The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge

Vol.  20 * Num.. 2 * March 2015

 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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 A Hybrid National Retail Sales Tax for U.S. Tax Reform

Dr. Michael F. Williams, Prairie View A&M University, Texas

 

ABSTRACT

For many years some have advocated a fundamental reform of the U.S. federal tax system—replacement of the current tax system with a national retail sales tax.  Opponents of such reform have offered reasons why a national retail sales tax might be unworkable.  This paper discusses those concerns and offers a new ‘hybrid’ form of sales taxation, featuring tax withholding and tax rebates, which ameliorates many of the issues regarding the workability of a national retail sales tax. In recent years a series of substantial changes to the U.S. federal income tax code have been enacted, an indication that many politicians and their constituents have been discontent with the current income tax system. In fact there is significant political and public interest in a type of fundamental tax reform—replacing the current income-based federal tax system with a national retail sales tax (RST). This interest coincides with a preference by some economists for consumption-based taxation because of the predicted long term efficiency gains if such taxation were to replace the current income tax system. The public discontent with the current tax system may provide the political capital to undertake fundamental tax reform that realizes such gains. Yet no industrialized nation has implemented a broad based national retail sales tax as its primary revenue source, and there are some economists who believe such a system to be unworkable. These economists cite many potential problems, including tax cascading, tax evasion, difficult-to-tax services, the border tax problem, a high revenue-neutral sales tax rate, and harmonization with state and local tax systems. These problems will be examined in the context of a hybrid national retail sales tax system (HRST) that has two important features distinguishing it from a traditional retail sales tax system—a tax withholding requirement for producers, wholesalers and importers of retail goods and services, and a system of sales tax rebates for taxed purchases of business inputs.  The administrative details and the benefits of these two hybrid features will be carefully examined. The analysis in this paper will suggest that careful, purposeful efforts by policymakers and administrators can make HRST a feasible tax system for fundamental tax reform. Fundamental sales tax based reform has significant political and popular support. In the 113th Congress, the Fair Tax Act of 2013 was introduced by Rob Woodall in the House of Representatives; this bills promises “To promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be administered primarily by the States” (U.S. House, 2013). A national retail sales tax has support among research organizations, tax lobbyists and at the grassroots level, represented by such groups as the Cato Institute and Americans for Fair Taxation. Despite the political and popular support for a national retail sales tax, there are a number of potential difficulties successfully implementing such a system in the United States.

 

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The Role of Air/Spaceports: Education + Entrepreneurship + Excitement = Economic Growth

Dr. Heather L. Garten, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

 

ABSTRACT

This research is part of an extensive project that examines the initial ascent of the role of air/spaceports in the Age of Aerospace (Garten, 2014).  The Age of Aerospace, encompassing both aerospace and the evolving role of aviation, is driving and will continue to drive the economy of the United States for years to come.  As aerospace becomes the dominant industry encompassing all others, there is an urgent need for air/spaceports to assume a leadership role within communities.  Furthermore, if the United States desires to maintain a strong global economic position, and more importantly to strengthen its current economic position, the United States must focus on transforming air/spaceports into a stronghold of creativity and innovation that, naturally, has a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding community.  A clear and concise procedure to reform the perception and role of air/spaceports in order to use them efficiently as a catalyst for economic gain during the Age of Aerospace does not exist.  This paper proposes an approach based upon a strategy used throughout history to drive perception while creating a passion of urgency: War.  War is often cited as an economic catalyst, much due to the patriotism driving the war effort (Stinson, 2003; Aversa, 2003; Kortan, 2002).  Moreover, World War II specifically was a predominant catalyst for the aviation and aerospace developments today.  This research examines lessons from World War II, and develops the three-E equation of economic growth (Education + Entrepreneurship + Excitement = Economic Growth).  This paper goes on to demonstrate how the World War II mindset and love of aviation is applicable to the current and future Age of Aerospace, and cites specific ways air/spaceports can drive education and entrepreneurship through passionate excitement. Since the initial flight of the aircraft on December 17, 1903, the aircraft has been a dominant part of the human existence, driving innovation and advancement, most notably in war.  Only a decade after that fateful flight in 1903, the aircraft was transformed into a strategic weapon for World War I, creating a revolutionary change in military strategies across the globe.  Yet it would be the next World War that would harness and exploit the aircraft, while laying the foundation for the Age of Aerospace. With the onset of World War II, the demand for all resources increased drastically, and resource-shortages were rampant.  With so few resources available, working, wage-earning Americans actually increased their savings even in the tough economy of World War II (Rumelt, 2011).  One of the most important resources during the war was human capital.  Image 1 demonstrates how the high demand for males in the military required females to assume former male-dominated jobs in both industry and the military.  Moreover, this demand meant women were needed to support the Air Force war fighters, making World War II responsible for introducing many females to aviation; females who, without the war, may have never become passionate about aviation. When females began aiding the war effort, their love for aviation grew, and thus many women ultimately desired to be a formal part of the Air Force. However, this was frowned upon by male Air Force pilots, and a war within World War II began to take shape.  Fighting for equality, women pilots were led into battle by Ms. Jackie Cochran.  Ms. Cochran went straight to the White House with her concerns, eventually creating a training program for female pilots:

 

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Importation of Information and Communication Technologies in the African Hospitality Industry:  A Strategic Advantage or Anathema to Development?

Dr. Faith Samkange, Swiss Hotel Management School University Centre, Switzerland

Dr. Amon Simba, Nottingham Trent University (NTU), United Kingdom

 

ABSTRACT

Consensus prevails regarding the strategic significance of Communication and Information Technology (ICT) and yet, the lack of strategic positioning continues to put developing economies at a global disadvantage (Ip et al., 2011). Various arguments articulate the digital divide-separating progressive from developing economies. Proponents of development politics perceive the digital divide as a symbol of inequality holding the colonial legacy responsible for under-development in Africa. In contrast, critics view the divide as a symbol of under-development associated with governance and business leadership failure. Despite this political and ideological divergence, the role of ICT in surviving global competition is paramount. Making ICT available in this case is a progressive development.  However, availability does not necessarily equate to accessibility and usability. This paper is based on a Kenyan case study, which tests these assumptions through an interrogation of ICT development trends and related implementation and utilisation practices. A contextualised research methodology is applied to generate data based on a stratified sample of 15 hotels.  A widespread and wholesale ICT importation trend emerges driven by capacity building factors. Arguably, ICT importation stifles creativity and perpetuates an unsustainable dependency syndrome. These findings resonate with a body of literature critical of prescriptive technological intervention (Samkange, 2008; Islam and Tsuji 2011). The linkage between technological and economic development is well documented (see for example, Fitzgerald 2014 and Sala, 2010). Thus, the need to accelerate economic development has been marked by leapfrogging technological advancement.  In most developing economies Tourism and Hospitality sectors are the cornerstones of economic development because they contribute significantly towards foreign currency earnings (United Nations, 2012). In nations such as Kenya, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa there has been a marked use of e-commerce in the tourism and hospitality industry to maximise economic growth by boosting foreign currency earnings (Mndzebele, 2013; Shemi and Procter, 2013; Mpofu, 2011). In Kenya the government is belligerently driving the importation of cutting-edge ICT to speed-up business transactions in order to fuel economic development and growth (Johannes, 2010). ICT is considered a key component for achieving operational efficiency (Sala, 2010, Rodgers 2013). Recent advancements in ICT have become a factor in the process of socio-economic development (Oshikoya and Hussain, 1998). More so, the convergence of the world economies has meant that the effective use of ICT can be a determinant factor of competitive advantage and growth strategies.  Oshikoya and Hussain (1998) observed that the world is fast-moving towards knowledge-based economic structures and information societies comprising of networks of individuals, firms and countries digitally inter-connected and engaging in inter-dependent business-like relationships. Indeed, the supremacy of the World Wide Web has necessitated the diffusion of ICT initiating a profound transformation of the world into an information society (Vu, 2011).  ICT research in the Hospitality industry has been skewed in favour of developed economies. In developing countries ICT research is scant and the few studies that exist lack sufficient depth. 

 

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Leadership Style, Personality and Team Effectiveness

Dr. Michael Ba Banutu-Gomez, Professor, Management and Entrepreneurship

William G. Rohrer College of Business, Rowan University, NJ

 

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates leadership Style, Leader Personality, and Team Effectiveness. In this study, the data results and literature revealed that a leader can gain the support of the majority of employees through shared personality traits. Furthermore, the data showed that an effective leadership style is one that appeals to employees’ higher need for esteem.  The data also showed that to be an effective team leader requires the leader to skillfully utilize all employees and the knowledge they bring to the organization. Also, the paper revealed that effective motivation and empowerment techniques are influential tools for leading teams. The paper showed, the majority of the participants agreed their leader was directly responsible for the effectiveness of the team because they closely matched their own personality. The participants also indicated they felt their leader exhibited a combination of task, and relationship-orientation as well as utilizing participative leader style, engaged members in group processes. Finally, the paper showed that Leader personality and leader style directly influence team effectiveness. Definitions of leadership include one or more of the following elements: goal attainment, group or organization structure, and interpersonal relationships (Anderson, 2005). Leadership can also be defined as “interpersonal influence exercised in a situation, and directed, through the communication process, toward the attainment of a specified goal or goals” (Tannenbaum, Weschler, & Massarik, 1961). The processes and roles of leadership achieve results with and through others (Blake & Mouton, 1985). Leaders cannot act and achieve organizational goals alone, but must instead rely on their followers, often in the form of teams. Team effectiveness is a complex task driven by a considerable number of factors. A single contributing variable cannot be identified, but there is growing research that suggests leadership style and leader personality plays a significant role.  Many leadership styles exist and the contingency theory, established by Fiedler, claims that leadership behavior must be adjusted to the situation to generate effectiveness (Blake & Mouton, 1985). The foundation of Fiedler’s theory is the degree to which the leader’s leadership style is relationship-oriented or task-oriented (Daft, 2011).  A relationship-oriented leader is concerned with people and their employees. This type of leader establishes mutual trust and respect, and listens to the needs of their employees (Daft, 2011). A task-oriented leader is primarily focused on accomplishing specific tasks and does so by providing clear direction and setting performance standards (Daft, 2011). Tabernero, Chambel, Curral, & Arana (2009) found that relationship-oriented leaders were more effective in creating group unity, but that task-oriented leaders produced greater group effectiveness. Their results support that a combination of relationship- and task-orientation in a leader will meet the needs of creating group mentality and increasing group task accomplishment. Transformational leadership focuses on intangible qualities such as the values, vision, and ideas of an organization to provide larger meaning to team members and involve members in the change process (Daft, 2011).  Utilizing a transformational leadership approach empowers team members and leads to greater perceived team effectiveness (Ozaralli, 2003).  Leadership style can vary on how leaders approach problems. The leader assigning tasks to participants characterizes a directive style and the leader asking participants how they would approach the problem at hand characterizes a participative style. Sauer (2011) found that leader status could influence how a team member perceives leadership style. Low-status leaders utilizing a directive style and high-status leaders utilizing a participative style were perceived to be more effective and self-confident than their counterparts (Sauer, 2011). This implies that low-status leaders should rely on their positional power and high-status leaders should rely on their personal power to direct their new team (Sauer, 2011). Research waivers on whether leadership style plays a critical role in team effectiveness.

 

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Power, Corruption and SMEs in Nigeria

Adedamola Ariyo, University of Windsor, Canada

Dr. Jonathan Lee, University of Windsor, Canada

 

ABSTRACT

In Nigeria, corruption results in various administrative barriers that burden domestic as well as foreign companies as they attempt to establish and operate their businesses. While the legislation is generally clear and of considerable quality, the enforcement has been largely ineffective because of corruption. This paper provides some recommendations as to how to begin to tackle the rampant corruption in Nigeria. Nigeria is faced with a plethora of issues such as high poverty, low employment rates, burgeoning rates of inflation, unsatisfactory economic growth, but the most pressing one is corruption. The level of corruption has had a detrimental effect on country as shown by numerous political, social and macroeconomic indicators and has hindered the programs that aim to alleviate poverty in the state. Practically every section of Nigeria’s economy is adversely affected by corruption on a regular basis. Corruption has reached epidemic levels in Nigeria. It has stultified the growth of small and medium enterprises (“SME”) and has sounded the death knell for the spirit of entrepreneurship. This paper will discuss how corruption has stifled entrepreneurship within Nigeria and will offer possible recommendations for SMEs.  Corruption refers to the efforts to garner wealth or power via illegal channels for the appropriation of private gain at expense of the public (Lipset & Lenz, 2000). Another way of viewing corruption is that it is anti-social behaviour that results in undeserved benefits which oppose specific legal and moral norms and hinder attempts to improve the living conditions of people (Okonjo-Iweala, 2005). Corruption is a global phenomenon and is common to all state structures, religions and ethnicities. Behaviour that is considered corrupt includes, but is not limited to: bribery, nepotism, misappropriation, extortion, fraud, and favouritism (Alatas, 1980). Within Nigeria, corruption manifests itself through the abuse of positions and privileges, bribery/kickbacks, advance fee frauds and other schemes of deception collectively referred to as “419”, drugs and arms smuggling, foreign exchange malpractices such as currency counterfeiting, tax evasion, intellectual property theft and abuse of the open market (Okonjo-Iweala, 2005). Corruption is a well documented and unresolved issue in Nigeria that has crippled the state on a number of fronts. It has permeated in almost every aspect of Nigerian society. There are multiple causes of corruption based on numerous cultural and political variables. Evidence suggests that there may be a correlation between corruption and social diversity, divisions along ethno-linguistic lines, and religion (Lipset & Lenz, 2000). For less developed nations like Nigeria, some of the common factors resulting in corruption are: unequal distribution of wealth; use of political power/stations as the main means of procuring wealth; clash between evolving moral codes; inadequate social and government enforcement mechanisms; the lack of a deeply ingrained idea of national community (Banfield, 1996). In Nigeria, the appropriation and glorification of illegal wealth is characteristic of the general public due to their obsession with materialism. The attraction to this sort of lifestyle entices many to act disproportionately unethical for the sake of money (Okonjo-Iweala, 2005).  Government agencies and business organizations in Nigeria are not held to ethical standards that are commonplace in other, more developed nations. Ethics in Nigeria place an emphasis on obeying authority, practicing moral reasoning and consistently utilizing moral judgments.

 

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Evaluating ERM Implementation in Egypt and Oman

Lamis Selim, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

 

ABSTRACT

The main aim of the study is to evaluate Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) implementation in Egypt and Oman. Additional focus is on demonstrating the integration between Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Key Risk Indicators (KRIs). Youngberg and Kuhn (2002) concluded in their study that risk managers who accept change and think of new ways to embed ERM principles will prosper. Conversely, those who are unwilling to embed ERM are much less likely to succeed in building successful companies. Ferkolj (2010) has pointed out that organizations should at least learn something of the body of knowledge related to ERM, so that management can make intelligent decisions about how best to implement it. This would include selecting an appropriate Risk Management (RM) framework and adapting it to the organization. However, managers not only require improved performance systems, such as the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), but they also need to improve RM to manage the possibility that certain activities will be unsuccessful. The results of the study of the Oil and Gas companies showed that they have systems and standards in place for ERM and the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), but an alignment between both is essential to ensure the achievement of their objectives, plans and targets, as well as having a vision of the risks that may occur in the future. Duckert (2011) discussed the numerous key qualities of an effective Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) environment. Those qualities must be strategically aligned with the organization to be highly effective. In the past there was generally little or no focus on risk by companies, but today, many risks do arise and sometimes hinder the achievement of objectives and plans in oil and gas companies. Allwright and Vredenburg (2010) recommended in their study that organizations adopt new collaborative initiatives to deal with the changes due to global social dynamics, competition and political realities. Ferkolj (2010) identified in his study that ERM emphasizes a comprehensive view of risk and risk management (RM) and that different risks within the organization should not be managed separately, such as focusing solely on hazard or financial forms of risk. ERM seeks to address all events that might adversely or positively impact the performance of an organization. That is why a wide range of risks should be treated holistically,and the relationship among the various risks should be analyzed. Duckert (2011) has asserted that Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) must be determined for each organization, process, system, business, business subset, and so on. Thus, engineers should have their own set of KRIs, as should accountants, lawyers, inventory control specialists, security analysis, administrators; etc. The KRIs should be very specific to each and every aspect of the organization. What is important is that no one else is more knowledgeable about which KRIs should be in place than the process owners themselves.  It was observed while attending the major technical and non-technical meetings in one of the companies under study that, although the company’s Board of Directors and top management focus persistently on achieving the company objectives, problems and risks still arise every now and then. Consequently, risks sometimes cause loss of cost and time, e.g., a lack of resources, HR, late arrivals of needed materials for wells, late contracting procedures, etc. Hence, risks affect the achievement of the targets and plans concerning the production of oil and gas.

 

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Neuromarketing and Its Influence in Consumer Behavior:

A Comprehensive Literature Review

Dr. Leopoldo Arias-Bolzmann, Professor of Marketing and Carlos E. Guzman-Bernabe

CENTRUM Graduate Business School, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru

 

ABSTRACT

The current research paper will present a literature review on the complementary role of neuromarketing techniques in revealing aspects of consumer behavior.  An attempt was made to identify the evolution of this discipline, its origins, the aspects it covers, and its relationship with marketing, neuroeconomics and neuroscience. Finally, conclusions and recommendations are offered. Neuromarketing studies the effect of certain stimuli on the brain which affect consumer behavior. In this scientific area, in order to know the brain reactions, certain medical techniques are used, such as magnetic resonance images, and tomography.  The concept was originally proposed by Ale Smidts, professor of marketing research at the Rotterdam School of Management in 2002.  It interest has increased recently, as a result of the reduction in the cost of medical techniques required and, the increase in the speed with which results are obtained. Neuromarketing is a marketing tool not to be used in an isolated fashion. On the contrary, it should be used when traditional research methods provide unexplained results or when there is doubt as to the quality of the obtained results. Its use applies to marketing research and to strategies design, which includes product development, price, branding, and above all communications. Certain ethical controversies have arisen around neuromarketing, as some authors believe that it could limit the power of decision or the free will of the human being. The studies reviewed, however, show that this scientific discipline intends to aid business strategies but does not try to change consumer behavior, when certain stimuli is presented. The consumer has several elements that influence their purchase decision process. From these influences, several theories have developed to explain behavior. The most important, in the view of Villa (2010), are: ( a) Marshall Economics Theory, ( b ) Learning Theory, which incorporates Pavlov´s Theory of Conditioning  as well as Watson and Lindsley  findings, ( c ) Psychoanalytic Theory , based on the studies of Freud, and (d) Sociological Theory  from Veblen . Economic Theory holds that consumers seek to maximize their purpose, as a result they buy those products that give them more usefulness and will pretend to maximize the price-earnings ratio.  The consumer first identifies and analyzes its options, and then chooses. Some of the principles underpinning this theory, according to Ratchford (1975), is that consumers will choose a good or service to maximize their satisfaction,  they are completely rational, and their preferences are to remain stable in the long term. Learning Theory, includes Conditioning Theory, proposed by Pavlov, and establishes that, after the first purchase, the consumer acts on the basis of consumer experiences acquired (Di Clemente & Hantula , 2003).  When the consumer is not satisfied with the product  used, then proceeds to try another one, using the technique of trial and error (Villa, 2010).  In contrast, Kahle, Beatty and Kennedy (1987) argued that the Theory of Conditioning works only in animals and not in humans. Later, Bruner (2001) analyzed the mental process of learning, finding that the mind of any person is composed of an accumulation of objects, events, people, and impressions that can be judged in many ways.  This makes each human being and every situation unique, giving people the ability to categorize. This means that we can do equivalent things perceived as different and, lump together objects, events and people.  The relationship between learning and neuromarketing is there.  "We know that the resulting stimulation of learning and the experiences acquired throughout life, are forming in the human brain through a neural network, which is the biological basis of all the alternatives or decisions learned" (Braidot, 2009). 

 

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Do Islamic Banks Contribute to Economic Development More Than Conventional Banks?

Dr. Khaled Elmawazini, Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST),

Dr. Khiyar Abdalla Khiyar, Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST),

Dr. Ahmad Al Galfy, Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST)

 

Abstract

Previous studies on the impact of Islamic banking on development are single-country studies whose findings are difficult to generalize. This study investigates the hypothesis that the Islamic banking is a channel for economic development. The study identifies five channels that may explain how Islamic banks can contribute to the economic development more than conventional banks do. The first channel is by directly linking between the real sector and the financial sector. The second channel is by encouraging entrepreneurship and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The third channel is by promoting equality. The fourth channel is the presence of Islamic banks promotes innovation activities by providing risk sharing, which positively affects economic growth and development. The fifth channel is through the ethical values of Islamic banking. In addition, the study indicates that the disagreement concerning the acceptability of certain specific features of Islamic financial products is the main challenge of the growth of the Islamic finance industry. Amartya Sen’s, the 1998 Nobel laureate in economics, argues, “Economic growth cannot be sensibly treated as an end in itself.” [Sen, 1999 p. 14]. Todaro and Smith (2011) defines development as “a multidimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes, and national institutions, as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality, and the eradication of poverty”. This study uses Todaro (2011) definition of development to investigate the impact of Islamic Banking on economic development.  During the last three decades, the number of Islamic financial institutions has risen, from just one institution in 1975 to over 300 institutions operating in more than 75 countries (El Qorchi 2005). These institutions manage funds of around US$200 billion, and hold total assets of more than US$822 billion (Iqbal and Molyneux 2005; Moin 2008). Islamic finance as a percentage of total finance is growing during the period 2001-2009 in many countries (see for example, figures B.1 and B.2 in Appendix B) (1). More recently, Islamic finance market the fastest growth recorded in the financial sector (Derbel et al. 2011). This study is organized as follows. Section 2 reviewed the theoretical approaches on modeling the impact of the banking sector on development Section 3 discusses the main differences between Islamic banks and conventional banks. Section 4 identifies the main channels of Islamic banks that contribute to economic growth and development. Section 5 presents the conclusions and policy implications. Bagehot (1873) is the first author who focuses on the role of central banks during the management of financial crises. Schumpeter (1912) argues that banking sector can facilitate innovation and boost economic growth. However, the neoclassical growth model, developed by Solow (1956 and 1957) predicts insignificance impact of banking sector on capital accumulation and economic growth. In contrast to the neoclassical growth model, the new (endogenous) growth theory predicts shows the importance of banking sector  in promoting long run growth (King and Levine 1993b).

 

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Price Matching Guarantee as an Anticipated Regret Reducer: The Moderating Effect of Price Dispersion and Price Consciousness

Dr. Sultan Alaswad Alenazi, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

 

ABSTRACT

Price Matching Guarantee is a common business practice, as well as an emerging topic in consumer behavior literature. This research examines the effect of price matching guarantee on anticipated regret under different levels of price dispersion and price consciousness. The results show that price matching guarantee  reduces anticipated regret only when price dispersion is high. In addition, the ability of price matching guarantee to reduce anticipated regret is illuminated when a consumer is price conscious. Although several aspects of pricing have been well documented in the marketing literature, various aspects of pricing need additional research (Blamires, 1997).  For example, consumer’s perception of price has received significant attention (Zeithaml, 1988; Noel & Hanna, 1996). However, the need for a deeper understanding of consumers’ perceptions of price still exists. In recent years, businesses have adopted a policy called a price matching guarantee (PMG), in which consumers are awarded the difference in price if they find a similar product offered at a lower price by a competing retailer (e.g., Sivukamur & Weigand, 1996). Some firms have gone even further to offer more than the difference if consumers find a lower price.  Price matching guarantees have received much attention from marketing scholars, particularly in the field of signal theory. Research on PMG is important to practitioners because of the growing number of businesses that use this strategy. It is also important to scholars because many aspects of consumers’ perceptions of and reactions to PMG need more research (Kukar-Kinney & Walters, 2003).  Researchers who have examined PMG as a signal of low price (Kukar-Kinney & Walters, 2003; Srivastava & Lurie, 2004) have found that consumers are more likely to intend to make a purchase when the perceived price level is lowered (Srivastava, 1999; Jain & Srivastava, 2000; Srivastava & Lurie, 2001).  While researchers have assumed that the effect of PMG works by lowering the perceived price level, consumers might perceive PMG not only as a signal of a low price, but PMG also reduces the risk of finding a lower price after a purchase is made. In this case, anticipated regret theory may apply.  The current research has many theoretical and practical implications. In terms of theory, the current research is important to deepen our theoretical understanding of the mechanism by which PMG works to reduce anticipated regret of finding a lower price. It also adds to the PMG literature by examining the effect of price dispersion and price consciousness as possible moderators of the relationship between PMG and anticipated regret. Current research also has implications for practitioners: Managers can use PMG to reduce consumers’ anticipated regret and, in turn, enhance consumers’ purchase intentions.  Researchers have examined PMG from two perspectives, the firms’ perspectives and the consumers’ perspectives. Studies that focus on the perspectives of a firm are concerned with the rationale behind PMG adoption and how such adoption affects competition. Studies that focus on the consumer’s perspective of PMG are concerned with the effect of PMG on consumers’ perceptions and behaviors.  Firm’s Perspective Studies:

 

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The Generation Y Approach to Flexibility of Employment

Dr. Krystyna Kmiotek, The Rzeszow University of Technology, Rzeszow, Poland

 

ABSTRACT

The recently observed desire of companies to increase flexibility clashes in the labor market with the preferences of employees in the field of legal forms of employment. The article deals with these issues, but takes into account the youngest group of employees, i.e. Generation Y. The main aim of this article is to answer the question: do Polish workers of Gen Y accept flexible forms of employment? The paper presents the results of research conducted among a sample of 1,261 employees at 16 companies based on indicated preferences of Gen Y employees as to the legal forms of employment. In the paper the factors that affect this approach were identified. The beginning of the twenty-first century is a time of dynamic change and advancing processes of globalization and integration, observed not only in the fields of art and technology, but also noticeable in all other segments of the environment, including the socio-cultural environment. On the one hand, changes are observed in employee hierarchies resulting from changes in the living conditions of populations in recent decades. On the other hand, the methods of organization and management are changing as well, which significantly changes working conditions compared to conditions 20-30 years ago. The apparent effects of these processes can be observed by comparing the characteristics of employees representing different generational groups currently operating in the labor market. The young generation, known as Generation Y, grew up in completely different conditions than their parents, at a time of rapid development of technology and when the computer was no longer an out of reach achievement of technical ideas, and found a place in almost every home. The Internet and wireless communication devices allowed access to information from all over the world without the need to travel. Thus, in present circumstances the company becomes a meeting place of different generations, each of which has its own priorities, points of view, skill sets or preferred work styles firmly espoused in the value systems differing between generations. These differences cannot be left alone, because they are a potential source of tension and conflict for organizations. Hence, it is necessary to know and understand the differences, in view of either the effectiveness of incentive systems or talent management. Natural generational change in the situation of dramatic dissimilarity of each generation requires increased attention from managers and the taking of actions which will eliminate the potential dangers and accentuate the benefits of such a state of things. Moreover,  the factors that play an important role in  employee relations are the expectations and requirements of the employer justified by the conditions of such activities. And one of the expectations on the part of the employer, having its source in high environment volatility is flexibility. Modern employees are therefore expected to be highly flexible in changing skills, qualifications, and ease of adaptation to other tasks and duties. What is more, companies are increasingly offering forms of cooperation that guarantee employment flexibility, as well as the chance to work for a short term, ease of the resignation from cooperation and remuneration dependent on the results of the work.

 

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Religious Souvenirs from the Holy Land – Is there a Deadweight Loss?

Dr. Ze'ev Shtudiner, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel

Dr. Jeffrey Kantor, Professor, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel

 

ABSTRACT

Pilgrims who come to the Holy Land for a “once in a lifetime” experience are willing to spend a significant amount of money on shopping, in exchange for a tangible memory of their spiritual experience. Many souvenirs are bought as gifts to give away to friends or relatives, reminding the recipient of both the donor and the occasion.  Most studies on gifts found that gift-giving leads to a deadweight loss. In other words, the cost of the item is higher than the value for the recipient. In this study, we examine whether purchasing religious souvenirs as gifts leads to welfare benefits, since religion has such a powerful impact on people. Tourists to the Holy Land who visited major holy sights took part in this study. We found that there is a welfare benefit of 34%. The welfare benefit is much higher among Christian tourists than among Jewish tourists. The greater their religiosity (the more religious they perceived themselves to be), the larger the welfare benefit. We also found that when a tourist purchases a souvenir as a gift he/she mistakenly thinks that the value of the gift for the recipient will be higher than it realistically is.  People like to give and receive gifts.  As a result, when tourists return from travelling they more often than not return with a souvenir to remind themselves (and others) of the experience. The actual act of gift-giving is an experience that is part and parcel of the travel experience. For example, British tourists spend more than £1.2 billion a year on gifts. This translates into an average of £26 per person per vacation/trip. The purchase of a souvenir by a tourist serves as a tangible way of capturing or suspending in time an otherwise intangible experience (Kim and Littrell, 1999; Tosun et al., 2007). Tourists want unique souvenirs that contain memories of their trip and are unique to the destination they have visited (Swanson, 2004). Unlike tourists who visit, say, an exotic beach or fascinating new archeological site, tourists to Israel want to purchase souvenirs that represent Israel as the Holy Land - the land where Judaism and Christianity began. Their gifts are, therefore, of a religious nature. Thus, we refer to these gifts as religious souvenirs.  Religion, as a concept, is linked to a variety of issues in the tourism research literature, but most commonly it is mentioned in relation to pilgrimage and as regards discussions about the link between tourism and pilgrimage (Cohen, 1992a, 1992b, 1998; Din, 1989; Fleischer, 2000; Hitrec, 1990; Joseph and Kavoori, 2001; Rinschede, 1992; Smith, 1992; Turner, 1973). The main reasons for pilgrimage are visiting holy places, seeing monuments or participating in religious ceremonies (Shackley, 2001). There is a consensus that the behavior and decisions of pilgrims are different from those of tourists who travel for pleasure or business. Religious tourism has significant business implications, particularly at both pilgrimage destinations and in the communities located along the routes leading to the site, with the development of a pilgrimage infrastructure consisting of hospices, monasteries and other such services. Religious tourism is seen by many government and tourism officials as a way to either diversify or save struggling economies (Olsen 2003).

 

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Green Building Game for Innovative Education

Yi-Kai Juan, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Tseng-Wei Chao, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

With the rapid change of the environment and inevitable urbanization, the concept of green building is gradually gaining more attention from various countries. However, the implementation and promotion of green buildings has been much hindered, and one of the critical factors is the lack of awareness of green buildings among most people. In order to fulfill the educational goals, this study has designed a 40-minute multiplayer (2-4 people) green building strategy game “GBGame” applicable to the Taiwan green building market. In order to verify the learning effectiveness, this study conducted separate experiments using the ARCS motivation model and the paper form examination on 72 vocational students in the architecture major. The results indicate that (1) Players have strong learning motivations during the game process; (2) players who learned through games generally exhibit better learning effectiveness when examined; (3) following cross-validation, we discover a high significance between the learning effect and players’ attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction during the game. The results also indicate that this game can also effectively improve user’s learning motivation and the effectiveness relating to green buildings through repeated game-plays. The influence of global warming caused by the greenhouse effect is not only limited to the ecological level, it has significantly impacts the human society, economy, culture and living environment (Stern, 2008). Taking the building industry as an example; its energy consumption accounts for 40% of global energy consumption (Wang et al., 2012). Therefore, when faced with the rapid environmental transition and urbanization, the concept of green building is gaining more from the governments of various countries.  Green building is a design which improves the efficiency of buildings in the utilization of resources such as energy, water and materials, etc., and at the same time, reduces the impact of building on human health and the environment during its life cycle (Tam et al., 2012). Although governments of various countries strive to promote the development of green buildings while most people are also aware of the negative impacts of global warming, the execution and promotion of green buildings has been much hindered (Shi, 2008).  In recent years, there has been a growing trend of using games as a mode of teaching. Many studies revealed that the application of games in various practical teaching fields has achieved good results (Perng et al., 2006; Poplin, 2012; Torres & Macedo, 2000; Wang et al., 2009). Using games as a teaching medium would create more fun during the learning process, thereby making the process more enjoyable, which in turn makes the learners receptive to the messages that are intended to be conveyed through games (Torres & Macedo, 2010).  Therefore, this study will develop a set of table game based on the green building environmental education theme, whereby the nine indicators of Taiwan’s green building and green building knowledge will be integrated into the game to allow players to learn the concept of “green” during the game process. During the game process, players will learn through plays to stimulate their learning motivations, so that they will understand how to improve building and urban environments and reduce the environmental threats caused by climate change and warming through various means, strategies, and technologies.

 

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An Imperialist Competitive Algorithm for Minimizing the Makespan of Overlapped Jobs over Multiple Machines

Dr. Sheng-Chung Tu, Hungkuang University, Taiwan

Dr. Jen-Ya Wang, Hungkuang University, Taiwan

 

Abstract

This paper considers a minimization problem for jobs with duplicate contents. Due to the prevalence of cloud computing and information technology, a wide choice of various services is offered. So there might be numerous jobs processed by multiple machines simultaneously. However, jobs from different users may have a lot in common and the duplicate contents are processed again and again. This is a kind of waste. In light of the observation, we propose an imperialist competitive algorithm for scheduling jobs with duplicated contents. That is, for the overlapped jobs allocated to the same machine, the duplicate items are processed once only. Experimental results show that the makespan can be reduced significantly if we have highly-overlapped jobs. Makespan minimization problems are commonly seen in many environments. This is because makespan is closely related to customer satisfaction and business cost. For example, Allouche, Aouni, Martel, Loukil, and Rebaï (2009) proposed a compromise programming model to minimize the make span as well as improve satisfaction. Makespan minimization is also commonly useful in batch scheduling. Ji and Cheng (2010) considered a batch scheduling environment and tried to minimize the makespan. In (M. Z. Wang & Wang, 2012), a single-machine makespan minimization scheduling problem with nonlinear shortening processing times was introduced. On the other hand, makespan is also an important objective in multiprocessing system (Coffman, Garey, & Johnson, 1978). Reza Bonyadi, Rahmani, and Ebrahimi Moghaddam (2010) proposed a makespan minimization problem for disk scheduling and operating system design. In a distributed database system, Sharma, Singh, and Kaur (2012) proposed a parallel scheduling algorithm in allocating the tasks of distributed database over number of processors. It is clear that makespan minimization is an important research topic, no matter in the field of industrial engineering or computer science. Traditional makespan minimization problems are usually modeled as integer programming problems. Ji and Cheng (2010) presented an algorithm based on dynamic programming to reduce the makespan. Chen (2008) considered a single machine scheduling problem with periodic maintenance. The objective is to minimize the makespan and integer programming models are developed for deriving the optimal solution. Xu, Chen, and Li (2012) investigated a problem of minimizing makespan on a single machine and the machine can process multiple jobs simultaneously. However, in the above studies, jobs are all assumed to be disjoint. They solved makespan minimization problems by various solution techniques, but lack considering removing the duplicate contents of jobs.  In order to solve such time-consuming or even NP-hard problems, metaheuristic algorithms are greatly employed to obtain near-optimal solutions. In (Xu et al., 2012), an ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm based on the theorems was presented. Tasgetiren, Liang, Sevkli, and Gencyilmaz (2007) proposed a particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSO) to solve a makespan minimization problem. In (Lin & Ying, 2013), a simulated annealing algorithm (SA) is presented for another makespan minimization problem. Ruiz and Allahverdi (2009) proposed a genetic algorithm (GA) for a makespan minimization problem. Some of the metaheuristics, e.g., GA, emphasize biodiversity and allow any two individuals to crossover. This may decelerate the convergence speed. On the other hand, some metaheuristics, e.g. PSO, endow the winner of each generation with too much probability to crossover. This may narrow the search area of a population.  In the real world, jobs may have duplicate contents which do not need to be processed repeatedly.

 

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Logistic Competitiveness and Export Performance: The Case of Myanmar Fresh Produce

Dr. Hla Theingi, Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

Agriculture sector is the mainstay of the Myanmar economy accounting for 60 percent of the GDP and employing 65 percent of the labor forceThus agriculture sector’s competitiveness is imperative for Myanmar’s economy.  Agriculture sector’s competitiveness depends largely on logistic competitiveness of the country since logistic costs contribute 20% of the total cost of production. According to the World Bank Logistic Performance Index (2014) Myanmar rank 145 out of 160 countries with logistic efficiency of 40% of the best performer; Germany.  Thus this article reviews logistic challenges faced by Myanmar agribusiness firms especially agriculture fresh produce suppliers and highlights the impact of logistic challenges on Myanmar fresh produce exports.  This article also proposes the efforts to be undertaken by all stakeholders involved.   Farm to consumers is not an easy job for agriculture fresh produce suppliers.  Agribusiness firms are facing with moving, handling, processing and storage of products from growers to consumers. Logistics costs are drivers of firm prices. Inefficiencies of core logistics services increase prices and reduce quality of fresh produce.  By minimizing logistic inefficiencies there exists an opportunity to obtain export competitiveness. Myanmar is a large country with land area of 676,577 square kilometers (km3) and 18% of total land area which is about 12.4 million hectares (ha) are used for agriculture production (ADB, 2013).  Some 5.7 million ha is considered cultivable but it is currently unused (ADB, 2013).  Fruits, vegetables and kitchen crops production use up 729,000, 405,000 and 263,250 hectares respectively (Xinhuanet, 2009).  Rice is Myanmar’s main crop, but beans and pulses have become major export and are an important component of agriculture production.  During 2011-2012 fiscal year, agriculture produces such as rice and maize are among the top export items (Wai, 2013).  Figure 1 exhibits agriculture products export from Myanmar by value, 2011.  Nevertheless kitchen crops such as rice and maze are major agriculture export from Myanmar, Myanmar has been exporting seasonal fruits such as watermelon, musk melon, grape, organe, pineapple, mango, plum and vegetables such as asparagus, chili, onioins to neighbouring countries through border trade (Fresh Plaza, 2009; Xinhuanet, 2009).  Myanmar share borders with Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China, India, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand.  Logistic supply chain for agriculture fresh produce begins at the farm to community merchant, to food wholesalers, retailers and then it ends at the final consumers.  General orchard to market core activities involves nurseries, growing, harvesting, packaging such as sorting, washing, grading and/or processing, packing, labeling, storage, bulk transport, distribution, wholesaling and retailing and consumption. Along all these supply chain activities there incur agriculture wastes from 10% - 25% (IGD.com, 2014; Tolani & Hussian, 2013) if proper handling is not received. Agriculture wastes include field losses, damaged and infected produce, undersized produce, under-ripped / over-ripped produce and weight loss.  These wastes arise at different stages of the supply chain.  The following table 1 shows the losses at different levels of supply chain due to logistic inefficiencies. All these agriculture wastes will impede export competitiveness.  In addition, orchard to market supporting activities including traceability, quality assurance and food safety, IT integrated logistics will also contribute fresh produce export competitiveness.  Thus this article focuses on six dimentions of World Bank LPI to review the logistic challenges faced by Myanmar agriculture fresh produce suppliers.  Logistic challenges and their impact on export performance is highlighted and efforts to be undertaken by all stakeholders are proposed in the last section. World Bank Logistic Performance Index (LPI) measures a country’s supply chain performance based on six dimensions namely; efficiency of clearance process, quality of trade and transport infrastructure, ease of arranging competitively priced international shipments, competence and quality of logistic services, ability to track and trace consignments and timeliness of shipment delivery. According to World Bank LPI (2010), 10% reduction of all trade barriers including cost of doing business and trading and tariff, there is an increase in trade of 8.4%. 

 

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A Study of Social Network Based Recruiting Service Design

Dr. Pin-Rui Hwang, National United University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

Due to rapidly population decrease of college students, college faculty recruiting has become an emerging issue in Taiwan. In this study, a part-time professor recruiting service design is proposed that aims to find appropriate part-time faculty candidates based on the social network analysis. As Social Network Analysis (SNA) contains information for various utilizations, suitable services design for faculty recruiting recommendation is needed. In this study, we proposed a social network based recruiting service design, followed by its framework a prototype service application. The proposed recruiting service integrates SNA techniques, course content ontology, and professional expertise ontology for establishing a recruiting candidate’s social network model for service utilization. The result indicates the social network based approach could provide more qualified candidates for recruiting appropriate faculty than traditional relationship based recommendation approach. The rapid population decreases in Taiwan raise an emerging issue in education that school have to balance the number between students and professors. The decreasing trends also make university to manipulate their recruiting policy for economical operations. Recruiting part-time faculty is one of the solutions for decreasing student populations. Under these circumstances, how to find appropriate part-time professors for the students has become a matter issue for department committee in Taiwan’s college. As the wages of part-time faculty is relatively low and with few teaching hours, it is very difficult to find appropriate candidates for professional courses. Most of all, the candidate must be qualified for specific professional knowledge, education degrees, and specific experience for mastering the target course. Lack of incentives and possible human-resource connections, the department committee is difficult to find the candidates for target courses.  Social network provide new opportunities for people to explore the connections with others. In this study, we apply the social network to modeling and analysis the target course, moreover, we also use social network to explore and generate appropriate part-time faculty candidates for recruiting. The proposed recruiting service design aims to facilitate department committee to analysis and explore the suitable candidates for target course that apply social network modeling based on its expertise, professional skills, related experience & knowledge, as well as the geographic distance of the candidates. The proposed a recruiting service noted as “Prof.-Net” to address the emerging issue in Taiwan’s academy industry. By applying the social network modeling as the service design basis for planning a recommendation service that facilitate college chairs to explore appropriate part-time teacher candidates. The expected service users including the curriculum committee and the department chair of Information Management department in National United University. The candidate's modeling includes the social network structure analysis between the target course and candidate’s academic expertise, professional competence and geographical relationships, research collaboration and other factors. Users could defined and adjust their recruiting requirements for exploring and screening suitable candidates in Prof.-Net recruiting service.  Our proposed recruiting service design relies on recommendation techniques. In current online society, recommendation systems play an important role in helping user to explore relevant information through many techniques. The methods in current recommendation systems can be generally unfolded into three categories of methods, including content-based methods, collaborative filtering (CF) based methods, and hybrid methods. (Adomavicius & Tuzhilin, 2005)

 

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The Management System of Ecotourism and Cultural Tourism for Sustainable Community Development

Dr. Nithipattara Balsiri, Dhonburi Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

The objectives of this research were : 1) to study basic information, community life styles, community identity, and local wisdoms in Bangkhuntien district, 2) to study the unique characteristic of the community for public relation the ecotourism and cultural tourism, 3) to study opportunities and threat to develop ecotourism and cultural tourism, 4) to study participation of government and community sectors in ecotourism and cultural tourism, 5) to study and develop the management system of ecotourism and cultural tourism for sustainable community development. Research methodology is the qualitative research and participatory action research. This research area is Bangkhuntien district, Bangkok province. Interview schedules, and observation forms test were employed for data collection. Content analysis and typological analysis were employed for data analysis. The major research results were : 1) Bangkhuntien community had variety cultural and natural capital which were suitable for developing to be the cultural tourism and ecotourism attractions, 2) in Bangkhuntien community, there were factors which facilitator for developing the cultural tourism and ecotourism, but there were some problems which needs solution form government and community, 3) the management system of ecotourism and cultural tourism for sustainable community development in Bangkhuntien community can be divided in to 4 patterns, they were participation of government and community in planning, implementing, tourism benefit, and evaluation. A sustainable community is on that is economically, environmentally, socially, healthy, and resilient. It meets challenges through integrated solution rather than through fragmented approaches that meet one of those goals at the expense of the others. And it takes a long term perspective, on that is focused on both the present and future, well beyond the next budget or election cycle. As a result, a sustainable community manages its human, natural, and financial resources to meet current needs while ensuring that adequate resources are equitably available for future generations. It seeks a better quality of life for the whole community without compromising the wellbeing of other communities, healthy ecosystems, effective government supported by meaningful and board based citizen participation, Economic security. A sustainable community’s success depends upon its members’ commitment and involvement through active, organized and informed citizenship, inspiring, effective, and responsive leadership, responsible, caring, and healthy community institutions, services, and business. The objectives of this research were : 1) to study basic information, community life styles, community identity, and local wisdoms in Bangkhuntien district, Bangkok province, Thailand, 2) to study the unique characteristic of the community for public relation the ecotourism and cultural tourism, 3) to study opportunities and threat to develop ecotourism and cultural tourism, 4) to study participation of government and community sectors in ecotourism and cultural tourism, 5) to study and develop the management system of ecotourism and cultural tourism for sustainable community development. Research methodology is the qualitative research and participatory action research which using document study, field study, in-depth interview, meeting and group interview, participatory and non-participatory observation techniques.

 

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How Sustainable is Sustained?: The Latent Trajectory of Performance in Baking Industry

Dr. Fen-may Liou, Chihlee Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan

Dr. Chin-Hui Hsiao, Chihlee Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

This paper introduces a new methodology, Latent Class Growth Analysis (LCGA), to identify firms with sustained competitive advantage. LCGA models the probability of membership in the observed distinct (performance) trajectory groups where the grouping variable (the latent factor) is unavailable or unknown; it provides an appropriate procedure to capture information about interindividual differences in intraindividual change. In our paper, the trajectory of performance is defined by market-to-book ratio (MTB), a common indicator approximating Tobin’s q, to measure the competitive advantage of the firm. Using MTB as the performance indicator, we apply LCGA to US banking industry in the last 15 years and distinguished three performance-difference groups. The latent trajectory groups identified by MTB are heterogeneous in their dynamic capabilities. This paper contributes to the strategic management research by showing how one may predict the status of sustained competitive advantage from a series of historical performance. Historical financial performance is widely used to examine the existence of sustained competitive advantage. A firm is said to have sustained competitive advantage if it has achieved long-term persistent superior performance, that is, persisting profits above the norm. Previous studies have used long-term series of performance data from accounting books to detect persistent superior performance (e.g., Henderson, Raynor, and Ahmed, 2012; McGahan and Porter, 1999, 2003; Powell, 2003; Powell and Lloyd, 2005; Powell and Reinhardt, 2010; Ruefli and Wiggins, 2003; Wiggins and Reufli, 2002, 2005). These studies do not pay attention to the random-walk process associated with financial indicators under study. If a financial performance indicator follows a random-walk process, whether the yearly performance is driven by an antecedent (such as competitive advantage) or simply by luck is undetermined (Denrell, 2004). Therefore, the methodology used to identify persistent superior performers should be able to distinguish performance driven by firm specific factors such as capabilities from other random factors such as luck (Denrell, Fang, and Zhao, 2013; Henderson, Raynor, & Ahmed, 2012). Prior studies either ignore the heterogeneity within an industry or do not address the sequence of ordering of performance. The Latent Class Growth Analysis (LCGA), a methodology new to the management field, can be used to identify the group of outperformers without the constraints in the prior literature. LCGA, which is widely used in social and psychological sciences, is a person centered multi-parameter approach (Nagin, 1999, 2005). It models the probability of membership in the observed distinct (performance) trajectory groups where the grouping variable is unavailable or unknown (Jung and Wickrama, 2008; Nagin, 1999, 2005; Nagin and Tremblay, 2001); thus it provides an appropriate procedure to capture information about interindividual differences in intraindividual change (Nagin, 1999). It can be used to identify growth patterns that describe continuity and change among members of different subpopulations (Jung and Wickrama, 2008).  

 

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Manpower Need and Vocational Training of Electrical and Electronics Industry

Dr. Fu-Man Hsieh, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan R.O.C.

En-Kuang Lin, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan R.O.C.

Hsin-Yi Chou, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan R.O.C.

Kung-Hou Lin, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan R.O.C.

Nai-Chung Chang, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this research is to understand the demands of manpower and vocational training of Electrical and Electronics Industry, the research sample is from the Qian-zhen export processing zone. The ways to analyze include (1) Data collection and analysis of the aspect of manpower demands. (2) Data collection and analysis of the aspect of demands in the industrial vocational trainings. (3) According to the results mentioned above, to design a proper program to fit into the supply-demand analysis in order to educate qualified workers curriculums and planning for vocational trainings.  To achieve the main purpose, some research methods are implemented as Secondary Data Analysis: (1) the resources of information with analyzing development trends and manpower demands in Electrical and Electronics Industry from DGBAS and VTC Employment Service Center. (2)Questionnaire method: there are two types of questionnaire. Both employers and employees are investigated to realize their needs. Respectively, first, Both needs of the training units’ requirements in Electrical and Electrics industries and the manpower’s needs questionnaires, effective 64 receives in 100 questionnaires.second, Labor’s training needs questionnaire of Electrical and Electronics industry, effective 258 receives in 330 questionnaires. c. Hold expert forum, which experts, scholars and company representatives are included, 15 in total. Some significant findings include (1) the manpower’s demands in the Electrical and Electronics industries are R&D engineer, managers of high level’s international management and Marcom.(2) The future vocational training’s curriculums of employers are mainly ‘Business writing skills’, ‘Communication abilities’, and ‘The capabilities of investigation and analysis’. (3) The future vocational training demands of employees are ‘ International communication skills’; ‘Digital operating and applicated abilities’; ‘Produce and manufacture’ and‘ Research and innovation capacity’.  Taiwan government is focused on cultivate Electrical and Electronics industries for nearly twenty years. In 2012, output value of Taiwan Electrical and Electronics upstream and downstream industries was 251 billion us dollars, accounted for 52% of Taiwan’s GDP(Source: Taiwan Institute of Economic Research ), so it’s the most important industry of Taiwan’s economic development. The Electrical and Electronics industries can classified into four categories, “Electronic Parts and Components Manufacturing”, “Computers, Electronic and Optical Products Manufacturing”, “Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing” and “Machinery and Equipment for Industry Maintenance and Installation Construction”, and Industrial Classification as follows: A. Electronic Components Manufacturing: Including semiconductor industry and other electronic components manufacturing.  B. Computer, Electronic and Optical Products Manufacturing: Including computer and peripheral equipment,

 

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A Study on Mediator Effect of the Reverse Logistics Activities on Performance

Dr. Ertan Gunduz, Istanbul Gelisim University, Turkey

Dr. Mine Afacan Findikli, Istanbul Gelisim University, Turkey

 

Abstract

The value attributed to reverse logistics performance in organisations is likely to affect market performance positively. Being one of the first attempts to question this proposition, we distinguished some internal and external factors that affect the reverse logistics performance and examined in the light of market performance of most of the largest firms in Turkey. General findings suggested that perceptions of the executives of the firm with regard to the internal applications and the external factors we selected were directly proportional to the performance of the reverse logistics applications of the firm. Our research highlighted the competitiveness achieved by the support of the top management of the firm for the reverse logistics applications. Results indicate that firm’s increasing profit margin affected the reverse logistics performance in a significant and positive manner. Another finding of our research was neither the internal factors nor the external factors, except for the reverse logistics performance, directly affect the organizational performance. As for practical implications, managers were recommended to identify which aspects of reverse logistics factors could be taken as core competencies by the descriptive information obtained.  The reverse logistics performance includes the processes for the planning, implementation and control of effective backward flow of the supply chain for the purpose of ensuring the revaluation or the properly disposal of the raw materials, semi-finished and end products, and the relevant information from the consumption point to the origin. In some studies before, the factors which affect the reverse logistics performance counted as the internal and external factors. One of the main purposes of this study is to be able to verify the relation which is rife between the reverse logistics performance and the market performance of the firm. Within this framework, the internal and external factors affecting the reverse logistics performance are taken into account and the relation between both factors and the reverse logistics performance is examined. Also, the identification of the possible effects of the internal and external factors affecting the reverse logistics performance on the organizational performance was the other focus. Moreover, the relations between the factors such as the competitiveness level of the organization, the reverse logistics competency, the clarity between the organization and the other stakeholders having the supply chain partnership, which have been separated at the research stage and the reverse logistics performance, have been examined. In this study, at first, the reverse logistics performance and the internal and external factors affecting the reverse logistics performance are examined and the relationship between the reverse logistics performance and the market performance of the organization were revealed. The following section includes the validity and reliability studies of the scales used in line with the purpose of the research, the testing of the hypotheses and the analyses for the research. The final section includes the findings and conclusion of the research. An effective management of the supply chain has incrementally become more crucial by providing contribution to the value adding processes and affecting the performance (Ross, 2000: 1-4). In addition, the legal amendments made with increasing sensitivity in relation to the environment as well as the changing demands of the consumers and the development of the concept of corporate social responsibility have led to the redesign of the traditional supply chain and thereby defined as the reverse logistics. It was observed that companies could reduce the use of raw materials, utilize the recycled products by processing them and decrease the waste cost ratios thanks to the effective reverse logistics management which was based on the transaction cost economics and resource-based view theory (Autry et al., 2001).

 

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IPR Competition between Asymmetric Countries

Dr. Chia Chi Wang, Tatung University, Taipei, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

This paper analyzes the relationship between IPR policy and the foreign firm’s location decision when the countries’ sizes are asymmetric. Two countries attempt to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) through the IPR policy. We find that a country with a stricter IPR policy gives a higher incentive for the foreign firm to invest in that country. In addition, whether or not a country can attract FDI depends on the relative size of the country and the employment gains of FDI. If the effect from employment gains is small, then a small country cannot attract FDI even if it implements full IPR protection. However, if the effect from employment gains is large, then a small country may attract FDI through the IPR policy.  In recent decades the issue of intellectual property rights (IPR) has received much attention, because firm-specific assets are considered to be knowledge-based in this high-tech era and should be protected by a patent. The World Trade Organization (WTO) administers an international agreement, called Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), that contains a set of minimum standards for IPR protection. Actually, the level of IPR protection is an important concern for a foreign firm when it chooses a location to invest.(1) If knowledge is valuable, but can be copied, then the foreign firm may not wish to invest in a country with weaker IPR protection, because the local firm can easily imitate the foreign firm’s superior technology. The foreign firm would lose absolute advantage over its know-how. On the contrary, if knowledge can be protected by IPR, then it gives a higher incentive for the foreign firm to invest in that country.  A government adopting policy intervention to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) is a frequently observed phenomenon, because FDI brings many benefits for the home country such as spurring competitiveness in the market, creating job vacancies, and bringing about technology transformation. Thus, countries have a great incentive to attract FDI.(2) Seyoum (1996) empirically studies 27 countries and finds the result that the level of IPR protection is a strong determinant of inward investment. Maskus (1998) indicates that strengthening IPR protection can be an effective incentive for inward FDI. Glass and Saggi (2002) provide a product cycle model with endogenous innovation, imitation, and FDI. They find that a stricter IPR protection keeps the multinational firm safer from imitation, but no more so than Northern firms. Leahy and Naghavi (2010) analyze the effect of IPR on the foreign firm’s entry mode, whether FDI or joint venture. If IPR is strict and R&D intensity is moderate, then joint venture is the equilibrium market structure. In addition, the south country can gain from strengthening IPR protection because it encourages the foreign firm to choose JV. Branstetter and Saggi (2011) consider a North-South product cycle model and note that a strengthening IPR increases the flow of FDI. Tanaka and Iwaisako (2014) also present a North-South model that examines the effect of IPR on innovation, FDI, and welfare. They show that strengthening IPR protection can improve welfare if the initial IPR protection is weak and the R&D subsidy rate is not too high. From discussion above, we know that the IPR policy will affect the foreign firm’s decision and the domestic country’s welfare. However, a common feature of these papers is that they do not look at the competition of two countries’ IPR policy, which often happens in reality.

 

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Corporate Social Responsibility in Egypt: Current Status and Future Prospects

Dr. Samir Youssef, American University in Cairo, Egypt

 

ABSTRACT

Current level of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Egypt is largely determined by organizational, social, economic, legal and political factors. In some large and possibly medium-size firms, especially those listed on the Stock Exchange, CSR is increasingly becoming a formalized process and is encouraged by government’s effort to build up capacity in this area for the purpose of increasing the country’s competitiveness. This was guided by IMF initiatives for a free market economy. However, for the majority of firms in Egypt, especially those   small in size, CSR is an absent concept and is replaced by philanthropy and paternalistic management. The social setting in Egypt is not confrontational but rather accommodative and aims at maintaining harmony between contending parties. This is encouraged by the low level of development of different business stakeholders .This sets limits on the potential of   negotiated arrangements which is the cornerstone of the stakeholder’s model. In the aftermath of the Egyptian uprising in January 2011 and in view of the high level of poverty a paradigm shift is expected by adopting a more developmental orientation of CSR.  Egypt, with a population of 90million and limited resources, is currently in dire need for economic and social development .Until the mid - seventies the country adopted the socialist system with 90 percent of the economy controlled by the government. Public sector enterprises, managed largely as a part of the bureaucracy, were depleted in order to finance several wars with Israel.  After the peace treaty the government embarked on an open door policy with privatization and encouraged the private sector and foreign investment as its corner stones.  In the early 1990s, an economic reform program supported by USAID, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund undertook to restructure the Egyptian economy and to encourage privatization and the entrepreneurial spirit. Reform legislation created incentives for private investment (domestic and foreign), opened foreign trade to private companies, and eliminated most controls on the business sector. However, until now Egypt hasn't emerged entirely from its experiment with a state economy .Along with state-owned banks, a heavy-handed bureaucracy has survived and still controls considerable state assets and resources. These reform programs were reluctantly followed at the beginning but in the mid- 1990s they started to pick up steam. During the five years prior to the uprising of January 25, 2011, a new liberal government of professionals and businessmen had adopted a definite direction towards the free market economy. Reform of the government bureaucracy took the form of streamlining the bureaucracy, lowering taxes, introducing IT in the government and promoting foreign investment. Share of the private sector of the economy was increased to reach around 70 percent and the inflow of foreign investment had shown significant increase. However, the main developmental needs of the country have remained unaddressed. Currently around 40 percent of the population is classified as poor living on 2 dollars a day or less. Education, housing, infrastructural services remained to a large extent much below acceptable standard .Cairo, the capital city, has become overcrowded and is suffocating under the pressures of the growing slum areas around it. Unemployment rate is high reaching, according to official figures, around 13 percent.  During these reform years (2005-2011) the general public largely remained unimpressed with the frequent announcements of government officials about the growth rate, averaging around 5 percent during that period,   or the improved ranking of Egypt on international business environment indexes. The public was not convinced about the high priority given by the government towards economic growth with social justice left to the long term trickling down effect. While this period witnessed decent rates of economic growth but the issue of eradicating poverty was not seriously addressed. Income gap with other nations and within Egypt has widened (UN, 2007) What infuriated the public even more was the blatant rigging of the parliamentary election in 2010 and the intention of the old presiding president to hand over the throne of the Republic to his son. It took only eighteen days from January 25,2011 of leaderless  massive protests to topple the 82 years president and his entourage .

 

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Coopetition? Yes, but Who With? The Selection of Coopetition Partners by High-Tech Firms

Dr. Agnieszka Zakrzewska-Bielawska, Professor, Lodz University of Technology, Poland

 

Coopetition can be said to be present only when two inherently contradictory inter-organisational dynamics – competition and cooperation – are occurring at the same time between the same entities. Two questions then arise: With whom are firms in coopetition relationships? With whom will they wish to institute coopetition in the future? The goal of this paper is to answer these questions. Research conducted using the Pen and Paper Interview technique on a sample of 235 high-tech firms found that the majority were engaged in multiple coopetition relationships, that is, that they were cooperating with more than one competitor. They chose their coopetition partners mostly from among their rivals in Poland and from the SME sector. That said, they most preferred to enter into coopetition with firms of a similar size and technological and market position, or with stronger and bigger firms. Their choices and preferences were, however, stratified not only in respect of firms’ size, but also with regard to their territorial scope, degree of development and area of coopetition.  Contemporary markets require firms to take an innovative approach to constructing competitive advantage. On the one side rapid technological advancement, increasing globalisation and open borders intensify competition, while on the other they compel firms to combine their strengths to take better advantage of the opportunities created by the changing environment. As a result, firms are finding themselves in simultaneous competition and cooperation ever more frequently. This state of affairs is defined as coopetition. Notwithstanding the increasing interest in coopetition, the fundamental questions associated with the relationship it defines continue to be discussed. This arises from attempts in Economics to examine coopetition from different theoretical standpoints. Their dominant strands are: game theory (Brandenburger and Nalebuff, 1996; Bengtsson and Kock, 2000; Okura, 2007), transaction costs theory (Dowling et al., 1996; Madhook, 2000; Ganguli, 2007) and resource-based theory (Levy et al., 2003; Gnywali and Park, 2009; Tong and Reuer, 2010; Zakrzewska-Bielawska, 2013a). We may also include two further theoretical platforms for coopetition created by researchers: the network approach (Gnywali et al., 2006; Czakon, 2009), as well as inter-organizational dynamics theory (Padula and Dagnino, 2007; Tidström, 2008). The multitude of theoretical approaches to coopetition, as well as its comparatively brief research history, has made this field of study very heterogeneous.  There are also those research initiatives that investigate coopetition from a variety of analytical levels and research perspectives. Their predominant strands may be identified as follows: studies of the features of coopetition (Bengtsson and Kock, 2000, Rusko, 2011; Tidström and Hagberg-Andersson, 2012), studies of the achievement of competitive advantage through coopetition (Garrette et al., 2009; Ritala and Ellonen, 2010; Thomason et al., 2013), studies identifying the benefits and threats connected with coopetition (Gnyawali et al., 2006; Ritala and Sainio, 2014), analyses of the complexity involved in relationships of coopetition in terms of the varying intensity of competition and cooperation (Lado et al., 1997; Luo, 2004; Czakon and Rogalski, 2014), directions of inter-firm linkages (Brandenburger and Nalebuff, 1996; Rusko, 2011; Kim et al., 2013) and studies from the perspective of the number of firms in the coopetition nexus and the number of levels in the value chain (Dagnino and Padula, 2002; Luo, 2007). There have, however, been no studies addressing the features of entities involved in coopetition or of the preferences of firms when selecting partners for such a relationship.

 

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The Training Requirements and the Curriculum Design of the Meridian Therapy Industry Employees- A Case of San-Sui Tang Company

Dr. Fu-Man Hsieh, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan

Meng Chen Yu, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan

Chiao -Yi Chiu, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan

Wei Bin Li, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan

Chian Chi Huang, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

Meridian therapy industry (Massage industry) formed a specific culture to Taiwan tourism industry, and it can push forward the regional economic development. This research focuses on the training demand of the staffs in the massage industry. By case study, the main purpose of this research is to improve the efficiency of the staff by developing training program moderate. This study took San-Sui-Tang Company as a case study, which has three branches in Kaohsiung so far. The research methods include (1) Organizational analysis by interviewing with the employer (2) Person analysis by questionnaire of the staffs which consist of general and specific course. There are three significant findings as below: 1. The main training motivation of masseurs is to improve their professional knowledge and skills. 2. The main providing training motivation of the employer focuses on improving staffs’ communication skill. 3. The training course map can be divided into masseurs’ part and administrative staffs’ parts. According to the Classification Employment of the ROC, meridian therapy professionals belongs to the 5149th, employees of others personal service. The three professions are masseurs, rehabilitation masseurs and meridian therapy professionals. On May 29th in 2012, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (hereinafter referred to as MOHW) released the Regulations Matters of Indigenous Medicine by Yi Zi No.1010206672, categorizing massage industry as the J industry, the cultural, sporting, leisure and other service industries. It was defined as the industry doing the traditional massage and chiropractic toward bodies, but not referred to as the medical behavior and asserting the medical efficiency. Besides, according to the information of the Directorate-General of Budget Accounting and Statistics Executive Yuan, massage industry belongs to the other personal service industries of S industry. Therefore, non-medical behavior in which the meridian therapy industry (or massage industry, hereinafter referred to as massage industry) is engaged and related industry can be generalized as in Figure1.  For the purpose of output value, Thailand has the biggest SPA massage industry in South Asia and its output value was 13.4 billion and 50 million. Taiwan has about 4.4 billion so far; For the purpose of Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) between China and Taiwan, as the travel agencies and travel service industry is open, there would be more Chinese coming to Taiwan and creating more business opportunity. San Sui Tang is taken from Laozi’s faith; the kind-hearted is like water, which means the best moral is like water. Water, like San Sui Tang operation spirits, benefits all things without struggle and in the modest place. Since San Sui Tang was founded, it has been keeping caring about customers’ health. San Sui Tang believes that maintaining the energy of mind and body is the best way to be healthy. The advantage of San Sui Tang: Promoting the most natural way to stay healthy and taking care of every customer with nice equipment and professional service by an active attitude and careful mind. The staffing of the company consists of 80% of the members as senior masseurs, and other 20% as new masseurs. With regard to education, 80% of the staffs are from senior high school while other 20% are from junior high school.

 

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Minimizing the Makespan of Overlapped Jobs with Release Times Over Multiple Machines

Dr. Jen-Ya Wang, Hungkuang University, Taiwan

Dr. Jr-Shian Chen, Hungkuang University, Taiwan

Dr. Fuh-Gwo Chen, Hungkuang University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we consider a minimization problem for jobs containing duplicate contents. In today’s computing environments, a batch of jobs may be assigned to multiple machines at a time. However, not all jobs are released at time 0 and some jobs have partially duplicate contents. If the jobs with duplicate contents can be assigned to the same machine as possible as we can, some processing time can be saved by processing the duplicate contents once. Therefore, we propose an algorithm for scheduling such overlapped jobs. A tabu search is also used to enhance the convergence speed and solution quality of the proposed algorithm. Experimental results show that the makespan can be improved much if the overlapped jobs can be placed together. A significant benefit of job scheduling is customer satisfaction. Job scheduling is a common research topic in computer science and operational research. Traditional studies explore how to cost-effectively and time-efficiently schedule jobs. With proper job scheduling, we can reduce makespan (Cheng et al., 2006; Rafiee Parsa et al., 2010), completion time (Shabtay, 2014; Tao, 2014), tardiness (Lushchakova, 2012), earliness (Baker, 2014), number of tardy jobs (Rasti Barzoki & Hejazi, 2013), or operation cost (Levitin et al., 2014). Therefore, lower cost and shorter waiting time could lead to better customer satisfaction and various minimization problems are studied in the field of job scheduling. Minimizing makespan is commonly seen in the field of job scheduling (Ahmadizar, 2012; Jia & Leung, 2014; Lee et al., 2012; Lin & Ying, 2013). This is because a shorter makespan generally implies a better customer satisfaction. The performance indicator, i.e., makespan, is measured by the completion time of the last job. However, due to scarce resources and conflicting constraints, obtaining an optimal schedule becomes not that easy. Such problems are usually NP-hard (Nessah & Kacem, 2012). For example, we have multiple jobs with different release times (Della Croce et al., 2014). To obtain the optimal makespan, all possible jobs sequences (i.e., all permutations) need to be taken into account. Some invalid schedules need to be excluded. However, it is very time-consuming for checking all possible schedules if they are valid. As the problem size is large, it is impossible to determine the optimal schedule manually. This is because the time complexity grows exponentially. Consequently, developing an efficient algorithm for minimizing makespan is meaningful. Parallel machines are helpful for minimizing makespan (Chen & Chen, 2009; Ji et al., 2013; Lee et al., 2012). In a parallel environment, the makespan of a single machine can be reduced several times. Moreover, the system reliability is also improved (Ng et al., 2010). If one machine is out of order or requires maintenance, other identical machines will take over. However, in most real-world manufacturing environments, jobs are not always disjoint. That is, duplicate contents may exist in two jobs. For example, in (J. Y. Wang, 2012), some requested information may be simultaneously processed by several servers. The same job is done repeatedly by multiple servers. It is a kind of waste instead of collaboration. Thus, parallel makespan minimization is an important research topic. Avoiding unnecessary rework is helpful for minimizing makespan. In our daily life, there might be duplicate contents in two jobs. For example, a patent examiner is usually asked to review several patents in the same field at a time (Albrecht et al., 2010; Veefkind et al., 2012). This arrangement accelerates the processing time of patent examination. Another example is duplicate information retrieval. Multiple uses may request the information of popular stocks simultaneously (J. Y. Wang, 2012).

 

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Using Conjoint Analysis to Discover Guest Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Bed and Breakfast in Taitung

Dr. Chen-Te Lin, Kang Ning University

Dr. I-Hua Lin, Taiwan ShouFu University

Yi-Tsun Ho, Chang Jung Christian University

Dr. Chen-Hsien Lin, Overseas Chinese University

 

ABSTRACT

Within recent years, the government of Taitung County has encouraged the tourism industry and promoted this location as the best vacation spot in Taiwan. A variety of events take place there, such as folk activities and religious festivals; in addition local services and exhibitions also attract tourism. To demonstrate the distinguishing characteristics of Taitung, bed and breakfast (B&B) owners’ have blended nature and culture into their décor, menus, and activities. This study focuses on (a) consumers’ major considerations in choosing Taitung’s B&Bs, (b) market segmentation of Taitung’s B&Bs and the best product mix preferred by consumers, and (c) willingness to pay for room rate.  A two-stage cluster analysis was employed as the main research method; initially, the researchers classified the appropriate cluster numbers and used the K-means to cluster the groups in the second stage. Information about consumer preference was collected to complete the conjoint analysis of the data of the product mix and the data of the preference order of the consumer.  The researchers gained the primary attributes of the B&Bs from the literature review and developed a first-stage survey. The conjoint analysis was adopted to analyze the dataseven new attributes were discovered: electronics available in the room, supplies in the room, types of rooms, availability of local items, availability of bicycles, word-of-mouth recommendations and advertising, directional sign. In the second stage, visitors were sent to Taitung and helped the participants to complete the questionnaires to understand their preference sequence. Part-worth utilities were adopted as a segmentation method, and three clustering-based segmentations were discovered: facilities orientation, price orientation and room type orientation. Conclusions, recommendations, and the suggestions for future researchers will be based on the research data.  In recent years, domestic tourism has grown rapidly in Taiwan due to the changing tendency in lifestyle and the social value. Within past decades, the economic trends of the country have been changed from manufacturing and traditional industrial to service and tourism industry, the inbound tourism increased from 3millions to more than 7millions a years. According to WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) economic impact 2013 research report of Taiwan, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to national GDP is predicted to rise by 1.2% in 2013, and by 3.4 % pa from 2013-2023. Travel and Tourism investment in 2012 was about 5.3% of the total national investment, and it should rise by 5.7% in 2013, and by 5.2% pa. over the next ten years (p. 1). The higher ratio of inbound tourists to domestic tourists makes inbound tourism play a significant role in the Taiwan Travel & Tourism Industry.  Taitung county, a beautiful area may be the last pristine land on the island of Taiwan; which is the third largest county in Taiwan, located in the eastern coast. This county has spectacular biodiversity and unique eco-system; as well as well-preserved natural resources resulting from the slow pace of industrialization; beautiful mountains, the water and coastline, and the culture of southern aboriginal communities. Ethnic diversity has endowed a unique culture, multiple festival occasions, and vibrant life of slowness that caused the county distinct from others. This unique county attracted more than 4.5 millions of visitors a year (Chen, 2013) and the number was increasing yearly.

 

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