Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 86

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

86
10008222
Analysis of Impact Load Induced by Ultrasonic Cavitation Bubble Collapse Using Thin Film Pressure Sensors
Abstract:

The understanding of generation and collapse of acoustic cavitation bubbles are prerequisites for application of cavitation erosion. Microbubbles generated due to rapid fluctuation of pressure induced by propagation of ultrasonic wave lead to formation of high velocity microjets and or shock waves upon collapse. Due to vast application of ultrasonic, it is important to characterize and understand cavitation collapse pressure under the radiating surface at different conditions. A comparative investigation is carried out to determine impact load and dynamic pressure distribution exerted upon bubble collapse using thin film pressure sensors. Measurements were recorded at different input conditions such as amplitude, stand-off distance, insertion depth of the horn inside the liquid and pulse on-off time of acoustic vibrations. Impact force of 2.97 N is recorded at amplitude of 108 μm and stand-off distance of 1 mm from the sensor film, whereas impulsive force as low as 0.4 N is recorded at amplitude of 12 μm and stand-off distance of 5 mm from the sensor film. The results drawn from the investigation indicated that variety of impact loads can be achieved by controlling generation and collapse of bubbles, making it suitable to use for numerous application.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
85
10008158
Dimensional Accuracy of CNTs/PMMA Parts and Holes Produced by Laser Cutting
Abstract:

Laser cutting is a very common production method for cutting 2D polymeric parts. Developing of polymer composites with nano-fibers makes important their other properties like laser workability. The aim of this research is investigation of the influence different laser cutting conditions on the dimensional accuracy of parts and holes from poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA)/carbon nanotubes (CNTs) material. Experiments were carried out by considering of CNTs (in four level 0,0.5, 1 and 1.5% wt.%), laser power (60, 80, and 100 watt) and cutting speed 20, 30, and 40 mm/s as input variable factors. The results reveal that CNTs adding improves the laser workability of PMMA and the increasing of power has a significant effect on the part and hole size. The findings also show cutting speed is effective parameter on the size accuracy. Eventually, the statistical analysis of results was done, and calculated mathematical equations by the regression are presented for determining relation between input and output factor.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
84
10008154
Development of a Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Model Using System Identification Technique
Abstract:

The introduction of tilt-rotor aircraft into the existing civilian air transportation system will provide beneficial effects due to tilt-rotor capability to combine the characteristics of a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft into one vehicle. The disposability of reliable tilt-rotor simulation models supports the development of such vehicle. Indeed, simulation models are required to design automatic control systems that increase safety, reduce pilot's workload and stress, and ensure the optimal aircraft configuration with respect to flight envelope limits, especially during the most critical flight phases such as conversion from helicopter to aircraft mode and vice versa. This article presents a process to build a simplified tilt-rotor simulation model, derived from the analysis of flight data. The model aims to reproduce the complex dynamics of tilt-rotor during the in-flight conversion phase. It uses a set of scheduled linear transfer functions to relate the autopilot reference inputs to the most relevant rigid body state variables. The model also computes information about the rotor flapping dynamics, which are useful to evaluate the aircraft control margin in terms of rotor collective and cyclic commands. The rotor flapping model is derived through a mixed theoretical-empirical approach, which includes physical analytical equations (applicable to helicopter configuration) and parametric corrective functions. The latter are introduced to best fit the actual rotor behavior and balance the differences existing between helicopter and tilt-rotor during flight. Time-domain system identification from flight data is exploited to optimize the model structure and to estimate the model parameters. The presented model-building process was applied to simulated flight data of the ERICA Tilt-Rotor, generated by using a high fidelity simulation model implemented in FlightLab environment. The validation of the obtained model was very satisfying, confirming the validity of the proposed approach.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
83
10008099
Order Optimization of a Telecommunication Distribution Center through Service Lead Time
Abstract:

European telecommunication distribution center performance is measured by service lead time and quality. Operation model is CTO (customized to order) namely, a high mix customization of telecommunication network equipment and parts. CTO operation contains material receiving, warehousing, network and server assembly to order and configure based on customer specifications. Variety of the product and orders does not support mass production structure. One of the success factors to satisfy customer is to have a proper aggregated planning method for the operation in order to have optimized human resources and highly efficient asset utilization. Research will investigate several methods and find proper way to have an order book simulation where practical optimization problem may contain thousands of variables and the simulation running times of developed algorithms were taken into account with high importance. There are two operation research models that were developed, customer demand is given in orders, no change over time, customer demands are given for product types, and changeover time is constant.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
82
10007987
Analysis of the Diffusion Behavior of an Information and Communication Technology Platform for City Logistics
Abstract:

The concept of City Logistics (CL) has emerged to improve the impacts of last mile freight distribution in urban areas. In this paper, a System Dynamics (SD) model exploring the dynamics of the diffusion of a ICT platform for CL management across different populations is proposed. For the development of the model two sources have been used. On the one hand, the major diffusion variables and feedback loops are derived from a literature review of existing diffusion models. On the other hand, the parameters are represented by the value propositions delivered by the platform as a response to some of the users’ needs. To extract the most important value propositions the Business Model Canvas approach has been used. Such approach in fact focuses on understanding how a company can create value for her target customers. These variables and parameters are thus translated into a SD diffusion model with three different populations namely municipalities, logistics service providers, and own account carriers. Results show that, the three populations under analysis fully adopt the platform within the simulation time frame, highlighting a strong demand by different stakeholders for CL projects aiming at carrying out more efficient urban logistics operations.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
81
10007833
Entrepreneurship Education as a 21st Century Strategy for Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
Abstract:

Within the last 30 years, entrepreneurship education (EE) has continued to gain massive interest both in the field of research and among policy makers. This surge in interest can be attributed to the perceived importance EE plays in the equipping of potential entrepreneurs and as a 21st century strategy to foster economic growth and development. This paper sets out to ascertain the correlation between EE and economic growth and development. A desk research approach was adopted where a multiplicity of literatures in the field were studied intensely. The findings reveal that indeed EE has a positive effect on entrepreneurship engagement thereby fostering economic growth and development. However, some research studies reported the contrary. That although EE may be able to equip potential entrepreneurs with requisite entrepreneurial skills and competencies, it will only be successful in producing entrepreneurs if they are internally driven to become entrepreneurs, because we cannot make people what they are not. The findings also reveal that countries that adopted EE early have more innovations inspired by entrepreneurs and are more developed than those that only recently adopted EE as a viable tool for entrepreneurship and economic development.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
80
10008110
Experimental Analysis and Optimization of Process Parameters in Plasma Arc Cutting Machine of EN-45A Material Using Taguchi and ANOVA Method
Abstract:
This paper presents an experimental investigation on the optimization and the effect of the cutting parameters on Material Removal Rate (MRR) in Plasma Arc Cutting (PAC) of EN-45A Material using Taguchi L 16 orthogonal array method. Four process variables viz. cutting speed, current, stand-off-distance and plasma gas pressure have been considered for this experimental work. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) has been performed to get the percentage contribution of each process parameter for the response variable i.e. MRR. Based on ANOVA, it has been observed that the cutting speed, current and the plasma gas pressure are the major influencing factors that affect the response variable. Confirmation test based on optimal setting shows the better agreement with the predicted values.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
79
10007763
A Design for Supply Chain Model by Integrated Evaluation of Design Value and Supply Chain Cost
Abstract:

To design a product with the given product requirement and design objective, there can be alternative ways to propose the detailed design specifications of the product. In the design modeling stage, alternative design cases with detailed specifications can be modeled to fulfill the product requirement and design objective. Therefore, in the design evaluation stage, it is required to perform an evaluation of the alternative design cases for deciding the final design. The purpose of this research is to develop a product evaluation model for evaluating the alternative design cases by integrated evaluating the criteria of functional design, Kansei design, and design for supply chain. The criteria in the functional design group include primary function, expansion function, improved function, and new function. The criteria in the Kansei group include geometric shape, dimension, surface finish, and layout. The criteria in the design for supply chain group include material, manufacturing process, assembly, and supply chain operation. From the point of view of value and cost, the criteria in the functional design group and Kansei design group represent the design value of the product. The criteria in the design for supply chain group represent the supply chain and manufacturing cost of the product. It is required to evaluate the design value and the supply chain cost to determine the final design. For the purpose of evaluating the criteria in the three criteria groups, a fuzzy analytic network process (FANP) method is presented to evaluate a weighted index by calculating the total relational values among the three groups. A method using the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) is used to compare and rank the design alternative cases according to the weighted index using the total relational values of the criteria. The final decision of a design case can be determined by using the ordered ranking. For example, the design case with the top ranking can be selected as the final design case. Based on the criteria in the evaluation, the design objective can be achieved with a combined and weighted effect of the design value and manufacturing cost. An example product is demonstrated and illustrated in the presentation. It shows that the design evaluation model is useful for integrated evaluation of functional design, Kansei design, and design for supply chain to determine the best design case and achieve the design objective.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
78
10007479
A Case Study of Clinicians’ Perceptions of Enterprise Content Management at Tygerberg Hospital
Abstract:
Healthcare is a human right. The sensitivity of health issues has necessitated the introduction of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) at district hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The objective is understanding clinicians’ perception of ECM at their workplace. It is a descriptive case study design of constructivist paradigm. It employed a phenomenological data analysis method using a pattern matching deductive based analytical procedure. Purposive and s4nowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting participants. Clinicians expressed concerns and frustrations using ECM such as, non-integration with other hospital systems. Inadequate access points to ECM. Incorrect labelling of notes and bar-coding causes more time wasted in finding information. System features and/or functions (such as search and edit) are not possible. Hospital management and clinicians are not constantly interacting and discussing. Information turnaround time is unacceptably lengthy. Resolving these problems would involve a positive working relationship between hospital management and clinicians. In addition, prioritising the problems faced by clinicians in relation to relevance can ensure problem-solving in order to meet clinicians’ expectations and hospitals’ objective. Clinicians’ perception should invoke attention from hospital management with regards technology use. The study’s results can be generalised across clinician groupings exposed to ECM at various district hospitals because of professional and hospital homogeneity.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
77
10007476
Achievements of Healthcare Services Vis-À-Vis the Millennium Development Goals Targets: Evidence from Pakistan
Abstract:
This study investigates the impact of public healthcare facilities and socio-economic circumstances on the status of child health in Pakistan. The complete analysis is carried out in correspondence with fourth and sixth millennium development goals. Further, the health variables chosen are also inherited from targeted indicators of the mentioned goals (MDGs). Trends in the Human Opportunity Index (HOI) for both health inequalities and coverage are analyzed using the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PLSM) data set for 2001-02 to 2012-13 at the national and provincial level. To reveal the relative importance of each circumstance in achieving the targeted values for child health, Shorrocks decomposition is applied on HOI. The annual point average growth rate of HOI is used to simulate the time period for the achievement of target set by MDGs and universal access also. The results indicate an improvement in HOI for a reduction in child mortality rates from 52.1% in 2001-02 to 67.3% in 2012-13, which confirms the availability of healthcare opportunities to a larger segment of society. Similarly, immunization against measles and other diseases such as Diphtheria, Polio, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), and Hepatitis has also registered an improvement from 51.6% to 69.9% during the period of study at the national level. On a positive note, no gender disparity has been found for child health indicators and that health outcome is mostly affected by the parental and geographical features and availability of health infrastructure. However, the study finds that this achievement has been uneven across provinces. Pakistan is not only lagging behind in achieving its health goals, disappointingly with the current rate of health care provision, but it will take many additional years to achieve its targets.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
76
10006772
Implementing Green IT Practices in Non-IT Industries in Sri Lanka: Contemplating the Feasibility and Methods to Ensure Sustainability
Abstract:

Green IT is a term that refers to the collective strategic and tactical practices that unswervingly condense the carbon footprint to a diminished proportion in an establishment’s computing procedures. This concept has been tightly knit with IT related organizations; hence it has been precluded to be applied within non-IT organizations in Sri Lanka. With the turn of the century, computing technologies have taken over commonplace activities in every nook and corner in Sri Lanka, which is still on the verge of moving forth in its march towards being a developed country. Hence, it needs to be recursively proven that non-IT industries are well-bound to adhere to ‘Green IT’ practices as well, in order to reduce their carbon footprint and move towards considering the practicality of implementing Green-IT practices within their work-arounds. There are several spheres that need to be taken into account in creating awareness of ‘Green IT’, such as the economic breach, technologies available, legislative bounds, community mind-set and many more. This paper tends to reconnoiter causes that currently restrain non-IT organizations from considering Green IT concepts. By doing so, it is expected to prove the beneficial providence gained by implementing this concept within the organization. The ultimate goal is to propose feasible ‘Green IT’ practices that could be implemented within the context of Sri Lankan non-IT sectors in order to ensure that organization’s sustainable growth towards a long term existence.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
75
10007505
Entrepreneurship Education as a Pre-Requisite for Graduate Entrepreneurship: A Study of Graduate Entrepreneurs in Yenagoa City
Abstract:
The concepts of entrepreneurship education together with 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. This paper seeks to verify if entrepreneurship education is pre-requisite to graduate entrepreneurship, and to ascertain if such other factors as the need for achievement, competence and experience etc. also play a foundational role in the choice of a graduate becoming an entrepreneur. 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 obtained from a total of 300 questionnaires issued. Bar chart, tables and percentages were used to analyze the collected data. 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.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
74
10006715
Implementing Delivery Drones in Logistics Business Process: Case of Pharmaceutical Industry
Abstract:

In this paper, we will present a research about feasibility of implementing unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as 'drones', in logistics. Research is based on available information about current incentives and experiments in application of delivery drones in commercial use. Overview of current pilot projects and literature, as well as an overview of detected challenges, will be compiled and presented. Based on these findings, we will present a conceptual model of business process that implements delivery drones in business to business logistic operations. Business scenario is based on a pharmaceutical supply chain. Simulation modeling will be used to create models for running experiments and collecting performance data. Comparative study of the presented conceptual model will be given. The work will outline the main advantages and disadvantages of implementing unmanned aerial vehicles in delivery services as a supplementary distribution channel along the supply chain.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
73
10005264
Environmental Accounting: A Conceptual Study of Indian Context
Abstract:
As the entire world continues its rapid move towards industrialization, it has seriously threatened mankind’s ability to maintain an ecological balance. Geographical and natural forces have a significant influence on the location of industries. Industrialization is the foundation stone of the development of any country, while the unplanned industrialization and discharge of waste by industries is the cause of environmental pollution. There is growing degree of awareness and concern globally among nations about environmental degradation or pollution. Environmental resources endowed by the gift of nature and not manmade are invaluable natural resources of a country like India. Any developmental activity is directly related to natural and environmental resources. Economic development without environmental considerations brings about environmental crises and damages the quality of life of present, as well as future generation. As corporate sectors in the global market, especially in India, are becoming anxious about environmental degradation, naturally more and more emphasis will be ascribed to how environment-friendly the outcomes are. Maintaining accounts of such environmental and natural resources in the country has become more urgent. Moreover, international awareness and acceptance of the importance of environmental issues has motivated the development of a branch of accounting called “Environmental Accounting”. Environmental accounting attempts to detect and focus the resources consumed and the costs rendered by an industrial unit to the environment. For the sustainable development of mankind, a healthy environment is indispensable. Gradually, therefore, in many countries including India, environment matters are being given top most priority. Accounting and disclosure of environmental matters have been increasingly manifesting as an important dimension of corporate accounting and reporting practices. But, as conventional accounting deals with mainly non-living things, the formulation of valuation, and measurement and accounting techniques for incorporating environment-related matters in the corporate financial statement sometimes creates problems for the accountant. In the light of this situation, the conceptual analysis of the study is concerned with the rationale of environmental accounting on the economy and society as a whole, and focuses the failures of the traditional accounting system. A modest attempt has been made to throw light on the environmental awareness in developing nations like India and discuss the problems associated with the implementation of environmental accounting. The conceptual study also reflects that despite different anomalies, environmental accounting is becoming an increasing important aspect of the accounting agenda within the corporate sector in India. Lastly, a conclusion, along with recommendations, has been given to overcome the situation.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
72
10004686
Trade Policy Incentives and Economic Growth in Nigeria
Abstract:

This paper analyzes, using descriptive statistics and econometrics data which span the period 1981 to 2014 to gauge the effects of trade policy incentives on economic growth in Nigeria. It argues that the provided incentives penalize economic growth during pre-trade liberalization eras, but stimulated a rapid increase in total factor productivity during the post-liberalization period of 2000 to 2014. The trend analysis shows that Nigeria maintained high tariff walls in economic regulation eras which became low in post liberalization era. The protections were in favor of infant industries, which were mainly appendages of multinationals but against imports of competing food and finished consumer products. The trade openness index confirms the undue exposure of Nigeria’s economy to the vagaries of international market shocks; while banking sector recapitalization and new listing of telecommunications companies deepened the financial markets in post-liberalization era. The structure of economic incentives was biased in favor of construction, trade and services, but against the real sector despite protectionist policies. Total Factor Productivity (TFP) estimates show that the Nigerian economy suffered stagnation in pre-liberalization eras, but experienced rapid growth rates in post-liberalization eras. The regression results relating trade policy incentives to TFP growth rate yielded a significant but negative intercept suggesting that a non-interventionist policy could be detrimental to economic progress, while protective tariff which limits imports of competing products could spur productivity gains in domestic import substitutes beyond factor growth with market liberalization. The main constraint to the effectiveness of trade policy incentives is the failure of benefiting industries to leverage on the domestic factor endowments of the nation. This paper concludes that there is the need to review the current economic transformation strategies urgently with a view to provide policymakers with a better understanding of the most viable options that could make for rapid success.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
71
10004521
Multi-Faceted Growth in Creative Industries
Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to explore the different facets of growth among micro, small and medium-sized firms in Croatia and to analyze the differences between models designed for all micro, small and medium-sized firms and those in creative industries. Three growth prediction models were designed and tested using the growth of sales, employment and assets of the company as dependent variables. The key drivers of sales growth are: prudent use of cash, industry affiliation and higher share of intangible assets. Growth of assets depends on retained profits, internal and external sources of financing, as well as industry affiliation. Growth in employment is closely related to sources of financing, in particular, debt and it occurs less frequently than growth in sales and assets. The findings confirm the assumption that growth strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in creative industries have specific differences in comparison to SMEs in general. Interestingly, only 2.2% of growing enterprises achieve growth in employment, assets and sales simultaneously.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
70
10004475
Measuring Enterprise Growth: Pitfalls and Implications
Abstract:
Enterprise growth is generally considered as a key driver of competitiveness, employment, economic development and social inclusion. As such, it is perceived to be a highly desirable outcome of entrepreneurship for scholars and decision makers. The huge academic debate resulted in the multitude of theoretical frameworks focused on explaining growth stages, determinants and future prospects. It has been widely accepted that enterprise growth is most likely nonlinear, temporal and related to the variety of factors which reflect the individual, firm, organizational, industry or environmental determinants of growth. However, factors that affect growth are not easily captured, instruments to measure those factors are often arbitrary, causality between variables and growth is elusive, indicating that growth is not easily modeled. Furthermore, in line with heterogeneous nature of the growth phenomenon, there is a vast number of measurement constructs assessing growth which are used interchangeably. Differences among various growth measures, at conceptual as well as at operationalization level, can hinder theory development which emphasizes the need for more empirically robust studies. In line with these highlights, the main purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to compare structure and performance of three growth prediction models based on the main growth measures: Revenues, employment and assets growth. Secondly, to explore the prospects of financial indicators, set as exact, visible, standardized and accessible variables, to serve as determinants of enterprise growth. Finally, to contribute to the understanding of the implications on research results and recommendations for growth caused by different growth measures. The models include a range of financial indicators as lag determinants of the enterprises’ performances during the 2008-2013, extracted from the national register of the financial statements of SMEs in Croatia. The design and testing stage of the modeling used the logistic regression procedures. Findings confirm that growth prediction models based on different measures of growth have different set of predictors. Moreover, the relationship between particular predictors and growth measure is inconsistent, namely the same predictor positively related to one growth measure may exert negative effect on a different growth measure. Overall, financial indicators alone can serve as good proxy of growth and yield adequate predictive power of the models. The paper sheds light on both methodology and conceptual framework of enterprise growth by using a range of variables which serve as a proxy for the multitude of internal and external determinants, but are unlike them, accessible, available, exact and free of perceptual nuances in building up the model. Selection of the growth measure seems to have significant impact on the implications and recommendations related to growth. Furthermore, the paper points out to potential pitfalls of measuring and predicting growth. Overall, the results and the implications of the study are relevant for advancing academic debates on growth-related methodology, and can contribute to evidence-based decisions of policy makers.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
69
10004806
Use of Fuzzy Logic in the Corporate Reputation Assessment: Stock Market Investors’ Perspective
Abstract:
The growing importance of reputation in building enterprise value and achieving long-term competitive advantage creates the need for its measurement and evaluation for the management purposes (effective reputation and its risk management). The paper presents practical application of self-developed corporate reputation assessment model from the viewpoint of stock market investors. The model has a pioneer character and example analysis performed for selected industry is a form of specific test for this tool. In the proposed solution, three aspects - informational, financial and development, as well as social ones - were considered. It was also assumed that the individual sub-criteria will be based on public sources of information, and as the calculation apparatus, capable of obtaining synthetic final assessment, fuzzy logic will be used. The main reason for developing this model was to fulfill the gap in the scope of synthetic measure of corporate reputation that would provide higher degree of objectivity by relying on "hard" (not from surveys) and publicly available data. It should be also noted that results obtained on the basis of proposed corporate reputation assessment method give possibilities of various internal as well as inter-branch comparisons and analysis of corporate reputation impact.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
68
10004445
Analytical Study of Applying the Account Aggregation Approach in E-Banking Services
Abstract:

The advanced information technology is becoming an important factor in the development of financial services industry, especially the banking industry. It has introduced new ways of delivering banking to the customer, such as Internet Banking. Banks began to look at electronic banking (e-banking) as a means to replace some of their traditional branch functions using the Internet as a new distribution channel. Some consumers have at least more than one account, and across banks, and access these accounts using e-banking services. To look at the current net worth position, customers have to login to each of their accounts and get the details and work on consolidation. This not only takes ample time but it is a repetitive activity at a specified frequency. To address this point, an account aggregation concept is added as a solution. E-banking account aggregation, as one of the e-banking types, appeared to build a stronger relationship with customers. Account Aggregation Service generally refers to a service that allows customers to manage their bank accounts maintained in different institutions through a common Internet banking operating a platform, with a high concern to security and privacy. This paper presents an overview of an e-banking account aggregation approach as a new service in the e-banking field.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
67
10004533
The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility in the National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia
Authors:
Abstract:
The aim of the paper is to investigate the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) CSR on the National Commercial Bank (NCB) in Saudi Arabia. In order to achieve this, a case study was made of the CSR activities of this bank from the perspective of its branch managers. The NCB was chosen as it was one of the first Saudi banks to engage in CSR and currently has a wide range of CSR initiatives. A qualitative research method was used. Open-ended questionnaires were administered to eighty branch managers of the NCB, with fifty-five usable questionnaires returned and twenty managers were interviewed as part of the primary research. Data from both questionnaires and interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Six themes emerged from the questionnaire findings were used to develop the interview questions. These themes are the following: Awareness of employees about CSR in the NCB; CSR activities as a type of investment; Government and media support; Increased employee loyalty in the NCB; Prestige and profit to the NCB; and View of CSR in Islam. This paper makes a theoretical contribution in that it investigates and increases understanding of the effect of CSR on the NCB in Saudi Arabia. In addition, it makes a practical contribution by making recommendations which can support the development of CSR in the NCB. A limitation of the paper is that it is a case study of only one bank. It is therefore recommended that future research could be conducted with other banks in Saudi Arabia, or indeed, with a range of other types of firm within the financial services area in Saudi Arabia. In this way, the same issues could be explored but with a greater potential generalisability of findings of CSR within the Saudi Arabian financial services industry. In addition, this paper takes a qualitative approach and it is suggested that future research be carried out using mixed methods, which could provide a greater depth of analysis.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
66
10003990
Gender Discrimination and Pay Gap on Tourism Labor Market
Authors:
Abstract:

The research concentrates on the role of tourism in generating female employment and on impact of gender discrimination in tourism sector. Unfortunately, in many countries there are still some barriers to the inclusion of women at all hierarchical levels of tourism labor market. Research analysis focuses on EU countries where tourism is a main employer of women. The analysis shows that women represent over third persons employed in the non-financial business economy and almost two thirds in core tourism activities. Women's gross hourly earnings in accommodation and food services were below those of men in the European Union and only countries who recorded increase of gender pay gap from the beginning of crisis are Bulgaria and Croatia. Women in tourism industry are still overrepresented in lower status jobs with fewer opportunities for career progression and are often treated unequally.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
65
10003902
The Proposal of a Shared Mobility City Index to Support Investment Decision Making for Carsharing
Abstract:

One of the biggest challenges entering a market with a carsharing or any other shared mobility (SM) service is sound investment decision-making. To support this process, the authors think that a city index evaluating different criteria is necessary. The goal of such an index is to benchmark cities along a set of external measures to answer the main two challenges: financially viability and the understanding of its specific requirements. The authors have consulted several shared mobility projects and industry experts to create such a Shared Mobility City Index (SMCI). The current proposal of the SMCI consists of 11 individual index measures: general data (demographics, geography, climate and city culture), shared mobility landscape (current SM providers, public transit options, commuting patterns and driving culture) and political vision and goals (vision of the Mayor, sustainability plan, bylaws/tenders supporting SM). To evaluate the suitability of the index, 16 cities on the East Coast of North America were selected and secondary research was conducted. The main sources of this study were census data, organisational records, independent press releases and informational websites. Only non-academic sources where used because the relevant data for the chosen cities is not published in academia. Applying the index measures to the selected cities resulted in three major findings. Firstly, density (city area divided by number of inhabitants) is not an indicator for the number of SM services offered: the city with the lowest density has five bike and carsharing options. Secondly, there is a direct correlation between commuting patterns and how many shared mobility services are offered. New York, Toronto and Washington DC have the highest public transit ridership and the most shared mobility providers. Lastly, except one, all surveyed cities support shared mobility with their sustainability plan. The current version of the shared mobility index is proving a practical tool to evaluate cities, and to understand functional, political, social and environmental considerations. More cities will have to be evaluated to refine the criteria further. However, the current version of the index can be used to assess cities on their suitability for shared mobility services and will assist investors deciding which city is a financially viable market.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
64
10003780
Economic Impact of Rana Plaza Collapse
Abstract:

The collapse of the infamous Rana Plaza, a multi-storeyed commercial building in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh has brought with it a plethora of positive and negative consequences. Bangladesh being a key player in the export of clothing, found itself amidst a wave of economic upheaval following this tragic incident that resulted in numerous Bangladeshis, most of whom were factory workers. This paper compares the consequences that the country’s Ready Made Garments (RMG) sector is facing now, two years into the incident. The paper presents a comparison of statistical data from study reports and brings forward perspectives from all dimensions of Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations in Bangladesh following the event. The paper brings across the viewpoint of donor organizations and donor countries, the impacts of several initiatives taken by foreign organizations like the International Labour Organization, and local entities like the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in order to reinforce compliance and stabilize the shaky foundation that the RMG sector had found itself following the collapse. Focus of the paper remains on the stance taken by the suppliers in Bangladesh, with inputs from buying houses and factories, and also on the reaction of foreign brands. The paper also focuses on the horrific physical, mental and financial implications sustained by the victims and their families, and the consequent uproar from workers in general regarding compliance with work safety and workers’ welfare conditions. The purpose is to get across both sides of the scenario: the economic impact that suppliers / factories/ sellers/ buying houses/exporters have faced in Bangladesh as a result of complete loss of reliability on them regarding working standards; and also to cover the aftershock felt on the other end of the spectrum by the importers/ buyers, particularly the foreign entities, in terms of the sudden accountability of being affiliated with non- compliant factories. The collapse of Rana Plaza has received vast international attention and strong criticism. Nevertheless, the almost immediate strengthening of labourrights and the wholesale reform undertaken on all sides of the supply chain, evidence a move of all local and foreign stakeholders towards greater compliance and taking of precautionary steps for prevention of further disasters. The tragedy that Rana Plaza embodies served as a much-needed epiphany for the soaring RMG Sector of Bangladesh. Prompt co-operation on the part of all stakeholders and regulatory bodies now show a move towards sustainable development, which further ensures safeguarding against any future irregularities and pave the way for steady economic growth.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
63
10003565
The Impact Evaluation of the Innovation Implementation within the EU Funds on the SMEs Performance Results
Abstract:
In subjective terms, Polish SME sector occupies a prominent position in the national economic development, in which planning of the management strategies should be primarily based on identifying and meeting the innovation needs. As a research sample, there is chosen a printing sector of industry. SMEs share in printing sector in Poland is estimated at the level of 81% of all enterprises. In recent years, the printing industry achieved one of the highest levels of EU support in Poland. There is a relatively high increase in the development of technological innovations in equipment and the associated significant increase in production capacity. It can be also noticed that on average, every third enterprise belonging to the printing industry has implemented innovations, but not all of them effected in better economic results. Therefore, the aim of this article is to evaluate the impact of the implementation of innovation projects financed from the EU funds for performance of SMEs in the printing industry. As the results of research of EU funds co-financing effects on the development of innovation in the printing industry, it was specified that examined SMEs prefer to implement product innovation to receive a grant to the project at a level between 40% to 60%, the remaining part of the investment is usually covered with equity. The most common type of innovation had indicated a single implementation, related only to the change in process, technology, or organization. The relationship between variables of the EU funds and management of innovative activities was verified. It has been observed that the identified variables arising from the support in a form of the EU funds had a positive effect on the level of earned revenue, the increase in margin and in increase in employment as well. It was confirmed that the implemented innovations supported by the European funds have a positive impact on the performance of the printing companies. Although there is a risk that due to the decreasing demand for printing services such a high level of funding the companies in this sector will significantly increase competition in the long term, that may also contribute to the economic problems of the enterprises belonging to the analyzed branch.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
62
10003219
Governance of Inter-Organizational Research Cooperation
Abstract:
Companies face increasing challenges in research due to higher costs and risks. The intensifying technology complexity and interdisciplinarity require unique know-how. Therefore, companies need to decide whether research shall be conducted internally or externally with partners. On the other hand, research institutes meet increasing efforts to achieve good financing and to maintain high research reputation. Therefore, relevant research topics need to be identified and specialization of competency is necessary. However, additional competences for solving interdisciplinary research projects are also often required. Secured financing can be achieved by bonding industry partners as well as public fundings. The realization of faster and better research drives companies and research institutes to cooperate in organized research networks, which are managed by an administrative organization. For an effective and efficient cooperation, necessary processes, roles, tools and a set of rules need to be determined. Goal of this paper is to show the state-of-art research and to propose a governance framework for organized research networks.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
61
10002924
Assessing the Corporate Identity of Malaysia Universities in the East Coast Region with the Market Conditions in Ensuring Self-Sustainability: A Study on Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin
Abstract:
The liberalisation of the education industry has exposed the institute of higher learning (IHL) in Malaysia to the financial challenges. Without good financial standing, public institution will rely on the government funding. Ostensibly, this contradicts with the government’s aspiration to make universities self-sufficient. With stiff competition from private institutes of higher learning, IHL need to be prepared at the forefront level. The corporate identity itself is the entrance to the world of higher learning and it is in this uniqueness, it will be able to distinguish itself from competitors. This paper examined the perception of the stakeholders at one of the public universities in the east coast region in Malaysia on the perceived reputation and how the university communicate its preparedness for self-sustainability through corporate identity. The findings indicated while the stakeholders embraced the challenges in facing the stiff competition and struggling market conditions, most of them felt the university should put more efforts in mobilising the corporate identity to its constituencies.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
60
10003181
Fundamental Problems in the Operation of the Automotive Parts Industry Small and Medium Businesses in Bangkok and Surrounding Provinces
Abstract:
The purposes of this study were to: 1) investigate operation conditions of SME automotive part industry in Bangkok and vicinity and 2) to compare operation problem levels of SME automotive part industry in Bangkok and vicinity according to the sizes of the enterprises. Samples in this study included 196 entrepreneurs of SME automotive part industry in Bangkok and vicinity derived from simple random sampling and calculation from R. V. Krejcie and D. W. Morgan’s tables. Research statistics included frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, and T-test. The results revealed that in general the problem levels of SME automotive part industry in Bangkok and vicinity were high. When considering in details, it was found that the problem levels were high at every aspect, i.e. personal, production, export, finance, and marketing respectively. The comparison of the problem levels according to the sizes of the enterprises revealed statistically significant differences at .05. When considering on each aspect, it was found that the aspect with the statistical difference at .05 included 5 aspects, i.e. production, marketing, finance, personal, and export. The findings also showed that small enterprises faced more severe problems than those of medium enterprises.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
59
10002760
MFCA: An Environmental Management Accounting Technique for Optimal Resource Efficiency in Production Processes
Abstract:
Revenue leakages are one of the major challenges manufacturers face in production processes, as most of the input materials that should emanate as products from the lines are lost as waste. Rather than generating income from material input which is meant to end-up as products, losses are further incurred as costs in order to manage waste generated. In addition, due to the lack of a clear view of the flow of resources on the lines from input to output stage, acquiring information on the true cost of waste generated have become a challenge. This has therefore given birth to the conceptualization and implementation of waste minimization strategies by several manufacturing industries. This paper reviews the principles and applications of three environmental management accounting tools namely Activity-based Costing (ABC), Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA) in the manufacturing industry and their effectiveness in curbing revenue leakages. The paper unveils the strengths and limitations of each of the tools; beaming a searchlight on the tool that could allow for optimal resource utilization, transparency in production process as well as improved cost efficiency. Findings from this review reveal that MFCA may offer superior advantages with regards to the provision of more detailed information (both in physical and monetary terms) on the flow of material inputs throughout the production process compared to the other environmental accounting tools. This paper therefore makes a case for the adoption of MFCA as a viable technique for the identification and reduction of waste in production processes, and also for effective decision making by production managers, financial advisors and other relevant stakeholders.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
58
10002644
Forecasting for Financial Stock Returns Using a Quantile Function Model
Authors:
Abstract:
In this talk, we introduce a newly developed quantile function model that can be used for estimating conditional distributions of financial returns and for obtaining multi-step ahead out-of-sample predictive distributions of financial returns. Since we forecast the whole conditional distributions, any predictive quantity of interest about the future financial returns can be obtained simply as a by-product of the method. We also show an application of the model to the daily closing prices of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) series over the period from 2 January 2004 - 8 October 2010. We obtained the predictive distributions up to 15 days ahead for the DJIA returns, which were further compared with the actually observed returns and those predicted from an AR-GARCH model. The results show that the new model can capture the main features of financial returns and provide a better fitted model together with improved mean forecasts compared with conventional methods. We hope this talk will help audience to see that this new model has the potential to be very useful in practice.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
57
10003790
The Relationship between the Environmental and Financial Performance of Australian Electricity Producers
Abstract:
The present study focuses on the environmental performance of the companies in the electricity-producing sector and its relationship with their financial performance. We will review the major studies that examined the relationship between the environmental and financial performance of firms in various industries. While the classical economic debates consider the environmental friendly activities costly and harmful to a firm’s profitability, it is claimed that firms will be rewarded with higher profitability in long run through the investments in environmental friendly activities. In this context, prior studies have examined the relationship between the environmental and financial performance of firms operating in different industry sectors. Our study will employ an environmental indicator to increase the accuracy of the results and be employed as an independent variable in our developed econometric model to evaluate the impact of the financial performance of the firms on their environmental friendly activities in the context of companies operating in the Australian electricity-producing sector. As a result, we expect our methodology to contribute to the literature and the findings of the study will help us to provide recommendations and policy implications to the electricity producers.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
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