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Assessment of the Financial Performance Transparency of Public Benefit Organisations

Abstract

Research purpose. The aim of the research is to assess the transparency of financial performance of public benefit organisations (PBOs).

Methodology. To achieve the aim and to accomplish the tasks set, general-scientific methods were used: the monographic method, the method of document analysis and the graphical method. A statistical analysis method – descriptive statistics – and a sociological research method – surveying – were used as well.

Findings. Since 1 October 2014 when the Public Benefit Organisation Law came into force in Latvia, the number of PBOs has been increasing every year. On 1 January 2018, the number of organisations with valid PBO status had reached 2,775. To get an insight into the opinions of Latvian PBOs on the disclosure of financial information, a questionnaire was developed. The survey was attended by 201 respondents. The questionnaires revealed that 64.68 percent of the respondent organisations had a website or a web page on a social network, although only 21.89 percent of these respondents' websites contained some sort of financial information. In parallel with the PBO survey, a society survey was conducted to get an overview of the public opinions about the need to make PBO financial information freely available. The survey was attended by 116 respondents. The results indicated that although the PBO attitude to the disclosure of financial information was considered to be reserved, the public saw the need for such information. In view of the insufficient availability of financial information in the country and the low activity of PBOs themselves in voluntarily disclosing their financial information on their websites, it is necessary to carry out activities that supplement free-access information resources and/or motivate the organisations themselves to provide free access to such information.

Practical implications. Based on the experience of other European countries, the Ministry of Finance has to consider amending the PBO Law to oblige PBOs to publish their annual financial and performance reports on their websites or in an equivalent way, thereby contributing to the transparency and accountability of the PBOs towards the society.

Open access
Changes in Housing Availability Indicator in Selected Polish Cities in the Years 2006 to 2018

Abstract

Research purpose. Housing availability indicator shows the area of residential real estate possible to purchase for the average monthly wage in the enterprise sector. The research carried out in this paper is aimed at determining the current level of housing availability indicator and its detailed analysis, taking into account the dynamics of changes in 2006 to 2018. This analysis will be carried out for primary and secondary market for selected Polish cities.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Calculations were based on the average transaction prices obtained from the transactional database of residential real estate of the National Bank of Poland and the value of the average monthly remuneration in the enterprise sector obtained partly from statistical data and official journals of the Central Statistical Office.

Findings. The analysis shows that the indicator of housing availability in Poland, despite the visible upward trend, is at a very low level, placing Warsaw at the first place. In addition, the extension of the analysis to the division of the housing market into the primary and secondary market provided more information about shaping the housing availability indicator. Whereas in the primary market in individual cities its value was at a similar level, the secondary market was subject to greater fluctuations.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. This paper is of practical nature. Due to the asymmetry of information on the Polish real estate market, especially regarding housing prices, knowledge about the value of the housing availability indicator in Poland may be exceptionally valuable, especially for people interested in the housing market, including individual investors and market practitioners, as an auxiliary source of information in purchasing decisions of households.

Open access
Consumer Involvement in the Purchasing Process: Consciousness of the Choice

Abstract

Research purpose. Consumer is becoming demanded one in the purchasing process. Thus, consumer behaviour analyses thinking about his or her involvement in the purchase process could be a solution for marketers. This article concentrates on the consumer’s choice of food products in the purchase process because the author is interested to clarify the connection amongst choice, purchase and wasting of food. The research purpose is to evaluate the consumer’s consciousness in choosing food product in the purchase process.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Quantitative method using questionnaire was applied to 643 respondents whilst implementing formulated aim. Cronbach’s alpha analyses of 35 items (0.870) showed reliability of the research.

Findings. The research results indicated that consumer in the food purchase process is low conscious because he or she does not understand that he or she is buying more than what he or she needs and thus some of his or her purchase becomes waste. Consumer’s consciousness could be seen in the consumer’s lifestyle such as preferences for homemade food.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The research results could be used in practice and science. Food-producing companies might use some research results making their packaging solutions. The research results could give incites for scientists for future research.

Open access
Cooperation or Conflict? The Nature of the Collaboration of Marketing and Sales Organizational Units

Abstract

Research purpose. The marketing and sales activity of a company can involve synergy, and coordinated operations can contribute to the success of the enterprise. However, the operations of the former departments often rely on individual successes, which boost conflicts of interest and hinder collaboration. The main aim of the research described in this paper is to explore the areas and focal points of collaboration and conflict in order to highlight the tools that can contribute to enhancing alignment and effectiveness. A further goal is to examine the relationship between marketing and sales and their appraisal of each other.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The empirical research applied three qualitative focus group interviews among marketing and sales employees in different positions at multinational enterprises. Results are analyzed using grounded theory methodology.

Findings. The research highlights the process interfaces between marketing and sales activities and results in the identification of the competence and attitude gaps in their cooperation. Marketing is an entire corporate function, although without knowledge of customers and markets and experience of sales it is unable to foster the innovation processes which, along with cost and time management, result in “efficient and effective corporate operations” as the core category of grounded theory. The outcomes presented here are novel in relation to how they highlight that collaboration should be grounded on clearly defined corporate targets and the engagement of employees with these, as well as supportive and reinforcing manager–subordinate relationships. However, the prioritization and appraisal of the departments of organizational units appears to be dependent on the position and information coverage of employees. Having more information increases the latter’s ability to better evaluate other fields of business. In addition to these issues, the explored discrepancies refer mainly to the information transfer process, suggesting that the external and internal accessibility and availability of information to departments is crucial. Information that is accompanied by accurate predictions about market demand and local needs adjustment enables successful innovation and helps create marketable, innovative, well-differentiated, high-quality, valuable products, the availability of (and customer responses to) which is required for the successful performance of a company. The former may be delivered through the contribution of both organizational units. Building and reinforcing human relationships can facilitate these processes.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. In comparison to other research on this topic, the present study applies focus group interviews as a novel method to create a deeper and more thorough picture of the related processes. The model which emerges from the analysis of results highlights problems with practical management that can contribute to the development of a more efficient management system. Employees can be trained to decrease the identified discrepancies, while rewarding positive attitudes to collaboration contributes to their alignment.

Open access
Digital Economy and Society: Baltic States in the EU Context

Abstract

Research purpose. The high penetration of the Internet and increased level of use of digital devices create conditions for the development of the digital economy and society. Understanding and management of this model are essential whilst seeking to compete in the global market and to ensure a high standard of living for citizens. However, despite the opportunities presented by the digital economy, the Baltic States have not yet fully exploited the potential of digital technologies for sustainable development. The purpose of this research is to assess the progress of the Baltic States towards developing a digital economy and society and to identify areas requiring priority investments and action.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) published by the European Commission is used to explore the potential of the digital economy. It is an index measuring progress in digital performance through five components: connectivity, human capital, use of internet, integration of digital technology and digital public services. DESI is a crucial tool to reflect the performance of the Baltic States in the context of other European countries.

Findings. The survey shows the individual performance of each Baltic country and compares them amongst themselves as well as with other EU countries. Estonia has the highest DESI when compared with other Baltic countries; however, lower scores in connectivity and integration of digital technology components are observed. Lithuania scores high in the integration of digital technology, whereas the human capital component remains lower. Latvia is a leader amongst connectivity but descents to other Baltic countries in human capital and integration of digital technology components.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The digital economy remains a widely discussed topic; however, a lack of unanimous scientific definition and detailed research on this economic model complicates understanding of digital technologies. It is essential for each government to analyse the model and focus on the improvement of the digital economy in order to ensure that the country remains digitally competitive in the world.

Open access
Efficacy of E-recruitment Practices on Employee Retention in Multinational Corporations

Abstract

Research Purpose. The human resource function of firms is faced with the challenges of identifying recruitment practices that contribute to employee retention as a recruitment outcome. The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between E-recruitment practices and employee retention of multinational corporations (MNCs) in Nigeria.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Two research questions were posed for the study and two hypotheses formulated in line with the objectives. Questionnaires were administered to the selected population of the Unilever Nigeria Plc. Corporate websites and commercial websites sites were the E-recruitment practices used to analysed their influence on employee retention. The data were analysed using manual and electronic based methods through the data preparation grid and statistical package for the social science, (SPSS). The study made use of statistical tools such as regression analysis in testing hypothesis and analysis of variance (ANOVA), which helped in the interpretation of results.

Findings The research use analysis to estimate trends that corporate websites and commercial websites were significant in explaining employee retention. The results of this study confirm existing literature that argues for a positive relationship between the two variables. The results also portray that human resource managers should have an understanding of the relationship between E-recruitment practices and employee retention.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The study seeks to contribute to existing literature on E-recruitment practices and employee retention. The practical justification would be useful to human resource practitioners by making them aware of the current E-recruitment practices and the impact of its implementation to a firm’s level of employee retention

Open access
Employees’ Perceptions on Effective Communication Channels – A Case Study From Albanian Banking Sector

Abstract

Research purpose. This paper aims at identifying and evaluating the means of communication used and the perceived barriers from employees of the banking system in Albania. The following research questions were formulated: (a) What are the means of communication used in vertical and horizontal communications? (b) Which mean is preferred and valued as the most effective? (c) Which are the barriers that hinder the effective communication flow in these organizations?

Design/Methodology/Approach. A structured questionnaire was addressed to 120 employees of 3 different commercial banks in Tirana, Albania, out of which 100 fully answered questionnaires were received. The questionnaire is divided into three main parts, each of which has two subcategories, and the valuation used for each question is according to the Likert scale from 1 (very few) to 5 (a lot).

Findings. E-mail is the most used communication tool vertically, whereas phone and e-mail are added at the horizontal one. Employee preferences are mostly for e-mail and face-to-face communication vertically and phone and e-mail horizontally. Time pressure and overload of information are perceived as main barriers vertically, whereas distractions are mentioned as biggest hindrance horizontally.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. We suggest that the managers of organizations in the banking sector should properly consider these two communication tools and create suitable conditions for their use. The employees themselves use more of those tools as, according to their perception during communication with colleagues, those tools improve their effectiveness. Other similar studies might be conducted in different types of organizations to point out similarities and contrasts with banking sector.

Open access
Energy Consumption of Rail Baltica Project: Regional Aspects of Environmental Impact

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.

Open access
Enhancing the Value of Lifestyle Bundles

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.

Open access
The Evolution of City Labelling in the Literature

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.

Open access