The Business Review Journal
Vol. 16 * Number 2 * December 2010
The Library of Congress, Washington, DC * ISSN 1553 - 5827
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Who Governs the Internet? International Legal Aspects of IT Governance
Dr. Emilio Collar, Jr., Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT
Dr. Roy J. Girasa, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY
The Internet was created in the late 1960s as a result of the need for the United States military establishment to communicate with each other through a network that would be highly robust and survivable in the event of attack. In 1981 there were fewer than 300 computers linked to the Internet. As of 2008, there are some 1.5 billion users of the Internet. Each entity seeking to connect to the Internet is assigned one or more unique numeric addresses known as IP numbers or addresses. The Domain Name System (DNS) controls the way each component identifies and communicates with one another. Previously, the DNS was controlled by the U.S. having originated therein. Inasmuch as the Internet is utilized worldwide, there has been a call for the internationalization of the Internet rather than having the U.S. dominate it. Steps were taken in 1998 in the U.S. to create Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which was to be independent of U.S. government control. ICANN has for the most part been independent but, nevertheless, steps were taken under the auspices of the United Nations to have control transferred from the U.S. to U.N. supervision. It instituted the World Summit on the Information Technology which took place in 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland and in 2005 in Tunis, Tunisia. A result of the summits was the creation of the Internet Governance Forum. The European Union has also engaged in efforts to transfer the DNS to one wherein the many international actors would play a role. Notwithstanding efforts to transfer ICANN responsibilities to other world bodies, ICANN has instituted reforms which have, in effect, taken cognizance of the complaints, including permitting scripts other than Western European script for Internet use. Its Board of Directors and other major positions are now held by persons form diverse parts of the globe. It appears that U.N. and European efforts will not cause ICANN to become extinct but has caused it to become much more responsive to globe needs.
Measuring the Soft Side of the Achievement of Assurance-of-Learning Objectives
Dr. Nancy Haskell, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Dr. Donald Beliveau, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
The International business school accreditation organisation AACSB evaluates business schools seeking accreditation or renewal of accreditation on, among other criteria, Assurance of Learning (AOL) standards. That is, it encourages business schools to define and measure students’ level of achievement of learning objectives for their program of study and then assesses the school’s success in doing so. Easier said than done, the assessment of learning is a subject of lengthy discussions and committee work in numerous AACSB-accredited business schools as well as in those preparing their candidature for accreditation. The present research examines the soft side of measurement (i.e., indirect measurement) by focusing on students’ perceptions of achievement over time during participation in a complex, interactive business simulation in international market entry and development. Results indicate that students clearly perceive improvement in their business skills as defined by program objectives. Furthermore, this achievement is progressive during the simulation experience. Concern for the effectiveness of education in general and of management education in particular is the subject of much debate in the face of the imperatives of global competitiveness, economic difficulties, severe budget constraints, and the shrinking population of potential candidates due to demographic shifts.
User Modeling in Adaptive Web Design
Dr. Qiyang Chen, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ
An adaptive Web site accommodates a diverse set of users with a wide variety of knowledge background and interests. Recently some adaptive Web environments have become available. The adaptation can range from a simple automatic selection between different versions of pages to the completely dynamic customization and generation of all pages with adapted hypertext links and contents. This paper describes several issues related to adaptive Web site design, especially focuses on adaptation based on implicit user modeling process. They include issues in construction of user model and creating adaptive page contents and links. It also proposes the guidelines of using current Web-technology for user modeling and adaptation. As Web sites are becoming increasingly popular as information resources. The organization of hypertext links and contents offer users a great deal of navigational freedom. However, this freedom makes it impossible for both designers and users to anticipate all possible navigation paths. Very often a user find links are either irrelevant to his/her current task or that is beyond what his/her comprehension. It has been acknowledged that a user model based adaptive Web site may help navigating users in more cooperative way by adapting users’ background knowledge and task-related characteristics. During the past decade different types of Web sites were built with certain degree of adaptation.
The Relationship Between Corporate Governance and Financial Performance: An Empirical Study of Canadian Firms
Dr. Peter A. Stanwick, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Dr. Sarah D. Stanwick, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
The focus of this paper is to examine whether good corporate governance yields higher financial performance than poor corporate governance for Canadian firms. Using the rankings of the Best and Worst Board of Directors ranked by Canadian Business in 2007, the results showed that overall board performance does impact firm performance. The results showed that firms with a high level of accountability of the board of directors had superior financial performance. The results also showed a significant inverse relationship between board independence and financial performance. The results demonstrated that corporate governance is critical in the ability of the firm to enhance their financial position. In addition, the results showed that the board must be accountable for their actions to ensure that the firm is able to achieve a strong financial performance. Furthermore, the results showed that boards that are dominated by insider board members yielded superior performance by the firm. With the ethical scandals occurring in the past two decades, the role of corporate governance has been gaining increased interest in academic research. While initially established as a legal requirement for incorporation, corporate governance has become a critical link between firms and stakeholders in the firm.
Concentration in the Cable Television Industry from 1996 – 2008
Dr. Johannes Snyman, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver, CO
This article reviews changes in the market concentration of the cable television industry from 1996 to 2008. It first tracks the historical trend in market concentration from 1965 to 1995 and then proceeds with an analysis of the two most popular market concentration ratios, the CR4 and the CR8, as well as the Herfindahl Hirschman Index (HHI), which is the government’s preferred measure of market concentration. The CR4, CR8 and HHI increased significantly from 1996 to 2008. In 1995, the industry was a moderately concentrated oligopoly. During the year merger and acquisition activity started to increase significantly from 1994 due to the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the development of digital technology. By 2008, the industry had become a highly concentrated oligopoly. However, Comcast, the number one ranked cable operator, won a significant lawsuit in 2009 over the FCC’s rule that placed an upper limit on the growth of any cable operator. The trend in tighter market concentration is predicted to continue. Concentration of ownership in the cable television industry has received the attention of government, media consumers, scholars and numerous consumer activist groups since the industry’s inception in the early 1950s.
Similarities and Differences in the Strategic Orientation, Innovation Patterns
and Performance of SMEs and Large Companies
Dr. Kamalesh Kumar, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, MI
This study examined the similarities and differences in the strategic orientation and innovation patterns of SMEs and large companies and investigated their implications for company performance. Data collected over a two year period was analyzed to determine the strategic orientations of SMEs and large firms, in terms of the Miles and Snow typology. Results showed that while large firms operated with a “prospector” orientation, the vast majority of SMEs possessed a “defender” or “reactor” orientation. Results also showed that, while in general, SMEs had taken a defensive posture, introducing products that involve low novelty of innovation, a small number of SMEs were able to innovate successfully in all product categories. An ex post facto investigation revealed that these firms had, in effect followed an "open innovation model" (Chesbrough, 2003) that involve the use of external actors and sources to help them achieve and sustain innovation. Implications of the finding for SME's competitive strategy and future research are discussed. A survey of the strategy literature provides rather unequivocal evidence that a company’s strategic orientation plays a major role in its innovativeness and that innovation is a key driver of competitiveness and company performance. But there appears to be a relative lack of research that has examined the similarities and differences in the strategic orientation, innovation pattern and performance of small (companies with less than 250 employees) and medium (companies with less than 500 employees) enterprises (SMEs) and large companies within a single industry (Laforet, 2008; O’Regan and Ghobadian, 2005).
Some Solutions for the Equity Premium and Volatility Puzzles
Dr. Jinlu Li, Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, Ohio
This is a short version of my original paper about the solutions of the equity premium and volatility puzzles. In this paper, I adopt an economic equilibrium model utilizing the framework introduced by Mehra and Prescott (1985) when they presented the equity premium puzzle. This model, in the long run and with respect to stationary probabilities, produces results that match the sample values derived from the U.S. economy between 1889 and 1978 as illustrated by the studies performed by Grossman and Shiller (1981), which includes the expected average, standard deviation, and first-order serial correlation of the growth rate of per capita real consumption and the expected returns and standard deviation of equity, risk-free security, and risk premium for equity. Therefore, this model solves the equity premium and volatility puzzles. I also explore the reasons why the equity premium puzzle was caused. In 1981, Grossman and Shiller studied the U.S. economy from the period 1889 through 1978, providing the average, standard deviation, and first-order serial correlation of growth rate of per capita in real consumption and the average returns and standard deviations of equity, risk-free securities, and risk premium in equity for this sample. Mehra and Prescott (1985) published a paper entitled The Equity Premium, A Puzzle, in which they formulized a very efficient economics equilibrium model by employing a variation of Lucas’ pure exchange model under an assumption that the growth rate of the endowment follows a Markov process.
Partial Privatization in Mixed Duopoly
Dr. Najiba Benabess, Norwich University, Northfield, VT
This paper investigates the optimal partial privatization of a Stackelberg leader in a mixed duopoly. This paper builds from Matsumura’s duopoly Cournot model (1998) by comparing Cournot and Stackelberg models. In Cournot, partial ownership is optimal in a duopoly. In Stackelberg, partial privatization can be optimal but only when the government weighs consumer surplus more than profit in the welfare function. Indeed, for large weights on consumer surplus the optimal extent of privatization in Stackelberg actually. This paper examines the optimal partial privatization of a Stackelberg leader in a mixed oligopoly. Recently, the literature on “mixed markets,” markets involving both private and public enterprises has grown enormously (1). This reflects the fact that in many countries public firms continue to compete with private firms and that policy makers are often interested in the consequences of privatizing those public firms. The typical modeling assumption is that the public firm maximizes social welfare while private firms maximize their own profits. The influence of privatization often depends on the timing assumptions of the model. DeFraja and Delbono (1989) showed that welfare might be higher when a public firm is a profit-maximizer rather than a welfare-maximizer in a Cournot competition model. While this captures the market influence of privatization, they consciously ignore the effect privatization might have on improving productivity or lowering costs. Thus their contribution is to establish that the privatization of a public firm can be beneficial even when it does not reduce production costs.
An Empirical Investigation of the Relation Between Emotional Intelligence and Job Satisfaction in the Lebanese Service Industry
Raghid Al Hajj, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon
Dr. Grace K. Dagher, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon
The escalating popularity of the Emotional Intelligence concept along with the increase in life/work outcomes that it is supposed to affect has lead researchers to scientifically investigate its relation to several of these outcomes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of emotional intelligence as a determining factor in several facets of job satisfaction among employees within the service sector. The results of this study provide insights to both practitioners and academicians on how employees’ attitudes can be influenced by non-cognitive factors. Further future studies and limitations of the study are discussed. Recently the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) has received a great deal of interest and fuelled much controversy. If anything, the interest in EI seems to be on the rise, and the unusual speed by which research on this subject is growing maybe addressed to the reason that scores on EI measures are associated with a number of real life outcomes (Grewal and Salovey, 2005). EI has been linked to a variety of outcomes from health to career success and life satisfaction etc... (CartWright and Pappas, 2008). In an organizational setting, the interest in EI is a result of the desire to interpret the differences in occupational success between people which cannot be explained by existing cognitive measures such as IQ alone (Zeidner et al., 2004).
Influence of Country Culture on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Legal Reform Management
Dr. Enoch K. Beraho, South Carolina State University
Different countries employ different bankruptcy and insolvency approaches when trying to solve their economic problems. The purpose of this paper is to study the influence country culture and legal systems have on bankruptcy management in different countries. Bankruptcy data and information pertaining to legal practices of different countries were obtained from those countries’ websites and various published documents. The data were examined and compared, noting differences in legal structures among the countries studied. It was found that, whereas the aim of bankruptcy laws was to remedy the countries’ economic problems, the approaches taken differed markedly. In many cases, it was difficult to access bankruptcy data mainly because such data were published on Internet and no other reliable documents were available. To the author’s knowledge, it seems very little specific work, if any, has been done in the areas relating to country cultural values, bankruptcy practices and management. In that sense this study is warranted. Furthermore, effective bankruptcy management across nations may benefit from this exposure, leading to more realistic reforms across the globe. Over the last decade, the world has experienced economic difficulties.
John Andrews: After Success, Then What? [Case Study]
Prof. John Hulpke, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Cubie Lau, University College Dublin, Ireland
John Andrews could have relaxed, and continued as a very successful human resource manager of prestige hotels in Asia. He was now early middle aged. He was not particularly wealthy, but was financially secure. He did not feel that it was time to retire back in his native land, the U.K. But there was the nagging feeling that there might be more to life than “success.” After success, then what? The challenge turned into an opportunity: invent a socially responsible resort hotel in an area needing help. Again, ideas plus enthusiasm and energy created a beacon of light, making a difference. Mission accomplished, Andrews stepped aside, letting the local staff sustain the effort. But for Andrews, again the question: after success, then what? As Hong Kong-based director of Human Resources for a truly world class group of hotels in Asia, John Andrews was in an important and fulfilling job. The road up to this point had been long and for more than a dozen years he had worked really long hours, worked really hard, and the promotions came. But now, Andrews asked himself: is this what life is meant to be? He reflected on the paths that led him to this position, in this industry, and in this place. What led him here? Andrews grew up in the hotel industry in the United Kingdom. He graduated with diplomas in Hotel and Catering studies from University College Birmingham in their program on hospitality and tourism management.
Employer’s Perceptions of Online vs. Traditional Face-To-Face Learning
Marzie Astani, Ph.D., Professor of MIS, Winona State University, Winona, MN
Kathryn J. Ready, Ph.D., Professor of Management, Winona State University, Winona, MN
Online learning has increased dramatically during the last decade. Online universities have grown in popularity, while traditional universities and technical colleges struggling with declining financial support, have embraced online courses, and in some cases complete online programs. This exploratory study provides students, business faculty and institutions of higher learning insight into employer’s perceptions of online learning. Overall, employers favor online learning due to the flexibility presented. Employers stated that they will recommend online courses to their employees to further develop skills. Yet, despite their positive perceptions, employers were uncertain about whether an online degree was comparable to a traditional face-to-face learning degree and were uncertain about hiring someone with an online degree if the position required a college degree. The growth of online education has been widespread during the past decade. Pethokoukis (2002) reported a 33% per year increase in online enrollments in the U.S. through 2002. In a 2005 report of online education in the U.S., the overall enrollment growth rate was reported as 18.8%, which exceeded the overall growth rate in the higher education student body (Allen & Saunders, 2005).
A Survey on HIV/AIDS, Health Status and Economic Growth
Dr. Juan J. DelaCruz, Lehman College (CUNY), Bronx, NY
This essay reviews the literature on growth theory, analyzes the importance of human capital and portrays the role of health as a determinant of economic performance. This survey also introduces the impact of a particular disease, HIV/AIDS, on the economy and includes empirical work explaining the interrelationship of health and income per capita, which is measured using a multivariate framework controlling for other environmental variables. Good health improves economic performance whereas ill health (using HIV prevalence as a proxy) deteriorates human capital, negatively affecting income per capita across countries. Ever since Ramsey linked the optimal saving rate for an economy to the introduction of human capital in the economic literature, our ability to explain economic phenomena moved to a higher level. The evolution of growth theory can be tracked in diverse ways. The first tendency is associated with the Harrod-Domar model, with its explanation of economic growth in terms of the level of savings and productivity of capital while the second and third have to do with further developments in the neoclassical growth representation and responses to omissions and deficiencies in the prevailing neoclassical model respectively (Solow, 1994).
Contingent Liability and Stock Price: Evidence from Listed Companies on the Stock Exchange of Thailand
Sasisha Chiewcharnpipat, M. Accy., ExxonMobil Limited, Bangkok, Thailand
Dr. Uthai Tanlamai, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
This research examines the relationship between contingent liabilities and stock price. Contingent liabilities in this study pertain to those that once incurred will become expenses of a company. The three types of contingent liabilities included in this research are Guarantees to others, Lawsuits, and Discounted accounts receivables or discounted post-date cheques. This study uses a triangulation research method for the analyses of data in order to ensure the reliability of the study results. The sampling frame comprises 210 listed companies of all sectors on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), excluding the financial and restructuring sectors. This study uses quarterly data collected during the years 1998-2005 and the total units of analysis are 6,720 quarter-firms. All three methods of analysis give substantial evidences to support the relationship between contingent liabilities and stock price. Today’s freer capital markets have witnessed the emergence of financial statements as one of the most important tools for fundamental equity analysis. Each important element of the financial statement reflects a different aspect of a company: the Balance Sheet channels the firm’s financial position, the Income Statement, operations, and the Statement of Cash Flow the change in the financial position over an accounting cycle. The notes to the financial statement, on the other hand, show supplemental information, including the company’s accounting method, risks and uncertainties, and hidden assets and liabilities.
A New Engine for Growth? An Exploratory Study of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Creative Multimedia Cluster
Kamarulzaman Ab. Aziz, Multimedia University, Malaysia
The importance given by local authorities and governments to the creative sector can be seen from the number of creative city/region strategies such as Creative Baltimore, Creative Toronto, Creative Sheffield, Creative New York, Create Berlin and Creative London. (Foord, 2008) Thus, it is not surprising to see this trend start to take effect in developing countries such as Malaysia. In order to accelerate the realization of Vision 2020 (to transform Malaysia into a knowledge based society) via the Multimedia Super Corridor, a path was defined through six innovative Flagship Applications. However, recently a new focus area has been identified and given priority by the government. The creative sector had been identified as having significant potential that can be the new engine driving the nation’s transformation. The MSC Malaysia Creative Multimedia Cluster initiative was designed to create an environment for companies to leverage on leading-edge technologies to design, produce and deliver various products and services to help bridge the digital divide, enhance the use of technology within the wider creative industry specifically and the nation in general, to develop local expertise capable of producing “global” Malaysian content as well as driving creative IP creation in the country. This study aims to look at how the creative multimedia cluster initiative was implemented and evaluate the cluster performance using a holistic framework. Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia is a policy-driven cluster-oriented initiative launched in 1996, aimed to help the country on its transition from an industrial society to a post industrial one. The plan was laid out in the mid-1990s through initiatives under the Third Outline Perspective Plan (OPP3) and Eight Malaysian Plan (8P). ICT had been identified as the key enabler towards achieving this vision. Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) is one of the major efforts in this regard
Gender Differences in E-Government Adoption in Dubai
Dr. Jawahitha Sarabdeen, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, UAE
Dr. Gwendolyn Rodrigues, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, UAE
Over the last decade e-government services are transforming nations. The success of such initiatives depends on the willingness of citizens to adopt e-government services. Researchers have identified a number of factors that have an impact on the willingness to adopt e-government services. However, gender differences have been neglected by researchers. This paper uses an extended Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and constructs which include ‘perceived security and trust, ‘perceived quality’, ‘perceived usefulness’ and ‘perceived ease of use’ to build a model to show gender differences. The proposed model reveals that there are similarities and differences between male and female willingness to use e-governments services. The study uses statistical tools like factor analysis, regression analysis in order to identify and validate the relevant factors. The findings of the study have practical implications for designing e-government services. E-government services have grown rapidly during the last decade. There is no debate on the importance of e-government services in transforming social, economic and technological life of nations. E-government services in Dubai aims at transforming the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of informational and transactional exchanges within government, between governments and government agencies at the federal, municipal and local levels and also between citizens and businesses; and to empower citizens through access and use of information. The success of such initiatives is dependent not only on the government support, but also on citizens’ willingness to accept and adopt those e-government services.(Carter & Belanger 2005).
Intercultural Communication and Relationship Marketing: A Conceptual Perspective
Dr. Phallapa Petison, Mahidol University, Thailand
Relationship marketing cannot be separated from communication as it is a substantial exchange of value, understanding, information, and knowledge from partners in a relationship. While the concept of relationship marketing has been increasing in recent years, the linkage of relationship marketing with other important aspects, such as communication and culture, is still not well developed. This conceptual paper critiques the intercultural communication fallacy in relationship marketing, and reviews and presents three cultural dimensions: power distance, collectivism vs. individualism, and uncertainty. The dimensions impact communication characteristics of style, strategies, frequency, flow, etc., which in turn impact quality of relationship marketing. The influence of communication on relationship marketing (RM) has received considerable attention in international business literature (Freeman and Browne, 2004). Some claim that RM has evolved as the result of interpersonal communication (Duck, 1998; Olkkonen, Tikkanen, and Aajoutsijarvi, 2000). Because all partners in a relationship need to understand, structure, and evaluate messages received between them, they inherently maintain RM. Furthermore, the communication process causes changes in the contextual and structural characteristics of the relationship, for example, how a relationship starts, develops, and declines. Similarly, culture is an important theoretical aspect of RM (Varner, 2000). Understanding and bridging cultural gaps between partners has been recognized as bringing about cooperation and providing a competitive advantage (Petison, 2010a; Wagner et al., 2002).
A Better Way to Increase the Credibility in Quantitative Research
Dr. Hai-Ching Chang, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
Wei-Hao Chang, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
Most quantitative studies use statistical significance as the major index of null hypothesis significance test; comparisons to additional information are frequently deficient. The null hypothesis significant test (NHST) is a tool commonly applied in quantitative research. Most researchers use p-values to interpret their findings. As p-values are strongly affected by sample size, some scholars suggested using an effect size index when interpreting results. The American Psychological Association emphasizing the importance of effect sizes, strongly suggesting that studies should contain the data and other relative indices (i.e., confidence interval). This study discusses the impact of the effect size index on generating, reporting, and interpreting data. Finally, this work also discusses some methods of determining practical significance (i.e., confidence interval and researcher subjective value). In recent years, researchers have recognized the importance of effect size when planning studies. Fern and Monroe (1996) identified three recent trends in marketing and consumer research that justify examining the issues surrounding use of effect size: (1) dissatisfaction with the null hypothesis significance test (NHST)); (2) acceptance of meta-analysis for synthesizing knowledge in studies; and, (3) increasing use of statistical power analysis. The American Psychological Association Publication Manual (1994, fourth edition) (APA publication manual), which underwent a substantial revision, encourages (p.18) authors to include, in addition to statistical significance, the value of effect size in their work.
The Moderating Effect of Locus of Control on Customer Orientation and Job Performance of Salespeople
Dr. Hsinkuang Chi, Nanhua University, Taiwan
Dr. Hueryren Yeh, Shih Chien University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Yuling Chen, Nanhua University, Taiwan
Service industry has been growing fast recently in Taiwan. Its total output value and number of employees exceed production industry and become the biggest industry in Taiwan. Therefore, in order to increase competitiveness, salespeople need not only to provide the best service to customers but also pay more attention to customer satisfaction. However, because of different personality traits, salespeople will behave differently. Thus, customers may perceive service difference from salespeople, and it will affect customer purchase decision. This study uses customer orientation as the antecedent variable, job performance as the dependent variable, locus of control as the moderator to examine where there is a moderating effect of locus of control on customer orientation and job performance of salespeople. The samples are collected from salespersons who work in insurance sales, car sales, direct sales, retail sales, department store counter, and real estate brokers. Total 420 copies of questionnaires were dispatched and 339 copies were collected. The response rate is 74%. The study finds that customer orientation and internal locus of control are positively and significantly affected to job performance. Moreover, internal locus of control has no moderation effect on customer orientation and job performance but external locus of control has a moderating effect on customer orientation and job performance.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) in Disaster Management: Coverage Optimization
Nor Azlina Ab. Aziz, Multimedia University, Malaysia
Kamarulzaman Ab. Aziz, Multimedia University, Malaysia
Global climate change is increasing the occurrence of extreme climate phenomenon with increasing severity, both in terms of human casualty as well as economic losses. Authorities need to be better equipped to face these global truths. This paper proposed a technological solution for search and rescue operations using WSN. A major issue for WSN is optimizing the coverage. In this paper the coverage problem, which is caused by limited sensing range and number of sensors is addressed. The proposed algorithm use both Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) and Voronoi diagram. From the simulation results it can be concluded that the proposed algorithm works better when the number of sensors is high, while the ROI is small or when the ROI is large while the number of sensors is low. A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a group of low cost, low power, multifunctional and small size wireless sensor nodes that cooperate together to sense the environment, process the data and communicate wirelessly over a short distance . The sensors are commonly used to monitor physical or environment conditions, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion or pollutants, at areas of interest . Some of these sensor nodes are able to move on their own, this is achieved by mounting the sensors on mobile platforms such as Robomote . The development of wireless sensor network was originally motivated by military application such as battlefield surveillance. However, wireless sensor networks are now used in many industrial and civilian application areas, including industrial process monitoring and control, machine health monitoring, environment and habitat monitoring, disaster management, healthcare applications, home automation and traffic control [2 & 4]. Among the challenges faced by WSN is to provide autonomous deployment.
The Capital Structure Choice of Listed Firms on Two Stock Markets and One Country
Dr. Khaldoun Al-Qaisi, Amman Arab University for Graduate Studies, Amman, Jordan
The financing choice of listed firms has been the subject of some intense research effort. At the forefront of this effort is the issue of capital structure. Indeed, the capital structure of firms affect their cost of capital and hence, their investment decisions. This paper examines the capital structure of non-financial firms operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In more specific terms, the fact that the UAE has two stock markets, the paper examines the determinants of leverage of listed firms on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADSE) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). Based on the time period 2004 – 2008, the reported results show that firms listed on the ADSE, and DFM have low leverage ratios. In addition, while the panel data analysis indicates the existence of some differences in the signs and magnitudes of the coefficients of the determinants of leverage, as expected, these differences are due to firm – specific factors rather than country – specific factors. It is common knowledge that the behavior of corporations in the generation and allocation of scarce resources is of vital importance. Moreover, the fact that the mix of funds (leverage ratio) affects the cost and availability of capital and thus, firms’ investment decisions, the issue of the capital structure choice has long been an issue of great interest in the corporate finance literature. Indeed, the literature examines the determinants of capital structure, and its impact on firm performance. The publication of Modigliani and Miller’s (1958) seminal paper in which it is illustrated, under a number of restrictive assumptions, that the value of a company is independent from its financial structure, has encouraged financial economists to come up with conditions under which an optimal capital structure would matter.
Outcomes of Referral and Non-Referral Hiring
Imran A. Shahzad, Lecturer (Management Sciences), Foundation University, Islamabad, Pakistan
This paper analyzes the impact of referral and non referral hiring on employee job satisfaction, employee productivity and employee turn over intentions. In Pakistan referral hiring has dual nature; in the public sector nature of referral hiring has negative undertone, while in the case of private sector especially in transnational organizations it is supposed to be a healthy process and widely used practice when urgent need of an employee is mandatory. In this study sample consisted of 100 employees; selected from OGDCL head office Islamabad; which is known as the primary source of business in the filed of Oil and Gas in Government sector of Pakistan (public sector). It is concluded that referral hiring plays significant role in employee job satisfaction and employee productivity as compared to non referrals. As referral hiring increases, it decreases employee turnover intentions and as non-referral hiring increases, it decreases employee productivity. Recruitment is a process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for the job in the organization. The sources of recruitment are categorized in to broader categories i.e. formal hiring (non-referrals) and informal hiring (referral) sources. Formal hiring sources include advertisement, internet, job fairs, and recruitment agency whereas personal contacts and professional contacts are informal sources of hiring. Several studies have found that inaccurate information at entry results in unmet expectations during encounter phase of socialization. Applicants recruited through informal sources of recruitment reported receiving more accurate information about the job from their reference source, and had more realistic expectations than applicants recruited by formal sources (Blau, 1990; Breaugh and Mann, 1984; Quaglieri, 1982).
The Effect of Pre 2007-08 Imported Crude Oil Price Increases on U.S. Economy
Dr. Hussein Zeaiter, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon
For decades, oil prices have been an important key player in the US economy as well as other economies. Most of oil price shocks were mainly caused by disturbance of supply. This study examines the asymmetric effect of foreign oil price increases that were supply shocks basis, on various U.S. economic activities. Using the imported oil price variable addresses the question of the impact on the U.S. economy of exogenous changes in nondomestic oil prices, which usually reflected events outside the United States. Using VAR, unit root tests, Granger causality tests, variance decomposition tests and impulse response functions are used to evaluate the impact of oil price shocks on the macroeconomy. The period chosen for the econometric model analysis of my study is 1948:II to 2000:IV with quarterly data. This paper concludes that imported oil prices have greater effect on the U.S. economy than domestic oil prices. Also, non-oil import prices play an important role on the output growth and on the other studied economics components. Since 1973, the major oil price changes have attracted many economists and policy makers to study the relationship of oil prices on various economic components. Historically, most of oil price shocks were mainly caused by disturbance of supply, whereas heavy demand was the main cause of the price increase in 2007-08.
Tourism Destination Attractiveness: The Mediating Effect of Destination Support Services
Dr. Sebastian Vengesayi, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
This paper examines the influence of tourist attractions, destination support services and people related factors on the attractiveness of a tourism destination. A sample consists of 275 tourists visiting major tourism destinations. Through Structured Equation Modeling, the study investigates the association between destination attractions and destination attractiveness, and how this relationship is mediated by destination supporting services. Destination supporting services were found to have a direct effect on destination attractiveness, contrary to literature that position destination supporting services as complimentary to destination attractions. The study of destination attractiveness are limited (Formica, 2002) in that attempts to measure or assess the attractiveness of tourism destinations are ad hoc and therefore of little use to most stakeholders at these destinations. The existing destination studies seek to identify the most popular destination attributes, that is, attractions and activities within a destination that are popular among tourists. Little attempt is however made to highlight, the relationship between destination attributes and destination attractiveness. Destination attractions are said to be the primary determinants of destination attractiveness, hence destination attractions are are directly related to destination attractiveness. Literature further suggest that destination support services play an indirect role to destination attractiveness by playing a complimentary role to destination attractions in the relationship with destination attractiveness. This study empirically investigates the relationship between destination attributes, destination support services and destination attractiveness. The mediating role of destination supporting services in the relationship is investigated.
An Empirical Analysis of Stock Pricing, Systematic Risks and Returns on the Ghana Stock Exchange
Joseph Magnus Frimpong, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
The study uses the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and regression analysis to examine relationships among beta coefficients, stock prices and returns of over 50% of total stocks on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). The Security Market Line for each of the ten year period was scrutinized to discern behavioural trends among aggressive stocks, defensive stocks and the GSE All-Share Index. The study showed that defensive stocks with betas close to one are usually fairly priced according to the CAPM criteria. Aggressive stocks with beta coefficients in excess of one and very low defensive stocks with beta coefficients close to zero are both likely to be mispriced but the distinguishing feature is that once mispriced, the former stocks tend to be overpriced whilst the latter stocks tend to be underpriced. The study also reveals quite a strong positive relationship between systematic risk and the returns on stocks but concludes that highly priced stocks on the Ghana Stock Exchange have no influence on the size of returns paid to investors. The desire for a formidable and a reliable source of business finance makes stock exchange an essential financial institution in an economy. Despite the enormous contributions a stock exchange offers to business operations, its impact has not gone on well with many developing countries. Investors expect to be compensated for the risk of investing their funds through the buying of stocks of listed companies.
Integrate Active and Passive Strategy in Portfolio Construction
Dr. William Yao Chun Tsao, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan
Dr. Wen Kuei Chen, I Shou University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan
This study integrates Third Degree Stochastic Dominance (TSD) and Cumulative Prospect Theory (CPT) approaches to construct CPT-TSD portfolios. Institution investors could use this method to construct their portfolio with advantages of easy-supervised numbers and trading cost-down. To our best knowledge, this paper is the first attempt to integrate TSD method into CPT foundation in portfolio practice. Ideally, the active manager exploits market inefficiencies by purchasing securities that are undervalued. Depending on the goals of the specific investment portfolio, hedge fund or mutual fund, active management may also serve to create less volatility (or risk) than the benchmark index. The reduction of risk may be instead of, or in addition to, the goal of creating an investment return greater than the benchmark. The effectiveness of an actively-managed investment portfolio obviously depends on the skill of the manager and research staff. In reality, the majority of actively managed collective investment schemes rarely outperform their index counterparts over an extended period of time, assuming that they are benchmarked correctly. The primary attraction of active management is that it allows selection of a variety of investments instead of investing in the market as a whole. The most obvious disadvantage of active management is that the fund manager may make bad investment choices or follow an unsound theory in managing the portfolio. Passive management is a financial strategy in which a fund manager makes as few portfolio decisions as possible, in order to minimize transaction costs, including the incidence of capital gains tax. One popular method is to mimic the performance of an externally specified index.
Graphical Programming: A Business Student’s Tour
Dr. Jerry Chin, Missouri State University, MO
Mary H. Chin, Missouri State University, MO
Sam Student and his fellow students approach a problem after realizing there was little team knowledge about the original problem as presented. They realize that it is the future expectation of their first employers that they will be required to learn the business or new skills when required by the problem-solution environment. Their problem boils down to naïve string search problem, searching character by character from starting beginning to string end. This paper follows Sam Student through the solution process of the Transform Functional Form Algorithm problems. This paper demonstrates solving a logic problem via graphical programming. Moreover, the logic problem is reduced a more familiar puzzle to the student: string searches and replacement. The problem is first defined and then reduced a more manageable task with computer graphical programming. In summary, we see analysis, problem deconstruction, and a interesting solution. Sam Student has been an MBA student for a year and has registered for a new IT class that integrates business and IT. This week his team, composed of a computer science student, a liberal arts major and student, an undergraduate double major of management policy and marketing, has begun to look at Marten, a graphical programming tool. The class is team taught by several faculty members across the campus. Dr. P begins his lecture with a basic introductory course in logic. Lilly, the liberal arts major, has taken courses in basic logic and philosophy and is comfortable with the material. Nico, the computer science major, has had a basic course in logic and mathematical proofs.
Attitudes towards Career Women Roles in outlook of Family-Social Surroundings: Perspectives from the UAE
Dr. Fauzia Jabeen, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The present study examines United Arab Emirates career women’s attitudes towards their roles held by a sample of 944 participants. To find out the effect of family social environment, work place culture and self esteem on their attitude, the respondents completed the scale on Attitude towards women roles, Family Environment Scale, Self-esteem Inventory. The results reveal that greater the non-traditional attitude expressed by high self-esteem females, the more indications were observed of their family environment being marked with social change and liberalism, whereas low self-esteemed females were found to strive for personal advancements and also experienced less support from their families. This study has provided some insights into the factors associated with attitudes towards career women in the UAE and contributes the ways to enhance the self-esteem of UAE career women. The world today is witnessing rapid developments in different fields. It is undergoing major transformations because of the rapid technological advances in the field of production, distribution, communication and information. These developments have given rise to the concept of the small global village. Arab countries no longer live in isolation from international events but form an integral part of this world. They have succeeded in handling some of these developments, but in other fields, especially the economic, social and institutional ones, they are still lagging behind. Further in this step, a common focus is on empowering Arab women so as to reinforce their role in political, social and economic development and provide them with opportunities to build up their capabilities without gender discrimination.
Porter’s Generic Strategies and Environmental Scanning Techniques: Evidence from Egypt
Dr. Mansour S. M. A. M. Lotayif, Beni Suef University, Egypt
The current study aims at identifying the causality relationships between scanning activities and the adopted strategy; Porter’s generic strategies and organizational performance, scanning activities and organizational performance, and demographics and porter's strategies. The experiences of 243 Egyptian executives were utilized to achieve these objectives. Throughout multivariate analytical technique (e.g. Multiple Regression), and bivariate analytical techniques (e.g. correlations) the data were analyzed. SPSS and Stat graph were used in this perspective. “Why firms obtain different performance?” and “does formulating and implementing a strategy make a difference to performance?” are the two queries that the current paper starts by, as did Farrell et al., (1992); and Rumelt et al., 1994 and Claver, 2003. It is claimed that the external environment (i.e. industry and customer characteristics for instance) of any organization determines to large extent its adopted strategy (Murray, 1988) for reaping the competitive advantage. Porter (1980) defined strategy as choosing to deliver a particular kind of value, rather than just trying to deliver the same kind of value better. To reap a competitive advantage, Porter (1980) introduced three main strategies for that purpose i.e. cost leadership, differentiation, and market niche leadership (focus).
Applying IFRS 8 Operating Segments in the Context of Segments Reporting in Jordan
Dr. Mohammad Yassin Rahahleh, Al-alBayt University, Mafraq-Jordan
The study aimed at identifying the level of implementation of IFRS 8 Operating Segments within the Jordanian firms in the context of preparing their financial reports, obstacles impede their implementation, and identifying the differences between both IAS 14 and IFRS 8. The results of the study show that Jordanian firms disclose by 73% about their operating segments as per the terms of IFRS 8. This might be contributed to the constraints impeding the implementation of the standard, most importantly the consecutive and constant changes that applied to the standard, the high costs of providing the required information, and the low level of awareness of the content of the standard itself. The study recommended that the issuing international organizations of standards should conduct field studies to explore the practical realities of standards from time to time prior carrying out any amendments to the standards they issue. Also, the culture of disclosure and awareness of the international standards can be promoted through incorporating them in the curriculum of the Jordanian universities. In proportion to the international and regional economic environment represented by globalization, trade liberalization, investments flow between countries of the world, the development of international financial markets, and the rise in the number of multinational firms; it turns out to be essential for firms to disclose their segments activities or affiliates in their reports. Indeed, when such firms, having geographical or commodity segments, fail to fully disclose the related information, it becomes difficult to detect deficiencies in these firms or their affiliates.
The Impact of a Diversified Strategy and Annual Report Information Disclosure on Market
Performance: Evidence from Taiwan’s Financial Industry Firms
Dr. Ou-Yang Hou, Kun Shan University, Tainan, Taiwan
This study examines the association between a diversified strategy, annual report information disclosure and the market performance of financial industry firms in Taiwan. Using a sample of 88 interlocking groups and observations of 366 financial firms listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) and Taiwan’s over-the-counter market from 2003 to 2007, the Entropy method is adopted to measure the degree of group diversification. Following the regulations of the Security and Futures Institute evaluation system in Taiwan, content analysis is used to measure the degree of annual report information disclosure. The empirical results show that the group's total diversification (DT) and group related diversification (DR) have an insignificantly positive effect on a company’s Tobin’s q, while group unrelated diversification (DU) has an insignificantly negative effect on a company’s Tobin’s q. Annual report disclosure also has an insignificant and positive impact on Tobin’s q. However, financial and operational information disclosure and components of the board of directors and the ownership structure disclosure have significantly negative and positive effects on company's Tobin’s q, respectively.
The Interaction between Teamwork and Organizational Commitment Influenced by Organizations' Characteristics in Electronics Companies
Dr. Yin-Che Chen, National Hsinchu University of Education, Hsinchu, Taiwan
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not any association existed between organizations’ characteristics and two organizational interventions, teamwork and organizational commitment, in electronics companies on Taiwan’s stock market. The most significant aspect was to offer an alternative perspective to the interaction between teamwork and organizational commitment modified by organizations’ characteristics. Data were analyzed by Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach to establish conceptual models for electronics companies. The most representative finding from the data indicated that the interaction between teamwork and organizational commitment were highly associated. In the end, recommendations for HRD and HRM practice, methodology, and future emerging and valuable research were included. Today, it is no exaggeration to say that the most well-known and remarkable impression of Taiwanese industry is the highly developed electronics and information industry exports (J. Wong, 2003). Besides, due to the increasingly influential role in regional and global economies, companies in Taiwan particularly emphasize internal coordination among different units and external industrial collaboration. As a result, in accordance with these two important orientations, teamwork and organizational commitment have been considered part of the highly promising interventions and have generated much discussion for their potential in organizational development and integration in Taiwan.
Factor and Correlation Analyses of Tourism Attraction, Tourist Satisfaction and Willingness to Revisit –
Evidence from Mainland Chinese Tourists to Taiwan
Pen-Fa Ko, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Dr. Yung-Lun Liu, Toko University, Puzih City, Chiayi County, Taiwan
This study identifies the key factors of tourism attraction, particularly to the tourists from Mainland China. It argues the necessity of knowing what they want to visit, and then analyzes the correlation of tourism attraction, tourist satisfaction and willingness to revisit. The new wave of Mainland Chinese tourists is a catalyst for economic growth. Many countries are actively developing their tangible and intangible assets as a means of gaining a comparative advantage in an increasingly competitive tourism marketplace. Tourism research has demonstrated that attraction studies are necessary to understand the elements that encourage people to sightsee. In order to understand tourism attraction factors and its correlation to tourist satisfaction and willingness to revisit, it is important to understand these components and their mutual relationships. The "Measures for the Administration of the Overseas Tours of Chinese Citizens" enacted on July 1, 2002; this allowed citizens of Mainland China to travel abroad more freely. Since 2002, the Mainland China tourists have begun playing an important role in the world tourism market. The estimated number of outbound tourists from Mainland China will reach 52 million in 2010, up 19.0% over 2009. Moreover, with the continuing appreciation of RMB (China currency), the increase in disposable income and leisure time, the projected number of outbound tourists from Mainland China is predicted to reach 100 million in 2020. Outbound tourists from Mainland China spent US$21.8 billion in 2009, and the average consumption by one person was RMB8, 800(Approx. US$1,300.-), of which 71% was on shopping, 13% on entertainment, 12% on sightseeing and 1% on food.
An Assessment of Financial Literacy Communication among College Students
Dr. De’Arno De’Armond, West Texas A&M University
Advertising effectiveness research is nothing new; however, its application to financial literacy advocacy advertising messages is a relatively new concept. This study concentrates on financial literacy message effectiveness and whether a message of debt or savings is most effective as an advertising input tested against a control group. This study includes testing experimental groups against control measures along three consumer dimensions, cognition, affect, and conative. Particular findings of this project show significance among conative consumer dimensions when exposed to a financial literacy ad versus no exposure. The use of credit as an instrument of consumption by college undergraduates has increased significantly in recent years. A centralized theme of credit card use and student loans leading to student financial distress and debt is prevalent in much of the academic research and literature currently published. Dissaving, a condition occurring when expenditures exceed income, results from low income situations such that spending needs can not be met, or high income combined with a high propensity to consume, or unwillingness not to spend (Katona 1975). The college student is targeted, arguably at times in a predatory manner, by many financial services and credit card firms. Research and data have shown this college cohort to be low income while possessing a tolerant attitude towards debt (Davies and Lea 1995).
A Comparative Analysis of Recent U.S. Recessions: Evidence from Secondary Data
Dr. Manzoor E. Chowdhury, Lincoln University, Missouri
Dr. Sonia H. Manzoor, Westminster College, Missouri
The current recession that started in 2007 and lasted almost two years (unofficially) has been the longest recession since the Great Depression. There have been many papers written in the popular press describing the severity of this recession. The discussion has been general and less analytical in nature and mainly focused on the policy debate and the timing of the recovery. Many authors who had participated in this discussion reached their conclusion based on anecdotal evidence. Very recently, however, there have been some attempts to analyze the depth and severity of this recession using available data. This paper, as an addition to this current literature, uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and other secondary data from the literature to compare the current recession with two previous recessions. Results show that the current recession that officially began in December 2007 has been the worst since the Great Depression, especially in the area of job loss and its impact on household net worth. The current U.S. recession has been the longest and deepest since the Great Depression, and some commentators in the news media have started to use the term “the Great Recession” to describe the severity of this economic slowdown.
Employee Turnover: Causes, Consequences and Retention Strategies in the Saudi Organizations
Dr. Adnan Iqbal, Prince Sultan University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Employee turnover has always been one of the challenges to the human resource managers and the respective employers in any fast growing economies including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Most of the employers in the Kingdom are not aware of why employees choose to leave their organizations and why they stay. Employees who leave the organization’s request as well as those who leave on their own initiative can cause disruptions in operations, work team dynamics and unit performance. Both types of the turnover create costs for the organization. However, retaining their best employees; managers must make sure their organizations clearly communicate expectations about rewards, working environment and productivity standards and then deliver on the promise. Having said that employee turnover being such a serious problem in Middle-East organizations, there is limited research investigating it, especially studies on causes and consequences are scanty. This paper examines the causes of employee turnover, effects and suggests some strategies on how to reduce employee turnover within Saudi business context.
Conservatism Versus Verifiability and Relevance
Manuel Dieguez, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL
Dr. Rosalie C. Hallbauer, Florida Memorial University, Miami Gardens, FL
The principle of conservatism has been around in accounting for many years. During the 1900’s some criticisms began to be brought forward by various authors but conservatism still exists. This paper will briefly explore some of the historical background of conservatism, the pros and cons of conservatism and fair value accounting, fair value accounting, and the future of conservatism. According to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (online version), conservatism is: “3a: the tendency to accept fact, order, situation, of phenomenon and to be cautious toward or suspicious of change: extreme wariness and caution in outlook.” The early definitions have referred to conservatism as related to the balance sheet while more recent discussions, such as Basu, have related to conservatism and its effect on the income statement. Obviously, there is an interrelationship between the statements and what is done on one affects the other; the issue is more of one of perception and how the decision maker uses the information. Some accounting historians have traced concepts similar to conservatism as far back as Zenon, 256 BC whose aim was to “protect property through control of people” and whose actions reflected stewardship and conservatism, but not materiality. (Chatfield, 1977, p. 11)
Malaysian Saving in the 1990s - Problems and Prospects
Sohail Bin Ahmed, University Technology Mara (UITM), Selangor, West Malaysia
Malaysia has saved an average 33.6% of GNP over the last two years, a level amongst the highest in the world. For many economists, this would be perceived as an indicator of superior economic performance and of buoyant future growth prospects. After all, Lewis (1954) called raising savings rates the "central problem of economic development ." (page 47). Domestic savings were identified as the key to raising investment, and investment was taken as a sign of growth. Since then, empirical evidence linking domestic savings and domestic investment (Feldstein,1989), and the external debt problems of LDCs seeking to break this link with foreign borrowing, have given fresh emphasis to the policy prescription to raise domestic savings. More recently, however, the idea that high aggregate savings levels drive growth has been questioned.Kaldor and others argued that income distribution would adjust to equate ex-post savings and investment, so that efforts to raise savings would be futile without a rise in investment. In this model, investment drives growth, which drives saving. The causality in the savings/growth relationship has been analyzed econometrically; for example, Ortmeyer (1980) concludes that income drives saving rather than vice-versa. This seems to fit the East Asian experience well, and has been interpreted as evidence in favor of the permanent income hypothesis (Yusuf, 1984).
The Popular Competence of Hospitality Education in Taiwan: Constructing a Baking Curriculum Model
Dr. Jiung-Bin Chin and Mu-Chen Wu, Hungkuang University, Taichung, Taiwan
Ren Chuan Ko, Mackay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan
The baking competence has become a pivotal skill for hospitality education in Taiwan. However, very few studies related to baking competence have been published. The main objective of this study is to construct a baking competence curriculum model for the college students and related baking business. The study applies Delphi Method, in which advices from 15 experts include academic scholars, banking experts and actual baking proprietors have been collected. It is found that the model is 4 dimensions including knowledge, skill, attitude, and creativity and 47 detailed indicators by this research. Since the Nationalist Government moved to Taiwan in 1949, both the ruling party and opposition started to place more importance and promotion of flour and wheat food to save cost on rice and to promote national health. U.S Wheat Associates and the Taiwan Flour and Wheat Food Promotion Committee collaborated in 1967 to launch training programs for baking professionals and started to cultivate baking practitioners. The Government even introduced Japanese baking masters to give lectures in workshops in 1979, which brought the baking industry with new technology and new horizon.
Key Factor Influencing the Reusing of Historical Buildings in Taiwan from the
Viewpoint of Public Private Partnership
Dr. Kang-Li Wu, National Cheng-Kung University, Taiwan R.O.C.
Promoting the regeneration of historical buildings by introducing suitable economic activities as a means to generate economic and social benefits has become a global trend. However, due to the limit of financial resources and management technology of the public sectors, how should the reuse and management historical buildings be implemented through the concept of public private partnership (PPP) that the results can benefit historical buildings, investors, as well as the society remain a critical research issue. Using the historical buildings that have employed PPP in Taiwan as empirical cases, this study attempts to explore this research issue. By incorporating research methods involving interviews, field survey, fuzzy theory, this research identifies the key factors influencing PPP in the reuse of historical buildings in Taiwan. According to the finding of our empirical study, this paper also provides suggestions for heritage reuse through PPP in order to create a win/win situation for the historical buildings and involved investors. Historical buildings are valuable economic and cultural resources to promote place marketing and tourism development.
A Study of the Role of Perceived Risk in Continuing Education Participants’ Learning Motivation
Dr. Ching-wen Cheng, National Pingtung University of Education, Taiwan
In the age of lifelong learning, the demands of adult learning are more and more important. Following this trend, many universities focus on their continuing education programs. If a university tried to attract adult students to participate in its continuing education programs, it had to understand adult students’ learning motivation first. The purpose of this study is to describe the role of perceived risk in continuing education participants’ learning motivation. Based on the research data analysis of this study, adult students would consider each type of perceived risks when they decided to participate in a continuing education program. Therefore, the study result also stated that there was a significant difference on the consideration of perceived risk among adult students of different age groups and different education degree groups. Famous Taiwan scholar Yang (2005) pointed out that the traditional and formal education system would not provide enough professional learning in a global competition environment. He also stated that adult continuing education became more and more important because of the application of new technology and the disappearance of traditional jobs. To solve these new social problems, many governments of industrial countries tried to establish a learning society and develop a strong system of adult higher education.
A Study on the Failures of Sovereign Credit Ratings
Ana-Maria Minescu, Global Investment Strategy and Asset Allocation Manager
Private Banking, Unicredit Tiriac Bank, Bucharest, Romania
The current study aimed to offer an insight into what rating failure means and what the implications of such failures are. After explaining the various meanings of ratings failure and synthesising the potential causes and implications of ratings failure, the study performs and describes several tests on the ratings of a sample of 180 countries for the period 1996 – 2007. The results of the tests allow us to compare the performance of the three rating agencies and proves that the years with the highest number of ratings failure were years of financial crises. Following each financial crisis there has been a lot of talk on the failure of ratings issued by credit rating agencies to predict such crises. However, failure can be understood in multiple ways: failure of a rating to predict default, failure of a rating to be stable, failure of multiple agencies to issue similar levels of credit rating for the same country at the same time, or failure of an agency to issue a rating in the correct category of ratings (ie investment grade or junk). Ratings are important for many reasons, among which: their ability to indicate the level of interest rate at which a government can borrow in the financial markets and the ceiling impact of a sovereign credit rating on the local corporate ratings (as explained in Minescu (2010) with regard to sovereign credit ratings).
Honey Production Business Opportunities and Its Externality Effects
Georgina Arvane Vanyi, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Dr. Zsolt Csapo, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Dr. Laszlo Karpati, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Bee-keeping and honey production has a long history in Hungary. Honey is an important and healthy food of people and it can be consumed without any human processing. The honey production has important role, too. Some researchers say that if honey bee will extinct the humanity in the world would also extinct. It is true since plant pollination by honey bees is very important. It is confirmed by researchers’ studies that plant pollination by honey bees has significant positive external impacts on potential yields in orchards. Although the contribution of honey production to the GDP in Hungary is only a few per cent, other benefits play more important role. One of them is the positive external effect – mentioned above – and the other is the contribution to the biodiversity of the nature. This paper focuses on secondary research methods, gathering and evaluating data regarding the positive external impacts of plant pollination by honey bees as well as finding possible solution for the problem that bee-keepers have a lot of costs in connection with carrying honey bees to orchards, while farmers “only” benefit from the positive externality of plant pollination of their fields. To evaluate its economic effects a numerical HEEM-model was developed and applied for the Hungarian situation.
The Effectiveness of the REU Program among Novice Undergraduates
Sha Li, Yong Wang, Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL
Elica Moss, Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL
America is facing the challenge of losing young researchers in science. Minority students are especially underrepresented in the areas of research in agriculture and natural resources. To boost the minority students’ interest in agriculture, and tap their potential in learning to conduct research, Alabama A&M University provides a program of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). This program offers a good experience for diverse undergraduate students to learn to conduct research. The uniqueness of this program is that the majority of the participants are minority students, and two high school students are recruited into this program to learn to do research alongside the college undergraduates. Beyond learning the content and methodologies of research, the students also generate interesting findings from their projects. The experience has made a positive impact on the students’ academic growth. This REU program indicates that students of diverse backgrounds could be excellent researchers when they have the equal opportunity to learn.
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