The problem of obesity is one that continues to be faced in the United States health care system and across the developing world. Prescription medications are available, but are often very expensive with minimal insurance coverage. The over-the-counter diet aid industry is a robust one, selling billions of dollars in products every year. It is important for clinicians to understand the myriad of different nutritional supplements marketed for obesity, and to weigh the evidence behind these products. This manuscript outlines the most commonly used nutritional supplements currently marketed for weight loss, reviewing the evidence with a focus on the efficacy and safety of these products.
Delays in the construction industry are a global phenomenon. Many construction projects experience extensive delays exceeding the initially estimated completion time. The main purpose of this study is to identify construction projects typical behaviors in order to develop a prognosis and management tool. Being able to know a construction projects schedule tendency will enable evidence-based decision-making to allow resolutions to be made before delays occur. This study presents an innovative approach that uses Cluster Analysis Method to support predictions during Earned Value Analyses. A clustering analysis was used to predict future scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Schedule (ES) principal Indexes behaviors in construction projects. The analysis was made using a database with 90 different construction projects. It was validated with additional data extracted from literature and with another 15 contrasting projects. For all projects, planned and executed schedules were collected and the EVM and ES principal indexes were calculated. A complete linkage classification method was used. In this way, the cluster analysis made considers that the distance (or similarity) between two clusters must be measured by its most disparate elements, i.e. that the distance is given by the maximum span among its components. Finally, through the use of EVM and ES Indexes and Tukey and Fisher Pairwise Comparisons, the statistical dissimilarity was verified and four clusters were obtained. It can be said that construction projects show an average delay of 35% of its planned completion time. Furthermore, four typical behaviors were found and for each of the obtained clusters, the interim milestones and the necessary rhythms of construction were identified. In general, detected typical behaviors are: (1) Projects that perform a 5% of work advance in the first two tenths and maintain a constant rhythm until completion (greater than 10% for each remaining tenth), being able to finish on the initially estimated time. (2) Projects that start with an adequate construction rate but suffer minor delays culminating with a total delay of almost 27% of the planned time. (3) Projects which start with a performance below the planned rate and end up with an average delay of 64%, and (4) projects that begin with a poor performance, suffer great delays and end up with an average delay of a 120% of the planned completion time. The obtained clusters compose a tool to identify the behavior of new construction projects by comparing their current work performance to the validated database, thus allowing the correction of initial estimations towards more accurate completion schedules.
Introduction: Currently, there has been an increasing concern about the provision of palliative care in non-oncological patients in both professional literature and clinical practice. However, there is not much scientific information on how to provide neurological and palliative care together. The main objective of the project is to create and to verify a concept of neuro-palliative and rehabilitative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in an advanced stage of the disease and also to evaluate bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of these patients and their caregivers related to the quality of life using created standardized tools. Methodology: Triangulation of research methods (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. A concept of care and assessment tools will be developed by analyzing interviews and focus groups. Qualitative data will be analyzed using grounded theory. The concept of care will be tested in the context of the intervention study. Using quantitative analysis, we will assess the effect of an intervention provided on the saturation of needs, quality of life, and quality of care. A research sample will be made up of the patients with selected neurological diseases (Parkinson´s syndrome, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease), together with patients´ family members. Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for health care professionals will be created. Findings: Based on qualitative data analysis, we will propose the concept of integrated care model combining neurological, rehabilitative and specialist palliative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in different settings of care and services. Patients´ needs related to quality of life will be described by newly created and validated measuring tools before the start of intervention (application of neuro-palliative and palliative approach) and then in the time interval. Conclusion: Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for doctors and health care professionals will be created.
Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.
In recent years, the social economy is increasingly seen as a viable means to address social problems. Social enterprises, as well as public projects and initiatives targeted to meet social purposes, offer organizational models that assume heterogeneity, flexibility and adaptability to the ‘real world and real problems’. Despite the growing popularity of social initiatives, decision makers still face a paucity in what concerns the available models and tools to adequately assess its sustainability, and its impacts, notably the nature of its contribution to economic growth. This study was carried out at the local level, by analyzing the social impact initiatives and projects promoted by the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha (Câmara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha -CMA), a municipality of 25,000 inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. This work focuses on the challenges related to the qualifications and employability of citizens, which stands out as one of the key concerns in the Portuguese economy, particularly expressive in the context of small-scale cities and inland territories. The study offers a characterization of the Municipality, its socio-economic structure and challenges, followed by an exploratory analysis of multiple sourced data, collected from the CMA's documental sources as well as from privileged informants. The purpose is to conduct detailed analysis of the CMA's social projects, aimed at characterizing its potential impact for the model of qualifications and employability of the citizens of the Municipality. The study encompasses a discussion of the socio-economic profile of the municipality, notably its asymmetries, the analysis of the social projects and initiatives, as well as of data derived from inquiry actors involved in the implementation of the social projects and its beneficiaries. Finally, the results obtained with the Better Life Index will be included. This study makes it possible to ascertain if what is implicit in the literature goes to the encounter of what one experiences in reality.
The paper is aimed at developing a model to measure the impact of Lean manufacturing deployment on organizational performance. The model will help industry practitioners to assess the impact of implementing Lean constructs on organizational performance. It will also harmonize the measurement models of Lean performance with the house of Lean that seems to have become the industry standard. The sheer number of measurement models for impact assessment of Lean implementation makes it difficult for new adopters to select an appropriate assessment model or deployment methodology. A literature review is conducted to classify the Lean performance model. Pareto analysis is used to select the Lean constructs for the development of the model. The model is further formalized through the use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) in defining the underlying latent structure of a Lean system. An impact assessment measurement model developed can be used to measure Lean performance and can be adopted by different industries.
Adolescents’ biased perceptions about their social competence (SC), whether negatively or positively, serve to influence their socioemotional adjustment such as early feelings of social phobia (nowadays referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder-SAD). Despite the importance of biased self-perceptions in adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment, the extent to which discrepancies between self- and others’ evaluations of one’s SC are linked to social phobic symptoms remains unclear in the literature. This study examined the perceptual discrepancy profiles between self- and peers’ as well as between self- and teachers’ evaluations of adolescents’ SC and the interrelations of these profiles with self-reported social phobic symptoms. The participants were 390 3rd graders (15 years old) of Finnish lower secondary school (50.8% boys, 49.2% girls). In contrast with variable-centered approaches that have mainly been used by previous studies when focusing on this subject, this study used latent profile analysis (LPA), a person-centered approach which can provide information regarding risk profiles by capturing the heterogeneity within a population and classifying individuals into groups. LPA revealed the following five classes of discrepancy profiles: i) extremely negatively biased perceptions of SC, ii) negatively biased perceptions of SC, iii) quite realistic perceptions of SC, iv) positively biased perceptions of SC, and v) extremely positively biased perceptions of SC. Adolescents with extremely negatively biased perceptions and negatively biased perceptions of their own SC reported the highest number of social phobic symptoms. Adolescents with quite realistic, positively biased and extremely positively biased perceptions reported the lowest number of socio-phobic symptoms. The results point out the negatively and the extremely negatively biased perceptions as possible contributors to social phobic symptoms. Moreover, the association of quite realistic perceptions with low number of social phobic symptoms indicates its potential protective power against social phobia. Finally, positively and extremely positively biased perceptions of SC are negatively associated with social phobic symptoms in this study. However, the profile of extremely positively biased perceptions might be linked as well with the existence of externalizing problems such as antisocial behavior (e.g. disruptive impulsivity). The current findings highlight the importance of considering discrepancies between self- and others’ perceptions of one’s SC in clinical and research efforts. Interventions designed to prevent or moderate social phobic symptoms need to take into account individual needs rather than aiming for uniform treatment. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Health information technologies promise higher quality, safer care and much more for both patients and professionals. Despite their promise, they are costly to develop and difficult to implement. On the other hand, user acceptance and usage determine the success of implemented information technology in healthcare. This study provides a model to understand health professionals’ perception and expectation of health information technology. Extensive literature review has been conducted to determine the main factors to be measured. A questionnaire has been designed as a measurement model and submitted to the personnel of an in vitro fertilization clinic. The respondents’ degree of agreement according to five-point Likert scale was 72% for convenient access to data and 69.4% for the importance of data security. There was a significant difference in acceptance of electronic data storage for female respondents. Also, other significant differences between professions were obtained.
The knowledge of heat transfer is imperative in designing heat transfer equipment. Therefore, convective heat transfer coefficients are calculated to design and size any type of heat exchanger. A number of analytical and experimental studies have been conducted to study the heat transfer characteristics of tubular heat exchangers. However, limited work is found in the literature regarding the heat transfer characteristics of plate heat exchangers. Therefore, in the present study, experiments were performed to obtain the heat transfer data for single phase flow (water-to-water) in a commercial plate heat exchanger for symmetric 30o/30o chevron angle plate configuration. The experiments were carried out for Reynolds number ranging from 500 to 2500 and Prandtl number from 3.1 to 8.1. It is the extended range of Prandtl number for which the convective heat transfer coefficient has not been calculated experimentally. Experimental results showed significant effect of Reynolds number on heat transfer coefficient. Based on the experimental data, an empirical correlation to estimate Nusselt number as a function of Reynolds number and Prandtl number has been proposed.
In this paper, a theoretical study on the forced vibration of one degree of freedom system equipped with inerter, working under load-type or displacement-type excitation, is presented. Differential equations of movement are solved under cosinusoidal excitation, and explicit relations for the magnitude, resonant magnitude, phase angle, resonant frequency, and critical frequency are obtained. Influence of the inertance and damping on these dynamic characteristics is clarified. From the obtained results, one concludes that the inerter increases the magnitude of vibration and the phase angle of the damped mechanical system. Moreover, the magnitude ratio and difference of phase angles are not depending on the actual type of excitation. Consequently, such kind of similitude allows for the comparison of various theoretical and experimental results, which can be broadly found in the literature.
Recent literature on issues of Cultural Management (also called Strategic Management for cultural organizations) systematically seeks for models that allow such equipment to adapt to the constant change that occurs in contemporary societies. In the last decade, the world, and in particular Europe has experienced a serious financial problem that has triggered defensive mechanisms, both in the direction of promoting the balance of public accounts and in the sense of the anonymous loss of the democratic and cultural values of each nation. If in the first case emerged the Troika that led to strong cuts in funding for Culture, deeply affecting those organizations; in the second case, the commonplace citizen is seen fighting for the non-closure of cultural equipment. Despite this, the cultural manager argues that there is no single formula capable of solving the need to adapt to change. In another way, it is up to this agent to know the existing scientific models and to adapt them in the best way to the reality of the institution he coordinates. These actions, as a rule, are concerned with the best performance vis-à-vis external audiences or with the financial sustainability of cultural organizations. They forget, therefore, that all this mechanics cannot function without its internal public, without its Human Resources. The employees of the cultural organization must then have an entrepreneurial posture - must be intrapreneurial. This paper intends to break this form of action and lead the cultural manager to understand that his role should be in the sense of creating value for society, through a good organizational performance. This is only possible with a posture of strategic entrepreneurship. In other words, with a link between: Cultural Management, Cultural Entrepreneurship and Cultural Intrapreneurship. In order to prove this assumption, the case study methodology was used with the symbol of the European Capital of Culture (Casa da Música) as well as qualitative and quantitative techniques. The qualitative techniques included the procedure of in-depth interviews to managers, founders and patrons and focus groups to public with and without experience in managing cultural facilities. The quantitative techniques involved the application of a questionnaire to middle management and employees of Casa da Música. After the triangulation of the data, it was proved that contemporary management of cultural organizations must implement among its practices, the concept of Strategic Entrepreneurship and its variables. Also, the topics which characterize the Cultural Intrapreneurship notion (job satisfaction, the quality in organizational performance, the leadership and the employee engagement and autonomy) emerged. The findings show then that to be sustainable, a cultural organization should meet the concerns of both external and internal forum. In other words, it should have an attitude of citizenship to the communities, visible on a social responsibility and a participatory management, only possible with the implementation of the concept of Strategic Entrepreneurship and its variable of Cultural Intrapreneurship.
The collaboration and integration between all building information management (BIM) processes and tasks are necessary to ensure that all project objectives can be delivered. The literature review has been used to explore the state of the art BIM technologies to manage construction materials as well as the challenges which have faced the construction process using traditional methods. Thus, this paper aims to articulate a framework to integrate traditional material planning methods such as ABC analysis theory (Pareto principle) to analyse and categorise the project materials, as well as using independent material planning methods such as Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) and Fixed Order Point (FOP) into the BIM 4D, and 5D capabilities in order to articulate a dependent material planning cycle into BIM, which relies on the constructability method. Moreover, we build a model to connect between the material planning outputs and the BIM 4D and 5D data to ensure that all project information will be accurately presented throughout integrated and complementary BIM reporting formats. Furthermore, this paper will present a method to integrate between the risk management output and the material management process to ensure that all critical materials are monitored and managed under the all project stages. The paper includes browsers which are proposed to be embedded in any 4D BIM platform in order to predict the EOQ as well as FOP and alarm the user during the construction stage. This enables the planner to check the status of the materials on the site as well as to get alarm when the new order will be requested. Therefore, this will lead to manage all the project information in a single context and avoid missing any information at early design stage. Subsequently, the planner will be capable of building a more reliable 4D schedule by allocating the categorised material with the required EOQ to check the optimum locations for inventory and the temporary construction facilitates.
Population growth, urban development and urban buildup have disturbed the balance between the nature and the city, and so leading to the loss of quality of sustainability of proximity to rivers. While in the past, the sides of urban rivers were considered as urban green space. Urban rivers and their sides that have environmental, social and economic values are important to achieve sustainable development. So far, efforts have been made at various scales in various cities around the world to revitalize these areas. On the other hand, biophilic design is an innovative design approach in which attention to natural details and relation to nature is a fundamental concept. The purpose of this study is to provide an integrated framework of urban design using the potential of urban rivers (in order to increase sustainability) with a biophilic design approach to be used in cities in developing countries. The methodology of the research is based on the collection of data and information from research and projects including a study on biophilic design, investigations and projects related to the urban rivers, and a review of the literature on sustainable urban development. Then studying the boundary of urban rivers is completed by examining case samples. Eventually, integrated framework of urban design, to design the boundaries of urban rivers in the cities of developing countries is presented regarding the factors affecting the design of these areas. The result shows that according to this framework, the potential of the river banks is utilized to increase not only the environmental sustainability but also social, economic and physical stability with regard to water, light, and the usage of indigenous materials, etc.
Millions of Syrian families have been displaced since the beginning of the Syrian war, and the negative effects of post-war trauma have shown detrimental effects on the mental health of refugee children. While educational strategies have focused on vocational training and academic achievement, little has been done to include music in the school curriculum to help these children improve their mental health. The literature of music education and psychology, on the other hand, shows the positive effects of music on traumatized children, especially when it comes to dealing with stress. This paper presents a brief literature review of trauma, music therapy, and music in the classroom, after having introduced the Syrian war and refugee situation. Furthermore, the paper highlights the benefits of using music with traumatized children from the literature and offers strategies for teachers (such as singing, playing an instrument, songwriting, and others) to include music in their classrooms to help Syrian refugee children deal with post-war trauma.
Introduction and objectives: Chlorobutanol is a raw material, mainly used as an antiseptic and antimicrobial preservative in injectable and ophthalmic preparations. The main objective of our study was the synthesis and evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of chlorobutanol hemihydrates. Material and methods: Chlorobutanol was synthesized according to the nucleophilic addition reaction of chloroform to acetone, identified by an infrared absorption using Spectrum One FTIR spectrometer, melting point, Scanning electron microscopy and colorimetric reactions. The dosage of Carvedilol active substance was carried out by assaying the degradation products of chlorobutanol in a basic solution. The chlorobutanol obtained was subjected to bacteriological tests in order to study its antimicrobial activity. The antibacterial activity was evaluated against strains such as Escherichia coli (ATCC 25 922), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25 923) and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (ATCC = American type culture collection). The antifungal activity was evaluated against human pathogenic fungal strains, such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger provided by the parasitology laboratory of the Hospital of Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. Results and discussion: Chlorobutanol was obtained in an acceptable yield. The characterization tests of the product obtained showed a white and crystalline appearance (confirmed by scanning electron microscopy), solubilities (in water, ethanol and glycerol), and a melting temperature in accordance with the requirements of the European pharmacopoeia. The colorimetric reactions were directed towards the presence of a trihalogenated carbon and an alcohol function. The spectral identification (IR) showed the presence of characteristic chlorobutanol peaks and confirmed the structure of the latter. The microbiological study revealed an antimicrobial effect on all strains tested (Sataphylococcus aureus (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), E. coli (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Pseudomonas aeroginosa (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Candida albicans (MIC =2500 µg/ml), Aspergillus niger (MIC =2500 µg/ml)) with MIC values close to literature data. Conclusion: Thus, on the whole, the synthesized chlorobutanol satisfied the requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia, and possesses antibacterial and antifungal activity; nevertheless it is necessary to insist on the purification step of the product in order to eliminate the maximum impurities.
One of the most perspective methods to produce SoG-Si is refinement via metallurgical route. The most critical part of this route is refinement from boron and phosphorus. Therefore, a new approach could address this problem. We propose an approach of creating surface waves on silicon melt’s surface in order to enlarge its area and accelerate removal of boron via chemical reactions and evaporation of phosphorus. A two dimensional numerical model is created which includes coupling of electromagnetic and fluid dynamic simulations with free surface dynamics. First results show behaviour similar to experimental results from literature.
Entrepreneurship at both individual and organizational level is one of the most driving forces in economic development and leads to growth and competition, job generation and social development. Especially in developing countries, the role of entrepreneurship in economic and social prosperity is more emphasized. But the effect of global economic development on the environment is undeniable, especially in negative ways, and there is a need to rethink current business models and the way entrepreneurs act to introduce new businesses to address and embed environmental issues in order to achieve sustainable development. In this paper, green or sustainable entrepreneurship is addressed in Iran to identify challenges and barriers entrepreneurs in the economic and social sectors face in developing green business solutions. Sustainable or green entrepreneurship has been gaining interest among scholars in recent years and addressing its challenges and barriers need much more attention to fill the gap in the literature and facilitate the way those entrepreneurs are pursuing. This research comprised of two main phases: qualitative and quantitative. At qualitative phase, after a thorough literature review, fuzzy Delphi method is utilized to verify those challenges and barriers by gathering a panel of experts and surveying them. In this phase, several other contextually related factors were added to the list of identified barriers and challenges mentioned in the literature. Then, at the quantitative phase, Interpretive Structural Modeling is applied to construct a network of interactions among those barriers identified at the previous phase. Again, a panel of subject matter experts comprised of academic and industry experts was surveyed. The results of this study can be used by policymakers in both the public and industry sector, to introduce more systematic solutions to eliminate those barriers and help entrepreneurs overcome challenges of sustainable entrepreneurship. It also contributes to the literature as the first research in this type which deals with the barriers of sustainable entrepreneurship and explores their interaction.
The global trend indicates that more and more people live and will continue to live in urban areas. Today cities are expanding both in physical size and number due to the rapid population growth along with sprawl development, which caused the cities to expand beyond the growth boundary and exerting intense pressure on environmental resources specially farmlands to accommodate new housing and urban facilities. Also noticeable is the increase in urban decay along with the increase of slum dwellers present another challenge that most cities in developed and developing countries have to deal with. Today urban practitioners, researchers, planners, and decision-makers are seeking for alternative development and growth management policies to house the rising urban population and also cure the urban decay and slum issues turn to Smart Growth to achieve their goals. Many cities across the globe have adopted smart growth as an alternative growth management tool to deal with patterns and forms of development and to cure the rising urban and environmental problems. The method used in this study is a literature analysis method through reviewing various resources to highlight the potential benefits of Smart Growth in both developed and developing countries and analyze, to what extent it can be a strategic alternative for Afghanistan’s cities, especially the capital city. Hence a comparative analysis is carried on three countries, namely the USA, China, and India to identify the potential benefits of smart growth likely to serve as an achievable broad base for recommendations in different urban contexts.
The human middle ear (ME) is a delicate and vital organ. It has a complex structure that performs various functions such as receiving sound pressure and producing vibrations of eardrum and propagating it to inner ear. It consists of Tympanic Membrane (TM), three auditory ossicles, various ligament structures and muscles. Incidents such as traumata, infections, ossification of ossicular structures and other pathologies may damage the ME organs. The conditions can be surgically treated by employing prosthesis. However, the suitability of the prosthesis needs to be examined in advance prior to the surgery. Few decades ago, this issue was addressed and analyzed by developing an equivalent representation either in the form of spring mass system, electrical system using R-L-C circuit or developing an approximated CAD model. But, nowadays a three-dimensional ME model can be constructed using micro X-Ray Computed Tomography (μCT) scan data. Moreover, the concern about patient specific integrity pertaining to the disease can be examined well in advance. The current research work emphasizes to develop the ME model from the stacks of μCT images which are used as input file to MIMICS Research 19.0 (Materialise Interactive Medical Image Control System) software. A stack of CT images is converted into geometrical surface model to build accurate morphology of ME. The work is further extended to understand the dynamic behaviour of Harmonic response of the stapes footplate and umbo for different sound pressure levels applied at lateral side of eardrum using finite element approach. The pathological condition Cholesteatoma of ME is investigated to obtain peak to peak displacement of stapes footplate and umbo. Apart from this condition, other pathologies, mainly, changes in the stiffness of stapedial ligament, TM thickness and ossicular chain separation and fixation are also explored. The developed model of ME for pathologies is validated by comparing the results available in the literatures and also with the results of a normal ME to calculate the percentage loss in hearing capability.
Global carbon reduction is not merely a responsibility of environmentally advanced developed countries, but also a responsibility of developing countries regardless of their less impact on global carbon emissions. In recognition of that, Sri Lanka as a developing country has initiated promoting green building construction as one reduction strategy. However, notwithstanding the increasing attention on Embodied Carbon (EC) reduction in the global building sector, they still mostly focus on Operational Carbon (OC) reduction (through improving operational energy). An adequate attention has not yet been given on EC estimation and reduction. Therefore, this study aims to identify the reasons for the slow uptake of EC estimation in the Sri Lankan building sector. To achieve this aim, 16 numbers of global barriers to estimate EC were identified through existing literature. They were then subjected to a pilot survey to identify the significant reasons for the slow uptake of EC estimation in the Sri Lankan building sector. A questionnaire with a three-point Likert scale was used to this end. The collected data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings revealed that 11 out of 16 challenges/ barriers are highly relevant as reasons for the slow uptake in estimating EC in buildings in Sri Lanka while the other five challenges/ barriers remain as moderately relevant reasons. Further, the findings revealed that there are no low relevant reasons. Eventually, the paper concluded that all the known reasons are significant to the Sri Lankan building sector and it is necessary to address them in order to upturn the attention on EC reduction.
Traffic congestion is a worldwide issue, especially in developing countries. This is also the case of Afghanistan, especially in Kabul-the capital city, whose rapid population growth makes it the fifth fastest growing city in the world. Traffic congestion affects not only the mobility of people and goods but also the air quality that leads to numerous deaths (3000 people) every year. There are many factors that contribute to traffic congestion. The insufficiency and inefficiency of public transportation system along with the increase of private vehicles can be considered among the most important contributing factors. This paper addresses the traffic congestion and attempts to suggest possible solutions that can help improve the current public transportation system in Kabul. To this end, the methodology used in this paper includes field work conducted in Kabul city and literature review. The outcome suggests that improving the public transportation system is likely to contribute to the reduction of traffic congestion and the improvement of air quality, thereby reducing the number of death related to air quality.
This work presents the various perspectives, dimensions, components and definitions given to quality in the operations management (OM) and healthcare services (HCS) literature in time, highlighting gaps and learning opportunities between the two disciplines through a thorough search into their rich and distinct body of knowledge. Greater and new insights about the general nature of quality are obtained with findings such as in OM, quality has been approached in six fairly distinct paradigms (excellence, value, conformity to specifications, attributes, satisfaction and meeting or exceeding customer expectations), whereas in HCS, two approaches are prominent (Donabedian’s structure, process and outcomes model and Lohr and Schroeder’s circumscribed definition). The two disciplines views on quality seem to have progressed much in parallel with little cross-learning from each other. This work then proposes an encompassing definition of quality as a lever and suggests further research and development avenues for a better use of the concept of quality by academics and practitioners alike toward the goals of greater organizational performance and improved management in healthcare and possibly other service domains.
Strategic partnerships with suppliers play a vital role for the long-term value-based supply chain. This strategic collaboration keeps still being one of the top priority of many business organizations in order to create more additional value; benefiting mainly from supplier’s specialization, capacity and innovative power, securing supply and better managing costs and quality. However, many organizations encounter difficulties in initiating, developing and managing those partnerships and many attempts result in failures. One of the reasons for such failure is the incompatibility of members of this partnership or in other words wrong supplier selection which emphasize the significance of the selection process since it is the beginning stage. An effective selection process of strategic suppliers is critical to the success of the partnership. Although there are several research studies to select the suppliers in literature, only a few of them is related to strategic supplier selection for long-term partnership. The purpose of this study is to propose a conceptual model for the selection of strategic partnership suppliers. A two-stage approach has been used in proposed model incorporating first segmentation and second selection. In the first stage; considering the fact that not all suppliers are strategically equal and instead of a long list of potential suppliers, Kraljic’s purchasing portfolio matrix can be used for segmentation. This supplier segmentation is the process of categorizing suppliers based on a defined set of criteria in order to identify types of suppliers and determine potential suppliers for strategic partnership. In the second stage, from a pool of potential suppliers defined at first phase, a comprehensive evaluation and selection can be performed to finally define strategic suppliers considering various tangible and intangible criteria. Since a long-term relationship with strategic suppliers is anticipated, criteria should consider both current and future status of the supplier. Based on an extensive literature review; strategical, operational and organizational criteria have been determined and elaborated. The result of the selection can also be used to determine suppliers who are not ready for a partnership but to be developed for strategic partnership. Since the model is based on multiple criteria for both stages, it provides a framework for further utilization of Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) techniques. The model may also be applied to a wide range of industries and involve managerial features in business organizations.