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Abstract

Research purpose. High technology creation, as a rule, requires national support systems although the flow of the created value in an international level is unexplored. The national innovation systems are becoming globalized; thus the distinct process of creation, dissemination and implementation of high technologies is becoming globally fragmented and therefore the added value distribution within the global value chain (GVC) should be investigated.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The brief and extensive academic literature review dedicated to high technology creation is introduced, although the empirical investigation is narrowed to the scientific research and development sector, depicted as M72 by NACE statistical classification. Thus empirical research design is based on the sectoral level data, considering M72 sector as the main economic activity for high technology creation. The data for the comparative analysis of countries is retrieved from the 2014 world input–output data (WIOD) which enables to exclude double counting of added value inherent for the convenient import and export data and holds information of intermediate and final consumption of added value within a country and between different countries. The descriptive statistic based on WIOD data is provided and further prescriptive statistics for the data interpretation is conducted. While developing the predictive models, the number of investigated countries varies while the data for M72 sector is not available for all countries provided in WIOD and including to the model basic science and technology indicators as independent variables, retrieved from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development database, the number of countries reduced additionally, also due to the data shortage.

Findings. The key result is the provided methodology for the positioning of the countries evaluating the involvement in the upstream and downstream GVC processes, hereby introducing new indicators that may have an impact on the sector’s performance.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The evaluation of high technologies creation performance would provide insights into the international management and innovation policies, and the matrix concept for the positioning countries by the pattern of involvement to the GVCs could be applied to other sectors.

Abstract

Research purpose. The teacher of higher education should motivate students to use modern information technology training to study the discipline and develop professional competencies in foreign language teaching. The purpose of this research is to highlight the problem of finding the optimal didactic capabilities of modern information technologies used for improving the system of training specialists in the field of foreign languages teaching and to discuss the results of current studies in this direction.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The authors summarized the relevant literature and results of the research and teaching experience. The main theoretical methods of research are modelling and designing the process of incorporating modern information technologies into foreign language teaching at the university. Theoretical methods are supplemented by empirical methods, such as observation, survey, testing, experimental work and methodological analysis.

Findings. The article reveals the main components of the system of using modern technologies of foreign languages teaching at Theory and Practice of Foreign Languages Department of L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University. The article presents a description of training and monitoring online programs, their approbation in real conditions of pedagogical activity, the results of a pedagogical experiment, which proves the effectiveness of using modern technologies in the training of foreign and second language students.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The electronic educational materials, recommendations developed by the authors, can be used in the teaching of foreign language and can serve as a basis for the development of information, communication and instrumental provision in other subjects. The need for further research is as follows: to create online platforms, multimedia and testing programs and to develop variants of using modern technologies in foreign language teaching.

Abstract

Research purpose: The aim was to identify the personal qualities needed to develop sales manager competences.

Design/Methodology/Approach: The methods used were theoretical—systematic analysis of literature sources; empirical—employers’ research questionnaire; descriptive statistical data analysis.

Findings. Having analyzed the competencies and personal qualities required for a sales manager, one can observe the tendency to look at the future specialist in a modern way. Both authors and respondents emphasize that the future employee must take the initiative to improve his/her professionalism. When comparing the competencies, required for the manager, indicated by the scientists and employers, the conclusion is that a large part of managerial competencies are partly or entirely of generic competences origin deriving from the personal qualities. For example, creativity in solving problems is a personal feature, but the ability to solve problems creatively must be accompanied by the ability to base the decision on appropriate knowledge. On the other hand, use of special knowledge must be based on creativity in the search for the necessary information, which is again a matter of personal qualities.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Based on the results of the research carried out, the authors of the article propose measures to improve a sales manager’s competence development(a) by training a sales manager, to reduce the scope of strategic knowledge subjects in the study process, and fill in loose credits with the subjects that develop the student’s competences to identify perfectly the functional values of the products and services sold and to sell them but not just to offer as low price as possible; and (b) in the descriptions of management study programs, to emphasize the orientation to changing labor market factors: increase of personal responsibility, promotion of creativity and individual initiative, continuous learning and adaptation to changing conditions.

Abstract

Research purpose. Stocks as well as other securities are a crucial part of the financial market that helps to redistribute financial resources amongst market participants, which in a modern economy include not only professional stock players but also many common individuals seeking to increase their capital. Previous studies found a strong relationship between the macroeconomic variables and stock returns but often the explanatory power of those models seems to be limited in the applicable region. The aim of this article is to establish whether each region’s stock indices have to be predicted based on a separate set of variables.

Design / Methodology / Approach. The article uses correlation–regression analysis method to confirm the initial hypothesis regarding regional limitations of such prediction models.

Findings. The same set of independent variables cannot be directly applied to different regions because although the chosen Y2B model did provide an accurate relationship between macroeconomic variables and stock indices in the United Kingdom, it failed to provide accurate (usable) results in other regions (Estonia, European Union, France, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania),

Originality / Value / Practical implications. The results are important in order to define the way that the smaller and less-researched economies should be examined because detailed researches of power economies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, China or Germany often cannot be directly applied outside the initial research region. Therefore, the need of separate studies for smaller regions such as Baltic States is confirmed.

Abstract

Research purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of small and medium enterprises in the economy, as well as to study and evaluate the effectiveness of government support methods for small business entities (SMEs) using the example of the Republic of Latvia. The subject of the research was the system of state regulation and promotion of SME development. The object of the research was the sphere of small business in the Latvian economy, including SMEs, infrastructure support and development of small business.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The study used basic methods of scientific knowledge of economics: an interdisciplinary approach combining methods of systems and comparative analysis, an integrated approach, induction, deduction, analysis, synthesis, methods of organization theory and management, logical analysis, strategic management and also economic analysis of small businesses.

Findings. The research resulted in a system of state regulation and promotion of SME development in Latvia developed by the author, based on an assessment of the impact of measures provided to support SMEs, taking into account the importance of the role of small business in the economy of the Republic of Latvia.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The practical significance of the work is that the study completes a number of conclusions and practical recommendations in the field of organizational measures for effective support and multilateral development of the SME sector in the economy, recognition of the role of small business as the basis of the economic stability of the Republic of Latvia and the effectiveness of its support as the main state economic policy goal.

Abstract

Research purpose. With the current and progressive ageing of the population globally, in Europe over the past three decades, the urgency of creating a specific theoretical and educational model for older adults, in which the professional purpose is not the most important, is rising. Senior digital up-skilling is one of the pathways to widen the horizon of senior citizens (aged 55 plus) to be socially included in both society and labour market. The research article reveals the results of the project ‘Digital Acquisition through Intergenerational Learning’ (DIAL No. 2017-1-LV01-KA204-035455, Erasmus Plus programme) senior survey on training needs of digital skills from Latvia.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The research was carried out based on a quantitative survey conducted in four project partner countries in 2018, totally reaching out 1003 respondents. The sample of Latvia represents 236 adult learners, aged 55 plus. The survey was conducted based on two main scales: ‘skill self-assessment and study needs’ and four subscales ‘computer essentials, communication and collaboration, hardware and Internet’. The main aim of the research was to estimate digital literacy level among senior citizens in project countries and develop training and teaching materials for adult learners and teachers based on survey results.

Findings. The main finding reveals the senior digital skill self-assessment and study needs. The majority of respondents revealed that they lack skills of communication in social media; at the same time they are willing to learn how to use Facebook and Viber, but they are not interested to use WhatsApp and Twitter for communication purposes with friends and family. The respondents are interested in apprehending video skills via mobile phones and e-governance service tools. These are only some findings out of almost 70 survey statements.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The training materials in five languages (English, Latvian, Portuguese, Turkish and Greek) were developed based on the senior digital skills self-assessment and study needs survey. This is a practical intellectual output and value of the project DIAL – creation of innovative teaching materials for senior digital up-skilling.

Abstract

Research purpose. Smart City technologies offer great promise for a higher quality of life, including improved public services, in an era of rapid and intense global urbanization. The use of intelligent or smart information and communication technologies to produce more efficient systems of services in those urban areas, captured under the broad rubric of “smart cities,” also create new vectors of risk and vulnerability. The aim of this article is to raise consideration of an integrated cross-domain approach for risk reduction based on the risks smart cities are exposed to, on the one hand, from natural disasters and, on the other, from cyber-attacks.

Design / Methodology / Approach. This contribution describes and explains the risk profile for which smart cities are exposed to both natural disasters and cyber-attacks. The vulnerability of smart city technologies to natural hazards and cyber-attacks will first be summarized briefly from each domain, outlining those respective domain characteristics. Subsequently, methods and approaches for risk reduction in the areas of natural hazards and ICT security will be examined in order to create the basis for an integrated cross-domain approach to risk reduction. Differences are also clearly identified if an adaptation of a risk reduction pattern appears unsuitable. Finally, the results are summarized into an initial, preliminary integrated cross-domain approach to risk reduction.

Findings. Risk management in the two domains of ICT security and natural hazards is basically similar. Both domains use a multilayer approach in risk reduction, both have reasonably well-defined regimes and established risk management protocols. At the same time, both domains share a policymaking and policy implementation challenge of the difficulty of appropriately forecasting future risk and making corresponding resource commitments to address future risk. Despite similarities, different concepts like the CIA Triad, community resilience, absorption capacity and so on exist too. Future research of these concepts could lead to improve risk management.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. Cyber-attacks on the ICT infrastructure of smart cities are a major vulnerability – but relatively little systematic evaluation exists on the topic. Likewise, ICT infrastructure is vulnerable to natural disasters too – and the risk of more severe natural disasters in the context of a global trend toward massive cities is increasing dramatically. Explicit consideration of the issues associated with cross-domain integration of reduction of interdependent risk is a necessary step in ensuring smart city technologies also serve to promote longer-term community sustainability and resilience.

Abstract

Research purpose. To analyse the content of legal acts regulating the personal responsibility of the Member of the Board for overdue tax payments by a legal person, to carry out an analysis of the legal and economic conditions of business development.

Design/ Methodology/ Approach. The study is based on the economic and legal analysis of legal acts using descriptive, analytical, deductive and inductive methods, on the basis of which the authors draw conclusions about the responsibility of the Members of the Board, their rights and obligations towards the state and society, deliberately avoiding compulsory taxes. The research has been created as a systematic review, including searching in databases The Legal acts of the Republic of Latvia and The Commercial Register of the Republic of Latvia, specific literature, publications of expert, methodically analysing, compiling and including and excluding information.

Findings. The responsibility of the Member of the Board for losses incurred by a legal person in Latvia has so far been an insufficiently researched topic and there is a lack of publications and case summaries. This creates problems for the uniform application of the law in practice. This study will analyse current issues – the conditions for the responsibility of a Member of the Board as a natural person for the tax liabilities of a legal person, analysis of statistical data. Changes in statistical data and legislation in the study cover the period from the entry into force of changes in legislation that provide for the personal financial responsibility of the Member of the Board for a legal person’s tax debts.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The study contributes to the analysis of the business environment in two aspects: 1) economic aspects related to changes in the legislation on the personal responsibility of the Member of the Board for corporate tax debts; 2) the legal conditions that affect the role and responsibility of the Member of the Board in a commercial company in case of damages.

Abstract

Research purpose. The EU Customs Law is a significant branch of the EU substantive law. On the basis of the Union Customs Code (UCC; Regulation [EU] No. 952/2013) and the Combined Nomenclature of the European Union (Regulation [EU] No. 2658/87 and its Annexes), it regulates the international trade of the European Union and its Member States with the third countries, in particular the taxation of the international trade operations by applying the customs duties/tariffs. However, after the adoption of the UCC, which imperatively requires all the customs administrations of the EU Member States to work as one, the problem of the uniform application of the EU customs law remains very important. Therefore, the authors analyse the practice of the Baltic States (i.e. Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) in this area, based on the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in cases involving references to the CJEU by the national courts of different Baltic States.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The authors used the thematic analysis method and the method of generalisation of professional (judicial) practice as the basis of the chosen methodology and its design. Therefore, first of all, the authors have selected the judicial cases of the CJEU (in the period from 2010 to 2018) related to a certain theme – customs duties. Second, the authors compared the practice of the CJEU in such cases, which are attributable to the relevant EU Member State in order to identify the problems of uniformity in the application of the EU customs law (specific to the different Baltic States). Finally, by using comparative insights and comparative method, the authors present proposals for the improvement of legal regulation to ensure the compatibility of national rules and practices with the EU law.

Findings. During the investigation, the authors established that the problems of the uniform application of the EU customs law in the Baltic States arose in specific areas. Such areas were tariff classification of goods, determination of the origin and value of goods (in the case of Latvia), regulation of customs procedures (in the case of Estonia), customs duties and other import taxes preferences (in the case of Lithuania). At the same time, it was established that the national courts of the Republic of Lithuania were the least active in ensuring co-operation with the CJEU this area, which could have been caused by the improper national legal regulations.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The authors present (after the assessment of the experience of the Baltic States) the proposals for the improvement of both the legal regulations of the EU customs law as well as national legal regulations (in particular – in the Republic of Lithuania) to improve the areas that cause systemic irregularities of the uniform regulation of the international trade regulatory measures of the European Union. Whilst some of the similar studies were completed in the recent years (e.g. Limbach 2015), they do not provide a detailed comparative analysis of the issues that were investigated, specifically considering the situation in the Baltic States.

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.