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About this book

The present volume addresses a set of challenges on the pass toward a more sustainable economy and society. Departing from conventional rhetoric on sustainability, the book is an invitation to reflect more closely on everyday routines, on the fundamentals and effects of current activities.​

Table of Contents


Connections between Spirituality and Sustainability

In our society, people focus more on sustainability, spirituality and quality. They reached a level of awareness where the durability of things is compulsory in the daily society. This awareness is due to the emphathy towards nature, future generations and for the evolution of a healthy society by all means. This applies to business as well. More and more companies adopt and develop strategies that take into account this level of awareness, promoting the spiritual side and the sustainable outcome. These organisations form communities which assimilate new information better due to the openess towards a muticultural environment, and thanks to technology, the performance and sustainability is increasing. The new trends are spirituality and sustenability. Because they are completing, one does not exist without the other. The purpose of this paper is to deepen our understanding about the importance of spirituality in our communities and organisations, and to understand its connections to sustainability. This paper is useful for entrepreneurs, employees and all individuals involved in different businesses.
Cristian Bogan Onete, Sonia Budz, Ioana Teodorescu

Synergies of Longevity / Silver Economy and Senior Entrepreneurship for a Sustainable Society. The Case of Romania

The growing ageing population phenomenon is both a challenge and an opportunity at both social and economic levels. Related to this major demographic shift, longevity/ silver economy and senior entrepreneurship are emerging fields providing a rich topic for scientific studies, largely unexploited and requiring new approaches. The purpose of our paper is to contribute to a more in-depth understanding of those two low documented fields, by emphasizing their increasing dynamic, main features and synergies through an extensive and thorough analysis. The new generated knowledge, using an exploratory qualitative research, based on a semi-structured interview guide, revealed relevant aspects regarding Romanian elderly as entrepreneurs: their profile, driving motivations, some of the main obstacles they have to overcome and measures that may support their endeavour. As the first to address such subjects, our paper can contribute to the complex process of raising awareness about Romanian silver economy and seniors’ untapped potential.
Mariana Drăgușin, Mirela Octavia Sîrbu, Raluca Mariana Grosu, Alina-Elena Iosif

Exploring Gender Differences in Leadership: Cultural and Social Issues in Romania

The development of the society has been marked by the male-female relationships, by individual evolution and also by their interaction. Although, presently, one would often hear about the gender equality, there are still countries where the opportunities for women and, respectively, men are different, not only in the social sphere but also in the economic one. This paper presents not only some defining aspects regarding the leading styles that women and men adopt, but also representative analyses that demonstrate the fact that, although progress has been made in regard to gender equality see my comment above) in both the social and economic sphere, yet, gender discrimination in leadership does exist.
Andreea Simona Săseanu, Mihai Adrian Felea, Daniel Ion Zgură

Organic vs. Conventional Food in Romania: An Overview of the Buying Decision

In this chapter, the Romanian organic food sector is analysed from a consumer’s perspective, mainly behaviours or preferences towards organic vs conventional food. The analyse is necessary as organic food represents a trending and debated sector, generating solutions for multiple issues but at higher costs and by declining other industries (genetic engineering). Thus, this chapter presents the main factors that influence the buying decision, when exchanging conventional to an organic choice. A literature review contributes to designing an organic purchase matrix for Romanian consumers. The identified model distinguishes multiple interacting layers, each factor standing as a validation point for the subsequent: socio-demographic, economic, knowledge, personal beliefs, products characteristics, guarantees, availability. The last part of the research represents a matrix testing phase, the main results of a quantitative analysis supports the model’s variable sequence and highlights a limitation of the buying decision at the first level of factors: socio-demographic and economic.
Magdalena Bobe, Maria–Alexandra Toma, Roxana Procopie

The Supremacy of Superficial Forms of Culture in the Preferences of the Young Consumer – a Dominant Characteristic of the Nowadays Consumer Society

Contemporary globalized society is a society of spectacle whose predominant feature is the supremacy of images on ideas and where the consumer no longer focuses primarily on the acquisition of goods and the use of classical services but on the multiplication of consumption experiences and the pleasure of experimentation itself, both of them easily obtained, at low costs and risks-free. Thus, the entertainment, which occupies an increasingly important place in the values’ hierarchy of the society of spectacle, tends to rapidly cover this hedonic dimension of consumption manifested through the exaggerated desire of people to have fun and easily spend their free time, at the expense of the values of the high culture. In this context, the purpose of our research is to establish a “pattern” of consumption within the new generation of consumers in Romania, which exhibits a easily observable cultural mimetism, related to the values of the society of spectacle. In this respect, we realised a pilot survey using the consumption journal technique, by highlighting the share of the expenditure allocated to culture and, respectively, the expenditure allocated to entertainment in total consumption expenditures.
Lelia Voinea, Dorin Vicențiu Popescu, Teodor Mihai Negrea

Higher Education in Romania. Trends, Analysis and Statistics

In the last 25 years, Romanian higher education has been characterised by a number of transformations as a result of the need to modernise and to adapt to the business environment requirements, to the economic evolution, to the influence exerted by demographic factors or to the globalisation process. During 1995 – 2002, Romanian private higher education experienced a spectacular growth, followed by a sharp fall, which is manifest at present too, due to the lack of qualified staff and of material resources adequate for an appropriate educational process. State universities had a relatively constant evolution in the analysed period, with slight fluctuations, which were mainly caused by demographic factors and the economic crisis. The present paper carried out an analysis of the national higher education system from the perspective of the tertiary education services market concentration degree (ISCED levels 6, 7 and 8), at an administrative and proprietary form level. The results of the study showed a high concentration degree of educational institutions at a local level. The market of higher education services, offered by state universities, is characterised by moderate values of the Gini Struck Index and by an average concentration degree. The results of the research can be useful for the university management systems and for government officials in order to adopt some measures which could lead to a flexibility of the Romanian higher education system, adapting it to the business environment and to society requirements.
Silvius Stanciu, Roxana Sârbu, Doru Alexandru Pleşea, Raluca Crina Bucur

An Empirical Evaluation of a Business Administration Bachelor Program

Against the background of the continuous dynamics of the demand and supply of educational institutions, the role of student satisfaction in higher education is steadily increasing. The results of the students’ satisfaction assessment allow the identification of the strengths and weaknesses of the university and the elaboration of the strategies for increasing the quality of the offered services. Therfor, this paper presents the results of an extended research conducted to determine the overall satisfaction regarding the educational offer of the Faculty of Business and Tourism from Bucharest University of Economics Studies. The results of the survey among graduates of the Bachelor Program in Business Administration offered by the faculty indicates a positive assessment of the curriculum and a perceived usefulness of the program related to the labor market demands.
Cristinel Vasiliu, Irina Albăstroiu, Răzvan Dina, Mihaela Bucur

Using Colors for Efficient Problem Solving in Learning

A wide variety of learning, training the brain and knowledge assessment designs are being used both in educational institutions and in private companies, some of them proving to be more effective than others. Since learning involves cognition and the use of brain hemispheres in different degrees, our aim was to analyze if and how colors influence the complex cognitive processes required for logical and visual space perception solving tasks. A research designed for this purpose among students of Bucharest University of Economic Studies indicated that respondents’ personal liking or disliking different hues is not connected with their preference for colors they want to see when solving problems. Differences were found between online problem-solving materials and printed on paper problem solving materials in what concerns colors chosen for visualization, as well as between genders and their choices for the colors when solving problems.
Irina Maiorescu, Smaranda Giuşcă, Gabriel Cristian Sabou

Innovation for Companies – Increased Application by Better Understanding its Particularities

Innovation is often as complex and hard to manage by companies as there is clearly a high desire for it to be performed. In spite of the important advance in research literature on innovation and the important contribution that different international organizations had towards clarifying its meaning, current business practices frequently show a lack of consistency in understanding and applying it. Our research aims to address the main innovation particularities for companies in order to simplify its meaning and increase its application. By identifying key innovation types, activities, sources and explaining the company’s role in innovation diffusion, correlated to different novelty degrees, this can represent a step forward in social and economic development. Besides the documentary analysis, a semi structured interview was performed to better understand how companies address innovation.
Rodica Pamfilie, Robert Bumbac, Andra Vasilcovschi

Startup Assistance Organizations: Performance Influence Factors and Metrics

New ventures face an ever-growing challenge of survival and development in today’s dynamic and extremely competitive business environment. In this context, during the last two decades more and more startup assistance organizations have developed promising success and profitability to their cohort. Given that new ventures are one of the driving forces of global economy, the subject has acquired the attention of both the business and the academic community. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview on the types of startup assistance organizations, present a synthesized analysis of the most relevant support program performance influence factors and offer insight of the type of metrics used by these organizations to evaluate program performance. The presented synthesis is based on an extensive scientific literature review and analysis from the past two decades. This is setting the foundation for further research on how to design effective and successful startup support programs.
Ioana Ceaușu, Marieta Olaru, Gregor Weber, Markus Bodemann

Risk Management Methods: FMEA and its Influence on Risk Handling Costs

This chapter proposes the extension of the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) model as more reliable and efficient way of managing risks. The control mechanisms that quantify and analyse the consequences of risk materialization and its probability of appearance are usually considered by managers using subjective data. How can we measure if the probability of appearance of one risk is high or medium? The objective of this paper is finding new ways of introducing FMEA’s detection as a third parameter in the risk assessment matrix and establishing weather the evaluation is more efficient or not. The methodology includes interviews with managers and specialists that handle risk management processes in their organizations and that share an opinion on extending the risk matrix and improving the whole risk assessment process in order to cut risk handling costs.
Ruxandra Maria Mateescu, Vasile Dinu, Mihaela Maftei

Derivation of a Modified Technology Acceptance Model for the Application on Self-driving Cars in a Car-sharing-model Based on Qualitative Research

New transport modes and business models in addition to changing customer re-quirements admit future urban mobility. While technological advancements charac-terize new or adapted forms of transport modes, social changes such as the require-ment for more flexibility, put forward the need for a paradigm change in regard to mobility. New and adapted business models as well as the entry of new players in the mobility sector, demonstrate the possibilities of a changing mobility environment.
Acceptance on the individual side, as a major prerequisite for developing viable business models accordingly, is an internal process affected by external factors, including time. Based on these findings and the analysis of correlation of information/knowledge, a modified and three-dimensional acceptance model was designed, subdividing the process into different temporal phases.
Wiebke Geldmacher, Vanessa Just, Benjamin Grab, Andreas Kompalla
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