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The Economics & International Business Research Conference, Miami

South Beach, Miami, Florida

December 17 - 21 2002

All submissions are subject to a double blind review process

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

 

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The primary goal of the journal will be to provide opportunities for business related academicians and professionals from various business related fields in a global realm to publish their paper in one source. The Business Review, Cambridge will bring together academicians and professionals from all areas related business fields and related fields to interact with members inside and outside their own particular disciplines. The journal will provide opportunities for publishing researcher's paper as well as providing opportunities to view other's work.  All submissions are subject to a two person blind peer review process.

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A Study into Leadership Style and Its Relationship to Individual Differences in: Personality, Personal Moral Orientation and Ethical Judgement Made in a Sample of Education Management Professionals

Jennifer Margaret, Christchurch College of Education, School of Business, Christchurch, NZ

 

ABSTRACT

 Latest emerging themes in Organisational Psychology literature concern the notions of ethics and justice.  "Workplace justice, a long-standing topic in organisational research, is an increasing concern..." (Rosseau, 1997).  Rosseau (1997) has reviewed all the key areas of organisational psychology and concludes that each of these areas has either become a justice issue or has an important ethics or justice component to it.  Organisational change is one such area in which Rousseau notes the perceived fairness of outcomes (distributive justice); the communication process in managing change (interactional justice); and the processes whereby implementation decisions are made (procedural justice), all have an influence to varying degrees on employees perceptions of workplace justice.  The critical point that Rousseau (1997) highlights regarding the employment relationship, is the centrality of the issue of trust and its dependence on employees perceptions of workplace justice.  Because of the importance of the notion of justice in all areas of work psychology this proposal concerns leadership from a justice and ethics perspective.  The central theme is:  Linking the most recent leadership theory - Transformational and Transactional, (Bass, 1994) to the notions of:  (a) organisational virtues (Moberg, 1999); (b) the applied ethics notion of moral intensity (Jones, 1998) and;(c) the moral psychology notion of personal moral orientation (Forsyth, 1994). The following sections address this theme with three independent studies, briefly defining each variable in the proposed research, discussing the theoretical rationale and previous empirical research concerning the proposed relationships and, concludes with hypotheses and methodology for each.

 

Cheating – What is It and Why Do It: A Study in New Zealand Tertiary Institutions of the Perceptions and Justifications for Academic Dishonesty

Kelly de Lambert, Nicky Ellen and Louise Taylor, School of Business, Christchurch College of Education, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

ABSTRACT

 How do different groups of people perceive academic dishonesty and what are the reasons they give for undertaking academically dishonest acts? It is posited that students and lecturing staff have different perceptions of what constitutes academic dishonesty and the seriousness of the acts. This paper also presents the findings of investigations into the reasons given for academic dishonesty and rates of prevalence within New Zealand tertiary institutions.  In this age of increased pressure for academic success and the endeavour for higher qualifications, academic dishonesty has become a much-discussed subject amongst tertiary teaching staff. Not only is it of interest to lecturing staff in tertiary institutions, but also to employers of graduates, and to students who may view the exploits of their academically dishonest peers as injurious to their own hard-earned success.  The research undertaken draws on literature and other published studies, but is primarily concerned with the tertiary sector in New Zealand, specifically universities and polytechnics, and encompasses a variety of academic disciplines. Although there is a comprehensive set of studies available from overseas, there is very little material available in the New Zealand context. To this end, an independent study was carried out with New Zealand tertiary institutions, students and academic staff. Areas investigated include prevalence, perceptions, justifications, action and non-action, penalties, policy and prevention. The intention of this paper is to present the findings from three of these areas - prevalence, perceptions and justifications.

 

On Managing Nanotechnology Security Concerns for the 21st Century

Dr. Michael A. O. Case, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Dr. Yaw. A. Owusu, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL

 

ABSTRACT

 The discoveries in the field of nanotechnology over the past four decades of its existence are staggering. If the dream of a nanoage is within two decades according to nanotechnology prognosticators, then life as its known today will be changed forever.  The science of manipulating matter at its most fundamental level, atoms and molecules, would be the discovery of the millennium. Advancements in Science, Technology, Engineering and the Environment would all be realities. However, the same principles that could create food for a family from a few ounces of carbon could also place within the reach of a terrorist the power to destroy life from off the surface of the earth. This paper focuses on discussing the fundamental principles, advantages, and disadvantages of nanotechnology with a proposal for the creation of an International Governing Body to manage and regulate the developments and application of nanotechnology.  Every single manufactured product is made from small particles named atoms. Each product has a different property depending on how those atoms are arranged.  For example if an atoms is re-arranged in coal, that structure converts itself into a diamond.  Also, if the atoms that are found in sand are re-arranged and added a few other elements, that structure becomes a computer chip or a solar panel.  Today’s manufacturing methods are very crude at the molecular level, some of the macro level manufacturing methods are: casting, grinding, milling and even lithography move atoms in great thundering statistical herds. It is like trying to make things out of LEGO blocks using boxing gloves. Yes, the LEGO blocks can be pushed into great heaps and can be piled up, but there is no real way to snap them together.

 

FDI, the E.U. and the Celtic Tiger: The Investment Diversion Effect of European Integration

Dr. William L. Casey, Babson College, Babson Park, MA

 

ABSTRACT

Evidence indicates that the Republic of Ireland has been successful in recent decades in using inward foreign direct investment (FDI) as an engine of real economic growth. Foreign investors have been attracted by favorable labor market conditions in Ireland, an aggressive, well focused industrial policy and the opportunity to gain access to the large, integrated European market. However, this paper questions whether the “Irish Miracle” will continue as E.U. membership expands and as policy exemptions and community subsidies to Ireland diminish in the future. Economic integration in Europe, including the recent emergence of the common currency, has understandably attracted a significant amount of attention in the economics literature. Interest has been spurred not only by the success by which the EU has overcome integration obstacles, but also by the impact of integration on regional growth, foreign trade volume and foreign investment flows.  The purpose of this paper is to examine the foreign direct investment (FDI) diversionary effects of European integration and EU policy. In illustrating these effects, the focus will be on the EU member state, the Republic of Ireland, that seemingly has benefited the most from FDI diversion.  The analysis is presented in three parts. Section one examines the recent growth experience of Ireland, linking its success to the heavy inflow of FDI, particularly from the U.S. In section two, the focus turns to the specific reasons why Ireland has been successful in attracting a disproportionate amount of inward FDI over the past three decades. Included in the analysis will be the advantage of EU membership and the benefits of EU policy.

 

North American Free Trade Agreement – Is It Delivering What It Promised?

Dr. Balasundram Maniam, Dr. Hadley Leavell and Dr. Richard Thaler,

Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX

 

ABSTRACT

 In 1994 the United States, Canada, and Mexico entered into a trade alliance that we know today as the North American Free Trade Agreement.  The agreement was constructed to allow for monumental progress to be made in trade flow, foreign direct investment, and economic liberalization within the region.  Evidence indicates that this alliance has indeed successfully accomplished many pre-set objectives in a relatively short period of time.  The successful accomplishments achieved by the partners in this alliance could well establish a model for expansion of bilateral agreements throughout the hemisphere. Regional trade alliances are formed between countries in an effort to maximize trade opportunities through preferential access to their markets for members within the alliance.  The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) joined Canada, the U.S., and Mexico into an agreement intended to increase trade and investment, eliminate tariffs, reduce non-tariff barriers, and establish provisions concerning the proper conduct of business in the free trade area.  The extent to which this agreement has achieved its intended objectives is a source of great debate.  This study will examine the data currently available relating to the initiatives of NAFTA.  It will review literature relating to this subject from 1992 to present.  It will begin by specifically identifying the main objectives of this agreement, which includes the economic and political motivations.  The extent to which NAFTA has successfully accomplished its intended mission will then be discussed in detail.  This will be followed up by arguments questioning whether or not the parties involved in this agreement are truly reaping the anticipated benefits of this accord.  It will conclude by assessing the overall success and impact of this agreement on the economies of these three countries, and by doing such, identify whether NAFTA has delivered what it promised.

 

Justification for International Diversification

Dr. Balasundram Maniam and Dr. Hadley Leavell, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 

 

ABSTRACT

 Even though there are many advocates that support international diversification, there are also those who argue against the idea of investing abroad.  Supporters suggest that including foreign securities in a portfolio will reduce risk and increase returns.  However, critics believe that the benefits of foreign investing are diminishing due to globalization and that there are plenty of opportunities for diversification in the domestic market. This paper discusses both views and concludes by demonstrating, with overwhelming support, that international diversification remains an advantageous part of portfolio management.  In the early 1970’s, when the concept of international diversification gained popularity, experts developed the theory that an investor could reduce overall volatility and earn higher returns by allocating a portion of a portfolio to foreign securities.  Favorable conditions abroad and an extensive bear market at home provided the encouragement investors needed to confidently send their money overseas.  In the late 1980’s, the EAFE flourished with colossal annual returns around 36%, securing a place for foreign assets in the hearts and portfolios of U.S. investors.  This glory did not last long, though.  During the 1990’s, an infection of weak economic conditions spread throughout many foreign markets, forcing the EAFE to succumb to negative annual returns.  Many investors confidently held their position in the foreign market; however, others began questioning the ability of international securities to continue as a contributing factor in a well-managed diversified portfolio.  After extensive research, experts of both sentiments provided convincing arguments to support their cases.  The intent of this paper is to give full consideration to both perspectives, extract common sense from the non-sense, in an attempt to determine whether global asset allocation has become an exhausted investment cliché or remains a beneficial mechanism of portfolio diversification.

 

Change of the Party in Power: The Entrepreneurial Mexican State in the New Pan – Presidencialist Period

Dr. José G. Vargas-Hernández, Centro Universitario del Sur, Universidad de Guadalajara, México

 

The arrival of the managers to the Mexican State meant the displacement of politicians with formal power. In other words, what changed was formal power, because the real power remains unalterable. The Mexican Council of Businessmen stopped being a pressure group in the face of the power of the State and became instead the representatives of the managers in the federal government who determine national economic and political decisions. That is to say, the political power taken by the conservative groups that held hegemonic, economic power and the national neo-oligarchy was subordinated to the interests of transnational capitalism exercising a new governance strategy. This strategy allowed them to dominate and directly control the means for achieving their maximum benefit (efficiency), without necessarily appealing to the mediation of a political class that was highly paid for the mediation of the arrangements for production factors. This is the case between capital and work, for example. However, in humanity's history, the achievement of efficiency has not brought social justice.  The new State of managers administers the existing order efficiently to guarantee transnational global capital that the best conditions for investments exist in Mexico. Already the general coordinator of economic affairs in the transition team guaranteed “zero discrimination” for Mexican entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the leader of one of the most powerful organizations of managers warned that Fox’s government would be friendlier to the production sector. Fox has a clear vision of the needs of a company, so he can create wealth and more work sources (Becerril, 2000).

 

The Applicability of Three B2C E-commerce Models in China

Liang Xiangfen, Doctoral Candidate, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

 

ABSTRACT

On the basis of Michael Rappa’s typology of e-business, three B2C models are discussed with regard to China, where emerging e-commerce economy is less known. It becomes evident that setting up an effective B2C model in China may require the creation of basic services that taken for granted in the developed countries, as well as requiring a careful consideration on consumer preferences, cultural influence and business strategy in addition to transaction costs.  With the globalization of Internet, B2C e-commerce has been very popular in China. B2C e-commerce, involves a wide range of transactions, from retail trade in books and CDs, insurance policies, entertainment, automobiles, to airline tickets, pharmaceutical drugs. Early papers on e-commerce have adopted an economic view of markets, using transaction economics as the primary theoretical model. From an economic point of view, the cost of setting up and maintaining a web site is much lower than that of the installation of a “brick-and-mortar” firm (E-commerce and development report, 2001). Interestingly, theorization about electronic markets continues to emphasize the economic view, and explore the way in which reduced search costs change buyer and seller’s behaviors (Bakos, 1988). However, the essence of e-business in terms of economic transaction costs for both firm and customer sides remain unclear. While B2C e-commerce might bring along the decrease in transaction costs for customers, the costs for the electronic firm itself might increase correspondingly. Further efforts should be given to explore the variation of transition costs of B2C e-commerce from both firm and individual sides.  In addition, since the existing theories and cases on electronic marketplaces is mainly drawn from the Western context, where there are already mature legal, financial, and physical infrastructures, setting up a successful e-marketplace in emerging or nonwestern economies may require the creation of basic services that are taken for granted in the developed countries, as well as requiring a careful consideration of the underlying business philosophy and culture (Hempel et al., 2001). In terms of B2C e-commerce implementation, pure economic consideration does work sometimes. In turn, pure customer consideration does not make profits as well.

 

A Financial Appraisal of Florida’s Environmental Horticulture Industry

Dr. John Haydu, University of Florida, Mid-Florida REC, Apopka, FL

Dr. Alan Hodges, University of Florida, Dept. of Food and Resource Economics, Gainesville, FL

Dr. John Cisar, University of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale REC, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

 

ABSTRACT

 Information was collected from 37 wholesale nurseries on sales, production, operating expenses and net returns in 1999. Nursery products represented among the sampled firms included container and field-grown woody ornamentals, tropical foliage, and flowering plants. This information was compared to data from 1990 and 1995 to examine financial changes that have occurred among nursery businesses. In 1998 the average nursery had annual plant sales of $2.71 million (M), total income of $2.89M, and net firm income of $548 thousand (K). Firms used an average production area of 55 acres, employed 49 full-time equivalent (FTE) persons, and managed total capital of $5.26M. As a share of value produced, costs were 34.7 percent for labor, 26.1 percent for materials, 5.0 percent for equipment/facilities, 10.0 percent for overhead, 3.8 percent for depreciation, 3.9 percent for interest, and 4.6 percent for management. Net profit margin averaged 18.9 percent and rate of return on capital investment was 7.9 percent. Compared to previous results for 1990, firms in 1998 were significantly larger—sales increased 66 percent in inflation-adjusted terms, production area increased 95 percent, employment increased 114 percent, total capital managed increased 122 percent, net worth increased 99 percent, and net income increased 45 percent.  However, profitability and productivity were lower—net margin decreased 19 percent, rate of return on net worth decreased 20 percent, value produced per square foot decreased 11 percent, and inventory turnover declined 27 percent. These results confirm that profitability in the Florida nursery plant industry has continued to decline as the industry becomes increasingly competitive.

 

Structural Adaptation in the Florida Ornamental Plant Nursery Industry in the 1990s

Dr. Alan W. Hodges, University of Florida, Food & Resource Economics Department, Gainesville, FL

Dr. John J. Haydu, University of Florida, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, Apopka, FL

 

ABSTRACT

 The state of Florida has a large industry for producing ornamental plants, which continues to grow rapidly.  Industry surveys were conducted in 1989, 1994 and 1999 to evaluate economic trends.   Survey results suggest that the industry has undergone significant structural changes during the 1990s in response to increasing competition and industry maturation. Consolidation has resulted in larger firms, with the market share for firms having at least $1 million in annual sales increasing from 74 to 84 percent.  Other economic trends include greater labor productivity, increasing diversity of ornamental plant products, less seasonality in product sales, a shift in markets from landscaper to retailer outlets, especially mass merchandise chains, wider distribution of products outside the state of Florida, increased forward contracting, increased advertising, and greater use of telephone contacts for sales.  Ornamental plants are the sixth largest agricultural commodity group in the United States, with a farm level value of $12.12 billion (Bn) in 1998 (Johnson, 1999).  Ornamentals are also the fastest growing major segment of U.S. agriculture, with sales increasing by 30 percent between 1991 and 1998, representing average annual growth of 2.0 percent in inflation-adjusted terms (Figure 1). This growth was due to the continued strong demand for plants, driven by a robust economy, expansion in housing, and increasing per capita consumption. Retail expenditures for plant products in the U.S. reached $54.79 Bn, or $203 per capita in 1998, and increased 2.1 percent annually (inflation-adjusted) between 1986 and 1998 (Figure 2).

 

Evaluation of E-Bookstore Characteristics

Dr. Hong-In Cheng and Dr. Patrick E. Patterson, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

 

ABSTRACT

 As usable web site is essential for today’s successful e-business, e-commerce web site design has been actively studied, resulting in a number of design guides being produced. However, these guides do not provide specific design methodology, so web designers still need their experience and intuition to build a web site. In this study, four simulated online bookstores were designed based on the content analysis of several existing e-bookstores. Customers’ preference and effects of the usage of design items were investigated. Seventy-five percent of participants reported they would buy textbooks online even if there were no monetary benefit, but sixty-nine percent thought sale price is still most important for book purchases. E-brand and the duration of delivery were considered significant, similar to the bricks-and-mortar marketplace. Search engine characteristics affect the ease of use of a web site and should be designed to be easily located on the screen. A web store was considered to be well-organized if its screen design presentation was columnar.

 

Macro-Finance: Application of Financial Economic Theory for Implementing Macroeconomic Policy

Dr. Ronald W. Spahr, University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield, IL

Dr. Mohammad Ashraf, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, NC

Dr. Nancy Scannell, University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield, IL

Dr. Yuri I. Korobov, Saratov State Socio-Economics University, Saratov, Russia

 

ABSTRACT

 We define macrofinance as the application of traditional financial economic theory to the macro-economy postulating that macroeconomic activity results from aggregate effects of all domestic private and public saving, investment, net international trade and consumption decisions. We suggest that a single economic policy objective should be the maximization of the composite wealth of the country’s stakeholders, the country’s total population. This national welfare objective is analogous to the financial economic objective of maximizing shareholders' wealth in the case for a single firm. Maximizing owners’ wealth for a single firm involves the discounting of future cash flows (usually dividends) accruing to the firm’s shareholders. For a nation’s economic welfare, a parallel concept may be operationalized by maximizing the present value of a country’s long-run, sustainable, real standard of living, i.e., maximizing discounted future cash flows associated with the consumption component of GDP. We apply the macrofinance methodology to identify characteristics of macroeconomic policy, which may be less transparent given current objectives of economic policy.  The multiple objectives of traditional monetary policy was articulated in the United States of America Employment Act of 1946, but since has become the cornerstone of macroeconomic policy for many countries.  The objectives of traditional monetary policy have been interpreted to include shorter-term stabilization of price levels, control of employment and growth levels, stabilization of money and capital markets, and balancing of trade.  These objectives and their resulting implementation by controlling money supplies are adopted almost universally by most central banks. However, because of multiple and sometimes conflicting objectives and short-term emphasis, monetary policy is difficult to delineate for various economic conditions.

 

 The Integration of Action Research with Problem-Based Learning in Determining the Root Cause of Business-Related Problems

Dr. Robert DeYoung, Saint Thomas University, Miami, FL

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper discusses the implications of integrating two concepts critical to problem solving and decision-making: Action Research and Problem-Based Learning. Action Research is the systematic and organized effort to explore a specific problem that requires a solution. Problem-Based Learning provides an experiential learning by means of reflection and action, through inquiry and conclusions based upon factually supported evidence. These concepts, used exclusively as a methodology, enhance the decision-making process.  Each concept, used in concert with one another, further strengthens managerial confidence in the proposed changes while minimizing time and cost constraints fundamental to organizational success in today’s emergent global environment. This study first looks at the role of Action Research as a determinant in identifying the root cause of a business problem. The concept of Problem-Based Learning through the use of Action Learning Circles is then explored. The article concludes with specific commentary as to the increased effectiveness of integrating Action Research and Problem-Based Learning in addressing organizational problems.  Today’s organizations are faced with a never-ending struggle to effectively address issues that impact competitiveness and sustainability in an ever-emergent environment. Issues must be identified, prioritized and addressed. These three processes should occur chronologically. Of great importance is that the issue is properly identified. Misidentification of the issue can result in the loss of valuable time and revenue. All too often, the managerial response to problematic issues is a misdirected focus on the symptoms. A more appropriate focus would assess the root cause of the problem.

 

Managing Quality: “Creating Magic” in the Service Industry

Dr. Randall G. Bowden, Dr. Michael W. Mulnix, and Sonia Hernandez

University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX

 

ABSTRACT

 This study examined the relationship between empowerment practices and a sense of community at a five-star hotel in the Southwest.  There were 186 respondents representing all departments and levels of employment.  Utilizing the Personnel Hotel Survey and the Organizational Community Index, results indicated various levels of community as employees are involved in decision-making and team effort.  Additionally, working toward common goals assisted employees to exceed the expectations of guests.  Ultimately, communication is the key.  Global competition in the service industry creates a growing source of concern for organizations to remain competitive as local markets attract global customers.  According to Harris (1998), the global marketplace is one of the pressures behind an organizational reformation towards higher quality as many organizations aim to establish themselves as unique facilities to provide outstanding service to guests.  To achieve an honored position in customers’ minds, hotels concerned about quality due to global pressures must “accommodate changing roles, relationships, and structures” (Harris, 1998, p. 10).  The intention of organizations responding to global challenges generates a flurry of activities.  It is the purpose of this research to examine one activity: What is the relationship between employee empowerment according to a new management philosophy and its sense of organizational community in order “to create service magic” (Hotel Philosophy card, 1999)?

 

Changes in Leisure Time: Impact on Selected Industries

Donald Bates, Ph.D., United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates

 

ABSTRACT

This project examines the impact of the changing structure of leisure time on the product design and mix of selected recreational industry.  The strategic implications are illustrated through answers to three key questions about recreational products and their match to the evolving market.  One model that represents leisure activity selection is the leisure/lifestyles model depicted in Figure 1. The factors listed on the left impact the leisure/lifestyle selected by influencing the level of satisfaction obtained from the leisure activity’s pursuit. The factors on the left are individual and personal.  Their intraaction may be referred to as the influencers of the demand for a particular leisure activity and must be viewed as a set.  It could be very misleading to focus on only one satisfaction influencer and draw conclusions about the leisure segment’s future.  For example, traditionally reported demographic data for recreational vehicle camping (RV) (e.g., income, age, family size, and so forth) are quite positive, but represent only a small portion of the influencers on leisure lifestyle.  Viewing demographic data in isolation may lead firms in the industry to be optimistic, when in fact the opposite conclusion may be warranted.  Many RV camping industry experts blame the 1980’s sales decline on the recession; however, a major decline in RV camper sales had started before the recession.  This is not to imply that the economic situation did not exacerbated the decline in sales, but a general economic recovery would not necessarily precipitate a major recovery in RV camper sales if leisure/lifestyle shifts have occurred as they did following 1989.

 

Trends in the U.S. Health Care Market: Organizational and Management Strategies

Kristina L. Guo, PhD, MPH, Florida International University, Miami, FL

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper describes major trends in the health care market.  They include increased health care costs, the growth of managed care, emphasis on quality of care, consumer choice and the growth of the elderly and uninsured populations.  The relationship between cost, quality, managed care and choice are explored in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. A clearer understanding of these trends enables managers in health care organizations to make strategic decisions resulting in organizations survival and growth.  The U.S. health care system is undergoing turbulent changes.  Major trends include increased health care costs, the growth of managed care, emphasis on quality of care, consumer choice, and the growth of the elderly and uninsured populations.  Health care costs have been escalating.  In government-financed programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, policies have shifted to increased use of managed care to control high costs. This is especially necessary considering the rising elderly population who are Medicare beneficiaries and also the increased numbers of enrollees in Medicaid. While managed care penetration continues to increase; monitoring quality in managed care plans is equally critical for policymakers, organizational management and consumers.  Consumers not only worry about quality, but also cost and choice.  Some are willing to forgo less expensive plans in exchange for higher quality.  However, in other cases, many consumers lack finances and options.  A major trend is the movement toward greater access to information for consumers to make informed choices about their plans and providers.  While trends affect all stakeholders, the intention of this paper is to describe the impact of these trends on organizations and managers.  In particular, senior level management is responsible for strategically positioning their organizations for survival and success (Guo, 2001).  As they counter pressures in the environment, health care managers must be prepared to make strategic decisions.

 

The Relationship between Ownership Structure and Debt Structure

Dr. Shin-Rong Shiah-Hou and Dr. Shu-Chen Liu, Yuan Ze University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 The essence of this paper is in results from an investigation of the relationship between a firm’s ownership structure and its debt structure.  Findings indicate that the concentration of share-ownership and different types of ownership will influence debt structure.  Rather than ownership structure, the source of ultimate control can be used to examine the effect that separation of ownership and control place on a firm’s debt structure.   Our results reveal that the asset substitution problem is most pronounced for firms with a high concentration of share-ownership, and hence we predict that firms prefer to borrow in public markets, to avoid delegating costly monitoring to a bank. The monitoring activities of institutional stockholders will reduce agency costs associated with debt, causing firms to have an incentive to borrow for longer-term debt.  Conversely, firms with more individual investors will tend to borrow for shorter-term debt.  There is no significant relationship between types of stockholders and debt maturity preferences.  Traditional literatures focus on the optimal capital structure of widely held corporations in the United States, in which ownership of capital is dispersed among small shareholders, but control is actually concentrated in the hands of managers. A majority of shareholders, in possession of a small percentage of shares, have little incentive to monitor professional managers.  However, the linkage between debt structure and ownership is still overlooked. In an investigation of the separation of ownership and control in 2980 publicly traded companies in nine East Asian countries, Claessens et al. (2000) found that more than two-thirds of firms were controlled by a single shareholder. Moreover, tracing the chain of ownership in all East Asian countries, they found that control was enhanced through pyramid structures and cross-holdings among firms. La Porta et al. (1998) revealed a more significant concentration of ownership in developing countries. This contention contains important implications regarding the ability and incentive of controlling shareholders to expropriate from minority shareholders.  The large shareholders would attempt to transfer wealth from debtholders to the shareholders, which may increase agency problems between shareholders and debt-holders

 

Behavior of Prices of Oil and Other Minerals over the Last Few Decades: A Comparative Analysis

Dr. Abdulla M. Alhemoud and Dr. Abdulkarim S. Al-Nahas, Arab Open University, Kuwait

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper tries to find out whether the price changes of oil over the last three decades were significantly different from those of other primary commodities. The paper examines briefly the changing conditions of the oil market and investigates the behavior of oil prices during the period 1966 – 2000. The Johansen’s maximum likelihood method was applied to test for co-integration between oil prices and the prices of non- fuel commodities. Fluctuations in oil prices were compared with those of other 13 minerals during the same period. The analysis suggests that the decline in OPEC’s market share, combined with the rise of the elasticity of the demand for oil have weakened OPEC’s market power as measured by the relative surplus of price over marginal cost.. The statistical results also suggest that the coefficient of variation for oil prices during the period 1966-2000 was much higher than that of other mineral prices. Oil prices enjoyed a much stronger upward trend than prices of other minerals during the last three decades. The econometric results suggest that there is evidence of co- integration between the oil price index and the non- fuel commodity price index.  The prices of most, if not all, primary commodities suffer substantial fluctuations, particularly over the long- run. There is little doubt that primary commodity markets exhibit considerably greater instability and uncertainty than those of manufactured commodities (Thiburn, 1977). Unfortunately, the fortunes of developing countries are associated with the prospects for primary commodity exports. This is so since many developing countries are heavily dependent on primary commodities for up to three- quarters of their export earnings, compared to approximately one – fifth in the case of developed Western economies. For example, the percentage of leading single commodity exports to total exports in oil – exporting countries in 1998 ranged from 43 per cent in the case of Ecuador to 98 per cent in the case of Saudi Arabia (IMF, IFS Yearbook, 2000). 

 

Women’s Engineering Education and Labor Market in Korea

Namchul Lee, Ph.D. and Chung Ji-Sun, Ph.D., Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training. Seoul, South Korea

 

ABSTRACT

 The principal objective of this paper is to explore the reasons for male and female differences human capital and labor market in Korea.  This paper begins by presenting an overview of engineering education for women and of the labor market for female Korean drawing on various aggregate data.  Also, I have surveyed about reasons for present major choosing in college and compared with women and men of the relationship between education labor market participation, earning inequality.  More detailed attention is then given to the issues of the changing composition of employment and unemployment in terms of industry, occupation.  The results suggest those overall observed differences in college education and in labor market are primarily due to differences in observed socio-economic characteristics.  This work makes several contributions to the existing literatures.  First, this paper is to analyze both changes in indicators of human capital for women relative to men, changes in absolute levels for women over time.  Second, the study presents that changes in labor force participation and wages are key to understanding changes in employment, over time, particularly, among female workers.  Finally, consideration is given to the relative labor market position of Korean women.

 

The Integration of Gender and Political Behavior into Hambrick and Mason's Upper Echelons Model of Organizations

Daun Robin Anderson, Ph.D. Candidate, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA

 

ABSTRACT

 A top management team’s (TMT) characteristics are determinants of the strategic choices that it makes, and these choices determine organizational performance.  This paper integrates gender and political behavior, as mediating and moderating variables, respectively, into Hambrick and Mason’s (1984) upper echelons model of organizations.   The author offers a new model that includes gender and political behavior, based on a literature review of the impact of these variables on decision making.  She posits that women’s leadership styles result in innovation and comprehensiveness in analyzing strategic alternatives.  She also posits that the amount of political behavior within a TMT moderates the effect of its members’ characteristics on the strategic choices that they make.  Hambrick and Mason’s (1984) upper echelons model of organizations proposes that members at the upper echelons of an organization, who are also known as the top management team (TMT) (the author uses the terms interchangeably throughout this paper), formulate and implement strategic choices.  The underlying assumption of the model is that upper echelon characteristics, both psychological and observable/demographic, are determinants of these strategic choices, which, in turn, determine organizational performance.  This paper adds gender to the list of demographic mediating variables, and political behavior as a moderating variable, thereby creating a new model that more thoroughly depicts the determinants of organizational performance. 

 

An International Experimental Investigation of the Effects of Instructor Behavior on Accounting Students' Class Participation

Dr. Ananth Seetharaman, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO

Dr. Alan Davis, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Dr. Ram S. Sriram, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

 

ABSTRACT

In its first position paper, the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC 1990) stressed the importance of lifelong learning for professional accountants and urged accounting educators to integrate “learning to learn” into the accounting curriculum. In its essence, learning to learn involves a questioning spirit. Therefore, an important issue for accounting educators concerns how to develop a questioning spirit among their students. It is widely recognized that when students actively participate in class, they acquire sophisticated intellectual abilities (see, e.g., Smith 1977; 1980). In other words, active class participation should motivate or lead students to develop a questioning spirit and practice the attributes of intellectual and lifelong learning (Smith 1980; Belenky et al. 1986; McKeachie 1990). Active student participation is thus a focus of most, if not all, new accounting educational models. Despite the unequivocal importance of having students actively participate in class, however, there is little empirical research on the effects of instructor behavior on students' class participation. Rather, as observed by Auster and MacRone (1994), the strategies suggested for enhancing discussions and class participation (e.g., call on students by name; ask for elaboration; if some students dominate class discussions, then limit students to two or three comments per class) are based on personal or anecdotal experience.  In this study, we empirically examine the effects of instructor behavior on the level of accounting students' participation in class.

 

Ethics of Manipulations in Accounting Decisions

Dr. Lutfihak Alpkan, Dr. Gokhan Ozer and Selim Aren, Gebze Institute of Technology, Istanbul, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

 The goal of this study is to search for different ethical judgments of different groups of respondents and to see if these judgments vary according to the type of earnings manipulations. In this respect, data is collected via questionnaire study composed of several manipulations scenarios, the respondents are students in business schools, and business practionners as top executives and accountants in private firms. Findings show that significant variance exists concerning the type of manipulations groups of respondents.  Financial statements provide information about the economic performance of the companies. Stakeholders can have an idea about the effectiveness of the managerial decisions by reviewing these reports. The performance of the company reflects also the performance of its top managers who make all the strategic decisions. These managers have also the power to manipulate earnings reported on the financial statements in order to build a fictive image of higher success. Extend and type of these manipulations is open to discussion about whether or how much they are ethical. Alternative ways of manipulations exist, however, they are totally labeled as earnings manipulations. All possible managerial decision whether on accounting policies or operations fall in these category (Black, Sellers and  Manly, 1998; Schroeder and Clark, 1995).  Earnings manipulations serve sometimes to the individual interests of the owners who concern about tax payments and prefer earnings to be reported as lower than the real amount and sometimes to those of the managers who concern about their image of success and prefer earnings to be reported higher.

 

Teaching Outside the Box: A Look at the Use of Some Nontraditional Teaching Models in Accounting Principles

Dr. Gary Saunders, Marshall University, Huntington, WV

Dr. Jill Ellen R. Christopher, Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH

 

ABSTRACT

 Paradigms for teaching accounting have been evolving at a fairly rapid pace throughout the last decade.  The Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC) has been a leader in calling for these changes.  They, and others in the accounting profession, have issued statements addressing the structure of, and the objectives of, accounting principles courses.  These statements have stressed the need for innovative teaching approaches and the importance of incorporating active learning and team learning (group work) into accounting principles courses.  Conventional wisdom might suggest that as the size of an educational institution increases, accounting principles class size would also increase.  Increased class size may reduce the likelihood that instructors will use innovative teaching methods and that students will have fewer opportunities to experience active learning and team learning projects.  In order to determine relationships between accounting principles class sizes and institutional size, and to assess the relative level of accounting programs’ use of nontraditional teaching models, a questionnaire relating to the teaching of accounting principles was sent to 325 chairpersons of accounting departments in the United States.  Results indicate that as the size of the institution increases and becomes more fully developed in terms of graduate degree programs offered and accreditation status, the size of accounting principles classes increases.  In addition, the majority of schools reported that they use team learning, but that they do not require students to attend laboratory – i.e., active learning – sessions or to complete simulation projects.  However, no significant correlations were observed that would indicate that the use of team learning and/or laboratory sessions/simulations is related to institutional size. 

 

New Directions for Human Resources in 2002 and Beyond

Dr. Sandra Casey Buford and Dr. Maria Mackavey, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA

 

PURPOSE

 This paper seeks to understand the current HR environment and proposes some ways to work effectively within the present environment. We examine the HR role against Ulrich’s model that defines the roles of successful HR professionals as Strategic Business Partner, Administrative Expert, Employee Champion, and Change Agent.  Ulrich and others (Gubman (1998), Kanter, Drucker, Hammer and Becker) have made a compelling case that the competencies defined by each of these four roles contribute to successful HR practice.  The Masters of Science in Management Program in Human Resources Management at Lesley University has articulated a curriculum that is designed to develop competencies in each of these four areas of HR practice.  It is our contention that the post September 11th environment—marked by uncertainty about the future, failure of corporate boards to exert ethical oversight and the ensuing CEO scandals, together with the downturn of the economy—all are challenging HR’s role as employee champion, business partner and change agent.  Instead, in an increasingly reactive mode, HR professionals find themselves focusing on the more fire-fighting and administrative aspects of their role – firing, hiring, and acting as legal custodians of their organizations.

 

Working Women’s Balancing Act: Work Versus Family

Dr. Clarissa Bell, Dr. Kathy Hill, and Dr. Shirley Tucker, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX

Dr.  John S. Green, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX

 

ABSTRACT

 In 2001 women made up about 46 percent of the workforce; therefore, companies cannot ignore issues within corporate cultures or “sanctioned” by history that effect women’s work contributions (AFL-CIO, n.d).  Change is imperative throughout organizational structures and systems; pay, promotions, and recruitment; and in management, evaluation, and acceptance in “groups”.  Additionally, issues such as maternity leave, childcare provision, and flexible work schedules are coming to the forefront. These issues carry significant occupational consequences.  Companies are recognizing the impact of women’s role in the workforce and that “the progress made by women in the paid labor market is one of the most important economic changes of the 20th century” (Women in the Workforce, 2000).  In addition to increased numbers of women in the workforce, the number of women functioning in leadership positions is expanding.  Corporate America must implement changes that accommodate these valuable employees.  One way companies can support female employees is by realizing that women employees need support to balance their work and family responsibilities. The purpose of this investigation is to discuss three main issues--maternity leave provisions, child-care programs, and flexible work programs--facing working women who must balance career and family commitments.  A second purpose of this study is to examine what companies are doing to provide a family-friendly environment for women. The findings of this research indicate that in order for change to happen, there must be involvement of three entities–policymakers, companies, and working mothers.   Policymakers (federal and state government) must continue implementing and changing policies involving working mothers; companies should initiate new strategies for working mothers in order to retain them; and working mothers should look for jobs with companies that offer flexible work alternatives.

 

Substantial Market Movements & Linkages Among Stock Markets

Dr. Sundaram Janakiramanan, Singapore Management University, Singapore

Dr. Asjeet S. Lamba, University of Melbourne, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we analyze the linkages among stock markets when there are substantial movements in any one of the markets. We find that all the markets react to substantial rises and falls in other markets and the reaction is more significant for falls than for rises .The analysis shows that the Australasian markets examined do not react fully to substantial rises and falls in the UK and US markets when they open for trading, but appear to incorporate the responses of other Australasian markets while the UK market reacts to information from other markets when it opens for trading. The US reacts more to substantial falls in the UK than to similar falls in other markets and Japan appears to be least influenced by substantial rises and falls in other markets.  The interest in studying the linkages among the world’s stock markets gathered considerable momentum after the Dow Jones Industrial Average index plunged on October 19, 1987 with markets around the world following suit. During that stock market crash, the other markets reacted to changes in the US market with substantial movements in those markets. More recently, during the Asian financial crisis in 1997, large drops in Hong Kong and Japan were followed by similar changes in the US and other Asian markets. Unlike the single market drops followed by subsequent rises observed in different markets during the October 1987 crash, the Asian financial crisis was characterized by a “cascading” effect where individual markets reacted negatively and positively to information transmitted domestically as well as from other markets.  Previous studies examining the integration of capital markets have generally proceeded in two directions. One direction has been to study the linkages and comovements among stock markets over long periods of time, (Eun and Shim (1989), Arshanapalli and Dukas (1993), Gjerde and Sættem (1995), Park and Fatemi (1993), and Janakiramanan and Lamba (1998)) while the other direction has been to examine market comovements during periods of high market volatility (king and Wadhwani (1990), Hamao, Masulis and Ng (1990)).

 

Stress, Organizational Change and Management Planning

John T. Byrd, Ph.D., Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

 

ABSTRACT

 The role of management planning as a prelude to fundamental change is critical to the continued success of any business organization.  The following study was a result of a successful change in several retail branches of a large bank.  As a result of the successful changes, the remaining bank branches reported excess stress anticipating changes in their local branches.  Management was concerned about future changes without an understanding of the stress that may have occurred during the initial change efforts.  Consequently, management decided to conduct a study of stress associated with the successful changes of the five retail branches.  This was used as a planning tool to guide actions in the remaining twenty three branches involved in the change process.  The results proved useful in preventing problems that management would have ignored had the study not been conducted.  This study identifies, measures, and compares the intensity of stress among employees in five retail branches of a large bank undergoing large scale change.  The employees in each branch consisted of a bank manager and operating employees.  Before the re-engineering took place via a concept called Bank Express, the bank manager and employees were organized in a hierarchical arrangement and the division of labor was highly specialized.  The manager was accorded more status than other employees, and expected to be treated as such.  The re-engineering effort was designed to create a team structure, develop a sales culture with the reward system reinforced with sales commissions, and be totally focused on the customers needs.  This new environment required a physical restructuring of the design and layout of the retail branches of the bank, and demanded a change in role from the previous work environment.  Bank Express was the concept used to identify how quickly the bank employee would be able to provide quality service to the customer.  It involved the creation of a new operational structure as well as new roles for employees.  Employees, in their new role, would be more proactive in assessing and recognizing the specific needs of the customer. 

 

Factors Affecting the Utilization of IT in Small and Medium Size Enterprises in Developing Countries

Dr. Yehia Mortagy, Dr. Mehdi Beheshtian and Dr. Bahy Mortagy, University of La Verne, La Verne, CA

 

ABSTRACT

 GATT, WTO, ISO9000, and electronic commerce present small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in developing nations with challenges that affect their survivability. This paper investigates ways of adopting IS in organizations in developing countries. It also measures level of IT adoption, and identifies factors that affect the success of such process. A case study in SMEs in Egypt will be presented.   The focus will be on how to support the introduction and utilization of information technology in small and medium size business in developing countries.  Two hypotheses will be tested:   Several forces are creating new realities in developing countries.  For example, the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are changing the competitive environment for local industries by allowing foreign firms to compete more economically.  ISO 9000 and related standards are creating a need for information technology utilization in organizations.  The same standard is often used as a pre-selection criterion of suppliers by firms in developing countries.  Electronic commerce and E-Business are creating new tools for business to compete locally as well as globally.  In this paper two hypotheses mentioned above will be test on Egyptian companies. The focus is on effort in adopting IT technology in small and medium size firms in order to prepare for the new challenges of the millennium. The result of these tests will be used to develop and test two tools - a tool for Egyptian businesses to implement information technology in the area of external communication (e.g., Internet) to benefit from a world that is growing smaller, and a tool for small and medium size businesses to develop and implement information technology to meet the managerial needs in monitoring and controlling organizations. 

 

Auditing Expectations Gap: A Possible Solution

Dr. Inam Hussain, Delaware State University, Dover, DE

 

ABSTRACT

 Auditing expectation gaps have been identified in several countries.  This research investigates the expectation gap in Oman. As in other counties, an auditing expectation gap is found in Oman also. The study looks at education as a way of reducing this gap and proposes that discussion in the introductory accounting texts would reduces this gap. Auditing expectation gaps have been identified in several countries.  The expectation gap can be defined as “the difference between what the public and financial statement users believe that auditors are responsible for and what the auditors themselves believe their responsibilities are” (AICPA, 1993).  In the United States this expectation gap was identified in Cohen Commission’s report which showed that the public expectation of auditors responsibilities was more than what they were receiving (AICPA Cohen Commission Report 1978).  Researchers in several countries have demonstrated that an auditing expectations gap does exist and that the expectation gap is not limited to USA.  In this study the Sultanate of Oman is investigated to see if an audit expectation is found and can education in the form of an auditing course reduce such a gap in expectations.  The remainder of the paper is outlined as follows: A literature review followed by the survey instrument used to obtain evidence. The subsequent sections presents the analysis of the responses and the final section presents a solution, the limitations and directions of future research.

 

Games and Information Technology in the Teaching of International Economics

Dr. John Leonard, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA

 

ABSTRACT

 The author presents the outcome of an intensive unit in information technology and games being employed in an international economics class.  The work is accompanied by the pre test and post test for both the international economics and health care economics classes which were sponsored by a mini grant.  Both the international instrument and the health care instrument validated the respective information technology units for intensive instruction in the economics classroom.  The majority of the international economics students participated in the study, but only a small minority of the health care students took the tests.  The changes in instruction patterns took over a month to complete, but the results tentatively support the introduction of these new units.  John Siegfried et al. (1991) addressed the economics major in their work a decade ago.  From this beginning one may note the work of Edward Gramlich and G.A. Greenlee (1993) on measuring teaching performance.  The major is broadened in its scope by bringing in new courses.  Joni Hersch and W. Kip Viscusi (1998) describe the mechanics of bringing in a course in forensic economics into the economics classroom and major.  Arnold Katz (1999) writes of the use of the computer to examine students= understanding of the dynamics of equilibrium.  J.K. Goeree and Charles A. Holt (1999) detail the use of games to analyze rent seeking in the classroom.  Arnold Katz and William Becker (1999) study the use of technology in teaching undergraduate economics.  Finally Joseph Santos (2002) presents the development and use of an Internet-Based game in a money and banking course.  Against this background, the author will research and present the use of an intensive information technology unit including an inter cultural game, a language minute, daily newspaper developments and Internet sources and its effect on the attitudes of students learning international economics.

 

An Empirical Analysis of Country-Fund Discounts

Dr. Thomas C. Chiang, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Doseong Kim, University of Akron, Akron, OH

  

ABSTRACT

This paper provides empirical evidence for testing the hypothesis that country-fund discounts are correlated with trading volumes and risk factors. Using weekly data for 23 closed-end single-country funds to examine the behavior of country-fund discounts, we found that country-fund discounts are significantly correlated with US stock-trading volume and US stock-return volatility.  Our study also concludes that foreign stock volatility and exchange-rate risk display a positive correlation with country-fund premiums.  The empirical evidence shows that crisis tends to create discounts on country funds.  However, country funds that experienced crisis tend to present premiums in US market.  A closed-end equity country fund is a collection of foreign assets packaged to be sold in the US market. If international markets are frictionless, efficient international arbitrage would lead the fund price in the US market to equal its net asset value (NAV) in the foreign country after translating into US dollars. However, it is well known that country funds have been traded at an average discount, which is a negative value of the natural logarithm of (Fund-Price/NAV).  Moreover, it has been observed that the discounts have been displaying a fashion of time varying.  Several hypotheses have been advanced to explain this closed-end discount puzzle.  The arguments have focused on factors such as market frictions (Neal and Wheatley, 1990; Choi and Lee, 1996), investor sentiment (Hardouvelis, LaPorta, and Wizman, 1994; Bodurtha, Kim and Lee, 1995; Errunza, Senbet and Hogan, 1998; Klibanoff, Lamont and Wizman, 1998), and divergent expectations between US and foreign investors (Frankel and Schmukler, 1996).  Recognizing the fact that it is unlikely that all the barriers that prevent perfect arbitrage can be removed, we attempt to search for additional information that will enable us to explain time-varying fund discounts.  In this paper, we argue that country-fund discounts can be predicted by changing trading volumes and expected stock-market volatilities.  This is based on the notion that the time-varying behavior of country-fund discounts (premiums) essentially corresponds to changing attitudes toward risk held by investors.  Further, it can be argued that changes in market aversion to risk in response to news or exogenous shocks cause a shift in portfolios, as reflected in a change in trading volumes.  Thus, we observe that time-varying fund discounts (premiums) will correlate with trading volumes. 

 

eLUXURY.com

Dr. Stephen Drew, University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.

 
ABSTRACT

 This case is a description of the history, organisational development and strategies of an international luxury goods retailer on the Internet. The case also presents relevant background on luxury goods retailing and recent industry trends.  Sticker shock has hit the Internet. So much for buying low-cost airline tickets at Priceline.com, or cheap video games at Buy.com. How about a $495.00 Salvatore Ferragamo handbag in lizard-print calfskin? a $930.00 Louis Vuitton dog carrier? or a $520.00 argyle V-neck sweater? Online retailer eLUXURY.com unabashedly targets the fashion-conscious and wealthy consumer.  Designers, luxury brands, and high-end stores, although late to the e-business catwalk, are staking claim to online fashion marketspace. A dark shadow generated by the failure of Swedish venture boo.com has not deterred a wave of new Web sites. However, caution is now the name of the game, rather than a mad dash for first-mover advantage.  French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH SA (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey), took a giant step onto the net in June 2000 by launching eLUXURY.com, based in Tiburon, San Francisco, with 200 employees. The new e-business venture emphasises hot trends, exploiting its position as industry insider, with a strategy of previewing goods to be ordered for later delivery. The site was a year in development when a series of glitches delayed the launch by a further two months from its original target date of April 2000. Startup costs of about $50 million were reported. CEO Alain Lorenzo, commenting on the holdups, said: "We wanted to make sure the site was robust and to learn from everybody else's mistakes…

 

Business Intelligence Empirical Study on the top 50 Finnish Companies

Dr. Mika Hannula and Virpi Pirttimäki, M.Sc., Tampere University of Technology, Finland

 

ABSTRACT

 Comprehensive and timely information and knowledge is crucial in generating new products and improving business operations. Business Intelligence (BI) plays a central role in producing up-to-date information for operative and strategic decision-making. This study was carried out in order to find out what BI represents for Finnish large-scale companies in the year 2002. The study is the first comprehensive study of its kind in Finland.  Telephone surveying was used as the primary research method in this study. Individuals responsible for BI activities in the top 50 Finnish companies were telephone-interviewed. Before the actual interview the questionnaire was sent to the interviewees. The response rate reached 92 percent forming a sound basis for the study.  The objective of this study is to find out how common the BI activities are and how BI is currently applied in large Finnish companies. The study examines the initiation and organization of BI activities as well as the future prospects concerning BI activities in the companies interviewed. The research will also examine the key areas of improvement in BI activities, benefits gained from BI as well as the future outlook for the field. The companies researched in the study are categorized into three groups by industry: manufacturing, trade and services, and information and communication technology (ICT).  In recent years, Business Intelligence activities have increased significantly in Finnish companies. It is obvious that the effective use of the concepts and processes of Business Intelligence is necessitated by the global business environment in which Finnish companies operate. Comprehensive and timely information and knowledge are crucial in generating new products and improving business operations.

 

Comparisons of Four Ethnic Shopping Groups

Dr. J. A. F. Nicholls and Dr. Carl J. Kranendonk, Florida International University, Miami, FL

 

METHODOLOGY

The mall in which this study was conducted was a comprehensive shopping center in a major metropolitan area in the south-east United States.  It consisted of four anchor stores and over 200 specialty shops.  Patrons were interviewed as they left the mall through a randomized selection procedure in which interviewers went consecutively from door to door, intercepting the next shopper as he or she exited the mall (Sudman 1980).  Interviewers approached shoppers based on their exit pattern, not on any personal demographic characteristic.  Altogether, 512 mall patrons who fell into five ethnic categories, Anglos, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians, by a self-selection process,  participated in this study.  In two out of four categories instances, these ethnic groupings of the mall shoppers differed significantly (p#.05) in their demographic characteristics (Table 1).  We found a statistically significant difference in their income (p=.000) and age (p=.000); the difference if their level of education was marginally significant (p=.059).  Only the gender distribution of the shopping populations was not significantly different (p=.301).  In addition to these general questions concerning demographic attributes, four specific scales were also included in the survey instrument.  The first scale concerned patrons= motivations for shopping, covering such considerations as looking and browsing, making a specific purchase, eating at the mall, and shopping at a specific store.  A

 

Cross Cultural Comparison of Ethical Evaluation of Marketing Practices in Tobacco Industry

Dr. D. S. Sundaram, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

 

INTRODUCTION

 Global shift towards trade liberalization and collective participation of many emerging economies in globalization were primary driving force behind unparalleled growth in several industrial sectors in the 90s.  When the emerging economies opened their marketplace to global multinational companies, the landscape of the marketplace in those countries changed completely forever.  Entry of multinational companies into the emerging economies brought in many benefits to the consumers in those countries.  For example, consumers in the emerging economies gained access to a wide range of products and services, and experienced significant improvement in customer service and product quality, and so on.  Along with these positive changes, the consumers in the transitional economies also got to experience multinational companies’ time tested and aggressive marketing strategies.  Many elements of their marketing strategies such an increased emphasis on building brand equity and enhanced focus on cultivating customer relationship were positive in nature, but a few of their marketing tactics were questionable in their moral and ethical standards.  In particular, tobacco industry has been singled out for implementing marketing practices that lacked ethical standards.  One would easily come across several examples of critical press review of tobacco companies’ marketing practices through a quick glance of global business periodicals.  This indicates that the marketing practices employed by tobacco companies, across the globe, deserve further investigation. 

 

Assessment of Professional Competencies of Business Communications Teachers

Dr. Carolyn Spillers Jewell, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC

 

ABSTRACT

 Byrne (1983) states that inservice programs are a means by which teachers who were educated in the 1970’s and earlier can be effective in today’s educational environment in dealing with changing students and instructional technologies.  He further stated that inservice education provides opportunities for school systems to improve from within.  Organized staff development can occur through inservice education rather than relying on individual teachers to improve their skills.  The purpose of this study was to assess the perceived level of competence of business communications teachers in North Carolina with regard to identified professional teaching competencies.  These results will be valuable in developing business communications classes. The program area consultants in Business Education may also utilize them in planning professional development and inservice activities.  Universities may use the results in planning for the delivery of courses, both credit and non-credit, and in developing appropriate inservice activities for teachers.  Teachers of business communications continually want and need inservice education.  Normally, this need is more pronounced when the teachers are asked to teach new subject matter or subject matter in which they have had little previous training.  This need for information has traditionally been met by workshops, a variety of inservice activities, conferences, and university courses in relevant educational areas.  Byrne (1983) states that inservice programs are a means by which teachers who were educated in the 1970’s and earlier can be effective in today’s educational environment in dealing with changing students and instructional technologies.  He further stated that inservice education provides opportunities for school systems to improve from within. 

 

Measurement of Intangible Success Factors in Four Case Organizations

Dr. Antti Lönnqvist, Institute of Industrial Management, Tampere University of Technology, Finland

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper focuses on the measurement of organizations’ intangible success factors. They consist of the amount and quality of intangible assets, the use of intangible assets and the actions related to intangible assets. Their management and measurement is considered important because of the critical role of intangible assets for many organizations. Although several methods have been developed for measuring intangible success factors, there are problems in applying them in practice. The topic is analyzed both theoretically and empirically. The research questions are how the intangible success factors to be measured are chosen, what they are like, and how they are measured. Four case studies are presented and analyzed in order to provide concrete examples and to discover answers to the research questions.  Intangible assets consist of, e.g., the employees’ competencies, organization’s relationships with customers and other stakeholders, culture, values, image and management processes (See e.g. Edvinsson and Malone 1997 or Sveiby 1997). They are critical for most organizations. Thus, the management of intangible asset has emerged as an important practice and a research area (Petty and Guthrie 2000, p. 161). Performance measurement of intangible assets is also an active research area. There are several methods available for measuring intangible assets. However, organizations have not widely adopted them (Lönnqvist 2002; Nordika 2000) and none of the newly developed measurement tools have been commonly accepted. 

 

Subjective Productivity Measurement

Dr. Sari Kemppilä and Dr. Antti Lönnqvist, Tampere University of Technology, Finland

 

ABSTRACT

 Productivity is an important success factor for all organizations and, thus, it should also be managed. Productivity measurement is a traditional tool for managing productivity. There are several different methods for productivity measurement. In certain situations, these traditional methods may not be applicable suggesting that there is a need for other kind of measures. An alternative approach for the traditional methods is subjective productivity measurement. Subjective productivity measures are not based on quantitative operational information. Instead, they are based on personnel’s subjective assessments. The data is collected, e.g., using questionnaires. The objective of the paper is to present subjective productivity measurement as a new and potential managerial tool for productivity measurement. In addition, some evidence regarding the practicality and usefulness of the method is presented. The paper is based in reviewing studies in which subjective productivity measurement has been used. At the moment, there are only a few experiences regarding the use of subjective productivity measures. There are several problems regarding the validity, reliability and practical using principles of the measures. Despite the problems, subjective productivity measurement appears to be very potential method for measuring productivity in situations where the objective methods fail.

 

An Integrated Contextual Framework of International Entrepreneurship within Regional Clusters: The Case of the European Union

Dr.  Rosario R. Ramos, Dr. Lidia H. López, and Dr. Sergio R. Ramos, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Island, Spain

 

ABSTRACT

 This papers aims to further current research on international entrepreneurship in finding a unifying framework that connects the antecedents, types, and outcomes of entrepreneurial activities pursued by new ventures and established companies, which has been highlighted by international entrepreneurship researchers such as Zahra and George (2002), McDougall and Oviatt (2000). Following a proposed definition of international entrepreneurship, the resulting model integrates the contextual factors and the creation and sustainability of competitive advantage as being key determinants of cross-border ventures within regional clusters. Additionally, the model considers the innate interrelationship existing between the factors included as another key determinant of international entrepreneurship.  The study of international entrepreneurship within regional integration has been hardly analyzed in the academic literature. Yet, this subject is a daily practice of many new ventures or established firms that take advantage of the regional trading blocks where they belong to for developing cross-border ventures. Further, it seems that these innovative and risk-taking firms are been developed within world areas formed by geographic concentrations of interconnected countries, firms, specialized suppliers, service providers, firms in related industries and associated institutions, what Michael Porter defines as clusters (1998).  The case of competitive locations such as the European Union may be considered as a cluster in itself, as it feeds international entrepreneurial activities and business networks related with trade, research and development, education, cooperation or technology.

 

Aligning Training and Organizational Performance Goals Via Simulation

Dr. J. D. Selby-Lucas and Dr. William Swart, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Dr. Charles S. Duncan, Army Training Support Center, Ft. Eustis, VA

 

Abstract

 Simulation has been used for some time to forecast labor requirements, redesign facility layouts, and examine employee and customer traffic flow.  However, when industry and government consider extending the use of simulation to study the alignment of training and organizational performance goals and the impact of implementing those goals at the frontline level of activity, organizations will realize substantial benefits.  Alignment of organizational performance goals and training is not something that has always concerned us.  It seems easier to busy ourselves getting better and better at doing those things that may no longer need to be done.  Improving process can become all consuming, regardless of whether anyone is really benefiting from the products.  Changing product lines, or re-organizing can consume large amounts of energy, and "may" prove fruitful, but one really does not know until all the data is in, and then and only then can we tell if the new line is selling, and if people know how to produce the new products with consistent quality. Many a company touts a corporate goal or vision as an expression of their guarantee to the consumer.  Phrases including words as quality, service, excellence and other similar superlatives are commonly communicated guarantees from corporate advertisers.  However the same people who approve the slogans have little way of knowing whether corporate changes announced from the Headquarters will be implemented in such a way as to guarantee the company’s quality goes unaltered. 

 

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