Open Science Research Excellence

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 13

Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering

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  • 13
    10010791
    The Governance of Islamic Banks in Morocco: Meaning, Strategic Vision and Purposes Attributed to the Governance System
    Abstract:

    Due to the setbacks on the international scene and the wave of cacophonic financial scandals affecting large international groups, the new Islamic finance industry is not immune despite its initial resistance. The purpose of this paper is to understand and analyze the meaning of the Corporate Governance (CG) concept in Moroccan Islamic banking systems with specific reference to their institutions. The research objective is to identify also the path taken and adopted by these banks recently set up in Morocco. The foundation is rooted in shari'a, in particular, no stakeholder (the shareholding approach) must be harmed, and the ethical value is reflected into these parties’ behavior. We chose a qualitative method, semi-structured interviews where six managers provided answers about their banking systems. Since these respondents held a senior position (directors) within their organizations, it is felt that they are well placed and have the necessary knowledge to provide us with information to answer the questions asked. The results identified the orientation of participating banks and assessing how governance works, while determining which party is fovoured: shareholders, stakeholders or both. This study discusses the favorable condition to the harmonization of the regulations and therefore a better integration between Islamic finance and conventional ones in the economic context of Morocco.

    12
    10010793
    A Legal Opinion on Mitigation and Adaptation on Air Pollution Strategies for Local Governments in South Africa
    Abstract:

    This paper presents an overview of the foundation and evolution of environmental related problems in local governments with specific reference on air pollution in South Africa. Local government has a direct mandate in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereafter, the Constitution). This mandate to protect, fulfil, respect and promote the Bill of Rights by local governments in respect of the powers and functions creates confusion around the role of where a local government fits in, in addressing the problem of climate change in South Africa. A reflection of the evolving legislations, developments, and processes regarding climate change that shaped local government dispensation in South Africa is addressed by the notion of developmental local governments. This paper seeks to examine the advances for mitigation and adaptation regulation of air pollution and application in South Africa. This study involves a qualitative approach that will involve South African national legislation as well as an interpretation of international strategies. A literature review study was conducted to undertake the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands, as well as the relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act. It then proceeds to outline the responsibilities of local governments in South Africa to mitigate and adapt to air pollution strategies.

    11
    10010796
    Investigating Iraqi EFL University Students' Productive Knowledge of Grammatical Collocations in English
    Abstract:

    Grammatical collocations (GCs) are word combinations containing a preposition or a grammatical structure, such as an infinitive (e.g. smile at, interested in, easy to learn, etc.). Such collocations tend to be difficult for Iraqi EFL university students (IUS) to master. To help address this problem, it is important to identify the factors causing it. This study aims at investigating the effects of L2 proficiency, frequency of GCs and their transparency on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. The study involves 112 undergraduate participants with different proficiency levels, learning English in formal contexts in Iraq. The data collection instruments include (but not limited to) a productive knowledge test (designed by the researcher using the British National Corpus (BNC)), as well as the grammar part of the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). The study findings have shown that all the above-mentioned factors have significant effects on IUSs’ productive knowledge of GCs. In addition to establishing evidence of which factors of L2 learning might be relevant to learning GCs, it is hoped that the findings of the present study will contribute to more effective methods of teaching that can better address and help overcome the problems IUSs encounter in learning GCs. The study is thus hoped to have significant theoretical and pedagogical implications for researchers, syllabus designers as well as teachers of English as a foreign/second language.

    10
    10010797
    Investigating Iraqi EFL Undergraduates' Performance in the Production of Number Forms in English
    Abstract:

    The production of number forms in English tends to be problematic for Iraqi learners of English as a foreign language (EFL), even at the undergraduate level. To help better understand and consequently address this problem, it is important to identify its sources. This study aims at: (1) statistically analysing Iraqi EFL undergraduates' performance in the production of number forms in English; (2) classifying learners' errors in terms of their possible major causes; and (3) outlining some pedagogical recommendations relevant to the teaching of number forms in English. It is hypothesized in this study that (1) Iraqi EFL undergraduates still face problems in the production of number forms in English and (2) errors pertaining to the context of learning are more numerous than those attributable to the other possible causes. After reviewing the literature available on the topic, a written test comprising 50 items has been constructed and administered to a randomly chosen sample of 50 second-year college students from the Department of English, College of Education, Wasit University. The findings of the study showed that Iraqi EFL undergraduates still face problems in the production of number forms in English and that the possible major sources of learners’ errors can be arranged hierarchically in terms of the percentages of errors to which they can be ascribed as follows: (1) context of learning (50%), (2) intralingual transfer (37%), and (3) interlingual transfer (13%). It is hoped that the implications of the study findings will be beneficial to researchers, syllabus designers, as well as teachers of English as a foreign/second language.

    9
    10010798
    A Corpus-Based Approach to Understanding Market Access in Fisheries and Aquaculture: A Systematic Literature Review
    Abstract:

    Although fisheries and aquaculture studies might seem marginal to international business (IB) studies in general, fisheries and aquaculture IB (FAIB) management is currently facing increasing pressure to meet global demand and consumption for fish in the next coming decades. In part address to this challenge, the purpose of this systematic review of literature (SLR) study is to investigate the use of the term ‘market access’ in its context of use in the generic literature and business sector discourse, in comparison to the more specific literature and discourse in fisheries, aquaculture and seafood. This SLR aims to uncover the knowledge/interest gaps between the academic subject discourses and business sector practices. Corpus driven in methodology and using a triangulation method of three different text analysis software including AntConc, VOSviewer and Web of Science (WoS) analytics, the SLR results indicate a gap in conceptual knowledge and business practices in how ‘market access’ is conceived and used in the context of the pharmaceutical healthcare industry and FAIB research and practice. While it is acknowledged that the product orientation of different business sectors might differ, this SLR study works with the assumption that both business sectors are global in orientation. These business sectors are complex in their operations from product to market. This SLR suggests a conceptual model in understanding the challenges, the potential barriers as well as avenues for solutions to developing market access for FAIB.

    8
    10010801
    The Use of Webquests in Developing Inquiry Based Learning: Views of Teachers and Students in Qatar
    Abstract:

    This paper reports on an aspect of e-learning in developing inquiry-based learning (IBL). We present data on the views of teachers and students in Qatar following a professional development programme intended to help teachers implement IBL in their science and mathematics classrooms. Key to this programme was the use of WebQuests. Views of the teachers and students suggested that WebQuests helped students to develop technical skills, work collaboratively and become independent in their learning. The use of WebQuests also enabled a combination of digital and non-digital tools that helped students connect ideas and enhance their understanding of topics.

    7
    10010803
    Public Service Ethics in Public Administration: An Empirical Investigation
    Authors:
    Abstract:

    The increasing concern of public sector reforms brings new challenges to public service ethics in developing countries not only at central level but also at local level. This paper aims to identify perceptions on public service ethics of public officials and examines more generally the understanding of public servants in Pakistan towards public service ethics in local public organizations. The study uses an independently administered structured questionnaire to collect data to know the extent of the recognition of public service ethics in local organizations. A total of 150 completed questionnaires are analyzed received from public servants working at the local level in Pakistan. The analysis explores how traditional, social patterns and cultural ethics can provide us with a rounded picture of the main antecedents, moderators of public service ethics in Pakistan. Moreover, the findings of this study contribute in association of public service ethics which are crucial in ongoing political and administrative culture of Pakistan, the most crucial core for public organizational ethical climate. This study also has numerous implications for local public administration and it highlights the importance of expanding research agenda on public service ethics in developing settings with challenging institutional contexts with imperfect training and operating environments. This study may well be particularly important for practice of public service ethics in developing countries in public administration. To the best of author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to provide an initial step in practical implications to emphasize relevant public service ethics in public administration in developing transparent and accountable organization.

    6
    10010809
    Performance Comparison of Cooperative Banks in the EU, USA and Canada
    Authors:
    Abstract:

    This paper compares different types of profitability measures of cooperative banks from two developed regions: the European Union and the United States of America together with Canada. We created balanced dataset of more than 200 cooperative banks covering 2011-2016 period. We made series of tests and run Random Effects estimation on panel data. We found that American and Canadian cooperatives are more profitable in terms of return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE). There is no significant difference in net interest margin (NIM). Our results show that the North American cooperative banks accommodated better to the current market environment.

    5
    10010824
    Development of a Small-Group Teaching Method for Enhancing the Learning of Basic Acupuncture Manipulation Optimized with the Theory of Motor Learning
    Abstract:
    This study developed a method for teaching acupuncture manipulation in small groups optimized with the theory of motor learning. Sixty acupuncture students and their teacher participated in our research. Motion videos were recorded of their manipulations using the lifting-thrusting method. These videos were analyzed using Simi Motion software to acquire the movement parameters of the thumb tip. The parameter velocity curves along Y axis was used to generate small teaching groups clustered by a self-organized map (SOM) and K-means. Ten groups were generated. All the targeted instruction based on the comparative results groups as well as the videos of teacher and student was provided to the members of each group respectively. According to the theory and research of motor learning, the factors or technologies such as video instruction, observational learning, external focus and summary feedback were integrated into this teaching method. Such efforts were desired to improve and enhance the effectiveness of current acupuncture teaching methods in limited classroom teaching time and extracurricular training.
    4
    10010826
    Prioritization Assessment of Housing Development Risk Factors: A Fuzzy Hierarchical Process-Based Approach
    Abstract:

    The construction industry and housing subsector are fraught with risks that have the potential of negatively impacting on the achievement of project objectives. The success or otherwise of most construction projects depends to large extent on how well these risks have been managed. The recent paradigm shift by the subsector to use of formal risk management approach in contrast to hitherto developed rules of thumb means that risks must not only be identified but also properly assessed and responded to in a systematic manner. The study focused on identifying risks associated with housing development projects and prioritisation assessment of the identified risks in order to provide basis for informed decision. The study used a three-step identification framework: review of literature for similar projects, expert consultation and questionnaire based survey to identify potential risk factors. Delphi survey method was employed in carrying out the relative prioritization assessment of the risks factors using computer-based Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) software. The results show that 19 out of the 50 risks significantly impact on housing development projects. The study concludes that although significant numbers of risk factors have been identified as having relevance and impacting to housing construction projects, economic risk group and, in particular, ‘changes in demand for houses’ is prioritised by most developers as posing a threat to the achievement of their housing development objectives. Unless these risks are carefully managed, their effects will continue to impede success in these projects. The study recommends the adoption and use of the combination of multi-technique identification framework and AHP prioritization assessment methodology as a suitable model for the assessment of risks in housing development projects.

    3
    10010833
    Current Status of Industry 4.0 in Material Handling Automation and In-house Logistics
    Abstract:
    In the last decade, a new industrial revolution seems to be emerging, supported -once again- by the rapid advancements of Information Technology in the areas of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication permitting large numbers of intelligent devices, e.g. sensors to communicate with each other and take decisions without any or minimum indirect human intervention. The advent of these technologies have triggered the emergence of a new category of hybrid (cyber-physical) manufacturing systems, combining advanced manufacturing techniques with innovative M2M applications based on the Internet of Things (IoT), under the umbrella term Industry 4.0. Even though the topic of Industry 4.0 has attracted much attention during the last few years, the attempts of providing a systematic literature review of the subject are scarce. In this paper, we present the authors’ initial study of the field with a special focus on the use and applications of Industry 4.0 principles in material handling automations and in-house logistics. Research shows that despite the vivid discussion and attractiveness of the subject, there are still many challenges and issues that have to be addressed before Industry 4.0 becomes standardized and widely applicable.
    2
    10010838
    A Survey of Key Challenges of Adopting Agile in Global Software Development: A Case Study with Malaysia Perspective
    Authors:
    Abstract:
    Agile methodology is the current most popular technique in software development projects. Agile methods in software development bring optimistic impact on software performances, quality and customer satisfaction. There are some organizations and small-medium enterprises adopting agile into their local software development projects as well as in distributed software development projects. Adopting agile methods in local software development projects is valuable. However, agile global software deployment needs an attention. There are different key challenges in agile global software development that need to resolve and enhance the global software development cycles. The proposed systematic literature review investigates all key challenges of agile in global software development. Moreover, a quantitative methodology (an actual survey) targeted to present a real case scenario of these particular key challenges faced by one of the software houses that is BestWeb Malaysia. The outcomes of systematic literature and the results of quantitative methodology are compared with each other to evaluate if the key challenges pointed out in systematic review still exist. The proposed research and its exploratory results can assist small medium enterprises to avoid these challenges by adopting the best practices in their global software development projects. Moreover, it is helpful for novice researchers to get valuable information altogether.
    1
    10010839
    Incorporating Circular Economy into Passive Design Strategies in Tropical Nigeria
    Abstract:

    The natural environment is in need for an urgent rescue due to dilapidation and recession of resources. Passive design strategies have proven to be one of the effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions and to improve building performance. On the other hand, there is a huge drop in material availability due to poor recycling culture. Consequently, building waste pose environmental hazard due to unrecycled building materials from construction and deconstruction. Buildings are seen to be material banks for a circular economy, therefore incorporating circular economy into passive housing will not only safe guide the climate but also improve resource efficiency. The study focuses on incorporating a circular economy in passive design strategies for an affordable energy and resource efficient residential building in Nigeria. Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is still on the increase as buildings are responsible for a significant amount of this emission globally. Therefore, prompt measures need to be taken to combat the effect of global warming and associated threats. Nigeria is rapidly growing in human population, resources on the other hand have receded greatly, and there is an abrupt need for recycling even in the built environment. It is necessary that Nigeria responds to these challenges effectively and efficiently considering building resource and energy. Passive design strategies were assessed using simulations to obtain qualitative and quantitative data which were inferred to case studies as it relates to the Nigeria climate. Building materials were analysed using the ReSOLVE model in order to explore possible recycling phase. This provided relevant information and strategies to illustrate the possibility of circular economy in passive buildings. The study offers an alternative approach, as it is the general principle for the reworking of an economy on ecological lines in passive housing and by closing material loops in circular economy.