International Journal of Business and Society <div style="text-align: justify;"> <p>International Journal of Business and Society (IJBS) is an international scholarly journal devoted to publishing high-quality papers using multidisciplinary approaches with a strong emphasis on business, economics and finance. It is a triannual journal published in April, August and December and all articles submitted are in English. Our uniqueness focus on the impact of the ever-changing world on society based on our niche area of research. IJBS follows a double-blind peer-review process, whereby authors do not know reviewers and vice versa. The journal intends to serve as an outlet for strong theoretical and empirical research and the papers submitted to IJBS should not have been published or be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All manuscripts should be submitted electronically to the Editor-in-Chief (Associate Professor Kartinah binti Ayupp) at <a href=""></a>. 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Upon submission of the manuscript, the author(s) agree that no similar work has been or will be submitted or published elsewhere in any language. If submitted manuscript includes materials from others, the authors have obtained the permission from the copyright owners. <br><br>5) In signing this statement, the author(s) declare(s) that the researches in which they have conducted are in compliance with the current laws of the respective country and UNIMAS Journal Publication Ethics Policy. Any experimentation or research involving human or the use of animal samples must obtain approval from Human or Animal Ethics Committee in their respective institutions. The author(s) agree and understand that UNIMAS Publisher is not responsible for any compensational claims or failure caused by the author(s) in fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements. The author(s) must accept the responsibility for releasing their materials upon request by Chief Editor or UNIMAS Publisher. <br><br>6) The author(s) should have participated sufficiently in the work and ensured the appropriateness of the content of the article. The author(s) should also agree that he or she has no commercial attachments (e.g. patent or license arrangement, equity interest, consultancies, etc<em>.</em>) that might pose any conflict of interest with the submitted manuscript. The author(s) also agree to make any relevant materials and data available upon request by the editor or UNIMAS Publisher.</p> Nighttime Lights Or Happiness: Which One Would A Society Choose? <p>This study discovers evidence of a bidirectional causation between nighttime lights and happiness using the panel Granger non-causality tests of a short (balanced) panel data of 132 countries, within the period from 2008 to 2012. There are different findings throughout the six geographical regions. A bidirectional causation is observed for Latin America and the Caribbean, while a unidirectional causality is from happiness to nighttime lights for East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa. In Sub-Saharan Africa is found, the situation is from nighttime lights to happiness. These findings are complemented by the impulse response function, various decomposition analysis, and their estimates of panel random (or fixed) effect models. This study offers an insight that nighttime lights are required for a happy society.</p> Bi Hui Lim Tuck Cheong Tang Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-03 2024-04-03 25 1 1 26 10.33736/ijbs.6866.2024 Icts And Labour Productivity Nexus In Developing Countries: Evidence From Panel Estimation Approach <p>This study examines the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on labour productivity in developing countries from 2000 to 2019, using the two-step System GMM estimation and dynamic panel quantile regression. The empirical results present new evidence on the moderating effect of ICTs with human capital, financial development and trade openness on labour productivity in developing countries. The interaction terms between ICTs and these three moderators show positive and statistically significant determinants of labour productivity. These three interaction terms have a greater influence on labour productivity than the impact of each variable assessed individually. The dynamic panel quantile regression results revealed that ICTs statistically significant to enhance labour productivity in lower and intermediate quantiles than in the highest quantiles in developing countries. This finding suggested that ICTs play an essential role in improving productivity at the lower and average labour productivity levels. This study can help policymakers develop a long-term strategy in terms of ICTs adoption and usage more intensively in developing countries as they strive to achieve the goals of industrial 4.0.</p> Sze-Wei Yong Siong-Hook Law Saifuzzaman Ibrahim Wan Norhidayah W Mohamad Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-03 2024-04-03 25 1 27 48 10.33736/ijbs.6868.2024 INFORMATION OVERLOAD AND INDIVIDUAL INVESTORS’ PERCEPTIONS OF INVESTMENT RISK: EVIDENCE FROM SAUDI ARABIA <p>This study explores investors’ perceptions of investment risk under information overload. We use a survey of 133 individual investors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and to test our hypotheses, we employ descriptive statistics and sample t-test. We found that information overload in lengthy annual reports decreases investors’ confidence in the financial statements and reduces their ability to understand the firm’s business and financial performance. Investors confirmed that information overload reduces their ability to access relevant information for making investment decisions and predict future performance, and increases uncertainty about the firms’ future performance. Consequently, information overload increases investors’ perceptions of firms’ investment risk, reduces their confidence to invest in firms with long and difficult-to-read annual reports, and increases their perceptions of the likelihood that these reports are being exploited by managers to hide poor performance or earnings manipulation, and consequently, they prefer not to invest in these firms. In addition, the results indicated that disclosure complexity along with information overload exacerbates investors’ negative perceptions about the firm’s investment risk and its performance. Our results provide insights for investors in emerging markets such as the Saudi market to understand the negative implications of information overload, which can enlighten their investment decisions.</p> Aref M. Eissa Ahmed Diab Meshal Obaid Almutairi Amr N. Abdelrhman Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 49 67 10.33736/ijbs.6890.2024 ORGANIC FOOD IN THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY: FACTORS IMPACTING CONSUMER INTENTIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC <p>The rising global concerns about health and the environment have led to a substantial increase in demand for organic farm products compared to conventional ones. However, there is limited research on consumers' behavioural intentions regarding organic product consumption during pandemics such as Covid-19, especially in regions like Sarawak, Malaysia. This study aims to investigate the factors that influence consumers' intentions to purchase organic products amidst the pandemic. The study expands on the attitude component of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), incorporating environmental concern, health consciousness, trust, product quality, and affordability. A questionnaire was used to collect data from consumers of organic farm products in Sarawak, Malaysia, and the collected data was analysed using partial least squares - structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) technique. The findings indicate a significant positive impact of both environmental concern and affordability on purchase intention. However, health consciousness exhibited a negative influence, while product quality and trust did not significantly impact consumers' intention to purchase organic products during the pandemic. This study aims to raise consumers' awareness about the demand for organic products during the pandemic and assist the government and industry players in predicting future demand and developing strategies to strengthen the organic food industry.</p> Stanley Nwobodo Yaw Seng Ee Christian Chukwuka Ohueri Jodan Chai Ahmed Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 68 90 10.33736/ijbs.6901.2024 FACTORS INFLUENCING THE BEHAVIORAL INTENTION TO USE SHARIA SECURITIES AS AN INVESTMENT OPTION IN INDONESIA <p>This study aims to investigate the factors that can predict the behavioral intention of Muslims in Indonesia to use Sharia securities as an investment option. The TPB model was enhanced with Sharia compliance and financial intelligence to develop the theoretical model for this investigation. The paper investigates the impact of Sharia compliance and financial intelligence on attitude, and the impact of attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control on behavioral intention to use Sharia securities as an investment option as well. The mediating role of attitude was also investigated on the relationship between the proposed adoption factors and the behavioral intention to use Sharia securities as an investment option. Smart PLS (v. software was used to analyze 617 responses collected via an online survey. The Findings showed that Sharia compliance and financial have a positive and significant effect on attitude, and attitude subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control also have a positive and significant effect on behavioral intention to use Sharia securities as an investment option. Moreover, attitude fully mediates the relationship between Sharia compliance and financial intelligence on behavioral intention to use Sharia securities as an investment option. The findings offer valuable insights to Sharia securities users, Sharia securities developers, and the government of Indonesia.</p> Syaparuddin Razak Moh. Nasuka Irwan Abdullah Jumriani Raking Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 91 110 10.33736/ijbs.6902.2024 MEDIATING EFFECTS OF ISLAMIC BUSINESS SUCCESS ON PRODUCTIVE ZAKAT AND MUSTAHIQ WELFARE <p>This research aims to determine the effect of productive zakat programs, entrepreneurial motivation, and competence on the welfare of <em>mustahiq</em> through having successful Islamic businesses as interveners. The research applied quantitative analysis method by distributing questionnaires to collect primary data from 111 <em>mustahiq</em> recipients of assistance from zakat institutions. This research employed a path analysis technique with the help of the SEM-PLS (Partial Least Squares) 4.0 program and was used to analyze the influence among variables. The empirical findings indicate that the productive zakat program significantly and positively affects <em>mustahiq's</em> welfare but not the business’s success. Meanwhile, entrepreneurial motivation and competence also significantly and positively affect business success and <em>mustahiq</em> welfare. Interestingly, the success factor for Islamic businesses can mediate the relationship between productive zakat, motivation, and competency on the welfare of <em>mustahiq</em>. This research contributes to the zakat literature by examining the connection between productive zakat, entrepreneurial drive, competency, and the factors influencing the performance of Islamic enterprises in achieving welfare according to Islamic objectives. Practically, the implications of this research are useful for the government as a policymaker in increasing the contribution of zakat institutions to material and spiritual poverty alleviation.</p> Ivan Rahmat Santoso Syahrir Mallongi Siradjuddin Muhammad Basir Paly Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 111 127 10.33736/ijbs.6903.2024 KNOWLEDGE AND COMPLIANCE: THE INCREASING INTENTION OF MSME’s HALAL CERTIFICATION IN INDONESIA <p>The obligation of halal certification has been promulgated since 2014. However, MSMEs that apply for halal certification are only 1%.&nbsp; This study aims to analyze the effects of knowledge and compliance on the intention of MSME’s halal certification in Indonesia.&nbsp; The study used a quantitative approach. The sample size was 100 respondents representing owners, managers, or leaders of MSMEs in several cities in Indonesia. Samples were taken by convenience sampling technique. Data processing using Smart-PLS.&nbsp;&nbsp; The results showed that knowledge had an insignificant positive effect on the intention to implement halal certification directly. However, mediated by compliance, knowledge significantly affects the intention to implement halal certification. Compliance increases the intention of MSMEs to implement halal certification in Indonesia.&nbsp;&nbsp; Compliance is a crucial factor in increasing the intention of MSMEs to implement halal certification both directly and in the role of mediators.</p> Aslam Mei Nur Widigdo Abdi Triyanto Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMA Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 128 147 10.33736/ijbs.6904.2024 EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF AND MODERATING INFLUENCES ON ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE INFORMATION DISCLOSURE ON VALUE-AT-RISK: EVIDENCE FROM CHINESE LISTED COMPANIES <p>Generally, research on the effects of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) information disclosure on listed companies is primarily limited to developed countries. By contrast, the current study is located in China and analyses whether ESG reduces the downside risk of listed companies in China, and whether political connections and institutional investors moderate this relationship. This study uses Chinese A-share listed companies from the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets from 2010 to 2021 as research samples. Results demonstrated that the inhibitory effect of enhancing ESG performance on enterprise risk is more significant in non-heavy polluting industries, non-state-owned enterprises, and enterprises in areas with low levels of marketisation. This study explores the economic implications of ESG performance from a Value-at-Risk (VaR) perspective, enriching the relevant research on ESG rating in China and providing a fresh perspective to better elucidate the economic significance of companies improving their ESG performance. This study introduces institutional investors and political connections as two moderating variables to analyse their effect on the relationship between ESG performance and VaR. In addition, heterogeneity analysis is carried out in combination with the industry, region, and ownership nature of listed companies to test the “insurance” and “information” effects of ESG performance, to provide decision-making references for investors, enterprise managers, and regulators.</p> Jing Wu Chee Yoong Liew Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 148 179 10.33736/ijbs.6905.2024 EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IN THE MALAYSIAN PUBLIC SECTOR: THE MODERATING EFFECT OF JOB DEMANDS ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION, EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION, AND SELF-EFFICACY <p>The optimization of employee engagement poses significant challenges for organizations worldwide, including in Malaysian public sector. In narrowing knowledge, demographic, and empirical gaps. This study aimed to examine the moderating role of job demands (JD) on the relationship between employee participation (EP), employee motivation (EM), self-efficacy (SE), and employee engagement (EE) within the Information technology (IT) departments of the Malaysian public sector. A quantitative approach using SmartPLS software was applied to analyze the data. This study discovered that only EM and SE have a significant impact on EE. On the other hand, there was no discernible impact of JD on the link between EM and EE. However, there was a moderation effect of JD on the relationship between EP and EE. By providing theoretical and empirical evidence as well as contextual and practical implications, this study is expected to aid the Malaysian government in optimizing the engagement of public employees and thus, enhance the productivity of the public sector in both administrative and economic growth.</p> Aya Moftah Omar Elghadi Mohamad Shah Kassim Ahmad Jusoh Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 180 200 10.33736/ijbs.6906.2024 AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE <p>To sustain a competitive edge amidst the dynamic nature of the current market and evolving technological landscape, manufacturing enterprises must ensure that their organizational resources, capabilities, and innovation procedures are optimized. In the manufacturing sector, innovators are known to earn twice as much as their less innovative counterparts, demonstrating the criticality of innovation. On that basis, this study used the <em>RCO technique, </em>which is an integrated approach to sustainable competitive advantage that focuses on resources, capabilities, and open innovation of the organization to improve decisions that lead to a lasting competitive advantage in a developing country. In addition, this study applied an analytical hierarchy process (AHP) approach for data analysis in calibrating the actual application of sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) in a company, especially in developing economies. The study results indicate that possessing valuable organizational resources necessitates adding distinctive capabilities to generate innovations that effectively contribute to attaining organizational objectives, specifically SCA. Moreover, through the utilization of positive knowledge ingress and outflow, open innovation is considered the <em>industry eye</em> of a business organization, with the purpose of accelerating innovation within the organization and expanding the market for innovations’ internal and external applications. In conclusion, an integrated model for sustainable competitive advantage, which is vital to the long-term growth and sustenance of businesses, was devised as a result of this study.</p> Asa Romeo Asa Johanna Pangeiko Nautwima Hylton Villet Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 201 222 10.33736/ijbs.6907.2024 EFFECTIVENESS OF RGEC- BANK SOUNDNESS LEVEL AND INFLATION RATE IN PREDICTING POTENTIAL BANKRUPTCY OF BANKS: EVIDENCE FROM INDONESIA <p>This study examines the effectiveness of RGEC-based bank soundness and inflation rate in predicting the potential for bankruptcy. The samples in this study are the banking sector companies listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) from 2016 to 2020. Using several proxies of the RGEC-based bank soundness and inflation rate, the results of this study indicate that the loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR), self-assessment of good corporate governance, and capital adequacy ratio (CAR) affect the potential of bankruptcy negatively and significantly. Furthermore, non-performing loans (NPL), return on assets (ROA), and inflation rate do not affect the potential for bankruptcy. The result shows that only two indicators, among four of RGEC-based bank soundness, effectively predict the potential bankruptcy. These results suggest that if banking management wants to predict and anticipate bankruptcy based on the bank’s soundness, it can be considered to see and maintain the LDR and self-assessment of GCG and CAR.</p> Anwar Syaifullah Rizki Tri Gunarsih Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 223 241 10.33736/ijbs.6908.2024 THE ROLE OF PROFITABILITY AS A CHANNEL ON INFLUENCING THE EFFECT OF MACROECONOMICS ON STOCK RETURNS IN THE INDONESIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC <p>The purpose of this study is to examine the factors that influenced stock returns during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, with profitability functioning as an intervening variable. It acts as a mediating variable, influencing how macroeconomic factors impact a company's stock returns. Companies with higher profitability can withstand macroeconomic impacts, leading to higher returns. It is crucial for a company to avoid rising stock returns and ensure stability. The population in this study is the consumer goods industry listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. The research sample consists of the consumer goods industry from 2020 to 2022.Sampling uses purposive sampling with data from 26 companies and 312 quarterly financial report data. Test the hypothesis using SmartPLS. The study reveals that exchange rates, interest rates, and inflation all negatively impact stock returns, with profitability acting as an intervening variable. Additionally, inflation also negatively impacts stock returns. This research implies that exchange rate stability is essential for companies carrying out export-import activities as a means of transaction in trade. The increase in interest rates encourages investors to continue investing in stocks because they are temporary and will return to their original level. Understanding the role of profitability in the relationship between macroeconomic factors and stock performance can help investors make more informed decisions.</p> Sri Hermuningsih Fatimah Kari Anisya Dewi Rahmawati Final Prajnanta Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 242 259 10.33736/ijbs.6909.2024 EUROPE UNION BAN ON PALM OIL: THE TREND OF PALM OIL COMPETITIVENESS AND THE CO-INTEGRATION ON THE SOYBEAN AND RAPESEED OIL <p>Palm oil highly demanded in global trade and expected to gain more demand in the future market. The primary concern regarding palm oil production is its environmental impact. The issue that is focused on in this study the European Union to promote the banning of oil palm in the world market in 2018 and the European parliament decided to ban palm oil for biofuel used. The Europe Union also promoted soybean and rapeseed as replacement for the banned of palm oil in Europe market. Therefore, this study aims for the effect toward the competitiveness using the Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) and Revealed Symmetrical Comparative Advantage (RSCA) indices among the major crude palm oil exporters especially within 1991 to 2020 period of years. Moreover, this study also clarified the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) co-integration for the soybean and rapeseed oil toward the competitiveness for 2 largest palm oil exporters in the world from 1989 to 2021.</p> Abdul Hayy Haziq Mohamad Rossazana Ab-Rahim Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 290 283 10.33736/ijbs.6911.2024 THE RECEPTIVENESS PUZZLE: UNDERSTANDING WHY SMALL FAMILY BUSINESSES STRUGGLE WITH ACTIVITY-BASED COSTING ADOPTION <p>This study examines the challenges associated with the adoption of activity-based costing (ABC) in a small family business in a less developed country. Through a case study of PT XYZ, a logistic company, the study found that technical factors, including unpredictable customer requests, varying duration of activities, and uncertainty around distance and fuel consumption for each truck, make adopting the ABC method challenging. Organizational factors, such as a top-down hierarchy and the negative perception of the owner affecting the rest of the hierarchy, also contribute to the non-acceptance of ABC. Additionally, key agents within the company did not demonstrate enthusiasm toward changes. The cultural and contextual factors and unique characteristics of small family businesses further make them less receptive to adopting new ideas or changes, including the ABC method. This study offers practical implications for introducing changes, such as improving data collection processes, establishing better communication channels with family business owners, and seeking external expertise or advice from professionals with experience in family business management. The study expands the current discussion on ABC implementation and contributes to the family business literature by linking family business characteristics with the adoption of the ABC method.</p> Rosaline Tandiono Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 284 300 10.33736/ijbs.6914.2024 DOES CONVERSION INCREASE DEPOSIT FUNDS IN ISLAMIC BANKS IN INDONESIA? THE CASE OF BANK OF ACEH AND BANK OF NTB <p>This study examines the effect of the conversion strategy on deposit funds in converted banks. One of the concerns when converting to an Islamic bank is the transfer of customers to conventional banks. This condition underlies this research to be conducted. Using panel regression analysis, this study found a positive difference in the number of deposited funds after the conversion. This fact shows that the concern about transferring customers after the conversion has not been proven. There was an increase in deposit funds after the conversion strategy was carried out at the two converted banks. This finding has implications that the conversion strategy can be carried out at regional banks that have a small size and are supported by the local government and the people in the area. The findings of this study contribute significantly to the development of the Islamic banking industry in Indonesia that conversion to Islamic banking is an alternative corporate strategy besides spin-offs and mergers.</p> Mohammad Nur Rianto Al Arif Dwi Nuraini Ihsan Zulpawati Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 301 314 10.33736/ijbs.6916.2024 TO WHAT EXTENT DOES SPIRITUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE AFFECT MEANINGFULNESS IN WORK? SELF-TRANSCENDENCE AND PERSON-ORGANIZATION FIT AS MEDIATOR <p>The goal of this research was to investigate and analyze the relationship between spirituality in the workplace and self-transcendence, Person-Organization Fit, and achieving meaningful work (Meaningful Work). This study's population consisted of employees of the Public Works and Public Housing Office of Bengkulu Province, with a planned sample size of 258 respondents using the census method. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used in this study to test construct validity (convergent validity and discriminant validity) and reliability. Then, using SmartPLS 3.0, an explanation of statistical descriptions related to respondent profiles, hypothesis testing with path analysis, and testing of indirect effects are provided. According to the study's findings, spirituality in the workplace can increase a person's compatibility with their organization and self-transcendence. However, spirituality at work cannot increase work meaning. Meaning at work cannot be increased by self-transcendence, despite the fact that P-O fit can increase meaning at work. Self-transcendence cannot mediate the relationship between spirituality at work and increasing meaningfulness at work in the mediating relationship. This is inversely proportional to the P-O fit, which can act as a bridge between the influence of spirituality at work and meaningfulness at work.</p> Slamet Widodo Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 315 329 10.33736/ijbs.6917.2024 ACTIVATING PRO-ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOUR AT THE WORKPLACE THROUGH GREEN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES: THE ROLE OF PERCEIVED INNOVATION CHARACTERISTICS <p>This study explores the influence of seven green human resource management (GHRM) practices and perceived innovation characteristics (PICs) on employees' pro-environmental behaviour (PEB) at the workplace. It bridges a gap in research that combines the Ability-Motivation-Opportunity (AMO) and Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) theories. Utilizing partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) and survey data of 366 employees from six Malaysian development financial institutions, the findings suggested that four out of seven GHRM practices have a positive direct effect on PEB. Additionally, PICs mediate the relationship between four GHRM practices and PEB, suggesting the importance of employee perceptions of GHRM practices in fostering workplace PEB.</p> Hamidah Md Yusop Ainul Azreen Adam Tan Peck Leong Chandramalar Munusami Siti Aishah Hussin Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMA Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 330 353 10.33736/ijbs.6918.2024 THE IMPACT OF ANCHOR CHARACTERISTICS ON CUSTOMERS' SUSTAINABLE FOLLOW IN E-COMMERCE LIVE BROADCAST—BASED ON THE SURVEY OF TIKTOK USERS IN CHINA <p>With the development of Internet commerce, live broadcast has become a new e-commerce milestone. This study uses SOR model for reference, taking customer perceived value and customer flow experience as intermediary variables, to explore the impact of anchor characteristics on the sustainable follow of customers in the live broadcast room. The research findings demonstrate that the credibility, professionalism, interactivity, and attractiveness of e-commerce anchors have a significant positive impact on customer perceived value and customer flow experience. Customer perceived value and customer flow experience positively influence the sustainable retention of customers in live broadcast rooms. Moreover, these factors act as mediators between the characteristics of e-commerce anchors and the sustainable retention of customers. Therefore, it is imperative for live broadcast e-commerce merchants to adapt their strategies based on anchor attributes in order to enhance customer perceived value and improve customer flow experience. This will effectively guide customers towards sustained engagement and yield favorable marketing outcomes. It is helpful for e-commerce anchors to effectively reduce customer loss and form customer loyalty, and also provides a reference for enterprises to use live broadcast e-commerce for product sales and brand promotion.</p> Li Qi Shao Xiaoli Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 354 367 10.33736/ijbs.6919.2024 THE EFFECT OF AUDIT CHARACTERISTICS ON FINANCIAL REPORTING QUALITY AND THE MEDIATING ROLE OF AUDIT QUALITY: EVIDENCE FROM MALAYSIAN PUBLIC COMPANIES <p>Our paper examines the effect of audit characteristics on financial reporting quality (FRQ) and the role of audit quality (AQ) as a mediator. The study adopted 201 companies listed in Malaysian Bursa from 2017 to 2019 to achieve our objective. The study used Stata to analyze the data to estimate the effect proposed in the hypotheses. Findings show that only audit fees affected FRQ positively. At the same time, audit fees and company size have positively influenced AQ. On the other hand, AQ has improved the link between audit characteristics and FRQ since the results show a positive effect of audit tenure, audit fees, and audit company size on FRQ through the mediator. This research can help the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners improve their rules and regulations by enhancing audit characteristics, technical competence, and functionality to help organizations improve AQ. The study's findings are relevant to governments and investors worldwide worried about FRQ and want to guarantee that operations in Malaysia and other emerging markets are closely monitored.</p> YUVARAJ GANESAN MUHAMMAD SHABIR SHAHARUDIN ABDULLAH MOHAMMED SADAA RANJANI NARAYANAN RAHUL SHARMA HASNAH HARON Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 10.33736/ijbs.6920.2024 INNOVATION BARRIER TO SMES DEVELOPMENT: EVIDENCE FROM AFGHANISTAN <p>Innovation plays a vital role not only in large firms but also in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) worldwide. In Afghanistan, SMEs are emerging to influence the economies by employing, contributing to exports and forming a major portion of export and tax revenues. This study aims to examine the innovation barriers to development at the SME level to offer policy implications in Afghanistan. The Two-Hierarchical Level Model (HLM) was used. A questionnaire was designed using the thematic areas of business innovation literature and adapted following Oslo's manual's recommendations. Collected in 2020 the cross-sectional data was examined through an empirical analysis by testing five research hypotheses to validate the research framework.&nbsp; The target population was the SME key persons in Kabul city. Results show that firm characteristics are innovation barriers, SMEs that did not innovate were smaller in terms of employees and assets, lack of finance was a reason for abandoning innovative projects, and there are hierarchical barriers that humper innovation at the organizational, value chain and market level. There is a real need to continue studying the development of the innovation barriers for SME sectors that may enrich the world communities.</p> Aimal Mirza and Siti ‘Aisyah Baharudin Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 388 406 10.33736/ijbs.6922.2024 UNDERLYING SCHOOL DROPOUTS ISSUES IN SARAWAK <p>Students who leave school without completing formal education still remain an issue in Malaysia. This study is based on the research tracing the journey of school dropouts in Sarawak, Malaysia and the focus of this paper is identify the issues behind it. A cross-sectional survey was used to complete the data collection process among 120 school dropouts selected through purposive sampling. The obtained data were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), described in frequency and cross-tabulated. The study discloses that most of the school dropouts come from the suburban areas (69.2%) compared to urban areas (30.8%). More males (54.2%) than females (45.8%) dropped out of school and most dropped out at secondary (77.5%) compared to primary (22.5%) school level. Interestingly, the number of students who dropped out from the academic schools (96.7%) is higher than those from the technical school (3.3%). More females than males got married at the schooling age of 18 years old and below. What is thought-provoking on these findings are issues underlying the school dropouts such as the lack of opportunity and social inequality, quality of education, inadequate facilities and infrastructures to facilitate students to continue and complete their education. These issues should be taken into seriously. It is not just the economic concerns of poverty and unemployment but there is also a need to include structural and social concerns such as inequality and violation of children’s right. The underlying background of those who are still in school need to be addressed and studied by all the stakeholders involved and they should be sensitive to their backgrounds in order to identify relevant measures to prevent those who are at risk from further dropping out of school.</p> Dolly Paul Carlo Athirah Azhar Tharshini Sivabalan Copyright (c) 2024 UNIMAS Publisher 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 25 1 10.33736/ijbs.6923.2024