July 2014 (Journal of Business and Policy Research)

July 2014 (Journal of Business and Policy Research)

Total Articles - 13

Pages 1 – 24

Author: Hsin-Yi Huang, Chih-Hsien Liao and Shu-Ling Wu

Family firms are important business enterprises in Taiwan, a regime characterized by weaker investor protection and less developed capital market. Using listed companies from 1996-2011, this study examines whether family firms employ high-quality auditors to mitigate the agency problem arising from concentrated ownership. We find that family firms are more likely to appoint audit partners with industry expertise to alleviate investors’ concern about Type II agency problem, especially when the CEO is hired outside the founding family and when the family firm has larger control-ownership divergence. The results also show that investors react more positively to family firms’ switch of audit partners from non-specialist to specialist. Our findings are consistent with industry specialist auditors serving a governance role to alleviate the entrenchment problem in family firms.

Pages 25 – 43

Author: Jean L. Seow

This paper reports the results of an experiment conducted post-SOX (2002) involving 107 board directors in Singapore to investigate how directors’ identification and evaluation of diagnostic and non-diagnostic information in a financial statement fraud risk assessment setting affects their risk assessments. The results show that more (less) diluted risk assessments are made when more (fewer) non-diagnostic factors are identified and where more (less) weight is placed on non-diagnostic factors identified as relevant to the judgment decision. Directors with higher (lower) levels of domain knowledge identify more (fewer) diagnostic factors and place more (less) weight on these factors. Directors with higher levels of domain knowledge also place marginally less weight on non-diagnostic factors, resulting in less dilution in risk assessments made. The ‘gap’ in performance on the risk assessment task between directors with higher versus lower levels of domain knowledge is found to persist even with the use of a decision aid. Collectively, these findings suggest that domain knowledge is a key driver in directors’ ability to identify and evaluate risk factors, and lack of domain knowledge is not easily replaced by decision aids. The findings also show that some commonly-used measures of director expertise and competence may be inappropriate proxies for their risk assessment abilities.

Pages 44 – 64

Author: Neungruthai Nickie Petcharat and Joseph M. Mula

The motivation for undertaking this study was driven by the current practice of activity based costing (ABC), which has identified and allocated costs of environmental factors to overheads. This has resulted in cost accounting information inaccuracies when providing to support environment internal decisions and addressing stakeholders and public concerns. The results of the study indicate that companies are intending to change to new management accounting practices while looking for ways to improve cost identification and measurement of environmental factors. Thus, this study designs a conceptual model for a sustainability management accounting system (SMAS) utilizing environmental management accounting (EMA) for cost identification and measurement while expanding on activity based costing (ABC) application to help in the cost analysis and allocation of environmental impacts. A SMAS provides companies’ accountants with a way to create more accurate accounting data for management decision and environmental reporting initiatives.

Pages 65 – 80

Author: Cinthya G. Caamal-Olvera

The aim of this paper is to examine the trend over time of the rewards to education granted by the Mexican labor market accounting for gender differences. The paper provides robust estimates of the returns to education across the conditional wage distribution using quantile regression methodology. The estimated coefficients reveal a robust declining trend stronger for males than for females. The estimates of the returns to education are larger for females than for males, which may be explained by women’s acquisition of more schooling than males and their increasing participation in the labor market. Yet even as returns to education increase for women, the jobs they hold continue to pay lower wages relative to men.

Pages 81 – 105

Author: Vasita Patel and Sheikh Selim

Following the 1978 rural reform, a series of agricultural reforms were introduced in China with an aim to create incentives for the farmers to produce more. However, the nineties’ reforms towards liberalization eventually resulted in a huge drop in agricultural production, which apparently motivated the grain self-sufficiency program in 1998. For a dataset that covers wheat production during these reforms, we examine how and to what extent these reforms affected the Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and the welfare of wheat farmers in China, both at the national and at the regional level. We find that although the nineties' price reforms led to a relatively faster growth of the incentivized TFP of wheat production, they failed to improve profits vis a vis welfare for the farmers. A series of weather shocks in the early nineties resulted in a scarcity of cultivable land and a shortage of agricultural labour, which eventually led to a sharp increase in their relative prices. The introduction of grain self-sufficiency program stabilized these agricultural prices but destroyed the growth in TFP for most regions. However, this reform resulted in some improvement in farmers’ welfare. Wheat farmers in China therefore experienced a trade off between productivity and welfare; competition boosted their productivity and regulation improved their welfare. Not only these findings add a completely new set of results to the existing literature, they can also form a strong basis for future agricultural reforms in China.

Pages 106 – 116

Author: Teresa Kaminska and Elzbieta Babula

FDI is thought to be one of the contemporary most dynamic factors of internationalization in both micro (companies) and macro (economies) scales. The gravitation model is widely applied in social sciences, therefore it is worth verifying whether it is able to cope with FDI development. The cognitive purpose of the paper is to explore a capability for explaining the FDI opportunities within the EU countries by the gravity model, which covers the size of the given economies and the distance between them. The innovative approach to the research is interpreting the size of economies as measured by total exports and imports flows, instead of the traditional GDP method. The empirical analysis is based on the gravity model estimation for panel data of selected EU countries from 2004 to 2010. The selection of the period of the study was due to the availability of OECD International Direct Investment Statistics. 282 bilateral relationships between countries were considered, giving 1889 observations. The conclusion is that the gravity model of FDI works for both considered measures of the size of economy – the total trade and GDP. Therefore the trade is stimulating FDI flows (stocks) over the examined period.

Pages 117 – 136

Author: James Xiaohe Zhang

This paper examines the impacts of reform on the farmland management in China on the aggregate economic welfare on the world economy. Propositions derived from a theoretical model include that when the restrictions on farmland exchange are removed, agricultural output may fall but the income loss from a shrinking cropping sector will be more than compensated by a consequential increase in income generated from its alternative use in the dwelling construction sector. The change in the farmland allocation will result in unambiguous welfare gains. These theoretical propositions are examined through simulations on a computable general equilibrium model (the GTAP model) in which several policy scenarios are experimented.

Pages 137 – 148

Author: Dianna DaCosta

Jamaica has made advances in development, in terms of education, health and poverty alleviation; however, economic growth (in terms of GDP) has been difficult. What has made Jamaica’s economic growth so sluggish? This paper hypothesizes that the vibrancy of the informal economy is at fault. A large informal economy suggests the underestimation of GDP. To date, no study has been done to show what influences economic growth in both the formal and informal sectors. Therefore, this study aims to fill this gap by using data for the 1970-2010 period, an endogenous growth model representation and Engle-Granger cointegration estimation techniques. Results indicate that growth in the informal economy has been influenced by trade openness, education, debt to GDP ratio and the political change in 1989. On the other hand, growth in the formal sector has been determined by the same factors with the exception of trade openness and inclusive of monetary policy and trade liberalisation in 1991.

Pages 149 – 165

Author: Bahman P. Ebrahimi

The empirical literature examining the performance benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been decidedly equivocal, reporting positive relationships in many cases, while negative or null relationships in others. In this meta-analytic extension, we explored the financial and non-financial benefits that may result from business corporate social responsibility initiatives. Results provide further support for the positive linkage between corporate social responsibility and firm performance. The strongest support was obtained for the linkage with accounting based measures of performance such as profitability, return on assets, return on equity, and return on sales. Market-based measures such as Tobin Q and stock returns, however, were minimally associated with CSR. Overall, firms with a commitment to fulfilling their societal and environmental obligations appear to enjoy financial and non-financial benefits.

Pages 166 – 179

Author: Shameem Shagirbasha and Ganesh Mangadu Paramasivam

Emotions play a crucial role in service provider (employees) and customer interactions. Understanding of emotional labour will help the organizations to manage employee-customer relationship better. First objective is to find whether the knowledge of emotional labour in service sectors particularly in hotels and call centers, will help the organizations to manage their employees effectively and thus nurture positive employee-customer interactions. Second is to examine whether the nature of interaction influences emotional labour of service employees and have an impact on intention to quit. The moderating role of emotional display rules was also discussed. The study was conducted in two phases. Correlational analysis and hierarchical step-wise regression were used for analysis of data. The sample of the study comprises of the service employees from hotels and call centers interacting with their customers either by means of face to face or voice to voice. The results showed that emotional labour was significantly related to intention to quit. The paper suggests important recommendations to the service organizations like hotels and call centers to manage their employees and their customers in the decisive moment.

Pages 180 – 192

Author: Justin Beneke

There appears to be a dearth of scholarly research, particulary in emerging markets such as South Africa, comparing the relative performance of franchised outlets to corporate owned stores and explaining this through a cause-effect analysis. This study aimed to ascertain insights into consumer perceptions of franchised and corporate owned stores within the South African supermarket sector, and probe the function of store image, trust and satisfaction in determining loyalty to a particular format of outlet. The results indicated that consumers held better perceptions of franchised stores, especially in terms of trust and customer satisfaction. By developing and testing a conceptual model, the study revealed that both store image and trust influence customer loyalty, indirectly, through satisfaction. The findings therefore echo those from a pioneering study into the American market by Orth and Green (2009).

Pages 193 – 206

Author: Jae Hoon Hyun and Sun Yup Ahn

This study contributes to the relatively under-explored research area of partner selection based on their attributions with narrowly confined to the perspective of home country firms. The findings of this study show that task-related and partner-related criteria are both positively related to trust and commitment to international joint ventures, but the result concerning task-related criteria repudiates the existing views that less developed hosting country firms select foreign partners based on partners' attributes. The practical implication of this study provides that hosting firms should revise their partner selection criteria which will eventually lead to the more desirable and equitable relationship in international joint ventures.

Pages 207 – 218

Author: Derek Ong, Victor Ong, Ho Ooi Tim, Liew Chiu Limn and Liew Wei Chyi

Past researches have demonstrated the effectiveness of theory of reasoned action (TRA) model to predict consumers’ purchase intention. However, many researches scarcely use a psychosocial perspective to predict consumers’ purchase intention. Hence, this study extends existing research by incorporating personal moral norms to gain a better understanding of consumers’ purchase intention for ‘socially responsible’ products in the Malaysian marketplace. Results from 178 respondents indicated that attitudes towards behavior, subjective and personal norms influence consumers’ purchase intention. It is found that personal norms also partially mediate between subjective norm and purchase intention. From the findings, it is recommended that companies (and even the government) encourage socially responsible purchasing through holding more public activities, creating social expectations, better disclosures of corporate social responsibility and providing education regarding socially responsible purchasing. Personal engagement of customers should also be considered to encourage better customer relationship when their views are taken into product development and campaigns.

Total Articles- 13

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