Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 28

Search results for: responsiveness

28 A Study on the Relation between Auditor Rotation and Audit Quality in Iranian Firms

Authors: Bita Mashayekhi, Marjan Fayyazi, Parisa Sefati

Abstract:

Audit quality is a popular topic in accounting and auditing research because recent decades’ financial crises reduce the reliability of financial reports to public investors and cause significant doubt about the audit profession. Therefore, doing research to identify effective factors in improving audit quality is necessary for bringing back public investors’ trust to financial statements as well as audit reports. In this study, we explore the relationship between audit rotation and audit quality. For this purpose, we employ the Duff (2009) model of audit quality to measure audit quality and use a questionnaire survey of 27 audit service quality attributes. Our results show that there is a negative relationship between auditor’s rotation and audit quality as we consider the auditor’s reputation, capability, assurance, experience, and responsiveness as surrogates for audit quality. There is no evidence for verifying a same relationship when we use the auditor’s independence and expertise for measuring audit quality.

Keywords: Audit quality, auditor’s rotation, reputation, capability, assurance, experience, responsiveness, independence, expertise.

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27 The Supply Chain Management and Supply Chain Responsiveness in the Competitiveness of the Agrofood Sector: An Econometric Analysis

Authors: Alma Lucero Ortiz, Mario Gómez

Abstract:

The purpose of this article is to conduct a theoretical and empirical study in order to analyze how the Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Supply Chain Responsiveness (SCR) affects the competitive advantage of the agrofood sector in 2017, in particular, the exporting companies of berries in Mexico. This work is presented in two parts, as a first part is developed a theoretical analysis of the main studies to measure the variables subject to the study. Subsequently an empirical study is carried out through field work and to process the data a logical econometric model is performed to be able to evaluate the effect of the SCM and SCR on the competitive advantage in the companies exporting berries. The results suggest that the SCM has a positive effect on the competitive advantage of the companies under study, so it is necessary to implement greater practices oriented towards a suitable SCM for the companies to achieve a competitive performance. In the case of SCR, it was found that this variable does not have effect on competitive advantage.

Keywords: Competitive advantage, econometric model, supply chain management, supply chain responsiveness, sustained competitive advantage.

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26 A Classical Method of Optimizing Manufacturing Systems Using a Number of Industrial Engineering Techniques

Authors: John M. Ikome, Martha E. Ikome, Therese Van Wyk

Abstract:

Productivity optimization of a company can significantly increase the company’s output and productivity which can be in the form of corrective actions of ineffective activities, process simplification, and reduction of variations, responsiveness, and reduction of set-up-time which are all under the classification of waste within the manufacturing environment. Deriving a means to eliminate a number of these issues has a key importance for manufacturing organization. This paper focused on a number of industrial engineering techniques which include a cause and effect diagram, to identify and optimize the method or systems being used. Based on our results, it shows that there are a number of variations within the production processes that can significantly disrupt the expected output.

Keywords: Optimization, fishbone diagram, productivity.

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25 Applying WILSERV in Measuring Visitor Satisfaction at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC)

Authors: A. H. Hendry, H. S. Mogindol

Abstract:

There is an increasing worldwide demand on the field of interaction with wildlife tourism. Studies pertaining to the service quality within the sphere of interaction with wildlife tourism are plentiful. However, studies on service quality in wildlife attractions, especially on semi-captured wildlife tourism are still limited. The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC) in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia is one good example of a semi-captured wildlife attraction and a renowned attraction in Sabah. This study presents a gap analysis by measuring the perception and expectation of service quality at SORC through the use of a modified SERVQUAL, referred to as WILSERV. A survey questionnaire was devised and administered to 190 visitors who visited SORC. The study revealed that all the means of the six dimensions for perceived perceptions were lower than the expectations. The highest gap was from the dimension of reliability (-0.21), followed by tangible (-0.17), responsiveness (-0.11), assurance, (-0.11), empathy (-0.11) and wild-tangible (-0.05). Similarly, the study also showed that all six dimensions for perceived perceptions means were lower than the expectations for both local and foreign visitors.

Keywords: Gap analysis, service quality, WILSERV, wildlife tourism.

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24 Knowledge Transfer among Cross-Functional Teams as a Continual Improvement Process

Authors: Sergio Mauricio Pérez López, Luis Rodrigo Valencia Pérez, Juan Manuel Peña Aguilar, Adelina Morita Alexander

Abstract:

The culture of continuous improvement in organizations is very important as it represents a source of competitive advantage. This article discusses the transfer of knowledge between companies which formed cross-functional teams and used a dynamic model for knowledge creation as a framework. In addition, the article discusses the structure of cognitive assets in companies and the concept of "stickiness" (which is defined as an obstacle to the transfer of knowledge). The purpose of this analysis is to show that an improvement in the attitude of individual members of an organization creates opportunities, and that an exchange of information and knowledge leads to generating continuous improvements in the company as a whole. This article also discusses the importance of creating the proper conditions for sharing tacit knowledge. By narrowing gaps between people, mutual trust can be created and thus contribute to an increase in sharing. The concept of adapting knowledge to new environments will be highlighted, as it is essential for companies to translate and modify information so that such information can fit the context of receiving organizations. Adaptation will ensure that the transfer process is carried out smoothly by preventing "stickiness". When developing the transfer process on cross-functional teams (as opposed to working groups), the team acquires the flexibility and responsiveness necessary to meet objectives. These types of cross-functional teams also generate synergy due to the array of different work backgrounds of their individuals. When synergy is established, a culture of continuous improvement is created.

Keywords: Knowledge transfer, continuous improvement, teamwork, cognitive assets.

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23 Identification of Lean Implementation Hurdles in Indian Industries

Authors: Bhim Singh

Abstract:

Due to increased pressure from global competitors, manufacturing organizations are switching over to lean philosophies from traditional mass production. Lean manufacturing is a manufacturing philosophy which focuses on elimination of various types of wastes and creates maximum value for the end customers. Lean thinking aims to produce high quality products and services at the lowest possible cost with maximum customer responsiveness. Indian Industry is facing lot of problems in this transformation from traditional mass production to lean production. Through this paper an attempt has been made to identify various lean implementation hurdles in Indian industries with the help of a structured survey. Identified hurdles are grouped with the help of factor analysis and rated by calculating descriptive statistics. To show the effect of lean implementation hurdles a hypothesis “Organizations having higher level of lean implementation hurdles will have poor (negative) performance” has been postulated and tested using correlation matrix between performance parameters of the organizations and identified hurdles. The findings of the paper will be helpful to prepare road map to identify and eradicate the lean implementation hurdles.

Keywords: Factor analysis, global competition, lean implementation and lean hurdles.

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22 The Impact of Host Country Effects on Transferring HRM Practices from Western Headquarters to Ukrainian Subsidiaries

Authors: O. A. Novitskaya

Abstract:

The emerging markets of post-USSR countries have attracted Western multinational companies; however, weak institutions and unstable host country environments have hindered the implementation of successful management practices. The Ukrainian market, in light of recent events, is particularly interesting to study for its compatibility with Western businesses. This paper focuses on factors that can facilitate or inhibit the transfer of human resource management practices from Western headquarters to Ukrainian subsidiaries. To explain the national context’s effects better, a business systems approach has been applied to a qualitative study of 16 wholly owned Western subsidiaries, dissecting the reasons for a weak integration of Western practices in Ukraine. Results show that underdeveloped institutions have forced companies to develop additional practices that compensate for national weaknesses, as well as to adjust to a constantly changing environment. Flexibility and local responsiveness were observed as vital for success in Ukraine.

Keywords: Business system, HR practices, human resource management, multinational companies, Ukraine.

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21 A Conceptual Framework on Review of E-Service Quality in Banking Industry

Authors: Vivek Agrawal, Vikas Tripathi, Nitin Seth

Abstract:

E-service quality plays a significant role to achieve success or failure in any organization, offering services online. It will increase the competition among the organizations, to attract the customers on the basis of the quality of service provided by the organization. Better e-service quality will enhance the relationship with customers and their satisfaction. So the measurement of eservice quality is very important but it is a complex process due to the complex nature of services. Literature predicts that there is a lack of universal definition of e-service quality. The e-service quality measures in banking have great importance in achieving high customer base. This paper proposes a conceptual model for measuring e-service quality in Indian Banking Industry. Nine dimensions reliability, ease of use, personalization, security and trust, website aesthetic, responsiveness, contact and fulfillment had been identified. The results of this paper may help to develop a proper scale to measure the e-service quality in Indian Banking Industry, which may assist to maintain and improve the performance and effectiveness of e-service quality to retain customers.

Keywords: Banking, Service Quality, e-service quality, Dimensions.

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20 The Influence of Website Quality on Customer E-Satisfaction in Low Cost Airline

Authors: Zainab bt Khalifah, Wong Chiet Bing, Noor Hazarina Hashim

Abstract:

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

Keywords: Website Quality, Customer E-Satisfaction, Low Cost Airline.

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19 A Development of English Pronunciation Using Principles of Phonetics for English Major Students at Loei Rajabhat University

Authors: Pongthep Bunrueng

Abstract:

This action research accentuates the outcome of a development in English pronunciation, using principles of phonetics for English major students at Loei Rajabhat University. The research is split into 5 separate modules: 1) Organs of Speech and How to Produce Sounds, 2) Monopthongs, 3) Diphthongs, 4) Consonant sounds, and 5) Suprasegmental Features. Each module followed a 4 step action research process, 1) Planning, 2) Acting, 3) Observing, and 4) Reflecting. The research targeted 2nd year students who were majoring in English Education at Loei Rajabhat University during the academic year of 2011. A mixed methodology employing both quantitative and qualitative research was used, which put theory into action, taking segmental features up to suprasegmental features. Multiple tools were employed which included the following documents: pre-test and post-test papers, evaluation and assessment papers, group work assessment forms, a presentation grading form, an observation of participants form and a participant self-reflection form.

All 5 modules for the target group showed that results from the post-tests were higher than those of the pre-tests, with 0.01 statistical significance. All target groups attained results ranging from low to moderate and from moderate to high performance. The participants who attained low to moderate results had to re-sit the second round. During the first development stage, participants attended classes with group participation, in which they addressed planning through mutual co-operation and sharing of responsibility. Analytic induction of strong points for this operation illustrated that learner cognition, comprehension, application, and group practices were all present whereas the participants with weak results could be attributed to biological differences, differences in life and learning, or individual differences in responsiveness and self-discipline.

Participants who were required to be re-treated in Spiral 2 received the same treatment again. Results of tests from the 5 modules after the 2nd treatment were that the participants attained higher scores than those attained in the pre-test. Their assessment and development stages also showed improved results. They showed greater confidence at participating in activities, produced higher quality work, and correctly followed instructions for each activity. Analytic induction of strong and weak points for this operation remains the same as for Spiral 1, though there were improvements to problems which existed prior to undertaking the second treatment.

Keywords: Action research, English pronunciation, phonetics, segmental features, suprasegmental features.

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18 Determinants of Service Quality on Thai Passengers’ Repeated Purchase of Domestic Flight Service with Thai Airways International

Authors: Nattapong Techarattanased

Abstract:

This research paper aimed to identify determinants of airline service quality on passengers’ repeated purchase of service. The population of this study was Thai passengers flying domestic flights with Thai Airways, making a total of 300 samples. These 300 samples participated in this research by answering a collection of questions by means of a questionnaire. An analysis of means score and multiple regression revealed that perceived service quality for tangible elements, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy had determined repeated purchase of flight service of the passengers at a high level. Moreover, reliability and responsiveness factors could predict the passengers’ repeated purchase of flight service at the percentage of 30.6. The findings gave a signal that Thai Airways may consider a development of route network and fleet strategy as well as an establishment of aircraft and seat qualification to meet passengers’ needs and requirements. Passengers’ level of satisfaction could also be maximized by offering service value through various kinds of special deals and programs, whereas value- added pricing strategy should be considered in order to differentiate from and beat other leading airline competitors.

Keywords: Service Quality, Repeated Purchase.

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17 Closing Africa’s Infrastructure Deficit: The Role of Gender Responsiveness in Urban Planning

Authors: K. Buyana, S. Lwasa, L. Schiebinger

Abstract:

Although urbanization in Africa has been characterized by fragile socio-economic successes, the sustainability of city infrastructure is now central to planning processes as a pathway to closing the deficit in terms of coverage and access. This paper builds on survey and interview data from Kampala city, to demonstrate how the principle gender responsiveness can inform improvements in urban infrastructure and service delivery. We discovered that women prefer infrastructure that combines living and working spaces for reduced labour and travel burdens between homes, markets, schools, and other urban spaces. Men’s conception of infrastructure needs on the other hand, mirrored public security and connectivity concerns along city streets and work places. However, the urban planning approach at city-level is guided by mainstream engineering and architectural designs that do not necessarily reflect the social context within which urban infrastructure influences gender roles and the attendant mobility needs. To address the challenge across cities of similar context, the paper concludes with a set of analytic steps on how the gendered influences on infrastructure-use can be considered in urban planning cycles.

Keywords: African cities, gender responsiveness, city infrastructure, urban planning.

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16 Parental Restriction and Children’s Appetitive Traits: A Study among Children Aged 5-11 Years Old in Dubai Private Schools

Authors: Hajar Aman Key Yekani, Yusra Mushtaq, Behnaz Farahani, Hamed Abdi

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This study explores associations between parental restriction and children's appetitive traits, putting to test the hypothesis that parental “restriction” is associated with having a child with stronger food approach tendencies (food enjoyment (FE) and food over responsiveness (FR)). The participants, from 55 nationalities, targeting 1081 parents of 5- to 11-year-old children from 7 private schools in Dubai, UAE, who completed self-reported questionnaires over the 2011-2012 school year. The questionnaire has been a tailored amalgamation of CEBQ and CFQ in order to measure the children’s appetitive traits and parental restriction, respectively. The findings of this quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional analysis confirmed the hypothesis in that “parental restriction” was positively associated with child food responsiveness (r, 0.183), food enjoyment (r, 0.102). To conclude, as far as the figures depict, the parents controlling their children’s food intake would seemingly a reverse impact on their eating behavior in the short term.

Keywords: Parental Restriction, Children Eating Behavior, Approach Tendency, Avoidance Tendency.

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15 Knowledge Management Model for Modern Retail Business: A Conceptual Framework

Authors: M. W. Yip, H. H. Ng, S. Din, N. Abu Bakar

Abstract:

This paper reviewed the relationships between the Knowledge Management (KM) activities and its perceived benefits in the knowledge based organisations. KM activities include: knowledge identification, knowledge acquisition, knowledge application, knowledge sharing, knowledge creation and knowledge preservation. And the perceived benefits of KM are fast customer responsiveness, operation excellence and high innovative intensity.  Based on the above review, a conceptual framework for KM implementation in retail business organisations has been proposed. Finally the paper forwarded some limitations of the framework and based on which, directions for future research had been suggested.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management Activities, Retail Business, Knowledge Economy.

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14 Supply Chain Model of Catfish Production and Trade in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Authors: Kuncoro Harto Widodo, Joewono Soemardjito, Dwi Ardianta Kurniawan

Abstract:

Currently, the demand for marine and fisheries commodity in Yogyakarta, Indonesia continues to increase. The existing condition shows that the aquaculture supply cannot be supplied by Yogyakarta region itself, but still need to be supported by regions outside Yogyakarta. The effort to optimize the market is initiated by reviewing and designing the supply chain of production and trade of aquaculture commodity in order to create the implementation of aquaculture production and trade commodity optimally. This formulated supply chain model indicates 4 performance indicators of measurable success in terms of: (1) efficiency; (2) flexibility; (3) responsiveness; and (4) quality. These indicators had been exercised as the success benchmarks for priority marketing management in local level as well as national level. The result of this research indicates that if the catfish fishery system is managed as business as usual then the catfish demand in Yogyakarta region will experience to increase in the future. The increase of demand is inline with the increase of number of people in Yogyakarta and also the fluctuation of catfish consumption per capita. The highest production of catfish will experience in the third year approximately 30,118 tons. Other result of the research indicates that the catfish demand in Yogyakarta region cannot be supplied yet from the local region. Therefore, to fulfill the supply from outside Yogyakarta region, the local farmers should improve the supply through land extension. The fluctuation of commodity price will experience in the future annually and the catfish supply from outside Yogyakarta region will be lowering the price in the market.

Keywords: Supply chain model, catfish, efficiency, flexibility

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13 Tourist Satisfaction and Loyalty toward Service Quality of the Online Tourism Enterprises

Authors: Wanida Suwunniponth

Abstract:

The objectives of this research paper were to study the expectation and satisfaction of tourists in five tourism service quality dimensions, namely, website quality, service ability, trust ability, customer empathy, and responsiveness to customer and also to study the influences of satisfaction affecting loyalty toward quality service of the online tourism enterprises located in Bangkok Thailand. This research utilized both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In terms of quantitative method, a questionnaire was used as a tool to collect data from 400 tourists who were using in online travel services. Statistics analysis included descriptive statistics, t-test and Multiple Regression Analysis. In terms of qualitative analysis, an in-depth interview and content analysis were used along with 10 individual management levels of e-commerce enterprises.

The results revealed that the respondents had higher expectations than their level of satisfaction in all five categories. However, the respondents were more satisfied with online travel services than without online service. The demographic factors such as gender and age had no influence on the level of satisfaction whereas the demographic factors of education, occupation, and income had influenced the level of satisfaction. The test results also indicated that the level of satisfaction from responsiveness to customer had the highest influence on the loyalty of tourists who used online travel. The level of satisfaction from customer empathy had the highest influence on the tourists to recommend others to use online travel services. Also, the level of satisfaction from service ability had the highest influence on tourists to take an actual trip.

Keywords: Satisfaction, Loyalty, Service Quality, Online Tourism Enterprises.

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12 Service Quality vs. Customer Satisfaction: Perspectives of Visitors to a Public University Library

Authors: Norazah Mohd Suki, Norbayah Mohd Suki

Abstract:

This study proposes a conceptual model and empirically tests the relationships between customers and librarians (i.e. tangibles, responsiveness, assurance, reliability and empathy) with a dependent variable (customer satisfaction) regarding library services. The SERVQUAL instrument was administered to 100 respondents which comprises of staff and students at a public higher learning institution in the Federal Territory of Labuan, Malaysia. They were public university library users. Results revealed that all service quality dimensions tested were significant and influenced customer satisfaction of visitors to a public university library. Assurance is the most important factor that influences customer satisfaction with the services rendered by the librarian. It is imperative for the library management to take note that the top five service attributes that gained greatest attention from library visitors- perspective includes employee willingness to help customers, availability of customer representatives online for response to queries, library staff actively and promptly provide services, signs in the building are clear and library staff are friendly and courteous. This study provides valuable results concerning the determinants of the service quality and customer satisfaction of public university library services from the users' perspective.

Keywords: Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, SERVQUAL Model, Multiple Regression Analysis

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11 Meta-analysis of Performance: Summarizing Research for Implementation of Reconfigurability

Authors: Cesar H. Ortega Jimenez, Ignacio Eguia Salinas, Pedro Garrido Vega, Jose A. Dominguez Machuca

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to identify the conditions of implementation for reconfigurability in summarizing past flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) research by drawing overall conclusions from many separate High Performance Manufacturing (HPM) studies. Meta-analysis will be applied to links between HPM programs and their practices related to FMS and manufacturing performance with particular reference to responsiveness performance. More specifically, an application of meta-analysis will be made with reference to two of the main steps towards the development of an empirically-tested theory: testing the adequacy of the measurement of variables and testing the linkages between the variables.

Keywords: FMS (flexible manufacturing system), HPM (highperformance manufacturing), reconfigurability, RMS (reconfigurablemanufacturing system), responsiveness

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10 An Evaluation Framework of Transportation Responsiveness: Case of Pattaya City

Authors: Wuttigrai Ngamsirijit, Yodmanee Tepanon

Abstract:

Transportation is one of the main activities related to creating value for the tourists. Transport management in tourism mainly focuses on managing transfer points and vehicle capacity. However, transport service level must also be ensured as it now relates to tourist-s experiences. This paper emphasizes on the responsiveness as one of key service performance measures. An evaluation framework is developed and illustarted by using the case of small bus service in Pattaya city. It can be seen as a great potential for the city to utilize the small bus transportation in order to meet the needs of more diverse group of passengers and to support the expansion of tourist areas. The framework integrates with service operations management, logistics, and tourism behavior perspectives. The findings from the investigation of existing small bus service are presented and preliminarily validate the usability of the framework.

Keywords: Responsiveness, Demand responsive transportation, Tourism, Logistics

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9 Estimating Spatial Disaggregation of Urban Thermal Responsiveness on Summer Diurnal Range with a Numerical Modeling Approach in Bangkok, Thailand

Authors: Manat Srivanit, Hokao Kazunori

Abstract:

Facing the concern of the population to its environment and to climatic change, city planners are now considering the urban climate in their choices of planning. The urban climate, representing different urban morphologies across central Bangkok metropolitan area (BMA), are used to investigates the effects of both the composition and configuration of variables of urban morphology indicators on the summer diurnal range of urban climate, using correlation analyses and multiple linear regressions. Results show first indicate that approximately 92.6% of the variation in the average maximum daytime near-surface air temperature (Ta) was explained jointly by the two composition variables of urban morphology indicators including open space ratio (OSR) and floor area ratio (FAR). It has been possible to determine the membership of sample areas to the local climate zones (LCZs) using these urban morphology descriptors automatically computed with GIS and remote sensed data. Finally result found the temperature differences among zones of large separation, such as the city center could be respectively from 35.48±1.04ºC (Mean±S.D.) warmer than the outskirt of Bangkok on average for maximum daytime near surface temperature to 28.27±0.21ºC for extreme event and, can exceed as 8ºC. A spatially disaggregation of urban thermal responsiveness map would be helpful for several reasons. First, it would localize urban areas concerned by different climate behavior over summer daytime and be a good indicator of urban climate variability. Second, when overlaid with a land cover map, this map may contribute to identify possible urban management strategies to reduce heat wave effects in BMA.

Keywords: Urban climate, Urban morphology, Local climate zone, Urban planning, GIS and remote sensing

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8 Into the Bank Lending Channel of SEE: Greek Banks- Buffering Effects

Authors: Stefanos V. Fotopoulos, Harry V. Papapanagos, Fotios M. Siokis

Abstract:

This paper tries to shed light on the existence of a bank lending channel (BLC) in South Eastern European countries (SEE). Based on a VAR framework we test the responsiveness of credit supply to monetary policy shocks. By compiling a new data set and using the reserve requirement ratio, among others, as the policy instrument we measure the effectiveness of the BLC and the buffering effect of the banks in the SEE countries. The results indicate that loan supply is significantly affected by shifts in monetary policy, when demand factors are controlled. Furthermore, by analyzing the effect of the Greek banks in the region we conclude that Greek banks do buffer the negative effects of monetary policy transmission. By having a significant market share of the SEE-s banking markets we argue that Greek banks influence positively the economic growth of SEE countries.

Keywords: Bank Lending Channel, Monetary Policy Transmission, Policy Buffering, South Eastern Europe

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7 pH-Responsiveness Properties of a Biodigradable Hydrogels Based on Carrageenan-g-poly(NaAA-co-NIPAM)

Authors: Mohammad Sadeghi, Behrouz Heidari, Korush Montazeri

Abstract:

A novel thermo-sensitive superabsorbent hydrogel with salt- and pH-responsiveness properties was obtained by grafting of mixtures of acrylic acid (AA) and N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) monomers onto kappa-carrageenan, kC, using ammonium persulfate (APS) as a free radical initiator in the presence of methylene bisacrylamide (MBA) as a crosslinker. Infrared spectroscopy was carried out to confirm the chemical structure of the hydrogel. Moreover, morphology of the samples was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effect of MBA concentration and AA/NIPAM weight ratio on the water absorbency capacity has been investigated. The swelling variations of hydrogels were explained according to swelling theory based on the hydrogel chemical structure. The hydrogels exhibited salt-sensitivity and cation exchange properties. The temperature- and pH-reversibility properties of the hydrogels make the intelligent polymers as good candidates for considering as potential carriers for bioactive agents, e.g. drugs.

Keywords: superabsorbent, carrageenan, acrylic acid, Nisopropylacrylamide, hydrogel, swelling

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6 Customer Loyalty and the Impacts of Service Quality:The Case of Five Star Hotels in Jordan

Authors: Al-Rousan, M. Ramzi, Badaruddin Mohamed

Abstract:

In the present Jordan hotels scenario, service quality is a vital competitive policy to keep customer support and build great base. Hotels are trying to win customer loyalty by providing enhanced quality services. This paper attempts to examine the impact of tourism service quality dimension in the Jordanian five star hotels. A total of 322 surveys were administrated to tourists who were staying at three branches Marriott hotel in Jordan. The results show that dimensions of service quality such as empathy, reliability, responsiveness and tangibility significantly predict customer loyalty. Specifically, among the dimension of tourism service quality, the most significant predictor of customer loyalty is tangibility. This paper implies that five star hotels in Jordan should also come forward and try their best to present better tourism service quality to win back their customers- loyalty.

Keywords: Tourism, Service Quality, Loyalty, Five Star hotels, Jordan.

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5 Toward Full Public E-Service Environment in Developing Countries

Authors: H. S. Hassan, E. Shehab, J. Peppard

Abstract:

Changing technology and increased constituent demand for government services derive the need for governmental responsiveness. The government organisations in the developing countries will be under increased pressure to change their bureaucratic systems to be able to respond rapidly to changing and increasing requirements and rapid technology advancements. This paper aims to present a conceptual framework for explaining the main barriers and drivers of public e-service development. Therefore, the framework provides a basic context within which the process and practice of E-Service can be implemented successfully in the public sector organisations. The framework is flexible enough to be adopted by governments at different levels; national or local by developing countries around the world.

Keywords: Developing countries, E-service, Governmentservices, Public administration.

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4 A Hypermap for Supply Chain Management

Authors: James K. Ho

Abstract:

We present a prototype interactive (hyper) map of strategic, tactical, and logistic options for Supply Chain Management. The map comprises an anthology of options, broadly classified within the strategic spectrum of efficiency versus responsiveness, and according to logistic and cross-functional drivers. They are exemplified by cases in diverse industries. We seek to get all these information and ideas organized to help supply chain managers identify effective choices for specific business environments. The key and innovative linkage we introduce is the configuration of competitive forces. Instead of going through seemingly endless and isolated cases and wondering how one can borrow from them, we aim to provide a guide by force comparisons. The premise is that best practices in a different industry facing similar forces may be a most productive resource in supply chain design and planning. A prototype template is demonstrated.

Keywords: Competitive forces, strategic innovation, supplychain management.

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3 A Face-to-Face Education Support System Capable of Lecture Adaptation and Q&A Assistance Based On Probabilistic Inference

Authors: Yoshitaka Fujiwara, Jun-ichirou Fukushima, Yasunari Maeda

Abstract:

Keys to high-quality face-to-face education are ensuring flexibility in the way lectures are given, and providing care and responsiveness to learners. This paper describes a face-to-face education support system that is designed to raise the satisfaction of learners and reduce the workload on instructors. This system consists of a lecture adaptation assistance part, which assists instructors in adapting teaching content and strategy, and a Q&A assistance part, which provides learners with answers to their questions. The core component of the former part is a “learning achievement map", which is composed of a Bayesian network (BN). From learners- performance in exercises on relevant past lectures, the lecture adaptation assistance part obtains information required to adapt appropriately the presentation of the next lecture. The core component of the Q&A assistance part is a case base, which accumulates cases consisting of questions expected from learners and answers to them. The Q&A assistance part is a case-based search system equipped with a search index which performs probabilistic inference. A prototype face-to-face education support system has been built, which is intended for the teaching of Java programming, and this approach was evaluated using this system. The expected degree of understanding of each learner for a future lecture was derived from his or her performance in exercises on past lectures, and this expected degree of understanding was used to select one of three adaptation levels. A model for determining the adaptation level most suitable for the individual learner has been identified. An experimental case base was built to examine the search performance of the Q&A assistance part, and it was found that the rate of successfully finding an appropriate case was 56%.

Keywords: Bayesian network, face-to-face education, lecture adaptation, Q&A assistance.

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2 Multi-matrix Real-coded Genetic Algorithm for Minimising Total Costs in Logistics Chain Network

Authors: Pupong Pongcharoen, Aphirak Khadwilard, Anothai Klakankhai

Abstract:

The importance of supply chain and logistics management has been widely recognised. Effective management of the supply chain can reduce costs and lead times and improve responsiveness to changing customer demands. This paper proposes a multi-matrix real-coded Generic Algorithm (MRGA) based optimisation tool that minimises total costs associated within supply chain logistics. According to finite capacity constraints of all parties within the chain, Genetic Algorithm (GA) often produces infeasible chromosomes during initialisation and evolution processes. In the proposed algorithm, chromosome initialisation procedure, crossover and mutation operations that always guarantee feasible solutions were embedded. The proposed algorithm was tested using three sizes of benchmarking dataset of logistic chain network, which are typical of those faced by most global manufacturing companies. A half fractional factorial design was carried out to investigate the influence of alternative crossover and mutation operators by varying GA parameters. The analysis of experimental results suggested that the quality of solutions obtained is sensitive to the ways in which the genetic parameters and operators are set.

Keywords: Genetic Algorithm, Logistics, Optimisation, Supply Chain.

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1 EHW from Consumer Point of View: Consumer-Triggered Evolution

Authors: Yerbol Sapargaliyev, Tatiana Kalganova

Abstract:

Evolvable Hardware (EHW) has been regarded as adaptive system acquired by wide application market. Consumer market of any good requires diversity to satisfy consumers- preferences. Adaptation of EHW is a key technology that could provide individual approach to every particular user. This situation raises a question: how to set target for evolutionary algorithm? The existing techniques do not allow consumer to influence evolutionary process. Only designer at the moment is capable to influence the evolution. The proposed consumer-triggered evolution overcomes this problem by introducing new features to EHW that help adaptive system to obtain targets during consumer stage. Classification of EHW is given according to responsiveness, imitation of human behavior and target circuit response. Home intelligent water heating system is considered as an example.

Keywords: Actuators, consumer-triggered evolution, evolvable hardware, sensors.

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