The American Academy of Business Journal

Vol.  12 * Num.. 2 * March 2008

 The Library of Congress, Washington, DC   *   ISSN: 1540–7780

 Online Computer Library Center  *  OCLC: 805078765 

National Library of Australia * NLA: 42709473

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Uncorrelated Emerging Equity Markets

Dr. Tulin Sener, State University of New York-New Paltz, NY

 

ABSTRACT

Most of the emerging markets recently have high returns with high volatility and low correlations with the World Index.  They have high potential to improve the return and risk performance of global equity portfolios. In global investing, geographical factors remain dominant for emerging markets.  This study shows that, at the outset of regional analysis, it is a good approach to find uncorrelated emerging market classes. Consistently, the uncorrelated emerging market classes justify the regional effects. Further, this approach contributes significantly to the regional analysis in several ways. The purpose of this study is to develop a strategy that might be helpful for global portfolio managers to find out uncorrelated country or region classes, as well as to evaluate the contributions of emerging market diversification to global equity investing. It is widely known that the diversification benefits to global equity investing are time variant over countries and are declining through time.  For the global equity investors and managers of the new century, the controversial question is whether diversification benefits will continue.  What is the relative importance of emerging markets for global diversification? Are geographical effects still important for global investing? Global diversification benefits are closely associated with the degree of world market integration and efficiency. The more segmented the markets are, the better the risk reduction and return enhancement benefits of global equity diversification will be.  In a fully efficient and well-integrated global financial market, investing in the world market portfolio (i.e. the Global Equity Index) would be the optimal passive strategy for a global investor. However, recent literature indicates that global equity markets are neither entirely synchronized nor fully efficient, but integrating at a gradual pace and mostly in developed markets. Hence, benefits of active and efficient global equity diversification continue (Shao et al. 2002, Cooley et al. 2003, and Stultz 2005). Geographical effects, compared to industry and style effects, are still important while selecting global investment strategies (Lin et al. 2004, Puchkov 2005). In a comprehensive study, Campa and Fernandes (2006) find that geographical factors have remained stable over time. Industry factors have significantly increased during the last decade, but have dropped again since 2000. Further,  Vardharaj and Fabozzi (2007) state that allocation policy among regions explains about one-fourth of monthly or quarterly return variation for international funds.

 

Lean Operations Management:  Identifying and Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice

Dr. Daniel L. Tracy, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD

Dr. John E. Knight, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, TN

 

ABSTRACT

The lean management philosophy is at the forefront of advances in the practice of operations management today.  Lean principles meanwhile are built upon solid academic operations management theory.  Both academicians and practitioners can benefit more fully from understanding both the practice of lean management and theory of operations management by combining them into an integrated management philosophy.  This paper examines the gap between operations in academe and managers in the marketplace, the problems caused by that gap, and the potential benefits that could be realized by bridging that gap.  In addition, effective avenues for bridging the gap are suggested for marketplace managers, faculty, authors, and publishers. Lean management is philosophically grounded in traditional operations management theory and models, and subsequently has been applied in today’s marketplace by non-academic practitioners in virtually every industry.  Although much of the progress in lean management has come from the manufacturing sector, explosive growth in lean management is now occurring in the service sector as well.  The driving force behind lean management is continuous process improvement through the elimination or reduction of non-value-added waste.  “The driving force for waste elimination is improved customer value and increased profitability in the products and services offered by an organization.” (Burton, 2003, p. 99-100)  Many different types of waste either originate or accumulate in any system with some waste more obvious than others.  Table 1 illustrates eight different categories of non-value-added waste. (Burton, 2003, p. 99-100) The culture of firms employing the lean management philosophy is built on five key principles identified by Womack and Jones in their benchmark book, Lean Thinking – Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation.  The five principles are found in Table 2. (Womack, 1996)  These five strategic principles are pursued through the effective use of the tools, techniques, and methods applied in lean operations.  “After a decade of conversions by all types of industries to lean manufacturing, the benefits being realized by these companies are indisputable.” (Hobbs, 2004, p. 43)  Typical lean implementation results are summarized in Burton (2004, p.104).  If the application of lean strategy, tools, and methodologies results in these kinds of bottom line benefits (and others), and lean management is based on traditional operations management theory, it is curious to think that academics and marketplace managers are not working in concert with one another on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, they are not working together with any kind of regularity and the result is educational waste! The study of operations management, in most academic settings, is centered on identifying and understanding processes.  A great deal of theory and modeling has developed to provide mechanisms for analysis and decisions regarding processes and their management. 

 

Banking Industry in Spain: Trends in Securitization of Loan Portfolios

Dr. Phani Tej Adidam, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE

 

ABSTRACT

In the current booming Spanish economy, banks are enjoying tremendous growth and profitability. Not only is the housing market growing exponentially, the small and medium businesses are also seeking higher amounts loans for their working capital needs. With such ever-increasing demands for loans, banks are looking for innovative methods of generating liquidity for not only offering loans to their current customers, but also to expand into more lucrative markets along the Mediterranean coast. Increasingly, banks in Spain are securitizing their loan portfolios. This paper investigates such trends, and compares the same to the banking industry in the European Union. Spain boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union, and economic growth has steadily increased above the Eurozone average over the past decade. A construction and housing boom contributed to a decline in the unemployment rate and the rise in household wealth, creating overall positive economic conditions and tremendous growth opportunities for financial institutions. Demographic statistics indicate that 40.4% of the 44.7 million inhabitants in Spain are between the ages of 20-44. With a large young-adult population and growing immigrant population, banks have a sizeable target audience for origination of loans. They are prime candidates for loans as this population enters the workforce, establishes consumer credit, purchases a vehicle, and takes out a mortgage. The savings/investment rate in Spain is 10.4%, which has led to a decline in deposit funding, and an increased need for capital markets funding by financial institutions. While there is considerable debate over a projected recession versus a mild growth slowdown, most in-country experts tend toward the latter. They cite the cultural norm of pride-of-homeownership, immigration growth, and vacation homes along the Mediterranean coast as stabilizers to the mortgage industry.  The banking industry in Spain has experienced a period of extreme growth over the past decade, especially when compared to Europe as a whole.  Between 2004 and 2006, Spain experienced a 16% growth rate in loans and a 13% growth rate in deposits.  Compared with Europe’s 8% growth rate in both categories, it is clear that Spain is a healthier market as compared to Europe. Not only has the Spanish banking industry demonstrated healthy growth, but Spain is also one of the leaders in Europe in terms of profitability; and also has one of the lowest loan default rates. Given such robustness in the banking industry in Spain, how can banks maintain an optimal level of liquidity that would satisfy the demands of the European Central Bank as well as the Banco de Espana? Several banks are increasingly turning to the secondary loan market in order to securitize and/or sell their loan portfolios. Therefore, it would be interesting to investigate the trends visible in Spain’s secondary loan market. First, we provide a brief overview of the banking industry situation. There are four different types of financial institutions in Spain – Banks, Savings Banks (Cajas or Caixas), Credit Cooperatives, and Financial Credit Establishments. There are a few main differences between banks and savings banks in Spain. 

 

Investment Decision Making in an Entrepreneurial Firm: An Application

Dr. Prakash L Dheeriya, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA

 

ABSTRACT

This paper is a case study of a capital budgeting decision made in a small manufacturing plant in Torrance, California. The firm manufactures generic type of laser cartridges for use in monochromatic laser printers and has a distribution network all over the United States. The firm is considering the purchase of automation equipment which will increase its production three-fold, and will use the excess production to serve the Latin American markets, including Mexico. It has been in operation for over 4 years and has experienced substantial growth since prices of laser printers have fallen. The data represented in this case study is from the 2006-2007 fiscal year and is used to show the benefits of implementing good capital budgeting techniques in a small, rapidly growing entrepreneurial firm. This paper will discuss the current capital budgeting process, problems, and proposed solutions in the framework of entrepreneurial finance.  Small entrepreneurial firms are typically run by single owners who may lack financial expertise to evaluate investment proposals. They may rely on their personal accountants, tax advisors, bankers to provide key input in the capital budgeting process. Many studies have been undertaken to evaluate methods used in capital budgeting in small firms.  Pereiro (2002) looked at Argentinian firms and found that (a) discounted cash flow techniques like NPV, IRR and payback are very popular among corporations and financial advisors; (b) the CAPM is the most popular asset pricing model (c) cross-border adjustments to U.S. multiples and betas are rarely used by corporations; and (d) corporations tend to disregard firm-related unsystematic risks, like small size and illiquidity.  Results of mainstream capital budgeting research typically apply to large firms. The smallness of entrepreneurial firms creates unique problems in application of traditional capital budgeting principles. For instance, Banz (1981), Chan, Chen & Hsieh (1985) & Fama & French, 1992 have documented firm related unsystematic risk to be a key issue for very small firms.  Small firms are also prone to violent changes in profitability when faced with economic downturns than large firms which tend to be diversified as well as have access to financial resources. This ‘small size’ effect culminates in a higher discount rate when evaluating capital investment proposals. Studies have found this effect to be substantial (for e.g. Pratt (2001)) whereas others have not found it to be significant (Amihud, Christensen and Mendelson, and Black, cited in Jagannathan & McGrattan, 1995). Pereiro (2002) finds that none of the firms in his sample made any adjustments for their small size in the discount rate used in capital budgeting. Hall & Weiss (1967) noted that large firms have all the options of a small firm, and can also undertake large scale projects which the small firms are excluded from. In a study of firms using sophisticated capital budgeting practices, Verbeteen (2006) found that large firms have a tendency to use them as opposed to small firms.  Earlier research by Williams and Seaman, 2001 and Rogers (1995) had also confirmed their findings. Large firms seem to have more at stake and are more likely to have the available resources to use sophisticated capital budgeting practices (Chenhall and Langfield-Smith, 1998; Ho and Pike, 1998). Other empirical research has also indicated that size has an impact on capital budgeting practices (Farragher et al., 2001; Ho and Pike, 1996; Klammer et al., 1991). Stein (2002) found that a decentralized approach to capital budgeting often found in smaller firms works best when information about a project is “soft” and cannot be credibly transmitted within the organization.  In a behavioral study by Boot et al (2005), a junior analyst’s behavior towards capital budgeting is more a reflection of his assessment of how his boss views him rather than an analysis of the project itself. In other words, the analyst tends to agree with his boss’ prior beliefs about acceptability or not of a project rather than come up with a totally objective analysis.

 

“The Relationship Between a College’s Success in Sports to Applications, Enrollments and SAT Scores”

Dr. Chaim Ehrman, Loyola University of Chicago, IL

Dr. Allen Marber, Fordham University, NY

 

INTRODUCTION

The relationship between a college’s success in sports to applications, enrollment, and SAT scores can be viewed as a research study, trying to identify several trends. If a college is successful in sports, especially football and basketball, does it reflect that success in more students applying to that particular institution? In addition, what is the impact of success and the increasing number of applications? How will this increase in applications reflect on enrollments? Will the college’s policy towards enrollments change? Finally, how will a successful sports program which generates a larger applicant pool impact on the average SAT scores of the incoming freshman? There is a strong, enthusiastic feeling among College students and Alumni regarding Varsity Sports. There is a quote from Bobby Knight, a famous, well known Coach. He said that if the Dean were to ask him to raise $50,000 for the University Library, it will take him at least 3 months to raise the money, and he is not sure if he will meet his quota. If, however the dean were to ask him to raise $50,000 for a new Sports Arena for the Varsity Team, he will have the funds ready by the next day! There are a few examples that highlight this relationship between success in sports and applications and enrollment. Doug Fluti was a football “superstar” on the field, and his performance had a direct impact on applications and enrollment at Boston College. Similarly, Pat Ewing was a basketball superstar and his performance affected applications for his College, Georgetown University. If the number of enrollments at the college is fixed, that quality of these enrolled can increase, i.e. higher SAT average for the incoming students. There is also a financial bonus for the college. When the team does well, it is known that the Coach donates substantially to the college.  Sports, as the driving force that elevated a college to new heights, can be observed before World War 11 as well as in the post-war years of the late 1940’s and 1950’s, which pre-date the start of the research study. Two schools are prime examples of this phenomenon: Notre Dame in the pre war years and Michigan State in the post-war years. If not for the success in football, Notre Dame might still be a small, relatively unknown, parochial college. Two elements are responsible for the astonishing growth of M.S.U. in the post-war years which elevated that institution into the Big Ten conference and also into a university of first-rank status. It was John Hannah and his use of sports as the vehicle to attain those goals. What do we mean by success? What researchers generally define as “success in sports” is participating in and winning major events in either collegiate football and/or basketball, such as bowl games, NCAA and NIT tournaments, being in the regional final and in the final four of the NCAA, and of placing in the final football and basketball polls conducted by the various national press services. The study finds that success in sports, for the most part, will generate an increase in applications activity right away. Basketball can have an impact on applications for the coming academic year, since it is played in the winter, and it affects applications for the fall of the same yeas.

 

Comparison of Existing and New Tax Burden and Tax Effort Measures:  Evidence from the Southeastern United States

Dr. Sanela Porča, University of South Carolina Aiken

Dr. David S. Harrison, University of South Carolina Aiken

 

ABSTRACT

Economists and policy analysts frequently use the concept of tax burden to compare the effect of state and local tax policies on residents’ economic well-being over time or between states.  There are a number of methods to measure tax burden, and none can be considered perfect. Which measure to use depends on the question a researcher is trying to answer?  One has to keep in mind that different measures of tax burden have strengths and weaknesses.  Therefore, the results should be carefully reported and interpreted for the readers.  The current study compares the existing tax burden and tax effort measures and introduces a new, simplified Representative Tax System measure. Economists and policy analysts frequently use the concept of tax burden to compare the effect of state and local tax policies on residents’ economic well-being over time or between states.  There are a number of methods to measure tax burden, and none can be considered perfect.  Tax burden represents a loss of economic well-being that arises from state and local government taxation. Knowing how a proposed tax change can affect the state and local tax burden is essential for assessing changes in adequacy, efficiency, and equity. A satisfactory measure of tax burden would take into account all taxes imposed by state and local governments and would indicate how tax changes alter the economic well-being of residents and the profitability of business firms. When tax burdens are measured as a percentage of tax capacity, the resulting number is know as tax effort. How can a jurisdiction’s tax burden and tax effort be measured? How high are tax burdens in one jurisdiction compared to others? How big a tax burden does an average taxpayer bear? Answers come from one or more of the various methods of measuring tax burden. Historically, tax burden measures ranged from such simple measures as tax revenue per capita and the ratio of taxes to personal income, to more complex and “scientific” measures such as the Representative Tax System.  The current study compares the existing tax burden and tax effort measures and introduces a new, simplified Representative Tax System Measure.  These measures are compared and contrasted using the data from twelve Southeastern States.  One of the most frequently used measures of tax burden is tax revenue per capita measure.  Figure 1 shows the levels and rankings of state and local tax revenue per capita for all 50 states. According to the tax revenue per capita measure, the state of New York has the highest state and local tax burden in the nation ($4,684) while the state of Alabama has the lowest one ($2,185).  In order to give a consistent comparison of different tax burden measures, the current study utilizes data from twelve Southeastern States with a special focus on tax burden and tax efforts in South Carolina.  South Carolina’s total tax and non-tax state and local revenue for fiscal year 2002 was $25 billion, of which $5.3 billion was intergovernmental revenue, $15.9 billion was general revenue from own sources, and $3.7 billion was non-general revenue. Total state and local taxes in South Carolina for the same fiscal year were $9.8 billion, while charges and miscellaneous general revenue were $6.2 billion.  

 

CEO Annual Bonus Plans:  Do Performance Standards Influence the Association between Pay and Performance?

Aamer Sheikh, Ph.D., Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT

 

ABSTRACT

This paper provides evidence on the effect of internal versus external performance standards on the association between CEO annual bonuses and firm performance.  It is the first paper to provide large-sample evidence on whether the type of performance standard influences the association between CEO annual bonus awards and firm performance.  Using a sample of 754 firms for the years 1992-2005,  I find that CEOs of internal standards firms have a lower sensitivity to accounting earnings than CEOs of external standards firms.  The sensitivity to firm stock returns does not differ between internal and external standards firms.  These results are robust to the inclusion of various control variables and alternative specifications of the regression model. Virtually every for-profit corporation uses annual bonuses to award its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  In light of the recent corporate scandals (Enron, WorldCom) which many attribute to the proliferation of stock options in CEO pay in the nineties, bonuses are likely to become an even more important component of CEO compensation (Leonhardt, 2002; and The Conference Board, 2002).  Tony Lee, editor-in-chief of CareerJournal.com, the Wall Street Journal’s executive career website notes that  “we’re seeing a rise in incentive plans that pay bonuses in place of stock options” (ERI/CareerJournal.com Executive Compensation Index, 2002). Murphy (2001) shows that the standards against which performance is measured play an important role in determining the amount of bonuses awarded to CEOs.  This is in addition to the performance measures used by compensation committees in awarding CEO bonuses.  These performance standards are especially important whenever bonus plan participants can influence the standard-setting process.  Murphy (2001) classifies standards as “internally determined” when standards are directly affected by managers’ actions in the current or prior year and as “externally determined” when they are less easily affected by the actions of managers.  This paper examines whether the types of performance standards used by compensation committees influence the association between CEO bonus and firm performance.  Using a sample of 754 firms for the years 1992-2005, I document that 86 percent of firms disclose that they use internal standards in their proxy statements.  The remainder use external standards in their annual bonus plans for the CEO.  This is consistent with Murphy (2001) who reports that 77 percent of his proprietary sample of 177 firms use internal standards.  Next, I examine the association between CEO bonuses and firm performance given the presence of internal and external standards in CEO annual bonus plans.  I find that CEOs of internal standards firms have a lower sensitivity to accounting earnings than CEOs of external standards firms.  The sensitivity to firm stock returns does not differ between internal and external standards firms. In order to investigate whether different types of performance standards influence the association between a CEO’s bonus and firm performance, I examine proxy statements of all firms in the 1999 release of Standard and Poor’s ExecuComp database.  Out of the S&P 1500 firms covered by ExecuComp, 937 firms disclose the type of bonus plan performance standard in use in their proxy statement (the remaining 563 firms (or 37.5 percent) do not disclose the performance standards used to award their CEO an annual bonus). 

 

A Means-End Approach to the Analysis of Visitors’ Perceived Values of Leisure Farms in Taiwan

Yueh-Yun Wang, Far East University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

The domestic agricultural industry faces the challenge of internal competition since it has joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).  In order to help farmers, the Council of Agriculture of Taiwan has started to promote agricultural tourism.  This study conducted an analysis of visitors’ perceived values toward leisure farms from the perspective of their experiences.  With a Means-End Chain (MEC) approach, the results of this study revealed that the concept of experiential marketing is applicable to the leisure industry.  Both the experiential modules, FEEL and SENSE, were considered to be most important from visitors’ viewpoints. The perspective of FEEL was formed by the results of relaxing, scenery, atmosphere of rural living, artificial Landscape.  Based on these findings, we conclude that the attributes of scenery, artificial landscape and the atmosphere of rural living are essential for leisure farms to attract visitors.  SENSE was derived from the results of feelings of appreciating natural beauty.  Furthermore, the attribute contributing to the formation of appreciating natural beauty is scenery.  As leisure farms are a newly developed industry in Taiwan, there has been little research in this field.  This study could be of practical reference to marketing leisure farms and be an example of researching related industriesThe importance of customers’ perceived value has been evidenced in the practice of marketers and with the research work of scholars for decades.  As pointed out by Woodruff (1977), customer value has become one of the major sources for the advantage of competition.  In order to satisfy customers’ needs, research projects should focus on exploring customers’ expectations of products and services provided (Albrecht 1994).  Customers have been regarded as an important asset to a company, and how to find out and keep long-term relationships with key customers has become an essential issue for the operation of business (Blattberg, 1998). With regard to customer value, many scholars have presented their arguments from different perspectives.  These viewpoints include1) Transaction-Specific Sense of saving from the transaction (Berkowitz and Walton, 1980; Urbany et al. 1988); 2) Price-Adjusted QualityA trade-off between quality and price (Monroe, 1990; Dodds, Monroe, and Grewel, 1991); 3) Utility-OrientedUtilities of Transaction & Acquisition (Zeithaml, 1988; Krishnamurthi et al. 1992); 4) ExperientialSubjective conception derived from the consuming experience (Woodruff, 1997; Butz and Goodstein, 1996).  Among these four different viewpoints, the viewpoint of “Experiential” has gradually gained the attention of leading businesses in recent years.   Pine & Gilmore (1998) argued that the economy of the world has switched from an agricultural, industrial and service-based economy to an experiential economy. The characteristics of an experiential economy include: consumers’ perceived values about their consumer experiences and a new consuming environment whereby consumers act rationally or emotionally under different consuming situations (Schmitt 1999). According to Schmitt (1999), Experiential Marketing consists of five strategic experiential modules. 

 

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) As the Micro Effect of Globalisation and Turkish Insurance Sector

Suna Oksay, Ph.D., Marmara University, and Director, Turkish Insurance Institute, Istanbul

 

ABSTRACT

From 1980s, we see the influences of globalisation in all over the world. With globalisation, countries in several parts of the world with different rules and regulations, eliminate their current rules and liberalise their markets (de-regulation) and organise them with the rules similar to other markets (re-regulation). Consequently, as financial markets in the world are regulated with similar rules, the players (buyers and sellers) of different markets can easily operate in all markets. From 2000s, the effects of globalisation began to be seen in financial and insurance markets. It is clear that they appear intensively in Europe as well. As the macro effect of globalisation, European countries have come together, established the European Union and begun to use single currency. In this context, it is also decided to have a single insurance market. On the other hand, as the micro effect of globalisation, in Europe, from 1990s, the number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) significantly increased in order to increase the competitive power. This paper will elaborate the issue of mergers and acquisitions in Europe, as the micro effect of financial globalisation and the results of the mergers and acquisitions. Financial globalisation can be defined as “financial markets in different countries having similar rules and regulations and acting as a single market.” With globalisation, these markets with different rules, eliminate their current rules and liberalise their market (de-regulation) and organise it with the rules similar to other markets (re-regulation). Consequently, as financial markets in the world are regulated with similar rules, the players (buyers and sellers) of different markets can easily operate in all markets. With the globalisation, borders between markets are also eliminated.  Globalisation, which increases integration, has both micro and macro effects. While macro effect appears as a result of the integration of the countries to increase their competitive power, micro effect appears as a result of the integration of companies by way of mergers and acquisitions.  We can shortly call the macro effect of globalisation as regionalism. Multilateral production and increased commercial and financial relations not only accelerate globalisation but also push countries in the same geographical area and with similar characteristics to have intensive regional relations in order to combine their power. In other words, globalisation and increased competition engender regional movements. Because of the increased competition, countries of the same geographical area which are weakened, unable to compete and/or willing to increase their competitive power come together and form economic zones with different levels of integration. As emphasized by Oksay, according to the theory of integration, integration has four different phases (Oksay,M.S. 2005a:45). In free trade agreement, integrated countries apply free trade policies for trading of goods and services between them, but they are free in the policies applied to third countries. Customs Union represents a higher level of integration than free trade aggrements because it necessitates a common customs tariff and common trade rules against third countries. Common Market means not only free movement of goods and services but also free movement of factors of production, capital, labor and technology between member countries. On the other hand, Economic Union necessitates the integration of all economic policies of member countries, which means not only free movements of goods, services and factors but also a full consistency of financial and fiscal policies.  

 

Strategic (Big Picture) Technology

Dr. D. Keith Denton, Missouri State University

 

ABSTRACT

The problem for an organization or even a group is that this individual thinking and behavior are frequently at odds with other well-meaning and purposeful behavior.  When we do have a moment to lean back and ponder, there is no system to help us understand where we are headed, where we are at, or how we are doing. Creating an effective work system entails linking strategy to operation objectives.  A good system of performance measurement and feedback should facilitate a broader understanding of how the pieces fit together.  This performance measurement and feedback system should address three critical concerns.  There is help today and it is coming from a most unlikely source. Intranet technology can help groups improve their teamwork and performance by cutting through the details to reveal the connections and relationships at work. New use of intranets can be used to track and display the relationships between key outcomes and processes that lead to those outcomes.  The intranet and supporting software has the capability to integrate outcome issues, like profitability or service concerns, with those processes that lead to those outcomes. Intranets can be used to integrate disconnected metrics to create a more realistic picture of what is really going on within the organization. Key objective measures of performance, like financial performance, could be compared to important subjective concerns, such as the degree of teamwork or perceived group effort. The everyday work world is often filled with endless details and low-level decision making.  All of this, of course, is usually out of the sight and minds of senior-level executives.  The work world, for many, is a maze of disjointed efforts.  The problem for an organization or even a group is that this individual thinking and behavior are  frequently at odds with other well-meaning and purposeful behavior.  As group members, we try to do a good job and digest as much information as possible, but we often receive mixed signals.  Senior executives always seem to be making references to vague platitudes like customer service, quality, or teamwork.  There are procedures to adhere to and rules to follow, but many of us are left with a sense of vagueness.  Some people may even like it this way because it lets them interpret things to suit their own needs. One point most of us can agree upon is that work contains a great deal of distorted and detached information.  Everyone is moving, but often not at the same speed, nor in the same direction.  One minute we are supposed to be controlling overhead, and the next we are concentrating on customer service.  Ask yourself, How many employees, departments, or groups in my company specifically understand the implications of their mission or true purpose for what they are doing?  If you believe you know the implications of your group’s mission or purpose, how many others in your group would agree with those assumptions? We are not talking about being able to recite a mission statement. 

 

Fostering and Funding Entrepreneurship (Innovation and Risk-Taking) in the Biotechnology Industry

Dr. Sumaria Mohan-Neill, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL

Michael Scholle, formerly, Argonne National Laboratory, IL and currently, Ammunix Corporation, CA

 

ABSTRACT

Entrepreneurship, through innovation and risk-taking, has driven the recent phenomenal growth in the biotechnology industry.  However, due to the very sophisticated technologies and processes required to accomplish innovations in biotechnology, it is a very capital-intensive industry. Sources of both human and financial capital are critical components for the survival and  the eventual success of biotech companies. This paper explores the sources of funding in the biotechnology industry.  It argues that biotechnology companies are more entrepreneurial, productive and innovative than larger pharmaceutical companies, and it predicts that mergers and acquisitions (M&A activity) will continue to accelerate, as larger and less innovative firms use more entrepreneurial firms to supplement their technology and product pipelines.  However, the challenge is how to maintain innovation and foster the entrepreneurial spirit of a smaller biotech company after it has been digested by a larger entity. There are certain types of industries in which entrepreneurship and innovation do not require significant investment of financial and human capital; biotechnology is not one of those industries. The knowledge base and skill-set required to innovate require a very sophisticated understanding of science and technology.  Furthermore, in addition to the investment in human capital, financial capital is required to provide the resources which facilitate the research and development activity by scientists.  Ultimately, both financial and human capital is required to compete in this very sophisticated industry and marketplace. They form the foundation which helps to facilitate the entrepreneurial activities such as risk-taking and radical innovations, which are necessary conditions for success in this industry.  They do not guarantee success, but success is highly unlikely without them.  This paper explores the sources of funding used by biotech companies in their search for financial capital, so that they can fund their scientific innovations and business entrepreneurial activities, in the race to compete in a very technological and sophisticated industry. The importance of biotechnology in the great strides in medical care and the health of the population cannot be overstated. It has been an area of phenomenal achievement and potential for the future. Generally, publicly held companies undergo more rigorous scrutiny by investors, and more scrutiny and regulation by governments than privately held companies.  So, the expectation is that on average, companies that go public have stronger financial positions and potential than private companies in the same industry.  Therefore, it is reasonable to use the percent of public companies in a given industry as a proxy index to measure the relative financial strength (in terms of ability to get funding) across countries or economies.  In the U.S., approximately twenty-three percent of biotech firms are public, which gives them access to public capital markets as an important source of funding (Figure 2).  Asia-Pacific ranks second, where approximately nineteen percent of their biotech companies are public; Canada is third with about seventeen percent, and Europe is the lowest with only about five percent of the companies being public.  If one utilizes the percent of public companies as a proxy index to measure the relative financial strength of companies in an industry, across various economies, it is obvious that the U.S. is strongest, and Europe is the weakest of the four major global economic regions, with respect to the biotechnology industry (Figure 2).

 

The Antecedents and Outcomes of Union Commitment in Turkey

Dr. Tunc Demirbilek, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey

Dr. Ozlem Cakýr, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

The concept of union commitment is becoming increasingly important because of the decreasing number of union members in recent years. This paper presents findings of a study which examines the antecedents and consequences of union commitment on Turkish workers.  The research is carried out by the members of a union established on oil and chemical plants located in the Aegean Region of Turkey. 461 respondents from 8 private sector firms are used as samples. Hypothesis about union commitment and normative approach, instrumental approach, attitudes toward industrial relations, attitudes toward unionism, socio-psychological support are confirmed. The findings also support the hypothesis regarding the relationship between union satisfaction, union participation and union commitment.  Since 1980s, behavioral researches have focused on the attitudes of both current and potential union members. These researches have examined members’ attitudes in a wide range. The attitudes in question are depicted respectively as: general attitudes toward unions, union instrumentality perceptions (i.e. members’ degree of belief in unionism about succeeding in considerable subjects – such as salary, job safety), satisfaction about union performance and union-member relations, members’ feelings about their initial experiences in union (member socialization), comments about making use of grievances procedures and its effectiveness, and opinions about leadership skills of union stewards and union officials. Union-based behavioral researches arranged different attitudes and opinions about unions under the title: “union commitment”. In this study, the concept of union commitment its dimensions, sorts, private and general attitudes towards unions, participation in the union and union satisfaction are examined respectively. Finally, the findings of a research led in an organized union from the oil and chemical industry examining the union members’ commitment and its affecting variables is also presented. Despite being interested in commitment in order to realize the properties of union psychology since 1950s, the matter was consolidated by Gordon et al.’s reshaping the union commitment definition upon organizational commitment in 1980. The topics as allegiance and loyalty to the union had been basically examined in 1950s.  Gordon et al. (1980), took the first step towards conceptualizing the union commitment, and determining the characteristics of the union commitment, using organizational commitment researches. The thought underlying Gordon et al.’s conceptual approach explains the commitment, as an individual’s committing to an organization. The four probable degrees of the union commitment can be divided into two separate structures. One is loyalty to the union and their belief in loyalty which is a matter of “attitude”, the other is worker’s responsible behaviors towards the union and their willingness to work for the union which is defined mostly “behavioral” (Paquet and Bergeron, 1996: 4).

 

Intellectual Capital and the Perceived Relevance of the Balance Sheet as a Value Measure for Corporations

Dr. Shaniz Khan, Al Hosn University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

 

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates the impact of Intellectual Capital and its components on the perceived relevance of the balance sheet as an indicator of corporate value. It represents an attempt to integrate previously fragmented literature on Intellectual Capital to a single framework while providing an empirical examination on the effects of Intellectual Capital components. Results from the study have demonstrated that the balance sheet was indeed perceived to be irrelevant as an indicator of corporate value and was significantly associated with the level of investment in Intellectual Capital. This association was largely contributed by the Human Capital component. Thus, organizations that fail to disclose Intellectual Capital will find their balance sheets no longer perceived relevant as an indicator of their corporate value. Further, in disclosing Intellectual Capital in the balance sheet, more attention needs to be given to the Human Capital component. Assets are probable future economic benefits obtained or controlled by a particular entity as a result of past transactions or events (Statements of Financial Accounting Standards 3, 1980). These future economic benefits give every asset a value (Bernstein, 1993). Therefore, assets owned or controlled by corporations collectively determine the entire value of organizations (Edvinsson & Malone, 1997).  Since the balance sheet is a financial statement that captures organizational assets, it becomes an important tool used by companies to measure and communicate their value (Edvinsson & Malone, 1997; Hopwood, 1976; Cheney, 1995; Jones, 1995). In the light of this, many corporations work hard to maintain a good balance sheet as it influences their corporation’s perceived value (Wipperfurth, 2002; Black & White, 2003). Besides this, corporations also monitor changes in their balance sheet closely as any change in value will influence the decisions of their various stakeholders (Bernstein, 1993; Norris, 2001; Basu, 2003; Shepherd, 2003). In today's 'Information Age', knowledge has become the pre-eminent economic resource as it forms the basis of competitive advantage (Lev et al, 2000; Edvinsson et al., 1998). It is fast replacing traditional factors of production like capital and land (Khaw and Leong, 2001) as the industries of today are no longer competing on the basis of natural resources but rather on the basis of brainpower or knowledge (Drucker, 1993). Thus, intangible assets like knowledge and innovation are more important for business success than tangibles like mass, size or physical assets (Rastogi, 2000).  Therefore, knowledge may well be the most meaningful resource of today (Drucker, 1993). This knowledge embedded in individuals and organizations is known as Intellectual Capital (Taylor, 2001 and Koenig, 2000) and is a key strategic factor in gaining organizational competencies (Petty and Guthrie, 2000). This is obvious as knowledge drives ideas and innovations, which have increasing value (Stark 2001, and Karlgaard, 1993). When markets shift, technologies proliferate, competitors multiply, and products become obsolete quickly; successful companies consistently create new knowledge, disseminate it widely within the organization, embody it rapidly in new products and services, and innovate continuously (Rastogi, 2000). Therefore, it is not surprising to find that these knowledge embedded resources or Intellectual Capital (IC) are now any organization's most valuable asset. (Kargaard, 1993).  However, IC does not appear as a positive value in the traditional balance sheet of companies (Taylor, 2001 and Koening, 2000).

 

The Evolution of Sea Navigation between the Two Sides of the Taiwan Strait

Ya-Fu Chang, Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan, ROC

Dr. Chuen-Yih Chen, Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan, ROC

 

ABSTRACT

Direct navigation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait has been disrupted since 1949 as a result of political confrontation between Taiwan and Mainland China. However, with the increasing civil exchanges and trade activities and the rapid growth of foreign trade volumes at the harbors of Mainland China in recent years, the policies and approaches regarding direct navigation by the governments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have given rise to concern by international shipping companies, whose vital business interests are closely connected with East Asian shipping lines. This paper analyzes the evolution of policies regarding direct navigation and shipping modes adopted by governments on both sides, particularly the content of and differences in restrictions on containership shipping lines. Recommendations for improvement of these policies are also provided. Since 1949, as a result of civil war in China, the governments on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have prohibited cross-strait maritime exchanges and trade, despite increasing demands for an end to restrictions on such activities. Accordingly, seaborne cargo had to be unloaded and transshipped from third places, such as Hong Kong. Taiwan began to allow residents to visit relatives on the Chinese mainland in 1987, and Hong Kong was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Anticipating the loss of Hong Kong’s role as a third place apart from the two sides, Taiwan introduced an Offshore Shipping Center strategy in order to maintain its “no contact, no negotiations” policy toward Mainland China. With the increase of indirect trade and shifts in the international division of labor, however, both sides faced demands for direct navigation from the international community and private enterprises to reduce the cost and time incurred by transshipment of cargo and personnel through the third places. Since that time, the problems and policies involving direct navigation between two sides have received more attention. The differences in policies regarding direct navigation between Taiwan and Mainland China, as opposed to regulations governing other international shipping lines, stem mostly from different political definitions adopted by the governments on the two sides. Mainland China considers the line a “domestic” one, and claims that cabotage of cargo delivery and the cargo transported between two sides should not be open to foreign shipping companies. Taiwan considers the line a “special” case whereby shipping companies of both sides as well as those registered in foreign countries may obtain a permit to transport cargo from Mainland China to third places through an “Offshore Shipping Center” operated by harbor authorities in Taiwan (Mainland Affairs Council, 2003). Owing to differences in shipping policies between the two sides from 1949 to 2004, including bans on direct navigation, the necessity of transshipment through third places, and the Offshore Shipping Center strategy that adopted disparate restrictions based on nation of registration, shipping companies had to adopt special measures to meet the requirements of these policies and include lines between the two sides into their network of oceanic lines in order to compete effectively in the rapidly growing sea transportation markets. This paper explores measures that the shipping companies could adopt in light of the restrictions imposed on shipping activities by the governments of Taiwan and Mainland China. In addition, recommendations for the conduct of future direct navigation between the two sides are provided for the reference of both governments. 

 

Mergers and Operational Efficiency in Taiwan’s Audit Firms

Tsung-Yi Tsai, Shin Chien University Kaohsiung Campus, Taiwan

Dr. Chung-Cheng Yang, National Yunlin University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

This paper uses Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to assess the cost efficiency, the technical efficiency, and the allocative efficiency of audit firms, and applies Tobit censored regression model to examine the relationship between operational efficiency and audit firms’ mergers. Estimation of the model uses a balanced panel data for 120 audit firms for the period 1997-2001 in Taiwan. The empirical results indicate that the effects of mergers on scale economies effects are larger than cost effects, justifying recent merger activities in the public accounting industry. In the knowledge-economic age, audit firms’ professional services play a key role in the capital market. Different types of fraud within the audit profession have increased, and many countries have tightened legal restrictions on audit firms, including prohibiting them from providing some non-audit services. These difficulties have been compounded by market competition and other pressures related to the development of audit firms, so the question of how audit firms can survive in this changing environment is worth analyzing.  For a long period of time, merger has been an important strategy adopted by audit firms to facilitate growth. At the end of the 1980s, the Big-8 audit firms began to merge, and the Enron scandal in 2002 led to the dissolution of Arthur Anderson. These events resulted in the Big-8 becoming today’s Big-4 audit firms. In the past, the research on mergers often concentrated on the auditor concentration, market power, market share, audit quality, profit margin and audit fees (Lee, 2005; Minyard and Tabor, 1991; Owen, 2003; Payne and Stocks, 1998; Tonge and Wootton, 1991; Wootton et al., 1990, 1994). However, merger is not a solution to all problems. The mergers of audit firms could solve some problems for a firm while bringing about others, such as the overlapping of service that results in layoffs, clashes between different corporate cultures and other conflicts arising from human relationship, bringing into doubt whether consolidation synthesis really can improve audit firms’ operational efficiency. This paper examines if the benefits produced from mergers are greater than the harm that can result from the audit firms’ operational cost.  In this paper, operational efficiency is measured by the productivity and efficiency in the process of input to output. The higher the ratio of input to output, the greater the productivity and efficiency will be. Overall, research on the productivity of audit firms show that efficiency and productivity are gradually improved and, thus, marginal profits are increased. Moreover, there also exist cost inefficiency, technical inefficiency, and allocative inefficiency in audit firms, and positive scale economies are found in large audit firms; therefore, mergers could enhance technical efficiency and scale economies (Banker et al., 1999; Banker et al., 2003; Banker et al., 2005; Cheng et al., 2000; Dopuch et al., 2003; Samujh and McDonald, 1999). Thus, although prior studies generally acknowledge the benefits of scale economies and the positive influence of operational efficiency, not much research focus has been devoted to other consequences of mergers. The aforementioned research studies on mergers have not clearly explained whether scale economies outweigh other negative effects that might arise from the cost of internal organization. By adopting DEA and Tobit censored regression analyses, this paper investigates the benefits and costs of mergers to determine whether the effects of mergers to benefit scale economies are larger than the costs of mergers.

 

Users’ Perception of Entities’ Performance: Risks Arising from Implementing the Revised Version of IAS 1

Dr. Alessandro Mechelli, University of Tuscia, Viterbo

 

ABSTRACT

This paper deals with the issue of performance reporting by entities, an old issue that has interested academics and users for a long time.  A recent standard (the revised version of IAS 1) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board tries to improve this reporting, attempting to bring IAS/IFRS standards into line with Statement of Financial Accounting Standard 130, Comprehensive Income. This standard, being only a segment – called segment A – of the whole project, does not deal with defining concepts on the basis of every kind of result, limiting itself to ordering that all non-owner changes in equity recognized in accordance with current standards be presented in one or two statements. We will show that these innovations put financial reports on the right track, but do not help users to understand the clear meaning of different kinds of results recognized in financial statements. The revised version of IAS 1 could have the result of affecting the users’ perception of entities’ performance, without defining the concept of performance that entities should show – a concept that, perhaps, will be explained in segment B.  This approach could create a clouded situation in the interpretation of an entity’s performance and, consequently, in using the entity’s performance to make economic decisions. The measure of an entity’s performance is an old issue that has interested academics and users for a long time. In the past 30 years, the debate about the best way to report an entity’s performance has been enriched by various proposals that stem from the same initial point, the failure of net income recognized in financial statements to show an entity’s performance (Bacidore, Boquist, Milbourn and Thakor, 1997; Guatri, 1998; Madden, 1999; Ottosson and Weissenrieder, 1996; Rappaport, 1998; Stewart III, 1991; Weissenrieder, 1997). This paper enters this debate analyzing the changes contained in the revised version of IAS 1 – Presentation of Financial Statement (hereinafter IAS 1), published on 6 September 2007 by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). IAS 1 is the result of a project started in September 2001 when the Board added the performance reporting project to its agenda.  The declared objective of the project was to enhance the usefulness of information reported in the income statement. In April 2004 the IASB and FASB decided to continue this project together as a joint project. The IASB also decided that the project did not only deal with performance measurement, but would constitute a complete set of financial statements. The IASB is undertaking this project in two segments and IAS 1 is the result of the first segment, which proposes «… to bring IAS 1 largely into line with the US-Statement of Financial Accounting Standards N° 130 Reporting Comprehensive Income» (Exposure Draft, IN par. 4). Even though IASB will complete the performance project with the second segment, it is evident, in our opinion, that changes required by IAS 1 – that is, the first segment – will affect the perception of entities’ performance by users. 

 

Health Insurance: Do You Know What’s in Your Policy?

Marsha R. Lawrence, Albany State University, Albany, GA 

 

ABSTRACT

According to the U.S. General Accounting Office (as cited in Thomasson, 2003), 95 percent of working Americans, under age 65, receive health insurance through their employers.  Health insurance through employment is the number one method of paying for healthcare related expenses, but do people really understand health insurance and how it works? According to Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) President Dallas Salisbury, “ . . . many Americans are not able to identify their health care plan, making a difficult issue more complicated by this lack of knowledge” (Latest survey, 1999). This is a quantitative study that seeks to examine if patients understand health insurance and its processes including why some services are paid and some services are not.  The findings of this study are contradictory to the EBRI statement, in that the participants were able to identify their health care plan.  Other significant findings include the fact that participants were satisfied with their health plan but they were not sure what is in their plan. Lastly, they read their Explanation of Benefits (EOB) but were not sure why services are often denied. According to the U.S. General Accounting Office (as cited in Thomasson, 2003), 95 percent of working Americans, under age 65, receive health insurance through their employers.  Health insurance through employment is the number one method of paying for healthcare related expenses, but do people really understand health insurance and how it works? According to Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) President Dallas Salisbury, “ . . many Americans are not able to identify their health care plan, making a difficult issue more complicated by this lack of knowledge” (Latest survey, 1999).  It is crucial that the public not only know what type of policy they have, but the terms in their policy. According to a 1999 Health Confidence Survey conducted by the EBRI, almost two-thirds of the 87 percent of workers who are covered by managed care think they have never been in a managed care plan (Ginter, Swayne, Duncan, 2002).  This level of uncertainty serves as the foundation for this study.  The purpose is to increase awareness of health insurance among laypersons who do not understand his/her polices.  The results from the survey will serve to educate the patient on interpreting their health insurance policy.  Many patients have insurance and do not know what is included in their plan and therefore do not use their plan to the fullest extent.  The purpose of this study is to increase knowledge of health insurance terminology in hopes that patients will understand their health insurance policy and will be able to communicate better with their insurance company’s representatives and health care providers and staff.  Do lay persons know enough about health care policy terminology to understand and utilize their policy effectively?  According to Shortell and Kaluzny (2000), external environment is defined as “all of the political, economic, social and regulatory forces that exert influence on the organization” (p. 14). 

 

The Role of Trust in Joint Venture Control: A Theoretical Framework

Samson Ekanayke, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

This paper develops a theoretical framework and a number of propositions for systematically studying the role of trust in the control and performance of Joint Ventures, a prominent form of inter-firm alliance.  The proposed framework is more complete than the frameworks available in the extant literature because it incorporates both transaction related risks and the partner related risks which are likely to impact on the reliance on particular control patterns. Partner-related risks in joint ventures are represented by the level of inter-partner trust, while transaction-related risks are represented by the Transaction Cost Economics (TCE) variables of asset specificity, task complexity, performance measurability, and environmental uncertainty.  The framework also links one of the established management control typologies (i.e., behaviour, outcome, and social) to two of the alliance control patterns (bureaucratic-based pattern, and trust-based pattern) identified in the literature on alliance control. Inter-firm alliances, such as joint ventures, are a form based on mutually dependent cooperative relationships between two or more firms.  However, alliances often combine elements of cooperation and competition (Parkhe, 1993; Child, 1998). As Child (1998, p. 242) observes “Mutual reliance and competition or conflict between partners can set up a game theoretic dynamic that adds to the risk and precariousness of the cooperation”.  Cooperation and trust as well as competition and distrust exist within alliances (Child, 1998).  While many studies acknowledge inter-partner trust as an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration in designing controls for achieving shared performance objectives in alliances, the theory and empirical evidence on the role of trust in controlling alliances is still limited and largely inconsistent. Researchers often comment about the considerable ambiguity that exists in the literature on the role of trust in controlling inter-firm alliances (e.g., Zaheer, McEvily & Perrone, 1998; McEvily, Perrone & Zaheer, 2003; Fryxell et al, 2002; Lui & Ngo, 2004).  A joint venture (JV) is a separate entity formed by two or more partner firms to do business together. Within the broad category of inter-firm alliances, joint ventures occupy a prominent place because they are a popular form of cooperative agreement between equity partners (Groot & Merchant, 2000). Firms team up with other firms by forming JVs in order to gain competitive advantage, diversify risk, and to gain access to markets and technologies (Ghoshal, 1987; Vryza, 1997). Scholars consider JVs as a form of strategic alliance (e.g., Das & Teng, Barney & Hansen, 1994; Das & Teng, 2001a, Langfield-Smith & Smith, 2004).  Joint ventures can be identified as domestic or international. In domestic JV’s all partners are located in one country. In international joint ventures (IJV) at least one of the parent firms is headquartered outside the joint venture’s country of operation (Geringer, 1988; Geringer & Herbert, 1989). IJVs offer opportunities for firms to cope with increasing uncertainty in global markets (Mjoen and Tallman, 1997). From a controlling view point, what makes a joint venture distinct from other forms of relationships is the shared ownership and control.

 

How can Village Banks Maximise their Strategic Role of Promoting and Developing Small Businesses: An Overview of Developing Nations

Kisembo .K. Deogratius, Breyer State University, London Centre, UK

 

ABSTRACT

Village banking which is also referred to as private or local or private banking by many authors has been a fast-growing business in many more developed countries, and now it is moving into less-developed countries such as Sub-Saharan Africa as well. It is with no doubt that village banks are one of the major sources of funding for many Small Businesses in many Developing countries. The winds of competition are blowing through the world's banking market, particularly at the top end. Local banks in many areas have seen their wealthiest clients take their funds to international private banks. Now some are responding by developing their own services. "The opportunities for domestic Village banks appear to be very great indeed," says David Gibson-Moore, executive manager of private banking and share trading at the Al-Rajhi banking and Investment Company of Riyadh.  Gibson-Moore echoes the sentiments of many individuals throughout the world that see the growth and development of village banking – in many different countries.  The concept of village banking will be discussed more fully throughout the paper.  It is important to define it and analyze it, because many people are unfamiliar with the terms and ideas used in the village banking tradition, and they may become confused if these terms are not explained more fully to them.  Village banking will also be discussed in the literature review, as will the banking concept in general, small businesses, and developing countries, as it is important to see how all of these issues come together. The study will highlight examples from the Islamic banking industry, because it is involved with many village banking ideals and these are spreading into both developed and developing countries.  The paper will also bring out issues of personnel management, influence of diversity and conflict that are important for the promotion and development of Small Businesses. Finally the discussion will also focus on the impact of other sources of funding like FDIs in the development of small businesses in developing nations. Village banking is very similar to Islamic banking, which is a banking activity that is based on Syariah (Islamic law) principles. It does not allow the paying and receiving of interest and promotes profit sharing in the conduct of banking business.  Islamic banking has the same purpose as conventional banking except that it operates in accordance with the rules of Syariah, known as conventional banking except that it operates in accordance with the rules of Syrian, known as Fiqh al-Muamalat (Islamic rules on transactions).  The basic principle of Islamic banking is the sharing of profit and loss and the prohibition of riba' (interest).  Amongst the common Islamic concepts used in Islamic banking are profit sharing (Mudharabah), safekeeping (Wadiah), joint venture (Musyarakah), cost plus (Murabahah), and leasing (Ijarah).  It is true that there are many studies and articles that have topics regarding village banking.  However, it is not enough, largely because the majority of the research focuses only on a specific bank and that does not include the issue as to what it would look like in developing countries in the near future. Information that is available is very limited. One area of the world where village banking is already somewhat popular is in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is because many traditional banks are very inadequate in responding to problems of small businesses and the people in that region are often more comfortable with the village banking system.  This does not mean that all of the individuals that live there are pleased with this arrangement, however, or that no larger banks exist. 

 

Networked Organization and the Owner/Supplier Relationship

Dr. Deborah Hardy Bednar, Chevron, Houston, Texas

Dr. Lynn Godkin, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas

 

ABSTRACT

This case study details the criteria for establishing a Networked Company.  The criteria is then focused on the development and management of a Networked Company involving an environmental remediation project.  The participants include an international manufacturer, an environmental engineering firm and a privately held construction company.  Conclusions related to trust relationships in the face of project complexity are reported. The notion that individuals can come together in virtual organizations and networked organizations is being recognized in the literature. (Hedberg & Holmqvist, 2003, p. 735)  Networked companies are typically associated with advanced information technology (Grenier & Metes, 1995) in partnerships (Davidow & Malone, 1992) and with temporary groupings. (Goldman, Nagel, & Preiss, 1995)  However, Hedberg uses the term “imaginary organization” to discount the influence of information technology.  (Hedberg & Holmqvist, 2003)  He uses “virtual organization” to refer to those organizations which are temporary and “imaginary organization” to those with similar characteristics, but of longer duration.  (Hedberg, 2002, p. 11)  Otherwise, networked companies coordinate their activities through development of joint mission and vision statements. (Hedberg & Holmqvist, 2003)  “Although they typically consist of a number of semi-independent legal units, they behave as one organization, and they exist and are manifested in the imagination of their leadership.” (p. 734)  Businesses are seeking competitive advantage by working closely with suppliers (Galbraith,1998) relying on virtual and networked organizations to fulfill that purpose (Duarte & Snyder, 2001).  Many have explored the challenges of forming self-directed work teams across geographic boundaries (e.g., Duarte & Synder, 2001; Galbraith, 1998; Galbraith, 2000; Galbraith, Lawler & Associates, 1993).  Organization design experts, including Drucker, Miles, Naisbitt and Savage, anticipate that networked companies will be the wave of the future (Cohen, 1993). It is the purpose of this paper to present a case study illustrating how one networked company was formed consisting of a major, international manufacturer and two substantial, but smaller firms.  The Networked Organization is basically an arm’s length, contracted appearing between two extremes.  At one point is the Shared Responsibility or Collaborative Team relationship in which long-term plans are shared between partners.   Sourcing agreements, alliances (Galbraith, 1998), and self-directed work teams (Senge, 1990) are all labels given by various industries for this organizational form.  At the other extreme, the Operator or Joint Venture relationship includes the exchange of equity.  Here the responsibility for success or failure falls upon all partners in proportion to their investment in the enterprise.  Equity exchanges, the most common organizational form in the oil industry (Lipnack & Stamps, 2000), are generally harder to dissolve than alliances and usually signal a long-term commitment. (Galbraith, 1998)  Beyond the Operator or Joint Venture is the Wholly Owned Subsidiary relationship representing 100% equity control.  The Networked Organization falls in the center of this continuum.  The advantage of using the networked organization approach is access to the size, competencies, and resources of each network partner to better meet customer needs. 

 

Personal Traits and Leadership Styles of Taiwan’s Higher Educational Institutions in Innovative Operations

Dr. Jui-Kuei Chen, Tamkang University, Taiwan

I-Shuo Chen, Graduate Student, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

With increasing numbers of higher educational institutions in Taiwan, how to become more efficient through innovative operation has become a critical issue. This paper studies the “Big-5” personal traits, leadership styles, and their relationship to innovative operation. Conducted with a sample of universities in Taiwan, the study analyzes 194 professors and lecturers from three universities by means of a questionnaire. The dimensions are divided into three parts: personal traits, leadership styles, and innovative operations. The study utilizes factor analysis, variable analysis, and correlation analysis. The two main findings are, first, that traits of extraversion and agreeableness have a positive relationship to higher perception of innovative operation in the university. Second, transformational leadership should combine with transactional leadership without management-by-exception passive (active participant style) for more efficient innovative operation. A discussion of the key research findings and some suggested directions for future research are provided. Because of Taiwan’s joining the WTO and an increasing number of universities, innovative operations have become a crucial issue for survival in a competitive higher-education market. Extant research has indicated that organizational operations involve primarily top managers and their subordinates (Beng & Robert, 2004), although some studies have shown that institutions of higher education often fail to implement innovative operation (Glower & Hagon, 1998; Cuban, 1999) because of a lack of participation by teachers (McLaughlin, cited in Rudduck, 1991). Because of this finding, understanding the personal traits of teachers and managers’ leadership styles will be crucial for universities which seek innovative operation. The literature has defined leadership styles in numerous ways but, currently, leadership style is described as the process that managers use to influence subordinates to work toward organizational goals. Wu (2006) indicated that the top manager is the helmsperson of the organization, but some top managers do not understand how to lead their teams to efficient and innovative operation (Shally & Gilson, 2004). Therefore, understanding the best leadership style for innovation will help top managers to lead the organization to innovative operation more easily and more successfully. Personal traits refer to characteristics, enduring patterns of thought, emotions, and behaviors that are stable over time and across different situations (Funder, 2001). Thus, understanding subordinates’ traits will be an important factor in gaining the participation in innovation from teachers that is necessary in universities in Taiwan today. The literature has found and summarized many kinds of leadership styles (e.g., Davis, 2003; Spears & Lawrence, 2003; House et al., 2004; Hirtz, Murray, & Riordan, 2007). Transformational leadership is the most frequently researched (Judge & Bono, 2001) for increasing motivation (Charbonneau et al., 2001) and operational performance (Barling et al., 2002). Transformational leadership is marked by sympathy and creativity (Popper, Mayseless & Castelnovo, 2000) and can be divided into four dimensions: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation. Transformational leaders aim to respect subordinates’ abilities and need for rewards (Scott, 2003) and emphasize improving subordinates’ view of the value of their work in order to motivate them to accomplish higher performance (Sivanathan & Fekken, 2002; Miia, Nicole, Karlos, Jaakko, & Ali, 2006; Bass & Riggio, 2006). However, the leadership in universities in Taiwan is still unclear.  Some studies on educational institutions have shown that leadership styles have significant relationship to operational performance (Nidiffer, 2001; Davis, 2003).

 

Constructing Financial Ratios to Evaluate Technical Corporations

Chun-Huang Liao, National Chiao Tung University of Management Science, Hsinchu  & Lecturer, Chungchou Institute of Technology, Yuanlin Changhwa, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

This article constructs cross-sectional data from financial ratios to evaluate technical corporations in Taiwan. Via establishment of financial constructs, 560 listed companies were segmented into four groups, each with its own financial situation. Financial ratios—including pre-tax EPS, net worth per share, cash flow per share, after-tax ROE, revenue per share, quick ratio, current ratio, and net worth ratio—are found to be significantly related to the factor of corporate market value. Reducing eight variables to two financial constructs—Operating Efficiency (OE) and financial Physique Structure (PS)—provides an overall financial picture and differences among listed companies. The findings should prove valuable in portfolio management and corporate financial decisions. Revealing the financial quality of tech corporations, with financial constructs as a filter, can help to reduce risk and raise the performance of investment capital. Although the scientific and technological industry in Taiwan and many advanced countries is flourishing, not all tech corporations are at the same stage of development: Some are at the growth stage of the industry, some are in the plateau period, some are in the decline phase, and a few face bankruptcy. Filtering financial constructs helps to divide firms into different groups in order to benefit investors and layers of management. This paper presents four types of financial situations. First, firms with relative advantages in both Operating Efficiency (OE) and Physique Structure (PS) deserve better ratings, and investments in these firms should be maintained because their credit risk is relatively low. Second, firms with relative advantage in OE and relative disadvantage in PS can expect their future financial situations to improve, and investments in these firms should also be maintained for potential future capital gains. The third type is firms with relative disadvantages in OE and relative advantages in PS. These firms’ future financial situation can be expected to worsen in the future, and the risk of operations to increase. Management of these firms should be working hard to improve the situation, and investments in these firms should be maintained with caution. The fourth type is firms with relative disadvantages in both OE and PS, which shows that the enterprise's financial situation is bad, the investors' risk is increasing, and the company’s credit risk is relatively high. Management of these firms should be working extremely hard to improve the financial conditions of their companies, and investors should beware. Many scholars have studied the related topics of financial ratios, stock price and returns. For example, Nissim and Penman (2003) presented a financial statement analysis that distinguished leverage that arises from financing activities from leverage that arises from operations. Their financial statement analysis explained cross-sectional differences in current and future rates of return as well as in price-to-book ratios. They concluded that balance sheet line items for operating liabilities are priced differently than are financing liabilities. Fama and French (1992) researched and documented a significant relationship between firm size, book-to-market ratios, and security returns for non-financial firms, while Barber and Lyon (1997) documented that the relationships between firm size, book-to-market ratios, and security returns are similar for financial and non-financial firms.  Yiu-Wah Ho et al. (2000) studied the Hong Kong stock market and found that beta, book leverage, earnings-price ratio and dividend yield are not considered in pricing, whereas significant book-to-market equity, market leverage (absorbed by book-to-market equity), size, and share price effects are.

 

Skill Requirements for Software Developers:  Comparisons between U. S. and Taiwan

Jui-Hung Ven, China Institute of Technology, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Chien-Pen Chuang, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

The job advertisements for software developers were collected from web recruiting services in the U. S. and Taiwan. Skills requirements were gathered via a semi-supervised program based on the information competency ontology created by the authors. All skills were classified into six categories: operating system skills, programming language skills, markup language skills, database skills, distributed technology skills, and other skills. The proportion of skill requirements for each individual skill and matched pairs in every skill category were calculated. The most common skills needed were reported and compared. The result shows that Windows, Java, SQL Server, and .NET were the most common needed skills in the four main categories. The average numbers of skill requirements were 9.16 and 7.69 in the U. S. and Taiwan, respectively.  A software developer should have many facets of competencies in order to complete the design, development, installation, and implementation of information systems. Competency is a set of KSA, which is the acronym for knowledge, skill, and ability. From an employment’s point of view, a software developer should know the knowledge related to software development such as programming techniques, data structures, relational database concepts, object-oriented concepts, software development life cycles, and etc. A software developer should also have technical or hard skills such as Windows, Java, VB (Visual Basic), SQL Server, and etc. Abilities or the so-called soft skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, information gathering, and etc. are needed in all workplaces. However, skills are specific to different job areas (LaDuca, 2006). Hence, of the three areas of competence--knowledge, skills, and abilities--skills are recognized as the most important for software developers (Bailey & Stefanik, 2001). In the 1970’s, a software developer with skills in one operating system and one programming language were enough to seek employment. However, the average numbers of skills requirements increased from 2.2 in 1970 to 4.3 in 1990 (Todd, McKeen & Gallupe, 1995), almost a two-fold increase in 20 years. The trend continued and became even more rapid afterwards. An updated report (Surakka, 2005) indicated that the average number increased from 3.57 in 1990 to 7.66 in 2004 or an increase of over 200% in 14 years. With these rapid changes, educators and trainers should understand very well the skills needed by various enterprises in order to keep their curriculum up-to-date. Students and job seekers must also be aware of these trends to better prepare themselves for employment. Current IT workers related to software development should also realize the changing trends in order if they want to keep their jobs (Emigh, 2001; Lethbridge, 1999; Trower, 1995). Hence, the present study collected the job advertisements posted on the human resource web pages from both the U. S. and Taiwan. The reasons for this are because the U. S. has been a long time an information technologies powerhouse and can be used as the basis for comparisons. The selected job titles include software developers and all types of programmers. We then wrote an information-gathering program which uses a semi-supervised method to gather the needed skills based on the information competency ontology created previously by the present authors (Ven & Chuang, 2007).

 

Accounting for Impairment Test of Investments in Subsidiaries and Associates

Mauro Romano, Ph.D., University of Foggia, Italy

 

ABSTRACT

This study examines the two principal items that need to be treated in the impairment accounting of investments in subsidiaries and associates: goodwill and minority interests. The specific attempt of this study is to concentrate the attention on the determination of recoverable amount, defined as the higher of fair value less costs to sell of the asset and its value in use. The impairment test of investments in subsidiaries and associates may be approaching in different way in separate and consolidated statements. In the separate statement, the carrying amount of an investment in subsidiaries or in associates is compared with recoverable amount to determine impairment loss; in the consolidated statement, the impairment test regards identifiable assets and liabilities of the subsidiary or associate and, then, as residual value, the “goodwill on consolidation” resulting from the consolidation techniques. The proposed amendments of IFRS 3 (June 2005) introduces the ‘full goodwill’ method in the consolidated statement, with interesting reflects on the impairment test accounting. The standard applies to an entity that makes an explicit and unreserved statement that its general purpose financial statements comply with IFRS. The standard sets out the procedures that an entity must follow when adopting IFRS for the first time. Its objective is to ensure that financial statements contain high quality information that is transparent, comparable, and can be generated at a cost that does not exceed the benefits to users. The general principle is that first-time financial statements should be prepared on the basis that the entity had always applied IFRS. This is the so-called “retrospective application.” Since it may be difficult, expensive, or even impossible to rigidly apply this general principle, the standard provides some important exceptions and exemptions to the basic measurement principles of IFRS. IASB’s International Financial Reporting Standards introduces significant innovations in the recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure of financial investments and in the impairment test approach in observance to IAS 36 “Impairment of Assets.” The version of IAS 27 “Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements,” effective for an annual period ending 31 December 2005, was revised most recently in December 2003 and amended in March 2004 by IFRS 3 “Business Combinations” and IFRS 5 “Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations.” According to this standard, consolidation is based on control, which is the power to govern the financial and operating policies of an entity so as to obtain benefits from its activities. Consolidated financial statements should include all subsidiaries of the parent, without exception. The logic of impairment tests and international accounting standards does not differ significantly with the precepts of art. 2426 of the Italian Civil Code. The substantial difference is represented by the details of indications included in IAS 36, with the aim to indicate possible methods of determining corporate values to be considered in the process of measurement and disclosure of impairment losses. There are several steps in the process of transition to IFRS.

 

The Choice of Housing Location

Hsiu-Yun Chang, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

& Lecturer, Chungchou Institute of Technology, Yuanlin Changhwa, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

This study attempts to explore the influence of house demanders on choice of housing location. The neighborhood’s effects have been investigated for a long time, and they are very important factors in the real estate market. However, more and more literature has recently focused on asymmetric information, and indirectly has found that a local home bias phenomenon exists in the choice of housing location. For example, Lerner (1995), Coval and Moskowitz (1999, 2001) and Garmaise and Moskowitz (2004) contribute to the literature by investigating the relationship between the distance and the degree of information asymmetry. Their investigation indirectly injects the conception of the local home bias phenomenon into the real estate market. This study models the spatial home bias effect and spatial neighborhood effects that arise from distinct community components and tries to explore whether the contextual interactions within the community influence the choice of housing location by the household members. Finally, the results prove that both effects influence the location choice of housing buyers. For further investigation, this study suggests that researchers can collect real estate data to test the magnitude of both these effects within each jurisdiction of a country, and thus forecast immigration phenomena. Housing purchase behavior consists of dual motives: consumption and investment (Henderson and Ioannides, 1987; Arrondel, 2001). For consumption demand, houses are durable consumption goods and yield tangible services each period. The intensity of consumption services at any point in time is hard to measure but is strongly influenced by the housing environment. For investment demand, there are many distinctive features in the housing market. First, the value of houses, unlike the value of stocks, account for a very large portion of the wealth of a household; thus, it’s difficult to trade houses very frequently. Second, it’s immovable. Therefore, whether the motivation of the housing purchase is for consumption or for investment, people will choose the house cautiously, especially regarding the location. A phenomenon is observed: If there exists a distinct socioeconomic growth rate or certain living standard levels among communities, the discrepancies in the employment opportunities and individuals’ feedback will exist among communities as per neighborhood effects. Then, an implicit power is facilitated for people in a low growth rate community moving to high growth rate community. The regional neighborhood effects, together with the forces of urban growth and decay, facilitate the spatial arbitrage that is crucial for the valuation of residential capital (Ioannides, 2002; Dietz, 2002; Manski, 1993, 2000). In reality, the housing market is full of information asymmetries. Positive neighborhood effects can raise the valuation of a property. However, in high-asymmetric information environments, the valuation of a property will be overpriced. Therefore, the response of the price and result of neighborhood effects are not in direct ratio. Lerner (1995), Coval and Moskowitz (1999, 2001) and Garmaise and Moskowitz (2004) investigated the relationship between the distance and the degree of information asymmetry.

 

Long-Run Share Prices and Operating Performance Following Share Repurchase Announcements

Dr. Chaiporn Vithessonthi, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

This study uses a new data set to assess whether our understanding of share repurchase is portable across countries with different institutional settings. This paper presents the empirical results regarding long-run stock price and operating performance following share repurchase program announcements of listed firms in Thailand between 2001 and 2005. The results show that there is some evidence of long-run abnormal stock returns following announcements of a share repurchase program, implying that the market fails to incorporate the valuation effect of share repurchase information in a short period. The findings provide no evidence of the long-run operating performance improvement following the share repurchase program announcements. It has long been documented that the initial stock price reaction to share repurchase announcements is positive (Comment and Jarrell, 1991; Dann, 1981; Peyer and Vermaelen, 2005; Lakonishok and Vermaelen, 1990; Rau and Vermaelen, 2002; Vithessonthi, 2007). However, several studies have questioned whether the market fully incorporates the valuation effect of share repurchase information in a short period. Some conclude that stock prices underreact to share repurchase announcements, and that the investors fully incorporate the effect of a share repurchase announcement in subsequent periods. The correction of such underrections may explain the long-run abnormal returns that share repurchase announcing firms experience.  Empirical research based on U.S. data provides evidence of the positive stock price reaction to the announcements of a share repurchase offer (Comment and Jarrell, 1991; Dann, 1981; Lakonishok and Vermaelen, 1990; Peyer and Vermaelen, 2005; Stephens and Weisbach, 1998; Vermaelen, 1981). Empirical studies based on non-U.S. data also find the positive stock price reaction to share repurchase announcements (e.g., Ikenberry et al., 2000; Jung, Lee and Thornton, 2005; Rau and Vermaelen, 2002; Vithessonthi, 2007; Zhang, 2002), confirming that investors of a firm that announces a share repurchase program earn, on average, abnormal stock returns around the announcement date. To the extent that investors do not fully incorporate the effect of the share repurchase announcements in a short period, the investigation of the stock price performance over a long period should reveal the true effect of the share repurchase announcements on stock prices. Recently, Zhang (2005) finds no evidence on the long-run abnormal stock returns of Hong Kong firms following actual share repurchases. However, Zhang (2005) reports that the three-year buy-and-hold abnormal returns for high-book-to-market-value firms that make actual share repurchases are positive, and that the three-year buy-and-hold abnormal returns for low-book-to-market-value firms that make actual share repurchases are negative. I examine long-run stock returns following share repurchase announcements to determine whether managers’ ability to exploit undervaluation opportunities is a market phenomenon. According to the signaling hypotheses, share repurchase program announcements may reveal favorable information about the firm’s future value and performance to investors (Dann, 1981).

 

International Dual Listing: An Analytical Framework Based on Corporate Governance Theory

Dr. Yun Chen, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Hubei University of Economics,

Wuhan, P.R.China

 

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have found corporate governance is a better explanation to understand the international dual-listing phenomenon. Based on reviewing conventional theory of international dual listing and its limitations, this paper explains international dual listing theoretically from corporate governance perspective. At the same time, it develops a basic analytical framework of relationship among international dual listing, external and internal corporate governance. The internal corporate governance mechanism includes ownership structure, shareholder base and the board of director. The external corporate governance mechanism includes legal system, disclosure requirements, monitoring from reputation intermediaries and market for corporate control. International dual listing will change external and in turn stimulate the company upgrade its internal governance mechanism. The globalization in equity market has accelerated stock trading from around world. Up to now, tremendous competition has arisen among major stock exchanges around the world to attract listings and trading volume and to stoke capital-raising activity by overseas companies in their markets. According to the report of World Federation of Stock Exchanges in 2005, the number of foreign companies with shares dual listing and trading on major exchanges outsides of their home markets reached 2300, including the companies not only from developed countries but also from emerging countries opening up their stock markets to foreign investors for the first time. In traditional view, global equity markets are segmented because of the barriers presented by the regulatory restrictions, costs and informational problems (Stulz, 1981). When companies reside in a closed equity market with high investment barriers, the high price of market risk translates into high cost of capital. This provides a strong incentive for companies to mitigate investment barriers e.g. by international dual listings. Empirical studies indicate that international dual listings result in lower cost of capital and higher market value (Karolyi, 1998). In 1997, the number of international dual listing reached as high as 4700. Since then however, the number has been decreasing at a considerable rate. In Europe, until 1980s, European exchange were the main destination of both intra-Europe and intercontinental dual listing, since then the major dual listing flows followed the route from Europe to the U.S. market (Pagano et al., 2002). The new trend of practices leads to dozens of new academic studies of international dual listing. Many recent studies suggest list shares in an equity market with fuller information disclosure and stringent investor protection laws will bond behaviors of dominant shareholders and management and lead to more effective corporate governance (Karolyi, 2006). 

 

Performance of Suppliers’ Logistics in the Toyota Production System in Taiwan

Nelson N. H. Liao, Chihlee Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

The present paper referred to the model of Dong, Carter and Dresner (2001) and sampled the supervisors of Toyota automobile suppliers in Taiwan to examine whether the supply chain integration, just-in-time (JIT) purchasing and JIT manufacturing can benefit the logistics performance of suppliers. The results indicated that supply chain integration, JIT purchasing and JIT manufacturing had direct and significant benefits to logistics performance. The implementation of just-in-time (JIT) purchasing systems can result in reduced inventory costs, shorter lead times, and improved productivity for buying organizations (Shingo, 1981; Schonberger, 1982; Hall, 1983; Ansari and Modarress, 1987; Tracey, Tan, Vonderembse, and Bardi, 1995). A buyer’s inventory costs may be reduced because costs are transferred to suppliers after implementation of JIT (Romero, 1991; Fandel and Reese, 1991; Zipkin, 1991), so suppliers’ inventory costs are less likely to decrease (Dong, 1998). Dong, Carter and Dresner (2001) developed and tested a practical model to determine whether the use of supply chain integration, JIT purchasing and JIT manufacturing could reduce logistics costs for both suppliers and buyers. The result of their test for suppliers is shown in Figure 1; although the extent of supply chain integration and JIT purchasing have no direct benefits to logistics costs, these two dimensions have indirect benefits to logistics costs through JIT manufacturing. This paper refers to the theoretical model of Dong et al. (2001) and samples the supervisors of Toyota production system suppliers in Taiwan to examine whether the extent of supply chain integration, JIT purchasing and JIT manufacturing can directly benefit suppliers’ logistics performance. Dong et al. chose a sample of 131 suppliers in the field of electronics and other electrical equipment industries (SIC 316) in the U.S. Most of the samples in the present study, on the other hand, are from Toyota automotive suppliers in Taiwan in the automotive components industry, who are fully influenced and have been well trained by Japanese Toyota production system practices. Thus, it is possible that the results of an empirical study using this sample may differ from those of Dong et al. The purpose of this paper is to: (1) explore whether there is significant and direct influence among supply chain integration, JIT purchasing and JIT manufacturing; (2) investigate whether supply chain integration, JIT purchasing and JIT manufacturing have significant and direct benefits for suppliers’ logistics performance; and (3) examine the explanatory powers and influences of supply chain integration, in comparison with JIT purchasing and JIT manufacturing, for suppliers’ logistics performance. Supply chain integration includes using electronic data interchange (EDI), integrating management teams in product design, information-sharing, and working with suppliers to improve the management performance of their (second-tier) suppliers (Ellram and Cooper, 1990; Scott and Westbrook, 1990; O’Neal, 1992; Dong et al., 2001).

 

The Dynamic and Full Significance of Macroeconomics’ Main Equation

Jose Villacís, Ph.D., Universidad San Pablo-CEU, Madrid, Spain

 

INTRODUCTION

Germán Bernácer (Alicante, 1916-1926) laid the foundations of macroeconomics between 1916 and 1926. In his first book, “Society and Happiness. An Essay on Social Mechanics,” (Sociedad y Felicidad. Un Ensayo de Mecánica Social, 1916) Bernácer explains a macroeconomic production design, the origin of income and interest, and the monetary market. In 1922, he publishes an article under the title, “The Theory of Liquid Assets,” (La Teoría de las Disponibilidades) wherein he expounds the questions of money demand and the origin of interest. Liquid assets and production funding are two issues stressed throughout Bernácer’s whole work that the author believes are yet to be discovered by macroeconomics; these two concerns are the starting point for this paper. Savings originate from income and revert into the production circuit in the form of demand for capital equipment – we call this operation “investment.” Actually, there is a portion of savings that are liquid assets, which are neither capitalized nor amassed, but rather, circulate and are used to repurchase secondary financial assets. This means, in the first place, that liquid assets entail a lack of demand. Secondly, that there is a part of the financial market that diverges, and therefore, such part is not neutral, nor does it function as a simple bridge between savings and investment. In addition, where there are liquid assets, then the portion of income that is not saved should be divided into two factions: the portion of savings to be capitalized on the one hand, and liquid assets on the other hand. Thus, macroeconomics’ main equation should be at least completed with regard to its financing aspect – one side of the identity. Another particular aspect of the theories of Germán Bernácer, who taught Physics, is the way in which he deals with working capital, divided in two parts: one is the sum of added values or domestic product, the other is the total working capital. The basic idea is that a dynamic, temporal and developing economy needs new money in order to grow. In other words, the idea is that savings are not sufficient to finance the increase of production.  The main equation should consider funding sources – savings, new money and liquid assets – in relation to their allocation – investment, working capital and financial assets. An integral version of reality is thus suggested in this paper, wherein liquid assets and working capital are not simply an identity, but a functional and financial equation. Chapter VI of the book “Society and Happiness. An Essay on Social Mechanics,” titled The Statics of Wealth, describes several economic operations that comprise allocating individual assets/ in kind, in cash or in credit, depending on their use. Those operations are: squandering, investing in land and financial assets, loan and capitalization. With regard to the latter, Chapter VI specifies that individual assets – that is, the income that has not been spent – will be higher than its use: investment. This explanation is Bernácer’s core idea, which he will not give up for the rest of his life, and which leads to his theory of liquid assets. In the TYPES of economic operations he rigorously explains the concepts of capital and wealth, as well as the significance of economic operations.

 

Promptness: A Teaching and Evaluation Model

David L. Russell, Ph.D., Western New England College

 

ABSTRACT

Promptness is a desirable behavior in students and an expected behavior in professionals. Promptness can also be viewed as a surrogate variable of the larger concept of engagement with the course. Here, a model to integrate the evaluation of promptness into the usual pattern of teaching a college-level course is presented. The life cycle of a specific assignment is presented and broken down into measurable intervals. Classroom management software provides the key tool to perform the analysis. Other forms of evaluation of promptness are presented. Conclusions are drawn, focusing on increasing learning by maximizing the time students have available between the opening of a posted assignment and its submission. Professors of Information Systems (“IS”) are expected to teach our classes in an interesting and informative matter, using technologies selected for their currency or for which there is demand in the labor market. Professors are also expected to themselves reasonably well informed about developments in the field and to conduct research in ways that meld with the mission statement of the professor’s institution. In a more diffuse manner, professors are expected to serve as role models, thus helping students to evolve into working professionals. Some of the skills needed in this evolution can be taught explicitly: communications skills in Communications course and team interaction skills in Organizational Behavior classes are examples. Other skills can be taught by correction: for example, the student who uses coarse language in a class presentation can be counseled about the inappropriateness of that behavior. In addition, most professors correct, or at least point out, errors in the written English. Many other desirable skills and behaviors, however, are not taught explicitly. Students are expected to learn these prior to their college career or, lacking that, to learn them by observation during their college career. Examples include the proper use of titles when addressing superiors and the proper handling of oneself at a business-related social function. Even something as simple as proper table manners are often lacking in college students. A prime source of such learning is observation of the desirable behaviors in others, particularly by instructors. One thing is certain, however: if students graduate lacking these skills and behaviors they will be at a distinct disadvantage in their professional careers and will reflect poorly on their college or university. One such behavior is promptness, which will serve as an example in this paper. Here the term “promptness” is used in a specific manner: it expresses the alacrity with which students respond to assignments by accessing the assignment and submitting the completed assignment. It should not be mistaken for “punctuality”, that is, the practice of arriving on class on time, or simply the submission of required assignments prior to a deadline.  Although in the past it might be argued that computer anxiety might generate anxiety which in turn would inhibit promptness in student response (Marcoulides, 1988), it would be hard to see that as a factor in the early years of the twenty-first century. Instructors must be cautious, however, that short-term anxiety should be expected as students come down the learning curve on a new piece of software, specifically including class management software.

 

The Evaluation of Advertising Costs Within the Accounting Recording System

Dr. Fatma Ulucan Ozkul, Bahcesehir University, Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

Advertising basically aims at leaving an impression on the mass of consumers and directing this mass to buy by effecting the ideas and habits of them and increasing the benefits of the companies.  The aim of this study is, rather than to put emphasis on advertisements’ being important and necessary for the companies and the consumers, to include to make necessary improvements with the idea that under today’s conditions the companies’, who reserve high budgets on advertising, reflecting the expenses of advertisements to financial statements by seeing them only as a mean of sale increasing gives missing information to the users of reports and misdirects them. In this study, the importance of dealing with advertisements’ expenses as expenditures which should be traced within the frame of matching principle because they affect the profits of companies just not in the current year but in the following years.  In this line, advertising should be evaluated as a means of investment in long term besides being evaluated as an activity of sale increasing in short term. Also, in the study, the expenses of advertising, which confirms the image of the business, increases its respect and makes it a brand, are dealt with not just as profits of current year but also the necessity of amortization in the period of getting benefited by capitalizing them.  As a result of rapidly changing market conditions and increasing of competition day by day, marketing interaction and the people’s, who work in these areas, effective and rational usage of them have become important in the success of the many companies which produce similar commodities. Marketing which is one of the basic functions of business is a process which provides communication between the company and the consumer and gives benefits to the business by putting value on consumers and directing the consumer relations.  Advertising is a communication media which gives great benefits to the companies and the consumers. In terms of companies, advertising is a media which gives support in finding effective markets and which leads them to invest their capitals in effective areas. In terms of consumers, it is a media which serves to determine the most suitable one among the similar ones which addresses to their demands in the market and directs them to make a rational choice and which defines, by introducing various commodities and services, where, how and to how much money to provide them and how to use them and which provides benefit of both place and time. Advertising which is the basic component of integrated marketing communication makes the company a brand by making its communities and services different from its competitors becomes an advertising tool by contacting wide number of aimed people and gets a role which includes a big part of the business budget. 

 

A Typology of Co-branding Strategy: Position and Classification

Wei-Lun Chang, Tamkang University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

As many companies seek growth through the development of new products, co-branding strategy provides a way to develop new products. However, combining two brands may cause brand meaning to transfer in ways that were never intended. The present paper advances research on co-branding strategies by proposing a conceptual framework of co-branding through a typology with three concepts: co-branding aim, category, and effect. The typology framework not only provides a roadmap of co-branding strategies but also illuminates issues related to co-branding for related research.As many companies seek growth through the development of new products, co-branding strategy provides a way to develop new products as successful brands provide signals of quality and image. Co-branding involves combining two or more well known brands into a single product. A successful co-brand has the potential to achieve excellent synergy that capitalizes on the unique strengths of each contributing brand. In the last decade, co-branding and other cooperative brand activities have seen a 40% annual growth (Spethmann and Benezra, 1994).  Companies form co-branding alliances to fulfill several goals, including: (1) Expanding their customer base, (2) achieving financial benefits, (3) responding to the expressed and latent needs of customers, (4) strengthening competitive position, (5) introducing a new product with a strong image, (6) creating new customer-perceived value, and (7) gaining operational benefits. One industry in which co-branding is frequently practised is the fashion and apparel industry (Doshi, 2007).  The basic principle behind co-branding strategies is that the constituent brands assist each other to achieve their objectives. Utilizing two or more brand names in the process of introducing new products offers competitive advantages. The purpose of the double appeal is to capitalize on the reputation of the partner brands in an attempt to achieve immediate recognition and a positive evaluation from potential buyers. The presence of a second brand on a product reinforces the reception of high product quality, leading to higher product evaluations and greater market share. Co-branding may also affect the partner brands negatively. James (2005) showed that combining two brands may cause brand meaning to transfer in ways that were never intended. Thus, the potential benefits and risks associates with co-branding strategies must be explored and carefully examined. However, little research has addressed co-branding strategies, examined the factors to determine a successful strategy, or assessed the impact of two or more merged brands. Currently, a conceptual framework of co-branding is still lacking. This framework may offer researchers the freedom to study co-branding phenomena from various perspectives and provide guidelines that will help highlight similarities and differences among various co-branding strategies. The present paper advances research by proposing a typology using co-branding aim, category, and effect to research co-branding strategies. The typology indicates the importance of co-branding strategy and furnishes a starting point for future research.

 

Leadership, Knowledge Sharing, and Organizational Benefits Within the UAE

Dr. Mohamed H. Behery, University of Dubai

 

Abstract

The study is about an exanimation of the relationships among transformational and transactional leadership, knowledge sharing, and organizational benefits in Dubai. Leadership behaviors, knowledge management, and organizational effectiveness are considered major business topics today. There has been no previous direct empirical evidence to examine the relationships among transformational and transactional leadership, knowledge sharing, and organizational effectiveness in Dubai. To fill this research gap, this study focused on examining this relationship with an additional emphasis on professional service firms. Using a sample of 560 employees from different business services sector, the significant findings of this study are: (1) transactional and transformational leadership were positively related to knowledge sharing in these organizational settings (2) knowledge sharing was considered as a valid predictor of the organization’s organizational benefits and effectiveness (3) transactional and transformational leadership were positively related to the organization’s organizational benefits effectiveness. (4) Unexpected neutral effect of demographic variables, such as gender and citizenship, upon the study’s variables has been detected. Limitations of this study and recommendations for future research are also provided.  Although leadership has been considered an important factor in the success of knowledge-based organizations (Hefner, 1994), prior related research has studied: (1) the relationships between leadership behaviors and knowledge management (Politis, 2001, 2002; Ribiere and Sitar, 2003), (2) the knowledge-based approach in strategic alliance settings (Dyer and Nobeoka, 2000; Parise and Henderson, 2001), and (3) the relationships between leadership behaviors and organizational benefits (Rodsutti and Swierczek, 2002; Avery, 2001; Pounder, 2001). There is almost non-existent research on the relationship between transformational leadership behavior, knowledge sharing, and organizational benefits in the UAE, specifically Dubai.  Volumes of literature exist on the topic of leadership; researchers have found that leadership behaviors are an important determinant to business success (Burke and Day, 1986; Bass. 1990; Ulrich, Zenger, and Smallwood, 1999). Rost (1991) has found that most leadership literature focused on leader ability, traits or behaviors. Additionally, Yukl (1989) has defined leadership in terms of traits, behavior, influences, role relationships, interaction patterns, and occupation of an administrative position. Leadership has been studied in different ways, depending upon the researchers’ methodological preferences and definition of leadership. According to Bums (1978 cited by Bass, 1995), the leadership process can occur in one of two ways, either transformational or transactional.

 

Social Participation and Life Satisfaction: From Youth’s Social Capital Perspective

Jui-Kun Kuo, Ph.D., National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan

Cheng-Neng Lai, Ph.D., Shih Hsin University, Taiwan

Chun-Shen Wang, Doctoral Student, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

Through the participation of empowerment mechanism, community youths are guided to develop abilities such as autonomy, independence, and self-discipline. With these abilities, the youth could utilize social capital to impel community growth and group cooperation. The social capital theory is adopted in this research to explore the cause-effect relationship between trust, network interaction and social participation together with family interaction and life satisfaction. The object of the study is high school students. There are 2,757 effective questionnaires from the total number of 2,880, providing an overall response rate of 95.73%. Data are then analyzed through Structural Equation Model (SEM). With the multi-variant analysis that bases on regression, combining the path analysis, the research tries to develop the mode of the youth’s social participation and life satisfaction. At the end, suggestions are provided for the concept of strategy and further research directions. The results are summarized as follows: fine family interaction would result in high community trust cognition; high community trust cognition would lead to fine community network; high community trust cognition would also elevate the level of social participation; fine community network would uplift the willingness of social participation; fine family interaction would increase life satisfaction; fine community network would boost life satisfaction; high social participation would encourage life satisfaction; community trust has no influence on life satisfaction.  The purpose of community building projects is to identify the feature of each community and distinguish it best element for development. With the integration of community organization, residents are encouraged to care and participate in public affairs. Through the integration of public’s concepts, common envision is lined out to display vertical multi-values. The current participants of community’s public affairs in Taiwan are mostly retired persons, especially in county areas. The major difficulty to exercise community building projects is the low participation of the youth. The inheritance of development experiences is then impeded which results in the gradual regression of community activities. Hence, adopting community empowerment mechanism to attract the youth to join in and expressing their power and creativity would be of help to stably uplift community’s living quality and continued development. Putnam(1993, 2000) considers a society that has abundant social capital, such as trust and volunteer group networks, would upgrade the quality of local government’s operation, the willingness of citizens’ participation in public affairs, and the mature development of civil politics. In the process of utilizing social capital perspective on community building, five interactive relationships are revealed, which are: integration of concepts, compromise with negotiation, conflicts settlement, rational dialogue, and convincible communication. These relationships are in favor of actual supports and real devotion. 

 

Governance Effect of Capital Structure: An analysis of Chinese Listed Companies

Dr. Zhang Zhaoguo, Huazhong University of Science &Technology, Wuhan, PRC

He Weifeng, Huazhong University of Science &Technology, Wuhan, PRC

Liu Xiaoxia, Huazhong University of Science &Technology, Wuhan, PRC

 

ABSTRACT

Capital structure effect on corporate governance is ultimately expressed as the changes of corporate performance. Based on analysis of the data from Chinese listed companies1992-2004,we find that state-owner shareholding ratio has less and less effect on corporate performance; corporate shareholding ratio and the ratio of debt to financing are weak positive correlated to corporate performance; ownership concentration and managerial shareholding ratio have a positive relationship with corporate performance, and there is a significant negative correlation between retained earnings and corporate performance. These conclusions indicate that perfecting capital structure is one of the important approaches to optimize corporate governance and improve corporate performance. The governance effect of capital structure refers to the capital structure effects on corporate governance. Economists and financial researchers have focused on the field since the 1970's.The basic theory of the governance effect of capital structure is the capital structure contract theory first established by Jensen and Meckling (1976), which consists of three parts: the incentive-based models. such as the model of Jensen and Meckling (1986), Grossman-Hart (1982), Harris-Raviv(1990), Stutz(1988),which argues that capital structure influences the endeavor level and behavior choice of manager; The signaling models, such as the model of Ross (1997), Leland-Pyle (1997), Myers-Majluf (1984), which argues that capital structure can transfer some interior firm information to market and thus influences investors; And the corporate control-based models, such as the model of Grossman-Hart(1986), Harris-Raviv(1988), Stulz(1988), Hart-More(1990), Aghion-Bolton(1992),which argues that capital structure determines not only the distribution of residual claims, but also the distribution of control. All of the three models contact the capital structure to corporate governance together, and analyze how capital structure influences corporate value and then influences corporate governance. It is obvious that capital structure is an important part of corporate governance; the efficiency of corporate governance depends on by the rationalization of capital structure to a certain degree. No matter how capital structure influences corporate governance, the result will reflect on the change of corporate performance. So the empirical study of the governance effect of capital structure equals to how capital structure influences corporate performance. Previous study focused on three aspects: First comes, the accounting profit ratio. Demsetz and Lehn(1985), Holdermess and Sheehan(1988) etc discovered that there is no significant relation between ownership concentration and accounting profit ratio through empirical study; but Thomsen and Pedrsen(2000) discovered that there is nonlinear relation between them.

 

Global Fattening: Designing Effective Approaches to Reducing Obesity

Dr. Michelle Neyman Morris, California State University, Chico

Dr. Shekhar Misra, California State University, Chico

Dr. Scott Sibary, California State University, Chico

 

ABSTRACT

The obesity epidemic is drawing increasing attention in the professional and academic press.  Most of the literature describes the trend, and suggests policies or actions to reverse it.  This article focuses on criteria that should be used not only to evaluate, but to generate policies to address obesity.  The criteria are explained and discussed in light of factors that have led to obesity, and those that limit or influence the practical choices of remedies.  Because we believe that those marketing food are responding to a prevalent change in attitude regarding diet, activity and weight, we do not believe a complete reversal of the epidemic is likely.  Rather, our work is premised on the belief that it is critical for those wanting to mitigate the public health issue of obesity to focus efforts on approaches that are most likely to be effective within limited financial and political resources. Since 1980, obesity rates among U.S. adults have doubled, while the number of overweight adolescents has tripled. Currently, two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese leaving just one-third at a healthy weight, far below the Healthy People 2010 objective of 60% (Hedley 2004; www.surgeongeneral.gov). Analyses from recent population surveys suggest that these trends continue despite numerous public health efforts to reverse them. Recent analyses suggest that the methodology previously used to estimate the number of deaths attributable to overweight and obesity may have overstated the problem (Flegal et al.2005; Mokdad et al. 2004; Mokdad et al. 2005), yet it remains clear that extreme obesity is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers (Kuchler and Bellenger 2002; Pi-Sunyer 1993).  In addition, direct medical and lost productivity costs attributable to obesity were estimated at $117 billion in 2000. Obesity related chronic disease is no longer an adult-only public health concern. Twenty years ago, 5% of U.S. children were overweight.   Today, 31% are overweight or are at risk of becoming overweight and their rates of developing type 2 diabetes continue to rise, thereby placing them at risk of becoming the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents (Ebbeling, Pawlack, and Ludwig 2002; Lemonick 2004).  We propose here several specific criteria that should be used in the design and evaluation of policies to remedy obesity.  The increase in obesity results from a variety of causes, and  the mix of causes varies among individuals and groups of individuals.  It is therefore evident that the design of programs to address obesity take into account the causes relevant to the target group.   Similarly, the situations or environments in which obese individuals operate will differ, and considering these factors (if they are not already considered as causes) is also critical to program design.  Additional design considerations must include pragmatic considerations or constraints, and hopefully, current research relevant to the target group or type of program. Given the complex nature of the problem, innovative changes involving multiple stakeholders from the individual to community level would be required in order to effectively address obesity (Koplan, Liverman, and Kraak 2004).

 

Impact of Student Attendance on Course Grades

Dr. Peter J. Billington, Colorado State University, Pueblo, Colorado

 

ABSTRACT

The undergraduate required operations management course is mathematically challenging for many students and attendance in class may help students master the material.  In recent years we have seen a trend of more students missing classes due to a number of reasons, some legitimate, some not.  Attendance was recorded for 6 class sections for a 15 week semester class, three one hour sessions per week.  Course grades are then correlated with absences, GPA, and several other factors.  High GPA student grades were not affected by attendance, but lower GPA student grades did fall as class absences increased. The undergraduate required operations management course is mathematically challenging for many students, even after completion of the required prerequisites of college algebra and business statistics.  Many students manage to “get by” those courses and still have weak mathematical capabilities.  The operations management course requires analytical skills in many topics.  The best approach to mastering these skills is to attend class, do homework problems, and then compare solution methods in subsequent classes. Many faculty believe that attendance in classes is important to learn the material.  While some students may be good at reading the text, getting lecture notes from friends, or other means of learning the material but not attending class, other students do not fair as well if they miss class. The field of operations management is changing rapidly, with the introduction of practitioner-driven topics such as Six Sigma and Lean.  Often, textbooks are several years behind and the instructor uses other sources to supplement the text material in these topics.  A student that does not attend the sessions discussing and reviewing these topics may not be able to pick up the material merely by reading the text.  In this class, attendance is not mandatory but highly encouraged.  Since some topics have no corresponding text material, missing those classes would be problematic in that the student would not be able to find material in the text to study for the exam. Students miss class for a variety of reasons.  Often these reasons are legitimate:  it is not unusual, for example, to have specific university level policies in place that allow student-athletes to miss class for legitimate sport activities.  Many students have medical reasons or family emergency reasons to miss class.  On the other hand, many students are just not motivated to attend class, figuring that they can pick up the knowledge by copying a friend’s notes and trying homework problems outside of class time. Without specific attendance motivators built into the grading scheme, students have become more lax in the last few years regarding attendance.  This research looks at attendance and course grades for a junior level required operations management class in a business management program. 

 

Effects of Corporate Governance on Indirect Costs of Financial Distress in China’s Distressed Companies

Huang Hui, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

Zhao Jing-jing, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

 

ABSTRACT

The environment, both inside and outside, are very different for companies experiencing financial distress. In addition to affecting the company’s value, financial distress leads to a change in the influence of corporate governance, an indirect cost of financial distress. Based on panel data of 193 financially distressed companies in China from 2000 to 2006, this paper examines the empirical relationships between corporate governance characteristics and indirect costs of financial distress. We find that ownership balancing has a positive influence on indirect costs of financial distress, while the proportion of state-owned shares, the proportion of independent directors and the percentage of overhead costs all have negative relationships with indirect costs of financial distress. Our findings can help distressed companied in China and elsewhere improve their corporate governance and become financially healthy. Even companies that generally run smoothly commonly experience periods of financial distress. Financial distress is usually regarded as the embarrassing situation of not being able to pay mature debts or expenses because of liquidity problems, insufficiency of equity, defaults on’ debts and lack of current assets. The costs of financial distress are both direct and indirect. Direct costs include diminishing assets caused by conflict between the owners and the creditors, legal costs and other administrative costs. Indirect costs are losses resulting from the potential for bankruptcy, which include a decreasing client base; the decreasing company value caused by short-sighted, self-protective actions; increased cost of credit; and lost opportunities. Some scholars (e.g., Branch, 2002) have also regarded the losses of creditors and stakeholders as indirect costs. Recent study on corporate financial distress and its indirect costs has been restrained in prediction of distress and calculation of indirect costs, so there is little analysis of the factors and mechanisms of indirect costs or the influence of corporate governance characteristics on indirect costs. Theoretically, good corporate governance has a strategic financial structure which plays a part in preventing financial distress and avoiding bankruptcy. Therefore, it is reasonable to think that there is a relationship between the probability of and the indirect costs of financial distress, on one hand, and the characteristics of corporate governance on the other. However, the environment inside and outside the company may change with the advent of financial distress, so some corporate governance characteristics that have a positive effect on firm value when firm is healthy can have the opposite effect when the firm is in distress. Particularly in China, characteristics like unbalanced shareholder structure, governmental interference and insider control can have a significantly negative influence on a company in financial distress. This paper will analyze the relationship of corporate governance characteristics and the indirect costs of financial distress using 832 groups of panel data of 193 listed companies in 2000~2006, which can be helpful for both domestic and foreign companies experiencing financial distress. In studying the costs of financial distress, a definition of the condition of financial distress would be useful.

 

Promoting Development Potentials with Web Applications: An E-Marketplace for Horticulture Businesses in a Developing Country

Sajjad Zahir, Ph.D., University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

 

Abstract

We propose a promotional framework for e-commerce in developing countries and illustrate the concept with a prototype e-marketplace for horticultural trades in light of new realities. Trading information was gathered from a key horticultural trading centre during a field study. Various socio-economic-technical issues were considered in the design as per the framework concepts.  E-commerce (Turban, King, Lee, & Viehland, 2003) and other uses of the Internet have been promoted for social uplift in developing countries by various international agencies (UNCTAD, 2001). Ngai and Wat (2002) identified 275 articles on e-commerce in leading information systems journals. These articles deal with myriad e-commerce related topics including conceptual frameworks (Wigand, 1997; Zwass, 1996), e-commerce practice issues (Vadapalli & Ramamurty, 1998) and e-commerce strategies (Javalgi & Ramsey, 2001). Zwass (1996) presents a framework consisting of seven layers tailored mostly to the developed countries. The seventh layer of this proposed hierarchy refers to electronic marketplaces. The Global Diffusion of Internet (GDI) Project made extensive investigation of the global spread of Internet in terms of a six-dimensional framework (Wolcott et al., 2001). Travica (2002) discussed a framework for e-commerce in developing countries and listed various infrastructural conditions for e-commerce success. Okoli and Mbarika (2003) developed an integrated framework for assessing e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa. While all these frameworks are mostly conceptual in nature, very few articles mention design and development issues about e-commerce applications. In this paper we discuss the actual development and design of an e-commerce application (specifically an e-marketplace) within the context of the conceptual frameworks. Although there is a diverse range of definitions (Malone, Yates, & Benjamin, 1987; Bakos, 1998; FTC, 2000) for e-marketplace, we define it as a B2B information system that uses the Internet for communications and trade, allowing the participating buyers and sellers to exchange information about prices and product offerings and facilitate transactions. A recently published report on “E-Commerce Trade & B2B Exchanges” mentions that worldwide B2B e-commerce is expected to reach as high as $1.4 trillion in 2003 (Global Information, 2003) and the growth in trade through e-marketplaces has been a major contributor to B2B e-commerce (Stockdale, & Standing, 2002). At the height of the dot com euphoria, some reports estimated the number of globally operating e-marketplaces to be around one thousand or more (Hurwitz, 2000; Karpinski, 2000; Tadesci, 2001).

  

 

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