124 results for Conference paper, 2009

  • Beyond consultation: Getting good outcomes for everyone in cross-cultural resource consent practice

    Kanawa, Lisa; Stephenson, Janet; O'Brien, Marg (2009)

    Conference paper
    University of Otago

    When the Resource Management Act (RMA) was introduced in 1991 it brought in new requirements for the consideration of Māori knowledge and values. Nearly 20 years on, consultation with Māori has become a normal part of the resource consent process, and many best practice guidelines are available on how to consult. Less attention has been paid to what a good outcome might look like and how this might be achieved. Our research seeks to identify what makes for good resource consent processes where Māori knowledge and values are given appropriate consideration and inclusion in the process and outcomes. We report here on the first four stages of a 3-year research process. Firstly, a review of formal national guidelines on consultation and incorporating Māori values in decision making. Secondly, analysis of Environment Court decisions and how the court deals with Māori witnesses and their knowledge. Thirdly, interviews with Māori and Pākehā (New Zealanders of European descent) involved in resource consent processes in a variety of roles. Finally, we discuss a case study of a “win–win” situation in which both the hapū (kinship group) and the developer of a significant coastal development are happy with the process and outcomes in a situation where significant cultural values were at stake.

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  • PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

    Stringer, Carolyn (2009)

    Conference paper
    University of Otago

    Performance evaluations systems are a critical part of overall performance management systems. This intensive case study provides insights into how the use of subjective performance evaluations in a complex organisational setting has led to perceptions of injustices (e.g., procedural, distributional, interactional), and unintended consequences. The key injustices were mixed practices, unclear criteria, financial focus, little differentiation between good and poor performers, stickiness in ratings, inequities in target setting, higher ratings at higher grades, and the predetermined theory. The consequences include the lack of trust, generous bonuses, gaming, inability to influence, resource allocation, bonuses are expected and not performance-related, and the system is costly to administrate. Multiple sources of evidence support the findings, and the patterns are consistent over a three year period. Future research needs to develop a deeper understanding of how these parts interrelate, where subjective performance evaluations work, and where they do not work, and to encourage breaking down the divide between functional specialisations (e.g., human resources, accounting).

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  • The Use of Objective and Subjective Measures: Implications for Incentive System Design

    Stringer, Carolyn; Theivananthampillai, Paul (2009)

    Conference paper
    University of Otago

    This study examines the question, is the use of subjective measures an ex post adjustment of objective measures to take into account three types of risk: target difficulty (after controlling for budget loss), shared risk (after controlling for business unit strategy) and downside risk? We examine this question using data from a sample of 522 managers and professionals in period 0 (and 434 in period 1) from a large Australasian corporation over a two year period. Period 0 is a pre shock period and period 1 is a post shock period. We find that for the overall two years that the subjective is an upward adjustment to the objective to take into account: (1) target difficulty, the spread between upper limit and lower limit of unit performance; (2) shared risk, that is organizational interdependencies; and (3) downside risk, which is the opportunity loss function that the employees faced in not meeting the maximum bonus allowed. However, in examining the pre shock period and post shock period, the results indicate that the subjective evaluation has been used differently for each period for two type of risk (target difficulty, shared risk). (1) With regard to target difficulty for the pre shock period, the subjective makes an upward adjustment to the objective; but for the post shock, the subjective makes a downward adjustment. One plausible explanation is that during the post shock, quite a few managers and professionals were already on the maximum of the objective measures (given that there may have been gamesmanship at setting targets and upper limits for an anticipated poor economic period). Therefore, the subjective can be a downward adjustment to reflect this gamesmanship. (2) In regard to shared risk (the percentage of transfer revenues), for the pre shock period the subjective was a downward adjustment, while for the post shock period the subjective adjustment is an upward adjustment to the objective measure. This implies that for the pre shock or times of economic stability, the subjective could be used to reduce some of the free rider challenges that face incentive systems. Conversely for the post shock period, or during times of economic instability, the subjective adjustment is to encourage resource sharing and greater coordination and communication. Overall, our results indicate that the subjective measure is used as an ex post adjustment to the objective measure. This could be in response to flaws in the objective (financial) performance measures as subjective measures as this enables other factors to be taken into account.

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  • CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS: KEY PLAYERS IN BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING?

    Sawers, Deborah; Whiting, Rosalind (2009)

    Conference paper
    University of Otago

    Expanding on previous quantitative studies of business succession planning (BSP) by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in New Zealand, this study provides qualitative data on the BSP process and the usefulness of Chartered Accountants’ (CAs’) input into that process. The owners of five provincial family SMEs who had all commenced BSP, were interviewed and provided comments on their perceptions of the process. BSP was primarily undertaken in a semi-formal manner and was found to be useful, particularly in planning for change to a “more balanced lifestyle”, providing reassurance to family members and maintainingbusiness continuity. Assistance from CAs was essential, especially with the technical and financial issues of succession. Successful advice was enhanced by a long-term, trustworthyand honest relationship between the CA and the client. SME owners preferred to address the emotional and personal relationship issues of succession without input from the CA. Fourrecommendations to Chartered Accountants on their involvement in BSP are suggested.

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  • The Use of Objective and Subjective Measures: Implications for Incentive System Design

    Stringer, Carolyn; Theivananthampillai, Paul (2009)

    Conference paper
    University of Otago

    This study examines the question, is the use of subjective measures an ex post adjustment of objective measures to take into account three types of risk: target difficulty (after controlling for budget loss), shared risk (after controlling for business unit strategy) and downside risk? We examine this question using data from a sample of 522 managers and professionals in period 0 (and 434 in period 1) from a large Australasian corporation over a two year period. Period 0 is a pre shock period and period 1 is a post shock period. We find that for the overall two years that the subjective is an upward adjustment to the objective to take into account: (1) target difficulty, the spread between upper limit and lower limit of unit performance; (2) shared risk, that is organizational interdependencies; and (3) downside risk, which is the opportunity loss function that the employees faced in not meeting the maximum bonus allowed. However, in examining the pre shock period and post shock period, the results indicate that the subjective evaluation has been used differently for each period for two type of risk (target difficulty, shared risk). (1) With regard to target difficulty for the pre shock period, the subjective makes an upward adjustment to the objective; but for the post shock, the subjective makes a downward adjustment. One plausible explanation is that during the post shock, quite a few managers and professionals were already on the maximum of the objective measures (given that there may have been gamesmanship at setting targets and upper limits for an anticipated poor economic period). Therefore, the subjective can be a downward adjustment to reflect this gamesmanship. (2) In regard to shared risk (the percentage of transfer revenues), for the pre shock period the subjective was a downward adjustment, while for the post shock period the subjective adjustment is an upward adjustment to the objective measure. This implies that for the pre shock or times of economic stability, the subjective could be used to reduce some of the free rider challenges that face incentive systems. Conversely for the post shock period, or during times of economic instability, the subjective adjustment is to encourage resource sharing and greater coordination and communication. Overall, our results indicate that the subjective measure is used as an ex post adjustment to the objective measure. This could be in response to flaws in the objective (financial) performance measures as subjective measures as this enables other factors to be taken into account.

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  • CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS: KEY PLAYERS IN BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING?

    Sawers, Deborah; Whiting, Rosalind (2009)

    Conference paper
    University of Otago

    Expanding on previous quantitative studies of business succession planning (BSP) by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in New Zealand, this study provides qualitative data on the BSP process and the usefulness of Chartered Accountants’ (CAs’) input into that process. The owners of five provincial family SMEs who had all commenced BSP, were interviewed and provided comments on their perceptions of the process. BSP was primarily undertaken in a semi-formal manner and was found to be useful, particularly in planning for change to a “more balanced lifestyle”, providing reassurance to family members and maintainingbusiness continuity. Assistance from CAs was essential, especially with the technical and financial issues of succession. Successful advice was enhanced by a long-term, trustworthyand honest relationship between the CA and the client. SME owners preferred to address the emotional and personal relationship issues of succession without input from the CA. Fourrecommendations to Chartered Accountants on their involvement in BSP are suggested.

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  • A categorization of simulation works on norms

    Savarimuthu, Bastin Tony Roy; Cranefield, Stephen (2009-03-20)

    Conference paper
    University of Otago

    In multi-agent systems, software agents are modelled to possess characteristics and behaviour borrowed from human societies. Norms are expectations of behaviours of the agents in a society. Norms can be established in a society in different ways. In human societies, there are several types of norms such as moral norms, social norms and legal norms (laws). In artificial agent societies, the designers can impose these norms on the agents. Being autonomous, agents might not always follow the norms. Monitoring and controlling mechanisms should be in place to enforce norms. As the agents are autonomous, they themselves can evolve new norms while adapting to changing needs. In order to design and develop robust artificial agent societies, it is important to understand different approaches proposed by researchers by which norms can spread and emerge within agent societies. This paper makes two contributions to the study of norms. Firstly, based on the simulation works on norms, we propose a life-cycle model for norms. Secondly, we discuss different mechanisms used by researchers to study norm creation, spreading, enforcement and emergence.

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  • PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

    Stringer, Carolyn (2009)

    Conference paper
    University of Otago

    Performance evaluations systems are a critical part of overall performance management systems. This intensive case study provides insights into how the use of subjective performance evaluations in a complex organisational setting has led to perceptions of injustices (e.g., procedural, distributional, interactional), and unintended consequences. The key injustices were mixed practices, unclear criteria, financial focus, little differentiation between good and poor performers, stickiness in ratings, inequities in target setting, higher ratings at higher grades, and the predetermined theory. The consequences include the lack of trust, generous bonuses, gaming, inability to influence, resource allocation, bonuses are expected and not performance-related, and the system is costly to administrate. Multiple sources of evidence support the findings, and the patterns are consistent over a three year period. Future research needs to develop a deeper understanding of how these parts interrelate, where subjective performance evaluations work, and where they do not work, and to encourage breaking down the divide between functional specialisations (e.g., human resources, accounting).

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  • The three R's of the success case model - Recruitment, response, rigour

    Piggot-Irvine, Eileen; Marshall, Steven; Aitken, Helen (2009-01-01)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    An argument against employment of the Success Case Study methodology is that it promotes optimistic and potentially uncritical findings. This paper advances that in the authors’ experiences the latter has been substantially disconfirmed in terms of rigour and, additionally, the approach has offered considerable advantages for entry, recruitment and openness of respondents. Three ‘success’ case study examples illustrate the design adopted by the authors, the benefits linked to the methodology including the rigour associated with findings.

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  • He taonga te reo: Honouring te reo me ona tikanga, the Māori language and culture, within early childhood education in Aotearoa

    Ritchie, Jenny (2009)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    This paper considers data from recent research which illustrates the ways in which tamariki (children), whānau (families) and educators are integrating the use of the Māori language within their everyday educational interactions, as mandated by the bilingual New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 1996). Languages reflect cultures, expressing our deeper meanings and representations. Inscribed within verbal and non-verbal languages are our ways of being, knowing and doing (Martin, 2008). Jeanette Rhedding-Jones has inquired in her Norwegian multicultural context as to “What kinds of constructions are the monocultural professionals creating for cross-cultural meetings and mergings?” (2001, p. 5). What follows is an exploration of strategies by which Māori ways of being, knowing and doing are being enacted through the medium of te reo in early childhood centres.

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  • The implementation of the revised New Zealand Curriculum: Unpacking the complexities of sustainability, school climate and distributed forms of educational leadership

    Youngs, Howard (2009-03-01)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    The day-to-day practice of educational leadership practice can be extremely complex, demanding and yet rewarding; it is a highly relational activity. At the very heart of changing the climate of a school in relation to professional and student learning is the importance of building relationships of trust and sustaining productive levels of transparency particularly amongst the staff. This paper provides a ‘window’ into the day-to-day activities of staff from two New Zealand secondary schools as they are expected to implement the revised National Curriculum. The Ministry of Education state that the new National Curriculum has been framed in such a way so that schools should not be limited in the way that they offer learning experiences to students; it is a framework rather than a detailed prescribed plan. Therefore schools should have a greater opportunity to make locally based decisions in relation to professional and student learning. An ongoing ethnographic project over twenty months in two urban secondary schools provides the context for the data that informs this paper. Observation is used as the primary means to interpret and understand day-to-day leadership practice in situ. The methodological approach is in contrast to the majority of leadership studies in education, where quantitative analysis and qualitative studies that focus mainly on espoused accounts of practice are commonplace. The data reveal that the day-to-day practice of educational leaders is not as straightforward and prescriptive as often is purported. School climates that emphasise sustainability and distributed forms of leadership can be arenas of both contestability and learning, but only if we are prepared to ‘drill deep’ below the surface of day to day leadership practice that can appear straightforward to research, label and prescribe. The barriers and opportunities for developing school climates of sustainable learning may then be revealed in relation to power relations and organisational learning. How teachers and school leaders in the two schools appear to navigate their way through initiatives and their relationship to school climate is a central focus of this paper.

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  • The interplay of market forces and government action in the achievement of urban sustainability: The case of Auckland, New Zealand

    Boon, John (2009-04-01)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    This is a case study of urban intensification in the central business district (CBD) of Auckland. The city is the commercial centre of New Zealand with a population of 1.3m. It is a sprawling city with low population density and a high dependency on private motor vehicles for transport. Auckland has recognised the need to contain urban growth within its existing urban perimeter and achieve greater intensification. Progress has been made in this regard within the CBD where significant growth in inner city residents is evident. This has been achieved through private developers reacting to market demand rather than through public sector initiatives. The availability of finance for development and investment is seen as a key enabling element. Tax advantages for investment in property and planning bonuses for residential development are also significant elements in the complex mix of matters that has enabled this urban intensification. However the quality of development is marginal. Services for the expanded inner city population have developed in line with growth.

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  • Utilising agent based models for simulating landscape dynamics

    Popov, Nikolay (2009)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Cities and landscapes are now understood as systems that are open, chaotic, unpredictable, irreversible, and in constant flux - i.e. complex adaptive systems. This is why designers need to develop new modes of practice that can cope with open systems design. The term ‘model’, on the other hand, is now central to our thinking about the way we understand and design cities and landscapes. They are mediators between reality and theory and have a central role in bridging the gap between these two domains. This paper describes a new type of morphological modelling known as Agent Based Modelling (ABM) and investigates its applicability in landscape architectural design and planning. ABM assemble a wide range of theories and tools and offer an interesting view of urban and natural phenomena as a collective dynamics of interacting objects. They explore the connection between microlevel behaviour of individuals and the macro-level patterns that emerge from the interactions of many individuals. This paper examines, through a set of examples, the advantages, the drawbacks and the limitations of this type of modelling, with respect to their applications in landscape architecture. Finally, there will be some speculations about the future of these techniques in landscape design and planning.

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  • Subcontractors’ perceptions regarding bid shopping in Auckland, New Zealand

    Thurnell, Derek; Lee, Ivan (2009-09)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Main contractors use bid shopping to reduce a subcontractor's quoted price. The literature suggests that this is a practice disliked by many subcontractors and that the subcontractor's loss of revenue and margin is an important consequence. The vast majority of subcontractors in New Zealand are small in size, thus bid shopping can lead to subcontractors having greater exposure to additional financial risk, arising from the reduced margins they must accept. Whilst bid shopping has been mentioned as part of research on issues such as ethics and tendering practice, few empirical studies have directly focussed on bid shopping, and specifically, sought the perceptions of subcontractors themselves on the effects of bid shopping on their business. A questionnaire-based semi-structured interview survey of subcontractors was conducted, seeking their opinions on the prevalence, and seriousness of, bid shopping, what the effects of it are, and what measures they took to prevent their quotes from being bid shopped. The results established that bid shopping takes place regularly and is a matter of much concern to subcontractors, having a negative influence on their pricing decisions and the quality of the work they do. It also places more stress on the subcontractor‟s staff and limits the growth of their business. Significant implications for the construction industry are associated with safety on site, the quality of the subcontracted work, and the image of the main contractor in the market place. A link was suggested between the incidence of bid shopping and the state of the construction market.

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  • The effect of the raingauge distribution on stormwater models

    Cooper, M.R.; Fernando, Achela (2009-07)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    It is well known that the accurate representation of spatial variation of rainfall within a catchment is important in achieving reliable outcomes from stormwater models. Various guidelines recommend different densities of raingauge distribution to sufficiently capture and represent the rainfall variation within catchments. The cost of installing a rain-gauge may be insignificant compared to the benefit to be gained from more accurate modelling outcomes. To observe and quantify the effect of raingauge distribution and to understand the limitations of guidelines, a modelling study was undertaken. The study involved collection of data from a network of raingauges and a flow gauge in a small stormwater catchment, development and calibration of a stormwater model for the catchment, and the evaluation of the sensitivity of the model to spatially distribution of rainfall data. Three methods of rainfall data assimilation were tested with varying raingauge densities. The outcome of this modelling study confirms that the difference between the actual and the model-simulated peak flow from the catchment increased with decreasing raingauge density. The paper summarises the quantitative results obtained in this modelling study and concludes that the most robust stormwater model will be that calibrated using rainfall data gathered from within the catchment being modelled. Using a dense network of raingauges and assigning rainfall data from the nearest gauge, rather than station averaged and/or Thiesson polygon weighted sum, from a network of gauges emerges as the best approach for accurately estimating runoff peak from this small urban catchment. It is proposed that much greater emphasis should be placed on gathering adequate rainfall data to achieve specific modelling objectives given that the installation and operation of a raingauge is relatively inexpensive.

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  • Technology Incubator Performance in New Zealand

    Yee, Nigel (2009)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Business incubation and technology incubation is an area where new ideas are combined with resources and expertise in order to produce viable products and businesses. The business and technology incubation sector in New Zealand is relatively young compared to the United States and a government program administered by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise provides assistance to incubators by way of government assistance programs and targeted funding. Administration of the program requires incubators that are recipients of government funding provide information on their performance so that New Zealand Trade and Enterprise can assess the performance of the incubation programs. From this data a Return on Investment analysis is taken which provides indicators of the effectiveness of the incubation program. Due to the newness of the incubation programs in New Zealand, a limited amount of performance metrics are compiled for a comparative analysis. The paper presents performance indicators of the technology and business incubation programs supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and discusses future metrics for a more detailed analysis of performance.

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  • Supporting academic development to enhance the student experience

    Bettina Schwenger; Hazel Owen (2009)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Students' learning experiences and study success can be significantly enhanced through a combined approach that embeds Literacy, Language and Numeracy skills enhancement explicitly into discipline content. An essential aspect of this approach is the provision of academic professional development that is engaging and helps staff review their methodology in a supported and sustainable manner. This paper describes stage one of a pilot research study and ongoing initiative between one of the vocational disciplines (Automotive Engineering, which is part of the Unitec Applied Technology Institute) and the Academic Development Unit at Unitec New Zealand. At this stage, using a 'Tradeshow approach', fifteen Literacy, Language and Numeracy related tools and strategies, as well as mini-demonstration teaching sessions, have been chosen as a way to introduce and discuss effective practice in collaborative and contextualised professional development sessions. The findings from a pilot study around the Tradeshow approach, including the iterative cycle of evaluation and improvement in response to participant feedback, are shared. The study has helped identify and evaluate how this new capability building approach has assisted with supporting and motivating discipline specialists in their initiatives to embed and add value to students’ learning experiences and study success. Describing a number of key strategies and tools, this paper will discuss the results of the study as well as lessons learned and associated implications.

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  • Recursive relationships in executive compensation

    Moriarity, Shane; San Diego, Jojo (2009)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Asian businesses in the 21st century will learn from the experience of their US counterparts in promoting better governance of executive compensation in publicly traded companies. In this paper we examine the membership of the compensation peer groups for 121 of the largest US-headquartered, publicly-traded firms. We find that the existence of self-reinforcing recursive relationships through peer groups is pervasive. We illustrate that the effects from these relationships could be very large. Finally, we measure the association between the size of a firm’s recursive effect and that firm’s average compensation for named executives. The association is large, positive, and statistically significant. Thus our findings suggest that recursive relationships arising from the widespread use of peer-group benchmarking is affecting executive compensation levels for many large US firms. These findings should alert Asian businesses to the effect that the practice of peer-group benchmarking may have on executive compensation.

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  • Legal Studies and the Changing Business Environment

    Finlayson, Patricia; Ayling, Diana (2009)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Anecdotal evidence suggests business students find the study of law difficult, and that they do not understand the relevance of it to their business degrees. Law teachers' response has been to question the curriculum design and methods of delivery in law teaching to non‐vocational students. As there is little scientifically robust research into students' perceptions of the place of law in business degrees the authors suggest that we need a clearer definition of why, and to what extent, students perceive legal studies as difficult and irrelevant before law teachers embark on a search for the holy grail of the perfect law teaching method for non‐vocational legal studies. As a start to this journey the authors designed this study to survey all of the students in both the undergraduate diploma course and two degree courses in law offered within the departments of Accountancy and Finance and Management and Marketing at Unitec New Zealand. Administered after the first two weeks of the semester, the survey collected both demographic data and data on the students' perceptions of law studies. This paper reviews the results from the initial data set which suggests that our multinational sample of students has, as a group, a moderately positive perception of the relevance of law in business degrees but some reservations about their having the skill set to use that legal knowledge in a constructive manner in business. The paper suggests legal studies curriculum developers should consider how they can improve student competencies to ensure graduate gain ''legal astutenes'' for global economies.

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  • From planning sustainable cities to designing resilient urban regions

    Bogunovich, Dushko (2009)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    In order to be ready for the harsh environmental challenges of the 21st century, cities need a new planning agenda. Defining this agenda is impossible without first revisiting the core concepts of our work: ‘sustainability’, ‘city’ and ‘urban planning’. A four-fold shift in emphasis is vital: from an excessive focus on the development density, to the monitoring and taming of urban metabolism; from a single focus on sustainability to one which also includes resilience; from traditional city to urban region; from policy and land-use planning to strategic urban and regional design. In most parts of the world, the battle for the compact city is lost. However, from the perspective of ecological sustainability, perhaps it was the wrong battle anyway. We should now direct our creative energies at deploying ecological design and clean technologies on a mass scale to our unstoppable, sprawling urban regions.

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