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Occupational Standards: A Key to Improving Match Between Skills and Labour Market Needs in Lithuania

Abstract

A country’s qualification structure that meets the needs of the labour market and properly skilled professionals at different levels of qualification are the objectives targeted by each country, region and entity. Competencies demanded on the labour market determine the competitiveness of a person, entity and the whole country. In order to train professionals to better meet the labour market needs, solution formulas for the problems are sought in the field of infrastructure improvements, system management and other areas. This article analyses the opportunities for enhancing match of skills safeguarded by the national occupational standards in Lithuania, including the analysis of progress, problems and solutions.

Open access
Social Behavior of Schoolteachers of Latvia and Russia in the Structure of Teacher Professional Identity

Abstract

The article presents the results of the international study of the professional identity of schoolteachers of Russia and Latvia. In the study, the six component model of the content of the teacher professional identity (TPI) is used. According to this model, in 2017, the questionnaire “School Teacher Professional Identity” was created and international survey organized, in which 437 schoolteachers from Latvia and the Smolensk region of Russia participated. The aim of this article is to analyze the data of the two national samples for the 6th component of TPI: “Professionally Determined Social Behavior”. This behavior is not connected with the implementation of direct professional duties, but corresponds to the philosophy of the profession: taking up the mission of educating community, active involvement in social life, participation in formulation and solution of social problems having pedagogical aspects and unselfish professional help to those who need it. To process the data, statistical methods were used. On the whole, items of the component received relatively high scores in both national samples. Certain differences in the data of Latvian and Russian teachers as well as urban and rural subgroups of both countries are observed. High dispersion of data shown in this component indicates that the professionally determined social behavior is the most acute and controversial aspect of TPI; therefore, the elaboration of optimal ways and tools to strengthen TPI should be based on an in-depth study of social behavior of schoolteachers.

Open access
Efficiency of regional innovation policy tools: Support of innovative business in the South Moravian Region

Abstract

During 15 years of implementation of the Regional Innovation Strategy of South Moravia, the support of innovative business evolved into a set of interconnected programmes for startups and innovative companies with a potential of growth and foreign expansion. Programmes of the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) facilitate creation and development of technology oriented companies in the region, highly concentrated in prioritised high-tech branches corresponding with specialisation of the regional economy (IT, mechanical engineering etc.). Growth of highly qualified jobs (mainly in R&D) in these companies contributes to the increasing orientation of the region on knowledge intensive branches of economy. Emerging companies supported by the JIC show in average a longer lifespan and growth dynamics than comparable newly established companies in the region without this support. Realisation of the programmes also significantly contributes to building of high quality business environment in the region. Problematic aspects of support to innovative business in the South Moravian Region are linked mainly with poor network of investors able to stimulate faster growth of startups, with low motivation of university students to start their own business or with emerging dichotomy in the support of knowledge intensive businesses concentrated in Brno and insufficiently supported businesses with lower knowledge intensity, also operating in priority branches of the regional economy.

Open access
in ERGO
Efficiency of regional innovation policy tools: Support to incoming talents and specialists in the South Moravian Region

Abstract

Highly qualified and creative people are the key prerequisite of innovation development of every region. Orientation at the development of talents and inflow of qualified people from abroad gained importance during 15 years of implementation of the South Moravian Regional Innovation Strategy. Through the Internationalisation programme, realised since 2006, the regional authority awards scholarships to students from non-EU countries studying at universities in Brno. A substantial part of supported students remains in the region after graduation, working at highly qualified positions. The SoMoPro programme – a unique support tool from Czech but also from European perspective – contributes to the increase of internationalisation and quality of research conducted in South Moravia. Recognised foreign researchers are motivated to move to Brno especially thanks to the newly built top quality research infrastructure. However, turning their short to mid-term stays into a long-term residence is rather difficult given not sufficiently motivating wages in public R&D in Czechia. The needs of increasing number of foreign researchers and other specialists mainly in private sector are addressed by the Brno Expat Centre. In the last years, the number of clients and consultations provided by the organisation grew continuously. Despite more significant impact of national and international mobility schemes and other influences, the aggregate effect of regional activities supporting inflow and maintaining of foreign talents and specialists leads to the increasing attractiveness of the region and the development of a competitive advantage above the other regions of Czechia. Thus the described regional activities contribute to high shares of foreign students and researchers in the region, placing South Moravia on leading positions among Czech regions.

Open access
in ERGO
Efficiency of regional innovation policy tools: Support to research-industry cooperation through the JIC Voucher programme

Abstract

Support to research-industry cooperation belongs to main priorities of the Regional Innovation Strategy of South Moravia, also considering the shortcomings identified in cooperation and knowledge transfer between these sectors. Establishing links between companies and research institutions was aimed by the JIC Voucher (2009–2015) programme, the first programme of innovation vouchers in Czechia. Even though the support of new partnerships between companies and research institutions was the main goal of the programme, the number of supported partnerships of formerly cooperating entities was higher. A follow-up cooperation, usually on financially larger research projects, took place in more than one third of supported partnerships. Thus the programme positively affected a part of participating companies to spend higher amounts on R&D needed for co-financing of projects funded from national R&D programmes. The follow-up projects were more often realised by partners cooperating even before receiving the voucher. Also the non-approved projects of formerly cooperating partners were more often realised using other sources of funds than projects of those newly cooperating on an application for innovation voucher. Despite significant benefits of JIC Voucher to strengthening cooperation between companies and research institutions, the support to large companies – also enabled by the programme – can be viewed as inessential. This is obvious especially with respect to resources and experience with research cooperation usually held by these companies.

Open access
in ERGO
Research and development for Industry 4.0 – the position of the Czech Republic in cognitive computing and robotics

Abstract

We have examined the recent development of the knowledge base in the fields of cognitive computing and robotics. The proxies for the evaluation of the R&D in these fields are the publication activity and the patents production spanning the years 1998 to 2016. A comparison with selected EU countries, USA, China, Japan and South Korea is presented. The publication activities grow much faster than the overall volume of world publications. In the number of publications per year in the field of cognitive computing China surpassed in 2004 USA and trails the EU-28 since. The robotics seems less in the focus of China’s R&D as the Chinese publications output just reached the USA level in the last two years of the examined interval. A common feature of the Asian countries is a significantly below the world average citation impact of the publications in both fields. The number of patent applications in cognitive computing and robotics has been growing in recent years. The patent activity in the China is growing very fast, the EU and USA are gradually losing their position and China dominated in the patent activity in cognitive computing and robotics in 2015.

The Czech Republic exhibits a significantly above the EU average dynamics of the publication activity in both R&D fields. Though the robotics publications occupy a smaller fraction of the total national publications output, their citation impact at the roughly 150 percent level of the world average is on par with the publication output of EU-15 countries. The number of patent applications in cognitive computing and robotics with Czech invertors has been growing fast and their share in the total number of patent applications with Czech inventors is above the EU average. However, these applications are very often owned by foreign companies, in particular from the USA. Our study indicates that the Czech Republic has, in the world context, a robust and dynamic R&D capable to address the challenges associated with the implementation of Industry 4.0 and advanced information processing.

Open access
in ERGO
The Analysis and Assesstment of International Capital Flows in the Form of Foreign Direct Investments and Foreign Direct Divestments: The Cases of Latvia and Poland

Abstract

Decisions to invest, withdraw, or transfer capital in different foreign markets have become a fixed part of management pragmatics in contemporary companies. The results of the 2017 Global Corporate Divestment Study show that multinational enterprises (MNEs) from particular parts of the world tend to see the main reasons behind their decisions on FDI (foreign direct investment) and FD (foreign direct divestment) in a slightly different manner. Insofar as internationalization processes and FDI have been relatively thoroughly studied and discussed in world and Polish literature, the concept of de-internationalization pursued through the prism of divestment still requires further analysis and consideration. The article aims to present the general framework of the process involving FDI, FD, and the major factors behind it in Poland and Latvia. Theoretical considerations are supplemented with the analysis of statistical data coming from the UNCTAD database as well as the database of Poland’s and Latvia’s central banks, illustrating foreign investment flows. The article uses the method of critical analysis of world and Polish literature, analysis of reports on relevant issues, and desk research analysis.

Open access
The Analysis of the Implementation of municipal Cooperation and Merger Strategies: Case Study for Slovenia

Abstract

Slovenia has only one tier of sub-national government, that is, municipalities. Currently, there are 212 municipalities, and they exhibit the same responsibilities they need to provide to their residents, regardless of their size, and these differences in size are even in the range 1:100. The new national strategy for the development of local self-government has, therefore, stressed the necessity to promote cooperation among municipalities and even potential mergers, not just to ensure cost-effectiveness but also to increase the capacity of municipalities to perform various developmental tasks. Consequently, the aim of the article is to analyse the evolution and factors driving inter-municipal cooperation and municipal mergers, where Slovenia is taken as an example, and case study approach is used in this manner. The results of the analysis indicate that territorial fragmentation at the local level has been accompanied by the increase in the inter-municipal cooperation, although some time lag can be observed. Moreover, the increase in the cooperation can be observed in particular with the onset of economic slowdown and fiscal stress emergence. The results also portray that substantial territorial rescaling cannot be expected in the near future, as suggested by the analysis of driving factors that should contribute to this process, as well as by rather weak ability of central government to promote the process. Consequently, from the practical perspective, we might expect larger role of more in-depth trans-scaling strategies as a mechanism to overcome the problem of sub-optimal size of municipalities in Slovenia.

Open access
Communicative Functions of Hashtags

Abstract

Despite the initial function of hashtags as tools for sorting and aggregating information according to topics, the social media currently witness a diversity of uses diverging from the initial purpose. The aim of this article is to investigate the communicative functions of hashtags through a combined approach of literature review, field study and case study. Different uses of hashtags were subjected to semantic analysis in order to disclose generalizable trends. As a result, ten communicative functions were identified: topic-marking, aggregation, socializing, excuse, irony, providing metadata, expressing attitudes, initiating movements, propaganda and brand marketing. These findings would help to better understand modern online discourse and to prove that hashtags are to be considered as a meaningful part of the message. A limitation of this study is its restricted volume.

Open access
The Concept of Gamification and its Use in Software Companies in the Republic of Macedonia

Abstract

Gamification represents a relatively new term that has become massively popular in recent years. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the various definitions regarding gamification, to present a unified process of designing a gamified system and to research the use of gamification on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. Gamification focuses on the internal motivators of employees, which are much more powerful and longer-lasting than the external motivators traditionally used in human resource management. Since this concept relies on video games, data demonstrated makes it clear that they are prevalent in each age group and there is no inclination of one sex over the other. The research done through a questionnaire on SMEs in the IT industry on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia was focused on researching the gamification trends in the country and generally gave positive results regarding the level of use and the readiness of the Macedonian managers for gamification. A high percentage of the companies surveyed are using or are in the process of implementing gamified systems and consider that they could bring a number of benefits. The main disadvantages are the lack of understanding by employees and insufficient technical knowledge. The paper contributes in clarifying the gamification concept and distinguishing it from other similar concepts. From a practical standpoint, the presented process for designing a gamified process can be utilized by companies in the IT industry in the future, regardless of the country of origin.

Open access