Volume 4 Number 1 (April - September 2004)

  FIRM STRATEGY IN SHIFTING TO SERVICE-ORIENTED MANUFACTURING — THE CASE OF JAPAN’S ELECTRICAL MACHINERY INDUSTRY  Chihiro Watanabe, Jae Yong Hur
 


Shifting to service-oriented manufacturing is a potential survival strategy for manufacturing industry firms facing a paradigm shift from an industrial society to an information society. However, due to the intangible nature of the gross value of firm, the development of such a strategy is rather complicated, often leading to an unsatisfactory performance trajectory. Technological knowledge stock is considered a significant contributor to the gross value of firm, and is proportional to the level of R&D investment. However, due to economic stagnation, R&D investment has declined in recent years, leading to a greater need for effective utilization of potential resources in innovation. In this regard, a strategy that contributes to increased marginal productivity of technology has become a crucial issue for firm strategy in a business environment increasingly characterized by mega competition. In light of the above, this paper attempts to identify a suitable strategy for shifting to service-oriented manufacturing by examining Japan’s electrical machinery industry over the last two decades. First, a new approach for measuring the gross value of firm based on investor/customer evaluations in the marketplace is introduced. Second, the correlation between the value of services ratio and marginal productivity of technology is analyzed. Finally, a new trajectory to increase marginal productivity is identified to explore the potential of a shift to service-oriented manufacturing.
 

  ATTRIBUTES, BENEFITS, CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND BEHAVIORAL LOYALTY—AN INTEGRATIVE RESEARCH OF FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY IN TAIWAN   Chiung-Ju Liang, Wen-Hung Wang
 


Measuring the key attributes of your service is necessary, but it is not sufficient for improving customer satisfaction. This study developed and empirically tested a model examining the relations among attributes, benefits, customer satisfaction, trust/commitment and customer behavioral loyalty in a marketing system. Based on sample collected from Asia Trust, one of the most famous banks providing merchant banking services in Taiwan, the results of the department of loan show that symbolic benefits do have positively significant influence on customer satisfaction. And the results of the department of deposit also show that both functional and symbolic benefits do have positively significant effects on customer satisfaction. In the department of credit card, both experiential and symbolic benefits do have positively significant effects on customer satisfaction. As a part of relationship quality and behavioral loyalty, all the path coefficients are not only significant but also of high value. The findings suggest that customers buy dissimilar financial products with different benefits, with different attributes, hence the difference in the level of customer satisfaction and behavioral consequence.
 

  RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE QUALITY DIMENSIONS: A MULTICULTURAL STUDY
Sheetal B. Sachdev, Harsh V. Verma
 


Three forces dominate the prevailing marketing environment in the service sector: increasing competition from private players, changing and improving technologies, and continuous shifts in the regulatory environment, which has led to the growing customer sophistication.  Customers have become more and more aware of their requirements and demand higher standards of services. Their perceptions and expectations are continually evolving, making it difficult for the service providers to measure and manage services effectively. The key lies in improving the service selectively, paying attention to more critical service attributes/dimensions as a part of customer service management. It is an imperative to understand how sensitive the customers are to various service attributes or dimensions. Allocating resources in the fashion that is consistent with customer priorities can enhance the effectiveness in the service operations. In addition, customer service attribute priorities need to be fully explored in service specific contexts. This paper is an attempt to explore relative importance of service quality dimensions across a ‘select’ service context. The results suggest that (1) all the service quality dimensions are equally important as no proper order of their importance could be established, (2) the service performance in relation to the ‘expectations’ is poor in respect of nearly all the dimensions and in all the select services, and (3) the nature of service does not seem to have a role in establishing an order of importance of the dimensions.
 

  THE EVOLUTION OF EMBEDDED NESS WITHIN THE ALLIANCE STRUCTURE IN A NON-EQUITY HOSPITALITY ALLIANCE
Prakash K. Chathoth
       
 


This paper develops the conceptual underpinnings of how embedded ness within a strategic alliance develops, which forms the basis for the growth of different forms of alliances. These underpinnings are used to develop propositions, which are:  P1(a): The alliance structure that firms use in order to define their role/relationship and the manner in which they combine resources to tap market opportunities will evolve, as competitor firms imitate such successful combinations of resources and alliance structures. P1(b): The trend of this evolution will be in the direction of more complex resource-sharing relationships that need to be created to tap new opportunities. This will create an evolutionary path of alliance structures ranging from simple to more complex alliance structures. P2: As organizational alliances evolve into more complex resource-sharing entities, the nature of the relationship between incumbent firms within an alliance will evolve from revenue maximizing functions to one that involves revenue maximizing accompanied by cost minimizing functions. Examples from the airline industry are used to support the propositions, followed by a discussion on implications for the lodging and restaurant industry managers.
 

  QUALITY OF SECONDARY EDUCATION AND LABOUR MARKET REQUIREMENT
Juma S. Ghailani, Sami A. Khan
 


The value of human capital has never been so important than today, as we are living in a knowledge era where skills and education become quickly out of date. The education system as a whole has been a subject of continuous evaluation and reinforcement. The role of education and training in enhancing the chances of better quality of life, prosperity and peace is being appreciated worldwide. The secondary level of education in particular plays very critical role in shaping the human capital of a nation. Without compromising the goal of countries’ commitment to provide secondary education on a mass basis available to all, there is a need to redefine the role of secondary education system to align it with the current needs of the economy and society at large. The secondary schools are required to churn out students who can face the changed economic scenario when they enter into; either higher education or explore the possibility of employment in job market. This paper evaluates the challenges faced by the secondary education system. It will also tries to find out the desirable structure, system and methods to impart better learning and generation of knowledge so that the need of the private sectors can be fulfilled. The present paper proposes a model based on McKinsey’s 7 S to be adopted for enhancing the effectiveness of the secondary school program. It identifies the role played by different stakeholders in identifying the knowledge and skill gap. It proposes the evaluation of the existing structure of the secondary schools and prescribes the reinforcement of certain areas for desirable outcomes. It also talks about the sharing of information, pedagogy and experiences between parties to improve the quality and relevance of the secondary education.
 

  AN EXPLORATION OF MANAGERIAL SKILLS AND ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE IN THE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
Vandana Punia, B.K. Punia, Indira Dhull
 


Business environment conditions are likely to witness increasing volatility in the coming years. To balance the local and global challenges the economies, including India are relying more on the service sector throughout the globe. The educational services come at the core while setting the pace for rest of the economy. Education services as such are intangible and evaluation of the same is obtained normally by judging the content and the delivery system, as  precise standardization is  difficult. Competitive advantage and professional excellence in turn fundamentally depends upon the skills of the educational administrator and the prevailing organisational climate. The study explores how in the educational service sector, the problems are largely solved by cognition and logic, conflicts are handled with a positive attitude, collaborative style. The prevailing organisational climate has been found conducive to performance and the interaction between the two is more significant on collective basis rather than individual basis.
 

  RAD BASED PROTOTYPING METHODOLOGY FOR TIMEXTRA E-COMMERCE
Aishah Sabki, Pervaiz K. Ahmed , Glenn Hardaker
 


This paper considers the unprecedented speed of growth of the Internet and the building of commercially viable e-commerce solutions to meet these newly emerging challenges. This paper focuses on the development of TimeXtra e-Commerce information systems solution. The paper highlights a methodology based on RAD systems, which is capable of handling unpredictability and frequent changes, which characterises business on the Internet. The conclusions focus on user involvement, empowered teams, frequency of product delivery among others.

   
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