M Daud Ahmed
Editor, December 2015

This issue of The New Zealand Journal of Applied Business Research (NZJABR) Volume (13), Issue (2) features four articles focussing on diverse themes: the changing role of accounting in health sector reform; the development of communities of practice for emotional intelligence trainers; the importance of crucibles in the development of leadership capability; and the impact of customer relationship management on bank switching behaviour among New Zealand students.

The first article entitled ‘Public Sector Reforms: The Changing Role of Accounting in New Zealand’s Public Health Sector’, by Dr. Jayanthi Kumarasiri, analyses the significance of the public health management reforms, especially financial accountability, in changing the traditional public healthcare system in New Zealand. While this reform improved the financial efficiency of the healthcare system, but the narrow definition of accountability contributed to some negative outcomes on the social responsibility of the public health care organisations. The author suggests the use of accounting as an effective mechanism for delivering social accountability.

The second article entitled ‘Cultivating an Emotional Intelligence Community of Practice in New Zealand,' By Dr. Lesley Gill, Dr. Phil Ramsey and Prof. Sarah Leberman, focuses on the perspectives of emotional intelligence (EI) trainers who work in isolation from independent consultants or training practitioners in other organisations. The authors interviewed twenty-one EI trainers and also organised a symposium which revealed that they had experienced isolation and fragmentation within the EI practitioner community. The study finds that EI trainers are interested in belonging to a community of practice and that symposia are a useful method for assimilating established principles of communities of practice.

The third article entitled ‘Do crucibles matter in nurturing leadership capability?’, by Dr. Steve Hinge, discusses whether crucibles have a major influence or not in nurturing leadership capability. Dr. Hinge has used a qualitative research methodology, specifically a Grounded Theory approach, to analyse data gathered from interviews with twenty community leaders and also developed abstract concepts that created the ‘Surthrive’ concept. The research finds that the Northland community leaders’ reflection on their crucible experiences stimulated significant awareness of their leadership calling, character, and competence. These communities collectively nurtured the strength of their leadership capability and indicated that crucibles matter in the nurturing of leadership capability.

The last article entitled ‘Future-proofing bank loyalty among students: A New Zealand study,' by Dr. John Walker and Thamer Al Thaqafi, adapted Keaveney’s service switching model to explore bank switching behaviour among the New Zealand students and the impact of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) on decisions to switch. The authors find that price and service quality play a key role in student bank switching decisions while the fresh light was thrown on customer migration from bricks to clicks; the waning influence of traditional word-of-mouth sources; and the importance of bank ethical conduct to students. Bank CRM actions could shape and possibly reverse student switching decisions, but there was room for improvement. An effective CRM strategy focused on developing a long-term relationship with student customers would go some way towards future-proofing their loyalty to banks and retaining them as valued customers.