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Shamsul Huq Bin Shahriar, Sayed Arafat, Md. Fayjullah Khan and Mahbub Ul Islam

Abstract

Purpose of the research is to investigate service recovery strategies in case of small restaurant brands, customer perception regarding these strategies and their expectations intensely. As the study is qualitative and exploratory in nature, data were collected via in-depth interviews from duo perspective; i.e. service providers’ and customers’ perspective. The results showed that even though the managements are very cautious as regards the service recovery strategies, and customers’ complaints, but sometimes even common service recovery actions fall below the customers’ anticipations. On the other hand, restaurant those are somehow innovative with their recovery strategies; i.e. designed with a clear understanding of customers’ needs, involving customers with the recovery strategies, empowering the service staffs, emphasizing on continuous improvement and customer engagement are getting more responses in case of customer satisfaction, loyalty; and finally, ensures firms sustainability in competitive market as well.

Open access

Marcela Tittlová

Abstract

The neglect of seniors is a major problem of the society. In terms of various European documents, maltreatment is qualified as one of the forms of domestic violence. It is undoubtedly one of the latest forms we encounter in domestic violence. The generators of the attacks could be different family members as well as those who are responsible for the care of the seniors. In any case, it is a very negative social phenomenon even in the context of the constant aging of the population and in social and economic context. Seniors are a particularly vulnerable category of people, very similar to children. For this reason, this problem can be considered as an integral and inseparable part of the complex of domestic violence.

Open access

Ivana Blažková

Abstract

The paper aimed to contribute to the literature on the determinants of firm profitability, from the perspective of the Czech economy. We followed a multilevel/hierarchical approach towards the analysis of the sectoral and firm-level determinants of the profitability of companies operating in the Czech food processing industry during years 2005-2012 (622 Firms in 10 Sectors). We assessed an impact of industry (i.e. market concentration, sector growth rate and growth rate of imports) and firm-level characteristics (i.e. market share, firm age, firm size, number of employees, debt/equity ratio and short-term risk) on the return on assets (ROA). Surprisingly, there were no substantial differences between the separate models for industry and firm-level determinants and a combined one. We found a positive impact of market concentration and market share and a negative effect of age and risk-taking behaviour on a firm profitability. Based on these findings, managers in the Czech food and drink industry should pay more attention to the debt policy.

Open access

Monica Roman and Vasile Alecsandru Strat

Abstract

The answer to the following question summarizes the research presented in this manuscript: “Are Romanian immigrants in the EU countries enhancing the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows towards Romania?”, and as a consequence it makes the results of the paper a useful tool for all Romanian authorities dealing with one of the two topics: migration and foreign investments. To our knowledge, the paper provides the initial evidence supporting the hypothesis that Romanian immigrants in the EU countries can be regarded as “ambassadors” of the Romanian economy in attracting FDI (to Romania) from their adoption countries. The methodological approach relies on econometric modelling which reveals a positive and statistically significant relationship between the stock of immigrants and the number of FDI firms located in Romania and sourced from 15 EU economies, when controlling for several variables. The results could be useful both for companies and for Romanian policymakers that should target as source for potential foreign capital the economies which attract important flows of Romanian immigrants.

Open access

Ruxandra Argatu

Abstract

Poverty and social exclusion are nowadays widely debated phenomena as they present highly threatening consequences for the wellbeing of humanity, making it unable to reach adequate living standards and to fully exercise social rights. To alleviate imbalances, adequate programs need to be put into place and for this process to be efficient, coherence and commitment must constitute elementary values to advance social welfare. Social enterprises can also contribute with their value creating potential to the fostering of a sustainable society that places a high emphasis on the defense of vulnerable groups and offers them an equitable treatment. The present paper firstly aims to illustrate conceptual elements referring to poverty, social exclusion and the social protection of marginalized groups. Secondly, the study is complemented by a research on Romanian social enterprises’ perspective (associations, foundations and sheltered units) concerning social threats and the defense of less favored individuals, undertaken through a questionnaire-based survey. The research unveils the social enterprises’ belief that the Romanian social field needs substantial attention from policymakers and that social protection services can aid them in gaining social privileges more adequately.

Open access

Paul Dobrescu and Flavia Durach

Abstract

This paper discusses, from a conceptual and theoretical perspective, the recent debates on the relation between the state and the market as drivers of national development. Since the end of the Cold War, three periods are distinguishable according to the way in which development is discussed, envisaged, and designed through state policies. The first one starts from the end of the Cold War and leads to the 2008-2009 crisis, the second includes the ten years of recovery, while the last is unfolding at the moment. The argument takes globalization into account as the background for development, during the three decades observed. The paper analyses the way in which the state-market relationship was envisaged during each period, both in the developed and emerging economies. The paper identifies the factors that ensure steady development, with an emphasis on current challenges. Lastly, the paper presents the particular experience of Central and Eastern Europe during its transition from the communist regime to democracy. The conclusion is that the better understanding of the relationship between globalization and development, the faster their evolution for a given country.

Open access

Torsten J. Gerpott

Abstract

So far, management practitioners and scholars alike assume that raises in the contractual absolute maximum bandwidth of Internet connections increase the attitudinal bonds of customers with their access provider. The present study broadens this perspective: In a sample of up to 752 German-speaking Internet users with a wireline Internet access at home, it explores two relative speed characteristics of broadband connections as potential determinants of customer affinity with an access provider. The two reference-dependent aspects comprise customer quality experiences in terms of delivered transmission speeds (1) relative to the maximum down- and upload bandwidths as per customer contract, and (2) relative to speeds emphasized in advertisements of a consumer’s access provider. Furthermore, correlations are analyzed between the frequency with which customers use speed tests to check the quality of their wireline Internet connection and their attitudinal bonds with their access provider. Attitudinal bonding is broken down into customer satisfaction with the performance of the current wireline Internet access at home and propensity to churn at the earliest opportunity. Multivariate regression analysis reveals that the impression that advertised wireline access bandwidths are exaggerated compared to the speeds actually delivered and – to a lesser extent – the perception that the contractual maximum speed is reached only in a low share of a customer’s Internet sessions significantly decrease customer satisfaction and significantly increase customer inclination to churn. The effects of the two speed assessments are not independent of one another: Perceived speed exaggerations in a provider’s ads impair customer bonds less (more) strongly if the experienced share of Internet sessions with speeds below the contractual maximum bandwidth is high (low). More frequent speed testing reduces customer bonding, especially in case that advertised speeds of a customer’s provider are experienced as overblown. The results suggest that wireline Internet access providers can increase the attitudinal bonds with their customers by abstaining from emphasizing maximum speeds in their advertising, which customers rarely reach under standard everyday conditions.

Open access

Davor Zoričić, Denis Dolinar and Zrinka Lovretin Golubić

Abstract

The work of Arnott et al. (2005) presented an interesting fact that the fundamentally-weighted indices generally outperform the market capitalisation-weighted counterparts in the US stock market. The research results prompted the introduction of fundamentally-weighted indices in the US market. Since research dealing with Croatian capital market also points out the inefficiency of the risk return trade-off of the cap-weighted (CROBEX) index this paper examines more closely the risk return characteristics of the potential fundamentally-weighted alternative and analyses the source of higher returns in the case of fundamentally-weighted indices. We use the original and propose a modified Fama French three factor model in order to try to capture specific sources of risk in the small and illiquid market. We find evidence in support of the view that better risk return trade-off of the fundamentally-weighted indices is driven by additional exposure to risk factors in comparison to CROBEX index.

Open access

Marko Ropret, Aleksander Aristovnik and Dejan Ravšelj

Abstract

The importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is widely recognised for the Slovenian economy. However, the issues regarding legislative and other administrative barriers and their perception by SMEs as a heterogeneous group of enterprises are not yet fully investigated. The main research hypothesis concerns that there exist significant differences in the perception of administrative barriers among characteristic SME groups. Consequently, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the key administrative barriers SMEs face in Slovenia. This entails three activities: (1) identifying the main areas in which barriers are found; (2) establishing what they imply performance-wise; and (3) providing policymaker guidelines tailored to different SME groups (size, legal form, sector, age). The empirical results, based on one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Bonferroni post hoc tests on a sample of 925 SMEs, show differences in the various groups of SMEs mentioned above. Thus, it is shown that it is most promising to address the administrative barriers through an in-depth approach that targets specific enterprise groups and is reflected within guidelines for responsible policymakers.

Open access

Daniela Staicu and Oana Pop

Abstract

The goal of this research is to acknowledge the elements which hinder or facilitate the transition from linear to the circular economy in the textile and apparel sector in Romania by identifying current and desired interactions among the ecosystem’s stakeholders. Two strands of literature, one on circular economy and one on the textile and apparel sector, provide the theoretical background for this research. Currently, the way we design, produce, and use clothing has drawbacks that are becoming increasingly clear. The circular economy principles have the potential to transform the way textiles are produced, consumed and disposed of. More and more social entrepreneurs are pioneering the future of the apparel industry by offering sustainable solutions to tackling systemic problems. However, their efforts have to be elevated and amplified, as such to pave the way for creating business models that allow for both economic performance and social impact. A comprehensive mapping of ongoing activities and stakeholders in the textile and apparel sector in Romania is required to understand the roadblocks to industry transformation in the context of moving toward circular economy and to implement envisioned sustainable solutions. In the paper we used a database of 27 stakeholders, developed by applying the snowball method, to investigate current and future interactions between the main actors who operate in the textile and apparel sector. To meet its research objectives, the paper employed a phenomenological research design and built upon a workshop activity. First, we designed an online survey to understand the profile and knowledge of the circular economy of the stakeholders included in our database. Second, we employed the world café method to understand in depth the level of knowledge of the actors who attended the workshop on the circular economy in the textile and apparel sector. Third, we used the structural systemic constellations method in assessing the stakeholders’ current and future desired interactions. Last, we formulated conclusions and recommendations about future research needed to deepen the understanding of the circular economy in the textile and apparel sector. Findings showed that there is a vicious circle of different actions feeding isolation and preventing collaboration among stakeholders. Also, we found that there is a lack of collaborative spaces where stakeholders can meet, connect and explore the various opportunities to collaborate, and a lack of general awareness on “circular economy and textile and apparel” and its mechanisms. The intended audiences of the research are decision-makers and practitioners in the textile and apparel sector, as well as researchers focused on the circular economy.