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Über dieses Buch

This volume comprises papers presented at the 8th international conference “The Economies of the Balkan and Eastern European Countries in the Changing World” (EBEEC) held in Split, Croatia in 2016. The papers cover a wide range of current issues relevant for the whole of Eastern Europe, such as European integration, economic growth, labour markets, education and tourism. Written by experienced researchers in the field of economic challenges for Eastern Europe, the papers not only analyse recent problems, but also offer policies to resolve them. Furthermore, they offer insights into the theoretical and empirical foundations of the economic processes described. The proceedings of the conference appeals to all those interested in the further economic development of the Balkan and Eastern European countries.



The End of Euro

Euro was introduced to extend and strengthen the euro-integrations, but it might in turn blow them up. There is neither an econometric model nor conclusive inference to prove that euro and eurozone, as we know them, will disappear. Nevertheless, construction problems, misfortunate political decisions in monetary matters, breach of fundamental rules of the game, and their poor enforcement had created and strengthened incentives working against the survival of the zone. In order to survive, the eurozone needs to address three problems. First, who is going to pay debts of troubled countries? Second, how to keep fiscal discipline in the eurozone in order to avert another debt crisis? Third, how to regain competitiveness, not only in the troubled eurozone countries but in the whole EU? For now, the eurozone has partial answers to the first two questions, but it is short of a comprehensive and viable solution. A demise of euro and eurozone seems to be a setback to nanny state and a step toward getting rid of it in Europe.

Miroslav Prokopijević

The Effects of Alternative Currencies to National Economies: The European Experience

The international economic crisis has affected European countries in many ways. Certain countries like Spain and Ireland are facing negative effects to their national economies because of their banking systems and real estate bubbles. On the other hand, Greece, Italy and Portugal are facing the consequences of fiscal imbalances and high debt. Greece in the recent past has confronted the possibility of an exit from the eurozone (Grexit). Under these circumstances the European economies are looking for policies in order to overcome the negative effects of prolonged recession or stagnation to their national economies. The aim of this article is to study the development of alternative currencies for the European Union in two phases. Initially, we study the development of alternative currencies after the adoption of the euro as the official currency of the eurozone and the replacement of national currencies in 2002. The second phase is the manifestation of the world economic crisis, 2007 until 2016. The study of alternative currencies will reveal whether they constitute an alternative option in order to strengthen national economies in the context of the euro area.

Spyros Roukanas, Pantelis Sklias

The Role of FDI in Increasing Employment for South-East European Countries

According to neoclassical and liberal economic doctrines, foreign direct investments represent the best chance for developing countries to accelerate their economic growth. The attraction of foreign capital would not mean just the import of capital but the absorption of new working methods, manners, traditions, and technology too. Famous authors such as Moose (Foreign direct investment: theory, evidence, and practice. Palgrave, 2001) suggested that FDI plays a very important role in transforming countries, especially post-communist ones. Foreign investments change the economic structure of the host country and increase international trade exchange, orienting national products in each country toward comparative advantages or toward those products and services where each country is specialized.Lall and Streeten (Foreign investment, transnational and developing countries. Macmillan, 1977) add that FDI enhances the wellness of the host country, under certain optimal features, creating the conditions in order to maximize the profits of international companies, investing in local specialized companies, and using a comparative advantage of the country. Beyond the theoretical thought, it should be clarified that FDI does not always have a positive effect on economic growth and even more questionable is their role in the employment growth, as regards the developing countries.In the case of Eastern Europe countries, after the fall of Communism, numerous privatizations of former state-owned enterprises led to a reduction of jobs in favor of creating profit for the new private owners. In other cases those privatization processes ended with the bankruptcy of enterprises. Foreign direct investment in other cases intervened in open sectors inducing a higher level of competition but without creating new jobs or higher levels of GDP. High competition in certain sectors did not bring a higher production or more employment but higher uncertainty for the workplace as a result of a more pronounced competition. Last but not least, Jones affirms that FDI could cause negative externalities in other sectors of economy in the case connected to the environmental pollution and health damages. New investments can provoke contamination in water sources and in the air, compromising economic and health activities relating to them.In this paper will be analyzed the effects of Foreign Direct Investment in countries of South-East Europe and will be shown whether FDI brought an economic growth and increased employment at the aggregate level during the years 2001–2014 or if for this region too, are confirmed concerns over collateral effects that FDI can have on the economy. Through the program e-views will analyze time series regressions between FDI, economic growth, and employment growth. In this paper it will be clear that in South-East Europe, FDI generally played a positive role not only in economic growth but also on employment growth, especially in those sectors where these investments were more concentrated. Finally, after having appreciated the effects of FDI, we will set up a recipe on how FDI may be channeled in order to give greater effects on GDP and employment.

Irisi Beleraj

Trends in the Balkans and Eurasia Under Globalization: Geostrategic Analysis

Potential possibilities of Eurasia become global realities and commencement of solving major global-historical problems. In this context, the area of the Balkans and the countries located at the edge of both sides of EU and Eurasia have become the scope for developing relationships, which are trying to influence both two sides. Geopolitical balances, in the sphere of control of sources and in the sphere of circulation, transmission and distribution networks, are changing. G20’s intervention approaches the general 2008s crisis, as a global affair and not unilateral, affecting the interests of all people and partial solutions are not acceptable. Including global community’s interests and developing all its potential, it gives the course of global governance, reveals its general character and degrades monopolization, attesting the guarantees and sustainable arrangements. This intervention is universal and deals with the unification of production and management of the economy, the dialectics between politics and economy and geopolitics and geoeconomics. A careful and penetrating review testifies to the objective fact that the immediate preceding major realities are incorporated into the mainstream of Eurasia, the movement of which is now designated increasingly by its own determinism. This review also states, with reference to the dynamism and realities of the region, that the Eurasian countries have substantial reserves with which to confront the general crisis and align themselves with the challenges of the times. Furthermore, Eurasia is the most important area in world affairs in terms of material conditions. This is demonstrated by reliable theoretical and statistical data which substantiate the position/conclusion that the trends manifested within Eurasia have objectively upward-moving and progressive global characteristics, exuding a sense of optimism and encouraging the global community to demonstrate a similar realism.

Efstratios Kypriotelis

The Impact of Scandinavian Inward Foreign Direct Investment on the Baltic States

Although foreign direct investment (hereinafter FDI) has been the matter of discussion since the early 1970s, it is still one of the most controversial topics in both economic and political terms. The intensity of FDI shows the host country’s openness to the foreign capital, its integration into the international market and economic growth. The proponents of the positive attitude state that foreign capital increases competitiveness and labour productivity in the host country and creates new jobs and the host country adopts new technologies. Other scientists are not so optimistic in respect of FDI impact. Inward FDI may be determined by political decisions of the host government. However, some researchers even point out that stimulation of FDI is harmful for the host economy. FDI promotion is acceptable if indirect initiatives are adopted and an appropriate legal system for controlling multinational corporations’ (hereinafter MNCs) activities exists. It is noticeable that the main negative consequence of activating inward FDI stimulation is that the host economy becomes dependent on a foreign capital over a certain period of time and MNCs have effect on decisions of the host government. Some studies show that the mobility of foreign capital may exist under an imperfect market conditions only. MNCs are likely to invest into economically weak countries benefiting from a low labour cost. Thus, under the present economic conditions, it is important to identify the benefits of FDI for the host country and to analyse MNC motives for investment.The article investigates the importance of foreign direct investment in the country, its role in economic development and promotion peculiarities. The authors examine the problems, which exist in attracting FDI. The object of research is the role of Scandinavian capital in the Baltic States. The aim of research is to measure the impact of Scandinavian foreign direct investment on the development of the Baltic States. The final results reveal that the Baltic States are dependent on foreign capital. These countries are characterised by favourable business environment, good geopolitical situation and infrastructure and scientific-technological potential. This proves that the Baltic States are attractive for MNCs, which tend to invest in R&D. The research indicates that the Baltic States compete for FDI, especially for investors from Scandinavia.

Agnė Šimelytė, Aušra Liučvaitienė

Troika’s Economic Adjustment Programmes for Greece: Why They Fail Systematically?

The three Economic Adjustment Programmes for Greece have been agreed by the Greek government and the EU-ECB-IMF troika as a remedy for the Greek crisis. This paper first analyses the theoretical origins of these programmes which lie in the neoconservative notions of pro-cyclicality and growth-creating austerity and follow the blueprint of IMF’s 1990s Structural Adjustment Programmes. Then it shows how, in the Greek case, the initial blueprint underwent crucial modifications that impede seriously its already problematic applicability. The subsequent sections identify the main technical and political-economic deficiencies of the Greek programmes and on this basis explain their systematic failure in achieving their own goals. The main argument is that the neoconservative restructuring strategy of these programmes, while being obligatory for the dominant interests of the EU, violates fundamental economic and social equilibria of the Greek society. This makes it an overambitious and concomitantly extremely precarious strategy.

Stavros Mavroudeas

Trading Volumes of Free Zones in Turkey and Evaluation of Their Contribution to International Business

The main purpose of the existence of free zones in the world is to increase the volume of trade between the countries. In addition to this purpose, it is aimed in creating new employment positions and contributing them to the economy by opening up new business areas.The geographical position of Turkey is very important, and certainly it affects the international business activities in Turkey. In this context, there are 19 free zones in Turkey, and there are hundreds of effective companies operating in these important free zones.In this study these free zones will be assessed as the basis of general business activities annually. On the other hand, trade volumes of the free zones will be assessed in terms of products such as vegetable products, livestock products, fishery products, forestry products, mining and quarrying, processed agricultural products, processed petroleum products, and industrial products. In addition, trade volumes between Turkey and other countries such as OECD and EU countries, other OECD countries, the Commonwealth of Independent States, North Africa, and the Middle East will be compared and analyzed.

S. Ozgur Baslangic, Turker Susmus

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Membership of the Republic of Serbia in the European Union

Within the EU enlargement strategy to the Balkan region, it is considered important that the Republic of Serbia becomes a member state of the European Union. The association process of Serbia is rather complicated and is based on implementation of the required criteria. Currently, the application of ‘acquis communautaire’ and the elimination of the barriers in the internal market are being emphasized. The accession of Serbia to the European Union will help the regional stability, peace, justice, freedom and security of Europe. This paper analyses the pre-accession process of Serbia for achieving the European Union membership and points out the advantages and drawbacks of being a part of this international organization.

Branislav Dudić, Ján Smoleň, Petra Milošovičová, Zdenka Dudić

Greek Crisis and Its Spillovers in Southeastern Europe

In moments of recovery from recession of global financial turmoil, Balkan countries started to face a new risk. Greek debt crisis began in 2010 and is one of the deepest economic and financial crises in both the Greek and European Union history. It has already created spillover effects in the weak economies of Southeastern Europe. This is mainly due to the strong economic integration between them and Greece, primarily as a result of intensive trade relations and high flows of Greek direct investments to those countries. The purpose of this paper is to show how Romania, Serbia (and Montenegro), FYROM, Bulgaria, and Albania have been affected by the financial turbulence of Greece. The methodology of the paper is to conduct statistical analysis by using datasets on a series of macroeconomic fundamentals that were found to be severely hit by the crisis. The empirical research uses extensive annual data spanning from 1995 to 2014, in this manner, covering a significant part of the transition period of Balkan countries, the boom period in the region, as well as the time of manifestation of the Greek debt crisis and its impact on Southeastern Europe.

Natasa Grujic, Dimitrios Kyrkilis

Failure Factors of the Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece

The Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece has not met the commitments set out, due to both endogenous and exogenous factors.Endogenous factors are specified as the particularities of the Greek economy, such as the role and importance of the public sector in the economic results, the clientelist state, the characteristics of the Greek entrepreneurship, and the underground economy.Exogenous factors are specified as the lack of alternative tools for the implementation of economic policy, as well as the assumptions and oversights of the programme.

Theofanis Mavridakis, Dimitrios Dovas, Spiridoula Bravou

Eliminating Barriers and New Challenges in the European Labour Market

One of the pillars of European economic integration is free mobility of employees. The current legal system of the EU facilitates the cross-border mobility of employees and unification of families. The paper analyses the main issues related to the mobility, deals with the elimination of barriers in the EU labour market and also points out the employment conditions for foreigners working in the Slovak Republic. Geographical labour mobility continues to be an important issue for the EU institutions. The efficient allocation of labour within the EU contributes to achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 growth strategy. Intra-level mobility is regarded as a means to modernize labour markets, and by developing labour skills, the labour participation can be increased and the labour supply and demand can be better matched. This can be achieved by strengthening the institutional framework for mobility, developing effective information networks and removing mobility barriers, such as ensuring social security rights, recognition of qualifications, promotion of languages capacity and access to services and housing. In order to analyse the problems of employee’s mobility, it is necessary to identify relevant legislation which is fundamental for free mobility of the employees. The basic method used for our research was the analysis of factors and relations linked to the mobility of workforce in EU. Our inquiry resulted in a summary study of varied links between studied phenomena and in unveiling the causes and prospective tendencies related to them.

L’ubica Bajzikova, Daniela Novackova, Peter Bajzik

The Internationalization Process of Small and Medium Enterprises: Case of Albania

The global economy is becoming more integrated with each passing day, taking into consideration the rapid process of globalization, which permits small and medium enterprises to internationalize in effective and quick ways. The main issues discussed in this paper are related to the internationalization process for SMEs, the reasons why they decide to become international, and the models they use to finalize this process. The internationalization process has been an interesting topic of focus for researchers, academia, businessmen, and students. This is a phenomenon mostly related to the big companies, but in the last years, the process of internationalization has related to small and medium enterprises since their active roles in the international markets have increased. Different internal and external factors, such as macroeconomic conditions, organizational cultures, technology, and infrastructures, have influenced the way these firms choose their models to realize the internationalization process. This paper focuses on the three main theories of internationalization, which include the following: Uppsala model as well as the network theory and international entrepreneurship theory (specifically in the case of Albania), which is in the first stage of development in comparison to other countries in our region.

Emi Hoxholli, Donika Kercini

Global Economic Governance: Between a New Compromise or Integration

Globalization moves within the limits of the set of governance mechanisms and institutions function. The market has a tendency to exceed the limits of the nation-state but also need global institutional arrangements to ensure sustainable operation.There is an inherent paradox in globalization. It is what Dani Rodrik has named as “trilemma” of modern times. Three key elements defining globalization are free markets, national sovereignty, and democratic legitimacy. But they cannot combine all three resultants parallelly, creating the “political triangle of incompatibility.”The imbalances of the modern system of economic governance are not only due to the wrong policies but mainly in combination weakness that can provide all three objectives simultaneously. Currently, globalization is trapped between this combination, in an unfinished selection, leading to instability.In order to overcome this problem, the world community should either choose a new compromise, like that of Bretton Woods, or to complete its institutionalization, going to an “international economic association.” In this paper, we will study the opportunities and challenges of these prospects.

Maria-Eleni Voutsa, George Borovas

Export Performance of Southeastern European Countries

Over the last decades, the European Union (EU) member states have been subject to intensive globalization and international competition, a fact that poses both challenges and opportunities. Additionally, the recent global financial crisis implied a fall in output across economies that was accompanied by a severe contraction in international trade. As a result, countries and firms have had to adjust and actively participate in this new market environment. This paper examines the export dynamics of four Balkan EU member states over the period 1999–2014. The results revealed that there is a tendency for an increase in exports, that persistent trade deficits have decreased since 2008 and that the share of high and medium-high technology manufactured goods has increased, particularly in the case of Romania. The results also indicate some specificities of export performance of Greece, Croatia and Bulgaria, which have had a trade surplus for services throughout the period, suggesting the importance of the tourism sector. We further discuss the main factor that could contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of European countries. Higher foreign demand is found to lead to more exports as is a depreciation in the real foreign exchange rate, although price and income elasticities vary across studies and according to the estimation technique adopted. The evidence also suggests that non-price factors (such as quality, variety, innovation and institutions) are value drivers of exports.

Sofia Gouveia, Micael Santos

Towards Competitive Dynamics View on Oil Companies in Southeast Europe: Analysis of Industrial Concentration

Business policy and operations of leading oil industry companies are of strategic interest for each country with defined energy strategy functioning as the basis for developing competitiveness. Companies in the oil industry operate in a specific commercial and political environment, strongly affected by business risks which above all require adapting to market trends and selection of the optimal strategic direction to support the sustainability of increasing competitiveness of each company. It is precisely the level of competitive dynamics which forces companies to constantly develop its business strategies and to adapt to market conditions being the only approach ensuring the survival and growth on the market. Global trends in the oil industry and key factors affecting the future development were analysed in this paper, while the main objectives were feature analysis and presentation of the companies operating in Southeast Europe (with focus on Croatian and its regional market). Several major competitors, companies such as INA, MOL, OMV, Petrol, Lukoil as well as the small competitors as a unique market unit were processed through the SWOT analysis. Market situation was additionally illustrated through the example of analysis of the concentration on the Croatian market, revealing the escalation of competition and increasing of the competitive dynamics among the companies.

Radoslav Barišić

Macro and Micro Innovativeness of the Western Balkan Countries

Innovativeness has been identified as a key success factor in todays’ increasingly competitive and complex environment. It is considered to have a key role as a driver of economic growth and essential instrument for business performance improvement of enterprises especially for emerging economies and economies in transition. Innovation readiness offers a possibility of new growth platforms both on macro level when talking about the economic growth as the biggest national issue and micro level when talking about competitiveness and business performances of enterprises. Engaging innovation potential in a way that will keep up with the pace of technological change and changing demands is indispensable in order to increase competitiveness on both levels. The Western Balkan countries are representative examples of economies in transition as they have witnessed significant changes and economic transformations since the beginning of the twenty-first century, and now they are challenged to keep the growth and improve it. Innovativeness has an influential role in responding to this challenge. The objective of this paper is to analyze cross-country differences and portray the situation in the region giving the answer to the following questions: how are Western Balkan countries ranked on world economies’ innovation capabilities scoreboards, how is their ranking changing over time, and how do they differ between themselves? In order to answer these questions, comparative cross-country analysis of innovativeness in Western Balkan countries was conducted. The findings build upon the comprehensive and comparable statistical date from public databases including studies on global innovativeness.

Ivana Bilic, Danijela Ciric, Bojan Lalic, Danijela Gracanin

Application of Renewable Energy Sources in Hungary in the Southern Transdanubia Region

The European Union accepted its Europe 2020 strategy in March 2010. The strategy laid down the need to meet the 20/20/20 targets (reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, increase energy efficiency by 20% and increase the renewable energy usage by 20%) in the field of energy policy. In addition to these goals, the Council expressed its long-term and grandiose intention to reduce the carbon dioxide emission by 80–95% in the European Union and other developed and industrialized countries by 2050.Implementation of the EU commitment and the commitment determined by Hungary that exceeds the EU target requires establishment of hundreds of power plants using renewable energy sources in Hungary or conversion of power plants currently using fossil fuels into power plants using renewable energy sources. The Southern Transdanubia region is on the top in the context of both options. The town of Bóly has played a significant role in the Hungarian use of geothermal energy for public purpose district heating. The project which was started in 2003 brought only partial success, but the town continued the development. The second part finished in 2010, which makes it possible to not only fulfil the town’s communal needs but can also heat the town’s industrial park. Other towns in the region also use the opportunity in the region’s high geothermal gradient for energy purposes. Other towns such as Bonyhád, Szentlőrinc and Szigetvár followed Bóly’s positive example. Besides utilisation of the geothermal energy, solar power plants have shown up continuously in the past decade, not only with domestic but small plant nature. In 2013 the town of Sellye inaugurated the 0.5 MW capacity solar power park, which is capable to serve 250 family’s electricity need in a year. This plant was the biggest in the country the day it was inaugurated. Two solar power parks were built in Szigetvár between 2013 and 2015 with 0.5 MW capacity each, which is capable to serve nearly 500 family’s yearly electricity needs. The country’s biggest capacity (10 MW) solar plant was finished in the spring of 2016 in Pécs, the centre of the region. This plant probably will reduce the countries carbon dioxide emission by 15.000 ton annually.The application of the renewable energy sources is supported by tender sources from the European Union and the Hungarian government. The Operational Programme’s ‘Environment and Energy’ fourth priority axis (increasing the use of renewable energy sources) has supported the application of the renewable energy sources in the 2007–2013 EU tendering period. In the framework of the fourth priority, 1624 tenders got support in total of nearly HUF 88 billion. The Operational Programme supported tenders to establish and extend solar cells, solar collectors, geothermal power plants, heat pumps, bioheating plants and hydroelectric power plants. In the Southern Transdanubia region, 262 projects supporting the use of renewable energy sources received subsidies between 2007 and 2015. More than 80% of these projects supported the use of solar cells and solar collectors. The power plant of Pécs using coal and then natural gas was converted to utilise biomass. This power plant has nearly 85 MW electricity capacity and serves the district heating needs of 150.000 citizens in the city of Pécs.

Tamás Haffner

Making Street Lighting ESCO Projects Work in Practice

Enhancing energy efficiency is one of the core EU goals determined by the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive and thus mandatory for all EU member states. The ways of implementing the Directive’s energy consumption targets are set in national plans for energy efficiency. Quality street lighting is a public obligation towards the citizens due to personal and road safety and because of good visibility and urban feeling in populated areas.Street lighting installations are classified as simple constructions, which make them simpler for implementing energy efficiency-targeted measures. These projects are shorter and cheaper than other energy efficiency projects and thus are considered easier to implement for public authorities. Depending on national regulation of the EU member countries, street lighting projects are contracted under public procurement procedures as energy performance contracts (EPCs). The most important feature of EPCs is that the investments in energy efficiency renovation are repaid from the savings in energy consumption over the contracted period. This simple rule is nevertheless very complicated to implement in practice due to many reasons such as ownership rights on the street lighting infrastructure, insufficient public administration capacity for energy efficiency project implementation, insufficient funds, problems with energy efficiency improvement verification and measurement, complicated regulation on public procurement and/or energy service contracting, fiscal rules, etc.ESCO financing schemes have been promoted as innovative mechanisms for financing energy efficiency projects throughout the EU. Their popularity originates from the public sector indebtedness and inability to finance improvements in energy efficiency via traditional, budgetary project financing mechanism. ESCOs have been encouraged in the Western Balkans region by the international financial institutions and the governments. However, they are still not contracted smoothly in practice. This paper aims to investigate why.The chapter analyses regulatory and practical issues for energy performance contracting in Croatia with respect to street lighting renovation. The analysis includes, but is not limited to, public procurement and public debt rules. Based on the practical experience in implementing several projects for street lighting renovation, the chapter highlights the possible changes in energy efficiency regulation and practical approach to public authorities to make the ESCO projects in street lighting work better in the future.

Mihaela Grubišić Šeba, Marija Mušec

Fiscal Consolidation - Impact on Labor Market Outcomes

Recent global economic crisis and the concerns about long-term sustainability of public finances have resulted in stronger implementation of fiscal consolidation measures. In this context, consolidation has received a lot of attention in both theoretical and empirical literature with the large number of papers investigating its impact on different aspects of economy. Although fiscal consolidation has long been recognized as a hot issue, the literature does not offer a consensus on the impact of fiscal consolidation. Theoretical considerations offer a rationale for both contractionary and expansionary effect of fiscal consolidation on economic activity. Given this state of theoretical literature and quite ambiguous predictions, it is no wonder that the empirical literature has provided evidence supporting both of these views.At the same time, investigation of fiscal consolidation on labor markets has received relatively little attention (IMF, Fiscal monitor-back to work: How fiscal policy can help, 2014). Given that one of the main goals of economic policy is labor market outcomes, we find this topic extremely relevant. The existing literature indicates that fiscal consolidation can result in long-lasting negative effects on the labor market (IMF, Fiscal monitor-back to work: How fiscal policy can help, 2014). In addition, the literature also recognizes possible positive effects of fiscal consolidation. This paper adds to the literature by tackling the issue of fiscal consolidation through an empirical investigation focusing on labor market. More precisely, it investigates the effects on a set of specific labor market outcomes: employment, unemployment, and activity. Given that the debate on labor market impact of expenditure-based versus revenue-based consolidations is not settled in the literature, the special attention in this paper has been dedicated to the effects of the design of fiscal consolidation on the labor market outcomes. Additional contribution of this paper relates to the usage of the relatively new database on fiscal consolidations (Devries et al., A new action-based dataset of fiscal consolidation (IMF Working Paper No. 11/128). International Monetary Fund, 2011) in 17 OECD countries covering the period 1978–2009. This new approach, following the narrative approach introduced by Romer and Romer (American Economic Review, 100(3), 763–801, 2010), suggests that previous empirical literature has been contaminated by using the indicators for fiscal consolidation which may be subject to serious mismeasurement errors leading to a strong bias toward finding an expansionary effect of fiscal consolidation. Recognizing this as a serious obstacle, the present paper first provides a brief review on the problems in the previous literature and then applies the empirical investigation using the new database which successfully removes most of the problems in providing the representative indicators for fiscal consolidation. Using these new indicators, the paper next provides a thorough empirical investigation through the use of panel data analysis. The findings from this investigation provide novel empirical evidence concerning the effects of fiscal consolidation on labor market outcomes.

Paško Burnać, Vinko Muštra, Vladimir Šimić

Symptoms of Burnout in the Workplace: Comparison Between the Older and Younger Employees in Slovenian Companies

It is important to know that a satisfied and motivated employee is a vital prerequisite for a healthy company. Stressful, depressed, and dissatisfied employees would not be able to obtain the same quality level of work and productivity as those employees with low stress and high satisfaction. From this perspective, it is important that employers can create a safe and friendly environment to work.Further, it has become important to understand the role of individual differences in examining the effects of job characteristics on job attitudes. That means that job characteristics are not experienced in the same way by all workers. Given the demographic shifts in today’s workplace, worker age would appear to be such an important individual difference. The role of age in the relationship between job characteristics and job attitudes is important, because with the aging population, it is important to see how jobs might be redesigned to enable people to continue to work successfully. To examine the interplay between age and work characteristics is appropriate because people generally spend a significant part of their life span working and, therefore, have ample opportunity to display these adaptive processes throughout their working lives, but the role of age in job design has largely been ignored.The main aim of this paper is to present burnout in the workplace of older employees compared to younger employees in Slovenian companies. We examined burnout in the workplace with physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. The paper reports on a research including a survey between two age groups of employees, namely, the younger employees that were classified in the group of under 50 years of age and the older employees that were classified in the group of above 50 years of age. Since the Kolmogorov–Smirnov and Shapiro–Wilk test showed that the data were not normally distributed, the nonparametric Mann–Whitney U test was used to verify differences in the physical symptoms of burnout, emotional symptoms of burnout, and behavioral symptoms of burnout in the workplace between two groups. The results show that there are significant differences in the great majority of the variables describing the physical symptoms of burnout, emotional symptoms of burnout, and behavioral symptoms of burnout in the workplace between younger and older employees in Slovenian companies.

Maja Rožman, Sonja Treven, Vesna Čančer

Workers in a Poultry Cooperative: A Study on Their Job Satisfaction

Poultry sector in Balkan countries presents a significant dynamic in both terms of consumption and production. Even if small-scale poultry production in farmers’ backyards is very common in all Balkan countries, modern and industrialized poultry farming facilities have been developed to confront the increasing demand for poultry products. On the other hand, there are many studies that associate business performance to job satisfaction for employees and workers. Thus, it is worth examining job satisfaction and the factors that determine the derived satisfaction as a first step to study poultry sector and its contribution to food and beverage sector. In this study job satisfaction is examined for workers in a Greek poultry cooperative, since agricultural poultry cooperatives in Greece perform better than other sectors. In addition, the largest agricultural cooperative in Greece is a poultry cooperative that has a 30% market share. A similar situation is observed for many Balkan countries.In order to examine job satisfaction, a questionnaire was developed based on the well-established questionnaires “Job Satisfaction Survey” and “Job Descriptive Index” in order to evaluate workers’ overall satisfaction. The survey took place in a medium-sized poultry cooperative located in Epirus, Greece, with more than 300 employees and workers. However, only workers in the production line were selected to participate in the survey excluding desk officers, salesmen, and workers in the logistics of the cooperative. As a result, about 90 fully completed questionnaires were returned representing more than 1/3 of the total workers of the cooperative.The first results of the study through a regression analysis indicate that two groups of characteristics affect workers’ satisfaction: the relationships among workers and the personal opportunities for development and recognition. Moreover, workers’ educational level seems to affect the perceived satisfaction for workers. This study could provide to poultry cooperatives’ managers, in practical terms, specific directions that can be used in motivating workers to be engaged with the cooperative business and increase their satisfaction, and even more this study could be used to investigate further if job satisfaction could lead in better business performance for the poultry sector.

Achilleas Kontogeorgos, George Theodossiou, Christos Karelakis, Anastasios Michailidis

Employee Performance, Working Time and Tiredness in Creative R&D Jobs: Employee Survey from Estonia

Optimal use of the intellectual resources of R&D employees is a significant success factor for achieving innovation and socio-economic development. Statutory and company level regulation of working time, including the durations and timing of a working day and a working week, remains a common feature in many countries, and these rules often apply, among others, to creative R&D employees. Our study seeks to investigate the relationships between the drivers and outcomes of creative R&D employees’ work performance with particular focus on working time arrangement and the related tiredness, workability, work satisfaction and creativity issues. Our survey covers a sample of 160 creative R&D employees in Estonia. This conference proceedings paper gives an overview of some aspects of the first phase of our survey, while the more detailed results will be published in separate papers. Our findings include that 79% of the surveyed employees would prefer to work under a different working schedule compared to the standard 5-day working week, and 81% would prefer to have a daily schedule with an irregular start and/or end time of the working day. Emotional tiredness, sleepiness, low salary and inefficient time use are seen as major obstacles to achieving creative work results.

Aaro Hazak, Marko Virkebau, Viiu Tuulik, Piia Tint, Viive Pille, Erve Sõõru

Analysis of Predictors in Bankruptcy Prediction Models for Slovak Companies

The creation of bankruptcy prediction models is in the last years a topic, which much attention has been dedicated to. Researchers and economists in many countries have created prediction models which are useful for failure prediction of companies in that country. These prediction models used various financial ratios or other predictors to reach the best bankruptcy prediction. The effort of researchers leads to build a strongly prediction model that is able to predict a bankruptcy of companies or can, with some probability level, classify the companies into a group of prosperous or a group of non-prosperous ones. Previous works have shown that these models are then less effective in application in another country or in another time. Our work will lead to a creation of bankruptcy prediction model for Slovak companies. One of the first steps in this process is to choose an appropriate set of predictors, such as financial ratios of companies or characteristics of the environment, in which the company operates. For this purpose we do the preliminary statistical analysis of financial ratios of real Slovak companies. This analysis is made separately in different regions of Slovak Republic in order to analyze which regions are sufficiently similar in their characteristics and therefore could be analyzed together and, on the contrary, which regions are so different that we have to analyze them separately. Then, we can apply cluster analysis on basic statistical characteristics of financial ratios and get the clusters of Slovak regions that are for predicting bankruptcy appropriate to be analyzed together. This result will be very useful during the process of failure prediction model development in the future.

Lucia Svabova, Tomas Kliestik

Analysis of Assets in Balance Sheet of Construction Company

In this paper we focus on the analysis of the volume of assets in the balance sheet of selected construction company in Slovenia, Reflex. Selected company belongs to a construction branch in the activity of the final works. According to the data by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, financial and economic crisis has begun in 2008, which was in Slovenia first expressed in the construction sector. The purpose of the research is to examine the volume of assets in the balance sheet of Reflex and in the construction branch in order to determine whether construction activity after a few years of economic crisis is recovered or not. Developments in the branch affect future operations of the company Reflex. It is very difficult to say that a company or activity recovers if the volume of assets is decreasing.Research period covers the years 2008–2012.As studies and statistics data warn, the main problems of construction companies in Slovenia are decline of orders in construction sector, drop in real estate sales, and payment indiscipline. All this affects business volume of the construction company. The volume of business is reflected also in the volume of assets on the balance sheet. Therefore, in this study an accounting analysis of assets volume of the company Reflex and a statistical analysis of the assets in a construction branch in the field of building completion were done. By an accounting analysis, we examined the individual movements in long-term and short-term types of assets of the company Reflex. By statistical analysis we examined whether the volume of assets in companies within the construction branch significantly increased. For the statistical analysis, we used t-test (one-sample statistics) for the analysis of the arithmetic mean of assets. Both analyses were done on a sample construction company engaged in building completion and finishing which, in 2012, employed at least ten workers. Thus, the selected sample contains 56 companies.By an accounting analysis of assets volume, we found that the volume of assets in the company fluctuated and in 2012 reached the lowest value; the volume of total assets in 2012 does not even reach the value of assets in 2008. The value of tangible fixed assets of the company dropped significantly; current assets increased mainly due to an increase in operating receivables.By statistical analysis of the volume of assets of a construction branch, we found that the volume of assets does not increase on such a scale that it would be able to confirm with sufficient accuracy, so we cannot talk about recovery within the analyzed activities.The limitation of research represents the number of construction companies with final construction work in a sample of companies. On the other hand, on partial accounting analysis, we studied only assets in the balance sheet, but not other economic categories in the financial statements. Based on these limits, after a review of assets in the balance sheet of Reflex, we suggest improving the management of funds, in both long-term and short-term types.

Tatjana Horvat, Kristina Žerdin

Sand in My Eyes Fled Effect: An Evidence from Saudi Arabia

Psychological, cultural, religious and environmental factors affect human decisions and sometimes cause irrational behaviours. Even this is a common truth, traditional economics claims human is rational and many economic theories based on this idea. Behavioural Finance and Behavioural Economics go against this main assertion and postulates human has bounded rationality.This study investigates influences of the daily weather conditions such as mean and maximum air temperatures, mean and maximum air humidity values and Apparent Temperature Index (ATI) on Riyadh Stock Exchange.Granger Causality Modelhas been applied to these data, and found that daily mean water vapour pressure and daily maximum air temperature variables of the daily weather have affected the Riyad Stock Exchange returns.

Ekrem Tufan, Bahattin Hamarat, Murat Türkeş, Ahmed Abdullah Al-Zahrani

Financially Constrained Firms: The Impact of Managerial Optimism and Corporate Investment on Inefficiencies Leading to Low Market Valuation - The Case of Greece

Financial constraints in capital markets can underline the macroeconomic effect of fluctuations in investment to cash flow and liquidity which has as a result several firms to reduce their access to low-cost finance. The examination of this aspect in detail determines the magnitude of the effects of internal finance on investment. Diversification as an underlying factor of financial constraints can create several costs. Diversified firms have the tendency to overinvest in lines of business which display poor investment opportunities. Diversification indeed reduces value. This loss in value is found mainly for firms of all sizes having managers with a higher level of optimism. The link between optimism and corporate investment is more pronounced in financially constrained firms. When the wedge between the internal and external cost of funds increases, a firm is considered to be more financially constrained. Managers are undisputedly optimistic and firms with optimistic managers tend to invest more. The investment of firms with optimistic managers is more sensitive to cash flow especially for financially constrained firms. Analysing a sample of listed companies in Greece, it is found that the higher the managerial optimism, the lower the excess value of a firm. Optimism and financial constraint measures are based on the insider stock transaction behaviour of all senior managers they have to report to the Hellenic Capital Market Commission. These findings show that the investigation of decision-making processes in Greece is crucial.

Dimitrios Maditinos, Alexandra Tsinani, Željko Šević, Jelena Stankevičienė

Conceptual Model of Outcomes of Perceived Fair Insurance Services

Due to intense competition and the emergence of new insurance companies at the Slovenian market, insurance services are becoming increasingly complex, while sales activity by insurance companies is becoming more marketing-oriented at the same time. Insurance services are, by nature, extremely multifaceted and this is reflected in the way in which the insurance market is manipulated. As insurance companies often change the content of their products (insurance conditions, insurance coverage, price, evaluation damage cases, etc.), it is important to know who benefits most from the relationship between insurance companies and customers and whether the content of insurance products is generally fair to customers. Insurance services involve various kinds of transactional interventions, about a new policy and queries raised during the term of an insurance policy or making an insurance claim, in which salespeople are in contact with customers. Some insurance companies demand an intensive sales orientation from their salespeople, gaining new customers as quickly as possible above providing them with full and transparent service. The reason for this may be due to the pressures of management in insurance companies, be it related to income or internal competition. In many cases, the content of insurance products can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings after an insurance policy has been agreed. This is particularly evident when policies are terminated or claims are made. This paper presents different viewpoints in research regarding which insurance services are perceived as fair by customers. The research question was: what is the impact of perceived fair insurance services on customer-insurance company relationship? Using structural equation modelling (SEM) with a sample of n = 200 consumers of insurance services, it has been found that perceived fair insurance services have a significant positive effect on perceived relationship value outcomes, as well as perceived quality of customer-insurance company relationship and customer satisfaction. It has also been found that perceived fair insurance services are directly confirmed by customer satisfaction with perceived quality of customer-insurance company relationship. The study also has found that perceived relationship quality has a significant and strong positive effect on perceived relationship value outcomes. The study has further found that perceived relationship value outcomes and perceived relationship quality have a significant positive effect on customer satisfaction. Perceived fair insurance services, then, are determined by the relationship between insurance companies and customers and the extent to which customers are satisfied with the insurance services they use. The study’s findings are extremely important for institutions operating in the financial and insurance service market for the purpose of creating a relationship strategy.

Urban Šebjan, Polona Tominc

Corruption and Tax Compliance of Greek SMEs

The literature on the determinants and impact of the Greek shadow economy, and moreover, of the latter’s interaction with corruption, has greatly expanded since the beginning of the current economic crisis. We look upon a less discussed theme on this subject, which concerns the factors that shape the tax compliance decisions of Greek SMEs. Based on data from the World Bank, we build upon earlier approaches to the subject and control for the role of corruption in tax compliance decisions via conditional logistic regression.

Vasileios Vlachos, Aristidis Bitzenis

The Correlation Between Four Input Indicators and Six Demographic and Output Indicators Within the East European Healthcare Systems

The purpose of this paper is to compare the relevance of four resource indicators (inputs), in regard to six mortality indicators (outputs) within healthcare systems in 27 East European countries.The correlation between the following input indicators, number of GPs/100,000 population, health expenditure as % of GDP, total health expenditure PPP $/capita, pharmaceutical expenditure PPP $/capita, and the following demographic and output indicators, life expectancy at birth; reduction of life expectancy through death before 65 years; estimated infant mortality/1000 live births; maternal deaths/100,000 live births; SDR diabetes mellitus, all ages/100,000; and SDR tuberculosis, all ages/100,000, was analyzed.WHO data was used, for the following East European countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, FYROM, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Data from 2011 was used.The various degrees of correlation between the input and output indicators were analyzed using scatter diagrams and calculating Pearson linear correlation coefficient.This type of study can be extended to other health outcome indicators as it can be also tried with other healthcare system resource indicators.The research shows the importance of real data (money) as compared to percentage data.Many reform projects as well as policy evaluations are based on “weak” indicators, misleading public perception, hiding policy mistakes, and ultimately leading focus to unimportant things.The paper tries to shed light on indicators which are really significant from the point of view of policymakers. It might be also of particular interest to students who can understand better the use of indicators.This paper will be presented as PPT.

Dan Sava

IAS for SMEs Adoption: Evidence from the Regions of Kavala and Serres, Greece

This paper examines the adoption and implementation of IFRS by SMEs in the regions of Kavala and Serres, Greece. Our main objective is to examine the possibility of direct implementation of the International Accounting Standard for SMEs. Through empirical analysis and in accordance with the literature review, we set the main factors that affect business decision to implement IFRS/IAS.We investigate whether the willingness of businesses to implement IFRS/IAS depends largely on the educational level and size of companies. We also examine what influences the decision to apply IFRS/IAS and more specifically how much the advantages of using IFRS/IAS and the desire for transparency affect such decision.The findings of our research suggest that SMEs have insufficient information or guidance about the standards. This is one of the reasons that explain their reluctance to apply standards and be indifferent about the existence of internationally comparable information. Lack of knowledge and infrastructure and given the current economic circumstances in Greece, implementation costs act as a serious deterrent in the implementation of IFRS/IAS.

Andreas Hadjixenophontos, Pantelis Sklias, Athanasios Mandilas, Eleftheria Panagiotidou

Accounting System in Croatian Public Health-Care Sector: Current State and Improvement Perspectives

As in many countries, public health-care sector represents a very important subsystem of Croatian general government sector and a very important segment of total public spending. The specificities of Croatian public health-care sector refer to its financing model and asset structure, but mostly to large material and human resources, employment needs and service delivery model/set of procedure complexity. From a health-care financial management macroeconomic point of view, hospitals’ spending represents the most demanding and the most expensive segment, while cost-efficiency and effectiveness of hospitals reflect the overall health-care system quality. This implies management efficiency and effectiveness that further require necessary quality, accuracy and complete set of both financial information (which would reflect true and fair view of organization’s financial position and performance) and nonfinancial information (which would further indicate the effectiveness level). In addition, Croatian public health system has been a subject to frequent reforms and almost permanent financial recoveries of piled incurred losses.The paper presents empirical evidence on the current state and functional adequacy of the accounting and financial reporting system as well as the evidence on the perception about the accounting information quality level in meeting Croatian public sector health-care management needs. The empirical research was conducted based on the data collected by means of questionnaire sent to all public health-care institutions in Croatia in the year 2016.The results of this study have relevance to all users of financial statements and in particular to accounting professions engaged in public sector accounting information system set of reforms, in their effort to upgrade and advance the existing financial reporting system by implementing accruals in public sector health-care accounting/financial reporting system as business-like (parts of) government. Such a system should insure the integral information base that would enable efficient use of public goods and the existence of accountable financial management.

Davor Vašiček, Gorana Roje, Ivana Dražić Lutilsky

The Comparison of Public Sector Accounting between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

The decisive influence on the shaping of governmental accounting at the country level comes from two sources. The national source defines the specifics that are conditional and dependent on one country social system and economic development, nation’s level of education and intellectual capital as well as on country’s customs, tradition and culture. The international sources are harmonization and unification of methodological and legislative frameworks and national accounting practices, which further lead to reducing national specifics. The transfer and use of other countries’ experiences into national frameworks have its special features with both good and bad sides.This paper analyses the governmental accounting development in two countries: the Republic of Croatia (RH) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) from two entities—the Republic of Srpska (RS) and the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBIH) viewed through a 25-year period (1990–2015). The goal is to compare the path of development and identify key influences on solutions in a particular period of time (several phases of accounting system development).Therefore, in this paper authors analyse the characteristics of national governmental accounting in the aforementioned two countries, through various system development periods, and identify factors that have influenced the developments. Also, the paper explores the similarities and differences between the current characteristics of governmental accounting and financial reporting in the RH and BIH. Furthermore, authors explore and detect possible implementation obstacles for application of accrual accounting.The results of this paper might be helpful to national authorities in continuing the improvements of national governmental accounting legislation and might be useful to other countries that are in comparable situations. We find that this international comparison study contributes to the existing literature and is potentially of interest for the international and national standard setters (i.e. IPSASB).

Vesna Vašiček, Jelena Poljašević, Maja Letica

Institutional Voids and the Role of NGOs in Filling Voids: The Case of GIMDES

Recently, institutional voids have been analyzed in many researches. The aim of this study is to determine how institutional voids can be discerned and through which tools and strategies can be filled. Current study depends on a case analysis as a qualitative research method, and in this context, GIMDES as an NGO is addressed. Finally, discerning an institutional void and filling this void are determined step-by-step. Further, the strategies and tools in filling the void(s) are also determined through gathered data.

Abdullah Kiray, Oktay Koç

The Impact of the External Environment on the Functioning of SMEs - Results of Own Studies

The sector of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is the main group of enterprises impacting the economic development. High degree of flexibility and ability to adapt to new markets allow small- and medium-sized enterprises to develop as a result of their capability of effective use of resources in the economy. The SME sector contributes to job creation, increase in the number of enterprises, and growth of the level of entrepreneurship. However, this group of companies is exposed to a negative impact of the environment, both the macro- and microenvironment, which significantly influences the fundamental strength of an organization. Macroenvironment is in most cases beyond the control of an enterprise, whereas an enterprise has a real impact on its relations with the microenvironment. Turbulence of the environment is one of the most characteristic features of the modern conditions of management; therefore, it is important to be able to manage an enterprise subjected to constant changes. The sector of small- and medium-sized enterprises is especially exposed to the impact of the external environment. This susceptibility results, among other things, from the size of companies, limited possibilities of obtaining external financing, and low level of knowledge among company owners on management of an enterprise.The aim of the paper is to identify elements of micro- and macroenvironment that impact this development among SMEs carrying out business activity in Southern Poland. The survey conducted in 2016 on a group of 250 enterprises classified, based on the size of employment, as small- and medium-sized enterprises allowed to indicate factors determining the development of enterprises, which are both external in character and represent stimuli from the macroenvironment and microenvironment of an enterprise.

Anna Lemańska-Majdzik, Monika Sipa, Andrzej Skibiński

The Barriers for the Development of the Social Cooperative Enterprises in Greece

This article, briefly, presents the difficulties and the obstacles for the development of the social cooperative enterprises in Greece, from their formation until today, according to the Greek legislative framework for the Social Economy. Specifically, this article analyses and focuses on the barriers for the operation and the growth of the social cooperative enterprises in Greece which are mainly related to the lack of a specific, comprehensive and stable institutional framework for social enterprises; their weak financial position due to lack of investors and non-activation of state funding tools; the lack of evaluation and measurement of their social impact by institutional entities; the high levels of existing administrative bureaucracy of the involved public authorities; the limited information of the public servants and the employees of the private sector for the Social Entrepreneurship; the lack of available training for the staff of social cooperative enterprises that deals with administrative tasks; the low level of sensitisation of the local societies for the Social Economy Sector, etc. The article leads to some conclusions and suggestions for the improvement of the effectiveness of the national legislative framework and also to some prerequisites in order to boost the growth of the social cooperative enterprises in Greece.

Antonios Kostas, Ioannis Tsoukalidis, Anastasios Karasavvoglou, Persefoni Polychronidou, Lambros Tsourgiannis

Tourism and Ecologically Sensitive Areas: The Case the Prefecture of Preveza from Citizens’ Point of View

The immeasurable value and necessity of protecting and promoting the natural wealth that distinguishes a geographical unit demand the adoption and implementation of a multifaceted strategy, aiming to preserve and manage an ecologically sensitive area systematically and, by extension, to ensure the viable development of tourism. All this must be accepted by the citizens in order for changes to occur without people’s complaint and protests. Under this assumption, the objective of this paper is to investigate the attitudes and beliefs of residents regarding ecotourism development in the Preveza prefecture, an area mainly characterized as Natura and Ramsar protected. It also reflects the citizens’ beliefs regarding the possibility of developing modern forms of tourism activities near or within the environmentally sensitive area, in the light of a viable-sustainable development in the prefecture. In order for this to be accomplished, field research with the means of a questionnaire, developed especially for this reason, was undertaken. Sample involved 150 permanent residents of the Preveza prefecture from all three municipalities (Zirou, Parga, and Preveza) via mall-intercept personal interview. Thus, residents rated their point of agreement for tourism exploitation of nine nature-related attraction sites and seven modern forms of tourism activities within these nature attractions sites. Residents consider that alternative tourism (92.0%) and not mass tourism is indicated for the area and specifically in the form of ecotourism (94.5%) for sustainable development (86.4%) of the region. Regarding the nature-related point of interests which could be potential tourist attractions, locals consider all sites as potential tourist attractions, but the ones with the highest rate are Acheron river (delta) Alonaki Beach- Nekromanteion (necromancy, 93.9%) and the straits of Acheron river-Trikastro-Skala Tzavelena (91.7%). As to modern types of tourism, they rated biking and hiking-trekking as the best for the region (89.5%). Moreover, they consider that the responsible bodies for tourism development of Preveza, which should keep nature protected and unspoiled, are mainly the local authorities and operators (59.4%). The expected benefits of recording citizens’ opinions and beliefs aim at rational regional planning and are very important. Results are discussed, and recommendations for implementation are provided.

Irene Kamenidou, Spyridon Mamalis, Zoe Alexandrou

The Analysis of Tourism and Economic Growth Relationship in Central and Eastern European Countries

Contemporary international tourism generates economic flows which have become vital for economic growth, trade, and international economic relations in many countries, especially developing ones. Being based upon sources of receipts and consumption in situ, international tourism is regarded as a nonstandard type of export. For that reason, many governments are paying greater attention to supporting and stimulating tourism as a potential source of economic growth. Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs), developing countries whose economic growth is facing many challenges, have also recognized this potential role of tourism. The aim of this paper is to study the impact of international tourism growth on economic growth in these countries in the 2000–2014 period.For this purpose, an econometric model derived from a thorough literature review is formed. The estimation of tourism impacts in 19 CEECs is performed using the dynamic panel data model. The data used are collected from World Development Indicators (WDI) for the 15-year period. CEECs record an increase of international tourism in the given period, and the effects of tourism on the economic growth are expected to be positive and statistically significant. Additionally, the model includes other commonly used socioeconomic determinants of economic growth.The contribution of this paper is in analyzing the effects of international tourism growth on a relatively new (not frequently used) group of countries to provide new insights in this still inconclusive research subject. Furthermore, the study used tourism growth as the independent variable as opposed to tourists’ arrivals or tourists’ overnights and receipts, frequently used in most of the studies. Limitations of the research are found in the unbalanced data for the time period used and time and cross-sectional restrictions. Besides new scientific insights, the paper provides valuable insights for policymakers in the area of economic and tourism development as well as suggestions for further research.

Zvonimir Kuliš, Blanka Šimundić, Smiljana Pivčević

Monitoring the Impacts of Corporate Activities on Environment in Tourism and Communicating Through Corporate Reports

Tourism, one of the most important economic activities in the world, is deeply interrelated with the environment. It is dependent on it, but it affects it and changes it constantly. Tourism sector must play an important role in addressing climate change by implementing adaptation and mitigation strategies. Sustainable tourism development is the prerequisite of its present and future development. However, if adaptation and mitigation strategies are implemented, the results have to be measured to catch the difference between the set and achieved goals. Only in such a way, improvements may be made. Communication with stakeholders is important in addressing challenges of climate change and sector’s impacts and endeavor in tackling it. Corporate reports are used as one of the most acceptable means of communication with tourism stakeholders. Although, often considered as a synonym for financial reporting, corporate reports emphasize a much wider field. According to PwC (What is corporate reporting?, 2016), corporate reporting includes the following reporting areas: integrated reporting, financial reporting, corporate governance, executives’ remuneration, corporate responsibility, and narrative reporting. For the purposes of monitoring the impacts of corporate activities on the environment, corporate (social) responsibility reporting, or sustainability reporting, is the most dynamic and acceptable tool. This segment of reporting has been developing very fast in the past years. There are several initiatives (guidelines) for developing reporting on CSR/sustainability. The most important ones are Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), United Nations Global Compact Communication of Progress (COP), and AccountAbility’s AA1000.At this stage, reporting under the banner of CSR/sustainability is still voluntary. Thus, companies decide on their own whether to prepare and publish reports on this issue or not. The decision to use (or not to use) one of the existing guidelines for reporting is also voluntary. In addition, companies may report on social responsibility/sustainability issues without using existing guidelines. They can apply their own standards based on mission, vision, and corporate strategies they implement. Very regularly, they align such reports with the abovementioned.The aim of this paper is to explore the sensitiveness of corporate actions on the environment in travel and tourism sector. In order to identify the level of information disclosure on environmental issues, corporate reports of companies operating in tourism sector will be the subject of content analysis. Further, the implementation of different (global) initiatives for CSR/sustainability reporting will be explored. The sample will be taken out of the tourism companies operating in Croatia.Based on obtained result, conclusion on further development of reporting on CSR/sustainability issues will be determined, taking into account the specifics of tourism sector companies.

Tea Golja, Adriana Galant

Wine Tourism Development in Northern Greece: Evidence From Ktima Gerovassiliou

In an effort to expand the wine tourism industry in Greece, wine producers have formed regional associations, such as the “Wine Producers Association of the Northern Greece Vineyard,” established in 1993. Efforts of this, and similar organizations, involve networking with small-scale wineries, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, and other local merchants to promote regional wineries, as well as establishing wine tourist routes. Significant work has been conducted investigating consumer motivations and market segmentation in wine tourism, locally and internationally. Informed by this work, wineries can modify the programs offered in order to attract certain market segments. However, examinations of the relationships between the three primary stakeholders in wine tourism—consumers, wine producers, and the tourism agents who promote the programs offered by the wineries—remain limited. This paper explores the interconnections between winemakers, individuals and organizations involved in wine tourism, and consumers to better understand how to improve agritourism in small-scale wineries. In particular, we evaluate the alignment of the winery’s tourism programs, the infrastructure and efforts of established local tourist agency networks, and the motivations of potential domestic consumers.

Whitney Hazard, Casey Magrath, Anushrot Mohanty, Tess Nogueira, Nicola Bulled, Robert Hersh, Konstantinos Rotsios

Selected Aspects of Human Resource Management Supporting and Limiting Organizational Learning

In order to respond to success in a rapidly changeable world, many enterprises were adopting the rules and principles of a learning organization. The issues of learning organizations are wide and multidimensional. Generally, learning organizations focus on “learning” as a crucial component in their visions, goals, values, and all of their functions. There is an opinion that by collective learning, the organization’s members are able to improve the organizations performance and competitive advantages. It is especially important for SMEs, which should be under special attention because of their special influence on economic growth, unemployment reduction, market competitiveness, etc. For learning organization the priority is that the individual learning process needs to have a voluntary rather than compulsory character. The biggest challenge for managers/owners is increasing the willingness to learn and then share new knowledge with other members of the organization. Additionally, members of the learning organization should not only accept orders from their superiors, but they need to have courage and be encouraged to question established norms to explore new avenues of thinking and to make mistakes in order to improve their products/services and production methods. From this perspective, the crucial role for building learning processes in organization is the specifically shaped relationship between superiors and employees and effective human resource management. The main aim of this paper is to identify and analyze the relations supporting and limiting organizational learning. The empirical part of the paper was prepared on the basis of questionnaire survey in 2016 on a group of 250 micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in Poland. During the elaboration of the paper, the generally accepted methods of economic research were used, including statistical analysis (gamma correlation coefficient) and graphical illustration methods.

Małgorzata Okręglicka, Iwona Gorzeń-Mitka, Monika Sipa

The Agile Revolution in Software Engineering

This paper aims to demonstrate, in a theoretical and practical manner, the flexibility and efficiency of using the Agile methodology in software engineering. The study will present the new methodology versus a traditional one (Project Management Body of Knowledge—PMBOK), outlining the advantages and drawbacks of each of them. The case study will focus on using two different methodologies (PMBOK and Agile) for the same project. It is a small, free software-based project that will be designed in the academic environment by two teams of master students (one for each methodology) during their one-semester project management class. In the conclusions part, we will summarize the results and emphasize the way we see the future of software development area, and then we will lay out future work directions.

Logica Banica, Persefoni Polychronidou, Magdalena Radulescu

Metaeconomic Approaches in Global Management

The metaeconomic approaches in management (MEM) are directly interconnected with modern multiple criteria assessment techniques and important for managing the sustainable socioeconomic development, evaluating the competitiveness risk and sophisticated neuromethods in finance investing etc. In particular, new MEM approaches to global talent competitivity permit to apply them productively as criteria for distributing investments in knowledge and competencies with account of synergetic motivation. For this purposes the taxonomical structurization of the MEM was reviewed. The social criteria and tasks may be arranged with account of changing normative (or minimax) functions detailing admitted hierarchies of preferences at various periods of development. Some specific MEM concepts, including utility functions and multicriteria scoring, are widely applied by the WEF, INSEAD and/or international assessments of global competitiveness, global innovations, IT, and global talents and/or indices, also in financial analytics.The taxonomic ranking of priorities in the multipurpose economic imitation of social preferences presupposes the weighed comparability of criteria functions on the qualitatively different levels—determining the alternatives of optimization, also multicriteria dynamic equilibrium, and the preferable managerial strategies. The stochastic network modelling of universal socioecological sustainability for country’s economic development by matching development interests, disposable resources’ allocation, and/or characteristics of complex adaptive systems can be recommended as a productive approach to intellectual management practice. The MEM becomes esp. significant when formulating the activities’ aim hierarchies or choosing the optimization criteria, the restrictions, and taxonomy of sustainable development preferences.

Antanas Buracas

Defining Decision-Making Process for Student Learning Support System

Every student encounters some kind of obstacle in their education life, and they need some tools that help them to take correct decision. They need extra support for selecting specific interests during their university education. This kind of support increases their success.As known, decision-making tools help managers, from business or academic environment, to take better decision in their professional life. Especially, those tools are necessary to solve semi-structured problems. AHP and TOPSIS are two very popular multi criteria decision-making methods and these methods help users to solve their decision problems via some complex methods or methodologies.In this study, computer-based decision-making process is designed for students who want to determine which course content is appropriate for them regarding academic expectation (plan). Senior lecturers’ experiences are used to choose specific decision points for each chosen contents. A specific course is chosen which helps students to improve their academic knowledge for business or academic life. Every content in the course is expressed as a decision point. Numerical density, verbal density, and reachability of resource compose decision parameters. Variable values of decision parameters are determined by the senior lecturers of the course. The decision points that are chosen by the students are used in the AHP and TOPSIS process as inputs. The system solves the problem with two methods and gives two results as a best choice and worst choice for student. Also, the system recommends to them some information about which educators are interested in the best choice content and some educational materials such as e-book, pdf, or some Internet resource (Wikipedia, YouTube, etc.).

Emre Karagöz, Vahap Tecim

Knowledge Transfer and Trust Among Partners: The Case of Greek IJVs

Knowledge transfer and trust among partners are identified in the literature as key factors for satisfactory IJV performance. This paper examines these two parameters in IJVs operating in South East Europe. A sample of Greek IJVs is examined, and conclusions on the above matters are drawn. The focus is on the perceptions of Greek entrepreneurs and executives in regard to the success of knowledge transfer to IJVs in which their company participates, their overall satisfaction from the transfer process, and its importance for their enterprise. Additionally, based on aspects from the social exchange theory, the perceived level of trust toward their foreign partner is explored in terms of the extent and the quality of communication among them and the managers’ willingness to work closely to achieve common goals and their shared vision. The empirical findings are discussed, and their importance for researchers and entrepreneurs is analyzed. Finally, topics for further research are proposed.

Konstantinos Rotsios, Nikolaos Sklavounos, Yannis Hajidimitriou

Examination of Two Companies’ Liability Management

Companies need capital to establish, to start their activities, to continue their processes and to expand. Firms use their money that is available to invest in instruments which are necessary for their activities (intangible assets, tangible assets and non-material assets). We can distinguish fixed and current assets that depend on the invested capital, which can be a shorter or a longer period.Companies have to make a lot of decisions on how to run their working process regarding financial and innovative questions. We would like to deal with financial decisions from these. It is a well-known fact that the financial decisions always bring major changes in assets and liabilities in long and short term as well.From these decisions and financial principles, we can determine the enterprises’ asset or liability willingness. The company’s asset policy can be determined by the help of many indicators which take into account the company’s asset structure and debtors and creditors.

Péter Földi, Judit Bárczi, Judit Tóth

Marketing Expansion Strategies in Multinational Marketing: The Role of e-Business

This paper explores a framework for planning and evaluation of multinational marketing strategies as entering new markets and allocation of efforts on existing markets by the help of information technologies such as e-business application, focusing on value and efficient consumption of resources. If we accept that the companies are expecting sustainable and profitable long-lasting lives for themselves and the market conditions are changed as above-mentioned, we can simply understand why they may welcome the help of information technologies such as e-business applications like we do in our paper.

Yilmaz Gökşen, Selcan Karabacak

Is Marketing Research Still Necessary in the Digital World?

Traditional methodology of marketing research evolved in the first part of the twentieth century. It was perfectly adjusted to current market conditions and to market information systems. Later on, an era of computer technology meant big support for market researchers. However, there were no still reasons to change general research logic in the light of evolving data-gathering opportunities. Evolving at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century, new digital media have solved a lot of problems that market research methodology used to solve before. First of all, the link between a company and its consumers started to be shorter and more direct. It started to seem that decision-making can be supported by data available within easy reach. However, the use of new decision-supporting software has led to take-it-easy approach to consumers’ problems in the market.The purpose of an article is to show to what extent new media objectively necessitate changes in marketing research logic and what risk can be associated with total use of new digital information.First part of an article shows the nature of traditional data-gathering methodology. In the next part, directions of an influence of digital media on marketing research methodology are identified.The article is a conceptual framework supported by long-run research experience of the author.

Marek Prymon

Conspicuous Consumption in Relation to Self-Esteem, Self-Image and Social Status: An Empirical Study

The term conspicuous consumption has been used to explain the anticipation of expressing one’s status and/or identity, via symbolic and visible consumption beyond economical or physical benefits of goods. Social function of consumption is generally associated with status, wealth and group affiliation, while psychological approach links consumption to construction of the “self”. Consumption, in this sense, is means of both extinguishing one’s self and relating himself with entities. Though conspicuous consumption studies have a substantial background, it is not adequately explored in the context of self and status interaction. The purpose of this study is to explain conspicuous consumption in relation to self-esteem, self-image congruity and social status display concerning the mediating effects of factors.The sample consists of 463 students from different units of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. Research data is gathered using 5-point Likert questionnaire with convenience sampling method, and structural equation modelling is used to test the hypothesis. Results support that self-esteem is negatively related to conspicuous consumption, by causing more of the mediators, self-image congruity and social status display. Also self-image congruity is related to social status display and they are both positively related to conspicuous consumption. Social status display partially mediates the relationship between self-image congruity and conspicuous consumption. This supports the understanding that consuming symbols is related to construction of the self, or the need for, and social contexts play a significant role concurrently.

Ulvi Cenap Topçu

Measuring Citizens Satisfaction From Public Sector Organizations in Greece: The Case of the Regional District of Xanthi

This study aims to explore citizens’ attitudes towards public sector and more particular towards services of Regional District of Xanthi in Greece. A primary survey was conducted in January–March 2016 to 268 citizens of Xanthi prefectures who were clients of the services of Regional District of Xanthi. Principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted to identify the main attitudes of the citizens towards public sector in Greece. Cluster analysis is performed to classify citizens into groups with similar attitudes, whilst discriminant analysis is conducted to check cluster predictability. Friedman test is performed to identify the importance of the main problems each group of citizens face when they visit the public sector services. Finally chi-square analysis took place in order to profile each identified group according to their demographic characteristics. PCA identifies that citizens of the Regional District of Xanthi mainly believe that services of Regional District of Xanthi (a) indicate high professionalism and interest in people’s cases and (b) are characterized by consistency. Citizens (clients) who were served by those public agencies are classified into two groups: (a) those who believe that public sector services indicate high professionalism and interest in people’s cases and (b) those who believe that public sector services are characterized by consistency. Friedman test indicated that people think that the main problem public sectors face in Greece is the lack of personnel.

Lambros Tsourgiannis, Giannoula Florou, Stavros Valsamidis, Eleni Samioti, Savatoula Galanopoulou, Dimitris Tsianis

Social Marketing in the Public Sector - The Case of a Municipality in Croatia

Social marketing involves activities undertaken by individuals and organizations in order to achieve specific goals and can be used in non-profit and public organizations. Social marketing is the use of adapted standard marketing principles in order to change attitudes and behaviours of individuals and groups, to help minimize social problems and enhance the general welfare of society. The main objective of social marketing is to encourage positive social behaviour. The holders of social marketing can be institutions of public sector. Achieving better performance in public sector (in this case performance of municipalities in Croatia) on one hand and societal benefits on the other will be easier if the integrated approach of social marketing is used, applying marketing principles and techniques to influence the target audience. Taking into account a detailed theoretical analysis of specifics of social marketing, the main goal of this research is to determine to what extent the Municipality of Pakoštane applies the concept of social marketing in their work and to their key stakeholders and how much of the local population, as the most important stakeholder, is satisfied with the functioning of their local municipality. The final goal is to make recommendations and practical guidelines for improving the application of social marketing for municipalities and to highlight the existence of a clear link between the needs of citizens and improving public performances. Research results showed that the Municipality of Pakoštane isn’t familiar with the concept of social marketing and does not apply the concept of social marketing in their work. It is recommended to apply a given concept in dealing with psychosocial problems of the local population (addiction, delinquency and vandalism), by changing the behaviour of individuals. The cooperation of the Municipality with other stakeholders, such as schools, religious communities and the police, would be helpful in solving this problem. The Municipality of Pakoštane doesn’t successfully balance the relationships with their key stakeholders. Although the Municipality recognizes the relevant stakeholders, and each stakeholder is formed according to the special relations strategy, the research shows that the municipality isn’t successful in their actions. In this case, the recognized problem is the lack of interest and lack of information of the local population which is necessary to be changed because only informed citizens can participate in the decision-making process. When stakeholder engagement strategies are developed, the municipality should be guided by certain principles influencing the stakeholder engagement strategy and the characteristics of the stakeholders. The importance of theoretical and practical side of this chapter is also reflected in the possibilities of implementing the concept of social marketing to the other municipalities in Croatia, with the aim of improving public performance and better meeting the needs of citizens.

Josipa Bašić, Zoran Mihanović

Decision Support System for Marketing Metrics

The taxonomy of information systems oriented to decision-making and management describes decision support systems as one of the most complex. It provides support in making the right decisions for poorly structured and unstructured problems but can also be built for simple, routine tasks. The objectives of its building are “simplicity” of use and flexibility, “identification” and “description” of various business positions, and also proposal of an appropriate decision. The marketing metrics is a system of indicators about marketing mix elements: price, product, promotion, and distribution. Each indicator of marketing metrics “reveals” one of the components of the market and competitive position of the organizational system.The building of the decision support system that enables “fast” identify market position of organizational system is an essential element of a successful marketing strategy and efficiency of decisions at the tactical and operational management level. For example, the price, as element of the marketing mix, determines the position of the organizational system in primary distribution and ultimately the speed of its development and profitability. Decision support system provides assistance for accurate positioning of the price level and has a direct impact on customer decisions about buying products or services and ultimately to competitiveness and market position of organizational systems.The paper is based on the hypothesis that the theoretical and applicable knowledge about marketing metrics can be transferred in the form of decision support systems to help identify market position of organization system and the timely response to the “threat” from its environment but also the opportunities with final goal to increase the profitability and improve market positioning.In the building of decision support systems except data stored in databases, data warehouses or data marts an appropriate data set has to be extracted that will be used to calculate the indicators of the elements of the marketing mix. Data set contains data or variables needed to calculate the benchmarks. The experimental results show only the segment of the decision support system that helps in calculating the benchmarks for prices (elasticity of sales regarding the price changes) and products (cannibalization rate). The paper uses Visual Studio 2012 development environment and the R programming language for the application of the model for calculating the benchmarks of marketing metrics.

Sanja Bijakšić, Brano Markić, Arnela Bevanda

Designing an Intelligent Digital Signage System for Business Marketing

This study explores how to define popular contents using interactive screenshots. Each screenshot provides valuable data for contents. Analyzing data with intelligent software, popular contents will be chosen automatically for people using screenshot data. Then, each intelligent digital platform publishes popular content gathering interactive data through an autonomous environment. For this purpose, digital signage displays that have glass call equipment positioned at the strategic points of airports, metro stations, training reading rooms, canteens, bus stations, and gyms are used. Face recognition software (image process) is used to evaluate interest levels of the audience. System collects data (age, gender, ethnics, dwell time) from each digital point to find out how long they spend time in front of the specific contents. An intelligent system finds out which content is important for each group using collected data (age, gender, ethnics, dwell time) for each point. The content of this information is published at a specified point in the specified time period. Statistical reports are published using a variety of graphs for the managers to inform the digital signage platforms’ performances.

Cem Yıldız, Vahap Tecim

Assessing the Cost Information Usage at Higher Education Institutions - Case Study in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

In order to improve the planning process, calculation, allocation, and cost control at higher education institutions, it is necessary to keep track of costs, not only by the nature and places of costs but also by different programs and types of services. Since the information and data are the most important resources in the process of managing, the deployment of an adequate financial information system is the assumption in assurance of better governing with higher education institutions. Assuming that the appropriate accounting information system infrastructure is a support of the successful management, its content and structure should be seen as a function of increasing efficiency of financial management and evaluation of management in higher education institutions, not only during the execution of the objectives of the budget. The purpose of this paper is to show the current usage of cost information at higher education institutions in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina through empirical research and to investigate the opinions of accountants and financial officers regarding the possible implementation of cost accounting methodology at higher education institutions. The paper is analyzing the accounting system in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina at higher education systems, providing the information about the negative sides of the current accounting system for the recording and allocation of costs. A theoretical background about the usage of accrual accounting basis and cost accounting methodologies at higher education systems of different European countries is showing better governance and financial sustainability of higher education institutions that have already introduced cost accounting methodology. The empirical research is pointing out the difference in the observed two countries. The difference is visible through accounting systems, usage of cost information, and usage of cost allocation methods for calculating costs per student.

Ivana Dražić Lutilsky, Jelena Ćorić

Research Areas in Big Data Analytics Studies

Among the areas, which drive the economies of the modern world, big data analytics plays a significant part. Numerous scientific papers have been published in that field in the past 10 years, but only a few have investigated the research areas of big data analytics studies at the global level. To clarify the current state of the research and knowledge structure, this study carries out a co-occurrence analysis aiming to identify the clusters of main terms that co-occur in the examined papers and provide graphical visualization of relationships between those terms. Publications used in this study were determined on the basis of bibliometric analysis of the big data analytics papers published between 2000 and 2015 in all journals indexed by the Web of Science database. Presented study delivers an overview of the recent bibliometric research in the field and explains the used methodology. The implementation of the co-occurrence analysis is described deeply in the presented paper. The terms (sequences of nouns and adjectives ending with a noun) were extracted from the titles and the abstracts of the selected papers, and special software for visualizing bibliometric networks (VOSviewer) was used to create the term map, where the distances between terms signify the amount of their co-occurrences in the analyzed papers. Two clusters of significant size were indicated, each of them representing a major area of the research studies on the big data analytics. At the end the interpretation of the results, the discussion, and the avenues of further research are given. The proposed study supports the researchers in the area with the insights that allow them better understanding of the current state and the trends in the big data analytics research.

Luka Tomat

Students’ Perceptions on Quality and Satisfaction in Higher Education

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report the data found from an empirical study conducted in the service sector. It aims to assess the service quality and student satisfaction in higher private education university in Albania.Methodology: The study is based on data gathered from the students of the faculty of Economics and Information Technology. The instrument used to assess service quality and student satisfaction is was self-administered questionnaire. A modified SERVPERF version was used to measure service quality. The SPSS and factorial analysis were used to measure the effect of each dimension of service quality on the quality perceived by the students. These analyses were also used to show the impact of service quality on student satisfaction.Findings: The data show the effect of each dimension of service quality in quality assessment by the students. The statistical analysis demonstrates also the impact of each of them on student satisfaction.Contribution: By offering an empirical assessment of significant variables of students’ perceptions, this study contributes to the existing literature on measuring important variables of students’ perception in higher education. The findings will help these institutions to understand how students consider different aspects of their activities and on improving the service they offer.

Elvira Tabaku

Greek Tertiary Education System Evaluation in Respect of Quality Assurance Dimensions According to Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Model

The current study evaluates Greek students’ attitudes toward Quality Assurance Dimensions in Tertiary Education System with Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Model. Using a sample of 225 students describing Quality Assurance Dimensions in Tertiary Education, results of structural equation modeling and path analysis show that all of the hypothesized causal relationships in Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Model (MBNQA) are statistically significant.

Sofia D. Anastasiadou

Learning Styles and Preferences for Different Types of Courses and Teaching of Croatian Students of Business

An important element of individuals’ learning process is his or her learning style (LS). The fact is that each of us has a different kind of intelligence and learns and prefers to be taught differently. An individual’s personality determines a preferred approach to perceiving, acquiring, and processing new information. These approaches in the literature are called LSs. LSs affect the learning outcomes of students and influence their educational development as well as their academic achievements. The knowledge about students’ LS can help them to maximize their learning outcomes. The way students learn is important not just for them and their success in education but also for teachers and the faculty providing the education. The way tasks and instructional strategies are designed can facilitate and enhance students’ learning which in turn may result in the improvement of the quality of education overall. To achieve mutual effectiveness for students and teachers, it is necessary to gain deeper insights into students’ preferred LSs.This research aims at identifying the LS preferences of Croatian students of business as well as their preferences for different types of courses and teaching (CTPs). It examines the potential relationship between these two elements of learning process. To our knowledge, there has been no research that has investigated this connection. The literature has overlooked the topic of preferences for the teaching and course types according to student’s LS preferences. Linking these two variables and analyzing their compatibility is the first step in gathering information which can help to answer the frequently asked question: how to improve the quality of learning and teaching in higher education? In order to accomplish stated purpose of the research, two inventory instruments were used: the VARK instrument to examine LS preferences and the third part (Part C) of the ASSIST questionnaire to examine students’ CTPs. VARK is a questionnaire that provides users with their LS preferences based on their perceptual modality preferences which refer to the way they extract information from their environments through the senses. It has often been employed in previous research for assessing LSs of students of business. It is simple, quick, and easy for students to understand and complete, and it is regarded by relevant literature as a reliable and quality instrument. ASSIST has also been proven to be a valuable, valid, and appropriate instrument for measuring students’ approaches to learning.The results of the survey are interesting and somewhat puzzling. They indicate the dominant LS preferences as well as dominant CTPs according to age, gender, year of study, and course of study. Some student percentages indicate that they can use more than one LS. The relationship between LS preferences and CTPs was not determined. Based on the overall findings, the research offers foundation for future research in this area. The implications of the findings are discussed in terms of learning and teaching.

Bulog Ivana, Matić Ivan

Comparative Analysis of Internal Reporting at Higher Education Institutions of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Efficient management is one of the key challenges for every higher education institution. That is especially highlighted in conditions of increased demands on the one side and decreased or limited financial resources on the other side. One of the most important preconditions for the aforementioned issue is the quality accounting information system at higher education institutions. Financial reports that are obligatory by the normative framework are not sufficient for quality decision-making process. Therefore, it is inevitable to develop internal reporting systems that would fit the specifics of higher education system and internal users’ requirements, primarily management. Developed higher education institutions have already developed instruments of cost and managerial accounting from which they prepare different internal reports. In that context, this paper aims to present level of usage of internal reports at higher education institutions of developing countries, more precisely Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Authors have conducted the empirical research based on questionnaires in the year 2016. The questionnaires were sent to all public higher education institutions in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through conducted research, authors have provided answers on several research questions primarily focused on main reasons for preparing internal reports, time period for preparing internal reports and usage of internal reports. The results of this paper might be very useful for further development of internal reporting systems of observed countries. But also it can be very helpful for all countries that are in the similar situation and are facing the problem of development of quality accounting information system that will be a base for more efficient and effective management at higher education institutions.

Martina Dragija Kostić, Bobana Čegar

M&A in ICT Sector: Methodology of Parameters Analysis

Investigation of mergers and acquisitions in ICT sector becomes more and more important with the development of the information economy. Nowadays a vast number of new technologies are created in the information sector. The start-up creation and its profitable sale encourage more and more entrepreneurs to develop new information technologies. In such circumstances the giant companies are trying to get the best technology as early and as cheap as possible. These processes have particular importance for the Eastern European region (especially for Ukraine), where the creation and dissemination of new technologies go relatively slow.The paper presents the methodology of mergers and acquisitions parameters analysis. It includes (1) forming the list of factors that affect the project perspectives, (2) finding the patterns of deals using visualization methodology, (3) identifying the clusters of deals using Kohonen maps, and (4) predicting project perspectives using fuzzy logic.The methodology could help Ukrainian entrepreneurs to find its own niche in the ICT market and contribute to the creation and dissemination of new technologies in developing countries.

Kateryna Kononova, Vadym Hadetskyi

Web-Based IT Firm Evaluation: Which One Is the Right Solution?

In recent years, organizations’ information technology (IT) spending increases 20% compared to the previous years. Besides that IT budgets are indeed continuing to make a nice recovery. Organizations need better strategy for making IT expenditures more effectively. However, the managers of the companies that use information technology effectively are not always having enough information about obtaining IT services. In this context, the aim of this study is to provide a web-based solution for organizations using multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods found in literature without the need for professional software support. In this scope web application was developed, and MCDM techniques have been presented to users. In the scope of this study, a web-based application using MCDM techniques has been developed for organizations searching for the optimal IT company. The application has been developed in regard to organizations to gain easy access, because neither public institutions nor small-scale firms have the sufficient funds or expert staff for a subject that requires expertise like MCDM techniques. The most important challenge of the study is using the MCDM techniques within a web-based application to produce more accurate results for the end user. To achieve this, the MCDM models’ cross tabulation, evaluation based on rank, and weighted criteria were used and the results were compared.

Cigdem Tarhan, Can Aydin, Mert Bozdag

Digital Divide in Greece - A Quantitative Examination of Internet Nonuse

During the last decade, the Internet take-up rate in Greece among individuals is much lower compared with the EU average. This paper investigates issues of the digital divide in Greece, by analyzing micro-data from the Eurostat ICT survey on household and individuals in 2012.It aims to quantify and explain the influence of socio-economic and demographic factors (employment status, gender, age, household income, geographic location, country of citizenship, family status, and educational attainment), in the decision to have Internet access at home and use the Internet.This paper shows that educational attainment, age, income, employment status, family status, country of citizenship and type of locality are the most important factors determining Internet access and Internet use.The most important reason for not having Internet access at home is the lack of skills, while lower educated people face many different barriers to engage with the Internet. Greek non-users are a large and socio-economically disadvantaged heterogeneous group. In order to adopt effective policy interventions, there should be more focused research to understand which subgroups of people, and for which reasons do not access and use the Internet.

Elias Gounopoulos, George Kokkonis, Stavros Valsamidis, Sotirios Kontogiannis
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