International Journal of Business Performance Management (28 papers in press)
The food and beverages stock performance during and after the 2007-2011 crisis
by Alessandra Tanda
Abstract: The importance of food in the everyday life is vital, so it is its importance in the economy of a country and region, especially in Europe. Food for the planet has also been the slogan for the latest Expo, which took place in Milan. Despite the importance of this industry, little evidence has been provided on the performance of food and beverage producers during the financial turmoil and the sovereign debt crisis. This paper aims at filling in this gap by evaluating the stock performance of food and beverages companies listed in Europe since 2004 and during and after the recent financial crisis (2007-2011) to highlight how this industry has performed in the latest years compared to the overall economy. Yearly and monthly returns and risk-adjusted performance measures for the MSCI Europe Beverages and MSCI Europe Food Producers are computed and compared to the MSCI Europe Index. Results show that the industry had a higher return since 2004 and showed higher resilience than the whole market to the latest financial and economic crisis.
Keywords: performance; returns; crisis; food and drink industry; Europe; agribusiness.
Performance evaluation of sales employees: A comparative investigation in the pharmaceutical industry
by Ehtasham Ghauri
Abstract: Performance evaluation (PE) of employees is perceived as the most practical organisational challenge to achieve its objectives while managing employees retention, satisfaction and elements that influence employees as well as future performance. This obviously does not resonate with universality in PE practices. Since PE is influenced by context specific elements, understanding of existing approaches can therefore be of critical importance in designing specific PE processes particularly for the family owned pharmaceutical organisations. Employing a comparative multiple case study approach among the sample of multinational and national organisations, this study conducted in-depth interviews with sales representatives, supervisors and human resource managers to capture PE objectives and employees expectations from the process. The results found that PE practices closely related to the management style in the company rather than the objectives of the PE process. Besides informality in PE processes, multiple elements were found to be contributing to dissonance among the sales employees. By comparing two groups, the study provides industry specific empirical evidence for existing PE practices while adding to the understanding of pharmaceutical sales employees PE. Such investigation can enable decision makers in the industry to improve PE practices by addressing the issues highlighted and transform PE practices to enhance employee satisfaction and organisational strength. Support for conducting field research in Pakistan is provided.
Keywords: Human resource management; performance evaluation; sales employees; pharmaceutical industry; Pakistan.
Identification of Optimal Initiatives for Motivation Enhancement of Human Assets
by Ahmad Ali Khaef Elahi, Rohhollah Hosseini
Abstract: The concept of motivation is typically the beginning point of cognitive process behind any behaviour. The aim of this study is to rank organisational motivational plans in terms of importance by collecting empirical data in three satellite campuses of a large university. In this regard, a field survey is conducted and organisational experts in each campus are provided a questionnaire. The collected data was analyzed by using Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS), Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) and Numerical Taxonomy techniques. Then, a hybrid approach was used as it compensates the points of the weaknesses of the aforementioned techniques. The findings show that participative management style, job promotion and optimisation of compensatory system in the three campuses are the most important motivational action plans. Findings of this research contribute to both scholars and practitioners in enhancing the understanding of motivational plans in terms of importance, as well as the improved decision making on design and implementation of these plans.
Keywords: Motivation Plans; MADM; TOPSIS; SAW; Numerical Taxonomy; Hybrid Approach.
Can Board Diversity and Choice of Auditor Enhance Profitability?
by DUARTE PITTA FERRAZ, ILIDIO TOMÁS LOPES, ARDIT KOPLIKU
Abstract: The research examines how board diversity and choice of auditing firm, as mechanisms of corporate governance, affect the profitability of Iberian companies. Using information from an adjusted sample of 93 non-financial companies listed on the Iberian stock exchanges, a theoretical model was regressed. Profit Margin (PM) and Return on Equity (ROE), as two of the more frequently used profitability measures, capture, at a moderately acceptable level, the impact derived from board diversity and choice of auditing firm among Iberian companies. Most variables cited are not equally distributed across Iberia, in line with Hofstedes cultural dimensions model. The evidence, while inconclusive, provides valuable insight into how governance mechanisms affect performance. In addition, the research provides value to the literature by introducing new proxies on board characteristics, and its impact on dynamic profitability.
Keywords: board diversity; auditing firms; profitability; assets turnover; Iberia; Portugal; Spain.
How Economic Theories Can Negatively Affect Subcontractor Selection
by Todd Creasy, Yang Fan
Abstract: Main-contractors and subcontractors have had improved relationships and less conflict through collaborative working arrangements (CWA) defined as organizational relational agreements or partnering.. Further the selection of subcontractors by main contractors was often based on the lowest bid price a foundational tent of transaction cost economics (TCE) which is defined as organizational transactions involving transfers of goods or services. In this paper, through qualitative analysis and review of company documents, the negative consequences these practices had on subcontractor performance, which resulted in project underperformance and employee discontent, are discussed via case study. Based on these qualitative findings, a 2x2 matrix of theoretical considerations was posited which indicate that the desired state for a subcontractor is one who is not affiliated with the main contractor and one who offers a wide range of pertinent services.
Keywords: subcontractor selection; partnering; service scope; collaborative arrangement; multi-national corporation; transaction cost economics; main contractor.
The Moderating Role of Environmental Management Accounting between Environmental Innovation and Firm Financial Performance
by Sayedeh Parastoo Saeidi, Mohd Shahwahid Haji Othman, Parvaneh Saeidi, Sayyedeh Parisa Saeidi
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships among innovation, Environmental Management Accounting (EMA), and firms financial performance. Specifically, this study explores the relationships of both product and process innovations with financial performance. Furthermore, this study examines the moderating role of EMA on the above relationships. Data were collected in a survey of top managers of the SMEs in manufacturing and consumer product industries in Iran, using a questionnaire. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to test all hypotheses. The findings revealed that both product and process innovations have positive relationships with firms financial performance, while this effect is significant about product innovation and not significant about process innovation. Moreover, contrary to expectations, this study found a negative moderating effect of EMA on the relationship between process innovation and financial performance. However, no moderating effect of EMA was found on product innovation and financial performance relationship.
Keywords: Product innovation; process innovation; environmental management accounting; firm performance; small medium enterprises; Iran.
The Role of Managerial Control in Innovation Processes: an Empirical Analysis among Italian Firms
by Anna Pistoni, Anna Arcari, Stefano Peluso
Abstract: This paper investigates the link between the Managerial Control System (MCS) and product/service innovation. The aim is to provide an empirical analysis of the role of an MCS in innovation performance and, more specifically, to highlight the characteristics of an MCS that can better support the development of innovation. We refer to the implementation of formal or informal control mechanisms or, with regard to formal mechanisms, to how they are utilized by distinguishing between diagnostic and interactive use. The sample involved in this study consists of 104 Italian manufacturing firms belonging to those sectors of the Italian economy that feature the largest number of registered patents according to the European trend chart on innovation. The results show that an MCS can enhance product/service innovation but it can also inhibit it depending on the role it plays. Indeed, an MCS may hamper innovation if it is limited to pursuing diagnostic functions. Conversely, product/service innovation is positively associated to an interactive use of the MCS. In this case, it is an effective innovation driver capable of stimulating coordination, communication, and learning within innovation teams.
The results of this study may have major implications for practitioners. Organizations hoping to enhance their innovation performance should strive to develop an MCS that can blend the monitoring activity with a driver to free thinking and the search for opportunities, while avoiding a strict compliance with rules and regulations, rigid performance evaluation and internal orientation.
Keywords: Innovation; performance measurement; diagnostic control; interactive control; formal control mechanisms; informal control; innovation performance; empirical analysis.
Selling the Brand Inside; Corporate Image, Corporate Identity and Employer brand: Case study of I-SEC Netherlands B.V.
by Shaukat Malik, Sadia Aslam, Surayya Aslam
Abstract: The objective of this research was to examine the key factors behind the success of an
internal communication strategy aimed to improve I-SEC organizational image and identification
of employees with the brand that could lead them speak positive about the company as well as
increase their job performance. Research consisted of literature review on concepts of internal
corporate image and the organizational identity formulating the image of employer brand. Research
questions were framed and analyzed through research tools consisting of content analysis
of website of I-SEC, newsletters, videos and brochures, and of in-depth interviews to analyze
organizational situation as well as online surveys of employees to know their image .The major
findings proved the poor I-SEC brand image among the workforce as anticipated by I-SEC management
and pointed out various drawbacks in organizational culture, structure, communication,
and in strategy of I-SEC inaugurating the poor employer image of the company.
The research finally suggested an internal communication approach using existing CSR strategy
in relation to internal branding and poised some recommendations to increase I-SEC brand
awareness, identification and engagement of its employees. This case study recommends that the
corporations should give an equal importance to project a good image internally in addition to
projection of good reputation to external world.
Keywords: Self-image; Perceived image; Corporate Identity; Corporate Image; Internal commu- nication strategy; brand awareness; internal brandingrnIntroduction.
Competitive Advantage and Firm Performance: The Moderating Effect of Industry Forces
by Jeen Wei Ong, Hishamuddin Ismail, Peik Foong Yeap
Abstract: This study aims to examine the moderating effect of industry competitive forces on the relationship between competitive advantage and firm performance. Previous researches have concluded that competitive advantage leads to superior performance but the impact is limited. A possible reason is that the economic value created by firms is appropriated by other stakeholders. This study hypothesises that the five industry competitive forces moderate the relationship. 517 usable responses were collected from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia to test the research framework developed. The results show that buyer bargaining power, supplier bargaining power and threat of new entrants moderate the effect of competitive advantage on firm performance. Surprisingly, SMEs with differentiation advantage and cost advantage are able to appropriate more economic value when the buyers and suppliers have strong bargaining power respectively. On the other hand, the threat of new entrants reduces the economic value that SMEs can capture.
Keywords: Competitive Advantage; Firm Performance; Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); Industry Competitive Forces; Moderating Effect.
SIX SIGMA TOOL SELECTION TO ACHIEVE GOALS IN THE SHORT TERM A CASE STUDY
by Guilherme Oliveira, Izabel Zattar, Robson Seleme
Abstract: Motivated by the idea that some quality tools interact in a better way among them than others do, the purpose of this paper is to analyze quality tools selection and combination, aiming at shorter-time DMAIC implementations through better-structured and straightforward tool selection. Based on a case study, this article explores the quality tools pre-selection. Through a literature review, the paper searches the available Six Sigma toolset, grounding the case study tool choice on previous studies. There are several issues to be considered concerning the DMAIC toolset, especially about the criteria used to choose one or another tool. Thereby, specific combinations between quality tools can provide strategic advantages to organizations that develop DMAIC projects. This article might be of interest of many organizations quality personnel, Six Sigma practitioners and management academics, as it details and gives theoretical support to some procedures onto implementing DMAIC cycles more promptly.
Keywords: Six sigma; Quality tool selection; DMAIC; Six sigma toolset; Short-term.
STRATEGIC CAPABILITIES, NICHE STRATEGY ORIENTATION, AND PERFORMANCE: A FOUR-NATION ASSESSMENT
by John Spillan, John Parnell, Mehmet Ali Koseoglu, Erdal Akdeve
Abstract: This paper examines how strategic capabilities influence the performance implications of a niche strategy orientation in Turkey, Mexico, China and the United States. Results suggest substantial differences across nations, industries, and performance measures. The pursuit of a niche strategy orientation was a positive predictor of performance in all instances in which it was significant. Both management and technology capabilities were important drivers of performance, but results varied markedly between the measures of ROA and sales growth. Both categories of capabilities were significant predictors of ROA in manufacturing and service industries in the USA, but no more than one category was significant in any of the final regression models for other nations.
Keywords: Strategy; Performance; Industry; Capabilities; Country; Indicators.
FACTORS INFLUENCING EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE: THE ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND WORK ENGAGEMENT
by Krishnaveni R, Monica Ravi
Abstract: This research explores and investigates the effect of robust Human Resource Management (HRM) practices namely empowerment, competence development practices, rewards and recognition and work engagement on employee performance. A comprehensive model has been developed by taking into account the above mentioned constructs and has been validated in a developing economy. Though there is research focusing on HRM practices, work engagement and employee performance in a fragmented way, this research examines and explores the relationship between these variables in a cohesive way. The paucity in literature has prompted for this empirical study. Data has been collected from 205 IT program managers and from 41 senior managers using a structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modelling were implemented to find out the factors that had the most impact on employee performance. Findings revealed that HRM practices namely empowerment, competence development practice, recognition and work engagement have emerged as prominent predictors of employee performance. This research is distinctive in respect to the comprehensive model that has been developed and validated.
Keywords: Competence Development Practices; Employee Performance; Empowerment; Recognition; Rewards and Work engagement.
Impact of strategic roles of middle managers on the relationship between successful strategy implementation and organisational performance
by Fakher Jaoua
Abstract: Many researches have confirmed the importance of middle management involvement in strategy formulation and have demonstrated that middle managers have strategic roles which positively influence the relationship between strategy formulation and organisational performance. In line with these researches, this research aims to exploit the results of these researches, and test them on strategy implementation. It assumes that strategic roles of middle managers could have a positive impact on successful strategy implementation and thus on the relationship between successful strategy implementation and organisational performance. This general hypothesis was tested among a representative sample of 364 large Tunisian companies involved in the upgrading program. The results of the application of structural equation methods show that facilitating adaptability, implementing deliberate strategy and championing alternatives, except synthesising information, have not only a direct effect on the successful strategy implementation, but also an indirect effect on the relationship between successful strategy implementation and organisational performance.
Keywords: Strategic managemet process; Involvement of middle managers in strategy formulation; Successful strategy implementation; Strategic roles of middle managers; Organisational performance; Structural equation model.
International Business Development in China - A study of globalisation and performance
by Linda Li
Abstract: Globalisation has witnessed ever increasing cross border business developments. Most enterprises come to realise that cross cultural business development and management is just as important as cutting edge technologies. This paper is a study of an international environmental company that had a successful development in China based upon its sensitivity to cross-cultural business development issues and apt management decision and timely measures. The findings of the surveys and interviews that this study conducted show that there were differences in the perceptions by the company staff in its UK head office and those in China with regards to the business cultures of the country where they were operating. Such differences also affected to a certain extent the communications and interactions between the two teams and ultimately the business development.
Keywords: cross border business development cross-cultural communication business management management localisation.
Inventory Holding and UK SMEs Performance
by Godfred Afrifa
Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between inventory holding and firm performance for 141 small and medium-sized enterprises listed on the Alternative Investment Market for an eight year period (2005 to 2012). Panel data regression analysis is used in the estimation of functions relating the inventory holding with measures of firm performance. The results provide empirical evidence which indicates the existence of an optimal inventory level that maximises performance. The results show that a concave relationship exists between inventory holding and performance. Furthermore, the paper determines whether or not deviations from the optimum inventory level reduce performance. The results indicate that deviations above or below the optimum inventory level decreases performance. Overall, the findings provide evidence that firms should strive to attain the optimal inventory level in order to maximise their performance.
Keywords: Inventory holding; firm performance; small and medium enterprises; UK.
The Implication of Strategy Improving Employees Training, Compensation, Motivation and Organizational Commitment as Predictors of Work Performance in Private Commercial Banks Indonesia
by Musriha Musriha
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine effects of an integrated model of Strategy Improving Employees Training, Compensation, Motivation and Organizational Commitment to Performance This study used a causal effect design. The main data used in this study were primary data collected through the distribution of questionnaires to the respondents of Private commercial banks in Indonesia. The sampling was done using a purposive sampling method to determine the sample based on the consideration of researcher. The result of the research shows that strategy improving employees training, compensation, motivation and organizational commitment positively affect the performance.
Keywords: Training; Compensation; motivation; organizational commitment and performance.
Perspective on Individual and Group Characteristics to Enhance Work Performance and Career Development: An Empirical Research on Indonesia Port Corporations
by Musriha Musriha, Eddy Hidayat Nurjaman
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to prove and analyze the influence of individual characteristics, working environment, and organizational culture towards working motivation, and performance, and career improvement of PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo) IV employees. It is conducted to employees in PT Pelindo IV, as they have the potentiality to step up to the highest position and minimize the desire of employees to be rotated or transferred between branches port so that the pattern of mutation and careers can be hampered. This research summarizes twelve hypothesis, namely: 1. Individual characteristics significantly influence on employees working motivation, 2. Working environment significantly influence on employees working motivation, 3. Organizational culture significantly influences on employees working motivation, 4. Individual characteristics significantly influence on employees performance, 5. Working environment significantly influences on employees performance, 6. Organizational culture significantly influences on employees performance, 7. Individual characteristics significantly influence on employees career improvement, 8. Working environment significantly influences on employees career improvement, 9. Organizational culture significantly influences on employees career improvement, 10. Working motivation significantly influences on employees performance, 11. Working motivation significantly influence on employees career improvement, and 12. Employees performance significantly influence on employees career improvement. However, this study indicates that from the 12 proposed hypothesis, nine (9) of them are significantly affected, while the other remaining 3 are insignificant.
Keywords: Human Resource Management System; Employees Motivation System; Organizational Culture; Employees Performance; Career Development.
AGENCY CONFLICTS BETWEEN BUSINESS OWNERS AND MANAGERS: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM TUNISIA
by Mariem Amamou
Abstract: This paper gives a solution to reduce agency conflicts that arise between managers and firm owners. Based on the literature, it is argued that the ultimate aim of the firm is to improve and maximize benefits. However, such objective is often not compatible with manager interests whose search is to realize their own interests. The discrepancy of interests contributes to agency conflicts. An econometric model was performed to study this problem and examines the relationship between managerial implication and firm performance. The model was applied to 10 Tunisian banks during the period 2000-2015 and employed a structural equation modeling with two simultaneous equations to test both managerial involvements on risk and performance. The fitting model showed the relevant role of managers implication on the capital of firm and how it can reduce conflicts of interest. In addition, we show that in the case where managers are weakly involved, managerial implication creates more value for the shareholders. The results of the statistical analyses show that causal relationship between firm performance and managerial implication depends on the level of risk-taking by the managers and approaches zero at a critical bank risk equal to 20.55%. On the other hand, the relationship between risk and share of managers vanishes at a critical performance point equal to 42.70%. Furthermore, managers implication in bank capital encourages them to undertake more risk (superior than 20.55%) and consequently realize more performance. In general, our results call for implementing performance management system to help banks better manages their employees performance and in turn, reduces conflicts between managers and owners.
Keywords: Agency Conflict; Manager Implication; Risk; Performance; Tunisian Banks.
New Opportunities, Challenges and Realities for the Media Industry in Greece: An Empirical Examination of the Effects of the Financial Crisis and Digital Technologies on Media Business Performance
by Avraam Papastathopoulos, Panagiotis Koutsouvelis, Jacob Cherian, Robert Pech
Abstract: The impressive developments of new technologies have brought about, inter alia, turbulence and significant problems in the financial performance of the media industry in Greece, particularly with reference to the impact on newspapers and other print media. This impact has caused change and the financial crisis which has plagued Greece for well over a decade has also generated change. Estimates of linear multiple regressions show a highly significant relationship between the number of newspapers in circulation and an explanatory number of variables such as the proportion of the population having access to the Internet, which is representative of the evolution of technology; In other estimates of multiple regressions, the developments in technology and the crisis seem to have had a major impact in the medium-term annual average share prices of every one of the newspaper companies that make up the industry. Therefore, the developments in technology and the crisis seem to have had a major impact on the financial performance of these companies as evidenced by their effect on the main financial ratios in the industry, which generally show a decline.
Keywords: financial crisis on media; internet technologies; financial performance on media; print and online media.
Measuring the lean readiness of Kuwaiti manufacturing industries
by Mohamad ALNAJEM, Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to measure the readiness of the Kuwaiti small and medium sized manufacturing industries to implement the lean system through an evaluation of their existing quality practices, and compare such readiness among different product sectors and ownership types. This study adopts the measurement framework developed by Al-Najem et al. (2013), which establishes six constructs related to lean quality practices, namely: process, planning and control, customer relations, suppliers relations, HR, and top management and leadership. Data were collected from a survey of 50 Kuwaiti small and medium sized manufacturing industries operating in different industrial sectors. One research question and two hypotheses were developed and tested using t-test and Levenes test, descriptive analysis, and one-way ANOVA. The results demonstrate that the Kuwaiti small and medium sized manufacturing industries are far from being ready to implement lean. In addition, the study found that product sector and ownership type have no significant impact on the lean readiness in the Kuwaiti small and medium sized manufacturing industries. This research provides insight into preparing Kuwaiti, and other small and medium sized manufacturing industries, to implement the lean system by creating an assessment of their existing lean practices and lean readiness. This research is among a limited number of studies that have addressed lean within the Arab region, and only the second to examine the level of lean readiness of the Kuwaiti small and medium sized manufacturing industries. It expands the literature on lean in developing countries, particularly in the Arab region, and can provide guidance to research within other countries in the region.
Keywords: Kuwaiti small and medium sized industries; lean system; lean readiness; manufacturing industries.
Ex-post service contract performance management
by Brian Forbes, Malcolm Brady
Abstract: This paper highlights how contract incompleteness can threaten the performance of public procurement facilities management contracts during their implementation stages, based on a multiple case study comprising five public procurement services contracts. The paper takes a principle-agent view and with the unit of analysis being the contract itself. The paper shows that contract contingencies are almost inevitable and may stem from the written contract or from the participating organisations. Written and unwritten contract management mechanisms were used in practice to deal with contingencies as they arose in the services case studies examined. The paper found that written contracts do not always provide satisfactory remedies for unexpected contingencies. Ex post mechanisms were used to manage the contract including incentives, information systems and signals. Time, resource or position signals were used in all five cases and provided an effective mechanism to manage unexpected contingencies in written contracts that proved to be incomplete.
Keywords: services; facilities management; public procurement; principal; agent; contract; unwritten; signal.
Organizational Excellence as a Marketing Tool: Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) as a Case Study
by Ghazi Al-Weshah
Abstract: This study aims at providing a deeper understanding of current status of organizational excellence (OE) from executives perspectives in Greater Amman Municipality (GAM). More specifically, the study investigates OE benefits, tools, challenges, and evaluation criteria from executives perspectives in GAM. The study employs the qualitative case study design; Semi- structured interview is conducted as data collection instrument. Seven executives from GAM were selected for interview based on the purposive sample. Thematic and textual analysis of each interview transcript has been employed. To build a holistic view of the case study, cross- interview analysis has been adopted to highlight the study themes. The study concludes that OE has not been implemented effectively in GAM, although there are planned methodologies for each implementation dimension. Moreover, The common challenge encountered by OE implementation is lack of top management support and low available resources. The study recommends that continuous evaluation of customer satisfaction can be pursued by GAM based on clear, measurable, and reliable criteria. The study provides important lessons in applying OE models for practitioners and policy makers in governmental organizations generally and GAM particularly.
Keywords: Organizational Excellence; Qualitative Approach; Interviews; Greater Amman Municipality; Case Study; Governmental Sector; Jordan.
Managing online teams: challenges and best practices
by Shonelle M. Ramserran, Abubaker Haddud
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to discover how management skills influence online teams in direct comparison to offline teams. A survey was conducted of 120 managers working in varying degrees of online and offline teams. As virtual teams are affected differently by leadership and communication skills together with team dynamics and culture, these attributes were examined at length to understand how best to manage online teams. In line with researchers' expectations, this study gave light to the new phenomenon of online teams, and their benefits, but also the extra attention needed when communicating, as the element of human interaction is missing. The study revealed that leadership and communication are important in online teams. Also, interaction and engagement with online teams require more sensitivity. Finally, team dynamics are more difficult to develop with online teams and culture plays a major role in managing online teams.
Keywords: virtual teams; leadership; communications; team dynamics; cultural influences; management skills; key stakeholders.
The present state of the game 'hide and seek' in pricing
by Gábor Rekettye, Jonathan Liu
Abstract: The first and second decade of the 21st century brought about new global economic and technological changes, which place pricing even more in the forefront of social and managerial considerations. It is enough to refer to three striking trends: 1) the global downturn of the economy resulting in a radical change of consumer behaviour, in increasing price sensitivity of the people; 2) the rapid economic development of the big emerging countries resulting in the clutter of goods and services on the world market with quite different cost structures compared to those of the advanced countries; 3) the fast development of the information and communication technology making it possible for customers to compare the price offers of the different sellers and enabling sellers to implement more and more sophisticated pricing methods to make the comparison more difficult. The objective of this paper is to shed light to a new game played among sellers and buyers to get temporary result in obtaining bigger share from the 'pie' called by the economists as producers' and consumers' surplus. The game is referred to by the paper as 'hide and seek in pricing'. The study intends to analyse the pricing behaviour of companies and consumers in this new setting.
Keywords: changing environment; pricing; price transparency; pricing techniques; zone of pricing; ZOP; pricing behaviours; price comparison; elasticity of demand; business models.
Sustainable global purchasing: assessing the relative impact of sustainability goals and programs
by Robin Von Haartman, Lars Bengtsson
Abstract: Global purchasing and offshoring are established strategic means for lowering costs and improving competitiveness. However, firms purchasing globally have been accused of committing, supporting or just turning a blind eye to a number of environmental and social misdeeds, such as disregard for environmental regulation, poor working conditions and corruption. The purpose of this paper is to provide quantitative evidence, based on a large-scale survey, on how global purchasing actually impacts sustainability performance. The study finds no significant differences in sustainability performance between firms purchasing globally and firms purchasing regionally. However, firms purchasing globally are significantly more likely to fulfil their sustainability goals compared to firms purchasing regionally. Moreover, only firms that purchase globally show a significant impact of sustainability programs on supplier sustainability compliance. Global purchasing can thus aid in social and environmental responsibility if it is accompanied by ambitious sustainability targets and sustainability programs.
Keywords: global purchasing; global sourcing; sustainable supply chain management; SSCM; sustainability performance; environmental responsibility; sustainable sourcing; corporate social responsibility; CSR; supplier compliance.
Leader's qualities and organisational performance: a case of Malaysian Takaful operator
by Wan Norhayate Wan Daud, Marlisa Abd Rahim, Fakhrul Anwar Zainol, Abdul Ghafar Ismail
Abstract: This study examines the factors of enhancing Takaful organisational performance from qualities of Islamic leaders' perspectives. This study begins with the introduction and overview of Takaful industry. We focus into four dimensions of Islamic leaders' qualities, which consisted of truthfulness, trust, knowledge, and communication in the leader's practices. We found that the Takaful operator is being proactively in achieving their vision by centre of attentions on the Islamic leaders' qualities. Specifically, the Takaful operator considered values as important elements that support Islamic leaders' qualities to achieve the organisational goals. The Takaful operator measured both financial performance and non-financial performance in their key performance indicators. This study implies that qualities of Islamic leaders can be effectively practiced in the corporate setting, which may leverage to the higher performance of organisation achievement.
Keywords: Islamic leaders' qualities; organisational performance; Takaful; Malaysia.
Business process modelling linguistic approach application in public administration (self-governmental)
by Jozef Stašák, Peter Schmidt
Abstract: The paper deals with an application of a linguistic approach to business process modelling implemented and operated within self-governmental institutions. The administration is considered to be the core process and the records management is denoted as the main process and a subject to be modelled, while a set of adequate rules and principles postulated via Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic are being respected, when providing those activities. The paper's theoretical part deals with explanation of terms and principles important for the above-mentioned type of modelling. The second paper's part which deals with practical aspects is concerned with records management business process linguistic modelling. Both of the above-mentioned parts create an integral part of records management expert system: (ES-RM) conceptual model, which creates basis adequate application programs, and should enable the ES-RM implementation and operation in practice.
Keywords: linguistic modelling; business process; records management; rules; expert system.
Pakistan's persistent energy crisis and performance of private power producers
by Amir Ikram, Qin Su, Muhammad Fiaz
Abstract: The study examines the linkage between profitability and working capital management of private sector power producers of Pakistan. The energy crisis resulted in increased reliance on independent power producers (IPPs), which lead to various financial irregularities. Data for a period of seven years (2008-2014) was collected from 11 IPPs listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange descriptive analysis, ANOVA, and regression analysis, along with trend analysis and other diagnostic tests, were deployed to examine the association between five working capital ratios and net operating profit. Net trading cycle, current assets and current liabilities were found to exhibit significant relationship with profitability of IPPs. The findings suggest that the persistent problem of circular debt can be minimised through supply chain excellence, which can be realised through vigilant selection of suppliers and vendors on the part of private power producers. Since working capital management significantly influences the performance of IPPs, the study persuades undertaking of taking corrective measures before pursing long-term goals of installing new units. Dynamic business model is recommended that enhances collaboration and brings financial viability to the power sector.
Keywords: energy crisis; independent power producers; IPPs; working capital management; net operating profit; analysis of variance; Pakistan.