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Abstract

Research purpose. The high-speed railway (HSR) construction project in the Baltic States is the largest joint infrastructure project since the restoration of independence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Rail Baltica (RB) is considered as the most energy-efficient project having the lowest environmental impact. However, the issue of energy consumption of the project was not sufficiently addressed either in the investment justification of the RB construction or in the relevant research works regarding the project. The aim of the current research is to determine the indicators of energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions intensity of the Latvian section of RB, since they are the key factors of the quantitative assessment of sustainability.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Critical analysis of the academic research works and reports of the official international organizations dedicated to the topic of energy consumption and CO2 emissions of HSR was conducted prior to the calculation of the above-mentioned indicators. The method of calculation based on International Union of Railways (UIC) was used in order to conduct the cluster analysis within the framework of current work. The main points considered are electricity consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and level of passenger and freight demand. Statistical databases of UIC and International Energy Agency were used.

Findings. The calculations carried out by the authors of the given article demonstrate substantial figures of CO2 emissions intensity for Latvian section of the project related to the train load rate and traffic intensity which is evened out only by the CO2 emissions factor in Latvia.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. On this basis the authors present the directions for future research required for the development of the effective strategy for the Latvian Republic with the aim of achieving the increase in the RB project’s ecological efficiency.

Abstract

Research purpose. The study of marketing a lifestyle offering involves allowing brands from different categories to collaborate in giving, essentially, a new offering as a bundle to consumers. This is particularly important for brands operating in segments that have a significant loyalty or in segments that have become or are becoming commodities. A lifestyle offering can span categories and address latent consumer attitudes such as aspiration and convenience. Lifestyle bundles were introduced as a “way of life that individuals express by choosing to allocate their time and personal resources to a single package of two or more goods or services that they believe represent their current or desired way of life” (Levens, 2010). The initial research on lifestyle bundles was contextualized through a bundled multi-category luxury offering, targeting affluent consumers, which was built on the concepts of luxury marketing, bundling and the needs, attitudes and behaviours of affluent consumers. The bundle items include a home, a vehicle and a vacation club. This paper revisits the original work on this topic and explores ways to enhance interest in the underlying bundle proposition.

Design / Methodology / Approach. The methodology to explore enhancements to the lifestyle bundles involved re-analyzing the data cube used to develop the inaugural lifestyle bundle research (Levens, 2010). The data cube was mined to identify individual preferences to increase consumer interest in the original concept. The underlying argument is that adjusting the lifestyle bundle items may increase consumer interest in the overall concept. The analysis presented in this paper was completed through statistical description using SPSS software.

Findings. The initial concept evaluation identified a non-trivial level of interest in the lifestyle bundle consisting of a home, a vehicle and a vacation club. This paper identifies modifications to the bundles that would increase consumer interest among rejecters and supporters of the lifestyle bundle concept. While novelty was acknowledged as a reason for consumer interest, it was clear that utility derived from convenience and lifestyle expression was the basis for many consumers supporting the concept. Concept rejecters also noted these attributes as influencing their opinions. Elimination of the vacation club offer from the lifestyle bundle would have the greatest impact on increasing rejection. Adding home and vehicle insurance to the lifestyle bundle would have the greatest impact on enhancing the value proposition for concept supporters.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. Lifestyle bundles are a novel approach for marketers to differentiate their products and create new opportunities among consumers who might have not previously considered their products or services. Enhancing the lifestyle bundle offer can only increase those opportunities.

Abstract

Research purpose. Various city labels have become increasingly popular both in literature as well as in urban policy-making. It has become relatively common that cities make a proclamation that they either are or would at least like to become, smart, sustainable, digital, creative, intelligent among other things. These proclamations have become popular for the purpose of solving complex urban problems, electoral gains at the local level, and also for marketing reasons. Nevertheless, those city labels often have a blurry line, in terms of what each label represents and should stand for. It is evident that utilising appropriate city categories and labels has become a rather complex issue. Consequently, this paper would like to investigate this issue. The paper questions the dynamics how different city labels were used throughout the time and to which academic fields are specific city labels related to.

Design / Methodology / Approach. We would like to investigate the dynamics how different city labels were used throughout time and which academic fields are specifically related to labels most frequently. For this purpose, we will focus on the content analysis of topics and titles within the Web of Science Core Collection database.

Findings. The evidence suggests that the labelling depends also on the time span we are scrutinising and also on the scientific field the literature being related to. Some city labels have become popular just recently, and their appearance in specific academic fields is the differentiator. For instance, the label ‘smart city’ is currently the most important label. But it has become popular only several years ago, and this label appears most frequently in the ‘technical’ literature. The research indicates that city labelling is a rather dynamic process, since some labels are gaining and other labels are losing their popularity in time.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. The debate exists in the literature on the suitability of different city labels and terminology utilised. Some labels derive from top-down perspective, others derive from bottom-up perspective, some labels are more holistic than others, some are politically more acceptable than others, etc. Simultaneously, those city labels are often used interchangeably and sometimes they overlap. This paper would like to contribute to the scientific literature by providing additional evidence and explanations on the utilisation of particular city labels.

Abstract

The purpose of our contribution is to discuss shortcomings of purely descriptive quantitative evaluation of research policies – based either on inputs (public investment, number of researchers), or outputs (publications, number of patents). To give an example we compare selected indicators across Visegrad countries in the period between 2006 and 2015. We conclude that both quantitative and qualitative perspectives as well as societal and political context should be taken into account when the performance of any R&D system and the impact of public investments into a public R&D sector are scrutinized.

in ERGO

Abstract

Research purpose: Seven of 10 companies that have won the Polish Forbes edition Merge & Acquisition 2018 Ranking are listed on Warsaw Stock Exchange. The aim of the conducted research was to test if the biggest acquisitions have an impact on stocks value and is it possible for typical investor to create extra profit by using knowledge of acquisition based on public information.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Using data from Warsaw Stock Exchange (quotations), typical measures such as rate of return, standard deviation (risk), correlation and transaction volume changes were calculated. Each of the case results obtained for the company was compared with the result for stock market indexes: WIG (Warszawski Indeks Giełdowy – main WSE index), WIG20 (WSE sub-index of the 20 largest companies), mWIG40 (WSE sub-index of 40 medium companies) and sWIG80 (WSE sub-index of 80 small companies). In addition, the outcomes were confronted with public news (from WSE Electronic System for Information Transfer).

Findings: Conducted research has shown that generally successful finalisation of acquisition results in changes of stock prices behaviour. Unfortunately, observed reactions were not the same. Acquisitions induced both increases and decreases in stock prices; there was also no rule in case of risk change. Generally, acquisitions and merges had rather good influence in banking sector (which is still concentrating), but there was no common reaction in other sectors.

Originality/Value/Practical Implications: The results will be useful for investors acting on Warsaw Stock Exchange, especially for individual investor who are not able to carry out detailed analyses. The research provides results including possible pre-effects and after-effects of making big acquisition by a large company. The negative market reactions were also shown.

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the dynamically evolving research fields on the global scale. The world production of publication associated with the AI field increased by a third over the four-year period 2013–2017. Even less research intensive countries as Iran, Turkey, India and Indonesia appear to increase the share of the AI topics in their publication output. In the Czech Republic the fraction of publications in the AI field increased by approximately 10 % over this period. It makes the lowest increase within the EU/EEA. The field normalized citation index of the Czech publications in the year 2016 was above the world average but it is deeply below the top countries USA, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, and Norway.

The extent of international cooperation in AI is generally below the world average. The Czech Republic falls into the group of less cooperating countries. The countries exhibiting the highest growth in AI research are underrepresented in the Czech cooperation portfolio. The fraction of Czech publications in AI coauthored by foreign authors is lower than the national average. It indicates a lower international collaboration in comparison with other research fields. CR falls also in the group of countries less engaged in the international cooperation. The Czech international collaboration misses the countries exhibiting the most vigorous R&D in AI. The international collaboration adds to the quality of the research. The Czech publications originating from the international collaboration are cited above the country average for the AI field. It is even more significant in the collaboration with researchers from the top countries in the AI R&D.

The patent activity in the AI field has grown significantly in recent years. There is a marked increase of patent applications having inventors/applicants from more than one country. It indicates that the applied R&D in AI has a more international character in comparison with other technology fields. A high intensity of collaboration in the authorship of patent applications is within language and geographically neighbouring countries and with countries having a highly internationalized R&D system. Multinational corporations involved in international innovation networks contribute also to the international cooperation. ICT corporations like IBM, Google, or Microsoft which often employ foreign researchers have a dominant role in international cooperation.

The R&D of the Czech enterprises is relatively closed to the international cooperation. Domestic enterprises in AI use foreign employees in a small extent. The domestic enterprises even do not tap into the pool of intellectual property authored by the Czech researchers. The majority of patents with participation of Czech inventors is registered by foreign corporations.

in ERGO

Abstract

Research purpose. The aim of the paper is to create a model that allows building an optimal brand portfolio, allowing an organisation to achieve its goals. The created model is based on the bivalent programming theory. A mathematical model of optimum brand portfolio is created based on linear programming with restricting conditions being the maximum acceptable risk level and budget. The basic types of resources and basic types of relations between brands are explained, which are part of the process of brand portfolio optimization.

Design / Methodology / Approach. Knowledge and many years of experience of mainly economic disciplines were used for the selection of characteristics for brand portfolio specified in this article. Our assumptions were based mainly on project portfolio management, operational analysis and linear programming as well as tools and methods of graph theory.

Findings. Brand portfolio management such as creating, planning, organising and then maintaining a successful brand is a costly and long-term process involving effective marketing strategies and decisions. The prerequisite for brand portfolio creation is deciding on the number and type of brands. A properly constructed brand portfolio is a prerequisite for achieving business goals.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. Brand portfolio optimisation requires sufficient attention; however, rather than the selection of the highest number of brands, it should be based on compilation of a set, according to pre-defined priorities, which would provide the best possible means to meet the company’s goals for the current limitations. It should be implemented upon objective rules (in our case maximum allowable risk level and available budget). Frequent changes in the brand portfolio structure are not beneficial since they reduce the ability for the company to achieve its targets and represent excessive use of resources. In addition, qualitative brand characteristics have to be respected in the brand portfolio management, but this was not covered in our research.

Abstract

Research purpose. There are many reasons for which a growing interest in research and analysis of video game developers is observed. First, it results from attractive high rates of return on investment in this sector. Second, video games developers, in the author’s opinion, constitute a good combination of business and culture which is a ground for development of creative industry. A capital-intensive process of production and the intangibility of video games cause a problem in valuation of developers. Market participants who value future cash flows are in conflict with a historical cost approach used in accounting. This leads to a question of whether the confrontation of these two extreme ways of valuation could be a valuable measure of unrecognised assets for the analysis of video games sector and, as a consequence, of creative industry. The aim of the study is to explore a possible role and use of market-to-book ratio for analysis of this sector.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The study starts with a literature review on market-to-book ratio applied to knowledge-based industries. The second part of the research is a comparison of results obtained for 19 biggest listed representatives of the video games sector in Poland to other sectors of Warsaw Stock Exchange. Further analysis juxtaposes the selected Polish representatives with world’s biggest ones in this sector. This will allow to draw conclusions about the usefulness of the examined ratio.

Findings. The research shows that the video games sector represents noticeably higher level of market-to book ratio than other industries in Poland and is comparable to the world’s representatives. It can be stated that the market’s valuation takes into account unrecognised assets (intellectual capital), which are greatly related to possible future cash flows. What is interesting is that, for some of the selected Polish companies, market-to-book ratio keeps decreasing compared to the levels at IPO. This refers to market efficiency in relation to possible speculative bubbles which companies of this sector are often accused of.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The obtained results are applicable to the investors, analysts and managers of this sector. The research conducted enables a better understanding of the market-to-book ratio as an indicator of economic standing of creative industry companies and its earnings’ prediction.

Abstract

Research purpose. The development of financial technology sector (fintech) poses a challenge for traditional financial institutions. Therefore, it is important to analyze not only how financial technologies can change, but also how the fintech sector affects banks and their profitability. The aim of the paper is to analyze the possibilities for the development of financial technology sector and quantitatively evaluate its impact on the banking sector’s profitability in Lithuania.

Design / Methodology / Approach. After the analysis of academic literature and statistical data, the authors used expert evaluation method in order to identify development opportunities of fintech in Lithuania and correlation-regression analysis was applied to evaluate the impact of fintech on the profitability of the Lithuanian banking sector.

Findings. According to the results of expert assessment research, Lithuania possesses favorable conditions for fintech enterprises to enter the Lithuanian finance market; it is expected that this sector will continue to rapidly expand mostly in payments and banking business models. Correlation-regression analysis showed that fintech indicators has an effect on the banking sector’s profitability but the effect in not very significant. The significance of the connection is lower because banking sector adapts technologies and is influenced by fintech from inside and outside the environment.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. The fintech sector in Lithuania is still new and so far very little researched. The outcomes of this research have expanded the scope of research of the Lithuanian fintech sector. The obtained results would be useful and relevant to (i) the government sector to manage risks and ensure stability in the financial sector; (ii) financial sector entities to monitor possible developments and prepare them accordingly; and (iii) banking sector to analyze the impact of technology and fintech entities on them and take strategic decisions in this regard.

Abstract

Research purpose. The quality means a core attribute of the product. Based on empirical assessment of the consumer, it is ascertained if the products are of high quality. However, there may be considerable counterarguments against this assessment, because quality is a subjective characteristic. For this reason, a paradoxical situation arises – the same product that we consider to be a quality product someone else may regard as insufficient quality. What is considered standard quality level in some cases may be the assumed to have achieved world-class quality. This way the definition of quality product is very difficult. Brand is one of possible ways to differentiate products from one to another and at the same time it is one of possible ways to simplify consumer choices of choosing the best product. The brand can be the label for many consumers synonymous with quality. In this paper, the existence of difference between expected and delivered quality of brand products is analysed.

Design / Methodology / Approach. The survey of detection of the sources of the value of the brand was realized in 2018 in Slovak conditions. This primary source provided the base assessment of quality of branded sport clothes, cars, banks, cola drinks and brand products in general. Using factor analysis, supported by Cronbach’s alpha, verified by Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure and Bartlett's test of sphericity, comprehensive factors that enable comparison of expected attributes and perceived reality were constructed. The extraction method of factor analysis was principal component analysis, the rotation method was Varimax with Kaiser normalization. Then the factors were analysed by chi-square test and correspondence analysis.

Findings. The objective of this article was to detect the existence of differences between the expected and perceived quality of brand products in Slovak conditions. Comprehensive factors were constructed that contain information about quality of branded clothes, cars, banks, cola drinks and brand products in general. The dependence of expectations and reality was indicted and paper resolved the relations between individual categories of factors.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. The original survey of attitudes of Slovak consumer was made. The information about of notable sample was analysed, and this empirical study pointed out the real quality of brand products.