European Journal of Social Sciences

 Volume 41 No 4
 February, 2014
Fuzzy Filter Based Clustering Approach for Recommender System
P. Prabhu and N. Anbazhagan
Data warehouse is a storage area of data which is created from large business transactions collected from various data sources. It stores current and historical transactional data which contains various frequent items that are used for mining intelligence to improve business operations. Selecting items from so many is a challenging issue to the users and for business decision making in e-commerce recommender system. In this paper, fuzzy filter based cluster approach is proposed to mine business intelligence for improving business in recommender systems. Users are filtered based their preferences and profiles by defining fuzzy or non-fuzzy rule and then clustered based on their similarity. Here fuzzy rule based system is proposed because of the fuzzy behavior of users. Matching cluster of the active user is identified and most frequent item from these cluster of items are recommended the active user. This is a hybrid method which combines existing user’s data, user’s knowledge such as preferences and profiles and frequent items for filtering items to find the intelligence. The result shown with various parameters are more efficient and functional.
Keywords: Business intelligence, filtering, data mining, frequent item, clustering, recommender system, web personalization.
JEL Classification:
L86, C88
The Marriage of Anansewa as a Criticism of Ghanaian Society
Patricia Beatrice Mireku-Gyimah
This paper explores the play “The Marriage of Anansewa” written by Efua T. Sutherland in the 1950s and posits that the playwright draws attention to some unpalatable characteristics of the Ghanaian society at the time such as poverty, gullibility and materialism. The poverty is exemplified by the poor economic situation of Ananse’s family, a situation that drives Ananse the family head to draw a mischievous, deceitful plan to cheat others for survival. The gullibility is reflected in how easily most of the characters are taken in by Ananse’s fabricated, hoax stories, resulting in speculation, superstition and untoward behaviour in the Ghanaian society. The materialism, with its attendant social vices, is the paramount characteristic and amply demonstrated by the motives and actions of many of the characters, both major and minor. Also, Christians and their churches, as well as artisans, come across as crooked. It is instructive to note that these societal flaws highlighted by the playwright in the 1950s have become more vivid today. It is concluded that the play reveals some cankers which have become endemic in the Ghanaian society and need to be eradicated. Thus, through the medium of literature, contemporary Ghanaian society, like other societies, can be sensitized for positive transformation in order to ensure progress and development.
Keywords: Poverty, Gullibility, Materialism, Hypocrisy, Ghanaian society, Ananse.
The News Coverage of Aljazeera’s Arabic Website for the Libyan Revolution 2011 - A Quantitative Content Analysis Study
Mahmoud Shalabieh and Mohammad Mahroum
This study aims to identify and to explore the news coverage of Aljazeera’s Arabic news website for the Libyan Revolution of 2011.
The researchers used the content analysis method as a tool of the study to know how this coverage was conducted through the monitoring and analysis the news stories which published by the website regarding the events of the Libyan revolution, and to identify the patterns which used in this coverage and trends which contained.
The results showed that the website posted (76) news story within one week and using all journalistic patterns and the number of the news stories which published by the news website were (11) news story daily, and the content of this coverage highlights the suffering of the Libyan revolutionists and focuses on the aspirations of Libyan revolutionists and the successes achieved by them.
The major findings of the study revealed that this coverage focused on monitoring the Arab and international reactions regarding the Libyan revolution and the developments of the situation in this arena.
Keywords: Libyan Revolution – Al-Jazeera news network - Democracy - Arab Media .
Problematic of Conditions for the Enforcement of Foreign Awards between Reality of the Legislation and Reality of the Application in Jordan
Khaldoun Said Saleh Qtaishat and Ammar "Mohmd Ali" Al-Quda
The enforcement of the foreign awards in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan requires availability of formality conditions and procedures established by the law of enforcement of foreign awards. The truth of these requirements and procedures implies a big importance represented in the soundness of applying the text and avoiding the problems of fraud regarding the competence or in litigation procedures affecting the judicial situation of the antagonists. Particularly, that the concept of foreign awards in Jordan is not limited to the courts judgments, but it goes beyond to include the judgments of arbitrators in foreign lands which gives this study greater importance. It has been shown that the law of enforcement of foreign awards reflects in its provisions the command system of enforcement based on the supervision so that the role of the judiciary representative by the Magistrate Court is limited to check the availability of the conditions required by the law of enforcement of foreign awards. Studying the provisions of this law shows that there are some texts need to amend or remove some of its phrases and expressions that are redundant -which is one of the results of the present research. Moreover, there are provisions issued by the Jordanian Court of Cassation are incompatible with each other and contrary to the logic of the law when they apply the law of enforcement of foreign awards.
Keywords: Foreign awards, conditions of enforcement foreign awards, writ of enforcement foreign awards.
Working Capital Management of Small Firms
Haitham Nobanee
The purpose of this paper to investigate the efficiency of working capital management and its impact on small firm’s liquidity, profitability and operating cash flows. Small firms have considerable amount of fund tied up with current assets and faced with difficulties to access external fund from the capital markets, their current liabilities are an important source of their external financing. The relationship between the study variables examined using dynamic panel data analysis for a panel of 87030 U.S. non-financial firms listed in the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, NASDAQ Stock Market, and Over the Counter Market. The analysis is applied at the level of the full sample and divisions of the sample by size. I also examined industry effect within small firms. The results suggest that managers of small firms can increase corporate liquidity, profitability, and operating cash flow of their firms by shortening the cash conversion cycle.
Keywords: Working Capital Management; Cash Conversion Cycle; Operating Profitability, Operating Cash Flow; Liquidity; Small Firms.
Can Personal Characteristics, Social Support, and Organizational Support Encourage Entrepreneurial Intention of Universities Students?
Ika Rahma Susilawati
This research was aimed to reveal the contribution of personal characteristics such as hardiness and self-efficacy as a form of individual domain, meanwhile social support, and university support represented organizational support as a form of contextual domain toward entrepreneurial intention of universities students.Research conducted by quantitative methods and take University of Brawijaya students as research subject. Random sampling by incidental technique was used as the method to gained research subject. There were 795 questionnaires distributed, but only 587 questionnaires can be used as research data. 208 data remains was invalid due to incomplete responses. Result shows that hardiness, self-efficacy, social support and universities support simultaneously affects the entrepreneurial intention of universities students, yet the contribution is relatively small (10,7%), while the remaining (89,3%) predicted to be affected by another factors that did not tested here. Partially, only contextual domain (social support and universities support) have significant influence toward entrepreneurial intention.
Keywords: Hardiness, Self-Efficacy, Social Support, Universities Support, Entrepreneurial Intentions.
Propagation Mechanism of Credit Risk in the Credit Cycle
Dmitry Vladimirovich Burakov
In this study we investigate the relationship between the factors of credit cyclicity and its amplitude. We start from the representation of the credit cycle as a natural process generated by the cyclical dynamics of credit risk. However, the description and explanation of amplitude of fluctuations on the basis of only the sources of a credit cycle (bounded rationality, information asymmetry, the uncertainty of economic conditions) is impossible. It is therefore proposed to classify different factors that affect the amplitude of the credit cycle in several propagation channels. Among them we point out fundamental, organizational, coordination and regulatory channels. In this study we set forward a hypothesis, according to which, the amplitude of the credit cycle, as well as the nature of credit oscillations is mainly defined by propagation channels of credit risk - the set of factors leading to an increase in credit risks taken by the creditors on the upward phases of the cycle, and to their reduction at the downward phases of the cycle.
Keywords: Credit Cycle, Credit Risk, Credit Market, Propagation Channel, Bounded Rationality, Uncertainty.
The Role of Civil Society Organizations in the Political Reform Process in Jordan
Musa Shteiwi
This study assessed the role and impact of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the political reform process within Jordan, with specific emphasis on the 2011 transition period that increasingly consisted of protest movements. It aimed at achieving the following objectives: a) evaluating the current status of CSOs by understanding the environment within which they work, b) examining CSO programs, initiatives, and scope of involvement in political dialogue, c) clarifying the nature of cooperation between CSOs and local/international donors as well as the Jordanian government, and d) understanding associated constraints and challenges facing CSOs in order to provide practical recommendations regarding their future contribution to political reform. Results indicated common challenges facing CSOs that hinder their ability to perform effectively- including structural (financial and bureaucratic) as well as legislative and governmental obstacles. Nonetheless, CSOs have been able to make great strides toward political reform through constitutional amendment initiatives, women and youth empowerment, and anti-corruption efforts.
Keywords: Civil society, emerging groups, reform, democratization, Jordan.
JEL Classification: H1, K100, Z18.
Turkishness as the Homophonic Concept of Turkish Nationalism
Mehmet Akinci
Subject matter of this study is perspectives on the concept of Turkishness of different Turkish nationalistic approaches. In this framework, different forms of Turkish nationalism are mentioned. Out of these different forms, three approaches, which are given in the order of Kemalist nationalism, racist approach and conservative nationalism, focusing on nation, accordingly, the concept of Turkishness are discussed. Efforts have been made to understand Turkishness conceptualizations of different forms of Turkish nationalism based on thinkers who led the respective idea movement. It has been asserted that Kemalist nationalism is based on different elements including tensions within Turkishness conceptualization. In this framework, Turkish identity of Kemalist nationalism is based on citizenship, ethnic ancestry and western cultural elements. In the nationalist approach led by Nihal Atsiz, what defines Turkish identity is the ancestry, in other words, the race. However, in conservative nationalism, founding elements of the Turkish identity are cultural and religious unity, which represents richness of the past. As can be easily inferred from here, for the Turkish nationalists, the Turk is a homophonic concept on pronunciation of which they agree, yet they do not agree on content of the same.
Keywords: Turkish Nationalism, Kemalizm, Turkishness, Nihal Atsiz, Erol Güngör, Mustafa Çalik.
An Analysis of Cooperation Levels within Two Watersheds Committees Located in Alagoas/Brazil
Natallya de A. Levino and Danielle C. Morais
The importance of the participation of society in implementation of public policies is well known, however, in Brazil this participation has gain some importance in recent years. But, this type of management is beneficial in terms of gains and welfare in the states, especially in the watersheds committees. So, the aim of this work is analyzed the participatory decision making process in watersheds committees and observe how the constructs trust, compromise and uniform information interferes with the cooperation of members. For this, we apply a semi-structured questionnaire, during the months April to August 2012, within two watersheds committees located in Alagoas, Brazil. We applied various statistical tests to try to validate the questions of search and verify as these three constructs affect cooperation within the scope of the committee, however the members observe with different degrees the influence on cooperation. As the main reasons that lead committee members to cooperate are the social welfare and the environment, it reveals that members are aware of the importance that the committee has to society. It is hoped that this paper can improve decision-making watersheds committee, creating mechanisms that can assist in decision making, reducing conflicts and increasing the degree of cooperation.
Keywords: Watershed Committees; Conflict; Cooperation.
Reassessing the Obvious: Political Islam and the Fate of the Faithful
Andrey Chuprygin and Larisa Chuprygina
The events of the past several years in the Middle East and Northern Africa have brought out a lot of speculation as to the underlying factors of social unrest, which resulted in toppling long-standing state orders in several key Arab countries. A number of researchers proclaimed the coming of fundamentalist traditionalist Islam to power in this region, thus confirming Wiegel’s theory of un-secularization of the world.At least the part of it practicing Islam. Recent events in Egypt, Syria, Turkey and Yemen became the turning point for the reassessment of the social and political realities in the region. This article uses statistics data provided by ILO, Pew Research Center, The Carter Center and latest available reports issued by respective national statistics organizations of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia as well as political observations of several NGOs and independent observers in an argument that traditionalist Islam as represented by such entities as Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi movements has much less grip on the social and political life in the “countries of origin” than it has in the “countries of destination” in Western Europe (Norris and Inglehart 2012). Follows the discussion of the gap between adherence to strict Muslim values in Mother Countries (Dar Al-Islam) and inside transnational Islamic communities in Western Europe (Dar Al-Harb) and it will be argued that the role of political Islam in immigrant societies in “Dar Al-Harb” is rising versus its apparent failure to achieve political and social goals in the countries of “Dar Al-Islam”.
Keywords: Middle East; unrest; Political Islam; un-secularization; Salafi movements, Muslim Brotherhood; Dar Al-Harb; Dar Al-Islam;
The Effect of Studying Basic Concepts in a Mathematics Course on Pre-Service Teachers’ (PSTs) Perceptions
Ibrahim A. Al-Shara
This study explored PSTs' perceptions regarding their abilities to learn and teach mathematics, and whether they will change their perceptions after studying a course of basic concepts in mathematics. Data was collected by administrating a 32-item questionnaire of two parts which was implemented three times on (68) PSTs enrolled in primary mathematical concepts course; before starting the course, after (9) weeks and after (15) weeks. Results indicated that PSTs changed their perception throughout the applications, decreasing from high to low then back to moderate. Furthermore, the study showed a statistical difference at (0.05) between their perceptions throughout the study (i.e. 1st vs 2nd; 1st vs 3rd; 2nd vs 3rd). Also, there was a statistical difference due to the cumulative average and the academic achievement in favour of the students of high level averages.
Keywords: Pre-service Teachers (PSTs); Teachers' Perceptions; Mathematics; Learning Abilities; Teaching Abilities.
Meditation Effect of Organizational Culture on the Relationship between Commitments of Business Social Responsibility (BSR) on Performance of SMEs: Partial Least Square (PLS) Approach
Abdullahi Hassan Gorondutse and Haim Hilman
The growing of researches and understanding of Business Social Responsibility has led to so many demands to examine responsible behavior in SMEs. This study used Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) and Partial Least Square (PLS) techniques to examine the effect of commitment of BSR on SMEs performance with mediation effect of organizational culture. Statistical results reveal that commitment of BSR has an effect on performance and organizational culture mediates the relationship between commitment and performance. Similarly, the result signifies the appropriateness of PLS in analysis and has contributed better understanding of commitment of business social responsibility on SMEs performance. Further, finding is significant to practitioners and policy makers in enhancing the practicability/actions of social behavior. Limitations and suggestions for future research were discussed.
Keywords: Commitment, Organizational culture, Performance and SMEs.
An Analysis of Banking Channel Adoption of Indian Consumers
Dindayal Swain
Liberalization, privatization, globalization, technical advances and deregulation hence put tremendous pressure on today’s entities to be better, faster and more competitive (Dessler, 2000) with more emphasis on fulfilling customer expectations. The superior performance of the world’s largest and reputed organizations like Microsoft, General Motors, Pepsi, Coca cola, P&G, and GE etc. is largely not only due to the quality products/services they offer to their customers but also the way and channels through which they offer. Understandably, in today’s competitive business environment, seeking to deliver superior customer satisfaction appears to have become the most viable operating strategy for many organizations, (Chaster, 1993) especially in the banking sector. In order to retain customers and stay competitive in today’s environment, organizations in the service sector like banks are required to give topmost priority to customer satisfaction. Banking as a catalyst and integral part of modern trade & commerce plays a prominent role in the economic development of a country. The Modern banking has expanded its wings into various other areas like insurance, broking, advisory services, merchant banking, factoring and similar other legitimate financial activities with the primary motive of providing a customer with what he wants, when he wants and where he wants. With the introduction of new technology based channels, retail banking has undergone rapid changes and it’s interesting to note how people have adapted to different ways of gratifying their banking needs. This study is an honest endeavor which uses psychographics to study the banking channel adaptation and the trends in the retail banking scenario in Orissa, India.
Keywords: Privatisation, Customer Satisfaction, Psychographic, Banking Channel.
Health Risk Appraisal in Older People Living Alone in the Lower Northern Region of Thailand
Narongsak Noosorn and Sane Saengngern
Old age is the period of life when people suffer from a variety of degenerative conditions. This study investigates a population of over-60s in a rural Thai province to examine the relationships between living alone and health-risk behaviours. It investigates how far older people living alone or with carers practiced a range of healthy and health risk behaviours. The population investigated in this study included all patients over the age of 60 meeting the study criteria and registered with nine community “health promotion” hospitals in nine district, Sukhothai province, in the lower northern region of Thailand. Eight thousand and one hundred persons were included in the study. The data were collected between January 7 and August 6, 2013. The research employed a purpose-designed questionnaire, which included items on health risk. Possible associations between living alone and health-risk were examined using logistic regression analysis and odds ratios (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) results were calculated. After controlling for confounding variables, the study found that living alone was significantly associated with health risk. Older people living alone were more than twice as likely to use excessive alcohol as those living with a caregiver and almost twice as likely to report significant depress mood. We suggest that increased attention must be focused on health risk for older people living alone.
Keywords: Health promoting behaviors, Older people, Live alone, Care givers.