International Science Index
Processing Design of Miniature Casting Incorporating Stereolithography Technologies
Investment casting is commonly used in the production of metallic components with complex shapes, due to its high dimensional precision, good surface finish, and low cost. However, the process is cumbersome, and the period between trial casting and final production can be very long, thereby limiting business opportunities and competitiveness. In this study, we replaced conventional wax injection with stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing to speed up the trial process and reduce costs. We also used silicone molds to further reduce costs to avoid the high costs imposed by photosensitive resin.
Understanding Innovation by Analyzing the Pillars of the Global Competitiveness Index
Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) prepared by World Economic Forum has become a benchmark in studying the competitiveness of countries and for understanding the factors that enable competitiveness. Innovation is a key pillar in competitiveness and has the unique property of enabling exponential economic growth. This paper attempts to analyze how the pillars comprising the Global Competitiveness Index affect innovation and whether GDP growth can directly affect innovation outcomes for a country. The key objective of the study is to identify areas on which governments of developing countries can focus policies and programs to improve their country’s innovativeness. We have compiled a panel data set for top innovating countries and large emerging economies called BRICS from 2007-08 to 2014-15 in order to find the significant factors that affect innovation. The results of the regression analysis suggest that government should make policies to improve labor market efficiency, establish sophisticated business networks, provide basic health and primary education to its people and strengthen the quality of higher education and training services in the economy. The achievements of smaller economies on innovation suggest that concerted efforts by governments can counter any size related disadvantage, and in fact can provide greater flexibility and speed in encouraging innovation.
Digital Manufacturing: Evolution and a Process Oriented Approach to Align with Business Strategy
The paper intends to highlight the significance of Digital Manufacturing (DM) strategy in support and achievement of business strategy and goals of any manufacturing organization. Towards this end, DM initiatives have been given a process perspective, while not undermining its technological significance, with a view to link its benefits directly with fulfilment of customer needs and expectations in a responsive and cost-effective manner. A digital process model has been proposed to categorize digitally enabled organizational processes with a view to create synergistic groups, which adopt and use digital tools having similar characteristics and functionalities. This will throw future opportunities for researchers and developers to create a unified technology environment for integration and orchestration of processes. Secondly, an effort has been made to apply “what” and “how” features of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) framework to establish the relationship between customers’ needs – both for external and internal customers, and the features of various digital processes, which support for the achievement of these customer expectations. The paper finally concludes that in the present highly competitive environment, business organizations cannot thrive to sustain unless they understand the significance of digital strategy and integrate it with their business strategy with a clearly defined implementation roadmap. A process-oriented approach to DM strategy will help business executives and leaders to appreciate its value propositions and its direct link to organization’s competitiveness.
Economic Assessment Methodology to Support Decisions for Transport Infrastructure Development
The decades after the end of the second War provide evidence that infrastructures investments contibute to economic development, on terms of productivity and income growth. In order to force productivity and increase competitiveness the financing of large transport infrastructure projects are on the top of the agenda in strategic planning process. Such a decision may take form some days to some decades and stakeholders as well as decision makers need tools in order to estimate the economic impact on natioanl economy of such an investment. The key question in such decisions is if the effects caused by the new infrastructure could be able to boost economic development on one hand, and create new jobs and activities on the other. This paper deals with the review of estimation of the mega transport infrastructure projects economic effects in economy.
Investigation of the Main Trends of Tourist Expenses in Georgia
The main purpose of the article is to make complex statistical analysis of tourist expenses of foreign visitors. We used mixed technique of selection that implies rules of random and proportional selection. Computer software SPSS was used to compute statistical data for corresponding analysis. Corresponding methodology of tourism statistics was implemented according to international standards. Important information was collected and grouped from the major Georgian airports. Techniques of statistical observation were prepared. A representative population of foreign visitors and a rule of selection of respondents were determined. We have a trend of growth of tourist numbers and share of tourists from post-soviet countries constantly increases. Level of satisfaction with tourist facilities and quality of service has grown, but still we have a problem of disparity between quality of service and prices. The design of tourist expenses of foreign visitors is diverse; competitiveness of tourist products of Georgian tourist companies is higher.
The Profitability Management Mechanism of Leather Industry-Based on the Activity-Based Benefit Approach
Strengthening core competitiveness is the main goal of enterprises in a fierce competitive environment. Accurate cost information is a great help for managers in dealing with operation strategies. This paper establishes a profitability management mechanism that applies the Activity-Based Benefit approach (ABBA) to solve the profitability for each customer from the market. ABBA provides financial and non-financial information for the operation, but also indicates what resources have expired in the operational process. The customer profit management model shows the level of profitability of each customer for the company. The empirical data were gathered from a case company operating in the leather industry in Taiwan. The research findings indicate that 30% of customers create little profit for the company as a result of asking for over 5% of sales discounts. Those customers ask for sales discount because of color differences of leather products. This paper provides a customer’s profitability evaluation mechanism to help enterprises to greatly improve operating effectiveness and promote operational activity efficiency and overall operation profitability.
Competitiveness and Pricing Policy Assessment for Resilience Surface Access System at Airports
Considering a worldwide tendency, air transports are growing very fast and many changes have taken place in planning, management and decision making process. Given the complexity of airport operation, the best use of existing capacity is the key driver of efficiency and productivity. This paper deals with the evaluation framework for the ground access at airports, by using a set of mode choice indicators providing key messages towards airport’s ground access performance. The application presents results for a sample of 12 European airports, illustrating recommendations to define policy and improve service for the air transport access chain.
Personal Knowledge Management: Systematic Review and Future Direction
Personal knowledge management is the aspect of knowledge management that relates to the way in which individuals organize and manage their own set of knowledge. While in that respect, there has been research in this area for the past 25 years, it is at present necessary to speculate upon what research has been done and what we have discovered about this arena of knowledge management. In contrast to organizational knowledge management, which focuses on a firm’s profitability and competitiveness, personal knowledge management (PKM) is concerned with the person’s self-effectiveness, competence and success. People are concerned in managing their knowledge in order to become more efficient in a variety of personal and organizational interests. This study presents a systematic review of PKM studies. Articles with PKM concepts are reviewed with the objective of clearly defining PKM, identifying the benefits of PKM, classifying the tools that enable PKM and finding the research gaps to indicate future research directions in the area. Consequently, we have developed a definition of PKM and identified the benefits of PKM, including an understanding of who seeks PKM and for what. Tools enabling PKM are identified and classified under three categories Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 and finally the research gap and future directions are suggested. Research which facilitates collaboration by using semantic technologies is suggested to be studied further to improve PKM effectiveness.
The Requirements of Developing a Framework for Successful Adoption of Quality Management Systems in the Construction Industry
Quality management systems (QMSs) in the construction industry are often implemented to ensure that sufficient effort is made by companies to achieve the required levels of quality for clients. Attainment of these quality levels can result in greater customer satisfaction, which is fundamental to ensure long-term competitiveness for construction companies. However, the construction sector is still lagging behind other industries in terms of its successful adoption of QMSs, due to the relative lack of acceptance of the benefits of these systems among industry stakeholders, as well as from other barriers related to implementing them. Thus, there is a critical need to undertake a detailed and comprehensive exploration of adoption of QMSs in the construction sector. This paper comprehensively investigates in the construction sector setting, the impacts of all the salient factors surrounding successful implementation of QMSs in building organizations, especially those of external factors. This study is part of an ongoing PhD project, which aims to develop a new framework that integrates both internal and external factors affecting QMS implementation. To achieve the paper aim and objectives, interviews will be conducted to define the external factors influencing the adoption of QMSs, and to obtain holistic critical success factors (CSFs) for implementing these systems. In the next stage of data collection, a questionnaire survey will be developed to investigate the prime barriers facing the adoption of QMSs, the CSFs for their implementation, and the external factors affecting the adoption of these systems. Following the survey, case studies will be undertaken to validate and explain in greater detail the real effects of these factors on QMSs adoption. Specifically, this paper evaluates the effects of the external factors in terms of their impact on implementation success within the selected case studies. Using findings drawn from analyzing the data obtained from these various approaches, specific recommendations for the successful implementation of QMSs will be presented, and an operational framework will be developed. Finally, through a focus group, the findings of the study and the new developed framework will be validated. Ultimately, this framework will be made available to the construction industry to facilitate the greater adoption and implementation of QMSs. In addition, deployment of the applicable recommendations suggested by the study will be shared with the construction industry to more effectively help construction companies to implement QMSs, and overcome the barriers experienced by businesses, thus promoting the achievement of higher levels of quality and customer satisfaction.
Net Fee and Commission Income Determinants of European Cooperative Banks
Net fee and commission income is one of the key elements of a bank’s core income. In the current low-interest rate environment, this type of income is gaining importance relative to net interest income. This paper analyses the effects of bank and country specific determinants of net fee and commission income on a set of cooperative banks from European countries in the 2007-2014 period. In order to do that, dynamic panel data methods (system Generalized Methods of Moments) were employed. Subsequently, alternative panel data methods were run as robustness checks of the analysis. Strong positive impact of bank concentration on the share of net fee and commission income was found, which proves that cooperative banks tend to display a higher share of fee income in less competitive markets. This is probably connected with the fact that they stick with their traditional deposit-taking and loan-providing model and fees on these services are driven down by the competitors. Moreover, compared to commercial banks, cooperatives do not expand heavily into non-traditional fee bearing services under competition and their overall fee income share is therefore decreasing with the increased competitiveness of the sector.
Tax Morale Dimensions Analysis in Portugal and Spain
The reasons that explain different behaviors towards tax obligations in similar countries are not completely understood yet. The main purpose of this paper is to identify and compare the factors that influence tax morale levels in Portugal and Spain. We use data from European Values Study (EVS). Using a sample of 2,652 individuals, a factor analysis was used to extract the underlying dimensions of tax morale of Portuguese and Spanish taxpayers. Based on a factor analysis, the results of this paper show that sociological and behavioral factors, psychological factors and political factors are important for a good understanding of taxpayers’ behavior in Iberian Peninsula. This paper added value relies on the analyses of a wide range of variables and on the comparison between Portugal and Spain. Our conclusions provided insights that tax authorities and politicians can use to better focus their strategies and actions in order to increase compliance, reduce tax evasion, fight underground economy and increase country´s competitiveness.
An Integrated Planning Framework for Sustainable Tourism: Case Study of Tunisia
Tourism sector in Tunisia faces several problems that range from economic challenges to environmental degradation and social instability. These problems have been intensified because of the increased competition in the tourism market, the political instability, financial crises, and recently terrorism problems have aggravated the situation. As a consequence, a new framework that promotes sustainable tourism in the country and increases its competitiveness is urgently needed. Planning for sustainable tourism sector requires the integration of complex interactions between economic, social and environmental aspects. Sustainable tourism principles can be implemented with the help of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, which ensures the full integration of economic, social and environmental considerations while planning for the tourism sector in Tunisia. Results of the paper have broad implications for policy makers and tourism professionals.
Agriculture in the Dominican Republic: Competitiveness in a New Trade Regime and Lessons for Cuba
Agriculture remains a sensitive issue during multilateral trade negotiations within the World Trade Organization (WTO). Similar problems arise at the bilateral level, as in the case of trade talks between the United States and the Dominican Republic. The study explores the determinant of agricultural industry competitiveness in the 21st century, particularly in the case of U.S. and Dominican agriculture in each other’s market. Complementing existing scholarship on industry competitiveness, the study argues that trade rules that are established under preferential access programs and trade agreements play a significant role in shaping an industry’s ability to compete. The final analysis is used to offer recommendations to the same sector in Cuba. Cuba currently relies heavily on U.S. food imports and is experiencing the gradual opening of trade with the United States.
Unlocking Tourism Value through a Tourist Experience Management Paradigm
Tourism has become a topical issue amongst academics and practitioners due to its potential to contribute significantly towards an economy’s GDP. The problem underpinning this research is the fact that the major attraction, Victoria Falls, is being marketed in neighboring countries like South Africa, Botswana and Zambia with tour operators providing just day trips to the Victoria Falls. This has deprived Zimbabwe of income from tourism with tourists making day trips and actually not spending nights in Zimbabwe. This therefore calls for cutting edge marketing strategies that are superior to or inimitable by competing nations such as South Africa and Zambia. This study proposes a shift towards an experience management paradigm in the tourism sector. A qualitative research was adopted for this study, and findings of this study were generalized across different tourism contexts, therefore making the survey based research design more appropriate. The target population for this study is tourists visiting Zimbabwe over the period 2016 and ZTA visitor database acquired from the Department of Immigration will form the sampling frame for the purposes of this study.
Increasing the Capacity of Plant Bottlenecks by Using of Improving the Ratio of Mean Time between Failures to Mean Time to Repair
A significant percentage of production costs is the maintenance costs, and analysis of maintenance costs could to achieve greater productivity and competitiveness. With this is mind, the maintenance of machines and installations is considered as an essential part of organizational functions and applying effective strategies causes significant added value in manufacturing activities. Organizations are trying to achieve performance levels on a global scale with emphasis on creating competitive advantage by different methods consist of RCM (Reliability-Center-Maintenance), TPM (Total Productivity Maintenance) etc. In this study, increasing the capacity of Concentration Plant of Golgohar Iron Ore Mining & Industrial Company (GEG) was examined by using of reliability and maintainability analyses. The results of this research showed that instead of increasing the number of machines (in order to solve the bottleneck problems), the improving of reliability and maintainability would solve bottleneck problems in the best way. It should be mention that in the abovementioned study, the data set of Concentration Plant of GEG as a case study, was applied and analyzed.
Measuring Science and Technology Innovation Capacity in Developing Countries: From a National Innovation System
This study attempts to examine the disparities in S&T innovation capacity from 14 developing countries to discuss how to support specific features in national innovation systems. It includes East-Asian, Middle-Asian, Central American and African countries. Here, we particularly focus on five dimensions- resources, activities, network, environment and performance- with 37 indicators. They were derived as structuring components of the relevant diagnostic model, which encompasses the whole process of S&T innovation from the input of resources to the output of economically valuable results. For many developing nations, economic industries remain weaker than actual S&T capabilities, and relevant regulatory authorities may not exist. This paper will be helpful to provide basic evidence and to set directions for better national S&T Innovation capacities and toward national competitiveness.
Hybrid Approach for Country’s Performance Evaluation
This paper presents an integrated model, which hybridized data envelopment analysis (DEA) and support vector machine (SVM) together, to class countries according to their efficiency and performance. This model takes into account aspects of multi-dimensional indicators, decision-making hierarchy and relativity of measurement. Starting from a set of indicators of performance as exhaustive as possible, a process of successive aggregations has been developed to attain an overall evaluation of a country’s competitiveness.
Improving the Management Systems of the Ownership Risks in Conditions of Transformation of the Russian Economy
The article analyzes problems of improving the management systems of the ownership risks in the conditions of the transformation of the Russian economy. Among the main sources of threats business owners should highlight is the inefficiency of the implementation of business models and interaction with hired managers. In this context, it is particularly important to analyze the relationship of business models and ownership risks. The analysis of this problem appears to be relevant for a number of reasons: Firstly, the increased risk appetite of the owner directly affects the business model and the composition of his holdings; secondly, owners with significant stakes in the company are factors in the formation of particular types of risks for owners, for which relations have a significant influence on a firm's competitiveness and ultimately determines its survival; and thirdly, inefficient system of management ownership of risk is one of the main causes of mass bankruptcies, which significantly affects the stable operation of the economy as a whole. The separation of the processes of possession, disposal and use in modern organizations is the cause of not only problems in the process of interaction between the owner and managers in managing the organization as a whole, but also the asymmetric information about the kinds and forms of the main risks. Managers tend to avoid risky projects, inhibit the diversification of the organization's assets, while owners can insist on the development of such projects, with the aim not only of creating new values for themselves and consumers, but also increasing the value of the company as a result of increasing capital. In terms of separating ownership and management, evaluation of projects by the ratio of risk-yield requires preservation of the influence of the owner on the process of development and making management decisions. It is obvious that without a clearly structured system of participation of the owner in managing the risks of their business, further development is hopeless. In modern conditions of forming a risk management system, owners are compelled to compromise between the desire to increase the organization's ability to produce new value, and, consequently, increase its cost due to the implementation of risky projects and the need to tolerate the cost of lost opportunities of risk diversification. Improving the effectiveness of the management of ownership risks may also contribute to the revitalization of creditors on implementation claims to inefficient owners, which ultimately will contribute to the efficiency models of ownership control to exclude variants of insolvency. It is obvious that in modern conditions, the success of the model of the ownership of risk management and audit is largely determined by the ability and willingness of the owner to find a compromise between potential opportunities for expanding the firm's ability to create new value through risk and maintaining the current level of new value creation and an acceptable level of risk through the use of models of diversification.
Creating Shared Value: A Paradigm Shift from Corporate Social Responsibility to Creating Shared Value
Businesses operating in the modern business world are faced with varying challenges; amongst which is the need to ensure that they are performing their societal function of being responsible in the society in which they operate. This responsibility to society is generally termed as corporate social responsibility. For many years, the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) was solely philanthropic, where organizations gave ‘charity’ or ‘alms’ to society, without any link to the organization’s mission and objectives. However, there has arisen a shift in the application of CSR from an act of philanthropy to a strategy with a business model engaged in by organizations to create a win-win situation of performing their societal obligation, whilst simultaneously performing their economic obligation. In more recent times, the term has moved from CSR to creating shared value, which is simply corporate policies and practices that enhance the competitiveness of a business organization while simultaneously advancing social and economic conditions in the communities in which the company operates. Creating shared value has in more recent light found more meaning in underdeveloped countries, faced with deep societal challenges that businesses can solve whilst creating economic value. This study thus reviews literature on CSR, conceptualizing the shift to creating shared value and finally viewing its potential significance in Africa’s development.
Measuring Innovative and Entrepreneurial Networks Performance
Nowadays innovation represents a challenge crucial to remaining globally competitive. This study seeks to develop a conceptual model aimed at measuring the dynamic interactions of the triple/quadruple helix, balancing innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives as pillars of regional competitiveness – the Regional Helix Scoreboard (RHS). To this aim, different strands of literature are identified according to their focus on specific regional competitiveness governance mechanisms. We put forward an overview of the state-of-the-art of research and is duly assessed in order to develop and propose a framework of analysis that enables an integrated approach in the context of collaborative dynamics. We conclude by presenting the RHS for the study of regional competitiveness dynamics, which integrates and associates different backgrounds and identifies a number of key performance indicators for research challenges.
Creation of Greater Mekong Subregion Regional Competitiveness through Cluster Mapping
This research investigates cluster development in the area called the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), which consists of Thailand, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Myanmar, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Cambodia, and Vietnam. The study utilized Porter’s competitiveness theory and the cluster mapping approach to analyze the competitiveness of the region. The data collection consists of interviews, focus groups, and the analysis of secondary data. The findings identify some evidence of cluster development in the GMS; however, there is no clear indication of collaboration among the components in the clusters. GMS clusters tend to be stand-alone. The clusters in Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Cambodia tend to be labor intensive, whereas the clusters in Thailand and the PRC (Yunnan) have the potential to successfully develop into innovative clusters. The collaboration and integration among the clusters in the GMS area are promising, though it could take a long time. The most likely relationship between the GMS countries could be, for example, suppliers of the low-end, labor-intensive products will be located in the low income countries such as Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Cambodia, and these countries will be providing input materials for innovative clusters in the middle income countries such as Thailand and the PRC.
A Model Suggestion on Competitiveness and Sustainability of SMEs in Developing Countries
The factor which developing countries are in need is capital. Such countries make an effort to increase their income in order to meet their expenses for employment, infrastructure, superstructure investments, education, health and defense. The sole income of the countries is taxes collected from businesses. The businesses should drive profit and return in order to be able to toll. In a world where competition exists, different strategies may be followed by business in developing countries and they must specify their target markets. İn order to minimize cost and maximize profit, SMEs have to concentrate on target markets and select cost oriented strategy. In this study, a theoretical model is suggested that SME firms have to act as cluster between each other, and also must be optimal provider for large scale firms. SMEs’ policy must be supported by public. This relationship can benefit large scale firms to have brand over the world, and this organization increases value added for developing countries.
Nonlinear Multivariable Analysis of CO2 Emissions in China
This paper addressed the impacts of energy consumption, economic growth, financial development, and population size on environmental degradation using grey relational analysis (GRA) for China, where foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows is the proxy variable for financial development. The more recent historical data during the period 2004–2011 are used, because the use of very old data for data analysis may not be suitable for rapidly developing countries. The results of the GRA indicate that the linkage effects of energy consumption–emissions and GDP–emissions are ranked first and second, respectively. These reveal that energy consumption and economic growth are strongly correlated with emissions. Higher economic growth requires more energy consumption and increasing environmental pollution. Likewise, more efficient energy use needs a higher level of economic development. Therefore, policies to improve energy efficiency and create a low-carbon economy can reduce emissions without hurting economic growth. The finding of FDI–emissions linkage is ranked third. This indicates that China do not apply weak environmental regulations to attract inward FDI. Furthermore, China’s government in attracting inward FDI should strengthen environmental policy. The finding of population–emissions linkage effect is ranked fourth, implying that population size does not directly affect CO2 emissions, even though China has the world’s largest population, and Chinese people are very economical use of energy-related products. Overall, the energy conservation, improving efficiency, managing demand, and financial development, which aim at curtailing waste of energy, reducing both energy consumption and emissions, and without loss of the country’s competitiveness, can be adopted for developing economies. The GRA is one of the best way to use a lower data to build a dynamic analysis model.
An Empirical Investigation on the Dynamics of Knowledge and IT Industries in Korea
Knowledge and IT inputs to other industrial production have become more important as a key factor for the competitiveness of national and regional economies, such as knowledge economies in smart cities. Knowledge and IT industries lead the industrial innovation and technical (r)evolution through low cost, high efficiency in production, and by creating a new value chain and new production path chains, which is referred as knowledge and IT dynamics. This study aims to investigate the knowledge and IT dynamics in Korea, which are analyzed through the input-output model and structural path analysis. Twenty-eight industries were reclassified into seven categories; Agriculture and Mining, IT manufacture, Non-IT manufacture, Construction, IT-service, Knowledge service, Non-knowledge service to take close look at the knowledge and IT dynamics. Knowledge and IT dynamics were analyzed through the change of input output coefficient and multiplier indices in terms of technical innovation, as well as the changes of the structural paths of the knowledge and IT to other industries in terms of new production value creation from 1985 and 2010. The structural paths of knowledge and IT explain not only that IT foster the generation, circulation and use of knowledge through IT industries and IT-based service, but also that knowledge encourages IT use through creating, sharing and managing knowledge. As a result, this paper found the empirical investigation on the knowledge and IT dynamics of the Korean economy. Knowledge and IT has played an important role regarding the inter-industrial transactional input for production, as well as new industrial creation. The birth of the input-output production path has mostly originated from the knowledge and IT industries, while the death of the input-output production path took place in the traditional industries from 1985 and 2010. The Korean economy has been in transition to a knowledge economy in the Smart City.
Measuring Enterprise Growth: Pitfalls and Implications
Enterprise growth is generally considered as a key driver of competitiveness, employment, economic development and social inclusion. As such, it is perceived to be a highly desirable outcome of entrepreneurship for scholars and decision makers. The huge academic debate resulted in the multitude of theoretical frameworks focused on explaining growth stages, determinants and future prospects. It has been widely accepted that enterprise growth is most likely nonlinear, temporal and related to the variety of factors which reflect the individual, firm, organizational, industry or environmental determinants of growth. However, factors that affect growth are not easily captured, instruments to measure those factors are often arbitrary, causality between variables and growth is elusive, indicating that growth is not easily modeled. Furthermore, in line with heterogeneous nature of the growth phenomenon, there is a vast number of measurement constructs assessing growth which are used interchangeably. Differences among various growth measures, at conceptual as well as at operationalization level, can hinder theory development which emphasizes the need for more empirically robust studies. In line with these highlights, the main purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to compare structure and performance of three growth prediction models based on the main growth measures: Revenues, employment and assets growth. Secondly, to explore the prospects of financial indicators, set as exact, visible, standardized and accessible variables, to serve as determinants of enterprise growth. Finally, to contribute to the understanding of the implications on research results and recommendations for growth caused by different growth measures. The models include a range of financial indicators as lag determinants of the enterprises’ performances during the 2008-2013, extracted from the national register of the financial statements of SMEs in Croatia. The design and testing stage of the modeling used the logistic regression procedures. Findings confirm that growth prediction models based on different measures of growth have different set of predictors. Moreover, the relationship between particular predictors and growth measure is inconsistent, namely the same predictor positively related to one growth measure may exert negative effect on a different growth measure. Overall, financial indicators alone can serve as good proxy of growth and yield adequate predictive power of the models. The paper sheds light on both methodology and conceptual framework of enterprise growth by using a range of variables which serve as a proxy for the multitude of internal and external determinants, but are unlike them, accessible, available, exact and free of perceptual nuances in building up the model. Selection of the growth measure seems to have significant impact on the implications and recommendations related to growth. Furthermore, the paper points out to potential pitfalls of measuring and predicting growth. Overall, the results and the implications of the study are relevant for advancing academic debates on growth-related methodology, and can contribute to evidence-based decisions of policy makers.
Positioning Analysis of Atlantic Canadian Provinces as Travel Destinations by Americans
This study analyzes Americans’ views of four Atlantic Canadian provinces as travel destinations regarding specific destination attributes for a pleasure trip, awareness (heard) of the destinations, past visit to the destinations during the prior two years, and intention to visit in the next two years. Results indicate that American travellers perceived the four Atlantic Canadian provinces as separate and distinct when rating best-fit destination attributes to each destination. The results suggest that travel destinations, specifically the four selected destinations, must be prepared to differentiate their destination’s image and the range of experiences and services to appeal and attract more American travellers.
Identifying the Barriers behind the Lack of Six Sigma Use in Libyan Manufacturing Companies
This paper investigates the barriers behind the underutilisation of six sigma in Libyan manufacturing companies (LMCs). A mixed-method methodology is proposed, starting by conducting interviews to collect qualitative data followed by the development of a questionnaire to obtain quantitative data. The focus of this paper is on discussing the findings of the interview stage and how these can be used to further develop the questionnaire stage. The interview results showed that only four key barriers were highlighted as being encountered by LMCs. With a difference in terms of their significance, these factors were identified, and placed in descending order according to their importance, namely: “Lack of top management commitment”, “Lack of training”, “Lack of knowledge about six sigma”, and “Culture effect”. The findings also showed that some barriers which, were found in previous studies of six sigma implementation were not considered as barriers to LMCs but can, in fact, be considered as success factors or enablers for six sigma adoption. These factors were identified as: “sufficiency of time and financial resources”; “customers unsatisfied”; “good communication between all departments in the company”; “we are certain about its results and benefits to our company and unhappy with the current quality system”. These results suggest that LMCs face fewer barriers to adopting six sigma than many well-established global companies operating in other countries and could take advantage of these successful factors by developing and implementing a six sigma framework to improve their product quality and competitiveness.
Media Facades Utilization for Sustainable Tourism Promotion in Historic Places: Case Study of the Walled City of Famagusta, North Cyprus
The importance of culture and tourism in the attractiveness and competitiveness of the countries is central, and many regions are evidencing their cultural assets, tangible and intangible, as a means to create comparative advantages in tourism and produce a distinctive place in response to the pressures of globalization. Culture and tourism are interlinked because of their obvious combination and growth potential. Cultural tourism is a crucial global tourism market with fast growing. Regions can develop significant relations between culture and tourism to increase their attractiveness as places to visit, live and invest, increasing their competitiveness. Accordingly, having new and creative approach to historical areas as cultural value-based destinations can improve their conditions to promote tourism. Furthermore, in 21st century, media become the most important factor affecting the development of urban cities, including public places. As a result of the digital revolution, re-imaging and re-linkage public places by media are essential to create more interactions between public spaces and users, interaction media display, and urban screens, one of the most important defined media. This interaction can transform the urban space from being neglected to be more interactive space with users, especially the pedestrians. The paper focuses on The Walled City of Famagusta. As many other historic quarters elsewhere in the world, is in a process, of decay and deterioration, and its functionally distinctive areas are severely threatened by physical, functional, locational, and image obsolescence at varying degrees. So the focus on the future development of this area through tourism promotion can be an appropriate decision for the monument enhancement of the spatial quality in Walled City of Famagusta. In this paper, it is aimed to identify the effects of these new digital factors to transform public spaces especially in historic urban areas to promote creative tourism. Accordingly, two different analysis methods are used as well as a theoretical review. The first is case study on site and the second is Close ended questionnaire, test many concepts raised in this paper. The physical analysis on site carried out in order to evaluate the walled city restoration for touristic purpose. Besides, theoretical review is done in order to provide background to the subject and cleared Factors to attract tourists.
Long Term Examination of the Profitability Estimation Focused on Benefits
Strategic investment decisions are characterized by
high innovation potential and long-term effects on the
competitiveness of enterprises. Due to the uncertainty and risks
involved in this complex decision making process, the need arises for
well-structured support activities. A method that considers cost and
the long-term added value is the cost-benefit effectiveness estimation.
One of those methods is the “profitability estimation focused on
benefits – PEFB”-method developed at the Institute of Management
Cybernetics at RWTH Aachen University. The method copes with
the challenges associated with strategic investment decisions by
integrating long-term non-monetary aspects whilst also mapping the
chronological sequence of an investment within the organization’s
target system. Thus, this method is characterized as a holistic
approach for the evaluation of costs and benefits of an investment.
This participation-oriented method was applied to business
environments in many workshops. The results of the workshops are a
library of more than 96 cost aspects, as well as 122 benefit aspects.
These aspects are preprocessed and comparatively analyzed with
regards to their alignment to a series of risk levels. For the first time,
an accumulation and a distribution of cost and benefit aspects
regarding their impact and probability of occurrence are given. The
results give evidence that the PEFB-method combines precise
measures of financial accounting with the incorporation of benefits.
Finally, the results constitute the basics for using information
technology and data science for decision support when applying
within the PEFB-method.
Efficiency of Investments, Financed from EU Funds in Small and Medium Enterprises in Poland
The article includes the results and conclusions from
empirical researches that had been done. The research focuses on the
impact of investments made in small and medium-sized enterprises
financed from EU funds on the competitiveness of these companies.
The researches includes financial results in sales revenue and net
income, expenses, and many other new products/services on offer,
higher quality products and services, more modern methods of
production, innovation in management processes, increase in the
number of customers, increase in market share, increase in
profitability of production and provision of services. The main
conclusions are that, companies with direct investments under this
measure shall apply the modern methods of production. The
consequence of this is to increase the quality of our products and
services. Furthermore, both small and medium-sized enterprises have
introduced new products and services. Investments were carried out,
thus enabling better work organization in enterprises. Entrepreneurs
would guarantee higher quality of service, which would result in
better relationships with their customers, what is more, noting the rise
in number of clients. More than half of the companies indicated that
the investments contributed to the increase in market share. Same
thing as for market reach and brand recognition of particular
company. An interesting finding is that, investments in small
enterprises were more effective than medium-sized enterprises.