Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 39602

Economics and Management Engineering

Agricultural Cooperative Model: A Panacea for Economic Development of Small Scale Business Famers in Ilesha, Osun State, Nigeria
Owolowo ile – ege garri processing industry which is a small scale cassava processing industry, located in Ilesha, Osun State was purposively selected as a case study because it is a cooperative business. This industry was established in 1991 by eight men (8) who were mostly retirees. A researcher made questionnaire was used to collect information from thirty (30) respondents: the manager, four official staffs and 25 randomly selected processors in the industry. The study found that within twelve years of the utilization of their self raised initial capital of N240, 000 naira (Two hundred and forty thousand naira) this cassava – based industry had impacted on and attracted the involvement of many more people because within the period of the study (i.e. 2007-2011) the processors had quadrupled in number (e.g. 8 to 30), the facilities (equipment) in use had increased from one machine and a frying pot to many, this translated into being able to produce large quantities of fried garri, fufu and also starch for marketing to the people in Ilesha and neighbouring cities like Ibadan, Lagos, etc. This is indicative of economic growth. The industry also became a source of employment for community members in the sense that, as at the time of study four staffs were employed to work and coordinate the industry. It was observed that despite all odds of small-scale industry and the problem of people migrating from rural to urban area, this agro-based industry still existed successfully in the community, and many of such industry can be replicated by such agricultural cooperative groups nationwide so as to further boost the productivity as well as the economy of the area and nation at large. However, government and individual still have major roles to play in ensuring the growth and development of the nation in this respect.The local agricultural cooperative groups should form regional cooperative consortium with more networking for the farmers, in order to create more jobs for the young ones and to increase agricultural productivity in the country thus resulting in a better and more sustainable economy.
Role of Tourism Cluster in Improvement of Economic Competitiveness of Georgia
This article discusses the role of tourism in the economics of Georgia, justifies the necessity of several governmental supporting tools for diversification of tourism product and increasing competitiveness. Tourism directions are characterized through discovering Georgian tourism potential, considering cultural and geographical features; tools of formating supplemental products and development opportunities of Tbilisi and, also regions are asserted in the case of conducting appropriate government policy. There are presented tools of suggesting innovative tourism products, improvement of service, decreasing taxes, also providing availability to them. The role of tourism cluster in improvement of national competitiveness is substantiated. Based on the analysis of competitive factors influencing the development of tourism cluster, conclusions are made, and recommendations are suggested.
Evaluation of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Leadership Development Programs in a Finnish Company
The purpose of this paper is to examine and evaluate the top-down and bottom-up leadership development programs focused on human capital that improve the performance of a company. This study reports on the external top-down leadership development program supported by a consulting company and the internal participatory action research of the bottom-up program. The sickness rate and the lost time incident failure rate decreased and the ideas produced for cost savings improved, leading to increased earnings during the top-down program. The estimated cost savings potential of the bottom-up program was 3.8 million euro based on the cost savings of meeting habits, maintenance practices and the way of working in production. The results of this study are useful for those who plan and evaluate leadership development and human capital productivity consultation programs to improve the performance of a company.
Sentence vs. Keyword Content Analysis in Intellectual Capital Disclosures Study
Major transformations in economic activity from an agricultural economy to knowledge economy have led to an increasing focus on intellectual capital (IC) that has been characterized by continuous innovation, the spread of digital and communication technologies, intangible and human factors. IC is defined as the possession of knowledge and experience, professional knowledge and skill, proper relationships and technological capacities, which when applied will give organizations a competitive advantage. All of IC report/disclosure could be captured from the corporate annual report as it is a communication device that allows a corporation to connect with various external and internal stakeholders. This study was conducted using sentence-content analysis of IC disclosure in the annual report. This research aims to analyze whether the keyword-content analysis is reliable research methodology for IC disclosure related research.
Partial Privatization, Control Rights of Large Shareholders and Privatized Shares Transfer: Evidence from Chinese State-Owned Listed Companies
The partial privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is a dynamic process. The main features of this process lie in not only gradual and sequential privatizations, but also privatized shares transfer. For partially privatized SOEs, the introduction of private sector ownership is not the end of the story because the previously introduced private owners may choose to leave the SOEs by transferring the privatized shares after privatization, a process that is called “privatized shares transfer”. This paper investigates the determinants of privatized shares transfer from the perspective of large shareholders’ control rights. The results captures the fact that the higher control rights of large shareholders lead to more privatized shares transfer. After exploring the impacts of excessive control rights, the results provide evidence supporting the idea that firms with excessive numbers of directors, senior managers or supervisors who also have positions in the largest controlling shareholder’s entity are more likely to transfer privatized shares owned by private owners. In addition, the largest shareholders’ ownership also plays a role in privatized shares transfer. This evidence suggests that the large shareholders’ control rights should be limited to an appropriate range during the process of privatization, thereby giving private shareholders more opportunity to participate in the operation of firms, strengthen the state and enhance the competitiveness of state capital.
Measurement of Susceptibility Users Using Email Phishing Attack
Rapid technological developments also have negative impacts, namely the increasing criminal cases based on technology or cybercrime. One technique that can be used to conduct cybercrime attacks are phishing email. The issue is whether the user is aware that email can be misused by others so that it can harm the user's own? This research was conducted to measure the susceptibility of selected targets against email abuse. The objectives of this research are measurement of targets’ susceptibility and find vulnerability in email recipient. There are three steps being taken in this research, (1) the information gathering phase, (2) the design phase, and (3) the execution phase. The first step includes the collection of the information necessary to carry out an attack on a target. The next step is to make the design of an attack against a target. The last step is to send phishing emails to the target. The levels of susceptibility are three: level 1, level 2 and level 3. Level 1 indicates a low level of targets’ susceptibility, level 2 indicates the intermediate level of targets’ susceptibility, and level 3 indicates a high level of targets’ susceptibility. The results showed that users who are on level 1 and level 2 more that level 3, which means the user is not too careless. However, it does not mean the user to be safe. There are still vulnerabilities that may occur, such as automatic location detection when opening emails and automatic downloaded malware as user clicks a link in the email.
The Principal-Agent Model with Moral Hazard in the Brazilian Innovation System: The Case of 'Lei do Bem'
The need to adopt some type of industrial policy and innovation in Brazil is a recurring theme in the discussion of public interventions aimed at boosting economic growth. For many years, the country has adopted various policies to change its productive structure in order to increase the participation of sectors that would have the greatest potential to generate innovation and economic growth. Only in the 2000s, tax incentives as a policy to support industrial and technological innovation are being adopted in Brazil as a phenomenon associated with rates of productivity growth and economic development. In this context, in late 2004 and 2005, Brazil reformulated its institutional apparatus for innovation in order to approach the OECD conventions and the Frascati Manual. The Innovation Law (2004) and the 'Lei do Bem' (2005) reduced some institutional barriers to innovation, provided incentives for university-business cooperation, and modified access to tax incentives for innovation. Chapter III of the 'Lei do Bem' (no. 11,196/05) is currently the most comprehensive fiscal incentive to stimulate innovation. It complies with the requirements, which stipulates that the Union should encourage innovation in the company or industry by granting tax incentives. With its introduction, the bureaucratic procedure was simplified by not requiring pre-approval of projects or participation in bidding documents. However, preliminary analysis suggests that this instrument has not yet been able to stimulate the sector diversification of these investments in Brazil, since its benefits are mostly captured by sectors that already developed this activity, thus showing problems with moral hazard. It is necessary, then, to analyze the 'Lei do Bem' to know if there is indeed the need for some change, investigating what changes should be implanted in the Brazilian innovation policy. This work, therefore, shows itself as a first effort to analyze a current national problem, evaluating the effectiveness of the 'Lei do Bem' and suggesting public policies that help and direct the State to the elaboration of legislative laws capable of encouraging agents to follow what they describes. As a preliminary result, it is known that 130 firms used fiscal incentives for innovation in 2006, 320 in 2007 and 552 in 2008. Although this number is on the rise, it is still small, if it is considered that there are around 6 thousand firms that perform Research and Development (R&D) activities in Brazil. Moreover, another obstacle to the 'Lei do Bem' is the percentages of tax incentives provided to companies. These percentages reveal a significant sectoral correlation between R&D expenditures of large companies and R&D expenses of companies that accessed the 'Lei do Bem', reaching a correlation of 95.8% in 2008. With these results, it becomes relevant to investigate the law's ability to stimulate private investments in R&D.
An Exploratory Study of Nasik Small and Medium Enterprises Cluster
Small and Medium Enterprises play crucial role in contributing to economic objectives of an emerging nation. To support SMEs, the idea of creation of clusters has been prevalent since past two decades. In this paper, an attempt has been done to explore the impact of being in the cluster on the competitiveness of SMEs. To meet the objective, Nasik Cluster (India) has been selected. The information was collected by means of two focus group discussions and survey of thirty SMEs. The finding generates interest revealing the fact that under the concept ‘Cluster’ a lot of ambiguity flourish. Besides the problems and opportunities of the firms in the cluster the results bring to notice that the benefits of clusterization can only reach to SMEs when the whole location can be considered/understood as a cluster, rather than many subsets (various forms of clusters) prevailing under it. Fostering such an understanding calls for harmony among the various stakeholders of the clusters. The dynamics of interaction among government, local industry associations, relevant institutions, large firms and finally SMEs which makes the most of the location based cluster, are significant in shaping the host cluster’s competitiveness and vice versa.
Political Determinants of Sovereign Spread: The Great East-West Divide
We empirically explore whether and how taxation affects bilateral real exchange rates in the euro area – relative unit labor costs and relative consumer price indices. We find that employers’ social security contributions and the value added tax changes have the expected effects put forward in the fiscal devaluation literature and simulations. Increases in employers’ contributions appreciate the relative unit labor costs in the short- and the long-run, while value added tax hike appreciates the relative consumer prices. Somewhat surprisingly, for personal income tax increases, we find a short-run depreciating impact on the relative unit labor costs, while increases in employees’ contributions depreciate both measures of real exchange rates in the short-run.
Entrepreneurship Education: A Pre-Requisite for Graduate Entrepreneurship, a Study of Entrepreneurs in Yenagoa City
Entrepreneurship education and graduate entrepreneurship have taken centre stage in many countries as a 21st century strategy for economic growth and development. Entrepreneurship education has been viewed as a pre-requisite tool for a more effective and successful business operation. The purpose of this study is to ascertain if entrepreneurship education is a foundational requirement for graduate entrepreneurial engagement or, if other factors such as personality trait, need for achievement, situational circumstances or experience and competence played a more vital role in stimulating graduate entrepreneurial engagement. The scope of the research study is entrepreneurs within Yenagoa metropolis in Bayelsa state, Nigeria. The sample target is graduates engaged in entrepreneurship activities (graduates who own and run businesses). Stratified sampling technique was used and 101 responses were gotten from a total of 300 questionnaires issued. Bar chart, tables, and percentages were used to analyze the data collected. Findings: The findings revealed that personality traits, situational circumstance, need for achievement and experience/competence were the foundational factors stimulating graduate entrepreneurs to engage in entrepreneurial pursuits. Of all, personality trait showed the highest score with 73 (73%) out of 101 entrepreneurs agreeing. Experience/Competence and situational circumstances followed behind with 66 (65%) and 63 (62.4%) respectively. Entrepreneurship education revealed the least score with 33 (32.3%) out of 101 participating entrepreneurs. All hope, however, is not lost, as this shows that something can be done to increase the impact of entrepreneurship education on graduate entrepreneurship.
An Empirical Investigation of Factors Influencing Construction Project Selection Processes within the Nigeria Public Sector
Globally, there is increasing interest in project management due to a shortage in infrastructure services supply capability. Hence, it is of utmost importance that organisations understand that choosing a particular project over another is an opportunity cost – tying up the organisations resources. In order to devise constructive ways to bring direction, structure, and oversight to the process of project selection has led to the development of tools and techniques by researchers and practitioners. However, despite the development of various frameworks to assist in the appraisal and selection of government projects, failures are still being recorded with government projects. In developing countries, where frameworks are rarely used, the problems are compounded. To improve the situation, this study will investigate the current practice of construction project selection processes within the Nigeria public sector in order to inform theories of decision making from the perspective of developing nations and project management practice. Unlike other research around construction projects in Nigeria this research concentrate on factors influencing the selection process within the Nigeria public sector, which has received limited study. The authors report the findings of semi-structured interviews of top management in the Nigerian public sector and draw conclusions in terms of decision making extant theory and current practice. Preliminary results from the data analysis show that groups make project selection decisions and this forces sub-optimal decisions due to pressure on time, clashes of interest, lack of standardised framework for selecting projects, lack of accountability and poor leadership. Consequently, because decision maker is usually drawn from different fields, religious beliefs, ethnic group and with different languages. The choice of a project by an individual will be greatly influence by experience, political precedence than by realistic investigation as well as his understanding of the desired outcome of the project, in other words, the individual’s ideology and their level of fairness.
Motivational Profiles of the Entrepreneurial Career in Spanish Businessmen
This paper focuses on the analysis of the motivations that lead people to undertake and consolidate their business. It is addressed from the framework of planned behavior theory, which recognizes the importance of the social environment and cultural values, both in the decision to undertake business and in business consolidation. Similarly, it is also based on theories of career development, which emphasize the importance of career management competencies and their connections to other vital aspects of people, including their roles within their families and other personal activities. This connects directly with the impact of entrepreneurship on the career and the professional-personal project of each individual. This study is part of the project titled Career Design and Talent Management (Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain, State Plan 2013-2016 Excellence Ref. EDU2013-45704-P). The aim of the study is to identify and describe entrepreneurial competencies and motivational profiles in a sample of 248 Spanish entrepreneurs, considering the consolidated profile and the profile in transition (n = 248).In order to obtain the information, the Questionnaire of Motivation and conditioners of the entrepreneurial career (MCEC) has been applied. This consists of 67 items and includes four scales (E1-Conflicts in conciliation, E2-Satisfaction in the career path, E3-Motivations to undertake, E4-Guidance Needs). Cluster analysis (mixed method, combining k-means clustering with a hierarchical method) was carried out, characterizing the groups profiles according to the categorical variables (chi square, p = 0.05), and the quantitative variables (ANOVA). The results have allowed us to characterize three motivational profiles relevant to the motivation, the degree of conciliation between personal and professional life, and the degree of conflict in conciliation, levels of career satisfaction and orientation needs (in the entrepreneurial project and life-career). The first profile is formed by extrinsically motivated entrepreneurs, professionally satisfied and without conflict of vital roles. The second profile acts with intrinsic motivation and also associated with family models, and although it shows satisfaction with their professional career, it finds a high conflict in their family and professional life. The third is composed of entrepreneurs with high extrinsic motivation, professional dissatisfaction and at the same time, feel the conflict in their professional life by the effect of personal roles. Ultimately, the analysis has allowed us to line the kinds of entrepreneurs to different levels of motivation, satisfaction, needs and articulation in professional and personal life, showing characterizations associated with the use of time for leisure, and the care of the family. Associations related to gender, age, activity sector, environment (rural, urban, virtual), and the use of time for domestic tasks are not identified. The model obtained and its implications for the design of training actions and orientation to entrepreneurs is also discussed.
The Impact of Corporate Governance Regulation in the Nigerian Banking Sector
Recent corporate failures across the world have called for the increase in the need to regulate corporate governance across the world. In Nigeria, the impact of corporate governance regulation in the banking sector has reached epidemic levels contributing to the country’s economic depression. The study critically evaluates Nigeria’s corporate governance regime and explores how weak regulation has impacted on the banking sector. By adopting a socio-legal methodology, the study analyses both theoretical and empirical works from a socio-scientific point of view to examine the role of Nigeria’s legal, cultural and social arrangements in corporate governance regulation. The study reveals that Nigeria’s institutional arrangement has contributed to its weak system of corporate governance regulation with adverse effects on the banking sector. The research mainly impacts on current global corporate governance literature in sub-Saharan Africa by contributing to knowledge of the peculiarities of corporate governance regulation in different institutional jurisdictions. The particular focus on emerging economies such as Nigeria expands on the need for countries to develop a bespoke system of corporate governance regulation that takes into consideration the peculiarities of individual countries devoid of external influence.
Automation of Student Attendance Management System Using BPM
Education has become very important nowadays and with the rapidly increasing number of student, taking the attendance manually is getting very difficult and time wasting. In order to solve this problem, an automated solution is required. An effective automated system can be implemented to manage student attendance in different ways. This research will discuss a unique class attendance system which integrates both Face Recognition and RFID technique. This system focuses on reducing the time spent on submitting of the lecture and the wastage of time on submitting and getting approval for the absence excuse and sick leaves. As a result, the suggested solution will enhance not only the time, also it will also be helpful in eliminating fake attendance.
India’s Demonetization and Its Impact on Modi’s “Neighborhood First” Policy
Elected prime minister of India Narendra Modi has very largely focused on improving ties with the neighbors since day one of his regime. This was the most significant initiative to focus on major Asian powers also emphasizing on the two decades old look east policy. The “neighborhood first policy” as termed by the media has been a corner stone in improving ties with the immediate neighbors of the country through several bilateral talks with the nations individually. However, the announcement of demonetisation policy in India, ceasing the usage of 500 and 1000 rupee notes has rattled countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar who encourage Indian currency parallel to theirs. According to the ministry of commerce and industry (MCI), India’s total trade with neighboring countries stood at US$21.6 in the fiscal year 2015-16, India has good surplus trade surplus with its neighbors and has a strong interest in ensuring smooth trade flows. India might have this benefit, but yet this policy can create issues between India and neighboring countries. The demonetisation policy might benefit in the long run, but in the short run, this might create border issues. While there would be more countries affected by this policy, this paper will emphasize on the problems faced by the countries and the impact of demonetisation on all other neighboring countries.
Enabling Rather Than Managing: Organizational and Cultural Innovation Mechanisms in a Heterarchical Organization
Bureaucracy, in particular, its core element, a formal and stable hierarchy of authority, is proving less and less appropriate under the conditions of today’s knowledge economy. Centralization and formalization were consistently found to hinder innovation, undermining cross-functional collaboration, personal responsibility, and flexibility. With its focus on systematical planning, controlling and monitoring the development of new or improved solutions for customers, even innovation management as a discipline is to a significant extent based on a mechanistic understanding of organizations. The most important drivers of innovation, human creativity, and initiative, however, can be more hindered than supported by central elements of classic innovation management, such as predefined innovation strategies, rigid stage gate processes, and decisions made in management gate meetings. Heterarchy, as an alternative network form of organization, is essentially characterized by its dynamic influence structures, whereby the biggest influence is allocated by the collective to the persons perceived the most competent in a certain issue. Theoretical arguments that the non-hierarchical concept better supports innovation than bureaucracy have been supported by empirical research. These prior studies either focus on the structure and general functioning of non-hierarchical organizations or on their innovativeness, that means innovation as an outcome. Complementing classic innovation management approaches, this work aims to shed light on how innovations are initiated and realized in heterarchies in order to identify alternative solutions practiced under conditions of the post-bureaucratic organization. Through an initial individual case study, which is part of a multiple-case project, the innovation practices of an innovative and highly heterarchical medium-sized company in the German fire engineering industry are investigated. In a pragmatic mixed methods approach media resonance, company documents, and workspace architecture are analyzed, in addition to qualitative interviews with the CEO and employees of the case company, as well as a quantitative survey aiming to characterize the company along five scaled dimensions of a heterarchy spectrum. The analysis reveals some similarities and striking differences to approaches suggested by classic innovation management. The studied heterarchy has no predefined innovation strategy guiding new product and service development. Instead, strategic direction is provided by the CEO, described as visionary and creative. Procedures for innovation are hardly formalized, with new product ideas being evaluated on the basis of gut feeling and flexible, rather general criteria. Employees still being hesitant to take responsibility and make decisions, hierarchical influence is still prominent. Described as open-minded and collaborative, culture and leadership were found largely congruent with definitions of innovation culture. Overall, innovation efforts at the case company tend to be coordinated more through cultural than through formal organizational mechanisms. To better enable innovation in mainstream organizations, responsible practitioners are recommended not to limit changes to reducing the central elements of the bureaucratic organization, formalization, and centralization. The freedoms this entails need to be sustained through cultural coordination mechanisms, with personal initiative and responsibility by employees as well as common innovation-supportive norms and values. These allow to integrate diverse competencies, opinions, and activities and, thus, to guide innovation efforts.
Efficiency Analysis of Trader in Thailand and Laos Border Trade: Case Study of Textile and Garment Products
This paper investigates the issue of China’s dumping on border trade between Thailand and Laos. From the pass mostly, the border trade goods are traditional textile and garment mainly served locals and tourists which majority of traders is of small and medium size. In the present day the competition is fierce, the volume of trade has expanded far beyond its original intent. The major competitors in Thai-Laos border trade are China, Vietnam and also South Korea. This research measures and compares the efficiency and ability to survive the onslaught of Thai and Laos firm along Thailand (Nong Kai province) and Laos (Vientiane) border. Two attack strategies are observed, price cutting and incense such as full facilitation for big volume order. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is applied to data surveyed from 90 Thai and Laos entrepreneurs. The expected results are the proportion of efficiency and inefficiency firms. Points of inefficiency and suggested improvement are also discussed.
Development of a Performance Measurement Model for Hospitals Using Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) Techniques: A Case Study of Three South Australian Major Public Hospitals
This study directs its focus on developing a conceptual model to offer a systematic and integrated method to weigh the related measures and evaluate a competence of hospitals and rank of the selected hospitals that involve and consider the stakeholders’ key performance indicators (KPI’s). The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) approach will use to weigh the dimensions and related sub- components. The weights and performance scores will combine by using the Technique for Order Performance by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) and rank the selected hospitals. The results of this study provide interesting insight into the necessity of process improvement implementation in which hospital that received the lowest ranking score.
IoT Based Process Model for Heart Monitoring Process
Nowadays, connecting health services with technology has a huge demand as people health is becoming worse day after day. In fact, engaging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) into the medical services is considered as a great improvement in the performance of the health services. In this paper, an improved process model for patient monitoring system specialized for heart patients is presented. The proposed process uses the IoT Technology to help doctors in monitoring and following-up with their patients remotely. In reality, a smartwatch with a specialized sensor worn by the patient is connected to the doctor's PC application. Doctor's application is used for remote monitoring and sending meditations and advice to the patient's mobile application. In order to validate the effectiveness of the proposed, simulation analysis was performed using Bizagi Modeler. In fact, the proposed process has effectively lowered the cost, the time and the effort in the normal monitoring process. Therefore, the performance and the quality of the whole process is increased and hopefully this process if implemented can save patients' lives. Because of the huge estimated benefits of the proposed process, authors suggest enhancing the model to cover all the different patient monitoring aspects.
Study of the Business Ethics Based on Daimler Bribery Case in China
In order to study the business ethics of the international enterprise, the thirteenth-largest car manufacturer and second-largest truck manufacturer in the world, Daimler AG was taken as research object. At first, Daimler AG is briefly introduced and the bribery affairs of Daimler AG in China are simply reviewed. Subsequently, the causes of the bribery are discussed in depth and the manifestations of the value conflict are analyzed in detail. Based on the analyzed results, the reasons why they bribe are investigated. Furthermore, some proposals for improving business ethics of international enterprises are put forward based on the study of Daimler bribery case.
Classification of Business Models of Italian Bancassurance by Balance Sheet Indicators
The aim of the paper is to analyse business models of bancassurance in Italy, for life and non life business both. Life business is very developed in Italian market, and banks branches have the 80% of market share while non life business is less developed all over the Europe, included Italy. At the same time bancassurance has a great opportunity to enlarge market share in non life market giving its strength in distribution channel while market share of independent agents is decreasing. Starting by the three business model of bancassurance for life and non life business (cross selling agreement, strategic alliance with cross ownership, captive company with control ownership) paper will analyse performances of life and non life companies of Italian market by balance sheet indicators and by main business value drivers. The study will observe trends from 2007 to 2015 for all Italian market by exploit a database managed by Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Assicurazione (ANIA). Outcomes of paper will be a representation of main revenue and cost models which can define competitive advantages for bancassurance, especially in non life business. Paper will be focused on margin composition of each class of products that will represent key factors of profitability compared to other sales channels. Identification of more profitable products will allow to identify the most attractive markets with the best growth perspective. Our approach will be original because it will assess cost overlapping areas generated by combination of banking and insurance business. Parts of paper will be: 1) Italian market of insurance and bancassurance; 2) Literature Review; 3) Bancassurance Business models: structure and performances; 4) Revenue and costs Models and classes product margins composition; 5) Findings and conclusions.
The Role of Time Management Skills in Academic Performance of the University Lecturers
Success is very important, and there are many factors affecting the success of any situation or a person. In Sri Lankan Context, it is hardly possible to find an empirical study relating to time management and academic success. Globally many organizations, individuals practice time management to be effective. Hence it is very important to examine the nature of time management practice. Thus this study will fill the existing gap relating to achieving academic success through proper time management practices. The research problem of this study is what is the relationship exist among time management skills and academic success of university lecturers in state universities. The objective of this paper is to identify the impact of time management skills for academic success of university lecturers. This is a conceptual study, and it was done through a literature survey by following purposive sampling technique for the selection of literature. Most of the studies have found that time management is highly related to academic performance. However, most of them have done on the academic performance of the students, and there were very few studies relating to academic performance of the university lecturers. Hence it can be further suggested to conduct a study relating to identifying the relationship between academic performance and time management skills of university lecturers.
Analysis of Cross-Correlations in Emerging Markets Using Random Matrix Theory
This paper investigates the universal financial dynamics in two dominant stock markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, through an in-depth analysis of the cross-correlation matrix of price returns in Nigerian Stock Market (NSM) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), for the period 2009 to 2013. The strength of correlations between stocks is known to be higher in JSE than that of the NSM. Particularly important for modelling Nigerian derivatives in the future, the interactions of other stocks with the oil sector are weak, whereas the banking sector has strong positive interactions with the other sectors in the stock exchange. For the JSE, it is the oil sector and beverages that have greater sectorial correlations, instead of the banks which have the weaker correlation with other sectors in the stock exchange.
Motives for Reshoring from China to Europe: A Hierarchical Classification of Companies
Reshoring, whether concerning back-reshoring or near-reshoring, is a quite recent phenomenon. Despite the economic and political interest of this topic, academic research questioning determinants of reshoring remains rare. Our paper aims at contributing to fill this gap. In order to better understand the reasons for reshoring, we conducted a study among 280 French firms during spring 2016, three-quarters of which sourced, or source, in China. 105 firms in the sample have reshored all or part of their Chinese production or supply in recent years, and we aimed to establish a typology of the motives that drove them to this decision. We asked our respondents about the history of their Chinese supplies, their current reshoring strategies, and their motivations. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS 22 and SPAD 8. Our results show that change in commercial and financial terms with China is the first motive explaining the current reshoring movement from this country (it applies to 54% of our respondents). A change in corporate strategy is the second motive (30% of our respondents); the reshoring decision follows a change in companies’ strategies (upgrading, implementation of a CSR policy, or a 'lean management' strategy). The third motive (14% of our sample) is a mere correction of the initial offshoring decision, considered as a mistake (under-estimation of hidden costs, non-quality and non-responsiveness problems). Some authors emphasize that developing a short supply chain, involving geographic proximity between design and production, gives a competitive advantage to companies wishing to offer innovative products. Admittedly 40% of our respondents indicate that this motive could have played a part in their decision to reshore, but this reason was not enough for any of them and is not an intrinsic motive leading to leaving Chinese suppliers. Having questioned our respondents about the importance given to various problems leading them to reshore, we then performed a Principal Components Analysis (PCA), associated with an Ascending Hierarchical Classification (AHC), based on Ward criterion, so as to point out more specific motivations. Three main classes of companies should be distinguished: -The 'Cost Killers' (23% of the sample), which reshore their supplies from China only because of higher procurement costs and so as to find lower costs elsewhere. -The 'Realists' (50% of the sample), giving equal weight or importance to increasing procurement costs in China and to the quality of their supplies (to a large extend). Companies being part of this class tend to take advantage of this changing environment to change their procurement strategy, seeking suppliers offering better quality and responsiveness. - The 'Voluntarists' (26% of the sample), which choose to reshore their Chinese supplies regardless of higher Chinese costs, to obtain better quality and greater responsiveness. We emphasize that if the main driver for reshoring from China is indeed higher local costs, it is should not be regarded as an exclusive motivation; 77% of the companies in the sample, are also seeking, sometimes exclusively, more reactive suppliers, liable to quality, respect for the environment and intellectual property.
Increasing Holism: Qualitative, Cross-Dimensional Study of Contemporary Innovation Processes
During the past decade, calls for more holistic and integrative organizational innovation research have been increasingly voiced. On the one hand, from the theoretical perspective, the reason for this has been the tendency in contemporary innovation studies to focus on disciplinary subfields, often leading to challenges in integrating theories in meaningful ways. For example, we find that during the past three decades the innovation research has evolved into an academic field consisting of several independent research streams, such as studies on organizational learning, project management, and top management teams, to name but a few. The innovation research has also proliferated according to different dimensions of innovation, such as sources, drivers, forms, and the nature of innovation. On the other hand, from the practical perspective the rationale has been the need to develop understanding of the solving of complex, interdisciplinary issues and problems in contemporary and future societies and organizations. Therefore, for advancing theorizing, as well as the practical applicability of organizational innovation research, we acknowledge the need for more integrative and holistic perspectives and approaches. We contribute to addressing this challenge by developing a ‘box transcendent’ perspective to examine interlinkages in and across four key dimensions of organizational innovation processes, which traditionally have been studied in separate research streams. Building on an in-depth, qualitative analysis of 123 interviews of CTOs (or equivalent) and CEOs in top innovative Finnish companies as well as three in-depth case studies, both as part of an EU-level interview study of more than 700 companies, we specify interlinkages in and between i) strategic management, ii) innovation management, iii) implementation and organization, and iv) commercialization, in innovation processes. We contribute to the existing innovation research in multiple ways. Firstly, we develop a cross-dimensional, ‘box transcendent’ conceptual model at the level of organizational innovation process. Secondly, this modeling enables us to extend existing theorizing by allowing us to distinguish specific cross-dimensional innovation ‘profiles’ in two different company categories: large multinational corporations and SMEs. Finally, from the more practical perspective, we consider the implications of such innovation ‘profiles’ for the societal and institutional, policy-making development.
Equilibrium and Disequilibrium Dynamics of a Multi-Sector Economy: An Application to France
This paper relaxes the assumption of a continuous equilibrium of markets present in almost all modern macroeconomic models. It reminds that under the presence of perfect complement factor goods, the short run ‘tâtonment’ process may generally fail to equilibrate supply and demand, and a given initial set of endowments that does not meet the technical requirements cannot imply a full-employment equilibrium regardless of price levels. As a consequence, reaching a general equilibrium (GE) should reasonably take time and production cycles, knowing that the GE reached (if so) is path-dependent. The paper proposes a general macroeconomic model that greatly simplifies the important analysis of disequilibrium dynamics, and that can easily be applied to real data (a calibration on French data is presented as an example). It also complements Fisher’s results on stability; i.e. aside from the necessity that Schumpeterian shocks cease, economy may require the problem of coordination failures to be solved in order to reach a GE.
The Hierarchical Model of Fitness Services Quality Perception in Serbia
The service quality perception depends on many factors, such as the area in which the services are provided, socioeconomic status, educational status, experience, age and gender of consumers, as well as many others. For this reason, it is not possible to apply instrument for establishing the service quality perception that is developed in other areas and in other populations. The aim of the research was to form an instrument for assessing the quality perception in the field of fitness in Serbia. After analyzing the available literature and conducting a pilot research, there were 15 isolated areas in which it was possible to observe the service quality perception. The areas included: material and technical basis, secondary facilities, coaches, programs, reliability, credibility, security, rapid response, compassion, communication, prices, satisfaction, loyalty, quality outcomes and motives. These areas were covered by a questionnaire consisted of 100 items where the number of items varied from area to area from 3 up to 11. The questionnaire was administered to 350 subjects of both genders (174 men and 176 women) aged from 18 to 68 years, being beneficiaries of fitness services for at least 1 year. In each of the areas was conducted a factor analysis in its exploratory form by principal components method. The number of significant factors has been determined in accordance with the Kaiser Guttman criterion. The initial factor solutions were simplified using the Varimax rotation. Analyses per areas have produced from 1 to 4 factors. Afterward, the factor analysis of factor scores on the first principal component of each of the respondents in each of the analyzed area was performed, and the factor structure was obtained with four latent dimensions interpreted as offer, the relationship with the coaches, the experience of quality and the initial impression. This factor structure was analysed by hierarchical analysis of Oblique factors, which in the second order space produced single factor interpreted as a general factor of the service quality perception. The resulting questionnaire represents an instrument which can serve managers in the field of fitness to optimize the centers development, raising the quality of services in line with consumers needs and expectations.
The Impact of the Fitness Center Ownership Structure on the Service Quality Perception in the Fitness in Serbia
As with the provision of other services, the service quality perception is one of the key factors that the modern manager must pay attention to. Countries in which the state regulation is in transition also have specific features in providing fitness services. Identification of the dimensions in which the most significant different service quality perception between different types of fitness centers, enables managers to profile the offer according to the wishes and expectations of users. The aim of the paper was the comparison of the quality of services perception in the field of fitness in Serbia between three categories of fitness centers: the privately owned centers, the publicly owned centers, and the Public-private partnership centers. For this research 350 respondents of both genders (174 men and 176 women) were interviewed, aged between 18 and 68 years, being beneficiaries of fitness services for at least 1 year. Administered questionnaire with 100 items provided information about the 15 basic areas in which they expressed the service quality perception in the gym. The core sample was composed of 212 service users in private fitness centers, 69 service users in public fitness centers and 69 service users in the public-private partnership. Sub-samples were equal in representation of women and men, as well as by age and length of use of fitness services. The obtained results were subject of univariate analysis with the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric analysis of variance. Significant differences between the analyzed sub-samples were not found solely in the areas of rapid response and quality outcomes. In the multivariate model, the results were processed by backward stepwise discriminant analysis that extracted 3 areas that maximize the differences between sub-samples: material and technical basis, secondary facilities and coaches. By applying the classification function 93.87% of private centers services users, 62.32% of public centers services users and 85.51% of the public-private partnership centers users of services were correctly classified (total 86.00%). These results allow optimizing the allocation of the necessary resources in profiling offers of a fitness center in order to optimally adjust it to the user’s needs and expectations.
Game Theory Approach for Cost Allocation of Shipment Consolidation with Time-Based Policy
This research considers a situation wherein several retailers collaborate to consolidate their shipments to reduce cost using a time-based consolidation policy. There is a tradeoff between the inventory holding cost and the transportation cost for these retailers. The ultimate goal of the shipment consolidation using time-based policy is to minimize the sum of the inventory holding cost and the transportation cost for all the retailers by choosing the dispatch cycle optimally. This research first establishes a mathematical model to obtain the long-run average total cost (the inventory holding cost and the transportation cost) and computes the optimal dispatch cycle. Then, the next natural question is how to allocate the total cost to the retailers in a way such that all retailers are incentivized to collaborate. This research investigates this question for two distinguished cases: the complete information case wherein all the information involved is public information to the retailers and the incomplete information case wherein some information is private to the retailers, for example, the unit inventory holding cost. For the complete information case, a cooperative game theory approach is applied to evaluate the fairness of the cost allocation rule. Core is one of the most important solution concepts in cooperative game theory. Cost allocation rules which belong to the core of the corresponding cooperative game satisfy desirable properties like budget balance and stability. This research proposes a cost allocation rule which belongs to the core of the shipment consolidation game with time-based policy. Under this cost allocation rule, all retailers are incentivized to collaborate. For the incomplete information case, a non-cooperative game approach, more specifically, a mechanism design approach is applied to propose cost allocation mechanisms which induce all retailers to report their private information truthfully. In particular, using Taylor approximation, this research proposes a cost allocation mechanism which satisfies incentive compatibility (truth-telling) and approximate budget balance. Furthermore, another cost allocation mechanism which satisfies incentive compatibility and individual rationality is proposed based on marginal analysis method. Finally, the performance of these two proposed mechanisms is compared through numerical studies. The results show that the cost mechanism based on the Taylor approximation performs better in terms of that it does not only satisfy incentive compatibility but also has a high budget coverage rate and a high percentage of satisfying individual rationality. This mechanism justifies the practice of requiring membership fees to join a collaborative alliance and has good potential for practical applications.
Bank Liquidity Creation in a Dual Banking System: An Empirical Investigation
The importance of bank liquidity management took center stage as policy makers promoted a more resilient global banking system after the market turmoil of 2007. The growing recognition of Islamic banks’ function of intermediating funds in the economy warrants the need to investigate its balance sheet structure which is distinct from its conventional counterparts. Given that asymmetric risk, transformation is inevitable; Islamic banks need to identify the liquidity risk within their distinctive balance sheet structure. Thus, there is a strong need to quantify and assess the liquidity position to ensure proper functioning of a financial institution. It is vital to measure bank liquidity because liquid banks face less liquidity risk. We examine this issue by using two alternative quantitative measures of liquidity creation “cat fat” and “cat nonfat” constructed by Berger and Bouwman (2009). “Cat fat” measures all on balance sheet items including off balance sheet, whilst the latter measures only on balance sheet items. Liquidity creation is measured over the period 2007-2014 in 14 countries where Islamic and conventional commercial banks coexist. Also, separately by bank size class as empirical studies have shown that liquidity creation varies by bank size. An interesting and important finding shows that all size class of Islamic banks, on average have increased creation of aggregate liquidity in real dollar terms over the years for both liquidity creation measures especially for large banks indicating that Islamic banks actually generates more liquidity to the economy compared to its conventional counterparts, including from off-balance sheet items. The liquidity creation for off-balance sheets by conventional banks may have been affected by the global financial crisis when derivatives markets were severely hit. The results also suggest that Islamic banks have the higher volume of assets and deposits and that borrowing/issues of bonds are less in Islamic banks compared to conventional banks because most products are interest-based. As Islamic banks appear to create more liquidity than conventional banks under both measures, it translates that the development of Islamic banking is significant over the decades since its inception. This finding is encouraging as, despite Islamic banking’s overall size, it represents growth opportunities for these countries.