The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge
Vol. 13 * Num.. 1 * March 2008
The Library of Congress, Washington, DC * ISSN: 1540 – 7780
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Job Satisfaction Among Information Technology Professionals in the U.S.: An Empirical Study
Issam Ghazzawi, Ph.D.
Information technology “IT” now dominates all aspects of our lives. Its dominance varies from automating production and processes to redefining the basic concepts of electronic commerce and communication and facilitating the empowerment of teams and groups to name a few. Job satisfaction is one of the most sought after subjects in our organizations that move very fast to meet customer demands and services in a timely fashion. As a result, information technology and its IT professionals are unique in that they cope with the challenges of a borderless, 24/7 world. Through an empirical study with descriptive statistics, this paper investigates the factors contributing to job satisfaction among IT professionals in the United States. B The subject of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction has attracted a considerable amount of research. It is by far one of the most studied work attitudes by organizational behavior researchers. By the early 1990s, more than 12, 00-job satisfaction studies were published (Kinicki et al., 2002; Kreitner & Kinicki, 2007). However, today’s literature contains few studies on job satisfaction in the information technology industry. IT professionals have not been a major focus for organizations. Traditionally, the retention mechanisms to attract and retain IT professionals have not been effective (King et al., 2005). In addition, organizations are now faced with great challenges when managing employees who are in boundary-less careers (Arthur & Rousseau, 1996; King et al., 2005), such as dealing with significant loss of knowledge when a talented individual leaves. An organization loses a valuable employee and the accumulated knowledge associated with the core capabilities that the organization is dependent on (Droege & Hoobler, 2003; King et al., 2005). In addition, as environments of business and technology change constantly, “IT professionals are under increasing pressure to continuously learn new skills, adjust to new roles, and work with uncertain problem solving and decision making conditions.
The Role of Leadership During Large Scale Organizational Transitions: Lessons from Six Empirical Studies
Steven H. Appelbaum, Ph.D., SPHR, Jonathan Berke, MBA, Joe Taylor, MBA, and Jose Alberto Vazquez, MBA
Purpose – To examine the role of leadership and leadership style during periods of radical large scale change for organizations
Design/methodology/approach – a review of relevant literature (1972 – 2006), concerned with the influence leadership has on organisations. Sources are used to establish existing leadership models that serve as the framework and comparative base contrasted with six empirical studies highlighting the impact of leadership on disparate organizations undergoing radical change. Six specific empirical studies serve as the foundation.
Findings – The article identify correlations between the existing models and the six empirical studies, implying that the relative success of change can be attributed to the degree of acceptance by organizational members. Findings suggest that the perceived value of change to employees is directly influenced by acting leadership. Subordinates who recognize their inclusion by leaders in change processes will most likely accept the implementation. Transformational leadership is shown to be the most successful style for implementing radical change.
Limitations – Limitations in the article are geographic in authorship and may not reflect worldwide organizational trends. Limited statistical evidence on change success and its relation to leadership suggests the need for further research.
Positioning for Dominance: Competition Among Channels Intermediaries in the Distribution Channel
Dr. Peggy Choong, Niagara University, New York
Over the last twenty five years, the distribution of mutual funds has undergone dramatic changes. Today, mutual fund companies can choose multiple channels to market their mutual funds. The economics of compensation for mutual fund management necessitates expansion of fresh purchases so as to increase the total net asset value of the fund net of total redemption. Hence, competition among channel intermediaries is intense. In order to obtain a position of dominance in the market place, channel intermediaries need to measure the perceptions of their customers and non customers. The results indicate that the traditional channel intermediaries of full service brokers and financial planners are still ahead of its other competitors. Banks have significant hurdles to overcome in the market place. The perceptual maps also highlight a strategic window of opportunity. This is an opportunity that the target market perceives is not being met by existing channel intermediaries. It represents a lucrative positioning for channel intermediaries who are able to reengineer their marketing, advertising and positioning strategies to change perceptions in the market place. Mutual funds have become major vehicles of savings and investments. Today, more than half of all households own mutual funds compared to less than 6% in 1980. It has become one of the fastest growing categories of household financial assets for more than a decade commanding more than $9.3 trillion. According to the Investment Company Institute, a trade organization for the US fund industry, among investors who hold mutual funds outside work retirement plans, more than 80% own mutual funds purchased through financial planners, banks, full-service brokers, discount brokers, insurance agents or directly from the fund companies.
Growth Strategies of Farm Businesses: A Quantile Regression Approach
Dr. Ani L. Katchova, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
This study examines the business growth strategies employed by farm businesses to maintain equity growth using quantile regression analysis. Using data for farm businesses, this study finds that the effects of some business growth strategies on equity growth rates differ among quantiles. Asset management and financial management strategies have negative effects on equity growth for low-growth farms but positive effects for high-growth farm businesses. The effects of revenue enhancement and cost reduction strategies are more homogeneous across farm businesses situated in different quantiles of equity growth. Farming has often been considered a financially risky occupation. Various risks, including price and yield risks, influence farmers’ incomes and in turn their overall wealth positions and equity growth. To cope with these risks, producers can choose to implement various risk management strategies and participate in government programs. Farmers have also adopted several business strategies to avoid deterioration of their equity positions. Among them are asset management, financial management, revenue enhancement, and cost reduction strategies. Previous studies have examined the effects that these strategies have had on the equity positions of farm businesses. In particular, Escalante and Barry (2002) identified key strategies employed by Illinois grain farms to prevent deterioration of their equity growth after the 1996 Farm Bill. Using an OLS regression with farm-level data, they found that revenue enhancement, cost reduction, and capital management strategies are important for equity growth. We extend the work by Escalante and Barry (2002) by considering the possibility that the same business strategy may have different effects on equity growth for farms at different points in the growth distribution. The heterogeneity of the farm sector suggests that farms may not follow similar strategies during a period of low farm income. Thus, the effects of each business strategy on the equity growth rate might differ across farms.
Re-learning Teaching Techniques to be Effective in Hybrid and Online Courses
Dr. Constance Bates, Florida International University, FL
Dr. Maida Watson, Florida International University, FL
This article is directed to teachers who are making preparations to teach online courses. It discusses the need to re-learn teaching techniques as one makes the transition from teaching in a classroom to teaching through a computer. The examples are largely from experiences the authors had in designing their own online courses. The literature on online learning includes many articles on technical issues, course design, and studies comparing online and traditional courses with regard to such things as learning effectiveness and student preference. However, little coverage of the challenge to professors to re-learn how to teach is available. The purpose of this paper is to address this gap in the literature and to highlight the areas in which traditional teaching will be challenged. The online professor should be a facilitator, not a “sage on the stage.” The online professor is required to be adept at using technology for a computer based course. This entails a whole new course design. Plus, an online professor should create many useful interactions between students to enhance their learning. The literature is replete with these suggestions. Yet, traditional professors are finding it difficult to make the transition to online teaching. Holding up the goal does not outline the path to that goal. This article describes the experiences of two traditional professors as they moved towards the goal of becoming online instructors. One course was a hybrid course (half online, half classroom) in International Business. The other course was a totally online course titled Spanish for Business.
Developing a Paradigm and Strategies for Sustainable Place Marketing: The Experience of Taiwan
Dr. Kang-Li Wu, National Cheng-Kung University, Taiwan
Promoting place marketing to attract tourists and investors as a means to promote local economic development and increase local competitiveness has become an important goal of many localities. However, there are still several unsolved problems regarding the implementation of place marketing, including its impacts upon daily life of local communities and ecology as a result of the significant increase in tourists and the over-commercialization of the local cultural landscape. These problems call for a new place marketing approach that integrates the concept of sustainable development with place marketing in order to maintain ecological integrity, social equity, and economic efficiency. Considering this urgent demand, this paper attempts to develop a sustainable place marketing paradigm. By employing research methods involving field survey, content analysis, in-depth interviews and questionnaire survey to investigate the experiences of DongGang and Juifen, two famous place marketing achievements in Taiwan, this study identifies the major impacts of place marketing in practice. It also suggests several strategies for promoting the concept of sustainable place marketing. Promoting place marketing has become an important policy goal of many local governments. Through the hosting of events and conducting of marketing strategies, special features of places are sold with the intention of attracting tourists and creating business opportunities. Behind the scenes of these bustling place marketing activities, however, there are several critical issues that are worthy of research consideration. DongGang of Pingtung, a famous place marketing site in the southern coast of Taiwan is an example. Although it has successfully promoted seafood products made of bluefin tuna and generated substantial revenues for business owners and local government, the over-emphasizing of dining activities is being criticized by scholars and mass media as offering only a “seafood culture” rather than a “marine culture.” Another famous place marketing example is Juifen on the northern coast of Taiwan.
Mitchell’s Business Crisis in a Globally- Linked Capitalist Economy
Dr. Adil Mouhammed, University of Illinois at Springfield, IL
Wesley Mitchell provides a multifactor complex explanation for the entire process of the business cycle during the early period of the twentieth century. Currently, the US economy is a globally oriented capitalist economy, and this paper attempts to extend Mitchell’s explanation of the business crisis to such a globally-linked capitalist economy. This theoretical extension suggests that while the US economy may generate more profits it will be in a stagnating condition in the future, and millions of working people will be losing their high-paying jobs if a new course of action is not adopted. The new strategy is directed toward revolutionizing education, infrastructure, technology, innovations, and entrepreneurs by using monetary and fiscal policies. These components can enhance the competitive nature of the economy and the marketability of new products, creating high paying employment to the working people. Modern corporations compete domestically and globally for profits, which can be obtained in several ways: an introduction of a new production process, innovation of a new product, entry of new geographical areas, and securing cheaper sources of raw material such as oil. Unfortunately, these sources of high profit do not continue indefinitely, because world resources will move toward these profitable activities for obtaining a share of these profits. The augmentation of capital in Western Europe, Japan, China, and India, which has been associated with the development of technology in transportation and communication, has led to the development of the global economy, as corporations from North America, Western Europe, Japan, China, and India have started competing across their national boundaries for securing economic resources and profits.
An Investigation of the Relationship of Openness to Experience and Organizational Citizenship Behavior
Dr. Hossam M. Abu Elanain, University of Dubai, UAE
To date, results for personality research on openness to experience have been disappointing. Contrary to expectation, the relationship between openness to experience and performance has been non-significant in prior research. This study investigates the relationship between openness to experience, a Big Five personality factor and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB). Results of hierarchical regression analysis on data collected from 164 employees working in the service sector in Dubai indicated, as hypothesized, that openness predicted unique variance in OCB above and beyond the six control variables used in the study. The findings support the position that the personality trait of openness to experience plays a significant role in workplace behaviors. Results suggest that individuals high in openness to experience are more likely to perform citizenship behavior. There have been a large number of studies that examined the relationship of personality traits to job performance. These studies have shown that there are significant relationships between personality traits and performance dimensions (e.g., Barrick & Mount, 1991; Barrick, Mount, and Judge, 2001; Barrick, Parks, and Mount, 2005; Hurtz & Donovan, 2000; Salgado, 1999). Personality refers to enduring patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior that are not likely to change over time and explains people’s behavior across different situations (Costa & McCrae, 1989; Funder, 2001). The Five-Factor Model of personality (FFM) or “Big-Five” has influenced the field of personality during the last two decades, providing a significant degree of convergence in the trait-factor analytic psychology (Robertson & Callinan, 1998). The FFM has achieved popular acceptance as a meaningful description of personality traits (Saucier & Ostedorf, 1999).
Effects of Gender of Executive Leadership in Management Upon Perceptions Related to Enhancing Workforce Diversity
Dr. James L. Morrison, University of Delaware, DE
Dr. G. Titi Oladunjoye, Albany State University, GA
Dale Rose,Albany State University, Albany, GA
Based on the findings of the study, it may be concluded that the gender of the leader in senior management does not appear to be a significant factor in the way leaders address workforce diversity issues in their organizations. Although there were a few specific perceptions where gender was a significant factor in the discrepancy of individual views, these were more the exception rather than the rule. Similarly, both male and female leaders agreed that females were more adept than male counterparts in allocating resources for dealing with workforce diversity dimensions to their jobs. Many of those in the academics would agree that cultural diversity in the workplace is an important contributing factor to enhancing this country’s capacity to continuously be on the cutting edge of innovation. Many organizations in the private sector have recognized that diversity contributes to the bottom line by enhancing the likelihood of arriving at better decisions to remain competitive in a global economy. Moreover, leaders of today’s organization are under pressure to achieve a diverse workforce because it is considered by many to be the right thing to do and because a homogenous workforce may be symbolic of discrimination to the public. While there is some urgency on leaders to achieve a diverse workforce, there is also a growing interest on how gender affects the kinds of decisions being made to enhance an organization’s productivity. Therefore, the research question addressed in the study reported here is whether gender plays a significant role in the how diversity issues are being viewed and addressed in today’s organizations.
A Viewpoint on Disruptive Innovation
Lee G. Demuth III, Marywood University, PA
Experimental evidence suggests that Christensen's disruptive innovation theory demonstrates the introduction of undependable products and services to promote products. This research expands on the significant factors that affect United States products toward achieving customer satisfaction. The specific theories addressed in this paper are disruptive innovation, sustaining innovation, process of theory building, resources, processes and values, jobs-to-be-done, school of experience and emergent strategy theories. These theories mainly examine whether Skycar aircraft products in the United States play a significant role on disruptive innovations. A case study of the Skycar aircraft allows us to see these theories in action. The development for Skycar aircrafts is a company called Moller International (MI) and is founded by Dr. Paul S. Moller. MI will develop Skycar aircraft products for consumers. "[M]oller International was founded in 1983 as a spin-off of Moller Corporation to continue to design, develop, manufacture and market personal vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (VTOL)" ( The Wall Street Transcript, 2005, p.8). This article will discuss changes to product innovation as disruptive innovation, sustaining innovation, the process for theory building, resources, processes and values, jobs-to-be-done, emergent strategy and school of experience innovation theories. Companies adopt disruptive innovation toward gaining a competitive advantage over their competitors. Research will show disruptive innovation is persuasive and adequate for impressive lasting outcomes.
A Study on Service Employees’ Customer-Oriented Behaviors
Dr. Ting-Yueh Chang, Southern Taiwan University of
Dr. Hung-Yuan Lin, Shih Hsin University, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Customer orientation can be regarded as the practice of marketing concept at the level of individual service provider and customer (Saxe and Weitz, 1982; Hoffman and Ingram, 1992). This construct is important because service employees with highly customer-oriented behaviors increase the satisfaction of their customers and lead to the development of long-term relationships between the organization and its customers (Saxe and Weitz, 1982; Kelley, 1992; Dunlap, Dotson, and Chambers, 1988). Recognizing the importance of service employees’ customer-oriented behaviors, this research proposes and tests a conceptual framework that considers the customer orientation of service personnel. Specifically, resting on social exchange and a reciprocity norm, this framework examines the effect of employees’ perceived organizational support and affective commitment on employees’ customer-oriented behaviors. Structural equation modeling techniques were applied to data which were collected from employees in the banking services industry. Results indicated that the two proposed variables had effects on the customer orientation of service personnel. In addition, the effect of employees’ perceived organizational support on service providers’ customer-oriented behaviors was fully mediated by employees’ affective commitment. Lastly, relevant discussion for future research is provided.
A Discussion of Applying Experiential Marketing to Leisure Agriculture with AHP
Ye-Chuen Li, Diwan College of Management, Taiwan
This study takes the Taiwan Sugar Cooperate (TSC) with a rich traditional culture, as the sample in order to understand the implication of Experience Marketing (EM) in a culture creativity industry and to discuss the way TSC is transformed into leisure agriculture. Five Strategic Experiential Modules (Schmitt, 1999) were used to develop the basic research structure of Analysis Hierarchy Process (AHP). Result show: (1) The most important factor TSC employees recognize is “ACT”, with the second being “RELATE” and “FEEL”. (2) Another important factor customers recognize is also “ACT”, the same as what TSC employees recognize, along with “FEEL”. This study could be of a practical example as well as a theoretical reference to market related culture creativity industries with EM. Human social formality development as well as economy formality keeps changing. “Experiential Economy Era” was brought out by Pine II and Gilmore (1999) and advocates providing special experiences and unforgettable memories as “Experiential Economy”. Bernd Schmitt (1999) also advocated Experiential Marketing in his book – “Experiential Marketing”. He advocated that experiences could provide consumers with sensory illusion, touch/feeling, and cause them to think deeply in order to leave unforgettable values. It also could provide businesses new direction consider. When Taiwan’s economy faced a new situation after a period of high-industrialization, the large scale production formality of manufacturing industry lost its advantage because of challenges from neighboring countries.
Company Size and Its Relation to the Use of Financing Sources Among SMEs in the Turkish Tourism Sector
Dr. Idil Ozlem Koc, University of Marmara, Turkey
Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), which constitute 99.5% of the enterprises in Turkey, 64% of the total employment and 36% of the surplus value, have difficulties in obtaining financing (TBB, 2004). The financing problem stems out of the economic and social structure of Turkey. Additionally, the traditional structure of these enterprises is an important contribution to the understanding of SME financing problems, which incorporates such factors as financial problems, insufficient equity, insufficient working capital, difficulties in obtaining financing, poor use of capital market facilities and a lack of skilled financial management (Yoruk, 2001). Since SMEs in the Turkish tourism sector are very small in size and their operations are limited due to the seasonality of the industry, they face the same problems as other SMEs. SMEs in the tourism sector have largely depended on financial borrowings (bank loans) and commercial borrowings (Seller’s Credits). This working paper focuses on the financial alternatives available to tourism sector SMEs, including which sources are more functional and appropriate for tourism SMEs and whether the preferred financing choices change according to SME size. HALKBANK, a bank that frequently provides financial support to SMEs, has defined SMEs as enterprises having 1 to 250 employees and an asset size of not more than USD 2 million (excluding immoveable properties). According to the Basel II criteria, which has brought about new credit procedures for banks, SMEs are defined as enterprises that have an annual turnover of not more than EUR 50 million. Enterprises in the tourism sector can naturally be separated into 'SMEs' and 'big enterprises'. In addition, they can be classified by the lines of business in which they operate. Although there are several business branches in the tourism sector, there are five main branches: (1) accommodation enterprises, (2) catering enterprises, (3) transportation enterprises, (4) gift production and sales enterprises, and (5) tour operations, tourism agencies and guidance enterprises.
Importance Attached to Relationship Marketing in the Emirate of Ajman (UAE): A Consumer's Point-of-View
Dr. Hussein Abdulla El-Omari, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, KSA
The central question of this study was to examine the importance of relationship marketing in a developing country such as the United Arab Emirates. With this question in mind, this study was carried out on "nationals" of the Emirate of Ajman. Convenience sample of 1423 shoppers of Carrefour shopping center were selected for the study and therefore 1423 questionnaires were hand delivered to them. Of all distributed questionnaires, 405 completed and returned and, therefore, the response rate was 28.5%. Carrefour shopping center was selected because of its popularity in the Emirate of Ajman. In addition, this Emirate was chosen for the study as it lacks marketing studies, in general, and this sort of study in particular. The findings of this study indicated that the concept of relationship marketing exists in the Emirate of Ajman. The major conclusion of this work is that relationship marketing was found to be of great importance to nationals of the Emirate of Ajman. Factors such as, mutual trust between retailers and consumers, level of commitment, length of relationships between retailers and consumers, etc, were found to be of great importance in developing good and long term relationship marketing.
A Survey of Hospital Innovation in Taiwan
Dr. Yafang Tsai, Chung-Shan Medical University, Taiwan
Innovation is one of the methods through which institutions carry out their Blue Ocean strategies. This study analyzes the degree of innovation carried out by Taiwan’s hospitals of different levels and belonging to different operations mode, as well as aims to introduce innovation activities they carry out today. The questionnaire survey method was adapted to probe into how administrators of area hospitals and above levels view the issue of hospital innovation, as well as the level of innovation they are currently implementing. Results of the study show that hospital administrators generally accept the implementation of innovation activities. Different levels of hospitals show significant differences in their overall innovation. Area teaching hospitals show significantly higher scores than area hospitals, and regional teaching hospitals show significantly higher scores than medical centers and area hospitals. Different levels of hospitals also show significant differences in the way they carry out management and technological innovation. Area teaching hospitals have significantly higher scores in terms of management innovation than medical centers and area hospitals. Regional teaching hospitals are significantly higher in terms of technological innovation compared to area hospitals. The trend to internationalize has led to a growing market competitive pressure for institutions. For institutions to stand out in a market marked by strong competition, they may adopt market focusing, differentiation and low-cost strategies (Porter, 1985). Differentiation strategies stress that institutions must create unique products or services different from the competition.
Audit Committees in U.S. Entrepreneurial Firms
Dr. Hsueh-En Hsu, Fortune Institute of Technology, Taiwan
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires the audit committee of a listed company to consist entirely of independent directors and disclose that it has at least one member with financial expertise. This study investigates the relationship between audit committee characteristics and firm performance, based on a sample of IPO firms from 2000 to 2002 before the Sarbanes-Oxley Act became effective. Audit committee characteristics include independence, financial expertise and activity. Firm performance is measured by Tobin’s Q. The result shows that audit committee independence is not associated with firm performance. As expected, firm performance increases with audit committee financial expertise. However, there is no evidence that audit committee activity is positively related to firm performance. Entrepreneurial Firms refer to IPO firms (Conyon & He, 2004). An initial public offering (IPO) represents an important milestone in a firm life-cycle (Ritter& Welch, 2002). Firms going public result in separation of ownership and control. The insider ownership decreases over time and thereby creates agency problems (Frye, 2002). Therefore, IPO firms need to establish sound corporate governance mechanisms such as a board of directors and its audit committee to mitigate this problem. Empirical research provides evidence of audit committees’ governance impacts including external audit function (e.g., Carcello & Neal, 2003), internal audit function (e.g., Krishnan, 2005; DeZoort, 1998) and financial reporting quality (e.g., Beasley, Carcello, Hermanson, & Lapides, 2000; Klein, 2002). Carcello and Neal (2003) show that auditors are less likely to issue a going-concern report when higher proportions of affiliated directors serve on audit committees.
The Wal-Mart Effect: Retailing of Health Care
Dr. Wm. Marty Martin, College of Commerce, IL
Health care delivery began as a cottage industry and then transformed into an industrial model of care delivery dominated by large for-profit, non-profit, and governmental bureaucracies. In recent years, with the growing health care labor shortage, the aging of the population and the ever-changing demand for health care services, there have been a host of innovations in the delivery and financing of health care services. This article will focus on the emergence of retail based clinics and will critically evaluate these clinics using a stakeholder perspective. In a move that could have profound effects on the health care system, the king of “always low prices” has announced its aim to conquer ear infections and sore throats. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., already has opened a pilot program of 76 in-store medical clinics in 12 states, and plans to increase that number to 2,000 over the next five years (Maestri, 2007). Other retailers, such as CVS/Caremark Company’s MinuteClinic and Walgreens, are joining health care’s retail revolution. Business tycoons are jumping into the delivery of health care; former AOL Time Warner chairman Steve Case has launched RediClinic, a retail division of Revolution Health Group.
The Use of Performance Measures and Their Outcomes
Dr. Lourdes Ferreira White, University of Baltimore, MD
This study examines the use of financial and nonfinancial performance measures and their relationship with the outcomes of strategic performance measurement systems (SPMS), in particular, information quality and effectiveness. Based on survey data from 1,990 companies in a wide range of industries included in the AICPA Performance Measurement Practices Survey, the use of financial measures is found to be positively correlated with the use of nonfinancial measures, and both types of performance measures are found to be positively correlated with information quality and SPMS effectiveness. This paper contributes to the literature on SPMS by lending additional empirical evidence about the positive outcomes from the adoption of both financial and nonfinancial performance measures in SPMS design. These results suggest that practitioners need to focus attention on a variety of financial and nonfinancial performance measures in order to increase SPMS effectiveness. Strategic performance measurement systems (SPMS) combine the use of financial and nonfinancial performance measures to promote the achievement of strategic objectives of the organization (Kaplan & Norton, 2001a; Rappaport, 2005). SPMS have been gaining popularity in a broad range of organizations over the last decade (Chenhall, 2005). According to a recent survey of the Institute of Management Accountants’ Cost Management Interest Group, strategic performance systems such as the BSC are rated as one of the three most beneficial organizational practices (Krumwiede and Charles, 2006).
Optimal Exchange Rate Beyond Purchase Power Parity
Dr. Sankarshan Acharya, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL
This paper expounds a novel theory which considers banking and social instabilities to determine optimal currency value. Under this theory, a low enough currency value attracts global business enterprises to create new jobs in a country. But keeping the currency value too low leads to excessive creation of money for the exporters and expatriates. Excess money in the system induces banks to relax standards for lending to frivolous projects yielding little returns. Growth in frivolous lending (which is testable) is likely to increase the quantum of nonperforming loans which may lead to instability in the banking system. The excess money, created due to lower currency values, for a small segment of national population will likely generate (testable outcomes like) wealth disparity and social instability. The optimal exchange value of a currency should thus be determined by balancing growth in jobs with rising social and banking instability. (1) This paper also argues for creation of central currency clearing registers to pave the way for free floats. The value of a currency stems from its power to purchase a basket of goods and services. The exchange rate between two currencies is their relative value, which by conventional wisdom is determined via the well-known purchase power parity (PPP) theory. But the PPP can be valid only when there is free exchange of capital, labor, material and services across national boundaries.
The Psychology of IT Security in Business
Dr. Mustafa Kamal, University of Central Missouri, MO
While there is an abundance of information about securing a network at the IT level, when it comes to security at the human level, information is limited at best. Most documentation available is centered on the concept of deception, commonly referred to as Social Engineering. Some basics of human behavior are prone to breech security. Many of these give rise to common problems that come from social engineering. There are triggers that make people consistently fall into such traps. We propose a layered solutions to human factor issues that contribute to security breaches. It is expected that any business, large or small, with an IT component could benefit by keeping in mind the information that follows. In 1965, Gordon Moore made the observation that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future. This was later termed Moore’s Law. In subsequent years, the pace slowed down a bit, but data density has for the most part stayed true to Moore’s Law, doubling approximately every 18 months. As technology grows exponentially, so does the security need surrounding such technology.
Select Innovative Indices of Higher Educational Institutions by FAHP
Dr. Jui-Kuei Chen, Tamkang University, Taiwan
I-Shuo Chen, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan
The study aims to explore the prior innovative indices of higher educational institutions in Taiwan. Based on extensive literature review and interviewing related background experts, the study extracts 17 innovative indices, which are suited for evaluating higher educational institutions. Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) based methodology will discussed to tackle the different decision criteria like academic innovation, administration innovation, member innovation, marketing innovation, and organizational structure innovation involved in the selection of prior innovative indices. The findings advocate that higher educational institutions should toward the priorities of innovative indices of implementation. Academic innovation, member innovation, marketing innovation, administration innovation, and organizational structure innovation are among the most important critical factors. A discussion of the key research findings and suggested directions for future research are provided. A stream of literature indicated that if an organization cannot keep innovating, they would fail (Daft, 2004; Krause, 2004). With birth rate continuously dropping, number of higher educational institutions increasing, and Taiwan joining in WTO in the future, higher educational institutions in Taiwan will not have the competitive advantage to face competition with Occident and Asia (Chen, 2005). Therefore, how to use innovative operation and develop its core competitive ability has become a critical issue to Taiwanese higher educational institutions. Educational institutions’ innovative operation is not just a concept; it is a practice (Wu, 2005).
Corporate Culture, Leadership Competencies, Job Satisfaction, Job Commitment, and Job Performance: A Comparison of Companies in Vietnam and Thailand
Duong Manh Cuong, Hanoi University of Technology, Vietnam
Dr. Fredric William Swierczek, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
This research is to examine whether there are significant differences in organizational culture, leadership competencies, job satisfaction, job commitment, and job performance between companies in Vietnam and Thailand representing the two different economic development stages. Thailand is a developed country and Vietnam is a developing country. Vietnam is transferring its economic structure from agriculture to manufacturing. The statistical results show that there are no differences in leadership competencies, bureaucratic orientation, and manager’s job performance between Vietnam and Thailand. Middle managers of international companies are more satisfied with their job, and delivering better performance than those of local companies. Organizational culture, leadership and employees’ job satisfaction and organizational commitment have been extensively studied by many Western researchers. Comparative studies of organizational culture, leadership styles and employees’ job satisfaction and commitment, and performance have been well researched in the USA and European contexts so far. However, only little recent research has been done in Asia, except some in Taiwan (Chen et al., 2006; Chow, 2003; Lok and Crawford, 2004).
Performance Appraisal-Cultural fit and Organizational Outcomes within the U.A.E.
Dr. Mohamed H. Behery, University of Dubai, UAE
Dr. Robert A. Paton, University of Glasgow, U.K.
This study is one of the first to investigate the relationship between performance appraisal, culture and associated organizational outcomes within the United Arab Emirates. It builds upon a mainly Western managerial tradition and literature to develop the case for aligning organizational culture with performance appraisal developments with stakeholder expectations. This view is then reviewed within a Middle Eastern context. Results from a limited survey of 170 service sector employees working in Dubai indicated: the extent to which an employee perceives a good ‘fit’ with the organization will influence their commitment to it; an employee’s overall job satisfaction may be associated with the extent to which they consider the performance appraisals systems and organizational culture ‘fit’ them; and, rather surprisingly, an unexpected neutral effect of national culture upon performance and cultural management developments. The relationship between organizational culture and organizational performance has attracted research attention since the early 1980s (Deal and Kennedy, 1982; Cooke and Rousseau, 1983; Denison, 1983; Smircich, 1983; Ott, 1989; Denison, 1990). The general outcome being, as also witnessed by Wanous (1980) and Schein (1992), that organizational culture can play an important role in determining overall organizational performance. In short, organizational culture will influence employee fit, which in turn impacts upon performance. Performance appraisal has also received a great deal of attention and a plethora of variables have been examined (Murphy and Cleveland, 1991). An effective performance appraisal system creates a definition of, and provides a vehicle for, the recognition of dependable work (Murphy and Cleveland, 1991). Performance appraisal processes impact upon, possibly more than any other managerial instrument, employee behavior (Caligiuri and Day, 2000).
Corporate Governance in Transition Economies: Measurement and Implications
Dr. Ana Bobirca, Academy of Economic Studies, Romania
Dr. Paul Miclaus, Academy of Economic Studies, Romania
The purpose of the article is to illustrate the main characteristics of the corporate governance challenge facing the transition countries of South-Eastern Europe (SEE) and to subsequently determine and assess the extensiveness and effectiveness of corporate governance regulation in these countries. We highlight the fact that the corporate-governance challenges facing the transition economies of South-Eastern Europe are generally similar to those of former accession countries: despite the early dispersion following privatization programs, in many of these countries shareholdings have become increasingly concentrated and financial markets remain weak. Furthermore, we find that for some of the economies of South-Eastern Europe, recent EU members, the enforcement of the rule of law has become nowadays, perhaps, the central functional difference between them and the developed European economies. Corporate governance has been a dominant policy issue in developed market economies for more than a decade. In the transition economies, it took some time for corporate governance to advance the ranking of policy priorities, but since the late 90’s it became one of the most intensely debated issues. At least two set of events are responsible for the heightened interest in corporate governance. During the wave of financial crises in 1998 in Russia, Asia, and Brazil, deficiencies in corporate governance endangered the stability of the global financial system. Just three years later, confidence in the corporate sector was sapped by corporate governance scandals in the United States and Europe, which triggered some of the largest insolvencies in history.
University Technology Transfer in China: Do the Resources Matter?
Feng-hua Zhou, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, P. R. China
Dr. Xue-zhong Zhu, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, P. R. China
The transfer of university technology is always an interesting topic for management scholars since the 1980s. However, present literature on patenting and commercialization of university technology is mainly conducted in Western countries and cultures. To the best of our knowledge, few articles study the issue in China. This paper aims to fill the gap by exploring quantitatively how the universities’ R&D and technology transfer resources shape the outcome of the process in the context of China. It finds that the caliber of faculty is the greatest determinant of university technology transfer, that R&D funding from different sources shows limited impact on the different outcomes, while the size of faculty and size of technology transfer staff do not show any influence on the outcome. These findings extend knowledge of university technology transfer in China and may be of interest to potentially industrial partners who are interested in licensing technologies from Chinese universities. Research universities play an important role as a source of fundamental knowledge and, occasionally, industrially relevant technology in modern knowledge-based economies. In recognition of this fact, governments throughout the industrialized world have launched numerous initiatives to link universities to industrial innovation more closely (Mowery and Sampat, 2004). To promote the economic development and commercialization of university invented technology, the Chinese government has taken measures similar to those of its western counterparts since the 1980s.
Enhanced Query Concurrency Control Protocols for Parallel Database Systems
Calvin Sheu, Shih-Hsin University, Taiwan
Dr. Shyueming Tang, National Defense University, Taiwan
Many researches on parallel database systems have focused on query processing, especially on the optimization of complex queries. The performance issue of concurrently executing a mix of both complex queries and update transactions has not been well addressed. In this paper, we investigate a class of concurrency control protocols, called query-first protocols, for parallel database systems. These protocols allow concurrent execution of complex queries and simple update transactions. While a complex query tends to acquire large amount of data, it may not hold them for a long time due to the advent in complex query processing. To facilitate parallel processing of complex queries, it seems reasonable to give complex queries higher priority in accessing data objects than update transactions. In this way, the execution of complex queries will not be blocked by update transactions. The performance of four query-first concurrency control protocols which favor complex queries is studied. The 2PL-Wound protocol and the 2PL-Wait protocol are variants of two phase locking (abbreviated as 2PL) protocol, while the OCC-Sac protocol and the OCC-Wait protocol are variants of optimistic concurrency control (abbreviated as OCC) protocol. This paper contains a performance study of these concurrency control protocols. The simulation results reveal that these protocols provide significant performance gains over original protocols in terms of the mean turnaround time and the throughput of complex queries. In locking-based query-first protocols, even the performance of update transactions is significantly improved when the system load is high.
Instructional Strategies and Methods of e-Learning for Nurturing Appreciative, Expressive, and Creative Abilities
Chin-Chih Lin, National Kaohsiiung Normal University, Taiwan
Dr. Chien-Chung Lin, Management, Meiho Institute of Technology, Taiwan
This study aimed to determine the proper instructional strategies and mechanisms of e-learning for teachers in elementary and junior high schools who seek to nurture students’ appreciative, expressive, and creative abilities. After analyzing the literature and interviews with experts, a questionnaire was developed and administered to 35 participants, including teachers who specialize in information technology and teach the science and living technology curriculum in elementary and junior high schools. The return rate was 85.7 percent. The results indicated that proper instructional strategies include theme teaching, heuristic thinking, creative thinking, appreciative teaching, and CORT thinking while the proper mechanisms included multimedia web pages and web page developing software. Moreover, the findings indicated that the instructional mechanisms were appropriate to all grade levels except Grades 1 and 2. In the age of ever-increasing diversification of knowledge, education is considered the most direct and efficient way to upgrade an entire society’s knowledge as well as the basic element for promoting nations’ achievement and competence. The core of education depends on learners, curricula, teaching materials, and the application of teaching strategies and methods. To this end, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education divided the curricula of elementary and junior high schools into seven major learning fields representing separate core curricula, such as the science and living technology curriculum, in an effort to train contemporary citizens to develop ten major fundamental abilities that will enable them to succeed in the fast-changing international society.
Legal and Business Perspectives of Open Source Education Software
Dr. Wade M. Chumney, Belmont University, TN
Dr. Zehai Zhou, University of Houston-Downtown, TX
This paper discusses the open source movement as it relates to educational platforms. It begins with examining the value of information in the American economy and reviewing the legal mechanism which primarily affords protection to information in our legal system, namely copyright law. The impact of the Internet on both information and education is studied. The culmination of stringent copyright laws and the ubiquity of the Internet are put forth as the impetus for the modern open source movement and the open education movement. The view of “education as a good” is posited as well as the impact of the Internet on education. The philosophy and impact of the open source education movement are also studied, with particular attention paid to MIT’s Open Knowledge Initiative(OCW) and OpenCourseWare(OCW) Project. Some obstacles to MIT’s initiatives are reviewed. Finally, the information is examined and a conclusion put forth about the efficacy and future of open source education software. The advent of the Internet has caused radical changes in a wide variety of function: from personal communication, to business purchases, to shopping habits. Nearly every business in this country has been impacted in some form since the Internet came into prominence. Due in part to the emergence of the Internet and in part as retaliation against on overbearing copyright law regime, the open source movement, which initially began solely as a phenomenon of computer programming, has spread to other fields. While the immediate impact of both the Internet and the open source movement on the field of education was not as great, this area has begun the process of adapting initially to the Internet and more recently to the open source movement.
Construct Model of Knowledge-based Economy Indicators
Dr. Chih-Kai Chen, Chung-Shan Medical University, Taiwan
Some research institutes and countries have proposed knowledge-based economy (KBE) indicators in recent years, but these indicators often differ from one another. Notably, it is not clear whether an integrated construct model of the KBE indicators is available. For these purposes, this work used the exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis to propose an overall construct model of the KBE indicators. Overall, the results support the five-pillar structure of the overall KBE indicators and the priority of the information infrastructure, business environment, and human resources over the innovation system and performance indicators. Moreover, this work suggests that the large-scale and complex KBE indicators could provide abundant information, but a concise, efficient, and substitutive measurement should be further developed. As noted by OECD (1996), because of the innovative applications of information communication and technology (ICT), knowledge has become the key to national competitiveness instead of land and capital in the past decades. Notably, after the new economy paradigm the United States created the longest economic expansion in the 1990s, some countries have drafted various KBE development plans to improve national competitiveness. Thus, some research institutes and countries have proposed different KBE scorecards in recent years. For example, “OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard: Benchmarking Knowledge-based Economies” of OECD; “Towards Knowledge-based Economy” of Asia-Pacific Economic Community (APEC);
Investment Theories’ Validity with Respect to Industrial Conditions and Capital Market Situations from the Standpoint of the ISE
Dr. M. Hayati Eris,Marmara University, Turkey
Tobin’s Q theory has been used for the evaluation of companies’ performances from the viewpoint of new investments or merger alternatives. The higher Q ratio has been perceived to be an important sign of the opportunity for new investments by financing through the Stock Exchange, and on the other hand, as an indicator of managerial success. The evaluation approach of the higher Q ratio as an intellectual capital success has been well defined. Despite this theory and the several approaches by which it has been developed, it must be remembered that the conditions and working systems of the capital markets are quite important. In addition, the entry of new companies to the industry must be taken into account rather than the current companies’ growth. In order to examine the capital increase through the capital market from the view point stated in the theory, this study has been based on “Food Sector” companies whose shares are traded on the ISE (Ýstanbul Stock Exchange) because production activity entry for new firms is easier..Growing by using the financing opportunities provided by the Stock Exchange without evaluating the other criteria related to growing, such as marginal capital productivity, may cause losses with respect to companies and their investors. As is generally known, an increase in a firm’s market value,is considered to be a basic success indicator.
Product Costing and Sales in the Dupont Company in the Early Nineteenth Century
Dr. Roxanne T. Johnson, University of Scranton, PA
Dr. Ralph W. Grambo, University of Scranton, PA
This paper examines product costing and sales in the DuPont Company, a gunpowder manufactory during the earliest years of the firm’s existence in the period just prior to the Industrial Revolution in the United States. It will include the details of the problems associated with pricing and selling the powder and the limited recognition by this firm in the early years of the nineteenth century of product cost in the process. It will also include a discussion of the state of the record keeping in the company and of the record keepers themselves, information on the raw materials and other components necessary to manufacture and sell the gunpowder, the DuPont Company’s utilization of a complex web of agents to sell their powder and the advantages and disadvantages this mechanism offered, and the impact of cataclysmic local and international events on the ability of the firm to adequately manufacture and deliver gunpowder to meet the needs of various customers. The purpose of this paper is to gain perspective on the potential impact of the Industrial Revolution on the practice of accounting. The authors have chosen to accomplish this objective by evaluating the extant documentary evidence of product costing and sales in the DuPont Company during the first 20 years of the firm’s existence, 1801-1820. The evidence is considered within the context of the circumstances, events and difficulties concomitant with documenting manufacturing in the early nineteenth century. Modern day businesses continue to grapple with product costing and pricing issues not even recognized in this early period. The sophisticated costing and pricing techniques in use today have developed in response to the information needs of company management and owners that were just beginning to be dealt with in this early period. These have for the most part resulted from the technological and economic effects of the Industrial Revolution.
Econometric Analysis of Factors Affecting the Occurrence of Occupational Accidents in Turkey
Dr. Sevda Demirbilek, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey
Dr. M. Vedat Pazarlýoglu, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey
This study aims to identify the factors causing occupational accidents in statistical aspect in Turkey. Hence, data related to occupational accidents and occupational diseases published by the Social Security Institution as of the period covering the years 1980-2004 are examined. The results of the analysis indicate that occupational accidents mostly occur in small enterprises when workplace sizes are considered; in the first hours of the work when working hours are taken into consideration; in the first years following the probation period when seniority is taken into consideration; and in between 25-35 ages when age is considered. While cointegration regression shows that occupational accidents tend to decline towards the later hours of the workday, it has been estimated that increase in seniority rise the risk of having occupational accidents. In addition to directly affecting worker health and life as well as enterprise production process, occupational accidents are of significant concern for the society, as well, in terms of their consequences. The reason is that occupational accidents create significant social and economic costs with regards to worker, employer, economy of the country and the society. Many factors such as working environments, personal characteristics of employees and failure to take work safety measures play roles in the occurrence of occupational accidents which lead to significant losses. This study is based on the role of worker-related factors in the occurrence of occupational accidents, firstly legal and socio-economic dimensions of occupational accidents are explored, and then data in the statistics of the Social Security Institution (SSK) are examined in a time series.
Managerial Overconfidence and Corporate Investment: Evidence from P. R. China
Bei Ye, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
This paper explores the impact of managerial overconfidence on corporate investment with a sample of 333 Chinese listed firms and the confidence measure based on insider shareholding of the executive board. The study finds that about 60% of the managers concerned tend to be overconfident; overconfidence of the executive board has greater explanatory power than that of just CEOs or executives; the investment-cash flow sensitivity is higher for firms with overconfident managers; it is even higher when firms have less access to equity financing, while the rule does not hold true when measuring financial constraint with the KZ index. The results imply that managerial overconfidence may act with cash flow and lead to investment distortion; the corporate decision-making culture and financing environment are important in governance of investment distortions with irrational managers. Corporate investment decisions are among the most important decisions of firms. They involve a large amount of resources input and projects are usually long term. However, by now corporate investment behavior is not very well understood (Stein, 2003). Neoclassical theories advocate that a firm’s investment depends on the profitability of its investment opportunities and is not affected by its financial conditions.
Collaborative Commerce in Taiwan’s Bridal Industry
Ching-Yuan Chen, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Yen-Yi Chung, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Wan-Lin Wang, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan.
The purpose of this research is to analyze the feasibility of establishing a centre of happiness alliance so as to strengthen the clustering advantage of Taiwan’s bridal industry in collaborative commerce. The methods used to study the possibility of promoting collaboration commerce in the bridal industry are literature review, interview and questionnaire. The results indicate that the bridal businesses and consumers support the new idea of the 'Happiness Alliance Centre', and believe it will enhance the competitiveness of the bridal industry. The suggestions and possible strategies are also discussed in detail. Technology industry is not the only competitive industry in Taiwan. The bridal industry also has tremendous potential. In Taiwan, more than 90% of the newly wed couples take wedding photos. There are more than 1,000 wedding shops and 20,000 people working in the bridal industry with a production value of NT$1 million (Qiu 2005; Hong 2005). The super-sized profit has resulted in intense competition. Meanwhile, the Taiwan’s population composition has been changing. The statistics released by the Ministry of Interior showed that the marriage rate and the birth rate dropped by 2.13% and 2.39% respectively during the last five years (2006). In addition, more and more people marry at a later stage or prefer to remain single. These factors have a significant impact on the bridal industry. Faced with the problems of shrinking market and intense competition, businesses have to change their ways of thinking: from running a single business unit to developing a network of strategic alliance and partners (He 2003).
Low Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: Evidence from Mexico
Dr. Liona Lai, York University, Toronto, Canada
Dr. Henry Tam, York University, Toronto, Canada
Conventional instrumental variables (IV) methods find that the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS) in consumption is low (less than one) but the inverse of it is also low (not different from one). As recent econometrics theory shows, such inconsistency could be attributed to weak instruments being used in these IV analyses. Using recent innovations in constructing valid confidence intervals when instruments are weak, we find from financial markets data that the EIS is low in Mexico. In consumption-based CAPM model, the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS) is a key parameter of interest. When the utility function is of the constant relative risk aversion (CRRA) type, the EIS is also the reciprocal of the coefficient of relative risk aversion (RRA). To explain the equity premium, the excess return of equity over that of bond, a low EIS or corresponding a high degree of RRA is required. In essence the equity premium is equal to the price of risk (the degree of RRA) times the quantity of risk (the covariance between consumption and equity). The covariance between consumption and equity is normally low. Therefore, to explain a large equity premium requires a high price of risk. Conventional instrumental variables (IV) methods that were used to estimate the EIS and its inverse (the coefficient of RRA if utility is CRRA), however, produced mixed results. While Hansen and Singleton (1983) find that the coefficient of RRA is small and not different from one, later work by Hall (1988), using a regression in reversed form of that of Hansen and Singleton, find that the estimated EIS is also small and less than one. Nelson and Startz (1990a, b) were the first to point out that there was serious problem in such IV regressions.
Key Determinants of CEO and Board Chairman Turnover: An Empirical Study of Taiwan-Listed Companies
Hou Ou-Yan, Kun Shan University, Taiwan
Dr. Shuang-shii Chuang, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
This study dynamically investigates the impact over time of firm performance, firm and top manager characteristics on board chairman and CEO turnover for listed companies in Taiwan and explores how these three aspects affect the chairman and CEO replacement process. Incorporating Cox proportional hazard regressions, we find that the probability of chairmen and CEO turnovers are not uniform under accounting-based performance and market-based performance measures. Importantly, this relationship is significantly clear following adoption of firm and top manager characteristics. Upon further exploration, an increased sensitivity of turnover to performance appears to be attributable to an increase in traditional industry, firm size, debt utilization, CEO duality, top manager age, and top manager education that follow proxy statements. Generally, CEOs (chief executive officers) tend to change according to a company’s natural evolution process, regardless of company performance. However, at present, many CEO changes occur as the result of poor performance. Such turnovers we called “punishment.”
Using Integer Programming to Solve the School Timetabling Problem at Chin-Min Institute of Technology
Chui-Yen Chen, Chin-Min Institute of Technology, Taiwan
School timetabling, which produces a student’s schedule of classes under various parameters, has been a research issue regarding how to computerize a school’s administrative affairs. The optimal results will be produced while considering the variable combinations of instructors, number of students, teaching facilities, time, rooms, etc. Using conventional class scheduling methods, if instructors or classes have special requirements, a great deal of communication and coordination must take place to “just barely” arrive at a satisfactory result. In this study, the total satisfaction of the maximization using 0-1 integer programming is adopted to solve school timetabling problems. The software LINGO, used to solve integer programming, is tested in the Department of Business Management in Chin-Min Institute of Technology to produce an optimum school timetabling model. The advantage of this is model is that we need only change the weight of objective functions related to the instructors’ preferences without rewriting the core function. School schedule timetabling at every educational level is a widely applied practice, but procedures to reach a satisfactory result are everyone's concern. This is also an issue for academic research efforts. Conventionally, the majority of universities and colleges create student timetables manually. Tasks under this timetabling arrangement require repeated review and modification. In addition, managing the limitations on various timetabling conditions is very hard work when completing the process manually.
Curricular Changes in Response to Assurance of Learning Results in Information Technology
Dr. Kimberly K. Hollister, Montclair State University, NJ
Dr. Nicole B. Koppel, Montclair State University, NJ
The goal of program assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment is not limited to measuring outcomes; the assessment process is the progression of collecting data on student retention, analyzing results to provide feedback, and using feedback to make improvements to the curriculum. This research paper discusses how results from retention assessment exams in Information Technology (IT) administered as part of an assurance of learning (AoL) program in an undergraduate program at an AACSB International-accredited business school have been used in the redesign of content and pedagogy in an undergraduate computer literacy course. This work is of value to those who desire to better understand and implement AoL in their programs. Assessment and assurance of learning (AoL) are not new concepts. Accrediting bodies, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International have required student assessment as part of the accreditation/re-accreditation process for some time (AACSB, 2007). What has changed is the emphasis that accrediting bodies are placing on the assessment process (Pringle and Mitri, 2007). Business schools are now required to develop learning goals for each program, assess students’ achievement of goals, and use assessment results for continual improvement in programs (Martell and Calderon, 2005). Programs are required to provide evidence not merely intent. The new assessment standard has led faculty and administrators to search for ways to collect evidence that university students are, in fact, learning what they are taught.
Downsizing Executioners and the Experience of Executing Downsizing
Dr. Franco Gandolfi, Regent University, VA
Downsizing as a managerial strategy of choice has been implemented on a global scale for more than two decades. Most research on the outcomes of downsizing has examined the personal and professional consequences affecting individuals representing two distinct camps – the so-called downsizing survivors and downsizing victims. This Australian case study explored how the executioners, the individuals that were entrusted with the task of carrying out downsizing tasks, experienced and reacted to their downsizing responsibilities. The results derived from Australia’s largest bank demonstrate that the work of carrying out downsizing activities is emotionally taxing. It was shown that executioners had a tendency to distance themselves from the tasks at hand emotionally, cognitively, and physically. These strategies were seen as coping mechanisms for self-protection and self-preservation. It was also revealed that prior experience with downsizing enabled executioners to stay on task. Relational proximity and closeness with individual victims further impacted the emotional state of executioners. This study heavily relied upon Clair and Dufresne’s (2004) work, which sought to generate a preliminary conceptual framework depicting various facets of executioners’ reactions to downsizing-related layoffs. Corporate downsizing is a frequently adopted organizational change strategy that has been actively implemented for more than two decades (Williams, 2004). During the 1980s and early 1990s, downsizing was used primarily by organizations experiencing difficult economic times (Gandolfi, 2006). However, since the mid-1990s downsizing has become a leading strategy of choice for a multitude of corporations and governmental agencies around the world (Mirabal & DeYoung, 2005).
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