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Abstract

Growing demands for building projects result from economic development. The building industry is dynamic and multifaceted. Efficient and effective practice of building production management (BPM) is required to successfully execute projects and achieve project goals upon completion as well as functionality aims for the lifespan of a building. This research aims to determine factors that influence the BPM practice in the Nigerian construction industry, particularly; during the project execution phase. A cross-sectional survey used; a questionnaire to identify 73 factors, which were grouped into 12 categories and assessed. A purposive sampling technique was used to identify 20 construction organisations specialising in building production management in Lagos, Nigeria. 114 questionnaires were distributed to the pool of stakeholders, which included 31 clients, 34 consultants and 49 contractors of current and past building production projects carried out by the selected firms in Lagos. The research used a selection of statistical tools for SPSS v.23, including the chi-square test, the Kruskal-Wallis test and Kendall's coefficient of concordance. The obtained result revealed the factors that mostly influence the BPM practice namely, architectural drawings, the construction programme document, the work breakdown structure, the adequacy of communication and coordination between the parties, the adequacy of raw materials and equipment, the availability of the competent team, the implementation of the safety management system, regular maintenance of project equipment, clear and timely inspections, the availability of funds as planned throughout the project duration, the availability of skilled personnel, and the aesthetics of the completed work. The research resulted in the development of the BPM implementation framework and recommendations for the improvement of the BPM practice in Nigeria.

Abstract

As Industry 4.0 offers significant productivity improvements, its relevance has grown across various organisations. While it captures the attention of both the industry and the academia, very few efforts have been made to streamline useful indicators across stages of its implementation. Such work facilitates the development of strategies that are appropriate for a specific stage of implementation; therefore, it would be significant to a variety of stakeholders. As a result, this paper aims to establish an indicator system for adopting Industry 4.0 within the context of the three stages of the innovation adoption: (i) pre-adoption, (ii) adoption, and (iii) post-adoption. First, a comprehensive review was performed with a search expanding into the literature on innovation and technology adoption. Second, the resulting indicators were filtered for relevance, redundancy, description, and thorough focus discussions. Finally, they were categorised by their stage of adoption. From 469 innovation adoption indicators found in the literature, this work identified a total of 62 indicators relevant for the Industry 4.0 adoption, in which 11, 14, and 37 of them comprised the three stages, respectively. Case studies from two manufacturing firms in the Philippines were reported to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed indicator system. This work pioneers the establishment of an indicator system for the Industry 4.0 adoption and the classification of such indicators into three stages — pre-adoption, adoption, and post-adoption — which would serve as a framework for decision-makers, practitioners, and stakeholders in planning, strategy development, resource allocation, and performance evaluation of the Industry 4.0 adoption.

Abstract

For TOC (Theory of Constraints) implementation in a production system, the determination of the system's bottleneck is a crucial step. Effective bottleneck identification allows setting priorities for the improvement of a production system. The article deals with a significant problem for the manufacturing industry related to the location of a bottleneck. The article aims for a detailed analysis of methods for bottleneck identification based on a comprehensive literature review and the design of a generalised methodology for bottleneck identification in the production system. The article uses two research methods, first, the combination of a narrative and scoping literature review, and second, the logical design. Several methods for bottleneck identification are reviewed and compared, finding some being similar, and others giving new insights into the evaluated production system. A methodology for bottleneck identification is proposed. It contains several detailed methods arranged in coherent steps, which are suggested to be followed when aiming for the recognition of a production system's bottleneck. The proposed methodology is expected to be helpful in the practical TOC implementation. The presented methodology for the identification of bottlenecks in a production system is a practical tool for managers and experts dealing with TOC. However, it is still a conceptual proposal that needs to be tested empirically. The proposed methodology for bottleneck identification is an original concept based on the current literature output. It contributes to the production management theory as a practical managerial tool.

Abstract

Industry, which on average accounts for about 60% of commodity exports in the EU-28, with over 58% resulting from the processing industry, plays a key role in ensuring the competitiveness of EU countries. The article aims to simulate the influence of structural processing industry parameters on the industry's efficiency. Correlation methods and the regression analysis were used to substantiate the hypotheses regarding the effect that the share comprised of high-tech and medium-high-tech industries has on the output structure, and the impact made by the share of imports in the intermediate consumption of those industries on the efficiency (the share of gross value added (GVA) in output) of the processing industry. Based on the criteria indicating the increased technological level and reduced import dependence, economic and mathematical models of optimisation were created for the output structure and intermediate consumption of the processing industry, which were then solved using the linear programming method. The authors present the mathematical proof of the relationship between the change in structural parameters (shares of high-tech and medium-tech industries and the share of imports in the structure of their intermediate consumption) of the processing industry and the ratio of the gross value added/output. The results of the simulation, which were based on data from the European Statistical Office and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, provide an analytical basis for selecting industrial policy benchmarks.

Abstract

The main paper aims to evaluate the impact of organisational competence on knowledge and information flows within cluster organisations and technology parks, with particular emphasis on innovative content knowledge. The paper addresses the research question: “What set of competencies of cooperating companies allows access to information and knowledge in cluster and parks structures?” The authors report their findings from a quantitative study carried out in four cluster organisations and three technology parks functioning in Poland. The research sample covered a total of 269 enterprises: 132 cluster members and 137 park tenants. The primary method of data collection was a survey questionnaire. Data analysis was conducted using the interdependence of variables, ANOVA, and logistic regression. The research showed that the surveyed enterprises from both analysed groups preferred cooperation with partners of a similar level of competence development and the same or complementary scope of competence. This set of competencies of cooperating organisations also guaranteed better access to information and knowledge resources, including confidential information and new knowledge. This study additionally indicated that the knowledge creation activities performed by the cooperating cluster organisations depended on the proximity of the competencies of organisations as well as on the nature of the information, disseminated within the cluster organisations. The theoretical contribution is related to the results obtained by analysing the phenomenon of information and knowledge dissemination in cluster and park structures, revealing the impact made by the competence proximity of cooperating organisations on the access to this such resources. Thus, the findings supplement the state-of-the-art knowledge of the concept of industrial clusters by presenting a broader view on cooperation developed in geographical proximity, based on a set of various partner competencies.

Abstract

Indicators, different in terms of nature and grading scales, are used to recognise hazardous and harmful factors that affect human health. However, no single methodology is available for their assessment, and the variety of qualimetric assessment methods requires in-depth research, in part on optimality and efficiency. Therefore, this work aimed to conduct several scientific studies to obtain the results of the assessment in unified units of measurement, which would provide a generalised indicator of harmful factors at the workplace. The article proposes to use dependencies to assess indicators of harmful factors, considering the maximum, minimum, and optimal values as well as the shape parameter, the change of which produces various assessments in a dimensionless scale. A hierarchy analysis method was used to obtain reliable values with a small number of experts and determine the form parameter. These efforts resulted in the value of the overall index for harmful factors, which serves as grounds for decisions regarding further improvements in working conditions. The developed methodology was used to assess the safety of working conditions at a machine-building enterprise, and the results are presented in the article.

Abstract

The paper introduces Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which is an emerging and cutting-edge conception of business processes automation, based on the notion of software robots or artificial intelligence workers. The paper is conceptual as it discusses the fundamentals behind this idea, synthesises the knowledge of technology, and presents it in a new context. It is based on the author's considerations and the literature review, which contributes to the insight into the basic understanding of RPA technology as well as systematises and clarifies RPA definitions, identifies market trends, formulates a set of predictions for further development of this technology, and highlights directions for future inquiry. Additionally, logical arguments are proposed for considering RPA as a technology that enables and advances digital transformation. Moreover, criteria are indicated for business processes suitable for RPA. Nowadays, the robotisation of business processes a s innovative technology is more often practically implemented than it is investigated by research. Published papers outline real examples of implemented cases of RPA technology in organisations that mainly represent service industries. These case studies allow identifying possible advantages and risks derived from RPA implementation. Recent studies also report benefits of the RPA application in terms of productivity, costs, service quality, and error reduction. Some authors propose the criteria for selecting processes suitable for automation and robotisation. This paper constitutes a foundation for new research aimed at filling knowledge gaps in this area. Responding to the call by van der Aalst, academic discourse on RPA must be initiated.

Abstract

The primary purpose of the research is to examine and validate determinants of user intention to use AutoCAD software, utilising the constructs from prior studies in a more integrated model. The paper proposes a revised Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) for measuring the adoption of AutoCAD. In the study, a latent construct PPA (perceived physical accessibility) was added to the proposed research model as a new determinant of AutoCAD adoption. An online survey of AutoCAD users was conducted to collect data. This data was empirically used to test the proposed research model. The Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) technique was used to evaluate the causal model, and the confirmatory factor analysis was performed to examine the reliability and validity of the measurement model. The study results show that user behavioural intention to use AutoCAD is significantly affected by three determinants: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and perceived physical accessibility of the software. This finding contributes to an expanded understanding of the factors that promote acceptance of AutoCAD software. Moreover, the main contribution of this study is to verify the impact of the added PPA variable on the behavioural intention to use and the actual use of AutoCAD, and also to create measurement scales for this new latent variable in TAM.

Abstract

Determining the competencies required for engineering programmes has become important due to the increasing challenges faced by engineers after graduation and the tremendous development in technology. This research aims to identify the general competencies that fresh graduate students of engineering schools in Jordan believe they need to become competent and effective in their profession as engineers. This study was the first of its kind with students as respondents, and it was the first study of this kind in Jordan. Competencies were collected from a previous study with 48 competencies split into 11 groups. A questionnaire was prepared with these competencies, then rated for the degree of importance by answering “What engineering competencies graduates will require for their future work in Jordan?” The study showed that all competencies were vital, including technical, personal, non-technical and attitudinal competencies. This study will help to link the outputs of university education provided by engineering departments with market needs as well as to harmonise study programmes offered by Jordanian universities. Also, the research outputs are expected to facilitate the transition process of students from one university to another. The empirically identified competencies could be used to help assess different engineering study programmes in Jordan.

Abstract

The literature on product variety provides great insights into various businesses. However, little research has been conducted on product variety in the healthcare industry. This study aims to explore the influence of product variety on inventory in hospitals. Since most hospitals are known to replenish products using a homegrown ad-hoc system, a model is developed for exploring all possible product combinations and substitutions. This article presents the behaviour of product substitution, which may be either one-to-one or many-to-one for both sterile and non-sterile products, in the hospital with cost factors. It discusses the product variety reduction and its corresponding cost impacts. The data on a hospital inventory over the course of six years has been procured from a hospital in Norway. Based on the results, the hospital could have a potential product variety reduction of approximately 11% and cost savings from the spending of approximately NOK 3.6 million. Reducing the variety of products in hospital inventories proves to be an approach to reducing costs. The model developed for the research is universal in nature and could be used in other fields, such as retail, marketing etc.