Recent Submissions

  • Resource-constrained project scheduling with activity splitting and setup times

    Vanhoucke, Mario; Coelho, José (Elsevier, 2019)
    This paper presents a new solution algorithm to solve the resource-constrained project scheduling problem with activity splitting and setup times. The option of splitting activities, known as activity preemption, has been studied in literature from various angles, and an overview of the main contributions will be given. The solution algorithm makes use of a meta-heuristic search for the resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP) using network transformations to split activities in subparts. More precisely, the project network is split up such that all possible preemptive parts are incorporated into an extended network as so-called activity segments, and setup times are incorporated between the different activity segments. Due to the inherent complexity to solve the problem for such huge project networks, a solution approach is proposed that selects the appropriate activity segments and ignores the remaining segments using a boolean satisfiability problem solver, and afterwards schedules these projects to near-optimality with the renewable resource constraints. The algorithm has been tested using a large computational experiment with five types of setup times. Moreover, an extension to the problem with overlaps between preemptive parts of activities has been proposed and it is shown that our algorithm can easily cope with this extension without changing it. Computational experiments show that activity preemption sometimes leads to makespan reductions without requiring a lot of splits in the activities. Moreover, is shown that the degree of these makespan reductions depends on the network and resource indicators of the project instance.
  • A three-dimensional conceptual framework of corporate water responsibility

    Martinez, Fabien (Sage, 2015)
    This article offers a conceptual framework that comprehensively describes essential aspects of corporate water responsibility. What heretofore has been essentially regarded as an issue to be tackled by governmental institutions, and therefore not perceived as an important component of the value that is created for the institutional and private owners of profit-driven companies, is explicitly treated here as a corporate responsibility. Bridging knowledge domains, I review major research works conducted by management, corporate sustainability, and (welfare) economics scholars and focusing on water management issues to unveil the conditions under which corporations are likely to manage, or to be challenged in managing, water in responsible/sustainable ways. Three types of “tensions” that confront academics and managers alike are discussed: voluntary actions versus coercion, free riding versus cooperation, and economic versus corporate water responsibility motives. I propose a three-dimensional framework of corporate water responsibility for thinking through the managerial response patterns contemplated to address these tensions.
  • Smart money for social ventures: An analysis of the value-adding activities of philanthropic venture capitalists

    Ingstad, Eline L.; Knockaert, Mirjam; Fassin, Yves (Taylor & Francis Online, 2014)
    Philanthropic venture capitalists (PhVCs) provide social entrepreneurs with financial and nonfinancial resources. This paper studies how and why PhVCs engage in value-adding activities. Employing an inductive case study method, our study shows that value-adding activities engaged in by PhVCs are similar to the activities carried out by traditional venture capitalists. Further, we find self-efficacy and goal setting theories to be particularly relevant in studying why PhVCs engage in value-adding activities. Concretely, PhVCs engage in value-adding activities that are in line with their efficacy beliefs and that facilitate the achievement of lower-order goals related to professionalization, self-sustainability, and expansion. As such, they aim at reaching the higher-end goal of scaling the social venture.
  • Wint ons leervermogen het van kennis en expertise?

    Vandenbroucke, Astrid (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
  • The influence of project resource allocation on the resource capacity of the business processes

    Vanacker, Laura; Van Raemdonck, Olivier; Servranckx, Tom; Vanhoucke, Mario (JMPM - Mundo Press, 2018)
    In small and medium enterprises, resources from within the company are often used to fulfill small-scale projects. This paper discusses the influence of project resource allocation on the operational workflow of small and medium enterprises based on a case study. More precisely, the capacity of certain business operations will be lowered due to the allocation of scarce resources to projects. Subsequently, this might result in a temporarily lower throughput in the business processes and thus a potential loss of profitability. As a result, project scheduling and resource management have a clear impact on the planning and execution of the daily operations. In case that the deterministic estimates of project durations and costs are used, without accounting for risk and uncertainty, project delays are highly likely. Given the relation between project and business resource allocation, project delays might lead to difficulties in meeting targets in the daily operations. This paper presents an approach to incorporate the above effect in the decision-making process of portfolio management, i.e. the choice to initiate a project given the negative impact on the business processes. The decision-making process that results from this fundamental trade-off is demonstrated using a real-life project, which could provide valuable insights to project managers in small and medium enterprises.
  • Synergy management services companies: A new business model for industrial park operators

    Siskos, Ioannis; Van Wassenhove, Luk N. (Wiley, 2017)
    The concept of industrial symbiosis (IS) was introduced decades ago and its environmental and economic benefits are well established, but the broad acceptance of IS still faces significant barriers. This article provides a new approach to capture synergies within industrial parks by suggesting a new business model. Building on findings from a survey conducted by the authors and on literature, we first identify potential barriers to low‐carbon synergistic projects. Economic concerns of technically feasible synergies and financial issues turn out to be the largest barriers, because of long payback periods and fluctuating raw material and by‐product market prices. Existing business models do not offer easy ways to overcome or relax these barriers. We therefore introduce the concept of a synergy management services company (SMSCO), a synergy contractor and third‐party financing model, to overcome these barriers. This model shifts the financial risk of the synergistic project from collaborating firms to the SMSCO. We posit that this attribute of the SMSCO model makes it attractive for industrial park operators who seek long‐term solutions to secure future viability of their park.
  • A study of the critical chain project management method applied to a multiproject system (Published Online)

    Eduardo Cooper Ordoñez, Robert; Vanhoucke, Mario; Coelho, José; Novaski, Olívio (Sage, 2019)
    In 1997, Eliyahu Goldratt proposed a method called critical chain project management (CCPM) to minimize the inefficiencies identified in traditional project management. The project management community accepted the proposed method as a viable alternative. However, to allow its implementation with a multiproject system, more research was necessary. Seeking to identify the key factors that influence the performance of the multiproject system applying the CCPM method, we performed a case study. Logistic regression analysis showed that applying the CCPM method in a multiproject system allows for better time estimation of activities and facilitates the allocation of critical resources.
  • Planning projects with scarce resources: Yesterday, today and tomorrow’s research challenges

    Vanhoucke, Mario (Springer, 2018)
    This paper is an invited request to describe the main research challenges in the domain of resource-constrained project scheduling. The paper is split up in three parts. In today’s challenges, research endeavors that have received a significant, but still not enough, attention have been described. In tomorrow’s research challenges, some promising research avenues for future research have been given. Finally, in yesterday’s challenge, a research topic that started decades ago, is said to have still a huge potential in tomorrow’s research agenda. This paper does not intend to give a full literature overview, nor a summary of all possible research paths. Instead, it is inspired from the author’s experience in academic research and practical consultancy and it serves as a personal opinion on a non-exhaustive set of promising research avenues, rather than giving a full literature-based advice for future research directions.
  • Automatisering zal levenslang leren noodzakelijk maken

    Verlinden, Valérie (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
  • Managers moeten het werk eerlijk toewijzen, willen vrouwen en minderheden doorgroeien

    Van Steerthem, Angie (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
    Organisaties proberen al decennialang diversiteit op de werkplek te verbeteren - met weinig succes. De meest gebruikelijke technieken, zoals eenmalige sensibiliseringstrainingen, hebben niet gewerkt. Het aantal vrouwen en personen met een migratieachtergrond in leiderschapsrollen blijft laag in diverse sectoren.
  • Hoe blijf je jezelf motiveren?

    Van Bruystegem, Kristien (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
    Jezelf motiveren is moeilijk. Je ‘drive’ proberen te behouden tijdens een bepaalde taak, project of zelfs een carrière kan soms voelen alsof je jezelf uit een moeras wil halen door te trekken aan je eigen haar. We lijken een natuurlijke afkeer te hebben van aanhoudende inspanningen. En dat kunnen geen enkele hoeveelheid cafeïne of inspirerende posters oplossen. Maar effectieve zelfmotivatie is één van de belangrijkste kenmerken die succesvolle personen onderscheiden van anderen. Hoe kan je dus jezelf blijven motiveren, ook al heb je er geen zin in?
  • Hoe verkrijg je een goede discussie in een vergadering?

    Somers, Jan-Klaas (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
    De moderne werkplaats wordt overspoeld door vergaderingen, waarvan de meesten hun doel missen. Bijgevolg kijken veel mensen er niet naar uit om deze vergaderingen bij te wonen. De oorzaak van dit probleem? Vergaderingen dienen om discussies te hebben die je op geen enkele andere manier kan hebben, maar toch vermijden de meeste meetings een echt debat.
  • Het grote misverstand rond veranderingsmanagement

    Somers, Jan-Klaas (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
    Hoewel wetenschappers en consultants steeds beter snappen hoe bedrijfstransformaties werken, hebben deze nog altijd een uiterst lage slaagkans. Onderzoek toont consistent aan dat drie-vierde van de pogingen om veranderingen door te voeren, mislukt. Omdat een gebrekkige implementatie vaak de oorzaak is van dit falen, hebben organisaties zich gefocust op het verbeteren van de uitvoering van de bedrijfsveranderingen. Ze hebben het idee omarmd dat transformatie een proces is met kernfases die voorzichtig begeleid moeten worden. Een slechte uitvoering is echter maar de helft van het probleem.
  • Wat het verschil is tussen een workaholic zijn en veel werken en waarom dit belangrijk is voor uw gezondheid

    Schoubben, Robyn (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
    Over het algemeen gaan we ervan uit dat te veel werken slecht is voor onze gezondheid. Wat er precies ongezond aan is, is echter onduidelijk. Zijn het lange dagen die het risico op het ontwikkelen van gezondheidsproblemen vergroten? Of is het iets anders?
  • Ontwikkelen van soft skills: Een uitdaging

    Dewettinck, Koen; Spiritus-Beerden, Eva (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
    Meer en meer wordt duidelijk dat een groot deel van de huidige taken die momenteel worden uitgevoerd door tal van medewerkers, ofwel volledig zullen worden overgenomen door machines (artificiële intelligentie voor cognitieve taken, robots voor manuele taken), ofwel zullen worden geoptimaliseerd aan de hand van mens-machine interacties.
  • De business case voor nieuwsgierigheid

    Dermaux, Hannah (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
    De meeste uitvindingen doorheen de geschiedenis, van tondel voor vuur tot zelfrijdende auto’s, hebben iets gemeen: ze zijn het resultaat van nieuwsgierigheid. Nieuw onderzoek toont drie belangrijke inzichten aan tussen nieuwsgierigheid en business.
  • Wat managers moeten weten over sociale tools

    Defever, Emmy (Editions NMG SPRL, 2018)
    Organisaties hebben aan sneltempo interne sociale tools geadopteerd. In een grootschalige studie met meer dan 4200 organisaties, uitgevoerd door McKinsey Global Institute, werd gevonden dat 72% van de organisaties dergelijke tools gebruikt om communicatie tussen medewerkers te faciliteren. Het gebruik van interne sociale tools werd reeds in verschillende sectoren bestudeerd. Het toenemende bewijs is duidelijk: deze tools kunnen de samenwerking en kennisdeling tussen medewerkers bevorderen.
  • Not all international assignments are created equal: HQ-subsidiary knowledge transfer patterns across types of assignments and types of knowledge

    Duvivier, Florence; Peeters, Carine; Harzing, Anne-Wil (Elsevier, 2019)
    Drawing on 50 semi-structured interviews in a case study of a Belgian multinational and its foreign subsidiary in Poland, we develop new insights into how using different types of international assignments (long-term expatriation, short-term expatriation, short-term inpatriation) allows a HQ-subsidiary dyad to transfer different types of knowledge (declarative, procedural, axiomatic, relational), both from and to HQ, during and after the assignment. We show how each type of assignment acts as a unique knowledge transfer channel, and why it is critical that HQ-subsidiary dyads use an appropriate combination and sequence of international assignments reflecting their specific knowledge transfer needs.
  • A digital quick-start guide

    Viaene, Stijn (Ivey, 2017)
    What is the next big thing? Nobody really knows. Nevertheless, today’s companies are constantly under pressure to discover it. The digital space, of course, is rife with magic bullets to help them easily achieve success—or so it would seem.
  • An agency perspective for multi-mode project scheduling with time/cost trade-offs

    Aouam, Tarik; Vanhoucke, Mario (Elsevier, 2019)
    Project scheduling takes the perspective of a single decision-maker, where the owner is directly involved in the management and control of the project. In this paper, we study the multi-mode project scheduling problem from an agency perspective, where agency arises from the risk-averse contractor’s hidden effort, which influences the duration and cost of project activities. We formulate the owner’s problem of determining the optimal parameters of a linear incentive contract as a bi-level program, where the lower level is a multi-mode project scheduling problem with time/cost trade-offs, representing the contractor’s problem. Two benchmarks for the optimal contract are formulated, providing bounds on the expected total cost to the owner, and performance measures are defined accordingly. A stylized model of the owner’s problem is presented and solved in closed form for the simple case where an aggregate effort can be exerted at the project level, with restrictive assumptions on the variance of noise and the cost of effort. However, when effort is exerted at the activity level, solving the owner’s problem involves the solution of the multi-mode project scheduling problem. A numerical study for such situation is presented, which illustrates the trade-off between incentives and risk, and the effect of this trade-off on different project related costs. The findings from the stylized model and those from the numerical results of the presented example are compared in a computational experiment on 15 randomly generated projects.

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