Open Access Original Research Article

The Correlation between IT Investment and Corporate Performance In The Nigerian Banking Sector

Hassan Olanrewaju Makinde

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 349-365
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/6409

The revolution potential of the new Information and Communication Technology lies in its capacities to instantaneously convert vast network of individuals and organizations across great geographical distances at very little cost. This paper dwells on the correlation between IT investment and corporate performance in the Nigerian banking sector. The study made use of secondary data sourced from the Central Bank of Nigeria statistical bulletin, the National Bureau of Statistics and archives of the four (4) selected banks (using their websites) for the variables between 1986 and 2011. The model for the study has as its dependent variable the banks’ net income and its explanatory variables are investments on ICT, investment on other assets and annual operating cost. Using the Pooled regression techniques; our study revealed that there is a strong positive relationship between the banks’ net income and the annual investment in ICT by the selected banks. That is, ICT has greatly impacted positively and significantly on bank operations in Nigeria given the period of study. The study, therefore recommended that staff training and personnel to handle the information technology system of the bank should be recurring and up to date so as to keep abreast with global best practices.

Open Access Original Research Article

Examine the Effects of Customer Satisfaction on Customer Loyalty: An Empirical Study in the Healthcare Insurance Industry in Hong Kong

Raymond Wong, Canon Tong, Anthony Wong

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 372-399
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/6318

Aims: Customer loyalty, which is affected by satisfaction, brand preference and switching costs, is an important concept in service industries as it is known to increases market share and revenue while bringing down the cost of acquiring and retaining customers.  Healthcare insurance is one such service industry and it is currently the focus of attention in Hong Kong due to the introduction of an insurance-based healthcare plan for its citizens. In the past decade, a number of empirical studies related to healthcare have been conducted in Western countries. However, in order to acquire a better understanding of customer loyalty in the context of healthcare insurance in Hong Kong it was considered essential to conduct an in-depth study in that special administrative region of China. The objectives of the research were to determine the following: the direct effects of customer satisfaction on customer loyalty; the direct effects of customer satisfaction on brand preference; the direct effects of brand preference on customer loyalty; the direct effects of customer satisfaction on switching costs; the direct effects of switching costs on customer loyalty; the direct effects of switching costs on brand preference; the mediating effects of brand preference on the causal relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty; the mediating effects of switching costs on the causal relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty; and the mediating effects of brand preference on the causal relationship between switching costs and customer loyalty.

Study Design: This study employed positivism paradigm, cross-sectional and quantitative study.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was taken in Hong Kong between June 2011 and June 2012.

Methodology: The research methodology of this study involved a questionnaire survey of over five hundred respondents and quantitative analysis of the collected data using structural equation modeling. 

Results: The results indicate that: customer satisfaction has a positive direct effect on customer loyalty; customer satisfaction has a positive direct effect on brand preference; brand preference has a positive direct effect on customer loyalty; customer satisfaction has a positive direct effect on switching costs; switching costs have a positive direct effect on customer loyalty; switching costs have a positive direct effect on brand preference; the influence of customer satisfaction on customer loyalty is mediated by brand preference; the influence of customer satisfaction on customer loyalty is mediated by switching costs; and that the influence of switching costs on customer loyalty is mediated by brand preference.

Conclusion: The research findings provide new and useful insights for the managers of healthcare insurance providers in Hong Kong that will help them understand their customers better.

Open Access Original Research Article

Hydrogen Strategic Complement of Oil, Coal, Gas and Renewable Energy

Edward H. Jiménez, Esteban Jiménez Chacón

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 400-419
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/5042

Aims: The main objective of this study is to demonstrate the technical and economic future of hydrogen energy compared to oil.

Study Design: Simulation and Game Theory.

Place and Duration of Study: This research was developed during 2012 in public company EP Petroecuador and National Polytechnic School in Quito, Ecuador, and December of 2012 in COSMOOIL-JOGMEC, Japan.

Methodology: Strategies of global energy game should guide the future energy world. These strategies can be realized by managing flexibility price with Real Options Theory and produced quantity by using Nash equilibrium in cooperative industrial systems. We can calculate hydrogen volume that should exist in the global energy marketing in order to keep "petroleum status quo".

Results: Hydrogen Investment is the future business!

Conclusion: Although hydrogen was not properly understood as an alternative energy, it has emerged as strategic complement of oil in recent times. In this sense, we introduce the need for Tobin q*. It was modified for oil and hydrogen projects. Furthermore, q* permit us to maximize profitability and minimize risk simultaneously.

Open Access Original Research Article

Regional Inequality of Educational Attainment in Nigeria

Habibu Mohammed Umar, Russayani Ismail, Roslan Abdul-Hakim

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 420-430
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/7080

Aims: This article measures educational inequalities between Northern and Southern regions of Nigeria and compare it with the educational distribution within regions.

Study Design:  A cross sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: Nigeria, 2012.

Methodology: Theil Index and Decomposition Analysis.

Results: Educational inequality is higher in the North than in the South as 17 out of 19 states of northern Nigeria have higher Theil index than the national Theil index. However, educational attainment and inequality are found to have a negative relationship.

Conclusion: Within regions inequality rather than between regions is the main source of education inequality in Nigeria. There is a negative relationship between educational attainment and inequality. It implies that states with higher educational attainment are more likely to achieve more equitable distributions of education.

Open Access Original Research Article

Fatalities in the Nigerian Construction Industry: A Case of Poor Safety Culture

Hilda Enoh Olele

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 431-452
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/6439

The paper discussed fatalities in the Nigerian construction industry- a case of poor safety culture. It views safety culture as the set of beliefs, norms, attitudes, roles, social and technical practices that are concerned with minimizing the exposure of employees, managers, customers and members of the public to conditions considered dangerous or injurious. It assumes that incorporation of positive safety culture into investment in machines and technology (socio-technical investments) by Nigerian construction companies will result in better safety performance of employees (reduced rate of unsafe acts)and the company (reduced rate of fatalities). The research question addressed the extent of the relationship between poor safety culture and increased rate of unsafe acts/fatalities in the Nigerian construction industry. The place of study comprises of twelve construction companies, two from each of the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria while the duration of study is between August 2012 and July 2013.A descriptive research design was used in executing the study using 600(judgmentally determined) randomly selected respondents from twelve construction companies in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria for questionnaire administration. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results from the data analysis indicated that significant relationship exists between poor safety culture and increased rate of unsafe acts/fatalities in the Nigerian construction industry and recommends among others: regular site safety audits to identify/eliminate potential workplace hazards, regular staff training to improve their hazard identification skills, involvement of management and workers in addressing safety matters, formation of safety committees to identify and eliminate potential  workplace hazards and making hazard identification/reporting everyone’s responsibility.

Open Access Original Research Article

R & D Expenditures and Import Competition: Recent Evidence for the U.S.

Bichaka Fayissa, Kevin Zhao

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 453-467
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/6979

Aims: The large and growing U.S. trade deficit since the 1980s has sparked some interests in the determination of the impact of trade (foreign imports) on research and development (R & D) expenditures response to slow down the rising U.S. imports of goods and services and reduce the trade deficit. In this paper we explore the extent to which R & D expenditures have been used by U.S. manufacturing industries as a strategic variable to recapture or gain market share from foreign companies in light of the continued increase in import competition over the 2000-2010 decade.

Study Design and Methodology: Using panel dataset over the 2000-2010 period for a cross section of twenty two-digit SIC industries, we estimate the effects of import competition and some control variables (real exchange rate, real income, unit labor cost, and shipment of goods and services) on the share of R & D expenditures to net sales in low and high-tech U.S. manufacturing industries

Results and Conclusion: Our findings show that the rise in import competition continues to elicit increased R&D (process and product) expenditures response for the high-tech industries, not for the low-tech industries. A policy implication which may be drawn from the study suggests that incentives to promote and encourage domestic manufacturing industries in the form of subsidy, or tax credits to contend with import competition may only be productive for high-tech industries, not so for the low-tech.

Open Access Short Research Articles

Application of Malmquist Indexes, Empirical Model and Data Envelopment Analysis: A Measure of Performance and Efficiency of Commercial Banks in Taiwan

Lung-Tan Lu, Shing-Ko Liang, Yuan-ho Lee

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 341-348
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/5565

Aims: This paper examines the performance of commercial banks in Taiwan, in terms of their ability to provide maximum outputs by the given input utilization. There seems to be important concern hanging on the ability of commercial banks to provide output-base for the available input utilization in Taiwan.

Study Design: This study has been divided into four parts to investigate the DEA model such as efficiency analysis, return to scale analysis, slack variable analysis and sensitivity analysis.

Place and Duration of Study: The data used in the study are from the reports of the Bank Sector Statistics published by the Central Bank, Taiwan from 2006 to 2010.

Methodology: The Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Malmuist Index methods have been employed to determine the effects of variable returns on the operational performance and efficiency. The variables used in the study include inputs: (1) numbers of branches, (2) number of employee per branch, (3) share in total assets, (4) share in total loans, and (5) share in total deposits and outputs: (1) ROA, (2) ROE, (3) net interest income/total assets, (4) net interest income/total operating income and (5) non-interest income/total assets.

Results: The DEA efficiency scores can be interpreted to illustrate that individual bank may increase its outputs without changing the input utilization if the technical efficient is as good as the best practice bank. Regarding the change on the technical efficiency, the change rate in the period of 2007-2008 is 0.949, which shows that the technical efficiency has declined. Moreover, the following periods, 2008-2010 have declined further. For the change of scale efficiency in the period of 2006-2007 is 0.931 whilst the rate is 1.008 in the following period (2007-2008).

Conclusion: It is found that the operation of commercial banks in Taiwan is not on the optimal scale. For resource consumption, there should be some rooms for improvement.


Open Access Short Research Articles

Introducing a Model for Identifying Operative Enablers of Supply Chain Quality Management

Ali Alavi, Muhammad Shukri, Roya Kavandi, Amir Hossein Marjani

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 468-486
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/7277

Aims: This study aims at investigating the content of supply chain quality management, uncovering its structure and defining the leading paths to explore development opportunities and to organize resources and organizational operations to push overall performance toward yielding better results.

Study Design: As the scope of competition has been driven from the level of the company toward the supply chain and interaction among companies, researchers are in pursuit of identifying measures to improve quality and its management through the supply chain.

Place and Duration of Study: 4 Electronic Companies in Zanjan Province in Iran. The duration of study was between June 2013 and August 2013.

Methodology: After studying the previous researches and finding a comprehensive view for the paper, 10 factors including: focus on customer, the quality of data and reports, supplier relationships, information technology, human resource management, process management, knowledge management, leadership, quality practices and strategic planning are identified and examined. The significance of the factors have been studied and revealed by deploying a questionnaire in four companies. At first, the four companies have been studied separately then their results have been discussed in comparison to the others.

Results: Findings indicate that Knowledge management had the lowest performance rate. So, it needs considerable attention to improve. On the other hand, Quality Practices rates in very good position and it was the best factor of the 10 factors in 4 Companies.

Conclusion: The proposed conceptual framework is expected to help managers in a better understanding the enablers of the supply chain quality management and to implement such enablers to improve its performance.

Open Access Review Article

A Critical Review of Ethical Practices in the Public Sector of Saudi Arabia

Sunil Ramlall, Suzan Alqurashi, Talat Sindi

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 366-371
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/7248

Governments and agencies around the world are continuously seeking new ways and measures to promote the establishment of efficiency and efficacy leading to development of quality deliverance of public services. Saudi Arabia is of no exception. In this paper we examine, ethical practices in Saudi Arabia and especially, as they relate to employment practices. We identified current practices, provide an analysis of these practices and provided suggestions in which they can be improved to achieve higher levels of efficiencies.

Open Access Policy Article

The New Open System Model for Technology-Driven Organizations

Allan Beck

Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, Page 333-340
DOI: 10.9734/BJEMT/2014/6933

The article presents a conceptual model on how technology-driven organizations may move into a paradigm of open system collaboration with others outside the place of employment.  Individuals may choose to contribute to paid and non-paid solution-boards that will serve as sources to turn tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge and allow organizations to rely on outside experts rather than a highly compensated in-house technical workforce. The open system for technology-driven organizations will allow complex problems to be solved by combining in-house and outside expertise.  The system is built around the concept of transparency and sharing to solve complex manufacturing problems, drive innovation, and foster a level global field.