The astonishing propagation of microfinance institutions (MFIs) around the world has been followed by an indiscriminate proliferation of concepts for describing these organizations. These have in common the tendency to overlook the historical roots of microfinance, to disregard some types of MFIs, to impose arbitrarily discrete categories over a non-uniform field, and to neglect important constitutive attributes inherent to all MFIs. This conceptual fuzziness brings about several theoretical and practical obstacles. In this paper we address this issue by providing a two-dimensional framework built on the five constitutive attributes inherent to all MFIs to reduce microfinance conceptual blurriness. In doing so, we deliver a threefold contribution: 1) We address the call to reduce the conceptual fuzziness within the microfinance field by providing a tool for characterizing and distinguishing between the different MFIs based on their constitutive attributes across this industry. In addition, we advance the growing literature on microfinance that considers MFIs as hybrid organizations. 2) By exposing these five attributes, we dislocate the focus of policy makers from one idealistic (and limiting) best model of MFIs to account for a more diverse range of organizational configurations which provides the possibility of a better fit for their specific target public and context. 3) Finally we expose how the different types of microfinance can foster sustainable development.
Arrow categories establish a categorical and algebraic description of -fuzzy relations, i.e., relations that use membership values from an arbitrary but fixed complete Heyting algebra . With other words arrow categories describe the fixed-basis case. In this paper we are interested in the variable-basis case, i.e., the case where relations between different objects may use different membership values. We will investigate the structure of the collection of lattices of membership values within a given Dedekind category. This will lead to a complete characterization of the variable-basis case in this context.
In this study, Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCMs), which are powerful tools for graphical representation of knowledge, are analyzed from an ambiguity and fuzziness perspective. In conventional FCMs the causal strengths are represented with singleton (crisp) fuzzy numbers, but recently, other researchers proposed different FCM structures where uniform (interval) or triangular fuzzy numbers are used in causal strength representation. Here, FCMs are analyzed by means of fuzziness and ambiguity measures that are proposed in literature to investigate the capability of models to represent uncertainties. In addition, two new measures, called the average ambiguity measure (AAM) and the average fuzziness measure (AFM), are proposed to indicate uncertainty representation of an FCM. A well-known FCM model of a public health system is used as a case study to show how the fuzzy weights determine the uncertainty representation of FCMs, and then the outcomes are discussed.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore conceptualizations of mindset across disciplines with particular attention to scholars’ care in defining and operationalizing the construct of mindset. Theories of mindset have witnessed increased attention through a variety of disciplines for their applicability as processes with the potential to influence individual and/or organizational outcomes. Exploration of mindset conceptualizations and characterizations reveal substantial divergences. Design/methodology/approach This conceptual paper generally examines the utilization of mindset constructs via a multidisciplinary review of literature and specifically details three mindset theories (implemental and deliberative, global and growth and fixed mindsets) to illuminate such disparities. Findings This paper categorizes the significant variations of the mindset construct and research via three distinct streams. Each stream highlights knowledge as instrumental in the mindset construct; however, the ways in which varying aspects of knowledge, knowledge mechanisms or knowledge as a component of an individuals and/or organization’s identity correspond to the inherent presuppositions of varying articulations of mindset theory and praxis. Practical implications Effectively influencing an individual and/or organization’s mindset necessitates an accurate assessment of the mindset construct. Further, evaluating the applicability of mindset research and/or feedback from a consultant warrants attention to the assumptions undergirding the mindset construct. Originality/value Generally, mindset studies and theories have scantly attended to both the historical development of mindset research as well as divergences in the research record within and across disciplines. This paper attempts to address this deficiency. Further, this paper appears to be the first attempt to compare and identify varying conceptualizations and characterizations of mindset theory and, therefore, identifies previously unidentified assumptions.
In this paper, we propose an automatic image thresholding method based on an index of fuzziness and a fuzzy similarity measure. This work aims at overcoming the limitation of the existing method which is semi-supervised. Using an index of fuzziness, two initial regions of gray levels located at the boundaries of the histogram are defined based on the fuzzy region. Then the threshold point is found by using a fuzzy similarity measure. No prior knowledge of the image is required. Experiments on practical images illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.