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Internet-Mediated Dialog with Consumers: A Cross-Industry Multiple-Case Study of Polish Exporters

Abstract

Purpose: The paper explores the online dialog of firms and consumers through corporate websites and social networks. The objective is to investigate the state of this dialog, its mechanisms, and outcomes in four export-oriented manufacturing companies that represent a wide spectrum of industries, including FMCG and durable goods, low-priced and expensive products, purchased with high and low involvement.

Methodology: A multiple-case study was used as the research method, with data sourced from in-depth interviews, observations, and published documents.

Findings: The findings show all managers agree that dialog with consumers is useful, they allocate resources to support it, but its intensity is underwhelming. Dialog effects were reported as positive but only as anecdotal evidence without validation in reliable data, which underscores measuring difficulties. It seems that dialog is the easiest to implement in and brings the most substantial benefits for high-involvement products but, even there, the feedback from consumers is not effectively used for developing product innovations. The major obstacle that restricts rich dialog is not technology but the intensity, speed, and quality of personal contact between employees and consumers.

Originality: The empirical material presented here offers original insights that foster a better understanding of online dialog between consumers and manufacturing companies. Our study contributes to the stream of research on value co-creation.

Open access
Is Global Competitiveness Speeding Up the Growth in the EU? A Panel Data Analyis

Abstract

The paper documents the impact of global competitiveness on economic growth in the EU Member States. In a panel data approach, for a time span of 10 years (2008- 2017), a validated influence of Global Competitiveness Index on annual rate of GDP in the EU countries was found. The impact is higher in the group of Eastern and Central European countries (ECE) than in the Western European (well developed) countries, as well as at European economy level.

Open access
The Notion of Age in Organizational Research

Abstract

Purpose: The article critically reflects on the issue of age in workforces in human resource management and related fields. Age is widely used by scholars to denote the entire workforce of a company. The vast remit of this concept has resulted in many ongoing debates, such as young vs. old employees, mature employees, the aging workforce, as well as various stereotypes pertaining to age in academic research.

Methodology: The paper reviews recent academic literature: articles from peer-reviewed journals, written in English, and published in 2000–2018. Keywords and elimination criteria are explained in the corresponding section.

Findings: Research in this field shows the use of inhomogeneous groups in accordance to their age, which ultimately threatens to hinder the comparability of undertaken studies in this domain.

Research implications: There exists no clear consensus regarding the age-markers or barriers used to distinguish the workforce of an organization or to form groups of employees of a given age-cluster.

Originality: This text is the first review of studies in the field, in which age has been the main criterion to distinguish workforce. The review encourages dialog among scholars from various disciplines as a way to lessen discrepant categorizations.

Open access
Regulations of the Financial Market in Poland. Equilibrium Vs. Inversion

Abstract

The subject of this study is the legal regulations concerning the banking and stock market sector. The research objective is to identify the issue of the adequacy of legal regulations on the modern financial market. The object of the research is the banking institutions and companies listed on the stock exchange. The following research methods were used, i.e. the analysis of the literature, analysis of legal acts, observations, descriptive, comparative and case study analysis. It was found that there has been an increase in the level of detail and restrictiveness of legal regulations in recent years, both in relation to the banking sector and to the stock market. In addition, the legislative revolution not only continues, but is also gaining momentum. Thus we could formulate a conclusion about the inversion of the modern financial market. The financial market was to facilitate business operations through access to capital. Currently, excessive regulations indicate the growing legal barriers to entering the financial market and conducting business activity in it.

Open access
Risks in the Investment Activity of Polish Regions

Abstract

Investment activities executed by regional authorities are exposed to high risk. The risk results from the very essence of investment projects implemented by regions in Poland and can be associated with the failure to meet the regional budget. The purpose of this study is to assess the size of the existing discrepancies between the planned and actually incurred investment expenditure and to find out if there are systematic changes in the level of these discrepancies i subsequent years. This goal was achieved through the presentation of the specific approach to risk measurement in the investment activities of local government units. The research was undertaken by regional self-government units. Empirical research has allowed us to answer three research questions: how great were the disparities between the planned and the actually incurred investment costs in the Polish regions in 2011-2015? Did systematic changes in the level of inconsistency between the planned and the actually incurred costs take place in the observed period? Was the rate of failure to meet investment plans correlated with the rate of failure to meet operational financial plans?

Open access
The Social Impact Bond as a Financial Instrument

Abstract

Social impact bonds are an innovative mechanism for financing social tasks with the financial resources of private investors. The repayment of the capital invested and capital gains depends on obtaining apredetermined social aim that is paid for by the public side under the “payment for results” formula. The previous work on this mechanism focused mainly on its task and organizational dimension. In this paper, the author attempts to define the social impact bond as afinancial instrument. In particular, the financial side of the mechanism is considered. First, an attempt is made to determine the place of the social impact bond in the theoretical classifications of financial instruments. Second, the place of the instrument is indicated in the system of financial law. Finally, some remarks are made on the need to have the new instrument regulated in Polish legislation.

Open access
Study of Consumer’s Unconscious Reaction towards the Use of Anthropomorphic Appearance of AI: An Eye-Tracking Experiment

Abstract

With disruptive technologies constantly emerging, the impact of artificial intelligence is becoming a relevant topic nowadays. An extensive investment in business intelligence support systems has been recognized as one of the top priorities of most successful managers. However, these constant internal changes of systems and management styles rarely happen smooth and natural, and frequently they trigger serious issues for the companies and its interactions with their customers. Implementations like automated call centers and online payment systems are just mainstream examples which can be used to show the numerous implications of the intrusion of artificial intelligence systems in our everyday life. With the increasing use of various forms of technology, an ongoing discussion has emerged about people's willingness to accept these technological trends. There are, of course, both pro and counter arguments to be discussed. In this article there are presented the results of an eye-tracking experiment about the reaction of consumers towards several forms of artificial intelligence. It has been shown that consumers have the tendency to react more at unexpected situations involving robots and forms of artificial intelligence.

Open access
Sustainable Smart Cities: A Fog Computing Framework for a Smart Urban Transport Network

Abstract

In the present paper, a fog computing framework for smart urban transport is developed. The proposed framework is adapted to the smart city concept. It uses a collaborative multitude of end-user clients to carry out a substantial amount of communication and computation. It can be adapted for specific situations of smart cities in Romania, such as: Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași or Bucharest. Economic and social implications as well as available European funding sources are presented.

Open access
Aspects of Innovation and Technology Transfer in Romania

Abstract

Technological information, knowledge transfer, research and innovation are factors of success in the contemporary economy. Romania is on the last place in Europe in terms of innovation, and the Romanian regions occupy the last positions the picture of the European innovation at the regional level. The paper presents a presentation of the situation of the innovation in Romania, with aspects concerning the need for innovation of SMEs. Domestic companies need innovation to cope with the European and international competition. The collaboration with the university/research institutes and the patent/license acquisition have a low share, showing the lack of technology transfer and of certain partnerships between the business environment and the research area.

The establishment of networks specialized in technological transfer, with government support, can be a solution for the sustainable growth of the national economy.

Open access
Competitiveness for Knowledge Society: from Nature to New Developments and Challenges

Abstract

This article tracks the emergence of the concept of competitiveness. A historical review of the achievements of foreign and Bulgarian authors is presented, as well as a grounded critical assessment of the different aspects of the category under consideration. An aggregate assessment of the achievements at the present stage is provided. Few directions for new developments and challenges of competitiveness research are outlined.

Open access