Universidade Aberta
  • Lisbon, Portugal
Recent publications
This article evaluates the influence of Corporate Social Responsibility practices on organizational results. Although this relationship has been widely studied, there are no previous studies that analyze the role played by the characteristics of different company cultures. Although there are many publications on this topic, it is still not clear if and how such cultural characteristics influence the practice within the scope of operations management. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relation between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), organizational results and these cultural characteristics in Brazilian cosmetic companies. A survey was used to gather responses from 102 companies in the Brazilian cosmetic sector, and the data were examined using Correspondence Analysis, analyzing the patterns of associations. The results indicate an association between the most flexible internal cultural practices and a positive perception of the returns from the CSR and organizational results. Therefore, companies interested in enhancing their results should promote the internalization of flexible cultural principles, such as: privileging gender equality; providing employees direct access to their managers; fostering collective practices and interests; creating a free environment to question superiors and creating spaces to listen to employees.
Public databases for glaucoma studies contain color images of the retina, emphasizing the optic papilla. These databases are intended for research and standardized automated methodologies such as those using deep learning techniques. These techniques are used to solve complex problems in medical imaging, particularly in the automated screening of glaucomatous disease. The development of deep learning techniques has demonstrated potential for implementing protocols for large-scale glaucoma screening in the population, eliminating possible diagnostic doubts among specialists, and benefiting early treatment to delay the onset of blindness. However, the images are obtained by different cameras, in distinct locations, and from various population groups and are centered on multiple parts of the retina. We can also cite the small number of data, the lack of segmentation of the optic papillae, and the excavation. This work is intended to offer contributions to the structure and presentation of public databases used in the automated screening of glaucomatous papillae, adding relevant information from a medical point of view. The gold standard public databases present images with segmentations of the disc and cupping made by experts and division between training and test groups, serving as a reference for use in deep learning architectures. However, the data offered are not interchangeable. The quality and presentation of images are heterogeneous. Moreover, the databases use different criteria for binary classification with and without glaucoma, do not offer simultaneous pictures of the two eyes, and do not contain elements for early diagnosis.
In addition to the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, several countries—particularly in developing regions—faced serious additional challenges in the economic, social and environmental areas. In Brazil, one of these challenges refers to the changes in consumption caused by the lockdowns, and the environmental impacts caused by new patterns of waste generation. Against this background, this paper investigates the changes in consumption and waste generation in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides a technical contribution to the topic by comparing the perception of survey respondents on the amount of household waste produced before and during the pandemic, and cross-checking these with information on current aspects of policymaking, the findings suggest that the amount of some specific types of household waste has noticeably increased, challenging even more the local waste management systems. The data instrument was validated by a pre-test, prior to deployment. According to the respondents, packaging (both plastic and paper/cardboard) was the type of waste that reported the highest increase in generation during the lockdowns, which is in line with the results of increased consumption of food delivery within this period. The results also suggest that current waste management policies make Brazil ill-equipped to deal with one of the non-intended effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted Latin America’s largest country.
Our globalised world, with increasingly diversified and rapid trade, requires properly informed and equally rapid decisions, where financial literacy is a core life skill. The information, attitudes and financial knowledge associated with these decisions are essential to ensure the sustainability of economies. The day-to-day life of any citizen is surrounded by financial decisions that determine and condition not only the individual well-being, but also financial sustainability of families, institutions and, consequently, local, and global economies.The need for everyone to take responsibility places the financial literacy of a population as a key issue for good governance. Moreover, financial ignorance has costs. Thus, the promotion of an inclusive financial sector is one of the objectives of several governments and institutional bodies, so since 2015 it has been included in the 2030 UN agenda in 5 of the 17 sustainable development goals. The literacy in general corresponds to the ability of each individual to acquire knowledge, develop cognitive and social skills that allow him, with the information available in society to make the right decision.Financial education is useful for people of all ages and education level. However, higher education students are one of the groups in which any country tends to place many expectations, since they are the future decision makers, so this is the target audience of this research. The survey was released in April 10, and it will be open until May 10, 2022. This preliminary study, which is part of a wider research, aims to determine the level of financial literacy of higher education students in Portugal and to determine whether there are differences in gender, age, course area, and day/ post-work students. Keywords: financial literacy; financial knowledge; financial attitude; financial behaviour; higher education students.
The enumeration of finite models is very important to the working discrete mathematician (algebra, graph theory, etc) and hence the search for effective methods to do this task is a critical goal in discrete computational mathematics. However, it is hindered by the possible existence of many isomorphic models, which usually only add noise. Typically, they are filtered out a posteriori, a step that might take a long time just to discard redundant models. This paper proposes a novel approach to split the generated models into mutually non-isomorphic blocks. To do that we use well-designed hand-crafted invariants as well as randomly generated invariants. The blocks are then tackled separately and possibly in parallel. This approach is integrated into Mace4 (the most popular tool among mathematicians) where it shows tremendous speed-ups for a large variety of algebraic structures.
The technical and operational implementation of smart waste management methods is a complex and time-consuming process and therefore there is a strong resistance to its adoption by the public. At the same time, we live in an era marked by the existence of a greater desire for change driven by environmental and social concerns and technological development towards smart city implementation. In this scenario, it is essential, at this point, to draw the portray of the Portuguese awareness concerning intelligent waste management existing projects and evaluate the population's receptivity to these implementations. To obtain the data from the public, an online questionnaire was implemented, and 626 responses were obtained. From the data collected, the Portuguese population is largely unaware of the existence of new waste management methods (82% are unaware of their existence), existing, however, great openness (80%) to their implementation.
Nestlé has a well-established reputation for its high-quality food and profitability, operating in 83 countries, with 461 factories and 33 thousand employees. The company has among the most robust CSR programs globally as an integral part of the business policies (known as "Creating Shared Value," or CSV), being the leader in the food industry and adding value to the company over competitors. Nestlé establishes a constructive relationship with the community to implement the CSV program directly or through partners. The program aims to create value for shareholders by operating with policies addressing global and local nutrition, water, and rural development. Through CSV, Nestlé promotes empowerment, synergies, and sustainability. This brief discussion will critically address some aspects of the company's CSR and leave some comments on what the company should do next.
The heavy economic, social, and psychological toll of pandemic lockdowns around the world and their disproportionate effect on women are widely acknowledged, but different socioeconomic backgrounds and contexts may influence the degree to which stay-at-home measures impact their lives. Additionally, knowing that violence against women tends to increase during times of crisis, we are testing if the additional burden of victimization represents an added load to the perceived social impacts of the lockdown. Using 2021 survey data from a random sample of 1541 Portuguese women, the paper explores, through logistic regression models, the social impact of the lockdown on the lives of women, its socioeconomic determinants, and the role played by violence against women during the pandemic. The results show that the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown did not equally affect all facets of women’s social lives, and women with higher education status and that experienced income reductions due to the measures taken to control the pandemic are more prone to experience a more severe negative impact of the lockdown on the various facets of their lives. Additionally, having been a victim during the pandemic partially mediates the effect of education and income reduction on the social outcomes of the lockdown.
The circular economy (CE) concept has become a major interest for companies, promising new business opportunities and a decrease in environmental impacts. Though research on circular business models has recently increased, few scholars have investigated how companies engaged with CE view the connection between CE and sustainability. To address this gap, this paper uses a semi-quantitative survey and semi-structured interviews conducted with companies based in Italy and the Netherlands. Purposive sampling was employed to target firms associated with national and international CE networks, as these companies already engage with CE practices. The survey was distributed online to over 800 firms, of which 155 provided information on their understanding of the CE concept and its relationship with sustainability. The survey results are complemented through findings from 43 interviews with a subset of the survey respondents. The survey answers show that companies view CE as one of the tools to achieve sustainable development, particularly in the environmental domain, where the focus lies on environmentally friendly resource use. Yet, the respondents are less confident whether CE increases economic and social benefits of firms. Interviews show that a majority of respondents position sustainability as the overarching concept. However, most companies advocate that the private sector should strive for both sustainability and circularity, though the distinction between the two concepts in daily business operations seems synthetic and futile to some. These findings provide an important stepping stone for better understanding how firms could apply CE practices to move towards a more sustainable society.
Can the pandemic measures be used to advance particular political means? The question of correlation between illiberal legal changes adopted amongst the wave of legislation focused on battling COVID has arisen in a number of countries around the world; as an increasing number of states finds leaving restrictions behind in 2022, however, Hong Kong is still battling the Omicron wave of the pandemic. Ever since its transition to China in 1997, Hong Kong has retained its place on the world stage as an international business hub and, while getting closer to the Mainland, enjoyed the freedoms provided by its SAR status. At the same time, by the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century the tensions between the pro-democratic inclinations of the large part of the city’s population and pro-Mainland disposition of the SAR’s political elite began to rise, with proposals of various legal acts put forward by the local government often perceived as encroaching freedoms. The street-level ‘standoff’ between the authorities and the people was brought to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic; and, with protesting rendered virtually impossible, a number of controversial legal changes were introduced by the government taking advantage of the situation, which, together with the anti-pandemic measures have continued to negatively impact the city’s financial hub status. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the correlation between Hong Kong’s fight with the pandemic and the local government’s taking advantage of the situation in order to implement illiberal legislation, and its aftermath.
For some years now, master data has become extremely relevant to business success and continuity in an increasingly competitive and global business environment. The banking sector is one example of how the implementation of well-structured and designed master data management policies and initiatives is crucial for reaching positive results. One of the areas in which banks need to ensure extremely fruitful master data management approaches and data governance procedures is when dealing with risk-related data, as it not only ensures accurate and well-supported management and decision-making, but also because banks are required to do so by imposed regulations, such as the BCBS 239. Drawing on a DSR methodology supported research project, where banking and IS-related expertise was continuously merged with existing theoretical knowledge on MDM and BCBS 239 related topics, and a permanent focus on the technical and functional complexity associated with implementing master data management and well-established data governance procedures that ensure regulatory compliance, we propose a novel, six-phase action plan that will allow banks to ensure compliance with BCBS 239 and, consequently, ensure efficient and effective risk data management and reporting.
Entomophagy - intentional consumption of insects - is practiced in several regions of the world, particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In the Western world, edible insects have been growing in popularity as novel food and feed. The main objective of this cross-cultural study, performed in Portugal and Norway, was to evaluate the determinants of consumers’ acceptance of insects as food and feed. An online-based survey (n= 666, LimeSurvey -Portugal- and EyeQuestion -Norway-) composed of nine different sections, assessing acceptance of insects as food and feed, sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes towards edible insects and food choice motives was applied. Results showed that Norwegian consumers had a higher acceptance of insects as food or feed than Portuguese consumers did. It was also possible to divide consumers into four segments according to their acceptance level: Disgusted, Rejecters, Feed Acceptors and Acceptors. Considering the determinants of acceptance/rejection, disgust towards insects was the variable with the largest negative impact on either forms of entomophagy for both countries. On the other hand, consumers who seek new food experiences tend to have a higher acceptance of insects as food. Sociodemographic characteristics also influenced the acceptance of insects as food and feed, although differently for Norway and Portugal, while food choice motivations (convenience, health and ecological welfare) had minimal impact. These results highlight the importance of diminishing disgust reactions towards edible insects and to successfully marketing entomophagy to more neophilic consumers. This can be potentially obtained by improving the sensory appeal and experiences associated with edible insects.
The retina, as part of the central nervous system (CNS), can be the perfect target for in vivo, in situ, and noninvasive neuropathology diagnosis and assessment of therapeutic efficacy. It has long been established that several age-related brain changes are more pronounced in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nevertheless, in the retina such link is still under-explored. This study investigates the differences in the aging of the CNS through the retina of 3× Tg-AD and wild-type mice. A dedicated optical coherence tomograph imaged mice's retinas for 16 months. Two neural networks were developed to model independently each group's ages and were then applied to an independent set containing images from both groups. Our analysis shows a mean absolute error of 0.875±1.1 × 10−2 and 1.112±1.4 × 10−2 months, depending on training group. Our deep learning approach appears to be a reliable retinal OCT aging marker. We show that retina aging is distinct in the two classes: the presence of the three mutated human genes in the mouse genome has an impact on the aging of the retina. For mice over 4 months-old, transgenic mice consistently present a negative retina age-gap when compared to wild-type mice, regardless of training set. This appears to contradict AD observations in the brain. However, the ‘black-box” nature of deep-learning implies that one cannot infer reasoning. We can only speculate that some healthy age-dependent neural adaptations may be altered in transgenic animals.
Several works have addressed the impact of transport accessibility on regional development. Nevertheless, it is not consensual that new levels of accessibility lead to the improvement of regional development. This article proposes a methodological approach to assess whether significant relationship exist between these two variables. The methodology uses Data Envelopment Analysis to evaluate regional performance and spatial statistics methods (local bivariate relationships) to evaluate the type of relationships between accessibility and performance for each region, along with its significance. The approach was applied to 186 NUTS that cover 19 European countries, extending previous works which focus on global results, in the sense that only one (usually large) area is considered. Results indicate that approximately half the regions have a significant relationship between transport accessibility and regional performance. Logit regression analyses show that central regions are more likely to exhibit significance, as well as regions with high (low) levels of performance surrounded by regions with high (low) levels of accessibility, hinting at a synergy between the two variables. An important policy implication is that regions of high performance surrounded by regions of low accessibility may benefit from investments in the transport infrastructure.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a recent technology that has recently become increasingly adopted by companies as a solution for employees to focus on higher complexity and more valuable tasks while delegating routine, monotonous and rule-based tasks to their digital colleagues. The increased interest, reflected in the increasing number of articles regarding approaches and test cases, has triggered the necessity for a summary that could extract the more generalisable ideas and concepts about these software robots. This paper used a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) approach to find and synthesise information from articles obtained on this subject. This research identified the most general implementation approaches of successful RPA adoption cases, observed benefits, challenges commonly faced by organisations, characteristics that make processes more suitable for RPA, and research gaps in the current literature. The findings presented in this paper have two purposes. The first is to provide a way for companies and organisations to become more familiar with good practices regarding the adoption of robotic process automation. The second is to foster further research on the subject by complementing the current knowledge and proposing new paths for research.
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous explosions in the Universe and are powered by ultra-relativistic jets. Their prompt γ-ray emission briefly outshines the rest of the γ-ray sky, making them detectable from cosmological distances. A burst is followed by, and sometimes partially overlaps with, a similarly energetic but very broadband and longer-lasting afterglow emission. While most GRBs are detected below a few MeV, over 100 have been detected at high (≳0.1 GeV) energies, and several have now been observed up to tens of GeV with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). A new electromagnetic window in the very-high-energy (VHE) domain (≳0.1 TeV) was recently opened with the detection of an afterglow emission in the (0.1–1)TeV energy band by ground-based imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. The emission mechanism for the VHE spectral component is not fully understood, and its detection offers important constraints for GRB physics. This review provides a brief overview of the different leptonic and hadronic mechanisms capable of producing a VHE emission in GRBs. The same mechanisms possibly give rise to the high-energy spectral component seen during the prompt emission of many Fermi-LAT GRBs. Possible origins of its delayed onset and long duration well into the afterglow phase, with implications for the emission region and relativistic collisionless shock physics, are discussed. Key results for using GRBs as ideal probes for constraining models of extra-galactic background light and intergalactic magnetic fields, as well as for testing Lorentz invariance violation, are presented.
Objetivo: Discutir como o preconceito tem se evidenciado nas redes sociais digitais, com ênfase sobre o racismo; identificar os principais preconceitos sofridos e testemunhados por estudantes do ensino médio em redes sociais digitais. Método: A fundamentação teórica foi construída a partir do diálogo de autores negros que discutem o tema. O estudo foi realizado em uma escola privada de uma cidade do interior do estado de São Paulo. Para a coleta de dados, aplicou-se um questionário eletrônico ao conjunto de estudantes do ensino médio. Participaram da pesquisa 215 estudantes. Resultado: constata-se que a maioria dos estudantes possui redes sociais e que também presenciam situações de preconceito na internet, sendo em grande parte devido a: cor ou raça, aparência física, por gostar de pessoas do mesmo sexo e por ser mulher. Os estudantes participantes da pesquisa possuem maior facilidade de perceberem o preconceito sofrido por terceiros, que reconhecer as situações em que foram vítimas. Conclusões: A principal conclusão é que, assim como no mundo analógico, os educadores, incluindo os bibliotecários, precisam fortemente pautar os temas relacionados ao preconceito e racismo em sua prática educativa de forma crítica. Espera-se que os resultados possam ser usados como subsídio para preparação de programas de competência digital aos estudantes.
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1,362 members
José Bidarra
  • Department of Education and Distance Learning (DEED)
Rosário Bastos
  • Department of Social Sciences and Management (DCSG)
Filipa Isabel Barreto de Seabra Borges
  • Department of Education and Distance Learning (DEED)
Leonel Morgado
  • Department of Sciences and Technology (DCeT)
Lina Morgado
  • Laboratório de Educação a Distância e eLearning
R. Escola Politécnica, 141-147, 1269-001, Lisbon, Portugal
Head of institution
Professor Doutor Paulo Maria Bastos da Silva Dias