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Abstract

Research Purpose. This article examined critical thinking skills amongst senior-level undergraduate students in a Middle East setting, Kuwait. In addition, the study investigated the gender differences.

Methodology. The subjects involved in this study comprised a convenience sample of 90 graduating seniors. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of two motivational factors on the development of critical thinking skills. The analysis used the specific subsection about critical thinking skills, which is part of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). One factor relates the sense of entitlement that can arise in a welfare state, which heavily subsidises a wide range of things for citizens, including education. We examined differences between citizens and non-citizens, who do not have access to welfare benefits.

Findings. The results supported the hypotheses that student groups have different levels of critical thinking skills. We found that expatriate students had more highly developed critical thinking skills than students who were Kuwaiti citizens. We also found that women had more highly developed critical thinking skills than men had.

Practical Implications. The welfare state measures undertaken by the government of Kuwait may be counterproductive. The guaranteed employment of its citizens and generous monetary support whilst in school may discourage the development of critical thinking skills. Future research could focus on ways to motivate particular groups (e.g. Kuwaiti men) to enhance their critical thinking skills.

Abstract

Firefighters have a demanding and difficult mission both physical and mental so their training must be rigorous and well prepared, therefore they should have good physical resistance, strength, speed, and coordination. Our study focuses on the 4 x 100 m race with obstacles and how should firefighters physically prepare for the race. We had two different samples that form the first and second team of ISU Sibiu in the competition of firefighters of 4 x 100 m race with obstacles, formed by 10 males with age of 30 ± 3.5 years old with experience in this kind of competitions between 2 and 7 years. We presented our training program and the effects on the results of our athletes and also analyze the efficiency of developing motor qualities such as strength, speed, resistance and coordination. The results show relatively good improvements in the performance time in any of the fourth exchanges and also in the motor qualities level. Conclusions of our research present the efficiency of training athletic skills and also the motor qualities in obtaining better results at the 4 x 100 m race with obstacles.

Abstract

Research purpose. The importance of sustainable development, the need to achieve sustainable economic development that does not harm the environment, conserve natural resources or exacerbate tensions in society has been increasingly discussed over the last decade. The purpose of the research is to evaluate the economic growth and decent work environment in G20 countries during 2013–2018 as G20 countries are the fastest growing countries in the world, and their economy describes the major part of the global economy.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Qualitative data analysis based on the comparative analysis of scientific literature, content analysis, interpretation, comparison and grouping is used, in order to analyse the theoretical aspects of sustainable development and its goals, especially goal 8: decent work and economic growth. TOPSIS method helps to rank G20 countries according to the indicators of SDG 8.

Findings. The results showed that Japan reached the best work environment and the most significant economic growth during 2013–2018. The United States is in second place and the third – the Republic of Korea. In the bottom three are Argentina, Brazil and South Africa.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Since it is challenging to identify the achievements of the economic and work environment development, as an essential part of sustainable development goals, the results could lead to future insights that will create value to policymakers, economists and other stakeholders.

Abstract

The topic addressed in this article is a current one and modern armies discuss it a lot and many analyses and comments can be made. In the article, the author presents the general framework of operations in the urban environment and starting from the operational requirements mandatory to conduct such operations he analyzes the prospects that such operations have in future military operations and proposes directions for action necessary for the effective training of the subunits within the Romanian Land Forces.

Abstract

Research purpose. This article aims at distinguishing and weighting the educational factors that could have an impact on young people’s choice to study in European higher education institutions (HEIs).

Design/Methodology/Approach. To achieve the aim, previous research and scientific literature were studied and experts from student society and the higher education sector, who deal with international students, were interviewed. The developed questionnaire was based on pairwise comparison procedure, and the obtained data were processed using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method.

Findings. The findings revealed that the following factors are the most critical for students who want to study at European HEIs: provision of programmes that are taught in English, the existence of scholarship opportunities, provision of different facilities in the campus, and accreditation of the study programme and university.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The current study focuses on a topic that has been studied fragmentally, that is, on which factors are crucial for an international student to choose HEI in Europe. The current research contributes to the existing scientific literature by identifying and systemising educational factors influencing young people’s choice to study in Europe. The obtained results could be useful for professionals who are responsible for strategic partnerships at European universities.

Abstract

The process of identification of radioactive isotopes using gamma ray spectrum produced by scintillation detectors is a fundamental problem in physics. Military applications also require fast and efficient methods, especially in field conditions, for identifying unknown isotopes. The fundamental problem is the relationship between the observed gamma ray spectrum given by the detector and the real spectrum. This problem can be treated as a mathematical problem. The relationship between the real and the observed spectrum can be described by a linear algebraic equation system. In the previous article Cholesky-decomposition has been applied. In this article one more independent mathematical tool is proposed to solve the linear system efficiently.

Abstract

University “Ovidius” of Constanța, Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with the Diving Center, has conducted several research studies regarding the evolution of the vital functions of divers in the hyperbaric environment. Their breathing is constantly adapting to withstand the physiological changes. Reducing the residual volume of the lungs is an essential parameter for improving respiratory function in the event of increased physical effort. The residual volume cannot be determined by spirometry. The medical researchers and engineers developed an original test plan and verified the residual volume of the subjects, by experimental determinations on groups of divers, during simulated diving, with air, at 18 m, in the Hyperbaric Complex of the Diving Center. The study is useful in the prevention of occupational diseases specific to divers and in knowing their limits of adaptation to the hyperbaric environment.

Abstract

Research purpose. The main task of this article consists in outlining several conceptions of teaching that we consider crucial to develop knowledge, skills and personal qualities in future managers, which they need in a constantly changing innovative business environment.

Design/Methodology/Approach. Methods of contrastive analysis, method of decomposition and questionnaire survey form the methodological basis of research.

Findings. As a result of empirical research, the article describes the level of students’ demand for mastering innovative skills and the extent to which this demand is met in the framework of educational programme.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The method elaborated in the article is easily applicable in different educational programmes, economic subjects and environments as well as different curriculum plans. It is expected that improved learning skills and satisfaction will increase learning outcomes in long-term outlook. The article suggests new integrated teaching approach to organising collaborative work so that the full potential of students in solving economic problems is developed through and alongside the use of interactive learning tasks. It relies on thorough analysis of reasons for students’ critical attitude towards creative and innovative thinking in their profession.

Abstract

Research purpose. To get a validation of the structure, pillars and components that seem to be central, and under which, business management and managers need to develop abilities and competences to ensure the sustainability of their organizations according to the ‘DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability’ structure.

Design/Methodology/Approach. For the validation of the structure, pillars and components and it’s practical application to measure the organization’s sustainability level with the referred model, despite the focus group exercise made in an early stage, it’s also important to get a solid opinion about it among managers and also in academia, specifically among teachers and investigators on management, business administration and economics as well near master and doctorate students in this field. In this paper, we analyse the results obtained in an exploratory study, based on a survey made among students from four different master’s degree in several specific areas of business management from the School of Business Administration from the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (Portugal).

Findings. Main results obtained with this exploratory study let the authors be granted with the developments made so far in the model and its structure, pillars and components. However, only with a major collection of opinions (answer to the survey) from the referred groups, it’s possible to define and adjust the final structure and components of the DPOBE Model.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. Being an investigation with several years of development, with several articles, chapters of books, master’s degree thesis, congress presentations and papers made so far, only with a solid and validated structure, pillars and components of the DPOBE Model for Organizational Sustainability, it’s possible to go to its aim, the use of it as a quantitative tool to measure the effective organizations sustainability in a way different from other existing sustainability tools and indexes.

Abstract

Research purpose. The green economy may become a solution to the existing problems. The European Union must implement solutions related to the green economy in order to solve the existing ecological, economic and social problems in the region, such as pollution in the Baltic Sea region, inequality, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and so on. It can be assumed that green economy evaluation research conducted in the scientific community does not always reflect the real situation, due to the lack of indicators or limited evaluation methodology. The aim of this article is characterized by academic literature to identify green economic development indicators and evaluate green economic development indices in three Baltic countries: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The article uses analysis of scientific literature, systematization, comparative analysis, generalization and data normalization methods.

Findings. The analysed scientific literature and reports of international organizations, resolutions and conference agreements allow to compile a list of indicators for the evaluation of green economy development. The results showed that in all the analysed countries, a strong growth of green economy development indices can be seen; in Estonia, they remained the best among the three Baltic countries during the analysed period. An analysis of which individual indicators are most important in the development of the green economy and have the greatest significance for the index has shown that their estimates and position have changed significantly in less than two decades.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The identification of green economy indicators provides a new approach to the structure of green economy components. Indicators measured over time describe the structural characteristics and quantitative changes of the green economy, and provides a new understanding of the opportunities and directions of green economy development. In the framework of this study, fifteen indicators were selected for the analysis of green economy in the Baltic States. The normalization and further evaluation of these indicators from the point of view of the green economy allowed to determine the significance of individual social, economic and environmental dimensions for the overall green economy index and to show the changes over a period. The collected data also form the basis for further in-depth prognostic studies.