Regulation and Transparency: The Case of Corporate Governance Disclosure on the Internet in the United Arab Emirates
Corporate governance is one of the most discussed and researched issues in recent times in countries around the world, with different countries developing and adopting different governance structures, models and mechanisms. While the Codes of corporate governance have been weaved into the regulatory fabrics of most countries, it is equally critically important that their mechanisms, procedures and practices be transparent, and be transparently communicated to all stakeholders. The Internet can be a very useful and cost-effective tool for the timely and voluntary communication of corporate governance matters to stakeholders. The current paper details the results of an investigation on the extent of which companies listed in the UAE are using the Internet for communicating corporate governance issues, matters and procedures. We surveyed the websites of companies listed on the two UAE Stock Exchanges – the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) – to find out their level and nature of usage of the Internet for corporate governance disclosures. Regulatory and policy implications of the results of our investigation, as well as other areas for further studies, are also presented in the paper.
Utilisation of Sports and Games for Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons in Maiduguri, Nigeria
The study was carried out with the intent to mitigate the trauma experienced by victims of insurgent attacks by the so-called Boko Haram militants in Borno state of Nigeria. The area was ridden by the crisis over the past 9 years. As a result, many people were killed, maimed and raped. Some others suffered all manner of inhuman treatment at the hands of their captors. The extent to which this dehumanized treatment has gone and impacted on the people in this area has left most of them traumatised. Victims who survived the attacks have been resettled in camps provided by government where their needs have been cared for. This can never be the same with their natural habitats. Many interventions have also been done by government, non-governmental organisations and corporate and individual bodies. In this regard, social needs of the victims have been the immediate concerns of most organisations, where food, shelter, and clothing were provided. However, there is little that has been done to rehabilitate these victims psychosocially. In this regard, sports and games including the victims’ local games were used to provide psychosocial rehabilitation of victims. The intent was to bring them back to social reality, social inclusion, and stable emotions and peer integration. Descriptive statistics and Multivariate analysis were done. No statistically significant difference was found among male and female children and adults in terms of psychosocial rehabilitation using sports and games.
Way to Successful Enterprise Resource Planning System Implementation in Developing Countries: Case of Public Sector Unit
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a management tool to integrate all departments in an organization. It integrates business processes, manages resources efficiently and provides an appropriate decision support system to management. ERP system implementation is a typical and time taking process as well as money consuming process. Articles related to key success factors of ERP system implementation are available in the literature, but rare authors have focused on roadmap of successful ERP system implementation. Postponement is better if the organization is not ready to implement ERP system in better way; hence checking of organization’s preparation to adopt new system is an important prerequisite to ensure the success of ERP system implementation in an organization. Then comes what will be called as success of ERP system implementation. Benefits achieved by ERP system may be categorized into two categories; viz. tangible and intangible benefits. This research article presents a roadmap to ensure the success of ERP system implementation and benefits achieved through the new system as in success indicator. A case study is presented to evaluate the success and benefit achieved through the new system. The article gives a comprehensive approach to academicians and a roadmap to the organizations seeking to implement the ERP system.
Employer Brand Image and Employee Engagement: An Exploratory Study in Britain
Maintaining a good employer brand image is crucial for companies since it has numerous advantages such as better recruitment, retention and employee engagement, and commitment. This study aims to understand the relationship between employer brand image and employee satisfaction and engagement in the British context. A panel survey data (N=228) is tested via the regression models from the Hayes (2012) PROCESS macro, in IBM SPSS 23.0. The results are statistically significant and proves that the more positive employer brand image, the greater employee’ engagement and satisfaction, and the greater is employee satisfaction, the greater their engagement.
Islamic Banking: A New Trend towards the Development of Banking Law
Undoubtedly, the focus of the present capitalist system of finance has shifted from the concept of productivity of money to the ‘cult of money’, which is characterized by such notions as speculative activity, squander, self-profit, vested interest, etc. The author is certain that a civilized society cannot follow this economic path any longer and therefore suggests that one solution would be to integrate the Islamic financial model in the banking sector of the EU to overcome its economic vulnerability and structurally transform its economies or build resilience against shocks and crisis. The researcher analyses the Islamic financial model, which is providing the basis for the concept of non-productivity of money, and proposes to consider it as a new paradigm of economic thinking. The author argues that it seeks to establish a broad-based economic well-being with an optimum rate of economic growth, socio-economic justice, equitable distribution of income and wealth. Furthermore, the author analyses and proposes to use the experience of member states of the Islamic Development Bank for the formation of a new EU interest free banking. It is offered to create within the EU banking system a credit sector and investment sector respectively. As a part of the latter, it is recommended to separate investment banks specializing in speculative investments and nonspeculative investment banks. Meanwhile, understanding of the idea of Islamic banking exclusively from the perspective of the manner of yielding profit that differs from credit banking, without considering the legal, social, ethical guidelines of Islam impedes to value objectively the advantages of this type of financial activities at the non-Islamic jurisdictions. However, the author comes to the conclusion the imperative of justice and virtue, which is inherent to all of us, exists regardless of religion. The author concludes that the global community should adopt the experience of the Muslim countries and focus on the Islamic banking model.
Identification of Factors and Impacts on the Success of Implementing Extended Enterprise Resource Planning: Case Study of Manufacturing Industries in East Java, Indonesia
The ERP is integrating all data from various departments within the company into one data base. One department inputs the data and many other departments can access and use the data through the connected information system. As many manufacturing companies in Indonesia implement the ERP technology, many adjustments are to be made to align with the business process in the companies, especially the management policy and the competitive advantages. For companies that are successful in the initial implementation, they still have to maintain the process so that the initial success can develop along with the changing of business processes of the company. For companies which have already implemented the ERP successfully, they are still in need to maintain the system so that it can match up with the business development and changes. The continued success of the extended ERP implementation aims to achieve efficient and effective performance for the company. This research is distributing 100 questionnaires to manufacturing companies in East Java, Indonesia, which have implemented and have going live ERP for over five years. There are 90 returned questionnaires with ten disqualified questionnaires because they are from companies that implement ERP less than five years. There are only 80 questionnaires used as the data, with the response rate of 80%. Based on the data results and analysis with PLS (Partial Least Square), it is obtained that the organization commitment brings impacts to the user’s effectiveness and provides the adequate IT infrastructure. The user’s effectiveness brings impacts to the adequate IT infrastructure. The information quality of the company increases the implementation of the extended ERP in manufacturing companies in East Java, Indonesia.
The Impact of Business Process Reengineering to the Company Performance through TQM and Enterprise Resource Planning Implementation on Manufacturing Companies in East Java, Indonesia
Business process reengineering can be conducted by some procedure rationalization for all related departments in a company so that all data and business processes are connected. The changing of any business process is used to set up the working standard so that it gives an impact to the implementation of ERP and the company performance. After collecting and processing the data from 77 manufacturing companies, it is obtained that BPR (Business Process Reengineering) has no direct impact on the implementation of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) in the companies and manufacturing performance; however, it influences the implementation of TQM. The implementation of TQM influences directly the implementation of ERP, but it does not influence directly the company performance. The implementation of ERP gives a significant increase in the work performance of the manufacturing companies in East Java.
The Impact of Management Competency, Project Team, and Process Design to Corporate Performance through Implementing the Self-Development ERP
Manufacturing companies in East Java develop their own ERP system or alter the ERP system which is developed by other companies to suit their needs. To make their own system, the companies mostly assign several employees from various departments to create a project team, and the employees are from the departments that are going to utilize the ERP system as the integrated data. The project team decides the making of the ERP system from the preparation stage until the going live implementation process. In designing the business process, the top management is working together with the project team until the project is accomplished. The completion of the ERP projects depends on the project to be undertaken itself, the strategy chosen to complete the project, the work method selection, the measurement system to monitor the project, the evaluation system of the project, and, in the end, the declaration of 'going live' of the ERP project. There is an increase in the business performance for the companies that have implemented the information technology or ERP as they manage to integrate all management functions within their companies. To investigate, some questionnaires are distributed to 100 manufacturing companies, and 90 questionnaires are returned; however, there are only 46 companies that develop their own ERP system, so the response rate is 46%. The result of data analysis using PLS shows that the management competency brings impacts to the project team and the process design. The process design is adjusted to the real process in order to implement the ERP, but it does not bring direct impacts to the business performance. The implementation of ERP brings positive impacts to the company business performance.
A Hybrid Algorithm for Collaborative Transportation Planning among Carriers
In this paper, there is concentration on collaborative transportation planning (CTP) among multiple carriers with pickup and delivery requests and time windows. This problem is a new vehicle routing problem with constraints from standard vehicle routing problems and new constraints from a real-world application. In the problem, each carrier has a finite number of vehicles and each request is a pickup and delivery request with time window. Moreover, each carrier has reserved requests, which must be served by itself, whereas its exchangeable requests can be outsourced to and served by other carriers. This collaboration among carriers can help them to reduce total transportation costs. A mixed integer programming model is proposed to the problem. To solve the model, a hybrid algorithm that combines Genetic Algorithm and Simulated Annealing (GASA) is proposed. This algorithm takes advantages of genetic algorithm and simulated annealing at the same time. After tuning the parameters of the algorithm with the Taguchi method, the experiments are conducted and experimental results are provided for the hybrid algorithm. The results are compared with those obtained by a commercial solver. The comparison indicates the GASA significantly outperforms the commercial solver.
Democracy as a Curve: A Study on How Democratization Impacts Economic Growth
This paper attempts to model the widely studied relationship between a country's economic growth and its level of democracy, with an emphasis on possible non-linearities. We adopt the concept of 'political capital' as a measure of democracy, which is extremely uncommon in the literature and brings considerable advantages both in terms of dynamic considerations and plausibility. While the literature is not consensual on this matter, we obtain, via panel Arellano-Bond regression analysis on a database of more than 60 countries over 50 years, significant and robust results that indicate that the impact of democratization on economic growth varies according to the stage of democratic development each country is in.
Taguchi Method for Analyzing a Flexible Integrated Logistics Network
Logistics network design is known as one of the strategic decision problems. As these kinds of problems belong to the category of NP-hard problems, traditional ways are failed to find an optimal solution in short time. In this study, we attempt to involve reverse flow through an integrated design of forward/reverse supply chain network that formulated into a mixed integer linear programming. This Integrated, multi-stages model is enriched by three different delivery path which makes the problem more complex. To tackle with such an NP-hard problem a revised random path direct encoding method based memetic algorithm is considered as the solution methodology. Each algorithm has some parameters that need to be investigate to reveal the best performance. In this regard, Taguchi method is adapted to identify the optimum operating condition of the proposed memetic algorithm to improve the results. In this study, four factors namely, population size, crossover rate, local search iteration and a number of iteration are considered. Analyzing the parameters and improvement in results are the outlook of this research.
Students' Ability to Solve Complex Accounting Problems Using a Framework-Based Approach
Accounting transactions are becoming more complex, and more extensive accounting guidance is provided on a continuous basis. It is widely perceived that conceptual teaching of accounting contributes to lifelong learning. Such a conceptual teaching approach also contributes to effective accounting problem-solving. This framework-based approach is rooted in educational psychologies such as constructivism and Ausubel’s subsumption theory. This study aimed at investigating the ability of students to solve complex accounting problems by using only concepts underlying the Conceptual Framework. An assignment was administered to pre-graduate students at a South African university and this study made use of an interpretative research design which implemented multiple research instruments to investigate the ability of students to solve complex accounting problems using only concepts underlying the Conceptual Framework. Student perceptions were analysed and were aided by a related reflective questionnaire. The importance of the study indicates the necessity of Accounting educators to enhance a conceptual understanding among students as a mechanism for problem-solving of accounting issues. The results indicate that the ability of students to solve accounting problems effectively using only the Conceptual Framework depends on the complexity of the scenario and the students’ familiarity with the problem. The study promotes a balanced and more conceptual (rather than only technical) preference to the problem-solving of complex accounting problems. The study indubitably promotes considerable emphasis on the importance of the Conceptual Framework in accounting education and the promotion of life-long learning in the subject field.
Risk Factors' Analysis on Shanghai Carbon Trading
First of all, the carbon trading price and trading volume in Shanghai are transformed by Fourier transform, and the frequency response diagram is obtained. Then the frequency response diagram is analyzed, and the Blackman filter is designed. The Blackman filter is used to filter, and the carbon trading time domain and frequency response diagram are obtained. After wavelet analysis, the carbon trading data were processed; respectively we got the average value for each 5 days, 10 days, 20 days, 30 days, and 60 days. Finally, the data are used as input of Back Propagation Neural Network model for prediction.
Study Protocol: Impact of a Sustained Health Promoting Workplace on Stock Price Performance and Beta - A Singapore Case
Since 2001, many companies in Singapore have voluntarily participated in the bi-annual Singapore HEALTH Award initiated by the Health Promotion Board of Singapore (HPB). The Singapore HEALTH Award (SHA), is an industry wide award and assessment process. SHA assesses and recognizes employers in Singapore for implementing a comprehensive and sustainable health promotion programme at their workplaces. The rationale for implementing a sustained health promoting workplace and participating in SHA is obvious when company management is convinced that healthier employees, business productivity, and profitability are positively correlated. However, performing research or empirical studies on the impact of a sustained health promoting workplace on stock returns are not likely to yield any interests in the absence of a systematic and independent assessment on the comprehensiveness and sustainability of a health promoting workplace in most developed economies. The principles of diversification and mean-variance efficient portfolio in Modern Portfolio Theory developed by Markowitz (1952) laid the foundation for the works of many financial economists and researchers, and among others, the development of the Capital Asset Pricing Model from the work of Sharpe (1964), Lintner (1965) and Mossin (1966), and the Fama-French Three-Factor Model of Fama and French (1992). This research seeks to support the rationale by studying whether there is a significant relationship or impact of a sustained health promoting workplace on the performance of companies listed on the SGX. The research shall form and test hypotheses pertaining to the impact of a sustained health promoting workplace on company’s performances, including stock returns, of companies that participated in the SHA and companies that did not participate in the SHA. In doing so, the research would be able to determine whether corporate and fund manager should consider the significance of a sustained health promoting workplace as a risk factor to explain the stock returns of companies listed on the SGX. With respect to Singapore’s stock market, this research will test the significance and relevance of a health promoting workplace using the Singapore Health Award as a proxy for non-diversifiable risk factor to explain stock returns. This study will examine the significance of a health promoting workplace on a company’s performance and study its impact on stock price performance and beta and examine if it has higher explanatory power than the traditional single factor asset pricing model CAPM (Capital Asset Pricing Model). To study the significance there are three key questions pertinent to the research study. I) Given a choice, would an investor be better off investing in a listed company with a sustained health promoting workplace i.e. a Singapore Health Award’s recipient? II) The Singapore Health Award has four levels of award starting from Bronze, Silver, Gold to Platinum. Would an investor be indifferent to the level of award when investing in a listed company who is a Singapore Health Award’s recipient? III) Would an asset pricing model combining FAMA-French Three Factor Model and ‘Singapore Health Award’ factor be more accurate than single factor Capital Asset Pricing Model and the Three Factor Model itself?
The Voluntary Audit of Semi-Year Consolidated Financial Statements Decision and Accounting Conservatism
This paper investigates the relationship between firms’ voluntary auditors’ assurance work from review to audit decision and accounting conservatism of semi-year consolidated financial statements. In general, there are four kinds of auditors' assurance services, which include audit, review, agreed-upon procedure and compliance engagements base on degree of assurance. The voluntary audit work by auditors may not only have the higher audit quality but an important signal of more reliability information than the review work. In Taiwan, the listed companies must prepare the semi-year consolidated financial statements and with auditors' review before 2012, but some of the listed companies choose the assurance work from review to audit voluntarily. Due to the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards, the listed companies were required to prepare the second quarterly consolidated financial statements which should be reviewed by auditors since 2013. This rule will change some of the assurance work from audit to review by auditors. It may increase the information asymmetry. To control the selection bias, we use two-stage model by (Heckman, 1979) to test the relationship between voluntary audit decision and accounting conservatism. Our empirical results indicate that the voluntary audit and accounting conservatism have a significant positive relationship in firms with professional managers. It means that firms with professional managers are more likely to be voluntary audited by auditors and then prepare more conservative consolidated financial statements to reduce the information asymmetry.
The Voluntary Review Decision of Quarterly Consolidated Financial Statements in Emerging Market: Evidence from Taiwan
This paper investigates the factors of whether firms’ quarterly consolidated financial statements to be voluntary reviewed by auditor. To promote the information transparency, the Financial Supervisory Commission of Executive Yuan in Taiwan ruled the Taiwanese listed companies should announce the first and third quarterly consolidated financial statements since 2008 to 2012, while the commission didn’t require the consolidated financial statements should be reviewed by auditors. This is a very special practice in emerging market, especially in Taiwan. The valuable data of this period is suitable for us to research the determinants of firms’ voluntary review decision in emerging markets. We collected the auditors' report of each company and each year of Taiwanese listed companies since 2008 to 2012 for our research samples. We use probit model to test and analyze the determinants of voluntary review decision of the first and third quarterly consolidated financial statements. Our empirical result shows that the firms whose first and third quarterly consolidated financial statements are voluntary to be reviewed by auditors have better ranking of information transparency, higher audit quality, and better corporate governance, suggesting that voluntary review is a good signal to firms’ better information and corporate governance quality.
Investigating the Effect of Entrepreneurial Intentions on Company Performance by Considering the Role of Intermediation Variables in Knowledge-Based Firms in Fars Province
The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of entrepreneurial tendencies on company performance through two intermediary variables of marketing capabilities and knowledge management capabilities in knowledge-based companies (case study: Fars Province). In the present study, which is typically quantitative, the main tools for collecting data were performance questionnaires entrepreneurial tendencies. The statistical population of the research is the directors and experts of the knowledge-based societies of Fars province who were randomly selected from this society. Data analysis was performed using SPSS software and Liserl software at a significant level (α = 0.05) and the findings showed that the three-factor assumptions were approved at 95% confidence level. So that the direct effect of entrepreneurial tendencies on the performance of knowledge-based companies is 76%, its indirect effect, considering the variable of knowledge management capacity, is 0.603 and considering the variable of marketing potentials is 0.804, the numbers indicate good performance of the function an organization is considering these variables.
Financial Regulations and Insolvency Risk: Empirical Evidence from Commercial Banks of Pakistan
The proposed study aims to investigate insolvency risk of commercial banks of Pakistan. Furthermore, it empirically estimates the effect of already implemented financial regulations on the insolvency risk of banks. To carry out the empirical analysis, a balanced bank-level panel data covering the period 2008-2016 is used. The Z-score is used for calculating the insolvency risk of each bank. The panel regression is used to investigate the relationship between financial regulations and insolvency risk of banks. The empirics reveal that the financial regulations enforced by State Bank of Pakistan have significant impacts on the insolvency risk of banks. The results further indicate that loan ratio and reserve ratio are positively and significantly related to the insolvency risk of banks.
The Effectiveness of Exchange of Tacit and Explicit Knowledge Using Digital and Face to Face Sharing
The purpose of this study was to investigate the knowledge sharing effectiveness of two types of knowledge, tacit and explicit, depending on two channels: face to face or digital. Participants were 217 knowledge workers in New Zealand and researchers who attended a knowledge management conference in the United Kingdom. In the study, it was found that digital tools are effective to share explicit knowledge. In addition, digital tools that facilitated dialogue were effective to share tacit knowledge. It was also found that face to face communication was an effective way to share tacit and explicit knowledge. Results of this study contribute to clarify in what cases digital tools are effective to share tacit knowledge. Additionally, even though explicit knowledge can be easily shared using digital tools, this type of knowledge is also possible to be shared through dialogue. Result of this study may support practitioners to redesign programs and activities based on knowledge sharing to make strategies more effective.
Measurement of Project Success in Construction Using Performance Indices
Background: The construction industry is dynamic in nature owing to the increasing uncertainties in technology, budgets, and development processes making projects more complex. Thus, predicting project performance and chances of its likely success has become difficult. The goal of all parties involved in construction projects is to successfully complete it on schedule, within planned budget and with the highest quality and in the safest manner. However, the concept of project success has remained ambiguously defined in the mind of the construction professionals. Purpose: This paper aims to study the analysis of a project in terms of its performance and measure the success. Methodology: The parameters for evaluating project success and the indices to measure success/performance of a project are identified through literature study. Through questionnaire surveys aimed at the stakeholders in the projects, data is collected from two live case studies (an ongoing and completed project) on the overall performance in terms of its success/failure. Finally, with the help of SPSS tool, the data collected from the surveys are analyzed and applied on the selected performance indices. Findings: The score calculated by using the indices and models helps in assessing the overall performance of the project and interpreting it to find out whether the project will be a success or failure. This study acts as a reference for firms to carry out performance evaluation and success measurement on a regular basis helping projects to identify the areas which are performing well and those that require improvement. Originality & Value: The study signifies that by measuring project performance; a project’s deviation towards success/failure can be assessed thus helping in suggesting early remedial measures to bring it on track ensuring that a project will be completed successfully.
Sustainable Leadership and Sustainable Human Resource Management for Business Recovery: An Empirical Evidence
This paper focuses on the theme of leadership and sustainable human resource management within the articulated debate on corporate sustainability. It aims at the following objectives: first, to illustrate, through a business case, how the path of cultural and organizational change towards sustainability, can contribute to the relaunch of an organization in crisis; second, to see if sustainable leadership and human resource management practices geared to sustainability principles are effective in spreading the culture of sustainability. For these goals, the paper provides an integrated organizational sustainability model that includes cultural and strategic orientation, human resource management practices, leadership, and sustainability measurement, according the main international CRS standards. In recent years, literature on corporate sustainability has considerably grown, in parallel with the need of companies to identify a cultural and organizational change as a way to tackle corporate crises. Many studies on sustainability of enterprises have emphasized the importance of sustainable human resources and the role of leadership in developing a sustainability strategy. Attention to people, through appropriate leadership styles and management policies, are closely linked with the general principles of sustainability, especially with regard to the social dimension. Moreover, these themes cross many other aspects, such as sustainable work systems, learning organization, people and management competencies, measurement of corporate sustainability performance. With reference to this last aspect, the concept of sustainability blends with that of corporate social responsibility and with the guidelines and measurements of major international standards (eg ISO, SA, GRI). The paper is divided into two parts. In the first one, it presents a review of the main contributions on sustainable human resource management and sustainable leadership; it proposes a modeling of the key variables examined by scholars and their integration with international CSR measurement standards. In the second part, a business case is presented as a success story of a strategy towards sustainability and, based on the synthesis model; we look at the role played by leadership sustainability and sustainable human resource management in corporate sustainability. The methodology used includes interviews with corporate top management; a questionnaire addressed to middle management and some specialist figures; a documentary analysis of the corporate sustainability indicators, according to the main international standards (ISO 26000, SA8000, GRI-G4). The results confirm, with regard to the case examined, that the strategy of change towards sustainability has allowed the company in crisis to gain reputation and grow on the market, even in a very difficult context. Approach to sustainable leadership and sustainable human resource management has allowed to spread the principles of sustainability within to organization. Last but not least, the case has allowed to test an integrated model of organizational sustainability, where there is a link between sustainability variables and levels and between these and international standards measurement. This work can provide a basis for academic empirical analysis on the sustainable human resource management in the company and for managerial decisions on changing to sustainability.
International Entrepreneurial Orientation and Institutionalism: the Effect on International Performance for Latin American SMEs
The Pacific Alliance is a trade bloc that is composed of four emerging economies: Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico. These economies have gained macroeconomic stability in the past decade and as a consequence present future economic progress. Under this positive scenario, international business firms have flourished. However, the literature in this region has been widely unexamined. Therefore, it is critical to fill this theoretical gap, especially considering that Latin America is starting to become a global player and it possesses a different institutional context than developed markets. This paper analyzes the effect of international entrepreneurial orientation and institutionalism on international performance, for the Pacific Alliance small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). The literature considers international entrepreneurial orientation to be a powerful managerial capability – along the resource based view- that firms can leverage to obtain a satisfactory international performance. Thereby, obtaining a competitive advantage through the correct allocation of key resources to exploit the capabilities here involved. Entrepreneurial Orientation is defined around five factors: innovation, proactiveness, risk-taking, competitive aggressiveness, and autonomy. Nevertheless, the institutional environment – both local and foreign, adversely affects International Performance; this is especially the case for emerging markets with uncertain scenarios. In this way, the study analyzes an Entrepreneurial Orientation, key endogenous variable of international performance, and Institutionalism, an exogenous variable. The survey data consists of Pacific Alliance SMEs that have foreign operations in at least another country in the trade bloc. Findings are still in an ongoing research process. Later, the study will undertake a structural equation modeling (SEM) using the variance-based partial least square estimation procedure. The software that is going to be used is the SmartPLS. This research contributes to the theoretical discussion of a largely postponed topic: SMEs in Latin America, that has had limited academic research. Also, it has practical implication for decision-makers and policy-makers, providing insights into what is behind international performance.
Desired Flow of Radioactive Materials from Logistics Service Quality Perspective
In recent years, due to an increased use of radioactive materials, radioactive sources are constantly being transported via air, road and ocean ways for medical, industrial, research etc. purposes throughout the world. The quantity of radioactive materials transported all around the world varies from negligible quantities in shipments of consumer products to very large quantities in shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel. Radioactive materials have been less attractive for social science researchers in literature. In this study, it is aimed to discover desired flow of radioactive materials from logistics service quality (LSQ) perspective. In doing so, case study approach will be employed by using secondary data collected from one of the world’s leading transportation companies’ customer care system reports. Movement of radioactive cargoes containing IR-192 and logistics process will be analyzed with the help of logistics service quality dimensions. Based on the case study that will be conducted, interaction between dimensions, the importance of each dimension in desired flow, and their relevance with desired flow of radioactive materials will be explained. This study will bring out the desired flow of radioactive materials transportation and be a guide for all other companies, employees and researchers.
Human Capital Development, Foreign Direct Investment and Industrialization in Nigeria
In the past three and half decades, aside from the fact that the contribution of the industrial sector to gross domestic product in Nigeria has nose-dived, its performance has also been highly unstable. Investment funds needed to develop the industrial sector usually come from both internal and external sources. The internal sources include surplus generated within the industrial sector and surplus diverted from other sectors of the economy. It has been observed that due to the small size of the industrial sector in developing countries, very limited funds could be raised for further investment. External sources of funds which many currently industrialized and some ‘newly industrializing countries’ have benefited from including direct and indirect investment by foreign capitalists; foreign aid and loans; and investments by nationals living abroad. Foreign direct investment inflow in Nigeria has been declining since 2009 in both absolute and relative terms. High level of human capital has been identified as one of the crucial factors that explain the miraculous growth of the ‘Asian Tigers’. Its low level has also been identified as the major cause for the low level of FDI flow to Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. There has been positive, but slow improvement in human capital indicators in Nigeria in the past three decades. In spite of this, foreign direct investment inflow has not only been low; it has declined drastically in recent years. i) Why has the improvement in human capital in Nigeria failed to attract more FDI inflow? ii) To what extent does the level of human capital influence FDI inflow in Nigeria? iii) Is there a threshold of human capital stock that guarantees sustained inflow of FDI? iv) Does the quality of human capital matter? v) Does the influence of other (negative) factors outweigh the benefits of human capital? Using time series secondary data, a system of equations is employed to evaluate the effect of human capital on FDI inflow in Nigeria on one hand and the effect of FDI on the level of industrialization on the other. A weak relationship between human capital and FDI is expected, while a strong relationship between FDI and industrial growth is expected from the result.
Consumer Innovativeness and Shopping Styles: An Empirical Study in Turkey
Innovation is very important for success and competitiveness of countries, as well as business sectors and individuals' firms. In order to have successful and sustainable innovations, the other side of the game, consumers, should be aware of the innovations and appreciate them. In this study, the consumer innovativeness is focused and the relationship between motivated consumer innovativeness and consumer shopping styles is analyzed. Motivated consumer innovativeness scale by (Vandecasteele & Geuens, 2010) and consumer shopping styles scale by (Sproles & Kendall, 1986) is used. Data is analyzed by SPSS 20 program through realibility, factor, and correlation analysis. According to the findings of the study, there are strong positive relationships between hedonic innovativeness and recreational shopping style; social innovativeness and brand consciousness; cognitive innovativeness and price consciousness and functional innovativeness and perfectionistic high-quality conscious shopping styles.
The Effect of Cognitive Load on Competition, Risk and Time Preferences: Evidence from a Lab in the Field Experiment in Cairo, Egypt
Cognitive load refers to the total amount of mental activity imposed on the working memory that may impair the process of decision making and result in inconsistent preferences and biased judgments. Worries and stress have been proposed as determining factors of such cognitive tax which could reduce individuals’ deliberative capacity. This paper studies the impact of cognitive load imposed by awareness campaigns concerned with children’s wellbeing, on competition, risk and time preferences of parents versus non-parents. The paper hypothesizes that the imposed cognitive load may alter the competition, time and risk preferences of parents while mildly affecting non-parents. Moreover, the paper expects cognitive load to affect men and women differently depending on the interaction between the campaign’s main theme and the parent’s assigned gender role and household responsibilities. The above hypotheses were tested using data from a lab in the field experiment conducted in Cairo Egypt, during which participants were randomly assigned to one of the following treatment groups (1) Control group-Awareness campaign on wildlife conservation (2) Treatment one-Health awareness campaign to prevent pneumonia in children (3) Treatment two-Financial awareness campaign to reduce the financial burdens of treating pneumonia. Cognitive load was imposed using a dual task approach were individuals answered questions about their own family members using information presented in the respective awareness campaigns while taking decisions that revealed their competition, time and risk preferences. Results show no significant differences between parents and non-parents across the different treatment groups. Heterogeneous effects, however, show mothers' living in households that suffer scarcity in the health domain to be significantly affected by the cognitive load imposed by the health awareness campaign. On the contrary, fathers living in households suffering financial scarcity were significantly affected by the cognitive load imposed by the financial awareness campaign. The above results highlight the role of scarcity in making individuals more vulnerable to cognitive load and hence more vulnerable to inconsistencies in preferences. Moreover, the impact of cognitive load on parents’ preferences seems to depend to a large extent on the role and responsibilities assigned to each parent within the household.
Effects of Allowance for Corporate Equity on the Financing Choices of Belgian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in a Crisis Context
The objective of our research is to evaluate the impact of the allowance for corporate equity (ACE) on the financial structure of Belgian SME in order to highlight the potential existence of a fiscal leverage. To limit the biases linked to the rationing of the capital further to the financial crisis, we compare first the dynamic evolution of the financial structure of the Belgian firms over the period 2006-2015 by focusing on three sub-periods: 2006-2008, 2009-2012 and 2013-2015. We give then an international size to this comparison by including SMEs from countries adjoining Belgium (France, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and within which there is no ACE. This comparison allows better understanding the fiscal advantage linked to the ACE of firms evolving in a relatively unstable economic environment further to the financial crisis of 2008. This research is relevant given the economic and political context in which Belgium operates and the very uncertain future of the Belgian ACE. The originality of this research is twofold: the long study period and the consideration of the effects of the financial and economic crisis on the financing structure of Belgian SMEs. The results of this research, even though they confirm the existence of a positive fiscal leverage for the tax deduction for venture capital on the financing structure of Belgian SMEs, do not allow the extent of this leverage to be clearly quantified. The comparative evolution of financing structures over the period 2006-2015 of Belgian, French, German, Dutch and English SMEs shows a strong similarity in the overall evolution of their financing.
A Fuzzy-Based Two-Stage Iris Biometric Quality Evaluation System
In many contemporary scenarios, highly accurate iris recognition systems are desirable. This engenders researchers to develop efficient approaches to enhance the performance of iris recognition. A simple and intuitive approach for this can be to screen the low quality images in the initial phase of recognition. This is an effective idea as the features extracted only from good quality images lead to accurate identification results. In this paper, we utilize the above idea and propose a two-stage fuzzy quality evaluation method to classify iris images into four classes. The first stage of the proposed approach focuses on the evaluation of the quality of an eye image. On the basis of the feedback from the first stage, images are either rejected or accepted for further processing. Next, for an accepted image we evaluate the local quality features of iris and classify them in one of the four classes. Thereafter, we validate the efficacy of the proposed approach by comparing our quality score with d-prime index and on the basis of error rate. The experimental results verify that the proposed method is capable of meeting the needs of practical iris biometric recognition system.
Alignment between Governance Structures and Food Safety Standards on the Shrimp Supply Chain in Indonesia
Food safety standards have received significant attention in the fisheries global market due to health issues, free trade agreements, and increasing aquaculture production. Vertical coordination throughout the supply chain of fish producing and exporting countries is needed to meet food safety demands imposed by importing countries. However, the complexities of the supply chain governance structures and difficulties in standard implementation can generate safety uncertainty and high transaction costs. Using a Transaction Cost Economics framework, this paper examines the alignment between food safety standards and the governance structures in the shrimp supply chain in Indonesia. We find the supply chain is organized closer to the hierarchy-like governance structure where private standard (organic standard) are implemented and more towards a market-like governance structure where public standard (IndoGAP certification) are more prevalent. To verify the statements, two cases are examined from Sidoarjo district as a centre of shrimp production in Indonesia. The results show that public baseline FSS (Food Safety Standards) need additional mechanism to achieve a coordinated chain-wide response because uncertainty, asset specificity, and performance measurement problems are high in this chain. Organic standard as private chain-wide FSS is more efficient because it has been achieved by hierarchical-like type of governance structure.
Legal Basis for the Water Resources Management in Brazil: Case Study of Rio Grande Basin
The water crisis, a major problem of the 21st century, is mainly due to poor management. The central issue that should govern the management is the integration of the various aspects that interfere with the use of water resources and their protection, supported by legal basis. A watershed is a unit of water interaction with the physical, biotic, social, economic and cultural variables. The Brazilian law recognized the river basin as the territorial management unit. Based on the diagnosis of the current situation of the water resources of the Rio Grande Basin, a discussion informed in the Brazilian legal basis was made to propose measures to combat or mitigate damages and environmental degradation in the Basin. To manage water resources more efficiently, conserve water and optimize their multiple uses, the integration of acquired scientific knowledge and the management is essential. Moreover, it is necessary that respected the environmental legislation as well as that it is compliance monitored.