Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 88

Search results for: transparency

88 Investigating Iraqi EFL University Students' Productive Knowledge of Grammatical Collocations in English

Authors: Adnan Z. Mkhelif

Abstract:

Grammatical collocations (GCs) are word combinations containing a preposition or a grammatical structure, such as an infinitive (e.g. smile at, interested in, easy to learn, etc.). Such collocations tend to be difficult for Iraqi EFL university students (IUS) to master. To help address this problem, it is important to identify the factors causing it. This study aims at investigating the effects of L2 proficiency, frequency of GCs and their transparency on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. The study involves 112 undergraduate participants with different proficiency levels, learning English in formal contexts in Iraq. The data collection instruments include (but not limited to) a productive knowledge test (designed by the researcher using the British National Corpus (BNC)), as well as the grammar part of the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). The study findings have shown that all the above-mentioned factors have significant effects on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. In addition to establishing evidence of which factors of L2 learning might be relevant to learning GCs, it is hoped that the findings of the present study will contribute to more effective methods of teaching that can better address and help overcome the problems IUSs encounter in learning GCs. The study is thus hoped to have significant theoretical and pedagogical implications for researchers, syllabus designers as well as teachers of English as a foreign/second language.

Keywords: Corpus linguistics, frequency, grammatical collocations, L2 vocabulary learning, productive knowledge, proficiency, transparency.

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87 Public Service Ethics in Public Administration: An Empirical Investigation

Authors: Kalsoom Sumra

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The increasing concern of public sector reforms brings new challenges to public service ethics in developing countries not only at central level but also at local level. This paper aims to identify perceptions on public service ethics of public officials and examines more generally the understanding of public servants in Pakistan towards public service ethics in local public organizations. The study uses an independently administered structured questionnaire to collect data to know the extent of the recognition of public service ethics in local organizations. A total of 150 completed questionnaires are analyzed received from public servants working at the local level in Pakistan. The analysis explores how traditional, social patterns and cultural ethics can provide us with a rounded picture of the main antecedents, moderators of public service ethics in Pakistan. Moreover, the findings of this study contribute in association of public service ethics which are crucial in ongoing political and administrative culture of Pakistan, the most crucial core for public organizational ethical climate. This study also has numerous implications for local public administration and it highlights the importance of expanding research agenda on public service ethics in developing settings with challenging institutional contexts with imperfect training and operating environments. This study may well be particularly important for practice of public service ethics in developing countries in public administration. To the best of author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to provide an initial step in practical implications to emphasize relevant public service ethics in public administration in developing transparent and accountable organization.

Keywords: Public service ethics, accountability and transparency, public service reforms, public administration, organizational ethical climate.

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86 Impact of Changes of the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting on the Indicators of the Financial Statement

Authors: Nadezhda Kvatashidze

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The International Accounting Standards Board updated the conceptual framework for financial reporting. The main reason behind it is to resolve the tasks of the accounting, which are caused by the market development and business-transactions of a new economic content. Also, the investors call for higher transparency of information and responsibility for the results in order to make a more accurate risk assessment and forecast. All these make it necessary to further develop the conceptual framework for financial reporting so that the users get useful information. The market development and certain shortcomings of the conceptual framework revealed in practice require its reconsideration and finding new solutions. Some issues and concepts, such as disclosure and supply of information, its qualitative characteristics, assessment, and measurement uncertainty had to be supplemented and perfected. The criteria of recognition of certain elements (assets and liabilities) of reporting had to be updated, too and all this is set out in the updated edition of the conceptual framework for financial reporting, a comprehensive collection of concepts underlying preparation of the financial statement. The main objective of conceptual framework revision is to improve financial reporting and development of clear concepts package. This will support International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to set common “Approach & Reflection” for similar transactions on the basis of mutually accepted concepts. As a result, companies will be able to develop coherent accounting policies for those transactions or events that are occurred from particular deals to which no standard is used or when standard allows choice of accounting policy.

Keywords: Conceptual framework, measurement basis, measurement uncertainty, neutrality, prudence, stewardship.

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85 Professional Management on Ecotourism and Conservation to Ensure the Future of Komodo National Park

Authors: Daningsih Sulaeman, Achmad Sjarmidi, Djoko T. Iskandar

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Komodo National Park can be associated with the implementation of ecotourism program. The result of Principal Components Analysis is synthesized, tested, and compared to the basic concept of ecotourism with some field adjustments. Principal aspects of professional management should involve ecotourism and wildlife welfare. The awareness should be focused on the future of the Natural Park as 7th Wonder Natural Heritage and its wildlife components, free from human wastes and beneficial to wildlife and local people. According to perceptions and expectations of visitors from various results of tourism programs, the visitor’s perceptions showed that the tourism management in Komodo National Park should pay more attention to visitor's satisfaction and expectation and gives positive impact directly to the ecosystem sustainability, local community and transparency to the conservation program.

Keywords: 7th Wonders of Nature, Ecotourism, Komodo dragon, visitor’s perceptions, wildlife management.

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84 Intellectual Capital Disclosure: Profiles of Spanish Public Universities

Authors: Yolanda Ramírez, Ángel Tejada, Agustín Baidez

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In the higher education setting, there is a current trend in society toward greater openness and transparency. The economic, social and political changes that have occurred in recent years in public sector universities (particularly the New Public Management, the Bologna Process and the emergence of the “third mission”) call for a wider disclosure of value created by universities to support fundraising activities, to ensure accountability in the use of public funds and the outcomes of research and teaching, as well as close relationships with industries and territories. The paper has two purposes: 1) to explore the intellectual capital (IC) disclosure in Spanish universities through their websites, and 2) to identify university profiles. This study applies a content analysis to analyze the institutional websites of Spanish public universities and a cluster analysis. The analysis reveals that Spanish universities’ website content usually relates to human capital, while structural and relational capitals are less widely disclosed. Our research identifies three behavioral profiles of Spanish universities with regard to the online disclosure of IC (universities more proactive, universities less proactive and universities adopt a middle position in this regard. The results can serve as encouragement to university managers to enhance online IC disclosure to meet the information needs of university stakeholders.

Keywords: Universities, intellectual capital, disclosure, Internet.

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83 Developing a Web-Based Tender Evaluation System Based on Fuzzy Multi-Attributes Group Decision Making for Nigerian Public Sector Tendering

Authors: Bello Abdullahi, Yahaya M. Ibrahim, Ahmed D. Ibrahim, Kabir Bala

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Public sector tendering has traditionally been conducted using manual paper-based processes which are known to be inefficient, less transparent and more prone to manipulations and errors. The advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web has led to the development of numerous e-Tendering systems that addressed some of the problems associated with the manual paper-based tendering system. However, most of these systems rarely support the evaluation of tenders and where they do it is mostly based on the single decision maker which is not suitable in public sector tendering, where for the sake of objectivity, transparency, and fairness, it is required that the evaluation is conducted through a tender evaluation committee. Currently, in Nigeria, the public tendering process in general and the evaluation of tenders, in particular, are largely conducted using manual paper-based processes. Automating these manual-based processes to digital-based processes can help in enhancing the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. This paper is part of a larger study to develop an electronic tendering system that supports the whole tendering lifecycle based on Nigerian procurement law. Specifically, this paper presents the design and implementation of part of the system that supports group evaluation of tenders based on a technique called fuzzy multi-attributes group decision making. The system was developed using Object-Oriented methodologies and Unified Modelling Language and hypothetically applied in the evaluation of technical and financial proposals submitted by bidders. The system was validated by professionals with extensive experiences in public sector procurement. The results of the validation showed that the system called NPS-eTender has an average rating of 74% with respect to correct and accurate modelling of the existing manual tendering domain and an average rating of 67.6% with respect to its potential to enhance the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. Thus, based on the results of the validation, the automation of the evaluation process to support tender evaluation committee is achievable and can lead to a more proficient public sector tendering system.

Keywords: e-Tendering, e-Procurement, public tendering, tender evaluation, tender evaluation committee, web-based group decision support system.

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82 Conceptualizing of Priorities in the Dynamics of Public Administration Contemporary Reforms

Authors: Larysa Novak-Kalyayeva, Aleksander Kuczabski, Orystlava Sydorchuk, Nataliia Fersman, Tatyana Zemlinskaia

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The article presents the results of the creative analysis and comparison of trends in the development of the theory of public administration during the period from the second half of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st century. The process of conceptualization of the priorities of public administration in the dynamics of reforming was held under the influence of such factors as globalization, integration, information and technological changes and human rights is examined. The priorities of the social state in the concepts of the second half of the 20th century are studied. Peculiar approaches to determining the priorities of public administration in the countries of "Soviet dictatorship" in Central and Eastern Europe in the same period are outlined. Particular attention is paid to the priorities of public administration regarding the interaction between public power and society and the development of conceptual foundations for the modern managerial process. There is a thought that the dynamics of the formation of concepts of the European governance is characterized by the sequence of priorities: from socio-economic and moral-ethical to organizational-procedural and non-hierarchical ones. The priorities of the "welfare state" were focused on the decent level of material wellbeing of population. At the same time, the conception of "minimal state" emphasized priorities of human responsibility for their own fate under the conditions of minimal state protection. Later on, the emphasis was placed on horizontal ties and redistribution of powers and competences of "effective state" with its developed procedures and limits of responsibility at all levels of government and in close cooperation with the civil society. The priorities of the contemporary period are concentrated on human rights in the concepts of "good governance" and all the following ones, which recognize the absolute priority of public administration with compliance, provision and protection of human rights. There is a proved point of view that civilizational changes taking place under the influence of information and technological imperatives also stipulate changes in priorities, redistribution of emphases and update principles of managerial concepts on the basis of publicity, transparency, departure from traditional forms of hierarchy and control in favor of interactivity and inter-sectoral interaction, decentralization and humanization of managerial processes. The necessity to permanently carry out the reorganization, by establishing the interaction between different participants of public power and social relations, to establish a balance between political forces and social interests on the basis of mutual trust and mutual understanding determines changes of social, political, economic and humanitarian paradigms of public administration and their theoretical comprehension. The further studies of theoretical foundations of modern public administration in interdisciplinary discourse in the context of ambiguous consequences of the globalizational and integrational processes of modern European state-building would be advisable. This is especially true during the period of political transformations and economic crises which are the characteristic of the contemporary Europe, especially for democratic transition countries.

Keywords: Concepts of public administration, democratic transition countries, human rights, the priorities of public administration, theory of public administration.

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81 From Industry 4.0 to Agriculture 4.0: A Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability

Authors: Angelo Corallo, Maria Elena Latino, Marta Menegoli

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Agri-food value chain involves various stakeholders with different roles. All of them abide by national and international rules and leverage marketing strategies to advance their products. Food products and related processing phases carry with it a big mole of data that are often not used to inform final customer. Some data, if fittingly identified and used, can enhance the single company, and/or the all supply chain creates a math between marketing techniques and voluntary traceability strategies. Moreover, as of late, the world has seen buying-models’ modification: customer is careful on wellbeing and food quality. Food citizenship and food democracy was born, leveraging on transparency, sustainability and food information needs. Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics, some of the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0, have a significant impact on market and will act as a main thrust towards a genuine ‘4.0 change’ for agriculture. But, realizing a traceability system is not simple because of the complexity of agri-food supply chain, a lot of actors involved, different business models, environmental variations impacting products and/or processes, and extraordinary climate changes. In order to give support to the company involved in a traceability path, starting from business model analysis and related business process a Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability was conceived. Studying each process task and leveraging on modeling techniques lead to individuate information held by different actors during agri-food supply chain. IoT technologies for data collection and Analytics techniques for data processing supply information useful to increase the efficiency intra-company and competitiveness in the market. The whole information recovered can be shown through IT solutions and mobile application to made accessible to the company, the entire supply chain and the consumer with the view to guaranteeing transparency and quality.

Keywords: Agriculture 4.0, agri-food supply chain, Industry 4.0, voluntary traceability.

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80 The Problem of Reconciling the Principle of Confidentiality in Foreign Investment Arbitration with the Public Interest

Authors: Bárbara Magalhães Bravo, Cláudia Figueiras

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The economical globalization through the liberalization of the markets and capitals boosted the economical development of the nations and the needs for sorting out the disputes arising from the foreign investment. The arbitration, for all the inherent advantages, such as swiftness, arbitrators’ specialise skills and impartiality sets a pacifier tool for the interest in account. Safeguarded the public interest, we face the problem of the confidentiality in the arbitration. The urgent development of impelling mechanisms concerning transparency, guaranty and protection of the interest in account, reveals itself urgent. Through a bibliography review, we will dense the state of art, by going through the several solutions concerning, and pointing out the most suitable. Through the jurisprudential analysis we will point out the solution for the conflict confidentiality/public interest. The transparency, inextricable from the public interest, imposes the arbitration process can be open to all citizens. Transparency rules have been considered at the UNCITRAL in attempting to conciliate the necessity of publicity and the public interest, however still insufficient. The arbitration of foreign investment carries consequences to the citizens of the State. Articulating mechanisms between the arbitral procedures secrecy and the public interest should be adopted. The arbitration of foreign investment, being a tertius genius between the international arbitration and the administrative arbitration would claim its own regulation in each and every States where the confidentiality rules and its exceptions could be identified. One should enquiry where the limit of the citizens’ individual rights protection and the public interest should give way to the principle of transparency

Keywords: Arbitration, foreign investment, transparency, confidentiality, international centre for settlement of investment disputes UNCITRAL.

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79 Happiness, Media and Sustainability of Communities in Donkeaw, Mearim District, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Authors: Panida Jongsuksomsakul

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This study of the ‘happiness’ and ‘sustainability’ in the community of Donkeaw, Amphoe Mae Rim, Chiang Mai Province during the non-election period in Thailand, noted that their happiness levels are in the middle-average range. This was found using a mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative methods (N = 386, α = 0.05). The study explores indicators for six aspects of well-being and happiness, including, good local governance, administrative support for the health system that maintains people’s mental and physical health, environment and weather, job security and a regular income aids them in managing a sustainable lifestyle. The impact of economic security and community relationships on social and cultural capital, and the way these aspects impact on the life style of the community, affects the sustainable well-being of people. Moreover, living with transparency and participatory communication led to diverse rewards in many areas.

Keywords: Communication, happiness, well-being, Donkeaw community, social and cultural capital.

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78 Lab Activities for Introducing Nanoscience to Teachers and Students

Authors: Riam Abu-Much, Muhamad Hugerat

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Nanoscience has become one of the main science fields in the world; its importance is reflected in both society and industry; therefore, it is very important to intensify educational programs among teachers and students that aim to introduce "Nano Concepts" to them. Two different lab activities were developed for demonstrating the importance of nanoscale materials using unique points of view. In the first, electrical conductive films made of silver nanoparticles were fabricated. The silver nanoparticles were protected against aggregation using electrical conductive polypyrrole, which acts also as conductive bridge between them. The experiments show a simpler way for fabricating conductive thin film than the much more complicated and costly conventional method. In the second part, the participants could produce emulsions of liposome structures using Phosphatidylcholine as a surfactant, and following by minimizing the size of it from micro-scale to nanometer scale (400 nm), using simple apparatus called Mini-Extruder, in that way the participants could realize the change in solution transparency, and the effect of Tyndall when the size of the liposomes is reduced. Freshmen students from the Academic Arab College for Education in Haifa, Israel, who are studying to become science teachers, participated in this lab activity as part of the course "Chemistry in the Lab". These experiments are appropriate for teachers, high school and college students.

Keywords: Case study, colloid, emulsion, liposome, surfactant.

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77 The Effects of an Immigration Policy on the Economic Integration of Migrants and on Natives’ Attitudes: The Case of Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Authors: S. Zeynep Siretioglu Girgin, Gizem Turna Cebeci

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Turkey’s immigration policy is a controversial issue considering its legal, economic, social, and political and human rights dimensions. Formulation of an immigration policy goes hand in hand with political processes, where natives’ attitudes play a significant role. On the other hand, as was the case in Turkey, radical changes made in immigration policy or policies lacking transparency may cause severe reactions by the host society. The underlying discussion paper aims to analyze quantitatively the effects of the existing ‘open door’ immigration policy on the economic integration of Syrian refugees in Turkey, and on the perception of the native population of refugees. For the analysis, semi-structured in-depth interviews and focus group interviews have been conducted. After the introduction, a literature review is provided, followed by theoretical background on the explanation of natives’ attitudes towards immigrants. In the next section, a qualitative analysis of natives’ attitudes towards Syrian refugees is presented with the subtopics of (i) awareness, general opinions and expectations, (ii) open-door policy and management of the migration process, (iii) perception of positive and negative impacts of immigration, (iv) economic integration, and (v) cultural similarity. Results indicate that, natives concurrently have social, economic and security concerns regarding refugees, while difficulties regarding security and economic integration of refugees stand out. Socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, such as the educational level and employment status, are not sufficient to explain the overall attitudes towards refugees, while they can be used to explain the awareness of the respondents and the priority of the concerns felt.

Keywords: Economic integration, immigration policy, integration policies, migrants, natives’ attitudes, perception, Syrian refugees, Turkey.

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76 Adoption and Diffusion of E-Government Services in India: The Impact of User Demographics and Service Quality

Authors: Sayantan Khanra, Rojers P. Joseph

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

Keywords: Adoption and diffusion of e-Government services, demographic variables, hierarchical regression analysis, service quality dimensions.

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75 E-Government, China Internet Plus, and the One Belt One Road Initiative: The Africa Connection

Authors: Isaac Kofi Mensah, Mi Jianing

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The lack of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructure in African countries is hampering the successful adoption, development and implementation of e-government in Africa. Electronic government is the use of ICTs to modernize government public administration processes and to provide government services to citizens with a purpose to enhance efficiency, accountability, and transparency in government’s interaction with the citizenry. ICT application in public administration has the potential to modernize and create smarter government and improvement in public service delivery. China’s Internet Plus policy and One Belt One Road strategy present a golden opportunity for countries in Africa to attract the huge financial investment through Chinese IT companies to develop and close Africa’s ICT infrastructure gap. This study recommends the establishment of One Belt One Road ICT Infrastructure Fund for Africa (OBOR ICT Fund for Africa) to enable countries in Africa to source solely for the purpose of ICT infrastructure development in the public sector/government machinery which would in turn promote the adoption and development of e-government in the public sectors of respective countries in Africa.

Keywords: E-government, public service delivery, internet plus, one belt one road initiative, China, Africa.

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74 Enhancing Cooperation Between LEAs and Citizens: The INSPEC2T Approach

Authors: George Leventakis, George Kokkinis, Nikos Moustakidis, George Papalexandratos, Ioanna Vasiliadou

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Enhancing the feeling of public safety and crime prevention are tasks customarily assigned to the Police. Police departments have, however, recognized that traditional ways of policing methods are becoming obsolete; Community Policing (CP) philosophy; however, when applied appropriately, leads to seamless collaboration between various stakeholders like the Police, NGOs and the general public and provides the opportunity to identify risks, assist in solving problems of crime, disorder, safety and crucially contribute to improving the quality of life for everyone in a community. Social Media, on the other hand, due to its high level of infiltration in modern life, constitutes a powerful mechanism which offers additional and direct communication channels to reach individuals or communities. These channels can be utilized to improve the citizens’ perception of the Police and to capture individual and community needs, when their feedback is taken into account by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in a structured and coordinated manner. This paper presents research conducted under INSPEC2T (Inspiring CitizeNS Participation for Enhanced Community PoliCing AcTions), a project funded by the European Commission’s research agenda to bridge the gap between CP as a philosophy and as an organizational strategy, capitalizing on the use of Social Media. The project aims to increase transparency, trust, police accountability, and the role of civil society. It aspires to build strong, trusting relationships between LEAs and the public, supporting two-way, contemporary communication while at the same time respecting anonymity of all affected parties. Results presented herein summarize the outcomes of four online multilingual surveys, focus group interviews, desktop research and interviews with experts in the field of CP practices. The above research activities were conducted in various EU countries aiming to capture requirements of end users from diverse backgrounds (social, cultural, legal and ethical) and determine public expectations regarding CP, community safety and crime prevention.

Keywords: Community partnerships, next generation community policing, public safety, social media.

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73 Effects of Corruption and Logistics Performance Inefficiencies on Container Throughput: The Latin America Case

Authors: Fernando Seabra, Giulia P. Flores, Karolina C. Gomes

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Trade liberalizations measures, as import tariff cuts, are not a sufficient trigger for trade growth. Given that price margins are narrow, traders and cargo operators tend to opt out of markets where the process of goods clearance is slow and costly. Excess paperwork and slow customs dispatch not only lead to institutional breakdowns and corruption but also to increasing transaction cost and trade constraints. The objective of this paper is, therefore, two-fold: First, to evaluate the relationship between institutional and infrastructural performance indexes and trade growth in container throughput; and, second, to investigate the causes for differences in container demurrage and detention fees in Latin American countries (using other emerging countries as benchmarking). The analysis is focused on manufactured goods, typically transported by containers. Institutional and infrastructure bottlenecks and, therefore, the country logistics efficiency – measured by the Logistics Performance Index (LPI, World Bank-WB) – are compared with other indexes, such as the Doing Business index (WB) and the Corruption Perception Index (Transparency International). The main results based on the comparison between Latin American countries and the others emerging countries point out in that the growth in containers trade is directly related to LPI performance. It has also been found that the main hypothesis is valid as aspects that more specifically identify trade facilitation and corruption are significant drivers of logistics performance. The exam of port efficiency (demurrage and detention fees) has demonstrated that not necessarily higher level of efficiency is related to lower charges; however, reductions in fees have been more significant within non-Latin American emerging countries.

Keywords: Container throughput, logistics performance, corruption, Latin America.

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72 Corporate Governance in Network Marketing Organizations: The Role of Ethics and CSR

Authors: Venugopal Kummamuru

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Corporate Governance (CG) is of utmost importance for running a company ethically. It is essential for the growth and success of the corporation. It is intended to increase the accountability of an organization to the larger context of the business environment. The general principles of CG include and are related to Shareholder recognition, Stakeholder interests, and focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Clear Board responsibilities, Ethical behavior, and Business transparency. Network Marketing Organizations (NMOs) focus on marketing through direct-sales using people who are associated with the organization but are not their employees. This paper tries to study the importance of Ethics and CSR in an NMO and suggest a basic guideline for CG in NMO(s). This paper could be used as a basis or starting point for conducting an in-depth research to understand the difference in CG practices between NMO(s) and other organizations and define a standard set of guidelines for CG practice.

Keywords: Corporate governance, corporate responsibility, direct selling, network marketing.

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71 The Effectiveness of Banks’ Web Sites: A Study of Turkish Banking Sector

Authors: Raif Parlakkaya, Huseyin Cetin, Duygu Irdiren

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By the development of World Wide Web, the usage rate of Internet has rapidly grown globally; and provided a basis for the emergence of electronic business. As well as other sectors, the banking sector has adopted the use of internet with the developments in information and communication technologies. Due to the public disclosure and transparency principle of Corporate Governance, the importance of information disclosure of banks on their web sites has increased significantly. For the purpose of this study, a Bank Disclosure Attribute Index (BDAI) in Turkey has been constructed through classifying the information disclosure on banks’ web sites into general, financial, investors and corporate governance attributes. All 47 banks in Turkish Banking System have been evaluated according to the index with the aim of providing a comparison between banks. By Chi Square Test, Pearson Correlation, T-Test, and ANOVA statistical tools, it has been concluded that the majority of banks in Turkey have shared information on their web sites adequately with respect to their total index score. Although there is a positive correlation between various types of information on banks’ web sites, there is no uniformity among them. Also, no significant difference between various types of information disclosure and bank types has been observed. Compared with the total index score averages of the five largest banks in Turkey, there are some banks that need to improve the content of their web sites.

Keywords: Banking sector, public disclosure, Turkey, web site evaluation.

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70 Relationship between Financial Reporting Transparency and Investment Efficiency: Evidence from Iran

Authors: Bita Mashayekhi, Hamid Kalhornia

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One of the most important roles of financial reporting is improving the firms’ investment decisions; however, there is not much supporting evidence for this claim in emerging markets like Iran. In this study, the effect of financial reporting transparency in investment efficiency of Iranian firms has been investigated. In order to do this, 336 listed companies on Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) has been selected for time period 2012 to 2015 as research sample. For testing our main hypothesis, we classified sample firms into two groups based on their deviation from expected investment: under-investment and over-investment cases. The results indicate that there is positive significant relationship between financial transparency and investment efficiency. In the other words, transparency can mitigate both underinvestment and overinvestment situations.

Keywords: Corporate governance, disclosure, investment decisions, investment efficiency, transparency.

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69 Opening up Government Datasets for Big Data Analysis to Support Policy Decisions

Authors: K. Hardy, A. Maurushat

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Policy makers are increasingly looking to make evidence-based decisions. Evidence-based decisions have historically used rigorous methodologies of empirical studies by research institutes, as well as less reliable immediate survey/polls often with limited sample sizes. As we move into the era of Big Data analytics, policy makers are looking to different methodologies to deliver reliable empirics in real-time. The question is not why did these people do this for the last 10 years, but why are these people doing this now, and if the this is undesirable, and how can we have an impact to promote change immediately. Big data analytics rely heavily on government data that has been released in to the public domain. The open data movement promises greater productivity and more efficient delivery of services; however, Australian government agencies remain reluctant to release their data to the general public. This paper considers the barriers to releasing government data as open data, and how these barriers might be overcome.

Keywords: Big data, open data, productivity, transparency.

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68 Identifying Understanding Expectations of School Administrators Regarding School Assessment

Authors: Eftah Bte. Moh Hj Abdullah, Izazol Binti Idris, Abd Aziz Bin Abd Shukor

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This study aims to identify the understanding expectations of school administrators concerning school assessment. The researcher utilized a qualitative descriptive study on 19 administrators from three secondary schools in the North Kinta district. The respondents had been interviewed on their understanding expectations of school assessment using the focus group discussion method. Overall findings showed that the administrators’ understanding expectations of school assessment was weak; especially in terms of content focus, articulation across age and grade, transparency and fairness, as well as the pedagogical implications. Findings from interviews indicated that administrators explained their understanding expectations of school assessment from the aspect of school management, and not from the aspect of instructional leadership or specifically as assessment leaders. The study implications from the administrators’ understanding expectations may hint at the difficulty of the administrators to function as assessment leaders, in order to reduce their focus as manager, and move towards their primary role in the process of teaching and learning. The administrator, as assessment leaders, would be able to reach assessment goals via collaboration in identifying and listing teacher assessment competencies, how to construct assessment capacity, how to interpret assessment correctly, the use of assessment and how to use assessment information to communicate confidently and effectively to the public.

Keywords: Assessment leaders, assessment goals, instructional leadership, understanding expectation of assessment.

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67 Building Information Modeling and Its Application in the State of Kuwait

Authors: Michael Gerges, Ograbe Ahiakwo, Martin Jaeger, Ahmad Asaad

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Recent advances of Building Information Modeling (BIM) especially in the Middle East have increased remarkably. Dubai has been taking a lead on this by making it mandatory for BIM to be adopted for all projects that involve complex architecture designs. This is because BIM is a dynamic process that assists all stakeholders in monitoring the project status throughout different project phases with great transparency. It focuses on utilizing information technology to improve collaboration among project participants during the entire life cycle of the project from the initial design, to the supply chain, resource allocation, construction and all productivity requirements. In view of this trend, the paper examines the extent of applying BIM in the State of Kuwait, by exploring practitioners’ perspectives on BIM, especially their perspectives on main barriers and main advantages. To this end structured interviews were carried out based on questionnaires and with a range of different construction professionals. The results revealed that practitioners perceive improved communication and mitigated project risks by encouraged collaboration between project participants. However, it was also observed that the full implementation of BIM in the State of Kuwait requires concerted efforts to make clients demanding BIM, counteract resistance to change among construction professionals and offer more training for design team members. This paper forms part of an on-going research effort on BIM and its application in the State of Kuwait and it is on this basis that further research on the topic is proposed.

Keywords: Building Information Modeling, BIM, construction industry, Kuwait.

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66 Cost Valuation Method for Development Concurrent Phase Appropriate Requirement Valuation Using the Example of Load Carrier Development in the Lithium-Ion-Battery Production

Authors: Achim Kampker, Christoph Deutskens, Heiner Hans Heimes, Mathias Ordung, Felix Optehostert

Abstract:

In the past years electric mobility became part of a public discussion. The trend to fully electrified vehicles instead of vehicles fueled with fossil energy has notably gained momentum. Today nearly every big car manufacturer produces and sells fully electrified vehicles, but electrified vehicles are still not as competitive as conventional powered vehicles. As the traction battery states the largest cost driver, lowering its price is a crucial objective. In addition to improvements in product and production processes a nonnegligible, but widely underestimated cost driver of production can be found in logistics, since the production technology is not continuous yet and neither are the logistics systems. This paper presents an approach to evaluate cost factors on different designs of load carrier systems. Due to numerous interdependencies, the combination of costs factors for a particular scenario is not transparent. This is effecting actions for cost reduction negatively, but still cost reduction is one of the major goals for simultaneous engineering processes. Therefore a concurrent and phase appropriate cost valuation method is necessary to serve cost transparency. In this paper the four phases of this cost valuation method are defined and explained, which based upon a new approach integrating the logistics development process in to the integrated product and process development.

Keywords: Research and development, technology and Innovation, lithium-ion-battery production, load carrier development process, cost valuation method.

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65 MFCA: An Environmental Management Accounting Technique for Optimal Resource Efficiency in Production Processes

Authors: Omolola A. Tajelawi, Hari L. Garbharran

Abstract:

Revenue leakages are one of the major challenges manufacturers face in production processes, as most of the input materials that should emanate as products from the lines are lost as waste. Rather than generating income from material input which is meant to end-up as products, losses are further incurred as costs in order to manage waste generated. In addition, due to the lack of a clear view of the flow of resources on the lines from input to output stage, acquiring information on the true cost of waste generated have become a challenge. This has therefore given birth to the conceptualization and implementation of waste minimization strategies by several manufacturing industries. This paper reviews the principles and applications of three environmental management accounting tools namely Activity-based Costing (ABC), Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA) in the manufacturing industry and their effectiveness in curbing revenue leakages. The paper unveils the strengths and limitations of each of the tools; beaming a searchlight on the tool that could allow for optimal resource utilization, transparency in production process as well as improved cost efficiency. Findings from this review reveal that MFCA may offer superior advantages with regards to the provision of more detailed information (both in physical and monetary terms) on the flow of material inputs throughout the production process compared to the other environmental accounting tools. This paper therefore makes a case for the adoption of MFCA as a viable technique for the identification and reduction of waste in production processes, and also for effective decision making by production managers, financial advisors and other relevant stakeholders.

Keywords: MFCA, environmental management accounting, resource efficiency, waste reduction, revenue losses.

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64 Up Scaling of Highly Transparent Quasi-Solid State, Dye-Sensitized Solar Devices Composed of Nanocomposite Materials

Authors: Dimitra Sygkridou, Andreas Rapsomanikis, Elias Stathatos, Polycarpos Falaras, Evangelos Vitoratos

Abstract:

At the present work, highly transparent strip type quasi-solid state dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) were fabricated through inkjet printing using nanocomposite TiO2 inks as raw materials and tested under outdoor illumination conditions. The cells, which can be considered as the structural units of large area modules, were fully characterized electrically and electrochemically and after the evaluation of the received results a large area DSSC module was manufactured. The module design was a sandwich Z-interconnection where the working electrode is deposited on one conductive glass and the counter electrode on a second glass. Silver current collective fingers were printed on the conductive glasses to make the internal electrical connections and the adjacent cells were connected in series and finally insulated using a UV curing resin to protect them from the corrosive (I-/I3-) redox couple of the electrolyte. Finally, outdoor tests were carried out to the fabricated dye-sensitized solar module and its performance data were collected and assessed.

Keywords: Dye-sensitized solar devices, inkjet printing, quasi-solid state electrolyte, transparency, up scaling.

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63 Effective Internal Control System in the Nasarawa State Tertiary Educational Institutions for Efficiency: A Case of Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia

Authors: Ibrahim Dauda Adagye

Abstract:

Effective internal control system in the bursary unit of tertiary educational institutions is geared toward achieving quality teaching, learning and research environment and as well assist the management of the institutions, particularly when decisions are to be made. While internal control system exists in all institutions, the outlined objectives above are far from being achieved. The paper therefore assesses the effectiveness of internal control system in tertiary educational institutions in Nasarawa State, Nigeria with specific focus on the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia. The study is survey, hence a simple closed ended questionnaire was developed and administered to a sample of twenty seven (27) member staff from the Bursary and the Internal audit unit of the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia so as to obtain data for analysis purposes and to test the study hypothesis. Responses from the questionnaire were analysed using a simple percentage and chi square. Findings shows that the right people are not assigned to the right job in the department, budget, and management accounting were never used in the institution’s operations and checking of subordinate by their superior officers is not regular. This renders the current internal control structure of the Polytechnic as ineffective and weak. The paper therefore recommends that: transparency should be seen as significant, as the institution work toward meeting its objectives, it therefore means that the right staff be assigned the right job and regular checking of the subordinates by their superiors be ensued.

Keywords: Bursary unit, efficiency, Internal control, tertiary educational institutions.

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62 Budget and the Performance of Public Enterprises: A Study of Selected Public Enterprises in Nasarawa State Nigeria (2009-2013)

Authors: Dalhatu, Musa Yusha’u, Shuaibu Sidi Safiyanu, Haliru Musa Hussaini

Abstract:

This study examined budget and performance of public enterprises in Nasarawa State, Nigeria in a period of 2009-2013. The study utilized secondary sources of data obtained from four selected parastatals’ budget allocation and revenue generation for the period under review. The simple correlation coefficient was used to analyze the extent of the relationship between budget allocation and revenue generation of the parastatals. Findings revealed varying results. There was positive (0.21) and weak correlation between expenditure and revenue of Nasarawa Investment and Property Development Company (NIPDC). However, the study further revealed that there was strong and weak negative relationship in the revenue and expenditure of the following parastatals over the period under review. Viz: Nasarawa State Water Board, -0.27 (weak), Nasarawa State Broadcasting Service, -0.52 (Strong) and Nasarawa State College of Agriculture, -0.36 (weak). The study therefore, recommends that government should increase its investments in NIPDC to enhance efficiency and profitability. It also recommends that government should strengthen its fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency in public parastatals.

Keywords: Allocation, Budget, Public Enterprises, Parastatals, Performance.

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61 Intellectual Capital and Transparency in Universities: An Empirical Study

Authors: Yolanda Ramírez, Ángel Tejada, Agustín Baidez

Abstract:

This paper shows the general perceptions of Spanish university stakeholders in relation to the university’s annual reports and the adequacy and potential of intellectual capital reporting. To this end, a questionnaire was designed and sent to every member of the Social Councils of Spanish public universities. It was thought that these participants would provide a good example of the attitude of university stakeholders since they represent the different social groups connected with universities. From the results of this study we are in the position of confirming the need for universities to offer information on intellectual capital in their accounting information model.

Keywords: Intellectual capital, disclosure, stakeholders, universities, annual report.

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60 Comprehensive Assessment of Energy Efficiency within the Production Process

Authors: S. Kreitlein, N. Eder, A. Syed-Khaja, J. Franke

Abstract:

The importance of energy efficiency within the production processes increases steadily. For a comprehensive assessment of energy efficiency within the production process, unfortunately no tools exist or have been developed yet. Therefore the Institute for Factory Automation and Production Systems at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg has developed two methods with the goal of achieving transparency and a quantitative assessment of energy efficiency namely EEV (Energy Efficiency Value) and EPE (Energetic Process Efficiency). This paper describes the basics and state-of-the-art as well as the developed approaches.

Keywords: Energy efficiency, energy efficiency value, energetic process efficiency, production.

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59 Energy Models for Analyzing the Economic Wide Impact of the Environmental Policies

Authors: Majdi M. Alomari, Nafesah I. Alshdaifat, Mohammad S. Widyan

Abstract:

Different countries have introduced different schemes and policies to counter global warming. The rationale behind the proposed policies and the potential barriers to successful implementation of the policies adopted by the countries were analyzed and estimated based on different models. It is argued that these models enhance the transparency and provide a better understanding to the policy makers. However, these models are underpinned with several structural and baseline assumptions. These assumptions, modeling features and future prediction of emission reductions and other implication such as cost and benefits of a transition to a low-carbon economy and its economy wide impacts were discussed. On the other hand, there are potential barriers in the form political, financial, and cultural and many others that pose a threat to the mitigation options.

Keywords: Economic wide impact, energy models, environmental policy instruments, mitigating CO2 emission.

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