Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 75

Search results for: Croatia

75 Consumer Perception of 3D Body Scanning While Online Shopping for Clothing

Authors: A. Grilec, S. Petrak, M. Mahnic Naglic

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Technological development and the globalization in production and sales of clothing in the last decade have significantly influenced the changes in consumer relationship with the industrial-fashioned apparel and in the way of clothing purchasing. The Internet sale of clothing is in a constant and significant increase in the global market, but the possibilities offered by modern computing technologies in the customization segment are not yet fully involved, especially according to the individual customer requirements and body sizes. Considering the growing trend of online shopping, the main goal of this paper is to investigate the differences in customer perceptions towards online apparel shopping and particularly to discover the main differences in perceptions between customers regarding three different body sizes. In order to complete the research goal, the quantitative study on the sample of 85 Croatian consumers was conducted in 2017 in Zagreb, Croatia. Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement according to a five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). To analyze attitudes of respondents, simple and descriptive statistics were used. The main findings highlight the differences in respondent perception of 3D body scanning, using 3D body scanning in Internet shopping, online apparel shopping habits regarding their body sizes.

Keywords: Consumer behavior, online shopping, 3D body scanning.

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74 Technology, Organizational and Environmental Determinants of Business Intelligence Systems Adoption in Croatian SME: A Case Study of Medium-Sized Enterprise

Authors: Ana-Marija Stjepić, Luka Sušac, Dalia Suša Vugec

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In the last few years, examples from scientific literature and business practices show that the adoption of technological innovations increases enterprises' performance. Recently, when it comes to the field of information technology innovation, business intelligence systems (BISs) have drawn a significant amount of attention of the scientific circles. BISs can be understood as a form of technological innovation which can bring certain benefits to the organizations that are adopting it. Therefore, the aim of this paper is twofold: (1) to define determinants of successful BISs adoption in small and medium enterprises and thus contribute to this neglected research area and (2) to present the current state of BISs adoption in small and medium-sized companies. In order to do so, determinants are defined and classified into three dimensions, according to the Technology – Organization – Environment (TOE) theoretical framework that describes the impact of each dimension on technological innovations adoption. Moreover, paper brings a case study presenting the adoption of BISs in practice within an organization from tertiary (service) industry sector. Based on the results of the study, guidelines for more efficient, faster and easier BISs adoption are presented.

Keywords: Adoption, business intelligence, business intelligence systems, case study, TOE framework.

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73 Business Process Management and Organizational Culture in Big Companies: Cross-Country Analysis

Authors: Dalia Suša Vugec

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Business process management (BPM) is widely used approach focused on designing, mapping, changing, managing and analyzing business processes of an organization, which eventually leads to better performance and derives many other benefits. Since every organization strives to improve its performance in order to be sustainable and to remain competitive on the market in long-term period, numerous organizations are nowadays adopting and implementing BPM. However, not all organizations are equally successful in that. One of the ways of measuring BPM success is by measuring its maturity by calculating Process Performance Index (PPI) using ten BPM success factors. Still, although BPM is a holistic concept, organizational culture is not taken into consideration in calculating PPI. Hence, aim of this paper is twofold; first, it aims to explore and analyze the current state of BPM success factors within the big organizations from Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria and second, it aims to analyze the structure of organizational culture within the observed companies, focusing on the link with BPM success factors as well. The presented study is based on the results of the questionnaire conducted as the part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729) and financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results of the questionnaire reveal differences in the achieved levels of BPM success factors and therefore BPM maturity in total between the three observed countries. Moreover, the structure of organizational culture across three countries also differs. This paper discusses the revealed differences between countries as well as the link between organizational culture and BPM success factors.

Keywords: Business process management, BPM maturity, BPM success factors, organizational culture, process performance index.

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

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

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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, Croatia, digital transformation, insurance company.

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71 Application of De Novo Programming Approach for Optimizing the Business Process

Authors: Z. Babic, I. Veza, A. Balic, M. Crnjac

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The linear programming model is sometimes difficult to apply in real business situations due to its assumption of proportionality. This paper shows an example of how to use De Novo programming approach instead of linear programming. In the De Novo programming, resources are not fixed like in linear programming but resource quantities depend only on available budget. Budget is a new, important element of the De Novo approach. Two different production situations are presented: increasing costs and quantity discounts of raw materials. The focus of this paper is on advantages of the De Novo approach in the optimization of production plan for production company which produces souvenirs made from famous stone from the island of Brac, one of the greatest islands from Croatia.

Keywords: De Novo Programming, production plan, stone souvenirs, variable prices.

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70 Cross Country Comparison: Business Process Management Maturity, Social Business Process Management and Organizational Culture

Authors: Dalia Suša Vugec

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In recent few decades, business process management (BPM) has been in focus of a great number of researchers and organizations. There are many benefits derived from the implementation of BPM in organizations. However, there has been also noticed that lately traditional BPM faces some difficulties in terms of the divide between models and their execution, lost innovations, lack of information fusioning and so on. As a result, there has been a new discipline, called social BPM, which incorporates principles of social software into the BPM. On the other hand, many researchers indicate organizational culture as a vital part of the BPM success and maturity. Therefore, the goal of this study is to investigate the current state of BPM maturity and the usage of social BPM among the organizations from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, with the regards to the organizational culture as well. The paper presents the results of a survey conducted as part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729), financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results indicate differences in the level of BPM maturity, the usage of social BPM and the dominant organizational culture in the observed organizations from different countries. These differences are further discussed in the paper.

Keywords: Business process management, BPM maturity, organizational culture, social BPM.

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69 Pallet Tracking and Cost Optimization of the Flow of Goods in Logistics Operations by Serial Shipping Container Code

Authors: Dominika Crnjac Milic, Martina Martinovic, Vladimir Simovic

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The case study method in this paper shows the implementation of Information Technology (IT) and the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) in a Croatian company that deals with logistics operations and provides logistics services in the cold chain segment. This company is aware of the sensitivity of the goods entrusted to them by the user of the service, as well as of the importance of speed and accuracy in providing logistics services. To that end, it has implemented and used the latest IT to ensure the highest standard of high-quality logistics services to its customers. Looking for efficiency and optimization of supply chain management, while maintaining a high level of quality of the products that are sold, today's users of outsourced logistics services are open to the implementation of new IT products that ultimately deliver savings. By analysing the positive results and the difficulties that arise when using this technology, we aim to provide an insight into the potential of this approach of the logistics service provider.

Keywords: Logistics operations, serial shipping container code, SSCC, information technology, cost optimization.

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68 High School Stem Curriculum and Example of Laboratory Work That Shows How Microcomputers Can Help in Understanding of Physical Concepts

Authors: Jelena Slugan, Ivica Ružić

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We are witnessing the rapid development of technologies that change the world around us. However, curriculums and teaching processes are often slow to adapt to the change; it takes time, money and expertise to implement technology in the classroom. Therefore, the University of Split, Croatia, partnered with local school Marko Marulić High School and created the project "Modern competence in modern high schools" as part of which five different curriculums for STEM areas were developed. One of the curriculums involves combining information technology with physics. The main idea was to teach students how to use different circuits and microcomputers to explore nature and physical phenomena. As a result, using electrical circuits, students are able to recreate in the classroom the phenomena that they observe every day in their environment. So far, high school students had very little opportunity to perform experiments independently, and especially, those physics experiment did not involve ICT. Therefore, this project has a great importance, because the students will finally get a chance to develop themselves in accordance to modern technologies. This paper presents some new methods of teaching physics that will help students to develop experimental skills through the study of deterministic nature of physical laws. Students will learn how to formulate hypotheses, model physical problems using the electronic circuits and evaluate their results. While doing that, they will also acquire useful problem solving skills.

Keywords: ICT in physics, curriculum, laboratory activities, STEM.

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67 Chemical and Sensory Properties of Chardonnay Wines Produced in Different Oak Barrels

Authors: Valentina Obradović, Josip Mesić, Maja Ergović Ravančić, Kamila Mijowska, Brankica Svitlica

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French oak and American oak barrels are most famous all over the world, but barrels of different origin can also be used for obtaining high quality wines. The aim of this research was to compare the influence of different Slovenian (Croatian) and French oak barrels on the quality of Chardonnay wine. Grapes were grown in the Croatian wine growing region of Kutjevo in 2015. Chardonnay wines were tested for basic oenological parameters (alcohol, extract, reducing sugar, SO2, acidity), total polyphenols content (Folin-Ciocalteu method), antioxidant activity (ABTS and DPPH method) and colour density. Sensory evaluation was performed by students of viticulture/oenology. Samples produced by classical fermentation and ageing in French oak barrels had better results for polyphenols and sensory evaluation (especially low toasting level) than samples in Slovenian barrels. All tested samples were scored as a “quality” or “premium quality” wines. Sur lie method of fermentation and ageing in Slovenian oak barrel had very good extraction of polyphenols and high antioxidant activity with the usage of authentic yeasts, while commercial yeast strain resulted in worse chemical and sensory parameters.

Keywords: Chardonnay, French oak, Slovenian oak, sur lie.

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66 Towards Bridging the Gap between the ESP Classroom and the Workplace: Content and Language Needs Analysis in English for an Administrative Studies Course

Authors: Vesna Vulić

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Croatia has made large steps forward in the development of higher education over the past 10 years. Purposes and objectives of the tertiary education system are focused on the personal development of young people so that they obtain competences for employment on a flexible labour market. The most frequent tensions between the tertiary institutions and employers are complaints that the current tertiary education system still supplies students with an abundance of theoretical knowledge and not enough practical skills. Polytechnics and schools of professional higher education should deliver professional education and training that will satisfy the needs of their local communities. The 21st century sets demand on undergraduates as well as their lecturers to strive for the highest standards. The skills students acquire during their studies should serve the needs of their future professional careers. In this context, teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) presents an enormous challenge for teachers. They have to cope with teaching the language in classes with a large number of students, limitations of time, inadequate equipment and teaching material; most frequently, this leads to focusing on specialist vocabulary neglecting the development of skills and competences required for future employment. Globalization has transformed the labour market and set new standards a perspective employee should meet. When knowledge of languages is considered, new generic skills and competences are required. Not only skillful written and oral communication is needed, but also information, media, and technology literacy, learning skills which include critical and creative thinking, collaborating and communicating, as well as social skills. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the needs of two groups of ESP first year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students taking ESP as a mandatory course: 47 first-year Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students, 21 first-year employed part-time Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study students and 30 graduates with a degree in Undergraduate Professional Administrative Study with various amounts of work experience. The survey adopted a quantitative approach with the aim to determine the differences between the groups in their perception of the four language skills and different areas of law, as well as getting the insight into students' satisfaction with the current course and their motivation for studying ESP. Their perceptions will be compared to the results of the questionnaire conducted among sector professionals in order to examine how they perceive the same elements of the ESP course content and to what extent it fits into their working environment. The results of the survey indicated that there is a strong correlation between acquiring work experience and the level of importance given to particular areas of law studied in an ESP course which is in line with our initial hypothesis. In conclusion, the results of the survey should help lecturers in re-evaluating and updating their ESP course syllabi.

Keywords: English for Specific Purposes, ESP, language skills, motivation, needs analysis.

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65 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: Croatia, marketing communication, motivation, politics, young people.

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64 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: Croatia, Russian market, target groups, tourism, tourist destination.

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63 Key Competences in Economics and Business Field: The Employers’ Side of the Story

Authors: Bruno Škrinjarić

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Rapid technological developments and increase in organizations’ interdependence on international scale are changing the traditional workplace paradigm. A key feature of knowledge based economy is that employers are looking for individuals that possess both specific academic skills and knowledge, and also capability to be proactive and respond to problems creatively and autonomously. The focus of this paper is workers with Economics and Business background and its goals are threefold: (1) to explore wide range of competences and identify which are the most important to employers; (2) to investigate the existence and magnitude of gap between required and possessed level of a certain competency; and (3) to inquire how this gap is connected with performance of a company. A study was conducted on a representative sample of Croatian enterprises during the spring of 2016. Results show that generic, rather than specific, competences are more important to employers and the gap between the relative importance of certain competence and its current representation in existing workforce is greater for generic competences than for specific. Finally, results do not support the hypothesis that this gap is correlated with firms’ performance.

Keywords: Competency gap, competency matching, key competences, firm performance.

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62 Constructing Masculinity through Images: Content Analysis of Lifestyle Magazines in Croatia

Authors: Marija Lončar, Zorana Šuljug Vučica, Magdalena Nigoević

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Diverse social, cultural and economic trends and changes in contemporary societies influence the ways masculinity is represented in a variety of media. Masculinity is constructed within media images as a dynamic process that changes slowly over time and is shaped by various social factors. In many societies, dominant masculinity is still associated with authority, heterosexuality, marriage, professional and financial success, ethnic dominance and physical strength. But contemporary media depict men in ways that suggest a change in the approach to media images. The number of media images of men, which promote men’s identity through their body, have increased. With the male body more scrutinized and commodified, it is necessary to highlight how the body is represented and which visual elements are crucial since the body has an important role in the construction of masculinities. The study includes content analysis of male body images in the advertisements of different men’s and women’s lifestyle magazines available in Croatia. The main aim was to explore how masculinities are currently being portrayed through body regarding age, physical appearance, fashion, touch and gaze. The findings are also discussed in relation to female images since women are central in many of the processes constructing masculinities and according to the recent conceptualization of masculinity. Although the construction of male images varies through body features, almost all of them convey the message that men’s identity could be managed through manipulation and by enhancing the appearance. Furthermore, they suggest that men should engage in “bodywork” through advertised products, activities and/or practices, in order to achieve their preferred social image.

Keywords: Body images, content analysis, lifestyle magazines, masculinity.

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61 Measuring Enterprise Growth: Pitfalls and Implications

Authors: N. Šarlija, S. Pfeifer, M. Jeger, A. Bilandžić

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Enterprise growth is generally considered as a key driver of competitiveness, employment, economic development and social inclusion. As such, it is perceived to be a highly desirable outcome of entrepreneurship for scholars and decision makers. The huge academic debate resulted in the multitude of theoretical frameworks focused on explaining growth stages, determinants and future prospects. It has been widely accepted that enterprise growth is most likely nonlinear, temporal and related to the variety of factors which reflect the individual, firm, organizational, industry or environmental determinants of growth. However, factors that affect growth are not easily captured, instruments to measure those factors are often arbitrary, causality between variables and growth is elusive, indicating that growth is not easily modeled. Furthermore, in line with heterogeneous nature of the growth phenomenon, there is a vast number of measurement constructs assessing growth which are used interchangeably. Differences among various growth measures, at conceptual as well as at operationalization level, can hinder theory development which emphasizes the need for more empirically robust studies. In line with these highlights, the main purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to compare structure and performance of three growth prediction models based on the main growth measures: Revenues, employment and assets growth. Secondly, to explore the prospects of financial indicators, set as exact, visible, standardized and accessible variables, to serve as determinants of enterprise growth. Finally, to contribute to the understanding of the implications on research results and recommendations for growth caused by different growth measures. The models include a range of financial indicators as lag determinants of the enterprises’ performances during the 2008-2013, extracted from the national register of the financial statements of SMEs in Croatia. The design and testing stage of the modeling used the logistic regression procedures. Findings confirm that growth prediction models based on different measures of growth have different set of predictors. Moreover, the relationship between particular predictors and growth measure is inconsistent, namely the same predictor positively related to one growth measure may exert negative effect on a different growth measure. Overall, financial indicators alone can serve as good proxy of growth and yield adequate predictive power of the models. The paper sheds light on both methodology and conceptual framework of enterprise growth by using a range of variables which serve as a proxy for the multitude of internal and external determinants, but are unlike them, accessible, available, exact and free of perceptual nuances in building up the model. Selection of the growth measure seems to have significant impact on the implications and recommendations related to growth. Furthermore, the paper points out to potential pitfalls of measuring and predicting growth. Overall, the results and the implications of the study are relevant for advancing academic debates on growth-related methodology, and can contribute to evidence-based decisions of policy makers.

Keywords: Growth measurement constructs, logistic regression, prediction of growth potential, small and medium-sized enterprises.

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60 Multi-Faceted Growth in Creative Industries

Authors: Sanja Pfeifer, Nataša Šarlija, Marina Jeger, Ana Bilandžić

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The purpose of this study is to explore the different facets of growth among micro, small and medium-sized firms in Croatia and to analyze the differences between models designed for all micro, small and medium-sized firms and those in creative industries. Three growth prediction models were designed and tested using the growth of sales, employment and assets of the company as dependent variables. The key drivers of sales growth are: prudent use of cash, industry affiliation and higher share of intangible assets. Growth of assets depends on retained profits, internal and external sources of financing, as well as industry affiliation. Growth in employment is closely related to sources of financing, in particular, debt and it occurs less frequently than growth in sales and assets. The findings confirm the assumption that growth strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in creative industries have specific differences in comparison to SMEs in general. Interestingly, only 2.2% of growing enterprises achieve growth in employment, assets and sales simultaneously.

Keywords: Creative industries, growth prediction model, growth determinants, growth measures.

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59 Millennials' Career Expectations: Exploring Attitudes and Individual Differences

Authors: Lovorka Galetić, Maja Klindžić, Ivana Načinović Braje

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Generation Y individuals or Millennials are known for their unique views, work values and motivational needs which implies that, in order to attract and retain those individuals, activities in the area of career management should be given special attention by HRM managers. After a theoretical background on Millennials’ life and work attitudes, an empirical research on career preferences of Millennials in Croatia was described. Empirical research was conducted among 249 members of generation Y. The data analysis revealed that respondents generally perceive promotion opportunities as the most important career aspect; however, job security and work-life balance are almost as important. Furthermore, it was shown that Generation Y is not necessarily a homogenous group. More precisely, women assign greater importance than men to work-life balance and job security. Therefore, HRM managers should adapt career planning activities not only with respect to generational preferences, but individual characteristics as well.

Keywords: Career, individual differences, millennials, work values.

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58 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: Croatia, materials savings strategies, technologies, return on sales.

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57 Designing Information Systems in Education as Prerequisite for Successful Management Results

Authors: Vladimir Simovic, Matija Varga, Tonco Marusic

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This research paper shows matrix technology models and examples of information systems in education (in the Republic of Croatia and in the Germany) in support of business, education (when learning and teaching) and e-learning. Here we researched and described the aims and objectives of the main process in education and technology, with main matrix classes of data. In this paper, we have example of matrix technology with detailed description of processes related to specific data classes in the processes of education and an example module that is support for the process: ‘Filling in the directory and the diary of work’ and ‘evaluation’. Also, on the lower level of the processes, we researched and described all activities which take place within the lower process in education. We researched and described the characteristics and functioning of modules: ‘Fill the directory and the diary of work’ and ‘evaluation’. For the analysis of the affinity between the aforementioned processes and/or sub-process we used our application model created in Visual Basic, which was based on the algorithm for analyzing the affinity between the observed processes and/or sub-processes.

Keywords: Designing, education management, information systems, matrix technology, process affinity.

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56 Encouraging the Development of Scientific Literacy in Early Childhood Institutions: Croatian Experience

Authors: L. Vujičić, Ž. Ivković, Ž. Boneta

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There is a widespread belief in everyday discourse that science subjects (physics, chemistry and biology) are, along with math, the most difficult school subjects in the education of an individual. This assumption is usually justified by the following facts: low GPA in these subjects, the number of pupils who fail these subjects is high in comparison to other subjects, and the number of pupils interested in continuing their studies in the fields with a focus on science subjects is lower compared to non-science-oriented fields. From that perspective, the project: “Could it be different? How do children explore it?” becomes extremely interesting because it is focused on young children and on the introduction of new methods, with aim of arousing interest in scientific literacy development in 10 kindergartens by applying the methodology of an action research, with an ethnographic approach. We define scientific literacy as a process of encouraging and nurturing the research and explorative spirit in children, as well as their natural potential and abilities that represent an object of scientific research: to learn about exploration by conducting exploration. Upon project completion, an evaluation questionnaire was created for the parents of the children who had participated in the project, as well as for those whose children had not been involved in the project. The purpose of the first questionnaire was to examine the level of satisfaction with the project implementation and its outcomes among those parents whose children had been involved in the project (N=142), while the aim of the second questionnaire was to find out how much the parents of the children not involved (N=154) in this activity were interested in this topic.

Keywords: Documenting, early childhood education, evaluation questionnaire for parents, scientific literacy development.

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55 Influence of a Company’s Dynamic Capabilities on Its Innovation Capabilities

Authors: Lovorka Galetic, Zeljko Vukelic

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The advanced concepts of strategic and innovation management in the sphere of company dynamic and innovation capabilities, and achieving their mutual alignment and a synergy effect, are important elements in business today. This paper analyses the theory and empirically investigates the influence of a company’s dynamic capabilities on its innovation capabilities. A new multidimensional model of dynamic capabilities is presented, consisting of five factors appropriate to real time requirements, while innovation capabilities are considered pursuant to the official OECD and Eurostat standards. After examination of dynamic and innovation capabilities indicated their theoretical links, the empirical study testing the model and examining the influence of a company’s dynamic capabilities on its innovation capabilities showed significant results. In the study, a research model was posed to relate company dynamic and innovation capabilities. One side of the model features the variables that are the determinants of dynamic capabilities defined through their factors, while the other side features the determinants of innovation capabilities pursuant to the official standards. With regard to the research model, five hypotheses were set. The study was performed in late 2014 on a representative sample of large and very large Croatian enterprises with a minimum of 250 employees. The research instrument was a questionnaire administered to company top management. For both variables, the position of the company was tested in comparison to industry competitors, on a fivepoint scale. In order to test the hypotheses, correlation tests were performed to determine whether there is a correlation between each individual factor of company dynamic capabilities with the existence of its innovation capabilities, in line with the research model. The results indicate a strong correlation between a company’s possession of dynamic capabilities in terms of their factors, due to the new multi-dimensional model presented in this paper, with its possession of innovation capabilities. Based on the results, all five hypotheses were accepted. Ultimately, it was concluded that there is a strong association between the dynamic and innovation capabilities of a company. 

Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, innovation capabilities, competitive advantage, business results.

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54 Gender Discrimination and Pay Gap on Tourism Labor Market

Authors: Alka Obadić

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The research concentrates on the role of tourism in generating female employment and on impact of gender discrimination in tourism sector. Unfortunately, in many countries there are still some barriers to the inclusion of women at all hierarchical levels of tourism labor market. Research analysis focuses on EU countries where tourism is a main employer of women. The analysis shows that women represent over third persons employed in the non-financial business economy and almost two thirds in core tourism activities. Women's gross hourly earnings in accommodation and food services were below those of men in the European Union and only countries who recorded increase of gender pay gap from the beginning of crisis are Bulgaria and Croatia. Women in tourism industry are still overrepresented in lower status jobs with fewer opportunities for career progression and are often treated unequally.

Keywords: Employment, gender discrimination, tourism, women’s participation.

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53 Rethinking the Languages for Specific Purposes Syllabus in the 21st Century: Topic-Centered or Skills-Centered

Authors: A. Knezović

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21st century has transformed the labor market landscape in a way of posing new and different demands on university graduates as well as university lecturers, which means that the knowledge and academic skills students acquire in the course of their studies should be applicable and transferable from the higher education context to their future professional careers. Given the context of the Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) classroom, the teachers’ objective is not only to teach the language itself, but also to prepare students to use that language as a medium to develop generic skills and competences. These include media and information literacy, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills, effective written and oral communication, as well as collaborative work and social skills, all of which are necessary to make university graduates more competitive in everyday professional environments. On the other hand, due to limitations of time and large numbers of students in classes, the frequently topic-centered syllabus of LSP courses places considerable focus on acquiring the subject matter and specialist vocabulary instead of sufficient development of skills and competences required by students’ prospective employers. This paper intends to explore some of those issues as viewed both by LSP lecturers and by business professionals in their respective surveys. The surveys were conducted among more than 50 LSP lecturers at higher education institutions in Croatia, more than 40 HR professionals and more than 60 university graduates with degrees in economics and/or business working in management positions in mainly large and medium-sized companies in Croatia. Various elements of LSP course content have been taken into consideration in this research, including reading and listening comprehension of specialist texts, acquisition of specialist vocabulary and grammatical structures, as well as presentation and negotiation skills. The ability to hold meetings, conduct business correspondence, write reports, academic texts, case studies and take part in debates were also taken into consideration, as well as informal business communication, business etiquette and core courses delivered in a foreign language. The results of the surveys conducted among LSP lecturers will be analyzed with reference to what extent those elements are included in their courses and how consistently and thoroughly they are evaluated according to their course requirements. Their opinions will be compared to the results of the surveys conducted among professionals from a range of industries in Croatia so as to examine how useful and important they perceive the same elements of the LSP course content in their working environments. Such comparative analysis will thus show to what extent the syllabi of LSP courses meet the demands of the employment market when it comes to the students’ language skills and competences, as well as transferable skills. Finally, the findings will also be compared to the observations based on practical teaching experience and the relevant sources that have been used in this research. In conclusion, the ideas and observations in this paper are merely open-ended questions that do not have conclusive answers, but might prompt LSP lecturers to re-evaluate the content and objectives of their course syllabi.

Keywords: Languages for specific purposes (LSP), language skills, topic-centered syllabus, transferable skills.

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52 Correlation of the Rate of Imperfect Competition and Profit in Banking Markets

Authors: Jan Cernohorsky

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This article aims to assess the evolution of imperfect competition in selected banking markets, in particular in the banking markets of Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. Another objective is to assess the evolution of the relationship of imperfect competition and profit development in the banking markets. The article first provides an overview of literature on the topic. It then measures the degree of imperfect competition in individual markets using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index. The commonly used indicator of total assets was chosen as an indicator. Based on this measurement, the individual banking sectors are categorized into theoretical definitions of the various types of imperfect competition - namely all surveyed banking sectors falling within the theoretical definition of monopolistic competition. Subsequently, using correlation analysis, i.e., the Pearson correlation coefficient, or the Spearman correlation coefficient, the connection between the evolution of imperfect competition and the development of the gross profit on selected banking markets was surveyed. It was found that with the exception of the banking market in Slovenia, where there is a positive correlation; there is no correlation between the evolution of imperfect competition and profit development in the selected markets. This means a recommendation for the regulators that it is not appropriate to rationalize a higher degree of regulation in granting banking licenses on the size of the profits attained in the banking market, as the relationship between the degree of concentration in the banking market and the amount of profit according to our measurements does not exist.

Keywords: Banking system, imperfect competition, profitability.

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51 The Integration Process of Non-EU Citizens in Luxembourg: From an Empirical Approach Toward a Theoretical Model

Authors: Angela Odero, Chrysoula Karathanasi, Michèle Baumann

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Integration of foreign communities has been a forefront issue in Luxembourg for some time now. The country’s continued progress depends largely on the successful integration of immigrants. The aim of our study was to analyze factors which intervene in the course of integration of Non-EU citizens through the discourse of Non-EU citizens residing in Luxembourg, who have signed the Welcome and Integration Contract (CAI). The two-year contract offers integration services to assist foreigners in getting settled in the country. Semi-structured focus group discussions with 50 volunteers were held in English, French, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian or Chinese. Participants were asked to talk about their integration experiences. Recorded then transcribed, the transcriptions were analyzed with the help of NVivo 10, a qualitative analysis software. A systematic and reiterative analysis of decomposing and reconstituting was realized through (1) the identification of predetermined categories (difficulties, challenges and integration needs) (2) initial coding – the grouping together of similar ideas (3) axial coding – the regrouping of items from the initial coding in new ways in order to create sub-categories and identify other core dimensions. Our results show that intervening factors include language acquisition, professional career and socio-cultural activities or events. Each of these factors constitutes different components whose weight shifts from person to person and from situation to situation. Connecting these three emergent factors are two elements essential to the success of the immigrant’s integration – the role of time and deliberate effort from the immigrants, the community, and the formal institutions charged with helping immigrants integrate. We propose a theoretical model where the factors described may be classified in terms of how they predispose, facilitate, and / or reinforce the process towards a successful integration. Measures currently in place propose one size fits all programs yet integrative measures which target the family unit and those customized to target groups based on their needs would work best.

Keywords: Integration, Integration Services, Non-EU citizens, Qualitative Analysis, Third Country Nationals.

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50 Corporate Governance of Enterprise IT: Research Study on IT Governance Maturity

Authors: Mario Spremić

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Despite the financial crisis and ongoing need for cost cutting, companies all around the world heavily invest in Information Systems (IS) and underlying Information Technology (IT). Proliferation of governance of enterprise IT helps companies manage, or rather, governs IS as a primary business function with executive management involved in making decision about IS and IT. The business value of IT is raising with the involvement of the executive management in IT decision making process and quality IT governance mechanisms in place. In this paper the practice of governing the enterprise IT will be investigated on a sample of the largest 100 Croatian companies. Research questions posed here will reveal if there are some formal IT governance mechanisms, are there any differences in perceived role of IS and IT between CIOs (Chief Information Officers) and CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) of the sampled companies and what are the mechanisms to govern massive investment in enterprise IT.

Keywords: IT governance, governance of enterprise IT, information system auditing, IT maturity.

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49 Information Technology for Business Process Management in Insurance Companies

Authors: Vesna Bosilj Vukšić, Darija Ivandić Vidović, Ljubica Milanović Glavan

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Information technology plays an irreplaceable role in introducing and improving business process orientation in a company. It enables implementation of the theoretical concept, measurement of results achieved and undertaking corrective measures aimed at improvements. Information technology is a key concept in the development and implementation of the business process management systems as it establishes a connection to business operations. Both in the literature and practice, insurance companies are often seen as highly process oriented due to the nature of their business and focus on customers. They are also considered leaders in using information technology for business process management. The research conducted aimed to investigate whether the perceived leadership status of insurance companies is well deserved, i.e. to establish the level of process orientation and explore the practice of information technology use in insurance companies in the region. The main instrument for primary data collection within this research was an electronic survey questionnaire sent to the management of insurance companies in the Republic of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Macedonia. The conducted research has shown that insurance companies have a satisfactory level of process orientation, but that there is also a huge potential for improvement, especially in the segment of information technology and its connection to business processes.

Keywords: Business processes management, process orientation, information technology, insurance companies.

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48 Redefining the Croatian Economic Sentiment Indicator

Authors: I. Lolic, P. Soric, M. Cizmesija

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Based on Business and Consumer Survey (BCS) data, the European Commission (EC) regularly publishes the monthly Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for each EU member state. ESI is conceptualized as a leading indicator, aimed ad tracking the overall economic activity. In calculating ESI, the EC employs arbitrarily chosen weights on 15 BCS response balances. This paper raises the predictive quality of ESI by applying nonlinear programming to find such weights that maximize the correlation coefficient of ESI and year-on-year GDP growth. The obtained results show that the highest weights are assigned to the response balances of industrial sector questions, followed by questions from the retail trade sector. This comes as no surprise since the existing literature shows that the industrial production is a plausible proxy for the overall Croatian economic activity and since Croatian GDP is largely influenced by the aggregate personal consumption.

Keywords: Business and Consumer Survey, Economic Sentiment Indicator, Leading Indicator, Nonlinear Optimization with Constraints.

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47 Is HR in a State of Transition? An International Comparative Study on the Development of HR Competencies

Authors: Barbara Covarrubias Venegas, Sabine Groblschegg, Bernhard Klaus, Julia Domnanovich

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Research Objectives: The roles and activities of Human Resource Management (HRM) have changed a lot in the past years. Driven by a changing environment and therefore new business requirements, the scope of human resource (HR) activities has widened. The extent to which these activities should focus on strategic issues to support the long term success of a company has been discussed in science for many years. As many economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) experienced a phase of transition after the socialist era and are now recovering from the 2008 global crisis it is needed to examine the current state of HR positioning. Furthermore a trend in HR work developing from rather administrative units to being strategic partners of management can be noticed. This leads to the question of better understanding the underlying competencies which are necessary to support organisations. This topic was addressed by the international study “HR Competencies in international comparison”. The quantitative survey was conducted by the Institute for Human Resources & Organisation of FHWien University of Applied Science of WKW (A) in cooperation with partner universities in the countries Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. Methodology: Using the questionnaire developed by Dave Ulrich we tested whether the HR Competency model can be used for Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. After performing confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis for the whole data set containing all five countries we could clearly distinguish between four competencies. In a further step our analysis focused on median and average comparisons between the HR competency dimensions. Conclusion: Our literature review, in alignment with other studies, shows a relatively rapid pace of development of HR Roles and HR Competencies in BCSS in the past decades. Comparing data from BCSS and Austria we still can notice that regards strategic orientation there is a lack in BCSS countries, thus competencies are not as developed as in Austria. This leads us to the tentative conclusion that HR has undergone a rapid change but is still in a State of Transition from being a rather administrative unit to performing the role of a strategic partner.

Keywords: Comparative study, HR competencies, HRM, HR Roles.

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46 Impact of Electronic Guest Relationship Management (e-GRM) on Brand Loyalty: The Case of Croatian Hotels

Authors: Marina Laškarin, Vlado Galičić

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Quick adoption of e-business and emerging influence of “Electronic Word of Mouth e-WOM” communication on guests made leading hotel brands successful examples of electronic guest relationship management. Main reasons behind such success are well established procedures in collection, analysis and usage of highly valuable data available on the Internet, generated through some form of e-GRM programme. E-GRM is more than just a technology solution. It’s a system which balance respective guest demands, hotel technological capabilities and organizational culture of employees, discharging the universal approach in guest relations “same for all”. The purpose of this research derives from the necessity of determining the importance of monitoring and applying e-WOM communication as one of the methods used in managing guest relations. This paper analyses and compares different hotelier’s opinions on e-WOM communication.

Keywords: Brand loyalty, e-WOM communication, GRM programmes.

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