Open Access Short communication

Towards Preservation of Seasoned Timber against Fungi and Insects Attack

Robert O. Okwori, A. M. Hassan

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1203-1210
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/8796

The paper explained how seasoned timber can be preserved against fungi and insects attack. Types of wood and the causes of wood deterioration is also explained in the paper. It discussed Methods of applying preservatives and ways of seasoning timber. Methods of calculating moisture content of timber are also discussed .The most effective chemical substance used for preventing insects was creosote oil. The temperature range for preventing fungi is between 130°f to 150°f and above. The moisture content of the timber should be below 20% to discourage insects attack. It is suggested in the paper that timber with so much sap should not be used for furniture and other constructions to avoid insects attack; there is a need for adequate ventilation in every room where timber is used for a particular construction such as furniture, skirting board etc to guide against fungi. Timber should be well seasoned and treated with preservatives before usage.

Open Access Minireview Article

Water Management in Kenya: Toward an Ethic of Sustainability

Lynne W. Hooper, Jason A. Hubbart

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1144-1152
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/9178

To promote water security of all countries worldwide, the United Nations established the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000. MDG goal number seven requires that the number of citizens worldwide who lack access to safe water and improved sanitation be reduced by 50% by the year 2015. The need for improved water quality and sanitation is heightened in the water-insecure countries like Sub-Saharan Africa, as rural communities lack adequate infrastructure, and urban migration strains existing safe water supply and sanitation facilities. Kenya provides a profound example where the government practices water use ethics that are manifest in unsustainable water use policies. Water security for the citizens of Kenya is not likely attainable under the current government mandated management paradigm. However, recent developments in the laws and constitution of Kenya, education of citizens, and improvement in agricultural water management practices have prepared the country for an aggressive movement toward sustainable water use policies and an improved water ethic.

Open Access Original Research Article

Isometric Composite Integral Operators

Anupama Gupta

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1135-1143
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/8237

In this paper composite integral operators are studied. The necessary and sufficient conditions for composite integral operator minus identity operator to be isometry and unitary are obtained. It is shown that the set of all composite integral operators is algebra. The condition for composite integral operator and Volterra operator to commute is explored.

Open Access Original Research Article

Reactive DC Magnetron Sputtered NbN Films on Mild Steel with Electroless Nickel Interlayer

Kulwant Singh, M. R. Gonal, N. Krishnamurthy

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1162-1175
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/7355

Aims: To explore the benefits of NbN coating on mild steel (MS) with electroless nickel (EN) interlayer.
Study Design: To deposit NbN coatings at various N2/Ar flow-ratios and substrate biasing; optimize the parameters and then deposit NbN on MS with EN interlayer.
Place and Duration of Study: Material Processing Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai, between June 2010 and July 2012.
Methodology: NbN was deposited by reactive DC magnetron sputtering varying N2/Ar flow ratio between 5-70% and substrate biasing from zero to -150V. Coatings were studied for thickness, hardness, phase analysis and adhesion. Effect of EN interlayer was studied for improvement in hardness, adhesion and corrosion. Corrosion was studied using potentiodynamic polarization technique in 1N H2SO4 solution at room temperature.
Results: X-ray diffraction showed hexagonal β Nb2N, cubic δ NbN and hexagonal δ’NbN phases with increasing N2. EN layer was found to be amorphous. When NbN top-coat was deposited by sputtering, EN structure changed to crystalline Ni3P and Ni. Surface hardness increased from 1084HK25 for NbN/MS to 1436, 1564 and 1612HK25 with EN interlayer in 2, 4 and 10µm thickness respectively. In the scratch tests, critical load for cohesive failure varied between 6-8N, 8-15N and 8-18N and critical load for adhesive failure varied between 9-12N, 12-25N and 10-28N for NbN coating on MS, SS and MS/EN respectively. Coefficient of friction (µ) in the scratch adhesion tests for NbN/MS was 0.28 at 30N, 0.35 at 40N and 0.45 at 60N load; for NbN/EN/MS, µ decreased to 0.22, 0.28 and 0.37 at 30, 40 and 60N loads respectively, demonstrating the improvement. Corrosion studies showed that Icorr decreased from 150.2µA/cm2 for NbN/MS to 2.3, 0.37 and 0.35µA/cm2 with 2, 4 and 10µm thick EN interlayer respectively.
Conclusion: There was considerable improvement in the hardness, corrosion resistance and adhesion of NbN/MS, when incorporated with EN interlayer.

Open Access Original Research Article

An Empirical Study on Comparing the Organizational Commitment of Employees across Four Sector Organizations in China

Chunxiu Wang, Meilin Meng

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1176-1189
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/7613

Aims: Organizational commitment (OC) is one of employees’ attitudes toward their organizations. The study aims at comparing the organizational commitment level of employees across four sector organizations to explore whether OC is influenced by organizational characteristics (type) or not.
Study Design: A questionnaire survey-based ANOVA research design was used.
Place and Duration of Study: Four sector organizations in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, China, between August, 2012 to September, 2013.
Methodology: In this research, we have used a three-dimensional scale of OC.Taking governmental institutions, public service agencies, state-owned enterprises and private enterprises in Kunming as the sample, data was collected from 453 employees distributed in 16 organizations across four different sectors. SPSS will be used to compare the means on organizational commitment across four sectors
Results: F values of AC, CC, NC, OC, are larger than F0.01(3,449)=4.61. And all the corresponding probability values are 0.000 less than 0.01.Therefore, the hypothesis H0: the mean of each OC variable from four different sector organizations has no significant difference, has been rejected while the hypothesis H1: the mean of AC,CC,NC,OC in the four sector organizations has a significant difference, has been accepted.
Conclusion: There is a significant difference on OC level or three dimensions (AC, NC or CC) level across four sector organizations. And they vary with organizational characteristics. Both AC and CC of employees in governmental institution are found to be higher than those of the other three sectors of organizations while NC of state-owned enterprises’ employees was found to be highest among these four organizations. Whatever organization it is, its continuance commitment was found to be the lowest among the three commitment dimensions. The total OC level of public service agencies is lowest and that of governmental institution is highest among these four sectors.

Open Access Original Research Article

Financial Performance and the Management Issues of Bumiputera Construction Firms in the Malaysian Construction Industry

Mohd Suberi Ab Halim, Md. Shariff M Haniff, Mohd Zukime Mat Junoh, Abdullah Osman

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1190-1202
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/8418

Aims: Financial factors are significantly related to the performance of construction firms. Moreover, total failure of the construction firms is higher than the percentage of failures of firms in other industries. Therefore, this study was conducted to achieve three objectives. First, this study identifies the failure factors of Bumiputera contractors by using ratio analysis. For this analysis, four financial variables were chosen, which are capital liquidity, profitability, debt, and the efficiency of financial management/assets. The second objective identifies the causes of failure associated with the four financial variables. The third objective identifies the elements of effective financial management.
Methodology: To achieve these objectives, data collection involved the use of qualitative (ratio analysis and interviews) and quantitative (questionnaire) research methods that led to the concept of triangulation. Respondents to the qualitative study consisted of 6 Bumiputera construction firms, while the quantitative data had 54 respondents.
Findings: The findings of the analysis showed the firms had shortage of capital to finance projects, received small profit from construction projects, carried higher debt, and were less efficient in asset management. The study confirmed that capital problems experienced by the firms resulted from the small capital at the start of their business, and the late payment from the clients (progress and final payment). Small profit margin was due to the increase in the prices of building materials, low price of contracts, and delays in project completion. Analysis showed that the higher debt of firms was caused by delays of the payment of the project owner, small capital base, and late receipt of advance payments. Moreover, asset management of the firm was said to be less efficient due to the level of ownership of fixed assets at a higher rate, and the improper management of cash flow.
Conclusion: It was observed that construction companies put themselves up for failure without effective financial practices.

Open Access Original Research Article

Open Access Original Research Article

Review of Cassava Bread Value Chain Issues for Actualization of the 40% Cassava Bread Production in Nigeria

Elijah I. Ohimain

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1220-1231
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/8825

Aims: Due to the combined effect of urbanization, increased population and changes in lifestyle, bread consumption in Nigeria has increased considerably. Nigeria has over the years been dependent on foreign nations, particularly the US for the importation of wheat, which has been detrimental on Nigeria’s economy causing depletion of foreign reserve, trade imbalance and fueling food import dependency and unemployment. Hence, in 2012, Nigeria released cassava-wheat bread policy mandating flour mills to partially substitute imported wheat with cassava up to 40% in spite of limited success of earlier released wheat policies involving the partial substitution of wheat with 5-10% cassava flour. The aim of this study is to review the value chain issues for the actualization of the 40% cassava bread production policy in Nigeria.
Study Design: Secondary data followed by in-depth analysis.
Place and Duration of Study: Nigeria and July – December 2013.
Methodology: This study relied on secondary data followed by in-depth analysis to present the challenges facing players (farmers, importers, processors, millers, and bakers) in cassava bread value chain and how the challenges could be tackled for the success of the 40% cassava policy.
Results: The study found that implementation of the policy would alter the cassava value chain in the country. The flour mills have enough capacity (7mt/ annum milling capacity), but the high quality cassava flour (HQCF) processors would not be able to supply the 1.2mt of HQCF in the short-term.
Conclusion: Using 40% cassava bread would require the use of bread improvers such as enzymes, chemicals, hydrocolloids and gums, emulsifiers, lipids and proteins. The bakers and flour mills would need to retrofit their machines to permit the use of cassava flour and bread improvers with the initial expense.

Open Access Original Research Article

Hospitality Management Curriculum and Potential Market Competencies: An Assessment of the Compatibility of AUST Graduates with that of the Lebanese Hospitality Job Market

Hussin Jose Hejase, Bassam Hamdar, Fadila Maraouch

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1232-1270
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/8041

Background: The recurring dilemma encountered by the academic programs in the Hospitality Management field is how applicable these programs are to the realities of the job market. That is, matching academic preparation to desired competencies sought by the market. This paper provides a positive insight into the elements that have led to the success of the curriculum of the Hospitality Management Department at the American University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Lebanon. It is a unique case which offers lessons to be learned, and which are applicable on a larger scale.
Aims: This paper presents a brief description of the travel and tourism sector in Lebanon, and the requirements necessary in the development of adequate human resources to cover the market’s needs. The paper provides necessary facts to assess the potentiality of the university’s graduates and what the Faculty of Business and Economics of AUST can offer to create a value-added workforce.
Study Design: This study is exploratory in nature using literature reviews and followed by a questionnaire survey which was distributed to a convenient sample of employers. Descriptive statistics was employed to offer a first-hand interpretation of the collected data. Statistical analysis using regression analysis and reliability calculations are used to study employers’ choice of competencies observed in AUST graduates.
Place and Duration of Study: Sample: Lebanese hotels and restaurants, between June 2013 and October 2013.
Methodology: The study used a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches needed to build the necessary literature review, using secondary data and reported interviews with prominent hospitality employers and experts, in addition to a questionnaire survey conducted on 33 human resource managers who were willing to provide feedback on AUST’s Hospitality Management employees’ performance. Descriptive analysis was performed using SPSS-20 software.
Results: The analysis of the results and findings furnished significant proof necessary to provide evidence that the current curriculum at AUST fits the job-market environment in Lebanon.
Conclusion: This paper posits that continuous improvement in the Hospitality Management Curriculum is a must to keep abreast of the needs of the job market. It also offers recommendations and discloses limitations as to the definition of the mutual relationship between graduates and the hospitality employers.

Open Access Review Article

A Review of Health and Safety Issues in Mariculture Industry in Greece

I. Tiligadas, D. K. Moutopoulos, M. Chatziefstathiou, M. Tsoumani, C. Nathanailides, S. Anastasiou

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1153-1161
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/8886

Aims: To review the trend of occupational accidents and fatality in Greek Marine fish farms.
Study Design: Data on the occupational accidents in the Greek Mariculture industry are reviewed and compared with Occupational Accidents in Greece and in Europe.
Place and Duration of Study: Greece between 2009 and 2011.
Methodology: The study was carried out using reported data for occupational accidents from the ESAW 2001 (Eurostat, European statistics for accidents at work) and the Hellenic Labor Inspection Body (SEPE) and was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistcs.
Results: The data presented in the study indicate that compared to other business sectors, workers of the Mari culture industry in Greece are exposed to higher risk of occupational accidents. The majority of accidents are attributed to slips and trips (39%) whereas in the general populaton of workers the majority of occupational accidents are associated with handling of objects (23%). Greek Aquaculture as a whole represents less than 2 per thousand of the total work force, 3 per thousand of all serious injuries and 16 per thousand of fatal injuries during 2009-2011.
Conclusion: The adoption of a campaign aiming in providing information to all stakeholders for practical steps which can prevent occupational accidents in the sector is urgently required. There are some examples in this matter which can be seen in the Aquaculture industries in other countries. The provision of health and training programs and generally the creation and maintenance of a healthy working environment is urgently required to prevent occupational accidents in the Greek Mari culture industry.