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Open access

Meng Yan and Kai Shi


Research purpose. The job types might be potential determinants of subjective well-being (SWB), which is seldom investigated in the current literature. This article examines this relationship by collecting data from the Chinese Household Income Project in 2013 to explore this relationship.

Approach. In line with existing studies on SWB, we apply the ordered probit model and further estimate the effects of different job types on SWB.

Findings. This article demonstrates that individuals employed by Sino-foreign joint enterprises tend to have the lowest SWB. On the contrary, those employed by the public sector and private enterprises are more likely to acquire higher satisfaction.

Practical implications. To conclude, job types are closely linked with SWB and job types should be incorporated as a crucial factor when further analysing the SWB.

Open access

Sofiya Shvelidze


Research purpose. The regime of maritime spaces as a general rule ‘is determined by the principles and norms of international law relating to the oceans and enshrined in the Geneva Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1958 and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982(UNCLOS). However, the issue is that UNCLOS practically does not fix any special regime on the Arctic, bearing in mind that the use of the Arctic spaces is rather effectively regulated at the national levels. Arctic issues in this regard lacked in-depth analysis, and no attempts to develop specific norms and approaches with regard to the Arctic region were made, with the exception of Article 234 of UNCLOS, which is related to the right of the coastal States to ‘regulate navigation’ in its Exclusive Economic Zones. The purpose of the current research is to analyse how far a State may go in the process of establishment of the laws and regulations while exercising the right granted by Article 234, with the particular focus made on the position taken by the Russian Federation.

Design / Methodology / Approach. In order to achieve the aims of the research, a descriptive method was chosen as the method for clarification on the legal regime currently applicable in the Russian Arctic Sector, in particular supported by the dogmatic method, in order to understand and explain the position taken by the legislative bodies.

Findings. The result of the research is the attempts to satisfy how having interests and stakes in the region of high overall salience contributes to prioritization by Russian Federation of its rights over the region by restrictions imposed on the navigational freedoms granted to the States by UNCLOS. Additionally, suggestions are made in respect of the possible solutions necessary in order to strike a balance between national interests of the Arctic States and rights of others States to access the area without causing any harm to the environment and security of the region.

Open access

Pavol Durana, Jana Kliestikova and Maria Kovacova


Research purpose. The quality means a core attribute of the product. Based on empirical assessment of the consumer, it is ascertained if the products are of high quality. However, there may be considerable counterarguments against this assessment, because quality is a subjective characteristic. For this reason, a paradoxical situation arises – the same product that we consider to be a quality product someone else may regard as insufficient quality. What is considered standard quality level in some cases may be the assumed to have achieved world-class quality. This way the definition of quality product is very difficult. Brand is one of possible ways to differentiate products from one to another and at the same time it is one of possible ways to simplify consumer choices of choosing the best product. The brand can be the label for many consumers synonymous with quality. In this paper, the existence of difference between expected and delivered quality of brand products is analysed.

Design / Methodology / Approach. The survey of detection of the sources of the value of the brand was realized in 2018 in Slovak conditions. This primary source provided the base assessment of quality of branded sport clothes, cars, banks, cola drinks and brand products in general. Using factor analysis, supported by Cronbach’s alpha, verified by Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure and Bartlett's test of sphericity, comprehensive factors that enable comparison of expected attributes and perceived reality were constructed. The extraction method of factor analysis was principal component analysis, the rotation method was Varimax with Kaiser normalization. Then the factors were analysed by chi-square test and correspondence analysis.

Findings. The objective of this article was to detect the existence of differences between the expected and perceived quality of brand products in Slovak conditions. Comprehensive factors were constructed that contain information about quality of branded clothes, cars, banks, cola drinks and brand products in general. The dependence of expectations and reality was indicted and paper resolved the relations between individual categories of factors.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. The original survey of attitudes of Slovak consumer was made. The information about of notable sample was analysed, and this empirical study pointed out the real quality of brand products.

Open access

Greta Keliuotytė-Staniulėnienė and Gintarė Smolskytė


Research purpose. The development of financial technology sector (fintech) poses a challenge for traditional financial institutions. Therefore, it is important to analyze not only how financial technologies can change, but also how the fintech sector affects banks and their profitability. The aim of the paper is to analyze the possibilities for the development of financial technology sector and quantitatively evaluate its impact on the banking sector’s profitability in Lithuania.

Design / Methodology / Approach. After the analysis of academic literature and statistical data, the authors used expert evaluation method in order to identify development opportunities of fintech in Lithuania and correlation-regression analysis was applied to evaluate the impact of fintech on the profitability of the Lithuanian banking sector.

Findings. According to the results of expert assessment research, Lithuania possesses favorable conditions for fintech enterprises to enter the Lithuanian finance market; it is expected that this sector will continue to rapidly expand mostly in payments and banking business models. Correlation-regression analysis showed that fintech indicators has an effect on the banking sector’s profitability but the effect in not very significant. The significance of the connection is lower because banking sector adapts technologies and is influenced by fintech from inside and outside the environment.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. The fintech sector in Lithuania is still new and so far very little researched. The outcomes of this research have expanded the scope of research of the Lithuanian fintech sector. The obtained results would be useful and relevant to (i) the government sector to manage risks and ensure stability in the financial sector; (ii) financial sector entities to monitor possible developments and prepare them accordingly; and (iii) banking sector to analyze the impact of technology and fintech entities on them and take strategic decisions in this regard.

Open access

Rafał Rydzewski


Research purpose. There are many reasons for which a growing interest in research and analysis of video game developers is observed. First, it results from attractive high rates of return on investment in this sector. Second, video games developers, in the author’s opinion, constitute a good combination of business and culture which is a ground for development of creative industry. A capital-intensive process of production and the intangibility of video games cause a problem in valuation of developers. Market participants who value future cash flows are in conflict with a historical cost approach used in accounting. This leads to a question of whether the confrontation of these two extreme ways of valuation could be a valuable measure of unrecognised assets for the analysis of video games sector and, as a consequence, of creative industry. The aim of the study is to explore a possible role and use of market-to-book ratio for analysis of this sector.

Design/Methodology/Approach. The study starts with a literature review on market-to-book ratio applied to knowledge-based industries. The second part of the research is a comparison of results obtained for 19 biggest listed representatives of the video games sector in Poland to other sectors of Warsaw Stock Exchange. Further analysis juxtaposes the selected Polish representatives with world’s biggest ones in this sector. This will allow to draw conclusions about the usefulness of the examined ratio.

Findings. The research shows that the video games sector represents noticeably higher level of market-to book ratio than other industries in Poland and is comparable to the world’s representatives. It can be stated that the market’s valuation takes into account unrecognised assets (intellectual capital), which are greatly related to possible future cash flows. What is interesting is that, for some of the selected Polish companies, market-to-book ratio keeps decreasing compared to the levels at IPO. This refers to market efficiency in relation to possible speculative bubbles which companies of this sector are often accused of.

Originality/Value/Practical implications. The obtained results are applicable to the investors, analysts and managers of this sector. The research conducted enables a better understanding of the market-to-book ratio as an indicator of economic standing of creative industry companies and its earnings’ prediction.

Open access

Pavol Kral, Katarina Janoskova and Pavol Durana


Research purpose. The aim of the paper is to create a model that allows building an optimal brand portfolio, allowing an organisation to achieve its goals. The created model is based on the bivalent programming theory. A mathematical model of optimum brand portfolio is created based on linear programming with restricting conditions being the maximum acceptable risk level and budget. The basic types of resources and basic types of relations between brands are explained, which are part of the process of brand portfolio optimization.

Design / Methodology / Approach. Knowledge and many years of experience of mainly economic disciplines were used for the selection of characteristics for brand portfolio specified in this article. Our assumptions were based mainly on project portfolio management, operational analysis and linear programming as well as tools and methods of graph theory.

Findings. Brand portfolio management such as creating, planning, organising and then maintaining a successful brand is a costly and long-term process involving effective marketing strategies and decisions. The prerequisite for brand portfolio creation is deciding on the number and type of brands. A properly constructed brand portfolio is a prerequisite for achieving business goals.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. Brand portfolio optimisation requires sufficient attention; however, rather than the selection of the highest number of brands, it should be based on compilation of a set, according to pre-defined priorities, which would provide the best possible means to meet the company’s goals for the current limitations. It should be implemented upon objective rules (in our case maximum allowable risk level and available budget). Frequent changes in the brand portfolio structure are not beneficial since they reduce the ability for the company to achieve its targets and represent excessive use of resources. In addition, qualitative brand characteristics have to be respected in the brand portfolio management, but this was not covered in our research.

Open access

Wojciech Kaczmarczyk


Research purpose: Seven of 10 companies that have won the Polish Forbes edition Merge & Acquisition 2018 Ranking are listed on Warsaw Stock Exchange. The aim of the conducted research was to test if the biggest acquisitions have an impact on stocks value and is it possible for typical investor to create extra profit by using knowledge of acquisition based on public information.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Using data from Warsaw Stock Exchange (quotations), typical measures such as rate of return, standard deviation (risk), correlation and transaction volume changes were calculated. Each of the case results obtained for the company was compared with the result for stock market indexes: WIG (Warszawski Indeks Giełdowy – main WSE index), WIG20 (WSE sub-index of the 20 largest companies), mWIG40 (WSE sub-index of 40 medium companies) and sWIG80 (WSE sub-index of 80 small companies). In addition, the outcomes were confronted with public news (from WSE Electronic System for Information Transfer).

Findings: Conducted research has shown that generally successful finalisation of acquisition results in changes of stock prices behaviour. Unfortunately, observed reactions were not the same. Acquisitions induced both increases and decreases in stock prices; there was also no rule in case of risk change. Generally, acquisitions and merges had rather good influence in banking sector (which is still concentrating), but there was no common reaction in other sectors.

Originality/Value/Practical Implications: The results will be useful for investors acting on Warsaw Stock Exchange, especially for individual investor who are not able to carry out detailed analyses. The research provides results including possible pre-effects and after-effects of making big acquisition by a large company. The negative market reactions were also shown.

Open access

Alin Teodorus Drăgan


One of the forms that cybercrime can take at present is illegal access to a computer system. From the very beginning, the world of computers and of the Internet was based on imperfections, defects, and sometimes on poorly understood processes. We might even call this fact “the original sin” of the Internet. In the end, it is not only computer scientists who have come to exploit such defects, but also criminals. In the real world, there are people who break into homes and take away everything they find valuable. In the virtual world, there are individuals who penetrate into computer systems and steal all valuable data.

Open access

Primož Pevcin


Research purpose. Various city labels have become increasingly popular both in literature as well as in urban policy-making. It has become relatively common that cities make a proclamation that they either are or would at least like to become, smart, sustainable, digital, creative, intelligent among other things. These proclamations have become popular for the purpose of solving complex urban problems, electoral gains at the local level, and also for marketing reasons. Nevertheless, those city labels often have a blurry line, in terms of what each label represents and should stand for. It is evident that utilising appropriate city categories and labels has become a rather complex issue. Consequently, this paper would like to investigate this issue. The paper questions the dynamics how different city labels were used throughout the time and to which academic fields are specific city labels related to.

Design / Methodology / Approach. We would like to investigate the dynamics how different city labels were used throughout time and which academic fields are specifically related to labels most frequently. For this purpose, we will focus on the content analysis of topics and titles within the Web of Science Core Collection database.

Findings. The evidence suggests that the labelling depends also on the time span we are scrutinising and also on the scientific field the literature being related to. Some city labels have become popular just recently, and their appearance in specific academic fields is the differentiator. For instance, the label ‘smart city’ is currently the most important label. But it has become popular only several years ago, and this label appears most frequently in the ‘technical’ literature. The research indicates that city labelling is a rather dynamic process, since some labels are gaining and other labels are losing their popularity in time.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. The debate exists in the literature on the suitability of different city labels and terminology utilised. Some labels derive from top-down perspective, others derive from bottom-up perspective, some labels are more holistic than others, some are politically more acceptable than others, etc. Simultaneously, those city labels are often used interchangeably and sometimes they overlap. This paper would like to contribute to the scientific literature by providing additional evidence and explanations on the utilisation of particular city labels.

Open access

Michael Levens


Research purpose. The study of marketing a lifestyle offering involves allowing brands from different categories to collaborate in giving, essentially, a new offering as a bundle to consumers. This is particularly important for brands operating in segments that have a significant loyalty or in segments that have become or are becoming commodities. A lifestyle offering can span categories and address latent consumer attitudes such as aspiration and convenience. Lifestyle bundles were introduced as a “way of life that individuals express by choosing to allocate their time and personal resources to a single package of two or more goods or services that they believe represent their current or desired way of life” (Levens, 2010). The initial research on lifestyle bundles was contextualized through a bundled multi-category luxury offering, targeting affluent consumers, which was built on the concepts of luxury marketing, bundling and the needs, attitudes and behaviours of affluent consumers. The bundle items include a home, a vehicle and a vacation club. This paper revisits the original work on this topic and explores ways to enhance interest in the underlying bundle proposition.

Design / Methodology / Approach. The methodology to explore enhancements to the lifestyle bundles involved re-analyzing the data cube used to develop the inaugural lifestyle bundle research (Levens, 2010). The data cube was mined to identify individual preferences to increase consumer interest in the original concept. The underlying argument is that adjusting the lifestyle bundle items may increase consumer interest in the overall concept. The analysis presented in this paper was completed through statistical description using SPSS software.

Findings. The initial concept evaluation identified a non-trivial level of interest in the lifestyle bundle consisting of a home, a vehicle and a vacation club. This paper identifies modifications to the bundles that would increase consumer interest among rejecters and supporters of the lifestyle bundle concept. While novelty was acknowledged as a reason for consumer interest, it was clear that utility derived from convenience and lifestyle expression was the basis for many consumers supporting the concept. Concept rejecters also noted these attributes as influencing their opinions. Elimination of the vacation club offer from the lifestyle bundle would have the greatest impact on increasing rejection. Adding home and vehicle insurance to the lifestyle bundle would have the greatest impact on enhancing the value proposition for concept supporters.

Originality / Value / Practical implications. Lifestyle bundles are a novel approach for marketers to differentiate their products and create new opportunities among consumers who might have not previously considered their products or services. Enhancing the lifestyle bundle offer can only increase those opportunities.