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Abstract

Business management is a continuous decision-making process. It is difficult to imagine a company that does not use forecasting techniques. Even small enterprises without relevant forecasting departments more or less consciously anticipate future events, forecasting the volume of production and setting directions for development. Today’s production companies must quickly adapt to changing customer requirements, implementing structural and technological changes and delivering projects related to the production of new products. Under the dynamically changing conditions, the functioning and effective management of modern enterprises depend on future-oriented information. This increases the validity of forecasting. This article aimed to identify forecasting methods and areas of their use in production engineering. The publications on this subject were reviewed in the Scopus database, using the time frame from January 1970 to June 2018. An original classification of research subareas was created using VOS viewer software, and then, a bibliometric map was developed to visualise the results of the word coexistence analysis. The analysis of the co-occurrence and co-classification of words made it possible to indicate research subareas of forecasting in production engineering and related emerging research areas and issues.

Abstract

The study aims to assess transport systems in terms of ISO 37120 indicators in selected European cities. Using the principal components analysis, the research identified significantly correlated variables associated with urban transport. Three principal components explained almost 87% of input data variability. The first principal component was mainly related to transportation fatalities, the second component — to the length of bicycle paths, and the third component — to the length of the network used by light passenger public transport. A strong correlation was found between the length of high capacity public transport and transportation fatalities. Furthermore, the analysis proved that the Aalter transport system was an outlier. The paper concludes by identifying several recommendations on the improvement of urban transport management and the development of low-carbon mobility systems.

Abstract

This article aims to examine the effects of new technology on the purchase of regional brands in Czechia and draw conclusions that will help to adapt the brands to customer needs. Regional brands are a speciality of Central Europe, which emerged due to consumer dissatisfaction with low-quality of global retail products. These traditional local handmade products are heavily influenced by new technology and customers requiring them to be purchasable online with a massive online presence. The sample consisted of 1050 residents of the Czech Republic. The data were gathered by a professional marketing agency Ipsos using a questionnaire survey. The sample was tested using the one-way Chi-square test, which had good compliance to test the basic sample characteristics, followed with the one-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to test the data distribution, and then, the dependencies were tested with the Kruskal-Wallis test. Finally, a post-hoc test suitable for the type of analysis could be chosen to better understand the type of factors that could influence the results and their possible effect. The main findings indicate a slow change in the demand as customers are neutral in relation to regional brands available from online shops as well as their about social media presence but require them to have a good-quality website. Solutions are proposed using a government-run brand with a platform providing web layouts and hybrid e-shop. The type of content is proposed, indicating the appropriate execution, which should be done based on the researched-derived segmentation criteria.

Abstract

The main purpose of this article is to develop a method that allows for an objective quality assessment of imperfect knowledge, which is necessary for decision-making in logistics. The methodology aimed at achieving this goal is established on the system analysis of the entire process employed for obtaining, processing and using data and information as well as the knowledge generated on this basis. The result of this work is a general framework that can be used for managerial decision-making in smart systems that are part of Industry 4.0, and, in particular, Logistics 4.0. A key theoretical contribution of this framework is the concept for quantitative assessment of the maturity of imperfect knowledge acquired from Big Data. The practical implication of this concept is the possibility to use the framework for the assessment of the acceptable risk associated with a managerial decision. For this purpose, the article presents a brief example of how to use this methodology in the risk-taking decision-making process. Finally, the summary and discussion of the results are offered.

Abstract

The paper presents the creation of the model that predicts the business failure of companies operating in V4 countries. Based on logistic regression analysis, significant predictors are identified to forecast potential business failure one year in advance. The research is based on the data set of financial indicators of more than 173 000 companies operating in V4 countries for the years 2016 and 2017. A stepwise binary logistic regression approach was used to create a prediction model. Using a classification table and ROC curve, the prediction ability of the final model was analysed. The main result is a model for business failure prediction of companies operating under the economic conditions of V4 countries. Statistically significant financial parameters were identified that reflect the impending failure situation. The developed model achieves a high prediction ability of more than 88%. The research confirms the applicability of the logistic regression approach in business failure prediction. The high predictive ability of the created model is comparable to models created by especially sophisticated artificial intelligence approaches. The created model can be applied in the economies of V4 countries for business failure prediction one year in advance, which is important for companies as well as all stakeholders.

Abstract

Digitalisation in machinery-building is expected to enhance productivity and drive the digital transformation of other industries. The extant literature sparsely describes pathways of different sectors in digitalisation, considering the heterogeneous characteristics of firms and sectors. Emerging economies with important state participation represent a particular interest in this area of research. To this end, a multiple case study method was used to describe a set of determinants revealed from the literature on Russian technological development and innovation in manufacturing. Two different patterns were identified. The first one was typical for large leading firms with state participation, which have a global market presence and a substantial level of interoperability, currently turning into a service business model. Private firms that follow the second pattern focus on physical and digital infrastructure upgrading targeted at particular issues to secure connectivity across departments. The state participation does not have a decisive role in digitalisation decisions; however, it affects the participation of companies in national digital initiatives. This study is a preliminary analysis of the determinants associated with corporate digitalisation from the sectoral perspective. Since both national and corporate strategies are ongoing, it seems premature to make generalised conclusions. Instead, the paper provides useful insights for management and policy that refer to digital technology uptake by machinery-building industries.

Abstract

The main purpose of the paper is to explore how cluster organisations (COs) take advantage of direct (F2F) and indirect (ICT) contacts in fulfilling their main roles. The paper addresses the research question: “How important are Information and Communication Technologies at each level of advancement of cluster cooperation?” The research was conducted in 2016 in four purposefully selected cluster organisations representing metal and ICT industry. The basic method of data collection was an in-depth individual interview. The authors applied the qualitative content analysis as the procedure to analyse the interviews. The research sample comprised of 30 cluster members. The research was based on an original theoretical concept referring to the trajectory of the development of cooperative relationships in cluster organisations. Four levels of development of cluster cooperation as well as three main roles of cluster organisation were distinguished. At each level, COs play one of three identified roles: a direct resource supplier (providing access to resources), a broker (facilitating resource exchanges) and an integrator (integrating into different dimensions), which gives a total of 12 specific roles. The research has shown that both direct and indirect contacts were significant both in fulfilling the roles assigned to the cluster organisations as well as in developing the cluster cooperation. It has been also observed that ICT importance was slightly different at each level of a CO’s development. Only in one identified role (at level II: Process integrator) the importance of ICT tools was at least as great as F2F contacts. The research study contributes to the literature which refers to the question of face-to-face contacts established in geographical proximity versus the ones set up by using Information and Communication Technologies in cluster organisations. It was noticed that even though ICT plays a significant role in the functioning of COs, they cannot replace face-to-face contacts. They can only be their important complement at every level of CO development. There are also some limitations connected with the qualitative approach, which does not allow the author to generalise the findings. The first limitation is the small research sample. The second limitation is the subjectivity characterising qualitative research, mainly due to the applied techniques of data collection and analysis.

Abstract

The article contributes to the discussion on the validity and ways of simplifying modern organisations. There is an increasing focus on simplifying organisations, especially their organisational structures. However, the environment of contemporary organisations is increasingly complex, dynamic and uncertain. Therefore, the postulate of simplicity seems to question Ashby’s law stating that one kind of variety must be balanced by a different kind of variety. To cope with the indicated discrepancy, it is assumed that the simplification of some elements of an organisation is only possible due to the excessive complexity of others. The paper aims to verify the concept of organisational simplexity developed by e Cunha and Rego, which postulates the fit between simple structural solutions, complex workforce and complex environment. However, organisational performance is a factor verifying the legitimacy of the fit. The literature study explored the contradiction inherent in the postulate on the simplification of modern organisations. The contingency theory provided a major framework for the study. The research hypothesis was developed and empirically verified. The empirical study targeted 1142 organisations operating in Poland and Switzerland, different by their industry, size and the form of ownership. To verify the hypothesis, a statistical analysis was carried out, and the multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) method was used. The main result of the critical literature analysis is the finding that theoretical indications for simplifying modern organisations are fragmented, mainly focused on simplifying selected elements of an organisation, not considering the contradiction inherent in the postulate of simplicity related to environmental features and not verified empirically. The notion of the simplexity has been adopted, and it treats the simplicity and complexity as interrelated issues conditioned by situational factors. According to the empirical research results, the fit has been revealed between the degree of structure simplicity, the workforce complexity and the environment features.

Abstract

The research study aims to evaluate the precision of the measurement system using Gauge R&R. An experimental research design adopting a positivist empirical approach with deductive strategy was followed to assess the effectiveness of Crossed Gauge R&R technique for validating a measurement system using destructive testing. Crossed Gauge R&R technique in Minitab was found to be highly effective in quantifying different components of measurement variation relative to process variation. Clue generation from the Crossed Gauge R&R study combined with manufacturing and measurement process know-how helped in identifying and eliminating the root causes for measurement variation. Overall Crossed Gauge R&R proved successful in validating the burst strength test equipment. However, it should be noted that manufacturing and test equipment played an equally important part in developing and executing the gauge R&R study and accurately analysing the results. So, Crossed Gauge R&R should be used as an aid rather than the solution for measurement system validation.

Abstract

This paper focus on description of railway safety system radioblock and its application. Content of the paper describes usefulness of this system on those railway lines, which have been operated according to norm about simplified supervision of railway operation. Theoretical basis of the research is proved by case study on the railway line Číčenice – Volary (Czechia). This railway line is the only railway line with this safety system nowadays. Application of these issues is evaluated from safety and technology point of view. There are some suggestions for other railway lines, which are suitable for radioblock railway safety system.