This study explores how management addresses psychosocial risks in seven teams of engineers and technicians in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. The sample is from an ongoing quasi-experiment about psychosocial risk management in a manufacturing company in Sweden. Each of the seven teams belongs to one of two clusters: a positive cluster or a negative cluster. The positive cluster reports a significantly positive change in psychosocial risk levels between two time-points and the negative cluster reports a significantly negative change. The data are collected using semi-structured interviews. The results of the computer aided thematic analysis show that there are more differences than similarities when comparing the risk treatment actions taken between the two clusters. Findings show that the managers in the positive cluster use more enabling actions that foster and support formal and informal relationship building. In contrast, managers that use less enabling actions hinder the development of positive group processes and contribute negative changes in psychosocial risk levels. This exploratory study sheds some light on how management can influence significant positive and negative changes in psychosocial risk levels during a risk management process.
Pet population in India is increasing phenomenally owing to the changes in urban lifestyle with increasing number of single professionals, single parents, delayed parenthood etc. The animal companionship as a means of reducing stress levels, deriving emotional support, and unconditional love provided by dogs are a few reasons attributed for increasing pet ownership. The consequence is the booming of the pet care products and dog care centers catering to the different requirements of rearing the pets. Dog care centers quite popular in tier 1 metros of India cater to the requirement of the dog owners providing space for the dogs in absence of the owner. However, it is often reported that the absence of the owner leads to destructive and exploratory behavior issues; the main being the anxiety disorders. In the above context, it becomes imperative for a designer to design dog boarding centers that help in reducing the separation anxiety in dogs keeping in mind the different interior design parameters. An exploratory research with focus group discussion is employed involving a group of dog owners, behaviorists, proprietors of day care as well as boarding centers, and veterinarians to understand their perception on the significance of different interior parameters of color, texture, ventilation, aroma therapy and acoustics as a means of reducing the stress levels in dogs sent to the boarding centers. The data collected is organized as thematic networks thus enabling the listing of the interior design parameters that needs to be considered in designing dog boarding centers.
This study examines the effects of auditor switch, auditee’s industry, and auditee’s location on audit fees in Australia. It uses fee data of Australian Securities Exchange 500 companies, considering all industry classifications throughout the country from 2006 until 2016. Main findings show that auditor switch does not affect audit fees. However, auditee’s industry affects audit fees. This effect occurs in information technology, financials, energy, and materials sectors among the top 500 companies. Financials, energy, and materials sectors face a fee rise, whereas information technology has a fee cut. The extent of fee changes is different among various industries, wherein the financial sector has the highest increase. Further, auditee’s location affects audit fees. Top 500 companies in Hobart, Perth, and Brisbane face a fee reduction, wherein the highest cut is in Hobart. Further analysis suggests that the Australian audit market is being increasingly concentrated in the hands of the Big Four audit firms.
A paradigm shift is a process. The process of implementing inclusive education, a system constructed to support all learners, requires planning, identification, experimentation, and evaluation. In this vein, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the capacity of one Brazilian state school systems to provide special education students with a quality inclusive education. This study originated at the behest of concerned families of students with special needs who filed complaints with the Municipality of Bauru, São Paulo. These families claimed, 1) children with learning differences and educational needs had not been identified for services, and 2) those who had been identified had not received sufficient specialized educational assistance (SEA) in schools across the City of Bauru. Hence, the Office of Civil Rights for the state of São Paulo (Ministério Público de São Paulo) summoned the local higher education institution, UNESP, to design a research study to investigate these allegations. In this exploratory study, descriptive data were gathered from all elementary and middle schools including 58 state schools and 17 city schools, for a total of 75 schools overall. Data collection consisted of each school's annual strategic action plan, surveys and interviews with all school stakeholders to determine their perceptions of the inclusive education available to students with Special Education Needs (SEN). The data were collected as one of four stages in a larger study which also included field observations of a focal students' experience and a continuing education course for all teachers and administrators in both state and city schools. For the purposes of this study, the researchers were interested in understanding the perceptions of school staff, parents, and students across all schools. Therefore, documents and surveys from 75 schools were analyzed for adherence to federal legislation guaranteeing students with SEN the right to special education assistance within the regular school setting. Results shows that while some schools recognized the legal rights of SEN students to receive special education, the plans to actually deliver services were absent. In conclusion, the results of this study revealed both school staff and families have insufficient planning and accessibility resources, and the schools have inadequate infrastructure for full-time support to SEN students, i.e., structures and systems to support the identification of SEN and delivery of services within schools of Bauru, SP. Having identified the areas of need, the city is now prepared to take next steps in the process toward preparing all schools to be inclusive.
In this paper, an interactive in-car interface called HoloDash is presented. It is intended to provide information and infotainment in both autonomous vehicles and ‘connected cars’, vehicles equipped with Internet access via cellular services. The research focuses on the development of interactive avatars for this system and its gesture-based control system. This is a case study for the development of a possible human-centred means of presenting a connected or autonomous vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics through a projected ‘holographic’ infotainment system. This system is termed a Holographic Human Vehicle Interface (HHIV), as it utilises a dashboard projection unit and gesture detection. The research also examines the suitability for gestures in an automotive environment, given that it might be used in both driver-controlled and driverless vehicles. Using Human Centred Design methods, questions were posed to test subjects and preferences discovered in terms of the gesture interface and the user experience for passengers within the vehicle. These affirm the benefits of this mode of visual communication for both connected and driverless cars.
Emotion dysregulation has been linked to psychopathology in general and, in particular, to substance abuse and other addiction-related disorders, such as eating disorders, impulsive disorder, and gambling. It has been proposed that a lessening of the difficulties in emotion regulation can have a significant positive impact on the treatment of these disorders. The present study explores the association between the progress in the Change & Grow® therapeutic model (5 stages of treatment), and the decrease in the difficulties related to emotion regulation. The Change & Grow® model has five stages of treatment according to the model’s five principles (Truth, Acceptance, Gratitude, Love and Responsibility) and incorporates different therapeutic approaches such as positive psychology, cognitive and behavioral therapy and third generation therapies. The main objective is to understand the impact of the presented therapeutic model on difficulties in emotion regulation in patients with addiction-related disorders. The exploratory study has a cross-sectional design. Participants were 44 (15 women and 29 men) Portuguese patients in the residential Villa Ramadas International Treatment Centre. The instrument used was the Portuguese version of the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), which measures six dimensions of emotion regulation (Strategies, Non-acceptance, Awareness, Impulse, Goals, and Clarity). The mean rank scores for both the DERS total score and the Impulse subscale showed statistically significant differences according to Stage of Treatment/Principles. Furthermore, Stage of Treatment/Principles held a negative correlation with the scores of the Non-acceptance and Impulse subscales, as well as the DERS total score. The results indicate that the Change & Grow® model seems to have an impact in lessening the patient’s difficulties in emotion regulation. The Impulse dimension suffered the greater impact, which supports the well-known relevance of impulse control, or related difficulties, in addiction-related disorders.
Fifty years of research has found great potential for peer assessment as a pedagogical approach. With peer assessment, not only do students receive more copious assessments; they also learn to become assessors. In recent decades, more educational peer assessments have been facilitated by online systems. Those online systems are designed differently to suit different class settings and student groups, but they basically fall into two categories: rating-based and ranking-based. The rating-based systems ask assessors to rate the artifacts one by one following some review rubrics. The ranking-based systems allow assessors to review a set of artifacts and give a rank for each of them. Though there are different systems and a large number of users of each category, there is no comprehensive comparison on which design leads to higher reliability. In this paper, we designed algorithms to evaluate assessors' reliabilities based on their rating/ranking against the global ranks of the artifacts they have reviewed. These algorithms are suitable for data from both rating-based and ranking-based peer assessment systems. The experiments were done based on more than 15,000 peer assessments from multiple peer assessment systems. We found that the assessors in ranking-based peer assessments are at least 10% more reliable than the assessors in rating-based peer assessments. Further analysis also demonstrated that the assessors in ranking-based assessments tend to assess the more differentiable artifacts correctly, but there is no such pattern for rating-based assessors.
Human Resources Management (HRM) has been recognized by academics and practitioners as an important element in organizations. Therefore, this paper explores the best practices of HRM and seeks to understand the level of participation in the development of these practices by human resources managers in the hospitality industry and compare it with other industries. Thus, the study compared the HRM practices of companies in the hospitality sector with HRM practices of companies in other sectors, and identifies the main differences between their HRM practices. The results show that the most frequent HRM practices in all companies, independently of its sector of activity, are hiring and training. When comparing hospitality sector with other sectors of activity, some differences were noticed, namely in the adoption of the practices of communication and information sharing, and of recruitment and selection. According to these results, the paper discusses the major theoretical and practical implications. Suggestions for future research are also presented.
Given a fixed fund, purchasing fewer hosts of higher capability or inversely more of lower capability is a must-be-made trade-off in practices for building a Hadoop big data platform. An exploratory study is presented for a Housing Big Data Platform project (HBDP), where typical big data computing is with SQL queries of aggregate, join, and space-time condition selections executed upon massive data from more than 10 million housing units. In HBDP, an empirical formula was introduced to predict the performance of host clusters potential for the intended typical big data computing, and it was shaped via a regression approach. With this empirical formula, it is easy to suggest an optimal cluster configuration. The investigation was based on a typical Hadoop computing ecosystem HDFS+Hive+Spark. A proper metric was raised to measure the performance of Hadoop clusters in HBDP, which was tested and compared with its predicted counterpart, on executing three kinds of typical SQL query tasks. Tests were conducted with respect to factors of CPU benchmark, memory size, virtual host division, and the number of element physical host in cluster. The research has been applied to practical cluster procurement for housing big data computing.
In recent decades, it is observed that social work agencies have participated actively, and thus, have gradually been more influential in social work education in Hong Kong. The neo-liberal welfare ideologies and changing funding mode have transformed the landscape in social work practice and have also had a major influence on the fieldwork environment in Hong Kong. The aim of this research is to explore the educational role of social work agencies and examine in particular whether they are able to enhance or hinder critical reflective learning in fieldwork. In-depth interviews with 15 frontline social workers and managers in different social work agencies were conducted to collect their views and experience in helping social work students in fieldwork. The overall findings revealed that under the current social welfare context most social workers consider that the most important role of social work agencies in fieldwork is to help students prepare to fit-in the practice requirements and work within agencies’ boundary. The fit-for-purpose and down-to-earth view of fieldwork practice is seen as prevalent among most social workers. This narrow perception of agency’s role seems to be more favourable to competence-based approaches. In contrast, though critical reflection has been seen as important in addressing the changing needs of service users, the role of enhancing critical reflective learning has not been clearly expected or understood by most agency workers. The notion of critical reflection, if considered, has been narrowly perceived in fieldwork learning. The findings suggest that the importance of critical reflection is found to be subordinate to that of practice competence. The lack of critical reflection in the field is somehow embedded in the competence-based social work practice. In general, social work students’ critical reflection has not been adequately supported or enhanced in fieldwork agencies, nor critical reflective practice has been encouraged in fieldwork process. To address this situation, the role of social work agencies in fieldwork should be re-examined. To maximise critical reflective learning in the field, critical reflection as an avowed objective in fieldwork learning should be clearly stated. Concrete suggestions are made to help fieldwork agencies become more prepared to critical reflective learning. It is expected that the research can help social work communities to reflect upon the current realities of fieldwork context and to identify ways to strengthen agencies’ capacities to enhance critical reflective learning and practice of social work students.
The application of marketing to the domain of politics has become relevant in recent times. With this article the authors wanted to explore the issue of the current political engagement among young people in Croatia. The question is what makes young people (age 18-30) politically active in young democracies such as that of the Republic of Croatia. Therefore, the objective of this study was to discover the real or hidden motivations behind the decision to actively participate in politics among young members of the two largest political parties in the country – the Croatian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Croatia. The study expected to find that the motivation for political engagement of young people is often connected with a possible achievement of individual goals and egoistic needs such as: self-acceptance, social success, financial success, prestige, reputation, status, recognition from the others etc. It was also expected that, due to the poor economic and social situation in the country, young people feel an increasing disconnection from politics. Additionally, the authors expected to find that there is a huge potential to engage young people in the political life of the country through a proper and more interactive use of marketing communication campaigns and social media platforms, with an emphasis on highly ethical motives of political activity and their benefits to society. All respondents included in the quantitative survey (sample size [N=100]) are active in one of the two largest political parties in Croatia. The sampling and distribution of the survey occurred in the field in September 2016. The results of the survey demonstrate that in Croatia, the way young people feel about politics and act accordingly, are in fact similar to what the theory describes. The research findings reveal that young people are politically active; however, the challenge is to find a way to motivate even more young people in Croatia to actively participate in the political and democratic processes in the country and to encourage them to see additional benefits out of this practice, not only related to their individual motives, but related more to the well-being of Croatia as a country and of every member of society. The research also discovered a huge potential for political marketing communication possibilities, especially related to interactive social media. It is possible that the social media channels have a stronger influence on the decision-making process among young people when compared to groups of reference. The level of interest in politics among young Croatians varies; some of them are almost indifferent, whilst others express a serious interest in different ways to actively contribute to the political life of the country, defining a participation in the political life of their country almost as their moral obligation. However, additional observations and further research need to be conducted to get a clearer and more precise picture about the interest in politics among young people in Croatia and their social potential.
The proliferation in the development of mobile learning (m-learning) has played a vital role in the rapidly growing electronic learning market. This relatively new technology can help to encourage the development of in learning and to aid knowledge transfer a number of areas, by familiarizing students with innovative information and communications technologies (ICT). M-learning plays a substantial role in the deployment of learning methods for nursing students by using the Internet and portable devices to access learning resources ‘anytime and anywhere’. However, acceptance of m-learning by students is critical to the successful use of m-learning systems. Thus, there is a need to study the factors that influence student’s intention to use m-learning. This paper addresses this issue. It outlines the outcomes of a study that evaluates the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model as applied to the subject of user acceptance in relation to m-learning activity in nurse education. The model integrates the significant components across eight prominent user acceptance models. Therefore, a standard measure is introduced with core determinants of user behavioural intention. The research model extends the UTAUT in the context of m-learning acceptance by modifying and adding individual innovativeness (II) and quality of service (QoS) to the original structure of UTAUT. The paper goes on to add the factors of previous experience (of using mobile devices in similar applications) and the nursing students’ readiness (to use the technology) to influence their behavioural intentions to use m-learning. This study uses a technique called ‘convenience sampling’ which involves student volunteers as participants in order to collect numerical data. A quantitative method of data collection was selected and involves an online survey using a questionnaire form. This form contains 33 questions to measure the six constructs, using a 5-point Likert scale. A total of 42 respondents participated, all from the Nursing Institute at the Armed Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia. The gathered data were then tested using a research model that employs the structural equation modelling (SEM), including confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The results of the CFA show that the UTAUT model has the ability to predict student behavioural intention and to adapt m-learning activity to the specific learning activities. It also demonstrates satisfactory, dependable and valid scales of the model constructs. This suggests further analysis to confirm the model as a valuable instrument in order to evaluate the user acceptance of m-learning activity.
The aim of this study was to investigate the extent of teachers’ experiences of tobephobia (TBP) in their heterogeneous classrooms and what impact this had on their emotions and job satisfaction. The expansive and continuously changing demands for quality and equal education for all students in educational organisations that have limited resources connotes that the negative effects of TBP cannot be simply ignored as being non-existent in the educational environment. As this quantitative study reveals, teachers disliking their job with low expectations, lack of motivation in their workplace and pessimism, result in their low self-esteem. When there is pessimism in the workplace, then the employees’ self-esteem will inevitably be low, as pointed out by 97.1% of the respondents in this study. Self-esteem is a reliable indicator of whether employees are happy or not in their jobs and the majority of the respondents in this study agreed that their experiences of TBP negatively impacted on their self-esteem. Hence, this exploratory study strongly indicates that productivity in the workplace is directly linked to the employees’ expectations, self-confidence and their self-esteem. It is therefore inconceivable for teachers to be productive in their regular classrooms if their genuine professional concerns, anxieties, and curriculum challenges are not adequately addressed. This empirical study contributes to our knowledge on TBP because it clearly outlines some of the teaching problems that we are grappling with and constantly experience in our schools in this century. Therefore, it is imperative that the tobephobic experiences of teachers are not merely documented, but appropriately addressed with relevant action by every stakeholder associated with education so that our teachers’ emotions and job satisfaction needs are fully taken care of.
The concern for increased rigor in social management has led more and more Moroccan business leaders to question the value of applying social audit as an essential tool in the management of human resources. Hotel companies are not excluded; in fact, they are expected to implement such an audit to develop sound and credible human resources management (HRM) policies. The main objective of this paper is to establish the relationship between the practice of social audit as a tool, and its impact on the tourism sector, especially on hotels at one of the Morocco’s first and most popular city for tourism, Agadir. This exploratory study of properties in Agadir has revealed that hotel executives are aware of the importance of social auditing to hone their decisions in the field of HRM.
This exploratory study gives an overview of the evolution of the main financial and performance indicators of the Academic Spin-Off’s and High Growth Academic Spin-Off’s in year 3 and year 6 after its creation in the region of Catalonia in Spain. The study compares and evaluates results of these different measures of performance and the degree of success of these companies for each University. We found that the average Catalonian Academic Spin-Off is small and have not achieved the sustainability stage at year 6. On the contrary, a small group of High Growth Academic Spin-Off’s exhibits robust performance with high profits in year 6. Our results support the need to increase selectivity and support for these companies especially near year 3, because are the ones that will bring wealth and employment. University role as an investor has rigid norms and habits that impede an efficient economic return from their ASO investment. Universities with high performance on sales and employment in year 3 not always could sustain this growth in year 6 because their ASO’s are not profitable. On the contrary, profitable ASO exhibit superior performance in all measurement indicators in year 6. We advocate the need of a balanced growth (with profits) as a way to obtain subsequent continuous growth.
Construction cost estimation is one of the most important aspects of construction project design. For generations, the process of cost estimating has been manual, time-consuming and error-prone. This has partly led to most cost estimates to be unclear and riddled with inaccuracies that at times lead to over- or underestimation of construction cost. The development of standard set of measurement rules that are understandable by all those involved in a construction project, have not totally solved the challenges. Emerging Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies can exploit standard measurement methods to automate cost estimation process and improve accuracies. This requires standard measurement methods to be structured in ontological and machine readable format; so that BIM software packages can easily read them. Most standard measurement methods are still text-based in textbooks and require manual editing into tables or Spreadsheet during cost estimation. The aim of this study is to explore the development of an ontology based on New Rules of Measurement (NRM) commonly used in the UK for cost estimation. The methodology adopted is Methontology, one of the most widely used ontology engineering methodologies. The challenges in this exploratory study are also reported and recommendations for future studies proposed.
The fundamental issues in ICT Governance (ICTG) implementation for Malaysian Public Sector (MPS) is how ICT be applied to support improvements in productivity, management effectiveness and the quality of services offered to its citizens. Our main concern is to develop and adopt a common definition and framework to illustrate how ICTG can be used to better align ICT with government’s operations and strategic focus. In particular, we want to identify and categorize factors that drive a successful ICTG process. This paper presents the results of an exploratory study to identify, validate and refine such Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and confirmed seven CSFs and nineteen sub-factors as influential factors that fit MPS after further validated and refined. The Delphi method applied in validation and refining process before being endorsed as appropriate for MPS. The identified CSFs reflect the focus areas that need to be considered strategically to strengthen ICT Governance implementation and ensure business success.
The study examines the influence of marital status on consumers of products and services using blogs as a source of information. A pre-designed questionnaire was used to collect the primary data from the respondents (experiences). Data were collected from one hundred and eighty seven respondents residing in and around the Emirates of Sharjah and Dubai of the United Arab Emirates. The collected data was analyzed with the help of statistical tools such as averages, percentages, factor analysis, Student’s t-test and Structural Equation Modelling Technique. Objectives of the study are to know the reasons how married and unmarried or single consumers of products and services are motivated to use blogs as a source of information, to know whether the consumers of products and services irrespective of their marital status share their views and experiences with other bloggers and to know the respondents’ future intentions towards blogging. The study revealed the following: Majority of the respondents have the motivation to blog because they are willing to receive comments on what they post about services, convenience of blogs to search for information about services and products, by blogging respondents share information on the symptoms of a disease/ disorder that may be experienced by someone, helps to share information about ready to cook mix products and are keen to spend more time blogging in the future.
The information visualization is still a knowledge field that lacks from a solid theory to support it and there is a myriad of existing methodologies and taxonomies that can be combined and adopted as guidelines. In this context, it is necessary to pre-evaluate as much as possible all the assumptions that are considered for its design and development. We present an exploratory study (n = 123) to detect the graphical preferences of travelers using accommodation portals of Web 2.0 (e.g. tripadvisor.com). We took into account some of the most relevant ground rules applied in the field to map visually data and design end-user interaction. Moreover, the evaluation process was completely data visualization oriented. We found out that people tend to refuse more advanced types of visualization and that a hybrid combination between radial graphs and stacked bars should be explored. In sum, this paper introduces new findings about the visual model and the cognitive response of users of accommodation booking websites.
Quick and qualitative services are not new issues anymore in Logistics but those are still important problems along with cost-cutting. Related to the issues, though advanced information technologies are introduced unceasingly from laboratories, yet there is long way to go for smooth and seamless information flows on physical distribution processes in the industrial field. For the reason, the study aims to seek an advanced information delivery and management strategy through an in-depth case study of a Korea intermodal transportation company. It provides an industrial reference and a way to improve the endemic problems of logistics information systems.
This paper discusses E-government, in particular the challenges that face adoption in Saudi Arabia. E-government can be defined based on an existing set of requirements. In this research we define E-government as a matrix of stakeholders: governments to governments, governments to business and governments to citizens, using information and communications technology to deliver and consume services. E-government has been implemented for a considerable time in developed countries. However, E-government services still face many challenges in their implementation and general adoption in many countries including Saudi Arabia. It has been noted that the introduction of E-government is a major challenge facing the government of Saudi Arabia, due to possible concerns raised by its citizens. In addition, the literature review and the discussion identify the influential factors that affect the citizens’ intention to adopt E-government services in Saudi Arabia. Consequently, these factors have been defined and categorized followed by an exploratory study to examine the importance of these factors. Therefore, this research has identified factors that determine if the citizen will adopt E-government services and thereby aiding governments in accessing what is required to increase adoption.
MC (Management Control)& IC (Internal Control) – what is the relationship? (an empirical study into the definitions between MC and IC) based on the wider considerations of Internal Control and Management Control terms, attention is focused not only on the financial aspects but also more on the soft aspects of the business, such as culture, behaviour, standards and values. The limited considerations of Management Control are focused mainly in the hard, financial aspects of business operation. The definitions of Management Control and Internal Control are often used interchangeably and the results of this empirical study reveal that Management Control is part of Internal Control, there is no causal link between the two concepts. Based on the interpretation of the respondents, the term Management Control has moved from a broad term to a more limited term with the soft aspects of the influencing of behaviour, performance measurements, incentives and culture. This paper is an exploratory study based on qualitative research and on a qualitative matrix method analysis of the thematic definition of the terms Management Control and Internal Control.