Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 675

Search results for: Kuwait companies.

675 Accounting Information Systems of Kuwaiti Companies: Obstacles and Barriers

Authors: Haya Y Alobaid

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to identify and discuss the obstacles to the ability of the accounting information systems of Kuwaiti companies to deal with electronic commerce, and then to propose appropriate solutions to overcome the barriers. The study revealed a remarkable decrease in external auditors who have professional certification. The results also showed an agreement regarding the accounting systems and the ability to deal with e-commerce, with a different degree of importance, despite the presence of obstacles to the ability of accounting systems in dealing with different companies.

Keywords: Accounting information systems, obstacle, barriers, electronic commerce, Kuwait companies.

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674 Intertidal Fixed Stake Net Trap (Hadrah) Fishery in Kuwait: Distribution, Catch Rate and Species Composition

Authors: Ali F. Al-Baz, Mohsen M. Al-Husaini, James M. Bishop

Abstract:

Intertidal fixed stake net trap (Hadrah) is one of the oldest fishing gears used throughout the Arabian Gulf countries since the 1800s and also one of most the efficient methods of capturing fish from the intertidal area. This study describes the hadrah fishery in Kuwait.

From October 2001 to December 2002, more than 37,372 specimens representing 95 species (89 fish, 2 mollusks and 4 crustaceans) were measured from hadrah, located in three different areas along Kuwait's coast. In Kuwait Bay, catch rates averaged 62 kg/sir-day (from 14 kg/sir-day in February to 160 kg/sir-day in October 2002). Commercial species accounted for 41% of the catches. Catches from Failakah Island averaged 96 kg/sir-day from June to September, with 61% of the catch being commercial species. In the southern area, catches averaged only 32 kg/sir-day and only 34% were commercially important.

Forty percent of the hadrah catches were juveniles, which shows that Kuwait’s shallow intertidal waters, particularly in Kuwait Bay, served as prime nursery habitat,. To maintain ecosystem biodiversity and recruitment success of the fishes, we recommended that all hadrah should be removed from Kuwait Bay. In the future, removal of hadrah from other locations should be considered.

Keywords: Catch and effort, Hadrah, Intertidal Fixed stake net, Kuwait, Species composition.

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673 Challenges of Sustainable Construction in Kuwait: Investigating level of Awareness of Kuwait Stakeholders

Authors: Shaikha AlSanad , Andrew Gale, Rodger Edwards

Abstract:

Buildings and associated construction methods have a significant impact on the environment. As construction activity increases in Kuwait, there is a need to create design and construction strategies which will minimize the environmental impact of new buildings. Green construction is a design philosophy intended to improve the sustainability of construction by the minimization of resource depletion and CO2 emissions throughout the life cycle of buildings. This paper presents and discusses the results of a survey that was conducted in Kuwait, with the objective of investigating the awareness of developers and other stakeholders regarding their understanding and use of green construction strategies. The results of the survey demonstrate that whilst there seems to be a reasonable level of awareness amongst the stakeholders, this awareness is not currently well reflected in the design and construction practices actually being applied. It is therefore concluded is there is a pressing need for intervention from Government in order that the use of sustainable green design and construction strategies becomes the norm in Kuwait.

Keywords: Sustainability, Sustainable construction, Green Building, Environmental assessment

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672 Students’ Perceptions of Mobile Learning: Case Study of Kuwait

Authors: Rana AlHajri, Salah Al-Sharhan, Ahmed Al-Hunaiyyan

Abstract:

Mobile learning is a new learning landscape that offers opportunity for collaborative, personal, informal, and students’ centered learning environment. In implementing any learning system such as a mobile learning environment, learners’ expectations should be taken into consideration. However, there is a lack of studies on this aspect, particularly in the context of Kuwait higher education (HE) institutions. This study focused on how students perceive the use of mobile devices in learning. Although m-learning is considered as an effective educational tool in developed countries, it is not yet fully utilized in Kuwait. The study reports on the results of a survey conducted on 623 HE students in Kuwait to a better understand students' perceptions and opinions about the effectiveness of using mobile learning systems. An analysis of quantitative survey data is presented. The findings indicated that Kuwait HE students are very familiar with mobile devices and its applications. The results also reveal that students have positive perceptions of m-learning, and believe that video-based social media applications enhance the teaching and learning process.

Keywords: Higher education, mobile learning, social media, students’ perceptions.

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671 A Performance Study of Fixed, Single-Axis and Dual-Axis Photovoltaic Systems in Kuwait

Authors: A. Al-Rashidi, A. El-Hamalawi

Abstract:

In this paper, a performance study was conducted to investigate single and dual-axis PV systems to generate electricity in five different sites in Kuwait. Relevant data were obtained by using two sources for validation purposes. A commercial software, PVsyst, was used to analyse the data, such as metrological data and other input parameters, and compute the performance parameters such as capacity factor (CF) and final yield (YF). The results indicated that single and dual-axis PV systems would be very beneficial to electricity generation in Kuwait as an alternative source to conventional power plants, especially with the increased demand over time. The ranges were also found to be competitive in comparison to leading countries using similar systems. A significant increase in CF and YF values around 24% and 28.8% was achieved related to the use of single and dual systems, respectively.

Keywords: Single-axis and dual-axis photovoltaic systems, capacity factor, final yield, renewable energy, Kuwait.

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670 Restructuring Kuwait Electric Power System: Mandatory or Optional?

Authors: Osamah A. Alsayegh

Abstract:

Kuwait-s electric power system is vertically integrated organization owned and operated by the government. For more than five decades, the government of Kuwait has provided relatively reliable electric services to consumers with subsidized electric service fees. Given the country-s rapid socio-economical development and consequently the increase of electricity demand, a question that inflicts itself: Is it necessary to reform the power system to face the fast growing demand? This paper recommends that the government should consider the private sector as a partner in operating the power system. Therefore, power system restructuring is needed to allow such partnership. There are challenges that prevent such restructuring. Abstract recommendations toward resolving these challenges are proposed.

Keywords: Deregulation, electricity market, ISO, private sector.

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669 Methane and Other Hydrocarbon Gas Emissions Resulting from Flaring in Kuwait Oilfields

Authors: Khaireyah Kh. Al-Hamad, V. Nassehi, A. R. Khan

Abstract:

Air pollution is a major environmental health problem, affecting developed and developing countries around the world. Increasing amounts of potentially harmful gases and particulate matter are being emitted into the atmosphere on a global scale, resulting in damage to human health and the environment. Petroleum-related air pollutants can have a wide variety of adverse environmental impacts. In the crude oil production sectors, there is a strong need for a thorough knowledge of gaseous emissions resulting from the flaring of associated gas of known composition on daily basis through combustion activities under several operating conditions. This can help in the control of gaseous emission from flares and thus in the protection of their immediate and distant surrounding against environmental degradation. The impacts of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons emissions from flaring activities at oil production facilities at Kuwait Oilfields have been assessed through a screening study using records of flaring operations taken at the gas and oil production sites, and by analyzing available meteorological and air quality data measured at stations located near anthropogenic sources. In the present study the Industrial Source Complex (ISCST3) Dispersion Model is used to calculate the ground level concentrations of methane and nonmethane hydrocarbons emitted due to flaring in all over Kuwait Oilfields. The simulation of real hourly air quality in and around oil production facilities in the State of Kuwait for the year 2006, inserting the respective source emission data into the ISCST3 software indicates that the levels of non-methane hydrocarbons from the flaring activities exceed the allowable ambient air standard set by Kuwait EPA. So, there is a strong need to address this acute problem to minimize the impact of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons released from flaring activities over the urban area of Kuwait.

Keywords: Kuwait Oilfields, ISCST3 model, flaring, Airpollution, Methane and Non-methane.

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668 Reducing the Short Circuit Levels in Kuwait Transmission Network (A Case Study)

Authors: Mahmoud Gilany, Wael Al-Hasawi

Abstract:

Preliminary studies on Kuwait high voltage transmission system show significant increase in the short circuit level at some of the grid substations and some generating stations. This increase results from the growth in the power transmission systems in size and complexity. New generating stations are expected to be added to the system within the next few years. This paper describes the study analysis performed to evaluate the available and potential solutions to control SC levels in Kuwait power system. It also presents a modified planning of the transmission network in order to fulfill this task.

Keywords: Short circuit current, network splitting, fault current limiter, power transmission planning.

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667 Lack of BIM Training: Investigating Practical Solutions for the State of Kuwait

Authors: Noor M. Abdulfattah, Ahmed M. Khalafallah, Nabil A. Kartam

Abstract:

Despite the evident benefits of building information modeling (BIM) to the construction industry, it faces significant implementation challenges in the State of Kuwait. This study investigates the awareness of construction stakeholders of BIM implementation challenges, and identifies various solutions to overcome these challenges. Specifically, the main objectives of this study are to: (1) characterize the barriers that deter utilization of BIM, (2) examine the awareness of engineers, architects, and construction stakeholders of these barriers, and (3) identify practical solutions to facilitate BIM utilization. A questionnaire survey was designed to collect data on the aforementioned objectives from local companies and senior BIM experts. It was found that engineers are highly aware of BIM implementation barriers. In addition, it was concluded from the questionnaire that the biggest barrier is the lack of BIM training. Based on expert feedback, the study concluded with a number of recommendations on how to overcome the barriers of BIM utilization. This should prove useful to the construction industry stakeholders and can lead to significant changes to design and construction practices.

Keywords: Building information modeling, construction, challenges, information technology.

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666 Daily Site Risks Associated with Construction Projects and On-spot Corrective Measurements: Case Study of Revamping Projects in Kuwait Oil Company Fields Area

Authors: Yousef S. Al-Othman

Abstract:

The growth and expansion of the industrial facilities comes proportional to the market increasing demand of products and services. Furthermore, raw material producers such as oil companies usually undergo massive revamping projects to maintain a synchronized supply. These revamping projects are usually delivered through challenging construction projects held and associated with daily site risks related to the construction process. Henceforth, a case study related to these risks and corresponding on-spot corrective measurements has been made on a certain number of construction project contractors at Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to derive the benefits and overall effectiveness of the on-spot corrective measurements during the construction phase of a project, and how would the same help in avoiding major incidents, ensuring a smooth, cost effective and on time delivery of the project. Findings of this case study shall have an added value to the overall risk management process by minimizing the daily site risks that may affect the project lead time, resulting in an undisturbed on-site construction process.

Keywords: Oil and gas, risk management, construction projects, project lead time.

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665 Behavior of Engineering Students in Kuwait University

Authors: M. A. Al-Ajmi, R. S. Al-Kandari

Abstract:

This initial study is concerned with the behavior of engineering students in Kuwait University which became a concern due to the global issues of education in all levels. A survey has been conducted to identify academic and societal issues affecting the engineering student performance. The study is drawing major conclusions with regard to private tutoring and the online availability of textbooks’ solution manuals.

Keywords: Solution manual, engineering, textbook, ethics.

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

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

Abstract:

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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663 Small and Silly? or Private Pitfall of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: A. Bencsik, V. Lőre, I. Marosi

Abstract:

Knowledge and these notions have become more and more important and we speak about a knowledge based society today. A lot of small and big companies have reacted upon these new challenges. But there is a deep abyss about knowledge conception and practice between the professional researchers and company - life. The question of this research was: How can small and mediumsized companies be equal to the demands of new economy? Questionnaires were used in this research and a special segment of the native knowledge based on economy was focused on. Researchers would have liked to know what the sources of success are and how they can be in connection with questions of knowledge acquisition, knowledge transfer, knowledge utilization in small and medium-sized companies. These companies know that they have to change their behaviour and thinking, but they are not on the suitable level that they can compete with bigger or multinational companies.

Keywords: Knowledge, management, small and medium-sized companies, study.

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662 Microbial Contaminants in Drinking Water Collected from Different Regions of Kuwait

Authors: Abu Salim Mustafa

Abstract:

Water plays a major role in maintaining life on earth, but it can also serve as a matrix for pathogenic organisms, posing substantial health threats to humans. Although, outbreaks of diseases attributable to drinking water may not be common in industrialized countries, they still occur and can lead to serious acute, chronic, or sometimes fatal health consequences. The analysis of drinking water samples from different regions of Kuwait was performed in this study for bacterial and viral contaminations. Drinking tap water samples were collected from 15 different locations of the six Kuwait governorates. All samples were analyzed by confocal microscopy for the presence of bacteria. The samples were cultured in vitro to detect cultivable organisms. DNA was isolated from the cultured organisms and the identity of the bacteria was determined by sequencing the bacterial 16S rRNA genes, followed by BLAST analysis in the database of NCBI, USA. RNA was extracted from water samples and analyzed by real-time PCR for the detection of viruses with potential health risks, i.e. Astrovirus, Enterovirus, Norovirus, Rotavirus, and Hepatitis A. Confocal microscopy showed the presence of bacteria in some water samples. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing of culture grown organisms, followed by BLAST analysis, identified the presence of several non-pathogenic bacterial species. However, one sample had Acinetobacter baumannii, which often causes opportunistic infections in immunocompromised people, but none of the studied viruses could be detected in the drinking water samples analyzed. The results indicate that drinking water samples analyzed from various locations in Kuwait are relatively safe for drinking and do not contain many harmful pathogens.

Keywords: Drinking water, 16S rRNA, microbial diversity, viruses, Kuwait.

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661 The Benefits of Regional Brand for Companies

Authors: H. Starzyczna, M. Stoklasa, K. Matusinska

Abstract:

This article deals with the benefits of regional brands for companies in the Czech Republic. Research was focused on finding out the expected and actual benefits of regional brands for companies. The data were obtained by questionnaire survey and analysed by IBM SPSS. Representative sample of 204 companies was created. The research analysis disclosed the expected benefits that the regional brand should bring to companies. But the actual benefits are much worse. The statistical testing of hypotheses revealed that the benefits depend on the region of origin, which surprised both us and the regional coordinators.

Keywords: Brand, regional brands, product protective branding programs, brand benefits.

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660 Knowledge Management (KM) Practices - A Study of KM Adoption among Doctors in Kuwait

Authors: B. Alajmi, L. Marouf, A. S. Chaudhry

Abstract:

Knowledge management is considered as an important factor in improving health care services. KM facilitates the transfer of existing knowledge and the development of new knowledge in hospitals. This paper reviews practices adopted by doctors in Kuwait for capturing, sharing, and generating knowledge. It also discusses the perceived impact of KM practices on performance of hospitals. Based on a survey of 277 doctors, the study found that KM practices among doctors in the sampled hospitals were not very effective. Little attention was paid to the main activities that support the transfer of expertise among doctors in hospitals. However, as predicted by previous studies, good km practices were perceived by doctors to have a positive impact on performance of hospitals. It was concluded that through effective KM practices hospitals could improve the services they provide. Documentation of best practices and capturing of lessons learnt for re-use of knowledge could help transform the hospitals into learning organizations.

Keywords: Health Sector, Hospitals, Knowledge Management, Kuwait, Tools and Practices.

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659 Students' Acceptance of Incorporating Emerging Communication Technologies in Higher Education in Kuwait

Authors: Bashaiar Alsanaa

Abstract:

Never has a revolution affected all aspects of humanity as the communication revolution during the past two decades. This revolution, with all its advances and utilities, swept the world thus becoming an integral part of our lives, hence giving way to emerging applications at the social, economic, political, and educational levels. More specifically, such applications have changed the delivery system through which learning is acquired by students. Interaction with educators, accessibility to content, and creative delivery options are but a few facets of the new learning experience now being offered through the use of technology in the educational field. With different success rates, third world countries have tried to pace themselves with use of educational technology in advanced parts of the world. One such country is the small rich-oil state of Kuwait which has tried to adopt the e-educational model, however, an evaluation of such trial is yet to be done. This study aimed to fill the void of research conducted around that topic. The study explored students' acceptance of incorporating communication technologies in higher education in Kuwait. Students' responses to survey questions presented an overview of the e-learning experience in this country, and drew a framework through which implications and suggestions for future research were discussed to better serve the advancement of e-education in developing countries.

Keywords: Communication technologies, E-learning, Kuwait, Social media

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658 Comparing the Quality of Service of Bus Companies Operating in two Cities in Brazil

Authors: D. I. De Souza, D. Kipper, G. P. Azevedo

Abstract:

The main objective of this work is to compare the quality of service of the bus companies operating in the city of Rio Branco, located in the state of Acre with the quality of service of the bus companies operating in the city of Campos, situated in the state of Rio de Janeiro, both cities in Brazil. This comparison, based on the opinion of the bus users, will determine their degree of satisfaction with the service available in both cities. The outcome of this evaluation shows the users unhappy with the quality of the service provided by the bus companies operating in both cities and the need to identify alternative solutions that may minimize the consequences caused by the main problems detected in this work. With these alternatives available, the bus companies will be able to better understand the needs of their customers in terms of manpower, service cost, time schedule, etc.

Keywords: PubicTransportation, Quality of Service, Riders' Opinion, Bus Companies

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657 Suggestions for the Improvement of the Quality of Public Transportation Service in Campos,Brazil

Authors: D. I. De Souza, G. P. Azevedo, P. Duarte

Abstract:

In this paper the main objective is to analyze the quality of service of the bus companies operating in the city of Campos, located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This analysis, based on the opinion of the bus customers, will help to determine their degree of satisfaction with the service provided by the bus companies. The result of this assessment shows that the bus customers are displeased with the quality of service supplied by the bus companies. Therefore, it is necessary to identify alternative solutions to minimize the consequences of the main problems related to customers- dissatisfaction identified in our evaluation and to help the bus companies operating in Campos better fulfill their riders- needs.

Keywords: PubicTransportation, Quality of Service, Riders'Opinion, Bus Companies

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656 Advanced Manufacturing Technology Adoption in Manufacturing Companies in Kenya

Authors: George M. Nyori, Peter K’Obonyo

Abstract:

Over the past few decades, manufacturing has evolved from a more labor-intensive set of mechanical processes to a sophisticated set of information based technology processes. With the existence of various advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs), more and more functions or jobs are performed by these machines instead of human labour. This study was undertaken in order to research the extent of AMTs adoption in manufacturing companies in Kenya. In order to investigate a survey was conducted via questionnaires that were sent to 183 selected AMT manufacturing companies in Kenya. 92 companies responded positively. All the surveyed companies were found to have a measure of investment in at least two of the 14 types of AMTs investigated. In general the company surveyed showed that the level of AMT adoption in Kenya is very low with investments levels at a mean of 2.057 and integration levels at a mean of 1.639 in a scale of 1-5.

Keywords: AMT adoption, AMT investments, AMT integration, companies in Kenya.

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655 Oil Refineries Emissions: Source and Impact: A Study using AERMOD

Authors: Amir. AL-Haddad, Hisham. Ettouney, Samiya. Saqer

Abstract:

The main objectives of this paper are to measure pollutants concentrations in the oil refinery area in Kuwait over three periods during one year, obtain recent emission inventory for the three refineries of Kuwait, use AERMOD and the emission inventory to predict pollutants concentrations and distribution, compare model predictions against measured data, and perform numerical experiments to determine conditions at which emission rates and the resulting pollutant dispersion is below maximum allowable limits.

Keywords: Emissions, ISCST3 model, Modeling, Pollutants, Refinery

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654 Quality Culture Framework Proposal for Libyan Industrial Companies

Authors: Mostafa Ahmed Shokshok

Abstract:

Libyan industrial companies face many challenges in today's competitive market. Quality management culture approaches is one of these challenges which may furnish the road to the Libyan industrial companies to effectively empower their employees and improve their ability to respond to the international competition. The primary objective of this paper is to design a practical approach to guide Libyan industrial companies toward successful quality culture implementation.

Keywords: Libyan manufacturing industries, TQM, Quality culture, Quality framework.

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653 Motivation among the Managers in Construction Companies

Authors: A.Marisa, Nor'Aini Yusof

Abstract:

Managers as the key employees have a very important role in maintaining the workforce performance which is critical to the construction companies- success in the future. If motivated employees start with motivated managers probably it would seem plausible if the de-motivated ones start with de-motivated managers. This study aims to analyze the importance of motivated managers to their successes and construction companies- successes. In this study, a quantitative method was used and the study area was in Medan, North Sumatera. Questionnaire survey was distributed directly to construction companies in Medan which are listed in the Construction Services Development Board. A total of 60 managers responded and the completed questionnaires were analyzed using the descriptive analysis. The results indicated that the respondents acknowledge the importance of motivation among themselves to the projects and construction companies- success, implying that it is vital to maintain the motivation and good performance of the workforce.

Keywords: construction companies, managers, motivation

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652 Cutting Propagation Studies in Pennisetum divisum and Tamarix aucheriana as Native Plant Species of Kuwait

Authors: L. Almulla

Abstract:

Native plants are better adapted to the local environment providing a more natural effect on landscape projects; their use will both conserve natural resources and produce sustainable greenery. Continuation of evaluation of additional native plants is essential to increase diversity of plant resources for greenery projects. Therefore, in this project an effort was made to study the mass multiplication of further native plants for greenery applications. Standardization of vegetative propagation methods is essential for conservation and sustainable utilization of native plants in restoration projects. Moreover, these simple propagation methods can be readily adapted by the local nursery sector in Kuwait. In the present study, various treatments were used to mass multiply selected plants using vegetative parts to secure maximum rooting and initial growth. Soft or semi-hardwood cuttings of selected native plants were collected from mother plants and subjected to different treatments. Pennisetum divisum can be vegetatively propagated by cuttings/off-shoots. However, Tamarix aucheriana showed maximum number of rooted cuttings and stronger vigor seedlings with the lowest growth hormone concentration. Standardizing the propagation techniques for the native plant species will add to the rehabilitation and landscape revegetation projects in Kuwait.

Keywords: Kuwait desert, landscape, rooting percentage vegetative propagation.

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651 A Study on the Importance of Motivation among the Managers in Construction Companies in Medan

Authors: A.Marisa, Nor'Aini Yusof

Abstract:

Managers as the key employees have a very important role in maintaining the workforce performance which is critical to the construction companies- success in the future. If motivated employees start with motivated managers probably it would seem plausible if the de-motivated ones start with de-motivated managers. This study aims to analyze the importance of motivated managers to their successes and construction companies- successes. In this study, a quantitative method was used and the study area was in Medan, North Sumatera. Questionnaire survey was distributed directly to construction companies in Medan which are listed in the Construction Services Development Board. A total of 60 managers responded and the completed questionnaires were analyzed using the descriptive analysis. The results indicated that the respondents acknowledge the importance of motivation among themselves to the projects and construction companies- success, implying that it is vital o maintain the motivation and good performance of the workforce.

Keywords: construction companies, managers, motivation

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650 Predicting Individual Investors- Intention to Invest: An Experimental Analysis of Attitude as a Mediator

Authors: Azwadi Ali

Abstract:

The survival of publicly listed companies largely depends on their stocks being liquidly traded. This goal can be achieved when new investors are attracted to invest on companies- stocks. Among different groups of investors, individual investors are generally less able to objectively evaluate companies- risks and returns, and tend to be emotionally biased in their investing decisions. Therefore their decisions may be formed as a result of perceived risks and returns, and influenced by companies- images. This study finds that perceived risk, perceived returns and trust directly affect individual investors- trading decisions while attitude towards brand partially mediates the relationships. This finding suggests that, in courting individual investors, companies still need to perform financially while building a good image can result in their stocks being accepted quicker than the stocks of good performing companies with hidden images.

Keywords: Behavioral Finance, Investment, Attitude towardsBrand, Partial Least Squares

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649 Human Resources Management Practices in Hospitality Companies

Authors: Dora Martins, Susana Silva, Cândida Silva

Abstract:

Human Resources Management (HRM) has been recognized by academics and practitioners as an important element in organizations. Therefore, this paper explores the best practices of HRM and seeks to understand the level of participation in the development of these practices by human resources managers in the hospitality industry and compare it with other industries. Thus, the study compared the HRM practices of companies in the hospitality sector with HRM practices of companies in other sectors, and identifies the main differences between their HRM practices. The results show that the most frequent HRM practices in all companies, independently of its sector of activity, are hiring and training. When comparing hospitality sector with other sectors of activity, some differences were noticed, namely in the adoption of the practices of communication and information sharing, and of recruitment and selection. According to these results, the paper discusses the major theoretical and practical implications. Suggestions for future research are also presented.

Keywords: Human resources management practices, human resources manager, hospitality companies, Portuguese companies, exploratory study.

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648 Business Diversification Strategies in the Italian Energy Markets

Authors: F. Di Pillo, G. Capece, L. Cricelli, N. Levialdi

Abstract:

The liberalization and privatization processes have forced public utility companies to face new competitive challenges, implementing strategies to gain market share and, at the same time, keep the old customers. To this end, many companies have carried out mergers, acquisitions and conglomerations in order to diversify their business. This paper focuses on companies operating in the free energy market in Italy. In the last decade, this sector has undergone profound changes that have radically changed the competitive scenario and have led companies to implement diversification strategies of the business. Our work aims to evaluate the economic and financial performances obtained by energy companies, following the beginning of the liberalization process, verifying the possible relationship with the implemented diversification strategies.

Keywords: Business diversification strategies, M&A, the Italian energy market liberalization, economic and financial performances.

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647 Relations between Human Capital Investments and Business Excellence in Croatian Companies

Authors: Ivana Tadić, Željana Aljinović Barać, Nikolina Plazonić

Abstract:

Living today in turbulent business environment forces companies to distinguish from each other, securing sustainable competitive growth and competitive advantage. The best possible solution is to invest (effort and financial resources) within companies’ different practices of human resource management (HRM), more specifically in employees’ knowledge, skills and abilities. Applying this approach companies will create enviable level of human capital securing its economic growth. Employees become human capital for their employers at the moment when they contribute with their own knowledge and abilities in creating material and non-material value of the company. The main aim of this research is to explore the relations between human capital investments and business excellence of Croatian companies. Furthermore, the differences in the level of human capital investments with regard to several companies’ characteristics (e.g. size of the company, ownership and type of the industry) are investigated.

Keywords:

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646 Defining Human Resources “Bundles” and Its’ Correlation with Companies’ Financial Performances

Authors: Ivana Tadić, Snježana Pivac

Abstract:

Although human resources are recognized as the crucial companies’ resources and their positive influence on companies’ performances has been confirmed through different researches, scientists are still debating it. In order to contribute this debate, this paper firstly discusses the most important human resource management elements and practices and its influence on companies’ success. Afterwards it defines human resource “bundles” – interrelated and internally consistent human resource practices, complementary to each other, or the most important human resource practices and elements regarding Croatian companies and its human resource management activities. Finally, the paper provides empirical results; more precisely it reveals the relation of the level of development of human resource management function (“bundles”) and companies’ financial performances (using profitability ratios, liquidity ratios, solvency ratios and a group of additional ratios related to employees’ indicators).

Keywords: Companies’ performances, human resource bundles, multivariate statistical analysis.

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