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Corporate Reputation and Accountability of Awqaf (Endowment) Institutions: A Stakeholder Perspective

Hisham Yaacob
By Hisham Yaacob
3 weeks ago
Corporate Reputation and Accountability of Awqaf (Endowment) Institutions: A Stakeholder Perspective

Islam, Islamic banking, Waqf, Provision

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  1. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 Corporate Reputation and Accountability of Awqaf (Endowment) Institutions: A Stakeholder Perspective Hisham Yaacob United Arab Emirates University, UAE ABSTRACT Awqaf are endowments regulated by the Islamic law (sharia). The main objective is to provide socio-economic benefits to the community and society through provision of public goods such as education, healthcare and food. Recently, new corporate management model was introduced, which may increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the awqaf institutions. The sector has been plagued with mismanagement (ineffectiveness and inefficiencies) which resulted losses of waqf assets and funds. This is mainly due to the lack of necessary skills and knowledge especially in accounting, financial management and investments of the mutawallis (managers). As a results, the awqaf institutions suffered adverse corporate reputation. As such, the aims of the study are first, to test the suitability of an established corporate reputation survey to examine the relationship between corporate reputation and accountability of the awqaf institutions. Secondly, the study intends to examine if there is any relationship between corporate reputation and accountability of the awqaf institutions in the context of the United Arab Emirates awqaf. If it is suitable, the survey will be extended to the other awqaf institutions in other countries. The study utilizes the quantitative methodology of survey. It adopts an established corporate reputation survey by RepTrack developed by Fombrun and Gardner and adds an accountability dimension to the questionnaire. Four accountability attributes are tested in the first survey and the second survey used only one accountability attribute. Surveys are done at the end of the class time and those who did not attend are not taking part in the survey. Two cohorts of Islamic Accounting students over a year period in the United Arab Emirates University are chosen as the samples using convenient sampling method. The current IBM SPSS Statistics 24 version is used to analyze the data. It is found that the survey is valid for the endowment sector (awqaf). High Cronbach Alpha is recorded from the two set of survey. For the Fall 2016 semester, the Cronbach Alpha is 0.894 and for the Fall 2017, it is 0.88. Both results are above 0.80 even when the attributes are scaled down to 14 attributes for Fall 2017. It means there is a good internal consistency between the variables in the scale. 0.7 is the acceptable level for the Cronbach Alpha for the reliability of the scales. Second, the study found a strong relationship between corporate reputation and accountability in the United Arab Emirate awqaf institution. This is inferred from the Two-tailed analysis at 0.01** and 0.05* significant levels for several attributes (out of 14 in the second test). The study concludes that the corporate reputation survey for companies is reliable and valid in the nonprofit environment. Positive results are recorded from the two surveys proved that it can be used for the other awqaf institutions as well. The study argued that it is vital for the awqaf institutions to manage their corporate reputation properly as it helps them to be seen as more accountable and may results in more contributions or donations for their future growth and sustainability. Keywords: Accountability, Awqaf Institutions, Corporate Reputation 1. INTRODUCTION Awqaf (singular: waqf) is a form of an endowment or also known as pious foundations in Islam regulated by the Islamic law (sharia). The main objective is to provide socio-economic benefits to the community and society through provision of public goods and capital financing to those who are in need (Yaacob, 2006). Although it was argued that endowment has originated from earlier civilization before Islam, it became very prominent in the Muslim world due to the fact that awqaf is a form of sadaqah (voluntary or charitable giving) that is greatly viewed by Islam because it create harmony in the society through social justice (Nahar and Yaacob, 2011). It has also been proven to be a dynamic social and economic vehicle in alleviating poverty and hardness of the community and society across cultural and also religious barriers. This awqaf is a third sector providing public goods such as education, healthcare and even food for the poor and needy and travelers (musaafir) thus it help to reduce public spending (by the government) (Shatzmiller, 2001; Yaacob et al., 2015). 122 Australian Academy of Business Leadership
  2. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 The fate of the awqaf is not so bright towards the end of the nineteenth century when the Muslim civilization declined due to colonization by foreign forces and internal conflicts among the Muslim, the awqaf faced a similar fate. It has been badly managed, assets were misappropriated and funds were embezzled by unscrupulous awqaf managers or mutawalli appointed by the waqif (donor or endower) or the court of the state (Shatzmiller, 1991). Not until recently where many Muslim countries in the South East Asia such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and in the Middle East such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait have undertaken several critical steps to improve and revitalize this once important socio-economic institutions (Ihsan and Ibrahim, 2011). One of the important steps is to corporatize the awqaf institutions so that they have a similar structure with the for-profit which needs to be effective and efficient to be profitable. Without profit the organization will suffer shortage of resources and may cease to exist in the long run. There will be a board of directors or trustees (in the case of some nonprofits) providing the governance and supervising the management and both the board and the management will be held accountable if the organization is not meeting their objectives or failed. 1.1 Problem Statement The notion of corporate awqaf entity amongst others, are to increase accountability, effectiveness and efficiency of the awqaf institutions towards sustainability. As discussed earlier, the inefficiency and ineffectiveness issues have dogged the awqaf institutions for decades and dampened the achievement of awqaf objectives (Yaacob and Nahar, 2017). Table 1: Dimensions and attributes of reputation (used for Fall 2016) Dimensions Attributes Emotional Appeal (E4A1) Feel good Emotional Appeal (EA2) Admire and respect Emotional Appeal (EA3) Trust Products and services (PS1) High quality Products and services (PS2) Value for money Products and services (PS3) Stand Products and services (PS4) Meeting needs Leadership (LD1) Strong and appealing Leadership (LD2) Clear vision Leadership (LD3) Well‑organized Workplace (WP1) Fair rewards Workplace (WP2) Concern Workplace (WP3) Equal opportunity Performance (PF1) Good record Performance (PF2) Low risks Performance (PF3) Future prospects Citizenship (CZ1) Support good causes Citizenship (CZ2) Environmentally responsible Citizenship (CZ3) Influence society Governance (GV1) Open and transparent Governance (GV2) Good ethics Governance (GV3) Fair Accountability (AC1) Is accountable Accountability (AC2) Good accounting practice Accountability (AC3) Good governance Accountability (AC4) Good corporate reputation (Source: Adopted Fombrun and Gardner (2002) with additional dimension of accountability) Australian Academy of Business Leadership 123
  3. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 Table 2: Dimensions and attributes of reputation (Fall 2017) Dimensions Attributes Emotional Appeal (EA1) Feel good Emotional Appeal (EA2) Admire and respect Emotional Appeal (EA3) Trust Products and services (PS1) High quality Products and services (PS2) Value for money Products and services (PS3) Stand Leadership (LD1) Clear vision Workplace (WP1) Concern Performance (PF1) Good record Performance (PF2) Low risks Citizenship (CZ1) Environmentally responsible Governance (GV1) Good ethics Governance (GV2) Fair Accountability (AC1) Good corporate reputation Table 3: The population of fall 2016 and Fall 2017 semester Section Population Fall 2016 Fall 2017 Male 24 24 Female 21 22 Table 4: Results from the questionnaire distribution Section Total Returned % Returned Unreturned % Unreturned Complete % Complete Incomplete % Incomplete Fall 2016 Fall 2017 Male Female Male Female 24 21 24 22 22 18 14 21 92% 86% 58% 95% 2 3 10 1 8.3% 14.3% 42% 5% 15 18 14 21 68% 100% 100% 100% 7 0 0 0 32% 0 0 0 As a result, the awqaf institutions suffered a bad reputation and this affected their endowments. People are less willing to donate if they feel that the donation or endowment is not going to the specific purpose of their donation. In the long run, the awqaf institutions are not able to survive and they may have to sell off some their assets to cover the operating costs. Extant literature on corporate reputation and accountability provide evidence that corporate reputation affect accountability and thus affecting the decision to give of existing or potential donors (Cao and Zhang, 2013). In the corporate sector, good corporate reputation positively influenced the share value and as discussed above for the nonprofit good reputation due to high accountability may attract more resources compared with nonprofit with a bad reputation (Alsop, 2004). Hence, the study argued that corporate reputation is undoubtedly a very important asset to the for-profit and nonprofit organizations. As mentioned earlier, empirical research on the corporate reputation and accountability of Islamic institutions other than Islamic banking and finance (they are for-profit or business organizations) is almost non-existent. Some of the above issues have prompted the research question in the next section. 124 Australian Academy of Business Leadership
  4. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 1.2 Research Questions Based on the above background information, two research questions are formulated for this study: 1. Can the corporate reputation survey for business organization be used in the nonprofit charitable faith based institutions to investigate for corporate reputation and accountability? 2. Is there any relationship exist between corporate reputation and accountability in the awqaf sector based on the corporate reputation survey? 1.3 Study Objectives Basically there are two objectives of this study. The first objective is to test the suitability of the business organizations (forprofit) established corporate reputation survey in examining the relationship between corporate reputation and accountability in the awqaf institutions. The second, the study intends to explore if there is any relationship between corporate reputation and accountability of waqf institutions using the context of the United Arab Emirates. 1.4 Structure of the Study The study is structured as follows: the next section will discuss the Literature Review and Section 3 outlined the Research Method. In Section 4, Findings and Discussion are presented and finally in the final section, Section 5, the Conclusion of the study is discussed. 2. LITERATURE REVIEW Corporate reputation or image as a concept is traceable back to the mid-19th century (Powell, 2009). Although it can be argued that corporate reputation and corporate image are two different constructs, there is a possible link of the two as both are about external or outsiders and insiders perception of a certain organization (Nguyen and Leblanc, 2001). Gardberg and Fombrun (2002) adopt the definition by Fombrun and Rindova (1996) who define corporate reputation as “a collective representation of a firm past actions and results that describes the firm’s ability to delivered valued outcomes to multiple stakeholders (internal and external) in their organizational environments”. Thirty-two items are developed to measure the corporate reputation in the Gardberg and Fombrun (2002) study. The study finds that this definition is suitable to be used in the research context. Corporate reputation or image is argued as one of the most valuable intangible assets for any corporation (Roberts and Dowling, 2002) or organization that must be carefully managed (Abdullah and Aziz, 2013; Fan, 2005; Yeo and Youssef, 2010) as it is argued to have an impact to future earnings or income (share values) (Roberts and Dowling, 2002) and customers retention (Nguyen and Leblanc, 2001). As intangible, it is subjective and measurement becomes an issue (Ponzi et al., 2011) although there is a standard in accounting to measure the asset objectively. As such, corporate reputation or image is concerned with perception by outsiders (or insiders) especially the public on certain organization based on the knowledge that they have (Fan, 2005). It is immaterial whether it is true or untrue and this may affect the company’s share and market value (Nguyen and Leblanc, 2001). Thus, it is also one of important components in corporate strategy (Fombrun, Ponzi and Newburry, 2015). Ponzi et al. (2011) propose that corporate reputation as a ‘signal’, which may influence their stakeholder’s perception due to the organization’s past and future activities. Positive reputation enables the firm to get more advantage in the market compared with the competitors (Fombrun and Shanley, 1990). Corporate reputation research is always related to corporation (Roberts and Dowling, 2002) but very rare to be associated with charities and religious institutions not until recently. Literature on corporate reputation or image for religious institutions is nearly inexistence hence variables from the business literature are adopted. As far as this study is concerned, this is one of the first to look into corporate reputation or image of religious institutions as one of the managers’ accountability drivers. Religious image is found to be one of the accountability drivers in a prior study (Yaacob et al., 2015). Yaacob et al. (2015) is one the newest study that confirmed religious image is one of the three accountability drivers tested to be positive. The study argued that high accountability will give the awqaf institutions better reputation or public perception and this will translate into more support and trust by the endowers or contributors (Cao and Zhang, 2013; Beldad et al., 2014). Cao and Zhang (2013) find that if the charity uses a top external audit firm, their reputation is enhanced, as they are seemed more trustworthy (and accountable) thus may attract more donations in the future. Dellaportas et al. (2012) finds the same when they find that increased disclosures by charities with the hope that it enhanced their public reputation and image thus increasing their Australian Academy of Business Leadership 125
  5. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 accountability to the stakeholders. The managers felt that their work will reflect on the religion itself and thus influenced their reputation (Dellaportas et al., 2012). Some studies found that positive corporate reputation or image might enhance public trust. Moreover, trust is very important not just for business but non-profit organizations as they relied on the customers and contributors for the resources to carry out their organizations objectives, mission and vision (Alsop, 2004; Beldad et al., 2014; O’Dwyer and Unerman, 2008). Without trust, the nonprofit will face difficulties in procuring the much-needed resources especially financial resources. Good reputation (which relates heavily to transparency and good accountability practices, known for superior and quality products or services) may attract more resources into the organization (Fombrun and Shanley, 1990). To ensure retention and loyalty of customer and contributors in the case of non-profits (Abdullah and Aziz, 2013; Cao and Zhang, 2013), reputation is a very important aspect (Connoly and Dhanani, 2013; O’Dwyer and Unerman, 2008). Research has proven that reputation will affect people, either individual or group decision (Balmer, 2001; Fombrun and Shanley, 1990) especially when it involves giving donation or voluntary help (Alsop, 2004; Vamstad and von Essen, 2012). Moreover, as identified by Bekkers and Wiepking (2011), reputation is one of the eight drivers of charitable giving. The others being need; solicitation; costs/benefits; altruism; psychological cost/benefit; values; and efficacy. Although Bekkers and Wiepking (2011) is not a research paper, it does provide an insightful literature review on corporate reputation. Therefore, their findings are based on others’ research but they managed to show that people and organizations do rely on reputation in their giving decision. Dodgy or bad corporate reputation will certainly dampen the ability of the organization to get some share of the scarce resources (thus the use of the Resource Dependence Theory). In fact, a company in the United State by the name of Merrill Lynch was wiped out of more than $20 billion in their market capitalization due to damage in reputation in the year 2002 as their share prices decreased (Alsop, 2004). That is a very huge amount of loses even for a big company such as Merrill Lynch. There are also many other companies that suffered huge financial losses due to bad corporate reputation caused by unscrupulous corporate executives (Yaacob and Basiuni, 2014). Other nonprofits scandal such as the United Way America and New Era (which raised USD$500m and collapsed) has eroded donors’ confidence and trust (Lecy and Searing, 2015). Various charity scandals in the United Kingdom (Connoly and Dhanani, 2013) and China (Cao and Zhang, 2013) have also tarnished the charities’ image and as a result, charity funds are now being highly scrutinized by government and relevant regulators. Needless to say that incentives to manipulate financial information exist in the for-profits as well as nonprofits due to the fact that the manager’s performance and pay are tied up Money NPOs Donors Reputation Figure 1: Nonprofits reputation. Money Awqaf Institutions Reputation Waqif/ Contributor Figure 2: Awqaf reputation. 126 Australian Academy of Business Leadership
  6. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 to the organizational performance such as program and financial performance (Trussel, 2003). To increase transparency, the nonprofits regulator in the United States made a requirement to nonprofits to make their tax return available to the public to increase transparency and accountability (Trussel, 2003). In the Netherland, for instance, where the charity managers are alleged to receive ‘exorbitant salaries’ and subsequently caused reputation risks. On the one hand, the bad reputation from the negative publicity (whether true or not) is found to influence donors repeat contribution decision (Beldad et al., 2014). On the other hand, good reputation positively influenced potential donors and evidence of repeat contributions exist (Bekkers and Wiepking, 2011). It is very important for charities to capitalize good reputation to solicit more donations as donors are less worried about their contribution gone astray. It is argued that reputation is a proxy to quality, so good reputation equal high quality and may increase the interest of others to do business with them (Beldad et al., 2014). Fombrun and Shanley (1990) mention that the cost of doing business can be lowered as the resource providers may be less demanding in the returns. To the charities, more donations with less fund raising costs will definitely help them to run more programs and this allows the achievement of the mission and vision. Yeo and Youssef (2010) posit that the management method and their communication with customers have a direct influence on the perception of good corporate image. One such tool would be the annual report or a ‘townhall’ session with the stakeholders. They further argued that the Chief Executive Officer and the Management should be more visible and accessible to the public to depict a more enhanced corporate reputation (Hayward, 2005). A very good example is the Apple Company that managed to create the reputation of a company producing ‘user-friendly’ information and communication technology products. This helps them to get more market share by portraying that they are the leader in the hardware and software information and communication technology. The good reputation is translated by the high Apple Company share prices in the United State of America stock market. Yeo and Youssef (2010) further suggest organizations to increase their level of communications with the stakeholders especially of the company’s financial standing and performance to boost stakeholders’ confidence thus enhancing the corporate image. Effective corporate communications especially management communications to all stakeholders is vital to maintain a high level of corporate image as strategically managed corporate image may develop a competitive edge to the organization (Melewar and Akel, 2005, p.47). Organizations that observe ethics and moral obligation to all stakeholders are argued to be able to sustain good corporate reputation (Abdullah and Aziz, 2013) but unfortunately, for many companies they are just cosmetics or superficial (Alsop, 2004). Furthermore, according to Alsop (2004), sincerity is also argued as one of the important cornerstone of great corporate image. In the case of awqaf institutions, which depended on donations from the public, it will mean more contribution received. This could help them to manage, maintain and distribute more to the beneficiaries and carry out more programs. Extra fund would enable the awqaf managers to plan for their growth and sustainability. The money can be used to carry out proper maintenance of ‘Table 5: Demographic statistics (Fall 2016 semester) Mean Std. Deviation Gender 33 N 1.00 Minimum 2.00 1.5455 0.50565 Age 33 2.00 2.00 2.0000 0.00000 Education 33 1.00 2.00 1.7879 0.41515 Experience 33 1.00 1.00 1.0000 0.00000 Income 33 1.00 3.00 1.5758 0.79177 Association 33 1.00 3.00 1.2727 0.51676 Donor 33 1.00 4.00 1.4545 0.66572 Valid N (listwise) 33 Table 6: Reliability analysis Reliability Statistics Cronbach’s Alpha 0.675 Australian Academy of Business Leadership Cronbach’s Alpha Based on Standardized Items N of Items 0.883 31 127
  7. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 Table 7: Item‑Total Statistics Item‑Total Statistics Scale mean if item deleted Scale variance if item deleted Corrected item‑total correlation Squared multiple correlation Cronbach’s alpha if item deleted Gender 110.5758 282.814 ‑0.266 . 0.682 Education 110.3333 278.479 ‑0.008 . 0.676 Income 110.5455 274.506 0.130 . 0.673 Association 110.8485 279.758 ‑0.085 . 0.678 Donor 110.6667 278.042 0.003 . 0.677 EA1 108.0000 267.000 0.429 . 0.662 EA2 107.6364 274.364 0.156 . 0.672 EA3 107.7879 270.485 0.292 . 0.667 PS1 108.1212 269.360 0.403 . 0.665 PS2 108.1515 270.945 0.317 . 0.667 PS3 108.2727 266.955 0.447 . 0.662 PS4 108.2727 270.705 0.225 . 0.669 LD1 108.2727 261.080 0.507 . 0.656 LD2 108.1818 264.716 0.515 . 0.659 LD3 108.1818 270.466 0.327 . 0.667 WP1 108.5455 265.693 0.535 . 0.660 WP2 108.4545 260.943 0.718 . 0.654 WP3 108.6061 262.684 0.561 . 0.657 PF1 108.0606 261.371 0.688 . 0.654 PF2 108.3333 258.792 0.633 . 0.652 PF3 108.3333 257.417 0.612 . 0.650 CZ1 108.2727 264.580 0.545 . 0.659 CZ2 108.4242 267.377 0.377 . 0.663 CZ3 108.1212 268.422 0.415 . 0.664 GV1 108.2121 267.297 0.454 . 0.663 GV2 107.9697 265.593 0.475 . 0.661 GV3 107.9697 269.593 0.319 . 0.666 AC1 106.3939 132.621 0.329 . 0.894 AC2 108.1212 261.485 0.535 . 0.656 AC3 107.9394 267.871 0.379 . 0.664 AC4 108.0303 263.093 0.539 . 0.657 Table 8: Reliability satistics (Fall 2016) Reliability statistics Cronbach’s alpha 0.894 Cronbach’s alpha based on standardized items N of items 0.882 30 the awqaf rental generating assets that will increase their useful life and may generate more incomes in the long run. Additional incomes mean more beneficiaries can be served and ensure sustainability of the organization (Yaacob et al., 2015). The study stresses that the need to study the awqaf corporate reputation is pertinent. There is huge discrepancy (significant variance) between the images of awqaf as a very successful economic institution with its historical performance records (in the 19th and 20th century). After the 20th century, awqaf have significantly diminished in terms of its economic benefits to the society due to various factors (Shatzmiller, 2001). This study strongly contends that the awqaf institutions (as a charity or philanthropic organization) should have and need stronger reputation management (Alsop, 2004). The study argued that good reputation may be due to high accountability is 128 Australian Academy of Business Leadership
  8. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 Table 9: Item‑Total Statistics (Fall 2016) Item‑Total Statistics Scale mean if item deleted Scale variance if item deleted Corrected item‑total correlation Squared multiple correlation Cronbach’s alpha if item deleted Gender 104.8485 135.070 ‑0.230 . 0.900 Education 104.6061 133.059 ‑0.064 . 0.897 Income 104.8182 132.966 ‑0.053 . 0.900 Association 105.1212 132.985 ‑0.053 . 0.898 Donor 104.9394 130.746 0.094 . 0.897 EA1 102.2727 124.142 0.452 . 0.891 EA2 101.9091 127.273 0.301 . 0.893 EA3 102.0606 126.871 0.294 . 0.894 PS1 102.3939 126.809 0.361 . 0.892 PS2 102.4242 125.439 0.438 . 0.891 PS3 102.5455 122.131 0.594 . 0.888 PS4 102.5455 125.568 0.293 . 0.895 LD1 102.5455 119.318 0.561 . 0.888 LD2 102.4545 122.506 0.544 . 0.889 LD3 102.4545 125.006 0.452 . 0.891 WP1 102.8182 124.528 0.480 . 0.890 WP2 102.7273 119.830 0.760 . 0.885 WP3 102.8788 121.672 0.557 . 0.889 PF1 102.3333 118.979 0.802 . 0.884 PF2 102.6061 117.371 0.716 . 0.885 PF3 102.6061 115.934 0.710 . 0.884 CZ1 102.5455 122.693 0.559 . 0.889 CZ2 102.6970 125.905 0.315 . 0.894 CZ3 102.3939 125.996 0.386 . 0.892 GV1 102.4848 122.320 0.611 . 0.888 GV2 102.2424 120.002 0.688 . 0.886 GV3 102.2424 123.814 0.462 . 0.891 AC2 102.3939 119.496 0.599 . 0.887 AC3 102.2121 122.110 0.552 . 0.889 AC4 102.3030 120.843 0.597 . 0.888 Table 10: Reliability analysis (Fall 2017) Reliability statistics Cronbach’s alpha Cronbach’s alpha based on standardized items 0.637 0.808 N of items 20 favorable to the organizations. This is important to attract new endowments and build stronger trust with the existing endowers and society (Layish, 2008). Therefore, the study is embarked to fill this gap and hopefully contribute to the initiation of more for the nonprofit religious-based charities. This is one of the contributions of the study. Dimensions and attributes of reputation consist of 26 items in 8 dimensions, 7 dimensions are adopted with 22 items and additional 1 dimension of accountability with 4 items. 3. RESEARCH METHODS The study utilized the quantitative method of survey to collect the primary data. Quantitative method is chosen as it is the best method to answer the research questions and achieved the research objectives. The study did not postulate any hypotheses Australian Academy of Business Leadership 129
  9. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 Table 11. Item‑Total Sstatistics (Fall 2017) Item‑total statistics Scale mean if item deleted Scale variance if item deleted Corrected item‑total correlation Squared multiple correlation Cronbach’s alpha if item deleted Gender 64.4571 Edu 63.6571 58.726 0.219 0.465 0.629 57.585 ‑0.153 0.630 0.810 Exp Income 64.9429 61.467 ‑0.156 0.719 0.647 64.1143 58.222 0.052 0.761 0.648 Known 63.8857 58.457 0.019 0.508 0.655 Donor 64.3429 57.820 0.215 0.816 0.627 EA1 62.0000 51.941 0.516 0.713 0.590 EA2 62.0571 54.467 0.324 0.740 0.613 EA3 62.0571 53.761 0.455 0.773 0.601 PS1 62.1143 52.457 0.686 0.870 0.585 PS2 62.2000 54.871 0.404 0.914 0.608 PS3 62.2571 53.432 0.509 0.960 0.597 LD1 62.1714 56.029 0.334 0.815 0.616 WP1 62.1429 55.008 0.533 0.701 0.604 PF1 62.2571 56.138 0.370 0.830 0.615 PF2 62.2571 54.432 0.536 0.744 0.601 CZ1 61.9714 55.970 0.371 0.742 0.614 GV1 62.0571 54.055 0.532 0.842 0.599 GV2 62.0286 54.734 0.518 0.842 0.603 AC1 62.1143 55.987 0.444 0.828 0.611 Table 12: Reliability statistics (Fall 2017) Reliability statistics Cronbach’s alpha 0.880 Cronbach’s alpha based on standardized items N of items 0.883 15 as this is a part of a bigger study which uses mixed method examining accounting and reporting, governance and corporate reputation to accountability of awqaf institutions. 3.1 Research Design A survey questionnaire is distributed to respondents. The questionnaire is adopted from an established corporate reputation and accountability literature. Samples are chosen using convenient sampling from a group of stakeholder for an awqaf institution based in the United Arab Emirates. The stakeholder group is studying about awqaf institutions accounting, reporting and accountability in one of the courses on Islamic accounting that they took during the Fall 2016 and 2017 semester. The data is analyzed using the current IBM SPSS Statistics version 24. 3.2 Questionnaire Development The Awqaf Fund in the United Arab Emirates is the only awqaf body sanctioned by the UAE’s law to manage and administer the awqaf fund. It has the corporate element as there is a Board of Directors in its governance structure; a complete organizational chart is avail in Appendix 1. A complete list of board members and their responsibilities are as per Appendix 2. The students are asked in the survey specifically on this Awqaf Fund. For the questionnaire, the study adapted Fombrun et al. (2015) RepTrak reputation measurements attributes with some additional accountability attributes. These attributes are tested empirically and validated (Ponzi et al., 2011) across stakeholders, industries and countries’ (Fombrun et al., 2015, p. 5). There are seven attributes to measure the corporate reputation, 1) Product and services; 2) Innovation; 3) Workplace; 4) Governance; 5) Citizenship; 6) Leadership; and 7) performance (Fombrun et al., 2015). 130 Australian Academy of Business Leadership
  10. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 Table 13: Item‑total statistics (Fall 2017) Item‑total statistics Scale mean if item deleted Scale variance if item deleted Corrected item‑total correlation Squared multiple correlation Cronbach’s alpha if item deleted Gender 55.1143 51.163 0.212 0.433 0.883 EA1 52.6571 45.114 0.489 0.577 0.877 EA2 52.7143 45.034 0.477 0.690 0.878 EA3 52.7143 45.269 0.559 0.680 0.872 PS1 52.7714 45.005 0.714 0.751 0.865 PS2 52.8571 46.244 0.518 0.871 0.874 PS3 52.9143 44.434 0.668 0.900 0.866 LD1 52.8286 46.911 0.493 0.645 0.875 WP1 52.8000 47.694 0.526 0.590 0.873 PF1 52.9143 47.434 0.501 0.558 0.874 PF2 52.9143 45.845 0.673 0.711 0.867 CZ1 52.6286 47.534 0.472 0.621 0.875 GV1 52.7143 45.328 0.678 0.803 0.866 GV2 52.6857 46.987 0.561 0.825 0.872 AC1 52.7714 47.358 0.585 0.777 0.871 Table 14. Results for the semester fall 2016 (25 attributes) AC1 Significant level (2‑tailed) 0.01** PF2 Good record GV1 Good ethics 0.345 0.445 PS1 0.392 PS2 PS3 0.384 0.513 LD1 WP2 0.05* 0.386 0.554 PF1 0.437 CZ2 0.434 GV3 0.492 AC2 0.436 AC3 0.801 However, Innovation is dropped, as this study feels that it is more for-profit oriented and accountability attributes are added to the attributes. The study chose employees as the survey respondents as it is one of the objectives of the study to evaluate the employees’ perception on their organization’s reputation (Ponzi et al., 2011) and to investigate whether they feel that reputation served as one of the accountability drivers. Prior study has also used employees to measure the company’s reputation, as employees are an important stakeholder for the organization. A sample of the questionnaire is available in the Appendix. 3.3 Context and Sample The samples are selected using convenient sampling method. Two sections of student who enrolled in the Islamic Accounting course for the Fall 2016 semester formed the population. The Islamic Accounting course is an elective course to the undergraduate in accounting degree at the United Arab Emirates University, which is the first university in the country established more than forty years ago by the first president of the UAE. In this course students are introduced to the Fundamentals of Islamic Accounting including chapters on Islamic Banking and Finance, Awqaf and Takaful institutions. The two sections are divided according to gender thus they are known as Male Section and Female Section. The Male Section consisted of 24 students and the Female Section has 21 students. Australian Academy of Business Leadership 131
  11. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 Table 15. Results for the semester Fall 2017 (14 attributes) AC1 0.01** Significant level (2‑tailed) 0.05* 0.522 0.609 EA2 Admire and respect 0.486 EA3 Trust 0.455 PF2 Good record 0.450 CZ1 Environmentally responsible 0.720 GV1 Good ethics GV2 Fair 4. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION The above Table 6 and 7 are the results of the reliability statistics for the 27 original items from the adopted survey questionnaires. The Cronbach’s Alpha is 0.675 (questionable) and for the 4 additional variables in the accountability dimension the Cronbach’s Alpha is just 0.152 (poor). The interpretation of the output follows the rule of George and Mallery (2003): >.9 (Excellent), >.8 (Good), >.7 (Acceptable), >.6 (Questionable), >.5(Poor), and <.5 (Unacceptable). Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient normally ranges between 0 and 1. The closer the coefficient is to 1.0, the greater is the internal consistency of the items (variables) in the scale. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient increases either as the number of items (variables) increases, or as the average inter-item correlations increase (i.e. when the number of items is held constant). After taking out AC1 which is “Is accountable” attribute from the Accountability dimension, the Cronbach’s Alpha is now 0.894 Good) as per the two tables above. 0.7 is the acceptable level and above 0.8 is considered good. For the Fall 2017 semester, the initial Cronbach Alpha is 0.637 (Table 10) which is questionable. It goes up to 0.88 (Table 12) after a few variables are dropped; 1) Edu; 2) Exp; 3) Income; 4) Known; and 5) Donor (refer to Table 13). So the scale reliability now is considered good. For two variables, a statistical correlation is measured by the use of a Correlation Coefficient, represented by the symbol (r), which is a single number that describes the degree of relationship between two variables. 5. CONCLUSION Literature on corporate reputation of business organizations is abundance. However there is a vacuum for the nonprofit corporate reputation body of knowledge especially in charitable faith based institutions. This study is embarked to fill this gap. It is also to stir interest in this area. The study adopted an established corporate reputation survey questionnaire and added one dimension on accountability with four attributes in the beginning. Later the second survey is using 14 attributes. Interestingly, it is found that the corporate reputation survey for companies is reliable and valid in the nonprofit environment. Positive results are recorded from the two surveys proved that it can be used for other awqaf institutions as well. The study argued that it is vital for the awqaf institutions to manage their corporate reputation properly as it helps them to be seen as more accountable and may results in more contributions or donations for their future growth and sustainability. Limitation Only one group of stakeholders is surveyed, thereby generalization to other groups is still inappropriate. The chosen group of the stakeholders is students from one of the public universities in the country. They are final year undergraduate accounting students who undertake the course of Islamic Accounting and Finance, which qualifies them to become one of the stakeholders. REFERENCES Abdullah, Z. & Aziz, Y.A. (2013). Institutionalizing corporate social responsibility: effects on corporate reputation, culture and legitimacy in Malaysia. Social Responsibility Journal, 9(3), 344 - 361. 132 Australian Academy of Business Leadership
  12. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 Alsop, R.J. (2004). Corporate reputation: anything but superficial – the deep but fragile nature of corporate reputation. Journal of Business Strategy, 25(6), 21 - 29. Balmer, J.M.T. (2001). Corporate identity, corporate branding and corporate marketing: seeing through the fog. European Journal of Marketing, 35(3&4), 248 - 291. Bekkers, R. & Wiepking, P. (2011). A literature review of empirical studies of philanthropy: Eight mechanisms that drive charitable giving. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 40(5), 924 - 973. Beldad, A., Snip, B. & van Hoof, J. (2014). Generosity the second time around: determinants of individuals’ repeat donation intention. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(1), 144 - 163. Cao, L. & Zhang, L. (2013). Can audit play an effective role in the charity governance?. 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  13. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 APPENDIX 1: THE ORGANIZATIONAL CHART ►Board of Directors ►Chairman →Office of the Chairman →Chairman’s Counselors →Office of Internal Audit →Office of Strategic Planning and Performance Evaluation ►Director General →GAIAE Branches →Office of Director General ◊ Executive Director of Islamic Affairs ●Mosques Department ●Department of Hajj (pilgrimage) and Umrah ●Department of Religious Centers and Institutes. ●Center for Ifta’ (Islamic ruling). ●Department of Research and Censorship of Religious Publications. ◊ Executive Director of Awqaf Affairs ●Department of Awqaf Endowers and Beneficiaries. ●Department of Awqaf Investments. ◊ Executive Director of Support Services. ●Department of Government Communications. 134 Australian Academy of Business Leadership
  14. Proceedings of Sydney International Business Research Conference 2018 , Novotel Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia, 25-26 March 2018; ISBN 978-0-9946029-9-2 ●Department of Human Resources and Financial Affairs. ●Department of General Services. ●Department of Information Technology. ●Department of Legal Affairs. (Source: https://www.awqaf.gov.ae/About.aspx?Lang=EN&SectionID=12&RefID=861) APPENDIX 2: MEMBERS OF THE BOARD AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES The Board of Directors is the GAIAE higher authority which oversees the implementation of GAIAE goals. The members of the Board of Directors are: Name Title 1  H.E. Dr.Mohammad Al Kaabi Chairman, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments 2 HE Ali Khalfan Ahmed Al Mansouri Director of Charitable Institutions at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai  3 HE Mohammed Atiq Al Falahi  Secretary General of the UAE Red Crescent Authority 4 H.E. Saif  Said Mohammad AlZahmi  Director Department of Administrative Affairs Fujaira Ruler’s Court‑Diwan 5 HE Sultan Ali Mohammed Abu Laila Director General of Lands & Property Department of Ras Al Khaimah  6 HE Jamal Salem Al Traifi    Advisor at Sharjah Ruler’s Court 7 H.E. Abdullah Salem Saif Qunsol  Director Office of Social Affairs  Um al Quwaim 8 Dr Omar Abdul Rahman Salem Al Nuaimi Advisor to the Demographic Research Centre, the Federal Demographic Council/Director of Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Centre for the Service of the Holy Quran  9 HE Maryam Mohammed Al Rumaithi Director General of Family Development Foundation  Photo Main responsibilities of the Board of Directors: ● Approve the GAIAE general policy and plans relating to Islamic affairs and Awqaf (religious endowments). ● Approve the rules and regulations governing Islamic affairs and Awqaf, including Hajj and Umra, and any eventual violations, administrative or financial penalties. A pertinent decree is to be issued later by the UAE Cabinet. ● Approve any plans or programmes aiming at increasing Awqaf revenues and regulating the process of their collection. ● Propose Islamic legislations relative to Islamic affairs and Awqaf. ● Approve the GAIAE organisational chart pending the issuance of a UAE Cabinet decree related thereto. ● Approve the GAIAE administrative and financial bylaws and its employment regulations pending the issuance of a UAE Cabinet decree related thereto. ● Contract with counselors, experts, and technicians to fulfill GAIAE needs provided such appointments are within the GAIAE budget. ● Approve the GAIAE annual ledger (incomes and expenditures). ● Agree on the proposed annual budget and end of the year ledger account. ● Appoint GAIAE senior employees, as recommended by the Chairman, and in accordance with the GAIAE employment regulations. ● Appoint auditors and determine their fees. ● Approve reports on the performance of the GAIAE departments. ● Form GAIAE permanent committees, define their duties and financial rewards as suggested by the GAIAE Chairman. ● Approve the bills submitted by Awqaf supervisors provided they are in conformity with the GAIAE regulations. ● Propose the fees for work permits and other GAIAE services. The relevant decree is to be issued by the UAE Cabinet. ● Discuss any other GAIAE issues set forth by the Chairman. (Source: https://www.awqaf.gov.ae/About.aspx?Lang=EN&SectionID=12&RefID=859) Australian Academy of Business Leadership 135