The Business Review Journal
Vol. 4 * Number 1 * Summer. 2005
The Library of Congress, Washington, DC * ISSN 1553 - 5827
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An Analysis of ERP System Implementions: A Methodology
Dr. Larry R. Taube, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Dr. Vidyaranya B. Gargeya, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are software packages that allow companies to have more real time visibility and control over their operations. There are many ERP success stories, and many failures within the business world. This paper investigates and analyzes common factors and circumstances that occur within most ERP projects, and determines the areas that are critical to successful implementations. This article builds on previous research that has identified common factors that are indicative of successful and non-successful ERP implementations. Based on these common factors, a structured questionnaire was developed and administered to eight firms in an attempt to validate the factors and develop an organizational model to explain successful ERP implementations. This article reports the findings based on this experimental design. Enterprise-wide Resource Planning (ERP) system software packages are highly integrated, complex systems for businesses, and thousands of businesses are running them successfully worldwide (CFO, 1996). Few software packages have had a greater impact on business operations than ERP systems. A survey of 251 CEOs conducted by A.T. Kearney Company in 2000 showed that 45% of North American organizations expected to spend in excel of $10 million on ERP. Companies such as Hershey, JoAnn Stores, Whirlpool and Samsonite have experienced very difficult ERP implementations, yet even they acknowledge that the software packages are able to handle the job. The systems are capable of functioning as advertised; however, companies run into costly and sometimes fatal difficulties with the implementation and subsequent maintenance of these packages. The Gartner Group states that seventy percent of all ERP projects fail to be fully implemented, even after three years (Gillooly, 1998). Typically, there is no single culprit responsible for a “failed implementation”, and no individual reason to be credited for a successful one. Even the definitions of failure and success are gray areas. There are generally two levels of failure: complete failures and partial failures. In a complete failure, the project either was scuttled before implementation or failed so miserably that the company suffered significant long-term financial damage. Those implementations considered partial failures often resulted in tenuous adjustment processes for the company, creating some form of disruption in daily operations. Certainly, even partial failures are very expensive; a study of companies implementing the most popular version revealed that they spent an average of $20 million on implementations, with some of the largest organizations spending well in excess of $100 million (Cooke and Peterson, 1997). In the same vein, an ERP success can be a complete success or one in which there are few alignment problems, resulting in minor inconvenience or downtime.
Operational Analysis in the Energy Production Industry
Dr. Jack A. Fuller, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Dr. Larry Shadle, National Energy Technology Laboratory, United States Department of Energy
Dr. Joseph Mei, National Energy Technology Laboratory, United States Department of Energy
A primary focus of this research project was to collect and analyze data pertaining to forced outage causes and boiler operating and maintenance concerns being experienced by owners and operators of combustion-based boiler systems and the vendors who supply the combustion systems. Data was collected from nine separate populations as a part of this study, including:: 1. Fluidized Bed Combustion (FBC) owners and operators. 2. Industrial Conventional Pulverized Coal (PC) plant owners and operators. 3. Industrial Conventional Stoker-Fired plant owners and operators. 4. Utility owners and operators utilizing FBC technology. 5. Utility owners and operators utilizing PC technology. 6. Utility owners and operators utilizing Stoker-Fired technology. 7. Vendors supplying FBC technology combustion based systems. 8. Vendors supplying PC technology combustion based systems. 9. Vendors supplying Stoker-Fired technology combustion based systems. One important purpose in collecting the information from these various groups was to provide some direction to research (both funded and unfunded) relating to specific combustion system problems currently being experienced or anticipated in the future. It was anticipated that the information provided by this data collection and analysis process would be a valuable source of information to the United States Department of Energy’s fossil combustion program. The research results should be able to identify critical combustion applied research needs as expressed by the owners and operators and vendors contacted as a part of this project. It was decided to collect the necessary operations and maintenance data by use of a survey instrument, which was distributed to the various populations electronically, as well as by mail. The same fifteen questions (plus an additional “other” response) were included in each survey, irrespective of the population being targeted. However, the lead-in discussion and headings on the surveys were customized for the target population in question. As an example of the questions being addressed, Attachment 1 to this paper is the survey form, which was sent to fluidized bed combustion (FBC) owners and operators. When the completed surveys were returned, it was decided to subtract the Order of Importance number for items one through fifteen from sixteen for presentation purposes.
Modeling Market Adoption of a Retail Innovation over Time and Space
Dr. Arthur W. Allaway, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Dr. David Berkowitz, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL
Although the adoption of innovations / diffusion of innovations literature is very rich, the spatial study of adoption and diffusion has been limited - even though a large number of innovations are launched into geographically defined markets. This paper explores and models the driving forces of consumer adoption of a new loyalty card program launched in a major U.S. metropolitan area. Event history modeling is used to parameterize the effects of distance from the diffusion propagator, the firm’s marketing efforts, the competitive environment, and the role of previous adopters in influencing later adopters. The results yield new insights into the understanding of adoption and diffusion across space and time. The spatial tradition is central to the study of marketing. In retailing, in particular, but in other areas as well, most marketing decisions have to take into account their impact on the size, shape, depth, or dynamics of the existing (or potential) customer base of the firm, i.e., the market area. One approach to the study of spatial phenomena in marketing has involved the modeling of consumer spatial behavior. Building on Reilly (1931), Huff (1964), and McKay (1973), significant advances have been made in understanding how consumers make choice decisions among different competitors in a market Craig, Ghosh, and McLafferty 1984). Extensions in this area have considered the effects of image, habit, loyalty, competitive strategies, variety-seeking, and misspecification error in models of consumer spatial behavior (see, for example: Stanley and Sewell 1976, Fischer, Nijkamp, and Papageorgiou 1990, Rust and Donthu 1995, Fotheringham and Curtis 1999). A second approach to the study of spatial processes in marketing has treated the market area itself as the unit of analysis. Research by Huff and Batsell (1977), Huff and Rust (1984), Rust and Brown (1986 ), Donthu and Rust (1989), Rust (1991), Thrall and del Valle (1996) Thrall and Casey (2001), for example, has concentrated on developing methods for modeling market area boundaries and densities so that they can be compared statistically. Using these methods, business decisions that affect the sizes and shapes of those market areas can be evaluated more precisely, both over time and due to firm and/or competitor initiatives. A third, although still emerging, approach to the study of market areas is concerned with the spatial diffusion of consumer response to the introduction of new innovations.
U. S. Private Investors Find the Euro a Viable Option
Dennis C. Stovall, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Citizens of the United States are developing a curiosity regarding sending their personal investment dollars overseas. The popularity of Eurodollar funds has been growing, and will continue to lure more domestic funds as the familiarity and stability of the euro continues to increase. New options are available for local investors who are comfortable with electronically sending their money through a United States-based website onto the foreign currency markets. Multiple rates and terms are available for these investments, each with its own potential for risks and rewards. Investors also are warned to be aware of different fee structures, which could deplete any investment gains. After the navigation of terms, rates, and fees, the investor must always be mindful of the economic climate affecting the euro. A money market euro rate of 1% may sound miniscule, but may be augmented to a huge advantage over an investment in the dollar by the positive movement of the euro in the world markets. Hovering near its record low, the dollar has many citizens of the United States searching for personal investment options overseas. The dollar has been steadily dropping in value since 2002 and just recently, in 2004, briefly touched an all-time low against the euro. Despite the dollar’s sixty-year status as the dominant reserve currency, most professional global investors are predicting further decline for the dollar relative to the euro. This prediction is primarily based on a United States annual trade deficit set to top $600 billion and a consumer debt creeping up on $2 trillion (Birger, par. 3). Today, several years after Europe awoke to find local currency symbols in stores replaced by the utilitarian E, the euro is in the pockets of 300 million people. With the twelve participating countries of the euro area being the world’s largest exporter, and European financial markets expanding in depth and liquidity, the euro’s growing economic weight has and will continue to lure domestic funds (Dumiak, par. 3). As the stability of the euro increases and foreign currency markets are electronically made available to investors, curiosity grows, but knowledge, tenacity, and risk are imperative to potential reward. Investors looking to refine their portfolio during the current weak-dollar trend are finding ways to play the strength of other currencies, although they must always remain mindful of the market.
Susceptibility to Informational Social Influence on Purchase Decisions of Designer Label Apparel: The Mediating Role of Gender
Ghazala Khan, Monash University Malaysia
Naila Khan, Stamford College Berhad, Malaysia
This study examines susceptibility to informational social influence on purchase decisions of designer label apparel in Malaysia. The study focuses on the youth market with special consideration given to gender differences. Both direct and indirect influences were examined. A total of 319 youth participated in the study. Results indicate that gender differences do exist in susceptibility to informational social influence. The Asian society has been evolving into a brand conscious society and this brand conscious lifestyle is macroscopic in the younger generation, especially among older teens and young adults. In Malaysia, this youth market comprises generally of college and university students and young working adults. This lucrative segment makes up approximately 20% of the total population (www.statistics.gov.com) is expansively seen as sporting designer label apparel. Although numerous studies have been conducted on susceptibility to reference group influence (e.g. Martin and Bush, 2000; Bearden and Etzel, 1982; Feltham 1998) and gender differences (e.g. Auty and Elliot, 1998), these studies have been conducted in the USA and research done in Malaysia is scarce. Given the nature of the cultural difference in Asia and the growing popularity of designer label apparel, this study is deemed timely. The next section reviews relevant literature followed by the research objectives, methodology, analysis and discussion. Limitations of the study are also highlighted.
Lessons Learned From Developing Systems to Automatically Detect Deception in Various Modalities
Matthew L. Jensen, Center for the Management of Information, University of Arizona, AZ
Thomas O. Meservy, Center for the Management of Information, University of Arizona, AZ
Dr. John Kruse, Center for the Management of Information, University of Arizona, AZ
Dr. Judee K. Burgoon, Center for the Management of Information, University of Arizona, AZ
Dr. Jay F. Nunamaker Jr., Center for the Management of Information, University of Arizona, AZ
In the current climate of heightened security, rooting out deceptive communication represents an important task. Over a number of years, research efforts at the Center for the Management of Information (CMI) at the University of Arizona has focused on automatic detection of deception by means of textual and video analysis. In this paper, CMI’s general methodologies as well as lessons learned are shared. Future steps are also specified. In the current climate of heightened security and insistence on information assurance, catching liars represents a difficult and important task. Recent interest in security has only highlighted an ancient problem: separating deception from truth. Deception has fascinated researchers for centuries, yet understanding how humans deceive and being able to reliably identify deception are still elusive and complex problems which must be addressed. Over a number of years, research efforts at the Center for the Management of Information (CMI) at the University of Arizona have been focused on building systems to aid in reliably detecting deception. Our research efforts have spanned multiple communication environments and various types of interactions and we have learned a great deal about automatically detecting deception in human communication. Although completely automating deception detection is an appealing prospect, its complexity defies a completely automated solution. A more promising approach is to integrate human efforts with automated tools for deception detection, the end goal being a system that singles out individuals for further scrutiny. In this paper, we present general lessons we have learned from our efforts in automatically identifying deception from observable behavior.
Formula for Catastrophe: Groupthink and Groupshift
George Green, United State Air Force Retired, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC
Jonathan C. Lee, Ph.D., University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada
David G. McCalman, Ph.D., University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR
The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect groupthink and groupshift may have had on the occurrences of 23 March 1994 when an F-16 collided in mid-air with a C-130 during landing approach at Pope Air Force Base located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The collision and subsequent crash resulted in 23 deaths, close to a hundred injuries and the total destruction of both the mishap F-16 fighter and a parked C-141 transport aircraft. The following information was provided by the superintendent of the maintenance operations center assigned to the wing command post who was directly involved in the implementation of the emergency action checklists following the accident. The maintenance operations center superintendent, assigned to the wing commander, attended many operations group and operations support squadron meetings as an invited guest both before and after the accident. The scenario began with a reorganization of the United States Air Force in 1992, streamlining operations, flattening organizations, and replacing Air Force regulations and Air Force manuals with Air Force operating instructions. In the process of redesigning the Air Force structure a recommendation to reincorporate a World War II concept of a consolidated or composite wing organizational structure surfaced. This structure concept required assigning multiple aircraft with different missions and flight characteristics to the same wing under the control of a Brigadier General. Although this was a significant change from the modern Air Force concept of one-wing, one airframe and one mission, the special operations command operating out of Mac Dill Air Force Base, Florida had made the system work for years. The new flying wing would consist of two squadrons of C-130 tactical air transport aircraft, currently assigned to the Air Mobility Command, one squadron of heavily armored A-10A ground attack aircraft, and one squadron of F-16 all purpose fighter aircraft. Both the A-10A and F-16 are currently assigned to Air Combat Command. The C-130 is used primarily for transporting troops and cargo and is used extensively at Pope Air Force Base for paratrooper training.
Competing with IT: The UPS Case
Nabil Alghalith, Ph.D., Truman State University Kirksville, MO
UPS United Parcel Service Inc. is an express carrier, package delivery company and a global provider of specialized transportation and logistic services. Over the course of more than 90 years, the Company has expanded from a small regional parcel delivery service into a global company. UPS delivers packages each business day for 1.8 million shipping customers to six million consignees. The Company’s primary business is the time-definite delivery of packages and documents throughout the United States and in over 200 other countries and territories. UPS is a leader in adopting e-commerce enabled applications that are specialized and not available for commercial sale. With the introduction of the Internet, new services like UPS online tools integrated with IBM, and many service applications are available by its logistics group at its site www.e-logistics.ups.com & www.upslogistics.com .UPS, the world’s largest package delivery and distribution company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. The company was founded on August 28, 1907 at Seattle, Washington. The world headquarters was moved to Atlanta, Georgia USA. Over the past 93 years, UPS has expanded its small regional parcel delivery service into a global company. It delivers packages each business day for 1.8 million shipping customers to six million consignees. In 1999, company’s revenue was $27.1 Billion with delivery volume of 3.28 billion packages and documents and daily delivery volume of 12.9 million packages and documents, 2.2 million packages and documents were delivered by Air Delivery. UPS primary business is the time-definite delivery of packages and documents throughout the United States and in over 200 other countries and territories, there were 344,000 employees Worldwide (308,000 USA; 36,000 International). It has established a vast and reliable global transportation infrastructure; developed a comprehensive, competitive and guaranteed portfolio of services and consistently support these services with advanced technology. UPS provide logistics services, including integrated supply chain management, for major companies worldwide. It is the industry leader in the delivery of goods purchased over the Internet. The “UPS.COM” has 21 million hits per day - including an average of 2 million daily on-line requests and there were 1,713 operating facilities (hubs and centers).
Interest Rate Parity in Asia Pacific Countries
Dr. Shyam Bhati, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
Dr. Michael McCrae, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
The effect of exchange rate risk on the interest rates within the uncovered interest rate parity conditions is examined for Asia Pacific countries in this paper. Monthly data on exchange rates and interest rates are used to test the uncovered interest rate parity between Australia and a number of Asia Pacific countries - Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, China, Indonesia and South Korea. Cointegrated VAR Model is used to analyse relationship between variables and test the uncovered interest rate parity. Our results indicate that there is no evidence of interest rate between Australian dollar and the currency of the Asia Pacific countries. The findings of this paper are relevant for the emerging market economies suggesting that market inefficiencies and country risk could result in lack of parity conditions. A number of studies in the past have examined the validity of interest rate parity conditions. Most of these studies however focus on established markets such as those of USA, European countries and developed markets. It is assumed that the efficiency of developed market is higher than that of the emerging markets and in that case it should be possible to observe interest rate parity in emerging markets. Existence of parity conditions would reduce any opportunities of making profits from covered interest rate arbitrage. In recent years emerging markets like China have attracted considerable foreign investments. Many funds intending to operate in emerging markets would be interested in exploiting the difference in parity conditions in these markets for profits. If parity conditions do not occur in these countries then it should be possible to make profits from Covered Interest Rate Arbitrage although it could be more risky as compared to developed markets. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the uncovered interest rate parity conditions between Australian dollar and the currencies of Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, China, Indonesia and South Korea. This study focuses on Asia Pacific countries for two reasons. First the countries in this region are economically integrated with each other and the volume of trade between Australia and these counties is significant. However, these countries taken together constitute a small part of the total international trade. As such the trade between these countries may not be affected substantially due to changes in other parts of the world. Any deviations from parity conditions should be observed easily.
Collectivism, Ethnocentrism, Materialism, and Social Influences: A Before-and-After Effect of Tsunami in Southern Thailand
Kritika Kongsompong, Ph.D., Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
In the blink of an eye, an entire region of the world was completely devastated. The day after Christmas 2004, an earthquake centered off the southern coast of Thailand triggered obliterating tsunamis in one of the world's worst natural disasters. The study reported here represents a formal examination of a before-and-after effect of tsunamis among the southern people of Thailand. The results show a vast difference between the two sets of respondents in regard to the cultural orientation as well as other related constructs. In particular, those who are affected by the disaster exhibited more collectivism than the group investigated before the tsunami deterioration. Other cultural constructs are also investigated and found to have directional supports. The tsunami that took the lives of more than 226,000 across Asia on December 26, 2004 has caused long-term environmental damage to the unfortunate areas of the world. Its impact to the people in these areas, however, is less visible. Although the impact on psychological well being is not as tangible due to the invisibility of the outcomes, one cannot conclude that there are no psychological and/or cultural consequences. Even though culture is an enduring phenomenon, how are people’s cultural orientation effected by the unexpected events such as the tsunami disaster? What happens to people’s attitudes toward nationalistic values and materialistic tendencies when the crisis hits? Will there be any changes in consumption behavior (although one cannot ensure the long-term changes of such crisis)?
Global and European Environmental Taxation System
Dr. Maria Luisa Fernandez de Soto Blass, San Pablo-CEU University, Madrid, Spain
The present paper carries out a research of the Environmental foundation of green taxes. It´s a study of Environmental protection according the European Community Law. We give the concept of environmental tax and their elements. We do also an introduction of global environment taxes. We take the graphs which show total revenues from environmentally related taxes in per cent of GDP, total tax revenues and per capita in OECD Member countries respectively. We show the trends in environmental taxes in European Union. The Graphs shows the decomposition of European environmental tax revenues 2002, in % of GDP, the evolution of the structure of environmental taxes 1995-2002, the differences in %-points of GDP, and the classification and features of environmental taxes. This paper is the result of three researches that I´m carrying out at The Institute for Fiscal Studies, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Spain, University of San Pablo-CEU, Madrid, Spain, from 2004 to 2005, and at University of Leeds, United Kingdom from 1st July to 1st September of 2004 that is going to continue at the same time and place. The aim of the European Union's environment policy is to preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment and to protect people's health. It also sets great store by the prudent and rational use of natural resources. It seeks to promote measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems (Article 174 of the Treaty establishing the European Community) (European Commission ,2005).
A Review of the Antecedents of Adolescents’ Smoking Behaviors
Dr. Cynthia Webster, Mississippi State University, MS
Dr. Michael L. Capella, Mississippi State University, MS
To understand better the causes of adolescents’ unhealthy consumption behavior, this paper focuses on why youth begin and continue to smoke. A qualitative literature review suggests that most of the intrapersonal and interpersonal antecedents considered here predict smoking onset and continuation, but hardly any affect brand loyalty and switching behavior. Compared to other antecedents, advertising and sales promotion appear to have little power in predicting smoking onset and continuation, but are noteworthy with respect to brand behavior. Further, this exploratory review indicates that the relationship between many of the antecedents and smoking appears to be moderated by gender and/or ethnic background. Although the detrimental health effects of unhealthy consumer behavior on society are well documented (Eaton 2003), the limited marketing and consumer behavior research that has been directed at enhancing our understanding of why adolescent consumers decide to initiate and maintain smoking is problematic due to findings based solely on author conjecture, limited research scope, nonrepresentative samples, and vague and varying operational definitions of smoking behavior. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to review a fragmented and confusing body of literature in such a way that will shed light on our understanding of what causes consumers adolescent consumers to begin and to maintain this unhealthy behavior. Unlike any other published literature review on any type of unhealthy consumption behavior, this research will examine three specific types of the criterion: onset, continuation, and brand behavior (brand loyalty and switching). Separating the criterion into these levels is important because an antecedent (such as parental smoking or sales promotion), which may predict one type of smoking behavior, may not predict another type of smoking behavior.
An Extension of Benefit Cost Analysis to IS/IT Investments
Hugo Rehesaar, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Amanda Mead, Australian Catholic University, North Sydney, Australia
Typically the high cost of information system/technology (IS/IT) investment does not result in a commensurate high return to the business. A significant portion of blame can be laid on the lack of appropriate procedures to measure the benefit to be gained with new information systems/technologies. The traditional methods, for example, Cost Benefit Analysis, Return on Investment, Internal Rate of Return, center on justifying an already informally or formally approved technology implementation, resulting in benefits that are unlikely to be achieved. Such methods are clearly no longer adequate in meeting the needs of the Technology Age. However, by determining goals, and developing a way of measuring achievement of them, we can ensure that only that technology is purchased which will contribute towards achievement of these goals. This, in turn, results in a lowering of MIS investment with a corresponding rise in business benefits directly related to that IT. Two new paradigms are introduced in this paper that will assist in achieving these: Benefit Cost Analysis for IS/IT, and the Benefit Indicator Measure Paradigm, a technique for measuring the business benefits of IT, using an adaptation of the GQM Paradigm. “Increasing competition is driving organizations to focus intensely on the connections between technical activities and economic results.” [Boehm and Sullivan, 1999] This observation highlights one of the problems facing today’s IT manager – the focus on ‘economic results’, rather than ‘business goals’. The current spend justification paradigm (cost benefit analysis) is one where the costs of introducing new MIS are justified only after the decision has been made (formally or informally) to introduce that technology. Changchit et al  observed that “proposers were compelled to use the benefit identification process to persuade the organisation to be committed to the project”, and thus gain approval for the expenditure.
The Moderating Effects of National Culture on the Relationship Between the Culture of a Service Retailer and Outcomes
Cynthia Webster, Ph.D., Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS
D. S. Sundaram, Ph.D., Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL
Using a representative sample of U.S. and Japanese retail service firms, this study examines the impact of organizational culture on business outcomes (performance and satisfaction). The findings reveal that there is a significant interaction effect of organizational culture with national culture on outcomes. Specifically, the relationships between the cultural values of stability, people orientation, and detail orientation and outcomes are significantly greater for Japanese than for U.S. service retailers. On the other hand, the relationships between the values of aggressiveness, innovativeness, and outcome orientation and outcomes are greater for U.S. retailers. Further, the findings show that firms whose cultures match those of their home countries exhibit lower levels of outcomes when they operate in other countries with different cultural values. Implications are given for how service retailers might be designed and managed for purposes of improving business outcomes. Both academicians and practitioners have given considerable attention to organizational culture because of its logical impact on business outcomes. However, the focus of past research has been limited to examining organizational cultural issues in domestic environment (e.g., Deshpandé, Farley, and Webster 1993; Homburg and Pflesser 2000) in the context of only goods-producing firms (e.g., Kitchell 1995). The lack of empirical research on the culture of service firms is unfortunate, in spite of the growing importance of service sector (Lovelock and Yip 1996). Further, past research has generally adopted the assumption that a certain type of culture will lead to superior outcomes in any type of environment, and there exists an optimum organizational culture that is distinct from the national contexts in which the firm is embedded. This assumption is misleading particularly with respect to services. For most service firms, business transactions bring employees and customers into close contact and customers have sufficient opportunity to experience the firm’s organizational culture via the processes and procedures instituted for service provision. Organizational culture of the firm partially displayed through employee’s actions can have a significant impact on customers’ perceptions of service experience. Because the organizational culture of a firm cannot be hidden from the customer, employee-customer interactions are more significant determinants to quality perceptions in service organizations compared with goods firms.
The Usefulness of Financial Information in Investment Decisions
Dr. Marilyn A. Waldron, University of Otago
Dyna Seng, University of Otago
The identification of winning stocks remains to be one of the major puzzles for investors to solve in making effective capital market decisions. One of the more widely held beliefs, the efficient market hypothesis (EMH), presents the idea that above normal returns cannot be consistently earned in capital markets. EMH theory would indicate no one can “beat the market” consistently. In contrast some investors, such as prominent financial analyst Warren Buffett, believe they can earn consistent relatively higher returns than other investors (Penman, 2004). Buffett would be categorised as a fundamental investor. The core strategy of a fundamental investor would consist of thorough examination of available data, especially financial information. The expected result from fundamental analysis would be reduction of risk in decision making (Penman, 2004). Researchers have investigated a fundamental analysis type of investment strategy and documented evidence that, in fact, opportunities do exist for earning above normal returns (Ou and Penman, 1989). The supporters of the fundamental analysis strategy describe the investment decision as one where an opportunity exists to earn above normal returns under circumstances where under or overpriced shares are identified. In contrast to EMH theory, the fundamental investor believes that if mispriced stocks are identified successfully, an opportunity exists to “beat the market” (Penman, 2004). Some EMH research supports the theory that no available above normal returns exist, while research of fundamental analysis reports contrary results in major capital markets, such as the U.S.. If New Zealand’s capital market differs, it leads to a question of whether research findings of mispriced stocks exist. Some argue that New Zealand’s capital market exhibits characteristics that differ from major markets (Jia, 1992; Emanuel, 1979, 1984). In reference to this, can investors develop a fundamental analysis strategy to earn above normal returns in New Zealand’s capital market similar to that of a major capital market?
Texas Wine Marketing Assistance Program and the Impacts to the Texas Economy
Roger D. Hanagriff, Ph.D., Marcy M. Beverly, Ph.D., and Carolyn W. Robinson, Ph.D.
Sam Houston State University, TX
The Texas wine industry is a growing industry that impacts the states economy, offers gains in tourism and provides Texas jobs. This study shows the gains recognized from Texas Wineries during their participation in the Texas Wine Marketing Assistance Program (TWMAP). A questionnaire was created to assess the benefits to the wineries of the state of Texas derived from participation in the TWMAP program. This research shows that the participating wineries experienced an increase in annual sales and on-site visits. The existence of a marketing campaign shows great promise for the Texas wine industry. The Texas wine industry has grown to be the fourth largest U.S. wine producer. According to the Texas Wine Marketing Institute this industry annually impacts the Texas economy with over $133 million in sales and over $3 million in collected state tax revenues. The Texas Wine Marketing Assistance Program (TWMAP) was established to aid the growing Texas wine industry with support and promotion of Texas wines. The purpose of this program is to educate the public about wines produced in the state, the promotion of wineries and wines in the state of Texas that participate in the program, and the use of research to establish a wine industry marketing plan to increase the consumption of and access to Texas wines. This survey included questions concerning the type of TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture) sponsored activities that the wineries have been involved in, types of TDA promotional materials wineries used to promote Texas wines, and how the program has affected the overall awareness of the Texas wine industry. To ascertain program effectiveness, participants were asked to quantify sales volume, winery visitations and annual sales increases. Wineries were also asked to estimate the percentage of increase in sales due to participation in TWMAP programs. The quantification data was derived from sales increases recognized by responding wineries since implementation of the TWMAP. This data is not intended to measure the size of the Texas wine industry but rather focus on the progress of the industry since program implementation. Results are used to measure the effectiveness of TDA wine marketing efforts and better manage marketing areas to increase future program results.
Relationship Between Procedural Transparency Procedural Justice and Performance in Oil and Gas Development Company
Dr. Syed Tahir Hijazi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University Islamabad
Rubina Naz Qureshi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University Islamabad
The study explored the relationship between employees’ perception of Procedural Transparency, Procedural Justice and Employees Performance. Two questionnaires were developed for the purpose of the study. Procedural Transparency & Procedural Justice Questionnaire was used to measure the employee’s perception of procedural transparency & procedural justice while Performance Evaluation Questionnaire was meant to measure their performance by their supervisors. The sample consisted of 50 employees selected from thirteen different departments of Oil & Gas Development Company Limited, Islamabad. Results indicate that there is a significant correlation (0.975) between employees’ perception of Procedural Transparency and perceived Procedural Justice but negligible correlation was found between Procedural Justice and Employees Performance. Group-wise comparison reveals no significant difference of performance among the employees who have the positive perception of fairness regarding selection and promotion procedures in OGDCL and those who have the negative perception of fairness about the above procedures. However, there were differences in their Mean scores showing that the employees who have the positive perception of fairness regarding selection and promotion procedures have slightly higher performance as compared to those who have the negative perception of fairness about the above procedures.
The In-Store Shopping Experience and Customer Retention: A Study of Clothing Store Customers
Dr. Nic S. Terblanche, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Dr. Christo Boshoff, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Various developments continually pressurise retailers to find new and innovative ways to differentiate themselves from competitors and adapt to ever-changing and accelerating environmental circumstances. Positioning based on customers’ in-store shopping experience (ISE) offers retailers an alternative means of differentiation and is achieved by providing a superior in-store shopping experience. The ISE instrument that has been developed to measure customers’ in store shopping experience is used in this study to compare the in-store shopping experiences of customers of a clothing store by assessing its impact on customer retention. A proposition is formulated and the findings reported. The implications of ISE and customer retention for retail managers are also dealt with. During the past two decades retailers have had to deal with increasingly more sophisticated and demanding customers, new and often unanticipated competition from both domestic and foreign sources and a wave of new technological developments. These and other developments exert continuous pressure on retailers to find new and innovative ways to differentiate themselves from competitors and adapt to ever-changing and accelerating environmental circumstances (Dabholkar, Thorpe and Rentz, 1996:3). Retailers’ attempts to differentiate themselves vary from efforts to compete on superior service quality to loyalty schemes. The re-emergence of relationship marketing and the afore-mentioned rivalry in the retail market environment have, especially since the 1990’s, also led to a renewed emphasis on customer retention and loyalty by retailers. The large number of customer loyalty schemes operated by retailers is evidence of this challenging situation. Most of the differentiation attempts have, however, produced limited success (Egan, 1999; Sopanen, 1996; Berry 1986; Hummel and Savitt, 1988; Reichheld and Sasser, 1990; Dabholkar et al, 1996).
Is Fiscal Policy Efficient?
Dr. José Villacís, Universidad San Pablo, Madrid, Spain
We have inherited two legacies from Keynes or Keynesianism; one is fiscal policy and the other is the use and abuse of the multipliers. Fiscal policy consists of the manipulation of – increasing or reducing – taxes and/or public spending to control aggregate demand, and so have an influence on production and employment. The multipliers are used to study the effect on production and income. According to Keynesians, fiscal engineering, which is easy to study and which has better results in practice, is derived from this analytical structure. This engineering is a formulistic game which evades what is really important, which is human behaviour and rational expectations. The State, or rather Leviathan, disturbs the light signals which inform producers how much to produce and when. Leviathan, on the other hand, deceives. Fiscal activity, whose backbone is budgets, has three budgetary situations; equilibrium, deficit (the most common), and surplus. The three confuse the monetary market, send interest rates on a Big Dipper ride and curb investment. There cannot be rational expectations when interest rates go up and down like a yo-yo. And if the monetary authorities keep the interest rate fixed, monetary flows suffer floods or undercurrents. Both pure fiscal policy or fiscal policy combined with monetary effects or the latter on their own, cloud any kind of expectations which condition production. Leviathan is the maximum human power in a nation. It is the impersonal integration of vector forces within the State Administration with political forces and other external financial and industrial agents, which could even be international. It is more or less Hobbes’ idea of a monster created from proteins formed out of a covenant or great alliance with the citizens. My idea of Leviathan is more extreme than Hobbes’, since it is mechanical, amoral and, above all, universal. No-one governs Leviathan.
A Study of the Culture Differences between Consumer Behaviors in Taiwan and Mainland China
Dr. Lieh-Ching Chang, Hsuan Chuang University, Taiwan
Chun-Cheng Huang, Hsuan Chuang University, Taiwan
Based on the thought of the influence of culture on consumer behavior, the purposes of this study are, to find out and compare consumer behavior in both Taiwan and mainland China; to define the sub-culture of Taiwan from mainland China under the same Chinese culture, and reveal marketing strategies which are common or different in both countries, so as to stimulate consumers behaviors. Furthermore, this study provides a basis and orientation for enterprises to decide on marketing methods when carrying out cross-strait marketing. As the global business environment changes and international business and trade expands, the world becomes smaller and smaller; making cross-national, regional and cultural marketing strategies a necessity. When enterprises adopt a cross-national marketing strategy, the most common problem which has the greatest influences is “culture”. Past scholars have made many studies on cultural differences, the most famous study being the opinions of Hofstede (1984) on the four dimensions of cross-cultural differences, which are individualism vs. collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and sexism vs. feminism. However, is there a difference between different regions under the same culture? When carrying out marketing in Taiwan and the mainland China, marketing personnel often need to communicate, work together and even integrate the capacity of people with different cultural backgrounds.
Emergence of Retailers as Financial Services Providers in Turkey: A Conceptual Framework
Dr. Suphan Nasir, Istanbul University, Istanbul
The search for competitive advantage in a mature sector increases the significance of supplementary service elements that are bundled with the core product. The development of financial services within the retail organizations, such as store cards, personal loans and credits, can be considered as an example of product augmentation that are used by retailers to enhance the core product offer. Until the late of 1994, a monopoly has been existed in credit and credit card services in Turkey. Credit and credit card services market used to be dominated by banks; but recently, non-bank financial institutions such as retailers are entering the financial services market via the credit, privilege cards, and deferred payment options. Retailers are aware of the significance of offering financial services for their success; thus they try to enhance the value of the core offer by supplying various financial services to their customers. Considering the importance of offering financial services, the purpose of this article is to (1) review the provision of payment systems and financial services, which are offered by the Turkish retailers, in order to see how and to what extend retailers involve in the provision and management of financial services, and (2) propose a preliminary conceptual framework about the main drivers that lead a retailer to emerge as financial services provider in Turkey on the basis of their common characteristics. Change is occurring at an accelerating rate in today’s markets. Globalization, internet, and technological developments can be considered as major drivers that shape the contemporary business environment. These major forces cause changes in economic trends, customer needs and social values. With the technological advancements and prevalent use of internet, customers can reach product information more easily than in the past, and now customers shop more consciously. Hence, this information age has created highly competitive markets in which customers are more aware of competitive offers, more price sensitive and more demanding. Today’s customers face a vast array of product and service choices; so in this market structure it is no longer easy to please and satisfy customers. Customers expect higher quality and service. As competition increases and markets maturate, it becomes difficult for firms to attract and retain customers. Customers make their purchase decisions among different offerings on the basis of which offer will deliver the most value to them.
Designing and Monitoring Corporate Codes of Conduct for Multinational Corporations
Emre A. Veral, Ph.D., Baruch College, New York, NY
This paper presents the ongoing efforts of International Center for Corporate Accountability (ICCA) in designing corporate codes of conduct and monitoring multinational corporations’ (MNC) overseas operations compliance with these codes. We present a prescriptive hierarchical structure that starts with the MNC’s Social Mission Statement (step 1), which provides the scope for the Code of Conduct (step 2) elaborating the specific issues to be addressed, followed by the Checklist which is a detailed description of operational measures (step 3), that are put to test via the Field Audit protocol (step 4). In addition, we offer our field audit findings, which include 11 corporate controlled manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Mexico over a period of 4 years. These findings, which are derived from two visits to each facility- 3 years apart, demonstrate the verifiable improvements facilitated by our structured approach to designing and implementing codes of conduct. A unique feature of the current wave of globalization has been the role of the private sector, and notably large multinational corporations, in providing capital and technology to the developing countries to make products, harvest forests, and extract oil and minerals destined for the markets of industrially advanced countries. This process ensures efficiencies both at the production and distribution ends of the supply chain.
E-entrepreneurship in Knowledge Economy: Implications for the Asia-Pacific Economies
Dr. Amir Mahmood, University of Newcastle, Australia
Cheng Ming Yu, Multimedia University, Malaysia
This study examines factors influencing the emergence of a knowledge-based economy and e-entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific region. The spotlight of this study is on e-entrepreneurship, a key determinant of a knowledge-based economy. This study provides a systematic analysis to highlight that e-entrepreneurship is one of the necessary conditions for the emergence of a knowledge economy in the Asia-Pacific. The study identifies four broad areas to explore e-entrepreneurship opportunities, i.e., ICT infrastructure, Internet /e-commerce application infrastructure, Internet intermediaries/e-commerce supporting services, and e-commerce. There is, however, little doubt that the most noticeable driver of e-entrepreneurship would be e-commerce. The study takes the stance that the quantum of e-commerce depends on its readiness and intensity, which vary from one country to another in the Asia-Pacific region. The evidence, however, reveals that the e-commerce readiness is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to accelerate the pace of e-commerce. This paper also outlines various supply and demand side issues that may act as a drag factor, hindering the pace of e-entrepreneurship. While such issues pose serious impediments to conduct on-line business, they also offer enormous opportunities for ICT startups to provide fitting solutions to these challenges. This paper examines both the direct and indirect forces that stimulating the formation of a knowledge-based economy and e-entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific region (1). A knowledge-based economy is basically an outcome of synergies between: a) “software” (human and social capital); b) “hardware” (information and communication technology) and c) the fundamental socio-economic environment, which are linked in a systematic way by the entrepreneurs.
Fast-Food Restaurant Site Selection Factor Evaluation by the Analytic Hierarchy Process
Dr. Mehpare Timor, Istanbul University, Istanbul
Dr. Seyhan Sipahi, Istanbul University, Istanbul
One of the most important and long-term strategic decisions a retailer has to make is the choice of site selection for the store. In our study, we concentrate on factors one should take into account for fast food restaurant site selection. The main purpose of the study is to find out the relative importance of site selection criteria. In this paper, we present a hierarchical model where both qualitative and quantitative site selection factors can be taken into account by using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) technique. Results show that “Costs” is the most important factor and other important factors according to the rank of their weights are “Location”, “Visibility”, “Traffic Patterns”, “Competition”, “Area’s Future” and “Physical Characteristics”. By using these priority values of criteria, alternatives can be evaluated effectively by taking into account both qualitative and quantitative factors. Although other known techniques can be used in order to make a site decision, this study provides an alternative technique that can be used when subjectivity exists. The fast food industry has been growing in Turkey as well as in the world. Howewer, after the 2001 economic crisis in Turkey, some of the fast food restaurants were closed down. Others were able to survive. After this phenomenon, franchisors and franchisees are acting more carefully on their fast food restaurant decisions. Franchising is a way of doing business for fast food restaurants. The term “franchise” originated from a French word, meaning “free from servitude”. According to Khan (1992) “a franchise is a legal agreement in which an owner (franchisor), agrees to grant rights or privileges (lisence) to someone else (franchisee) to sell the product(s) or services underset specific conditions.
Decolonization and International Trade: The Cote D’ivoire’s Case
Dr. Albert J. Milhomme, Texas State University– San Marcos
Many countries, former colonies of some colonial powers, have acceded in the past century to their political independence. What about their economic independence? A measure of this independence could be reflected in the evolution of their international trade, exports and imports. This study is centered on the evolution of the international trade of Cote d’Ivoire, a former colony of France. For more or less half a century, many countries, former colonies of some colonial power like Great Britain or France, have acceded to their political independence. What about their economic independence? A measure of this economic independence could be in the today pattern of their international trade, exports as well as imports. This study, centered on Cote d’Ivoire (also known unofficially as Ivory Coast for some English speaking people), a former colony of France, might put some light on the rate of the evolution and the achievement or non-achievement of this economic independence.In 1960, as a colony of France, Cote d’Ivoire did import 65% of its imports from France and did export to France 67% of its exports. France had then at that time, a dominant position, a position which was the result of a century of effort to create and protect trade. Cote d’Ivoire was a main customer of France in term of imports and a main supplier of France in term of exports. Has France kept a dominant position in Cote d’Ivoire today, 43 years after the independence? This is the type of question some people have definitely answered by “yes”. French companies are still very active in many formerly colonized countries and do a majority of their “International Business” in their old colonies. The reasons are basically to be found in the cultural ties and traditions established during colonial rule. The colonial language used for business and daily life, the educational system of the country, the financial connections with the outside world, the newspaper read, and numerous expatriates staying in the country after independence are all acculturation’s factors which contribute to a paradoxical degree of dependence upon the previous colonizers on the part of many newly dependent countries. Other people have different feelings.
The Process Characteristics from the Perspective of Strategy and Quality in Croatian North Adriatic Water Supply Firms
Dr. Ivan Mencer, University of Rijeka, Rijeka
Lara Jelenc, University of Rijeka, Rijeka
Process is used in the context of movement, development and progress, in many disciplines connected to organizations and management. Process in the world of strategic process research is a stream with neither beginning nor end, with emergent structure, unpredictable movement and uniquely combination of elements. In the search of the answer in which way organizational strategy is formed and implemented process research is trying to understand the influence of firm’s administrative systems and decision processes on its strategic positions. Process in the quality world is more pragmatic in its nature. Originated from business process management, process is defined as a system of activities that uses resources to transform input elements into output elements. Firms focused on the customers and their needs can organise itself towards the process-oriented concepts. Business process management is implemented according to the unique needs and constraints of the firm. Research posses the trend and challenges public firms deal in water industry. Knowledge about process from the strategic perspective can help public firms in keeping the Croatian national heritage of water clean for the following generations. Process from the quality perspective can help water supply public firms in the Croatian North Adriatic realizing the importance of process oriented firm and the cross-functional flow of operational activities. In this way firms can lower their costs, meet the demanding voices of the customer and obtain a better value for money. Simple words used in a complex organizational context tend to be used in a variety of situations, differing and deviating in the meaning from the original intention of usage. New dynamic organizational situations demand new vocabulary in order to express emerging moments, events and relations.
The Possibilistic-Based Evacuation Decision Model Under Fuzzy Durations
Dr. Tufan Tiglioglu, Alvernia College, Reading, PA
Dr. Emre Kaymaz, GST, Inc./NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD
The success of hurricane evacuation plans depends on implementing “phased evacuations,” i.e., getting the people at highest risk out first, and minimizing “shadow evacuations,” in which people evacuate even though they are not under direct threat. Estimating evacuation times for each at-risk household to reach safety without traffic chaos is crucial for successful phased evacuations. This paper provides a unified framework of fuzzy set and possibility theory to develop a mathematical model for time-dynamic hurricane evacuation decision-making to perform “phased evacuation” and thus to achieve more realistic clearance times. This model also extends the hurricane evacuation decision analysis to flexible durations, which are controlled, as well as to uncertain durations in which some parameters are beyond control. The knowledge about the travel durations is imprecise and partially unpredictable during hurricane evacuations. The usual transportation models use stochastic travel durations because these durations can be perfectly justified if statistical data are available about them. However, statistical data are not always available in hurricane evacuations. Even if they are, it may be inappropriate to use them. Besides, the assumption of identically repeated evacuations is dubious. On the other hand, some information about more plausible durations, based on qualitative information about uncertain parameters, is often available. Therefore, qualitative expected utility theory is applied, assuming that the decision-makers are pessimistic about evacuation travel times because they do not want to be in transit when a hurricane strikes. While they may have some preference between taking different evacuation routes, they have no control over traffic jams across alternatives. Since decision-makers do not want to leave their homes too early in order to avoid unnecessary evacuation, they are interested in determining acceptable arrival times and corresponding departure times.
Explaining the Growth in Pharmaceutical Expenditures in Spain
Aysegul Timur, University of South Florida, Tampa and International College, Naples, FL
Dr. Laura Cabiedes, University of Oviedo
Dr. Gabriel Picone, University of South Florida, Tampa
During the last two decades, government pharmaceutical expenditures in Spain have increased dramatically. Several forces have influenced both the usage and prices of pharmaceutical products during this period. Among those forces are demographic changes, legal changes, and the introduction of new higher priced drugs. The goal of this study is to analyze the contribution of all these potential explanations on the total increase in public pharmaceutical expenditures in Spain using aggregate state data between the years of 1997 and 2001. The results of this study found that most of the increase in pharmaceutical expenditures in Spain is concentrated among individuals with no co-payment (retired individuals) and also that the increase is due to price increases caused by the introduction of new drugs of moderate and low therapeutic novelty. Pharmaceutical prices in Spain are considered one of the lowest among developed countries (Scherer 2000); however, their pharmaceutical expenditures are one of the highest among those countries. Furthermore, during the last two decades these expenditures have increased dramatically. For example, in 1980 the Spanish public expenditure on pharmaceutical products per individual was $22.64 (1997$), but in 2001 this expenditure had risen to $64.51 (1997$). Unlike increases in pharmaceutical expenditures in the US that were due to increases in drug coverage (Danzon and Pauly 2002), Spain had almost complete drug coverage at the beginning of the study period; therefore, we cannot attribute the increase in government pharmaceutical expenditures to increases in coverage. To contain these increases in cost, the Spanish government implemented several cost containment policies including a “negative list” in 1993 (subsequently extended in 1998) of medicaments that will no longer be reimbursed, a reference price system, and pharmacist margin reductions. Unfortunately, these measures have failed to control the growth of pharmaceutical expenditures (Darba 2003) as this spending rose by more than 8% in real terms between 1997 and 2001.
The Influence of Contextual Variables on TQM Practices and TQM-Organizational Performance Relationships
Although much has been written about total quality management (TQM), little attention has been paid to the potential effects of contextual variables on TQM. First, a model of TQM and organizational performance was developed. Then using survey data, the effects of five contextual variables on the TQM practices and TQM-organizational performance relationships in this model were tested. The five contextual variables included formal TQM implementation, ISO 9000 registration, country of origin, company size, and scope of operations. The results showed that the implementation of all the TQM practices was similar across subgroups of companies within each contextual variable. In addition, the effects of TQM on four performance measures, as well as the relationships among these measures, were generally similar across subgroup companies. Thus, for the five contextual variables analyzed, the overall findings did not provide support for the argument that TQM and TQM-performance relationships were context dependent. The implications of the study for managers and researchers were also discussed. In general, previous studies obtained mixed results about the success and failure rates of total quality management (TQM). Some of the studies in the literature reported estimates of TQM failure rates as high as 60-67% (Dooyoung et al., 1998). However, other studies yielded more optimistic results. For instance, according to a study conducted by Mohrman et al. (1995), 83% of the surveyed firms had a “positive or very positive” experience with TQM, and 79% planned to “increase or greatly increase” their TQM initiatives in the next 3 years.
Exploring Buyer Life-Style Dimensions and Ethnocentrism Among Canadian Consumers: An Empirical Study
Dr. Orsay Kucukemiroglu, The Pennsylvania State University, York, PA
Dr. Ali Kara, The Pennsylvania State University, York, PA
Dr. Talha Harcar, The Pennsylvania State University, Beaver, PA
Investigating consumer life styles and ethnocentrism is a unique way of finding out buyer behavior and market segmentation. The purpose of this paper is to identify consumer market segments existing among Canadian consumers by using life-style patterns and ethnocentrism. Data for the study was collected through personal interviews in Brandon, Canada. Survey findings indicated that ten life style dimensions among the Canadian consumers had an influence on their ethnocentric tendencies and buying behavior. The findings provide some implications to marketers who currently operate in or are planning to enter into the Canadian market in the near future. The globalization of markets has been a business strategy for a long time. Entering international markets has been not only the focus of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) but also an approach of small and medium size businesses. While MNCs have invested heavily in locating their operations in specific geographic areas, other businesses have created innovative ways to develop global markets through import and export activities.
Using Databases in Designing Drugs: Current Legal and Interoperability Considerations which Arise in Pharmacogenomics
Dr. Julia Alpert Gladstone, Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island
The science of pharmacogenomics draws upon biomedical informatics to apply the knowledge of drug reactions to the function or mutation of genes. It is a science which relies upon genomics but its genius is its use of databases. The creation of databases employed in the science of pharmacogenomics raises many ethical as well as legal, security and computational issues. The productive utilization of databases for pharmacogenomics requires interoperability; this article explains the importance of interoperability and discusses two of the major impediments to achieving wide scale interoperability, namely creating an ontology to link knowledge about genotypes with phenotypes and developing a universal legal framework to regulate copyright protection of databases. The complete sequencing of the human genome has been the harbinger of major advances in medicine. Methods to measure gene expression, protein levels and to study single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have lead the way to detecting genetic factors in determining variable responses to drugs. Bioinformatics, a collaborative computer science which uses databases to organize and compare sequence data, has been instrumental in the rapid and successful sequencing of the human genome. The creation of population genetic databases allows genotype information to be combined with phenotype characteristics to detect genetic disease and target drugs accordingly. Medical informatics is the discipline where computers are used to facilitate analysis of clinical data. The science of pharmacogenomics, which applies knowledge of drug reactions to the functions or, more precisely, the mutations of genes draws upon both bioinformatics and medical informatics and has lead to the newest field of biomedical informatics.
Causes of Decline and Turnaround Strategies of Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Companies
Dr. Mohamed Sulaiman, University Science of Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
Ruhani Ali, University Science of Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
Jullimursyida Ganto, University of Malikussaleh, Aceh, Indonesia
The study examines causes of decline and turnaround strategies of Malaysian firms following the 1997/1998 financial crisis. Two different sets of companies were used, namely, Top 100 companies representing the successful companies, and the second group being the distress companies as classified under Practice Notes No. 4 (PN4). The results indicated that there are significant differences in causes of decline and turnaround strategies between these two distinct groups. The PN4 companies experience higher cash flow problems and top management problems than the Top 100 companies. The PN4 companies adopted the consolidation strategy to manage the cash flow problems, while the Top 100 companies especially ones without top management problems tended to use marketing strategy as its turnaround strategy. The fast economic growth of Malaysia as a developing country places it in the forefront in the 1990’s. But unfortunately, the 1997/1998 financial crisis which started in Thailand and spread to other countries, such as Indonesia, South Korea and other parts of Southeast Asia including to a lesser extent Malaysia. Most of the companies were affected by the financial crisis such that some went into distress or some even to the point of bankruptcy. However, some companies still survived years after the crisis.
Using Information Technology Ethically: New Dimensions in the Age of the Internet
Dr. Sanjeev Phukan, Bemidji State University, Bemidji
Issues of IT Ethics have recently become immensely more complex. The capacity to place material on the World Wide Web has been acquired by a very large number of people. As evolving software has gently hidden the complexities and frustrations that were involved in writing HTML, more and more web sites are being created by people with a relatively modest amount of computer literacy. At the same time, once the initial reluctance to use the Internet and the World Wide Web for commercial purposes had been overcome, sites devoted to doing business on the Internet mushroomed and e-commerce became a term permanently to be considered part of common usage. The assimilation of new technology is almost never smooth. As the Internet begins to grow out of its abbreviated infancy, a multitude of new issues surface continually, and a large proportion of these issues remain unresolved. Many of these issues contain a strong ethics content. As the ability to reach millions of people instantly and simultaneously has passed into the hands of the average person, the rapid emergence of thorny ethical issues is likely to continue unabated. The area of Information Systems (IS) ethics has received, deservedly, a fair amount of attention in recent times. IS Professionals generally agree that we need adequate ground rules to govern the use of present day Information Technology (IT). We have also recognized for many years the need to incorporate ethics into IS curricula [Couger, 1989, Cohen & Cornwell, 1989]. Current mechanisms which attempt to make IS professionals and students more sensitive to the ethical concerns within IT and IS may, however, be too tightly focused in terms of both issues and audience, especially in the light of the rapid proliferation of Internet use. To properly analyze the impact of the Internet on IS ethics, we would need to establish the appropriate context. To this end, this paper explores several aspects of computer ethics that are relevant to today's users of IT. For example, who are the people that need to be educated on these issues? What are the issues, and what has been the impact of the Internet on these issues?
Sources and Types of Export Information: Insights from Turkish Companies
Dr. Mehmet Haluk Köksal, AUB, Lebanon
The success of international companies largely depends on their marketing information systems. Companies must collect different information from various sources about their foreign markets and analyze, interpret, and use it to make sound decisions about which markets to enter, how to enter them, and how to satisfy the needs of these markets. This paper, as a part of a larger study, addresses the most-used information sources and the information types required by Turkish exporting companies and the effects of the companies’ organizational and exporting characteristics on the information sources and information types. The paper offers conclusions, limitations and directions for future research. Many researchers claim that exporting positively affects levels of employment, foreign exchange revenues, industrial development and national prosperity (Leonidou and Katsikeas, 1996; Morgan and Katsikeas, 1997), and also improves the performance of companies, their profitability, sales volume and market share. Developing relevant information for decision making becomes more critical when environments are broadened to international markets (Douglas and Craig, 1983; Daser, 1984; Cateora and Graham, 2005) since operations abroad carry higher risk due to unfamiliar business environment, new parameters, an increase in the number of dimensions involved, and the possibility of more and broadened competition (Czinkota, 2001). The studies in the literature report that lack of information or insufficient information about foreign markets is one of the most commonly cited reasons preventing companies from exporting (Bodur, 1986; Kaynak, 1992; Leonidou, 1995). Information about international markets is strongly related to success abroad.
A Study on the Correlation of Companies’ Years of Establishment Prior to Public Listing and Abnormal Returns of the Periods after the Companies’ Initial Public Offering and Major Events
Justine Chang, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan
Jia-Hui Peng, Chaoyang University of Technology, Taiwan
Wun-Hong Su, Chaoyang University of Technology, Taiwan
The studies on companies’ stock performance in term of abnormal returns have long been receiving attentions among scholars worldwide. As many companies strive to be listed in the public for more capital resources, performance of the companies’ stock determine the companies’ competitiveness to remain in the capital market. Many scholars have explored many factors to explain the existence of abnormal return during the period after companies’ IPO. Studies on the same phenomena regarding stock performance of IPO in Taiwan stock exchange market are also common. However, the studies on the correlation regarding non-financial condition of new IPO companies have been few. Thus, this study intends to investigate the correlation between company’s years of establishment prior to their initial public offering and the effect on abnormal return during the period of initial public offering (IPO) and major events by looking into the time sector of IPO stocks of sample companies, the ages of companies prior to IPO, type of industries, and abnormal returns after the occurrence of major events. Sample of 87 companies are selected randomly for testing and the results are as follows:
Achieving a Service Marketing Orientation: The Case of a UK Manufacturer
Ed Little, University of Gloucestershire, UK
Chris Tait, Applied Energy Products Ltd., UK
Ebi Marandi, University of Bournemouth, UK
This paper presents the interim results of a rare collaboration between industry and academia. Through a UK government-funded scheme, the University of Gloucestershire worked in partnership with a medium-sized manufacturer of space heating, ventilation and water-heating products to capitalise on an opportunity to expand its operations in the UK social housing market. The project required the company to change from a transaction-based, sales orientation to a service marketing orientation. The paper reviews literature on overcoming the internal barriers to achieving such an orientation, and outlines the actions taken to effect the necessary cultural change. It is concluded that humanistic, communication and training -based approaches were quite effective in stimulating organisational change. More progress could be made, however, if these initiatives were underpinned by changes to wider structure and system of the company. The achievement of such changes will depend on the commitment and action of senior management. This paper sets out a case study of change management in a UK-based small to medium enterprise (SME), seeking to move from a sales-based, transactional culture to a longer term relationship marketing (RM) orientation, in which customer service constituted the main USP. In pursuit of this objective, the company participated in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. This is a government scheme, through which the company partners with a University to resolve a specified business problem. Both parties receive a government grant, with which they fund an appointment, known as the KTP associate, to address this problem. The associate is employed by the University, but works in the partner company towards objectives that are specified at the outset of the scheme. On a day to day basis, the associate works to his or her line manger in the company, but also benefits from weekly visits from a supervisor from the University.
Poverty Problems in Society, Estonian Example
Raissa Kokkota, MSc, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
The aim of the paper is to give an overview of poverty problems in Estonia. For that purpose the article describes absolute and relative poverty measures and macroeconomic indicarors. Estonian scientists have studied the appropriateness of using relative measures of poverty and find that utilizing the median income as a basic for comparison does not adequatly reflect needs. As an alternative, they determined an absolute measure of poverty, which considers the amount of income necessary for daily living. The paper argues that the noticeable tendency of the last decade has been a considerable increase in direct poverty, mostly on the account of those people, who are in endangers of poverty, The data show that in 2002 the situation was better already. On average, public social expenditure amounts to 24.2% of GDP in EU countries, although there are significant cross-country variations, in Estonia it is 16-17%. The paper claims, that it is a daunting challenge for each country to formulate an effective poverty reduction strategy according to its own needs and circumstances. Poverty was for many years a subject of great sensitivity for the Communist governments of prereform Eastern Europe. It was regarded as one of distinguishing of capitalism. “Poverty in Europe on the threshold of the 21-st century is a political scandal and social catastrophe,” was stated at the EU summit dealing with social issues: Towards Greater Social Justice in Europe: the Challenge of Marginalisation and Poverty, which took place in 1991 Strasbourg. At the 1995 Copenhagen Social Development Summit, the importance was stressed of developing national strategies for the substantial reduction of poverty, by removing structural barriers and through supporting social integration. Based on the obligations set by Copenhagen summit, a project titled “Reduction of Poverty in Estonia” was initiated in Estonia in 1997 with the support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the results of which reached the Estonian public in 1999 (Estonian Human Development Report 1999, p. 75). Problems concerning poverty in Estonia also have been tackled in other studies.
Convergence of Health Care Expenditure in EU
Dr. Kaie Kerem, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia
Dr. Tiia Püss, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia
Mare Viies, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia
The paper seeks to analyze the convergence of health care expenditure and to measure b-, s- and γ-convergence. The authors have used cross-sectional data over the period of 1992-2001 for health care expenditure as share of GDP and per capita health care expenditure. Data of the World Health Organization (WHO) were used for the research. The study demonstrates that although usually the increase of economic integration facilitates economic growth, the mere fact of the enlarged European Union does not bring along any automatic homogenization of health care expenditure in EU-8 countries. The convergence analysis suggests that it would take approximately 3 years for the health care expenditure as a share of GDP in EU-8 countries to move halfway to the EU-15 average. Several economic growth theories treat human capital as the principal factor of economic growth. The quality of human capital depends not only on the educational level of population, but also on health. The population’s health situation is affected by various social and economic factors, but also by health policy and the resources used in health care. Macroeconomic evidence confirms that countries with the weakest conditions of health and education have much harder time achieving a sustained growth than countries with better conditions of health and education (Macroeconomics and Health, 2001). The state of health of the employees has an equally important role. The better health may increase output not only through labor productivity but also through the accumulation of capital (see Bils and Klenow, 2000; Bloom et al., 2001).
Needs, Behavior, and Attitudes of People in the United Arab Emirates Towards Consuming Thai – Halal Packaged Food
Dr. Guntalee Ruenrom, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Sawika Unahanandh, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Since the Thai Government has set the “Kitchen of the World ” policy to export Thai packaged food to the world market in order to increase the country’s revenues, the Ministry of Commerce has to create a number of programs to help exporting and promoting Thai food and other related products. Even though the United Arab Emirates is the major emerging markets for Thailand’s halal packaged food, there still has been no consumer research in this area. Therefore, the researchers want to understand the needs, consumption behavior, and attitudes of people in the UAE towards Thai packaged food. The consumers’ survey consisted of 320 subjects was conducted in the UAE by using the questionnaire. The qualitative in-depth interviews were also conducted from both private and public enterprises. The results from the study found that people in the UAE have favorable attitudes toward Thai food because the taste is good and is different from other Asian food but they need more information about the products. The language used in the packages should be Arabic. The results from the in-depth interviews were consistency from all parties. The packaged food competition in the UAE is high and companies need to do more marketing strategies to increase their sales. People are price sensitive and value the good quality products. Finally, the recommendations were made for the government policy makers and the business organizations involved in the Thai - halal food exporting to this country.
Open Market Operations and Implementation of Monetary Policy in a Small Open Economy: Case of New Zealand
Xinsheng Lu, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Australia
Francis In, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Australia
This paper examines the impact of the New Zealand central bank’s open market operations (OMO) and monetary policy on interest rates and foreign exchange markets, with a comparative view in line with the impact of open market operations in Australian financial markets. We investigate the effect of the Reserve Bank’s domestic market operations on asset returns volatility through an extended EGARCH (1, 1) model. Special attentions are paid to the impact of OMO and cash rate target announcements effect in two different periods—the MCI and OCR regime in which two distinctive monetary policy regimes with different degree of policy transparency are conducted respectively. Our empirical results suggest that the Bank’s OMOs have significant contemporaneous impacts on return volatility of short and long-term interest rate markets but not on the New Zealand dollar exchange rate market. Strong OMO effects are observed for all five markets during the MCI period. Those findings suggest that, although the role of the OMO decreases as monetary policy transparency increases, as a key instrument for the monetary policy implementation, the OMO still conveys information that shapes market expectations and hence impacts on both the mean return and the return volatility of New Zealand financial markets. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), as New Zealander’s central bank, is responsible for formulating and implementing monetary policy to achieve the goals of stable prices and full employment, and most importantly, a stable financial environment for the economy. In implementing the nation’s monetary policy, the RBNZ utilizes the policy tools to induce changes in interest rates, and the amount of money and credit in the economy. Through those financial variables, the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy and market operations influence the levels of spending, output, employment and prices.
Emerging Contours of Micro Finance: Where Do We Go From Here?
Manoranjan Sharma, Chief Economist, Canara Bank, Head Office, Bangalore, India
Cross-country experience clearly shows that micro credit is the key to socio-economic transformation. The paper demonstrates that micro credit does not only deliver macro benefits but has also brought about a silent revolution in rural areas. A significant instrument of promotion of micro credit in India in a sustainable manner has been the SHG programme and its linkage with banks. Despite credit linkage of more than 1 million SHGs and mobilization of about Rs.3000 crore as credit from the formal financial institutions, MF still forms a small proportion of the total bank credit in India. There are still serious demand-supply imbalances, limited involvement of commercial banks, small size of microfinance institutions (MFIs), minuscule outreach of MFIs in terms of the proportion of poor households served, covering less than 5 percent of India’s rural poor and extremely skewed distribution across states. Further, the scope of Indian MFIs continues to be extremely narrow with only India’s three top MFIs offering composite services. Systemic MFI reform necessitates large quality SHGs with accent on comparatively backward and resource poor regions, suitable training and exposure programme, financial assistance to SHPIs, credit rating of SHGs, financing of SHGs as a business proposition widening the range of SHPIs by associating larger number of development agencies and greater dissemination of the concept of SHGs.
E-commerce Model of Virtual Enterprises in Thailand
Teerayout Wattanasupachoke, Ph.D., Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Annop Tanlamai, Ph.D., Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
As information and communication technology increasingly influences the ways of business operations, electronic commerce seems to play more important parts to the world economy. Thailand also cannot avoid the phenomenon. Cyber commerce in Thailand is expanding fast. A number of virtual, often called virtual enterprises, have been established. However, most of them remain small in size and have not long been developed. Their survival then is of primary concern. As electronic commerce model, consisting of content, community, and commercialization, is generally viewed as critical factors affecting performance of virtual enterprises, it is particularly interesting to analyse their operations according to the model. Results suggest that High capacity and speedy servers, User-friendly design, Specialization in specific areas, as well as Modern and attractive design are major content factors deployed by small and medium sized virtual enterprises in attracting web customers. Regarding the community factors, Updated news and information, Interactive activities, Cutting-edge tools for on-line communication are significantly employed to generate regular and frequent visits of the customers. Finally, Selling products and services, Collecting banner fees, W sponsoring, and Selling customer database are major ways of the enterprises to commercialise and generate incomes. The emphases on these factors of the e-commerce model then affect significantly performance of small and medium sized virtual enterprises in Thailand.
Reconciling the Electronic Democracy With Grassroots Democracy: A South African Study
Dr. Jan A Meyer (PrM), Monash University, Roodepoort, South Africa
In the post-apartheid South Africa, democracy under a new and open constitution is all about communication. Communicating the political intent, communicating the political objectives and communicating of the proposed outcomes. The problem in this scenario is the fact that the communication infrastructures are yet to be developed to empower all parties concerned. In many rural situations the infrastructures is still lacking. The ultimate in terms of bringing electronic democracy to the populace will be achieved once a total integrated communication infrastructure has been established. Until such a time the electronic democracy will be limited to the areas which are fortunate enough to have an infrastructure of international standard. This paper is compiled to represent the theme of the procurement of good governance in post-apartheid South Africa and the role the Public Administration can play in this. Essentially the Public Administration through the application of the administrative function may and can change the existing South African scenario with regards to the democracy specifically the electronic democracy and the grassroots perception thereof. Much is written about the aspect of electronic democracy. In literary terms however this does not represent a well-researched topic. Many local governments have to this day experimented with the concept but reports are vague as to the actual success or not thereof. In many instances Electronic Democracy is seen as end in itself whilst in other instances it is considered to be a tool to be utilised in order to obtain greater citizen participation or even to lessen the workloads of public office bearers. On the other hand the application of the information technology may well lead to distortion of the intended message. However, applying information technology enables the applicator to communicate his/her message more selectively per specified regions or groups.
International Commercial Arbitration in Singapore: A Proposed Framework for Economic Impact and Positioning Analysis
Ajibade Ayodeji Aibinu, Research Scholar, National University of Singapore
Despite the numerous economic impact studies in the tourism and travel literature, little or no empirical study has been conducted to investigate the economic impact of international commercial arbitration. Hence, the aim of an ongoing research is to analyze the economic impact of international commercial arbitration in Singapore and to investigate the positioning of Singapore, as an attractive location of choice for arbitrating disputes, among other Asian Pacific venues, as perceived by users and arbitration experts. The purpose of this paper is to examine the need for such study, describe the principles involved and propose a framework that may be adopted. The paper offers a generalisable model that researchers can adopt in their different countries. Due to prestige and monetary reward, international commercial arbitration has become so popular that many countries are now actively competing to attract more international arbitration work. Disputants’ expenses could constitute an injection of new money into the local economy of the venue where the arbitral hearing is being conducted. The level of money injected would depend on the ultimate geographical destination of the disputants’ expenditures. Hence, in order to justify and appropriately focus efforts directed at marketing and promoting international commercial arbitration services, there is need to study its economic impact so as to estimate the level of economic activities being generated. There is also the need to understand the positioning of a venue among other competing venues in terms of its attractiveness, as a venue for arbitrating disputes. The knowledge developed could provide vital information for public policy makers and promoters when devising ways of improving and marketing international arbitration services, thereby increasing the demand for it and inadvertently reaping maximum economic benefit.
A Longitudinal Study on the Global Digital Divide Problem: Strategies to Close Cross-Country Digital Gap
Dr. Mahendhiran Nair, Monash University, Malaysia
Mudiarasan Kuppusamy, Monash University, Malaysia
Ron Davison, Bond University, Australia
In this paper, we examine the trends in the diffusion and utilization of information and communication technology (ICT) in twenty-five selected underdeveloped, developing and developed countries from 1995 to 2003. The study uses a multivariate statistical method to measure the digital divide across the twenty-five countries. The empirical analysis showed that the digital gap across underdeveloped, developing and developed countries have widened over the sample period. Factors contributing to the increase in the digital gap will be discussed in this paper. Strategies and policies to bridge the digital divide will be presented in this paper. Our lifestyles have changed dramatically over the last three decades due to proliferation, diffusion and utilization of information and communication technology (ICT). ICT is an integral tool that helps in the development of mankind across the globe. Geographical distances and location are no longer a burden, as ICT can provide reliable communication and flow of information to the most remote area. All that is needed in a country is the appropriate infrastructure support system for ICT diffusion to happen.
The Resolution of Cross-Cultural Issues
H. W. Lee, Ph.D., National Chia-Yi University, Taiwan
Human resource management (HRM) is known and accepted in the broadest sense of the term, as a form of management that includes “all management decisions and actions that affect the nature of the relationship between the organization and the employees – its human resources” (Beer et al., 1984, p. 1). As can be observed based on the definition, the tasks of those belonging in HRM can be complex as it involves all issues that encompass employee and firm relationship. Believing that the most important asset of a business is the people in order to achieve sustained business success is the core philosophy of human resource management (HRM), and realizing this leads to a strategic management of people within the organization. Its philosophy is based on the simple belief that human resources are the most important asset in achieving and sustained business success. This realization became the driving force behind the creation of human resource management resulting in organizations taking a strategic approach to the management of their people. One of the issues, however, is the problem of cross-cultural boundaries and conflicts within employees, especially if the organization operates globally. Past studies in international human resource management focused mainly on the cultural relativity of HR management practices, for instance, about the understanding that the development of a company’s HR policies are subject to cultural influences and that multi-national corporations must take these culturally based differences into account when operating overseas (Schneider and Barsoux, 1997; Adler, 2003). Some researchers stated that the cultural differences within the community of international business require international managers to be flexible and adapt managerial practices to different nationalities and cultures (Feldman and Bolino, 1999; Tung, 1998). Of course, this is almost common sense given that different cultures have different ways in life and different ideas of how they should function, perform their jobs, etc. Basically, it is the job of the Human Resource Department to train foreign expatriates cross-culturally, to enable them to adopt in the new cultural environment they are in. Expatriate that may not be able to adopt may prove to be ineffective and may result in substantial or large direct and indirect costs (Selmer, 2001).
Leader-Member Exchange and Leadership Effectiveness of Chief Executive Officers in South Sumatra, Indonesia
Badia Perizade, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
Mohamed Sulaiman, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
Liden and Maslyn (1998) found that researchers have shown that LMX was significant with many important outcomes. Using the social exchange theory this research examines the influence of LMX toward the leadership effectiveness of CEOs in South Sumatra, Indonesia. Leadership effectiveness is indicated by the members’ job satisfaction, members’ commitment, and attitude to change. The sample of the survey consists of 126 CEOs of medium and large sized manufacturing firm. The result of the study shows that perceived contribution and affect of LMX has positive influence on the leadership effectiveness: intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction, affective and normative commitment, and attitude to change, but only affect has a negative influence to attitude to change. Leaders are important for organizations to progress and meet challenges of the future. Most researchers evaluate leadership effectiveness in terms of the consequences of leader’s action for followers and company’s stakeholders. Leadership effectiveness will be reflected in the organizations’ performance and growth, preparedness to face challenges, employees’ commitment and satisfaction, psychological well-being and development of followers, leaders’ status and advancement in the organization (Yukl, 2002). Good quality relationship between leaders and members is an important factor in improving the company’s competitive advantage. Concerning the importance of the leaders’ relationship with their members and the quality of their relationship, this research will examine how they are related and influenced.
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Index: The Library of Congress, Washington, DC: ISSN: 1540 – 7780
Index: Online Computer Library Center, OH: OCLC: 805078765
Index: National Library of Australia: NLA: 42709473
Index: Cambridge Social Science Citation Index, CSSCI.