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Open access

Olumide Jaiyeoba, Chux Gervase Iwu and Edward Marandu

Abstract

The quest for the diversification of Botswana’s mineral-led economy necessitates an examination of other performing ones such as the Tourism-Transport and Finance-Consulting small service sectors which have been identified as also contributing immensely to its economy. So, this paper investigates variations in market orientation and performance among small service firms in Botswana. In more specific terms, it involves analysis of variations with regard to tourism-transport and finance-consulting firms. Set in Botswana, data were obtained, using a respondent-completed questionnaire from 54 managers in the tourism-transport sector and 121 managers in the finance-consulting sector. Despite the focus of the study on sectoral variations among service firms in Botswana, the study makes major contributions to our understanding of market orientation-performance link. First, the overall level of market orientation varied significantly between the two sectors. Secondly, two of the three components of market orientation, namely intelligence generation and intelligence responsiveness also displayed statistically significant differences between each component and the two sectors. Thirdly, organizational commitment, team spirit and customer satisfaction were significantly different between the two sectors. These findings suggest the need for a sustained and systematic study aimed at finding out the relative importance of market orientation in different sectors. Such a study may be helpful in suggesting differentiated marketing orientation emphases that may help firms optimize their marketing budget. Notwithstanding the several scholarly works on market orientation and firm performance, the value of market orientation in sub-Saharan Africa has only begun to receive attention in Africa. Research evidence is scanty in the case of Botswana.

Open access

Luis Miguel Fonseca, Ana Rita Portela, Beatriz Duarte, João Queirós and Luis Paiva

Abstract

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) addresses sustainable development issues, in the economic, environmental, and social dimensions. The positive role of higher education institutions (HEIs), such as Universities and Polytechnic Institutes, in educating decision makers and leaders, and therefore contributing to progress and the public good, has been widely acknowledged. This investigation aims to map the BSc and MSc courses offered by Portuguese HEIs that address Sustainability (or Social Responsibility, or Ethics) in their curricula with the aim of proving their graduates with the right knowledge and competencies to overcome the Sustainable Development challenges. A systematic review utilizing a structured approach was used to analyze Portuguese HEIs BSc and MSc courses and the content analysis of their curricular units. The conclusions show that Sustainability (or Social Responsibility, or Ethics) is covered in most Social Sciences, Engineering, and Management, BSc and MSc courses, offered by the top 8 Portuguese Higher Education Institutions. However, ESD is fragmented by different approaches, issues, methodologies, and implications, lacking a consistent body of knowledge. Some courses focus more on the Social dimension, while others are more directed to the Environment or the Economic one. Sometimes the chosen approach is more normative (do what is right to do; the ethical way) and in other cases is more instrumental (do what is good for the business; the business case). Social Sciences, Engineering and Science, and Management and Economics are the three top clusters that address Sustainability related syllabus in their curricula, with 49 hours teaching hours in average for the curricular units covering Sustainability (with considerable variation). Universities have more curricular units addressing the topic while Polytechnic Institutes show a higher number of hours per curricular unit and most are of compulsory nature (while in Universities more than 50% of the curricular units are of optional nature). As the collected information was in some cases of generic nature, additional research should be used to confirm and detail these results and evaluate the effectiveness of this education to empower students to act as change agents for Sustainable Development. Benchmarking with other countries (e.g., from the European Union) is also an interesting avenue to pursue this investigation.

Open access

Thu Tran, Masahiro Moritaka, Ran Liu and Susumu Fukuda

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of information on consumer adoption when introducing a new beef brand to the Vietnamese markets. Three variables proxy the impacts of information are prior knowledge, usage experience, and price. This study developed three pieces of advertised information and combined them with three levels of price to indicate the relevant information to diffuse at the introduction of a new brand. Three kinds of information include: (1) distinction information, which defines a new brand to be distinct from existing competitive brands; (2) differentiation information, which identifies a new brand to be different from one existing brand; (3) similarity information, which defines a new brand to be similar to one existing brand. The survey was conducted via direct interviews with 480 customers at the food outlets in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The ordered logit model was applied to examine the influence of each kind of information on consumer preferences for a new beef brand. The results indicated that (1) the effect of information on consumer adoption for a new brand at early stage depends on how that information defines the new brand in consumers’ perception; (2) the distinction information generates the highest economic added value; (3) the similarity information creates the information bias at introduction; (4) the usage experience can be diagnostic for the information bias.

Open access

Shahrazad Hadad

Abstract

The business environment is reshaped by knowledge economy which has taken both competitiveness and doing business to a whole new level. Because knowledge economy plays a key role in the creation of welfare it has been classified as an important reliable indicator for comparing world’s economies. The present paper highlights the geographic distribution of knowledge economy at the level of the European Union by means of factorial analysis. Factor analysis, a well-known statistical clustering technique, has been applied on the 28 EU countries (seen in our study as random variables) with an a priori fixed number of two factors. On each variable, the realisations are given by the scores (normalized between 0 and 1) registered for year 2012 on 12 key Knowledge Economy (KE) indices. The resulting factor structure is compared to the standard geographical grouping of EU countries (NorthWest-SouthEast) in present KE literature. SPSS software has been used for the statistical analysis. The highest correlations attained were in terms of the Global Competitiveness Index, World Happiness Index, R&D expenses signifying that they could also act as predictors in evaluating the status of the knowledge economy of a particular country, whereas weaker correlations can be spotted for enterprises selling online, electric energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and others. In the future, the same relationship can be tested to see whether the influences have changed, in the light of new available data.

Open access

Radovan Bacik, Richard Fedorko, Ludovit Nastisin and Beata Gavurova

Abstract

Building a brand is a long-term process and it also applies to the world of social media. It is said that building a good brand reputation takes years, but it can be ruin in a moment. Therefore, it is important to look responsibly at all the aspects that have a role in building a brand on social media. The actual experience with the brand on social media is able to significantly affect brand building. The study focuses on exploring brand-building relationships in the social media environment. We selected a set of factors to predict customer experience with the brand in a social media environment and then we examined the relationship between this customer experience and the perceived brand image. 476 respondents filled out the electronic questionnaire. The study puts the greatest emphasis on respondents aged 20 to 35 years. We used correlation analysis to investigate the relationships in this issue. Out of the seven investigated relationships, up to two cases with medium dependence were confirmed by the strong relevance of relationships. The results support the importance of using social media tools for branding purposes, because these tools are the ones with the greatest ability to influence the people’s perception and attitude. It is also the fastest and one of the most personal ways to communicate with the customer. It happens in real time and it can convey the real emotion if performed right which all together help to trigger the user action. The findings of this study can guide marketing activities for companies to make the return on investment in social media as high as possible. The research offers a new perspective on selected factors and their role in creating social media experience and subsequently a brand image.

Open access

Jiří Bejtkovský

Abstract

The factors influencing job search and job selection are related to employer branding, employer’s position and employer attractiveness on labour market. These factors make employer branding. A conception of employer branding is hot issue not only in scientific research area. The employer branding can be divided into internal and external branding. The main goal of this article was to discover the factors influencing the job search and job selection based on the gender of the respondents and the type of faculty in the employer branding context. The students of Generation Y introduced a research sample of respondents. The primary data was acquired by structured questionnaire targeted at selected students of Generation Y in the Czech Republic. The total number of respondents was 655 students. Two research hypotheses and one research question have been defined. An analysis was realized using statistical software IBM Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) Statistics 23 and Microsoft Excel 2013. The verification of the research hypotheses was performed by the statistical method of the Two-sample t-Test for equal means. The research results discovered the findings that the mean perceptions of the factors influencing the job search and job selection: (1) were as the same for females and males, (2) were as the same for Generation Y students of the Faculty of Humanities (FHS) and Faculty of Management and Economics (FaME). Information about potential employers in the employer branding context was also investigated. The most frequent information about potential employers was information about job position and working conditions.

Open access

Carmen Păunescu, Mihaela Cornelia Popescu and Laura Blid

Abstract

Organizations are increasingly subject to hazardous events and threats, which can be critical for their business operations and performance. Any natural, accidental, or deliberate incidents that happen to the organization can cause major disruptions to it. The present paper aims to examine the prerequisites for a sound business impact analysis necessary to build the organization’s business continuity management capability and ensure business resilience. It is meant to discover those critical functions and resources which are vital to business operations in a sample of small and medium-sized enterprises from a certain geographic area in Romania, in order to maintain their core operations and ensure business continuation. The research results rely on the data collected through face-to-face interviews from 119 Romanian companies. The research findings of the multiple linear regression employed indicate that, in undertaking business impact analysis for business continuity, it is vital for enterprises to identify the skills and level of expertise required from staff to carry out organization’s critical activities. Also it is critical for companies to identify alternative premises and systems and means of voice and data communication, as well as the priority suppliers/partners whom they depend on, necessary to undertake their critical activities. The study contributes to the literature by providing empirical evidence on the prerequisites of the organization’s business impact analysis that are critical to build a strong business continuity management capability. It also offers new insights to companies meant to generate a better understanding of current practices of undertaking a business impact analysis for business continuation in their organizations.

Open access

Michael Adu Kwarteng, Michal Pilík and Eva Juřičková

Abstract

The market for second-hand and refurbished goods continues to record strong growth in most economies around the world. One obvious motivating factor in consumer choice of second-hand goods is price affordability. However, as the used market evolves, especially with the adoption of online e-commerce platforms, consumers’ inclination for used goods have also become complex. This paper investigates other appealing factors beyond price affordability (cost saving) in consumer choice of usable electronic goods. To do this, a consumer preference model was designed to reveal the key factors that drive consumer choices in the used electronic goods market. A case study using an emerging economy (Czech Republic) where used goods outlets are rampant coupled with the propensity for used electronic gadgets. The study adopted a simple random technique geared towards all the regions in the Czech Republic. The aggregate conjoint analysis method was used to model consumer preferences to determine the importance they attach to attributes most considered by consumers in the online used goods transactions. The result indicates that in respect of online purchases of used electronic appliances, a product’s ‘number of years in use’ is the next most important motivating factor after cost saving (price affordability). The study would help give a general insight into consumer preferences in the used electronic goods market.

Open access

Ruxandra Bejinaru

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore how students acquire entrepreneurial skills requested by a knowledge economy, in a country with an emergent economy. Knowledge economy is based dominantly on processing intangible resources, which needs different skills from the knowledge workers than from the industrial workers. Knowledge economy develops fast, including the countries with emergent economies like the Romania. Universities have to adapt to the requirements imposed by the knowledge economy and to change their teaching processes based on knowledge transfer into developing students’ skills which will allow them to perform in a turbulent business environment. The paper focuses on the entrepreneurial skills and presents an evaluation of students’ entrepreneurial skills in a Romanian university, students being enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs of economics and business. The set of entrepreneurial skills considered in this paper have been selected based on literature, and they are expected to define the entrepreneurial behavior by the 2030 time horizon. The following skills have been considered: complex-problem solving, critical thinking, originality thinking, active learning, and judgement and decision making. For the quantitative research we developed and applied a questionnaire in order to assess the level of these skills for the students at “Stefan cel Mare” University in Suceava, Romania. We processed the obtained data set by using the specialized software package SPSS, version 25, and applied the statistical function of Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) for the purpose of identifying which are the main factors influencing their perceptions about the investigated categories of skills. The results of the Exploratory Factor Analysis revealed a set of 5 factors which we correlated to validate the research hypothesis. Our results show that economics and business education contributes essentially to the development of these entrepreneurial skills.

Open access

Amassoma Ditimi and Bolarinwa Ifeoluwa

Abstract

Since macroeconomic fundamentals have been found to play a vital role for changes in the economy of a country. Consequently, the onus is on the appropriate regulatory authorities to take measures in making amendments in these policies to put the economy on the right development track. The aim of this study is to use time series analysis to empirically showcase the nexus between macroeconomic fundamentals and stock prices in Nigeria. The method used for this study was the Co-integration test and the EGARCH technique to estimate the possible influence of the selected macroeconomic fundamentals on stock prices. Volatility was captured by using quarterly data and estimated using GARCH (1,1) respectively. The study found there is a positive relationship between macroeconomic factors and stock prices in Nigeria. Therefore, the study recommends that the Federal authority should put in place policy measures that will enable the exchange rate to be relatively stabilized. This is because empirical evidence from studies has shown that exchange rate affects stock market prices. In addition, the government authority should ensure an enabling environment that would build the mindset of institutional investors in the Nigerian stock market due to the existence of information asymmetry problems among potential investors.