Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: Inês Vaz Matos

18 COVID-19 Pandemic Influence on Toddlers and Preschoolers’ Screen Time

Authors: Juliana da Silva Cardoso, Cláudia Correia, Rita Gomes, Carolina Fraga, Inês Cascais, Sara Monteiro, Beatriz Teixeira, Sandra Ribeiro, Carolina Andrade, Cláudia Oliveira, Diana Gonzaga, Catarina Prior, Inês Vaz Matos

Abstract:

The average daily screen time (ST) has been increasing in children, even at young ages. This seems to be associated with a higher incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders, and as the time of exposure increases, the greater is the functional impact. This study aims to compare the daily ST of toddlers and preschoolers previously and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire was applied by telephone to parents/caregivers of children between 1 and 5 years old, followed up at four primary care units belonging to the Group of Primary Health Care Centers of Western Porto, Portugal. A total of 520 children were included: 52.9% male, mean age 39.4 ± 13.9 months. The mean age of first exposure to screens was 13.9 ± 8.0 months, and most of the children were exposed to more than one screen daily. Considering the WHO recommendations, before the COVID-19 pandemic, 385 (74.0%) and 408 (78.5%) children had excessive ST during the week and the weekend, respectively; during the lockdown, these values increased to 495 (95.2%) and 482 (92.7%). Maternal education and both the child's median age and the median age of first exposure to screens had a statistically significant association with excessive ST, with OR 0.2 (p = 0.03, CI 95% 0.07-0.86), OR 1.1 (p = 0.01, 95% CI 1.05-1.14) and OR 0.9 (p = 0.05, 95% CI 0. 87-0.98), respectively. Most children in this sample had a higher than recommended ST, which increased with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These results are worrisome and point to the need for urgent intervention.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, preschoolers, screen time, toddlers

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17 The Importance of 3D Mesh Generation for Large Eddy Simulation of Gas – Solid Turbulent Flows in a Fluidized Beds

Authors: G. González-Silva, E. M. Matos, W. P. Martignoni, M. Mori

Abstract:

The objective of this work is to show a procedure for mesh generation in a fluidized bed using large eddy simulations (LES) of a filtered two-fluid model. The experimental data were obtained by [1] in a laboratory fluidized bed. Results show that it is possible to use mesh with less cells as compared to RANS turbulence model with granular kinetic theory flow (KTGF). Also, the numerical results validate the experimental data near wall of the bed, which cannot be predicted by RANS.model.

Keywords: LES, Mesh, Gas-Solid, Fluidized bed

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16 Pervious Concrete for Road Intersection Drainage

Authors: Ivana Barišić, Ivanka Netinger Grubeša, Ines Barjaktarić

Abstract:

Road performance and traffic safety are highly influenced by improper water drainage system performance, particularly within intersection areas. So, the aim of the presented paper is the evaluation of pervious concrete made with two types and two aggregate fractions for potential utilization in intersection drainage areas. Although the studied pervious concrete mixtures achieved proper drainage but lower strength characteristics, this pervious concrete has a good potential for enhancing pavement drainage systems if it is embedded on limited intersection areas.

Keywords: Pervious concrete, drainage, road, intersection.

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15 The Portuguese Press Portrait of “Environmental Refugees“

Authors: Inês Vieira

Abstract:

The migration-environment nexus has gained increased interest from the social research field over the last years. While straightly connected to human security issues, this theme has pervaded through the media to the public sphere. Therefore, it is important to observe how did the discussions over environmentally induced migrations develop from the scientific basis to the media attention, passing through some political voices, and in which ways might these messages be interpreted within the broader public discourses. To achieve this purpose, the analysis of the press entries between 2004 and 2010 in three of the main Portuguese newspapers shall be presented, specially reflecting upon the events, protagonists, topics, geographical attributions and terms/expressions used to define those who migrate due to environmental degradation or disasters.

Keywords: Climate refugees, environmental refugees, environmentally induced migrations, Portuguese written press

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14 Quality Control of Automotive Gearbox Based On Vibration Signal Analysis

Authors: Nilson Barbieri, Bruno Matos Martins, Gabriel de Sant'Anna Vitor Barbieri

Abstract:

In more complex systems, such as automotive gearbox, a rigorous treatment of the data is necessary because there are several moving parts (gears, bearings, shafts, etc.), and in this way, there are several possible sources of errors and also noise. The basic objective of this work is the detection of damage in automotive gearbox. The detection methods used are the wavelet method, the bispectrum; advanced filtering techniques (selective filtering) of vibrational signals and mathematical morphology. Gearbox vibration tests were performed (gearboxes in good condition and with defects) of a production line of a large vehicle assembler. The vibration signals are obtained using five accelerometers in different positions of the sample. The results obtained using the kurtosis, bispectrum, wavelet and mathematical morphology showed that it is possible to identify the existence of defects in automotive gearboxes.

Keywords: Automotive gearbox, mathematical morphology, wavelet, bispectrum.

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13 Mix Goat and Sheep Yogurt: Development and Product Characterization

Authors: Susana Matos, António Pinto, Conceição Castilho, Paula Reis Correia, António Cardoso Monteiro

Abstract:

Yogurts are prepared by fermenting milk with bacterial cultures consisting of a mixture of Streptococcus ssp. thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus. The main aim of this investigation was to develop a majority goat yogurt, with the addition of sheep milk in order to have a final product with good physicochemical quality properties and sensorial attributes. Four types of yogurts were prepared presenting the following proportion of goat and sheep milk respectively: C100 – 100%; C80 – 80%/20%; C60 – 60%/40%; C50 – 50%/50%. The goat milk was from the Serrana Jarmelista breed and the sheep milk from the Serra da Estrela breed. The inclusion of sheep milk improved attractiveness to consumers, and it also improved the nutritional value of the product, mainly the fatty acid and mineral contents. The C50 yogurt was preferred by 28% of the panellists, followed by the C100 with 16%  and the commercial cow yogurt was 40% of preferences.

Keywords: Goat, sheep, yogurt.

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12 Housing Loans Determinants before and during Financial Crisis

Authors: Josip Visković, Ana Rimac Smiljanić, Ines Ivić

Abstract:

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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11 Statistical Analysis of the Factors that Influence the Properties of Blueberries from Cultivar Bluecrop

Authors: Raquel P. F. Guiné, Susana R. Matos, Daniela V. T. A. Costa, Fernando J. Gonçalves

Abstract:

Because blueberries are worldwide recognized as a good source of beneficial components, their consumption has increased in the past decades, and so have the scientific works about their properties. Hence, this work was undertaken to evaluate the effect of some production and conservation factors on the properties of blueberries from cultivar Bluecrop. The physical and chemical analyses were done according to established methodologies and then all data was treated using software SPSS for assessment of the possible differences among the factors investigated and/or the correlations between the variables at study. The results showed that location of production influenced some of the berries properties (caliber, sugars, antioxidant activity, color and texture) and that the age of the bushes was correlated with moisture, sugars and acidity, as well as lightness. On the other hand, altitude of the farm only was correlated to sugar content. With regards to conservation, it influenced only anthocyanins content and DPPH antioxidant activity. Finally, the type of extract and the order of extraction had a pronounced influence on all the phenolic properties evaluated.

Keywords: Antioxidant activity, blueberry, conservation, geographical origin, phenolic compounds, statistical analysis.

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10 Overcrowding and Adequate Housing: The Potential of Adaptability

Authors: Inês Ramalhete, Hugo Farias, Rui da Silva Pinto

Abstract:

Adequate housing has been a widely discussed theme in academic circles related to low-cost housing, whereas its physical features are easy to deal with, overcrowding (related to social, cultural and economic aspects) is still ambiguous, particularly regarding the set of indicators that can accurately reflect and measure it. This paper develops research on low-cost housing models for developing countries and what is the best method to embed overcrowding as an important parameter for adaptability. A critical review of international overcrowding indicators and their application in two developing countries, Cape Verde and Angola, is presented. The several rationales and the constraints for an accurate assessment of overcrowding are considered, namely baseline data (statistics), which can induce misjudgments, as well as social and cultural factors (such as personal choices of residents). This paper proposes a way to tackle overcrowding through housing adaptability, considering factors such as physical flexibility, functional ambiguity, and incremental expansion schemes. Moreover, a case-study is presented to establish a framework for the theoretical application of the proposed approach.

Keywords: Adaptive housing, low-cost housing, overcrowding.

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9 The Knowledge Representation of the Genetic Regulatory Networks Based on Ontology

Authors: Ines Hamdi, Mohamed Ben Ahmed

Abstract:

The understanding of the system level of biological behavior and phenomenon variously needs some elements such as gene sequence, protein structure, gene functions and metabolic pathways. Challenging problems are representing, learning and reasoning about these biochemical reactions, gene and protein structure, genotype and relation between the phenotype, and expression system on those interactions. The goal of our work is to understand the behaviors of the interactions networks and to model their evolution in time and in space. We propose in this study an ontological meta-model for the knowledge representation of the genetic regulatory networks. Ontology in artificial intelligence means the fundamental categories and relations that provide a framework for knowledge models. Domain ontology's are now commonly used to enable heterogeneous information resources, such as knowledge-based systems, to communicate with each other. The interest of our model is to represent the spatial, temporal and spatio-temporal knowledge. We validated our propositions in the genetic regulatory network of the Aarbidosis thaliana flower

Keywords: Ontological model, spatio-temporal modeling, Genetic Regulatory Networks (GRNs), knowledge representation.

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8 Air Pollution and Respiratory-Related Restricted Activity Days in Tunisia

Authors: Mokhtar Kouki Inès Rekik

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the assessment of the air pollution and morbidity relationship in Tunisia. Air pollution is measured by ozone air concentration and the morbidity is measured by the number of respiratory-related restricted activity days during the 2-week period prior to the interview. Socioeconomic data are also collected in order to adjust for any confounding covariates. Our sample is composed by 407 Tunisian respondents; 44.7% are women, the average age is 35.2, near 69% are living in a house built after 1980, and 27.8% have reported at least one day of respiratory-related restricted activity. The model consists on the regression of the number of respiratory-related restricted activity days on the air quality measure and the socioeconomic covariates. In order to correct for zero-inflation and heterogeneity, we estimate several models (Poisson, negative binomial, zero inflated Poisson, Poisson hurdle, negative binomial hurdle and finite mixture Poisson models). Bootstrapping and post-stratification techniques are used in order to correct for any sample bias. According to the Akaike information criteria, the hurdle negative binomial model has the greatest goodness of fit. The main result indicates that, after adjusting for socioeconomic data, the ozone concentration increases the probability of positive number of restricted activity days.

Keywords: Bootstrapping, hurdle negbin model, overdispersion, ozone concentration, respiratory-related restricted activity days.

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7 A Stochastic Diffusion Process Based on the Two-Parameters Weibull Density Function

Authors: Meriem Bahij, Ahmed Nafidi, Boujemâa Achchab, Sílvio M. A. Gama, José A. O. Matos

Abstract:

Stochastic modeling concerns the use of probability to model real-world situations in which uncertainty is present. Therefore, the purpose of stochastic modeling is to estimate the probability of outcomes within a forecast, i.e. to be able to predict what conditions or decisions might happen under different situations. In the present study, we present a model of a stochastic diffusion process based on the bi-Weibull distribution function (its trend is proportional to the bi-Weibull probability density function). In general, the Weibull distribution has the ability to assume the characteristics of many different types of distributions. This has made it very popular among engineers and quality practitioners, who have considered it the most commonly used distribution for studying problems such as modeling reliability data, accelerated life testing, and maintainability modeling and analysis. In this work, we start by obtaining the probabilistic characteristics of this model, as the explicit expression of the process, its trends, and its distribution by transforming the diffusion process in a Wiener process as shown in the Ricciaardi theorem. Then, we develop the statistical inference of this model using the maximum likelihood methodology. Finally, we analyse with simulated data the computational problems associated with the parameters, an issue of great importance in its application to real data with the use of the convergence analysis methods. Overall, the use of a stochastic model reflects only a pragmatic decision on the part of the modeler. According to the data that is available and the universe of models known to the modeler, this model represents the best currently available description of the phenomenon under consideration.

Keywords: Diffusion process, discrete sampling, likelihood estimation method, simulation, stochastic diffusion equation, trends functions, bi-parameters Weibull density function.

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6 Recycling in Bogotá: A SWOT Analysis of Three Associations to Evaluate the Integrating the Informal Sector into Solid Waste Management

Authors: Clara Inés Pardo Martínez, William H. Alfonso Piña

Abstract:

In emerging economies, recycling is an opportunity for the cities to increase the lifespan of sanitary landfills, reduce the costs of the solid waste management, decrease the environmental problems of the waste treatment through reincorporate waste in the productive cycle and protect and develop people’s livelihoods of informal waste pickers. However, few studies have analysed the possibilities and strategies to integrate formal and informal sectors in the solid waste management for the benefit of both. This study seek to make a strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat (SWOT) analysis in three recycling associations of Bogotá with the aim to understand and determine the situation of recycling from perspective of informal sector in its transition to enter as authorized waste providers. Data used in the analysis are derived from multiple strategies such as literature review, the Bogota’s recycling database, focus group meetings, governmental reports, national laws and regulations and specific interviews with key stakeholders. Results of this study show as the main stakeholders of formal and informal sector of waste management can identify the internal and internal conditions of recycling in Bogotá. Several strategies were designed based on the SWOTs determined, could be useful for Bogotá to advance and promote recycling as a key strategy for integrated sustainable waste management in the city.

Keywords: Bogotá, recycling, solid waste management, SWOT analysis.

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5 Making Waves: Preparing the Next Generation of Bilingual Medical Doctors

Authors: Edith Esparza-Young, Ángel M. Matos, Yaritza Gonzalez, Kirthana Sugunathevan

Abstract:

Introduction: This research describes the existing medical school program which supports a multicultural setting and bilingualism. The rise of Spanish speakers in the United States has led to the recruitment of bilingual medical students who can serve the evolving demographics. This paper includes anecdotal evidence, narratives and the latest research on the outcomes of supporting a multilingual academic experience in medical school and beyond. People in the United States will continue to need health care from physicians who have experience with multicultural competence. Physicians who are bilingual and possess effective communication skills will be in high demand. Methodologies: This research is descriptive. Through this descriptive research, the researcher will describe the qualities and characteristics of the existing medical school programs, curriculum, and student services. Additionally, the researcher will shed light on the existing curriculum in the medical school and also describe specific programs which help to serve as safety nets to support diverse populations. The method included observations of the existing program and the implementation of the medical school program, specifically the Accelerated Review Program, the Language Education and Professional Communication Program, student organizations and the Global Health Institute. Concluding Statement: This research identified and described characteristics of the medical school’s program. The research explained and described the current and present phenomenon of this medical program, which has focused on increasing the graduation of bilingual and minority physicians. The findings are based on observations of the curriculum, programs and student organizations which evolves and remains innovative to stay current with student enrollment.

Keywords: Bilingual, English, medicine, doctor.

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4 An Integrated Experimental and Numerical Approach to Develop an Electronic Instrument to Study Apple Bruise Damage

Authors: Paula Pascoal-Faria, Rúben Pereira, Elodie Pinto, Miguel Belbut, Ana Rosa, Inês Sousa, Nuno Alves

Abstract:

Apple bruise damage from harvesting, handling, transporting and sorting is considered to be the major source of reduced fruit quality, resulting in loss of profits for the entire fruit industry. The three factors which can physically cause fruit bruising are vibration, compression load and impact, the latter being the most common source of bruise damage. Therefore, prediction of the level of damage, stress distribution and deformation of the fruits under external force has become a very important challenge. In this study, experimental and numerical methods were used to better understand the impact caused when an apple is dropped from different heights onto a plastic surface and a conveyor belt. Results showed that the extent of fruit damage is significantly higher for plastic surface, being dependent on the height. In order to support the development of a biomimetic electronic device for the determination of fruit damage, the mechanical properties of the apple fruit were determined using mechanical tests. Preliminary results showed different values for the Young’s modulus according to the zone of the apple tested. Along with the mechanical characterization of the apple fruit, the development of the first two prototypes is discussed and the integration of the results obtained to construct the final element model of the apple is presented. This work will help to reduce significantly the bruise damage of fruits or vegetables during the entire processing which will allow the introduction of exportation destines and consequently an increase in the economic profits in this sector.

Keywords: Apple, fruit damage, impact during crop and post-crop, mechanical characterization of the apple, numerical evaluation of fruit bruise damage, electronic device.

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3 Microwave-Assisted Alginate Extraction from Portuguese Saccorhiza polyschides – Influence of Acid Pretreatment

Authors: Mário Silva, Filipa Gomes, Filipa Oliveira, Simone Morais, Cristina Delerue-Matos

Abstract:

Brown seaweeds are abundant in Portuguese coastline and represent an almost unexploited marine economic resource. One of the most common species, easily available for harvesting in the northwest coast, is Saccorhiza polyschides grows in the lowest shore and costal rocky reefs. It is almost exclusively used by local farmers as natural fertilizer, but contains a substantial amount of valuable compounds, particularly alginates, natural biopolymers of high interest for many industrial applications. Alginates are natural polysaccharides present in cell walls of brown seaweed, highly biocompatible, with particular properties that make them of high interest for the food, biotechnology, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Conventional extraction processes are based on thermal treatment. They are lengthy and consume high amounts of energy and solvents. In recent years, microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) has shown enormous potential to overcome major drawbacks that outcome from conventional plant material extraction (thermal and/or solvent based) techniques, being also successfully applied to the extraction of agar, fucoidans and alginates. In the present study, acid pretreatment of brown seaweed Saccorhiza polyschides for subsequent microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) of alginate was optimized. Seaweeds were collected in Northwest Portuguese coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean between May and August, 2014. Experimental design was used to assess the effect of temperature and acid pretreatment time in alginate extraction. Response surface methodology allowed the determination of the optimum MAE conditions: 40 mL of HCl 0.1 M per g of dried seaweed with constant stirring at 20ºC during 14h. Optimal acid pretreatment conditions have enhanced significantly MAE of alginates from Saccorhiza polyschides, thus contributing for the development of a viable, more environmental friendly alternative to conventional processes.

Keywords: Acid pretreatment, Alginate, Brown seaweed, Microwave-assisted extraction, Response surface methodology.

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2 Eco-Design of Multifunctional System Based on a Shape Memory Polymer and ZnO Nanoparticles for Sportswear

Authors: Inês Boticas, Diana P. Ferreira, Ana Eusébio, Carlos Silva, Pedro Magalhães, Ricardo Silva, Raul Fangueiro

Abstract:

Since the beginning of the 20th century, sportswear has a major contribution to the impact of fashion on our lives. Nowadays, the embracing of sportswear fashion/looks is undoubtedly noticeable, as the modern consumer searches for high comfort and linear aesthetics for its clothes. This compromise lead to the arise of the athleisure trend. Athleisure surges as a new style area that combines both wearability and fashion sense, differentiated from the archetypal sportswear, usually associated to “gym clothes”. Additionally, the possibility to functionalize and implement new technologies have shifted and progressively empowers the connection between the concepts of physical activities practice and well-being, allowing clothing to be more interactive and responsive with its surroundings. In this study, a design inspired in retro and urban lifestyle was envisioned, engineering textile structures that can respond to external stimuli. These structures are enhanced to be responsive to heat, water vapor and humidity, integrating shape memory polymers (SMP) to improve the breathability and heat-responsive behavior of the textiles and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) to heighten the surface hydrophobic properties. The best results for hydrophobic exhibited superhydrophobic behavior with water contact angle (WAC) of more than 150 degrees. For the breathability and heat-response properties, SMP-coated samples showed an increase in water vapour permeability values of about 50% when compared with non SMP-coated samples. These innovative technological approaches were endorsed to design innovative clothing, in line with circular economy and eco-design principles, by assigning a substantial degree of mutability and versatility to the clothing. The development of a coat and shirt, in which different parts can be purchased separately to create multiple products, aims to combine the technicality of both the fabrics used and the making of the garments. This concept translates itself into a real constructive mechanism through the symbiosis of high-tech functionalities and the timeless design that follows the athleisure aesthetics.

Keywords: Breathability, sportswear and casual clothing, sustainable design, superhydrophobicity.

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1 Strategic Entrepreneurship: Model Proposal for Post-Troika Sustainable Cultural Organizations

Authors: Maria Inês Pinho

Abstract:

Recent literature on issues of Cultural Management (also called Strategic Management for cultural organizations) systematically seeks for models that allow such equipment to adapt to the constant change that occurs in contemporary societies. In the last decade, the world, and in particular Europe has experienced a serious financial problem that has triggered defensive mechanisms, both in the direction of promoting the balance of public accounts and in the sense of the anonymous loss of the democratic and cultural values of each nation. If in the first case emerged the Troika that led to strong cuts in funding for Culture, deeply affecting those organizations; in the second case, the commonplace citizen is seen fighting for the non-closure of cultural equipment. Despite this, the cultural manager argues that there is no single formula capable of solving the need to adapt to change. In another way, it is up to this agent to know the existing scientific models and to adapt them in the best way to the reality of the institution he coordinates. These actions, as a rule, are concerned with the best performance vis-à-vis external audiences or with the financial sustainability of cultural organizations. They forget, therefore, that all this mechanics cannot function without its internal public, without its Human Resources. The employees of the cultural organization must then have an entrepreneurial posture - must be intrapreneurial. This paper intends to break this form of action and lead the cultural manager to understand that his role should be in the sense of creating value for society, through a good organizational performance. This is only possible with a posture of strategic entrepreneurship. In other words, with a link between: Cultural Management, Cultural Entrepreneurship and Cultural Intrapreneurship. In order to prove this assumption, the case study methodology was used with the symbol of the European Capital of Culture (Casa da Música) as well as qualitative and quantitative techniques. The qualitative techniques included the procedure of in-depth interviews to managers, founders and patrons and focus groups to public with and without experience in managing cultural facilities. The quantitative techniques involved the application of a questionnaire to middle management and employees of Casa da Música. After the triangulation of the data, it was proved that contemporary management of cultural organizations must implement among its practices, the concept of Strategic Entrepreneurship and its variables. Also, the topics which characterize the Cultural Intrapreneurship notion (job satisfaction, the quality in organizational performance, the leadership and the employee engagement and autonomy) emerged. The findings show then that to be sustainable, a cultural organization should meet the concerns of both external and internal forum. In other words, it should have an attitude of citizenship to the communities, visible on a social responsibility and a participatory management, only possible with the implementation of the concept of Strategic Entrepreneurship and its variable of Cultural Intrapreneurship.

Keywords: Cultural entrepreneurship, cultural intrapreneurship, cultural organizations, strategic management.

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