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  • Author: Ramona Cantaragiu x
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Corporate social entrepreneurship initiatives against food waste – The case of Lidl in Romania

Abstract

Food waste is one of the major global sustainability issues which, in the last few decades, has come to the attention of numerous organizations which have implemented strategies aimed either at preventing food waste, recovering the food and reusing it for human consumption or ensuring that the food unfit for human consumption is recycled into compost, animal feed etc. Previous studies have highlighted that major retailers share a large portion of the responsibility for combating food waste and that they are particularly well-positioned to contribute with a solution to this issue. Thus, the study explores the ways in which food chain responsibility can be incorporated into the overall strategy of large chain retailers through the theoretical framework of corporate social entrepreneurship. Lidl’s initiative against food waste in Romania provides the background for the discussion of the means through which the resources owned by these chain retailers can be mobilized in order to help increase the amount of food that is recovered and reused for alleviating the problem of food scarcity among disadvantaged groups. The study highlights the aspects that are necessary for a successful corporate social entrepreneurship initiative aimed at reducing food waste: a) a clear articulation of the problem and solution; b) the mobilization of actors from the civil society; c) continuous investment; and d) the alignment of the scaling up strategy of the initiative with the retailer’s resources. The study concludes that a food waste program based on the principles of corporate social entrepreneurship can generate a sustainable competitive advantage for retailers.

Open access
The Impact of Gender on Food Waste at the Consumer Level

Abstract

Food waste is one of the main contributors to economic disparities, social inequalities and environmental pollution. Numerous studies have sought to understand the drivers of food waste at various stages in the food supply chain, including the consumption stage. Based on a quantitative analysis of 252 Romanian consumers, the present study shows that gender is an important factor that affects the individuals’ attitudes and behaviours in regard to food and a potential factor that could affect the amount of food wasted. The study found that attitudes towards food waste evolve as individuals age, and that, at each stage, women tend to be more concerned about the negative impact of food waste on social equity or the family budget than men. In addition, women were found to display behaviours in regard to food acquisition and preparation that can result in higher food waste in a larger degree than men, even though the study found no differences in the actual amount of food wasted by the two genders. The results of the study are important because they show the need to adapt the public awareness campaigns on food waste on the particularities of each gender across several age groups.

Open access
Civic Engagement Index (CEI) - the case of liberal arts universities from Romania

Abstract

We have arrived to a moment in history when the society we are living in is confronted with different sets of problems: hunger, crime, economic crises, natural disasters or cataclysms, and various human rights violations. At the moment the most appropriate way to solve these problems still lies with the organisms of the nation state. As such, the lack of civic sense and the increasing political apathy will only allow these problems to grow out of proportions. We are of the opinion that most of them can be counteracted if we try to educate the civic sense in people. By civic sense or engagement we understand a type of orientation towards being involved in social groups according to democratic principles. It is said the post-socialist countries are particularly threatened by the lack of civic engagement on behalf of their citizens that have reached the point where they take democracy for granted. This is why we explore the role played by universities in developing and shaping this civic attitude amongst young people. In order to do so, we resorted to questionnaires applied in liberal arts universities in Romania. These universities have a special relation to democratic principles, national pride and the perpetuation of the nation state as an ideal for its citizens and because of this we believe they represent a proper starting point for the current investigation. The areas that are targeted through the questionnaire are the following: the academic environment, the methods through which civic values are instilled in the hearts and minds of the students, and the institutional and personal factors that determine faculty to introduce civic values in their academic environments. Using the results we create the Civic Engagement Index (CEI) that can be used as a valuable benchmarking mechanism for those universities that are trying to enhance their civic engagement activities. Finally, we test the hypothesis that certain universities fail to create civic-oriented graduates and we propose ways in which the organizational culture could be transformed into a more supportive one: civic participation guides, civic responsibility classes, and service learning classes for faculty members to increase their openness towards the promotion of civic values.

Open access
HR specialists’ perceptions of the desirability of psychopathic traits in job candidates

Abstract

The study of psychopathy in organizational settings is still in its incipient stage, but scholars have already proven that the prevalence of psychopathic features in the corporate environment, especially in senior positions, is higher than in the general population (3% compared with 1% in general population) and that employees with psychopathic tendencies have a negative impact on the sustainability of organizations. It has been argued that human resources specialists have to become astute at identifying employees with psychopathic features in order to be able to manage their careers in a way that would not affect the organization’s wellbeing. However, research has also proved that there are several psychopathic traits which make job candidates likelier to obtain a job, due to the positive impression that they create during the job interview. The study tested the desirability of psychopathic traits in job candidates from the perspective of human resources specialists and, based on a survey of a sample of 68 Romanian human resources specialists, found that candidates displaying an ability to remain calm under pressure, self-confidence and persuasiveness are more likely to be hired. Moreover, the study concluded that Romanian human resources professionals are somewhat aware of the threat posed by psychopathic employees and that most of the employers they represent use selection methods able to filter out potential psychopaths. The findings open up new avenues of research on the ways in which selection strategies can be employed in order to enable human resources specialists to effectively identify candidates with psychopathic tendencies.

Open access
Corporate social entrepreneurship versus social intrapreneurship: same idea, different trajectories ?

Abstract

We present a critical perspective of the current state of development of CSE and SI as fields of study and practice based on a geographical and conceptual mapping of the actors involved in the two fields. Although these concepts are set into motion by different forces on different paths, they converge towards a common apprehension of social business. CSE has no supporting core and it offers scarce and scattered resources for identity formation, while SI benefits from practitioners’ attention and is thus developing as a proper field of study. Using this knowledge we anticipate what the future holds for these concepts and offer valuable insights for interested practitioners and academics.

Open access
Preliminary study on leadership proximity

Abstract

In general, it is agreed that effective leadership requires a certain degree of proximity, either physical or mental, which enables leaders to maintain control over their followers and communicate their vision. Although we agree with the leadership proximity principles which states that leaders are able to efficiently serve only those people with whom they interact frequently, in this article we focus instead on the disadvantages of being too close and the way in which close proximity can actually hurt the effectiveness of leadership. The main effects that we discuss regard the way in which proximity and familiarity allow followers to see the weaknesses and faults of the leader much more easily and thus diminish the leader’s heroic aura, and the emotional bias that results from a leader being too familiar with his followers which will impede the process of rational decision making. As a result, we argue that there exists a functional proximity which allows the leader the necessary space in which to perform effective identity work and to hide the backstage aspects of leadership, while also allowing him an emotional buffer zone which will enable him to maintain the ability to see clearly and make rational decisions.

Open access
Intergenerational gap dynamics

Abstract

Diversity, sustainability and change are words nowadays commonly encountered in business practice and theory. Businesses face multiple challenges in regards to complexity, innovation, creativity, digitalization and out of the box thinking. However, what underlies these challenges is dealing with a very diverse workforce comprised of multiple generations with very different takes in regards to employment, career development, team work, authority and many other organizational aspects. Basically, business continuity nowadays depends in a large degree on the ability to manage the workforce comprised of employees belonging to the Silents, the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y, and to prepare for the entrance on the labor market of Generation Z, the first generation that grew up in the digital world. Classification into generations is not without its contestations, but it continues nonetheless to be an important determinant of the way in which businesses design their human resources strategies. Based on a quantitative survey of the opinions of employees from various backgrounds in regards to intergenerational dynamics and conflicts, the present research uncovers the relevancy of the classification into generations for the human resources practices. The research also provides an insight into the main challenges that arise from the existence of differences in the points of view of these four main generations and concludes with a series of recommendations for human resources managers and leaders in general. The article’s innovativeness lies in the fact that it emphasizes the need for the development of human resources strategies which take in consideration all the generations in an equal manner, thus criticizing the current trends in human resources practice which rely on the development of programs specifically targeted to certain generations.

Open access