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The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge

Vol.  19 * Num.. 1 * September  2013

ISSN 1540 - 1200

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The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge is indexed in the PROQUEST (ABI), CABELL'S, and ULRICH'S DIRECTORIES of Refereed Publications.   We are also a member of CHAMBER of COMMERCE, Beverly Hills, California. The primary goal of the journal will be to provide opportunities for business related academicians and professionals from various business related fields in a global realm to publish their paper in one source. The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge will bring together academicians and professionals from all areas related business fields and related fields to interact with members inside and outside their own particular disciplines. The journal will provide opportunities for publishing researcher's paper as well as providing opportunities to view other's work.  All submissions are subject to a two person blind peer review process.

 

The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge is published two times a year, March and September.  The e-mail: drsenguder@aol.com; Website, www.jaabc.com  Requests for subscriptions, back issues, and changes of address, as well as advertising can be made via the e-mail address above. Manuscripts and other materials of an editorial nature should be directed to the Journal's e-mail address above. Address advertising inquiries to Advertising Manager.

 

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Conflicting Theories in Finance and Law

Dr. Donald Margotta, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

 

ABSTRACT

 Legal theory and finance theory intersect in numerous areas.  They complement each other in some cases, but in cases where they conflict they send mixed signals to courts and corporate managers, especially in issues surrounding mergers, tender offers, and certain corporate governance issues. It is important that courts and managers understand when and why these theories conflict to help them choose the appropriate theory to follow under the circumstances, and for legal and finance researchers to understand to help guide research that may reconcile them.  This paper examines several areas where the theories conflict and explores why they conflict.The business judgment rule (BJR), a legal principle that protects directors from liability when their decisions don’t work out as planned, is widely accepted when applied to routine business decisions.  However, some object to its use in certain control decisions because they see conflicts in such decisions between the BJR and two principles of finance theory, agency theory and efficient market theory.  Agency theory contends that managers may be motivated by self-interest in control decisions and therefore should not have the protection of the BJR.  Efficient market arguments suggest that investors can make their own control decisions based on market prices and directors who interfere with them should not be protected by the BJR.  These conflicts are shown to stem in part from different assumptions underlying finance and legal theory, and in part from different interpretations of key principles in both theories.Block, et al. (1987) have traced the BJR as far back as 1829.  Under this principle, directors are protected (Block and Pitt) "from having to justify to shareholders or the courts the correctness of judgments made in the ordinary management of the corporation." Farfaglia (1962) says the rule, "provides that directors of a corporation are not liable for losses arising from mere errors of judgment, if they acted in good faith and with due care."  The Delaware Supreme Court states it as follows: “The rule itself is a presumption that in making a business decision, the directors of a corporation acted on an informed basis, in good faith and in the honest belief that the action taken was in the best interests of the company.”  (1)The BJR stirs little controversy when applied to routine business decisions since most observers agree that managers and directors should be able to make such decisions without fear of liability if some don’t work out as planned. (2)  The rationale behind the rule is clear and stems from statutory authority given to directors and from legislators and courts recognizing that business decisions are filled with uncertainty.  Statutory authority comes from state corporate statutes such as Delaware’s which states, “The business and affairs of every corporation organized under this chapter shall be managed by or under the direction of a board of directors, except as may be otherwise provided in this chapter or in its certificate of incorporation.”  (3)

 

Economic Drivers and Cultural Values: The 3G Countries

Dr. David R. Borker, Manhattanville College, NY

 

ABSTRACT

 Recently, Buiter and Rahbari (2011) developed a Global Growth Generator or 3G index for identifying high growth countries based on six specific growth drivers.  The index enables the determination of which countries are expected to show the strongest economic growth from 2010 through 2050.  Eleven 3G countries are identified, of which India and China have received attention previously as members of the BRIC countries.  The remaining nine 3G countries are Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. This paper seeks to shed light on the cultural/business mindset in these countries, using survey data and concepts of a pioneer in international cultural values research, Geert Hofstede.   His work has provided a framework for many studies of the potential impact of cultural values on management and business in various countries.  A comparative analysis of the eleven 3G countries is conducted.  First, each 3G country is examined for Hofstede’s six cultural dimensions, and compared with other members of the group to find insights into the specific and shared value characteristics of these countries that may affect economic growth.  Cultural profiles are developed that suggest the long-term economic success of these countries to coincide with economic based growth predictions.  In February 2011, Citigroup Chief Economist Willem Buiter, and associate Ebrahim Rahbari published a monograph which declared that the term ‘BRIC countries’ had outlived their usefulness.  They stated that terms like developing countries, emerging markets, advanced economies, BRICS, Next Eleven, and Growth Markets are all labels belonging to classification schemes that are either obsolete or unlikely to have ever had any validity. (Buiter & Rahbari, 2011) In their place, they proposed a list of eleven “3G countries” which they determined as having the highest growth prospects, based primarily on a weighted average of six growth drivers.  They are (1) domestic saving/investment, (2) demographic prospects, (3) health, (4) education, (5) Quality of institutions and policies, and (6) trade openness.    The 3G group includes the following 11 countries, which along with additional economic data are listed in Figure 1.1. The 3G countries have been defined as the eleven countries with the highest 3G Index values using a weighted average of the Buiter and Rahbari six growth drivers. These index values, along with some additional information on per capita gross domestic product in dollars and as percent of GDP and average growth rate of capital, are provided in Figure I-1.  The 3G countries include India and China that were part of the BRIC group, plus nine others.  All could be described as developing countries. 

 

The Effect of the Lead Arranger’s Reputation on the Retained Share in a Syndicated Loan

Dr. Kenneth J. Kopecky, Professor Emeritus, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Yibo Xiao, Assistant Professor of Finance, University of La Verne, La Verne, CA

 

Abstract

 This paper analyzes the reputation effect of the lead arranger on the lead share retained in its loan portfolio. To exclude the effect of the financial crisis of 2007-2009, we focus on the syndicated loans to non-financial U.S. firms from 1994-2006. The study finds that the lead arranger’s reputation can reduce the lead share retained by the lead arranger in its loan portfolio, which serves as evidence that the arranger’s reputation mitigates the information asymmetry between the lead arranger and participant banks. In addition, the reputation effect on information asymmetry between the arranger and participants becomes less significant when the borrower enters a repeat loan relationship with a prior or existing lender. Bank loan syndication is a sequential process. During this process, the firm solicits syndication offers from an arranger bank, which is required to form a syndicate, and negotiates the loan agreement with the chosen arranger. The arranger then prepares the loan contract and allocates the loan among syndicate members. The loan syndication provides benefits to borrowers, arrangers and participant lenders, though it also comes with costs. The most prominent cost is an agency problem due to information asymmetry between the arranger and participant members. In the syndicated market, to control for cost inefficiency and a free-rider problem associated with multiple lenders (1), the monitoring role is generally delegated to one or more lead arrangers. The lead arranger acts as an “informed lender” while potential participants are “uninformed lenders” who rely on the information and monitoring conducted by the arranger (2). This dependence raises the possibility that syndicate members may be exploited by the arranger bank (3). When information asymmetry of the borrowing firm is severe, to mitigate the problem of moral hazard and adverse selection, the participating members generally require the arranger to “signal” the quality of the loan by retaining a financial stake in the borrowing firm, which ensures diligence and commitment against exploiting its information monopoly. In addition to retaining a loan share in its portfolio, the arranger’s reputation can also act as a strong mechanism to mitigate the agency problem between the arranger and participating members. Sufi (2007) shows that asymmetric information between the lender and the borrower affects the structure of the loan syndicate, and that the lead arranger and borrower reputation can mitigate information asymmetry problems in the syndicate.To exclude the possible effect of the financial crisis of 2007-2009, we use data on the syndicated loans to non-financial U.S. firms from 1994-2006 to explore the effect of the arranger’s reputation on its loan-share retention in the syndicated loan. Three theoretical foundations of corporate finance are explored: information asymmetry, bank-borrower relationship and the reputation mechanism. Specifically, the paper analyzes how a lead arranger’s reputation affects its retained loan share under different subsets of bank-borrower relationships and arranger’s reputation.

 

Comparing Younger and Older Social Network Users: An Examination of Attitudes and Intentions

Dr. James M. Curran and Dr. Ron Lennon, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

 

ABSTRACT

 Social networks were once considered the domain of a younger demographic but in recent years the use of social networks has become more commonplace in older groups as well. This research develops and tests a model of what drives attitudes toward social networks and intentions to use them and tests the model across two groups of users, one younger and one older. The results clearly demonstrate that the model is useful in both age-based contexts and that significant differences exist between younger and older social network users.Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content." According to Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) there are six types of social media: collaborative projects, blogs and microblogs, content communities, social networking sites, virtual game worlds, and virtual social worlds. Our focus in this study is social networking sites, which are applications that enable users to connect by creating personal information profiles, inviting friends and colleagues to have access to those profiles, and sending e-mails and instant messages between each other (Kaplan and Haenlein 2010). Over the last two decades, the use of social networking sites has exploded around the world. Users range from tech-savvy young adults to baby boomers and older adults seeking ways to reconnect with family and friends (Anderson 2009). Popular examples of social networking sites are MySpace (created in 2003) and Facebook (created in 2004). Since its inception, MySpace has gone through various redesigns and now considers itself to be a music-oriented website that is a complimentary service to Facebook. MySpace now targets the 35-year-old-and-under crowd to stay abreast of the hottest music and videos (Oreskovic 2010). Facebook is ranked as the second most popular online brand in the United States (Nielsen Wire 2011), with approximately 50 percent of North America's Internet population using Facebook (Internet World Stats 2012). Facebook surpassed having 835 million users (subscribers) worldwide at the end of March 2012 (Internet World Stats 2012). Curran and Lennon (2011) developed a structural model to help explain college students’ intentions to use social networking sites. In an attempt to validate the Curran and Lennon structural model, we completed a comparison of the younger college students in their study against an older population (those over 50) on the same variables used in their study.

 

On Impact of ISO9000 Certification on Organizations

Dr. C. P. Kartha, University of Michigan-Flint, MI

 

ABSTRACT

 The paper presents the results of a research project focusing on the advantages associated with ISO 9000 certification. In particular, the study focuses on the impact of ISO 9000 certification in Italian companies. A survey involving both ISO 9000 certified and non-certified Italian companies was conducted and the results are presented that compare the impact of certification on the organizational effectiveness of companies with and without certification. A number of factors such as customer satisfaction, profitability and productivity are considered. The quest for quality is probably more widespread and intense globally today than at any time in history.  Organizations have realized that the key to increased productivity and profitability is improving quality and in order to survive competition from home and abroad, they are forced to return to the basics of better quality management and cost competitiveness measures for their products and services. Implementation of ISO9000 Quality Standard  has been one of the effective strategies used by organizations to achieve this goal. ISO9000 is a series of internationally accepted guidelines as to how companies should set up their quality assurance systems. Focusing on procedures, controls and documentation, the standard is designed to help a company identify mistakes, streamline its operations and be able to guarantee a constant level of quality. Certification to this quality standard is becoming to be a de facto requirement for doing business in many industries.The process of obtaining ISO certification can be long and expensive and depends on the quality improvement efforts that exist in an organization. It requires a significant investment of both human as well as financial resources of the organization. A majority of organizations make this decision because many customers require certification as a pre-condition to do business with them. There have been questions raised as to the worthiness of making such investments by organizations for obtaining certification. This research investigates the effect of ISO certification on organizational effectiveness and focuses on Italian companies.The nature and scope of ISO9000 is well researched. There has been considerable debate in the literature as to whether or not ISO 9000 has a positive impact on the organizational effectiveness. These studies typically compare financial outcomes before and after implementation of the ISO standard. However, there is lack of sufficient research in the area of direct comparisons of companies with and without certification for comparing operational efficiencies. The current study attempts to fill that gap.

 

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in the Global Economy

 SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Jason Diehl, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas

Dr. Leslie Toombs, Texas A&M University - Commerce, Commerce, Texas

Dr. Balasundram Maniam, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas

 

ABSTRACT

 As the rate of globalization and its impact on the economy continues to grow, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have had to address these changes.  SMEs have evolved over time to accept and adapt to globalization and its economic effects.  This paper looks specifically at the impact of globalization on SMEs and provides direction for their competitive strategies.  With the information gathered, SMEs’ competitiveness in today’s globalized economy offers promising prosperity for growth; but, numerous challenges must first be overcome to attain this promise.  The flexibility and innovativeness of technological advancements and their applications used by SMEs will be explored, as well as policies that will promote SMEs’ competitiveness.  Moreover, the focus on niche marketing as a competitive strategy is discussed.  Technological capabilities allow market competitiveness to be more directive and opportunistic.In addition, SMEs are becoming more interdependent, instead of independent. This paper also examines how this interdependency enables SME growth and competitiveness to reach advanced levels.  SMEs’ competitiveness in the globalized economy involves the extensive use of strategy, and the view that obstacles are no longer viewed as disadvantages but as advantages.  With their uniqueness in mind, a conclusion will be formed to determine if SMEs have the competitive drive to survive and thrive in an age of globalization.  Globalization, in the business sense, suggests an ever-increasing reliance on global business relationships and their contribution to economic growth.  In addition, it results from the current actions of people, trade, finance, and ideas from one country to another.  SMEs, being small and medium-sized enterprises, strive to remain competitive in the globalized markets.  They must be competitivie amidst the large, multinational firms who seek to dominate the business world.  Growth for these SMEs, on top of being competitive, is a challenge in itself as well, especially as these firms learn about the resources and markets that are available (Bishop, Reinke, and Adams 2011).

 

An Analysis of Volunteer Leader Behavior: Observer Measures

Dr. Kristen M. Bowers, Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN

Dr. William L. Hamby, Jr., Troy University – Montgomery, Montgomery, AL

 

ABSTRACT

 Civic, social, and community service organizations are historically volunteer-led and are unique in their reliance on volunteers leading other volunteers at all levels. Volunteer leaders operate with limited authority and lead volunteers who may not see themselves as followers. Volunteer leader behavior may reflect these unique characteristics. This paper discusses the difference between volunteer leader behavior and paid leader behavior as reported by 105 observers of volunteer leaders in a large multi-level community service organization. Leadership behavior was measured by asking the observers to report the degree to which the volunteer leaders they observed engaged in each of the five practices of exemplary leadership using the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) – Observer instrument. These data were compared to normative LPI data for observers of paid leaders. A statistically significant difference was found for four of the five practices of exemplary leadership. This paper discusses the findings, presents possible conclusions, and suggests implications for the study of volunteer leadership.In 2009 there were more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States (National Center for Charitable Statistics, 2010). Salamon, Haddock, Sokolowski, and Tice (2007) indicated that revenues generated by nonprofits in the United States account for over 5% of the national gross domestic product. When the economic effect of the volunteer services provided by nonprofits is added, the figure rises to over 7%. Additionally, the nonprofit sector is growing at an average rate almost double that of the growth of the gross domestic product in each of the countries studied, indicating nonprofits are, and will continue to be, a significant organization type that deserves academic study and research.In studies of unpaid workers, Pearce (1980, 1982) discussed how organizational differences affected leadership within volunteer organizations.  In Pearce’s 1980 study, “seven all-volunteer run and staffed organizations were matched with seven all-employee run and staffed organizations that worked on the same, or similar primary task” (p. 86).  Pearce found that all-volunteer and paid organizations differed not only in the authority invested in their leadership positions but also in the desire of leaders to accept positions of authority and leadership.  Authority in all-volunteer organizations is granted to leaders by the membership, by those they lead, in a “bottom-up process” (Pearce, 1982, p. 390). 

 

The Language of Transformational Leaders: Addressing the Needs of Followers

Dr. Charles Salter, Schreiner University, Kerrville, TX

Dr. Mark T. Green, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, TX

Dr. Maria N. Hodgson, University of Texas, Brownsville

Dr. Norma Joyner, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, TX

 

INTRODUCTION

 Over the years leadership has been studied from a number of approaches. Trait theories were a first attempt to look into what characteristics a person should have to become an effective leader (Mann, 1959; Stogdill, 1948). Researchers soon recognized that one of the deficiencies of trait theory was its adoption of the leader as a homogenous role player, autonomous to the variations in the leader-follower dynamic across differing environments. Hollander and Julian (1969) suggested that the increased interest in the situational aspects of leadership resulted from recognition that there were specific situational demands made on leaders, depending upon the task of the group and other situational variables. Researchers’ recognition of the inability of trait analysis to fully explain leadership utility initially lead to the behavioral style approach which suggested situational variables moderate a leader’s effectiveness (Fiedler, 1967; Hersey & Blanchard, 1969).French and Raven (1959) in their research on social power asserted that a leader may influence a follower using different bases of power. The researchers further stated that an ability to influence a follower is accorded to the leader by the follower, and without follower acceptability, a legitimate leader’s power to influence is hindered. Barbuto, Fritz, and Matkin (2001) suggest that French and Raven’s (1959) bases of social power are related to transformational and transactional leadership.  Recognizing follower acceptance as a key element in leadership effectiveness has lead researchers to investigate followers as a primary environmental link to organizational success. The need to understand the follower as a situational variable and his relationship to the leader’s effectiveness has influenced research in follower traits (Salter, Green, & Ree, 2006; Felfe & Schyns, 2006), cognitive processes and perception, attribution theory, and implied values and behaviors a follower identifies with effective leadership (Lord & Maher, 1990; Lord, DeVader, & Alliger, 1986; Lord, 1985; Calder, 1977).   Graen and Cashman (1975) suggest dyadic relationships between leaders and followers and, more importantly, the perceptions and expectations of those relationships by the follower are critical determinants of a follower’s willingness to be influenced by the leader (Lord, 1977).  Calder (1977) suggests that role schemas or a set of normative expectations help followers in their understanding and interpretation of observed leader behaviors. The researcher further states that the term leadership is the language given to behaviors which are consistent with the observer’s leadership schemas. Phillips and Lord (1981) indicate that a follower’s perception of a leadership behavior by a stimulus creates a leader category, where the behavior is compared to the observer’s schema of the behaviors of their prototypical leader.

 

Comparing the Effectiveness of the Different Tax Incentive Approaches Used by Major Wind Energy Countries to Encourage Wind Energy Development

Professor Bruce W. McClain and Melissa Collins, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio

 

ABSTRACT

 Currently, the top five countries in the world in terms of wind energy development are the United States, Germany, Spain, China and India.  All of these use tax financial subsidies of one kind or another to help to fund and encourage wind energy expansion and research.  In each of them, this encouragement has included substantial tax incentives, in addition to direct government subsidies and other non-tax incentives.  However, given their very different systems and basis for taxation, the nature of these incentives has been different in each country.  The United States, relying primarily on an income tax based system, provides tax incentives consisting largely of tax credits that reduce the income tax liability and state level renewable portfolio standards (RPS).  Germany and Spain have focused on developing feed-in tariffs, a policy that requires utilities to purchase renewable energy at a federally fixed price for 20 years.  China, which generates a higher percentage of its tax collections from tariffs and value added taxes (VAT), has based its incentives on providing lower tariff and VAT rates.  India, who has recently jumped to third in wind capacity, behind only China and the US, relies mostly on accelerated depreciation but is slowly moving towards the use of feed-in tariffs.  Each country has seen the combined effect of their incentives, both tax and non-tax, result in rapidly increasing development of wind power initiatives.  The article will examine and compare each country’s system and analyze the effectiveness if each country’s incentives to date. Renewable energy has been a major concern around the world over the last twenty five years because of the current trends in supply and use.   But the free market economic and business returns are not enough to increase wind energy usage quickly.   As a result, governments, industry, and research institutions continue to work together in addressing this concern, and one way to encourage more rapid development has been through tax incentives.  One prevalent theme of United States wind energy tax incentives, is that the incentives have been unreliable, generally consisting of programs with expiration dates, which have consistently come close to expiration before being renewed, if not actually expiring before being reenacted.(1) The uncertainty resulting from this has been both a major disincentive to companies to take advantage of tax credits and other tax benefits in order to engage in this very expensive investment in wind energy, and also causes a periodic slowing down of investment at the end of the lifecycles of the tax incentives.  A problem with the early incentive programs was that the tax credits were based on installation rather than performance.  Thus the incentives were there to build wind generation projects, but were not to monitor the effectiveness, either in terms of megawatt generation, durability, or integration with the existing power grid.(2)  These early incentives expired in the mid-1980s, and this forced investors to focus instead on improving the reliability and efficiency of their wind turbines.   The earlier versions of the incentive credits were replaced by a production tax credit, which proved to be a more effective credit as it encouraged the evolution of wind turbine technology and technological improvements, where the focus was more on electricity output rather than installation.(3) The following is a discussion of some of the major United States tax incentives for wind technology investment.

 

Land Pricing in Thin Markets: An Urban Model

Dr. J. Bruce Lindeman, Professor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR

 

ABSTRACT 

In an earlier article in this Journal (Lindeman, 2004) the author developed a simple model of land speculation in downtown areas of smaller cities. That article produced a model involving two acceptable plots of land and a number of speculators. The analysis showed that the plots will be either “fully” priced, or overpriced. Further, the more uncertainly that prevails among speculators, the greater is the likelihood of more significant overpricing. This paper extends the analysis by relaxing several significantly limiting assumptions to more accurately replicate real-world real estate markets. If anything, the more realistic approach suggests even more likelihood that the relevant plots will be overpriced. Speculation in land is a common practice. The objective is to buy land cheaply, when its immediate development prospects are poor, and to hold it for some time while it “ripens” into more valuable property suitable for development. An earlier paper (Lindeman, 2004) developed a model appropriate to the downtown areas of smaller cities where large buildings, such as high-rise office structures, are only occasionally built. From time to time, however, it becomes apparent that new construction will occur, and that in the near future a developer will seek a suitable plot of available land and construct a new building. The model focused upon this interim speculative period. We define this period as the time during which it is certain that a new building soon will be built, but before a developer actually purchases a site. During this period, speculators (whom we will call buyers) bid on and try to buy suitable sites. This simple model assumed only two available sites, and examines situations involving varying numbers of buyers, varying situations of buyers’ bids for the two sites, and the effect of uncertainly upon the process.  We assume that there exists two plots of land (1 and 2) equally suitable for such construction. During the speculative period, it is unknown (and therefore uncertain) among buyers as to which one ultimately will be chosen for development. However, it is known to all buyers what price developers will pay for the chosen plot. For the sake of simplicity, we will designate this ultimate price of the chosen plot to be 1; once it is chosen, the value of the other plot will become 0, since it will no longer be of any use. For simplification, we will ignore time as a factor, along with the time value of money.

 

Career Management of Fire Service Personnel

Dr. Marian C. Schultz, University of West Florida, FL

Dr. James T. Schultz, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

 

ABSTRACT

 The requirement for firefighters to possess academic degrees is in a state of flux due to the new requirements associated with the position which necessitated a broadening in the scope of the skill set. These include the need for increased academic credentials to allow the firefighter to successfully compete with individuals in other career fields for higher level positions in the public sector. This study of department fire chiefs, both paid and volunteer, sought to determine what they perceived the academic requirements are at this point in time, and what they would be in the future. The study examined five firefighter positions – Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, and Fire Chief. The hypothesis for this study was that there will be a significant difference in the level of education needed in 2016 compared to 2012 for these positions. This specific study sought to determine if a bachelor’s degree would be required for these positions. The results of the study found that there was a significant difference in the academic requirements for the positions of Lieutenant and Captain now and in the future, but in the case of the other three positions, the fire chiefs surveyed perceived that a bachelor’s degree is required at this point in time. The fire chiefs were also asked if there was a need for the bachelor’s degree to be granted from a regionally accredited college/university and that the program needed to be one which was “Recognized” by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education committee of the National Fire Academy. Their response was that a degree from a regionally accredited and FESHE recognized degree program was significantly desired over a program from a nationally accredited, non FESHE recognized degree program.  The role of the fire department has expanded into other responsibilities including hazardous materials mitigation, disaster preparedness, emergency services and code enforcement, while still meeting the community’s needs for fire protection and prevention. In order meet these new demands being placed on fire department personnel, primarily the firefighter and junior officer, the question of how much formal education is needed has emerged. This study asked individuals who occupy the highest positions in the organization – the Fire Chief – to share their perceptions about the level of formal education required by fire department personnel to be promotable in 2012, and in the 2016.   The question regarding the requirement for academic education for individuals in various public sector positions has been long debated within the various disciplines. The question pertaining to the level of formal education for police officers has been a topic of conjecture for many years. The question is whether training, not education, is what is really necessary to perform certain tasks. In recent years however, primarily due to advances in technology related the field of law enforcement, the need to have a formal education to be successful in performing one’s job has become apparent.  

 

Entrepreneurship, Incubators and Innovation in Thailand

Dr. Hanadi Al-Mubaraki, College of Engineering, Kuwait University, Kuwait

Dr. Michael Busler, Richard Stockton College, NJ

 

ABSTRACT

 Entrepreneurship, incubators and innovation are critical drivers of sustainable smart growth and economic development. With increasing awareness around the world, especially in developing countries such as Thailand, foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The purpose of this research is to identify the ratio of key indicator of five Thailand case studies with classification of key performance. The methodology is based on two approaches, such as literature review on incubators and an examination of five Thailand case studies. Findings, present three key indicators such as 1) funded year, 2) number of client companies, and 3) number of graduate companies, highest and lowest ratio of key performance for all case studies. This paper value added knowledge for both academics and practitioners who are interested in Thailand case studies. The authors concluded that Thailand adaptation leads to 1) support of entrepreneurial climate, 2) fostering the innovation to commercialize the new technologies, and 3) jobs creation. In a quickly varying global economy, small and medium scale enterprises are increasingly a force for enhancing national economic growth and employment. Many government programmes enclose policy instruments addressing SMEs. New structures and strategies are being explored that will assist small enterprises to grow and provide a promising future in the global market. In a number of more competitive economies, business incubation is one of the tools that have helped to create new entrepreneurial skills and new businesses.  Business incubator programs, often called “new entrepreneur creation projects” helps increase new entrepreneurs and supports them to start up business and be better able to survive on a longer-term sustainable basis. The business incubator target group includes small entrepreneurs that want to grow, new graduates and those who would like to develop their talent and ideas and commercialize them.  Internationally stated, business incubation programs are designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services, developed by incubator management. In addition, the business incubators are economic models as accelerator tool for 21st Century. The evident for this are the United States of America, Europe, and other developed countries (Al-Mubaraki and Hamad, 2012).  Innovations play a crucial role in Thailand’s social landscape and they are happening in various sectors across the country. One key ingredient for entrepreneurship is the inculcation of entrepreneurship and innovation within organizations. Entrepreneurship and innovation are two ingredients that will be needed for continued competitiveness. Entrepreneurship has become vital to the triumph of a company and economic growth. There is rising evidence to show significant correlation between entrepreneurship and economic growth. Countries in the world are experiencing a surge of interest in the formation of new businesses especially in the developing world.

 

Anti-Fraud Measures and Financial Market Regulation: An Overview of the Australian Position

Carlo Soliman, BA, LLM, Senior Solicitor, Notary Public and part-time Academic Top Education Institute New South Wales

 

ABSTRACT

 Australia has always had a strong regulatory framework that has allowed the nation to confront economic instability with confidence and certainty. The insidious prevalence of fraud continues to represent a major economic cost to the banking and finance industry in terms of monetary and reputational damage. Its volume and sophistication both locally and globally has transcended the Global Financial Crisis (‘GFC’). A number of statutory amendments have been enacted in recent years to deal with the growing problem of fraudulent activity. This article provides an overview of the various statutory measures now in place to combat fraud at both an individual and institutional level. A central observation is that sufficient regulation exists, however, the priority for success of any anti-fraud measures is to acknowledge that any form of regulation is largely a response to fraudulent activity. Accordingly, financial institutions now need to be more proactive and at the forefront in the implementation of existing regulations, an ideal more easily stated than realised in recent times.Historically, banking activities have come within the regulatory sphere of the Australian Constitution (2) which enshrines the legislative authority of the Australian Commonwealth Government to pass laws with respect to banking. The years that followed the Great Depression in the 1930’s and the post Second World War period witnessed the imposition of a comprehensive regulatory structure on Australian banks. This central government control and the domination of four major banks (3) inevitably resulted in lower exposure to local and global risk.The Royal Commission on Monetary and Banking Systems, entitled Commonwealth of Australia, Report of the Royal Commission Appointed to Inquire into the Monetary and Banking Systems in Australia, Commonwealth Government Printer Canberra (1935), represented the antithesis of a well regulated financial system which would serve seven decades later to shield the Australian Financial System from economic ruin. The resultant Financial Systems Inquiry (FSI) (4) comprised three separate inquiries spanning a 16 year period. The culmination of these inquiries was the third and final report in 1997 entitled Financial System Inquiry Final Report, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1997 commonly referred to as the Wallis Report. Unlike most legislative reforms, it is refreshing to note that the Wallis Report was not the typical reactionary and politically motivated product of any particular market failure of that epoch. Rather, it was conducted at a time of growth and stability. Accordingly, the initiatives implemented by its recommendations improved the Australian banking system through better supervision and regulation. This in turn encouraged the promotion of economic growth, protection of investors, enforcement of ethical standards and accountability across the sector.

 

Information Communication Technology Implementation in Singapore and Its Implications for Economic Growth

Dr. Shahram Amiri and Kate E. MacFarlane, Stetson University, Deland, Florida

 

ABSTRACT

 Information Communication Technology (ICT) is a growth area which has seen large-scale changes in recent decades, and has become ubiquitous in everyday life, business and governance. ICT has the potential to change the ways in which we think and behave, and to be a catalyst for economic growth. Contemporary research has demonstrated correlations, given the right conditions, between increases in ICT proliferation and penetration, and shifts in national GDP. In this research, Singapore has been selected as a useful case study to explore the hypothesis that ICT penetration and proliferation can be a catalyst for economic growth in terms of GDP. It aims to demonstrate the importance of a range of factors, which affect the relative benefits that can be gained or anticipated from increased ICT penetration and proliferation. The report will look at a range of factors which impact ICT growth outcome, including penetration, networked readiness, government involvement, education and human capital development, and technology utilization. These will also be posited as supporting the notion that the ‘productivity paradox’ was perhaps based on a lack of complimentary factors prohibiting ICT from achieving tangible economic benefits.  The Internet, mobile phones and ICT have become pervasive influences on everyday life, business and governance. Technology is rapidly becoming an intrinsic part of our lives and continues to advance and spread globally at an increasing rate, changing the way we think, communicate and do business. However, despite the rapid advancements and the proliferation of ICT, we are yet to fully unpack and realize the impacts and effects it has had on society, both economically and socially (Du Rausas et al 2011).  ICT is a potential catalyst for economic development, and there has been a range of industry, government-driven and academic research examining the consequences of ICT proliferation on economic growth and gross domestic product (GDP). Not surprisingly, recent research has adopted a range of views and utilized varying methodologies to demonstrate the relationship between ICT and economic growth, with the outcomes and conclusions equally diverse. The very ubiquity of ICT creates difficulties in extrapolating the direct and indirect impacts of ICT globally. In this review, Singapore has been selected as a useful case study to demonstrate the importance of a range of factors, which affect the relative benefits that can be gained or anticipated from increased ICT penetration and proliferation.

 

Method of Component-Status-Driven Maintenance for Gentelligent Components

Maximilian Winkens, Jan Busch, and Dr. Peter Nyhuis

Institute of Production Systems and Logistics, Leibniz University of Hanover

 

Abstract

 Status-oriented maintenance makes it possible to fully exploit a component's residual use potential. It also enables failure times to be determined, thus avoiding plant standstills. Knowledge of the residual service life of individual components is therefore an important factor [SCH10]. However, the time and effort currently needed to monitor the status of individual components is still considerable and, indeed, it is not always possible during ongoing plant operation [WES99]. For this reason, Subproject N3 'Component-status-driven maintenance' conducted by Collaborative Research Centre 653 (CRC 653) is pursuing the objective of developing a method by which, by employing a method of continually recorded stress information from gentelligent components, the status of these components can be described in terms of their fatigue levels, which in turn allows their service life to be predicted and an appropriate maintenance measure to be determined [VTH11]. The forecast of a component's residual service life is based on knowledge gained from recording the stress histories of a large number of components. The sensory properties of a gentelligent component enables stress levels to be recorded with a small degree of effort throughout its entire life cycle. The present article describes in detail the procedure for predicting residual service life. Moreover, it presents an outlook regarding the selection of appropriate maintenance measures, based on the calculated residual service life. The selection process uses the method of case-based reasoning.  The methodology of component-status-driven maintenance is the subject of Subproject N3 and is being devised by CRC 653. The objective of CRC 653 is to develop gentelligent components (GI components). The term 'gentelligence' is a compound, formed from the words 'genetics' and 'intelligence', and denotes the capability of components of 'knowing' and 'sensing'. Components are rendered capable of absorbing information from their environment, processing this information, and passing it on as an 'inheritance' to subsequent component generations. Previous research has shown that they admit monitoring of material fatigue with minimal expended effort [VTH12]. Gentelligent components offer new potential for status monitoring [BEH07] [DEN07]. Subproject N3 uses the information recorded relating to stresses experienced by the component to derive suitable maintenance measures. In this respect, a particularly important factor is the predicted residual service life. There are a number of approaches that can be taken in terms of material mechanics, such as linear damage accumulation, for predicting the residual service life of a component.

 

The Relationship between Emotion Management and the Acting Mechanisms used in Performing Emotional Labor: Do Gender and Age make a Difference?

Dr. Zeynep Oktug, Istanbul Kultur University, Istanbul, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

 The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between emotion management skills of employees and the acting mechanisms used in performing emotional labor, i.e. surface acting, deep acting and genuine acting. This study also aimed to offer an insight into the gender differences between the effects of emotion management on emotional labor. Data were obtained using a survey method from a sample of 130 sales assistants working in ready-made clothing sector in Istanbul. Regression analyses were conducted to test the effects of emotion management on surface acting, deep acting and genuine acting and it was revealed that emotion management skills of employees were positively related to deep acting and genuine acting. In terms of gender, according to the results of the study, emotion management skills of women have a negative effect on surface acting, positive effect on deep and genuine acting, while emotion management skills of men have only a positive effect on genuine acting. In terms of age, there are significant effects of emotion management skills of employees who are between ages 18-24 on deep and genuine acting; while in the group of employees aged between 24-29 there are significant effects of emotion management on surface and deep acting. The findings of this study contribute to the work on emotional labor by relating the acting mechanisms to the emotion management skills of employees. Limitations and suggestions for future studies are discussed.  In recent years, researchers began to realize that emotions are important parts of an organizational life and their effects should be investigated in order to reach a better work environment. Emotional intelligence also attracted researchers’ interest and has been seen as being closely related to individuals’ cognitive and affective properties (Guney 2000). Emotional intelligence, in its simplest aspect, can be defined as the mental usage of emotions, and it includes individual awareness, the ability to manage emotions, self-motivation, and developing effective communication skills (Weisinger 1998). In order to manage emotions, individuals should be aware of the emotions that are experienced in a particular situation. Emotional awareness is the degree to which emotions are consciously recognized by the individual and to which he could become aware of his own emotions. (Craig, 2004; Damasio, 1994; Lambie & Marcel, 2002). Emotion management is one of the dimensions of emotional intelligence, and it is considered that employees have to manage their emotions effectively in order to display appropriate emotions in the workplace. Especially in marketing sector, communication with costumers is an important determinant of service quality and customer satisfaction (Leidner, 1999) and emotions are fundamental factors in this communication. Employees have to control the communication process considering the well-being of the costumers. For that purpose, they regulate their emotions, so that they are reflected to customers with appropriate face expressions and body movements. This process was defined by Hochschild (1983) as emotional labor. Emotional Labor is a fundamental part of work life for many employees (Bolton, 2005). Being responsive to emotional labor demands is important for achieving organizational outcomes (Pugh, 2001).

 

Proposed Use of Goal Programming for Selecting Optimal Decision Problem Solution in Higher Education Institution

Dr. Radosław Rynca and Dr. Dorota Kuchta, Professor, Wrocław University of Technology, Poland

 

ABSTRACT

 In order to effectively manage a higher education institution one needs methods and tools supporting the taking of right decisions. Considering that the university operates in changing conditions, it seems that it is vital to take such decisions which on one hand take into account the university constraints and on the other hand, enable the achievement of the various goals set by the university management. Since it may be difficult to realize all the goals (e.g. some goals may be contradictory), the management should take steps in a balanced way to achieve the goals to the highest possible degree. It seems that goal programming (GP) could be helpful in optimizing the decision problem solution under the existing conditions. This paper proposes to use goal programming in higher education institution management. It is shown that GP can be a helpful tool in the university management process, especially in cases of decision conflict. Goal programming (GP) is a method of solving specific decision problems in an optimal way. GP is used in situations when the decision-maker aims at a solution which will meet all his/her expectations concerning the goals involved (Trzaskalik, 2008).The literature on the subject abounds in examples of the use of goal programming in management. There are well-known works by (Tamiz,  Jones, El-Darzi, 1995), (Ghandforoush, 1993) and (Oliveira, Volpi, Sanquetta, 2003). There are also cases of goal programming use in higher education institutions, e.g. see papers by (H. Min,1998), (Wise and Perushek, 1996).  The model used in GP is based on the assumption that the decisions taken by the decision-maker may concern different problems and may require the realization of various, often mutually conflict goals. Since not all the set goals are realizable, it becomes necessary to minimize any unfavourable deviations from the previously made assumptions (Romero, 2004). The mathematical model consists of a function of the objective to be achieved by the decision-maker, and constraints (Trzaskalik, 2008).  The management of a university involves undertaking various tasks. In order to improve the way the university functions it often becomes necessary to adopt several streamlining measures. By implementing such measures one can increase the university entities’ (the students’, the employees’, the management’s) satisfaction with the university or improve its ratings. The university management may often be faced with a dilemma between carrying out the priority tasks under the financial constraints and ensuring satisfaction through some streamlining actions. University management requires maintaining satisfaction at a proper level, which necessitates expenditures on broadly understood improvements. If the university wants to implement streamlining measures it must have adequate funds.

 

Some Factors Affecting Income in USA, China, and Turkey

Zubeyir Coban and Fatima Zehra Allahverdi, State University of New York at Albany

 

ABSTRACT

 Is income affected by sex, household composition, marital status, and age? In this paper, this question will be addressed for each of the following countries: United States, China, and Turkey. US will be considered as the reference point; China is chosen because of its stark contrast with the US, and finally Turkey is chosen because it is situated such that it is a mixture of Western and Middle Eastern influences. There has not been much research conducted on gender gap within Turkey thus this paper will be one of the first. As for China, there has been research conducted, however, with the 2009 data that will be used for this paper, we will try to determine if China has become more westernized (capitalistic) after communism. This paper will also help determine if women earn lower income compared to men; this will help buttress previous findings. Results indicated that Turkey and China did not have any significant factors meaning that income was not influenced by sex, household composition, marital status, or age. The United States on the other hand portrayed significance for the age group (15-24), and married males were also found to earn more compared to all other categories.Gender income gap which is a “permanent feature” of all time and all countries (Aláez-Aller, et al. 2011) has been a topic that has been researched and discussed thoroughly; it is a topic that has intrigued labor economists (Bashaw & Heywood, 2001) and has caused puzzlement (O’Neil, 2003). Much contribution has been made to this area.  Researchers have made reference to data to indicate the hours a women works is less than that of a man (Herasymenko, 2009; Suh, 2009; O’Neil, 2003) and that many married women have a lot of domestic responsibilities (Herasymenko, 2009; O’Neil, 2003); in fact being married decreases the probability that a women will work by a factor of .69 (McNamara & Williamson, 2004); they state these two reasons to indicate that these lead to less of an experience which leads to lower pay (O’Neil, 2003). Others questioned whether women are paid less because of discrimination (Solberg, 2004; Weinberger, 1999). Gender gap has, however, decreased “by 6.4 percent as women narrowed the gap in hours worked from about 2.5 hours in 1989 to 2.2 hours in 2005”; (Suh, 2009, p.4). O’Neil (2003)’s research indicated that in 2001, 19% of women worked part time compared to 5% of men; this indicates how women work less hours per week compared to men (Nopo et.al, 2012; Quester & Olson, 1978). Nopo et.al (2012) established that when part-time was defined as 20 hours or less per week, women were more prevalent in this group compared to men (Bardasi & Gornick, J. 2008; Nopo et.al, 2012). McGrattan & Rogerson (2004) found that hours worked by females increased from 1990 to 2000.

 

Interchange Fee Regulation – Step Forward Without Clear Outcome

Dr. Vlado Leko, Professor, Dr. Alen Stojanovic, Professor, and Zeljko Menalo

Faculty of Economics & Business Zagreb, University of Zagreb, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 All over the world, the card payment system constitutes an important part of the overall retail payment system. Although since its beginnings it has developed without regulatory price limitations, it seems that an increasing number of countries are now considering whether there is a need and justification for limiting at least some of them. Indeed, Australia, the US and the European Union have already started the process by imposing an interchange fee cap in the four-party card payment systems. Unfortunately, so far participants in the card payment system, regulatory institutions and part of academia have not reached a consensus about the need for, effectiveness and sustainability of these measures. This paper attempts to point to the complexity of two-sided markets, pricing mechanisms, as well as the distribution of costs in the card payment system in order to contribute to the creation of a widely-acceptable and sustainable card payment system regulatory model. Almost throughout the period of their development, card payment systems were free of regulatory price limitations. However, for the last few years some regulators have been considering or have already capped  the prices of certain services in the card payment system. This is especially reflected in the attitudes and decisions of the central banks of Australia and the US, as well as the European Commission, on the rate and method of determining the so-called interchange fee in VISA and MasterCard card payment schemes.  The advocates of imposing regulatory limits on the interchage fee justify their views on the grounds that the market position of Visa and MasterCard card payment schemes primarily, and indirectly the banks participating in the system, is dominant and hence disadvantageous to consumers. On the other hand, the opponents of interchange fee cap regulations point out the fact that the card payment system has the characteristics of the two-sided market economy, which should be taken into account when evaluating potential anti-competitive behavior of card payment schemes and banks.  This paper looks at relevant reasons and arguments in favor of and against price regulation in card payment systems, primarily as it concerns the interchange fee. For that purpose, a theoretical framework and selected modern practices of price cap regulation in the card payment systems are provided below. In addition, the paper attempts to at least identify the potential effects of interchange fee regulations on the participants in the card payment system as the findings on the real effects of the changes implemented so far are very scarce.

 

True Entreprenuership and Economic Development of Nigeria

Dr. Saasongu Ezekiel Nongo and Azende Terungwa, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria

 

ABSTRACT

 This study critically evaluates what true entrepreneurship is all about as it relates to economic development of Nigeria using eighty eight (88) entrepreneurs in Benue State of Nigeria. Of this number, 44 are those still in business and 44 are those who were once in business but folded up. Questionnaires and interviews were used in collecting data for this work. Mean scores, standard deviation and Correlation Coefficient (r) was used to present and analyze the collected data. The result shows that unfavourable infrastructural economic base in Nigeria is tantamount to the smooth entrepreneurial development. It was however revealed that some entrepreneurs still in business and doing well were also operating under this same economic condition but with a different mindset or disposition to the envisaged problems. The major recommendation was that; Determination, confidence, adaptability which are the cardinal points of true entrepreneurship should be the watch ward of entrepreneurs in other to surmount evident challenges which will translate to business growth and sustainable economic development of Nigeria.Every human being is creatively and skilfully endowed by nature. Aside this innate endowment, nature has all what is needed to make life comfortable. The only important thing is for human beings to identify their unique skills, develop it and then exert influence on that relevant thing nature has provided and hence bring solutions to the ever increasing needs of humanity. Life is more meaningful when evolving problems are solved. Those who provide these solutions live more fulfilled lives economically socially and otherwise. An economy is made up of human beings. It is truism therefore that a society full of people who develop their skills positively to solve human problems will undoubtedly be economically and socially stable or prosperous.Two career options are open to all human beings in their quest for earning a living, practicing their skills, generating wealth and improving their standard of living and that of other people; this could be to either own a business or paid employment. Business is the buying and selling of products and services to earn profit. People who work in these businesses are called employees. On the other hand those who own the business are called entrepreneurs. More wealth is created when a skilful person owns his business as compared to paid employment. It is wealth creation that contributes to GDP of any economy hence economic development.

 

Analysing the Influence of Consequential and Organisational Downtimes in Capacity Planning - A method to Availability Optimization in the Regeneration of Capital Goods

Jan Busch, Steffen C. Eickemeyer, Dennis Goßmann, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Nyhuis

Institute of Production Systems and Logistics, Leibniz University of Hanover

 

Abstract

 The regeneration of complex investment goods, such as propulsion units and wind power plants, places the highest requirements on undertakings. Due to the comparably high procurement costs and complexity of the goods, it is essential for the customer that orders are processed on time and efficiently. In order to fulfil these requirements, the undertakings involved in the regeneration work are required to organise the logistical processes in an optimum manner. Working against this, however, are the numerous difficulties that occur during the regeneration of complex investment goods that primarily result from insufficient information regarding the nature and extent of the damage to these goods. This makes the short and medium-term planning for an optimum deployment of resources and capacities difficult enough. Furthermore, it is additionally complicated by plant downtimes. For this reason, the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 871 has developed a methodology to obtain optimum plant availability and reliable capacity planning for regeneration processes. Optimum plant availability and efficient capacity planning ensure that schedules are adhered to and thus result in good customer bonding. This paper concentrates on the influence of organisational downtimes and consequential downtimes in the context of the availability of regeneration plant. The interplays between factors that influence these downtimes are set in relationship to each other using an influence matrix and an influence structure. Furthermore, the influence of plant availability is examined from the viewpoint of organisational downtimes and consequential downtimes on capacity requirements in regeneration processes. The costs of the necessary adjustments to capacities are minimised by a mathematical optimisation model. SFB 871 develops the scientific fundamentals for the regeneration of complex investment goods in a number of sub-projects. In SFB 871, the term regeneration is understood to the restoration or improvement of the state of complex investment goods. The term maintenance is used for the restoration and improvement of the systems which carry out the regeneration. Complexity is attributable to the variety of existing product components, the interplays between these and the dynamics in the passage of time during the regeneration process [Gossmann, 2011]. The processes summarised under the term regeneration place the highest requirements on the planning, control and availability of resources. One of the sub-goals of SFB 871 is therefore to determine the knock-on effects that plant availability has on logistics capabilities. In this context, focus is placed upon the sub-process of repair work in the course of a regeneration process. In production scheduling, unrealistic assumptions about plants which are always available are often made [Kuo, 2007].

 

Measuring the Effects of Commercial Innovations on Total Factor Productivity via Johansen Co- integration Test: Turkey Sample

Dr. Ahmet Ay, Dr. Haldun Soydal, and Fatma Nur Yorgancılar, Selcuk University, Konya

 

ABSTRACT

 The increases in total factor productivity (TFP) is generally related to the technological innovations measured by R & D expenses. As a result of studies, he evidences reached are in quality of supporting this relationship. At the same time, it was also introduced by some studies that the major share of increase in productivity and growth consisted of commercial innovations excluding R & D. The effect of commercial innovations possessing a character that reduces transaction costs, and uses welfare gains coming from further international division on total factor productivity forms the subject of this study. In this study including an econometric analysis, commercial innovations is defined as difference between trade growth (volume of total import and export) and real GDP and its effect on labor efficiency, the most important component of total factor productivity from the point of Turkey, is taken as a base. In this context, the effect of commercial innovations on labor force productivity of Turkey through trade volume and economic growth and long termed relationships between the variables used in the study were examined by Johansen Co-Integration Test. As a result of analysis carried out with the data of 2005.Q1-2011Q3, the findings were reached that both GDP increase and variable of commercial innovation affected the innovation in positive direction. Productivity is a proportional relationship between the factors used in production and total output. In other words, productivity is the rate of output to total factor inputs used to form that output. In modern growth theory, the increase in productivity is measured with increase in total factor productivity (TFP). In this approach, as the components of total productivity, labor productivity, capital productivity, and technological innovation is used. Analyzing this complex phenomenon defined as total factor productivity by including in all variables directly and realistically is rather difficult. Therefore, in this study, labor productivity forming the most important component of total factor productivity is taken as a base. On this point, in its expression in the literature, instead of total factor productivity, partial factor productivity is used. Total factor productivity, in the most general definition of it, is calculated by dividing the total output obtained by the sum of inputs. However, there are some difficulties faced during measuring TFP. That is, there are a number of variables, which influence the productivity, that will be able to be included in total factor productivity. Including all these variables in the analysis is rather difficult. Therefore, in the studies taking place in the literature, in general, the measurement of partial productivity is conducted. Common view is in the direction that the fundamental variables contributing to total factor productivity are innovations and technological changes.

 

Determinants of Capital Structure: Evidence from the Baltic Countries

Irina Berzkalne, University of Latvia, Latvia

 

ABSTRACT

 This article investigates the firm-specific determinants of firms listed on the Baltic Stock Exchange. The data set consists of 75 companies over the period from 2004 to 2011. The study analyses the firm-specific determinants of leverage like size, asset tangibility, growth opportunities, and liquidity using correlation and multiple regression analyses. The explanatory power of models varies from 14.9% (short-term debt of all Baltic countries) to 57.2% (short-term debt of Estonia). Empirical results reveal that profitability and liquidity have an inverse relationship with leverage, whereas tangibility has direct relationship for firms listed on the Baltic Stock Exchange. There are also mixed results regarding size, however, growth is not a statistically significant determinant of leverage.Capital structure is of particular importance in estimating the company value; an accurately estimated and selected equity and debt ratio can minimize the cost of capital and maximize the company value, and, consequently, the shareholder value. The starting point for the subject of capital structure is the irrelevance proposition of Modigliani and Miller (1958, 1963). Since then two capital structure theories prevail – the trade-off theory and the pecking order theory. Pecking order theory states that companies prioritize their sources of financing – at first they prefer to use internal funds, then to borrow, and to issue equity as a last resort (Myers and Majluf, 1984). Trade-off theory argues that companies choose the debt and equity mix by balancing the benefits and costs of debt. If a company increases its leverage, the tax benefits of debt increase, as well. At the same time, the costs of debt also rise (Kraus and Litzenberger, 1973).The aim of the research is to evaluate the impact of firm-specific determinants on corporate leverage and, based on the empirical results, to make conclusions. The tasks of the research are as follows: 1) To overview the results of previous research made on the firm-specific determinants on leverage; 2) to evaluate the relationship between capital structure and firm-specific determinants using correlation and multiple regression analyses; 3) to make conclusions. The hypothesis of the study: firm-specific determinants have an effect on capital structure.

 

The Impact of Neoconservatism on the Charitable Sector: Nonprofit to nonPROFIT?

Gail McKenzie, Fifth-on-Fifth Youth Services, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Mary Runte, Dr. John Usher, and Dr. Robert Runte, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

 

ABSTRACT

 The impact of neoconservatism on the non-profit sector in the United States is examined based on interviews with nonprofit managers. These managers reported feeling pressured to make their agencies more 'businesslike'. Nonprofit organizations partnered with business partly to replace declining government funding, but also to increase their perceived legitimacy as well managed, accountable, and businesslike organizations. The importation of business sector logic into the nonprofit sector frustrated employees, however, and the emphasis on quantitative measures may detract from measures of quality, as assigning market value to client service is often a challenge. The appropriateness of the importation of business sector logic into the nonprofit sector is questioned.Nonprofit organizations (NPOs), like for-profit organizations, are affected by their environment. The actions of other NPOs, businesses and governments impact that environment. The government’s impact on NPOs is primarily through resource distribution and/or laws and regulations. NPOs that depend on government grants for a significant portion of their funding will adapt their actions to ensure continued funding (Luksetich, 2008). Each administration comes with an ideology that may shape changes in the laws, regulations and budgets that impact NPOs. Under an administration that subscribed predominantly to neoconservatism, NPOs would likely receive less financial support from government (Kristol, 1983). Nathan, et al (1982) noticed a reduction in resource allocation for NPOs during the Reagan administration. This trend has continued and resulted in a changed environment for NPOs, both in terms of acquiring resources and establishing their role within the community.  Simultaneous to the government's reduction in resource allocation, the public began to value efficiency and ‘being businesslike’ as organizational traits (Milne, Iyer, & Gooding-Williams, 1996). These developments meant that nonprofit sector managers faced two difficulties: they found it more difficult to secure new resources, and were increasingly asked to make their operations transparently accountable to justify even their existing allocations.

 

Factors Affecting Egyptian Consumers' Intentions for Accepting Online Shopping

Dr. Osama El Ansary, Cairo University, Egypt

Dr. Ahmed Samir Roushdy, Sadat Academy for Management Sciences, Egypt

 

ABSTRACT

 The objective of this research is to highlight and explore factors affecting consumers' intentions for accepting online shopping. It is important to find out variables that impede Egyptian consumers' intentions for accepting online purchase. The research approached a convenient sample out of the internet consumers' population. An online survey was administered to collect data. The initial interviews with Egyptian online vendors and literature review showed that the important independent factors that affect Egyptian consumers' intentions for accepting internet shopping, as dependent variable, were: (1)the trust in website, (2)e-service quality, (3)consumers attitude toward online shopping  and the consumers demographic characteristics as moderating variables. The research findings pointed out that all the demographic characteristics had significant impact on the consumers' intentions for online shopping, Men were more oriented for accepting online shopping compared to women, consumers aged between 36 to 45 years old were having the highest intentions to accept online shopping, Consumers experience with the internet was a very significant factor and was positively correlated with the intentions for accepting online shopping, graduates were having more intentions for online shopping compared with MBA/MSC and PhD holders, and Trust, e- service quality and Consumers attitude toward online shopping were positively and significantly correlated to consumers' intentions. There are many challenges that must be overcome, if online shopping is to reach its full potential. Bosworth (2006) stated, “consumers increased wariness is costing online business billions of dollars in lost revenue” and noted that online business lose $3.8 billion in revenue annually, due to a lack of confidence on the part of consumers in current security measures provided for e-commerce. In electronic commerce environment, business to customer electronic commerce had developed rapidly for recent years (Alden et al., 2006; Holt et al., 2004), and advances with the internet and e-commerce have further diminished trade boundaries. E-commerce and e-shopping create opportunities for businesses to reach consumers globally and directly – indeed they are transforming retailing. In turn, business and social science research increasingly focuses on cross-national and cross-cultural internet marketing (Griffith et al., 2006). 

 

Innovation Contingencies Affected by Competitive Tension

Dr. Ertan Gunduz, Istanbul University, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

 The tension created by competition has long been of interest to innovation researchers. A notable contribution to this topic stems from the behavioral theory of the firm (Greve, 2003). Scholars have noted that in firms, while high performance reduces R&D intensity and innovation launches, contingency variables such as growth stage, performance below the aspiration level, and ambidexterity increase innovation decisions. On the other hand, because the firm “has a stick of market share with which to discipline the other firm” (Karnani and Wernerfelt, 1985), competitive tension in firm dyads has an inevitable attack and mostly withdrawal effect (Hambrick and Fredrickson, 2005). Although improving our understanding of the rivalry, or interactive market behavior, between firms in their quest for competitive position in an industry, these studies have focused on the structural properties of an industry (e.g., market share or innovation typology) and ignored specific effects of competitive tension between firms. As a result, limited attention has been paid to the nuance of interfirm rivalry in strategic innovation. To address this gap, I turn to strategic innovation research, which has studied interfirm rivalry as creative market actions exchanged between industry members (Tsai, Su, and Chen, 2011; Greve, 2003). While competitive dynamics research has been limited to perceptional settings specifically, the organizational drivers underlying a firm’s competitive behavior (awareness-motivation-capability framework), several ideas developed by this research stream can help analyze strategic innovation (Chen, Su, and Tsai, 2007).  The current study looks into the competitive relationships between firms via strategic innovation, investigating if the reverse is possible. By bringing together oligopolistic reaction theory in business innovation literature and competitive dynamics research in strategy literature, my approach aims to inject dyadic analysis of firm competition into studies on strategic innovation and advance our knowledge about competitive tension. This research advances the construct of competitive tension, or the extent to which a focal firm’s prioritization assessment about a given rival affects its strategic innovation. This study proposes that the way a firm is embedded within market engagement relationships shapes the firm’s strategic innovation decisions and implementation. I test propositions using data collected from the Turkish airline industry, and highlight the significance of competitive tension by showing its impact on a focal firm’s market share gain relative to a rival. The findings contribute to competitive dynamics research and suggest a new approach to competitor analysis based on perceptions about rival.

 

Incubator: Innovation and Technological Transfer

Dr. Hanadi Mubarak Al-Mubaraki, College of Engineering, Kuwait University, Kuwait

John Sharp, Organisational Learning Centre, Brunel University, UK

Dr. Michael Busler, Richard Stockton College, Galloway, NJ

 

ABSTRACT

 Different models of technology incubators include innovation centres and Science or Technology Parks. An incubator is an integrated function of a Science Park or innovation/technology centre utilized as a powerful tool for economic development and technology transfer, which is the moving of technology from one country or enterprise to another. After transfer, a technology can be assimilated whereby a recipient absorbs the new technology and achieves a target by utilizing it in the same way that the innovated technology was originally used. The concept of innovation is the force behind the evolution of the network economy, where value is derived from production and diffusion of knowledge and information. Incubators associated with large academic and research organizations help to identify potential technologies for commercialization. The aim of this research is to (a) identify the advantages and disadvantages of technology incubators, (b) examine the experience and development of one of the first technology incubators in the United States – the Advanced Technology Development Centre (ATDC), and (c) investigate the services offered. The ATDC case study is based on three key indicators: (1) management and policies, (2) incubation process, and (3) performance outcome. Additional data collection included professional interviews with key personnel in ATDC and intensive literature review, leading to guideline specifications and recommendations.  The paper concludes that innovation and technology transfer as an objective of technology incubation is a long-term investment to self-sustain technology and smart growth to commercialize technology and create employment, leading to sustainable economic growth.In the United States, technology incubators are often associated with universities. This association enhances technology transfer due to the research and technical facilities available. Universities that establish technology incubators are a way to commercialize faculty research. Technology business incubators focusing on companies with more advanced (and often untried) technologies can be commercialized into marketable products and services. These emerging firms may have need of research facilities and equipment as well as specialised expertise in management, licensing, marketing, and venture financing.Technology incubators have four main objectives: (1) economic development, (2) technology commercialization, (3) property venture/real estate development, and (4) entrepreneurship.  Job creation is a main underlying purpose of incubator support for new business formation, especially of technology-based firms. Incubators can also play an important role in strengthening co-operation between public and private sectors in regional economic development. Their outreach role is fostering entrepreneurship and training in the local community. Moreover, incubators have a symbolic role in that they allow governments to demonstrate their efforts to address problems of regional development and unemployment (Al-Mubaraki, 2008).

 

An Analysis of Students’ Business English Collocation Performance, Awareness and Attitude through Blended Instruction

Dr. Bi-fen Chang, Kun Shan University, Tainan, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 This study aims to investigate the students’ collocation performance, awareness and responses to the instructional design through blended instruction at a university in southern Taiwan.  Ninety-five undergraduate freshmen in the department of international trade participated this study for 16 weeks.  The control group (CG) received traditional business English collocation instruction (traditional BECI); while the experimental group (the EG) received blended business English collocation instruction (blended BECI).  The major findings of the study are summarized as follows.  First, there is a significant difference in the performance between the CG and the EG after the study.  Second, there is no significant difference between the CG’s s and the EG’s awareness of business English collocation after the study.  Third, the EG had different responses to the instructional design of the E-collocation Platform.  Fourth, there is a positive correlation among the EG subjects’ awareness of Business English collocation, responses to the instructional design and business English collocation performance in the BECI.  Finally, business English collocation awareness was a decisive factor influencing the EG subjects’ business English collocation performance. Business English is a branch of ESP as it “requires the careful research and design of pedagogical materials and activities for an identifiable group of adult learners within a specific learning context” (John & Dudley-Evans, 1991).  Nowadays, Business English compromises two major focuses proposed by Hutchinson &Waters (1987) who considered skills and strategies of learning are essentail to a successful business English learning result, and by Pickett (1986b) who regarded the key lexis plays an essential role in the teaching process.  The effectiveness of BE course will be reduced if students did not have certain levels of lexis.  Frendo(2005) and Popescu(2010) maintained that a good knowledge of collocational patterns is relevant to BE learning. Collocation makes learners think more quickly and communicate more efficiently since those “ready-made chunks enables learners to process and produce at a faster rate” (Hill, 2000, p.55).  Hill (2000) also claimed that collocation makes thinking easy since collocation can allow the learners to name complex ideas quickly.  

 

Methods and Frameworks to Control and Measure ERP Program Management Risks and Indicators

Prem Kumar Kanthan and Sharath Kalvakota, Kalven Technologies, Schuamburg, IL

Dr. Mahesh Shankarmahesh, University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO

 

ABSTRACT

 This study comprises methods and frameworks to control and measure enterprise resource planning (ERP) program management risks and indicators. Program integrity factor is calculated or otherwise determined by the individual ERP process area integrity factors. In other words, the paper investigates the certainty of the ERP process areas as a measure of ERP process area task failure rates. Also, discussed is the significance of the program assessment and the program management frameworks in mitigating risks in program management is discussed. This article also suggests the applications, limitations and future directions for the described methods and frameworks.The present paper relates to the ERP program management which generally consists of ERP program management cycle processes such as design, development, customization, organizational change management, go-live, hyper-care and support. This study also relates to the need for an integrated risk management tool for an ERP program implementation (Parera et al.).  This paper also proves the significance and effectiveness of enhanced risk management mathematical models to mitigate and resolve program management risks encountered during an implementation. ERP programs can consist of several ERP process areas such as plan, source, make, deliver and finance. An ERP program can be a conversion of all the existing business process areas in the current business model into an ERP IT System such as system applications and products data processing (SAP) or other existing systems in the market place. In the study, we have also discovered how to bridge the gap between the studies done in the program and the actual practical reality of the programs (Hu et al.).It is well known that financial estimation of an ERP Program is cumbersome and inaccurate mainly due to the complexity, size and global nature of the implementation. At the same time there is a definite need for an effective ERP implementation management methodology (Xiaomin et al.). Many of the ERP program managers who carry out the implementation attempt financial estimations and fail to meet the program’s budget, timeline and scope mainly because their estimation model is very static, uncontrolled and filled with hidden risks that change the course of their plan and objectives. Due to the complexity and size of the program, risk management models need to be more adaptable to actual situations that exist during the program’s implementation. So, there is a significant need for methods and controls that are much more dynamic in nature. Hidden risks that lead to ERP program failures have also been addressed here.The methods discussed in this paper are based on the principle that the integrity of a program deteriorates with time exponentially for all the ERP process areas in the program. Based on this principle a method has been devised to effectively determine the program integrity indicators (PAI) through individual ERP process area integrity indicators.

 

Revenue Recognition Under Convergence: Strategic Implications for Time Value of Money in Reported Income

Dr. Richard W. Schrader and Dr. Julie F. Toner, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

 

ABSTRACT

 As accounting firms and corporate accountants prepare for the converged [concurrent International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)] standard on Revenue Recognition, much attention has been paid to potential changes in the recording and reporting of sales transactions.  Little research, however, has been done to address the strategic challenges these changes present to corporate leaders. Specifically, changes to Revenue Recognition procedures require managers to look at the timing of sales with consideration to effects on annual financial reports, payments related to revenues, and expenses.   Training personnel in the accounting, sales, and human resource departments on the new rules of Revenue Recognition is crucial to the success of strategic implementation.  Additional monitoring costs may be incurred as a means of dealing with disincentives to accept advance deposits under the converged standard.  Finally, the authors propose a model to be implemented by top management to ensure that employees follow the converged standard correctly.The revised Exposure Draft of the proposed amendments to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification® concerning Revenue from Contracts with Customers presents several new challenges for senior management as well as for accounting, human resource, and marketing professionals. Proposed changes to Revenue Recognition (Topic 605) require, in certain circumstances, accounting for (1) opportunity costs through (2) interest rates and (3) time value of money. These three issues in turn may affect the compensation (a human resource issue) of commissioned salespeople, particularly if existing contracts require compensation based on gross revenue, and may also affect profit-sharing agreements with many compensated stakeholders. Additional issues relate to the compensation of incentive-compensated management, ensuring that managers do not implement policies that are to the detriment of long-term firm performance but are of short-term personal benefit to the managers.  Extreme care and precision must be taken to communicate the impact of the proposed amendments throughout the firm, and if necessary to revise contractual arrangements and reward systems.    Even before the proposed amendments came to light, Revenue Recognition has long been misunderstood and misstated.  In fact, improper revenue recognition is the main cause of financial restatements (Turner et al., 2001).  Butaney, Gupta and Hoshower (2006) suggest four motivators for misreporting of sales: (1) to attract/gain resources from external parties; (2) for individual employee’s personal welfare goals; (3) to achieve marketing strategies, decisions, and goals; and (4) lack of knowledge of the GAAP guidelines and rules. The first three motivators pertain to ethical issues and are beyond the scope of the present manuscript. 

 

CPA Re-engagement and Audit Quality

Dr. Yue-Duan Guan, Ming Chuan University, Taiwan

Yu-Jung Yang, KPMG, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 This study aims to examine the relationship between re-engagement of rotated audit partners and audit quality. Discretionary accruals are used as a proxy for audit quality. Previous studies contend client discretionary accruals are related to auditor selection, and thus this study uses the two-stage procedure proposed by Heckman (1979) to control potential bias induced by self-selection. Based on a sample in the year of 2004, when mandatory auditor rotation became fully effective in Taiwan, the empirical results find that about 69% (58%) of the sample firms rehire the audit partners being rotated within a subsequent four (two) years. Our findings further show that re-engaged audit partners constrain client’s accruals choices more effectively than non-re-engaged audit partners as traditional single-stage OLS regression is adopted. After controlling for auditor self-selection bias, however, our study fails to find that re-engaged audit partners (having longer association with clients) coming back early or late lead to better audit quality than non-re-engaged audit partners (having shorter association with clients). Auditor independence has been questioned by the public due to a recent series of accounting scandals. As a result, mandatory rotation of audit partners has been implemented in many jurisdictions around the world to deal with concerns about auditor independence. For instance, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002(SOX) requires a five-year rotation for the lead and reviewing partners in the United States. Inspired by SOX, two principal stock exchanges in Taiwan, the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation (TWSE) and GreTai Securities Market (GTSM), also adopted a set of rules in 2003, which became fully effective in 2004, that in effect require mandatory audit partner rotation. Specifically, these rules states that if the lead or reviewing partner has performed audit services for a listed company for five consecutive years, then that company’s financial statements are subject to the stock exchange’s substantive review procedure. Unlike in the United States, where audit partners being rotated can provide audit service for the same client again only after a five-year cooling-off period, there is no cooling-off period restriction for audit partners being rotated in Taiwan. This loophole provides us a natural opportunity to compare the audit quality of re-engaged audit partners who have longer association with the same client with that of non-re-engaged audit partners who have shorter association with the same client after the post-mandatory rotation period. There are different views about the impact of re-engagement of audit partners being rotated within the subsequent four years on audit quality. Some argue that over the years the rotated audit partners have developed an in-depth knowledge of the ex-clients’ business operations, processes, and systems, which is crucial in performing an effective audit. Others assert that a new audit partner would bring to bear greater skepticism and a fresh perspective that may be lacking in long-standing auditor-client relationships, which in turn enhances auditor independence and audit quality. However, the net effect between the familiarity with ex-client specific knowledge and the possible threats to auditor independence on re-engagement of audit partners being rotated is still unclear. 

 

Consumer Behavior in Virtual Reality StoreConceptual Foundations, Research Issues and Challenges

Satidchoke Phosaard, Dr. Pimmanee Rattanawicha, and Dr. Wachara Chantatub

Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

 

Abstract

 VR-commerce or virtual reality commerce is a promising technology and becoming more popular but there is lack of research on relationships between principal functional and non-functional factors toward consumer adoption, and study regarding marketing activities and consumer behaviors.  VR store setting is where traditional e-commerce and traditional offline commerce are converged in a virtual reality setting.  The study suggested that technical issues, preferred interface features, theoretical framework of consumers’ behaviors in VR store, and the effectiveness of physical retailed store application in VR store, are among major research areas opened for investigation.  The theoretical frameworks of consumers’ behaviors in e-commerce and VR-commerce are majority based on a modified version of the Theory of Acceptance Model (TAM), Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), or Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB).  A widely-used theoretical framework which can integrate traditional marketing and electronic marketing is the Stimulus-Organic-Response (SOR) model.  It is expected that this study will provide an overview of the area extensively and exhaustively enough in concepts and essential methodologies to encourage further study from researchers in the related fields where major theoretical pieces to fill in the literature gap in VR-commerce, as well as, practical guidelines for practitioners in VR store are needed.The marketing convergence, where information technology, marketing and design orchestrated, in today’s e-commerce competitive environment requires rich-media platform ADDIN EN.CITE  In traditional e-commerce, World-Wide-Web (WWW) is the prominent standard of the Internet applications.  The standard is based on the Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) that typically combines texts, images, and other media, and presents them to users.  Virtual reality commerce or VR-commerce, which sometimes called v-commerce driven by the Virtual Reality (VR) technology, is one of the promising interfaces emerging as an alternative for e-commerce by offering a highly interactive and rich-media environment.  VR is a human-computer interaction technology that lets the users interact with the computer simulated environment.  The generated environment can be an environment of either a real world or an imaginary world.  This VR technology has been introduced into and studied in many application areas, such as entertainment and games; medical and education  or e-commerce  Such highly interactive interface contains several distinct characteristics from general HTML web interface.  It has been proven that it can offer superior experiences for certain task. 

 

 Impact of Customers’ Trust in E-Payment Channels on Their Purchase Intentions: A Case Study on STC

Dr. Mahmoud Abdel Hamid Saleh, King Saud University (KSU), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

 

ABSTRACT

 This study is aimed at exploring the impact of customers’ trust in electronic payment channels offered by the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) on their purchase intentions of the services the company provides. Furthermore, the study measured the impact of demographics (gender, age and nationality) on both customers’ trust in the company’s e-payment channels and their purchase intentions of its services. Findings of the study revealed a positive association of customers’ trust in e-payment channels with their purchase intentions of the services the company provides. The study also concluded significant differences in customers’ trust in STC’s e-payment channels, based on gender and age, and non-significant differences based on nationality. Additionally, there were significant differences in consumers’ purchase intentions of the company services based on gender and age, and non-significant differences based on nationality. Accordingly, the study recommended that the company develop its e-payment system in order to meet the needs and desires of its customers, as security and privacy are important factors that customers consider when using e-payment channels at the time of purchase. The study also recommended that the company consider the impact of demographics on customers’ trust in e-payment channels and their purchase intentions when planning for marketing strategies.Electronic commerce has become an important growing channel in marketing exchange processes. It facilitates the customer’s ability to get the products at any time and in any place, increases the company's revenues, and reduces the costs of providing products and getting them, thus increasing the level of customer satisfaction. In light of the massive developments in communications, information technology and e-commerce transactions, electronic payment has become an important issue that raises concerns to customers who would like to buy online. Several studies have addressed this issue, particularly in terms of customers’ trust when using electronic payment channels offered by the companies for products they provide. Few others addressed the impact of trust on the intentions of customers’ purchase. The overall trend has been that the customers’ trust in electronic payment channels is an important factor in the continuity of future customers’ purchase intentions for goods and services in all e-commerce transactions.Telecommunication companies are service companies that heavily use electronic payment channels at the global level, including STC in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the researcher has conducted this study basically to measure the trust of customers in STC’s channels of electronic payment, and to explore its impact on their purchase intentions of the provided services. This is especially important in light of a business environment characterized by a high degree of competitiveness with two other local companies which provide telecommunication services in the Saudi market. Those companies are Zain and Mobily. All three companies provide some form of e-payment for telecommunication services.Electronic payment (e-payment) is defined as "the transfer of an electronic value of payment from a payer to a payee through an e-payment mechanism" (Kim et al., 2010).  It is also described as a means of settling financial transactions electronically, using information and communications technologies in implementing purchase transactions (Raja & Velmurgan, 2008).

 

A Structural Equation Model Development of Social Customer Relationship Management, and Business Strategies Effecting to Banking Performance Effectiveness

Jedsada Wongsansukcharoen, Dr. Jirasek Trimetsoontorn and Dr. Wanno Fongsuwan

King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

 The purpose of this paper is to develop Structural Equation Modeling of variables which effect to Banking performance effectiveness of Thai Commercial Banks in the financial service sector by gathering quantitative data. This research defined Thai Commercial Banks for data collection for sampling as Stratified sampling. Primary data were collected using a self-administered survey from manager 65 persons and marketing officers 185 persons. In the total sample 69 persons (27.6 percent) of respondents were male and 181 persons (72.4 percent) were female in Thai Commercial Banks branch. The responses to the questions capturing focal constructs were using a seven-point Likert scale. Data were analyzed using Confirmed Factor Analysis (CFA) and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). It was found that significant relationships existed between Social CRM as exogenous latent variables. Social CRM construct comprises two manifest variables (Social media and Customer relationship management) and business strategies construct comprises two manifest variables (Differentiation strategy and Focus strategy) with banking performance effectiveness as endogenous latent variable. The findings indicate that from the perspective of managers and marketing officers, the key success factor of Social CRM is found having indirect influence to Banking performance effectiveness through mediation of business strategies.There is a prediction in the banking industry for 2015 that the traditional value and culture of a typical banking industry will not be enough to drive the growth and maintain the customers. Banks need to revisit their strategic planning in order to survive. Every bank must be competent and focus on their core strengths being able to service and offer innovations with participations from their customers (Hedley et al., 2006).The development of ASEAN Economic community (AEC) in 2015 is an important step in the process of ASEAN integration. As financial integration is part of this process, it is essential to reap benefits by creating a mutually reinforcing “virtuous circle” of financial integration (Kanithasen et al., 2011). One of the most relevant features in the current competition has been the enormous increase of uncertainty in the financial sector (Carbonara & Caiazza, 2010). The crisis has spread globally hitting Europe especially. Banks confront a more profoundly uncertain business environment than most of them have ever faced (Ferguson, 2009).

 

The Developing Strategy of Green Energy Industry Cluster: A Case Study of the Solar Photoelectric Industry

Maw-Shin Hsu, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan

Dr. Chang-An Lee, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Koahsiung, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 It has become the international major and concerning issue for the energy shortage and environmental problem. The Cancun Agreement has continuous the carbon reduction from Kyoto Protocol program and stipulated the international greenhouse reduction in 2010. The global warming will be controlled between 1.5 degree and 2.0 degree. Until 2020, the countersigned convention countries should decrease carbon between 25% and 40% which is based on 1990 standard. The global countries dedicate to develop green energy industries to reach the goal.The main motivation comes from the international community have done their best efforts to promote the solar photoelectric industry and reached USD2430 billion for green energy development in 2010. The solar energy industry development will become the hot industry in the future.This Study uses Porter’s Diamond model and a case study to analyze the developing strategy of Green Energy Industry Cluster, especially for the solar photoelectric industry in Taiwan. We follow the following 4 procedures to process this research: 1).Identify the local environmental advantage. 2).Upgrade the current solar industry technology development and transform the traditional industry. 3).Set up the personnel training and analysis lab system together. 4). Establish the government policy and subsidy reward.We also use the questionnaire to collect the suggestion from the experienced experts/ scholars. The findings will suggest the proper strategy for developing solar energy industry as well as the future direction of government in solar energy industry cluster development. The main motivation of this study comes from the fact: the 2010 global investment in green energy has reached 243 billion USD, and international community spares no effort to promote the development of the solar photoelectric industry. For example, Japan plans to combine the fixed fuel cell and smart grid technology to develop the solar photoelectric industry with expected cumulative power installations up to 14GW in 2020. The US actively creates green energy-related job opportunities, provides solar energy companies with 1.85 billion USD of loan guarantee and is building solar power plants of world’s top scale. Mainland China has proposed the national subsidy programs to award buildings integrated with solar photoelectric and rooftop solar power system to support solar power-related industries. Other countries such as Germany, France, and Italy have set solar photoelectric development strategies and goals to greatly dedicate to the development of the solar photoelectric industry. In sum, the solar power industry is becoming a hot and emerging industry in the future. Regarding the promotion of green energy industry, if the government can establish more relevant policies to consider solar power industry as an industry of developmental potentials in the future, it can help reshape industrial competitiveness and environmental protection policies as well as promote the industrial re-development.

 

Network Expansion Strategy: A Case Study of a Malaysian Motor Claims Management Company in India

Dr. Shanmugam Munuswamy, Dr. Syed Omar Syed Agil, and Dr.Zulkifflee Bin Mohamad

University Tun Abdul Razak, Kuala lumpur, Malaysia

 

ABSTRACT

 Collaborative ventures have dramatically increased among organizations as one of the market expansion strategies. A number of drivers appear to be behind the business partnership predominantly the instant market access, distribution synergies, business set up cost and an effective control over a huge payroll. However, several challenges are evident from such business relationship such as reliability, decision making constraints, and cultural diversity. This case study is related to the challenges of a software subsidiary of a listed company in East Malaysia that ventured into the Indian market to provide an integrated software end-to-end solution to the motor claims industry. This case study, while highlighting the potential business opportunity in the motor claims industry in India, it uncovers the microscopic issues in having collaborative partnership among surveyors, repair shops, and insurers. It is expected to provide an exciting platform to academics and potential business opportunity explorers to understand the marketing dynamics along the channel partners in the motor claims industry and to evaluate potential business models for successful collaborative partnership. In June 2010, Kelvin Thomas, the CEO of the IT-Solutions Bhd (ISB), an IT subsidiary of East Malaysia Holdings Bhd (EMHB)received an ultimatum from its parent company in East Malaysia that if he could not strike a deal at least with one insurance company before September 2010, the company might think of closing the new venture in India. The decision was taken at the Board meeting in the HQ of the parent company in East Malaysia as the Indian subsidiary: West Asia Solutions Private Ltd (WASOL) had already missed the timeline to get business. Panicked by such drastic decision, Kelvin summoned the Business Development team that comprised of the regional mangers of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai to deliberate with the team leader Shan on the network panel expansion strategy across India. The expansion strategy was to consider two dimensions; one was related to bringing adequate surveyors (adjusters), and repairers (workshops) into the network to demonstrate the potential client insurer that the company had adequate pan India coverage; and the other was pertaining to the software training method that the company should adopt to train the network partners within the time frame. This was treated as most urgent as one of the largest public insurance companies was kept pending the approval of the pilot proposal for want of a suitable network expansion strategy that WASOL would embark up on to showcase the pan India coverage of its motor claim cases.

 

Absorptive Capacity: Essence of the Construct and Its Determinants

Dr. Probir Banerjee, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, Malaysia

Dr. Sharifah Latifah, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dr. Ahmed Suhaimi Baharudin, University Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Dr. Anand Agrawal, Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, Malaysia

 

ABSTRACT

 Absorptive Capacity (AC) is stated to be a crucial determinant of firm behavior. However, diverse conceptualisation of the construct exists in prior research, with both resources and capabilities specified as its elements, which appears to be theoretically inconsistent. In this conceptual paper we synthesise prior research and propose the essence of the AC construct based on theoretical anchor of the Rubicon model of action phases.  The fundamental premise of this conceptual paper is that AC is a higher level capability that enables a firm to acquire information about a new phenomenon of interest to the firm and then assimilate the information, thereby transforming the information into knowledge about the phenomenon in terms of its relevance to the firm. We also propose that this higher level capability (which is the essence of AC), is driven by a combination of existing or procurable knowledge and resources that can be appropriated by the firm. We draw from three theories, the Rubicon Model of action phases, the Resource Based View (RBV) and the (Knowledge Based Theory) KBT, and  propose  a conceptual model of the essence of AC  and its determinants in the specific context of adoption of a new technology (cloud computing) by small firms. The concept of absorptive capacity (AC) was first introduced by Cohen and Levinthal (1990), who defined it as ‘the ability of an organisation to recognise the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends’. Finding from past research indicates the positive impact of absorptive capacity on organisational learning, knowledge sharing, capability building and firm performance. However, several definitions of the AC concept have since been advanced. AC has been viewed as the capacity to learn and solve problems (Kim, 1997a,b, 1998), a combination of efficiency, scope and flexibility (Van Den Bosch et al., 1999, as cited in Schmidt, 2005), a set of organizational routines and processes by which firms acquire, assimilate, transform, and exploit knowledge to produce a dynamic organizational capability (Zahra and George, 2002), and the use of routines to gather, communicate and apply knowledge from the wider environment in ways that blend with accumulated experience (Liao, Welsch, & Stoica, 2003). In more recent research, absorptive capacity is defined as four distinct stages of knowledge acquisition, assimilation, transformation and exploitation that emerge, chronologically in that order (Zahra and George, 2002; Daghfous, 2004). Tu et al.(2006) defined AC as an organizational mechanism that helps to identify, communicate, and assimilate relevant external and internal knowledge.  It can be seen from the above review that both resources (such as skills, knowledge, accumulated experience) and capabilities (such as routines to gather and communicate knowledge, ability to blend and assimilate different sources of knowledge with accumulated experience) were mentioned as essence of the AC construct by previous researchers.

 

The Economic Empowerment of Urban Women in Sudan: Empirical Analysis

Dr. Samia Elsheikh, Al Ghurair University, Dubai, UAE

Dr. Selma Elamin, Ittihad University, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper uses multivariate regression models to examine the determinants of economic empowerment of urban women in Sudan.  A total of 200 women were surveyed based on cross-section survey conducted in two cities, namely, Khartoum and Omdurman between 1st August and 30th September 2010. The two dimension cumulative index for women’s economic empowerment is constructed based on women’s household economic decisions and personal independence. The data were analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistical methods. The regressions analysis shows that women’s economic empowerment is considerably influenced by access to financial services, access to production opportunities and education. Policies and strategies to improve women economic empowerment include, increasing women access to asset, provision of education and promoting women’s capabilities to contribute positively in the economic development. Empowerment is the expansion in people's ability to make strategic life choices in a context where this ability was previously denied to them ( Kabeer, 2001). Malhotra, et al., 2002 identify two key factors in the process of empowerment: control over resources (the conditions for empowerment) and agency (the ability to formulate choices).  Care (2006) describes empowerment as: the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, influence, control, and hold accountable the institutions that affect their lives. UNDP (2008) defines women’s empowerment through five major components: women’s sense of self-worth; their right to have and determine choices; their right to have access to opportunities and resources; their right to have the power to control their own lives, both within and outside the home; and their ability to influence positively the direction of social change. UNDP (2010) conclude that empowerment is the ability of people to make strategic choices in areas that affect their lives. There is no single definition of women‘s empowerment in the literature. It is generally accepted however that efforts to measure women‘s empowerment need to consider different levels (micro/macro, individual/collective), different spheres (economic, political, social) and must be sensitive to social context (ICRW 2011).The ICRW (2011) concludes that a woman is economically empowered when she has both the ability to advance economically and the power to make and act on decisions. ICRW illustrates women’s economic power as agency along with economic advancement, supported by resources and institutions, leading to better lives for women and their families. According to OECD (2011) many factors have a significant influence on women’s ability to participate in the economy. Among them women access to healthcare services, completion of a quality post-primary education and improving literacy rates of adult women. Many of these dimensions are mutually dependent and reinforcing.

 

Employee Growth and Development in Call Centres: A Comparative Australian Study

Dr. Zeenobiyah Hannif and Alison Lee, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

  While call centres have grown exponentially in Australia over the past two decades, there is a paucity of Australian research on the training and career development experiences of call centre employees.  Even more under-explored, is the impact of these experiences on employees’ perceptions of the quality of their work lives.  This paper adopts a comparative case study methodology to explore the intersection between these phenomena in two large call centres: Govtcall and Marketplus.  The case studies epitomize the diversity that exists between call centres, particularly in terms of people management strategies.  Specifically, while Govtcall adopted a ‘sink or swim’ approach to training, and left employees feeling stagnant due to limited career opportunities, Marketplus utilized training and development as a ‘nurturing’ mechanism, and promoted a sense of career freedom amongst employees.  Employees’ accounts suggest growth and development initiatives play a key role in shaping the quality of their work lives.  Even in a context where opportunities are traditionally limited, enhancing opportunities for learning and career growth can help alleviate some of the more undesirable aspects of call centre work. The concept “quality of working life (QWL)” is a dynamic and multi-dimensional construct that incorporates any number of measures relating to employment quality and the well-being of the worker. The QWL issues raised in the extant literature are therefore, wide and varied, including concerns such as training and development, work life balance, pay, working hours, and occupational health and safety. To narrow the scope, this paper will focus on examining one key element of the work environment in relation to its impact on the QWL: training and career development opportunities. May, Lay & Johnson suggest that contemporaneous organisations that offer better QWL may gain a competitive edge in hiring and retaining key talents. Hence, the goal of this paper is to contribute to research in the area of QWL, more specifically the influence of training and career development opportunities on the Customer Service Operators’ (CSOs) perception of QWL in Call Centres (CCs).This paper will commence with a brief literature review on the relationship between the QWL, and workplace relationships, drawing on both the CC and QWL literatures. Next, an overview of the research methodology will be provided, and this will be followed with an explication of the key findings. The findings reported in this study are based on empirical case study research conducted in two CC settings. CCs epitomize the shift towards technology-based work, and have emerged as critical elements of the business cycle of organizations in the new economy.

 

The Role of Education for Deployment of Fisheries Sector in Maldives

Dr. Gazi Mahabubul Alam, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

ABSTRACT

 Global pattern indicates that heavy industries always provide more income to the employees and to the countries in general compared to livestock, fisheries and agriculture sectors. Consequently, developed countries always concentrate on heavy and technology based industries. This either allows or forces the developing countries to work with the sectors that are left by the industrialised countries. Realising this realities and facts, many developing countries are mainly involved in agriculture, livestock and small manufacturing industries. This helps the countries to have some kind of employment for their people with a very indispensable income to sustain. Maldives is a country which consists of small Islands. Majority of the people either directly or indirectly are involved with the fisheries sector. The informally established fisheries sector of Maldives is yet to be developed with a long run vision that is connected with the national development goal. Country’s borrowed British education system is not necessarily catering to the local need. Given the nature of this short communication research letter, this paper will explore some issues with an aim of offering some suggestions towards a solution.  Criteria of development and approaches towards development and their schemata have evolved out of historical social practices (Alam et al., 2009; Rabby et al., 2011a; Birdsall, 1993; Kaplan and Çelik, 2008). Interpretation of social events is guided and constrained by the prevailing rationality which itself reflects the dominant constellation of power (Alam, 2009; Rabby et al., 2011b). Living in the era of globalization, denying the definition of development and its patterns (economic, social and human need) prescribed mainly by Western school of thought would not only make a country isolated but also dysfunctional (Alam et al., 2009; Rabby et al., 2011a). Approaches towards development process may vary from one country to another (Rabby et al., 2011a). A country which lacks natural resources is in a disadvantaged position in the running competition of development compared to other counterparts which have been enjoying the benefit of natural resources (Nargis and Hossain, 2006; Scooones, 1998). However, evidence also asserts that over dependency on natural resources makes a nation lethargic which can be a greater hindrance for development. None can repudiate the need of competent manpower for the developmental process (Alam et al., 2009; Al-Amin et al., 2012). A country where natural resources are in place should use this as an extra support to open and operate other sectors that can sustain even after a sudden collapse of the naturally established sector or a sector supported by the nature. Maldives is a country of islands. The size and shape of the Islands vary albeit the lifestyle, climate, living-hood and income pattern amongst the Islands’ population are almost same (Adam, 2006). Almost all of the islands are accommodating very less number of populations [Ministry of Planning and National Development (MOPND), 2006a]. Male the capital of Maldives accommodates one third of total population (MOPND, 2008 and 2006b). The south named as Addu city (combined with a few Islands) contains the second largest population (MOPND, 2006a). Operating educational establishments in these two areas are less hassling compared to others in term of communication and other administrative processes involved (World Bank, 2002).

 

An insight into Asia – An Evolving R&D Landscape and the Base for Sustainable Incredible Economic Growth

Dr. Tahir Ali, University of Karachi, Pakistan

 

ABSTRACT

 The incredible economic growth of emerging Asian economies during the past decade has reshaped the composition of global economy substantially. It is estimated that by the end of 2014, share of emerging Asian economies will cross one-fourth of the global GDP. One of the factors behind enormous economic growth of emerging nations of Asia has been their affluent investment in R&D in this region. According to the UNESCO and the World Bank, Asia’s expenditures on R&D are rapidly approaching to US and European levels. The value of R&D investment in the 10 Asian nations that spent the most on R&D in 2009 came to US $ 339 bn. By comparison, the figure for the 10 biggest R&D investing nations in Europe and North America came to US $ 556 bn. The West is still out-investing Asia, but the gap is closing. China invested US $ 113 bn in R&D—roughly the same as France, Germany and Switzerland combined in the year 2009. The study has been designed to get the insight on sustainability of economic growth in the emerging markets of Asia and the role of R&D investment in this region. Furthermore it focuses on the nature of investment and How & Why the multinational organizations have been approaching to Asian R&D investments. Asia has been buzzing around the business world since the beginning of this century. The incredible economic growth of emerging Asian economies during the past decade has changed the global economic composition substantially. Today around 60 percent of the global GDP is shared by six emerging Asian economies and the contribution has been increasing day by day. On the other hand, share of developed economies to global GDP has been declining at colossal rate during the past decade. Factors behind this notable economic growth of emerging economies need to be analyzed to examine the sustainability of this growth in the future. Although there are many factors affecting the sustainability of Asian economic growth, spending on R&D is undoubtedly the key indicator. Strong relationship between economic growth and spending on R&D may lead to sustainable growth in the future and vice versa. Historically (during the past five decades) it has been noticed that the emerging markets of Asia have grown at staggering speed and could not impress the world by innovations. Instead they usually depended on the West - adopting the ideas and concepts for development of their products. It has been presumed that this ‘Catch-up’ growth, acquired without much investment and involvement in inventing processes may generate quick benefits but will not sustain for longer period of time. However, the trend is now changing and multinational organizations are moving their investments to new product development and innovation for local markets. China and India have attracted most of the multinational investment in R&D due to comparatively skilled labor and higher rate of literacy and graduate personnel, especially during the past two decades. Most of the multinational organizations consider their heavy investment of R&D in the emerging Asian markets more secure and high potential opportunity to attract huge market with localized product development, without hassle of pure research.

 

An Overview to A Sustainable Development: A Productivity Analysis Using Data Mining Methods on Green Manufacturing Systems With an Example From Textile Industry

Cagrı Sagıroglu, Turkish Armed Forces and University of Cukurova, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

 Industrial organizations contribute to human life in every aspect. However, while doing that they pollute the environment by their wastes and they are also the number one energy consumers in the world. The 70 % (IEA, 2010) of the total pollution existing on the world is due to the factories and al manufacturing firms. Changing the ways that these organizations use energy can contribute greatly to clean the environment and satisfy sustainability in energy. The technology based production systems used by the companies have a very complicated structure by its nature. To stay as efficient, the manufacturers also have to follow very strict policies regarding which part to produce, when to produce and in what quantity. These very conditions complicate the production system. The new environmentally friendly production methods that will be suggested in this report will be presented considering the above complications. We will use two different analysis techniques and we will see that if they are convenient for green manufacturing measurement. Also we will try to reach which factors are more effective during production period. As a result we will emphasize “should do” things.Production is strategically important element of an organization as it provides competitive advantages and inhibits the performance. Fast developments in technology, changes in customer expectations and globalization require the production to be active, more green and flexible. So an environmental management is taken a place in the companies as one of the most important approaches to continue in the market and to develop its products, especially in today’s market, which depends mainly on speed, development and multi-customer alternatives.In this respect, as we’ll see in the section 2, environmental- friendly manufacturing is not a new concept. Oil & gas are still the mostly used resources to create energy. However the quantities of these resources are decreasing day by day and researchers believe that in a very near future the world will ran out of these resources. In today’s situation, where the demand for energy is exponentially increasing and at the same time, the available resources are sharply decreasing.  So it is extremely crucial to create new sources of energy. We believe that the promise of renewable energy has now become a reality.We will see in section 3 that; DEA technique was used. In this method multiple inputs and outputs could be used to measure an entity’s performance. It is used to measure the efficiency of decision making units (DMUs) and evaluate their relative efficiency. DEA is a liner programming based efficiency measurement tool that can measure the ratio of multi outputs to multi inputs. The only assumption is that, the decision units that will be analyzed must be acting in the same sector and must be executing similar operations to achieve to similar goals. To compare the firms in different time periods or to compare the performance of a firm between two different time periods, we need another intelligent technique. At the last part, indicated that how can we group the firms using Self Organizing Maps and what should do, what should not do. 

 

Outsourcing: Friend or Foe to U.S. MNCs?

Adriana Solis, Dr. Hadley Leavell, and Dr. Balasundram Maniam

Sam Houston State University, TX

 

ABSTRACT

 Outsourcing, domestic and international, is a common business practice. Expensive labor costs are one main reason for international outsourcing. This paper will discuss a variety of reasons companies outsource and factors in deciding if a product or service can be done more efficiently and less expensively if outsourced. Advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing will be outlined and examples of outsourcing will be provided. Finally, an analysis will be made that outsourcing is essential for the sustained growth and financial stability of United States multinational corporations (U.S. MNCs). Make or buy? Provide services or have someone else do it? With the constant goal of improving efficiency and/or profits, organizations and companies must question these decisions continuously.  Outsourcing is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as: “to produce (as some goods or services needed by a business or organization) under contract with an outside supplier”.   An organization can outsource their products or services to companies domestically or internationally. When using international outsourcing, the United States usually outsources its products to companies located in developing countries (Troaca & Bodislav, 2012). Companies want to spend the least amount of money to produce their products. If it cost less to produce, companies can sell their products at a lower price than the competition, which will give them an advantage (Taylor, 2005). Organizations have been outsourcing their products and services since World War II and it became really popular after 1990. The percentage of how much of a product is outsourced has grown to sixty percent (Troaca & Bodislav, 2012).  Outsourcing is done increasingly by giant companies such as American Multinationals like General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and Boeing (Paul & Wooster, 2010). Less than one-half of the value of the vehicles produced by Chrysler and Ford are produced in-house and Boeing outsources parts of its Boeing 767 to companies located in Japan, resulting only ten percent being created in-house (Gilley & Rasheed, 2000).  Can American multinationals survive without outsourcing?Research focuses on competition, cost savings, core competencies employment issues in America and international outsourcing, as well as the advantages and the disadvantages of outsourcing. McDonald, et al focused on the positive benefit of competition pushing organizations to operate at their best (McDonald, Parker, Leverett, Grimes, & Leaptrott, 2011). Henrickson & Thatte studied the competitive nature of organizations always seeking a market advantage (2008). Taylor recommended each organization focus on its own core competencies, skills, and abilities, which makes them stand out from the rest. If they want to get grow, they need to streamline and put all their time and effort into their core competencies and let someone else do the rest (2005). 

 

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