Home Volume 1, Issue 1, Feb 2011


 Volume 1 Issue 1 Feb 2011

A Consumer Perspective of Service Quality in the Airline Industry
Muhammad Muazzem Hossain, Noufou Ouedraogo, and Davar Rezania


The airline Service quality has received much attention from both academicians and practitioners. Various studies have used SERVQUAL, AIRQUAL, the Kano Model, etc. for measuring the customer service quality in the airline industry. However, a review of the airline service quality literature shows a lack of research about the use of latent semantic analysis (LSA) in uncovering the underlying factors affecting the quality of service provided by the airline companies. The purpose of this study is to explore the generic service quality characteristics pertaining to the airline industry by mining the comments provided by the passengers of various airline companies across the globe. Passengers are under no pressure to express their concerns, opinions, or suggestions for improvement of service quality. Therefore, we posit that the customers’ comments are reflections of their perception of quality of service that they have already experienced. This study will help the stakeholders better understand the characteristics of service quality in the airline industry. The findings will provide managers in the airline industry with insights for managing and improving the quality of service rendered to their customers. We collected 1,069 customer comments on eleven airline companies and conducted an LSA on them to identify five factors affecting the service quality in the industry. The findings suggest that caring and friendly crews, luggage handling, in-flight meals, in-flight entertainment, and service expectation are the five critical factors of the airline service quality in the eyes of the customers.

Keywords: Service quality, airline quality, latent semantic analysis, free text analysis, airline industry.

<PDF (pp. 1-14)>  

The Adoption of Wireless Classroom Technology among Undergraduates Students
Noraini Nasirun @ Hirun, Shaiful Annuar Khalid, Thi Lip Sam, and Zulaiha Ahmad  


An inherent feature of technology in education is the constant development of new technologies and creating new and modern applications of already existing technologies. To date, numerous studies that examined student perceptions on information technology and communication have been carried out. Generally, the findings showed that students’ perception had an influence on the adoption of technology. Using the Technology Acceptance Model as a framework, the purpose of this paper is to examine relationship between students’ perception of Wireless Classroom Technology and adoption of technology. Two dimensions of Wireless Classroom Technology investigated were perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. The data were collected from 191 undergraduate information technology students from a public university located on the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. Using regression analysis, the results indicated that there is a significant relationship between perceived ease of use and adoption of technology. This study also suggests that adoption of Wireless Classroom Technology benefits the students. The findings should guide the management of the public university to improve the information and communication technology infrastructure. Recommendations and conclusions are also presented.  

Keywords: adoption, TAM, Wireless Classroom Technology, higher learning institution, modern application.

<PDF (pp. 15-24> 

Financing Corporate Acquisition by Selected Public Listed Companies on Bursa Malaysia: Cash versus Equity
M. Fazilah Abdul Samad, Azlin Romlez Taslim, and Abdul Hadi Zulkafli 


This study aims to examine the factors determining the choice of financing an acquisition by selected public listed companies on Bursa Malaysia based on five variables: Value of Acquisition, Level of Shareholdings by Board of Directors and Substantial Shareholders, Net Assets and Gearing Ratio of the bidder companies.  Empirical testing involves a binomial type of dependent variable whereby values 1 and 0 are assigned to represent choice of cash and equity financing, respectively. Probit regression is employed, but the results fail to provide proof of statistical significance for all variables.  However, the analysis show corresponding signs of coefficients, which supports the direction of relationship as predicted in the hypotheses. 

Keywords: Ownership Structure; Mergers, Acquisitions, Restructuring, Corporate Governance.

<PDF (pp.24-40)>

Lean Manufacturing - A Multi Pronged Strategy for Enhancing the Performance of an Organization –A Case Study
B. Sudhakar, A. Ponnusamy, and D. Anbugeetha

Lean Manufacturing is a systematic approach for identifying and eliminating waste in the process of manufacturing. Lean thinking is to determine the value in terms of the customer and ensure that the value is created and given to the customer at the lowest possible cost. In this process, lean approaches analysis the value stream from the raw material stage to the point it reaches the customer. Many lean strategies are employed in the organization depending on the process and the product they manufacture. Some of them are Value Stream Mapping, Cellular Manufacturing, Continuous Improvement (Kaizen & 5S), JIT & Kanban and so on.  Value stream mapping helps to identify the current product flows based on which the future flows are planned with the help of lean strategies to satisfy the expectation of the customer. Cellular manufacturing is one of the cornerstones when one wants to become lean. Continuous Improvement is another fundamental principal of lean manufacturing.  JIT and Kanban help lean manufacturing systems to meet high throughput with very little inventory. The paper anlayses the implementation of lean manufacturing strategies in an organization as a multi pronged approach for enhancing the performance of it. A case study has been conducted in a rubber component manufacturing unit to show that a multi pronged approach was used in implementing lean manufacturing in the company to improve its performance.

Keywords: Lean Manufacturing, waste, Value Stream Mapping, Cellular Manufacturing, JIT.

<PDF (pp. 41-56)>

Geographical Information Technology Approach and Model for Visualizing the Lifetime Value of Customers in the Geographical Marketplace
Abdul Manaf Bohari, Ruslan Rainis, and Malliga Marimuthu


Geographical information technology is one of the top most techniques for handling and managing the world wide business issues including customer lifetime value on the geographical based environment. In fact, visualizing the lifetime value of customer, specifically hypermarket’s customer is important to determine the most profitable customer’s to the business as well as strategic important for estimating how long life the customers will engage and doing transaction with the business. Besides that, others kind of technology, as well as financial information systems, retailing information systems, decision support systems, and so on are fail and unable to visualize clearly on how these lifetime value ‘alive and acting’ in the real marketplace. Critically, in perspective of multicultural societies just like Malaysia, visualizing customer lifetime value of multicultural customers are potentially as become strategic issues because it has major influence on certain aspects of current and future prospect of the business. In addition, although some of information technology has ability to visualize factors for prospecting customer lifetime value, however, it still unable to visualizing the real situation of customer’s in the platform of geographical marketplace. Thus, this paper is purposely for reviews some of geographical information technology approach and model that be potential to handle the issues of customer lifetime value in the geographical marketplace. Moreover, understanding the advantages and disadvantages geographical information technology approach and model are practically important to strengthening the past and current methods of visualizing customer lifetime value on the ground place. At the end, suggestion was made on how to improvise the performance of visualizing the customer lifetime value for application of Malaysia multicultural geographical marketplace.

Keywords: Geographical Information Technology, Lifetime Value, Geographical Marketplace, customer lifetime value, strategic issues

<PDF (pp. 57-68)>

The Effect of Changes in Oil Price and Monetary Stance on Stock Market Performance – Evidence from
Bursa Malaysia

Abdul Razak Abdul Hadi, Abu Hassan Shaari, and Mohamed Hisham Yahya


The study is pursued with the objective to examine the effect of changes in crude oil price and three macroeconomic variables, namely exhange rate (RM/USD), overnight lending rate (OLR), and money supply (M1) on the performance of public listed companies in Bursa Malaysia as proxied by Kuala Lumpur Compsite Index (KLCI).  The study employs Engle-Granger Cointegration test and Johansen-Juselius Multivariate Cointegration on the investigated variables. Using time series data from January 1983 through December 2006, the empirical findings show there exists a significant long-term relationship between KLCI performance and the four variables.  The test results from Impulse Response Function and Variance Decomposition, however, fail to support the presence of a dynamic interaction between KLCI and the investigated variables.  Interestingly, the test results form Granger Causality test indicate a significant role of money supply in influencing the performance of KLCI.  The empirical findings from this study do have direct policy implications for regulators, international traders and investors.

Keywords:  Kuala Lumpur Composite Index, Engle-Granger Cointegration Test, Johansen-Juselius Cointegration Test, Error Correction Model and Cusum Test For Structural Break

<PDF (pp. 69-88)>

Critical Thinking Dispositions of New Intake Engineering Technology Students
Afiza Mohamad Ali, Muhammad Nadzri Abdul Aziz, Isarji Hj. Sarudin, and Ainol Madziah Zubairi


Problem-solving and critical thinking abilities serve as important outcomes of any engineering programme. Engineering students are expected to solve problems, ask questions, research and discover relevant information, and consider new ideas. This paper presents the findings a study to determine the initial critical thinking dispositions of new intake engineering technology students in the effort to provide base-line data for the integration of critical thinking (CT) in the English syllabus of the engineering technology programme. This is part of a larger English curriculum review exercise with a special focus on the integration of soft skills. A 10-item self-assessment questionnaire was distributed to 1425 new intake engineering students. When the findings of the CT dispositions are considered, CT dimension of detecting bias and exaggeration was cited the most among respondents. Low CT dimensions are evaluation and compare and contrast. Additional findings from focus group interviews reveal peculiar yet interesting insights on CT among the students. Implications of the findings in relation to CT for engineering technology students are discussed.

Keywords: Critical thinking dispositions, Problem solving, Engineering students, Curriculum review, English as a Second Language (L2) learner.

<PDF (pp. 89-102)>

The Effect of Web-Based Thai Language Learning Site on Recalling Performance and Motivation  Among Undergraduate Students
Suriani Sukri, Sharifah Raudzah S. Mahadi, and Zarina Samsudin

Learning a foreign language nowadays extremely spread in the web-based form or online learning. Web-based is one of the tools that can be count for the learners to choose for learning. A good web-based is when the developer applied a good instructional design in order to get positive impact towards learner’s performance. Hence, this study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of the web-based to learn foreign language on recalling performance and motivation. Furthermore, it also looks deeper to the TAM (Theoretical Acceptance Model) model and Information Processing Theory that influence the design of the website and the effect of motivation towards learners.  The effectiveness was determined by analyzing the results from the oral tests, questionnaire and interview. The web-based of Thai language was determined. This study was involved 20 undergraduate students who are not familiar with the Thai language for duration of four weeks.

Keywords: Web-based, Performance, Motivation, TAM, Information Processing Theory

<PDF (pp. 103-122)>

Factors that Motivate Women to Start a Business

Salmah Topimin and Simon Sabut


The continuous development of women entrepreneurs has given much attention among researchers to conduct study on them. However, little research has been carried out on the factors that motivate women to start a business. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine the motivation factors that influence women to start their businesses. Four factors which are the desire for self realisation, status, financial success and autonomy were used. Data was collected from 89 women entrepreneurs in Kota Kinabalu. The findings indicate that there was significant relationship between starting a business with the desire for autonomy. However, desire for self realisation, financial success and status were not significant for women to start their businesses.

Keywords: Women, Motivation factors, Financial success, Autonomy, Self realisation

<PDF (pp. 123-136)> 

Reconciling Efforts to Understand Engineering Intellect: Research Articles from Linguistic Perspective
Budsaba Kanoksilapatham


Biomedical engineering is a relatively new sub-discipline of engineering.  However, this sub-discipline is particularly vital, focusing on improving human healthcare and treatment.  Meanwhile, English research articles are increasingly used in advanced education as a means to disseminate and ratify knowledge.  Therefore, the understanding of how biomedical engineering research articles are constructed will be beneficial for both students and practitioners in this sub-discipline.  This study analyzes a set of the Methods section of biomedical engineering research articles written in English with the objective of elucidating what constitutes appropriate academic style of writing in this discipline and genre.  The dataset representing the high quality journals in the field is analyzed, using Swales’ genre analysis (2004).  The structural organization underlying the Methods section of biomedical engineering research articles is identified, consisting of a set of information elements organized in a particular pattern.  The textual organization displays the unique and distinctive nature of academic communication in this sub-discipline.  In addition, the findings are pedagogically applicable, providing biomedical engineering graduates with the skills required in disseminating their knowledge and expertise in the academia, and alerting them to the existence of intellectual diversity.  The study also demonstrates the role of linguistics to provide an intellectual and holistic understanding of biomedical engineering enterprise. 

Keywords: biomedical engineering, English, Methods section, human healthcare, linguistic.

<PDF (pp. 137-148)>

Mental Health Problems among Female Offenders and Its Relation to Social Engineering
Nurul Hazrina Mazlan and Affizal Ahmad

The objective of this study is to understand the common mental health problems among female offenders and how they affect the society through application of rehabilitation program. Female offenders have always been a minor subject in research and study. So far, theory and research relating to crime had been focusing on male offenders. As a result, correctional program that has been used for female offenders is based on male criminality and often failed to provide the appropriate option for the needs of female offenders. In Malaysia, the study on female offenders has not draws so much interest contributing to a lack of information regarding this population. Factors that may cause a female to commit a crime have not been studied much. The number of female offenders however, seem to be increasing annually. One of the major concerns in female criminality is mental health problems. Various study revealed that female offenders had higher rates of having at least one mental health problems. The methodology of this study is designed based on cross-sectional study using a psychometric instrument, Carlson Psychological Survey (CPS). The findings showed that chemical abuse and antisocial tendency are very common among female offenders.

Keywords: Mental health problems, Female offenders, Social engineering, Rehabilitation program, Crime.

<PDF (pp. 149-160)>

Adherence to Occupational Safety and Health Management System Requirement in Working Environment: A Case Study on a Higher Learning Institution of Malaysia
Azuddin Bahari and  Hanum Hassan

An Occupational Safety Health Management System (OSH-MS) is a means to assist organizations to develop a favorable working environment at the workplace. The outcomes are legal compliance and in tandem improve Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) performance. Currently, there is a variety of OSH-MS in place, such as OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series), BS EN ISO 14001 Environmental management system, BS 8800 British Standard Occupational Health and Safety management System, HSG65 - Successful Health And Safety Management and the International Labor Office ILO-OSH 2001 Guideline on Occupational Safety and Health Management System, which organizations can select and apply in their organizations. Conversely, the subsequent most important point in implementing OSH-MS in an organization is getting the system to be certified by a certification body. UniMAP adopt the MS 1722:2005 in managing its OSH at the workplace. In addition, UniMAP too work towards certification for the MS: 1722:2005 and OHSAS 18001:2007.  Hence, UniMAP is the first University in Northern State of Peninsula Malaysia to be certified with the MS: 1722:2005 and OHSAS 18001:2007 in tandem by NIOSH Certification Sendirian Berhad. Consequently, this standard has enables UniMAP to manage its OSH Programs and thus improve performance. In this conference, the author’s would like to propose to organizations (which have not done so) to implement the aforementioned OSH-MS due to the benefit inherent with it. UniMAP hopes to share its experience in getting the system to be certified by a certification body.
Keywords: Occupational Safety Health Management System (OSH-MS), Certification, Experience sharing, Working environment, UniMAP.

<PDF (pp.164-172)>

A Conceptual Kano and Quality Function Deployment (Qfd) Framework for Healthcare Service
Norshahrizan Nordin and Razli Che Razak


Healthcare organization is struggling to provide customer driven quality service. The key success of healthcare service is the ability to develop a comprehensive healthcare service and deliver the best service direct to customer as required. Coherently, the measure of customer feedback should definitely show good perception of service fulfillment and satisfaction. As part of quality improvement process, an outstanding healthcare organization should practice an effective complaint management system (CMS) as the main voice of customer (VOC) source, which directly mirror the quality of healthcare service. The CMS will act as an essential decision support tool by providing seamless handling of complaints, introduces systematic improvement process, thus enabling hospitals to turn weakness into opportunities. However, Malaysian top public healthcare organizations are implicitly not really put much efforts to have a kind of proper CMS to treat complaints as critical and need immediate resolution. In other words, the VOC might not be heard in right way and account as the customer demand, expect and desire. This scenario may be the evident and reason why the present states of public Malaysian healthcare service providers are still unable to fully incorporate the customer requirement or complaint in to their strategic agendas, which account all the customer needs and expectations. This paper presents the current scenario of local public healthcare service with special focus to their implementation of CMS or similar system, in conjunction with healthcare constraints and VOC. Based on recent healthcare literature, an inclusive comparison is made and discussed to justify the gap of improvement in healthcare service. From findings, it is identified that complaint management practice is lacking of systematic procedure to prioritize complaints by customers. To be competitive, an alternative customer prioritizing approach mainly incorporates the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and Kano’s Model is proposed conceptually. The new mechanism concept is hope to effectively address a complaint which not only satisfies the customer but also an opportunity to create positive experience with customers, building a healthier foundation, stronger brand value and avoiding legal penalties. It also provides fair balance information for decision making while facing constraints such as operational, legal, human resource and market pressures.

Keywords: Complaints, Quality Function Deployment, Kano’s Model, Healthcare service, Main voice of customer.

<PDF (pp.173-188)>

Factors Influencing Financial Institutions on Lending Technologies to Technology-Based SMEs in the Northern Region of Malaysia
Wan Sallha Yusoff, Chuthamas Chittithaworn, and Noor Asliza Abdul Rahim


The unavailability of external financing and lack of access to formal finance are topics of significant research interest to academicians and important issues to policy makers around the globe. However compared to large firms, SMEs frequently tend to report financing as a major obstacle. The financial constraints of SMEs to access to finance are beyond question by many researchers. Thus, this study attempts to discuss the factors that lead to influence financial institutions in lending technologies to provide finance to SMEs in Malaysia.  The methodologies on the relationship between the requirements of financial institutional and the type of lending technologies provided for SMEs is illustrate.  This conceptual paper is aimed to improved the theoretical parts of analysis, on the factors influencing Financial Institutions on lending technologies to technology-based SMEs in the northern region of Malaysia and identify the challenges issues regarding the requirements of financial providers based on the lending technologies adoption, be it transaction lending or relationship lending. Furthermore, the methodologies will also be able to assist researchers to get more information on the unique needs for finance of SMEs and tailor the finance providers’ requirements to be SMEs friendlier i.e. better meet SMEs ability and needs in order to achieve win-win situation. 

Keywords: Technology-based SME, Financial institutions, Lending technologies, Northen region of Malaysia, SME.

<PDF (pp.189-197)>

UniMAP 2002-2005: Persepsi dan Impak Ekonomi Perlis
 Mohd Mizan Aslam and Abdul Halim Abdul


Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) ditubuhkan pada Julai 2001 dan telah memulakan operasinya secara rasmi selepas perlantikan Brigedier Jen. Dato’Professor Dr. Kamarudin Hussin sebagai Naib Canselor pertama pada 16 Februari 2002. Setelah empat (4) tahun beroperasi (2002 hingga 2005), UNIMAP telah memberikan sumbangan yang sangat besar di negeri ini. Impak utama UNIMAP adalah dalam aspek ekonomi. Yang mana selama operasinya di Perlis, UNIMAP  telah menyumbang jutaan ringgit untuk prasarana dan perbelanjaan mengurus termasuklah emolumen staf dan perbelanjaan pelajar. Kertas kerja ini akan melihat kesan yang dibawa oleh UNIMAP selama operasinya di Perlis terutamanya dalam aspek ekonomi termasuk jugalah pandangan penduduk Perlis, staf dan pelajar terhadap UNIMAP dan kesan kampus teragih serta kesan pemusatan UNIMAP terhadap ekonomi Perlis. 565 responden yang terdiri daripada masyarakat luar, staf dan pelajar UNIMAP  terlibat dalam penyelidikan ini. Semua maklumat ini dihurai secara diskriptif dan diikuti dengan analisis statistik yang mudah untuk menjelaskannya disamping data-data sekunder daripada pelbagai agensi samaada agensi kerajaan negeri, persekutuan, swasta mahupun UNIMAP  sendiri.

Katakunci: Impak, ekonomi, Perlis, UniMAP, kampus teragih.

<PDF (pp.199-220)>