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Employer Branding as a Source of Competitive Advantage of Retail Chains

Abstract

Purpose: Developing a strong, favourable employer brand of a retail chain may be regarded as an important means of creating a competitive advantage. Retail chains should attract personnel with desired competence required for their particular purposes. The retail sector in Poland is perceived as a strongly disliked employer. Thus employer branding can be an important element of strategies adopted by retail chains operating in Poland.

The main objective of this paper is to analyse the development of employer branding strategies implemented by selected global retailers operating in Poland and the impact of such strategies on their respective competitive positions in the Polish market. The time frame for the analysis is the period of 2009–2014.

Research design and methods: In addition to a review of the literature on the development of employer brands, this paper includes a case study of a few global retail chains operating in Poland.

The paper is based on the assumption that retail chains pursue competitive advantage by developing employer brand strategies.

Implications and recommendations: A continued engagement in strategic activities in the field of employer branding is very important for retail chains. Decision makers need to pay special attention to the promotion of their retail chains as a good workplace, using employer branding techniques.

Open access
Etatism versus liberalism: Economic attitudes in Poland after the world crisis

Abstract

Purpose: The paper analyses etatist and liberal economic attitudes in Poland, their changes after the last economic crisis, and the differences in this respect between socio-occupational groups with a particular focus on managers, professionals, and business owners, on the one hand, and other working and non-working groups, on the other hand.

Methodology: Individual-level data from three representative surveys conducted in 2012,2 2016, and 2017 on stratified random samples of the whole adult Polish population are analyzed.

Findings: Despite public legitimization of economy based on private ownership and the free market, Polish public opinion still shows strong preference for public ownership and state interventionism. This preference slowly diminishes. It differs between various socio-occupational groups: managers, professionals, and business owners are more liberal than others, especially non-working people and farmers.

Research implications: Since strengthening the regulatory and controlling functions of the government in economic life is the recent tendency in Poland and other countries, the slowly growing liberal attitudes may counteract this direction. So far, however, the Polish public opinion strongly supports governmental intervention in the economy.

Originality: So far, no one wrote a similar analysis of changes in etatist and liberal economic attitudes in the post-crisis Poland.

Open access
How do we study crowdfunding? An overview of methods and introduction to new research agenda

Abstract

Purpose: Crowdfunding is a global phenomenon of rising significance and impact on different areas of business and social life, investigated across many academic disciplines. The goal of the article is to present the variety of methods applied in crowdfunding research, assess their strengths and weaknesses, offer the typology of methodological approaches, and suggest the most promising direction for further studies.

Design/methodology: The paper is based on the review of the most recent academic and industry literature on crowdfunding and own analysis of data presented by crowdfunding platforms’ operators.

Findings: The article incorporates interrelations of methods, goals of inquiries, and types of results propose a typology of methodological approaches that researchers currently apply to crowdfunding: from platform-centred to multi-sited. The authors discuss the advantages and limitations of the identified approaches with the use of multiple examples of recent and most influential studies from the field and propose the most urgent direction of future inquiries.

Research limitations/implications: The overview renders crowdfunding studies more accessible for potential newcomers to the field and strengthens transdisciplinary discussion on crowdfunding. Despite the broad variety of the analyzed articles that reflect the newest trends, the sample is not representative in the statistical meanings of the term.

Originality/value: The article offers the first review of methodologies applied in the transdisciplinary area of crowdfunding studies and connects it to broader methodological discussions about transdisciplinary research on the digital phenomena. The review strengthens the transdisciplinary dialog on crowdfunding.

Open access
Impact of the January Effect on Return Rates in the Markets of the 2004 EU Enlargement

Abstract

Purpose: The article presents the results of a study conducted for the January effect. This anomaly is best recognized in the capital markets. In this case, we find explanation of its appearance based on both fundamental analysis and heuristics used by investors. The research focuses on the markets of the European Union enlargement countries of 2004. There are three hypotheses stated in the article:

Hypothesis 1: The January Effect occurs in the analyzed markets.

Hypothesis 2: The January Effect weakens over time.

Hypothesis 3: The January Effect weakens with the development of a market.

Methodology: Three methods verified the hypotheses: tests of differences, average and median rate of return, and dynamic models paneled with the estimation of parameters and the generalized method of moments.

Findings: The January Effect exists in the analyzed markets. The anomaly weakens over time but, after accession to the European Union, January return rates increase significantly.

Limitation: The definite verification was difficult due to the available methods and data. Further research in this field is, therefore, needed.

Originality: The originality of the paper stems from the construction of the sample – new evidence from post-communist countries – which became the European Union members in 2004. The next important issue is the period of twenty years after the economic transformation – ten before and ten after the enlargement of the EU.

Open access
Snobbish Bandwagoners: Ambiguity of Luxury Goods’ Perception

Abstract

Purpose: The article explores the grounds of possible interrelations of snob and bandwagon consumers’ inclinations in the luxury fashion sector. The reason to investigate this comes from the growth of inconsistent evidence among analyses of this subject. Consumers’ perception of luxury goods seems not only compound but also quite ambiguous at the same time. One of its reasons may be the wrong assumption that snob and bandwagon inclinations are opposite trends that cannot co-exist among individual motives of luxury purchases.

Methodology and findings: The mixed method research – in the form of international consumers’ e-survey and semi-structured interviews with affluent consumers – reveals that mutual relations of these two trends are clearly visible and can both motivate purchase at the same time.

Open access
Social value added (SVA) as an adaptation of economic value added (EVA) to the specificity of cultural institutions

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to present the concept of social value added (SVA) as a tool for measuring the effectiveness of the activity of not-for-profit cultural institutions.

Methodology: A direct application of the measure of economic value added (EVA) in the case of evaluation of non-profit activity of cultural institutions would be impossible because of the specificity of such organizations, which – as distinct from standard enterprises – are not oriented on generating financial gains. The article covers several successive modifications of EVA, which lead eventually to the measure of social value added (SVA). This parameter represents the difference between the social impact of an evaluated institution and the social cost of capital involved in the conducted activity. A positive SVA means that the activity carried out by the institution subject to evaluation is socially viable. The method of SVA calculation presented in the article has been supported by a numerical example.

Findings: The modifications presented in this article make it possible to adapt economic value added (EVA) to the needs and specificity of not-for-profit public cultural institutions. Applying a modified EVA parameter, that is SVA, in cultural institutions may facilitate the process of management and the measurement of effective utilization of resources of these entities.

Originality/value: Published sources seldom tend to cover the tools improving management process or making it possible to measure the effects achieved by public cultural institutions. The solution discussed in this paper is a contribution to the body of reference literature in the said scope.

Open access
Behavioural Economics in the Context of Social Science Methodology

Abstract

Purpose: The article discusses selected methodological issues of natural and social sciences with particular consideration of behavioural economics to highlight the significance of experimental research. Design approach: The order of the issues covered is as follows: (a) science as a product of a research community, (b) basic cognitive activities in science, (c) a short description of social sciences, (d) a discussion on the methods applied in behavioural economics. Findings: The article offers a description of research procedure, its objectives and the methods applied therein; it has been stressed that testing theories and hypotheses involves exposing them to falsification; it has been emphasised that research conducted within the framework of social sciences is more difficult than in the case of natural sciences because of the large number of independent variables and the possible interaction between the researcher and research participants. Practical implications: The content presented in the article highlights the value of scientific findings as opposed to common-sense knowledge adopted with the disregard of the principles of proper methodology. Value: The authors believe that the emergence of behavioural economics was an attempt to overcome certain deficiencies in the methodology of classical economics by means of experimental research.

Open access
Creating and Delivering Value for Consumers of Healthy Food – a Case Study of Organic Farma Zdrowia S.A.

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to analyse selected aspects of the marketing strategy of the first and biggest network of self-service shops with organic products in Poland - Organic Farma Zdrowia. Methodology: The adopted methodology involves a qualitative approach. The case study is based on an analysis of company documents and marketing communication, especially that offered on its website and in its social media channels. Findings: The company specializes in distribution of organic products in Poland. It has gone through organic growth, acquisitions, attracting a Dutch investment fund, and entering the NewConnect stock exchange. It operates based on the model of multichannel distribution, combining physical and online retailing. The assortment consists of 4,000 products, including organic food, cosmetics, and cleaning aids. The company has managed to create 3 own label product lines. The online retailer belonging to the company (organic24.pl) is organized in a professional way, although some improvements are possible. In 2015, the company engaged in ambitious marketing projects. Practical implications: The findings may be useful for the Organic Farma Zdrowia company as certain modifications in its marketing communication are recommended. Other companies operating in the sector may also benefit from the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the business in question. Furthermore, our case study may offer a framework of reference for researchers interested in this area. Originality: This is the first study to examine the strategy and marketing activities of Organic Farma Zdrowia, a major player in the sector of organic food distribution in Poland.

Open access
Exploring Companies’ Innovation Policies in the Industrial Sector in Central and Eastern Europe

Abstract

Purpose: Despite the importance of innovation, the full innovation potential of companies operating in the industrial sector of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) seems not to have been unlocked yet. Thus, the primary purpose of the study was to explore the key elements of company innovation policies applied on the way to successful innovation. Methodology: The study is based on qualitative methods. The aim of the study has been achieved through 24 semi-structured interviews conducted with senior management, project leaders, and R&D specialists employed at companies operating in the industrial sector in CEE. The time frame covers the period of the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. Findings: Managing disruption consists of focusing on innovation development stage and following market imperatives by making the innovation try to address the market needs. Balancing portfolio requires considering product and process innovation jointly. Furthermore, 62% of the interviewees say that breakthrough innovation results ultimately from numerous incremental advancements. As far as policy integration is concerned, achieving competitive advantage through internal research is common amongst technological leaders, while market contenders turn to external cooperation. Moreover, incorporating CSV principles into the concept of innovation policy appears to be a necessity. Managing intangibilities comes down to patents. Research limitations: The research was burdened with such limitations as respondents experiencing time pressure and the use of only one source of information (the interviewees). Originality: Despite much general evidence, the study attempts to complement the rare qualitative studies on innovation in CEE. It was carried out as a response to the lack of an in-depth study covering such recurrent challenges in the field of company innovation policies as disruption, portfolio balancing, integration, intangibilities’ management, and play.

Open access
How to Successfully Internationalize SMEs from the CEE Region: The Role of Strategies of Differentiation and Education

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to better understand why some SMEs who pursue a niche strategy on the international scale are more effective with a differentiation via innovation while others with marketing differentiation. Methodology: Therefore, the paper studies the effectiveness of different points of differentiation (innovation, marketing) of hidden champion type of companies: (1) from the perspective of the unknowns of the key success factors in the specific market segment, and (2) from the perspective of the professional mindset/education of the strategist. Findings: The results show that differentiation via innovation positively impacts firm performance when there are many market unknowns over key success factors, whereas marketing differentiation positively impacts firm performance when there are few market unknowns over key success factors. On the other hand, when top management earns a business education, the impact of marketing differentiation on firm performance is significant, positive, and strong. The effectiveness of differentiation via innovation does not depend on education. Research limitations/implications: These results mostly consider the hidden champion type of companies, which prefer not to reveal themselves or their data to the public. The transferability of this research is thus limited. Originality/value: This paper studies the hidden champion type of companies, which usually receive little attention from researchers, through the lens of differentiation via innovation and marketing differentiation as two distinct ways of competing as their effectiveness is contingent on the market unknowns.

Open access