The American Academy of Business Journal
Vol. 23 * Num.. 1 * September 2017
The Library of Congress, Washington, DC * ISSN: 1540 – 7780
Online Computer Library Center * OCLC: 805078765
National Library of Australia * NLA: 42709473
Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Journal
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Optimizing International Teams’ Effectiveness by Building Trust
Dr. Gordon W. Arbogast, Jacksonville University, FL
Hannes Witte, Jacksonville University, FL
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.
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
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).
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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).
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
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.
Tax Fraud Remains Steady
Dr. Denise de la Rosa, Grand Valley State University, MI
Dennis C. Stovall, Grand Valley State University, MI
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.
Lean Philosophy in Healthcare
Dr. Fatma Pakdil, Eastern Connecticut State University, CT
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.
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
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.
Entrepreneurial Small Business of Third Party Logistics Providers
Dr. Sut Sakchutchawarn, Kean University, NJ
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 Integration of Management Practices and Organizational Structure into Student Group Projects
Dr. John E. Knight, University of Tennessee at Martin, TN
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Efficient ODA Policy for Asian Developing Countries in Korea
Dr. Namchul Lee, Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training, South Korea
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.
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
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
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,
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 JD–R
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).
Mindfulness in the Workplace: Applying Emotional Intelligence Concepts to HR Training and Development Programs
Dr. Bernadette Baum, National University, San Diego, California
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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Index: The Library of Congress, Washington, DC: ISSN: 1540 – 7780
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