Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3077

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Economics and Management Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

3077 The Efficiency Analysis in the Health Sector: Marmara Region

Authors: Beyza Aydin, Hale Kirer Silva Lecuna

Abstract:

Health is one of the main components of human capital and sustainable development, and it is very important for economic growth. Health economics, which is an indisputable part of the science of economics, has five stages in general. These are health and development, financing of health services, economic regulation in the health, allocation of resources and efficiency of health services. A well-developed and efficient health sector plays a major role by increasing the level of development of countries. The most crucial pillars of the health sector are the hospitals that are divided into public and private. The main purpose of the hospitals is to provide more efficient services. Therefore the aim is to meet patients’ satisfaction by increasing the service quality. Health-related studies in Turkey date back to the Ottoman and Seljuk Empires. In the near past, Turkey applied 'Health Sector Transformation Programs' under different titles between 2003 and 2010. Our aim in this paper is to measure how effective these transformation programs are for the health sector, to see how much they can increase the efficiency of hospitals over the years, to see the return of investments, to make comments and suggestions on the results, and to provide a new reference for the literature. Within this framework, the public and private hospitals in Balıkesir, Bilecik, Bursa, Çanakkale, Edirne, Istanbul, Kirklareli, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Tekirdağ, Yalova will be examined by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) for the years between 2000 and 2019. DEA is a linear programming-based technique, which gives relatively good results in multivariate studies. DEA basically estimates an efficiency frontier and make a comparison. Constant returns to scale and variable returns to scale are two most commonly used DEA methods. Both models are divided into two as input and output-oriented. To analyze the data, the number of personnel, number of specialist physicians, number of practitioners, number of beds, number of examinations will be used as input variables; and the number of surgeries, in-patient ratio, and crude mortality rate as output variables. 11 hospitals belonging to the Marmara region were included in the study. It is seen that these hospitals worked effectively only in 7 provinces (Balıkesir, Bilecik, Bursa, Edirne, İstanbul, Kırklareli, Yalova) for the year 2001 when no transformation program was implemented. After the transformation program was implemented, for example, in 2014 and 2016, 10 hospitals (Balıkesir, Bilecik, Bursa, Çanakkale, Edirne, İstanbul, Kocaeli, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, Yalova) were found to be effective. In 2015, ineffective results were observed for Sakarya, Tekirdağ and Yalova. However, since these values are closer to 1 after the transformation program, we can say that the transformation program has positive effects. For Sakarya alone, no effective results have been achieved in any year. When we look at the results in general, it shows that the transformation program has a positive effect on the effectiveness of hospitals.

Keywords: data envelopment analysis, efficiency, health sector, Marmara region

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3076 The Impact of Regulation on Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting Quality: UK Evidence

Authors: Ruba Hamed, Khaled Hussainey, Basiem Al-Shattarat, Wasim Al-Shattarat

Abstract:

This paper examines how the influence of mandating corporate social responsibility reporting (CSR) on subsequent financial performance through accounting-based measures and market-based measures. We provide evidence about the negative impact of reporting CSR voluntarily on the firm’s future performance due to the increased spending on and costs related to such activities. On the contrary, mandating CSR reporting enhances firms’ future performance by signalling to the market about the firm’s positive stance towards sustainability issues in the UK. Our findings are of interest to regulation setters and stakeholders with respect to mandatory CSR reporting and provide further insight and feedback into accounting and reporting practices.

Keywords: accounting-based performance, mandatory CSR, mandatory regulation, market-based performance

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3075 Europe’s Underground Economy and Financial Technology Evolvement: An Empirical Research

Authors: Irene Fafaliou, Panagiotis Psyllos

Abstract:

Financial technology (fintech) is the interlinkage of finance and technology. Its evolvement since 2008 has, among others reshaped financial services, and affected factors which are linked with the underground economy such as financial inclusion and cash payments. The aim of this research is to assess how and to what extent the evolvement of fintech affects the size of Europe’s underground economy. In order to attain our goal, we raise the following questions: a) What is the extent of fintech development in Europe; and b) How is fintech perceived to be contributing to the reduction in cash payments and subsequently reducing the size of Europe’s underground economy. In order to attain our goal, we employ various statistical methods consisting of a) a questionnaire survey addressed to the financial supervisory authorities of seven selected jurisdictions; b) Schneider’s mimic method to estimate underground economy macroeconomic data for these jurisdictions; and c) other data from the World Bank, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and relevant central banks. Our preliminary results are as follows: a) the development of fintech reduces reliance on cash payments which, in turn, decreases the size of the shadow economy in the long run; and b) there is a two-way causality between the size of the shadow economy, fintech development and cash payments. We intend to expand our research beyond the initial seven jurisdictions selected, thus covering larger territories of the European economy. We hope that our final results can better inform Governments, international financial institutions and policy-makers in their efforts to tackle Europe’s underground economy by regulating its fintech industry.

Keywords: financial technology, empirical research, technological change, underground economy

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3074 Exploring Consumers' Intention to Adopt Mobile Payment System in Ghana

Authors: Y. Kong, I. Masud, M. H. Nyaso

Abstract:

This paper seeks to examine consumers’ intention to adopt and use mobile payment method in Ghana. A conceptual framework was adopted from the extant literature using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) as the theoretical bases. Data for the study was obtained from a sample of 425 respondents through online and direct surveys using structured questionnaire. Structural Equation Modeling was used to analyse the data through SPSS v.22 and SmartPLS v.3. Findings with regards to the determinants of mobile payment system adoption indicate that subjective norm, perceived ease of use, attitude, and perceived usefulness play active roles in consumers’ decision to adopt mobile payment system in Ghana. Also, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use have a significant and positive influence on consumers’ attitude towards mobile payment adoption in Ghana. Further, subjective norm was found to influence perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of mobile payment adoption in Ghana. The study contributes to literature on mobile payment system from developing country context. The study proffered some recommendations.

Keywords: consumer behaviour, mobile payment, subjective norm, theory of planned behavior

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3073 Perceptions of Corporate Governance and Business Ethics Practices in Kuwaiti Islamic and Conventional Banks

Authors: Khaled Alotaibi, Salah Alhamadi, Ibraheem Almubarak

Abstract:

The study attempts to explore both corporate governance (GC) and business ethics (BE) practices in Kuwaiti banks and the relationship between CG and BE, using an accountability framework. By examining the perceptions of key stakeholder groups, this study investigates the practices of BE and CG in Islamic banks (IBs) compared to conventional banks (CBs). We contribute to the scarce studies concerned with relations between CG and BE. We have employed a questionnaire survey method for a random sample of crucial relevant stakeholder groups. The empirical analysis of the participants’ perceptions highlights the importance of applying CG regulations and BE for Kuwaiti banks and the clear link between the two concepts. We find that the main concern is not the absence of CG and BE codes, but the lack of consistent enforcement of the regulations. Such a system needs to be strictly and effectively implemented in Kuwaiti banks to protect all stakeholders’ wealth, not only that of stockholders. There are significant patterns in the CG and BE expectations among different stakeholder groups. Most interestingly, banks’ client groups illustrate high expectations concerning CG and BE practices.

Keywords: corporate governance, GC, business ethics, BE, Islamic banks, IBs, conventional banks, CBs, accountability

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3072 Project Controlling of Construction Sites by Unmanned Aerial Systems and Photogrammetry

Authors: Tino Walther, Christian Wolf, Hans-Joachim Bargstaedt

Abstract:

Continuous project control is crucial for the benefit of smooth progress in construction projects. It implies the comparison of the target model with the actual situation of the building site when done on the basis of digital design. Due to the continuous development of the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology and its decreasing costs, this technology offers itself to be implemented as a controlling system with UAS-mounted photogrammetry. The aim of this work is to gain a comprehensive insight into project controlling via UAS photogrammetry and to give an example of implementation by a real case project. This serves to examine a real construction project in regard to the controlling at predefined periods and according to its costs and benefits. With the help of continuous imaging of construction progress, as well as the boundary conditions of the construction process, an exact controlling of as-built data is carried out, which lead to the potential that the parties involved in the construction can react to possible shifts in execution on short term and short notice. The generated as-planned simulation model can also be used to identify possible structural deviations. By enlarging this BIM model to 5D, the costs are also monitored during the construction phase. A photogrammetric construction project controlling process can be modeled using UAS. Especially the fast implementation of UAS-devices for photogrammetry on the construction site and the relatively low costs prove to be great advantages. Thus an automated and practical project controlling will be developed. This implementation proves that a photogrammetric UAS controlling for construction projects is feasible.

Keywords: BIM, construction progress, decision support systems, photogrammetry, UAS

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3071 Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure, Tax Aggressiveness and Sustainability Report Assurance: Evidence from Thailand

Authors: Eko Budi Santoso, Kazia Laturette, Stanislaus Adnanto Mastan

Abstract:

This study aims to examine the association between disclosure of social responsibility and tax aggressiveness in developing countries, namely Thailand. This is due to the increasing trend of disclosure of social responsibility in developing countries, even though this disclosure of information is still voluntary. On the other hand, developing countries have low taxation rate and investor protection infrastructures that allow the disclosure of social responsibility to be used opportunistically as a tool to fool the attainment of interests. This study also examines the role of assurance on the association between corporate social responsibility disclosure and tax aggressiveness. The assurance aims to provide confidence that the disclosure of social responsibility by the company is valid. This research builds an index to measure the disclosure of social responsibility based on the rules issued by the innovative Global Reporting. The results of the study are based on a sample of publicly traded companies in Thailand, which showed a positive association between disclosure of corporate social responsibility and tax aggressiveness, but it was further discovered that these results were mitigated by the existence of assurance against disclosure of corporate social responsibility. The results of this study indicate that the disclosure of corporate social responsibility can show that the company cares about the issue of social responsibility but does not automatically make the company as one that holds ethical values ​​in its business practices.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility disclosure, tax aggressiveness, sustainability assurance, business ethics

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3070 New Public Management: An Enduring Scientific Method of Managing the Efficiency of the Public Sector

Authors: Sheldon M. Bromfield

Abstract:

This paper considers how New Public Management (NPM) as a form of scientific management has continued within public administration through iterative forms of implementation. Often hidden and discrete, NPM has been incorporated from private to public sector and extended beyond into the third sector. The third sector includes non-profit organisations that deliver social services to citizens through public sector funding. This funding, however, places the public sector as a major stakeholder within these third sector organisations. Some of these third sector organisations have been referred to as public sector non-profits. Though not directly managed by the public sector, non-profits have charitable status and are often referred to as part of the third sector because they are uniquely positioned between private and public sector organisations. This paper proposes that for the public sector to indirectly manage the affairs of these quasi-public sector organizations, it must deploy forms of business management strategies that may be opaque, but activated through conservative funding models and restrictive budgets. NPM entails business and market/for-profit principles being applied to public sector operations. NPM has elements of competition, fiscal discipline, and austerity governance, as well as forms of performance standards monitoring and measurements. Some may argue that NPM and scientific management are relics of a bygone era; the paper, however, argues that these principles have endured and that NPM and traditional scientific management are indeed compatible. With the inception of NPM in the 1990s, during the full thrust toward the neoliberal political spectrum, NPM was observed as a form of business managerialism influenced by the development of scientific management. Given that the public sector is a steward of public funds received primarily through tax reform, governments must balance its social contract of supporting the stimulation of welfare, security, and prosperity for citizens with effective fiscal constraint and discipline. To maintain this complex balancing act, democratic governments within a capitalist economy are forced to revolutionise the way it appropriates and dispenses its finances. In so doing, government employs the logic of the market and industry-standard business principles to measure and achieve social outcomes, at times at the expense of short-changing full attention to fulfilling its social contract. Set against the backdrop of Canadian quasi-public sector non-profit organisations, the paper explores how scientific management encapsulated within NPM is used to measure/monitor public sector efficiency, primarily in three ways: one, appropriating the right workers for the right jobs; two, managing worker output and wages; and three, managing expenditure in an effort to gain value for money. Within a value-based system such as advanced capitalism, the goal of efficiency also becomes a proxy for productivity, and at the heart of productivity is the appropriation and control of a worker’s output. Governments, through NPM, are able to extract surplus values from labour productivity. The principal argument rests within the premise that to achieve public sector efficiency, governments seek to wrest control of labour productivity through standardised forms of managing worker performance and social program expenditure.

Keywords: capitalism, efficiency, new public management, performance, scientific management, work

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3069 An Analysis and Some Treatment Methods for the Deeply Disadvantaged Rural Areas in Post-Socialist Economies: Case Study of Arges County, Romania

Authors: George Secareanu, Ioan Ianos, Igor Sirodoev, Cristina Merciu, Aurelian Giugal

Abstract:

The paper addresses the social-economic problems in the rural areas of the Eastern European administration, where the economies are post-socialist. The fall of communism has led to the spread of a free economy, in which the state no longer dictates the economic policy, and the results for this meant that several small economies could not handle these transformations. Thus, the rural environment has eroded the most under these circumstances; there were consistent social and economic consequences, which led to the widening of the gaps between the performing areas and the deeply disadvantaged ones. The result of such transformations was mainly a mass migration of the young population within the country, due to the poor living conditions. The present paper aims to determine and treat the deeply disadvantaged rural areas. These were determined with the help of four broad categories of indicators, namely: an economic one, a social one, an educational one, and infrastructure. The next step was to identify how to develop these areas, and the proposed development was mainly based on local resources so that the implementation costs could be as low as possible. Following the determination of the deeply disadvantaged rural areas, one can observe, throughout the analysis a compact arrangement for these areas, specifically in the southern part of the county, in the plain area, but also in the north of the county, in the vicinity of the Municipality of Campulung Muscel, as a result of the industrial decline of the city. The research considers the approach and implementation of applied models that support the long-term development of deeply disadvantaged communes. These include: the model of the multiscale association, the model of cluster leadership and a model for an integration of the environment in the policies of smart development, all applied at the level of the rural settlements.

Keywords: deeply disadvantaged rural areas, developing economy, post-socialist space, rural development

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3068 Mediating and Moderating Function of Corporate Governance on Firm Tax Planning and Firm Tax Disclosure Relationship

Authors: Mahfoudh Hussein Mgammal

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating and mediating effect of corporate governance mechanisms proxy on the relationship of tax planning measured by effective tax rate components and tax disclosure. This paper tested the hypotheses by a 3-step hierarchical regression with 2010 to 2012 Malaysian-listed nonfinancial firms. We found companies positively value tax-planning activities. This indicates that tax planning is seen as a source of companies' wealth creation as the results show that there is an association between the tax disclosure and the extent of tax planning, and this relationship is highly significant. Examination of the implications of corporate governance mechanisms on the tax disclosure-tax planning association showed the lack of a significant coefficient related to any of the interactive variables. This makes it hard to understand the nature of the association. Finally, we further study the sensitivity of the results, the outcomes were also examined for the robustness and strength of the model specification utilizing OLS-effect estimators and the absence of tax planning related factors (GRTH, LEVE, and CAPNT). The findings of these tests display there is no effect on the tax planning-tax disclosure association. The outcomes of the annual regressions test show that the panel regressions results differ over time because there is a time difference impact on the associations, and the different models are not completely proportionate as a whole. Moreover, our paper lends some support to recent theory on the importance of taxes to corporate governance by demonstrating how the agency costs of tax planning allow certain shareholders to benefit from firm activities at the expense of others.

Keywords: tax disclosure, tax planning, corporate governance, effective tax rate

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3067 The Structure of Financial Regulation: The Regulators Perspective

Authors: Mohamed Aljarallah, Mohamed Nurullah, George Saridakis

Abstract:

This paper aims and objectives are to investigate how the structural change of the financial regulatory bodies affect the financial supervision and how the regulators can design such a structure with taking into account; the Central Bank, the conduct of business and the prudential regulators, it will also consider looking at the structure of the international regulatory bodies and what barriers are found. There will be five questions to be answered; should conduct of business and prudential regulation be separated? Should the financial supervision and financial stability be separated? Should the financial supervision be under the Central Bank? To what extent the politician should intervene in changing the regulatory and supervisory structure? What should be the regulatory and supervisory structure when there is financial conglomerate? Semi structure interview design will be applied. This research sample selection contains a collective of financial regulators and supervisors from the emerged and emerging countries. Moreover, financial regulators and supervisors must be at a senior level at their organisations. Additionally, senior financial regulators and supervisors would come from different authorities and from around the world. For instance, one of the participants comes from the International Bank Settlements, others come from European Central Bank, and an additional one will come from Hong Kong Monetary Authority and others. Such a variety aims to fulfil the aims and objectives of the research and cover the research questions. The analysis process starts with transcription of the interview, using Nvivo software for coding, applying thematic interview to generate the main themes. The major findings of the study are as follow. First, organisational structure changes quite frequently if the mandates are not clear. Second, measuring structural change is difficult, which makes the whole process unclear. Third, effective coordination and communication are what regulators looking for when they change the structure and that requires; openness, trust, and incentive. In addition to that, issues appear during the event of crisis tend to be the reason why the structure change. Also, the development of the market sometime causes a change in the regulatory structure. And, some structural change occurs simply because of the international trend, fashion, or other countries' experiences. Furthermore, when the top management change the structure tends to change. Moreover, the structure change due to the political change, or politicians try to show they are doing something. Finally, fear of being blamed can be a driver of structural change. In conclusion, this research aims to provide an insight from the senior regulators and supervisors from fifty different countries to have a clear understanding of why the regulatory structure keeps changing from time to time through a qualitative approach, namely, semi-structure interview.

Keywords: financial regulation bodies, financial regulatory structure, global financial regulation, financial crisis

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3066 Status Quo and Future Development of Construction Site Controlling by Digital Methods and Measurements in Infrastructure Projects

Authors: T. Walther, M. Pieper, H. J. Bargstädt

Abstract:

The increasing digitization in all industries is currently drawing considerable attention in science and practice. Likewise, the construction industry - the planning, construction, and operation of engineering structures - is essentially determined by digital transformation. At the same time, companies must secure their competitiveness in an increasingly complex market environment. In particular, project controlling is of high importance due to the necessary performance monitoring of construction site activities to achieve the project goals. Digital planning and recording methods make it possible to identify deviations at an early stage, to minimize project risks, and to ensure the profitability of the project. In order to discuss the current practice of construction performance measurement as well as digital approaches in this domain, a qualitative study has been carried out, based on a comprehensive literature research. In this paper, the results of this analysis are presented. They examine the status quo in civil engineering companies by means of expert interviews in order to illustrate this process of performance measurement and the currently used methods. It also discusses and justifies the use of digital planning and recording methods in terms of an automated target-performance comparison. Findings for the future application of these methods have been obtained from the investigation. The results show that construction companies are aware of the potential benefits of digitization but see obstacles in its implementation. Based on empirical hypotheses, recommendations for action, as well as the illustration of an improved process model, are given.

Keywords: digital planning and recording methods, performance monitoring, project controlling, status quo of the construction performance measurement

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3065 Revisiting the Impact of Oil Price on Trade Deficit of Pakistan: Evidence from Nonlinear Auto-Regressive Distributed Lag Model and Asymmetric Multipliers

Authors: Qaiser Munir, Hamid Hussain

Abstract:

Oil prices are believed to have a major impact on several economic indicators, leading to several instances where a comparison between oil prices and a trade deficit of oil-importing countries have been carried out. Building upon the narrative, this paper sheds light on the ongoing debate by inquiring upon the possibility of asymmetric linkages between oil prices, industrial production, exchange rate, whole price index, and trade deficit. The analytical tool used to further understand the complexities of a recent approach called nonlinear auto-regressive distributed lag model (NARDL) is utilised. Our results suggest that there are significant asymmetric effects among the main variables of interest. Further, our findings indicate that any variation in oil prices, industrial production, exchange rate, and whole price index on trade deficit tend to fluctuate in the long run. Moreover, the long-run picture denotes that increased oil price leads to a negative impact on the trade deficit, which, in its true essence, is a disproportionate impact. In addition to this, the Wald test simultaneously conducted concludes the absence of any significant evidence of the asymmetry in the oil prices impact on the trade balance in the short-run.

Keywords: trade deficit, oil prices, developing economy, NARDL

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3064 Diversity Strands in Library and Information Science Graduate Curricula

Authors: Bibi Alajmi, Israa Alshammari

Abstract:

This study investigates diversity strands covered in courses offered by library and information sciences (LIS) graduate programs. It aims to identify the extent to which these programs prepare students to work in diverse communities. Information was collected from 17 ALA-accredited MLIS programs. Diversity-related topics were identified and categorized. The methodology consisted of content analysis of course syllabi. The findings show that coverage of diversity-related content in LIS graduate curricula is increasing at a slow but significant rate, and is often a low priority. Apart from LIS graduate courses for future librarians and information professionals in public libraries, school libraries, and museums providing services to young adults and children, there is not enough interest in the provision of services to diverse communities.

Keywords: diversity, multiculturalism, inclusion, equality, gender

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3063 The Effect of Corporate Governance on Earnings Management: When Firms Meet or Beat an Earnings Benchmark

Authors: Su-Ping Liu, Yue Tian, Yifan Shen

Abstract:

This study investigates the effect of corporate governance on earnings management when firms have reported a long stream of earnings increases (hereafter referred to as earnings beaters). We expect that good quality of corporate governance decreases the probability of income-increasing earnings management. We employ transparent tools to capture firms’ opportunistic management behavior, specifically, the repurchase of stock. In addition, we use corporate governance proxies to measure the degree of corporate governance, including board size, board independence, CEO duality, and the frequency of meeting. The results hold after the controlling of variables that suggested in prior literature. We expect that the simple technique, that is, firms’ degree of corporate governance, to be used as an inexpensive first step in detecting earnings management.

Keywords: corporate governance, earnings management, earnings patterns, stock repurchase

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3062 Implementation of Performance Management and Development System: The Case of the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Health, South Africa

Authors: Thanduxolo Elford Fana

Abstract:

Rationale and Purpose: Performance management and development system are central to effective and efficient service delivery, especially in highly labour intensive sectors such as South African public health. Performance management and development systems seek to ensure that good employee performance is rewarded accordingly, while those who underperform are developed so that they can reach their full potential. An effective and efficiently implemented performance management system motivates and improves employee engagement. The purpose of this study is to examine the implementation of the performance management and development system and the challenges that are encountered during its implementation in the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Health. Methods: A qualitative research approach and a case study design was adopted in this study. The primary data were collected through observations, focus group discussions with employees, a group interview with shop stewards, and in-depth interviews with supervisors and managers, from April 2019 to September 2019. There were 45 study participants. In-depth interviews were held with 10 managers at facility level, which included chief executive officer, chief medical officer, assistant director’s in human resources management, patient admin, operations, finance, and two area manager and two operation managers nursing. A group interview was conducted with five shop stewards and an in-depth interview with one shop steward from the group. Five focus group discussions were conducted with clinical and non-clinical staff. The focus group discussions were supplemented with an in-depth interview with one person from each group in order to counter the group effect. Observations included moderation committee, contracting, and assessment meetings. Findings: The study shows that the performance management and development system was not properly implemented. There was non-compliance to performance management and development system policy guidelines in terms of time lines for contracting, evaluation, payment of incentives to good performers, and management of poor performance. The study revealed that the system is ineffective in raising the performance of employees and unable to assist employees to grow. The performance bonuses were no longer paid to qualifying employees. The study also revealed that lack of capacity and commitment, poor communication, constant policy changes, financial constraints, weak and highly bureaucratic management structures, union interference were challenges that were encountered during the implementation of the performance management and development system. Lastly, employees and supervisors were rating themselves three irrespective of how well or bad they performed. Conclusion: Performance management is regarded as vital to improved performance of the health workforce and healthcare service delivery among populations. Effective implementation of performance management and development system depends on well-capacitated and unbiased management at facility levels. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve communication, link performance management to rewards, and capacitate staff on performance management and development system, as it is key to improved public health sector outcomes or performance.

Keywords: challenges, implementation, performance management and development system, public hospital

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3061 A Study on the Role of Human Rights in the Aid Allocations of China and the United States

Authors: Shazmeen Maroof

Abstract:

The study is motivated by a desire to investigate whether there is substance to claims that, relative to traditional donors, China disregards human rights considerations when allocating overseas aid. While the stated policy of the U.S. is that consideration of potential aid recipients’ respect for human rights is mandatory, some quantitative studies have cast doubt on whether this is reflected in actual allocations. There is a lack of academic literature that formally assesses the extent to which the two countries' aid allocations differ; which is essential to test whether the criticisms of China's aid policy in comparison to that of the U.S. are justified. Using data on two standard human rights measures, 'Political Terror Scale' and 'Civil Liberties', the study analyse the two donors’ aid allocations among 125 countries over the period 2000 to 2014. The bivariate analysis demonstrated that a significant share of China’s aid flow to countries with poor human rights record. At the same time, the U.S. seems little different in providing aid to these countries. The empirical results obtained from the Fractional Logit model also provided some support to the general pessimism regarding China’s provision of aid to countries with poor human rights record, yet challenge the optimists expecting better targeted aid from the U.S. These findings are consistent with the split between humanitarian and non-humanitarian aid and in the sample of countries whose human rights record is below some threshold level.

Keywords: China's aid policy, foreign aid allocation, human rights, United States Foreign Assistance Act

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3060 Performance Comparison of Cooperative Banks in the EU, USA and Canada

Authors: Matěj Kuc

Abstract:

This paper compares different types of profitability measures of cooperative banks from two developed regions: the European Union and the United States of America together with Canada. We created balanced dataset of more than 200 cooperative banks covering 2011-2016 period. We made series of tests and run Random Effects estimation on panel data. We found that American and Canadian cooperatives are more profitable in terms of return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE). There is no significant difference in net interest margin (NIM). Our results show that the North American cooperative banks accommodated better to the current market environment.

Keywords: cooperative banking, panel data, profitability measures, random effects

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3059 The Role of Social Media in the Success or Failure of a Revolution: A Comparative Case Study of 2008/2018 Revolutions in Armenia

Authors: Nane Giloyan

Abstract:

The rapid development of social networks in the 21st century increases the interests towards the role and impact of social media on the success or failure of a revolution. Even though studies are investigating the role of social media on the outcome of a revolution, still, the conclusions on this matter are ambiguous so far. Hence, this research aims to investigate the role of social media in the success or failure of a revolution and make a contribution to the literature gap. The study aims to examine the research question whether the use of social media explains the success or failure of revolutions in 2008 and 2018 in Armenia. The research question is investigated through content analysis of two cases; failed revolution in 2008 and the successful revolution in 2018 in Armenia. The secondary data analysis was based on information devoted to two revolutions using local and major international news articles, journal and critical articles, in Armenian, Russian and English, also videos, posts and live streams of the revolutionary leaders. There can be many factors explaining the success or failure of a revolution. However, the investigation of the factors and their role to explain the outcome of a revolution other than the use of social media is beyond the scope of this research study. The study holds other variables constant and concludes that in the cases of 2008 and 2018 revolutions in Armenia the mobilization of society through social media explains the differences in the outcomes (failed or successful). The comparative case study of the revolutions in 2008 and 2018 in Armenia emphasizes the important role and impact of the use of social media on the success or failure of a revolution. The results highlight that the use of the Internet, particularly social media and live streams, by the opposition was the essential difference between two revolutions. Social media platforms, live streams, and communication apps that were absent in the revolutionary situation in 2008 were fundamental to the Armenian Velvet Revolution in 2018. The changes in the situation in favor of the opposition, so the outcome of the protests, were mainly based on the Internet-based mobilization of the society. It is also important to take into consideration that the country experienced a great increase in penetration rates over the decade. The percentage of access to the Internet drastically increased between 2008 and 2018. This fact may help to have a clearer understanding of the use of the Internet and social media by the opposition and the reliance on social media by society. According to the results of the continent analysis, the use of social media to direct the protests and to mobilize the society, have a vital role and positive impact on the outcome of a revolution. Thus the study concludes that it is the use of social media to initiate, organize, and direct the protests that explain the success or failure of two Armenian revolutions.

Keywords: social media, revolution, Armenia, success, failure

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3058 Knowledge Creation Environment in the Iranian Universities: A Case Study

Authors: Mahdi Shaghaghi, Amir Ghaebi, Fariba Ahmadi

Abstract:

Purpose: The main purpose of the present research is to analyze the knowledge creation environment at a Iranian University (Alzahra University) as a typical University in Iran, using a combination of the i-System and Ba models. This study is necessary for understanding the determinants of knowledge creation at Alzahra University as a typical University in Iran. Methodology: To carry out the present research, which is an applied study in terms of purpose, a descriptive survey method was used. In this study, a combination of the i-System and Ba models has been used to analyze the knowledge creation environment at Alzahra University. i-System consists of 5 constructs including intervention (input), intelligence (process), involvement (process), imagination (process), and integration (output). The Ba environment has three pillars, namely the infrastructure, the agent, and the information. The integration of these two models resulted in 11 constructs which were as follows: intervention (input), infrastructure-intelligence, agent-intelligence, information-intelligence (process); infrastructure-involvement, agent-involvement, information-involvement (process); infrastructure-imagination, agent-imagination, information-imagination (process); and integration (output). These 11 constructs were incorporated into a 52-statement questionnaire and the validity and reliability of the questionnaire were examined and confirmed. The statistical population included the faculty members of Alzahra University (344 people). A total of 181 participants were selected through the stratified random sampling technique. The descriptive statistics, binomial test, regression analysis, and structural equation modeling (SEM) methods were also utilized to analyze the data. Findings: The research findings indicated that among the 11 research constructs, the levels of intervention, information-intelligence, infrastructure-involvement, and agent-imagination constructs were average and not acceptable. The levels of infrastructure-intelligence and information-imagination constructs ranged from average to low. The levels of agent-intelligence and information-involvement constructs were also completely average. The level of infrastructure-imagination construct was average to high and thus was considered acceptable. The levels of agent-involvement and integration constructs were above average and were in a highly acceptable condition. Furthermore, the regression analysis results indicated that only two constructs, viz. the information-imagination and agent-involvement constructs, positively and significantly correlate with the integration construct. The results of the structural equation modeling also revealed that the intervention, intelligence, and involvement constructs are related to the integration construct with the complete mediation of imagination. Discussion and conclusion: The present research suggests that knowledge creation at Alzahra University relatively complies with the combination of the i-System and Ba models. Unlike this model, the intervention, intelligence, and involvement constructs are not directly related to the integration construct and this seems to have three implications: 1) the information sources are not frequently used to assess and identify the research biases; 2) problem finding is probably of less concern at the end of studies and at the time of assessment and validation; 3) the involvement of others has a smaller role in the summarization, assessment, and validation of the research.

Keywords: i-System, Ba model , knowledge creation , knowledge management, knowledge creation environment, Iranian Universities

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3057 High Performance Computing Enhancement of Agent-Based Economic Models

Authors: Amit Gill, Lalith Wijerathne, Sebastian Poledna

Abstract:

This research presents the details of the implementation of high performance computing (HPC) extension of agent-based economic models (ABEMs) to simulate hundreds of millions of heterogeneous agents. ABEMs offer an alternative approach to study the economy as a dynamic system of interacting heterogeneous agents, and are gaining popularity as an alternative to standard economic models. Over the last decade, ABEMs have been increasingly applied to study various problems related to monetary policy, bank regulations, etc. When it comes to predicting the effects of local economic disruptions, like major disasters, changes in policies, exogenous shocks, etc., on the economy of the country or the region, it is pertinent to study how the disruptions cascade through every single economic entity affecting its decisions and interactions, and eventually affect the economic macro parameters. However, such simulations with hundreds of millions of agents are hindered by the lack of HPC enhanced ABEMs. In order to address this, a scalable Distributed Memory Parallel (DMP) implementation of ABEMs has been developed using message passing interface (MPI). A balanced distribution of computational load among MPI-processes (i.e. CPU cores) of computer clusters while taking all the interactions among agents into account is a major challenge for scalable DMP implementations. Economic agents interact on several random graphs, some of which are centralized (e.g. credit networks, etc.) whereas others are dense with random links (e.g. consumption markets, etc.). The agents are partitioned into mutually-exclusive subsets based on a representative employer-employee interaction graph, while the remaining graphs are made available at a minimum communication cost. To minimize the number of communications among MPI processes, real-life solutions like the introduction of recruitment agencies, sales outlets, local banks, and local branches of government in each MPI-process, are adopted. Efficient communication among MPI-processes is achieved by combining MPI derived data types with the new features of the latest MPI functions. Most of the communications are overlapped with computations, thereby significantly reducing the communication overhead. The current implementation is capable of simulating a small open economy. As an example, a single time step of a 1:1 scale model of Austria (i.e. about 9 million inhabitants and 600,000 businesses) can be simulated in 15 seconds. The implementation is further being enhanced to simulate 1:1 model of Euro-zone (i.e. 322 million agents).

Keywords: agent-based economic model, high performance computing, MPI-communication, MPI-process

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3056 Sustainable Happiness of Thai People: Monitoring the Thai Happiness Index

Authors: Kalayanee Senasu

Abstract:

This research investigates the influences of different factors on the happiness of Thai people, including both general factors and sustainable ones. Additionally, this study also monitors Thai people’s happiness via Thai Happiness Index developed in 2017. Besides reflecting happiness level of Thai people, this index also identifies related important issues. The data were collected by both secondary related data and primary survey data collected by interviewed questionnaires. The research data were from stratified multi-stage sampling in region, province, district, and enumeration area, and simple random sampling in each enumeration area. The research data cover 20 provinces, including Bangkok and 4-5 provinces in each region of the North, Northeastern, Central, and South. There were 4,960 usable respondents who were at least 15 years old. Statistical analyses included both descriptive and inferential statistics, including hierarchical regression and one-way ANOVA. The Alkire and Foster method was adopted to develop and calculate the Thai happiness index. The results reveal that the quality of household economy plays the most important role in predicting happiness. The results also indicate that quality of family, quality of health, and effectiveness of public administration in the provincial level have positive effects on happiness at about similar levels. For the socio-economic factors, the results reveal that age, education level, and household revenue have significant effects on happiness. For computing Thai happiness index (THaI), the result reveals the 2018 THaI value is 0.556. When people are divided into four groups depending upon their degree of happiness, it is found that a total of 21.1% of population are happy, with 6.0% called deeply happy and 15.1% called extensively happy. A total of 78.9% of population are not-yet-happy, with 31.8% called narrowly happy, and 47.1% called unhappy. A group of happy population reflects the happiness index THaI valued of 0.789, which is much higher than the THaI valued of 0.494 of the not-yet-happy population. Overall Thai people have higher happiness compared to 2017 when the happiness index was 0.506.

Keywords: happiness, quality of life, sustainability, Thai Happiness Index

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3055 Construction Project Planning Using Fuzzy Critical Path Approach

Authors: Omar M. Aldenali

Abstract:

Planning is one of the most important phases of the management science and network planning, which represents the project activities relationship. Critical path is one of the project management techniques used to plan and control the execution of a project activities. The objective of this paper is to implement a fuzzy logic approach to arrange network planning on construction projects. This method is used to finding out critical path in the fuzzy construction project network. The trapezoidal fuzzy numbers are used to represent the activity construction project times. A numerical example that represents a house construction project is introduced. The critical path method is implemented on the fuzzy construction network activities, and the results showed that this method significantly affects the completion time of the construction projects.

Keywords: construction project, critical path, fuzzy network project, planning

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3054 The Implementation of Science Park Policy and Their Impacts on Regional Economic Development in Emerging Economy Country: Case of Thailand

Authors: Muttamas Wongwanich, John R. Bryson, Catherine E. Harris

Abstract:

Science parks are an essential component of localized innovation ecosystems. Science Parks have played a critical role in enhancing local innovation ecosystems in developed market economies. Attempts have been made to replicate best practice in other national contexts. To our best knowledge, the study about the development of Science Parks has not been undertaken on the economic impact on the developing countries. Further research is required to understand the adoption of Science Park policies in developing and emerging economies. This study explores the implementation of Science Park policy and its impacts on economic growth and development in Thailand, focusing on the relationship between universities and businesses. The Thailand context is essential. Thailand’s economy is dominated by agriculture and tourism. The Science Park policy is trying to develop an agriculturally orientated innovative ecosystem. Thailand established four Science Parks based on a policy that highlighted the importance of cooperation between government, HEIs, and businesses. These Science Parks are intended to increase small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) innovativeness, employment, and regional economic growth by promoting collaboration and knowledge transfer between HEIs and the private sector. This study explores one regional Science Park in Thailand with an emphasis on understanding the implementation and operation of a triple helix innovation policy. The analysis explores the establishment of the Science Park and its impacts on firms and the regional economy through interviews with Science Parks directors, firms, academics, universities, and government officials. The analysis will inform Science Park policy development in Thailand to support the national objective to develop an innovation ecosystem based on the integration of technology with innovation policy, supporting technology-based SMEs in the creation of local jobs. The finding shows that the implementation of the Science Park policy in Thailand requires support and promotion from the government. The regional development plan must be related to the regional industry development strategy, considering the strengths and weaknesses of local entrepreneurs. The long time in granting a patent is the major obstacle in achieving the government’s aim in encouraging local economic activity. The regional Science Parks in Thailand are at the early stage of the operation plan. Thus, the impact on the regional economy cannot be measured and need further investigation in a more extended period. However, local businesses realize the vital of research and development (R&D). There have been more requests for funding support in doing R&D. Furthermore, there is the creation of linkages between businesses, HEIs, and government authorities as expected.

Keywords: developing country, emerging economy, regional development, science park, Thailand, triple helix

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3053 The Association between Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure, Assurance, and Tax Aggressiveness: Evidence from Indonesia

Authors: Eko Budi Santoso

Abstract:

There is a growing interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues in developing countries such as Indonesia. Firms disclose their CSR activities, and some provide assurance to gain recognition as socially responsible firms. However, several of those socially responsible firms involve in tax scandals and raise a question of whether CSR disclosure is used to disguise firm misconduct or as a reflection of socially responsible firms. Specifically, whether firms engage in CSR disclosure and its assurance also responsible for their tax matters. This study examines the association between CSR disclosure and tax aggressiveness and the role of sustainability reporting assurance to the association. This research develops a modified index according to global reporting initiatives to measure CSR disclosure and various measurement for tax aggressiveness. Using a sample of Indonesian go public companies issued CSR disclosure, the empirical result shows that there is an association between CSR disclosure and tax aggressiveness. In addition, results also indicate sustainability reporting assurance moderate those association. The findings suggest that stakeholder in developing countries should examine carefully firms with active CSR disclosure before label it as socially responsible firms. JEL Classification: M14

Keywords: CSR disclosure, tax aggressiveness, assurance, business ethics

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3052 Impact of Dynamic Capabilities on Knowledge Management Processes

Authors: Farzad Yavari, Fereydoun Ohadi

Abstract:

Today, with the development and growth of technology and extreme environmental changes, organizations need to identify opportunities and create creativity and innovation in order to be able to maintain or improve their position in competition with others. In this regard, it is necessary that the resources and assets of the organization are coordinated and reviewed in accordance with the orientation of the strategy. One of the competitive advantages of the present age is knowledge management, which is to equip the organization with the knowledge of the day and disseminate among employees and use it in the development of products and services. Therefore, in the forthcoming research, the impact of dynamic capabilities components (sense, seize, and reconfiguration) has been investigated on knowledge management processes (acquisition, integration and knowledge utilization) in the MAPNA Engineering and Construction Company using a field survey and applied research method. For this purpose, a questionnaire was filled out in the form of 15 questions for dynamic components and 15 questions for measuring knowledge management components and distributed among 46 employees of the knowledge management organization. Validity of the questionnaire was evaluated through content validity and its reliability with Cronbach's coefficient. Pearson correlation test and structural equation technique were used to analyze the data. The results of the research indicate a positive significant correlation between the components of dynamic capabilities and knowledge management.

Keywords: dynamic capabilities, knowledge management, sense capability, seize capability, reconfigurable capability, knowledge acquisition, knowledge integrity, knowledge utilization

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3051 The Impact of Economic Freedom on Entrepreneurship Motivation: A Gendered Perspective on OECD Countries

Authors: Sepideh Khavarinezhad, Paolo Pietro Biancone

Abstract:

This paper sheds light on how gender entrepreneurship is influenced by economic freedom in OECD countries. Our study empirically explores the interaction of financial institutions and its effect of both motivations on total entrepreneurial activities (TEA) of women and men in these countries and to discuss the differences between women and men in this field, which is always a hot topic in entrepreneurship. Employing a dynamic method, we conducted panel data analysis in the time frame from 2012-2015. In this regard, we evaluate the relationship between the Index of Economic Freedoms and its three years, and both indicators of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) on supportive financial institutions. We investigate that economic liberalization tends to persuade men and women entrepreneurs to start their businesses or to reduce motivation entrepreneurship. In particular, our paper demonstrates that motivation entrepreneurship seems to benefit from government support and fade barriers in legal structure in business, while we expect to confirm that free trade and economic freedom stimulate the entrepreneur’s motivation and their participation to start own business.

Keywords: economic freedom, gender entrepreneurship, financial institutions, OECD countries

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3050 Analyzing the Investment Decision and Financing Method of the French Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Eliane Abdo, Olivier Colot

Abstract:

SMEs are always considered as a national priority due to their contribution to job creation, innovation and growth. Once the start-up phase is crossed with encouraging results, the company enters the phase of growth. In order to improve its competitiveness, maintain and increase its market share, the company is in the necessity even the obligation to develop its tangible and intangible investments. SMEs are generally closed companies with special and critical financial situation, limited resources and difficulty to access the capital markets; their shareholders are always living in a conflict between their independence and their need to increase capital that leads to the entry of new shareholder. The capital structure was always considered the core of research in corporate finance; moreover, the financial crisis and its repercussions on the credit’s availability, especially for SMEs make SME financing a hot topic. On the other hand, financial theories do not provide answers to capital structure’s questions; they offer tools and mode of financing that are more accessible to larger companies. Yet, SME’s capital structure can’t be independent of their governance structure. The classic financial theory supposes independence between the investment decision and the financing decision. Thus, investment determines the volume of funding, but not the split between internal or external funds. In this context, we find interesting to study the hypothesis that SMEs respond positively to the financial theories applied to large firms and to check if they are constrained by conventional solutions used by large companies. In this context, this research focuses on the analysis of the resource’s structure of SME in parallel with their investments’ structure, in order to highlight a link between their assets and liabilities structure. We founded our conceptual model based on two main theoretical frameworks: the Pecking order theory, and the Trade Off theory taking into consideration the SME’s characteristics. Our data were generated from DIANE database. Five hypotheses were tested via a panel regression to understand the type of dependence between the financing methods of 3,244 French SMEs and the development of their investment over a period of 10 years (2007-2016). The results show dependence between equity and internal financing in case of intangible investments development. Moreover, this type of business is constraint to financial debts since the guarantees provided are not sufficient to meet the banks' requirements. However, for tangible investments development, SMEs count sequentially on internal financing, bank borrowing, and new shares issuance or hybrid financing. This is compliant to the Pecking Order Theory. We, therefore, conclude that unlisted SMEs incur more financial debts to finance their tangible investments more than their intangible. However, they always prefer internal financing as a first choice. This seems to be confirmed by the assumption that the profitability of the company is negatively related to the increase of the financial debt. Thus, the Pecking Order Theory predictions seem to be the most plausible. Consequently, SMEs primarily rely on self-financing and then go, into debt as a priority to finance their financial deficit.

Keywords: capital structure, investments, life cycle, pecking order theory, trade off theory

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3049 The Influence of Construction Workers Wages and Working Conditions on Productivity in Ghana

Authors: Emmanuel Donkor

Abstract:

Aim/Purpose – This paper examines the influence of construction workers wages and working conditions on productivity in Ghana. Design/methodology/Approach - The study adopted a quantitative research approach with purposive sampling techniques where data was collected using surveys. The data were analyzed using SPSS software version 20.0, which enables the findings of the study to be examined under thematic areas.Findings: - The study revealed that good wages and working condition of workers have a positive correlation on productivity in the construction industry. Increase and improved wages and working conditions can results in higher productivity in the construction industry.Originality/value - This paper is exceptional in the sense that, it does examine the influence of construction workers wages and working conditions on productivity in Ghana. Social value/implications - The paper concludes that workers’ wages and their conditions have a high influence on productivity. It is then recommended that government should train, educate, give good wages to workers and improve on their working condition, give incentives and reduce tax importation on building or construction materials to aid in good productivity of construction firms.

Keywords: construction firms, construction industry, productivity, workers’ wages, working conditions

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3048 International Trends in Sustainability Reporting Using Global Reporting Initiatives

Authors: Ramona Zharfpeykan

Abstract:

This study analyses the trend and nature of sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) reporting in firms globally. It presents both trend and panel data of sustainability reports of 798 firms in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) database from 2010 to 2014. The results show some fluctuations in the frequency of sustainability KPI reporting globally across the time while the major focus of reports in firms stayed almost the same. It made us further analyse this trend and found that there are some indicators, such as 'environmental protect expenses' and 'number of grievances', that was barely reported over this period along with some highly popular ones such as 'direct economic value' and 'employment rate'. We could not find any statistical correlation between the KPI reporting percentage and the firms’ industries generally and neither if they belong to environmentally sensitive industries.

Keywords: global reporting initiatives, sustainability reporting, sustainability KPI, trends of sustainability reporting

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