College of Humanities & Social Sciences

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    Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Implementation in a Sub-Saharan African Nation: An Empirical Test of Competing Models and Theories
    (May, 2014) Asamoah, David
    In this study, the researcher developed a modified research model to examine the antecedents and impact of extent of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems implementation on Process Management Capability, and its subsequent impact on firm performance. The existing model was extended by the addition of the following constructs: Ethical Factors, Data Culture, Organizational Integration, and Organizational Performance. In exploring ERP implementation in Ghana, a Sub-Saharan African (SSA) nation, two competing theories, the Institutional theory and the Panoptic theory, were tested using empirical data collected from a survey involving 115 respondents from organizations in Ghana that had implemented ERP systems. The data was analyzed using structural equation modeling-partial least squares. The findings indicate that the Panoptic theory explains the relationships between the constructs better and confirms the positive impact of higher extent of ERP implementation on process management capabilities. Theoretical implications of the study include (1) the emergence of the Panoptic theory as a strong predictor of ERP implementation in SSA (2) the mediating effect of the Ethical factors and Organizational Integration (3) the panoptic theory has more predictability and can be more easily generalized than institutional theory, allowing the research to have a more global impact beyond SSA and (4) Contextual factors such as industry type, employee size, and ERP type influence ERP implementations in SSA. Practical Implications are: (1) ERP systems create information visibility which checks the ethical behaviour of employees and causes them to behave in a socially responsible manner (2) Organizations can achieve greater organizational integration by increasing their extent of ERP implementation and (3) Governments and regulatory bodies must institute policies and protocols that encourage ERP adoption.
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    The attitudes and perceptions of students about the study of english grammar: the case of selected senior high school students in northern region
    (2015-05-22) Akurugu, Brigandi Micheal
    The poor quality of English, both spoken and written, of Ghanaians in general, and of our students in particular, has become a source of worry to many well meaning educationists, parents and the general public. Several reasons have been given for the falling standards. Included among them are reading habits, poor teaching, inadequate library facilities, decline in the teaching of grammar and the de-emphasis of the mother tongue as the medium of instruction. There are those who believe that the use of the mother tongue at the basic level of education helps the learner to relate similar grammatical concepts in the L1 to those of the English Language. Much as the aforementioned could be said to be accountable, there is a fundamental phenomenon that acts as the underlying cause of the problem. The role that perception and attitude of the learners plays in the acquisition of skills in English has, over the years, been terribly ignored. The perception of students, teachers, policy makers, and the larger community, which includes parents, has played a considerable role in bringing about the fall in the standard of English. This study investigates the extent to which the fall in the standards of English could be attributed to attitudes and perceptions. The study has revealed that a serious disconnection exists between the needs of students and the solutions that are being used to raise the standard of English Language among learners. The study also reveals that, in most cases, parents, teachers and policymakers cannot escape blame for the problem either for their action or inaction regarding the promotion of the learning of the language. Though the study may have identified other reasons for the decline in the standards of English, the study focuses, to a large extent, on the very attitude and perception of the learner. It has suggested ways of developing positive perceptions and attitudes v towards the language. These suggestions include sound approaches to the teaching and learning of the language. The approach is carved in a manner that would make English more attractive to learners thus leading to attitudinal and perceptual change, which in turn would lead to enhanced performance of learners in English.
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    Three essays on economic impact assessment of the use of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative for poverty reduction in Ghana
    (2010) Osei-Fosu, Anthony Kofi
    Ghana applied to join the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) in 2001. The argument was that HIPC spending will help to develop capacity of the poor (through human development), give them capital for investment (through micro-credit), improve their labour productivity (through improvement in health and rural water and sanitation), enhance rural agriculture (through feeder roads construction and rehabilitation), give them skill training, etc. These will enhance the incomes of the poor in the immediate future and help them come out of the vicious cycle of poverty. After eight year of implementation there was the need to assess the impact of the initiative on poverty reduction. This study therefore investigates the economic impact of the utilization of the HIPC relief fund on poverty reduction in Ghana. Specifically, the study objected to: assess the extent to which the HIPC relief fund has helped to reduce poverty, both at the individual and community levels; determine the relative effectiveness of the various HIPC funded programmes to the reduction of poverty; assess the impact of the HIPC micro-credit on poverty reduction and its benefit incidence; examine how the poor themselves feel about how the programmes have improved their welfare and hence reduced their poverty situation; and examine the extent to which the HIPC initiative has improved the asset, need-base and capabilities of the poor that will make them function as economic and social being. These research concerns were addressed in the thesis in a three separate but related essays on; Economic Impact Assessment of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative on Poverty Reduction in Ghana; The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative Micro-credit and Poverty Reduction in Ghana: a Panacea or a Mirage?; and Assessment of the Impact of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative on Poverty Reduction: The Subjective-Multidimensional and Deprivation Approach, in that order. The techniques that were used for the analysis included: FGT Index method (Foster, Greer and Thorbecke, 1984); Community Poverty Ratio method (Sullivan, 2002); Benefit Incidence Analysis methods (Demery, 2003); Subjective-Multidimensional Model (Van Praag et al, 1982); Multidimensional Deprivation method (Barrientos, 2003); Capabilities and Functioning model (Sen, 1983), among others. The definitions and details of these approaches are provided in the appropriate essays that constitute the Thesis. The study used method with no counterfactual (before and after), which compares the performance of key variables after the initiative with those prior to the initiative. The approach uses statistical methods to evaluate whether there is a significant change in some essential variables over the period. The study uses both primary and secondary data. The primary data were derived from household survey. Some of the major findings of the study are summarised as follows: In the first essay, the study found that over the period when the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative was implemented per capita income of the households have significantly increased and therefore decreasing the proportion of the people below the poverty line. The Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) Poverty Gap Index (PGI) also indicates that the proportion of income needed to transfer the poor above the poverty line has also significantly reduced over the period. By implication over the period poverty incidence has been reduced. Secondly, the extent of community deprivation of social amenities reduced. That is over the period of the HIPC implementation (2001-2008) more social amenities were provided to the communities. For example 27 more communities were provided with health facilities, 30 were connected with electricity, 40 got access to telephone facilities and 33 communities had their feeder roads re-shape to all weather roads. It also came out that there was improvement in human development outcomes; school enrolment, attendance, retention, completion rate, school performance, adult literacy rate, life expectancy at birth, coverage of vaccination, and delivery assistance increased over the period while infant mortality, maternal mortality, malnutrition, malaria rate, cholera cases, and guinea worm cases went down. Furthermore, the study found that the improvement in the human development outcomes significantly relate to HIPC initiative funds, except in the case of school performance, adult literacy rate and malaria cases. Hence, it can be said that with respect to the provision of social amenities for communities the HIPC initiative has done marvelously well to reduce poverty in Ghana. Thirdly, the ordinary least square (OLS) analysis proved significantly that the poverty reduction is positively related to the initiative. Hence, the hypothesis that the HIPC initiative has reduced poverty in Ghana is accepted and therefore the strategies used under the initiative have high potential to Ghana’s future poverty reduction, growth and over-all economic development. Furthermore, the study found that the most effective programme to poverty reduction is education, followed by health and water and sanitation. These programmes proved statistically significant relationship to the poverty reduction over the period. This means that when funds are shifted from micro-credit, private sector development and good governance, the rate of poverty will fall. The study however found that over the period the intensity of poverty (inequality among the poor) increased implying that the HIPC initiative appears not pro-poorest. This was shown by the increase in the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) squared poverty gap index from 2000 to 2008. This means the proportion of income needed to move the more poor to catch up with the less poor has increased over the period. This implies that the initiative was more regressive to the poorer and hence not pro-poor. This suggests that even though the initiative has helped to reduce poverty, it impacted significantly on the less poor in the country than the poorest. Again, some of the programmes; example, the micro-credit, private sector development and good governance appear not to impact on the poor meaning they were probably poorly implemented or they might have long term effects on poverty reduction whose impact cannot be immediately felt. From the second essay, the study found that the HIPC micro-credit is a panacea to poverty reduction in Ghana. That is it has the potential for poverty reduction because between the HIPC implementation period (2001- 2008), the beneficiaries of the HIPC micro-credit had significant increases in their incomes than the non-beneficiaries. However, from the benefit incidence analysis in section 4.5.2 the distribution of the HIPC micro-credit was skewed. Both the standard and the marginal benefits of the micro-credit were distributed regressively towards the rural areas and the poorest income-quintile of the population. This therefore explains why the intensity of poverty (inequality among the poor) increased as discussed in section 3.4.1. By implication, if efforts are made to channel the HIPC micro-credit to the rural areas and the poorest income-quintile of the population, the country is likely to reduce poverty drastically, if not completely eradicate it. The third essay revealed that both the head count and poverty gap indices from Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) were very high. Also, over the period there was no significant reduction. From counts of domain satisfaction on average over 60% of the households felt that they were poor by all the welfare indicators and therefore it is clear that from the subjective point of view that the initiative did not significantly reduce the poverty situation of the populace. Furthermore, the study found that the initiative did not significantly improve the households’ basic-needs, asset-needs and capabilities that will enable them enhance their well-being and help them to function as economic and social beings. There was no significant statistical difference between the conditions of the households’ basic-needs, asset-needs and capabilities in 2000 and 2008. The study therefore concludes that with respect to basic-needs, asset-needs and capabilities the initiative did not positively impact on poverty reduction over the implementation period.
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    Anticonvulsant and related neuropharmacological effects of a hydro-ethanolic whole plant extract of synedrella nodiflora (L.) gaertn (FAM:Asteraceae).
    (2011-07-19) Amoateng, Patrick
    Synedrella nodiflora (L.) Gaertn. (Family: Asteraceae) is an annual herb which grows to about 60-120 cm high and occurs throughout the West African region. In Ghanaian traditional medicine, the whole plant is used for the treatment of epilepsy. This study presents the anticonvulsant, sedative, muscle relaxant, antinociceptive, antioxidant, the effect on anxiety and the safety of a hydro-ethanolic extract of the whole plant of Synedrella nodiflora. Four murine models of experimental epilepsy were employed for the anticonvulsant screening of the extract, namely; pentylenetetrazole-, picrotoxin- and pilocarpine- induced seizure and penetylenetetrazole- induced kindling. The ability of the extract to cause sedation was investigated using the pentobarbitone- induced sleep test. The neuromuscular effects of the extract were also determined in vivo using the rota-rod test and in vitro with the chick biventer cervicis preparation. Moreover, formalin induced pain and acetic acid induced writhing assay were the tests employed to assess the antinociceptive effects of the extract. The antioxidant effects of the extract was also determined by measuring the total phenols, antioxidant capacity, 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging assay, reducing power assay and inhibition of linoleic acid peroxidation. The elevated plus maze, the light/dark test and the Versamax animal monitor were used to investigate the effect of the extract on anxiety in rodents. The acute toxicity test was also done to assess the safety of the extract as herbal medicine. The extract, SNE, showed significant anticonvulsant effect against seizures induced by PTZ by dose dependent increase in both the onset of the myoclonic jerks and latency to myoclonic seizures and a reduction in the duration of seizures. However this effect was not significant compared to the vehicle treated group and not dose dependent. SNE significantly and dose- dependently delayed the latencies to myoclonic jerks and tonic-clonic seizures induced by picrotoxin. SNE also reduced the duration of seizures significantly. SNE also significantly reduced the total frequency of seizures. SNE, also, dose-dependently reduced the total duration of seizures induced by pilocarpine in the mice treated. SNE significantly suppressed the PTZ- kindled seizure at all the dose levels used. SNE (100-1000 mg kg-1) dose-dependently inhibited lipid peroxidation in the PTZ-kindled rats. SNE also, dose-dependently, increased the duration of sleep induced by pentobarbitone in mice. The ability of SNE to attenuate PTZ-, picrotoxin- pilocarpine- induced seizures, PTZ- induced kindling, enhanced sedation of pentobarbitone suggests the possible involvement of GABAergic, anti-cholinergic, or antioxidant mechanism(s). SNE at 1000 mg kg-1 produced a significant reduction in the time spent on the rota-rod at 24 rpm over the two-hour period thus suggesting motor impairment at this dose. Baclofen at 10 mg kg-1 significantly reduced the duration spent by pre-treated mice on the rota-rod. SNE also antagonised acetylcholine- induced contractions in the chick biventer cervicis preparation, thus a neuromuscular blocker. These results suggest a skeletal muscle relaxant effect by S. nodiflora possibly via centrally mediated mechanism(s) involving neuromuscular blockade. In the formalin-induced pain and the acetic acid- induced writhing, morphine and diclofenac were used as standard opioid and NSAID respectively. The hydro-ethanolic extract of S. nodiflora (100-1000 mg kg-1, p.o) and morphine (1-10 mg kg-1) dose-dependently decreased both phases of the formalin-induced nociceptive behavior. The antinociceptive effects of S. nodiflora (300 mg kg-1, p.o) on the first and second phases of formalin-induced pain were significantly blocked by caffeine but not by naloxone. In the acetic acid-induced writhing test, diclofenac and S. nodiflora significantly reduced the number of writhes dose-dependently. Also, the effect of the S. nodiflora (300 mg kg-1) was blocked by caffeine (3 mg kg-1) but the analgesic effect of diclofenac was significantly enhanced. The observed effects of caffeine on the central and peripheral analgesic effects of S. nodiflora in the formalin and acetic acid- induced writhing suggest the possible involvement of adenosinergic mechanism(s). The extract (0.1-3.0 mg ml-1 ) was found to contain phenolic compounds which could be responsible for the antioxidant properties. The extract also exhibited antioxidant properties by reducing Fe3+ to Fe2+ in the reducing power test, scavenged DPPH free radicals and effectively inhibited linoleic acid autoxidation. In the EPM paradigm, S. nodiflora extract (10-300 mg kg-1) exhibited anxiogenic-like activity by dose-dependently decreasing the number of entries into both the open and closed arms, no significant effect on the percent number of entry into the open arms and a decrease in the time spent in the open arm in comparison to the vehicle-treated group. Similarly, S. nodiflora extract (SNE) dose-dependently decreased the number of head dips and stretch-attend postures and the duration of grooming. In the LD test, SNE also exhibited anxiogenic-like effect by significantly and dose-dependently reducing the number of entry into the light compartment, the number of transitions and not significantly, the time spent in the light area. In the EPM and LD test, diazepam (0.1-1.0 mg kg-1), a reference anxiolytic drug, produced a directly opposite response to that exhibited by SNE. The extract, in the VAMS, decreased the locomotor activity of pretreated-mice dose dependently and significantly. SNE reduced the distance travelled and time spent at the center of the observation cage indicating an anxiogenic-like effect. The extract‟s ability to cause a general reduction in locomotor activity suggests sedative effects rather than anxiogenesis. Oral administration of SNE (1000-10,000 mg kg-1) yielded no mortality in the treated mice over a 24 h of observation. Thus the LD50 was approximated to be greater than 10,000 mg kg-1. Thus the extract can be said of as being less toxic. Also high protective indexes produce in the PTZ-, picrotoxin- and pilocarpine-induced seizures by the extract suggest that it has a safe therapeutic profile. In conclusion, the hydro-ethanolic extract of S. nodiflora has anticonvulsant effect in the acute and chronic seizure models of epilepsy used and indicates a possible GABAergic mechanism(s); exhibits central analgesic effect possibly mediated through adenosinergic mechanism and a peripheral anti-inflammatory activity and a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger, a muscle relaxant and has anxiogenic-like and sedation effects.