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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 17 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)

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

An Analysis of Critical Thinking Skills amongst Business Students in Kuwait

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 5 - 16

Abstract

Abstract

Research Purpose. This article examined critical thinking skills amongst senior-level undergraduate students in a Middle East setting, Kuwait. In addition, the study investigated the gender differences.

Methodology. The subjects involved in this study comprised a convenience sample of 90 graduating seniors. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of two motivational factors on the development of critical thinking skills. The analysis used the specific subsection about critical thinking skills, which is part of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). One factor relates the sense of entitlement that can arise in a welfare state, which heavily subsidises a wide range of things for citizens, including education. We examined differences between citizens and non-citizens, who do not have access to welfare benefits.

Findings. The results supported the hypotheses that student groups have different levels of critical thinking skills. We found that expatriate students had more highly developed critical thinking skills than students who were Kuwaiti citizens. We also found that women had more highly developed critical thinking skills than men had.

Practical Implications. The welfare state measures undertaken by the government of Kuwait may be counterproductive. The guaranteed employment of its citizens and generous monetary support whilst in school may discourage the development of critical thinking skills. Future research could focus on ways to motivate particular groups (e.g. Kuwaiti men) to enhance their critical thinking skills.

Keywords

  • Critical Thinking
  • MSLQ
  • Kuwait
  • Gender
  • Welfare State
  • Cultural Economics

JEL Classification

  • I28
Open Access

The Individual Transport Mobility Gap (ITMG) as an Obstacle on the Road to Higher Rates of Public Transport Use

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 17 - 27

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The call for higher rates of public transport usage seems reasonable and understandable, given the growing impact of climate change and the high burden of heavy traffic, especially on urban transport structures. A course of Bachelor’s degree students in Logistics explored the issue of satisfaction with individual transport mobility, formulating the hypothesis that there must be a striking difference in the quality behind the use of a private car versus the use of public transport. The hypothesised difference in perceived quality between the two modes of transport was called the individual transport mobility gap (ITMG).

Design/Methodology/Approach. The ITMG was considered from the perspective of people who mainly use a car (car users) and who mainly use public transport (public transport users). Both groups were asked how they rate their preferred means of transport and how they rate the alternative mode of transport using an online questionnaire. The survey can be accessed online at: https://fhludwigshafen.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6JOoxNvlSVxsdDv.

Findings. The results of the study confirmed the hypothesis that there is a substantial perceived gap with an ITMG value of 4.0 between using a car versus using public transport for people who primarily use a car. In contrast, the ITMG value for public transport users was only 0.8.

Originality/Relevance/Practical Implications. The originality of this approach lies in surveying satisfaction with a mode of transport at a highly aggregated level rather than at the level of individual quality factors, such as punctuality or flexibility. ITMG is defined in this study as a valuable metric that provides a basis for comparison. This quantitative metric can in turn be used to determine the effectiveness of measures to increase usage rates of public transport. The study also provides practical findings by making available its database to other researchers for further evaluation purposes. The study also contributes to scholarly and public discourse on how to effectively reduce the satisfaction gap in the use of private cars versus public transport, thus resulting in improved outcomes for the environment and society.

Keywords

  • Action-Based Teaching
  • Empirical Case Study
  • Mobility Management
  • Motorised Individual Transport
  • Public Transport

JEL Classification

  • A23
  • R40
Open Access

Export Competitiveness Analysis of Creative Industries in the European Union

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 28 - 37

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The research purpose is to assess and compare the competitiveness of the EU creative industries’ export.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The article is organised as follows: Section 1 presents a short theoretical conception of creative industries; Section 2 presents the theoretical background of trade competitiveness indices; Section 3 introduces the research data set, method and variables; Section 4 discusses the results of the revealed comparative advantage index analysis; and the final section presents the conclusions of the research. It should be noted that the research does not cover all possible factors underlying the differences in the external sector performance and thus may need to be complemented with country-specific analysis as warranted. Methods of the research include theoretical review and analysis, evaluation of comparative advantage indices and clustering.

Findings. The analysis revealed that the EU countries may gain competitiveness because of the globalisation effects and the development of creative industries. The increase in the revealed comparative advantage (RCA) index during the period 2004–2017 shows rising EU international trade specialisation in creative industries. According to dynamic RCA index results, France, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain has competitive advantage in creative industries sectors and could be specified as ‘rising stars’ according to dynamic of their export.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. A creative industries analysis is becoming increasingly relevant in scientific research. Fast globalisation growth affects the processes in which closed economies together with their specific sectors are no longer competitive in the market because productivity of countries as well as particular economic sectors depends on international trade liberalisation, technology and innovation. Scientific literature, nevertheless, contains a gap in the area of international trade competitiveness research in creative industries sector.

Keywords

  • Creative Industries
  • RCA
  • EU
  • Competitiveness
  • Trade

JEL Classification

  • F14
  • L82
  • F12
Open Access

The DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability: An Exploratory Study about its Structure, Pillars and Components among a Group of Master Degree Students

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 38 - 52

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. To get a validation of the structure, pillars and components that seem to be central, and under which, business management and managers need to develop abilities and competences to ensure the sustainability of their organizations according to the ‘DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability’ structure.

Design/Methodology/Approach. For the validation of the structure, pillars and components and it’s practical application to measure the organization’s sustainability level with the referred model, despite the focus group exercise made in an early stage, it’s also important to get a solid opinion about it among managers and also in academia, specifically among teachers and investigators on management, business administration and economics as well near master and doctorate students in this field. In this paper, we analyse the results obtained in an exploratory study, based on a survey made among students from four different master’s degree in several specific areas of business management from the School of Business Administration from the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (Portugal).

Findings. Main results obtained with this exploratory study let the authors be granted with the developments made so far in the model and its structure, pillars and components. However, only with a major collection of opinions (answer to the survey) from the referred groups, it’s possible to define and adjust the final structure and components of the DPOBE Model.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Being an investigation with several years of development, with several articles, chapters of books, master’s degree thesis, congress presentations and papers made so far, only with a solid and validated structure, pillars and components of the DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability, it’s possible to go to its aim, the use of it as a quantitative tool to measure the effective organizations sustainability in a way different from other existing sustainability tools and indexes.

Keywords

  • Management
  • Organizational Sustainability
  • Competences
  • Sustainability Strength Index

JEL Classification

  • M19
  • L25
Open Access

Influencers’ Engagement in a Brand Communication: Latvia and Cyprus Cases

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 53 - 61

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. Social networks have become an integral part of life, making social media one of the most significant advertising platforms, which, according to many experts and scientists, is one of the most effective brand communication techniques. According to Google’s data (Think with Google, 2018), before the purchase, shoppers like to address real people, which they think could be trusted. Branding with influencers is a new way of promoting products and services. It has also recently been a much sought research topic both in terms of studying the brand communication and the influencer phenomenon. This comparative study explores the involvement of influencers in brand communication. The aim of the research is to analyse the involvement of Latvian and Cypriot influencers in brand communication, its features in theoretical and practical aspects.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The research methods used were content analysis of Latvian and Cypriot influencer accounts, comparative analysis, literature analysis and graphical method.

Findings. Within the theoretical framework of the study, a review of literature has been carried out on influencers’ involvement in brand communication, with particular focus on research in Cyprus and Latvia, as well as influencer typologies, communication features and current aspects of the research. The practical part of the research explores the demographic portrait of the Cypriot and Latvian influencers, the most important features of brand communication, paying particular attention to the principles of choosing influencers’ social networking platforms and brand communication labels in their communication – hashtags (#Reklāma, #Ad, #Sadarbība, #Paidpartnership, #Apmaksātasadarbība), as well as tendencies and regularities in their use or non-use.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The results of the study can be used by brand communication researchers, as well as by marketing and public relations professionals, to identify the key features of communication of influencers, including in comparative terms, and to select optimal tactics for collaboration with influencers.

Keywords

  • Influencer
  • Brand Communication
  • Marketing Communication
  • Advertising
  • Social Media

JEL Classification

  • M3
Open Access

A Question of Value: Exploring Perceptions of Higher Education Value in Academic and Popular Literature

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 62 - 74

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The pursuit of higher education has, until recently, been viewed as a worthwhile pursuit. However, factors including rising tuition costs, graduate job-readiness, and the associated debt have diminished the perceived value of college degrees at all levels. This research seeks to explore both academic literature and popular publication sources to gain a deeper understanding of the value proposition of higher education in the dynamic 21st century.

Design/Methodology/Approach. An aggregative qualitative synthesis of the selected academic and popular sources is examined for emergent themes. Drawing on theory from the disciplines of economics, marketing, education and humanities, a meta-matrix is then constructed from the content analysis, with the goal to not only more effectively describe the variant perceptions of value but also to reconcile and synthesizes these views where possible.

Findings. The perceived value of a contemporary higher education has been challenged, requiring post-secondary institutions to find new ways to demonstrate the benefits that accompany an advanced degree. Through a more explicit understanding of the dichotomies that exist between the various perceptions of value, as well as the emergence of thematic agreements, a more holistic depiction of higher education’s value proposition may be created.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The creation of a framework that allows post-secondary institutions to gain a more explicit understanding of the perceptions of value held both within and outside the academy will allow colleges and universities to respond more directly to this critical challenge and more accurately demonstrate both the short-term and life-long value of a college degree.

Keywords

  • Higher Education
  • Perceptions of Value
  • Systems Thinking

JEL Classification

  • I23
Open Access

Decision Factors behind Choosing Higher Education Institutions in Europe

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 75 - 86

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. This article aims at distinguishing and weighting the educational factors that could have an impact on young people’s choice to study in European higher education institutions (HEIs).

Design/Methodology/Approach. To achieve the aim, previous research and scientific literature were studied and experts from student society and the higher education sector, who deal with international students, were interviewed. The developed questionnaire was based on pairwise comparison procedure, and the obtained data were processed using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method.

Findings. The findings revealed that the following factors are the most critical for students who want to study at European HEIs: provision of programmes that are taught in English, the existence of scholarship opportunities, provision of different facilities in the campus, and accreditation of the study programme and university.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The current study focuses on a topic that has been studied fragmentally, that is, on which factors are crucial for an international student to choose HEI in Europe. The current research contributes to the existing scientific literature by identifying and systemising educational factors influencing young people’s choice to study in Europe. The obtained results could be useful for professionals who are responsible for strategic partnerships at European universities.

Keywords

  • Higher Education Institutions (HEI)
  • International Students
  • Studying Abroad
  • Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)

JEL Classification

  • J62
  • I23
Open Access

Motivation to Innovate as a Key Factor in Innovation Development Process

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 87 - 93

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The purpose of this study is to analyse the influence of industrial enterprises’ employees’ motivation to innovate on the results of innovation process and the quality of innovative products market performance. The need for such an assessment was inspired by the lack of understanding the role of motivation to innovate in the quality and success of innovation development process.

Design/Methodology/Approach. To achieve this goal, the authors conducted a survey distributed to the industrial enterprise employees. The study was based on the paper-and-pencil survey that was distributed to 250 people involved in innovation development process at Russian industrial enterprises; 150 questionnaires were received back and considered valid for the study. The results were evaluated by means of statistical analysis performed by means of SPSS Statistics software.

Findings. The results support the intuitive proposition that motivation to innovate influences the quality of new product development process: idea generation, market study, product development, pre-commercial financial analysis and commercialisation quality are influenced by motivation to innovate – which is in line with the literature (Cooper, 2013). At the same time, probability on new product development in the company, the quality of initial screening, preliminary technical analysis, preliminary production analysis and in-house product testing do not correlate with employee motivation to innovate. Same is true for the new product performance: we observed no correlation between the motivation to innovate and the market success, whereas correlation was revealed between the innovative motivation and the level of market competition for the new product; however, the graphical analysis allowed to estimate that in case employees with high motivation to innovate are absent in the company, it is very unlikely that the new product would be successful.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The study was based on a questionnaire that was used for relevant purposes in different countries in order to make cross-country comparison on the innovation development process and the role of motivation to innovate. It allowed to indicate the specific features of organisational culture that are outlined in the Russian management literature: in majority of cases, bottom-level innovative initiatives were not supported by the management (Prigozhin, 2007), and hence, motivation to innovate cannot be revealed by employees at every stage of the new product development process. Another reason for somewhat controversial findings of this study was the difference between organisational cultures of the analysed manufacturing enterprises, which was not evaluated in this article.

Keywords

  • workplace innovation
  • motivation for innovation
  • innovative products development
  • innovation process
  • innovation strategy

JEL Classification

  • L22
  • O31
  • O32
Open Access

Product Branding and Consumer Loyalty in Telecommunication Industry

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 94 - 103

Abstract

Abstract

Research Purpose. With fierce competition and saturated marketing in Nigeria, telecom operators must work hard to reduce cost, win new customers, and most importantly, retain the existing ones. The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between product branding and consumer loyalty in the Nigerian telecommunication industry.

Design / Methodology / Approach. This research employed survey research design. Primary data was adopted with the aid of a questionnaire administered to the customers of three major telecommunication companies in Nigeria (MTN, AIRTEL and GLOBACOM) residing in Lagos State. The population of the study was 172, the sample size was 120, which were determined using the simple computation method. The study made use of statistical tools that include: analysis of variance (ANOVA), correlation efficient and Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 17.0.

Findings. The results of this study confirm with the existing literature that product branding as a feature has a significant effect on product. The study found out that there exists a significant relationship between product branding and consumer loyalty in the Nigerian telecommunication industry. Consequently, from the practical perspective, telecommunication firms should expand their network coverage, improve the quality of service and provide better access to other networks within and outside Nigeria.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. The study seeks to contribute to existing literature on product branding and customer loyalty. The paper contributes in clarifying that telecom providers in Nigeria must make product branding as a very important aspect of its marketing strategy and it must be given a serious approach, because it goes a long way to determine the success or failure of the product offer to the market, the firm in question and its ability to achieve consumer loyalty

Keywords

  • Product Branding
  • Consumer Loyalty
  • Choice and Patronage
  • Telecommunication Industry

JEL Classification

  • M31
  • L96
Open Access

Valuation of Lithuanian Cities’ Smartness

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 104 - 115

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. To assess the level of smartness of Lithuanian cities. The article systematizes the theoretical background of a smart city and its criteria, develops the methodology for measuring the level of smart cities and assesses the level of smartness of Lithuanian cities.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Methods used for the study: systematization, comparison, generalization, multi-criteria methods (COPRAS, EDAS and TOPSIS). The criteria for the assessment of smartness of cities were distinguished from the analysed scientific literature. Multi-criteria methods are used to determine the smartest city in Lithuania since they allow you to rank alternatives according to various criteria that are rendered dimensionless.

Findings. A multi-criteria assessment of the level of smartness of Lithuanian cities has shown that the capital city is leading. However, different results were obtained using different multi-criteria assessment methods in ranking the remaining cities.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Usually, the smartness is analysed for major cities of the world, and Lithuanian cities were not assessed to the knowledge of the authors. The selected criteria for the assessment of the smartness of the cities represent the most often used (foreign direct investment; emission of the pollutant; the number of international immigrants; the ratio of people registered as unemployed to the working-age population; the number of crimes; the number of specialists trained at universities; the number of universities; the number of bus routes; the number of road traffic accidents; the number of IT companies and forest cover). The results could help for policy creators to make decisions on increasing the intelligence of Lithuanian cities, which would help to develop the economy not only in the capital but also in other important cities of the country and raise the quality of life of the inhabitants of those cities.

Keywords

  • Smart City
  • Smart City Criteria
  • Smart City Development
  • COPRAS
  • EDAS and TOPSIS

JEL Classification

  • O18
  • C38
  • O31
  • O32
Open Access

Assessment of the Sustainable Economic Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth in G20 Countries

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 116 - 125

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The importance of sustainable development, the need to achieve sustainable economic development that does not harm the environment, conserve natural resources or exacerbate tensions in society has been increasingly discussed over the last decade. The purpose of the research is to evaluate the economic growth and decent work environment in G20 countries during 2013–2018 as G20 countries are the fastest growing countries in the world, and their economy describes the major part of the global economy.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Qualitative data analysis based on the comparative analysis of scientific literature, content analysis, interpretation, comparison and grouping is used, in order to analyse the theoretical aspects of sustainable development and its goals, especially goal 8: decent work and economic growth. TOPSIS method helps to rank G20 countries according to the indicators of SDG 8.

Findings. The results showed that Japan reached the best work environment and the most significant economic growth during 2013–2018. The United States is in second place and the third – the Republic of Korea. In the bottom three are Argentina, Brazil and South Africa.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Since it is challenging to identify the achievements of the economic and work environment development, as an essential part of sustainable development goals, the results could lead to future insights that will create value to policymakers, economists and other stakeholders.

Keywords

  • Sustainable Development
  • Economic Development
  • Economy
  • G20
  • Sustainable Development Goals

JEL Classification

  • O10
  • O11
  • E0
  • Q56
Open Access

Developing Innovative Competence in Economics Students

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 126 - 139

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The main task of this article consists in outlining several conceptions of teaching that we consider crucial to develop knowledge, skills and personal qualities in future managers, which they need in a constantly changing innovative business environment.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Methods of contrastive analysis, method of decomposition and questionnaire survey form the methodological basis of research.

Findings. As a result of empirical research, the article describes the level of students’ demand for mastering innovative skills and the extent to which this demand is met in the framework of educational programme.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The method elaborated in the article is easily applicable in different educational programmes, economic subjects and environments as well as different curriculum plans. It is expected that improved learning skills and satisfaction will increase learning outcomes in long-term outlook. The article suggests new integrated teaching approach to organising collaborative work so that the full potential of students in solving economic problems is developed through and alongside the use of interactive learning tasks. It relies on thorough analysis of reasons for students’ critical attitude towards creative and innovative thinking in their profession.

Keywords

  • Innovative Culture
  • Innovative Competence
  • Faint Signs
  • Creative Education
  • Critical Thinking
  • Case Study Learning

JEL Classification

  • I23
  • A20
Open Access

Reliability and Reputation of the Board Member in Latvia

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 140 - 149

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The purpose of this article is to investigate the most important risk factors in the assessment of the reliability and reputation of the Board Member for the implementation of responsible business activities in Latvia.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The research methods used in the current article are a comparative analysis of the legal bases and other regulative documents and case studies. The case study is based on the economic and legal analysis of legal acts using descriptive, analytical, deductive and inductive methods, based on which the authors draw conclusions about the reliability and reputation of the Board Member in assessing the key risk factors of their responsibility. The following data collection methods were used to achieve the set goal: analysis of special literature and internet resources and document analysis.

Findings. The risks of the responsibility of a Board Member are still not a completely researched topic in Latvia. There is no common understanding of the reliability and reputation of a Board Member. The legal framework is incomplete, which has a negative impact on the responsible business in Latvia.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The study contributes to the implementation of a responsible business environment by creating a common understanding of the risks of a Board Member’s responsibility.

Keywords

  • Reliability and Reputation
  • Board Member
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Legislation
  • Latvia

JEL Classification

  • K15
  • K20
Open Access

Evaluation Indicators of Green Economic Development: The Case of the Baltic Countries

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 150 - 163

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The green economy may become a solution to the existing problems. The European Union must implement solutions related to the green economy in order to solve the existing ecological, economic and social problems in the region, such as pollution in the Baltic Sea region, inequality, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and so on. It can be assumed that green economy evaluation research conducted in the scientific community does not always reflect the real situation, due to the lack of indicators or limited evaluation methodology. The aim of this article is characterized by academic literature to identify green economic development indicators and evaluate green economic development indices in three Baltic countries: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The article uses analysis of scientific literature, systematization, comparative analysis, generalization and data normalization methods.

Findings. The analysed scientific literature and reports of international organizations, resolutions and conference agreements allow to compile a list of indicators for the evaluation of green economy development. The results showed that in all the analysed countries, a strong growth of green economy development indices can be seen; in Estonia, they remained the best among the three Baltic countries during the analysed period. An analysis of which individual indicators are most important in the development of the green economy and have the greatest significance for the index has shown that their estimates and position have changed significantly in less than two decades.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The identification of green economy indicators provides a new approach to the structure of green economy components. Indicators measured over time describe the structural characteristics and quantitative changes of the green economy, and provides a new understanding of the opportunities and directions of green economy development. In the framework of this study, fifteen indicators were selected for the analysis of green economy in the Baltic States. The normalization and further evaluation of these indicators from the point of view of the green economy allowed to determine the significance of individual social, economic and environmental dimensions for the overall green economy index and to show the changes over a period. The collected data also form the basis for further in-depth prognostic studies.

Keywords

  • Green Economy
  • Indicators of Green Economy
  • Green Economy Development

JEL Classification

  • Q01
  • Q56
  • O13
  • O57
14 Articles
Open Access

An Analysis of Critical Thinking Skills amongst Business Students in Kuwait

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 5 - 16

Abstract

Abstract

Research Purpose. This article examined critical thinking skills amongst senior-level undergraduate students in a Middle East setting, Kuwait. In addition, the study investigated the gender differences.

Methodology. The subjects involved in this study comprised a convenience sample of 90 graduating seniors. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of two motivational factors on the development of critical thinking skills. The analysis used the specific subsection about critical thinking skills, which is part of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). One factor relates the sense of entitlement that can arise in a welfare state, which heavily subsidises a wide range of things for citizens, including education. We examined differences between citizens and non-citizens, who do not have access to welfare benefits.

Findings. The results supported the hypotheses that student groups have different levels of critical thinking skills. We found that expatriate students had more highly developed critical thinking skills than students who were Kuwaiti citizens. We also found that women had more highly developed critical thinking skills than men had.

Practical Implications. The welfare state measures undertaken by the government of Kuwait may be counterproductive. The guaranteed employment of its citizens and generous monetary support whilst in school may discourage the development of critical thinking skills. Future research could focus on ways to motivate particular groups (e.g. Kuwaiti men) to enhance their critical thinking skills.

Keywords

  • Critical Thinking
  • MSLQ
  • Kuwait
  • Gender
  • Welfare State
  • Cultural Economics

JEL Classification

  • I28
Open Access

The Individual Transport Mobility Gap (ITMG) as an Obstacle on the Road to Higher Rates of Public Transport Use

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 17 - 27

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The call for higher rates of public transport usage seems reasonable and understandable, given the growing impact of climate change and the high burden of heavy traffic, especially on urban transport structures. A course of Bachelor’s degree students in Logistics explored the issue of satisfaction with individual transport mobility, formulating the hypothesis that there must be a striking difference in the quality behind the use of a private car versus the use of public transport. The hypothesised difference in perceived quality between the two modes of transport was called the individual transport mobility gap (ITMG).

Design/Methodology/Approach. The ITMG was considered from the perspective of people who mainly use a car (car users) and who mainly use public transport (public transport users). Both groups were asked how they rate their preferred means of transport and how they rate the alternative mode of transport using an online questionnaire. The survey can be accessed online at: https://fhludwigshafen.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6JOoxNvlSVxsdDv.

Findings. The results of the study confirmed the hypothesis that there is a substantial perceived gap with an ITMG value of 4.0 between using a car versus using public transport for people who primarily use a car. In contrast, the ITMG value for public transport users was only 0.8.

Originality/Relevance/Practical Implications. The originality of this approach lies in surveying satisfaction with a mode of transport at a highly aggregated level rather than at the level of individual quality factors, such as punctuality or flexibility. ITMG is defined in this study as a valuable metric that provides a basis for comparison. This quantitative metric can in turn be used to determine the effectiveness of measures to increase usage rates of public transport. The study also provides practical findings by making available its database to other researchers for further evaluation purposes. The study also contributes to scholarly and public discourse on how to effectively reduce the satisfaction gap in the use of private cars versus public transport, thus resulting in improved outcomes for the environment and society.

Keywords

  • Action-Based Teaching
  • Empirical Case Study
  • Mobility Management
  • Motorised Individual Transport
  • Public Transport

JEL Classification

  • A23
  • R40
Open Access

Export Competitiveness Analysis of Creative Industries in the European Union

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 28 - 37

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The research purpose is to assess and compare the competitiveness of the EU creative industries’ export.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The article is organised as follows: Section 1 presents a short theoretical conception of creative industries; Section 2 presents the theoretical background of trade competitiveness indices; Section 3 introduces the research data set, method and variables; Section 4 discusses the results of the revealed comparative advantage index analysis; and the final section presents the conclusions of the research. It should be noted that the research does not cover all possible factors underlying the differences in the external sector performance and thus may need to be complemented with country-specific analysis as warranted. Methods of the research include theoretical review and analysis, evaluation of comparative advantage indices and clustering.

Findings. The analysis revealed that the EU countries may gain competitiveness because of the globalisation effects and the development of creative industries. The increase in the revealed comparative advantage (RCA) index during the period 2004–2017 shows rising EU international trade specialisation in creative industries. According to dynamic RCA index results, France, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain has competitive advantage in creative industries sectors and could be specified as ‘rising stars’ according to dynamic of their export.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. A creative industries analysis is becoming increasingly relevant in scientific research. Fast globalisation growth affects the processes in which closed economies together with their specific sectors are no longer competitive in the market because productivity of countries as well as particular economic sectors depends on international trade liberalisation, technology and innovation. Scientific literature, nevertheless, contains a gap in the area of international trade competitiveness research in creative industries sector.

Keywords

  • Creative Industries
  • RCA
  • EU
  • Competitiveness
  • Trade

JEL Classification

  • F14
  • L82
  • F12
Open Access

The DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability: An Exploratory Study about its Structure, Pillars and Components among a Group of Master Degree Students

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 38 - 52

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. To get a validation of the structure, pillars and components that seem to be central, and under which, business management and managers need to develop abilities and competences to ensure the sustainability of their organizations according to the ‘DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability’ structure.

Design/Methodology/Approach. For the validation of the structure, pillars and components and it’s practical application to measure the organization’s sustainability level with the referred model, despite the focus group exercise made in an early stage, it’s also important to get a solid opinion about it among managers and also in academia, specifically among teachers and investigators on management, business administration and economics as well near master and doctorate students in this field. In this paper, we analyse the results obtained in an exploratory study, based on a survey made among students from four different master’s degree in several specific areas of business management from the School of Business Administration from the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (Portugal).

Findings. Main results obtained with this exploratory study let the authors be granted with the developments made so far in the model and its structure, pillars and components. However, only with a major collection of opinions (answer to the survey) from the referred groups, it’s possible to define and adjust the final structure and components of the DPOBE Model.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Being an investigation with several years of development, with several articles, chapters of books, master’s degree thesis, congress presentations and papers made so far, only with a solid and validated structure, pillars and components of the DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability, it’s possible to go to its aim, the use of it as a quantitative tool to measure the effective organizations sustainability in a way different from other existing sustainability tools and indexes.

Keywords

  • Management
  • Organizational Sustainability
  • Competences
  • Sustainability Strength Index

JEL Classification

  • M19
  • L25
Open Access

Influencers’ Engagement in a Brand Communication: Latvia and Cyprus Cases

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 53 - 61

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. Social networks have become an integral part of life, making social media one of the most significant advertising platforms, which, according to many experts and scientists, is one of the most effective brand communication techniques. According to Google’s data (Think with Google, 2018), before the purchase, shoppers like to address real people, which they think could be trusted. Branding with influencers is a new way of promoting products and services. It has also recently been a much sought research topic both in terms of studying the brand communication and the influencer phenomenon. This comparative study explores the involvement of influencers in brand communication. The aim of the research is to analyse the involvement of Latvian and Cypriot influencers in brand communication, its features in theoretical and practical aspects.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The research methods used were content analysis of Latvian and Cypriot influencer accounts, comparative analysis, literature analysis and graphical method.

Findings. Within the theoretical framework of the study, a review of literature has been carried out on influencers’ involvement in brand communication, with particular focus on research in Cyprus and Latvia, as well as influencer typologies, communication features and current aspects of the research. The practical part of the research explores the demographic portrait of the Cypriot and Latvian influencers, the most important features of brand communication, paying particular attention to the principles of choosing influencers’ social networking platforms and brand communication labels in their communication – hashtags (#Reklāma, #Ad, #Sadarbība, #Paidpartnership, #Apmaksātasadarbība), as well as tendencies and regularities in their use or non-use.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The results of the study can be used by brand communication researchers, as well as by marketing and public relations professionals, to identify the key features of communication of influencers, including in comparative terms, and to select optimal tactics for collaboration with influencers.

Keywords

  • Influencer
  • Brand Communication
  • Marketing Communication
  • Advertising
  • Social Media

JEL Classification

  • M3
Open Access

A Question of Value: Exploring Perceptions of Higher Education Value in Academic and Popular Literature

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 62 - 74

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The pursuit of higher education has, until recently, been viewed as a worthwhile pursuit. However, factors including rising tuition costs, graduate job-readiness, and the associated debt have diminished the perceived value of college degrees at all levels. This research seeks to explore both academic literature and popular publication sources to gain a deeper understanding of the value proposition of higher education in the dynamic 21st century.

Design/Methodology/Approach. An aggregative qualitative synthesis of the selected academic and popular sources is examined for emergent themes. Drawing on theory from the disciplines of economics, marketing, education and humanities, a meta-matrix is then constructed from the content analysis, with the goal to not only more effectively describe the variant perceptions of value but also to reconcile and synthesizes these views where possible.

Findings. The perceived value of a contemporary higher education has been challenged, requiring post-secondary institutions to find new ways to demonstrate the benefits that accompany an advanced degree. Through a more explicit understanding of the dichotomies that exist between the various perceptions of value, as well as the emergence of thematic agreements, a more holistic depiction of higher education’s value proposition may be created.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The creation of a framework that allows post-secondary institutions to gain a more explicit understanding of the perceptions of value held both within and outside the academy will allow colleges and universities to respond more directly to this critical challenge and more accurately demonstrate both the short-term and life-long value of a college degree.

Keywords

  • Higher Education
  • Perceptions of Value
  • Systems Thinking

JEL Classification

  • I23
Open Access

Decision Factors behind Choosing Higher Education Institutions in Europe

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 75 - 86

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. This article aims at distinguishing and weighting the educational factors that could have an impact on young people’s choice to study in European higher education institutions (HEIs).

Design/Methodology/Approach. To achieve the aim, previous research and scientific literature were studied and experts from student society and the higher education sector, who deal with international students, were interviewed. The developed questionnaire was based on pairwise comparison procedure, and the obtained data were processed using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method.

Findings. The findings revealed that the following factors are the most critical for students who want to study at European HEIs: provision of programmes that are taught in English, the existence of scholarship opportunities, provision of different facilities in the campus, and accreditation of the study programme and university.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The current study focuses on a topic that has been studied fragmentally, that is, on which factors are crucial for an international student to choose HEI in Europe. The current research contributes to the existing scientific literature by identifying and systemising educational factors influencing young people’s choice to study in Europe. The obtained results could be useful for professionals who are responsible for strategic partnerships at European universities.

Keywords

  • Higher Education Institutions (HEI)
  • International Students
  • Studying Abroad
  • Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)

JEL Classification

  • J62
  • I23
Open Access

Motivation to Innovate as a Key Factor in Innovation Development Process

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 87 - 93

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The purpose of this study is to analyse the influence of industrial enterprises’ employees’ motivation to innovate on the results of innovation process and the quality of innovative products market performance. The need for such an assessment was inspired by the lack of understanding the role of motivation to innovate in the quality and success of innovation development process.

Design/Methodology/Approach. To achieve this goal, the authors conducted a survey distributed to the industrial enterprise employees. The study was based on the paper-and-pencil survey that was distributed to 250 people involved in innovation development process at Russian industrial enterprises; 150 questionnaires were received back and considered valid for the study. The results were evaluated by means of statistical analysis performed by means of SPSS Statistics software.

Findings. The results support the intuitive proposition that motivation to innovate influences the quality of new product development process: idea generation, market study, product development, pre-commercial financial analysis and commercialisation quality are influenced by motivation to innovate – which is in line with the literature (Cooper, 2013). At the same time, probability on new product development in the company, the quality of initial screening, preliminary technical analysis, preliminary production analysis and in-house product testing do not correlate with employee motivation to innovate. Same is true for the new product performance: we observed no correlation between the motivation to innovate and the market success, whereas correlation was revealed between the innovative motivation and the level of market competition for the new product; however, the graphical analysis allowed to estimate that in case employees with high motivation to innovate are absent in the company, it is very unlikely that the new product would be successful.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The study was based on a questionnaire that was used for relevant purposes in different countries in order to make cross-country comparison on the innovation development process and the role of motivation to innovate. It allowed to indicate the specific features of organisational culture that are outlined in the Russian management literature: in majority of cases, bottom-level innovative initiatives were not supported by the management (Prigozhin, 2007), and hence, motivation to innovate cannot be revealed by employees at every stage of the new product development process. Another reason for somewhat controversial findings of this study was the difference between organisational cultures of the analysed manufacturing enterprises, which was not evaluated in this article.

Keywords

  • workplace innovation
  • motivation for innovation
  • innovative products development
  • innovation process
  • innovation strategy

JEL Classification

  • L22
  • O31
  • O32
Open Access

Product Branding and Consumer Loyalty in Telecommunication Industry

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 94 - 103

Abstract

Abstract

Research Purpose. With fierce competition and saturated marketing in Nigeria, telecom operators must work hard to reduce cost, win new customers, and most importantly, retain the existing ones. The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between product branding and consumer loyalty in the Nigerian telecommunication industry.

Design / Methodology / Approach. This research employed survey research design. Primary data was adopted with the aid of a questionnaire administered to the customers of three major telecommunication companies in Nigeria (MTN, AIRTEL and GLOBACOM) residing in Lagos State. The population of the study was 172, the sample size was 120, which were determined using the simple computation method. The study made use of statistical tools that include: analysis of variance (ANOVA), correlation efficient and Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 17.0.

Findings. The results of this study confirm with the existing literature that product branding as a feature has a significant effect on product. The study found out that there exists a significant relationship between product branding and consumer loyalty in the Nigerian telecommunication industry. Consequently, from the practical perspective, telecommunication firms should expand their network coverage, improve the quality of service and provide better access to other networks within and outside Nigeria.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. The study seeks to contribute to existing literature on product branding and customer loyalty. The paper contributes in clarifying that telecom providers in Nigeria must make product branding as a very important aspect of its marketing strategy and it must be given a serious approach, because it goes a long way to determine the success or failure of the product offer to the market, the firm in question and its ability to achieve consumer loyalty

Keywords

  • Product Branding
  • Consumer Loyalty
  • Choice and Patronage
  • Telecommunication Industry

JEL Classification

  • M31
  • L96
Open Access

Valuation of Lithuanian Cities’ Smartness

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 104 - 115

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. To assess the level of smartness of Lithuanian cities. The article systematizes the theoretical background of a smart city and its criteria, develops the methodology for measuring the level of smart cities and assesses the level of smartness of Lithuanian cities.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Methods used for the study: systematization, comparison, generalization, multi-criteria methods (COPRAS, EDAS and TOPSIS). The criteria for the assessment of smartness of cities were distinguished from the analysed scientific literature. Multi-criteria methods are used to determine the smartest city in Lithuania since they allow you to rank alternatives according to various criteria that are rendered dimensionless.

Findings. A multi-criteria assessment of the level of smartness of Lithuanian cities has shown that the capital city is leading. However, different results were obtained using different multi-criteria assessment methods in ranking the remaining cities.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Usually, the smartness is analysed for major cities of the world, and Lithuanian cities were not assessed to the knowledge of the authors. The selected criteria for the assessment of the smartness of the cities represent the most often used (foreign direct investment; emission of the pollutant; the number of international immigrants; the ratio of people registered as unemployed to the working-age population; the number of crimes; the number of specialists trained at universities; the number of universities; the number of bus routes; the number of road traffic accidents; the number of IT companies and forest cover). The results could help for policy creators to make decisions on increasing the intelligence of Lithuanian cities, which would help to develop the economy not only in the capital but also in other important cities of the country and raise the quality of life of the inhabitants of those cities.

Keywords

  • Smart City
  • Smart City Criteria
  • Smart City Development
  • COPRAS
  • EDAS and TOPSIS

JEL Classification

  • O18
  • C38
  • O31
  • O32
Open Access

Assessment of the Sustainable Economic Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth in G20 Countries

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 116 - 125

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The importance of sustainable development, the need to achieve sustainable economic development that does not harm the environment, conserve natural resources or exacerbate tensions in society has been increasingly discussed over the last decade. The purpose of the research is to evaluate the economic growth and decent work environment in G20 countries during 2013–2018 as G20 countries are the fastest growing countries in the world, and their economy describes the major part of the global economy.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Qualitative data analysis based on the comparative analysis of scientific literature, content analysis, interpretation, comparison and grouping is used, in order to analyse the theoretical aspects of sustainable development and its goals, especially goal 8: decent work and economic growth. TOPSIS method helps to rank G20 countries according to the indicators of SDG 8.

Findings. The results showed that Japan reached the best work environment and the most significant economic growth during 2013–2018. The United States is in second place and the third – the Republic of Korea. In the bottom three are Argentina, Brazil and South Africa.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Since it is challenging to identify the achievements of the economic and work environment development, as an essential part of sustainable development goals, the results could lead to future insights that will create value to policymakers, economists and other stakeholders.

Keywords

  • Sustainable Development
  • Economic Development
  • Economy
  • G20
  • Sustainable Development Goals

JEL Classification

  • O10
  • O11
  • E0
  • Q56
Open Access

Developing Innovative Competence in Economics Students

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 126 - 139

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The main task of this article consists in outlining several conceptions of teaching that we consider crucial to develop knowledge, skills and personal qualities in future managers, which they need in a constantly changing innovative business environment.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Methods of contrastive analysis, method of decomposition and questionnaire survey form the methodological basis of research.

Findings. As a result of empirical research, the article describes the level of students’ demand for mastering innovative skills and the extent to which this demand is met in the framework of educational programme.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The method elaborated in the article is easily applicable in different educational programmes, economic subjects and environments as well as different curriculum plans. It is expected that improved learning skills and satisfaction will increase learning outcomes in long-term outlook. The article suggests new integrated teaching approach to organising collaborative work so that the full potential of students in solving economic problems is developed through and alongside the use of interactive learning tasks. It relies on thorough analysis of reasons for students’ critical attitude towards creative and innovative thinking in their profession.

Keywords

  • Innovative Culture
  • Innovative Competence
  • Faint Signs
  • Creative Education
  • Critical Thinking
  • Case Study Learning

JEL Classification

  • I23
  • A20
Open Access

Reliability and Reputation of the Board Member in Latvia

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 140 - 149

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The purpose of this article is to investigate the most important risk factors in the assessment of the reliability and reputation of the Board Member for the implementation of responsible business activities in Latvia.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The research methods used in the current article are a comparative analysis of the legal bases and other regulative documents and case studies. The case study is based on the economic and legal analysis of legal acts using descriptive, analytical, deductive and inductive methods, based on which the authors draw conclusions about the reliability and reputation of the Board Member in assessing the key risk factors of their responsibility. The following data collection methods were used to achieve the set goal: analysis of special literature and internet resources and document analysis.

Findings. The risks of the responsibility of a Board Member are still not a completely researched topic in Latvia. There is no common understanding of the reliability and reputation of a Board Member. The legal framework is incomplete, which has a negative impact on the responsible business in Latvia.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The study contributes to the implementation of a responsible business environment by creating a common understanding of the risks of a Board Member’s responsibility.

Keywords

  • Reliability and Reputation
  • Board Member
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Legislation
  • Latvia

JEL Classification

  • K15
  • K20
Open Access

Evaluation Indicators of Green Economic Development: The Case of the Baltic Countries

Published Online: 25 Jun 2020
Page range: 150 - 163

Abstract

Abstract

Research purpose. The green economy may become a solution to the existing problems. The European Union must implement solutions related to the green economy in order to solve the existing ecological, economic and social problems in the region, such as pollution in the Baltic Sea region, inequality, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and so on. It can be assumed that green economy evaluation research conducted in the scientific community does not always reflect the real situation, due to the lack of indicators or limited evaluation methodology. The aim of this article is characterized by academic literature to identify green economic development indicators and evaluate green economic development indices in three Baltic countries: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The article uses analysis of scientific literature, systematization, comparative analysis, generalization and data normalization methods.

Findings. The analysed scientific literature and reports of international organizations, resolutions and conference agreements allow to compile a list of indicators for the evaluation of green economy development. The results showed that in all the analysed countries, a strong growth of green economy development indices can be seen; in Estonia, they remained the best among the three Baltic countries during the analysed period. An analysis of which individual indicators are most important in the development of the green economy and have the greatest significance for the index has shown that their estimates and position have changed significantly in less than two decades.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The identification of green economy indicators provides a new approach to the structure of green economy components. Indicators measured over time describe the structural characteristics and quantitative changes of the green economy, and provides a new understanding of the opportunities and directions of green economy development. In the framework of this study, fifteen indicators were selected for the analysis of green economy in the Baltic States. The normalization and further evaluation of these indicators from the point of view of the green economy allowed to determine the significance of individual social, economic and environmental dimensions for the overall green economy index and to show the changes over a period. The collected data also form the basis for further in-depth prognostic studies.

Keywords

  • Green Economy
  • Indicators of Green Economy
  • Green Economy Development

JEL Classification

  • Q01
  • Q56
  • O13
  • O57

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