Recent Submissions

  • The regulatory experience of Italy and the United States with dedicated incentives for strategic electricity transmission investment

    Keyaerts, Nico; Meeus, Leonardo (Elsevier, 2017)
    There is a trend in regulatory practice towards providing dedicated incentives for strategic investments. Italy and the United States have the longest experience with authorizing returns and risk-mitigating incentives that deviate from standard regulatory treatment for policy purposes. In these countries, the regulatory incentives are based on a case-by-case assessment of capital projects. We find that the Italian scheme is simpler, which reduces administrative costs. The U.S. scheme is more advanced in the case-by-case assessment. Even though dedicated incentives may be controversial, our analysis of both experiences shows that, notwithstanding significant learning costs, both schemes have facilitated substantial financial investment in strategically important infrastructure.
  • A tabu search procedure for the resource-constrained project scheduling problem with alternative subgraphs

    Servranckx, T.; Vanhoucke, Mario (Elsevier, 2019)
    This paper investigates the resource-constrained project scheduling problem with alternative subgraphs (RCPSP-AS). In this scheduling problem, there exist alternative ways to execute subsets of activities that belong to work packages. One alternative execution mode must be selected for each work package and, subsequently, the selected activities in the project structure should be scheduled. Therefore, the RCPSP-AS consists of two subproblems: a selection and a scheduling subproblem. A key feature of this research is the categorisation of different types of alternative subgraphs in a comprehensive classification matrix based on the dependencies that exist between the alternatives in the project structure. As the existing problem-specific datasets do not support this framework, we propose a new dataset of problem instances using a well-known project network generator. Furthermore, we develop a tabu search that uses information from the proposed classification matrix to guide the search process towards high-quality solutions. We verify the overall performance of the metaheuristic and different improvement strategies using the developed dataset. Moreover, we show the impact of different problem parameters on the solution quality and we analyse the impact of distinct resource characteristics of alternatives on the selection process.
  • Judgmental forecast adjustments over different time horizons (Published Online)

    Van den Broeke, Maud; De Baets, Shari; Vereecke, Ann; Baecke, Philippe; Vanderheyden, Karlien (Elsevier, 2018)
    Accurate demand forecasting is the cornerstone of a firm’s operations. The statistical system forecasts are often judgmentally adjusted by forecasters who believe their knowledge can improve the final forecasts. While empirical research on judgmental forecast adjustments has been increasing, an important aspect is under-studied: the impact of these adjustments over different time horizons. Collecting data from 8 business cases, retrieving over 307,200 forecast adjustments, this work assesses how the characteristics (e.g., size and direction) and accuracy of consecutive adjustments change over different time horizons. We find that closer to the sales point, the number of adjustments increases and adjustments become larger and more positive; and that adjustments, both close and distant from the sales point, can deteriorate the final forecast accuracy. We discuss how these insights impact operational activities, such as production planning.
  • Short selling in extreme events

    Geraci, Marco Valerio; Garbaravicius, Tomas; Veredas, David (Elsevier, 2018)
    We study the association between daily changes in short selling activity and financial stock prices during extreme events using TailCoR, a measure of tail correlation. For the largest European and US banks, as well as European insurers, we uncover a strong relation during exceptional (extreme) days and a weak relation during normal (average) days. Examining days with large increases in short positions and large downfalls in stock prices, we find evidence of both momentum and contrarian short selling taking place. For North American bank stocks, contrarian short selling appears more practiced than for European bank and insurance stocks. We find that the uncovered relationship decreases with firm size and increases during ban periods, which is in line with short selling becoming more informative when constrained.
  • A 60 second clip to create change: palm oil role play (round 1)

    Roome (+), Nigel; Louche, Céline (2014)
    On March 17, 2010, Greenpeace launched a new campaign against the conversion of tropical rainforest to industrial palm oil plantations. The campaign directly attacked Nestle because its supply-chain included palm oil from alleged unsustainable sources. The campaign began with a 60 second video clip. Although Nestle was directly targeted by the campaign, other actors such as companies in the same sector, the suppliers and marketers of palm oil, and NGOs protecting the rainforest were also affected. The video went viral within a few days and Greenpeace followed up with other actions. The case is set up as a role play in two rounds. In round 1, students are invited to consider how the Greenpeace campaign might affect each of a set of five actors (but not Nestle). The five actors present their responses to the campaign and this provides a context to round 2. In round 2, students take on the role of managers at Nestle who have to decide what the company should do next. This role play is about better understanding the impact of organisations on society in a dynamic context shaped by the unfolding positions and actions of a number of organisations. It involves comprehending organisations and their actions in a more systemic perspective than usual; seizing on the complexity and context dependent nature of sustainability. At the same time the case introduces the phenomenon of targeted social activism; and the question of change not only by an organisation but also at the field level. The case study can also be used to critically assess the value of a range of management concepts such as stakeholder theory and creating shared value as well as exploring the business contribution to sustainable development in developed and developing countries.
  • A 60 second clip to create change: palm oil role play (round 2)

    Roome (+), Nigel; Louche, Céline (2014)
    On March 17, 2010, Greenpeace launched a new campaign against the conversion of tropical rainforest to industrial palm oil plantations. The campaign directly attacked Nestle because its supply-chain included palm oil from alleged unsustainable sources. The campaign began with a 60 second video clip. Although Nestle was directly targeted by the campaign, other actors such as companies in the same sector, the suppliers and marketers of palm oil, and NGOs protecting the rainforest were also affected. The video went viral within a few days and Greenpeace followed up with other actions. The case is set up as a role play in two rounds. In round 1, students are invited to consider how the Greenpeace campaign might affect each of a set of five actors (but not Nestle). The five actors present their responses to the campaign and this provides a context to round 2. In round 2, students take on the role of managers at Nestle who have to decide what the company should do next. This role play is about better understanding the impact of organisations on society in a dynamic context shaped by the unfolding positions and actions of a number of organisations. It involves comprehending organisations and their actions in a more systemic perspective than usual; seizing on the complexity and context dependent nature of sustainability. At the same time the case introduces the phenomenon of targeted social activism; and the question of change not only by an organisation but also at the field level. The case study can also be used to critically assess the value of a range of management concepts such as stakeholder theory and creating shared value as well as exploring the business contribution to sustainable development in developed and developing countries.
  • Smart meter technology acceptance at EANDIS

    Li, Lingxin; Samii, Behzad (2014)
    This case could be taught in a course of operations management or technology management. It leads to some solutions to the difficulties that Eandis was facing during its smart meter installation projects: uncertainty of the link between smart meter installation and energy saving; users were not taking efforts in energy saving; customers were challenging these projects with regards to security, privacy and trust to the system, and so on. The case gives suggestions in Eandis’ possible further actions, by applying the UTAUT (Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology) framework in the field of social psychology. The case discussion will be directed to analysing the challenges during smart meter installation rollout within the UTAUT framework. There are a number of discussion topics: what should Eandis do in order to raise the concern of energy saving? How to overcome customers’ privacy concerns regarding smart meter installation? How can Eandis analyse based on current data on hand and what further analysis Eandis should perform? What is currently missing in the UTAUT framework and what actions should be taken in the future? These points come together providing an integrated solution as a whole to increase customers’ acceptance of smart meter technology.
  • Surviving digital disruption: the case of Truvo

    Peeters, Carine; Baert, Caroline (2018)
    The case study is set at the end of the year 2014. At that time, Truvo, a traditional yellow pages industry player in Belgium, has already made a number of important steps in its transition from a print directory company to a digital marketing agency for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Different strategic options have been explored, implemented and / or abandoned, illustrating the continuous approach to the company's strategic transformation. In 2014, Truvo's management had to decide on two important next steps in the company's transformation: 1) Should Truvo further accelerate the full exit from print business? 2) Should Truvo extend its digital marketing offering by creating a full-service agency targeting larger clients? In addition to a reflection on Truvo's transformation journey overall, these two concrete questions offer an opportunity to expose students and executives to the difficulty of strategy making when a company needs to radically rethink its existing business model in a context of rapid but also uncertain market developments.
  • Food@home (A): strategic use of budgets

    Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip (2018)
    This is part of a case series. Food@Home is a Belgian online consumer food brand specialised in the home delivery of boxes containing recipes and ingredients. In two years, Food@Home created a new market and became the market leader. While at the end of 2015, Food@Home reported a negative operating income margin of 30%, the goal for 2016 was to was to break-even. To achieve this goal, Food@Home needed to upscale sufficiently and further successfully execute its strategy. To help with the execution and management of that strategy, John C, the financial director of Food@Home, needed to develop a budget. The CEO of Food@Home, Charles M, asked John to present an operating income and cash budget for the year ahead.
  • Food@home(B): strategic variance analysis

    Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip (2018)
    This is part of a case series. The Food@Home (B) case presents all the information available to Charles, the CEO, to evaluate the performance of Food@Home in 2016. It involves analysing the difference in original budgeted and actual financial results, including the profit impact of various sources of strategic profitability, and preparing a comprehensive reconciliation of actual and planned operating profit.
  • KBC's digital transformation:  a cultural and people change (B)

    Verweire, Kurt; Viaene, Stijn; De Prins, Peter (2017)
    This is part of a case series. We follow Erik Luts, the responsible for Direct Channels at KBC Belgium. Together with Daniel Falque, CEO of KBC Belgium, and Johan Lema, Senior General Manager Customer Support Retail & Businesses, he has been working to get KBC ready for the digital age. They are leading an organisation-wide transformation to an omni-channel and customer-centric bank and insurance group, relying on new approaches to digitisation. Although the company has made significant progress with the execution of its strategy, there are still significant hurdles to be taken. One of the major hurdles is gaining acceptance of the strategy in the branches, still the main channel of the bank in Belgium.
  • KBC's digital transformation: a strategic response (A)

    Verweire, Kurt; Viaene, Stijn; De Prins, Peter (2017)
    This is part of a case series. We follow Erik Luts, the responsible for Direct Channels at KBC Belgium. Together with Daniel Falque, CEO of KBC Belgium, and Johan Lema, Senior General Manager Customer Support Retail & Businesses, he has been working to get KBC ready for the digital age. They are leading an organisation-wide transformation to an omni-channel and customer-centric bank and insurance group, relying on new approaches to digitisation. Although the company has made significant progress with the execution of its strategy, there are still significant hurdles to be taken. One of the major hurdles is gaining acceptance of the strategy in the branches, still the main channel of the bank in Belgium.
  • Governance implications of attracting external equity investors in private family firms

    Neckebrouck, Jeroen; Meuleman, Miguel; Manigart, Sophie (Academy of Management, 2018)
  • From enterprise architect to opportunity architect: the Changing role of enterprise architecture in a digital transformation context

    Bontinck, Greet; Cumps, Bjorn; Viaene, Stijn; Bille, Wesley; Vanden Brande, Joachim (2016)
    While digital transformation is of vital importance for companies and is clearly a boardroom concern, enterprise architects are having a hard time using their skills to digitally transform their company into a nimble, quick and agile one. The white paper “From Enterprise Architect to Opportunity Architect” outlines a number of findings from 13 case studies of companies in Belgium: there are opportunities for enterprise architects who can get to grips with and understand the customer journey.
  • Identifying opportunities for product digitization

    Muylle, Steve; Basu, Amit; Standaert, Willem; Decraene, Wim; De Wint, Koen (Vlerick Business School, 2018)
    Product digitization - the use of digital technologies to enhance and even transform products, can profoundly change how the product is produced, distributed, sold and experienced.
  • A heuristic procedure to solve the project staffing problem with discrete time/resource trade-offs and personnel scheduling constraints

    Van Den Eeckhout, Mick; Maenhout, Broos; Vanhoucke, Mario (Pergamon Press, 2019)
    Highlights • Project staffing with discrete time/resource trade-offs and calendar constraints. • An iterated local search procedure is proposed. • Different problem decomposition techniques are applied. Abstract When scheduling projects under resource constraints, assumptions are typically made with respect to the resource availability and activities are planned each with its own duration and resource requirements. In resource scheduling, important assumptions are made with respect to the staffing requirements. Both problems are typically solved in a sequential manner leading to a suboptimal outcome. We integrate these two interrelated scheduling problems to determine the optimal personnel budget that minimises the overall cost. Integrating these problems increases the scheduling flexibility, which improves the overall performance. In addition, we consider some resource demand flexibility in this research as an activity can be performed in multiple modes. In this paper, we present an iterated local search procedure for the integrated multi-mode project scheduling and personnel staffing problem. Detailed computational experiments are presented to evaluate different decomposition heuristics and comparison is made with alternative optimisation techniques.
  • Entrepreneurship through acquisition (1): MBOS and MBIS

    Meuleman, Miguel; Vanoorbeek, Hans (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
    This chapter will provide insights on an alternative path to entrepreneurship, i.e. entrepreneurship through acquisition.
  • Monitoring tactics and key metrics

    Brinckmann, Jan; Meuleman, Miguel; Witt, Peter (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
    Investors in startups need to know what is going on in the companies.
  • How to position yourself as a Fintech Ninja

    Holvoet, Tine (2018)
    Real change is not merely loading or updating, but upgrading financial services.

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