Current Situation (current + situation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts


Ichiro Yasuda
Endoscopic treatment is now recognized as the standard treatment for common bile duct stones worldwide. Endoscopic treatment routinely involves endoscopic sphincterotomy in most countries including Japan and endoscopic papillary balloon dilation is also a widely used alternative to endoscopic sphincterotomy in Japan. Surgery in any form, including laparoscopic surgery, is mainly performed when endoscopic treatments are unsuccessful or unfavorable. Other therapeutic modalities considered under certain circumstances include lithotripsy under the guidance of percutaneous transhepatic cholangioscopy, peroral cholangioscopy, or enteroscopy; electrohydraulic lithotripsy or laser lithotripsy; and extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy. [source]

Current situation of German care homes

Barbara Klein Dipl-Soz, Dr. Phil
Aim., The aim of this paper is to explore the situation of and current developments in the German care home sector. Background., Germany, like other Western countries, faces demographic change and subsequently tries to develop structures and processes to achieve a care system which can tackle the increasing number of people in need of care with a variety of quality services. Policy strives to set up structures and instruments to enhance the quality of service provision. Discussion., Figures show that the structures in the care sector are changing in favour to increased privatization of homes, a slight increase in size and improved building structures. In order to tackle the expected changes, a mix of low and high skilled qualification and new job profiles arise in the care sector. Other changes to be observed are the development of new living arrangements and the utilization of new technologies to support the care process. Conclusion., This contribution looks at the socio-demographic changes in care, the statutory developments and the structures of care homes as well as current discussions on future developments. [source]

Access to energy services by the poor in India: Current situation and need for alternative strategies

V. S. Ailawadi
Abstract Poor and inadequate access to clean, reliable and affordable energy is now considered a major concern for sustainable development. India houses about a third of the world's population without access to electricity and about 40% of those without access to modern energy. This article considers India's challenge in this area, examines the energy access situation, and analyses measures pursued to improve it. The article argues that the current focus on rural electrification is unlikely to resolve the energy access problem, due to the low penetration of electricity in the energy mix of the poor. The article also argues that strategies based on energy market reform, promotion of renewable technologies and correct price signals are unlikely to succeed in changing the situation, as acceptance of this policy prescription is rather low. Instead, a bottom-up, holistic, long-term approach is suggested that integrates energy access with economic development, and relies on selective market intervention, local resources and local governance. [source]

Snap: A time critical decision-making framework for MOUT simulations

Shang-Ping Ting
Abstract Deliberative reasoning based on the rational analysis of various alternatives often requires too much information and may be too slow in time critical situations. In these situations, humans rely mainly on their intuitions rather than some structured decision-making processes. An important and challenging problem in Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) simulations is how to generate realistic tactical behaviors for the non-player characters (also known as bots), as these bots often need to make quick decisions in time-critical and uncertain situations. In this paper, we describe our work on Snap, a time critical decision-making framework for the bots in MOUT simulations. The novel features of Snap include case-based reasoning (CBR) and thin slicing. CBR is used to make quick decisions by comparing the current situation with past experience cases. Thin slicing is used to model human's ability to quickly form up situation awareness under uncertain and complex situations using key cues from partial information. To assess the effectiveness of Snap, we have integrated it into Twilight City, a virtual environment for MOUT simulations. Experimental results show that Snap is very effective in generating quick decisions during time critical situations for MOUT simulations. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Bone replacement following dental trauma prior to implant surgery , present status

Mats Hallman
Although autogenous bone grafts is considered the ,gold standard', this may be associated with patient morbidity and graft resorption. Consequently, the use of bone substitutes has increased. Today, a substantial number of biomaterials are available on the market, but only a few are well documented. The user should be aware that these biomaterials have different properties: resorbable or non-resorbable, time of resorption and resorption mechanism. The purpose of this review is to describe the function of various bone substitutes and indications for their use in reconstructive implant surgery and to give an overview of the current situation. [source]

The importance of mangrove forest in tsunami disaster mitigation

DISASTERS, Issue 2 2009
Rabindra Osti
Tsunamis and storm surges have killed more than one million people and some three billion people currently live with a high risk of these disasters, which are becoming more frequent and devastating worldwide. Effective mitigation of such disasters is possible via healthy coastal forests, which can reduce the energy of tsunamis. In recent years, these natural barriers have declined due to adverse human and natural activities. In the past 20 years, the world has lost almost 50 per cent of its mangrove forests, making them one of the most endangered landscapes. It is essential to recover them and to use them as a shield against a tsunami and as a resource to secure optimal socio-economic, ecological and environmental benefits. This paper examines the emerging scenario facing mangrove forests, discusses protection from tsunamis, and proposes a way to improve the current situation. We hope that practical tips will help communities and agencies to work collectively to achieve a common goal. [source]

Does Italy's plight threaten European Monetary Union?

Article first published online: 27 JUL 200
The Italian economy is in a mess. GDP is expected to contract by 0.6% this year and the budget deficit is heading towards 4% of GDP , it is hard to see a way out of the mire. And after the rejection of the European constitution in France and the Netherlands, questions are being asked about the very future of the European project. With Italy fundamentally uncompetitive across a whole range of both price and non-prices measures, and with an industrial structure ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of globalisation, Italy's long-term membership of the Euro is being debated. This article by Keith Church sets out Italy's problems and argues that, if the economy stagnates for a prolonged period, pressure to leave EMU will become irresistible. This can be avoided if the government finally implements structural reforms instead of continually ,muddling through'. At the same time, the ECB needs to realise the urgency of the current situation and start to show greater flexibility. [source]

SNPlexing the human Y-chromosome: A single-assay system for major haplogroup screening

Gemma Berniell-Lee
Abstract SNPs are one of the main sources of DNA variation among humans. Their unique properties make them useful polymorphic markers for a wide range of fields, such as medicine, forensics, and population genetics. Although several high-throughput techniques have been (and are being) developed for the vast typing of SNPs in the medical context, population genetic studies involve the typing of few and select SNPs for targeted research. This results in SNPs having to be typed in multiple reactions, consuming large amounts of time and of DNA. In order to improve the current situation in the area of human Y-chromosome diversity studies, we decided to employ a system based on a multiplex oligo ligation assay/PCR (OLA/PCR) followed by CE to create a Y multiplex capable of distinguishing, in a single reaction, all the major haplogroups and as many subhaplogroups on the Y-chromosome phylogeny as possible. Our efforts resulted in the creation of a robust and accurate 35plex (35 SNPs in a single reaction) that when tested on 165 human DNA samples from different geographic areas, proved capable of assigning samples to their corresponding haplogroup. [source]

Through-the-Cycle Ratings Versus Point-in-Time Ratings and Implications of the Mapping Between Both Rating Types

Rebekka Topp
The two philosophies of ratings, one that includes cyclical effects and the other that doesn't, are mirrored by the two different rating types commonly known as point-in-time (pit) and through-the-cycle (ttc). Point-in-time ratings try to evaluate the current situation of a customer by taking into account both cyclical and permanent effects. In contrast, through the-cycle ratings focus mainly on the permanent component of default risk and are nearly independent from cyclical changes in the creditworthiness of a customer. In this paper we give a review of the characteristics of both rating types and examine whether these properties can actually be observed in practice. In this context we present the results of an analysis of Standard& Poor's rating data, which show that the ratings, though being through-the-cycle, still vary in accordance with the business cycle. Another concern of this paper is the wide spread practice to map ,external' through-the-cycle ratings to ,internal' point-in-time ratings, with the purpose to enrich or validate a financial institution's internal rating database. We show that in doing so financial institutions severely misspecify customers' risk profiles and under- or overestimate costs in connection with credit pricing or capitalization. We confirm our theoretical considerations by calculating pricing quantities when using one or the other rating information. [source]

The issue of gender within computing: reflections from the UK and Scandinavia

Maxine Robertson
Abstract. Thispaper explores some of the reasons that may underlie the gender segregation and declining levels of female participation within the field of computing in Europe during the 1990s in both the professional (industrial) and academic spheres. The interrelationships between three areas , communicative processes, social networks and legitimizing claims to knowledge overlaid by gendered-power relations , are used to analyse and explain the existing situation. The paper draws upon statistical data to explore the extent of gender segregation and then focuses on the authors' own experiences within the UK and Scandinavia in order to explore some of the underlying causes. While direct discrimination does still occur, the paper suggests that indirect, deep-rooted discrimination is the major reason for the situation that currently exists. Drawing upon our own experiences in academia and business and acknowledging the importance of the institutional context, the paper offers a number of recommendations as to how the current situation may be improved. We suggest first that consideration is given to the pedagogical design and marketing of computing courses so that individuals are initially attracted to computing from far more diverse backgrounds, approaches and interests than at present. Second, we suggest that those with influence in the field reflect upon the constitution and behaviours of the informal networks in which they are involved and seek to include female researchers more actively here. Finally we suggest that consideration is given in more general terms to how the field may become more gender neutral and, thus, more inclusive in the future. Masculine discourses and ,hard' skills have dominated within computing for too long and contribute significantly to the declining participation of women within computing. [source]

Combating deceptive advertisements and labelling on food products , an exploratory study on the perceptions of teachers

Wai-ling Theresa Lai Yeung
People are becoming more health conscious nowadays, but most of them are not able to adopt a lifestyle with adequate physical exercise and a healthier eating pattern. Many attempt to compensate by taking ,health foods'. Despite the recent economic recession, the functional food market expands rapidly in Asian countries. Recent statistics indicate a huge increase in weight loss and functional food product advertising expenditure in Hong Kong and other Asian countries. In a massive survey conducted by the Hong Kong Consumer Council, it was found that 85% of the medicines, health food and therapies sampled contain questionable claims and misleading messages (Consumer Council, 1999). In fact, young people do not understand much about modern food processing, in particular those present in low energy and functional foods, and they know very little about the modern food marketing strategies. The situation is detrimental to consumer welfare especially to the younger generation. This study attempts to reflect critically on the implications of these issues for the health and well-being of young people in Hong Kong. It explores directions for designing relevant and effective education programmes to empower young people in understanding food advertising strategies and making informed decisions on food choice. The paper will begin with a critical review on the current situation in Hong Kong. An interview survey on preservice and in-service teachers' perception towards misleading food advertising and labelling will then be reported. The situations at schools will be defined and problems faced by teachers in providing relevant consumer education programmes to students will be identified. Finally, the study will look to the future, with a view to developing students' critical skills in evaluating claims offered in food advertisements. [source]

The dairy industry in Saudi Arabia: current situation and future prospects

M M Al-Otaibi

Understanding the volunteer market: the what, where, who and why of volunteering

Helen Bussell
Although the work of the voluntary sector is growing, the number of people volunteering is not increasing at a comparable rate. This paper argues that the key to an organisation's success in recruiting and retaining its volunteers is to have an understanding of its target group. As a means to developing this understanding the paper reviews the prior research on volunteering and outlines the current situation in the voluntary sector with regard to the donation of time. The review shows that those who volunteer are an extremely diverse group, active in a wide variety of contexts. This makes the definition of a volunteer a more complex task than one would expect. It also demonstrates that individuals and organisations may volunteer for reasons other than purely altruistic motives. Finally, the paper identifies gaps in this area of research and presents topics for further research. Copyright © 2002 Henry Stewart Publications [source]

Social security for China's rural aged: a proposal based on a universal non-contributory pension

Yinan Yang
Yang Y, Williamson JB, Shen C. Social security for China's rural aged: a proposal based on a universal non-contributory pension Int J Soc Welfare 2010: 19: 236,245 © 2009 The Author(s), Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the International Journal of Social Welfare. China's relative lack of social security coverage for rural elders exacerbates the already severe rural,urban economic disparity, slows the rate of rural poverty reduction, and raises social justice concerns. Our analysis draws on evidence from a number of sources including interviews with experts on China, Chinese government documents, Chinese newspaper accounts, and other sources from other countries. Based on our analysis of what has been tried in other countries and the current situation in rural China, we offer some suggestions for Chinese policy makers. We suggest that, for rural China, a universal non-contributory old-age pension deserves serious consideration, and refer to our proposed model as a Rural Old-Age Social Pension. It will reduce the level of poverty in rural areas and the degree of income inequality between rural and urban areas while simultaneously promoting social and political stability. [source]

Migration and Transnational Families in Fiji: Comparing Two Ethnic Groups

Carmen Voigt-Graf
In the past two decades, international migration patterns out of Fiji have undergone changes with important implications for the formation of transnational families. The focus of this paper is on a comparison between the formation of Indo-Fijian transnational extended families and indigenous Fijian transnational nuclear families. These are discussed within the framework of "transnational corporations of kin." For several decades, Indo-Fijians have permanently migrated to the Pacific Rim as a consequence of the economic and political situation in Fiji. They have resettled in complete nuclear family units and have subsequently attempted to sponsor the migration of their extended family members. Recent years have witnessed an increasing number of indigenous Fijians migrating temporarily for work. In contrast to Indo-Fijians, indigenous Fijian migrate as individuals, leaving their spouses and children behind in Fiji. Women migrate autonomously as caregivers and nurses while men find employment as soldiers and security officers. The main purpose of their mostly temporary migration is to send remittances. However, these economic benefits have to be contrasted with the social and psychological costs associated with the separation of nuclear families. The paper also discusses policy implications arising from the comparative analysis, especially in the light of the current situation in Fiji which is characterised by a lack of policies addressing the implications of migration. Migration et familles transnationales à Fidji: comparaison de deux groupes ethniques Durant ces vingt dernières années, les tendances migratoires internationales au départ de Fidji ont subi des changements qui ont eu d'importantes conséquences sur la constitution de familles transnationales. Le thème central de cette publication porte sur une comparaison entre la constitution de familles transnationales indo-fidjiennes élargies et les familles transnationales fidjiennes indigènes nucléaires. Celles-ci sont examinées dans le cadre de ce que l'on appelle les sociétés familiales transnationales. Depuis plusieurs dizaines d'années, les Indo-Fidjiens migrent à demeure vers la ceinture du Pacifique en raison de la situation économique et politique de Fidji. A partir de là, ils reprennent le schéma de la famille nucléaire complète et tentent ensuite de financer la migration des membres de leur famille élargie. Les dernières années ont mis en évidence une tendance croissante des Fidjiens indigènes àémigrer temporairement en quête de travail. A la différence des Indo-Fidjiens, les Fidjiens indigènes émigrent seuls, en laissant derrière eux femmes et enfants. Les femmes émigrent de façon autonome en quête d'un emploi d'aidante ou d'infirmière tandis que les hommes se font embaucher comme soldats ou agents de sécurité. L'objectif principal de leur migration le plus souvent temporaire est de rapatrier des fonds. Cependant, ces avantages économiques doivent être rapportés aux conséquences sociales et psychologiques découlant de la séparation des familles nucléaires. L'article examine également les répercussions politiques résultant de l'analyse comparative, surtout à la lumière de la situation actuelle à Fidji, laquelle dénote l'absence de politiques appropriées pour faire face aux conséquences de la migration. La migración y las familias transnacionales en Fiji: Comparación de dos grupos étnicos En los últimos veinte años, los patrones de migración internacional desde Fiji han sufrido cambios que han repercutido notablemente en la conformación de familias transnacionales. En este artículo, se establece una comparación entre la conformación de familias indo-fiyianas transnacionales amplias y las familias indígenas fiyianas transnacionales nucleares. Ambas se debaten en el marco de "corporaciones transnacionales de parentesco". Durante varias décadas, los indo-fiyianos emigraron con carácter permanente a la costa del Pacífico a raíz de la situación económica y política prevaleciente en Fiji. Se reasentaron en unidades familiares nucleares completas y, ulteriormente, intentaron patrocinar la migración de sus familiares. En los últimos años, se ha observado un creciente número de fiyianos indígenas que emigran temporalmente por motivos laborales. A diferencia de los indo-fiyianos, los fiyianos indígenas emigran a título individual, dejando atrás a cónyuges e hijos. Las mujeres emigran de manera autónoma para trabajar al cuidado de personas o como enfermeras, mientras que los hombres encuentran trabajo como soldados o guardias. Su migración es mayormente de carácter temporal y tiene por finalidad el envío de remesas. Ahora bien, estos beneficios económicos tienen que examinarse a la luz de los costos sociales y sicológicos asociados con la separación del núcleo familiar. En este artículo también se debaten las consecuencias políticas resultantes del análisis comparativo, especialmente habida cuenta de la situación reinante en Fiji, que se caracteriza por la falta de políticas que encaren las repercusiones que trae consigo la migración. [source]

The Migration of Professionals: Theories and Typologies

Robyn Iredale
In an historical context, highly skilled migration typically involved the forced movement of professionals as a result of political conflicts, followed by the emergence of the "brain drain" in the 1960s. In the current situation, highly skilled migration represents an increasingly large component of global migration streams. The current state of theory in relation to highly skilled migration is far from adequate in terms of explaining what is occurring at the high skill end of the migration spectrum. Continuing growth of temporary skilled migration is heralding changes in the operation of professions. Formal procedures for recognizing the skills of permanent immigrant professionals are breaking down as "fast-track" processes for assessing the skills of temporary professional migrants are put in place. The increasing globalization of firms and the internationalization of higher education are encouraging professions to internationalize. In this article, four professions are cited as case studies to show that professional inclusion/exclusion is no longer defined by national professional bodies alone. The operation of professions has become a transnational matter although the extent of internationalization varies with professions. Typologies for analysing professional migration flows are discussed and a sixth means of categorization, by profession or industry, is introduced to allow for the nature of interactions between the market, the state and the profession/industry. The question whether states should continue to be concerned about self-sufficiency in national professional labour markets in an increasingly globalized environment is also addressed. [source]

The right of all nations to access science, new technologies and sustainable development

Mohammad Reza Majidi
This article explores the need for reflection on the right of developing countries to science and technology in addition to explaining the place of the scientific rights of nations in human rights as a whole. The discussion was conducted in relation to sustainable development. Through the examination of the current situation and the challenges to sustainable development, and taking into account the imbalance in the distribution of the benefits of science and new technologies, the authors advocate a comprehensive approach to promote cooperation and capacity-building in this area. They argue that linkages should be adopted between micro-levels and macro-levels of analysis by elevating rights and related issues from individuals to the national level in the field of the right to science and technology, and from the national to the international level in the field of sustainable development in order to institutionalise and ensure individual and national rights to science, technology and sustainable development. The authors also believe in a multidimensional perspective based on the balanced flourishing of the material and immaterial aspects of humankind in order to realise these rights in the context of dialogue and cultural diversity and to promote the culture of sustainable and dynamic peace based on justice in knowledge societies. [source]

Optimized management of genetic variability in selected pig populations

J.J. Colleau
Summary Controlling the increase of coancestry and inbreeding coefficients in selected populations is made possible through calculation of the optimal contributions allowed to breeding animals, given the current situation with regard to genetic diversity, and further, through optimal design of matings. The potential of such an approach for pig breeding was tested by retrospective optimization on the French Landrace population in reference to the matings actually carried out during a 21-week test period. The major constraint was that the average overall estimated breeding value (EBV) should be the same as the observed one, for not decreasing short-term genetic gain. Optimizing breeding allocations to boars would have led one to decrease coancestry and inbreeding coefficients by approximately 20%. This decrease would have even increased to approximately 30%, would have replacements and disposals been optimized after accounting for genetic variability, keeping the same constraint of genetic level identical to the observed one. These results showed the potential value, in the future, of completing each periodical calculation of EBVs by optimizations considering genetic variability and of releasing corresponding information to breeders, in order to enhance maintenance of genetic variability. [source]


Article first published online: 11 APR 200
At the center of the U.S. corporate governance controversy are questions about the integrity of the U.S. financial reporting system. Can investors trust the numbers now being reported in corporate financial statements? And, if not, what steps are being taken to bring about the return of investor trust and confidence? The academics and practitioners who took part in this discussion began by expressing their reluctance to describe the current situation as a "crisis." The consensus was that the recent governance failures are not the reflection of a general decline in corporate moral standards, but rather the work of a handful of opportunists who found ways to exploit some weaknesses in the present system. Part of the discussion focused on the expected benefits (and costs) of the heightened regulatory scrutiny provided by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the newly formed Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. But most of the panelists placed greater emphasis on the role of self-regulation in resolving problems such as the conflicts of interest within auditing and brokerage firms that played a major role in scandals like Enron and WorldCom. And rather than relying on more vigorous SEC oversight of financial statements, a number of panelists argued that top priority should be given to comprehensive reform of U.S. accounting standards, which are said to be a major source of confusion for both managers and investors. [source]

Evidence-based practice in Hong Kong: issues and implications in its establishment

Linda Yin King Lee MNURS
Summary ,,Evidence-based practice has been widely discussed in the literature, but it is not common or well adopted in nursing practice, both in Hong Kong and other countries. ,,This article aims to examine the relationships between three important elements of evidence-based practice: systematic reviews, clinical guidelines and protocols. Current issues associated with evidence-based practice in Hong Kong are explored. ,,Specific suggestions are given to researchers, practitioners, managers and academics so that the current situation can be advanced. [source]

Acute Pain Teams in England: current provision and their role in postoperative pain management

Ann Mcdonnell BSc
Summary ,,This survey describes the current provision of multidisciplinary Acute Pain Teams (APTs) in acute English hospitals performing adult in-patient surgery (excluding maternity). Associations between the presence of an APT and a number of organizational and clinical initiatives for the management of postoperative pain are also explored. ,,Postal questionnaires were sent to the Clinical Director of Anaesthetics or head of the APT at every acute English hospital providing separate anaesthetic services. ,,After written and telephone reminders, the response rate was 86% (n = 226). ,,Eighty-four per cent (n = 190) of respondents had an APT in their hospital. The presence of an APT was associated (P,0.05) with higher estimates of patient controlled analgesia and epidural use, regular in-service training for nurses and junior doctors, written guidelines/protocols for management of postoperative pain, routine use of postoperative pain measurement systems and audit/research in relation to postoperative pain issues. ,,Acute Pain Teams, in which nurses play a major role, have a pivotal influence not only in relation to postoperative analgesia but also in wider service development. Since 1995, the number of hospitals offering in-patient surgery that are covered by an APT has risen. However, despite repeated endorsements from professional bodies, some acute hospitals still have no APT and recent evidence indicates that some APTs face financial problems and provide a ,token' service only. Recent policy recommendations may have little impact on the current situation. [source]

Economic crisis and challenges for the Greek healthcare system: the emergent role of nursing management

notara v., koupidis s.a., vaga e. & grammatikopoulos i.a. (2010) Journal of Nursing Management18, 501,504 Economic crisis and challenges for the Greek healthcare system: the emergent role of nursing management Background, Despite several reform efforts, the Greek health care system still faces problems related to misdistribution of trained health staff and finance between geographical areas. Aim, The objectives of the present study were to describe the current situation of the delivery of the healthcare service in Greece, to explore the basic implications of the economic crisis from a nursing management perspective and to examine future practices opening a debate in policy developments. Key issue, The principal finding of this study was the serious shortage of trained nurses, the imbalances in nursing personnel, an excess of doctors and the complete absence of a Primary Healthcare System in civil areas provided by general doctors. Conclusion, It is important that health care policy makers become aware and seriously consider rearranging the Health Care System to become more effective and efficient for the population (client). Special attention should be paid to strengthening areas such as primary health care, public health and health promotion in the direction of minimizing the demand of hospital services. Implications for nursing management, Any implementation of major health care reforms should consider seriously the role of the nursing management which formulates the substantial link between the health services and the patient. [source]

Pedagogy, power and service user involvement

A. FELTON mn rn (mental health)
This paper explores mental health nurse educators' perceptions of the involvement of service users in preregistration nurse education. The idea for the study was developed from a local group of people including service users, lecturers and students committed to finding ways to develop service user involvement in education. This qualitative study uses semi-structured interviews to explore participants' perceptions in depth. Five lecturers who teach on the diploma programme based at a large teaching hospital were interviewed. The results suggest that the current situation of involving service users at the research site was ineffective. The concepts of ,role' and power relationships were used to explore the reasons for this. The development of service user involvement in education is complex and requires further research. [source]

Pesticide analysis by capillary electrophoresis

J. Hernández-Borges
Abstract In this work, a critical and updated revision of the current situation of the analysis of pesticides by Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) is presented. The review has been written in two main sections. The first one presents a thorough revision of the various off-line and on-line sample preconcentration procedures that have been used in conjunction with CE to analyze these compounds. The second part reviews the various detection strategies (i. e., UV, LIF, MS, and electrochemical) and CE modes that have been applied to the analysis of pesticides. Future trends that can be expected from this hot research area are also discussed. [source]

An international taxicab evaluation: comparing Tokyo with London, New York and Paris

Walter Skok
An exploratory study was undertaken in order to evaluate the quality of Tokyo's taxicab industry, which provides a 24/7 door-to-door service for a daily average of 1.3 million people. This second paper, arising from the study, analyses the current situation in Tokyo, by using the Taxi Cab Management Model (TCMM) which identifies the key processes for managing and operating a taxicab service in any international city. The model provides a benchmark for measuring performance against other capital cities in developed nations. By comparing the results of this analysis with similar case studies of London, New York and Paris, areas of best practice are identified, as well as possible operational improvements. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Strategic management of the Tokyo taxi cab industry: an exploratory study

Walter Skok
Taxicabs are an indispensable means of transportation in Tokyo, as they provide a 24/7 door-to-door service for a daily average of 1.3 million people. In 2002, legislation was introduced to abolish restrictions on the number of taxicabs on the road. This relaxation of regulation, together with the corresponding recession, raised new issues such as increasing cab numbers and reducing drivers' wages. The wide variety of stakeholders involved within the taxicab industry have conflicting positions, resulting in little agreement on the possible way forward. An exploratory study was therefore undertaken in order to investigate the management of Tokyo's taxicab operations in order to formulate strategies for improving the service. Two related papers report on the study. This paper starts by providing an understanding of the current situation, examining the roles of the major stakeholders and outlining day-to-day operations. Academic frameworks, for example PEST, Critical Success Factors and the Cultural Web, from the strategic management literature, are used to identify the structure of the industry and analyse the environment in which it operates. The results found that Tokyo's taxicab industry is highly efficient operationally, due to the high standard of customer service, effective driver's learning scheme and active use of IT. However, a paradoxical situation has been identified where the demand for cabs has decreased even though the available vehicles have increased. Finally, a uniform method to measure the level of taxicab service is recommended. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

All Supply Chains Don't Flow Through: Understanding Supply Chain Issues in Product Recalls

Marjorie A. Lyles
abstract Our paper conceptualizes and highlights the role of the supply chains in China's product recall problems. We raise questions about the interrelationships of the focal manufacturer and the supplier firms and the consequences of these relationships. We address some of the causes of the current situation, including a discussion of deep supply chains, the importance of relationships, the role of trust and the impact of cultural misunderstandings. We suggest many future research questions to further understand how the supply chain can cause or deter product recalls. [source]

War, Factionalism, and the State in Afghanistan

Nazif M. Shahrani
Since September 11, 2001, the explanations offered to account for the rise of a foreign-led terrorist network on Afghan soil have variously focused on the political vacuum opened up by the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in February 1989, interference by foreign powers in Afghanistan's internal affairs, the failure of Afghanistan to produce a "strong state" because of ethnic factionalism, and an internal moral incoherence inherent to Afghan culture. I argue that none of these explanations is entirely satisfactory in itself. To understand the situation in Afghanistan, we must recognize that its political and military chaos is not an isolated or unique phenomenon, and at the same time acknowledge the particular social and political dynamics of Afghanistan's history that have set the parameters for current events. I show that communal conflicts in Afghanistan are part of a much wider affliction common to many postcolonial states and multinational societies, and that Afghanistan's current situation can only be understood by focusing on its failed attempts at nation-state building within the broader geopolitical circumstance of foreign manipulation and proxy wars that have given rise to particular forms of ethnic division. [Keywords: Afghanistan, nation-building, ethnic factionalism, warfare, the State] [source]

Coping with variability and change: Floods and droughts

Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz
Floods and droughts are natural phenomena for which the risks of occurrence are likely to continue to grow. Increasing levels of exposure and insufficient adaptive capacity are among the factors responsible for the rising vulnerability. The former is conditioned by anthropopressure (e.g., economic development of flood,prone areas) and adverse effects of climate change; scenarios for future climates indicate the possibility of amplified water,related extremes. This article presents the current situation of coping with extreme hydrological events within the pressure,state,response framework. Among promising response strategies, the role of forecast and warning, and of watershed management are reviewed. Sample success stories and lessons learnt related to hydrological extremes are given and policy implications discussed. [source]

Prevalence of obesity in Canada

F. Bélanger-Ducharme
Summary Excess weight represents a critical and common health problem in Canada. The last survey of a national representative sample based on measured anthropometrics has been conducted in 1992. According to surveys using measured data, the prevalence of obesity (body mass index, BMI = 30.0 kg m,2) between 1970 and 1992 for those aged 20,69 years increased from 8% to 13% in men and 13% to 15% in women. The proportion of Canadians displaying a BMI ,25.0 kg m,2 increased from 47% to 58% in men and from 34% to 41% in women in the same period. The most recent prevalence estimates from self-reported data in a national representative sample indicated that 15% of the adult population (,18 years) was affected by obesity, while an additional 33% was classified in the overweight category (BMI 25.0,29.9 kg m,2) in 2003. However, it has been suggested that self-reported height and weight underestimate the prevalence of obesity by approximately 10%. Canadian children, aboriginal populations, and immigrants are some of the vulnerable groups particularly at risk of excess weight or for which the increase in the recent decades has been greater than the national increase. The increases in overweight and obesity over the past 30 years among Canadians have been dramatic. It will be possible to precisely analyse the current situation and its evolution in the last 10 years when data based on measured height and weight will be released, that is, in 2005 and after. [source]