Socio-engineering is a field built out of several disciplines, and could be said to be a synthesis of engineering, the humanities and the social sciences. Global leaders trained in the spirit of socio-engineering tend to be free-minded, and value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all stakeholders, regardless of ethnic makeup, intellectual leanings or geographic location. Knowledge engineering is the art of infusing the liberal arts in the practice of diverse professions in order for the debate of issues with a view to solving problems often encountered in real life but not in textbooks. The focus of knowledge promulgation for the global economy is on the welfare of all organisational stakeholders through a sound social environment for effective human interaction in managing contemporary ideas and values. Stakeholder analysis for needs and outcomes requires a design, a plan for nurturing, change management and the understanding of behavioural and emotional traits. The outcome is expected to be a synthesis of text and context that takes into account the shifting paradigms in global practice and varying societal needs. Professionals so trained distinguish logic from tradition, tradition from prejudice, prejudice from common sense and common sense from nonsense.
As countries modernise and ascend their development trajectories, their focus often shifts from informal to more formalised forms of education/training. Substantial portions of a nation's GDP are budgeted towards the formalisation and universalisation of education whilst informal education slips out of the foreground. However, in the New Economy where the volatile global environment has reorganised production methods and necessitated new/changing skills requirements, a paradigm shift in education, learning and training has occurred. In the New Economy, the boundaries between informal and formal learning have collapsed and become blurred as they co-exist to supplement and complement each other in the learning process. Against this backdrop, this paper illustrates the blurring boundaries between informal and formal learning in Malaysia's key services sector, banking. This study administered a qualitative research method. A purposeful sampling method was used to interview employees in 12 branches located in the two study sites (i.e. Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown) identified for this research. In showcasing the dynamics of 'formalising the informal' ways of learning, this paper contends that the re-emergence of informal learning is critical to fill the gaps and inadequacies of the formal education system.
The present paper, informed by the principles of comparative cultural studies, is an attempt to trace the parallel wistful search for identity within the cases of Hedayat's The Blind Owl (1937) and Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury (1929). We argue that the products of these two authors are comparably the outcome of their similar understanding of transformed and stained cultural and socio-historical conditions coloured by an evocative reminiscence of the past that is used as a tool for critiquing the present. Their creations are platforms on which the protagonists interweave the real and unreal, and devotion and revulsion in an apparently futile attempt to nostalgically re-create a lost identity marked by America's Great Depression and Iran's inefficient dynasties whose loss and effects (symbolised by the disgraced female characters) have made them confused and imbalanced. Published around 1930s, both stories are portrayals of stained values of the time because of which both main characters feel confused and lost in a world marked by degeneration, degradation, disillusionment and madness. Hence, by juxtaposing these two stories, this article discusses how subtly and similarly Hedayat and Faulkner interposed their deep-seated concern over their countries' cultural and socio-historical upheavals into their famous literary masterpieces, amidst two critical eras of their countries' annals.
Culture, identity, The Blind Owl, The Sound and the Fury, values
This study aimed at investigating the relationship between two personality types, namely, extroversion vs. introversion, and two types of correction (self-correction and teacher correction) in an EFL writing context. Review of literature revealed that a few studies have been conducted on the efficacy of error correction techniques with regard to different personality traits of the language learners in an EFL context. Moreover, empirical studies that aim at determining the correlation between extroversion and language performance tend to yield inconsistent results. Therefore, an attempt was made in this study to investigate the relationship between self and teacher correction methods with the personality traits of Extraversion/Introversion among Iranian FL students. For this purpose, 48 medical students at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, taking the academic writing course, participated in the study. In the beginning, the questionnaire devised by Marie G. Mclntyre (2010) was used to determine their personality types, i.e. extroversion and introversion. Then, the students were assigned into two classes. In one class, self-correction of the assignments was used and teacher correction was used in the other. Then, data were subjected to independent t-test as an indication of inferential statistics. The results showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the two personality types and the two types of correction.
Housing provision for post-earthquake victims requires consideration of the victims' cultural and social needs. Due to limited time and shortage of funds, quick construction of post-earthquake houses often fails to comply with the minimum needs of the occupants. Too often, such houses are either abandoned or transformed substantially, resulting in an overwhelming waste of resources. This paper aimed to investigate the transformation process of post-earthquake houses in Iran, in particular, people's motivational factors for these transformations. The methods used included systematic observations and map analysis of alterations to post-earthquake houses over a 30-year period (1970-2000), interviews with the households and questionnaire survey with 190 respondents. The results recommended that the design for these houses should address potential for transformability into pre-earthquake patterns and lifestyles, adaptability to new parts/construction and capability to reflect different requirements for indoor and outdoor spatial circulations. Analysis of house transformation in the 30-year period revealed that the majority of respondents were found to favour vernacular architecture design, which includes a courtyard in transforming their houses (51.1%) followed by the desire to follow the current trend (32%). The majority of houses had undergone major transformation, having added more than 98% of the original built-up area to the houses. This research found that the mixed 'Temporary- Permanent' housing reconstruction model was highly successful since it involved participation of end users from the very early stages of design and development in order to predict and accommodate later housing alteration issues.
earthquake housing, housing transformation, user motivation, Iran
In this paper, the author explains the concept of economic analysis of law in understanding labour law. The emphasis is on the philosophical and theoretical aspects of labour law through the economic analysis of law perspective. Study of labour law in law schools has always been based on a purely legal method or perspective, with an instruction approach focused on statutes and case-law and with reference to a theoretical legal framework. However, labour law is a subject with multi-dimensional roots and facets consisting of components of sociology, economics, politics, religion and management disciplines. In this paper, the author will introduce a method, the trans-disciplinary approach, that is relevant to understanding the working of Malaysian labour law and that uses an economic analysis of law perspective. The enactment of legislation is to a large extent propelled by economic demand, which is apparent in labour law. The methodology used for discussion of this paper is 'legal analysis'. This new approach will not change the entire method of teaching conventional labour law. The introduction of this new approach will only comprise 30% of the current conventional labour law syllabus at Master level. Understanding the concept of economic analysis of law will enhance students' knowledge for future study of labour law and economics.
labour law, Malaysia, economic analysis of law, Common Law, Shari'ah
Using a structural equation model (SEM) and multiple linear regression (MLR), the factors influencing residents' satisfaction in high and medium density neighbourhoods of Lagos metropolitan city, Nigeria were examined. This study takes a different approach by categorizing the factors into four domains (social environment, transportation, environmental quality, facilities). A total of 239 respondents from low-income high density and 220 from medium-income medium density neighbourhoods of the city were randomly selected. The main objective of the study was to identify the predictors of neighbourhood satisfaction among the residents of the two neighbourhoods. The results showed that a significant relationship exists between the four domains and neighbourhood satisfaction of the residents. However, the model results showed some variations in the predicting power of each of the domain. The social environment (X2 = 7.029, p = 0.218, GFI = 0.994, AGFI = 0.982, RMSEA = 0.030, df = 5, N = 450) had more influence on residents neighbourhood satisfaction compared to other domains. Other variables found to have significantly influenced neighbourhood satisfaction in the other domains were drainage (β = 0.29), waste management (β = 0.24), street lighting, (β = 0.23) and noise pollution (β = 0.22).The finding of the study substantiates the importance of social and physical environment factors on the well-being of urban residents in developing countries.
neighbourhood satisfaction, structural equation model, Lagos, physical environment, social environment
The 13th Malaysian General Election held on 5 May, 2013 witnessed the revival of the student movement in Malaysia. Civil society activism had been on the wane for more than 40 years as the student movement had been shackled by the Universities and College Universities Act or AUKU (Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti), which brought student movement activism under the control and subject of AUKU. The student movement managed to gain some latitude from AUKU in 2012 when it was amended, paving the way for students to participate more actively in the 2013 General Election. The true motive of the student movement was in fact not the gaining of political power, but to regain the universities' autonomy that had been lost in the 1970s. For this purpose the student movement, under their new organisation, Gerakan Mahasiswa 13 (GM13), launched several street demonstrations to exert pressure on the ruling government. This movement launched its manifesto in order to bring the attention of the ruling government to its demands. In the 13th General Election, the student movement played two major roles: firstly acting as a pressure group and secondly, disseminating information.
student movement, 13th Malaysian General Election, GM13, AUKU
The purpose of this study is to investigate the factorial structure of the Ummatic Personality Inventory (UPI). One of the constructs in UPI, Amanah was measured to understand the relationship among the factors namely, Amar Maaruf, Nahi munkar, Accountability to Allah and Accountability to Society. The sample of this study was a group of female students (n= 287) in a government school. Data were analysed using the Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). The findings for the structural model revealed that Khalifah> and Accountability correlated to the Amanah. The percentage of variance accounted for by the independent variable was 63% accordingly, which indicated a very good effect size. This reflects that accountability of people for enjoining good deeds is moderately related to accountability towards society. The act of forbidding evil has a strong direct effect on accountability towards Allah. Thus, more efforts should be put on educating students to forbid evil-doing (nahi munkar). In future, a deeper analysis of this nature could be made on the other two constructs of UPI.
This study examined an EFL on-line writing programme with its automated feedback in terms of the students' writing progress, the discrepancy between the on-line and teachers' scores, and the teachers' and students' perceptions. Fifty seven EFL students aged 18-19 years old in an English-teacher education programme in Indonesia participated in the study. They completed eight practice writings and two writing tests using MY Access, an online writing programme. The analytical examination of their writing found that the students made progress most evidently in organization, as well as in content and development. A paired-sample t-test reported that the on-line programme and teachers' scoring based on the same rubrics were significantly different, with the on-line programme giving higher grades than the teachers'. The questionnaire and interview revealed that the teachers and students generally had a positive attitude towards the on-line programme, especially for its immediate feedback. Yet, three issues were repeatedly raised: 1) non-specific feedback, 2) overrated evaluations, and 3) the need for teacher feedback. The findings heighten the desirability for blended learning, and writing and feedback paradigm shifts. Writing should not only be placed on the cognitive plane but also be embedded in socio-cultural contexts. Feedback should helps the students develop their agency in writing and take ownership of it.
Several studies on Language Learning Strategies (LLS) showed that various factors influence the selection and the employment of LLS. This paper describes a study that was designed i) to identify the variables that contribute significantly to LLS employment, and ii) to identify the level of contribution of the predictor variables on the employment of LLS. The selected variables were Arabic language grades, language learning motivation, total family income, father's level of education, mother's level of education and total hours of learning Arabic language outside the classroom per week. This study was conducted in thirteen religious secondary schools in Terengganu. A total of 460 Form Four students were selected randomly. Research data were collected using a self-reported questionnaire, which was adapted from the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (7.0 version) (Oxford, 1990) and Language Learning Motivation (Ehrman & Oxford, 1991). The Stepwise Multiple Regression statistical test was used to answer the research questions and to test the related null hypothesis. Results showed that the four independent variables, which were language learning motivation, Arabic language grades, total hours of learning Arabic language outside the classroom per week, and father's level of education were correlated and contributed significantly to employment of LLS among the Arabic language students.
Arabic language, language learning motivation, language learning strategies
This objective study was carried out to discover and model the causal relationships between globalization and stress. The study used a simple random sampling of 600 Thai farm workers. The variables measured were general demographic variables, globalization (i.e. transnational corporations, transnational practices and transnational economics), land holding, the Thai market, Thai state regulation, Thai state social protection and a self-analysed and self-evaluated stress test (SSST). The instrument was modified from the instrument used in past studies. The items were answered using a 4-point Likert-type of scale. However, SSST is a standardised instrument used in Thailand. It was developed by the Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand. This instrument was employed to evaluate the respondents' levels of stress. It was assessed based on 20 items. Its scores were interpreted by stress level and points. It was found to have a Cronbach's Alpha reliability coefficient of 0.91. Validity was verified by content and construct validity was done by questionnaire. These materials were sent to five professors in order to verify content and construct validity. Reliability was proofed by test-retest reliability. The reliability was 0.94. Data were analysed using the M plus path modelling software i.e. indirect and direct relationships. The results showed direct relationship between stress and globalization i.e. transnational corporations and transnational economics. The modelling revealed that globalization i.e. transnational corporations and transnational economics had a direct effect on farm worker stress, and transnational practices showed weak associations among Thai state regulation, Thai state social protection, Thai market, land holding and technology variables and their effects upon stress by indirect effect. The authors recommend that these issues should be studied further to confirm the validity of this relationship.
globalization, stress, Thai farm workers, a causal model, Thailand
In this globalization era, especially in Indonesia, having the capabilities of English and technology is important for students to compete in the global employment market. The role of teaching strategy that is implemented adequately in the class would be really quite influential on the learning process. The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which a project-based instruction programme could improve students' oral communication skills. The project was wrapped in a package of business meetings that are equipped with real-life cases related to business that learners were going to face. At this stage, the situation was made a lot like natural situation, including the costumes and the seats arrangement, aided with various interactive multimedia. The study is an action research using a total of 192 students from the Accounting Department of the State Polytechnic of Malang, Indonesia as its subjects. The study covered a period of two semesters. Methods of data collection included interviews, questionnaire, direct observation, and a pretest. Results of the study showed a great improvement on the students' oral communication skills. It was assumed that the project-based instruction programme has been implemented successfully.
The heritage city of Melaka is one of the top most visited destinations in Malaysia by both domestic and international tourists. It has a mixture of heritage attractions that correspond to its status as one of the World Heritage Sites. Thus, the level of tourists' expectations and satisfaction needs to be analysed so as to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Heritage City of Melaka. This research is based on the expectation and satisfaction of both first time and return tourists of the Heritage City of Melaka. Questionnaires were used as a medium to acquire the relevant information about these levels from the tourists. The expectation and satisfaction of the tourists were measured based on the dimensional elements of heritage attractions. The results of this experiment show that there is a significant difference of expectation between a first timer and a return tourist towards art (music/ dance) at the significant level of p < 0.01 and six other elements at the significant level of p < 0.05, which include the historical buildings, traditional views, traditional handicraft, monuments, museums and traditional villages. For the satisfaction level, however, only traditional views in the study area have a significant difference between a first timer and a return tourist at the significance level p < 0.05. In conclusion, first timer and return tourists have different expectations but a similar level of satisfaction on the elements of heritage attractions in the Heritage City of Melaka.
Expectation, Satisfaction, Heritage Attraction Attributes, First Timer, Return Tourist, Heritage City
This article investigates the choice of multiples in valuing the agribusiness firms in Malaysia from 2003 to 2009. The agribusiness industry typically employs homogenous business models and produces standardized products, thus rendering excellent empirical settings to reveal the value drivers of such traditional industries. It was discovered that commonly adopted methodologies in valuation multiples are associated with pitfalls which may hamper the reliability of the valuations. Our findings also showed that price-to-earnings multiple leads to the best valuation performance, while price-to-sales multiple produces the worst results. Moreover, this research showed that growth prospect is an effective control factor in multiples valuation.
Agribusiness, plantation, corporate valuation, multiples, value driver
This study investigated a group of EFL learners' selective listening ability. The cocktail party effect is the ability to focus on a particular auditory stimulus while filtering out other interfering stimuli. The premise is that selective attention is a capability that humans possess and utilize in their first language, which they may also be able to take advantage of in their second language. Thirty−six Iranian female EFL learners participated in the study. A listening comprehension test, developed to examine the selective listening ability, was administered to the participants. Their overall test performance revealed that they could successfully make use of their selective listening ability in their second language, English. However, statistical analysis showed that their performance significantly varied across the six subsets of the test; each of which was to examine a different aspect of cocktail party effect.
Selective listening, cocktail party effect, EFL students, listening comprehension.
Language being used as a communication tool is embedded with emotions. Emotions in language are obvious in face-to-face (F2F) communication than in any other forms of communications. Media Richness Theory explains that the richer the media is the more successful communication will be and vice versa (Moczynski, 2010). This means text-based communication such as letters, e-mails, memo and so forth lacking of non−verbal cues like intonations, facial expressions, body movements and others, will not be as successful as F2F communication. On the other hand, there are also studies which have proven that computer mediated communication can convey non−verbal cues as effective as in F2F communication by manipulating the fonts with capitalization or using coloured fonts to express emotions (Mali, 2007; Boonthanom, 2004). Nevertheless, how is it possible to communicate non−verbal informations in a language like Tamil which does not have capital letters or colour code? The aim of this study is to identify the techniques used by Tamils in conveying emotions through words in facebook. This paper further discusses the frequent and helpful techniques used in Tamil communication. Samples chosen for this study were forty active facebook users who have good language competency in Tamil.
Julia Kristeva's melancholic subject is one who feels a sense of loss and cannot express herself openly. As a result of melancholia, the subject exhibits strange behaviour, loses her language, and isolate herself. As such, the melancholia is seen as a disorder of self-identity. It is the aim of this paper to discuss how Margaret Atwood's melancholic female subject in Surfacing goes on a quest-journey in the wilderness to deal with her sense of loss and regainsa new life. In the initial part of her life, the protagonist is seen destroying herself through a loveless union with her husband, loss of her parents, and coerced abortion. As a melancholic subject, she is unable to express and share her grief with those around her. Her expedition in search of her missing father brings about new experiences in nature which eventually leads to her self-recognition as she finds ways to deal with her condition. This reading of Atwood's female protagonist as a melancholic subject provides a new depiction of how melancholia is healed through interaction with nature.
Julia Kristeva, melancholic subject, nature, psychological quest, self-recognition
This article evaluates how tax reforms affect stock prices of local and foreign firms in Oman and Saudi Arabia. Both countries introduced corporate tax on foreign firms, exempting local firms from corporate tax, when they moved away from a pre−existing Islamic tax neutrality policy. These reforms were implemented in 2009 in Oman and in 2004 in Saudi Arabia. These tax reform events − applying to foreign firms and not applying to local firms in the same markets − offer ideal experimental situations in two economies to test the taxation theories on how stock prices must react. We find that the results support the Modigliani− Miller and Elton−Gruber tax theories in two ways. Firstly, foreign firms that had their taxes reduced experienced stock price increases. Secondly, local firms not subjected to tax or tax reduction showed no visible tax effect. These are theory−consistent findings in the unique tax environments in these two Islamic countries, which moved away from tax neutrality, enabling us to obtain very clear evidence on modern theories of taxation. In our view, this evidence is significantly important addition to the literature on tax and taxation and for those contemplating a move away from Islamic tax neutrality.