Print ISSN: 2204-1990

Online ISSN: 1323-6903

Volume 15, Issue 1

Volume 15, Issue 1, Summer and Autumn 2009

Indigenous Employment: The Rio Tinto Alcan Initiative in Northern Australia

Sandra Daff, Cecil A.L. Pearson

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 1-20

Recognising that the low labour force participation rate is a primary factor underpinning the significant disadvantages experienced by Indigenous Australians, the Federal Government has targeted job creation through three main avenues: creating the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme; expressing commitment to developing business opportunities for economic independence; and strengthening a prevailing assumption that the mining industry will provide Indigenous people in remote areas with employment. This paper reports that: the restructuring of CDEP will lessen employment opportunities for Indigenous people; Indigenous entrepreneurship has not been significant in generating income for Aboriginal people in rural areas; and Australian mining being a substantial employer of Indigenous people in remote areas is yet to be realised. Acknowledging that further research and monitoring is warranted, this paper describes the employment outcomes of Indigenous people who participated in a vocationaleducational program conducted by the multinational mining company Rio Tinto Alcan at the remote centre of Nhulunbuy in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Education Policy Reform in South Africa: A Case Study on Leading Change

Kandy Dayaram

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 21-32

Despite the wide array of studies investigating issues pertaining to leading change, the juggernaut of organisational change continues to be pervasive within the literature. This paper presents empirical evidence of change leadership within the context of education policy reforms in a developing country such as South Africa. The conceptual framework employed to present this evidence and assess the effectiveness of implementing change is the Five-P model. Recent national reforms in South Africa have been accompanied by a re-evaluation of the parity of educational institutions, particularly policies centred on redress and equity of past practices. The results indicate that change leaders are far from transforming their organisations in the ways they intend and that the implementation of change strategies is multifaceted and complex. The paper concludes by emphasising the importance of change leaders developing broader strategies which encompass components of organisational culture and discourse.

Tax Policy Developments and Reform in Australia: Much Unfinished Business

Prafula Fernandez, Jeff Pope

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 33-57

Following an earlier paper written by the authors relating to Australian tax reform in the British Tax Review in 2001, this paper reviews the Australian tax reform and policy over the period 2000-01 to 2007-08 and discusses the successful implementation of Australia’s Goods and Services Tax and associated reforms under A New Tax System as well as the overall characteristics of Australia’s tax system. The paper also assesses reform in international tax, the significant superannuation and retirement policy changes from July 2007 and the review of income tax self assessment. Tax policy reform for small business and its failure to actually simplify as intended (at least until recently perhaps) is also examined, as is the forthcoming regulatory reform affecting tax agents and future reforms in two important policy areas, namely the efficiency of Australia’s tax-transfer system and its proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme (both currently under government review). Recent UK tax policy is discussed from an overseas perspective and compared to Australian reform. Three overarching problems for Australian taxation policy are identified in the conclusions.

Theory and Practice of Procurement Flexibility: A Model for Suppliers and Manufacturers

Ananda Jeeva, Carolyn Dickie

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 59-78

This paper is designed to extend knowledge of flexibility in manufacturing supply chains through examination of procurement entity relationships, flexibility classifications and their commonalities as used by practitioners. Data were collected from procurement, supply chain, logistics and manufacturing managers in Australian companies in 17 Standard Industry Classification categories. The research findings suggest that Australian manufacturing organisations have not sufficiently integrated their manufacturing strategies with their organisational strategies and, more importantly, suppliers to manufacturers do not have sufficient flexibility in their supply activities. One limitation pertains to the possibility that targeted respondents may not have the assumed intimate knowledge of their organisation’s procurement activities, or are biased regarding their view of the quality of the organisation’s procurement performance. The major contributions of the study are the development of a definition of procurement flexibility (ProcFlex), a conceptual model for use as a benchmarking tool to measure procurement flexibility, and the presentation of an integrated model of ProcFlex for use by manufacturers and their suppliers to be more responsive and increase competitive advantage

Managing IT: Does Agile Software Development Solve Buyer Needs?

John Brown, Lloyd Conrade, Guy Callender

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 79-91

A variety of innovations in software development practices, referred to by the collective term agile, have arisen in recent years partly as an attempt to deal with the considerable amount of complexity inherent in many software development projects. These agile approaches to software development are increasingly gaining acceptance with suppliers of software development services. Agile, in its various forms, appears to be a range of supplier responses to a set of problems traditionally incurred in contracted software development projects. Yet the extent to which the needs of the public sector (as one category of procurer) are faced is more questionable. Are the needs of a public sector procurer really satisfied with agile methods and practices as the framework for software development? Is agile really the solution to the original problem set?

Auditor Independence and Earnings Management: Evidence of Non-Audit Fees Disclosure in Australia

Rusmin, J-L.W. Mitchell Van der Zahn, Greg Tower, Alistair Brown

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 93-113

This study examines the association between the magnitude of earnings management and auditor independence of 325 Australian listed firms. Auditor independence is the epicentre of this study’s analysis as this factor is considered to be a key determinant of earnings management. Our findings indicate the lack of a universal association between auditor independence and earnings management attributes. The main result is supported by tests using alternative measures of auditor independence. This result suggests that the provision of non-audit services by the incumbent auditor does not compromise independence. New regulatory initiatives, such as the Australian CLERP 9 law reforms, are thus queried.