environmental and organization barriers with BWM weights 0.5283, 0.1704, and 0.1035 respectively. This provides impetus to policymakers for induction of GLSS in business organization to make harmony between economic development and environmental sustainability.
    • Circular economy: a conceptual model to measure readiness for manufacturing SMEs

      Thorley, J; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Anosike, A; University of Derby (Emerald, 2021-08-26)
      Over the last decade, circular economy (CE) has gathered interest from both industrialists and academics alike. Whilst CE research is widespread in such areas as supply chain and larger organisations, there is limited research into how small to medium enterprises (SMEs) can prepare for adopting CE. There is no comprehensive readiness model for SMEs adopting CE. The purpose of this paper is to explore the literature on change readiness and generate knowledge to fill this gap by developing a conceptual model to measure change readiness for SMEs' adopting CE. This study is based on a comprehensive literature review of change readiness models and frameworks. The paper reviews publications from Science Direct, Web of Science, Emerald, Scopus and Google Scholar. The readiness for change models and frameworks from the selected publications are evaluated and synthesised to develop a comprehensive conceptual model for change readiness for SMEs adopting a circular economy. A readiness conceptual model is developed by incorporating several factors as precursors to readiness, i.e. individual/collective difference, structural, contextual factors and related barriers. Eleven factors make up the individual/collective difference. Three factors make up the structural and contextual factors. This paper develops a conceptual model that can aid academics and practitioners in better understanding SMEs readiness to adopt CE. This paper makes a unique contribution by proposing a comprehensive conceptual model of readiness for SMEs adopting CE.
    • Impact of the Strategic Sourcing Process on the Supply Chain Response to the COVID-19 effects

      Frederico, G.F.; Kumar, V; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil; University of the West of England; University of Derby (Emerald, 2021-08-20)
      This research investigates the impact of the strategic sourcing process on the supply chain response to COVID-19. The paper presents practitioners' perspectives (experts in supply chain management, especially involved in the procurement field) on the strategic sourcing process's impact on the supply chain response. The study follows a survey-based approach for data collection. It uses a descriptive survey methodology where questions related to the impact of the strategic sourcing process on the supply chain response in the face of the coronavirus pandemic were explored by practitioners. In total, 130 valid responses were obtained. The results showed that the majority of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that strategic sourcing positively impacts the supply chain response amid the COVID-19 effects. Also, for the five phases of the strategic sourcing process, the majority of respondents considered them as a high and very high impact on the supply chain response. This paper provides timely insights for practitioners and academics, especially those involved in the supply chain management area, showing how the strategic sourcing process plays an important role in making supply chains more responsive amid disruption situations. Findings of this paper clearly shows the impact of the phases of the strategic sourcing process on the responsiveness of the supply chains amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This can encourage supply chain leadership to devote more time to strategic sourcing initiatives to generate improvements on the supply chain performance. This paper is unique since it brings an unexplored relation in respect to strategic sourcing amid disruption situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, from a practitioner's perspective. It also significantly contributes to developing new directions for the supply chain management domain to deal with large-scale disruptions, such as the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Challenges in the Implementation of Lean Manufacturing in the Wood & Furniture Industry

      Abu, F; Saman, M.Z.M; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Gholami, H; Zakuan, N; Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Malaysia; University of Derby (Emerald, 2021-08-03)
      This study analyses the challenges in implementing lean manufacturing (LM) in the wood & furniture industry. In order to facilitate the smooth implementation of LM practices in this industry, the challenges in terms of its deployment need to be analysed and observed. Realising this importance, this study proposes a model, using PLS-SEM, which focuses on dealing with the challenges faced in the implementation of lean in the wood & furniture industry. The model consists of ten challenges that were determined based on a survey involving 46 SMEs companies in Malaysia. The findings revealed that the implementation of LM is significantly affected by 3 main issues, namely: knowledge, resources, and, culture and human attitude. Furthermore, the analyses also highlighted four dominant challenges which are related to culture and human attitude issues – lack of employee commitment, lack of senior management’s interest and support, difficult to implement, and LM is viewed as “current trend”. Overall, the ability to deal with the challenges involving factors of knowledge, and culture and human attitude, determine the success of LM implementation, especially in companies that have limited resources. This study would help wood & furniture SMEs, government agencies, professional bodies, and academics to better understand the challenges when implementing LM practices. Overall, this study aims at investigating the relationships between the three challenges to better promote LM in the scope under study. Therefore, several activities were proposed to overcome the abovementioned challenges and subsequently contributing to the current body of knowledge.
    • A novel time, cost, quality and risk tradeoff model with a knowledge-based hesitant fuzzy in-formation: An R&D project application

      Mahdiraji, H.A; Sedigh, M.; Hajiagha, S.H.R.; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Jafari-Sadeghi, V.; Dana, L.P.; De Montfort University, Leicester; Khatam University, Tehran, Iran; University of Derby; Northumbria University; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-08-01)
      This paper proposes a novel approach for identifying the best implementation situation for each activity in a project by optimizing and balancing time, cost, quality, and risk criteria under uncertain circumstances. A hesitant fuzzy linguistic term sets (HFLTs) approach is proposed to determine the status of project activities in the presence of quality and risk criteria alongside their time and cost. Afterwards, a multi-objective linear programming (MOLP) model is formulated for a time, cost, quality, and risk tradeoff (TCQRT). To validate the model, a research and development project in the food industry was investigated. The results indicate that the project’s time compared to the deterministic approach was reduced by 20%. Completing the R&D project earlier than other competitors bring higher profit than tradeoff expenses, even without considering the quality and risk tradeoff benefits of the proposed approach. Considering uncertainty in risk and quality of activities via HFLTs and also optimizing all four elements of time, cost, quality, and risk simultaneously in a project are the main values of this research. The proposed approach can be employed by managers to adopt and optimize project planning and scheduling while trading off TCQR in uncertain circumstances.
    • A Framework for Assessing Sustainability in Multi-tier Supply Chains using Empirical Evidence and Fuzzy Expert System

      Shayganmehr, Masoud; Kumar, Anil; Lutha, Sunil; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran; London Metropolitan University; Ch. Ranbir Singh State Institute of Engineering and Technology, Jhajjar, Haryana, India; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2021-07-12)
      This study investigates various factors for assessing sustainability in Multi-tier Supply Chains (MtSCs) using a hybrid approach consisting of an empirical study and fuzzy expert system. After an extensive literature review, four research questions were formulated and a questionnaire designed. From its distribution, 152 responses were collected from the textile industry. Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was employed to determine the most effective factors that could contribute to the evaluation of extensive aspects of sustainability in MtSCs as well as recognize the importance of constructs. The categorized constructs based on their importance included “Environmental issues”, “Economic issues”, “Policy and governance”, “Participation”, “Social issues”, “Transparency” and “Leadership and support”. A comprehensive rating for evaluating sustainability by indicating a readiness score and linguistic variables for each construct was developed in the form of a “fuzzy expert system”. The developed fuzzy expert system was applied in an Iranian textile company to assess its readiness status as a case application. The results indicated that the company had the highest and lowest readiness in “Transparency” and “Environmental issues” with total readiness scores of 2.65 and 0.17 respectively. The finding recommends that the company should pay more attention to environmental issues such as making a cutback on utility consumption and increasing recycled materials. The framework’s validity was measured around 90% based on the satisfaction of experts’ judgments, which enables the framework to be applied in different industrial settings. Theoretically, the findings contribute to the Resources-Based View (RBV) theory, with a focus on the sustainability of MtSCs, by unveiling a comprehensive set of factors for assessing sustainability and recognizing external and internal strategic resources that lead firms to sustainable competitive advantages.
    • Evaluating Key Capabilities for Developing Global Collaborative Networks Using a Multi-Layer Decision-Making Approach

      Mahdiraji, H.A.; Hafeez, K; Kamardi, A.A.A.; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; De Montfort University; University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran; University of Derby (Emerald, 2021-07-07)
      This paper proposes a multi-layer hybrid decision-making approach to evaluate the capability alternatives for developing a collaborative network to operate in the international market. The present study is contextualised in the Iranian pistachio export industry. An extensive review of the state-of-the-art literature on supplier collaboration was conducted to identify key capabilities that are essential to establish a collaborative network. The set of defined capabilities were then optimised through interviews with 14 experts from the relevant industry, academics and export authorities. A combination of the fuzzy Delphi method and the best–worst method (BWM) approach was, respectively, used to reduce the number of capability alternatives and assign priority weights to these alternatives. Subsequently, a weighted aggregated sum product assessment method (WASPAS) was employed to rank and evaluate the ability to creating a collaborative network for the export of pistachio. From the extant literature review, 18 capabilities for the formation of coordination networks in the international markets were identified. Then, the prominent indicators in forming a global network were extracted. After ranking the top pistachio export countries/regions to formalise an efficient collaborative network, it was revealed that although Iran exports approximately 30% of the global market, it falls behind the USA and European Union. The competitors have scored higher in critical criteria, including “trust and commitment”, “strategy and management”, “managerial control and standardization” and “financial resources”. The proposed hybrid approach encompassing fuzzy Delphi–BWM–WASPAS offers to solve the capability evaluation and selection as well as ranking the possible alternative to formalise a collaborative network in an integrated fashion. This combination of methods is capable to first identify the most important factors, then measuring their importance and eventually rank the possible alternatives. The suggested framework provides an approach to deal with the uncertainty of global collaborative network formation.
    • Increasing Service Quality at a University: A Continuous Improvement Project

      Gonzalez Aleu, Fernando; Granda Gutierrez, Edgar Marco Aurelio; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Garza Villegas, Juan Baldemar; Vazquez Hernandez, Jesus; Universidad de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico; University of Derby; Continuous Improvement (Analytics), Viakable SA de CV, San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico; Advanced Value Chain Institute, San Pedro Garza García, Mexico (Emerald, 2021-07-05)
      This paper evaluates a continuous improvement project (CIP) at a Mexican university designed to increase engineering graduate student loyalty. A plan-do-check-act problem-solving methodology was implemented, and a SERVQUAL survey was conducted on 67 master’s engineering students. Five factors were found to affect student loyalty: facility cleanliness, faculty teaching skills, evening student services, master’s degree student management roles at work and master’s degree students’ ages. After the implementation of the improvement and control actions, there was a 7.7% increase in the engineering master’s degree students’ loyalty scores. This research work took a different approach in assessing student satisfaction and student loyalty in a higher education institution (HEI) by using the SERVQUAL survey as the data collection instrument for the conduct of the CIP. However, there were several research limitations: data availability (such as student loyalty, student satisfaction and a small master’s degree student population size) and factors outside the CIP’s scope (such as the country’s economic situation, university rankings, master’s programme accreditations and COVID-19). Practical implications—The findings from this research study could be used by other HEIs to improve student loyalty and as a reference when conducting similar studies in other service organisations such as hospitals and hotels.