Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 40

Search results for: lay partner

40 Suitable Partner Node Selection and Resource Allocation in Cooperative Wireless Communication Using the Trade-Off Game

Authors: Oluseye A. Adeleke, Mohd. F. M. Salleh

Abstract:

The performance of any cooperative communication system depends largely on the selection of a proper partner. Another important factor to consider is an efficient allocation of resource like power by the source node to help it in forwarding information to the destination. In this paper, we look at the concepts of partner selection and resource (power) allocation for a distributed communication network. A type of non-cooperative game referred to as Trade-Off game is employed so as to jointly consider the utilities of the source and relay nodes, where in this case, the source is the node that requires help with forwarding of its information while the partner is the node that is willing to help in forwarding the source node’s information, but at a price. The approach enables the source node to maximize its utility by selecting a partner node based on (i) the proximity of the partner node to the source and destination nodes, and (ii) the price the partner node will charge for the help being rendered. Our proposed scheme helps the source locate and select the relay nodes at ‘better’ locations and purchase power optimally from them. It also aids the contending relay nodes maximize their own utilities as well by asking proper prices. Our game scheme is seen to converge to unique equilibrium.

Keywords: Cooperative communication, game theory, node, power allocation, trade-off, utility.

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39 Partner Selection in International Strategic Alliances: The Case of the Information Industry

Authors: H. Nakamura

Abstract:

This study analyzes international strategic alliances in the information industry. The purpose of this study is to clarify the strategic intention of an international alliance. Secondly, it investigates the influence of differences in the target markets of partner companies on alliances. Using an international strategy theory approach to analyze the global strategies of global companies, the study compares a database business and an electronic publishing business. In particular, these cases emphasized factors attributable to "people" and "learning", reliability and communication between organizations and the evolution of the IT infrastructure. The theory evolved in this study validates the effectiveness of these strategies.

Keywords: Database business, electronic library, international strategic alliances, partner selection.

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38 Using Degree of Adaptive (DOA) Model for Partner Selection in Supply Chain

Authors: Habibollah Javanmard

Abstract:

In order to reduce cost, increase quality, and for timely supplying production systems has considerably taken the advantages of supply chain management and these advantages are also competitive. Selection of appropriate supplier has an important role in improvement and efficiency of systems. The models of supplier selection which have already been used by researchers have considered selection one or more suppliers from potential suppliers but in this paper selecting one supplier as partner from one supplier that have minimum one period supplying to buyer is considered. This paper presents a conceptual model for partner selection and application of Degree of Adoptive (DOA) model for final selection. The attributes weight in this model is prepared through AHP model. After making the descriptive model, determining the attributes and measuring the parameters of the adaptive is examined in an auto industry of Iran(Zagross Khodro co.) and results are presented.

Keywords: Partnership, Degree of Adaptive, AHP, SupplyChain.

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37 Men’s Engagement in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Prevention Programs

Authors: Zeynep Turhan

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This review emphasizes the effectiveness of men’s participation in preventing domestic violence, and whether nonviolent (NV) boys’ and men’s perceptions of intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention programs affect their involvement. The main goals of this assessment were to investigate (1) how NV men engaged in anti-violence prevention programs that empower women, (2) what were the possible perceptions of NV men involved in prevention programs (3) how to identify effective approaches and strategies that encouraged NV men to become involved in prevention programs. This critical review also included the overview of prevention programs such as: The Mentors in Violence Prevention Programs (MVP), The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC), and Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership through Alliances (DELTA). The review suggested that (1) the expanding prevention programs need to reach more macro settings such as work place, faith-based and other community based organizations, and (2) territory prevention programs should expand through addressing the long-term effects of violence.

Keywords: Engagement, intimate partner violence, non-violent men, prevention programs.

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36 Being a Lay Partner in Jesuit Higher Education in the Philippines: A Grounded Theory Application

Authors: Janet B. Badong-Badilla

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In Jesuit universities, laypersons, who come from the same or different faith backgrounds or traditions, are considered as collaborators in mission. The Jesuits themselves support the contributions of the lay partners in realizing the mission of the Society of Jesus and recognize the important role that they play in education. This study aims to investigate and generate particular notions and understandings of lived experiences of being a lay partner in Jesuit universities in the Philippines, particularly those involved in higher education. Using the qualitative approach as introduced by grounded theorist Barney Glaser, the lay partners’ concept of being a partner, as lived in higher education, is generated systematically from the data collected in the field primarily through in-depth interviews, field notes and observations. Glaser’s constant comparative method of analysis of data is used going through the phases of open coding, theoretical coding, and selective coding from memoing to theoretical sampling to sorting and then writing. In this study, Glaser’s grounded theory as a methodology will provide a substantial insight into and articulation of the layperson’s actual experience of being a partner of the Jesuits in education. Such articulation provides a phenomenological approach or framework to an understanding of the meaning and core characteristics of Jesuit-Lay partnership in Jesuit educational institution of higher learning in the country. This study is expected to provide a framework or model for lay partnership in academic institutions that have the same practice of having lay partners in mission.

Keywords: Grounded theory, Jesuit mission in higher education, lay partner, lived experience.

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35 Definition and Core Components of the Role-Partner Allocation Problem in Collaborative Networks

Authors: J. Andrade-Garda, A. Anguera, J. Ares-Casal, M. Hidalgo-Lorenzo, J.-A. Lara, D. Lizcano, S. Suárez-Garaboa

Abstract:

In the current constantly changing economic context, collaborative networks allow partners to undertake projects that would not be possible if attempted by them individually. These projects usually involve the performance of a group of tasks (named roles) that have to be distributed among the partners. Thus, an allocation/matching problem arises that will be referred to as Role-Partner Allocation problem. In real life this situation is addressed by negotiation between partners in order to reach ad hoc agreements. Besides taking a long time and being hard work, both historical evidence and economic analysis show that such approach is not recommended. Instead, the allocation process should be automated by means of a centralized matching scheme. However, as a preliminary step to start the search for such a matching mechanism (or even the development of a new one), the problem and its core components must be specified. To this end, this paper establishes (i) the definition of the problem and its constraints, (ii) the key features of the involved elements (i.e., roles and partners); and (iii) how to create preference lists both for roles and partners. Only this way it will be possible to conduct subsequent methodological research on the solution method.     

Keywords: Collaborative network, matching, partner, preference list, role.

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34 An Empirical Study about RFID Acceptance- Focus on the Employees in Korea -

Authors: Mi Sook Lee

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The number of the companies accepting RFID in Korea has been increased continuously due to the domestic development of information technology. The acceptance of RFID by companies in Korea enabled them to do business with many global enterprises in a much more efficient and effective way. According to a survey[33, p76], many companies in Korea have used RFID for inventory or distribution manages. But, the use of RFID in the companies in Korea is in the early stages and its potential value hasn-t fully been realized yet. At this time, it would be very important to investigate the factors that affect RFID acceptance. For this study, many previous studies were referenced and some RFID experts were interviewed. Through the pilot test, four factors were selected - Security Trust, Employee Knowledge, Partner Influence, Service Provider Trust - affecting RFID acceptance and an extended technology acceptance model(e-TAM) was presented with those factors. The proposed model was empirically tested using data collected from employees in companies or public enterprises. In order to analyze some relationships between exogenous variables and four variables in TAM, structural equation modeling(SEM) was developed and SPSS12.0 and AMOS 7.0 were used for analyses. The results are summarized as follows: 1) security trust perceived by employees positively influences on perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use; 2) employee-s knowledge on RFID positively influences on only perceived ease of use; 3) a partner-s influence for RFID acceptance positively influences on only perceived usefulness; 4) service provider trust very positively influences on perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use 5) the relationships between TAM variables are the same as the previous studies.

Keywords: RFID, TAM, Security Trust, Employee Knowledge, Partner Influence, Service Provider Trust.

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33 The Influence of Knowledge Transfer on Outputs of Innovative Process – Case Study of Czech Regions

Authors: J. Stejskal, P. Hajek

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The goal of this article is the analysis of knowledge transfer at the regional level of the Czech Republic. We show how goals of enterprises´ innovative activities are related to the rate of cooperation with different actors within regional innovative systems as well as in other world regions. The results show that the most important partners of enterprises are their suppliers and clients in most Czech regions. The cooperation rate of enterprises correlates significantly mainly with enterprises´ efforts to enter new markets and reduce labour costs per unit output. The meaning of this cooperation decreases with the increase of partner’s distance. Regarding the type of a cooperating partner, cooperation within an enterprise had to do with the increase of market share and decrease of labour costs. On the other hand, cooperation with clients had to do with efforts to replace outdated products or processes or enter new markets. We can pay less attention to the cooperation with government authorities and organizations. The reasons for marginalization of this cooperation should be submitted to further detailed investigation.

Keywords: Knowledge, transfer, innovative process, Czech republic, region.

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32 Sexual Behaviors and Condom Attitude among Injecting Drug Users in Hai Phong, Vietnam: Qualitative Findings

Authors: Tanvir Ahmed, Thanh N. Long, Phan T. Huong, Donald E. Stewart

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This paper presents views on condom use and the contexts of safe and unsafe sexual practices with different sexual partners and their relationships among Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) in Hai Phong, Vietnam. Fifteen IDUs participated and two local interviewers conducted qualitative semi-structured face-to-face interviews in September-October, 2012 in Vietnamese language. Data were analyzed thematically. Non-protective condom attitudes include negotiate or convince Female Sex Workers (FSW); not realizing risk, importance or necessity; partner doesn’t like, and having extra money/drug from clients. On the other hand, self-awareness, family-consciousness, suspicion of STI presence, fear of getting HIV, and client negotiation sometimes resulted in a safe-sex practice. A thematic diagram was developed to present the relationship (strong/weak) between condom attitude and sexual practice (safe/unsafe) by partner types. The experiences and views reflected in the qualitative information emphasize the heightened need for safe-sex education especially among young IDUs (male/female) highlighting sexual transmission risk.

Keywords: AIDS, HIV, injecting drug user, risk behaviors, Vietnam.

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31 The Formation of Mutual Understanding in Conversation: An Embodied Approach

Authors: Haruo Okabayashi

Abstract:

The mutual understanding in conversation is very important for human relations. This study investigates the mental function of the formation of mutual understanding between two people in conversation using the embodied approach. Forty people participated in this study. They are divided into pairs randomly. Four conversation situations between two (make/listen to fun or pleasant talk, make/listen to regrettable talk) are set for four minutes each, and the finger plethysmogram (200 Hz) of each participant is measured. As a result, the attractors of the participants who reported “I did not understand my partner” show the collapsed shape, which means the fluctuation of their rhythm is too small to match their partner’s rhythm, and their cross correlation is low. The autonomic balance of both persons tends to resonate during conversation, and both LLEs tend to resonate, too. In human history, in order for human beings as weak mammals to live, they may have been with others; that is, they have brought about resonating characteristics, which is called self-organization. However, the resonant feature sometimes collapses, depending on the lifestyle that the person was formed by himself after birth. It is difficult for people who do not have a lifestyle of mutual gaze to resonate their biological signal waves with others’. These people have features such as anxiety, fatigue, and confusion tendency. Mutual understanding is thought to be formed as a result of cooperation between the features of self-organization of the persons who are talking and the lifestyle indicated by mutual gaze. Such an entanglement phenomenon is called a nonlinear relation. By this research, it is found that the formation of mutual understanding is expressed by the rhythm of a biological signal showing a nonlinear relationship.

Keywords: Embodied approach, finger plethysmogram, mutual understanding, nonlinear phenomenon.

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30 Is HR in a State of Transition? An International Comparative Study on the Development of HR Competencies

Authors: Barbara Covarrubias Venegas, Sabine Groblschegg, Bernhard Klaus, Julia Domnanovich

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Research Objectives: The roles and activities of Human Resource Management (HRM) have changed a lot in the past years. Driven by a changing environment and therefore new business requirements, the scope of human resource (HR) activities has widened. The extent to which these activities should focus on strategic issues to support the long term success of a company has been discussed in science for many years. As many economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) experienced a phase of transition after the socialist era and are now recovering from the 2008 global crisis it is needed to examine the current state of HR positioning. Furthermore a trend in HR work developing from rather administrative units to being strategic partners of management can be noticed. This leads to the question of better understanding the underlying competencies which are necessary to support organisations. This topic was addressed by the international study “HR Competencies in international comparison”. The quantitative survey was conducted by the Institute for Human Resources & Organisation of FHWien University of Applied Science of WKW (A) in cooperation with partner universities in the countries Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. Methodology: Using the questionnaire developed by Dave Ulrich we tested whether the HR Competency model can be used for Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. After performing confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis for the whole data set containing all five countries we could clearly distinguish between four competencies. In a further step our analysis focused on median and average comparisons between the HR competency dimensions. Conclusion: Our literature review, in alignment with other studies, shows a relatively rapid pace of development of HR Roles and HR Competencies in BCSS in the past decades. Comparing data from BCSS and Austria we still can notice that regards strategic orientation there is a lack in BCSS countries, thus competencies are not as developed as in Austria. This leads us to the tentative conclusion that HR has undergone a rapid change but is still in a State of Transition from being a rather administrative unit to performing the role of a strategic partner.

Keywords: Comparative study, HR competencies, HRM, HR Roles.

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29 Restructuring Kuwait Electric Power System: Mandatory or Optional?

Authors: Osamah A. Alsayegh

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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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28 Using Partnerships to Achieve National Goals

Authors: Pamela L. Eddy

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Ireland developed a National Strategy 2030 that argued for the creation of a new form of higher education institution, a Technological University. The research reported here reviews the first stage of this partnership development. The study found that national policy can create system capacity and change, but that individual partners may have more to gain or lose in collaborating. When presented as a zero-sum activity, fear among partners is high. The level of knowledge and networking within the higher education system possessed by each partner contributed to decisions to participate or not in a joint proposal for collaboration. Greater success resulted when there were gains for all partners. This research concludes that policy mandates can provide motivation to collaborate, but that the partnership needs to be built more on shared values versus coercion by mandates.

Keywords: Leadership, Partnerships, Policy, Strategic Planning.

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27 Communication Behaviors as Predictors of Long-Term Dyadic Adjustment: Personality as a Moderator

Authors: Ariane Lazaridès, Claude Bélanger, Stéphane Sabourin

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In this longitudinal study, we examined the moderating role of personality in the relationship between communication behaviors and long-term dyadic adjustment. A sample of 82 couples completed the NEO Five-Factor Inventory and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. These couples were also videotaped during a 15-minute problem-solving discussion. Approximately 2.5 years later, these couples completed again the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Results show that personality of both men and women moderates the relationship between communication behaviors of the partner and long-term dyadic adjustment of the individual. Women-s openness and men-s extraversion moderate the relationship between some communication behaviors and long-term dyadic adjustment

Keywords: Communication Behavior, Couples, Dyadic Adjustment, Personality.

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26 Identifying Potential Partnership for Open Innovation by using Bibliographic Coupling and Keyword Vector Mapping

Authors: Inchae Park, Byungun Yoon

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As open innovation has received increasingly attention in the management of innovation, the importance of identifying potential partnership is increasing. This paper suggests a methodology to identify the interested parties as one of Innovation intermediaries to enable open innovation with patent network. To implement the methodology, multi-stage patent citation analysis such as bibliographic coupling and information visualization method such as keyword vector mapping are utilized. This paper has contribution in that it can present meaningful collaboration keywords to identified potential partners in network since not only citation information but also patent textual information is used.

Keywords: Open innovation, partner selection, bibliographic coupling, Keyword vector mapping, patent network.

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25 Customer-Supplier Collaboration in Casting Industry: a Review on Organizational and Human Aspects

Authors: Taneli Eisto, Venlakaisa Hölttä

Abstract:

Customer-supplier collaboration enables firms to achieve greater success than acting independently. Nevertheless, not many firms have fully utilized the potential of collaboration. This paper presents organizational and human related success factors for collaboration in manufacturing supply chains in casting industry. Our research approach was a case study including multiple cases. Data was gathered by interviews and group discussions in two different research projects. In the first research project we studied seven firms and in the second five. It was found that the success factors are interrelated, in other words, organizational and human factors together enable success but not any of them alone. Some of the found success factors are a culture of following agreements, and a speed of informing the partner about changes affecting to the product or the delivery chain.

Keywords: Casting industry, collaboration success factors, customer-supplier collaboration, supply chain collaboration.

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24 Managing a Cross-Disciplinary Research Project in a University: The Case of LEARNIT

Authors: Yulia Stukalina

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This paper explores the main issues related to implementing a cross-disciplinary research project (LEARNIT) based on collaboration between universities from three European countries. The paper discusses the importance of using the holistic approach to managing scientific projects with due account for the complicated nature of the educational environment of a modern university. To illustrate this approach, the author describes some actions to be taken for supporting different focus areas of LEARNIT project, in the process using integrated tangible, non-tangible, and semi-tangible resources of the partner university. The methodology of the paper is based on the academic literature and research papers analysis within management discipline. The analysis reported in the paper is also based on the author’s professional experience in the area of managing international research projects in a university.

Keywords: LEARNIT, focus area, project management, resources.

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23 Developing Digital Competencies in Aboriginal Students through University-College Partnerships

Authors: W. S. Barber, S. L. King

Abstract:

This paper reports on a pilot project to develop a collaborative partnership between a community college in rural northern Ontario, Canada, and an urban university in the greater Toronto area in Oshawa, Canada. Partner institutions will collaborate to address learning needs of university applicants whose goals are to attain an undergraduate university BA in Educational Studies and Digital Technology degree, but who may not live in a geographical location that would facilitate this pathways process. The UOIT BA degree is attained through a 2+2 program, where students with a 2 year college diploma or equivalent can attain a four year undergraduate degree. The goals reported on the project are as: 1. Our aim is to expand the BA program to include an additional stream which includes serious educational games, simulations and virtual environments, 2. Develop fully (using both synchronous and asynchronous technologies) online learning modules for use by university applicants who otherwise are not geographically located close to a physical university site, 3. Assess the digital competencies of all students, including members of local, distance and Indigenous communities using a validated tool developed and tested by UOIT across numerous populations. This tool, the General Technical Competency Use and Scale (GTCU) will provide the collaborating institutions with data that will allow for analyzing how well students are prepared to succeed in fully online learning communities. Philosophically, the UOIT BA program is based on a fully online learning communities model (FOLC) that can be accessed from anywhere in the world through digital learning environments via audio video conferencing tools such as Adobe Connect. It also follows models of adult learning and mobile learning, and makes a university degree accessible to the increasing demographic of adult learners who may use mobile devices to learn anywhere anytime. The program is based on key principles of Problem Based Learning, allowing students to build their own understandings through the co-design of the learning environment in collaboration with the instructors and their peers. In this way, this degree allows students to personalize and individualize the learning based on their own culture, background and professional/personal experiences. Using modified flipped classroom strategies, students are able to interrogate video modules on their own time in preparation for one hour discussions occurring in video conferencing sessions. As a consequence of the program flexibility, students may continue to work full or part time. All of the partner institutions will co-develop four new modules, administer the GTCU and share data, while creating a new stream of the UOIT BA degree. This will increase accessibility for students to bridge from community colleges to university through a fully digital environment. We aim to work collaboratively with Indigenous elders, community members and distance education instructors to increase opportunities for more students to attain a university education.

Keywords: Aboriginal, college, competencies, digital, universities.

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22 South African MNEs Entry Strategies in Africa

Authors: N.M. Museisi

Abstract:

This is a cross-cultural study that determines South African multinational enterprises (MNEs) entry strategies as they invest in Africa. An integrated theoretical framework comprising the transaction cost theory, Uppsala model, eclectic paradigm and the distance framework was adopted. A sample of 40 South African MNEs with 415 existing FDI entries in Africa was drawn. Using an ordered logistic regression model, the impact of culture on the choice of degree of control by South African MNEs in Africa was determined. Cultural distance was one of significant factors that influenced South African MNEs- choice of degree of control. Furthermore, South African MNEs are risk averse in all countries in Africa but minimize the risks differently across sectors. Service sectors chooses to own their subsidiaries 100% and avoid dealing with the locals while manufacturing, resources and construction choose to have a local partner to share the risk.

Keywords: Cross-cultural, emerging MNEs, entry strategies, internationalization.

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21 Understanding and Enhancing Ecotourism Opportunities through Education

Authors: V. Iakovoglou, G. N. Zaimes, M. P. Arraiza Bermúdez-Cañete, J. L. García, M. C. Giménez, C. Calderón- Guerrero, F. Ioras, I. Abrudan

Abstract:

A new fast growing trend in tourism is ecotourism, in which tourists visit natural ecosystems under low impact, nonconsumptive and locally oriented activities. Through these activities species and habitats are maintained and typically, underdeveloped regions are emphasized. Ecotourism provides a great alternative, especially for rural and undeveloped area. At the same time, despite its many benefits, it also poses many risks for the naturally protected areas. If ecotourism is practiced improperly degradation and irreversible damages could be the unwanted result. In addition, the lack of MSc programs in the field of Ecotourism in Europe makes it a necessity to be developed. Such an MSc program is being implemented with the lead partner the Technical University of Madrid. The entire partnership has six Universities, seven SMEs and one National Park from seven different countries all over Europe. The MSc will have 10 educational modules that will be available online and will prepare professionals that will be able to implement ecotourism in a sustainable way. Only through awareness and education a sustainable ecotourism will be achieved in the protected areas of Europe.

Keywords: Sustainability, MSc program, protected areas, Erasmus.

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20 Securing Justice: A Critical Analysis of Kenya-s Post 9/11 Security Apparatus

Authors: Peter Ndichu Muriuki

Abstract:

The 9/11 suicide attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, triggered a number of security responses both in the United States of America and other Countries in the World. Kenya, which is an ally and a close partner to North America and Europe, was not left behind. While many states had been parties to numerous terrorism conventions, their response in implementing them had been slow and needed this catalyst. This special case offered a window of opportunity for many “security conscious" regimes in cementing their legal-criminological and political security apparatus. At the international level, the 9/11 case led to the hasty adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 in 2001, which called upon states to adopt wide-ranging and comprehensive steps and strategies to combat international terrorism and to become parties to the relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism. Since then, Kenya has responded with speed in devising social-legal-criminological-political actions.

Keywords: Justice, Policing, Security, Terrorism

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19 A Combined Fuzzy Decision Making Approach to Supply Chain Risk Assessment

Authors: P. Moeinzadeh, A. Hajfathaliha

Abstract:

Many firms implemented various initiatives such as outsourced manufacturing which could make a supply chain (SC) more vulnerable to various types of disruptions. So managing risk has become a critical component of SC management. Different types of SC vulnerability management methodologies have been proposed for managing SC risk, most offer only point-based solutions that deal with a limited set of risks. This research aims to reinforce SC risk management by proposing an integrated approach. SC risks are identified and a risk index classification structure is created. Then we develop a SC risk assessment approach based on the analytic network process (ANP) and the VIKOR methods under the fuzzy environment where the vagueness and subjectivity are handled with linguistic terms parameterized by triangular fuzzy numbers. By using FANP, risks weights are calculated and then inserted to the FVIKOR to rank the SC members and find the most risky partner.

Keywords: Analytic network process (ANP), Fuzzy sets, Supply chain risk management (SCRM), VIšekriterijumsko KOmpromisno Rangiranje (VIKOR)

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18 The European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Prospect of a Unified Database

Authors: Iasha Meskhia, Rusudan Seturidze

Abstract:

Free access for Georgian goods to the EU markets is one of the important factors for Georgia’s economic development, attraction of investments and raising the standard of living. The European Union is the most important trade partner for Georgia. Great experience has been accumulated with respect to removing trade barriers between Georgia and the European Union. Despite it, certain problems still persist.

In the present article, we have reviewed the systems of preferences with the European Union, the EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the essence of ongoing reform; we have assessed weak and strong sides of relations established between the European Union and Georgia in this regard; analyzed Georgia’s export and import over the past years; also reviewed the prospect of a unified database; established existing and anticipated positive and negative factors. Based on the analysis, we have provided the relevant recommendations. 

Keywords: EU-Georgia trade, EU’s GSP reform, Georgia’s export-import, REX system.

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17 The Resource Description Framework (RDF) as a Modern Structure for Medical Data

Authors: Gabriela Lindemann, Danilo Schmidt, Thomas Schrader, Dietmar Keune

Abstract:

The amount and heterogeneity of data in biomedical research, notably in interdisciplinary fields, requires new methods for the collection, presentation and analysis of information. Important data from laboratory experiments as well as patient trials are available but come out of distributed resources. The Charité - University Hospital Berlin has established together with the German Research Foundation (DFG) a new information service centre for kidney diseases and transplantation (Open European Nephrology Science Centre - OpEN.SC). Beside a collaborative aspect to create new research groups every single partner or institution of this science information centre making his own data available is allowed to search the whole data pool of the various involved centres. A core task is the implementation of a non-restricting open data structure for the various different data sources. We decided to use a modern RDF model and in a first phase transformed original data coming from the web-based Electronic Patient Record database TBase©.

Keywords: Medical databases, Resource Description Framework (RDF), metadata repository.

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16 An Integrative Review of Changes of Family Relationship and Mental Health that Chinese Men Experience during Transition to Fatherhood

Authors: Mo Zhou, Samantha Ashby, Lyn Ebert

Abstract:

In China, the changes that men experience in the perinatal period are not well researched. Men are also at risk of maladaptation to parenthood. The aim of this research is to review current studies regarding changes that Chinese men experience during transitioning to parenthood. 5 databases were employed to search relevant papers. The search found 128 articles. Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 35 articles were included in this integrative review. Results showed the changes that Chinese fathers experienced during the transition to parenthood can be divided into two aspects: family relationships and mental problems. During transition to parenthood, fathers usually experienced an increase in their disappointment with marital conflict resolution and decreased sexual intimacy with their partner. Mental health declined, with fathers often feeling depressed and/or anxious during this time. Some men were diagnosed with clinical depression. The predictors of these changes included three domains: personal background (age and income), family background (gender of infant, relationship status and unplanned child) and cultural background (‘doing the month’, Confucianism, policy, social support).

Keywords: China, fathers, life change, prenatal, postpartum.

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15 Investigating the Fiber Content, Fiber Length, and Curing Characteristics of 3D Printed Recycled Carbon Fiber

Authors: Peng Hao Wang, Ronald Sterkenburg, Garam Kim, Yuwei He

Abstract:

As composite materials continue to gain popularity in the aerospace industry; large airframe sections made out of composite materials are becoming the standard for aerospace manufacturers. However, the heavy utilization of these composite materials also increases the importance of the recycling of these composite materials. A team of Purdue University School of Aviation and Transportation Technology (SATT) faculty and students have partnered to investigate the characteristics of 3D printed recycled carbon fiber. A prototype of a 3D printed recycled carbon fiber part was provided by an industry partner and different sections of the prototype were used to create specimens. A furnace was utilized in order to remove the polymer from the specimens and the specimen’s fiber content and fiber length was calculated from the remaining fibers. A differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) test was also conducted on the 3D printed recycled carbon fiber prototype in order to determine the prototype’s degree of cure at different locations. The data collected from this study provided valuable information in the process improvement and understanding of 3D printed recycled carbon fiber.

Keywords: 3D printed, carbon fiber, fiber content, recycling.

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14 Motivating Factors of Couple Involvement in Copreneurship Businesses in Malaysia

Authors: Norasmah Othman, Suzana Mohamed, Salpiah Suradi

Abstract:

Copreneurship is a term used to describe the business pattern of operations run by married couples who share commitment, goals, and responsibilities in handling a business. Research conducted overseas showed that copreneurship business activities grew quickly and played a role in elevating families’ and nations’ socio-economic standards. In Malaysia, copreneurship has long been cultivated by spouses. Thus, this study aimed to explore the factors that motivate married partners to start a copreneurship business, and who is the dominant partner in the management of this business. The study participants are four entrepreneurial couples who are SME business operators selected through purposive sampling. In-depth interviews and direct observation were used as methods of measurement for triangulation of qualitative data in this study. The findings of the interviews were administered using NVivo 8.0 software. The result shows that freedom is a key factor that drives entrepreneurs to set up copreneurship businesses, and that the husband dominates the management aspects of the business. The study gives an overview of the parties involved in entrepreneurship to provide understanding of the copreneurship concept as it is practiced. This study provides academic value by creating understanding of the importance of a harmonious family institution specifically for forming entrepreneurs in the familial environment in Malaysia.

Keywords: Copreneurs, copreneurship, business management, enterprise.

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13 e-Collaborative Learning Circles

Authors: C. Ardil

Abstract:

In this paper, we introduce an e-collaborative learning circles methodology which utilizes the information and communication technologies (ICTs) in e-educational processes. In e-collaborative learning circles methodology, the teachers and students announce their research projects on various mailing lists and discussion boards using available ICTs. The teachers & moderators and students who are already members of the e-forums, discuss the project proposals in their classrooms sent out by the potential global partner schools and return the requested feed back to the proposing school(s) about their level of the participation and contribution in the research. In general, an e-collaborative learning circle project is implemented with a small and diverse group (usually 8-10 participants) from around the world. The students meet regularly over a period of weeks/months through the ICTs during the ecollaborative learning process. When the project is completed, a project product (e-book / DVD) is prepared and sent to the circle members. In this research, when taking into account the interests and motivation of the participating students with the facilitating role of the teacher(s), the students in each circle do research to obtain new data and information, thus enabling them to have the opportunity to meet both different cultures and international understandings across the globe. However, while the participants communicate along with the members in the circle they also practice and develop their communication language skills. Finally, teachers and students find the possibility to develop their skills in using the ICTs as well.

Keywords: Distance Education, Online Learning, Web BasedLearning, Learning Circles, e-Collaborative Learning Circles

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12 The Impact of Size of the Regional Economic Blocs to the Country’s Flows of Trade: Evidence from COMESA, EAC and Tanzania

Authors: Mosses E. Lufuke, Lorna M. Kamau

Abstract:

This paper attempted to assess whether the size of the regional economic bloc has an impact to the flow of trade to a particular country. Two different sized blocs (COMESA and EAC) and one country (Tanzania) have been used as the point of references. Using the results from of the analyses, the paper also was anticipated to establish whether it was rational for Tanzania to withdraw its membership from COMESA (the larger bloc) to join EAC (the small one). Gravity model has been used to estimate the relationship between the variables, from which the bilateral trade flows between Tanzania and the eighteen member countries of the two blocs (COMESA and EAC) was employed for the time between 2000 and 2013. In the model, the dummy variable for regional bloc (bloc) at which the Tanzania trade partner countries belong are also added to the model to understand which trade bloc exhibit higher trade flow with Tanzania. From the findings, it was noted that over the period of study (2000-2013) Tanzania acknowledged more than 257% of trade volume in EAC than in COMESA. Conclusive, it was noted that the flow of trade is explained by many other variables apart from the size of regional bloc; and that the size by itself offer insufficient evidence in causality relationship. The paper therefore remain neutral on such staggered switching decision since more analyses are required to establish the country’s trade flow, especially when if it had been in multiple membership of COMESA and EAC.

Keywords: Economic Bloc, Flow of Trade, Size of Bloc, Switching.

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11 Computational Design of Inhibitory Agents of BMP-Noggin Interaction to Promote Osteogenesis

Authors: Shaila Ahmed, Raghu Prasad Rao Metpally, Sreedhara Sangadala, Boojala Vijay B Reddy

Abstract:

Bone growth factors, such as Bone Morphogenic Protein-2 (BMP-2) have been approved by the FDA to replace grafting for some surgical interventions, but the high dose requirement limits its use in patients. Noggin, an extracellular protein, blocks the effect of BMP-2 by binding to BMP. Preventing the BMP-2/noggin interaction will help increase the free concentration of BMP-2 and therefore should enhance its efficacy to induce bone formation. The work presented here involves computational design of novel small molecule inhibitory agents of BMP-2/noggin interaction, based on our current understanding of BMP-2, and its known putative ligands (receptors and antagonists). A successful acquisition of such an inhibitory agent of BMP-2/noggin interaction would allow clinicians to reduce the dose required of BMP-2 protein in clinical applications to promote osteogenesis. The available crystal structures of the BMPs, its receptors, and the binding partner noggin were analyzed to identify the critical residues involved in their interaction. In presenting this study, LUDI de novo design method was utilized to perform virtual screening of a large number of compounds from a commercially available library against the binding sites of noggin to identify the lead chemical compounds that could potentially block BMP-noggin interaction with a high specificity.

Keywords: Transforming growth factor-beta, Bone morphogenic proteins, Noggin, LUDI de novo design method, CAP small molecules.

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