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Editorial Note

William Mea

We open the current Business and Public Administration Studies ( with appreciation to our new contributing editor, Dr. William Mea, who enthusiastically encourages his students to contribute articles to this Journal.

Please read below Dr. Mea Introduction to this issue. Also, a correction and an apology is in order for misspelling his name: Dr. Mea – and not Mae, as it was printed in the previous issue – is the Office of Management & Budget Chair at National Defense University and a professor at Georgetown University in the nation’s capital, of Washington DC. He teaches courses on economics, innovation, and industry analysis. He has been active in promoting the Journal in the wider business arena and an academic community. Below is his introduction:

This issue welcomes new articles by Georgetown University current and past students. Georgetown’s McCourt School is a top-ranked school of public policy at the center of the Washington policy world. Its students include both post-graduates, mid-career military, and executives who go on to assume senior leadership positions in government and the private sector. This issue initiates inclusion by its talented scholars, and we will include their papers in future BPA issues. “

The Journal opens with an article titled: Mastering Organizational Change by Chelsea Goodly, who assesses the need for organizational change. Her implicit message goes beyond the truism that “change is the only constant in life”. The author maintains that businesses and firms that thrived in the last century have to become now more agile, flexible and adapting to the diffusion of emerging new technologies to cope with more intense competition. We live in an incredibly innovative, intense, highly creative world of business, and dominated by business globally. Business leaders face a challenge of “triple-p” bottom line: profit, people and planet. So, not only it is imperative to drive the bottom line, while growing as a part of community – one needs to also respond to challenges by mastering organizational change in constantly changing world.

The author underscores the importance of effective change to attaining success, while pointing out that change is difficult and that change done well is really rare. While leaders envision and implement change, they must see where their attention takes them at the end. So, diagnosing growth options and opportunities is important. Change that seeks only to address one or a few of the crucial elements without addressing the organization holistically will invariably fail. True and effective organizational change necessitates involving every critical dimension in organization to align as to bring about success and desired results.

Sergio Martinez in his research applies the foundations of economic growth theory to identify key macroeconomic determinants leading the economic growth in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. These three countries are known as the Central America’s Northern Triangle. The motivation relies on the context of the implementation of the Plan for the Alliance of the Prosperity of the Northern Triangle due to the migratory crisis of child unaccompanied by parents that were found illegally in the board of the United States. The main findings suggest that population is the main driver of economic growth. This means that loss of human capital represents a huge loss of potential increase in economic growth. In addition, capital formation, openness of the economy, government expenditure and domestic savings were found as significant and huge determinants on economic growth.

The author concludes that the loss of human capital through migration movements have represented a significant loss of potential gain in economic growth that countries of the Northern Triangle would have experimented. The countries from the Northern Triangle lost, on average, a potential annual increase of 0.07 percentage points in economic growth rate because of the persons who have decided to migrate outside of their countries of origin in every year. His research found that domestic savings, capital formation, the openness of the economy and government expenditure have been significant determinants of economic growth. Domestic savings were an important driver with a huge and statistically significant magnitude. In spite of that the countries of the Northern Triangle have been exposed to the policies on international trade and fiscal policy as part of the Washington Consensus implemented since 1990, it was found a reduction in the incidence of the government expenditure and the openness of the economy on economic growth from the first period to the second period. In terms of fiscal policy, it is important that this countries find strategic ways to increase the level of government expenditure as they are still developing countries whose one of their conditions has been to have a small government. In this situation government expenditure should be increased with prudence relatively to the sustainability of debt and with effectiveness in the coverage of public services that lead a stronger economic contribution of the human capital.

Ben Marques writes about illicit financial flows from Brazil. The world´s attention has turned on Brazil with political scandals and corruption allegations and an economy in turmoil. It has resulted in a roller coaster for Brazil with some of the ups and downs during the past decade. Brazil was the darling of the developing world during the early decade of 2000. The nation that has been dubbed as “the nation of great potential” and “nation of tomorrow” had finally arrived at its tomorrow. Commodity boom helped millions of Brazilians move out of poverty due to the policies of President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva. Brazil went through the recession relatively unscathed until the commodity market collapsed. The Brazilian government was and still is in a struggle to emphasize accountability in the realm of money laundering and illicit finance flows. This endeavor has proved cumbersome as off shore tax havens have and continue to provide a refuge for the funds of fraudulent companies such as Odebrecht and unethical individuals. The abuse of offshore tax havens by the Brazilian political elite, by the “outing” of the Panama Papers as well as the use of OFCs (Offshore Financial Centers) by Odebrecht has forced the Brazilian government to take action and stem the flow of illicit finance.

Concluding his research, the author states that Brazilian system is working as the Brazilian Federal Revenue Service has claimed a considerable amount of monies from offshore accounts as the Brazilian version of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program is enforced and those that have accounts that have been disclosed are being subject to penalties and taxes. The Repatriation Law serves as a mechanism to gain tax revenue from Brazilians who hold accounts offshore. While much of the legal framework needed to combat, corruption has been put in place over time. Its success further depends on the amount of political will available to strictly and fervently enforce it over the medium and long-term.

No one denies the scale and that acts of illicit operations were detrimental. Billions of dollars have been lost by Brazil that could have been utilized elsewhere. One very important asp is that these allegations and convictions are occurring. Brazil being in the global spotlight as the release of the Panama Papers and the Odebrecht scandal has become a force as its institutions are gaining strength. The Central Bank, Public Prosecutors, and the Brazilian Federal Policy are pursuing illicit finance by conducting investigations, making convictions and arresting people. Through these high-profile cases the world has taken notice and Brazil has no choice but to act.

Next article, by Jennifer Jacobs, is titled: The Future of Strategy in Top-Performing Organizations: Encapsulating Adaptive Capacity, Agility, and Contingency Planning. Operating in global environment of constant change and uncertainty challenges organizations to maintain and sustain competitive advantages over their competitors. The future of strategy itself is uncertain, as the speed at which business techniques and trends are evolving out-paces solid strategy development. Formulating organizational structures that generate adaptive capacity will breed agile enterprises, adept at responding to external forces, changes and crises. Embedding these organizations with high-performing talent with diverse and multiple skill sets, and with leaders who can at once both hypothesize in the future and execute in the present is a plausible model for strategy development that will endure the ever-changing demands of the future.

Creating and maintaining competitive advantage is challenging for organizations during the best of times, and is vital in today’s world of globalization, information supremacy and the ever-accelerating pace of innovation. To maximize profits and ensure market dominance, businesses create their “vision,”= implement business plans, and employ strategic planning in a never-ending effort to evolve and adapt to dynamic external, and sometimes internal, environmental challenges. Strategic frameworks for business applications have been evolving since the beginning of the previous century, adding complexities at each reinvention. The proliferation of the internet, and the resultant “flattening” of business organizational structures have created the need to rewrite the foundations of strategic frameworks. An emphasis on organizational agility, with a focus on the successful embedding of that agility as well as flexibility into organizational DNA may be the necessary future elements of successful organizations. It may provide them with a strategic framework in which to operate. This paper explores organizational agility, adaptive capacity, contingency planning, and talent management as the hallmarks of future organization’s strategy development.

Next piece, by Brett Reichert, titled: “Moral Disengagement and the Support for Military Force” reviews literature that explores the relationship between the mechanisms of moral disengagement and support for lethal force. It summarizes the theory of moral disengagement, synthesizes current evidence-based research regarding the relationship between the mechanisms of moral disengagement and individuals’ support for force, and summarizes the current state of knowledge while offering criticism and suggestions for future research.

Rapid technological advances in robotics and artificial intelligence are introducing new military applications that will revolutionize warfare. The growing automatization of weapons allows warfare to be conducted at unprecedented distances — both physically and morally. We possess the capability to systematically destroy targets from thousands of miles away and make it home in time for dinner. The more morally distant we become from the atrocities of war, the more likely we are to support the use of lethal force. To what extent does moral disengagement impact the support of force? If moral disengagement influences public support for the use of force, then it is plausible that policies focused on resisting disengagement may reduce the degree to which violence is supported, and therefore promote peace.

Finally, Dr. Ronnie Yeh and Dr. Teresa Chen discuss the US Leadership in Scholarship and Higher Education – the Implications for Hospitality Management Educators. Research activities seem always the primary focus and time allocation factor for scholars to achieve their scholarship credentials and tenure promotions.  Teaching and extended service are essential for students and communities, and have to be advocated as one of the scholarship standards for educators. While the general public focuses more on undergraduate education, educators should spend more time on their teaching and applied scholarship instead of paying most attention to research activities.

Collaboration between senior and junior faculty members has been the major problem in scholarship assessment and accomplishment.   Disparity of goals often creates tension and conflict as to what scholarly work should be. Autonomy is one of the driving priorities attracting graduate students to an academic career.  However, the notion of professional autonomy has been passed too far and misappropriated. Therefore, developing a collaborative organization will require reassessing the relationship between autonomy and responsibility in the faculty career.

William Mea