The Business Review, Cambridge

Vol. 6 * Number 2 * December 2006

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

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The Downsizing Process – Conceptual Frameworks

Dr. Franco Gandolfi



 This study purported to conceptualize the downsizing process and to test and refine the preliminary conceptual framework. The study demonstrates that downsizing comprises various phases – pre, while, and post-downsizing. Australia’s senior bank managers acknowledged the theoretical existence of the multiple phases. However, they stated that in practical terms only two downsizing phases – before and after – were distinguished. Australian banks commenced downsizing activities without adequate HR plans, policies, and programs in place. The announcement of downsizing usually coincided with the implementation of a downsizing activity. The while and post phases were further divided into stages A and B. Finally, participants perceived downsizing as a concept involving multiple rounds. As a consequence, a second alternative conceptual framework arose taking into account that downsizing could be a recurring and perpetual activity.  Organizational downsizing has become an ubiquitous feature of a great multitude of organizations throughout the industrialized and post-industrialized world (Littler, 1998; Gandolfi, 2006). The main catalyst for most downsizing endeavors is the desire for a reduction of costs (Cascio, 1993) and an ensuing increase in an organization’s efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness (Cameron, 1994). Empirical and anecdotal evidence suggest that the overall consequences of downsizing are largely negative (De Meuse, Vanderheiden, & Bergmann, 1994; Clark & Koonce, 1995; Morris, Cascio, & Young, 1999). Moreover, the repercussions of strategic downsizing transcend financial and organizational realms and adversely affect the entire workforce in a most profound manner (Noer, 1993; Littler, Dunford, Bramble, & Hede, 1997). Key organizational indicators exhibit decreased levels in job performance, innovation, employee effort, quality of work, efficiency, and productivity, and increased levels in staff absenteeism, staff turnover, sabotage, fraud, embezzlement, and theft following the downsizing (Brockner, 1988; Lee, 1992; Noer, 1993; Smeltzer & Zener, 1994; Allen, 1997; Mishra & Spreitzer, 1998). Despite the popularity and pervasiveness of downsizing (Dolan, Belout, & Balkin, 2000) there is substantial cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence that the vast majority of downsized organizations were ill-prepared for the process and conducted downsizing without adequate HR plans, policies, and programs in place (Cascio, 1993; Appelbaum, Delage, Labibb, & Gault, 1997)


A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Consumer Cohorts on Incumbent Retailers in a Period of Increased Competition

Dr. Andrew Gaudes



 This study examines whether the preference of consumer cohorts offers predictive power in determining the success or failure of retailers in a period of increased competition. This is the first longitudinal study involving large-format retail with incumbent retailers as the unit of analysis. Data collection involved 58 incumbent retailers of home improvement products over seven years, comprising a period before, during, and after the entry of large format retailers to the same market. The influence of the preferences of the largest consumer cohort, the Baby Boomers, was operationalized into a particular product focus and customer focus. Significant relationships were found between the operationalized variables and incumbent firm failure, offering support for the two hypotheses presented in this study.  In terms of environmental scanning, monitoring the largest consumer cohort makes economic sense for any industry. Car manufacturers, for instance, have followed the maturing Boomers; from the muscle cars and sports cars of the 1960s and 1970s, to the introduction of the minivan in the 1980s, to the preponderance of luxury sport utility vehicles by makers such as Infiniti, Lexus, and Cadillac. Big-box (large-format) retailers also do their homework on consumer cohorts, placing a considerable investment of resources prior to entering into any particular market (Arnold and Luthra, 2000). Bob Nardelli, CEO of Home Depot, has stated that the reason Home Depot entered into a super-sized store format in 1986 was to tap into the growing spending occurring in the home renovation market, where spending on home improvement was not a fad but a growing trend (CEO Exchange, 2002). However, research on large-format home improvement retail has yet to look closely at fine grain demographic trends in the home renovation market and the impact that it has on retailers, particularly smaller, incumbent retailers in a market affected by the entry of competing large-format retailers.


Comparison of Service Quality in Healthcare in USA and a Transitional Economy

Satya P. Chattopadhyay, Ph.D.



 A comparison of perceived service quality in healthcare setting between the United States and Kyrgyz Republic (KR) is presented.  Implications for healthcare policy in transitional economies similar to KR are discussed as well as prescriptions to aid standardization of services an increasingly global healthcare marketplace are provided.  The urgent need for reform of health care practices is a public policy imperative as the quality of life conscious, well heeled baby boomers enter their golden years.  The competitive health care marketplace has therefore been forced into the realization that perceived quality of health care is a construct that goes beyond the clinical aspects of care. There has been a push towards applying the models of service quality from the consumer marketing domain to better prepare the industry to meet the new challenges of acquiring and keeping consumers of their services.  A second important development is the globalization of the industry. The consumer now has choices that are not constrained by national boundaries. Lower cost of treatment has had been a successful driver that has sent patients seeking elective surgical procedures or longer term recuperative and/or rehabilitative care to qualified facilities overseas.  A very important aspect of the globalization phenomenon has to be the rationalization of perceived quality of services across national boundaries.  The service providers must have a common understanding of the patient expectation of service quality and the differences between patients from different markets, in order to be able to successfully compete outside their domestic markets.


Ethnographic Methodology and Its Implications for Banking Studies

Dr. Kathy Rudkin and Dr. Hemant Deo



 Research in the dominant banking literature privileges methodology from the functionalist paradigm utilising calculative practices.  Much of this banking research has not been conducted and published with an awareness of the implicit ontological and epistemological assumptions of the research.  It is argued a dearth of research outside the functionalist paradigm is detrimentally limiting the types of research questions possible.  Ethnography is proposed as a qualitative methodology to investigate context specific social and cultural consequences of banking environments.  Incorporating an ethnographic methodology in banking research permits the acknowledgement of ideological structures and values inherent in banking practice.  Research in the predominant banking literature privileges functionalist methods as described by Chua (1986a, 1986b) and Dillard (1991).  Much of this banking research has not been conducted and published with an awareness of the implicit ontological and epistemological assumptions of the research. Consequently it has shown itself to be a-contextual, and therefore incapable of discerning and engaging with underlying ideologies and pluralistic cultural, social and political consequences of banking practices. This paper questions the use in banking studies of a functionalist methodology and its methods as being unproblematic. It is argued this dearth of research outside the functionalist paradigm is detrimentally limiting first, the types of research questions possible and second, the development of banking theory.  It is the thesis of this paper that different questions that can be asked using an ethnographic approach can give a different kind of knowledge of banking practice. Such an approach is important to those interested in the social consequences of the banking industry on the marginalized “other”, providing an ethical lens to banking research beyond the reliance on market rationalised assumptions, and the use of economic motives to examine societal significance.  This paper challenges banking practices as solely technical activities, arguing ethnographic research methods unlock unique social and political knowledge pertaining to banking practice. 


Application of an OD Perspective to Develop a New Model of the Strategy Formulation Process

Jimmy Brown



 There are two predominant views in the organizational development (OD) world:  The traditionalists who believe OD should focus on promoting humanistic values within organizations, and the pragmatists who believe OD should integrate the field’s competencies into analytic and rationally based approaches of efforts, such as strategy formulation (Worley & Feyerherm, 2003).  Many pragmatists take the position that properly applied OD has the capability to improve organization performance dramatically, and that it is incumbent upon OD practitioners to focus on that goal.  Unfortunately, many also feel that OD has historically failed to live up to this worthwhile potential (Bradford & Burke, 2004).  Strategy is about finding ways for organizations to create sustainable competitive advantage (Worley, Hitchin, & Ross, 1996; Porter, 1996; Hamel, 1996).  Recently, however, there has been a realization that the current strategy paradigms have failed to consistently live up to their potential, and as a result, there have been calls for a new models and approaches to this process (Mintzberg, 1994; Collis & Montgomery, 1995; Cummings & Angwin, 2004).  This paper describes research that is an effort to respond to both calls by applying an OD lens to the current strategy formulation ontologies and then using that lens to develop a new model that a  addresses some of the criticisms of the two major strategy formulation paradigms.  


U.S. and European Frequent Flyers Service Expectations: A Cross-Cultural Study

Dr. Kien-Quoc Van Pham



 The success of low-cost model airlines, e.g., Southwest Airlines in the United States and Ryanair in Europe, with their “one class of service fits all,” may fundamentally undermine the traditional airline practice of segregating passengers by cabin class. The major national and international airlines have traditionally depended on first and business class passengers to provide for the majority of their revenues, and they are currently struggling to regain the volume and revenue associated with business passengers that prevailed prior to September 2001.  While airlines have always operated with multiple levels of service, first class, business class, and economy, the relative importance of such segmentation for international airlines has not been empirically tested in present, turbulent times. An earlier study did indicate that markets for non-professional services need not be segmented based on service expectations (Webster, 1989), but airlines (an experience-based, “non-professional” service) have always depended on multi-class service and frequency of travel. The service quality (SERVQUAL) model provides a basis for investigating this issue.  This study indicates that frequency of travel does significantly influence the relative importance of individual service quality dimensions. However, cross-culturally on the trans-Atlantic flight corridor, frequent flyers exhibit statistically insignificant differences in terms of the relative importance of the SERVQUAL service quality dimensions, indicating the potential for service standardization for costs saving purposes.


A Foucauldian Approach to Founder’s Influence in a Non-Profit Organization

Dr. Anne Abraham and Dr. Hemant Deo



 Founder’s influence has been largely understudied in non-profit organizations (NPOs) both in terms of research and the organization itself (Ogbonna and Harris, 2001, Stevens, 2003).  From, a historical perspective, the work of Foucault provides a lens for viewing such organizations in that it creates a pathway for understanding their development.  In this paper, the Foucauldian framework incorporates the concepts of archaeological and genealogical underpinnings within a power and knowledge framework to explain the formation of one NPO, the Australian Girl Guides and the influence of its architect and founder Robert Baden-Powell.  Social, political and cultural influences are important norms within the operations of non-profit organizations (NPOs).  A number of research studies have demonstrated this concept, for example, Irvine (2002) who, in her study of The Salvation Army discovered that “the idiosyncratic temperament, beliefs and mission of William Booth (its founder) were profound” and that “it was these factors that established the early culture of The Salvation Army” (Irvine, 2002, p.9).  Other research in the area has also highlighted this phenomenon.  Martin Sitkin and Boehm (1985, p.99) suggested that “a founder can create a culture, cast in founder’s own image and reflecting the founder’s own values, priorities, and vision of the future”. They also contended that the influence of the founder, through personal attributes and philosophies, continues long after the founder leaves the organization.  In addition, Harris and Ogbonna (1999, p.333) asserted that “it is uncommon to find an organization with a long history which has not been left with an indelible legacy by its founder(s)”.


The “Culture System” in Dutch Indonesia 1830–1870: How Rawls’s Original Position Ethics were Violated

Parulian Silaen and Dr. Ciorstan Smark



 The “Culture System” was enforced in Java and other parts of Indonesia by the Dutch colonial government between 1830 and 1870. Under this system, Indonesian farmers were forced to put aside part of their land and labour for growing cash crops such as sugar, coffee, indigo, tobacco and pepper, so that they could pay their land tax to the Dutch.  This paper examines the ramifications of two aspects of the Culture System and the policies that allowed its administration. The first of these is the segregation of education and access to higher-level employment on the grounds of race. The second is the monopoly of transportation and trade held by the NHM (Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij) during this period. This paper measures these two aspects of the Culture System against the moral standards required by John Rawls’ “original position” argument, and finds them to be lacking.  Amongst the various ideas of distributive justice, John Rawls’ is perhaps the most reliant on concepts of fairness as being crucial to justice (Velasquez, 2002: 118). According to Rawls (1971: 65–75), conflicts regarding justice should be settled according to the decisions that a group of rational people would make given that they were unaware of what characteristics they themselves posses. That is to say, these rational persons would be in the “original position”. The original position is a mythical place were one would be fully rational, but not yet born into the world, and so unaware of one’s race, gender, social class, level of education, health or year of birth. One would in fact, be behind a “veil of ignorance” about one’s own particular circumstances, so more likely to make moral choices that would advantage people in general, rather than oneself in particular. Rawls argues that if one made moral decisions about justice from this original position, one would have the best chance of making decisions that upheld Kantian ideals of reversibility and universalisability, and thereby approach justice in one’s decisions.


A Global Portfolio Allocation Strategy Under Some Practical Constraints

Dr. Ahmet Baytas, Dr. Serpil Leveen, and Dr. Farahmand Rezvani



 A number of recent studies have suggested that global asset allocation strategies that use information on various beginning-of-the-period stock characteristics, such as P/E ratio, firm size, and dividend yield, can increase returns significantly. This study attempts to determine if such strategies yield excess returns even after consideration of transactions costs, limits on portfolio turnover, and restrictions on weights of individual markets. The findings show that global portfolios that utilize information about differences in P/E ratios indeed outperform the benchmark World Index, particularly under low transactions cost rates and loose restrictions on weights of individual markets.  During the last two decades, equity portfolio diversification has increasingly provided vast new opportunities and challenges for global investors. At the same time, a growing body of evidence has suggested that the future movements in stock prices can be predicted by certain beginning-of-the-period values of stock characteristics, such as price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, dividend yield, price-to-book (P/B) ratio, price-to-cash flow ratio, and firm size.  For example, following the well-known study of the U.S. equity markets by De Bondt and Thaler (1985), a substantial amount of research has maintained that stock prices systematically overshoot and therefore their reversal can be predicted by past performance (see, among others, Shefrin and Statman (1985); Lehmann (1990); De Bondt and Thaler (1990); and Jegadeesh (1990)).  In addition, while Fama and French (1988) and Goetzman and Jorion (1993) have investigated the relationship between dividend yields and equity market returns, other researchers, including De Bondt and Thaler (1987) and Zarowin (1990), have tried to determine the size effect.


The Gambian Economy

Michael Ba Banutu-Gomez, Ph.D. and Momodou Mustapher Fanneh, Doctoral Student



 This paper addresses the issues and challenges faced by the economy of The Gambia as nation in a developing world. The authors argued that the mainstay of the economy in The Gambia is agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, export and re-export trade. The paper provided helpful information on Macroeconomic indicators in the Gambia. This paper reviled Agriculture has been important as a revenue generating capacity, employment generating capacity and a food generating capacity for the population. This paper also indicated that other important sector is tourism which is the component of the service sector. The authors conclude the paper by providing recommendations and strategies on how to stimulate the economy of The Gambia that can be sustained.  The Gambia is located in the western part of Africa. It is surrounded by Senegal on its north, south and east. The western side is along the North Atlantic Ocean.  The total area of the country is 11,300 square km of which 10,000 square km is land and 1,300 square km is water.  (1)   The ethnic groups in the Gambia include Wollof, Mandinka, Fula, Serer, Jola, Manjako, Hausa and Sarahule. The official language is English.  The capital of Gambia is Banjul, where most of the government departments and ministries are centered.  The Gambia has 5 administrative divisions. These are:


Financial Leverage and Firms’ Value A Study of Capital Structure of Selected Manufacturing Sector Firms in India

Dr. Anil K. Sharma



 With the advent of liberalization in the developing economies the existing list of sources of funds for business enterprises in these economies has added one more source, i.e., foreign debt which is available on competitive cost and comparatively in large magnitude. Today the business firms operating in various sectors of developing countries are more cautious about the choice of sources of funds and forming their capital structure to be called as optimal capital structure. Reducing the cost of capital and maximization of the value of firms has become the buzzword. Firms operating in the manufacturing sector of India have also realized that attaining overall competitiveness would entail reducing the over all cost of their operations including financial costs. New vistas opened after initiation of liberalization process in 1991 have compelled the firms to rethink and redesign their financial strategies focusing on global integration and competitiveness. Present study is an attempt to examine the capital structure of some selected firms operating in the manufacturing sector of India and finding out how it influences their value in the changed set of conditions particularly in the current decade when the real impact of liberalization has started appearing.


VIKOR Method Analysis of Interactive Trade in Policy-Making

Dr. Chyan Yang and Tsung-cheng Wang



 This paper integrates offset process into life cycle phase and develops the offset life cycle model (OLCM), this strategic model, developed for the purpose of helping both buyer’s and seller’s governments and industries gain this understanding, is one of the most highly recognized and quoted conceptual model in offset system literature. At the same time, this research uses Fuzzy AHP and VIKOR methods and combines OLCM to provide an empirical analysis of Taiwanese offset strategy, which is very helpful for the offset’s future research.   Offset is one alternative marketing strategy recently introduced in the international marketplace. Offset is a commitment associated with a sale where the seller will provide the buyer with an offsetting agreement to purchase other products. The basic philosophy of an offset agreement is to structure the commitment so the seller will fulfill a contract that rewards the buyer. This reward may have the potential for economic, social or technological growth, or increased sales of other domestic goods in exchange for the buyer’s purchase. This contract increases the competitive value of the seller’s product. In theory, this agreement allows the buyer to purchase additional units since the sale is more economically, socially, or politically attractive with the offset agreement, making a product more affordable or competitively attractive. This philosophy allows arrangements to create a multiplier effect.  Many methods satisfy offset requirements including co-production, direct offset, indirect offset, technology transfer, et al (as in figure 1).


Internet Challenge to Copyright: The Issue of Linking

Dr. Nor Saadah Abd Rahman



 In the digital age everything is conducted through internet including in business world. Business transactions can be done via the internet and it can also provide business information much quicker than before. The World Wide Web on the internet has a significant feature in that the user is able to link to other sites through hypertext. Normally, the users of the internet will be able to connect to other websites by clicking the underlined and highlighted words, images or logos. (1) Although linking seems as simple as a mere clicking of the mouse, it has raised many legal problems as to whether the process of linking from one web page to another can be considered as an act of copyright infringement. Linking has been challenged under other laws, such as defamation, trademark, and so forth, but the discussion in this paper will be confined to copyright issues. Linking has been given a lot of attention because of its potential to become copyright infringement.   The paper is divided into three parts which will discuss the copyright laws of United Kingdom (UK) in the first part followed by The United States of America (US) and lastly the Malaysian in order to establish whether any of those legal provisions are appropriate to address the issue, particularly in the context of Malaysia. A summary of these relevant laws will be given, stressing those provisions which may be useful to Malaysia in formulating its laws to regulate Internet activity.


A Study on the Formation of Financial Crises of Public Listed Companies in Taiwan

Dr. Dwan-Fang Sheu



 During the course of growth of Taiwan stock market in recent years, a lot of financial crises happened. For example, the financial crises of public listed companies in 1998 and 1999 were caused by unsound corporate governance mechanism at that time. Now, Pacific Electric Wire & Cable Co., Ltd. (PEWC) exploded ten-billion century misappropriation case; and then in June 2004, Yeh Su-Fei, the chairwoman of Procomp Informatics Ltd. is alleged to have misappropriated $6.3 billion funds; two moths later, Infodisc Technology Co., Ltd. exploded the disappearance of $2.6 billion. These scandals happened again and again. Investors in Taiwan surprisingly wonder if there are more financial crisis companies of this kind. This study targets at newly happened financial crisis companies for case study. PEWC, Procom and Infodisc are used as study objects to explore the formation of financial crises and relative reasons. In summarizing these financial crisis companies, we find: 1. Issue overseas ECB in large amount; after subscribed, ECB is converted into company stock and then sold off to acquire large cash. 2. Create false transactions to beautify financial statements in order to attract investors. 3. Frequently change in CPA or financial officer. 4. Many reinvested companies; and disputes of funds and mutual involvement of personnel. 5. Extensively establish overseas paper companies to make false transactions and borrowing/loan, and misappropriate assets.


Higher Education Marketing Concerns: Factors  Influence Students’ Choice of Colleges

Stefanie Domino, Teresa Libraire, Danielle Lutwiller, Shannon Superczynski & Dr. Robert Tian




It is a key issue for higher education marketing institutions to know what influence students’ choice of a college. Various factors have been identified; some are economic based, such as the cost of college tuition, scholarships and grants, room and board.  Others are none economic factors, such as college size, location and athletics.  This study is designed to explore which of these factors are most important for students when choosing a college.  It is assumed that economic reasons play the largest role in choosing a college.  We hope this study will provide a comprehensive overview of the different factors that play important roles when students choose a college to further their academic education.  The analysis of college choice by individual students at a microeconomic level examine how the influence of personal and family background characteristics, actual and expected market conditions, and economic incentives interact to shape their choices about the sequence of decisions that result in an educational outcome.  More sophisticated analysis of college choice at the microeconomic level emphasizes the heterogeneity in various respects (academic aptitude, family resources, and so on) of the subjects studied and the interactions among these varied characteristics and various opportunities and incentives in producing observed choices. The choice made by individuals is influenced by the person's characteristics, which themselves are partly a function of past choices and also partly a function of expectations about future opportunities and alternatives (Behrman et al. 1998).


Factors Influencing Candidates’ Success in the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Examination At the First Attempt

Dr. Manmohan Rai Kapoor, Dr. Majidul Islam, and Dr. Sameer T. Mustafa




The Society of Management Accountants of Canada allows students multiple attempts at the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Examination. This study examined empirically the backgrounds of candidates who passed the CMA examination, with a view to answering the question why some candidates pass in a single attempt while others have to make repeated attempts before they are successful. The data, including the academic transcripts of candidates who wrote the CMA Entrance Exam in Quebec, were provided by the CMA Order in the province of Quebec. The findings indicate that candidates’ success at the first attempt had a positive and statistically significant relationship with their grade point averages in accounting, business and management science courses and in the overall degree program. The number of credit hours passed in accounting had a negative but statistically significant relationship with passing the exam, suggesting that what matters is the level of attainment rather than the simple accumulation of credits in accounting to the exclusion of other disciplines.  In fact, this lack of academic diversification may hinder their prospect of passing the CMA exam at the first attempt. These results have important implications for candidates aspiring to become management accountants, student counsellors and accounting educators.


Building Guanxi with Government for Foreign Companies in China: A Case Study on the Application of Commitment Instrument

Yongqiang Gao, Ph.D.




Guanxi (relationship) is often considered as a necessary condition to start a new business and to be successful in China, especially the guanxi with Chinese governments. Therefore, to build a good and close guanxi with governments is very important for foreign companies to do business in China. This article discusses commitment as an instrument to build guanxi with Chinese government taking Microsoft as the case. We develop a business-government commitment model based on Söllner’s business-business commitment model. The content and process of business-government commitment are discussed in detail. The results show that commitment acts as an important and useful instrument to build good guanxi with Chinese governments for foreign companies since China is thirsty for foreign investment and advanced technology.  It is a very popular saying that “China is a land of guanxi…Nothing can be done without guanxi”(Ju, 1995). Guanxi is often considered as a necessary condition to start a new business in China (Xin and Pearce, 1996). Many studies have argued that developing close relationships is a necessary step to succeed in China (Ambler, 1994; Johansson, 1995; Luo, 1997; Xin and Pearce, 1996). Guanxi implies preferential treatment to exchange partners in the forms of easy access to limited resources, increased accessibility to controlled information, preferential terms including the granting of credit and protection from external competitors, etc. (Luo, 1997; Luo and Chen, 1997; Wong, 1997; Xin and Pearce, 1996).  To date, the popular and academic literature has focused on descriptive and instrumental (Xin and Pearce, 1996; Leung et al., 1996) and ethical dimensions (Dunfee and Warren, 2001; Fan,2002) of guanxi. Guanxi has also been identified as one of the most important success factors in doing business in China (Yeung and Tung, 1996; Abrarnson and Ai, 1999); regarded as a source of sustainable competitive advantage (Tsang, 1998; Fock and Woo, 1998) and the glue that holds the Chinese society together (Lovett et al., 1999); linked with some western concepts such as relationship marketing (Ambler, 1994; Simmons and Munch, 1996).


Individuals’ Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) Participation and Contribution:  Evidence from CRA’s Income Statistics

Dr. Horn-Chern Lin and Dr. Tao Zeng




This paper explores the factors that determine an individual’s RRSP participation and contribution in Canada. Using income statistics group data collected by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA),  this study finds that an individual’s total income is positively related to their participation in the plan; individuals between the ages of 30 and 59 are more likely to participate in, and to make more contributions toward, an RRSP plan than individuals under age 30 or above age 59. Estimating a linear regression model, this study shows that individuals with a high earned income (including net office/employment income, net business income, and net rental income), a high effective tax rate, high RPP contributions, and that are between the ages of 30 and 59 are more likely to participate in RRSP and tend to make more contributions. On the other hand, individuals who are single earners and have dependents are less likely to participate in the plan and tend to make less contributions. In addition, the amount of RRSP contributions from female individuals is higher than that from male individuals. However, the number of individuals participating in the plan is not different between female and male individuals.


Satisfying Complex End-of-User Information Needs: User Experiences

Dr. Rimvydas Skyrius




The ongoing debate about IT development being far ahead of efficient use and providing of support has prompted a research of management information needs and their satisfaction by IT solutions, aimed primarily at specific and complex information needs. A survey performed among manager-users has shown that users consider IT functionality as a source of efficiency for base-level functions with simple and general information needs. For the more complex part of this information needs spectrum, the responses were mixed, and the expected sources of efficiency shifted toward the users themselves, leaving IT with more basic support roles. With these attitudes in mind, a general model of efficient satisfaction of information needs is developed, incorporating a support layer with simple support tools and techniques that are located closest to the user,  thus leaving more space for human initiative and creativity.


Exploring Student Overall Evaluation Towards Physical Education Teachers

Heng-Hsiang Huang and Chou-Kang Chiu




This study attempts to extend Compeau and Higgins’ (1995) model by introducing two additional constructs:  teaching quality and student overall evaluation. In this study’s proposed model, student overall evaluation towards a physical education (PE) teacher is affected directly by the teaching quality of the teacher, while also influenced indirectly by the teaching quality through the mediation of the student’s perceived learning performance. A student’s perceived learning performance is affected directly by self-efficacy, while also affected indirectly by self-efficacy through the mediation of outcome expectation. Lastly, this paper also provides a discussion about the proposed model and suggestions for future research.


The Theory of the Jigsaw Puzzle in the Combinatorial Dimension

José Villacís, Ph.D.



 Consumers design the menu that will provide the highest utility with a series of available goods. We do not intend to measure the usefulness but to establish the preference criteria among the various menus. Each menu is defined by a specific combination of the goods that belong to it. Therefore, there will be as many menus as possible combinations with the available goods without repetitions.  The goods in the menu are the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and the menu would be equivalent to the assembled jigsaw puzzle. It is understood that the optimal menu is our reference jigsaw puzzle. The optimal menu will be the reference jigsaw puzzle. The assembly of the jigsaw puzzle requires an effort to make the menu and choose. In other words, other jigsaw puzzles will have to be assembled and suboptimal ones will be rejected. The making of the jigsaw puzzle will require an effort and the subsequent consumption thereof generates utilities. The idea of combination – all possible combinations – of N elements where none of them is repeated is examined in Mathematics by ordinary permutations. The case where all elements are included and some of them are repeated is called permutation with repetition. This paper mainly studies ordinary permutations and, for verbal convenience, they will be called combinations. Therefore, when the words “combination of goods” are mentioned here, we are referring to ordinary permutations.


Contracts in the Turkish Law

Mustafa Can, Ph.D.



 The world trade has undergo dramatic changes in the last decade. We have entered a new millennium with much more hope and enthusiasm for maintaining an trade in Europe. The Turkish government has already engaged in sweeping reforms in trade and economic fields which are also in line with the tenets of EU membership. In this context, the government has speed up its work on improving the business law.   Turkey had already achieved concrete steps in many sectors, from the tax system and monetary and capital markets to the bankin system and social security. Structural economic reforms in the fields of agriculture, communication, privatisation and the energy sector are also in preparation. Paralel to these developments, new arrangements for the operation of the international trade has begun to be implemented in contract law. In addition, Turkey has to meet the requirements of rapidly changing technology, globalization, and marketing and to have the share from the world marketing, to satisfy demand and profile of the customers. So, contracts are very important. Most of the trade activities are subject to contracts.  Therefore; we will examine on the base on definition of contract law, classification  of contracts, agreement, requirements of offer, contractual intention, communication of offer to offeree, termination of offer,   acceptance of offer, manner of acceptance, communication of acceptance, auction sales, contractual capacity, status incapacity, factual incapacity, the degree of capacity, full capacity, full incapacity, limited capacity in Turkish law.


A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Group Process

A. Michael Ba Banutu-Gomez, Ph.D.



 My paper begins with an in-depth analysis of the traditional African social structure of age-groups and includes my personal experience as a participant in age-groups in my homeland, The Gambia. Next, the author explores the nature of effective groups and includes his personal experience as a member of a group during a course he attended at Boston University.  An investigation of the paradoxes of engaging: disclosure, trust, intimacy and regression, which must be addressed during a stage of group process, is presented, with an examination of how these paradoxes were managed differently by my age-group and my student group. The author finishes with a discussion of the requirements of successful groups and compare of how each group addressed these requirements.  The research conclusion shows how aspects of African age-groups could be used to improve work groups in America and makes recommendations regarding the establishment of work groups in non-Western cultures.  In Africa, age-groups are very important because it is the way the people value and respect children, as well as, older people.  Age-groups enable people of all ages to have an important role to play in society and it is an important aspect of maintaining the self-sustainability of African communities.  From a very early age, one is given the responsibility to perform certain tasks.  Growing up within a system of Age-groups, one quickly learns how to work with other people in a positive way and you soon begin to value your own potential, as an individual.  You are shown how you can join your efforts with those of others in order to create something which will benefit the whole society.


A CRRA-Options Approach in Market Entry Strategy

Tyrone T. Lin, Ph.D.



 This study applies the real options approach to resolve the decision-making of irreversible investment problem under integrated investment cost with earnings consideration, which involves new market entry strategy using a CRRA (constant relative risk aversion) function embedded in options values. Furthermore, this approach also optimizes the decision-making based on refined value matching and smooth pasting conditions, while using a CRRA utility function to link investment cost and profit. Given earnings uncertainty and considering integrated investment cost with earnings, the closed form solutions and the threshold for entry strategy and potential project value are calculated and evaluated.  In practice, most of evaluation approaches like the net present value (NPV) method rely on the static sources of certainty in future discounted cash flows to analyze real project investments with a risk-neutral basis. Vandenbroucke (1999) analyzed and compared the real options approach (ROA) with the NPV method to derive a new full static equilibrium condition for capital within the framework of a restricted variable cost function. Additionally, the ROA has recently been extensively applied to investment decisions in various fields (Miller and Park, 2002), and the decision maker’s risk attitude is also based on a risk neutral investment criterion. However, risk-averse investors will realize risky investments only when the rate of return exceeds the risk-free interest rate, and the project value must be calculated not only using discounted cash flows with a risk neutral basis, but also considering the attitude to risk aversion. This study introduces refined value matching and smooth pasting conditions (original introduction refers to Dixit and Pindyck, 1994), which can be matched as market entry strategies within optimal consumption problem in a CRRA (constant relative risk aversion) utility class (Merton, 1969). Lin (2004) evaluated market entry strategy introducing ROA with an HARA (hyperbolic absolute risk aversion) class including power, logarithmic, and exponential functions of linear risk tolerance utility class.


The Bundling Strategy for Sales of Assets

Ming Sung Kao




A seller who owns two common-value assets can choose to either sell them as a bundle or separately. In this paper, we provide a model to consider the optimal package format for the sellers of assets. Our main finding is that separate selling makes the seller fall into a bilateral monopoly environment, in which the assets are sold through bargaining, while bundled selling leads to a competitive bidding environment. Given the seller’s bargaining power, when the difference between the values of the two assets increases, the seller’s incentive to sell as a bundle increases. On the other hand, given the values of both assets, when the seller’s bargaining power increases, the incentive to sell as a bundle decreases.  “To sell products individually or as a bundle” is an important decision for a company with multiple products, and this question attracts a lot of attention on an ongoing basis. Earlier studies, e.g., Stigler (1968), Adams and Yellen (1976), and McAfee, et al. (1989), among others, have already dealt with these problems. However, most of these studies have focused on cases in which the value of goods varies with buyers’ preferences or purposes. This means that their results are difficult to apply to cases where assets are for sale because assets have common values that will not vary with buyers’ preferences or purposes.


Forecasting Outbound Tourism with Intervention Analysis

Dr. Jennifer C. H. Min, Bill W. P. Wu and Dr. Karen I. F. Wu




Because of the perishable nature of the tourism industry, accurate tourism forecast is crucial to the planning of government bodies and private sectors for tourism development efforts and investments. However, the tourism industry is highly susceptible to negative situations and exogenous factors. Due to the outstanding economic performance in the Asia-Pacific region in the 1980s, Taiwan developed into one of the wealthiest areas in Asia, and Taiwanese travelers are known as big spenders, contributing large tourism revenues to the host countries. Thus, this study adopts a SARIMA with intervention model not only to evaluate the impact of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, the most catastrophic disaster in the past hundred years in Taiwan, but also to incorporate the intervention into the outbound time series model to improve parameter estimates and forecasts.   The substantial growth of the tourism activity clearly marks tourism as one of the most remarkable economic and social phenomena in the past few decades. The World Organization (WTO 1997, p.15) pointed out that, “The 21st century will see a higher percentage of the total population traveling, especially in developing countries, and people will be going on holiday more often, sometimes two, three or four times a year.” It is also the largest industry and generator of jobs in the world with total visitor arrivals exceeding 800 million in 2005, achieving an all-time record (WTO, 2006). For many countries, tourism expenditures have become an important source of business activity, income, employment, balance of payments, and foreign currency earnings. Globally, tourism is a major contributor to balance deficits, and is used as a tool for economic development of the host country. Doubtlessly, tourism is one of the most significant and rapidly growing industries in the international market.


Market-Oriented Behaviours of Firms’ Domestic and Export Operations: Conceptualisation and Agenda for Future Research

Abdul T. Asmat-Nizam, Abdul Rahim A. Bakar, Fariza Hashim and Hasbullah Ashari



 The present study proposes a framework that integrate the two domains of conceptualisation of market-oriented behaviour, i.e. domestic market-oriented and export market-oriented behaviour and raises the question whether there is an optimal level of market orientation between a firm’s domestic and export components for firms that are operating in both domestic and foreign markets.  A preliminary conceptualisation of the relative emphasis between a firm’s domestic and export market orientation is presented and its direction for future research pinpointed.  Over the last decade, a great deal of research has focused on the market orientation concept, its consequences, and its antecedents. Empirical evidence appears to suggest that market-oriented behaviours and a market-focused culture are important determinants of a firm’s performance and long-term success (e.g., Homburg and Pflesser, 2000; Jaworski and Kohli, 1993; Narver and Slater, 1990; Reukert, 1992). This is because, as argued by Kohli and Jaworski (1990), market-oriented firms will primarily focus on competitiveness by identifying customers’ needs and offering products which are better or different from their competitors’. In addition, highly market-oriented firms emphasise that all employees demonstrate a commitment to the creation of superior value for customers, thus leading to superior organizational performance. In this context, Narver and Slater (1990) suggested that the organizational culture created through a market orientation effectively and efficiently creates the necessary behaviours for developing superior value for customers and, thus, leads to business success. It has, therefore, been argued that all firms should strive to increase their levels of market orientation (e.g., Slater and Narver, 1994 and 2000).


Economic Growth in an Economy with many Categories of Capital

Dr. Nissim Ben David



 This paper develops an overlapping generation model with multiple categories of capital. The importance of this paper is its ability to analyze changes in the amount of various categories of capital along the growth path of the economy. The paper, therefore, provides a useful framework for analysis of capital distribution along the path to steady state equilibrium. The analysis demonstrates that the depreciation rate, as well as productivity in each category of capital, effects the distribution of capital along the path to equilibrium.  An example and a simulation are presented in order to confirm the theoretical results and demonstrate that the model can be used for empirical analysis.   This paper develops an overlapping generation model with multiple categories of capital. Firm owners try to maximize their profits while deciding on the distribution of the capital they employ. A connection is formed between current capital and future capital. Capital converges to a long-term stationary level. Each category of capital has a different depreciation rate. A sudden economic event, such as a technological improvement or a sharp increase in energy prices, would change the depreciation rate of certain categories of capital, in turn leading to a change of the equilibrium distribution as well as the equilibrium path of capital. The contribution of this paper is in its ability to analyze the changes in the distribution of capital along the growth path of the economy, following changes that occur in depreciation rates of the various categories of capital.   Jorgenson (1989) reviews some of the differing opinions regarding the form of efficiency schedules of capital. A point of contention is whether most production machinery is able to perform close to original standards over time before rapidly deteriorating (e.g. one-hoss shay), or whether machines become gradually more inefficient (e.g. geometric). Pakes and Griliches (1984) and Hulten and Wykoff (1981) find that the efficiency of capital goods initially increases, due to learning or other phenomena.


Structural Changes in Estonian Economy

Dr. Mare Randveer and Martti Randveer



 The main objective of the paper is to assess the long-term changes in the economic structure of the Estonian economy and to establish a foundation for long-term prognoses of the economic structure of Estonia. In order to assess these structural changes in the Estonian economy, this paper addresses the following tasks: (1) to find out whether income convergence in developed countries has been accompanied by convergence in the economic structures of these countries; (2) to study the relationship between income level and economic convergence in OECD countries and (3) to study how large are the differences between the economic structures of Estonia and OECD countries. The main results of the paper are the following. Firstly, income convergence in OECD countries during the last 25 years has been accompanied by a convergence of the economic structure of these countries. Secondly, economic structure and income level in OECD countries are correlated. Thirdly, high-technology industries are evenly distributed and labour-intensive and low-technology industries are unevenly located in OECD countries. The main conclusion of the paper is that the following changes may await the Estonian economic structure in the long run: (1) the share of secondary sector employees will decrease and the share of tertiary sector employees in the employment structure will increase; (2) the share of employment and valued added in the financial intermediation, insurance, real estate and business activities will increase, and (3) the share of certain labour-intensive industries (e.g. manufacture of textiles, wearing apparel, leather products and footwear) will decrease and the share of several sub-sectors in the production of machinery and equipment will increase both in employment and value added.


Evaluation of Electronic Customer Relationship Management: The Critical Success Factors

Dr. Chad Lin, Dr. Koong Lin, Dr. Yu-An Huang,  and Wen-Liang Kuo



 Electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) is becoming increasingly important as organizations seek to deliver their services and information as well as to provide transactional facilities via online and wireless platforms, in additional to the more traditional means of communication channels. However, relatively little research has examined how organizations evaluate their eCRM systems. We take a multi-case study approach to: (1) develop an integrated framework to assist organizations in evaluating their eCRM; and (2) present factors and guidelines that can assist senior managers in implementing their eCRM so organizations can better manage their investment and improve their long term profitability. One important outcome of this research is the development of an integrated eCRM critical success factors (CSFs), benefits, costs, and risks framework which enables organizations to examine their relationships in the context of eCRM implementation. The framework provides some general guidelines for implementing eCRM which enables organizations to pay attention to the strategic alignment relationships between the four strategic components as well as to consider the possible benefits, costs, and risks which will arise from the CSFs of these strategic components.


The Application of Parts Control and Standardization by Exploration of the Value Chain in New Product Development and Innovation

Yuan-Cheng Tsai and Chui-Lu Fan, Doctoral Candidates, Chia-Nan Liou, Doctoral Candidate,   and Chi-Ling Wu, Doctoral Candidate



 The development and innovation of new products has become a vital issue when business faces fluctuation of its environment. But it shortens the product life cycle and burdens customers with the product life cycle costs (LCC). This paper incorporates parts control and standardization into a Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortage (DMS) by utilizing the cost and standardization measurement index of Degree of Parts Standardization (DOPS). At the same time, the Concurrent Engineering (CE) technique is innovatively integrated into parts control and standardization. With the view of the improvement of efficiency of the production and the quality of products, and of product life cycle, this paper explores the value chain of the products. This paper uses longitudinal section data from collection of maintenance data and analysis. We expect this paper can be adopted by industries wishing to introduce new product differentiation while maintaining their competitive capabilities.


The Impacts of Technological Change, Industry Structure and Plant Entry/Exit in Industry Efficiency Growth

Dr.  Raies Asma, TEAM-CED




In this paper, we provide a theoretical framework combining both the theory of adoption and industry evolution to explorethe different sources of industry efficiency growth. The objective is to investigate which of the explanatory variables can explain inefficiency. The theoretical and simulation results of this study show that the inter-firms efficiency variance exerts a substantial impact on industry efficiency.  Productivity change within individual plant (via adoption and learning) is a major source of efficiency growth in the industry. Exit usually improves aggregate efficiency as less efficient plants leave industries. The impact of entry is less clear since it depends on the efficiency levels of entrants. Finally, the role of competition in generating economic efficiency is strongly confirmed. Our theoretical findings confirm and extend others in the empirical studies.  Significant differences in levels of efficiency and efficiency growth rates exist across industries, regions and countries. Technical efficiency arises when a firm makes the best use of its inputs and technologies. The study of efficiency is important, especially in the context of developing economies where firms and industries are far from the “best practice level” of efficiency given a level of technology. (Pitt and Lee (1981); Nishimuzu and Page (1982); Martin and Page (1983; Corbo and de Melo (1986); Chen and Tang 1987; Tybout (1991); Tybout and Westbrook (1995); Clerides at al (1998); Lundvall and Battese (2000) and others...). Tybout (2000),, reports that in developing countries, the  mean technical efficiency levels are around 60 to 70 per  cent of the best practice frontier, in developing countries,. This is due to the high cross firm variance in efficiency levels (Pack (1988), Blomstrom and Kokko (1998), etc.  Many other studies for sub-Saharan Africa argued that the problems of technical inefficiency are likely to be most important…


A Study of Cross Culture Human Resource Management in China

Min-Huei Chien



 Mainland China’s economy has developed very quickly and has a huge domestic market. Many foreign companies have invested in China without profiting from the investment. Research has indicated that cultural misunderstandings have undermined management effectiveness, and cultural conflicts have even erupted between Mainland Chinese companies and their western subsidiaries. Indeed, western and Chinese companies have many differences in concepts, attitudes and behavior, and western companies operating in China must work to understand those cultural differences. Cultural differences affect leadership behavior, management systems, management effectiveness and, ultimately, organizational performance. This study will conduct a literature review, field study and in-depth interviews with organization CEOs and other experts. The goal of the study is to use the practices of cross-culture human resource management in China from the behavioral point of view in order to offer practical suggestions for western companies that invest in Mainland China. It will also provide principles which will help foreign companies in China to increase their competitive capability.


Impact of Learning Organizations’ Applications and Market Dynamism on Organizations’ Innovativeness and Market Performance

Dr. Haluk Tanrýverdi and Dr. Cemal Zehir



 To survive in rapidly changing technological, economic and social arenas, organizations must be able to change quickly. “Learning organizations” are those which are able to keep up with change and constantly renew themselves by accomplishing necessary transformation when needed, and in which there are no organizational learning insufficienciesThis study examines the impacts of learning organizations on company performance and explains the effects on performance of market dynamism, organizational learning, company innovativeness, and market performance by examining operational performance. Learning, including internal learning and external learning, is a vital prerequisite for the development of organizational learning (Yang, 2004, 421).Organizational learning depends on individuals, so the spread of learning organization-wide occurs when individuals learn. Therefore, in order to understand organizational learning precisely, it is necessary to understand individual learning. Learning Organizations, as a concept, was first mentioned in Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline (1990), which presented it as if it were magic bullet, helping company managers achieve a kind of utopia. However, organizational learning is simply a concept that provides competitive advantages to organizations by encouraging them always to strive to improve and progress.


Analysis on the Evolutionary Game of Innovative Financial System

Dr. Chen-Kuo Lee, Dr. Shao-Kai Chou, Han-Paio Lin, Graduate, and Wen-Wen Chuang, Graduate




A financial system refers to a set of rules abided by human beings in their interactions over the years. These rules are formed via a dynamic game and are the innovative process of financial system. An innovative game is jointly created by innovative thoughts and game theories. Game theories are a critical analysis tool for evolutionary economics and are sufficient to interpret the process of innovative financial systems. Therefore, this study intends to discuss the innovative process of financial systems via revolutionary game theory. The research results indicate that, as far as the innovative process of financial systems is concerned, the trans-industry management system is an important innovative system in relation to intra-industry management system.   Financial liberalization has accelerated since the 1980s. As a result, information technology and new markets have developed rapidly, causing all economies to rely on one another more than ever. Consequently, financial globalization has become an irresistible trend for both developed and developing nations. Financial globalization refers to a process and status in which financial activities have moved across boundaries and combined with other nations’ financial activities, including the internationalization of financial institutions, financial markets, financial tools, financial assets and revenue together with the unification of financial enactment, trading patterns, and international practices (Niehans, 1983; Podolski, 1986; Miller, 1992; Merton, 1992; Levine, 1997; Mantel, 2000; Mantel & McHugh, 2001). Financial globalization refers to the expansion process of financial activities, which implies the unification of financial trading rules and reduction of barriers, free movement of capital in international markets, an increasing connection between various nations’ interest rates and exchange rates, unrestricted financial activities, and fewer restrictions for admittance to financial markets. As a result, transnational banks continue to grow and more banks are growing multi-nationally; all financial institutions compete in the global market, and financial risks continue to increase (Girardone & Casu, 2004).


Pricing Credit Default Swaps with Switch Poisson Process

Chin-Wen Wu




Using the arbitrage-free valuation techniques, the contributions of this paper to the literature is to illustrate how switch Poisson process provides a useful pricing model for credit default swap that explicitly incorporates the macro-economic status as an indicator of the likelihood of default as well as the levels of recovery rates. This approach allows credit risk modeling when there is dependence between the default characteristics of firms and the economics status: expansion and contraction. Consequently, the default probability in expanding economy can be lower than the one in contraction after an immediate bankruptcy.   As default events emerge in an endless stream, credit derivatives have become more popular. According to the British Bankers Association (BBA), credit default swaps are the first hot product, with $ 200 billion by 1999 and $ 3.8 trillion by 2004. Meanwhile, in the 2004 mid-year market survey by International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA), credit derivatives notionals grew 44 percent in the first half of 2004 to $5.44 trillion. In Taiwan, to catch up with the trend of the credit market, more and more financial institutions have already jointed the roles of the sales agents for credit linked products in recent years. It is apparent that there are many business opportunities in the growing market of credit-linked products.  Pricing credit derivatives starts with the model of Merton (1974) in which the credit event occurs if the total value of the firm’s assets is less than the face value of the firm’s outstanding debts or a predetermined lower threshold at maturity. Since then, Merton’s model, termed the structural approach, has been extended in many ways. This is the case, for example, with the pricing of imbedded options on corporate debt (cf. Merton (1974), Black and Cox (1976), Ho and Singer (1982), Chance (1990), and Kim, Ramaswamy, and Sundaresan (1993) or the pricing of vulnerable options (see Johnson and Stulz (1987), Hull and White (1995), Klein (1996), Klein and Inglis (1999, 2001), and Hui, Lo, and Lee, (2003)). In practice, however, due to the complex liability structures and unobservable parameters such as firm value and the return volatility of firm’s assets, those reasons placed practical limitations upon implementing the structural approach.


An Empirical Study of the New Basel Capital Accord on Operational Risk Management for Taiwan Financial Institution

Chaung-Yuang Lin, Ph.D. and Ming-Yuan Cheng




The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan asked all banks in Taiwan to take relevant actions in compliance with “The New Basel Capital Accord” before the end of the year 2006. The regulation is intended to fulfill banking internationalization as well as to upgrade the standards of operational risk management. The authors of this study interviewed bankers at various levels in Taiwan to learn how they are dealing with the challenge. With in-depth interviews, we learned about the operational risk management systems they implemented. We provide their suggestions of feasible solutions for financial institutions to establish the new risk management system to comply with the requirements in the future.  The final version of “The New Basel Capital Accord” was announced in June 2004. The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of the Republic of China (ROC) asked all banks in Taiwan to launch relevant acts in accordance with “The New Basel Capital Accord” by the end of 2006, in order to fulfill banking internationalization as well as to upgrade the standards of operational risk management. The purpose of this study is to understand the preparation and actions taken for newly-created capital calculation and operational risk management of banking in Taiwan because of the impact of “The New Basel Capital Accord” on operational risk management and statutory requirements in Taiwan.


Delineation of Malaysian Online Shoppers and Non-Shoppers Using Discriminant Analysis

Ezlika Ghazali and Dilip Mutum



 The study attempts to delineate the demographic and lifestyle characteristics of online shoppers and online non-shoppers in Malaysia. The application of discriminant analysis reveals that certain variables are relatively more important than others in discriminating between online shoppers and non-shoppers in Malaysia. With regards to level of importance, the dimension ‘Vigilant of financial loss,’ ranks the highest. Some marketing implications are also discussed.  Online purchasing is growing at a dramatic rate and is well documented in literature. According to a recent study conducted by research firm ACNielsen, roughly 10 percent of the world's population has shopped online at least once (Crampton, 2005). In Malaysia the expected explosion of Internet shopping has not occurred as yet and the market share is quite negligible. It is growing slowly with an increase from 24 percent in 2002 to 28 percent of Internet users shopping online in 2003. However, an increasing number of consumers are expected to make purchases on the Internet in the future, with a majority of them doing so from international web merchants (IDC, 2004). The percentage of Malaysian consumers who shop online from the total Internet population now stands at 28.4 percent (MATRADE, 2005). Malaysian Business-to-Business (B2B) E-commerce was forecasted at RM29.6 billion (US$1= approx. RM3.77), while Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce, at RM5.7 billion. In view of this, it was considered important to investigate the concerns and perceived benefits of shopping online. As such, this study seeks to examine Internet oriented lifestyles of both Internet shoppers and non-shoppers to see whether there are any discrete market segments that seek different benefits from the Internet. This study is considered significant because the role of psychographics in the adoption of e-commerce in Malaysia has been largely unexplored, even though some researchers have indeed studied the effect of psychographics in the global diffusion of e-commerce in other parts of the World, especially in the United States (Swaminathan, Anderson and Ponnavolu, 2002; Swinyard and Smith, 2003). 


A Human Resource Management Model for the Hair Salon Industry’ Part-timers

Cheng-Ping Chang



 One significant development in human resource management in today’s diverse labor market is the increase use of temporary workers. Businesses downsizing and the need for more flexibility of assigning human resources as well as the desire to decrease hiring costs will accelerate the need for part-timers. This study reviewed and analyzed the available temporary human resource management and motivation literature. The study then interviewed and investigated successful part-time employment in the hair salon industry in Taiwan to understand the appropriate approach for managing and stimulating part-timers and achieve efficiency in part-time management. The contributions of the findings provided usable suggestions for this service industry to achieve future profit goals as well as a potential model for other service industries.  Business cannot compete within the same trade today unless the work type essentially is transformed into a more diverse environment. The application and implementation of contingent work arrangements in a business organization has become inevitable to avoid inflation of labor costs. Such types of “contingent work arrangement” have changed conventional employment patterns. Many businesses now retain their core activity while transferring their minor tasks to other forms of alternative arrangements, such as: outsource work, subcontracted work, consultant firms, temporary work, or part-time employment. These enterprises have continued the general human resource movement by cooperating with other industries or vendors and utilizing contingent work arrangements to reach their profit objectives.


Business Environment of Host Country, Strategic Transition  of MNC, and Foreign Subsidiary Performance

Tsai–Lung Liu



 Using structural equation modeling, this study attempts to test hypothesized relationship among business environment of host country, strategic transition of multinational corporation (MNC), and foreign subsidiary performance. Data were collected from 340 vehicle, motorcycle and bicycle firms having registered in Taiwan and their foreign subsidiaries in Mainland China. Results show that the business environment of host country has positively influence on strategic transition of MNC and on foreign subsidiary performance. Based on this finding, this research suggests that MNC should more concern about government, demand conditions than related supporting industries, firm strategy, and factor conditions of business environment of host country to build suitable strategic transition and create foreign subsidiary performance. Besides, results also show that strategic transition of MNC has positively influence on foreign subsidiary performance. This research also suggests that strategic transition of MNC should especially more focus on dominating position than extent in expansion and self-dependence to create foreign subsidiary performance.



Nurse or Nurse Leader?  Leadership Challenges in Building Healthcare Organizations

Dr. M Williams and Dr. J. Gordon


Leading nurses in  health care organization is often more art than science.  The memorable phrase from actor Kevin Costner’s “Field of Dreams” proclaims, “Build it and they will come!”  Building a baseball diamond and building a health care organization both require time, attention, and patience.  However, building a baseball diamond does not require the well-honed leadership knowledge, competencies, and skills necessary to develop and enable a successful and sustainable health care organization.  Nurses are well suited as leaders.  Nursing education and nurse management education emphasize critical thinking and strategic planning.  Moreover, choosing a nursing specialization and gaining practical experience demands personal sacrifice, dedication to a vision, and hard work.  It also requires an innovated, energetic, and entrepreneurial support system.  Nurses must model the leadership practices and behaviors that support building a proactive healthcare support team.  Remember, thriving healthcare organizations are not built by individual practitioners alone!  Ironically, nurse’s training and the high impact, confrontational, and aggressive behaviors ften associated with practicing nursing, can inhibit leveraging the vision, commitment, and execution inherent in management staff. As a result, a growing nurse manager may not achieve their administration, client management, and revenue goals.


Foreign Investment Preferential Policy Formulated by Host Country: An Application of Game Theory

Dr. Chen-Kuo Lee and Chin-Ming Wang



 The study makes use of the modern economic theories and methods to construct a theoretical framework for game analysis that centers on the creation and distribution of return on transnational corporations’ investment. It interprets the formulation and implementation of the host country’s foreign investment policy and reinforces the existing theories and, in addition, analyzes the investment behavior of the transnational investors and the measures taken by the host country to attract foreign investment as well as the interaction between transnational investors and host countries. Thus, it creates a solid international investment theory.  The researchers analyzed the static and dynamic games with complete information from transnational corporations and the host country and found the optimal solutions under the highly abstract assumptions. The study also found that, when other conditions are constant, the optimal level of the host country’s foreign investment preferential policy is in direct proportion to its need for foreign investment or the size of the capital gap, and is in inverse ratio to the level of its investment environment.


Ethics in International Business

Iraj Mahdavi, Ph.D.,  Shawn Mokhtari,  and Kamal Dean Parhizgar,



 This paper examines the importance of global ethical business responsibilities. The recent public scandals of corporate malfeasance have heightened this need and organizations face numerous ethical issues. Strategies such as codes of conduct, developed by various international entities, can guide multinational corporations in this effort. The authors also analyze various ethical climate and ethical problems.   Authors conclude that a global code of ethics, developed and enforced by an international agreement is the best means of bringing ethics to international businesses.  Importance of ethics in the business world is superlative and global.  New trends    and issues arise on a daily basis which may create    an important burden to organizations and end-consumers.  Nowadays, the need for proper ethical behavior within organizations has become crucial to avoid possible lawsuits.  The public scandals of corporate malfeasance and misleading practices, have affected the public perception of many organizations (e. g., Enron, Arthur Andersen, WorldCom etc.).  It is widely known that advertising does not promote the advancement of human moral sensibility.    Lasch’s contention (1978: 1) that modern advertising “Seeks to create needs, not to fulfill them: to generate new anxieties instead of allaying old ones. . It addresses itself to the spiritual desolation of modern life and proposes consumption as the cure” seems to still be true.  The recent expansion of global business and fall of trade barriers worldwide have further underlined the interest in the topics of ethical behavior and social responsibility (See among others, Jones, 1991: 366-395).  In addition, as many scholars believe, human rights and environmental conservation are   gaining increasing more recognition in both academic and commercial settings


Credit Rating Methodologies in India and Abroad

Dr. Sudha Vepa



 Credit Rating provides indicative guidance to the prospective investors in fixed income securities on the degree of risk involved in timely repayment of principal and interest. A rated security is placed higher in the estimation of investors than an unrated security irrespective of better financial standing or reputation of the issuer or sponsorer company or business house.  Credit Rating Methodology refers to the use and application of tools in the rating process. This paper compares the methodologies of various credit rating agencies in India and the US.  Financial markets hold an essential function in the economy. They channel funds from people who have no productive use for them to people who do. An important aspect to consider for investors and issuers is to determine the credit risk involved. Credible and accurate information is needed to conduct this assessment. Credit Rating provides indicative guidance to the prospective investors in fixed income securities on the degree of risk involved in timely repayment of principal and interest. A rated security is placed higher in the estimation of investors than an unrated security irrespective of better financial standing or reputation of the issuer or sponsorer company or business house.  Credit Rating Methodology refers to the use and application of tools in the rating process. In order to assess the credit risk underlying a debt issue during the rating process Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) evaluate issuers on the basis of certain criteria. This paper compares the methodologies of various credit rating agencies in India and abroad. 


Offshore Outsourcing “India Vs China” An Empirical Investigation

Pawan Jain, Doctoral student



 The terminology of economics—"marginal utility," "vertical equity," "asymmetric information"—is not, by and large, the stuff of deep public passion. But in recent years one economic term has become hot to the touch. The term is "outsourcing," which refers to the spinning off of job functions from one place to another, and especially to the export of jobs from high-wage America to low-wage countries such as India and China.  To increase their competitiveness, many companies are turning to business process outsourcing (BPO) to move labor-intensive activities to offshore locations where those processes are performed at the same or better quality level but at a lower cost. These companies are separating their core operational processes from non-core support processes, and then utilizing third parties to perform those support processes for them.  Economists had been debating on the overall benefits and limitations of outsourcing in the long run. What no body disputes is that outsourcing has been occurring, that the pace is picking up, and that it affects all economic sectors and levels of management.  This paper explores unique characteristics of Indian and Chinese market that makes them a pioneer in outsourcing industry. This study also analyses the various factors that makes China a potential threat to India.


The Economics of Information Technology Asset Management

Dr. Mustafa Kamal and Russell Petree



 Enterprise wide IT asset management (ITAM) covers both horizontal dimension such as  hardware, software through peripheral items such as printers, pagers, cell phones, and handhelds and the vertical dimension, the entire asset life cycle that include proposal, procurement, acquisition, installation and eventual disposition. ITAM plays a critical role in company’s bid to cut cost and increase productivity. As companies continue to automate, right size and work to retain revenue, their ability to effectively manage IT assets becomes a major factor in the success equation. Analysis of two cases in ITAM suggests that some organizations are more effective in implementing ITAM policy and procedures than others.  Enterprise wide IT asset management covers the entire life cycle of IT assets. These components include proposal, procurement, acquisition, installation and eventual disposition of IT resources. IT asset management has become a pivotal issue in company’s bid to cut cost and increase productivity.  This paper focuses on the scope, life cycle and challenges of IT asset management in the enterprise. In simple terms, asset management deals with tracking and directing assets to maximize their return on investment and minimize their cost to the company. Now, more than ever, companies are increasing their investment in IT assets and seeking bigger and sustainable returns on those investments. As companies continue to automate, continue to “rightsize” staffing levels and continue to work to retain revenue through more efficient use of their assets, their ability to effectively manage those assets becomes one of the critical factors in the success equation. However, evaluation of problems related to these issues, their scope and impact and possible solution paradigm and pedagogy cannot be implemented overnight. Gartner advises that a good enterprise IT asset management program typically takes two to three years to successfully implement [1]. Company assets range from buildings to vehicles, from manufacturing equipment to computers and networks to software. Enterprise assets can be grouped into four categories: Production, Facilities, Fleet & IT [2]. This paper focuses on IT asset management and presents two cases to elaborate diversity in the management of assets.


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