Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 51

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

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  • 51
    9999615
    Improving Knowledge Management Practices in the South African Healthcare System
    Abstract:

    Knowledge is increasingly recognised in this, the knowledge era, as a strategic resource, by public sector organisations, in view of the public sector reform initiatives. People and knowledge play a vital role in attaining improved organisational performance and high service quality. Many government departments in the public sector have started to realise the importance of knowledge management in streamlining their operations and processes. This study focused on knowledge management in the public healthcare service organisations, where the concept of service provider competitiveness pales to insignificance, considering the huge challenges emanating from the healthcare and public sector reforms. Many government departments are faced with challenges of improving organisational performance and service delivery, improving accountability, making informed decisions, capturing the knowledge of the aging workforce, and enhancing partnerships with stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to examine the knowledge management practices of the Gauteng Department of Health in South Africa, in order to understand how knowledge management practices influence improvement in organisational performance and healthcare service delivery. This issue is explored through a review of literature on dominant views on knowledge management and healthcare service delivery, as well as results of interviews with, and questionnaire responses from, the general staff of the Gauteng Department of Health. Web-based questionnaires, face-to-face interviews and organisational documents were used to collect data. The data were analysed using both the quantitative and qualitative methods. The central question investigated was: To what extent can the conditions required for successful knowledge management be observed, in order to improve organisational performance and healthcare service delivery in the Gauteng Department of Health. The findings showed that the elements of knowledge management capabilities investigated in this study, namely knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and knowledge application, have a positive, significant relationship with all measures of organisational performance and healthcare service delivery. These findings thus indicate that by employing knowledge management principles, the Gauteng Department of Health could improve its ability to achieve its operational goals and objectives, and solve organisational and healthcare challenges, thereby improving organisational performance and enhancing healthcare service delivery in Gauteng.

    50
    9999610
    Development of a Model for the Redesign of Plant Structures
    Abstract:

    In order to remain competitive in what is a turbulent environment; businesses must be able to react rapidly to change. The past response to volatile market conditions was to introduce an element of flexibility to production. Nowadays, what is often required is a redesign of factory structures in order to cope with the state of constant flux. The Institute of Production Systems and Logistics is currently developing a descriptive and causal model for the redesign of plant structures as part of an ongoing research project. This article presents the first research findings attained in devising this model.

    49
    9999609
    Resource Efficiency within Current Production
    Abstract:

    In times of global warming and the increasing shortage of resources, sustainable production is becoming more and more inevitable. Companies cannot only heighten their competitiveness but also contribute positively to environmental protection through efficient energy and resource consumption. Regarding this, technical solutions are often preferred during production, although organizational and process-related approaches also offer great potential. This project focuses on reducing resource usage, with a special emphasis on the human factor. It is the aspiration to develop a methodology that systematically implements and embeds suitable and individual measures and methods regarding resource efficiency throughout the entire production. The measures and methods established help employees handle resources and energy more sensitively. With this in mind, this paper also deals with the difficulties that can occur during the sensitization of employees and the implementation of these measures and methods. In addition, recommendations are given on how to avoid such difficulties.

    48
    9999611
    The Influence of Website Quality on Customer E-Satisfaction in Low Cost Airline
    Abstract:

    The evolution of customer behavior in purchasing products or services through the Internet leads to airline companies engaging in the e-ticketing process in order to maintain their business. A well-designed website is vitally significant for the airline companies to provide effective communication, support, and competitive advantage. This study was conducted to identify the dimensions of website quality for low cost airline and to investigate the relationship between the website quality and customer esatisfaction at low cost airline. A total of 381 responses were conveniently collected among local passengers at Low Cost Carrier Terminal, Kuala Lumpur via questionnaire distribution. This study found that the five determinant factors of website quality for AirAsia were Information Content, Navigation, Responsiveness, Personalization, and Security and Privacy. The results of this study revealed that there is a positive relationship between the five dimensions of website quality and customer e-satisfaction, and also information content was the most significant contributor to customer e-satisfaction.

    47
    9999634
    Method for Assessing Potential in Distribution Logistics
    Abstract:

    In addition to the production, which is already frequently optimized, improving the distribution logistics also opens up tremendous potential for increasing an enterprise’s competitiveness. Here too though, numerous interactions need to be taken into account, enterprises thus need to be able to identify and weigh between different potentials for economically efficient optimizations. In order to be able to assess potentials, enterprises require a suitable method. This paper first briefly presents the need for this research before introducing the procedure that will be used to develop an appropriate method that not only considers interactions but is also quickly and easily implemented.

    46
    9999640
    The Use of Crisis Workplace Technology to Protect Communication Processes of Critical Infrastructure
    Abstract:

    This paper deals with a protection of the national and European infrastructure. It is issue nowadays. The paper deals with the perspectives and possibilities of "smart solutions" to critical infrastructure protection. The research project deals with computers aided technologies are used from the perspective of new, better protection of selected infrastructure objects. Protection is focused on communication and information channels. These communication and information channels are very important for the functioning of the system of protection of critical infrastructure elements.

    45
    9999641
    Simulation Programs to Education of Crisis Management Members
    Authors:
    Abstract:

    This paper deals with a simulation programs and technologies using in the educational process for members of the crisis management. Risk analysis, simulation, preparation and planning are among the main activities of workers of crisis management. Made correctly simulation of emergency defines the extent of the danger. On this basis, it is possible to effectively prepare and plan measures to minimize damage. The paper is focused on simulation programs that are trained at the University of Defence. Implementation of the outputs from simulation programs in decision-making processes of crisis staffs is one of the main tasks of the research project.

    44
    9999652
    Knowledge Acquisition as Determinant of Outputs of Innovative Business in Regions of the Czech Republic
    Abstract:

    The aim of this paper is to analyze the ability to identify and acquire knowledge from external sources at the regional level in the Czech Republic. The results show that the most important sources of knowledge for innovative activities are sources within the businesses themselves, followed by customers and suppliers. Furthermore, the analysis of relationships between the objective of the innovative activity and the ability to identify and acquire knowledge implies that knowledge obtained from (1) customers aims at replacing outdated products and increasing product quality; (2) suppliers aims at increasing capacity and flexibility of production; and (3) competing businesses aims at growing market share and increasing the flexibility of production and services. Regions should therefore direct their support especially into development and strengthening of networks within the value chain.

    43
    9999661
    Financial Analysis of Feasibility for a Heat Utilization System Using Rice Straw Pellets - Heating Energy Demand and the Collection and Storage Method in Nanporo, Japan
    Abstract:

    Rice straw pellets are a promising fuel as a renewable energy source. Financial analysis is needed to make a utilization system using rise straw pellets financially feasible, considering all regional conditions including stakeholders related to the collection and storage, production, transportation and heat utilization. We conducted the financial analysis of feasibility for a heat utilization system using rice straw pellets which has been developed for the first time in Nanporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Especially, we attempted to clarify the effect of factors required for the system to be financial feasibility, such as the heating energy demand and collection and storage method of rice straw. The financial feasibility was found to improve when increasing the heating energy demand and collecting wheat straw in August separately from collection of rice straw in November because the costs of storing rice straw and producing pellets were reduced. However, the system remained financially unfeasible. This study proposed a contractor program funded by a subsidy from Nanporo local government where a contracted company, instead of farmers, collects and transports rice straw in order to ensure the financial feasibility of the system, contributing to job creation in the region.

    42
    9999664
    Assessment of Mortgage Applications Using Fuzzy Logic
    Abstract:

    The assessment of the risk posed by a borrower to a lender is one of the common problems that financial institutions have to deal with. Consumers vying for a mortgage are generally compared to each other by the use of a number called the Credit Score, which is generated by applying a mathematical algorithm to information in the applicant’s credit report. The higher the credit score, the lower the risk posed by the candidate, and the better he is to be taken on by the lender. The objective of the present work is to use fuzzy logic and linguistic rules to create a model that generates Credit Scores.

    41
    9999681
    Institutional Foundations of Capitalism and Tourism Management Problems of Countries at the Transition Stage (Case of Georgia)
    Abstract:

    In Capitalism all economic activity rests upon a set of core institutional foundations, main from which are privately owned capital assets and profit. How these core institutional foundations are working in former soviet countries, in particular in Travel and Tourism Industry of Georgia? The role of Travel and Tourism as a key pillar of economic growth is being increasingly recognized by governments in all regions of the world. For the last few years Georgia succeeded in the World Bank and IFC “Doing Business” rankings. Despite of that, during decades totally different statistical data of the tourism sector were provided by the different State bodies; economic parameters were published few, or not published at all. The frequency and extent of property rights violation in Georgia has repeatedly been the subject of concern for the last decade. Total value of abrogated by the former Georgian Government private property is estimated approximately in US$4-5 billion. Thus, if economic profitability is unknown and property rights are not protected – that means that the main institutional foundations of capitalism in Georgia, are not working properly yet, that cause management problems at all levels of the national Travel and Tourism industry of Georgia.

    40
    9999698
    The Critical Success Factors for Effective ICT Governance in Malaysian Public Sector: A Delphi Study
    Abstract:

    The fundamental issues in ICT Governance (ICTG) implementation for Malaysian Public Sector (MPS) is how ICT be applied to support improvements in productivity, management effectiveness and the quality of services offered to its citizens. Our main concern is to develop and adopt a common definition and framework to illustrate how ICTG can be used to better align ICT with government’s operations and strategic focus. In particular, we want to identify and categorize factors that drive a successful ICTG process. This paper presents the results of an exploratory study to identify, validate and refine such Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and confirmed seven CSFs and nineteen sub-factors as influential factors that fit MPS after further validated and refined. The Delphi method applied in validation and refining process before being endorsed as appropriate for MPS. The identified CSFs reflect the focus areas that need to be considered strategically to strengthen ICT Governance implementation and ensure business success.

    39
    9999701
    Requirements Engineering via Controlling Actors Definition for the Organizations of European Critical Infrastructure
    Abstract:

    The organizations of European and Czech critical infrastructure have specific position, mission, characteristics and behaviour in European Union and Czech state/business environments, regarding specific requirements for regional and global security environments. They must respect policy of national security and global rules, requirements and standards in all their inherent and outer processes of supply - customer chains and networks. A controlling is generalized capability to have control over situational policy. This paper aims and purposes are to introduce the controlling as quite new necessary process attribute providing for critical infrastructure is environment the capability and profit to achieve its commitment regarding to the effectiveness of the quality management system in meeting customer/ user requirements and also the continual improvement of critical infrastructure organization’s processes overall performance and efficiency, as well as its societal security via continual planning improvement via DYVELOP modelling.

    38
    9999720
    Educators’ Adherence to Learning Theories and Their Perceptions on the Advantages and Disadvantages of e-Learning
    Abstract:

    Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are pervasive nowadays, including in education where they are expected to improve the performance of learners. However, the hope placed in ICTs to find viable solutions to the problem of poor academic performance in schools in the developing world has not yet yielded the expected benefits. This problem serves as a motivation to this study whose aim is to examine the perceptions of educators on the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning. This aim will be subdivided into two types of research objectives. Objectives on the identification and design of theories and models will be achieved using content analysis and literature review. However, the objective on the empirical testing of such theories and models will be achieved through the survey of educators from different schools in the Pinetown District of the South African Kwazulu-Natal province. SPSS is used to quantitatively analyse the data collected by the questionnaire of this survey using descriptive statistics and Pearson correlations after assessing the validity and the reliability of the data. The main hypothesis driving this study is that there is a relationship between the demographics of educators’ and their adherence to learning theories on one side, and their perceptions on the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning on the other side, as argued by existing research; but this research views these learning theories under three perspectives: educators’ adherence to self-regulated learning, to constructivism, and to progressivism. This hypothesis was fully confirmed by the empirical study except for the demographic factor where teachers’ level of education was found to be the only demographic factor affecting the perceptions of educators on the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning.

    37
    9999722
    Teachers’ Awareness of the Significance of Lifelong Learning: A Case Study of Secondary School Teachers of Batna – Algeria
    Authors:
    Abstract:

    This study is an attempt to raise the awareness of the stakeholders and the authorities on the sensitivity of Algerian secondary school teachers of English as a Foreign Language about the students’ loss of English language skills learned during formal schooling with effort and at expense and the supposed measures to arrest that loss. Data was collected from secondary school teachers of EFL and analyzed quantitatively using a questionnaire containing open-ended and close-ended questions. The results advocate a consensus about the need for actions to be adopted to make assessment techniques outcome-oriented. Most of the participants were in favor of including curricular activities involving contextualized learning, problem-solving learning critical selfawareness, self and peer-assisted learning, use of computers and internet so as to make learners autonomous.

    36
    9999739
    The Harada Method – A Method for Employee Development during Production Ramp Up
    Abstract:

    Caused by shorter product life cycles and higher product variety the importance of production ramp ups is increasing. Even though companies are aware of that fact, up to 40% of the ramp up projects still miss technical and economical requirements. The success of a ramp up depends on the planning of human factors, organizational aspects and technological solutions. Since only partly considered in scientific literature, this paper lays its focus on the human factor during production ramp up. There are only incoherent methods which address the problems in this area. A systematic and holistic method to improve the capabilities of the employees during ramp up is missing. The Harada Method is a relatively young approach for developing highly-skilled workers. It consists of different worksheets which help employees to set guidelines and reach overall objectives. This approach is going to be transferred into a tool for ramp up management.

    35
    9999744
    Students’ Awareness of the Use of Poster, Power Point and Animated Video Presentations: A Case Study of Third Year Students of the Department of English of Batna University
    Authors:
    Abstract:

    The present study debates students’ perceptions of the use of technology in learning English as a Foreign Language. Its aim is to explore and understand students’ preparation and presentation of Posters, PowerPoint and Animated Videos by drawing attention to visual and oral elements. The data is collected through observations and semi-structured interviews and analyzed through phenomenological data analysis steps. The themes emerged from the data, visual learning satisfaction in using information and communication technology, providing structure to oral presentation, learning from peers’ presentations, draw attention to using Posters, PowerPoint and Animated Videos as each supports visual learning and organization of thoughts in oral presentations.

    34
    9999752
    Comparison of the Effectiveness of Communication between the Traditional Lecture and IELS
    Abstract:

    Communication and effective information exchange within technology has become a crucial part of delivering knowledge to students during the learning process. It enables better understanding, builds trust and respect, and increases the sharing of knowledge between students. This paper examines the communication between undergraduate students and their lecturers during the traditional lecture and when using the Interactive Electronic Lecture System (IELS). The IELS is an application that offers a set of components which support the effective communication between students and their peers and between students and their lecturers. Moreover, this paper highlights communication skills such as sender, receiver, channel and feedback. It will show how the IELS creates a rich communication environment between its users and how they communicate effectively. To examine and assess the effectiveness of communication, an experiment was conducted on groups of users; students and lecturers. The first group communicated in the traditional lecture while the second group communicated by means of the IELS application. The results show that there was more effective communication between the second group than the first.

    33
    9999754
    General Awareness of Teenagers in Information Security
    Abstract:

    The use of IT equipment has become a part of every day. However, each device that is part of cyberspace should be secured against unauthorized use. It is very important to know the basics of these security devices, but also the basics of safe conduct their owners. This information should be part of every curriculum computer science education in primary and secondary schools. Therefore, the work focuses on the education of pupils in primary and secondary schools on the Internet. Analysis of the current state describes approaches to the education of pupils in security issues on the Internet. The paper presents a questionnaire-based survey which was carried out in the Czech Republic, whose task was to ascertain the level of opinion pupils in primary and secondary schools on the issue of communication in social networks. The research showed that awareness of socio-pathological phenomena on the Internet environment is very low. Based on the results it was proposed appropriate ways of teaching to this issue and its inclusion a proposal of curriculum for primary and secondary schools.

    32
    9999755
    Approach for an Integrative Technology Assessment Method Combining Product Design and Manufacturing Process
    Abstract:

    The systematic evaluation of manufacturing technologies with regard to the potential for product designing constitutes a major challenge. Until now, conventional evaluation methods primarily consider the costs of manufacturing technologies. Thus, the potential of manufacturing technologies for achieving additional product design features is not completely captured. To compensate this deficit, final evaluations of new technologies are mainly intuitive in practice. Therefore, an additional evaluation dimension is needed which takes the potential of manufacturing technologies for specific realizable product designs into account. In this paper, we present the approach of an evaluation method for selecting manufacturing technologies with regard to their potential for product designing. This research is done within the Fraunhofer innovation cluster »AdaM« (Adaptive Manufacturing) which targets the development of resource efficient and adaptive manufacturing technology processes for complex turbomachinery components.

    31
    9999757
    Teachers and Learners Perceptions on the Impact of Different Test Procedures on Reading: A Case Study
    Authors:
    Abstract:

    The main aim of this research was to investigate the perspectives of English language teachers and learners on the effect of test techniques on reading comprehension, test performance and assessment. The research has also aimed at finding the differences between teacher and learner perspectives, specifying the test techniques which have the highest effect, investigating the other factors affecting reading comprehension, and comparing the results with the similar studies. In order to achieve these objectives, perspectives and findings of different researchers were reviewed, two different questionnaires were prepared to collect data for the perspectives of teachers and learners, the questionnaires were applied to 26 learners and 8 teachers from the University of Batna (Algeria), and quantitative and qualitative data analysis of the results were done. The results and analysis of the results show that different test techniques affect reading comprehension, test performance and assessment at different percentages rates.

    30
    9999762
    The Influence of Knowledge Transfer on Outputs of Innovative Process – Case Study of Czech Regions
    Abstract:

    The goal of this article is the analysis of knowledge transfer at the regional level of the Czech Republic. We show how goals of enterprises´ innovative activities are related to the rate of cooperation with different actors within regional innovative systems as well as in other world regions. The results show that the most important partners of enterprises are their suppliers and clients in most Czech regions. The cooperation rate of enterprises correlates significantly mainly with enterprises´ efforts to enter new markets and reduce labour costs per unit output. The meaning of this cooperation decreases with the increase of partner’s distance. Regarding the type of a cooperating partner, cooperation within an enterprise had to do with the increase of market share and decrease of labour costs. On the other hand, cooperation with clients had to do with efforts to replace outdated products or processes or enter new markets. We can pay less attention to the cooperation with government authorities and organizations. The reasons for marginalization of this cooperation should be submitted to further detailed investigation.

    29
    9999764
    A Multi-Attribute Utility Model for Performance Evaluation of Sustainable Banking
    Abstract:

    In this study, we develop a performance evaluation model based on a multi-attribute utility approach aiming at reaching the sustainable banking (SB) status. This model is built accounting for various banks’ stakeholders in a win-win paradigm. In addition, it offers the opportunity for adopting a global measure of performance as an indication of a bank’s sustainability degree. This measure is referred to as banking sustainability performance index (BSPI). This index may constitute a basis for ranking banks. Moreover, it may constitute a bridge between the assessment types of financial and extra-financial rating agencies. A real application is performed on three French banks.

    28
    9999765
    The Yak of Thailand: Folk Icons Transcending Culture, Religion, and Media
    Abstract:

    In the culture of Thailand, the Yak serve as a mediated icon representing strength, power, and mystical protection not only for the Buddha, but for population of worshipers. Originating from the forests of China, the Yak continues to stand guard at the gates of Buddhist temples. The Yak represents Thai culture in the hearts of Thai people. This paper presents a qualitative study regarding the curious mix of media, culture, and religion that projects the Yak of Thailand as a larger than life message throughout the political, cultural, and religious spheres. The gate guardians, or gods as they are sometimes called, appear throughout the religious temples of Asian cultures. However, the Asian cultures demonstrate differences in artistic renditions (or presentations) of such sentinels. Thailand gate guards (the Yak) stand in front of many Buddhist temples, and these iconic figures display unique features with varied symbolic significance. The temple (or wat), plays a vital role in every community; and, for many people, Thailand’s temples are the country’s most endearing sights. The authors applied folknography as a methodology to illustrate the importance of the Thai Yak in serving as meaningful icons that transcend not only time, but the culture, religion, and mass media. The Yak represents mythical, religious, artistic, cultural, and militaristic significance for the Thai people. Data collection included interviews, focus groups, and natural observations. This paper summarizes the perceptions of the Thai people concerning their gate sentries and the relationship, communication, connection, and the enduring respect that Thai people hold for their guardians of the gates.

    27
    9999766
    Organization of the Purchasing Function for Innovation
    Abstract:

    Innovations not only contribute to competitiveness of the company but have also positive effects on revenues. On average, product innovations account to 14 percent of companies’ sales. Innovation management has substantially changed during the last decade, because of growing reliance on external partners. As a consequence, a new task for purchasing arises, as firms need to understand which suppliers actually do have high potential contributing to the innovativeness of the firm and which do not. Proper organization of the purchasing function is important since for the majority of manufacturing companies deal with substantial material costs which pass through the purchasing function. In the past the purchasing function was largely seen as a transaction-oriented, clerical function but today purchasing is the intermediate with supply chain partners contributing to innovations, be it product or process innovations. Therefore, purchasing function has to be organized differently to enable firm innovation potential. However, innovations are inherently risky. There are behavioral risk (that some partner will take advantage of the other party), technological risk in terms of complexity of products and processes of manufacturing and incoming materials and finally market risks, which in fact judge the value of the innovation. These risks are investigated in this work. Specifically, technological risks which deal with complexity of the products, and processes will be investigated more thoroughly. Buying components or such high edge technologies necessities careful investigation of technical features and therefore is usually conducted by a team of experts. Therefore it is hypothesized that higher the technological risk, higher will be the centralization of the purchasing function as an interface with other supply chain members. Main contribution of this research lies is in the fact that analysis was performed on a large data set of 1493 companies, from 25 countries collected in the GMRG 4 survey. Most analyses of purchasing function are done by case study analysis of innovative firms. Therefore this study contributes with empirical evaluations that can be generalized.

    26
    9999769
    Perceptions of Educators on the Learners’ Youngest Age for the Introduction of ICTs in Schools: A Personality Theory Approach
    Abstract:

    Age ratings are very helpful in providing parents with relevant information for the purchase and use of digital technologies by the children; this is why the non-definition of age ratings for the use of ICTs by children in schools is a major concern; and this problem serves as a motivation for this study whose aim is to examine the factors affecting the perceptions of educators on the learners’ youngest age for the introduction of ICTs in schools. This aim is achieved through two types of research objectives: the identification and design of theories and models on age ratings, and the empirical testing of such theories and models in a survey of educators from the Camperdown district of the South African KwaZulu-Natal province. A questionnaire is used for the collection of the data of this survey whose validity and reliability is checked in SPSS prior to its descriptive and correlative quantitative analysis. The main hypothesis supporting this research is the association between the demographics of educators, their personality, and their perceptions on the learners’ youngest age for the introduction of ICTs in schools; as claimed by existing research; except that the present study looks at personality from three dimensions: self-actualized personalities, fully functioning personalities, and healthy personalities. This hypothesis was fully confirmed by the empirical study conducted by this research except for the demographic factor where only the educators’ grade or class was found to be associated with the personality of educators.

    25
    9999771
    Using Trip Planners in Developing Proper Transportation Behavior
    Abstract:

    The article discusses multimodal mobility in contemporary societies as a main planning and organization issue in the functioning of administrative bodies, a problem which really exists in the space of contemporary cities in terms of shaping modern transport systems. The article presents classification of available resources and initiatives undertaken for developing multimodal mobility. Solutions can be divided into three groups of measures – physical measures in the form of changes of the transport network infrastructure, organizational ones (including transport policy) and information measures. The latter ones include in particular direct support for people travelling in the transport network by providing information about ways of using available means of transport. A special measure contributing to this end is a trip planner. The article compares several selected planners. It includes a short description of the Green Travelling Project, which aims at developing a planner supporting environmentally friendly solutions in terms of transport network operation. The article summarizes preliminary findings of the project.

    24
    9999776
    Cursive Handwriting in an Internet Age
    Abstract:

    Recent concerns about the value of teaching cursive handwriting in the classroom are based on the belief that cursive handwriting or penmanship is an outdated and unnecessary skill in today’s online world. The discussion of this issue begins with a description of current initiatives to eliminate handwriting instruction in schools. This is followed by a brief history of cursive writing through the ages. Next considered is a description of its benefits as a preliminary process for younger children as compared with immediate instruction in keyboarding, particularly in the areas of vision, cognition, motor skills and automatic fluency. Also considered, is cursive’s companion, paper itself, and the impact of a paperless, “screen and keyboard” environment. The discussion concludes with a consideration of the unique contributions of cursive and keyboarding as written forms of communication, along with their respective surfaces, paper and screen. Finally, an assessment of the practical utility of each skill is followed by an informal assessment of what is lost and what remains as we move from a predominantly paper and pen world of handwriting to texting and keyboarding in an environment of screens.

    23
    9999792
    Management Challenges and Product Quality of Fish Farms in Greece
    Abstract:

    The purpose of the present work is to review some data for the management challenges that the aquaculture industry in Greece is currently facing. The results indicate that Greek aquaculture fish farms apply Human Resources Management (HRM) practices which can increase motivation, commitment and job satisfaction of their personnel. In turn, these practices can increase the productivity of the business. The Greek fish farms appear to invest in research and technological innovation with a good record in research activities and the generation of patents. Interestingly, the results of the present work were carried out during the period of the recent economic crisis in Greece. Several sectors of the Greek economy were severely affected by the financial problems of the Greek government and the Greek banks. Under the adverse economical conditions created by the Greek economic crisis, even the Greek aquaculture industry, which historically is considered as a thriving national exporting business sector, experienced harsh economic and market conditions. As a result of the global, European and national economic crisis, consumption of fish dropped while companies had to hold most of their stocked fish in order to regulated the flow to the market and the price. This occurred at a time where Banks in Greece had their own financial crisis – banking crisis - which resulted in limited access to lending for the all business sectors of the national economy including the Greek aquaculture industry. In spite of these economic conditions, the Greek aquaculture industry, after a series of mergers and acquisitions, has now stabilized production and exhibits very good prospects for future growth. Evidently, the firms had to cut salaries and on some occasions even pay their staff in arrears. Nevertheless, the results presented in this paper indicate that during the economic crisis, the surveyed fish farms maintained their HRM practices, investing in their human capital and technological input. In fact, human capital and technological input are the ticket for future success of companies in any business sector.

    22
    9999814
    The Impacts of Cost Stickiness on the Profitability of Indonesian Firms
    Abstract:

    The objectives of this study is to investigate the existence of the sticky cost behavior of firms listed in the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) and to find evidence on the effects of sticky operating expenses (SG&A expenses) on profitability of firms. For the first objective, this study finds that the sticky cost behavior does exist. For the second objective, this study finds that the stickier the operating expenses the lesser future profitability of the firms. This study concludes that sticky cost affects negatively to the performance and, therefore, firms should include flexibility in designing the cost structure of their firms.

    21
    9999848
    e-Commerce versus m-Commerce: Where is the Dividing Line?
    Abstract:

    Since the emergence of e-Commerce, the world of business has witnessed a radical shift in the way business activities are conducted. However, the emergence of m-Commerce has further pushed the boundaries of virtual commerce revolution. As a result, there seems to be a growing blur in the distinction between e- Commerce and m-Commerce. In addition, existing definitions for both forms of commerce highlight characteristics (e.g. type of device and activity conducted) that may be applicable to both concepts. The aim of this paper is to identify the characteristics that help define and delineate between e- and m- Commerce. The paper concludes that characteristics of mobility, ubiquity and immediacy provide a clearer and simpler template to distinguish between e-Commerce and m- Commerce.

    20
    9999863
    On the Perceived Awareness of Physical Education Teachers on Adoptable ICTs for PE
    Abstract:

    Nations are still finding it quite difficult to win mega sport competitions despite the major contribution of sport to society in terms of social and economic development, personal health, and in education. Even though the world of sports has been transformed into a huge global economy, it is important to note that the first step of sport is usually its introduction to children at school through physical education or PE. In other words, nations who do not win mega sport competitions also suffer from a weak and neglected PE system. This problem of the neglect of PE systems is the main motivation of this research aimed at examining the factors affecting the perceived awareness of physical education teachers on the ICTs that are adoptable for the teaching and learning of physical education. Two types of research objectives will materialize this aim: relevant theories will be identified in relation to the analysis of the perceived ICT awareness of PE teachers and subsequent models will be compiled and designed from existing literature; the empirical testing of such theories and models will also be achieved through the survey of PE teachers from the Camperdown magisterial district of the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The main hypothesis at the heart of this study is the relationship between the demographics of PE teachers, their behavior both as individuals and as social entities, and their perceived awareness of the ICTs that are adoptable for PE, as postulated by existing literature; except that this study categorizes human behavior under performance expectancy, computer attitude, and social influence. This hypothesis was partially confirmed by the survey conducted by this research in the sense that performance expectancy and teachers’ age, gender, computer usage, and class size were found to be the only factors affecting their awareness of ICTs for physical education.

    19
    9999890
    Web-Content Analysis of the Major Spanish Tourist Destinations Evaluation by Russian Tourists
    Abstract:

    In the second decade of the XXI century the role of tourism destination attractiveness is becoming increasingly important for destination management. Competition in tourism market moves from ordinary service quality to provision of unforgettable emotional experience for tourists. The main purpose of the present study is to identify the perception of the tourism destinations based on the number of factors related to its tourist attractiveness. The content analysis method was used to analyze the on-line tourist feedback data immensely available in Social Media and in travel related sites. The collected data made it possible to procure the information which is necessary to understand the perceived attractiveness of the destinations and key destination appeal factors that are important for Russian leisure travelers. Results of the present study demonstrate key attractiveness factors or destination ‘properties’ that were unveiled as the most important for Russian leisure tourists. The study targeted five main Spanish tourism destinations that initially were determined by in-depth interview with a number of Russian nationals who had visited Spain at least once. The research results can be useful for Spanish Tourism Organization Representation office in Russia as well as for the other national tourism organizations in order to promote their respective destinations for Russian travelers focusing on main attractiveness factors identified in this study.

    18
    9999892
    A Comparative Analysis of E-Government Quality Models
    Abstract:

    Many quality models have been used to measure egovernment portals quality. However, the absence of an international consensus for e-government portals quality models results in many differences in terms of quality attributes and measures. The aim of this paper is to compare and analyze the existing e-government quality models proposed in literature (those that are based on ISO standards and those that are not) in order to propose guidelines to build a good and useful e-government portals quality model. Our findings show that, there is no e-government portal quality model based on the new international standard ISO 25010. Besides that, the quality models are not based on a best practice model to allow agencies to both; measure e-government portals quality and identify missing best practices for those portals.

    17
    9999921
    Attribution Theory and Perceived Reliability of Cellphones for Teaching and Learning
    Abstract:

    The use of information and communication technologies such as computers, mobile phones and the Internet is becoming prevalent in today’s world; and it is facilitating access to a vast amount of data, services and applications for the improvement of people’s lives. However, this prevalence of ICTs is hampered by the problem of low income levels in developing countries to the point where people cannot timeously replace or repair their ICT devices when damaged or lost; and this problem serves as a motivation for this study whose aim is to examine the perceptions of teachers on the reliability of cellphones when used for teaching and learning purposes. The research objectives unfolding this aim are of two types: Objectives on the selection and design of theories and models, and objectives on the empirical testing of these theories and models. The first type of objectives is achieved using content analysis in an extensive literature survey: and the second type of objectives is achieved through a survey of high school teachers from the ILembe and UMgungundlovu districts in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. Data collected from this questionnaire based survey is analysed in SPSS using descriptive statistics and Pearson correlations after checking the reliability and validity of the questionnaires. The main hypothesis driving this study is that there is a relationship between the demographics and the attribution identity of teachers on one hand, and their perceptions on the reliability of cellphones on the other hand, as suggested by existing literature; except that attribution identities are considered in this study under three angles: intention, knowledge and ability, and action. The results of this study confirm that the perceptions of teachers on the reliability of cellphones for teaching and learning are affected by the school location of these teachers, and by their perceptions on learners’ cellphones usage intentions and actual use.

    16
    9999922
    Strategic Management of a Geoscience Education and Training Program
    Authors:
    Abstract:

    The effective development of a geoscience education and training program takes account of the rapidly changing environment in the geoscience market, includes information about resource-rich countries which have international education demands. In this paper, we introduce the geoscience program run by the International School for Geoscience Resources at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (IS-Geo of KIGAM), and show its remarkable performance. To further effective geoscience program planning and operation, we present recommendations for strategic management for customer-oriented operation with a more favorable program format and advanced training aids. Above all, the IS-Geo of KIGAM should continue improve through ‘plan-do-see-feedback’ activities based on the recommendations.

    15
    9999935
    Preliminary Survey on MATLAB Learning among Power Electronics Students in Technical Education: A Case Study
    Abstract:

    This paper discusses about the findings of preliminary survey on MATLAB software learning among power electronics students. One of the main focuses of power electronics course is on DC to DC boost convertors, because boost convertors are generally used in different industrial and non industrial applications. Population samples of this study were randomly selected final year bachelor of electronics and electrical engineering students from University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).As per the results from the survey questioner analysis, almost eighty percent students are facing problem and difficulties in Dc to Dc boost convertors experimental understanding without using MATLAB simulink package. As per finding of this study it is clear that MATLAB play an effective and efficient function for better understanding of boost convertors experimental work among power electronics learners.

    14
    9999971
    The Influence of EU Regulation of Margin Requirements on Market Stock Volatility
    Abstract:

    In this paper it was examined the influence of margin regulation on stock market volatility in EU 1993 – 2014. Regulating margin requirements or haircuts for securities financing transactions has for a long time been considered as a potential tool to limit the build-up of leverage and dampen volatility in financial markets. The margin requirement dictates how much investors can borrow against these securities. Margin can be an important part of investment. Using daily and monthly stock returns and there is no convincing evidence that EU Regulation margin requirements have served to dampen stock market volatility. In this paper was detected the expected negative relation between margin requirements and the amount of margin credit outstanding. Also, it confirmed that changes in margin requirements by the EU regulation have tended to follow than lead changes in market volatility. For the analysis have been used the modified Levene statistics to test whether the standard deviation of stock returns in the 25, 50 and 100 days preceding margin changes is the same as that in the succeeding 25, 50 and 100 days. The analysis started in May 1993 when it was first empowered to set the initial margin requirement and the last sample was in May 2014. To test whether margin requirements influence stock market volatility over the long term, the sample of stock returns was divided into 14 periods, according to the 14 changes in margin requirements.

    13
    10000005
    A Holistic Workflow Modeling Method for Business Process Redesign
    Authors:
    Abstract:

    In a highly competitive environment, it becomes more important to shorten the whole business process while delivering or even enhancing the business value to the customers and suppliers. Although the workflow management systems receive much attention for its capacity to practically support the business process enactment, the effective workflow modeling method remain still challenging and the high degree of process complexity makes it more difficult to gain the short lead time. This paper presents a workflow structuring method in a holistic way that can reduce the process complexity using activity-needs and formal concept analysis, which eventually enhances the key performance such as quality, delivery, and cost in business process.

    12
    10000129
    Legal Regulation and Critical Analysis for an Effectively Treatment of Pharmaceutical Waste
    Abstract:

    The extermination and proper disposal of pharmaceutical wastes from expired and unused medications remains a disputable issue due to their specific nature and characteristics. Even though the hazards from these wastes are already well known in terms of environment and human health, people still treat them as usual wastes. At a national level, in many countries the management of pharmaceutical and medical wastes has been one of the main objectives in order to protect people’s health and the environment. Even though many legal regulations exist in this respect, there has not been a single law that would clearly explain the procedures of returning medicines, ways of selection, treatment and extermination of pharmaceutical wastes. This paper aims at analyzing the practices of pharmaceutical waste management and treatment in some European countries as well as a review of the legislation and official guidelines in managing these kinds of wastes and protecting the environment and human health. A suitable treatment and management of expired medications and other similar wastes would be in the interest of public health in the first place, as well as in the interest of healthcare institutions and other bodies engaged in environment protection.

    11
    10000271
    Examining the Perceived Usefulness of ICTs for Learning about Indigenous Foods
    Abstract:

    Science and technology has a major impact on many societal domains such as communication, medicine, food, transportation, etc. However, this dominance of modern technology can have a negative unintended impact on indigenous systems, and in particular on indigenous foods. This problem serves as a motivation to this study whose aim is to examine the perceptions of learners on the usefulness of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for learning about indigenous foods. This aim will be subdivided into two types of research objectives. The design and identification of theories and models will be achieved using literature content analysis. The objective on the empirical testing of such theories and models will be achieved through the survey of Hospitality studies learners from different schools in the iLembe and Umgungundlovu Districts of the South African Kwazulu-Natal province. SPSS is used to quantitatively analyze the data collected by the questionnaire of this survey using descriptive statistics and Pearson correlations after the assessment of the validity and the reliability of the data. The main hypothesis behind this study is that there is a connection between the demographics of learners, their perceptions on the usefulness of ICTs for learning about indigenous foods, and the following personality and eLearning related theories constructs: Computer self-efficacy, Trust in ICT systems, and Conscientiousness; as suggested by existing studies on learning theories. This hypothesis was fully confirmed by the survey conducted by this study except for the demographic factors where gender and age were not found to be determinant factors of learners’ perceptions on the usefulness of ICTs for learning about indigenous foods.

    10
    10001034
    Human Capital and the Innovation System – Case Study of the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
    Abstract:

    Innovation plays an important role in economic growth and development. Evolutionary economics has entrepreneurs at the centre of the innovation system, but includes all other participants as contributors to the performance of the innovation system. Education and training institutions, one of the participants in the innovation system, contributes in different ways to human capital. The gap in literature on the competence building as part of human capital in the analysis of innovation systems is addressed in this paper. The Mpumalanga Province of South Africa is used as a case study. It was found that the absence of a university, the level of education, the quality and performance in the education sector and the condition of the education infrastructure have not been conducive to learning.

    9
    10001077
    The Strategies for Teaching Digital Art in the Classroom as a Way of Enhancing Pupils’ Artistic Creativity
    Abstract:

    Teaching art by digital means is a big challenge for the majority of teachers of art and design in primary schools, yet it allows relationships between art, technology and creativity to be clearly identified. The aim of this article is to present a modern way of teaching art, using digital tools in the art classroom to improve creative ability in pupils aged between nine and eleven years. It also presents a conceptual model for creativity based on digital art. The model could be useful for pupils interested in learning to draw by using an e-drawing package, and for teachers who are interested in teaching modern digital art in order to improve children’s creativity. By illustrating the strategy of teaching art through technology, this model may also help education providers to make suitable choices about which technological approaches are most effective in enhancing students’ creative ability, and which digital art tools can benefit children by developing their technical skills. It is also expected that use of this model will help to develop skills of social interaction, which may in turn improve intellectual ability.

    8
    10001179
    Model of MSD Risk Assessment at Workplace
    Abstract:

    This article focuses on upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders risk assessment model at workplace. In this model are used risk factors that are responsible for musculoskeletal system damage. Based on statistic calculations the model is able to define what risk of MSD threatens workers who are under risk factors. The model is also able to say how MSD risk would decrease if these risk factors are eliminated.

     

    7
    10001547
    Is the Sense of Community towards Participation in Tourism Development among the Minorities in Multiracial Countries the Same?
    Abstract:
    This paper investigates and compares the community support for tourism development between two groups of minority ethnic descendants in Malacca, Malaysia, namely the Baba-Nyonya and Portuguese. A descriptive research design using a quantitative method with self-reported and self-administered questionnaires through across-sectional approach was applied. Through the descriptive and inferential statistics, some significantly useful insights pertaining to the issue investigated were obtained. The research outcomes indicate that the sense of community is somewhat more effective in small communities in terms of togetherness, closeness and a sense of belonging compared to the slightly bigger minority group. In addition, the sense of community attributes through membership, influence, integration and shared emotional connections contributes to community participation in tourism development regardless of which ethnic group one belongs to.
    6
    10001577
    Educational and Technological Perspectives in Doraemon - Hope and Dreams in Doraemon’s Gadgets
    Abstract:
    A Japanese manga character, Doraemon, was made by Fujiko F. Fujio in 1969, was made into animation in 1973. The main character, Doraemon, is a robot cat, and is a well-known Japanese animated character. However, Doraemon is not only regarded as an animation character but it is also used in educational and technological programs in Japan. This paper focuses on the background of Doraemon, educational and technological perspectives on Doraemon, and comparison of the original Japanese animation and the US remade version, and the animator Fujiko’s dreams and hopes for Doraemon will be examined. Since Doraemon has been exported as animation and manga to overseas, perspectives toward Doraemon have changed. For example, changes of stories and characters can been seen in the present Doraemon animation. Not only the overseas TV productions which broadcast Doraemon but also the Japanese production has to consider violence, sexuality, etc. when editing episodes. Because of representation of cultural differences, Japanese animation is thought to contain more violence, discrimination, and sexuality in animation. With responses from overseas, the Japanese production was cautious about the US remade version. They cared about the US Broadcast Standard, and tried to consider US customs and culture in the US remade version. Seeing the difference, acculturation is necessary for exports of animation overseas. Moreover, observing different aspects of Doraemon domestically, Doraemon provides dreams and hopes to children.
    5
    10001644
    The Basic Problems for the Realization of the Concept of Economic Policy
    Abstract:
    The concept of economic policy and the practical economic policy diverge from each other at a certain stage of development. This is related to the concept of realization of the underlying problems. It comes with all the problems emerged in the market oriented economic order due to the political processes based on social welfare policy. The realization of the concept of economic policy is impeded by economic and political obstacles. If you want to fill the appeared between the concept and reality, it is necessary to identify and avoid these obstacles. It requires the following: increase of the level of the knowledge of prevention technology in understanding of economic relations, as well as political aspects of the formation of ideas; perfection of economic policy toolkit, and political methods. It is necessary to realize what is the main precondition of implementation and further development of the concept of economic policy, as well as the formation of opinions about economic and public safety. This is a broad consensus on the basic values of the content and the scale of action, which the general public wants to be realized.
    4
    10001752
    Identifying Business Incubators Based on Their Real Activities: Evidence from China
    Abstract:

    Past literature on business incubators distinguished incubators based on their mission statements. However, more and more mission statements become a slogan rather than a reality. It is therefore more appropriate to identify business incubators based on their real activities, rather than the missions they declared. With a sample of technology business incubators (TBIs) in China, we try to investigate business incubators’ real activities by examining the incubation efficiency along the following five dimensions, i.e., survival of new ventures, technology transfer, local economic growth, job creation, and profit generation. Furthermore, we identified six types of business incubators. The results indicate that generally Chinese TBIs have a greater preference for acquiring profits over other dimensions. 

    3
    10004880
    ACTN3 Genotype Association with Motoric Performance of Roma Children
    Abstract:
    The paper presents the results of the molecular genetics analysis in sports research, with special emphasis to use genetic information in diagnosing of motoric predispositions in Roma boys from East Slovakia. The ability and move are the basic characteristics of all living organisms. The phenotypes are influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genetic tests differ in principle from the traditional motoric tests, because the DNA of an individual does not change during life. The aim of the presented study was to examine motion abilities and to determine the frequency of ACTN3 (R577X) gene in Roma children. Genotype data were obtained from 138 Roma and 155 Slovak boys from 7 to 15 years old. Children were investigated on physical performance level in association with their genotype. Biological material for genetic analyses comprised samples of buccal swabs. Genotypes were determined using Real Time High resolution melting PCR method (Rotor-Gene 6000 Corbett and Light Cycler 480 Roche). The software allows creating reports of any analysis, where information of the specific analysis, normalized and differential graphs and many information of the samples are shown. Roma children of analyzed group legged to non-Romany children at the same age in all the compared tests. The % distribution of R and X alleles in Roma children was different from controls. The frequency of XX genotype was 9.26%, RX 46.33% and RR was 44.41%. The frequency of XX genotype was 9.26% which is comparable to a frequency of an Indian population. Data were analyzed with the ANOVA test.
    2
    10004829
    Comparison Analysis of Science and Technology Council between Korea, USA, and Japan
    Abstract:
    As Korea government has expanded the budget for the national research and development business, the need for the installation of institute taking a role of deliberation, coordination, and operation of research development business and its budget has been increased continuously. In response to the demands of the times, recently, the National Science & Technology Council (NSTC) was installed. However, to achieve a creative economy more efficiently, the fundamental introspection on the current state of the national administration system of science and technology in Korea should be needed. Accordingly, this study, firstly, analyzes the function and organizational structure of NSTC in Korea. Then, this study investigates the current state of the National Science and Technology Council in main world countries. Lastly, this study derives some implications based on the comparison analysis of the current state of the National Science and Technology Council between Korea and these countries. The present study will help in finding the way for the advancement of the NSTC in Korea.
    1
    10004861
    Need for Standardization of Manual Inspection in Small and Medium-Scale Manufacturing Industries
    Authors:
    Abstract:
    In the field of production, characterization of surface roughness plays a vital role in assessing the quality of a manufactured product. The defined parameters for this assessment, each, have their own drawbacks in describing a profile surface. From the purview of small-scale and medium-scale industries, an increase in time spent for manual inspection of a product for various parameters adds to the cost of the product. In order to reduce this, a uniform and established standard is necessary for quantifying a profile of a manufactured product. The inspection procedure in the small and medium-scale manufacturing units at Jigani Industrial area, Bangalore, was observed. The parameters currently in use in those industries are described in the paper and a change in the inspection method is proposed.