The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge

Vol.  23 * Num.. 1 * September 2017

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

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 Optimizing International Teams’ Effectiveness by Building Trust

Dr. Gordon W. Arbogast, Jacksonville University, FL

Hannes Witte, Jacksonville University, FL

 

ABSTRACT

Trust is considered as a crucial component in successful relationships. Extensive literature recognizes that trust is essential for creating an effective and efficient work environment. It is difficult to have productive working relationships without trust. This subject has been researched using different approaches. One under-researched factor related to trust may be the impact of trust on the strength of a team. This paper attempts to shed more light on the relationship between trust and strength of a team or organization by focusing on the following underlying basis for a strong team: 1) The ability of the team to optimize individual strengths of the team; 2) Role Versatility: and 3) Role Clarity. The results of this study indicate that Trust is a predictor for the ability of a team to Optimize Individual Strengths in the team, Role Versatility, Role Clarity, and finally - team strength and effectiveness.  Webster's Dictionary defines trust as the "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something." Most leaders believe that one of the keys of success of a business or a team is trust. It is innate in most people’s beliefs that trust is critical in lasting relationships. A challenge for most managers of teams is their inability to instill trust in their team members. Even with competent team members, a team that does not cultivate trusting relationships fails to become an effective unit. Castro (Castro, 1994) describes the process of trust, teamwork, and change as a journey. Although managers cannot force their associates to trust each other or to work as a team, they can encourage it and provide the needed resources to build trust. Once trust is established, managers have a better opportunity to accomplish the company's goals. According to Heathfield (Heathfield, 2002), trust is the necessary precursor to achieving cooperation as a group and to initiate manageable risks. Heathfield (2002) continues that "trust forms the foundation for effective communication, associate retention, motivation, and contributions of discretionary energy." Bennett, Hart & Saunders (Bennett, 1996; Hart & Saunders, 1997) believe that trust is the basic foundation of successful teams. Trust is a complex concept and has been thoroughly researched because it is interesting and socially important (McLeod, 2011) however, many teams do not have the luxury of developing trust as they are formed for the sole purpose of achieving short term goals, before they are disbanded and moved to other projects.  The concept of trust and its impact on the strength of a team has become more significant in recent times. Leadership recognizes that in the past, teamwork was used only for special projects, now it is often the norm (Castro, 1994). Teamwork has become an essential element for success in business, but how does trust impact the success and strength of teams? This paper attempts to shed light on the relationship between trust and team strength. Teamwork has become an essential element for success and survival of businesses (Clayton Becton et al. 2012). Firms have found that the key to successfully accomplishing projects is often through the development of teams (Castro, 1994). "Mastering the management of a global business team calls for confronting several unique challenges that tend to exacerbate the more common problems facing all teams" (Vijay Govindarajan et al, 2001). It was found that of 70 global business teams studied, approximately 33% rated their performances as largely unsuccessful. The survey of 58 senior executives from five U.S. and four European multinational organizations reveals that when global business teams fail, it is often due to a lack of trust among team members. Existing research has provided valuable insight; however, with the introduction of teams as the norm in the workforce, it becomes increasingly more important to explore the relationship between trust and the strength of the team. Trust has received much attention in research. Many studies unquestionably assume that trust is intrinsically beneficial, but few consider how trust impacts the strength of teams. With the uniform consensus by researchers that trust is essential for team success, the question arises whether a team will be stronger because of trust.  What is a 'strong' team? This research identifies three areas of importance in investigating the Strength of a team: A team's ability to 1) Maximize Individual Strengths, 2) to have Role Clarity, and 3) to have Role Versatility. Trust is an intention or willingness to depend on another party (McKnight et al. 1998). The conventional developmental view of trust maintains that trust starts low and increases as two parties interact (e.g., Butler 1991, Lewicki and Bunker 1995, Zand 1972). However, high initial trust has been observed in new face-to-face and virtual work relationships even in the initial phase before members have a chance to interact (Iacono and Weisband 1997, Jarvenpaa et al. 1998, Jarvenpaa and Leidner 1999, Knoll and Jarvenpaa 1995, Kramer 1994, Meyerson et al. 1996). McKnight et al. (1998) propose that individuals do not make conclusions about teammates, but instead use their own preexisting dispositions, institutional expectations, and cognitive processes such as social categorization and illusions of control to make attributions about the other person's initial trustworthiness. Dirks and Ferrin (2001) assume that trust reduces ambiguity and uncertainty in social perceptions. Their “direct effects model” suggests that one's trust in another directly affects attitudes of every member of the team. High levels of trust will cause the trustor to hold positive attitudes, such as high satisfaction, or perceive good performance. Likewise, low levels of trust will yield low satisfaction and low perceived task quality. Hypothesis 1: There is a positive relationship between Trust and Team Strength. One premise is that an individual's contribution to the team will be maximized if the individual's personal strength is maximized. This can only be achieved if there is trust within the team. It is hypothesized that the identification, recognition, and the maximization of individual's strengths is positively related to team trust. Exiting literature recognizes that trust is essential for creating an effective and efficient work environment. But how does a trusting relationship impact the ability of the team to maximize an individual's strengths?

 

Influence of Governmental Policies on Global Market Entrance Strategy: A Multiple Case Study

Dr. Craig H. Martin, University of Phoenix, Northcentral University, and Walden University

 

ABSTRACT

A number of economic factors influence the determination by a company whether or not a market is attractive for entrance.  Application of governmental fiscal, monetary and regulatory policies are demonstrated to be one of the primary factors influencing perception of market attractiveness for entrance. Incorporating a foundation of systems and complexity theory in conjunction with the above governmental fiscal, monetary and regulatory policies, three case studies of different countries were explored for the purpose of understanding why the application of the governmental policies influenced the perception of attractiveness of each for new market entrance investment. Understanding the influence of governmental policies on perception of a multinational company about level of market attractiveness for investment will assist corporate leadership in making future decisions. Themes emerging included that risk for investment increases as debt/government spending rises near 100%; that fiscal spending deficits may result in an increased hidden tax penalty from inflation in the country; that excess governmental regulation can inhibit economic growth and that having a territorial aggressive large neighbor nearby may inhibit perceived attractiveness.  The growth in potential markets globally for consumer goods and services, as well as the growing number of companies seeking to share in the opportunities present in these expanding markets, have introduced the need for additional planning beyond the concept of simply entering a market (Khojastehpour, M., Ferdous, A.S., & Polonsky, M., 2015). Understanding the challenges of the society into which one plans to enter is paramount for being able to develop strategy which will enable the organization to meet and satisfy the needs of the people in that market (Steenkamp, J.E.E., & de Jong, M.G., 2010).  Realization by business that a structured plan offering a high probability of success to take advantage of opportunities and mitigate challenges present in new markets is necessary for effective market entrance strategy (Reeves, Haanes & Sinha, 2015). Reeves, Haanes and Sinha (2015), who are senior partners with Boston Consulting Group, propose that strategy consists of studying the situation, defining a goal and development of a step-by-step path to get there. When entering a new market, steps imply understanding fully the market, including understanding the competitive forces present; defining the profitable goal for one’s goods and services within the market within a period of time; and developing the step-by-step plan for entrance. In the expanding global market place, the business environment encountered is likely to be more dynamic and more uncertain due to, among other factors, global competitive forces present, diversity found in markets, rapid growth and change in technology and economic interconnectedness of markets (Reeves and All, 2015). Study of the business environmental situation to develop a competitive advantage for the firm requires leaders to be observant and adaptive sufficiently to change course as needed to maintain that advantage once it is realized (2015).  To assist leaders in the understanding of the competitive position in which one will reside after entering a new market, Michael Porter of Harvard University developed a framework for analyses of the level of competition within an industry and a business strategy environment (Porter, 2008). Porter identified five forces which, when analyzed collectively, presents a picture of the level of attractiveness of market for entry. At the center of the five forces is industry rivalry in that market. Other forces having impact on the central force are bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, threat of product substitutes and threat of new entrants.  In 1993, Martyn Jones, a consultant at Groupe Bull, augmented Porter’s five force model for understanding the attractiveness of a new market with a sixth, or complimentary, force. Building on prior scholarly work, Jones posited the central government in the market as the complimentary force which also influences critically the attractiveness of a market for business (Ireland, Hoskisson & Hitt, 2008). Policies of government which influence the expansion of the market economically can, if effective, lower the influence of other of the five forces as there is more economy to absorb the impact of the other competitive forces.  Understanding how application of governmental policies may influence the business environment in market in which a business plans to enter is the subject of this research. Although assumed that the economic purposes for use of governmental regulatory, fiscal and monetary policies are market expansion and jobs growth, observations of the actual application illustrate growth outcomes vary in application (Stockman, 2013). I will present three cases – the three Baltic Countries, Russia, and China – to explore how the application of regulatory, monetary and fiscal policies have influenced growth within each market and enhanced positively or negatively the attractiveness of the market for a new entrant. Through advancing understanding about likely outcomes following governmental application of regulatory, fiscal and monetary policies, leaders of companies seeking expansion into new markets may developed more informed decisions in advancing their return for the organizations stakeholders (Bartlett, Ghoshal & Beamish, 2008). The review of literature explores economic factors promoted by a host government critical for making corporate decision about whether the market is attractive for entrance. Foundational theories of risk and uncertainty incorporated into systems theory as applied to market economics are explored. Economic principles incorporated into central government policies are critically reviewed. Literature explaining market expansion opportunities and challenges in terms of benefits and risk are considered. When considering the entrance into a new market, companies for most of second half of the 20th Century scanned to develop a picture of total estimated GNP and population (Kotabe & Helson, 2010). With the estimated information, a calculation could be made of GNP/capita, which could then be used to rank countries as most to least advantageous for expansion of corporate products into the market. Other demographic factors considered relevant for global market strategy were obtained as possible (The CIA World Fact Book – 2015 - was an important source used by companies to develop market information). My perception is that global strategies developed for new market entrance for most companies was severely limited in scope and with lack of country in depth information about challenges facing the new entrant.  The McKinsey Global Consulting Company introduced the concept of the SWOT analyses in order to broaden the factors considered important for developing a company’s market entrant strategy. The SWOT framework was introduced for all market strategy situations in the 1980’s under that acronym by McKinsey using the work of Albert Humphry Farrell (2006). The purpose of the model was to enable a classification of factors important to organizational effectiveness under the captions of challenges and opportunities (external, environmental factors) and strengths and weaknesses (factors internal to the organization). By developing a list of all such factors under each of the classifications, the outcome from use of SWOT was an improved rating of factors useful in strategy development for new market entry.

 

The Impact of Information and Communication Technology on Terrorism and Internal Conflict in Northern Africa and the Middle East

Dr. Shahram Amiri, Stetson University, FL

Brianne Boldrin, Stetson University, FL

 

ABSTRACT

The development of information and communication technology (ICT) has been a primary goal for nations across the world as they work towards becoming relevant in the global economy.  Nations across the Middle Eastern region, including Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen, have all experienced recent growth in network readiness and technological capacities.  Along with this development, these nations are experiencing the social effects of opening up digital communications.  These nations were also given the highest terrorism or internal conflict ratings in the world.  The goal of this analysis is to determine if the development of ICT has contributed to an increase in terrorism and/ or internal conflict.  Keywords: Information and communication technology, ICT, social media, digital media, internet, deep web, terrorism, conflict, activism, Africa, Middle East, MENA Region, Arab, Islam, Algeria, Bahrian, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, the West Bank and Gaza,  The MENA region is the Northern African and Middle Eastern region composed of the Arab and Islamic states- Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, the West Bank and Gaza.  Seven of these nations have the highest terrorism and internal conflict ratings in the world (Abed & Davoodi, 2003).  This is a diverse region with a common heritage, several different stages of economic development and various amounts of natural resources.   The MENA region has underperformed in the last thirty years.  The region benefited from a sharp increase of oil prices in the 1970’s and experienced an increase in wealth.  However, over the next twenty years growth rates declined and the employment opportunities did not match the abilities of a growing labor force.  Income levels vary throughout countries in this region.  In 2002 the per capita GDP was $37,600 USD in Qatar and $930 USD in Yemen.  The oil rich countries have the highest per capita GDP’s in the region accounting for about 3/4’s of the world’s crude oil.  Thirteen of the twenty-four MENA countries are exporting oil including Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria (Abed & Davoodi, 2003).  Over the past 30 years some MENA countries have grown but the region overall had near-zero percent growth.  Other developing country groups have grown about 2.5 percent in this time period.  Some of the major consequences of poor growth are persistently high unemployment reinforced by years of high growth rates of population and the labor force.  According to Abed and Davoodi, “Employment in the MENA region did grow, at times faster than in other developing countries, but rapid population growth inflated the ranks of the young and fed the labor market with a rising tide of job seekers that exceeded the economy’s capacity to absorb them” (Abed & Davoodi, 2003).  A world bank study was conducted with 16 MENA countries (60% of the region population) and the results showed that up to 47 million new jobs must be created between the years of 2002 and 2012 to keep pace with the labor market.  Also an additional 6.5 million jobs are needed to reduce the unemployment rate below ten percent (Abed & Davoodi, 2003).  Unemployment is at its worst in Iraq, Afghanistan, the West Bank and Gaza.  These countries have a combined estimated population of 53 million with unemployment levels much higher than the rest of the region.  Unemployment can be attributed to weak economic performance.  Abed and Davoodi suggest that the weak economic performance is due to “high population growth and low productivity, lagging political and institutional reforms, large and costly public sectors, an inefficient and inequitable educational system, underdeveloped financial markets, high trade restrictiveness and inappropriate exchange rate policies” (Abed & Davoodi, 2003).  Education has taken large strides in recent years.  In a sample of 12 of the MENA countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Sudan, the segment of the population over 25 years old with no education declined from 80 percent in 1970 to 46 percent in 2000.  The average number of years spent in school also increased from 1.3 years to 4.5 years during the same time period (Abed & Davoodi, 2003).  Recent spikes in education and the population has resulted in an increase in the educated population.  The spike in youthful populations sometimes results in an increase in internal conflict.  “Between 1970 and 1999, 80 percent of civil conflicts occurred in countries where 60 percent of the population or more were under the age of thirty” (Beehner, 2007).  The number of protests have also increased during this time period.  Anup Shau claims that “others in the region, if they’ve been spared so far, will no doubt start to feel insecure as many rulers in the region are seen as illegitimate, corrupt or unwanted in some way” (Shau, 2011).  Many of the recent uprisings have been a result of the authoritarian regimes that were originally brought into place by the support of the outside world.  In other countries, democracies have been overthrown and replaced by dictators with aid coming in from the outside world from world superpowers.  This has resulted in a dislike for certain groups or countries.  With change and the opportunity for change, new ideas have risen to the surface.  “Democracy or no democracy, people can and will only take so much.  At some point, they will rise up and ask for their demands to be met” (Shau, 2011).  Protests regarding jobs, unemployment, corruption and historical divisions have occurred across the region.  This recent strife across the Arab world indicates that the people are seizing the opportunity to oust dictators and those who have placed them in power. Increased media coverage combined with the people’s determination for improvement has led to heightened distaste for many of the regimes. The increase in protests and activism across the region shows that people are beginning to recognize that the Islamist takeover is not the only solution. The confidence of the Arab people has grown and they are taking their fate into their own hands by searching for and advocating for alternative solutions to dictatorships and the Islamist regime.  Over the years the pace of communication and ability to bypass official censorship on the internet has increased.  Uprisings in Egypt were fueled by a twitter and Facebook revolution.  “Such tools have been enablers for underlying social, political and economic issues that have always been there” (Shau, 2011).  The protests were fueled by an awakened educated youth.  Many are dissatisfied as the large number of young, well-educated unemployed increases.  Young people have channeled their energy towards non-violent democratic political change but inaccurate propaganda has been used online in an effort to combat their progress.  On February 20th, 2011 Libya claimed that many of the protests centered on drugs and then later claimed that the activists supported Al Qaeda.  These internet-powered claims were false. Several countries with high unrest such as Egypt, have even resorted to eliminating internet services with short notice over specific time periods as an attempt to control web communication. 

 

Perceptions of Quality Between Online Programs Offered at Traditional Versus Online Universities

Dr. Marian Schultz, The University of West Florida, FL

Dr. James Schultz, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide, FL

Joshua Schultz, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach, FL

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this research was to examine student perceptions of traditional colleges/universities that have online offerings, as compared to colleges/universities that are totally online in terms of quality and acceptance. The distinction between a traditional college/university and an online traditional college/university is beginning to blur as online courses become common even among our top tier universities. There is great debate as to the quality of an online education and the types of graduates it produces. Is the graduate of an online education more self-disciplined and therefore more productive, or are social interactive skills minimized through the process, thus stunting that graduate? Conversely, is the traditional student more socially adept and better educated, but less adaptable to a real-world job as they leave the inclusive campus environment? Is there an academic transformation occurring that is resetting the higher education system toward the convenience of the student to allow them to work, or raise a family, while earning credits?  Acceptance and recognition are also important issues during the hiring process.  How does an online education compare to a traditional degree, when evaluated by prospective employers? The findings of the study reveal a statistical difference between student perceptions of degree quality when comparing perceptions of students attending fully online colleges/universities, and students attending traditional colleges/universities offering some online courses.  The use of virtual platforms in academic studies has become an increasingly accepted method for promoting student personal development, and subsequently achieving professional success. Both traditional institutions that may offer some online courses, and fully online academic organizations recognize the value in providing an effective and engaging means for students to achieve their post-secondary education.  Although both forums offer similar courses and degrees, there is a variety of general perceptions reported by education consumers regarding the quality of the online degrees offered from these respective institutions.  In the past, employers have contemplated the performance potential of prospective employees, perceiving those with college degrees from non-traditional, and strictly online programs, to have a “lower academically credible program”.  Employers subsequently chose to hire, or promote, employees who graduated with degrees from traditional institutions.  In recent years, however, perspectives have shifted significantly due to respective changes in academic cultures, increased student responsibilities, and the of a more technologically sophisticated generation.  This research study highlights the history of online maturation of education, strengths and weaknesses of fully online versus traditional university programs offering online courses, and examines the general perceptions that students hold regarding the acceptance of these programs by prospective employers, and how it might affect future employment opportunities.  The origins of distance learning date back to the mid-1800s at a time when education was essentially only available to males with higher socioeconomic status. In this academic process, students received self-instructional course packets from an instructor, a common practice until the early 1970s (Garrison, 2009). Research has shown that distance education “flourished in Britain in the late 1800s with the founding of a number of correspondence institutions, including Skerry's College in Edinburgh in 1878, and the University Correspondence College in London in 1887” (Tracey & Richey, 2005, p. 18). Distance learning in the United States, aided by advancements in global technology, has ultimately changed the attitudes of many academics.  The description of distance learning varies, but according to Tracey & Richey (2005), it is recognized as “…a structured learning experience that can be engaged in away from an academic institution, at home or at a workplace, and can lead to degrees or credentials” (p. 1).   In 1890, the University of Chicago was one of the first institutions of higher learning to introduce a distance learning system, or what was more appropriately described as correspondence study. Garrison & Shale (1990) contend that the ideal educational experience involves “…two-way communication, not independence …Separation of teacher and learner should not concede the necessity of sustained and purposeful communication” (p. 95).  Correspondence study was accepted as an effective alternative, and an acceptable means of achieving higher education when proper communication techniques were utilized (Garrison & Shale, 1990). William Harper developed a correspondence study as a means of providing educational opportunities for persons of lower socioeconomic status.  Its goal was to provide a mode for students who could not afford full-time residence at an educational institution because they lacked the funds to attend a traditional school on a full-time basis.  The programs offered were primarily intended to increase professional and trade development, but allowed for a certain level of flexibility for students in their programs (Tracey & Richey, 2005).  In the early 1930s, the University of Iowa established education television, however, courses earning college credit utilizing television broadcast were not introduced until the 1950s.  Television broadcast courses in the United States were widely available until the 1980s (Tracey & Richey, 2005).  The relationship among teachers, students, and the higher educational environment, with the integration of emails and computer conferencing, was transformed through distance learning education programs.  The progression of online programs created a new paradigm in distance learning, which continued to evolve over the next few decades.  The first fully online program was introduced in 1994 by the Computer Assisted Learning Center for Adults in Rhode Island. Harrison and Stephen (1996) stated that “Computer networking and conferencing have found important practical application in education with such innovative developments as online delivery of courses, networked classrooms, and knowledge networks linking experts…[which] benefits have been powerful and compelling” (p. 203). 

 

A Class Project That Discourages Compartmentalization Among Disciplines

Dr. Fred Petro, Pepperdine University, CA

Dr. Farrell Gean, Pepperdine University, CA

Dr. Abraham Park, Pepperdine University,CA

 

ABSTRACT

Concern and controversy continue to surround the decline of integration across functional areas of management and academic disciplines in schools of business.  Historically, business cases and the balanced scorecard have been used to avoid compartmentalized thinking and encourage thinking across different fields of knowledge.  Empirical evidence suggests this type of integration is not prevalent as it was years ago. The project herein is a learning methodology that does show students the cross fertilization that can be achieved by linking up accounting and marketing concepts. It is an application of integration.  Before production can begin in any manufacturing concern, a plan has to be in place that includes which product(s) will be produced.  The number of products and the product mix are also necessary.  The plan is developed after a thorough study of what demands and conditions exist in the market.  This task is performed by the experts in the marketing department.  Once the marketing plan is developed, the plan for manufacturing can begin.  This process requires, first of all, a plant with the capacity to accommodate production.   The purpose of this project is to teach students to apply the material covered in their first graduate marketing and accounting courses.  This is accomplished by applying the material to an actual company selected by the students, using a team approach. The project is described as follows:  The project includes a computerized spreadsheet preparation of a comprehensive budget forecast for an actual publicly traded company for a specific time period into the future, usually one year.  The dates depend upon when the annual reports are prepared for the selected company. The forecast begins the day following the last available published annual report.  The forecast does not include actual numbers regardless of when the actual annual or quarterly statements are prepared for the company selected.  The actual balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flow from the preceding year are included with the forecasted balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flow.  The company must have a physical inventory, and accounts receivable from sales. The company may not be one in which any team member(s) are affiliated.  The forecast will include the following items: Introduction, including the history of the company and a description of the company plan and policies as given in the project.  Market analysis (twelve months). Sales budget (twelve months).  Schedule of purchases (twelve months). Schedule of collection of credit sales (accounts receivable) and cash sales (twelve months).  Cash budget (twelve months). An Income statement (for the current year and the projected year). A Balance sheet (for the current year and the projected year). A Statement of cash flow (for the current year and the projected year). Cost-profit-volume analysis (twelve months).  The projects will be done in teams on the same company selected by the team with the approval of the professor.  The number of team members will depend on the enrolled number of students in the class.  Each person on the team will be responsible for preparing, submitting work by email and presenting a section of the budget.  If a team member withdraws the course, the remaining team members have the responsibility of revising the team member responsibilities exactly in accordance with the syllabus for the number of team members remaining.  Accordingly, each team member will be responsible for preparing, submitting work by email  and presenting the entire project  in accordance with the revised assignment of responsibilities.  Responsibilities of each size team will be categorized among members as described below:  For a team of three: one person will prepare and present  (items 1-5) the introduction, a twelve month market analysis, a twelve month sales budget,  a twelve month schedule of purchases  and schedule of the collection of sales for twelve months ; one person will prepare and present (items 6,8 & 9) a twelve month cash budget, a balance sheet for the current year and for the projected year  and a statement of cash flow  for the current and projected year; one person will prepare and  present (items  7, 10 & 11)  an income statement for the current and projected year,  a twelve month cost-volume- profit analysis including a chart depicting the projection.  This team member will also prepare and present the conclusion and recommendations.  For a team of two: one person will prepare and present  (items 1-6 & 9) the introduction, a twelve month sales budget, a twelve month market analysis, a twelve month schedule of purchases  and schedule of the collection of sales for twelve months,  a twelve month cash budget  and a statement of cash flow  for the current and projected year;  one person will prepare and present ( items  7, 8, 10 & 11) a balance sheet for the current year and for the projected year, an  income statement for the current year and for the projected year and a twelve month cost-volume-profit analysis including a chart depicting the projection. This team member will also prepare and present the conclusion and recommendations.  Submitting work--It is very important that the project work be submitted and approved in a timely manner in accordance with the schedule.  Each team member is responsible for submitting, by email, that team member’s section on or before the due time and date.  Only the team member responsible for a particular section is allowed to submit that team member’s work.     When work is submitted, there has to be adequate time for the work to be reviewed and approved to avoid a late penalty.  That is if the work is due by email on a specific date, for example 09/14/16, then the work will have to be submitted in time for review and approval.  If the work is submitted after 12pm, in the evening on 09/15/16, there will not be enough time for the work to be reviewed and approved on 09/15/16 and the work will be regarded as late and there will be a grade penalty as detailed below.   Required format for submitting work------The work submitted by email should include all work completed to date on one attached file.  As each increment of work is completed, the new increment should be added to the total project work to date on the same one-continuous file and then emailed as an attachment for review and approval.  Each section of work should include index tabs for quick reference.  This will save substantial time in the review of each section of work.

 

Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility Behaviors of Tourism Organizations

Dr. Jung Eun Kim, University of Northern Colorado, CO

Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray, University of Florida, FL

 

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to understand corporate social responsibility (CSR) behaviors of tourism organizations. For this purpose, a new measurement of socially responsible behaviors of tourism organizations was developed.  It was found that the measurement of socially responsible behaviors of tourism organizations can be themed into ‘managing impacts’ and ‘support of local and fairness’.  This study also investigated whether CSR behaviors of tourism organizations are influenced by either corporate ethical value or different organizational characteristics (size, years in the organization and financial performance). The results showed that corporate ethical values are better determinants than organizational characteristics for CSR behaviors of tourism organizations.  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a topic which has received an abundance of attention in both academic settings and industrial environments since the early 1950s (Weaver, Trevino, and Cochran 1999, Kok, Wiele, McKenn, and Brown 2001).  CSR can be defined as “actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm as well as those which is required by law” (McWilliams, and Siegel, 2001, p. 117).  With taking this view, Carroll (1979) argued that CSR is performed not only for the firm’s sake but also for the sake of society.  Based on these definitions, a socially responsible organization must try to make a profit, as well as obey the law and be ethical (Carroll, 1991).  From an industry point of view, the understanding of CSR supports the definition of Carroll (1991).  For example, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development emphasizes a responsibility toward a community that defines CSR as “the ethical behavior of an organization toward society. . . management acting responsibly in its relationships with other stakeholders who have a legitimate interest in the business” and explained “CSR is the continuing commitment by businesses to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large” (WBCSD, 1999, p. 3). Although the concept of CSR has been generally applied to a broad spectrum of industries, previous research has argued the practices of CSR may be approached in a different fashion within an individual industry (Spender, 1989).  Unlike the long history of CSR in mainstream business literature, tourism studies have just recently attempted to address it.  In addition, most CSR studies in the tourism industry have been dealing with the concept in nature of CSR rather than empirically tested (Wheeler 1995). Thus, some scholars argue that it would be necessary for studies to move beyond this conceptual discussion and to test a variety of CSR issues within the tourism context (Fleckenstein and Huebsch 1999; Mitchell 2006).  Also, extant research has failed to investigate the relationship between various organizational factors and CSR behaviors of tourism organizations. Therefore, the current study addresses the limitations and places focus on empirically testing the measures of CSR in a tourism setting, as well as examining the relationships among these variables. Specifically, this study aims to understand CSR behaviors of tourism organizations. The study also examines how corporate ethical values affect CSR behaviors of tourism organizations. The study further investigates whether CSR behaviors of tourism organizations are influenced by different organizations’ characteristics (size, year of organization, and financial performance). The research objectives of this project include: 1) to examine the corporate socially responsible behaviors of  tourism organizations 2) to identify the relationship between corporate ethical values (CEV) and the CSR behaviors of tourism organizations, and 3) to examine the best determinants of CSR behaviors by organizations characteristics (size, year of organization, and financial performance). Numerous studies regarding CSR have applied stakeholder theory for a theoretical framework of their research (Freeman 1984; Roberts 1992; Samli 1992; Carroll 1993; Clarkson 1995; Banerjee 2002; Quazi 2003; Pirsch, Gupta, and Grau 2007).  Stakeholder theory has been used as a guiding framework for CSR studies because of the need to focus on multiple players when adopting a CSR strategy. Stakeholders are divided into primary stakeholders and secondary stakeholders. Primary stakeholders are defined as those who have continuing participation in the corporation (Clarkson 1995).  This group consists of shareholders, investors, employees, customers, and suppliers (Clarkson 1995). According to Clarkson (1995), a corporation and its primary stakeholder groups are highly interdependent on each other. Specifically, a corporation may not be successful if customers and/or employees are not satisfied with the systems or products in place. Secondary stakeholders include the governments and communities that provide infrastructure and markets. This group includes those whose laws and regulations must be followed, and to whom taxes and obligations may be due (Clarkson 1995).  Stakeholder theory suggests that “organizational survival and success is contingent on satisfying both its economic (e.g., profit maximization) and non-economic (e.g., corporate social performance) objectives by meeting needs of the organization’s various stakeholders” (Pirsch, Gupta, and Grau 2007, p. 127).  This theory argues that corporations are no longer responsible to only their stakeholders, but also to a variety of groups in society. This is primarily the case because operations of corporations often impact on societal issues at the same time societal issues can affect corporate decisions.  From the stakeholder perspective, CSR should include all stakeholders, primary and secondary.  Stakeholder theory assumes that a corporation is responsible for the act of its behaviors on all stakeholder groups mainly because all stakeholders have a “legitimate” relationship with the corporation (Banerjee 2002).  Various stakeholders in recent years have expected, even demanded, organizations to be more responsible.  The expectation of stakeholders not only apply to the direct relationship between two groups, they also apply to social issues related to the community itself and its management (Kok, Wiele, McKenna, and Brown 2001).

 

Closing the Gap Between Faculty and Industry Professional’s Importance of Student Soft Skill Proficiency

Dr. Vanessa P. Jackson, University of Kentucky, KY

Dr. Scarlett C. Wesley, University of Kentucky, KY

 

ABSTRACT

Soft skills, which are a combination of personal qualities and interpersonal skills that help an employer perform their job, are an increasingly important concern to businesses and academia. A cross-sectional survey of faculty and industry leaders was conducted using an existing survey instrument validated by Crawford, Lang, Fink, Dalton and Fielitz (2011).  Faculty who were members of retailing and tourism management professional organizations were solicited to participate in the study. Industry leaders were identified through existing student internship relationships. To determine if faculty and industry leader’s perceptions of the importance of soft skills were similar or different, both samples were asked to rank the order of importance of the soft skills and their characteristics.  Variations in the importance of soft skills and their characteristics were reported between the faculty and businesses. While communication was identified as the most important soft skill by both sample groups, leadership was reported as the least important for faculty and industry leaders.  A limitation of the study was the variation in the sample sizes between the student, faculty and industry sample. The strength of this study lies in the ability to provide evidence for the need to compare soft skills research results for retailing and tourism management students. Soft skills are found to be important to both groups, but differences indicate faculty and industry need to work together to clarify exactly what soft skills student’s need to successfully compete for employment in the retailing and tourism management field.  As the work world continues to change, employers seek workers who have soft skills that support their knowledge base. While technical skills are a current part of educational curricula, soft skills need to be emphasized at the university level so that students gain expertise that prepare them to be successful in this changing workplace. The retailing and tourism sector is comprised of establishments that are engaged in retail merchandising and of businesses that facilitate away from home experiences (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).  In particular, jobs within the retailing and tourism industries are very hands on and people focused, with employees routinely interacting with customers as the key point person in the transactional experience. As the professional workplace in the retail and tourism management industries continues to evolve, universities and businesses face the challenge of working together to make students ready to become successful employees. This requires some investment be made to converge academia and industry before the mutual benefits can be reaped. Collaboration between industry and academia is challenging and is sometimes hard to accomplish as each group often has different goals and objectives.  To help produce more prepared future employees, academics and industry professionals must understand and respect each other’s core objectives (Meijer, 2015). Both parties must concede the different primary intentions of the partners in order to improve the long range goal of producing the best future employees possible.  Acknowledging the different objectives is necessary because universities tend to focus on educating students and in creating new knowledge, while companies concentrate on mastering the challenges of a competitive environment and are striving for market success. One particular area where academia and industry could work to enhance student learning is the retailing and tourism management discipline focus. Specifically, jobs within the retailing and tourism industry require that employees are proficient in most soft skill areas, therefore, students need to come out of these programs with the knowledge and abilities necessary for success.  This preparation requires a constant interaction between educators and the industry to make sure faculty and industry leaders are preparing students with the necessary soft skills needed in the retailing and tourism management work world.  The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a gap in faculty and industry leader’s perceptions of soft skills needed by retailing and tourism management student’s employment success. The findings may provide needed evidence as to the magnitude of the gap in perceived soft skills importance between faculty and businesses in the retailing and tourism management field, thus, giving justification for a shift in the preparation of future employees. Furthermore, information from this study could lead to more collaboration between industry leaders and faculty when it comes to developing curriculum that includes a soft skills emphasis.  Within the retailing and hospitality industries, soft skills can be the behaviours which directly impact customer/guest impressions and their feelings, and they can cause either positive, negative or indifferent reactions (Nedry, 2016). According to the literature, the most important soft skills needed when seeking an entry level job includes communication (Smart & Featherington, 2006; Crawford, et al., 2011), teamwork (Ahles & Bosworth, 2004; Marks & O’Connor, 2013), leadership (Prieto (2013), self-management (Linman, 2011), decision making/problem solving (Williams & Brown, 2014), professionalism (Fanelli-Greer, 2000), and experiences (Mohiuddin, 2013).  Traditionally, retail and tourism management jobs are considered soft skill focused positions, requiring communication and interaction on the job.  Specifically, within the retail and tourism management industry, it is important to understand what customers want. Often, the best way to provide customers the products and services demanded is for employees to listen effectively and to work to make the customer’s experience a positive one.  In particular, oral and written communication skills have been shown to be one of the most vital competencies that employers seek from college graduates (Graham, Hampton & Willett, 2009). This type of process should be something that a typical retailing and tourism management student would learn in their program of study emphasizing that communication is most likely more than exchanging information.  The benefits of teamwork (Ahles & Bosworth, 2004; Marks & O’Connor, 2013) are improved workplace productivity, enhanced overall creativity, reduced response times, expanded decision making (Hartenian, 2003) and increased quality of problem solving (Goltz, Hietapelto, Reinsch & Tyrell, 2008).  While being exposed to the team dynamic when in school does seem to better prepare students for a perceived real world work scenario, the value to employers can be questionable.  For example, Marks & O’Connor (2013) examined students across disciplines and reported students perceived group work to be important, however, it was not perceived to be an important skill valued by employers. Contradictory to this however, some researchers agree that teambuilding is seen as a critical factor for the success of a problem based learning framework (Goltz, et al. 2008; Peterson, 2004) which encourages the application of various methods to solve a problem. In an academic setting in order to improve the value, the use of teamwork and problem solving in the classroom has been shown to be more successful when a real world problem project is utilized (Goltz, et al., 2008; Sherwood, 2004) giving a realistic idea of what to expect upon employment.

 

Tax Fraud Remains Steady

Dr. Denise de la Rosa, Grand Valley State University, MI

Dennis C. Stovall, Grand Valley State University, MI

 

ABSTRACT

According to new estimates issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), tax evasion (a form of tax fraud) is quite lucrative, costing the federal government on average $458 billion per year from 2008 through 2010.  That is a slight increase from the previous estimate of $450 billion issued in 2006.  The Feds call that dollar figure the “tax gap” and say the rise is the result of better measurement rather than Americans engaging in more tax evasion. Ultimately, the tax collectors at the IRS think they will recover about $52 billion of that lost revenue, resulting in a net tax gap of $406 billion annually.  The IRS also estimates the voluntary compliance rate, which is a measurement of the total taxes paid relative to total taxes owed.  By this measure, 81.7% of taxes owed find their way to the IRS on time. The estimates come at a time when the IRS has been facing budget and staff cuts, which the agency says have impeded its ability to maximize revenue.  They also come during a time of heightened public awareness over the issue of tax evasion, with the recent publication of the “Panama Papers,” which are leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm that showed how some wealthy Americans have used offshore companies to hide money from the IRS.  Yet, “increased vigilance cannot keep pace with criminals, especially since there is rarely negative consequences for an unsuccessful attempt… a crook could file a fake return, have it rejected and the changes of authorities coming after them are very slim” (Hunter 2015).  Tax fraud has become an ever-growing problem in the US and it is costing taxpayers billions of dollars every year.  At the same time, the IRS is slowly shrinking its budget, which is making it even more difficult to combat tax fraud.  As mentioned in the above example, tax evasion is a form of tax fraud that has long been a problem for the IRS, representing a leading cause of the US government’s tax revenue decline.  However, identity theft tops the list of annual tax scams in the US according to the Internal Revenue Service.  The IRS recognizes a significant increase in identity theft-related tax refund fraud over the past several years.  This type of crime is perceived by criminals and organized criminal enterprises as relatively easy, seemingly low-risk, and ultimately, pure profit which can be used to fund other criminal activities such as drug trafficking, money laundering, public corruption, and even terrorism.  Anyone with a Social Security number could become a victim, but criminals who commit tax refund fraud seem to focus more on people who do not normally file tax returns.  The elderly, low-income families, students, patients at long-term health care facilities, and even the homeless fit this profile.  Perpetrators also target public figures like celebrities, athletes, CEOs, and politicians.  The perpetrator fills out a federal tax return online with stolen identity information and phony wage and tax withholding figures, and then informs the IRS on how to provide the refund.  This is executed in the form of a check mailed to a certain address, a direct deposit into a bank account he controls, or a deposit onto a debit card in his possession.  Generally, the identity thief will use a stolen Social Security number to file a forged tax return and attempt to get a fraudulent refund early in the season (Holtfeter, McLeod, & Harrington, 2014).  First, we provide a report of the types of tax fraud and examples of actual cases of fraud. Second, we clarify the difference between tax fraud and tax evasion and then examine cases of those committing these crimes. Then we examine the cost of tax fraud. Finally, we review actions the IRS is taking to prevent tax fraud.  Types of Tax Fraud:  Every year the IRS reveals its “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams.  Identity theft topped the 2016 list while phone scams and phishing also ranked high.  Here are the “Dirty Dozen” for 2016:  Identity Theft:  Taxpayers need to watch out for identity theft, especially around tax time.  The IRS continues its aggressive pursuit of those who file fraudulent returns using someone else’s Social Security number.  Though the agency is making progress on this front, taxpayers still need to be extremely careful and do everything they can to avoid this victimization.  (IR-2016-12)  Phone Scams:  Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers.  The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as scam artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things.  (IR-2016-14)  Phishing:  Taxpayers need to be on guard against fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information.  The IRS will never send taxpayers an email about a bill or refund without previous notice.  Do not click on one claiming to be from the IRS and be wary of strange emails and websites that may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information. (IR-2016-15)  Return Preparer Fraud:  Be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers.  The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service, but there are some dishonest preparers who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers.  Legitimate tax professionals are a vital part of the US tax system. (IR-2016-16)  Offshore Tax Avoidance:  The recent string of successful enforcement actions against offshore tax cheats and the financial organizations that help them shows that it is a bad bet to hide money and income offshore.  Taxpayers who voluntarily catch up on their tax filing responsibilities benefit themselves the greatest.  The IRS offers the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) to help enable people to catch up on their filing and tax obligations. (IR-2016-17)

 

Lean Philosophy in Healthcare

Dr. Fatma Pakdil, Eastern Connecticut State University, CT

 

ABSTRACT

The healthcare industry is shown as one of the industries that have the highest share in many developed countries’ economic systems. Lean thinking and principles have been considered a system-wide remedy by both academicians and practitioners to overcome performance-related issues in healthcare organizations. Considering the fact that the importance and acceptability of lean thinking among healthcare professionals have been increasing over the last decades, this paper aims to put emphasis on critical components of lean implementation in healthcare service delivery processes. Healthcare expenditures have continuously been increasing over the last decades and have relatively high proportions in gross domestic products (GDP) of many developed countries. As stated by McLaughlin and Olson (2012), the share of healthcare expenditures in GDP is expected to be 19.6 percent by 2019 in the U.S. Additionally, all relevant stakeholders expect to receive higher quality services at healthcare facilities. Increasing expectations of stakeholders and rising costs push the healthcare industry to face a dilemma in terms of expected higher “value” of the healthcare services. As a remedy to this dilemma, researchers and practitioners have focused on how to implement “lean” principles into healthcare delivery processes. President Obama’s healthcare plans strongly mentioned the necessity of implementing “lean” in the nation-wide healthcare system (PCAST Report, 2014). To eliminate the potential misunderstandings and misdirections in this journey, first, researchers and practitioners should internalize how lean principles are adopted in the processes. This paper aims to demonstrate how lean thinking is implemented using Liker’s (2004) principles, specifically 2, 3, and 4, in healthcare service delivery processes. Wickramasinghe et al. (2014) identify quality of care as meeting the physical, psychological, and social expectations of patients who search for care. According to The American Institute of Medicine (IOM), the quality of care is the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of a desired health outcome consistent with current professional knowledge (Kumpersmith, 2003). The President’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care noted quality problems in hospitals such as 1) avoidable errors, 2) underutilization of services, 3) overuse of services, and 4) variation in services. As reported by Kohn et al. (2000), nearly 98,000 patients admitted in hospitals lost their life because of preventable medical errors and nosocomial infections in 1990s. Wagner (2004) identifies in-hospital errors as one of the leading killers in the U.S. According to National Academy of Engineering (NAE), “an estimated thirty to forty cents of every dollar spent on health care, or more than a half-trillion dollars per year, is spent on costs associated with “overuse, underuse, misuse, duplication, system failures, unnecessary repetition, poor communication, and inefficiency.” Similarly, IOM focuses on six aims such as safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable care. IOM and “To err is human: building a safer health system” (Kohn et al., 2000) say that the majority of medical errors are caused by faulty systems, processes, and conditions that lead people to make mistakes or fail to prevent them. According to the same report, “when an error occurs, blaming an individual does little to make the system safer and prevent someone else from committing the same error”. NAE and IOM identify system engineering applications that could contribute to improvements in healthcare delivery and emphasizes that tools transforming the quality and productivity performance of other large-scale complex systems could be used to improve healthcare delivery. Overall, errors, mistakes, and adverse events in healthcare can be devastated to all stakeholders since human life is at risk (Taner et al., 2007). Furthermore, while Rosmulder (2011) addresses that healthcare delivery does not equal industrial mass production, Allen (2009) expresses that hospitals remained behind other industries in terms of adopting the concepts of operations management, suggesting that healthcare organizations should focus on the integration of operations management discipline into continuous performance improvement strategies and actions. Based on several expectations and facts, lean thinking is recognized as a remedy for increasing overall performance in healthcare organizations. Although some healthcare professionals may argue that lean thinking is more suitable to manufacturing and does not translate well to healthcare services, Bowen and Youngdahl (1998) show how it does apply to healthcare by providing theory, case studies, and context for lean applications. In a broader point of view, Radnor et al. (2012: 5) identify lean as “a practice based on the philosophy of continuously improving processes by either increasing customer value or reducing non-value adding activities (muda), process variation (mura), and poor work conditions (muri)”. In the healthcare world, there is substantial support for lean. For example, De Souza (2009) and Burgess (2012) addressed that lean was successfully implemented in the United States, Unite Kingdom, and Australia. Similarly, Jonsson and Randefelt (2013) presented how the Swedish healthcare system developed a measurement system to reduce lead time and waiting time. According to Barnas (2011), lean has already been utilized in the U.S healthcare system for the last decade. On one hand, healthcare is often identified as badly managed (Machado and Leitner, 2010) and the ultimate negative outcome is considered the preventable death of a patient. On the other hand, lean seems more adoptable to healthcare based on examples (De Souza, 2009) to eliminate the roots of bad management. De Souza (2009: 132) states that “lean healthcare is still in an early stage of development if compared to the same process in the auto industry.” Jonsson and Randefelt (2013: 3) point out that “lean is regarded as a solution for many issues connected to healthcare.” Lean in healthcare has also been gaining popularity among practitioners and decision-makers not because it is a “management fad”, but, because it produces sustainable results in healthcare. Kollberg et al. (2006) emphasize that patients should be the first priority and that time and comfort are the key performance indicators in healthcare. Focusing on identifying “customer” in healthcare, Young et al. (2004), Womack et al. (2005), Tachibana and Nelson‐Peterson (2007), and Breyfogle and Salveker (2004) assert that lean may benefit healthcare processes. Husby (2012) states that if enough resources, discipline, and long-term focus are applied, lean would be successfully implemented in healthcare organizations, where there is a high variability in the processes. Liker (2004: 37) focuses on generating value by stating that, “do the right thing for the company, its employees, the customer, and society as a whole.” Jonsson and Randefelt (2013) propose that the value formulation is perceived as a guide to carry the organization towards a desired direction and Liker (2004: 77) points out that “Toyota believes this is what drives profit in the long run.” According to Gomez et al. (2010), “lean is centered on creating value for the customer with less work." Manos et al. (2006) address that value- adding for patients is different for customers of the production systems due to the fact that healthcare processes are focused on prevention or cure. Rust (2013) brings up identifying “value in healthcare” as an issue among lean practitioners. Collins et al. (2015) suggest that the concept of converting inputs to a product creating value to the customers is equally significant in healthcare. The transformation process in healthcare can be depicted as presented in Figure 1.

 

Influence of a Company’s Dynamic Capabilities on the Innovation of Its Corporate Business Model

Dr. Lovorka Galetic, Professor, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Dr. Zeljko Vukelic, Marius Consulting, Zagreb, Croatia

 

ABSTRACT

It is evident that applying advanced concepts of strategic and innovation management of a company's capabilities, and achieving their mutual alignment to achieve a synergy effect has become an exceptionally important factor for business success. On markets characterized by a range of competitive pressures, the resulting opportunities and threats have raised innovation to the top of the priority list for company management, and proactive management is largely based on agility and taking rapid and carefully conceived business activities. This has stressed that the company's dynamic capabilities, as a business concept, are deserving of greater attention. This paper presents a novel and specific model of company dynamic capabilities and the innovation of the business model, with an emphasis on innovating the corporate model. These capabilities can be identified, measured and applied in operations to improve company performance and to create new business solutions. Dynamic capabilities are presented here through a new model, based on the significant scientific literature and adapted to meet the needs of modern business. The analysis of innovation of the corporate model is based on a new concept of observing the capability to innovate the corporate model, and its segments are presented. An empirical study was performed on a representative sample to test the proposed model and to examine the influence of dynamic capabilities on innovating the corporate business model. The correlation test results confirmed a strong association between the possession of dynamic capabilities with the existence of the capability to innovate the corporate business model. This enables the practical business use of these models, and serves as a basis for future research on this topic. The 21st century has been marked with rapid change in the fields of technology, global connectivity, and the rate and intensity of change itself. Competition is greater and stronger, and companies need to seek out creative solutions and new means of business thinking, now more than ever before (Ernst & Young, 2012). In today's turbulent times, it has been widely recognized that the use of advanced concepts of strategic and innovative management in the field of company capabilities, and attaining their mutual alignment to achieve a synergy effect, isan exceptionally important factor for business success. On a market faced with a range of competitive pressures, the resulting opportunities and threats have raised innovations to the top of the priority list for top executive management (Byrne, Lubowe and Blitz, 2007), and the need for a proactive means of management is based on agility and taking rapid and well-conceived business activities. This has stressed that the concept of dynamic capabilities is deserving of greater attention. In line with the importance of both of these domains, this paper examines the dynamic capabilities and innovative capabilities of a company, with emphasis on innovation of the business model, and a focus on corporate operations. A new model of company dynamic capabilities and innovation of the business model is presented, with a detailed analysis of the innovation of the corporate model and an overview of their mutual effects.  Dynamic capabilities are defined as the ability of a company to reconfigure, redirect, transform and appropriately shape and integrate its existing key competencies with external resources and strategic and complementary assets, so as to respond to the challenges posed by a business world marked by competition and imitation, rapid changes and time limitations (Teece, Pisano and Shuen, 1997). Despite a number of years since the presentation of this concept and scientific considerations and business use over time, it is evident that for management, the concept of dynamic capabilities is not sufficiently clear. This may be due to the fact that this concept has no specific implementation guidelines, or for the active application of the results of the processes of sensing, seizing, reconfiguration, transformation and integration that characterize the primary concept of dynamic capabilities. As a result, for many organizations, it can be seen that certain business opportunities defined as priorities were never realized, while for others they failed to have a sufficient and desired effect and were ultimately unsustainable, due largely to an insufficient implementation process (Pustkowski, Scott and Tesvic, 2014). In other words, the process of exploitation, which includes the segment of managerial decision-making and the segment of final activities (Teece, 2009) has often not been conducted in such a way so as to generate a specific business result. The new model of dynamic capabilities presented here clearly separates these two segments, positioning the managerial decision to seize business opportunities directly after their sensing, while the final business activities that bring results are positioned at the end of the process. Following this, a group of factors has been defined, in line with their properties and real time needs, to identify the dynamic capabilities in the organization, and the degree to which the company possesses them, which is aligned with the characteristics and demands of the current time. The order of these factors is such that it outlines the necessary processes aimed at fully exploiting these capabilities for business purposes, each of which includes a view within and outside the organization. The new, multi-dimensional model considers the dynamic capabilities of a company in a range of domains, aimed to meet the needs of modern operations and to expand on the existing knowledge in the area of dynamic capabilities of a company. The model is composed of the following factors: 1. sensing and seizing business opportunities;  2. reconfiguring and acquiring resources; 3. internal and external transformation of a company; 4. integration of internal and external knowledge; 5. business coordination and company activities.  Since the fundamental challenge for the capacity of sensing is in limited rationality (Teece, 1998), the company needs to develop a system that can objectively and openly collect the necessary information and knowledge so as to identify business opportunities. For that reason, the initial element for the establishment of dynamic capabilities is the capability of sensing, as a perceptive means with activities focused outside the organization. In the presented model of dynamic capabilities, the term seizing opportunities refers to making strong managerial decisions to launch new business processes, so as to act on the sensed opportunity and to engage all available resources in this process. Accordingly, seizing opportunities is not viewed here as the ultimate achievement of the result, considered within the fifth factor, but as the concrete start of the process leading to it. The company needs to recognize the dynamic nature of its environment, and also its resources (Itami and Roehl, 1987). Furthermore, it must be capable of actively conducting a reconfiguration of its existing resources and acquiring new ones in alignment with its business needs, and recognizing which are essential for its operations. In that way, it achieves possession of a unique set of resources and their management, which will sufficiently differentiate it from the competition. The possibility of successful internal transformation in response to the business environment is an important demand on the company aiming to meet the current market challenges, and involves looking inwards on the company. The possibility of successful company transformation towards clients, suppliers, external institutions and other relevant factors represents a need for the modern organization, in light of the constantly changing business conditions, and this involves looking outwards. The dynamic characteristics of today’s market demands the establishment of a dynamic model for a strategic approach to handling the company’s knowledge and its capabilities. The process that leads to the final business use of the dynamic capabilities includes internal coordination of all resources, and the previously described tasks and processes, and this directly precedes the ultimate implementation processes of all the preceding steps and the final activities. Ultimately, business agility via the factors concerning resources, transformation processes, knowledge and other company competencies, as the ultimate strategic business activity focused outside the organization, leads to the achievement of the company goals in achieving the desired business results and obtaining a competitive edge.

 

Entrepreneurial Small Business of Third Party Logistics Providers

Dr. Sut Sakchutchawarn, Kean University, NJ

 

ABSTRACT

In business competition, entrepreneurial small third-party logistics providers extend their customer bases through superior performance. Today’s competition is more fiercely than the past. Competitive pressure and technological change force small business firms to change the way they do business. The third-party logistics (3PL) industry continues to be very dynamic. The use of the small third-party logistics providers by large international firms has expanded steadily, and the services process has become more sophisticated and complicated. This paper addresses the impact of Uniform Customs and Practice 600 imposed by the International Chamber of Commerce, information technology usage, and knowledge management on small third-party logistics providers including causes of the use of those services, customer satisfaction, delivery performance, and financial benefit. The findings from this study could be a potential contribution for business community success in the future. In the turbulent business environment, the dynamic advantage of competition could be the factor that shape strategic interactions and often determine which entrepreneurial small business succeed. To gain today market shares is more competitive than yesterday. Competitive advantage is the firm’s ability gained through attributes and resources to perform at a higher level than others in the same industry or market. Technological change, knowledge management, and rule and regulation force international firms to change the way they do business. The competition and outsourcing put tremendous pressure on production cost, logistics system, and supply chain to deliver the goods as quickly as possible at the lowest cost. Another factor to determinant of entrepreneurial small business success is the role of the logistics services in ensuring the smooth flow of services, materials, finished products and information throughout a company’s financial gain. In the past decade, the discrepancy of transport chain creates an urgent need for efficient integration of operations, information and logistics procedure. The focus may be placed on the provision of accuracy and relevant information throughout the transport procedure to allow involved parties to have required proper knowledge about what is happening at each stage and to control what happens to their merchandises, cargos, and payments. In the past few years, small third party logistics providers (3PL) have been increasing their role in market significantly. More and more large companies outsource their logistics functions to 3PL to make their supply chains system more effective and efficient (Jung et al., 2008). Small third party logistics providers can improve customer service, reduce costs, discrepancy elimination, and integrate the supply chain with increase productivity and growth accordingly.   The research questions in this paper are:  What are driving forces of the relevant model for entrepreneurial small third party logistics providers?   What is the impact of the Uniform Customs and Practice 600 and technology on small third-party logistics?  The methodology used in this paper was based on case study, and a survey of the literature in the field. E-research encapsulates research activities that use a spectrum of advanced information communication technology capabilities and embraces new research methodologies emerging from increasing access to research instruments and facilities, sensor networks and data repositories, software and infrastructure services that enable secure connectivity and interoperability(Zikmund, 2003). Relevant literature reviews are drawn from third party logistics providers and outsourcing issues in several comprehensive searches on peer reviewed journals. These journals are specifically selected for the review as they represent significant research in third party logistics providers and outsourcing. This paper also employed multiple case studies. Case study should be used in dealing with questions related to how and why results come about. Case study method is an exploratory research technique that intensively investigates one or a few situations similar to the research’s problem situation (Yin, 2008). The primary advantage of the case study is that an entire organization or entity can be investigated in depth and with meticulous attention to detail. The highly focused attention enables the researchers to carefully study the entire case properly (Bonoma 1985).  Figure 1, identifies drivers of third party logistics providers as entrepreneurial small business, integration of logistics, and key performance outcomes. Firms are facing the competition, globalization and increasingly sophisticated customer needs and a greater integration of technologies. These challenges have compelled organizations to seek third party logistics providers and outsourcing to create a superior performance. This model assists firms in building effective functions that result in customer satisfaction, delivery performance, and financial benefit.  Regulation has been a major barrier for small third party logistics providers (3 PL) for decades. Governance and complexity of rules and regulations of Uniform Customs and Practice 600 on logistics and supply chain system are inevitable factors for firms to deal with. Indeed, firms have struggled for years to achieve the required functional process. According to Czinkota, the principle of the trade facilitation rationale is to reduce unnecessary customs scrutiny that impedes the movement of shipments (Czinkota, 2004). This could be one reason why the cohesive in logistic and supply chain has never fully integrated. The Impact of trade regulation on shipping and the procedure of custom in trade always face voluminous paperwork, complex formalities, and many potential delays and errors (Hill, 2005). The currently valid version, referred to as Uniform Customs and Practice 600 (UCP 600), entered into effect for letter of credit on July 1, 2007. It is still questionable if the Uniform Customs and Practice is a clear set of rules (International Chamber of Commerce, 2007). According to Sakchutchawan, articles on shipping and transportation of Uniform Customs and Practice contain ambiguous language (Sakchutchawan, 2009). It is very hard to follow for practice. Jimenez confirmed the legal status of the Uniform Customs and Practice affects the international shipping, transportation, and trade (Jimenez, 1997). Fung commented that it was not easy to understand the context of each article of Uniform Customs and practice. As a result, the courts were often asked to interpret certain provisions of the International Chamber of Commerce. These interpretations and opinions are collected and published by the International Chamber of Commerce every few years (Fung, 2004, p. 17). Unlike the UCP400, the UCP 500 and 600 have opened the door for third party logistic providers to enter the global logistics market freely without any restrictions. This opportunity has led to the outsourcing significantly. It definitely generated the highly competition environment between original carriers and third party logistics providers accordingly. The above evidence leads to the following proposition:  P1. Greater acceptance of the Uniform Customs and Practice 600 leads to greater competitive advantage for small third party logistics providers.   Information technology usage is a vital part in management of business and service performance. Information technological usages are everywhere in the modern business. Small third party logistics firms become more efficient by integrating their information and communications technology effort. The proper implementation of information communication technology system (ICTS) can be a significant source of competitive advantage to third party logistics firms accordingly. Information communication technology system include but not limit to hardware, software, and network design required to facilitate processing and exchange. ICTS also includes related components in the supply chain, such as satellite transmissions, Web-based ordering, electronic data interchange, bar-coding, systems for order entry, order processing, vehicle routing and scheduling, inventory replenishments, automated storage, and retrieval systems (Closs and Xu, 2000). Information technology (IT) has long been recognized for its potential role in contributing to sustained competitive advantage for logistics firms (Barney, 1991; Feeny& Ives, 1990; Swierczek & Shrestha, 2003; Vargas, Hernandez, &Bruque, 2003). According to Langley, firms that adopt and creatively deploy proper technology, through the collective use of mind and knowledge, are able to implement innovative methods and gain superior competitive advantage (Langley et al., 1988). He argued the application of ICT is an effective means to enhance the strategic significance and operational effectiveness of firms.  Kerr (1989) has addressed how ICTS can contribute to the overall strategy of the firm, and that this might involve various activities outside the traditional logistical task. Stock (1990) has shown how logistics firms can effectively use technology and gain competitive advantage through automated systems, stock picking and bar-coding. Additionally, Closs et al. (1997) have offered empirical evidence that firms innovating through the development of IT capabilities can positively influence overall logistics competency. Technological utilization and economic uncertainties have literally changed the landscape of competition in logistics business. Several surveys have been conducted to investigate the use and importance of information technology supporting third party logistics operations (Hardaker et al. 1994).  The above solution leads to a proposition as:  P2. Usage of information technology positively supports the effective process of small third party logistics firms.

 

The Integration of Management Practices and Organizational Structure into Student Group Projects

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

 

ABSTRACT

Student group projects have been widely accepted teaching vehicles with many attendant benefits.  The projects allow for real life complex projects to be performed by multiple team members where different ideas and backgrounds can be combined through teamwork to create a novel output with synergistic benefits within the student team.  However, the literature also notes that group projects have the potential to create problems not experienced when individual work is assigned. Students have expressed concerns about the difficulties of coordination and meeting times for groups of students, the tendency for some students to loaf and let others do a disproportionate amount of the work, and about the assessment of the work based on the real or imagined contributions of each team member to the final product.  This paper attempts to illustrate that the advantages of student groups can be enhanced and the deficiencies could be minimized through the introduction and integration of actual management practice and structure to effectively execute the group project.  A series of seven necessary steps are described that incorporate management practice including planning, organizing, and controlling that mirror principles of actual practicing management.  Additionally, the importance of the group having a managerial organization and structure is addressed.  Lastly, once the principles of management are incorporated into the project, a different perspective on assessment is discussed once the team executes the team project based on normal management practices and with typical management organizational structure. The assignment and execution of group projects has received great attention in the academic literature given the perceived importance of such assignments.  Reasons why student group projects are perceived as beneficial include the development of teamwork learning opportunities, the opportunity to work on complex tasks (Capezio, 1996; Kozlowski and Ilgen, 2006), and the opportunity to develop skills of communication, conflict resolution and collaboration.   However, group projects also have perceived deficiencies such as social loafing by some members, coordination problems with students having varying schedules, inter-personal conflicts, differing perceptions of student assessments of contributed work, and the fair instructor assessment of the individual’s contribution to the project success. All of these issues have evolved justifiably given the fact that student group projects requiring teamwork and coordination have great rewards for successful teams and team projects but also have frustrations when the execution of the project teamwork falters.  A review of the literature seems to indicate that the actual management of the group projects receives only minor academic investigation.  The past research assumes that the management of the project will be organic and arise with natural direction and be successful.  This observation seems logical given the lack of emphasis on preparatory instructions in small group management and lack of application of simple management structure as a starting point for the group project orientation.  However, if management academicians believe that management principles are effective in any organization (groups), the lack of such structure in a student group project would seem to be an indication that optimal success would be more difficult to achieve.  Conversely, the introduction of some basic management principles and applications to the group would most likely greatly benefit the development of a more optimal project outcome with fewer problems within the group.   Likewise, assessment of the project not only by the students but by the instructor would be re-oriented and more focused.  Assessments would be legitimately based on group effort while individual contributions to the teamwork to complete the project would be considered random variation given the different tasks assigned to different team members and the variation in task difficulty and resources and skills needed to complete each individual task.  This paper proposes to examine the present state of actual management practices within student group projects and to suggest a methodology that enhances group project performance with a management structure based on commonly held management principles.  The proposed management paradigm will suggest a structure where one of the team members actually becomes the manager with planning, organizing, and controlling activities while the tasks needed for completion of the project will be executed and completed by the team members and not the manager.  Such a structure implies that “management of the project” is critically important and that the management endeavor is a full time element of the project work.  Actual task elements of the project are the responsibility of the team associates.  Such a structure emphasizes that everyone’s contribution is essential but also recognizes that the overall management of the project is a proactive activity, not a result of organic happenchance of little consequence in the accomplishment of the project.  Group team projects have been shown to be of great importance in the development of future student success in the business world (Halfhill, T.R. and Nielsen, T.M., 2007).  According to the authors, working with others efficiently and effectively is not only important but mandatory.  This same observation has been made in other articles in the rather extensive literature on the subject (Lerner, 1995; Vance, 2007).  The development of interpersonal relationships and responsibilities was also cited as a benefit of team projects (Oldfield and MacAlpine, 1995).  Butcher, et.al, (1995) emphasizes how teamwork and group projects help build transferable skills of communication, presentation, and problem solving given active student involvement and seems superior to learning than lectures.  Further, team projects help build skills that are important to business organizations today (Koslowski and Ilgen, 2006; Vance, 2007) while these same team skills are ranked as one of the most important job skills sought by employers when interviewing graduates (Alsop (2004) and others).  Katzenback summarizes that the importance of group work in encouraging students to learn the important concepts of communication, collaboration, cooperation and compromise (Katzenback, 1997) While student teams and related projects have great benefits, the literature also discusses the difficulties and problems with student teams in the execution of group projects.  Lerner (1995) discusses the difficulty of dealing with different personalities of students from the take charge personality to the social loafer.  Further, she discusses the negative issues of peer evaluation at the end of the semester being removed from day to day work and that instructors hate to give up class time for proper management education of the students.  Decker (1995) discusses the different issues of initial selection of groups from self-selection, random selection and teacher assignment.  Comer (1995) discusses the negative influence of larger teams over smaller teams.  Finally, other authors (Aggarwal and O’Brien, 2008) focus on the problems of social loafing and free-loading, that is, the tendency of some students to let others do a disproportionate amount of the work hoping to still receive credit.  The academic literature also focuses on the issues and problems of assessment and much more so than would be expected in actual business teams and practice.  Much of the issue in student teams seems to be a focus on instructor grading both for the team project in total and for the individual contributions of team members.  In actual business practice, the goal is not grading but accomplishing the task effectively and efficiently and on time.  Chapman, et.al. (2010) notes that instructors thought that students were worried about grades as the second most important issue in group work while students rated grade assignment as the second lowest factor.  Many authors (Lejk, M. and Wyvill (2002); Gatfield, T. (1999)) suggest different paradigms for peer reviewing students among themselves to differentiate between individual contributions.  Deming (2000) suggests that such differentiation efforts are disruptive if in fact good management is present … that problems are management related, not individual related. 

 

Distributive Justice as an Alternative Predictor of Satisfaction with Pay in a Period of Crisis. The Case of the Greek Public Sector

Evangelia Mylona, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece

Dr. Dimitrios Mihail, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece

 

ABSTRACT

In turbulent economic times, where there are limited financial resources and structural reforms in the labor law are imposed, little research has explored alternative predictors of employees’ satisfaction with compensation. In this paper, we investigate how employees’ satisfaction with pay is affected by perceptions of distributive justice in the Greek context, while we shed new light on the relationships between pay satisfaction, distributive justice and employees’ work effort. The responses received from a sample of 490 employees from nine different public organizations in Northern Greece, indicated that satisfaction with pay is significantly and positively related to employees’ evaluation of distributive justice. The findings also showed that pay satisfaction mediated the effects of distributive justice on work effort. This research adds credence to the notion that distributive justice is a strong predictor of employees’ satisfaction with compensation and therefore, it is argued that not only could distributive justice be used as an alternative predictor of satisfaction with pay in a period of crisis, but it can also have positive influences on employees’ outcomes (i.e., work effort). Such knowledge is vital for both private and public sector managers who seek to establish fair business norms and just systems as an approach to enhancing employees’ attitudes and outcomes as well as organizational performance. In recent years, the labor markets have undergone considerable changes in most parts of the world, due to the ongoing global crisis. Because of the unfavorable economic conditions, global real wage growth has fallen from 1.6 per cent in 2012 to 0.9 per cent in 2015 (ILO, 2016). There are, however, remarkable differences in the real wage growth across EU countries. According to the European Commission Data (Eurostat, 2015), compensation per employee grew in the euro area at 1.4% in 2014, a record low, while the compensation per employee dropped in the following EU Members i.e., Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Slovenia.  In such a turbulent economic environment, monitoring the effects of these reforms of employees’ attitudes and behaviors seem more than ever crucial. Specifically, even though there is a vast body of empirical research concerning job satisfaction, there are limited studies exploring employees’ satisfaction in a period of limited financial resources and incentives.  Job satisfaction is defined as a positive affect towards employment (Mueller and McCloskey, 1990), while Fisher (2003) describes it as ‘arguably a stable evaluation of how the job meets the employee’s needs, wants, or expectations’. According to Kallenberg and Berg (1987), job satisfaction represents ‘a person's overall evaluation of his or her present work role’. For long, job satisfaction has been faced as the way to evaluate employees’ affective responses to their professions across place and time, and the reason for that is that it denotes a ’generic’ type of work attitude (Firebaugh and Harley, 1995).  Provided job satisfaction is not a unitary concept, it is very likely for employees to be relatively satisfied with one or more dimensions of the job and be dissatisfied with one or more aspects. Hackman and Oldman’s (1980) theory suggests that overall job satisfaction is comprised of various facets. They specifically, consider five facets of satisfaction i.e., satisfaction with: pay, job security, promotion opportunities and relationships with co-workers and supervisors. Hackman and Oldman’s (1980) Job Characteristic Model (JCM) suggests that, employees who consider certain characteristics of their job enjoyable develop higher levels of satisfaction and work motivation. The JCM model also suggests that these linkages are expected to be moderated by facets of satisfaction. It is otherwise claimed that facets of job satisfaction are significant in explaining job satisfaction. Research on employees’ attitudes have shown that the most crucial predictor of overall satisfaction is satisfaction with compensation (Oshagbemi and Hickson, 2003).  However, employees not only require enough pay, to meet their needs and expectations, but also fair pay for comparable work (Henne and Locke, 1985). Therefore, researchers have also focused on pay fairness, which relates to ‘a comparison between what people believe they deserve to be paid and what others deserve to be paid’ (Jackson and Schuler, 2000). One interesting line of research suggests that employee perceptions of fairness regarding a practice may include three types of justice: distributive, procedural and interactional (Bies and Moag, 1986, Cohen-Charash and Spector, 2001, Cropanzano, Prehar and Chen, 2002). The two most prevalent forms of organizational justice discussed in the literature are distributive and procedural justice. Previous research has demonstrated that distributive justice may be a stronger predictor of employees’ satisfaction with personal outcomes (promotion, pay and rewards) than procedural justice (Choi, 2011, Folger and Konovsky, 1989).  The purpose of this study is to investigate how employees’ satisfaction with pay is affected by perceptions of distributive justice in the Greek context, considering the debt crisis and the limited financial resources. Given the structural reforms in the Greek labor market as the result of the imposed austerity measures, we will shed new light on the relationships between distributive justice, pay satisfaction and work effort. The study begins with the theoretical background of the research and the development of the hypotheses. We then discuss details of the method adopted for the survey, and we give a description of the sample. In the last part, the empirical results are presented, and we discuss the main theoretical and practical implications.  In recent years, the research on work-place justice has gained considerable attention. The study of fairness in psychology started with Adams’s work on equity theory (Adams, 1963, 1965) emphasizing the perceived fairness of outcomes. However, given the importance researchers attribute to fairness in organizational life, it became inevitable for this research area to proliferate and develop. Organizational justice can explain a wide range of employee behaviors and highlights the importance of the ideals of justice and fairness as a requirement for organizations to function effectively (Greenberg, 1990). In particular, the term organizational justice refers to several distinct forms of perceived justice, each of which offers a different answer to the question ‘What is fair?’ (Greenberg, 2009).   Farndale et al. (2011) indicate that distributive justice refers to the perceived equity of outcomes for individuals, for example, whether the performance-appraisal process results in what the individual perceives to be a fair evaluation. According to Adams’s equity theory, employees’ job satisfaction is influenced by the comparison of employees’ own effort and outcome (pay) with the effort and outcome of other employees. If their own ratio of effort and pay is not equal to that of others, they will feel unjustly treated. Cropanzano et al. (2007) claim that distributive justice faces the reality that not all employees are treated alike; the allocation of outcomes is differentiated in the workplace, which in turn creates worries to workers about whether they receive their just share. The distribution will be just, when the most qualified and successful employee is promoted. However, sometimes the case is far from being fair. As distributive justice refers to the fairness of the amount of pay workers obtain from the organization (Kwon et al., 2008), this research will examine the possible effects of lack of distributive justice on employees’ levels of satisfaction with pay.

 

Exploring Relationship in-between the Acquired Education and Current Job Scenario for the Employees in the Public Sector, State of Kuwait

Dr. Meshref Al Enezi, Arab Open University, Kuwait

Dr. Tarun Kumar Sharma, Arab Open University, Kuwait

Dr. Sahar AL-Hamli, Arab Open University, Kuwait

 

ABSTRACT

The present study is conducted with an objective to analyze the level of Relationship in-between the job i.e. role and responsibilities and the education i.e. knowledge, skills, experience etc. of the employee working in PSUs (Public Sector undertakings) in the State of Kuwait. Sample size of 250 respondents was selected randomly from 5 different ministries for the State of Kuwait. This study highlights the causes and effects for the Relationship between the knowledge acquired by an employee and Job assigned to that employee. Further, the study has revealed that this Relationship has deep impact over the level of performance of that individual. The study also meant to suggest some ways and means to overcome these adversities due to the Relationship in-between, not allowing the transformation of Human Capital, thereby increasing the importance and scope for the study towards the economic growth and development of the state.  It has been proved many a times and thus becomes a well-established fact that an educational Relationship either over or under, severely affects the productivity of an individual. This Relationship between the two separate statuses, present in an individual actually refers to the gap between the attained level of Education and the Knowledge and Skills thereafter that are required by an individual to demonstrate/display through his personal and independent individual performance while performing the assigned responsibilities needed for the successful job accomplishment.  This concept of the Relationship in between the Educational Status and assigned Job to an individual was first highlighted back in the year 1976-79 and on other many later stages. Until date, the study is considered to be as one of the most important prime concern in the field of businesses to successfully sustain the growth and development in this ever-changing competitive world.  Education is very closely linked to the development of the region particularly in terms of its Socio-Economic growth& Development. It has always proved its worthiness through its impact on and over the economy of that country or region. Thus building up a strong, capable and result oriented Human Capital this Matching in-between the Education thus by the Knowledge and skill with the Job (responsibility, Duty) assigned, gains importance in its rationale existence. Social researchers and academicians from different corners of the world have tried this concept of understanding the impact of Relationship between the jobs assigned i.e. the achieved level of performance on the later stage and acquired Educational Status i.e. through knowledge base and skills in that particular individual. These social researches from the eminent researchers have time and again proved the importance of the match in between the acquired Knowledge and skills through the education and the jobs assigned to an individual thus by reflecting to the performance of an individual. This increased level of the performance with in an individual is transformed as a human capital for the organization they serve for. Thus an increased efficiency level for an employee also yields all together the growth and development. This Relationship between the acquired education and job assigned could in both the ways alias – could be over education or under education, resulting a wide gap in the actual performance and expected performance by an individual during his tenure in that job.  This research has been conducted across the world, based on my different dimensions referring to the purpose behind it. If one has to sum up – there are two types of literature available to review and examine the Topic of the research i.e. Relationship between the qualification and the job considering motivational factor-o-effect and on the other side the impact on productivity within the economic framework. This significant linkage for the acquired education and assigned job was for the first time highlighted by Freeman (1976, 1979 and 1980). Thus by driving an ample amount of support from his researches towards an overall impact on the performance level of that individual through motivation , increased level of performance and efficiency for that organization  and positive impact on overall growth and development with reference to the economy. Having said that the growth in economy depends purely on the productivity, which in turn depends upon the performance displayed by the employee working as well trained and managed Human Capital.(Ramirez et.al., 2006).  The enormous influence and match for education and job seem to imply a very close relation between the education and occupations of employee. Therefore, it is rather surprising that the positive relation between the education and job has not been considered importantly so far in most of the cases while assigning the responsibilities to the employee (Becker, Gary S. Human Capital; 1975).  Researchers at different times have also conducted detailed studies based on critical analysis for the Relationship in between the education (Knowledge & Skills) and Job (Duty & Responsibility) over collaborative productivity for that organization (Cohn and Khan, 1995; Groot and Oosterbeek, 1992, 1996; Dolton and Vignoles, 2000).  Substantial supportive evidences can be derived from the research conducted by Becker (1964 and 1993), the research emphasizes on the skills and knowledge acquired from the education transforms an individual in to human capital, working with increased efficiency level thus by increasing the productivity. Whereas, in some studies it has been found that with this existing Relationship between the education and the job actually distracts the employee from his responsibilities that the one is expected to demonstrate from his actions. An employee doesn’t gets motivated to perform well and as is not satisfied from his job therefore by and large yields replicating reversal effects on the scales of productivity (Buchel, 2002).  It was Hartog (2000), started the propagated discussion considering the usefulness for analyzing the importance of understanding over and under education and its resultative impact on the productivity. Throughout his research he completely sidelined the other associated forces such as Wages, Working conditions, Attitude for an individual, co-ordination and co-operation amongst/from the colleagues, etc.

 

Efficient ODA Policy for Asian Developing Countries in Korea

Dr. Namchul Lee, Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training, South Korea

 

ABSTRACT

South Korea is in a position to act as a link between developed and developing countries based on its quick transformation from a recipient country that received foreign aid to a donor country that provides foreign assistance. Requests for aid and demand for cooperation from developing countries have been increasing particularly because human resource development as well as vocational education and training were selected as key projects in the government’s strategy for international cooperation with Asian developing countries. The purpose of this study is to share the official development assistance (ODA) experience in vocational education and training (VET) with developing countries, and analyzes successful cases in the advanced vocational education and training policy and systems of South Korea as a link between developed and developing countries. To achieve this, literature reviews, domestic, a survey on the actual state intended for ODA, experts councils, and policy forums were conducted. This paper is organized as follow: Section II reviews of ODA current status in Korea. Section III analyzes the survey results of ODA in vocational education and training field. Section IV presents the implications of policy.  Section V presents conclusion of the research.  South Korea (hereafter Korea) is in a position to act as a link between developed and developing countries based on its rapid transformation from a recipient country that received foreign aid to a donor country that provides foreign aid. It is a key country that helps the national development of developing countries. It is necessary for Korea to share the information and experience it holds regarding advanced national economic and social development policy with developing countries in Asia, and to support their policy development to contribute to their economic and social development and lay the foundation for the strengthening of cooperation. Requests for aid and demand for cooperation from developing countries have been increasing particularly because human resource development as well as vocational education and training (VET) were selected as key projects in the government’s strategy for international cooperation with Asian countries. The purpose of this study is to share the official development assistance (ODA) experience in VET with developing countries, and analyzes successful cases in the advanced VET policy and systems of Korea as a link between developed and developing countries. The main research methods are a review of domestic/foreign ODA policy documents and related literatures, internet survey for ODA status in developing countries, and hold a policy discussion meeting to validate policy recommendations. The target countries of this research are Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Philippines, Mongolia and Nepal. They are 11 developing countries that form the partnership in Asia, and were selected by the committee for international development cooperation under the Prime Minister in Korea.  There is a recent study on the ODA of VET field in Korea (Kim, C.H, et. al, 2012, Lee, N. C, 2015, Cho, W.K, et. al, 2008 and Hong, E.P, et. al, 2014). This paper is organized as follow: Section II reviews of ODA current status in Korea. Section III analyzes the survey results of ODA in VET field. Section IV presents the implications of policy.  Section V presents conclusion of the research.  The size of ODA (net expenditure basis) from Korea in 2014 was USD 1.85 billion, increasing 5.8% compared to the previous year. The rate of ODA to GNI in 2014 was 0.13%, placing the country in the no. 16 spot among 29 DAC countries. The total amount of ODA by Korea in 2016 was KRW 2.439 trillion, increasing KRW 61.2 billion compared to last year. Of the total amount, KRW 1.9479 trillion (KRW 893.7 billion in loan and KRW 1.0542 trillion in grant) was budgeted for bilateral cooperative projects, and KRW 491.5 billion was budgeted for multilateral cooperative projects. Grant-based cooperation focuses on the implementation of projects that conform to the “Four Concepts of Development and Cooperation” announced by President Park Geun-hye in 2015 (International Development Cooperation Committee, 2016. 8, pp.3). Korea is expected to continue its efforts to resolve the problem of aid segmentation, which has been raised continuously. “The Four Concepts of Development and Cooperation” include 1) Better life for girls (72 projects, KRW 190 billion) 2), Safer life for everyone (40 projects, KRW 280.8 billion, 3) Scientific and technical innovation for better life (128 projects, KRW 199.9 billion), and 4) VET and ICT-utilizing education innovation in Africa (21 project, KRW 38.4 billion). Lastly, the "New Rural Development Paradigm" aims at establishing a universal, modernized rural development strategy that reflects the conditions and realities of developing countries in the 21st century (implementation plan of KRW 62.9 billion for 76 projects in 28 countries by 8institutions). On August 30, 2016, the "Revision of the 2017 International Development and Cooperation Comprehensive Implementation Plan" was announced at the 27th meeting of the Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation. Key revisions include the increase of ODA budget from KRW 2.729 trillion to KRW 2.751 trillion, an increase in the number of projects from 1,295 to 1,307, a change in the ratio of bilateral aid to multilateral aid from 82.7: 17.3 to 82.8:17.2, and a change in the ratio of loans to grants from 40.7:59.3 to 40.3:59.7(<See Table 1>).  The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is carrying out many projects to strengthen the capabilities of developing countries. The agency has a budget of USD 203.16 million for projects in 23 countries between 2008 and 2019. In Asia, Korea is providing assistance for vocational training in Laos, Cambodia, etc. <Table 2> shows the results of leading ODA projects related to vocational training (VT). For ODA projects, Asian countries were the biggest recipients at 37.4%, followed by African countries at 18.0%, Middle East and CIS countries at 8.1%, and Central and South American countries at 5.9%. With respect to sectors, the health sector was the biggest recipient at 11.5%, followed by transportation at 10.9%, water resources and education each at 9.4%, public administration at 9.3%, and energy at 7.3% ( International Development Cooperation Committee, 2016.8, pp. 5),  This survey targeted 585 professionals who completed KOICA's training and education programs and who visited Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training (KRIVET). It was conducted for 5 weeks between August 4 and September 12, 2016. The survey used a structured questionnaire provided by the research staff, and was mainly an internet survey that allowed the targets to respond at their convenience. An email providing a guide to the internet survey page was sent to each survey target so that the respondents could directly enter their answers. In addition, VET professionals visiting KRIVET were asked to answer the survey in person. Among the 96 answers that were collected, 92 were used in analysis.  Table 3 shows the survey content separated into the categories of common questions, adequacy, effectiveness, efficiency, influence, and future sustainability.

 

The Relationship between Autonomy Support Climate and Service Performance: Evidence from Part-time Employees

Kuan-Yeh Tung, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Shu-Ling Chen, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

The present study tests a multilevel of work engagement, examining how autonomy support climate affect work engagement, and in turn influence service performance. We conducted hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to analyze 606 service employees from 40 gas stations. The results revealed that an autonomy-support climate has a cross-level positive effect on employee work engagement subsequently enhances service performance. Implications and future research directions are discussed. Work engagement presents a worker’s vigor, dedication, absorption toward his/her work (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004; Bakker & Schaufeli, 2008), which has been shown to be positively related to disirable outcomes for organization (Christian, Garza, & Slaughter, 2011; Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002; Rich, LePine, & Crawford, 2010). Base on the job demands-resources model (JD–R model) of work engagement, previous studies have shown that job resources, due to their intrinsic and extrinsic motivational potential, are one of important predictors of work engagement (e.g.,Mauno, Kinnunen, & Ruokolainen, 2007; Schaufeli, Bakker, & van Rhenen, 2009). Nevertheless, several issues are overlooked in the work engagement literature. Despite the consensus that work engagement can be meaningfully enhanced via the influences of contextual job resources (e.g., Bakker & Demerouti, 2007; Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner, & Schaufeli, 2001), extant studies on JDR of work engagement predominantly took a micro-level approach; consequently, there is a dearth and a need for “multilevel research on work engagement that integrates macro concepts such as job resource and micro processes and outcomes” (Demerouti & Bakker, 2011, p. 388).. This knowledge is particularly important will not only contribute to theory building in the areas associated with effective engagement interventions but will also provide organizations and their managers with actionable knowledge about how to create social-contextual work environment effectively and sustain competitive advantage. Moreover, to respond today’s challenging and competitive service economy, organizations hire part-time workers for front-line service as being the most prevalent non-standard workforce arrangement to achieve the flexibility of human resources (Bernhard & Sverke, 2003; Sato, 2005). Workers with non-standard contracts form a significant part of the workforce in countries around the world (de Jong, Schalk, & Goessling 2007). Surprisingly, prior studies exploring the effects of the social-contextual factor (e.g., social support, supervisory coaching) on work engagement have mostly been conducted with traditional full-time permanent employees (e.g., Halbesleben, 2010; Xanthopoulou, Bakker, Demerouti, & Schaufeli, 2007), thus limiting our real understanding of work engagement to part-time employees in service industry. Although part-time employees shown lower job involvement (Thorsteinson, 2003), organizational commitment (Conway & Briner, 2002), and organizational citizenship behaviors (Conway & Briner, 2002), they may also have a strong attachment to the organization (Rousseau & Wade-Benzoni, 1995) due to their fairly fixed and ongoing schedules. Thus, scholars have called for further studies to examine how firms use social support in helping non-standard employee feel more satisfied, committed and thus being belong to part of the firms (Bernhard-Oettel, De Cuyper, Berntson, & Isaksson, 2008).This study aims to test how the interaction between autonomy support climate and PsyCap influence employee service performance through employee-level work engagement among part-time employees in service settings.  Autonomy support focused on work organizations concerns the interpersonal behavior used by one’s manager or work–group supervisor provides autonomy support, understand, and acknowledge subordinate perspectives, and encourage choice and self-initiation (Baard, Deci, & Ryan, 2004; Deci & Ryan, 1987). Therefore, autonomy support refers not so much to a characteristic of the job itself. Applying SDT, studies have demonstrated that an autonomy–supportive environment leads to a high level of employee self-motivation (Deci, Schwartz, Sheinman, & Ryan, 1981) and fulfills the intrinsic needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness (Baard, Deci, & Ryan, 2004). Studies have also supported the positive relationship between autonomy and work engagement (Salanova, Agut, & Peiró, 2005). For example, Deci, Ryan, Gagné, Leone, Usunov and Kornazheva (2001) found that autonomy support via satisfing employees’ needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness at work facilitates work engagement through these intrinsic motivational process. Climate is a social-cognitive construct by which employees in a work unit assess whether a manager’s behaviors have an internally consistent pattern (Zohar & Luria, 2004). An organizational climate signals a set of shared perceptions of the policies, practices, and procedures that an organization rewards, supports, and expects (Schneider & Reichers, 1983). In this study we examine the shared climate perceptions in terms of the work–unit level. Although employees attach their individual meanings when appraising the work environment, a shared perception may emerge in a unit through the processes of social information process (Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978), socialization (Ostroff & Kozlowski, 1992). Therefore, this study defined an autonomy support climate as a social–context climate that employees share in the work environment wherein managers provide job resources about interpersonal support at the social relations level, thereby cumulatively building an autonomy support climate at the work–unit level. Employees assess whether a manager’s behaviors consistently provide and encourage autonomy and support for all employees. Therefore, the overall pattern of manager behaviors displayed to the entire work unit, rather than particular manager behaviors perceived by individuals, determine an autonomy support climate.

 

Mindfulness in the Workplace:  Applying Emotional Intelligence Concepts to HR Training and Development Programs

Dr. Bernadette Baum, National University, San Diego, California

 

ABSTRACT

There has been much interest in new methods of communication and relationship-building in today’s workplace by high-level leadership in a variety of industries.  Particularly, leaders in the field of technology are recognizing the role authentic communication plays in a successful workplace.  Communication skills reflecting traits of honesty and authenticity are acknowledged to be rooted in high levels of emotional health and maturity. The emerging view places our Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) on the same level of importance as our Intelligence Quotient (IQ), especially concerning workplace relationships.  As such, the need to harness and develop emotional intelligence communication skills becomes paramount.  Experts have found that one way to develop emotional health is through the practice of mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness can nurture levels of social and emotional learning which can, in turn, nurture levels of empathy, an important trait in the quest for developing productive relationships, both personal and professional. This paper proffers an application of training methods incorporating concepts of emotional intelligence and positive psychology as a means of fostering healthy workplace relationships with a view toward creating a more engaged, creative, and productive workforce.  Human Resource professionals are continually evaluating and reevaluating employee training and development programs in an effort to find improved methods of disseminating knowledge in ways that enhance the teaching and learning process.  Many employee training programs typically are administered in compliance formats in response to dictates by regulatory agencies. While these formats may ensure the employer is in compliance with legal requirements set down by statute, they may lose the underlying – and arguably more important - messages that can be delivered in a well-designed training program.  One critical message to be transmitted to all employees is a description of company culture.  Employee training and development programs should be linked to the identity of the company by communicating the organization’s culture to any policy being administered.  When the training involves policies related to human behavioral issues, the need to communicate the company culture is even greater.  Depending on the type and size of the company, the HR manager will determine the appropriate venue for the employee training programs.  Clearly, certain training programs will benefit from face-to-face training over others.  Arguably, employee training programs concerning human behavior issues, such as sexual harassment or bullying prevention training, will render best results in an in-person format.  The “check-the-box” online programs often are viewed by employees as a waste of time and a hindrance to their productivity.  In examining where compliance training falls short, the missing link appears to be the human connection. Just as social constructs do not always allow for opportunities to easily express ones feeling to another person, employee training programs administered in a compliance mode forfeit the opportunity to create meaningful employee interactions on a human behavioral level.  Consequently, various employee behavior problems are not being effectively addressed and mitigated.  Developing and sustaining positive relationships at work is important not only for our own emotional health, but for the collective health of the organization. Starting from the first day of employment, an employee is forming impressions of the organization and forging relationships with coworkers.  Consider the onboarding process of a new employee. From the time a new employee engages in orientation and job training, the employee is deluged with information, introductions, and important facts of the job.  While the new employee is attempting to process the information, there is a natural tendency to compare the experience with expectations the employee had when entering the organization.  These expectations were formed long before the hiring process when the employee was merely a candidate.  The prospective employee sought out information from various sources to ascertain whether the company’s values were an attractive match.  Some information was found on the company website, perhaps in the form of a vision statement.  The vision statement articulated the company’s history and its identity, along with the broad purpose and goals of the organization.  Perhaps the candidate read the company’s mission statement which outlined various objectives to be accomplished by the company and, more importantly, how the company culture allows for the successful attainment of its goals and objections.  The new employee is now weighing whether the information obtained was a true picture of the company.  A new employee can become very disillusioned early on if the actions of the company’s leaders and top management are quite different in day-to-day operations than is presented in a public forum.  Realistic job previews are important for a number of reasons.  A positive and healthy corporate culture can be a strong draw for attracting top talent.  Oftentimes, however, there is a disconnect between the messages set forth in company policies and the overall climate of the organization.  An organization’s mission and vision statements can and should reveal much about a company: its history, its identity, the products or services offered, and the company values.  But, what if the manner in which a company is managed does not match its espoused values?  HR professionals can ensure the values of an organization are consistent with the actions of its employees by creating and administering effective employee training and development programs that have at the forefront a message of positive corporate culture. While top management’s intent to establish a healthy workplace environment may be sincere and in good faith, the reality is that some relationships in the workplace are strained at best, or unlawful at the worst extreme.  HR professionals often must intervene to address workplace relationship issues.  Values memorialized in an employee handbook, such as respect, diversity, autonomy - and policies such as a zero tolerance for harassment, bullying, and other types of negative behavior – may not always reflect the climate of the organization.  Organizational Development consultants frequently conduct interventions concerning issues of human behavior.  As such, efforts and resources expended in the training and development arena to address human behavioral communications and relationship-building can be very fruitful.  Reflecting upon the core issues surrounding common employee problems and associated behaviors reveals the need to examine on a deeper level the source of the problems. Because workplace behaviors often mirror issues found in familial groups or societal groups at large, there is an ever-changing workplace climate that needs to be recognized and addressed in employee training and development programs.  Some may argue the complexities of the human psyche make such examination nearly impossible in a workplace environment, however, engaging in exercises designed for expansion of personal and professional emotional health creates opportunities to develop meaningful employee experiences, making such examinations worth the effort on many fronts.  One way to nurture and develop emotional health is to practice “mindfulness.”  Mindfulness is defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as the gateway into the full dimensionality of being human and being alive.  Practicing mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention:  on purpose, non-judgmental, and in the present moment (Kabat-Zinn, 2013).  The study of mindfulness is being viewed as a way to tap into our innermost feelings and deepest thought processes in an effort to stay centered and focused on what truly matters.  The act of being fully present in the moment – whether that means fully listening when engaged in a conversation, or being fully engaged in a workplace task – will recapture the focus lost through multi-tasking and communicating electronically. 

 

Citizen Satisfaction from Local Government: Assessment in a Greek Municipality

Christos Kiorpes, Technological Education Institute of Central Macedonia, Greece

Dr. Vasiliki Vrana, Technological Education Institute of Central Macedonia, Greece

Dr. Ioannis Karavasilis, Technological Education Institute of Central Macedonia, Greece

Dr. Dimitrios Paschaloudis, Technological Education Institute of Central Macedonia, Greece

 

ABSTRACT

Municipalities are the everyday face of the public sector and they have a certain degree of autonomy in providing their services to citizens and managing their processes. Citizens are the customers of a municipality and in this point of view; municipalities have to offer quality services to their citizens and to continuously improve them. The paper aims at proposing a customer-focus instrument to investigate citizen satisfaction with the municipal services and enhance municipal capacity to respond to citizens’ needs and demands for improved service delivery. The questionnaire was used for the assessment of municipal services of Heraclia, Greece. The first assessment showed that the municipality has been successfully offering quality services. However, there are fields as cleaning services and specific technical and economic services that need to be improved.  Municipal leaders have to take into consideration citizens views and improve services to meet their needs and demands. There were statistically significant differences in scores between citizens of different municipal districts. Leaders have to further investigate where these differences lie on and plan interventions and strategic movements. Using results of assessment the municipality can meet citizens’ needs. The questionnaire, if further validated aims to be a national standard for measuring user satisfaction.   Municipalities are the primary local authorities within the organizational structure of Greece (Article 1 of Presidential Decree 410/1995). They are further subdivided into municipal units and into communities. Municipalities are highly complex organizations (Makaratzi et al., 2016) and according to the Municipal and Communal Code (art. 24) have responsibility for the administration of their local jurisdiction as it pertains to the financial, social, cultural and spiritual interests of  citizens. Main responsibilities of the municipal governance in Greece include town planning, water and waste treatment, urban road systems, environmental protection, gas supplies, civil protection, repair and maintenance of schools, family and youth services, parks, sports and leisure facilities, nurseries and kindergartens, theatres, museums, libraries,  adult education, commerce and tourism and licensing certain business enterprises. Revenue is derived from the State budget, property revenues, and established taxes and fees from sources like loans, inheritances, auctions, rents and fines and from entrepreneurial activities. Crucial responsibilities of municipal governments is to deliver services that the local society requires to maintain and improve its welfare (Makanyeza et al., 2013) and to satisfy the common interests but also the interest of individual citizens (Cigu & Konstantin, 2013). Delivery of public services is characterized by compliance with rules and it is determined by inputs (Tamrakar, 2010), is a key determinant of quality of life (Besley & Ghatak, 2007) and contributes to the establishment of credibility and reputation or the administration in the eyes of the citizens (Mokhlis et al., 2011). According to Sachdev & Verma (2004) delivery of high quality services may spread positive word-of-mouth, enhance profitability, increases market share, return on investment, and reduces costs.   Generally, in Greece public service delivery is characterized of being ineffective, too much procedural, costly, not transparent with long established practices of clientelism, favouritism, patronage, violation of meritocracy and the widespread corruption. The prevalence of legalism, formalism and bureaupathology in the functioning and performance of public services contributes also to the nation’s problems (Makrydemetres et al., 2016).  Since the beginning of 2010, the Greek economy is going through a transformation process and the Ministry of Administrative Reform and E-Government is implementing an ambitious restructuring of the public sector with a view to change the culture of the public administration, to make it more effective and efficient and to provide high quality services to citizens and businesses (Ministry of Finance, 2014).  In this vein one of the most significant challenges facing local governments nowadays is to provide high quality services to the citizens (Mokhlis et al., 2011). Local public services should be concerned with what the citizens want rather than with what municipalities are prepared to give (Tamrakar, 2010). The paper aims at creating a tool for investigating user satisfaction from services provided by municipalities in Greece or other municipalities with similar administrative structure and, if further validated, to set a national standard as a user satisfaction assessment method. Quality is an indistinct and illusive concept (Parasuraman et al., 1985) and quality experts define quality in a somewhat different way, depending on the person making the definition, the context within which it is considered and the measures applied (Tapiero, 1996). Crosby (1979) defined quality as “conformance to requirements”, Juran & Gryna (1988) as “fitness for use”, Pariseau & McDaniel (1997) as “conformance to specifications” and Edwards (1968) as the “capacity to satisfy wants.".  Pirsing (1974, p.184) claimed “Quality ... you know what it is, yet you don’t know what it is. But that’s self-contradictory. But some things are better than others, that is, they have more quality. But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that have it, it all goes poof!”.  Service quality is also an indistinct and illusive concept and its definition is greatly influenced by its subjective nature (Reisinger, 2001). Definitions for service quality emphasize on the relationship between expectations in customers’ evaluations of services (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry 1985, 1988; Zeithaml, Berry & Parasuraman 1993) and on the customer satisfaction (Tse & Wilton, 1988; Yi, 1990). Thus, Parasuraman et al. (1985), defined service quality as the degree of discrepancy between customers’ normative expectations for the service and their perceptions of the service performance and Lewis & Booms (1983, p.100) defined service quality as a “…measure of how well the service level delivered matches the customer’s expectations”.  Oliver (1993) claimed that service quality would be antecedent to customer satisfaction while Anderson & Sullivan, (1993) and Spreng et al., (1996) suggested that customer satisfaction comes as a result of service quality. The higher the service quality the more satisfied the customers are (Petruzzellis et al., 2006). Quality is an important factor of municipal services and a driving force for citizen satisfaction (Rodríguez et al., 2009). Surveys recording citizen satisfaction is a well-established method to assess the quality of local government services (Van Ryzin, 2004). The municipality of Heraklea is one of the seven municipalities of Serres Regional Unity, established by the law. 3852/2010, with an area of 448 790 hectares (covering 11% of the total area of Serres Regional Unity) and is operating since 1/1/2011. It consists of the merger of the three former "Kapodistrian" Municipalities Gefiroudi, Strymoniko and Heraclea, who today are Local Units of Heraklea Municipality. It has a population of 21145 inhabitants. Population of the municipality has signs of aging, since 37% are over 60 years and the average age of the population is 47.5 years. Inhabitants have low level of education as 41% of them have primary education, 30% secondary education and 24% tertiary education. Regarding occupations a significant percentage of 35% are retired and only 26% are working. From the working population, 39% are employed in agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishery, 18% in services and 13% are unskilled workers and workers.

 

Salient Themes in Thai Literature as a Template for Development of Self-Management Skills in Upper Secondary School Students in Bangkok Metropolis

Primprouwadee Huntra, Mahasarakham University, Thailand

Dr. Anchalee Chantapho, Mahasarakham University, Thailand

Dr. Vissanee Siltrakul, Mahasarakham University, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

Self-management skills are an important principle applied to achieve happiness in life and be a qualified member of Thai Society. The youth should practice these skills from the very young in order to make use them for the bright future. Thai literature is the precious nations heritage. It indicates the former great poets talents who conveyed their imaginative and beautiful writing based on Thai culture belief, and the way of life in the past. So, Thai literature helps reflect in teaching the self-management skills for the students. This quantitative research, therefore, aims at studying present problems and the needs of self-management skills for upper secondary school student through Thai literature.  The results of the research were concluded as follows: . The management skills in working, the relationship with other people and self-esteem evolves around the dynamic norms, westernizations, technology and the economic competitiveness for Upper Secondary school students.  There are 5 problems dealing with the development of self-management skills: For Self-esteem: 1. Lack of life objective 2. Inappropriate behavior 3. Trust worthiness 4. Lack of problem solving skill 5. Lack of knowing Dhamma and how to use it in daily life.  There are 5 problems dealing with the relationships among people: 1. Speaking skill 2. Public minds 3. Personal Behavior 4. Inter-personal relationship 5. Self-center. The management skill of working: there are 5 problems as follows: 1. To devote one-self in the work 2. To be responsible 3. To be professional or to expertise 4. To be industrious 5. To be intellectual.  The needs of self-management skills can be effective for the upper secondary school student. There must be the co-operation between parents and school. They should set as a good example for the student to follow.  Analysis of Thai literature revealed that the principle of management skill on self-esteem has 5 strengths: 1. Realization of ones need 2. Humility and respects 3. Truth and honors 4. Intellectual problem solving  5. Acquiring knowledge and practicing about Dhamma. The principal of management skill on public minds has 5 strengths: 1. Constructive Speech 2. Giving, taking and helping 3. Setting good examples 4. Understanding others 5. Righteous and fairness. The principle of management skills on working has 5 strengths: 1. To have awareness on devoting to ones work 2. To be responsible for ones duty 3. Acknowledge and have expertise in ones job 4. To pay attention and to be industrious 5. To work intellectually.  Moreover, Thai literature research is contemporary that one can make us of the principles of management skills effectively.  A template for development of self-management skills for upper secondary school students can be used as self-taught learning. The template is very qualified, modern, and attractive. The presentation of contents not only is clarified, but the language is also easy to understand. Moreover, one who studies the template can develop oneself after using the principles of self-managements skills. Culture is the way of life of a community or people in a society that has been screened and passed along in society. Local cultures are different. The culture of each society reflects the ideas, beliefs, values ​​in the society itself. Culture is a tool to refine mentality, guidance of life, a source of knowledge and arts activities. (Pravej Wasi: 1994:5)   Culture is a way of life that originates from complex process of social or ethnic groups by a combination of mentality, object, knowledge, and emotional dimension together until it becomes uniqueness of each society which may appear in the form of art including painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and drama or music. (Srongkhun Chanchorn 2009: 5-7) One of believes that many academic scholars agreed is that Thai society is a society whose culture is rooted in the lifestyle for a long time. The lifestyle culture and historic monuments have flexible characteristic. They do not block the new things. Moreover, they accept foreign cultures including the Western culture from Europe or America as well as Asian cultures.  Globalisation and the existence of the information age as well as the advancement of technology have inserted into Thai lifestyle in various forms. Therefore, Thai society is facing rapid changes and moves at all times. In addition, the influx of foreign cultures that come to Thailand with social processes of capitalism and consumerism, has resulted in traditional culture which is eclipsed. However, all societies have existed and moved on. We must recognize the need to build a strong immune system for society, especially among the youth who are lack of experience and knowledge. The youths are at risk as they could be affected negatively by modern society. This will affect some of the youth to have unpleasant behavior which is inconsistency with our beautiful traditional culture.  What happens to Thai society is a sign of weakness of social and culture of the country which points out that the children and young people do not have self-management skills. The children are at risk in destroying their own future at young age and this problem will become more serious. If those who are responsible and involved with the children’s future, which started from the family, educational institution and other organizations, both public and private sectors, cannot solve this problem, the future of Thai children may collapse and the future of Thai society could be extinguished.  Self-management skills are important and valuable for our lives. They make us live with happiness and become a quality member of the society and the nation. Therefore, if the nation's youth adopts such principles as guidelines in their practices since childhood, it will be a solid foundation for them that will lead to successful future. However, having the youth realises importance and benefits of the self-management skills from theory that shows in textbook or documents may not yield good result.  As the mentioned skills are in an abstract form so it is very difficult for children to understand. For this reason, presentation in materialistic will make them interest and better understand these skills.  Showing them examples of good practices and teach about consequences will confirm that is we adopt the self-management skills into our lives, our future will stand in a right and beautiful path.  Using Thai literature as a tool in guiding the upper secondary students to adopt them as their own practice has several advantages, Firstly, the students are aware of the value of literature as cultural heritage that they need to preserve for the nation.  It is because the literature is a part of life.  Secondly, the students will learn the Thai literature in depth and learn how to consider and analyse by using the self-management skills as principles to analyse character’s behavior. The students can use the lesson for their lives at such age.  Third, the students will be proud of the wisdom of ancestors. Stories in the literature can be adapted in the present. No matter how long the time has passed, the wisdoms of Thai are never out of date. Our ancestors have knowledge to live their lives with self-management skills for making their life happy and successful. Finally, literature will train one’s mind to be soft-minded which is one of factors of self-management skills.  1. To study the current problems and needs of self-management skills for upper secondary students in Bangkok 2. To analyse patterns of self-management skills from Thai literatures for upper secondary students in Bangkok  3. To develop a handbook for self-management skills from the Thai literatures for upper secondary students in Bangkok  The research on the development of a handbook for self-management skills from the Thai literature for upper secondary students in Bangkok has conceptual research framework as shown in a below chart.

 

Participation at an Open Innovation Platform in a Smart City: Results from an Empirical Study

Dr. Jukka Ojasalo, Professor, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Espoo, Finland

University of Helsinki, Adjunct Professor, Finland

Aalto University, Adjunct Professor, Finland

Lassi Tahtinen, Researcher, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Espoo, Finland

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of article is to increase knowledge of communication and participation of an open innovation platform that facilitates collaborative innovation between a city and external actors. External actors refer to private companies, third sector organizations, research institutions, other cities and public sector organizations, and of course individual citizens. This article is based on an extensive empirical study among actors involved with collaborative innovation of cities. As result, it develops and introduces a framework for how various actors may participate in collaborative innovation facilitated and enabled by an open innovation platform in a city. Collaborative innovation and participation are in the heart of the concept of Smart City. Stojanović et al. (2014) argue that in today's rapidly changing world with increased complexity and uncertainty, adopting future planning methods can provide a precise, comprehensive and integrated approach to urban management invoking more intuition, participation and flexibility. According to Bakici et al. (2013a), Smart Cities enable generation of smart ideas in an open environment by encouraging clusters, open data, or creating living labs. This also includes citizen participation in the co-creation process of products or services. According to Schaffers (2015), there is a demand for effective strategies that are bottom-up, citizen-supported while taking into consideration socioeconomic context and urban development goals. In addition, approaches that take into account mobilizing the participation and intelligence of citizens, businesses, and societal organizations are needed. Similarly, Dameri (2013) refers to inclusion and participation as key characters of a Smart City. The term innovation platform is defined as an approach that systematically facilitates external actors’ innovation with purpose to develop solutions to platform owners’ problems and needs (Ojasalo, 2015a). It is an approach for attracting, facilitating, and orchestrating other organizations’ innovation to solve platform owners’ problems. It is primarily a way to organize, rather than a virtual or physical space, even though they may be means used to facilitate the innovation of external organizations. By enabling and facilitating the participation of various actors in the activity of the innovation platform it becomes open. However, the “openness” of the innovation platform is not necessarily a straightforward question.  Facilitating participation of various actors is an essential element of collaborative innovation of cities. The actors participating in collaborative innovation are typically companies, third sector organizations, research institutions and universities, other cities and public sector organizations, and of course individual citizens (Ojasalo, 2016). However, so far, the existing knowledge of this area is in its infancy. The present article address this knowledge gap and increases our understanding by developing and introducing a framework for how various actors may participate in collaborative innovation facilitated and enabled by an open innovation platform in a city. First this article discusses the concept of Smart City, innovation platforms, openness of an innovation platform, as well as participation at innovation platforms. Next, it explains the empirical method. Then, it introduces the result of the empirical study, namely a framework for actor participation at an open innovation platform. After that, it draws the final conclusions.  The term Smart City has become popular, particularly among urban policy makers. However, what makes a city to be “smart” remains rather unclear. Moreover, there are several similar concepts that may cause confusion, such as wired cities (Dutton, 1987), technocities (Downey and McGuigan, 1999), digital cities (Komninos, 2008), creative cities (Florida, 2005; Creative Cities Network, 2015), and knowledge-based cities (Carillo, 2006). Since a precise definition lacks, cities have a self-congratulatory tendency to label themselves “smart”-what city does not want to be smart or intelligent? (Hollands, 2008). Next, some main aspect of this concept are discussed.  Hollands (2008) made a critical review on the smart city concept and identified the following characteristics associated to the concept.  The utilization of networked infrastructures to improve economic and political efficiency and enable social, cultural and urban development (Komninos, 2006; Eger, 1997).  Emphasis on business-led urban development (Brenner and Theodore, 2002; Quilley, 2000; Harvey, 2000; Gottdiener, 2001; Klein, 2000; Monbiot, 2000).  Enhancement of social inclusion (Siemiatycki, 2002; Phipps 2000; Harvey, 2000).  High-tech and creative industries as drivers of growth (Florida, 2002; Eger, 2003a, 2003b; Hall 2000; Scott 2000; Landry and Bianchini, 1995; Landry, 2000).  Attention on the role of social and relational capital in urban development (Eger, 2003b; Carley et al. 2001; .Poelhekke, 2006).  Consideration of environmental sustainability (Gleeson and Low, 2000; Inoguchi et al., 1999).   Smart Cities emphasize the role of ICT infrastructure, although much research has also been carried out on the role of human capital/education, social and relational capital, and environmental interest as important drivers of urban growth. (Caragliu and Nijkamp, 2011). European Smart Cities project (2015) presented six axes connecting traditional regional and neoclassical theories of urban growth and development. They are smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment, smart people, smart living, and smart governance (Caragliu and Nijkamp, 2011). According to Dameri (2013), Smart City refers to a well-defined geographical area, in which high technologies such as ICT, logistic, energy production, and so on, cooperate to create benefits for citizens in terms of well-being, inclusion and participation, environmental quality, intelligent development; it is governed by a well -defined pool of subjects, able to state the rules and policy for the city government and development.  Zygiaris (2013) put forward the following qualities of Smart Cities. Efficient, sustainable and liveable. These aspects of urban development have been associated with Smart Cities in several reports dealing the vision of Smart Cities (Toppeta, 2010; Cozens, 2008; Greenburg, 2004; Marshall and Toffel, 2005; McGeough and Newman, 2004).  Intellectual ability addressing several innovative socio-technical and socio-economical aspects of growth (Atkinson and Castro, 2008; Belisent, 2010; Shapiro, 2003).  Green. Meaning urban infrastructure for environment protection and reduction of CO2 emission (Atkinson and Castro, 2008; Belisent, 2010; Adams, 2006).  Interconnected. Referring to broadband economy (Bell et al., 2009; Gillett et al., 2004; Ergen, 2009).  Intelligent. Meaning the capacity to produce added value information from the processing of city’s real-time data from sensors and activators (Chee-Yee and Kumar, 2003; Leon, 2006).  Innovating and knowledge. Refer to the city’s ability to raise innovation (Shapiro, 2003; Komninos, 2002; 2006).   Komninos (2006) defined Smart Cities as territories with high capacity for learning and innovation, which is built-in the creativity of their population, their institutions of knowledge creation, and their digital infrastructure for communication and knowledge management. According to Fu (2007), a high concentration of skilled workers can promote the creation, diffusion, acquisition, and accumulation of knowledge across individual workers, geographic space, and time. People benefit from being close to a dense, skilled, labour market where, through different channels, they can learn from others without compensation. This is explained with the concept of localized knowledge spillovers which enhance cities to be “Smart Café Cities” (ibid.). In general, local human capital externalities are considered to be one of the predominant reasons for the existence of cities (Henderson, 1974, Fujita and Ogawa, 1982, Lucas, 2001). Tranos and Gertner (2012) argue that Smart City policy agenda should be informed by and address the structure of transnational urban networks since this can affect the efficiency of such local policies. The significance of global network structure is essential as cities do not exist in a vacuum. The urban development is heavily based on urban interdependencies found at a global scale.

  

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