• Accounting for the development of human capital in manufacturing organizations: a study of the Pakistani textile sector

      Chaudhry, Naveed Iqbal; Roomi, Muhammad Azam (Emerald, 2010-10)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine empirically the impact of human capital development in organizations. It is based on some conceptual aspects of human resource accounting and considers how investments in the development of human capital can be measured in order to investigate the financial returns for organizations. Design/methodology/approach – The study is exploratory in nature as this is the first of its kind in the Pakistani manufacturing sector. The technique of convenience sampling was used to collect the data due to time and resource limitations. The sample comprises of 30 leading companies in the Pakistani textile sector. A self-administered postal questionnaire was designed for the research survey. The results focus on the benefits derived by using the capital investment appraisal techniques of human resource accounting including: return on investment, benefit to cost ratio, weighted average cost of capital, and bottom line evaluations. Findings – The results provide evidence of an association between investment in the development of human capital and the benefits, which organizations can reap from such investments. It further finds that the organizations investing in training and development programs provide high employee productivity that ultimately contributes towards high-organizational performance.
    • Acculturation to Global Consumer Culture (AGCC): testing the validity of the AGCC scale and some preliminary results from the United Kingdom

      Czarnecka, Barbara; Keles, Serap; University of Bedfordshire; University of Oslo (16th Cross-cultural Research Conference, 2015-12-13)
      This paper presents preliminary results from a study focused on acculturation to Global Consumer Culture (GCC) conducted in the UK. In particular, this paper’s aims are to test the validity of the original ‘Acculturation to Global Consumer Culture’ (AGCC) scale in a new cultural context, and to present preliminary results about the relation between acculturation to GCC and demographic factors, technological anxiety, and compulsive buying. This paper is based on online questionnaire completed by 340 respondents in the UK. The psychometric properties of this scale were verified via confirmatory factor analysis, and a new, shorter scale was proposed. Some results about the links between acculturation to GCC and demographics, technological anxiety, and compulsive buying were presented and discussed within the context of extant GCC research. Limitations and further research were discussed. Key words: consumer culture, global consumer culture, acculturation to global consumer culture
    • Acquiring and retaining customers in UK banks: an exploratory study

      Farquhar, Jillian Dawes; Panther, Tracy (Elsevier, 2008)
      This paper explores how traditional banks1 in the UK are managing customer acquisition (CA) at the same time as the retention of profitable customers. In spite of the interest of UK banks in retention, new customers often receive more favourable prices and conditions than existing customers, suggesting that acquisition may dominate. To explore the balance between acquisition and retention and to discover marketing activities that might support both, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a small sample of senior bank staff in the UK. Analysis of the interviews, using computer-aided software indicated that banks are indeed trying to manage acquisition with retention but encountering a range of difficulties as they revisit long-held strategies. The study also suggests seven activities that might contribute to a better balancing of CA with retention. By seeking expert management opinion through a qualitatively based study, this research proposes a preliminary framework of marketing activities that support both acquisition and retention.
    • Affective involvement in advertising effectiveness: implications for interpretation of print advertisements

      Danbury, Annie Hagen; Mortimer, Kathleen; University of Bedfordshire (European Advertising Academy, 2011-06-28)
      The purpose of this study is to examine the impact that affective dimensions of involvement have on the decoding process of print advertisements. The results from a factorial experiment using advertisements for two types of product, credit cards and chocolate bars, indicate that outcomes of the decoding process are predominantly influenced by affective dimensions of involvement, such as interest and pleasure, in a low involvement situation. This affective involvement has a strong relationship with likeability of the advertisement. However the relationship between comprehension and likeability is less straightforward and seems to be linked to beliefs about the advertisement.
    • An analysis of marketing programmes adopted by regional small and medium-sized enterprises

      Parrott, Guy; Roomi, Muhammad Azam; Holliman, David (Emerald, 2010-05)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to create an understanding of the true nature of contemporary SME marketing activities. While acknowledging operational constraints, the paper aims to hypothesize that, if effective marketing planning was employed, this would improve the long-term growth of small to medium-sized enterprises. The paper seeks to assess the implications current practices may have on the long-term survival of enterprises and to identify significant SME marketing development and training needs. Design/methodology/approach – A marketing audit approach yielded data from the collation of 125 completed online questionnaires within the East of England region. Statistical analysis using SPSS was applied to produce an in-depth quantitative analysis of these data. In addition, qualitative data were collected through face-to-face interviews of some 20 owner-managers. These responses were further inductively analysed and interpreted. Findings – Data analysis demonstrated a significant disparity between their perceived marketing effectiveness compared with their actual practices recorded at interview. Significantly, they failed to understand why campaigns did not yield results, as they routinely did not employ appropriate controls and procedures. SMEs believed that they were fully cognisant of the effectiveness of their marketing activity, through further exploration; evidence revealed that they failed to employ sufficient review procedures, and in the extreme cases these procedures were non-existent. A direct correlation was also witnessed between company size and the application of effective marketing planning. Larger enterprises demonstrated a greater awareness of strategic marketing competence.
    • And did those feet? Getting medieval England “on-message”

      Croft, Robin; Hartland, Trevor; Skinner, Heather (Emerald, 2008)
      This paper aims to gain an understanding of the nature and extent of the practice of “public relations” in history. The paper uses an analysis of popular narratives (in particular rumour, legend and myth) to inform a detailed case study of Glastonbury abbey in the medieval period.
    • Barriers to development and progression of women entrepreneurs in Pakistan

      Roomi, Muhammad Azam; Parrott, Guy (Sage Journals, 2008-05)
      In Pakistan, women entrepreneurs do not enjoy the same opportunities as men due to a number of deep-rooted discriminatory socio-cultural values and traditions. Furthermore, these restrictions can be observed within the support mechanisms that exist to assist such fledgling businesswomen. The economic potential of female entrepreneurs is not being realised as they suffer from a lack of access to capital, land, business premises, information technology, training and agency assistance. Inherent attitudes of a patriarchal society, that men are superior to women and that women are best suited to be homemakers, create formidable challenges. Women also receive little encouragement from some male family members, resulting in limited spatial mobility and a dearth of social capital. The research suggests that in order to foster development, multi-agency cooperation is required. The media, educational policy makers and government agencies could combine to provide women with improved access to business development services and facilitate local, regional and national networks.
    • Behind the veil: women-only entrepreneurship training in Pakistan

      Roomi, Muhammad Azam; Harrison, Pegram (Emerald, 2010-06)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand the gender-related challenges of Pakistani women entrepreneurs, to explore these women's particular capacity-building needs, and to assess the impact of capacity-building programs on the establishment and performance of the women's enterprises. Design/methodology/approach – The paper begins with a review of various theoretical contexts through which to understand women's entrepreneurship in an Islamic socio-cultural context. From this, the paper derived two working propositions: women in Islamic Pakistan face particular barriers to becoming entrepreneurs; these barriers can be reduced by women-only training in entrepreneurial competences. These propositions are examined in a three-part longitudinal process: a field survey to gather information about the training needs of current and potential women entrepreneurs, the design and delivery of a women-only training module, a follow-up survey with participants, 18 months later. Subjects and participants were randomly selected, and segmented according to entrepreneurial factors and characteristics. Findings – Results confirm that the barriers perceived by women entrepreneurs in Islamic Pakistan can be alleviated through women-only training that allows participants to develop capital and competences. Greater clarity about learning outcomes desired and achieved by women entrepreneurs in an Islamic socio-cultural context can be a basis for designing improved training and education programmes, with a view to women's economic empowerment.
    • Branding in UK banks and building societies: a relationship approach

      Farquhar, Jillian Dawes (Taylor and Francis, 2011-02)
      Branding in financial services has not really achieved the differentiation that providers of these services have been seeking. Banks and building societies (B&BS) have also invested heavily in the building of relationships, which may form a stronger basis for branding. The purpose of this paper is to propose an alternative approach to branding, based on relationships. In-depth interviews were conducted with managers charged with customer relationships in a selection of UK high street banks and building societies to elicit the range of relationships that have the potential for branding initiatives. From the findings emerges a number of stakeholders who are then plotted into the brand environment of B&BS. This study develops an empirically derived approach to branding based stakeholder relationships and hence already embedded in the B&BS strategy.
    • Breaking grounds through innovative strategies: an entrepreneurial feat

      Roomi, Muhammad Azam; Srinivasan, Kshama (European Case Clearing House, UK., 2011)
      The case study describes the evolution of a small entrepreneurial business, which has adopted appropriate strategies for its survival and growth in the competitive market. It reflects on the important entrepreneurial characteristics involved in the establishment, management and growth of the entrepreneurial venture, while highlighting on other factors, responsible for the success of the business. Entrepreneurs are quick to recognise business opportunities and exploit them through creative means for profit. They realise this by introducing innovative products and services or modifying the existing ones to gain a competitive advantage. It is imperative for them to mobilise human resources, financial resources, technical skills, raw materials and assets, while establishing their businesses, which they own but largely depend on others. Besides, entrepreneurs grow their firms internally (organic growth) by introducing innovative products and services for gaining a competitive edge; and through amalgamations or mergers with established firms (inorganic growth). However, they need to flex their styles of management and strategies according to the changing needs of the business, which is largely determined by the market forces of demand and supply, labour market, suppliers, and consumers for striking a successful business.
    • Case study research methods for business

      Farquhar, Jillian Dawes (Sage Publications, 2012)
    • The commercialisation of BDS through an NGO: case study of AKRSP-Pakistan

      Roomi, Muhammad Azam; ur Rehman, Mujeeb; Newnham, Jack (ITDG, UK, 2001)
      Based on the theme of how donors can play a more effective role to stimulate effective and sustainable provision of BDS by or through private sector intermediaries, this case study looks at how the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) has sought to encourage the development of markets for Business Development Services (BDS) in the remote areas of northern Pakistan. This paper explores that the isolation of the region, poor infrastructure, small scale of landholdings, and lack of economic development leads to problems when attempting to promote markets for business development services. In the short term, the priority is the development of more basic markets, rather than markets for business development services. Without active markets there are a few opportunities for BDS provision let alone the development of vibrant private sector markets for BDS. It specifies the geographic, economic, political, and institutional context in which the AKRSP’s interventions have been implemented. Grassroots village based initiatives have been discussed, where groups of farmers are facilitated by AKRSP to provide BDS to neighboring farmers (farmers interest groups in Chitral), along with more structured formal approaches such as the more direct provision of BDS through commercial entity associated with AKRSP (North South Seeds). It is argued that both models have a positive impact on MSME performance and lead to market development in the long run. Both are methods through which donors can promote BDS markets but which model is most appropriate depends on the market being served. Where the service offered is relatively simple and the business of the BDS provider is relatively straight-forward, facilitating private sector intermediaries may be the most effective way of creating markets for BDS. However, where the service is complex and there is a need to establish a sophisticated organisation to provide the service, it may be necessary to set up an organisation within the NGO, on commercially sustainable basis if possible, with a view to fully commercialising and ideally privatising the organisation over time.
    • Consuming Bollywood: young Sikhs social comparisons with heroes and heroines in Indian films

      Takhar, Amandeep; Maclaran, Pauline; Parsons, Elizabeth; Broderick, Anne; University of Keele (Taylor and Francis, 2010)
      This UK based interpretivist study uses social identity and social comparison theory to consider how third generation members of the British Sikh community are consuming Bollywood films. Through the application of social comparison theory this study seeks to extend knowledge relating to how social comparison theory contributes to ethnic identity construction. The consumption of Bollywood provides a valuable to negotiate ethnic identity. There are three key themes that emerged to demonstrate the ways in which social comparisons to Bollywood are influencing the ethnic identities of third generation British Sikhs: (1)social comparisons and ideals of romance, (2) gender differences: making comparisons to heroes and heroines; and (3) British versus Indian self.
    • Convenience: a services perspective

      Farquhar, Jillian Dawes; Rowley, J. (Sage Publications, 2009-12)
      With increasing evidence that convenience is important to customers, the study revisits the concept to develop a research agenda that delivers an improved understanding of the nature of convenience. Accordingly, the paper concludes by pro-posing a definition of convenience and offering questions for further research based on a critique of existing models of convenience, and on the positioning of convenience in relation to associated concepts such as customer value, co-­production and experiential consumption.
    • Creative execution of United Kingdom banks’ print advertisement

      Mogaji, Emmanuel; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-05-14)
      The place of the financial services industry in an economy cannot be over-emphasised, its utilitarian nature has made previous researchers suggest that it demands a different advertising strategy; however, the need to create an effective advertisement in this highly saturated industry cannot be overemphasised. This research aims at developing an understanding of creative strategies adopted by UK Banks’ in their print advertisement. Analysis of 1274 print advertisements in UK newspapers over twelve month period was carried out. The advertisements were analysed on the basis of their size, images used, colour, orientation and number of words used. In terms of the advert size, to create an impression, Full Centre Spread was seldom used whereas small advertisements had the largest share. Images of cartoon characters, celebrities, children, colleagues, couples and customers were frequently used. Cartoons were predominately used by the old LloydsTSB Bank and TSB Bank while Santander used the presence of sport celebrities in their advertisements. HSBC Adverts were predominantly printed in black colour on while First Direct advertisements had white text printed on black background. Natwest adverts are more likely to be in Purple, Lloyds in Green and TSB in Blue, these are their brand colours and are frequently used to reinforce their brand. The creative design, which includes the use of images and colours, has been noted to enhance the attractiveness and memorability of these advertisements which also conveys credibility. The research contributes to the study of advertisement design, providing outcomes relevant to numerous types of stakeholders.
    • Defining prospects

      Roomi, Muhammad Azam; Chaudhry, A.; Hameed, Afshan (European Case Clearing House, 2010)
      The case study describes the situation of a female student, Anum, who gets inspired by training on entrepreneurship and was motivated from there to start her quest to become a real entrepreneur. The business plan competition comes out as the deciding event of her destiny as it was held amongst the best brains of university and thus was the toughest. This case has discussed various approaches that Anum used to generate four business ideas to take part in the competition. The information in this case revolves around idea generation process including personal factors, contextual matters, sources and techniques of research. Learning outcomes of the case are manifold yet primarily; it focuses on one of the central areas of entrepreneurship ie idea generation and its evaluation. This case is intended to serve as an indigenous solution to those who want to become future entrepreneurs but do not know how to build business ideas or assess their viability. Those who are most likely to get benefit from this case are: (1) the audience / students who haven't got any prior experience of working in any organization or played role in business in any capacity; and (2) novices to the study of entrepreneurship.
    • Different strokes: changing fortunes

      Roomi, Muhammad Azam; Srinivasan, Kshama (European Case Clearing House, 2012-05-11)
      Start-up firms face a myriad of problems from their inception to growth, which differ with their magnitude and nature of the industry. Entrepreneurs need to consider several factors such as access to capital, land, infrastructure, and labour; product development and its life cycle; use of technology; marketing as well as customers' satisfaction. This case study highlights these issues during establishment and development of a business successfully and enlighten students as to how an entrepreneur handles them in an effective manner. It also explains the ways in which an entrepreneur uses innovative ideas to create and exploit business opportunities for monetary gains. It explains why and how timely decisions and entrepreneurial traits contribute to the success of an entrepreneurial venture. The case study is about an entrepreneurial endeavour embarked upon by Lee, from his one bedroom apartment. The business kicked off by importing high quality copier paper from China at cheaper prices to earn high profits. The business showed an incremental performance in the first few years but exhibited exponential growth through diversification in the coming years. Nevertheless it has now multiplied several fold into a large outsourcing firm, under its founder's entrepreneurial leadership.
    • Dividend payment practices in the non-financial sector of Pakistan: empirical evidence from the Karachi Stock Exchange

      Roomi, Muhammad Azam; Chaudhry, Naveed Iqbal; Azeem, M. (World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 2011)
      This study intends to investigate the dividend payment practices of the non-financial sectors of the Karachi Stock Exchange. All the dividend paying sectors of the Karachi Stock Exchange were investigated for the period 2004–2010. A well developed mixture of six variables along with the descriptive statistics was used to scrutinize the dividend paying behavior of different sectors. Inconsistency, reluctance and trivial average rate from 1.5% to 5% of the dividends were being paid by the sectors. Profitability was not functioning adequately with regard to dividends, and the highly profitable sectors were also in the habit of paying at a nominal rate. It was noticed that most of the funds were used to finance growth opportunities, but only the mature and highly Profitable sectors were keeping pace with growth opportunities and endeavoring to transform them for shareholders. Market capitalization was seen to oppose dividend trends in almost all the sectors. All the sectors tended to disburse the dividend rate at the very beginning, middle and at least to make a drift in it during the last couple of years, particularly in 2010. Corporate governance should be strengthened in order to protect the rights of individual shareholders.
    • Dynamic pricing models for used products in remanufacturing with lost-sales and uncertain quality

      Xiong, Yu; Li, Gendao; Zhou, Yu; Fernandes, Kiran; Harrison, Richard; Xiong, Zhongkai; Chongqing Technology and Business University; Jilin University; University of East Anglia; Chongqing University; et al. (Elsevier, 2013-04-22)
      In this paper, we investigate the remanufacturing problem of pricing single-class used products (cores) in the face of random price-dependent returns and random demand. Specifically, we propose a dynamic pricing policy for the cores and then model the problem as a continuous-time Markov decision process. We first design a basic model that does not consider the quality uncertainty of cores, and then extend our model to incorporate this factor. Besides proving optimal policy uniqueness and establishing monotonicity results for the optimal policy, we also characterize the impact of system parameters on the optimal policies, which can provide simple managerial insights. Finally, we use computational experiments to assess the benefits of dynamic pricing compared to static pricing and identify the impacts of specific parameters on the relative merits of dynamic pricing policy.
    • Entrepreneurial capital, social values and Islamic traditions: exploring the growth of women-owned enterprises in Pakistan

      Roomi, Muhammad Azam (Sage Journals, 2011-11)
      This study seeks to explore the variables contributing to the growth of women-owned enterprises in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Based on a previously established multivariate model, it uses two econometric approaches: first classifying variables into predetermined blocks; and second, using the general to specific approach. Statistical analyses and in-depth interviews confirm that women entrepreneurs’ personal resources and social capital have a significant role in their business growth. Further, it reveals that the moral support of immediate family, independent mobility and being allowed to meet with men play a decisive role in the sales and employment growth of women-owned enterprises in an Islamic country such as Pakistan.