rss_2.0Business Systems Research Journal FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Business Systems Research Journal Systems Research Journal 's Cover Effect of Auditor Rotation on the Relationship between Financial Manipulation and Auditor’s Opinion<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> Since external auditors possess the expertise necessary for detecting manipulations in financial statements, they should also take into account earnings management that could lead to it. In that context, auditor’s independence, which can be affected by auditor’s rotation, is of utmost importance.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> This paper aims to examine the moderating effect of auditor rotation on the relationship between the extent of financial manipulation and the type of auditor’s opinion for companies listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange in the Republic of Croatia.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> A panel analysis with logistic regression is conducted to test the research hypothesis. The sample consists of 210 observations during the three years from 2015 to 2017.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> Results show a significant positive relationship between auditor rotation in a current financial year and auditor’s opinion. Furthermore, there is a negative, but the statistically insignificant moderating effect of auditor rotation in a current financial year on the relationship between financial manipulation and auditor’s opinion, as well as the statistically insignificant moderating effect of auditor rotation frequency over five years on the relationship between financial manipulation and auditor’s opinion.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> It is not likely that auditors take earnings management into account when generating their opinion on financial statements, and auditor rotation is not proven to be an adequate stimulus in that context.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Position and Role of Social Supermarkets in Food Supply Chains<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> Social supermarkets were developed in Europe after the economic crisis 2008-2014. Their purpose is to decrease food waste that occurs in traditional food supply chains and to ensure access to food to socially endangered citizens.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> This paper analyses the general perception of consumers regarding the mission and purpose of social supermarkets in four Central Eastern European (CEE) countries: Croatia, Poland, Lithuania, and Serbia.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> The paper brings the results of the survey research conducted in the observed CEE countries measuring attitudes towards the relevance and the role of social supermarkets.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> There is a positive attitude regarding the existence of social supermarkets in all the analysed CEE countries. Less than 10% of respondents claim that there is no need for such organizations. In Croatia, Lithuania, and Poland examinees claim that reduction of food waste rather than reduction of poverty should be emphasized as a mission of social supermarkets.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> Social supermarkets require improvement of a legal framework, welfare system integration, and implementation of state monitoring. Moreover, larger involvement of religious communities, national and local governments, as supporting institutions is observed as a necessity in all the countries.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Performance Measurement of Vietnamese Publishing Firms by the Integration of the GM (1,1) Model and the Malmquist Model<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> In the new technology context, the publishing industry cannot continue to maintain its business operations and to develop relying solely on traditional product offerings, such as books, magazines, and newspapers. There needs to be an expansion into innovative products, such as e-books, micro-publishing, and websites.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> The paper addresses the factors influencing financial reports of Vietnamese publishing firms using two methodological approaches, namely the Grey first-order one variables (GM,1,1) model in the Grey theory and the Malmquist model in the data envelopment analysis (DEA).</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> The GM(1,1) model predicts the future period of 2020–2023 based on the historical time series analysis. The Malmquist model presents catch-up, frontier-shift, and Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) in whole terms.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> The analysis provides an overview of the publishing industry in Vietnam. The final empirical results show that twelve companies reached a production efficiency higher than 1 and fourteen companies are expected to attain a productivity score higher than 1.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> Only a few firms do not need to change significantly; however, the remaining firms must re-evaluate their current operations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00The Proportion for Splitting Data into Training and Test Set for the Bootstrap in Classification Problems<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> The bootstrap can be alternative to cross-validation as a training/test set splitting method since it minimizes the computing time in classification problems in comparison to the tenfold cross-validation.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> Тhis research investigates what proportion should be used to split the dataset into the training and the testing set so that the bootstrap might be competitive in terms of accuracy to other resampling methods.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> Different train/test split proportions are used with the following resampling methods: the bootstrap, the leave-one-out cross-validation, the tenfold cross-validation, and the random repeated train/test split to test their performance on several classification methods. The classification methods used include the logistic regression, the decision tree, and the k-nearest neighbours.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> The findings suggest that using a different structure of the test set (e.g. 30/70, 20/80) can further optimize the performance of the bootstrap when applied to the logistic regression and the decision tree. For the k-nearest neighbour, the tenfold cross-validation with a 70/30 train/test splitting ratio is recommended.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> Depending on the characteristics and the preliminary transformations of the variables, the bootstrap can improve the accuracy of the classification problem.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Gender Disparity in Students’ Choices of Information Technology Majors<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> The gender disparity in the Information Technology (IT) field has persisted over the years. In 2018, only 27.2% of IT workers were women. Once hired, women face more challenges, and they are leaving the field twice as fast as men are. The misconception that women are weak in tech is one of the root causes of gender disparity issues in IT.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> We examine the gender disparity in students’ choices of IT majors, as well as the decision process of Computer Information Systems (CIS) graduates.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> We use the United States public universities’ student data from 2010 to 2018. Both the Pooled and the Satterthwaite t-test are used to investigate the gender disparity issue among the students.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> Our results support our hypothesis that female students are statistically less likely to choose CIS than their male peers are. An additional analysis of students’ grades in CIS courses shows that female students perform equally well as male students do. We did not find any evidence that it takes longer for female students to get the CIS degree; however, female students did change their majors more often.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> Female students tend to avoid IT majors; they often think they may not do well in the courses; however, such an assumption is not true. Our findings provide strategies for university and high school administration to be more proactive in developing recruiting strategies to attract and retain female CIS students.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Familiarity with Mission and Vision: Impact on Organizational Commitment and Job Satisfaction<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> The relationship between organizational mission and vision statements, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction has been discussed vastly in previous research, both in the domain of public sector organizations and in profit organizations.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> The goal is to investigate if there are differences in organizational commitment and job satisfaction between employees who are familiar with the mission and vision of their organization, compared to those who are not familiar with them.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> A survey research has been conducted on a sample of 114 employees in private and public sector organizations in the Republic of Croatia. Data were analysed using a t-test to determine the differences between two groups of respondents, i.e. those who are familiar with the visions and mission of their organisation, and those who are not.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> There are differences in job satisfaction levels between employees who are familiar with the mission and vision of the organization in which they are employed and those who are not. Furthermore, differences are particularly evident in the group of public sector employees.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> The presence of awareness of the organizational mission and vision among employees has a positive effect on their job satisfaction. This is possibly an indicator of the organization’s culture, which fosters positive values embedded in the organizational vision and mission.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Enterprise Digital Divide: Website e-Commerce Functionalities among European Union Enterprises<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> Information and communication technologies (ICTs) gained prevalent organizational and structural value in the modern economy. E-commerce is one of the sectors directly influenced by technological change. However, not all countries have the same opportunities to develop e-commerce growth; there are significant discrepancies in ICT utilization worldwide, known as the digital divide.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> The purpose of this paper is to explore the level of difference among European countries regarding the e-commerce functionalities in their enterprises using a cluster analysis.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> To accomplish the paper goal, the k-means cluster analysis was conducted on the Eurostat data from 2019. Enterprises from 28 European countries were taken into consideration. The Kruskal-Wallis test is used to explore if the differences among clusters regarding the digital development, measured by the Digital Economy and Society Index are significant.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> The investigation confirmed that there are significant differences among European countries regarding the development of e-commerce. However, a similar level of e-commerce is not related to economic and digital development.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> Since the relationship between economic development and e-commerce development in European countries is not linear, country-level policies are likely to be significant factors driving e-commerce development, which leads to the need for further investigation of this issue.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Privatization in Croatia: Standpoint of Croatian Citizens in 1998 and 2018<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> The break-up of Yugoslavia has led to a transition from planned to the market economy. The main task of transition is privatization, which implies transferring most of the former social ownership to private individuals. The privatization process has marked the end of the twentieth century in Croatia and still carries many unanswered questions that have arisen because of the persistent need for privatization in the former, unconsolidated state.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> The main objective of the paper is to make a comparison of respondents’ perception of Croatian privatization in 2018 compared to 1998. The aim is to investigate the similarities and changes in the attitudes of the Croats regarding the privatization processes that Croatia has engulfed in several stages.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> The survey was conducted on a sample of one hundred Croatian citizens about their perception of the privatization process in Croatia in 2018. Results of the survey in 1998 and 2018 were compared using the chi-square test.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> The respondents in 2018 are convinced that the main goals of privatization have not been realized. Citizens’ distrust towards the system and institutions conducting the privatization process is greater in 2018 compared to 1998.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> Respondents perception of privatization has not changed significantly concerning the 20-year gap. Dissatisfaction due to the unfulfilled fundamental goals is still present, as is the need for revision of privatization.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Does the “Like” Habit of Social Networking Services Lower the Psychological Barriers to Recommendation Intention in Surveys?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> Companies often measure their customers’ recommendation intention using the loyalty index based on the idea that a customer who has high loyalty and is committed to a brand has the confidence to recommend it to others. The psychological barrier is higher for recommendation intention, which may influence the behavior of others than for satisfaction on an individual level. However, the action of recommending has become commonplace due to the spread of social networking services (SNS). Pushing the “like” button for posts by family, friends, and co-workers has become an ingrained practice for consumers. Therefore, it is thought that “like” habits in SNS may lower the psychological barriers to the recommendation.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> In this study, it was hypothesized that the more people habitually like posts on SNS, the higher the score for their recommendation intention in a customer survey.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> Propensity score matching was used to investigate a causal effect between the likes and the recommendation intention in a customer survey.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> Based on the results of an online survey of chocolate brands in Japan, the causal effect was verified by propensity score matching.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> The results suggest that not only in companies but also in academic research, a valid concern is that the causal effect cannot be accurately evaluated unless a survey design is performed in consideration of the effects.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Differences in Slovenian NUTS 3 Regions and Functional Regions by Gender<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> Regions at the level of NUTS 3, which is a system used in the EU for various analyses and statistical reports, can be defined as functional regions in terms of labour markets, education areas, and supply markets.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> This study analyses the functional regions of Slovenia, differentiated by gender, and their correspondence with the statistical regions at the level of NUTS 3.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> Functional regions are analysed as labour market areas, which are modelled according to the CURDS method, and evaluated using the fuzzy set approach.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> The analysis of functional regions resulted in ten regions for male commuters and fourteen regions for female commuters. Only four of the twelve functional regions for commuters relate to the corresponding statistical regions. Functional region Ljubljana is much larger than the corresponding statistical region, mainly at the expense of neighbouring regions. In recent decades, two new functional regions have been created which are becoming candidates for inclusion in the system of NUTS 3 regions.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> A detailed analysis showed that functional region Velenje is becoming an important local labour market and should be included in the system of NUTS 3 regions of Slovenia, while the Central Sava Statistical Region should be removed from it.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Critical Success Factors of New Product Development: Evidence from Select Cases<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> The unique, yet complex, new product development (NPD) process represents one of firms’ most significant operations that impose high weightage onto its profitability margins and market reputation.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> The object of the research is to identify critical success factors (CSFs) of a new product development in Dubai firms.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> The paper uses literature as a basis for identifying critical success factors for a new product development, which is supported by a semi-structured interview of senior management-level executives in Dubai.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> To pinpoint a set of the most influential CSFs, 12 factors for the NPD process are highlighted, based on their reoccurrence patterns in the literature and semi-structured interviews. Impact levels of 12 CSFs on the NPD process are expressed through a presentation from the highest to the lowest recurrent factor.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> Each CSF’s role in driving the NPD process to success has also been justified using real-time evidence, depicted throughout 4 case studies from different industries.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00The Effect of External Knowledge Sources on Organizational Innovation in Small and Medium Enterprises in Germany<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> Firms increasingly depend on external actors for the process of generating innovation. Interaction with these actors might occur through an official collaboration agreement or via external actors as the source of information.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> Although open innovation has received more attention, still less is known about its effect on organizational innovation. To fill this gap, this study investigates the impact of various external knowledge sources on the willingness of small and mediumsized enterprises to introduce organizational innovation.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> To achieve the proposed objective, the German Community Innovation Survey conducted in 2017 is used for the econometric analysis.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> Different external sources of knowledge are relevant for the introduction of organizational innovation in small firms (customers in the private sector, competitors, conferences, and crowdsourcing) compared to medium-sized firms (customers in the private sector and industry associations).</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> External knowledge sources are more important for small firms compared to medium firms, and those small firms are more likely to use various sets of external knowledge.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Collaborative Strategic View in Corporate Social Responsibility – Construction Industry Case<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> The incorporation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) into the business strategy of construction firms boosts their corporate reputation, while at the same time reduces the risk and the external pressure for minimizing a negative societal footprint.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> This study aims to determine the current state of CSR in the Croatian construction industry, in terms of knowing and practicing, and to offer a collaborative strategic view as a viable CSR approach.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> A survey research among large Croatian construction companies regarding CSR in the context of collaboration with stakeholders was carried out and the results were analyzed using the multidimensional unfolding procedure.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> Results show that for the Croatian construction companies CSR activities are important, but they are not widely seen as a benefit to overall business strategies yet.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> Results of the research could be helpful to construction firms in the efficient and effective stakeholder engagement, as well as in the development of the calibrated CSR strategy.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Cultural Tourism and Community Engagement: Insight from Montenegro<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> Cultural tourism in Montenegro is growing, mostly due to the integral growth and development of tourism products. However, an in-depth insight into the relationship between cultural tourism and community engagement is missing.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> The paper aims to examine the relationship between cultural tourism development and community engagement in Montenegro.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> Using the extensive literature, available secondary data, and an analysis of relevant policies, the paper explores new possibilities for diversifying tourism offer at heritage sites, by engaging volunteers, enhancing understanding of the socio-historical background, promoting the usage of digital tools, partnering with relevant stakeholders, introducing innovative funding tools and schemes.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> Several management issues associated with heritage tourism and community participation are acknowledged.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions:</bold> Key findings indicate the need for a systemic, dynamic, and innovative framework for sustainable and highly impactful heritage tourism in Montenegro, which policymakers, heritage ventures, and other stakeholders might use to strengthen community engagement and development at the heritage sites.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Freelancing in Croatia: Differences among Regions, Company Sizes, Industries and Markets<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Background:</bold> Freelancers have a significant impact on economic growth due to their specific skills that are nowadays often used as complements to the regular full-time workforce of a company, not as their competition.</p> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> The study aims to investigate employers’ attitudes towards the employment of freelancers in Croatia, taking into account the place of establishment, the operational market, the size, and the industry of the organization hiring freelancers.</p> <p><bold>Methods/Approach:</bold> Differences among organizations according to their attitudes towards freelancers are analyzed by multiple 2xc Fisher’s exact tests with the Monte Carlo Simulation, and binomial logistic regression analysis.</p> <p><bold>Results:</bold> Significant differences are found in terms of the operational market and the industry in which the company operates. Besides, the binomial logistic regression analysis identified the following independent constructs as significant predictors of hiring freelancers: the region of the company’s seat, company size, and area of operation.</p> <p><bold>Conclusions</bold>: The national legislation should complement the developmental policies to encourage employment and especially self-employment of freelancers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Is there a Link between Sustainability, Perception and Buying Decision at the Point of Sale?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <sec><title style='display:none'>Background</title><p>If retailers and brand manufacturers of food succeed in presenting their products at the point of sale, quickly generating a high level of attention, the likelihood of a purchase is significantly increased. Particularly, in recent years, they have been relying on the megatrend of sustainability. The importance of sustainable food has grown accordingly. Hence, an increasing number of manufacturers are challenged to communicate the sustainability of their products via packaging and displays at the point of sale.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Objectives</title><p>The aim of this article is: to examine to what extent the design of individual packaging and display elements of new sustainable direct juice succeeds in visually communicating sustainability aspects. At the same time the willingness to pay of customers interested in sustainability must be commercialized.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Methods/Approach</title><p>The focus is on a real shopping situation in conditions that are as regular as possible. The perception of a display must be recorded by eye-tracking technology. A preliminary survey must examine consumers' attitudes towards sustainable food in order to relate it to the perception of individual display elements. For this purpose, the eye-tracking technology was combined with a survey of 32 customers.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Results</title><p>The results demonstrate that customers with a positive attitude towards sustainable food behave in the following way: they fix individual packaging and display elements that refer to sustainable components for a longer period of time; they remember product features better and they tend to have a slightly higher willingness to pay for the sustainable direct juice.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Conclusions</title><p>The configuration of an authentic and natural shopping situation provides the manufacturer with concrete recommendations for the design of the display. This communicates the sustainability of its product and thus generates the desired attention.</p></sec> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-03T00:00:00.000+00:00How Impulsivity influences the Post-purchase Consumer Regret?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <sec><title style='display:none'>Background</title><p>The role of impulsivity in post-purchase consumer regret is unclear and intriguing because of the negative emotions that underlie both constructs. It is particularly important to examine the impact of impulsivity on the relationship between regret and the Emotionality dimension of the HEXACO model of personality.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Objectives</title><p>The purpose of this paper was to investigate the associations between consumer regret components: outcome regret and process regret, attention, motor and non-planning dimensions of impulsivity and Fearfulness, Anxiety, Dependence and Sentimentality domains of Emotionality.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Methods/Approach</title><p>The sample consisted of undergraduates from Zagreb, Croatia (<italic>M</italic><sub>age</sub> = 25.93, 56% females). The correlation and the regression analysis were performed. We used the Baratt impulsivity scale (BIS-11), the HEXACO-PI-R Emotionality scale and the Post Purchase Regret Scale (PPRS).</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Results</title><p>The PPCR total score was associated with the BIS-11 total score, attention and non-planning impulsivity. Regret due to foregone alternatives was related to attention and non-planning impulsivity, while regret due to a change in significance was related only to attention impulsivity. Regret due to under-consideration positively correlated with non-planning impulsivity.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Conclusions</title><p>The results indicate that relations between impulsivity and consumer regret have an important role in understanding consumer behavior and that impulsivity has a moderate association between consumer regret and Emotionality.</p></sec> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-03T00:00:00.000+00:00Optimizing the Resource Consumption of Blockchain Technology in Business Systems<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <sec><title style='display:none'>Background</title><p>Blockchain technology has gained a great public interest due to the appearance of cryptocurrencies, a digital asset used for exchanging funds. Although blockchain calculations offer the benefits of security and reduced costs, blockchain is still strongly criticised for its lack of usefulness and resource-heavy consumption.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Objectives</title><p>The aim of this research is to provide different insights into blockchain technology and to propose NP-complete problems as a suitable alternative to the current consensus algorithm.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Methods/approach</title><p>This research discusses the current state of proposed alternatives, projects such as distributed volunteering for scientific purposes and different consensus algorithms within cryptocurrencies but focusing on incorporating NP-complete problems as a secondary, more useful option.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Results</title><p>Using the properties of NP-complete problems, it is possible to solve various problems in different areas, such as science, biology, medicine and finance, but also to improve business processes, optimize markets, payments and supply chains while decreasing environmental costs.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Conclusions</title><p>This paper shows that the alternative mechanisms are being developed and used to substitute an existing Blockchain algorithm with a more efficient one. It also suggests further investigation in this area because the alternatives greatly improve blockchain’s usability and efficiency.</p></sec> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-03T00:00:00.000+00:00Data Mining Applications in SMEs: An Italian Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <sec><title style='display:none'>Background</title><p>From the last decade, data mining techniques, employed in particular in customer relationship management, have assumed a key role in the profitability and operations of companies. To support small and medium companies (SMEs), several innovative and continuously improving tools have been developed that allow SMEs to utilize the internal and external data sources to increase their competitiveness.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Objectives</title><p>In this paper, an analysis of the impact of digitalization, and in particular data mining techniques, in the context of SMEs development is presented.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Methods/Approach</title><p>A review of various sources has been conducted, with the focus on open source tools, since in the context of the Italian economy they are used by SMEs the most.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Results</title><p>First, the analysis presents a brief review of the data mining techniques available and shows how they are practically employed in small companies. Second, an economical review of investments in data mining projects in Italy is presented.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Conclusions</title><p>The review indicates that data mining techniques can boost a company in the market. However, the awareness of data mining as a company asset is still not strong in Italian SMEs and most investments in Italy are still carried out by large companies.</p></sec> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-03T00:00:00.000+00:00R&D Investments in the European ICT sector: Implications for Business Performance<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <sec><title style='display:none'>Background</title><p>A significant share of business innovation arises from information and communication (ICT) sector. Business investment into research and development (R&amp;D) activities can be seen as an important basis for innovation, which can further lead to better economic performance. This can be especially true for the ICT sector.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Objectives</title><p>The paper examines the share of the ICT sector on innovation and the total R&amp;D expenditure in selected European countries. Furthermore, our aim is to test the potential positive correlation between R&amp;D expenditure, productivity and the value added in the sector.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Methods/Approach</title><p>The goals of the paper has been tested by empirical data analysis using the pane regression analysis. We examined panel data for 24 European countries in the 2008-2016 period.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Results</title><p>The highest share of business R&amp;D expenditure in ICT has been captured in Nordic countries. Firms in ICT appear to be innovative above the average and represent a significant share in the total business R&amp;D expenditure.</p></sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Conclusions</title><p>We found a positive correlation between R&amp;D expenditure and both value-added and apparent labour productivity in the ICT sector. We believe that this could be to some extent attributed to the innovation of products and processes. Hence, the government support in the form of R&amp;D tax incentives can be also beneficial for the economic performance of ICT firms.</p></sec> </abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-03T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1