The Business Review, Cambridge

The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge

Vol. 24 * Number 2 * March 2019

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

Online Computer Library Center, OH  *  OCLC: 805078765

National Library of Australia  *  NLA: 42709473

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Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of JAABC journals.  You are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of any information (text; pictures; tables. etc..) from this web site or any other linked web pages is strictly prohibited. Request permission / Purchase article (s):  jaabc1@aol.com

 

Copyright 2000-2019. All Rights Reserved

 

The Secret Behind Trader Joe’s Success: The Extraordinary Leadership of CEO John Shields

Virginia Gean, California Lutheran University, CA

Dr. Farrell Gean, Pepperdine University, CA

Dr. Fred Petro, Pepperdine University, CA

 

ABSTRACT

The literature is replete with articles and books setting forth good qualities of effective leadership. This paper is based in part on a review of the vast information available on leadership but also, and more importantly, on the personal interview of an individual who has applied these theoretical qualities of good leadership. John Shields used extraordinary leadership skills to develop the well know retail giant, Trader Joe’s, into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. The reader will hear the exact words expressed by this legendary leader.  We never outgrow our love for a good story, do we? There is something compelling, something magnetic, and something altogether unique about the best stories.  They engage both our minds and our hearts. They allow us to empathize with the experiences of other human beings. They also create opportunities to learn from the lives of others. One can learn leadership qualities effectively by listening to the stories of those who have demonstrated successful leadership attributes in their careers. The story of how John Shields led the development of Trader Joe’s is one of those informative, inspiring and entertaining stories.  What follows is an integration of those widely accepted critical leadership attributes into a single empirical example of how they worked in the case of John Shields leading Trader Joe’s. Shields spent his whole career in the retail sector, eventually leading the Trader Joe’s grocery chain from its meager beginnings of 6 stores and 700 employees to over 200 stores with sales exceeding $5 billion per year.  During the interview as he reminisced, Shields explained that his entry as president and CEO of the company did not exactly begin smoothly.  He described the somewhat rocky and unpredictable paths that lead him into this leadership role, which were quite interesting.  Shields began his retirement after working for several large retail chains for more than 29 years.  He retired at the age of 55.  Shields said that out of nowhere, he received a phone call from Joe Coulombe, his fraternity brother from Stanford University, where they both attended graduate business school.  Coulombe called Shields to ask him what he was currently doing.  Shields responded by saying he was doing nothing at all since retiring.  Coulombe asked to meet his old friend for lunch the next day at the Pasadena Cal Tech Faculty Club.   Shields mentioned that Coulombe seemed to be melancholy and after inquiring about his mood, Coulombe explained that he believed the company that he founded could not grow over six stores.  He went on to say that he had previously sold this company, Trader Joe’s, to a German family seven years prior. Coulombe also told Shields that he was considering advising the German family to sell the small grocery business.  However, Coulombe was not ready to throw in the towel yet and knowing that Shields had an extensive career in retail, first as an executive at Macy’s Department Store for twenty years and then an executive at Mervyn’s, which had been recently acquired by Dayton Hudson nine years prior to his retirement, Coulombe asked him if he would like to come to Trader Joe’s and help manage and expand the business.  At first thought, Shields believed it wouldn’t be too difficult since he had the experience of growing both Macy’s and Mervyn’s into huge department chains nationwide. Coulombe asked Shields if he would be interested in coming out of retirement to take a month or two to analyze the business and flush out some of the opportunities that might exist to increase the Trader Joe’s business.  Shields agreed to do so and performed his research primarily by talking to managers, supervisors and employees.  He conducted extensive interviews over the course of several months.  He talked with practically everyone in the company.     Shields further explained that Coulombe was a micromanager.  Coulombe would usually hire his employees right out of high school and therefore think of them as being children.  “Once you have that concept in your mind, you would not want to empower your children to do that much,” Shield said of Coulombe’s management style.  After extensive analysis of the SWOTS, or the Strengths and Weaknesses of the company, Shields called Coulombe and asked him if he would like to meet again to discuss his analysis of Trader Joe’s. 

 

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Sox Compliance:  Where Are We Now?

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

Dennis C. Stovall, Grand Valley State University, MI

 

ABSTRACT

Implementation of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) has been costly in dollars and time. Due to these high costs and time commitments, it is important to understand the benefits of corporate compliance for investors.  Five local corporations within West Michigan were interviewed with the intent of providing clarity to this problem.  The results show a mixed bag of success, many additional costs, and a wide variety of attitudes about SOX.  After 15 years of SOX compliance, it appears as if there will always be a battle between SOX costs and the value that it represents.  Of the companies that were interviewed, the smaller corporations appear to have had the toughest task in following the SOX rules, including a higher than average appropriation of funds internally to cover the new expenses associated with compliance. Companies do not track or disclose SOX compliance costs.  These costs are embedded in audit fees to CPA firms and charges to administrative costs for those internal compliance costs. In this study we use company interviews to assess initial compliance costs and examine changes in audit fees between 2005 and 2016.  The 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act is considered one of the most significant pronouncements in the recent history of U.S. accounting regulation. The act covers various issues from corporate governance to internal controls and financial disclosure.  It is geared toward strengthening internal controls and imposes more responsibility on those who should be overseeing internal controls.  Nevertheless, SOX has had some negative consequences which affected the introduction and acceptance of the act by the public.  The practical and timely implementation of SOX by real-world firms has been hampered by challenges, such as costs, employee time restraints and expertise, and legal burdens.  One of the biggest issues firms faced when implementing SOX was the associated cost.  Companies who file annual reports with the SEC and who list on national stock exchanges in the United States had to comply with the SOX requirements.  For most large companies, management was required to provide an assessment on the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls in the 2004 financial statements and the company’s auditors were required to issue a report on the effectiveness of management’s assessment of those controls in the 2005 financial statements.  Smaller publicly traded companies were given a reprieve with management assessment in 2007 and auditor attestation in 2008. Section 404, which governs internal controls over financial reporting is, by far, the most encompassing and demanding of all the sections of the act (Stout, 2005). Section 404 puts much more responsibility on management and requires management’s assertion of the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls over financial reporting.  The responsibility for the internal controls are solely management’s responsibility and the CEO and CFO provide assertions as such  in the annual report. The company’s external auditors must also issue an opinion on the adequacy of management’s assessment and issues its own assessment on the effectiveness of internal controls (Stout, 2005).  For all companies required to follow SOX regulations, Section 404 is the most challenging and costly part of the SOX Act.  The costs that relate to section 404 are often referred to as ‘compliance costs’.  Compliance costs are not only those costs that are directly related to the company’s internal compliance efforts but also include costs associated with the diversion of executive time, deterring risk taking, and new external auditing costs (Ribstien, 2006).  The total costs of Section 404 compliance were greatly underestimated by the SEC when the section’s rules were initially released.  In a speech before the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, SEC commissioner Paul Atkins (2006) stated:  “When the SEC first released its implementation rules for 404, we estimated that the aggregate costs of the rule would be about $1.24 billion or $94,000 per public company. In the SEC's defense, we made this estimate before the PCAOB released its 300-page Auditing Standard No. 2. Unfortunately, surveys indicate that actual costs incurred for 404 compliance were twenty times higher than what we estimated.”  As indicated in the speech, the total costs relating to Section 404 compliance are much higher than many experts anticipated.  In a survey done by Financial Executives International (FEI) in 2004, companies estimated that average year-one compliance costs would be over $3 million.  Companies with revenues over $5 billion estimated that the average costs would be over $8 million.    The 2004 FEI survey also showed that many companies underestimated not only the costs of compliance in terms of dollars spent but also in terms of the people hours needed for compliance by both internal and external employees.  In a survey sent out to companies in January 2004, companies, on average, estimated that 12,265 internal people hours would be spent on SOX compliance.  In July of 2004, the number more than doubled to an average of 25,668 internal hours.  The actual number of hours per company was found to be directly proportional to the size of the company with companies that had revenues of less than $100 million estimating an average of 2,143 hours and companies with revenues over $5 billion expected to incur 73,312 internal people hours (FEI Special Survey). 

 

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A Study of Motivation and Personal Characteristics Among Haitian Entrepreneurs Facing “Obstacle” Variables in Small Business Arena

Dr. Maja Zelihic, Forbes School of Business and Technology, San Diego, CA

Clifford D. Wiliams, CEO, Aspera Group, Atlanta, GA

 

ABSTRACT

Successful entrepreneurship is of crucial importance in the developing world. Entrepreneurship makes a significant contribution to the economic landscape of Haiti.  The purpose of this study is to explore and understand Haitian entrepreneurs’ motivational and personal characteristic variables through the case study of two separate businesses in Grand Goave region in the southwest of Haiti. The aim of the research is establishing connection between the motivation and personal characteristics of Haitian entrepreneurs and their effectiveness in the small business arena despite the severe obstacles small business owners encounter due to the devastation suffered in the 2010 earthquake and 2016 hurricane. Furthemore, this research attempts to develop a model to test the relationship between the motivation and personal characteristics of Haitian entrepreneurs to the entrepreneurship’ self-sufficiency, sustainability and success scale.  While there appears to be an abundance of news coming out of Haiti, this region is very rarely highlighted as a success story in any industrial fields. Quite often, the only news one hears on Haiti is that of political turmoil, natural disasters, earthquakes poverty, riots, and health issues, Haiti and its people remain a mystery to the clear majority of the world. Yet, there are so many inspirational and powerful stories of Haitian entrepreneurs who are leading the efforts of rebuilding their country, overcoming the odds, persevering despite the multitude of obstacles while creating a sustainable business model many of their counterparts in other parts of the developed world can successfully follow.  Researchers of this study aimed to discover if there is a specific set of motivational and personal characteristic variables making certain Haitian entrepreneurs more prone to succeed. If one can predict the success of a particular enterprise, based on the studied variables, similar progress can be made within the entrepreneurship sector under some very challenging economic conditions.  This study will investigate two small businesses in Grand Goave province in Haiti through tri-fold process: an observational study, employee survey, and business owners’ interviews, hopefully determining and effectively analyzing the motivational and personality characteristics of successful Haitian entrepreneurs deemed crucial in combating the vast array of obstacle variables.  Having suffered both the devastating earthquake in 2010 and hurricane in 2016, Haitian nation and its previously fragile economy suffered a major damage. Haiti is a country still recovering from two natural disasters, the severity of each would pose a challenge to a much more developed nation. Prior to tragic events of 2010 and 2016, Haiti already struggled with political turmoil, frequent change of power structure, infrastructure issues, devastated agricultural sector, underdeveloped health and education sector and overpopulation (Haiti Infrastructure, Power, and Communication (2017).  The unemployment rate in Haiti is very high. Around 70% of able-bodied men and women do not have a steady job (Thorpe, 2017).  In addition, around 45% of Haitians are illiterate.  (CIA Factsheet, 2017). “According to World Bank Classifications, one half of Haitians live in poverty and one quarter live in extreme poverty. These indicators are even worse in rural areas where three-quarters of Haitians live in poverty, and one half live in extreme poverty” (Gordon, Plumblee, Higdon, Davis, & Vaughn, 2017, p.15). Lack of industrial development in the provinces forces many people to migrate to the big cities where job prospects are also quite grim. This only creates overpopulation in major urban centers poorly-equipped to handle the influx of people in need of jobs and social services.  However, where others see only obstacle and challenges, many Haitian entrepreneurs see opportunities due to the island’s incredible natural resources, population willing and eager to work, reasonable regulations for business owners, and vastly unexplored market. The entrepreneurial spirit of Haitian people shows a great deal of optimism, creativity, and personality perseverance characteristics despite all the hardships. Within that type of setting, many Haitian entrepreneurs established thriving businesses fulfilling their true potential within the Haitian market.  Within this grim framework of incredible hardships, some new entrepreneurships are emerging daily in Haitian cities and villages. Some are incredibly successful while others are barely surviving or “going under” within a few short months of existence.

 

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Social Media and Tourism: A Literature Review

Dr. Teresa Borges-Tiago, University of the Azores, Portugal

Dr. Flavio Tiago, University of the Azores, Portugal

 

ABSTRACT

Social media is attracting a great deal of interest—some of it effectively, some misguided in the most distinctive contexts and fields. When crosschecking social media with tourism, the work of Kaplan and Haenlein published in the Business Horizons is a common reference. As social media became an active part of the tourist experience researchers have spent much effort in examining and exploring how tourism can enhance, improve and engage efficiently in social media with tourists. However, this is a continuous task, since technology keeps evolving at a fast rate and tourism is taking advantage of this ingoing progress. The aim of this study is to systematically review the current literature of social media in the tourism context, having as baseline the work of the most cited authors on social media. To this end, with the review of 212 articles citing the work of Kaplan and Haenlein, this study provides an overview of the main themes and trends covered. Social media is attracting a great deal of interest—some of it effectively, some misguided. Being one of the trends that most impact consumer behavior, it’s quite understandable that both researchers and firms aim to ride it. The extension on which it impacts consumer behavior is enlarged in what concerns tourism: since the early eighties the tourism and hospitality industry has been one of the most affect by technology (Frew, 2000; Neuhofer, Buhalis, & Ladkin, 2014). Social media in tourism focuses on value creation and sharing experiences, as well as taking advantage of the pre-existing and new technological conditions to promote and share unique tourism experiences.  In an early period, technology was utilized to enhance processes and delivery systems. Most recently, a shift change as occurred, following the web evolution, becoming a common end-user tool (F Amaral, Tiago, Tiago, & Kavoura, 2015). Tourists search, purchase and share their tourism experiences online, empowered by 24/7 update sources of information create by other tourists, trade operators and DMOs. Therefore, the role and use of social media in tourist' decision making and in tourism operations and management have been widely discussed in tourism and hospitality research (Zeng & Gerritsen, 2014). However, as noticed by Sigala (2018, pp.152) “although tourism research has always been multi-disciplinary, research in tourism and technologies has not followed the same route”.  The present work reviews and analyzes the relevant social media-related and tourism academic literature, using as main reference of the most cited article at the time: “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media” from Kaplan and Haenlein. Findings of this paper indicate that the research area of tourist experience received most research attention. Of these, most are related to electronic word of mouth (e-WoM) and user-generated contents respectively. Research findings systematically highlight the relevant role of social media for tourism. This work also identifies some research gaps that need a closer attention from research providing an agenda for future research.  To fully understand the contribution of Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) to the tourism field is necessary to initially cover the tourism evolution linked to technology. Therefore, the next section will present a brief examination of the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on tourism.  Holt (2016) recalled that a decade ago firms were immersing into the digital universe, hoping to take advantage of the rise of social media to leveraged customer engagement and enhance their direct relationships with brands. However, from the initial success of social sites to the explosion of user-generated content, consumer undergone a behavior change in what concerns their interactions over the internet (Bilgihan et al., 2016). At the same time, firms experienced competitive and global pressures and technology adoption became a “must have” process (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014).  Tourism has been since the sixties one of the fields where technology fingerprinted processes no matter the sector in the tourism considered (Buhalis & Law, 2008). The sixties were marked by the development of Computer Reservation Systems (CRSs); the 1980s by Global Distribution Systems (GDSs); the 1990s with the advent of internet and since 2000, ICT driven business processes re-engineering tend to generate a new paradigm-shift. These communications technologies have redefined the tourism industry (Buhalis & Zoge, 2007).

 

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The Analysis and Evaluation of Training Needs

-         Demonstrate How Training Needs of Different Categories of Workers will be Determined and Outline the Factors that will Influence the Approach

Hsien-Mi Lin, Director, Human Resource Office, Cardinal Tien Hospital, Taiwan R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

"Training" is the planned learning experiences and activities that aim to influence the ability and motivation of individual employees through the obtainment of new education, such as knowledge, skills, beliefs, values and attitudes.  Furthermore, training can be carried out to improve the employees’ worth to their employer and to themselves.  On the other hand, the aim of training is to help the organization achieve its objectives, and, moreover, the diagnostic phase of setting training objectives is to determine trainig needs (Cowling and Mailers’ research, 1998).  In other words, training is the foundation for improved performance and productivity.  “A training need is a need for human performance improvement that can best be met by training of some kind” (Peterson, 1998, p8).  Decisions about whether or not to provide training programmes for employees, and what type of training should be provided for different categories of workers, such as manual and clerical workers, have typically been based on the determination of training need within an organization.  This study will focus on the analysis and evaluation of training needs.  Firstly, I shall demonstrate how training needs of different categories of workers will be determined.  Then, I will outline the factors that will influence the approach and explain the reasons.  Finally, a conclusion will be produced.  On the basis of Cowling and Mailers’ research (1998), the aim of training is to help the organization achieve its objectives, and, furthermore, the diagnostic phase of setting training objectives is to determine training needs.  It is important to identify areas in which training can make a real contribution to organization success.  This refers to a method of gap analysis, which is aimed at determining the difference between required and actual human performance.  In the same way, Robinson (1998), Truelove (1997) and Tyson and York (1996) also define training needs as the gap which exists between the present capabilities of the incumbent and the true requirements of a given job.  As Tyson and York (1996, pp141-142) have suggested, every work organization has to help employees to become effective in their job, which is one of the fundamental tasks in personnel management.  Employers achieve organizational aims and objectives by the quality of their employees’ performance, and employees have motivational needs for achievement that can and should be met by job satisfaction.  In the meantime, training can be defined as a foundation for effective practice, which will be used throughout in the widest possible context.  Human resources training in a work organization is essentially a learning process, in which the opportunities for learning are purposefully structured by the personnel, managerial and training staff.  The aim of the process is to develop the organization’s employees knowledge, skills and attitudes, which have been defined as necessary for the effective performance of their work.  Robinson reminds us (1988, p21) that "One of the highest priorities for the training specialist today is to find a means of evaluating training activities which will convince their management of the contribution that training can make to the success of the business". Truelove (1997) tells us that, in his view, lack of competence is one of the reasons for poor performance.  That is to say, lack of education, such as knowledge or skills, in some employees who actually have the ability to obtain that knowledge or skill.  In short, there is a training need.  This may be linked to poor motivation or to lack of opportunity.  As far as Truelove is concerned (1997), competence comes from learning, and learning comes either from experience, training or from a combination of these two.  However, the training will not be effective when someone’s lack of competence is really due to a lack of innate ability.  Decisions about whether or not to provide training programmes for employees, and what type of training should be provided for different categories of workers, such as manual and clerical workers, have typically been based on the determination of training need within an organization.  This study will focus on the analysis and evaluation of training needs.  Firstly, I shall demonstrate how training needs of different categories of workers will be determined.  Then, I will outline the factors that will influence the approach and explain the reasons.  Finally, a conclusion will be produced.  Training needs analysis has been widely used in the Human Resource Development profession to identify individual as well as organizational training needs.  A training needs analysis will provide a relatively detailed picture of training needs of different categories of workers.  As McClelland mentions (1993, p15), “many Human Resource Development professionals have, in recent years, adopted a systematic view of training needs analysis.  This approach recognizes that the training needs analysis is essentially a group of interrelated and interacting components.  The systems approach to training needs analysis usually involves the combining of two or more components in an attempt to collect and then analyze feedback so that valid recommendations regarding training needs and/or requirements can be formulated and presented”.

 

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Like and Share: Disclosing Users Behavior on Social Media

Dr. Flavio Tiago, University of the Azores

Carla Cosme, University of the Azores

Dr. Teresa Borges-Tiago, University of the Azores

 

ABSTRACT

The fact that electronic word of mouth activity and overall Internet use have shaped the way individuals communicate has been subject to a rather intense and frequent debate in the academic community. With the intensified use of social media applications, viral digital phenomena have started to emerge, firms saw it as potentially good and rather inexpensive ways to enhance a company’s awareness. As such, studies that try to unveil what aspects of content and social structures may help enhance virality, have also started to appear. However, little research has focused on the individual state of mind and its relationship with information diffusion in a social media setting. This works attempts to unveil the main drivers behind individuals’ participation on social network sites. For this purpose, a survey was conducted online, and participants were required to complete a questionnaire package comprising internet usage scale (time, motivation dimensions), susceptibility to peer influence scale, opinion leadership and information seeking scale and need for cognition and emotion scale.  Since web 2.0 a new communication paradigm has emerged, with users being able to read, create and share content (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010; Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014). The effects of these communication processes went over the mere information flows, and become ground for new social and emotional interactions, which evolve over time becoming real and virtual extensions of people bounds and relationships. Thus, social networks have become an essential activity in people’s lives.  In earliest web 2.0 years, Efthymios Constantinides and Fountain (2007) described that the way people communicate, make decisions, socialize, interact, entertain themselves and shop has changed, as a consequence of the rise of social media applications (Eysenbach, 2008). Efthymios Constantinides and Fountain (2007) noticed that people have become increasingly influenced by peer effects and collective intelligence digitally-driven. Several studies have illustrated that these new users know better, due to online access to a massive amount of information and knowledge; feel empowered, due to the capacity of becoming user content generator and knowing being a click away from finding substitute products and services that better suit their needs (Rakic & Rakic, 2017). But above all, they are more demanding, expecting firms to over a full experience, with emotions attached.  A few comparative studies have analyzed online behavior of users across multiple countries (Broersma & Graham, 2012; Chu & Kim, 2011), and from those there are still grey areas of research, especially in what concerns the emotions behind the user behavior on social network. As Qiu, Lin, Leung, and Tov (2012), and more recently Jaidka, Guntuku, Buffone, Schwartz, and Ungar (2018), noticed to fully understanding emotional disclosure a deeper analysis how users use social network as communication and diffusion platforms and self-representation mirrors is required. More, evidences found in literature suggested that the emotional side of users’ behavior cannot be simply measured by counting the number of words containing emotions, hashtags (Vermeulen, Vandebosch, & Heirman, 2018) or the type of emoticons used (Mattsson, Holzweber, & Standing, 2015).  Regardless the relevance of emotions, there are scarce references in literature supporting that emotion can be created, modify and enhance in a digital context originating a viral movement. Most studies in this domain have focused on electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWoM), not considering the differences between warm and digital viral movements. To this end, a survey was conducted online, and social media users were questioned regarding their social media persona, social media usage, opinion leadership/information-seeking tendencies, levels of disclosed and retained information, and emotional and cognitive needs.  As the current understanding of consumers’ viral marketing attitude and behavior is quite narrow, this knowledge can be helpful for social media marketers. Thus, this article advances a contextual approach to understanding the emotions behind users’ behaviors on social media, adding to the evidences found by Guede, Curiel, and Antonovica (2017).  In a communication paradigm, social media has promoted the dissemination of information throughout social networks. However, the effects of these communication processes extend beyond mere information flows, laying the foundation for a new social and emotional interactions that evolve over time, becoming real and virtual extensions of human bonds and relationships.  Eysenbach (2008) analyzing users’ behavior in the eHealth context, concluded that users’ expectations have also changed in terms of technology use, meaning that they are now expecting for web applications to be open and interoperable thus making it possible to collaborate and communicate across multiple applications. Additionally, users want firms to understand their state of mind, express on social media through ratings, text and comments, images and emoticons (Mattsson et al., 2015).

 

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Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of JAABC journals.  You are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of any information (text; pictures; tables. etc..) from this web site or any other linked web pages is strictly prohibited. Request permission / Purchase article (s):  jaabc1@aol.com

 

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

Index: Online Computer Library Center, OH:   OCLC: 805078765 

Index: National Library of Australia: NLA: 42709473

Index: Cambridge Social Science Citation Index, CSSCI.

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