TRUST AND ITS ROLE IN E-COMMERCE: AN INVESTIGATION WITH EMPHASIS ON CROSS CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
Written by: MUSFIQ MANNAN CHOUDHURY, PhD and CHRISTOS DIMITRIS TSINOPOULOS, PhD
This study on the review of existing literature developed a model, which identified six factors to affect trust in e-commerce. These include Perceived Technological Trustworthiness and Security, User's Web Experience, Social Presence Information Rich, Site Commitment, and Relational Benefit. Other factors which happen to have an indirect effect on trust include 'Perceived Product and Service Information Quality' and 'User Interface Quality (navigations and convenience)' with relational benefit playing a mediating role; and 'promotion of website' influencing site awareness which influences site commitment and hence, influencing trust. Perceived risk is influenced by three factors, viz. organizational reputation, prompt delivery, and customer service. Finally, Customer participation and Market Orientation influences users' web experience. The factors in the model are proposed to vary as- per the influence of the five dimensions as proposed by Hofstede across the cultures of Bangladesh and United Kingdom. The ultimate influence of trust is purchase intentions which will also vary in terms of cultural dimensions.
RELATIONSHIP OF AGE, INCOME & EXPERIENCE WITH SECURITIES INVESTMENT PREFERENCE IN KARACHI, PAKISTAN
Written by: SAMINA RIAZ
The objective of this research is to investigate the relationship of age, income and experience with the securities investment preference of individuals in Karachi, Pakistan among the investment options which include National saving schemes (Govt. Securities), Corporate bonds, Mutual funds, Common stock. Three hypotheses are explored in this study to examine the securities preference in Pakistan. Each of the hypotheses is stated in the null format. Ho 1: There is no association between Age and securities Preference. Ho 2: There is no association between income and securities preference. Ho 3: There is inverse relationship between investment experience and risk (securities) preference.
AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF FRANCHISEE SATISFACTION IN MALAYSIA: AN AGENCY RELATIONSHIP PERSPECTIVE
Written by:NG SER HEONG
In the franchise business model, the franchisor-franchisee relationship is likened to that of the principal-agent relationship. This justifies the use of agency theory as a theoretical framework as it focuses on areas of conflict within a contractual relationship. The presence of conflicts can in return affect franchisee satisfaction. Besides conflicting policies, the characteristics of both parties also interact to have an impact on franchisee satisfaction. The following six independent variables are identified to have a bearing on the dependent variable - franchisee satisfaction-The franchisee's characteristics - previous job experience and duration as a franchisee; the franchisor's characteristics - the number of recruited franchisee and business-types, and The franchisor's actions - franchisor's policies and the adequacy of services.
In essence, the study answers the question: 'What are the types of franchisor's policies that conflict with franchisee's interest by analyzing the frequency distribution of franchisee responses to specific group of statements.
A survey was conducted to collect primary data from 152 franchisees within the fast-food/food, retailing and services sectors. The questionnaire is divided into 5 parts. Section A and B is used to collect data to classify franchisee and franchisor while Section C and D used a five-point Likert scale to measure franchisee's degree of agreement or disagreement about franchisor's policies and support services. Section E concludes with the overall measurement of franchisee satisfaction based on the overall responses to statements in Section C and D.
One-way analysis of variances (ANOVA), Pearson product moment correlation, and regression analysis were used to test seven formulated hypothesis. The study results show there is no significant differences in franchisee satisfaction among, those with related or unrelated Job experience, duration as a franchisee, number of recruited franchisees and business-types. However, there is a significant positive correlation between franchisors' policies and franchisee satisfaction. The adequacy of franchisor-provided services is also significantly associated with franchisee satisfaction. Result from the linear multiple regression analysis further confirms that the adequacy of franchisor-provided services and the absence of' conflicting policies are the primary and secondary variables that influence franchisees' satisfaction.
Analysis of the frequency distribution of respondents identified the presence of conflicts in advertising, procurement, royalty payment, and territorial encroachment. Franchisors and franchisees share the same broad business objectives. However, information asymmetry still prevails at the post-purchase stage about the franchisor's ability to fulfill its contractual obligations towards franchisees. Differences in risk aversion exist between franchisor and franchisee.
The findings can be used to strengthen the regulatory framework of the franchise industry. In addition,, identified conflicts can, be mitigated in, order to strengthen the franchisor-franchisee relationship. Prospective franchisee contemplating buying a franchise business also benefited from the outcome of the study and the related advices. Recommendations for future studies were suggested based on the study limitations.
CORPORATE TAKEOVER THROUGH SCHEME AND A FEW RISKS
Written by: NEETI SHIKHA
IN SEARCH FOR A LONG-RUN RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND AID EFFECTIVENESS
Written by: SYEEDUL AL-AMIN
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has initiated to be acquainted with the multidimensionality of poverty and to establish the international benchmark to focus and measure the effectiveness of the collective efforts of the international community. The MDGs contain eight goals, eighteen targets and forty-eight indicators. The goals focus on the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achieving the universal primary education, enhancing the gender basis equality and women empowerment, reduction of child mortality, development of maternity health, prevention of major diseases, promoting the environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development. The donors have to be more goals and result oriented to achieve the MDGs. Donors must further improve the allocation of official development assistance (ODA) to better achieve the MDGs and should go beyond country selectivity and establish basic rules for allocating aid based on poverty and the quality of the government. But the empirical analysis shows that there is no definitive conclusion that aid can promote growth and enable poor countries to meet the requirement of MDGs. In this backdrop, this paper aims to show the inconsistency between new aid paradigm of MDGs and PRSP and tries to find out the ways how donor countries can improve the quality of aid and make it more effective for the poor and developing countries to achieve the target of MDGs.
MEASUREMENT OF SERVICE QUALITY IN HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY With Special Context to the Tourism Industry in Agra
Written by: LAXMI R. KULSHRESTHA SAPNA GAUTAM
In the age of globalization and structural change, tourism is a new innovation, as it has become a global phenomenon, Hospitality is an integral part of tourism Industry. Hospitality products include: accommodation, transportation, travel agents, guides, taxi drivers, vendors, entertainment, food and beverages, emporiums and shopping arcades etc. It is extremely important to take into account the way a tourist feels about the 'destinations they visit. This study traces the tourist's perception regarding the hospitality products-, and measures the gap between services expectated and services perceived by tourists visiting Agra. To obtain tourists' views on tourism products in Agra, five point likert scale was used. To measure the gap between expectations and perceptions regarding the services, seven dimensions related to tourism and hotel industry are identified to measure the service quality based on the SERVQUAL, model as given by Parasuraman The study reveals that tourists were moderately satisfied with the products of food and beverages, services of emporiums, accommodation and Services provided by transport and travel agents. Besides these, all other dimensions e.g. services provided by hotels, guides, services provided at the monuments and aspects of safety and security were scored negatively. Regarding the service quality in Agra tourism, the dimensions which reveal the low level of tourists' satisfaction are: experienced and competent tour and hotel escorts, fluent and understandable communication with tourists, provision of adequate information about the service delivered, prompt response to tourists' requests, personalization of services, keeping promises, insisting on error-free service, consistency in staff performance, caring attitude of the staff, pleasant and friendly personnel, cultivation of friendly relationship, appealing accommodation facilities, availability of information documents and notes, physical appearance of tour and hotel escorts (tidiness etc.), easy contract on arrival at airport, services delivered on time. The above dimensions require more attention to improve the service quality.