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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

G. Steven McMillan, Bastien St-Louis Lalonde, Frank H. Bezzina and Debra L. Casey

The Triple Helix model of academia, government and industry posits that the university can play an important role, even an entrepreneurial one, in innovation in…

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Abstract

Purpose

The Triple Helix model of academia, government and industry posits that the university can play an important role, even an entrepreneurial one, in innovation in increasingly knowledge-based societies (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 2000). No longer the “ivory tower” universities are now moving toward an entrepreneurial paradigm. The purpose of this research effort is to examine how such a migration has been accomplished in Malta with a particular focus on the changing activities of its University.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses advanced bibliometric techniques to examine the scientific output of the University of Malta. Data were downloaded from Thomson Reuters Web of Science. These data were then processed using the software packages Bibexcel and VOSviewer to produce detailed maps of the scientific activity.

Findings

The results were that the University has greatly expanded its scientific footprint since its 2004 accession to the European Union (EU). International collaborations and highly cited papers have gone up significantly.

Research limitations/implications

Only one country was examined in this effort, and further study should compare to Malta to other small EU countries. The findings suggest that while some might consider Malta’s progress modest in absolute terms, it has made significant strides from its prior-to-accession base.

Practical implications

The findings have been presented to the Malta Council for Science and Technology as evidence of the outcomes of their efforts.

Originality/value

Because Malta is the smallest member-state in the EU, little research has been done on its science base. However, the authors believe their findings could inform research efforts on other EU, and even non-EU, countries.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Frank H Bezzina and Ian Scicluna Laiviera

– The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential for a rainwater harvesting (RWH) strategy in Malta and tries to identify management practices required to implement it.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential for a rainwater harvesting (RWH) strategy in Malta and tries to identify management practices required to implement it.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study adopts the concept of sustainable development in its framework whilst incorporating the specific physical and climatic realities of Malta. After sifting through the relevant literature, semi-structured interviews were conducted with key experts from four governmental/non-governmental Maltese entities that deal with policy and managerial implementation for water resources.

Findings

The study identifies the major issues surrounding water scarcity, its use and misuse and the barriers currently hindering RWH implementation in Malta. The paper argues that the key lies in rethinking innovative ways to work with the natural features and to use technology to enhance possible net beneficial effects by giving multipurpose solutions, whilst touching base on the validity and use of indigenous knowledge systems. Hence, a gauged implementation of water catchment using micro and macro approaches could bring compounded beneficial effects.

Originality/value

Malta has the highest possible baseline water stress index, yet empirical research on RWH in Malta is relatively lacking. This study addresses this gap and provides suggestions/recommendations related to the adoption of effective management practices and reforms promoting RWH that could better guide Maltese and other environmental policy makers to add resilience for coping with future water-related risks/uncertainties and to avert the impending water crisis.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Frank H. Bezzina and Stephen Dimech

The purpose of this paper is to explore different factors of recycling behaviour with evidence from Malta in order to determine which of these factors emerge as…

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3666

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore different factors of recycling behaviour with evidence from Malta in order to determine which of these factors emerge as significant predictors of the recycling participation of Maltese residents.

Design/methodology/approach

For this study, the recycling behaviour of 400 Maltese residents selected at random from the e‐Electoral Register for general elections and local councils was investigated. A behavioural framework was adopted and the questionnaire used incorporates elements from the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), the Model of Altruistic Behaviour (MAB) as well as other determinants of recycling behaviour (e.g. inconveniences and demographic variables). The participants had the option of answering the questionnaire by telephone or via an online survey which was e‐mailed directly to the participants.

Findings

The study shows that nine factors – “personal recycling attitudes, norms and skills”, “satisfaction with service provided”, “inconveniences”, “awareness of consequences”, “knowledge of issues”, “social recycling attitudes and norms”, “motivating factors”, “intentions to act” and “scheme preference” – account for 68.5 per cent of the variability in the recycling behaviour of Maltese residents. Additionally, the first three factors highlighted above emerged as significant predictors of recycling participation and together accounted for 48.5 per cent of the variability in recycling participation. In the light of the findings, the issue of adopting a corporate communications programme emerges as a possible strategy aimed at putting mandatory EU recycling targets for Malta back on track.

Originality/value

This study provides empirical evidence from Malta that the incorporation of elements from the Theory of Planned Behaviour, the Model of Altruistic Behaviour as well as other additional variables (e.g. situational factors and demographic factors) makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the recycling behaviour and the recycling participation of Maltese residents.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2012

Frank H. Bezzina and Simon Grima

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors that safeguard or hinder the proper use of derivatives, with evidence from active users and controllers of derivatives.

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2584

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors that safeguard or hinder the proper use of derivatives, with evidence from active users and controllers of derivatives.

Design/methodology/approach

An online panel of 420 users and controllers of derivatives responded to a self‐report questionnaire that was purposely designed for the present study. Exploratory factor analysis was used to guide scale construction and the resulting factor scores were examined overall and across four demographic variables (gender, experience, education, position held with firm).

Findings

Factor analysis provided support for the five hypothesised dimensions of proper derivative usage: Risk management controls; Misuse; Expertise; Perception; and Benefits. Summary statistics of the factor scores revealed that the respondents agree that: they are giving proper attention to risk management controls; factors such as greed, politics, inappropriate standards and inadequate controls encourage misuse; they are capable of dealing with derivatives even in complex situations; derivatives are valuable financial instruments; and they are aware of the benefits derivatives provide to firms, when properly handled. However, some respondents reported contrasting views while the respondents' education, position held and experience with derivatives produced a significant impact on the factor scores. The implications of the findings are discussed.

Originality/value

This study provides a better understanding and assessment of five factors that affect the proper use of derivatives and addresses practical recommendations aimed at ensuring that the true values and qualities of the derivative instrument are not obscured.

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2010

Frank H. Bezzina

The purpose of this paper is to investigate gender differences in mathematics performance and in self‐regulated learning (SRL) in Malta.

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1839

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate gender differences in mathematics performance and in self‐regulated learning (SRL) in Malta.

Design/methodology/approach

A representative sample of 400 Grade 11 students (aged 14‐15) attending Maltese mixed‐ability schools undertook a mathematics test and responded to a questionnaire. The resulting performance and SRL measures were used to answer four questions empirically.

Findings

Girls performed significantly better than boys (r = 0.2) and this difference is mainly owing to the weaker performance of low‐achieving boys. While all SRL components identified by factor analysis (self‐efficacy, intrinsic value, test anxiety and SRL strategy use) produced a significant main effect on performance, girls reported greater use of SRL strategies, boys claimed to be more self‐efficacious and intrinsically motivated while no significant gender difference was reported for test anxiety. Finally, the students' use of SRL strategies accounts for the differential performance in mathematics of Maltese boys and girls.

Originality/value

This empirical study confirms that gender differences constitute a potentially important source of variation in students' mathematics performance and in their SRL. The issue of increasing the students' use of SRL strategies emerges as a possible strategy aimed at combating gender differences in mathematics performance as well as the underachievement of students, particularly that of the low‐achieving boys in Maltese secondary schools.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 January 2013

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105

Abstract

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2021

Muhammad Shoaib and Hazir Ullah

This paper attempts to explore possible contributing factors of females' outperformance and males' underperformance in the higher education in Pakistan from teachers'…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper attempts to explore possible contributing factors of females' outperformance and males' underperformance in the higher education in Pakistan from teachers' perspective. The central question of the study is what are the key factors that affect female and male students' educational performance at the university level? Using Artificial Neural Network (ANN) as a framework, we attempted to predict differentials of the perceived “female outperformance” and “male underperformance” in higher education. We carried out the study by employing quantitative research methods.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study come from 253 teachers from University of the Punjab-largest and oldest University in Pakistan. We used a structured questionnaire for data collection. The analysis was carried out with the help of ANN model. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the data.

Findings

The testing results of ANN indicated 85.3% of teachers' perception was correctly predicted on various dimensions of performance differentials across female and male students in higher education.

Research limitations/implications

The study banks on primary data collected from teachers of the University of University of the Punjab, Pakistan. Thus, the study's universe was limited to one university – University of Punjab. It is purely based on a quantitative approach employing ANN.

Practical implications

The findings of this study have several significant implications, i.e. it makes a significant contribution to the existing body of scholarly texts on the issue of gender reverse change in academic performance in higher education.

Originality/value

The findings of this research, derived from primary data in Pakistan context, qualify this research as an original one. We also claim that this study is one of the first studies on gender reverse change in academic performance among graduate students in a public sector university of Pakistan employing ANN.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Vincent Cassar, Frank Bezzina and Sandra C. Buttigieg

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of social identity and the psychological contract as plausible frameworks of transformational leadership (TL)-attitudes…

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1596

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of social identity and the psychological contract as plausible frameworks of transformational leadership (TL)-attitudes relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study was conducted amongst 134 employees. All variables were measured using self-report measures and multiple mediator analysis was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Both social identity and psychological contract acted as significant mediators between leadership and attitudinal outcomes. However, social identity emerged as the stronger mediator.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides evidence on the relative significance of social identity over the psychological contract in explaining TL-attitudes relationship at work. Further longitudinal work is warranted.

Practical implications

The results suggest providing internal work environments and practices which enable employees to experience a high degree of fairness and, above all, a sense of identity with the organization can link better their perceptions of their leaders with work attitudes.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by highlighting the importance of TL not only on work attitudes but also on the value of important mediators like social identity and the psychological contract as feeding into this relationship. It therefore promotes and raises awareness of the need to explore the explanatory power of these two mediators in understanding the effects of leadership on followers.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2018

Sandra C. Buttigieg, Dorothy Gauci, Frank Bezzina and Prasanta K. Dey

Length of stay (LOS) in hospital after surgery varies for each patient depending on surgeon’s decision that considers criticality of the surgery, patient’s conditions…

Abstract

Purpose

Length of stay (LOS) in hospital after surgery varies for each patient depending on surgeon’s decision that considers criticality of the surgery, patient’s conditions before and after surgery, expected time to recovery and experience of the surgeon involved. Decision on patients’ LOS at hospital post-surgery affects overall healthcare performance as it affects both cost and quality of care. The purpose of this paper is to develop a model for deriving the most appropriate LOS after surgical interventions.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts an action research involving multiple stakeholders (surgeon, patients/patients’ relatives, hospital management and other medics). First, a conceptual model is developed using literature and experts’ opinion. Second, the model is applied in three surgical interventions in a public hospital in Malta to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model. Third, the policy alternatives developed are compared to a selection of current international standards for each surgical intervention. The proposed model analyses three LOS threshold policies for three procedures using efficiency and responsiveness criteria. The entire analysis is carried out using 325 randomly selected patient files along with structured interactions with more than 50 stakeholders (surgeon, patients/patients’ relatives, hospital management and other medics). A multiple criteria decision-making method is deployed for model building and data analysis. The method involves combining the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) for verbal subjective judgements on prioritizing the four predictors of surgical LOS—medical, financial, social and risk, with pairwise comparisons of the sub-criteria under each criterion in line with the concerned interventions—the objective data of which are obtained from the patients’ files.

Findings

The proposed model was successfully applied to decide on the best policy alternative for LOS for the three interventions. The best policy alternatives compared well to current international benchmarks.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed method needs to be tested for other interventions across various healthcare settings.

Practical implications

Multi-criteria decision-making tools enable resource optimization and overall improvement of patient care through the application of a scientific management technique that involves all relevant stakeholders while utilizing both subjective judgements as well as objective data.

Originality/value

Traditionally, the duration of post-surgery LOS is mainly based on the surgeons’ clinical but also arbitrary decisions, with, as a result, having insufficiently explicable variations in LOS amongst peers for similar interventions. According to the authors’ knowledge, this is the first attempt to derive post-surgery LOS using the AHP, a multiple criteria decision-making method.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2016

Abstract

Details

Contemporary Issues in Finance: Current Challenges from Across Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-907-0

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