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Providing readers with an accessible, in-depth look at how to synthesize research literature, Conducting Research Literature Reviews is perfect for students, researchers, marketers, planners, and policymakers who design and manage public and private agencies, conduct research studies, and prepare strategic plans and grant proposals. Bestselling author Arlene Fink shows readers how to explain the need for and significance of research, as well as how to explain a study’s findings. Offering a step-by-step approach to conducting literature reviews, the Fourth Edition features updated examples and covers: how to select databases and evaluate their quality; selecting and organizing key words and other terms in order to effectively search databases and the Web; setting standards for evaluating the quality of research and other literature; extracting and recording information from articles and studies; synthesizing what the reader finds either descriptively or via a meta-analysis; recording and storing the results in a virtual file cabinet; and how to use bibliographic software.
Covering key topics in the field such as technological innovation, human-centered sustainable engineering and manufacturing, and manufacture at a global scale in a virtual world, this book addresses both advanced techniques and industrial applications of key research in interactive design and manufacturing. Featuring the full papers presented at the 2014 Joint Conference on Mechanical Design Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, which took place in June 2014 in Toulouse, France, it presents recent research and industrial success stories related to implementing interactive design and manufacturing solutions.
This dissertation approaches the question of sustainability and its influence on company performance, with special focus on the manufacturing industry. In the contemporary production environment, manufacturing operations must take into account not only profit, but also environmental and social performance, in order to ensure the long-term development of the company. Companies have to decide whether they should allocate resources to environmental and social practices in order to improve their competitive advantage. Consequently, in decision-making processes concerning operations, it is important for companies to understand how to coordinate profit, people, and planet. The objective of this dissertation was to investigate the current situation regarding manufacturers’ sustainable initiatives, and to explore the relationship between these sustainable practices and companies’ performance, including financial performance, operational performance, innovation performance, environmental performance, and social performance. First of all, a structured literature review was conducted to identify sustainable factors considered to be important in the decision making of manufacturing operations. The findings were synthesized into a conceptual model, which was then adopted as the basis for designing the survey instrument used in this dissertation. Drawing on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reports, empirical research was performed to explore the relationship between environmental management practices and company performance. Interestingly, the findings showed that many environmental management practices had a strong positive impact on innovation performance. Sustainability disclosures and financial performance were further analyzed using extended data from the GRI reports. The results also showed that several sustainability performance indicators, such as product responsibility, human rights, and society, displayed a significant and positive correlation with return on equity in the sample companies. In order to further explore the research area and to verify these findings, a triangulation approach was adopted and new data were collected via a survey conducted among middle and large sample companies in the Swedish manufacturing industry. The results indicated that the sustainable improvement practices had a positive impact on company performance. Some environmental and social improvement practices had a direct and positive correlation with product and process innovation. Furthermore, findings suggested that better cooperation with suppliers on environmental work could help to strengthen the organizational green capabilities of the focal companies. When considering the company’s general approach to implementing sustainable practices, some interesting findings emerged. There were limited significant differences in sustainable practices when comparing different manufacturing sectors, and different countries and regions. However, the results showed that Swedish manufacturing companies often place higher priority on implementing economic and environmental sustainability practices than on social ones. This dissertation contributes to the literature on manufacturing sustainability. The study expands the understanding of how environmental, social, or economic perspectives as a triple bottom line can influence company performance and to a certain extent the supply chain. Identifying and understanding such relationships gives companies the opportunity to integrate sustainability into their manufacturing operations strategy in order to sustain their manufacturing operations over the long term.
Although ceramics have been known to mankind literally for millennia, research has never ceased. Apart from the classic uses as a bulk material in pottery, construction, and decoration, the latter half of the twentieth century saw an explosive growth of application fields, such as electrical and thermal insulators, wear-resistant bearings, surface coatings, lightweight armour, and aerospace materials. In addition to plain, hard solids, modern ceramics come in many new guises such as fabrics, ultrathin films, microstructures and hybrid composites. Built on the solid foundations laid down by the 20-volume series Materials Science and Technology, Ceramics Science and Technology picks out this exciting material class and illuminates it from all sides. Materials scientists, engineers, chemists, biochemists, physicists and medical researchers alike will fi nd this work a treasure trove for a wide range of ceramics knowledge from theory and fundamentals to practical approaches and problem solutions.

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