The construction industry and housing subsector are fraught with risks that have the potential of negatively impacting on the achievement of project objectives. The success or otherwise of most construction projects depends to large extent on how well these risks have been managed. The recent paradigm shift by the subsector to use of formal risk management approach in contrast to hitherto developed rules of thumb means that risks must not only be identified but also properly assessed and responded to in a systematic manner. The study focused on identifying risks associated with housing development projects and prioritisation assessment of the identified risks in order to provide basis for informed decision. The study used a three-step identification framework: review of literature for similar projects, expert consultation and questionnaire based survey to identify potential risk factors. Delphi survey method was employed in carrying out the relative prioritization assessment of the risks factors using computer-based Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) software. The results show that 19 out of the 50 risks significantly impact on housing development projects. The study concludes that although significant numbers of risk factors have been identified as having relevance and impacting to housing construction projects, economic risk group and, in particular, ‘changes in demand for houses’ is prioritised by most developers as posing a threat to the achievement of their housing development objectives. Unless these risks are carefully managed, their effects will continue to impede success in these projects. The study recommends the adoption and use of the combination of multi-technique identification framework and AHP prioritization assessment methodology as a suitable model for the assessment of risks in housing development projects.
This study examined and identified the inconsistencies, relationships, gaps and recurring themes in literature regarding the relationship between procurement strategies employed in the construction projects for sustainable buildings and realization of sustainability goals. A systematic literature review of studies on the relationship between various procurement strategies and attainment of sustainability outcomes was conducted. Using specific terms, papers published between 2002 and 2018 were identified and screened according to an inclusion and exclusion criteria. Current findings reveal that, although the attainment of sustainability goals is achievable with both traditional and contemporary procurement strategies, only projects delivered using modern procurement strategies are capable of meeting and exceeding targeted sustainability objectives. However, traditional procurement strategy remains the preferred method for most green building construction projects. The results suggest implications for decision makers in considering the impact of selected procurement strategies on targeted sustainability goals, in the early stages of sustainable building construction projects. The study shows that there is a gap between the reported appropriate procurement strategies and what is being practiced currently. Theoretically, the study expands on the literature on adoption and diffusion of contemporary procurement strategies, by consolidating existing studies to highlight the current gaps. While the study is at the literature review stage, deductions will serve as basis for field work involving empirical data.
Attitudes toward treatment manuals serve as a meaningful predictor of general attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Despite demonstrating high effectiveness in treating many mental disorders, manualized treatments have been underutilized by practitioners. Thus, one can assess the state of the field regarding the adoption of evidence-based practices by surveying practitioner attitudes towards manualized treatments. This study is an adapted replication that assesses psychology graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments, as a general marker for attitudes towards evidence-based practice. Training programs provide future clinicians with the foundation for critical skills in clinical practice. Research demonstrates that post-graduate continuing education has little to no effect on clinical practice; thus, graduate programs serve as the primary, and often final platform for all future practice. However, there are little empirical data identifying the attitudes and training of graduate students in utilizing manualized treatments. The empirical analysis of this study indicates an increase in positive attitudes among graduate student attitudes towards manualized treatments (within the United States), when compared to past surveys of professional psychologists. Findings from this study may inform graduate programs of barriers for students in developing positive attitudes toward manualized treatments and evidence-based practice. This study also serves as a preliminary predictor of the state-of-the field, in regards to professional psychologists attitudes towards evidence-based practice, if attitudes remain stable. This study indicates that the attitudes toward utilizing evidence-based practices, such as treatment manuals, has become more positive since year 2000.
In the last few years, examples from scientific literature and business practices show that the adoption of technological innovations increases enterprises' performance. Recently, when it comes to the field of information technology innovation, business intelligence systems (BISs) have drawn a significant amount of attention of the scientific circles. BISs can be understood as a form of technological innovation which can bring certain benefits to the organizations that are adopting it. Therefore, the aim of this paper is twofold: (1) to define determinants of successful BISs adoption in small and medium enterprises and thus contribute to this neglected research area and (2) to present the current state of BISs adoption in small and medium-sized companies. In order to do so, determinants are defined and classified into three dimensions, according to the Technology – Organization – Environment (TOE) theoretical framework that describes the impact of each dimension on technological innovations adoption. Moreover, paper brings a case study presenting the adoption of BISs in practice within an organization from tertiary (service) industry sector. Based on the results of the study, guidelines for more efficient, faster and easier BISs adoption are presented.
The blue-green infrastructure in recent years has been pointed out as a possibility to increase the environmental quality of watersheds. The regulation ecosystem services brought by these areas are many, such as the improvement of the air quality of the air, water, soil, microclimate, besides helping to control the peak flows and to promote the quality of life of the population. This study proposes a blue-green infrastructure scenario for the Jaguaré watershed, located in the western zone of the São Paulo city in Brazil. Based on the proposed scenario, it was verified the impact of the adoption of the blue and green infrastructure in the control of the peak flow of the basin, the benefits for the avifauna that are also reflected in the flora and finally, the quantification of the regulation ecosystem services brought by the adoption of the scenario proposed. A survey of existing green areas and potential areas for expansion and connection of these areas to form a network in the watershed was carried out. Based on this proposed new network of green areas, the peak flow for the proposed scenario was calculated with the help of software, ABC6. Finally, a survey of the ecosystem services contemplated in the proposed scenario was made. It was possible to conclude that the blue and green infrastructure would provide several regulation ecosystem services for the watershed, such as the control of the peak flow, the connection frame between the forest fragments that promoted the environmental enrichment of these fragments, improvement of the microclimate and the provision of leisure areas for the population.
Autonomous vehicles offer the possibility of significant benefits to social welfare. However, fully automated cars might not be going to happen in the near further. To speed the adoption of the self-driving technologies, many governments worldwide are passing laws requiring data recorders for the testing of autonomous vehicles. Currently, the self-driving vehicle, (e.g., shuttle bus) has to be monitored from a remote control center. When an autonomous vehicle encounters an unexpected driving environment, such as road construction or an obstruction, it should request assistance from a remote operator. Nevertheless, large amounts of data, including images, radar and lidar data, etc., have to be transmitted from the vehicle to the remote center. Therefore, this paper proposes a data compression method of in-vehicle networks for remote monitoring of autonomous vehicles. Firstly, the time-series data are rearranged into a multi-dimensional signal space. Upon the arrival, for controller area networks (CAN), the new data are mapped onto a time-data two-dimensional space associated with the specific CAN identity. Secondly, the data are sampled based on differential sampling. Finally, the whole set of data are encoded using existing algorithms such as Huffman, arithmetic and codebook encoding methods. To evaluate system performance, the proposed method was deployed on an in-house built autonomous vehicle. The testing results show that the amount of data can be reduced as much as 1/7 compared to the raw data.
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.
Construction Industry has been evolving since the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM). This technological process is unstoppable; it is out to the market with remarkable case studies of solving the long industry’s history of fragmentation. This industry has been changing over time; United States has recorded the most significant development in construction digitalization, Australia, United Kingdom and some other developed nations are also amongst promoters of BIM process and its development. Recently, a developing country like China and Malaysia are keying into the industry’s digital shift, while very little move is seen in South Africa whose development is considered higher and perhaps leader in the digital transition amongst the African countries. To authors’ best knowledge, Nigerian construction industry has never engaged in BIM discussions hence has no attention at national level. Consequently, Nigeria has no “Noteworthy BIM publications.” Decision makers and key stakeholders need to be informed on the current trend of the industry’s development (BIM in specific) and the opportunities of adopting this digitalization trend in relation to the identified challenges. BIM concept can be traced mostly in Architectural practices than engineering practices in Nigeria. A superficial BIM practice is found to be at organisational level only and operating a model based - “BIM stage 1.” Research to adopting this innovation has received very little attention. This piece of work is literature review based, aimed at exploring BIM in Nigeria and its prospects. The exploration reveals limitations in the literature availability as to extensive research in the development of BIM in the country. Numerous challenges were noticed including building collapse, inefficiencies, cost overrun and late project delivery. BIM has potentials to overcome the above challenges and even beyond. Low level of BIM adoption with reasonable level of awareness is noticed. However, lack of policy and guideline as well as serious lack of experts in the field are amongst the major barriers to BIM adoption. The industry needs to embrace BIM to possibly compete with its global counterpart.
The Quran, as it is the sacred book of Islam and considered the literal word of God (Allah) in Arabic, is highly translated into many languages; however, the foreignising or the literal approach excessively stains the quality and discredits the final product in the eyes of its receptors. Such an approach fails to capture the intended meaning of the Quran and to communicate it in any language. Therefore, this study is conducted to propose a different approach that seeks involving other ones according to a hybrid model. Indeed, this study challenges the binary adherence that is highly used in Translation Studies (TS) in general and in the translation of the Quran in particular. Drawing on the genuine fact that the Quran can be communicated in any language in terms of meaning, and the translation is not sacred; this paper approaches the translation of the Quran by blending different methods like domestication or foreignisation in a systematic way, avoiding the binary choice made by many translators. To reach this aim, the paper has a conceptual part that seeks to elucidate and clarify the main methods employed in TS, and criticise and modify them to propose the new hybrid approach (the hybrid model) for translating the Quran – that is, the deductive method. To support and validate the outcome of the previous part, a comparative model is employed in order to highlight the differences between the suggested translation and other widely used ones – that is, the inductive method. By applying this methodology, the paper proves that there is a deficiency of communicating the original meaning of the Quran in light of the foreignising approach. In conclusion, the paper suggests producing a Quran translation has to take into account the adoption of many techniques to express the meaning of the Quran as understood in the original, and to offer this understanding in English in the most native-like manner to serve the intended target readers.
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether firms applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), provide high-quality and comparable earnings information that is useful for decision making of information users relative to firms applying local Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Focus is placed on the earnings quality of listed firms in several developed countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). Except for Japan and the US, the adoption of IFRS is mandatory for listed firms in these countries. In Japan, the application of IFRS is allowed for specific listed firms. In the US, the foreign firms listed on the US securities market are permitted to apply IFRS but the listed domestic firms are prohibited from doing so. In this paper, the differences in earnings quality are compared between firms applying local GAAP and those applying IFRS in each country and industry category, and the reasons of differences in earnings quality are analyzed using various factors. The results show that, although the earnings quality of firms applying IFRS is higher than that of firms applying local GAAP, this varies with country and industry category. Thus, even if a single set of global accounting standards is used for all listed firms worldwide, it is difficult to establish comparability of financial information among global firms. These findings imply that various circumstances surrounding firms, industries, and countries etc. influence business operations and affect the differences in earnings quality.
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.
There is a growing consensus that adoption of teachers’ self-efficacy measurement tools help to assess teachers’ abilities in specific areas in order to improve their skills. As a result, different instruments to assess teachers’ ability were developed by academics and practitioners. However, many of these instruments focused either on general teaching skills, or on the other hand, were very specific to one subject. As such, these instruments do not offer a tool to measure the ability of teachers in teaching 21st century skills such as innovation skills. Teaching innovation skills helps to prepare students for lives and careers in the 21st century. The purpose of this study is to develop an instrument measuring teachers’ self-efficacy of teaching innovation skills related to the classroom context and evaluating the teachers’ beliefs regarding their ability in teaching innovation skills. To reach this goal, the 16-item instrument measures four dimensions of innovation skills: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. 211 secondary-school teachers filled out the survey to quantitatively analyze the quality of the instrument. The instrument’s reliability and item analysis were measured by using jMetrik. The results concluded that the mean of self-efficacy ranged from 3 to 3.6 without extreme high or low self-efficacy scores. The discrimination analysis revealed that one item recorded a negative correlation with the total, and three items recorded low correlation with the total. The reliabilities of items ranged from 0.64 to 0.69 and the instrument needed a couple of revisions before practical use. The study concluded the need to discard one item and revise five items to increase the quality of the instrument for future work.
Rice yields among agro-ecological zones are heterogeneous. Farmers, researchers and policy makers are making frantic efforts to bridge rice yield gaps between agro-ecological zones through the promotion of improved agricultural technologies (IATs). Farmers are also modifying these IATs and blending them with indigenous farming practices (IFPs) to form farmer innovation systems (FISs). Also, different metafrontier models have been used in estimating productivity performances and their drivers. This study used the two-step stochastic metafrontier model to estimate the productivity performances of rice farmers and their determining factors in GSZ, FSTZ and CSZ. The study used both primary and secondary data. Farmers in CSZ are the most technically efficient. Technical inefficiencies of farmers are negatively influenced by age, sex, household size, education years, extension visits, contract farming, access to improved seeds, access to irrigation, high rainfall amount, less lodging of rice, and well-coordinated and synergized adoption of technologies. Albeit farmers in CSZ are doing well in terms of rice yield, they still have the highest potential of increasing rice yield since they had the lowest TGR. It is recommended that government through the ministry of food and agriculture, development partners and individual private companies promote the adoption of IATs as well as educate farmers on how to coordinate and synergize the adoption of the whole package. Contract farming concept and agricultural extension intensification should be vigorously pursued to the latter.
Due to the rapid advances in the use of information technology and students’ familiarity with technology, learning styles in higher education are being reshaped. One of the technology developments that has gained considerable attention in recent years is Augmented Reality (AR), where technology is used to combine overlays of digital data on physical real-world settings. While AR is being heavily promoted for entertainment by mobile phone manufacturers, it has had little adoption in higher education due to the required upfront investment that an instructor needs to undertake in creating relevant AR applications. This paper discusses a case study that uses a low upfront development approach and examines the impact on generation-Z students’ motivation whilst studying design history over a four-semester period. Even though the upfront investment in creating the AR support was minimal, the results showed a noticeable increase in student motivation. The approach used in this paper can be easily transferred to other disciplines and other areas of design education.
The construction industry is a renowned latecomer to the efficiency offered by the adoption of information technology. Whereas, the banking, manufacturing, retailing industries have keyed into the future by using digitization and information technology as a new approach for ensuring competitive gain and efficiency. The construction industry has yet to fully realize similar benefits because the adoption of ICT is still at the infancy stage with a major concentration on the use of software. Thus, this study evaluates the awareness and readiness of construction professionals towards embracing a full digitalization of the construction industry using construction 4.0. The term ‘construction 4.0’ was coined from the industry 4.0 concept which is regarded as the fourth industrial revolution that originated from Germany. A questionnaire was utilized for sourcing data distributed to practicing construction professionals through a convenience sampling method. Using SPSS v24, the hypotheses posed were tested with the Mann Whitney test. The result revealed that there are no differences between the consulting and contracting organizations on the readiness for adopting construction 4.0 concepts in the construction industry. Using factor analysis, the study discovers that adopting construction 4.0 will improve the performance of the construction industry regarding cost and time savings and also create sustainable buildings. In conclusion, the study determined that construction professionals have a low awareness towards construction 4.0 concepts. The study recommends an increase in awareness of construction 4.0 concepts through seminars, workshops and training, while construction professionals should take hold of the benefits of adopting construction 4.0 concepts. The study contributes to the roadmap for the implementation of construction industry 4.0 concepts in the South African construction industry.
A participatory and engaged approach is key in connecting agricultural managers to sustainable agricultural systems to support and optimize production in Victoria’s food bowl. A sustainable intensification (SI) approach is well documented globally, but participation rates amongst Victorian farmers is fragmentary, and key outcomes and implementation strategies are poorly understood. Improvement in decision-support management tools and a greater understanding of the productivity gains available upon implementation of SI is necessary. This paper reviews the current understanding and uptake of SI practices amongst farmers in one of Victoria’s premier food producing regions, the Goulburn Broken; and it spatially analyses the potential for this region to adapt to climate change and optimize food production. A Geographical Information Systems (GIS) approach is taken to develop an interactive decision-support tool that can be accessible to on-ground agricultural managers. The tool encompasses multiple criteria analysis (MCA) that identifies factors during the construction phase of the tool, using expert witnesses and regional knowledge, framed within an Analytical Hierarchy Process. Given the complexities of the interrelations between each of the key outcomes, this participatory approach, in which local realities and factors inform the key outcomes and help to strategies for a particular region, results in a robust strategy for sustainably intensifying production in key food producing regions. The creation of an interactive, locally embedded, decision-support management and education tool can help to close the gap between farmer knowledge and production, increase on-farm adoption of sustainable farming strategies and techniques, and optimize farm productivity.
By giving personal opinions, suggestions and criticism through e-democracy, young people can reinforce the adoption of decisions which they have an impact on. The purpose of this research was to examine the opinion of university students about the possibility of their decision-making by using information and communication technology (ICT). The questionnaire examined young people's values and behaviour associated with e-democracy and the related decision-making. Students are most active online when it comes to finding information connected with their academic responsibilities, but less frequently take part in democratic processes in society, both at the national and local level. E-democracy as a tool can be learned in programmes of Human Rights Education and Citizenship Education.
This research paper seeks to investigate the factors determining the continuance usage of online mobile payment applications among WECHAT users in China. Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) theory would both be applied as the theoretical foundation for this study. A developed instrument would be administered to the targeted sample of 1000 WECHAT Users in the City of Harbin, China, through an online questionnaire administration platform. Factors such as perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived service quality, social influence, trust in the internet, internet self-efficacy, relative advantage, compatibility, and complexity would be explored to determine its significant impact on the continuance intention to use mobile payment apps. This study is at the development and implementation stage. The successful completion of this research article would not only provide an insightful understanding of the factors influencing the decision of WECHAT users in China to use mobile payment applications but also enrich the e-commerce adoption literature.
Electronic government is the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) by the government to improve public service delivery to citizens and businesses. The purpose of this study is to investigate factors influencing the adoption and use of e-government services from different nationalities perspectives. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) will be used as the theoretical framework for the study. A questionnaire would be developed and administered to 500 potential respondents who are students from different nationalities in China. Predictors such as perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, computer self-efficacy, trust in both the internet and government, social influence and perceived service quality would be examined with regard to their impact on the intention to use e-government services. This research is currently at the design and implementation stage. The completion of this study will provide useful insights into understanding factors impacting the decision to use e-government services from a cross and multi nationalities perspectives.
The patronage of e-government services (demand side of e-government) is vital to the successful implementation of e-government initiatives. The purpose of this study is to explore the predictors determining the willingness of African students in China to adopt and use e-government services. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) will be used as the theoretical foundation for this research. Research instrument will be developed and administered to 500 African students in China. Factors such as performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, facilitating conditions and culture will be investigated to determine its significant impact on the willingness to use e-government services. This study is a research in progress. The outcome of this study will provide valuable recommendations to improve the provision of public services through e-government.