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A Scale for Measuring Perceived Construction Project Success – Sri Lankan Perspective

Abstract

This paper is to develop a measurement scale for perceived construction project success to be used for management studies in construction project context. First, a systematic literature review was conducted. A questionnaire was administrated to a sample of 108 construction projects and 47 (44%) questionnaires were received. Exploratory factor analysis was carried out and required steps were followed in the process to establish validity and reliability of the measurement scale. Initially nine criteria with 25 items which can be used for evaluating and driving construction projects were found. Results of factor analysis reveal seventeen measurable items which were loaded on three dimensions/factors. Practitioners can use these criteria as a guiding framework for monitoring and driving their construction projects. This scale will be instrumental for those who are aspired to do research in construction project context. This study may be the first to discuss a measurement scale for construction project success with the viewpoints of Sri Lankan construction professionals. Also this scale has attempted to go beyond the traditional criteria and emphasize the requirement of having a long term perspective. This study add to the body of knowledge of project success criteria and construction project management.

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Talent Management, Employee Recognition and Performance in the Research Institutions

Abstract

This paper aims to provide insight into talent management and employee recognition variables, in an effort to understand if these management practices are, in a way, implemented in the Research Institutions in Qatar. It also aims to examine the link of these two constructs to employee performance and to suggest a pathway to improve the current practices, if any, in order to enhance the work performance. The sample of the study consisted of 180 full time employees who were randomly selected and surveyed using an online personalized questionnaire. The results of the empirical research uncover that talent management and employee recognition can significantly affect the level of employee performance, as well contributing to the organizational success and positioning. This study also found that talent management and employee recognition are interrelated variables that affect employee performance. Talent Management and employee performance are seen as strategic tools to implement strategic objectives and to enhance employees and organization’s performance. The study concludes with a set of recommendations for both practitioners and researchers working in Qatar and beyond. The results of the study emphasize the importance of managing employee recognition in shaping work performance. It seems to be individuals’ need for recognition, esteem and social status continues to be a higher order need irrespective of time and context. This paper is the first paper in Qatar and the Middle East that examines the role of talent management and employee recognition in shaping employee performance in the context of research institutions.

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Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing Systems for Marketing Decisions

Abstract

The activity-based costing (ABC) systems emerged as a management accounting innovation in the mid-1980s in response to dissatisfaction with traditional management accounting techniques and heightened international competition. Although ABC provides many advantages for managerial decision making, ABC tends to be outdated due to its limitations and is substituted by the time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) systems. TDABC requires estimates of only two parameters: how much it costs per time unit of capacity to supply resources to activities and how much time it takes to perform each activity. TDABC allows incorporation of variation in the time demands made by different types of processes and consequently the representation of all possible combinations of activities that a process performs. This paper uses TDABC to calculate marketing costs and describes TDABC as a useful technique to reduce marketing resource costs and to support effective marketing decision making in various contexts such as marketing processes restructuring, marketing mix choices, customer profitability and price differentiation for customer classes.

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Variants of the Traveling Salesman Problem

Abstract

This paper includes an introduction to the concept of spreadsheet optimization and modeling as it specifically applies to combinatorial problems. One of the best known of the classic combinatorial problems is the “Traveling Salesman Problem” (TSP). The classic Traveling Salesman Problem has the objective of minimizing some value, usually distance, while defining a sequence of locations where each is visited once. An additional requirement is that the tour ends in the same location where the tour started. Variants of the classic Traveling Salesman Problem are developed including the Bottleneck TSP and the Variation Bottleneck TSP.

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The attitude of consumers towards “Made in Italy” products. An empirical analysis among Italian customers

Abstract

The paper is part of a broader research project studying consumer’s attitude towards “Made in Italy” products through empirical investigation. The research questions addressed are: 1) Does recognition in terms of the qualitative characterization of “Made in Italy” products exist? And if so, 2) are people willing to pay, in quantitative terms, a premium price for such products? From a theoretical standpoint, the research seeks to fill a gap in the literature, since studies combining the “made in” characteristic with measured “willingness to pay” are neither conventional nor numerous. The specific purpose of this contribution is to analyze the relationship between the purchase of “Made in Italy” products, recognition of the quality and willingness to pay a premium price on the part of Italian consumers, reporting the results of an empirical research. The survey involved a total of 315 Italian consumers while three commodity sectors were analysed: food, fashion and mechanical automation. The results confirm that there is a propensity to purchase “Made in Italy” products which does not seem to be a matter of irrational consumer behaviour. “Made in Italy” is confirmed as a conceptual category consolidated in the minds of consumers, since there is clear recognition of these products in terms of qualitative characterization. These and other results of the research (which need to be confirmed and extended with further empirical investigations) should prove relevant both to the literature and as indications for public policies and the strategies of companies operating in the sectors examined. For the literature this research can be useful because there is no complete overview of quantitative data on the premium price. It can also serve for public policies because quantification of the premium price can influence the choices and strategies of companies. This study shows a significant willingness to pay a premium price for the three sectors analyzed, although the premium price is not homogeneous: while the measures range mostly between 10 and 30%, higher values appear for products in the food sector.

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Book Review
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Competitiveness and sustainable development in public services

Abstract

The last years were of profound transformation in public services that knows more or less the challenge from the private sector. A second dimension of competitiveness for the public services staring from 2007 was the free access of the citizens to at least education and health services in European Union. The paper aims to show the evolution of the cohabitation of the public and private sectors on the services of public interest, their development and evolution in different regions. Identifying and highlighting the key issues in competitiveness and quality of the services provided, will give us the main lines for the further development and public policies that should be considered. Considering the cohesion policy of European Union, an analysis of the public and private sectors in public services in Romanian counties could drive us to a conclusion about the affordability and the quality of the services. Using the statistics it can be show the regional distribution of the service providers especially for education, health, water supply and other services. The integrated analysis we offer a global picture of the regional potential and development. Based on the findings the public decision makers could better set up the sectorial public policies and the public spending. Never the less, the European support could be also directed to increase the quality and efficiency of the public services.

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Conditions and Directions of Marketing Activities in Polish Research Institutes

Summary

The offer of institutes is specific and requires the application of special solutions in the area of marketing and new economic conditions in which research institutes operate right now stimulate introducing new solutions and taking advantage of new directions in the area of marketing activity.

The influence of a continuous process of globalization on taking actions in the area of marketing constitutes a major research problem, which requires deepened, detailed analysis and carrying out research in this area. The goal of this article will be to find out to what extent new economic reality makes it necessary to take marketing actions and in what directions within the scope of this activity the research institutes should be going.

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A correlation analysis of the spot market prices of the Romanian electricity sector

Abstract

The energy sector is particularly important in the national economy as a whole, while the electricity sector is its main component. The developments in this area have strong economic and social repercussions. This article makes an overview of the electricity sector, illustrating the monthly evolution of consumption and production of instantaneous electricity in Romania in the past few years. Further on, the paper presents the monthly evolution of instantaneous consumption and production of electricity in Romania, the annual structure of electricity production and the depiction of some basic indicators of centralized electricity markets managed by OPCOM. The quantitative analysis presents the monthly evolution of weighted average prices on the competitive markets managed by OPCOM and a linear correlation analysis of the spot market prices in the Eastern European region. The conclusions of the article are in line with the research in the field and show that the electricity markets have registered important evolutions in Romania, both in terms of size and prices, evolutions based on both structural and behavioral factors. It also showed that spot market prices had relatively similar developments over the period analyzed in several countries in the region, with price correlations that seem to be even stronger as the interconnection of electricity grids is higher. Therefore, the results confirm the economic theory, namely that increasing the interconnection of electricity markets can lead to energy prices being brought closer, but also to mitigating the shocks affecting these markets.

Open access
A critical view on the mainstream theory of economic cycles

Abstract

World economy is frequently affected by fluctuations that occur recurrently with a certain periodicity. The predictability of economic fluctuations is low. Frequency and magnitude of cycles is generally reduced. Economy cycles belong to the economy’s DNA. It is measured by different indicators, but the most important is GDP. There are four types of economic cycles: Kitchin (Stocks), Juglar (Investment), Kuznets (Infrastructure), Kondratiev (Technological Innovation). Right now, science and technology are going through major changes that lead to an economic crisis of the Kondratiev model. Fiscal and monetary policy can alleviate fluctuations. Theories explaining economic cycles: overinvestment (misallocation of rare resources), Keynesiana (insufficient aggregate demand), monetarist (lack of monetary discipline), real business cycle (aggregate supply in change), neo Keynesiana (market imperfections), consensus (all factors considered). The financial cycle has been little considered so far. The financial cycle greatly influences the economic cycle, finances allocate resources and creates purchasing power. The financial cycle has a different structure than the economic one. It can use fiscal and monetary policies to direct it. The only paradigm that links the economic and financial cycles is the Austrian economic paradigm. In practice and current economic theory, there is a desire for a coincidence in time between the phases of the economic cycles of the various state entities of the United States and a convergence of evolution towards the same qualitative and quantitative characteristics. This implies an identity of cultural, historical, economic, political, and psychological evolution of the EU, which can not be achieved even between close regions of the same national state. The lack of barriers to the circulation of economic information (goods, services) between regions will lead to an approximate coincidence of economic evolution, but starting from the psychic structure of the inhabitants of a region, the cultural, religious and cultural heritage passing through the capital, the economic zones differ and to force them in different directions will lead to unnecessary fragmentation lines. The anticipated outcome of the study: It is desirable to leave economic areas to evolve in their own terms rather than leveling and uniforming them by economic manipulation techniques. It is preferable to use the method of scientific abstraction and deductive apriorism during the study.

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