rss_2.0Business and Economics FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Business and Economics and Economics Feed of fiscal institutions on public finances in the European Union: Review of evidence in the empirical literature<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper examines the impact of budgetary institutions on public finances in the European Union on the basis of a critical survey of the relevant theoretical and empirical literature. In general, the authors find that fiscal institutions (namely fiscal rules) have successfully contributed to greater fiscal sustainability, reduced procyclicality of fiscal policies within the EU, and increased national ownership of fiscal rules by strengthening national fiscal frameworks. A fiscal reaction function was one of the widely used methods to determine the principal variables affecting fiscal outcomes. Some authors used cyclically-adjusted fiscal outcomes as the dependent variable representing the discretionary fiscal policy-making whereas others put emphasis on other fiscal outcomes. The samples of countries covered mostly the EU Member States, representing rather homogenous samples in the context of common EU fiscal framework. Institutional aspects used as independent variables differed significantly among authors and some could be added for future research. Based on the literature survey, several recommendations were made for fiscal policy-making.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00The effects of education-job (mis)match on the earnings of graduates in the Czech Republic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper deals with the effects of education-job (mis)match on the earnings of higher education graduates in the context of higher education expansion and different phases of the economic cycle in the Czech Republic in 2006–2018. It aims to contribute to knowledge about the effects of education-job (mis)match on earnings in two ways. First, it concentrates on both the vertical and the horizontal dimensions of education-job (mis)match. Second, it considers the effects of contextual variables: the share of graduates in the population and the unemployment rate of graduates. The paper is based on assumptions derived from assignment theory. The authors use data of graduates’ self-evaluation collected in national and international graduate surveys – REFLEX, REFLEX 2010, REFLEX 2013, and Absolvent 2018. The data for contextual variables come from Eurostat and the Czech Statistical Office. The analyses focus on graduates four to five years after graduation. They are examined both as a whole and in groups based on the field of study using the method of weighted least squares. Overeducation usually has significant negative effects on earnings. Horizontal match effects are contradictory. The education-job (mis)match effects are relatively small in comparison with other factors. The role of contextual variables is mostly predictable, however, some exceptions uncover specifics of the labour market in the Czech Republic. There are important differences among groups of graduates in different fields of study.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00The Occurrence of the Preconditions for Social Exclusion in the Czech Republic: A Basis for the Planning of Social Prevention Services<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Persisting social exclusion is one of the key issues the European Union Member States have to handle according to the headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy. In the Czech Republic, more than 1 million people – 12.5% of the whole population – lived in the year 2019 at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Between the years 2010 and 2019, the monetary poverty rate oscillated around 10%. Although these are one of the lowest rates among the EU Member States, reduction and elimination of social exclusion has still been a challenge for the Czech policy-makers due to the relatively constant rates of monetary poverty, as low incomes are generally recognized as one of the causes of social exclusion. The aim of the paper is to identify the occurrence of the preconditions for social exclusion in the Czech districts revealed in the inter-district comparison that is based on the multi-criterial evaluation of the socio-economic situation in these districts. Such evaluation can serve as a basis for the planning of social prevention services, which are regarded as the means of prevention and reduction of social exclusion. Our findings obtained with the use of the Multi-Criteria Decision Making technique reveal that the occurrence of the preconditions for social exclusion varies among LAU1 districts of the Czech Republic and that districts lying in two NUT3 regions are affected more than others. Individuals living there are more likely to be socially excluded, especially if this higher probability derived from the districts’ socio-economic situation is accompanied with their individual poor skills, health, or family breakdown.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Identifying the Main Determinants of Part-Time Employment in EU Countries<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article analyses the prevalence of part-time employment in different EU countries with a focus on the factors affecting the rate of part-time employment across the EU. Based on the literature review, a distinction is made between three groups of factors that are relevant for the rate of part-time employment, in particular, cyclical factors, political and institutional factors, and structural factors. The article analyses how these factors influence part-time employment rates in EU countries. The linear regression analysis based on EU-28 macroeconomic data for the period of 2007-2018 has shown that all three groups of determinants (i.e. cyclical, political and institutional as well as structural factors) affect the rate of part-time employment in the EU-28. Part-time employment is a complex phenomenon which depends on a number of factors. However, the regression analysis has found that the following political and institutional as well as structural independent variables are also significant predictors of part-time employment rates in EU Member States (EU-28): average annual wages, the tax rate on low wage earners, expenditures on children and family benefits as a percentage of gross domestic product, trade union density, and the activity rate of people aged 15-24 and 55-64. Cyclical factors (the unemployment rate in Model (1) and real GDP per capita in Model (2)) have also been found to have a significant effect on part-time employment in EU-28 countries.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Current Implementation of the Circular Economy in Enterprises in the Czech Republic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The subject of this paper is the contemporary use of the circular economy in business practice. The topicality of this theme was the reason for resolving the main objectives, which were to determine how enterprises in the Czech Republic are currently involved in the circular economy. The authors focused on empirical research, the methodological framework of which contains three interrelated parts. The basis was secondary research from scientific databases, which was followed up by the primary research. The objects of the primary research were based on three research questions, which were focused on the use of standardised environmental activities, the identification of tools of the circular economy and determining their importance. The research was evaluated using the methods of content analysis, descriptive and inductive statistics. The research showed that 71 % of enterprises present themselves as taking an active approach to the environment beyond the scope of the statutory obligations. Enterprises then make most use of regulatory tools such as the ISO 14001 standard or Ecodesign. An in-depth interview was used to identify sixteen tools of the circular economy as they are perceived by enterprises. When assessing importance, the highest rated tool was reducing energy consumption in production, waste from production, the consumption of materials, emissions and minimization of waste. Statistically significant differences were also identified with these tools. The research showed that the circular economy is most used in automotive industry enterprise.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Housing Indices at the Neighborhood Level: Case Study of Region 6 of Tehran Municipality<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Most of the cities in Iran have experienced very rapid development. The urban population in the last decade has been increased by migration, and cities in Iran are faced with many problems. Housing is becoming one of the major problems, and standard housing indices have taken an important place in urban planning to provide good conditions for better urban planning. Region 6 of Tehran municipality is home to a large portion of upper-middle social class people for whom owning a house is more than merely a place to live. The aim of the research was to analyze qualitative and quantitative indices for Region 6 of Tehran municipality. The study is based on analytical and descriptive methods. The secondary data collected from the latest Iran census report in 2016 and composite methods used to measure the special effects of changes in population size, growth rate, and indices of quantitative and qualitative assessment are wide-ranging housing which was analyzed based on the t-test, correlation test and regression with SPSS and GIS software. GIS software is used as an effective tool for generating maps to better understanding the behaviors of residents in a neighborhood. The result shows that Region 6 of Tehran is among the areas of serious urban decline and neighborhoods in the neighboring regions are influenced by the activities of other bordering neighborhoods.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Different Management Functions in Housing Operation Practice: Ukrainian Case Study<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The analytical part of the article describes the situation after 1990s, when the residential housing stock in most Central and Eastern European countries was privatized, in poor condition, and required costly major repairs at the expense of new owners, which was impossible in terms of finance. In this situation the building maintenance and operation functions are transferred to private or municipal management companies, or remain executed directly by owners’ organizations.</p> <p>The article examines existing services proposed to customers as residents, not taking account the functions of residents as building co-owners. The authors studied the relevant theories and legislation, comparing the current building maintenance and facility management functions to strategic functions of asset and property management. It was shown that the different interests of consumers and owners should be covered by different functions of professional managers.</p> <p>The obstacle is that the structure of residential housing management companies mixes them in a dual customer and owner body. This creates contradictions between the aim to minimize customer’s expenses and the need to preserve assets and property.</p> <p>A conclusion was reached to separate the ownership and property management of houses.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Risk Management in Business Valuation in the Context of Digital Transformation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper deals with business valuation in unstable conditions of the external environment. Economic recession and the need for digital transformation is coming to the fore in Russia. As a result of this, the valuation of assets and business acquires additional complexity and issues related to effective risk assessment become relevant. The main objective of this paper is to offer non-traditional methods of risk assessment for business valuation at the moment. The qualitative and quantitative risk analysis will help to improve the quality of the assessment reports of the property in an unstable period. The paper focuses on the non-traditional methods of risk assessment (Monte Carlo method, game theory) which must be used in determining the market value of the object of assessment in the current time. A practical example of using the simulation modeling method is given in detail. Summarizing, the use of the simulation modeling method for calculating the market value of the appraisal object will provide additional (compared to the standard method) information and increase the reliability of the results. Moreover, in the period of the coronavirus pandemic, this paper becomes even more relevant and important, seeing as how uncertainty is becoming inherent in countries around the world. Thus, this study is of value to researchers in the field of economic modeling and appraisers across the globe.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Synthesis of Short-Cut DCF Appraisal and Spreadsheet Iteration of Freehold Rental Growth Rates Across Specific Valuation Epochs<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>While the use of simple deterministic models to calculate rental value growth (RVGrowth) rate of reversionary freeholds across epochs prior to upward rent review appears illusive, literature evidence of the synthesis between short-cut DCF valuation and Solver tools in a spreadsheet does not constitute an exhaustive list of solutions. This study examined alternative spreadsheet and iteration tools that can determine RVGrowth rate of freehold investment properties across rent review epochs. With recourse to a hypothetical case of a freehold investment property, this experimental study identified the mathematical composition of RVGrowth in an explicit DCF framework, performed short-cut DCF Valuation and equivalent yield calculation at specific epochs prior to and including the full reversion; as well as using Goal Seek to calculate RVGrowth across all epochs prior to- and including the full reversion. Excel<sup>®</sup> Solver and Goal Seek, as well as the graphing/root-solving tool in Kyplot<sup>®</sup> were found to feasibly produce identical results for RVGrowth rate. This is among the limited studies that identified and researched the veracity of alternative tools for RVGrowth rate iteration. The value of this study is the awareness of alternative analytical tools avail freehold investors who desire knowledge of RVGrowth rate when making purchase-, hold-, and sales decisions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Real Estate Developers Insight on the Critical Barriers to Sustainable Housing Delivery<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Sustainability has been advocated in the housing sector in developing nations but its adoption is hampered with myriads of barriers. This study investigates the critical impediments to sustainable housing delivery.</p> <p>To achieve this, 18 commonly used barriers in existing literature were selected for investigation in this study. Structured questionnaires were administered to 91 housing developers within metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria and analyzed using both weighted mean and factor analysis.</p> <p>The ranking and normalization analysis showed that out of these investigated barriers, deficiency in government motivations for sustainable housing, non-existence of sustainability enforcement and the absence of information on the sustainable building technologies database were the topmost three critical challenges to sustainable housing delivery. The factor analysis also showed that the underlying factor groupings of the critical barriers can be classified into technology and cost, knowledge and awareness, policy implementation, client and economic related barriers.</p> <p>These research findings have added to the sustainable housing literature within the context of Nigeria. They also create a reliable blueprint which would assist all stakeholders in taking the sustainable approach to ameliorate these impediments, thus promoting sustainability attainment in housing delivery.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00The Profile of Portuguese People when Choosing an Apartment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>It is important to study and to know the determining factors of the housing purchase business, as this is often the greatest business deal in a family’s life. The purpose of this study is to identify the profile of the Portuguese regarding the determining factors when searching for apartments to acquire. The methodology used is based on a questionnaire that analyzes the determining factors in the choice of apartments to acquire and the sociodemographic profile of Portuguese people looking for an apartment. The sample consisted of 646 individuals who were looking for an apartment in different regions of Continental Portugal. The determining factors in the choice of apartments have quite adequate levels of validity and reliability, and four dimensions are obtained: negative externalities, positive externalities, a business located on the ground floor and rational interest in proximity to public services. Cluster analysis results show the formation of five clusters, classifying individuals into a generic cluster, urban business cluster, urban services cluster, urban citizens cluster and elitist cluster. This study is expected to contribute to increasing scientific knowledge on the topic and to help real estate developers better match their clients’ preferences.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Housing Tenure Preferences among Students from Two Polish Universities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The housing rental market in Poland is underdeveloped and tilted towards temporary tenants, usually students and immigrants. To explore the flaws in the functioning of this market, we conduct a survey among 315 students from two Polish universities. We find that renting is not only perceived as a more expensive form of satisfying housing needs, but decreases satisfaction from utilizing the occupied house due to non-financial factors. Moreover, the perception of the relative advantages of owning versus renting is, to some extent, affected by flawed economic reasoning. Building on the above results, we discuss what policies could increase the demand for residential rental housing.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00A Priori Spatial Segmentation of Commercial Property Market using Hedonic Price Modelling<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The improvement of property price modelling accuracy using property market segmentation approaches is well documented in the housing market. However, that cannot be said of the commercial property market which is adjudged to be volatile, heterogeneous and thinly traded. This study, therefore, determines if the commercial property market in Malaysia is spatially segmented into submarkets and whether accounting for the submarkets improves the accuracy of price modelling. Using a 11,460 shop-offices transaction dataset, the commercial property submarkets are delineated by using submarket binary dummies in the market-wide model and estimating a separate hedonic model for each submarket. The former method improves the model fit and reduces error by 5.6% and 6.5% respectively. The commercial property submarkets are better delineated by estimating a separate hedonic model for each submarket as it improves the model fit by about 7% and reduces models’ error by more than 10%. This study concludes that the Malaysian commercial property market is spatially segmented into submarkets. Modelling the submarkets improves the accuracy and correctness of price modelling.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Increasing Project Effectiveness by Combining the FMEA Method Results and the Costs of Quality (Based on the Example of an Employee Relationship Management Project)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Objective:</bold> This article presents a project focused on the stabilization of employment in a multi-generational organization in the scope of human resources –specifically, employee relationship management.</p> <p><bold>Methodology:</bold> The type of project was evaluated by taking into account different typological criteria. The employee generations were defined by providing time ranges based on dates of birth. All important project stages were presented according to the newest PMI 2017 methodology, with particular attention to the selection of the model of the project team and the division of tasks within the team. The critical path method was used in the description of the course of project activities.</p> <p><bold>Findings:</bold> The method of determination of project success factors was specified.</p> <p><bold>Value Added:</bold> In accordance with the title of the article, it was, however, shown how one can combine the identification of the level of project risk (using failure mode and effects analysis – FMEA) and the costs of quality to increase the project effectiveness.</p> <p><bold>Recommendations:</bold> Projects of this type are important in these organizations where the risk of loyalty is high, which leads to negative economic implications. The advantages from such projects can, however, affect more than the employer.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Leading Intercultural Virtual Teams During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Research Results<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Objective:</bold> The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been officially classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), meaning the infection is progressing faster and faster in many countries simultaneously. The United States of America has announced a travel ban on 28 European countries, many countries have closed universities, schools and kindergartens, and large gatherings of people have been forbidden. Many companies including Google, Apple and Microsoft encourage or mandate employees to adopt a work-from-home policy. For companies in the modern technology industry, the infrastructure and policy necessary for remote working are undoubtedly already implemented. However, for many smaller companies and organizations the situation was very different. Remote working and virtual team management did not occur or were limited to only a few people. The aim of the article is to present the problems of leading virtual intercultural teams, with particular emphasis on the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p><bold>Methodology:</bold> Contemporary texts in the domain of cross-cultural leadership have been reviewed. Relevant existing research has been reviewed and primary research conducted. The latter consisted of 24 IDIs (Individual In-depth Interviews) with employees from various Polish organizations.</p> <p><bold>Findings:</bold> The COVID-19 pandemic has forced thousands of enterprises to let their employees work remotely, but many of these companies were not as technologically prepared for the situation as they thought. We are faced with increasing international cooperation and coordination. The outbreak of COVID-19 has accelerated the need for clear standards in remote and virtual teamwork. The article analyzed the positive and negative aspects of the impact of COVID-19 on organizations and ways of virtual leadership.</p> <p><bold>Value Added:</bold> This article answers the questions about the main problems faced by managers who had to lead teams in a virtual way.</p> <p><bold>Recommendations:</bold> The author is aware of the fact that this is only an exploratory study. It is recommended that in order to gain a fuller picture of the issues underlying the findings, quantitative research with large number of respondents should be undertaken.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Lean Management Implementation in Small and Medium Sized Companies – A Success Case Study in a Manufacturing Process<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Objective:</bold> The aim of this paper is to understand a production system of a forging and presses structure of a centenary factory in terms of a cultural change on the management approach.</p> <p><bold>Methodology:</bold> The study was focused on many aspects such as the pieces production lead time, a time study of the setups, the Overall Equipment Effectiveness determination for the Computer Numeric Control machinery and an analysis of the production cells operational flow.</p> <p><bold>Findings:</bold> For the aspects that were analysed during the study, the problems are identified, and the root causes determined. At the end of the assessment stage Lean tools and concepts for fixing the problems were proposed, like new rules for production planning, setups procedures, 5S toll usage and a Lean implementation plan that is adapted to the company.</p> <p><bold>Value Added:</bold> The high industrial competitivity has dictated the development for this sector that – allied with the inconstant and unstable economic environment – makes the companies very vulnerable and highly dependent of the global market. This is a concern of special relevance for the Small and Medium Size companies that are increasingly adopting Lean solutions to continuously improve their operational value chain and the management approach, for a more systemic way of thinking.</p> <p><bold>Recommendations:</bold> For some of the solutions an impact study with their implementation was made. An analysis of the success factors proposed in the literature that were verified during the assessment stage of the case study was performed as well.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Identifying and Prioritizing Ways to Improve Oman’s Tourism Sector in the Corona Period<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Objectives:</bold> To identify the economic, social, and geopolitical impacts of the Corona pandemic on the country’s tourism industry; to identify ways to enhance domestic tourism so as to increase income in the Oman’s tourism industry which has since been declining; to identify specific travel destinations and associated recovery plans; and to suggest recommendations on the best approaches to improving the Oman tourism sector.</p> <p><bold>Methodology:</bold> The research involved collection of primary data using interviews where opinions and perceptions of Omani tourism industry experts were collected regarding economic, social, and geopolitical impacts of the Corona pandemic on the country’s tourism industry; the rationale of lifting travel restrictions and the ways of increasing traveller confidence amidst the uncertainties and fears associated with Covid-19 in Oman; ways to enhance domestic tourism so as to increase income in the Oman’s tourism industry which has since been declining; and recommendations on the best approaches to improving the Oman tourism sector.</p> <p><bold>Findings:</bold> The main impacts of coronavirus on Omani tourism industry include loss of revenue and reduction in hotel and occupancy rate. These effects resulted into massive job losses, unpaid leave and pay cuts amongst employees in the country’s tourism industry. The measures to be taken to enhance recovery of the tourism industry were categorized into two: government measures and business measures.</p> <p><bold>Value added:</bold> With the multiple adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism sector, this study will help in establishing the potential measures of fostering the positive outcomes in the sector.</p> <p><bold>Recommendations:</bold> Setting aside COVID-19 recovery financial kitty; Increasing the frequency of marketing the country as the preferred and the best tourist destination in the world in both local and international media; Public-private partnerships; and encouraging domestic tourism by offering discounts and incentives for the locals enjoying the country’s tourism facilities. Offering discounted rates and fees; adopting a flexible booking policy; cancelling or waiving all the fees and fines that were charged on customers who cancelled or amended their bookings as result of COVID-19 pandemic; offering attractive discounts to clients who want to re-book their previous cancelled bookings without conditions; and diversification of operations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Tourist Accommodation Establishments during the Pandemic – Consequences and Aid Report on a Survey among Polish Micro-enterprises Offering Accommodation Services<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Objective:</bold> The key objective of the article was to seek the answer to the question how the limitations of the first COVID-19-related lockdown affected small businesses offering accommodation services and how the businesses fared during the unlocking period. The side objective of the paper was to identify the actions undertaken in said businesses aimed at providing safety for the guests as well as to show the expectations such businesses had when it came to government aid.</p> <p><bold>Methodology:</bold> In order to meet the objectives and to verify the working hypothesis, empirical research using the diagnostic survey method was conducted at the end of 2020. The article provides the results of the pilot survey carried out on a selected group of microbusinesses providing accommodation services. The link to the questionnaire was sent to 1000 entities, of which 47 completed it correctly.</p> <p><bold>Findings:</bold> The tourist industry is among those affected most by the COVID-10 pandemic. The research revealed that during the first lockdown, the closure of accommodation businesses had a relatively strong impact on the subjects of the research. The situation remained similar during the first months of lifting of the restrictions. The summer brought a slight recovery albeit not as big as was expected. Nevertheless, strong premises were found which supported the hypothesis saying that such subjects – due to their size-dependent nature – fared relatively well in all three sub-periods. For the most part, such entities re-started their operations in spring. In many of them, the level of employment remained unchanged despite the significant drop in their incomes – mainly resulting from a lower number of foreign visitors and - to a lesser extent – from lower prices. The struggle for customers forced the subjects to introduce various solutions aimed at providing safety, which proved a considerable financial and organisational burden.</p> <p><bold>Value added:</bold> The research is one of the first attempts in Poland to measure the impact of lockdown on the functioning of accommodation businesses and one of the few focusing on microbusinesses. The findings show to what extent the lockdown affected the operations of the entities in question, how the lifting of restrictions changed the situation in the summer, and what actions were taken to minimize the risk of infection.</p> <p><bold>Recommendations:</bold> The findings show that the analysed entities are able to function in sanitary regime and that they support solutions which will allow them to offer their services in as safe a way as possible. On the other hand, they expect strong support from the state including subsidies or exemptions. It is to be expected that the need for this form of aid will grow even stronger after further lockdowns.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00The Study of Students’ Talents and Skills as the Starting Point in Narrowing the Skills Gap of Human Resources in the Tourism Sector<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Objective:</bold> The article refers to the measurement of natural talents and skills of students in an internationalised environment and possible use of empirical research to modify university curricula. The article aims to determine how to design and implement skills models to increase education efficiency and to adapt the curriculum to the labour market expectations.</p> <p><bold>Methodology:</bold> The evaluation was based on three empirical surveys conducted among students of a highly internationalised university: the Gallup test measuring natural talents, the Filipowicz test (measuring skills) and a poll among students, diagnosing their expectations as to student apprenticeships and traineeships.</p> <p><bold>Findings:</bold> Using the aforementioned tools allowed to identify strengths of university students in tourism programmes and to indicate areas for improvement during education.</p> <p><bold>Value Added:</bold> The conclusions drawn from the survey allowed to confront students’ skills with employers’ expectations and to develop student support methods, e.g. through appropriate modifications of curricula and traineeship programmes. University courses were extended to include modules reinforcing students’ enterprise, the management of individual potential, cross-cultural communication and negotiating skills.</p> <p><bold>Recommendations:</bold> Such survey enables the creation of a talent bank among students where their talents – reinforced with the knowledge and skills acquired at university – will help develop their strengths and can be particularly useful in selected posts.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-06-22T00:00:00.000+00:00Historical Definition and Theorectial Background of Usury Loan Provisions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The thesis deals with usury and illegal lenders both on the domestic scene and abroad. The usury itself is defined by its characteristics, by adjudication and by historical connotations. The historical definition begins in Mesopotamia and ancient Rome, basically since the emergence of money. The aim of the paper is a comprehensive overview of usury, which from the legal perspective is not precisely defined as a term and the thesis tries to find such a definition with the help of case law and interpretation. The characteristics of usury that are described in the thesis are distress, the presence of a weaker party, mental weakness, and a gross disparity of performance. The thesis also describes the history of loan sharks and usury in the United States, where violence plays a considerable part in the issue. The paper also deals with the social background of usury and illegal lenders in the United Kingdom and outlines possible solutions to eradicate these phenomena in financially disadvantaged communities. In the end the thesis attempts to find unifying characteristics of usury across history and said countries.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-03-31T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1