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Volume 19 (2022): Issue 1 (June 2022)

Volume 18 (2021): Issue 2 (December 2021)

Volume 18 (2021): Issue 1 (June 2021)

Volume 17 (2020): Issue 2 (December 2020)

Volume 17 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)

Volume 16 (2019): Issue 2 (December 2019)

Volume 16 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)

Volume 15 (2018): Issue 2 (December 2018)

Volume 15 (2018): Issue 1 (June 2018)

Volume 14 (2017): Issue 2 (December 2017)

Volume 14 (2017): Issue 1 (June 2017)

Volume 13 (2016): Issue 2 (December 2016)

Volume 13 (2016): Issue 1 (June 2016)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2256-0173
First Published
16 Jun 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 15 (2018): Issue 1 (June 2018)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2256-0173
First Published
16 Jun 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

14 Articles
Open Access

Proposal for Brand’s Communication Strategy Developed on Customer Segmentation Based on Psychological Factors and Decision-Making Speed in Purchasing: Case of the Automotive Industry

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 5 - 14

Abstract

Abstract

Customers are key in the brand-building process. Many times, this term is applied very broadly, especially in segmentation and planning. Knowing the customer buying behaviour and customer decision-making process is important for brands, especially today, when customers are informed much better and get information over the Internet faster. In this paper, we present theory that deals with the purchasing behaviour of customers and emphasize the analysis of the sales cycle of the individual phases in the current conditions, when segmentation based on socio-demographic data is not enough. It is much better to define the psychological factors, which influence the customer and motivate him to buy in combination with the buyer’s decision-making speed. Thus, the article discusses the basic four types of customers according to the major research work carried out by Eisenberg brothers. Based on this analysis, we can determine the percentage of individual customers. The article offers a survey that was conducted to find the most important factors in the decision-making process when buying a car. In addition to the criteria, we also asked our respondents about the importance of these factors. We have used the multiple criteria decision analysis as it is one of the methods of complex evaluation and it minimizes the degree of subjectivity in choosing a suitable variant. Based on our survey, we have used analysis to estimate trends that brands operate in automotive sector could use to communicate in order to address the type of customer that belongs to their target audience. The primary aim of the paper is to prove that there is a growing trend of humanistic customers through study about their preferences and criteria during the decision-making process that leads them to buy a new car. Moreover, we determinate communication strategies for all four types of customers based on theory provided by Eisenbergs.

Keywords

  • brands
  • customer
  • strategy
  • factors
  • planning

JEL Classification

  • M14
  • M31
  • M37
Open Access

The Analysis of the Implementation of municipal Cooperation and Merger Strategies: Case Study for Slovenia

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 15 - 21

Abstract

Abstract

Slovenia has only one tier of sub-national government, that is, municipalities. Currently, there are 212 municipalities, and they exhibit the same responsibilities they need to provide to their residents, regardless of their size, and these differences in size are even in the range 1:100. The new national strategy for the development of local self-government has, therefore, stressed the necessity to promote cooperation among municipalities and even potential mergers, not just to ensure cost-effectiveness but also to increase the capacity of municipalities to perform various developmental tasks. Consequently, the aim of the article is to analyse the evolution and factors driving inter-municipal cooperation and municipal mergers, where Slovenia is taken as an example, and case study approach is used in this manner. The results of the analysis indicate that territorial fragmentation at the local level has been accompanied by the increase in the inter-municipal cooperation, although some time lag can be observed. Moreover, the increase in the cooperation can be observed in particular with the onset of economic slowdown and fiscal stress emergence. The results also portray that substantial territorial rescaling cannot be expected in the near future, as suggested by the analysis of driving factors that should contribute to this process, as well as by rather weak ability of central government to promote the process. Consequently, from the practical perspective, we might expect larger role of more in-depth trans-scaling strategies as a mechanism to overcome the problem of sub-optimal size of municipalities in Slovenia.

Keywords

  • sub-national government
  • territorial fragmentation
  • inter-municipal cooperation
  • municipal mergers
  • Slovenia

JEL Classification

  • H73
  • D24
Open Access

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Selected Slovak Brands on the Principle of DEA Models with the Possibility to Optimise them

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 22 - 34

Abstract

Abstract

Nowadays, when marketing and branding change, companies are trying to find new ways to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing activities as they impact on current and future business results. The main objective of the contribution is to evaluate the effectiveness of decision making unit (DMU) production units in the form of selected Slovak brands through the non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA) method. The sample size consists of 10 Slovak brands (Slovenská sporiteľňa, VÚB banka, Tatra banka, ESET, Slovnaft, Matador, Rajec, Sygic, Sedita and Zlatý bažant). Through DEA, we have gained a portfolio of effective and portfolio of ineffective brands operating in Slovakia. Depending on the choice of the DEA model, effective brands included Slovenská sporiteľňa, Sygic, Zlatý Bažant, Rajec and Sedita. Other brands were classified as ineffective. The result for ineffective brands is the creation of archetypal characters that we propose in Results section. The part of Results section is the focus of the businesses of the brands in question on the use of social media, to a larger extent, create a social media voice so that the personality of the brand is reflected in contributions in social media communicating on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. In contribution, deduction, induction, analysis and marketing research methods were used.

Keywords

  • brand
  • brand equity
  • decision making unit
  • data envelopment analysis
  • marketing research

JEL Classification

  • C02
  • C52
  • C61
  • M30
Open Access

The Concept of Gamification and its Use in Software Companies in the Republic of Macedonia

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 35 - 46

Abstract

Abstract

Gamification represents a relatively new term that has become massively popular in recent years. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the various definitions regarding gamification, to present a unified process of designing a gamified system and to research the use of gamification on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. Gamification focuses on the internal motivators of employees, which are much more powerful and longer-lasting than the external motivators traditionally used in human resource management. Since this concept relies on video games, data demonstrated makes it clear that they are prevalent in each age group and there is no inclination of one sex over the other. The research done through a questionnaire on SMEs in the IT industry on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia was focused on researching the gamification trends in the country and generally gave positive results regarding the level of use and the readiness of the Macedonian managers for gamification. A high percentage of the companies surveyed are using or are in the process of implementing gamified systems and consider that they could bring a number of benefits. The main disadvantages are the lack of understanding by employees and insufficient technical knowledge. The paper contributes in clarifying the gamification concept and distinguishing it from other similar concepts. From a practical standpoint, the presented process for designing a gamified process can be utilized by companies in the IT industry in the future, regardless of the country of origin.

Keywords

  • gamification
  • human resources
  • employee motivation
  • management, reward system

JEL Classification

  • O15
Open Access

Engaged Humanities. New Perspectives of Experience-Oriented Humanities

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 47 - 55

Abstract

Abstract

The term engagement was used in critical cultural studies as a term that name an attitude of scholars, and a feature of cultural and scientific texts, that are based on the experience of an individual or a group of people. In the recent two decades, many of Polish academic narrations on the field of cultural production focused on the issue of engagement. In the article, a phenomenon of engagement in the context of disability studies is considered. The main objective of the article is the analysis of disability studies as a new model of experience- oriented discipline. What is particularly interesting is a possibility to relabel experiences of the disabled as a significant report on the status of modern narrations, which should include different minority bodies. The main aim of disability studies is to present a project of engaged attitudes towards social sustainability that is not based on exclusions of any social groups of people. Studies on disability are also introduced as an experience-oriented discipline in the field of engaged humanities. This article aims at presenting critical narrations on the issue of engagement in other to connect disability studies to the engaged humanities. Promoting engagement in many areas of culture and social life seems to be a way of introducing more open politics towards difference, and social sphere of life that is equally accessible for everyone.

Keywords

  • disability studies
  • engagement
  • experience-oriented humanities
  • difference
  • new humanities
Open Access

Communicative Functions of Hashtags

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 56 - 62

Abstract

Abstract

Despite the initial function of hashtags as tools for sorting and aggregating information according to topics, the social media currently witness a diversity of uses diverging from the initial purpose. The aim of this article is to investigate the communicative functions of hashtags through a combined approach of literature review, field study and case study. Different uses of hashtags were subjected to semantic analysis in order to disclose generalizable trends. As a result, ten communicative functions were identified: topic-marking, aggregation, socializing, excuse, irony, providing metadata, expressing attitudes, initiating movements, propaganda and brand marketing. These findings would help to better understand modern online discourse and to prove that hashtags are to be considered as a meaningful part of the message. A limitation of this study is its restricted volume.

Keywords

  • hashtags
  • social networks
  • pragmatics
  • communicative functions
Open Access

The Work Contents of the Personnel Specialist in Latvia

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 63 - 69

Abstract

Abstract

The contents in the work of personnel specialist differ in organizations from one field to another. It continues to evolve with an emergence of new technologies and business methods, as well as with structural changes in the economy, both at a global and national level. However, the existing professional regulations of particular professions in Latvia has not been changed for almost 10 years, while the economy as well as the workforce appears to have changed. The aim of the paper is to illustrate what currently forms the contents of work of personnel specialist in Latvia. To achieve this, a study on trends in the work of personnel specialists has been conducted with an informative support of Latvian Association for People Management. The topics of daily activities and tasks, as well as individual features of personnel in various fields, including building, banking, manufacturing, IT, retail company, and public service companies have been included in the study. Overall, 18 personnel specialists from public and private sectors were interviewed. The results show that the classical model of human resource management is still popular, although some of the industries have adapted many or most of the cutting-edge approaches in the field, including flexible jobs and continuous employee support. Therefore, it is advised to update the existing documentation, including the professional regulation and university curricula, to meet the needs of the contemporary companies employing personnel specialists.

Keywords

  • personnel specialist
  • contents of work

JEL Classification

  • J80
Open Access

Culture as a Tool for School Improvement: The Case of Children’s Socialisation Centres

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 70 - 77

Abstract

Abstract

The concern for delinquent children’s social and emotional development in closed institutions is a significant topic in educational research. This shows the need to improve the existing re-socialisation practice. Despite the fact that school effectiveness and school improvement researches theoretically have different general purposes and value bases, educational effectiveness and improvement paradigm involves both trends, which are combined by the same aspects: scientific approach and empirical data based on educational settings; knowledge of how to improve the school practice; and use of this knowledge for social purposes. In this context, the concept of the school culture is one of the main variables that allow us to answer how to address the needs of all children and improve their academic or social outcomes. The aim of this article is to illustrate the cultural characteristics of children’s socialisation centres as specific schools and to identify the guidelines for improving their performance. The mission of children’s socialisation centres is to re-socialise delinquent behaviour of children and to help them to integrate into the society. Quantitative data for measuring the school culture is obtained from the survey that was conducted using the School Culture Inventory (Maslowski, 2001). This instrument is based on the Competing Values Framework (Cameron, Quinn, 2011) consisting of four dimensions, which are labelled by human relations, open systems, rational goal and internal process orientation. The theoretical value of the survey is the analysis of school culture in terms of successful re-socialisation. The cultural profiles of these schools showed the priorities that require practical changes.

Keywords

  • school
  • performance
  • culture
  • improvement
  • re-socialisation
Open Access

Searching for Key Factors in Enterprise Bankrupt Prediction: A Case Study in Slovak Republic

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 78 - 87

Abstract

Abstract

The issue of enterprise in bankrupt or financial health as a whole is still very actual topic not only in Slovakia but also in abroad. Works dealing with the enterprise in bankruptcy have already appeared in the 1930s of the 20th century. Bankrupt of enterprise affect all subject in relationship with this enterprise. Financial experts were looking for the ways for enterprise bankrupt prediction. This article is based on the searching for key factors that could indicate the enterprise in bankrupt in Slovak conditions. This article tries to work with financial variables from the area of financial health assessment of enterprise and works with the sample of Slovak enterprises. This sample includes 8,522 financial statements of enterprises in 2016. According to several relevant decisions rules, for example, the value of equity or equity debt ratio, enterprises are divided into two categories – bankrupt enterprises and creditworthy enterprises. Subsequently, this article tries to find statistically significant financial variables that could indicate involving enterprises in these two categories and works with several statistical methods for searching significant relationship between variables and the tightness of relations between them. As a main statistical method, Pearson´s correlation coefficient is used, which is supported by correlation matrices. In addition, it is necessary to test an existence of outliers in the sample of enterprises. Existence of outliers is tested by the Grubbs test of outliers.

Keywords

  • bankrupt
  • prediction model
  • financial health
  • financial ratios

JEL Classification

  • G1
  • G32
  • G33
Open Access

Prediction of Default of Small Companies in the Slovak Republic

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 88 - 95

Abstract

Abstract

From the time of Altman and the first bankruptcy prediction models, the prediction of default of companies is in the centre of interest of many economists and scientists all over the world. For companies, early detection of the possible threat of imminent financial difficulties or even bankruptcy is a very important part of financial analysis. Over the last few years, many predictive models have been created in the world. However, it has been shown that these models are not very well transferable to the conditions of the economy of another country and their prediction or rating power in another country is lower. Therefore, it is best to create a specific predictive model in the country that takes into account the situation of companies on the basis of real data on their financial situation. This paper is focused on creating a model of failure prediction of small companies in Slovakia using a well-known and widely used method of multivariate discriminant analysis. Discriminant analysis is one of the oldest multivariate statistical methods and sometimes it is difficult to fulfil certain assumptions for data. However, its results are easily interpretable and can be used to classify a company to the group of companies with risk of financial difficulties or, on the contrary, between well-prosperous companies. Prediction model is created based on real data on Slovak enterprises and has a strong classification ability in the specific conditions of the Slovak Republic.

Keywords

  • prediction of default
  • bankruptcy prediction models
  • financial distress
  • multivariate discriminant analysis

JEL Classification

  • C38
  • G33
Open Access

Sensory Marketing from the Perspective of a Support Tool for Building Brand Value

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 96 - 104

Abstract

Abstract

A brand is one way to distinguish products from each other, while simplifying consumers’ decisions in choosing an appropriate product. Brand building is not just about design but also strategy, which is even more important in the process. The result of brand building is the potential to represent a certain value for the company. However, sustaining and improving a brand’s position in the market is not a simple process in the current competitive environment. Therefore, there is scope for application of new marketing strategies such as sensory marketing. Sensory marketing represents a way for companies to influence consumers’ senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste) and evoke the emotions affecting their buying behaviour and perceptions of the product or brand. The aim of the article is to provide a literature review on the issue from several foreign and domestic authors. It discusses the essence of a brand, brand value, sensory marketing and also analyses its use as a support tool for building brand value in practice through secondary research data. Based on this, in conclusion, the authors highlight the benefits of using sensory marketing for building brand value, including ensuring loyalty of standing customers as well as gaining new ones, building a successful brand and positive perception of the brand and product by users.

Keywords

  • sensory marketing
  • brand value
  • consumer
  • emotions
  • buying behaviour

JEL Classification

  • M30
  • M31
Open Access

Predictive Ability of Chosen Bankruptcy Models: A Case Study of Slovak Republic

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 105 - 114

Abstract

Abstract

Bankruptcy models are used to assess credit risk and predict financial situation to indicate the probable bankruptcy of the company. Contribution deals with the application of chosen bankruptcy models in analysing and predicting the financial health of selected companies. Most of the models have been developed abroad. In case of Slovak Republic, its application and correctness of the results can be problematic; therefore, we have focused primarily on those that have emerged in countries with a similar economy. We have calculated the selected prediction models in a sample of 500 Slovak enterprises. Predictive ability lower than 64% is considered as unfavourable. As part of the contribution, based on expert literature and relevant legislation, we have defined the criteria that allow to divide businesses into two groups: prosperous and non-prosperous. In the end, we compared the results of the selected models with the inclusion of enterprises in a prosperous and non- prosperous group based on the criteria set by us. We also dealt with examining of error types I (when an enterprise in bad financial condition is included in a non-bankruptcy group) and II (when an enterprise in good financial condition is included in a bankruptcy group). The aim is to analyse the predictive ability of the selected bankruptcy models.

Keywords

  • Bankruptcy
  • bankruptcy model
  • prediction of financial health
  • predictive ability
  • Slovak Republic

JEL Classification

  • C53
  • G33
Open Access

The Analysis and Assesstment of International Capital Flows in the Form of Foreign Direct Investments and Foreign Direct Divestments: The Cases of Latvia and Poland

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 115 - 126

Abstract

Abstract

Decisions to invest, withdraw, or transfer capital in different foreign markets have become a fixed part of management pragmatics in contemporary companies. The results of the 2017 Global Corporate Divestment Study show that multinational enterprises (MNEs) from particular parts of the world tend to see the main reasons behind their decisions on FDI (foreign direct investment) and FD (foreign direct divestment) in a slightly different manner. Insofar as internationalization processes and FDI have been relatively thoroughly studied and discussed in world and Polish literature, the concept of de-internationalization pursued through the prism of divestment still requires further analysis and consideration. The article aims to present the general framework of the process involving FDI, FD, and the major factors behind it in Poland and Latvia. Theoretical considerations are supplemented with the analysis of statistical data coming from the UNCTAD database as well as the database of Poland’s and Latvia’s central banks, illustrating foreign investment flows. The article uses the method of critical analysis of world and Polish literature, analysis of reports on relevant issues, and desk research analysis.

Keywords

  • foreign direct investments
  • foreign direct divestments
  • Latvia
  • Poland

JEL Classification

  • F21
  • F23
  • O10
Open Access

Enterprises Communication in e-Environment: Case Study of Latvia and Kazakhstan

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 127 - 132

Abstract

Abstract

The performed scientific studies show that proper and skilful use of modern technologies can contribute to significant development of companies. Growth of technologies occurs rapidly, and the electronic environment continuously develops and improves along with it. The electronic environment now already offers companies practically all necessary marketing and communication tools for ensuring company development by creating competitive advantages; nevertheless, not all companies can employ the opportunities rendered by the e- environment, in order to increase company competitiveness and productivity. (Ščeulovs, Gaile-Sarkane 2014). The aim of the paper is to study and compare the enterprises communication in e-environment in two countries – Latvia and Kazakhstan. Study material – 130 enterprises of Latvia, 100 enterprises of Kazakhstan; method – survey. The study was conducted within the Erasmus+ project ‘Mobility between programme and partner countries (KA107)’. Using previous researches and scientific studies, as well as survey of enterprises representatives in Latvia and Kazakhstan, in this paper, the authors a) give an overview of the main trends of enterprise communication in e-environment and b) compare the experience of the two countries.

Keywords

  • communication
  • e-environment
  • enterprise
  • Latvia
  • Kazakhstan

JEL Classification

  • D83
  • L32
14 Articles
Open Access

Proposal for Brand’s Communication Strategy Developed on Customer Segmentation Based on Psychological Factors and Decision-Making Speed in Purchasing: Case of the Automotive Industry

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 5 - 14

Abstract

Abstract

Customers are key in the brand-building process. Many times, this term is applied very broadly, especially in segmentation and planning. Knowing the customer buying behaviour and customer decision-making process is important for brands, especially today, when customers are informed much better and get information over the Internet faster. In this paper, we present theory that deals with the purchasing behaviour of customers and emphasize the analysis of the sales cycle of the individual phases in the current conditions, when segmentation based on socio-demographic data is not enough. It is much better to define the psychological factors, which influence the customer and motivate him to buy in combination with the buyer’s decision-making speed. Thus, the article discusses the basic four types of customers according to the major research work carried out by Eisenberg brothers. Based on this analysis, we can determine the percentage of individual customers. The article offers a survey that was conducted to find the most important factors in the decision-making process when buying a car. In addition to the criteria, we also asked our respondents about the importance of these factors. We have used the multiple criteria decision analysis as it is one of the methods of complex evaluation and it minimizes the degree of subjectivity in choosing a suitable variant. Based on our survey, we have used analysis to estimate trends that brands operate in automotive sector could use to communicate in order to address the type of customer that belongs to their target audience. The primary aim of the paper is to prove that there is a growing trend of humanistic customers through study about their preferences and criteria during the decision-making process that leads them to buy a new car. Moreover, we determinate communication strategies for all four types of customers based on theory provided by Eisenbergs.

Keywords

  • brands
  • customer
  • strategy
  • factors
  • planning

JEL Classification

  • M14
  • M31
  • M37
Open Access

The Analysis of the Implementation of municipal Cooperation and Merger Strategies: Case Study for Slovenia

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 15 - 21

Abstract

Abstract

Slovenia has only one tier of sub-national government, that is, municipalities. Currently, there are 212 municipalities, and they exhibit the same responsibilities they need to provide to their residents, regardless of their size, and these differences in size are even in the range 1:100. The new national strategy for the development of local self-government has, therefore, stressed the necessity to promote cooperation among municipalities and even potential mergers, not just to ensure cost-effectiveness but also to increase the capacity of municipalities to perform various developmental tasks. Consequently, the aim of the article is to analyse the evolution and factors driving inter-municipal cooperation and municipal mergers, where Slovenia is taken as an example, and case study approach is used in this manner. The results of the analysis indicate that territorial fragmentation at the local level has been accompanied by the increase in the inter-municipal cooperation, although some time lag can be observed. Moreover, the increase in the cooperation can be observed in particular with the onset of economic slowdown and fiscal stress emergence. The results also portray that substantial territorial rescaling cannot be expected in the near future, as suggested by the analysis of driving factors that should contribute to this process, as well as by rather weak ability of central government to promote the process. Consequently, from the practical perspective, we might expect larger role of more in-depth trans-scaling strategies as a mechanism to overcome the problem of sub-optimal size of municipalities in Slovenia.

Keywords

  • sub-national government
  • territorial fragmentation
  • inter-municipal cooperation
  • municipal mergers
  • Slovenia

JEL Classification

  • H73
  • D24
Open Access

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Selected Slovak Brands on the Principle of DEA Models with the Possibility to Optimise them

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 22 - 34

Abstract

Abstract

Nowadays, when marketing and branding change, companies are trying to find new ways to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing activities as they impact on current and future business results. The main objective of the contribution is to evaluate the effectiveness of decision making unit (DMU) production units in the form of selected Slovak brands through the non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA) method. The sample size consists of 10 Slovak brands (Slovenská sporiteľňa, VÚB banka, Tatra banka, ESET, Slovnaft, Matador, Rajec, Sygic, Sedita and Zlatý bažant). Through DEA, we have gained a portfolio of effective and portfolio of ineffective brands operating in Slovakia. Depending on the choice of the DEA model, effective brands included Slovenská sporiteľňa, Sygic, Zlatý Bažant, Rajec and Sedita. Other brands were classified as ineffective. The result for ineffective brands is the creation of archetypal characters that we propose in Results section. The part of Results section is the focus of the businesses of the brands in question on the use of social media, to a larger extent, create a social media voice so that the personality of the brand is reflected in contributions in social media communicating on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. In contribution, deduction, induction, analysis and marketing research methods were used.

Keywords

  • brand
  • brand equity
  • decision making unit
  • data envelopment analysis
  • marketing research

JEL Classification

  • C02
  • C52
  • C61
  • M30
Open Access

The Concept of Gamification and its Use in Software Companies in the Republic of Macedonia

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 35 - 46

Abstract

Abstract

Gamification represents a relatively new term that has become massively popular in recent years. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the various definitions regarding gamification, to present a unified process of designing a gamified system and to research the use of gamification on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. Gamification focuses on the internal motivators of employees, which are much more powerful and longer-lasting than the external motivators traditionally used in human resource management. Since this concept relies on video games, data demonstrated makes it clear that they are prevalent in each age group and there is no inclination of one sex over the other. The research done through a questionnaire on SMEs in the IT industry on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia was focused on researching the gamification trends in the country and generally gave positive results regarding the level of use and the readiness of the Macedonian managers for gamification. A high percentage of the companies surveyed are using or are in the process of implementing gamified systems and consider that they could bring a number of benefits. The main disadvantages are the lack of understanding by employees and insufficient technical knowledge. The paper contributes in clarifying the gamification concept and distinguishing it from other similar concepts. From a practical standpoint, the presented process for designing a gamified process can be utilized by companies in the IT industry in the future, regardless of the country of origin.

Keywords

  • gamification
  • human resources
  • employee motivation
  • management, reward system

JEL Classification

  • O15
Open Access

Engaged Humanities. New Perspectives of Experience-Oriented Humanities

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 47 - 55

Abstract

Abstract

The term engagement was used in critical cultural studies as a term that name an attitude of scholars, and a feature of cultural and scientific texts, that are based on the experience of an individual or a group of people. In the recent two decades, many of Polish academic narrations on the field of cultural production focused on the issue of engagement. In the article, a phenomenon of engagement in the context of disability studies is considered. The main objective of the article is the analysis of disability studies as a new model of experience- oriented discipline. What is particularly interesting is a possibility to relabel experiences of the disabled as a significant report on the status of modern narrations, which should include different minority bodies. The main aim of disability studies is to present a project of engaged attitudes towards social sustainability that is not based on exclusions of any social groups of people. Studies on disability are also introduced as an experience-oriented discipline in the field of engaged humanities. This article aims at presenting critical narrations on the issue of engagement in other to connect disability studies to the engaged humanities. Promoting engagement in many areas of culture and social life seems to be a way of introducing more open politics towards difference, and social sphere of life that is equally accessible for everyone.

Keywords

  • disability studies
  • engagement
  • experience-oriented humanities
  • difference
  • new humanities
Open Access

Communicative Functions of Hashtags

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 56 - 62

Abstract

Abstract

Despite the initial function of hashtags as tools for sorting and aggregating information according to topics, the social media currently witness a diversity of uses diverging from the initial purpose. The aim of this article is to investigate the communicative functions of hashtags through a combined approach of literature review, field study and case study. Different uses of hashtags were subjected to semantic analysis in order to disclose generalizable trends. As a result, ten communicative functions were identified: topic-marking, aggregation, socializing, excuse, irony, providing metadata, expressing attitudes, initiating movements, propaganda and brand marketing. These findings would help to better understand modern online discourse and to prove that hashtags are to be considered as a meaningful part of the message. A limitation of this study is its restricted volume.

Keywords

  • hashtags
  • social networks
  • pragmatics
  • communicative functions
Open Access

The Work Contents of the Personnel Specialist in Latvia

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 63 - 69

Abstract

Abstract

The contents in the work of personnel specialist differ in organizations from one field to another. It continues to evolve with an emergence of new technologies and business methods, as well as with structural changes in the economy, both at a global and national level. However, the existing professional regulations of particular professions in Latvia has not been changed for almost 10 years, while the economy as well as the workforce appears to have changed. The aim of the paper is to illustrate what currently forms the contents of work of personnel specialist in Latvia. To achieve this, a study on trends in the work of personnel specialists has been conducted with an informative support of Latvian Association for People Management. The topics of daily activities and tasks, as well as individual features of personnel in various fields, including building, banking, manufacturing, IT, retail company, and public service companies have been included in the study. Overall, 18 personnel specialists from public and private sectors were interviewed. The results show that the classical model of human resource management is still popular, although some of the industries have adapted many or most of the cutting-edge approaches in the field, including flexible jobs and continuous employee support. Therefore, it is advised to update the existing documentation, including the professional regulation and university curricula, to meet the needs of the contemporary companies employing personnel specialists.

Keywords

  • personnel specialist
  • contents of work

JEL Classification

  • J80
Open Access

Culture as a Tool for School Improvement: The Case of Children’s Socialisation Centres

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 70 - 77

Abstract

Abstract

The concern for delinquent children’s social and emotional development in closed institutions is a significant topic in educational research. This shows the need to improve the existing re-socialisation practice. Despite the fact that school effectiveness and school improvement researches theoretically have different general purposes and value bases, educational effectiveness and improvement paradigm involves both trends, which are combined by the same aspects: scientific approach and empirical data based on educational settings; knowledge of how to improve the school practice; and use of this knowledge for social purposes. In this context, the concept of the school culture is one of the main variables that allow us to answer how to address the needs of all children and improve their academic or social outcomes. The aim of this article is to illustrate the cultural characteristics of children’s socialisation centres as specific schools and to identify the guidelines for improving their performance. The mission of children’s socialisation centres is to re-socialise delinquent behaviour of children and to help them to integrate into the society. Quantitative data for measuring the school culture is obtained from the survey that was conducted using the School Culture Inventory (Maslowski, 2001). This instrument is based on the Competing Values Framework (Cameron, Quinn, 2011) consisting of four dimensions, which are labelled by human relations, open systems, rational goal and internal process orientation. The theoretical value of the survey is the analysis of school culture in terms of successful re-socialisation. The cultural profiles of these schools showed the priorities that require practical changes.

Keywords

  • school
  • performance
  • culture
  • improvement
  • re-socialisation
Open Access

Searching for Key Factors in Enterprise Bankrupt Prediction: A Case Study in Slovak Republic

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 78 - 87

Abstract

Abstract

The issue of enterprise in bankrupt or financial health as a whole is still very actual topic not only in Slovakia but also in abroad. Works dealing with the enterprise in bankruptcy have already appeared in the 1930s of the 20th century. Bankrupt of enterprise affect all subject in relationship with this enterprise. Financial experts were looking for the ways for enterprise bankrupt prediction. This article is based on the searching for key factors that could indicate the enterprise in bankrupt in Slovak conditions. This article tries to work with financial variables from the area of financial health assessment of enterprise and works with the sample of Slovak enterprises. This sample includes 8,522 financial statements of enterprises in 2016. According to several relevant decisions rules, for example, the value of equity or equity debt ratio, enterprises are divided into two categories – bankrupt enterprises and creditworthy enterprises. Subsequently, this article tries to find statistically significant financial variables that could indicate involving enterprises in these two categories and works with several statistical methods for searching significant relationship between variables and the tightness of relations between them. As a main statistical method, Pearson´s correlation coefficient is used, which is supported by correlation matrices. In addition, it is necessary to test an existence of outliers in the sample of enterprises. Existence of outliers is tested by the Grubbs test of outliers.

Keywords

  • bankrupt
  • prediction model
  • financial health
  • financial ratios

JEL Classification

  • G1
  • G32
  • G33
Open Access

Prediction of Default of Small Companies in the Slovak Republic

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 88 - 95

Abstract

Abstract

From the time of Altman and the first bankruptcy prediction models, the prediction of default of companies is in the centre of interest of many economists and scientists all over the world. For companies, early detection of the possible threat of imminent financial difficulties or even bankruptcy is a very important part of financial analysis. Over the last few years, many predictive models have been created in the world. However, it has been shown that these models are not very well transferable to the conditions of the economy of another country and their prediction or rating power in another country is lower. Therefore, it is best to create a specific predictive model in the country that takes into account the situation of companies on the basis of real data on their financial situation. This paper is focused on creating a model of failure prediction of small companies in Slovakia using a well-known and widely used method of multivariate discriminant analysis. Discriminant analysis is one of the oldest multivariate statistical methods and sometimes it is difficult to fulfil certain assumptions for data. However, its results are easily interpretable and can be used to classify a company to the group of companies with risk of financial difficulties or, on the contrary, between well-prosperous companies. Prediction model is created based on real data on Slovak enterprises and has a strong classification ability in the specific conditions of the Slovak Republic.

Keywords

  • prediction of default
  • bankruptcy prediction models
  • financial distress
  • multivariate discriminant analysis

JEL Classification

  • C38
  • G33
Open Access

Sensory Marketing from the Perspective of a Support Tool for Building Brand Value

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 96 - 104

Abstract

Abstract

A brand is one way to distinguish products from each other, while simplifying consumers’ decisions in choosing an appropriate product. Brand building is not just about design but also strategy, which is even more important in the process. The result of brand building is the potential to represent a certain value for the company. However, sustaining and improving a brand’s position in the market is not a simple process in the current competitive environment. Therefore, there is scope for application of new marketing strategies such as sensory marketing. Sensory marketing represents a way for companies to influence consumers’ senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste) and evoke the emotions affecting their buying behaviour and perceptions of the product or brand. The aim of the article is to provide a literature review on the issue from several foreign and domestic authors. It discusses the essence of a brand, brand value, sensory marketing and also analyses its use as a support tool for building brand value in practice through secondary research data. Based on this, in conclusion, the authors highlight the benefits of using sensory marketing for building brand value, including ensuring loyalty of standing customers as well as gaining new ones, building a successful brand and positive perception of the brand and product by users.

Keywords

  • sensory marketing
  • brand value
  • consumer
  • emotions
  • buying behaviour

JEL Classification

  • M30
  • M31
Open Access

Predictive Ability of Chosen Bankruptcy Models: A Case Study of Slovak Republic

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 105 - 114

Abstract

Abstract

Bankruptcy models are used to assess credit risk and predict financial situation to indicate the probable bankruptcy of the company. Contribution deals with the application of chosen bankruptcy models in analysing and predicting the financial health of selected companies. Most of the models have been developed abroad. In case of Slovak Republic, its application and correctness of the results can be problematic; therefore, we have focused primarily on those that have emerged in countries with a similar economy. We have calculated the selected prediction models in a sample of 500 Slovak enterprises. Predictive ability lower than 64% is considered as unfavourable. As part of the contribution, based on expert literature and relevant legislation, we have defined the criteria that allow to divide businesses into two groups: prosperous and non-prosperous. In the end, we compared the results of the selected models with the inclusion of enterprises in a prosperous and non- prosperous group based on the criteria set by us. We also dealt with examining of error types I (when an enterprise in bad financial condition is included in a non-bankruptcy group) and II (when an enterprise in good financial condition is included in a bankruptcy group). The aim is to analyse the predictive ability of the selected bankruptcy models.

Keywords

  • Bankruptcy
  • bankruptcy model
  • prediction of financial health
  • predictive ability
  • Slovak Republic

JEL Classification

  • C53
  • G33
Open Access

The Analysis and Assesstment of International Capital Flows in the Form of Foreign Direct Investments and Foreign Direct Divestments: The Cases of Latvia and Poland

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 115 - 126

Abstract

Abstract

Decisions to invest, withdraw, or transfer capital in different foreign markets have become a fixed part of management pragmatics in contemporary companies. The results of the 2017 Global Corporate Divestment Study show that multinational enterprises (MNEs) from particular parts of the world tend to see the main reasons behind their decisions on FDI (foreign direct investment) and FD (foreign direct divestment) in a slightly different manner. Insofar as internationalization processes and FDI have been relatively thoroughly studied and discussed in world and Polish literature, the concept of de-internationalization pursued through the prism of divestment still requires further analysis and consideration. The article aims to present the general framework of the process involving FDI, FD, and the major factors behind it in Poland and Latvia. Theoretical considerations are supplemented with the analysis of statistical data coming from the UNCTAD database as well as the database of Poland’s and Latvia’s central banks, illustrating foreign investment flows. The article uses the method of critical analysis of world and Polish literature, analysis of reports on relevant issues, and desk research analysis.

Keywords

  • foreign direct investments
  • foreign direct divestments
  • Latvia
  • Poland

JEL Classification

  • F21
  • F23
  • O10
Open Access

Enterprises Communication in e-Environment: Case Study of Latvia and Kazakhstan

Published Online: 20 Jul 2018
Page range: 127 - 132

Abstract

Abstract

The performed scientific studies show that proper and skilful use of modern technologies can contribute to significant development of companies. Growth of technologies occurs rapidly, and the electronic environment continuously develops and improves along with it. The electronic environment now already offers companies practically all necessary marketing and communication tools for ensuring company development by creating competitive advantages; nevertheless, not all companies can employ the opportunities rendered by the e- environment, in order to increase company competitiveness and productivity. (Ščeulovs, Gaile-Sarkane 2014). The aim of the paper is to study and compare the enterprises communication in e-environment in two countries – Latvia and Kazakhstan. Study material – 130 enterprises of Latvia, 100 enterprises of Kazakhstan; method – survey. The study was conducted within the Erasmus+ project ‘Mobility between programme and partner countries (KA107)’. Using previous researches and scientific studies, as well as survey of enterprises representatives in Latvia and Kazakhstan, in this paper, the authors a) give an overview of the main trends of enterprise communication in e-environment and b) compare the experience of the two countries.

Keywords

  • communication
  • e-environment
  • enterprise
  • Latvia
  • Kazakhstan

JEL Classification

  • D83
  • L32

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