The Business Review, Cambridge
Vol. 13 * Number 2 * December 2009
The Library of Congress, Washington, DC * ISSN 1553 - 5827
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An Empirical Investigation of Personality Antecedents and Performance Consequences of Customer Orientation
Dr. Ceyhan Kilic, New York Institute of Technology, New York, NY
Dr. Turkan Dursun, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX
The aim of this study is to investigate the personality antecedents and performance consequences of individual-level customer orientation in the marketing context through a theoretical model. The personality antecedents are compliant orientation, aggressive orientation, and detached orientation. The performance outcomes are relationship development and individual performance. The proposed model was tested over a random sample of 2000 marketers from a broad spectrum of businesses. The final sample consisted of 189 usable responses. A structural equation modeling analysis was used for model specification and hypothesis testing. According to the study results, there is a negative and significant relationship between detached orientation and customer orientation. The relationship between aggressive orientation and customer orientation is positive and insignificant. There is a positive and insignificant link between compliant orientation and customer orientation. The study results also revealed that higher levels of customer orientation lead to higher levels of relationship development and individual performance. Managerial implications and future research suggestions were also provided. Having a workforce with a strong market/customer orientation is especially important for a firm in the selling context. The term customer-oriented selling was defined as “the practice of the marketing concept at the level of the individual salesperson and customer” (Saxe and Weitz 1982, p.343). Customer-oriented salespeople or sales force can create a high level of customer satisfaction and thus, develop a strong customer base for the company. This notion also applies to marketers within the organization. Customer-oriented marketers help the organization reach its customer satisfaction-related objectives and goals.
Stress, Organizational Change and Management Planning
John T. Byrd, Ph.D., Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY
The role of management planning as a prelude to fundamental change is critical to the continued success of any business organization. The following study provided the foundation for successful change in several retail branches of a large bank. As a result of the successful changes, the remaining bank branches reported excess stress anticipating changes in their local branches. Management was concerned about future changes without an understanding of the stress that occurred during the initial change efforts. Consequently, management decided to conduct a study of stress associated with the successfull changes of the five retail branches. This was used as a planning tool to guide actions in the remaining twenty three branches involved in the change process. The results proved useful in preventing problems that management would have ignored had the study not been conducted. This study identifies, measures, and compares the intensity of stress among employees in five retail branches of a large bank undergoing large scale change. The employees in each branch consisted of a bank manager and operating employees. Before the Total Quality Management program was implemented via a concept called Bank Express, the bank manager and employees were organized in a hierarchical arrangement and the division of labor was highly specialized. The manager was accorded more status than other employees, and expected to be treated as such. The restructuring effort was designed to create a team structure, develop a sales culture with the reward system reinforced with sales commissions, and be totally focused on customers needs. This new environment required a physical change in the design and layout of the retail branches of the bank.
Implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for Nonprofit Organizations
Dr. Lakshmi S. Narain, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in 2002, has profoundly affected the governance, auditing and reporting of publicly traded U.S. corporations. Several agencies and watchdog groups are lobbying for similar legislation at state and federal levels to apply to the nonprofit sector. Based on a study of current literature, this paper provides a synopsis of the consensus view of academicians and practitioners on this issue and presents guidelines that can be followed by nonprofits in the U.S. The American Competitiveness and Corporate Accountability Act, popularly known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or SOX, for short, was passed in 2002.1 The passage of this legislation was in response to the scandals of the early 2000’s involving corporations like Enron, Tyco, WorldCom and others. These scandals rocked the nation and shocked investors to the extent of undermining their confidence in American businesses and in the performance information reported by them. The legislation introduced a number of measures requiring boards of directors of publicly traded corporations in the U.S. to more closely monitor management, and for top management to take more responsibility for financial transactions and auditing procedures of their businesses. The main provisions of the Act Businesses, especially small, have lobbied, citing escalating cost of compliance as a reason, for relaxation and dilution of some aspects of the Act. Notwithstanding such lobbying efforts, the major provisions of the Act remain in tact, strongly deterring corporate accounting irregularities and unethical behavior.
Measure of Small Business Financial Performance from a Lender and a Borrower Perspective
Sena Durguner, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
Dr. Ani L. Katchova, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
This study analyzes how lenders and borrowers differ in their measures of small business financial performance. We specifically use farm data, Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) data, from 1995 to 2004 as a representation of these small business firms. We find that for a lender and a borrower, different variables are significant in explaining the financial performance of small businesses. Moreover, for robustness purposes, we classify the data into four categories based on performance and repayment capacity, and then re-run the regressions based on these categories. We still find similar explanatory variables to be significant as before, even though for some of the categories some additional variables gain significance. Previous literature analyzes small business performance and profitability. They look at which variables are significant in determining performance and profitability of small businesses. Furthermore, some of the literature tries to understand how risk management strategies are affected by structural characteristics of these small businesses. However, there hasn’t been an explicit research on how variables that determine profitability of small businesses differ across lenders and borrowers. Instead, previous literature looks at which variables are significant in determining small business profitability from only the borrower perspective.
Building Social Networking Sites (SNS) on Open Source Platforms
Prof. Jeremy Fei Wang, Marietta College, Marietta, OH
In recent years, social networking has become a hot topic in dynamic website development. Successful social networking sites and services (SNS) such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Orkut, Hi5 and Xiaonei are built around social graphs, common interests, knowledge, geographical proximity, professional communities and practices. Millions of users around the globe are flocking to these online communities to interact with one another. The enormous growth potential has inspired many small startup companies to seek innovative ways to seize niche markets that are not yet saturated by the big players. Companies, academic institutions and non-profit organizations are also looking for highly customizable and interactive applications to incorporate social networking components into their existing online systems, hoping to encourage more user involvement and content contribution. Although a number of studies have been conducted on the business models and social impacts of SNS, few studies have examined the development model and best practices for building such websites. This paper is based on a hands-on study (haFriend.com) I launched a year ago with two graduate students, aiming to explore a streamlined development framework for social networking sites based on free/libre/open source (FLOSS) applications. The paper will present a development framework we have developed through this one-year-long study and show how a highly interactive social networking site is built using some of the open source tools. It is our hope that the proposed framework would be valuable to various organizations in their efforts to embrace SNS.
Modeling and Simulation of Congestion Control Algorithms
S. Ravi Jagannathan, Ph.D. candidate and Dr. Kenan Matawie, Senior Lecturer
University of Western Sydney, Australia
Consider an Internet traffic source sending packets into a single link connected to another source. The source’s “window” is the maximum number of packets discharged without waiting for an acknowledgement, at any point in time. Such a window concept is the cornerstone of a number of congestion control algorithms, such as Tahoe, Reno, New Reno, Vegas and Sierra (partly rate-based). We develop novel mathematical methods for the performance levels of all these algorithms. It is shown that Sierra is by far, analytically, the most superior of these algorithms. We also then present simulation results that confirm this position experimentally. Each of all these concepts is well known and treated elaborately in the literature on the subject of congestion control. The reader is referred to ,  as a starting point. We have also introduced Sierra in earlier papers, ,  but for the sake of completeness we start with a quick review. Sierra is a simple, yet novel, Black Box algorithm that uses three basic parameters to optimize network usage. Sierra is further explicated in  and other work in preparation. No exponential smoothing is performed. Rin and Rout pertain to the transmission rates at Ingress and Egress. Egress rates are continually calculated at the receiver and relayed back to the sender, using control packets. We use this intuitively appealing approach to determine the average steady state throughput for Sierra. As a general scenario for all further quantitative analysis, we initially consider a simple setting wherein a single host accesses a single link, en route to a single destination. We will assume that “L” is the capacity of the link, in packets/sec. At the speed of light, let “t” be the propagation delay. It is very easy to see that the queuing delay at the link is 1/L. Hence the round trip time is given by
Business Expectations and Career-Family Attitudes: Human Resource Strategies in the Bolivian Labor Market
Dr. Kathryn J. Ready, Winona State University, Winona, MN
Dr. Kristy Lauver and Adriana Martinez Santa Cruz, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI
As companies seek competitive advantages by moving into international markets, one country that is growing in importance due to its natural resources, low wages and increasingly educated workforce is Bolivia. However, Bolivia presents some unique challenges to managers seeking to hire and retain the best and the brightest due to its uncertain political environment and legal restrictions on the employer/employee relationship that adversely affects women in the labor force. To help managers better understand the attitudes of young, college educated Bolivian employees, this study explores business expectations and the role of career family attitudes held by university students in Bolivia. The potential implications of these findings for foreign investors are discussed to provide managers with vital information for developing human resource strategies in the Bolivian labor market. Globalization has resulted in companies locating and investing in foreign countries where resources are abundant, infrastructures are developed, workforces are skilled with low wages, and businesses can operate without the fear of nationalization of their industry. One country that is growing in importance to foreign investors is Bolivia. Yet, due to the current political uncertainty as well as legal constraints impacting the employer/employee relationship, foreign investors have not entered Bolivia as quickly as they have entered other markets. Prior to entering foreign markets, cultural issues, as well as legal, technological, and political forces must all be considered. Johnson (2006) concludes that the major cause of organizations failing in their foreign businesses is “the inability of managers to understand the local culture of a subsidiary and to interact effectively with their counterparts overseas”. In this study, we focus on career-family attitudes and business expectations of university business students in Bolivia.
Productive Performance of the De Novo Reits
Ihsan Isik, Ph.D., Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ
John C. Topuz, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Starting from especially 1986, a number of important regulatory and structural reforms have been initiated to promote the real estate development, and to enhance the performance of the REITs through heightened competition. By the rapid increase in the new IPOs, the number of de novo REITs more than quadrupled in the past two decades, making them the major source of funding for the real estate industry. Yet, no study has investigated the post-entry performance of the de novo REITs to see whether these institutions were able to compete effectively with established ones in terms of efficiency and productivity in the new competitive environment. By utilizing a non-stochastic Malmquist index approach, we investigate the initial changes in the productivity and efficiency of the de novo REITs vis a vis established ones. Overall results suggest that de novo REITs tend to outperform established REITs in all aspects of technical efficiency. Productivity, technology and efficiency also tend to grow faster in de novo REITs than in established REITs. It seems that the pace of learning by doing is much faster for de novo REITs than old ones. Liberalization reforms are typically undertaken to stiffen competition among firms and in turn foster their performance. Efficient use of factors of production can result in better resource allocation, which is a positive outcome for the entire economy. Heightened productivity and efficiency in financial institutions can lead to price reductions and service expansions, which are certainly favorable outcomes for customers. Moreover, enhanced productive efficiency in the provision of financial services may bring additional savings on inputs and operating costs. If those operational savings can be translated into bottom line profits, then financial firms are more likely to survive and stay afloat, which is obviously a desirable result for the regulators and shareholders of financial firms. In 1960, the U.S. Congress created a new financial intermediary called the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in order to enable small investors to make an investment in a diversified, large-scale, and income-producing real estate enterprise.
Comparative Aspects of Executive Compensation: An Agency Perspective
Dr. Roy J. Girasa and Dr. Michael Ulinski, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY
The researchers explore comparative executive compensation policies in the United States and other countries. Diffusion of shareholders and the influence of the various company CEOs on compensation levels is considered from an agency theory perspective. The media cry out with extraordinary compensation numbers for top executives to a public that daily learns of more and more layoffs and persons receiving unemployment insurance and/or losing heir health care coverage. As loss of jobs escalated the public learned that executives such as Sir Bischoff, chairman of Citigroup, received $6.1 million and Gary Crittenden, its chief financial officer received $19.4 million for executive compensation at Citigroup which in turn was compelled to seek and receive $45 billion to prevent possible bankruptcy; Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn who received $70.3 million and $72.5 million for executive compensation at Morgan Stanley, which was compelled to seek $10 billion bailout moneys from taxpayers; and numerous other payouts for leading their respective companies whose finances were in free fall.1 The extraordinary payouts for seemingly poor performance were not limited to US companies. For example, there was substantially press outcry when Fred Goodwin, the former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, left the ailing bank with 16.9 million pounds ($24.8 million) pension. Some one-third of EU member states don’t require companies to disclose individual pay or payment policies which calls in question whether shareholders of these companies have any say in determining executive compensation or prevent excess compensation particularly when leadership in these companies is called into question.
Determinants of Pay for Head Coaches in College Athletics
Dr. Neil Terry, Dr. Rex Pjesky, and Dr. Gary Rider, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX
This paper presents empirical results investigating the determinants of institutional pay for head coaches in college athletics. Significant determinants of head coaches pay include profitability of the athletic program, recruitment budget, percentage of the recruitment budget allocated to women’s sports, compensation of assistant coaches, number of female athletes at the institution, and number of sports supported by the athletic program. In addition, the empirical results indicate pay for male team sports head coaches are significantly greater than female team sports head coaches. Holding constant control variables, the pay differential for head coaches of female teams is approximately $20,000 per year less than head coaches for male teams. The business of college sports has continued to grow and expand. Southeastern Conference football programs lead the way in revenue generation, averaging over $45 million per football team. Universities receive their non-profit status thanks to their role in educating students. Critics of college sports cite the revenue generated by athletics as evidence of their commercial nature. Supporters counter by stating the overall goal of athletics is not to turn a profit but to provide financial support to student athletes and increase the university’s national profile (McEvoy, 2005; Smith, 2008). The revolving door of student athletes leaving a program in four years or less has resulted in the head coach becoming the implicit star of many college programs. The purpose of this research is to investigate the determinants of pay for head coaches in college athletics. The manuscript is organized as follows: First, a brief review of the literature is presented. The second section describes the data and model. The next section offers empirical results for the determinants of pay for college head coaches derived from 217 college athletic programs. The final section offers a summary and conclusions.
Australia’s Carbon Pollution Emissions Trading Scheme: International Leadership or Domestic Folly?
Dr. Jeff Pope, Director, Tax Policy Research Unit, School of Economics and Finance
Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
The case for the imposition of carbon (emission) taxes or tradable carbon permits in important tax jurisdictions is arguably strong, based upon the polluter pays principle first proposed by Pigou almost a century ago. The Australian Government intends to introduce a carbon emissions permit trading scheme from 1 July 2011 (subject to Parliamentary approval). The revenue effect of this is estimated to be A$4.5 billion in 2011-12 and A$13 billion in 2012-13. The scheme will initially comprise around 1,000 large emitters, namely those with emissions over 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per annum. The Government will allocate some free permits initially, with the remainder to be auctioned, commencing in the second year of the scheme. In its first year of operation (2011-12) a fixed price of A$10 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent will apply. There will be compensation for households, businesses and affected industries including those in trade exposed emissions intensive industries, under a roughly ‘revenue-neutral’ system. Transitionary measures include a price cap for five years (theoretically equivalent to a tax at that level), gradual phase-in of emitters, as well as investment in environmentally-friendly technology and recently introduced global recession assistance for emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities. The paper assesses the compensation arrangements and likely tax policies together with their main ensuing challenges and difficulties. The paper draws upon selected and relevant international experience, particularly the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme. In the light of the current global recession and debate over permits versus carbon taxation (particularly in the USA) the paper concludes by questioning the wisdom of Australia being an early entrant to emissions trading, in spite of the economic advantages espoused by the Australian Government.
Less is More: Printed Text with Simplicity and Clarity Design
Dr. Carol Y. Lu, The University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD
Cheng Chieh Lu, Texas A&M University-commerce, Commerce, TX
The idea of “Less is More” is an old concept that can be applied to many situations. It can be used in the world of fashion, makeup, and even advertising. “Less is More” was developed by Norbert Schwartz and continues to be studied by many researchers in all kinds of arenas. The focus of this study is to analyze and explain a practical application of that idea. The researcher developed two different surveys for an advertisement with two different amounts of text relating to the same product to test Schwartz’s theory. The advertisements were identical except for the different amounts of text explaining the product. The researcher created two hypotheses for surveys and the aim was to prove them correct through the data. The researcher surveyed 54 individuals enrolled in a selected university located in the central United States and the majority was in the 18-25 age range. Advertising is an art. Williamson (1990) stated that advertisers create product advertisements concerned with a variety of consumers’ different images and sensations because an advertisement’s message could be determined with different meanings by different consumers. Advertising presents us with “meaning-making through language, body language, visual images, or any other way of signifying” (Fairclough, 2001, p. 229). Goffman (1974) stated that advertisements deliver images and messages serving as tools to filter an individual’s inner thinking, helping to convey favorable meanings to the general public. Williamson (1990) stated that advertising plays an important role in providing ample information to complex societies, and serves as a filter in shaping social images and meanings to modern people.
Market for Green Signaling
Suman Majumdar and Dr. Yaoqi Zhang, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
This paper describes the returns from “environmental goodness signaling” or “green signaling” as a major factor in environmentalism. The goodness returns from green signaling consists of a warm glow or a good reputation in society, material benefits, or a combination of the two. Some examples of green signaling are consumers purchasing green products, producers adopting environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques, and politicians supporting and working for environmental causes. A market for green signals is formed by the interaction between the suppliers and demanders of green signals. “Good” praise in society is a simple incentive that can make the market for green signaling work. This market can be an efficient and cost-effective way of managing our natural resources and the environment. The market for environmental services such as wetland conservation, water purification, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity is becoming popular. Interest from business, government agencies, landowners and conservation organizations is supplying new impetus for developing market-based mechanisms for ecosystem services. Another important market associated with environmental services that has not been explicitly addressed in literature is the market for “Environmental goodness signaling” or “green signaling,” which can internalize externalities. Such markets include not only green labeling of forest and other products but also individual donations and business contributions to environmental causes. Nelson and Greene (2003) introduced a concept of goodness signaling by individuals, arguing that people intend to express their support for “good” causes by showing more care for an amenity than its use value. Based on evolutionary theory, the reward for signaling goodness to others is higher survival probability because of group affiliation. In this paper we use the term “environmental goodness signaling” or “green signaling” to describe the phenomenon of individuals demonstrating concern for the environment. The payoff for signaling environmental goodness can be monetary, a special recognition in the society, or both. Of course, green signaling is not free. Therefore, the individuals or firms who signal green calculate the benefits and costs or economise green signaling: how much green they need to signal and how cost effective it is.
The Impact of Successful Information Systems on Stakeholders' Decisions
Dr. Amine Nehari Talet, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Samer Alhawari, Applied Science Private University, Jordan
This paper examines factors associated with the impact of Information Technology (IT) on the workforce in the 100 most financially successful organizations in the Saudi Arabia (based on 2005 turnover). The aims of the research is To identify whether the most financially successful companies in the Saudi Arabia have implemented 'successful' computerized information systems; and are employing 'good practice', in terms of ensuring that their information systems have a positive impact upon their stakeholders in particular on decision makers. The methodology centers on a self-completion questionnaire, which will be employed as the research instrument. This will be designed to senior executives, managers and end-users, in the organizations previously identified. As businesses move further into the twenty-first century, their managers increasingly need accurate and timely performance indicators to manage and lead them. In this pursuit enterprises are increasingly turning to computer information systems to seek support for enterprise performance measures to aid goal setting, monitor progress, identify and draw attention to financial implications of organizational decisions, facilitate internal benchmarking, identify inefficiencies in core business operations, and identify cost saving and operation improvement opportunities. Organizations today must be aware of how they can utilize appropriate technological developments to become more proficient in the new global competitive business environment. Integrating the information system of each of the functions of an organization certainly achieves efficiency, accuracy and cost saving. An integrated information system means that the software of each of the separate operational function within an organization is linked. This encourages the building of synergies and efficiencies in an organization. The paper is expected to provide in particular:
A Study on Key Indicators to a Sound Corporate Governance Framework in Taiwan
Dr. Yeong-Bin Lee, Ling Tung University,Taiwan
Dr. Te-Hsuan Chiang, Pioneer Beginnings(CA) Inc, CEO, Canada
Hsiang-Yun Peng, Chung-Hua University,Taiwan
Corporate governance has come into the focus of related international organizations and institutions ever since the exposure of Enron scandal and the financial frauds in some American enterprises in 2001. Over the last decade, we have seen a great deal of literature on the issues concerning corporate governance. Nevertheless, a majority of it has concentrated on the discussion of the importance of financial transparency in corporate governance, or on the factors having an influence (or its extent) on the company’s performance. In addition, most of the literature tends to overemphasize on the technology industry, thus, the key factors that have an impact on the corporate governance framework are still lacking, which leads to the imperative need for a comprehensive study on the sound corporate governance in Taiwan. Based on the Corporate Governance Best-Practice Principles for TSE/GTSM proposed by TWSE (Taiwan Stock Exchange) and Gre Tai Securities Market, and the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance set forth by OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) in 2004, this study has broadened the corporate governance framework to include environmental and society issues. Furthermore, by collecting domestic and foreign literature, compiling key indices of successful cases of corporate governance, interviewing with experts from Taiwan and Japan, scholars and governmental institutions, and using Delphi method to screen the indices and test the fitness of the questionnaire, this study has extracted five indices: (i) Ensuring the basis for an effective corporate governance framework; (ii) Strengthening the functionality of shareholders; (iii) Protecting the rights of shareholders; (iv) Information disclosure and transparency; and (v) Protecting the rights of interested parties as a hierarchical framework. Next, by utilizing AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process), the study also conducts analysis on the relative importance between indices for the purpose of providing future reference for companies in establishing corporate governance framework.
The Assessments of the Taiwan Global Budget System on Hospital Operations
Su-Chen Hsu, Ph.D. Candidate, National Cheng Kung University and Vice President, Kangshan Hospital, Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Taiwan
Dr. Jung-Hua Wu, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
The social security system in Taiwan is based on the main structure of social insurance centered on health care accessibility, availability, equality and adequacy to promote health of the entire population that is sustaining rapid social-economic growth. NHI spending, covering dentists, Chinese medicine, hemo- dialysis, home care, psychiatric, and general acute and chronic diseases, only spends 6 .2 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, Taiwan’s government has experienced financial strains for social insurance structure since 1998. Therefore, the evolution of the transformation from the fee-for-service payment towards managed care system of the global budget payment system (GBPS) has slowed down the medical expenditures. However, the closure of 234 hospitals during 1994-April 2008 accounted for 32.6% of the total hospitals when the National Health Insurance (NHI) Program began in 1995. This study investigates the situations surrounding these closed hospitals during GBPS implementation. Most hospitals closed during the mid stage of implementation of GBPS because the government implemented financial constraint s on health care organizations. The researcher surveyed the chief executive officers (CEOs) of the closed hospitals using questionnaires and interviews, the 87.5% of which reported that the financial difficulties after the implementation of the NHI were the chief reason for hospitals closure. Lastly, the study explores detailed financial reports of six hospitals, which have experienced sharp fluxuations in revenues. Study results indicate the social impacts of the GBPS in the hospital operations might decrease access to patients, causing social instability particularly for the underprivileged period. The results may be useful for those countries struggling with health care reform of GBPS type managed care.
“Sales Training Effectiveness: Managers’ Perceptions in the United Arab Emirates Organizations”
Dr. Zahi Yaseen and Dr. Muhannad Khanfar, AL Ghurair University, Dubai, UAE
Human resource management is one of the most critical areas of business today. It is an area that can make or break an organization. This has happened due to a realization that human capital has unlimited potential for development as opposed to other resources like capital, materials, or machinery. As modern-day organizations aim to becoming socially and ethically responsible, the burden on them to develop human capital is also increasing. This trend is beginning to affect the developing nations, albeit slowly. One of the ways to improve human resources is through training. However, one of the main problems faced by organizations in general and human resources departments in particular is their inability to measure the effectiveness of the training initiatives they undertake. This is partly because, until now, no foolproof model existed that could link the training to the effectiveness factor. Most companies spend several millions of dollars on training initiatives without having any idea of their effectiveness. As a result most HR managers face a dilemma: they are either skeptical about spending money on training or else face criticism from the top management if they do. Hence there is no means of establishing the cost-benefit ratio of such initiatives, and this makes further spending on training seem futile. Evaluating training outcomes is probably the most critical element of the training exercise, yet it is also the area that has been largely ignored. Many a times a program may be liked because the trainer was interesting, but may fail to deliver on meeting its more strategically defined objectives. Most companies, especially in the UAE, therefore do training only when it is absolutely critical. As a result it is more of a “fire-fighting” exercise that doesn’t yield the full and desired results. A sales training program should be designed to improve selling skills, help achieve personal goals, foster personal growth and create excellence in the marketplace.
Evaluating the Architectural Design Services by Using Fuzzy AHP
Jie Li and Dr. Shouming Chen, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
The architectural design service, a knowledge intensive industry, expands rapidly in china. The evaluation of architectural design services is necessary for managers in architectural design service industry to upgrade their service level and for consumers who purchase the services to select an architectural design vendor. However, the evaluation of architectural design services is a multiple-criteria decision making (MCDM) problem that is not easy to make a decision. Hence, we propose analytical hierarchy process based approaches, AHP and Fuzzy AHP, to evaluate the architectural design vendors. In addition, a case study is presented to demonstrate how the approaches can help in solving such problems in practice. TONGJI University is a prestigious university for its strong architecture discipline in China. From 2003 to 2008, the architectural design service industrial cluster around TONGJI University became a very famous architecture design center in China, which includes more than 800 operating companies. The total revenue tripled from 1 billion to 3 billion (in RMB) during this period. However, the firms within the knowledge-intensive architectural design service cluster are facing fierce competition. Therefore, upgrading the service level becomes a very important issue for managers. Especially, the ability for those service firms to compete effectively in the global marketplace depends on identifying and maintaining the factors influencing their competitive advantages. In addition, consumers who purchase the architecture design services desire to evaluate the architecture design services to select a suitable or best vendor.
Real Exchange Rate and Terms of Trade
Dr. Wong Hock Tsen, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia
This study examines the relationship between real exchange rate and terms of trade. The results of the Johansen (1988) cointegration method show that an increase in terms of trade will lead to an increase in real exchange rate. There is no Granger causality between real exchange rate and terms of trade in Japan. Terms of trade Granger causes real exchange rate in Korea whilst real exchange rate Granger causes terms of trade in Hong Kong. Generally, terms of trade is important in the determination of real exchange rate and its impact on real exchange rate is different across economies and exchange rate regimes. Terms of trade is argued to have an impact on real exchange rate. Karfakis and Phipps (1999) and Aruman and Dungey (2003), amongst others, show that there is strong impact of terms of trade on real exchange rate in Australia. Nonetheless, the impact of terms of trade on real exchange rate is argued to be varied across economies. Dungey (2004) finds that the contributions of terms of trade to real exchange rate volatility ranging from higher in East Asian economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines,) and almost negligible in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Habermeier and Mesquita (1999) find that the impact of terms of trade on exchange rate is higher in developed countries than developing countries. Conversely, Mendoza (1995) finds that the impact of terms of trade on exchange rate is higher in developing countries than in developed countries (Dungey, 2004).
The Relationship Between Innovativeness, Strategy Types, Environment and the Export Performance of Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) of Malaysian Manufacturing Sector
Mandy Mok Kim Man and Syed Azizi Wafa, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia
This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between innovativeness, strategy types, environment and the export performance of SMEs in the Malaysian manufacturing sectors. The conceptual framework is developed based on the innovativeness, strategy types, environment and the export performance. This study is based on a sample survey consisting of 121 SMEs in the manufacturing sector. Using structured questionnaires, the data were collected by mail as well as interviews with owner-managers of the SMEs. The findings indicate that there is no significant relationships between innovativeness and the export performance of SMEs. However, the findings shows that there is significant relationships between differentiation strategy type and the export performance of SMEs. The findings also shows that there is significant environment moderating effect on the relationship between the differentiation strategy type and the export performance of SMEs. Small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in the business system of both developed and developing economics (United Nations, 1993). This study examines the impact of innovativeness, strategy types and environment on the export performance of SMEs, and the model built suggested the relationship between innovativeness and strategy types can affect SMEs export performance, and the environment moderates the said relationships. In the Malaysian context, discussion on small-sized enterprise is always associated with medium-sized enterprises. Like other developing countries, Malaysia is also having difficulties in considering a definition of SMEs. This study defined SMEs as firms that employ less than 200 employees, based on the previous research done by Salleh, M. I. (1990) and Mohd. Asri (1999).
Institutional Development as a Determinant of Foreign Direct Investment in the Manufacturing Sector
Eldin Mehic, Snjezana Brkic, and Jasmina Selimovic, University of Sarajevo
This paper examines the determinants of FDI into Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) during their transition towards a market economy. We pay particular attention to institutions development in explaining the locational choice of foreign investors in manufacturing sector in CEE countries. The determinants were grouped into control variables and institutionally related variables. Using panel dataset for the period 1997 to 2006 we constructed an econometric model that was used to estimate the determinants of FDI on sectoral level. We estimated OLS with panel-corrected standard errors (PCSEs). Findings of the analysis show that improved quality of the market economy institutions contributes to attracting FDI into the manufacturing sector. Important stimuli to the FDI inflow also include the small-scale privatization and enterprise reform, price deregulation, liberalization of trade and forex system, competition policy, financial infrastructure, and overall and telecommunication infrastructure. It is only the impact of the large-scale privatization and securities markets that did not prove to be significant in the presented model. Apart from the findings of the econometric analysis, it can also be concluded that most of the countries covered by the research achieved the standards and norms typical of advanced industrial countries only in the areas of the small-scale privatization, price liberalization and trade & forex system. According to all other used indicators of institutional-building, CEE countries must invest additional efforts in improving their investment environment.
Calculations' Technical Bases as Precondition for Appropriate Life Insurance Premium
Zeljko Sain, Ph.D. and Jasmina Selimovic, MSc, School of Economics and Business in Sarajevo
University in Sarajevo
Insurance as extremely important modern time financial system component is activity which helps us in lessening of unexpected everyday events consequences. Unexpected events are caused by actualizing some of risks insured, and they can damage or ruin our property as well as influence at life and/or health person who is insured. Depends on considered types of risks wide insurance classification recognizes the life insurance and the non-life insurance. Life insurance is type of insurance that is closely linked to human being and to human life and that is the subject of this paper. Life insurance is one aspect of assurance; it is about how to decrease the consequences of death risk realization. At the same time, life insurance is way of assistance in older life age. Risks that are covered in life insurance contracts are those related to death or long living. In both cases, according to basis postulates of insurance, it is necessary to pay defined amount of premium to insurance company (or to pay premium in more than one amount – what depends of the life insurance model), and the insurance company is obliged to pay the insured sum or annuities if and when the insured risk realize (it is defined in contract). Important issued is how to define appropriate level of premium, that is acceptable both for insured person to pay it and for the insurer to accept the insured risk? Which are the technical bases that can be the guarantees for insurer to accept the risks? How could we determine the life insurance risks' level? The character of insurance industry as well as specific way of life insurance risks' price determination, ordain that insurance has to deal with data that can help in risk level determination. Specific activity such as insurance specifies appropriate models and methods which can be used in defining the price of certain life insurance product.
Consumer Ethnocentrism and Influence of Role model on Young Female Purchase Intentions towards Cosmetic Product
Siti Nor Bayaah Ahmad, Nurita Juhdij, and Djasiza Jasin
Tun Abdul Razak University (UNITAR), Kelana Jaya, Malaysia
Janiffa Saidon, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Selangor, Malaysia
The study investigates the purchasing behaviour among young female consumers toward local cosmetic products. Four variables (consumer ethnocentrism, direct model influence, indirect role model influence and female friends influence) were examined the relationships with purchase intention of young adult females. The study that involved 198 respondents indicated significant differences in terms of ethnocentrism level among races and monthly allowances. All the four variables were found positively related to purchase intention but regression analysis indicated only three variables (direct model influence, indirect role model influence and female friends influence) as significant predictors. The findings have implications on practitioners in terms of marketing strategies and the targeted consumer groups. The cosmetic industry is a multinational, multi-billion-dollar-industry that cannot be separated from women. Cosmetics are not only make-up and perfumes but also come in many forms ranging from powders, facial make-up, soap, shampoo and skin care. One of the major firms, the oldest and the largest is L’Oreal, which was founded by Eugene Scheuller in 1909. Cosmetics are used among female for beautifying purposes which includes cleaning body parts, changing skin tones and colors that make the users feel good about themselves. Since beginning, cosmetics companies have targeted female audiences and more are also competing to reach younger female audiences. Companies are building their products, which they called light-based products, to attract younger consumer. (Kumar et al., 2006). In addition, due to the revolutionary technology, more and more companies have an ability to produce for their consumers regardless of sex, age group and ethnic background. Young consumers are always seen as trendsetters who have major influence on purchase decisions of their peers and parents (Zollo, 1995). It also has been studied that during these young ages, the consumers started to develop their loyal buying pattern and most likely to continue with them throughout their adult lives (Moschis, 1985). Research has proven that the buying pattern formulated among young consumers was influenced by variety of outside factors or environmental factors. Among which, the outside factors that might influence these group of consumers are parents, siblings, friends, and celebrity endorsers (Adomaitis and Johnson, 2008; Liu et al., 2007; Clark et al., 2001). According to Wang and Chen (2004) given that consumers’ preferences on domestic or imported product are actually based on quality, this might influence their purchase preferences. The impact of Consumer Ethnocentrism (CE) will also differ according to the type of countries (Batra et al., 2000; Alden et al., 1999). Many studies on CE were done in developed countries and therefore the findings on consumer purchasing behavior may not be generalized in other countries particularly in developing nations and ethnocentric tendencies of consumers could be expected to exhibit different degrees of influence in developed and developing countries (Nguyen et al., 2008). The present study focused on young consumers as they have been recognized today as an increasingly important group in terms of their purchasing behavior, their attitude and their impact on the national economy. The major purpose of conducting the study is mainly to determine factors that influence the purchase intention of local cosmetic products among young females. Several variables were examined as the potential factors that influence the purchase intention. They were role models influences and consumer ethnocentrism.
Impact of Service Quality on Customer Satisfaction: Evidence from the Restaurant Industry in Pakistan
Ubedullah Amjad Ali Shaikh, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan
The purpose of this study is to contribute to the literature of service quality importance in restaurant industry. The study has been based upon the Servqual technique and Dineserv tool of improving the quality by the service providing organizations. The study is undertaken from the perspective of Pakistani Restaurant Industry and the customers' perceptions vis-à-vis restaurant dining. Two variables of Servqual, i.e. Tangibles and Responsiveness, have been examined to demonstrate the impact of service quality on the industry. The results endorse the importance of enhanced complementary service standards in restaurant industry. Ultimately, the findings provide an insight for the Pakistani restaurant service providing establishments and suggestion have been made for the caretakers of the industry on ways to improve service quality. The restaurant industry has evolved over the past few decades from merely a meals providing facility to an augmented combination of service associated features. These features are emphasized to satisfy the complementary needs of its customers. This notion of satisfaction is mainly attributed to the quality of service. Hence a lot of probing has been going on for the past few decades to rationalize and prove a direct relationship between the two. Many of theories and models have been established in this regard. Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry (1988) proposed an empirically derived method called Servqual to be used by service organizations to improve quality. This methodology was based around five key dimensions (1). All of the dimensions have significant impact of varying degrees on customer satisfaction.
Institutional Pressure, Corporate Governance Structure and Related Party Disclosure: Evidence from Enhanced Disclosure Regimes
Dr. Roshayani Arshad, Dr. Faizah Darus, and Suaini Othman, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
This study examines the effects of IFRS adoption relating to related party disclosure (RPD) and the impact of institutional pressure and corporate governance structure on management’s disclosure decisions. Using the annual reports of 144 Malaysian listed companies, this study investigates the effects of IFRS adopted standard on the extent of RPD in two different enhanced disclosure regimes (2002 and 2007). Results of this study reveal significant increase in the extent of RPD in 2007 when the IFRS adopted standard became mandatory. The adoption also provides the desired level of reputation concern among board members with professional affiliations to exert pressure on managers’ disclosure decisions. Finally, it also limits the ability of controlling owners in reducing corporate disclosure to outside investors. An implication of these findings is that IFRS adoption is a potential mechanism in improving corporate transparency in countries characterized by concentrated ownership structure. An important issue on RPD is that it provides information regarding sensitive practice of various related party transactions and relationships to outside investors and other stakeholders. The widespread calls for corporate transparency as part of the corporate governance movements and adoption of IFRS are expected to affect RPD. However, differences in financial reporting incentives across countries adopting IFRS are expected to have an effect on the extent of RPD (Soderstrom & Sun, 2007). For example, the potential entrenchment problem associated with substantial ownership could lead the controlling owners to put pressure on managers to avoid detailed disclosure of related party information in order to evade close monitoring by outside investors (Shleifer & Vishny, 1997).
Learning Characteristics and Adaptability of Freshmen in the Continuing Education Program of 3 Higher Technical and Vocational Institutes in Northern Taiwan
Fu-Mei Chou, Chihlee Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.
This study aims at the learning characteristics and adaptability of adult freshmen in continuing education (CE) programs. 1,246 freshmen in CE program in three schools were the subjects in this quantitative study. The results of this study found that the freshmen face learning difficulties, and their learning characteristics in the three schools tend to prefer learning styles that combine practical and life experiences, in which students favor flexible learning, with serious learning attitude. The students in the three schools exhibit adult student learning characteristics. Among the three schools, 65% of students are new high school or vocational high school graduates; 81% are unemployed or engaged in full-time or part-time jobs unrelated to their major; tuition and fees of 62% students are paid by parents or through taking student loans; 75% of students spend less than 30 minutes on studying after school, and 54% spend 1-2 hours on-line each day; 75% do not have time, or are not willing to participate in school extra-curricular activities; 65% have adapted well in terms of mental health; 70% express dissatisfaction with their bodies. Significant differences in learning characteristics and learning adaptability were observed among the students in the three schools. Lastly, suggestions are proposed for further studies and for higher technical and vocational institutes to use as references. The author has over twenty years of teaching experience in higher technical and vocational institutes, and over ten years of experience in administrative work before returning to a university for three years of in-service continuing education, hence the author has ample experience in adult learning that generally requires one to play multiple roles. The learning methods and needs for adult students are different from that of traditional students (Kung, 2006; Chan, 1994; Cross, 1981; Knox, 1974). Many studies have shown that all the plans in universities in Taiwan always overlook the needs of adult students, while the policies, missions, and even services and research for higher education still center around traditional students and are academic-oriented (Kasworm, Sandmann & Sissel, 2000).
Relationship Building by CEE Small Firms
Dr. Maciej Mitrega, The Karol Adamiecki University of Economics, Katowice, Poland
In at least last two decades growing interest in market interactions, relationships and networks may be observed in marketing theory. There were many studies about the determinants of building customer relationships in the context of various sectors but there were not many ones about international aspects of this process. The thesis that the relationship marketing is a universal concept is put in the question (Palmer 1996; 1997; Zolkiewski, Ioannou, 2007). It is also argued that small firms implement business relationships to a higher degree and relationship-based approach is a natural option for them (Makovec, Virant, and Zabkar 2003; Metallo, Cuomo, and Festa 2007). This paper corresponds with these suggestions by comparing practices of relationship development undertaken by micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Poland and in the Czech Republic. Personal interviews conducted in 2007 are the empirical basis for the paper. The research results suggest that there are significant differences in relationship marketing practices with regard to companies located in two neighbouring Central European countries. The differences refer to the extent of maintained relationships, the motives and the tools for relationships’ building. The potential cultural and economic factors standing behind these differences are discussed. In the last section of the paper the research implications as well as the limitations of the study are discussed. The dynamic growth of competition intensity which took place in the second half of the 20th century motivated marketing researchers from Western countries to search for new manners of describing exchange between market entities. In at least last two decades growing interest in market interactions, relationships and networks may be observed in marketing theory. The paradigm shift from transactional marketing to relationship marketing is argued to take place (Grönroos 1997).
Developing Relationship Among Nature of Human Resource, Economic Strength and Its Impact on Domestic, Regional and Global Business and Political Environments (The HR-ES Model) – Comparative Analysis of Thirty Two Asian Countries
Dr. Tahir Ali, Assistant Professor, University of Karachi, Pakistan
Rapid political, technological and economic changes, especially during the past decade demand analysis and evaluation of economies in a more comprehensive manner. For this research study, five variables are identified, namely population composition, labor force, literacy rate, unemployment and GDP per capita. These variables independently and individually do not provide meaningful information about the economy, current contribution and potential. For instance, countries with high GDP per capita, labor force and literacy rate may not be effectively contributing to the global political, technological and economic development than those with moderate or low resources. Nature of human resource and economic strength are used to develop a model (HR-ES Model) showing relationship among these variables. Asia has been the point of political, technological and economic discussion throughout the world, due to its affluently growing mass market of around 4 billion people - 60% of the world, ideal geographic position and amazing rate of economic growth, especially during the past decade. The HR-ES Model is used to analyze the nature of human resource and economic strength of thirty two Asian countries. Bands – green, yellow, white and red are allotted to each variable and countries are ranked on the basis of proportion of bands acquired from green to red, indicating high to low potential economies. Overall it was found that Eastern and Southeastern countries like Singapore, China, Japan etc. depict high potential economy characteristics followed by Western and Southern Asian countries. The global political turmoil, technological and economic developments during the past decade have been, not only generated and dominated by Asia but also disseminated its impact worldwide. “With Asia being the most dynamic economic region of the world, greater leadership on the part of Asian economic policy makers, captains of industry and opinion leaders in promoting globalization on the basis of multilateral rules-based system is not only welcome, but indeed essential” (Valerie, 2007).
Managing Marketing Communications Strategically in a Developing Country
Dr. Nurhan Babur Tosun, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey
Dr. Muberra Yuksel, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey
This paper examines the possibilities of applying integrated marketing communications (IMC) as an overall strategy by companies in the Turkish economy. Our research question is to determine the relationship between crises and practices of an overall marketing communication strategy (Kitchen & Eagle, 2000) as a marketing tool- i.e., the influence of crises on the strategy, techniques and observable patterns of behavior that companies choose to employ. After probing these general inquiries, we will make an empirical analysis on the usage of humor in advertising by advertising agencies and how it is perceived by advertising managers particularly during crisis periods. The integration of different instruments of the marketing decision variables, i.e., the marketing mix, is one of the major pillars of a sound marketing strategy. This integration also applies to the various instruments of the promotion mix which plays a critical role in emerging markets. This mix plays a significant role in business since it helps to familiarize consumers with products and services, as well as providing consumers with the necessary information for making decisions on what to buy, where to buy it from, and how to purchase.
Forecasting Application of Supply Chain Demand Based on Grey System Theory and Neural Network Theory
Hae-Ching Chang, Ph.D., National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Li-Wen Chuang, Ph.D. Candidate, National Cheng Kung University & Lecturer, Aletheia University, Taiwan
Accurate demand forecasting is one of the fundamental aspects of Supply Chain Management (SCM). This research applies the Grey System Model and the Back Propagation Neural Network (BP Neural Network) to forecast the supply chain demand of small-scale enterprises with insufficient information and large-scale enterprises of sufficient but highly nonlinear information. The results show that, for small-scale enterprises, the Grey System model GM (1, 1) can be used to forecast future supply chain demand with high accuracy, overcoming the limitations of insufficient information; for large and medium-sized enterprises, the BP Neural Network can learn from the data and build a forecasting model on the basis of highly nonlinear information in order to forecast future supply chain demand. For the last few years, the demand management of supply chains (SC) has been hotly debated in theoretical circles. Supply Chain Management (SCM) has been defined as management of the chain of events that links the various stages of manufacturing during the process of supply to consumption (Min and Zhou, 2002). SCM has been seen as series of practical activities that coordinate the businesses—goods, information, finance and so on—in the process of moving from raw materials suppliers to wholesalers, then to retailers, and finally to consumers. Therefore, we considered the demand of supply chain was the goods or services requirements of backward position enterprises to the forward position enterprises in the chain referring to above, namely the market demand from backward position enterprises to the forward position enterprises in the supply chain. A supply chain is composed of many stages, including manufacturing, storage, transporting and distribution, and supply chain demand runs through the various stages from manufacturing products to selling them to consumers (users). Many transaction agents are involved in the various stages of supply chains, so managers are at least as interested in how to manage changes in the supply chain as they are in reducing costs (Lee and Billington, 1993).
The Effect of Government Expenditures on the Private Sectors Perception of Crowding-out (Case Study in IRAN: 1978-2008)
Mohsen Zayanderoody, Ph.D., Islamic Azad University-Yazd Branch, Iran
This work was an investigation into the effect of the function of government on consumer’s behavior in the private sectors. Since a large percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is allotted to private sector expenditure, the study of the effect of fiscal policy on this inseparable part of total demand is important. Increases in government expenditure, as a substitute for the private sector expenditure, may decrease the considered values perfectly, or imperfectly, and cause a crowding-out effect. A high rate of GDP is therefore allotted to private sector expenditures because this factor, alongside long term investment, allows them to complete each other. Getting acquainted with the determining factors of consumption or the effect of quantitative factors is important for policy makers to help them choose the best economical policies and perform them. The goals of this study are to determine if an increase in government expenditure-quantitative can facilitate a policy decrease in private sector expenditures, and if there is a crowding-out effect between public sector expenditures and private sector expenditures. The methodology of this work is to present a theoretical model, choose the proper connection, evaluate the model and evaluate the crowding-out effect. The crowding-out effect is one of the most important concepts in macroeconomics, that has yet to be studied. By considering the effect of fiscal policy on economic conditions, such as the liquidity trap , economic prosperity and depression, is useful for determining whether these fiscal policies are neutral or have complete or incomplete effects [D. Camern, 1978]. Increases in government expenditures (i. e., quantitative easing policy) can be a substitute for private sector expenditures. If it is decreased, it will cause the emersion of crowding-out. Because a high rate of GDP is allotted to expenditures, the effect of fiscal policies (i. e., changes in government expenditure) on this past (i. e., expenditure) is very significant. The evaluation of these results can therefore help policy makers create properly performing fiscal policies [Peacock A Ian. 1982].
The Potential of PPPs in Natural Hazard Management in Austria
Mag. Monika Gruber, alpS Centre for Natural Hazard and Risk Management GmbH, Austria
Prof. Dr. Matthias Bank, Department of Banking and Finance, University of Innsbruck, Austria
As natural hazards pose a threat to human lives and economic values of our societies, governments aim at providing appropriate protection measures against this type of risk. Active protection measures, i.e. technical and biological constructions can improve the safety of individuals and societal assets. However, these provisions are costly and need to be handled prudentially. Not only in Austria but also in other states the public faces budget constraints and conflicts of interest impeding the establishment of necessary protective infrastructure. Therefore, this paper suggests the application of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) concept to the field of natural hazard management in order to overcome the shortcomings of conventional public provision. As to date PPPs have not been deployed for the provision of protection measures against natural hazards, the analysis will firstly stress crucial aspects of PPPs in public infrastructure projects in general and secondly focus on this special field of application using the example of Austria. In most European countries protection measures against natural hazards are funded by public institutions. Specific public funds have been established which aim at providing the required financial means for the establishment of preventive constructions as well as for damage compensation payments in the aftermath of catastrophic events. Due to an increasing population density, augmenting property holdings in congested areas as well as higher frequencies of catastrophic events, the damage potential associated with natural hazards is growing. This development necessitates additional financial means in order to fund crucial protective infrastructure and to provide for maximal safety by realising urgently needed projects.
Innovation-Oriented Strategies of Thai Business Enterprises
Teerayout Wattanasupachoke, Ph.D., Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
This paper examines the significant relationship between corporate innovation culture, market orientation concept and innovation-oriented strategy formulation. In addition, the influences of innovation-oriented strategies on firms’ performances are investigated. The scope of this research focuses on all companies listed in the stock market of Thailand. Regarding the formulation of innovation-oriented strategies, the firms’ activities of market intelligence, internal idea generation, creativity development and diffusion significantly influence the employment of innovation strategies. However, cross-functional collaboration and external idea sourcing activities seem to obstruct firms’ innovation development as the concepts are relatively new and contrasting to Thai organizational cultures. With regard to firms’ performances, both financial and non-financial performances are positively influenced by the deployment of innovation-oriented strategies, particularly product innovation. This is due to the greater added values of innovative products/services delivered directly to customers, which result in higher customers’ satisfaction, loyalty, market share as well as better sales and profitability. Recently, it becomes increasingly important for the business to create unique characteristics in order to gain competitive advantages. Uniqueness is generated from idea development. It leads to organizational innovations which deliver greater added value to customers and create satisfaction and loyalty of customers. It is beneficial for the companies in a long run. Therefore, it is a priority for the firms to encourage innovation developments since it is one of the major keys to success and every executive is clearly aware of the significance of innovation. As a result, it is interesting to conduct an in-depth study on innovation strategy development and other variables that affect innovation-oriented strategies in organization in order to bring higher performances to the company. However, there are not many researches especially in Asian and Thai businesses that focus on the overall image, either on main factors that influence the deployment of innovation strategies or on the outcomes from utilizing those strategies.
Human Capital and Economic Growth
Dr Akri Boughanmi, ISCAE, University of Manuba, Tunisia
This article shows that the accumulation of human capital, which depends upon both education and learning by using capital goods, plays an important role in economic growth. The article assumes that education is fully funded by the state and not the result of a private choice, as in the majority of growth models, where education comes from a private decision. This approach allows us to take into account the specificities of developing countries. The introduction of the effect of learning is justified because activities of innovation and research and development are absent or embryonic in developing countries. The article helps to clarify the theoretical relationship between human capital and economic growth. Human capital theory, including the work of Mincer, Becker and Nelson and Phelps (1966), among others, highlights the fundamental role of human capital in economic growth. This fundamental role has sparked a renewed interest in the endogenous growth models from the mid-1980s. These models consider human capital to be a reproducible factor whose accumulation s a source of economic growth. The model AK, including Lucas (1988), is an essential reference because it shows that the rate of long-term growth is even more important than the accumulation of human capital. The model of Mankiw-Romer-Weil (1992) is a neoclassical reference, a Solow model augmented by introducing human capital as a factor of production, along with physical capital and labor. Human capital accumulation reduces and offsets the diminishing returns on physical capital, thereby improving the rate of growth.
Expatriates’ Leadership Behaviours and Local Subordinates’ Extra Effort, Satisfaction, and Effectiveness
Dr. Nuttawuth Muenjohn, School of management, RMIT University
One of the most important managerial skills required for expatriate managers is to adopt or adjust their style of leadership to conform to their host-nation subordinates’ cultural background. Ability to lead local subordinates has also emerged as an important factor in successful expatriates. This study aimed to determine: a) whether the leadership behaviours of Australian expatriates, as perceived by themselves and their Thai subordinates, tended to be more transformational or transactional leadership; and b) how the leadership behaviours displayed by the expatriates related to extra effort, satisfaction, and effectiveness among their local subordinates. Forty-seven Australian Expatriates and ninety-one Thai subordinates were asked to respond on the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). Results revealed that the expatriates who performed transformational leadership had a stronger positive impact on getting subordinates to do more than they expected (extra effort), working with subordinates in satisfactory ways (satisfaction), and being effective as group leaders (effectiveness) than the expatriates who displayed transactional leadership behaviour. An increasingly changing global business environment presents a challenge to several multinational corporations to manage this change by using their expatriate managers to carry out the headquarters’ policies in foreign countries. Comparative cross-cultural studies have indicated that one of the main managerial aspects required of expatriate managers was to adopt or adjust their style of leadership to conform to their subordinates’ cultural background (e.g. Dorfman, Howell, Hibino, Lee, Tate, and Bautista, 1997; Campbell, Bommer, and Yeo, 1993; Doktor, 1990).
Working Holiday Makers: A Qualitative Study of Taiwanese Students Experience in Australia
Dr. Brendan T. Chen, Dr. Carol Y. Lu, and Daphne Chang
National Chin-Yi University of Technology, Taiping City, Taiwan
Working Holiday Program (WHM) has become a trend because of globalization and the advancement in technology; therefore more and more people are interested in traveling to other countries to join this new program. As a new program, people do not have acquired sufficient and precise information and knowledge about it since only until recently has it been developed sound. The purpose of this study is to provide those who are going to take the WHM program with more valuable information and recommendations through the analysis of the experiences of those people who had taken the WHM program. The researchers interviewed 13 students in National Chin-Yi University of Technology who joined the WHM program in Australia between June 2008 and June 2009. The research method used to collect the qualitative data of this study was in-depth interviews. The participants’ responses to the interview questions were analyzed first and discussed later. The conclusion and recommendations based on the data analysis were also proposed by the researchers for future use. A working holiday in an exotic country like Australia can attract almost anyone’s interest, but especially Taiwanese are unfamiliar with non-Asian nations. If conditions and money allowed, people would likely to set up a year to keep on salary and still see a new place? This study explores the process for a Taiwanese to become a WHM (Working Holiday Maker). In addition, the study also examine the conditions of employment motivation for WHM’s who serve to develop working vacations in Australia.
Learner Satisfaction among Kaohsiung High School Students at the I Ching Summer Camp
Dr. Shinn-Jong Lin, Shu-Te University, Taiwan, R.O.C.
This study presents a survey of learner satisfaction at the I Ching Summer Camp among high school students from the greater Kaohsiung area. Five dimensions of learner satisfaction are identified: teaching, learning achievement, interpersonal relationships, syllabus and teaching materials, learning environment. Three personal factors are tested for impact on learner satisfaction: gender, urban/rural high school, school grade. Survey results show that overall satisfaction was high, but there were some differences in satisfaction among groups defined by each of the personal factors. The I Ching Summer Camp is a high-tech educational experience for young people involving creative reading of the I Ching. This study examines levels of learner satisfaction at the camp. There has been a lot of literature on learner satisfaction in recent years. However, most research has centered on learning in schools, addressing learner satisfaction with individual courses and knowledge application. With the current study, we wish to shift the focus out of the school, to a summer camp. It is hoped that this research will be of use to future organizers of similar events.
Information Uncertainty and Analysts’ Forecast Accuracy on the Capital Market Efficiency
Dr. Ruei-Shian Wu and Shih-HongYang, Yuan Ze University, Chung-Li, Taiwan
This study investigates whether information uncertainty leads to misevaluation of firms by the capital market. Further, we examine whether analysts’ forecast biases increase due to the relatively high degree of information uncertainty. A sample of North American firms from 1988 to 2006 is investigated. This study adopts Rhodes-Kropf, Robinson, and Viswanathan’s (2005) model to evaluate market mispricing and use the perceptions of earnings quality to proxy information uncertainty. We find a positive association between information uncertainty and the possibility of being mispriced by the capital market. Moreover, analysts’ forecast accuracy is significantly decreased when predicting earnings of firms with a relatively high degree of information uncertainty. There is much debate over the existence and persistence of abnormal returns due to market mispricing in finance-related fields. Fama (1970) states Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) that rational investors should profit and close their positions immediately following public information. Fama argues that the current stock price reflects all available information and that market mispricing is unlikely to occur if the capital market is a strong-form efficient market. However, an increasing number of studies have questioned the authenticity of Capital Asset Pricing Model and EMH due to numerous inconsistent empirical results with EMH since the 1980s. Studies have explored the size effect, stock price continuation, post-earnings-announcement-drift, book-to-market effect, and earnings momentum effect (e.g., Ball and Brown, 1968; Banz, 1981; Keim, 1983; Fama and French, 1992; Chan et al., 1996).
Development of Double Taxation Elimination Treaties in the Czech Republic
Danuse Nerudova, Mendel University, Brno, Czech Republic
The history of double tax treaties on the territory of the Czech Republic is very much connected with the history of those treaties in the Slovak Republic. The problems of international double taxation on the historic area of the Czech Republic have started to be solved in the end of 19th century. Until that time, the questions of double taxation has been usually solved in the international treaties on trade and shipping, in the conventions on friendship and others. The aim of the paper is to analyze first double taxation treaties concluded on the historic territory of the Czech Republic and to discover its common features, and to identify the basic features of tax treaty policy at that time. The history of double tax treaties on the territory of the Czech Republic is very much connected with the history of those treaties in the Slovak Republic, for until 1993 Czechoslovakia Republic existed. The problems of international double taxation on the historic area of the Czech Republic have started to be solved in the end of 19th century. Until that time, the questions of double taxation has been usually solved in the international treaties on trade and shipping, in the conventions on friendship and others. Those treaties have usually been restricted on the taxation of the business profits only. The Treaty concluded between Austria and Hungary in Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy and the treaties concluded between the cantons in Switzerland confederation can be considered as the model for the later “real” double tax treaties. The aim of the above mentioned treaties was to regulate the taxation in the states of confederative character – i.e. they have solved just the questions of domestic taxation (e.g. between the cantons and federation, or Austria and Hungary). First real international double taxation convention which was concluded on the historic territory of the Czech Republic was the treaty concluded between Austria and Prussia in 1899.
Stress Reaction Perception Inventory of Students of Universities and Colleges of Technology
Dr. Ying Ming Lin, NanKai University of Technology, Taiwan
Shu Chuan Lin, Vice Professor, Chaoyang University of Technology, Taiwan
This research was drafted and stratified random sampling was used to carry out in-depth interviews of students of ten Universities and Colleges of Technology. The researcher constructed a content of stress reaction perception of these students, which conformed to the reliability and validity requirements of qualitative research. Based on the coding and punctuations of the above peer encoders, and after categorizing and generalizing these data, experts and learners were requested to assist in the discussion and the data coding was converted into the items of this research. Afterwards, this research requested five experts to examine the content validity of the methods; based on the various items of the content, retouching and modification was carried out and after modification, 22 items were chosen. While this research issued 400 questionnaires, 282 effective questionnaires were returned. After data coding, the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS for Window XP) was used to carry out exploratory factor analysis. This research carried out factor analysis after conducting related elimination on the basis of the results of item analysis, and finally extracted six factors, including psychological reaction, psychological resistance, psychological exhaustion, physiological reaction, physiological resistance and physiological exhaustion. The total variance explained in this inventory was 77.53%. The Cronbach reliability test was carried out and α value obtained was between.847~.943. The α value of the overall academic stress questionnaires was .927. This research used the K Pearson’s correlation analysis to obtain the significant level of related coefficients of various factor components and total (.643~.780). According to the above various reliability and validity tests, the stress reaction perception inventory of this research is divided into six factors (foci), which are psychological reaction, psychological resistance, psychological exhaustion, physiological reaction, physiological resistance, and physiological exhaustion.
Regional Exchange Rate Arrangements for East Asia: Proposals, Challenges and Path to Development
Dr. Jittima Tongurai, Oita University, Japan
This paper investigates the progress of East Asia’s monetary cooperation, the policy area that is least advanced. We review the proposals on regional arrangements for exchange rate stability in the East Asia region. Given the diversity in terms of economic, social and political development of countries in East Asia, the process of economic convergence that will facilitate tight coordination in macroeconomic and exchange rate policies in the region cannot be achieved in a short time. The lack of solid political relationship among governments of East Asian countries, and the insufficient leadership of the region’s economic powers also hinder the movements towards cooperative exchange rate arrangement. To achieve the supreme goal of establishing Asian Monetary Union, a multi-track, multi-speed approach of Kawai (2005; 2008) seems to be the feasible option. After all, it is at the discretion of each participating country to join the monetary union, generally when it sees that the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs. In the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, we have witnessed more political endeavors to increase financial and monetary cooperation in the East Asia region, particularly among the governments of ASEAN+3 countries. ASEAN+3 include 10 official members of ASEAN (i.e., Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), the People’s Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea. Financial cooperation such as the information exchange and policy dialogue among central banks of East Asian countries (e.g. ASEAN Surveillance Process (ASP)), the establishment of regional liquidity support facility (e.g. Chiang Mai Initiative of swap arrangement), and the development of regional bond markets (e.g. Asian Bond Fund (ABF) initiative) has been initiated (Asian Development Bank, 2005).
Outbound Tourism Demand in Turkey: A Vector Error Correctýon Approach
Dr. Oguzhan Ozcelebi, Istanbul University, Beyazit, Istanbul, Turkey
International tourism demand’s growth rate have been increasing and sustained growth rate of international tourism demand have been experienced over the years on the world. Therefore fluctuations in inbound and outbound tourism demand are to have important effects on the economies. Growing inbound and outbound tourism have been effecting the macro economic variables of countries especially the balance of payments in Turkey since the 1990’s. The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of outbound tourism demand in Turkey between 1992:M01-2009:M03. In order to analyze the factors effecting the outbound tourism demand, 3-variable Vector Error Correction (VEC) approach is adopted using monthly data and the short-run and long-run relationships are exposed. Tourism expenditures, real gross domestic product and real exchange rate index are employed. The results shows that in the short-run the lagged coefficients of real gross domestic product and real exchange rate index are not statistically significant. Fluctuations in the reel gross domestic product and in the real exchange rate will cause spending on other goods rather than outbound tourism in the short-run. But in the long-run the coefficients are statistically significant. The long-run coefficient of real gross domestic product is positive and therefore exposes that income elasticity of outbound tourism demand is high and outbound tourism is a luxury item. The positive coefficient of the real exchange rate indicates that the Purchasing Power Parity Theory is consistent in the long-run. Tourism that has been developing rapidly since 1990’s as a result of the globalization phenomenon has social, cultural, political and economic effects on the countries. The effects of this rapid development has gained ground the tourism sector in developing and developed countries. As a result of the development of the tourism sector, gross domestic product (GDP) and employment are effected positively, economic imbalances among the regions of the countries are equalized and also hard-currency income is gained.
Selecting the Evaluation Criteria of Forecasting Performance
Dr. Kua-Ping Liao, Kun Shan University of Technology, Taiwan
To appraise forecasting performance, normally an evaluation criterion is needed. In some situations, the selection of error measures is not too difficult or controversial. But quite often we are in a more complex situation if there are a number of series to be forecast. In these situations, some effort should be devoted to selecting suitable evaluation criteria prior to any data analysis. Performance evaluation criteria should be able to provide a objective sense of forecasting accuracy and/or to indicate faithfully the actual costs incurred by forecasting errors. In some situations, it is more straightforward to compare the forecasting performance of different models. Some possible situations are described below. It is helpful to recognise these before dealing with more complex situations. The model corresponding to the error distribution with a smaller mean has better performance. If these two error distributions can be modeled reasonably by using the same family of distributions with different standard deviations, the model corresponding to the error distribution with a smaller mean and a smaller standard deviation has better overall performance.
Overcoming the Fear of Business Math: An Adaptive Learning Approach
Dr. Leonard Presby, William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey
An expectation gap often between what a course requires and what prior prerequisite courses produce. This paper examines a unique approach in learning business math principles. Incorporating a blended course delivery approach, three different classes were exposed to an adaptive learning approach with regard to learning and reviewing basic math required for business studies. Assessments were conducted both at the beginning and end of the course Students were more motivated and interested using this method. The results show an amazing increase of learning varying from 10 to 150% using this system. All the students preferred this manner of learning compared to the traditional one. Results of this study have strong implications to help reduce the problem of students dropping courses. Education is more essential than ever to an individual’s economic future. Unfortunately, many students are beginning their post-secondary studies unable and unequipped to succeed, especially in quantitative type courses. In a typical business curriculum, students are expected to enter a course such as business statistics, managerial economics, financial accounting, corporate finance having some math under their belt. According to a study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, less than 25% of high school seniors are considered proficient in mathematics. This crisis of student readiness poses enormous challenges for higher education institutions. Almost 50% of all college students take at least one remedial course. The Commission on the Future of Higher education recommended in 2007 that institutions develop new pedagogies, curricula and technology to improve learning particularly in the area of science and mathematics. The lack of prerequisite knowledge puts the student and instructor in a dubious manner even before the first class has begun. Because of aforementioned problems and poor skills business students showed in using math I initiated a course , mgt399, to help rectify this situation The object of the class was to review topics from prior math exposure (math140) and have them learn other essential business math topics in an interesting interactive manner with emphasis on the “learner”.
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