Now showing items 21-40 of 41

    • Chinese College Students’gender Self-Esteem and Transprejudice

      Chen, Bing
      The aim of this study was to examine transprejudice of college students from mainland China. Moreover, this study allowed us to determine if gender self-esteem, which may contribute to transprejudice in Western countries or individualistic societies, is also a significant contributor to transprejudice in mainland China, or a collectivistic society. We explored possible gender differences in transprejudice, and possible differences in prejudice towards transwomen and transmen. Additionally, we used Social Identity Theory to examine the possible relationship between gender self-esteem and transprejudice. Hypotheses were as follows: 1) heterosexual men would endorse more transprejudice than heterosexual women; 2) heterosexual men and women would report more prejudice against transwomen than transmen; and 3) heterosexual men who endorse higher levels of gender self-esteem would endorse more transprejudice, whereas heterosexual women’s transprejudice would not be related to their gender self-esteem. The final sample consisted of 148 college students from mainland China. Participants completed the Chinese versions of the Genderism and Transphobia Scale, the Collective Self-Esteem Scale, the Social Desirability-17 Scale, and the demographic questionnaire. The results demonstrated that men reported more transprejudice than women. Moreover, women reported more violence towards, teasing of, and discomfort with transwomen than transmen. Men also reported more teasing of and discomfort with transwomen than transmen, but men’s violence rating did not discriminate significantly between transwomen and transmen. Furthermore, gender self-esteem was not a predictor of transprejudice for men or for women. Because so far no research on transprejudice has been conducted on samples from mainland China, this study may contribute to the literature of transprejudice in China and to the cross-cultural research on transprejudice. This study may also contribute to the awareness of what factors can affect Chinese people’s prejudice and violence against transpeople, which in turn can lead to more effective interventions to decrease transprejudice in mainland China.
    • Identifying Innovative Work Behaviors: An Inquiry Using Critical Incident Technique

      Peffers, Samuel N.
      Innovation is a driving force in economic activity and often considered essential for organizational health and growth; therefore, a better understanding of the employee behaviors that supervisors most frequently associate with employee innovativeness, innovative work behaviors, has the potential to be very beneficial. Although much has been written about it, most previous work has focused on behavior categories or dimensions without seeking to observe or understand how innovative work behavior is manifested in the workplace. Critical incident technique is a well-established and extensively applied method of inquiry for determining effective work role behaviors, but it has not previously been applied well to the study of innovative work behavior. This study applied critical incident technique to collect first hand behavior observations in the places where innovative work behavior occurs. A better understanding of the discrete behaviors associated with workplace innovation can assist Human Resources Development practitioners and educators in administering innovation focused training and development initiatives. The research presented in this dissertation indicates that what supervisors within organizations with a stated innovation orientation perceive as effective innovative work behavior can be summarized as four primary behaviors: generating ideas, recognizing problems or opportunities, acquiring ideas from sources external to the employee’s immediate work organization, and promoting ideas to others within the work organization.
    • Impact of ISO 9001 Certification on United States Firms’ Financial Performance

      Aba, Eli Kofi
      One of the greatest demands in our global economy that have compelled firms to invest increasingly in resources for the enhancement of their management practices is organizational competitiveness. Standards have played an increasingly important role in economic and market globalization. Studies on the financial impact of ISO 9001 on firms are still inadequate to make definitive conclusions on the financial impact of ISO 9001 on firms. Furthermore, there is no clear position on the financial benefits of ISO 9001 standard in literature. Therefore, the researcher investigated the impact of ISO 9001 certification on United States firms’ financial performance for a period of five years including one-year prior to certification, year of certification, and three fiscal years after certification. A sample of 397 firms that had received ISO 9001 certification from 1991 to 2002 was examined. Certified-firm and non-certified-firm operating performances were examined over the same period based on the ratio of pre-tax operating income to total assets (EBITA/TA). Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to test for significant differences in operating performance between the firms. There was significant improvement performance from prior year to year of certification. The certified firms performed better in the five-year period than the non-certified and the matched-control firms.
    • A Study of a Computer-Aided Performance Rating Process and the Associated Process Improvement Opportunities

      Chow, Timothy
      Academic quality measurement through assessing student learning outcomes targets the crux of teaching and learning activities undertaken by higher education institutions. With the proliferation of information and instructional technology, authentic assessments of student academic performance by utilizing a computer-aided performance rating process offer promises of more precise and actionable information to educators for making informed quality improvement decisions on curricular changes and a viable alternative to standardized tests. This pilot research study examined the validity and reliability of a computer-aided performance rating process. Furthermore, this research offered information to the educational community on the feasibility of adapting a scalable performance measurement solution and its implications for improving academic quality.
    • Feasibility Study of Residential Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaic Systems in the State of Indiana

      Al-Odeh, Mahmoud
      This study aims to measure the financial viability of installing and using a residential grid-connected PV system in the State of Indiana while predicting its performance in eighteen geographical locations within the state over the system’s expected lifetime. The null hypothesis of the study is that installing a PV system for a single family residence in the State of Indiana will not pay for itself within 25 years. Using a systematic approach consisting of six steps, data regarding the use of renewable energy in the State of Indiana was collected from the website of the US Department of Energy to perform feasibility analysis of the installation and use of a standard-sized residential PV system. The researcher was not able to reject the null hypothesis that installing a PV system for a single family residence in the State of Indiana will not pay for itself within 25 years. This study found that the standard PV system does not produce a positive project balance and does not pay for itself within 25 years (the life time of the system) assuming the average cost of a system. The government incentive programs are not enough to offset the cost of installing the system against the cost of the electricity that would not be purchased from the utility company. It can be concluded that the cost of solar PV is higher than the market valuation of the power it produces; thus, solar PV did not compete on the cost basis with the traditional competitive energy sources. Reducing the capital cost will make the standard PV system economically viable in Indiana. The study found that the capital cost for the system should be reduced by 15% - 56%.
    • Organizations as Consumers of Human Capital Via Technology: A Policy Study of Information And Communication Technologies

      Zuppo, Colrain M.
      Organizations are consumers of human capital through technological means. Flexibility in work hours and locations can assist employee productivity; however, it can also foster a blurred distinction between work time and personal time (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Employees are given the tools to stay connected outside of a straightforward 40 hour work week in the name of enhanced productivity and/or flexibility with regard to their work arrangements. Organizational policies regarding ICTs have been limited to proscriptive measures (e.g. prohibiting installation of specific applications or downloads) as opposed to providing managerial parameters in the form of formal or informal policies.The purpose of this research was to provide a view of the multifaceted problem of managing technology (specifically ICTs) while balancing the needs of the humans within organizations who utilize those technologies. This dissertation investigated whether or not organizations have policies concerning employees’ constant connectivity to work during non-working hours through ICTs. This research also examined whether HR professionals, who would typically be involved in the formation of organizational policy, anticipated the formation and adoption of policies regarding employees’ usage of organizationally-provided/subsidized ICTs during non-working hours. Based upon data collected, a framework for a best-practices policy model was developed.
    • A Study in the Difference of Warranty Failures of Common Platform Different Brand Name Dishwashing Appliances

      Baker, Nathan
      There is a significant resource cost in the development of products. To minimize the resource cost and maximize the return on investment many companies develop several new products from one common platform. Common platforms spread across several separate brands. Different branding has different customers that have different perceptions of quality. Customers view quality as a mix of utility and reliability, and expect high reliability during the warranty period. It is often assumed by the developer the quality cost will be equal among each brand. Using the warranty data of a common platform dishwashing appliance the hypothesis was derived there is non-similar warranty costing between common platforms, but different brands. The factors and variables that affect the different warranty rates are also studied. This study focus is on two home appliance brands manufactured and marketed in North America. Both brands are produced in the same factories, and were designed concurrently to utilize as many common components and manufacturing techniques as possible. The study variables include: part replacement, service type, and type of failure. The assessment methods are hypothesis testing based on the company provided parametric and non-parametric variable data. Based on the results of this study it will be known if there is a warranty cost percentage associated with a product based purely on brand name or other variables.
    • A Comparative Case Study Analysis of Administrators Perceptions on the Adaptation of Quality and Continuous Improvement Tools To Community Colleges in the State Of Michigan

      Mattis, Ted B.
      The purpose of this study was to determine whether community college administrators in the state of Michigan believe that commonly known quality and continuous improvement tools, prevalent in a manufacturing environment, can be adapted to a community college model. The tools, specifically Six Sigma, benchmarking and process mapping have played a critical role in improving performance in the manufacturing sector. In 2008, the Obama administration made restoration of America’s educational prominence a campaign promise and committed to the development of the American Graduation Initiative, a $12 billion plan to reform U.S. community colleges to be executed over the next decade. The outcome of this research study will help to prove whether administrators believe that continuous improvement and quality tools commonly found in manufacturing can be adapted to Michigan community colleges. The proposed tool for the study of the research problem was a mixed model Delphi study and a Pearson Correlation Coefficient. The stakes for this research are high for community colleges. The promise of President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative put continuous improvement and measures of academic quality in the national spotlight. The results of the study indicate that, in the opinions of administrators, quality and continuous improvement tools that have been proven successful in other industries such as benchmarking, process mapping and Six Sigma can be assimilated into community colleges in the state of Michigan.
    • The Study of Collective Actions in a University Anchored Community Wireless Network

      Kuchibhotla, Hari N.
      The emergence of wireless devices and the ease in setting up wireless devices has created opportunities for various entities, and in particular to universities, by partnering with their local communities in the form of a university anchored community wireless network. This provides opportunities for students to be part of the community-based initiatives, and universities can use the network as a source to fund some of its research. The main issue with university anchored community wireless is not technical but social in that student involvement is crucial and their contributions are necessary. This study employed empirical research methods on participants to understand the factors that influence the student participation and its significance on the collective actions. This involved analyzing five distinctive elements that were essential in understanding the collective actions, namely behavioral intention, attitude towards technology, facilitating conditions, impediments, and student participation. The research results revealed that the students expressed interest in participation, facilitating conditions, followed by attitude towards technology, then behavioral intention as the most important factors, whereas impediments was statistically insignificant for them. The research results also revealed that the majority of the participants were interested in being part of the community wireless networks and almost all the participants expressed their intention to contribute to the success of this initiative.
    • An Investigation of the Awareness of Recycling Services at Student Family Housing Units

      Aba, Eli Kofi
      This research investigated the awareness of recycling programs at student family housing units at Indiana State University. The purpose of this research was to find out the awareness of recycling in these areas. It allowed the researcher to examine the recycling awareness among other variables such as willingness to take part in pickup and willingness to take part in drop-off, among students at these areas. The researcher employed IRB (Institutional Review Board) approved survey to survey students who resided in four units, and who were willing to participate in the study. An introduction of the researcher, his background and objectives of the study, along with contact information of the researcher, the committee chair, and the IRB was given to each participant The researcher used systematic sampling to sample the population to get the 240 sample size. Based on a coin toss, every odd apartment number from the apartment numbers of the family housing units was selected for the one-month survey. The data was coded into value labels and recorded in SPSS for a statistical analysis. Bar charts, chi-square, and cross-tabulations were used for the analysis of the data at 0.05 significance levels. Descriptively, 59 % family housing residents were not aware of recycling program. However, 88 % of them believed that recycling would help them dispose of their trash. 78 % of them were willing to take part in pickup, while 70 % would also do so in drop-off. About 45 % were confident that the recycling center would recycle the materials they sorted for recycling,while 22 % recorded inconvenience as the reason for not taking part in both pickup and drop-off programs. About 34 % wanted ISU authorities to promote pickup recycling in order to make recycling appealing or convenient to them. All the null hypotheses were retained except there were statistically significant differences between the awareness of recycling center, awareness of recycling program, willingness to take part in pickup, willingness to take part in drop-off counts and the two categories of nationality of students, and the awareness of recycling center and gender counts.
    • An Investigative Study of Contract Administration Practices of General Contractors on Federal and State DOT Projects.

      Okere, George Okechukwu
      Department of transportation (DOT) projects in the U.S. are plagued by issues resulting from poor contract administration performance. Literature reveals that there are unanswered questions related to contract administration practices and performance. Some of the most pronounced issues include construction disputes and litigation, failure rate of contractors, contractor misconduct and false claims, and the ability to staff projects properly. This study investigated the relationship between contract administration practices and contract administration performance of general contractors on federal and state DOT projects in the U.S. The overall research question addressed in this study was: "Is there a relationship between contract administration practices and contract administration performance of general contractors on federal and state DOT projects in the U.S.?" Data for this study was obtained from 20 state DOTs, and comprised of 86 samples. Based on the research question, the study’s hypotheses were derived from the literature, and a quantitative correlational research design method was used to investigate the relationship between the dependent variable (contract administration performance) and the independent variables (management attitude towards contract risks, contract provisions for mitigating contract risks, stability of scope definition, contract administration infrastructure, resource allocation strategy, and competency of contract administrators). The first key finding was that a significant correlation existed between contract administration performance and resource allocation strategy. The second key finding from the study was that the average cycle time from discovery to execution of change order was two (2) months, and this can be used as the baseline for evaluating performance level. The third key finding from the study was that on average the practices in the questionnaire were applicable to more than 84 percent of the respondents, which confirms that the practices do apply to most state DOTs, and can be streamlined by each state DOT for performance evaluation. The study’s findings showed that there was no significant positive correlation between contract administration performance and management attitude towards contract risks, contract provisions for mitigating contract risks, stability of scope definition, contract administration infrastructure, and competency of contract administrators. A predictive model was not developed because an investigation using regression analysis revealed that the collected data were not suitable for development of a predictive model. The collected data for this study shows patterns that support only one of the six hypothesized relationships and further study was recommended. Using power analysis, the sample size for this study was calculated to be 100 samples; however, only 66 of 86 collected samples met the requirements for use in inferential statistical analysis. It is expected that with a larger sample size, the variant scenarios and patterns will become evident, and a statistical analysis could confirm the relationships and a predictive model could be developed.
    • Sustainable Building Codes: How the Perceptions of Building Code Officials Influence Their Intent to Adopt the International Green Construction Code

      Sauer, Aaron D.
      Sustainable practice is a prominent issue that is being driven by an array of contemporary concerns. The transition from traditional practices to sustainable design and construction will require action on many fronts. Change must occur in social, economic, and political-legislative spheres. In the design and construction field, a prominent aspect of the political-legislative landscape is building code enforcement. While sustainability is a prominent issue in the construction industry, it is frequently practiced on an elective basis. However, the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), developed by the International Code Council (ICC), will impose mandatory green construction standards in jurisdictions that choose to adopt the code. Building on the existing theories and literature, the problem of the study was to investigate how building code officials’ perceptions of key attributes influence their intent to adopt the IGCC. The research design employed an online survey instrument for the collection of quantitative data. A random sample of building code officials from Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska participated in the study. The data revealed that code officials’ perceptions of relative advantage of the IGCC are the single significant predictor of intent to adopt. The majority of code officials also reported a preference for full adoption of the IGCC as opposed to a trial period where the code could be used on an elective basis. Based on the findings of this study, proponents of sustainable construction practices will be better prepared to promote the application of sustainable building regulations at the local level.
    • An Examination of the Relationship between Transformational Leadership Tendencies and Safety Outcomes in Selected Manufacturing Settings

      Boroughf, Barbara J.
      Each year about 6 to 8 percent of the U.S. workforce sustains a work related injury of which 3 to 4 percent of the injured population ends up losing time from work due to the severity of the injury (National Safety Council [NSC], 2011). According to the NSC Injury Facts (2011), every 147 minutes in the United States, a worker will be fatally injured, and every six seconds a worker will sustain an injury that is serious enough to require medical treatment. There is a wide variability in safety performance among organizations. Studies have found there is a relationship between transformational leadership and an organization’s safety climate and safety culture (Barling, Loughlin, & Kelloway, 2002; Kelloway, Mullen, & Francis, 2006). Safety climate and leadership studies have centered around cultural aspects of safety rather than examining leadership styles in relation to safety outcomes as determined by Incidence Rates, DART Rates, Severity Rates, and leadership style (Barling et al., 2002; Kelloway et al., 2006). The overall purpose of this study was to investigate the role of managing a manufacturing organization and the impact of the leadership style on the safety of employees. The purpose was to examine a specific leadership style and its relationship with safety outcomes as measured by Incidence Rate and Frequency Rate within a manufacturing organization. Further, the study was to determine if there was an association between a plant manager’s transformational leadership tendencies and the safety outcomes of the associated organization as measured by Incident Rate and Frequency Rate.Manufacturing plants from U.S. automotive manufacturing organizations were asked to participate in the study and the focus was on the plant managers from each facility. Direct-report managers from U.S. facilities were asked to complete the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Rater Form (5X-Short) (MLQ) for the plant manager to whom they directly reported. The researcher used an email campaign to administer the questionnaire. Safety performance data for each facility was obtained from the 2010 OSHA Occupational Injury and Illness Log Form 300. Hours worked, to calculate Incidence and Frequency Rate, were also collected from each facility. Data were analyzed to determine if there was a statistically significant association between leadership behaviors and safety performance. Findings and suggestions for further research are discussed.
    • An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Corporate Communication During Large-Scale Information Technology Changes

      Drum, Dawna M.
      The success rate of information technology implementations remains low, despite decades of scholarly research and popular advice. Whether success is defined by spending within the budget, on-time completion, functionality of the final implementation, or satisfaction of the users, few projects are deemed to be complete and resounding successes. One possible reason is inadequate communication during the change process, and many studies have examined aspects of change communication such as media choice, message content, and timing of the messages. What has been missing, however, is an assessment of these items‟ effectiveness across hierarchical levels within an organization undergoing an important technology change. Most previous studies have focused on the perceptions and actions of managers, even though it is the non-managerial employees who determine the ultimate success of the implementation in daily use. The intent of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of organization-wide change communication at all hierarchical levels to determine differences in perceptions as well as differences in actual effectiveness, through the use of established quantitative tools and qualitative methods. Employing a modified case study approach, two organizations (a mid-sized public university and a food processing organization) were studied during the implementation of a major IT change. It was hypothesized that the perceived effectiveness of media, content and timing that had been used when communicating about change would have an effect on the actual effectiveness of communication, as measured by several questions specific to each organization‟s current project. Results revealed that perceived effectiveness of media was the only factor that had a significant effect on the actual effectiveness of communication. Contributions of this study include formalizing a mechanism for evaluating employee preferences for communication and the actual effectiveness of change communication, as well as providing potential insights into ways to improve communication practices during large-scale IT implementations.
    • A Study of How Model-centric Engineering Relates to Time-to-Market and Agility to Accommodate Customer-Required Changes

      Schroeder, Craig A.
      As customers increasingly demand immediate product variation, companies are required to shorten product design and manufacturing life cycles to remain competitive. The ability to respond quickly to continuous and unexpected change is the key to success in the manufacturing industry (Yu, Liu, & Chen, 2005). As a result, manufacturing firms are using model-centric engineering (MCE) in product development to remain competitive in their ever-changing global environment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the use of model-centric engineering and a firm’s competitiveness as defined by time-to-market and agility to accommodate customer-required changes. The study focused on two areas. The first area of focus defined the current model-centric environment in the manufacturing industry by factors such as level of MCE usage, years of MCE experience, discrete employee MCE job functions, and extent of MCE implementation. The second area of focus concentrated on MCE utilization as it relates to a company’s competitiveness. This relationship was achieved by comparing a firm’s level of MCE usage to its time-to-market, agility to accommodate customer-required changes, and company sales. Contingency tables, Fisher’s exact test of significance and logistic regression were used to test hypotheses comparing the relationships of key variables. From the results of this study it was concluded that there are some relationships between variables of MCE and a firm’s competitiveness defined by the initial time-to-market and the firm’s agility to accommodate customer-required changes. These relationships concerning MCE were not based upon the software itself that supports this method but more from the MCE’s relationship with the firm’s business systems. Over 75% of the issues logged by the survey relate to a firm’s way of managing MCE and not the functionality of the software. Through hypothesis testing, items such as co-location of engineers, training of employees, and consistency of implementation and usage of the MCE tools were found both to have impact on time-to-market and the agility to accommodate customer-required change. Per the survey results, 45% of the engineers located in the same building tend to have quicker time-to-market than did engineers segregated in a different location. Proper training and implementation is also important to create and sustain an educated workforce in an MCE environment. Even though 83% of the respondents indicated their staff received training, several of the issues of MCE led back to training-related items. A MCE methodology is more than having capable computer-aided tools for the design and process development. MCE requires a strong foundation of policies, procedures, and protocol to allow the computer-aided software to function as it is intended and not hampered by a restrictive or unorganized business system.
    • A Study of the Relationship in Financial Performance, Organization size, Business Classification, and Program Maturity of Six Sigma Systems

      Olson, Diane J.
      United States companies are facing increased competition as business continues to grow globally. This is true for large companies and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations. To remain competitive, organizations need to improve product value, technology, customization, service, and turnaround time while reducing costs and increasing innovation. Many large manufacturers have turned to Six Sigma as a quality method to guide improvement efforts. Reported results have been significant in terms of cost reduction and the bottom line. Leaders in Six Sigma efforts have been Motorola, General Electric (GE), Allied Signal, Honeywell, and Ford. These manufacturers are all large in size. SMEs have not implemented Six Sigma to the same degree as large organizations due to limited resources and capacity to successfully deploy and sustain Six Sigma. Similarly, manufacturing led the way and non-manufacturers are now beginning to implement Six Sigma systems. As more SMEs and non-manufacturers launch Six Sigma efforts, new challenges are encountered. Quality authorities have found Six Sigma to have a positive impact on the bottom line financial performance of large manufacturing organizations. However, it is unknown if there is a positive impact to the financial performance of SMEs and non-manufacturers implementing Six Sigma. This study examined the relationships in financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity for Six Sigma systems. A sample of 606 individuals were surveyed based on a distribution list generated with membership from the American Society of Quality (ASQ), United States companies are facing increased competition as business continues to grow globally. This is true for large companies and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations. To remain competitive, organizations need to improve product value, technology, customization, service, and turnaround time while reducing costs and increasing innovation. Many large manufacturers have turned to Six Sigma as a quality method to guide improvement efforts. Reported results have been significant in terms of cost reduction and the bottom line. Leaders in Six Sigma efforts have been Motorola, General Electric (GE), Allied Signal, Honeywell, and Ford. These manufacturers are all large in size. SMEs have not implemented Six Sigma to the same degree as large organizations due to limited resources and capacity to successfully deploy and sustain Six Sigma. Similarly, manufacturing led the way and non-manufacturers are now beginning to implement Six Sigma systems. As more SMEs and non-manufacturers launch Six Sigma efforts, new challenges are encountered. Quality authorities have found Six Sigma to have a positive impact on the bottom line financial performance of large manufacturing organizations. However, it is unknown if there is a positive impact to the financial performance of SMEs and non-manufacturers implementing Six Sigma. This study examined the relationships in financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity for Six Sigma systems. A sample of 606 individuals were surveyed based on a distribution list generated with membership from the American Society of Quality (ASQ),United States companies are facing increased competition as business continues to grow globally. This is true for large companies and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations. To remain competitive, organizations need to improve product value, technology, customization, service, and turnaround time while reducing costs and increasing innovation. Many large manufacturers have turned to Six Sigma as a quality method to guide improvement efforts. Reported results have been significant in terms of cost reduction and the bottom line. Leaders in Six Sigma efforts have been Motorola, General Electric (GE), Allied Signal, Honeywell, and Ford. These manufacturers are all large in size. SMEs have not implemented Six Sigma to the same degree as large organizations due to limited resources and capacity to successfully deploy and sustain Six Sigma. Similarly, manufacturing led the way and non-manufacturers are now beginning to implement Six Sigma systems. As more SMEs and non-manufacturers launch Six Sigma efforts, new challenges are encountered. Quality authorities have found Six Sigma to have a positive impact on the bottom line financial performance of large manufacturing organizations. However, it is unknown if there is a positive impact to the financial performance of SMEs and non-manufacturers implementing Six Sigma. This study examined the relationships in financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity for Six Sigma systems. A sample of 606 individuals were surveyed based on a distribution list generated with membership from the American Society of Quality (ASQ),iSixSigma organization (iSixSigma, n.d.), and the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)/MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) organization (NIST, 2009). Regression was utilized to evaluate relationships between financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity. The relationships between financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity were not significant. Additionally, the majority of respondents rated their organizations at a program maturity level 4. The study results showed no apparent relationship between Six Sigma program maturity, program maturity level, organization size, and business classification.
    • Diversity and Inclusion in The Information Technology Industry: Relating Perceptions and Expectations to Demographic Dimensions

      Wikina, Suanu Bliss
      The American society, especially the workplace, is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, culture, national origin, sexual orientation, familial status, age, religion, disability, and educational attainment (where there are people from different backgrounds and cultures the potential for suspicion and prejudices occur). This study examines diversity and inclusion in the information technology sector and assesses whether differences in group members perceptions and expectations are influenced by gender, race/ethnicity, position, and educational status. This study adopts a descriptive, quantitative approach utilizing a survey in the form of a questionnaire constructed using the Web-based survey software SurveyMonkey. This researcher designed a 12-item instrument administered to information technology (IT) professionals who are members of a national IT association. Statistical analyses, including descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and t-tests were used to answer the research questions. It was found that perceptions and expectations of diversity and inclusion initiatives within the IT industry do not differ significantly by race/ethnicity, gender, education, and position. Details of the results, limitations, recommendations for future research, and applications for practice in organizations by human resources development professionals and technology managers are discussed.
    • Quality System for A Distance Doctoral Consortium: Determination and Analysis of Specific Indicators

      Chandler, Mark R.
      The problem for this research was that there were no identified and confirmed quality system model attributes for a successful online technology management doctoral consortium. The research extended existing research, and utilized a delphi panel to develop the attributes of a quality system model for a successful online doctoral consortium. The attributes of a quality system were developed by a three round delphi procedure and were used to develop a survey to determine perceived quality system differences among faculty, Ph.D. graduates, and current Ph.D. students associated with the Indiana State University (ISU) at Terre Haute Technology Management Ph.D. Consortium program. A proposed graphical quality system model capable of supporting the attributes of an online doctoral consortium was developed and utilized with the study and survey. Hypotheses testing and statistical analysis of the online survey were done to determine perceived quality system differences among faculty, Ph.D. graduates, and current Ph.D. students associated with the ISU Technology Management Ph.D. Consortium program. The research has indicated that there is a significant difference in the level of agreement the faculty expressed with regards to the ISU Technology Management Ph.D. Consortium in comparison to two other major Ph.D. consortium groups, the graduates and the students. While there was statistical evidence of differences in the three groups of faculty, graduates and students in the ISU Technology Management Ph.D. Consortium program, it was relatively minor. Twelve of the 63 quality indicators from the survey show some type of statistically significant difference in paired combination of faculty-student, faculty-graduate, student-graduate.
    • An Experimental Study on Reducing the Formation of Dross when Cutting 1018 HR Steel Using a CNC Plasma Cutter

      DeVore, Michael E
      Many manufacturers who cut metal use plasma arc cutting as part of their manufacturing process. Plasma cutters use electricity and pressurized gas to produce a temperature of up to 50,000 ºF at the cutting tip. These plasma cutters can rapidly cut through metals as much as 12 inches thick. The use of computer numerical controlled (CNC) plasma cutters allow manufacturers to rapidly cut even very intricate and detailed flat parts. This process is a tremendous improvement over traditional torch cutting, saw cutting, or other machining processes for producing near net shapes. It is faster and less expensive than most of the alternative processes available. There are several processing and quality factors that must be addressed when using a plasma cutter. The most common problem with plasma cutting is the formation of dross (resolidified metal) on the cut edge. The formation of dross on plasma-cut parts creates several problems in the manufacturing process. By carefully controlling the operating parameters, the formation of dross on the work piece can be minimized, which greatly increases the quality of the part and the efficiency of the production process. Efficient operation of a CNC plasma cutter to minimize the formation of dross requires controlling several variables in the process. These variables include: material type and thickness, arc current (amperage), cutting speed, cutting-gas pressure, cutting tip size, and the gap between the cutting tip and the work piece. Experience with plasma arc cutting and research on the subject reveals that the variables that most affect the formation of dross are arc current, cutting speed, material thickness, and nozzle size. A study involving these four variables will be performed to determine the optimum setup for the CNC plasma cutter to minimize the formation of dross.