Vol. 9, Issue 2, 2024

Attitude of Undergraduate Students toward Leisure Activities

  • Page: 216
  • Authors: Paul-Francois MUZINDUTSI, Zandile MASANGO-MUZINDUTSI
  • AbstractThe purpose of this study was to explore the attitude of undergraduate students towards leisure activities focussing on first-year and senior (2nd and 3rd year) students. A sample of 427 students enrolled in a South African University was selected to meet the analytical needs of the study. The instrument used is based on the Leisure Attitude Scale developed by Beard and Ragheb (1982). The results indicated that, overall, the study subjects are associated with positive attitudes towards leisure activities. One-way ANOVA procedure revealed a statistically significant difference between junior and senior students in overall leisure attitude and within cognitive and behavioural subscales. Pearson’s Correlation Analysis showed a significant positive correlation between the overall LAS and different sub-scales.
  • JEL Classification: A12, L83, Z13
  • Keywords: leisure activity, leisure attitude scale, South Africa, university students.
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-01

Foreign Direct Investment in West Africa: A Case of Anglophone versus Francophone Countries

  • Page: 225
  • Authors: Felicia Anikpe NAIMO, Cyprian Oshiokpekai AIGBODIOH, Ahmed Ede UWUBANMWEN
  • AbstractThis research was aimed at investigating the effect of foreign direct investment (FDI) on economic growth in thirteen (13) West African Anglophone and Francophone countries in the short and long term by using annual data from 1990 to 2021. From the auto-regressive distributed lag (ARDL) results, it was deduced that FDI has a long-run positive significant relationship with economic growth in the Anglophone region, but was not found statistically significant in the Francophone region. In addition, both regions exhibited an inverse relationship between FDI and GDP growth in the short run. From the findings, other variables such as gross fixed capital formation, exchange rates, and trade openness were statistically significant in driving GDP growth in the Anglophone region but not in the Francophone region, except for the exchange rate. Overall, it was concluded that FDI benefits the Anglophone region of West Africa more than the Francophone region. These findings suggested that lingual structures may play a dominant role in the attraction of FDI and other macroeconomic variables in these economies. Thus, there should be strong regulatory frameworks to improve FDI inflows through human capital development, political stability, a friendly business environment, and infrastructural development, as well as ensuring proper galvanisation and effective utilisation of investment funds in the regions.
  • JEL Classification: C33, F21, F43, O55
  • Keywords: economic growth, foreign direct investment, Panel ARDL, trade openness, West Africa
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-02

Change Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of a Major South African Hotels, Gaming, and Entertainment Group

  • Page: 242
  • Authors: Farai NYIKA, Stacy DAVID-SOOBRAMONEY, Sindisiwe NZIMANDE
  • AbstractThe hospitality industry comprises a broad array of service offerings such as accommodation, restaurants, bars, and entertainment (cinemas, concerts, theatres, casinos, amusement parks), among others. As a significant contributor to the tourism GDP of the South African economy, this once thriving sector experienced an unprecedented and devastating impact in 2020 due to the onset of the global pandemic (COVID-19). This paper explores a major South African gaming, hotels, and entertainment group’s (Sun International) organisational performance, with specific emphasis on its Gauteng based properties. The purpose of the research was to understand the organisational shifts in business strategies, financial planning, marketing realignments, and employee behaviour among other changes to the operational environment in enduring the effects of the pandemic. The paper adopted a qualitative research approach using a non-probability sampling technique. Data was collected from a sample of ten participants using semi-structured one-on-one interviews. The participants were chosen from various departments and comprised permanent senior management employees of Sun International. The findings showed that Sun International changed its business strategy in response to the pandemic with respect to how it treated internal staff and external guests. The group also adapted its cost management, marketing, and communication strategy. Finally, Sun International has restructured its business with resilience and sustainability in mind, to be in a better position to weather future crises.
  • JEL Classification: M10, M310
  • Keywords: hospitality, crisis management, tourism, South Africa, COVID-19
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-03

Assessing Algeria’s Trade Performance within the African Continental Free Trade Area: Indicators-Based Approach

  • Page: 255
  • Authors: Samia ABID
  • AbstractIn the evolving economic and geopolitical landscape, regional integration serves as a strategy for countries to enhance global influence and optimise trade relations. The present study assesses the impact of trade liberalisation under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on Algeria’s exports, contributing thus to the debate on the potential effects of trade agreements involving developing countries. The study relies on official data gathered from international institutions to compute essential trade indicators, particularly those related to concentration and regional orientation. Our analysis enabled us to categorise products based on the possible effects they are likely to encounter. The results show that only four natural resource-based products will continue to enjoy a trade expansion. More importantly, a large number of non-hydrocarbon products are not likely to increase despite tariff reductions. According to our findings, the effects of the AfCFTA on trade creation are limited. The analysis revealed that Algeria currently lacks the essential prerequisites for a successful integration into the African market. To facilitate its integration process, a series of complementary measures must be implemented.
  • JEL Classification: N97, F13, F14, F15
  • Keywords: African integration, Algeria, regional orientation, trade creation, trade liberalisation
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-04

Institutional Investors Ownership and Financial Performance: An Empirical Study of CAC40 Companies

  • Page: 269
  • Authors: Sarra BOUDERMINE, Djamel KEDDAM
  • AbstractThe purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of ownership by institutional investors on the financial performance of a sample of 15 French firms that were listed between 2015 and 2022 on the CAC40 index. To achieve the study’s objective, the percentage of shares owned by foreign and domestic institutional investors was used as a measure of institutional investors’ ownership, while the return on assets was used as a measure of financial performance. The study employed a statistical approach using Dynamic Panel Data Models with the Generalised Method of Moments (GMM). The study found a statistically significant negative impact between the ownership percentages of foreign and domestic institutional investors and financial performance. Regarding control variables, agency costs had a positive and statistically significant impact on financial performance, while liquidity had no significant effect.
  • JEL Classification: G23, G30
  • Keywords: institutional investors, financial performance, Dynamic Panel Data Models, GMM
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-05

Interest Rate Channel and Household Consumption: Evidence from the West African Monetary Zone

  • Page: 282
  • Authors: Lawrence Babatunde ONI, Abayomi Toyin ONANUGA, Oluwaseyi Adedayo ADELOWOKAN
  • AbstractIn order to achieve macroeconomic stability, monetary authorities in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) adopted an inflation targeting framework. The policy was facilitated by various monetary stability and control measures. The outcome of the policy effort was not significantly felt by the economies because the concentration was majorly on improving aggregate output with little or no attention to its important components such as household consumption. Thus, this study examines the effect of interest rate channel on household consumption in the WAMZ from 1986 to 2021. Based on the unit root results, the study employed the panel autoregressive distributed lags approach for regression analysis. And found that interest rate channel has no significant effect on household consumption expenditure in the short-run. But in the long-run, the interest rate channel significantly affected household consumption expenditure in the West African Monetary Zone. Therefore, the study concluded that in the long-run, the interest rate channel through nominal lending and deposit rates significantly affected household consumption in the Zone. In view of our findings, some policy implications were made to guide both the government and the monetary authorities in the Zone.
  • JEL Classification: E21, E52, C33, F45
  • Keywords: household consumption, interest rate channel, Panel Autoregressive Distributed Lag, West African Monetary Zone
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-06

Socio-Cultural Environment, Conjugal Role Specification and Women’s Entrepreneurial Performance in the Cameroonian Context

  • Page: 294
  • Authors: Nelson Aubin DIFFO LONTSI, Joseph NZONGANG
  • AbstractThe main objective of this study is to present the role of the socio-cultural environment through the ideology of the specification of conjugal roles, on the entrepreneurial performance of women in the Cameroonian context. By adopting a qualitative approach using multiple case studies, semi-structured interviews were carried out on a sample of ten (10) female entrepreneurs from the city of Douala. The thematic content analysis was carried out using the Nvivo 10 software. From this analysis, it mainly emerges that inequalities linked to gender, residential proximity between the entrepreneur and her in-laws constitute the factors that lead to a counter-performance of women in entrepreneurship. However, the involvement of the spouse in domestic tasks promotes the achievement of entrepreneurial objectives by women entrepreneurs.
  • JEL Classification: L25, L26
  • Keywords: socio-cultural environment, women’s entrepreneurship, Cameroonian context; conjugal role specification
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-07

Interactions of Spot Foreign Exchange Markets among Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan: Japanese Forward Premium/Discount as an Information Variable

  • Page: 308
  • Authors: Hsiang-Hsi LIU
  • AbstractThis study takes the foreign exchange rates of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan as the research issue, and utilises the VEC GJR-Asymmetric GARCH model to analyse the interaction among spot exchange rates of these three countries. The empirical results prove that the average returns of all foreign exchange markets have their own- and cross-spillovers, and the volatility of the return rate exists ARCH and /or GARCH effects. In addition, using Japanese forward premium/discount as information variable, empirical results find that Japanese forward premium/discount have important explanatory power for the links of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japanese spot exchange rates, and the original volatility spillover effect has disappeared, indicating that Japanese forward premium/discount is indeed an information variable. In terms of the volatility asymmetry effect, the results show that the estimated coefficients of asymmetry in Taiwan and Japan are positively significant, indicating that under the impact of bad news, their own market volatilities will be greater than good news. We also justify that the foreign exchange rates of Taiwan and Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, and Hong Kong and Japan are more closely linked to each other in the face of the two major events. The US-China trade war and the COVID-19 outbreak have triggered risk contagion, with a crisis in one country quickly spreading to another, intensifying the link between the foreign exchange markets of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan. Our findings may help investors and policymakers find responses to such foreign exchange market turbulence.
  • JEL Classification: F30, G10, G13, G19
  • Keywords: foreign exchange market, forward premium/discount, VEC GJR-asymmetric GARCH model, US-China trade war, COVID-19 pandemic
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-08

Does the Conflict-Related News from Donbass Affect the Volatility of the Renewable Energy Market?

  • Page: 331
  • Authors: Serkan ERYILMAZ, Enes Burak ERGÜNEY, Feyyaz ZEREN, Samet GÜRSOY
  • AbstractThe ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has deeply affected many countries, mainly EU member states, and has led to an energy crisis. However, this war is also an opportunity for the world to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy because the renewable energy transition has the potential to both reduce Russia’s energy revenues and ensure the EU’s energy security. For this reason, many countries are planning to invest in the renewable energy sector both to prevent Russia’s aggressive behaviour and to overcome the energy crisis. In this context, the study aims to investigate the existence of a dynamic relationship between the intensity of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the renewable energy stock market. For this purpose, we adopt a DC-MSV model with the number of conflict news in the Donbass region and ECO and ERIX return series data as proxies of the renewable energy market. As a result, we find that changes in the conflict intensity in the Donbass region do not affect the stock volatility of renewable energy companies, while there is a weak relationship between their returns.
  • JEL Classification: G15, H56, Q20
  • Keywords: renewable energy, Russia, Ukraine, stock market, war
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-09

A Tale of Two ‘Sities’ (Universities): Navigating Organisational and Operational Strategies in Higher Education Institutions

  • Page: 346
  • Authors: David FOWLER, Jon MUSGRAVE, Jill MUSGRAVE
  • AbstractThis research endeavours to unveil the nuanced impact of organisational and operational models in higher education by conducting a comparative study of two institutions: the pseudonymous Old Orchard College and Seafarer University. The purpose is to discern the implications of adopting proven business strategies on institutional performance, growth, and student outcomes. The study employs a comprehensive methodology, integrating four years’ worth of personal observations, interviews with current and former employees, and rigorous data mining and analysis of government public domain databases. The comparative analysis delves into the organisational structures, academic focuses, and operational approaches of Old Orchard College and Seafarer University. The design embraces a multi-faceted approach to distill the complexities of organisational dynamics in higher education. The findings illuminate a stark dichotomy between the two institutions. Old Orchard College, undergoing an academic renaissance, is grappling with a shift in executive leadership and restructuring of academic responsibilities. In contrast, Seafarer University emerges as a model of efficiency, marked by its status as the fastest-growing state-supported university. The dialogue between tradition and innovation, and the transformative power of efficient organisational models, become focal points of discovery. This research contributes to the existing body of literature by providing an in-depth exploration of the impact of organisational paradigms on higher education institutions. The originality lies in the comparative nature of the study, which dissects the interplay between traditional and modern approaches. The inclusion of personal observations and data analysis adds a layer to the exploration, offering a holistic perspective on organisational dynamics in higher education.
  • JEL Classification: I21, I22, I23, I26, I29
  • Keywords: Business Strategies in Academia, comparative institutional analysis, higher education dynamics, operational efficiency, organisational models
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-10

Current and Future Trends in Strategic Procurement with Generative AI

  • Page: 361
  • Authors: Eleonora DIJMARESCU
  • AbstractIt is difficult to predict with certainty how the outlook for strategic procurement will be in the next decade, but the current trends of Generative AI have already had a significant impact. This study aims to analyse the recent research focused on Generative AI strategic procurement and global supply chains with structured pros and cons of the way they could impact the strategies. For this purpose, a literature review based on 19 research articles and studies was performed to identify the areas of strategic procurement where the Generative AI could effectively perform specific tasks and to formulate shared perspectives for greater impacts. As with any new technology, the use of Generative AI is not without effort and setbacks. There are several outstanding topics, and it is important to consider the highlights and the lowlights when integrating Generative AI into strategic procurement processes. Based on this analysis, the following areas of the strategic procurement activities, with most of the value added by the implementation of the new AI technologies, were identified, in this priority order: 1. Ethical considerations, 2. Market intelligence, 3. Risk management, 4. Supplier management, 5. Contract management. The results of this research may be of interest to category procurement professionals. Further research is needed to investigate cost-effective methods for further development of the Generative AI digital transformation.
  • JEL Classification: F23, O14, L69
  • Keywords: AI technologies, category procurement, Generative AI, global supply chain, strategic procurement
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-11

How does Social Capital Impact SBA Loan Approvals in US Counties?

  • Page: 374
  • Authors: Adham CHEHAB, Yibo XIAO
  • AbstractThe purpose of this paper was to evaluate the determinants of the Small Business Administration (SBA) gross loan approval in a US county. Our main research variable was a county’s social capital. We hypothesised that the higher the county’s social capital, the larger the SBA gross loan approval for the county. We also evaluated the impact of other control variables on SBA gross loan approvals. The social capital of individual US counties was available for 1990, 1997, 2005, 2009, and 2014 while other variables were not available as early as 1990. Therefore, we limited our research period to 1997 through 2014. We followed the published literature and linearly interpolated social capital for the non-observed years. The final sample included more than 30,000 county-year observations. The regression results showed that a county’s social capital was a positive and significant determinant of its aggregate SBA gross loan approvals. The results also showed that total banking assets, number of banking employees, population, per capita income, and whether the county is rural were also positive and significant determinants of aggregate SBA gross loan approvals in a US county. In addition, increases in a county’s total banking loans and leases, and its unemployment level were negatively and significantly associated with SBA gross loan approvals. All the regression coefficients were significant at the 1% level.
  • JEL Classification: G20
  • Keywords: social capital, SBA Loans, Small Business Lending, Business Loan Guarantees
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-12

Generation Y versus Generation Z: Correlation Analysis between the Living Standard and the Education Level

  • Page: 390
  • Authors: Claudiu CICEA, Corina MARINESCU, Silviu-Gabriel BACIU, George GREERE
  • AbstractThe present research aims to provide evidence, from a statistical point of view, of the relationship between the education level of individuals and their associated living standard. The study is based on correlation analysis, which is able to highlight the association between the two elements of interest and, at the same time, to show the strength of their relationship. Additionally, the correlation analysis will be conducted both for Generation Y and Generation Z. Presenting the correlation results in comparison with the two types of Generation will facilitate finding similarities or differences between Generations. The analysis considers 14 European countries and uses two ways of referring to the living standard in accordance with the scientific literature. Among the key findings, there is one in particular to be mentioned: the level of education does matter more for Generation Z as compared to Generation Y in having a higher living standard. The limits of the analysis and future research directions are mentioned in the conclusions.
  • JEL Classification: I25, O15
  • Keywords: correlation, education, Generation Y, Generation Z, living standard
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-13

Toward Medical Services Quality Improvement through Industry 4.0 in Healthcare

  • Page: 401
  • Authors: Aurora PREDA, Marcela PĂCURARU, Ștefan TIRITEU, Ciprian Sorin CHIRVASE, Ștefănuț BUHUS, Andreea ZAMFIR, Elena-Oana CROITORU
  • AbstractThis study aims to reveal how Industry 4.0 and its technologies can be used in medicine in order to improve the quality of the medical act in the healthcare sector. Industry 4.0 represents a significant technological revolution characterised by interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data transfer, effectively merging physical operations and production with advanced digital technology. This revolution underpins the integration of cyber-physical systems, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and other cutting-edge technologies within the industrial production environment. Due to its vast scope and profound impact, Industry 4.0 is evolving at an exponential rate. These digital transformations are also profoundly affecting the healthcare sector, transitioning traditional systems into intelligent systems with the goal of enhancing the quality of medical services. The significance of Industry 4.0 in healthcare can be observed in the improved interaction between providers and patients, the enhanced performance of medical teams, and the increased promptness and efficiency in delivering medical services while achieving desired outcomes at reduced costs. Additionally, it ensures the continuity and safety of medical care. Industry 4.0 is crucial for the healthcare system as it supports the essential quality attributes that underpin the delivery of medical services. It enhances accessibility, effectiveness, and efficiency, promotes professional competence, facilitates interpersonal relationships, ensures continuity and safety of care, and contributes to the development of innovative medical solutions. The adoption of these technologies is vital for establishing a modern, patient-centred healthcare system.
  • JEL Classification: L86, I10, O33
  • Keywords: Industry 4.0, digitalisation, healthcare, artificial intelligence
  • DOI: 10.24818/mer/2024.02-14