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Current Issue April, 2024
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Navigating Global Markets: Unveiling the Role of Human Capital, Market Orientation, and SME Internationalization

The internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises is widely recognized as a key driver of economic growth and competitiveness. This research aims to investigate the mediating role of market orientation in the relationship between human capital and SME internationalization. Drawing upon the resource-based view and market orientation literature, a conceptual model is proposed to examine the association between human capital and SME internationalization and the mediating effect of market orientation. A quantitative research approach, this study employs a structured questionnaire administered to a diverse sample of SMEs operating across various industries. The collected data is subjected to rigorous statistical analyses, including regression analysis and mediation analysis. This is based on the empirical investigation of a sample of 150 small- and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan. The results reveal a positive relationship between human capital and SME internationalization. Human capital significantly affects SME’s Internationalization with β value as 0.29. The human capital effect on Market orientation shows β value as 0.82. Market orientation significantly affects SMEs Internationalization with β value as 0.53. Further, Market orientation mediates the relationship between human capital and SME Internationalization with an effect of 0.44 at t= 3.02 and LLCI=0.22 and ULCI=0.64. The results underscore the critical mediating role played by market orientation. The implications of these findings are highly significant for both SME practitioners and policymakers. The study highlights the importance of investing in human capital development to enhance SME internationalization. Moreover, it emphasizes the strategic significance of market orientation in facilitating the effective utilization of human capital for successful internationalization outcomes.
Keywords: SME Internationalization, Human Capital, Market Orientation, Resource-based View, Policymakers.

Optimization of FDM Printing Parameters for Improved Mechanical Properties in 3D Printed ASTM D638 and D256 Standard Samples

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is regarded as an incredibly convenient manufacturing technique because it allows the construction of 3D artifacts. One of the most popular AM processes for creating functioning prototypes and components is fused deposition modeling (FDM). In FDM, the quality of printed components is greatly influenced by printing parameters settings. Studying the effect of FDM printing parameters on output responses is crucial in ensuring the quality of printed items. Therefore, this study investigates experimentally the influence of FDM printing parameters, i.e. print speed, flow rate, and extrusion temperature, on 3D printed Polylactic Acid (PLA) parts, considering surface roughness, dimensional accuracy, tensile strength, hardness, and impact strength. Dog-bone samples and impact test samples conforming to ASTM D638 type IV and ASTM D256 respectively were chosen for experimental testing. Taguchi’s L9 orthogonal array method was utilized to design the experimental runs. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was employed to assess the statistical significance of FDM printing parameters. For single response optimization, the Taguchi-based Signal-to-Noise (S/N) ratios were utilized. To optimize multiple responses, a combination of Multi-Objective Optimization on the basis of Ratio Analysis (MOORA) and Criteria Importance through Inter-criteria Correlation (CRITIC), along with Taguchi-based S/N ratios, was applied. Based on the ANOVA results, flow rate was found to be the most significant parameter affecting all the measured responses, whereas extrusion temperature was found to be insignificant for all measured responses. However, print speed was found to be significant only for surface roughness. The optimized 3D printing process parameters obtained for multi responses were flow rate = 100% (level 2), print speed = 90 mm/s (level 3), and extrusion temperature = 210 (level 2).
Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Multi-Objective Optimization based on Ratio Analysis (MOORA), Criteria Importance through Inter-criteria Correlation (CRITIC), Taguchi Analysis.
Evaluating the Credibility of CSR/Sustainability Reports: A Novel Sustainable Corporate Water Disclosure Framework for the Manufacturing Sector
Due to the large amounts of water needed for production, cooling machinery, and waste disposal, manufacturing companies face a major water management challenge. This stakeholder theory-based study evaluates water management disclosure volume and caliber. Annual, sustainability, and integrated reports from 2017 to 2021 were content analysed to achieve this goal. The study assessed corporate water disclosure and sufficiency using content analysis and benchmarking-scoring. This six-point scale evaluated G4 disclosures according to the Global Reporting Initiative. Qualitative findings showed modest corporate water disclosure for GRI-recommended sustainability indicators. The study found that listed manufacturing companies gradually increased disclosure. The Transparency and Adequacy Index (TAI) Score rose from 5.27 in 2017 to 7.24 in 2021. However, many manufacturing firms shared qualitative information but omitted key water management aspects. These neglected details included water resource impacts, recycling efforts, effluent management, negative effects, and grievance mechanisms. The data was examined using the System Method of Moments (GMM). ISO 14001 certification, water risk sensitivity, international presence, global operations, and Return on Assets (ROA) all predicted corporate water disclosure. ROE, profitability, and Tobin's Q had no significant impact. This paper provides empirical evidence of stakeholder influence on manufacturing water disclosure, making it unique. This study is the first to examine this influence from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. These findings emphasise the need for new, internationally applicable, industry-specific sustainability reporting standards.
Keywords: Corporate Water Management Disclosure; Global Reporting Initiatives; Lower Middle-Income Country; Sustainable Development Goals.

Team Conflict and Social Undermining: A Moderated-Mediated Analysis

Social undermining has emerged as a form of aggression that has been extensively studied in the workplace for over twenty years. Nevertheless, it has been relatively neglected in the realm of managerial research. The aim of this study was to examine how relationship conflict mediates the connection between task conflict and individual social undermining in the organizations and behavioral integrity acts as a moderator between task and relationship conflict. The study was conducted with a specific purpose in mind and utilized a descriptive-survey approach for data collection and statistical analysis. The study's statistical population comprised 227 employees from the healthcare sector of Pakistan. The findings also make a valuable contribution to the study of team conflict and individual social undermining, demonstrating that behavioral integrity moderates negatively impact between task and relationship conflict. These findings provide guidelines for future research in the healthcare industry.
Keywords: Task Conflict, Behavioral Integrity, Relationship Conflict, Social Undermining.

Impact of High Performance Work System on Innovative Performance Outcomes in IT Industry of Pakistan

The research aimed to explore the impact of High-Performance Work Systems, Psychological Empowerment, Critical Reflection, and Knowledge Sharing Behavior on innovative performance in the Pakistani IT industry. Surveying 345 employees, the research found positive relationships between certain sub-variables of HPWS and psychological empowerment, critical reflection, knowledge sharing behavior, and innovative performance outcomes. The findings highlight the importance of strategic human resource practices for organizational success in the Pakistani IT sector. The study recommends understanding the complexities of these interactions to provide practical insights for IT firms in Pakistan. The research highlights the significance of HPWS in enhancing performance and innovation in the Pakistani IT sector, emphasizing the importance of strategic human resource practices.
Keywords: High Performance Work System (HPWS), Psychological Empowerment (PE),Critical Reflection(CR), Knowledge Sharing Behaviour (KSB), Innovative Performance Outcome (IPO), Information Technology (IT) Industry.

Examining the Impact of Age on Corneal Cross Linkage Success: Insights from Mild to Severe Keratoconus Cases in Teenagers and Adults

Keratoconus is a bilateral progressive thinning and ectasia of the cornea that results in blurred vision from irregular astigmatism. The changes may be markedly asymmetric and in advanced disease axial corneal scarring can develop that further reduces vision and is a leading indication for corneal transplantation surgery worldwide. The aim of the study is to determine and compare visual acuity and keratometry reading of keratoconus patients. A cross-sectional study was done in frontier institute of ophthalmology in 6 months of duration. We collected data from 100 patients questionnaire.one questionnaire was filled before Corneal Cross linkage (CXL) procedure another was filled after CXL procedure. Visual acuity was examined through log MAR chart while keratometry reading were taken through keratometry. Among the 100 patients examined, the result demonstrated a significant association between age and CXL success. Teenager patients showed higher rates of treatment success compared to adult patients. Table 3.12, comparison between teenagers and adults, only 1(1.0%) adult had Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), while no teenagers were included in BCVA. 11(11.0%) teenagers had mild Visual Acuity (VA), compared to 6(6.0%) adults. 29(29%) patients had moderate VA, compared to 33(33%) adults. Lastly, 11 teenagers had severe VA, while 9(9.0%) adults had severe VA. Table 3.13, the post-CXL VA comparative analysis, 3(3.0%) teenagers and 5(5.0%) adults had BCVA. For mild VA, 15(15%) teenagers and 12(12%) adults had it.in terms of moderate VA, 23(23%) teenagers and 29(29%) adults had it Lastly, 10(10%) teenagers and 4(4.0%) adults had severe VA These findings suggest that age plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of CXL in managing keratoconus. The impact of age on corneal cross linking (CXL) in keratoconus patients varies teenagers may experience greater stabilization and prevention of deterioration, while adults mainly benefit from slowing down the progression of the condition. Tt is important to note that the success of CXL in both teenagers and adults depends on various factors, including the severity of keratoconus and individual healing abilities. Additionally regular follow-ups, appointments and ongoing care are crucial for monitoring the effectiveness of CXL and ensuring the long-term stability of the cornea.
Keywords: Keratoconus, Corneal Cross linkage, Visual Acuity, Keratometry Readings.
A Descriptive Study of Consumer Acceptance of E-Banking in Pakistan
Electronic banking has transformed the consumer banking experience in Pakistan and globally. Present study proposes to explore the e-banking experience of consumers in Pakistan and identify the factors pivotal to acceptance of e-banking services among consumers in Pakistan. A cross-sectional survey design was employed to study a selected sample of 440 active bank customers from different areas of Pakistan selected through purposive sampling technique. The sample included representation of both women and men with mean age of 31 (SD= 10.03) years. A majority of the participants were frequent users of e-banking services and used it for various purposes. Perceived usefulness, trust, ease of use, safety and reliability were found to be affecting the frequency at which e-banking services were utilized. Results revealed significant gender differences in preferences of e-banking adoption. Residential settings, educational level and income of consumers were noted to be associated with varying aspects of e-banking adoption. The findings of the present study provided useful insights into the factors that shape consumers' e-banking adoption decisions and will be helpful for banks to tailor their services and marketing efforts in order to meet the preferences and needs of their customers.
Keywords: Electronic Banking, Consumer Acceptance, E-banking Adoption, Consumer Satisfaction, Ease of Use, Safety, Accessibility.

Relation between Different Grades of Pterygium and Amount of Induced Corneal Astigmatism

A growth of fibrovascular tissue that extends onto the cornea is called pterygium. One of the major issues of patients with pterygium is blurred vision. In advanced cases, impaired vision can occur as a result of pterygium growing directly to cover the pupil. However, in less severe cases, pterygium may also indirectly impair vision through elevated pressure and corneal surface deformation that results in ocular abnormalities. The study aimed to find out the relation of different grades of pterygium with corneal astigmatism. Eyes of 41 patients with unilateral pterygium of different grades were examined. best corrected visual acuity was measured using Snellen visual acuity chart. Sizes of pterygium was evaluated using slit-lamp, (pterygium was graded depending on the extent of corneal involvement) and keratometry was done to find the corneal astigmatism. Pterygium of grade I produces mild astigmatism (1.00 to 2.00 diopters) in 18 patients, grade Ⅱ produces moderate astigmatism (2.00 to 4'00 diopters) in 12 patients. Severs astigmatism (>4.00 diopters) in only 3 patients, common grade of pterygium was grade Ⅰ present in 61% (25) of patients. grade Ⅱ in 31.7% (13) of patients, grade Ⅲ in 7.3% (3) of patients. pterygiums induce 78% (32) of with the- rule astigmatism, 4.9% (2) of oblique astigmatism, 17.1% (7) of against the rule astigmatism. In majority of the patient’s common grade of pterygium was grade Ⅱ, and commonly produces mild astigmatism of 1.2D, and the grade increases degree of astigmatism also increases. Pterygium induces with the rule astigmatism and as the corneal involvement increases, degree of astigmatism also increases. Most of the pterygium patients working areas was outdoor and most of them were not using sunglasses or hat.
Keywords: Pterygium, Astigmatism, Corneal Topography, Visual Acuity.

Empowering Women for Environmental Stewardship: Curriculum Integration for Water Conservation in Women Universities of Pakistan

Water scarcity and environmental degradation present formidable global challenges, necessitating immediate attention and the pursuit of sustainable solutions. Recognizing the pivotal role of women's empowerment in fostering and advancing the environmental stewardship, this research focuses on the unique contribution of Pakistan's women universities as substantial higher educational institutions. These women universities can play a distinctive role in shaping the perspectives, behaviors and actions of their female students, particularly in the crucial domain of water conservation. This research article delves into the specific role of women universities of Pakistan in addressing the water scarcity concerns due to climate change and serious initiatives taken by administration to prepare the graduates for imminent environmental challenges. The research further explores the measures taken by these higher education institutions to assimilate water conservation awareness among female apprentices. The emphasis is on accepting a feminist approach to examine and improve the structure of environmental education at university level. This study rigorously examines the influence of academic initiatives, empowerment strategies and institutional policies and in imparting a sense of responsibility toward better water conservation among women. By using a qualitative analysis framework that deliberates experiences, observations, and educational practices, and perceptions, the article seeks to contribute meaningfully to the connection of climate change, water conservation, gender education, and environmental sustainability. The results aim to augment our understanding of operative plans to energize environmental consciousness among women, mainly within the setting of water conservation.
Keywords: Environmental Stewardship, Global Challenges, Institutional Policies, Water Conservation, Water Scarcity, Women Empowerment, Women Universities.

Tracing the Preference for Madrissah Education in Rural Areas. A Case Study of Faisalabad District

Islamic education means how to act according to the principles of Islam i.e. culture. It also indicates how to understand the worldly affairs in sense of Islamic perspectives as social being. For this aim, religious schools (Madrasas) are main source of getting Qurani education. In which, belief in glory of God is thought by the students. The main characteristics of madrasa residence, dress and food even all commodities of human being are provided to poor students who get education in these madrasas which are responsible for distribution. All expenses are denoted by noble persons of Allah from honest means through Zakat and Sadqat which are a source of their relevance in dooms day. For the progress of Muslim community, madrasa’s education offers a lot of opportunities to Muslims socially, economically and morally. It shows the laws of justice, sympathy, friendship, harmony, forgiveness and basic tenets of Islam which propagate Islamic ideology. Multi stage sampling technique was used for this study. At first stage, District Faisalabad and was selected through purposive sampling technique. At the second stage, four Madrasa (JamiaQasmia, JamiaSalfia, JamiaRazvia and Madrasa AlhyTashi from Faisalabad Tehsil was selected through convenient sampling techniques. At final stage; a sample of 100 respondents were selected through convenient sampling technique from the Districts (25 from each). The data were collected during summer break and interview was taken from respondents at their availability in Madras. A comprehensive questionnaire was constructed for data collection, and then the responses were expressed and tabulated in term of percentage. Thus the collected data were analyzed by using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences). Stusdents were the respondents of the study. The results showed that a huge majority of the respondents 57 percent in Tehsil Faisalabad belonged to age group 12-15 years. Majority of the respondents 58.7 percent had formal schooling at the level of primary school before joining the Madrasas for religious education. 78.6 percent students belonged to those parents who had the income bout 15000-20000 rupees which was insufficient to meet their end. A huge majority of the respondents about 82 percent had their parental influence to join madrasa. A huge majority of respondents 97.6 percent had the knowledge of sects. Majority of respondents about 94 percent said that the education of JIHAD and extremism was not being taught in madrasa. Government along with public should help the madrasa through funding the make the madrasa education bettersss. The head of Madaras should follow the real instruction of Islam to spread Islamic education.

Keywords: Madrissah, Education, Rural, Areas, Faisalabad.

Impact of Corporate Governance on Capital Structure, Firm Performance, and Risk of Firms: Empirical Evidence of the Listed Cement Industry of Pakistan

The primary objective of this research is to examine corporate governance (CG), capital structure, financial performance (FP), and risk within the context of Pakistani cement companies. The scholarly discourse has mostly overlooked the correlation between corporate governance (CG) and solvency risk, despite prior research on CG and FP (FP), as well as capital structure. There is a lack of academic research that has explored the role of capital structure in mediating credit risk, financial risk, and solvency risk. This research uses descriptive and explanatory methodologies. This research used panel data analysis to examine annual reports of cement companies in Pakistan, as well as reports from the Pakistan State Bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The data set covers the time from 2015 to 2020. The current investigation employs descriptive and explanatory methodologies due to limitations in the existing literature. On the basis of the findings of the research, there exists a correlation between certain computer graphics (CG) features and the use of a first-person (FP) viewpoint. The present research investigates the influence of insider directors, institutional shareholdings (IS), board independence (BI), audit committee size (AC), and board size (BS). In contrast, it may be shown that the solvency risk (SRP) remained unaffected by corporate governance (CG). Research also shows that capital structure (CS) has a positive impact on FP (FP). There was no substantial decrease in SRP. According to several studies, the capital structure plays a crucial role in facilitating capital growth, enhancing FP, and mitigating solvency risks. This research provides empirical evidence in favor of agency theory and offers insight into the interplay of corporate governance, capital structure, FP, and risk within the cement sector. These findings have the potential to provide valuable information for business policymakers and professionals, helping them make informed decisions. The research highlights the importance of corporate governance practices, such as board size, representation of insiders and independent directors, and the effectiveness of the audit committee. These practices have been shown to enhance FP, mitigate solvency risk, and reduce the level of debt in the capital structure. Practises such as the establishment of an audit committee, the determination of an optimal board size, and the inclusion of a balanced composition of both insider and independent directors are often observed in corporate governance.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, FP, Capital Structure, Solvency Risk Protection, Agency Theory.


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