Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 46

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

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  • 46
    Promoting Innovation Pedagogy in a Capacity Building Project in Indonesia

    This study presents a project that tests and adjusts active European learning and teaching methods in Indonesian universities to increase their external impact on enterprises and other organizations; it also assesses the implementation of the Erasmus+ projects funded by the European Union. The project is based on the approach of innovation pedagogy that responds to regional development needs and integrates applied research and development projects into education to create capabilities for students to participate in development work after graduation. The assessment of the Erasmus+ project resulted in many improvements that can be made to achieve higher quality and innovativeness. The results of this study are useful for those who want to improve the applied research and development projects of higher education institutions.

    Creativity in the Use of Sinhala and English in Advertisements in Sri Lanka: A Morphological Analysis
    Sri Lanka has lived with the English language for more than 200 years. Although officially considered a link language, the phenomenal usage of English by the Sinhala-English bilingual has given rise to a mixed code with identifiable structural characteristics. The extensive use of the mixed language by the average Sri Lankan bilingual has resulted in it being used as a medium of communication by creative writers of bilingual advertisements in Sri Lanka. This study analyses the way in which English is used in bilingual advertisements in both print and electronic media in Sri Lanka. The theoretical framework for the study is based on Kachru’s analysis of the use of English by the bilingual, Muysken’s typology on code mixing theories in colonial settings and Myers-Scotton’s theory on the Matrix Language Framework Model. The study will look at a selection of Sinhala-English advertisements published in newspapers from 2015 to 2016. Only advertisements using both Sinhala and English are used for the analysis. To substantiate data collected from the newspapers, the study will select bilingual advertisements from television advertisements. The objective of the study is to analyze the mixed patterns used for creative purposes by advertisers. The results of the study will reveal the creativity used by the Sinhala –English bilingual and the morphological processes used by the creators of Sinhala-English bilingual advertisements to attract the masses.
    Social Media as a ‘Service’ for Value Co-Creation by Integrating Sponsoring Companies, Sports Entities and Fans

    Social media has changed the ways we communicate, collaborate and connect with each other. It has also influenced our habits of consuming sports. Social media has allowed direct interaction between sponsoring companies, athletes/players and fans. Drawing on the service dominant logic of value co-creation, the conceptual paper identifies three operant resources which are beneficial for value co-creation: i) social identity and sense of community, ii) congruence and brand personality, and iii) participatory culture and fan activation. The paper contributes to the theoretical discussion on how social can be media used for value co-creation purposes in the sports industry.

    The Morphology of Sri Lankan Text Messages
    Communicating via a text or an SMS (Short Message Service) has become an integral part of our daily lives. With the increase in the use of mobile phones, text messaging has become a genre by itself worth researching and studying. It is undoubtedly a major phenomenon revealing language change. This paper attempts to describe the morphological processes of text language of urban bilinguals in Sri Lanka. It will be a typological study based on 500 English text messages collected from urban bilinguals residing in Colombo. The messages are selected by categorizing the deviant forms of language use apparent in text messages. These stylistic deviations are a deliberate skilled performance by the users of the language possessing an in-depth knowledge of linguistic systems to create new words and thereby convey their linguistic identity and individual and group solidarity via the message. The findings of the study solidifies arguments that the manipulation of language in text messages is both creative and appropriate. In addition, code mixing theories will be used to identify how existing morphological processes are adapted by bilingual users in Sri Lanka when texting. The study will reveal processes such as omission, initialism, insertion and alternation in addition to other identified linguistic features in text language. The corpus reveals the most common morphological processes used by Sri Lankan urban bilinguals when sending texts.
    Granger Causal Nexus between Financial Development and Energy Consumption: Evidence from Cross Country Panel Data
    This paper examines the Granger causal nexus between financial development and energy consumption in the group of 35 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Countries over the period 1988-2012. The study uses two financial development indicators such as private sector credit and stock market capitalization and seven energy consumption indicators such as coal, oil, gas, electricity, hydro-electrical, nuclear and biomass. Using panel cointegration tests, the study finds that financial development and energy consumption are cointegrated, indicating the presence of a long-run relationship between the two. Using a panel vector error correction model (VECM), the study detects both bidirectional and unidirectional causality between financial development and energy consumption. The variation of this causality is due to the use of different proxies for both financial development and energy consumption. The policy implication of this study is that economic policies should recognize the differences in the financial development-energy consumption nexus in order to maintain sustainable development in the selected 35 FATF countries.
    Evaluating Factors Influencing Information Quality in Large Firms

    Information quality is a major performance measure for an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system of any firm. This study identifies various critical success factors of information quality. The effect of various critical success factors like project management, reengineering efforts and interdepartmental communications on information quality is analyzed using a multiple regression model. Here quantitative data are collected from respondents from various firms through structured questionnaire for assessment of the information quality, project management, reengineering efforts and interdepartmental communications. The validity and reliability of the data are ensured using techniques like factor analysis, computing of Cronbach’s alpha. This study gives relative importance of each of the critical success factors. The findings suggest that among the various factors influencing information quality careful reengineering efforts are the most influencing factor. This paper gives clear insight to managers and practitioners regarding the relative importance of critical success factors influencing information quality so that they can formulate a strategy at the beginning of ERP system implementation.

    The Evaluation of Event Sport Tourism on Regional Economic Development

    Event sport tourism (EST) has become an especially important economic sector around the world. As the magnitude continues to grow, attracting more tourists, media, and investment for the host community, and many local areas/regions and states have identified the expenditures by visitors as a potential source of economic or employment growth. The main purposes of this study are to investigate stakeholders’ insights into the feature of hosting EST and using them as a regional development strategy. Continuing the focus of previous literature on the regional development and economic benefits by hosting EST, a total of fıve semi-structured interview questions are designed and a thematic analysis is employed to conduct with eight key sport and tourism decision makers in Atlanta during July to August 2016. Through the depth interviews, the study will contribute to a better understanding of stakeholders’ decision-making, identifying benefits and constraints as well as leveraging the impacts of hosting EST. These findings have provided stakeholders’ perspectives of hosting EST and using them as a reference of regional development in emerging sport tourism markets in the US. Additionally, this study examines key considerations and issues that affect and are critical to reliable understanding of the economic impacts of hosting EST on the regional development, and it will be able to benefit future management authorities (i.e. governments and communities) in their sport tourism development endeavors in defining and hosting successful EST. Furthermore, the insights gained from the qualitative analysis could help other cities/regions analyzing the economic impacts of hosting EST and using it as an instrument of city development strategy.

    Forensic Science in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Trails of Utterson's Quest
    This paper focuses on investigating The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from Utterson’s point of view, referring to: Gabriel John Utterson, a central character in the book. Utterson is no different from a forensic investigator, as he tries to collect evidence on the mysterious Mr. Hyde’s relationship to Dr. Jekyll. From Utterson's perspective, Jekyll is the 'victim' of a potential scandal and blackmail, and Hyde is the 'suspect' of a possible 'crime'. Utterson intends to figure out Hyde's identity, connect his motive with his actions, and gather witness accounts. During Utterson’s quest, the outside materials available to him along with the social backgrounds of Hyde and Jekyll will be analyzed. The archives left from Jekyll’s chamber will also play a part providing evidence. Utterson will investigate, based on what he already knows about Jekyll his whole life, and how Jekyll had acted in his eyes until he was gone, and finding out possible explanations for Jekyll's actions. The relationship between Jekyll and Hyde becomes the major question, as the social background offers clues pointing in the direction of illegitimacy and prostitution. There is still a possibility that Jekyll and Hyde were, in fact, completely different people. Utterson received a full statement and confession from Jekyll himself at the end of the story, which gives the reader the possible truth on what happened. Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde led readers, as it did Utterson, to find the connection between Hyde and Jekyll using methods of history, culture, and science. Utterson's quest to uncover Hyde shows an example of applying the various fields to in his act to see if Hyde's inheritance was legal. All of this taken together could technically be considered forensic investigation.
    Financial Decision-Making among Finance Students: An Empirical Study from the Czech Republic

    Making sound financial decisions is an essential skill which can have an impact on life of each consumer of financial products. The aim of this paper is to examine decision-making concerning financial matters and personal finance. The selected target group was university students majoring in finance related fields. The study was conducted in the Czech Republic at Masaryk University in 2015. In order to analyze financial decision-making questions related to basic finance decisions were developed to address the research objective. The results of the study suggest gaps in detecting best solutions to given financial decision-making questions among finance students. The analysis results indicate relation between financial decision-making and own experience with holding and using concrete financial products.

    Personal Knowledge Management: Systematic Review and Future Direction
    Personal knowledge management is the aspect of knowledge management that relates to the way in which individuals organize and manage their own set of knowledge. While in that respect, there has been research in this area for the past 25 years, it is at present necessary to speculate upon what research has been done and what we have discovered about this arena of knowledge management. In contrast to organizational knowledge management, which focuses on a firm’s profitability and competitiveness, personal knowledge management (PKM) is concerned with the person’s self-effectiveness, competence and success. People are concerned in managing their knowledge in order to become more efficient in a variety of personal and organizational interests. This study presents a systematic review of PKM studies. Articles with PKM concepts are reviewed with the objective of clearly defining PKM, identifying the benefits of PKM, classifying the tools that enable PKM and finding the research gaps to indicate future research directions in the area. Consequently, we have developed a definition of PKM and identified the benefits of PKM, including an understanding of who seeks PKM and for what. Tools enabling PKM are identified and classified under three categories Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 and finally the research gap and future directions are suggested. Research which facilitates collaboration by using semantic technologies is suggested to be studied further to improve PKM effectiveness.
    A Corporate Social Responsibility Project to Improve the Democratization of Scientific Education in Brazil

    Nuclear technology is part of our everyday life and its beneficial applications help to improve the quality of our lives. Nevertheless, in Brazil, most often the media and social networks tend to associate radiation to nuclear weapons and major accidents, and there is still great misunderstanding about the peaceful applications of nuclear science. The Educational Portal Radioatividades (Radioactivities) is a corporate social responsibility initiative that takes advantage of the growing impact of Internet to offer high quality scientific information for teachers and students throughout Brazil. This web-based initiative focusses on the positive applications of nuclear technology, presenting the several contributions of ionizing radiation in different contexts, such as nuclear medicine, agriculture techniques, food safety and electric power generation, proving nuclear technology as part of modern life and a must to improve the quality of our lifestyle. This educational project aims to contribute for democratization of scientific education and social inclusion, approaching society to scientific knowledge, promoting critical thinking and inspiring further reflections. The website offers a wide variety of ludic activities such as curiosities, interactive exercises and short courses. Moreover, teachers are offered free web-based material with full instructions to be developed in class. Since year 2013, the project has been developed and improved according to a comprehensive study about the realistic scenario of ICTs infrastructure in Brazilian schools and in full compliance with the best e-learning national and international recommendations.

    The Nuclear Energy Museum in Brazil: Creative Solutions to Transform Science Education into Meaningful Learning

    Nuclear technology is a controversial issue among a great share of the Brazilian population. Misinformation and common wrong beliefs confuse public’s perceptions and the scientific community is expected to offer a wider perspective on the benefits and risks resulting from ionizing radiation in everyday life. Attentive to the need of new approaches between science and society, the Nuclear Energy Museum, in northeast Brazil, is an initiative created to communicate the growing impact of the beneficial applications of nuclear technology in medicine, industry, agriculture and electric power generation. Providing accessible scientific information, the museum offers a rich learning environment, making use of different educational strategies, such as films, interactive panels and multimedia learning tools, which not only increase the enjoyment of visitors, but also maximize their learning potential. Developed according to modern active learning instructional strategies, multimedia materials are designed to present the increasingly role of nuclear science in modern life, transforming science education into a meaningful learning experience. In year 2016, nine different interactive computer-based activities were developed, presenting curiosities about ionizing radiation in different landmarks around the world, such as radiocarbon dating works in Egypt, nuclear power generation in France and X-radiography of famous paintings in Italy. Feedback surveys have reported a high level of visitors’ satisfaction, proving the high quality experience in learning nuclear science at the museum. The Nuclear Energy Museum is the first and, up to the present time, the only permanent museum in Brazil devoted entirely to nuclear science.

    Web-Based Tools to Increase Public Understanding of Nuclear Technology and Food Irradiation

    Food irradiation is a processing and preservation technique to eliminate insects and parasites and reduce disease-causing microorganisms. Moreover, the process helps to inhibit sprouting and delay ripening, extending fresh fruits and vegetables shelf-life. Nevertheless, most Brazilian consumers seem to misunderstand the difference between irradiated food and radioactive food and the general public has major concerns about the negative health effects and environmental contamination. Society´s judgment and decision making are directly linked to perceived benefits and risks. The web-based project entitled ‘Scientific information about food irradiation: Internet as a tool to approach science and society’ was created by the Nuclear and Energetic Research Institute (IPEN), in order to offer an interdisciplinary approach to science education, integrating economic, ethical, social and political aspects of food irradiation. This project takes into account that, misinformation and unfounded preconceived ideas impact heavily on the acceptance of irradiated food and purchase intention by the Brazilian consumer. Taking advantage of the potential value of the Internet to enhance communication and education among general public, a research study was carried out regarding the possibilities and trends of Information and Communication Technologies among the Brazilian population. The content includes concepts, definitions and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about processes, safety, advantages, limitations and the possibilities of food irradiation, including health issues, as well as its impacts on the environment. The project counts on eight self-instructional interactive web courses, situating scientific content in relevant social contexts in order to encourage self-learning and further reflections. Communication is a must to improve public understanding of science. The use of information technology for quality scientific divulgation shall contribute greatly to provide information throughout the country, spreading information to as many people as possible, minimizing geographic distances and stimulating communication and development.

    Web-Based Instructional Program to Improve Professional Development: Recommendations and Standards for Radioactive Facilities in Brazil

    This web based project focuses on continuing corporate education and improving workers' skills in Brazilian radioactive facilities throughout the country. The potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) shall contribute to improve the global communication in this very large country, where it is a strong challenge to ensure high quality professional information to as many people as possible. The main objective of this system is to provide Brazilian radioactive facilities a complete web-based repository - in Portuguese - for research, consultation and information, offering conditions for learning and improving professional and personal skills. UNIPRORAD is a web based system to offer unified programs and inter-related information about radiological protection programs. The content includes the best practices for radioactive facilities in order to meet both national standards and international recommendations published by different organizations over the past decades: International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN). The website counts on concepts, definitions and theory about optimization and ionizing radiation monitoring procedures. Moreover, the content presents further discussions related to some national and international recommendations, such as potential exposure, which is currently one of the most important research fields in radiological protection. Only two publications of ICRP develop expressively the issue and there is still a lack of knowledge of fail probabilities, for there are still uncertainties to find effective paths to quantify probabilistically the occurrence of potential exposures and the probabilities to reach a certain level of dose. To respond to this challenge, this project discusses and introduces potential exposures in a more quantitative way than national and international recommendations. Articulating ICRP and AIEA valid recommendations and official reports, in addition to scientific papers published in major international congresses, the website discusses and suggests a number of effective actions towards safety which can be incorporated into labor practice. The WEB platform was created according to corporate public needs, taking into account the development of a robust but flexible system, which can be easily adapted to future demands. ICTs provide a vast array of new communication capabilities and allow to spread information to as many people as possible at low costs and high quality communication. This initiative shall provide opportunities for employees to increase professional skills, stimulating development in this large country where it is an enormous challenge to ensure effective and updated information to geographically distant facilities, minimizing costs and optimizing results.

    Household Food Insecurity and Associated Coping Strategies in Urban, Peri-Urban and Rural Settings: A Case of Morogoro and Iringa Towns, Tanzania

    Food insecurity is a worrying challenge worldwide with sub-Saharan Africa including Tanzania being the most affected. Although factors that influence household food access security status and ways of coping with such factors have been examined, little has been reported on how these coping strategies vary along the urban-rural continuum especially in medium-sized towns. The purpose of this study was to identify food insecurity coping strategies employed by households and assess whether they are similar along the urban-rural continuum. The study was cross-sectional in design whereby a random sample of 279 households was interviewed using structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 20 software. It was revealed that the proportion of households relying on less preferred and quality foods, eating fewer meals per day, undertaking work for food or money, performing farm and off-farm activities, and selling fall back assets was higher in rural settings compared to urban and peri-urban areas. Similarly, more households in urban and peri-urban areas cope with food access insecurity by having strict food budgets compared to those in rural households (p ≤ 0.001). The study concludes that food insecurity coping strategies vary significantly from one spatial entity to another. It is thereby recommended that poor, particularly rural households should be supported to diversify their income-generating activities not only for food security purposes during times of food shortage but also as businesses aimed at increasing their household incomes.

    The Use of Mobile Phone as Enhancement to Mark Multiple Choice Objectives English Grammar and Literature Examination: An Exploratory Case Study of Preliminary National Diploma Students, Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara, Zamfara State, Nigeria

    Most often, marking and assessment of multiple choice kinds of examinations have been opined by many as a cumbersome and herculean task to accomplished manually in Nigeria. Usually this may be in obvious nexus to the fact that mass numbers of candidates were known to take the same examination simultaneously. Eventually, marking such a mammoth number of booklets dared and dread even the fastest paid examiners who often undertake the job with the resulting consequences of stress and boredom. This paper explores the evolution, as well as the set aim to envision and transcend marking the Multiple Choice Objectives- type examination into a thing of creative recreation, or perhaps a more relaxing activity via the use of the mobile phone. A more “pragmatic” dimension method was employed to achieve this work, rather than the formal “in-depth research” based approach due to the “novelty” of the mobile-smartphone e-Marking Scheme discovery. Moreover, being an evolutionary scheme, no recent academic work shares a direct same topic concept with the ‘use of cell phone as an e-marking technique’ was found online; thus, the dearth of even miscellaneous citations in this work. Additional future advancements are what steered the anticipatory motive of this paper which laid the fundamental proposition. However, the paper introduces for the first time the concept of mobile-smart phone e-marking, the steps to achieve it, as well as the merits and demerits of the technique all spelt out in the subsequent pages.

    Habits: Theoretical Foundations and a Conceptual Framework on a Managerial Trap and Chance

    The overarching aim of the paper is to incorporate the micro-foundations perspective in strategic management and offering possibilities to bridge the macro–micro divide, to review the concept of habits, as well as to propose research findings and directions in terms of further exploring the habit construct and its impact on higher epistemological level phenomena (for instance organizational routines, which is a domain inherently multilevel in nature). To realize this aim, the following sections have been developed: (1) habits’ origins, (2) habits – cognitive constellations, (3) interrelationships between habits and mental representations, intentions, (4) habits and organizational routines, and (5) habits and routines linkages with adaptation. The conclusions that have been made support recent and current studies linking the level of individual heterogeneous agents with the level of macro (organizational) outcomes.

    Integrating Generic Skills into Disciplinary Curricula
    There is a growing emphasis on generic skills in higher education to match the changing skill-set requirements of the labour market. However, researchers and policy makers have not arrived at a consensus on the generic skills that actually contribute towards workplace employability and performance that complement and/or underpin discipline-specific graduate attributes. In order to strengthen the qualifications framework, a range of ‘generic’ learning outcomes have been considered for students undergoing higher education programs and among them it is necessary to have the fundamental generic skills such as literacy and numeracy at a level appropriate to the qualification type. This warrants for curriculum design approaches to contextualise the form and scope of these fundamental generic skills for supporting both students’ learning engagement in the course, as well as the graduate attributes required for employability and to progress within their chosen profession. Little research is reported in integrating such generic skills into discipline-specific learning outcomes. This paper explores the literature of the generic skills required for graduates from the discipline of Information Technology (IT) in relation to an Australian higher education institution. The paper presents the rationale of a proposed Bachelor of IT curriculum designed to contextualize the learning of these generic skills within the students’ discipline studies.
    Detecting Major Misconceptions about Employment in ICT: A Study of the Myths about ICT Work among Females
    The purpose of the current article is to reveal misconceptions about ICT occupations that keep females away from the field. The study focuses on the three phases in one’s career life cycle: pre-university, university and workplace with the aim of investigating how to attract more females into an ICT-related career. By studying nearly 300 secondary school graduates, 102 university students and 18 female ICT specialists, the study revealed six myths that influence the decision-making process of young girls in pursuing an ICT-related education and career. Furthermore, discriminating conception of ICT as a primarily man’s world is developed before the university period. Stereotypical barriers should be brought out to the public debate, so that a remarkable proportion of possible employees (women) would not stay away from the tech-related fields. Countries could make a remarkable leap in efficiency, when turning their attention to the gender-related issues in the labour market structure.
    Achieving Design-Stage Elemental Cost Planning Accuracy: Case Study of New Zealand

    An aspect of client expenditure management that requires attention is the level of accuracy achievable in design-stage elemental cost planning. This has been a major concern for construction clients and practitioners in New Zealand (NZ). Pre-tender estimating inaccuracies are significantly influenced by the level of risk information available to estimators. Proper cost planning activities should ensure the production of a project’s likely construction costs (initial and final), and subsequent cost control activities should prevent unpleasant consequences of cost overruns, disputes and project abandonment. If risks were properly identified and priced at the design stage, observed variance between design-stage elemental cost plans (ECPs) and final tender sums (FTS) (initial contract sums) could be reduced. This study investigates the variations between design-stage ECPs and FTS of construction projects, with a view to identifying risk factors that are responsible for the observed variance. Data were sourced through interviews, and risk factors were identified by using thematic analysis. Access was obtained to project files from the records of study participants (consultant quantity surveyors), and document analysis was employed in complementing the responses from the interviews. Study findings revealed the discrepancies between ECPs and FTS in the region of -14% and +16%. It is opined in this study that the identified risk factors were responsible for the variability observed. The values obtained from the analysis would enable greater accuracy in the forecast of FTS by Quantity Surveyors. Further, whilst inherent risks in construction project developments are observed globally, these findings have important ramifications for construction projects by expanding existing knowledge on what is needed for reasonable budgetary performance and successful delivery of construction projects. The findings contribute significantly to the study by providing quantitative confirmation to justify the theoretical conclusions generated in the literature from around the world. This therefore adds to and consolidates existing knowledge.

    Designing Mobile Application to Motivate Young People to Visit Cultural Heritage Sites

    This paper presents a mobile phone application developed for sightseeing in Nikko, one of the cultural world heritages in Japan, using the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacon. Based on our pre-research, we decided to design our application for young people who walk around the area actively, but know little about the tradition and culture of Nikko. One solution is to construct many information boards to explain; however, it is difficult to construct new guide plates in cultural world heritage sites. The smartphone is a good solution to send such information to such visitors. This application was designed using a combination of the smartphone and beacons, set in the area, so that when a tourist passes near a beacon, the application displays information about the area including a map, historical or cultural information about the temples and shrines, and local shops nearby as well as a bus timetable. It is useful for foreigners, too. In addition, we developed quizzes relating to the culture and tradition of Nikko to provide information based on the Zeigarnik effect, a psychological effect. According to the results of our trials, tourists positively evaluated the basic information and young people who used the quiz function were able to learn the historical and cultural points. This application helped young visitors at Nikko to understand the cultural elements of the site. In addition, this application has a function to send notifications. This function is designed to provide information about the local community such as shops, local transportation companies and information office. The application hopes to also encourage people living in the area, and such cooperation from the local people will make this application vivid and inspire young visitors to feel that the cultural heritage site is still alive today. This is a gateway for young people to learn about a traditional place and understand the gravity of preserving such areas.

    Accelerating the Uptake of Smart City Applications through Cloud Computing
    Smart cities are high on the political agenda around the globe. However, planning smart cities and deploying applications dealing with the complex problems of the urban environment is a very challenging task that is difficult to be undertaken solely by the cities. We argue that the uptake of smart city strategies is facilitated, first, through the development of smart city application repositories allowing re-use of already developed and tested software, and, second, through cloud computing which disengages city authorities from any resource constraints, technical or financial, and has a higher impact and greater effect at the city level The combination of these two solutions allows city governments and municipalities to select and deploy a large number of applications dedicated to different city functions, which collectively could create a multiplier effect with a greater impact on the urban environment.
    An Analysis of Institutional Audits: Basis for Teaching, Learning and Assessment Framework and Principles
    The dynamism in education, particularly in the area of teaching, learning and assessment has caused Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide to seek for ways to continuously improve their educational processes. HEIs use outcomes of institutional audits, assessments and accreditations, for improvement. In this study, the published institutional audit reports of HEIs in the Sultanate of Oman were analyzed to produce features of good practice; identify challenges along Teaching, Learning Assessment (TLA); and propose a framework that puts major emphasis in having a quality-assured TLA, including a set of principles that can be used as basis in succeeding an institutional visit. The TLA framework, which shows the TLA components, characteristics of the components, related expectation, including implementation tool/ strategy and pitfalls can be used by HEIs to have an adequate understanding of the scope of audit and be able to satisfy institutional audit requirements. The scope of this study can be widened by exploring the other requirements of the Institutional Audits in the Sultanate of Oman, particularly the area on Governance and Management and Student Support Services.
    Adoption and Diffusion of E-Government Services in India: The Impact of User Demographics and Service Quality

    This study attempts to analyze the impact of demography and service quality on the adoption and diffusion of e-Government services in the context of India. The objective of this paper is to study the users' perception about e-Government services and investigate the key variables that are most salient to the Indian populace. At the completion of this study, a research model that would help to understand the relationship involving the demographic variables and service quality dimensions, and the willingness to adopt e-Government services is expected to be developed. Dedicated authorities, particularly those in developing economies, may use that model or its augmented versions to design and update e-Government services and promote their use among citizens. After all, enhanced public participation is required to improve efficiency, engagement and transparency in the implementation of the aforementioned services.

    Template Design Packages for Repetitive Construction Projects

    Scope changes, scope creeps, cost and time overruns have become common in projects in the oil and gas sector. Even in repetitive projects, failure to implement lessons learnt and correct past mistakes have resulted in various setbacks. This paper describes the concept of reusing successfully implemented design packages as templates for repetitive projects, and thereby lowering the instances of project failures. Units or systems successfully installed in projects can be identified and taken up for preparing template design packages. Standardization of units and systems helps to develop templates from successful designs which can be repeatedly used with confidence. These packages can be used with minimum modifications for developing FEED packages faster, saving cost and other valuable resources. Lessons learnt from the completed project incorporated in the templates avoid repeating past mistakes during detailed design, procurement and execution. With template packages, consistent quality can be maintained for similar projects, avoiding scope creep and scope changes which will ultimately result in cost and time savings.

    Influence of Transformation Leadership Style on Employee Engagement among Generation Y
    The aim of this research is to determine the influence of transformation leadership style on employee engagement among Generation Y. The growing of Generation Y employees in Malaysia has raised concerns about how to engage and motivate this cohort. Transformation Leadership style is one of the key factors to increase employee engagement levels in the organization. This study has proven to be important for the researchers and the organization to properly understand the concept of employee engagement, transformation leadership style and their relationship. The samples in this study included 221 respondents of Generation Y who are currently working in Selangor and Klang Valley area in Malaysia. The data were collected using questionnaires and analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The results show that there is a significant relationship between the dimension of intellectual stimulation, inspiration motivation and individual consideration on employee engagement. In contrast, the results have revealed that there is no significant relationship between idealized influences of a leader on employee engagement among Generation Y.
    Empirical Study on Causes of Project Delays
    Renowned offshore organizations are drifting towards collaborative exertion to win and implement international projects for business gains. However, devoid of financial constraints, with the availability of skilled professionals, and despite improved project management practices through state-of-the-art tools and techniques, project delays have become a norm these days. This situation calls for exploring the factor(s) affecting the bonding between project management performance and project success. In the context of the well-known 3M’s of project management (that is, manpower, machinery, and materials), machinery and materials are dependent upon manpower. Because the body of knowledge inveterate on the influence of national culture on men, hence, the realization of the impact on the link between project management performance and project success need to be investigated in detail to arrive at the possible cause(s) of project delays. This research initiative was, therefore, undertaken to fill the research gap. The unit of analysis for the proposed research excretion was the individuals who had worked on skyscraper construction projects. In reverent studies, project management is best described using construction examples. It is due to this reason that the project oriented city of Dubai was chosen to reconnoiter on causes of project delays. A structured questionnaire survey was disseminated online with the courtesy of the Project Management Institute local chapter to carry out the cross-sectional study. The Construction Industry Institute, Austin, of the United States of America along with 23 high-rise builders in Dubai were also contacted by email requesting for their contribution to the study and providing them with the online link to the survey questionnaire. The reliability of the instrument was warranted using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.70. The appropriateness of sampling adequacy and homogeneity in variance was ensured by keeping Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin (KMO) and Bartlett’s test of sphericity in the range ≥ 0.60 and < 0.05, respectively. Factor analysis was used to verify construct validity. During exploratory factor analysis, all items were loaded using a threshold of 0.4. Four hundred and seventeen respondents, including members from top management, project managers, and project staff, contributed to the study. The link between project management performance and project success was significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed), and 0.05 level (2-tailed) for Pearson’s correlation. Before initiating the moderator analysis test for linearity, multicollinearity, outliers, leverage points and influential cases, test for homoscedasticity and normality were carried out which are prerequisites for conducting moderator review. The moderator analysis, using a macro named PROCESS, was performed to verify the hypothesis that national culture has an influence on the said link. The empirical findings, when compared with Hofstede's results, showed high power distance as the cause of construction project delays in Dubai. The research outcome calls for the project sponsors and top management to reshape their project management strategy and allow for low power distance between management and project personnel for timely completion of projects.
    Biculturalism and Educational Success: The Case of the Social Justice High School in Chicago, Illinois, USA
    The aim of this contribution is to present the experience of the U.S. secondary school Social Justice High School (SoJo), part of the larger Campus of Little Village Lawndale High School (LVLHS) located in Chicago, Illinois (USA). This experience can be considered a concrete application of the principles of the educational perspective known, in the United States, as Social Justice Education, aimed at ensuring quality education and educational success for students from disadvantaged groups, particularly those characterized by “biculturalism”, i.e. students with a dual cultural and linguistic background. The contribution will retrace the historical and social events that led to the birth of the SoJo, explaining the principles and methods used by the school to achieve its objectives and giving also some statistical data.
    Professionals’ Collaboration on Strengthening the Teaching of History
    This paper discusses the shared effort of teaching history in K-12 schools, community colleges, four-year colleges and universities to develop students' understanding of the history and habits of thought history. This study presents and discusses the problems of K-12 schools in colleges and universities, and the establishment of secondary school principals. This study also shows that the changing nature of practice can define new trends and affect the history professional in the classroom. There are many problems that historians and teachers of college faculty share in the history of high school teachers. History teachers can and should do better to get students in the classroom. History provides valuable insights into the information and embedded solid-state analysis models that are conflicting on the planet and are quickly changing exceptionally valuable. The survey results can reflect the history teaching in Malaysia.
    Juvenile Delinquency of Senior High School Students in Surabaya, Indonesia
    This research aims to describe teenager delinquency behavior (Juvenile Delinquency) of senior high school students in Surabaya, Indonesia. Juvenile Delinquency is a broad range of behaviors start from socially unacceptable behavior (overreact in school), violation (escape from home) to crimes (like stealing). This research uses quantitative descriptive method using 498 students who come from 8 different schools in Surabaya as subjects. Juvenile Delinquency behavior form questionnaire has been completed by subjects and was used to measure and describe the behavior. The result of this research is presented in statistic descriptive forms. Result shows that 169 subjects skip school, 55 subjects get out of home without parent’s permission, 110 subjects engage in smoking behavior, 74 subjects damage other people properties, 32 subjects steal, 16 subjects exploit others and 7 subjects engage in drug abuse. Frequency of the top five mentioned behavior are 1-10 times. It is also found that subject’s peers are most likely to be the victim of Juvenile Delinquency. The reasons teenagers engage in Juvenile Delinquency include (1) feeling tired, bored or lazy – that contributes to their skip school behavior (2) Having a lot of problem with parents - contrives them to run away from home, (3) accidentally damage other people’s properties, (4) financial problems – force them to steal and exploit, (5) feeling like having a lot of life problems – that makes them do drugs (6) trying smoking for experience.
    The Requirements of Developing a Framework for Successful Adoption of Quality Management Systems in the Construction Industry
    Quality management systems (QMSs) in the construction industry are often implemented to ensure that sufficient effort is made by companies to achieve the required levels of quality for clients. Attainment of these quality levels can result in greater customer satisfaction, which is fundamental to ensure long-term competitiveness for construction companies. However, the construction sector is still lagging behind other industries in terms of its successful adoption of QMSs, due to the relative lack of acceptance of the benefits of these systems among industry stakeholders, as well as from other barriers related to implementing them. Thus, there is a critical need to undertake a detailed and comprehensive exploration of adoption of QMSs in the construction sector. This paper comprehensively investigates in the construction sector setting, the impacts of all the salient factors surrounding successful implementation of QMSs in building organizations, especially those of external factors. This study is part of an ongoing PhD project, which aims to develop a new framework that integrates both internal and external factors affecting QMS implementation. To achieve the paper aim and objectives, interviews will be conducted to define the external factors influencing the adoption of QMSs, and to obtain holistic critical success factors (CSFs) for implementing these systems. In the next stage of data collection, a questionnaire survey will be developed to investigate the prime barriers facing the adoption of QMSs, the CSFs for their implementation, and the external factors affecting the adoption of these systems. Following the survey, case studies will be undertaken to validate and explain in greater detail the real effects of these factors on QMSs adoption. Specifically, this paper evaluates the effects of the external factors in terms of their impact on implementation success within the selected case studies. Using findings drawn from analyzing the data obtained from these various approaches, specific recommendations for the successful implementation of QMSs will be presented, and an operational framework will be developed. Finally, through a focus group, the findings of the study and the new developed framework will be validated. Ultimately, this framework will be made available to the construction industry to facilitate the greater adoption and implementation of QMSs. In addition, deployment of the applicable recommendations suggested by the study will be shared with the construction industry to more effectively help construction companies to implement QMSs, and overcome the barriers experienced by businesses, thus promoting the achievement of higher levels of quality and customer satisfaction.
    A Framework for Investigating Reverse Logistics Capability of E-Tailers
    Environmental concern and consumer rights have entailed e-tailers to adopt better strategies to facilitate product returns from customers. As the demand for reverse logistics (RL) continues to grow, little is known about what motivates e-tailers to enhance their RL capabilities and about the role RL capabilities plays in enabling e-tailers to achieve better customer satisfaction and economic performance. Based on resource-based theory and institutional theory, this article proposes that the following factors play a critical role in influencing the RL capability of e-tailers: (a) Financial resource commitment to RL, (b) managerial resource commitment to RL, and (c) institutional pressure to implement RL. Based on the role of these factors, the study provides a framework and propositions that serve to guide future research addressing the link among resources, institutional pressure, and RL capability.
    The Determination of Stress Experienced by Nursing Undergraduate Students during Their Education
    Objective: Nursing students face with stress factors affecting academic performance and quality of life as from first moments of their educational life. Stress causes health problems in students such as physical, psycho-social, and behavioral disorders and might damage formation of professional identity by decreasing efficiency of education. In addition to determination of stress experienced by nursing students during their education, it was aimed to help review theoretical and clinical education settings for bringing stress of nursing students into positive level and to raise awareness of educators concerning their own professional behaviors. Methods: The study was conducted with 315 students studying at nursing department of Semra and Vefa Küçük Health High School, Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University in the academic year of 2015-2016 and agreed to participate in the study. “Personal Information Form” prepared by the researchers upon the literature review and “Nursing Education Stress Scale (NESS)” were used in this study. Data were assessed with analysis of variance and correlation analysis. Results: Mean NESS Scale score of the nursing students was estimated to be 66.46±16.08 points. Conclusions: As a result of this study, stress level experienced by nursing undergraduate students during their education was determined to be high. In accordance with this result, it can be recommended to determine sources of stress experienced by nursing undergraduate students during their education and to develop approaches to eliminate these stress sources.
    Project and Experiment-Based Fluid Dynamics Education

    This paper presents the project and experiment-based fluid dynamics education in Meisei University, a private institution in Tokyo, Japan. We pay attention not only to the basic engineering courses but also to the practical aspect of engineering experience. So, we prepare courses called the Projects from I to VI. The Projects I and II are designed for the first year, III and IV are designated for the second year, V and VI are prepared for the third year, respectively. Each supervisor is responsible for two of these projects every year. When students take the Project V and VI at the third year, we automatically assume that these students will join the lab of the project for the graduation thesis. We would like to show our experience in the Project I in the summer term, 2016. In this project, we introduce a traction flight vehicle called Cat Flyer. This is a kind of a kite towed by a car for example. This is very similar to parasailing, but flight is possible even on the roads. Experiments in mechanical engineering education are also very important, and we would like to explain our course on centrifugal pump, venture, and orifice. Although these are described in detail in the text books of fluid dynamics, it is still crucial to have practical experiments as a student.

    Viability of Smart Grids for Green IT Sustainability: Contemplated within the Context of Sri Lanka

    Information Technology (IT) is considered to be the prime contributor towards most of the energy releases and hence recursively impacting on the environmental Carbon Footprint on a major scale. The hostile effects brought about due to this massive carbon release such as global warming and ecosystem wipe-outs are currently being realized in Sri Lanka due to the rapid development and merging of computer based technologies. Sri Lanka, being a nature-rich island, has the undying need to preserve its natural environment hence resolving to better ‘Green IT’ practices in all possible spheres. Green IT implies the IT related practices for environmental sustainability. But the industrial divisions in Sri Lanka are still hesitant to fully realize the benefits of applying better “Green IT” principles due to considerations related to costs and other issues. In order to bring about a positive awareness of Green IT, the use of Smart Grids, which is yet a conceptualized principle within the Sri Lankan context, can be considered as a feasible proof in hand. This paper tends to analyze the feasibility of utilizing Smart Grids to ensure minimized cost and effects in preserving the environment hence ensuring Sustainable Green IT practices in an economically and technologically viable manner in Sri Lanka.

    Electoral Mathematics and Asymmetrical Treatment to Political Parties: The Mexican Case

    The Mexican Chamber of Deputies is composed of 500 representatives: 300 of them elected by relative majority and another 200 ones elected through proportional representation in five electoral clusters (constituencies) with 40 representatives each. In this mixed-member electoral system, the seats distribution of proportional representation is not independent of the election by relative majority, as it attempts to correct representation imbalances produced in single-member districts. This two-fold structure has been maintained in the successive electoral reforms carried out along the last three decades (eight from 1986 to 2014). In all of them, the election process of 200 seats becomes complex: Formulas in the Law are difficult to understand and to be interpreted. This paper analyzes the Mexican electoral system after the electoral reform of 2014, which was applied for the first time in 2015. The research focuses on contradictions and issues of applicability, in particular situations where seats allocation is affected by ambiguity in the law and where asymmetrical treatment of political parties arises. Due to these facts, a proposal of electoral reform will be presented. It is intended to be simpler, clearer, and more enduring than the current system. Furthermore, this model is more suitable for producing electoral outcomes free of contradictions and paradoxes. This approach would allow a fair treatment of political parties and as a result an improved opportunity to exercise democracy.

    Emergentist Metaphorical Creativity: Towards a Model of Analysing Metaphorical Creativity in Interactive Talk

    Metaphorical creativity does not constitute a static property of discourse. It is an interactive dynamic process created online. There has been a lack of research concerning online produced metaphorical creativity. This paper intends to account for metaphorical creativity in online talk-in-interaction as a dynamic process that emerges as discourse unfolds. It brings together insights from the emergentist approach to the study of metaphor in verbal interactions and insights from conceptual blending approach as a model for analysing online metaphorical constructions to propose a model for studying metaphorical creativity in interactive talk. The model is based on three focal points. First, metaphorical creativity is a dynamic emergent and open-to-change process that evolves in real time as interlocutors constantly blend and re-blend previous metaphorical contributions. Second, it is not a product of isolated individual minds but a joint achievement that is co-constructed and co-elaborated by interlocutors. The third and most important point is that the emergent process of metaphorical creativity is tightly shaped by contextual variables surrounding talk-in-interaction. It is grounded in the framework of interpretation of interlocutors. It is constrained by preceding contributions in a way that creates textual cohesion of the verbal exchange and it is also a goal-oriented process predefined by the communicative intention of each participant in a way that reveals the ideological coherence/incoherence of the entire conversation.

    Smartphone Photography in Urban China

    The smartphone plays a significant role in media convergence, and smartphone photography is reconstructing the way we communicate and think. This article aims to explore the smartphone photography practices of urban Chinese smartphone users and images produced by smartphones from a techno-cultural perspective. The analysis consists of two types of data: One is a semi-structured interview of 21 participants, and the other consists of the images created by the participants. The findings are organised in two parts. The first part summarises the current tendencies of capturing, editing, sharing and archiving digital images via smartphones. The second part shows that food and selfie/anti-selfie are the preferred subjects of smartphone photographic images from a technical and multi-purpose perspective and demonstrates that screenshots and image texts are new genres of non-photographic images that are frequently made by smartphones, which contributes to improving operational efficiency, disseminating information and sharing knowledge. The analyses illustrate the positive impacts between smartphones and photography enthusiasm and practices based on the diffusion of innovation theory, which also makes us rethink the value of photographs and the practice of ‘photographic seeing’ from the screen itself.

    Towards a Proof Acceptance by Overcoming Challenges in Collecting Digital Evidence

    Cybercrime investigation demands an appropriated evidence collection mechanism. If the investigator does not acquire digital proofs in a forensic sound, some important information can be lost, and judges can discard case evidence because the acquisition was inadequate. The correct digital forensic seizing involves preparation of professionals from fields of law, police, and computer science. This paper presents important challenges faced during evidence collection in different perspectives of places. The crime scene can be virtual or real, and technical obstacles and privacy concerns must be considered. All pointed challenges here highlight the precautions to be taken in the digital evidence collection and the suggested procedures contribute to the best practices in the digital forensics field.

    The Importance of Student Feedback in Development of Virtual Engineering Laboratories

    There has been significant recent interest in on-line learning, as well as considerable work on developing technologies for virtual laboratories for engineering students. After reviewing the state-of-the-art of virtual laboratories, this paper steps back from the technology issues to look in more detail at the pedagogical issues surrounding virtual laboratories, and examines the role of gathering student feedback in the development of such laboratories. The main contribution of the paper is a set of student surveys before and after a prototype deployment of a simulation laboratory tool, and the resulting analysis which leads to some tentative guidelines for the design of virtual engineering laboratories.

    Economics of Oil and Its Stability in the Gulf Region

    After the World War II, the world economy was disrupted and changed due to oil and its prices. The research in this paper presents the basic statistical features and economic characteristics of the Gulf economy. The main features of the Gulf economies and its heavy dependence on oil exports, its dualism between modern and traditional sectors and its rapidly increasing affluences are particularly emphasized.  In this context, the research in this paper discussed the problems of growth versus development and has attempted to draw the implications for the future economic development of this area.

    The Effect of the Hemispheres of the Brain and the Tone of Voice on Persuasion

    This study investigates whether participants experience different levels of persuasion depending on the hemisphere of the brain and the tone of voice. The experiment was performed on 96 volunteer undergraduate students taking an introductory course in psychology. The participants took part in a 2 x 3 (Hemisphere: left, right x Tone of Voice: positive, neutral, negative) Mixed Factorial Design to measure how much a person was persuaded. Results showed that the hemisphere of the brain and the tone of voice used did not significantly affect the results individually. Furthermore, there was no interaction effect. Therefore, the hemispheres of the brain and the tone of voice employed play insignificant roles in persuading a person.

    Motivating Factors and Prospects for Rural Community Involvement in Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Mantanani Island, Sabah, Malaysia

    In Malaysia, particularly in Sabah, the government has been promoting entrepreneurship among rural people to encourage them to earn their living by making good use of the diverse natural resources and local cultures of Sabah. Nevertheless, despite the government’s aim to encourage more local community in rural area to involve in entrepreneurship, the involvement of community in entrepreneurial activity is still low. It is crucial to identify the factors stimulate (or prevent) the involvement of rural community in Sabah in entrepreneurial activity. Therefore, this study tries to investigate the personal and contextual factors that may have impact on decision to start a business among the local community in Mantanani Island. In addition, this study also aims to identify the perceived benefits they receive from entrepreneurial activity. A structured face-to-face interview was conducted with 61 local communities in Mantanani Island. Data analysis revealed that passion, personal skills and self-confidence are the significant internal factors to entrepreneurial activity, whereas access to finance, labour and infrastructure are the significant external factors that are found to influence entrepreneurship. In terms of perceived rewards they received from taking up small business, it was found that respondents are predominantly agreed that entrepreneurship offers financial benefit than non-financial. In addition, this study also offers several suggestions for entrepreneurship development in Mantanani Island and it is hoped that this study may help the related agency to develop effective support policies in order to encourage more people in rural area to involve in entrepreneurship.

    Improved Safety Science: Utilizing a Design Hierarchy
    Collection of information on incidents is regularly done through pre-printed incident report forms. These tend to be incomplete and frequently lack essential information. ne consequence is that reports with inadequate information, that do not fulfil analysts’ requirements, are transferred into the analysis process. To improve an incident reporting form, theory in design science, witness psychology and interview and questionnaire research has been used. Previously three experiments have been conducted to evaluate the form and shown significant improved results. The form has proved to capture knowledge, regardless of the incidents’ character or context. The aim in this paper is to describe how design science, in more detail a design hierarchy can be used to construct a collection form for improvements in safety science.
    An Efficiency Measurement of E-Government Performance for United Nation Ranking Index

    In order to serve the society in an electronic manner, many developing countries have launched tremendous e-government projects. The strategies of development and implementation e-government system have reached different levels, and to ensure consistency of development, the governments need to evaluate e-government performance. The United nation has design e-government development ranking index (EGDI) that rely on three indexes, Online service index (OSI), Telecommunication Infrastructure index (TII), and human capital index( HCI) which are not reflecting the interaction between a government and their citizens. Based on data envelopment analyses (DEA) technique, we are using E-participating index (EPI) as an output of government effort to evaluate the performance of e-government system. Therefore, the ranking index can be achieved in efficiency manner.

    Sexualization of Women in Nigerian Magazine Advertisements

    This study examines the portrayal of women in Nigerian magazine advertisements, with the aim to investigate whether there is sexualization of women in the advertisements. To achieve this aim, content analyses of 61 magazine advertisements from 5 different categories of magazines; a general interest magazine (Genevieve), fashion magazine (Hints Complete Fashion), men’s magazine (Mode), women’s magazine (Totally Whole) and a relationship magazine (Forever) were carried out. Erving Goffman’s 1979 frame analysis and Kang’s two additional coding categories were used to investigate the sexualization of women. Findings show that women are used for decorative purposes and objectified in over 70 per cent of the advertisements analyzed. Also, there is sexualization of women in magazine advertisements because women are nude 57.4 percent of the magazine advertisements.