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Carmen Păunescu and Laura Blid

Abstract

The ageing of population is a global phenomenon and solutions are looked for in order to milder the economic impact. One alternative is supporting active ageing through development of entrepreneurship among senior population. Seniors are a valuable resource for entrepreneurship. They often have the skills, financial resources and time available to contribute to economic activity. This will lead to the growing prevalence of senior entrepreneurship. Engaging seniors in both business creation and in supporting new and existing entrepreneurs would maximize the quality of their working life, nurture intergenerational learning and ensure knowledge transfer. In this respect, the paper seeks to answer the following questions: What is the seniors’ perception about entrepreneurship and self-employment in Romania? How desirable is a self-employed career for senior population? What are the motivations of Romanian senior population to become self-employed? To achieve these objectives, the paper analyzes the pulse of self-employment in Romania for people from the age group 60+ years. The data used are extracted from the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Reports (AGER) developed for Romania, for the period 2014-2016. Analysis is conducted by taken into considerations the following dimensions of the “entrepreneurship perception”: attitude towards entrepreneurship, intention of starting a business, entrepreneurship career appealing and entrepreneurship motivations. The findings of the paper show that, in general, people over 60 years exhibit a decreasing positive perception about entrepreneurship that can be explained by multiple reasons. In the paper we raise some key issues that require consideration by policy makers in order to support senior entrepreneurship in Romania and improve seniors’ quality of life.

Open access

Carmen Păunescu, Denisa Drăgan and Oana Găucă

Abstract

Developing the local, regional, even national communities is often central to a university’s mission. This is a two-way process and both society and university itself should benefit from this collaboration. Universities around the world have been in the past decades required to leave their ivory tower and to become more involved in addressing the needs of the society and thus more relevant for the communities which they serve. They are expected to take a leadership role in implementation of the required change by contributing to community development through knowledge, innovations, skills and jobs. By taking a leading role in society and continuously innovating, universities will support communities with achieving a sustainable growth and therefore will contribute to increasing the well-being of society at large. The current paper aims to assess the university obligations to society by analyzing 27 universities around the world best ranked in social responsibility according to QS Stars University Rating 2016. In the paper, we discuss the extent to which different attributes of the university social responsibility are reflected among the initiatives and projects run by the universities included in the study. Also, an exploratory factor analysis was employed to identify underlying variables that explain the pattern of correlations between university social responsibility initiatives. Following the QS Stars methodology, the dimensions used to evaluate social responsibility of sampled universities included: community investment and development, social work and disaster relief, regional human capital development, and environmental impact. The results show that the level of involvement in social responsibility actions is high for all the universities included in the study. Also, the types of initiatives vary in terms of nature, intensity and impact for each one of the dimensions analyzed. Our research findings offer useful insights for both universities’ leaders and community developers in their joint-efforts to develop and grow a prosperous community.

Open access

Carmen Păunescu and Laura Blid

Abstract

The global pressing need to protect the environment, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide has prompted the enterprises to implementing both individual energy saving measures and a more systematic approach to improve the overall enterprise’s energy performance. Energy management is becoming a priority as enterprises strive to reduce energy costs, conform to regulatory requirements, and improve their corporate image. As such, enterprises are encouraged to manage their energy related matters in a systematic manner and a more harmonized way, to ensure continual improvement on their energy efficiency. Despite the increasing interest in energy management standards, a gap persists between energy management literature and current implementation practices. The release of the ISO 50001 international standard was meant to help the organizations develop sound energy management systems and effective process-based energy management structures that could be recognized through third-party certification. Building on the energy management literature and energy management standards, the current paper presents the essential steps the enterprises should take to practically design a sustainable energy management system. Also, by using multiple case studies of enterprises that have implemented an ISO 50001 energy management system, it introduces a structured approach that companies can use to effectively develop their energy planning and improve energy performance. The key components of the enterprise’s energy planning are discussed, as well as practical examples of energy objectives and performance indicators from various industries are offered. The paper shows that by establishing an effective energy planning system, this will efficiently meet demands for achieving energy performance indicators and international certification.

Open access

Carmen Păunescu, Oana Găucă and Denisa Drăgan Gilmeanu

Abstract

Universities have always been engines for the economy, in multiple roles they play, trying to adapt to the continual dynamic changes in the environment, to better align their offerings with the current expectations of the students, employers and society as a whole. Many of the jobs that are now developing on the market and still will develop, as well as the multiple roles that the graduates are asked to play in society, have never been on the agenda of the universities in the past, nor on the mind of the curriculum designers. The current paper aims to assess the university engagement with community by analyzing 27 world universities best ranked in social responsibility according to QS Stars University Ratings 2016. In the paper, we discuss the extent to which different attributes of the university social responsibility are reflected among the initiatives and projects run by the universities investigated. Also, we analyze correlations between university ranking in social responsibility and other rankings. Following the QS Stars methodology, the criteria used to evaluate social responsibility of selected universities included: community investment and development, social work and service in community, human capital development, environmental concern and impact, and other social responsibility actions. The results show that the degree of involvement of universities in social responsible initiatives varies broadly for each one of the dimensions analyzed, in terms of nature, intensity and impact of initiatives. Our research findings offer good insights for both universities’ leaders and community developers in their joint-efforts to develop and grow a prosperous community.

Open access

Carmen Păunescu, Mihaela Cornelia Popescu and Laura Blid

Abstract

Organizations are increasingly subject to hazardous events and threats, which can be critical for their business operations and performance. Any natural, accidental, or deliberate incidents that happen to the organization can cause major disruptions to it. The present paper aims to examine the prerequisites for a sound business impact analysis necessary to build the organization’s business continuity management capability and ensure business resilience. It is meant to discover those critical functions and resources which are vital to business operations in a sample of small and medium-sized enterprises from a certain geographic area in Romania, in order to maintain their core operations and ensure business continuation. The research results rely on the data collected through face-to-face interviews from 119 Romanian companies. The research findings of the multiple linear regression employed indicate that, in undertaking business impact analysis for business continuity, it is vital for enterprises to identify the skills and level of expertise required from staff to carry out organization’s critical activities. Also it is critical for companies to identify alternative premises and systems and means of voice and data communication, as well as the priority suppliers/partners whom they depend on, necessary to undertake their critical activities. The study contributes to the literature by providing empirical evidence on the prerequisites of the organization’s business impact analysis that are critical to build a strong business continuity management capability. It also offers new insights to companies meant to generate a better understanding of current practices of undertaking a business impact analysis for business continuation in their organizations.

Open access

Carmen Păunescu, Daniela Staicu and Oana Pop

Abstract

The paper aims to assess the propensity for entrepreneurship among rural populations in ten Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The entrepreneurship propensity is measured against four dimensions: entrepreneurial potential, desirability of self-employment, feasibility of selfemployment and the comfort with acquiring customers. In addition, we analysed key motivations for self-employment among rural populations in the sample countries, namely: the prospects of second income; self-fulfilment and possibility to realize own dreams and ideals; and return to job market as alternative to unemployment. The objectives of the paper are three-folded: (1) To determine how likely are the rural populations in the CEE countries studied to take on a self-employment activity; (2) To understand the perception of rural populations in the CEE countries about entrepreneurship and selfemployment; and (3) To identify the apparent similarities and differences in the countries studied among the rural populations in terms of their perception about entrepreneurship and motivations for self-employment. The study interprets the data collected in 2016 through the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report. The research is meant to foster and popularize the rural entrepreneurship career model among rural communities in the sample CEE countries. This is important in order to know what can be done to encourage the business continuation and growth of rural entrepreneurs.

Open access

Carmen Păunescu, Alexandra Ioana Pascu, Adina Filculescu and Raluca Badea

Abstract

This paper aims to explore the entrepreneurship perception among diverse populations in Romania typically seen as vulnerable. It also aims to provide support regarding how the concept might be useful in considering and designing alternative policy interventions. The vulnerable population groups studied in the paper differ by age (seniors), gender (females), income (low income population) and residence (rural community). The paper attempts to answer three research questions: (1) how attitudes towards entrepreneurship differ among vulnerable population groups; (2) how intention of starting a business varies among studied population; and (3) what is the likelihood and desirability of studied population to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice. The data analysed in the paper are extracted from the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER) developed for Romania, for the period 2014-2016. Analysis is conducted by taken into consideration the following dimensions of the “entrepreneurship perception”: attitude towards entrepreneurship, intention of starting a business, entrepreneurship as a career choice, and likelihood of self-employment. The paper aims to contribute to advancing research on the less addressed and less understood entrepreneurship perception among vulnerable populations. In the paper we make recommendations for governmental institutions that are meant to contribute to designing policy interventions that will nurture entrepreneurship spirit in Romania.