Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 14

Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering

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  • 14
    Effects of Audit Quality and Corporate Governance on Earnings Management of Quoted Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria

    The stakeholders’ pressure on corporate managers to maintain firm’s profitability has created economic incentives for management to engage in earnings management practices. Therefore, this study examines the effects of audit quality and corporate governance on earnings management of quoted deposit money banks (DMBs) in Nigeria. This study specifically investigates the influence of audit tenure, audit fee, board independence, and board size on earnings management of DMBs. Explanatory research design was employed in carrying out the study while secondary data were sourced from the annual reports and accounts of all the 15 quoted DMBs in Nigerian Stock Exchange as at December 31, 2015 for a period of 10 years covering from 2006 to 2015. The data obtained for the study were analyzed using panel regression analysis approach. The findings reveal that board independence has a negative significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.002), while audit fee has a positive significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.013) and audit tenure has a negative significant effect on earnings management of DMBs at a 5% level of significance (p=0.003). Surprisingly, board size was statistically not significant at a 5% level of significance (p=0.086). The study concludes that high audit quality and sound corporate governance could improve the earnings quality of DMBs. Hence, the study recommends that the authorities saddled with the responsibility of banking supervision in Nigeria such the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and CBN to advise the National Assembly in Nigeria to pass into law the three years professional requirement for audit tenure.

    The Classical Islamic Laws of Apostasy in the Present Context

    The main purpose of this essay is to examine whether or not the earthly punishments in regards to apostates that are often found in classical Islamic sources are applicable in the present context. The paper indeed addresses how Muslims should understand the question of apostasy in the contemporary context. To do so, the paper first argues that an accurate understanding of the way the Quranic verses and prophetic hadiths deal with the concept of apostasy could help us rethink and re-examine the classical Islamic laws on apostasy in the present context. In addition, building on Abdolkarim Soroush’s theory of contraction and expansion of religious knowledge, this article argues that approaches to apostasy in the present context can move away from what prescribed by classical Islamic laws. Finally, it argues that instances of persecution of apostates in the early days of Islam during the Medinan period of Muhammad’s prophetic mission should be interpreted in their own socio-historical context. Rereading these reports within our modern context supports the mutability of the traditional corporal punishments of apostasy.

    Conceptualizing of Priorities in the Dynamics of Public Administration Contemporary Reforms

    The article presents the results of the creative analysis and comparison of trends in the development of the theory of public administration during the period from the second half of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st century. The process of conceptualization of the priorities of public administration in the dynamics of reforming was held under the influence of such factors as globalization, integration, information and technological changes and human rights is examined. The priorities of the social state in the concepts of the second half of the 20th century are studied. Peculiar approaches to determining the priorities of public administration in the countries of "Soviet dictatorship" in Central and Eastern Europe in the same period are outlined. Particular attention is paid to the priorities of public administration regarding the interaction between public power and society and the development of conceptual foundations for the modern managerial process. There is a thought that the dynamics of the formation of concepts of the European governance is characterized by the sequence of priorities: from socio-economic and moral-ethical to organizational-procedural and non-hierarchical ones. The priorities of the "welfare state" were focused on the decent level of material wellbeing of population. At the same time, the conception of "minimal state" emphasized priorities of human responsibility for their own fate under the conditions of minimal state protection. Later on, the emphasis was placed on horizontal ties and redistribution of powers and competences of "effective state" with its developed procedures and limits of responsibility at all levels of government and in close cooperation with the civil society. The priorities of the contemporary period are concentrated on human rights in the concepts of "good governance" and all the following ones, which recognize the absolute priority of public administration with compliance, provision and protection of human rights. There is a proved point of view that civilizational changes taking place under the influence of information and technological imperatives also stipulate changes in priorities, redistribution of emphases and update principles of managerial concepts on the basis of publicity, transparency, departure from traditional forms of hierarchy and control in favor of interactivity and inter-sectoral interaction, decentralization and humanization of managerial processes. The necessity to permanently carry out the reorganization, by establishing the interaction between different participants of public power and social relations, to establish a balance between political forces and social interests on the basis of mutual trust and mutual understanding determines changes of social, political, economic and humanitarian paradigms of public administration and their theoretical comprehension. The further studies of theoretical foundations of modern public administration in interdisciplinary discourse in the context of ambiguous consequences of the globalizational and integrational processes of modern European state-building would be advisable. This is especially true during the period of political transformations and economic crises which are the characteristic of the contemporary Europe, especially for democratic transition countries.

    Competency and Strategy Formulation in Automobile Industry

    In present days, companies are facing the rapid competition in terms of customer requirements to be satisfied, new technologies to be integrated into future products, new safety regulations to be followed, new computer-based tools to be introduced into design activities that becomes more scientific. In today’s highly competitive market, survival focuses on various factors such as quality, innovation, adherence to standards, and rapid response as the basis for competitive advantage. For competitive advantage, companies have to produce various competencies: for improving the capability of suppliers and for strengthening the process of integrating technology. For more competitiveness, organizations should operate in a strategy driven way and have a strategic architecture for developing core competencies. Traditional ways to take such experience and develop competencies tend to take a lot of time and they are expensive. A new learning environment, which is built around a gaming engine, supports the development of competences in specific subject areas. Technology competencies have a significant role in firm innovation and competitiveness; they interact with the competitive environment. Technological competencies vary according to the type of competitive environment, thus enhancing firm innovativeness. Technological competency is gained through extensive experimentation and learning in its research, development and employment in manufacturing. This is a review paper based on competency and strategic success of automobile industry. The aim here is to study strategy formulation and competency tools in the industry. This work is a review of literature related to competency and strategy in automobile industry. This study involves review of 34 papers related to competency and strategy.

    Adolescents’ Role in Family Buying Decision Making

    Buying decision making is a complicated process, in which consumer’s decision is under the impact of others. The buying decision making is directed in a way that they have to act as customers in the society. Media and family are key socialising agents for adolescents’. Moreover, changes in the socio-cultural environment in India necessitate that adolescents’ influence in family’s buying decision-making should be investigated. In comparison to Western society, Indian is quite different, when compared in terms of family composition and structure, behaviour, values and norms which effect adolescents’ buying decision-making.

    Study Habits and Level of Difficulty Encountered by Maltese Students Studying Biology Advanced Level Topics

    This research was performed to investigate the study habits and level of difficulty perceived by post-secondary students in Biology at Advanced-level topics after completing their first year of study. At the end of a two-year ‘sixth form’ course, Maltese students sit for the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC) Advanced-level biology exam as a requirement to pursue science-related studies at the University of Malta. The sample was composed of 23 students (16 taking Chemistry and seven taking some ‘Other’ subject at the Advanced Level). The cohort comprised seven males and 16 females. A questionnaire constructed by the authors, was answered anonymously during the last lecture at the end of the first year of study, in May 2016. The Chi square test revealed that gender plays no effect on the various study habits (c2 (6) = 5.873, p = 0.438). ‘Reading both notes and textbooks’ was the most common method adopted by males (71.4%), whereas ‘Writing notes on each topic’ was that mostly used by females (81.3%). The Mann-Whitney U test showed no significant difference in the study habits of students and the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course (p = 0.231). Statistical difference was found with the One-ANOVA test when comparing the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course when students are clustered by their Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) grade (p < 0.001). Those obtaining a SEC grade of 2 and 3 got the highest mean assessment of 68.33% and 66.9%, respectively [SEC grading is 1-7, where 1 is the highest]. The Friedman test was used to compare the mean difficulty rating scores provided for the difficulty of each topic. The mean difficulty rating score ranges from 1 to 4, where the larger the mean rating score, the higher the difficulty. When considering the whole group of students, nine topics out of 21 were perceived as significantly more difficult than the other topics. Protein synthesis, DNA Replication and Biomolecules were the most difficult, in that order. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules is significantly lower for students taking Chemistry compared to those not choosing the subject (p = 0.018). Protein Synthesis was claimed as the most difficult by Chemistry students and Biomolecules by those not studying Chemistry. DNA Replication was the second most difficult topic perceived by both groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the effect of gender on the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending various topics. It was found that females have significantly more difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules than males (p=0.039). Protein synthesis was perceived as the most difficult topic by males (mean difficulty rating score = 3.14), while Biomolecules, DNA Replication and Protein synthesis were of equal difficulty for females (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Males and females perceived DNA Replication as equally difficult (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Discovering the students’ study habits and perceived level of difficulty of specific topics is vital for the lecturer to offer guidance that leads to higher academic achievement.

    The Effects of Negative Electronic Word-of-Mouth and Webcare on Thai Online Consumer Behavior

    Due to the emergence of the Internet, it has extended the traditional Word-of-Mouth (WOM) to a new form called “Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM).” Unlike traditional WOM, eWOM is able to present information in various ways by applying different components. Each eWOM component generates different effects on online consumer behavior. This research investigates the effects of Webcare (responding message) from product/ service providers on negative eWOM by applying two types of products (search and experience). The proposed conceptual model was developed based on the combination of the stages in consumer decision-making process, theory of reasoned action (TRA), theory of planned behavior (TPB), the technology acceptance model (TAM), the information integration theory and the elaboration likelihood model. The methodology techniques used in this study included multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and multiple regression analysis. The results suggest that Webcare does slightly increase Thai online consumer’s perceptions on perceived eWOM trustworthiness, information diagnosticity and quality. For negative eWOM, we also found that perceived eWOM Trustworthiness, perceived eWOM diagnosticity and quality have a positive relationship with eWOM influence whereas perceived valence has a negative relationship with eWOM influence in Thai online consumers.

    Analysis of Linguistic Disfluencies in Bilingual Children’s Discourse

    Speech disfluencies are common in spontaneous speech. The primary purpose of this study was to distinguish linguistic disfluencies from stuttering disfluencies in bilingual Tamil–English (TE) speaking children. The secondary purpose was to determine whether their disfluencies are mediated by native language dominance and/or on an early onset of developmental stuttering at childhood. A detailed study was carried out to identify the prosodic and acoustic features that uniquely represent the disfluent regions of speech. This paper focuses on statistical modeling of repetitions, prolongations, pauses and interjections in the speech corpus encompassing bilingual spontaneous utterances from school going children – English and Tamil. Two classifiers including Hidden Markov Models (HMM) and the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP), which is a class of feed-forward artificial neural network, were compared in the classification of disfluencies. The results of the classifiers document the patterns of disfluency in spontaneous speech samples of school-aged children to distinguish between Children Who Stutter (CWS) and Children with Language Impairment CLI). The ability of the models in classifying the disfluencies was measured in terms of F-measure, Recall, and Precision.

    Contributions of Non-Formal Educational Spaces for the Scientific Literacy of Deaf Students

    The school is a social institution that should promote learning situations that remain throughout life. Based on this, the teaching activities promoted in museum spaces can represent an educational strategy that contributes to the learning process in a more meaningful way. This article systematizes a series of elements that guide the use of these spaces for the scientific literacy of deaf students and as experiences of this nature are favorable for the school development through the concept of the circularity. The methodology for the didactic use of these spaces of non-formal education is one of the reflections developed in this study and how such environments can contribute to the learning in the classroom. To develop in the student the idea of ​​association making him create connections with the curricular proposal and notice how the proposed activity is articulated. It is in our interest that the experience lived in the museum be shared collaborating for the construction of a scientific literacy and cultural identity through the research.

    The Role of Blended Modality in Enhancing Active Learning Strategies in Higher Education: A Case Study of a Hybrid Course of Oral Production and Listening of French

    Learning oral skills in an Arabic speaking environment is challenging. A blended course (material, activities, and individual/ group work tasks …) was implemented in a module of level B1 for undergraduate students of French as a foreign language in order to increase their opportunities to practice listening and speaking skills. This research investigates the influence of this modality on enhancing active learning and examines the effectiveness of provided strategies. Moreover, it aims at discovering how it allows teacher to flip the traditional classroom and create a learner-centered framework. Which approaches were integrated to motivate students and urge them to search, analyze, criticize, create and accomplish projects? What was the perception of students? This paper is based on the qualitative findings of a questionnaire and a focus group interview with learners. Despite the doubled time and effort both “teacher” and “student” needed, results revealed that the NTIC allowed a shift into a learning paradigm where learners were the “chiefs” of the process. Tasks and collaborative projects required higher intellectual capacities from them. Learners appreciated this experience and developed new life-long learning competencies at many levels: social, affective, ethical and cognitive. To conclude, they defined themselves as motivated young researchers, motivators and critical thinkers.

    A Survey of Online User Perspectives and Age Profile in an Undergraduate Fundamental Business Technology Course

    Over the past few decades, more and more students choose to enroll in online classes instead of attending in-class lectures. While past studies consider students’ attitudes towards online education and how their grades differed from in-class lectures, the profile of the online student remains a blur. To shed light on this, an online survey was administered to about 1,500 students enrolled in an undergraduate Fundamental Business Technology course at a Canadian University. The survey was comprised of questions on students’ demographics, their reasons for choosing online courses, their expectations towards the course, the communication channels they use for the course with fellow students and with the instructor. This paper focused on the research question: Do the perspectives of online students concerning the online experience, in general, and in the course in particular, differ according to age profile? After several statistical analyses, it was found that age does have an impact on the reasons why students select online classes instead of in-class. For example, it was found that the perception that an online course might be easier than in-class delivery was a more important reason for younger students than for older ones. Similarly, the influence of friends is much more important for younger students, than for older students. Similar results were found when analyzing students’ expectation about the online course and their use of communication tools. Overall, the age profile of online users had an impact on reasons, expectations and means of communication in an undergraduate Fundamental Business Technology course. It is left to be seen if this holds true across other courses, graduate and undergraduate.

    The Social Reaction to the Wadi Salib Riots (1959) as Reflected in Contemporary Israeli Press

    Social reactions to deviant groups with political goals follow two central patterns; one that associates personal characteristics with deviant behavior, and the other that claims that society is to be blamed for deviant behavior. The establishment usually tends towards the former notion and thus disclaims any responsibility for the distress of the underprivileged, while it is usually those who oppose government policies who believe that the fault lies with society. The purpose of the present research was to examine social reactions to the Wadi Salib riots that occurred in Haifa in 1959. These riots represented the first ethnic protest within Israeli society with its ideology of the ingathering of the exiles. The central question was whether this ideology contributed to the development of a different reaction when compared to reactions to similar events abroad. This question was examined by means of analyzing articles in the Israeli press of that period. The Israeli press representing the views of the establishment was at pains to point out that the rioters were criminals, their object being to obstruct the development of society. Opposition party leaders claimed that the rioters lived in poor circumstances, which constituted a direct result of government policies. An analysis of press reports on the Wadi Salib riots indicates a correspondence between the reaction to these events and similar events abroad. Nevertheless, the reaction to the Wadi Salib riots did not only express a conflict between different political camps, but also different symbolic universes. Each group exploited the events at Wadi Salib to prove that their ideology was the legitimate one.

    Driving What’s Next: The De La Salle Lipa Social Innovation in Quality Education Initiatives

    'Driving What’s Next' is a strong campaign of the new administration of De La Salle Lipa in promoting social innovation in quality education. The new leadership directs social innovation in quality education in the institutional directions and initiatives to address real-world challenges with real-world solutions. This research under study aims to qualify the commitment of the institution to extend the Lasallian quality human and Christian education to all, as expressed in the Institution’s new mission-vision statement. The Classic Grounded Theory methodology is employed in the process of generating concepts in reference to the documents, a series of meetings, focus group discussions and other related activities that account for the conceptualization and formulation of the new mission-vision along with the new education innovation framework. Notably, Driving What’s Next is the emergent theory that encapsulates the commitment of giving quality human and Christian education to all. It directs the new leadership in driving social innovation in quality education initiatives. Correspondingly, Driving What’s Next is continually resolved through four interrelated strategies also termed as the institution's four strategic directions, namely: (1) driving social innovation in quality education, (2) embracing our shared humanity and championing social inclusion and justice initiatives, (3) creating sustainable futures and (4) engaging diverse stakeholders in our shared mission. Significantly, the four strategic directions capture and integrate the 17 UN sustainable development goals, making the innovative curriculum locally and globally relevant. To conclude, the main concern of the new administration and how it is continually resolved, provide meaningful and fun learning experiences and promote a new way of learning in the light of the 21st century skills among the members of the academic community including stakeholders and extended communities at large, which are defined as: learning together and by association (collaboration), learning through engagement (communication), learning by design (creativity) and learning with social impact (critical thinking).

    CoP-Networks: Virtual Spaces for New Faculty’s Professional Development in the 21st Higher Education
    The 21st century higher education and globalization challenge new faculty members to build effective professional networks and partnership with industry in order to accelerate their growth and success. This creates the need for community of practice (CoP)-oriented development approaches that focus on cognitive apprenticeship while considering individual predisposition and future career needs. This work adopts data mining, clustering analysis, and social networking technologies to present the CoP-Network as a virtual space that connects together similar career-aspiration individuals who are socially influenced to join and engage in a process for domain-related knowledge and practice acquisitions. The CoP-Network model can be integrated into higher education to extend traditional graduate and professional development programs.