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Über dieses Buch

The book presents high-quality research papers presented at the 1st AUE International research conference, AUEIRC 2017, organized by the American University in the Emirates, Dubai, held on November 15th-16th, 2017. The book is broadly divided into three sections: Creative Business and Social Innovation, Creative Industries and Social Innovation, Education and Social Innovation. The areas covered under these sections are credit risk assessment and vector machine-based data analytics, entry mode choice for MNE, risk exposure, liquidity and bank performance, modern and traditional asset allocation models, bitcoin price volatility estimation models, digital currencies, cooperative classification system for credit scoring, trade-off between FDI, GDP and unemployment, sustainable management in the development of SMEs, smart art for smart cities, smart city services and quality of life, effective drivers of organizational agility, enterprise product management, DEA modeling with fuzzy uncertainty, optimization model for stochastic cooperative games, social media advertisement and marketing, social identification, brand image and customer satisfaction, social media and disaster management, corporate e-learning system, learning analytics, socially innovating international education, integration of applied linguistics and business communication in education, cognitive skills in multimedia, creative pedagogies in fashion design education, on-line summative assessment and academic performance, cloud concept and multimedia-based learning in higher education, hybrid alliances and security risks, industry and corporate security significance, legal regulation and governance. The papers in this book present high-quality original research work, findings and practical development experiences, and solutions for a sustainable future.



A MRI View of Brain Tumor Outcome Prediction

On the one hand, cancer and tumor are one of the most feared terms in today’s society. It refers to an unstable growth of cells that potentially invade the surrounding tissues and may eventually lead to edema or even death. On the other hand, the term tumor is often misleading since people assume that it is the same as cancer, but this is not necessarily true. A cancer is a particularly threatening type of tumor. The word tumor simply refers to a mass, and in particular a brain tumor is a mass located in the patient’s brain that may seriously threaten his/her life. Thus, it is crucial to study which factors may influence the outcome of a brain tumor to improve the given treatment or even make the patient more contented. Therefore, this study presents a decision support system based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data or knowledge (if the data is presented in context) that allows for brain tumor outcome prediction. It describes an innovative approach to cater for brain illness where Logic Programming comes in support of a computational approach based on Case Based Reasoning. An attempt is made to predict whether a patient will die or survive with or without a tumor, where the data or knowledge may be of type unknown, incomplete or even self-contradictory.

Cristiana Neto, Inês Dias, Maria Santos, Victor Alves, Filipa Ferraz, João Neves, Henrique Vicente, José Neves

Achieving Cognitive Skills in Multimedia Through Revised Bloom Taxonomy

Students in middle east are having innovative skills in multimedia and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and hence self-learning and critical thinking can be enhanced through the teaching of this subject through proper design of the course. To achieve cognitive learning objectives in students, revised bloom taxonomy can be embedded while designing the curriculum. Teaching activities should be aligned to achieve self-learning and critical thinking in students according to the revised bloom taxonomy. Through a Project Based Learning (PBL) method in multimedia and HCI course, the above cognitive learning objectives can be developed in classroom. In this paper the design and practice of a multimedia and HCI curriculum which is taught in Muscat College, Sultanate of Oman is described and demonstrates how cognitive skills are achieved through the embedding of revised bloom taxonomy. The design of the course took the students to the various concepts of graphics techniques and practicals give them the exposure towards realization of those techniques. The final project is developed through the integration of all these practical and tutorial experiences. The observation shows students have applied their creativity with revised bloom taxonomy to obtain the goal in a wonderful way.

Reshmy Krishnan

An Estimation for Bitcoin Price Volatility

According to public opinion cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, have been attention taking lately. This can be addressed to the innovative characteristics of blockchain (the basis of the entire digital currency system), namely, the decentralized structure, not using any intermediaries, being anonymous, fast and secure. Being a fluctuating investment tool, the cryptocurrency system exhibits unpredictable ups and downs that make it a speculative asset. This research tries to estimate the bitcoin price volatility using the GARCH model where four different over-the-counter-market data, such as the BITSTAMP, COINBASE, ITBIT, KRAKEN are employed. The results for these four over-the-counter- markets indicate high volatility. Professionals and individuals occupying with bitcoin should take this speculative structure into consideration.

Murat Akbalık, Melis Zeren, Ömer Sarıgül

An Optimization Model for Solving Stochastic Cooperative Games

This paper introduces an optimization model for a new class of cooperative games arising from cooperative decision making problems in a stochastic environment. This class of games considers cooperative games in stochastic characteristic function form (stochastic payoffs). In this type of games, the players only know probability distribution of the stochastic payoffs and the actions available for a coalition to choose from are explicitly modelled as opposed to the deterministic games. In this model, the core of the game is not empty, where the solution allocation vector of the corresponding payoff is preferable over any other allocation. The proposed model is applied to the Gaussian valued cooperative games.

Assem Tharwat, Marwa Sabry, Ihab El-Khodary

Banking Sector Performance and Economic Growth: An Empirical Evidence of UAE Islamic Banks

This study investigates the relationship between the performance of Islamic banks and economic growth in the United Arab Emirates. Return on Assets (ROA), Return on Equity (ROE) and Net Revenue Margin (NRM) are used as proxies for the performance of Islamic banks while Growth Domestic Product (GDP) is used as a proxy of economic growth. The sample consists of all full-fledged Islamic banks working in the UAE. The study period ranges from 2000 to 2014. Pooled Ordinary Least Square (POLS) combined with multicollinearity test are done to test the hypotheses. The results show that there is a positive relationship between the performance of Islamic banks and economic growth in the UAE. The empirical results of the study suggest that the policy makers of UAE should support the Islamic banking sector by setting new measures for its growth and progress.

Mosab I. Tabash

Challenges of Business Schools to Implement Accreditation Standards: Case Study

There are challenges and obstacles to higher education institutions in implementing the accreditation standards for the national and international accreditation bodies. However, it has difference importance levels. Studies have shown that, the weakness of understanding the accreditation concept and the lifelong learning concepts which represent part of the institutional culture comes as the first challenge of these obstacles and it is classified under the type of educational and cognitive obstacles. Many other challenges will be discussed in this article under different titles like the organizational issues, financial issues, Library issues, Polices of Admission, Human resources, Faculty members’ qualifications and the scientific research. In recent studies, it is observed that higher education Business Schools in the Arab region are in dire need of reviewing their systems and building an administrative system based on the application of TQM concepts in all its aspects to improve performance and develop its university outputs for the sack of meeting the accreditation standards for both the national and international levels. This article will be followed by a comparative study among eight different Business schools in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to conclude with many recommendations and suggestions for officials of higher education institutions that may help them remove obstacles that impede the implementation of the imposed accreditation standards nationally by CAA in UAE and NAQAAE in Egypt and internationally by AACSB.

Doaa Wafik, Assem Tharwat

Control Environment, Risk Assessment and Monitoring in United Arab Emirates Businesses

The objective of this study reflects an atmosphere conducive to the effective operation of the accounting information system and control activities in UAE business. An empirical survey using a questionnaire was carried out to achieve this objective. The case study taken into analyses is based on one hundred valid questionnaires were randomly distributed to different types of UAE businesses and subsequently collected. The collected data were analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 12 the survey results revealed a significant positive relationship within the variables: 1. Management Philosophy and Operating Style, 2. Organization Structure, 3. Methods of assigning authority and responsibility, 4. Board of Directors integrity and Ethical Values, Commitment to Competence, 5. Human Resource Policies and procedures, 6. Risk Assessment, and 7. Monitoring. The results also revealed that the applicable Control Environment, Risk Assessment and Monitoring Auditing of this paper. The results of the study will enable accountants and others in the profession to foresee risk assessments and monitoring internal audit for the success of businesses.

Hikmat AlRawi, Narcisa Roxana Mosteanu, Ibaa H. Alrawi

Creative Contributions and Solutions to Dubai’s Challenges and Commitments as a Smart City: Transnationalizing and Personalizing Global Standards of Excellence in International Education

This paper contributes to the higher education system of Dubai as a Smart City given its public commitment to equating “excellence” with “global”. It substantiates and enriches global standards of excellence transnationally by adopting as global educational standard of excellence the concept of cosmopolitanism as the global individual cultural identity form of world citizenship, which finds increasing acceptance in international education theory and practice. Cosmopolitanism suits both the “excellence” and the “global” parts of Dubai’s commitment, since it is at the same time, a classical idea and a modern-day concept, a timeless philosophical ideal and a call for practical initiatives, a combination of local, national, regional, national international issues, and an incentive for individual and institutional inroads. Conceptually, cosmopolitanism is presented as a synthesized literature matrix complemented by substantial critical thinking. Empirically, it is shown how a group of highly multilingual international students revealed themselves, in in-depth interviews, in terms of their cosmopolitan identities. This allowed the analysis and synthesis of three new ideal types of cosmopolitans beyond the literature. The paper therefore (1) adds educational dimensions to Dubai’s Smart City character, (2) introduces new, transnational dimensions for global educational standards of excellence, and (3) makes innovative, recently tested frameworks available for individuals and institutions. Correspondingly, future research could (1) apply the results to other smart cities and their countries, (2) test further dimensions for global educational standards of excellence, (3) investigate causal relationships between language mastery and global identity, or use more quantitative methods or larger empirical samples.

Konrad Gunesch

Credit Risk Assessment Using Decision Tree and Support Vector Machine Based Data Analytics

Credit risk assessment has become a growing necessity in the banking sector. Data mining techniques need to be deployed, in order to enable lenders to produce an efficient and objective estimation of a customer’s creditworthiness. The purpose of this paper is to propose a methodology that performs a two-level data processing using Random Forest and Support Vector Machine, to accurately pinpoint creditworthiness of the clients involved. The random forest will be utilized to create an accurate credit scoring model which will be further refined using the support vector machine. The proposed methodology will help achieve results with minimized false positives.

Abhijeet Guha Roy, Siddhaling Urolagin

Death and Factors of Adjustment Among Bereaved Parents

The current cross-sectional study was to examine the relationship among adjustment and other factors (spirituality, religiosity, perceived social support, and marital relationship) that might influence adjustment to bereavement among Christian, Jewish, and Muslim bereaved parents. A cross-sectional online survey was launched from January to February 2016 to measure participants’ baseline adjustment, spirituality, religiosity, perceived social support, and marital relationship. A diverse group of 145 bereaved parents participated in this study, including 65 religious Christians (44.83%), 41 religious Jews (28.28%), and 39 religious Muslims (26.90%) with an average age of 44 (SD = 12.80). The results indicated that there were statistically significant differences between the three religious groups in terms of their adjustment, religiosity spirituality, perceived social support, and marital relationship. Muslims were found to have higher baseline rates of all study constructs more than Jewish and Christian bereaved parents. The results indicated only perceived social support and spirituality significantly predicted the adjustment level among the bereaved parents when holding all other terms constant. Whereas only perceived social support and religious involvement significantly predicted the marital relationship level among the bereaved parents when holding all other terms constant.

Mais Al-Nasa’h, Kimberly Asner-Self

Determinants of Entry Modes Choice for MNEs: Exploring Major Challenges and Implications for Saudi Arabia

The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants that affect the choice of entry modes of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) located within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Its aim is to further our understanding of the features of the contexts for managing MNEs in Saudi Arabia and shed light on the different policy management approaches. This study is explorative and descriptive in nature. Secondary data are the main source of data collection. Data were obtained from reliable and authoritative sources such as SAGIA, other government agency publications, newspapers, international business journals and other related periodicals. Results from previous and current studies on similar topics were also critically reviewed. The findings of this paper will reinforce the importance of foreign direct investment as a main strategy among the policy‐making bodies in Saudi Arabia in alignment with the current development goals of the Saudi Vision 2030. Although Saudi Arabia advocates the policy of economic diversity maintaining its unique structure of governance, the paper makes a case that such structure should be applied to support and achieve socio‐economic growth through supporting foreign direct investment. It is original in the sense that the authors provide reasoned interpretations of Saudi Arabia’s strategy on foreign market entry by the MNEs and the role that the government incentives of the international players can play in achieving balanced socio‐economic growth, diversity and sustainability.

Young-Eun Park, Alawiya Allui, Raneem AlSelaimi

Developing an Input Oriented Data Envelopment Analysis Model with Fuzzy Uncertainty in Variables

Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) technique is considered one of the most appropriate tool for assessing performance through calculating the technical efficiencies of a collection of related comparable organizations in transforming inputs into outputs. The conventional DEA methods require accurate measurement of both the inputs and outputs. However, the observed values of the input and output data in real-world problems are sometimes imprecise or vague, i.e. fuzzy. Imprecise evaluations may be the result of unquantifiable, incomplete and non-obtainable information. From the literature of fuzzy DEA applications, most if not all developed models considered all input and output variables as fuzzy, through adopting either the traditional DEA model or the output version of the model, and solved using the α-level approach. Accordingly, the main aim of this paper is to develop a Fuzzy Input Oriented DEA Model that considers a mix of both fuzzy and deterministic output and/or input variables to be solved using the α-cut approach. The developed model algorithm is divided into three stages; it starts by defining the membership function for the fuzzy variables (assumed triangular), then finding the α-cuts for the fuzzy variables, and finally calculating the relative efficiency for each decision making unit (DMU). The model is demonstrated through an illustrative example.

Assem Tharwat, Basma El-Demerdash, Ihab El-Khodary

Digital Currencies and the Power Shift in the Economy

The emerging economies are no longer growing as rapidly as in the past. As the technological disruption accelerates, a fundamental change is underway. In an industrialized world where the market is as unpredictable as it gets; the right mix of technology could be a game changer for the financial institutions. It’s a power struggle of sorts. The regulatory bodies are struggling to deal with the dynamic shift in market structure due to the eruption of digital currencies. The impact of Ethereum is studied through an estimated model and a montecarlo simulation is applied on its existing dynamic structure. As the currencies are decentralized, the power centralizes and the opportunities that emerge are noteworthy. An impact of the financial technology on the new digitized economy is realized through a time series data and estimations are made for the future.

Asma Salman

Evaluating Inclination of Youth to Start Enterprise: A Study in Oman

The study analyses the readiness of educated youth to start businesses in Sultan-ate of Oman by assessing education, checking skills level, and opportunity identifications. In addition, the study examines the impact of education on young people readiness towards business activity and its success components. The hypothetical deductive approach through a structural equation model is used in this study, in a 12,551 population of which 373 students constituted our sample across various colleges and universities in Oman. The findings highlight the effect of education, skills, awareness level and business trainings of students towards starting businesses and the important role of education on all factors, including business skill ability. This study considers human beings as changeable beings during lifetime and provides evidence for those interested in the business that can influence the innovative commerce ventures.

Bilal Ahmad Pandow, Ali Salem Omar

Evidence-Based Tobacco Control Mobile Apps Based on Federally Funded Research Projects

Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke remain worldwide public health problems. We report results from three studies. Project ASPIRE and Project CASA are for bilingual participants (English and Spanish) utilizing interactive-computer-technologies and printed fotonovelas. Project Team utilized a continuing education training for physicians’ and pharmacists’ tobacco cessation counseling. Once a health-related research project is complete one of the challenges is to find a way to successfully disseminate this health information to the general public. The increasing popularity of health-related apps and the successful results of our research studies encouraged us to develop a group of evidence-based mobile apps. We developed three mobile apps corresponding to these studies: Tobacco Free Teens, Tobacco Free Family, and QuitMedKit. A fourth mobile app, Vaper Chase, was developed from evidence based data from various sources reflecting the increasing use of e-cigarettes and hookah in the USA and worldwide.

Alexander V. Prokhorov, Salma K. Marani, Mario R. Luca

Family Mediation in England and Wales: A Focus on Children

It is said that ‘love is blind’. Love can also grow, develop and possibly lead to a union between two people. However when things go wrong, separation or divorce can become inevitable. It can also be said that the end of the relationship and the separation period can lead to the ‘couple’s deafness’ where the ex-partners refuse to hear each other and only focus at times on how best to hurt each other. In every mediation, the interests and needs of the parties tend to be the focus of the mediator and the participants. However with family mediation, an additional interest and need has to be considered and that is the one that belongs to the children. Also many other participants who are physically absent during the family mediation, such as grandparents and new partners, sometimes have to be included in the overall outcome and agreement of the family mediation. This makes family mediation unique in its complexity and intricacy. This article aims to consider how best to include children’s needs and interests in family mediation. The advantages and disadvantages of child-inclusive mediation will also be considered along with the role of the mediator in this context. This article will demonstrate that family mediators need to be aware of the children’s wishes and concerns and that there are different ways family mediators can approach and implement this.

Amel Ketani

Forecasting of the Internet Usage in the World Regions

The paper focuses fitting of different forecasting methods based on annual time series data for the Percentage of individuals, aged between 16 and 74 years, using the Internet, for eight World regions. For comparison, European Union and the World are used, too. For the 2017 and 2020 forecasts, seven forecasting models were applied: three naïve models, geometric mean, simple average, linear trend and exponential trend model. The minimum mean squared error (MSE) indicated the best fitting forecast model for each of the regions. Forecasting models based on the historic data period from 1996 to 2015 indicate the new ranking of the World regions regarding the Percentage of individuals using the Internet in the near future, e.g., an increase of Percentage of individuals using the Internet in Arab World from 0.04% in 1996 to 40% in 2015, with the forecast of 60% in 2020, fixes this region at the last rank among considered eight regions, but North America, with an increase from 15% in 1996 to 76% in 2015, with the best fitted forecast of 83% in 2020, moves from the first rank in 1996 to the third rank in 2020, after Europe & Central Asia and Latin America & Caribbean. If the forecasts for the observed indicator would be based on a shorter past time series, from 2006 to 2015, in 2020 a different ranking of the World regions would appear.

Ksenija Dumičić, Berislav Žmuk

Impact of FDI on GDP and Unemployment in Macedonia Compared to Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina

The main aim of this research is to investigate whether Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) affects economic growth and employment rate in the selected countries of Western Balkan region (Albania, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina). The hypothesized relationship between FDI and economic growth and unemployment rate was investigated using real and official data of FDI inflows as well as GDP for period between 2005 and 2015. Methodology used in the study is a multiple regression. Findings indicated that considering three countries of Western Balkans, FDI has considerable influence over their economic growth, except for the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) where hypothesis has been rejected meaning that FDI has no considerable influence over economic growth in this country. On the other hand, when it comes to Albania and Macedonia, hypothesis was accepted which proved that FDI is significant contributor to economic growth of these two countries. In the last two decades, Macedonia has been one of the leading receivers of FDI, compared to other countries from Balkans, mainly compared to Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Agim Mamuti, Mehmed Ganic

Insurance Coverage for IPRs: Possible Solution for Businesses in the GCC

As a regional and international business hub, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have an important role to play for business holders to ensure providing a welcoming environment for businesses and enterprises. This certainly includes protection of IPRs owned by business entities through advanced legislations, and serious enforcement. Meanwhile, legal issues and concerns of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are on the rise more than ever. The rapid technological developments put these rights under the imminent threat of infringement, leading to financial losses to right holders. Such losses have deeper impact when it comes to businesses and enterprises where IPRs are in fact a source of income. GCC states should therefore be concerned with securing protection of IPRs in order to maintain their position as an international and regional business hub. This protection ought to be achieved through advanced IP legislations and strong enforcement policy. At the same time, ensuring more protective measures for enterprises and businesses would minimize the risk of potential financial losses as a result of IP infringement. In search of possible ways to minimize such risks, insurance coverage comes across as a doctrine with potential advancement. Therefore, it is the aim of this paper to examine the intersection between insurance coverage and IPRs. It attempts to answer questions related to how an insurance policy can in fact be applied to save the interests of holders of IPRs. As the scope of IPRs is wide enough to include intellectual and industrial property, one needs to determine the types of IPRs that can be covered by an insurance policy. Despite the actual steps to unify laws of trademark and patents in the GCC states, its legislations remain silent as to the question of insurance of IPRs. Hence, in order to address these issues, this paper will first examine the legal position of IPRs in GCC legislations. This will be followed by examination of the applicable legal rules to insurance policies in the GCC. Consequently, intersection of the two systems requires identification of the types of IPRs that can legally be subject to insurance policies in addition to any potential legal complications which can be associated with it from the view point of insurance companies. Finally, the paper shall conclude by evaluating the current legal position and proposing a way forward.

Hanan Almawla

Integration of Applied Linguistics and Business Communication: A Pilot Study

This paper gives an insight into integrating Business Communication and Applied Linguistics, and highlights the need for such an interdisciplinary study for a better and effective corporate communication among the students of Higher Education in the UAE. A literature review of the research done in the field of language and linguistics is discussed briefly, where it draws attention to the fact that a research from this perspective has not been done in the region. It also talks about the methodology adopted along with the identified objectives, and the tools used in gauging the results of the findings. Finally, the outcome of the experiment that was conducted, based on the four language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) is analyzed and a recommendation was arrived at and tried as a remedial course on the relevant students, which had impacted improved and satisfactory results.

Janet Madhu

Mapping Creative Pedagogies in Fashion Design Education—Fashion Design Program at American University in the Emirates as a Case Study

The creative industries are “sectors of organized activity whose principal purpose is the production or reproduction, promotion, distribution and/or commercialization of goods, services and activities of a cultural, artistic or heritage-related nature”, according to UNESCO [1]. Fashion is an integral part of these cultural and creative industries. Creative pedagogies play an important role in establishing successful professional fashion design practice that in turn contributes to the growth of professional industries. They seek to engage students as active learners, promoting aesthetic enquiry and reflective thinking and allowing them to develop an independent vision by making, doing, critical reflection and praxis. This paper investigates creative pedagogies in fashion design education and practice. The American University in the Emirates (AUE) undergraduate fashion design program is selected as a case study for this research. Key creative methodologies are explored, analyzed and mapped to the courses in the context of professional design practice.

Shlagha Agarwal

Modern Versus Traditional Assets Allocation Models on Imperfect Markets—Which One Is More Convenient for Investors?

In an asset allocation problem, the investor seeks the combination of securities that best suit his needs in an uncertain environment. In order to determine the optimum allocation, the investor needs to model, estimate, and access and manage uncertainty. After a brief lull in literature on asset allocation, there have been considerable advances over the last fifty years. One of those responsible was Markowitz who presented the mean—variance approach (MV), as a modern and widely used tool on portfolio selection. However, MV assumes certain statistical performance of the stock markets which makes limitations for model application on small and emerging markets. Can MV or other modern assets allocation models assist investors on emerging markets in portfolio selection? How great errors investors are facing with in such cases? Would traditional 1/N allocation rule outperforms substantially the mean-variance portfolios?—questions are that this paper will try to answer. Research conducted 10 years ago, when standard MV approach was implemented on Montenegrin stock market and results obtained were compared with traditional 1/N approach, will be presented. The mean-variance optimal portfolios were constructed and overlooked measures of performance of this sophisticated strategy compared with the most naïve—1/N strategy. After 10 years since model was developed, author is in position to test the results in the real time. The main findings from the empirical datasets will be presented in this paper showing that emerging equity markets provide a challenge to existing models, however could be successfully applied using some extra features.

Jelena Janjusevic

Online Summative Assessment and Its Impact on Students’ Academic Performance, Perception and Attitude Towards Online Exams: University of Sharjah Study Case

In this paper we present the results of a study carried out at the University of Sharjah (UOS) over the past three semesters to evaluate the impact of online exams on the performance of students and examines student perceptions, attitude and feedback on online assessment in comparison to traditional in-class exams. The study (1493 respondents) aims to answer questions on effectiveness and impact of online assessment, especially those related to time management, preparation, reliability, fairness, security, grading, prompt feedback and possible impact on students’ performance. The survey also aims at identifying possible risks associated with online assessment at the UOS. The results indicate that there is no clear indication of improvement in the overall class GPA or in the overall passing percentage of the class. Student’s opinion and perception on online assessment seem to be divided among the 1493 students who responded to the online survey. More than half of the students preferred online exams over traditional paper-based exams. Students’ opinion was more in favor of online exams in questions related to the added values and benefits of online exams, especially those related to logistics and improving teaching and learning. No age or gender biases were found in any of the areas investigated. The results of our study support the UOS’s effort to integrate online summative assessments into teaching and learning, which will in turn improve the quality of education through accurate and fair assessment. UOS need to raise awareness among staff and students on the values of online testing in improving course assessment and help facilitate testing logistics.

Hussein M. Elmehdi, Al-Mehdi Ibrahem

Risk Exposure, Liquidity and Bank Performance: New Evidence from the Recent Financial Crisis of 2007–2008

In this paper, we examine the main determinants of stock return performance of 178 large and medium sized banks across the world, during the recent financial crisis of 2007–2008. We test the validity of various hypotheses advanced in the academic literature to address the question of why some banks performed so poorly during the crisis. Previous empirical analysis reports that the fragility of banks financed with short-term funds raised in capital markets, as well as the insufficient capital are among the factors that can explain the poor bank performance during the crisis. Our analysis brings new evidences in support of these arguments. We find that financial institutions with less deposits and loans, more liquid assets, lower return, lower ex-ante risk, and more funding fragility ahead of the crisis performed more poorly during the crisis. We investigate the impact of regulations on bank performance and find a strong correlation between restrictions on bank activities and bank stock return only in the sample of large banks. However, no systematic evidence exists that such restrictions made banks less risky before the crisis. Our main results hold up in a variety of robustness tests.

Miroslav Mateev, Petko Bachvarov

Significance of Education, Emotional Intelligence, Experience and Mediating Role of Ethical Values in Exceptional Executive Excellence

Professionals working in different segments of life either work to achieve some vision or struggle to survive. Those who have set their vision earlier in life may achieve it sooner or later but those who work without setting vision remained either low or under potential achievers. We believe that education, engagement, emotional intelligence and experience in combination with ethical values as mediator plays significant role in success of high achievers. Using convenient sampling technique primary data through self-administered questionnaire was collected from working professionals in GCC. Correlation and regression analysis were used to analyze data. It has been identified that all the selected variables are having significant impact on exceptional executive excellence and ethical values mediates relationship amongst variables. Study findings suggests the professionals to be clear in their career vision and maintain a good balance of positive ethical values, education, rich experience and work engagement to reach at career apex by achieving desired legitimate objectives.

Tahir Masood Qureshi

Smart Art for Smart Cities

The concept of a smart city primarily refers to infrastructure and the ways that various systems can be integrated using technology. However, an integrated and efficient city does not constitute a livable city, where citizens are stimulated and inspired to remain. This study surveys successful smart art installations and applications, which can contribute to a sense of community and cultural expression, often targeting attributes such as accessibility, sustainability, and wayfinding. Smart art utilizes interaction and input to obtain statistics which enable real-time adaptivity, therefore engaging the user, giving them a sense of involvement and uniqueness in a potentially homogenous and controlled environment. The role of artistic and creative solutions in urban smart projects will be examined, in the context of permanent or long-term installations/solutions, rather than short-term exhibitions.

Heather Shipman

Social Identification, Brand Image and Customer Satisfaction as Determinants of Brand Love

The emotional relationship between consumers and brands has emerged as a new field of branding. The main purpose of this study is to develop a brand love model. In addition, the interrelationships of social identification, customer satisfaction and brand image in building brand love are investigated empirically. Data were collected using a survey method and the sample was 236 mobile phone users. The model is tested by structural equations modeling (SEM). The results revealed that social identification, brand image and customer satisfaction are considered as a determinants of brand love. Moreover the finding provides a model which we can follow to build brand love. It will contribute to the scientific production in the area of brand Management.

Abdullah Al-Haddad

State Responsibility in Combating Dangerous Climate Change: The Critical Role of Domestic and International Justice

This study discusses the role that States should play to limit dangerous effects of climate change which leads to human rights violations as it’s a problem that crosses the borders and it’s already a reality that many countries and islands are threatened to disappear. The State bears the responsibility to protect human rights, a responsibility that lies on international organizations as well. In part one, we discuss the insufficient measures taken by States at the international level, as many factors constitute obstacles: (1) The lack of internationally recognized human right to the environment linked to the absence of a legal status for climate refugees make the responsibility approach untenable. (2) The difficulty to establish legal responsibility based on a causal contribution to harm makes the responsibility approach insupportable. In fact, the 2001 International Law Commission draft articles on state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts are not binding. But the great difficulty concerns the distribution of the repair burden between States responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to measure the share of each State in climate change. (3) The limits of United Nations Frame Convention on Climate Change of which the great bargain is to avert catastrophic climate change consequences by reducing the average global temperature increase to about 2* above pre-industrial levels. Part two, suggests solutions through an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice, and analyzes the successful regulation of climate change effects by domestic courts, by focusing on the Urgenda case in Netherlands.

Mahir Al Banna

The First Superbrand in Knowledge Economy in the UAE: Morison Menon in a Mission of Building Better Business Globally

This case study is focused on Morison Menon, the company primarily active in auditing, accounting and consulting, which has received Superbrand consequently for three years, from 2014 till 2016. The objective of the case study is to explain an impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on the grant of Superbrand recognition. The method of the research is qualitative using semi-structured interviews with the top managers. This company, headquartered in Dubai, has many locations in the UAE: Business Bay and Jebel Ali in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. Internationally, the company operates in India, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. The company is an affiliation of Morison International Group, founded in the UK in 1989. The core competencies of the company are huge knowledge of local market of the UAE, and accumulated expertize of 300 years measured by the experience of its senior managers and partners. The company possesses specialized knowledge in accounting, management consulting, due diligence, different knowledge on industries, such as the health-care industry, IT, etc., and all these specializations differentiate the company compared to its competitors, the top four global players in this industry (PricewaterhouseCoopers, headquartered in the UK; Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, headquartered in the USA; Ernst & Young, headquartered in the UK; and KPMG, headquartered in the Netherlands). This case study is focused on the company’s pathway to “super brands” through committed social responsibility.

Nikola Perovic

The Relationship Between EFL Teachers’ Attitudes Towards CLT and Perceived Difficulties of Implementing CLT in Language Classes in Omani Context

The present study investigated the relationship between EFL teachers’ attitudes in Omani context towards Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and perceived difficulties of implementing CLT in language classes. Twenty four EFL teachers participated in the study. Their attitudes towards CLT and their perceptions of the problems of implementing CLT were assessed by two questionnaires. The results of the descriptive statistics showed that EFL teachers had positive attitudes towards CLT in general and group work in communicative classes in particular. Further, while EFL teachers generally did not find much difficulty in implementing CLT in language classes, they found the difficulties the educational system creates as a major obstacle to use CLT. Moreover, CLT attitudes and perceived difficulties of CLT implementation were not found to be related; however, when subscales of CLT attitudes and perceived difficulties questionnaires were considered, four correlations were found to be statistically significant. Difficulties caused by teachers in communicative classes were found to be inversely and significantly related to (a) attitudes towards group and pair work (r = −.530 and p = .011) and (b) attitudes towards CLT quality/quantity of error correction (r = −.455 and p = .033). Further, attitudes towards the role and contribution of learners in the learning process were found to be negatively related to students’ related difficulties and challenges (r = −.468 and p = .021) and attitudes towards CLT-Quality/quantity of error correction were also found to be negatively related to students’ related difficulties and challenges (r = −.502 and p = .013).

M. Al Kalbani, J. Solabarrieta, A. Bin Touq

The Role of Sustainable Management in Small and Medium Enterprises, with Reference to Interior Design Firms in the Kingdom of Bahrain

As Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) grow and expand, certain issues and social demands come up with this growth including the firms’ responsibility towards ethical and social benefits, environmental issues and economic prosperity. SMEs go through these challenges while they experience financing difficulties and profitability priorities. The literature review, both internationally and locally, shows insufficient knowledge and information in relation to the implementation of sustainable management in SMEs. The basic attention was directed towards the production of sustainable products but not the sustainable management of these firms and hence the latter being the general problem area of this research. The research started with exploring the availability of sustainable management practices in the Kingdom of Bahrain (KOB). Through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) it was clearly stated that SMEs play a huge role in the KOB since 99% of registered businesses are SMEs, which, drove the Ministry to develop an SME toolkit reassuring the importance of starting SMEs in the KOB and moving towards developing a business. The research focuses on the practices of sustainable management in the KOB and the aim is to investigate and assess the implementation and effectiveness of sustainable management in SMEs. The research ends up with a proposed model that would hopefully contribute to more effective integration of sustainability practices into the management of interior design SMEs in the KOB.

Hisham Al-Azzawi, Amna Hasan

The Way to Impartial Justice: Carving an Approach to Effective Decision Making Process, the Role of Individual Judges and Problems Faced by the International Court of Justice

International Law has been dynamic in nature throughout the last half of the century. With the advent of the United Nations, the International decision making process has been completely revamped. To ensure the legitimacy and effectiveness of this decision making process, the International Court of Justice came into existence as an impartial, justifiable and equitable authority. Even though the International Court of Justice has been fundamental in establishing compliance with substantive rule of law and international legal standards, the perceived biasness and lack of appropriateness has been questioned several times in the academic circles. This antipathy stems from the fact that the International Court of Justice does not exist in ignorance of the individual decision makers who give the shape to the systematic setup of the court. It has been well accepted notion that the institutional legitimacy of the judiciary still depends on the quality of the judgments that judges make (Keeton 1999). These judgments are a concomitant of the behavioral patterns and attitudinal characters of the individual elements of the process. Such attributes give rise to the most debatable proposition of the modern judicial process, the ‘Independence of the Judiciary’. Could this freedom be the answer to ‘Effective Justice’ on an International scale? This research has raised some aspersions and doubts over this far reaching argument. Judges as individual decisions makers are marred and limited by their cognitive abilities. Prior research work has shown strong evidence that judges have a tendency to show natural inclination towards states which are economically and strategically strong within their regional territories and diplomatically strong in International forums(Posner et al. 2005). This paper concords with the available empirical data and statistical framework to this effect but tries to answer the distortions in the decision making process by utilizing an approach suitable to the psychological analysis and legal ramifications.

Adit Sharma, Rajshree Acharya
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Blockchain-Effekte im Banking und im Wealth Management

Es steht fest, dass Blockchain-Technologie die Welt verändern wird. Weit weniger klar ist, wie genau dies passiert. Ein englischsprachiges Whitepaper des Fintech-Unternehmens Avaloq untersucht, welche Einsatzszenarien es im Banking und in der Vermögensverwaltung geben könnte – „Blockchain: Plausibility within Banking and Wealth Management“. Einige dieser plausiblen Einsatzszenarien haben sogar das Potenzial für eine massive Disruption. Ein bereits existierendes Beispiel liefert der Initial Coin Offering-Markt: ICO statt IPO.
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