The Business Review, Cambridge

Vol. 11 * Number 2 * December 2008

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

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Job Satisfaction Antecedents and Consequences: A New Conceptual Framework and Research Agenda

Issam Ghazzawi, Ph.D., University of La Verne, La Verne, CA

 

ABSTRACT

 Job satisfaction is one of the most sought after subjects in today’s organizations. Based on prior theoretical and empirical research, this paper explores the existing cause and effect relationship between the antecedents contributing to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction and their consequences on people in the workplace. It also proposes a new conceptual framework to study and further explain such relationships and to add to the literature of understanding the subject of job satisfaction. The paper provides implications for scholars and practicing mangers.An earlier research titled “Job satisfaction among information technology professionals in the U.S.: An empirical study” was published in the Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge. Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 1-15. (Ghazzawi, 2008). While this research is a continuation of the aforementioned paper, it provides a wider literature review and suggests a new conceptual framework for understanding the antecedents, including life satisfaction, and the consequences of employee satisfaction or dissatisfaction. It also provides a research agenda to further the study of the subject of job satisfaction. The subject of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction has attracted a considerable amount of research. It is by far one of the most studied work attitudes by organizational behavior researchers. By the early 1990s, more than 12,000-job satisfaction studies were published (Kinicki et al., 2002; Kreitner & Kinicki, 2007). Its importance to managers and researchers is due to the fact that “job satisfaction has the potential to affect a wide range of behaviors in organizations and contribute to employees’ levels of wellbeing” (George & Jones, 2008, p. 84). To many, job satisfaction is positively correlated with job performance. Employees, who are more satisfied with their jobs, tend to perform better than those who are less satisfied (George & Jones, 2008).  Many studies also linked job satisfaction to organizational commitment (Rue & Byars, 2005). Satisfaction will influence commitment. An employee’s attachment to an organization is essential because it affects their retention in the organization as well contributing to other positive behaviors (Allen & Meyer 1996; Francisco & Gold, 2005). When a talented employee leaves, an organization loses a valuable employee and the accumulated knowledge associated with the core capabilities that the organization is dependent on (Droege & Hoobler, 2003; King et al., 2005). The author extends his deepest appreciation to external reviewers of this case who offered instructive criticism and advice. The paper has benefited by incisive comments from Christine Jagannathan and Yvonne Smith of the University of La Verne.The primary purpose of this study was to contribute to the literature on the factors affecting job satisfaction or dissatisfaction in the workplace. This research presents a review of the literature on research and theory of job satisfaction, that explores the existing cause and effect relationship between the antecedents contributing to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction and its consequences on people in the workplace. It also proposes a new conceptual framework to further explain this relationship and add to the literature of understanding the subject of job satisfaction. In addition, it is suggested that life satisfaction must be researched and studied as an integral part of other job satisfaction antecedents and be included in any general satisfaction survey. Job satisfaction is an individual’s positive or negative attitude toward their job (Greenberg & Baron, 2008; Wollack et al., 1971). It is also defined as positive feelings about one’s job based on one’s evaluation of the characteristics of the job (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Smith et al. (1969) defined job satisfaction as “the feelings a worker has about his job” (p. 6). Similarly, George and Jones (2005) stated that job satisfaction is “the collection of feelings and beliefs that people have about their current jobs. People’s levels or degrees of job satisfaction can range from extreme satisfaction to extreme dissatisfaction.” (p. 75).  According to Kreitner and Kinicki (2007), job satisfaction is essentially the extent to which someone likes his or her job.

 

An Analysis of Turkey’s Prospects of European Union Accession

Matthew Woods, Dr. Hadley Leavell, and Dr. Balasundram Maniam

Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX

 

Abstract

The nation of Turkey has had a long history of economic relations with Europe, but has never attained the status of a full economic partner.  Turkey’s distinctive history and geography are two of the causative factors which have excluded Turkey from the economic benefits of being regarded as ‘European.’ Turkey has long been defined both as European and non-western. Turkey has been striving to attain accession into the European Union since 2005 and has seen other nations, perhaps regarded as even ‘less-European’ than Turkey, attain membership.  As Turkey is seeking membership as a non-European Monetary Union (EMU) nation, i.e., not part of the Euro currency group, the most likely outcome for Turkey’s European Union  membership would be a hybrid-style privileged partnership based on current trading agreements and increased flows of certain types of capital.  This partnership would be mainly financial in scope.  This paper seeks to address Turkey’s short and long-term prospects of attaining European Union membership by focusing on membership criteria, domestic political trends, and economic indicators.  The European Union is a system of governance for European states and citizens through integration by common policies and coordination of policies. Within a framework of common institutions, member states have conferred supranational powers in the treaties (Korkman, 2005, p 14). Currently, there are 27 members in the European Union.  Recently added members include Cyprus and Malta as well as some former Soviet states: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia.  The most recent members to join the European Union in January of 2007 are former Soviet protectorate states of Romania and Bulgaria (Europa).   The European Union provides substantial benefits to member countries.  Jovanovic has identified three specific benefits accruing to new countries. First, new members attain a secure access to the European Union  marketplace. This includes export and import access to politically sensitive goods such as agricultural products, steel, and textiles. Second, citizens of membership countries enjoy free movement of labor within the union. Third, new membership countries are awarded significant European Union funds to maintain and ensure structural economic stability (Jovanovic, 2005, p. 829). With respect to Turkey, a recent World Bank document proclaims that European Union accession process should permit Turkey to take advantage of an opportunity for continuing political and economic reform, economic stability, and accelerated economic growth (World Bank, p. iii). Turkey seeks to further its economic progress in several areas, including reducing inflation and reducing unemployment.  Turkey has sustained substantial economic growth since 2001 and would like to use European Union accession to maintain and build on those gains.  Finally, Turkey wishes to attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which would enhance overall economic growth.  This paper seeks to analyze Turkey’s short and long-term prospects of attaining European Union Membership by focusing on membership criteria, domestic political trends, and economic indicators.  Although the Maastricht Treaty permits any European state to apply for European Union membership, the European Council in Copenhagen formally fashioned entry requirements in 1993.  Nations desiring to join the European Union must complete chapters of criteria to be submitted to the European Council for evaluation.  Prospective European Union members must have a functioning market economy; have an established democratic political system of multiparty parliament with a rule of law and a respect for human and minority rights; have no current territory disputes; have good international relations with the world;  and must accept and implement acquis communautaire of the European Union – the acquis communautaire includes about 80,000 pages of legislation the European Council proclaims to be non-negotiable laws, policies and practices (Jovanovic, 2005, pp. 826-827).  Additionally, Jovanovic suggests an implicit entry requirement for a new member is that any potential European Union enlargement must not put the European Union at fiscal risk (pp. 826-827).

 

Synchronization Among International Equity Market Indices: Case of Japan, USA and China

Mo Vaziri, Ph.D. and Kazuma Koseki, California State University, San Bernardino, CA

 

ABSTRACT

This study investigates the synchronization among international equity market linkages of Japan, USA and China . Using opening and closing prices in New York and closing prices in Shanghai and Tokyo, the study explore the conception that public information about the performance in one market could be used to profitably trade in another market.  Total of sixteen analyses were employed to study the synchronization of stock price movements for equity markets under study. Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) have been the two largest stock markets over decades. There are great number of research showing detailed analyses for a high correlation between the open to close returns for U.S. stocks in the previous trading day and the Japanese stock performances in the current period when transaction costs have not been taken into consideration (Kent G. Becker, Joseph E. Finnerty, and Manoj Gupta-1990). However, recently Shanghai became a center of equity trading and businesses transaction in Asia and obtained a spotlight as one of the most developed equity market of the region as it is evidenced from high potential for steep upward trend in Shanghai SE 180 composite. (Jason Lin, Jane Sung, Nabil Alghalith,2006).A purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships among the stock market performances of three most active equity markets: the United States, China, and Japan. The study helps to identify whether there was a potential consequence that traders or technical analysts might look at one market as a predictor of market movement on another one. We should notice that there is 8 hours and 30 minutes difference between the close of the TSE and open of the NYSE and Shanghai is 13 hours ahead of New York.  There is also 7 hours and 30 minutes difference between the close of the SSE and open of the NYSE.  If high correlation coefficients between an open to close return are identified, it may indicate a violation of the efficient market hypothesis because the publicly available information regarding the historical performances in one market can be used to make profitable trading in another market.  In other words,  many aspects of correlation coefficients of returns such as overnight returns, open-to-close returns, close-to-open returns at the current period, t=0, or/an the pervious day, t=-1, are provided.  One of the main difference between this study and earlier research is that this study includes correlation coefficients of the stocks markets of China and the United States. Including China will provide more accurate results for the performances between these three markets. “There are two advantages of opening and closing prices over only closing data. First, direct tests of market efficiency can be conducted in which a simulated trader in Japan buys or sells at the opening price, depending on the performance in the U.S. market the previous day. Second, the influence of the daily return in one market on the overnight return of the other market can be investigated”  according to study done by Kent G. Becker, Joseph E. Finnerty, and Manoj Gupta- 1990.Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr. and R.W. Hafer focused on linkages among stock market, which stems from globalization of financial activities. They examined the relationships between the levels and movements of stock price indexed among Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States from July 1987 to January 1988. Using monthly data, Anand Shetty and John Manley, mainly examined the currency impact on investment aspects such as volatility, correlations, and returns while trying to identify the benefits of international diversification. Joseph E. Finnerty and Thomas Schneeweis analyzed the weekly comovement of international equity and long-term bon returns for nine countries. Patricia Chelley-Steeley (2005), Explaining volatility and serial correlation in opening and closing returns. Many of these early studies show insignificant correlations between the U.S. stock performances and international stock performances.Daily open prices and close prices of Nikkei 225, S&P 500, and Shanghai SE 180 composite (SSE) from November 1, 2001 up to the January 29, 2008 were obtained, and daily returns were calculated. Regressions are used to determine the relations among the stock markets indices.First, we tested whether the Japanese market (TSEto-c) at the current period influences the U.S. market (S&Pto-c ) at the current period using the following egression:

  

Supply Chain Management for Higher Education

David Ang, Ph.D. and Tom Griffin, Ph.D., Auburn University Montgomery, Montgomery, AL

 

ABSTRACT

 For decades, achieving performance efficiency and effectiveness in the higher educational systems have been the great concern for many educators, academia, politicians, and the society.  Higher education and its colleges and universities, both public and private, are inevitably accountable for the utmost evidence of learning.  The emergence of higher education learning institutions to provide evidence of learning is increasing and expected.  Many taxpayers such as parents and students demand that their funds are spent efficiently to achieve the utmost evidence of learning.  This paper is to explore the appropriateness of applying supply chain management (SCM) as an innovative management strategy to achieve learning outcome in public higher educational systems.  The emergence of reporting some forms of accountability in performance measures for State supporting higher educational learning institutions is predictable and unavoidable.  The demand of performances especially in the evidence of learning outcome is utmost important for taxpayers, state governments, students, and parents.  With the current slow economy the nation is experiencing, taxpayers demand evidence that their funds are spent efficiently in exchange for quality education from these higher educational learning institutions.  Virginia’s State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) reported that at least 21 states have already mandated to produce accountability reports that need to include performance measures such as evidence of learning annually (James Madison University, 2002).  The demand for performance measures is justifiable for few reasons.   Performance measures may provide valuable information for parents upon which to make informed decisions about college selection.  It increases rationality to taxpayers and parents in which college choice is made. 

 

The Effect of Extending the Trading Hours on Volume and Volatility: The Case of Euronext Paris and Deutsche Boerse

Dr. Deniz Ozenbas, Montclair State University, NJ

 

ABSTRACT

 There is interest in both academic literature and the finance industry about how extending the trading hours in stock markets affect the trading volume and volatility in that market. This study compares the extension of trading hours in Euronext Paris and Deutsche Boerse that took place within a few months of each other. We show that Euronext Paris was more successful in implementing the rule change in terms of the trading volume and volatility patterns compared to Deutsche Boerse . How extending the trading hours in stock markets affect the trading volume and volatility in that market is an interesting question for both finance practitioners and academics. In this study we compare the extension of trading hours in Euronext Paris and Deutsche Boerse that took place within a few months of each other. We investigate the trading volume and intra-day volatility patterns in these markets and show that Euronext Paris was more successful in implementing the rule change in  terms of trading volume and volatility patterns compared to Deutsche Boerse. For both Euronext Paris (Paris Bourse) and the Deutsche Boerse we study the transaction records, during the year 2000, of stocks that make up a major index. We use the BDM database of the Paris Bourse for the transactions of the stocks that make up the CAC 40 index. The transactions database of the stocks that make up the DAX 30 index was obtained from the Deutsche Boerse.

 

Corporate Environmental Partnerships: A Framework and Economic Analysis for Managerial Choice

Dr. Recai Aydin, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

Dr. Roger Morefield, University of Saint Thomas, Houston, TX

 

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper aims to develop a framework and typology to analyze the nature and scope of corporate environmental partnerships. The analytical framework in this paper is based on an examination of examples of corporate environmental partnerships that have been described in published literature. A decision matrix for the use of corporate managers will be derived from the framework.  Since the 1980's environmental issues have grown in scale and importance on the agendas of a number of corporations, a trend that is very likely to continue into the future. In response to these issues, corporations have developed partnerships with various organizations and groups. These groups include other firms, trade associations, community organizations, environmental interest groups, and regulatory agencies at the local, state, national and international levels. Environmental partnerships are being increasingly viewed as an essential and effective tool in environmental problem solving. The complexity of environmental problems requires that representatives of all stakeholder groups, including government, business, and the public, work together as partners. In many instances today, corporations are not seen as adversaries any more as they are attempting to rectify their “polluter” image by working towards environmental protection at the same time maintaining their bottom line emphasis. Corporations are recognizing that environmental concern is good for business. On the other hand environmentalists of all shades and groups of all kinds seem to be stretching their hands towards industry. Federal regulatory agencies such as the EPA have been engaged in reforming the ways in which they deal with industry. 

 

Technical Analysis: The Interface of Rational and Irrational Decision Making

Wm. Marty Martin, Psy.D., M.P.H., M.A., DePaul University, Chicago, IL

 

ABSTRACT

 Individual and institutional investors share a common goal, that is, the pursuit of profit. It is the underlying assumptions about investors and the market as well as the approach to achieving this common goal is where there is a divergence of perspectives. It will be argued that investors act rationally and irrationally. It will also be asserted that since financial markets represent the exchange of investors that financial markets can be characterized as behaving rationally and irrationally. Depending upon the underlying assumption of investors, the approach to generating a profit differs. Fundamental analysts de facto assume that investors are rational and financial markets are efficient. In contrast, technical analysts tend to believe in both the irrationality and rationality of investors.  The ideological debate between fundamental analysis and technical analysis continues to be waged in the trading pits, electronic trading labs, proprietary trading firms, investment management companies, and the halls of the academy. This debate largely hinges on whether investors, both individual and institutional, make rational and/or irrational decisions. In essence, the foundation of this debate focuses upon what it means to be a decision maker and how decisions are made when seeking rewards and mitigating risks. Gencay (1997) argues that the acid test for any investor is to earn a profit.  This ideological debate cannot be fully appreciated without first defining two terms-technical analysis and fundamental analysis. According to one of the most widely recognized investment textbooks, technical analysis is defined as “…the search for recurrent and predictable patterns in stock prices (Bodie, Kane, & Marcus, 2005, page 373).”

 

News Media Performance: A Survey Study

Mary Callaghan, Ph.D., Kenya N. Floyd, DBA Student and Bharat S. Thakkar, Ph.D.

Argosy University, Chicago

 

ABSTRACT

 This survey study considers the complexities of market segmentation as applicable to consumer age segment market models for news publication.  The authors propose a matrix model for news content media assignments.  The paper asserts that news media capacity and news content type are appropriated determinants of news delivery channel assignments per stratified public interest.  In formulating the matrix model the authors engage qualitative observations concerning media characteristics.  For the purposes of this study, survey outcomes were subjected to statistical analysis as a means to test for correlation between media performance factors and age segment market preferences.  The piloted survey instrument posed queries regarding: 1. News content recall per media channel and 2. News content classification tendencies—among the U.S. age market segment for ‘Generation X’ (individuals ranging from 30 to 40 years of age).  This study’s piloted survey outcomes imply that factors impacting media performance are a basis for assigning delivery modes per news content type.  Findings presented herein are significant as related studies have uncovered that content reach (i.e., performance) is a major basis for attracting advertising revenue.  The authors conclude that their findings merit further investigation in consideration of application across various market segmentation models.

 

Interim Leadership in a Nonprofit Organization: A Case Study

Dr. Joseph C. Santora, Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, New Jersey

Dr. James C. Sarros, Monash University, Frankston, Victoria, AU

 

ABSTRACT

 The aim of this paper was to uncover reasons why an interim executive director opted not to apply for a permanent position as the executive director of a nonprofit organization after his interim appointment upon the sudden resignation and departure of the long-term incumbent executive director. This paper begins by defining the term interim executive director. Next, it provides a brief literature review on interim executive directorships. It then describes the research and data collection methods.  It describes the organization, its leadership, and the background that led to the appointment of the interim director. In the discussion section of this paper we answer our research question and then offer three lessons learned from this case. Finally, we conclude this paper by presenting the limitations of the study and future studies.   Within the next few years, between 40 to 80 percent of nonprofit executives will retire (Teegarden, 2004; Bell et al, 2006).  Some executives will die in office; others will become incapacitated and will be unable  to carry out the duties and responsibilities of their offices. Still other executive directors will be evicted by their boards of directors for political reasons, misdeeds, and/or poor personal and organizational performance (See Gibelman & Gelman, 2002). An interesting question that arises is: who will replace them? Possible replacement strategies for nonprofit boards of directors include hiring an heir apparent from within the organization, an insider-outsider (Bower, 2007), an outsider (those individually not currently employed by an organization, or an interim appointee, someone who will temporarily hold the reins, until a permanent replacement can be found and hired to lead the organization.

 

Lou’s Thrifty Way Market: an Examination of Sources of Competitive Advantage in the Grocery Store Industry

D. Scott Kiker, Ph.D. and Mary Kiker, Ph.D., Auburn University Montgomery, AL

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper is based almost entirely on information derived from a personal interview conducted by the authors with the owners of an independent grocery store in Norfolk, Nebraska.  The story of Lou’s Thrifty Way is unique in that their revenues and profitability began to soar at precisely the time when competition from major “super stores” like Wal-Mart began to enter into the market.  Examination of the sources of competitive advantage for Lou’s Thrifty Way reveal that they are differentiating themselves on superior customer service and superior quality, both of which seemed to be more obvious to customers once compared with their shopping experiences at the new “super stores.”  In April of 2007, Lou’s Thrifty Way Market celebrated 35 years of business in their Norfolk, Nebraska location.  To mark the occasion, the owners, Lou and Phyllis Brtek, along with their son and store manager Mike Brtek, decided to turn the celebration toward the customers who have supported the store all these years.  The celebration was a week-long marathon of massive sale prices on virtually everything in the store, with some items’ prices being rolled back to their 1972 levels.  All customers were provided opportunities to participate in drawings for prizes that included bags of free groceries.  There were hundreds of prizes given out to the customers over the week.  Lou and Phyllis believe that this largesse toward the customers was only fitting, as without their support over the prior 35 years they would not be where they are today.  In fact, it was only a few years ago that they believed that their business was in grave danger.  With the opening of multiple new “super stores” (operated by Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart) within blocks of their comparatively small, independent operation they feared that they might not be able to compete given their small size. 

 

The Technological Innovation Adoption Race: Things You Must Know to Finish It in First Places

Marcelo J Alvarado-Vargas, Ph.D. Student, Florida International University, Miami, FL

 

ABSTRACT

 The sooner or later, firms inevitable face technological innovation at any point of their life cycle. When this is the case, firms must act quickly to cover the gap produced by the innovation. Depending on the type of innovation, product architecture, level of experience (knowledge and routine-base view), and level of organizational inertia, firms have different response time for such technological innovation adoption and/or adaptation. This article tries to shed some light on the reasons for such a difference in response time and provides a model which compares and integrates the variables affecting the response time. The main contribution of this conceptual article is the integration of some well studied theories and concepts to explain a single effect, the response time when technology innovation is present.  The sooner or later, firms inevitable face technological innovation at any point of their life cycle. When this is the case, management has to take important decisions to get the advantages related to this new technology wave. First mover advantage (Lieberman & Montgomery, 1988) would be one of them for example. In the case that the firm does not take those advantages, rivals will do. Firms must be quickly adopters of decisions; otherwise, they may lose important time which can be very beneficial for competitors. Technology or product innovation is always present in firms’ strategies and detailed attention should be paid to the emerging enterprises with innovative products and services. Some concepts related to this paper will be explained in the following sections in order to provide a better understanding for this paper’s objective.

 

Internet-Driven Customer Centric: An Exploratory Analysis

Dr. Teresa Borges-Tiago, University of the Azores, Portugal

 

ABSTRACT

 Firms are becoming more focused on customer orientation, leading to the need to use new techniques or combine use of existing ones. Both Customer Relationship Management and Knowledge Management are increasingly relevant to corporate agendas and have been broadly studied by academic researchers. However,  with the development of the digital economy, it’s necessary to have a deeper understanding of their role in e-business. Thus, our goals are to determine whether the implementation of virtual CRM and KM is linked to better e-business performance and to identify the nature of the relationship existing in the combined use of these tools. Thus, this paper establishes a new model of the practices and results of both tools, which have been tested in European companies. For that purpose, we used a structural equation modelling analysis. The results show that both virtual CRM and KM have a positive impact on the maximization of e-business performance and that their combined use has also a positive impact on e-business performance. With the limitations of the study, we consider the need for more research into this field and the inclusion of new elements, such as technological readiness and management support. This paper contributes to the research on this topic with new evidence in a broad sample.

 

Trust in Business Relationships: A Theoretical Model

Professor Jukka Ojasalo, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Espoo, Finland

 

ABSTRACT

 This article aims at increasing the knowledge of the nature of trust in business relationships. Trust is one of the main ingredients of business relationships. Business relationship longevity, to large extent, is dependent on the mutual trust between parties. However, despite numerous references to trust in the relationships management literature, very few in-depth analyses can be found on the nature of trust in business relationships. Indeed, there is a clear need to examine this issue further. The present article fill this knowledge gap by examining the nature of trust in business relationships based on an extensive literature analysis. As a result, this article suggests a theoretical model of antecedents and consequences of trust in business relationships.  Trust becomes of high importance for business relationship management because “relationship marketing is built on the foundation of trust” (Berry 1995, p. 242), and it constitutes the most critical aspect of an exchange relationship (Achrol 1991; Shemewell, Cronin and Bullard 1993). It is suggested that “perhaps there is no other single variable which so thoroughly influences interpersonal and intergroup behavior” (Golembiewski. and McConkie 1975, p. 131) than trust.

 

The Effect of Corporate Strategy on Level of Globalization and Technology Development in Thai Firms

Sasiprapa Chaiprasit, Ph.D. Student, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

 This research aims to review and find out such effects and conducts an empirical test to develop an understanding on the relationships between corporate strategy and globalization level and technology development in Thai firms based on a review of globalization and business strategy-related literature. Before conducting an empirical test with 150 executive officers from  two groups of Thai companies: a Benchmark sample (13 Thai globally ranked companies) and a comparison sample (other Public Company Limited companies and exporters from critical sectors to Thailand’s competitiveness), we conducted a pilot survey by collecting the data from 60 executives who are studying in the EMBA course (both Thai and International program) in Bangkok and qualitative research by interviewing 9 international business experts and faculties from many institutions in Thailand to develop an understanding of the conceptual model better in our context, and to assess the feasibility of the questionnaire. In this framework, we try to propose that effective corporate strategy: strategic directions, strategic competencies and going global provide an effective means to help firms manage in globalization situation, and attain superior performance and higher technology development in global markets. Hence, investigating the magnitude and directions of these relationships will help us gain a better understanding about the directions of the effects, determine appropriate strategies to better manage these effects and will lead to higher value added serves which will be an important financial and non-financial impact to the organizations.

 

Sox Compliance:  Cost and Value

Dennis C. Stovall, Grand Valley State University

 

ABSTRACT

 Corporate America is not convinced of the value of implementing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).  Due to heavy cost and time commitments, businesses are wary of doing too much to comply with the new rules.  Five local corporations within West Michigan were interviewed with the intent of defining this problem.  The results show a mixed bag of success, many additional costs, and a wide variety of attitudes about SOX.  It appears as if there will always be a battle between SOX costs and the value that it represents.  Smaller and mid-sized corporations appear to have the toughest task in following the rules of SOX, including a higher than average appropriation of funds to cover the new expenses associated with following the new rules.  The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is considered one of the most significant pronouncements in the recent history of U.S. accounting law. The act covers various issues from corporate governance to internal controls and financial disclosure.  It is geared toward strengthening internal controls and imposes more responsibility on those who should be overseeing internal controls.  Nevertheless, SOX had some negative consequences which affected the introduction and acceptance of the act by the public.  The practical and timely implementation of SOX by real-world firms has been hampered by challenges, such as costs, employee time restraints and expertise, and legal burdens.  One of the biggest issues firms face when having to implement SOX is the associated cost.  Companies who file annual reports with the SEC and who list on national stock exchanges in the United States must comply with SOX requirements. 

 

The Influence of Traditional Service Quality Factors on Customer Satisfaction: A Practical Study within the Context of Australian Banking

Dr. Mohammad Al-hawari, Sharjah University, United Arab of Emirates

 

ABSTRACT

 There is a general trend among Australian banks to use more automated and less traditional channels in order to deliver various banking services. However, Bank traditional services quality factors, which include employees, process, and tangibles, are still important to satisfy customers in today’s dynamic banking environment. Accordingly, this study empirically investigated the relationship between these three traditional banking service quality factors and customer satisfaction. The study is important as the research provides a practical insight into banking in Australia concerning the role that the traditional banking services still play in satisfying customers. Research findings indicated a significant influence of bank traditional service quality on satisfaction level. In particular, Service delivery process quality has the strongest relationship with customer satisfaction followed by employee service quality and tangibles. It is essential for bank mangers not to ignore traditional service quality factors in favour of automated services.  Many retail banks face a huge challenge to shrink the numbers of branches. Banks are expending more than ever to enhance electronic customer relationship management to try to be closer to the customers while reducing staff number (Gyptra & Dixon 2002). Using technology to win a competitive advantage in service has been recommended in the literature.

 

Offshore Software Development from Japan to China and its Effect on Japanese Software Firms

Nobuhiro Takahashi, Ph.D., Osaka City University, Japan

Mita Takahashi, Kyoto University, Japan

 

ABSTRACT

 This article discusses the recent development of offshore software development (offshoring) in the software industry in Japan. Following interviews with several Japanese ICT firms, we reveal the present status and problems of offshore software development, which cannot be recognized from the macro data. Japanese firms must expand offshoring because of increasing competition within Japan, although offshoring creates an outflow of technology and know-how to foreign firms. This outflow fosters prospective foreign competitors and improves their technology, especially in China. Small and medium-sized Japanese software firms that lack advanced technology will face competition against foreign firms for survival in the near future.  Japanese offshore software development (offshoring) has been increasing recently. Coding and other tasks are transferred from Japan to foreign countries. China is the largest recipient of Japanese offshoring. Many Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) firms conduct transactions with software firms in China, India, or elsewhere, establishing subsidiaries or investing in firms in those countries.  The development of the software industry in China has already been discussed in the academic literature, in such studies as Tschang and Xue (2003), Li and Gao (2003), Wong and Wong (2004), Contractor and Kundu (2004), Li et al. (2005), Yang et al. (2005), and Shi et al. (2005). They showed that the rapid development of the Chinese software industry is promoted by the economic growth of the Chinese economy and support by the government.

 

Are They Watching?  Corporate Surveillance of Employees’ Technology Use

Anna M. Turri, University of Arkansas

Dr. Balasundram Maniam and Geraldine E. Hynes, Sam Houston State University

 

ABSTRACT

 Computers are being used by almost everyone in the modern organization, particularly for email and to access the Internet. In fact, 96 percent of North Americans say they use email at work either every day or several days a week. For the first time email has exceeded all other forms of workplace communication in the United States and Canada (Everett, Wong, & Paynter, 2004-2005). This increase in technology use in companies has also led to an increase in workplace monitoring. This paper explores why companies monitor employees’ use of technology and how they monitor them. It also looks at the results of monitoring and the drawbacks to excessive employee surveillance. The paper concludes with a reminder that employees should think twice before using their office computer for personal tasks. It also recommends that organizations should adopt a formal monitoring policy because even though courts have consistently ruled on the side of employers in the past, the future brings certain legal challenges.  Imagine that while you are at work you receive a very funny, albeit somewhat questionable, email from your best friend. Knowing your co-workers will find this email hilarious, you forward it to everyone and go about your day. You don’t give it another thought until the next day when you are called in to your boss's office, see a copy of your email on his desk, and are asked to explain yourself. How could this happen?  Isn't your email private?

  

Development of a Scale to Measure Reactions to Electronic Monitoring

Dr. Douglas Flint and Lynn Haley, University of New Brunswick

Jeffrey McNally, Laurier University

 

ABSTRACT

 This study reports the development of a new scale to measure reactions to electronic monitoring. The four item scale shows good reliability and factor loadings distinct from six other organizational variables. In this paper we describe the development of a scale to measure employee reactions to electronic monitoring.  Electronic monitoring is growing in importance because of its usage across so many organizations (Ambrose & Alder, 2000; Stanton & Weiss, 2000; Zweig & Webster, 2002).  A variety of technologies are employed which include: global positioning data, video cameras, keystroke counting, computer file monitoring, e-mail content, recording of telephone calls, time spent on computers and away from them (Lund, 1992; Mishra & Crampton, 1998; Alder & Tompkins, 1997). In an American Management Association (2007) survey 8% of US employers reported using GPS to track company vehicles; 48% used video cameras to monitor employees; 45% tracked content, keystrokes and time spent at the keyboard; 43% stored and reviewed computer files; 43% monitored email; 45% monitored time spent and numbers called on the telephone; 16% recorded phone conversations; and 9% monitored voicemail messages.  Monitoring involves tracking employees at work (Adler, 2001). Employer justifications for monitoring employees include: need for security (Oz, Glass & Behling, 1999); health and safety (Kierkegaard, 2005); increases to productivity, work quality, and cost reduction (Alder, 2001). It has been suggested that monitoring may reduce legal liability, negative publicity, and security breaches (Stanton & Wiess, 2000; Williams, 2000). It has also been proposed that monitoring could result in improvements in performance appraisal and feedback systems (Angel, 1989; Henriques, 1986a; 1986b).

 

Building Commitment through Integrating Employees in Governance

Dr. Suzanne Young and Dr. Vijaya Thyil, La Trobe University Melbourne, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

 

Corporate collapses of past decade have affected all stakeholders through a loss of public confidence, loss of jobs and loss of shareholders’ funds.  We have seen poor business decisions, extravagant business acquisitions, lack of attention to detail, exorbitant directors fees, lack of board scrutiny and inadequate disclosure internationally and in Australia in cases such as Enron, WorldCom, HIH, the Australian Wheat Board, and numerous state banks. This paper analyzes annual reports, web sites and CSR/ Sustainability and Governance reports of twenty selected companies to highlight the position of human resources and labour in their governance frameworks, and by linking the data to Stum’s (2001) performance pyramid, evaluates the extent of organizational commitment. It concludes that despite all the rhetoric around employees being stakeholders, employees continue to be viewed as ‘outsiders’ with governance primarily focused on shareholder concerns. Employees are primarily seen as constituents of legal and regulatory frameworks and employee codes of conduct and lack a position in strategy and effective decision-making structures, thereby conveying to employees that they are perceived only as workers, and not as a person (Stum, 2001). Naturally, the organizations fail to win the commitment of their employees.  Corporate collapses of past decade have affected all stakeholders through a loss of public confidence, loss of jobs and loss of shareholders’ funds.  We have seen poor business decisions, extravagant business acquisitions, lack of attention to detail, exorbitant directors fees, lack of board scrutiny and inadequate disclosure internationally and in Australia in cases such as Enron, WorldCom, HIH, the Australian Wheat Board, and numerous state banks. Improved corporate governance is increasingly being seen as the answer to these problems as ‘every one of the mechanisms set up to provide checks and balances failed at the same time’ (Monks and Minow, 2004:1).

 

Institutions and Economic Growth: An Exploratory Study of the Baltic States

Edwin C. Moore Jr, DBA/IB, Strayer Univesity

 

ABSTRACT

 The purpose of this research was to find evidence of the relationships between variables indicating instructional development, as measured by the Economic freedom Index (EFI), and Gross domestic Product (GDP) growth. The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were chosen as sample countries. Four components of the EFI were used to measure institutional development and were; trade, fiscal policy, government size, and monetary policy. The research employed data from the period 1996 to 2006.  The results indicated that although the Baltic’s, generally, enjoyed good economic growth at over six percent per year, only one economic freedom component, monetary policy correlated with economic growth. Possible reasons are given for the results and suggestions for further research are offered.  Institutions have been linked to economic growth throughout history. In most developed and developing economies those institutions, formal and informal, have evolved over a long period of time. In the case of the Central and Eastern European countries many of the institutions in place evaporated with fall of the Soviet Union. Institutional analyses have been found to be a good tool with which to study the economic development of the ex-soviet countries in the post-Soviet period (Gelbuda, Meyer, & Delios, 2008).

 

The Foundations of Turkish Law

Mustafa Can, Ph.D., Ankara, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

 Formal foundations of law or in other words “foundations indicating law” may be divided into two sub categories: “written foundations” and “unwritten foundations ”. In addition to these two categories, we may also include books of authority or doctrine and case law or judicial precedent as a subsidiary foundations of Turkish law. Although these are not foundations within the technical meaning of the term, they are nevertheless still useful for facilitating aid in the application of the law. As a result, there are three different kinds of formal foundations  of law, namely, “written foundations of law”, “unwritten foundations of law”, and “subsidiary foundations of law”. Towards the end of the 1900’s, many European countries codified much of their law both public and private. On the other hand, in the Anglo Saxon countries the notion of uncodified law prevailed, and many rules are derived from customary laws and judicial precedents. Turkey has followed many European countries and codification of many European laws. Turkish Parliament has become the most important foundation of the Turkish law.  Since the World War II, Turkey has played a significant part in Europe. Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe. She signed the European Convention on Human Rights. In fact, tha various edicts of the reform period are usually considered the beginnings of the codify movement in Turkey. During the 19 th century sultanate, which was inseparable from Islam, there was a significant movement towards “Europeanisation” of the Turkish law system.  Turkish Criminal Code, Turkish Civil Code, Turkish Code of Obligation, Turkish Commercial Code, and other codes are codified by the Turkish Parliament.  The Ankara Agreement is an association agreement in terms of Article 238 of the EEC Treaty, i.e. an agreement with a European country, it has been negotiated by the Community, signed by the parties and ratified by Turkey and the Community member states in accordance with the procedure.

 

Effects of the Sub-prime Crisis on the Romanian Economy

Dr. Viorel Lefter, Andra-Maria Vasilescu, and Dr. Alina Mihaela Dima

Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest

  

ABSTRACT

 The main purpose of this article is to analyze whether the sub prime mortgage crisis originated in the United States of America has affected the Romanian economy and what the development prospects are for Romania, as one of the youngest members of the EU, in the current context and over the next couple of years. In addition, we will look at whether Romania can draw lessons from some of its EU fellows in Central-Eastern Europe or from the recent real estate bubble in The United States itself and we will try to differentiate the indirect effects of the sub-prime crisis from the problems caused by the local conjuncture, the potential recession of an ordinary real estate business cycle and the structural deficiencies still haunting the country one year and a half after its EU accession.  In the second quarter of 2008, the housing market in United States has witnessed unprecedented price decreases which some economists consider paralleled only by the Great Depression (Vikas, 2007). Currently, the housing market is considered to have reached a level of prices of minus 16 % compared to their peak level reached in 2006, according to the Case-Schiller Home Price Index computed and disclosed on a monthly basis by Standard & Poor’s.   This evolution of the housing industry comes as the main consequence of the complex impasse begun during the summer of 2007 in the American economy and which had a major impact both on internal and external financial markets. The roots of the subsequent problems escalation were the sub-prime mortgage loans that translated rapidly into a banking crisis in terms of reduced liquidity and collateral coverage of exposures. Sub-prime is a characteristic of loans, mainly granted to borrowers with poor credit history to help them finance residential acquisitions, in times when general market perception was that the real estate industry will continue to grow.

 

Supply Network Strategy - as - Practice:  A Network Approach Towards Strategy Development

Dr. Tero Vuorinen and Dr. Marko Kohtamaki, University of Vaasa, Finland

 

 Abstract

 

This article presents the concept of network strategy-as-practice and illustrates the components of the network strategy process. We try to lay down a description of a network strategy process, which could be utilized within company networks. As a vast amount of research suggests that companies increasingly utilize networks, we argue that there is a need for the concept of network strategy-as-practice.  The amount of products and services acquired from outside the borders of the company has increased within recent years. Thus, the significance of the supplier network has also increased. Some scholars have begun using concepts, such as network sourcing (Hines 1996), supplier network (Dyer & Hatch 2004), business net (Möller, Rajala & Svahn 2005) or even strategic network (Jarillo 1988, 1993). However, as previous research has shown, companies often lack of both the method and the competence to develop network strategies. Therefore, we argue that there is a need to build up a concept for the network strategy process. Hence, the aim of this study is to illustrate how companies could build up a network strategy to manage their operations more successfully. This article discusses the most important themes of such a network strategy and its implementation.  This article is based on the previous research on business networks. We utilize both theoretical and empirical studies to discuss the network strategy process. In this article, our analysis captures themes such as network governance, network integration, network resources and the network strategy process.

 

Use of Residual Income Valuation Model to Estimate Growth and the Rate of Return for Indian Companies

Dr. Ramesh Gupta and Nirali Parikh, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India

 

ABSTRACT

 During the last several years, Residual Income Valuation (RIV) has become prominent in accounting literature. RIV has also been used to obtain estimates of the expected rate of return in a number of recent studies in the accounting and finance literature. In this paper we have tried to simultaneously estimate the cost of equity capital and the growth in residual earnings that are implied by current stock prices, book values and accounting earnings using Indian corporate financial data. The results are very similar to what is found in Indian financial media.  In recent years, residual income valuation (RIV) has become prominent in accounting literature.  A commentary by Bernard (1995) appears to have been especially influential in popularizing RIV as the approach to equity valuation. Penman (2005, p. 367) called RIV the ‘centerpiece’ of accounting based valuation. Now  RIV as a subject matter is covered in a large number of text books, such as Bernstein et al. (2001)), Palepu et al., (2004), Penman (2004), Revsine et al. (2005), Soffer and Soffer (2003) and While et al. (2003.  Peasnell (1982) provides the basic modern framework of RIV.  The main reason for RIV’s widespread acceptance rests on its apparent ability to procure a constructive role for accounting data in equity valuation. In RIV current book value acts as a valuation-anchor, and the Present value of expected future residual earnings reconciles the difference between intrinsic and book values. This accounting based formula is simple and relies heavily on clean surplus accounting which essentially means that the dirty surplus items have approximately zero expected value.

 

Training, Organizational Strategy and Firm Performance

Nguyen Ngoc Thang, Ph.D. candidate, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium

Prof. Dr. Dirk Buyens, Ghent University & Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Gent, Belgium

 

ABSTRACT

 Although there has been growing studies of the effects of training on firm performance, research attention has been limited to the contextual conditional that moderate the training- firm performance relationship. In this study, we used contingency approach to examines the relationship between training, organizational strategy and firm performance. Results of regression from The Vietnam Employer survey 2007 show that quality and flexibility strategies moderated the training - firm sales and productivity relationship. However, we found no significant of the moderating effects of cost strategy on the training- firm performance relationship.  The link between firm-provided training and organizational performance is now recognized as essential by most organizations (Black & Lynch, 1996; Garcia, 2005; Khatri, 2000). The knowledge and skills of employees through training activities have become important to firm performance. Preffer (1994) and Upton (1995) argued that success in today competitive markets is determined primarily by human capital, not physical capital and strongly advocated greater firm investments in training in order to provide better knowledge, skills and capabilities for employees than their competitors. Accordingly, firms spend on training activities are expected that it is instrumental for organizations to remain and enhance their employees skills and knowledge in order to create sustainable competitive advantage (Barney, 1991) and improve firm performance (Kozlowski et al., 2000).

 

Approach to Fiscal Targeting of Selected New EU Member States

Petra Dvorakova, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

 

ABSTRACT

 Deficit financing of public budgets has been a problem for not only European countries in last few decades. Considering that a deficit could mean only the first step to more serious problems such as growth of public debt or overall unsustainability of public finance, countries started to search for instruments to reduce or even eliminate the deficits. One of the possibilities is a method of fiscal targeting. The method is based on setting of binding fiscal targets prescribed for medium-terms horizons or strict ratio of budget balance to GDP. The method started to be used in the fiscal policy of the European Union (EU) in 1988 and it has been continuously adopted by the EU member states, too. The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic became members of the EU in May 2004. The establishment of the fiscal targeting method in these countries should have lead to a significant change in public budgets performance. The aim of this paper is to introduce the method of fiscal targeting in the Czech and Slovak context and to compare the approaches of these countries to an implementation of the method.  Deficit financing of public budgets has been a problem for not only European countries in last few decades. Considering that a deficit could mean only the first step to more serious problems such as growth of public debt or overall unsustainability of public finance, governments started to search for instruments to reduce or even eliminate the deficits. One of the possibilities is a method of fiscal targeting.

 

Competitiveness of Companies in the Czech Republic

Petr Suchanek, Ph.D. and Jiri Spalek, Ph.D., Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper deals with measuring the Czech companies competitiveness based on an empirical survey made by the Research Center for the Czech Economy Competitiveness in 2007. The paper proceeds from the assumption that the company competitiveness is reflected in its financial effectiveness that is measurable by means of standard ratio indicators. The actual competitiveness results from factors of qualitative characteristics. The aim of the paper is to divide the examined companies using chosen financial indicators and statistical methods into clusters of similar companies and to find their typical qualitative characteristics. The partial aim of the paper is to find out whether there are typical characteristics of individual clusters of companies and whether these factors have different values (statistically significant) in different clusters of companies.  The paper deals with measuring the competitiveness of companies in the Czech Republic that is based on an empirical survey made by the Research Center for the Czech Economy Competitiveness in 2007 (the Center itself was established in 2005 as a part of Masaryk University, Faculty of Economics and Administration in Brno, the Czech Republic). The paper deals with the conception of competitiveness that is quite frequent nowadays (it is also rather extensive and heterogenic) and with a possibility of its measuring whether it is quantitative (financial) or qualitative.  When defining the competitiveness it is possible to proceed from both macroeconomic and microeconomic understanding of the term. However, both the viewpoints are interconnected, while it is possible to say that competitiveness of companies (or microeconomics) influences and predetermines the competitiveness of economy as a whole, i.e. of macroeconomics (see Siska, 2005 for details). It is implied in the microeconomic nature of the term “competitiveness” that a competitive company is a company that is able to compete with its competitors (Slany, 2006).

 

One Family, One Car:  The Better Strategy for Sustainable Development in China

Yan Qin, The City University of New York

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper will investigate the rising motorization rate in China and limited resource, higher pollution cost. We suggest that the most important strategy policy for sustainable development in China is: “One Family, One Car”. In China, the public environment becomes more and more important. Considering the increasing trend in urbanization, increasing income, limited land per person, poor public transportation, the car control policy becomes more and more important. From resource constrain and pollution cost, we get the conclusion: the only solution in China for sustainable development is “One Family, One Car”. At the end of paper, we suggest that increase subway system, increase energy tax and the tolls for the road use, increase the knowledge of the environment, clear property right are the most important methods to support “One Family, One Car” policy.  In the future, China should change structure from higher industry share to higher service share, if it does not change, it is possible from “World Factory” to “Pollution Factory”, that is terrible for China as well as the world. As GDP growth, China should become more responsible for the world.  Since 1978, Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) has sustained an annual growth rate of about 8% on average. This is unprecedented in the world history. No other populous country has ever sustained such a rapid economic growth for so long a period of time. They have already successfully transferred their economy from a low-income country to a lower middle-income country.  However, in the process of development, there are also various latent problems that remained unsolved. Especially in the environment protection, it becomes more and more important and serious.

 

Profit Efficiency and K-Economy of Commercial Banks in Malaysia

Dr. Rosita  Suhaimi (1),  Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sarawak, Malaysia

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper is a pioneer attempt to identify the significance of K-economy variables as determinants to commercial banks cost efficiency in Malaysia.  The profit efficiency of commercial banks in Malaysia which was then the dependent variable was estimated using the Stochastic Frontier Approach (SFA) on a sample of unbalanced panel data, covering 23 commercial banks, between 1995 to 2005.   Hausman exogeneity specification test was done to check on the exogeneity or endogeneity of the K-economy variables considered, which then determined the appropriate specification of the model used.  Based on the empirical results, all the three K-economy variables, namely, efficient infrastructure, knowledged labour and information, and communication technology expenditure were found to be weakly exogenous.  This rejected the endogenous growth theory and favoured the neo classical theory.  In the neo classical model, information communication technology (ICT) was found to be insignificantly increasing the profit efficiency whereas non IT stock expenditure was a significant contributor to the banking profit efficiency. However, the training expenditure was found significantly  reducing the profit efficiency.  Apart from globalisation and liberalisation, the world economy is also being challenged by the important role of knowledge, and the capacity of the nation to utilise and generate knowledge. This will in turn create new values in the economy which will further contribute to the economic growth and wealth of the country.  This challenge is known as K-economy and is defined as an economy that is based on knowledge or economy that is directly based on production, distribution and utilisation of knowledge and information (OECD, 1996). 

 

Using GA-Assisted Monte Carlo Simulation to Value American Put Options

Kua-Ping Liao, Kun Shan University of Technology, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 This study attempts to value American put options using a Monte Carlo simulation assisted by genetic algorithms (GA). In previous literature, some researchers have proposed approaches to valuing American options using a Monte Carlo simulation. These approaches rely on the estimation of the value of continuing at each early exercise point. Once the estimated value of continuing has been obtained, early exercise decisions are made by comparing this value with the value of exercising. Normally, by working backwards, the value of continuing is estimated. The backwards working elements of these Monte Carlo approaches to pricing American options are complex. Moreover, working backwards demands a great deal of computational effort and a huge amount of computer memory. In this study American put options will be valued without estimating of the value of continuing. Consequently, working backwards is not needed and the simple flexible pure forward-working quality of the Monte Carlo simulation is retained. Genetic algorithms will be used to assist the Monte Carlo method in making the early exercise decisions as optimally as possible. This is possible because better early exercise decisions can bring about a bigger expected discounted profit.

 

The Effect of Country of Origin (COO) on Iranian Consumers’ Evaluation of Foreign Products in an Islamic Country

Assist. Prof. Dr. Kambiz Heidarzadeh Hanzaee

I.A.U. (Tehran Science and Research Branch) University, Tehran, Iran

 

ABSTRACT

 The growth of global competition and the necessity to pay attention to international matters led this research to engage in one of major subjects of International Marketing fields: “Country of Origin” (COO). This research, in the framework of an explorative study, assessed the role of COO in consumers’ evaluation of foreign products. In this way, consumers specified attitudes about five different countries: Japan, Germany, France, South Korea, and China. The results show that, based on COO, consumers’ attitudes regarding foreign product attributes were different, but except for a few of these attributes, the differences between countries were not significant. Also, the results indicate that when buying, consumers give the highest priority to Germany (68.2 percent) but, regarding special types of products, they prefer the German cars or Japanese home appliances. In hygienic products and cosmetics, they give first priority to France, second to Germany, and Japan last; in automobiles, to Germany, Japan, and France, respectively. Furthermore, in this research, the effects of demographic variables also were considered.  International trade patterns have changed constantly in terms of constitution and direction. These trends have been accompanied by increased interest in the nature of international competition, so that “country of origin” has become one of the most important fields of international marketing. This has led numerous researchers to focus on this area and study the COO effect (Bannister and Saunders, 1978; Erickson et al., 1984; Gaedeke, 1973; Han and Terpstra, 1988; Johansson et al., 1994; Lumpkin and Crawford, 1985; Nagashima, 1977; Papadopoulos et al., 1987; Schooler, 1965; Tse and Gorn, 1993, Laroch et al., 2005; Sediq, 2005).

 

Systematic Risk and Firm Financial Structure: Evidence on Istanbul Stock Exchange

Tolga Ulusoy, Ph.D., Kastamonu College, Kastamonu University,Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

 The empirical study is located on the Istanbul stock exchange, and focused on a sample of 30 firms for the period 1994-2001. In addition to the analysis of the association between accounting flow variables (profit, ordinary profit, working capital from operations, quick flow from operations and cash flow from operations) with market risk, we consider the individual and incremental information content of short and long term adjustments. Due to the probable bias that the combination of accounting and stock-market information in independent variables may produce, instead of using stock prices to deflate as in previous studies, we have used several accounting variables (book value of total assets, income, total debts and equity). Finally, as an extension of the basic methodology, which focuses on the current association with market beta, we also analyse the predictive power of flow accounting variables.  Share prices, and therefore share values, depend on firm's expected future cash flows and risk. Accounting information will be useful if it facilitates the prediction of these variables. A number of market research studies have analised the information content of operating cash flow considering the association between unexpected cash flows and abnormal returns, which are the unsystematic risks which may be eliminated through diversification. This work is situated in this line of research. Due to the smoothing that the accrual principle produces, we think that accounting variables based on this principle will produce worse proxies of market risk than would the corresponding cash flow measures.

 

Six Sigma through People – Rewarding sustainability of the Six Sigma level using SEPO

Maarten Pontier, The University of East London, London, United Kingdom

 

ABSTRACT 

This paper looks at what reward management system needs to be adopted to support six sigma processes implemented within the service orientated industry. Particular emphasis is placed on how reward management is a contributor to the sustainability of the six sigma level and how through remuneration it is able to sustain an employee focus of maintaining and enhancing the six sigma principles and process techniques that are applied to a service orientated organisation.  The paper concludes with the further detailed development of the conceptual Model known as Sigma Enhanced Performance Orientation. (SEPO)  The global business environment and its resultant competition, particularly the introduction of Japanese electronics into foreign and American Markets in the 1980’s, enhanced customer choice and subsequent competitiveness in most industrial and commercial sectors, has resulted in a continued sharpening of focus on organisational effectiveness and quality standards [1].  Companies’ traditional sources of competitive advantage, such as technology, patents and economies of scale have been weakened by globalisation and other environmental changes [2]  This global environment has equally resulted in the requirement for cost improvements, efficiency through organisational process and quality enhancement needing to be embedded and sustained within an organisation’s operation. [1]

 

Measuring the Market Structure of GCC Banking Industries

Saeed Al-Muharrami, Ph.D., Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper examines changes in concentrations that occurred during 1993-2002 within Arab GCC countries’ of banking industries. It presents the Herfindahl-Hirschman index and the k bank concentration ratio to measure concentration changes over ten years. The results show that concentration does not appear to have increased in GCC countries’ banking industry. In fact, with the exception of Oman’s and Qatar’s banking industries, concentration measures reported indicate that 4 of the 6 countries examined actually experienced declines in concentration over the 1993-2002. On the basis of these findings, it is safe to conclude that GCC banking industries are not highly concentrated and, concentration in GCC countries’ banking industry should not cause a big concern since the concentration indices indicate decline in the concentration over the years.  The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) (1) banking industries are highly regulated and protected. The local central banks and monetary authorities are blocking any new entry of foreign banks as well as rejecting the establishment of new local banks in many cases.  As a result, many mergers and acquisitions have occurred among banks in each of the six countries leading to a higher concentration in the banking sector. Such a phenomena worries the authorities and the public of monopoly power of the existing few banks. In recent years central banks and monetary authorities in the region have been acting differently where one group is granting new licenses to establish new banks and allowing the existence of foreign banks to meet the expansion in all sectors of the economy, while the other is still more strict blocking any new existence of local banks or an entry of foreign banks on their soils.

 

From Knowledge to Dynamic Capabilities: Double Learning Process in Unordinary Events

Prof. Gabriele Carbonara, Parthenope University of Naples, Italy

Rosa Caiazza, Parthenope University of Naples, Italy

 

ABSTRACT 

The emergence of the knowledge economy means that organizations’ know-how is becoming more important than traditional sources of economic power (Scarborough and Swan, 1999; Storey and Barnett, 2000). Knowledge is one of the most important resources and learning is the most strategically important capability for business organizations (Zack, 1999). Organizations find it difficult to manage efficiently their own knowledge resources through each phase of the knowledge life cycle. Knowledge Management also becomes more complicated when companies suddenly change their size through organizational changes, such as downsizing or growing through mergers and acquisitions. The knowledge management literature has mentioned the potential of acquisitions as a means of gaining access to new knowledge (Madhok 1997), while the acquisition literature has stressed the importance of knowledge to manage correctly the process of merger to create value (Haspeslagh and Jemison, 1991). Merging these two perspectives, this research aims to analyze learning processes that turn knowledge in firm’s dynamic capability to manage correctly all the phases of M&A’s process.   Acquisitions are causally ambiguous and unordinary events in firms’ life, and also if they are repeated present themselves in highly heterogeneous forms. These factors reduce firm’s ability to capitalize previous knowledge in a learning process.

 

Securitisation in Croatia: Why and How?

Marta Bozina, M. Phil., University of Zagreb, Croatia

Josip Stajfer, University of Zagreb, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 Securitisation is a technique firms use to raise financing. In securitisation transactions financiers purchase securities payable from collections on a firm’s receivables. The goal of securitisation is to obtain low cost capital market funding by separating all or portion of an originator’s receivables from the risks associated with the originator. Securitisation is very complex and is rarely costless so securitisation transactions must offer benefits that simpler financing techniques do not. Securitisation has many benefits for the participants. It offers benefits to issuing institutions, investment banks, guarantors of credit risk, borrowers and to investors. It increases the origination capacity of banks. It is an efficient method to create liquidity in the banking system. It reduces risk and capital requirements for the banks. Investors gain access to wide class of liquid instruments of varying risk return characteristics. It leads to lower interest rates for borrowers. Croatia is about to bring its Securitisation Act which should make securitisation in Croatia possible. All the types of financial assets that have customarily been securitised in other countries should be eligible for securitisation in Croatia using the assignment of future receivables. The assets must be transferred in the form of a “true sale” for accounting and bankruptcy reasons. The transfer has to be made to the bankruptcy remote SPV.  The term “securitisation” first appeared in a “Heard on the Street” column of the Wall Street Journal in 1977 (Ranieri, 2000). Securitisation is a technique firms use to raise financing. In securitisation transactions financiers purchase securities payable from collections on a firm’s receivables.

 

Women’s Shopping Behaviour and Consumer Beliefs: The Case of Cyprus

Dr. Alkis Thrassou, Christiana Kone, MBA, and Andriana Panayidou, MBA, University of Nicosia

 

ABSTRACT 

This research aims to study the theoretical context of female shopping behaviour, to define its nature in Cyprus and to identify its factors and underlying causes The academic and scientific value of the research lies primarily in its focus and depth which allow both the profiling of a gender-specific single stage of the consumer behaviour process (women’s shopping), but also its multi-perspective comprehension through the interrelation of constituent factors and behavioural motivators. The research offers further value to business knowledge through its prescriptive conclusions on retailing applications and general marketing practice. The methodology is largely founded upon a phenomenological paradigm, which was deemed best towards understanding the human behavior from the participant’s own perspective. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to allow accurate scientific quantification and measurement where possible; and subjective insights and in-depth comprehension of attitudes and perceptions where necessary. The findings show an intensely hedonistic behaviour among women shoppers, which demands for special marketing focus on retailing; both in terms product retailers’ choice and in terms of retailers’ design and customer logistics. Additionally women self-perception in terms of advertising and stereotypes’ influence was found to contradict diachronic beliefs of marketing practice and research.  

 

The Relation Between Teacher Classroom Management and Student Depression

Fen-fen Huang, Ph.D., Oriental Institute of Technology, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 The core concept of “teacher classroom management” applies to Chinese teacher-student relationships and addresses the teacher’s responsibility to aid students in problem-solving. The teacher has the responsibility to carefully and actively monitor the student’s involvement. However, in the context of teacher-student interactions, this can prevent a teacher from adequately communicating and providing help, causing the student to feel pressure and thereby limiting his or her perceived decision-making ability. Students generally hide their dissatisfaction, and this can lead to long periods of depression. Hence, this study was intended to explore how teacher classroom management influences student depression. The central questions address how student and teacher variables influence student ratings, and which teacher variables affect which student variables. Hierarchical linear modeling shows that the student variables accounted for most of the variance; teacher classroom management and students’ core self-evaluation were the preponderant influences on the students' ratings. In terms of teacher variables, the effects of the teacher's involvement, his/her depression, and age were strong and significant. School administrators in charge of handing out assignments to teachers should base their decisions on the teacher’s personality and emotional stability.

 

Cross Border M&As: New Challenges for Italian Banks

Prof. Gabriele Carbonara and Rosa Caiazza, Parthenope University of Naples, Italy

 

ABSTRACT

 Past research, built on largely North American processes of mergers and acquisitions, may no longer be useful for the problems facing Europe’s companies. The process of integration started with European Monetary Union (EMU) combined with the process of enlargement of European Union (EU) to 27 States, have lead multi local companies to face cultural problems. European market in fact is a combination of States with different national values, systems and cultures. Thus, companies that want realize cross border mergers or acquisitions have to adapt their national values to the multicultural contest that is emerging. This research aims to identify factors affecting success of European cross-border M&As. At this aim, the authors conducted a study on cross border mergers and acquisitions between Italian and East European Banks. It draws on evidence from a longitudinal case study of an Italian Bank and its numerous acquisitions in East Europe. Applying a framework developed from the literature, the study reviews and evaluates factors affecting success in cross border operations, and presents managerial lessons emphasizing in particular the handling of national and organizational cultural differences.  The European financial sector has undergone tremendous change over the past decade. Banking concentration has increased in all banking markets. European Union’s process of enlargement to 27 States has increased these pressures. Thus banks, especially those from countries that had already reached a high level of concentration such as Italy, started to be engaged in cross-border M&A activities. The process of unification of different national markets at the aim to achieve a dimension that enables EU to compete with US market has evidenced all cultural differences among the Member States. European States in fact differ in language, history and values.

 

Impact of Corporate Governance on Financial Performance of Firms: Evidence from Pakistan

Mohammad Shaoib Abdullah, Ph.D. Scholar, Assistant Professor, International Islamic University Islamabad Pakistan

Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Ph.D. Scholar, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University

Arshad Hassan, Ph.D. Scholar, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University Islamabad Pakistan

 

ABSTRACT

 The study investigates role of corporate governance on firm performance in the Pakistani Context. Governance parameters include board size, inside directors’ shareholding, size of the board and audit committee independence. Fixed effect model of panel data analysis using  Tobin’s Q,  MVA,ROA and ROE as a measures of firm performance, is attempted. The data corresponds to a panel of 50, listed Pakistani firms for the period 2002–2005. The regression analysis shows that Governance variables have impact on performance variables. The results provide support for the proposed model, and suggest the need for further research into framework for governance and Firm performance. The data corresponds to the panel of 50 listed Pakistani firms for the period of 2002 to 2005.  Some of the most spectacular corporate collapses and losses in recent memory have highlighted the role that corporate governance practices play in maintaining viable entities, and safeguarding Investors’ interests. The governance failures at Enron, Parmalat and others since 2001 are harsh examples of the risks posed by corporate governance breakdowns. Losses of tens of billions of dollars of Investors’ capital proved that the existing set of corporate checks and balances on insiders’ activities could not protect Shareowners from the misplaced priorities of Board Members and the manipulation and misappropriation of Company resources by management and other groups that exercised significant and improper influence over the Company’s affairs.

 

Forecasting Performance of Capital Asset Pricing Models in Case of Pakistani Market

Attiya Y. Javid, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad

 

ABSTRACT

 

This study empirically tests the conditional CAPM, conditional consumption CAPM and conditional multifactor CAPM model with individual stocks traded at Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE), the main equity market in Pakistan for the period 1993-2004. The ability of conditional CAPM models in forecasting asset returns is assessed through predictability of excess return for the period 2005-2006. The results show that the macroeconomic variables that capture business cycle fluctuations are better in explaining the cross-section variation in expected returns, they are found to have better forecasting ability for out-of-sample stock returns in case of Pakistani Market. The evaluation of forecasting ability of the conditional asset pricing models shows that the forecasting power of conditional multifactor CAPM is relatively better compared to conditional CAPM model and conditional consumption CAPM models. It follows, therefore, that the business cycle variables provide useful information for predicting the future direction of stock prices. These variables include market return, call money rate, term structure, industrial production growth, inflation rate, foreign exchange rate and growth in oil prices.  It is well documented that the major determinants of price movements of stocks are business cycle variables [Campbell (1987), Ferson and Harvey (1993) Cooper, Glen and Visalia (2001)]. Therefore, the CAPM model using the lagged standard business cycle variables tend to perform well in the empirical literature and studies also confirm this tendency for the Pakistani Market [Iqbal et al (2008) and Javid (2008)]. For investor, macroeconomists and policy makers this finding raises the question as to whether the macroeconomic variables that captures business-cycle fluctuations help in forecasting stock returns.

 

Factors Influencing the Islamic Credit Cards Holders Satisfaction

Nuradli Ridzwan Shah Bin Mohd Dali and Hanifah Abdul Hamid, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Malaysia

Dr. Shahida Shahimi and Hairunnizam Wahid, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia

 

ABSTRACT

 Islamic credit card is widely accepted in the banking industry and the public acceptance is favorable because it gives an alternative to Muslim consumers to use the credit card facilities and in the same time adhere to the prohibition of interest as promulgated by Islam. However, there is lacking of studies in determining the factors that contributes to the credit card holders’ satisfaction. The Islamic credit card holders’ satisfaction is important because, customers’ dissatisfaction will increase complaints which trigger the possibility of switching to conventional credit cards. The switching is possible since there are decrees from Islamic scholars that permit the usage of the conventional credit cards as long as payment of full outstanding balance is made. Therefore, this study is conducted to analyze the factors influencing the perceptions and satisfaction of the Islamic and Conventional credit card holders by using factoring analysis and logistic regression. The result shows that the Islamic credit card holders’ satisfaction factors are shopping, bulk purchases and understand concept.  The result is expected to be used as guidance for Islamic Bankers in promoting its credit cards.  A credit card is a system of payment named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. A credit card is different from a debit card in that it does not remove money from the user's account after every transaction. In the case of credit cards, the issuer lends money to the consumer (or the user).

 

Lifestyle Research on Visitors of Ju Ming Museum

Dr. Shuo-Fang Liu, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

Wen-Cheng Wang, Lecturer, Hwa Hsia Institute of Technology, Taiwan

Yo-Wen Liang, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 Museum development represents art target and competition power of a nation, therefore civilization of the nation becomes stronger when its museums have more visitors and are distributed widely. However, according to statistics data, visiting museum is never a primary recreation activity. Through research analysis of case study in Ju Ming Museum, we could know that the main distribution groups of visitors are: students around 20-year-old, office workers or government officials around 25 to 40-year-old and higher managers or boss around 40 to 50-year-old. We could observe many messages and analyze the pictures of life regarding the way of food, clothing, residence, transportation, learning, playing and occupation. Result shows that museums do not satisfy the requirement of children under 20-year-old and adult over 50-year-old. Hence, focusing on the demands for these groups is necessary if we want to include museum visiting in activities of Exercise for all”. Our research provides data analysis of a case study and offer reference and application value for future researches.  According to the fast growth of visual art and performance art, Naisbitt & Aburdene (1990) predicted there will be a great change on people’s entertainment and activities in the beginning of 21 century. They also believe   that many people would choose art activities for their vacation or free time in the future.

 

Investment and Risk Evaluation of Taiwan Venture Capital Firms

Dr. Tsui-Yii Shih, LungHwa University of Science and Technology

 

ABSTRACT

 Risk factors are numerous and accurate evaluation challenges the best managers. The study uses both qualitative and quantitative methods, in the exploration of Taiwan’s venture capital markets. In order to ensure the revenues and to avoid uncertainty, Taiwan venture capital firms are risk averse or neutral, which major invest that this expansion and mezzanine stages of targeted firms. The research confirms the importance and differentia of risk assessments, including international investment risk factors and project risk factors between international VCs and non-international VCs. The results of a comparative analysis on risk attitude between international VCs and non-international VCs is also discussed in the study.  The relative efficiency in selecting and monitoring investments of venture capitalists gives them a comparative advantage over other investors (Amit, Brander and Zott, 1998). Venture capital firms all over the world are taking the global investing more seriously and important than before. As the business becomes more global and increases the international competition pressure, managers will find themselves facing more complex strategic decisions (Pratt, 1964). Venture capitalists keep risk exposure and assess a number of different elements of risk for invested projects (Macmillan et al., 1987; Wright, Lockett and Pruthi, 2002). Managers should combine their perception of the control variables including of experience, cultural differences, and industry concentration into a control risk evaluation. The most efficient mode is the one with highest benefit-to-cost ratio. Hence, it is obvious that highly significant relationship exists between total perceived risk and strategic choice.

 

A Study into the Antecedent, Mediator and Moderator of Online Shopping Behavior’s Model from Information Richness and Framing

Kuo-Ming Chu, Cheng Shiu University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

 The purpose of this paper is to develop a complete online purchasing behavior model, explore the influence on the antecedent, mediator and moderator factors of online purchasing intension, and to compensate the insufficiency of publications of investigations regarding online purchasing behavior. The results indicate: information richness environment and message framing can increase the communication effect in terms of internet advertisement. What is worth the attention is that it helps to elevate the enterprise image; product involvement has positive impact on communication effect; product knowledge has no influence on it but helps on the development of consumer’s point of view; internet advertisement can not only affect customer’s point of view, but also elevate the intension of purchasing. The investigation also finds internet information richness environment and customer’s product involvement degree affect each other, and negative message framing is more efficient than the positive one. By the incitement of informatics technology, flourishing development of internet completely subvert our lives, even impact the whole society commerce and make a big change on economics. According to the estimation from eTForestcasts and eMarketer, the growth in year 2006 would achieve around one billion; according to the data published in May by the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, it shows the internet population in Taiwan is over thirteen millions; the popularity rate is high as 60%. On the other hand, per the internet investigation results done by MIC, it indicates the internet advertisement amount in Taiwan for year 2005 is about three billion NTD, which occupied around the percent of the overall advertisement amount in Taiwan.

 

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