The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge
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
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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. 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.
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). 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).
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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). 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).
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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).
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. 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).
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 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 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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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).
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. 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 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).
important will not only contribute to
theory building in the areas associated with effective engagement interventions
but will also
organizations and their managers with actionable knowledge about how to create social-contextual
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.
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. 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.
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. 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).
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. 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
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