Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 1734

Economics and Management Engineering

Innovation in Information Technology Services: Framework to Improve the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Information Technology Service Management Processes, Projects and Decision Support Management

In a dynamic market of Information Technology (IT) Service and with high quality demands and high performance requirements in decreasing costs, it is imperative that IT companies invest organizational effort in order to increase the effectiveness of their Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) processes through the improvement of ITSM project management and through solid support to the strategic decision-making process of IT directors. In this article, the author presents an analysis of common issues of IT companies around the world, with strategic needs of information unmet that provoke their ITSM processes and projects management that do not achieve the effectiveness and efficiency expected of their results. In response to the issues raised, the author proposes a framework consisting of an innovative theoretical framework model of ITSM management and a technological solution aligned to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) good practices guidance and ISO/IEC 20000-1 requirements. The article describes a research that proves the proposed framework is able to integrate, manage and coordinate in a holistic way, measurable and auditable, all ITSM processes and projects of IT organization and utilize the effectiveness assessment achieved for their strategic decision-making process increasing the process maturity level and improving the capacity of an efficient management.

Supply Chain Resilience Triangle: The Study and Development of a Framework

Supply Chain Resilience has been broadly studied during the last decade, focusing the research on many aspects of Supply Chain performance. Consequently, different definitions of Supply Chain Resilience have been developed by the research community, drawing inspiration also from other fields of study such as ecology, sociology, psychology, economy et al. This way, the definitions so far developed in the extant literature are therefore very heterogeneous, and many authors have pointed out a lack of consensus in this field of analysis. The aim of this research is to find common points between these definitions, through the development of a framework of study: the Resilience Triangle. The Resilience Triangle is a tool developed in the field of civil engineering, with the objective of modeling the loss of resilience of a given structure during and after the occurrence of a disruption such as an earthquake. The Resilience Triangle is a simple yet powerful tool: in our opinion, it can summarize all the features that authors have captured in the Supply Chain Resilience definitions over the years. This research intends to recapitulate within this framework all these heterogeneities in Supply Chain Resilience research. After collecting a various number of Supply Chain Resilience definitions present in the extant literature, the methodology approach provides a taxonomy step with the scope of collecting and analyzing all the data gathered. The next step provides the comparison of the data obtained with the plotting of a disruption profile, in order to contextualize the Resilience Triangle in the Supply Chain context. The tool and the results developed in this research will allow to lay the foundation for future Supply Chain Resilience modeling and measurement work.

Review of Studies on Agility in Knowledge Management

Agility in Knowledge Management (AKM) tries to capture agility requirements and their respective answers within the framework of knowledge and learning for organizations. Since it is rather a new construct, it is difficult to claim that it has been sufficiently discussed and analyzed in practical and theoretical realms. Like the term ‘agile learning’, it is also commonly addressed in the software development and information technology fields and across the related areas where those technologies can be applied. The organizational perspective towards AKM, seems to need some more time to become scholarly mature. Nevertheless, in the literature one can come across some implicit usages of this term occasionally. This research is aimed to explore the conceptual background of agility in KM, re-conceptualize it and extend it to business applications with a special focus on e-business.

Classification of Business Models of Italian Bancassurance by Balance Sheet Indicators

The aim of paper is to analyze business models of bancassurance in Italy for life business. The life insurance business is very developed in the Italian market and banks branches have 80% of the market share. Given its maturity, the life insurance market needs to consolidate its organizational form to allow for the development of non-life business, which nowadays collects few premiums but represents a great opportunity to enlarge the market share of bancassurance using its strength in the distribution channel while the market share of independent agents is decreasing. Starting with the main business model of bancassurance for life business, this paper will analyze the performances of life companies in the Italian market by balance sheet indicators and by main discriminant variables of business models. The study will observe trends from 2013 to 2015 for the Italian market by exploiting a database managed by Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Assicurazione (ANIA). The applied approach is based on a bottom-up analysis starting with variables and indicators to define business models’ classification. The statistical classification algorithm proposed by Ward is employed to design business models’ profiles. Results from the analysis will be a representation of the main business models built by their profile related to indicators. In that way, an unsupervised analysis is developed that has the limit of its judgmental dimension based on research opinion, but it is possible to obtain a design of effective business models.

Sustainability Reporting and Performances of the Companies in the Istanbul Stock Exchange Sustainability Index

In today's business world, in which it is difficult to survive, the economic life of products, services or knowledge is considerably reduced. Competitors produce similar products or extra-featured ones instantly. In this environment, the contribution of companies to the social and economic environment is a preferred criterion by consumers alongside products or services. Therefore, consumers need to obtain more detailed information about companies. Besides, this drastic change in the market encourages companies to become sustainable. Sustainable business means the company puts consumed products back. Corporate sustainability, corresponds to sustainability at the level of the company, and gives equal importance to company growth and profitability together with environmental and social issues. The BIST Sustainability Index started to be calculated by the Istanbul Stock Exchange (BIST) in 2014 to evaluate the sustainability performance of companies in Turkey. The main objective of this study is to present the importance of sustainability reports in Turkey. To this aim, the performances of 15 companies in the BIST Sustainability Index were compared the periods before and after entering the index. On the other hand, sustainability reporting practices should be encouraged to increase studies on this issue. In this context, to remain on the agenda of the issue is a further objective of this study. To achieve these objectives, the financial data of the companies in the period before and after entering to the BIST Sustainability Index were analyzed using t-test in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) package. The results of the study showed that no significant difference between the performances of the companies in terms of the net profit margin, the return on assets and equity capital in these periods could be found. Therefore, it can be said that insufficient importance is given to sustainability issues in Turkey. The reasons for this situation might be considered as a lack of awareness due to the recent introduction and calculation of the index. It is expected that the awareness of firms and investors about sustainability will increase, and that they will demonstrate the necessary importance to this issue over time.

Interruption Overload in an Office Environment: Hungarian Survey Focusing on the Factors that Affect Job Satisfaction and Work Efficiency

On the one hand, new technologies and communication tools improve employee productivity and accelerate information and knowledge transfer, while on the other hand, information overload and continuous interruptions make it even harder to concentrate at work. It is a great challenge for companies to find the right balance, while there is also an ongoing demand to recruit and retain the talented employees who are able to adopt the modern work style and effectively use modern communication tools. For this reason, this research does not focus on the objective measures of office interruptions, but aims to find those disruption factors which influence the comfort and job satisfaction of employees, and the way how they feel generally at work. The focus of this research is on how employees feel about the different types of interruptions, which are those they themselves identify as hindering factors, and those they feel as stress factors. By identifying and then reducing these destructive factors, job satisfaction can reach a higher level and employee turnover can be reduced. During the research, we collected information from depth interviews and questionnaires asking about work environment, communication channels used in the workplace, individual communication preferences, factors considered as disruptions, and individual steps taken to avoid interruptions. The questionnaire was completed by 141 office workers from several types of workplaces based in Hungary. Even though 66 respondents are working at Hungarian offices of multinational companies, the research is about the characteristics of the Hungarian labor force. The most important result of the research shows that while more than one third of the respondents consider office noise as a disturbing factor, personal inquiries are welcome and considered useful, even if in such cases the work environment will not be convenient to solve tasks requiring concentration. Analyzing the sizes of the offices, in an open-space environment, the rate of those who consider office noise as a disturbing factor is surprisingly lower than in smaller office rooms. Opinions are more diverse regarding information communication technologies. In addition to the interruption factors affecting the employees' job satisfaction, the research also focuses on the role of the offices in the 21st century.

Financial Instrument with High Investment Risk on the Warsaw Stock Exchange

The market of financial instruments with high risk is developing very dynamically in recent years and attracts more and more interest of investors. It consists essentially of two groups of instruments, i.e. derivatives and exchange traded product (ETP), and each year new types are introduced and offered to investors. The aim of this paper is to present the principles concerning financial instruments with high investment risk available on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), because they have quite complex constructions, and to evaluate the development of this market. In order to achieve this aim, statistical data from 2014-2016 was analyzed. The results confirm that the financial instruments with high investment risk available on the WSE constitute a diversified and the most numerous group of financial instruments and attract the most interest of investors. Responsible investing requires, however, a good knowledge of how they work and how they can generate profit to not expose oneself to unexpected losses.

Exploring Entrepreneurship Intension Aptitude along Gender Lines among Business Decision Students in Nigeria

The study investigated the variability in aptitude amidst interactive effects of several social and environmental factors that could influence individual tendencies to engage in entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Consequently, the study targeted a population having similar backgrounds in type and level of higher education that are tailored toward enterprise management and development in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. A two-stage sampling procedure was used to select 67 respondents. Primarily, the study assessed the salient pattern of entrepreneurship aptitude of respondents, and estimated and analyzed the index against their personal characteristics. Male respondents belonged to two extremes of aptitude index ranges (poor and high). Though female respondents did not exhibit a poor entrepreneurship aptitude index, the incidence percentage of the high index range of entrepreneurship aptitude among male trainees was more than the combined incidence percentage of their female counterparts. Respondents’ backgrounds outside gender presented a serious influence on entrepreneurship uptake likelihood if all situations were normal.

The Impact of Information and Communication Technology on Bilateral Trade in Goods

This paper investigates the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on bilateral trade in goods. Empirical analysis is performed on the United States and 34 partnering countries from 2000 to 2013. Our econometric model fits the data well, explaining 52% of the variation in trade flows for goods trade, 53.2% of the variation in trade flows for goods export and 48% of the variation in trade flows for goods import. For every 10% increase in fixed broadband Internet subscribers per 100 people increases, goods trade by 7.9% and for every 5% increase in fixed broadband Internet subscribers per 100 people, goods export increases by 11%. For every 1% increase in fixed telephone line penetration per 100 people, goods trade increases by 26.3%, goods export increases by 24.4% and goods import increases by 24.8%. For every 1% increase in mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions, goods trade decreases by 29.6% and goods export decreases by 27.1%, whilst for every 0.01% increase in mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions, goods import decreases by 34.3%. For every 1% increase in the percentage of population who used the Internet from any location in the last 12 months Internet, goods trade increases by 32.5%, goods export increases by 38.9%, goods import increases by 33%. All our trade determinants as well as our ICT variables have significances on goods exports for the US. We can also draw from our study that the US relies more rather heavily on ICT for its goods export compared to goods import.

Features of Formation and Development of Possessory Risk Management Systems of Organization in the Russian Economy

The study investigates the impact of the ongoing financial crisis, started in the 2nd half of 2014, on marketing budgets spent by Fast-moving consumer goods companies. In these conditions, special importance is given to efficient possessory risk management systems. The main objective for establishing and developing possessory risk management systems for FMCG companies in a crisis is to analyze the data relating to the external environment and consumer behavior in a crisis. Another important objective for possessory risk management systems of FMCG companies is to develop measures and mechanisms to maintain and stimulate sales. In this regard, analysis of risks and threats which consumers define as the main reasons affecting their level of consumption become important. It is obvious that in crisis conditions the effective risk management systems responsible for development and implementation of strategies for consumer demand stimulation, as well as the identification, analysis, assessment and management of other types of risks of economic security will be the key to sustainability of a company. In terms of financial and economic crisis, the problem of forming and developing possessory risk management systems becomes critical not only in the context of management models of FMCG companies, but for all the companies operating in other sectors of the Russian economy. This study attempts to analyze the specifics of formation and development of company possessory risk management systems. In the modern economy, special importance among all the types of owner’s risks has the risk of reduction in consumer activity. This type of risk is common not only for the consumer goods trade. Study of consumer activity decline is especially important for Russia due to domestic market of consumer goods being still in the development stage, despite its significant growth. In this regard, it is especially important to form and develop possessory risk management systems for FMCG companies. The authors offer their own interpretation of the process of forming and developing possessory risk management systems within owner’s management models of FMCG companies as well as in Russian economy in general. Proposed methods and mechanisms of problem analysis of formation and development of possessory risk management systems in FMCG companies and the results received can be helpful for researchers interested in problems of consumer goods market development in Russia and overseas.

Foreign Real Estate Investment and the Australian Residential Property Market: A Study on Chinese Investors

House prices in the Australian capital cities were at record levels subsequent to Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 2008 and many believed that foreign investors, especially the Chinese investors, were the main reason for the Australian capital cities’ house prices escalation. This research conducted an Australian cross border semi-structured interviews in Shanghai, China to uncover historical evidence and emerging trend supporting the existence of a significant relationship between overseas investors and residential housing markets performance in Australia subsequent to the GFC 2008. Some unique investment strategies of private investors from China which emphasised on non-capitalist factors such as early education were identified, alongside with some insights on the significant China government policies that have incentivised the cross border investments from China. It is believed that this understanding will assist policy makers to effectively manage the overheated Australian residential property market without compromising the steady flow of FREI.

Equity Risk Premiums and Risk Free Rates in Modelling and Prediction of Financial Markets
This paper presents an adaptive framework for modelling financial markets using equity risk premiums, risk free rates and volatilities. The recorded economic factors are initially used to train four adaptive filters for a certain limited period of time in the past. Once the systems are trained, the adjusted coefficients are used for modelling and prediction of an important financial market index. Two different approaches based on least mean squares (LMS) and recursive least squares (RLS) algorithms are investigated. Performance analysis of each method in terms of the mean squared error (MSE) is presented and the results are discussed. Computer simulations carried out using recorded data show MSEs of 4% and 3.4% for the next month prediction using LMS and RLS adaptive algorithms, respectively. In terms of twelve months prediction, RLS method shows a better tendency estimation compared to the LMS algorithm.
The Neglected Elements of Implementing Strategic Succession Management in Public Organizations

Regardless of the extent to which succession management is implemented in the private sector, it is still overlooked in the public sector. Traditional succession management is evolving providing a better alignment between business strategies and HR strategies. Succession management brings sustainable effectiveness for succession programs through career path development, knowledge and skill transfer, job retention, as well as high-potential candidates’ empowerment for upcoming vacancies. By way of a systematic literature review, we bring into focus strategic succession management in public organizations and discuss best ways of implementation. 

Presenting an Integrated Framework for the Introduction and Evaluation of Social Media in Enterprises
In this paper, we present an integrated framework that governs the introduction of social media into enterprises and its evaluation. It is argued that the framework should address the following issues: (1) the contribution of social media for increasing efficiency and improving the quality of working life; (2) the level on which this contribution happens (i.e., individual, team, or organisation); (3) a description of the processes for implementing and evaluating social media; and the role of (4) organisational culture and (5) management. We also report the results of a case study where the framework has been employed to introduce a social networking platform at a German enterprise. This paper only considers the internal use of social media.
Internal and External Influences on the Firm Objective
Firms are increasingly responding to social and environmental claims from society. Practices oriented to attend issues such as poverty, work equality, or renewable energy, are being implemented more frequently by firms to address impacts on sustainability. However, questions remain on how the responses of firms vary across industries and regions between the social and the economic objectives. Using concepts from organizational theory and social network theory, this paper aims to create a theoretical framework that explains the internal and external influences that make a firm establish its objective. The framework explains why firms might have a different objective orientation in terms of its economic and social prioritization.
Important Factors for Successful Solution of Emotional Situations: Empirical Study on Young People

Attempts to split the construct of emotional intelligence (EI) into separate components – ability to understand own and others’ emotions and ability to control own and others’ emotions may be meaningful more theoretically than practically. In real life, a personality encounters various emotional situations that require exhibition of complex EI to solve them. Emotional situation solution tests enable measurement of such undivided EI. The object of the present study is to determine sociodemographic and other factors that are important for emotional situation solutions. The study involved 1,430 participants from various regions of Lithuania. The age of participants varied from 17 years to 27 years. Emotional social and interpersonal situation scale EI-DARL-V2 was used. Each situation had two mandatory answering formats: The first format contained assignments associated with hypothetical theoretical knowledge of how the situation should be solved, while the second format included the question of how the participant would personally resolve the given situation in reality. A questionnaire that contained various sociodemographic data of subjects was also presented. Factors, statistically significant for emotional situation solution, have been determined: gender, family structure, the subject’s relation with his or her mother, mother’s occupation, subjectively assessed financial situation of the family, level of education of the subjects and his or her parents, academic achievement, etc. The best solvers of emotional situations are women with high academic achievements. According to their chosen study profile/acquired profession, they are related to the fields in social sciences and humanities. The worst solvers of emotional situations are men raised in foster homes. They are/were bad students and mostly choose blue-collar professions.

Calculation of Inflation from Salaries Instead of Consumer Products: A Logical Exercise

Inflation can be calculated from either the prices of consumer products or from salaries. This paper presents a logical exercise that shows it is easier to calculate inflation from salaries than from consumer products. While the prices of consumer products may change due to technological advancement, such as automation, which must be corrected for, salaries do not. If technological advancements are not accounted for within calculations based on consumer product prices, inflation can be confused with real wage changes, since both inflation and real wage changes affect the prices of consumer products. The method employed in this paper is a logical exercise. Logical arguments are presented that suggest the existence of many different feasible ways by which inflation can be determined. Then a short mathematical exercise will be presented which shows that one of these methods –using salaries – contains the fewest number of unknown parameters, and hence, is the preferred method, since the risk of mistakes is lower. From the results, it can be concluded that salaries, rather than consumer products, should be used to calculate inflation.

Factors Affecting the Wages of Native Workers in Thailand's Construction Industry

This research studies the factors influencing the wages of native workers in Thailand's construction industry. The sample used comprised some 156 native construction workers from Songkhla Province, Thailand. The utilized research instrument was a questionnaire, with the data being analyzed according to frequency, percentage, and regression analysis. The results revealed that in general, native Thai construction workers are generally married males aged between 26 and 37 years old. They typically have four to six years of education, are employed as laborers with an average salary of 4,000–9,200 baht per month, and have fewer than five years of work experience. Most Thai workers work five days a week. Each establishment typically has 10–30 employees, with fewer than 10 of these being migrant workers in general. Most Thai workers are at a 20% to 40% risk from work, and they have never changed employer. The average wage of Thai workers was found to be 10,843.03 baht per month with a standard deviation of 4,898.31 baht per month. Hypothesis testing revealed that position, work experience, and the number of times they had switched employer were the factors most affecting the wages of native Thai construction workers. These three factors alone explain the salaries of Thai construction workers at 51.9%.  

Innovation Strategies and Challenges in Emerging Economies: The Case of Research and Technology Organizations in Turkey

Innovation is highly critical for every company, especially for technology-based organizations looking to sustain their competitive advantage. However, this is not an easy task. Regardless of the size of the enterprise, market and location, all organizations face numerous challenges. Even though huge barriers to innovation exist in different countries, firm- and industry-specific challenges can be distinguished. This paper examines innovation strategies and obstacles to innovation in research and technology organizations (RTO) of Turkey. From the most important to the least, nine different challenges are ranked according the results of this survey. The findings reveal that to take the lead in innovation, financial constraint is the biggest challenge, which is consistent with the related literature. It ranked number one in this study. Beyond that, based on a sample of 40 RTOs, regional challenges such as underdeveloped regional innovation ecosystem plays a significant role in hampering innovation. Most of the organizations (55%) embrace an incremental approach to innovation, while only few pursue radical shifts. About 40% of the RTOs focus on product innovation, and 27.5% of them concentrate on technological innovation, while a very limited number aim for operational excellence and customer engagement as the focus of their strategic innovation efforts.

The Profitability Management Mechanism of Leather Industry-Based on the Activity-Based Benefit Approach

Strengthening core competitiveness is the main goal of enterprises in a fierce competitive environment. Accurate cost information is a great help for managers in dealing with operation strategies. This paper establishes a profitability management mechanism that applies the Activity-Based Benefit approach (ABBA) to solve the profitability for each customer from the market. ABBA provides financial and non-financial information for the operation, but also indicates what resources have expired in the operational process. The customer profit management model shows the level of profitability of each customer for the company. The empirical data were gathered from a case company operating in the leather industry in Taiwan. The research findings indicate that 30% of customers create little profit for the company as a result of asking for over 5% of sales discounts. Those customers ask for sales discount because of color differences of leather products. This paper provides a customer’s profitability evaluation mechanism to help enterprises to greatly improve operating effectiveness and promote operational activity efficiency and overall operation profitability.

Conservation Agriculture Practice in Bangladesh: Farmers’ Socioeconomic Status and Soil Environment Perspective

The study was conducted to assess the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ socioeconomic condition and soil environmental quality in Bangladesh. A total of 450 (i.e., 50 focal, 150 proximal and 250 control) farmers from five districts were selected for this study. Descriptive statistics like sum, averages, percentages, etc. were calculated to evaluate the socioeconomic data. Using Enyedi’s crop productivity index, it was found that the crop productivity of focal, proximal and control farmers was increased by 0.9, 1.2 and 1.3 percent, respectively. The result of DID (Difference-in-difference) analysis indicated that the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ average annual income was significant. Multidimensional poverty index (MPI) indicates that poverty in terms of deprivation of health, education and living standards was decreased; and a remarkable improvement in farmers’ socioeconomic status was found after adopting conservation agriculture practice. Most of the focal and proximal farmers stated about increased soil environmental condition where majority of control farmers stated about constant environmental condition in this regard. The Probit model reveals that minimum tillage operation, permanent organic soil cover, and application of compost and vermicompost were found significant factors affecting soil environmental quality under conservation agriculture. Input support, motivation, training programmes and extension services are recommended to implement in order to raise the awareness and enrich the knowledge of the farmers on conservation agriculture practice.

Stating Best Commercialization Method: An Unanswered Question from Scholars and Practitioners

Commercialization method is a means to make inventions available at the market for final consumption. It is described as an important tool for keeping business enterprises sustainable and improving national economic growth. Thus, there are several scholarly publications on it, either presenting or testing different methods for commercialization. However, young entrepreneurs, technologists and scientists would like to know the best method to commercialize their innovations. Then, this question arises: What is the best commercialization method? To answer the question, a systematic literature review was conducted, and practitioners were interviewed. The literary results revealed that there are many methods but new methods are needed to improve commercialization especially during these times of economic crisis and political uncertainty. Similarly, the empirical results showed there are several methods, but the best method is the one that reduces costs, reduces the risks associated with uncertainty, and improves customer participation and acceptability. Therefore, it was concluded that new commercialization method is essential for today's high technologies and a method was presented.

Measurement of Intellectual Capital in an Algerian Company

Every modern company should measure the value of its intellectual capital and to report to complement the traditional annual balance sheets. The purpose of this work is to measure the intellectual capital in an Algerian company (or production system) using the Weightless Wealth Tool Kit (WWTK). The results of the measurement of intellectual capital are supplemented by traditional financial ratios. The measurement was applied to the National Company of Wells Services (ENSP) in Hassi Messaoud city, in the south of Algeria. We calculated the intellectual capital (intangible resources) of the ENSP to help the organization to better capitalize on its potential of workers and their know-how. The intangible value of the ENSP is evaluated at 16,936,173,345 DA in 2015.

The Characteristics of Transformation of Institutional Changes and Georgia

The analysis of transformation of institutional changes outlines two important characteristics. These are: the speed of the changes and their sequence. Successful transformation must be carried out in three different stages; On the first stage, macroeconomic stabilization must be achieved with the help of fiscal and monetary tools. Two-tier banking system should be established and the active functions of central bank should be replaced by the passive ones (reserve requirements and refinancing rate), together with the involvement growth of private sector. Fiscal policy by itself here means the creation of tax system which must replace previously existing direct state revenues; the share of subsidies in the state expenses must be reduced also. The second stage begins after reaching the macroeconomic stabilization at a time of change of formal institutes which must stimulate the private business. Corporate legislation creates a competitive environment at the market and the privatization of state companies takes place. Bankruptcy and contract law is created. he third stage is the most extended one, which means the formation of all state structures that is necessary for the further proper functioning of a market economy. These three stages about the cycle period of political and social transformation and the hierarchy of changes can also be grouped by the different methodology: on the first and the most short-term stage the transfer of power takes place. On the second stage institutions corresponding to new goal are created. The last phase of transformation is extended in time and it includes the infrastructural, socio-cultural and socio-structural changes. The main goal of this research is to explore and identify the features of such kind of models.

Social Business Process Management and Business Process Management Maturity

Business process management (BPM) is a well-known holistic discipline focused on managing business processes with the intention of achieving higher level of BPM maturity and better organizational performance. In recent period, traditional BPM faced some of its limitations like model-reality divide and lost innovation. Following latest trends, as an attempt to overcome the issues of traditional BPM, there has been an introduction of applying the principles of social software in managing business processes which led to the development of social BPM. However, there are not many authors or studies dealing with this topic so this study aims to contribute to that literature gap and to examine the link between the level of BPM maturity and the usage of social BPM. To meet these objectives, a survey within the companies with more than 50 employees has been conducted. The results reveal that the usage of social BPM is higher within the companies which achieved higher level of BPM maturity. This paper provides an overview, analysis and discussion of collected data regarding BPM maturity and social BPM within the observed companies and identifies the main social BPM principles.

Digital Marketing Maturity Models: Overview and Comparison

The variety of available digital tools, strategies and activities might confuse and disorient even an experienced marketer. This applies in particular to B2B companies, which are usually less flexible in uptaking of digital technology than B2C companies. B2B companies are lacking a framework that corresponds to the specifics of the B2B business, and which helps to evaluate a company’s capabilities and to choose an appropriate path. A B2B digital marketing maturity model helps to fill this gap. However, modern marketing offers no widely approved digital marketing maturity model, and thus, some marketing institutions provide their own tools. The purpose of this paper is building an optimized B2B digital marketing maturity model based on a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of existing models. The current study provides an analytical review of the existing digital marketing maturity models with open access. The results of the research are twofold. First, the provided SWOT analysis outlines the main advantages and disadvantages of existing models. Secondly, the strengths of existing digital marketing maturity models, helps to identify the main characteristics and the structure of an optimized B2B digital marketing maturity model. The research findings indicate that only one out of three analyzed models could be used as a separate tool. This study is among the first examining the use of maturity models in digital marketing. It helps businesses to choose between the existing digital marketing models, the most effective one. Moreover, it creates a base for future research on digital marketing maturity models. This study contributes to the emerging B2B digital marketing literature by providing a SWOT analysis of the existing digital marketing maturity models and suggesting a structure and main characteristics of an optimized B2B digital marketing maturity model.

Crowdsourcing as an Open Innovation Tool for Entrepreneurship
As traditional innovation has already taken its place in managers’ to do lists; managers and companies have started to look for new ways to go beyond the traditional innovation. Because of its cost, traditional innovation became a burden for companies since they only use inner sources. Companies have intended to use outer innovation sources to decrease the innovation costs and Open Innovation has become a new solution for companies at this point. Crowdsourcing is a tool of Open Innovation and it consists of two words: Outsourcing and crowd. Crowdsourcing aims to benefit from the efforts and ideas of a virtual crowd via Internet technologies. In addition to that, crowdsourcing can help entrepreneurs to innovate and grow their businesses. They can crowd source anything they can use to grow their businesses: Ideas, investment, new business, new partners, new solutions, new policies, data, insight, marketing or talent. Therefore, the aim of the study is to be able to show some possible ways for entrepreneurs to benefit from crowdsourcing to expand or foster their businesses. In the study, the term crowdsourcing has been given in details and these possible ways have been searched and given.
Combating and Preventing Unemployment in Sweden

In Sweden the needs of the labor market are regularly monitored. Test results and forecasts translate directly into the education system in this country, which is largely a state system. Sweden is one of the first countries in Europe that has used active labor market policies. It is realized that there is an active unemployment which includes a wide range of activities that can be divided into three groups: Active forms of influencing the creation of new jobs, active forms that affect the labor supply and active forms for people with disabilities. Most of the funding is allocated there for subsidized employment and training. Research conducted in Sweden shows that active forms of counteracting unemployment focused on the long-term unemployed can significantly raise the level of employment in this group.

The Impact of Innovation Best Practices in Economic Development

Innovation is the process of making changes, differences, and novelties in the products and services, adding values and business practices to create economic and social benefit. The purpose of this paper is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of innovation programs in developed and developing countries. We used a mixed-methods approach, quantitative as survey and qualitative as a multi-case study to examine innovation best practices in developed and developing countries. In addition, four case studies of innovation organisations based on the best practices and successful implementation in the developed and developing countries are selected for examination. The research findings provide guidance, suggestions, and recommendations for future implementation in developed and developing countries for practitioners such as policy makers, governments, funded organizations, and strategic institutions. In conclusion, innovation programs are vital tools for economic growth, knowledge, and technology transfer based on the several indicators such as creativity, entrepreneurship, role of government, role of university, strategic focus, new products, survival rate, job creation, start-up companies, and number of patents. The authors aim to conduct future research which will include a comparative study of innovation case studies between developed and developing countries for policy implications worldwide. The originality of this study makes a contribution to the current literature about the innovation best practice in developed and developing countries.

Testing the Validity of Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle in BRICS Countries

The increase of capital mobility across emerging economies has become an interesting topic for many economic policy makers. The current study tests the validity of Feldstein–Horioka puzzle for 5 BRICS countries. The sample period of the study runs from 2001 to 2014. The study uses the following parameter estimates well known as the Fully Modified OLS (FMOLS), and Dynamic OLS (DOLS). The results of the study show that investment and savings are cointegrated in the long run. The parameters estimated using FMOLS and DOLS are 0.85 and 0.74, respectively. These results imply that policy makers within BRICS countries have to consider flexible monetary and fiscal policy instruments to influence the mobility of capital with the bloc.

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