Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1787

Search results for: construction companies

1787 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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1786 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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1785 Accounting Performance of the Leading Companies in the Construction Sector in Brazil during the Period 2009-2012

Authors: Fabrício José Piacente, Vanessa de Cillos Silva, Thigo Luiz Mello Melato

Abstract:

The construction industry has been demonstrating increased growth and importance in Brazil’s national economic development. This study aims to evaluate the financial performance of the leading companies in the construction sector in Brazil in the period from 2009 to 2012. An analysis is made of the capital structure, liquidity, and profitability of the six largest companies in the construction sector in Brazil: Brookfield, Cyrela, Gafisa, MRV, PDG and Rossi. The results are then compared with standard industry ratios. It was found that among the companies analyzed, MRV and Cyrela showed the best relative performance in the period under consideration.

Keywords: Accounting ratios, construction, financial performance.

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1784 Critical Factors to Company Success in the Construction Industry

Authors: G. Arslan, S. Kivrak

Abstract:

Achieving success is a highly critical issue for the companies to survive in a competitive business environment. The construction industry is also an area where there is strong competition due to a large number of construction contractors. There have been many factors such as qualified employees, quality workmanship and financial management that can lead to company success in the construction industry. The aim of this study was to investigate the critical factors leading to construction company success. Within this context, a survey was carried out among 40 Turkish construction companies which are located in the Northwest region of Turkey. In this survey, top-level managers and owners of the companies were interviewed. The interviews took place over a five month period between January and May 2007. Finally, the ranking of the critical success factors has been determined by using the Simple Multi Attribute Rating Technique (SMART). Based on the results, business management, financial conditions and owner/manager characteristics were determined as the most important factors to company success.

Keywords: Company success, construction, organization, success factors.

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1783 SCM Challenges and Opportunitiesin the Timber Construction Sector

Authors: K. Reitner, F. Staberhofer, W. Ortner, M. Gerschberger

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to identify the main challenges faced by companies in the timber construction sector and to provide improvement opportunities that can be implemented on a short-, medium- and long-term basis. To identify the challenges and propose actions for each company a literature review and a multiple case research were conducted using the Quick Scan Audit Methodology. Finally, the findings and outcomes are compared with each other to support companies in the timer construction sector when implementing and restructuring their day-to-day activities.

Keywords: Supply chain management, supply chain challenges and opportunities, timber construction sector.

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1782 Measuring Relative Efficiency of Korean Construction Company using DEA/Window

Authors: Jung-Lo Park, Sung-Sik Kim, Sun-Young Choi, Ju-Hyung Kim, Jae-Jun Kim

Abstract:

Sub-prime mortgage crisis which began in the US is regarded as the most economic crisis since the Great Depression in the early 20th century. Especially, hidden problems on efficient operation of a business were disclosed at a time and many financial institutions went bankrupt and filed for court receivership. The collapses of physical market lead to bankruptcy of manufacturing and construction businesses. This study is to analyze dynamic efficiency of construction businesses during the five years at the turn of the global financial crisis. By discovering the trend and stability of efficiency of a construction business, this study-s objective is to improve management efficiency of a construction business in the ever-changing construction market. Variables were selected by analyzing corporate information on top 20 construction businesses in Korea and analyzed for static efficiency in 2008 and dynamic efficiency between 2006 and 2010. Unlike other studies, this study succeeded in deducing efficiency trend and stability of a construction business for five years by using the DEA/Window model. Using the analysis result, efficient and inefficient companies could be figured out. In addition, relative efficiency among DMU was measured by comparing the relationship between input and output variables of construction businesses. This study can be used as a literature to improve management efficiency for companies with low efficiency based on efficiency analysis of construction businesses.

Keywords: Construction Company, DEA, DEA/Window, Efficiency Analysis

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1781 Applying Resilience Engineering to improve Safety Management in a Construction Site: Design and Validation of a Questionnaire

Authors: M. C. Pardo-Ferreira, J. C. Rubio-Romero, M. Martínez-Rojas

Abstract:

Resilience Engineering is a new paradigm of safety management that proposes to change the way of managing the safety to focus on the things that go well instead of the things that go wrong. Many complex and high-risk sectors such as air traffic control, health care, nuclear power plants, railways or emergencies, have applied this new vision of safety and have obtained very positive results. In the construction sector, safety management continues to be a problem as indicated by the statistics of occupational injuries worldwide. Therefore, it is important to improve safety management in this sector. For this reason, it is proposed to apply Resilience Engineering to the construction sector. The Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan emerges as a key element for the planning of safety management. One of the key tools of Resilience Engineering is the Resilience Assessment Grid that allows measuring the four essential abilities (respond, monitor, learn and anticipate) for resilient performance. The purpose of this paper is to develop a questionnaire based on the Resilience Assessment Grid, specifically on the ability to learn, to assess whether a Construction Phase Health and Safety Plans helps companies in a construction site to implement this ability. The research process was divided into four stages: (i) initial design of a questionnaire, (ii) validation of the content of the questionnaire, (iii) redesign of the questionnaire and (iii) application of the Delphi method. The questionnaire obtained could be used as a tool to help construction companies to evolve from Safety-I to Safety-II. In this way, companies could begin to develop the ability to learn, which will serve as a basis for the development of the other abilities necessary for resilient performance. The following steps in this research are intended to develop other questions that allow evaluating the rest of abilities for resilient performance such as monitoring, learning and anticipating.

Keywords: Resilience engineering, construction sector, resilience assessment grid, construction phase health and safety plan.

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1780 Labor Productivity in the Construction Industry -Factors Influencing the Spanish Construction Labor Productivity-

Authors: G. Robles, A. Stifi, José L. Ponz-Tienda, S. Gentes

Abstract:

This research paper aims to identify, analyze and rank factors affecting labor productivity in Spain with respect to their relative importance. Using a selected set of 35 factors, a structured questionnaire survey was utilized as the method to collect data from companies. Target population is comprised by a random representative sample of practitioners related with the Spanish construction industry. Findings reveal the top five ranked factors are as follows: (1) shortage or late supply of materials; (2) clarity of the drawings and project documents; (3) clear and daily task assignment; (4) tools or equipment shortages; (5) level of skill and experience of laborers. Additionally, this research also pretends to provide simple and comprehensive recommendations so that they could be implemented by construction managers for an effective management of construction labor forces.

Keywords: Construction management, Factors, Improvement, Labor productivity, Lean construction.

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1779 Sustainable Construction in Malaysia – Developers- Awareness

Authors: Nazirah Zainul Abidin

Abstract:

The creation of a sustainable future depends on the knowledge and involvement of the people, as well as an understanding of the consequences of individual actions. Construction industry has long been associated with the detrimental effects to our mother earth. In Malaysia, the government, professional bodies and private companies are beginning to take heed in the necessity to reduce this environmental problem without restraining the need for development. This paper focuses on the actions undertaken by the Malaysian government, non-government organizations and construction players in promoting sustainability in construction. To ensure that those concerted efforts are not only skin deep in its impact, a survey was conducted to investigate the awareness of the developers regarding this issue and whether those developers has absorb the concept of sustainable construction in their current practices. The survey revealed that although the developers are aware of the rising issues on sustainability, little efforts are generated from them in implementing it. More effort is necessary to boost this application and further stimulate actions and strategies towards a sustainable built environment.

Keywords: Environmental sustainability, Malaysian construction industry, Malaysian developers, Sustainable construction.

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1778 The Impact of Health Tourism on Companies’ Performance: A Cross Country Analysis

Authors: Micheli Anna Paola, Intrisano Carmelo, Calce Anna Maria

Abstract:

This research focused on the capability of health tourism to improve the economic and financial performance of healthcare companies. It is assumed that health tourism companies have better profitability and financial efficiency because they can also count on cross-border demand differently from no health tourism companies. A three-level gap analysis was conducted: the first concerns health tourism companies located in Italy and in the other EU28 states; in the second Italian and EU28, no health tourism companies were compared; the third level is about the Italian system with a comparison between health tourism and no health tourism companies. Findings highlighted that Italian healthcare companies have better profitability performance if compared to European ones, but they present weaknesses in the financial position given the illiquidity and excessive leverage. Furthermore, studying the Italian system, we found that health tourism companies are more profitable than no health tourism companies.

Keywords: Financial performance, gap analysis, health tourism, profitability performance, value creation.

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1777 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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1776 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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1775 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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1774 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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1773 Multiproject Scheduling in Construction Industry

Authors: Y. Gholipour

Abstract:

In this paper, supply policy and procurement of shared resources in some kinds of concurrent construction projects are investigated. This could be oriented to the problems of holding construction companies who involve in different projects concurrently and they have to supply limited resources to several projects as well as prevent delays to any project. Limits on transportation vehicles and storage facilities for potential construction materials and also the available resources (such as cash or manpower) are some of the examples which affect considerably on management of all projects over all. The research includes investigation of some real multi-storey buildings during their execution periods and surveying the history of the activities. It is shown that the common resource demand variation curve of the projects may be expanded or displaced to achieve an optimum distribution scheme. Of course, it may cause some delay to some projects, but it has minimum influence on whole execution period of all projects and its influence on procurement cost of the projects is considerable. These observations on investigation of some multistorey building which are built in Iran will be presented in this paper.

Keywords: Construction Management, Supply Management, Resources Sharing, Multi-Project, Resource Procurement.

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1772 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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1771 A New Fuzzy Decision Support Method for Analysis of Economic Factors of Turkey's Construction Industry

Authors: R. Tur, A. Yardımcı

Abstract:

Imperfect knowledge cannot be avoided all the time. Imperfections may have several forms; uncertainties, imprecision and incompleteness. When we look to classification of methods for the management of imperfect knowledge we see fuzzy set-based techniques. The choice of a method to process data is linked to the choice of knowledge representation, which can be numerical, symbolic, logical or semantic and it depends on the nature of the problem to be solved for example decision support, which will be mentioned in our study. Fuzzy Logic is used for its ability to manage imprecise knowledge, but it can take advantage of the ability of neural networks to learn coefficients or functions. Such an association of methods is typical of so-called soft computing. In this study a new method was used for the management of imprecision for collected knowledge which related to economic analysis of construction industry in Turkey. Because of sudden changes occurring in economic factors decrease competition strength of construction companies. The better evaluation of these changes in economical factors in view of construction industry will made positive influence on company-s decisions which are dealing construction.

Keywords: Fuzzy logic, decision support systems, construction industry.

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1770 Effect of Pre-Construction on Construction Schedule and Client Loyalty

Authors: Jong Hoon Kim, Hyun-Soo Lee, Moonseo Park, Min Jeong, Inbeom Lee

Abstract:

Pre-construction is essential in achieving the success of a construction project. Due to the early involvement of project participants in the construction phase, project managers are able to plan ahead and solve issues well in advance leading to the success of the project and the satisfaction of the client. This research utilizes quantitative data derived from construction management projects in order to identify the relationship between pre-construction, construction schedule, and client satisfaction. A total of 65 construction projects and 93 clients were investigated for this research in an attempt to identify (a) the relationship between pre-construction and schedule reduction, and (b) pre-construction and client loyalty. Based on the quantitative analysis, this research was able to establish a negative correlation based on 65 construction projects between pre-construction and project schedule existed. This finding represents that the more pre-construction is performed for a certain project, the overall construction schedule decreased. Then, to determine the relationship between pre-construction and client satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 93 clients from the 65 projects was utilized. Pre-construction and NPS was further analyzed and a positive correlation was found between the two. This infers that clients tend to be more satisfied with projects with higher ratio of pre-construction than those projects with less pre-construction.

Keywords: Client loyalty, NPS, pre-construction, schedule reduction.

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1769 The Requirements of Developing a Framework for Successful Adoption of Quality Management Systems in the Construction Industry

Authors: Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Vaughan Coffey, Bo Xia

Abstract:

Quality management systems (QMSs) in the construction industry are often implemented to ensure that sufficient effort is made by companies to achieve the required levels of quality for clients. Attainment of these quality levels can result in greater customer satisfaction, which is fundamental to ensure long-term competitiveness for construction companies. However, the construction sector is still lagging behind other industries in terms of its successful adoption of QMSs, due to the relative lack of acceptance of the benefits of these systems among industry stakeholders, as well as from other barriers related to implementing them. Thus, there is a critical need to undertake a detailed and comprehensive exploration of adoption of QMSs in the construction sector. This paper comprehensively investigates in the construction sector setting, the impacts of all the salient factors surrounding successful implementation of QMSs in building organizations, especially those of external factors. This study is part of an ongoing PhD project, which aims to develop a new framework that integrates both internal and external factors affecting QMS implementation. To achieve the paper aim and objectives, interviews will be conducted to define the external factors influencing the adoption of QMSs, and to obtain holistic critical success factors (CSFs) for implementing these systems. In the next stage of data collection, a questionnaire survey will be developed to investigate the prime barriers facing the adoption of QMSs, the CSFs for their implementation, and the external factors affecting the adoption of these systems. Following the survey, case studies will be undertaken to validate and explain in greater detail the real effects of these factors on QMSs adoption. Specifically, this paper evaluates the effects of the external factors in terms of their impact on implementation success within the selected case studies. Using findings drawn from analyzing the data obtained from these various approaches, specific recommendations for the successful implementation of QMSs will be presented, and an operational framework will be developed. Finally, through a focus group, the findings of the study and the new developed framework will be validated. Ultimately, this framework will be made available to the construction industry to facilitate the greater adoption and implementation of QMSs. In addition, deployment of the applicable recommendations suggested by the study will be shared with the construction industry to more effectively help construction companies to implement QMSs, and overcome the barriers experienced by businesses, thus promoting the achievement of higher levels of quality and customer satisfaction.

Keywords: Barriers, critical success factors, external factors, internal factors, quality management systems.

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1768 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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1767 Impact of Safety and Quality Considerations of Housing Clients on the Construction Firms’ Intention to Adopt Quality Function Deployment: A Case of Construction Sector

Authors: Saif Ul Haq

Abstract:

The current study intends to examine the safety and quality considerations of clients of housing projects and their impact on the adoption of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) by the construction firm. Mixed method research technique has been used to collect and analyze the data wherein a survey was conducted to collect the data from 220 clients of housing projects in Saudi Arabia. Then, the telephonic and Skype interviews were conducted to collect data of 15 professionals working in the top ten real estate companies of Saudi Arabia. Data were analyzed by using partial least square (PLS) and thematic analysis techniques. Findings reveal that today’s customer prioritizes the safety and quality requirements of their houses and as a result, construction firms adopt QFD to address the needs of customers. The findings are of great importance for the clients of housing projects as well as for the construction firms as they could apply QFD in housing projects to address the safety and quality concerns of their clients.

Keywords: Construction industry, quality considerations, quality function deployment, safety considerations.

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1766 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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1765 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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1764 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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1763 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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1762 Resources and Strategies towards the Development of a Sustainable Construction Materials Industry in Botswana

Authors: G. Malumbela, E. U. Masuku

Abstract:

The economy of Botswana has increased extensively since its independence. In contrast to this increase, the construction industry which is one of the key indicators of a developing nation continues to be highly dependent on imported building material products from the neighbouring countries of South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Only two companies in the country currently blend cement. Even then, the overwhelming majority of raw materials used in the blends are imported. Furthermore, there are no glass manufacturers in Botswana. The ceramic industry is limited to the manufacture of clay bricks notwithstanding a few studios on crockery and sanitary ware which nonetheless use imported clay. This paper presents natural resources and industrial waste products in Botswana that can be used for the development of sustainable building materials. It also investigates at the distribution and cost of other widely used building materials in the country. Finally, the present paper looks at projects and national strategies aimed at a country-wide development of a sustainable building materials industry together with their successes and hitches.

Keywords: Botswana construction industry, construction materials, natural resources, sustainable materials.

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1761 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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1760 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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1759 Tender Systems and Processes within the Mauritian Construction Industry: Investigating the Predominance of International Firms and the Lack of Absorptive Capacity in Local Firms

Authors: K. Appasamy, P. Paul

Abstract:

Mauritius, a developing small-island-state, is facing a recession which is having a considerable economic impact particularly on its construction sector. Further, the presence of foreign entities, both as companies and workers, within this sector is creating a very competitive environment for local firms. This study investigates the key drivers that allow foreign firms to participate in this sector, in particular looking at the international and local tender processes, and the capacity of local industry to participate. This study also looks at how the current set up may hinder the latter’s involvement. The methodology used included qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted with established foreign companies, local companies, and public bodies. Study findings indicate: there is an adequate availability of professional skills and expertise within the Mauritian construction industry but a lack of skilled labour especially at the operative level; projects awarded to foreign firms are either due to their uniqueness and hence lack of local knowledge, or due to foreign firms having lower tender bids; tendering systems and processes are weak, including monitoring and enforcement, which encourages corruption and favouritism; a high lev el of ignorance of this sector’s characteristics and opportunities exists amongst the local population; local entities are very profit oriented and have short term strategies that discourage long term investment in workforce training and development; but most importantly, stakeholders do not grasp the importance of encouraging youngsters to join this sector, they have no long term vision, and there is a lack of mutual involvement and collaboration between them. Although local industry is highly competent, qualified and experienced, the tendering and procurement systems in Mauritius are not conducive enough to allow for effective strategic planning and an equitable allocation of projects during an economic downturn so that the broadest spread of stakeholders’ benefit. It is of utmost importance that all sector and government entities collaborate to formulate strategies and reforms on tender processes and capacity building to ensure fairness and continuous growth of this sector in Mauritius.

Keywords: Construction industry, tender process, international firms, local capacity, Mauritius.

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1758 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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