The Business Review Journal

Vol. 19 * Number 2 * Summer. 2012

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

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Labor Productivity Analysis for Picking Operations

Dr. John E. Knight, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, TN

Dr. Daniel L. Tracy, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD

 

ABSTRACT

 Labor productivity estimation for order picking operations is critical given that order picking is one of the more labor-intensive operations in our increasingly supply chain and distribution oriented society. The academic literature discusses the order picking operation and its importance by focusing on different algorithms that seek to maximize productivity by changing the shapes of picking lines or by changing the line to multiple picking zones. However, the literature seldom discusses the basic question of labor productivity at its elemental level of basic work - gathering multiple items from various locations and developing an algorithm for that activity. Traditionally, order picking quotas have resulted in distortions in employee piece rate payments as well as the cooperative level through which employees process orders. In this paper, the general case of labor productivity in order picking with m locations and n items per location is mathematically formulated and examined. Case study data is then used to demonstrate the applicability of the theory to practical operations. The methodology chosen examines the non linear nature of the relationship between order size and number of locations as well as the sensitivity of potential variable changes in labor productivity improvement strategies. Non-linear regression analysis and multivariate regression analysis was used to model the relationships. Finally, implementation of the results is discussed as they relate to continuous improvement activities. As the service economy grows many retail and service chains with a multitude of different outlets are discovering that labor intensive warehousing operations have become a critical success factor. Warehousing involves all activities related to the movement of goods.

 

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The Impact of Demographic Workforce Change on Corporate Career Websites

Dr. Michael Albert, Professor of Management, San Francisco State University

Daniela Hernandez, Process & Capabilities Mgr., Hewlett-Packard Corp.

 

ABSTRACT

 During the past decade, corporate career websites have begun to transform their content and appearance to respond to demographic changes in the workforce to respond to Millennials, who will comprise more than half of the workforce by 2014. This paper focuses on: changes in the workplace expectations of Millennials, changes in the content of corporate career websites, and describes the career websites of five select companies: Microsoft, Cisco, American Express, Intel and Publix Super Markets.  During the past decade, corporate career websites have begun to transform their content and appearance to respond to demographic changes in the workforce (Bingham & Conner, 2010; Cappelli, 2001, Dychtwald, Ericson, & Morrison, 2006; Espinoza, Ukleja, & Rusch, 2010; Hira, 2007; Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009, Mauer & Liu, 2007; and Meister & Willyerd, 2010). There is widespread agreement among researchers and business writers that shifting workforce demographics point to Millennials, workers born between 1977 and 1997, as becoming the dominate segment of the workplace during this decade. As of 2010, they comprised 88 million; baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964 number 78 million, and Generation X, born between 1965 and 1976 number 50 million (Meister & Willyerd, 2010). Bingham & Conner (2010) state that by 2014, more than half the workforce will be Millennials.  The focus of this paper is threefold: 1) to describe changes in the workplace expectations of Millennials; 2) to describe changes in the content of corporate career websites to respond to the emerging demographic workforce change; and 3) to analyze and describe the career websites of five select companies: Microsoft, Cisco, American Express, Intel and Publix Super Markets.  Millennials have unique values, job aspirations, and preferences for technology as a communication tool that will require changes in the way companies brand themselves as a potential place for future employees to work.

 

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Mapping Global Virtual Team Leadership Actions to Organizational Roles

Jeff Zivick, University of Maryland, University College, Adelphi, MD

 

ABSTRACT

 The rise of globalization and the nee for organizations to become more efficient and competitive is driving a steady increase in the use of global virtual teams (GVTs) that span time zones, organizational boundaries and cultures (Kayworth & Leidner, 2001, p. 8; Lurey & Raisinghani, 2001, p. 523). Virtual teams have the potential to transform a global enterprise by maximizing the use of all its resources and increase its ability to respond quickly in a dynamic global marketplace. Global virtual teams can be organized independently of employees’ locations allowing the best set of skills and knowledge to be assembled and applied to the task at hand(Trzcieliński & WypychŻółtowska, 2008, p. 501). GVTs can also be a source of immediate costs savings as evidenced in a study by Volvo which found a 50% reduction in its travel expenses by implementing virtual teams(Adamson, 2009). This paper examines the relationship between the virtual team and all levels of the encompassing organization through the lens of the team leadership. Identifying actions of effective global virtual team (GVT) leaders and mapping them to the appropriate entity in the organizational can provide a better understanding of how virtual teams function and integrate within a global enterprise. Effective GVT leaders can use this knowledge to propagate and deepen this understanding within the organization through their actions.  Virtual teams have the potential to transform the way a global enterprise works because of their ability to maximally use all of the firm’s human resources regardless of their physical location.

 

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The Disconnect Between Workplace and Graduate School Motivation - Exploring the Life Motivation Continuum

Dr. Niall Hegarty, St. John’s University, New York

Dr. Rosalba Del Vecchio, St. John’s University, New York

 

ABSTRACT

 Individuals exhibit levels of motivation in almost all facets of life.  The difference in motivation applied to various aspects of one’s life oftentimes depends on the priority that particular area has for an individual.  This article provides a framework for understanding motivation in individuals from a career building viewpoint by reviewing workplace and graduate school motivation along the Life Motivation Continuum.  The authors examine available theories in both workplace and educational domains as well as instruments utilized in the measurement of motivation in an effort to better understand the interplay between workplace and graduate school motivation.  The impact of various types of leadership on levels of motivation is also discussed. These authors have previously conducted extensive research on the motivation of graduate students.  With a firm understanding of these students’ levels of motivation the next step in research inquiry is to now examine the available theories in workplace, or professional, motivation in order to determine if these realms of motivation are connected or if they are to be treated as separate areas if inquiry.  The seed of this direction of research stems from the idea that one pursues graduate school in order to develop one’s professional career, therefore motivation theories in these areas should display interconnectivity.  A basic tenet is that a person chooses a career path which holds interest to them either from an intellectual or personality perspective.  The level of interest and motivation an individual then has can serve as an indicator of their professional success levels. Various theories have been developed, tested, and reviewed covering different aspects of motivation inherent in people both in workplace and educational settings. 

 

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The Food Recall Crisis at Maple Leaf Foods

Dr. Peter A. Stanwick, Auburn University, AL

Dr. Sarah D. Stanwick, Auburn University, AL

 

ABSTRACT

 Coming from the prominent McCain family in New Brunswick, Michael McCain seemed to have it all. He was being groomed to take over the family’s food operations as he fast tracked up the organization. However, in 1995 his uncle led a “coup” in which he and his father were forced to leave McCain Foods. Unfortunately, for Michael, this was not his first crisis. After his father took control of Maple Leaf Foods in 1995, he became the CEO in 1999 after his father retired. In the summer of 2008, Maple Leaf Foods had been linked to 20 deaths to listeriosis a disease based on the listeria monocytogenes bacteria. This case presents the challenges Michael faced first with his forced departure from McCain’s and his effective resolution of the food crisis at Maple Leaf Foods. McCain’s honest and companionate approach in address the listeria outbreak has been considered a textbook example of how a CEO should address a crisis of this magnitude.  Established in 1956 in Florenceville, New Brunswick, McCain foods became a dominant player in the food processing industry in Canada and around the world. It is estimated by McCain’s that they are the world’s largest producer of French Fries (between 500 and 600 million pounds per hour) and have products in a number of categories including Pizzas, frozen vegetables, desserts and juices. McCain is a privately held company controlled by the McCain family with Wallace McCain and Harrison McCain’s family each controlling one third of the company and the other third being split between the families of two other McCain brothers who are both deceased.

 

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Is the Community Better Off?  An Assessment of Outcomes Based Performance Management

Dr. Veronica Hampson, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Professor Peter Best, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Professor Marie Kavanagh, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

 This research investigates the application of a change-based approach to outcomes based performance management (OBPM) in an Australian State Government.  The extent to which this approach is adopted and applied by the case study agency is examined. A mixed-method research approach was used, incorporating document analysis and case study interviews, to assess the effectiveness of implementation of OBPM in the agency. Concerns are raised about the degree to which OBPM is adequate, in the current state of implementation, for enabling the agency to know whether or not it is contributing to the long term outcomes desired by the Government.   The public sector in Australia remains very clear about the importance of an outcomes based performance management (OBPM) approach to the management of government. Agencies are increasingly being asked to establish strategic objectives and to determine the outputs needed to ensure the outcomes that government is pursuing are achieved. The aim of this research is to investigate the application of a change-based approach to OBPM in an Australian State Government.  The extent to which this approach is adopted and applied by the case study agency is examined. Literature in this area has tended to fall into two categories: the pessimistic literature and the more optimistic literature (Moynihan, 2005: p. 214).  Pessimistic literature suggests little or no success in achieving an outcomes focus for managing government (Lonti & Gregory, 2007; Kasdin, 2010).  More optimistic literature cites the possibility of success from case studies (Ho & Ni, 2005; Hoque, 2008). This research contributes to the more pessimistic literature by delving into why there has been limited success in the adoption of OBPM principles by the case study agency. This research, however, also contributes to the optimistic literature as it provides opportunities for practitioners to adopt sound principles to successfully implement OBPM.  

 

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Toward a General Holistic Taxonomy of Risks

Dr. David R. Borker, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY

Dr. Valery N. Vyatkin, Saint Peters College, Jersey City, NJ

 

ABSTRACT

 In a previous paper, the authors addressed the development of a general comprehensive, synergistic theory of holistic risk encompassing all the multiple dimensions of risk phenomena. (Borker & Vyatkin, 2012) This paper develops the concept of a general holistic taxonomy of risk that can ultimately be applied to any risk situation.  Existing scientific standard setting processes for a possible direction in establishing a robust taxonomy of risk categories, classifications and methodologies that could serve as a theoretical and methodological underpinning for future applied risk research and management are examined.  Risks are classified in based upon a general formula for taxonomy of risks.  In their previous collaboration, the authors proposed three general risk formulas as a starting point for establishing a general holistic theory of risk incorporating the concept of the multidimensionality (Borker & Vyatkin, 2012) .  The goal was to set a more holistic direction for risk planning and management of organizations.  The major task cited as essential to the achievement of this goal and the focus of the current paper is the development of a robust general holistic taxonomy of risk. Taxonomy can be broadly defined as the theory and practice of grouping individuals into species, arranging species into larger groups, and giving those groups names to produce a classification. (Judd, 2007) It is also defined as a field of science (and major component of systematics) that encompasses description, identification, nomenclature, and classification. (Simpson, 2010)  Although taxonomy is most closely associated with the biological sciences for the classification of living organisms, the methodology has been applied to the identification and classification of other phenomena, including, in a limited way, risk identification in software development projects. 

 

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A Proposed Business Process Management Model for SMEs

Seda Cansiz, Directorate General for Productivity, Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, Turkey

Dr. Fatma Pakdil, Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

 Although large-scaled organizations are familiar with Business Process Management (BPM) applications, it has been difficult raising the awareness of small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) in order to implement BPM in their own organizations. This study proposes a BPM roadmap, a more detailed structured approach than currently exists, to be practical and beneficial especially for all manufacturing and services-based SMEs that start BPM. After extensive study of existing literature, the proposed model was constructed in 5 main phases. The model also was tested in a manufacturing SME that did not have any BPM experience.   Ever changing conditions that create the need for high-speed decision making have forced enterprises to adopt much more flexible, lean, and transformational management approaches. Leading factors of the 2000s that have made a difference in the business world are speed, flexibility and innovation. In this sense, Business Process Management (BPM) bringing flexibility and competitive capacity to organizations seems a vital issue in keeping up with these requirements. In today’s dynamic business environment, the capability of performance improvement is a vital requirement for business organizations. Therefore, organizations adapt various BPM methodologies into their own management systems. From the management point of view, BPM can be seen as a collection of methodologies, techniques, and tools supporting the analysis and improvement of business processes (Melao and Pidd, 2000).   Chopra et al., (2004) and Little (2004) suggested that managerial practices endeavor to identify clear pathways for operational improvement. However, some studies in existing literature are presented at a conceptual level. Clearly, there is a need to link theory in process management with practical diagnosis and improvement activities for the organizations.

 

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Testing the Significance of Core Components of Online Education

Dr. Mary K. Cook-Wallace, University of Tennessee Martin, Martin, TN

 

ABSTRACT

 The importance of teaching online for higher education institutions is in the forefront of pedagogical research. Rarely is a scholarly educational peer reviewed journal without online teaching and learning topics. This study statistically examines the validity of important and effective core components that pertain to online education programs. The four significant core components examined and proposed were teaching online policy, educational technology standards, full-time equivalency (FTE), and technical support. Teaching online policies are designed to guide administrators and managers of distance education programs. Issues such as technologies, accessibility, copyright, best practices, quality assurance, student and staff training and support, and information management (ensuring information is up-to-date) fall under the policy umbrella. Educational technology standards set by distance education organizations, the second core component, is so important that it has been seen as a marketing strategy for “the higher education product” (Morley & Aynsley, 2007, p. 235). Online teaching program administrators hope online students experience similar learning as face-to-face students. FTE of online courses compared to face-to-face FTE courses is the third component. Technical support, the final significant component, is foundational for online programs as long as it runs smoothly. However, technology can become the source of frustration for both the student and instructor when it fails. The literature review expands on and verifies the significance of these important components. “Policymakers and practitioners debate the merits of different technologies for delivering educational programs to various audiences” (Ludlow & Brannan, 2010, p. 4). Policies for full online, hybrid and web-enhanced course instructors should be included on the checklist. In this study, administrators of online teaching programs believe having a teaching online policy is important, and those that do have it, believe it is effective at their institutions. However, policy that works well for traditional, face-to-face courses do not work the same for online courses.

 

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Stock Spams: A New Business to Make Money

Dr. Taoufik Bouraoui, ESC Rennes School of Business, France

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper discusses the impact of stock spams on share prices while taking into account the evolution of volatility over time. We use the methodology of event studies on a sample of hundred ten firms of penny stocks over the period from February 2006 to October 2008. Our results show that sending stock spams has generated significant increase in returns on the 1st day followed by a significant decrease during the next days. Investors, having reacted favourably to requests of the spammer the 1st day, realize that these messages to which they answered positively are wrong information. Hence, they liquidate all their securities.  Stock spam is a new technique used by the creators of undesirable mails. These messages, also called «pump and dump» are widely distributed and take the shape of non justified stock advices. In these e-mails, spammers raise the level of false financial analysts in order to encourage potential investors to invest in some securities. Unlike classic spam which has the subject of meetings, diet products, services of tourism…etc, stock spam permits to his author to win a lot of money in a short time, with a totally illegal way. Thus, the spammer wishing to become rich, buys the stocks whose prices is very low and will endeavor then to make it climb. In order to push up the value of a stock, lies and manipulation are processes that have already proved his worth. Finally, he has only to pocket a comfortable increment.  A multiform phenomenon, stock spam has experienced these recent years an unprecedented development. According to Sophos, one of the biggest publisher’s worldwide security solutions and computer control, this type of messages represents between 15% and 20% of all spam sent, against hardly 1% in 2005 (1).  It is henceforth interesting to wonder what’s their impact on share prices. To do this, we will use the methodology of event studies. It is a method that permits to analyze the reactions of a market to a given event. In the words of Rival (2006), event studies, originally, were implemented in motion to verify the theory of the efficiency of financial markets, and more precisely in its semi strong form.

 

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The Blame Game for United States’ Soaring Consumer Debt

Ryan Murphy, Sam Houston State University, TX

Tamer Rady, Ain Shams University

Dr. Balasundram Maniam, Sam Houston State University, TX

 

Abstract

 As a result of the financial crisis following a period of national generous lending practices, the mounting consumer debt has received a deluge of attention. The purpose of this paper is to focus on what/who caused the consumer debt debacle in the United States. The main focus of this paper will be the multiple ways that consumers, regulators, and institutions contributed to the rise in consumer debt.  The staggering amount of consumer debt has gained attention from policy makers, academics, and the media in recent years. Consumer debt includes mortgage debt, revolving debt, non-revolving debt, and home equity loans (Watson, 1998).  First from a macro standpoint, the total U.S. consumer debt had climbed to $2.43 trillion as of May 2011 (Credit Card Statistics 2011), an increase of 150% in just three years. (Amar, et. al, 2011).  The U.S. economy has been relying on its debt to sustain itself and this has been increasing at an alarming rate. The most recent recession of 2008 has proven to be a catalyst in the U.S account deficit because the U.S. is borrowing at an increasing rate to compensate for the crisis it is experiencing.  For instance, in order to bailout the corporations such as the automotive and financial industries the U.S. must incur more debt.  Because of this and other reasons, the economy must fund the U.S. federal government’s endeavors by either raising taxes or borrowing more.  The U.S. trade deficit is being funded by foreign countries and investors, where countries such as China buying up U.S. debt.  The U.S. is experiencing debt that is much more unbalanced then many countries such as Sweden and Finland.  The external debt and trade deficit are also growing because of the increasing international interest rates.  The U.S. current economic state is not going unnoticed and many countries that have seen the U.S. as a solid investment are beginning to question their thoughts and looking at other market places.  In the long-run as inflation and debt increase with the recession, the amount borrowed also rises in order to pay off the payments for that fiscal year.  As the U.S. dollar continues to decrease in value and until faith is restored in the U.S. economy, debt will continue to increase at an accelerating rate.  Pro-active steps must be taken to reduce overall spending and tackle the economies problems, if they keep pushing the deficit forward it will continue to make the future situation for the oncoming generations disastrous. 

 

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Analysis on Manpower Forecasting of New and Renewable Energy Industry in Korea

Dr. Namchul Lee, Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training, Seoul, Korea

 

ABSTRACT

 The primary focus of this paper analyzes the green industry and forecast for manpower demand of new and renewable energy sector in Korea. The total industry size of the new and renewable energy sector is expected to grow at an annual average rate of 26.6 percent from KRW 4 trillion in 2010 (estimation) to KRW 45 trillion in 2020. (1) The results of manpower demand forecast in the new and renewable energy industry show that the number of employees in the industry, which reached 12,000 in 2010, is forecasted to grow at an annual average rate of 21.2 percent to reach 81,000 in 2020.  Green growth initiatives and stimulus packages inevitably lead to restructuring of economy and industries, which in turn bring about changes in employment and jobs. Since the scope of green industries is no unified definition yet, this definition might become a basic initial step toward a more unified definition. Green industries were defined 185 sub-groups by the Korea Employment Information Service (hereafter called “KEIS”), referring to both United Nations Environment Programme and Green Growth Committee definitions. Meanwhile, the Science and Technology Policy Institute developed a new version of a green industry classification system, based on green technology patent citations and taking into consideration the previous green industry classification done by the KEIS and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute. Green industries classify five areas such as energy source, energy efficiency, green infrastructure, environment protection/recycling, and non-pollution economic activities (Presidential Committee on Green Growth, 2009). This study was conducted to suggest policies to proceed human resources development and green growth of Korea. It intended to perform multifaced analysis of effects on manpower demand and supply in new and renewable energy sector. The contribution of this paper is to suggest implications on the government's policy for manpower forecasting of new and renewable energy sector.   Since the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training (hereafter called “KRIVET”) demand and supply forecasts model developed in 1998. (2) It has developed continuously through reflection of the virtues and faults that results of previous domestic and foreign studies have. But there are many limitations and structural problems with utilizing the previous model to establish the policies.  

 

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Interdependence of Accounting Provisions and Company's Financial Performance

Dr. Zeljana Aljinovic Barac, University of Split, Croatia

Katica Reljanovic, University of Split, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 The provision is a liability of uncertain timing and amount, and as such it offers considerable latitude of discretion with regard to measurement. Thus, the accounting provisions could be used as earnings management tool or to enhance the company’s financial performance. The aim of our research is to provide empirical evidence concerning the level of provisions with regard to company’s financial performance (liquidity, solvency and profitability ratios) as well as its characteristics (size, ownership and industry), based on a study of 92 Croatian listed companies in 2009. The results indicate that the provisions’ recognition and measurement pattern is related to cash flow ratio, debt ratio, return on assets and cash return on sales, as well as size and industry. Also, the comparison of Croatian results and a similar study on a sample of European Union countries has been done in order to explore matching national accounting cultures and the recognition of provisions.  The accounting provision is a liability of uncertain timing and amount and they should be recognized if a present obligation has arisen as a result of a past event, if payment is probable and if the amount of provision can be estimated reliably. The amount recognized as a provision should be the best estimate of the expenditure required to settle the present obligation at the end of the reporting period. The estimates are determined by the judgment of the management of the entity, supplemented by experience of similar transactions or independent experts. Because of this, measurement of provisions offers significant level of discretion and could be used as earnings management tool or to enhance the company’s financial performance.  The aim of our research is to provide empirical evidence concerning the level of provisions with regard to company’s financial performance (liquidity, solvency and profitability ratios) as well as its characteristics (size, ownership and industry), based on a study of 92 Croatian listed companies in 2009. The results indicate that the provisions’ recognition and measurement pattern is related to cash flow ratio, debt ratio, return on assets and cash return on sales, as well as size and industry. This paper contributes to the existing literature by providing evidence on use of accounting provisions outside the US or other micro-oriented accounting system countries.

 

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Leadership and Managing Change…Does Gender Make a Real Difference in Egypt?

Dr. Dina Metwally, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt

 

ABSTRACT

 Success in organizational change is not only related to developing the best strategic and tactical plans, but it is also related to the ability of organizational leaders to understand and lead the people implementing change. Accordingly, differences in the way male and female leaders manage change is expected to have an impact on the successful implementation of change as well as organizational performance. This study aims to explore gender differences in leading the change process in a public sector organization. Focus is given to the impact of cultural factors (organizational and national) on leadership styles of Egyptian males and females. Case study analysis was chosen to achieve the four research objectives. Data collection methods included studying archival data, conducting interviews at different levels of the organization and analysing observational data. The study concludes that differences in leadership styles in the Egyptian culture are not solely related to gender. Leadership styles differ among female leaders as well as among male leaders. Differences in leadership styles are related to a number of interrelated factors that reflect the nature of the Arab culture such as; managerial level, age, previous work experience and family commitments. Further, transformational leaders are found to be more effective in managing change than transactional leaders.  Success in organizational change is not only related to developing the best strategic and tactical plans, but it is also related to the ability of organizational leaders to understand and lead the people implementing change. To succeed, organizational change must align with organizational culture, values, people and behaviour to encourage desired outcome. This alignment is not easy as most leaders focus on the development of action plans and ignore the individuals responsible for designing, being immersed and executing the change.  The management of change has received tremendous attention from both academics and practitioners. Research has been concerned with studying change models, tools, guidelines and factors that enhance successful change implementation (e.g. Wilson, 1992; Kotter, 1996; Paton & McCalman, 2000; Hiatt & Creasey, 2003; Burnes, 2009; Cameron & Green, 2009; Hayes, 2010). A considerable amount of change research has been concerned with studying the relationship between change management and leadership.

 

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Analysis of Auditors’ Going Concern Judgment

Dr. Tina Vuko, University of Split, Croatia

Nikola Berket, University of Split, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 The main objective of this study is to investigate association between going concern audit qualifications and different company characteristics, including audit firm size. The research applies logistic regression analysis on the sample of 332 firm-year observations for companies that are listed on Croatian capital market. Data necessary for the research are collected from published financial statements and auditor reports for the period of two years (2008 and 2009), available on FINA database. Results of the research indicate that problems caused by liquidity shortage have the most significant effects against the issuance of going concern audit report.  The going concern assumption is a basic principle in the preparation of financial statements. Under this assumption, an entity is viewed as continuing in business for the foreseeable future. The assessment of an ability to continue as a going concern is the responsibility of the entity’s management. Management’s assessment of the going concern assumption involves making a judgment, at a particular point of time, about future outcome of events and conditions that are inherently uncertain. When management is aware of material uncertainties related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt upon the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern, the entity shall disclose those uncertainties. Furthermore, the appropriateness of management’s use of the going concern assumption is a matter for the auditor’s consideration. International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 570 – Going Concern deals with the auditor’s responsibilities in the audit of financial statements relating to management’s use of the going concern assumption. According to the ISA 570 (para. 6) the auditor’s responsibility is to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence about the appropriateness of management’s use of the going concern assumption in the preparation of the financial statements and to conclude whether there is a material uncertainty about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern.  This topic is especially interesting in the context of contemporary financial crisis, as it furthermore emphasizes the importance of the management’s going concern assumption and the auditors’ responsibility to verify this assumption. Problems surrounding liquidity and credit risk create greater business uncertainty, even for those entities with a history of profitable operations.

 

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Building a Data Warehouse to Analyze Entrance Exams

Dr. Kornelije Rabuzin, University of Zagreb, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper demonstrates how Business Intelligence and Data Warehouses could be used for educational purposes in order to analyze entrance exams (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Organization and Informatics, Croatia). In order to enroll, students have to pass an entrance exam that consists of several groups of questions. Before the solution described in the paper was developed, we intuitively knew something about the students and the entrance exam results, but information we got by analyzing the data in the developed data warehouse changed our point of view (some results confirmed our expectations and some were surprising and require further analysis).  In the last decade Data Warehouses (DW) and Business Intelligence (BI) have been used in many different areas to support, guide and improve the decision-making process (Kimball et al., 2008), (Inmon, 2002). There is a well known fact that several decades ago people spent up to 90% of time gathering the data they needed and only 10% of time analyzing the gathered data. Because of the DW and BI these numbers have changed (switched) their places; if one loads all the data into a special kind of database that is not designed according to well-known normal forms, but uses a star schema and is called a data warehouse, end users are capable of analyzing data by themselves (they use different OLAP tools for that purpose). In such a way end users can pose queries, generate reports, and use different OLAP capabilities without any help from IT experts.  In many companies many applications and/or information systems were built and used during the years (including many databases), but as it turns out this was done without any planning; those developed and applied systems were (mainly) incompatible and moreover, although they contained interesting information, it was (is) almost impossible to get something useful out. Since SQL is a dominant language that is used to work with databases, and because end users are (usually) not familiar with SQL (although it was supposed to be simple, SQL became quite complex during the years), some solution had to be found.

 

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The Frequency of Implementing Diversification Strategy in Croatia

Dr. Darko Tipuric, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Maja Darabos, University of Zagreb, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 Diversification is a corporate strategy that introduces the company into new businesses or industries that can be related or unrelated to its core business and thus increases the diversity of businesses that are monitored by managers. This paper is focused on the analysis of the diversification strategy through macro level factors, especially the industry as the determinant of implementing the diversification strategy in Croatian companies. The main objective of the paper is to determine whether companies in Croatia are more frequently applying related or unrelated diversification and are there any correlations depending on the industry in which firm operates. The research has been made on a sample of 78 large companies in Croatia.  The diversification strategy is common research field and topic of many researches in the world. In Croatia, despite the growing use of diversification strategies, researches on the frequency of its application and the reasons for diversification are limited. Diversification strategy is corporate growth strategy in which the company is expanding its activities and entering into new business activities, to disseminate rank areas in which they can successfully invest for the purpose of profit and growth, generate consistent and stable growth due to participate in more activities, the potential for faster growth with less risk and the greater number of middle management positions in the company.  Diversification strategy has two mayor types: related and unrelated diversification. Related diversification represents a strategy when firm operates in multiple industries, or businesses, which have some linkages with the firm’s existing business. However, there are several reasons when the implementation of related diversification strategy can be problematic.

 

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Performance Measurement System for Process-Oriented Companies

Ljubica Milanovic Glavan, Zagreb, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 During the past few years many organizations have adopted a concept of a process oriented company. In this context, assessing process performance is essential because it enables individuals and groups to assess where they stand in comparison to their competitors.  This paper provides a conceptual model of Process Performance Measurement System (PPMS) which was built on a literature review that involves the major sources of the performance measurement area. To understand PPMS it was crucial to explain concepts of business process management, business performance measurement and Performance Measurement System (PMS) which are well known and used in the literature and practice. PPMS is a special type of PMS that should be used in process oriented organizations.  Every organization should measure, monitor and analyze its performance. Performance is defined as an accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost, and speed (Bierbusse & Siesfeld, 1997). Performance measurement is a complex issue that normally incorporates at least four disciplines: economics, management, accounting and information technology (Tagen, 2004). Performance Measurement Systems (PMS) have been at the top of the research and business agenda over the last few years. Businesses realized the importance of a PMS as a tool that would enable them to drive the company forward (Najmi, Fan & Rigas, 2005). It is now widely accepted that the use of appropriately defined measures can ensure the strategic alignment of the organization and communication of the strategy throughout the business. Companies are at various stages of implementing and refining their Performance Measurement Systems, and they are finding solutions for many practical and conceptual challenges. In order to design and implement a suitable PMS for a particular organization a number of factors must be considered. Robson (2004) stated that before trying to identify all possible factors it is crucial to understand that the main reason for implementing PMS is to give the greatest opportunity of increasing the overall effectiveness of the business processes. 

 

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Unravelling the Behaviour of Knowledge Markets in Nigeria

Dr. Constantine Imafidon Tongo, Pan African University, Lagos, Nigeria

 

ABSTRACT

 With the advent of the knowledge economy, modern organizations have recently been conceptualized as knowledge markets. Yet there is no known empirical study that attempts at unravelling the behaviour of these markets. Consequently, using responses from sample of Nigerian managers belonging to different walks of industrial life; this article revealed that the motives that shape the behaviour of knowledge buyers and sellers within Nigerian organizations are diametrically opposed to each other. While the behaviour of knowledge sellers would likely stem from their altruistic needs that only community based organizations can satisfy; the knowledge acquisitive behaviour of buyers predisposes the gratification of the extrinsic needs of knowledge sellers. These findings deviate from the general behaviour of organizations in Nigeria. The implication is that within a given societal context, the behaviour that underlies the functioning of organizational internal labour markets may never have any bearing on the behaviour of its knowledge markets. Throughout the World’s history, knowledge has always played a central role in the development of economies. However, the dawning of the twenty first century ushered the global business economy into an era in which knowledge has become one of the most strategic resources needed for organizational longevity and competitiveness (Chang and Lee, 2007; Hsu, 2009). This occurrence has led to a situation in which a wide variety of organizations now heavily depends on the skillful deployment of knowledge in order to be at the cutting edge of business.  

 

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The Competitive Analyses and Development Strategy of the Turkish Automotive Cluster

Ana Bulic, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Croatia

Giorgi Muchaidze, Atlantic Council of Georgia, Georgia

Caner Sannav, Ministry of Economy, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

 The paper deals with competitive analyses and development strategy of the Turkish automotive cluster. This cluster is composed of automobile sub-cluster and auto parts sub-cluster, which have made Turkey the 16th largest automotive manufacturer in the world by 2010. Today, Turkey is Europe’s leading bus manufacturer, 3rdlargest light commercial vehicle manufacturer, 6thlargest truck manufacturer, 3rdlargest truck market and 7thlargest car manufacturer. The main purpose of this paper is to give an insight into how the Turkish automotive cluster will achieve its potential to meet growing domestic and foreign demand, develop further its production and increase the skill level of labor force in order to attract more FDI and keep its competitiveness.   Global auto industry consists of smaller industry groups and organized in 6 major value chain components. Production starts with low value-added input of 10 raw materials. Production of approximately 5000 different auto parts has medium value added. This phase is followed by assembly, another medium value added industry.  Assembly process should ensure maximum safety and security, design and competitive price of the final product. Most developing countries concentrate in these low and medium value added industry. The highest value added phases are design, marketing, distribution and sales. These phases are the most sophisticated with highest intellectual inputs and R&D expenditures, therefore with the leading presence of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea and USA. Targeting of different market niches is important because of increasing customer differentiation and sophistication: buyers of SUV-s, luxury cars, sport cars, small city cars, energy efficiency concerns, etc. Distribution and sales requires wide network of dealerships by countries and regions.

 

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Utilization of Accounting Information for Decision Making in Croatian SME: Preliminary Findings

Dr. Ivica Pervan, University of Split, Split, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 Utilization of accounting information for decision making in SME might be limited since this kind of enterprises might have smaller scale of operations and limited workforce for sophisticated financial analyses. However, in order to smoothly operate and survive, SME must generate and use some type of accounting information in managerial decision making. In order to measure the extent of production and usage of historical and future oriented accounting information, two indices are developed and evaluated on the sample of SMEs from Split-Dalmatia County in Croatia. Pilot research findings revealed that both indices (Historical Accounting Information Index – HAI Index & Budgeting Accounting Information Index - BAI Index) are positively related with certain SME characteristics (size, age and decision to organize accounting within the SME). Also, correlation analysis has shown that HAI-Index and BAI-Index are highly positively correlated. Such a finding indicates that SME involved in more comprehensive utilization of historical accounting information are also more involved in comprehensive production and usage of future oriented accounting information. However, since conducted research is only pilot research, previously presented findings are not representative for the entire sector of Croatian SME  and therefore should not be generalized. Financial reporting practice in small businesses (hereinafter Small and Mid-Sized Enterprises-SME) is a very interesting issue, since these business subjects make up a large percentage of total business subjects in almost every country. Thus for example, in 2010 Croatian SME sector comprised 99.61% of total number of registered business subjects. According to the official statistics from Financial Agency - FINA SME sector was employing 66.58% of Croatian employees and recorded 51.63% of total reported revenue. Also, Croatian SME sector paid 52.38% of total corporate income tax and reported 52.31% share in reported net earnings (FINA, 2010). .

 

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Highly Skilled Human Resources Development in the Financial Sector for the Strength of the Global Competitiveness

Dr. Miyeong Lee, Professor, Korea Tourism College

Dr. Namchul Lee, Senior Fellow, Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training

 

ABSTRACT

 As securing highly skilled human resources emerges as a core factor of national and business competitiveness, the competition among nations to attract them is intensifying. GNP needs to be grown by attracting highly skilled human resources to meet international demands and safeguard revolutionary sustained economic growth. The present government articulates the vision of national growth through the highest talents but Korea lacks national attention and political efforts. The study proposed policies on attracting highly skilled human resources overseas to improve the global competitiveness through analyses of the current status and problems of attracting them in domestic financial sector In the era of global competition, the war for talent among nations to secure highly skilled human resources (1) is deepening. According to the World Bank, Among migrants of OECD countries, highly educated people grew from 31.2 percent in 1990 to 35.4 percent in 2000 (OECD, 2008). While many countries restrict bringing in simple labor, they authorize the right of permanent residence and propel diverse strategies forward. OECD considers matters of foreign human resources a social issue of international migration. Especially highly skilled migrants continue to accelerate further by the change on the FTA and the market opening (Namchul Lee et al, 2008). As of the end of 2007, highly skilled human resources of a total of 476,000 foreign employees accounted for 6.1 percent (29,000 people), which was at 2.4, the low proportion of highly skilled human resources in Korea as excluding foreign language lecturers from 6.1 percent. The imbalance between highly skilled human resource supply and demand and brain efflux cause a shortage in highly skilled human resources which industries require.

 

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Level of Concentration in Insurance Markets and Length of EU Membership

Dr. Tomislava Pavic Kramaric, University of Split, Split, Croatia

Fran Galetic, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Dr. Ivan Pavic, University of Split, Split, Croatia

 

Abstract

 The purpose of this article is to analyze the degree of concentration in the insurance market in EU member states as well as to determine the impact of the length of EU membership on the degree of concentration in insurance markets of EU member states. In that sense regression analyses of the impact of the length of EU membership on the degree of concentration were conducted separately for life and non-life insurance markets. Using the regression analysis for investigation of the influence of the length of EU membership on the level of concentration in the insurance sector in a particular country, the results reveal that there is a negative effect of the length in EU membership on market concentration in both life and non-life insurance segments, although it is more evident in non-life insurance markets.  In 1957, when the EU, i.e. the association which preceded it, was found, there were six member countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany). Those six countries signed the Treaty of Rome which led to the founding of the European Economic Community (Gilles, Kegan, 2003). Since then, five successive enlargements have followed, taking it from six to 27 member states in its 54-year-long history. In 1973, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined the European Union. In 1981, Greece became a member state, while in 1986 Spain and Portugal joined the EU. In 1995 the EU expanded to three additional countries: Austria, Finland and Sweden. The year 2004 saw the accession of Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia (mainly former socialist countries of the Central and Eastern Europe) joined. It was a historic enlargement which signified the reunification of Europe after decades of division. In 2007, the fifth enlargement was completed with the accession of Romania and Bulgaria on 1 January 2007.  The emergence of the EU, as well as every later expansion, provided a new framework for market entities encouraging them to various adjustments. In this sense it is considered that many economic entities have taken advantage of the possibility of expanding their operations to countries that have recently become EU members.  

 

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Business Intelligence in Croatian Textile Industry

Darko Skvorc, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Dr. Kornelije Rabuzin, University of Zagreb, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 Business intelligence (BI) and data warehouses are used in many different business areas, but mostly in those that earn more money and that are more profitable (insurance companies, telecommunication companies, etc.). Although BI is not a new technology, and is (in fact) quite mature, in some business areas, however, it is not used at all. In this paper we try to identify and analyze the main reasons why BI is not used in textile industry in Croatia. For that purpose we have built two questionnaires (one for managers and one for IT specialists in textile industry) and the results we have obtained are quite interesting. Further on, we show that a BI system (and a belonging data warehouse) can be successfully implemented after all, although managers and IT experts do not share the enthusiasm about such a project.  In the last decade of the past millennium many companies and teams started to work on data warehouses very extensively; R. Kimball and W. Inmon are the most known researchers that wrote many influential and important books ( [Inmon, 2005] and [Kimbal and Ross, 2004]) on the subject, but many other can be found (for example [Howson, 2004]). At that point of time business intelligence was somehow connected to the concept of data warehousing, but today we know that BI systems include much more; although BI systems rely on data warehouses, they support report creation, analytical processing, and data mining as well. BI systems make it possible to make decisions based on (unified) data (collected and transformed from different sources), and not on intuition or unreliable information.  In recent years many articles were published on BI and different aspects of implementation of BI systems. Articles that can be found usually describe what we would call “the best practice” from the areas where business intelligence has been applied successfully, such as telecommunication sector, financial sector, etc. ([Business Week, 2006], [Khan, 2010], [SAS Institute, 2007]). There are only a few studies which present implementations in other business areas like industry, tourism, etc.

 

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 Factors That Influence Firm Performance: A Dynamic Panel Data Analysis for Croatian Insurance Industry

Dr. Maja Pervan, University of Split, Croatia

Dr. Tomislava Pavic Kramaric, University of Split, Croatia

 

Abstract

 Although banks profitability has received broad attention and has been extensively studied, there has not been a great deal of analysis in the academic literature on the influence of insurers’ characteristics, market and macro conditions on insurers’ financial success. Therefore, the main objective of this paper was to ascertain whether and which factors in particular are associated with life and composite insurers’ profitability. In order to achieve this objective we used dynamic panel data model and applied GMM estimator proposed by Arellano and Bond. The analysis was conducted for the 1999-2010 period and the results revealed that past performance has significant positive influence on current profitability. Additionally, all analyzed variables (i.e. market share, claims ratio, firm growth, concentration ratio, market growth and inflation) statistically significantly influence insurers’ performance. The exception was variable firm’s age that didn’t prove to be an important explanatory factor. For many years long-established domestic monopolies barred foreign entry to most emerging insurance markets. Opening the door to healthy competition allowing the entry of foreign capital, many insurance companies have entered the Croatian insurance market. It has experienced strong growth over the past decade, which is especially true for life insurance segment. Consequently, the demand for life insurance products increased as well.  The analysis in this paper is conducted on the sample of Croatian life insurance market although its level of development is well below EU average. Based on the data from CEA publications for the year 2009, life insurance premiums per capita in EU 27 totaled 908 EUR; share of life insurance premium in GDP in EU27 amounted to 3.4%; while life insurance premium to total premium ratio was 62%. In the same year, life insurance premiums per capita in Croatia amounted to 76.4 EUR, while the share of life insurance premiums in GDP was 0.74%.

 

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Controlling Model for the Process Quality in Factories

Benjamin Hirsch, Leibniz University of Hanover, Germany

Dr.-Ing. Peter Nyhuis, Professor, Leibniz University of Hanover, Germany

 

Abstract

 Manufacturing companies are nowadays forced to produce high-quality products to satisfy the continuous growth in customer demands and to assure a competitive position over the long-term. But high-quality products need stable and productive processes in day-to-day operations. Existing production structures and processes therefore often reach their limits. This is where an approach developed by the Institute of Production Systems and Logistics (IFA) at the Leibniz University of Hanover and funded by the German Research Association (DFG) steps in. In this approach the fundamental requirements of high-quality products and processes are already considered at the factory planning stage. The methodology prevents the accidental design of incorrect and defective processes. It is based on practice and is therefore highly suitable for use in practice.  The competitive conditions of manufacturing companies have continually intensified in recent years. Among others, this is to be traced back to a high market transparency, an increasing dynamic in the business environment and the numerous international competitors who frequently produce in countries with comparatively low labour costs. As a result, companies in high-wage locations are losing more and more market share, especially in the mass production sector (Westkämper, 2006a). Permanent changes concerning, for example, resource availability and technology features, imply many challenges not only in daily operations but also in the strategic alignment of a company (Westkämper, 2006b), (Wiendahl et al., 2009). Also the increasing demands of customers for products with an individual configuration leads to an increasing number of variants and, simultaneously, decreasing batch sizes. Companies have to launch innovations on the market in very short cycles to remain competitive. This contributes to a complexity in production that is difficult to control. However, existing factories and the corresponding companies usually operate in established structures, which means, that they are not able to react to changes quickly and flexibly. 

 

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The Use of Information Sources in International Business – Comparative Analysis

Zoran Wittine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 The internationalization of companies is a prerequisite not only for a successful development, but also for the survival of modern enterprises. One of the major limitations of successful internationalization is represented by an environment of foreign markets. The complexity of structural changes in external environment factors is impossible to be analyzed without adequate knowledge that has to be collected from credible information sources. Organizations that are aimed at creation, dissemination and appliance of knowledge about the external environment will have better prerequisites for a successful conquest of foreign markets. In this paper we review previous research related to the internationalization of enterprises and use of information sources during analysis of foreign environment. We also critically analyze the state of Croatian economy and provide recommendations for organizational improvements.  International trade represents the totality of exchange of goods, services and capital between different countries. In today's world of globalization and rapid technological, economic and social changes, international trade plays a vital role of economic development of any country. Its positive effects on the economy are numerous. They are reflected in the increase of employment, gross domestic product, foreign exchange inflows, exchange of modern technologies, and indirectly in increased competitiveness, increased credibility of the country in international financial markets, increased credit rating, etc.  Business activity in international markets is more demanding and riskier than operating on the domestic market. Business risks exist because of a greater degree of economic, political, legal and cultural ignorance, as well as higher costs associated with selling goods on the international market due to various tariff and non-tariff restrictions.  The unfamiliarity with business environment inevitably leads to a greater exposure to various business risks.

 

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What Makes Some Schools Better Than Others? Estonian Case

Dr. Kaire Poder, Tallinn University of Technology

 

ABSTRACT

 The current research article evaluates the effect of certain school specific criteria on student performance.  The main objective is to understand the impact of schools selecting students and how the ratio of disadvantaged students affects the total average performance of schools.  The response variable is average student performance which is operationalized by average state final exam results.  Independent variables are: ability to select students and the share of students in care from the total number of students.  We control for the many school specific criteria – location, language, ownership, resources; teacher specific criteria – qualifications, age; and class specific criteria – teacher-student ratio, size of the class.  Results indicate that the ability to select students adds approximately 10 points to the average school performance.  At the same time the share of disadvantaged students has a negative but relatively small impact on school average state exam results.  Many authors (Woessmann et al., 2009; Woessmann, 2008; Betts and Roemer, 2007) agree that the educational achievement of students should be independent of family socioeconomic background.  In this concept the inequality should be tolerated only if it results from differences in effort, not if it reflects circumstances that are beyond a person’s control – including the socioeconomic status (SES) of their parents, peer effects or teacher effects.  School choice has been an increasing trend in educational policy design for the last decade or two.  Instead of the post-World War II catchment area based assignment, now parents and families can, in increasing degrees, select school for their child(ren).  However, the theoretical and empirical cases on the effect of choice on equity are hotly debated.  First, choice tends to cumulate higher socio-economic background (high-SES) students into certain schools, creating not only positive peer effects, but also negative externality to the disadvantaged students. 

 

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One-Way and Two-Ways Random Effects Model in Provisioning for Losses on Loans of Commercial Banks

Mohd Yaziz Bin Mohd Isa, University Tun Abdul Razak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

ABSTRACT

 The paper aims to use results using random effects model to analyse factors of loan loss provisions of non-performing loans of commercial banks in Malaysia so that they reflect collectability of the defaulted loans. Because the factors being used to determine loan loss provisions do not reflect collectability of the defaulted loans,  consequently, in financial reporting, banks do not make relevance and faithful representations their true underlying risk conditions. When the banks do not represent relevantly and faithfully their true underlying risk conditions, this is not in tune with updated objectives of useful financial reporting as stipulates in Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements 2010 (“Framework 2010”) of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The Framework 2010 stipulates qualitative characteristics of relevance and faithful representation as useful information in financial reporting. For the financial reporting to be useful, “it must be relevant and must faithfully represent what it purports to represent.” (Pacter, 2011, p.5). The results from analysis using random effects one-way and two-ways are presented.  In giving out loans to borrowers, there is a possibility banks may not able to recollect the loans because the borrowers may default in repayment. If this is the case, part or even in worse case, full amount of the loans may not be recovered. The loans may then become non-performing (NPL). The banks in this instance would make appropriate provisions for possible losses on the loans. Podder & Al Mamun, p. 73, 2004 refer loan loss provisions (LLP) as “a method that banks use to recognise a reduction in the realizable value of their loans.”

 

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Effect of National Culture on the Design of Management Control Systems of Multinational Enterprises: The Case of Egypt

Dr. Walid El-Gammal, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

 

ABSTRACT

 This study examines the effect of national culture on the design of management control systems (MCS) of multinational enterprises operating in Egypt. Data for testing hypothesis are collected from 167 Egyptian managers working in German, French, Japanese and Italian owned firms compared to a pure Egyptian firm, all operating in car industry. Overall, the results of the tests performed do not provide a conclusive evidence to support the hypothesis of the study. It was found that there are many cases where the national culture of Egypt was not able to affect the design and use of some controls of the multinational companies while they operate in Egypt.  Although globalisation and borderless economies tend to promote similarities and convergence in managerial behaviours, the separate cultural traditions tend to encourage diversity (Hodgetts and Luthans, 1997). This means that the impact of diverse cultures must be recognised and related to specific international management situations. In the last 20 years, there was a lot of research that has been directed at understanding the relationship between national culture and the design of management control systems in different countries (Chow,Shields and Chan, 1991; Chow, Kato and Shields 1994;Chow,Katoa and Merchant 1996;Chow,Shields and WU, 1999, Harrison (1992, 1993) ; O’Connor, 1995; Merchant, Chow and Wu, 1995).  This kind of research has gained increasing prominence, as it is important to the business community. Simply, with increasing globalisation, the companies, which may have operated, previously in only their home country have had the opportunity and found the necessity to establish international operations, to become a multinational enterprise (MNE). Companies increasingly need to know whether management control systems or tools that are effective in one national setting will have alternate levels of effectiveness if used in a different national setting.  

 

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The Economic Impact of the Adoption and Implementation of ICTs in Developing Nations:  The Case of Chile

Dr. Shahram Amiri, Stetson University Deland, Florida

Dr. Gary Oliphant, Stetson University Deland, Florida

 

ABSTRACT

 Chile’s government has played an integral role in the adoption and diffusion of ICT in the Chilean economy.  As the first Latin American country to privatize and deregulate the telecommunications sector, Chile gained a clear competitive advantage in the advancement and the adoption of ICT.   Over the last two decades, Chile has realized significant growth in the ICT sector and e-commerce, mainly due to government programs and initiatives, including investment in ICT infrastructure, promotion of educational programs geared toward increasing knowledge and skills in the use of ICT, the reduction of tariffs and fees, and the solicitation of foreign direct investment in specific business process outsourcing sectors.  Chile is now the leader among Latin American nations in ICT infrastructure and business process outsourcing.  As a result, the country has seen a significant improvement in GDP.  This paper will examine the factors that will keep Chile at the forefront of ICT in Latin America and the challenges that could possibly derail it.  The relationship between the adoption and implementation of information and communication technologies (ICT) and development and economic growth in developing nations has been a matter of study for over three decades.  While many studies conclude that there is a direct correlation between the adoption of ICT and economic development, particularly in developing countries, several studies espouse a requisite for developing countries to employ an approach that emphasizes the role of government and indigenous organizations in the adoption and diffusion of ICT in order to ensure successful implementation.  (Silva and Figueroa, 2002) In the case of Chile, this approach has been employed to varying degrees of success.  The rise of ICT in Chile began under the rule of General Pinochet, from 1973-1990. During the 1980’s, Pinochet began privatizing many government run industries, effectively shifting Chile towards a free market economy. 

 

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Socio-technical Controlling in Order Processing

Simon W. Schepers, Institute of Production Systems and Logistics, Leibniz University of Hanover

Jens Knigge, Institute of Integrated Production Hanover

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Nyhuis, Institute of Production Systems and Logistics, Leibniz University of Hanover

 

Abstract

 Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) miss their logistics objectives. In science and practice there is a growing recognition that the problems of production planning and control (PPC) cannot be solved only by the development and use of software tools. Obviously, there are other reasons for the existing performance deficits, which are generally referred to as so-called organizational stumbling blocks of PPC. They must be substantiated by the fact that employees and their qualitative characteristics (e. g. flexibility) are not considered in PPC systems. Production planning and control systems usually have limited degrees of freedom for carrying out the tasks given to the employee. Many methods of PPC systems have the potential of influencing the behavior and performance of employees, who tend to show a high degree of performance and responsibility, initiative, flexibility and the desire for self-development to provide logistical objectives forcefully. Along with the PPC systems, incentive systems are also effective areas for action to achieve objectives of logistics on the production level. Because employees differ in terms of their personality, needs and abilities, they react differently to incentives and motivational tools. The working hypothesis is therefore: The development of a logistics-oriented incentive system can support the logistical goal achievement of SME. Aligning incentives on operational logistics objectives anchors the objectives in the employees’ personal consciousness and everyday commitment the employees’ actions to support the logistics performance on the production level. 

 

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New Opportunity for Local & Foreign Investors in Pakistan

Aftab Alam Khan, King Saud University, Riyadh Saudi Arabia

 

ABSTRACT

 The main motive of this study is to discuss the foreign direct investment in Pakistan and the source from where foreign investment in the flow field is wide use of sources is to be discussed, In addition, here the purpose is to be discussed the reasons how to invest in Pakistan. There are many opportunities for the local and   the international investors to come and invest in Pakistan in the different sectors like in Petroleum, Telecom, Powers, Textile, Ports and Agriculture sectors. These are the main sectors that are waiting for the investors to come and invest in these sectors. The Details study shows that the Government of Pakistan has already published the major government official’s data. In these study we discussed the investment in Pakistan on various significant occasions and the trends how to invest in the certain areas for the local and the international investors, Moreover, the foreign investment resources in Pakistan are open to critical areas, But it strongly needs to be expand in all over the needy and unprivileged areas, Pakistan has to improve law and order situation, because it has underdeveloped capital markets. It is significant increased due to lacking in commercial loans availability. Furthermore, domestic savings are unable to meet investment needs. This is because foreign direct investment is more important priority agreement for Pakistan. Primarily, we collected this data from various Organizations and Government of Pakistan (G o Pak).  Therefore, reliability of this data is important. It was a huge issue as well. Government of Pakistan underlined its significant for the investors.

 

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Book-Tax Differences and Companies’ Financial Characteristics: The Case of Croatia

Slavko Sodan, University of Split

 

ABSTRACT

 The relation between income for tax and financial reporting purposes is a very complex topic. Book and tax income have different requirements and they serve different purposes. This study examines the sources of book-tax spread and investigates the book-tax difference as an indicator of earnings quality for companies listed on Croatian capital market. Main assumption of this research is that accounting standards often allow discretion in computation of income for financial reporting purpose while tax rules are generally stricter. Therefore, large book-tax gaps can be indicator of managers’ opportunistic behavior and evidence of their earnings management activities that consequently reduce the quality of reported earnings. The research is conducted on the sample of Croatian listed companies for the period from 2000 to 2009. Obtained results suggest that earnings quality measure is negatively related to absolute value of book-tax difference. Also, results indicate that company’s financial characteristics beside earnings quality, i.e. profitability, size, level of liquidity and sales growth explain significant percentage of the variation in book-tax spread across companies.  Managers have to compute corporate income each year for two different purposes: for the purpose of financial reporting and to determine tax liabilities. The degree of conformity between financial accounting rules and tax accounting rules varies among countries. Financial accounting is governed by accounting legislation and by accounting standards while tax accounting is governed by tax legislation. Beside different rules, these two accounting systems also have different purposes. General objective of financial reporting is to provide information that is useful to present and potential equity investors, lenders and other creditors in making decisions.

 

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An Analysis of the Effect of Reducing the Food Subsidy on Income Inequality

Dr. Mohsen Zayandehroody, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran

 

ABSTRACT

 A policy of subsidizing energy has been pursued in the Islamic Republic of Iran to help the poor and to utilize the relative advantages of the country. But it has been realized that energy subsidy has led to market distortion and welfare loss. Hence, elimination of energy subsidy is considered as a crucial matter. Changes in energy policy are hindered by the uncertainty on the impact of reducing energy subsidy on the living expenses of population. In the present article the distribution of resources through energy subsidy is evaluated; and, the direct and indirect effect of eliminating energy subsidies on the living expenses is estimated with the help of an analytical tool that has been developed. It is then concluded that additional financial resources obtained from reduction of energy subsidies could be allocated for compensating the decrease in purchasing power of households. The results of analysis reveal that more egalitarian distribution of resources and helping the poor could be achieved through implementation of a progressive policy of social security that is supported by financial resources available from elimination of energy subsidies.  Iran will be focused with numerous challenges in near future. Now the main one is high rate of unemployment, that the dimensions of this problem will be increased by the emerge of young skilful manpower, with high expectation. The solution of this crisis is a high economic growth rate. Iran as an oil country has spent a considerable part of his properties in the form of visible and invisible subsides on main goods and services which was an inefficient and ineffective policy in economical growth and income distribution. During all years income distribution model in Iran has been a distribution model which is suitable for the period before economic growth that is not useful for a longtime.

 

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Welfare State and School Choice: Evidence of Recent Developments in EU

Dr. Kaire Poder, Tallinn University of Technology

Dr. Kaie Kerem, Tallinn University of Technology

 

ABSTRACT

 Our goal is to conduct a comparative study of European education systems related to school choice and welfare regimes. We control for the following hypotheses: (a) educational policy is determined by the welfare regime and; (b) educational returns are dependent on the availability of school choice at the system level, our results reject both hypotheses. Instead we show that types of school choice policies are independent from the welfare regime scale, from catchment area based zoning to unregulated policies enforced by schools. Although, relying on indexes for measuring school choice, (with Netherlands, England and Ireland are being the most ‘liberal’ and Nordic countries being the most restrictive), a positive causality is not found. Instead convex relationship between educational returns and school choice is found, indicating that ‘average solutions’ allowing some uncontrolled and self-inflicted school choice can only cause harm. Moreover, we demonstrate that school choice has a positive effect on educational results only if it comes together with equal educational opportunities.  The distribution of students amongst schools is fundamental in the concerns of equality of educational opportunity. School choice is defined as parents’ possibility to choose school for their children. We study the effect of school choice on educational returns. Scandinavian countries (especially Finland) are positioned relatively high in an EU comparison of PISA test results, thus it may be hypothesized that the Scandinavian comprehensive school regime has a causal impact on educational returns. The alternative is that school choice policies are directly derived from the welfare regime.  Recent literature points out the importance of early education in association with educational high returns (Cunha et al., 2006). Pre-primary and primary education is important for educational success and in particular for the opportunities of disadvantaged groups. In this paper the focus is on school choice in primary and lower secondary education.  School choice is analyzed in numerous international comparative or single case studies (overview by Cobb and Glass, 2009) and also mechanism design studies.

 

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Basel II – Case of Croatian Commercial Banks

Dr. Anita Pavkovic, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Dr. Andrea Pavlovic, Zagreb School of Economics and Management, Croatia

Dr. Alen Stojanovic, University of Zagreb, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 In the last decade EU directives have been transposed into regulatory framework of the Croatian financial system, for all relevant financial system parts like credit institutions, insurance and reinsurance firms, investment funds and other financial institutions, which had significantly determined the financial structure in Croatia. Also expected Croatian entrance into euro area would be important factor of determining Croatian future financial architecture.   In particular, the Law on credit institutions and extensive set of sub legislative acts issued by Croatian National Bank, which became effective from 2009, onwards regulated key areas of the Croatian credit institutions activities such as minimum standards for establishment, allowed set of activities and supervision of credit institutions, which dominant part are universal commercial banks. It is worth mentioning that in Croatian regulation still are embedded specific national discretions which preserve certain strictness of the regulation of banking system before Croatia accession in European Union integral market.  The aim of the paper is to critically evaluate influence of Basel II implementation in Croatian banking system, supporting the hypothesis that although recent financial and economic crises had pointed out imperfections in today’s financial regulatory and supervisory practices of more advanced financial system, due to particular specificities of the Croatian banking system and underdevelopment of total financial and banking structure, up to now revealed are prevalent, numerous positive effects on stability and sustainability of the whole banking system but also significant synergies and value added is observed on the level of individual banks, especially larger institutions.  In last twenty years Croatian financial system has changed dramatically and has become more competitive and comparable to developed and sophisticated financial systems of the market oriented economies. Intensive changes in financial structure have been initiated with few specific factors: accelerated privatization process, numerous reforms in financial system (e.g. payment system, pension system), increase in macroeconomic stability, changes in political cycles etc. 

 

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The Determinants of Intermediate Target's Choice of Monetary Policy Strategy: The Case of CEE Countries

Josip Viskovic, University of Split, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 The main motivation for this paper was the scarcity of empirical research and evidences on the characteristics of the countries depending on their choice of intermediate target of monetary strategy. Today’s most common choice refers to inflation targeting, exchange rate targeting and monetary targeting. This paper reviews the fundamental characteristics of these three strategies and analyzes currently adopted strategies in central and east European countries. Furthermore, paper analyzes what are the main determinants of the choice i.e. what characterizes the countries that have chosen individual target. Finally, using discriminant analysis the paper concludes that characteristics of inflation targeting and exchange rate targeting countries do differ, particularly in terms of exchange rate regimes, external debt, loans in foreign currency or loans denominated in foreign currency, central bank independence and level of bank domination in financial system. Due to negative consequences of some of these characteristics, an explicit inflation target is proposed as an alternative regime for some economies.  Intermediate target is defined as an economic variable which: (i) central bank can control with a certain lag and a certain degree of accuracy and (ii) which is relatively stable or at least predictably connected with the ultimate goal of monetary policy. Lovrinović and Ivanov (2009) suggest that intermediate targets are used to increase the effectiveness of monetary policy in achieving the final goals and in order to verify the changes in the monetary system towards achieving these goals. Countries selecting the intermediate target take into account a number of characteristics of economy, and the final choice can be a monetary aggregate, the exchange rate or inflation target. It is important to emphasize that the ultimate goal, together with other factors, determines the choice of strategy, taking into consideration that the choice of intermediate target determines the choice of operating goals and instruments of monetary policy. Among the other factors, level of trade openness, economic development, the level of monetary independence, the characteristics of financial system and other economic factors, are considered.

 

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The Availability of Work Product Protection to Tax Accrual Workpapers

Stephen Gara, Ph.D., Drake University, Des Moines, IA

Brandy Gary, JD, BDO Siedman, Phoenix, AZ

 

ABSTRACT

 Tax accrual workpapers are prepared as part of the financial statement audit process.  The purpose of these documents is to assess the corporate taxpayer's reserves for any contingent tax liability that the taxpayer may owe if the government challenges the taxpayer's filed return.  The workpapers contain a detailed analysis identifying uncertain tax positions, likelihood of their success, and the potential liability if unsuccessful.  The government reserves the right to force disclosure of these documents as part of its examination authority.  This article analyzes various legal theories, particularly the work-product privilege, to prevent disclosure of this documentation.  Tax accrual workpapers are an assessment of a corporate taxpayer’s potential tax liability, prepared by the taxpayer, their accountant or their attorney.  Federal tax law is full of complexity and ambiguity.  No taxpayer completes a return with the certainty that the IRS will agree with the results.  The return is filed with the understanding that the IRS may challenge some of the positions taken and, through settlement or litigation, the corporation may end up owing more taxes than it initially acknowledged.  As a result the tax liability as reported on the original return is not absolute and may differ from the final liability as determined by the government.  This creates the potential for a significant contingent liability on behalf of corporate taxpayers.  One function of tax accrual workpapers is to assess the recorded amount for this contingent liability, and determine if the liability is adequately accounted for in the financial statements.  Federal securities law requires publicly traded firms to submit audited financial statements, prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), to the SEC (15 USC §78L)   GAAP  mandates that firms identify and quantify all uncertain tax positions as described in Financial Accounting Standards Board, Interpretation No. 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes (FASB, 2006) (FIN 48).  FIN 48 is now codified in Accounting Standards Codification Topic 740 (FASB, 2010). 

 

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Corporate Governance and Quality of Accounting Information: Case of Lebanon

Dr. Walid El-Gammal, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

Michel Showeiry, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

 

ABSTRACT

 This study examines the effect of corporate governance represented by board of directors and audit committee on achieving a high quality accounting information characterized by relevance, reliability, comparability and consistency. Data for testing the hypotheses are collected from respondents who are users of financial information from different fields of Accounting such as financial institutions, brokerage firms, auditing firms. Overall, the results of tests performed show that the characteristics of board of directors and audit committee can help in achieving a high quality accounting information.  After the fall down of big companies such as Enron and WorldCom, corporate governance became an important issue that should be applied in every corporation especially those that are publicly held. However, corporate governance imposed a set of rules guiding institutions towards the right, ethical path. One of the most important policies is ensuring transparency throughout the preparation of the financial statements. This could be ensured by achieving high accounting information quality. It is the responsibility of the audit committee and the board of directors to guarantee an acceptable quality of accounting information. Throughout this paper, we examine four characteristics of both the audit committee and the board of directors and we try to test whether these characteristics help in increasing the quality of accounting information.  A study performed by Cheung and Chan (2004) addressed different issues regarding corporate governance in Asia. After studying several global models of governance taking into consideration the laws of corporate governance in some Asia countries, the authors concluded that the same criteria cannot be applied to all countries present in Asia. Each country has its own funding environment related to corporate, economic, social, cultural, legal and regulatory factors that differ greatly across these countries.

 

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Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility Toward Firm Value and Profitability

Martin Surya Mulyadi, BINUS University, Jakarta, Indonesia

Yunita Anwar, BINUS University, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

ABSTRACT

 Corporate Social Responsibility is business contribution to sustainable development, that corporate behaviour not only needed to ensure return to shareholders but also other stakeholders interest. In order to have a long-run business, corporation need to pay attention to 3P (profit, people and planet). Application of CSR is treated as an investment, as there are many benefit from CSR.  In Indonesia, CSR currently is an obligation only for corporation in natural resources-related business. Our paper examined 30 selected listed Indonesia corporation (not in natural resources business) to examine relationship between CSR to firm value and profitability.  Based on our research, using double linear regression model and usage of GRI as measurement of CSR activity we find out that there is no significant relationship between CSR and firm value (measured by Tobin’s Q). We also find same evidence for relationship between CSR and profitability (ROA, ROE and NPM).  In industrialization era, most of corporations only focusing on profitability. Their contribution to society only limited to available field work for society and providing goods and services. Nowadays, society demanding corporation to do more as there is economy imbalance between business owners and society; and also negative impact they created such as pollution.  Application of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) now is not treated as a cost, it is an investment (Wibisono, 2007). CSR refer to relationships between corporation and all stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, suppliers, government, and even their competitors. This concept also known as 3P (profit, people, planet) introduced by Solihin (2009). Business objective is not merely for profit, but also for welfare of people and ensure sustainability of this planet.  Several previous research show there is positive correlation between CSR and corporate financial performance. Jo and Harjoto (2011) find there is strongly positive impact for firms that engage in CSR on firm value.

 

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Analysis of Income Tax Incentives for Transportation Industry in Indonesia

Yunita Anwar, BINUS University, Jakarta, Indonesia

Martin Surya Mulyadi, BINUS University, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

ABSTRACT

 Tax incentives is policy given to encourage investment in specific area by changing current tax structures, which consist of any kind of taxes that affect corporate and household level. As external economics, tax policy is a significant determinant of economic activity. Although sometimes it could have little or no effect toward economic or investment activity. Income tax incentives can be grouped into a number of categories: tax holidays, investment allowances and tax credits, timing differences, reduced tax rates, and free economic zones.  We use probit econometric model to investigate whether income tax incentives in USA have significant impact toward performance of transportation industry. Our result showed transportation industry perform better when income tax incentives take place.  With this result, given there is no specific income tax incentives for transportation industry in Indonesia we suggest Indonesian government consider create specific income tax incentives for transportation industry. This incentives could create higher investment specifically in transportation industry.  Income tax incentives is one of fiscal policy that could be used by government to improve the investment environment. Either if government want to attract foreign investors, or even new investment from domestic investors. Therefore, tax incentives is important instruments to develop specific industry.  Our previous study examined income tax incentives for renewable energy industry, with focus in geothermal industry and wind industry. From both research, we conclude Indonesia need to consider creating indirect income tax incentives as given by USA (Anwar and Mulyadi, 2011).  While our previous study in renewable energy industry, an area in which Indonesian government has created income tax incentives, in this study we will examine if it is needed for Indonesian government to create income tax incentives for transportation industry.

 

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Strategic Positioning of Senegal Agriculture Products on the Agricultural World Market

Dr. Hamadoun Sidibe, Universite de Moncton, Canada

 

ABSTRACT

 During the  WTO negotiations  in Doha, one main agreement between the developed country members, and developing-country members was to implement duty-free and quota-free market access for products originating in the LDCs (less developed countries), and  eliminate restrictions, and distortions in the world agricultural markets. In response to this opening of and better access to global markets, this research addresses the question: What products should Senegal – an African LDC - choose to export to the world market? Using a strategic management perspective, particularly the BCG tool, the results of this study show that world markets for Senegal agricultural exports are growing except for its two main exports - groundnut oil, and cotton lint. The country should now diversify its exports and eliminate tobacco products in its portfolio. Indeed, Senegal can increase its relative market share to become competitive and an important player in the world agricultural markets, and/or form solid alliances with other countries for the same purpose.  Opening of markets to world trade was one of the main negotiation points of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting held in Hong Kong in December, 2005. Indeed, on the last day of the ministerial meeting of the organization, the Ministerial Declaration stated that the members of governments had committed themselves to comprehensive negotiations aimed at achieving   three main goals: Market access (“elimination of all forms of export subsidies and disciplines on all export measures with  an equivalent effect to be completed by the end of 2013”); export subsidies elimination (reduction of, with a view toward phasing out, all forms of such export subsidies); and  domestic support reductions (substantial reductions of domestic supports that distort trade).

 

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The Complexity of Learning Context in Croatian Manufacturing Companies

Dr. Ivan Matic, University of Split, Croatia

Ana Juras, University of Split, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

 In today's business environment learning is considered as one of the main sources of competitive advantage. Bearing in mind that learning in organizations greatly depends on context in which individuals and groups perform their everyday activities, the characteristics of mentioned learning context, especially its complexity, ranging between chaos and entropy, is crucial influencing factor on organizational learning occurrence and progress. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the role of learning context complexity in achieving organization’s desired outcomes such as organizational learning, organizational innovativeness and non-financial and financial performances. In identifying the optimal level of learning context complexity in relation to above noted outcomes, the empirical research on the sample of 34 Croatian manufacturing companies was conducted during the last quarter of year 2010, results of which are indicating surprising results, such as that higher level of learning context complexity leads to higher levels of organizational learning, organizational innovativeness and non-financial performances.  Given the characteristics of today’s business environment, learning in organization has become one of the most popular topics in organization and management literature. Despite the fact that the term learning was first used in organization and management literature in organizational context in the 1960s (e.g. Cyert and March, 1963), it was not before the 1980s and especially 1990s that learning in organization was given appropriate attention and treatment in relevant literature. Through today’s widely accepted concepts such as organizational learning and learning organization, learning in organization moved to the center of interest in organization and management literature, and is by numerous authors considered as the main source of competitive advantage of today’s business organizations (e.g. Fiol and Lyles, 1985; Garratt, 1987; De Geus, 1988; Stata, 1989; Kiechel, 1990; Senge, 1990; Epstein and Roy, 1997; Grieves, 2000; Marquandt, 2002) (Habaradas, 2009, pp. 1).

 

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