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Organisational Pathologies Under Conditions of Economic Downswing

Abstract

The topic of organisational pathology is surprisingly absent in literature on management, especially when bearing in mind the theoretical and practical import of such questions. The intention of the author is to fill in this gap, at least partially. The paper is based on an analysis of literature and an empirical research conducted by the author. The research applied partially structured interviews as its method. These interviews were conducted with entrepreneurs and managers of various levels. They made possible the drawing of conclusions relating to conditions behind the genesis and growth of selected organisational pathologies in a situation of economic downswing. The article briefly presents the concept and influence of pathology on the functioning of an organisation. The author concentrates on the causes of the phenomenon and presents them from various perspectives. It is during times of economic downswing that an increase in unethical behaviour, including corruption, mobbing as well as others, becomes particularly visible. Also noticeable is concentrating on limiting costs, which can sometimes reach pathological scale. This can lead to a permanent loss of pro-development potential by the organisation. Moreover, numerous pathological phenomena emerge at the tangent point of the organisation and its surroundings. The source of many undesirable phenomena in the organisation and in its relations with its surroundings is a fall in trust, which makes its appearance in crisis situations. More often than not, managers facing a situation in which they have no choice perpetuate organisational pathologies, whilst, at the same time, being aware of the lack of validity of their actions. However, a more frequent source of problems is the differences in perspective in perceiving organisational phenomena by various actors and stakeholders.

Open access
Philosophy of the Profession and Professional Knowledge in the Structure of Professional Identity of Hei Teachers in Riga and Smolensk

Abstract

Teacher is a key figure in the implementation of reforms in higher education. Pedagogical research of the professional identity (PI) of teacher, her/his priority values, self-evaluation of performances and professional knowledge and the way how she/he conceptualises the profession at an individual level can lead to the most appropriate strategies to manage the educational reforms successfully. This article presents some results of the Latvian-Russian project ‘Professional Identity of Contemporary Pedagogue’ implemented in 2014-2016 by researchers of Riga (Latvia) and Smolensk (Russia). In the realisation of project, a hypothetical model of the content of Higher Education Institution (HEI) teacher’s PI was created, and HEI teachers’ survey was carried out. In total, 198 teachers were surveyed in Riga and Smolensk. The aim of this article is to examine the relevance of the proposed model and analyse the indicators of the first two components of the model: Philosophy of the Profession and Professional Knowledge. The results show that, on the whole, the answers of the Russian and Latvian teachers in the questionnaire are fairly well agreed; however, some differences and peculiarities in the data of Riga and Smolensk were observed. The relevance of the proposed model has been confirmed, and some problems of PI of HEI teachers have been identified. To improve the educational process, executives of the reform and teachers should pay due attention to these problems.

Open access
Physical Investment Financing: The Cases of Poland and Latvia

Abstract

The aim of the article is to present and compare the major sources of financing of physical investments in Poland and Latvia and to attempt to identify their determinants. The subject of the diagnosis is the corporate sector in Poland and i Latvia in the years 2005-2015.The article uses methodology, developed by C. Mayer, J. Corbett and T. Jenkinson, that is based on the net sources of finance. The financial data analysed in the article come from the capital and financial accounts, constituting the element of the integrated system of national accounts. Assuming that in a given period of time, the sources of finance (revenue) are equal to their use (expenditure), it is possible to estimate the structure of financing of physical investments in the corporate sector. The practical dimension of the analysis should be viewed as an indication for identifying changes in the area of financing of physical investments in enterprises in the two countries.

Open access
Problems of 14–18 Years Old Youth and the Trends of Organisation of Prevention Activities: Lithuanian Case

Abstract

The World Health Organization (since 1998) recognises that many modern diseases and disorders (including social problems) are caused by risky behaviour. Youth risky behaviour is generally defined as a behaviour that directly or indirectly threatens the young person’s well-being and health. This is usually understood as smoking, abuse of alcohol and psychoactive substances and early initiated and unprotected sexual relations. However, the risky behaviour also includes basic things such as the failure to comply with diet regimen, sedentary lifestyle, not wearing the safety belt in the car and failure to wear a helmet whilst cycling or rollerblading. Adolescence itself is a risky span of the human life, as it is associated with moving from childhood into the adult world and intensive search for the personal identity. To ensure a consistent development of personality, adolescent risky behaviour prevention include harmonisation of education processes to help teenagers to develop responsible behaviour skills by reducing the risk factors and increasing protective factors. The article aims to overview the factors that influence youth risky behaviour and the factors that determine the planning and organisation of preventive activities for the pupils in the higher classes of the schools of general education. The study was completed in the form of a questionnaire that was conducted in the schools of the Lithuanian Republic in 2016. The results of the study describe trends of the prevention policies applied in the system of education, considering the national context of the individual Member States of the European Union.

Open access
Use of the Tax Prism Method When Forming Tax Part of the Budget

Abstract

The tax prism method is developed for the assessment of tax part of the budget as well as for forecasting the influence of tax optimisation on it. There are certain trends in global practice. Developing and transition economies are characterised by low tax burden. Economically developed countries with a high level of social security of population are characterised by high tax burden. The analytical and graphic-analytical research for the purpose of determination of optimum size of the taxation using the tax prism has been conducted. In addition to the concept of ‘tax prism’, concepts such as static and dynamic tax prisms have been introduced, allowing to consider changes in the part of the budget of interest in connection with a possibility of taxation subjects to reduce the size of a tax burden by various methods of tax optimisation, and also to consider the influence of other factors on it. The use of this approach helps effectively to enhance the tax legislation by modelling high-quality and quantitative consequences of one or another changes and innovations.

Open access
Corporate foresight in Czechia

Abstract

Corporate foresight in the Czech Republic has been still a rather undiscovered and unmapped subject. This drawback is at least partly reduced by this article presenting results of a pioneer empirical research among Czech companies. Results of the research indicate that the level of utilization of foresight among Czech companies is low; on the other hand, the results suggest existence of a latent demand for foresight as a tool for increasing the capacities and capabilities to innovate. Innovation activities in companies are at the same time one of the most significant way to deal with contemporary economic and social development, characterized by a rapid technological progress and accelerating pace of change.

Open access
in ERGO
Main development trends in public support of business research and development in Czechia

Abstract

The article aims at identifying main structural characteristics and development trends of business R&D support in the Czech Republic in the period 2007–2015 and their assessment in light of the development of total R&D expenditures in the business sector. Possible impacts of business research support on R&D expenditure from own resources of businesses and on R&D employment are also examined at the level of individual economic sectors. The volume of support annually allocated from the state budget to non-investment R&D activities of businesses culminated between 2009 and 2012. Compared to domestic companies, the companies in foreign ownership obtained only a quarter of public support but their share in total R&D expenditures in the business sector exceeds over a long period the share of domestic companies. Moreover, the difference has further grown in the last years mainly due to rapid increase of private funding from abroad. As regards to the size of businesses the reduction of public funding in the last years occurred primarily in the group of large businesses. However, the decreasing volume of public funding impacted only minimally on large businesses while the reliance of medium and especially small businesses on public resources is considerably higher. Substantial amounts of R&D support from the state budget were allocated particularly to high-tech and medium high-tech industries: manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products; manufacture of machinery; and manufacture of other transport equipment. Unlike in the majority of industrial branches where the absolute annual amounts of public support decreased during the last years, the amounts allocated to the sector of IT services grew significantly. Neither increase of R&D expenditure from own resources of businesses nor increase of R&D employment indicate dependence on the share of domestic public resources in BERD at the level of NACE branches.

Open access
in ERGO
Patent activities of the Czech enterprises – an international comparison

Abstract

The Czech enterprise sector shows in a long term a significantly lower patent activity in comparison with both the most innovation-intensive EU economies, and the EU-15 average. The topic of this contribution is a comparison of the quality and the volume of the industrial property rights created in the Czech enterprises with a selected EU-15 countries classified as innovation leaders, strong and moderate innovators. Two new EU members, namely Poland and Hungary, were also included in the comparisons. The analysis shows that the number of the international patent applications registered by enterprises with the EPO and under the PCT treaty is by more than one order lower in comparison with both the innovation-intensive countries like Denmark, Germany, or Netherlands and the countries whose innovation performance is comparable to the Czech Republic. The Czech enterprises unlike their counterparts in the innovation-intensive countries register the priority applications with the home country patent office and only a small fraction is subsequently registered with EPO and under the PCT. Also the size of the patent families and subsequent citations of the Czech patents by other patent applications lags behind the innovation-intensive countries.

The low patenting activity of the Czech enterprises correlates with a low expenditure on R&D. The Czech enterprises are somehow limited in the creation of knowledge giving rise to internationally competitive products which would demand international industrial property claims. The analysis also indicates that patent applications co-authored by Czech inventors are extensively owned by foreign corporations. The Czech enterprises produce a larger fraction of patents in collaboration with research organizations than foreign ones. It indicates that enterprises are interested in tapping in the research capacity of the universities and governmental R&D establishment. The detail analysis of the data in the national R&D Information System indicates that the number of patents created by enterprises supported by applied R&D programs is currently rather low. Beside the stimulation of the Czech enterprises to the in-house R&D spending it is necessary to support long-term strategic alliances of enterprises with research organizations. It will create a fertile environment for the development of radical innovations which are a key factor for the increase of international competitiveness and market shares.

Open access
in ERGO
Are Empires Striking Back? A Political and Cultural Comparison of the European Union and Russia

Abstract

The article is a position paper focusing on the current standoff between two regional powers, the European Union and Russia. Following a series of crises, in particular the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, the relationship between Russia and many of its neighbours has significantly deteriorated. This shift has led to various geopolitical opinions, often opposite and seemingly irreconcilable. A holistic and historical approach to this new reality leads some to question the validity of the current world order through the prism of the anachronistic concept of Empires. Subsequent to a review of definitions, the author analyses historical characteristics and political factors of the two territories on focus: the European Union and Russia. There are two outcomes of this study: On the one side, the European Union has become an organisation that shares many characteristics of an Empire, but several key elements exclude it from this political construction. On the other side, the geopolitical actions of Russia have shaped the position of the country into a structure that bears many of the artefacts of an Empire with key essential features. The conclusion of this argument states that the European Union is not an Empire by design, despite many resembling features; whilst Russia lives in an anachronistic paradigm of an Empire, without having the means of being one.

Open access
Czech universities in the knowledge triangle: transfer of knowledge from universities to the business sphere

Abstract

Three key and interacting roles of universities – education, research and innovation – form the knowledge triangle. The concept of knowledge triangle has become one of the cornerstones of the European research and innovation policy during the last decade. In this respect, the article aims at the assessment of research interactions between Czech universities and businesses leading to knowledge transfer. A steep increase of patent activity of Czech universities seemingly creates high potential for commercialisation of R&D results. However, the majority of patents is registered only in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, the mentioned increase is not accompanied by higher revenues from sale of patents and licences. The business sector perceives universities as one of the main cooperation partners within the innovation process but the share of business expenditures on university research funding remains very low compared to other EU countries. Predominantly low revenues from the knowledge transfer and especially from sale of patents and licences indicate that technology transfer centres at Czech universities do not work as efficiently as similar university centres in developed countries. Besides relatively short period of their operation, one of the main reasons consists in the way of their funding, mostly dependent on projects funded from the EU Structural Funds. Generally low extent of knowledge transfer from universities to the business sector indicates insufficiently developed knowledge triangle in Czechia. While there is no doubt about the significance of research and education role of Czech universities, the innovation role is well developed only at a few – mainly technically oriented – universities, more focused on applied R&D.

Open access
in ERGO