Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Croatia Related Abstracts

17 Visual Identity Components of Tourist Destination

Authors: Petra Barišić, Zrinka Blazevic

Abstract:

In the world of modern communications, visual identity has predominant influence on the overall success of tourist destinations, but despite of these, the problem of designing thriving tourist destination visual identity and their components are hardly addressed. This study highlights the importance of building and managing the visual identity of tourist destination, and based on the empirical study of well-known Mediterranean destination of Croatia analyses three main components of tourist destination visual identity; name, slogan, and logo. Moreover, the paper shows how respondents perceive each component of Croatia’s visual identity. According to study, logo is the most important, followed by the name and slogan. Research also reveals that Croatian economy lags behind developed countries in understanding the importance of visual identity, and its influence on marketing goal achievements.

Keywords: Visual identity, components of visual identity, Croatia, tourist destination

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16 Business Process Orientation: Case of Croatia

Authors: Ljubica Milanović Glavan

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Because of the increasing business pressures, companies must be adaptable and flexible in order to withstand them. Inadequate business processes and low level of business process orientation, that in its core accentuates business processes as opposed to business functions and focuses on process performance and customer satisfaction, hider the ability to adapt to changing environment. It has been shown in previous studies that the companies which have reached higher business process maturity level consistently outperform those that have not reached them. The aim of this paper is to provide a basic understanding of business process orientation concept and business process maturity model. Besides that the paper presents the state of business process orientation in Croatia that has been captured with a study conducted in 2013. Based on the results some practical implications and guidelines for managers are given.

Keywords: Croatia, business process orientation, business process maturity, maturity score

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15 The Need for Selective Credit Policy Implementation: Case of Croatia

Authors: Drago Jakovcevic, Mihovil Andelinovic, Igor Husak

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The aim of this paper is to explore the economic circumstances in which the selective credit policy, the least used instrument of four types of instruments on disposal to central banks, should be used. The most significant example includes the use of selective credit policies in response to the emergence of the global financial crisis by the FED. Specifics of the potential use of selective credit policies as the instigator of economic growth in Croatia, a small open economy, are determined by high euroization of financial system, fixed exchange rate and long-term trend growth of external debt that is related to the need to maintain high levels of foreign reserves. In such conditions, the classic forms of selective credit policies are unsuitable for the introduction. Several alternative approaches to implement selective credit policies are examined in this paper. Also, thorough analysis of distribution of selective monetary policy loans among economic sectors in Croatia is conducted in order to minimize the risk of investing funds and maximize the return, in order to influence the GDP growth.

Keywords: Global Crisis, Croatia, selective credit policy, small open economy

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14 Micromorphological Traits and Essential Oil Contents of Valeriana tuberosa L.

Authors: Nada Bezić, Valerija Dunkić, Antonija Markovina, Mirko Rušćić

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Valeriana is a genus of the well-known medicinal plant of Valerianacea family and growing wild in the sub-Mediterranean area. This abstract reports the types and distribution of trichomes and phyto-active composition of the essential oil of the Valeriana tuberosa from mountain Kozjak, near Split, Croatia. Two types of glandular trichomes: peltate (one basal epidermal cell, one short stalk cell and a small head) and capitate trichomes (one basal epidermal cell, one elongated stalk cell) were observed on leaf, using light microscopy. We analyzed the composition of the essential oil of stems and leaves of V. tuberosa species. Water distilled essential oils from aerial parts of investigation plant have been analysed by GC and GC/MS using VF-5ms capillary column. The total yield of oil was 0.2%, based on dry weight of samples. Forty compounds representing 94.1% of the total oil of V. tuberosa. This essential oil was characterized by a high concentration of isovaleric acid (17.2%), geranyl isovalerate (12.2%) and caryophyllene oxide (7.7%). The present study gives additional knowledge about micromorphological traits and secondary metabolites contents on the genus Valeriana.

Keywords: Essential Oil, Croatia, isovaleric acid, Valeriana tuberosa

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13 Housing Loans Determinants before and during Financial Crisis

Authors: Josip Visković, Ana Rimac Smiljanić, Ines Ivić

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Housing loans play an important role in CEE countries’ economies. This fact is based on their share in total loans to households and their importance for economic activity and growth in CEE countries. Therefore, it is important to find out key determinants of housing loans demand in these countries. The aim of this study is to research and analyze the determinants of the demand for housing loans in Croatia. In this regard, the effect of economic activity, loan terms and real estate prices were analyzed. Also, the aim of this study is to find out what motivates people to take housing loans. Therefore, primarily empirical study was conducted among the Croatian residents. The results show that demand for housing loans is positively affected by economic growth, higher personal income and flexible loan terms, while it is negatively affected by interest rate rise.

Keywords: CEE countries, Croatia, demand determinants, housing loans

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12 Examining the Role of Corporate Culture in Driving Firm Performance

Authors: Lovorka Galetic, Nevenka Cavlek, Ivana Načinović Braje

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The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between corporate culture and firm performance. Extensive theoretical and empirical evidence on this issue is provided. A quantitative methodology was used to explore relationship between corporate culture and performance among large Croatian companies. Corporate culture was explored by using Denison framework. The research revealed a positive, statistically significant relationship between mission and performance. Other dimensions of corporate culture (involvement, consistency and adaptability) show only partial relationship with performance.

Keywords: Performance, Croatia, corporate culture, Denison culture model

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11 Women Entrepreneuship in Croatia: Issues and Policies

Authors: Marko Kolakovic, Mihaela Mikic, Martina Taborin

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Women entrepreneurship is often regarded as the unused economical potential in many countries, including Republic of Croatia. Although women represent a majority in the population, they are still a minority in the field of entrepreneurship and face many challenges in fulfilling their entrepreneurship potential. The reasons are often hided in historical distorted perceptions about value, credibility, competitiveness, responsibility and knowledge which women have, or can have. This is significant for at least two reasons. First, in terms of global economic crisis, the economy needs more quality, more skilled and educated people willing to face entrepreneurial challenges and create new jobs, new opportunities and higher living standards. Second, in the entrepreneurial activity, women finally have a chance to highlight their own abilities, such as knowledge, relentless work, organizational skills, communication and negotiation skills, responsibility, flexibility, etc., in order to insure their economic independence, for a better social position, and to increase confidence and faith in their own abilities. This paper empirically analyses characteristics of women entrepreneurship in Croatia and conducted policies for it improvement. An empirical research was conducted with the goal of discovering real life experiences and attitudes of Croatian women entrepreneurs. Results show that Croatian women entrepreneurs are usually highly educated, have previous work experience and operate in service sector, due to lower need for start-up capital. The biggest obstacle on their entrepreneurial path represents government bureaucracy. Although the number of women entrepreneurs is rising today and the gap between male and women entrepreneurs in Croatia, as well as women entrepreneurship levels lower than the European average, we believe that there is still a long way to reach potential and successful women entrepreneurship development. Research showed that by breaking down the barriers as access to finance, education investments, knowledge, skills and confidence development, women will be able to accomplish more significant and more efficient entrepreneurial outcome.

Keywords: Policy, SMEs, women entrepreneurship, Croatia, women entrepreneurial strategy

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10 Corporate Female Entrepreneurship, Moving Boundaries

Authors: Morena Paulišić, Marli Gonan Bozac

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Business organization and management in theory are typically presented as gender- neutral. Although in practice female contribution to corporation is not questionable, gender diversity in top management of corporation is and that especially in emerging countries like Croatia. This paper brings insights into obstacles and problems which should be overcome. Furthermore, gives an introspective view on the most important promotion and motivation factors of powerful female CEOs in Croatia. The goal was to clarify perception and performance of female CEOs that contributed to their success and to determine mutual characteristics of women in corporate entrepreneurship regarding the motivation. For our study we used survey instrument that was developed for this research. The research methods used were: table research, field research, generalization method, comparative method, and statistical method (descriptive statistics and Pearson’s Chi-square test). Some result showed us that today even more women in corporations are not likely to accept more engagement at work if it harms their families (2003 – 31.9% in 2013 – 33.8%) although their main motivating factor is still interested job (2003 – 95.8%; in 2013-100%). It is also significant that 78.8 % of Croatian top managers (2013) think that women managers in Croatia are insufficiently spoken and written about, and that the reasons for this are that: (1) the society underestimates their ability (37.9%); (2) women underestimate themselves (22.4%); (3) the society still mainly focuses on male managers (20.7%) and (4) women managers avoid interviews and appearing on front pages (19%). The environment still “blocks” the natural course of advancement of women managers in organisations (entrepreneurship in general) and the main obstacle is that women must always or almost always be more capable than men in order to succeed (96.6%). Based on survey results on longitudinal research conducted in 2003 (return rate 30,8%) and 2013 (return rate 29,2%) in Croatia we expand understanding of determination indicators of corporate female entrepreneurship. Theoretically in practice gender structure at the management level (executive management, management board and supervisory board) throw years (2011- 2014) have positive score but still women remain significantly underrepresented at those positions. Findings from different sources have shown that diversity at the top of corporations’ correlates with better performance. In this paper, we have contributed to research on gender in corporate entrepreneurship by offering experiences from successful female CEOs and explanation why in social responsible society women with their characteristics can support needed changes and construct different way forward for corporations. Based on research result we can conclude that in future underrepresentation of female in corporate entrepreneurship should be overcome.

Keywords: Motivation, Croatia, female entrepreneurship, glass ceiling

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9 Material Saving Strategies, Technologies and Effects on Return on Sales

Authors: Jasna Prester, Najla Podrug, Davor Filipović

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Manufacturing companies invest a significant amount of sales into material resources for production. In our sample, 58% of sales is used for manufacturing inputs, while only 24% of sales is used for salaries. This means that if a company is looking to reduce costs, the greater potential is in reduction of material costs than downsizing. This research shows that manufacturing companies in Croatia did realize material savings in last three years. It is also shown by which technologies they achieved materials cost savings. Through literature research, we found research gap as to which technologies reduce material consumption. As methodology of research four regression analyses are used to prove our findings.

Keywords: technologies, Croatia, materials savings strategies, return on sales

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8 A Case Study of Conceptual Framework for Process Performance

Authors: Vesna Bosilj Vuksic, Ljubica Milanović Glavan, Dalia Suša

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In order to gain a competitive advantage, many companies are focusing on reorganization of their business processes and implementing process-based management. In this context, assessing process performance is essential because it enables individuals and groups to assess where they stand in comparison to their competitors. In this paper, it is argued that process performance measurement is a necessity for a modern process-oriented company and it should be supported by a holistic process performance measurement system. It seems very unlikely that a universal set of performance indicators can be applied successfully to all business processes. Thus, performance indicators must be process-specific and have to be derived from both the strategic enterprise-wide goals and the process goals. Based on the extensive literature review and interviews conducted in Croatian company a conceptual framework for process performance measurement system was developed. The main objective of such system is to help process managers by providing comprehensive and timely information on the performance of business processes. This information can be used to communicate goals and current performance of a business process directly to the process team, to improve resource allocation and process output regarding quantity and quality, to give early warning signals, to make a diagnosis of the weaknesses of a business process, to decide whether corrective actions are needed and to assess the impact of actions taken.

Keywords: Performance Measurement, Croatia, key performance indicators, process performance

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7 Analyzing the Participation of Young People in Politics: An Exploratory Study Applied on Motivation in Croatia

Authors: Valentina Piric, Maja Martinovic, Zoran Barac

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The application of marketing to the domain of politics has become relevant in recent times. With this article the authors wanted to explore the issue of the current political engagement among young people in Croatia. The question is what makes young people (age 18-30) politically active in young democracies such as that of the Republic of Croatia. Therefore, the objective of this study was to discover the real or hidden motivations behind the decision to actively participate in politics among young members of the two largest political parties in the country – the Croatian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Croatia. The study expected to find that the motivation for political engagement of young people is often connected with a possible achievement of individual goals and egoistic needs such as: self-acceptance, social success, financial success, prestige, reputation, status, recognition from the others etc. It was also expected that, due to the poor economic and social situation in the country, young people feel an increasing disconnection from politics. Additionally, the authors expected to find that there is a huge potential to engage young people in the political life of the country through a proper and more interactive use of marketing communication campaigns and social media platforms, with an emphasis on highly ethical motives of political activity and their benefits to society. All respondents included in the quantitative survey (sample size [N=100]) are active in one of the two largest political parties in Croatia. The sampling and distribution of the survey occurred in the field in September 2016. The results of the survey demonstrate that in Croatia, the way young people feel about politics and act accordingly, are in fact similar to what the theory describes. The research findings reveal that young people are politically active; however, the challenge is to find a way to motivate even more young people in Croatia to actively participate in the political and democratic processes in the country and to encourage them to see additional benefits out of this practice, not only related to their individual motives, but related more to the well-being of Croatia as a country and of every member of society. The research also discovered a huge potential for political marketing communication possibilities, especially related to interactive social media. It is possible that the social media channels have a stronger influence on the decision-making process among young people when compared to groups of reference. The level of interest in politics among young Croatians varies; some of them are almost indifferent, whilst others express a serious interest in different ways to actively contribute to the political life of the country, defining a participation in the political life of their country almost as their moral obligation. However, additional observations and further research need to be conducted to get a clearer and more precise picture about the interest in politics among young people in Croatia and their social potential.

Keywords: Politics, Marketing Communication, Motivation, Young People, Croatia

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6 Potential of Croatia as an Attractive Tourist Destination for the Russian Market

Authors: Maja Martinovic, Valentina Zarkovic, Hrvoje Maljak

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Europe is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, in which tourism occupies a significant place among the most relevant economic activities, and this applies to the Republic of Croatia as well. Based on this study, the authors intended to encourage and support the creation of an effective tourism policy in Croatia that would be based on the profiling of certain target groups. Another objective was to compare the results obtained from the customer analysis with the market analysis of the tourism industry in Croatia. The objective is to adapt the current tourist offer according to the identified needs and expectations of a particular tourist group in order to increase the attractiveness of Croatia as a tourist destination and motivate greater attendance of the targeted tourist groups. The current research was oriented towards the Russian market as the target group. Therefore, the authors wanted to encourage a discussion on how to attract more Russian guests. Consequently, the intention of the research was a detailed analysis of Russian tourists, in order to gain a better understanding of their travelling motives and tendencies. Furthermore, attention was paid to the expectations of Russian customers and to compare them with the Croatian tourist offer, and to determine whether there is a possibility for an overlap. The method used to obtain the information required was a survey conducted among Russian citizens about their travelling habits. The research was carried out on the basis of 166 participants of different age, gender, profession and income group. The sampling and distribution of the survey took place between May and July 2016. The results provided from the research indicate that Croatian tourism has certain unrealized potential considering the popularization of Croatia as a tourist destination, and there is a capacity for increasing the revenues within the group of Russian tourists. Such a conclusion is based on the fact that the Croatian tourist offer and the preferences of the Russian guests are compatible, i.e. they overlap in many aspects. The results demonstrate that beautiful nature, cultural and historical heritage as well as the sun and sea, play a leading role in attracting more Russian tourists. It is precisely these elements that form the three pillars of the Croatian tourist offer. On the other hand, the profiling revealed that the most desirable destinations for the Russian guests are Italy and Spain, both of which provide the same main tourist attractions as Croatia. Therefore, the focus of the strategic ideas given in the paper shifted to other tourism segments, such as type of accommodation, sales channels, travel motives, additional offer and seasonality etc., in order to gain advantage in the Russian market, the Mediterranean region and tourism in general. The purpose of the research is to serve as a foundation for analysing the attractiveness of the other tourist destinations in the Russian market, as well as to be a general basis for a more detailed profiling of the various specific target groups of the Russian and other tourist groups.

Keywords: Tourism, Croatia, tourist destination, Russian market, target groups

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5 Examining How Youth Use Mobile Devices for Health Information: Preliminary Findings of a Survey Study with High School Students in Croatia

Authors: Sung Un Kim, Ivana Martinović, Snježana Stanarević Katavić

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As more and more youth use mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, for information seeking in their everyday lives, the purpose of this study is to understand the behaviors of youth seeking health information on mobile devices. The specific objective of this study is to examine 1) for what health issues youth use mobile devices, 2) for what reasons youth use mobile devices to obtain health information, 3) in what ways youth use mobile devices for health information, and 4) the features of health applications that youth find useful. The researchers devised a questionnaire for this study. Four hundred eight students from two high schools, located in Osijek, Croatia, participated by answering the questionnaire (281 girls and 127 boys). The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. The results show that among all participants, about 85 percent (n = 344) reported having used mobile devices for health information. The most frequent health topic for which they had been using mobile devices is physical activity (n = 273), followed by eating issues and nutrition (n = 224), mental health (n = 160), sexual health (n = 157), alcohol, drugs, and tobacco (n = 125), safety (n = 96) and particular diseases (n = 62). They use mobile devices to obtain health information due to the ease of use (n = 342), the ease of sharing health information (n = 281), portability (n = 215), timeliness (n = 162), and the ease of tracking/recording/monitoring health status (n = 147). Of those who have used mobile devices for health information, three-quarters (n = 261) use mobile devices to search health information, while 32.8% (n =113) use applications and 31.7% (n =109) browse information. Those who have used applications for health information (n = 113) consider the alert feature (n=107) as the most useful, followed by the tracking/recording/monitoring feature (n =92), the customized information feature (n = 86), the video feature (n = 58), and the sharing feature (n =39). It is notable that although health applications have been actively developed and studied, a majority of the participants search for or browse information on mobile devices, instead of using applications. The researchers will discuss reasons that some of them did not use mobile devices to obtain health information, students’ concerns about using health applications, and features that they wish to have in health applications.

Keywords: mobile devices, Health Information, Youth, Croatia, information seeking behaviors

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4 Residents' Incomes in Local Government Unit as the Major Determinant of Local Budget Transparency in Croatia: Panel Data Analysis

Authors: Katarina Ott, Velibor Mačkić, Mihaela Bronić, Branko Stanić

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The determinants of national budget transparency have been widely discussed in the literature, while research on determinants of local budget transparency are scarce and empirically inconclusive, particularly in the new, fiscally centralised, EU member states. To fill the gap, we combine two strands of the literature: that concerned with public administration and public finance, shedding light on the economic and financial determinants of local budget transparency, and that on the political economy of transparency (principal agent theory), covering the relationships among politicians and between politicians and voters. Our main hypothesis states that variables describing residents’ capacity have a greater impact on local budget transparency than variables indicating the institutional capacity of local government units (LGUs). Additional subhypotheses test the impact of each variable analysed on local budget transparency. We address the determinants of local budget transparency in Croatia, measured by the number of key local budget documents published on the LGUs’ websites. By using a data set of 128 cities and 428 municipalities over the 2015-2017 period and by applying panel data analysis based on Poisson and negative binomial distribution, we test our main hypothesis and sub-hypotheses empirically. We measure different characteristics of institutional and residents’ capacity for each LGU. Age, education and ideology of the mayor/municipality head, political competition indicators, number of employees, current budget revenues and direct debt per capita have been used as a measure of the institutional capacity of LGU. Residents’ capacity in each LGU has been measured through the numbers of citizens and their average age as well as by average income per capita. The most important determinant of local budget transparency is average residents' income per capita at both city and municipality level. The results are in line with most previous research results in fiscally decentralised countries. In the context of a fiscally centralised country with numerous small LGUs, most of whom have low administrative and fiscal capacity, this has a theoretical rationale in the legitimacy and principal-agent theory (opportunistic motives of the incumbent). The result is robust and significant, but because of the various other results that change between city and municipality levels (e.g. ideology and political competition), there is a need for further research (both on identifying other determinates and/or methods of analysis). Since in Croatia the fiscal capacity of a LGU depends heavily on the income of its residents, units with higher per capita incomes in many cases have also higher budget revenues allowing them to engage more employees and resources. In addition, residents’ incomes might be also positively associated with local budget transparency because of higher citizen demand for such transparency. Residents with higher incomes expect more public services and have more access to and experience in using the Internet, and will thus typically demand more budget information on the LGUs’ websites.

Keywords: Political Economy, Local Government, Budget Transparency, Croatia, count data

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3 Fiscal Stability Indicators and Public Debt Trajectory in Croatia

Authors: Hrvoje Simovic

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Paper analyses the key problems of fiscal sustainability in Croatia. To point out key challenges of fiscal sustainability, the public debt sustainability is analyzed using standard indicators of fiscal stability, accompanied with the identification of regime changes approach in the public debt trajectory using switching regression approach. The analysis is conducted for the period from 2001 to 2016. Results show huge vulnerability in recession period (2009-14), so key challenges in current fiscal policy and public debt management are recognized in maturity prolongation, interest rates trends, and credit rating expectations.

Keywords: Public Debt, Budget Deficit, Croatia, fiscal sustainability

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2 The Role of Business Process Management in Driving Digital Transformation: Insurance Company Case Study

Authors: Darija Ivandić Vidović, Dalia Suša Vugec, Ana-Marija Stjepić

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Digital transformation is one of the latest trends on the global market. In order to maintain the competitive advantage and sustainability, increasing number of organizations are conducting digital transformation processes. Those organizations are changing their business processes and creating new business models with the help of digital technologies. In that sense, one should also observe the role of business process management (BPM) and its maturity in driving digital transformation. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to investigate the role of BPM in digital transformation process within one organization. Since experiences from practice show that organizations from financial sector could be observed as leaders in digital transformation, an insurance company has been selected to participate in the study. That company has been selected due to the high level of its BPM maturity and the fact that it has previously been through a digital transformation process. In order to fulfill the goals of the paper, several interviews, as well as questionnaires, have been conducted within the selected company. The results are presented in a form of a case study. Results indicate that digital transformation process within the observed company has been successful, with special focus on the development of digital strategy, BPM and change management. The role of BPM in the digital transformation of the observed company is further discussed in the paper.

Keywords: Business Process Management, Case study, Digital transformation, Croatia, insurance company

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1 Corporate Governance and Initial Public Offerings: Case of Croatia

Authors: Domagoj Hruska, Drazen Milkovic, Maja Darabos

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This paper empirically investigates the performance of Croatian initial public offerings (IPOs) throughout 20 years period, from 1996 until 2016. By proving the comprehensive evaluation of reasons and consequences of IPO initiatives in Croatia we give analytic evidence on the influence of this corporate action on the development of corporate governance. Furthermore, the paper discusses the relationship between internal and external corporate governance mechanisms in companies that initialize entering the financial markets. The paper will provide a synthesis of evidence of IPO-s in Croatia based on in-depth case studies of 13 cases of IPO-s. The major findings of the paper include identification of reasons for conducting IPO-s and calculation of underpricing effect and change of market capitalization. To the best of the author's knowledge, the results of the paper provide the analytical framework for understanding the impact of IPOs on the corporate governance system in transition countries.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Croatia, initial public offering, transition economy

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