The American Academy of Business Journal

Vol.  6 * Num.. 1 * March 2005

 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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WTO and Market Access in Non-Agricultural Products: Issues and Options for Developing Countries

Dr. Amir Mahmood, University of Newcastle, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

The Doha Declaration explicitly highlights the need for establishing modalities that take into account “the special needs and interests of developing and least-developed country participants”.  The developing countries expect that the new round of trade negotiations will target tariff peaks, high tariffs, and tariff escalation that have been restricting the developing countries push to enhance their export market share in world markets in general, and in developed countries in particular. There is little dispute among the Members regarding developmental intent of the above mandate, however, opinions and proposals differ on formulating modalities to implement trade liberalization measures as envisaged by the architects of the Doha Declaration.  After evaluating the post-Uruguay Round tariff and non-tariff environment, this paper analyses the implications of complete removal of quota restrictions under Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). The paper provides a comprehensive overview of costs and benefits of trade liberalization to developing countries and draws key premises to formulate a comprehensive trade negotiation strategy and a set of recommendations in order to shape developing countries stance in the on-going negotiations on trade liberalization. From September 10 – 14, 2003, Cancun, Mexico hosted the fifth Ministerial Conference.  The outcome was a setback for developed as well as developing countries. The key aim of this meeting was to take stock of the progress in negotiations and other work arising from the Doha Development Agenda. At the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Doha in 2001, ministers agreed on the following mandate for negotiations on following issues:  The Doha provides an overall context for negotiations on a variety of issues, such as: Agriculture and services. Trade and environment. Industrial tariffs. Antidumping and countervailing duties. Fisheries subsidies. Rules on regional trade agreements. Dispute settlement. Investment, competition policy, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation. Non-agricultural goods market assess.

 

Methodological Advantages of Combining Policy Capturing With Nomothetic Research Designs: A Pay Satisfaction Example

Dr. Jeff Trailer, The California State University, Chico, CA

 

ABSTRACT

This study demonstrates a fundamental advantage offered to researchers through the use of policy capturing, an idiographic methodology, to enhance nomothetic research findings.  Policy capturing was used to quantify individual differences, and use the measurement of these differences to successfully “correct” a standardized nomothetic instrument used to predict satisfaction with pay.  Total explained variance in pay satisfaction increased from .46, reported in a previously published study, to .70 in this study using the combined methodology. Empirical psychology has experienced some tension over appropriateness of nomothetic versus idiographic methodology in explaining personality and human behavior (Silverstein, 1988).  The nomothetic versus ideographic debate centers on the issue of whether or not there exist “general laws” that apply across people, or if differences between individuals prevent the existence of such laws.  The nomothetic ideology encompasses the beliefs that causal factors exist which influence all elements of a particular group in a similar manner, such as laws of nature in physics.  Nomothetic methodology refers to between-subjects experimental designs, identifying characteristics common to the group.  Nomothetic approaches deal with individual differences by assuming that the unique aspects of each individual are irrelevant and can be transcended by identifying the appropriate comprehensive model.   This reflects a focus on similarities between subjects rather than differences between them.  Conversely, the idiographic perspective holds that all elements are different, so causal factors will not affect each element in similar manner.  Therefore, the effect of causal factors must be studied one element at a time.  Idiographic methodology refers to within-subject experimental designs; studying the individual independently.  Thus, each individual is treated as being totally unique and can only be adequately understood as a separate entity. Although these methodologies can be combined, the differences in fundamental ideology have produced separate scientific paradigms that continue to clash as the relative merits of each are examined (Howard and Meyers, 1990; Tsoukas, 1989; Paunonen and Jackson, 1985; Bem, 1983; Kennedy, Fossum and White, 1983; Kenrick and Dantchik, 1983). 

 

Applying the Concept of Cognitive Continuum to Leadership Training

Dr. Ida Kutschera, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

Dr. John T. Byrd, III, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

 

ABSTRACT

This paper introduces an innovative approach to leadership training in an environment where organizational change and development require the adaptation of new skills. The Cognitive Continuum Theory and the Communication Model can be used to increase trainees’ awareness of different information processing styles in general and their own cognitive styles in particular. A case example stemming from an actual training conducted by one of the authors describes the practical applications of the concepts and how trainees learn the appropriateness of different decision making modes contingent on the decision situation. Leadership education is critical for success in today’s organizations. Both education and training programs need to ensure that the managers and leaders of organizations incorporate knowledge that not only improves the organization, but keeps them updated with respect to ongoing leadership needs. This requires the integration of the specific needs of the organization with the theoretical models linking the practical needs with theory. This in turn allows managers in leadership positions to remain flexible and able to adapt to new situations.  In the following, we will describe how the need for organizational change at a plant for Ford Motor Company led to leadership training. The innovative training approach applied here is guided by a model of communication and the Cognitive Continuum Theory (CCT), a model of human judgment and decision making.  After a review of the ideas behind the CCT, we will discuss the case-specific practical implications of this training program. Finally, we will conclude with suggestions for leadership training in general. The Kansas City Assembly Plant of Ford Motor Co. developed a special category of employee called Product Specialist for the purpose of launching new products. This group of experienced production operators takes a temporary assignment and later returns to their position within the production organization. This occurred after they have assisted in an Integrated Launch Process for a new vehicle. In their new role as Product Specialists, they help improve the efficiency of both the manufacturing and assembly process.

 

Predicting Success of Police Officer Applicants Using Weighted Application Blanks

Dr. James H. Browne, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Pueblo, CO

Dr. Stuart H. Warnock, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, TX

Dr. Nancy J. Boykin, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, TX

 

ABSTRACT

This paper extends the literature on Weighted Application Blanks (WABs) in a multi-step recruitment and selection process for police officers candidates.  Since the 1970s, the use of WABs (sometimes referred to as Biographical Information Blanks - BIBs) is well documented in the human resource management literature.  However, what is not well documented is how the yield from an organization’s pre-employment screening process can be predicted in the earliest stages of recruitment through the use of properly developed and validated WABs.  Police departments across the country have been facing a shrinking pool of qualified applicants while the number of positions for new police officers has been increasing. This research shows how WABs can help police departments better focus their recruitment efforts by targeting potential applicant populations with the highest probability of making it through the rigorous selection process.  A longitudinal research design was employed at the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) and a WAB was developed using a 10-item “work-related history and career interest” police applicant questionnaire.  Subsequent to the development of the WAB, approximately 250 police academy applicants’ WAB scores were calculated.  Data analysis showed that the WAB achieved a statistically acceptable level of predictive validity (i.e., approximate r-square of .70 and p < .05).  Further, the WAB achieved an overall accuracy rate of 76.3% in distinguishing successful from unsuccessful police academy applicants; a substantial improvement over CSPD’s “a priori prediction” with a 12.3% accuracy rate.  Smith (1776) identified land, labor, and capital as the essential elements of production in his seminal economic treatise The Wealth of Nations.  As was the case in America’s nascent industrializing economy of the late 1700s, the rational application of labor to land and capital remains key to future increases in national wealth and economic prosperity.  As one response to increasing competitive pressure in the global market, the private sector seeks to manage labor in a fashion that achieves continuous improvement of all organizational systems.  Although organizations in the public sector aren’t subject to the pressures of market competition, they are challenged to demonstrate accountability to their constituents in an era that demands they do more with proportionately fewer resources than before. 

 

Toward a Unified View of Customer Relationship Management

Dr. Joseph O. Chan, Roosevelt University, Schaumburg, IL

 

ABSTRACT

Competitions in the new economy have caused major changes in business strategies from internal product focus to value creation along the demand and supply chains. Companies are extending their operational and decision structures to include those of their customers, suppliers, distributors, and alliance partners. Product-centric strategies are replaced by customer-centric strategies that facilitate value creation. Focuses on transactional efficiency are replaced by new requirements to integrate and optimize the value chains between the customer, the firm and its extended enterprise. Disparate business processes and systems, compounded by the proliferation of customer contact points and channels, have created incompatible and disconnected views of customers. The inability to synchronize information and processes across various customer touch points may result in negative customer experience and lost opportunities for the firm. Disconnections between CRM operations and CRM analytics can negatively impact marketing effectiveness, customer retention and loyalty. Lessons learned from past CRM implementations have provided guidance pointing to integrated strategies that not only include technologies, but also include business processes, information and organizations. Forward looking CRM strategies can leverage customer intelligence created by CRM analytics that enhances CRM operations, and conversely, CRM operations collect critical customer data for CRM analytics. To attain optimization of CRM performance, metrics need to be defined across the enterprise driven by customer-centric goals. For customer relationship management to take to the new level of value creation, businesses require a strategy that creates a unified view of customers from the perspectives of operations, analytics and collaboration along the entire customer relationship management value chain. This paper proposes an integrated framework for CRM through the construct of the enterprise model. As we move from the industrial economy to the knowledge-based economy, the focus of production efficiency is shifted to value creation throughout the entire value chain. Customer relationship management is a key ingredient in the value creation strategy. While CRM technologies have matured in the last decade, their implementation failure rates are high, ranging from 55 to 75 percent according to the Meta Group (Johnson 2004).

 

Downsizing as a Strategic Intervention

Nell Mirabal, St. Thomas University, Miami, FL

Dr. Robert DeYoung, St. Thomas University, Miami, FL

 

ABSTRACT

The effects of downsizing as a strategic intervention typically stem from organizations seeking to reduce the number of employees through layoffs, attrition, redeployment, early retirement and reorganization or de-layering.  These reductions are generally a response to one or more of the following conditions: a response to mergers and acquisitions; revenue loss or loss of market share through technological and industrial change; the execution of new organizational structures; and social pressures attributed to the philosophy that smaller is better.  The focus of this article will apply Cummings and Worley’s (2001) five application stages using downsizing as a strategic intervention, which examines organizational goals and objectives, overall assessment of the organization, relevant choices and decisions, the implementation stage, workforce reduction, survivor syndrome and organizational renewal and growth strategies.   The authors will also examine the effects of downsizing on financial performance, reputation for corporate social performance and managerial commitment to strategic change.  Downsizing is a business strategy designed to improve the financial standing of a firm by reducing and changing the structure of the workforce in order to improve operational results (Appelbaum, 2001).  Downsizing has become a widely held intervention for organizations looking to demonstrate flexibility, reduce bureaucratic structure, increase efficiency regarding decision-making, improve communication and cultivate entrepreneurship (Appelbaum, 2001; Bruton, Keels & Skook, 1996; Mroczkowski & Hanaoka, 1997). According to Cummings and Worley (2001), downsizing is accomplished by decreasing the number of employees through layoffs, attrition, redeployment, or early retirement or by reducing the number of organizational units or managerial levels through divestiture, outsourcing, reorganization, or de-layering.   Downsizing is generally a response to one or more of the following four conditions: (1) mergers and acquisitions; (2) loss of revenues and market share through technological and industrial change; (3) the implementation of a new organizational structure; and (4) the belief and social pressures that smaller is better (Cummings & Worley, 2001).  This article will examine the findings of empirical research studies and other sources to determine the impact of downsizing as a strategic intervention on financial performance, reputation for corporate social performance and managerial commitment to strategic change.

 

Providing Students with an Overview of Financial Statements Using the Dupont Analysis Approach

Dr. Gene Milbourn, University of Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. Tim Haight, California State University, Los Angeles, CA

 

ABSTRACT

This paper uses the Dupont Analysis as a teaching aid to equip students with an understanding of how management decisions influence the bottom line. This simplified approach allows students to see the “big picture” and to logically follow how management decisions affect components that contribute to firm’s performance. As such it can be a valuable tool in building a student’s critical thinking competencies in evaluating the health, prospects and valuations of companies. The volume of information contained in the balance sheet and income statement often overwhelms students in an introductory finance class. While basic accounting classes prepare students in the preparation of financial statements, finance classes typically focus on their interpretation to aid in decision-making. Unfortunately, entering students are often lost in the detail and are unable to see the forest for the trees. The ultimate goal is for students to understand the interrelationships between financial statements and how management decisions affect firm’s performance. To be sure, our future managers must fully understand the financial consequences of all the decisions and how these decisions affect the bottom line.  Fortunately, there is a very powerful financial tool to assist students in understanding the ramifications of decisions on profitability. The Dupont Analysis is a measurement instrument that can provide students with several insights into key factors that contribute to bottom line performance. This tool is used to evaluate a firm’s financial condition by comparing relationships within the income statement and balance sheet, or between the two statements.  The Dupont Analysis provides information on the firm’s liquidity, profitability, efficiency, and leverage status, thus allowing students to see how well a firm is operating as a result of changes in one or more of these factors. It is a very powerful tool that allows one to trace the financial impact of decisions and to understand the interrelationship between the income statement, balance sheet and firm profitability. Dupont analysis begins by using the firm’s return on assets (ROA). Return measures can either be on a before-tax or an after-tax basis.  ROA measures the firm’s profits as a percent of its assets.  Note that ROA increases if any one of the three following factors changes while the other two remain the same:  if costs decrease, income increases, so ROA increases; if revenue increases, income increases, so ROA increases; if assets decrease, ROA increases. Students can quickly gain an understanding of how any of these changes affect return.

 

E-CRM: Are we there yet?

Noor Raihan Ab Hamid, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

 

ABSTRACT

Companies such as Amazon and Yahoo! offer interesting anecdotes on the strategic applications of Internet technology as to enhance customer relationship and towards acquiring customer loyalty. Obviously these companies’ offerings of personalized services, confirmation of orders in real time and other value added activities substantiated the ability of the Internet as a competitive tool.  As the number of internet users is growing rapidly in Malaysia, retailers are under great pressure to take advantage of this huge online market potential. However the challenge is whether Malaysian online retailers do match up with other online competitors worldwide in terms of services rendered on the Internet. Therefore, this study seeks to investigate the level of Internet technology applied by Malaysian web sites in view of global electronic marketplace competition. This research investigated various web sites across Malaysian industries and found that Malaysian retailers are still lag in fully utilizing the strategic potential of the Internet particularly in enhancing customer relations.  The battle for customers has never been more intense. Heighten customer expectation and borderless markets are the uprising pressures which lead to a dramatic rise in competition.  These factors force companies to switch from a product-centric approach to a customer-centric approach (Xu, Yen, Lin & Chou, 2002).  At this junction, retailers who are at the front end of the supply chain and interact directly with consumers, are in a critical position to fully comprehend what increases customers satisfaction, induces repeat purchases and drives loyalty (Feinberg & Kadam, 2002). Furthermore e-retail transactions increased tremendously in recent years, as reported by US Census Bureau e-retail sales in 2001 amounted to $32.6 billion, up 19.3 percent from 2000. While online sales accounted for only 1.2 percent of all retail transactions in 2001, it is clear that e-retailing will continue to grow and become a more significant portion of retail sales than it currently is.

 

Managing Disequilibria in the ‘New Economy’

Dr. Mohammad Naim Chaker, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

 

INTRODUCTION

The ‘New Economy’ is characterized inter alia by proliferation of a wide array of information and communication technologies in all sectors (Rifkin, 1998). Businesses and governments are now investing in information technology and electronic commerce to improve productivity, reduce costs and attain greater heights of customer service. Consumers can now shop on the Internet because they find their choices fantastically increased. They have access to almost complete information when making purchasing decisions.  Consumers are able to save time and find shopping more convenient as businesses serve their needs individually. Better information and greater selection, combined with lower operating costs for many Internet businesses may, in turn, trigger reductions in prices or improvements in quality. The sheer number of stores that can be visited online far exceeds even the most densely populated retail areas in industrial countries. There are also interesting parallel developments in other parts of the world, especially Europe, East Asia and the Middle East. The information and communication technologies have come to drive the engines of economic growth in these parts of the globe.  It is true that Corporate America has contributed immensely to the emergence of the new world economy anchored in information and communication technologies.Tables1 and 2 show that the US was an important exporter of high-technology products in 1999 and one of the leading investors in high-technology products in various markets of the world. A fundamental characteristic of new information technologies is its openness in terms of design and access. This characteristic has led to the spread of these technologies all over the world. Moreover, other developments such as rapid advances and deployment of computing and communications technologies across countries, dismantling of trade and investment barriers in Europe, Asia, Americas and the Middle East, and the coming into being of regional groupings as building blocs of the world economy have also contributed to the emergence of the ‘New Economy’. With the emerging global economic landscape, microelectronics, computers, telecommunications, robotics, and biotechnology are transforming all aspects of contemporary life.

 

Knowledge Sharing Routines, Task Efficiency, and Team Service Quality in Instant Service-Giving Settings

Dr. Shieh-Chieh Fang, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Fu-Sheng Tsai, I-Shou University, Taiwan

Kuo-Chien Chang, I-Shou University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

The Comparative task excellence relies more and more on knowledge, if not other sorts of capitals. For service team in instant service-giving contexts, service competences and quality are not based on how much members do at present service moment, but on how efficiently they response and react for customers’ needs. Knowledge sharing routines (KSR) between team members, continuously, benefits because they not only served as common bases for information exchange, but they also demonstrates an alignment for members’ cognition differences. The present study focuses on dynamics of the reciprocal impacts between KSR and communication & conflict resolution (CCR) of team members on each other, and the consequences of this dynamics that are finally embodied in the task efficiency for service quality in the instant service-giving settings. The nature of work in organizations has changed, especially in this era of new economy.  Knowledge-based work has replaced regular, sequential work with its characteristics of flexibility, complexity, and high uncertainty.  Against this background, the ability to effectively implement knowledge-based activities becomes increasingly vital for the way it helps obtain and sustain competitive advantage (De Carolis, 2003; Grant, 1996).  Fundamentally, these knowledge-based activities include the creation and integration of knowledge, the accumulation and utilization of knowledge, and the learning and sharing of knowledge.  Taken together, these comprise knowledge management.  Among these, knowledge sharing, or flow, is the cornerstone of knowledge management (Szulanski, 1996; Gupta and Govindarajan, 2000).  Since the paradigm has shifted from a tangible to an intangible emphasis, a team has to perform better in its knowledge processing in order to offer qualified and satisfying services.  Originally, distributed professionals were brought together to manage and match the needs of this fundamental transformation (Tjosvold and Tjosvold, 1995).  As a result, team units became very important organizational designs for task implementations (Gray, 2000).  The need for knowledge capability is especially critical in a task setting of instant service-giving (e.g. the emergency room of a hospital, an integrated call-center for customer support, etc.), because in these settings a great volume of information flows in and out, and is exchanged between members of the service units. 

 

Performance Impacts of Strategic Orientations: Evidence from Turkish Manufacturing Firms

Dr. Nihat Kaya, Gebze Institute of Technology, Turkey

Dr. Ibrahim H. Seyrek, Gebze Institute of Technology, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

The research investigates the effects of basic organizational cultural orientations, namely entrepreneurial, technological and customer orientations on firm financial performance when market dynamism is high and when it is low. Data were collected from 91 manufacturing firms operating in The Marmara region of Turkey. The research results show that there is a positive and meaningful relation between entrepreneurial orientation and financial performance when the market dynamism is high. Also, there is a positive and meaningful relation between technological orientation and financial performance when the market dynamism is low. On the other hand, there is a negative and meaningful relation between customer orientation and financial performance when the market dynamism is either high or low. The theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.  New developments and changes occurring in the market force firms to develop more effective and competitive cultural orientations. The attitudes and expectations direct and motivate firms along their purposes. The high performance due to adopted orientation depends on sustainable competitive advantage and powerful organizational culture. These two concepts should be combined together in order to reach valuable, unique and difficult to imitate resources. In recent years, it can be said that the firms are emphasizing technological, entrepreneurial and customer orientation for this purpose and the level of market dynamism seems to affect both the development and the performance impact of cultural orientations. In this research, we investigate the performance effects of entrepreneurship, technological and customer orientations on financial performance of Turkish Manufacturing firms at lower and higher levels of market dynamism.  Firms are more and more operated in dynamic markets. Market dynamism refers to frequent changes in a firm’s business environment, which involves consumer preferences, technology, competitors’ actions, and other critical marketplace factors (Duncan, 1972).  These changes bring both opportunities and threats for firms.  Most importantly, the level of dynamism and types of changes in a marketplace shape the strategic choices of firms (Hambrick, 1983).  These issues will be addressed in the context of small and medium-sized manufacturing companies in Turkey. These companies are interesting for two reasons.

 

Taiwanese Firms’ Foreign Direct Investment in China: Traditional Industries vs. Electronic Industries

Shu-Hua Chien, National Taichung Institute College, Taichung, Taiwan, R. O. C.

 

ABSTRACT

This study aims to investigate the differences of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) capability carried out by different industries in Taiwan and to examine how sustained investment affects the competitive advantage of overseas branch firms.  Accumulating 13 industries, 2896 firms in total, findings show that different industries investing in China have significant differences on the capability of parent firms. Firms with international experience are positively related to the competitive advantage of the branch firms abroad. A firm should first empower the R&D capability of the product and obtain the experience of dealing with international operation before investing in China so as to enhance the competitive advantage of the branch firms through FDI. Such result indicates that among those firms investing in China, traditional industries apply more fixed capital equipment than electronic industries.  In recent years, the competition in the global market is getting more and more severe. In order to provide the product with good quality and competitive price, Businesses all do their best to reduce operation cost to meet such tendency. The Economy in China has grown rapidly in recent years.  After participating in World Trade Organization (WTO) in the late 2001, China appeals numerous firms’ investment from all over the world. Moreover, comparing to the neighborhood countries, the market of China has its intrinsic advantage.  Particularly, due to the downturn of global economy, market demands have decreased; only the market of China gives remarkable presentation, which has caught comprehensive attentions worldwide. Under the fierce global competition and uncertain environment, scholars have gradually transferred their concentration from traditional outer industry analysis into distinctive capability inside the industry. (Prahald and Hamel, 1990; Barney, 1991)  According to the theory of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), a firm must equip specific capability and resource advantage before FDI. The purpose of FDI is to extend the technique and management capability of a firm to overseas market in favor of its profit-seeking motivation. Chuang et al. (1999) points out that international expansion conversely provides a terrific opportunity for multinational enterprises to extend their specific advantages. When Taiwanese firms invest in China, they would encounter unfamiliar operation environment; Taiwanese foreign investors must provide some kind of distinctive advantage so as to compete with local firms or foreign firms encompassing local knowledge and advantage without showing their own weakness.

 

Internet Diffusion and E-Business Opportunities Amongst Malaysian Travel Agencies

Raja Mazhatul Yasmin Suraya, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia

 

ABSTRACT

The travel and tourism industry has been greatly affected by the rapid growth of the Internet and e-business technology.  It was regarded as the first area likely to do business electronically and predicted to become a successful online business area.  This paper reports an investigation into the adoption of the Internet amongst Malaysian travel agencies and into the likely future potential growth of e-business within the industry.  The study revealed that the Malaysian travel agencies are positive towards e-business.  Nonetheless, Internet usage amongst the agencies is still in an early stage, and the rate of adoption of e-business practices is slow.  The findings in this study were compared with those from previous studies using similar models and it was found that cultural issues are important in explaining the slow adoption rate of the Internet in Malaysian travel agencies.  The advancement of technology such as the Internet and e-commerce has changed the fundamental role and tasks of a travel agency in disseminating its products and services in the marketplace.  The role of the travel agency has become a major focus since the Internet is widely considered to be an agent of transformation within the travel industry.  Indeed, Malaysia is still new to the experience of exploiting innovations of technology within the travel industry.  Over a period of nine months in 2002, the total of 9.96 million inbound tourists had shown the potential growth of the travel and tourism industry in Malaysia (Tourism Malaysia 2002).  The innovation of the Internet and e-commerce is an opportunity for Malaysia to expose its assets as a means to promote new investments as well as increase the growth of Malaysian tourism, contributing positively to economic development.  Despite the advantages and convenience shared and offered through the use of the Internet and e-commerce, Malaysian travel agencies have been slow to deploy advanced technologies. The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) which is currently managed by YM Dato’ Seri Tunku Iskandar Tunku Abdullah, was established as a representative body for all travel agencies in Malaysia.  The association has recently been very concerned over the slow uptake of Internet technology among the agencies (Awang 2000). This paper aimed to explore reasons for the poor adoption rate of the Internet amongst Malaysian travel agencies, and to identify and investigate the significant factors in the slow Internet penetration within the industry. 

 

The Women at Principals’ Chair in Turkey

Dr. Mustafa Celikten, University of Erciyes, Kayseri, Turkey

 

ABSTRACT

This paper sets out to explore the reasons why there are a relatively small number of women principals in Turkish state elementary schools. Current literature on women principals reveals that while many professional fields are showing increasing numbers of women in managerial and executive positions, the same cannot be said for educational administration. To collect information, this researcher interviewed three women principals about barriers women face as principals. Turkish society has determined that only males make good leaders; therefore, it continues to deny easy access for women seeking to be principals because they do not fit the norm. Though Turkish women are gaining greater access to other male-dominated professional positions, as one principal stated, “women are losing ground in school administration.”  Although the life patterns of the majority of Turkish women remain conditioned by male-dominated institutions relating to the family, society, and education, the traditional ideal of a woman remaining in the home, and of a male providing “protection”, has been continuously changing as a result of economic and demographic developments. This change is resisted, however, by more conservative members of society, who have pushed during the 1990’s for a renewed emphasis on a woman’s role as wife and mother. Women in Turkey, continue to marry early, particularly in the rural areas, and bear large numbers of children, entering into a pattern of high fertility, which is the norm in some regions (The World Bank, 1993:1). Overall, the prevailing social norms still leave women dependent on men, putting them at risk when deserted by their husbands.  These norms continue to produce a strict division of labor and a highly gender-segregated labor market. Recently, however, research on women in administration, management, and leadership has received increased attention, due primarily to changes in the labor market, shifts in perception of class membership, and new gender formations emerging within education in the 2000s. For example, consistent with this idea, Ragguet et al. (1994:14) pinpointed that the number of women in the work force in Turkey increased substantially. They further stated that more women than ever before are pursuing advanced degrees, and there has been a noticeable shift of women going into business rather than education. According to Brunner (2000), though women have made great strides in the workplace over the years, the percentage of women in the top seats of the nation’s school districts is the same in 2000 as it was a century ago.

 

An Empirical Study of Corporate Governance and Corporate Performance

Hsiang-tsai Chiang, Feng Chia University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

Recent accounting scandals have renewed attention to corporate transparency. According to signaling theory, under information asymmetry, corporations with superior information transparency signal better corporate governance. Prior research also indicates that corporations that have better corporate governance signal better performance. This study provides an empirical analysis of the relationship between information transparency and corporate governance in Taiwan’s high-tech industry. This research adopts Standard & Poor’s (S&P) information transparency measurement criteria to gauge information transparency of selected companies. Companies’ annual reports are used in S&P research. However, from the investor’s point of view, transparency information can be obtained not only from the annual report but also from other public sources, such as the company’s web site and the Taiwanese Security Exchange Committee and Taiwan Economic Journal databases. Therefore, this study supplements S&P criteria with information gathered from all public materials in order to obtain more comprehensive transparency information.  The results indicate that board size, board ownership, institution ownership, financial transparency, information disclosure, and board and management structure and process have significant relationships with operating performance. The results of this study also support that information transparency is one of the most important indicators for evaluating corporate performance. Recent accounting scandals have renewed attention to corporate transparency. According to signaling theory, under information asymmetry, corporations with superior information transparency signal better corporate governance. Prior research also indicates that corporations that have better corporate governance signal better performance. This study provides an empirical analysis of the relationship between information transparency and corporate governance in Taiwan’s high-tech industry. The theory base of this study is signaling theory. Spence (1973) states that if information asymmetry exists between a company’s managers and investors, the company can provide information to the investor in order to eliminate the asymmetry. In other words, if information asymmetry exists, there is no way for the investor to understand the real situation of the company’s operations. Prior research indicates that investors rely on the information sent out from the company to make investment decisions (Leland and Pyle, 1977; Ross, 1977; Bhattacharya, 1979; Ambarish, John and Williams, 1987; Poitevin, 1990; Ravid and Saring, 1991). In practice, companies with good operating performance often disclose information to the public to promote positive impressions of their company. Yeh, Lee, and Ko (2002) state that major contributions of corporate governance to the company include enhancing operating performance and preventing fraud. According to the research of Black, Jang, and Kan (2002), companies with better corporate governance have better operating performance than companies with poor corporate governance.

 

Impacts on Improvement of Organizational Synthetic

Value Caused by Social Network Relationship

Tsai–Lung Liu, I-Shou University and Tajen Institute of Technology, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

The nature and contents of strategic marketing include the organizational marketing resources of choices, commitment and actions. Organization adopts these three strategic mechanisms to gain and create organizational value or generate rent. Many strategic researchers rely on strategy to generate rent, but the researchers of different schools have their subjective research issues of value creation. This research paper attempts to explore the contents of resource-based view (RBV), dynamic capabilities view (DCV) and social network perspective (SNP), and integrate the three organizational theories. After that, this paper focuses on the investigation of how these three different organizational theories create different synthetic value. With the inference of propositions, this paper finds that according to the researchers with resource-based view, the Ricardian rent is created by idiosyncratic resources through the establishment of isolating mechanism; and the researchers with dynamic capabilities perspective emphasize the effects of knowledge learning procedures towards the accumulation of competitive advantage and the creation of knowledge value.  But this paper argues that both RBV and DCV theories focus more on organizational resources and knowledge internalization than the development of external social network relationship, such as negligence of inter-organizational relationship, customer relationship, and supplier relationship. The implications of this research point out that RBV and DCV can perform a synthesis of market value.  Finally, this paper concludes an argument that if organization develops outstanding social network relationship (SNP) as an intermediary effect, the RBV-DCV-SNP synthetic value will surpass RBV-DCV synthetic value.  Many marketing strategic researchers emphasize the adoption of market orientation perspective to acquire and allocate appropriate market resources with the main purpose of market value increment for generation of organizational rent (Afuah, 2002; Chatterjee & Wernerfelt, 1991; Isobe, Makino., & Montgomery, 2000; Schoenecker & Cooper, 1998; Slater & Narver, 1996; Spanos & Lioukas, 2001; Srivastava, Fahey., & Christensen, 2001). The acquisition ways of resources vary with different perspectives taken by different researchers, such as organizational capabilities perspective (Afuah, 2002; Spanos & Lioukas, 2001), technological resource perspective (Shi, 2001), and marketing resource perspective (Chatterjee & Wernerfelt, 1991; Srivastave et al., 2001; Vorhies & Harker, 2000). According to Vorhies and Harker (2000), there are two means to acquire appropriate marketing resources:  (1) the network relationship of channel control, (2) the mixed marketing strategy (e.g. market development, development or design of product, promotion, pricing, marketing research). 

 

Best Practices Regarding Grief and the Workplace

L. Sandra Maxim, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA

Dr. Maria G. Mackavey, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA

 

ABSTRACT

This paper explores employer and employee practices and opinions around bereavement in the workplace.   In doing so, current trends among employers were analyzed regarding employee bereavement benefits, as were employee attitudes towards time-off policies and workplace sensitivity to the issue.   Assumptions:  A number of assumptions were made in the writing of this paper.  It was assumed that the 12 bereaved participants in this study were native-born citizens of the United States.  We assumed that the biggest reaction from grieving employees would be that they desired more time off from work to contend with their grief.  It was assumed that an employer’s permission or acknowledgement of the loss is very important to employees.  We also assumed that employers’ opinions would not vary from region to region, but would be fairly consistent across the United States.  Two surveys were used to gather data for this project.  The survey for gathering data from bereft employees was posted at web sites (grief support web site and NEHRA) where random respondents replied, providing detailed information regarding their bereavement experience and their working relationship with their employer.   The defining criteria for this survey were that the bereaved person (or spouse of) had to have been employed at the time of the loss.  No regard was given to age, sex or other characteristics of the surveyed candidate.  There were 12 total respondents to the survey.  The sample size is not large enough to make inferences about the population, but given that the respondents were a cross section of the population, of varying ages and occupations, it is helpful to note that their responses were consistent with the assumptions of this paper.  More research would need to be conducted along these lines in order to assert a true and accurate reading of the population.  A second survey was distributed to various employers throughout Massachusetts to gather data related to bereavement policies and attitudes in the workplace.  There were a total of 34 respondents to this survey, 15 from Massachusetts and the remaining 19 from other states.  The defining criteria for this survey were the number of days their policy provided for bereavement leave and the general attitude and flexibility of the organization.  Information was also acquired via employer web sites nationally to be compared with regional data.  Findings:  Generally, employees had a high expectation that employers be flexible with work demands and time off following a loss.  The average bereavement policy of 94% of all responding employers was either 3 or 5 days bereavement leave with pay. 

 

Business, Combinatorial Theory and Decision-Making

Dr. Jose Villacís Gonzalez, San Pablo CEU University, Madrid, Spain

 

ABSTRACT

The most comprehensive definition of Economic Science is based on opportunity costs. Once opportunity costs are identified, then an appropriate decision (or range of decisions) is automatically defined: it is a daily activity of business and one which gives the economic reality some meaning.  The theory of decision has been studied principally from a Microeconomics approach, and particularly from the point of view of the theory of the company, and of course from the point of view of game theory. And who can say that the investing activity is not a game? In this paper we will extend decision theory to the field of combinatorial theory. The order or the way in which goods or inputs or production factors are combined, is determined by the objectives. Such is the fundamental sense of combinatorial theory that we want to communicate here. This will be our starting point. From combinatorial theory we will move on to the field of decision theory, which according to our research is the activity that constitutes the final stage. Given certain objectives – which due to economic reasons cannot be all met – we must give up some of those objectives in order to achieve others. This activity involves making a decision; it means making a choice. A choice is a subjective approach that conditions the next action, which is the firm decision. We define these objectives and the means to reach them as a specific combination of factors on the one hand, and a specific combination of results on the other hand.  This paper starts by dealing with two different premises: one is a simple set of goods, which can be made up of consumer goods or production factors; and the other is the economic and mathematic possibility of ordering such goods. By ordering we mean the possibility of combining them in a certain different ways. For example: given the goods a, b and c, we can combine them in different groups; for instance: (a,b, c) (a,c,b) (b,a,c) (b,c,a) (c,a,b) (c,b,a). We call batch to the simple enumeration of the quantity and type of goods that are indifferently offered to the consumer (consumer goods), or the producer (production factors). In this example, the possible menus would be: (a,b,c) or (a,c,b), etc. That is, the specific orderings from which the consumer and the producer will have to make a choice. Therefore, it is essential in Economic Science to study combinatorial theory, and particularly decision theory. In order to establish the number of menus to be consulted we should take into account the initial items within the batch, and ignore the magnitude of the consumer’s or the company’s funds to purchase them. The batch is simply a piece of data. We consider that the goods (whether consumer or production goods) that are not within the batch are irrelevant. A batch is viewed as incomplete if only one of its items is lacking, and we consider that quantities of one or several goods that are outside the batch fall outside our hypothesis. Once we identify a number of goods, which correspond exclusively to all the goods within the batch, we may count the menu combinations.

 

Role and Relevance of Web Supported Learning for First Generation Learners

Dr. Jazeela Sherif,  Majan College (University College), Oman

Rehan Khan, Majan College (University College), Oman

 

ABSTRACT

The fear of exclusion in a digital world has driven the higher educational institutions (HEI) the world over to quickly adapt to the modernities in curriculum design. First generation learners who are already laid back in the learning process must consider this opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world. This paper reviews the relevance and role of web supported learning in overcoming the major barriers that such learners may encounter in a traditional learning environment.  The study draws the conclusions from literature review, discussions, personal experience of the authors and questionnaire surveys among the students of a HEI in Oman, one of the Middle East countries. The findings suggest that the effective use of web supported learning is hampered by a multitude of factors entailing infrastructure deficiencies, apathetical policies in incorporating web based technologies (WBT) and cultural and attitudinal issues. There are wide gaps in the use of web resources between the student community in Oman and abroad from an academic perspective, which raise serious concerns. If anything has lightened the rigour of academic life of students in the recent times it is nothing else but the Internet. For students, especially for those at the university level, who face challenges while doing course assignments independently, nothing can be as exasperating as lack of information.  Apart from the appeal of Internet as a source of excitement   and a comfortable way of being ‘wired up’ constructive use of its true potential is also being explored by universities worldwide.   A technology that has brought in a paradigm shift in the traditional pedagogy that is criticized for its predominant use of    ‘monologue’ lectures and teacher centered approaches is certainly going to stay and dominate the field of learning across ages, cultures and geographies. The academic community is divided in their opinion about the application of web based resources and technology in the traditional curriculum due to various reasons. However, WBT’s enormous capabilities to penetrate the nook and corner of the globe and to accelerate and expand the process of learning of every individual cannot be overlooked, especially, by regions, which were late starters in education.  Even in lesser developed countries socio-economic or technological shortcomings have been pushed aside   to pave the way for, at least, a selective or phased introduction of WBT in the educational sector and the mainstream activities as well.  Growth of WBL has a human face (Williams 2001) as one reckons the issues of first generation learners who have to cope with multiple learning issues while successfully adapting to a different and challenging environment.

 

The Relationship between Multinationality and the Performance of Taiwan Firms

Dr. Yi-Chein Chiang, Feng Chia University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Tzu-Hui Yu, Feng Chia University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

We examine the relationship between the degree of multinationality and a firm’s performance in Taiwan, which is a small open economy and relies heavily on international expansion. Using a sample of non-financial firms in Taiwan for the period from 1998 to 2002, we find evidence that there is an inverted-S-shaped relationship between the degree of multinationality and the performance of a Taiwan firm. That is, a dual threshold point exists to show a positive relationship at a lower or higher degree of multinationality, and a negative relationship for a middle range in the degree of multinationality.  Taiwan is a small open economy. Firms located in Taiwan always have been forced to direct most of their business operations toward foreign countries due to the scarcity of natural resources and the small home markets. Exports and foreign direct investments (FDIs) are common strategies used in the international activities. The ratio of exports to GDP has always been over 50 percent in Taiwan. Besides, until June 2003 about 75 percent of the total number of listed firms in Taiwan have subsidiaries overseas. (1)  Numerous empirical investigations have attempted to study the relationship between multinationality and firm performance. However, results from these studies have been inconclusive and contradictory. These range from “positive” (Grant, 1987; Kim, Hwang, and Burgers, 1993; Tallman and Li, 1996), to “weak” (Kumar, 1984; Morck and Yeung, 1991), to “negative” (Siddharthan and Lall, 1982; Shaked , 1986; Michel and Shaked, 1986; Denis, Denis, and Yost, 2002), to an “inverted-U” shape (Daniels and Bracker, 1989; Geringer, Beamish, and DaCosta, 1989; Sullivan, 1994; Ramaswamy, 1995; Hitt, Hoskisson, and Kim, 1997; Gomes and Ramaswamy, 1999), to a “U” shape (Qian, 1997; Mathur, Singh, and Gleason, 2001; Ruigork and Wagner, 2003), and even to an “S” shape (Contractor, Kundu, and Hsu, 2003). Therefore, continued academic investigative efforts in this direction would appear to be useful. In contrast to most prior studies relying on linear and curvilinear models, this study considers a three-stage model following Contractor, Kundu, and Hsu (2003) using a sample of Taiwan firms for the period of 1998-2002. Under the classical multiple regression analysis on the five-year averaged data, and pooled cross-sectional/time-series regression analysis, we find that an inverted-S-shaped relationship in a cubic model is well supported.

 

Scalable E-Business Integration

Dr. Thang N. Nguyen, California State University Long Beach, CA

 

ABSTRACT

This paper presents a scalable e-business integration model with a prototypical implementation, both horizontally and vertically, for an n-tier client/server environment. The model offers solutions to a rather large class of common enterprise-level e-business integration problems involving message exchange and field-level message handling. The model and its prototypical solutions are based on four concepts: (1) a distributed (control) execution concept similar to the heart and its circulation (without the need of Interface Definition Language - IDL -  compilation process), (2) a global (centralized) knowledge of enterprise application information similar to a function of the brain, using LDAP – light weight directory access protocol, (3) configurable DLL (dynamic link library) inline services similar to the functions of different organ systems, to add specific functionalities, and (4) connectors and adapters similar to the functions of the limbs to extend services to connect disparate worlds. The model is capable of linking diverse e-business applications, including legacy systems, object-oriented systems (e.g. COM/DCOM-CORBA), shrink-wrapped package applications (e.g. SAP R/3, PeopleSoft), financial network (e.g. SWIFT) and others application systems (e.g. native IBM MQSeries applications), to keep the enterprise e-business application connected, operational, alive and well.  Application-to-Application communication concepts and mechanisms have been developed since the day there was a need for programs to communicate with one another. Concepts such as shared memory, named or unnamed pipes (e.g. FIFO, first in first out) and others were collectively called IPC (Inter-Process Communications). IPC initially used a predefined communication area (in S/360 assembler language or IBM transactional CICS system) or a linkage section (in COBOL) for passing information between applications. Other schemes such as Remote Procedure Call (RPC) in various original client/server models and the newer schemes based on RPC concept such as OSF/DCE, Microsoft COM/DCOM, CORBA, and Sun Java RMI have appeared and become widely accepted (Zahavi et al. 1999, Altman et al. 1999).  All these schemes however require a pre-compilation step using a language generally called Interface Definition Language (IDL) to set aside work areas in each machine, called stub and skeleton, for storage of data fields to be sent/received between applications to resolve the difference between data types and formats, and to publish the caller/callee interface between different applications (Wallace, 1999). Advanced concepts for client/server models beyond the basic model of one client-one server helped the creation of concepts such as object factory, directory, dynamic library and the like (Software Technology Review 2002).  

 

International Business: Taiwan’s Edge in the Asian Financial Crisis

Dr. Lawrence K. Wang, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia

Dr. Dwight M. Scherban, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT

Dr. Joseph Bonnici, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT

 

ABSTRACT

Taiwan eased itself out of the Asian Financial Crisis relatively fast. This article stems from an extensive analysis about the factors that contributed to the island’s economic recovery and financial health and highlights the disciplined approach that marks long-term Taiwanese public policy. The 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis (“crisis”) that hit the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong resulted in a number of scholarly studies.  For example, Goldstein, Brown and Blejer (1998) examined the financial and currency crisis through a descriptive analysis.  Another group of scholars (Corsetti 1998; Mishkin 1997; and Shin 1998) explored what caused the crisis. A third group, such as Berg (1998) and Fischer (1997), sought to explore to what extent the crisis was predictable. The studies show that in the midst of all this Taiwan got off relatively quickly out of the shadows of the crisis, experiencing only a short period of slow growth and financial turbulence. Other Asian countries such as South Korea, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, suffered a sharp economic downturn and recession. Taiwan received no aid package from the International Monetary Fund in handling the crisis. Taiwan seems to have had a more solid economic foundation and responsive synergy than does the rest of the region in fending off the turmoil.  Our study focuses exclusively on Taiwan and searches the academic and business literature for explanations about its successful coping with the crisis. The search is for interactive qualitative factors that contributed to Taiwan’s response. This is followed by a survey among subjects who followed Taiwan’s journey through the crisis. The present study scoured research databases in an attempt to discover the several factors that emerged as the successful indicators of Taiwan’s ability in coping. They are qualitative, quantitative and interactive. And they are supported by business professionals both within and outside Taiwan. Each part of the study reflects a part of Taiwan’s synergy in crisis management.  One factor that appears in the literature is that the Taiwanese government upgraded the compulsory education from six years to nine years. Education is well emphasized in Taiwan (Wang and Rawals, 1975). Since 1994, virtually all school-age children attend school. About 30 percent of the nation's population is in an educational institution of some type. More than 90 percent of junior high graduates continue their studies in regular senior or vocational high schools. Taiwan has a good system of higher education with 120 universities and colleges (Ministry of Education, 2000).

 

Decomposing Performance of Funds-of-Funds

Dr. Anthony Tessitore, City of London Quantitative Management, Newark, New Jersey

Dr. Nilufer Usmen, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, New Jersey

 

ABSTRACT

The paper decomposes the performance of a group of fund-of-funds that hold closed-end funds with exposures to stock markets around the world. Employing a style-based attribution methodology it finds that the group has underperformed a global benchmark slightly. The decomposition of outperformance shows that two major attributes, fund selection and country allocation have contributed to this underperformance, significantly but in offsetting ways. The results indicate that “good fund selection” has come at the expense of “poor country allocation”, and this trade-off was unavoidable for the managers of these funds.  A fund-of-funds (FOF) investment style is becoming increasingly popular. An FOF is a broadly diversified portfolio that invests in a number of other funds rather than directly in securities. They can reduce risk further by diversifying across low correlated asset management styles and investors can achieve this wide diversification over management styles by a single purchase.  There has not been a study that analyzes the performance of FOFs that exclusively hold closed-end funds. Are these investments earning excess returns over benchmarks and how can their performance be characterized? This paper addresses these questions for a group of FOFs incorporated in the United Kingdom as investment trusts. Investment trusts are closed-end funds that usually sell at a discount to net asset value (NAV). These FOFs invest in other investment trusts or closed-end funds, making them closed-end funds of closed-end funds. Since closed-end funds include investments in certain regions or countries around the world, an FOF has a wide global focus. They provide diversification across many different markets around the globe. The approach used in measuring and decomposing performance into three effects, discount/premium effect, NAV effect and country effect, was developed in Tessitore and Usmen (2001). The approach is unique for deducing the country exposure of an FOF from its own performance using a style-based methodology as in Sharpe (1992). This is in contrast to other methodologies that determine country allocation of a portfolio of funds from (for example) semi-annual company statements. 

 

An Empirical Study on Corporate Governance Mechanism and Its Antecedents: Evidence from Taiwanese Venture Capital Industry

Dr. Ching (Arthur) Lin, National Taipei University, Taiwan

Christine Chou, National Taipei University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

Having faced several financial crises, including Asian financial crisis, financial crises of some public companies in Taiwan, and America’s corporate financial crises caused by the default on financial reporting, the corporate governance issue has become critical in supporting the development of a sound capital market. Besides, the principles of corporate governance provide international investors a framework for assessing their international investments.  On the other hand, as more and more venture capital firms emerge, venture capitalists start looking for foreign investment proposal.  Nevertheless, venture capital investment is not risk-free, and therefore, venture capitalists do need governance strategies to monitor their investee companies efficiently and effectively.  This paper will mainly focus on the antecedents of governance mechanism (including: I. Characteristics of Knowledge Management; II. Management Complexity; III.  Relative Bargaining Power; and IV. Ownership Structure) and governance strategies.  And this research wishes to provide some strategic implications for the venture capital practitioners. Taiwan is a country where the domestic market is relatively small and not particularly well endowed with a range of natural resources.  Over the past few years, Taiwan’s traditional industries have gradually moved their productions to mainland China and some Southeast Asian countries.  Having faced this change in Taiwan’s economic environment, the government has been implementing a number of policies aimed at enhancing high-tech development in Taiwan in order to avoid the issue of industry’s cavitization.  The development of venture capital industry was one of these notable policies and which requires a particular professional knowledge of venture capitalists to support those enterprises with highly growth potential. Venture capital was first introduced in Taiwan in 1983 and the first venture capital firm in Taiwan was Multiventure Investment Co. founded in November 1984 by Acer Inc.  Moreover, there was a successful 20 per cent tax incentive to stimulate investors to join the industry, initiated by Taiwan government to first time investors in venture capital funds. 

 

Are Formalization and Human Asset Specificity Mutually Exclusive? –A Learning Bureaucracy Perspective

Dr. Ofer Meilich, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA

 

ABSTRACT

 A learning bureaucracy rationale is employed to amend predictions implied by transaction cost economics (TCE) and the resource-based view of the firm (RBVF) related to the correspondence between task formalization and firm-specific human assets and their combined effect on organizational performance. Current TCE and RBVF view of formalization as antithetical to human asset specificity fits the coercive type of formalization. The learning bureaucracy rationale envisions two types of formalizations – coercive and enabling. It is argued that the formalization envisioned by TCE and RBVF is of the coercive type. Conversely, the enabling type enhances the importance and stock of tacit knowledge, contributes to organizational adaptability, and is inherently non-coercive. Therefore, enabling formalization is expected to co-occur with human asset specificity and to enhance the latter’s positive effect on performance.

 

Public Policy Effectiveness, Risk, and Integration in the Western Economies

Dr. Ioannis N. Kallianiotis, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA

 

ABSTRACT

 In our western economies, the increase in output and production will increase demand for labor and unemployment will decline. The same will happen with an expansionary monetary and fiscal policy. The risk is expected to have a positive (workers will supply more labor) or a negative (firms will demand less labor) effect on employment. The Maastricht treaty (completion of the single market on December 31, 1992) was an important landmark for the EU and its impact on unemployment is testing by using dummy variables. The same test can take place for the NAFTA agreement in the U.S.A. (1993). The use of a Phillips curve, combined with the equation of exchange and through an IS curve, gives the unemployment rate. A GARCH (p, q) process is used to determine the risk in our economy (real interest rate fluctuation). The results show that the EU country-members are completely different from each other and distinct from the U.S. market-oriented economy. Also, the EU has suffered many setbacks from the restrictions imposed by the strict Maastricht criteria. Then, the current European intermixture is not yet working and might cause more difficulties in the future, after its recent expansion (May 1, 2004), with all these tremendous structural, regulatory, costly, urbanized, and demographic changes.

 

The Self and Symbolic Consumption

Dr. Kritsadarat Wattanasuwan, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand

 

ABSTRACT

 The paper explores theoretical concepts regarding the relationship between the self and consumption.  In consumer culture, consumption is central to the meaningful practice of our everyday life.  That is, we make our consumption choices not only from the products’ utilities but also from their symbolic meanings.  Basically, we employ consumption symbolically not only to create and sustain the self but also to locate us in society.  Nevertheless, from a critical point of view, striving to create the self through symbolic consumption may also enslave us in the illusive world of consumption.  Endeavouring to create the self in contemporary society is presumably inseparable from consumption ( ADDIN ENRfu Elliott 1997;  ADDIN ENRfu Gabriel and Lang 1995;  ADDIN ENRfu Gergen 1991;  ADDIN ENRfu White and Hellerich 1998).  Indeed, contemporary society is first and foremost a consumer culture – where our social life operates in the sphere of consumption ( ADDIN ENRfu Firat and Venkatesh 1994;  ADDIN ENRfu Giddens 1991;  ADDIN ENRfu Slater 1997).  That is, our “social arrangement in which the relation between lived culture and social resources, between meaningful ways of life and the symbolic and material resources on which they depend, is mediated through markets” Slater (1997, p.8).  Consumption is thus central to the meaningful practice of our everyday life.  Basically, we employ consumption not only to create and sustain the self but also to locate us in society ( ADDIN ENRfu Elliott 1994b, 1997;  ADDIN ENRfu Kleine and et al 1995). 

 

Technology Investment Mode of Innovative Technological Corporations: M & A Strategies Intended to Facilitate Innovation

Dr. Ling-Feng Hsieh, Chung Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

Yao-Tsung Tsai, Chung Hua University & Nan Kai College, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 Investments in new technologies play a crucial role in helping high tech companies to gain competitive advantages over their competitions. If a company can utilize Merger & Acquisition (M&A) method to acquire new technologies, then this company can quickly generate substantial values from its technology portfolio within the fast-paced and rapidly-changing business environment. Our research is focused on providing companies a set of guidelines for them to determine their future technology development planning and strategies based on the review of their past development and execution of corporate strategies for technology advancement. We also utilize the Game Theory to analyze the process of technological asset acquisition. We found that if both the seller and the buyer sides have similar corporate development backgrounds and have mutual understanding on the relevant financial information, the acquisition negotiation time will significantly shortened. This type of negotiations should then focus on the content of the technology and the relationship between the technology and its financial returns in order to maximize the benefits generated from the technology assets.

 

Managerial Thinking in the 21st Century

Dr. Kuo-Wei Lin, Hsuan Chuang University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 With the accelerate development of science and technology in the field of computers and networks, from the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century, geographical boundaries are becoming less important .  New management theories that emerge in one corner of the world spread quickly to other areas of the world.  Events and theories may interact with and influence each other, strongly affecting management concepts and contributing to their development.  Therefore, this study discusses the reform and development of management thinking during the last 20 years.  At the advent beginning of the 20th century, the French mining engineer Fayol (1949) defined management activities from a functional perspective, in terms of planning, organizing, command, coordination and control

 

The Ethical Reasoning Abilities of Accounting Students

Dr. Chiulien Chuang Venezia, Southern Taiwan University of Technology, Tainan, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 Western and Eastern Ethics theories share similarities and differences in points of view, yet pursuant to ethical relativism neither is absolutely "wrong" or "right". Kohlberg (1976) stated that Moral Judgment is universal. However, several research findings showed that cultural differences might affect moral judgment. This study uses Rest's DIT to compare accounting students to determine whether there is a difference in ethical reasoning between Taiwan and the U.S. This research finds that Taiwan accounting students possess higher levels of ethical reasoning than students in the U.S.  After Enron and WorldCom’s fraudulent accounting practices were publicized, the issue of ethics in the accounting profession came under review. The fallout from the events raised a topic of concern; should accounting programs in universities place greater emphasis on ethic courses to improve accounting students’ ethical reasoning abilities? The seriousness surrounding the ethics issue has prompted this study.  Accounting professionals have an obligation to present truthful financial reports to the public, their profession, and the organizations they serve. Auditors have a responsibility to evaluate and validate other accountants' reports. However, the accounting profession may face ethical dilemmas when it proceeds with these and other tasks.

 

The Announcement Effect on the Increase of Paid Up Capital on Stock Performance of Insurance Companies in Malaysia

Mohamad Abdul Hamid, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor Malaysia

Mohamad Ali Abdul Hamid, University Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia.

 

ABSTRACT

 The objective of the study is to examine the announcement effect on the increase of paid up capital from RM 50 million to RM 100 million on the stock performance of Insurance companies. The data were collected from the Investors' Digest comprising of daily share price data of thirteen insurance companies which are listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. The performance of the companies was measured by the share price return for a period of-10 days to + 1 0 days inclusive of the day of announcement. Event study methodology was used to compute abnormal returns based on the market model. Due to small sample size, non-parametric wilcoxon signed rank test was used to test the significant relationship between abnormal returns before and after the date of announcement. The results indicate that there was insignificant relationship or no difference on the abnormal returns. Generally, companies that already have paid up capital more than RM 100 million experienced more negative returns. Others that have less than RM 100 million experienced more positive returns to indicate that this announcement was good news because at the same time they could increase the level of competitiveness.

 

The Examination of Six Dimensions of Teacher Empowerment for Taiwanese Elementary School Teachers

Dr. Ping-Yu Wang, Kuang Wu Institute of Technology, Taiwan*

 

ABSTRACT

 The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of teacher empowerment in an open school setting, and the teacher abilities among teachers of elementary schools in Taiwan. Before the year 1990, bureaucracies, such as Taiwan elementary schools, were often shown as top-down management systems in which power was concentrated in the hands of a few leaders. A tight and mechanistic structure with centralized control and authority could reduce exploration and risk taking, yet cause work to be performed in a predictable manner. However, since many educators had received their educations from western countries, the idea of open education were invited to the Taiwanese educational reform in 1994. During the reform process, many struggles and barriers from a new school system have raised. The degree of teacher empowerment and its know-how were also discussed within the schools. Thus, this study would introduce the six dimensions of teacher empowerment of Short and Rinehart (1992). They are: decision-making, professional growth, status, self-efficacy, autonomy, and impact. Researcher found different situations in Taiwan elementary system.

 

How to Deal With Conflicts? The Effect of Consumers’ Subjective Time Pressure on Product Attitude Judgment and Choice

Dr. Chien-Huang Lin,  National Central University, Taiwan

Pei-Hsun Wu, National Central University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 Previous research has shown that under the choice set alternative conflict, time pressure will reduce the likelihood of choice deferral. However, other relevant research has pointed out that when consumers are facing the choice set alternative conflict, they will feel uncomfortable in making a choice. Time pressure will magnify this problem, and so consumers will opt for the no-choice option to reduce their discomfort. Therefore, time pressure will increase the likelihood of choice deferment. This research will construct the effect of time pressure on product attitude judgment and choice within three levels. These levels are: no time pressure, moderate time pressure, and high time pressure. Research has found that under the conflicts of product attributes or choice set alternatives, no time pressure and high time pressure will increase the proportion of consumer no-attitude on judgment task and no-choice option on choice task. Whilst under moderate time pressure, consumers are more likely to make a decision.

 

International Accounting Harmonization Impact Compared:  Illustration of United States and Japan Financial Statement Ratio Analysis

 Orapin Duangploy, Ph.D., CPA, University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, TX

Dahli Gray, DBA, CPA, CMA, Devry University, Timonium, MD

  

ABSTRACT

 Japan has recently revamped its financial accounting standards to be more in line with the international accounting standards.  This paper presents research results from comparing ratio analysis of Japan-based firms that must restate to United States (US) financial accounting standards due to being traded on US stock markets.  Eleven firms were identified with available data to calculate and compare ratios when firms’ financial statements were measured and reported both under Japan and US accounting standards.  The findings indicate that standards result in financial statements that are more similar (harmonized) than different.  While the difference in key financial ratios between US-GAAP and Japanese-GAAP is not significant, financial ratios prepared under U.S.-GAAP are found to be relatively more optimistic in profitability, more risky in terms of debt ratio, and less efficient in generating sales.  International capital markets have expanded globally so that investors must evaluate firms across borders and continents.

 

Factors that Influence the Piracy of DVD/VCD Motion Pictures

Chih-Chien Wang, Ph.D., National Taipei University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 The author conduct an empirical survey to examine the influences of economic and moral concerns on pirated motion picture DVD/VCD purchase decisions. The results indicate a positive effect in terms of cost benefits and negative effects in terms of perceived performance risks, ethical considerations, and social norms. A stronger perception of savings from pirated movies corresponded with greater purchase intent, as did a weaker perception of performance risk, unethical behavior, and an anti-piracy social norm. The findings indicate that cost benefit is an important motivating factor in pirated motion picture purchases, even when the price of a legitimate copy does not represent a heavy economic burden. The findings also support the need to address social norms and ethical considerations in any effort to stop piracy. Success may depend on reaching a social consensus and generating social pressure. The illegal duplication of commercial films—a common definition of piracy—cost the American movie industry US$3 billion in 2001 (Serafini, 2003). According to an estimate from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA)(2003), piracy in foreign countries incurred a US$1.3 billion loss to U.S. motion picture firms in 2002.

  

FDI Model in Emerging Economies:  Case of Suzuki Motor Corporation in India

Amar KJR Nayak, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar. India

 

ABSTRACT

 Despite a long history and experience of investment by several hundred foreign companies in India only a few companies have had consistency in their growth and profitability in India. Given the typical conditions of an industrially developing host for foreign direct investment like India, not many foreign companies have invested in India in a manner that will yield consistent growth and profitability. The direct investment pattern of Suzuki Motor Corporation is rare model that has benefited the host and helped the company to grow in size, profitability and global presence through its operation in India. This paper, after a systematic sampling of foreign companies in India during 1920s-1990s, selected the case of Suzuki Motors and studies the investment pattern of Suzuki Motor Corporation in India. It looks into the automobile industry scenario prior to Suzuki’s entry to India and analyses the nature, timing, and scope of investment adopted by Suzuki Motors. Based on the observations of the study, the paper suggests a suitable model of Foreign Direct Investment in emerging economies like India.  

 

Political & Economic Independence: The Kenya’s Case

Dr. Albert J. Milhomme, Texas State University, Austin, TX

 

ABSTRACT 

Former colonies have acceded to their political independence a long time ago. The question is: “What about their economic independence today?” This study focuses on Kenya, a former colony of Great Britain, forty years after gaining a political independence, obtained after a fierce struggle initiated by the Mau-Mau fighters: a divorce which was not exactly amicable! Has the United Kingdom kept a dominant position?  For some time now, many countries, former colonies of some colonial powers like Great Britain or Portugal have acceded to their political independence. The question is: “What about their economic independence?” To measure their economic independence one can look at their today international trade pattern, exports and imports. This study will focus on Kenya, a former colony of Great Britain and the study will try to reveal the achievement or non-achievement of this economic independence, forty years after the political independence. In 1963, Kenya as a colony of Great Britain exported 24%, of its exports to Great Britain and imported 41% of its imports from Great Britain. The United Kingdom had at that time a dominant position in Kenya. This position was mainly the result of a century of effort to create and protect trade, to pump in the finished product and pump out the desired raw material.

 

Performance Evaluation of Information System Outsourcing in Taiwan's Large Enterprises

 Chin-Chia Hsu, National Taiwan University & St. John’s & St. Mary’s Institute of Technology, Taiwan

Chih-Hung Wu, Takming College, Taiwan

Dr. Jovan Chia-Jung Hsu, Kun Shan University of Technology, Taiwan

  

ABSTRACT

 This work investigates types of Information System (IS) outsourcing as well as the constructs and practical indicators used to evaluate IS outsourcing performance. The differences among perceptions of the performance of IS outsourcing among various organizational characteristics are also considered. The survey results reveal that most (53.3%) large corporations develop and maintain their own IS; while the next largest group (27.9%) delegate initial IS development to software companies and take over IS development later, implying that the IS outsourcing market still has growth potential. With regard to performance evaluation, the majority (52.4%) of the large Taiwanese corporations do not perform evaluations on a regular basis while some other corporations (10.3%) evaluate performance every 6 to 12 months. Apparently, evaluating the performance of IS outsourcing it is not common practice among large corporations in Taiwan. Even companies that do evaluate performance tend to do so on an irregular basis, implying that large domestic corporations tend to evaluate IS outsourcing only when required. These results reveal that the outsourcing business of IS has room to expand.  Additionally, most IS presently used by large domestic companies has neither been totally developed by internal information departments nor entrusted wholly to external contractors.

 

William Morse Cole: Where got, Where gone?

Toni Smith, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire, Durham NH

 

Abstract

 William Morse Cole's writings were extensive; including a series of accounting textbooks and a number of journal articles.  Aside from his academic writings, Cole was a life-long educator, and an original member of the Harvard Business School faculty.  He also authored books outside of the business area and was active in his community.  Given this list of accomplishments, why is Cole's name not as well known as that of other, seemingly equally productive, accountants?  This paper considers the events that shaped the life of William Morse Cole and examines why his productivity has not endured.  Over the course of his life, William Morse Cole's writings covered a wide variety of topics.  From romance to religion to economics, he chose the written word as a means of expression.  It was the field of accounting, however, that provided his livelihood.  During his career in this field, Cole authored six accounting textbooks [Previts 1980] and contributed numerous articles to both business periodicals and academic journals.  (See Table 1 for a list of publications.)  One of these texts, Accounts, Their Construction and Interpretation [Cole 1908], presented the idea of the where got, where gone statement, a precursor to the modern statement of cash flows.  Aside from his writings, Cole was productive in many other ways.  He was an original and long-time member of the Harvard Business School faculty.  At his death, in fact, an incredible fifty-five years of college-level teaching could be attributed to him.  In addition, he also spent a decade teaching high school English and was active for many years in both civic and religious activities.

 

Exposing the Myth of “Re-Investment Economics Trigger” in Investment Decisions

Sergey Vasnetsov, Lehman Brothers Inc., NY, NY

 

ABSTRACT

 The interaction of capital investment and profits (causality and lead/lag factors) is the topic of major importance in fundamental and applied economics. A popular theory often used by industry consultants assumes the existence of a “re-investment economics trigger”, typically defined as 10% after-tax return on invested capital. According to this theory, upon reaching such point, a company will decide to invest capital in construction of new plants. If this is true, it is very important to predict such threshold point, as a turning point in the new investment cycle. Using a large diverse sample of companies over 17 years period (1985-2003), we found that there is no correlation between profitability and decisions of a large energy or petrochemical producer to invest in a new plant: the timing is much more liklely driven by specific corporate priorities, rather than a general “profit trigger” mechanism.  Investment and profits are two vitally important factors on both macro and micro level. Indeed, this profits and investments represent the arguable the most important results of operations at a given time period, while forecasted future profits and investments are fundamental drivers of forward-looking business strategy, both at micro- and macroeconomic level.  What drives a decision to build a large new production plant? Is there a common “rule of thumb” which would explain the recent history and predict the future developments? Finding such a rule would be quite valuable in forecasting the volatile commodity cycles for energy, chemicals, metals, paper products, as it is the large new capacity wave has typically played a major role in turning the global commodity cycle from its peak down towards the cyclical trough.

  

A Model to Price Corporate Bonds with Call Provision and Default Risk

Dr. David Wang, Hsuan Chuang University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

 

Abstract

 This paper presents a model for pricing callable bonds that are subject to default risk. The model incorporates three essential ingredients in the pricing of defaultable callable bonds: stochastic interest rate, default risk, and call provision. The stochastic interest rate is modeled as a square-root diffusion process. The default risk is modeled as a constant spread, with the magnitude of this spread impacting the probability of a Poisson process governing the arrival of the default event. The call provision is modeled as a constraint on the value of the bond in the finite difference scheme. This paper can be used both as a benchmark for models for pricing callable bonds that are subject to default risk and as a direction for future research.  The pricing of defaultable securities has been of interest in the academic and practitioner literature for some time. The standard theoretical paradigm for pricing defaultable securities is the contingent claims approach pioneered by Black and Scholes (1973). Much of the literature follows Merton (1974) by explicitly linking the risk of a firm’s default to the variability in the firm’s asset value. Although this line of research has proven very useful in addressing the qualitatively important aspects of pricing defaultable securities, it has been less successful in practical applications. The lack of success owes to the fact that firms’ capital structures are typically quite complex and priority rules are often violated.

 

SARS Devastation on Tourism: The Taiwan Case

Dr. Jennifer C. H. Min, Hsing-Wu College, Taiwan

 

Abstract

 The outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) dealt a sharp blow to the Taiwanese tourism industry, with the worst impact being suffered by the international tourism sector. The purpose of the study is to assess the impact of this mysterious illness in Taiwan. This research establishes a model for measuring the impact of SARS on Taiwan’s inbound demand during and immediately following the outbreak (March 2003 to July 2003). The forecasts, based on the seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model, are then compared with the actual volume of visitor arrivals to analyze the impact. The empirical results indicate that during these 5 affected months, Taiwan’s international tourism industry was hard hit by the disease. Based on the results, recommendations are offered for planning a recovery from catastrophic events, and suggestions are also made for possible future research needs.  Although the September 11 terrorist attacks and the Iraq War hit tourism worldwide, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak has struck an even more severe blow on many tourist destinations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific regions of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. In fact, tourism growth had already decelerated due to the September 11 terror strikes and the accompanying sluggish global economy. Thus, the subsequent SARS outbreak further aggravated an already grim situation.  When SARS first appeared, it was an unknown and therefore unpredictable disease, and its outbreak caused great concern to the travel industry and to tourists in some countries and regions. Medical evidence indicates that SARS is a communicable respiratory disease that is transmitted through close personal contact with an infected patient.

 

Developing E-Business Systems Based on KM Process Perspective - A Case Study of Seven-Eleven Japan

 Dr. Ming-Ten Tsai , National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, R.O.C

Ming-Chu Yu, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Taiwan

Kuo-Wei Lee, Ph. D. Candidate, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, R.O.C

(Instructor, Diwan College of Management)

 

Abstract

 The focus of this paper is proposing a framework for developing e-Business systems based on knowledge management (KM) process perspective. In past, developing e-Business systems were often given priority according to technical criteria rather than business imperatives. “Technology for technology’s sake” problem tends to be a business phenomenon. The study tries to give some ideals for building e-Business systems based on KM process perspective and expects that the viewpoint will facilitate the company using IT to achieve the effectiveness of e-business systems development.  In today’s 21st century, e-Business has become an important means by which enterprises respond to competition. Hesterbrink (1999) pointed out that e-Business uses an innovation approach to utilize organizational resources and partner relationships in order to create strategic advantage. Moreover, Kalakota and Robinson (1995) consider e-Business to be the complex fusion of business processes, enterprise applications, and organizational structure necessary to create a high-performance model. According to the above discussion, e-Business is without a doubt the means to survival of enterprises in the future, and a necessary path for the enterprise to follow. As a result, e-Business has already become a major policy and program used by the world’s industrialized countries and enterprises in responding to this new economy. 

 

The Metacapitalism Quest

George Mickhail, University of Wollongong, Australia

Arsen Ostrovsky, Allianz Australia Insurance Limited, Australia

 

Abstract

 The purpose of accounting information is to provide decision makers with the means to evaluate the efficient allocation of resources. The accounting models of measurement are driven by a worldview that privileges the efficient allocation of resources, which is justified by the scientific claims of objectivity inherent in the theory of evolution. This had provided the defenders of ‘laissez-faire’ Capitalism with the intellectual foundations to oppose state interference with market forces, in their pursuit to justify the efficiency imperative.  The recent global economic upheaval of corporate collapses, like Enron’s, could not have been averted regardless of the dismal failure of its Accountants, Arthur Andersen - if MetaCapitalism had not been implemented to such an extent. MetaCapitalism promised untold wealth and unprecedented growth, and under that guise a predatory Darwinistic corporate strategy was implemented, whose underlying principles predated the tribulations of those collapses.  At its core, it advocates a radical or extreme outsourcing and downsizing of human capital, de-capitalisation of all non-core capital assets and the diminished role of the State in the global free market economy. It has the propensity to convey negative signals to the market as reflected in share price, contribute to an adverse profit performance, risk creating a state of ‘corporate anorexia,’ undermine the role of the individual in the workplace and completely err in its analysis of value added communities and B2B technology.

 

An Empirical Study of the Construction of Measuring Model for Organizational Innovation in Taiwanese High-tech Enterprises

Dr. Li-Min Chuang, Diwan University, Tainan, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

 The objective of this research is to construct Taiwan’s high-tech industry organizational innovation dimensions and the associated evaluation index, in order to evaluate Taiwan’s current level of ability in this area, and provide guidelines for business. In addition, an organizational innovation model was constructed to act as a foundation for innovation theory. The research methods being employed included a review of literature in-depth interviews and a small group technique, These were used as a first step in constructing an organizational innovation measurement model. Before constructing the organizational innovation measurement model for the present study, a weighted measurement index was created through an analytic hierarchy process and multivariate analysis of variance and factor analysis, in order to confirm the index and organizational innovation cause and effect relationship. After finishing the construction of the organizational innovation model, the empirical study conclude that the most important dimension in measuring organizational innovation include: product innovation, process innovation and organizational structure & climate innovation.  The word “innovation” is frequently found in the literature, with technology improvements or breakthroughs being the main subject of investigation in related studies. “Innovation” and “technical innovation” were use to describe the same thing in most cases.

 

Attracting Foreign Direct Investment: The Potential Role of National Culture

Dr. Thomas C. Head, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL

Dr. Peter F. Sorensen, Jr., Benedictine University, Lisle, IL

 

 ABSTRACT

 Most nations, particularly those with undeveloped or developing economies, are actively seeking to understand what it takes to attract foreign direct investment. It is suggested that a nation’s cultural values may play a role in attracting such investment.  Specifically, nations with a low uncertainty avoidance, high power distance, collectivist, and masculine profile should prove most attractive for green field investment.  Acquisition based investments will prefer a low uncertainty avoidance, low power distance, individualist, and masculine cultural set.  It is not suggested that nations change their cultural values to attract foreign direct investment (although economic development will result in cultural change). Governments seeking foreign investment, however, could note the reasons investors might favor certain cultures and change their practices accordingly.  Between 1984 and 1998, worldwide foreign direct investment (FDI) increased by 1000 percent, while world trade grew at a rate of 91 percent (Hill, 2002).   Clearly commerce has truly become “global” with businesses abandoning the concept of one-nation citizenship by establishing operations all over the planet.    This phenomenon is showing no indication of diminishing, and in fact is being actively encouraged by most nations.  Charles Hill (2002) noted that the United Nations reports more than 100 nations made over 500 changes in FDI related legislation between 1991 and 1996, 95 percent of which involved liberalizing regulations in order to encourage foreign direct investment. 

 

 Exploring a Global Pattern of E-Business Activities and Strategic Orientation

Taewon Suh, Ph.D., Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas

 

ABSTRACT 

Using national firm level data across 56 countries, this study explored the relationship between e-business activities and strategic orientations. The findings of this study were threefold. First, customer orientation is associated with the level of e-customer service; second, given the control of innovation orientation, the general need for further investment on e-customer service drawn by customer orientation is attenuated; lastly, commercial concerns are more important for implementing e-commerce.  For companies to expand their relationship with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders, the Web proffers some useful opportunities. E-business, however, requires more than offering a Web site, even though many companies naively hope that just being online would be enough to generate interest and improve business. Developing an e-business calls for a host of advances such as new business models, implementing technology that can sustain the related endeavor, partnering or making alliances, understanding new laws, and so on, although much of the current expansion in commercial use of the Internet is driven by marketing initiatives providing products and product information to potential customers (Quelch and Klein, 1996). In this situation, the academic endeavor to find the link between firm’s strategies and e-business activities must be important. Which orientation in strategy will bring more active implementation of e-business? 

 

The Next Stage of Psychographic Segmentation: Usage of Enneagram

Rajeev Kamineni, University of Western Sydney, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

 Segmentation and positioning constitute the crux of marketing strategy. Over the past two decades, lifestyle and psychographics have been increasingly used as a basis for market segmentation. This paper illustrates how the ancient and mystical technique of the Enneagram can be effectively used as a base for psychographic segmentation. With the Enneagram finding ever-increasing applications in strategic management and human resource development, it is only fitting that scholars in marketing harness the diagnostic and predictive power of the Enneagram. However, adoption of the Enneagram for marketing purposes will require further conceptual development and empirical analysis.  The Enneagram is an ancient technique of personality classification that dates back at least two thousand five hundred years. Practitioners of the Enneagram (pronounced any-a-gram) regard it as a vital link between the psyche and the spirit. Figuratively, the Enneagram is a circle enclosing nine equidistant points connected by nine intersecting lines (see Figure 1). The nine points represent the different ways in which the nine underlying personalities constituting the Enneagram perceive and defend their "mental models" or realities. Peter Senge (1990) observes that the mental model each of us possesses determines not only how we make sense of the world, but also how we take action.

 

A Comprehensive Formal Ranking of the Popularity of Financial Ratios in Multivariate Modeling of Corporate Collapse

Ghassan Hossari, Lecturer, Deakin University & Ph.D., Candidate, AGSE, Swinburne University Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Sheikh Rahman, AGSE, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper provides a formal ranking of the popularity of financial ratios in modeling corporate collapse. The analysis identified 48 financial ratios and ranked them according to their usefulness as portrayed in 53 studies that have utilized such ratios in modeling corporate collapse. The methodologies adopted in those studies are predominantly of the “multivariate” type. The 53 studies extend from 1966 to 2002, inclusive.  A resounding, recent reminder that not only small and unheard of companies collapse! It may be argued that some companies voluntarily wind-up and this may be true. However, there are surely those that involuntarily find themselves on the road to collapse; for such companies their collapse will certainly have unpleasant consequences that affect a large number of stakeholders.  Although the number of companies that collapse may seem to be relatively small (1) when compared to the number of companies that continues to be financially viable, this does not necessarily underestimate the seriousness of the problem. After all, the fact that only a small percentage of babies suffer from cot death (2) has not precluded researchers from determining its causes. Likewise, the seemingly small percentage of companies that collapse has not deterred researchers from developing models that signal corporate collapse before it happens. As a matter of fact, refereed empirical studies can be traced as far back as Winakor, (1929 and extend to the immediate present with Kealhofer (2003), for example.

 

A Survey of Issues and Recent Trends in Unicast Congestion Control for the Internet

S. Ravi Jagannathan, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Dr. Kenan M.  Matawie, University of Western Sydney, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

 Everybody is familiar with the terms ‘Internet’ and PCs (a.k.a. ‘end systems’). When one end system wishes to communicate with another, across the Internet, the conversation takes place via communications links joined by a number of routers (switching devices).  It is important for the sending end system to not overwhelm the receiving system, hence to contain its transmission rate accordingly. This is typically called ‘Flow Control’. A seemingly related problem is for the sender to not overwhelm the network itself (not just the receiver). This phenomenon is usually called ‘congestion’.  In this paper we examine a number of approaches to managing Internet congestion. This collection of results is typically not available anywhere else in the literature. We also introduce TCP Sierra & RAB Routers, which are in the process of development as novel congestion management algorithms. These concepts are explicitly aimed at optimizing multimedia conversations across the Internet, and will be published elsewhere. The objective of this survey paper is for a lay reader to quickly get a feel for the sorts of problem that one faces when dealing with congestion, and be then able to contribute usefully to the development of literature in this area.

 

Outsourcing Versus in-House Provision of Sleep Diagnostic Services

Dr. Scott M. Janssens, Heywood Hospital, Gardner, MA

Dr. Saeed Mohaghegh, Assumption College, Worcester, MA

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper proposes that providing sleep diagnostic services using internal resources may be more profitable for some hospitals than outsourcing. In addition, the in-house provision of such services may give the hospitals more control over the quality of care for their patients and enable them to gain competitive advantage.  Other factors such as the availability of appropriate space within the existing health care facilities, noise, skills of personnel, startup costs, economy of scale, and economy of scope may influence the management decision. A local community hospital was selected, data was collected, and statistical and financial analyses were performed to test this proposal.  The results showed that in-house provision of sleep diagnostic services is more profitable for small community hospitals in the long-run than outsourcing such services. Medical studies indicate that in the general population four percent of males and two percent of females have obstructive sleep apnea, the partial or complete obstruction of the upper airway during sleep (Attarian and Sabri, 2002).  Early detection and treatment of this serious and dangerous disorder is vital. Recent research shows that untreated sleep apnea is often the cause of snoring, headaches, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, depression, behavioral problems and poor academic performance particularly in children, daytime sleepiness, driving accidents, and mortality (Silverberg et al., 2002; Nelson, 2002; and Malhotra and White, 2002).  The emergence of several outsourcers (i.e. service contractors) in U.S., Europe, and Japan to provide sleep diagnostic services is indicative of the increased demand for diagnosis and treatment of this disorder and the high profitability associated with the provision of such services. These service contractors have experienced significant growth of the sales, net income and overall profit. 

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