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Abstract

Research Purpose. This article examined critical thinking skills amongst senior-level undergraduate students in a Middle East setting, Kuwait. In addition, the study investigated the gender differences.

Methodology. The subjects involved in this study comprised a convenience sample of 90 graduating seniors. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of two motivational factors on the development of critical thinking skills. The analysis used the specific subsection about critical thinking skills, which is part of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). One factor relates the sense of entitlement that can arise in a welfare state, which heavily subsidises a wide range of things for citizens, including education. We examined differences between citizens and non-citizens, who do not have access to welfare benefits.

Findings. The results supported the hypotheses that student groups have different levels of critical thinking skills. We found that expatriate students had more highly developed critical thinking skills than students who were Kuwaiti citizens. We also found that women had more highly developed critical thinking skills than men had.

Practical Implications. The welfare state measures undertaken by the government of Kuwait may be counterproductive. The guaranteed employment of its citizens and generous monetary support whilst in school may discourage the development of critical thinking skills. Future research could focus on ways to motivate particular groups (e.g. Kuwaiti men) to enhance their critical thinking skills.

Abstract

Research purpose. The importance of sustainable development, the need to achieve sustainable economic development that does not harm the environment, conserve natural resources or exacerbate tensions in society has been increasingly discussed over the last decade. The purpose of the research is to evaluate the economic growth and decent work environment in G20 countries during 2013–2018 as G20 countries are the fastest growing countries in the world, and their economy describes the major part of the global economy.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Qualitative data analysis based on the comparative analysis of scientific literature, content analysis, interpretation, comparison and grouping is used, in order to analyse the theoretical aspects of sustainable development and its goals, especially goal 8: decent work and economic growth. TOPSIS method helps to rank G20 countries according to the indicators of SDG 8.

Findings. The results showed that Japan reached the best work environment and the most significant economic growth during 2013–2018. The United States is in second place and the third – the Republic of Korea. In the bottom three are Argentina, Brazil and South Africa.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Since it is challenging to identify the achievements of the economic and work environment development, as an essential part of sustainable development goals, the results could lead to future insights that will create value to policymakers, economists and other stakeholders.

Abstract

Researchers have acknowledged that the flow of knowledge is influenced by the non-structural and structural features of networks. This paper aims to further develop an understanding of the institutional and structural features of knowledge networks by relating the brokerage roles of actors to the types and locations of organisations in biotechnology and software networks. The study is set within the context of the European Union (EU) research and innovation policy. It is designed as a social network analysis of EU research projects in biotechnology and software that took place between 1995 and 2016, wherein organisations from the Baltic States participated. The results of the study revealed that higher education and research organisations and public bodies acted as the main knowledge brokers and brokered more frequently across different regions in biotechnology networks. In software, it was the universities and research organisations that fulfilled this role. Thus, this study contributes to an understanding about the institutional and structural aspects of knowledge networks by focusing on brokers and their brokerage roles and relating these factors to specific organisation types and the locations of actors within the two sectors. It also adds the empirical context of the Baltic States in the areas of biotechnology and software collaborative research projects to the studies of knowledge networks, and offers practical suggestions for implementing collaborative research projects.

Abstract

In February 2015 the UK TV station Channel 4 started screening James Bluemel’s series “The Romanians Are Coming”, a three-part documentary film about “the lives of poor Romanian people who seek work in Great Britain, seen through the eyes of the British people”. This documentary provoked strong opposition from some Romanian politicians and mass media outlets. In the UK the reaction was a contrasting one: sympathy, understanding and compassion. We showed the series to three Romanian university classes in 2017-18 and the students largely had a negative reaction similar to that of those Romanian commentators. A standard content analysis of the film, however, suggests that it gives a positive image of Romanian immigrants in the UK. Despite this, our audiences tended to form a negative perception of the film. We attribute this disparity to the wording of its title activating two classical stereotypes: that Romanians are often Roma, and that poor people are a source of social problems. The film as a whole in fact projects an opposite message, but once these stereotypes have been activated the content is automatically perceived as negative.

Abstract

In view of the fact that technological progress is in a constant state of change, current research efforts are directed towards blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Starting with the description of the way blockchain technology operates, the notions of decentralisation, proof-of-work consensus, and practical immutability are explained. Further, the article examines the possibility of using cryptocurrency in order to pay remuneration, realise partial non-cash payment of remuneration or grant an award to an employee. This article presents evidence that demonstrates that remuneration in the framework of the employment relationship in Poland cannot be paid in cryptocurrency, which contributes to the performance of the protective function of labour law. The article concludes that a collective labour agreement could include a clause allowing the employer to realise partial non-cash payment of remuneration in cryptocurrency. Similar provisions could be introduced in labour law, but the Polish legislator has never adopted such a measure. The authors highlight, however, that an award can be paid in cryptocurrency even in the full amount. Next, the authors research the new tax regulations in force in Poland since 1 January 2019 and explain why it is conceptually more convincing to classify revenues from cryptocurrency trading as revenues from money capital and revenues from capital gains than as property rights. The article presents a definition of the disposal for valuable consideration of a virtual currency. The purpose of this article is also to study how high is the income tax on income earned from the disposal for valuable consideration of virtual currencies. Moreover, an overview of the legislation related to tax-deductible expenses is provided. Finally, some reflections on the cryptocurrency trading in the context of the pursuit of an economic activity are given. The review especially highlights the Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax, and the judgment of the CJEU of 22 October 2015 (Skatteverket v. David Hedqvist [2015], case C-264/14), which has impacted the approach to the VAT problem in Poland.

Abstract

Research purpose. This article aims at distinguishing and weighting the educational factors that could have an impact on young people’s choice to study in European higher education institutions (HEIs).

Design/Methodology/Approach. To achieve the aim, previous research and scientific literature were studied and experts from student society and the higher education sector, who deal with international students, were interviewed. The developed questionnaire was based on pairwise comparison procedure, and the obtained data were processed using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method.

Findings. The findings revealed that the following factors are the most critical for students who want to study at European HEIs: provision of programmes that are taught in English, the existence of scholarship opportunities, provision of different facilities in the campus, and accreditation of the study programme and university.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The current study focuses on a topic that has been studied fragmentally, that is, on which factors are crucial for an international student to choose HEI in Europe. The current research contributes to the existing scientific literature by identifying and systemising educational factors influencing young people’s choice to study in Europe. The obtained results could be useful for professionals who are responsible for strategic partnerships at European universities.

Abstract

Research purpose. The main task of this article consists in outlining several conceptions of teaching that we consider crucial to develop knowledge, skills and personal qualities in future managers, which they need in a constantly changing innovative business environment.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Methods of contrastive analysis, method of decomposition and questionnaire survey form the methodological basis of research.

Findings. As a result of empirical research, the article describes the level of students’ demand for mastering innovative skills and the extent to which this demand is met in the framework of educational programme.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The method elaborated in the article is easily applicable in different educational programmes, economic subjects and environments as well as different curriculum plans. It is expected that improved learning skills and satisfaction will increase learning outcomes in long-term outlook. The article suggests new integrated teaching approach to organising collaborative work so that the full potential of students in solving economic problems is developed through and alongside the use of interactive learning tasks. It relies on thorough analysis of reasons for students’ critical attitude towards creative and innovative thinking in their profession.

Abstract

Research purpose. To get a validation of the structure, pillars and components that seem to be central, and under which, business management and managers need to develop abilities and competences to ensure the sustainability of their organizations according to the ‘DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability’ structure.

Design/Methodology/Approach. For the validation of the structure, pillars and components and it’s practical application to measure the organization’s sustainability level with the referred model, despite the focus group exercise made in an early stage, it’s also important to get a solid opinion about it among managers and also in academia, specifically among teachers and investigators on management, business administration and economics as well near master and doctorate students in this field. In this paper, we analyse the results obtained in an exploratory study, based on a survey made among students from four different master’s degree in several specific areas of business management from the School of Business Administration from the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (Portugal).

Findings. Main results obtained with this exploratory study let the authors be granted with the developments made so far in the model and its structure, pillars and components. However, only with a major collection of opinions (answer to the survey) from the referred groups, it’s possible to define and adjust the final structure and components of the DPOBE Model.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Being an investigation with several years of development, with several articles, chapters of books, master’s degree thesis, congress presentations and papers made so far, only with a solid and validated structure, pillars and components of the DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability, it’s possible to go to its aim, the use of it as a quantitative tool to measure the effective organizations sustainability in a way different from other existing sustainability tools and indexes.

Abstract

Deriving from the internal structure of Article 6 of the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, the abuse of tax law is overcome in two stages—elimination and requalification. While the elimination stage (addressing how not to tax) is harmonized by the EU for the purpose of fighting against aggressive tax planning, the requalification stage (addressing how to tax then) remains under the sovereignty of Member States. Applying such a two-level mechanism becomes problematic if there is a mismatch between these two stages so that the harmonized GAAR requires elimination of an arrangement, but the domestic law does not provide an alternative basis for taxation of it. This raises a question of whether Article 6 of the ATAD requires the Member States to impose new taxable objects regardless of the literal interpretation of Article 6(3) which recognizes the full sovereignty of Member States to decide what to tax. By applying interpretation methods used by the CJEU in its case-law—i.e., literal, contextual, teleological and comparative—the author argues that the answer to this question is “no”. This is supported by all the interpretations under the above method, while the dysfunctionality of these two stages could be overcome by treating the economic reality test as an objective test regardless of the notion of “commercial reasons” used in Article 6(2).

Abstract

Research purpose. The green economy may become a solution to the existing problems. The European Union must implement solutions related to the green economy in order to solve the existing ecological, economic and social problems in the region, such as pollution in the Baltic Sea region, inequality, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and so on. It can be assumed that green economy evaluation research conducted in the scientific community does not always reflect the real situation, due to the lack of indicators or limited evaluation methodology. The aim of this article is characterized by academic literature to identify green economic development indicators and evaluate green economic development indices in three Baltic countries: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The article uses analysis of scientific literature, systematization, comparative analysis, generalization and data normalization methods.

Findings. The analysed scientific literature and reports of international organizations, resolutions and conference agreements allow to compile a list of indicators for the evaluation of green economy development. The results showed that in all the analysed countries, a strong growth of green economy development indices can be seen; in Estonia, they remained the best among the three Baltic countries during the analysed period. An analysis of which individual indicators are most important in the development of the green economy and have the greatest significance for the index has shown that their estimates and position have changed significantly in less than two decades.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The identification of green economy indicators provides a new approach to the structure of green economy components. Indicators measured over time describe the structural characteristics and quantitative changes of the green economy, and provides a new understanding of the opportunities and directions of green economy development. In the framework of this study, fifteen indicators were selected for the analysis of green economy in the Baltic States. The normalization and further evaluation of these indicators from the point of view of the green economy allowed to determine the significance of individual social, economic and environmental dimensions for the overall green economy index and to show the changes over a period. The collected data also form the basis for further in-depth prognostic studies.