The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge

Vol.  9 * Num.. 1 * March 2006

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

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Corporate Environmental Disclosures:  A Longitudinal Study of Japanese Firms

Dr. Peter Stanwick, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Dr. Sarah Stanwick, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

 

ABSTRACT

This study examines the level of corporate environmental disclosures for Japanese firms using a longitudinal perspective. The environmental disclosures of 30 Japanese firms were examined in both 1997 and 2005. The results showed that all the firms had a significant increase in the number of environmental disclosures between years. In addition, it was shown that consumer product firms had the highest level of environmental disclosures for both time periods and heavy manufacturing firms had the lowest level of environmental disclosure for both time periods. In an effort to become more environmentally friendly, a growing number of firms are developing environmental policies.  In many instances, these environmental policies set forth the companies’ formal plans for protecting the natural environment.  The existence of a formal environmental policy and an explicit description of the organization’s overall environmental commitment is, in part, a component of the corporate social responsiveness of the organization. The purpose of this study is to examine the current practices of Japanese companies and organizations pertaining to their development of a formal environmental policy and the disclosure of the firm’s overall commitment to environmental issues.  Forty-eight Japanese firms are examined.  The paper is structured as follows: first, a description of the environmental protection policy in Japan is described; second, a discussion of ISO 14000 is presented as it relates to Japanese companies; third, a description of the sample firms is provided with a discussion of their environmental policies; and, finally, conclusions about the study are provided. In late 1993, the Japanese Government enacted “The Basic Environment Law” which serves as the basic structure for environmental laws, regulations and policies in Japan.  Before this legislation was passed, Japanese environmental policy revolved around two pieces of legislation, the Basic Law or Environmental Pollution Control (1967) and the Nature Conservation Law (1972).  Three basic principles of environmental policy are set forth in “The Basic Environment Law”:  (1) The blessings of the environment should be enjoyed by the present generation and succeeded to the future generation; (2) A sustainable society should be created where environmental loads by human activities are minimized; and (3) Japan should contribute actively to global environmental conservation through international cooperation.(1)  In addition, the Law sets forth the responsibilities of the central government, local governments, corporations and the general public.  The Law sets forth that June 5th of each year is considered “Environment Day”.  The Law is a comprehensive document, setting forth the following responsibilities of corporations:  (1) In conducting business activities, corporations are responsible for taking necessary measures to prevent environmental pollution, such as the treatment of smoke and soot, polluted water and wastes, etc., resulting from their activities, and to properly conserve the natural environment, pursuant to the basic principles; (2) In manufacturing, processing or selling products, or engaging in other business activities, corporations are responsible for taking necessary measures for ensuring proper disposal of the wastes generated from products and other goods related to their activities, so as to prevent interference with environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles; (3) Besides the responsibilities prescribed in the preceding two paragraphs, in manufacturing, processing or selling products, or engaging in other business activities, corporations are responsible for making efforts to reduce the environmental loads resulting from the use or disposal of the products and other goods related to their activities; and for making efforts to use recyclable resources and other materials and services which contribute to reducing the environmental loads in their activities, so as to prevent interference with environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles; and (4) Besides the responsibilities prescribed in the preceding three paragraphs, corporations are responsible for making voluntary efforts to conserve the environment such as reduction of environmental loads in the course of their business activities; and for cooperating with the policies implemented by State or local governments with regard to environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles.(1)

 

Just‑in‑Time Under Fire: The Five Major Constraints Upon JIT  Practices

Dr. Tony Polito, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

Dr. Kevin Watson, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana

 

ABSTRACT

Though increasing usage of just‑in‑time (JIT) practices is reported, academics—including Shapiro at Harvard Business School, Karmarkar at UCLA (Anderson) and Cusumano at MIT (Sloan)—as well as a number of practitioners have warned against the unrestricted pursuit of just-in-time practices. They suggest that pure JIT is appropriate only for limited economic environments, that it is ineffective in some organizational cultures, that it is unattainable by many small suppliers, and that, in practice, it does not truly reduce an organization’s total/global costs. Such constraints are typically overlooked in descriptions of JIT philosophy. Accordingly, this paper originates, through an examination of the academic and popular literature, five major constraints regarding just‑in‑time philosophy toward future use in such descriptions: customer-driven & economic conditions, logistics, organizational culture & conditions, intractable accounting & finance practices, and small supplier difficulties. The just-tin-time (JIT) production philosophy continued to gain acceptance through the late 1980s, the 1990s and into this decade. In 1990, Intel's global customer service manager stated that 98% of its customers expected JIT treatment (Wise, 1990) and a St. Louis logistics consulting firm found that 18% of all US products were delivered just‑in‑time (Johnson, 1994). Further, a 2001 survey conducted by Advanced Manufacturing resulted in a PriceWaterhouseCoopers white paper that found that 92% of manufacturers believe that just-in-time delivery by key suppliers is now a critical success factor (Pescon, 2001). However, the JIT philosophy is being increasingly and seriously questioned—or even reversed—by some academics and practitioners. For example, the slow demand and simultaneous surge in inventories during the second quarter of 1994 was interpreted by the Wall Street Journal as an end to the "wishful nature" of the JIT theory of production management (Norris, 1994). Ranaganath Nayak, head of global operations management services at Arthur D. Little, found "paltry gains" amidst $950 billion of capital and training expenditures by US manufacturers invested to mimic Japanese concepts such as JIT (Naj, 1993). Uday Karmarkar, currently Director of Center for Management in the Information Economy at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, suggests that JIT practitioners during the late 1980s "just didn't know when to stop.” (Karmarkar, 1989) Roy Shapiro, Professor of Operations Management Harvard Business School, states that “companies run into trouble” when they stress “squeezing out the last iota of inventory” above the more important goals of quality and process improvement (Bleakley, 1994). Shapiro also notes that even firms in Japan—where JIT practices were first heavily developed—increased their inventory levels as they learned more about the inefficiencies of small order/lot quantities (Bleakley, 1994). Michael Cusumano, currently a Distinguished Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, notes that Japanese managers encountered a number of limitations on JIT practice that were so significant that other economies might actually exploit them for competitive advantage (Cusumano, 1994). Even a recent best-selling book, ominously titled The End of the Line, (Lynn, 2005) extensively argues that global corporations are mistakenly reliant upon extensive supply chains that are disastrously under-buffered.  Historically, the literature has been rich with JIT philosophy advocacy, while it falls short with respect to skepticism (Waters-Fuller, 1995). There is much discussion regarding the benefits and successes of just-in-time practices. However, the literature does also reveal legitimate constraints and implementation failures as well … though they are typically excluded from standard discussions of the nature JIT philosophy. Accordingly, this study sought to develop an informal categorization of such constraints that could be presented in future literature that describes and/or defines just-in-time philosophy. This study concludes that there are five major constraints that should be described by academics … and considered by practitioners prior to JIT implementation: customer-driven & economic conditions, logistics, organizational culture & conditions, intractable accounting & finance practices, and small supplier difficulties.

 

Rhetoric and Reality - Social Rationality for Mental Institutions in the State of New South Wales, Australia

Dr. Ciorstan Smark, University of Wollongong, Australia

Dr. Hemant Deo, University of Wollongong, Australia

 

ABSTRACT

Ideas developed by Weber (1947) and Scull (1984) have influenced this research paper. In examining the process of deinstitutionalization from mental hospitals in New South Wales (Australia) in a previous paper, two possible motivations for the way in which deinstitutionalization was implemented emerged. In this paper, these motivations have been characterised as the “rationalist” motivation and the “humanist” motivation. This dichotomy of social rationality provides a paradox of social reality which this paper investigates using the lens of Weber (1947) and Scull (1984). Weber is used to identify social rationality questions relevant to the deinstitutionalization policy changes seen in New South Wales. Scull (1984) developed a framework which he applied to deinstitutionalization in the United States of America (USA) and within the United Kingdom (UK) to determine which of the dichotomous motivations was dominant in the policy of deinstitutionalization in the USA and UK. This paper applies Scull’s framework to the case of New South Wales (Australia).  This case study also looks at the social implications of mental health care in NSW and the overall implications on rational society arising from monetary valuations.  Weber (1947) identified that social rationality has a primary role in influencing social needs within a particular community.  This paper combines this thought with a test developed by sociologist Professor Andrew Scull and used by him to extract social motivations from the way in which the UK and the USA implemented their deinstitutionalization policies. This paper applies this test to the policy of deinstitutionalization in State of NSW (Australia).  This paper also uses a social policy evaluation model adapted from Puckett (1993, 415) and applies this model to the way in which the policy of deinstitutionalization was implemented in NSW.  The application of Scull’s test then suggests whether the dominant motivations behind deinstitutionalization in NSW were predominantly humanist or rationalist.  The authors have done a similar case study using a Foucauldian theoretical framework (lens) and this paper also incorporates some it findings.  The major difference between the earlier paper and this paper is, firstly, that that this paper applies a different social paradigm test (Weber, 1947; Scull, 1984; Puckett, 1993) and, secondly, that there is a more social rational approach adopted in this paper. This case study examines some of the dissonance between the rhetoric and the reality of deinstitutionalization in NSW.  The study does this by considering Puckett’s (1993) social policy process model and tracing the development of social policies from the policy formulation stage through to the social programs that arise from the policy, to the consumer impacts and evaluation and review that arise from these outcomes and influence further policy formulation if required.  The findings of the Richmond Report (1983) – ‘The Inquiry into health services for the psychiatrically ill and developmentally disabled Report’ to give this report its full title, is generally viewed as a seminal document in deinstitutionalization in NSW. This paper draws from the Richmond Report and also from ‘The Report of the National Inquiry into the Human Rights of People with Mental Illness’ - hereinafter referred to as the Burdekin Report (1993) after its Commissioner, as well as from other government reports; newspaper articles and charitable institution reports to evaluate the outcomes of the policy of deinstitutionalization.  This paper is divided into a number of sections. Firstly, a brief discussions on the research framework, followed by the history of the mental institutions in the State of NSW.  The authors then apply the rational social uses filtered through the research framework and finally the conclusions are stated. Some overall societal implications are briefly discussed. A further discussion of the societal implications of narrowly evaluated rationalist thinking can also be found in Rose (1991, 690); Boyce (1997, 10-13); Morgan and Willmott (1993, 10-16). Scull (1984) in his analysis of the causes and outcomes of deinstitutionalization policy in the UK and in the USA offered a possible test for whether the dominant motivations for deinstitutionalization were humanitarian or rationalist: what actually happened.  Weber’s (1947) theory of social reality can be combined with Scull’s test to expose the rational and traditional authority within various government policies (Parsons, 1977).  This theory suggests that governments influence policies and programs on performance (cost-benefit basis) and not on social basis (for the overall benefit of society) and therefore if  deinstitutionalising people with mental illness ‘was to live up to rhetorical claims about its being undertaken for the ex-patients’ welfare, these aftercare facilities would have had to be extensively present; but this would have been extremely costly, and if the program was to realise financial savings they had to be substantially absent’ (Scull, 1984, 142). 

 

Decolonization and International Trade: Impact of the Rupture Factor

Dr. Albert J. Milhomme, Texas State University at San Marcos, Texas

 

ABSTRACT

Some former colonies have acquired their independence after violent struggles against the colonizer.  Others have acquired their independence peacefully.  The process has been described by the rupture intensity factor. This study focuses on the short and long term impact of a low and a high rupture intensity factor on the achievement of the economic independence of two former British colonies, with respect to the United Kingdom. For some time now, many countries, former colonies of some colonial powers like Great Britain have acceded to their political independence. Some did acquire their political independence through peaceful negociations, some others got their independence through brutal and bloody confrontations. The question is: “What about their economic independence?  Was there any short term impact on their economic independence on the way the political independence was achieved? Is there any long term impact on their economic independence on the way their political independence was acquired?  The answer to these questions could be “no”. British companies seem to have maintained an active position in their former colonies. The reasons for this are the cultural ties and traditions established during colonial rule. The colonial language used for business, the education system of the country, the legal systems, the financial connections with outside world, the type of product or produce especially adapted to the colonizer market, the newspaper read, and expatriates staying in the country after independence are all factors which will contribute to a paradoxical degree of dependence upon the previous colonizers on the part of many newly dependent countries, especially those with a low rupture intensity factor (peaceful and smooth transition). The answer to these questions could be “yes”. Before independence, ostracism was high in many former colonies and the events preceding independence made some people believe that former colonized countries would reject companies from the colonial powers. If dependence of former colonies to their colonizers existed then it would be for a short time. Colonizers will very quickly loose their historically acquired economic advantages, especially if the independence was the result of some brutal and bloody confrontation, i.e. a high rupture intensity factor (violent and acrimonious transition)This is a least the hypothesis presented by Dr. Johny K. Johansson in his Global Marketing textbook published in 1997. To measure the evolution of their economic independence with respect to the former colonizer, one can look at the evolution of their international trade pattern, exports and imports, before the independence, just after the independence, and today, almost half a century after the political independence. Ghana and Kenya appear to be the right countries to compare and to oppose, Ghana having got its independence very peacefully and Kenya having got its independence through a fierce military struggle. In 1957, as a colony of Great Britain, Ghana exported 38 percent of its total exports to Great Britain and imported 45 percent of its total imports from Great Britain. This was the result of more than a century of effort to create and protect trade, to pump in finished products into Ghana and pump out raw materials.   Ghana was the 21st largest importer of goods from the U.K. and the 32nd largest exporter of goods to the U.K. a rank without any relationship with Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product.  In 1963, Kenya as a colony of Great Britain exported 24 percent of its exports to Great Britain and imported 41 percent of its imports from Great Britain. The United Kingdom had also at that time a dominant position in Kenya. This position was also 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. At that time, Kenya was the 29th largest customer of the United Kingdom in terms of imports and the 45th largest supplier in terms of exports, a rank without any relationship with Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product. What was the evolution of the economic independence, measured by an international trade concept like the geographical concentration factor, of those two countries having acceded to political independence through two opposite schemes, Ghana peacefully, and Kenya violently?

 

Green House Gas Emissions Trading Scheme and their Fiscal Implications

Dr. María Luisa Fernández de Soto Blass, San Pablo-CEU University, Madrid, Spain

 

ABSTRACT

This Paper is intended to launch a discussion on greenhouse gas emissions trading within the European Union, and on the relationship between emissions trading and fiscal policies and measures to address climate change.  Under the Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, the European Community undertook to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 8%, between 2008 and 2012, in relation to 1990 levels.  The European Parliament and The Council has published the Directive 2003/87/EC of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC. The paper gives the concept, principles and phases of European emissions trading scheme. It defines the environmental tax and their elements. It shows the trends in environmental taxes in European Union and  the  decomposition of European environmental tax revenues 2002, in % of GDP.  This paper is the result of three researches that the author is carrying out at The Institute for Fiscal Studies, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Spain, University of San Pablo-CEU, Madrid, Spain, from 2004 to 2005, and at University of Leeds, United Kingdom from 1st July to 1st September of 2004 and 2005. The present study is intended to launch a discussion on greenhouse gas emissions trading within the European Union, and on the relationship between emissions trading and fiscal policies and measures to address climate change. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in December 1997 by the 3rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Protocol was significant because it sets limits on the greenhouse gas emissions of industrialised countries.  The 15 Member States that made up the EU until its enlargement to 25 countries on 1st May 2004 are committed to reducing their combined emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride) by 8% from 1990 levels by the end of the Protocol’s first commitment period between 2008 and 2012. This overall target has been translated into differentiated emission reduction or limitation targets for each Member State under a ‘burden sharing’ agreement. The 10 new Member States are not covered by the EU target but in most cases have their own reduction target of 6 % or 8 % under the Protocol. They are full participants in the EU trading scheme (European Comission, 2005, P 7) The Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) is a cornerstone in the fight against Climate Change. It is the first international trading system for CO2 emissions in the world. It covers some 12.000 installations representing close to half of Europe’s emissions of CO2.  The aim is to help EU Member States achieve compliance with their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Emissions trading does not imply new environmental targets, but allows for cheaper compliance with existing targets under the Kyoto Protocol. Letting participating companies buy or sell emission allowances means that the targets can be achieved at least cost. If the Emissions Trading Scheme had not been adopted, other – more costly – measures would have had to be implemented (European Commission, 2004. P1).  The scheme should allow the EU to achieve its Kyoto target at a cost of between € 2.9 and € 3.7 billion annually. This is less than 0.1 % of the EU’s GDP. Without the scheme, compliance costs could reach up to € 6.8 billion a year. (European Comission, 2004, P 7). The European Parliament and The Council has published the Directive 2003/87/EC of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC.  Emissions trading, whether domestic or international, is a scheme whereby entities such as companies are allocated allowances for their emissions. Generally, an allowance to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent during a specified period Companies that reduce their emissions by more than their allocated allowance can sell their “surplus” to others who are not able to reach their target so easily. This trading does not undermine the environmental objective, since the overall amount of allowances is fixed. Rather, it enables cost-effective implementation of the overall target and provides incentives to invest in environmentally sound technologies (European Comission, 2000, P5).

   

Financial Opposition Index and Optimal Seignorage: Evidence from Emerging Economies

Dr. Hermann Sintim, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ

 

ABSTRACT

 Existing literature provides evidence of an inverse relationship between FOI and inflation. Based on a modification of Mankiw (1987) model this paper examines the FOI and Inflation link within the context of the revenue smoothing hypothesis for ten emerging economies from 1960 to 1999. This study uses the seemingly Unrelated Regression model and results of tests provide evidence of a negative relationship between the level of FOI and inflation in support of Posen (199) findings. The outcome of forty percent of the countries in this test provides evidence confirming Mankiw (1987) direct tax and inflation tradeoff model. A majority of the results reject the positive relationship between inflation rates and direct taxes. This outcome provides some credence to the observation that the level of FOI restricts the ability of governments to use inflation tax to meet revenue shocks thereby affecting the inflation- tax rates relationship within the context of the revenue smoothing hypothesis.  An important background to this paper is proposition that the opposition by a country’s financial sector strengthens the degree of independence of the governor of the central bank in the implementation of monetary policy to control inflation rates.(1) Effective financial opposition index, as originally proposed by Adam Posen (1995), attempts to capture the collective influence of the financial sector of an economy in enhancing the ability of monetary policymakers to control inflation. The latter, by earlier definition, also serves to enhance the independence of the central bank.(2)

 

 A Formal Technology Introduction Process

Dr. Juan Esteva, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Wendy Smith-Sharp, Intelligent Solutions, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Saikrishna Gangeddula, Intelligent Solutions, Ann Arbor, Michigan

 

ABSTRACT

In response to the global economical challenges that companies are facing today, many CEOs with the help of their CIOs/CTOs are adopting early emerging technologies that can give their companies a competitive edge. The problem then becomes: how to bring these new technologies into the enterprise in such a way that they do not become an integration nightmare. To solve this problem, many companies are in the process of establishing formal procedures to investigate, select, introduce, and deploy new technologies in the Enterprise. In most cases these procedures and processes are established and managed by an advance technology group (ATG). The formal technology introduction process, as described in this paper, is an effective tool for technology planning and coordination, which fits within a broader set of planning activities.  New technology sooner or later finds its way to the enterprise; for example, how many of you have used the latest browser or IDE just because the neighbor in the next cubicle is using it. Moreover in many enterprises technology is brought on a need basis at best using an ad hoc and reactive process that opens the door for personality-driven choices that, most of the time, would not align with a pre-established enterprise architecture (EA) or standard operating environment (SOE). This in turn has created a bigger problem, that is, the utilization of technologies in silos that are not compatible at all, or are very difficult to integrate.

 

Transparency in Financial Statements:  A Conceptual Framework from a User Perspective

Michael O. Mensah, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA

Hong V. Nguyen, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA

Satya N. Prattipati, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA

 

ABSTRACT

 In the post-Enron era, the term transparency has been widely employed by the financial press in discussions of the various perceived ills of financial reporting. It has been used in discussions of defalcations, fraudulent financial reporting, earnings management, accounting method choice, inadequate disclosure, and disclosure overload, to name a few. The variety of contexts in which the term is used is indicative of its popularity with financial statement users as well as its lack of precision as a financial reporting concept. Yet we believe that this concept could be harnessed to improve communication between financial statement preparers and standard setters on the one hand and users of financial statements on the other. This paper formalizes transparency as the overriding criterion for evaluating financial reports from the point of view of the external user, as opposed to that of the preparer. We model transparency as a multi-level concept and demonstrate its implications for the organization of  financial statement disclosures.  We also compare this concept to the Financial Accounting Standard Board ( FASB)’s conceptual framework and discuss its usefulness for developing a scoring system for financial statement quality.   

 

Assessing the Effects of Work and Family Related Factors on Women Well-Being

Dr. Sarminah Samad, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Malaysia

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper presents a study which determined the relationship of work related factors (WRF) and family related factors (FRF) with women well-being and examined the two differential effects of the work and family related factors on two components of women well-being mainly job satisfaction (WWB) and family satisfaction (WWB1). The sample consisted of 500 non-professional married-working women from the selected manufacturing and electronic industries in Malaysia. The results hypothesized that work and family related factors are negatively and significantly related to job satisfaction and family satisfaction.  Hence, both work and family related factors had a negative and significant effect on job and family satisfaction. The results reveal that WRF have more effect on WWB than WWB1 and FRF have more effect on WWB1 than WWB.  Findings and implications for managerial practices are discussed and put forward.

 

 The Significance of Teachers Pursuing Advanced Studies Autonomously to Taiwanese Educational Reform

Sheng-Hwa Tuan, Hsuan Chuang University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 In recent years, due to the reduction of the number of classes and the implementation of school reforms, many school teachers have begun to make changes to meet the future needs in teaching, assessment, and curriculum. Several strategies of promoting the self-education capacity are provided to the teachers’ reference. First of all, teachers should believe that they have the self-education capacity. Then, set up the growth objectives for themselves, and reassess them every day. In addition, the teachers need to affirm and praise themselves, and to correct the mistakes bravely. Finally, the teachers should begin with changing themselves, and impart the effective strategies of promoting the capacity of self-education to their students. Moreover, some insight suggestions about Taiwanese educational reform are provided to Taiwan’s government, schools, educators, teachers and parents. While children all over the world are confidently and happily marching into the new era of computerization and internalization, children in Taiwan are still working late into night and trying their best to memorize bits and pieces of knowledge for the purpose of crowding into the narrow “dragon door (referring to the door of a college or university)”. And all those children pushing into the dragon door have become a generation without a future or self-discipline. Many people attribute all the economic wonders that Taiwan has achieved in the past decades to education, but based on the above data we can see that the cost is actually unimaginable. Nowadays more and more people are concerned about the education in Taiwan.

 

The Effect of Religiosity on Shopping Orientation:  An Exploratory Study in Malaysia

Safiek Mokhlis, University College of Science and Technology Malaysia

 

ABSTRACT

 Religion has long been recognized as an important social force in influencing human behaviour. To date however, the marketing value of religion as a cultural-based predictor of consumer behaviour has not been adequately examined even though they have been calls for such research in the literature. This paper contributes to this area by exploring the effect of religiosity on consumers’ shopping orientations in Malaysia. Analysis of variance procedures were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that three shopping orientation factors, namely quality conscious, impulsive shopping and price conscious were consistently related to religiosity, suggesting that religiosity should be considered as a possible determinant of shopping orientations in consumer behavior model.  The influence of religion on consumer behaviour appears to be underestimated in our secular society. As Delener (1994) notes, “although religion has been a significant force in the lives of many individuals, its role in consumer choice can be characterized as unclear or fuzzy” (p. 36). Religion and religiosity (i.e. the degree to which belief in specific values and ideals are held, practiced and become badge of identity) receive, at best, a perfunctory mention (under “subcultures” topic) in most consumer behaviour texts and have been given limited research attention over the past twenty years. If they have been studied, the focus is on examining religious variation in consumer behaviour without drawing out practical marketing implications. This is remarkable given the long recognition that religion plays a significant role in shaping human attitudes and behaviours and the realization that the current trend is towards the global resurgence of organized religiosity (Armstrong 2001; Arnould, Price and Zikhan 2004).

 

Measuring the Effects of Consumer Switching Costs on Switching Intention in Taiwan Mobile Telecommunication Services

Dr. Anne Wan-Ling Hu, Formosa TV, Taiwan & Taipei Physical Education College, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Dr. Ing-San Hwang, Taiwan Power company & National Taipei University, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

 While past research on the influence of switching cost typology and switching costs on switching intention spans different industries, attention is gradually shifting to the effect of industry characteristics on switching costs. This study asserts that the homogeneous strategies often employed by service providers in an oligopoly market have led to consumer awareness of the different types of switching costs; and there are discrepancies in the relationship between different types of switching costs and switching intention. Taiwan's mobile telecommunications service market is highly developed and has achieved a penetration rate surpassing 100% -- the second highest rate in the world. In such a saturated oligopoly market, providers are highly competitive and are constantly trying to win over their competitor's customers. Thus telecommunications service providers have concentrated on reducing consumers' switching intention by raising switching costs for consumers. This study implemented a quota-type sampling of mobile telephone users in Taiwan in accordance with various demographic variables, with survey data collected from 229 users. Linear structural equation analysis verified significant correlations between procedural and relational switching costs and customers' intention to switch, but also found that financial switching costs were not significantly correlated with intention to switch.

 

A Cognitive Processing Model for Assessing Ethical Behavior of Employees

T. T. Selvarajan, University of Houston-Victoria, Sugar Land, Texas

 

ABSTRACT

 Ethical behavior of organizational members has been the subject of considerable interest during the past decade both among practitioners and academics.  However, performance appraisal systems, for the most part, have exclusively concentrated on business performance to the exclusion of ethical dimensions of job performance.  Given the increasing importance of ethical issues in organizations, there is a need to correct this aberration in the current  approach to appraisal system development and include  ethical dimensions  in the performance appraisal domain.  As a first step to the inclusion of ethical dimensions to the job performance, we propose a cognitive model for appraisal ethical performance in organizations.  The performance appraisal literature based on the cognitive processing paradigm (e.g., Landy and Farr, 1980) provides a rich theoretical foundation for studying ethical judgment process.  Specifically, the cognitive approach describes how the performance judgment process is influenced by schematic, attributional and affective influences when processing ratee performance information. 

 

The Possibility of the Balassa-Samuelson effect between Estonia and Germany 1991-2000

Jaanus Raim, Tallinn Technical University, Estonia

 

 ABSTRACT

 The paper discusses the possibility of the Balassa-Samuelson effect between a small Baltic republic of Estonia and industrial Germany during the 1990s. The basic idea of the paper is that the Balassa-Samuelson effect can not be an important determinant of Estonian relative inflation before 1997. The findings of this paper suggest that the Balassa-Samuelson effect was not the dominant cause of Estonian relative inflation in 1995-1996 and that it was entirely impossible in 1991-1994. The author finds out the series of Estonian relative productivities and prices (including the less investigated years 1991-1992), compares these series and derives from this comparison the amounts of Estonian relative inflation that could have been caused by Estonian relative productivity growth.  The price levels in the former Soviet Union (FSU, including the three Baltic States) vis-à-vis the remaining world were very low in the early 1990s. The phenomenon of the following very high relative inflation (real exchange rate appreciation) in the Baltic states (including Estonia) vis-à-vis the remaining (non-FSU) world during the 1990s is explained by the relative productivity growth in these countries. There is very little debate about the problem that the large productivity growth did not emerge in Estonia before 1997 when the fast price convergence was already over.

 

Empower Internet Services in Hotel Industry - A Customer Service Life Cycle Concept

Jen-Hung Huang, National Chiao-Tung University, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Chia-Yen Lin, National Chiao-Tung University, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

 Electronic commerce, that allows business to be performed over the Internet, has bee a major trend in this century. The web sites and the Internet service are being deployed throughout industry, education, government, and other institutions. In this article we try to propose the key dimensions of Internet service from customers’ perspectives on the viewpoint of consumer-service life cycle in hotel industry. Most of the hotels have changed their marketing activities to web sites marketing, including advertising, information providing, and reservation function etc The opinion of this study will provide hoteliers with information to rethinking how they can build well-constructed web sites and provide fine service for consumers. Not only considered about the factors discussed in the past research studies, but also focus on the consumer-perspective to proceed with our research. The findings of this study will provide a valid managerial implication to the hotelier to build a satisfied Internet service to the tourists.

 

Managing Business Attributes and Performance for Commercial Banks

Cheng-Ping Chang, Southern Taiwan University of Technology, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 There are many limitations to using traditional statistical methods to study financial performance. Fortunately, Teng (1982) introduced “The Grey System Theory” to supplement those limitations and it’s more suitable to evaluate the financial ratios into research variables using the Grey Relations Analysis to find the significant financial ratio variables and financial indicators to affect the financial performance of commercial banks in Taiwan. In conclusion, there is a significant relationship between attributes and financial performance of commercial banks. Moreover, managers have to value and understand the performance and factors of commercial banks in order to decrease the operating risk.  Since 1991, the Ministry of Finance approved the establishment of branches for 15 new commercial and foreign banks in Taiwan, which led to banking liberalization and internationalization. When all of the new and original banks faced an intense competitive market, their operating efficiency became an interesting topic for us. Therefore, we used the variables of financial ratios to measure financial performance of commercial banks in Taiwan from 2000 to 2002 and tried to help commercial banks through this economic crisis.  Generally, there are three directions: (1) The study on the relationship between the characteristic and performance of commercial banks (Yen, 1999; Chen, 2002; Liu, 2001); (2) The study on factors influencing investment return of commercial banks (Chiu, Chen & Kao, 2001; Lin & Huang, 1995); and (3) The operation performance evaluation of commercial banks (Lee, 2002).

  

The Developing Environment of Logistic Business in Ports of Taiwan

Ya-Fu Chang, Doctoral Student, Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan, ROC

 

ABSTRACT

 The changing environment of operations in international ports brought by the emergence of container transportation and international logistics management is requiring adjustments in the service functions of ports in Taiwan. Through analyses of results from a questionnaire survey of mid- and high-ranking employees at three port authorities and shipping industry companies in Taiwan, this study found that inter-port competition and changing needs of shipping companies for port services were the two most important environmental factors affecting port operations and employees of port authorities and that related businesses in Taiwan had confidence in their own resources, conditions, and professional competence. In addition, the survey respondents thought that the development of warehousing and logistics businesses could become priorities for Taiwan ports and that the ports could develop such businesses according to their existing resources and competences.  The Taiwan government is making efforts to promote Taiwan as a global logistics center by assisting local enterprises to implement transregional integration of their resources and by modifying regulations to meet the requirements of international trends with a hope that Taiwan’s logistics management enterprises can secure competitive advantages (CEPD, 2000). Global logistics management has become an emerging concept of operations for international corporations in recent years. The primary purposes of this concept are to combine in the best ways the ordering, manufacturing, sales, delivery and stock management of products through the integration of logistics, information, business activities, and cash flow and to minimize the total logistical cost of global operations.

 

A Study of Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty in Taiwanese Leisure Industry

Chang-Hsi Yu, Yu Da College of Business, Taiwan

Hsiu-Chen Chang, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology & Lecturer, Yu Da College of Business, Taiwan

Gow-Liang Huang, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship among service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty of leisure industry to provide operators with a reference to improve their quality. Reviewing on the literature in the field, we find that they mostly emphasize on investment decisions, development mechanism and strategies of sightseeing towns of leisure industry. Studies on the transformation of national enterprises into leisure or sightseeing enterprises are quite scarce. To achieve the goal of this study, we conducted questionnaire survey on visitors to Yueh-Mei Sightseeing Sugar Mill in Taiwan to discuss the relationship among service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. From our analysis of the results, partial demographic statistics variable has significant relationship with service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty of leisure industry while significant differences show between importance and satisfaction of service quality of leisure industry. In addition, both satisfaction of leisure industry service quality and overall customer satisfaction have significant relationship with customer loyalty. The meaning of the above data analysis will be further discussed in the study.

 

Public Financing in Lifelong Learning Society in Korea

Namchul Lee, Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training and Dankook University

 

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the mechanisms of financing lifelong learning in Korea.  To allow a person to obtain lifelong learning that is high in both quality and quantity over a lifetime, increased expenditures will be required and the resources will need to be used more efficiently. These expenditures cannot be met solely by government fund.  Offering a variety of financing options may be helpful in responding to the diverse needs of the knowledge-based economy.  The Korean government typically uses a wide variety of mechanisms to fund both learners and institution in terms of vocational ability program.  This paper focuses on the government’s financing program for employees.  This paper concludes with a discussion on the current situation of the public support system for better financing lifelong learning.  In a knowledge-based economy(1), the importance of lifelong learning,(2) which provides an opportunity to improve the personal, vocational, and social life of adults, is further highlighted.   A knowledge-based economy relies primarily on the use of ideas rather than physical abilities and on the application of technology rather than the transformation of raw materials or the exploitation of cheap labor (World Bank Institute 2001).  That is, intangible capital, primarily human capital, is rising in importance relative to physical capital, natural resources, and like.   Korea is in the process of transition to a knowledge-based economy.  Knowledge is playing an increasingly important role in economic and social development.  The amount of knowledge is growing, and investments in human capital are more important than investments in physical capital.  Lifelong learning is both the prerequisite for, as well as the consequence of, a growing knowledge-based economy.

 

A Study of Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty in Taiwanese Leisure Industry

Chang-Hsi Yu, Yu Da College of Business, Taiwan

Hsiu-Chen Chang, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology & Lecturer, Yu Da College of Business, Taiwan

Gow-Liang Huang, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

 

 ABSTRACT

 The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship among service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty of leisure industry to provide operators with a reference to improve their quality. Reviewing on the literature in the field, we find that they mostly emphasize on investment decisions, development mechanism and strategies of sightseeing towns of leisure industry. Studies on the transformation of national enterprises into leisure or sightseeing enterprises are quite scarce. To achieve the goal of this study, we conducted questionnaire survey on visitors to Yueh-Mei Sightseeing Sugar Mill in Taiwan to discuss the relationship among service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. From our analysis of the results, partial demographic statistics variable has significant relationship with service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty of leisure industry while significant differences show between importance and satisfaction of service quality of leisure industry. In addition, both satisfaction of leisure industry service quality and overall customer satisfaction have significant relationship with customer loyalty. The meaning of the above data analysis will be further discussed in the study.

 

Examining the Relationship between the Design-Manufacturing Cooperation and New Product Development Time Performance: The Moderating Role of Technological Innovativeness

 Yao Huang Tseng, Chungchou Institute of Technology, Yuanlin Changhwa, Taiwan

 

 ABSTRACT

 This paper investigates the relationship between design-manufacturing cooperation and new product development (NPD) time performance, and explores the moderating role of technological innovativeness. We analyszed 145 firms selected from the 2004 Taiwanese Manufacturing Directory. Results indicate that design-manufacturing cooperation increases as the process moves from its early to late stages.  In addition, effective NPD time performance appears to be facilitated by design-manufacturing cooperation early in the process; and design-manufacturing cooperation is positively associated with NPD time performance during late stages, especially for new product innovativeness. Finally, this paper discusses the implications of these findings for managers and future investigators.  Improving the new product development (NPD) process undoubtedly is one of the most important management challenges today.  Successful new products not only contribute to financial and market performance measures, but also frequently open up previously unseen opportunities for business (Swink, 2000). In the innovation process, successful NPD basically is a multidisciplinary process. It requires expertise and experience in many varied disciplines, and the required attributes may exist within one person or require an organizational system. Often, differentiation is necessary to accomplish highly specific tasks professionally (Vandevelde and Van Dirdonck, 2003).

 

The Comparison and Study of Shortest Path Algorithm in Heaps – Using a Taiwan Route Map as an Example

Tsung-Ping Yang, Ph.D. candidate, and Li-Hsing Ho, Ph.D.

Chung Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

 Shortest Path Algorithm is a well-known and conventional field of study in Computer Science, Operation Research, and Geography Information System. There exist many algorithms according to network structure and problem characteristics. Normally, the software tools to calculate shortest path can be grouped into: 1. Software with route map analysis and geography information system engine, such as ArcView and MapInfo. 2. High level programming languages, such as C++ and Java. 3. Mathematical software, such as Matlab and Mathematica. By inputting the same information, these software tools can come up with the same optimized solution. Therefore, when evaluating these software tools, it would be emphasized on the comparison of software licensing costs, development process, data structure, and execution time. In this paper, Dijkstra Shortest Path algorithm is applied on Heaps. We use C++ to write a program that calculates shortest path on the three different heap structures: Binary Heaps, Fibonacci Heaps, and Binomial Heaps, and then apply the Geography Information System software ArcView Network Analyst to compare the execution time. This study, besides simulating on large-scale route map data, also makes use of the Taiwan route map data published by Institute of Transportation, Ministry Of Transportation And Communications for real testing. The result can be an effective reference for analysts when choosing and implementing applications of shortest path calculations.

  

Cultural Differences in Determining the Ethical Perception and Decision-making of Future Accounting Professionals:

A Comparison between Accounting Students from Taiwan and the United States

Dr. Shu-Hui Su, Fortune Institute of Technology, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

 The great problem for this generation of the accounting profession is the rapid change to a global culture and its concomitant ethical decisions. Systematically understanding how culture influences ethical decision-making will help accounting professionals have a better defense against potentially unethical behaviors. This research is based on the concepts of Hofstede's cultural typology by which cross-cultural differences in ethical perceptions have been explained. The purpose of this research was to examine whether there are significant differences in ethical attitudes among accounting students in the United States and Taiwan and whether differences exist using demographic variables such as gender, academic status or self-evaluation. The statistical analysis found that there are significant differences between the responses from accounting students with respect to all five cultural dimensions for both countries.  The recent deteriorations of ethical behavior in the accounting profession, such as the accounting irregularities and fraud of Enron, Global Crossing, and WorldCom, has made ethical issues become a prevailing research topic in the field of accounting. However, more and more emphasis should be placed on the potential influence of culture on ethical decision-making because of the inevitable globalization. With the globalization of economic activities, culture becomes one of the most critical make -or-break factors in successful multinational corporate operations (Redpath and Nielsen, 1997). This study is based on the work of Hofstede (1991) who identified five dimensions (individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity and Confucian dynamism) to distinguish differences in culture. The study used data collected from accounting students (Sophomore and Senior) in selected business schools in both Taiwan and the United States. A questionnaire consisting of accounting-related scenarios that measured respondents’ ethical attitudes was administered to the sample. This study will increase the understanding of the impact of cultural and personal/demographic factors related to ethical decision-making within the field of accounting. As firms expand globally, professionals who operate internationally should understand how these cultural differences affect ethical decision-making. Therefore, additional researches in this area are warranted.

 

 The Applications of Financial Innovation in Taiwan’s Automobile Industry: Operation, Pricing, and Strategic Implications

Dr. Shyan-Rong Chou, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Sunwu Chen, Shih Chien University, Kaohsiung, & National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Honghsiang Chen, Doctoral Student, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 The Red Carpet Options (RCO) project has been launched by Taiwan’s Ford Motor Company to systematically bring customers back to dealers at the end of contract period, and then offers customers a right to select one of three approaches to wind up their financial obligations. These three approaches consist of trading in the old car for a new one, returning the old car, or keeping it by paying out the guaranteed future value. This article explores RCO’s operation process and strategic implications in Taiwan’s automobile market, and shows that financial innovation does not only traditionally exist in financial industry but also in nonfinancial industry. In addition, the application of a modified option-pricing model CRCO helps to find the call option value embedded in RCO. This application could advance the understanding of this financial innovation and contribute to the promotion of RCO in practice.

 

Enterprise Resource Planning Implementation: A Case Study

Dr. Vineet Kansal, Arab Open University, Kuwait

 

ABSTRACT

 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation is a socio-technical challenge that requires a fundamentally different outlook from technologically driven innovation, and will depend on a balanced perspective where the organization as a total system is considered. It has been widely reported that a large number of ES implementation fail to meet expectations. This paper reports on one suit Case Study application. The case was prepared using interview and observation techniques. The Situation-Actor-Process (SAP) paradigm was used to analyze the case. A synthesis was performed in the management context, situational factors, processes used in ERP. The resultant learning issues in conjunction with the conclusion of the study may help in identifying the potential key areas in ERP implementation.   ERP systems may well count as 'the most important development in technology in 1990s' (Davenport, 1998). ERP implementations are usually large, complex projects, involving large groups of people and other. Many organizations adopting ERP have serious conflicts with their business strategies and the majorities of ERP projects are often characterized by delays and cost overruns. The study provides a qualitative analysis to understand the nature, scope, and impact of ERP systems using a case study of 'Gujrat Heavy Chemicals Limited'. This can help managers to understand the implementation process and provide guidance on how to move towards realizing the strategic potential of the ERP system when used in conjunction with satellite systems. From an academic perspective, the study provides a useful discussion for the development of further research questions in problem areas such as technology diffusion, IT and competitive advantage and the process of information systems implementation.

 

Carrefour’s Global Reach: A Case Study of Its Strategy

Dr. Yih-Chearang Shiue, National Central University, Taiwan

Dr. Der-Juinn Horng, National Central University, Taiwan

Szu-Wei Yeh, National Central University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 In response to the ongoing process of economic liberalization, the corporations around the world are held to permanently improve their product quality, their operating systems, the selling skills of their personnel, and others for their long-term development and benefices. Special emphasis is given to the re-structuring of their inner organization and the distribution of responsibilities within the management. Undoubtedly, Carrefour, a French-based corporation, is a good example for the implementation of such successful adjustment measures.  Today, Carrefour’s strategy is much about global reach, and Carrefour has become the second largest retailer worldwide till now.  In 1959, Carrefour was founded by two entrepreneurs in Savoie, the South-Eastern part of France. Operated by its founders, Marcel Fournier and Denis Defforey, Carrefour pioneered in the establishment of so-called “l’hypermarché” (hypermarket), which are supermarkets with huge dimensions in terms of space, offering variety of products.  Gradually, Carrefour has developed into a modern corporation, thus improving its competitiveness and market presence considerably.  Carrefour has expanded steadily since 1969.  Now, it serves over 2 billion clients per year in its more than 9,000 stores, which are present in 32 countries across 3 geographic zones.  Carrefour is not only the second but also the most internationalized retailer worldwide.

 

Effect of Knowledge Sharing to Organizational Marketing Effectiveness in Large Accounting Firms That Are Strategically Aligned

Dr. Li-Yueh Chen, Chungchou Institute of Technology, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

 Is there a relationship between knowledge sharing and marketing effectiveness?  Although there is a lack of academic research to support whether or not there is a relationship, this study attempts to provide some viewpoints and also to provide the empirical results for understanding this relationship.  Sixteen accounting firm branch offices in Taiwan and 135 branch offices in the U. S. were included in the sample.  Ninety-three valid surveys were returned from Taiwanese offices and 72 valid surveys from U. S. offices.  The results of the hypothesis testing showed knowledge sharing is positively related to organizational marketing effectiveness in strategic alliance setting.  Research on knowledge management issues, in the strategic alliance setting, has been receiving increased attention by scholars and practitioners.  Strategic alliances have been adopted as platforms for members to collect and create the “resources” that a firm cannot create independently.  Gulati (1998, p. 293) has defined strategic alliance as “Voluntary arrangements between firms involving exchange, sharing, or codevelopment of products, technologies, or services”.  Customer value creation is considered to be the major objective of knowledge management (Bukowitz & Williams, 1999).  It has been suggested that building knowledge bases to serve customers and synthesize skills of network partners is often a leverage point for the alliance of firms (McKenna, 1991).  The practice of knowledge management has been found to create value by improving organizational effectiveness, delivering customer value, and improving product innovation and delivery (Doucet, 2001).  Hence, a linkage among knowledge, marketing, and strategic alliance has been emerging.  This paper, therefore, focuses on examining the effect of knowledge sharing to organizational marketing effectiveness.  Accounting firms that engaged in strategic alliances are to provide the context for this research. 

 

Using Back-Propagation Neural Network to Forecast the Production Values of the Machinery Industry in Taiwan

Kuan -Yu Chen, Chang-Jung Christian University/Far East College, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 This study applies back-propagation neural networks technique (BPNN) to forecast Taiwan’s machinery industry production values. The aim of this study is to examine the feasibility of BPNN in seasonal time series forecasting by comparing it with the Seasonal Autore­gressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) model. The seasonal time series data of Taiwan’s machinery industry production values during 1991-1996 were employed as the data set. The experimental results demonstrate that BPNN outperforms the SARIMA models based on the Normalized Mean Square Error (NMSE) and Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE).  The machinery industry in Taiwan has made steady progress over the past decade, playing a critical supporting role as the foundation to the overall manufacturing industry in Taiwan. Nevertheless, it is a major exporting industry in Taiwan. In addition to the traditional precision machinery, wafer slicing, semi-conductor manufacturing equipment, high-tech antipollution equipment, and crucial machinery parts are being actively sponsored under government promotion. The entrepreneurs in the machinery industry are mainly focused on overseas markets. However, of those manufacturers dedicated to the machinery industry, 95% of them are of medium and small enterprises. To take advantage of markets, these companies are capable of responding quickly to the change of market requirement (Pai and Lin, 2005). Therefore, the forecasting of production values is important for the Taiwan machinery industry in the globally competitive market.

 

Value-Added of Human Capital Through Complementary Capital

Huiyan Zhang,  School of Management, UESTC, P.R. China

Run-tian Jin, School of Management, UESTC, P.R. China

 

ABSTRACT

 The paper analyses the components and attributes of complementary capital, expounds the relationship between human capital and complementary capital, and points out that the essence of complementary capital is a process in which enterprises change their organizational structure, culture, and social relationship, develop latent value of resources to enhance the core competitive capacity and realize its target. With the investment in human capital, enterprises could establish and develop complementary capital at the same time. This means the enhancement of the value of human capital and the realization of added value of human capital.  The essence of capital is its ability to produce value-added. Corporate capital exists in carriers including capital, equipment, staff, organization, process, and environment. Usually, corporate capital is divided into two forms: material capital and human capital. Material capital takes the form of land, fund and equipment, etc and provides the basic material condition for value creation. Human capital refers to the aggregation of knowledge, skills, and vigor endowed in people, and it is the main body of value creation. With the emergence and popularity of human capital theory, people began to attach importance to human capital in economic growth, which accordingly contributes to the increase in human capital investment. Human capital has property right character, social character, exclusive character, and is dependent on organization (Zhang, 2000). This implies that human capital could not break away from its holder (Rosen, 1985). It must exist in certain social relationships.

 

Research on Customer Satisfaction: Take the Loan Market of the Taiwanese Region as an Example

Chih-Chung Chen, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Dr. Su-Chao Chang, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

 This study examines the feasibility of applying customer satisfaction models in the loan departments of banks. During this study, 650 questionnaires were distributed, with a total of 413 valid questionnaires returned. This study shows that customer expectations are significantly and positively related to the performance and that customer satisfaction and loyalty will be high and complaints will be few as a result. Research implications are also discussed.  High customer satisfaction ratings are widely believed to be the best indicator of a company’s future profits (Kolter, 1991). In the financial services industry, bank loans play an important role in the development of a society’s infrastructure, providing the funds to those who require them. Loan departments are one of the main sources of revenue for banks, and borrowers are the most desirable customers from the perspective of banks. However, how to control quality and measure performance is controversial, to further improve understanding of customer satisfaction, many scholars (Oliver, 1980;Churchill& Surprenant, 1982; Johnson& Fornell, 1911; Anderson& Sullivan, 1993; Kolter, 1991) have begun to investigate the influences on customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and start to build the structure relation mode of the customer satisfaction.

 

Exchange-based Value Creation System for Network Relationships Management

Chia-Hui Ho, Chang-Jung Christian University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 A firm cannot be isolated and apart from other relevant firms. The concept of network is popular both in daily parlor, business development programs, and in theoretical constructs. Scientifically, the concept has formed the base for "network theories" (Burt 1992), "the network approach" (Johanson and Mattsson 1993), "the network perspective" (Nohria 1992), and some even talk about "the network paradigm" (Morgan and Hunt 1994). However, a network is constituted by entities and relationships existing among them. Such relationships can be seen as forms of exchange among partners. Exchange Theory (ET) is based on the notion that people review and weigh their relationships in terms of costs and rewards. Costs are those elements in the relationship that have negative value to a person. Rewards are those elements in the relationship that have positive value to a person. Exchange theorists argue that all relationships require some time and effort on the part of the parties involved. A particular factor can be considered a reward at one point in the relationship and a cost at another point. The formula that is used to “calculate” the overall value of a relationship subtracts the costs involved from the rewards provided. Positive relationships are those whose worth is positive (i.e., rewards exceed costs). Negative relationships are those whose worth is negative (i.e., costs exceed rewards). According to ET, the worth of a relationship predicts its outcome. Positive relationships are continued. Negative relationships will likely be terminated.

 

Exploring the Digital Capital Indicators of Internet Banking in Taiwan

Hui-Chen Chang, National Taipei University, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

 

ABSTRACT

 Digital capital refers to intangible assets gained through knowledge and relationships. The explosion of Internet usage and funding initiatives in electronic banking has drawn the attention of researchers towards Internet banking. Therefore, this study tried to construct the measurements of identifying the digital capitals of Internet banking in Taiwan. My research use open questionnaire to collect data, and then the Analytical Hierarchy Process to analyze data. Along with the analytical results, this paper identified four major factors of digital capitals, including customer capital, innovation capital, service capital, and relational capital. The results provide a structural framework for determining the core digital capitals of the Internet banking and it is also generic in nature that is this framework can be applicable to benchmark a Web-base organization.  The use of Internet technology has become a very powerful force changing the very core of traditional banking, the role that commercial banks have typically played as the premier depository and financial intermediary institutions that controlled the payment systems of countries in which they operated (Pyun, Scruggs & Nam, 2002). Using the internet, persons can access their banking accounts and conduct transactions twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with reduced costs and increased convenience. On the other hand, due to the explosive development of the digital environment, the banks have opportunities to expand their market penetration internationally.

 

Earnings Management and Its Measurement: A Theoretical Perspective

Dr. Yan Xiong, California State University Sacramento, CA

 

ABSTRACT

 This paper presents a theoretical analysis of earnings management literature and its implications for future research in this area. This paper is organized around the theoretical focuses of earnings management literature in different periods. Specifically, this paper analyzes the theoretical focuses and the related empirical evidence in different periods. Furthermore, this paper summarizes and evaluates different methods to measure earnings management in the literature. Finally, this paper identifies a few important opportunities for future research on earnings management.  The major role of financial reporting is to effectively communicate financial information to outsiders in a timely and credible manner (FASB 1984). To do so, managers are given opportunities to exercise judgment in financial reporting. Managers can use their knowledge about the business to improve the effectiveness of financial statements as a means of communicating with potential investors and creditors. However, earnings management is also likely to occur when managers have incentives to mislead their financial statement users (both external and internal) by exercising discretion over accounting choices in financial reporting.

 

The Impact of Launch Products (New and Established Products) on the Effect of Terminology in Advertising

Chia-Ching Tsai, Da-yeh University ,Taiwan

Shin-Chieh Chuang, Chao-yang University of Technology,Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 The use of terminology in advertising is rather popular and commonplace. Previous research suggested that using terminology in ads was intended to create more vividness effect on the audience, who may adopt the “central path” in the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) and be convinced by the terminology in the advertisement message. However, we found that the better vividness effect occurs, when target products are established products; conversely, a worse vividness effect is present when target products are new.  In recent years, terminology has been used in large quantity, especially in ads, to which lots of terminology are attached. Shibata (1983) pointed out in his study that there was an increase of the use of monolingual message in Japanese society, and the English language was of greater and greater importance and was used more frequently. Mueller (1992) studied the use of Western languages in Japanese ads in 1978 and 1989, and the results showed the percentage of using English in Japanese ads was increasing and there was an upward trend of using English (which is not translated into Japanese) in Japanese ads. The main reasons of adopting terminology is that when audiences receive terminology, a vividness effect will occur to capture audiences’ attention and audiences may process ads containing terminology via the “central route” of the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) and ads become persuasive. Moreover, the use of terminology may appeal to professional recognition, which is associated with technology and a professional image is formed to impact consumers’ purchasing behaviors.

 

Exploring the Relationships of Trust and Commitment in Supply Chain Management

Suh-Yueh Chu, National Ping Tung Institute of Commerce, Taiwan

Wen-Chang Fang, National Taipei University, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

Trust plays a key role in fostering commitment in supply chain relationships.  A lack of trust among supply chain partners often leads to ineffective and inefficient performance.  This study examines factors affecting the level of trust in supply chain relationships.  Moreover, this study aims to explore a relationship between trust and commitment based on Morgan and Hunt’s framework.  The study’s findings indicate that the level of commitment is strongly related to the level of trust.  In addition, a firm’s trust in its supply chain partners is highly and positively related to perceived satisfaction, the partners’ reputations in the market, and communication.  Furthermore, a partner’s perceived conflict leads to a strong negative impact on trust.  Finally, the authors of this study present a discussion of policy implications.  It has been proven that basic principle underlying supply chain management is that the ongoing relationships among supply chain members can enhance both efficiency and effectiveness (Choi and Hartley, 1996; Shin et al., 2000; Sahin and Robinson, 2002; Johnston et al., 2004).

 

Effects of Trope Advertisement on Chinese Consumers

Shou-Shiung Chou, National Taipei University, Taipei, Taiwan

 

ABSTRACT

 The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising rhetoric and trope. The “degree of advertising involvement,” “familiarity of brand,” and “degree of product involvement” acted as moderators. Two metrics, attitude toward the advertisement and attitude toward the brand, were used to measure the response to each design, while a conventional type of advertising rhetoric was used as comparative base. Likert’s 7-scale was used in the questionnaire, and 227 effective questionnaires were collected. The internal consistency value (α) of both advertising attitude and brand attitude of the questionnaire were 0.83 and 0.85. Results indicated that 1.) the trope could generate better advertisement attitude than the normal type of advertisement only when it was applied to those people with lower advertising involvement (average score 4.22>3.81), 2.) the trope could generate better advertisement and brand attitude for more familiar products than it could for less familiar products (4.66>4.32), and 3.) the trope had inferior performance compared to the normal approach when it was applied to products with high degree of product involvement (4.24<4.69).

  

Suggestions to Enhance the Cyber Store Customers Satisfaction

Kijoo Kim, Konyang University, Choongnam, Korea

Eyong B. Kim, University of Hartford, CT

 

ABSTRACT

 To boost online sales, the online store managers need to give their best effort to enhance their customers’ perceived satisfaction because satisfied customers have a greater chance of purchasing merchandise. This study examines what features of online stores possibly influence the perceived satisfaction of online retail shoppers. The findings imply that the online retailers may need to emphasize on providing contact information company information more clearly to convince the customers that the online store is trustworthy. It is also important to guarantee delivery of correct merchandise at low prices and clearly specify all related costs to merchandise at the time of purchase. Features that may influence online customers’ perceived satisfaction are displayed on a spatial map to help online store managers easily differentiate the importance of each feature.  During the 2003 holiday shopping season, online shoppers spent a record $18.5 billion online excluding travel according to the eSpending Report from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive, and Nielsen//NetRatings (Nielsen//NetRatings, 2004). Compared to the same period of sales in 2002 of $13.7 billion, this represents an increase of 35 percent. The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that the growth in e-commerce sales between the third and fourth quarters of last year (29.7%) outpaced the overall rise in total sales (5.2%). Even though e-commerce sales are increasing every year, it still accounted for just 1.9% of all retail sales in 2003. To boost online sales, cyber stores need to provide a pleasant shopping environment which customers feel satisfied with. Satisfied customers will probably purchase from the same store repeatedly.

 

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