The Business Review, Cambridge

Vol. 22 * Number 2 * December 2014

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

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Has the Town of Oak Island, N.C. Levied a Recurring, Annual Sewer District Fee/Tax against Owners of Developed and

Undeveloped Properties within the Boundaries of a Sewer District in Violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

Dr. Kay M. Poston, Francis Marion University, Florence, S.C.

Dr. Brad R. Johnson, J.D., C.P.A. (Inactive), Francis Marion University, Florence, S.C.

 

INTRODUCTION

In a case study approach, this paper hypothesizes that the Town of Oak Island, N.C. (hereinafter, "the Town") has violated the Equal Protection Clause, U.S. Const. amend XIV, cl. 1, in executing the power of taxation that was delegated to it by the North Carolina (N.C.) General Assembly in a local act, S.L. 2004-96 (amended by S.L. 2006-54). Furthermore, after review of the facts in this case study, this paper finds that the Town created a property taxation scheme that violates such enabling legislation and the N.C. Constitution, where such scheme imposes a recurring, annual Sewer District Fee/Tax upon properties within the boundaries of a Town-established Sewer District that purportedly "could or [do] benefit from the availability of sewage treatment."(1) The authors assert that the burden of the Town's facially discriminatory property tax scheme falls by design in a predictably disproportionate way on owners of undeveloped property within the boundaries of the Sewer District. The authors also assert that there is no suggestion that N.C. has in practice adopted a system that authorizes the Town to independently fashion its own substantive taxation policy. Nevertheless, the Town has, on its own initiative, executed enabling legislation in the manner described in Part II, below, which, on its face, results in a significant and persistent disparity in the tax burden between undeveloped and developed properties within the boundaries of the Town-established Sewer District. Based upon the foregoing, the authors assert that such disparity in the Town's property tax scheme is unreasonable and confiscatory, on its face, in that such scheme unjustly discriminates against undeveloped property owners in favor of developed property owners, where such intentionally and systematically discriminatory burdening of undeveloped properties, in favor of developed properties, is hypothesized to deprive undeveloped property owners of their rights under the Equal Protection Clause, U.S. Const. amend XIV, cl. 1.  1. To establish the factual background of the case study surrounding the imposition by the Town of a recurring, annual Sewer District Fee/Tax to serve as the basis for hypothesizing an Equal Protection Clause claim [Part II].  2. To identify an Equal Protection Clause Paradigm for the purpose of analyzing the Equal Protection Clause claim hypothesized to have arisen from the factual background of the case study [Part III].  3.  To employ the Equal Protection Clause Paradigm in analyzing the hypothesized Equal Protection Clause claim, for the purpose of showing that the Town’s levy of a recurring, annual Sewer District Fee/Tax violates the Equal Protection Clause, U.S. Const. amend XIV, cl. 1, under a rational basis review [Part IV].  The authors assert that if these objectives are met, the General Public [including (1) the citizens of the Town, (2) owners of property within the boundaries of the Sewer District, (3) the N.C. Office of the Attorney General, (4) the N.C. General Assembly, and (5) the Town’s Council and administration] will have a greater understanding of the constitutional and statutory implications of the Town’s recurring, annual Sewer District Fee/Tax, initially levied against owners of developed and undeveloped properties within the boundaries of the Sewer District, where said Town issues a recurring, annual credit to the private owners of developed properties equal to such Sewer District Fee/Tax (because undeveloped property owners paid less in prior years). In particular, as a result of such increased understanding, it is expected that the Town will be motivated to change the manner in which it funds sewerage debt service payments.  1. The Town is a governmental agency. The Town is a municipal corporation that was duly created and chartered by the N.C. General Assembly for administrative purposes, where the N.C. General Assembly retains control and supervision over the Town as a municipal corporation, limited only by N.C. Const. Art. VII, § 1 (2014).(2) The Town has those powers expressly granted by legislative enactment under N.C. Const. Art. VII, § 1 (2014) and those powers implied therefrom.(3) In particular, N.C. Const. Art. VII, § 1 (2014) does not prohibit local legislative enactments, where particular powers may be conferred upon the Town.(4) However, if there is reasonable doubt with regard to the existence of the Town's power in a particular instance, such doubt must be resolved against the Town, where said power is denied.(5)  2. The Town has no inherent power of taxation. In particular, the Town has no inherent power of taxation.(6) Accordingly, all power of taxation must be derived by the Town from legislative enactment under N.C. Const. Art. VII, § 1 (2014).(7) Furthermore, all power of taxation derived by the Town from legislative enactment is subject tofurther restriction and regulation by legislative enactment under N.C. Const. Art. VII, § 1 (2014).(8) Because the Town derives its power of taxation from the legislature, the Town cannot argue that certain enabling legislation is “lacking in breadth.”(9) Specifically, the N.C. General Assembly has the power under N.C. Const. Art. VII, § 1 (2014) to control the finances of the Town in terms of the nature and amount of particular revenue appropriations. More specifically, the N.C. General Assembly has the power under N.C. Const. Art. VII, § 1 (2014), to direct that certain revenues derived by municipal enterprise funds be applied against the principal of outstanding enterprise bonds.(10) In North Carolina, the legislative body (i.e., the N.C. General Assembly) passes “general laws” and “local acts.” A “general law” affects the public at large and applies “to all units of local government.”(11) A “local act” applies to a limited number of municipalities or counties.(12) “‘Local act’ is interchangeable with the terms ‘special act,’ ‘public-local act,’ and ‘private act’”(13) In particular, a "'local tax is defined as 'one laid upon property in the locality, by the governing body thereof for an amount fixed by it, and for local governmental uses declared by it….' Cooley, Taxation, Vol. 1, 4th Ed., Sec. 54, p. 145."(14)

 

Business Drivers Influencing Adoption of EMR and ERP Systems

Dr. Prasad Bingi, Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, IN

 

ABSTRACT

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are enterprise class systems that have received lot of attention due to their transformational effect not only on individual companies but also on national economies.  ERP systems initially were adopted by manufacturing companies and spread to other industries including education, retail, healthcare, logistics etc.  EMR systems are primarily used by hospitals to manage the patient information.  These two kinds of systems have some commonalities in their structure, scope, and functionality.  These systems incorporate highly integrated best in class functionality with modular structures allowing custom configurations.  While these systems are appealing, effective implementations of them are challenging as they impose enormous changes to the way organizations conduct their businesses.  Though the origin of these systems dates back to 1960s era, ERP systems have enjoyed a higher adoption than their cousins - EMR systems.  In this article, we examine the business drivers that influence the adoption of these systems and make comparisons between them.  This research brings together two streams of research for better understanding of them. Resource Planning, Enterprise applications, Health Information Technologies. Today’s business organizations are very complex, dynamic and global in nature.  Managing these complex entities require capabilities that only IT can provide.  Thus IT has become a backbone for enabling control and coordination of far flung parts of the organization.  Enterprise systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR (1) have become popular means to capture, process, disseminate necessary information and assist in managerial or clinical decision making.  ERP and EMR systems have the same inherent structure with complicated parameter configurations (Hung, Chen, & Wang, 2014; MacKinnon & Wasserman, 2009).  Both of them feature a common database and modular integrated functionality.  ERP systems include business or administration functions such as finance, manufacturing, human resources, whereas EMR systems include clinical or health-related functions such as patient health information, results management (such as labs and radiology), computerized provider order entry (CPOE), clinical decision support (such as reminders, alerts, computer assisted diagnosis), electronic communication and connectivity, patient support, reporting and population health management (IOM, 2003). Both ERP systems and EMR systems are modular by design and organizations could follow phased implementations to reduce implementation risk and ensure smoother integration of new systems into the existing technological environment.  Thus organizations could purchase only the required functionality, incrementally in modules at various stages of integration of IT in the organization.  In order to fix the ailing healthcare system that has become costly, ineffective and inefficient, Obama administration had passed HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to promote EMR adoption. Successful utilization of EMR technologies has been cited as a means to bring healthcare costs down and improve the patient care.  In order to better understand EMR adoption, ERP adoption is examined and contrasted in this research.  Both ERP and EMR systems evolved from their earlier siblings which were limited in scope and capability to become large, integrated real-time systems providing unprecedented visibility and capabilities to manage complex organizations.  The earlier systems were quickly adopted by larger organizations.  The technological advancements and changes in market dynamics have later forced the vendors to come up with solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).  ERP systems evolved from Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) and Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRP II) but extended the functionality to encompass the entire organization.  The idea of MRP system began in 1960s while the mainframe computer technologies were getting popular.  Joseph Orlicky, Oliver Wight, and George Plossl along with others developed a new system, which they termed Material Requirements Planning (MRP).  The major support for adoption came from APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society) that started a national program to educate and promote MRP among manufacturing companies. This crusade by APICS accelerated adoption of MRP from 150 implementations in 1971 to 8000 in 1981. As the popularity of MRP systems grew, more functionality was added to the original MRP system and the new system was named Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRP II).  MRP II included MRP functionality along with sophisticated capacity constraints related to finance, human resources, and plant.  MRP II included new functionality such as Master Scheduling, Rough-Cut Capacity Planning, Capacity Requirements Planning, and Input/Output Control (Hopp & Spearman, 2004).  The enterprise systems appeared in the late1980s and early 1990s. The technology research firm Gartner first coined the term Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for a system that not only incorporated MRP II but also virtually integrated all of a corporation’s business applications into one mega monolithic system.  ERP systems provided accessibility, visibility and consistency across the entire enterprise.  The growth of ERP systems reached a peak during 1990s due the Year 2000 (Y2K) computer bug.  The origins of EMR probably could also be traced back to 1960s when Lawrence L. Weed, a physician, described the concept to efficiently collect, store, access and share patient information using computer-based solutions.  Lawrence Weed’s effort inspired the University of Vermont to develop POMR system known as Problem-Oriented Medical Record.  POMR was implemented in the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont in 1970 (Gungor, 2011).  Around the same time, two other notable hospital EMR systems were developed in university settings - HELP (Health Evaluation through Logical Processing) system at the University of Utah and Latter-Day Saints Hospital in Salt Lake City, and The Medical Record system at Duke (Gungor, 2011; Hersh, 1995).  In the ambulatory care settings, the first notable systems that were implemented include Technicon Medical Information System developed as result of collaboration between Lockheed and El Camino Hospital, COSTAR (Computer-Stored Ambulatory Record) developed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and Regenstrief Medical Record System at Indiana University (Hersh, 1995).  Although the EMR concept was praised widely as a major advancement for improving medical practice, physicians did not flock to the technology immediately.

 

Employee-Firm Related Conflict Factors and the Strategies for Remedy: A Conceptual Framework

Dr. Frank F. Cotae, Mount Royal University, Canada

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to present and group an array of factors affecting employee related conflicts within organizations and apply conflict mediating strategies in the pursuit of a conceptual framework. The identification and grouping of such factors is seen as an imperative as the generation of a general framework which can be applied and adapted to with a certain degree of generality to organizations regardless of the industry in which they operate. We therefore identify the following clusters of factors affecting conflict: environmental, individual and firm related factors based on which we issue propositions, strategies for remedy alongside managerial implications and a follow-up course of action. We find that sustainability and corporate social responsibility to be both sources of conflict and strategies for remedy when employed by firms.  Conflict theory has undergone significant changes in perspective over the past ten years; perhaps the most basic change is reflected in the emergence of the term conflict management (Rahim, 2002; Somech, Desivilya, and Lidogoster, 2009) alongside the term, conflict resolution. It has been generally accepted that a certain degree of conflict at key organizational levels – what may be termed substantive, cognitive or issue-oriented conflict – is to be tolerated for effective strategic development (Rahim, 2002; West and Noel, 2009).  Extant research has also shown it is not the presence of conflict alone, but rather how an organization identifies and addresses the sources of conflict that determines whether it becomes constructive or destructive to goal achievement and strategy realization and implementation (Amason, 1996; Kurtzberg & Mueller, 2005).  The existing conflict related research contributions have been following two general directions: one in which findings have been deduced based on rigorous tests therefore generating, refuting or defending theory and a general one that localized different traits – industry (Kurtzberg and Mueller, 2005), organization or topographical area specific (Maltz and Kohli, 2000; Cronin and Weingart, 2007) that lead to conceptual findings. These two directions, while valuable in defining the subject matter related to conflict, have been focused either on measuring a sample affected by conflict in a particular industry or geographical area, or have been conceptually qualitative without reaching a compilation within a framework. This paper attempts to address this gap by combining aspects from these two dimensions into a unified model, allowing for a more comprehensive discussion. Conflict, therefore is advanced here as a byproduct of three categories of sources: (a) organization and firm related; (b) individual related factors and (c) environmental and external related factors. Each of these categories is presented subsequently alongside the applicable strategies seen to support a firm’s ability to engage and retain employees and to maintain its commitment to organizational goals and strategy.  Identifying firm related factors seen to contribute to the emergence of conflict (and conflict management) followed studies and measurements already posted by researchers, as the concept is seen as global and encountered by organizations regardless of size, location or industry. The underlying premise is that firm related conflict reduces employee commitment and ultimately has a negative impact on a firm’s ability to get, keep and grow their talent (Buahene and Kovary, 2007).   The negative effects of stress, time pressure, workplace safety, job satisfaction and work/family balance are identified as components of the cluster. As informed by the introductory segment, each of the components presented will substantiate a proposition, followed by a conceptually generated strategy for each. The word “stress’s”, defines a situation under which an individual or a group is subjected to the requirement to adapt to a new set of circumstances (Treven & Treven, 201).   Though stress and the stressors that cause it are unique across individuals, the commonality of the impact of employee stress to a firm’s performance is similar – often manifesting in a lack of high performance and low commitment to the fulfillment of organizational goals.  Treven and Treven 2011, in a study focused on Central European institutions - distinguished the following dimensions that substantiate each individual’s ability to negotiate stress: self-perception; control and courage; behavioral patterns; level of flexibility and work involvement. Self-perception separates individuals based on their self-esteem as the moderating element for responding to stressors (Treven and Treven, 2011; Nowack, 1986) ;  individuals with a positive self-perception or high self-esteem seem to better react to an environment affected by stressors  (Treven, 2005) and cope with stress with a certain confidence that does not largely affect performance or commitment to the firm. Control and courage points to each person’s perception with regards to their ability to decide and control their fate; individuals that are less inclined to believe that they control their environment are more likely to experience higher stress levels (Treven and  Potocan, 2005). Behavioral patterns divide individuals in to two categories:  those that believe strongly  their results and actions are time sensitive for the purpose of achieving organizational goals and those that see their impact as moderate and therefore do not react strongly when stress stimuli are introduced (Treven and Mulej, 2005). The level of flexibility dimension points to the reaction to stimuli relative to an individual’s ability to adapt to new job related requirements.  Employees that are highly adaptable, whether accredited to  either personal traits or firm training, workplace environment and encouragement appear to best accept new ideas and ever-changing work related stressors and situations  (Treven and Treven, 2011). Work involvement reflects the individual’s drive towards work involvement, high levels of perfectionism,  and work related drive (Treven and Treven, 2011).    (Brown, Dant, Ingene, and Kaufmann, 2005; Ganesan, George, Jap, Palmatier and Weitz, 2009).  Andre 2008 found that employees, regardless of the level of work involvement were prone to significant levels of stress, yet the ones that scored lowest on perfectionism and did not identify with the firm’s goals experienced work-life conflicts and significantly higher levels of stress. The strategies addressing the stress sections focus on two prongs: one focused on actions to be undertaken by the individuals to improve coping with stressors and one focused on firm related actions. The individual related actions are summarized as improving time management, noncompetitive exercises and expanding a social support network (Cartwright and Cooper, 2005). The firm related actions, considered the most essential for the model, imply investing in the provision of a work environment inclusive of job enrichment – improving the job content and its characteristics, job satisfaction – based not necessarily on salary considerations, rather on internal factors such as work achievement, appreciation, responsible work conditions, clearly defined roles, and external factors such as adequate leadership, appropriate work policies, certain mandate for self-control over work task (Mozina et al., 2002.  We can recognize stress as a result of several factors, and connect with applicable strategies we arrive at a framework determined to point firms towards an understanding of conflict stimuli. It becomes apparent in looking at form related conflict factors that the most significant stressor mediating strategies are firm generated.

 

How Culture Affects the International Diffusion of Manufacturing Practices

Dr. Samuel Kelley, Fox Financial Services

Dr. David McCalman, University of Central Arkansas, AR

Dr. Jonathan Lee, University of Windsor, Canada

 

ABSTRACT

The national cultures of a firm's employees is believed to moderate firm actions via altering its organizational culture following Adler and Jelinek (1986). Moderators are based on the indices of power distance (PD), uncertainty avoidance (UA), masculinity/femininity (MF), and individualism/ collectivism (IC).  Based on the literature on organizational culture and technology diffusion, it is expected that the national cultures of firms will moderate the implementation and diffusion of new practices. Hofstede’s dimensions of culture are related to the implementation of the manufacturing practices of ISO 9000, TQM, JIT and other practices. Hypotheses are developed, based on the premise that practices are embedded in their culture of origin and diffuse most easily in organizations with similar cultural compositions.  It is hypothesized that individual cultural variables are more important when 'soft' human aspects rather than infrastructure or strategic attributes dominate a practice, but combined cultural variables exhibit more effect when 'hard' technical aspects of a practice are more important. Nelson and Winter (1982) proposed that technology accumulates at the firm level, and through a series of incremental choices a technological trajectory is pursued by adopting changes related to their competence. Firms may encounter a superior practice but uncertainty of its benefits and institutional inertia cause firms to continue along the same path of competence building and not recognizing that a discontinuity in best practice exists (Arthur, 1989). Based on the success of an innovation, it is selected out or expanded on based on its superior practices. As it expands, it gains legitimacy and other firms in the industry attempt to copy these practices. Several historical examples outline this view. Factory organization was a key component of the industrial revolution, despite the attention given to water power and steam power to drive mills. The development of interchangeable parts in the U.S. (American System of Manufacturing) took thirty years before the practices were transferred to two other armories, and over 100 years for it to evolve into the concept of standardization and mass production (Hounshell, 1984). It is suggested (Kogut, 1991) that through the application of superior managerial or organizational methods a single country can be dominant in many industries. Europe pioneered the automobile but not the process to make it available to the masses, despite efforts to apply mass production no European manufacturer was able to gain advantage in North America. Volkswagen competed on design and low wages, while other producers with American market share did so through craft production of luxury automobiles. Japan was able to penetrate the North American market only after developing Japanese manufacturing techniques (Toyotism) superior to the Fordist model. Prior to WWI superior productivity rates in the U.S. over Germany and the UK were attributable to the application of new organizing practices (Kogut, 1993). An interaction exists between the history that occurs within a culture, its shared mental programming, and the current state of its own organizational trajectory. This represents a specific kind of social knowledge that impedes or impels it to recognize the superiority of a new practice.  The terminology ‘best practice’ was used to link this work to a larger body of historical work on the diffusion of technology and organizing practices. The first practice discussed is ISO 9000. ISO 9000 certification evolved through U.S., then Britain, and was later developed with guidance from approximately 100 nations. A group of practices labeled as Japanese manufacturing practices [De Meyer, 1998] are discussed. This group consists of TQM, EI, and JIT management systems. This term is not meant to be inclusive of all Japanese manufacturing practices, since firms in Japan have also produced managerial innovations that include quality circles, equity circles, supplier partnerships, cellular manufacturing, and hoshin planning (Akao, 1991; Ishikawa 1985). The origins may not be Japanese, but the practices are associated with Japanese firms, particularly Toyota (Toyotism), due to its success.  The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), founded in 1946 in Geneva, maintains a common set of standards for the manufacturing, trade, and communications industries (ISO 2013). The organization comprises the national standards institutes of over 100 countries, including that of the U.S.  Certification to the ISO 9000 standards provides quality assurances to external parties. ISO 9001, 9002, and 9003 are contractual quality standards. 9001 is intended for firms using design, development, production, installation, and servicing of a production and installation. 9003 is only for those involved in final inspections and testing. 9000 and 9004 offer managers’ concepts, terminology, and guidelines from which they may build their own quality system. ISO 9000 attributes may be contrasted with the more widely known TQM. Some find ISO 9000 is a good starting place for developing a TQM program (Zhu, 1999; Rabbitt, 1994).  De Meyer (1998) states that, since the 1980’s European manufacturing has been dominated by the implementation of Japanese manufacturing techniques. De Meyer presents Japanese manufacturing techniques in four categories: 1) Intolerance for variability in the production process; 2) Continuous improvement and constant learning; 3) Human resources are the most important asset of the company; and 4) Time and speed are highly valuable resources. In the following reviews the attributes of EI, JIT, and TQM are intertwined. For example, EI and TQM may be presented as subcomponents of a JIT management system (Davy, 1992), or EI and JIT as subcomponents of TQM (Powell, 1995). An effort is hereafter made to address key attributes of these practices.

 

The Value of Academic Group Work: An Examination of Faculty and Student Perceptions

Dr. Joanne P. LaBeouf, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Dr. John C. Griffith, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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

 

ABSTRACT

This research examined student and instructor perceptions on group work requirements in academic coursework.  Results for 330 faculty and 1,589 students were examined.  The study found that most faculty believed group work had academic value, had practical work applications and group project grades reflected individual contributions.  Most faculty disagreed that all students working on a group project received the same grade regardless of effort; however the majority of students expressed the opposite view. Most students also indicated they would not take a course specifically due to a group project component, but that group work provided practical applications for work and, most importantly, that grading on group projects was fair. Recommendations include future research to study effectiveness of group projects in online settings and developing processes to encourage student participation in all modalities. Motivated by business trends and urged by accrediting agencies, academic administrators have responded to the need for students to have group experience prior to entering the workforce. Several studies show positive results on group work. Su (2007), however, called for more studies using both qualitative and quantitative methods to better understand the factors that impact group learning. In support of Su’s idea, this study utilized both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine faculty (n=330) and student (n=1,589) survey responses.  This research was conducted at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide campus (ERAU WW), which has over 24,000 ‘non-traditional’ working adult students located around the world (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2013). Course terms are nine weeks long that differs from many universities and may impact this study’s results.  The significance of this study is the large number of survey respondents and the inclusion of faculty views, as well as students, across various instructional modes including Lecture, EagleVision (webcasting) Classroom, EagleVision (webcasting) Home, and Online.  Researchers have attempted to assess the overall value of group work with mixed results. Academic institutions have added technology components including online resources that are considered non-verbal and non-personal communication (Lemke, 1996).  Questions arose over grades for group work and whether a student’s grade should be based on the group product, the group process or both.  Psychologists in the 1960s conducted research on 48 advertising executives and 48 research scientists at the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company to study the individual and group approach in brain storming. The results showed that ideas came from those working alone rather than in a group (Dunnette, Campbell & Jaastad, 1963). In his memoirs Steve Wozniak (2007), the Apple co-founder, said that he believed that an engineer, inventor, or artist worked best on his own and not on any committee or team. Counter to that perception Bennis (1997), an organizational consultant, ranked group work above all else when it fostered creativity and intellectual achievement in the workplace.  Studies show a disparity in the argument that businesses need employees with group work skills.  A Northwestern University survey (2013) sampled national businesses and found that employers sought a broader range of skills, including written skills and collaboration, typically stressed in a liberal arts education. The New Groupthink phenomena calls for an environment that promotes creativity and intellectual achievement. The idea is that students control their education and learn from each other by using tools such as brainstorming techniques.  Brainstorming can often lead everyone to contribute to a solution if there is conflict (Cain, 2013; Burgess, 2012).   Cain urged a reappraisal of group work in academia, one in which the creativeness of different types of personalities is considered. In association with Cain’s suggestion, Porter (1990) argued for the importance of ideology and gender in studies on group cooperation. De Jong and Elfring (2010) noted that most Western societies, specifically the United States, are motivated by their own interests and needs, but that Eastern societies, like Japan, are motivated by the goals and values of a group. Using the Hofstede’s individualistic-collectivist framework, Popov, Brinkman, Biemans, Mulder, Kuznetsov and Noroozi (2012) identified issues associated with multicultural student work groups such as insufficient English language skills and cultural differences.  Van Hattum-Janssen (2014) researched group work in a master’s engineering group orientation that was to prepare students for course work. Conclusions included adding the following to student training: the concept of leadership, clarification of the student role within a group, and conflict management and group dynamics. Some students complained there was not enough guidance on group work processes implying that instructors needed to devote more time to clarifying instructions and managing dysfunctional groups (McKendall, 2000; Weimer, 2010). Springer, Stanne and Donovan (1998) studied undergraduate learning in STEM studies and concurred that small group work is most effective if instructors tailor group work to the course. Other literature concentrated on online graduate student classes and the student experience.  Brindley, Waiti, and Blaschke (2013) referenced a Maryland University College survey that noted student complaints about synchronous meeting availability while working on group projects. Overall Brindley et al., questioned where required skills for collaboration are learned and the merits of not grading students as a group assessment motivator. Smith, Sorensen, Heindel, Caris and Martinez (2010) looked at a survey of online and face-to-face students to gauge the nature of the collaborative experience. Regarding group work attitude, the face-to-face students performed less positively than the online group; however, a large percentage of online responses to personal feelings about working in groups were negative.  Smith et al. (2010) like Brindley et al. (2013) noted that students balked against use of synchronous meetings in group work and desired more instruction on how to operate in a group. In another online master’s program Davis (1993) suggested group members need to develop a plan, show proof of progress and have an individual component as well as a group component. Slavin (1990), McKenzie (2002) and Swan, Shen and Hiltz (2006) similarly commented that specific goals and use of a rubric are essential to implementation of collaborative learning, and that there should be an individual and group grade earned within the overall project grade.   

 

The Impact of Safety and Security on Time Preference

Dr. Ze'ev Shtudiner, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel

Dr. Jeffrey Kantor, Professor, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel

 

ABSTRACT

Risk and Return are the traditional measures used in and for any finance decision. Other things being equal, the higher the return expected, the higher the risk one is willing to take (the lower the aversion to risk). In addition, other things being equal, the higher the return expected, the more likely that the emphasis on the present would be de-emphasized and there would be an increasing willingness to defer present benefits for future benefits. Depending upon how you count, anywhere between 5% and 15% of Jewish Israelis live in relatively high-risk (from a security point of view) areas. A productive normal business environment requires a calm environment-one that does not hamper business activity. Business productivity and success needs relatively happy customers.  Israel is a land of vast differences in comfort/security levels. There are residents in certain areas that have little to no security concerns. There are also areas where people live in absolute and constant fear and then there are those in the middle-people who are accustomed to calm but these periods of calm are rather often broken as a result of intense bursts of violence from enemies.  Over 1,700 people living in three areas were the subject of this study. At the one extreme are people who live in the Tel Aviv area-one of the worlds’ best cities (in terms of standard and quality of living).  At the other extreme are people living in the towns and villages of Judea and Samaria where Moslems and Jews live in relatively close proximity. In these areas the risk of terror attacks is continuous.  Other areas where data was collected are the large city of Ariel; close to the Gaza border and in Jerusalem.  As a result of the uncertainty inherent in residence in high-risk areas we found that the subjective discount rate and the present-orientation of the residents who live in those areas are higher than that of residents in low-risk areas.  Living under the threat of terrorism is perceived by many as a very stressful situation, one that has an impact on individuals’ daily lives, policymaking, and a nation’s perception of its own security. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led to continuous terrorism in which citizens on both sides need to cope with an “ongoing, threatening situation on a daily basis” (Tatar et al. 2010).  Populations living under the threat of terrorism have a “high risk of developing symptoms of distress”. In severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder1 (PTSD) can result from exposure to terrorist attacks (Kimhi & Shamai 2006). This impact on individuals’ daily lives can also influence their time preference. Time preference is represented by the personal discount rate. An individual who values the present more than the future will have a higher personal discount rate in comparison to a person who places more value on the future as opposed to the present. An important individual characteristic that may influence time preference is risk aversion, the tendency of an individual to refrain from taking risks or to take them. In the current paper, we compare the time discount of Jewish Israelis who live in relatively high-risk (from a security point of view) areas to the time discount of Jewish Israelis who live in relatively low-risk areas.  At the one extreme are people who live in the Tel Aviv area - a low risk area.  At the other extreme are people living in the towns and villages of Judea and Samaria and in settlements that close to the Gaza border, where Moslems and Jews live in relatively close proximity. In these areas the risk of terror attacks is continuous. Residents in high-risk areas live in a violent atmosphere where they face great uncertainty about the near future. It can be reflected in a strong present preference and high personal discount rate. Over the last three decades, research in the field of inter-temporal choices has attempted to measure personal discount rates with studies that estimated the personal discount rates associated with choices for various durable items such as energy using home appliances (Gately 1980; Ruderman, Levine & McMahon 1987), and for non-durable items such as retirement plans (Warner & Pleeter 2001). Initial research in the field of time preferences focused primarily on monetary questions, and found that personal discounting rates vary with age, time delay, amount of money and direction of trade (Thaler 1981; Chapman & Elstein 1995; Prelec 2004). The tendency of an individual to refrain from taking risks or to take them is defined as risk preference. This preference is an important individual characteristic that may influence time preference. A more risk-averse person can tolerate less uncertainty about future income, which may lead to a higher elicited personal discount rate and a demand for higher compensation for delaying consumption or a payment (Stevenson 1992). Anderhub et al. (2001) found a positive correlation between the degree of risk aversion and the personal discount rate. In a more recent study that included both lottery questions and time preference questions, Andersen et al. (2008) found a low positive correlation between risk aversion and personal discount rates.  Other important effects that may influence subjective time discounts and related risks are morbidity and mortality. Chao et al. (2009) found that both physical health and subjective expectation of survival are related to subjective time discount. Their research was done in South Africa where, due to HIV/AIDS, the middle-age mortality rate is much higher than in developed countries. The subjects were asked about their mental and physical health, and about their subjective probabilities of survival in the next years. Mortality risk (measured by probabilities of survival) is important because it reduces the time available for reproduction and enjoinment. Similarly, morbidity risk (measured by health questions) reduces the ability to reproduce, consume and enjoy.

 

Estimation of the Energy Demand in Yemen: An Econometrics Model Approach 1990 – 2012

Dr. Abdulkarim Ali Dahan, Ajman University of Science & Technology, Ajman, UAE

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between energy consumption and economic growth in Yemen during the period 1990 – 2012. The paper will also assess the impacts of changes in energy prices on aggregate energy consumption, and finally, the paper will analyze the relationship between efficiency (oil intensity of use) and total energy consumption during the same period. We used time series data to provide estimates of elasticities. Empirical results showed: (1) The impact of income on energy consumption is positive and was represented by the high elasticity. (2) The price-index has no significant effect on restraining total energy demand. (3) A significant effect of efficiency on energy consumption indicated by the high elasticity reported. The paper concludes that, both income and efficiency variables have significant impact, as expected, on the demand for energy consumption in Yemen. As these two factors increase over time, energy consumption will increase and be more efficient for use, which is consistent with the goals of economic growth and the sustainability of development in the future. The price, on the other hand, has no significant effect on restraining the demand for energy. Low energy prices will always increase its demand and bring into more inefficient use of energy, which implies that actions are essential for more sustainable development without adverse effects on national growth targets. Since the beginning of the nineties, Yemen has gone through significant structural changes in its economy. These changes have included rapid increases in the demand for energy use domestically, which have increased from 76,000 barrel per day in 1990 to 177,000 barrel per day in 2012, growing at an annual average rate of 29.7 %. Factors such as rising incomes, population growth, and cheap energy prices were the main sources for such increases. Petroleum products’ prices, which do not reflect the real cost of production, remained low comparing to international standards. These low prices permitted such inefficient use of energy and gave no such incentives for consumers to conserve energy.  Since the economic reform program, initiated in the mid of 1990s, the government of Yemen has taken measures and policies to reduce this inefficient use in energy consumption. Its last measures were taken in 2005 and 2011 when prices of energy went up by almost 60-80%.  What motivated me to do this study is that, the lack of published studies on Yemen that analyze energy consumption or investigate analytically its determinants. It was that realization which prompted this study of energy demand and the development of a behavioral equation, consistent with economic theory, that provide information concerning the energy consumption and the behavior of consumers in Yemen.  Early in this study, it became clear that a comprehensive model of Yemen energy consumption could not be constructed and estimated because of the unavailability of data on important determinants. Consequently, when model could be estimated, it is by necessity simple. Modeling in this study is not an end of itself; rather it is justified only to the extent that it facilitates the identification of future consumption possibilities and of useful energy policies  The following sections addresses briefly the objectives, the methodology and hypothesis of the study. Then, energy overview in Yemen will be discussed and analyzed in section four. The fifth section will highlights the model and its estimation; and finally, summary of research findings and conclusions are presented and discussed in section six. 1. To analyze, economically, the overall performance of the oil sector in Yemen. 2. To build an econometric model for the oil consumption in Yemen that can be used for estimation and future use. 3. To test and evaluate the impact of economic determinants such as income, price, and efficiency on energy consumption during the past twenty years. 4. To recommend efficient energy policy to reduce inefficient use of energy without adverse effects on national growth targets. The design of this research is basically quantitative. It studies and analyzes the relationship between energy consumption and economic factors such as economic growth and energy prices. Rapid economic growth in LDC’s generally contributes to large increase in energy demand, (Pindyk, 1979). Prices of gasoline or diesel will be used in our analysis, but if were found insignificants, consumer price index will be used, as a proxy, instead. The paper will also assess the relationship between efficiency (oil intensity of use) and total energy consumption during the same period. High energy intensities indicate a high price or cost of converting energy into GDP, while low energy intensity indicates a lower price or cost of converting energy into GDP, ( Chefurka , 2007). Time series data, which have been collected from different sources such as the government of Yemen, the World Bank, and the Energy Information Administration, will be used to provide estimates of elasticities . To test the hypothesis that economic determinants, chosen in this study, will have significant impact on energy consumption, an econometric model will be used. Firstly, the methodology of the study will analyze economically the oil production, the oil consumption, and their prices in Yemen. Secondly, the methodology will estimate the total demand for energy consumption during the period 1990 – 2012. The estimations will include gross domestic products, energy prices, and efficiency.

 

Using the International Internal Auditing Standards (IIA's) in the Public Universities in Jordan

Dr. Audeh Ahmad Bani-Ahmad, Al Al-Bayt University, Jordan

 

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to identifying the public Jordanian universities using the standards of internal audit International. In Jordan, there are nine universities that are defined as public universities. To achieve the objective of the study; a questionnaire was designed and distributed on the internal auditors in these universities. Twenty eight questioners (n=28) were included in the study and obtained data were analyzed using SPSS where. Results revealed that Jordanian public universities are applying the international standards of internal audit where quality standards are the most frequently used. Even so that the implementation standards comes with a high degree, while the performance criteria are not used in these universities, and also there are some difficulties that limit their use, but moderately. The study recommends increasing the use of international standards of internal audit in the public Jordanian universities, and private performance standards, bringing together the efficiency of the internal control devices in these universities. The primary focus of the universities and their presidential offices is to provide the public and private sectors with distinguished human capital. Even so those Jordanian public universities are financially and administratively independent institutions; still they apply a governmental accounting system and receive financial support to cover a major part of their financial and administrative activities. Considering the fact that they are non-profit organizations, other financial resources are available including tuition and registration fees from the parallel academic programs as well as some investment activities. Generally, public universities encounter several challenges imposed to senior management methods including the application of administrative and financial commitment to regulations of public universities. Such challenges are compelling them to provide effective internal control system using international standards for internal auditing as its guides constitute an integrated help to ensure the implementation of their internal audit activities effectively. The problem is the existence and implementation of traditional financial and supervisory systems in public universities as a reference for all transactions in public universities particularly as well as the government accounting system. However, with the expansion of institutions specifically in the number of financial transactions and investment activities, public universities must find an appropriate system to cope with that expansion.  The major concern of the current study is to investigate the extent of implementing the International Standards for Internal Audit by public universities in Jordan by answering the following questions:  1. Do you use Jordanian quality standards of public universities.  2.  Do you use Jordanian performance standards of public universities?  3. Do you use Jordanian implementation standards of public universities? 4. Are there difficulties that limit the use of international standards of internal audit in the Jordanian public universities? The significance of the study is to expose the value and efficiency of using the international standards for internal audit in terms of preserving the assets of the university and reducing the risks of related to financial resources and investment effectiveness in the university. Furthermore, the characteristics of high quality standards that to cope with the public universities demands will be determined. Collectively, this study will focus on achieving a greater efficiency and quality of internal audit in the public Jordanian universities. The major aim of the study is to identify the extent of the use of public Jordanian universities to international standards of internal audit. The ramifications of the main objective are the following objectives:  1. Identifying the extent to which public Jordanian universities to standards qualities. 2. Identifying the extent to which public Jordanian universities to performance standards. 3. Identifying the extent to which public Jordanian universities to standards implementation. 4. Identify the difficulties that limit the effective implementation of use international standards of internal audit.The first hypothesis is: The public Jordanian universities are not using International standards for Internal Audit.  Branching including the following sub-hypotheses: 1. Do not use the public Jordanian universities standards qualities.  2. Do not use the public Jordanian universities performance standards. 3. Do not use the public Jordanian universities standards implementation.  The second hypothesis: There are no difficulties that may limit the implementation of international standards of internal audit in the public Jordanian universities. In a study aimed to identify the extent of the investment funds commitment in the Jordanian public universities to implement the accounting disclosure requirements, a questionnaire was designed for this purpose and distributed to preparers of financial statements. The results of the study showed that the obligation to apply the accounting disclosure requirements have been achieved with low degree and that there are constraints limiting the commitment of investment funds in Jordanian public universities. The most important recommendations of the study is that the need to work on the independency of investment funds from the university administration, thus contributing to begin applying the accounting disclosure requirements. (Al-Sharairi, 2012). Another study compared between the Islamic auditing and international standards for internal auditing issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The study demonstrated the compatibility and differences between them, and showed the ability to apply the international standards on Islamic companies and institutions. The study concluded that the audit standards and Islamic audit are general and not classified in groups and so do not cover all audit fields. Therefore, there is a need to apply some of the international auditing standards along with the Islamic auditing standards. Islamic auditing standards restrict the Islamic auditor with other international standards; this may lead to weaken the actual application of Islamic auditing standards.. Therefore, the study recommended the need to work to enact laws and take measures to adopt and follow the Islamic auditing standards in cooperation with the Jordanian Association of Certified Public Accountants and urged Islamic financial institutions claim to follow Islamic auditing standards in auditing its financial statements. (Rahahalh, 2011) In Al-Nono study aimed to identifying the extent of application of internal auditing standards generally in the Islamic banks in Gaza Strip and acknowledge the most important obstacles that prevent the application of these standards. One of the main results of the study that Islamic banks apply internal auditing standards in a good degree with a variable degree of applying performance standards ranged from good and medium. The study concluded a number of recommendations including the need to promote interest in the application of auditing standards in Islamic banks more than of what is applied. (Al-Nono, 2009)

 

Factors Affecting the Adoption of Electronic Government in State of Kuwait

Dr. Abdullah. S. AL-Owaisi, Ministry of Commerce and Trade, Kuwait

 

ABSTRACT

The objective of this research is to determine factors affecting the adoption of e-government implementation and usage in Kuwait. An empirical case study using an interview-based research agenda is adopted. After reviewing the literature on e-government, the paper firstly proposes a conceptual model, which is consequently used to determine empirically in Kuwait, the key factors affecting e-government implementation and usage from organizational, technological, social, and political perspectives. The present paper introduces a comprehensive overview of barriers facing the implementation & usage of e-government in Kuwait. Electronic government is defined as the use of information and communication technology, particularly the internet, as the means to improve government administration efficiency and deliver services to citizens, business, and other entities (carter & Belanger, 2005; UN e-government survey, 2008). When analyzing the extent literature on e-government, different studies have identified various factors that impact implementation & usage (weerakkody et al., 2007; Irani et al., 2007; Chen et al., 2006; Gichoy a., 2005; Chercu & Lee, 2005; Refaat, 2003; Moon, 2002). A common argument that has also surfaced in the literature is that e-government offers many benefits and can potentially offer opportunities to developing countries (Ndou, 2004; Kurunanada and Weerakkody, 2006; Irani et al., 2007). Yet although the benefits of electronic services are well documented, the implementation of e-government has faced many challenges in both developed & developing countries. The reason for such challenges are often explained by researchers as influenced by the complexity of the changes that are faced by the public sector, which are primarily driven by the internet and its array of associated information and communication technology (ICT; Beynon – Davies & Williams, 2004). Like many other countries in the Middle East region Kuwait officially began its public sector electronic services initiatives in 2008, yet have not achieved the necessary level of success in terms of implementation and usage in addition, to date, no previous studies have been conducted to understand the implementation and usage challenges of e-government in Kuwait. These arguments provide the motivation for this research.  The research is structured as follows. The next section presents the key factors affecting e-government implementation & usage through a synthesis of extent literature. This is followed by the presentation of a conceptual model for e-government implementation & usage in section 3. Section 4 then outlines the research approach used for the study. Section 5 outlines the findings of an empirical study conducted to determine how the key factors identified in section 2 related to the State of Kuwait context. A discussion follows in section 6, where the empirical findings are then synthesized with the literature. Finally, the research concludes by discussing the research implications & identifying areas for future research.  The introduction of e-government facing a number of barriers in different countries (Seifert & Petersen, 2002; Zakarey & Irani, 2005), the barriers to e-government have summarized from several perspectives: infrastructure, Technological, organizational (Ebrahim & Irani, 2005; Lam, 2005). A close examination of the e-government literature indicates that although different researchers have identified various barriers to the implementation and usage of e-government as outlined above. These Barriers can be broadly classified under four common groups, organizational, technological, social, and political. Next we will examine the current e-government literature in detail to identify what barriers & complexities can be classified under each group.  a) Organizational structure. Organizational structure is a way for allocation of work roles and administrative mechanisms that create a pattern of interrelated work activities which allows the organization to conduct, coordinate, and control its work activities. (Jackson & Morgan, 1978). In the context of e-government, public sector agencies will be subject to fundamental changes that will require radical re-engineering of work processes in a manner that has not been encountered before (Weerakkody & Dhillon, 2008; Schall, 2003, 2005; Al-Mashari, 2006; Janssen & Shu, 2008). As e-government becomes more established, the organizational structure of the public agency maybe changed accordingly internally & externally (Layne & Lee, 2001). These changes might raise some challenges like resistance to change as public employees become worried about the threat to their jobs by the use & adoption of the advanced technology (Al-Shehry et al., 2006).  b) Losing authority. The implementation of new information technology in public organizations may result in government employees' resistance (Doherty & King, 2005) as well as employees losing their authority & Power over traditional business processes. Therefore, these employees who lose their power will try to resist the e-government project because it will be seen as a threat to their power and positions (Doherty & King, 2005; Heeks, 1999). c) Information system strategy. The strategic objective of e-government is to support and simplify governance for all stakeholders, including government, citizens, and businesses (Basu, 2004). Therefore, a comperhensive e-government strategy is essential to deliver effectively & efficiently the successful implementation of online public services (Pilling & Boeltzig, 2007). d) Priority for delivery of e-government services. Losing citizens' confidence & satisfaction will be the result of un-giving the priority for delivering e-government services to stakeholder & customers (Lee et al., 2008).

 

The Factors Required to Accounting and the Process of Accounting in Turkey

Dr. Huseyin Cetin, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

In the world of globalization, the economies continuously change at both national and international levels and improve its growth. Day by day, the financial structures of managements and institutions and the financial operations that they meet change and develop. The needs of information that those having a relation with some financial events that increase its growth and variety, also with a management cause that the accounting operations in managements are made, changed, and developed. ‘Accounting’ and all other concepts that people use are the concepts emerging necessarily or casually. The concepts emerging casually now wait for the day when they will serve for a purpose. In this study, in order to show that the accounting for which foundation is ‘recording’ has not casually emerge; it has come out to fulfill people’s needs of information. It is a concept that changes and develops in the aspect of needs and how these needs shape the accounting applications under a dense pressure. It has been given the information related to the concept of accounting, the factors necessitating to the development of accounting, and the process of accounting in the world and Turkey with broad strokes. While the definitions about the accounting are defined, the concepts of accounting, which indicate the assets of a management and the resources from which these assets are obtained, starts by the process of recording of financial events related to a management, are defined. The result derived from these definitions form an opinion on accounting, is a process occurring in the managements. With this, housewives, villagers, city-dwellers, teachers, students, civil servants, and similar persons and groups that are not a management have got some assets and debts. Defining the accounting by a management can be thought that the factors that require keeping accounts in non-managements and groups are not an effective and a high need as much as managements. Starting from this point, accounting, in other words, keeping accounts and recording; balanced with the existence of the factors necessary to accounting. The procedures of accounting have not come out by a single work or one person’s efforts. The procedures of accounting develop spontaneously to fulfill needs and necessities, depending on the changes in the economic activities (Ozyurek, 2009: 11). If we treat the operation of ‘fishing from the river’, which is used in economy as an example; a person who catches a fish from a river is able to record the number of the fishes on daily basis that he catches so that “how many fishes I caught yesterday or day before yesterday”, for the fishes that he caught. Consequently, he is able to determine how many fishes he can catch on particular days or to seek some reason for increases and decreases in the number of fishes that he catches. In addition, if he could not keep its accounts, namely, record in no way, he will not meet with any pressure because he could not do it.  “Accounting”, according to the Turkish Language Institution, is used to mean, “rendering an account, reciprocally accounting, making an effort with accounts, the complete of accounts, and the place where accounting work are performed” (tdk.gov.tr).  Accounting, which can be shortly defined as “a system providing information” (Cemalcilar, et al., 2002: 15), is a process used by the aim of measuring the financial information related to economic activities of a management, and of reporting these information to different users. The accounting functions requiring to be treated in this process are recording, classifying, summarizing (reporting), analyzing, and interpreting (Avder, 2007: 1). In this point, recording, classifying, and summarizing constitute the first function of accounting; and analyzing and interpreting, its second function. Accounting is a phenomenon that is present at everyplace in which a monetary transaction is present at all times for all sectors, people, and states, etc. and that has to be. The issue to what extent and how reliable this phenomenon will exactly come in on the parts of recording, listing, summarizing, which are the functions of accounting, of accounting is shaped and developed by the existence of the factors essential to accounting. In this context, the factors required to accounting have been assessed under the three different titles but with criterions that will be tied to each other.  The necessity or voluntary situations of the factors required to accounting affect the performing and the developing of the accounting applications fairly. If we give a simple example; a staff member working with a salary, whether a civil servant or worker, may want to record his expenses, even if simple, for getting benefit from this operation in case that the expenses are determined by an application like tax refund, while not any situation is a matter necessary for recording the income that he obtains from his salary, and his expenses. Voluntary is a matter here. The staff will record his expenses if he wants to take a refund or he may not record, if he does not. If the state obliges him to do the same application by several sanctions, the same staff will have to record his expenses more seriously to save from some sanctions (like salary deduction, prison sentence, etc.), not voluntarily. As mentioned above, the more the factors required to accounting constitute necessary or voluntary, the more the existence and the shaping of accounting will be a matter and the more it will influence the reliability of accounting information.

 

The Relationship Between Consumers’ Need for Uniqueness and Market Mavenism

Zana Civre, University of Primorska and University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

ABSTRACT

The present paper aims to expand the knowledge of a psychological concept - consumers’ need for uniqueness (CNFU) and its role in the decision-making process in consumer behavior. The concept of CNFU derives from Snyder and Fromkin’s (1977) theory of uniqueness, which posits that many consumers have a need to be at least slightly special or even unique. Moreover, uniqueness is a motivating factor that influences some consumers to become market mavens (Goldsmith, Clark and Goldsmith, 2006), who are highly involved in the marketplace and are experts who like to provide marketplace information about a multitude of products and services to other consumers (Feick and Price, 1987; Clark and Goldsmith, 2005). Following this view, in the present paper the relationship between CNFU and market mavenism in a tourism context was empirically tested among 235 young adults in Slovenia. The results of the study reveal that there is a positive relationship between CNFU and market mavenism in terms of two dimensions of CNFU: creative choice counter-conformity and unpopular choice counter-conformity. Therefore, marketers in tourism need to be aware that consumers who have a desire to be special or unique are also market mavens, who are consequently influencing the purchasing decisions of other consumers. The objective of this paper is to highlight the importance of the CNFU concept in relation to market mavenism. The relationship between constructs was tested in tourism context. Need for uniqueness (NFU) has its foundation in a positive psychological concept that reflects the notion that being different from others is something positive (Fromkin, 1972; Snyder, 1992; Snyder and Fromkin, 1977, 1980). In uniqueness theory, people’s emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses to information define their similarity to others (Snyder and Fromkin, 1980). Tian et al. (2001) go so far as to suggest CNFU can be seen as an extension of self and thus be included in a broader theory of consumption (Belk, 1988). Individuals choose what to buy in order to express their uniqueness, even, at times without regard for social acceptance (Simonson and Nowlis, 2000). CNFU, defined as a psychological trait (Zhan and He, 2012) and as a relatively new concept in contemporary consumer behavior literature, is still attracting a limited number of researchers. Additionally, CNFU has received limited academic attention as a main concept (e.g., Ruvio, Shoham, Brenčič, 2008).  On the other hand, research into the psychology of market mavenism as a socially constructed phenomenon and possible consequence of CNFU (Goldsmith, Clark and Goldsmith, 2006) is a relatively recently recognized phenomenon (Clark and Goldsmith, 2005) as well. Market mavens are, in brief, defined as consumers highly involved in the marketplace with extensive knowledge about products or services (Feick and Price, 1987). Thus, market mavenism is applicable to the field of tourism as well.  In view of the nature of the changing tourism sector, it is important to address some of the key changes affecting young travelers. In 2013, world travel and tourism grew faster than the global economy (4% rise in international trips). Trends have also made an impact on the customer experience, as tourists strive for more individual experiences (e.g., smaller, personalized hotels, unique locations, etc.). To begin with, young people have become a greater factor in tourism in recent decades as they have been traveling more frequently, greater distances, and to more ‘exotic’ locations. ‘Youth travel’ is estimated to add up to more than 20% to the approximately 160 million international tourist arrivals per year, and thus obviously contribute a great deal financially to the sector (UNWTO, 2008). On top of that, it has been recognized that young tourists are responsible for taking the lead toward positive change in tourism; therefore, it would be wise to consider trends of young tourists in seeking to establish more varied and responsible tourism (Teleb in UNWTO and WYSE Travel Confederation, 2011). Further, youth travel is projected to increase dramatically. Given these factors, the importance of youth tourism and the tendency of younger travelers to be harbingers of change, it seems a requisite of marketers in tourism sector to follow their lead, pay close attention to their changing habits, and make forecasts for the future based on such observation—innovation is a two way street: the tourists’ new behaviours and desires must be accommodated by the industry (UNWTO and WYSE Travel Confederation, 2011).  Reflecting this view, diagram 1 and 2 display the new tourism value web for young travelers, where value is created by linking actors inside and outside the tourism sector in different combinations to create and exploit new opportunities (UNWTO and WYSE Travel Confederation, 2011). Following this view, as youth travel becomes more important in the global travel industry as a whole, it stimulates the creation of new market niches in accommodation, work experience and educational travel. The changing and at times unique motivations of young travelers’ demand the exploration of niche markets be included among the objectives of the global tourism agenda (UNWTO, 2008).  The CNFU concept has its origins in uniqueness theory, which posits that there is a desire to seek variety in choice-making in order to appear unique. The theory of uniqueness (Snyder and Fromkin, 1977) asserts that members of a group may feel their individuality, their uniqueness, threatened to a degree, and seek ways of expressing their individuality as a result, reclaiming their uniqueness, as it were.  The need for uniqueness (NFU) has a bearing on consumer behaviors (Bloch, Brunel and Arnold, 2003; Simonson and Nowlis, 2000); therefore CNFU is an application of the NFU concept in the consumer behavior context (Ruvio, 2008). What is more, it is believed that the craving for some extent of uniqueness is virtually universal in consumer society (Ruvio, 2008). Following this view, Tian et al. (2001, p. 52) defined the CNFU concept as “the trait of pursuing differentness relative to others through the acquisition, utilization, and disposition of consumer goods for the purpose of developing and enhancing one’s self-image and social image”.

 

Effects of Forced Responses and Question Display Styles on Web Survey’s Completion Rate

Dr. Chatpong Tangmanee, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Phattharaphong Niruttinanon, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

A web survey has gained remarkable acceptance, especially among social science researchers. Previous studies have examined factors contributing to a completion rate. However, virtually no empirical work has examined the effects of forced responses and question display styles together on a web survey’s response rate. The current study attempted to fill this gap.  Using a quasi experiment approach, we obtained 778 unique responses to six (i.e., 3 levels of forced responses x 2 styles of question display) comparable web questionnaires of identical contents. The analysis confirmed that (1) the effect of forced responses on the completion rate was statistically significant at a 0.05 level but (2) the effect of question display on it was not significant.  In addition to extending the theoretical insight into factors contributing to a web survey’s completion rate, the findings have offered recommendations to enhance the completion rate in a web survey project. Online questionnaires are tools social science researchers have adopted to gather data from samples through major web browsers. The increasing number of publications have addressed issues on how to implement a survey using online questionnaires because they have certain advantages and limitations (Reips, 2002; Reips, et al., 2007). Compared to the offline counterpart, online questionnaires offer three major advantages. They include (1) a small amount of error in recording the collected data into a file since the data were saved as soon as a sample responded to questionnaire items, (2) quick data analysis and data collection processes because of the Internet’s worldwide accessibility, and (3) a cost-justified survey on a general topic since researchers could reach a large group of targeted sample.  However, an online survey project do have two limitations that researchers must have a proper plan to minimize prior to starting the data collection. First, an online survey always reaches only the Internet users. If the project’s target population taps those whose profiles are not largely shared with the Internet user, researchers may have to give up the online version. Second, given the Internet nature, the samples’ responses may not be the same as when the paper-based questionnaires are used. Such responses include those from the same subject or from unqualified samples. They could immensely distort the finding’s validity and reliability. As a result, researchers may have a set of screening questions to eliminate the unqualified samples or check the samples’ IP address of their online responses. If two responses of the same IP address are given within a short period of time interval, researchers may have to pay close attention to all responses from that IP address (Albaum, et al., 2010). One quality check of a survey project is through a completion rate. It is the number of completed responses divided by the total number of responses. It also indicates the extent to which samples are determined to respond to the entire questionnaires. Using an online survey, it is fairly difficult for a researcher to design the questionnaire that could retain a sample’s focus so he or she could respond to the entire questionnaire (Fan & Yan, 2009). Dillman (2007) remarked that there is no single design solution to gain the sample’s attention throughout the answering session. The researcher must be attentive to the holistic design in order to increase the completion rate. Polonsky and Vocino (2010) suggested based on their experiment that old and employed subjects were more likely to complete web-based questionnaires than the young or unemployed samples. Among many attempts to examine factors affecting an online survey’s completion rate, forced response and question display styles are of our interest since no previous attempt has addressed them in the same  study. Forced responses refer to an online survey execution through which a sample is reminded to answer to a questionnaire item, if he or she has missed it. This feature is impossible in a traditional paper-based survey. With certain programmability, it is easy to detect any missing questionnaire items and forcibly remind the sample to answer. The sample could not proceed to the next step unless he or she must respond to the missing item. The “forced choice” style is similar to the forced response design but they are notably different. The forced choice refers to the survey design that suggests possible choices of answer to which a subject could respond. For instance, a researcher may adopt a four-level scale (e.g., least, less, more, or most), instead of a typical five-level scale (e.g., least, less, neutral (or average), more, or most). This is how a researcher forces a subject to agree to certain choices. Yet, the forced response is the design that requires a sample to respond to a questionnaire item, if it is left unanswered. The item could be a Likert scale or an open-ended question. The sample cannot proceed to the next step unless he or she respond to it.  Based on the experiment approach, Derouvray and Couper (2002) discovered that the forced-response condition had lower performance than did the no-forced condition. Similarly, Stieger and colleagues (2007) conducted a survey on students’ well-being issues in Europe and confirmed that the forced-response increased the number of survey dropout. In addition, male samples dropped out faster than female subjects. The poor performance empirically supports Dillman’s (2007) statement in which the forced-response may be so annoying that samples may want to give up the survey participation or even turn off a web browser. However, Albaum and colleagues (2010) failed to offer empirical evidence of which the forced answering could have lowered a completion rate. Its effect of the forced responses is still inconclusive. How to display questionnaire items to attract samples’ attention and to retain it until they submit the completely-filled-in questionnaires to a researcher has gain remarkable attention (Crowford, et al., 2005; Fan & Yan, 2009). Presenting a too-wide table on a web-based survey led to more dropouts than a simple one (O’Neil, et al., 2003). Yan and colleagues (2007) experiment verified that the presence of a progress indicator (i.e., visual feedback information to tell samples how far they had responded to the survey questionnaires) led to fewer dropouts only when the questionnaire length was perceived short. Recently, a survey of radiologists validated that the long questionnaire was not a problem as long as incentives were justified (Ziegenfuss, et al., 2013).

 

The Effect of Management Information Systems Use Level and Innovation Skill on Business Performance: A Research on Konya Techno Parks

Dr. Ahmet Diken, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey

Emine Nihan Cici Karaboga, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

In the world of globalization, the economies continuously change at both national and international levels and improve its growth. Day by day, the financial structures of managements and institutions and the financial operations that they meet change and develop. The needs of information that those having a relation with some financial events that increase its growth and variety, also with a management cause that the accounting operations in managements are made, changed, and developed. ‘Accounting’ and all other concepts that people use are the concepts emerging necessarily or casually. The concepts emerging casually now wait for the day when they will serve for a purpose. In this study, in order to show that the accounting for which foundation is ‘recording’ has not casually emerge; it has come out to fulfill people’s needs of information. It is a concept that changes and develops in the aspect of needs and how these needs shape the accounting applications under a dense pressure. It has been given the information related to the concept of accounting, the factors necessitating to the development of accounting, and the process of accounting in the world and Turkey with broad strokes. Innovation has an active role in creating demand and supply realization. Innovation is a better business performance for the business, an effective tool in developing effective innovativeness, competition strategies and competitive advantage (Vossen, 1998:89). Innovation is about the processes, products, organization structures, administrative-management systems, organization structures and marketing methods in business (Al-Ansari, Altalib and Sardoh, 2013: 2).  Innovation takes an active role in creating demand and actualizing supply. An innovation is the actualization of a new or important product (goods or service) or a process in internal applications, workplace organization or foreign relations, a new marketing method or a new organizational marketing (OECD and Eurostat, 2006). Using the management information systems actively in business has important effect on innovation, production, finance management and marketing performance. In his study, Gok (2005), explains the effect of management information systems application and use levels on innovation, production, finance and marketing performance as follows (Gok, 2005: 400-40, rpt. by Dulkadir and Akkoyun, 2013:77): In production performance, businesses use especially information technology systems in order to solve the problems which occur as a result of irregularity or conflict between production functions and other systems. These systems can improve the business performance through providing connection between the computer systems and effective communication.  In financial performance, decreasing the process time of information technology systems, use of unutilized capacity, inventory management, having effective relations with foreign partners helps to get information easily and cheaply and by the help of long term competition advantage, customer potential and as a result having a benefit reflection increase.  In marketing performance, information technology system actualize the highest level customer relations which enables cooperation in business departments and through its enabling cooperation this becomes the first goal of marketing managers who invest in the future. The performance of a system is an outcome of a definite time or result of an effort. This result is the degree of carrying out business goals or duties. In this context, business performance can be defined as the evaluation of all the efforts made to actualize the business goals (Akal, 2000:2).The measurement of business performance is a sequence of actions that determines to what extent businesses achieve their goals and constitutes defining the performance goals, performance measurement, feedback and motivation degrees (Harrington, 1996:278 rpt. by Zerenler, 2005: 2).  In this study, the use level of management information systems are examined with 7 different dimensions; business technology sources and innovation technology sources dimensions, business innovation skills, the skill to learn, R&D skill, source use skill, production skill, organizational skill, marketing skill and strategic skill. The effect of business management information systems use level and innovation skill on business performance is the main purpose of this study. In this context, model hypothesis, research method and research results are given below.  Innovation skill is a term that should be evaluated and explained in a wide perspective in order to compliance to competitive environment, business strategy and special conditions. From this point of view, Adler and Shenbar (1990) explained innovation skill as (Korkmaz et al., 2009:88); 1. The new product capacity that meets market needs, . The capacity to use process technologies in new production of products. 3. The capacity to develop new product and improve business technologies in order to meet the needs in the future. 4. Technology activities that arise in an unexpected situation and technology created by the competitors or capacity to respond the opportunities.

 

Political Discourse and Its Relationship to Education in Developing Countries and the Developed: A Comparative Analysis

Dr. Wafa Own, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

 

INTRODUCTION

Human rights for the many reinforce humanity and the sense of value for the individual, and the most important of these rights is the right to education. where he makes an individual knows himself, and is aware of the nature of the society in which they live, and thus affected and affects it; So why education is a luxury, then current rapid development, and does not understand it and deal with it improves not matched ;, but it will lag a lot (Koicher, and Mathura 2000.15). This is because the education the most powerful way to educate a people, and mass culture is that you move the educational model of cultural format to another (Jeddle, 2002.305). It can be said that these authors did not have an issue with education, as most of the world's governments are trying to develop education to be able to face the global challenges. There has largely been agreement between the world's countries since the 1990's that education for all is a reality that can take advantage of the knowledge industries created by the contemporary scientific and technological revolution. So it was not without a political speech, whether in developing countries or developed countries, that signal from near or far about education, and its importance, and development, but not the educational issues that concern the country. The importance of education as a strategic goal can be careful to achieve, and the approach to education in the political discourse of the country to another, and from one community to another, each according to his view of education, and the degree of need him, in some states seen the goal of education to get out of illiteracy, teaching reading and writing, while the goal in other countries how to reach space, and control of the universe.  Consequently, the problem of the current study to learn about differences in the political discourse in education for developing countries and developed countries. This leads to the following questions: 1. What is the reality of education in the political discourse in developing countries? 2. What is the reality of education in the political discourse in developed countries? 3. What are the difference between developed and developing countries in dealing with the issues of education political discourse ? The present study aims to: 1. Analysis of the current situation of education within the political discourse for some developing countries. 2. Analysis of the current situation of education within the political discourse of some developed countries. 3. Recognize the fundamental differences between developed and developing countries in dealing with education issues in political discourse. Importance of the study: This study is the importance of being contribute to the descriptive display for education issues involved in the political discourse of the developing countries compared to developed countries, explaining how to deal with kings and heads of state for education issues, also gaining importance again to identify the degree of the state's interest in education and related issues. The current study is based on the basic procedures on the use of descriptive and analytical documentary approach, and through the analysis of some political speeches in the education of some developed and developing countries.  The study was limited to the political discourse in education for some developing countries, namely: the Sultanate of Oman, the Kingdom of Jordan, and the Kingdom of Morocco, and the Republic of the Sudan, and the Emirate of Dubai, and Saudi Arabia, and the developed countries : the United States, Israel, and the United Kingdom. Political discourse: known statements and discussions from speeches for a particular state whether from a king, sultan, or head of state, and includes the educational policy of the state, or guidance on education, or the development of education, or whatever comes to learning. Education: an empowering process to change the frameworks of thought, and the approaches to confrontation, and methods of interaction with the community and the surrounding circumstances. One can say that education is " a way to change society and its development, a source of power possessed by man, and a symbol of the division of labor, and a means of social inequality " (Halim 0.1994, 85). The theoretical framework will address the political discourse of the developing countries first, and then the political discourse of the developed countries, arranged by the sequence of events from the ancient to the modern. First, the political discourse of the developing countries : For a very long period, we have deprived our country of education, which is the basis of administrative efficiency and technical, and we have in the near term to continue to fill the gap in management staff foreigners, who must meet the efficiency and fidelity, so as to train and prepare our people for the responsibilities in the future. Hence the fact that the education and training of our people must be as soon as possible so that it becomes possible in the longer term ruled the country for Omanis. We now have a radio station which ones speak to you tonight that the government has ordered a survey of the needs of the country for radio and television broadcasts, not to meet the legitimate needs of entertainment, but what is most important, namely that we bring to our people the benefits of public education.

 

Fostering Academic Entrepreneurship in Taiwan: A Survey of Academic Patent Inventors

Dr. Phil Yihsing Yang, National Taichung University of Education, Taichung, Taiwan

Ding-Li Lin, National Taichung University of Education, Taichung, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

Academic research institutions have been increasingly in protecting, transferring, and commercializing their research findings and intellectual property rights, but little work has been done in understanding academic entrepreneurship from the lens of academic patent inventors.  In order to examine the factors in fostering academic entrepreneurship, we argued that the levels of institutional, organisational, networking and individual need to be concerned together. Based on the Patent Database of the National Science Council in Taiwan, 524 academic entrepreneurs who invented patents in Taiwanese higher educational institutions were identified and surveyed. Two hundred and forty-one respondents were collected with a 46% response rate. Four key factors in fostering academic entrepreneurship were identified through a factor analysis. The paper is concluded that four dimensions evidently shape fostering academic entrepreneurship: institutional level (i.e. entrepreneurial legitimacy), organizational level (i.e. entrepreneurial support), entrepreneurial network, and individual level (i.e. entrepreneurial orientation). With the development of a knowledge-based economy, academia has become the engine of regional economic development (Chrisman et al., 1995; Etzkowitz, 2003). Many technical entrepreneurs (often from university backgrounds) have founded high-tech start-ups, and play an important role in employment creation (Mowery and Ziedonis, 2002). Prior research has shown that commercially oriented university-activity, like patenting and licensing, has been important to the growth of the scientific instrument, semiconductor, computer software, and biotechnology industries (Rosenberg and Nelson, 1994; Smith and Parr, 2003). Indeed, this function of economic creation brings the potential of academic knowledge base to subvert existing operation pattern, and most importantly innovates market demands by exploiting state-of-the-art knowledge/technology. Academic scientists chance to become academic entrepreneurs who use academia-based technology to exploit entrepreneurial outcomes. Although the research outcomes are mainly developed from academic scientists, researchers’ involvement in industrializing their research outcomes is still minimal. The existing research tends to investigate academic entrepreneurial activities by assuming that is the sum of individual processes (Bercovitz and Feldman, 2008; Mowery and Ziedonis, 2002), and overlook individual attributes and behaviors. Previous work focuses on a few elite academic institutions (e.g., Raine and Beukman, 2002; Shane, 2004a;), and thus ignores the bulk of research capacity in other regions. Moreover, prior research emphasizes the importance of assistance from the Technology Transfer/License Office (Jensen et al., 2003; Lach and Schankerman, 2004; Ambos et al., 2008), and overlooks the role of academic scientists who are the technology providers of entrepreneurial academia. Therefore, this study takes from academic scientist perspective to investigate the factors of fostering academic entrepreneurship and to contribute the gap in the existing literature.  Academic research institutions and their research outcomes used to be subordinated under governmental jurisdiction. The U.K. Patent Act of 1977 and U.S. Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 are the pioneering legislations in devolving intellectual property rights (IPR) of government-funded research to the research institutions. It is suggested that the Bayh-Dole Act contributed to the rapid emergence of high-tech start-ups in the U.S. economy during the 1990s (Mowery and Ziedonis, 2002), and provided incentives for universities to increase patenting and licensing (Shane, 2004a). On the assumption that the technology transfer gap can be filled, the Taiwanese government enacted the Science and Technology Basic Law (STBL) in January of 1999. The STBL lays out fundamental principles and directions for the country’s technological development while providing for a sustained and balanced support for R&D. The legislation stresses academic research institutions to make efforts to ensure that inventions are brought to public use as soon as practicable (Smith and Parr, 2003: 43). The faculty, staff, and students of most universities in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. are currently required to assign to the university where they work or study the rights to any inventions that they make (Shane, 2004b). The Taiwanese government announced the Guidelines for Ownership and Utilization of Research and Development Result in 2000.  The guidelines stipulate that universities only need to payback 20 percent of licensing incomes to the funding agencies.  Furthermore, in order to effectively integrate resources and manage R&D results, the government has implemented the Subsidy Principle of Management and Promotion of Academia R&D Results in 2002. Specifically, universities can be reimbursed as much as 80 percent in patenting and maintenance expenditures, and be rewarded NT$ 0.5 million for the promotional expenses of R&D results (NSC, 2002). The deregulated institutional environments in IPRs utilization provide academic scientists a favorable system to enhance entrepreneurial involvement. Intellectual property protection (IPR) is critical in transforming the technology into a valuable, rare, inimitable, and differentiated resource (Barney, 1991). Normally, academic scientists do not have sufficient capital and market awareness for research commercialization.  The assistance of the TTOs/TLOs is meant to help academic scientists to market, monitor, and account for the profits from inventions. The availability of organizational resources and technical systems are valuable assets that an intra-entrepreneur can count on (Shane, 2002).

 

Implementation of Corporate Governance Rules and Procedures in Lebanese Firms

Dr. Walid Elgammal, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

Tony Assad, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

Lilas Jurdy, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon

 

ABSTRACT

This study aims to evaluate the degree of disclosure implementation of corporate governance rules in developing/emerging nations by studying the Lebanese case. Few research works have been conducted regarding the implementation of corporate governance rules by Lebanese firms. The study includes a summary of past and current developments of corporate governance in emerging countries. In particular, it focuses on the important developments in Lebanon regarding the disclosure of corporate governance practices as well as the framework of regulatory practices, aiming to assess the score of corporate disclosure among leading Lebanese firms. Data for the study is generated through a questionnaire that complies with the United Nations corporate governance check-list. The questionnaire was distributed to a sample of managers of 30 leading Lebanese firms. The results of this research overlap with past researches done on emerging countries which suggest that the degree of corporate governance disclosure in these countries is relatively low, hence calling for more regulations-enforcement to the implementation of corporate governance rules. The results are significantly important indicators to the low level of implementation of corporate governance procedures in Lebanon.  The study also highlights the low level of implementation of corporate governance rules in emerging countries other than Lebanon, and sheds light on the existence of a serious problem which is the deficiency of awareness in developing nations regarding the necessity and the benefits of corporate governance, added to a lack of regulatory agencies enforcing governance rules. The results suggest that, in order to enhance and improve the implementation level of corporate governance disclosures, Lebanese firms should increase the level of knowledge and education of corporate governance benefits, especially at the top management level. According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2004), corporate governance is defined as a system implemented in the company which guides and supervises the whole company. This system’s main function is to improve economic efficiency and growth. Proper corporate governance in a business leads to: increased investor’s confidence, organized set of relationships among the company's key elements such as shareholders, management, board of directors, and all stakeholders, and the achievement of goals. It also helps the organization to determine the means to achieve its objectives and monitor its performance. Moreover, good corporate governance practices take into account incentives and ensure that the company has an accountable board of directors and top management who work in the best interest of the company and its investors (Hashanah and Mazlina, 2005). The benefits of corporate governance of organizations in developing countries are many. If applied properly, corporate governance enhances growth rate and economic efficiency of the firms. Also, it increases the confidence level in the national economy and promotes economic growth. In addition to these, corporate governance emphasizes the protection of rights of minority shareholders against the majority (Dahawy, 2011). According to Morck and Steier (2005), when applied by companies, the accountability and transparency component of corporate governance would gain shareholders’ and investors’ trust. This is where corporate governance is of ultimate importance. Corporate governance is composed of several elements performing specific functions. The main elements are: audit committee, external auditor, internal audit, and board of directors. Corporate governance also takes into consideration other parties such as shareholders and all stakeholders (Staciokas & Rupsys, 2005). This research aims at exploring and evaluating the current degree of disclosure of corporate governance in Lebanon.  Consequently, the purposes of this study are:  1) Present a summary of the most significant changes and framework of corporate governance of firms in developing/emerging countries. 2) Provide a summary of the most significant developments in Lebanon concerning corporate governance, including disclosure and framework. 3) Assess the outcomes obtained on the level of corporate governance disclosure practices and scores among 30 of the leading enterprises in Lebanon. Few research works have been conducted to study the disclosure degree of corporate governance in emerging economies. This leads to a serious problem which is the lack of knowledge and awareness of the advantages of corporate governance in such economies. Thus, there is a need to understand the framework and implementation of corporate governance in developing/emerging countries. There is no universal definition of corporate governance. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) provided a more frequently used definition for governance considering it as the processes that the board uses to monitor and ensure the appropriate achievement of objectives (IIA, 2009). In order to ensure proper and sound corporate governance in a company, a coordinated relationship must exist among the several elements of corporate governance. The recent financial crisis and its implications have led developing nations to be highly interested in the framework of corporate governance in order to decrease their financial difficulties (Tsamenyi et al., 2007; Gugler et al., 2003; Rabelo & Vasconcelos, 2002; Reed, 2002; Ahunwan, 2002). Hoskisson et al. (2002) go further to show that different theoretical perspectives can provide useful insights into enterprise strategies in emerging economies. Rabelo and Vasconncelos (2002) claim that developing nations are different from developed nations regarding the elements that constitute corporate governance system and framework. The political and economic environments of developing nations are different than those of developed nations. A developing nation’s environment and economy are mostly characterized by a fragile legal system, state ownership, inefficient pool of human capitals, limited resource institutions, and small family owned businesses (Mensah, 2002; Young et al., 2008).

 

The Tourism Crisis in Post January 25TH Egypt

Mary Shoukry Hanna, The American University in Cairo, Egypt

 

ABSTRACT

This research focuses on the impact of the Arab Spring on the tourism sector in post-revolutionary Egypt, particularly after January 25th, 2011. Political upheaval has resulted in serious downfalls in the tourism industry and hard implications on the living conditions of tourism business owners and workers. This study assesses the consequences of certain government policies that added to the challenges that different tourism stakeholders have been facing post-revolution. It reveals the impact of the ensuing security lapse as well as the international reaction towards Egypt and their negative consequences on the tourism sector. At the end, it provides some recommendations based on the literature and tourism authorities to promote tourism in Egypt. As one of the main economic sectors in Egypt, tourism has been greatly affected by the Arab Spring, in general, and the January 25, 2011 revolution, in particular. The great drop in travel and tourism since 2011 has had a dramatic effect on visitor exports, GDP, and employment. Since the Egyptian revolution in January 25, 2011, the severity of these problems have intensified and others have emerged. This research will attempt to address the issues facing the tourism industry in Egypt and evaluate tourism policies as well as other government policies that directly or indirectly impact tourism.  Interviews were conducted with stakeholders in the tourism industry to identify the extent to which they have been affected, what problems they have been facing, as well as their responses to these political events while trying to run their business. The interviewees include representatives from hotels, travel agencies, Nile cruises, as well as one of the prominent Egyptian tourism organizations representing the tourism private sector. The tourism sector is one of the most important economic driving forces in Egypt. It stands for 40% of Egypt’s total non-commodity exports, 12.6% of Egypt’s entire labor force, 11.3% of Egypt’s GDP, and 19.3% of Egypt’s foreign currency revenues (State Information Service, 2013). According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2013, Egypt ranks the 85th overall out of 140 countries. Egypt has dropped 10 positions from being the 75th out of 139 countries in 2011 (WEF, 2013). Comparing Egypt’s position in 2011 to that in 2009, it also dropped 11 positions from being the 64th out of 133 countries (WEF, 2011). This means that Egypt has dropped 22 positions in three years, since the eruption of the revolution in 2011.  Egypt is ranked the lowest position out of 140 countries (the 140th) in terms of the safety and security environment (WEF, 2013). Tourists were deterred from traveling to Egypt due to the country’s political unrest with riots and demonstrations everywhere. On the other hand, Egypt is ranked the 76th out of 140 countries in regard to the policy rules and regulations (ibid). The government’s policies are less conducive to the development of the travel and tourism sector. Post the 25 January, 2011 revolution, Egypt’s economy has been greatly affected as a result of the drop in the tourism sector. Comparing the number of tourists in 2010 and 2011 indicates the significant decline in tourism post-revolution. It is noteworthy that the major decline is among the Americans with a drop of 49% and the least decline is among the Arabs with a drop of 14% (CAPMAS, 2012). Following the Americans, the number of other nationalities declines by 39.4%, while that of Europeans by 35.5% (ibid). The outcome is a great drop in the tourism flow resulting in the hard living conditions of tourism business owners and workers, who mainly rely on tourism in earning their living.  The tourism industry is one of the few economic dynamics that has a direct impact on economic development and job creation in Egypt. All economic activities practiced by travelers in the visited country contribute to the economy of the country. This includes visitor exports, total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP, as well as total contribution of travel and tourism to employment (WTTC, 2013).  The following table shows the large decline in each of these economic factors by comparing their numbers before the revolution in 2010 and after the revolution during 2011, 2012, and 2013. Building on indicators set by the World Travel and Tourism Council, this section explains the importance of each factor and how it has been affected post the Arab Spring, starting from 2011 till 2013. The visitor exports indicator measures the spending of international tourists in the visited country for both business and leisure trips, but excluding international spending on education (WTTC, 2013). In 2010, before the revolution, visitor exports in Egypt increased by 6.9 % compared to 2009 (ibid). However, in 2011, after the revolution, visitor exports dropped by 27.5% in comparison with 2010, with a slight rise of 1.8% in 2012 compared to 2011 (ibid). Visitor exports are expected to rise by 4.9% in 2013 compared to 2012 (ibid). The total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP indicator measures GDP generated directly by industries that deal with the travel and tourism industry plus its indirect and induced impacts (WTTC, 2013).  The direct contribution to GDP includes economic activities generated directly by hotels, transportation services, travel agents, airlines, restaurants and other leisure industries for specific tourism use (ibid).  Regarding the indirect contribution, it includes capital investment spending by all sectors directly involved in the tourism industry as well as government general spending in support of tourism activity (WTTC, 2013).  It also includes purchases of domestic goods and services by different sectors of the travel and tourism industry together with spending by those who are directly or indirectly employed by travel and tourism (ibid). As for the induced contribution, it includes spending by those who are directly or indirectly employed by travel and tourism (ibid).  

 

Assessing Productivity Through Value Added Measurement: A Costa Rican Business Case Study in a Cooperative

Ronald Leandro Elizondo, Tecnologico de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Elías Calderon Ortega, Tecnologico de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Dr. Alejandro Masis Arce, Tecnologico de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

 

ABSTRACT

In 2010 the Inter-American Development Bank found that Latin America has diminished competitiveness due to stagnant productivity in companies. There is a gap between the companies in the region compared to others worldwide that has been increasing. This situation has affected their profitability and thus ability to achieve a sustainable comparative advantage. In order to become competitive, it´s important to measure the contribution of inputs in the transformation process into goods or services and the generation of wealth to the company; this is called “Value Added Productivity”. This concept allows a firm to diagnose which inputs are contributing most or least to welfare, which can lead to a better and more sustainable management. Value added is determined from financial statements of the firms. Value added productivity measures can be used to assess current or historical evolution of firm goals through a variety of indicators. Welfare can be improved by addressing physical, environmental or financial inputs. The contribution of this paper is to demonstrate through an example in Costa Rica how the process works and how it can help firms make better decisions. According to the Inter-American Development Bank (2010), in the last 15 years Latin America has been facing a declining trend in competitiveness due to stagnant productivity in companies. Within the global comparative scenario, the gap of the companies in the region with respect to others worldwide has been increasing. Productivity is, traditionally known as a relationship between the efficiency and effectiveness of transforming resources into goods or services, in other words creating more from less. But this myopic I definition is just the tip of the iceberg. Productivity can include much more; it encompasses the overall essence of economic growth. For instance, from a broader and integrated perspective, the core meaning of productivity “is to make people happy through constant progress” (Ishiwara, 1998). Value added could include output per unit of labor, the distribution of wealth between labor and management, and other factors that link production to “happiness”. Those firms that focus only on the narrow definition of productivity to expand output per unit of input will tend to disappear, sooner or later. Therefore, it seems to be necessary to apply broader measures in order to ensure the viability and sustainability of the Costa Rican firms, which is the subject of this study. Enhancing productivity is, in the end, the outcome of individual and organizational efforts that enables the generation of value from products or services. Thus, any company must measure productivity as a requirement for improvement. One way to establish where to improve is by determining the wealth created through the organization´s production processes or services, or what it´s been called value added productivity (VAP). According to Spring Singapore in 2011, resulting wealth is generated by the combined effort of those who work in the organization (employees) and those who provide the capital (employers and investors). VAP is thus distributed as wages to employees, depreciation for reinvestment in machinery and equipment, interests to lenders of money, dividends to investors and profits to the organization. In other words, value added is the difference between the sales obtained and the purchase from outside plus the inventory of work in process and finished goods. The purpose of this paper is to apply a VAP measure developed by the Japan Productivity Centre (1988). This study is an applied research project, as a part of the linkage and support between Costa Rican public universities and the private sector to assist their economic development needs. This concept has been adopted and used in other studies including (Amhed, 2003). For example, Amhed confirmed the existence of a stakeholder view when surveying US firms, where the stakeholder view was an expanded conceptualization of the firms´ welfare compared to simple profits. The contribution of this paper is to demonstrate how VAP can help firms become more viable and sustainable. Then more specifically, we demonstrate these techniques on a Costa Rican Cooperative where profitability is not typically measured.  According to Bloom (2008), the productivity of firms in developing countries appears to be extremely low. The average firm-level sales per employee in manufacturing – commonly known as labor revenue productivity - developing country firms have lower levels of labor productivity. From the technical standpoint, productivity is a ratio between output (goods and services) and inputs (manpower, machines, money, materials and energy). Hence, if a company has interest in determining the wealth created by the products or services it generates, they have to monitor and evaluate it. However, we must endeavor to become detached into a relatively new paradigm, such as that suggested by the European Productivity Agency, 1958: “Productivity is, above all, an attitude of the mind. It seeks continually improve what already exists. It is based on the believe that one can do things better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. Also, it requires a lot of efforts to adapt economical activities to changing conditions applying news theories and methods.  It’s a firmly believe on the progress of the human been”. This assertion was an extraction taken from the Graham Hutton’s (1953) report named “We Too Can Prosper. The Promise of Productivity”. The Japan Productivity Center for Socioeconomic Development (JPC-SED) (1955), defines VAP as a concept of the mind and a march to perfection. In this holistic and broader approach, it must contemplate the following objectives: Socially/Mentally: to make thing tomorrow better than today and increase morale. Economically: to generate more value added to products and services and fair distribution of profits, Technically: better quality of products and services, it is a relationship between outputs and inputs. Another important issue is the “Three Guiding Principles” promulgated by the JPC-SED, in the First Liaison Conference, held in May 1955, those are: 1. In the long run, improvement of productivity will increase employment. 2. In the developing concrete measures to increase productivity, labor and management must cooperate in discussing, studying and deliberating such measures. 3. The fruits of productivity must, in correspondence with the condition of the national economy, be distributed fairly among management, labor and consumer.

 

Promoting Tourism After a Terrorist Incident: Review and Recommendations

Kaie-Chin Chung, Taoyuan Innovation Institute of Technology, Taoyuan, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

The primary purpose of the present study is to aim at conducting a survey of literatures on terrorism and tourism in order to identify certain useful findings that can be regarded as references for tourism operators and destination marketers in the developing countries to manage and develop their tourism markets. Although tourism industry leaders have limited abilities in preventing political violence in advance, they can implement certain precautionary and useful mechanisms to minimize or avoid the occurrence of such events. If a violence takes place, tourism will inevitably be hindered. However, through the conveyance of the clear safety condition of the local destination, the establishment of a good local destination image, and the conduct of effective marketing to tourist groups, the recovery time from a crisis can be further reduced and lessened. In such, they are able to ensure the local people and economy to gain benefit from the tourism operations. Tourism is a major economic drive for local economies in every region of the world. However, it has become an increasingly important component of economic growth in developing nations. Tourism can represent a lucrative source of important income for a low-income nation, especially one with limited commodity resources and industrial base (Dredge, 2006; Devine and Devine, 2011). Thus, while tourism is a significantly part of many economies, it has the potential to deliver disproportionally large benefits to low-income economies. Over the past two decades, many factors have contributed to make tourism an increasingly attractive investment for developing nations where growing a tourism sector presents unique challenges for leaders in both the private and public sectors. The factors that lead to demand for tourism in a specific destination are complex and different from those in any other sector of the economy. Tourism is the only sector of a developing economy in which providers in developing nations regularly interact directly with the final consumer of the product. As a result, the tourism industry in a developing nation must ensure that their products are attractive to consumers in high-income and developed nations.  Growing a tourism sector presents unique challenges for leaders in both the private and public sectors. The factors that lead to demand for tourism in a specific destination are complex and different from those in any other sector of the economy. Tourism is the only sector of a developing economy in which providers in developing nations regularly interact directly with the final consumer of the product. As a result, the tourism industry in a developing nation must ensure that their products are attractive to consumers in high-income and developed nations. However, while tourist-oriented businesses can seek to ensure that the perceived quality an d value of their specific services are attractive to potential customers, the reputation and image of the destination as a whole is also an extremely significant factor determining the choices that tourists make (Lepp, et al., 2011; Wong and Yeh, 2009). Thus, destination marketing is vital to the development of a tourist industry in any particularly location (Boakye, 2012). Thus the growth of a tourist industry is best facilitated by cooperative effort between government and coalitions of tourism operators. A growing body of research has examined the issues that face developing nations. National disasters (especially the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami), health scares from SARS and avian flu, the increased global profile of terrorism after September 11, specific terrorist attacks in prominent tourist destinations such as Bali, Bombay, and Sharm al-Sheikh, and large-scale civil unrest in Egypt and Thailand, have all combined to highlight the risks that unpredictable crisis events pose to the tourism industry, especially in low- and middle- income nations. Various studies have examined crisis preparation, management, and recovery using a wide range of methods. A significant amount of research has examined the utility of preparation and response to actual crisis events. Because of the nature of a crisis, these studies are almost all qualitative. Some are case studies of particular organizations or destinations, while others are based on standardized interviews with a group of individuals who have dealt with different types of crises. There is more qualitative research on the effects of crises, with a particular focus on the economic impact of crisis, tourist responses to the perception of risk, and the effect of various communication strategies on tourism development. In addition, there are studies which address the more general challenge of drawing tourists to areas with limited infrastructure or cultural preparation for tourism. One of the key questions often unaddressed in these studies is the question of whether all crises can be addressed through the same approaches. Some authors prepare studies on “crisis management” that combine data from events as diverse as a food poisoning outbreak, a denial-of-service attack on a corporate network, and a hotel bombing. The authors of these studies argue that all crises have features in common and that the same principles can be applied to all of them. In fact, many of the case studies are also treated as examples of a generic “crisis” even though they deal with one specific event. On the other hand, there is research showing that tourists have different reactions to different kinds of crisis. In addition, a natural disaster will require very different protective and response measures than a specific attack. Based on research findings that look for commonalities in different types of crises, the present study narrow the focus of the study to political violence, including terrorist attacks and civil unrest.  One of the key questions often unaddressed in these studies is the question of whether al crises can be addressed through the same approaches. Some authors prepare studies on ”crisis management” that combine data from events as diverse as a food poisoning outbreak, a denial-of -service attack on a corporate network, and  hotel bombing. The authors of these studies argue that all crises have features in common and that the same principles can be applied to all of them. In fact, many of the cases studies are also treated as examples of a generic “crisis” even though they deal with one specific event. In addition, a nature disaster will require very different protective and response measures than a specific attack. Based on research findings that look for commonalities in different types of crises, the present study narrow the focus of our study to political violence, including terrorist attacks and civil unrest. To examine potential responses to political violence, the present study considers research that includes case studies or quantitative analysis on measures to both prevent violence and to reduce its impact on the tourist industry. Where appropriate, the present study includes studies on crisis management and on issues specific to developing tourism markets. The present study also considers research findings about the practicality of various measures, keeping the constraints facing low-income nations in mind. In the end, the present study synthesizes the research to produce a series of recommendations for measures that tourism officials and operators in developing tourism markets in low- and middle-income nations can take to reduce the risk of damage from political violence and to respond effectively if violence takes place.

 

The Web-Based Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: A Research on the CSR Reporting Levels of Companies Traded at the Borsa Istanbul (BIST)

Professor Raif Parlakkaya, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey

Dr. Huseyin Cetin, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey

Murat Kocyigit, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which gains importance recently and becomes widespread gradually, is based on the presupposition that companies have obligations against environment and community affected from their actions in addition to their economic responsibilities. Companies need to report the information related to their CSR activities. As the dimensions of economic, environmental, and social activities of companies in the CSR reports are indicated, the CSR reporting is performed by the annual activity reports or by such special reports as CSR Report or Sustainability Report (SR). The CSR reporting has big differences in contents and volume. While some companies put very extensive reports into practice, some of them form short reports that include only some significant points. Nevertheless, some companies do not perform any CSR reporting application. In this study, it is examined the CSR reporting levels of 33 of the first 100 companies in the list of “ISO 500”, which are traded at the Borsa Istanbul, and researched the relationship between various characteristics of companies and their volumes of CSR reports. By the statistical analysis, it concludes that the CSR applications and the CSR reporting levels of the companies under the research are not in a desired level.  By the conscious of social responsibility is developed, the understanding that accepts the unique responsibility of companies as “maximizing its profits” gives its place to the understanding that companies have social and environmental responsibilities in addition to their economic responsibilities. CSR directly affects the popularity and the reputation of companies/brands with its preferableness. The preferableness of companies increases because it declares that a part of its incomes is to reserve for the CSR applications, and so both community and company get the best of this application. The increasing interest of society on the CSR applications provides companies to derive important profits by this application, and the incentives brought in the CSR reporting concludes in the reporting of the CSR applications. The CSR reports are the reports that show environmental, social, and economic activities of companies. The CSR reporting is performed as a part of the annual activity reports or such special reports as CSR/Sustainability Report and the scope of reports differ from each other. By the increment in which the CSR’s conscious and applications have, the scope of the CSR applications and the CSR reports broadens. The goal of this study is to reveal whether there is any relationship between such various characteristics of companies as growth, endorsement, income, number of staff/personnel, or trading at BIST, and CSR or Sustainability Reporting with the scope of the reports. Under the study, some theorical information related to CSR and the CSR Reporting is provided firstly, and then the levels of the web-based CSR or Sustainability Reporting of companies are examined under the research.  The theory of CSR is based on the assumption that companies have a responsibility against the people who are affected from their actions. “CSR” can be defined as “an organization behaves ‘ethically’ and ‘responsibly’ against all their stakeholders in both its internal and external environment and takes and execute decisions in this way” (Aktan, 2007: 7). CSR is necessary for sustainable development and a success in community. As sustainable development is a model projecting economic growth including the providing of social justice and the protecting of environment, corporate sustainability is a new managerial paradigm that is gradually adopted to provide sustainable development (Wilson, 2003: 1-2). Because CSR has a very broad extent, the content of CSR needs to be classified. On this subject, different studies are done. The first of these classifications is the classification made by Caroll (1991). Caroll (1991) explains the extent of CSR via the CSR pyramid. According to Caroll, CSR has four dimensions: these are economic, legal, moral, and voluntary responsibilities.  Economic responsibility is established on the understanding that the basic aim of companies is to get a profit and they need to produce goods and services to fulfill customers’ desires and needs under this basic aim by selling their products in a profitable way. Legal responsibility states that companies have to behave in accordance with laws and rules while keeping on their activities. As moral responsibility consists of responsibilities that include true and right behaviors that are not under laws and which community expects from companies (Ozdemir, 2009: 59), it means that companies behave according to social values and ethical norms while they execute their activities. Voluntary responsibility contains that companies reserve a part of their resources for activities supporting education and art and in some social projects.  Another model classifying CSR is developed by Elkington (1998). Within this model, it is emphasized on the most important sides of corporate social responsibility, and the responsibilities of companies are classified as social, environmental, and economic responsibilities.  The CSR reports are the reports that show environmental, social, and economic activities of companies. The CSR reporting is performed as a part of the annual activity reports or such special reports as CSR/Sustainability Report, and moreover the extent of reports differs from each other. There are great differences in the CSR reporting in terms of content and volume. While some companies put very comprehensive reports, some of them constitute short reports that include only extremely important points. Despite everybody generally accepts its importance, some companies do not still make the CSR reporting now.

 

Examining The Impact of Income Tax Incentives to Corporate Performance in Asia-Pacific Food and Agriculture Industry

Hanggoro Pamungkas, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, Indonesia

Maya Safira Dewi, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, Indonesia

Martin Surya Mulyadi, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

ABSTRACT

Food and agriculture industry is one of the most essential industry in most country. Furthermore, in Asia-Pacific for Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand, it is one of its major industry. Development of food and agriculture industry must be supported by government through government policy. Government policy could be in form of investment policy or tax policy. This paper will specifically address the issue of income tax incentives to support the development of food and agriculture industry in Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand. This research used stock return to measure corporate performance, and EGARCH econometric model is used for the statistic test. Statistical test show that income tax incentives play an important role with different magnitude to corporate performance in Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand. Major conclusion could be made from this research that income tax incentives is a major determinant to corporate performance and investment decision of food and agriculture industry in Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand. Food and agriculture industry is one of the most essential industry in most country. Recent meetings of WTO Ministerial in Bali last December discussed issues in food and agriculture industry, and in that meetings they specifically dealt with food-stock holding and benchmark price. This deal underlined how important government and inter-governmental support for an industry, specifically food and agriculture industry. New policy is (are) issued by government to support the development of certain industry, which could be in form of investment policy and tax policy. As in food and agriculture industry, the example of incentives could be in form of: stabilization schemes, home consumption price schemes, fertilizer subsidies, income tax incentives, rural credit measures, involvement in and subsidies to agricultural research and extension, and public investment in land and water development and rural infrastructure (Sieper, 1982; Sandrey and Reynolds, 1990; Edwards, 2006; Anderson et al., 2008). This paper will address the support of tax policy to food and agriculture industry –specifically in income tax incentives–, as tax rate is a major consideration of a foreign direct investment decision along with the industry location (Newlon, 1987; Ondrich and Wasylenko, 1993; Swenson, 1994; Hines, 1996). Income tax incentives is a government effort to increase investment by changing tax structure with several methods; most of which is a tax rate reduction (Tung and Cho, 2001; Mintz and Smart, 2004; Mulyadi, Anwar and Siagian, 2012). Our previous research (Pamungkas et al., 2014) showed that there is a significant influence of income tax incentives to corporate performance in food and agriculture industry. In this paper three countries have been selected to represent Asia-Pacific: Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand. Those countries have a major food and agriculture industry; where food and agricultural products are among those of top 20 commodities exported. Considering the importance of this industry in the three countries, and how important income tax incentives to support industry development, this paper will discuss food and agriculture income tax incentives implementation in Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand. There are two effects of fiscal policy according to Hemming et al. (2002): demand-side effects and supply-side effects. There are various approach to explain demand-side effects and supply-side effects of fiscal policy. In demand-side effects, according to Keynesian approach a fiscal expansion has a multiplier effect on aggregate demand and output. While non-Keynesian effects of fiscal policy are: the longer term effects of fiscal policy will matter even in the short term (rational expectations), reduction in government saving resulting from a tax cut is fully offset by higher private saving and aggregate demand is not affected which resulted in zero fiscal multiplier (Ricardian equivalence). Supply-side effects of fiscal policy are more important over the longer term. However, it can have short-term demand-side consequences because of expectations that longer-term growth will be higher. In this case, attention should be paid to the way in which changes to labor income taxes affect the supply of labor and changes to capital taxes affect saving and investment (Hemming et al., 2002). Fiscal policy are obviously capable of affecting the volume and location of foreign direct investment, since all other considerations equal, higher tax rates reduce after-tax returns (Morisset and Pirnia, 2000). Empirical investigation by Easterly and Rebelo (1999) regarding fiscal policy and economic growth found the following conclusions: government’s budget surplus is consistently correlated with growth and private investment in cross-section; the link between most other fiscal variables and growth is statistically fragile due to multicollinearity; GDP rises with per capita income; as income rises, international trade taxes fall as a share of government revenue, while the share of income taxes rises; the choice of fiscal instruments seems to be related to the scale of the economy; and there are no significant differences in the fiscal policiy adopted by democracies and non-democracies. Furthermore, Bahl and Bird (2008) also use the example of how fiscal policy affected economic growth. A century ago any list of developing countries would almost certainly have included Canada, Australia and Argentina. While as of today it is only Argentina would be included in the list, which arguably that different fiscal policy may have influence on this outcome. In early 1970s, there are three major factors as fiscal policy determinants: precarious macroeconomic condition (deficits); tax administration; and foreign advisors. The latter factor is evident in Indonesia in the early 1980s (Gillis, 1985) when the foreign advisors bring the best thinking about tax policy to bear, not as a substitute for government decision makers or politicians.

 

The Effect of the Financial Crisis on the Relation Between the Egyptian GDR’s and Their Underlying Stocks in Egypt

Dr. Ahmed Sakr, Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Egypt

Yahia El Halaby, Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Egypt

 

ABSTRACT

This research examines the relationship between the behavior of the prices of the Egyptian GDR's in London and their underlying stocks in Egypt, and whether the previous financial crisis of 2008 showed any difference in the price behavior of these securities. There were 10 stocks tested that represent 3 main sectors which are; the financial sector, the telecom sector and the constructions sector. We found that there is a strong direct relationship between the Egyptian GDR's and their underlying stocks in Egypt and that this relation was maximized during the crisis of 2008 and it appears most in the financial and telecom sector. The acceleration in the globalization of markets over the past years is not only represented by the free flow of goods and services, but also by the international liberalization of capital flow. This helped companies in emerging markets to obtain listings on American and European Exchanges through the issuance of American Depository Receipts, ADR's, and Global Depository Receipts, GDR's. These may include firms going public for the first time (Global Initial Public Offering), or firms that are already public deciding to list their equity in a foreign market (Nyvltova, 2006). On the other hand, the trend of the rising correlation among global markets affected the trust of investors in the international globalization negatively. Those investors appeared in the late 1980's and the early 1990's when the long period of international equity performance began. This period witnessed lower overall returns with little reduction in portfolio volatility (Srivastava, 2007). In addition to that, domestic investors are likely to have better information about firms in their own country than foreign investors, therefore, the two types of investors may price a security differently (Nuno, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to understand the behaviour of the Egyptian GDR's and their underlying stocks in Egypt. Moreover, the research will give us some highlights about the efficiency between the two markets and whether there are arbitrage opportunities between the two markets and hence the two markets are inefficient or the linkages between the two markets are really efficient.  The importance of this study appears widely for the investors that are the main users of the theory of arbitrage. In fact it will show investors the relationship between the two markets and whether the rising correlation between the world markets appeared between those specific markets and affected the performance of the securities that are listed in both market. As countries are moving towards a more global market, and as the barriers and constraints are removed, allowing access to the financial markets, international investors have greater access to individual securities providing better performance for the risk undertaken. As Thomas, 2003, observed that investors that would use the buy-and-hold strategy in dealing with international stocks will be able to recognize similar returns as those of fund managers. Karolyi, 2004, mentioned that the expansion of ADR's and GDR's in emerging economies may be a result of the declining market conditions and not a cause of them. He explained his point of view that the deterioration in the fundamental economic, political, legal or other institutional forces in the emerging markets create incentives for companies to leave by issuing GDR's and ADR's abroad. Also Demissew and Chinmoy, 2004, observed in their findings regarding the trading volume in a market after DR listing that the average daily trading volume more than doubled for the stocks, and consequently the average daily.  There are 3 kinds of investors in the equity market that correspond to three different temporal locations in the market. Hedgers that seek reducing the risk they confront, and they move towards the derivatives market in order to reduce the risk they already face. Speculators that actively try to expose their selves to calculated risk by trading in the future markets. Arbitrageurs are engaged in risk free trading activities and they take positions in more than one economically related markets (Hull, 1997). On the other hand, Hardie, 2004, showed that arbitrageurs should not be categorized as a separate investor type, but in fact arbitrageurs are just 'noise' or irrational traders. Hardie draws attention to inconsistent understanding of what arbitrage is in both financial economics and the social studies of finance mentioning that there is a difference between the 'theory' and the 'practice' of arbitrage. In his view, any trade can take a view that an asset is mispriced , but, unless profit is guaranteed, the trade is not arbitrage. Dow and Garton, 1994, assumed that the efficiency of security prices depends upon arbitrage, that means trading based on information that the price of an asset is not the same as its fundamental value. They argued that arbitrageur's information cannot be reflected in the price he pays upon submission of the order and that the arbitrageur must be able to hold the security until he will be able to realize profit. However, their findings showed that an arbitrageur that receives bullish news will only buy under the condition of the likeliness that at the end of the trading horizon, another arbitrageur's buying will have pushed up the expected prices (Dow and Gorton, 1994). Kumar and Seppi, 1994, observed that there are many reasons that would help arbitrage in less developed and less fragmented markets to be more profitable than arbitrage in more developed and fragmented market. First, there are less people aware of arbitrage in less developed markets. Second, higher level of noise traders due to lower experience of experts to identify arbitrage opportunities. The last reason is the high costs of achieving information before the market makers do get these information.

 

Achieving Competitive Advantage through Clusters: A Conceptual Model

Nigar Cagla Mutlucan, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

Though the roots of the cluster concept can be traced back to Alfred Marshall’s 1890 classic, the Principles of Economics, it was Michael Porter who drew attention to its importance. There are some studies that try to explore the underlying relationships between clusters and firm performance, but few of them investigate the firm-level characteristics that lead to performance differences. The present paper proposes a theoretical model that examines the relationships between several constructs and firm performance, namely business ties, support ties, entrepreneurial orientation and strategic learning capability, while being moderated by the cluster construct. Michael Porter brought the concept of cluster under the limelight with his Diamond Framework (1990); clusters form one of the four elements of the Diamond, namely related and supporting industries. Nowadays, scholars from many different fields, such as economics, social sciences and strategy, and also business practitioners and policy makers study clusters. However, the review of the cluster literature shows that scholars from several schools of thought assume that all cluster firms are homogeneous; therefore, little attention was paid to firm-level characteristics that may help firms create and defend competitive advantages through clusters. There are some studies that investigate the effects of firm size and age on the relationship between clusters and firm performance, and also some studies that examine the firm resources that differentiate high-from low-performing cluster-firms (Kukalis, 2010; Wennberg & Lindqvist, 2010; Zhang & Li, 2008; McCann & Folta, 2011; Liao, 2010). Saric (2012) states that the cluster literature remains unclear about the mechanisms that produce benefits for individual firms within the clusters. His study is an attempt to bring the cluster discourse back to the firm.  The present paper tries to build and test a model to explore the firm characteristics that lead to performance differences among cluster firms. The theoretical model examines the relationships between several constructs and firm performance, namely business ties, support ties, entrepreneurial orientation and strategic learning capability, while being moderated by the cluster construct. To the knowledge of the author, the effects of strategic learning capability on firm performance are underexplored in the cluster context.  Alfred Marshall’s 1890 classic, the Principles of Economics, scrutinized the geographic concentration of specific industries in particular districts; his discussion of industrial districts was mainly built on external economies of localized specialization (Marshall, 1927). Specialized industrial districts were characterized by a triad of external economies: “the ready availability of skilled labor, the growth of supporting ancillary trades, and the development of a local inter-firm division of labour in different stages and branches of production, all underpinned and held together  by what he referred to as the ‘local industrial atmosphere’, by which he meant shared knowledge about ‘how to do things’, common business practices, tacit knowledge, and a supportive social and institutional environment” (Asheim, Cooke, & Martin, 2006, p.5-6). Following Marshall, Weber (1929) focused on location theory and drew attention to the lower production and transportation costs associated with agglomeration. In the 1950s and 1960s, Weber’s theory had its share of criticisms and several changes and improvements to his theory were suggested (Lösch, 1954; Isard 1956; Moses 1958; Smith 1966). Economic localization was also an interesting subject for scholars specialized in regional development (Perroux, 1950; Myrdal, 1957; Hirschman, 1958, Friedmann, 1972) and urban economics (Henderson, 1986; Ciccone & Hall, 1996; Audretsch and Feldman, 1996).  At the time of the discovery of clusters in the 1990s by the business school and by Michael Porter, several Italian economists were interested in “industrial district formation” (Becattini, 1989, 1990) or “districtualization” processes (Varaldo & Ferucci, 1996; Lazzeretti, 2003). The Italian School of industrial economics studied the success of the specialized, export-oriented, small-firm based industrial districts of the so-called Third Italy. Though influenced by Marshall’s work, Becattini (1990) and his colleagues had their differences in defining industrial districts; they described the industrial district as a socio-cultural as well as economic entity. Moreover, synthesizing the Neo-Marshallian Italian Research, Piore and Sabel (1984) had drawn attention to a “second industrial divide” characterized by a shift from mass production to the “flexible specialization” of industrial districts (Asheim et al., 2006).  Scholars from The Californian School (Scott, 1988; Storper, 1997) scrutinized technology districts in southern and central California that were composed of geographically concentrated, specialized and vertically disintegrated networks of firms and institutions. They explained the existence of these districts through a transaction cost based analysis. Though the Californian School represents a major extension to Italian Industrial Districts School by including firms of all size, different sectors, and regions of different historical and institutional contexts, its major weakness is its focus on measurable traded interdependencies (Saric, 2012). Hence, Storper (1997) introduced the concept of untraded interdependencies, which are “region-specific socially constructed assets such as conventions, norms and, informal rules that are responsible for most of transaction cost savings generated through clusters” (Saric, 2012, p. 27).  Krugman’s new trade theory (1991) tried to explain geographical concentration through the effect of increasing returns that stem from economies of specialization and scale at the plant level. Krugman explained with rigorous mathematical models why production and labor can be found clustered in particular places. However, he deliberately ignores technological spillovers among firms, as they “are invisible; they leave no paper trail by which they may be measured and tracked” (Krugman, 1998, p. 53). New endogenous growth theorists were also interested in geography in the last two decades of the 20th century. They posited that the increasing returns to educated labor and R&D spending are highly localized and that, consequently, regional growth paths may diverge.

 

New Approaches for Flow Shop Scheduling

Dr. Anis Gharbi, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Mohamed Labidi, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

 

ABSTRACT

Only scant attention has been paid for the flow shop environment where the job sequence has not to be the same for all the machines. This paper presents the first attempt to device specific adjustment procedures for this strongly NP-hard problem.  Our experimental study shows that the proposed procedures provide promising results in terms of lower bound improvement.  In this paper, we focus on the following scheduling problem: A set of n jobs (1,...,n) has to be processed on a set of m machines M1,M2,...,Mm in that order. That is, each job has to be processed first on machine M1, then on machine M2, and so on until performing its last operation on machine Mm. Each operation Oij (i=1,...,m and j=1,...,n) requires an integer and deterministic processing time pj. The objective is to find a feasible schedule which minimizes the makespan. We also make the following common assumptions:  I. Each job can be processed at most on one machine at the same time.  II. Each machine can process only one job at a time. III. No preemption is allowed.  IV. All jobs are independent and are available for processing at time zero. V. The machines are continuously available.  In studying flowshop scheduling problems, it is usually assumed that the sequence in which each machine processes the jobs is identical on all machines. A sequence of this type is called a permutation sequence. Almost all of the research has been focused on the development of procedures to obtain permutation schedules. The main reason is probably that in the general case involving m machines and n jobs, the total number of feasible schedules tends to (n!)m; whereas with the assumption of no job passing, the number of feasible solutions is reduced to n!. However, identifying the best permutation schedule itself becomes very difficult, as the problem size grows bigger. Obviously, finding an optimal solution when sequence changes are permitted is more complex.  Several authors emphasized the worth of considering non-permutation schedules in real life flowshop environments (Swaminathan et al. 2005). In particular, Potts et al. (1991) exhibit a family of instances for which the value of the optimal permutation schedule is worse than that of the optimal non-permutation schedule by a factor of more than  This is a non negligible gap since it can reach 50% for a 4-machine flowshop instance. Also, Sviridenko (2004) proposed a new approximation algorithm which delivers a permutation schedule with makespan at most times of the optimal non-permutation schedule.  In this paper, we consider the non-permutation case where the job sequence is not necessarily identical on all the machines. This problem is denoted by F||Cmax. Although the F||Cmax is solvable to optimality in polynomial time when m=2, it is known to be NP-hard in the strong sense when m≥3. The F||Cmax has several interesting practical applications since in several manufacturing environments (such as in glass industry, textile, microelectronic cheap, etc.), jobs have unidirectional flow with identical flow pattern.  The objective of this paper is to develop new adjustment procedures for F||Cmax. The main purpose of adjustments is to reduce the time windows of operations. This kind of elimination rule has been widely studied over the last 15 years, especially for solving job-shop scheduling problems. The importance of the adjustment rules is twofold. They are used in the branch-and-bound algorithm for discarding infeasible nodes, and they permit the adjustment of the release dates and deadlines, so that the lower bounds are tightened. The major breakthrough of adjustments was carried out by Carlier and Pinson (1989) with the resolution of the famous Muth and Thompson 10 10 job shop instance. The permutation flow shop scheduling problem (i.e. where we have identical job sequence on each machine) received an impressive attention in the scheduling literature. This problem is commonly referred to as Fm|prmu|Cmax. Johnson (1954) demonstrated that the two-machine problem can be solved in O(nlogn) time by the following sequencing rule: First schedule the jobs with p1j≤p2j in order of non-decreasing p1j, then schedule the remaining jobs in order of non-increasingUnfortunately, the problem is no longer polynomial for larger values of m. Indeed, Garey et al. (1976) showed that F3|prmu|Cmax is strongly NP-hard. Several exact approaches have been proposed so far for the F|prmu|Cmax (Grabowski (1980), Carlier and Rebai (1996) and Cheng et al. (1997)). All these algorithms, except the latter one, can solve only instances of very limited size. Also, an efficient Branch and Bound algorithm is proposed by Haouari and Ladhari (2005).

  

Service Quality of Dental Health Care: Top of Patients’ Priorities from Perspective of Turkish Culture

Dr. Tulin Ural, Mustafa Kemal University-Tayfur Sokmen Campus, Hatay, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

This study aims to expose more important service quality factors of dental healthcare services from perspective of Turkish culture, and assess relationship between service quality factors and patient satisfaction. Furthermore, the study reports the development process of a short scale for measurement service quality in routine clinical practice. The study was conducted at Research and Practice Hospital of Mustafa Kemal University located in Hatay, Turkey. Over a 10-day period, data collection took place in the area where patients waited for dental treatment. A total of 206 patients were personally asked to participate in the survey. A self-administrated questionnaire was used in this process. The results show that service quality structure has four factors encompassing 11 elements, namely, “physical environment of hospital”, “staff characteristics”, “interaction between hospital staff and patient”, and “administration process”. All four factors influence significantly to patient satisfaction. The quality of interaction between patient and hospital staff has stronger effect on satisfaction relative to other factors.  Dental healthcare services are crucial because a large part of public have suffered from many dental illnesses in Turkey. Health Education and Healthy Manpower Situation Report prepared by Health Ministry (2010) has declared that dental health of 85% of public is disordered, dental illnesses are common, and losses of country’s economy have received higher level. The widest research conducted in 1988 demonstrated that dental problems begin even in the early years of childhood in Turkey (http://www.ailehekimligi.gov.tr-may.12.2014).  The efforts about therapeutic requirements of public, improvement of dental healthcare services and the balanced distribution of these services widespread of all country are continuing now. Although Health Ministry of Republic of Turkey has started to improve service quality of dental healthcare and declared the quality standards since 2009 (http://www.kalite.saglık.gov.tr-june.10.2014), dental healthcare providers in public sector have not achieved higher service quality yet. Turkey has dental healthcare providers in both public sector and private sector. Because of lower degree of competition in public sector relative to private sector, managers are likely to ignore the service quality. This situation may cause patient dissatisfaction and complaints. Moreover, poor quality of services in the public sector led to greater use of private providers. In this context, service quality is becoming substantial issue for managers of public hospitals. Responding to patients’ complaints requires healthcare services to be patient-oriented and comply with standards and protocols (Chang and Chang 2013). In order to be patient-oriented, identifying important factors determining patient satisfaction is crucial. Service quality level is one of important factors which determine patient satisfaction (Donabedian 1996; Woodside and Shinn 1988; Choi et.al. 2004). Many studies emphasize on the importance of customer satisfaction in the business context, but “quality of care” remains ambiguous. Donabedian (1996) stated that healthcare significantly differs from general business services, and patient assessments of healthcare quality are more complex than those for other services. Literature including model and theories of healthcare consumer behavior were mostly conducted in USA. “The stability and applicability of past findings across different national/cultural settings remain largely untested” (Choi et.al. 2004, p.913). On the other hand, available instruments in the literature which measure service quality may be too long to be used in busy clinical or research settings (Hawthorne et.al. 2013).  The literature indicated that empirical support for the proposed framework and the measurement instrument is not always very strong. For example, in the context of hospital, Reidenbach and Sandifer-Smallwood (1990) referred to the existence of measurement problems. Carman (1990) also demonstrated that in specific service situations, it may be necessary to delete or modify some of the SERVQUAL (service quality scale) dimensions or even introduce new ones. Babakus and Boller (1992) showed that several shortcomings in this original scale. Brown, Churcill and Peter (1993) suggested measurement problems in the use of difference scores. Andaleeb and Basu (1994) stated that since data are generally collected subsequent to the service encounter, questions about service expectations may be based on memory or biased by actual services received. In light of these arguments, this study aims to develop a valid and reliable measure of service quality for Turkish culture. A short version of service quality scale may be very benefit, practically. As thus, the study also reports the development process of short scale to measure service quality in the dental healthcare. In these perspectives, the objectives of this study were determined as below: Objectives:1.Exposing more important service quality factors of dental healthcare services and, assessment the relationship between service quality factors and patient satisfaction in the context of public hospitals in Turkey, 2.Development a short version of the service quality scale for dental healthcare field based on Turkey context, 3.Assessment the moderation effects of patient’s demographic characteristics, namely, gender, age, education on service quality elements and patient’s satisfaction. Results of this study will allow to understanding the important factors of dental healthcare service quality in a different market environment and providing practical instrument to measure service quality by a short scale for practitioners and future researchers. Initially, a comprehensive set of service elements was identified, based on the framework of Chang and Chang (2013) and Donabedian (1988) studies. Donabedian developed a systematic framework, namely structure-process and outcome model, to evaluate healthcare service quality.

 

The Role of Responsible Awareness of Tourists

Petra Zabukovec Baruca, University of Primorska, Slovenia

 

ABSTRACT

The present paper is based on the concept of responsibility in tourism from the point of view of responsible consumer behaviour; the aim is to consider the question of the suitability of responsible consumer behaviour that is currently gaining importance in the context of sustainable tourism development. Modern forms of responsibility in tourism (e.g., sustainable tourism, ethical tourism, eco-tourism, green tourism) have emerged as a response to tourism stakeholders in global economic, social and environmental issues during the past ten years. Such forms of tourism coming to the fore are attempts to take responsibility for the impacts that tourism has on the social, economic and natural environment (Goodwin & Pender, 2005). Changes are intrinsic to human civilisation and in the modern world changes are occurring more rapidly than ever before. The need for a response in tourism’s consumers is apparent as well, and they appear to be growing more and more aware of their responsibility for social and cultural problems and have a responsible attitude (Mihalič, 1996; Urry, 2001; Shaw & Clarke, 1999; Harrison et al., 2005). Understanding tourists’ needs and having a clear picture regarding the tourist will be a prerequisite for tourism providers in the future in order for those in the industry and the surrounding societies to survive and prosper (Yavas and Babakus, 2005). In this vein, the paper investigates the role of responsible awareness of tourists and their attitude to the environment and society of destinations. Thus, an empirical study was conducted among 71 hotel guests in one of the most popular touristic areas on the Adriatic Sea in Slovenia. The results of the study show a positive relationship between guests' levels of moral responsibility and their actual responsible behaviour when staying in a hotel. More specifically, the more tourists consider themselves to be morally obligated to behave responsibly, the more often they actually behave in accordance with responsible practice.  Tourism is a primary economic industry, dependent on natural, cultural and other aspects of the environment. Its development has both positive and negative effects on the environment and society. Mihalič (2006) highlights the paradox of tourism development that shows its economic dependency on the quality of the environment on one hand and its destructive environmental effects on the other. Several documents have been created that promote sustainable development and responsibility in tourism on a global level. One of these is Agenda 21 and the Global Ethics Codex (WTO, 2005). Other supporters of these principles and rights are numerous governmental and non-governmental tourist organizations and institutions, such as the UN, Greenpeace, UNWTO, and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism. Such common programs and policies are an effective tool for the reduction in the negative effects of tourism and the increase of positive effects on the economy, society and the environment (UNEP, 2009).  Despite different names of models and practices, the terms "responsibility" and "sustainability" appear in the context of connected or equal evaluations that are re-established by the post-modern society with its mainly liberalistic rules. Modern capitalism places importance on the individual as well as on the benefit and well-being of a greater number of people. Holden (2003) places the task of sustainable tourism development on people and their relation to the natural environment, on democracy and "bottom-up" planning. This illustrates the approach of the responsibility for the preservation of the sustainable state of the tourist system, which is necessary for the existence and development of tourism of a higher level of quality. In general, the key to the desired changes in the system of tourism are on both the supply and demand sides. Sustainable tourism is new paradigm based on the principles of sustainable development that help develop any kind of tourism in an friendlier  or more sustainible way. This is equally important for demand as for supply side in tourism system and the transformation of the tourist system into a sustainable system would enable the tourism on a higher level. Along with an increased awareness of the importance of being more environmentally and socially responsible, there is a growing interest in the social marketing of business ethics. This trend is also becoming a guiding theme for marketing strategies and practices. This business practice established the concept of sustainability in measuring the effects using the triple bottom line (TBL) approach of three sustainability pillars – economy, environment and society (Elkington, 1997). Another widely established model is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) model (OECD, 2001). According to tourism ethics, the tourist side determines environmental principles regulating the behaviour of tourists. Changes are intrinsic to human society and in the modern world changes have been occurring more rapidly than ever. The tourist is a key power in the network of the tourism system. Urry (1995) argued that the tourist is a modern consumer, linked to an aesthetic cosmopolitanism, characterized by an interest in places, people and cultures, as well as the ability to positively evaluate and accept all that is different (Urry, 1995). This is the foundation of responsibility awareness in tourism. In post-modern marketing theory the discourse of a new consumer is identified by characteristics that describe the consumer as a socially, environmentally, and culturally aware person that expresses their view of the world and global social problems through their purchases.  

 

An Exploratory Study of Implementing PLM System Based on Adaptive Structuration Theory

Dr. Wen-Hsiung Wu, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Lung-Ching Fang, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

Based on adaptive structuration theory (AST), this study is to propose a technology adaptation model and conducts a case study in which a kind of advanced information technology (AIT), namely product lifecycle management (PLM) system, is implemented in a motorcycle company for new product development (NPD). Given the complications associated with PLM, process theory is applied to predict the impact of PLM on the aspects document access, as well as information and knowledge sharing. These three aspects of appropriations have caused corresponding types of discrepancy events based on interactions among PLM technology, organizational environment, and team structure. This study also illustrates the adaptive methods and emergent structures resulting and performance outcomes from these discrepancy events. Finally, the implications of this study are discussed. Adaptation when implementing information technology (IT) to enterprises has lately become a crucial research issue (Majchrzak et al., 2000; Allport and Kerler, 2003; Poole and DeSanctis, 2003), as the appropriateness of adaptation directly influences its performance (e.g. reduced productions costs). Based on the structuration school, DeSanctis and Poole (1994) proposed adaptive structuration theory (AST) and its application to advanced information technology (AIT). AIT, such as collaborative system or group decision support system (GDSS), enables multiparty participation in organizational activities through complex information management. The AST describes that the dimensions of organization environment, AIT, and team structure affect social interaction process (i.e. appropriation process); moreover, the impact of interaction process on the outcomes of decision making performance and emergent structure through the appropriation process of AIT. In sum, the nature of AST stresses the importance of group interaction processes in determining group outcomes (Poole and DeSanctis, 1990). Regarding the usage of AST, the results of past studies only reflect the strategic or static part of AST nature (i.e., Chin et al., 1997; Hossain et al., 2011; Whittington, 2010). For further understanding the dynamic appropriation process, we require a longitudinal and in-depth research (Jarzabkowski, 2008). Also, Majchrzak et al. (2000) employed the method of discrepancy event to illustrate the dynamics of interaction process. Their work has contributed significantly to the theoretical foundation of AST. However, based on the perspective of dynamic process in AST, we believe that managerial influence should have an important role in structural change (e.g., reorganize of organizational units or system integration) and subsequently have contributed to the performance outcomes. Moreover, the scope of R&D activities in previous work is often addressed within a small project team with a simple IT enable collaborative tool for communication. Thus, the role of management and the complexity of new product development (NPD) remain unexplored, where interaction among participants in different departments can negatively influence implementation success (Cooper, 1994).  For elaborating on the input-process-output (IPO) nature of AST, this study tries to introduce a new kind of AIT, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), in the NPD context. For manufacturing firms, it is critical to collaborate in NPD in order to develop their capacity, capability, and competence (Danilovic and Winroth, 2005; Hage et al., 2008; Johansen et al., 2005; Leenders et al., 2003; Shiau and Le, 2007). Hence the PLM has attracted attention of manufacturing firms as numerous industries have shared product information in the NPD and attempted to gain competitive advantage based on the capability of well-defined collaborative product design across enterprises (Kim et al., 2006). Hence, this study proposes a technology adaptation model. This model includes three parts: (1) the context of PLM technology, organization environment, and team structure; (2) social interaction process; (3) adaptive methods, new social structures, and performance outcomes from the perspective of IPO. Finally, based on the above model, this study conducts a case study of motorcycle industry for performing a longitudinal analysis of before implementation, during implementation, and after implementation related to the technology adaptation of PLM implementation.  Based on the structuration school, Poole and DeSanctis (1990; 2003) proposed adaptive structuration theory (AST). According to the AST concept, Poole and DeSanctis used AIT such as GDSS, and proposed the adaptive structuration process framework. This framework emphasizes that technology spirit and functional features of technology dimension and team rules and resources of environment dimension will influence the degree of appropriation of team member, attitude toward GDSS, and degree of consensus. Furthermore, different degrees of appropriation will affect the team performance (represented by decision making quality, degree of consensus and satisfaction) and the structural change (DeSanctis and Poole, 1994). For AST, AIT is an artifact with a considerably complicated structure, but the implementation performance will be increased if implementation fits the original design intention. However, the majority of research based on the AST framework stressed the strategic or static part. For example, Gopal et al. (1993), Chin et al. (1997), and Salisbury et al. (2002) suggested the measurement for appropriation constructs (e.g. degree of comfort and respect and appropriation faithfulness) on the applications of GSS and electronic meeting system (EMS).

 

An Examination of How the Government Handles Crisis Scenarios in Saudi Arabia: The Need for Saudi Arabia to Reduce Its Oil Dependence

Shrouk Saleem Alburj, Park University, Kansas City, MO

 

ABSTRACT

Since 1930, managers and company owners have been interested in in-depth knowledge and understanding of how organizations work. In the beginning, it was thought that the most important was the work itself: the lines of work, production, quantities, resources, etc. But over time, scholars and experts began to realize that without human capital, organizations do not have any sense. That is why throughout these years, theorists have developed many models about how to evaluate organizations thorough different perspectives/lenses/ approaches. Organizations are complex organisms that have not only material resources, but also human resources. Saudi Arabian government is an example of absolute monarchy. This is not the way of Islamic way of governance but being claimed as Islamic absolute monarchy. There is no role of family kingdom, or any single assent to the highest position. Islam has the role of caliph who is one among the commoner and is believed to have complete knowledge of the Islamic sharia i.e. Islamic law. The ruling of the caliph is taken as standard for all Islamic countries while the present governance of Saudi Arabia has its effect only on Saudi nationals and the absolute power is held by the King who is head of the State as well head of the Government. His words are final though before making any decision the King consults the other princes and Clergies (Ulema). But, ultimately the decision of the King matters and it is final.  The major post of the government is held by the Royal Family and this has led to dissent among the population recently in 2011 which was curbed by force. This has brought some changes in major policies and functioning of the Saudi kingdom. Quran and Sunnah (preaching of Prophet Mohammed Saw) are the guiding forces and forms the basic laws of Saudi governance. Presently the ruler is King Abdullah. He succeeded King Fahad who was considered as builder of Modern Saudi Society. He has introduced industrialization apart from the petroleum wealth and thus has given a new direction to Saudi Arabia.  The present ruler has introduced some reforms to protect the disintegrating Kingdom there by extending the benefits to the common citizen. The effect of revolution in adjacent countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria etc. has given way to liberalization in the attitude of Saudi Kingdom. Decisions are made by establishing a consensus within the Royal Family (comprising the numerous descendants of the Kingdom’s founder Abdul Aziz). In addition, the views of important members of Saudi society, including the Ulema (religious scholars), leading tribal Sheikhs, and heads of prominent commercial families are considered. The King Abdullah is considered as a reformer as he has introduced industrialization (limited deregulation, encouragement of foreign investment, and privatization) and made modernizing changes to the judiciary and government ministries. Prince Saud Al-Faisal is one of the strongest supporters of political and social reforms along with King Abdullah. He has spoken in favor of women having the right to vote, to follow the career path they wish and to be able to drive a car. Women will be able to vote in municipal elections beginning in the year 2012.  The Ulema have a major role in judiciary and as well executive. The present ruler has given this extraordinary weight age to Ulema.  They have influenced major executive decisions. For example, the imposition of the oil embargo and the invitation of foreign troops in 1990 also have a role in education systems. The Ulemas are led by Al Ash Sheikh who is the descendent of the Wahabi Chief Mohammed Ibn Abd Al Wahab. This is highest religious family in the Saudi and has given religious endorsement to the Royal Dynastic rule. In case of America and Saudi Arabia the pattern of governance is totally different and if we say the word democracy doesn’t fit for this type of governance. Let us take America first for which the freedom was achieved about 200 years back. Before that there was apartheid and slavery existed in each and every corner of America. But the freedom and the reforms that took about 100 years to remove slavery brought some change. The President Lincoln was the chief figure head of that moment, i.e., abolishing slavery. But the racial discrimination still exists as there are some colonies in America where only white people live. With the election of the president Obama the American people have shown to this world that there is no racial discrimination.  The American government uses democracy to take what they want from other countries. About the freedom of speech, the citizens should have adequate opportunity to express their views to the government through media, or some case personally also the citizens are entertained. There is citizen charter in every administrative office and there exists discipline. The citizens respect the freedom sincerely. There are some aspects in the American government which do not fit in the definition of democracy like there external affairs policy. Their interference in other countries is not reflective for both the citizens and as well the other countries. The citizen feels that their share of Money is wasted for protecting other and few wars like Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam are a few examples of American interference and wastage of hard earned money of citizen. Due to this, the America has gone to the extent of bankruptcy and they were most affected by the recession of economy.  The American government uses democracy to encage people to get a good education and health insurance what they want from other countries The Fundamental right of education is not properly exercised in America due to which there is lot of illiteracy in the original American citizen and due to which they are dependent on the services of foreigners. The expatriate form a major portion of the population and the American government should follow the European counterparts who are giving ultimate facilities to its citizen in the form of free education and free health (Pollack, 2002). In American approach, it is totally capitalistic and the citizens are offered health packages in the form of insurance coverage which is made mandatory. This materialistic approach doesn’t fit in the definition of democracy.

 

Momentum Profits in the UK Stock Market

Dr. David Morelli, Kent Business School, University of Kent, Kent, UK

 

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates the existence of momentum profits in the UK stock market by examining a number of different trading strategies across short, intermediate and long term time horizons.   The paper attempts to explain such momentum profits by examining the role of book-to-market equity, size and analyst coverage.  The findings from this paper show significant momentum profits in UK securities.  An explanation for such momentum profits can be given by book-to-market equity and analyst coverage with both being found to be significant determinants of momentum profits.  Momentum profits are found be negatively related to book-to-market equity and analyst coverage, whereas no clear relationship is shown with respect to size.  Over the years there has been much interest with respect to developing investment strategies based upon the predictability of future security prices.  Momentum trading strategy is one such strategy based upon examination of past security prices.  Momentum trading strategy is based upon the assumption that securities that have performed well in the past will continue to perform well in the future.  Thus the strategy would be to buy securities that have historically performed well and sell those that have underperformed.   Momentum trading strategies are based on positive serial correlation.  There have been many studies examining past price behaviour in an attempt to try to predict future security returns. Jegadeesh and Titman (1993) and Connad and Kaul (1998)  on examining the US stock markets found evidence of momentum profits over an intermediate term horizon.  Further studies by Rouwenhorst (1998) and Doukas and McKnight (2005) examining a number of European stock markets both found evidence supporting the existence of momentum profits.  Studies on the UK stock markets by Clare and Thomas (1995) and Liu et al. (1999) produced some evidence of momentum profits at the intermediate and short term horizon.  Accepting the existence of momentum profits, the important question that arises is what causes such effects.  In a study by Fama and French (1996) based on the US stock market, variables size and book-to-market were found to be correlated with momentum profits. The argument that Fama and French (1996) put forward was that those companies with a higher book-to-market equity ratio would expect to produce higher momentum returns. The rational being that such companies are seen as value companies, containing a value premium, which over time should produce higher earnings compared to past lower earnings. An opposing argument to Fama and French (1996) was put forward by Lakonishok et al. (1994), in which they argue that those companies with a low book to market equity ratio, not a higher one, should produce higher momentum profits.  Lakonishok et al. (1994) claim that corporate distress factor is captured by book-to-market equity and that a value premium arise because of the fact that the stock market undervalues distressed companies. Given this, higher returns would be expected in the future.  A study by Banz (1981) brought to the attention the importance of size in explaining average returns.  The ‘size effect’, as it is often referred to, is where the security return is a function of the size of the company, where smaller companies have a higher return. The rational for this can be explained in terms of riskiness, where smaller companies are viewed as having higher levels of risk compared to larger companies due to lower diversification with respect to their operations and also higher trading costs.  As a consequence, smaller companies offer higher levels of returns compared to less risky larger companies.  A study by Levis (1985) on the UK market produced evidence supporting the existence of a size effect, whereas more recent studies by Chan and Chui (1996) and Morelli (2007), also based on the UK market, failed to find any significant relationship between size and average returns.  Company size is examined in this paper in an attempt to determine whether it is an influencing factor causing momentum profits. Hong and Stein (1999) argued that the speed at which company specific information is released to the market has a relationship with momentum profits.  Companies that released information slowly were more prone to momentum profits compared to those in which information was released at speed.  Studies examining this argement simply analysed the number of analysts following certain securities, the more analysts the faster information is passed on to investors, the fewer analysts the slower.  Hong, Lim and Stein (2000) on examining US data produced evidence in support of Hong an Steins (1999) claim, as to did Doukas and McKnight (2005) on examining European markets.  This paper attempts to explain the existence of momentum profits in the UK stock market by examining the importance of size, book-to-market equity, and analyst coverage.  The findings from this paper report that momentum profits exist and that they are related to both book-to-market equity and analyst coverage.   Firm size however is not found to explain momentum profits. The paper is structured as follows.  The data is described in Section 2.  Section 3 discusses the methodology and empirical results.  The conclusion is provided in section 4.  The data applied in this paper relates to companies listed on the UK stock market.  The data period extends from January 1990 to December 2010. All data is obtained from both Datastream (security prices) and the Institutional Brokers Estimate System (analyst coverage data).  The only restriction that applies to the data selected is that given it comes from two separate data bases the companies selected must be listed on both Datastream and Institutional Brokers Estimate System. The number of securities adopted in this study range from 449 to 832.

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