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Achieving strategic agility through business model innovation. The case of telecom industry

Abstract

As we are part of a dynamic world oriented towards change and flexibility, the society becomes more eager to be connected and updated to the latest news. Within this context, the purpose of the current paper is to focus on the tactics the companies use in order to achieve strategic agility in the telecom industry. The study aims to seek and analyzes which are the reasons which support the telecom industry to remain innovative and competitive on the market Therefore in order to align to the exponential trend of the market for innovation, we should have an overview picture of internal capabilities of the organization like human resource, technological advances or innovation. Further on, the literature review strengthens the significance companies place on decisions which keep alive their sustainability. Many studies claim that in order to deliver top results, an organization must be aware and fully exploit its major drivers of success. The paper will bridge the literature review with a realcase analysis. We will use a survey based on a sample of companies operating with the telecom market which will be shared at different levels of the business from stakeholders to top management. The results are meant to lead to a set of findings which influence the companies in being agile on the market. The outcome might serve as a reference point for the ones interested to set up a company within this industry or who are conducting research on this subject.

Open access
Adoption of Circular Economy concepts and practices by Portuguese Citizens and Companies

Abstract

The concept of Circular Economy is an emerging topic and the European Union has established a European Circular Economy Strategy in 2015. Although this concept originates from Europe, there is also an increased attention to the Circular Economy in China and the country has implemented regulatory controls in that regard. The scientific interest on this issue has been increasing and a great deal of research articles has been published in the soundest scientific journals recently. The concept of Circular Economy aims to address the need to pursue economic growth, while protecting the environment (including existing resource limitations and pollution prevention), and paying attention to societal and people needs and expectations. The adoption of Circular Economy can generate considerable tangible and intangible benefits such as new opportunities for co-operation, access to markets and innovation of products and services and, simultaneously, improving the environmental performance and mitigating the risks of resource scarcity. This creates value for the companies and their stakeholders and contributes to enduring success. To assess if the Portuguese citizens and companies support and adopt a “Circular Economy behavior”, an online survey was carried out amongst ISEP - P. Porto population, yielding more than 200 valid responses (65% of the total responses were provided by students). Based on the survey outputs (assessment supported in a 5 point Likert type scale), the following conclusions can be drawn: Most respondents agree that it is beneficial both for the environment and the economy the adoption of production systems based on used products and parts reuse and recycling; There is also agreement that the selective collection of waste should be the base to develop new products and there is significant support for a “zero waste economy” in which all used products or materials are reused or recycled. However, the respondents consider that the Portuguese citizens do not always segregate and deposit their waste in the appropriate waste containers and the same applies to companies that do not segregate and manage their waste adopting a systematically environmentally responsible approach. Moreover, they consider that the Portuguese legislation only mildly supports the adoption, both from citizens and companies, of environmental friendly practices. These conclusions reinforce the need to strengthen Circular Economy concepts and approaches within the Portuguese government, citizens, and companies.

Open access
Analysis of social models in Central and Eastern Europe - A focus on poverty and social exclusion

Abstract

In the present context, defined by a variety of social changes, social advancement is a key point that needs to be sheltered and ensured both in Romania as well as at the level of the European Union, in order to have a coherent European space, to reach and maintain a high level of social and economic welfare. The improvement of the social domain can be triggered by using the principles of the European Social Model, which incorporates values and institutions specially established to protect the integrity of people who are socially disadvantaged. Thus, the paper aims, on one hand, to analyze literature review aspects of the European Social Model as being a social development one and to identify the criteria according to which progress is established in relationship with this model. On the other hand, another goal of the paper is to make a comparative analysis between Romania's performance in the context of Central and Eastern European countries' situation. The purpose of the analysis is to diagnose the progress recorded and the social area in which it took place, as well as the differences between countries. The focus of the analysis will be placed on poverty and social exclusion, as dimensions of the European Social Model. The methodology that will help in undertaking the research comprises two elements: literature review and document analysis. The literature review component involves pinpointing information obtained from scientific articles about the European Social Model and aspects associated with it, available in online databases. The second part of the methodology refers to document analysis, which supposes the assessment of reports issued by organizations that provide such statistical data (Eurostat, World Bank, Social Progress Imperative).

Open access
Bancassurance in a digital era

Abstract

The implementation of bancassurance activity in the banking field contributes to the strengthening of the competitive environment, the development of new products in insurance and the higher satisfaction of the consumer's needs. The strategic priorities of banks are to increase business protection by adding new products to their portfolios, according customer's needs. The distribution of insurance in the bancassurance system is a future solution and will continue to develop on the Romanian market as well. Bancassurance is the main distribution channel in many countries, accounting for more than 50% of life insurance products (eg France, Italy, Spain, Austria), in Portugal the share goes up to 80% and in Romania is around 30%. Among the aspects needed to develop this service, bank representatives propose both the diversification of types of insurance sold through banks, as well as the growth of consumer financial education development and digitalization. This paper aims to highlight different perspectives to relaunch bancassurance activity according to changes from customer behavior and the identification of factors which contributing to the sustainability of bancassurance in digital environment. In addition, will be presented a comparison of the internet penetration rate in the world, the categories of clients using online banking services.

Open access
Branding European countries in the aftermath of important political transitions

Abstract

Given the intensification of the regional economic integration, innovations in the digital technology and transportation infrastructure, the business environment has become highly globalized. In the globalized marketplace, there is one tool that helps countries distinguish themselves, namely nation branding. Nation branding plays a crucial role in attracting investments, boosting exports and increasing the number of tourists and foreigners (workforce and investors alike). Having in mind the importance of understanding the course of history’s new challenges and opportunities, posed by the increased internationalization of the marketplace, the paper looks into efforts made by some European countries in nation branding. An adequate policy of nation branding becomes even more important for certain countries that have passed through important political transitions. Enacting coherent and comprehensive nation brands is essential for the benefit of such transitions. The study explores European countries who transitioned form state-dominated to market economies. As a result, their branding strategies had to be consolidated, while being confronted with important political gambits. The processes undertaken in the quest for nation and place branding and the challenges met by these countries represent the focal point of the analysis. This study overviews the salient challenges, together with inherent mistakes in the attempt of nation branding, at the same time with highlighting the positive facets of the process. Branding countries in the part of Europe that has been shaken by political transitions has been evolving for more than two decades and their practices allows us to pinpoint communalities, challenges and paradigms of nation branding in Europe.

Open access
Building a higher education learning experience strategy; theoretical and practical approaches

Abstract

Higher education institutions face many challenges in order to increase their visibility, recognition and position in the field based or general higher education market. National or international rankings put a lot of pressure on academic leadership to fulfill the criteria of their methodologies. Learning experience is becoming a more and more important dimension of the motivation to study. In the contemporary context of networking diversity, the process of generating learning experience is becoming part of the institutional efforts related to which creating an internal environment is connected to the learning experience generating. The literature review proves a higher interest on student engagement, on students’ and graduates’ involvement in the institutional life, on development a long-term relationship between university and graduates on one hand and between university and industry on the other hand etc. The common issue among all these subjects is the learning experience that is provided to students through all the activities in higher education institutions. What can be done or develop in order to generate a great learning experience starts from a correct, but flexible understanding of the concept. What can be institutionally changed for the benefit of a higher learning experience need a clear recognition of what more experienced institutions have already achieved. The objectives of the paper include: a) a clear understanding of the learning experience concept; b) an overview of the current characteristics of the learning experience providers; c) a start-up strategy for generating learning experience. All these objectives are integrated in a literature review approach as well as in a qualitative study dedicated to the perceptions of students and academics on what learning experience means and what institutionally can be improved. The findings reveal a possible model for building up a learning experience strategy for Romanian higher education institutions.

Open access
Business conjuncturality on the topic of personal mobility using electric automobiles

Abstract

The present article seek to continue last year’s research by improving upon the subjects of current business models pertaining to personal mobility by way of electric automobiles, the efficiency of said models and by eventually developing a propitious business model, tailored to specificities of this domain. While the proposed topic is circumscribed within the general preoccupation with the rehabilitation of the natural environment through a better use of renewable energy, our fascination stems from the fact that personal mobility with the use of electric vehicles is one of the most dynamic and interesting social, economic and cultural worldwide phenomenon of the last decade. This topic has been broached, under different titles, by a number of researchers. After a significant amount of research on the subject, we realised that the importance of some of the thematic problem’s determining factors has not been sufficiently emphasised neither in the theoretical findings of the most current research nor has it been sufficiently considered and practiced by the industry’s ”principal players” - the entrepreneurs and the managers. The satisfaction associated with this newly formed revelation as well as the confidence to further pursue this line of inquiry have been significantly marked by the realisation that the same concerns have already been touched upon by authors such as Christian Lerch, Fabian Kley, David Dallinger, Thomas Budde Christensen, Peter Wells, Liana Cipcigan. Any analysis of the subject matter is further complicated by the current economic turbulence. Therefore, this article aims to provide not only a nuanced understanding and a clear, exact and correct interpretation of some of the most important “factors/variables” involved but also reconsider the significance of said “factors/variables” within the context of the proposed research theme, so that based on the results of our research we might define a epistemologically useful yet practical concept. In any case, the present articles seeks to provoke further analysis and debate over the conjectural nature of innovative business models applicable to the electrical car mobility field.

Open access
Business developments in electronic commerce in Romania, a prerequisite for sustainable growth

Abstract

In recent years, at the European level, electronic sales have gained major importance in the whole commodity trading process. After 1994, for the first time, commercial websites appeared, which brought about the expansion of electronic commerce. Therefore today, the notion of the market has become a global network as a result of improved payment systems, cost reduction, after-sales service development, and significant direct marketing influence.Therefore, a concerted effort is needed at national level to increase information and knowledge resources, including by allocating additional funds to the IT infrastructure, as well as by educating and training the population in the field of informatics. In this paper, we focused on the description of electronic commerce trends in Romania, based on the secondary data provided by the National Institute of Statistics. Thus, the main purpose of this paper is to make a comparative study of the different statistical techniques: the graph method, the structural modification method, as well as the regression and correlation methods (ANOVA), used to describe the new trends of the Romanian commercial technologies. The main conclusion of the paper was that there is a significant correlation between the macroeconomic indicators that characterize the electronic commerce in Romania. Thus, the evolution of the average number of employees in the ICT sector as the resultant variable is influenced at the level of Romania by the macroeconomic indicators that characterize the electronic commerce as the component of the IT market.

Open access
Business excellence models: a comparison

Abstract

A new approach, called “business excellence”, has emerged in the business world and scientific literature in the past decades. Facing an increasingly turbulent and chaotic environment, more and more companies have implemented business excellence strategies and made quality a key element of their business philosophy. Modern measurement frameworks were created and developed by national or international bodies such as the excellence business models. These models provide guidelines and criteria for evaluation and are used by companies across the world as groundwork for continuous improvement. The paper aims to present and compare three well-known business excellence models in the world: Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the Australian Business Excellence Framework and the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model. In this respect, the authors have displayed the key elements of each business excellence model, followed by their comparison. In order to achieve the previous goals, the paper uses two methods: analysis and comparison. The information were obtained from multiple secondary sources of data- books and academic journal articles from the domains of total quality management and production economics found in libraries and electronic databases- through a desk research based on a significant literature review. The paper contributes to a better understanding of the business excellence models and may help managers to design and implement business excellence strategies. The paper shows that business excellence models provide a holistic approach to continuous improvement for any type of organization. These models are based on sound values, concepts and principles and have proved their viability during the time. Consequently, they gave birth to frameworks that allow organizations to benchmark their performances and demonstrate best practices in their field of activity. Also, the research findings indicate that the American model constituted a landmark for other business excellence models around the world.

Open access
Central Bank Independence and economic crises: how both the fed and ECB managed to rely on unconventional monetary policies

Abstract

The Central bank independence was viewed in the last decades as an essential prerequisite for ensuring good monetary policies. However, the global crisis of 2009 has shown that this concept was of little practical importance. The European Central Bank, which was built as one of the most independent central banks in the world, and the Federal Reserve System, a not so independent central bank from the point of view of legal independence, reacted in almost the same manner to the looming crises. Both of them used unconventional monetary policies, for which there was little theoretical support, to safeguard their economies. Quantitative easing, forward guidance and negative interest rate are now considered common instruments in the monetary authority’s arsenal. Moreover, central banks now have an extended goal, i.e. to provide financial stability. This means that they are expected to take action to prevent future economic crises by using monetary policy as a counter-cycle instrument. Given this important modification regarding the expected actions which must come from the monetary authorities, we argue that central bank independence becomes irrelevant in times of economic downturn, when they will use whatever means necessary to ensure financial stability. Political short run need will surpass long run stability as a priority for monetary decision makers.

Open access