PPM Papers Coming Soon

This section contains information about articles under review and waiting for publication in next issues of the journal.

Exploring consumers' intention toward online hotel reservations: insights from Malaysia

Sue-Lynn Saw, PPI Industries Sdn Bhd, Penang, Malaysia 
Yen-Nee Goh, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Salmi Mohd Isa, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. The rapid development of communication technologies and the pervasiveness of the Internet have made online reservation a predominant method to book a hotel room. With very little effort or time, hoteliers can publish hotel information on their website and customers can make room reservations online. To understand the mechanisms surrounding these transactions, this study investigated the relationships among perceived price, trust, social influence, prior online purchase experience and perceived risk with consumers' intentions toward online hotel reservations. The findings revealed that perceived price, trust, prior online purchase experience and perceived risk were related to customers' intentions toward online hotel reservation while social influence was found to have no significant influence in this regard.

The impact of organizational stakeholders' care on organizational commitment: evidence from Malaysia

Rajendran Muthuveloo, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Teoh Ai Ping, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Lai Siew Meng, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. In today's competitive business world, organizational commitment remains the key challenge for many organizations. With the recent global economic slowdown, organizations' performance has been affected by the negative dynamism of business environment. Organizations need to have highly committed and talented core employees to sustain in the fast changing technology markets. This paper attempts to identify key aspects pertaining to care of organizations towards their stakeholders and their impact on organizational commitment based on the Social Exchange Theory (SET). A quantitative research approach was applied and a total of 287 samples were collected from working individuals across different organizations located in Penang, Malaysia. This study found that among all the organizational stakeholder care that was provided to employees; extended family, CSR, suppliers and customers; employees and suppliers were found to be positively and significantly associated with organizational commitment and all its dimensions. Interestingly, extended family was found to be positively and significantly associated with normative commitment while it was found to be negatively and significantly associated with continuance commitment. However, organizational stakeholder care that was provided to society, environment and customers were found to have no significant impact on the organizational commitment. This study brings insightful and significant findings to the organizations especially for Human Resource managers to devise strategies in enhancing employees' commitment towards the organizations.

Tourism planning and stakeholders' engagements: the case of Penang Island

A.K Siti-Nabiha, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Nor Hasliza Md Saad, School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. Successful tourism developments are born from careful planning, and involving the government, industry, and community stakeholders. However, actual stakeholder engagement processes are complex, and problematic. While considerable research has been conducted in developed tourist markets, this study aims to determine stakeholder engagement in tourism planning in a developing country; the Penang Island in Malaysia. Semi-structured interviews with governmental agencies, industry associations, and community stakeholders were conducted to look at their views on the engagement process with the local authority (LA) and the current barriers to success. The findings revealed the existing engagement process with the LA is insufficient and ineffective, and the key barrier to improvement is the unclear roles and responsibilities of the multitude of federal, state and local government entities that are involved in tourism planning and development, and also lack of clear tourism strategy at the state and local levels. Hence, there is a clear need to delineate the responsibilities of the parties involved, improve coordination, strengthen collaboration with the stakeholders through improved and effective communication channels, and employ a participatory approach of early and on-going engagements in tourism planning and development.

Public sector accounting reforms: assessing Indonesia's readiness towards implementing accrual accounting

Meiliana Suparman, Faculty of Economy and Business, Universitas Internasional Batam, Indonesia 
A.K Siti-Nabiha, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Lian Kee Phua, School of Management Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. The Indonesian government, following the global trends in adopting new public management practices, has seen the need for reforms in its public accounting practices. One of the reforms adopted by this country is the use of accrual based accounting system to improve the quality of financial reporting information and enhance public sector accountability and transparency. However, the introduction of a new accounting system is not an easy and simple process. There is a wide gap between changes to the concept of formal accounting practices and its ultimate development and implementation. As such, this study analyzes the readiness of the Indonesian public sector towards adoption of accrual accounting as part of the public sector reform efforts by reviewing relevant laws, guidelines and regulations. In this study, the framework adopted by the New Zealand government (Ouda, 2008) is used to analyze Indonesia's readiness towards adopting the new system. The findings reveal that several initiatives were taken to support the adoption of the new system namely (a) enactment of new regulations and laws; (b) usage of varieties of communication channels to explain the system; and (c) obtaining inputs from the professional and academic accounting community. However, it is evident that the adoption of accrual accounting continues to face challenges and major inadequacies including insufficient training, lack of professional public sector accountants especially at the local government level, continued implementation of cash based budgeting together with non-integration of various information technology systems. Hence, these issues need to be addressed to ensure public sector readiness towards implementing accrual accounting in Indonesia.

A study of quality of work life, organizational commitment and turnover intention

Yusliza Mohd Yusoff, Ph.D., Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Nadia Newaz Rimi, PhD. Student, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia (Malaysia), Department of Management, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh 
Chuah Hun Meng

Abstract. This study examined the relationships among eight different dimensions of quality of work life (QWL), organizational commitment, and turnover intention. Cross-sectional survey data were collected from 254 employees who were working in the manufacturing firms in Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, Penang, Malaysia. Both convenience sampling and snowball sampling techniques were employed to select the respondents. Using multiple regression analysis technique, this study revealed that adequate and fair compensation, opportunity for continued growth, security, social relevance of work life, social integration and work and total life space in the work organization are negatively related to turnover intention. Opportunity for continued growth, security and social relevance of work life and social integration in the work organization are found to be positively related to affective commitment. Moreover, opportunity for continued growth, security and social relevance of work life are positively related to continuance commitment. Adequate and fair compensation, opportunity for continued growth, security and social relevance of work life and social integration in the work organization are positively related to normative commitment. Besides, all commitment dimensions are found negatively related to turnover intention. Affective commitment and normative commitment partially mediate the relationship between quality of work life and turnover intention. The overall findings suggest the relative importance of different dimensions of QWL to get better employees' outcomes in terms of commitment and retention. The present study expects more study on the relationship between QWL and employees' outcomes.

Reasons for the failure of web-based application IT projects: an empirical study in Malaysia

K. Jayaraman, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Hasnah Haron, Dean, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia,  Malaysia 
Yit Lu Yee, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Shruthi R., Cognizant Technology Services (CTS), Chennai, India 

Abstract. Every year, organizations lose millions of dollars due to failure of web-based application information technology (IT) projects. Research shows that companies have difficulties in web-based application IT projects to complete on time or on budget or within the scope and any of these combinations. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors influencing failure of web-based application IT projects, particularly in the the context of Malaysia. A study was conducted on 155 experienced project managers in handling web-based IT projects. The top ten failure factors were identified. The findings of the study revealed that lack of clarity of goals, low teamwork quality, ineffective project management, no reward and recognition system in place and insufficient resources are the core factors for the failure of web-based application IT projects. The significance of this research lies in the fact that its results will add new knowledge in the project management field by identifying the relative importance of the factors that have an impact on web-based application IT project failure.

Customers' reflections on the intention to purchase hybrid cars: an empirical study from Malaysia

K. Jayaraman, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Wong Wei Yun, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia,  Malaysia 
Yong Won Seo, College of Business and Economics, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea 
Hye Young Joo, Chung Ang University, Seoul, South Korea 

Abstract. Global warming due to the impact of carbon dioxide (CO2) has reached an alarming level. Road transport is primarily the most notable source of pollution in the world. With the sophistication in environmental technology, a variety of environmental friendly products have been introduced in the market. One of them is the hybrid car; it is powered using a combination of an engine and battery. It is a promising product to control global warming. The present article attempts to identify the factors leading to hybrid car purchase intentions among Malaysian nationals. A quantitative research approach was employed and the data were collected from 121 Malaysian respondents, aged 17 years and above, and having a valid driving license. Interestingly, 116 (96%) out of 121 respondents showed intention to purchase hybrid cars provided the government waives the import and excise duty. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and Norm Activation Theory (NAT), support the proposed conceptual research framework. The findings of this study indicate that environmental attitude and awareness of responsibility are highly correlated, found to be positively and significantly influencing on the purchase intentions of hybrid cars. In addition, social influences have a positive relationship with the purchase intention. The past experience in driving non-hybrid cars does not really moderate the relationship between independent variables and the purchase intention of hybrid cars. These findings would definitely help customers on the purchase of hybrid cars and manufactures to decide on the marketing strategies for the increased production of hybrid cars. Some of the recommendations based on the findings of the study are also discussed.

Influence of corporate social responsibility on loyalty: perceptions of medical doctors

Salmi Mohd Isa, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Lee Kok Kitt, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. Corporate social responsibility has become a fundamentally important concept embedded in organization's strategies in recent decades although its benefits as a commercial tool needs to be investigated further. Nowadays, pharmaceutical industry is facing unprecedented challenges since medical knowledge is increasing, and technologies and innovative and crucial medicines are getting improved from the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, the current study adopted a multi-dimensional perspective of corporate social responsibility and carried out a research to determine perceptions of medical doctors about corporate social responsibility and loyalty of pharmaceutical companies. It can be said that socially behaving of these individuals- play an important role in their decision. It is contended in this article that personal dimensions of medical doctors and process dimension may contribute to the loyalty behavior.

Postgraduates' perception about the causes of brain drain among Malaysian professionals

Harish Chandar, MBA, Plant Engineer, IOI Oleochemicals Berhad, Malaysia 
Junaimah Jauhar, MBA, Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani, Ph.D., Associate Professor, College Of Law, Government and International Studies, UUM, Malaysia 

Abstract. The focus of this quantitative study is to uncover the causes of brain drain among Malaysian professionals by examining the relationship between four independent variables (unattractive remuneration packages, poor opportunities for career growth, poor job satisfaction and poor quality of life) and the dependent variable (brain drain) by obtaining perceptions of Malaysian postgraduates studying in higher institutions in Malaysia. This is because postgraduates form the cluster of the highest education level in Malaysia could offer highly valued views. Brain drain is classified as the emigration of individuals with technical skills or expertise from developing countries to developed countries offering better job opportunities. Malaysia's development has been plagued as this phenomenon has continuously robbed Malaysia's professionals' contribution, with 308,834 high skilled Malaysians migrated from Malaysia in year 2013.
A total of 170 questionnaires were distributed through snowball sampling and convenience sampling to respondents; postgraduates studying in universities located in Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Several statistical techniques were applied in SPSS such as descriptive statistics, factor analysis, reliability analysis, correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis. Through multiple regression analysis, it was found unattractive remuneration packages, poor opportunities for career growth and poor quality of life have positive relationships with brain drain while poor job satisfaction has a negative relationship in this regard.

Symptoms versus problems (SVP) in household high speed broadband (HSBB): regaining momentum for Unifi, Malaysia

Noor N. Kader Ali, Deputy Dean, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Bin Y. Soon, Sr. Bios Engineer, Intel Micro Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd, Malaysia 
Lee S. Goh, Planning Sr. Officer II, Fuji Electric (M) Sdn Bhd, Malaysia 
Nur A. Ahmad Razi, Associate, Maxis Berhad, Malaysia 

Abstract. Problem identification is a talent and skill set required in all leaders. The objective of this study is to reveal an improved research method by integrating mixed-method research combined with problem identification method (using Symptoms Versus Problems (SVP) framework) for telco service providers. The SVP framework discovers the primary causes to the decrease in revenue growth rates. Malaysia's household broadband penetration rate grew from 15.2% (2007) to 67.1% (2013). Meanwhile, the growth rate for Unifi, offered by Telekom Malaysia (TM), decreased from 104% (2012) to 30% (2013). Why? There are eight causes, specifically; not prioritizing 4G LTE license; obligating social services to rural areas; providing 20-30 Mbps wireless broadband packages by the competitors; offering less competitive price; not covering all zones; offering less favourable service contracts; offering limited packages; and receiving customer complaints. The sequential methodology process began with semi-structured interviews, analysis of unpublished company data, customer survey on 164 respondents and field observation which were all summarized into a root-cause analysis tool called Symptoms Versus Problems Framework (SVP). The SVP indicates TM acquired Packed One to overcome HSBB issues; revamp its strategies to product content offering instead of head-on price war; establishing bureaucracy busting team, competitors busting teams on product innovation; collaborating with local broadcasting companies; and developing talent. Interestingly, this study discovers another framework on critical success factors for telco service providers through development of "House of Pillars for Rapid Growth" of TM in Malaysia.

Determinants of service quality on service loyalty: the mediating role of customers' satisfaction and brand equity

S. Kiumarsi, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Salmi Mohd Isa, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
K. Jayaraman, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. Customers' satisfaction and customers' loyalty have become a main focus of studies on the banking industry and service sectors. However, literature on the service loyalty in the post office context is relatively new. The appropriate new approach for fostering service innovation for the post offices should be developed to increase knowledge about the service quality. This research, therefore, aims to explore the factors influencing service loyalty in the post office service sectors. In this paper, first the conceptual framework is proposed followed by the constructs: service quality, service innovation, customers' satisfaction, brand equity and service loyalty. The survey questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were performed to test the validity of the measures, and PLS was employed to test the hypotheses. This study could contribute to both management theories and practical applications to the post offices in Asian countries, especially in Malaysia. The findings will help the post offices move towards offering new products and services such as post office malls, stamps release during the festival seasons, postal emails, children savings schemes and post office ATM.

The determinants of competitiveness in quality: a study among the Malaysian private higher education institutions

Cheng Ling Tan, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Yen Nee Goh, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia  
Hon Seng Chan, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. In recognition of the significant contribution of Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) to the Malaysian economy via foreign exchange earnings, it is important to explore the determinants that could enhance the PHEIs competitiveness in quality. The PHEIs are just like other profit organizations, see the dire need to gain competitive edge due to stiff competition and pressure to face globalization. Thus, the PHEIs which intent to gain competitive edge need to search for effective and creative ways to attract, retain and foster stronger relationship with their students. One of the effective ways to raise their competitiveness level is to enhance the quality of their deliveries. Due to this basis, a model linking the determinants (top management support, government support, stakeholders' pressure, faculty support, and regulation compliance) and competitiveness in quality was tested. This study employed Partial Least Squares (PLS) to analyse 138 data collected from PHEIs in Malaysia. The results revealed that five determinants hypothesized in this study significantly influence the PHEIs' competitiveness in quality. This study provides insights for PHEIs on how to increase the educational quality through appropriate methods that could directly enhance their competitiveness level. This study also contributes to the growing of literature in the area of competitiveness in quality in PHEIs. Besides, some limitations are identified and discussed.

Motivation to start a small business: a study among generation Y in Taiwan

Cheng Ling Tan, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Soo Hsien Ng, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. The purpose of this research is to examine the influence of personality traits (need for achievement, risk taking, tolerance for ambiguity, locus of control, and self-efficacy) on the motivation to start a small business. The survey was conducted among 252 generation Y who stayed in the eight urban cities in Taiwan context. In essence, the research built a framework based on the Theory of Planner Behavior to entrepreneurship. Collected data was analyzed using SPSS and SmartPLS statistical tool. The results showed four of the five personality trait dimensions were found significantly related to motivation to start a small business. Self-efficacy was not significant associated with motivation to start a small business. This implies that locus of control, need for achievement, risk taking, and tolerance for ambiguity are the important traits to foster motivation to start a small business among generation Y in Taiwan.

Factors influencing the independence of government auditors

Prof. Hasnah, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. The auditor provides assurance that the financial statements are true and fair, and prepared according to the generally accepted accounting principles. Unfortunately, many failures in corporation have caused concerns to the auditing profession. Auditors are deemed not to be independent, as reflected in many cases of companies' financial distress around the world and in Malaysia. The current research examined whether non-audit services fees, audit competition and audit tenure would influence perceived auditors' independence of government auditors. Questionnaires were distributed among the respondents to rate auditors' independence based on eight scenarios. Each of the auditor-client conflict scenarios consisted of eight different manipulations of independent variables. For the purpose of this study, two other variables namely client's financial position and client's company size were controlled. The respondents were required to rate their perceptions of auditors' independence on a Likert scale. Overall, 73 government auditors participated in this study. The findings indicate that high non-audit service and high audit competition affect the perceptions of auditors' independence. Also, the government auditors have been found to be consistent in their judgment. The current research contributes to the accounting research knowledge in two ways. First, the framework of the current research supported by the Brunswick Lens Model could explain the outcomes. Second, providing evidence that the government auditors are reliable would lead to producing quality judgment.

Consumers' perception towards the extent of Internet banking usage in Malaysia

Wan-Shin Ho, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 
Sofri Yahya, Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia 

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the consumers' perception towards the extent of internet banking usage. It examines the influence of internet accessibility, internet quality, security and privacy, transaction benefit and trust on consumers' intention to continue using internet banking services. This study employed a quantitative research approach; therefore, questionnaires were distributed among the samples. A total of 174 surveys were analyzed using Partial Least Squares (PLS). Based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed by Davis (1989), the results show that internet accessibility, internet quality, security and privacy and transaction benefits have significant effect on the extent of internet banking usage. A practical implication of these results is that banks need to acknowledge the importance of consumers' criteria before considering using internet banking. This study helps banks to identify the important criteria in providing more comprehensive and adequate internet banking services to the community. Currently, many banks are initiating their own strategies or policies to provide user friendly and appropriate internet banking services, however, they banks need to consider providing comprehensive internet banking services that can give full confidence to users. Some banks are still falling behind in initiatives regarding safe and secure internet banking services.

The Yun-Niang as a process from core value to new experience-centric services: a case study of an experience-centric services firm in Taiwan

Wei-Tien Hung, Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation Management, Shih-Chien University (Kaohsiung Campus), Taiwan
Heng-Yih Liu, Assistant Professor, Department of International Business, Yuan-Ze University, Taiwan

Abstract. Since the rise of the experience economy, services providing customer experiences as their core offerings - or "experience-centric services" (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004) - have become an important research area. Although there has been ample research on the process of new product development (NPD), new experience and experience-centric service development have received little attention. Using a case study of a firm in Taiwan, this article proposes a process model, dubbed the Yun-Niang process, to describe how an organization gradually creates an experience-centric service, and discusses managerial implications for businesses and future research directions for scholars.

Enhancing communication between management and employees at a storage organisation in the freight industry

Kyle David Pillay, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Muhammad Hoque, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Abstract. The objectives of the study were to expand on the understanding of communication between management and employees and to establish guidelines to enhance this communication process. This was a cross-sectional study conducted amongst 28 staff members (both management and employees) using online anonymous questionnaires. Both management and employees had the same view that communication is a two-way process that plays a significant role in their working lives. The importance of consistent communication amongst management was highlighted. Management had recognised the importance of face-to-face communication. There was, however, room for improvement in that management should decrease the intervals of communication and also needs to be more effective in its communications with employees. Results relating to the upward-feedback process showed that there is room for improvement. Overall, both management and employees felt that communication is effective. Management must endeavour to create an environment in which effective communication thrives.

Business model or strategy: what comes first? A lifecycle perspective in the Scandinavian software industry

Jesper Deleuran Friis, Research Assistant, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences, Department of Economics and Business, Denmark
Rainer Lueg, Associate Professor for Management Accounting and Control, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences, Department of Economics and Business, Denmark
Remmy Mayanja, Research Assistant, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences, Department of Economics and Business, Denmark
Simon Tind Salling, Research Assistant, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences, Department of Economics and Business, Denmark
Kasper Aalund Møller Sørensen, Research Assistant, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences, Department of Economics and Business, Denmark

Abstract. There is an ongoing debate on how the concepts of strategy and business models relate to each other. Specifically, it is a puzzle whether business models determine strategies, or whether strategies precede business models (Seddon et al., 2004). Based on recent conceptual considerations (Cavalcante et al., 2011), we attempt to solve this puzzle by considering their mutual influence at different stages of the company's business lifecycle. For that, we use Scandinavian Software Company (SSC) as a case study. We show that the initial idea of a business model shaped SSC's strategy in the birth phase. We then argue that this relationship changed as SSC entered its growth phase and met competition, and the product market strategy determined the change in the business model. We contribute to the currently underexplored dynamic relationship of business models and strategies over the business lifecycle.

Corporate governance and corporate social responsibility - the case of FIFA

Obada S. Zeidan, Heilbronn University, Germany
Simon G. Fauser, Ph.D., Faculty of International Business, Heilbronn University, Germany

Abstract. The article aims to examine FIFA`s proclaimed governance policies, corporate governance (CG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR), as well as the way they are applied in practice. We examined FIFA's (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) governance policies by studying its code of conduct as well as its regulatory framework. We asked football fans how they perceive FIFA's code of conduct to be put intopractice, using examples from the most recent football world cups. The result shows that football fans perceive a strong violation especially in the areas of: "Integrity and Ethical Behaviour", "Compliance with Laws, Rules, and Regulations", as well as "Social and Environmental Responsibility".

Green entrepreneurship inclination among gen Y: the road towards a green economy

Noor Hazlina Ahmad, School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Hasliza Abdul Halim, School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
T. Ramayah, School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Syed Abidur Rahman, School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

Abstract. Green entrepreneurship is considered one of the major drivers for the green economy. Due to the sustainable development issue, the concept of green entrepreneurship is gaining a significant momentum. This study investigates the inclination towards green entrepreneurship among 100 business students who represents the Gen Y cohort. Specifically, it aims to examine the effects of sustainable orientation, sustainable education and general self-efficacy on green entrepreneurship inclination. An empirical test was carried out and the findings showed that sustainable orientation and sustainable education are found to have statistically significant relationships with the inclination towards green entrepreneurship among Y. Self-efficacy on the hand was found to be non-significant. It is anticipated that the findings of the study could serve as a guideline for the educators and policymakers in formulating curriculum and policies that are aligned with the go-green avowal.

Impact of non-oil sector on economic growth: a managerial economic perspective

Anthony Igwe, Department of Management, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria
Chukwudi Emmanuel Edeh, Department of Economics, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria
Wilfred I. Ukpere, Department of Industrial Psychology and people Management, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract. This study is motivated by the need to examine the impact of non-oil export to economic growth in Nigeria for the period 1981-2012. The study adopted the Export-Led Growth hypothesis as the framework of study. A production function which specified economic growth as a function of capital stock, labour and non-oil export was formulated to express the relationship between the dependent and the independent variables. The econometric techniques of Johansen cointegration and the vector error correction model were chosen to ascertain the impact and the long run relationship between the dependent and the explanatory variables. Also, the Granger causality technique was used to investigate a causality relationship between economic growth and the independent variables. Findings from the VEC analysis reveal that in both the short and long runs, non-oil export determines economic growth. Also, the cointegration analysis indicates a long run relationship between non-oil export and economic growth over the period under study. These two findings agree with the theory of Export-Led growth hypothesis. However, the Granger causality analysis indicates no causality relationship between non-oil export and economic growth. A uni-directional causality relationship runs from capital stock to economic growth. Also, a uni-directional causality relationship runs from economic growth to labour force.

Investigating the factors influencing the life insurance market in Ethiopia

Luqman Adedamola Sulaiman, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Stephen Migiro, Professor, Dean and Head of School, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Tessema Yeshihareg, MBA Candidate, University of South Africa, South Africa

Abstract. The insurance firms as financial intermediaries play a significant role within a nation's financial system by mobilizing funds from the surplus economic unit and channeling it to the deficit investment unit of the economy. Life insurance business as an aspect plays a crucial role in supporting investments by accommodating all life insurable risks and financial consequences. Considering this crucial role, the study investigates the factors that influence life insurance market from Ethiopian perspective. It employs secondary data on eleven independent variables - six of which are economic and five demographic variables for a period of 28 years from 1979/1980 to 2007/2008. Time series graphs, the Error Correction Mechanism (ECM), the Johansen Co-integration test and the Augmented Dickey-Fuller test were utilized in its econometric analysis. The result shows a long-term balanced connection amongst the variables. Inflation had a statistically noticeable negative impact on the demand and supply in the life insurance market. In addition, there was a statistically significant negative effect of young dependency ratio on life insurance market demand while old dependency ratio had a statistically significant positive relation to life insurance supply. Based on the results, it is recommended that during high inflation, life insurance companies should revise price decisions to enhance the life insurance market. To minimize the inverse effect of young dependants, insurers need extensive sensitization on the young age through their families and promote products that suit the young children - such as children's education policies. With the increase in life expectancy of individuals and groups, which results in an increase of the life insurance market, insurers have to develop products that can make provision for such societal dynamic.

An analysis of the Swaziland public educational environment and its role-players

Z Hamid, NWU Potchefstroom Business School, North-West University, The Management College of South Africa, Durban, South Africa
CA Bisschoff, NWU Potchefstroom Business School, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
CJ Botha, NWU Potchefstroom Business School, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract. Swaziland is a former British colony located on the South-Eastern southern tip of Africa. Resultant of colonization, the Swaziland education is based on English colonial system. However, the colonial education system, as applied in Swaziland resulted in differentiated and segregated education standards and, depending on regional location, local inhabitants did not receive a proper education. Since Swaziland's political independence and self-regulating of the education system, several efforts have been made to improve its quality of education to the population and to ascertain that all regions as well as rural remote locations, actually do receive quality education. This educational vision is, however, did not come without challenges. This article focuses specifically on the environmental factors pertaining to Swaziland education. That includes a description of the Swaziland educational environment, the different factors in the macro-environment that play a role in Swaziland education and also the current profile of the educators employed in Swaziland. The results show that albeit the numerous environmental, political and logistical challenges, the Swaziland educators are making a difference and that they are productive, equally distributed gender wise, mainly Swaziland citizens and well educated to deliver a quality education to the people.

The new functions of the HR-departments of the future

Daniel, J. Adriaenssen, Research Fellow, Institute of Psychology, Århus University, Denmark
Jon-Arild Johannessen, Ph.D., Professor (full), Oslo School of Management, Artic University, Tromsø, Harstad University Campus, Norway

Abstract. Problem: In general, HR departments fail to adapt to reflect societal change. Problem approach: Which competences will be manifested in the HRM philosophy of the future? Research questions: 1. How has HRM philosophy developed in the period 1980-2016? 2. What knowledge forms the basis of current HRM philosophy?
Objective: This article aims to highlight some areas of competence that will be relevant in the future to HRM philosophy. Methods: Trend research and conceptual generalization. Findings: The new areas of competence that will be significant for HRM are innovation management, knowledge management, change management, performance management, and organizational design.

Interactive use of performance measurement systems and the organization's customers-focused strategy: the mediating role of organizational learning

Yuliansyah Yuliansyah, Accounting Department-University of Lampung-Bandar Lampung, Indonesia
Ashfaq Khan, UNE Business School, University of New England, Australia

Abstract. This study investigates the effect of the interactive use of performance measurement system (PMS) on the company's adaptation of its customer-focused strategy. We used a self-administered survey study of 69 managers working in the Indonesia Stock Exchange-listed financial institutions. Our statistical analyses using Smart PLS 2.0 supported all hypotheses and revealed direct and indirect relationships among the hypothesized variables. However, based on the path analysis', using the Sobel's test and the Variance Accounted For (VAF), the empirical data revealed that the organizational members' direct relationship with the customer accounted for a greater contribution to the improvement in the customer-focused strategy compared to the organization's indirect relationship. This study provides evidence that an effective implementation and interactive use of PMS would leverage the organization's customers-focused strategy and help it gain a competitive advantage.

Employee performance management and development within the regional hospitals in the Kwazulu-Natal department of health

Wellington B. Zondi, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa
Ian Nzimakwe, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa
Vannie Naidoo Nkwanyana, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa
Elias Munapo, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa

Abstract. This paper looks at research conducted within the Regional hospitals of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, South Africa. The study was motivated by the fact that regional hospitals provide specialised public health services yet are perceived by the general public to be struggling in the area of service delivery, staff motivation and staff performance management. The research involved 439 respondents from 8 of the 14 Regional Hospitals in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. A self-administered questionnaire comprising of 35 questions arranged in the form of a Likert Scalewas used as the research instrument. The study revealed that while, in the main, it seemed like management had conducted the performance management and development of their subordinates correctly, there is still room for improvement in all the variables that were posed during this study. It is therefore recommended that a competency centre in which supervisors and managers are trained in the process of performance management and development be established within the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.

An entrepreneurial flair development: the role of an ecosystem

John Amolo, University of KwaZulu -Natal: Graduate School of Business & Leadership, South Africa
Stephen. O Migiro, Professor, University of KwaZulu -Natal: Graduate School of Business & Leadership, South Africa 

Abstract. The desire of communities and nations is their ability to exercise their prowess in terms of their wealth and ability to create wealth for a meaningful economic context. Entrepreneurship success cannot be achieved by a singly identifiable factor or else it would be standardized for achievement anywhere and elsewhere. Factor homogeneity has never been well-known for a universal economic development and therefore the appreciation of differences in unlikely environments may remain for some time, unless, otherwise. This paper attempts to underscore the fact that entrepreneurship thrives under a holistic set of components and cycles, formally called the ecosystem. Through literature review and the presentation of the existence of various models the paper paints a view of the holistic environment desirable for an entrepreneurial flair to be achieved. In this presentation a suggested model for entrepreneurial flair development is advanced. It is the proposition of this paper that a holistic view in the pedagogy of entrepreneurship should not be limited to entrepreneurship teaching perse rather on the entrepreneurial flair even as no single component acts by itself in an entrepreneurial environment. Therefore whichever component tends to have higher impact over a given area calls for further study and appreciation.

Customer satisfaction within pharmacies in a supermarket: a South African perspective

Darry S. Penceliah, Durban University of Technology, South Africa 
Dion T. Noel, Durban University of Technology, South Africa 
Nafisa Adat, Durban University of Technology, South Africa 

Abstract. South Africa is experiencing an expansion of pharmacy chains. Globalization and deregulations have increased competition within the retail pharmacy sector. In this highly competitive sector, the most important strategy for a pharmacy chain to obtain customer satisfaction and maintain market profitability is attributed to customer-focus. The aim of this paper was to investigate customer satisfaction at a pharmacy chain in South Africa. A total of 400 customers completed the survey using a questionnaire. All the service quality dimensions in the customers' survey contain negative mean gap scores. From these findings, the pharmacy chain can identify specific gaps in the service quality dimensions and seek to close them. Service quality dimensions that are deemed to be good predictors of customer satisfaction have been related to factors relating to tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. The retail pharmacy chain should address these dimensions in its attempt to offer superior customer service. The recommendations would provide other pharmacies within a supermarket with knowledge to address possible shortcomings and improve the service levels.

Factors influencing the entry mode of South African retailers expanding into Africa

Rasoava Rijamampianina, DSSC, DESCA (Madagascar); MBA, DBA (Japan), Director of the Management Advancement Programmes, Wits Business School University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), South Africa  

Abstract. Over the last decade, South African companies presence in the Sub-Saharan retail market has steadily solidified. In this regard, the purpose of this study is to determine the importance attached to key factors influencing the choice of entry mode of South African retailers entering new African markets. We also ascertain the preferred mode of entry. This research follows a positivism paradigm, and the methodology used a mixed method technique. A structured interview together with some open ended questions were used to gather data. All Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) retail sub classifications were represented in the study with 76% of the listed retail sector by market capitalisation and 70% of the total retail sector by sales. The results showed that country specific factors were the factors influencing the choice on entry mode more than others. The most preferred mode of entry by South African retailers was a high control greenfield.

Key internal factors affecting the small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) marketing strategies in rural South Africa

Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya, Durban University of Technology, South Africa  

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to report on a study aimed at identifying key internal factors that affect the success of SMMEs marketing strategies in rural South Africa. The study employed both quantitative method in data collection and analysis of primary data in order to ensure reliability and generalizability of the results. Collection of primary was conducted in five rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).Simple size was consists of 374 business owners/managers, with respondents completing a questionnaire. Space was provided from each question thought the questionnaire, which was more qualitative to allow respondents to give additional relevant information which might be left during the formulation of the questionnaire. All the quantitative were coded into SPSS (Version 21.0) graphs, cross - tabulation, frequencies and descriptive statistics. According to the findings, the most significant internal factors impact on the SMMEs marketing strategies in rural South Africa: Access to finance, managerial skills, education and training, skills personnel. The study recommended strategies and policies to small, medium and micro enterprises in rural South Africa with specific reference KwaZulu-Natal area. The results will be significant to policy makers, SMMEs sector, SMMEs stakeholders and other researchers.

Restructuring police organizations: the significance of global experiences for the South African police service

Johan van Graan, Department of Police Practice, School of Criminal Justice, Faculty of Law, University of South Africa, South Africa 
Wilfred I. Ukpere, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa 

Abstract. This paper examines the lessons that could be learnt by the South African Police Service from international police organizations' restructuring efforts. An argument will be made that these lessons are vital to reconsider restrictions and shortcomings experienced by the South African Police Service's restructuring. Firstly, this argument is based on literature indicating that countries across the globe have realized that police organizations are no longer the established, hierarchical structures they previously were to endure change, and as a result, are involved in rethinking their roles, restructuring their organizations and changing their cultures in order to adjust to the changing conditions. This review of the literature lay emphasis on the significance of restructuring in police organizations and summarize the restructuring efforts that various international police organizations have embarked upon to reformulate its organizations' structure and/or to adjust elements of the existing structures. Secondly, this argument is based on the findings of a qualitative study conducted in 2008 and 2011 with the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit of the South African Police Service during this unit's restructuring in 2006 and again in 2010. The aim of this paper is to identify lessons that can be learnt from these international police organizations' restructuring efforts. These lessons are vital to reconsider restrictions and shortcomings experienced by the South African Police Service's restructuring efforts. The findings suggest that the South African Police Service could draw from trends that international police organizations pursued in their restructuring endeavours and utilize these lessons as a learning curve and an opportunity to rectify shortcomings.

Call centre ease of communication in customer service delivery: an asset to managing customers' needs?

Devina Oodith, Dr., School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), South Africa 
Sanjana Brijball Parumasur, Prof., School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), South Africa  

Abstract. The customer service experience has been equated to a business tsunami as customers switch to those companies that offer greater customer satisfaction. It becomes the task of the firm's call centre to cradle customer interaction and loyalty through ease and speed of access, quality and ease of communication with call centre agents. This study was undertaken in Durban, South Africa, and was conducted within a Public Sector service environment presenting a twofold agent and customer perspective of how service delivery could be harnessed through ease of communication. The Public Sector service environment comprised of four major call centre's employing a total of 240 call centre agents. A sample of 151 call centre agents was drawn using cluster sampling and a 63% response rate was achieved. These call centre agents were responsible for inbound calls only. Using simple random sampling, 220 customers were drawn from all consumers subscribing to e-billing in Durban. Data for both samples was collected using self-developed, precoded questionnaires whose psychometric properties were statistically determined. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results indicate that the influence of ease of communication between call centre agents and customers has the potential to impact on improved call centre effectiveness and that improved levels of service delivery can enhance communication between them creating greater synergy and enhanced service experience whilst augmenting call centre effectiveness. Based on the results of the study recommendations have been made to better manage customers and their needs more competently and constructively.