1 March 2024

Working out fitness brand communities

A study in the International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing has revealed the impact of virtual brand communities associated with the success of a popular fitness product brand.

Melissa Davies of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Eric Hungenberg of the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Thomas J. Aicher of the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Brianna L. Newland of New York University in New York, New York, USA, have investigated the user community surrounding well-known fitness product brand Peloton Interactive Inc.

The company markets connected fitness products and services including stationary exercise bikes, indoor rowing machines, and treadmills. They also sell related accessories, such as heart rate monitors and workout apparel. Additionally, the company offers subscription-based services that provide users with access to live and on-demand fitness classes led by instructors, accessible through its proprietary software platform. Classes include cycling, running, strength training, yoga, and meditation, all of which can be undertaken interactively from the comfort of one’s home or, indeed any suitable place.

The researchers examined the influence of virtual brand communities on branding outcomes. They surveyed 663 Peloton users and analysed their responses using structural equation modelling to discern any relationships between brand community and brand outcomes.

Their results indicate that Peloton users who felt a strong sense of community were more active on brand-related social media and used Peloton products more often. This sense of community correlated with favourable brand outcomes, including brand love, equity, advocacy, and word-of-mouth communication. All of which highlights the importance of a brand developing an emotional connection with consumers and users.

The study also explored the interplay between engagement in virtual brand communities, product usage, and brand community perception. Individuals who perceived they had interests in common with other users and enjoyed using the social spaces facilitated by the brand were more likely to have a strong sense of community. This, again, would lead to increased product engagement and brand affection. This has practical implications for brands in the connected fitness industry as it emphasizes the need to prioritize the creation and nurturing of virtual brand communities, something in which the company in question has apparently been rather successful.

Davies, M., Hungenberg, E., Aicher, T.J. and Newland, B.L. (2024) ‘Work[out] from home: examining brand community among connected fitness brand users’, Int. J. Sport Management and Marketing, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp.113–136.

Special issue published: "Post-COVID Strategies: Recovery, Resilience and Adaptation"

International Journal of Trade and Global Markets 19(1) 2024

  • Initial conditions and cross-country macroeconomic impact during Covid-19
  • Management of non-performing assets in India: role of risk management practices in the wake of Covid-19
  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Indonesian export and import of food crops
  • The impact of Covid-19 on stock market returns in India
  • Modelling price volatility in energy futures during Covid-19

29 February 2024

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Trade and Global Markets

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Trade and Global Markets are now available here for free:
  • Determinants of entrepreneurial intentions among the immigrants: Canadian perspective
  • Trade competitiveness analysis of the Chinese medical device industry
  • The variance premiums' responses to the ECB monetary announcements
  • Revealed comparative advantages and trade balance indicators of trade structure of V4 countries
  • Cultural diversity as a source of regional innovation: evidence from Poland

Free open access article available: "Demerged multinational enterprises: a study of post-demerger international strategies"

The following paper, "Demerged multinational enterprises: a study of post-demerger international strategies" (European Journal of International Management 14(1) 2020), is freely available for download as an open access article.

It can be downloaded via the full-text link available here.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Structural Engineering

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Structural Engineering are now available here for free:
  • A generous review of fly ash engineering characteristics on concrete in trait of compressive strength
  • Finite element analysis of thermoelastic free vibration behaviour of hardcore higher-order doubly curved sandwich shell panel
  • A study on flexural behaviour of ferrocement slabs using foamed concrete
  • A review on fabrication and dynamic characterisation of composite beam structure
  • Seismic response control of base-isolated structures with fluid inerter damper

Research pick: Industrial integration of artificial intelligence - "Impact of artificial intelligence in manufacturing and logistics: an exploratory study"

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has very quickly transitioned from science fiction to practical applications, particularly in industrial sectors like manufacturing, logistics, and retail. A study in the International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation looks at the AI landscape and sheds light on its evolution, implications, and integration challenges across industries.

In his study, Ibrahim Saleem Alotaibi of the College of Administrative and Financial Sciences at the Saudi Electronic University in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, highlights a significant shift driven by AI technologies such as machine learning and deep learning. Industries are increasingly adopting AI-driven automation to meet market demands and improve operational efficiency. However, he also demonstrates that this transition from conventional approaches presents various challenges at different levels.

One key challenge is the need for substantial investment and skilled technicians to implement AI-driven processes effectively. Moreover, there are concerns about software failures, cybersecurity risks, and data privacy that add enormously to the complexity of the integration process. In addition, to such technical issues, as the legal and regulatory frameworks mature, there will be issues of how companies must comply with laws around AI and its implementation. This too will require much consideration by the companies, particularly in regions where laws associated with AI use are present in parallel with stringent data protection laws.

In his study, Alotaibi underscores the leading role played by China in the adoption of AI tools, particularly in manufacturing and logistics. Despite its rapid embracing of AI technologies, there remain many questions about sustainability given the computing resources that are needed to train and run the most powerful AI tools. Of course, this issue will ultimately present itself to all regions utilising high-level AI across all industries.

As businesses navigate the complexities of AI integration, responsible deployment becomes crucial. Those involved in developing, implementing, and using AI tools must prioritize risk assessment, ethical frameworks, and collaborative approaches to address the technical, societal, and regulatory challenges that the increasingly widespread adoption of AI will bring.

Even precluding the hyperbole, AI offers many incredible opportunities for innovation and efficiency across industries. Its wider integration nevertheless requires careful consideration of the implications and the challenges presented. Alotaibi’s research emphasizes the importance of taking a considered and inclusive approach to realizing the full potential of AI to mitigate the risks associated with its use.

Alotaibi, I.S. (2023) ‘Impact of artificial intelligence in manufacturing and logistics: an exploratory study’, Int. J. Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp.355–386.

28 February 2024

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Mathematics in Operational Research

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Mathematics in Operational Research are now available here for free:
  • Simulation of batch service lateness queues with multiple vacations and two Bernoulli catastrophes using the developed 'goLHS' generator
  • An EOQ model for deteriorating item with continuous linear time dependent demand with trade of credit and replenishment time being demand dependent
  • Optimisation on a constrained integrated supply chain for multiple steel products with investment and freight cost discount
  • An imperfect production-inventory model for reworked items with advertisement, time and price dependent demand for non-instantaneous deteriorating item using genetic algorithm
  • Reliability and performance analysis of a series-parallel photovoltaic system with human operators using Gumbel-Hougaard family copula
  • Hesitant fuzzy sets with non-uniform linguistic terms: an application in multi-attribute decision making

Associate Prof. Marco Valeri appointed as new Editor in Chief of International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management

Associate Prof. Marco Valeri from Niccolò Cusano University in Italy has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Services and Operations Management

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Services and Operations Management are now available here for free:
  • The execution of worker layoff disputes verdicts at the industrial relationship courts in Indonesia
  • Role of artificial intelligence in the enabling sustainable supply chain management during COVID-19
  • Managing a green supply chain: role of communication, collaboration, learning and trust
  • Evaluation of key enablers of green supply chain management in Indian manufacturing industries: a fuzzy approach
  • A strategic assessment and evaluation of the major factors behind the high failure rate of many restaurants in the city of Beirut-Lebanon
  • Railway construction project risk assessment techniques: systematic literature review
  • Relationship between downsizing and organisational performance: serial mediation effect of employee morale and tolerance to ambiguity

Research pick: Cultural factors and consumer attitudes - "The curious case of global branding: investigating the link between ethnic identity and consumer attitudes towards global brands"

A study in the International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management has provided new insights into the influence of cultural values and ethnic identity on consumer attitudes towards global brands in India. Harsandaldeep Kaur and Pranay Moktan of the University School of Financial Studies at Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, Punjab, hoped to fill the gaps in our understanding of these factors by developing a comprehensive framework for investigation.

The team surveyed 456 respondents and used structural equation modelling to analyze the relationships between ethnic identity, masculinity, collectivism, and consumer attitudes towards global brands. The results showed significant associations among the various factors. For instance, ethnic identity was found to influence both masculinity and collectivism, which in turn affected consumer attitudes towards global brands. Additionally, collectivism and masculinity were found to mediate to some extent the relationship between ethnic identity and consumer attitudes.

In the context of this work, “masculinity” refers to a cultural dimension that influences consumer attitudes towards global brands and relates to traditional gender roles, behaviours, and characteristics associated with masculinity. The term “collectivism” refers to a cultural orientation or value system that emphasizes the importance of group harmony, interdependence, and cooperation within a society.

The implications of the research extend particularly to global brand managers operating in diverse markets. The findings thus underscore the importance of considering cultural values and ethnic identity in brand strategies, as they significantly shape consumer perceptions. Brands that align with cultural values and traditions are likely to resonate more often with consumers. This suggests that companies need to take a much more nuanced and tailored approach to their marketing and commercial strategies.

It is worth noting, that the study highlights the aspirational nature of global brands in developing countries, where consumers often aspire to lifestyles associated with other regions considered to be more advanced economically. This aspirational mindset underscores the universal appeal of global brands, particularly in regions characterized by cultural diversity, the research suggests.

The researchers suggest that by recognizing and incorporating the various highlighted factors into their strategies, managers and marketers can enhance brand appeal and connect more effectively with their target consumers in diverse markets, like that found in India.

Kaur, H. and Moktan, P. (2024) ‘The curious case of global branding: investigating the link between ethnic identity and consumer attitudes towards global brands’, Int. J. Indian Culture and Business Management, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp.123–144.

27 February 2024

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Materials and Product Technology

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Materials and Product Technology are now available here for free:
  • Pyroelectric and hygrothermal couplings effects on dynamic active control analysis of coupled thermopiezoelastic composite plate
  • Synergy of wood ash on mechanical and sliding wear properties of banana/walnut-based epoxy composites and optimisation with grey relational analysis
  • Residual life prediction of thermal insulation material for cold chain logistics transportation vehicle
  • Performance analysis of automotive braking friction materials based on surface roughness
  • Leakage current detection method of electrical insulation materials based on windowed-added Fourier transform
  • Study on damage fatigue test method of metal materials for rotating machinery
  • Synthesis and mechanical characterisation of self-lubricating Al7075/MoS2/ZrB2 hybrid composite

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Power and Energy Conversion

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Power and Energy Conversion are now available here for free:
  • Evaluation of radiation protection properties of novel concrete mixture against photon energy in nuclear applications: simulation and experimental findings
  • A multivariate regression model of solar photovoltaic and its validation through ANN
  • Renewable compensatory measures to mitigate the grid stress after different penetration shares of electric mobility in urban environment
  • Establishment of X-ray narrow spectrum beam energy according to the requirements of the new version of ISO 4037-2019 comparison with the previous version 1996
  • A review on reactive power measurement in harmonic environment

Special issue published: "Human Centric Computational Intelligence Theory and Application"

International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing 45(2) 2024

  • Consumer IoT device deployment optimisation through deep learning: a CNN-LSTM solution for traffic classification and service identification
  • Lightweight and personalised e-commerce recommendation based on collaborative filtering and LSH
  • Performance evaluation of strapdown inertial navigation and Beidou satellite navigation system based on intelligent image processing technology
  • Cryptographic analysis and construction of complete permutations using a recursive approach
  • Detection of image recognition forgery technology under machine vision
  • Detection of deepfake technology in images and videos

Research pick: Detecting deepfakes - "Detection of deepfake technology in images and videos"

Research in the International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing introduces a new approach to tackling the challenges posed by deepfake technology, which generates manipulated media content that closely resembles authentic footage. The novel method combines the miniXception and long short-term memory (LSTM) models to analyse suspicious content more effectively and identify deepfake images with greater than 99 percent accuracy.

While fake and fraudulent videos and images have been with us for many years, the term “deepfake” more commonly refers to manipulated videos or images that have been created using artificial intelligence and deep learning techniques. These technologies allow users to superimpose or replace, the original contents of an image or video with other content. Commonly a person’s face and voice might be faked in a video. Such deepfakes might be used for entertainment purposes as is the case with many apps that allow everyday users to create “amusing” content featuring their friends and family or indeed celebrities.

However, the more insidious use of deepfakes has gained popular attention because of the potential to deceive viewers, often leading to concerns about misinformation, privacy infringement, and the manipulation of public and political discourse. Such videos represent a significant threat to democracy where voters and consumers alike might be exposed to seemingly legitimate political content that is faked propaganda with malicious intent. Identifying deepfake content is more important than ever at a time of heightened political tensions and fragility. There is an urgent need for powerful detection methods and awareness about their existence and potential consequences.

Until now, deepfake detection has been hindered by low accuracy rates and difficulties in generalizing across different datasets. Yong Liu, Xu Zhao, and Ruosi Cheng of the PLA Strategic Support Force Information Engineering University in Henan, Tianning Sun of the Zhejiang Lab, Zonghui Wang of Zhejiang University, China, and Baolan Shi of the University of Colorado Boulder in Boulder, Colorado, USA, have proposed a model that improves on the accuracy of earlier approaches.

The team conducted cross-dataset training and testing, employing transfer learning methods to improve the model’s ability to generalize across various datasets. They used focal loss during training to balance samples and enhance generalization still further. Their tests demonstrate the promise of this approach, showing a detection accuracy of 99.05% on the FaceSwap dataset. This is better than previous methods, such as CNN-GRU, and requires fewer parameters to achieve this level of success.

Liu, Y., Sun, T., Wang, Z., Zhao, X., Cheng, R. and Shi, B. (2024) ‘Detection of deepfake technology in images and videos’, Int. J. Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp.135–148.

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Computing Science and Mathematics

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Computing Science and Mathematics are now available here for free:
  • COVID-19: machine learning methods applied for twitter sentiment analysis of Indians before, during and after lockdown
  • An enhanced multi-objective particle swarm optimisation with Levy flight
  • Pricing American put options model with application to oil options
  • IRPSM-net: Information retention pyramid stereo matching network
  • A mathematical model and optimal control for Listeriosis disease from ready-to-eat food products
  • A method of designing swinging-leg walking trajectory for biped robot on plat ground
  • Solving capacitated vehicle routing problem with route optimisation based on equilibrium optimiser algorithm
  • Improved rough K-means clustering algorithm based on firefly algorithm

26 February 2024

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms are now available here for free:
  • Email spam detection using bagging and boosting of machine learning classifiers
  • Effective hybrid feature subset selection for multilevel datasets using decision tree classifiers
  • Investigation of binding update schemes in next generation internet protocol mobility
  • A supervised multinomial classification framework for emotion recognition in textual social data
  • Nonlinear tensor diffusion filter for the denoising of CT/MR images
  • Redundancy recognition in heavy weight structure with different parameters
  • Satellite image matching and registration using affine transformation and hybrid feature descriptors
  • Reduction of jitter in 3D video by transmitting over multiple network paths
  • Image denoising using fast non-local means filter and multi-thresholding with harmony search algorithm for WSN
  • Dynamic service oriented resource allocation system for interworking broadband networks
  • A novel statistical approach to an event management - a study and analysis of a Techfest with suggestions for improvements
  • Domination number of complete restrained fuzzy graphs
  • Impact of multimedia in learning profiles
  • Cayley bipolar fuzzy graphs associated with bipolar fuzzy groups

Special issue published: "AI-Enabled Data Analysis in Emerging of Internet of Things Based Applications"

International Journal of Grid and Utility Computing 15(1) 2024

  • A deep learning-inspired IoT-enabled hybrid model for predicting structural changes in CNC machines based on thermal behaviour
  • Performance evaluation using throughput and latency of a blockchain-enabled patient centric secure and privacy preserve EHR based on IPFS
  • Target imaging technology of wireless orbital communication radar
  • Developing software predictive model for examining the software bugs using machine learning
  • Optimisation of the hybrid grey wolf method in cluster-based wireless sensor network using edge computing
  • Detection of crop disorder using deep learning
  • A page weight-based replacement algorithm to enhance the performance of buffer management in flash memory
  • Performance comparison of various machine learning classifiers using fusion of LBP, intensity and GLCM feature extraction techniques for thyroid nodules classification
  • Complex networks applied to the analysis of the dynamics of social systems

Research pick: The end of the line for factory rejects - "Eliminating end-of-line rejections – a quality filter mapping approach"

A study in the International Journal of Services and Operations Management introduces a practical approach to quality control that could help reshape manufacturing and reduce the number of end-of-line rejects in production as well as the need to rework components and products. Such additional, and often costly, processes are undertaken in what can be referred to as the hidden factory.

P. Raghuram, Ashwin Srikanth, and P. Rithan Mandesh of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Amrita School of Engineering in Coimbatore, India, have developed a Quality Filter Mapping (QFM), an approach to manufacturing methodology that addresses one of the big problems facing companies with high production volumes, stringent quality standards all hoping to improve their profit margins and their sustainability credentials.

Conventionally, quality control is a reactive process in manufacturing. Components are made, assemblies undertaken and at any stage where tolerances are not met, a component or assembly will be rejected. At this point, depending on the nature of the product, the reject may be fed to a parallel process to be reworked in some way so that it reaches the necessary standard. This approach is costly and wasteful.

QFM represents a shift towards a proactive quality control strategy, the research suggests. The team uses Pareto analysis in their new approach. The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is named for Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, He observed that approximately 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. In the context of quality control, Pareto analysis involves identifying the most significant factors contributing to a problem or outcome. By focusing efforts on addressing these critical factors, organizations can achieve substantial improvements in efficiency and effectiveness.

Through this analysis, major defects can be identified and their root causes traced using cause-and-effect diagrams. The underlying causes can then be mapped along the material flow in the assembly plant. This, the team suggests, seamlessly integrates quality control into the production process itself.

QFM offers significant cost savings by preventing the flow of defective components at an early stage in the manufacturing process rather than identifying them at the end of the line. This reduces the need for extensive end-of-line inspections and reworking in the hidden factory and so can reduce waste and improve efficiency throughout the whole manufacturing process. The team has taken an engine assembly line as a case study to demonstrate the effectiveness of the QFM approach.

QFM also promotes a culture of continual improvement and root cause analysis within organizations, contributing to heightened standards and customer satisfaction. The approach might also help companies address the broader challenges of evolving customer demand and fluctuating order volumes.

Raghuram, P., Srikanth, A. and Mandesh, P.R. (2024) ‘Eliminating end-of-line rejections – a quality filter mapping approach’, Int. J. Services and Operations Management, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp.123–140.

25 February 2024

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Vehicle Systems Modelling and Testing

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Vehicle Systems Modelling and Testing are now available here for free:
  • Design and optimisation of double wishbone suspension for high performance vehicles
  • Analytical model to predict electro-mechanical steering gear performance based on gears mesh quality
  • Analysis of low frequency response characteristics of multi-inertia channel hydraulic mounts
  • Improved models of vehicle differential mechanisms using various approaches
  • Comparison of methods for winter road friction estimation using systems implemented for floating car data

Special issue published: "Design, Control and Evaluation of Advanced Engineered Materials"

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology 68(1/2) 2024

  • Calculation method for ultimate bearing capacity of reinforced concrete beams based on unified strength theory
  • Study on detection of dent defects of polariser based on deep convolutional generative adversarial network
  • Image recognition method of surface defects of prefabricated concrete members in prefabricated building
  • Stiffness analysis of automobile aluminium alloy frame based on finite element model
  • Structural optimisation method of six degrees of freedom manipulator based on finite element analysis
  • Fatigue life estimation of metal materials based on finite element analysis
  • Effect of process parameters on impact strength and hardness of FDM printed ABS parts
  • Effectiveness of green manufacturing in resolving environmental issues: a review
  • Analysis of factors affecting core functional competencies in manufacturing industries using fuzzy AHP
  • Improving CNTs properties using computational intelligence algorithms

24 February 2024

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations are now available here for free:
  • Exploration of cognitive radio network with the integrated optimisation of channel allocation and power control by hybrid algorithm
  • Value co-creation in virtual game communities: a perspective on social influence theory
  • Health 2050: faster cure via bioinformatics and quantified self; a design analysis
  • Evaluating the influence of service quality factors in the digital hospitality industry during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The influences of the characteristics of opinion leaders on consumer purchase intention in a mobile e-commerce webcast context

Special issue published: "Defining the Frontiers of Global Business Research in Organisational Performance"

Journal for International Business and Entrepreneurship Development 15(3) 2023

  • Influences on selecting executives: the case of gender and race in managerial decisions in Taiwan
  • Cybersecurity and data protection in the European Union, the USA, and China: does ChatGPT really make a difference?
  • Does management experience matter? An empirical investigation on the effects of management experience on SME firm growth in transition economies
  • Global expatriate entrepreneurs and corporate social responsibility in developing economies: an examination of the relationship between the individual difference variables of sex, age, and personality
  • Green innovation dynamics: the mediating role of green intellectual capital and open innovation of SMEs in Vietnam
  • Internationalisation barriers in low-tech South Asian exporting firms

Free sample articles newly available from International Journal of Internet Manufacturing and Services

The following sample articles from the International Journal of Internet Manufacturing and Services are now available here for free:
  • Information technology governance in supply chain: integration mechanisms under uncertain environment
  • Industry 4.0 in Portugal - the state of the art
  • A data encryption technology for serial communication of multi degree of freedom manipulator based on chaotic sequence
  • A real-time data acquisition method of industrial production line based on OPC technology
  • Cloud manufacturing developments: a review

Free open access article available: "Study on the effect of self-heating effect of bulk acoustic wave filter on the interpolation loss in the band"

The following paper, "Study on the effect of self-heating effect of bulk acoustic wave filter on the interpolation loss in the band" (International Journal of Nanomanufacturing 18(3/4) 2023), is freely available for download as an open access article.

It can be downloaded via the full-text link available here.