European Journal of Scientific Research

Volume 144 No 1
February, 2017

Competitive Advantage and Organizational Performance: Core Competence Perspective

Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi and Ajaz Akbar Mir
In recent times competitive strategy has seen a shift towards intangible assets, capabilities, and competencies for the achievement of competitive advantage. These resources are relied more as they offer better opportunities for sustainability of competitive advantage. Among these terms, sometimes used interchangeably, competences and more particularly core competence have attracted special attention as sources of competitive advantage and superior performance. While competence, an intangible asset, is the ability to sustain the coordinated deployment of assets in such a manner that helps a firm achieve its goals, the core competence is the knowledge set that distinguishes a firm from competition and provides a competitive advantage over others. Likewise capabilities are also intangible assets which are repeatable patterns of action in the use of assets to create, produce and/or offer products to a market. Given this background this paper attempts to empirically examine the relationship between core competence, competitive advantage and organizational performance. The results of the study confirm that core competence has a strong and positive impact on competitive advantage and organizational performance. It has also been reported that competitive advantage has significant influence on organizational performance. The study suggests that in order to remain competitive strategists need to identify and nurture core competences and base their strategies on the core competencies to enjoy above average performance and profitability in the long run.
Keywords: Organizational performance, Competitive Advantage, Core Competence, Resources.

Voltage Quality Improvement Using DVR Based Synchronous Frame Reference Theory

S. VijayaLaxmi, Dr. P. V. RamanaRao
Voltage sags and swells in the medium and low voltage distribution grid are considered to be the most frequent type of power quality problems based on recent power quality studies. Their impact on sensitive loads is severe. For sensitive loads, even voltage sags of short duration can cause serious problems in the entire system. Normally, a voltage interruption triggers a protection device, which causes shutdown of the entire system. Different solutions have been developed to protect sensitive loads against such disturbances but the DVR is considered to be the most efficient and effective solution. The control strategy for extracting the compensation voltages in DVR is based on synchronous reference frame theory (SRF) along with PI controller. The control strategy is verified through extensive simulation studies using MATLAB & SIMULINK to demonstrate the improved performance of DVR.
Keywords: DVR, SRF theory, Voltage quality, PI controller.

Organic Pollution Modeling By Hybrid Neural Model in Tropical Lagoon Bay: A Case Study

YAO Marcel Konan, BROU Yapi Serges, Akmel Djedjro Clément, TROKOUREY Albert and YAO Kouassi Benjamin
Modeling of the spatial and temporal evolution of organic pollution using chemical organic demand was done in Tiagba lagoon bay. The originality of this study lies in the use of the hybrid model “forward stepwise regression/multilayer perceptron” as tool for modeling. Three simulations were run: firstly by forward stepwise regression, then by multilayer perceptron and finally by the hybrid model "forward stepwise regression/multilayer perceptron". The aim of this work is to evaluate the performance of these different models and choose the best for this study. The results obtained show that forward stepwise regression predicts at 14.26% the spatial and temporal evolution of chemical organic demand, while multilayer perceptron does it at 15.34% for static modeling and 11.87 for dynamic modeling. The hybrids models generated for the investigated scenarios shown prediction rates higher than 90% with relatively weak errors (less than 0.1). In this case of study, modeling through by hybrid model "forward stepwise regression/multilayer perceptron" holds accurate estimation than forward stepwise regression and multilayer perceptron. So, these hybrid models obtained are considered as highly satisfactory and could be used in programmes for rehabilitation and protection of Tiagba lagoon bay. In addition, it can serve for water body management and other search fields.
Keywords: Artificial neural networks, Cote d'Ivoire; Multiple linear regressions; Tiagba; Water pollution.

Antifungal Potential of Clove (Syzygium Aromaticum) Essential Oil Against Banana Crown Rot Pathogens

Eliane Tchinda Sonwa, Huguette Agnaniet, Severin Tchameni Nguemezi, Pierre Michel Jazet Dongmo, Modeste Lambert Sameza, Pamela Francine Kamsu, Geraldo De Paula, Lenise Teixeira, Paul Henri Amvam Zollo and Chantal Menut
This study objective was to investigate the effect of clove [Syzygium aromaticum(L.) Merr.& L.M. Perry] essential oil on banana crown rot pathogens isolated in Cameroon. The isolated pathogens were identified through the MALDI-TOF/MS (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Time Of Flight/Mass Spectrometry) and the sequencing of the rDNA-ITS regions as Colletotrichum fructicola, Fusarium incarnatum and Fusarium verticillioides. Essential oil was extracted by hydrodistillation with a yield of 7.06 %. The chemical composition was analyzed by Gas Chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS); it revealed that eugenol (80.74%) and β-caryophyllene (11.47%) were the major compounds. Through the incorporation technique, a total inhibition of mycelial growth was obtained at 275, 200 and 350 µL/L for C. musae, F. incarnatum and F. verticillioides respectively; while a complete inhibition of conidia germination through the liquid medium dilution method was recorded at 185, 185 and 92.5 µL/L respectively. The in vivo assay showed that, at 3000 µL/L, there was 89.83% and 80.98% inhibition of appearance of disease symptoms for preventive test and curative test respectively. Clove essential oil could then be recommended as an eco-friendly method for the management of banana crown rot.
Keywords: Syzygium aromaticum, essential oil, antifungal activity, banana crown rot

The Effects of Optimal Investment Level on Firm Value

Soo-Eun Kim
The relationship between investment and firm value is quadratic rather than linear, implying that an optimal level of investment exists. Levels lower than the optimal level confirm the underinvestment hypothesis while higher levels confirm the overinvestment one. The inefficient investment processes such as the underinvestment and overinvestment arise from several conflicts between the main stakeholders such as shareholders and bondholders, current and prospective shareholders, shareholders and managers. Moreover, information asymmetries contribute to several conflicts between the main stakeholders. Accordingly, underinvestment firms need to increase positive NPV projects by aligning the interests between shareholders and bonders and the interests between current shareholders and prospective shareholders to mitigate the information asymmetries. Whereas overerinvestment firms need to decrease negative NPV projects by aligning the interests between shareholders and managers to mitigate the information asymmetries. And Firms with valuable investment opportunities can undertake larger investments until reaching the optimal level. Whereas firms without valuable investment opportunities have an optimal level of investment far below that of the previous ones, which confirms an exhaustion of their positive NPV projects. Non-chaebol firms with valuable investment opportunities can undertake larger investments than chaebol firms. Moreover, large firms with valuable investment opportunities can undertake larger investments than small and medium firms because there exists the firm size effect.
Keywords: Optimal investment level, Firm value, Information asymmetry

A Conceptual Problem-Solving Approach for Three-Component Mathematical Mixture Problems – Unraveling the Obscured Method of Alligation Alternate

Michalakis Savva
A method based on a conceptual problem-solving approach provided the framework for solving mixture problems. Unlike the method of Alligation Alternate, this method uses concepts and principles to identify the type of variables that are conserved, write equations for the conservation of those variables and use those equations to identify the domain of all variables. Finally, it provided all possible solutions to three-component mixture problems after it was programmed in a Computer Algebra System (CAS).
Keywords: Alligation, Alligation Alternate, mixture problems, mass balance equation, pharmaceutical calculations, physical pharmacy, Conceptual Problem-Solving Approach, pharmacoeconomics, Computer Algebra System, CAS, wxMaxima.

Stemming the Incidence of Kidnapping in the Nigerian Society: What can Religious Education Do?

Ilechukwu Leonard Chidi and Madubuko Chijioke John
This paper researches on stemming the incidence of kidnapping in the Nigerian society with particular emphasis on what religious and technology education can do. The much sought progress and development of the Nigerian society have been hampered by serial kidnapping. Using descriptive research and data analysis, this research exposes the meaning and many incidences of kidnapping in Nigeria. What religious and technology education can do in stemming the incidences of kidnapping was elaborately elucidated. The paper ended with recommendations and action areas to build the Nigerian society of our dream.
Keywords: Kidnapping, Nigeria, Religious, Education

Guidance Counsellors’ Career Awareness Creation Roles and Acceptability of Entrepreneurship Education among Secondary School Students in Benue State, Nigeria

Justina U. Eze, Moses O. Ede, Cecilia O. Okoh, Simiku H. Nwalado, Sylvanus A. Ezema, Ifeyinwa Manafa
This descriptive survey study sought to determine the Guidance Counsellors’ career awareness creation role and acceptability of entrepreneurship education of secondary school students in Okpokwu Education Zone of Benue State, Nigeria. Four research questions and two null hypotheses guided the study. A total of 6,256 students from 31 public and 37 private secondary schools constituted the population from which a sample of 480 students was randomly selected using multi-stage sampling technique. Two instruments designed by the researchers and titled: Counsellors’ Career Awareness Creation and Entrepreneurship Education Questionnaire (CCACEEQ) and Entrepreneurship Education Acceptability Level Questionnaire (EEALQ) were used for data collection. These instruments were face validated by three experts, trial tested on thirty students outside the study area and internal consistency ascertained using Cronbach Alpha statistical method. The analysis gave the overall alpha coefficient values of 0.85 and 0.88 respectively which indicated the reliability of the instruments. Mean and Standard deviation analysis were used to answer research questions while t-test tested at 0.05 probability level was used to test the postulated null hypothesis. Findings revealed that Guidance Counsellors’ career awareness creation roles were obtainable in Okpokwu education zone public and private secondary schools and the students have positive perception of entrepreneurship education. However, the students indicated that entrepreneurship education was rarely acceptable to them. In addition, the results showed no significant difference between the mean scores of students in public and private secondary schools on Guidance Counsellors’ career awareness creation roles and perceptions of entrepreneurship education. Base on these findings, some counselling implications were highlighted and recommendations made.
Keywords: Guidance Counsellor, Career Awareness, Entrepreneurship Education, Acceptability.

Use of Information Communication Technology in the Administration of Public Secondary Schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State, Nigeria

Samuel C. Ugwoke, Anthonia Chinedu Agbo, Ifeoma S. Chukwuma and Edith C. Edikpa
This study investigated the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the Administration of Public Secondary Schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. Three research questions and two hypotheses guided the study. Description survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised 58 principals and 2146 teachers in public secondary schools of Nsukka Education Zone. The sample for the study was 228 respondents, comprising 12 principals and 216 teachers. Questionnaire was the instrument for data collection. The instrument was validated by three experts from Faculty of Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The overall reliability estimate of the instrument was 0.95. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions, while t-test was used to test the hypotheses. The major findings of the study indicated that the major area of ICT usage in administration of public secondary schools is the use of phone by principals to reach out to teachers and colleagues in the school system. It was also found out that the problems militating against the effective use of ICT in the administration of public secondary schools in the zone include irregular power supply, high cost of procuring ICT facilities, ignorance on the use of ICT facilities by principals and teachers, and inadequate accommodation. Measures to be adopted for improving the use of ICT in the zone include procurement of generator to complement electricity supply, adequate funding of ICT projects, recruitment of good technicians to ensure regular maintenance, continuous and periodic training of principals and teachers on ICT skills and posting of qualified computer operators and instructors to schools. Based on these findings, it was recommended that adequate ICT facilities should be provided either by government or by school administrators through internal generated revenue from the schools such as PTA levy and school community efforts. The school administrators should provide stand-by-generator. Also, there should be workshops and in-service training for principals and teachers on the use of ICT facilities in the school so as to improve their administrative effectiveness. Keywords: Utilization, Information, Information and Community Technology, Administration, Public Secondary School.

University Graduates Perception of Entrepreneurship Education for Self-Employment in Cross River State

Samuel C. Ugwoke, Cajetan Ikechukwu Egbe, Godian. P. Okejom, Gloria Onwuka and Vera Nneka Ogakwu
The purpose of the study was to examine university graduates’ perception of entrepreneurship education for self-employment in Cross River State, Nigeria. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The study was guided by four research questions and two null hypotheses. The population of the study was 1065 university graduates while the sample comprised 300 university graduates drawn from the two universities in Cross River State. Proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used to select the sample. The instrument for data collection was researchers’ structured questionnaire entitled “Entrepreneurship Education for Self-employment Questionnaire (EESEQ)”. It was used to elicit information from the university graduates. The instrument consists of 15 items developed by the researchers. The instrument was administered to 300 university graduates in the two universities in Cross River State. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions and t-test to test the hypotheses. The study revealed that creativity in business is necessary for business growth due to its dynamic nature thereby arousing the interest of customers for continued patronage. Based on the findings and implications of the study, the researcher recommended among others that government should make policies that will be favourable to entrepreneurs in Cross Rivers State. The stress faced by university graduates in obtaining loans to start businesses should be reviewed for ease of access.
Keywords: University education. Perception. Entrepreneurship Education. Education and Self-employment.

Deforestation and Chemical Water Quality

Topwe Milongwe MWENE-MBEJA
This article is a review of the educational literature related to research projects on the environment initiated by our research group. In this perspective, the water pollution is a chemical or physical change, which could adversely affect human health. Water pollutants come from natural sources and human activities, in this case, deforestation due to industrial farms, agriculture and human needs to find space for homes and for heating needs. As organic or inorganic pollutants can reach the groundwater and especially because remediation or cleaning of polluted groundwater is very expensive, requires many years and in some situations it is not technically feasible, so it appears important to prevent groundwater contamination in the first place.
Keywords: Deforestation, Water pollution, Chemical water quality