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  • Author: Raluca Badea x
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Trust as catalyst for the organizational performance. A focus on a medium-size IT Romanian company

Abstract

In an environment where the shift from knowledge to social economy forces the company to identify a new sustainable approach to attire, motivate and retain employees, partners and shareholders, social capital and its elements seem to be the key. The focus of the article is to prove the contribution that trust, in its entirety, as primary component of the social capital, has on the organizational performance of the company. The centric piece of the paper is based on a quantitative research conducted in a medium size IT company and it is designed to support the hypotheses per which a high level of trust will positively influence the overall business results. Regardless if it’s societal trust, market trust, relationship trust or selftrust, the respondents are requested to assess its multiple dimensions as these are translated into the company’s principles and values, the leaders’ strategy to improve the life of the shareholders, the company’s brands and their impact on the consumers, the relationship between individual and his/her peers and managers, as well as the individual’s aspirational behavior to be a trusted colleague/employee. Analyzing the results of the questionnaire, trust as core element of the social capital appears to be a main factor that drives the competitive advantage, designed to boost the employees’ energy, increase the sustainability for the company, irreversibly gain the confidence of stakeholders and eventually act a catalyst for the individual and organizational performance. The in-progress results of this paper represent significant key findings that trigger a more advance research, at a larger scale, by evaluating other companies, with similar employees’ profile to confirm the magnitude of this influence and convince the business leaders to continue supporting the creation and leverage of social capital in general and strive to generate, build and maintain trust as a must have asset.

Open access
Analyses of Face Recognition Rate Using Holistic Methods

Abstract

The paper focuses on the analysis of holistic facial recognition rates obtained by changing the parameters related to the number of components and the number of images for the same subject in the training set. It has been observed that, regardless of the method used, choosing a small number of samples for the training set does not lead to acceptable results. The recognition rate for using the PCA algorithm is directly influenced by the number of samples and by the size of the feature vector. Thus, if all the features were retained and the number of images in the training set was high, 95% rates were obtained. Similarly, in the case of the extraction of vectors of variable dimensions with DCT and the use of a neural network for classification, the obtained rates were not satisfactory for a small number of samples in the training set.

Open access
Plasma Neutrophil Gelatinase Associated Lipocalin (NGAL) – Early Biomarker for Acute Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Patients

Abstract

Introduction: NGAL (Neutrophil Gelatinase Associated Lipocalin) is a biomarker recently introduced into clinical practice for the early diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI). The aim of this study was to correlate the plasmatic NGAL value determined at admission with clinical progression and severity of AKI in critically ill patients.

Material and method: Thirty two consecutive critically ill adult patients at risk of developing AKI (trauma, sepsis), admitted in Intensive Care Unit of the Clinical County Emergency Hospital Mures, between January to March 2015 were enrolled in the study. For each patient included in the study plasma NGAL levels were determined on admission, and these were correlated with the degree of AKI development (according to AKIN criteria) at 48 hours and 5 days post admission. The discriminatory power of NGAL, creatinine, creatinine clearance and corrected creatinine (depending on water balance) were determined using the ROC (receiver-operating characteristic) and likelihood ratios.

Results: ROC curve analysis showed a better discriminatory capacity in terms of early diagnosis of AKI for NGAL (AUC=0.81 for NGAL, AUC=0.59 for creatinine, AUC=0.62 for corrected creatinine, AUC=0.29 for creatinine clearance). The value of likelihood ratio was also significantly higher for NGAL (3.01±2.73 for NGAL, 1.27±1.14 for creatinine, 1.78±1.81 for corrected creatinine, and 0.48±0.33 for creatinine clearance).

Conclusions: NGAL biomarker has a better discrimination capacity for early prediction of acute kidney injury compared to previously used markers.

Open access
Neurologic Manifestations of Infective Endocarditis

Abstract

Infective endocarditis is an infection of the endocardial surface of the heart. Usually, it affects one or more heart valves or an intracardiac device. Neurologic events (silent or symptomatic) account for 20 to 40% of all patients with infective endocarditis.

We are presenting the case of a 57 -year-old man with cardiovascular risk factors admitted to our clinic for aphasia. His medical history included a recent stroke and small fiber neuropathy with a gradual onset for the past six months. Despite extensive investigations, no cause for strokes and neuropathy could be found. To identify a potential source of embolism, a transoesophageal echocardiography was performed. It revealed vegetation attached to both aortic and mitral valves. Blood cultures were positive for Streptococcus gallolyticus. The patient underwent emergency aortic and mitral valve replacement and a 6-week course of antibiotic treatment with ceftriaxone and gentamicin with the improvement of both aphasia and peripheral neuropathy.

Central nervous system complications such as encephalopathy, seizures, stroke or severe cerebral hemorrhage are commonly described in infective endocarditis, but peripheral nervous system involvement is rarely reported in the literature. Although no cause for neuropathy has been found, it is difficult to asses whether it was a complication of the infective endocarditis.

Open access
The Assessment of Reperfusion Inflammatory Injury in Ischemic Preconditioned Diabetic Rats

Abstract

Objective: The assessment of systemic reperfusion injury and the contractile force of the peripheral muscles post-acute ischemia of the hind limbs in healthy versus diabetic ischemic preconditioned rats.

Method: The study included 16 Wistar rats divided into two groups: the control group and the diabetic ischemic preconditioned group. Acute ischemia was induced, followed by reperfusion. The assessment of reperfusion injury used biochemical, histopathological and functional determinations (peak tetanic tension-PTT, specific tension-ST).

Results: Ischemia-reperfusion injury was more severe in control group regarding creatine-kinase (CK) (CK1=470.13 IU/L versus CK2=230.88 IU/L, p=0.0001) and myoglobin (390.25 ng/mL versus 47.99 ng/mL, p=0.025). Cytolysis enzymes were significantly increased in diabetic preconditioned rats (Alanine aminotransferase ALAT1=46 IU/L, ALAT2=167.8 IU/L, p=0.02; Aspartate aminotransferase ASAT1=106 IU/L, ASAT2=237.5 IU/L, p=0.016). Functional assessment (PTT and ST) highlighted roughly equal values. A paradoxical response occurred in diabetic rats (the contractile force increased during the period of the stimulation). Histopathological findings showed that rhabdomyolysis was more severe in the control group, while inflammatory systemic response due to reperfusion injury was less expressed in diabetic ischemic preconditioned rats.

Conclusions: Ischemic preconditioning reduces the severity of reperfusion injury and allows the preservation of contractile muscle function in diabetic rats.

Open access
Entrepreneurship perception among vulnerable population groups in Romania

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.

Open access