SIU Journal of Management, Vol.8, No.1 (June, 2018)

Welcome to the Vol.8, No.1 (June, 2018) issue of the SIU Journal of Management.

CONTENTS

Volume 8, Number 1, June, 2018
Editor’s Introduction

SPECIAL ISSUE: FOOD INSECURITY IN LAO PDR, MYANMAR, THAILAND AND VIETNAM

1. Introduction to the Project – John Walsh
2. Food Insecurity in Lao PDR – Nittana Southiseng
3. Food Insecurity in Myanmar – Myat Thander Tin
4. Food Insecurity in Thailand – Petcharat Lovichakorntikul
5. Food Insecurity in Vietnam – Nancy Huyen Nguyen
6. Methodological Issues for the FAO’s Food Insecurity Experience Survey – Aimee Hampel

PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH ARTICLES

1 Relocation and Integration of Internally Displaced Children into Public Schools in Nigeria: Some Policy Issues – Subair S. Tayo and Aliyu M. Olasunkanmi
2. An Empirical Study on Organizational Justice and Turnover Intention in the Private Commercial Banks of Bangladesh – Popy Podder, Md. Sahidur Rahman and Shameema Ferdausy
3. Justice and Righteousness in Amos 5:21-27 and Its Implications for Nigerian Society – Oluwaseyi Nathaniel Shogunle

 

BOOK REVIEWS

1. We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates – John Walsh
2. No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics by Naomi Klein – John Walsh
3. Services Marketing: People, Technology, Strategy by Jochen Wirtz and Christopher Lovelock – John Walsh
4. High-Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia by Will Doig – John Walsh (8.1.Doig)

CALL FOR PAPERS

AUTHOR’S GUIDELINES

ABOUT SHINAWATRA UNIVERSITY

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Review of Stephen Baxter’s The Massacre of Mankind

The Massacre of Mankind: Sequel to the War of the Worlds

Stephen Baxter

London: Gollancz, 2017

ISBN: 9-781473-205116

455 pp.

As he has demonstrated with his sequel to The Time Machine, the legacy of H.G. Wells, one of the most loved and valued of British science fiction writers (and both fiction and political thought more generally), has been rightfully entrusted to Stephen Baxter. Baxter has established for himself a reputation as not just a prolific, best-selling author but someone who has demonstrated the ability to work in partnership with another author (e.g. Terry Pratchett) and in another writer’s envisioned universe without doing anything to destroy or devalue it. So it is that the front cover proudly notes ‘Authorised by the H.G. Wells estate.’ On the whole, this is a good thing since there is a penchant these days for adding to existing canon in well-respected literature and, plainly, since I ave read and am now reviewing this book, this is something I share to some extent. I imagine that it will not please everyone but, then, nothing ever does.

Presumably, potential readers of this book will be aware of the basic outline of the original, either through the novel, the film, the Orson Welles radio dramatization or just through osmosis via proximity to popular media consumption. The enigmatic Martians prowl the lances and alleyways of southern England in their metal tripods, deploying their murderous heat rays to boil the valiant British resistance. They are halted by the intervention of the common cold but these are creatures who think in the long-term and, a decade later, the two planets reach their conjunction once again and the stars are right for a second round of invasion. The first part of the book shows us some of the original protagonists and how they in real life, so to speak, rather resent the way they were portrayed in the original text. There are a few dozen pages of this and then the dawning realisation that the Martians are going to come back and have another go and then we get what we are waiting for and the monsters reappear on the scene. They have not been idle in the meantime and have come back not just single spies but in battalions sufficient to conquer not just the Home Counties but the entire planet. The action begins around the world and the promised massacre of mankind is made real before our very eyes.

I have read many of Baxter’s books and in none of them has he ever been very good with respect to characterisation and dialogue and, despite doing his best in this case, does it really manage it here. More successful are the attempts to imagine the political and social changes that might have been brought about by the first war (at least to a certain extent: there does not appear to have been any consideration of what might have happened in the numerous European colonies in Africa, Asia and elsewhere and the people living there play next to no part in this text. Not the least of these is the fact that the principal protagonist is a woman who would have found it previously quite difficult to have such ability to move around the plot in the militarised, fascistic society to which Britain has declined. To be honest, it is just as well that we are reminded of her gender from time to time because there is precious little of an intellectual hinterland or consciousness that would jog the reader’s attention.

Stephen Baxter has developed a well-earned reputation as one of Britain’s leading science fiction writers and one who has an interest in long-term social and the long-term of historical evolution. This extensive vision has had to be compromised to some extent because of the nature of this particular project. Nevertheless, there is still much to enjoy here.

 

 

Review of Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee: Vengeance

Xeelee: Vengeance

Stephen Baxter

London: Gollancz, 2018

ISBN: 9-781473-217195

345 pp.

I first began reading Stephen Baxter’s books a number of years ago when he began producing stories about an implacable alien enemy, the Xeelee (we are prompted to pronounce this as Ch-e-lee). Now they have returned with two novels to complete the earlier sequence, which has been republished in omnibus volumes. The overall mood has become even darker as it appears that even the possibility of a rival must (as in the case of Liu Cixin’s novels) provoke a civilisation to undergo determination to eliminate any threat in its entirety. The creation of faster than light wormhole technology, furthermore, has brought about the possibility of destroying history and replacing it with one more amenable to the last mover. However, this is a very dangerous business because it depends on always having another branch of the universe in time that can be used to destroy the most recent recreation of reality brought about by the enemy. Since we evidently live in a gunslinger universe, therefore, it seems inevitable that there will always be another bunch of marauding bug-eyed monsters with an extra ace up their time travelling sleeve.

Anyway, this situation provides Baxter with perhaps one of the favourite tasks of the science fiction author: killing millions and millions of people and anticipating the extinction of mankind (this is suggested on the back page blurb and the promise of a final novel, Xeelee: Redemption indicates that the good guys will get a final chance to put things right). This he does with gusto and that provides the main enjoyment of reading this novel. There are, of course, human characters (Although I sometimes suspect that these would be removed if possible) and they are mostly related to Michael Poole, the non-diverse protagonist who has led the human resistance and has a mile-high statue of himself created on a distant planet (then again, so did Arthur Dent and look what good it did him). His job is to highlight human ingenuity and then see it fail to prevail in the face of the superior physics of the invading enemy with the sense of inevitability we used to associate with the German football team before it started to lose against Mexico and South Korea. There is much to be admired about the relentless enmity of the Xelee as they prosecute their campaign of the absolute extinction of humanity in all phases of the universe. That, as mentioned, there is another book to come should warn the astute reader that this goal is not fully achieved, at least at this stage.

I do enjoy Stephen Baxter’s books but readers interested in explorations of gender, of new social and political struggles and new methods of personal interaction will be disappointed. The characters are very similar to each other and could almost have been drawn from 1950s television. The dialogues and internal monologues exist primarily to propel the plot forward with all speed and to link together the different aspects of the malicious alien force. Not everyone will be happy with this, especially now we have reached a stage of fiction in which much more sophisticated explorations of existence within science fiction has been reached. However, it works for me and I am looking forward to the concluding book in the series.

Review of Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager

Voyager

Diana Gabaldon

New York, NY: Bantam Books, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-96612-9

900 pp

Voyager is the third of Diana Gabaldon’s extensive Outlander series, which began with Heroine Claire Randall somehow managing to travel in time through the mediation of ancient standing stones and unknown magical effects more than two centuries into the past. There she finds she is able to survive as a form of wise woman using the nursing skills she practiced during the Second World War (she has subsequently qualified as a surgeon back in her own time) and a useful knowledge of herbs and natural healing. She also meets and marries Jamie Fraser, who becomes the love of her life and whose feelings are fully reciprocated. However, this was an age of oppression of the Highlands by the English, culminating in the bloody massacre of Culloden. As a result, Jamie has become an outlaw and has spent years in prison and other forms of ill-treatment. This book opens as Claire searches for evidence of whether Jamie might have survived Culloden and, if so, whether she might then return to him, leaving behind her now adult daughter Brianna, who is the child of Jamie.

Gabaldon’s style is combination of historical and romance fiction, with plenty of time devoted to Claire and Jamie exploring each other’s minds and bodies. The tone becomes quite playful at times, although the darkness of sudden tragedy such as dismemberment or death is never far away. The action in this episode broadens out in both time and space as twenty years have passed between meetings and Jamie has had numerous adventures in the meantime, as might be expected. The network of relationships changes and the sudden appearance and disappearance of Calire are enough to try the patience of some. The plot calls for trips to the Caribbean and the colonies in America and these are conveyed with a bright and vivid prose that contrasts nicely with the gloom and misery that has embraced Scotland and the dullness of age and contradictions that now characterise Europe as a whole. Given the severity of the situation in Scotland that has been left behind, the action overseas almosr descends to broad comedy slapstick, which is only partly justified by the overseas adventure nature of the text. The introduction of voodoo-like elements heightens this feeling and pushes the sries further into fantastic fiction rather than the rational historical approach (readers who believe in the reality of voodoo might have other opinions).

The voodoo issue also raises the spectre of ethnic stereotyping, which was forced upon the reader’s awareness through the needless appearance of a Chinese character (who will perhaps play an important role in the future). I was not entirely comfortable that the portrayal of this character meets the standards of contemporary fiction but perhaps I am too sensitive.

The test is generally light and fast-moving and the book is easy and pleasurable to read on the whole. Having read three of these books, with the sense that the story is not going to wrap up in a conclusion any time soon and their length now reaching 900 pages a pop, I am wondering whether I really need to read any more of them, given the limited amount of time I am able to devote to reading for pleasure. I would not rule it out but there are many more that are already lined up on the shelves and giving me the gimlet eye that I should get to first.

How Important Is Food at Farmers’ Markets? Evidence from Bardon Farmers’ Market, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Azavedo, Mark and John Walsh, “How Important Is Food at Farmers’ Markets? Evidence from Bardon Farmers’ Market, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia,” Academic Journal of Economic Studies, Vol.4, No.3 (September, 2018), pp.32-9, available at: http://www.ajes.ro/wp-content/uploads/AJES_article_1_182.pdf.

Abstract:

Contemporary farmers’ markets include many leisure activities, both for children and adults, from face-painting and bouncy castles to cooking and bicycle repair classes. Among so many activities it is easy to ask just how important is simply selling farm produce anymore? This paper considers the nature and role of contemporary farmers’ markets, primarily through the prism of outcomes of research into customer motivations that the writers undertook at Bardon Farmers’ Market, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Key findings relate with asking respondents to rank order six potential motivating variables. These were: 1) Purchasing Fresh Produce 2) Purchasing Ready to Eat Food 3) Purchasing Packaged Foods 4) Purchasing Arts and Crafts 5) Attending Events/Activities/Including Concerts 6) Social Interactions/Meeting People. The results indicated a high level of concern for sociability and a reduced level of concern for food purchase against previous studies. The elevation of sociability at Bardon Farmers’ Market gives the market managers a key indicator in future management of the market, for instance around vendor choice, vendor mix and social, events and play provision. Any elevating social importance of farmers’ markets, farmers’ markets as third places, could have implications for public policy and policymakers, for example in planning around transportation and ageing.
Key words Farmers’ markets, third place, retailing, pop-up, Australia
JEL Codes: L66, M31, Q10, R22

The Mobility of Theravadin Buddhist Monks in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region

Announcing: Putthithanasombat, Pramaha Min, Petcharat Lovichakorntikul and John Walsh, “The Mobility of Theravadin Buddhist Monks in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region,” AE International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, Vol.6, No.6 (June, 2018), available at: http://aeijmr.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/The-Mobility-of-Theravadin-Buddhist-Monks-in-the-Greater-Mekong-Sub-Region.pdf.

Abstract:

In the Theravadin Buddhist tradition, the monk is a central figure in enabling people to generate good karma by donating food on the morning rounds, in addition to activities based in the wat (temple). The mobility of monks, therefore, is an important issue and has, historically, been evident throughout the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, where there were no formal state barriers prior to the European colonization period and many porous borders continue to exist. However,
the post-colonial period has been characterized by a series of repressive state regimes that have sought to limit the mobility of monks, in particular, as well as imposing other forms of social control. This paper uses an ethnographic approach to understanding the nature of monk mobility in the research area and the issues arising from it. Monks must behave in an entirely ethical manner but, it is shown, they still have some scope to compromise with the constraints placed
upon them according to the concept of everyday political behaviour – that is, choosing how to comply with restrictions in ways which are conversant with spiritual and practical goals.’
Keywords: Greater Mekong Sub-Region, monkhood, Theravadin Buddhism, travel,
Phramaha Min Putthithanasombat, School of Management, Shinawatra University
PetcharatLovichakorntikul, School of Management, Shinawatra University
John Walsh, School of Management, Shinawatra University

An Examination of Strategies to Mitigate the Number of Motorcycle Rider Fatalities in Thailand

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Announcing:  Meneghella, Karl and John Walsh, “An Examination of Strategies to Mitigate the Number of Motorcycle Rider Fatalities in Thailand” Acta Universitatis Danubius Oeconomica, Vol.14, No.4 (2018), pp.72-87, available at: http://journals.univ-danubius.ro/index.php/oeconomica/article/view/4746/4517.

Abstract: This paper attempts to examine and quantify the degree of safety-helmet use by motorcyclists and their passengers in Thailand. Specifically, the paper examines the phenomena in three separate locations within Thailand. The paper will also review the literature surrounding road safety in general, road safety for motorcyclists, proper helmet use, Thai acts of parliament aimed at motorcyclists, and the degree to which helmet use is enforced or policed in Thailand. Experts posit that road fatalities, and
the serious debilitating injuries caused by road traffic accidents, can impact a nation’s GDP by as much as 5%. Perhaps even more importantly, especially in the context of a developing country, is the direct impact to families who lose their prime bread-winner or wage-earner. This loss may either be permanent, as in the case of a fatality, or extended over a protracted period of time, where families find themselves having to care for severely injured members. In the latter case, the requirement for care is often long-term, with little in the way of insurance or medical benefits to offset the burden. It is hoped
that a study of motorcycle related road traffic fatalities may identify or highlight interventions or strategies that could be employed to mitigate the road toll in Thailand.

Keywords: Thai Helmet Act 1994; Motorcyclists; Road Toll; Policing; Enforcement

JEL Classification: R41

Artisanal Food Production and Marketing in the Perth Area Of Western Australia: Some Preliminary Indications of Difficulties with Classical Economics and Supply Chain Theory

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Announcing: Azavedo, Mark and John Walsh, “Artisanal Food Production and Marketing in the Perth Area Of Western Australia: Some Preliminary Indications of Difficulties with Classical Economics and Supply Chain Theory,” Management and Marketing, Vol.18, No.1 (2018), pp.47-57, available at: https://www.mnmk.ro/documents/2018_01/47.pdf.

Abstract:

Abstract:
This paper derives from various pieces of research, quantitative and qualitative, among artisanal food producers in the Perth area of Western Australia. The research had a focus on the marketing aims of artisanal food producers associated with attendance at Victoria Park Farmers’ Market. It was started so as to locate the motivations of these small-scale producers to be involved in food production at all. Major motivational themes quickly emerged. The first was freedom and the second was self-expression, while community
feeling was also important as an other-orientated approach, which was slightly contradictory. Sub-themes also emerged, for instance the desire to promote
community health. What was not relevant was the drive towards maximising income, creating substantial income, which is from the perspective of entrepreneurship or economic rationality. That rationality derives, of course, from the propositions of classical economics, which has been looking threadbare for some time. Ally the findings here with those from others from research work on consumers at Perth farmers’ markets and consumers of the artisanal producers’ products and this sense of irrationality was further confirmed. Purchasers were little concerned about prices. Ultimately, though, farmers’ markets are characterized by high prices and irrationality in terms of classic supply chain theory, whereby the more that intermediaries are removed, the lower the price should be for the purchaser. That simply does not happen since there is a social element, even a relationship element, that is now being factored into price determination as consumers and farmers come face-to-face.
Keywords: farmers’ markets, vendors, attendance motivations, artisanal food
producer motivations