10,743 research outputs found

    Indigenous Entrepreneurship: An Analysis of Capital Constraints

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    Encouraging entrepreneurship amongst Indigenous people, and fostering the development of small businesses, has been advocated as the most promising avenue for economic development amongst Indigenous communities (Fuller et al., 2003). Unfortunately, the number of Indigenous people engaged in small businesses in Australia is quite low when compared both to the national average and also with Indigenous participation rates in Canada and the United States of America (Hindle, 2002). While rationales for low Indigenous participation rates in small businesses have been advanced for other Pacific nations (Cheshire, 2001a, 2001b; Croulet and Sio, 1986; van der Grijp 2003; Curry 2005), a cogent explanation of analysis of low participation rates by Indigenous entrepreneurs in Australia remains to be articulated. One explanation for low Indigenous participation rates in small business is due to a lack of access to capital (de Bruin & Mataira 2003). Bourdieu (1986) suggested that there are a number of different types of capital. Firkin (2003) advances this reasoning by arguing the following forms of capital are relevant to entrepreneurs: financial, human, social, physical, organisational and technological. If an entrepreneur lacks of access these forms of capital, this is likely to have negative outcomes for the entrepreneurial venture (de Bruin and Dupuis 2003; Firkin 2003). The literature suggests that Indigenous entrepreneurs lack access to most of these forms of capital. For example, many Indigenous communities lack access to physical, labour, and information marketplaces (Miller 1985; Pearson, 2000); financial institutions and financial capital (Daly 1994); and have low levels of financial literacy and management skills (de Bruin and Matira 2003). Indigenous entrepreneurs do, however, have access to rich sources of social capital through their extended kinship networks. But this form of capital proffers a mixed blessing for Indigenous entrepreneurs. Dense social networks can provide rich sources of financial, intellectual and social capital (Naphiet & Goshal 19984). However if a network is over-embedded it can paradoxically limit access to resources (Uzzi 1997). For Indigenous entrepreneurs, social networks can even result in a drain on resources, as an Indigenous person in business is expected to share their wealth with their kin - even if this wealth is floor stock that needs to be sold in order to create operating surplus (Foley 2003). This is what has been referred to as the 'traders dilemma' in Pacific Island nations (van der Grijp 2003), as the entrepreneur needs to make a profit to succeed in business, but is also expected to distribute wealth among kinship networks. These calls for support and favours from extended networks of relations can often overwhelm new enterprises (Granovetter 1992:7). Sharing resources within Indigenous communities is more than an economic investment - it is also a social investment (Schwab, 1995). In Schwab's (1995) extended analysis the social networks of indigenous people, sharing acts as a primitive form of socialism through redistribution of wealth through the community, and reinforces the relationship of giver and receiver through the act of giving. To refuse a request from a relative in need is to reject the relationship itself (Schwab 1995). As Granovetter (1992: 4) argues, the ''(1) the pursuit of economic goals is normally accompanied by that of such non-economic ones as sociability, approval, status and power; (2) economic action (like all action) is socially situated and cannot be explained by individual motives alone; it is embedded in ongoing networks of personal relations rather than carried out by atomised actors''. Thus the rich social networks of Indigenous entrepreneurs, while a resource, are paradoxically a drain on financial resources, due to their embedded nature. A number of examples of attempts by government to address the capital constraints facing Indigenous communities are identified, specifically programs which seek to enhance financial literacy, micro savings and loans, business incubators and enterprise partnerships

    MHD Wave Propagation in the Neighbourhood of Two Null Points

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    The nature of fast magnetoacoustic and Alfv\'en waves is investigated in a zero β\beta plasma in the neighbourhood of a pair of two-dimensional null points. This gives an indication of wave propagation in the low β\beta solar corona, for a more complicated magnetic configuration than that looked at by McLaughlin & Hood (2004). It is found that the fast wave is attracted to the null points and that the front of the wave slows down as it approaches the null point pair, with the wave splitting and part of the wave accumulating at one null and the rest at the other. Current density will then accumulate at these points and ohmic dissipation will then extract the energy in the wave at these points. This suggests locations where wave heating will occur in the corona. The Alfv\'en wave behaves in a different manner in that the wave accumulates along the separatrices. Hence, the current density will accumulate at this part of the topology and this is where wave heating will occur. However, the phenomenon of wave accumulation at a specific place is a feature of both wave types, and illustrates the importance of studying the topology of the corona when considering MHD wave propagation.Comment: 11 pages, 14 figure

    Infrastructure transitions toward sustainability: a complex adaptive systems perspective

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    To ensure infrastructure assets are procured and maintained by government on behalf of citizens, appropriate policy and institutional architecture is needed, particularly if a fundamental shift to more sustainable infrastructure is the goal. The shift in recent years from competitive and resource-intensive procurement to more collaborative and sustainable approaches to infrastructure governance is considered a major transition in infrastructure procurement systems. In order to better understand this transition in infrastructure procurement arrangements, the concept of emergence from Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) theory is offered as a key construct. Emergence holds that micro interactions can result in emergent macro order. Applying the concept of emergence to infrastructure procurement, this research examines how interaction of agents in individual projects can result in different industry structural characteristics. The paper concludes that CAS theory, and particularly the concept of ‘emergence’, provides a useful construct to understand infrastructure procurement dynamics and progress towards sustainability

    Defining the dimensions of engineering asset procurement: towards an integrated model

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    Procuring engineering asset management is a critical activity of all types of government, with optimal approaches to procurement still in need of identification. This paper advances a novel approach of exploring the procurement of engineering assets across a number of dimensions: Project rules, organisational interaction rules and complexity. The dimensions of project rules are held to include cost, quality and time. The dimensions of organisational interaction rules are held to be collaboration, competition and control. Complexity is seen as in the project itself, in the interaction between organisations or in the business environment. Taken together these dimensions seem salient for any type of engineering asset, and provide a useful way of conceptualising procurement arrangements of these assets

    Mapping the Australian Regulatory Environment: Implications for Construction Firms

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    As regulators, governments are often criticised for over‐regulating industries. This research project seeks to examine the regulation affecting the construction industry in a federal system of government. It uses a case study of the Australian system of government to focus on the question of the implications of regulation in the construction industry. Having established the extent of the regulatory environment, the research project considers the costs associated with this environment. Consequently, ways in which the regulatory burden on industry can be reduced are evaluated. The Construction Industry Business Environment project is working with industry and government agencies to improve regulatory harmonisation in Australia, and thereby reduce the regulatory burden on industry. It is found that while taxation and compliance costs are not likely to be reduced in the short term, costs arising from having to adapt to variation between regulatory regimes in a federal system of government, seem the most promising way of reducing regulatory costs. Identifying and reducing adaptive costs across jurisdictional are argued to present a novel approach to regulatory reform

    A Choice of Choice: Adding Postaccident Choice to the Menu of No-Fault Models

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    In this Article, Professor Brown tackles the concept of no-fault auto insurance from the perspective of auto insurance premiums. The author believes that the promise of lower premiums will allow no-fault insurance to succeed where other arguments have failed. There are two models developed for integrating tort and no-fault. In this article, the author proposes a third model: a scheme which allows an accident victim to choose between tort and no-fault after the accident has occurred. Similar to the other two models, this third model would reduce and stabilize costs. Whichever model is chosen, opportunities exist for considerable improvement both in terms of the treatment of victims of accidents and the costs of the scheme to all motorists

    Automatic Construction of Acoustic Themes for Benthic Habitat Mapping at Stanton Banks, UK

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    In recent years, many attempts have been made to develop automatic methods for segmentation of hydroacoustic remote sensing data acquired by multibeam echosounders (MBES) in order to generate quantitative estimates of the spatial distribution of seafloor relief, bottom type and composition. The majority of the segmentation methods presented so far have been based on image processing techniques, which assume implicitly the existence of an image. This limits their ability to unambiguously discriminate seafloor properties, as the primary observation of an MBES is not backscatter imagery or mosaics, but rather backscatter angular response. Mosaics are only projections of the original observations, with resulting loss of information. The method we are developing is fully automatic and attempts to segment the acoustic remote sensing data simultaneously in the image-textural space and in the angular-response space. The output of this automatic procedure is a thematic map, where the individual themes have boundaries defined at the mosaic image resolution, but still have sufficient angular coverage to allow for seafloor characterization. Angular Range Analysis (ARA) inversion is then applied to the average angular response of individual themes, generating estimates of the acoustic impedance, acoustic roughness and mean grain size of the seafloor within the theme. The technique described above is applied to a Simrad EM1002 95kHz MBES dataset acquired from a study area covering an offshore reef at Stanton Banks, UK. The results are compared to still-images, grab samples and previous habitat maps existent in the area, to asses the ability of the acoustic theme segmentation to discriminate benthic habitats

    The Shopkeeper: A Short Story

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    Deterrence in Tort and No-Fault: The New Zealand Experience

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    Screw pile design optimisation under tension in sand

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    Many applications in offshore engineering, such as floating or jacket-founded wind turbines or wave energy converters, require a significant uplift capacity of their foundations to be kept in place. Straight-shafted or suction piles in sands have a limited uplift capacity as they resist by friction only. In contrast, screw piles or screw anchors are a promising solution which provides a similar capacity to plate anchors and does not generate disturbance for marine mammals (e.g. from pile driving operations). The optimisation of the screw pile design does not rely only on the geotechnical assessment of the uplift capacity based on soil strength, but also on operational (installation requirements) and structural (helix bending, core section stress, limiting steel plate thick-ness) constraints. This paper develops a methodology for the design optimisation of screw piles under pure ten-sion in sand, incorporating all of these constraints, based on simplified analytical or semi-analytical approaches. The results show that the uplift capacity provided by an optimised screw pile is able to meet the needs of the offshore industry, across a range of soil densities and different applications (jacket foundation pile or tension leg platform anchor), providing that adequate installation plant could be dev
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