The Business Review Journal

Vol. 21 * Number 2 * December 2013

The Library of Congress, Washington, DC  *  ISSN 1553 - 5827

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Does The Revolving Door Lead To Corruption Or Capture?

Dr. Glen Taylor, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA

Sandy Luong, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA

 

ABSTRACT

The legitimacy of government is undermined when the public comes to believe that elected and appointed officials are more interested in advancing their own careers than in serving the public interest. With apparent ease, elected officials become lobbyists, lobbyists become government regulators, regulators become corporate executives, and corporate executives become senior government officials. This is commonly referred to in politics as the ‘revolving door.’ Despite its prevalence in political circles, and despite a growing interest in understanding the causes of corruption, in both government and private firms, this revolving door phenomenon has received little if any attention from management scholars. In this paper, we explore the primary economic and institutional perspectives that might explain why and how the revolving door might in some cases lead to outright corruption, while in other cases it might lead to more subtle forms of questionable influence that fall short of intentional abuse of power and position but still raise concerns that private interests are taking precedence over the public good. Government and industry managers and representatives seem to effortlessly move from private sector employment to public sector employment and back again in what is commonly referred to as a ‘revolving door.’  In 1966, the American journalist James Deakin described the way in which lobbyists coming from government take advantage of their work experience on Capitol Hill or the federal bureaucracy and put it to use in specific lobbying and legal fields (Salisbury et al., 1989). 

 

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Market Sentiment and Momentum Effects:A Comparative Study with the Stocks

Dr. Zi “Nancy” Ning, Delaware State University, DE

Dr. Nicholas Gressis, OH

 

ABSTRACT

This study compares the profitability of a traditional momentum strategy with directional momentum strategies (a modified version of traditional momentum strategies) in US stock markets. Directional momentum strategies take into consideration monthly price changes within a quarter; past quarterly returns and the subpatterns of monthly returns within that quarter also are considered. The typical directional momentum strategies that select the stocks with the accelerated monthly returns prove to be more profitable than their traditional counterparts over the 20-year period of our study. Such investment strategies exhibit superior performances especially during the late 1990s to early 2000s, when the US stock market experienced what is called “irrational exuberance.”  An extensive range of literature has documented that stock prices exhibit momentum; that is, continuation in a price direction, over three- to 12-month horizons. So what goes up tends to keep rising and vice versa (Jegadeesh and Titman 1993, 2001; Chan et al., 1999). Jegadeesh and Titman (1993, 2001) report that trading strategies of buying past winners and selling past losers realized significant positive returns over the period of 1965 to 1998, with a compounded excess return of 12% per year. In a more recent study, Jegadeesh and Titman (2011) reexamine the performance of the momentum strategy from 1990 to 2009. The momentum strategy produced an average annual profit of 13.5%, even though the strategy experienced a severe loss of 36.5% in 2009. Using data from 12 European countries, Rouwenhorst (1998) finds that the magnitude of the momentum returns is similar to those in US stock markets. Momentum has also been shown to be robust across international financial markets (Griffin, Ji, and Martin, 2003).Many explanations have been put forward to account for the sources of momentum returns. However, no measures of risk have been found that completely explain the profitability of momentum strategies. Furthermore, a standard three-factor asset pricing model cannot explain the returns of the short-term momentum (Fama and French, 1996; Grundy and Martin, 2001; Lee and Swaminathan, 2000). 

 

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The Predictive Value of Bankruptcy Models

Dr. Gurdeep K. Chawla, National University, San Diego, CA

 

ABSTRACT

The United States (US) economy plunged into a recession in 2008, and this recession has been more severe than other recessions in recent history.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), one of the chief economic indicators, fell from 12,650 on January 2, 2008, to 8,000 on January 2, 2009, representing a decline of approximately 36 percent in a one-year period. According to BankruptcyData.com, when compared with previous years, 2009 ranked as the third-busiest year for corporate bankruptcy filings in the United States.  BankruptcyData.com also determined that companies which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008 held a cumulative total of more than $1 trillion in assets.  The sudden downturn of the economy, which had been doing extremely well, was a surprise not only to the general public, but also to pundits and experts.  Some of the usual questions included:  How could this happen overnight?  Were there any early warning signs?  Could the bankruptcies of so many companies have been predicted?  This paper focuses on some of the bankruptcy models that have been developed and that are routinely used to analyze the financial statements of companies.  The bankruptcy models were applied to the financial statements of selected companies that filed for bankruptcy in 2009 to determine if the bankruptcies could have been predicted.  Financial data from 2007 and 2008, when these firms were going through a difficult economic period which led to bankruptcy filings in 2009, was used to examine the predictive value of the bankruptcy models. 

 

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Blogging Around the Twittersphere: Has Social Media Changed the Way A Destination is Developed?

Sharon Kiely,  Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland

Annie Cowhey,  Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland

Dr. Noelle O’Connor,  Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland

Dr. Sinead O’Leary, Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland

 

ABSTRACT

The development of Web 2.0 which facilitated the creation of social media technologies has revolutionised the way destinations brand themselves.  Social media has enabled customers to generate and share their own content over the internet.  This new source of information has changed the way a destination’s identity, image and brand is formed as consumers now play an important role in the development of these destination aspects through the use of social media technologies.  This study investigates the impact social media is having on a destination and tries to establish if this new platform has changed the way a destination is developed.  Findings from the case study analysis show that destinations such as Ireland are recognising that consumers are now co-creators of their marketing activities, and are embracing different social media strategies in order to effectively strengthen their brand.  However, examples utilised throughout the paper illustrate that other destinations such as Italy are failing to acknowledge the significant role that social media is playing in destination development.  With respect to that, this conceptual paper will try to determine if a social media presence is required for the development of today’s destinations. It is imperative for Destination Management Organisations (DMO) to consider Information and Communication Technology (ICT) when developing a destination brand (Buhalis and Law, 2008). 

 

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IT Intellectual Property Rights - Employee's Software Side Projects

Ashley Coleman,  University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO

Dr. Mustafa Kamal, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO

 

ABSTRACT

During the Industrial Revolution in America, courts drew from the legal traditions of common law and created a doctrine of “shop rights,” and applied in the absence of an express written agreement. Under this doctrine, whatever inventions were made at work stayed at work, and whatever inventions were made at home stayed at home.  Shop rights also allow an employer to claim any innovation the employee creates while on company time and using company resources. Later in the 20th century, employers increasingly required that all employees assign to the employer any inventions they might make. ‘Massachusetts Model’, as it was called, impled that every creative thought of the employee is company property.  Courts favored employment contracts to the words and even if the contract stated so, an ex-employee was compelled to continue assigning his inventions even after leaving the company.  In 1977 came the “Minnesota model,” which offered both the employer and employee some measure of protection without either being unfairly disadvantaged.  20th century saw the explosive growth of software industry and software applications started to become integral part of all businesses. This gave birth to the new workforce of ‘knowledge worker’ like programmers, software developers, etc. The laws originally applied to employee inventions were naturally extended to knowledge workers that create / develop software bringing them under the umbrella of the above-mentioned doctrines and principles.  In the absence of a formal written agreement between the employer and employee, certain rules may apply to code innovation / software development. Usually, the author of the code/software is the owner of the copyright, unless the work was prepared by an employee in the scope of his or her employment. If so, then the work is a “work for hire” and the employer is the owner according to the Copyright Act of 1976. In case of an independent contractor, the work does not belong to the employer.

 

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Human Resource Policies on Workplace Safety: A Case for Incorporating Anti-Bullying Measures

Dr. Bernadette Baum, National University, San Diego, CA

 

ABSTRACT

Human resource managers are tasked with many duties concerning the safety and welfare of an organization’s employees, not least of which includes keeping the workplace free from unlawful activity.  A recent challenge facing human resource managers involves behavior from coworkers or supervisors commonly known as bullying. Because no legislation currently exists to protect employees from bullying in the workplace, human resource managers are left to consider ways of dealing - or not dealing - with the consequences bullying.  This paper outlines the need for workplace protections against the adverse impact of disruptive behaviors on the working environment in light of the increasing problem of workplace bullying. In the absence of anti-bullying legislation, the paper proffers an argument in favor of preventive measures in the form of human resource policies and training to be implemented in an effort to mitigate potential liability for the employer and, more importantly, foster a healthier working environment for all employees. It features suggestions for a code of conduct to be considered as part of an education and training program against workplace bullying.  The author draws on 15 years of experience as an employment law practitioner and counselor to human resource managers, as well as over 12 years teaching experience in the area of legal aspects of human resource management.  This paper provides no legal advice and, as such, nothing contained herein is intended to be construed as legal advice.  The author strongly encourages individuals and employers to seek the advice of an attorney specializing in labor and employment law for all inquiries concerning legal workplace issues, including safety policies and training. 

 

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A Regime Switching Approach to Analyzing Bank Non-Performing Loans in Barbados

Tiffany Grosvenor, Central Bank of Barbados

Kester Guy, Central Bank of Barbados

 

ABSTRACT

A frequently used metric associated with bank vulnerability is the non-performing loans ratio (NPLs), and many studies have analyzed and developed frameworks for forecasting this variable. The primary critique against many of the previous work is the failure to account for the nonlinearities inherent in the relationship between bank NPLs and the economic cycle. As a result the generalized conclusions on the linkage between NPLs and gross domestic product (GDP) may be misguided, especially when prudential rules impose natural asymmetries that may cause the association to change along different phases of the economic cycle. This study therefore, reexamines the relationship between NPL and GDP for Barbados using a regime switching approach. In doing so, the authors analyzed bank-impacts from a mix of macroeconomic and idiosyncratic data under different regimes to determine whether NPL outcomes across regimes and across institutions are homogenous. Further, the authors examined whether changes in systemic vulnerabilities are driven by all banks or only a subset. Answers to these critical problems, therefore provides a valuable framework that guides the authorities in developing appropriate policies to help strengthen the banking sector against systemic failures. The overall findings suggest that a non-linear approach to analyzing the NPL-GDP nexus is valid, but the relationship is not homogenous across institutions in different regimes. In addition, some institutions appear to be of greater systemic importance than others. Increased attention has been given to analyzing the asset and liability portfolio of banks since the global financial fall-out as the sizeable losses realized by banks across many jurisdictions triggered panic and financial instability, which also affected economies adversely [see Berrospide (2012) and Laeven and Valencia (2012 )].

 

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Impact on Survivors of Downsizing: A Generational Comparison

Dr. Yvonne Phelps, University of Phoenix

 

ABSTRACT

This quantitative research study examined the impact of downsizing on survivors; specifically, it explored the attitudes of those who remain in the organization after a downsizing event through data comparison based on gender and age cohort. A survey was conducted of 200 white-collar, private-sector employees who survived corporate downsizing of 10 percent or more within companies of 500 to 5,000 employees from 2008 through 2012. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment postdownsizing were evaluated and compared between genders and Gen X and Baby Boomer cohorts. A strong correlation was found between organizational commitment and job satisfaction. No significant difference in reported organizational commitment or job satisfaction was found between either the gender or age cohort.  When organizations experience a decline in revenue, leaders often resort to downsizing the workforce to balance the difference between revenue and expenses. Since 2008, the U.S. economy has been affected by mass layoffs as a result of the recession that began in 2007, at which time the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2007) reported nearly 1 million workers were involved in layoffs. By September 2008, the number of layoffs was the largest since September 2001 (BLS, 2009). The BLS (2011) reported layoffs in February 2011 of 130,818 workers. While downsizing an organizational workforce can be an effective cost-reduction measure, the results can have collateral negative effects such as slow response to new opportunities, poor public relations, increased hiring costs and training, and damaged employee morale (De Meuse & Marks, 2003). Specific implications related to gender and age were not included in prior research.

 

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A Study of Multiple Reference Effects in Brand Commitment

Dr. Zui Chih Lee, Susquehanna University, PA

Dr. Dauw Song Zhu, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien, Taiwan

Dr. Mark Heuer, Susquehanna University, PA

Su-Yan Liu, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

Customer satisfaction and service evaluation studies have applied reference effects by examining Expectancy-disconfirmation paradigm. This study is planned to explore the interaction relationship between expectancy-disconfirmation, alternative attractiveness, and self-image congruity. The framework of multiple reference effects in brand evaluations adopted the theoretical insights from regret theory and self-image congruity theory. An empirical study of two shoe companies including other-object and self-based reference points contributes significantly to consumer satisfaction evaluations. Self-image congruity has a significant impact on both satisfaction and brand commitment. Consumers’ intuitive evaluation behavior, shaped by comparisons to multiple points, has been motivated research interests for several years. Specifically, the expectancy-disconfirmation model has indicated consumers’ evaluation based on the gap between customers’ expectation and their post consumption satisfaction. Across social psychology, consumer behavior, and service satisfaction, researchers have identified three major types of referents: focal-object, other-object, and self-based as follows. A focal-object referent has been applied to measure consumers’ existing expectations about the focal product or service object of their evaluation. Disconfirmation affects satisfaction about the focal object when a consumer compares the perceived performance of the focal object with his or her previous expectations (Oliver 1980; Tse & Wilton, 1988). Another-object referent helps consumers compare the performance of an alternative with the focal object (Ping, 1993; Rusbult, 1980). For example, a consumer may have a better/worse attitude toward an alternative product or service. Third, the self-image referent indicates a consumer’s comparison between symbolic values of the focal object (the brand image) with their own self-image. Specifically, Sirgy et al (1997) found consumers may be attracted by a product or service that ---- fits their self-image.

 

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Be Prepared: Barter Could Be Coming to your Neighborhood

Dr. William R. Smith, PCM, Pepperdine University, CA

Dr. David L. Ralph, Pepperdine University, CA

Dr. Stacy M. P. Schmidt, California State University, Bakersfield, CA

 

ABSTRACT

Anecdotal reports indicate that the use of barter and barter-like transactions is a growing phenomenon in almost every region of the world in both consumer and business markets.  While large transactions involving major defense and infrastructure expenditures often capture the attention of governments and media outlets, this old-fashioned form of exchange appears to be growing in usage across all types of industries and sizes of businesses.  Would companies, especially small and medium enterprises (SME’s), be well-served to anticipate growth in demand for barter-based exchanges and develop a facility in conducting business in this manner?  Could this knowledge become a competitive advantage as less knowledgeable competitors struggle to gain experience in the use of barter?  It’s not surprising to hear reports of increasing usage of consumer-based barter from recession-ravaged European Union countries such as Spain and Greece or developing African countries (e.g., Makkas 2012, Adams  2012). However, these anecdotal reports of the re-emergence of barter and barter-like exchanges are increasing in number in North American economies as well (e.g., Kouremetis 2012).  “Barter can be readily applied to all types of businesses seeking to improve their inventory management of tangible products as well as intangible services” (Mardak, 2002).  According to Spring (2013) “barter allows businesses to exchange services to help keep up cash flow”.  In 2009 (Truitt), the barter industry had grown to over an $8 billion industry. Visiting the web site for classified ads called Craigslist leads one to find a category for “barter” under the general category of “For Sale.”   Anecdotal observation of the barter category for several major cities in the United States seems to indicate that postings to this category are rapidly increasing in number as owners of a wide range of products seem to be struggling to locate cash buyers for their items. 

 

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Inflation Convergence of Euro Countries: A Nonlinear Perspective

Dr. Burcu Kıran, Department of Econometrics, Istanbul University, Istanbul

 

ABSTRACT

The main objective of this study is to test inflation convergence of eight Euro countries over the period from January 1999 to October 2011 by using two-regime threshold unit root estimation procedure. For this purpose, inflation differentials with respect to Euro area average are constructed. According to the obtained results, it is found that the inflation differential series belonging to Belgium-Euro area, France-Euro area, Ireland-Euro area, Italy-Euro area, and Spain-Euro area are nonlinear processes, while the inflation differential series belonging to Germany-Euro area, the Netherlands-Euro area, and Portugal-Euro area are not. Another finding of this study is that there is strong evidence of stationarity for all the inflation differential series, except Ireland-Euro area, implying inflation convergence.  As the convergence of inflation rates was incorporated as one of the requirements to admit a prospective country as a full member of the European Monetary Union (EMU), the issue of inflation convergence within European countries has received considerable attention during the last decade. In the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, the convergence condition for inflation rates is defined as follows: The inflation rates of individual members should not be more than one and a half percent higher than the average of the three lowest inflation rates in the European Monetary System (EMS). According to the statement of the European Central Bank, price stability is guaranteed if the yearly area-wide aggregate inflation rate in terms of the harmonized consumer price index is below, but close to, two percent over the medium term (Holmes, 2008).

 

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Mobile Commerce Acceptance Determinants Among South African Consumers: Does Gender Matter?

Nobukhosi Dlodlo, Vaal University of Technology, Republic of South Africa

Chengedzai Mafini, Vaal University of Technology, Republic of South Africa

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of the study was to validate the determinants of mobile-commerce acceptance and establish the existence of any gender-based difference towards m-commerce acceptance among South African consumers. A survey was conducted with the aid of a structured self-administered questionnaire with a view to collect primary data from a sample consisting a cross –section of 204 consumers based in the Vaal area of Southern Gauteng, South Africa. Reliability of the survey instrument was ascertained using Cronbach Alpha values. Content validity was established through pre-testing the questionnaire prior to the main survey. Convergent validity was established through inter-dimensional correlation analysis. Statistical and practical significance were established through t-tests and Cohen’s D measures. There were positive correlations among the five m-commerce acceptance dimensions, namely; technology application (TA); perceived ease of use (PEOU); perceived enjoyment (PE); perceived usefulness (PU) and subjective norms (SN). Cronbach Alpha values ranged between 0.714 and 0.898, thereby indicating high internal consistency among the sub-scales as well as within the entire survey instrument. Correlation coefficients ranged between .164 and .677 at both the p<0.01 and p<0.05 significance levels (2 tailed test) indicating very high levels of association among the sub-scales. T-test results revealed that gender does not influence two factors namely technology application and subjective norms. However, females consider PEOU and PE to be more important than males.

 

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Effects of Scale Display Formats, the Number of Variables per Display and Styles of Grid Lines on Line Graph Visualization in Response to Difficult Business Queries

Dr. Chatpong Tangmanee, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Prapapak Jiradnunyakul, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

One of the well-known data analysis and presentation techniques, a line graph is adopted in various fields to portray a relationship between variables. The graph’s appropriate formats are critical if viewers must visualize the graph in order to deal with difficult business queries. However, research in the Thai context examining effects of scale display formats (i.e., conventional or unconventional), the number of lines per display (i.e., one, three or six) and styles of grid lines (i.e., rough or fine) on line graph visualization in response to abstract questions is rare. The current study intends to fill this gap.A lab experiment in which 360 Thai undergraduates in a business school were recruited in random to visualize 12 conditions of comparable line graphs in response to thirteen difficult queries (2 scale formats x 3 numbers of lines per display x 2 styles of grid lines) confirms that (1) the effect of the numbers of lines per display on visualization is statistically significant but (2) the effects of grid lines, scale display formats or the interaction effects of these three factors are not significant. In addition to extending insight into issues of information visualization in the particular context of Thai line graph readers, graph developers could apply the findings to enhance readers’ graph visualization.A line graph is well known in numerous disciplines (Tan & Benbasat, 1993; Katz, 2008; Kosslyn, 2006; Kumar & Benbasat, 2004). The wide acceptance is a result of graph readers’ capability in decoding quantitative data presented in the graph (Cleveland & McGill, 1985; Glazer, 2011). According to Kosslyn (2006), a line graph has three major components: framework, content and label. First, the framework is of an “L-shaped” format (Kosslyn, 2006, p. 76). On the Y (vertical) axis are amounts (or frequencies) of what is being measured.

 

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Country Specific Political Risk Indices and Economic Growth

Dr. Hussein Zeaiter, Lebanese American University, Lebanon

Dr. Raed El-Khalil, Lebanese American University, Lebanon

 

ABSTRACT

The interrelationship between corruption and democracy and their impact on economic growth is the main subject of this paper. This study utilize country specific risk index in order to test the relationship between three variables: democracy, corruption, and economic growth. Unbalanced panel data is used for 146 countries over the period 1984 - 2009. The results show that corruption has a negative impact on economic growth in countries with high democratic risk and no impact in countries with low risks. However, with the same classification, democracy has negative significant impact on growth in countries with low corruption and no impact on countries with high corruption.  The effect of democracy and corruption on economic growth per capita GDP has long been studied. Democracy is expected to trigger economic growth, and corruption is expected to decrease in democracies. However, many democratic countries have low economic growth whereas many non-democracies experience high economic growth. Previous scholarly work (Obayelu, 2007 and Shera, 2011) on the topic indicates that in democratic countries, there was no effect on economic growth. Obayelu (2007) showed that despite that Nigeria is a democracy, corruption exists and, it is rooted from terrible socio-cultural and political situations. Due to the paper the major challenge was to cure the causes of this terrible situation. In addition, despite the fact that Turkey is a democratic country, it faced corruption scandals Gillespie (2006).

 

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Saudi Arabian Sukuk Market: Recent Trends and Development

Mohammed Waleed Alswaidan, University of Portsmouth, UK

 

ABSTRACT

After the recent financial crisis impact on the financial industry, the risk factor of each financial instrument is the critical measurement for investors. Thus, fixed income securities such as Bonds or Sukuk (Islamic Bonds) addressed the option for lower risk investment. Sukuk is considered as a dynamic investment instrument and has been developed over the recent past. It is catching the investors’ interest due to its unique features. This paper attempts to follow the trends and developments in the Sukuk market in Saudi Arabia as it is the heart of the Islamic world. The paper provides a comparison between returns and duration of the Saudi Arabian Sukuk Market against the Global Sukuk Market. Results found that the Sukuk market in Saudi Arabia is the dominant trend of investors in the market and has consistency of positive returns over the period after the recent financial crisis lead to speed up the development in the Sukuk industry around the world.  Since the developments and changes in the financial industry over recent decades, Islamic finance found itself the major player with rapid growth over its sectors. It has evolved to become one of the most dynamic and fastest developing business areas in global finance (Pock, 2007), which is currently growing at between 10-15% each year (Ainley, Mashayekhi & Hicks, 2007), and the value of Islamic finance assets in the world have been estimated to reach over one trillion US dollars by the year 2012 (Mansor & Bhatti, 2011). In particular, after the recent financial crisis which started in the summer of 2007, it can be seen clearly that the expansion of Islamic finance has increased its position around the world. Beyond this expansion it can be seen that the main clients for the Islamic finance are the Muslim people, which are estimated today at around 20% of the world population. They might be the major drivers for creating the trend of demands on the Islamic finance. In spite of this, the expansion of Islamic finance as an industry is quite modern.

 

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Testing Validity of the Purchasing Power Parity: Evidence from MENA Countries

Dr. Nilgun Cil Yavuz, Head of the Department of Econometrics, Istanbul University, Istanbul

 

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates the validity of the purchasing power parity theory for MENA countries by using univariate and panel unit root tests with and without structural breaks. The results of the unit root test which does not allow structural breaks show the importance of the breaks and give that each of the real exchange rates of selected MENA countries are non-stationary. Furthermore, the panel LM test supports these results. By allowing structural breaks in LM testing strategy, we find the evidence of purchasing power parity for Jordan and Turkey.  The purchasing power parity (PPP) theory is the one of the oldest and controversial theory in the determination of the exchange rate. First articulated by scholars of the Salamanca school in sixteenth century, simple empirical proposition of the purchasing power parity is that once converted to a common currency, national price levels should be equal. On the other hand, the modern origins of purchasing power parity trace to the debate on how to restore the world financial system after its collapse during World War I. The Swedish economist Gustav Cassel promoted the use of PPP as a means for setting relative gold parities and treated PPP as a practical empirical theory. Basically, he used inflation differentials to calculate the exchange rate changes needed to maintain PPP (Rogoff, 1996). Purchasing Power Parity asserts that the exchange rate change between two currencies over any period of time is determined by the change in the two countries' relative price levels. Because the theory singles out price level changes as the overriding determinant of exchange rate movements it has also been called the "inflation theory of exchange rates" (Dornbusch, 1998).The purchasing power parity doctrine has different versions, in its ‘absolute version’ states that the equilibrium exchange rate between domestic and foreign currencies equals the ratio between domestic and foreign prices.

 

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A Study of Interpersonal Influences and Opinion Leader’s Expertise on Purchase Decision of Fashion Goods: A Cross-Cultural Study

Dr. Pongsiri Tejavibulya, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Somkiat Eiamkanchanalai, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

This study aims to measure the influence of opinion leaders towards purchase decisions of opinion seekers through opinion leader’s expertise, and interpersonal forces of tie strength and perceptual homophily. This study also seeks further explanation from cross-cultural dimensions. This findings show that the influence of opinion leaders towards purchase decision of opinion seekers do not have equal weighting on the purchase decision due to opinion leader’s expertise and interpersonal forces. It is also found that varied level of influence on purchase decisions is due to cultural background. Collectivists are influenced by opinion leaders more than individualists. Thus, marketing academics and marketing managers should find that different cultural background may require different marketing. As such, they can utilise this study to plan a more suitable and effective marketing strategy.  Many studies have shown that opinion leadership is in many markets the single strongest factor causing a purchasing decision, e.g. Bansal and Voyer, 2000 [1]; Kohli, 1989 [2]; Webster, 1988 [3]. However, it has actually not received adequate attention in previous literature. In particular, there has been surprising little research conducted that has examined the effect of social influences on the receiver’s purchase decisions across cultures. The importance of social influences has been exemplified in a classic consumer behaviour theory, Theory of Reasoned Action by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) [4], which specifies that individuals’ behavioural intentions are predicated by their own internal attitudes and their motivation to comply with others.

 

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Increasing the Effectiveness of Succession in the Family Business: Suggestions from Outperforming Successors

Markus Baur, University of Latvia, Riga

 

ABSTRACT

Research concerning succession in family-held businesses is not new. Many attempts have been made to further advance the understanding of this very important phase for family businesses. However, only few authors have let the successor to be in the spotlight. This paper summarizes the results of a dissertation aimed to identify propositions for effective succession in family businesses by exploring the perspectives of outperforming successors. Based on the framework of systems theory and a qualitative research approach, 13 successful cases of mediumsized family firms have been studied. For this purpose, problem-centered interviews with outperforming successors in the close-to-boarder-area of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland have been conducted. The paper shortly introduces the fundamental theoretical background and the applied research design before outlining a variety of suggestions derived from the results and findings of the work addressing primarily prospective successors.  The family business can be approached by using several different theoretical lenses. Amongst others, the resource-based explanatory approach (i.a. Habbershon & Williams, 1999, Peteraf, 1993), the life-cycle approach (i.a. May & Koeberle-Schmid, 2012, Gersick et al., 1997), the principal-agency theory (i.a. Dyer, 2006, Jensen & Meckling, 1976). and the systems theory (i.a. Simon, 2012, Wilms, 2008). have provided valuable frameworks to investigate on the family business. The resource-based explanatory approach and principal-agency theory have advanced the field especially to explain performance distinctions compared to non-family-held businesses. The life cycle approach enabled the academic body to explain the increase of the complexity along the ownership dimension, the reduction of risk along the investment dimension (on the basis of the portfolio theory of Markowitz), and the increase of the principal-agency problem along the governance dimension.

 

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Illumination of Mission Statements of Public and Private Universities in Turkey: A Content Analysis

Ozlem Araci, Istanbul Technical University

 

ABSTRACT

Universities encounter various pressures and conflicts in their environment. Satisfying all pressures is impossible for universities and they need to make choice. In that case, mission has potential to direct universities when they need to decide basic and strategic situations. This study assesses the mission of public and private universities in Turkey. Aim of the study is revealing differences between missions of public and private universities based on the content analysis and frame their strategic focuses. For that purpose, mission of 101 public universities and mission of 50 private universities were examined and three judges evaluated the content of the mission statements. Also reliability analysis was implemented to judges’ assignment themes to the categories. Conclusions supported that “serving to society” is the most mentioned statements for both public and private universities in Turkey and private universities use “being international” statement as much as “serving to society”. This study may serve as a reference point for universities who will develop or change their mission for the future of the university.  Knowledge society transforms the society into the knowledge based from industry based. Universities role ascends in the knowledge society. They contribute to production and dissemination of scientific knowledge and technologies.

 

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The Influences of Type of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives and Donation Situation on Consumer Responses

Dr. Yimin Zhu, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

Dr. Miao Zhao, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

 

ABSTRACT

This study compares consumers’ responses to firms’ donations made through different corporate social responsibility initiatives (philanthropy vs. cause-related marketing (CRM)) and under different donation situations (disasters vs. ongoing causes). Our results suggest that 1) philanthropy type of donation generates more positive consumers’ attitude toward a firm, evaluation of the firm’s donation motivation, and purchase intention of the firm’s products than CRM; 2) donations made to disasters, compared to ongoing causes, will evoke more positive attitude, evaluation, and purchase intention; and 3) When donations are made to ongoing causes, the differences in consumer responses diminish between philanthropy and CRM. The paper concludes with discussions and managerial implications.  Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives have been identified as a key to success (Lichtenstein et al. 2004) since it is considered an effective marketing tool to build and differentiate corporate image (Barnes and Titzgibbons 2001; Cheron, et al. 2012) and improve customer attitude (Lii and Lee 2012; Nan and Heo 2007). Every year, a great amount of money is donated to innumerable causes through various CSR initiatives such as philanthropy, cause-related marketing, employee volunteerism, and other innovative programs (Lichtenstein, et al. 2004).

 

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Equity Premium Puzzle: Evidence from Turkey

Dr. Sinem Derindere Koseoglu, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

This paper attempts to find out if there is an equity premium puzzle in Turkey for the period 2003-2010 based on the standard general equilibrium model which was followed by Mehra and Prescott (1985). In the USA, historical data of equity markets showed that the equity risk premiums were too high and could not been explained by the standard general equilibrium model and Mehra and Prescott (1985) entitled this phenomenon Equity Premium Puzzle (EPP) for the first time. Then several researchers have estimated the same high equity risk premium for many countries and confirmed the EPP for their economies. In this study, the equity premium has been calculated as 9.37 % by historical data of Turkey, whereas it should be 3.15% according to the estimations based on standard general equilibrium model. The equilibrium of 9.37% is much higher than the theoretical equity premium of 3.15%.  In addition, the standard general equilibrium model implied that the relative degree of risk aversion coefficient of Turkey is 30.5848 which is much higher than the Mehra and Prescot’s (1985) boundary level 10. Therefore, it has been concluded that there is the EPP in Turkey for the period 2003-2010.  Fama (1965, 1970), Mossin (1966), Sharpe (1967), Lintner (1965, 1969) and Black et.al. (1972) all illustrated that assets with higher risks have higher returns. Therefore, because stocks are riskier than bonds or T-bills, investors require higher premium for this additional risk and this is identified as equity premium. However, how large should the equity premium need to be?

 

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Lean Management Adoption Level in Middle Eastern Manufacturing Facilities

Dr. Raed EL-Khalil, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

Dr. Maya F. Farah, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

 

ABSTRACT

Lean manufacturing (LM) process, also known as Toyota Production System (TPS) or lean management, provides tools and methods that focus on eliminating waste and adding value to assembly and manufacturing operations. The success achieved by Toyota Motors through the implementation of lean has fascinated every company in the world and inspired it to follow its footsteps. This paper focuses on examining the degree of lean production implementation in Middle Eastern manufacturing plants and its impact on operational metrics. In addition, it shows the relationship between lean dimensions and operational outcomes. This research has utilized a questionnaire that is based on a similar research conducted on US, Chinese, and Indian industries. The survey was altered to fit the Middle Eastern industry. The companies surveyed are located in three different Middle Eastern countries, namely, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The survey was given to 318 manufacturing companies out of which 96 responses were considered usable. The lean dimensions that the survey examined include” the 7 wastes, 5S’s, standardization, total productivity maintenance (TPM), supplier related (performance), problem-solving, statistical process control (SPC), Total quality management (TQM), setup time improvement or reduction, pull system (based on demand), and customer requirement or need. The result for implemented dimensions of lean indicates that while most of the respondents have scored between 40-59% levels, only very few are above 60% levels, and none of the companies has scored above 89% implementation levels. The study indicates that the operational performance has improved in all metrics except for space reduction. In addition, respondents have indicated that cost conversion reduction, productivity increase, and inventory reduction are the three main drivers of lean implementation.  Subsequent to World War II, Japanese companies suffered post-war economic realities.

 

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Impact of Textile Imports on the Competitiveness of the Textile Industry in Ghana

Dr. Kofi Poku, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Mariama Zakari,  Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

 

ABSTRACT

Under the Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) policy in the 1960s, Ghana’s textile industry which had many firms, enjoyed blanket government protection including high import duties and import quotas.  The advent of trade liberalization to overcome the limitations and resultant adverse effects of the ISI Strategy in the 1980s brought in its wake a shrunken number of domestic textile companies where barriers to trade were either removed completely or reduced significantly.  This represented a paradigm shift towards market based competition where firms no longer operated under protective barriers.  Thus, forcing firms to compete in both domestic and export market on the basis of their own efficiencies with a consequence of free flow of goods across countries but arguably, a damaged industry with mass unemployment.  This study was designed to examine the impact of textiles imports on the competitiveness of the Ghanaian textile industry.  Using quantitative data obtained from Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana Statistical Service, Customs Excise and Preventive Service, as well as IMF’s World Development Indicators from 1975-2002, imports were observed to have positive correlation with output growth as well as growth in productivity.  It was observed that output started to fall long before trade liberalization, whereas output recovery started after liberalization. This indicated that, there may be other variables of interest that might have caused output decline. Furthermore, output using regression analysis revealed that import was significantly elastic in both long and the short run. Labour and the Dummy variables were also  significant and elastic in the long run, and that trade liberalization has a positive impact on domestic output in the long run.  Interest Rate was found to be negatively significant in the short run output while Real Exchange Rate was not significant in both long and short run.  Over the last three decades, the Ghanaian textile industry has experienced the most turbulent chapter in its history.

 

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Improving Economics of Thermal Desalination Process Through Energy Analysis and Optimization

Dr. Fahad S. Al-Mubaddel, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

 

ABSTRACT

For an arid country like Saudi Arabia, the quest for more fresh water never ends. The country has adopted the multi stage flash distillation (MSF) process as the prominent process for the production of fresh water. Nevertheless the process is complex, costly and energy intensive. Consequently, energy analysis has evolved to be a useful tool for the optimization of the thermal process. Benefits are not limited to the reduction in energy consumption. Several energy optimization projects resulted in a decrease in unit product cost, an elongation of the service life of the plant through the conservation of its material of construction and an increase in profit margin generated by the process.  The simulation of five plant configuration types (namely, Single Stage Flash distillation, Multi-Stage Flash distillation and three types of Multi-Effect Distillation) was run using HYSYS. The various runs established the energy utilization of the various processes.  The results of the various HYSYS runs were then fed to Super Target software program. The program was developed by Linnhoff-March [9], which contains a suite of pinch-technology programs that provide fundamental insights to heat recovery options in a process, which then results in lower operating costs or reduced capital cost by auditing energy consumption or emission. The program was used to find and calculate the maximum possible heat recovery and to compare the existing design with targets. It was clear from the analysis that there was a lot of wastage in the SSF plants and that increasing the number of stages improved the energy utilization. In the SSF, the energy that could be saved was as high as 82.4 % while it was only 63.5 % when an MSF plant is used. When a conventional MED plant was used, the savings of 80.5 % that was achieved was comparable to that of SSF. angers with small areas.

 

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Why Do Department Chairs Suffer the Most in Higher Education Hierarchy?

Dr. Sinem Vatanartıran, Bahcesehir University, Turkey

Dr. B. Cagla Garipagaoglu, Bahcesehir University, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to investigate the experiences of middle level managers at higher education institutions in ways of managing relationships at the both end of the hierarchy chain. This study focused on accounts of department chairs and the study design was based on qualitative study with the aim of reflecting department chairs’ experiences and thoughts on the challenges of being a middle level manager. 13 department chairs from two foundation universities in Turkey were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data. Data was analyzed by content analysis method. Their experiences about the challenges of managing the relationships in the hierarchy chain were categorized under the following four themes: 1) building working relationships with upper echelon, 2) building working relationships with the department staff, 3) building working relationships with other department chairs, and 4) the role of the middle manager.  Academicians generally have two career paths when they enter the academic world. In the former one, they may decide to continue only as an academician and in the latter; they may decide to undertake a role at the administration. Many of them appear to be reluctant to take over an administrative post with the intention of allocating more time on research and teaching activities (Hacıfazlıoğlu, 2010a; Hart, 1993). While climbing up the ladder of administration, academic administrators generally pass through the path from being a department chair, which may be followed as being a Dean or even a President in the future.  As asserted by Wolverton and Gmelch (2002), the road to deanship entails a period as a department chair, a position that is not always embraced by many academicians.

 

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Perceptions of Saudi Tourist about Tourism to Egypt

Dr. Osama A. Abdelkader, University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia

 

ABSTRACT

This research paper aims to explore the impact of some variables, upon both positive & negative perceptions of Saudi tourists about tourism to Egypt, and their decisions to visit Egypt for tourism. The research based on a questionnaire, which was prepared after reviewing a number of literatures and semi-structured interviews. The validity of survey instrument and the reliability of the gathering data were tested. In total 346 respondents responded to the questionnaire. The research shows the recent good situation of Saudi perceptions about tourism to Egypt. Research confirms that three variables have significant impacts upon negative perception of Saudi tourists about tourism to Egypt. Finally, research finds that positive perceptions have the stronger influence on the decisions of Saudi tourists comparing with the negative perceptions. The paper is a useful source for understanding the Saudi tourists and their perception about tourism to Egypt. It helps in situation analysis of Egyptian inbound tourists from Saudi Arabia. This paper provides useful information for improvement of the Egyptian inbound tourism. It offers a practical help to tourism planners and marketers in Egypt to understand the perceptions of Saudi tourists about Egyptian tourism. According to the available literature review, this research is the first of its kind in this area.  In the last decades, tourism has become an important alternative for economic development for many countries. In 1995, the number of world tourist arrivals was 536 million; this number exceeded a billion in 2012. World tourism expenditures reached 1035 billion US$ in 2012 (UNWTO, 2012).

 

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The Local Innovation Networks: An Explorative Study of Success Cluster

Dr. Gilda Antonelli, University of Molise, Italy

 

ABSTRACT

The present study is an explorative paper on the local development network supporting innovative startups. It is based on 15 famous networks cases collected in different countries and chosen among the most famous ones referred both in the literature and in the economic press. I have used these 15 cases to formulate interesting hypothesis on how networks form and on the characteristics of the actors supporting  this creation. By observing and analyzing the networks, I developed a three-stage network model, using Larson & Starr model (Larson & Starr, 1993). I then obtained a spin out network’s life cycle that allowed me to place the case studies in the different stages and formulate my hypotheses. I noticed that all cases showed a focal role played by one of the actors that changed depending on the stage the network was leaving.  The spin-off phenomenon is very common in the USA, although its origins can be traced back to the 19th century in Germany, when three pupils of the famous chemist von Liebig set up the Basf & Hoechst Company. Silicon Valley and Boston areas developed when numerous researchers and scientists left their laboratories to set up businesses. In the United States the demarcation between basic and applied research ceased to exist in the Fifties  when Universities began to support Professors who not only created knowledge, but also applied it. Both in the United States and in Europe this has led to the creation of contextual networks by different players who linked with one another to support the creation of new spin offs. Information travels in the network without difficulty and allows each player to reach his aim. This process involves researchers, universities and research centers, local extant businesses, investors and public institutions (such as technology and innovation Parks, incubators, development agencies). 

 

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University Accounting Education and Employment: Survey on Non-Accounting Business Graduates

Mei-Hsiu Tsai, National Taichung University of Science & Technology, Taichung, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

The purposes of this study are:  (1) survey current accounting education by obtaining comments from chairmen of non-accounting (but business-related) departments, (2) realize the first jobs of those non-accounting (but business-related) major graduates, (3) ask whether business executives of SME are more inclined to employ accounting major graduates for their accounting jobs, and whether non-accounting major graduates can meet their professional work performance in the accounting field, and (4) analyze the important knowledge for accounting and non-accounting (but business-related) courses required by business executives so as to improve the university accounting education for non-accounting departments between teaching and employment.  This study finds that small and medium enterprises (SME) prefer to employ accounting majored graduates as accountants. It is tend to believe that those non-accounting majored graduates who in favor of being accountants was because there were more job opportunities, can be accumulated more experience in business practice, especially for their poor English, for English is not necessarily required in accounting jobs. On the prospect of business practice, executives believe that non-accounting majored graduates from university can satisfied their requirement of works. In terms of curriculum, executives in SME suggest that non-accounting majored students should enhanced following courses to meet their need in the careers: Tax Laws, Financial Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis, Tax Accounting, Computer Application, English, Financial Management , International Trade, and Business Law.  In the commercial and industrial environment of Taiwan, accounting function has been polarized.

 

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