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ItemThe acceptance of halal food in non-Muslim countries: effects of religious identity, national identification, consumer ethnocentrism and consumer cosmopolitanism(Emerald, 2019) Wilkins, Stephen; Muhammad Mohsin, Butt; Shams, Farshid; Pérez, AndreaPurpose – International restaurant and fast food chains such as KFC, McDonalds and Subway currently serve halal food in some non-Muslim countries, with mixed results. The purpose of this research is to identify the factors that most influence the product judgements of halal food among non-Muslim consumers in non-Muslim countries, and to assess the extent to which these judgements are related to willingness to consume halal food. Design/methodology/approach – A quantitative survey method was adopted, using a total sample of 1,100 consumers in Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom. The proposed model was tested using structural equation modelling. Findings – The results suggest that it may be possible for firms to satisfy specific niche market segments with standardised mass market products. Consumer cosmopolitanism and non-Muslim religious identity were found to be positively related to halal product judgement, and consumer ethnocentrism and national identification were negatively related to halal product judgement. There was a strong relationship between product judgement and willingness to consume halal food. Practical implications – The findings indicate that halal marketing may provide promising business opportunities for international restaurant and fast food chains, as well as food manufacturers and retailers. However, in countries or regions where there are many consumers with high levels of national identification or consumer ethnocentrism, firms should not expect non-target consumers to accept halal products. Originality/value – This is the first study to suggest that in non-Muslim countries, food companies may switch entirely to halal produce for certain products as an effective market segmentation strategy targeting Muslim consumers. ItemAchieving legitimacy in cross-border higher education: institutional influences on Chinese international branch campuses in South East Asia(SAGE, 2018) He, Lan; Wilkins, StephenAll universities must achieve legitimacy, as this is essential to attract students, staff and resources, including funding. In order to achieve legitimacy in transnational higher education, universities must conform to the rules and belief systems in the host countries. Adopting a case study approach, this research aims to investigate the different institutional influences on three Chinese international branch campuses (IBCs) that operate in South East Asia. The institutional factors behind the strategies taken in establishing and operating such branch campuses are discussed, as well as the different legitimacy building strategies adopted to counteract the liability of foreignness in the host countries. It was found that legitimacy is established through three modes: legitimacy conformity, selective legitimacy conformity/nonconformity and legitimacy creation, which are adopted according to the IBC’s dependence on local resources and the strength of the institutional forces in the host country. ItemThe benefits and drawbacks of transnational higher education: myths and realities(2018) Wilkins, Stephen; Juusola, KatariinaThe purpose of this article is to analyse some of the key ongoing debates in transnational higher education (TNHE). First, we discuss a selection of the claimed benefits and drawbacks of TNHE for home and host country stakeholders (students, governments and institutions), and then we suggest alternative realities, for which there appears to be evidence in practice. It is concluded that (1) recent TNHE developments on the provision side act as a counterforce to the spread of neo-colonialism; (2) international branch campus development continues but there is evidence that the forms, motives, and markets of these initiatives are changing; (3) distance/online/MOOC programs do not pose a threat to the sustainability of other forms of TNHE; (4) the majority of TNHE programs are of acceptable quality due to high levels of competition in international higher education markets and increased regulatory demands from quality assurance agencies; and (5) these forces also contribute to students generally being satisfied with their TNHE study experience. ItemConsumers’ behavioural intentions after experiencing deception or cognitive dissonance caused by deceptive packaging or slack filling(Emerald, 2016) Wilkins, Stephen; Beckenuyte, Carina; Muhammad Mohsin, ButtPurpose The purpose of this study is to discover the extent to which consumers are aware of air filling in food packaging, the extent to which deceptive packaging and slack filling – which often result from package downsizing – lead to cognitive dissonance and the extent to which feelings of cognitive dissonance and being deceived lead consumers to engage in negative post-purchase behaviours. Design/methodology/approach The study analysed respondents’ reactions to a series of images of a specific product. The sample consisted of consumers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in the UK. Five photographs served as the stimulus material. The first picture showed a well-known brand of premium chocolate in its packaging and then four further pictures each showed a plate with a different amount of chocolate on it, which represented different possible levels of package fill. Findings Consumer expectations of pack fill were positively related to consumers’ post-purchase dissonance, and higher dissonance was negatively related to repurchase intentions and positively related to both intended visible and non-visible negative post-purchase behaviours, such as switching brand and telling friends to avoid the product. Furthermore, consumers with low product involvement were less likely to repurchase the brand, and were more willing to engage in visible and non-visible negative behaviours. Research limitations/implications The key message from this study is that consumers’ post-purchase dissonance is likely to damage the firm. Although firms may initially achieve increased sales through deceptive packaging and slack filling, these practices risk damaging a brand’s reputation and consumer loyalty to the brand. Firms need to strike a balance between packaging size and content, and as consumer expectations are likely to vary across different products, individual companies should engage in market research and substantive market testing. Originality/value To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that investigates antecedents and consequences of cognitive dissonance experienced by consumers which was caused by perceived deceptive packaging and/or slack filling. ItemCountry of origin and country of service delivery effects in transnational higher education: a comparison of international branch campuses from developed and developing nations(Taylor and Francis, 2016) Chee, Chiu Mei; Butt, Muhammad Mohsin; Wilkins, Stephen; Ong, Fon SimOver the last decade, international branch campuses have been established by universities from developing countries as well as developed countries. Little research has been conducted into students’ perceptions of branch campuses from different countries, or how universities from different countries compete in the increasingly competitive market. A framework incorporating the concepts of country of origin and country of service delivery is adopted to assess how potential undergraduate students in Malaysia perceive the home and international branch campuses of universities from the United Kingdom (UK) and India, which are used to represent universities from developed and developing nations. It was found that for a university from a developing nation, students perceived the image, reputation, quality and brand equity of its home campus more positively than its international branch campus. The results suggest that although all universities must devise and implement strategies that enhance the image and reputation of their international branch campuses, institutions from developing countries should seek niche markets where they do not have to compete directly with prestigious universities from developed countries. ItemDoctoral publishing as professional development for an academic career in higher education(Elsevier, 2021) Wilkins, Stephen; Hazzam, Joe; Lean, JonathanThe aim of this research is to discover the views, practices and advice of experienced doctoral educators on how doctoral students in the fields of business and management may be encouraged and supported to write for publication, in order to promote their development as future academics. The data used in the study came from an online questionnaire survey completed by 54 individuals worldwide, who teach and/or supervise on doctoral business/management programmes. The job titles of the survey participants include dean, director of doctoral programmes, full/titled/chaired professor, and associate professor. Our survey participants unanimously agree that it is imperative for doctoral students who intend to pursue an academic career in higher education to achieve publications before they graduate, and that institutions and supervisors should share the responsibility to equip students with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to become effective and successful academic authors. The paper concludes with recommendations for students, institutions and supervisors/advisors. To our knowledge, this is the first international study that has explored the attitudes and practices of experienced doctoral educators to doctoral publishing, in the contexts of student development for an academic career, and doctoral supervisors acting as career mentors alongside their supervisory role. ItemDual consumer–organisation identification in international alliances and partnerships: consumers’ supportive intentions towards local and foreign firms(Taylor and Francis, 2018) Wilkins, Stephen; Muhammad Mohsin, Butt; Heffernan, TroyThis study investigates whether firms that are evaluating potential partners might benefit from considering how consumers view these organisations, specifically the extent to which consumer identification with local and foreign partners influences consumer satisfaction with a co-branded product and consumers’ post purchase/consumption supportive intentions toward each partner. Data came from institutions of higher education in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka that operate in collaboration with a foreign partner. A conceptual model was developed and then tested using structural equation modelling. Dual consumer-organisation identification was found to be a significant predictor of consumer satisfaction with the co-branded product and consumers’ supportive intentions toward each partner. Furthermore, the perceived identity attractiveness of each partner was significantly related to the consumers’ identification with each partner. The results suggest that organisations which indulge in collaborative arrangements with foreign firms should recognise that each partner plays a significant and distinct role in generating consumer satisfaction and positive post-purchase/consumption behaviours. ItemThe effects of employee commitment in transnational higher education: the case of international branch campuses(SAGE, 2017) Wilkins, Stephen; Butt, Muhammad Mohsin; Annabi, Carrie AmaniHigher education is a labor intensive activity and strong organizational performance depends upon employee commitment. This study analyses antecedents and consequences of employee commitment in universities that are involved in transnational higher education, with a focus on identifying differences between the employees at home and foreign branch campuses. The data for the study were obtained using a questionnaire that was completed by both teaching and non-teaching staff at three institutions in the United Kingdom, three institutions in Malaysia, and two institutions in the United Arab Emirates. A conceptual model was proposed and tested using structural equation modeling. The results indicate that employees at international branch campuses are not as motivated and committed to their organizations as their counterparts at home campuses. The findings suggest that institutions need to employ different and customized human resource strategies at home and foreign campuses, specifically with the aim of improving employee commitment and performance at the foreign campuses. ItemThe effects of social identification and organizational identification on student commitment(Taylor and Francis, 2016) Wilkins, Stephen; Butt, Muhammad Mohsin; Kratochvil, Daniel; Balakrishnan, Melodena StephensThe purpose of this research is to investigate the effects of social and organizational identifications on student commitment, achievement and satisfaction in higher education. The sample comprised 437 students enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate programme in business or management. A model was developed and tested using structural equation modelling. It was found that organizational identification is a stronger predictor of student commitment, achievement and satisfaction than social identification. Although organizational identification was a strong predictor of student satisfaction, student commitment was better at explaining student achievement. The implications for higher education institutions are discussed. To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first study to examine the effects of organizational identification on student commitment, achievement and satisfaction. The key contribution of the research is in providing support for the hypothesis that organizational identification can influence the attitudes and behaviour of higher education students, as it has been shown to do with employees and consumers. ItemEstablishing international branch campuses: a framework for assessing opportunities and risks(Taylor and Francis, 2016) Wilkins, StephenAt the start of 2016, there were 230 international branch campuses operating worldwide, but of the campuses that were established since the mid-1990s, around 10 per cent have failed. The purpose of this article is to propose a framework that the strategic decision makers in higher education institutions can refer to when evaluating opportunities to develop branch campuses in foreign countries. The framework derives from empirical evidence that was the product of a rigorous search of the literature and other secondary sources, and it has drawn upon business management theories such as institutional theory, Porter’s industry-based view, and Barney’s resource-based view. Thematic analysis was used to identify the following themes, or influencing factors, in the data: environmental, industry, and organisational. The framework provides higher education managers with an analytical tool to guide a process of systematic data collection and analysis, which includes reflection on institutional objectives, resources, and competencies. It is likely that the systematic, data-driven approach promoted by the framework will in future reduce the number of international branch campus failures. ItemEthical issues in transnational higher education: the case of international branch campuses(Taylor and Francis, 2017) Wilkins, StephenThe establishment of an international branch campus can impact upon a diverse range of stakeholders in both home and host countries. Many of the arguments against international branch campuses are based on ethical issues, such as the lack of academic freedom and civil liberties in host countries. Ignoring ethical issues may deny institutions the achievement of legitimacy, which can result in financial losses and reputational damage. Thus, the purpose of this article is to identify the ethical issues that higher education managers should recognise and address when considering the establishment of an international branch campus. A framework based on analysing how home and host country stakeholders might be impacted by the establishment of an international branch campus – and how they might influence higher education institutions – is proposed. It was found that institutions which are flexible, quick to learn, and possess the dynamic capabilities necessary to drive organisational change might be the institutions that have the greatest chance of success in foreign markets. Given that at the start of 2015, at least 24 new international branch campuses were planned or in the process of being built, it is concluded that higher education institutions will have to continue treading the thin line between trying to fit in with their host cultures while simultaneously trying to achieve academic freedom and improve local social, political, and legal conditions. ItemAn expert system for the best weight distribution on ferryboats(2004) Shaalan, Khaled F.; Rizk, Mohammed; Abdelhamid, Yasser; Bahgat, ReemThere are some problems that need expertise in order to get a satisfactory solution. Ferryboat carries goods, fresh water, diesel oil, luggage and storing rooms up to its permissible draft in order to maintain safety according to the international safety regulations. The best weight distribution on ferryboat needs human expertise to handle many variables, such as the amount of the bunker and fresh water that allow us to use more rooms for charging in order to maximize the profit. This sort of problems can be classified under Configuration Problem. In this paper, we address the development of a ferryboat expert systems (WDFB) using CommonKADS knowledge engineering methodology. We propose a reusable problem-solving approach, which is an enhancement of the structure-oriented approach, capable of solving the ferryboat configuration problem. The proposed model includes heuristics that make the search of suitable configuration more efficient, taking into consideration the transformation knowledge and the optimality criteria. The results of testing the system on a real-world data from National Navigation Company, Suez, Egypt, were satisfactory. ItemExplaining the success of UAE companies globally: the benefits of possessing a ‘can-do’ culture(Inderscience, 2021) Wilkins, Stephen; Emik, SerapIn numerous markets, companies from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the global market leaders, and are therefore arguably ‘punching well above their weight’. This research aims to uncover some of the key factors that explain the success of UAE multinational companies. The study adopted an inductive, exploratory qualitative research methodology involving interviews with elite informants who held positions at, or near, the top of their organisational hierarchies. An iterative process of thematic analysis led to the conclusion that UAE firms tend to possess a can-do culture. Although some firms have previously been described as having a can-do culture, researchers have not attempted to identify the underlying components of this culture. We conceptualise a can-do culture as a bundle of firm attributes that together generate firm competitive advantages. The five dimensions of a can-do culture are transformational leadership, market and entrepreneurial orientations, support for innovation, and possession of dynamic capabilities. ItemFood safety performance in food manufacturing facilities: the influence of management practices on food handler commitment(Elsevier, 2020) Taha, Sadi; Wilkins, Stephen; Juusola, Katariina; Osaili, Tareq M.The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of management practices on food handler commitment and, ultimately, food safety performance in food manufacturing facilities. Two focus groups, one with six food handlers and the other with six food safety professionals, were used to develop a conceptual model that measured the effect of management practices on food handler commitment and organizational performance. The fitness of the structural model was measured via a survey with 945 respondents from 189 food manufacturing facilities and official food inspectors in the Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The study found that training, communication, employee involvement, and organizational management support positively and significantly influenced employee commitment, and employee commitment positively and significantly influenced facilities' food safety performance. These results indicate food handler commitment is a critical factor in the relationship between all of the studied management practices and facilities' food safety performance. The study may have implications for food safety inspectors, enforcement officers, training agencies, and food manufacturing managements to consider human aspects in their work. ItemA Framework for Information Extraction, Storage and Retrieval(2004) El-Beltagy, Samhaa R.; Said, Mohammed; Shaalan, Khaled F.This paper presents a set of tools that were developed in order to facilitate and speed up the process of building information extraction and retrieval systems for documents that exhibit a set of predefined characteristics. Specifically, the work presents a simple framework for extracting information found in publications or documents that are issued in large volumes and which cover similar concepts or issues within a given domain. The paper presents a simple model for defining background knowledge and for using that to automatically augment segments of input documents with metadata in order to assist users in easily locating information within these documents through a structured front end. The model presented makes use of both document structure as well as dynamically acquired background knowledge to achieve its goals. ItemThe influence of organisational identification on employee attitudes and behaviours in multinational higher education institutions(Taylor and Francis, 2018) Wilkins, Stephen; Muhammad Mohsin, Butt; Annabi, Carrie AmaniIn order to operate effectively and efficiently, most higher education institutions depend on employees performing extra-role behaviours and being committed to staying with the organisation. This study assesses the extent to which organisational identification and employee satisfaction are antecedents of these two important behaviours. Key objectives of the research were to identify possible antecedents of organisational identification and to discover whether the consequences of organisational identification vary among the employees of multinational universities at home and foreign campuses. We developed a model that was tested using structural equation modelling, which assesses the influences of organisational identification on employee satisfaction, extra-role behaviours and turnover intentions. All of the paths in our model were significant, but employee identification, satisfaction and extra-role behaviours were lower at foreign branches than at the home campuses of universities, and turnover intentions were higher. These results suggest that higher education institutions need to implement different human resource strategies at home and foreign branches, with a focus on improving organisational identification at the foreign subsidiaries. ItemInstitution strategy in transnational higher education: late entrants in mature markets – the case of international branch campuses in the United Arab Emirates(Taylor and Francis, 2021) Wilkins, Stephen; Huisman, JeroenMarket entry timing strategies have been analysed by numerous scholars, but not in the context of higher education. Although there is to some degree consensus on first mover advantages, the research on late entry has been largely inconclusive. Thus, the purpose of this research was to identify and analyse the different positioning and differentiation strategies adopted by late entry institutions to gain a competitive advantage. The sample consisted of seven campuses established by foreign universities in the UAE between 2012 and 2018. Data were collected from sources freely available in the public domain, such as institution websites, promotional materials and press releases, as well as wider media coverage. Applying a content analysis procedure to institution websites, the results revealed that although the communicated identities and strategies adopted by institutions are largely homogenous, they also implement a range of positioning and differentiation strategies. One of the strongest differentiation strategies appears not related to any part of the marketing mix but to the targeted market segment – specifically, targeting students of a specific nationality. The potential advantages for institutions of a global market segmentation strategy are discussed. ItemInstitutional influences on firm strategy in authoritarian emerging economies: mass media companies in the UAE(Emerald, 2021) Wilkins, Stephen; Emik, SerapPurpose This is one of the first studies to investigate the influences of institutions in an authoritarian regime on the strategies of firms that operate in a potentially sensitive industry. The purpose of this paper is to examine how institutional pressures affect the strategies of multi-platform mass media companies (print, broadcast and internet) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Design/methodology/approach This qualitative study used a purposive sampling strategy to conduct interviews with 28 senior managers who have responsibility for strategic level decision making in a UAE media company. All of the interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. A mainly deductive process of thematic analysis was undertaken to identify key ideas, patterns and relationships in the data. Findings The survey participants reported that increased multi-platform delivery in the media industry brings rewards, challenges and new risks. Although the normative and cultural-cognitive pressures are both strong in the UAE, it is the regulative pressures that seem to have the largest constraining influence on firm decision making and business strategies. The strong institutional pressures existing in the UAE encourage tight coupling, where firm structures and processes are linked and designed in response to the institutional constraints. Evidence was found only of some minor decoupling. Originality/value In response to the authors’ findings, the authors hypothesise that in nations under authoritarian rule, political pressures will likely override all other institutional pressures and that it will be most sensible for firms to adopt tight coupling strategies. However, the success of many UAE firms both at home and internationally suggests that strong institutional constraints do not necessarily act as a barrier to superior firm performance. ItemAn Interactive System for Association Rule Discovery for Life Assurance(2004) Rafea, Ahmed A.; Shafik, Suzanne S.; Shaalan, Khaled F.This paper uses prior domain knowledge to guide the mining of association rules in life assurance business environment. This approach is used in order to overcome the drawbacks of data mining using rule induction such as loss of information, discover too many obvious patterns, and mining of overwhelmed association rules. A data mining interactive rule induction algorithm is introduced to mine rules at micro levels. The mined rules describe the impact of different insurance policies attributes, customer profiles, and market channels on company portfolio growth. A system was built based on this algorithm and was tested and verified on real data set in Misr Insurance company, which is the leading insurance company in Egypt. ItemInternational brand alliances and co-branding: antecedents of cognitive dissonance and student satisfaction with co-branded higher education programs(Taylor and Francis, 2018) Wilkins, Stephen; Muhammad Mohsin, Butt; Heffernan, TroyThe study investigates how in international partnerships the brand credibility of each partner, student-institution identification with each partner, and perceived service quality relate to student satisfaction. A structured survey questionnaire was completed by 528 students taking a co-branded higher education program in Hong Kong or Sri Lanka. The results indicate that the brand credibility of a foreign institution is a stronger influencer on student identification with the foreign institution as compared to the relationship between credibility and identification with the local partner. The negative relationship between organizational identification and cognitive dissonance for each institution in the partnership is also stronger for the foreign institution. As the popularity of international partnerships and co-branded higher education programs continues to grow, the importance and dominance of foreign brand credibility and student identification with foreign institutions is recognized.