The American Academy of Business Journal
Vol. 12 * Num.. 1 * September 2007
The Library of Congress, Washington, DC * ISSN: 1540–7780
Online Computer Library Center * OCLC: 805078765
National Library of Australia * NLA: 42709473
The Cambridge Social Science Citation Index, CSSCI
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The Financial Management of Military Pilot Training Costs: An Assessment of U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Pilot Training Attrition Rates
Albert Joseph Sprenger Jr., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Dr. James T. Schultz, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Dr. Marian C. Schultz, The University of West Florida
Obtaining aeronautical ratings can be extremely costly expensive. The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy have elected to send their pilot candidates to civilian flight schools prior to starting military training to insure they possess the basic capabilities to pilot aircraft. The Air Force and Navy programs differ in the number of hours students receive prior to starting military training; the Air Force program is 50 hours including receiving their Private Pilots rating, while the Navy program is 25 hours. This study examined the differences in attrition rates of Navy student pilots at U.S. Navy Pilot training, and Navy student pilots at U.S. Air Force Pilot training. The research hypothesis was that Navy students who train with the Air Force will attrite at a greater rate than students undergoing training with the Navy. The hypothesis based on a lack of experience of the Navy student, as compared to Air Force students, who begin training with a private pilot’s license. The research utilized the causal-comparative methodology. The hypothesis was tested utilizing a two-dimensional Chi-Square nonparametric test of significance, at the .05 level of significance. The research hypothesis was not supported; there was no significant difference in attrition rates between Navy students at Air Force Pilot training as compared to those attending Navy Pilot training. Initial observations indicate that Navy students attending Air Force training are behind Air Force students based on the Air Force’s requirement that incoming flight students have completed a minimum of 50.0 hours of pilot instruction, and have received a private pilot’s license prior to starting joint specialized undergraduate pilot training. The Navy has no requirement for a private pilot’s license, and only allows student pilots a maximum of 25.0 hours of Navy sponsored piloting time prior to starting flight training, regardless of whether the student will attend training with the Navy or the Air Force.
Liquidity Provision in Informationally Fragmented Upstairs Markets
Dr. Orkunt Dalgic, State University of New York at New Paltz, NY
The ability of upstairs market makers to observe certain important characteristics of their customers is a distinguishing feature that contributes to the quality of execution, i.e. liquidity, provided by these markets. One such characteristic is a customer’s likelihood of trading, also termed “unexpressed demand” by Grossman (1992). However, the existence of switching costs can lead to investors using the upstairs market to limit their trading relationships to a small number of market makers, and upstairs market search costs can reduce the potential number of trade counterparties contacted during searches. Such costs would cause at least some of the information about upstairs market investors’ trading likelihoods to remain privately known by individual market makers. This paper develops a general framework where information about investors’ trading likelihoods is split into private and public components. An increase (decrease) in the proportion of private information reduces (improves) upstairs market execution quality relative to Grossman's (1992) model, and relative to the downstairs market. Moreover, when the proportion of private information is larger, an increase in the competitiveness of upstairs market making may lead to a greater reduction in upstairs market liquidity. Key words: brokers, dealers, brokerage firms, upstairs markets, liquidity, unexpressed demand, trading preferences, business relationships, market fragmentation. The term “upstairs” market refers to a market where buyers and sellers negotiate trades in designated “upstairs” trading rooms of brokerage firms. On the other hand, a market such as an exchange floor or its electronic equivalent, is known as a “downstairs” market. Upstairs markets are generally believed to have certain special properties, which Seppi (1990) and Grossman (1992), among others, have argued improve liquidity provision. One such property is that upstairs market makers know the identities, and other characteristics, of their customers. (1) Seppi (1990) argues that superior knowledge of customers allows upstairs market brokers to screen informed trades, which enhances upstairs market liquidity. Robust empirical support for Seppi’s (1990) screening hypothesis, by Smith, Turnbull and White (1999) among others, implies that superior knowledge of customers is a distinguishing characteristic of upstairs market brokers.
Team Effectiveness and Leader-Follower Agreement: An Empirical Study
Dr. Susan D. Baker, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Dr. Daniel A. Gerlowski, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
The role of teams in organizations has become a dominant theme in theoretical, applied, and empirical research. This paper is grounded in the literatures of leadership, followership, and team effectiveness. It builds on the work of Sundstrom, McIntyre, Halfhill, and Richards (2000), which called attention to the role of team composition in determining team effectiveness in the workplace. Our research attempts to determine whether leader-follower agreement about leader and follower characteristics effects team effectiveness. The role of teams in organizations has become a dominant theme in theoretical, applied, and empirical research. Further, team abilities and skills represents an area that has reached into most business program curricula as well as becoming a standard skill set required in many occupations at multiple levels. A related literature focusing on leadership developed over time, and more recently, this literature has been extended to include research on followership. This paper is grounded in the team, leadership, and followership literatures. It extends the work of Sundstrom, McIntyre, Halfhill, and Richards (2000), which called attention to the relationship between team composition and team effectiveness, into issues addressed in the leadership and followership literatures. Our empirical analysis concerns team effectiveness as a function of team homo- or heterogeneity along leadership and followership dimensions controlling for socio-demographic differences among team members. Our work relies on survey data from six sites of healthcare organizations in the mid-Atlantic region, drawn in the fourth quarter of 2005. Respondents completed a questionnaire containing the Leadership Inventory Practices-Self (LPI) (Kouzes and Posner, 2003a), the Performance and Relationship Questionnaire (PRQ) (Rosenbach, Pittman, and Potter III, 1996), and questions about broad socio-demographic status. The LPI and the PRQ instruments provided data on the respondent’s leadership and followership characteristics. Survey distribution ensured that each respondent’s team was identified. Supervisors who normally evaluated all teams’ performance were asked to provide information on team effectiveness. To determine whether leader-follower agreement about leader and follower characteristics impacts team effectiveness, we employed a variety of empirical tools. In each case the null hypothesis states that agreement between team leader and team members on selected survey instruments dealing with leader and follower characteristics does not impact team effectiveness.
Improving IT Service Delivery Quality: A Case Investigation
Dr. Jihong Zeng, New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, NY
In the e-commerce environment, business has increasing dependency on information technology (IT) to deliver services to customers. IT service availability has dramatic influence on customer satisfaction and corporate reputation of the enterprise. Consequently, the demand for 24 x 7 service availability is greater than ever. Information systems which provide information infrastructure for business applications have become a critical and integral component for business service delivery. System downtime means lost of revenue and competitive advantage for the business. The business requires IT service providers and information system managers to ensure that service-affecting incidents do not occur, or that efficient and effective remediation must be taken to provide high-availability services. A lot efforts and improvement have been made to ensure high-availability in each individual technology industry. However, not enough focus has been given on how to improve the overall end-to-end IT service availability from end-user’s perspective. Without visibility into the overall availability of underlying components including information systems, applications and operational processes, it is impossible to make informed business decisions about IT resources. This paper introduces ITIL availability management concept and presents how to apply ITIL best practices to decompose service delivery into components or subsystems. Block diagram modeling technique is deployed to assess the overall service availability. This holistic approach helps pinpoint the bottlenecks to the required service level. It also demonstrates the capability to help provide cost-effective solutions to improve service delivery for existing as well as future application and infrastructure design and implementation in a highly competitive e-business environment. Service availability has become one of the most important aspects of service delivery in the highly visible e-business economy. Consequently, the demand for 24-hour a day, 7 days a week operation is greater than ever. Over the past decade, information technology (IT) has transitioned into a critical role in the enterprise, which not only supports business service delivery but also help business to constantly drive innovation and improvement in order to gain edge over other competitors. IT service downtime imposes huge loss of revenue for large enterprise.
Relationship Between the Use of Internet Information for Health Purposes and Medical Resource Consumption for an English-Speaking Sample
Dr. Hager Khechine, Laval University, Canada
Dr. Daniel Pascot, Laval University, Canada
Dr. Pierre Prémont, Laval University, Canada
Many researchers in the fields of information systems and medical sciences are showing special interest on Internet use for health-related matters because the Internet is becoming an important source of information for patients and clinicians. Indeed, statistics reveal that almost 113 million U.S. citizens looked for health information on the Internet in 2006. The purpose of this research is to study the relationship between the use of Internet information by English-speaking patients and their consumption of medical resources. We perform a quantitative study based on a ten-item questionnaire. The sample is made of 120 patients suffering from a long-term disease and accustomed to the use of the Internet for health-related issues. Construct validity and reliability were ensured. Most items have loadings greater than 0.5. The path coefficient between the variables is significant and high. We conclude that the use of health information by patients is contributing to increase their healthcare resource consumption. This result can be explained by the fact that patients may misunderstand, be overwhelmed, or be confused by the poor quality of the information obtained from the Internet. We expect this study to have a theoretical and practical impact on the fields of management information systems and medical sciences. Indeed, we believe researchers should be concerned about the role that Internet information can play in the management of medical systems and about the design of health-related Websites. During the last decade, the number of scientific meetings and studies about the use of online health-related information by patients has dramatically increased. Many topics have been investigated or sometimes theoretically treated. For instance, some studies have focused on the effects of the Internet on the "Patient-clinician" relationship (Hjortdahl et al., 1999; Anderson et al., 2003). Researchers have try also tried to understand the impact of the Internet on the quality of the healthcare services (Eysenbach et al., 1999). A survey of Pew Internet & American Life (2003) concluded that Internet information helps patients improve their health state, prepare the meetings with physicians, and decide if other medical consultations are necessary.
Entropy in a Social Science Context
Dr. Joseph L. Moore, Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, AR
The paper will give an overview of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy, and relative entropy. There will be a listing of areas where the latter two concepts are being employed today. The principle discussion will be in terms of the social sciences. The author will give brief examples drawn from prior research in economics. However, the emphasis will be on the research technique employed. The hope is that others will be motivated to try the technique in their endeavors. Entropy is a concept that is drawn from physics. In recent years, the notion has been applied to other areas, including most of the social sciences. Starting about 25 to 30 years ago, some economic research was done to employ this concept. Since that time, there has been a smattering of articles in economics. Nevertheless, in the opinion of the current author, the concept is not well understood. This paper has two purposes: (1) to educate more people on the concept, as applied in the social sciences (2) to question an interpretation of the concept as employed in another piece of research, done by a different author. In equilibrium, energy tends to flow spontaneously from being concentrated to becoming spread out. The word tends implies that the energy can remain concentrated for long periods of time. The second law says nothing about when or how much. The word spontaneously means that only the energy in the closed system is available; outside energy can impact the operation of the second law. In other words, equilibrium corresponds to a disordered distribution of the sets. This is not always true when the sets are influenced by extreme forces. The word equilibrium implies an end state. Some scientists believe that the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to living organisms. Although, hindering the law is necessary for us to be alive. The second law of thermodynamics is frequently referred to as “time’s arrow”. It points to how we think time goes. This implies that it is what we have seen and, more importantly for us, in this paper what we think is going to happen. Entropy in a closed system must remain constant or increase. The notion of entropy is being employed today in the fields of psychology, sociology, engineering, mathematics, statistics, economics, and information theory. The use of the word in this paper will be drawn from psychology, economics and information theory. Some would suggest that thermodynamic entropy and information theory entropy are not the same concepts. However, they are related in that both measure randomness.
Emergence of Customer-Centric Branding: From Boardroom Leadership to Self-Broadcasting
Dr. Mohammed M. Nadeem, National University, San Jose, CA
With increased global competition, it has become essential for leaders in every industry sector, from commodities to consumers packaged goods, to understand the new and emerging theory and practice of customer service for successful deployment of brands. The brand has become a strategic business concern for every senior corporate executive and board member. This research explores how a customer-centric approach makes a brand not only stronger but also on a path to profitability. This research mainly examines how successful boardroom leadership connects the customer to the brand through its motivated associates and all of its stakeholders. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how emerging self-broadcasting customers become devotees of a brand by experiencing it on a deeply emotional level over time, and cementing their loyalty to the products and services of their choice. The final sections discuss the limitations of the exploratory study by providing conclusions, and ideas for future research for branding effectiveness. Companies involved in brand creation or transformation should pay as much attention to their internal reality as they do to their customers. The goal should be maximum relevance and alignment with the employee audience. As consumers spend more time controlling, uploading, downloading, filming, recording, and sharing their own personal experiences with products, services, and brands, marketers are expected to figure out to be relevant and credible. Brands are also expected to embrace the consumer’s desire to create, control, and share and empower them with simple creation tools that allow them to self-express over, and over and over. (Broddy, 2006). People buy products, but they choose brands. So the ultimate marketing goal for any company is to create a brand identity that separates it from everyone else. The strongest identity is that of a leader. To build a brand leadership identity there are four main components: brand awareness, brand perception, brand icons and brand loyalty. Not surprisingly, brand leaders have the best brand awareness, the best quality perception, the best-known brand-boosting icons and the strongest brand loyalty. The secret is to create marketing programs that build up all four dimensions simultaneously. The key to building and maintaining brand leadership is a visionary strategy, brilliant execution, and a totally integrated marketing plan.
Downsizing, Corporate Survivors, and Employability-Related Issues: A European Case Study
Dr. Franco Gandolfi, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA
and Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia
This research article examines the accounts of survivors of reorganization and downsizing processes of a large car manufacturer in Europe. It looks at how corporate downsizing survivors adjusted to meet the new reality and dynamics of the corporation and how individuals developed new skills and competencies for their new roles and responsibilities within the reorganized firm. The study also reflects upon issues relating to the motivation and attitudes towards employability and learning aspects of individuals. The research highlights the onus upon individuals to take responsibility for their own training and development needs and to initiate learning opportunities. The advancement of self-development skills was shown to be of particular importance in transforming a corporation successfully. The occurrences of major organizational change, including restructuring and downsizing, represent some of the most profound (Gandolfi, 2006) and problematic issues facing modern-day corporations, non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and global workforces (Carbery & Garavan, 2005). Corporate restructuring, or simply ‘restructuring’, is a relatively broad concept. Black and Edwards (2000), for instance, define restructuring as a major change in the composition of a firm’s assets combined with a major change in its organizational direction and strategy. The change management literature distinguishes between various types of restructuring. Heugens and Schenk (2004) present three forms of corporate restructuring, namely portfolio, financial, and organizational restructuring. This research paper is concerned mainly with organizational restructuring which is defined as a dimension with significant changes in the structural properties of an organizational entity (Carbery & Garavan, 2005). Multitudes of reasons have been put forward to justify the adoption of restructuring (Carbery & Garavan, 2005).
The Move Towards Convergence of Accounting Standards World Wide
Dr. Consolacion L. Fajardo, National University, CA
This paper will discuss the theoretical bases for the move towards convergence of international accounting standards. It will look into the efforts of the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board, the International Accounting Standards Board, and the European standards setters to achieve the convergence of accounting standards world wide. The benefits and the problems accompanying implementation will be addressed. The expectations is that establishing a common standards of accounting internationally will be beneficial to users and preparers by improving consistency, comparability, reliability, and greater transparency of financial information reported by companies around the world. As a consequence, it is expected to increase cross-border investments, deepen international capital markets, and reduce costs of multinational companies who must currently report under multiple national accounting standards. Many corporations are multinationals having business operations in different countries around the globe. However, the problem is that accounting standards differ from country to country due to differences in the legal system, levels of inflation, culture, degrees of sophistication and use of capital markets, and political and economic ties with other countries (Spiceland et al, 2007). These differences cause huge problems for multinational companies. Companies doing business in other countries experience difficulties in complying with multiple sets of accounting standards to convert financial statements that are reconciled to the GAAP of the countries they are dealing with. As a result, different national standards impair the ability of companies to raise capital in the international markets. The financial crisis in Asia and the accounting scandals in the U.S. and other countries during recent years have accentuated the fact that reliable financial reporting is vital to the effective and efficient functioning of capital markets and the productive allocation of scarce economic resources. The failures of Enron, WorldCom, and Parmalat demonstrate the high costs of “window dressed” financial statements not only to particular companies but also to the global economy as a whole. Markets penalize uncertainty--continued investors’ concern on the quality of financial reporting and corporate management will be an impediment to economic growth, job creation, and personal wealth (Tweedle and Seidenstein, 2005).
Dr. Fida Afiouni, American University of Beirut, Beirut
This article investigates the nature of Human Resource Management (HRM) practices applied in the Lebanese banking sector, examines the strategic nature of the HRM function, and sheds light on current problems that hold the human resource department back from properly implementing its practices. The case study method has been applied on 10 banks in Lebanon from different sizes and nationalities with the resource-based view (RBV) as a main theoretical framework. The dominant findings indicate that, out of the 10 banks studied, seven banks have in place HRM practices that are not aligned with the bank’s strategy. In those banks, the absence of top management’s support, the lack of cooperation of line management, and the low credibility of the HR function hinder the proper implementation of HR practices and keep the HR department from playing a strategic role. The role of the HR department in many organizations is at a crossroads. On one hand, the HRM function is in crisis, increasingly under fire to justify itself (Schuler, 1990). On the other hand, organizations have an unprecedented opportunity to refocus their HRM systems as strategic assets. Many scholars (Huselid, 1995; Huselid & Becker, 1996; Huselid, Jackson, & Schuler, 1997) agree that a strategic approach to human resource management requires the development of consistent human resource management practices that ensure that the firm’s human resources will help achieve a firm’s objectives. This strategic approach to human resource management requires top managers’ awareness that a firm’s performance can be affected by human resource management practices. Some empirical studies support this statement (Arthur 1994; Huselid, 1995; Huselid & Becker, 1996). While these studies have been useful for demonstrating the impact of strategic human resource management on a firm’s performance, they have revealed very little regarding the proper implementation of those practices. The aim of this article is to identify HRM practices applied in the Lebanese banking sector, examine the strategic nature of the HR department, and investigate the factors that impede the proper implementation of those practices. The literature on HRM and organizational strategy is critically examined with the resource-based view as a main theoretical framework.
Social Structure Characteristics and Psychological Empowerment: Exploring the Effect of Openness Personality
Dr. Sarminah Samad, Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam Malaysia
The purpose of this paper is to determine the influence of social structure characteristics on employees’ psychological empowerment and whether openness personality plays a role in moderating the above stated relationship among Customer Marketing Executives of a telecommunication firm in Malaysia. Hierarchical regression analyses of 482 responses in the study revealed that all aspects of social structure (self-esteem, power distribution, information sharing, knowledge, rewards, transformational leadership and organizational culture) are important in determining employees’ psychological empowerment. Further, openness personality variable was found to be a moderator to the relationship between social structure characteristics and employees’ psychological empowerment. Theoretical and managerial implications of the findings and future research are discussed. Increased global competition, the advent of technological innovation, globalization and changes in both workforce and customer demographics have given rise for organizations to be more efficient and productive. Consequently, to maintain a competitive edge in the service industries, considerable emphasis has been placed on providing quality services for customers. This is no exception in Malaysian telecommunication industry. Therefore Customer Marketing Executives in this sector are considered as front-line employees that provide the face to face service for the organization. Front-line employees according to Daniel et al. (1996) have direct, influential customer contact that could influence customer’s perception on service quality. Conduit & Mavondo (2001) suggested that motivation of front-line employees in a service company is crucial to the service delivery process. Literature have documented that the positive attitude and behaviors of employees have been found to be related with the experience of service by customers (Chebat & Kollias, 2000).
The Impact of the Asian Tsunami Attacks on Tourism-Related Industry Stock Returns
Dr. Chih-Jen Huang, Providence University
Dr. Shu-Hsun Ho, Providence University
Chieh-Yuan Wu, Providence University
The Indian Ocean experienced a devastating tsunami in Asia on the morning of 26 December 2004. This study utilizes a market-adjusted returns model of event study to analyze abnormal stock returns in Thailand’s tourism industry. The study differs from previous studies of market reactions to unanticipated events in terms of cross-country analysis. We investigate reactions of tourism-related industry stocks in the following markets after the Asian tsunami event: Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia, from June 2004 to March 2005. In addition, this research compares differences of the abnormal returns in tourism and leisure, transportation and logistics, insurance, construction materials and construction development industries in Thailand from June 2004 to March 2005. We examine the stock market reaction for 135 days prior and examine four days and 15 days following the Asian tsunami event. Results of analysis show partial, significant negative stock abnormal returns for the tourism and leisure industry in Thailand. On the other hand, there are also partial significant positive stock returns in the construction development and construction materials industries after the tsunami occurred. There is no significance found for the tsunami’s critical influence on Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. The Indian Ocean experienced a devastating tsunami on the morning of 26 December 2004 that had significant impact across Asia; the fourth largest of the super strong shock of scale since the 20th century. The massive earthquake, which posted 9.0 on the Richter Scale caused serious destruction across fourteen countries. The most serious incidence occurred in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. In this study, we focus on the injured country, Thailand, in order to analyze whether the tsunami event benefited other countries or not. Recent reports indicate that high numbers of tourists have visited tsunami-impacted countries, such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia since the Asian tsunami. The study mainly explores stock prices in the above countries. Because of difficulties with collecting stock prices from South Asian countries and also because tourism received the most serious hit to the Thai economy, we choose to investigate Thailand because of the massive market reaction in this country, and also its benefit to other countries, which include: Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia. Previous studies discuss the Asian tsunami crisis artificially, which is unusual in exploring a natural crisis.
The Relationship between Leadership Behavior and Organizational Performance in Non-Profit Organizations, Using Social Welfare Charity Foundations as an Example
Dr. Ruey-Gwo Chung, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
Chieh-Ling Lo, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
Although the main mission of an NPO is “not for profit,” it must still pay attention to effective management practices. The current study took social welfare charity foundations as subjects and used a questionnaire to explore the effects of top managers’ leadership behavior on organizational performance. We found that in all of the 77 valid samples, leadership behaviors in 10 social welfare charity foundations were “high transactional-low transformational,” 23 were “low transactional-low transformational,” 35 were “high transactional-high transformational,” and 9 were ”low transactional-high transformational.” In addition, different leadership behaviors had obvious differences on internal communications and management and on finance structure. From the perspective of full-time employees, top managers’ leadership behavior tends towards “low transactional-low transformational,” while the volunteers regard it as “high transactional-high transformational.” The recent trend in Taiwan towards a well-developed society and a high standard of living has forced the gradual appearance of the Non-Profit Organization (NPO). Taiwan’s democratization and the proclamation of related laws and regulations have also enhanced the advances of NPOs. Even so, compared with for-profit businesses which emphasize the necessity of innovation, efficiency and institutionalization for their survival, the lack of organized management could lead to trouble in many NPOs. To solve these problems, efficient human resource management is a priority, since the ability of the NPO to provide services is related to the quality of its personnel. NPOs employ both full-time employees and volunteers, who require different management approaches. Based on the literature review, it was found that previous studies mainly focused on the volunteer side, with few discussing the actual management of an NPO. In addition, appropriate leadership behavior is important for maintaining members’ devotion to the organization.
A Critical Process for Methods Selection in Organizational Problem Solving
Chia-Hui Ho, Far East University, Taiwan
This paper aims to explore a critical process for evaluating management methods. This paper also aims to discuss, from a critical systems perspective, how world views (which necessarily have ideological aspects to them) will influence method-users to choose particular methods for organizations. Thus, a new process called Participative Method Evaluation (PME) is established. PME is founded on the idea that a person's understanding of a method is influenced by his/her social ideology. The basic concern of the evaluation of method needs to be how method-users and organizational/environmental stakeholders can examine their ideological differences through processes of critique in order to make more informed choices. PME embraces three stages: Surfacing, Triangulation and Recommendation. Surfacing aims to expose and explore the various assumptions about, and views on, the candidate method and the organizational situation. Triangulation compares and contrasts the various perspectives, and if possible an accommodation of views is sought. Recommendation provides practical suggestions to stakeholders as to the likely effects of using the method being evaluated, and where appropriate highlights possible modifications and/or alternatives. Human beings follow a pattern of behavior based on their knowledge. It is claimed that knowledge is necessarily derived from individual experience combined with social and cultural influences (e.g. Gregory, 1992), and this knowledge can be seen as a basis for the individual's value judgment. From Burrell and Morgan's (1979) point of view, individuals always hold a particular world view (a so-called 'paradigm'), according to which they perceive reality. This world view is derived from their learning experience and personal belief. Although an individual's world view might shift, he/she cannot hold two different world views at the same time.
Are Real Estate and Stock Markets Related? The Evidence from Taiwan
Dr. Ning-Jun Zhang, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE), P.R. China
Dr. Lii Peirchyi, Tamkang University, Taiwan, Republic of China
Yi-Sung Huang, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics & Ling Tung University, Taiwan
This paper studies the long-run relationship between real estate and stock markets, using both standard cointegration tests of Johansen and Juselius (1990) and Engle-Granger (1987) and fractional cointegration test of Geweke and Porter-Hudak (1983), in the Taiwan context over the 1986Q3 to 2001Q4 period. The results from both two kinds of cointegration tests indicate that these two markets are not cointegrated with each other. In terms of risk diversification, two assets should have been included in the same portfolio. Knowing and testing the long-run relationship between real estate and stock markets are very important for portfolio investors who want to diversify in these two assets markets. As we know that, if assets markets are found to have a long-run relationship then this would suggest that there may be little long-run gain in terms of risk reduction by holding such assets jointly in a portfolio. Previous empirical studies have employed cointegration techniques to investigate whether there exist such long-run benefits from international equity diversification (see Kwan et al., 1995; Masih and Masih, 1997). According to these studies, asset prices from two different efficient markets cannot be cointegrated. Specifically, if a pair of asset price is cointegrated then one asset price can be forecast (is Granger-caused) by the other asset price. Thus, these cointegration results suggest that there are no gains from portfolio diversification, in terms of risk reduction. This study attempts to make some contributions to this line of research by exploring whether there exist any long-run benefits from asset diversification for investors who invest in Taiwan’s real estate and stock markets. In this study, we test for cointegration using both standard cointegration tests of Johansen and Juselius (1990) and Engle-Granger (1987) and fractional cointegration test. The results from three tests all suggest that these two asset markets are not pariwise cointegrated with each other. The finding of no cointegration can be interpreted as evidence that there were no long-run linkages between these two asset markets and thus, there exist potential gains for investors from diversifying in these two asset markets over this sample period. These results are valuable to investors and financial institutions, holding long-run investment portfolios in these two asset markets.
The Effect of Convertible Debt Issuance on Product Market Competition
Jie Yang, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, PRC
Dr. Xinping Xia, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, PRC
This paper investigates the effect of convertible debt issuance on Cournot game outcome. With the assumption of no default risk, compared with standard equity or debt financing, the conversion feature of convertible debt serves as a committing device for a conservative stance under the normal case of return, thus encourages an aggressive stance of its rival firm. This strategic disadvantage of convertible debt can explain the long-run underperformance after issuance. This paper investigates the effect of convertible debt issuance on strategic output market behavior. The relationship between firm’s financing policy and its strategy in product market has been recognized since the innovative study of Brander and Lewis (1986). They point out that the Cournot firms subject to some market uncertainty will use the limit effect of debt to commit to increase output in an attempt to gain a strategic advantage. The basic point is that shareholders will ignore reductions in returns in bankrupt states, since bondholders become the residual claimants in this states. After that, the research in this area has been a focus. Maksimovic (1988) extends Brander and Lewis' model of strategic effects of the limited liability of debt by considering multiple periods of interaction. Showalter (1995) analyses the optimal strategic debt choice in Bertrand (price) competition. Glazer (1994) distinguishes between short and long-term debt at the time of analyzing the relationship between capital structure and product markets. These work contributed to establish such a principle that firm’s financial decisions and product market strategy interacts. The previous studies, however, have restricted attention to a subset of the feasible instruments, such as the simple mix of debt and equity. Then we will ask how more sophisticated financial instruments, such as various kinds of convertibles, affect the product market outcome. In this work, we analyze how conversion feature of convertible debt, change market strategy of the rival firms in Cournot game. We point out that with the presumption of no default risk, under normal case of return (that is, better states of natural world lead to higher marginal profits), any aggressive stance of issuing firm to increase output will induce convertible debt holders to convert to common stock so as to share earnings with shareholders in good states and keep it as straight debt to get back the fixed amount of repay in bad states.
Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantages of Hospitality Industry
Hui-O Yang, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
Dr. Hsin-Wei Fu, Leader University, Tainan, Tiawan
This study provides a meaningful framework for the assessment on competitive advantage. The main purpose of this study is exploring how to create and sustain competitive advantages of hospitality industry by scanning their business environment, including external environment and internal environment. External environment factors contain country, industry, stakeholder, competitor, strategic networks, differentiation, and branding. Internal environment factors include resource-based, human resource, and information technology. Hospitality is the welcoming of strangers as guests into one's home to dine or lodge. It provides both tangible and intangible goods to customers, such as products and services. Adding values for customers, employees, and owners has become a central theme in strategic management for hospitality companies. To create values for these stakeholders, a firm should achieve a competitive advantage over its competitors by adapting itself to the uncertain industry environment, understanding the changing needs of customers, and responding to new market entries (Byeong and Haemoon, 2004). Achieving competitive advantage has been recognized as the single most important goal of a firm. Without achieving competitive advantage, a firm will have few economic reasons for existing and finally will wither away (Porter, 1980). It is generally accepted in the strategic management literature that those executives who are able to scan their business environment, including external environment and internal environment, more effectively will achieve greater success (Olsen, Murthy and Teare, 1994). This success will come if they are able to match the threats and opportunities in that environment with appropriate strategies. Hospitality executives must analyze both external factors and internal resources to develop a strategic plan and obtain competitive advantages (Harrison, 2003a and 2003b). Figure 1 is a framework of environmental scanning which is used to explore the external environment and internal environment to investigate how to create and sustain competitive advantages for hospitality industry.
Backward Integration and Risk Sharing in a Bilateral Monopoly: Further Investigation
Dr. Yao-Hsien Lee, Chung-Hua University, Taiwan
Yi-Lun Ho and Sheu-Chin Kung, Chung-Hua University, Taiwan
Tsung-Chieh Yang, Chung-Hua University, Taiwan
investigates implications of the first-order conditions a la Lee et al. (
An Analysis of Contingent Contracting in Acquisitions
Dr. David R. Beard, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR
The literature has identified various motives for the use of earnout contracting in the acquisition of target firms. In particular, Kohers and Ang (2000) and Datar, Frankel, and Wolfson (2001) contend that earnouts are relegated to mergers where problems of informational asymmetry and agency are so detrimental that this costly type of contacting must be employed to protect the interest of bidder shareholders and target firms. This research examines a sample of acquisitions in which earnouts are used and contrasts that to a sample of “traditional” acquisitions to explore specific hypotheses concerning agency, informational asymmetry, and the use of an earnout as a means of financing. Numerous contracting technologies have evolved to reduce some of the problems inherent in merger transactions. For example, each party has incentives to propose a contract that overvalues itself and undervalues its opponent, thereby gaining a larger share of any benefits to the merger. Another possible problem is that informational asymmetries between the two parties may be such that a quality target may not be identified or if identified may not be able to credibly reveal its value to the bidding firm. Among the contracting solutions to these conflicts are the joint venture, the partial acquisition, and the earnout. The third technique mentioned, an earnout, mitigates informational asymmetries by shifting some of the risk of misvaluation to the target firm. Briefly, in an earnout, the bidder agrees to pay the target an initial amount for the acquisition plus predetermined future payments contingent on the target’s achievement of performance milestones within a specified time period. In earnouts, the acquired assets can be those of either an entire firm or a subsidiary of a firm. If a bidder misvalues a target, the contingent payment portion of this deal will be reduced, possibly to zero. The earnout contract also provides the target with the ability to signal its quality. Only high quality targets will agree to have a larger portion of the deal to be paid as a contingent claim based upon future milestones of the combined firm.
Capital Structure in Taiwan’s High Tech Dot Companies
Dr. Hsiao-Tien Pao, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, ROC
This study investigates the important determinants of capital structures of the high tech dot companies in Taiwan using a large panel from the year 2000-2005. Three time-series cross-sectional regression models (variance-component model, first-order autoregressive model, and variance-component moving average model) and one multiple regression model with 10 independent variables (seven corporation’s factors and three macro-economic factors) are employed. The variance-component model has the smallest root mean square error. This indicates that the time-series and cross-sectional variations in firm leverage are very important factors in model fitting. The major difference of determinant in high tech dot companies is business risk. It has positive and significant impact on capital structure. Because high tech is the more speculative industry, more speculation is associated with high risk and high investment opportunity. Firms with higher investment opportunity have higher demand for capital to sustain their investment. Therefore, business risk is positively related to debt ratio. Managers can apply these results for their dynamic adjustment of capital structure in achieving optimality and maximizing firm’s value. Regarding the qualitative aspects of capital formation within the high tech dot companies of the 90s, we find that beginning about 1995 a mob mentality set in within the investment community. Essentially, no rational reason could be quantified for the ability of the dot coms to attract large amounts of investment capital. That is, on the surface, there seemed to be an irrational behavior within the investment community. If we mine the information deeper, it would be quite rational for the venture capitalists to fund the dot coms to the extent that they did. Examining the phenomenon of the high tech dot coms, several factors come into play. Firstly, the general economy was doing well and the allure of high tech business was irresistible to stock purchasers. The thought that much of the world business would be internet/computer orientated took root and became the glamorous hot issue of the day.
Using Consumer Panel Participants to Generate Creative New Product Ideas
Jenny Clark, TNS
Clive Nancarrow, University of the West of England, UK
Dr. Lex Higgins, Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky
Organizations continue to attempt to identify new products and product features that will provide competitive advantage. Globalization and technology development continues and many companies struggle to keep up with this rapid rate of change. Creativity is often cited as a prerequisite to organizational success and management of most organizations realizes the present environment is one of ‘innovate or die.’ One’s cognitive style or ‘creativity’ style has been used many times as a tool to help categorize and better understand creative thinking. We report the use of creativity style in a large consumer panel in Europe to generate new creative ideas. Participating panel members tended to adopt one of four cognitive styles when assigned creative problem solving tasks. We report a description of these cognitive styles and describe a categorization of the styles we identified in panel participants. Virtually everyone agrees that organizations must continually improve products and services to compete in today’s dynamic business environment. Brook and Mills (2003) have pointed out that successful innovation within the organization requires an “aggressive and relentless thrust” toward new ideas for products and services. However, the manner in which organizations can systematically envision and develop ideas for new products is often not clear. It is well established that ideas for new products or services that appear within organizations are often ignored or unintentionally suppressed by organizational culture. In fact, many writers on creativity offer lists of ways that managers intentionally or unintentionally stifle creativity. One such list can be found in Couger (1995) and is surely familiar to anyone who has tried to introduce a new idea within an organization. Thus for every new idea offered up, there is a reasonable sounding argument against its implementation. Why do organizations seem to discourage new ideas when often requesting more employee creativity? First, organizational processes often discourage creative thought and encourage “getting along to get ahead.” Many organizations systematically discourage the creation and adoption of new ideas without necessarily meaning to. Osborn has pointed out that “a fair idea is better than a good idea kept on the polishing wheel.” (Osborne 1963).
The Two-stage Optimal Matching Loan Quality Model
Chuan-Chuan Ko, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
Dr. Tyrone T. Lin, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan
Chien-Ku Liu, Jin-wen University of Science & Technology, Taiwan
Hui-Ling Chang, Ming Chuan University, Taiwan
This study attempts to optimize the loan quality requirement objective of the depositor, financial institution and investment agent in a two-stage loan market. Assuming that the financial institution may completely or partially fail to discharge his/her responsibility for liability in which a loan claim occurs following each stage, mathematical analysis is employed to identify the threshold of required loan quality and optimize the allocation of loan amounts in this two-stage loan market. This study defines the financial institution as the enterprise that is heavily reliant on manipulating financial leverage via minimum capital investment, and whose operating profit mainly derives from the interest spread of making loans with deposit volume; meanwhile, the depositor makes all deposits to obtain a steady stream of interest income. However, because of different lending criteria between the financial institution and the depositor, they have conflicting interests with each other. The financial institution wishes to increase loan credit, but loan volume is actually the balance held by the depositor. Therefore, the depositor asks the financial institution to rise up the loan credit to better guarantee his/her deposit. Furthermore, the securitization of financial assets has also provided the investor with an alternative financial commodity. The manner in which the financial institution re-packages and offers this financial asset securitization and the manner in which the investor purchases this commodity will also generate different perspectives regarding the loan quality of assets securitization subsequently represented by the investment agent among the financial institution, the depositor, and the investor. Lockwood et al. (1996) found that when enterprises begin asset securitization, the wealth of automobile manufacturers is increased after securitization, whereas the wealth of banks is decreased, and the financial institution should improve its capital structure before securitization and promote its financial health.
Study on the Motives of Tax Avoidance and the Coping Strategies in the Transfer Pricing of Transnational Corporations
Chen-Kuo Lee, Ling Tung University, Taiwan
Wen-Wen Chuang, Ling Tung University, Taiwan
As globalized production and management groups, transnational corporations tended to adopt related-party transactions (like transfer pricing) to reduce the overall tax burden, evade risks, and bypass control with tax avoidance as the main objective. Corporations could reduce the tax burden through related-party transactions, such as transfer pricing. Therefore, this paper conducted analyses by establishing a transfer-pricing model and verifying, with cases, the motives of tax avoidance in the transfer pricing of transnational corporations. Finally, we presented the coping strategies of tax avoidance in the transfer pricing of transnational corporations. After World War II, along with the unprecedented rapid development of business activities, the international trade of transnational corporations was increasingly highlighted in the global trading market (Clausing, 2001, 2003). Moreover, plenty of international trade occurred among the inner member companies of transnational corporations (i.e. the related parties). The data of UNCTAD in 2001 showed that until then, international trade of transnational corporations occupied more than 70% of the world trade; about one-third of the world trade took place among transnational corporations and about 80% technology transfer fees were paid to the same companies. With the large scale, and the unique ways and features, the inner trade of transnational corporations was influencing the host country, the home country and the world economy (UNCTAD, 2001). Thus, the international community was paying close attention. Some countries strengthened the management of transnational corporations and their inner trade, based on relevant regulations and policies in the framework of WTO multilateral trade systems and its regional economic organization (Barry, 2004, 2005). The price adopted in the inner trade of transnational corporations was usually called transfer price. Because transfer price played a core role in the inner trade of the complete transnational corporation, the functions of the inner trade could be achieved. Transfer pricing helped directly realize the adjustment of benefits among the inner member companies of transnational corporations and the related countries. It also ensured the maximization of the whole benefits of transnational corporations across the globe. Furthermore, it hastened the formation of the integrated management and economic globalization in transnational corporations, and ensured the possession of monopoly assets and the acquisition of monopolistic profits. Finally, transfer pricing had a direct effect on the economy and benefits of related countries.
Target Costing: A Snapshot with the Granger Causality Test
Dr. Fernando Zanella, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE
The target costing strategy takes the market price of a product and goes all way back to the initial costs of its production to achieve the desired profit margin. It lies in sharp contrast with the traditional cost-plus margin. In this article we use the Granger causality test to identify the price-cost directional vector. Most of the Brazilian firms we analyzed did not show an identifiable pattern between price and cost. Target costing is shown in 15% of the total firms studied, and in 37.5% of the electric and utilities sector. There are two main reasons supported here. First, the sector works with a single homogeneous product. Second, it is a regulated sector; once its price is set by the regulatory agency, they can work backwards to reduce costs and achieve certain profit margins. The test used here proves complementary to more common surveys and case studies. Target costing can be briefly defined as a strategy that takes the market price of a established product—or the estimated price of a would-be product—and uses it as a parameter that will define the feasible cost for a desired profit margin. It is meant to be used during the design and planning phases, i.e., prior to the manufacturing phase. Target costing has several interdependent dimensions that can be explored separately or simultaneously. The two main ones are: a) Target costing adoption. Target costing adoption, or lack of it, is indicative of the firm’s competitive strategy within the industry. During a target costing process, the vector runs from price to cost. This is the opposite of another very common price strategy, the cost-plus, in which the vector runs from cost to price. During the cost-plus process, a firm adds the desirable profit margin on top of the manufacturing cost. If the market doesn’t accept the final price, the firm might shrink its profit margin, try to re-do the manufacturing to cut costs or—depending on the re-manufacturing feasibility—fix and sunk costs, just stop producing the product or shut down operations. b) Institutional environment.
Teaching Tip: Structuring a Rubric for Online Course Discussions to Assess Both Traditional and Non-Traditional Students
Dr. Ruth Lapsley, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA
Dr. Rex Moody, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA
Online courses have become increasingly popular. Students, particularly non-traditional, appreciate online courses because of the flexibility, including learning outside the normal classroom schedule constraints. This paper discusses how a rubric for an online course was developed to capitalize on the motivated learning style of these non-traditional students. When the same rubric was used for traditional students taking the class, the assessment did not adequately discriminate among different levels of effort, so modifications were made to the rubric. It was subsequently used on both traditional and non-traditional students and provided an adequate assessment for both types of learners. Non-traditional students, in particular, appreciate the flexibility of online courses that provide learning outside the normal classroom schedule constraints. Non-traditional students are usually older, have job and family responsibilities, and prefer flexible curricula that allow them to use their computers and technology to enhance their learning skills (Nellen, 2003; Wooten, 1998; Wynd & Bozman, 1996). In addition, they tend to be more motivated and produce higher-quality work than traditional students (Nellen, 2003; Wooten, 1998). This paper discusses how an assessment rubric for an online course was developed to capitalize on the motivated learning style of these non-traditional students, while still being useful for traditional students as well. Online course developers frequently concentrate on the technological issues surrounding the delivery method instead of the learning objectives and assessment tools (Su, 2005). In developing an online course, the learning objectives should be the primary guiding factor. Students in online courses must be able to easily understand the learning objectives, as they are more critical than the medium by which they are delivered (Su, 2005). In the traditional classroom, the course expectations are spelled out in the syllabus and the instructor typically explains them to students, often times adding more detail throughout the term of the course. Additionally, with an online course, students do not have ready access to the instructor and must rely more on what is available online to guide their learning.
The Exchange Rate Exposure of Chinese and Taiwanese Multinational Corporations
Luke Lin, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan
Dr. David So-De Shyu, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan
Dr. Chau-Jung Kuo, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan
This paper studies the sensitivity of the cash flows generated by Chinese and Taiwanese firms to the movements in a trade-weighted exchange rate index, as well as to the currencies of their major trading partners. To overcome the deficiencies in previous researches using variations of the market-based model, this paper adopts the polynomial distributed lag (PDL) model to investigate the relative importance of transaction exposure versus economic exposure by decomposing exchange risk into short-term and long-term components. In contrast to the existing market-based model, we find that PDL model is better in detecting exposures. Furthermore, our empirical results also indicate that a considerable exposure difference between Chinese and Taiwanese corporations under two types of exchange rate regimes. With China’s entry into WTO, more and more Chinese firms participate in international business, and their understanding of the exchange rate exposure of their business becomes more important. Meanwhile, now most Taiwanese firms investing in China desire to use cheaper input factors and sell manufactured goods back to Taiwan’s trading partners. Such an investment decision has been establishing a close link between the two markets. While China and Taiwan markets are inseparable, exchange rate systems in the two markets are very different. For example, China has officially maintained the pegging regime since 1994 and Taiwan now follows a floating exchange rate policy (Schena, 2005). Therefore, the features of exchange rate exposure in two markets are important for corporate managers to know before making risk management decisions as different types of exchange rate systems breed different sets of risk, especially for emerging market. Booth (1996) interprets that three types of exposures are identified in the literature as translation, transaction, and economic exposure. However, the impact of fluctuating exchange rates on cash flows excludes the translation exposure because this exposure does not affect cash flows (Martin and Mauer, 2005). Transaction exposure, which typically has a shorter-term time dimension, arises because the value of the foreign currency may change from the time a transaction is contracted and the time it is actually settled, and can in most cases be effectively hedged with derivative instruments.
Investment Under Uncertainty with Stochastic Interest Rates
Dr. Cherng-Shiang Chang, FRM, China University of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan
In recent years, the real options analysis developed to cope with an uncertain future is already having a substantial influence on corporate practice due to its offering new insights into corporate finance and strategy (Smit and Trigeorgis, 2004). For the application of options pricing theory, unlike the works on the financial derivatives areas, most studies on the corporate finance and investment problems assume the underlying dynamics follow a geometric Brownian motion and the discount rates of the expected cash flows constant in order to obtain a closed-form solution. In the real world context, however, the dynamics of the underlying usually track a product-specific lifecycle, in contrast to the one increasing versus time characterized by the geometric Brownian motion. Further, it is obvious that the discount rates or the risk-free interest rates are not constant as well. In this article, we relax the restrictions by employing the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process for the underlying to meet the real product specific lifecycle. Second, we setup the classical Vasicek (1977) model to describe the interest rate dynamics. The derived partial differential equations (PDEs) are so complicated that a novel finite difference method is then selected and implemented to solve the problem numerically. Project valuation using real options has been a subject of much research during the last 15 years (Ingersoll and Ross, 1992, Dixit and Pindyck, 1994). The real options analysis developed to cope with an uncertain future is already having a substantial influence on corporate practice due to its offering new insights into corporate finance and strategy (Smit and Trigeorgis, 2004). Grenadier and Weiss (1997) develop a model of the optimal investment strategy for a firm confronted with a sequence of technological innovations. Pyndick (1993) is probably the first to take the technical uncertainty exogenously for randomly advancing through stages of the project.
A Research Study of Frederick Herzberg’s Motivator-Hygiene Theory on Continuing Education Participants in Taiwan
Dr. Ching-wen Cheng, National Pingtung University of Education, Taiwan
This study seeks to determine the factors motivating on-campus continuing education participants in Taiwan using Frederick Herzberg’s motivator-hygiene theory. Herzberg’s motivator-hygiene theory, also referred to as the two-factor theory, is commonly used in the academic area of organization management (Jones, George, & Hill, 2000). Due to costs involved and the study’s limitations, the research sample of the present study included students enrolled in the “2006 Human Capital Investment Plan” continuing education program at National Pingtung University of Education, a government plan that tries to improve Taiwanese laborers’ career competency by cooperating with higher education institutions (Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training, 2006). National Pingtung University of Education is a public education institution located in southern Taiwan offering bachelor, master, and doctoral programs. The purpose of this study is to construct a management opinion on adult learning motivation and provide the students’ motivators to the program administrators. The research determined that the major motivators of adult students’ participation are personal-advantage creation, personal-need recognition, learning enjoyment, program schedule, institution’s reputation, personal growth, and demand in the new economics. Furthermore, this study also discovered that information about hygiene needs included in organizational policy, new friends, relationships with subordinates, peer pressure, and workplace management authority also to be significant. Based on the research data analysis, no significant difference exists between male and female adult students’ motivation for learning. Finally, this study found no significant difference in motivation among adult students of different age groups. In studying adult learners’ motivation, many scholars have tried to develop a theory to explain why adult learners participate in continuing education programs on campus. Houle (1961) stated that adults return to school to learn based on three types of learning motivators: job-related reasons, activity-related reasons, and learning-related reasons. Houle’s typology became the first academic document to focus on adult learners’ motivations.
Tax Burden Convergence in EU Countries: A Time Series Analysis
Dr. Tiia Püss, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia
Mare Viies, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia
Taxes are an important fiscal policy instrument and the main source of revenue for any country, which are used to regulate and influence economic and social development in the country. The EU has harmonized standards and regulations in numerous areas; however, there has been a lower degree of harmonization in taxation. Significant measures towards the harmonization have been raised strategically in the EU agenda. The aim of this paper is to analyze and compare the trends of the tax burdens in the European Union countries and test for convergence in taxation using the time series approach. We use harmonized data on the tax revenue and tax burden in the European Union countries collected by OECD and Eurostat in the period 1970-2004. The issues of economic convergence have been in the focus of interest of many theoretical and empirical studies over the last two decades. Many concepts of convergence and different econometric methods for empirical analysis have been proposed. There are two main trends in the methodological approach: the cross-sectional data approach is based on the neoclassical growth model and studies convergence between countries or regions through relationships between the initial economic level and average growth (b-convergence); the time-series approach discusses convergence as a stochastic process and uses mainly unit root or cointegration tests in empirical analysis. In an open economy tax policy of one country may affect economic activity and public revenue in another country. Although lower taxes can yield significant efficiency gains, there is a risk that the financing of public goods and social protection will be shifted to the least mobile tax bases – labor, or that the production of public goods and the welfare systems will be endangered, especially in these countries where income redistribution, social protection and public goods provision are given a high weight in social preferences. The tax harmonization process in the past decade was designed to meet the objectives for improving the economic environment and facilitating development, which are still relevant. Significant measures towards the harmonization have been raised strategically in the EU agenda. Our previous analysis indicated that the tax burden increased in most of the countries over the period 1980-2003 (Püss et al., 2006). A particularly fast growth of tax burdens occurred in the 1980s, which in the 1990s slowed down and in 1999-2003 even diminished. The reasons for such tax burden developments have been different in different countries.
Synergy in Business: Some New Suggestions
Dr. Vojko Potocan, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
Bostjan Kuralt, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
In the global competitive environment, enterprises can only survive (in the long term) by permanently improving their business. They have limited resources and they face very harsh conditions, therefore they can (significantly) improve their business results, if they organize their working better, e.g. by implementing potential/possible synergies. The concept of synergetic working is based (also, or even primarily) on the application of the process approach and of the (dialectically) systemic understanding of the enterprise as a business system (BS). Synergetic working enables BSs to attain the best overall results by harmonizing activities of all BSs' parts and considering the needs (and requirements) of the BSs' environments. This contribution deals with two theses: 1) Synergy is encountered and studied in various sciences; it is equally important in business sciences; 2) The process approach and (dialectically) systemic consideration enables us to define synergy in BS requisitely holistically (in terms of both contents and mathematics) and to use it for further consideration of BSs in business sciences. The new global market pressure makes it increasingly difficult for enterprises to compete rationally efficiently and effectively, respectably (reasonably from their business behavior image aspect), ethically (morally appropriate and responsible attitude in harmony with their social and natural environment) and innovatively (novel service / products, and production systems and gaining additional benefits from these). Important characteristics of many successful enterprises include using the process approach and systems understanding. This enables the effective creation and operation of their business. On this basis they define their operation as a relatively open and dynamic business system, which mainly depend upon co-operation and synergy of actions of all areas and levels of their functioning. A brief comment about the process approach: For millennia work processes used to be simpler and less changeable than today; they were physically demanding, required little creativity, and provided little reward. Thus, bosses had the need to force subordinates to be productive and to coordinate / direct their activities. These actions require a favorable hierarchy to support / direct process aspects. In the next step, bosses were many and on many levels.
Cross Analysis on the Contents of Children’s Television Commercials in the United States and Taiwan
Yi Hsu, National Formosa University, Taiwan
Liwei Hsu, National Kaohsiung Hospitality College, Taiwan
The influence of television programs toward children cannot be overlooked, TV commercials included. This study is designed to examine the factors that are decisive for the marketing effects of children’s TV commercials. The discussion about how the contents of Taiwanese children’s commercials differ from those of U.S. commercials and to explain reasons that cause these differences are the main themes of this research. Six research hypotheses are tested and the results of the content analysis show that four of the six research hypotheses are accepted. The hypotheses on uncertainty avoidance and masculinity/femininity are not accepted by the statistical examination. Television is a powerful socializing force for children, reaching them daily with extraordinarily high levels of exposure. Children between six and fourteen years old watch approximately 25 hours of television weekly and view approximately 20,000 commercials annually (Moore et al., 2000). In November 1999, the U.S. Kaiser Family Foundation published reports on children and teenagers exposure to television. This investigation indicated that American children watched TV for an average of 2 hours and 46 minutes daily. Since commercials represent around 20 percent of the content of children’s television, television advertising is a pervasive presence in the lives of most American children. A similar situation exists in Taiwan. An investigation by a Taiwanese advertising magazine on children in the 4 to 14 year old age group found that television watching was a major recreational activity among this age group in Taiwan. Furthermore, an investigation by the Foundation of Broadcasting and Television reported that two thirds of Taiwanese children watch TV every day. Three children’s television channels, Yo Yo TV, the Disney Channel, and the Cartoon Network, broadcast children’s programs and cartoons 24 hours per day. Unlike adults, children are relatively uninformed about product quality and prices, and have comparatively less-developed awareness toward the influence of advertising. Consequently, children are extremely receptive to the messages from television, including messages from TV programming and advertising (Oates et al., 2002). Television advertising thus significantly impacts children’s values. Advertisers know that TV advertising must reflect the values of the audience effectively.
The Technology Disruption Conundrum
Von Johnson, Woodbury University, Burbank, CA
Pierre Ollivier, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France
During the 20th Century, the filmed entertainment business evolved from a regional studio factory system into the global media and entertainment industry we know today. Once controlled by a handful of powerful and creative entrepreneurs (the studio ‘moguls’), the seven major studios are owned today by multi-national corporations, transformed into finance, marketing and distribution entities, content owners and licensors, network operators, recording companies and producers, Internet portals, game producers and publishers. Some companies are vertically integrated in many or all of these businesses (e.g., Walt Disney, Time Warner, Viacom, NBC-Universal and News Corp.) Although they may differ in scale and corporate culture, the common thread among them is an economic model that relies on the ability to control levels of presentation quality, and when, where and how consumers access entertainment content. Traditional peripheral constituents supporting this supply model are the post-production and distribution service providers, and the systems/equipment suppliers that comprise the industry ‘ecosystem’ for content production, preparation and distribution. This paper presents an argument that evolving media consumption habits are fueling technologies and innovations that threaten the ecosystem by disrupting the studio’s control and empowering consumers. Moreover, the authors contend that technology disruptions are becoming increasingly more insidious and occurring at faster intervals. Information lags create missteps and confusion between the constituents that negatively impact the entertainment industry’s ability to manage change. To eliminate the effects of the “Technology Disruption Conundrum”, the authors call for greater transparency and shared strategic planning between studios and their suppliers along the post-production and distribution value chain. Historically, the entertainment industry enjoyed relatively long periods of business stability between short periods of upheaval. In the early to mid 20th century, the economics of the filmed entertainment business were largely under the control of a few “moguls” who owned or controlled practically every component along the value chain, from script to theater. The studio moguls built their own production factories staffed with creative and craft resources at controlled wages and terms. Even the most popular (and profitable) actors were held to exclusive, long-term contracts that dictated terms and wages favorable to the moguls.
Improved Algorithms for Lexicographic Bottleneck Assignment Problems
Dr. Zehai Zhou, University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, TX
The lexicographic bottleneck problem is a variant of the bottleneck problem that is in turn a type of the traditional cost (or profit) minimizing (or maximizing) assignment problems. In this paper, the author presents two polynomial algorithms for the lexicographic bottleneck problem. The suggested algorithms solve the lexicographic assignment problem with 2n nodes by scaling and/or sequentially solving a set of classical assignment problems and both algorithms run in O( n5 ). These algorithms improve the previous ones, devised by R.E. Burkhard and F. Rendl , by a factor of log n. In the special case where all the cost coefficients are distinct, an algorithm with run time O( n3.5 log n ) is presented. A numerical example is also included in the paper for the illustration purpose. The cost (or profit) minimizing (or maximizing) assignment problem has been extensively treated in the literature and many polynomial algorithms have been devised to solve it [1, 8]. Several variations of the classical profit (cost) maximizing (minimizing) assignment problem have also been analyzed by researchers and efficient algorithms are readily available. For instance, Garfikel , Ravindran and Ramaswany  studied bottleneck assignment problems, Martello et al.  discussed balanced assignment problems, Berman et al.  studied several different constrained bottleneck assignment problems, Seshan  discussed the generalized bottleneck assignment problems, Geetha and Nair  presented a polynomial algorithm to solve assignment problem with an additional ‘supervisory’ cost, and Hall and Vohra  discussed an on-line assignment problem with random effectiveness and cost information, etc. In this paper, the author discusses yet another variant of the bottleneck problem, the lexicographic bottleneck problem. In the regular bottleneck problems, the maximum cost (or minimum profit) is to be minimized (or maximized). This is, however, sometimes too crude or the solution is not as desirable as some other alternatives in some real world applications. For example, when one tries to assign n jobs to n workers one may not only want the maximum completion time to be minimized but also may hope to have the second longest completion time, the third longest completion time, etc., to be minimized. There are many other real-life instances where one wishes to solve a lexicographic version of assignment problem instead of bottleneck assignment problems. This problem was first studied by Burkard and Rendl . They presented two different algorithms for solving this problem.
Do Employees Trust 360-Degree Performance Evaluations? (A research on the Turkish Banking Sector)
Dr. Harun Demirkaya, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey
Recently performance evaluation has been emphasized and systematized in businesses because the strategic importance of human resources in creating a high-performance organization is well understood. However, this has led to arguments, since both the evaluated and the evaluator are humans. The 360-degree evaluation, which was designed to settle those arguments and to provide an objective evaluation, is now widespread in Turkey. Trust is one of the determinants of the effectiveness of performance evaluation. It is even more crucial in the 360-degree performance evaluation because so many evaluators are involved. This study tests the degree to which the employees of a bank trust the 360-degree performance evaluation. A business corporation is a socio-technical system in which many people of different abilities, dreams, and creative skills come together. Three types of behaviors are required to make the system work well. First, people must be convinced to join and remain in the organization. Second, employees must perform their job responsibilities reliably. Third, they must voluntarily dedicate their creative and innovative skills beyond any sense of duty (Werner, 2000:4). This third expectation is indispensable for organizations aspiring to high performance. On the other hand, in these organizations, management becomes much more complex and multi-dimensional (Peterson, 2003:243). Performance evaluation provides input for almost all functions of HRM applications, and the system outputs are taken into consideration as objective data in decisions and applications. Developed in the American army (Cadwell, 1995:23) and eventually spreading into businesses, a performance evaluation system evaluates employee performance as a sub-system of performance management (Milkovich and Boudreau: 1991:91). Measuring achievement and creating a high performance organization are crucial for businesses. They spend huge amounts of effort and money in them (Stiffler, 2006:17). Any improvement in individual performance may lead to much greater developments within an organization (Milkovich and Bouderau: 1991:92). Therefore, the first step in creating a high performance organization is recruiting high performance employees. This understanding adds strategic dimensions to performance evaluation and HRM. Despite the importance attributed to performance evaluation, this issue has unfortunately not been treated as a system in many corporations, and therefore a performance evaluation system that is suitable to the corporate strategy and culture could not be structured. Employees’ trust in the organization’s performance evaluation system plays a significant role in this respect. Trust directly influences the success of a performance evaluation system.
Factors Influencing Sales Partner Control and Monitoring in Indirect Marketing
Dr. Roland Mattmüller, International University Schloss Reichartshausen, Germany
Dr. Ralph Tunder, International University Schloss Reichartshausen, Germany
Dr. Tobias Irion, International University Schloss Reichartshausen, Germany
When selling their products, manufacturers of consumer goods are heavily reliant on the support of their sales partners as they act as gatekeepers for the end customers and thereby determine the extent and quality of the goods available to the customer. In order to ensure the desired market presence of their products, manufacturers are increasingly creating institutionalised structures for the continuous monitoring and control of their sales partners. Using a survey of 130 managers in various consumer goods sectors in Germany, the following investigation will clarify and empirically substantiate what the fundamental parameters are that shape the control of a consumer goods manufacture’s sales partners, and which factors influence the intensity of sales partner control. In contrast to intraorganisationally orientated organisational and sales management literature, there are only a few empirical studies relating to interorganisational sales partner monitoring. So even today, Frazier for example, still has to be endorsed, who in a meta-analysis of the contributions to knowledge in the field of distribution research comes to the conclusion: “Despite the importance of monitoring, to the best of my knowledge, Bello and Gilliland (1997) are the first to explicitly examine it in a major channel study. Clearly much more has to be done. What needs to be monitored across different channel relationships and contexts is an important question. Behaviors as well as performance outcomes will need attention in many cases.” (Frazier, 1999). The indicated need for research is manifested particularly in a lack of theoretically founded and empirically demonstrated knowledge with regard to construct formation and measurement of the monitoring construct as well as with regard to central influencing factors on sales partner control and monitoring in the consumer goods industry. This study is the result of this research deficit. Its aim is to make theoretically founded and empirically demonstrated comments on the monitoring construct and the causal relationships between the central influencing factors (antecedence variables) and the intensity of sales partner monitoring (dependent variables). Initially the construct of sales partner monitoring is conceptualised and operationalised, and building on this, the study model is created in which the causal relationships between selected influencing parameters and the intensity of sales partner monitoring are derived taking into account theoretical reference points and made specific in hypothesis form by way of a survey of 130 consumer goods manufacturers.
Perceptions Affecting Employee Reactions to Change: Evidence from Privatization in Thailand
Dr. Chaiporn Vithessonthi, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok, Thailand
The focus of the present study is to test whether perceived participation in decision-making process and perceived change in power influence employee reactions to change (i.e., resistance to change and support for change) in a sample of 197 employees at a large state-owned organization in Thailand in the context of planned privatization. Using multinomial ordered probit regression, the results provide some support for the proposed hypotheses. More specifically, the level of perceived participation in decision-making process is negatively associated with the level of resistance to change whereas the level of perceived increase in power resulting from the change is negatively associated with the level of resistance to change and positively associated with the level of support for change. During the past decade most state-owned enterprises in both developing and developed countries have come under increasing pressure to significantly improve their performance. In addressing this challenge, many state-owned enterprises have sought to go through a process of privatization, necessitating the implementation of organizational change. It has been argued that employee reactions to change, e.g., resistance to change and support for change, have critical implications for the outcomes of organizational change (Kotter, 1995). In a broader context, the attitudes and behaviors of employees have an impact on strategic implementation and firm performance (Becker, Huslid and Ulrich, 2001). A central research question in this context is: How can organizations minimize employee resistance to change and promote employee support for change? The aggregate result of a series of actions made by the firm in the change processes tends to cause employee resistance to change (e.g., Judson, 1991; Kotter, 1995). The emphasis in the change management literature so far has been on what organizations should undertake to promote support for change and reduce resistance to change. This literature highlights that employees orient their reactions to change towards the actions of organizations. In spite of a large body of normative techniques for managing change, there is a lack of empirical studies of their application to suggest whether the techniques proposed in those models will in fact influence employee reactions to change. Dent and Goldberg (1999) challenged the conventional wisdom that people resist change and argued that people do not resist change, per se, but rather resist losses of status, pay or comfort. They posited that these are not the same as resisting change.
A Study of the Relationship of the Perception of Organizational Conflicts and Organizational Promises among Faculty and Staff Members in the Technical and Vocational Colleges
Hui-Chuan Tang, Far East University, Taiwan
Colleges under the pressure of educational revolution need to constantly do something within their inner organization to cope with the changes of the society. In the process of transformation, many organizational conflicts occur both in the instruction and administration units. The reasons of such conflicts may be positive or negative. The former is helpful to enhance the members’ promises to the organization. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study is to understand the perception of technical and vocational college faculty and staff members’ organizational conflicts and promises, their relationship, and differences. Subjects are college faculty and staff members from technical and vocational colleges in central and southern Taiwan. Totally 720 copies of questionnaires are sent out, with 462 copies returned, of which 51 copies are invalid. Therefore, the return rate is 64% with 411 valid copies. The collected questionnaires are analyzed through One-way ANOVA and Typical Correlation. The findings in the study are: 1. Role duty conflict is perceived the most obviously, compare to the others when organizational conflicts are discussed. As for the organizational promises, promises to work hard get the highest value, compared with the value promises and position promises. 2. For those with different background variables, it is found that younger people, administration staff, and teachers with lower ranks perceive higher conflicts. It is also discovered that teachers with higher ranks, with director duties, and with age more than 40, will have higher loyalty to the organization. 3. The more conflicts are perceived by the members within an organization, the lower the position-stay promises will be for the organization; the higher perception of ideal organizational operation, the lower the effort promises and position-stay promises. The policy of opening the door of higher education brings a series of revolution for technical and vocational colleges which have to reform their inner organization to cope with the changes of the outer environment. In the transformational process, more conflicts will occur within the operation of instructional or administration units. Without understanding the conflicts and searching for solutions, there may be negative influences on the long-term school development and management.
Mass Customization Manufacturing (MCM): The Drivers and Concepts
Dr. Muammer Zerenler, Selçuk University, Konya, Turkey
Derya Ozilhan, Selçuk University, Konya, Turkey
Today’s business environment is characterized with extremely tight competition. Companies are forced to constantly reduce costs and outperform when pursuing efficiency. At the same time, companies are struggling to reach effectiveness to retain customer loyalty. Combining these two aspects is difficult at best and requires reasonable trade-off between variety, functionality, and price of the products and services. Mass customization relates to the ability to provide individually designed products and services to every customer through high process flexibility and integration. Mass customization has been identified as a competitive strategy by an increasing number of companies. This paper surveys the literature on mass customization manufacturing. Enablers to mass customization and their impact on the development of production systems are discussed in length. Approaches to implementing mass customization are compiled and classified. Market and technology forces that affect today’s competitive environment are changing dramatically. Mass production of identical products—the business model for industry in the past—is no longer viable for many sectors. Market niches continue to narrow. Customer preferences shift overnight. Customers demand products with lower prices, higher quality and faster delivery, but they also want products customized to match their unique needs. To cope with these demands, companies are racing to embrace mass customization, “the development, production, marketing, and delivery of customized products and services on a mass basis,” according to a definition popularized by Joseph Pine, a leading spokesman for the concept. Mass customization means that customers can select order and receive a specially configured product, often choosing from among hundreds of product options, to meet their specific needs. In today’s economy, continuous competition and the dynamic global market have pushed manufacturers to transition from mass manufacturing techniques toward flexible and rapid response methods, to enable them to deliver products rapidly while keeping costs down.
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