Recent Submissions

  • A conditional fuzzy inference approach in forecasting

    Hassanniakalager, Arman; Sermpinis, Georgios; Stasinakis, Charalampos; Verousis, Thanos (European Journal of Operational Research, 2020)
    This study introduces a Conditional fuzzy inference (CF) approach in forecasting. The proposed approach is able to deduct Fuzzy Rules (FRs) conditional on a set of restrictions. This conditional rule selection discards weak rules and the generated forecasts are based only on the most powerful ones. Through this process, it is capable of achieving higher forecasting performance and improving the interpretability of the underlying system. The CF concept is applied in a series of forecasting exercises on stocks and football games datasets. Its performance is benchmarked against a Relevance Vector Machine (RVM), an Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS), an Ordered Probit (OP), a Multilayer Perceptron Neural Network (MLP), a k-Nearest Neighbour (k-NN), a Decision Tree (DT) and a Support Vector Machine (SVM) model. The results demonstrate that the CF is providing higher statistical accuracy than its benchmarks.
  • The road to economic recovery: Pandemics and innovation

    Wang, Lipeng; Zhang, Mengyu; Verousis, Thanos (International Review of Financial Analysis, 2021)
    In this paper, we investigate the economic consequences of pandemics from an idea-based theory of economic growth. We assume that pandemics pose a threat to research productivity and analyse the long-term consequences of pandemic shocks to innovation output. We demonstrate that following a pandemic, innovation output is disrupted for approximately seven years. The effect of pandemic shocks on innovation output varies between countries, and sector to sector regarding economic activity. Pandemic shocks lead to a short-term drop in the number of patent applications. Crucially, the duration of a pandemic has a strong effect on innovation output. Overall, the effects of this most recent pandemic on future innovation output, and subsequently on growth, are expected to be felt long into the future. This paper supports the policies designed to reduce the effect of the “Great Lockdown” on research productivity. Policies that target the more innovative firms are moving in the right direction in terms of reducing the time it will take for innovation to recover from the effects of COVID19.
  • On the summary measures for the resource-constrained project scheduling problem

    Van Eynde, Rob; Vanhoucke, Mario; Coelho, José (Annals of Operations Research, 2024)
    The resource-constrained project scheduling problem is a widely studied problem in the literature. The goal is to construct a schedule for a set of activities, such that precedence and resource constraints are respected and that an objective function is optimized. In project scheduling literature, summary measures are often used as a tool to evaluate the performance of algorithms and to analyze instances and datasets. They can be classified in two groups, network measures describe the precedence constraints of a project, while resource measures focus on the resource constraints of the instance. In this manuscript we make an exhaustive evaluation of the summary measures for project scheduling. We provide an overview of the most prevalent measures and also introduce some new ones. For our tests we combine different datasets from the literature and generate a new set with diverse characteristics. We evaluate the performance of the summary measures on three dimensions: consistency, instance complexity and algorithm selection. We conclude by providing an overview of which measures are best suited for each of the three investigated dimensions.
  • An empirical project forecasting accuracy framework using project regularity

    André de Andrade, Paulo; Vanhoucke, Mario; Martens, Annelies (Annals of Operations Research, 2024)
    Forecasting an ongoing project’s actual duration is an essential aspect of project management which received considerable attention in the research community. In studies using Earned Value Management forecasting, it has been argued that the network topology is a driver to indicate the accuracy of these forecasts. However, a new project indicator has been recently defined, i.e. the project regularity, which reflects the value accrue according to the plan. It has shown to outperform the serial/parallel network topology indicator in specifying the accuracy of project forecasts. This paper introduces a novel way to define the project regularity, which provides project managers with an improved indication of the expected forecasting accuracy for their projects. The study is carried out on an empirical database consisting of 100 projects from different sectors, and the results are compared to the academic literature. The experiments show that the new indicator provides a better categorisation compared to the existing approaches. Further, they have shown that the ability of project categorisers to indicate the expected forecasting accuracy is affected by industry sector and project size.
  • Risk response budget allocation based on fault tree analysis and optimization

    Guan, Xin; Servranckx, Tom; Vanhoucke, Mario (Annals of Operations Research, 2024)
    Budget allocation in project risk response is a vital issue in project risk management since it relates to a reasonable utilization of strict project budgets and effective mitigations of the risks that typify projects. This paper presents an integrated method based on an optimization model and fault tree analysis for allocating a risk response budget from a preventive and protective perspective. The proposed method consists of three main steps. The first step is to analyse and calculate risk probabilities and risk losses which involves identifying risk causes that may trigger a risk event to occur using fault tree analysis. It also identifies consequences once the risk event occurs, evaluates the occurrence probabilities of risk causes and expected financial losses of consequences. The second step is to build a relationship between the budget allocated to risk response strategies and the corresponding response effects. The third step is to construct an optimization model aiming at minimizing the total risk cost. We present proofs for the optimal risk response strategy in special cases of the budget allocation model. Furthermore, a detailed computational experiment is performed to gain insights into the three-phased budget allocation model for more general cases. The results show that an optimal risk response budget can be determined and the structure of the risk network has a significant impact on the preferred risk response strategy.
  • Parimutuel contests with strategic risk-sensitive bettors

    Geertsema, Paul; Schumacher, Christoph Rainer (Applied Economics, 2016)
    Existing models in the parimutuel betting literature typically explain betting data by either assuming a single, representative bettor with certain risk preferences or by assuming that a number of risk neutral bettors compete strategically within a game theoretic framework. We construct a theoretical framework of parimutuel markets in which we model both strategic interaction and individual bettor risk preferences, distinguishing between sophisticated insiders and recreational outsiders. We solve this model analytically for the optimal insider betting amount in a static symmetric Nash equilibrium. A new data set of 126 million individual horse race bets in New Zealand from 2006 to 2014 allows us to calibrate the model. We find that insiders (those betting $100 or more) outperform outsiders by 7.5% in terms of realized returns. The best fit of the model to the data is obtained when insiders are assumed to be risk neutral and to have an information advantage of 0.08 in probability terms. This finding provides empirical support for the common assumption of risk neutrality in strategic interaction models of parimutuel betting.
  • Willingness-to-pay for brands that aim for inclusivity, sustainability and positive societal contribution vs. willingness-to-pay for brands that are perceived as exclusive, on-trend: generational, gender and country differences

    Goedertier, Frank; Weijters, Bert; Van den Bergh, Joeri (2024)
    This study explores consumer preferences for brands that emphasize sustainability and inclusivity, and for brands perceived as exclusive and trendy. Consumer data obtained via a large-scale survey involving 24,798 participants across 20 countries and one special administrative region (SAR) are used to understand how willingness to pay (WTP) for these brand types varies globally, accounting for demographic factors like generation, gender, and country. A substantial body of literature highlights growing consumer interest in brands that stand for sustainability and inclusivity, challenging traditional notions that luxury and exclusivity primarily drive brand value. Despite persistent skepticism among some business executives about consumers’ actual versus claimed willingness to spend more for sustainable and inclusive brands, academics and commercial researchers increasingly signal a shift in purchasing behavior that is influenced by socio-ecological factors. This research aims to provide empirical data on consumer WTP across different demographics and countries/regions, thereby contributing to academic discussions and offering insights for managerial decision making. The study frames its investigation around four research questions, to explore how consumers’ WTP for exclusive and inclusive brands varies across generations, genders, and countries/regions. It employs a robust methodological approach, using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze the data. This ensures that the constructs of brand inclusiveness and exclusivity are comparable across diverse cultural contexts. Significant gender, generational, and country/region differences are observed. When comparing generations, the findings indicate that GenZ consumers have a higher WTP for sustainable/inclusive brands (compared to older, GenX, and Baby Boomer generations). Similar patterns are found when considering WTP for exclusive, on-trend brands. In terms of gender, women are observed to have a higher WTP for sustainable/inclusive brands, but a lower WTP for exclusive, on-trend brands compared to men. Finally, compared to consumers originating from certain European countries, we find that consumers living in certain Asian countries/regions have a significantly higher WTP for inclusive and sustainable brands, as well as for exclusive/on-trend brands. The study underscores the complexities of consumer behavior in the global market, highlighting the coexistence of traditional preferences for exclusive, trendy brands and preferences for brands that embrace sustainability and inclusivity.
  • Walking the tight rope of DEI implementation: paradox mindset and emotional capabilities as preconditions for middle managers' success

    Boros, Smaranda; Gorbatai, Andreea (Frontiers in Psychology, 2024)
    In the competitive landscape of modern organizations, middle managers are inherently subjected to immense pressure. Changes in organizational goals and priorities not only threaten but also transform their roles and identities (Thomas and Linstead, 2002), imposing high emotional work demands during the implementation process (Clarke et al., 2007). Occupying a unique structural position, middle managers find themselves at the forefront of strategic change. They are both targets, as their “strategic importance in the social system” of the organization is altered (Van Doorn et al., 2023), and agents of change, tasked with implementing organizational strategy in day-to-day operations (Harding et al., 2014).
  • Price-cost margins, fixed costs and excess profits

    Abraham, Filip; Bormans, Yannick; Konings, Jozef; Roeger, Werner (The Economic Journal, 2024)
    This paper provides a new method to estimate price-cost margins in the presence of fixed costs of production. By exploiting properties of the primal and dual sales-based and cost-based Solow residuals, we are able to simultaneously estimate price-cost margins and the share of fixed costs in total costs for each input. Ignoring fixed costs in production underestimates price-cost margins and overestimates excess profit shares. Using a 30 year panel of Belgian firms we estimate price-cost margins, as a fraction of sales, of 25.4% on average, which can be decomposed between fixed costs of 22.9% and excess profits of 2.5%. Belgian price-cost margins have declined (-5.9%) in the past three decades due to a combination of falling fixed costs (-4.0%) and decreasing excess profits (-1.9%), suggesting output markets have become even more competitive over time. While large firms have higher profit shares than small firms, they have lower fixed cost shares as well as lower price-cost margins.
  • Getting the job done: Nowjobs an industry disruptor

    Meuleman, Miguel; Verweire, Kurt; Carrick, Anne-Marie (2024)
    This case describes how House of HR, an international HR services group, dealt with turbulence in the European human resource and employment services market. This case study shows how established firms can respond to such turbulence by building a new business model outside their core market. It shows the challenges during the various phases of the creation of this new business model - from the idea's inception of the idea to the formation of the new team, and then to the launch of the new concept, the scaling of the venture and the international expansion phase. Although the new venture has experienced a healthy start and has been very successful since then, significant questions remain. One of those questions is how much freedom to give to the new unit and how to shape the growth path of the new business.
  • A game-theoretic model of underpricing and over-subscription in Chinese IPO’s

    Geertsema, Paul; Lu, Helen (Finance Research Letters, 2016)
    In Chinese A-share IPO’s the bulk of available stock is allocated to investors via a lottery, with the payoff structure of participating in an IPO resembling a game. We solve a simple version of the game for the static Nash equilibrium in continuous strategies and derive the optimal IPO deposit for an arbitrary number of investors with common risk aversion within a two-moment decision model. A data set of 1121 Chinese A-share IPO’s provides empirical support for our results.
  • Stock price response to new-CEO earnings news

    Geertsema, Paul; Lont, David H.; Lu, Helen (Accounting & Finance, 2018)
    New-CEO earnings news exhibits asymmetric effects on stock prices. Stock prices rise more on good earnings news announced by firms with new CEOs compared with those with established CEOs. By contrast, stock prices tend to fall by a smaller amount on bad earnings news for new CEOs. Both the new-CEO quality effect and the new-CEO honeymoon effect are more pronounced for CEOs appointed during challenging situations. The new-CEO quality effect is stronger for firms followed by fewer analysts, while the honeymoon effect is stronger for firms followed by more analysts – illustrating the importance of a transparent information environment.
  • Real earnings management around CEO turnovers

    Geertsema, Paul; Lont, David H.; Lu, Helen (Accounting & Finance, 2020)
    Following CEO turnovers, US firms adjust real business activities to manage earnings downwards (REM bath). This effect is most pronounced in firms with low levels of institutional ownership. REM baths early in CEOs’ tenure can be confounded with legitimate adjustments to business activities. However, we show that they are not accompanied by increases in R&D or capital expenses, nor are they explained by restructuring expenses. CEOs with short tenure record more negative REM measures in their first year of tenure, when compared with CEOs with long tenure.
  • Revisiting the price effect in US stocks

    Geertsema, Paul; Lu, Helen (Finance Research Letters, 2019)
    Nominal price does not predict average stock returns in the cross-section of US stocks using the NYSE break-pointed, value-weighted portfolio formation approach adopted in the recent asset-pricing literature. The evidence in support of return predictability is largely constrained to small stocks, with a “low price effect” more prevalent up to the 1970’s and a “high price effect” more prevalent from 1980 onwards. Among the six asset-pricing models tested in our study, only the Fama–French 3-factor model consistently yields positive alphas for trading strategies based on nominal stock prices.
  • Regulated price and demand in China’s IPO market

    Geertsema, Paul; Lu, Helen (Journal of Banking & Finance, 2020)
    We use simultaneous equations to model the bi-directional causality between IPO initial returns and oversubscription ratios in China. We find that the causality is one-directional from oversubscription ratios to IPO initial returns in the post-reform period (2005–2015), which is consistent with a demand effect. By contrast, a demand effect did not exist in the pre-reform period (1996–2004). Our findings suggest that the 2005 reform of the IPO pricing mechanism has allowed IPO prices to be determined by market forces in China.
  • The correlation structure of anomaly strategies

    Geertsema, Paul; Lu, Helen (Journal of Banking & Finance, 2020)
    We consolidate a large number of mean-significant anomalies into cluster portfolios. More than a third of cluster portfolios remain significant under the Hou et al. (2020) five-factor model — the best performing among six benchmark models tested. A best-first search yields nine factors that subsume all cluster portfolios as well as all significant anomalies, demonstrating the feasibility of a parsimonious description of average realised returns. The expected growth factor (EG) and a cluster portfolio linked to accruals are prominent factors that improve pricing performance. The search-generated model produces a monthly maximum squared Sharpe ratio of 0.51, considerably higher than current benchmark models.
  • Digital resilience factors for mobile payment services

    Alhassan, M.D.; Butler, Martin (2024)
    Imaging and assessing mobile technology for development (M4D) means understanding the use of appropriate technologies and services, and how they directly or indirectly address socio-economic challenges. This book adopts various perspectives to identify the obstacles to affordable digital technologies in order to enable, enhance, and effect development.The book plays on the tension between success reports and optimistic projections, on one hand, and empirical evidence of technological belly splash, on the other hand. The areas covered include infusion of service education in computing education, the Rwandan establishment of African Centres of Excellence to promote the development of appropriate technology, the metaverse's realisation in a mobile network-enabled "metaversity", and difficulties detected when evaluating digitisation of distance learning, students' security awareness, dissemination of agricultural information, and mobile payment. The decolonisation of community-based media and attempts to step outside the mobile network and Internet are also covered.
  • Beyond lazy; external locus of control as an alternative explanation for the privacy paradox

    Whelan, Eoin; Lang, Michael; Butler, Martin (Internet Research, 2024)
    Purpose – The privacy paradox refers to the situation where users of online services continue to disclose personal information even when they are concerned about their privacy. One recent study of Facebook users published in Internet Research concludes that laziness contributes to the privacy paradox. The purpose of this study is to challenge the laziness explanation. To do so, we adopt a cognitive dispositions perspective and examine how a person’s external locus of control influences the privacy paradox, beyond the trait of laziness. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed method approach is adopted. We first develop a research model which hypothesises the moderating effects of both laziness and external locus of control on privacy issues. We quantitatively test the research model through a two-phase survey of 463 Facebook users using the Hayes PROCESS macro. We then conduct a qualitative study to verify and develop the findings from the quantitative phase. Findings – The privacy paradox holds true. The findings confirm the significant influence of external locus of control on the privacy paradox. While our quantitative findings suggest laziness does not affect the association between privacy concerns and self-disclosure, our qualitative data does provide some support for the laziness explanation. Originality/value – Our study extends existing research by showing that a person’s external locus of control provides a stronger explanation for the privacy paradox than the laziness perspective. As such, this study further reveals the boundary conditions on which the privacy paradox exists for some users of social networking sites, but not others. Our study also suggests cognitive dissonance coping strategies, which are largely absent in prior investigations, may influence the privacy paradox
  • Exploring the relationship between middle managers’ proactive strategic behavior and other proactive behaviors

    Pfisterer, Matthias; De stobbeleir, Katleen (2023)
    Research Goals and Why the Work was Worth Doing . How are middle managers proactively initiating changes in their organizations? Fast-moving, complex organizational environments leave only limited space for top-down decision-making (Ashford et al., 2018). Scholars have argued that organizations require every level, from front-line employees to middle managers and senior-managers and executives, to be proactive i.e., to anticipate and self-initiate changes (Crossley et al., 2013; Grant & Ashford, 2008; Strauss et al., 2009). While research has predominantly focused on proactivity oriented towards shaping one’s own role and immediate work environment (e.g., by seeking feedback or job crafting), far less research has explored proactive behavior directed at the organization’s larger goals, such as proactive strategic behavior (Parker & Collins, 2010). Given that especially for managers, contributing to the larger organization is expected and valued, we examine how middle managers’ strategic behavior affects their performance. Specifically, we suggest that middle managers’ proactive strategic behavior (i.e., strategic scanning) will improve their performance, especially when used in combination with proactive behavior focused on the fit with their immediate work environment (i.e., feedback-seeking) and proactive behavior focused on making improvements in their work environment (i.e., voice). In doing so, we advance research on proactive strategic behavior and contribute by increasing our understanding of the relationship between proactive strategic behavior and other proactive behaviors and the impact of proactivity on performance outcomes. Theoretical Background By and large, proactivity literature distinguishes three different categories of proactive behaviors, i.e., proactive work behavior, proactive person-environment fit behavior, and proactive strategic behavior (Parker & Collins, 2010). Despite the advances of proactivity literature has made over the last two decades, research on proactive strategic behavior is still lacking and little is known about the relationship between proactive strategic behavior and other proactive behaviors. Building on prior research we develop a conceptual model to explore this gap in the present study. Methodology We tested our model in a sample of 266 middle manager-supervisor dyads from different companies. Results The results of the analysis show support for the hypothesized relationships in our model. Middle managers’ strategic scanning positively predicts performance and voice acts as a mediator in this relationship, while high levels of feedback-seeking act as a moderator.Limitations The main limitation is based on the cross-sectional survey design in this study. ConclusionsWe show that middle managers use a combination of proactive strategic behavior, proactive work behavior and proactive person-environment fit behavior, which positively affects their performance. Our results indicate that middle managers who scan their environment to identify opportunities and threats can use voice and feedback-seeking to effectively communicate these in their organization and thereby increase their performance.
  • Digital for all: Developing and evaluating an intervention to stimulate the digital growth Mindset of knowledge worker

    Quataert, Sarah; Dewettinck, Koen; Buyens, Dirk; Legrand, Valérie (2023)
    In a rapidly changing and digitalising world of work, in which new professional roles are emerging and skill requirements are shifting, change readiness and learning motivation have become crucial assets for employees. In order to thrive at work, workers need a growth mindset (Dweck, 2007), characterised by positive self-beliefs, such as high self-efficacy and strong malleability beliefs about one’s ability to learn new skills. A digital growth mindset, in particular, which we define as having a growth mindset towards digitalisation and digital skills, has become a necessity for workers in all industries. This is especially the case for knowledge workers, as their jobs are becoming more complex due to automation and new business models, leading to new skill demands that are more technical, digital, and interpersonal.Consequently, there’s a growing interest within the field of Work and Organisational Psychology when it comes to developing workplace interventions that stimulate positive self-beliefs, as they positively impact people’s motivation to learn and actual learning behaviour (Bandura, 1977; Burnette, O’Boyle, VanEpps, Pollack, Finkel, 2013; Mangels, Butterfield, Lamb, Good, Dweck, 2006; Rigolizzo, 2021). A related challenge is the quest for effective yet pragmatic methods to assess the effectiveness of these interventions and understand why certain interventions work while others don’t (Berge, 2008; Griffin, 2011). Relying on the Double Diamond Process (British Design Council) and following an iterative process of prototyping and user testing, the online mindset intervention ‘Digital For All’ (DFA) was developed in 2020-2021, to positively shape mindset beliefs of knowledge workers in the context of digital transformation and digital skills. The intervention consists of 8 different learning modules, all related to the general concept of the growth mindset: (1) digital awareness, (2) digital technology, (3) digital growth mindset, (4) digital (re)thinking, (5) digital self-leadership, (6) careers in the digital world, (7) digital resilience and (8) digital data.From February to June 2022, DFA has been implemented in several organisational contexts to evaluate its effectiveness by means of case studies. In line with the formulated selection criteria and striving at a diverse set of cases (diversity in terms of employment status, function, age and gender), the research team selected and analysed a total of 12 cases. We relied on multiple data sources for the case studies: interviews with participants, interviews with observers or coaches who were part of the intervention, and survey data. Process tracing analysis (Beach & Pedersen, 2013) was used as a within-case method for theory-based impact evaluation to understand how our intervention led to increased growth mindset beliefs in most of our cases, and why positive effects were missing in others. Process tracing is seen as a promising methodological avenue for empirically studying causal mechanisms, especially in social science disciplines (Beach & Pedersen; 2013; George & Bennett,2005; Bennett, 2008). As part of the symposium ‘Attitudes and Mindsets During Organisational Transformation’, we will first introduce our developed DFA intervention to practitioners and scholars in the field of Work and Organisational Psychology. Secondly, we will provide an overview of the insights and results derived from the conducted case studies, and we will elaborate on the causal mechanisms explaining how 2282DFA has led to its hypothesised effects. Thirdly, we will share our lessons learned with the audience and reflect on limitations of our research. Doing so, we want to inspire practitioners seeking for effective and rigorous ways to support employees in futureproofing their skillset via mindset interventions. Also, we want to inspire academics interested in exploring process tracing as a research method for evaluating those interventions. For Work and Organisational Psychologists conducting research in real-world business settings, process tracing might be an interesting approach to assess and increase the effectiveness of certain practices in a profound yet pragmatic manner.We hope to contribute to two Sustainable Development Goals, as described by the United Nations. First, our work is relevant in relation to ‘Decent work and economic growth’, by encouraging employees to invest in their employability and considering growth mindsets as a prerequisite for sustainable employment and economic growth. Second, we will contribute to ‘Quality education’, considering DFA as a training intervention stimulating lifelong learning

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