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Abstract

Mittelstand companies are the backbone of the German economy: they constitute the vast majority of enterprises in Germany, contribute to employment, and are a pillar of the German apprenticeship system. The specific ownership–management structure of the Mittelstand used to go hand in hand with social, intergenerational, and regional responsibility. However, today’s very small and young entrepreneurs do not perceive themselves as Mittelstand; many entrepreneurs do not intend to employ others, and structural changes in the economy have also resulted in fundamental changes of the Mittelstand. This paper explores the characteristics of the Mittelstand and its future, asking whether Mittelstand will continue to play a fundamental role in the social market economy in Germany.

Abstract

Purpose: To incorporate a new value theory based on co-productivity into the value chain analysis.

Methodology: We develop a theoretical model of co-productivity and analyze selected examples of high co-productive value chains. Our theory modifies value theories based on the classical approach (A. Smith, D. Ricardo, K. Marx), production factors of land, capital, labor, and knowledge (J.B. Clark), subjective value for the consumer (C. Menger, W.S. Jevons, and L. Walras), exchange value (A. Marshall), energy value (I. Prigogine), value added for the customer (M. Porter and P. Drucker), information value (V. Rometty), and customer attention (M. Goldhaber).

Findings: We demonstrate that the co-productivity theory deeply connects all hermeneutic sources of value creation, but more importantly, it opens opportunities for adopting future-oriented sources.

Originality: We present an original theory based on co-productivity, previously unused in logistics. We show how the theory helps to shape more effective value chains.

Abstract

At the level of any entity (company), inventory represents an important category of current assets, and implicitly, of total assets. Starting from the importance of this category of assets for the normal development of the production or sales activity, this paper has as priority objectives the following: delimitation of the theoretical aspects regarding the inventory valuation of the sold goods; determining the impact that inventory valuation methods may have on the financial position and financial performance of the company; applied analysis of inventory valuation options. The results obtained from both theoretical and practical research verify the main assumption that the inventory valuation options have a different impact on financial situation and the financial performance of an entity.

Abstract

Economic entities get involved in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) because they are interested in external growth strategies which can lead to an increase in the wealth of the shareholders of the participating entities. In M&As, from an acquirer or a target’s perspective, a company brings its resources, which can be material or immaterial (knowledge). In the post-M&A phase, through the integration process the shareholders expect synergy gains, or that the combined firms to report efficiency gains higher than if they would activate separately. In nowadays, in a boundaryless economy, one of the most appreciated resources is knowledge. In this respect, the intangible assets, in general, and patents, in particular, are the accounting representation of knowledge in a company. They are also considered to be predictors for the deal value paid to the target company. To those we add the size of the target company, its core activity and the value of the research and development expenses, the latter being a significant mediator variable for the proposed models.

Abstract

We investigate the class BA of ordered regular semigroups in which each element has a biggest associate x = max {y | xyx = x}. This class properly contains the class PO of principally ordered regular semigroups (in which there exists x = max {y | xyx x}) and is properly contained in the class BI of ordered regular semigroups in which each element has a biggest inverse x◦. We show that several basic properties of the unary operation x x in PO extend to corresponding properties of the unary operation x x in BA. We consider naturally ordered semigroups in BA and prove that those that are orthodox contain a biggest idempotent. We determine the structure of some such semigroups in terms of a principal left ideal and a principal right ideal. We also characterise the completely simple members of BA. Finally, we consider the naturally ordered semigroups in BA that do not have a biggest idempotent.

Abstract

TOPSIS is one of the most popular methods of multi-criteria decision making (MCDM). Its fundamental role is the establishment of chosen alternatives ranking based on their distance from the ideal and negative-ideal solution. There are three primary versions of the TOPSIS method distinguished: classical, interval and fuzzy, where calculation algorithms are adjusted to the character of input rating decision-making alternatives (real numbers, interval data or fuzzy numbers). Various, specialist publications present descriptions on the use of particular versions of the TOPSIS method in the decision-making process, particularly popular is the fuzzy version. However, it should be noticed, that depending on the character of accepted criteria – rating of alternatives can have a heterogeneous character. The present paper suggests the means of proceeding in the situation when the set of criteria covers characteristic criteria for each of the mentioned versions of TOPSIS, as a result of which the rating of the alternatives is vague. The calculation procedure has been illustrated by an adequate numerical example.

Abstract

The primary aim of the paper to determine the criteria and factors applied by customers making decisions about buying private label brands of retail chains. An additional goal is to examine their level of awareness regarding the place of origin and ingredients used in the production of own branded products. The development of private label brands and their functioning on the consumer goods market are discussed. An analysis of the image of private label brands in the eyes of customers was conducted. The research method used is a diagnostic survey carried out via the internet. The adopted research methodology allowed to answer all the questions posed. A review of empirical research results showed that factors influencing purchasing decisions differ between generations and that young people more often use products of private brands, especially groceries, than older people. The article is of a research nature.

Summary

The paper aims to provide with a close picture of the SME public policies in one of the most prominent capitalist economies of the world, that of the European Union. In order to do this, a qualitative analysis has been undergone, on the basis of the following indicators: access to financial resources for SMEs, regulatory and legal frameworks for SMEs, and public assistance on information and knowledge about markets. Since there is no prior research on the subject, the implications of this paper have impact on the theory, practice and policy making. The results of the content analysis suggest that there is a contemporary structure to the European SBA, with a focus on a persistent business approach, based on the results of scientific research and market studies involving the problems raised by the now compact European SME industry. In the end, it must be acknowledged that the present research is only preliminary, and to better understand the mechanisms behind the European policy, further studies on the subject are necessary. Nevertheless, the paper has managed to point out that public policy in the SME industry represents one of the most important aspects of the EU-28 new economic direction.

Abstract

In this paper we study the convergence model of interest rates by Corzo and Schwartz. It models the situation when a country is going to enter a monetary union, for example the eurozone. We are interested in estimating the underlying short rate, which is a theoretical variable, not observed on the market. We use the procedure already employed for the Vasicek model to the eurozone data and for the case of a zero correlation we show that a similar procedure can be used also for the estimation of the domestic parameters and the short rate values. The assumption of the zero correlation allows us to simplify the optimization problem, but using simulations we show that our algorithm is robust to the specification of the correlation. It estimates the short rate with a high precision also in the original case of a nonzero correlation, as well as in the case of a dynamic correlation, when the correlation is modelled as a function of time. Finally, we use the algorithm to real market data and estimate the short rate before adoption of the euro currency in Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Abstract

We present a prototype task-parallel algorithm for the solution of hierarchical symmetric positive definite linear systems via the -Cholesky factorization that builds upon the parallel programming standards and associated runtimes for OpenMP and OmpSs. In contrast with previous efforts, our proposal decouples the numerical aspects of the linear algebra operation from the complexities associated with high performance computing. Our experiments make an exhaustive analysis of the efficiency attained by different parallelization approaches that exploit either task-parallelism or loop-parallelism via a runtime. Alternatively, we also evaluate a solution that leverages multi-threaded parallelism via the parallel implementation of the Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines (BLAS) in Intel MKL.