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About

External research collaborator @ INESC TEC, Porto, PT

Postdoctoral researcher @ Solent University, Southamtpon, UK

PhD (2018) - Industrial Engineering and Management @ Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP)

The aim of my doctoral research was to study and design information management and collaborative network solutions to improve the support provided by industrial business associations to the internationalisation of SMEs, following a design science research approach.

MScEng (2012) - Industrial Engineering and Management @ University of Minho

My master's project was performed under the topic of lean management to analyse and reduce setup times of metal-mechanic machines of a manufacturing company.

My current research interests are: industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing technologies, design science research, digital platforms, collaborative networks, information management, industrial business associations, and SME internationalisation.

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Publications

2017

From Data Sources to Information Sharing in SME Collaborative Networks Supporting Internationalization: A Socio-Semantic Approach

Authors
Costa, E; Soares, AL; de Sousa, JP;

Publication
Collaboration in a Data-Rich World - 18th IFIP WG 5.5 Working Conference on Virtual Enterprises, PRO-VE 2017, Vicenza, Italy, September 18-20, 2017, Proceedings

Abstract
Information is a crucial asset to successful internationalization, as it allows to reduce risks and uncertainty and to facilitate international expansion. Information about foreign markets and activities can be obtained by companies from internal or external sources, and in formal or informal ways. Industrial business associations (IBAs) are one of the external information sources. Due to their resource constraints, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) tend to highly depend on the services and information of IBAs to expand their business overseas. However, to improve their role in supporting SME internationalization, one important development is for IBAs to evolve towards more collaborative networks, by sharing more organized and valued information with their associates, but also by fostering information flows and more collaborations between them. This paper contributes to this view by synthetizing current data and information sources to support SME internationalization, based on a literature review, on interviews with Portuguese IBAs, and on expert opinion. An innovative aspect is to present a first instantiation of a socio-semantic model, opening paths for further developments in this area, and contributing to the community of Collaborative Networks. © IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017.

2017

Institutional networks for supporting the internationalisation of SMEs: the case of industrial business associations

Authors
Costa, E; Soares, AL; de Sousa, JP;

Publication
JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & INDUSTRIAL MARKETING

Abstract
Purpose - This paper aims to study and explore the activities and the use of institutional network resources by industrial business associations (IBAs) to support and facilitate internationalisation processes of small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Other goals are to understand the internationalisation follow-up process and the future vision of IBAs to improve this internationalisation support. Design/methodology/approach - Based on empirical evidence and following an abductive approach, this paper presents a qualitative exploratory field research, providing insights from interviews performed with 20 IBAs based in Portugal. Findings - The findings suggest that the current institutional network support to internationalisation is mainly provided through promotional activities; counselling, training and technical and legal support; information sharing; and cooperation with other institutional entities. Each support category is explored and explained and a new conceptual model is developed to represent these findings. Regarding the internationalisation follow-up, IBAs provide a continuous support for the international operations by using some instruments and mechanisms to assist SMEs after an internationalisation initiative. Finally, collaboration and the use of new information technology are the main aspects to improve IBAs' support in a near future. Research limitations/implications - The qualitative methodological approach adopted in this work can imply a larger difficulty to obtain a generalisation of the findings. Another limitation is that the participating IBAs are based in only one country. Practical implications - Findings can help SMEs to understand the functioning and the benefits of using the institutional network resources of IBAs in overcoming their lack of resources to operate in international markets. IBAs can also understand their current position in terms of internationalisation support and think about new ways for improving this support. Originality/value - This paper contributes to a better understanding of the influence of institutional networks in SME internationalisation by exploring the specific role of one of the institutional actors rather than focusing on the institutional network as a whole. Therefore, this study details the current activities and uncovers other types of support provided by IBAs that are not based on export promotion programmes. New knowledge is also obtained about the specific information content, information sources and means and channels of information sharing used by IBAs for supporting SME internationalisation.

2016

Information management for network transformation in industrial enterprises associations: The case of the internationalization process

Authors
Costa, E; De Sousa, JP; Soares, AL; Jamil, GL;

Publication
Handbook of Research on Information Management for Effective Logistics and Supply Chains

Abstract
There is no doubt that nowadays internationalization is increasingly attractive for companies that want to become more competitive. However, many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) still are resourceconstrained, lacking adequate information and facing problems to establish and manage relationships to operate in a sustainable way in international markets. Despite receiving some support from governments and from other institutional entities, these difficulties faced by SMEs call for a stronger support, which can be played by industrial enterprises associations (IEAs). This chapter brings the perspective of five different companies that are associated with IEAs. The main objective is to have their opinion about the role of IEAs as information managers and promoters of collaborations, mainly for internationalization processes. Another objective is to understand the acceptance by these companies regarding the use of collaborative platforms, managed by IEAs, for supporting their information and collaboration management activities. © 2017, IGI Global.

2016

Information, knowledge and collaboration management in the internationalisation of SMEs: A systematic literature review

Authors
Costa, E; Soares, AL; de Sousa, JP;

Publication
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

Abstract
Information and knowledge can be seen as key resources for improving the internationalisation processes of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Collaboration has also been considered as an important facilitator of these processes, particularly by nurturing information and knowledge sharing. However, the current literature is unclear about the way SMEs can access information and assimilate knowledge in a collaborative network context, to support decision-making. This paper systematically reviews the literature, examining the role of information, knowledge and collaboration in internationalisation decisions of SMEs. To this end, 38 relevant journal articles were analysed, with the identification of some important issues, as well as gaps in the existing empirical knowledge. This analysis provided valuable input for the development of research suggestions and directions for future work in this area.

2016

Analysing the correlation between social network analysis measures and performance of students in social network-based engineering education

Authors
Putnik, G; Costa, E; Alves, C; Castro, H; Varela, L; Shah, V;

Publication
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN EDUCATION

Abstract
Social network-based engineering education (SNEE) is designed and implemented as a model of Education 3.0 paradigm. SNEE represents a new learning methodology, which is based on the concept of social networks and represents an extended model of project-led education. The concept of social networks was applied in the real-life experiment, considering two different dimensions: (1) to organize the education process as a social network-based process; and (2) to analyze the students' interactions in the context of evaluation of the students learning performance. The objective of this paper is to present a new model for students evaluation based on their behavior during the course and its validation in comparison with the traditional model of students' evaluation. The validation of the new evaluation model is made through an analysis of the correlation between social network analysis measures (degree centrality, closeness centrality, betweenness centrality, eigenvector centrality, and average tie strength) and the grades obtained by students (grades for quality of work, grades for volume of work, grades for diversity of work, and final grades) in a social network-based engineering education. The main finding is that the obtained correlation results can be used to make the process of the students' performance evaluation based on students interactions (behavior) analysis, to make the evaluation partially automatic, increasing the objectivity and productivity of teachers and allowing a more scalable process of evaluation. The results also contribute to the behavioural theory of learning performance evaluation. More specific findings related to the correlation analysis are: (1) the more different interactions a student had (degree centrality) and the more frequently the student was between the interaction paths of other students (betweenness centrality), the better was the quality of the work; (2) all five social network measures had a positive and strong correlation with the grade for volume of work and with the final grades; and (3) a student with high average tie strength had a higher grade for diversity of work than those with low ties.

2015

Waste identification diagrams

Authors
Dinis Carvalho, J; Moreira, F; Braganca, S; Costa, E; Alves, A; Sousa, R;

Publication
PRODUCTION PLANNING & CONTROL

Abstract
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a very popular tool in lean environments to represent production flows, mapping value stream of a product or family of products, and helps to identify some types of waste. Although very popular, this tool has some limitations as already described in many publications, especially in terms of restrictions in showing most types of waste as well as in its inability to represent various production routes. The purpose of this study is to introduce the waste identification diagram (WID), a new tool to represent production units with its different forms of waste, which overcomes some VSM limitations. The originality of WID comes from the use of its symbols' dimensions to convey, in a visual and immediate way, relevant information about a production unit. In this paper, WID is applied on a production unit of a lift manufacturer, for testing its performance and comparing it to VSM. The main findings are that WID is in general more effective than VSM in terms of representation of complex production units and in terms of identification of more forms of waste. WID must however overcome some of its limitations such as the lack of information-flow representation and the links to suppliers and clients.