ISSN: 1813-0534






Volume 4 No 3 December 2008

Characteristics of Firms Releasing Toxic Waste into The Air

Srinivasan Ragothaman,David L. Carr The University of South Dakota USA
Kirsten M. Rosacker University of Wisconsin La Crosse U.S.A.


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires manufacturing facilities located within the U.S. to disclose their release, above a specified amount, of specific toxic chemicals to the EPA. This data is referred to as the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). This research builds on prior research and examines the determinants of TRI disclosures. Our sample comes from TRI disclosures for “top 100” corporate polluters based on COMPUSTAT data. Descriptive statistics and correlation measures are also provided. The regression results indicate that firms that release large amounts of waste into the air incur high amounts of capital expenditure, are less profitable and have bigger investments in property, plant and equipment. Tobin’s q is used as a measure of firm value and it is negatively related to waste discharge. Firm size as proxied by the number of employees has a moderate impact on waste discharge. Industry type is a significant predictor of waste discharge. A firm’s beta and the corporate governance variable are statistically insignificant. The sample used in this study is small and hence caution is warranted when generalizing the results.


An Overview of Australia’s Bilateral FTA Approach

Jinmei Yang, School of Business, Economics and Public Policy,University of New England,Australia


The global trading system has seen a very substantial increase in Preferential Trading Arrangements (PTA) over the past decades. There were only two such agreements in 1958: one was the European Community (EC, now European Union) in the form of Customs Union, the other was the EC in the form of Services Agreement. The number of agreement had grown to 30 by 1991, and by 1st March 2006, there were 193 in force (WTO 2007). The Australian government has signalled an interest in regional trade agreements and so far successfully signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Singapore, Thailand, the US and Chile as well as a Closer Economic Relations (CER) Trade Agreement with New Zealand. This paper overviews Australia’s existing Free Trade Agreements and current FTA negotiations as well as their prospects.

Business School Accreditation Bodies: Beneficial or Dysfunctional?

Dr. Gene Smith., Eastern New Mexico University,U.S.A


Should a PhD be the primary requirement for an accounting instructor or should accrediting requirements be modified to seriously consider individuals that possesses a master’s degree, a CPA and/or significant work experiences? A survey was developed to enlist from accounting educators and practitioners their ranking of appropriate educational backgrounds for accounting faculty. The educational backgrounds listed on the survey were: 1. PhD with 5+ years work experience as either public or management accountant. 2. PhD with less than 5 years work experience as either a public or management accountant. 3. MBA or Master’s of Accountancy and 5+ years work experience as either public or management accountant. 4. MBA or Master’s of Accountancy and less than 5 years work experience as either public or management accountant. 5. BBA-Accounting and 10+ years work experience as either public or management accountant.

In summary, the educators and practitioners believe the best combination is a PhD with work experience. After this combination, the educators place more reliance on the educational background and less emphasis on the work experience. The practitioners are just the opposite placing more reliance on work experience and less reliance on the educational background. The AACSB and ACBSP should seriously consider whether their present requirements are assisting or harming the universities and colleges in preparing students for entering the workforce as evidenced by the results of the aforementioned surveys. Educators place significantly more reliance on educators having terminal degrees than practitioners. Practitioners place more reliance of work experiences than educators.

The time has arrived for the accrediting institutions and educators to listen to their former students and hiring authorities concerning their positions that educators need practical work experiences. A PhD without practical work experience is not a sufficient background for teaching undergraduate accounting courses.

Managing People Effectively To Deliver Sustained Service Excellence

Jochen Wirtz ,National Singapore University
Loizos Heracleous,University of Warwick,United Kingdom


`The only resource that the country has is its people. And therefore, there’s no option but to be the best… At the end of the day it’s the software, people like us, who make the real difference” (Patrick Seow, Senior Rank Trainer, Singapore Airlines Training School, and Senior Flight Steward)

“In Singapore, we always want to be the best in a lot of things. SIA is no different. … a lot of things that we have been taught from young, from our Asian heritage … filial piety, the care and concern, hospitality, and of course the most important part is trying, if we can, to do whatever we can to please the customer. And how do we do it? Sometimes, people just wonder “how do you guys manage to do it with limited time and resources on a flight” and yet we manage to do it somehow. Call us magicians.” (Lim Suet Kwee, Senior Rank Trainer, Singapore Airlines Training School, and Senior Flight Stewardess)

Service employees are a key input for delivering service excellence and productivity both of which are important sources of competitive advantage. Yet, among the most demanding jobs in service organizations are these so-called front-line jobs where employees are expected to be fast and efficient at executing operational tasks, as well as friendly and helpful in dealing with their customers. It is a challenge for service firms to get their human resource (HR) management right.

Little wonder that behind most of today’s successful service organizations stands a firm commitment to effective management of human resources (HR), including recruitment, selection, training, motivation and retention of employees.[i] Leading service firms are often characterized by a distinctive culture, strong service leadership and role modelling by top management. It is probably harder for competitors to duplicate high-performance human assets, and the associated mindset and values than any other corporate resource.

From a service organisation’s perspective, the service level and the way service is delivered by the front line can be an important source of differentiation as well as competitive advantage. In addition, service staff can be crucially important for a firm’s competitive positioning since the strength of the customer-front-line employee relationship is an important driver of customer loyalty (Bove and Johnson, 2001; Castro et al, 2004),

The intuitive importance of the impact of service employees on customer loyalty was integrated and formalized by Heskett and his colleagues in their research on the service profit-chain, in which they demonstrated the links between: employee satisfaction, retention and productivity; service value; customer satisfaction and loyalty; and revenue growth and profitability (Heskett et al., 1994). Unlike in manufacturing, “shop-floor workers” in service organizations (i.e. front-line employees) are in constant contact with customers, and there is solid evidence showing that employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are highly correlated (Schneider and Bowen, 1993)

A Comparison of Gender Role Portrayals in Magazine Advertising: China and the USA

Lin Zhang and Debra Cartwright, Truman State University, USA


The present study explored implied gender roles within and between American and Chinese cultures by analyzing a random sample of American magazine advertisements with comparable Chinese advertisements. Results indicate gender role portrayals between US and Chinese magazine advertisements share many similarities, such as male under-representation, persistent gender stereotyping in working and non-working role portrayals, and preference to use younger models. However, some differences still persist between Chinese and US magazine advertisements that reflect the cultural and social differences between these two countries.

Managing Commercial Success of New Products in Emerging Markets Based on Trust Building

Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India


Businesses need improving their new product development (NPD) processes to launch more and more new products, faster than ever, in a sustainable manner(Cooper,Edgett,&Kleinschidt,2001) The trend towards rapid introduction of innovative new products is driven by shortened product life cycle, increased intensity of competition and rapidly evolving needs and preferences of consumers. There is continuing interest as to how this process might be more effectively and efficiently coordinated (Barclay, Holroyd, & Poolton, 1994).

Emerging markets (EM’s) like Brazil, China, India etc. are opening their doors to globalization and becoming increasingly important in global business environment. EM’s tend to be complex and diverse from developed markets (Bloom & Quelch, 1996). Some common differentiating characteristics of emerging markets are: a) the lack of marketing infrastructure in terms of reliable market data, distribution systems, communication channels and effective institutional regulatory framework b) consumers have lower per capita income and hence show different consumer behavior than developed markets c) there is relative cheapness of labor which is often substitute for capital d) there is immense variability among segments of consumers and infrastructure level within the EM’s New Strategies in Emerging Markets The customer psychology and the expectations in the emerging markets are different from the developed markets(Mahajan, Pratini, & Wind, 2000). Companies need to rethink their NPD frameworks (which have been developed and tested in developed markets) in terms of their timing of entry, market assessment, product policy and partner policy before applying it to EM’s New Strategies in Emerging Markets(Arnold & Quelch, 1998).

Academic work in the context of NPD processes in EM’s has been limited. Insights that can help improve the success rate of the NPD processes, would add immense value for the practicing managers as well as academia.

Religious Affiliation and Consumer Behaviour: A Comparative Analysis of Muslim versus Non-Muslim Consumers in Malaysia

Safiek Mokhlis, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
Hayatul Safrah Salleh, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
Nik Hazimah Nik Mat, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu


This study was designed to compare Muslim and non-Muslim consumers’ lifestyle, information sources, shopping orientation, importance of store attributes and preferences for retail format. The hypotheses were tested using data collected from a sample of 226 consumers in Malaysia. Analysis indicated that Muslims were more likely to be ethnic conscious, traditional family oriented and fashion conservative. Muslims were more likely to use magazine advertising as their source of market information. Also, they were more likely to enjoy shopping activities than their non-Muslim counterparts. In terms of store attributes, merchandise, reputation and price were more important to Muslims. Muslims tended to purchase merchandise more often than non-Muslims from hypermarkets and from specialty department stores.

Shopping Atmospherics and Mediating Variables’Role in Shaping Shopper’s Loyalty towards An Apparel Store in Modern Trade

Dr. Kanwal Kapil, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India

Dr.Sheeba Kapil,Indian Institute of Foreign Trade(IIFT),New Delhi,India


Store atmospherics play an important role in shaping favorable shopping experiences. Shopping experiences involve more than consumer acquisition of goods. They also involve seemingly tangential experiences to acquisition of goods resulting from the broadly defined shopping environment, such as an elaborate store design, educational events, recreation, and entertainment. Change in customers' focus from just buying to broad shopping (buying, entertainment and experience) has led to a pick-up in momentum in organized formats of retailing. Organized retailing is gaining moment everywhere which has intensified the competition not only between the brands but various store formats as well. Retailers have to invest in vehicles which can enhance the customer loyalty. It has been an established fact that cost of customer creation is always more than the cost of customer retention. An organization incapable of having loyal customer base becomes like an unsustainable leaking bucket.

This paper tries to identify the role of various mediating factors between store atmospherics and shopper’s loyalty for an apparel store brand. A total of 276 respondents were administered a structured questionnaire which was developed after literature review and pilot testing. The results reveal that in order to build a strong store brand and loyal set of customers the marketer’s emphasis should be on augmenting the shopping experience rather than solely depending upon traditional vehicles such as advertising.

Understanding The Relationships between Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality in the Senior Care Industry of Taiwan

Hsing-Yun Chang , Northwestern Polytechnic U., USA
Hsueh-Ying Wu, Aletheia University on Matou Campus, Taiwan
Cho-Pu Lin, Northwestern Polytechnic U., USA


The senior-care market has been on the rise in rural Taiwan. Soaring competition among senior-care operators has led to escalating consumer demands on performances, driving the industry to become more customer-oriented. The authors examined the relationships between service quality of senior care and customer satisfaction in rural areas of southern Taiwan based on Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry’s SERVQUAL ten dimensions.

Multiple regression was conducted to test the relationships. The statistical results showed that access, competence, and employees’ understanding are significantly and positively related to customer satisfaction. This finding, among others, suggests that senior-care operators in Taiwan might have overlooked the above mentioned three dimensions as factors leading to customer satisfaction and, ultimately, to a sustainable competitive advantage. To pinpoint what the customers really need, the Senior Care Organizations in Taiwan should keep communicating with their customers, to identify the priority dimensions towards customer satisfaction.

Keywords: service quality, senior care, customer satisfaction, Taiwan, Parasuraman et al.

The Fisher Effect in ASEAN-5: Assessment from The ‘Bounds’ Testing Approach

Han Yu, Guizhou College of Finance and Economics, Guiyang, P. R. China

Pei-ThaGan, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tanjong Malim, Malaysia


Over the century, the studies about the Fisher effect never find a favorable consensus. The concentration for Fisher effect likely started from verifying the results on the early literature, and later move to integration of the hypothesis with the theories. Lately, the literatures indicated research of Fisher effect tends to focus on methodological advances. In this analysis, we employed data on nominal interest rate and inflation rate for ASEAN-5, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippine, Singapore and Thailand to investigate the empirical relationship for Fisher effect. Using the recent applied econometrics, ARDL bounds test and Granger noncausality proposed by Pesaran et al. (2001). The findings support the idea that existence of Fisher relation in Indonesia, Philippine and Thailand. This can be interpretative and partially indicative to the credibility of the central bank’s commitment to low inflation. While, Fisherian link for Malaysia and Singapore are extremely weak.

Keywords:Bounds test, Granger noncausality,, Unrestricted error-correction model

Multi-attribute Rough-fuzzy Time Series Model for Forecasting Stock Index

Hsing-Hui Chua ,Ching-Hsue Chengb and Hia Jong Teoha
aLing Tung University, Taiwan

bNational Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan


This paper proposes a hybrid multi-attribute rough-fuzzy time series model which aims at presenting a forecasting model of Taiwan Stock Exchange Capitalization Weighted Stock Index (TAIEX), on the basis of technical analysis. The proposed model trial to enhance the accuracy forecasting of the stock index based on the advantage processes of rough sets theory and fuzzy theory. Fuzzy theory is used to deal with the vagueness type of uncertainty which represents such imprecise knowledge by means of fuzzy linguistic terms and rough sets theory is responsible for data analyzing and process of automatic fuzzy rules generation.

The proposed model contains three main parts: fuzzification, rule generation, defuzzification and production forecast. In empirical analysis, the proposed model shows a greatly improved performance in stock market forecasting compared to two other methodologies, proposed by Chen and Huarng.

An Integrated Model for Credit Risk Assessment In the Rural Context in India

A.Sundaramurthy, BRAHMAS Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
Dr.M.J.Xavier, M.Tech. Fellow.I.I.M.(C)
Dean, TRP School of Business, SRM University,India


India has around 60 % of its population in the rural areas. Financial services has been growing at a phenomenal speed and companies have made foray into rural and semi urban areas. The rapid growth has had also its attendant challenges, the major one being default in repayment of loans .To mitigate the risks, developed countries use credit scoring and there is good data about customers with respect to their banking, credit card habits. In rural India where even banking habits are very low, it is a real challenge to assess the customers. Credit scoring models majorly use demographic and financial factors but the psychological and sociological factors are rarely captured. This paper attempts to make a holistic approach to assessment of credit worthiness.

An Augmented Threshold Estimation of Covered Interest Rate Arbitrage for Western European Countries during the pre-Euro dollar period

Yun Chiang Tai, National Taiwan University, NTU, Taiwan.
Chi-Hsiu Wang, Ching Yun University, Taiwan


A general equilibrium of the threshold estimation for the CIP deviation is given. We provide a nonparametric estimation of augmented thresholds as the aggregated data is processed. For seven European countries, the non-stationary of CIP deviation has been confirmed. The Keynes-Einzig conjecture holds for all countries but with the slower adjustment rate between thresholds. Outside thresholds, the series is non-stationary with larger negative correlation to show that the force takes the series back and forth with large quantity and high frequency. The robustness test has been performed to reconfirm our results based on the MAE criterion. The implication shows that the momentum effect exists within thresholds and the turbulence becomes larger as thresholds are reached. The general equilibrium is obtained to show that the behavioral finance applies.

Keywords: the behavioral finance of exchange rate, the covered interest arbitrage, the Keynes-Einzig conjecture, the exchange rate-disconnect puzzle, the general equilibrium, the nonparametric estimation, the threshold autoregressive model (TAR)

Modeling Lean Operations And Allocation of Invetory Buffers in Discree Manfacturing

Pawel Mensz, Kamal P.Upadhyaya, Jiajuan Liang, University of New Haven, Connecticut, USA


One of the goal of lean operations is to provide uninterrupted flow of material while using less inventory. In this paper different strategies of using inventory safety buffers in production process are modeled and analyzed. It is assumed that the role of the buffers is to secure uninterrupted performance of the entire production system not just a single operation or department. Consequently, the effectiveness of the different approaches is measured by observing the flow of the parts to the assembly/finish operation. The different approaches analyzed in the paper are modeled on Kanban production system and DBR (drum-buffer-rope) control system. The two systems are fundamentally different as far as the allocation of the safety buffers and the distribution of the flow protection is concerned.

The paper is organized as follows: First, the most simplified model is defined. Criteria for evaluation of different approaches are formulated. Then, assumptions of the initial or "ELEMENTARY" model are examined in order to determine if the obtained results can be extrapolated onto more general models. Basic theory of probability and operations on events are applied to analyze the model.


Hsiao-Lih Jen, Chienkuo Technology University,Taiwan


The capacity constraint is inevitable in a cellular manufacturing (CM) environment due to the similarity of process requirements. In this study, a capacity-constraint based scheduling is proposed to improve cells with load imbalance. The CS attempts to utilize the constraint machine to minimize makespan. The experimental environment is designed for examining the performance of the CS and effects of the four experimental factors by a simulation model. Scheduling rules compared herein consist of two single-stage and five two-stage group scheduling rules discussed in previous studies. The CS shows the best average makespan as well as the most robustness. Results in this work demonstrate the practical nature of considering constraint in scheduling cellular manufacturing.

Keywords: cellular manufacturing, group scheduling, constraint, simulation

Women Entrepreneurship In Malaysia: Motivational Factors And Personal Characteristics

Kamisan Gadar (PhD), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia
Khalid Ismail (PhD), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia
Nek Kamal Yeop Yunus (PhD), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia


This study examines the Malaysian women entrepreneurs’ background, motivation factors, personal characteristics and perception on entrepreneurial behaviors. The overall sample consists of 685 women entrepreneurs in Malaysia. Field work was conducted between February and June 2007 and it covered all 13 countries in Malaysia which were divided into 5 zones. A structured 76 closed-ended items questionnaires were used to collect the data. The overall statistical analysis was divided into two separate groups, namely the descriptive and inferential statistics. The former examines how the respondents varied their responses to each question. The latter examines what is most important factor that motivates women entrepreneurs and the correlation between entrepreneurial incomes and their personal profiles.

The results show that, the majority of the respondents are Malays and more than half of them aged above 40 and having at least three kids. Interestingly, about 70 percent of the respondents have secondary qualification, while 10 percent are university graduates and the remaining 20 percent have primary education. Even though not all of the respondents come from entrepreneurs’ family, they managed to earn more money once they became one. The result of the analysis further showed three main findings. First, the correlation analysis shows that entrepreneur’s income correlated very weak with both education and experience levels. On the other hand, there is no correlation between entrepreneurial income and age factor.

Second, the with the exception of age factor, entrepreneur’s income differs significantly according to experience and education as indicated through one-way ANOVA. Lastly, factors analysis revealed that night factors were relatively significant from an original set of twelve factors. Eventually, only 20 items were selected from 63 items contained. Perception of economic environment in term of technology and information are the most pertinent factors. These are followed by work ethics and management values as key personal characteristics for women entrepreneurs.

Keywords:women entrepreneurs, motivating factors, personal characteristics.

An Enquiry onto The Theoretical Asset Pricing and Its Traditional Approaches

Dr Mazharul H. Kazi,School of Economics & Finance, University of Western Sydney, Australia


This paper reviews the literature of theoretical asset pricing as the performance of the stock market is often thought as an important indicator of the health of the overall economy of a nation. In reality, when the stock market tumbles, investors as well as common people become nervous about the weakness of the economy. Alternatively, every one senses an economic prosperity when the stock market is strong. The performance of a stock market typically reflects market prices or values of stocks. The broader aspect of the valuation relates to time horizon and composite nature of risks imposed on investors. As this notion is becoming familiar to all of us, modern financial analysis is becoming more concerned with sources of common risk factors that contribute to changes in security prices or values. By identifying such factors, investors attempt to control their investment risks and improve their investment returns. Since risks and returns together play a vital role in the process of asset pricing, it is important for investors to understand security market behavior and its underlying theories. Accordingly, readers of both professional and academic audiences would benefit from this paper.

JEL Classifications: G10; G11; G12

Key Words:Asset Pricing; Securities Pricing; CAPM; APT; Financial Economics.

Factors Influencing Electronic Commerce(EC)Adoption and Innovation in The Development of Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) in Melaka

Dr.Raja Roslan Raja Abd.Rahman
Dr.Abu Bakar Mohd.Diah
Ahmad Rozelan Yunus
Nor Azan Abd.Gani
Juan Rizal Haji Sa’ari
(Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka)


The purpose of this study is to measure the influence factors of Electronic Commerce (EC) adoption and innovation on development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Melaka. The Cronbach alpha reported no ambiguos items and the overall reliability for the Leader Innovativeness Factors Scale, Technological Factors Scale, Environmental Factors Scale and Adoption and Innovation of EC Scale were .80, .95, .92 and .91 respectively. The sample selected comprised 135 CEOs and workers in nine selected companies, three companies representing the three districts in Melaka; Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah and Jasin. The data collected were coded and analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Based on the findings, the result revealed that most CEOs enjoy trying new ideas (74.1%) in the development of SMEs in Melaka. The findings also established that most respondents believed that EC is highly compatible with the earlier experience of technological innovation adoption (64.4%). In terms of environmental factors, they also believed that companies are dependent on up-to-date information (51.9%). Thus, it showed that it is very important for a company to have access to information whenever the need arises. Apart from that, based on the responses associated with adoption and innovation of EC, 57% of the respondents claimed that EC adoption will provide customers with general information. The result also indicated there is a strong, positive correlation between leader innovativeness (.569), technological factors (.502) and the adoption and innovation of EC on development of SMEs in Melaka. In fact, result also showed there was a positive correlation between environmental factors (.28) and the adoption and innovation of EC. However, by using Spearman’s rho correlation, the result indicated there is a medium, negative correlation between organizational factors (-.303) and the adoption of EC. In conclusion, to face the rapid development in adopting and innovating EC in SMEs, CEOs ought to equip themselves with the skills, through training courses to gain positive attitudes and capitalize on the changes brought by the adoption and innovation of EC in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Keywords: Influencing factors, Electronic Commerce (Ec), Adoption And Innovation,Development, Small And Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Melaka


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ISSN: 1813-0534