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Open access

Jaana Sepp, Marina Järvis and Karin Reinhold

Abstract

The humankind is ageing rapidly, and as a result, there is an increasing need for old people’s homes. The nursing homes face different problems in financing and recruiting the labour force and management. Lack of resources causes the situation, when managers have to find possibilities to accomplish services and to provide quality care with the limited funds. This situation has an additional impact on the nursing professionals, who have to deal with many psychosocial risk factors in their work. The aim of the paper is to explore the work-related psychosocial risk factors and their relationships with mental health problems (MHPs) amongst care workers. A cross-sectional survey was undertaken amongst the care workers in nine Estonian nursing homes. Psychosocial work factors and MHPs (stress, somatic symptoms, depressive symptoms, burnout, cognitive symptoms, and sleep disorders) were analysed using the second version of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ II). Descriptive statistics and Pearson’s r correlation were used to analyse the data. The analysis was based on 340 care worker surveys. The highest mean scores for the studied work-related psychosocial factors were recorded for the quantitative demands, influence, rewards, role conflicts, trust, insecurity and work-family balance. Low mean scores were recorded for the meaning of work, role clarity, social relationships at work. The lowest score was followed by burnout and the highest - by cognitive symptoms.

Open access

Aleksandrs Kotlars

Abstract

Contemporary third-party logistics (3PL) companies tend to broaden their competences in different fields and apart from traditional logistics services provide various value-added services to their customers. A systematic approach of 3PL resource management, as well as performance and quality indicator measurement are needed to forecast development of key performance indicators of a company. The purpose of this study is to discover contemporary tendencies of 3PL with regard to resources, performance and quality related issues, to determine resources, processes and quality indicators of 3PL, and to develop a system dynamics model for optimization of internal resources and processes of a company. The paper provides a systematic review of literature related to management of 3PL resources, quality and performance measurement. A model of management and optimization of 3PL resources and internal processes is developed by applying System Dynamics. The developed model consists of six blocks, namely, commercial activities, operations, procurement, administration, personnel management and quality management, representing different areas of internal activities of 3PL.

Open access

Filiz Ersoz, Deniz Merdin and Taner Ersoz

Abstract

Rapid development of technology, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence, has fuelled the concept of Industry 4.0 among all types of businesses across the globe. This has driven sustainable growth for those businesses as well as promoted economic prosperity in the countries where they operate in. In view of this information, it is of absolute importance that the entire business landscape in Turkey avails itself to greater awareness and education about the benefits of embracing a comprehensive Industry 4.0 philosophy. It is also important to shed the light on the problems these businesses may face in transition from the old industrial philosophies to the new philosophy of Industry 4.0. Therefore, the aim of this study is to measure the level of Industry 4.0 awareness among businesses in Turkey. The research also seeks to determine how targeted Industry 4.0 educational programs and policies vary in relation to the demographic characteristics among some business operators in Turkey. A multiple case study design governed this entire research. Thus, views and in-depth data from 32 companies based in Turkey were collected by questionnaire and subsequently analysed in a detailed format. At the end of the study, the findings revealed that Industry 4.0 awareness differed depending on the employees’ levels of education. The researchers also discovered that the status or extent of relationships these companies had with foreign partners abroad has a significant impact on the awareness levels of Industry 4.0.

Open access

Abraham Osa Ehiorobo

Abstract

This study examines resource allocation and utilization in Nigeria as the missing link in the nation’s quest for sustainable development. The main objective of the research is to examine how inefficient allocation and utilization of material, human and financial resources has made the attainment of sustainable development goals (SDGs) elusive in Nigeria. Given the abundant resources at the disposal of successive regimes in the country, it is difficult to explain why the citizens remain desperately poor with 70 percent living below poverty line. The excruciating poverty faced by the rural majority and the urban poor has led some people into indulging in unwholesome practices such as armed robbery, pipeline vandalism, prostitution, risky migrations, advanced fee fraud and other forms of social vices. The paper utilizes a qualitative design based on the interpretivist philosophy while the ontological orientation is subjectivism. Findings from the study indicate that there has been gross inefficiency in resource allocation and utilization in Nigeria due to corruption, ethnic prejudices, bad governance practices, absence of accountability, lack of transparency and wasteful spending on frivolous activities. Conclusion drawn from the study indicates that if proper project planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation are carried out in a transparent manner, and resources are efficiently allocated and utilized, Nigeria would be on the path to sustainable development. The paper therefore recommends that economic and technical efficiencies should be embraced in resource allocation and utilization for Nigeria to attain sustainable development goals.

Open access

Agnieszka Lipieta

Abstract

In the light of Schumpeter’s pioneering vision of economic evolution the innovations and innovative entrepreneurs play a fundamental role in the economic development. However, imitations and producers-imitators are essential in diffusing and adapting innovations into the economic exchange processes. In this context the aim of the paper is to model and analyse some properties of imitative mechanisms appearing within the economic evolution. Innovative and imitative mechanisms defined in Hurwicz’s conceptual apparatus are analysed in the economy determined by the use of topological tools usually applied in the general equilibrium theory. As a result it is shown that, in the economy under study, imitative mechanisms are the reasons for and the consequences of innovative mechanisms as well as that the innovative and imitative processes can coexist in the framework of the same innovative mechanism. Moreover it is proven that under some assumptions equilibrium in the economic system analysed can be obtained as a consequence of either of an innovative or an imitative mechanism.

Open access

Anna Matysek-Jędrych

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to identify and assess, on a comparative, intra-country basis, the existing practices and developments in central bank accountability for financial stability, from a new-macroprudential policy-perspective. The paper aims to contribute to the ongoing debate on institutional arrangements for macroprudential policy. The debate as to whether the combination of monetary policy and financial supervision within one institution is not new. Nevertheless it is far from being resolved. The paper points to the need to establish clear, formal and robust mechanisms of central bank involvement in the process of executing macroprudential policy, at least as a data collection and analyzing institution.

Open access

Vytautas Paliukas and Asta Savanevičienė

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are rapidly evolving and becoming more common in management. Managers in business institutions are faced with the decision taking challenges and large amounts of data to be processed combining and harmonizing rational data with creative human experience in decision making. The aim of the study is to reveal the main obstacles of the harmonization of creative and rational decisions making in quality management using AI technologies in the Quality Management System (QMS). The first section presents a literature review of approaches and trends related to AI technology usage in organisations for data processing and creative-rational decision making, rational and creative quality management decision making and paradigms in decision harmonization. The Main Results section presents practical analysis and testing experience of automated AI Quality Management System developed at a higher education institution. During the analysis, an interview method was applied to find out specific system implementation issues. In the last section, the main analysis results and further development possibilities are discussed. The main findings and conclusions disclose two main problematic areas which may be defined as obstacles for rational and creative management decisions in quality management, related with clear responsibility distribution and assignment between data inputters and experience interpreters and duplicated qualitative data which AI system is not capable of rationalizing at the present development stage, speech and language processing techniques used when data processing algorithms cannot cope with the dual data processing technique, because in practice the system interprets and rationalizes only one category of data either quantitative - based on rational defined indicators, or qualitative, based on language recognition and speech related data interpretation. Managers’ experience in harmonizing creative human experience in organisation’s quality management was evaluated as positive. Data processed by tested AI system allows for rationalization of creative experience with ready quantitative data output from QMS system and final harmonized strategic quality management decisions.

Open access

Maciej Cieślukowski and Mihai Mutascu

Abstract

From October 2017 the European Union envisages the abolition of the so-called sugar quotas and minimum prices for buying sugar beet. As a consequence of these changes the sugar levies paid by the sugar factories of the Member States will cease to apply. The article identifies the fiscal effects of the abolition of these levies. The European Union and the Member States will lose some of their budget revenues. The structure of Member States’ burdens for GNI payments will also change as well as their operating balance relative to the EU budget. Through the change Poland will gain, whereas some large net contributors will lose, i.e. the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Open access

Chinazor Lady-Franca Obunike

Abstract

The study aims at investigating the effect of voluntary career transition on women-owned micro business growth. The independent variable ‘voluntary career transition’ is used as a single construct while the dependent variable ‘business growth’ is decomposed as a multi-construct of sales, employees and assets growth. The population of the study comprises 384 persons, while the sample size used is 250 micro businesses owned by women, who are formal employees of organisations. Average distribution is used to select the number of questionnaires that were distributed by the ten lines of business selected for the study. The study employs self-constructed questionnaire items to measure the independent, while an adopted questionnaire is used for firm growth. Frequencies and descriptive statistics are used to analyse the data collected from 104 questionnaire respondents, while the regression analysis is used to test the hypotheses. The findings indicate that voluntary career transition has a very high positive effect on the employment creation, a high positive effect on the sales growth and a very low positive effect on the asset growth of the business under study. The study, therefore, concludes that although carrier transition from paid employment to micro-businesses might be a difficult carrier choice and unattractive decision, for most women, it has been proven to be a contributing factor that affects the growth of women micro business. The study, therefore, suggests that organisational management and policymakers should encourage intrapreneurs and micro businesses.